The State Of Things: A Coffee Date for 2024 - Skillful Cook
icon-arrowicon-chevron-whiteicon-chevronicon-commenticon-facebookicon-hearticon-instagramicon-instant-poticon-listicon-lockicon-meal-prepicon-nexticon-pinteresticon-popularicon-quoteicon-searchicon-staricon-sugar-freeicon-tiktokicon-twittericon-veganicon-videomenu-closemenu-open
Our recipes, your inbox. Sign up

The State Of Things: A Coffee Date for 2024

Hi! Hello! Hi. ♡

I've had this version of a coffee date on my heart for months, but life! time! more life! You get it.

Recently I've met several people out in the real world who talked about what POY means to them and how much they have enjoyed the recipes over the years. And I think these happy little run-ins gave me the push I needed to sit down and write this post.

Which... isn’t anything earth-shattering, I don’t think? But it's just a bit of an update on what life is like for us these days, what we’re thinking about, and how things have shifted behind the scenes of Skillful Cook as we head into 2024! (Yes, it’s February. This sort of lateness is on-brand.)

There have a been changes to a lot of things within POY in the last year - some wins, some losses, but almost all of them for the better, being driven by alignment of values and priorities.

And there have been some lost-feeling moments, too. And that's okay. As life goes.

So, I guess this coffee date is really just a review of life. ♡ Maybe you can relate or maybe you just find it interesting? Or maybe it's actually you'll be done reading in about two seconds! We'll find out!

Here we go. This is, in a (long) nutshell, The State of Things.


The State Of Mom Life

Our Kids Are Into the Preschool Stage And I Love It So Much.

Our girls are 3 and 5 and OH MY! it is a fun stage for me as a mom.

We are out of the sleepless nights stage, the “why is my baby crying” anxiety cycles, and the pumping / breastfeeding / spit up loop that was somehow both so rewarding and so intensely challenging.

And now we - parents and kids - are sleeping. (PRAISE!) The baby gear has generally moved out of the house to make room for a seemingly endless supply of trinkets, paper scraps, stickers, and Paw Patrol and Barbie toys and accessories that I find literally everywhere. Help?! We are on a regular rotation between hugs, snuggles, I love you's, and Level 10 tantrums, but somehow this works for me. Even though I absolutely love babies, I feel much better equipped to handle the challenges of this stage than I ever felt with our girls as babies.

Things are Always Changing. And It's Bittersweet.

This last year has been one of soft and normal parenting goodbyes.

In the fall, we took Lena, our youngest, to Build A Bear so she could put her very last pacifier inside a teddy bear as part of Operation: Pacis Are Not Forever. As we were getting ready to leave the house, I ran upstairs to grab the paci and did my signature paci-grab move - one knee on the ground, tuck the shoulder, and a far reach back under her crib to grab the last little rubber paci and it just hit me. This is the last time. And I felt the pinprick of tears almost immediately. It is such a mundane little mom task. I never particularly loved needing to contort my body into this weird position to grab her pacis from under her crib and never even thought twice about it. And then it just ended, and I won't do that part of mom life anymore. It's bittersweet.

We're now almost done with diapers (didn't cry about that one) and we're talking about Kindergarten and gymnastics and big girl beds and finding a new home for the crib and the stroller. The baby days look so rosy in hindsight and I'm already missing them so deeply.

But, big picture, we are in a good, steady place with family life. I'm so glad to be sleeping. I'm so glad to be generally in a predictable routine. I'm a more confident mom - I feel like I generally know what our girls need. And most days, I just get to stand in awe of what wonderful, funny little creatures these kiddos are.

We have our days, but this is a good stage for us. I really love it.


The State Of Blog Life

13 Years In And I Love This Work More Than Ever. And Also... I'm A Bit Lost At Times.

The irony of working on the internet is that you get good at a thing just in time for it to change. Joke's on us! 😂 Things change so quickly and so frequently that you never really fully develop any long-lasting mastery of a thing. You're chasing a moving target.

The skills that you build will remain, but there are constantly new waves to catch. And I kind of love it. It keeps me on my toes and makes life exciting.

But it can also feel a bit disorienting. Like, wait, I thought I had this down? The other day, in a moment of blah-ness, I said to Bjork: “I don't even know how to write a blog post anymore.” I've literally written thousands of blog posts. I've always felt like I knew what I was doing.

