September 19, 2018

Slow Down to Speed Up

One of things I’d like to talk about more in this space is the how we all cope with pace of life, specifically motherhood/work/household management. This is not a unique topic, and I’m certainly not the first one to write about it. So instead of re-hashing all the issues and politics, I’m just going to share my point of view. Take from it what you can, I know this applies to us all in unique ways and I hope you can find some benefits here no matter your situation.

Slow Down to Speed Up | The Naptime Chef

“Slow down to speed up” is a concept I was introduced to last year when I was totally burnt out. I was exhausted and frustrated with my work. I wanted to grind harder, read more, write more, and just put more time and energy into this blog and newsletter. But the end of the day would come and after the kids fell asleep I was too exhausted to do much. I tried so many things and I simply couldn’t pull myself out of the slump!

That’s when I was reading a great book by Gabby Bernstein and realized I really needed to slow down. When you slow down the universe/spirit/God/source can work through you to help you heal your body and exhaustion. You end up bouncing back reinvigorated, more thoughtful, more strategic, and genuinely more efficient in everything you do. Nobody can run full tilt 24/7! We need sleep, rest, connectivity with friends, time to dream, time to devote to hobbies, just plain unscheduled time for hanging out and doing nothing. It all makes a difference.

A newer buzz term for this is “self-care,” though I think it is getting misused a little bit. Slowing down/self-care doesn’t mean expensive spa treatments, pricey spiritual retreats, or similar. Slowing down can be as simple as:

  • A cup of tea with a friend.
  • Sitting somewhere comfortable and reading the paper/a magazine/a good book.
  • Taking a quiet walk.
  • Meditating.
  • Chatting with your bestie.
  • Writing a card by hand and mailing it to someone.
  • Taking a long, hot bath.
  • Journaling about a joyful story or moment that day.

As you can see, this list is full of easy, mostly free, activities. Because taking yourself everyday shouldn’t cost anything.

However, there are days when you might feel like splurging and that is where a fun health treatment might come into play. Those might include acupuncture, a massage, or a lovely calm meditation class. There are many options out there, especially if you are lucky enough to live in an area where there are massage practitioners, spas, and wellness centers readily available.

No matter what you do, when you slow down and take of yourself I promise you’ll find yourself speeding up more in other areas of your life. When you see the benefits you’ll start to make a regular part of routine and life will become more relaxed, more joyful, and satisfying.

Be well. xxK

September 15, 2018

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Cinnamon Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies | The Naptime Chef

I am so happy to be back in this space I love so much and today I’m delivering an old family favorite, Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.  These are listed on my age-old, yet still popular, 10 Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies List. In fact, I think I need to brush up that post with a few updates and additions! I’ll save that for another time.

September 14, 2018

Friday Recipe Picks of the Week!

Each week I’ll round up my favorite recipes from around the web just for you. I hope they give you new ideas, a fresh outlook, and maybe even help you explore new culinary territories!

Lunchbox ideas:

The Sandwich-Free School Lunch by Weelicious (all of her lunch ideas are amazing!)

Lunch on a Stick by One Hungry Mama

29 New Lunch Ideas by Simple Bites

30 Days of Lunchbox Recipes with No Repeats by Peanut Blossom

Dinner ideas:

Easy Roast Chicken and Shallots with Mustard, White Wine & Thyme by Alexandra Cooks

Pasta with Prosciutto & the last Summer Tomatoes by Dinner a Love Story

Chickpea Tikka Masala by A Sweet Spoonful

Spiced Yellow Squash Soup by Always Order Dessert

Meatballs with Orzo & Lemon by Giada De Laurentiis

Please let us know if you made anything amazing lately, we’d love what it is and where it came from!

September 12, 2018

Chicken Riggies for Dinner Tonight

Chicken Riggies | The Naptime Chef

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hood Cream, a brand I love and recommend. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Naptime Chef.)

Here are the facts: I love food, I love to cook, and I love pasta. Pasta dishes, like Chicken Riggies, is in fact, one of my favorite comfort foods. For our family the definition of comfort food is that we eat it once in a while. That means I’ll never give it up – not even for a fad diet – but it’s also not something I make every night, or even every week. However, when the occasion calls for it, a good bowl of Chicken Riggies, or something equally as deliciously satisfying, is exactly what’s needed. This particular dish is actually native to upstate NY, Utica to be exact, near Cooperstown where I grew up. It features a homemade tomato pepper cream sauce, well-seasoned chicken, and a sprinkling of cheese and basil.

