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Scattered Sundays

Oh, friends. My heart is broken for the country of New Zealand. I’m so sick that our mass shooting culture has found itself popping up in other countries. 

Keeping you all in my heart. May some positive change come out of this and may you never know this grief again.

A few weeks ago I asked for input on a presentation I’m giving on food blogging this week, and you came through in a big way. I ended up incorporating all of your suggestions into my powerpoint.

It’s still in draft form in you’re interested in nerding out over it. And because it is powerpoint, I couldn’t go into every minute detail because much of it will be covered in voiceover.

When I mentioned last week that I was finally going to a dermatologist to deal with long lingering adult acne, the response was pretty overwhelming. I got so many emails and Instagram messages from other “grown-ups” who still deal with having the face of a teenager.

The dermatologist prescribed an oral medication (Spironolactone) that should show results in about six weeks. To help turnover new skin to hopefully lighten my stupid scarring, the doctor prescribed Differin gel. He said it will also help even out my skin tone and work on preventing future breakouts.

But I got to the pharmacy only to find that because I’m over 25, insurance won’t cover it. NEAT! Thanks for the acne age discrimination Regence. But I could buy it out of pocket for $180.

After going back and forth with insurance and my doctor’s office, one of the medical assistants told me I could just order it on Amazon. Doh! I did buy the Differin starter pack with the gel, face wash, and moisturizer for only $29. I’m not amazing at math, but $29 seems a hell of a lot cheaper than $180!

The claim with Differin is that is can reduce acne by 87% in 12 weeks. I’m willing to give it three months to see! The doctor did say to wear it at night and make sure to wash my face in the morning because it can be drying. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

I picked this up at TJ Maxx this week. I’ve heard about people putting collagen in their coffee for like a year now but I knew nothing about it. I figured at TJ Maxx prices I could find out firsthand what all the fuss was about.

I only drink cold brew coffee because it doesn’t hurt my stomach. I use this Rumble Jar insert (the creators are friends of friends of friends so it’s cool to support people who know people that I know. LOL) that I bought on Amazon for my daily iced coffee.

Before we were sugar-free for March I would add some cream and a bit of sugar to my iced latte. Now we have been using Chocolate Coconut Coffee Creamer and it’s good. Would be better with some maple syrup, or sugar, but whatever.

I froze my cold brew in an ice cube tray and added it to my blender with some regular milk (but you could use almond, coconut, or whatever), a glug of my Coconut Coffee Creamer, a splash of more cold brew, and two scoops of the collagen.

The result? Suuuuuuuper smooth and creamy ice blended coffee like you would find at a coffee shop. It was straight up professional grade ice blended coffee. It was really good but of course, would have been better with some sweetener. Because…sugar.

I drank it after breakfast and I will say it made me so full that I barely wanted any lunch that day (it’s 18 grams of protein). I choked down some leftover soup and carrot sticks to make sure I was getting veggies in, but damn I was full.

I’m not a fan of drinking my meals so I’m going to have to make smaller coffees in the future. And I’m only going to use 1 scoop going forward.

Also, it doesn’t taste like blackberry AT ALL. I was bummed about that.

If you’re following us on Instagram you saw my livingroom steak cooking happening in stories. I was photographing this steak for a new client I went out and hustled to get.

When I posted the “after” I got more direct messages/responses than anything else I have ever posted. Who knew you all were such steak fans?

And because I never want to blow sunshine up your asses, I need you to know this was the first steak I have ever cooked in my life. Why learn to grill when that is the only thing Troy is in charge of? If I start grilling it means I never get a break from making dinner!

But anyhoo keep that in mind when you see a blogger’s curated feed and pretty photos. Making food not look like shit is a skill that has taken me years to learn and I’m still learning. Chances are your meals will never look like a blogger’s because you’re probably not taking photos of your food in the perfect lighting with a bounce board and tripod. Or maybe you are?

What I’m Listening to This Week

To Live and Die in LA – omg so butthole puckering!!!! My sister-in-law and I were texting each other while listening to it. So good!

