Naptime Lifestyle: Everyday Favorites for Everyday Life

South African Wines for Summer

3 Summer Wines for Mom & Dad

This summer I’ve been thinking about expanding my writing to encompass wines. I frequently suggest pairing food with wine at each meal but never go more in the depth than that. This is mostly because my wine vocabulary is somewhat limited and I don’t want to sound dumb when I try to articulate what kind of wine I like and why. The best way to remedy this is to dive into the subject ready to learn as much as I can. I won’t become a wine writing genius overnight, or even in a year, but I’ve got to start somewhere. Today I’m going to begin with writing what I know, which is about three summer wines we’ve been enjoying at home lately.

Parmesan Chicken tenders

Spring Favorites 2014

Every so often I love sharing a list of favorites I’ve been enjoying lately around the web. I’d love to be as organized as Joanna and share it every Friday but alas, those little kidlets seem to get in the way! Here are some of my newest obsessions from around the web and in stores […]

The Naptime Chef Pantry

Kitchen Idea File #5: Pantries

Lately I’ve had pantries on my mind. As I mentally design my dream kitchen it doesn’t have cabinets. I would like to have kitchen counters with nothing over the top. Also, I am not that tall and I am so tired of having to use step stools to get beyond the first shelf. What’s the point? I think one large pantry for food and everyday items is ideal. That way there are no cabinets, and everything can be put where I want in order of how I need to reach it. Here are a few pantries I’ve been loving lately:

The Naptime Chef Garden Update

Spring Garden Update

Last fall we started at square one with the garden in our new house. It will take us several years to get it up to speed with fully planted garden beds, mature plants, and lots of color. This year is essentially a big experiment. I’ve done a lot of research on what grows well in our zone (6) but there is still no guarantee. We are starting slowly to see what will work and hoping for the best. Once I get through on full growing cycle I’ll have a much better baseline for drawing up long term plans. I’ve also been observing what is popping up now that spring has (finally!) sprung. Here it is so far if you’d like to see…

Vegetable Garden Plans | The Naptime Chef

Garden Idea File #2: Vegetable Garden Plans

I had all sorts of posts planned to write over the weekend but my time vanished into thin air. Between snow days and…more snow days I am playing the role of the pied piper, entertaining the children all day long. Needless to say, during my down time I find myself dreaming of spring and have started to sketch out my garden plans on paper. In April Uncle Will is going to come visit and help me get started. We both inherited the gardening gene from our parents and love nothing more than to get our hands in the dirt to cultivate flowers and food.

Raspberry Chocolates | The Naptime Chef

Valentine’s Gift Idea: Flowers & Chocolate

I thought I’d pop in with a few Valentine’s gift ideas this week and next. I don’t go crazy with Valentine’s Day like I do with Christmas, but I do enjoy the sentiment of a sweet romantic gesture and a small extra-thoughtful gift. One of my favorite Valentine’s gift ideas is simple: flowers and chocolate. Each year I challenge my husband to find me some unique chocolate treat. He does is research and has brought me little boxes from La Maison du Chocolat, Chocopologie, and See’s in the past. This year I plan to reciprocate with a little chocolate of my own.

The Naptime Chef Refrigerators

Kitchen Idea File #4: Refrigerators

Over the holidays I really put our fridge/freezer to the test. It is one size smaller than our old one and has the side-by-side door design which is known for the small amount of freezer space. I do a LOT of freezing and had to pile food in to the point where I couldn’t see the light anymore. I made a lot of our Christmas food ahead of time since it was the best way to prepare for a crowd. When we renovate the kitchen I want to upgrade to a new, bigger refrigerator. I’ve been loving the new French door designs and think it would be totally perfect for us. Let’s take a look:

Banana Bread

New Year’s Resolutions + Lots of Good Stuff

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I wasn’t around here much because I unplugged a little bit. I spent most of the two weeks focusing on finishing up the manuscript for the next book and I finally handed it in (!!!!) It was just the first draft. But that draft took me nearly a year to write and I am so excited that the ball is really rolling. That said, my New Year’s resolution is to get back on my game here with social media! Between the book, the baby, and the move I haven’t been as present as I like to me and this year that will change. Let’s get started:

Christmas Favorite Things

Christmas Favorite Things

As we round out the week before Christmas I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things from around the web. I’ll be back next week with a few of my favorite last-minute holiday food ideas. Until then, here are so great reads (and eats!) that are making my mouth water!

Hape Helicopter

Gift Guide #4: For Your Favorite Little Guy Who is Figuring Out How to Walk

Buying stuff for my little guy can be tough. He clearly doesn’t need anything and certainly doesn’t understand Christmas yet. However, Santa has not forgotten him and I’m sure there will be a few fun things under the tree!

pinhole press memory game

Gift Guide #3: For the Little Girl You Want to Inspire As Much As She Inspires You

This is my third gift guide of the season. As you can guess it is inspired by my young daughter. It is so much fun to shop for kids, I think. I am always on the hunt for toys and gear that will inspire and motivate her young mind.

Alexis bonbons

Gift Guide 2013 #2: For the Amazing Mama Who Does it All

This is the gift guide that mamas should forward to all the men in your lives. There a are a lot of kitchen and garden related gifts in here, but there are also a lot of fun items I just think are really great. Happy shopping!