I Brake for Moms

School meals, like this sloppy Joe, chocolate milk, pear and baby carrots, support kids and local farmers. (Jennifer Bardsley)

School lunch: Every child deserves to eat, so let’s feed them well

Breakfast and lunch are now free for all students in the Edmonds School District. Here’s what else we can do.

 

Old dogs like Merlin provide great company, even while snoring. (Jennifer Bardsley)

This old dog of mine: A tribute to my fluffy couch potato

Sleeping has become this poodle’s full-time job. He’ll take five naps a day, in between turns around the yard.

 

When the deadbolt jams shut, only a pirate sword will do. (Jennifer Bardsley)

In a deadlock: When TGIF gets off to a very bad start

He has no access to a toolbox. The deadbolt to the garage is jammed. He has 30 minutes before a meeting.

 

Get in the fall spirit by decorating your house for autumn. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Decorate for fall on a budget the ‘Great Expectations’ way

This mom takes a page from Charles Dickens’ novel to add her own style of satire to the fall season.

Get in the fall spirit by decorating your house for autumn. (Jennifer Bardsley)
A pit stop in Forks to see the trucks from the Twilight franchise is fun when traveling with teenagers on the Olympic Peninsula. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Traveling with teenagers isn’t so easy-breezy as she thought

The new challenge: Now mom can count on her hand how many vacations they have left as a family.

A pit stop in Forks to see the trucks from the Twilight franchise is fun when traveling with teenagers on the Olympic Peninsula. (Jennifer Bardsley)
In-person school is back in session, and this mama bear wants to keep it that way. (Jennifer Bardsley)

A mother’s plea for vaccination: Please let my kids stay in school

This former teacher says schools should be safe places from polio, diphtheria, mumps, rubella — and, yes, coronavirus.

In-person school is back in session, and this mama bear wants to keep it that way. (Jennifer Bardsley)
This delicious--and labor intensive--strawberry salad with Dungeness crab was worth the drive to The Loft, in Poulsbo. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Are you vaccinated and ready to dine out? Not so fast

Here are six things to consider — all due to labor shortages — before you visit your favorite restaurant.

This delicious--and labor intensive--strawberry salad with Dungeness crab was worth the drive to The Loft, in Poulsbo. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Back-to-school shopping in 2021 is like a time warp to 1992. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Back to school with worry, hope — for parents and students

With the new school year here, she’s never seen her kids so excited to wake up at 5:45 a.m.

Back-to-school shopping in 2021 is like a time warp to 1992. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Taking public transportation to the fair has pluses and minuses. (Jennifer Bardsley)

No wagons: Some fair memories are best left in the past

They took the train from Edmonds to Puyallup for the Washington State Fair. It wasn’t such a good idea.

Taking public transportation to the fair has pluses and minuses. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Air filters, portable air conditioners fans and more — surviving a smoky summer requires electricity. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Hot household was just one fuse away from total meltdown

Lost electricity during the heatwave and wildfires turned their whir of multiple fans and air filters into heated silence.

Air filters, portable air conditioners fans and more — surviving a smoky summer requires electricity. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Caption: Using an old-fashioned Alphasmart Neo to increase productivity is one of many tips writers can use to sharpen their craft.

So you want to be a writer? Here are Jennifer Bardsley’s tips

Tip No. 1: Don’t start your writing project unless you can describe it in two succinct sentences.

Caption: Using an old-fashioned Alphasmart Neo to increase productivity is one of many tips writers can use to sharpen their craft.
Dust off those scrapbooking skills. Photo albums from 2020 will become primary source documents that future generations refer to. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Last year was one for the books — family albums, to be exact

She’s got a backlog of photo albums to finish for 2015-2019, but she’s glad she skipped ahead to 2020.

Dust off those scrapbooking skills. Photo albums from 2020 will become primary source documents that future generations refer to. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Can an air fryer replicate rotisserie chicken? Seventy minutes at 375 degrees comes pretty darn close. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Be careful with those carrots — she’s on an air-frying rampage

After mastering a variety of vegetables, this mom was ready to pop a 4-pound bird into her new air fryer.

Can an air fryer replicate rotisserie chicken? Seventy minutes at 375 degrees comes pretty darn close. (Jennifer Bardsley)
When battling a summer cold, a quick trip to the drugstore and a painless test to rule out Covid helps provide peace of mind. (Jennifer Bardsley)

When you get a cold even though you’re still wearing a mask

She stocked up on over-the-counter medicine at Walgreens after getting a drive-thru COVID-19 test.

When battling a summer cold, a quick trip to the drugstore and a painless test to rule out Covid helps provide peace of mind. (Jennifer Bardsley)
What advice would you offer a younger version of yourself? Parenting columnist Jennifer Bardsley wishes she could give her younger self a few tips. (Family photo)

Dear 26-Year-Old Me: A letter to my younger self

Seventeen years ago, Jennifer Bardsley was a new mother. She reflects on that time in this column.

What advice would you offer a younger version of yourself? Parenting columnist Jennifer Bardsley wishes she could give her younger self a few tips. (Family photo)
Homemade swamp coolers are an internet sensation, but were no match for Washington's heatwave in June. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Do-it-yourself hacks to beat the heat — do they actually work?

After the June heatwave, she’s taking stock of which heat prevention tricks worked and which were a waste of time.

Homemade swamp coolers are an internet sensation, but were no match for Washington's heatwave in June. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Jennifer Bardsley
Two years ago, Fourth of July festivities in Edmonds inspired Jennifer Bardsley’s new novel.

Small-town tale of sweet romance ignited on the Fourth of July

Edmonds author Jennifer Bardsley’s new novel, “Sweet Bliss,” inspired by “An Edmonds Kind of Fourth.”

Jennifer Bardsley
Two years ago, Fourth of July festivities in Edmonds inspired Jennifer Bardsley’s new novel.
When in came to wearing babies, this mom had strong skills — over a decade ago. (Jennifer Bardsley)

All strapped in: Help, I’m trapped in the baby backpack!

A newer model of the Ergobaby backback was a challenge for this aunt, even though one from 2005 was a snap.

When in came to wearing babies, this mom had strong skills — over a decade ago. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Smart watches, like this Samsung Galaxy Watch3, have valuable safety features that can help you as you age. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Embracing new technology that gives security and independence

It’s important to adapt to wearing a smart watch, for example, while your brain is healthy enough to figure it out.

Smart watches, like this Samsung Galaxy Watch3, have valuable safety features that can help you as you age. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Kids and laundry go together like a washer and dryer. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Some practical tips — not pipe dreams — for a laundry room makeover

If you get frustrated about home design, just remind yourself that old-but-clean is better than new-and-unkempt.

Kids and laundry go together like a washer and dryer. (Jennifer Bardsley)