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Well hey. Hi. Hello there.
Next time I decide to take a break I promise to let y'all know ahead of time, because based on the number of worried emails and DMs I got, I gave you guys a scare. But truly, all it was was a much needed break.
I've heard it said before that when you've got a lot of balls in the air, you need to know which are plastic and which are glass. The glass ones will shatter if you drop them, while the plastic ones will bounce and you can pick up later.
This blog, although it has grown over the years from a simple hobby blog to a profitable business, is still, for me, a plastic ball. And so, when I woke up one Sunday morning and just couldn't face a full day of working on the blog on my day off, I just decided not to. And then a day became a week, a week became a couple of weeks, and somehow here we are and I more or less took a full month off.
And how lovely it was to spend my free time doing "normal people stuff" rather than frantically working all the time. I went for walks. I read books. I did a lot of yoga. I baked cookies just for the hell of it. I bought myself a cordless vacuum. I went to the spa. I ate a lot of pizza.
I did not look at Google Analytics even once - and it was just as well since most of the blogging world seems to be experiencing a bit of a downturn in traffic these days. The interesting thing is that, although you WGTW Sunday Post crew might have noticed I was gone, since all of my top-performing content is older, the Google gods certainly didn't notice that I took a break.
But of course, whenever I take a break from this space I always feel an itch to come back. My ambition is to do so in a more intentional way, likely producing less content but content that is better, and more meaningful.
I finally got back behind the camera last weekend, and rather than a frantic shoot where I try to cram in as much as I can, I shot three recipes over the course of two days. And wouldn't you know, I'm very happy with how the photos turned out.
I've also started out-sourcing some of my photography, and the wonderful woman I'm working with has done such a good job matching my style that I think you'll have a hard time figuring out which are me and which are her.
So, I'm back, but please, don't freak out if I miss a Sunday here and there. It just means I'm indulging in a day or two of rest, and really, we should all do that a lot more.
My friend Hazel suggested that I might enjoy re-reading Eat Pray Love during this particular stage of my life, and hoo boy was she ever right. I picked up the 10th Anniversary Edition, and it was worth it for Elizabeth Gilbert's introduction and reflections about writing the book and everything that happened in the years in between alone.
I read it for the first time in my early 30's, newly married, and although I enjoyed it then I'm definitely approaching it from an entirely different context now. I highly recommend giving it a re-read if you haven't already.
When I finished that, I picked up a book called Wintering, on the power of rest and retreat in difficult times. I'm about ⅔ of the way through, and it hasn't been entirely what I expected so far, although I have enjoyed it. I think I'll have to finish it before I decide whether or not to recommend it.
And on the audio book side, I'm still working my way though all 30 hours of Barack Obama's book A Promised Land. I listen to it when I'm out walking or driving in the car, and his voice is like slowly melting butter in my ears. So lovely. I've got about three hours to go, and then am planning to get into Shonda Rhimes' The Year of Yes.
ON HEY NUTRITION LADY THIS WEEK
Ok, this is from the past few weeks, but let's take a look at what's been going on.
First up, these BBQ Tofu Bowls are a re-boot of an old recipe. I updated it with a new technique for the tofu, in which you savagely tear it apart with your hands and then bake it, for crispy, jagged edges which cling to the sauce so perfectly.
Next up, these Carrot Pineapple Muffins, which are definitely a contender for my favourite muffin recipe of all time. You really must make them.
And most recently, this shiny new recipe for Air Fryer Falafels. If you don't have an air fryer, don't worry - there are oven baking instructions in the post as well.
WHAT’S TRENDING ON HNL
1. Chia Fresca. People gotta hydrate!
2. Turmeric Latte Mix. Always and forever.
3. Collagen for Vegetarians. This post has been on fire lately.
4. 10-Minute Vegetable Ramen Noodles. I had this for dinner last night!
5. Red Lentil Dal. So easy and delicious.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Gail left the following comment and 5-star review of my One-Pan Vegetarian Burrito Bowls recipe:
This was so damn good, Katie. It tastes like nachos in a bowl, without the chips. (We made amazing microwave potato crisps to go with this, though!) It’s going on the dinner rotation list right now. Thank you again for the inspiration.
Yes! Nachos in a bowl. This is how I should start marketing this meal.
THIS WEEK’S MENU
I have been actively striving to plan fewer meals each week, as I find we never really get through them all. Often I have something planned and we get home tired and hungry so I reach for leftovers or a more simple option.
HERE’S WHAT’S ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:
Sunday: Pizza night! Making my Spelt Pizza Dough as usual.
Monday: A new recipe for the blog that I'm testing for the third (and hopefully final!) time.
Tuesday: Big kale salad.
Wednesday: I've got plans with a colleague, so not really sure.
Thursday: Beans n Buns! Or maybe hotdog night in our park.
Friday: Snack dinner! Making a Vegetarian Cheese Board for myself.
Saturday: Probably takeout.
WHAT’S GOOD AROUND THE WEB
3. Your diet is cooking the planet. But two simple changes can help.
4. What's better: three square meals or snacking throughout the day?