Name: Karen Endsley
Children: Sienna Blaise, 3 ½ years old
Hometown/Current Location: Orlando, FL/Norfolk, VA
Quick Bio: I am the host of Cooking from the Heart, a cooking show geared toward busy moms/dads who want to prepare healthy, delicious, budget-friendly meals for their families, but don’t want to miss out on precious family time, by being stuck all day in the kitchen. This is my dream gig because I love cooking and I love helping people find ways to simplify their lives. They say if you do what you love, they you will be successful, and I am thrilled to say that my “local” cooking show was picked up nationally in June and will now be available in 57,000,000 homes nationwide! It’s so exciting to think that someone in L.A. or N.Y could be making my chicken and dumplings!
All my life I’ve loved adventures. I’ve hiked the Great Wall of China, gone paragliding in the Swiss Alps, canoed in the Amazon River and also ridden through the Andes on the top of a train, among other things. After marrying the man of my dreams in my late thirties, I embarked on the biggest adventure of all, motherhood. As “older parents” our biggest challenge has been keeping up with our daughter’s energy. I love that we have learned to play again – I have an excuse to jump around inside bounce houses and go to skating rinks! And, I really love when my wonderful husband takes Sienna for a Daddy/Daughter day and I get to recharge!
You can check out the show at www.cox11.com or nationally on AMG networks. Also, I upload the shows and other recipes, tips, pictures etc on my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/KarenIsCookingFromTheHeart
Q: What is your favorite piece of advice to new Moms?
A: If there is one piece of advice I would give to a new mom, it would be “Don’t compare yourself to other mothers!” When you are in the throes of nursing, dealing with diapers, and basically surviving on 4 hours of “interrupted” sleep a night, it is easy to see other mothers apparently dealing with everything beautifully. They look great and it seem to be breezing through what you struggle to get through on a daily basis, and you feel like an utter failure. But trust me, I know this through personal experience (and lots of conversations with moms), their homes aren’t spotless, their laundry isn’t all done, and you probably just caught them on “shower day.”
Q: How would you describe your parenting style?
A: Lots of conversations and lots of love. I think it’s easier to model and explain what you expect for your child at a young age. They are such little sponges and things like manners and good behavior will become “first” nature if they know what is expected of them. When my daughter exhibits good behavior I always praise her (and often rain kisses on her). When she does something naughty, I always address it immediately –no matter where we are or what we are doing. I tell her we need to have a “conversation” and explain why the behavior was naughty, what consequences it can have and how she always has a choice when it comes to her behavior. Since we started having our conversations, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to put her in time out. Also, because she understands what is going on and has some control over her “choices,” tantrums have practically become a thing of the past.
Q: As a Mommy what is it that you feel you do “right”?
A: As the mommy of a wonderful little girl, I think one of the most important things to do is to make sure my daughter has a great sense of self and loads of confidence. I try to reinforce this in a couple of ways. I make sure that she knows how deeply she is loved, that no matter what happens, if she has a naughty moment etc…. or even if I am frustrated with her behavior at the moment, I will always love her completely. I also try to make sure I always praise her as a whole. By this I mean I tell her she is very smart, funny, brave, kind, silly, etc… I want her to know she has strengths in many areas, so that in the future, if one aspect of her falters, she will have so much more to draw from and won’t lose confidence in herself.
Q: What is the best surprise you/ve ever done for your kids/family?
A: We moved away from home (FL) almost 3 years ago, leaving all of our family behind. My daughter is an only child and as such was very close to her older twin cousins and absolutely adores them. When I found out my 11 year old niece was going to be giving her first concert, I knew we couldn’t miss it. I don’t know who was more excited when I told her that we were not going to school that day, but instead to Florida to see her cousins. Sienna was thrilled! I also didn’t tell my sister or any of her family we were coming. My daughter and I hid on the front porch when we got to their house and my mother went in to visit. She sent the kids out to get something she “forgot” in the car, and we jumped out! The screams of delight brought my sister out of the house, and seeing the tears in her eyes made my heart swell. There was so much love! It was the best 2 way surprise ever!!!