Far away on the opposite coast is a kindred spirit: Sara Forte, who can usually be found whipping up (and inventing) simple, satisfying, soulful and stunning recipes in her California kitchen. As a new mom, Sara is navigating the waters of motherhood and entrepreneurship alongside her photographer husband, Hugh, who is the talent behind the stunning images that fill the pages of their two cookbooks, Sprouted Kitchen and Bowl & Spoon (just released – we’re obsessed!).
This Mother’s Day, we’re honored to share with you a little chance to get to know Sara. Be sure to visit her site to explore, and hopefully you come away with as many recipe ideas as we have… baked herb + pistachio felafel, anyone?
Were curious about your world…tell us about your current state of mind.
Well, let me be frank in telling you it completely depends on the day right now. We just launched our second cookbook, I have a handful of freelance jobs, the blog, and this is my husband, Hughs, busy season with photography so juggling all that with a squirmy, nearly one-year-old at home is proving to be a lot to handle. I am still trying to find my rhythm but gratefully feel present in all of it regardless. I am encouraged by the praise for the cookbook and seeing people use it, and still melt when my son waves at me. My free time is limited in this season but the things that are taking up my time and attention are things to be excited about. So I am anxious but here, and I think its ok to be in that state of mind for a few weeks.
What is one trait you love about yourself that your children have brought out in you?
This is a sweet question. I am quick to get overwhelmed or worried about things, but in general, I am pretty patient and tender hearted. On my good days, because lets be honest, I am not always like this, I can discipline Curran graciously and ask things of him in kind and gentle way. He doesnt understand much at this point, so getting angry when he spills a cup of coffee on my new rug isnt really worth the fuss so instead I try to take it all in stride, and be patient with the fact that he is just learning how to be here too.
Who is your beauty muse?
My sister. She has a gorgeous clothing line called Stone Cold Fox and she just has the best taste. I dont shop often, but am always ok-ing a purchase by her via picture text before I buy anything. House decor, clothes, skin care, new exercise plans…she is just on top of things and so good at everything I am not. She is beyond generous and supportive and ridiculously talented. I am so grateful I have her. Every time I cant make a decision, Hugh says just text Cyd because I will do whatever she tells me to do.
With regard to motherhood, whats one thing that nobody talks about that you think is worthy of conversation?
This may depend on what time of life you start having children, but I am still mourning my old freedoms. Before Curran came along, Hugh and I traveled and went out to eat often, and I am realizing both of those things are much less convenient with a little person in tow. I think it is healthy to come to terms that you dont get your old life back. I think some women are afraid to say that they miss their free time in fear that it will sound like they dont love being with their children, but I dont see it that way at all. You can feel both. I am crazy about my son, but miss a good sunny beach day where I didnt have to play defense of him eating sand. Its an adjustment and I will be more supportive of new moms in the future because of this.
Whats one thing that really made a difference in terms of your ability to continue working or maintaining your career while starting a family, for better or for worse?
A supportive spouse! I have SO much empathy for single moms as this is not a one-person job. Hugh and I have an unconventional work situation so we have the flexibility to pass Curran back and forth when one of us needs a few uninterrupted hours of work. I have much less quality time with Hugh, and that is the worse of it, but we are managing to both be working parents. He has impressed me so much and exceeded my expectations in what an involved and incredible father he is. Because of that, I have been able to keep up. Sort of 🙂
What are some beauty staples that you keep in your purse?
I keep an unscented hand lotion to keep my hands from drying out. I am recently obsessed with the Tata Harper lip treatment and keep reapplying that with some colored gloss on top to keep my lips looking lively. There are bobby pins and an emergency nail polish in there for good measure.
Has your philosophy on beauty changed now that youre a mom? If it has, how so?
I think I appreciate the realness and the story to a womans body now that I have experienced the process of childbirth. I waste a lot of time wishing I was thinner, my boobs were perkier, my face was smoother etc. but bringing a life into the world, even if my tummy skin is a little more stretched out than it was prior, is far more valuable to me than the state of my midsection. I want to eat well, keep moving, stay positive – those things are healthy and beautiful to me and the sort of example I want to set for my children. Not just thin and chasing after perfect because that is what magazines tell me is beautiful.
Which bedtime story do you most admire?
Curran isnt super great at listening to bedtime stories yet. He mostly just wants to rip on the pages. I am recently trying to get him into I Love you, Stinky Face by Lisa Mccourt.
Which superpower would you most like to have now that youre a mom?
I would like to feel and see the effect of exercise without actually having to do it! I actually really enjoy yoga, pilates, spin classes but have had a hard time keeping those in my routine with Curran and work. So some sort of power that maybe consolidates the benefits of those sorts of classes in a little capsule.
What is your mom/mum/mommy motto?
My grandma always says tomorrow is another day and I cringe a little because it so cliche and corny but I have found that I need to give myself that grace each day and start over again as needed. There is a lot of figuring out as you go in this whole mom business – finding out what works for you regardless of whatever everyone says is the best way. Getting to start fresh and try again the next day helps me keep my chin up in the moments I feel defeated. So as my Memaw would be so flattered to hear, Im going with tomorrow is another day.
Favorite family meal to share?
Im going with the enchiladas on the sprouted kitchen website. These are one of our most made recipes by readers. They save well, feed a family, could be delivered as a gift to new moms. There is a fall butternut squash version on there too!
What is your idea of a perfect weekday morning?
Curran ideally wakes up NO earlier than 7:30am. Hugh makes really good coffee. I make us some sort of egg dish with greens and fresh, thick cut, grainy bread. And then we follow it up with a beach walk to get a little sun and some exercise first thing.
A personal trick you’ve learned that helps you lead the life you love
I dont know if this is a trick, but alone time to quiet my mind and put things in perspective. Prayer. Meditation. Call it what you will. Things can always be worse, so I spend some time to list the positive parts and focus energy on those. Living a life you love is largely effected by a positive attitude and taking action to change the things you dont love.
Were so happy that you use Tata Harper Skincare – tell us about the products that you cant live without.
I mentioned the lip treatment and the revitalizing body oil (the one that smells like grapefruit) is my favorite post-shower ritual. It has a lovely smell and feels moisturizing without being too greasy to get into bed with. I dont have a long involved routine so I love just having a few key products to apply and then get some rest.
Author: Tata Harper Team
The team at Tata Harper Skincare is passionate about promoting a modern, health-conscious natural beauty lifestyle that’s committed to safety, honesty and sustainability.