Things are going well and we've had a good year for POY. We're not going anywhere. I feel more energized, excited, and locked in on the “why” than ever. But things are constantly changing and that's something we're always thinking about. People's internet behavior. What is helpful. How we want to structure our team. Who I am as a person and what I value in the content I create.

None of it is static.

Add becoming a parent into the mix, time limitations, and reshaped priorities, and I'm left asking the question, “what am I even doing” on a semi-regular basis (LOL). As in, is this the right thing to focus on? Is this where my heart is? Is this actually doing anything for the business? and am I showing up and connecting with people the way I want to?

There's no answer, there's no big change or announcement to be made. This is just... a coffee date where I tell you what I'm thinking about.

I still love this and am still here.

What a ride. 🤪

I've Decided to Be Home with our Girls More In This Season.

In January we made a pretty big schedule change for our family that has resulted in me being at home significantly more with the girls.

For 13 years, I've been publishing new blog posts every Monday.

Now I'll just be publishing something when it's ready and done. No deadlines, no hardcore posting schedule. Just taking my foot off the gas a little bit and letting it happen as it happens.

With this, I'm finding myself saying no to work things that I'd actually like to say yes to which is hard and feels counter-intuitive at times. Fun project? New brand? Upcoming trip? YES I want to do it!

But the right answer is often no, and I know this pace is right for me right now.

I guess I believe (maybe wishfully? we'll see) that some of those passed-up opportunities will bounce back. And that I'll look back at this time and feel really great about the decisions I made, knowing that they were right for us in this season.

Friends and Good People Are What Make It.

In friendship and family and people, we are ridiculously lucky.

Over the last few years, we've had the opportunity to work with some truly amazing people. We have ultimately decided to scale our team back quite a bit to align with all the slow-it-down stuff, and at the moment, we have just this tiny full-time-ish crew:

  • Me: new content, new recipes
  • Bjork: tech and strategy
  • Jenna: meal plans, emails, bringing almost all new ideas to life and being generally amazing at everything

And then last year we ended up kind of stumbling into a new video arrangement that now involves me working with our long-time shoot assistant (Krista) and my best friend's husband (Landon) to film recipe videos. Here's a little BTS of our video process that we did with Pure Leaf iced tea this fall.

Between all of these great people plus two other close friends who office just down the hall from us, there are a lot of days that end up kind of just feeling like one big hangout as we all pop in and out of each other's offices for lunch, a snack break, or a time-wasting chat.

This has kind of sneakily become a chapter of our work life that's rich with people-time and that feels so, so good.

Sometimes even when I'm not working, I will bring the girls over just to hang out with everybody at the office, and this is honestly one of the best parts of my life right now.

The people really make it.

We Started a Thing Called Snackdive!

Speaking of working with friends!

I said no to a lot of things this year, but I said yes to one very fun thing in 2023 and that is a new brand called Snackdive! My friend Nate and I started this after years of talking about it while munching on junk food late at night in our living room, and we've roped Landon in as our editor.

And as one commenter said, it's “delightfully dumb.”

The energy! The silliness! It's been so fun.

We... basically just talk about snacks! We embrace our stupidly specific opinions about things like Reese's and Bugles and Goldfish crackers, and we teach each other little tricks like how to do a Tim Tam Slam.

You can see the videos and follow along here! Right now we're doing short weekly episodes that are shared on Instagram. My hope is that it's a little burst of delightfully dumb joy in your life.

In Summary

I'm really happy in my life right now. I'm grateful for so many things.

I also occasionally feel a little lost. Like maybe we all do sometimes. Things change, and that's okay.

And I'm having so much fun working on some new things this year. I'm staying home with the girls more and loving it. My pace has changed but my heart is very much here with Skillful Cook. I'm excited for a fun, delicious, and silly year.


Sage Says

At the end of these coffee date posts I always like to include a bit of wisdom from our good girl, Sage.

And today Sage would like you to know that you being you is a gift to the world.

Most dogs love playing with toys. Running around. Meeting new people. Sagey girl.... she just doesn't. She's shy, sleepy, a little bit grumpy and very snuggly. And you know what? We love her so dearly. We don't ever wish she was like other dogs. She certainly doesn't wish she was like other dogs. She's just exactly who she is, and the world is a better place for having her in it.

You don't have to love the same things other people love. You don't have to be good at the things other people are good at. You don't have to change who you are to fit what you see other people doing. Real, genuine people just being themselves is what makes life awesome.