September 9, 2018

The New (& Exciting) State of the Blog + Life Coaching

Friends! It’s once again been a long time since I’ve written and there are many reasons why. My kids are getting older and we’ve been running around like crazy getting them settled in school, spending time in Cooperstown and Maine, and more. Also, truthfully, for the past year or so I’ve been struggling with where to take this blog next. My kids don’t nap anymore, but I still love to cook, I’ve launched a new newsletter (you can sign up on the bar to the right), and have been working with outside consulting clients too. It’s been up and down, there have been easy days and some very hard ones.

I love blogging, but the hamster wheel of creating new content regularly gets difficult, especially when my family likes a certain regular rotation of recipes almost all of which I’ve already shared here. Developing new recipes is not easy…and is not always welcome!

During this time, as I’ve been looking at my homepage wondering where to go next, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, journaling, and examining my own life. It’s been wonderful, hard, meditative, and agonizing….and at the end of the day it’s brought me to a much better, much happier place.

I feel more relaxed and excited about my life than I have in a long time, plus, I’ve learned how to set boundaries around what I want to do, and what I don’t. There are many ways to look at this shift in my mindset, I like to call it my own “life edit,” no doubt perfectly timed with my milestone birthday last year.

Either way, changing my relationship with myself to one that is much more positive than it had been has brought my to a better place in my work and, hopefully, my relationship with you. This fall I’ll be reintroducing recipes and photographs to the blog. I’ll also be merging in my newsletter content you so can read it more easily. The newsletter and this blog go hand-in-hand so it makes sense for them to be together sometimes.

To that end, in addition to my blogging, newslettering, and the like, I’m going to start offering Life Coaching. In fact, I’ve studied so hard (and continue to learn so much!) that next winter I plan to truly dive into life coaching and roll out my first course to pair with my personal coaching efforts. However, for the time being I’m working one-on-one with clients.

I’ve worked hard to re-write my story, and now I want to help you re-write yours!

I’ll be discussing my life coaching and writing at @naptimechef on Instagram. Right now it feels right to keep it all together. I feel truly aligned with this and hope you’ll like the shift in tone and tempo of the blog and instagram. I’ll be post my first set of course offerings this week. Please stay tuned and thank you, as always, for your support!

September 5, 2018

All about Menud

Menud Partnership

Late last spring I was thrilled to enter into a partnership with the fantastic meal planning app, Menud (pronounced Men-you’d). If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet I highly recommend downloading it. It’s completely free! It is designed to be a one stop meal planning app where influencers like myself provide our recipes at no cost, and you can add them to your meal calendar for the the month AND create a shopping list at the same time.

Honestly, it’s a real boon for anyone who is running to and fro (isn’t that all of us?) and needs help planning meals that fit into their daily routine. Even better, if you really don’t have to plan you can just grab one of my PlateLists, pop it int your calendar and you’ve got an instant meal plan for the whole week lickety split!

From here on out I’ll be promoting my work with Menud regularly… If there is anything you’d like to see on the app please let us know and we’ll get to work on it!

July 1, 2018

Grilled Chicken Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing

Grilled Chicken with Creamy Basil Dressing | The Naptime Chef

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hood Cream. The photographs and opinions are wholly my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make The Naptime Chef possible.)

Summer is finally here. The kids are out of school and we are preparing for our upcoming trip to Cooperstown for the Fourth of July. I’ve been hard at work on The Little Snack Newsletter and other fun projects, all of which have been amazing. I’ve also been fitting in some late afternoons at the pool since it’s summer after all!

The true sign of summer is, of course, that I’ve basically turned off my oven and cook almost exclusively on the grill. One of our favorite everyday dinners is this grilled chicken salad. The chicken is simply marinated in a favorite balsamic marinade and grilled to perfection. Then I toss together a salad full of spinach, vegetables, and some cheese. It’s perfectly simple, but what really makes it special is the creamy dressing.