Here is the description:

In Feb 2018, an aspiring actress vanished from her Hollywood apartment. Rolling Stone journalist Neil Strauss was asked to help the family get answers. Together, they found them…sometimes at great personal risk. For the first time in a serial podcast, go inside a gripping multi-state investigation as it unfolds from the moment of the disappearance to each twist and turn in the case. Stay not only more informed than the news, but listen as the official story is dismantled with in-the-moment first-hand reporting with the leading figures in the investigation. The new #1 podcast from the team behind Up & Vanished and Atlanta Monster.

Comment/Review of the Week

Lindsay from The Barnes Homestead left a five-star review on our Mini Quiche Appetizers:

Made several flavors from one batch. They turned out great and are in the freezer for new-baby prep. I made a couple edits – skipped the dill (I like dill, but didn’t want the flavor in all the varieties I made) and added some pepper instead. I also bumped the oven temperature up to 375* to get the crust a bit more brown. Thanks for a great recipe!

three mini quiche appetizers on a plate with tomatoes and herbs

{Pin it}

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Avocado Yogurt Dip – This incredibly creamy Avocado Yogurt Dip is a veggie tray’s best friend! Healthy and naturally gluten-free, you’ll love how this yogurt dip tastes on salads, veggies, or chips. The lime juice and garlic make this avocado dip extra special.

a hand dipping a carrot into a bowl of creamy avocado dip

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No Bake Lactation Cookies (this was an update of an old post that needed a total refresh. NO, I’m not pregnant!) – If you’re looking for the best lactation cookies ever, you’ll love these easy No Bake Lactation Cookies! Thanks to oatmeal, peanut butter, and mini chocolate chips, you’ll love how delicious these gluten-free lactation cookies are. You’ll only need one bowl to whip up this recipe for lactation biscuits and then you’re on your way to healthy and filling cookies to help your milk supply and kill hunger pains.

a plate of no bake lactation cookies with a spoonful of oats on a wooden tray

{Pin this}

Removing Rust From Cast Iron – Learn the secrets to Removing Rust From Cast Iron without toxic chemicals or harsh treatments. You’ll also learn how to clean and season cast iron, and LOVE your skillets and dutch ovens. Seasoning cast iron can see intimidating, but we’re breaking it down to make it easy for anyone. You’ll also learn about cleaning a cast iron skillet after use and cast iron rust prevention. Cast iron is a wonderful non-toxic cooking tool that should be in every kitchen!

a cast iron skillet with a heart drawn in salt

The day I posted this tutorial I was at Goodwill and was two steps away from the cast iron when a woman picked one up and said “ohhhh a Wagner”. Anyone who knows cast iron knows Wagner is an amazing brand! I was so bummed she got to it first.

{Pin this}

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Virgin Mojito Recipe – I honestly have no idea what it is about this post that drives so much traffic to the blog, but I’ll take it! Interestingly enough, traffic spikes on Friday and Saturday nights. {Pin this}
  2. Best Ever Trader Joe’s Whole30 Shopping List {Pin this}
  3. Healthy Orange Chicken {Pin this}
  4. Baked Butternut Squash Fries {Pin this}
  5. Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos {Pin this}

Meal Plan

Looking for someone to do the meal planning for you? I’m partnering with Real Plans to bring you personalized meal plans that fit all dietary needs. Try it yourself for free for 30 days.!

Monday:: Crispy Oven-Fried Gnocchi and Veggies. The one pan wonder meal!

Tuesday:: Curry recipe I was going to try last week. But things went to shit and I threw Jack a Lactaid and made frozen Trader Joe’s mac and cheese and big ass salads. And that is the damned truth.

Wednesday:: Italian Sausages with peppers, rolls, and salad. I hate peppers but the shoot is for a client. Troy gets my peppers (barf).

Thursday:: Chef’s salads and biscuits (bread rolls, not cookies. Just clarifying for my readers across the pond).

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, movie night.

Saturday:: I have no damn idea.

Sunday:: Family dinner

What We Bought This Week

Smith Brother’s Farms: $14.48

If you’re in the Puget Sound area, get a $20 credit for signing up with Smith Brothers for their awesome home delivery.

Costco: $59.10

Trader Joe’s: $46.81

Prune juice because freaking Bennett will not stop making drama around every poop he takes.

