About Kristen

'Ate' is the Tagalog ('Filipino') term of endearment for a woman who is an older sister or older sister figure.

My name is Kristen, a.k.a. 'Ate Kris' and thank you for coming to visit!

An 80's child born in 'Charm City' B'more, I am the first daughter of three, and raised taking the fall for with my two younger sisters.

Over the past 30-some years, I learned from the best (my mom, a 1st Generation Filipina American the oldest of 5 kids) about what it means to be a great mom and 'big sister': being the guinea pig.

But also: support, unconditional love, and advice
...whether solicited or not.

I've had a passion for cooking for the last 15 years, and a passion for being a mommy since May 1st, 2010 when my baby boy was born.

You are my sonshine, my only sonshine.

My sweet and too-smart-for-his-own-good son was born 8ish years ago, and for about 5 years of those years, I was juggling life as a single mom and career woman.

Some of my favorite memories include Little Caesar Pizza Nights (a $5 ‘Hot n Ready’ is a single mom’s win), going to the matinees with my little date, and our Sunday brunches where we had æbleskiver (Danish ‘pancake balls’) and chocolate milk.

It wasn’t all cuddles and chocolate milk though. It was also picking up a 2nd job, bargain hunting, and leaning heavily on a support group lead by my parents.

And they lived Appely Ever After…

It was just a couple of years ago when I was brought into a whirlwind romance where I met the most amazing (+ patient) man, Bryson. We were 'matched' on February 13, 2016, our first date was March 18, and then we got married on October 7, 2017.

Bryson is the missing puzzle piece who completed our family and is a real superhero. We are proud parents of our now 8-year-old son, and a crazy herd of furbabies: two GSDs, Luca & Ripken, old man Aussie Riley, and our two princess cats, Casey & Jojo. And no, we did not mean to name them after the 90's one hit wonder.

He’s an animal lover, a human tolerator, and one of the most insightful and hilarious people I know. Also, he has great arms.

Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.

Bryson is also the one who introduced me to the No Sugar No Grain (NSNG) lifestyle.

When a multitude of baseball injuries lead to an early retirement, he learned that he’d have to work twice as hard in the gym and seriously adjust his diet to retain his personal standard of fitness. A former NFL cheerleader, I was also used to a certain level of fitness.

Also, I just didn’t feel like shopping for a new wardrobe when my 30’s metabolism hit (amirite, ladies?).

Ate Kris is where I will share my adventures in the NSNG lifestyle including recipes that preserve the 'yummy' sans the grain and sugar, along with my mommy/wife wins (and fails).

And, of course, do what I do best: being your big sister. I'm here for unconditional love and unsolicited advice.