My Name is Aleta and I am the heart and soul behind Mama Bear’s Cookbook!
I live in beautiful BC Canada with my lovely husband and two sweet little ladies! Raising babies while cooking up a storm is what I like to do, while photographing the whole parade of course. It can be a bit hectic but hey, life’s too short not to bake cake just cuz you’ve got diapers to change and wee mouths to feed! My husband calls me his Tornado, my children call me their Mama.
A little back story
I’ve loved to cook and bake since the Christmas my parents got me an easy bake oven as a child. No joke. My favourite was the spice cake which I have yet to re-create! I loved that ‘toy’! From there I went on to create my very first recipe: ‘Al’s Special Delight’… It was bad.. so bad… basically a slice of bread, with miracle whip, topped off with a slice of fake cheese and (oh how I hate to continue) microwave until the cheese melts.. *barf* BUT my parents were troopers and ‘loved’ my recipe. I used to make it all the time for my 3 siblings. *hangs head in shame* Trust me when I say my recipes have become much better!!
After graduation I packed up and skipped across Georgia Straight to Vancouver Island to attend the Culinary Arts program at the University. It’s known world-wide for its amazing program! Epic Failure. I lasted three weeks before my chef said to me: ‘You know Aleta, you are too happy. This world will break you.’ To this day I don’t know why I quit. I loved to cook. Perhaps I didn’t have the experience to know exactly how much I loved to cook.
Then there were a few years I spent working with animals, another passion of mine. I went from retail to care and loved them both, but it wasn’t until I started to work with food again that my original passion was reignited.
Eight years I spent working in a deli before I retired to raise my little girls. By far the funnest job I had, I miss those busy deli days 100%. Between the fast paced atmosphere, food production, gorgeous tray assemblies and recipe creation, it was the perfect job.
I’ve been working with food for a decade now, enjoying the freedom to create and raise my daughters at the same time. Being healthy for my girls has become another passion of mine, in line with making healthy food for them that they love.
If you have any questions, recipe related or not, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask.
I am so lucky so have such an incredible family.
I met my husband in the summer of 2009 at a rave. Funny story. I was dressed up as an ‘officer’ and working security at said rave. My husband Nick, who happens to be a carpenter, was building the outhouse at the rave… 🤦♀️ Sparks flew and the rest is history!
I always knew I wanted a family, ever since I was small; Perhaps it was because I came from one. Joining Nick’s family and becoming a step mom at 21 years old wasn’t as hard as you may think, it felt meant to be. Let’s just say Payton and Kienan were good sports as my cooking skills started at about a zero, but quickly(ish I hope) grew better and better.
It’s been just about 10 years since Nick and I met. Payton and Kienan are adults now with lives of their own and now we have 2 little ladies of our very own who fill our world with chaos and love, laughter and light.
When I was just beginning my 20’s I was diagnosed with a condition called PCOS. Basically PCOS is a condition that completely messes with your hormones. This usually comes with hair loss, weight gain and having a hard time losing weight, and at the time, most devastatingly: infertility.
I took this diagnoses hard. It followed me everywhere I went, not knowing if I would ever get to have children of my own.
My husband and I started trying to get pregnant right after we were married. It was heartbreaking month after month to get negative results, I honestly thought it wasn’t going to happen.
But after four months of trying, we got pregnant!
Our first baby, Zoey, is brilliant and sassy, wild and funny. She brings more joy to my life than I ever thought possible of one so little.
Zoey is the definition of the word Vibrant, from the colour of her eyes and hair, to the blood that pumps through her veins.
I swear she is a better problem solver than I am and her imagination is awe inspiring.
On Zoey’s second birthday we had the most exciting news… We were pregnant!
I was even more excited this time because I knew just how magical it was to create life.
My husband was working out of town so missed the first ultrasound. I brought my parents and sister instead, to share in the excitement. Only there was no excitement this day. This day I found out I had lost the baby I had been carrying for 9 weeks.
I was devastated. I felt like the world was crumbing beneath me. The only light that kept me from spiralling further into that black hole of desolation was my little red headed angle, Zoey.
Months later we tried again.
And lost again.
This time we were prepared for loss and although it hurt, I was more worried me than anything. Why was this happening? Was this another PCOS symptom? Was it my fault? Why was I losing these babies? If it was me and my hormonal issues, was it fair to try again?
Sooner than we thought possible, without even making the decision to try, I was pregnant again. I was on edge, didn’t think it would stick, every little cramp had my heart pounding. Every pregnancy symptom had my mind whirling, all the way up until I delivered my perfect little rainbow baby at 38 weeks of pregnancy.
Addilyn aka Addie
My little rainbow baby. Littlest of the Littles.
Addie came rushing into this world like it was meant for her. She is almost two years old now, it’s crazy how fast time flies by.
Little Addie is very mischievous. She is charming, cunning and very determined in all her little missions. (aka Mama’s little nightmare)
She loves to give hugs and kisses and has incredible language skills for someone so young.
Addilyn will always be my baby girl.
Terribly Sick Babies
Both our girls have rare kidney issues, and have spent quite a bit of time in the hospital.
Through this horrible experience, I gained determination to help them to be as healthy as possible in every other aspect of life.
A healthy mind, body and soul can conquer a lot, maybe even help them better manage their not-very-nice organs, right?
I am still working through their stories, but here is the first part.
Back to the PCOS.
Post children, my hormones are diving back into their regular patterns. Unfortunately for me, I have PCOS.
This means I get frequent migraines, am tired a lot, gain weight easily, almost impossible to lose weight and have a higher chance of diabetes.
No fun, right?
I am not the kind of person to sit back and say ‘oh well, I have a condition, so this is just the way it is’. Nope, not me.
Instead, I focus on a healthy lifestyle. I don’t eat processed foods and for the most part I live a low carb lifestyle so that I can easily battle the weight and exhaustion.
Yes I indulge in cheesecake every now and again, but what’s life without living? Cheesecake = living in my books!
Do you battle with PCOS? Here is a great article all about PCOS.
Well that’s about all for now, I would love to read a little about you too! Tell me a funny story or a little something about yourself you’d like to share!