Previous month:
April 2014
Next month:
June 2014

Awesomesauce and such

Honestly, I don’t know how people cooked anything before the advent of the Google Machine.

Since we’re all “let’s have a budget and, like, stick to it” the end of the month sees some interesting meals made from cabbage, black beans and random regrets from the sale bin at Grocery Outlet.

But this week, thanks to my Google Machine leading me to She Simmers, I literally made awesomesauce. She calls it Thai Satay Sauce and I found it by Googling “easy peanut sauce” because I had peanut butter, and corn noodles and some frozen vegetables. Oh, and 20 minutes before The Littles fell all the hell apart.

This week though I happened to nail my random dinners and literally made what should be called Awesomesauce but is actually called Thai Satay Sauce following this lady’s recipe, and I absolutely love her tribute to her mama.

Also – it goes back to what I’ve been preaching for. ever: take notes!

After you read her words here, you’ll get what I mean when I say: writing in the margins for the win!

“That’s why Mom’s cookbooks are so precious to me. They’re full of her handwritten corrections, tweaks, comments, suggested variations, reports of people’s responses, etc. When it comes to marginal notation, my mom would have given the Masoretes a run for their shekels.

I think of these notes as Mom’s posthumous road signs which have several times saved me from potholes, deer, and boulders on the road of cooking. Sometimes, some of her “road signs” even lead to cool shortcuts which yield results that are close or identical to those achieved through a more laborious means.

A peanut sauce recipe in an old coconut milk-stained cookbook supplemented with my mom’s handwritten notes is a case in point. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the number of herbs and spices called for by several recipes for authentic Thai peanut sauce, here’s my mom’s recipe to the rescue.”

-From SheSimmers.com

 

So, I’m getting feedback from some of you that you’d rather have more frequent, shorter posts than waiting so long between posts, noted.

But, I’ll have you know I’m kinda killing it on the home organization front and literally making time. I know, Right?! More on that when my column “Minding my Lost and Found” runs.

Friday Flashback: This post from May, 2008 on my first column about to launch.

Coming soon: Raising the Hardy Boys, “You say bored like it’s a bad thing.”

So, also – I hate to be super self-promotey but that’s kind of a thing for people who are trying to carve out some income doing their own thing – I need you guys is what I’m saying.

I’m thankful for your readership, your friendship, your comments, your “liking” me in real life but also on Facebook at Nathalie’s Notes Facebook, click here.

And, if I haven’t pushed it too far all ready – could you take a moment and subscribe to Nathalie’s Notes in the box below? You’ll get a note in your inbox whenever there’s a new post and I’ll feel kinda awesome until I get the notification that someone else unsubscribed and then I’ll be all angsty again. It’s just the circle of (a blogger’s) life.

 

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Thank. You!

blog signature


The uncluttering begins … on accident

My friend asked me last week if I could return the USB I borrowed. I said of course!

What I was thinking though is this: “Crap, crap, crap! Where is that little thing?”

You see, there are piles and piles around here because in real life transition time isn’t really a thing.  Life changing abruptly? Cool, prioritize and deal. Waiting for the perfect time to [insert literally anything here] and it will never happen.

So right now my priorities since leaving the news room was getting really hands on with the boys’ day-to-day lives to include long walks, teaching Jake to ride his bike, the stopping and studying of bugs (ew!), lots of trips to the library (yay!), learning about Pokémon (ugh!), cooking together (soooo slow but also worth it!), hosting play dates (there’s some book material!), getting involved with the parent club, studying Spanish, longer bedtime reading and snuggles and all kinds of other awesomeness.

Oh yeah, also, there’s been some unawesome stuff that’s taking up a lot of time but I trust that will transform into future awesomeness so it’s all good.

Anyway … ironically, this friend to whom the aforementioned missing USB belongs happens to also have her own life-improvement company called Neat Street Organizing so I was determined to deliver it to her this week as promised.

She’s so good, she even inspires uncluttering sprees unintentionally: Because dang if I didn’t get some of those piles plowed through in search of the missing USB.

A full recycling bin, one Goodwill load and some labeled files later, I found it.

Honestly one thing getting in the way of my mission to Organize Everything is just simply accepting that it’s a process and staying the course. It helps to be motivated by something like avoiding mortification.

I’m thankful for the nudge, because I probably would’ve waited to start sorting this stuff for … ever.

I also found a couple things I thought I’d taken care of … Must read that Getting Things Done book!

In other news, I got a Fitbit for Mother’s Day, by request – which I mention because, you know, that kind of gift could go sideways real quick like.

I am totally geeking out on that thing, but I accidentally created a monster. Two of them. You probably know where I’m going with that.

Until next time,

blog signature


Postcards from home

By NATHALIE HARDY | May, 2014

Published in the Yamhill Valley News-Register

I’m fielding a lot of questions these days about how things are going for my stay-at-home mom redux.

