What’s Good This Week

Guys, I need your help. It’s with a basic life skill: zippers.

I bought myself a new rain jacket a few weeks ago, which has come in handy since our heat wave finally broke (praise be, we can sleep again) and we’ve had a drizzly week. The problem is, I can’t zip it up.

It has one of those two-way zippers so that you can unzip the bottom part of the jacket to make it easier to ride a bike or whatever, but try as I might I can not get the dang zipper though. So my question is, is there a trick to engaging these two-way zippers? Any zipper tippers? 

The jacket has buttons too, so I can use those when I’m casually walking around, but it’s not adequate coverage for a really rainy day or a bike ride in the rain. 

Help me! I wanna be dry!

a boy in a red shirt holding a drawing of a bunny

Big boy drew this creepy bunny and I love it.

This coming week is my last week of work before summer vacation, and in spite of not being able to go on any big trips, I am so ready for it.

Originally I had booked five weeks off (a combination of vacation and some saved parental leave days) but when we realized we wouldn’t be able to travel back to Canada I adjusted it to only the three weeks that the kids’ schools are closed. 

Having thought it over the past few weeks, I think I’m going to adjust it again, to four weeks this time, so that we don’t have to send Odin back to his janky daycare for one week before he transfers to the same school as Niko.

I’m also just really tired, and the thought of four weeks off is really appealing. Having said that, the thought of having my kids at home for four weeks is less appealing, so, I dunno. We’ll see how it plays out. 

We have rented a summer house in the Stockholm archipelago for a week (rain is in the forecast for the entire time), but other than that we don’t really have any plans. I’m debating whether I’m comfortable taking the kids on the train to go visit some friends in the south of Sweden, with enough hand sanitizer and potentially a mask for the train ride. 

Mostly, just embracing a chill summer vacation and planning to take things as they come. I feel like that’s the best any of us can do these days.

A small boy holding a mug of hot chocolate

First hot chocolate

Speaking of kids, it has occurred to me that it’s probably about time to teach my four-year-old how to make an emergency phone call. I’m not really sure if that’s something they’ve discussed at all at his school, but I’ve thought of all the times when the kids are home with just one adult… what if something happens to one of us? 

I’ve definitely heard of three or four-year-olds making 911 calls (112 calls where we live) and saving their parent or whatever adult they were with, but I’m wondering how to approach it in a smart way. I don’t want him thinking it’s a game – I have visions of him making emergency calls for fun or for the wrong kind of thing – and nor do I want to scare him. 

So, how to approach this? What to do? I feel like I missed this chapter in the parenting manual. 

two boys on a grey sofa playing with a thermometer

The thermometer is one of his favourite toys

I have a question for you guys: what is your biggest challenge when it comes to meal planning?

Do you like to plan out your full week, or just fly by the seat of your pants? Are you more into batch cooking than having a set meal plan?  

Would you (or do you) pay for a weekly meal plan subscription service? And if so, what do you feel is a reasonable amount to pay for an ad-free experience where you’re sent a meal plan, tips for pulling it off, and a printable grocery list each week?

The reason I’m asking is because I’ve been offered the opportunity to take over a friend’s business, and although I know I already have a *bit* too much on my plate, I’m super tempted, and have already recruited a friend (bet you can guess who) to partner with me and I think we could do an amazing job of it.

A few months ago, for a variety of reasons, I made the decision to shut down my nutrition consulting business (though I have yet to actually remove the page from my site, because: lazy), but aimed to replace it with something that was more affordable and that more people could access. The thought of building another website from scratch is daunting, but having one handed to me ready to go, well, now we’re talking. 

I’m still wrestling with the decision a bit, but I’d love to know from you what kind of value-added services you’d be into. Please leave a comment on this post or shoot me an email if you have any thoughts on the matter!


