A friend of mine posted this meme on Facebook the other day:
I got Joy, Power, and Sleep.
Please, please, please let that be true. Just the sleep thing. I don't give a rat's ass about joy and power.
I mean, ok, joy and power are pretty sweet, but I feel like with sleep everything else falls into place. With sleep I will have the energy to bring so much joy and power into the world you won't even know what hit you.
What about you? What are your first three words?
There are 24 days left in this year. T w e n t y-f o u r days. So what's your plan? How you gonna spend them?
I'm super excited because later this week I'm going be jetting over to London BY MY SELF for a whole weekend. No kids. No husband. Just me and one of my best friends catching up.
Usually when I go to London I stay with my sister, but there are children there and my friend has no kids and a spare room with my name on it and oh my god the sleep I'm going to have... I'll probably wake up at the crack of dawn anyways just because I'm used to it, but I won't have to get up and deal with anyone or anything and that is glorious.
I've been looking forward to this for a long, long time.
My friend also lives in a part of London I haven't explored before, so that will be cool too. Ahhhh! So excited! No kids! Sleep! Adult time!
Question for those of you with littles - What's your strategy for Christmas gifts?
We live in a fairly small apartment, and it's really hard for me to get excited about getting more stuff for my kids because we have so much crap in this place already. The small one won't know the difference, but the big one gets it, so I've been really trying to instil the whole spirit of giving into him, which is tough if you're three.
I've told him we've got a one in, one out rule this year. So for every new toy he has to choose one toy he doesn't play with all that much and we'll donate it to charity. We're also going to choose at least one brand new toy to donate to a children's charity while we're out shopping for other people, because I want him to get how lucky he is.
Do you remember at which point in your life you became more excited about the gifts you gave than the gifts you received? For me it was in my late teens, and definitely coincided when when I started making homemade gifts.
I can't remember exactly what it was - I think some really complicated ornaments - but I for sure remember making something that I enlisted my Dad's help for, and after Christmas he was like (totally paraphrasing here) "those gifts were complicated and annoying to make but you were for sure the most excited about giving and that is awesome."
That kickstarted years of making homemade gifts that ranged from glass coasters with pressed leaves encased in metal tape, to wooden cheese boards with glass tiles to serve goopy cheese from, handmade wooden pizza peels, knitted toques, a quilt, and who knows what else. My dad is probably relieved / sad that I moved away, because I'd still be turning up in his woodworking shop with some complicated creative vision that I needed help bringing to life.
We got our tree this weekend and opted for a tiny little Charlie Brown tree that we've got on a table top, because Odin is a destroyer and if we had a regular tree on the ground it would be a disaster.
(I am looking forward to, among other things, being able to keep toilet paper on the toilet paper roll, being able to keep a toilet brush not up on a shelf, and being able to keep stuff in my bedside table in 2020. Or maybe 2021. Let's be realistic)
This tree is so tiny that we had to wrap our string of lights multiple times around the base, but Niko had fun choosing it and decorating it, which includes our "best of" the daycare decorations that have been sent home through the years.
See, I don't throw out *all* of my kid's crappy art. Just most of it.
Since we're talking about Christmas presents, I want to ask you guys for a favour. A couple of weeks ago I let you know about a Google algorithm update that had dire consequences for a lot of bloggers. Well, it ain't over yet.
Have you noticed recently that when you've been googling stuff the results are kind of weird? Like maybe you search for "cranberry muffin recipe" but the top 3 results on the page are all tweets? Or they're from the American Cranberry Federation (probably not a real thing) and has some haphazard recipe on their site but is most definitely not what you're looking for?
Apparently this update has had to do with "relevance", but there are some massive bugs in the system. The result is that Google is prioritizing big sites (hence tweets in the search results) and big companies that have thin content, rather than small publishers who are sweating to provide quality content.
I'm confident that things will shake out eventually, but man, it hurts so much right now. I know it's not personal, it's literally a line of code that changed and nothing more, but it's hard not to let it sting when you've been working your butt off and doing everything according to guidelines and you're still suffering so much.
Apparently bloggers in the food and DIY space have been hit particularly hard, but parenting and travel bloggers have also taken a hit. It's so frustrating to feel so helpless watching your stats drop week after week.
So the favour is this: this holiday season, if you're searching for stuff, please throw a bone to the little guys. If you're seeing big brands and big publishers like All Recipes up high in your search results, pass them by. Martha Stewart does not need your clicks, but my blogger friends do.
I don't care whether it's me or another small-time publisher, but click on the little guy. Do it in the spirit of holiday giving.
ON HEY NUTRITION LADY THIS WEEK
This week was all about edible gifts, and the first one was this easy and delicious Dark Chocolate Bark. Seriously, 2-3 ingredients and approx 5 minutes of hands-on time is all you need to make this impressive gift.
Next, Salted Coconut Caramels are an amazing naturally sweetened and vegan caramel recipe that was long overdue for an update. Perfect for giving, or just having a stash in your cupboard for when the craving hits.
And last but not least, a roundup of 14 Awesome Edible Gifts to get you pumped up for giving. There is so much delicious inspiration here, whether you like it salty or sweet.
WHAT’S TRENDING ON HNL
Here's a look at what's trending according to Google Analytics:
1. Mung Bean and Coconut Curry. Good old reliable mung bean curry.
2. Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos. Yes! Gotta get a batch of these going stat!
3. Turmeric Latte Mix. This makes an excellent DIY gift, just so you know.
4. Amazing Vegan Gravy. So good on so many things.
5. Indonesian Black Rice Pudding. Have you tried this traditional breakfast recipe?
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Peter left the following comment on my Favourite Healthy Cookbooks roundup:
I have been looking for a cook book for my adult son who has just recently stoped eating meat and dairy and with so many books on the market it was becoming very hard to make a choice. So thank you Katie for posting your choice of cook books it has helped me narrow down the list.
There's some great inspiration in there if you're thinking of giving a cookbook to the health-minded food lovers in your life!
WHAT’S GOOD AROUND THE WEB
2. Another romaine lettuce recall you need to be aware of.
3. Your favourite way to cook eggs, according to your zodiac sign (mine was bang on!).