It’s a fair question. I usually come back with something flippant about missing bathroom doors that lock and luxuries like uninterrupted conversations and driving in the car with the radio turned up. Oh, and my co-workers, I miss them a lot. Not that my 4- and 6-year-olds aren’t super conversationalists, but it’s not quite the same.

So, truth be told, three weeks into this transition, I’m still figuring out the answer to how it’s going, except to say: We are still adjusting. Some things are awesome, but others, not so much.

Shortly after I left my job, I got a package in the mail with a coffee cup and a note from a friend saying she “missed my mug.”

My husband eyed the gift suspiciously. That’s because the mug was inscribed, “World’s Okayest Mom.”

You see, not just anyone can give a gift like that. But it came from the right person. I love it because it reminds me that being a good mom is all relative, so to speak.

Bottom line, we are really doing just fine, even if the contents of my desk are still in the living room, and I haven’t even started any of the sewing projects I planned to do once I was back home.

First, there’s the fact that I don’t sew. Then there’s the troubling reality that I don’t have the time I thought I would.

In my head, I figured the boys were two years older than the last time I was home, so there wouldn’t be any diapers to wash, they would be able to get a drink of water for themselves and I wouldn’t have to watch them every single second to keep them from choking or sticking something into a socket.

Alas, it turns out they are also two years more clever. Though they prefer I don’t watch them so closely, I probably should.

Also, there’s a lot of blood that comes with doing tricks on bikes and playing with sticks. Yes, they can get their own water and snacks, but it’s amazing how messy independence can be.

But I hesitate to complain, because that would be like getting to go on vacation somewhere awesome, then complaining about the view from the room. Except not exactly.

This is more like a staycation, and it doesn’t feel very vacation-y — not between the whole not really sitting down much thing and the not having a moment to myself thing.

Also, being a stay-at-home mom is a total misnomer. You guys know that, right? There’s actually not a lot of staying home at all. But that’s a topic for another column.

Who referred to this as a vacation again? Oh, right. Me. My bad.

Shortly before I went on my final paid vacation as an employed person, I told my editor I would be willing to write a story from Palm Springs while I was visiting my parents there.

“Are you sure? I mean, it’s your vacation,” she said.

And then, as if I didn’t know better, I followed up by saying I would basically be on vacation once I was back home with the boys. It came out wrong, but still there it hung in the air, perhaps the dumbest thing I’ve ever said.

There was an awkward pause as we let that set in, followed by laughter. “I look forward to hearing more about that vacation,” she said.

Okay, so there’s not exactly an umbrella in my drink and no time for postcards, but I am mostly loving having more time with my little ninja wannabes. Plus, I do get to read for fun now. Actually, it’s really just paragraphs at a time while the boys set up a track and practice their tricks before asking me to “Watch, Mom! Watch! No, with your eyes!”

Fine, fine. I’ll watch. I am aware that their childhood has already been a blur, and if I blink, “Look at me, Mom!” will just be an echo in my memory.

In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, I raise my mug to all the other “okay” moms out there, who are keeping things real by maintaining a sense of humor and remembering to count their blessings instead of their burdens.

Also, just as kind of a public service announcement, I would not recommend that awesome mug as a Mother’s Day gift from, say, husbands.

2014-04-16 12.01.38

To like me, I mean really like me - like, on Facebook, click here.

By the way, when readers subscribe to my blog it’s like getting a high five in my inbox. Of course when they unsubscribe I get all self-conscious. Thanks for signing up to get these free updates from Nathalie’s Notes.

 

 

Enter your email address:


Postcards from home

MAY 9, 2014 | COMMUNITY

I’m fielding a lot of questions these days about how things are going for my stay-at-home mom redux.

It’s a fair question. I usually come back with something flippant about missing bathroom doors that lock and luxuries like uninterrupted conversations and driving in the car with the radio turned up. Oh, and my co-workers, I miss them a lot. Not that my 4- and 6-year-olds aren’t super conversationalists, but it’s not quite the same. 

So, truth be told, three weeks into this transition, I’m still figuring out the answer to how it’s going, except to say: We are still adjusting. Some things are awesome, but others, not so much.

Shortly after I left my job, I got a package in the mail with a coffee cup and a note from a friend saying she “missed my mug.”

My husband eyed the gift suspiciously. That’s because the mug was inscribed, “World’s Okayest Mom.”

You see, not just anyone can give a gift like that. But it came from the right person. I love it because it reminds me that being a good mom is all relative, so to speak. 

Bottom line, we are really doing just fine, even if the contents of my desk are still in the living room, and I haven’t even started any of the sewing projects I planned to do once I was back home.

