Kate Strickler is a widely followed blogger (aka @naptimekitchen) known and loved for sharing practical solutions to simplifying your home and lifestyle. Kate is the queen of organizing and teaching you methods that not only work but are sustainable. She knows her way around a kitchen, has a beautiful and infections spirit and a keen nack for simple solutions to make daily tasks a whole lot easier. We sat down with Kate for a quick chat where she graciously shared some tips, tricks, and insight into how she got started.
Sit down with Kate from @NaptimeKitchen
Organization guru, kitchen hack extraordinaire, & all around joyful human being...
UASHMAMA: How did Naptime Kitchen come to be?
KATE: It all started as a way to pass the time. My first child was 7 months old, and he took two naps a day. I was bored at home and cooking a lot more and started sharing the more elaborate dishes on my Instagram account with a small group of friends and relatives. But as my family and social media following grew, those dishes changed too. At first, I was making more labor-intensive recipes and over time it became, 'What can I dump in the Crock-Pot?'
UASHMAMA: Have you always had a passion for cooking, or did that evolve as you had children?
KATE: I have always loved it! If anything, having kids has killed the passion, ha! But if I have some time to myself there’s a good chance you will find me in the kitchen.
UASHMAMA: We know staying organized is big for you. Top 3 tips for someone like yourself with a house full of littles?
1. Have an entryway storage area for all the shoes, socks, jackets. We use an 8-cube storage system right by the front door with a hanging hall tree above it. Each kid gets one bin for shoes/socks and another for jackets. The shoes and socks live together to make getting in and out of the door easier.
2. Toy purgatory! This is what we do for toy cycling. If I notice we have too much, I put some in toy purgatory. If no one even notices those toys are missing over a few months, they get donated. If someone misses a toy, I happily bring it out of toy purgatory.
3. A plastic drawer storage bin for the awkward space at the bottom of the pantry to hold all the kid snacks. This space would otherwise be empty, and this makes it easy for little hands to grab snacks for themselves. Also use the back of the door hanging racks on the pantry and bathroom linen closet doors. This really maximizes space if you are short on it.
Fun fact: I have a deep passion for helping people organize their homes on a budget.
You can find out all about it at homereset.com
UASHMAMA: UASHMAMA is all about products you can continually repurpose around your home. You have true talent for coming up with amazing, easy hacks for items already lying around the house. (ex. medicine bottles for sauce/dressings). Do these just come to you naturally? (p.s. we are grateful for all of your tips!)
KATE: I am naturally more resourcefully minded; I think I got that gene from my parents! When Nate was in law school, and we had two kids we learned how to live cheap, and I started getting creative with how we could stretch our money. Honestly, I think this is where the “can we go one more day?” grocery shopping principle was born! Trying my hardest to stretch the groceries one more day to keep us on track. Using shoebox lids for organizers, reusing peanut butter jar lids for mason jar lids, these came from always asking the question, “do I have something I can already use to solve this problem?”
UASHMAMA: Favorite recipe that's regularly been in your rotation so far this year?
KATE: We are loving our new outdoor grill and using it a ton, especially when we are hosting. I’ve been doing a variation of Hibachi chicken and veggies on the blackstone. Simply marinating chicken in teriyaki sauce, grilling peppers and onions right alongside the chicken, and serving over coconut rice with this yum yum sauce. Most popular NTK recipe is likely my Creamy Chicken Enchiladas (makes a ton and freezes beautifully!)
UASHMAMA: How/where did you first discover UASHMAMA?
KATE: I was walking down King Street in Charleston with my cousin Mary Ellen who shouted out, “oh my gosh! There’s a Uashmama store!” She had heard of the brand and owned a bag. We went in and I quickly fell in love and bought my first bag right there on the spot.
UASHMAMA: Any summer reading suggestions?
KATE: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty, The Miad by Nita Prose, Darling Girl by Liz Michalski, and Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
UASHMAMA: We love your heart for others and the all-encompasing meals you prep when providing for someone. For readers who may be new to Naptime Kitchen, tell us any tips you have when assembling a meal or care package for someone in need, or just because.
KATE: I really try to encourage those who are intimidated by giving a meal to someone or if they don’t feel confident in the kitchen. First off, if you’ve got one meal you love and are great at, make it for everyone! No one will care (or even know) if you make it twice. In my opinion, the best meal to give someone is the meal they didn’t have to cook themselves. Have 2-3 seasonal meals you enjoy making that you simply rotate. This takes the decision making out of it and you’re making something you have made before. Or, maybe you love to bake. Instead of signing up for dinner, bake some muffins and provide fresh fruit. That could be an easy breakfast for the week. Lastly, there is nothing wrong with a gift card. Or a completely store-bought meal is GREAT and warmly welcomed. This does not have to take you hours to do, you can bless someone by just showing up!
UASHMAMA: Do you have a favorite UASHMAMA product?
KATE: The Totty bag! Holds up so well, beautiful, and lined with pockets!
UASHMAMA: What are you most looking forward to this summer?
KATE: A slower pace with my kids. Especially slower mornings.
UASHMAMA: You've got your hands full with 4 kids and a husband. How do you find time to connect with each one individually?
KATE: You know, each one has times where they need me more than the others. I just try and lean into what I know each one loves. Playing sports after school with the oldest, letting the middle one fall asleep in my bed, back scratches for the third born…little ways to let them know I love them. I absolutely don’t do it perfectly and find myself apologizing often.
If you don't already, be sure to follow Kate on Instagram at @naptimekitchen! And don't forget to tag us in your Instagram photos @uashmama.usa with #Uashmamastyle. We want to see YOUR Uashmama style!