A couple of weeks ago I was whining about the nasty commute to and from the kids school, by bike, through the snow, towing my cold and whiny kids behind me. It was not pleasant. I was miserable. They were miserable.
An old friend and colleague of mine, Claire, commented on that post and said, "None of my business but your commute looks hellish. Buy the damn car."
I read the comment and was like, gee, thanks Claire. I'll just go buy a car! Like it's that simple.
But then I thought, what if it IS that simple?
So I started bombarding all of my car-owning friends with millions of questions by text message to figure out what it would actually cost me to own a car, with parking permits and insurance and whatnot factored in. And then I started looking online for various cars to see what my options were.
And then, last Tuesday, on my birthday, right after my official covid results came back negative, I marched into a dealer and bought myself a shiny new (to me) car.
It's actually not new at all. Rather, it's from 2013, but in great shape and looks shiny and new. It's not the car I went to the dealer to get, but when I was standing in there and evaluating what my needs are actually, it seemed like the best fit for a few daycare runs per week and weekend adventures.
I didn't tell the kids that I was buying a car, so on Thursday afternoon I rolled up to pick them up and surprised them. Niko was SO excited and kept saying, "did you really buy this car?!"
This week we got another big dump of snow and then the temperatures dropped down real low (currently -12C as I write this) so the timing was impeccable.
It was definitely a big splurge, and owning a car in this city definitely comes with some real headaches, but it felt like the right thing to do. It was especially nice to be able to pile the kids into the car on Saturday morning and head off to do something other than the same three playgrounds we've been going to over and over and over again.
I hit another big milestone this week when I crossed the threshold of more than 200,000 pageviews in the month of January early this morning. I've been chasing this goal for a long time - my previous record was 171,000 in November - and it feels so good to have finally landed there.
These things are related in a way. Pageviews translate into ad revenue, and ad revenue is part of what has helped HNL grow from a simple little hobby blog into a profitable side hustle. It's what made me realize that I could afford to buy a car without thinking too much about it.
So I have to think you, dear reader, a loyal member of the Sunday crew, for helping to make this happen. Both the 200K milestone, and the car.
It's been quite the week to say the least!
My birthday was a quiet one, as is expected when one turns 42 on a Tuesday in the middle of a pandemic. Luckily I got my negative covid test results early in the morning, so not only was I able to go to get the car, but I was able to pick up a friend for a simple celebration with takeout pizza and bubbles.
I got a lot of well-wishes by text, video, Facebook, etc. My company sent me flowers, which was lovely, and best of all, Niko remembered to say happy birthday to me when he woke up.
Paul and the boys made a birthday dinner and cake for me a few days later, more so the kids could participate and enjoy the cake than anything else, but it was nice nevertheless.
We wrapped up the Batchuary challenge this past week. I heard from some folks that it was life-changing, and others felt it really didn't work for them.
Either way, that's ok! The point is to try out a new way of eating / prepping / planning to see if it will work for you or not.
Personally, I know I do a much better job of feeding myself nourishing meals throughout the week if I spend some time prepping the basics. Otherwise, on nights that I'm home alone and don't have leftovers on hand, I more or less end up melting cheese on crackers and calling that dinner.
For February I'm switching gears and focusing on pantry meals. I've noticed that after many months of meal planning every week, I have a lot of half-used packages of lentils and beans and grains on hand, and I think it's time to use 'em up.
So for the month of February I'll be sending out inspiration for pantry meals on my Wednesday newsletter. Not signed up? Just shoot me an email and I'll sort you out.
ON HEY NUTRITION LADY THIS WEEK
This week we kicked things off with a shiny new recipe for Baked Halloumi with Vegetable Ratatouille. It's one of those quick and easy one-pan meals you can have on the table in around 30 minutes, and it's loaded with veggies to boot!
And next, a re-boot of an old favourite, Ricotta and Spinach Egg Bake. These guys are so fast and easy to make, and only bake for around 10 minutes. A perfect breakfast, brunch, or breakfast-for-dinner.
And lastly, everyone's favourite post, Just Between Us.
WHAT’S TRENDING ON HNL
1. Turmeric Latte Mix. Hey-o!
2. 10-Minute Vegetable Ramen Noodles. So easy and so tasty.
3. Chia Fresca. Yep, again.
4. No Sugar Banana Bran Muffins. Well hello there! Haven't seen these in the Top 5 for a while.
5. Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos. Always a fan favourite.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Allison left the following comment and 5-star review on my Spelt Pizza Dough recipe:
This was a total winner with the family – especially my hubby, who normally only wants all white flour. Super delicious and easy to make thin and crispy. Will def be making some of these for the freezer
Yay! We have this on weekly rotation in our home as well. So easy and so good!
THIS WEEK’S MENU
I'm still going to be doing some batch cooking this weekend as it works really well for me. I have some brussels sprouts that need roasting, some kale that's begging to be made into a salad, and will get some grains cooked up as well.
HERE’S WHAT’S ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:
Sunday: Trying a new recipe for breaded tofu with roasted potatoes.
Monday: Leftover roasted potatoes with some eggs.
Tuesday: Halloumi tacos.
Wednesday: Big salad.
Thursday: Omelet night.
Friday: Snack dinner.
Saturday: Thinking risotto maybe.
What's Good Around The Web
2. Children as young as two can learn to cook - here are the kitchen skills they can get to grips with.
3. Vitamin D sales are up. But experts still don't know whether it can prevent or treat covid.
4. Crying may help with pandemic stress, especially if you do it around another person.