First, there’s the fact that I don’t sew. Then there’s the troubling reality that I don’t have the time I thought I would.

In my head, I figured the boys were two years older than the last time I was home, so there wouldn’t be any diapers to wash, they would be able to get a drink of water for themselves and I wouldn’t have to watch them every single second to keep them from choking or sticking something into a socket.

Alas, it turns out they are also two years more clever. Though they prefer I don’t watch them so closely, I probably should.

Also, there’s a lot of blood that comes with doing tricks on bikes and playing with sticks. Yes, they can get their own water and snacks, but it’s amazing how messy independence can be.

But I hesitate to complain, because that would be like getting to go on vacation somewhere awesome, then complaining about the view from the room. Except not exactly.

This is more like a staycation, and it doesn’t feel very vacation-y — not between the whole not really sitting down much thing and the not having a moment to myself thing.

Also, being a stay-at-home mom is a total misnomer. You guys know that, right? There’s actually not a lot of staying home at all. But that’s a topic for another column.

Who referred to this as a vacation again? Oh, right. Me. My bad.

Shortly before I went on my final paid vacation as an employed person, I told my editor I would be willing to write a story from Palm Springs while I was visiting my parents there.

“Are you sure? I mean, it’s your vacation,” she said.

And then, as if I didn’t know better, I followed up by saying I would basically be on vacation once I was back home with the boys. It came out wrong, but still there it hung in the air, perhaps the dumbest thing I’ve ever said.

There was an awkward pause as we let that set in, followed by laughter. “I look forward to hearing more about that vacation,” she said.

Okay, so there’s not exactly an umbrella in my drink and no time for postcards, but I am mostly loving having more time with my little ninja wannabes. Plus, I do get to read for fun now. Actually, it’s really just paragraphs at a time while the boys set up a track and practice their tricks before asking me to “Watch, Mom! Watch! No, with your eyes!”

Fine, fine. I’ll watch. I am aware that their childhood has already been a blur, and if I blink, “Look at me, Mom!” will just be an echo in my memory.

In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, I raise my mug to all the other “okay” moms out there, who are keeping things real by maintaining a sense of humor and remembering to count their blessings instead of their burdens.

Also, just as kind of a public service announcement, I would not recommend that awesome mug as a Mother’s Day gift from, say, husbands.

Contact Nathalie Hardy at nathalie@nathaliesnotes.com.


Love, Nathalie

Dear whatever doesn't kill me

For real, right?

My friend sent this to me over The Facebook and it totally sums up how I’m doing right now.

Fun fact about me: I sometimes talk as if I were drafting a letter. I write a lot of letters. I send a few of them. I think we should all write more letters. I have one on my desk for the awesome clerk at Fred Meyer who totally got the importance of Sam buying his very own Lego set – she made the moment for us by just getting it and honoring him with her patience with all of his very hard-earned pennies and dimes.

Nathalie’s Notes: Imagine if we all wrote letters, and mailed the ones that might brighten some one’s day, plus we could “save the mail.”

A few recent sample letters from this week, so far I’ve mailed none of them:

Dear Children’s Librarians:

I adore you for bringing the magic of libraries and books to my children. Even though I was utterly devastated to discover that there are, in fact, Pokémon books to check out, you totally came through for two little boys who rode their bikes as fast as they could to prove that they can get books on anything they want to learn more about at the library.

So, while I’m disappointed to see that this recent invasion of this strange Dr.Seuss-meets-Anime world will now also infiltrate our reading time, I appreciate you saying relevant to your target audience and making library believers out of them.

Love,

Nathalie

***

Dear People who don’t know what to do when there are sirens wailing behind you:

Pull over. To the right. Every time.

Really. To the right. Every. Single. Time.

xo,

Nathalie

p.s. Are there some exceptions? Perhaps – so to simplify the message: Hear sirens? Pull over. Never seem to hear them? Turn down the radio.

***

Dear Sam’s teacher:

I appreciate you. So much. I would really like to be the kind of person who puts this appreciation in the form of an elaborate, darling token of my gratitude but, alas, I am not.

If I were, I would make you something to wear, to eat or to decorate your classroom with. Or, perhaps I would make a thoughtful basket for you to bring home to your family because I appreciate them too knowing family time is impacted by the work you do being an awesome teacher to my son.

According to what I am seeing on Pinterest, there is plenty of appreciation awesomeness coming  your way. You probably won’t even notice all I did was say thank you, and make that mis-shapen loaf of bread at the staff luncheon, you’re welcome!

But, at the end of the year when your desk is covered in apple-inspired stationary and Pinterest awesomesauce, I’ve got your back. I’m planning to come help you break down your classroom for the summer – name the time and I’ll be there.

Until then, simply thank you.

Love,

Nathalie

Or, this open letter to David Allen of Getting Things Done fame.