This was a big week on HNL, as Monday was the 10 year anniversary of hitting publish on my very first blog post. 10 years! Can you believe it? Take a walk down memory lane with 10 Years of Blogging

screen shot of a wordpress website with a close up of muffins in the banner

Next up is everyone’s favourite post of the month, Just Between Us

a lady in a grey sweater holding a green smooothie

And lastly, while the local strawberries are still going strong, don’t miss out on this Strawberry Chia Jam

A white plate with a scone topped with strawberry jam, and three jars of strawberry chia jam in the background


Yeah, yeah, we all know that Mung Bean and Coconut Curry is in number one. So let’s look at what else is trending.

1. Chia Fresca. Still going strong this summer season!

2. Turmeric Latte Mix. Same same. 

3. How to Cook Mung Beans. Well hello there! A newcomer to the top five!

4. Indonesian Black Rice Pudding. So good. 

5. Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos


Elizabeth left the following comment and 5-star review on my No Sugar Banana Bran Muffins recipe:

These are the best muffins ever. All my family, including a one year old grandchild, vacuum them, so I am constantly remaking, trying to keep up with demand! They freeze brilliantly, if on the rare occasion a day ends with any left. Definitely 5 star nutritious treat.

Yes! These are super popular in my home as well.

a banana bran muffin on a blue plate with walnuts and banana chunks


icon of globe with text "what's good around the web" 1. On breaking up with fitness routines that aren’t truly fun.

2. What if doctors stopped prescribing weight loss?

3. The world of cheap food and its consequences.

4. Not just coronavirus: America repeatedly fails at public health

5. Fantastic article in the New York Times by Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen: In the Covid-19 economy you can have a kid or a job. You can’t have both. 


  1. kimberly adkison says

    Hi Katie, thought I’d comment on the weekly meal plan subscription idea. I’m wondering if you’ve been offered to take over Green Plate Club? I first had experience with a weekly meal plan subscription through PrepDish, which was very well organized and had lots of variety. I really liked it but my problem was that it wasn’t easy to convert the recipes to vegetarian meals. So I was excited to find Green Plate Club and have for the most part found it useful. However, a couple of elements that I liked about PrepDish are missing. First, PrepDish has downloadable menus, shopping list and directions with a step-by-step guide to prepping for the week’s meals on a weekend afternoon say. The plan is easy to follow and the graphics are attractive. I think this is what I’ve missed about Green Plate Club. She does have some ideas about prepping but that doesn’t seem to be her focus. Plus you can’t download the week’s plan as a single document. I think it would be a big project but it definitely is right down your alley since the whole idea of prepping meals for the week I learned from! The key to a weekly plan is to streamline the prepping process so it doesn’t consume a whole day. It has to be straight forward and doable in an afternoon. Hope this helps. If you decide to do it I will definitely subscribe!

  2. pamela says

    Had a conversation with my in laws about teaching kids to call 911. They suggested maybe getting a landline that the boys are taught is a designated emergency phone, “if you can’t wake mommy up, you use this phone to call for help” or whatever you describe to them as a reason to call. In case they can’t find or can’t reach your cell phone. Niko is a very smart boy, I’m sure he will quickly be able to identify what is a real emergency and the importance of not being silly about it.

