Ashley Weingart

Ashley is the Founder of Perfectly Imperfect Produce helping to bridge the gap between the massive amount of food waste in the US and people in need of fresh, affordable food in Cleveland, Ohio. She is also a freelance writer, editor and photographer, focused primarily on food and healthy living as well as children and family matters. She is the mother of three, a cooking enthusiast, a blogger and a marathon runner. 

PUBLISHED ARTICLES 

Growing Up Green

January 2017 was the third warmest January in 137 years of modern record-keeping. Approximately 400,000 square miles of Arctic Sea have already melted due to global warming. About 40% of the lakes in America are too polluted for fishing, aquatic life, or swimming and pollution is one of the biggest global killers, affecting over 100 million people. The statistics are disparaging. We all need to do our part if we are going to see positive changes for our environment. And it is imperative that we raise our children with a respect for the planet and the desire to do good deeds on its behalf. Many schools and various organizations around Northeast Ohio help teach children how to be stewards of the environment and live a sustainable lifestyle. Here are some of them.

Valentine's Day The Old School Way

My memories of creating Valentine’s Day cards as a kid still remain pretty clear in that dusty old mommy brain of mine. I know it never involved hours of labor and lots of money buying trinkets and embellishing them with photo-ready labels. In our day, all you needed was paper, doilies, glue, markers, a sprinkle of glitter and a splash of imagination. That’s why this year, I’m ditching all the perfect, computer-designed cards and going old school.

Ditch Middle School Drama: Help Your Child Rise Above Social Pressure and Bullying

When we grew up, bullies were sometimes known to torment kids on the bus, steal lunches, pull girls’ hair during gym class or gossip behind our backs. Back then, teachers may have seen it happen and could intervene. “Today, adolescents are actually seeing it in writing on the internet for all their peers to see, too,” says Tira Stebbins, a clinical psychologist in Solon. “One of the most common behaviors I see is when students post pictures from parties to intentionally hurt the feelings of st

Baking with Kids is Messy, but oh so Sweet

To some, baking holiday cookies with kids sounds like a recipe for disaster. It’s not difficult to imagine all the mess and the drama. With a pinch of preparation and a dash of extra patience, baking with your children can be educational and, yes, even a lot of fun. Here are some mom-tested tips for a successful baking experience, reminders about why baking together is so beneficial, and a couple of classic holiday cookie recipes that are perfect to make with children. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS Follo

Eat, Save, Reduce: 10 Tips to Reduce Your Family’s Food Waste

Picture in your mind FirstEnergy Stadium overflowing with garbage. That’s how much food is thrown away in our country every single day. It equates to each of us trashing about half a pound of food daily, and totals more than 230 billion pounds of food squandered annually. Now consider that 80 percent of our nation’s water, 40 percent of our land, and 10 percent of our energy is used to grow our country’s food. What does this mean for our pocketbooks? According to the Natural Resources Defense

Making the Grade

Nut free, gluten free, dairy free, low sugar, individually wrapped, quick to make, quick to eat. Today’s parents are faced with many limitations when preparing a special birthday treat for their child to share with their schoolmates. That is, if you’re one of the lucky few who even still have the opportunity to do so. Many schools have done away with food focused birthday celebrations because of the disruptions and scheduling conflicts they cause, but also because of the increasing number of food related disabilities among today’s youth such as allergies, diabetes, Celiac’s and gluten intolerance. In the past, parents who have children with special dietary needs have brought in their own “safe” treats for their child to eat at each birthday celebration so they feel included. Yet, the child still feels left out eating something different than the other kids. Here are some tried and true school birthday treats that are safe for all the kids but so delicious and fun, the students won’t even realize they are gluten free, nut free or dairy free.

Veg Out

Walking through the local farmer’s market is a feast for the senses. It’s a journey full of colors, smells and flavor. Some familiar and some new and interesting. Northeast Ohio farm markets will soon be stocked with all sorts of unique vegetables. From turnips and kohlrabi to chard and fennel, there are many choices that perhaps you’ve never even tried yourself. Maybe you’re afraid to buy them because you’re certain your kids won’t touch them. Here are a few simple recipes that will help you introduce these vegetables to your family along with some general tips for helping your children try new foods.

Surviving Another First Year

Welcoming a new baby into the world is a time full of emotions; joy, excitement and perhaps even a little anxiety. To some, the first year can seem even more challenging the second time around. Now you’ve got a new baby AND their older sibling to care for. How do you manage all of their needs all at once? Here is some advice from both parenting experts as well as experienced parents themselves on how to survive the first year, again.

Food Fight: Helping Teens to Eat Healthier

What do you do when your teenager eats poorly? How can you help guide them back toward healthy habits without it turning into a food fight?  Struggles with food among teens are common and normal. As parents, the first emotional reaction might be to try to take charge, throw away their favorite snacks, lecture them on proper nutrition and closely monitor everything they put in their mouths. Experts say by trying to control their diet, you will likely end up doing more harm than good. “Food is an

The Too Busy Blues: Find a Schedule that Fits Your Family

Let’s face it, there always will be a class your children’s friends are taking that your kids can’t wait to try, too. Dozens of enrichment opportunities are available through school, the library, a community center or local businesses: science club, ballet classes, travel soccer, drama club, piano lessons, gymnastics, art classes, ski club — the possibilities are endless. While it’s important for our children to be involved and find activities they enjoy, there is only so much time in the day a

Stay on Course for Running in Fall and Winter Months

With the weather turning cooler and summer days spent in your swimsuit now just a memory, it’s easy to lose motivation to exercise. But fall and early winter temperatures can actually be ideal for running outdoors. I run outside all year-round; training for marathons. Here are my  tips for staying motivated and safe on fall and winter runs. Ashley Weingart is a mother of three, a marathon runner and a blogger. She writes about her adventures as a “busy mom on the run” at www.runningwithskissors

Four Seasons of Fun in Chagrin Falls

While just a short trip from the bustling city of Cleveland, a visit to the quaint, picturesque village of Chagrin Falls feels like a journey back in time. It’s a place where strangers still smile and say hello, neighbors know each other by name and families walk to town. Chagrin is a community where children meet for ice cream after school, shoppers patronize locally owned boutiques and a horse-drawn carriage trots past. This city’s rich history begins in the mid-1800s when settlers from New E