You are perfectly and wonderfully made! ♡


I have so much more to talk about - travel, working out (or trying to), new organization of our office pantry, air fryers, getting your colors done (!!), and how are people keeping their houses clean?!

But this is already very long and so we'll just consider this the “State of Things” update.

Maybe there's another coffee date soon to talk about the superficial fun stuff.

Sending all my genuine love, admiration, and appreciation to you. Thanks for being here.

Filed Under: Blog News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

35 Comments

  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love these coffee dates and hearing about your life! POY is the first place I go when I need a recipe or to get inspired. Ang’s tortellini soup and Steph’s curry on repeat here this winter! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Dear Lindsey,
      Thank you for this beautiful post! I’m a little late discovering it, but boy, it was the perfect gift to enjoy and savor while holding my baby girl as she eats and takes her afternoon nap. It brought a needed perspective shift to savor these small moments in this ever evolving baby season, because I know that all too soon, I’ll be looking back on it fondly and missing it deeply.
      We’ve never met, but you do feel like an old friend to me as your work and personality-via-food-blogs have been a part of my weekly life for almost a decade! I’m so grateful for your fun-loving spirit and what you contribute to my life and so many others. I have prayed for you and your family over the years, especially when you guys were really going through it.
      All this to say, we appreciate you and your creations have brought countless moments of joy into our lives.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love this update -my kids are 3 and 5 as well and I relate SO MUCH! Love how you said being a confident mom is what your kids need right now -i feel the same.

    Also want to let you know that the majority of our meal rotation is pinch of yum, some of our favourites being Steph’s Curry, Carrot muffins, pineapple pork, instant pot chicken and dumplings, air fryer chicken, slow cooker chicken and bean burritos, fish tacos, ginger peanut chicken, black bean tacos… Your texture and flavour combinations are all so spot on.

    I remember in one of your sos series, you saying when times are busy and tough (ie parenting babies and toddlers) it’s so nice to have easy meals that you actually look forward to -this was very much the case for me over the past few years.

    I hope you can feel encouraged and know that your work is so very much appreciated by myself and of course many others

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Loved this post. You have such a beautiful way with words and as a fellow long time blogger and mom of similar aged kids (mine are 6 and 2.5), really resonated with a lot of what you wrote! xo

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh I loved seeing this pop into my feed, Lindsay! Although I’m an infrequent commenter and obviously don’t know you personally I have been hoping all is well with you! Parenting and jobbing on the internet is hard — and as you mention both jobs change a lot, and in unpredictable ways! The internet perhaps in weirder, more unpredictable ways.

    I relate to so much of what you shared about parenting. Mine are 10, 9, and 3 so toddler to tween. And while tweens bring their own challenges, lately I have preferred the tween challenges to toddler meltdowns.

    I love to hear that you are feeling inspired and energized! I am noticing an exodus of bloggers it seems and I do get it — creating new content takes a lot and the medium changes so much with algorithms, etc. I’m so glad you are finding ways to keep your work interesting and authentic to YOU because ultimately that is what shines through and why we love what you do! Love these coffee dates and would love ones on any of the other topics you mention.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love these, was so excited to see a new one 🙂
    Our kids are the same ages and I’ve been following your blog for so long – so happy y’all are in a good place right now.
    And ditto on the occasionally feeling lost thing.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hey Lindsay! 🌟 What a delightful coffee date this was! I’m possibly sure your reflections feels like catching up with an old friend over a steaming cup of joe. Your honesty and vulnerability are truly refreshing, reminding us all that it’s okay to embrace the messiness of life and find joy in the little things. Here’s to navigating the twists and turns of 2024 with grace and gratitude. Cheers to more virtual coffee dates and heartfelt connections. 🙂

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thank you for sharing this update!

    I’m so grateful for Skillful Cook: You have given me some of my most favorite meals that are delicious and doable, as well as so many staple sauces (i.e. magic green sauce!!) that are a part of my weekly rotation and elevate my everyday cooking!

