This is me with my best Stockhomies. I'm the very pregnant lady on the far left, in case there were any questions.
When you live far away from your family, your friends become like your family, and this foursome here is my tightest, closest crew. We've been through so much together. Three weddings, four babies, two masters degrees, countless pre-kid living room dance parties, and epic late-night wine-fuelled games of charades.
We spend all of the high holidays together, and take care of each other with a deep understanding of what it's like to live on the other side of the world from your family, in a country where the native language is not your first, navigating the ups and downs and ins and outs of a completely new system.
We always knew that our little expat bubble was fragile, and now, after a good many years, it's the end of an era. Our friend Emily, who, let it be known, makes the best g-damn cornbread stuffing I've ever tasted, is moving to Tokyo this week. We had a last girl's night out this week (which happened to be a 5pm dinner, because that's how life is now) and then a last gathering with the husbands and kids in tow yesterday.
It hasn't really sunk in yet that this is happening!
This week the nice people from Ikea surprised me by delivering my massive order a full day ahead of schedule. Luckily I was at home at the time, but was fully unprepared and it meant dropping the work I was supposed to be doing in order to try and make sense of the box after box after box came in.
I've got the nice people from Ikea coming back at the end of the month to assemble and instal the wall storage unit we bought. A friend asked me if having Ikea stuff professionally assembled is common here, and truthfully I don't know. What I do know is that it's WORTH IT.
First of all, this unit is going into Niko's room, so we don't have time for it to be spread in pieces across the apartment. It has to go in all at once, preferably during the day when he's not at home. Secondly, this unit has approximately one zillion pieces, including doors, drawers, shelves, etc, and I have neither the energy or the interest in tackling that project myself.
Lastly, the nice people from Ikea come and do the whole thing in a couple of hours, anchor the unit securely to the wall, AND take all the packaging away with them when they're done, all for approximately what I charge for two hours of work as a copywriter or nutrition consultant. Like I said, WORTH IT.
So my office has officially become a staging area for baby #2. I assembled the bassinet for our soon-to-be double stroller this weekend, and we picked up a side sleeper friends were giving away, so now at least if this baby decides to come early we have somewhere to put it.
I still have nowhere to put any clothes or other baby stuff, so I'd prefer if he'd wait it out until after the Ikea stuff is put together. Last time I was completely convinced that Niko would be born early, so of course he came 8 days late. This time I'm practically begging the baby not to come early, so we'll see what happens.
On Hey Nutrition Lady this week
This week we made a super easy and tasty Vegetarian Niçoise Salad. Let's take advantage of all those tasty green beans while they're still in season!
Meal Bowls are one of my favourite things to make (and to eat) and this week I let y'all in on a little secret: YOU DON'T NEED A RECIPE! Here's my top tips for how to make a meal bowl without a recipe, plus 13 links to check out for inspiration.
And since it's high time we had some chocolate and peanut butter around here, I shared my favourite quick and easy recipe for Peanut Butter Oat Bars with dark chocolate chunks. They're made with wholesome ingredients you probably already have lying around, and are totally vegan, too!
What's trending on HNL
These are the five most popular posts on Hey Nutrition Lady over the last week!
1. Mung Bean and Coconut Curry. Always a favourite! This is on my schedule to re-shoot this week with updated instructions for the Instant Pot. Stay tuned!
2. Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos. I just ran out of these... gonna have to make a new batch, stat!
3. Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry. Yes! Love this one!
4. Turmeric Latte Mix. You guys getting ready for Christmas or drinking it now? I wanna know!
5. Warm Zucchini Noodle Salad with fried halloumi and tomatoes. Paul is travelling for work this week and I'm pumped to make this for one of my single lady suppers!
What's good around the web
1. Need workout inspiration? Check out what RGB is doing to stay in shape at 85.
2. Please don't teach my kid to diet - 5 resources to give schools and teachers.
3. The sexist rules of tennis and fashion. Why the tiny skirt, anyways?
5. Miracle cure or major con? Researchers at UBC break down 329 likely health scams.