What are you having this week?




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14 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I never had bad skin as a teen or in my twenties, but I started a migraine medicine last year and BAM – adult acne everywhere! I just ordered the Differin set after reading this, fingers crossed it works!

    • That is so frustrating Molly because you know the meds help one part of you but are totally being a jerk to your skin.

      Keep me posted and let me know how the Differin works for you. Mine arrives from Amazon today so we can be “battle buddies” in this stupid fight.

  2. Ok, a few thoughts in my mind:
    1. I love your honesty about everything. Everything you think, say, act, feel, and put out there sometimes I feel like you are in my head! Nice to know I’m not alone up there. ????
    2. Thank you for the podcast recommendations! Will try out “To Live and Die in LA.” I recommend Dr. Death, The Wonderland Murders, Over My Dead Body, and Six Minutes for Jack. Trust me on Six Minutes. I use it in the car for my 9 and 7 year old – we are all addicted. Episodes are essentially 6 minutes each, there’s 111 at the moment with more to come, and they end on cliff hanger-like events so there is always the built in predicting and inferring skills that lead us to some good discussions in the car.
    3. Trader Joe’s Mac and cheese is where it’s at. That’s all.

    • 1) there is relief in knowing we’re not alone, right?
      2) I LOVED Over My Dead Body! The theme song was super cool too. Will have to check out Six Minutes for Jack. I just heard a recommendation for Hit Parade. I’m also working my way through Atlanta Monster. You might like A Murder on Orchard Street and A Killing on the Cape.
      3) Hell yes!

  3. Thank you so much for the Dropout recommendation last week! I had never listened to a podcast before that and I am now hooked!!!

  4. Long time reader/ subscriber, first time commenter… just wanted to say a quick thank you for recommending The Dropout last week! I’ve really enjoyed getting into it and have got some family and friends hooked too.

  5. I really like the power point.  Sad to see Bluehost on the naughty list – I went with them.
    Thank you for your honesty, on all levels – this applies to the PP and blog.

    Are your clients needing good photography for their blogs?  If so, that is very interesting.  Work it girl!  You have talent.

    My hubs LOVES that pork jerky from Costco, seriously yummy.

    Thanks for all you do,

    • Did you sign a year-long contract with them? When you can switch hosts. But get your new host set up BEFORE breaking up with Blue Host. They’ve been known to hold sites “hostage” if they know you’re leaving. The reason they seem so popular and come recommended is that they have a generous affiliate program. People feel compelled to recommend them because it makes them (other bloggers) money. Which is super sad and why I only promote companies I actually use myself and would spend my own money on.

      The current client is actually a national distribution company (eeeeeek!). I was linking to one of their products on a previous post and noticed the photos on their site were horrible! So I reached out to the marketing department and asked if they would be interested in working together to update some of the photos. We did a few test photos and those turned into a three-product collaboration with them. Maybe it’s my old recruiting persona coming out, but I’m never worried about hearing “no”.

      Troy bought that jerky and it is delicious. But it’s full of sugar so I’m trying to avoid snacking on it until this month is up. It’s soooo yummy.

  6. Just wanted to thank you for all the work and commitment you put into your bog. Even tho I rarely cook and will probably never make one of your recipes, I enjoy your commentary and family focus. I just like reading about food, and I don’t think that’s weird. You are ‘good people’ and acknowledge what is going on in the world without getting bogged down in it. Thank you for your perspective — you do your late Mother proud. (Crazy about your boys BTW).
    Eileen (74 years old)

  7. Your presentation is really interesting, especially the bit about writing for your audience. I love desserts but rarely have time to make them, your recipes for quick weeknight dinners are all winners for me.

    I thought of you yesterday because we’ve just started sorting out our built in wardrobe in the spare room. We’re currently looking at building in new shelving and rails and I felt like that would totally be up your street!

    • The desserts thing is interesting to me but you guys jump and I say “how high”. LOL. I do post maybe one dessert a quarter because I there are still some recipes I really do want to share.

      Ohhhhh man! Is there a label maker involved in this remodel and organization? I want to be there!