    I understand the need to slow down but am so glad you plan to continue to develop new recipes for POY. 🙂

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    LOOOOONG time follower here! I love this post, and as a mother of four young-ish kids ( two 12 year olds and two 9 year olds) I love that you’re spending more time with your girls! Time goes by soooooo quickly and your time with them is little. Work will always be there! You seem like you’ve got a great schedule down! Love you blog—always have! Good work! Can’t wait for even more good stuff from you!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Reading through your update felt like catching up with an old friend over a warm cup of coffee. Your journey through motherhood, the evolutions of Skillful Cook, and your conscious choice to slow down and savor the moments with your family resonate deeply. It’s inspiring to see someone navigate the complexities of life with such grace and authenticity. Your dedication to your craft and your family shines through in every word. Here’s to embracing the beautiful mess of life, finding joy in the small things, and moving forward with gratitude and love. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I also love this update – my kids are 6 and 3 and I relate to so much of what you shared. THANK YOU for all of the recipes and realness – I am leaning on your recipes more than ever in this phase of life and my family is loving every one of them. Grateful for you and all you have created!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I enjoy these updates! Been a POY fan for years (best soft chocolate chip cookies on the internet). I’m a homeschool mom of four and it’s such a blessing for me to be able to spend this time with my kids. Over the years, I’ve stepped back from other things and I personally don’t regret those decisions. I’m glad you’re prioritizing what you feel you need to and enjoying more time with your little ones.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Being a homeschool mom I’m confident is a great feeling, Amy. The ability to work from home is quite liberating. Especially, when you desire that downtime of working alone and not being around a bunch of people who might heckle you with virtually unlimited questions. 🙂

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    So happy to see this update, thank you for sharing! Would love another coffee date post about the other topics you mentioned (travel, working out, office pantry, etc.)!!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh Lindsey-we have never met, yet I love, lOVE your blog and your writing…and your recipes…and I feel like you get me. My kids are 4 & 7 and I just had a little cry reading how you got emotional at the last paci grab. So many little things of parenting our babies and toddlers just slip away…yet I love seeing them turn into these beautiful little people and watching them explore the world. Thank you for keeping us well fed all of these years:)

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yay! So happy to see this post and read your update. I’m so glad that you and your family are well. Thank you for taking the time to write this (and for all the tasty recipes, of course!) 🙂

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    What a pleasant surprise on this Monday morning! Thanks for the update. We’ll be here whenever your next delicious recipe is ready!

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    I always love your coffee updates. After following you for ten+ years (!) it really does feel like catching up with a friend that you’ve known forever. What good energy you put out into the world 🙂 So happy you are happy where you’re at in your life. I also run an online business (and a small brick and mortar) and though I love it, I sometimes feel as you mentioned… a little lost? But also happy? And gearing up for the next change? Everything at once. I generally assume, this is adulting? Big and messy and wonderful and hard but mostly deeply good 🙂 Thank you again. I look forward to the next coffee update.

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    I have been LOVING the snackdive videos. They are such a highlight of my week. My family and I send each other food reviews on new snacks or foods so this just feels like watching something they sent.

    And how fun to be able to slow down the blog and take some time with your little ones. What a perfect age to do that!

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    I enjoy all the content you provide thank you!! Snackdive is such a treat! I am so glad to hear you’re able to scale back office time.

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    I loved savoring this coffee date with you as you are obviously savoring the stage you are in. It was fun little glimpse at your beautiful heart. Thank you for the invite. And tell Bjork I said hi! Miss seeing you guys but I haven’t really seen anyone post-pandemic, life is wild like that 🙂

  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love these posts so much! Your girls are growing so quickly and it’s amazing you can be there for them. Sage gives the greatest advice too. 😊

  21. Skillful Cook Logo

    Sitting at the airport after an awesome but jam packed work trip and … this was the perfect thing to read. I feel more centered and ready to see my baby girl at home. Thank you!

  22. Skillful Cook Logo

    You’re the best. I found your blog when you were still teaching and I was living on my own for the first time, it was such fun to grow together in our cooking. Now I’m loving Snack dive, the “live” cooking videos at home or the office, and the slower pace of posts. It is always fun to have something new, but I’ve always leaned towards quality over quantity. I so enjoy when you highlight older recipes you happen to be making at home, it reminds me to get those back out to enjoy again!

  23. Skillful Cook Logo

    You have been one of my best food blogs I’ve been following for years! Love it that your family is growing with lots of love from you and hubby. Your work is important but family is number one! Keep it up LINDSAY! 🤩👍

  24. Skillful Cook Logo

    LOVED this coffee date post. You are doing awesome- thank you for all the content you create and share with us. And you’re also one of my fave ppl on the internet that I’ve never met. 🙂