Hello, friends! I hope this long overdue post finds you well. Happy New Year!
I truly thought I'd manage to write this post at least once a month, but I can see now the last one was in August and here we are at the very beginning of a brand new year. So, it's been a minute.
This has been a season of changes for us. Our big kid started at the big school back in August, which was a transition that was fraught with emotion for me, but one which he made with more ease than I could have predicted.
He's a sensitive kid, and I thought that new school, new friends, and new routines would be tough for him, but he just slid in there like he'd been doing it his whole life, and settled right on in. For me, the big kid starting school had always been a sort of invisible tollgate for our life here in Sweden. I never thought we'd be here this long, so part of the transition for me has been accepting that this is just our life. We live here. It is what it is.
I've really struggled in the past year with this sense of lacking community - or more specifically, like I'm raising my children in the absence of community - and this school thing seemed to intensify that feeling. But I started to realize that there is in fact a really good community in the area where we live, it's just a matter of becoming part of it.
Our small guy turned four in October, and that, too, was a significant milestone for me. I can remember being in the weeds with the kids when they were one and three and saying how much I was looking forward to them being four and six, and suddenly here we are.
Though I now feel like six and eight is probably going to be a lot cooler (the grass is always greener, right?) I definitely feel more like myself and less like the worn out, anxious, shouty mom I was when they were very small.
I discovered (or finally realized?) how important rest is for me over the past six months, and made the decision to prioritize sleep over reading books, exercising, and blog work. That's one of the reasons it's been quieter than normal around here, but it's also made me a nicer and (I think) more patient person to be around. So sleep it is.
The other major change we made was transitioning back to all living under one roof. It was a decision that was made for us, really, as we were perfectly content with our two-apartment setup. But then my landlady jacked the rent way up on my apartment, and, coupled with rising interest rates on our mortgage, it no longer made sense to keep two places.
In the weeks leading up to the move I couldn't fathom giving up my quiet little lady cave, but now that all of the packing and moving and unpacking and countless carloads of stuff to goodwill and organizing and trying to fit two apartments worth of stuff into one space is behind us, it's going better than I imagined.
We decided to put some money into making the space more functional for us all (bloom where you are planted, y'all) so ended up replacing our broken 13-year-old sofa, bought a new bed, and converted our poorly planned spare bedroom (aka the clutter room) into a cozy little tv room. There's still lots to do, but these were the changes I could sell in until now, and the rest will come in baby steps.
So the other reason this space has been quieter than usual is that I spent the month of November packing and moving, one carload at a time, and I just didn't have bandwidth for anything else.
But behind the scenes, things have been busier with the blog than you might realize! At long last I took the leap of turning this baby into an actual business.
Until now the blog and freelance work I do has been operating as a sole tradership, which means that my money and the business' money are one and the same. And because of this, I was getting KILLED on taxes (Sweden does love taxes) so finally made the decision to separate the two.
The new company is called Hey Lady Ventures, and is an AB (the Swedish equivalent of an LLC). I chose the name so that in the future if I decide to branch out or go back to freelancing, I can do pretty much anything I want to under the Hey Lady umbrella, rather than limiting myself to being just a Nutrition Lady. Now I'm an employee of the business (and a board member!) but rather than taking a salary I'll be taking dividends from the company once a year at a MUCH lower tax rate.
I'm very lucky to have a full-time job that I love, and where I feel valued and well-compensated, but you just never know what might happen in this chaotic and messy world. Setting up the blog as a company will give me lots of options should there ever be a need to make a change, so I'm really happy to have finally done this work.
Although this is certainly a turbulent time in the world, I still feel like there's lots to look forward to in 2023. Paul and I are planning our first weekend get-away without the kids, where at least one of us will be running a half marathon (we'll see if I get my mileage up in time to also run).
Emmeline and I are once again making the trek to Chicago for a food blogging conference, where we'll be meeting up with my home girl Sarah and nerding out on all things food and tech for a few days.
My sister and I are re-planning the thrice cancelled springtime trip with our mom. And of course our annual pilgrimage back to Canada in the summer, which I hope beyond hope is back to being an annual thing.
For the blog I'm hoping to get back to a more regular albeit scaled back posting schedule. I'm aiming for one post per week - either something new or something updated and re-published - and am once again hoping to write this coffee date post once a month.
Let's see how that works out.
As always, dear readers, I want to thank you for being along for the ride. Without you this little site is nothing, and it's the time you spend reading my posts, your comments, star ratings, pins, social shares, etc, that keep it going.
I hope you have an exciting 2023 ahead of you as well, and that it is a year of more and a year of plenty for you all.
On Hey Nutrition Lady Lately
Lately is relative I guess since it's been some time since we did one of these, but here's what's been happening.
I shared this Sticky Tofu recipe back in September, but it's something that's been in regular rotation in our home for a while now. It's fast, easy, and delicious. My kids love it too!
You know we love beans here on HNL, and this guide all about How to Cook Black Beans from Scratch is just the latest addition to our bean empire. Everything you need to know for perfectly cooked black beans whether it's stove top, oven baked, Instant Pot, or slow cooker.
These easy, no-soak Instant Pot Pinto Beans got a bit of an update, and are still as delicious as ever.
And lastly, this crispy Baked Tofu Recipe is the newest recipe on the site. It's a basic, meal prep recipe, but was so easy and delicious, I couldn't stop plucking hot, crisp bits of tofu off of the pan and into my mouth.
What's Trending on HNL
Yeah, yeah, we all know that Mung Bean and Coconut Curry and How to Cook Mung Beans are in the top spots. Yes, still! So let’s look at what else is trending.
- How to Cook Black Eyed Peas. This post has been blowing up for New Years, y'all!
- 10-Minute Vegetable Ramen Noodles. Always a good idea.
- Easy and Simple Vegan Gravy. People are on the gravy train!
- Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos. A HNL classic.
- Cinnamon Roasted Apples. Yum yum yum!
Carrie left the following comment and 5-star review on our Instant Pot Brown Rice Risotto recipe:
Absolutely delicious! Even the hubby loved it, and he’s a picky eater. I substituted vegetable broth with chicken stick & the flavor was amazing! So many possibilities with this dish. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Thank YOU for the lovely comment, Carrie. So glad you liked this easy risotto recipe as much as we do.
This week's menu
We're still on vacation this week, so the menu is a chaotic mix of restaurant meals (always an adventure with kids!) and meals we patch together in our AirBnB.
Brava for self-care, adventures, life and work changes. Looking forward to all your posts, Katie!
Thanks for sharing again, Katie! Wishing you a 2023 filled with more fabulous food and adventures.
Love to hear that you prioritized sleep, sounds like that was the right decision for you. I always appreciate hearing how you are doing and so glad to hear all is well, congratulations on all the exciting news. Happy New Years to you and yours!!
Happy New Year, Christine!
Happy New Year Katie!! Thanks for dropping us a line, it was lovely to hear from you 🙂 Looking forward to more in the future.
Happy New Year, Kim!