  3. Roos says

    Being subscribed to a meal planning business sounds very useful, but I think as a consumer I would not take the step to subscribe. I’m held back by thoughts like: ‘They’re probably full of ingredients I don’t eat’, ‘the meals are probably a lot of work’, ‘what if I’m not in the mood for what’s on the menu’, ‘there are probably salads on there and I need more calories than that’, the ingredients are probably not available in my country/supermarket’. So these are things that would stop me (and have stopped me) from subscribing to a meal planning service. What might help overcome these are: -making it very easy to become a subscriber and allowing very short periods of subscription. So for instance being able to buy 1 week menu for a very reasonable price, this might help getting people over the threshold and once they see how easy it is they’ll buy more often. And as a European I use Ideal as a payment methods instead of creditcards. I never buy anywhere if you can only pay by credit card or PayPal, so make sure to have plenty of easy payment methods. -not sure if you could do this, but being able to say which foods you don’t like (specific things like eg mushrooms and more broad things like meat and fish) and leave them out of the menu’s. -having multiple types of menu’s based on their difficulty and/or time to make. So eg people can buy the quick menu, or the fancy menu, or a mix. -avoiding ingredients that are rare in some countries. So keeping it widely accessible and (when possible) seasonal. -I would assume lots of people who use these services have kids, so they’d need recipes their kids will eat without tantrums, but also young working people without kids who are new to cooking, or new vegetarians/vegans (if that’s what you’re going for), so maybe have different styles of menu’s (just like different styles of difficulties). Eg a ‘kids friendly menu’, ‘exotic menu (with more spices and flavors)’, ‘athletes menu (high in calories and protein)’, etc. And make it possible to switch every week, or to buy multiple every week.
    Hope it helps, cheers!

  4. Gemma says

    Congratulations for 10 years of the blog!

    For the zipper, you need to make sure both zip pulls are fully at the bottom of the zip and then thread the open side through both, ensuring they remained aligned and making sure it goes all the way to the bottom (like you would on a zip with on pull). They can be a massive pain if they are not both aligned or the bottom of the zip is slightly wonky. Some zip pulls have a lock on them when you flatten then, so also make sure that is not the case. Hopefully it is just being annoying because it’s new… (else, return it!). Good luck!

    On a completely unrelated note, I love your peanut oat bars.

  5. Joyce says

    I plan weekly menus and have been for years. When I was working as a registered dietitian for the developmentally disabled population, I had responsibility for several group homes. What I noticed when I first started there was the other dietitians were handwriting menus (this was in 1986). I had previously worked in business (not as a dietitian) and my sense of efficiency which I learned in that environment felt there was a better way. I had several group homes with individuals who had serious medical problems. One of the ‘consumers’ (yes, that’s what the state said the residents should be called at that time) was diabetic, needed a very, very low sodium diet, a large quantity of water daily and needed thickened liquids due to a swallowing disorder. The only way to effectively address this was to develop a menu plan for the entire group home (about 8 people) with appropriate recipes, which would work for the oral diners in the home. I did this and put it in place, and it worked well. The head of nutrition services thought this would be great for all the group homes in the 5 county area comprising our developmental services area. I eventually was able to create a comprehensive menu system for this. Fast forward to my retirement in 2012 which coincided with my decision to transition to a plant-based diet. I immediately decided I needed to have a weekly menu calendar, so I created a monthly calendar, divided into 5 weeks. During this phase I purchased over the coming year about 30 vegan cookbooks and subscribed to several blogs, where I acquired more recipes, which if I thought I’d like them, I downloaded to files on my computer. What I have done with all this is developed Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter recipe lists where I record all successful recipes that are worthy of repeating, which is helpful when I menu plan. Sometimes I don’t have the energy to prepare or the taste for something I had put on the menu, in which case I switch the menu for other days or just have leftovers or have some purchased frozen item that would work with minimal effort on my part. I have recently switched to a gluten-free diet, so I am in the process of acquiring information and recipes. I never had a ‘consumer’ on a gluten-free diet so this is another learning experience.

  6. Sandra lea says

    I would love to see you jump into doing meal planning. One of the hardest things for me is meal planning for one. Meal planning itself is not difficult for me but making a plan for one person is hard. I am either eating the same thing multiple times or I am wasting a lot of food. So that’s what I would love to see.

  7. Jen says

    When we taught our boys when to call 911 this is what we told them. If mommy is laying on the floor and not answering you use my call phone to call 911. Then go tot the neighbors house if they are home. My guys were older (8 & 5). Maybe leave out the neighbors house. We also chats about what was an emergency. I would say things like: you see smoke ( call 911) the ice cream is finished ( don’t call 911). They would Try to come up with some crazy non emergencies. We would also talk about every few weeks. Kids don’t always remember things.

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