Real Talk

Creating Home Systems that Work for Your Life with Naptime Kitchen (Kate Strickler)

August 2, 2023

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I'm  Rachel!

As a mama, wife, and blogger I lead conversations around the ups and downs of life, from practical tips to relatable stories that'll leave you thinking, "hey, I've been there too!"


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For what we are talking about today, Kate Strickler is a true champion in. I admire Kate because she is all things home, simplicity, and keeping the same what works. Kate is so helpful to remind us to take the pressure off of what we can so easily put pressure on. Kate has taught me a lot and I am so grateful she is here to teach you as well.

It’s the middle of July and it is HOT! It is enjoyable to be outside some days but most days it may be so hot that you are spending more time inside than not. When it’s summer and you are spending time inside, the kids are home, it’s the perfect time to develop a routine and activities to do. Kate shares that she has been spending time cooking, kids have been at camp, but she also has an in-home routine with her kids that brings peace to the craziness. From waking up to noon is the moment to “make up an adventure.” Kate’s morning looks like fort building, playing outside (not long in this July heat let’s be real), and finding joy-filled things for the kiddos. At 12 the naptime rotations start and kids have “quiet time.” No shame in quiet time especially because this opens her schedule to do what she needs to do and take moments in her day during those “quiet hours.” It is ok to live amongst fort buildings and legos on the floor especially when that is what works for you. 

Through Kate’s wisdom I have learned to be confident in what works for our family and do my best not to compare it to the family next door. Every family is different and the routine that works for them may not work for you, and vice versa. That is ok and may I even say normal. Your home system may be trial and error but stages of life are always changing therefore your routine will be too. A routine with a two year old is different from that of a four year old. The personality of your routine based six year old may be different from your let loose 8 year old. All of these things play a part in creating and adapting your routine. 

What are things you can implement to make life easier and create momentum? 

Here are two practical things you can do today to remove stress and delight in your home routine. 

  1. TV Time 

Are you a fan of screen time but don’t want your kids to be on it all day long? Creating TV time allows screen time while not overdoing it. It creates that routine for your kids so they know when it is and when it is not screen time. Pick a time during the day that you most desire a break from the joyful chaos. Think of a time when your kids get antsy, ask a lot of questions when you just aren’t in the place to answer, for Kate this is right before dinner time. Doing this helps dial down the noise as the day is coming to an end, making dinner in a doable atmosphere, and brings a little more peace as patience may wear thin. 

  1. Grocery Shopping 

Find the best time to grocery shop and loosely meal plan. A helpful hint is incorporating online grocery shopping. Shopping online and getting it delivered to your door eliminates the trip to the store, carrying groceries in, and buying things you don’t really need. As you meal plan incorporate what I like to call “Pasta Monday.” Think of a meal you like and keep that to the same day. For example, if you have pasta every monday whether it’s Ramen, spaghetti, or lasagna, it narrows down the wonder of what you are going to eat on that day. Deciding on dinner becomes a little less stressful and part of a routine.

Beauty and Function

Another motherhood reminder is that of beauty and function. We live in an instagram branded world. Our life is being compared to that of the internet. Beauty is great and it is fun to look at online but we can also make it functional. We just bought the most beautiful cabinet for our house. It’s aesthetic, elevates the space, but it also hides stuff. If you came over you would see functional things hidden behind beautiful pieces. This is the perfect way to make your desired space beautiful while still being functional. Think about a space that you need to make more functional and find what you love to make it beautiful.

If you have a space in mind but you don’t know how to make it functional, practice with shoe boxes or amazon boxes. If storage in that spot really does make your life easier then hunt for a piece to purchase that is functional for your space. This may be helpful in your pantry, do you like snacks in the box or snacks in a  clear bin? All of these beautiful and functional things are preference and you have the freedom to figure out what is best for you. Organization should not make your life more stressful, if you are overwhelmed with bins and baskets everywhere then don’t incorporate those. Find what makes your life simpler and bring that into your space.

Ending on a fun note with Rapid Fire Q&A with Kate here we go!

A girl is about to get married and she stressed about what to put on the registry. What are three things she should have on her registry? 

  1. Good set of knives 
  2. Good set of pans 
  3. One kitchen appliance that will make you giddy to open (mixer, crockpot, etc.)

A new mom is having her first baby and she doesn’t know what to add to her wishlist? 

  1. Ergo baby carrier 
  2. 4Moms Pack and Play
  3. Angel care baby pack 

This girl wants a beautiful but functional home, what can she do right now to make her home more functional? 

Start with your entryway, what do you wish was there and how do you want it to be displayed? Thinking through what you need to grab before you leave and making a spot for it. Michael Ann Smith talks about decorating your home through the 5 senses, decorating without taking up space.  Kate loves scent and sound to “decorate” her home. For her lighting a candle and playing music on Alexa changes the tone not just for her but the kids too. Doing this can shift the ambiance and the rhythm of your home in an instant and it doesn’t take up any space.

One last tip on creating your home is finding pieces with a story not just to fill a space. Use pictures of your family or pieces that are meaningful and let that be what inspires your space. Your home is ever changing and those changes are great. Know that your home gets to grow with you. You have permission to make your home whatever is best for you. Elevate the space, organize the room, start the routine, as your house becomes a home through the ways that you need it to be. 

If you enjoyed hearing from Kate, here is where you can find her!

Instagram: @NaptimeKitchen 

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I am an online encourager based out of Birmingham, AL that's obsessed with my girls and sharing bits and pieces of my life. I wear a lot of hats these days including mama to two boys, military wife, blogger, podcast host and more. You can find me behind the microphone at Real Talk with Rach where we talk about everything from jeans to Jesus, playlists to pop culture, the good and the grief and everything in between. 

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