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Scattered Sundays

Earlier this week I was on the tail end of my daily walk, and I got hit smack in the face with the scent of blooming honeysuckle. It was right as I was cresting a hill with an unobstructed view of the Puget Sound.

There are flowering trees everywhere, green grass, and blue skies without too much heat (my nemesis). Oh, spring. You just create so much joy. My heart grows 3x in size in spring from the beauty of the corner of the world of where we live.

Last weekend we were planning what we wanted to accomplish the next day. I told Troy “you know what I want? What I really really want? I want you to take the kids out of the damn house for at least 90 minutes and I want to deep clean the hell out of this place”.

My dreams run deep y’all. He ended up taking them to his parents for a few hours. I tackled the bathrooms with a vengeance and went after the floors like a seagull after a french fry. I deep-cleaned. I purged! I organized.

Without kids in the way, I was able to do it quickly all while listening to a podcast. I didn’t have to pause every 30 seconds to pretend I was interested in Minecraft or Pokemon or some youtuber that I absolutely could not care less about. It.Was.Heaven.

I sent Troy a photo when I got all done and basically, the caption said “it’s so clean. You guys can never come home”. But of course, they did, and Hurricane Bennett made landfall before mid-afternoon. So enjoyable while it lasted.

a livingroom and diningroom with wood floors


We were having dinner the other night and Jack said “I don’t even recognize this house anymore”. But don’t worry, he meant it in a good way. And it’s true, the changes that this house has seen since Jack was two years old are pretty wild.

Painstakingly we (mostly Troy and my father-in-law) have pretty much replaced every single room in the house. It used to be wall to wall (horrible) carpet, popcorn ceiling, 70s kitchen, and a fireplace and hearth that was so large it used to take up half of the living room.

When we moved in, the weeds were as high as MY waist and the “landscaping” was 95% overgrown bushes (“a shrubbery” if you will). Seriously, there were bushes under the kitchen window that smelled like urinal cakes. URINAL CAKES.

Slowly, oh so slowly, we have transformed a house into a home. And a tiny overgrown yard into a food-producing paradise. And quickly, oh so quickly, Bennett is determined to cover it in toys and scotch tape.

I’m proud of us because 75% of it was done when we were broke as a joke. Thank heavens that Troy is handy and that my father-in-law still actually likes us.

a kitchen and dining room

Speaking of projects, Troy finished and installed the transitions needed to close the gap between the wood floors and the new tile. This was a really long project because it involved Troy making his own custom stain to try to match our floors. And that was all trial and error.

And then there were custom cuts that were required, removing two planks of wood flooring and running them through a table saw to make them just a tiny bit thinner. It was not a fun project but it looks so nice!

The original plan when we started the remodel was to remove the subflooring in the kitchen and entryway so that the tile and wood floors would be the same height. Thanks to the discovery of some really old and deliciously asbestos-filled linoleum, the plan had to change.

We had two options, and one involved paying $3,500 for asbestos abatement that was not in the budget. The other option was to have tile floors that are slightly taller than the wood floors and spend $200 on transitions. It was kind of a no-brainer…

2 brothers in a black and white photo with their heads together

It looks sweet but they were just watching a video about ants.

Our fake summer ended last weekend, but this past week was still pretty nice for a Seattle spring. I’m here for it! We’re meeting up with my sister later today at the beach for the boys to hang out in the fresh air.

For those of you who have never seen a Seattle “beach”, it’s likely not what you’re envisioning. Most of our beaches contain a patch of sand and a butt-ton of rocks. It’s why we wear boots instead of flip-flops. Oh, and the water is butt cold.

a boy in a dinosaur costume holding a basketball at a front door

A month or so ago Troy and I started Wandavision. We watched one episode and both declared it super super dumb. And then we forgot about it and watched The One on Netflix.

We came back to Wandavision, and I really wish someone had told me early on that the first three episodes were necessary but that you would hate them. But then it gets better! I’m glad we stuck with it. I’m also excited that our TV stand got to see its cousin on a high-budget set.

a tv showing Wandavision

Longtime readers know my Mad Man-esque TV stand was a garage sale find. They wanted $20 and I paid $15 including free delivery to my house. I wanted to paint it teal but an eagle-eyed mom of a reader stopped that nonsense when she emailed me to let me know it was a pretty expensive piece from a famous brand.

We’ve looked it up on ebay and most of the time our TV stand is worth about $1,000. Not bad for a random $15 garage sale steal! 🙂

In the Garden This Week

I finally got off my butt and tackled some weeding this week. And if I worked all day every day, I’d still have lots of weeds left in the garden. Slow and steady does not win this race!

I started in on the strawberry patch and was dismayed to find huge swaths of our berry plants were dead. Here is how it usually goes every spring: I see tons of weeds in the strawberries and I ignore them until the last minute. Then I weed and magically everything is still ok.

Not this time! I saw that many berry plants were dead, dead, dead. What a freaking bummer. But, as always, there is a silver lining. Strawberries are the best plants at basically making new copies of themselves. I pretty much don’t have to do anything but wait.

During the growing season, strawberries put out things called “runners”. They look like vines. If you poke your finger in the soil, put the end of that runner in the soil, and then cover it…you just have to wait and soon you’ll have a brand new strawberry plant.

So, this year will be a giant stinker of a harvest. We’ll be eating them fresh but we won’t have any leftovers to freeze. And that my friends, is what we refer to as a first-world problem.

I had been planning to add some pavers to the edges of our strawberry patch at the end of this growing season anyway (ok…I’ve been saying that for years…). So this is a good motivation to make sure that actually happens.

Another week, another tackling of the morning glory in my dad’s planting area. I think if morning glory were currency, we’d be the rulers of a small but wealthy European country named Vinenburg.

Morning glory just needs some Gen Z influencers in hideous mom jeans to make it go viral on TikTok and then I’d be the queen of social media. #goodvinesonly

Troy had recently asked what I want for Mother’s Day, and since I can’t have what I really want (to just be alone for 24 hours without anyone asking me for anything), I told him I’d think about it. 

I have been using this janky piece of dense foam for years to kneel on while I am weeding. It’s gotten smaller and smaller over the years because it has gotten filthy and needed chunks cut off of it. 

After using it for an hour on Thursday, I told Troy “I need a new one of these for Mother’s Day. I don’t need it to be fancy, or attached to some sort of homemade storage crate on wheels. I just need a new one of these”.

You may remember that a few years ago I bought myself a clothesline for Mother’s Day, handed him the box, and told him I want it installed. Always dream big. 🙂

What I’m Listening To This Week

My friend Chelsea from A Duck’s Oven turned me onto this podcast series from Be There in Five that does a deep dive into the problematic industry of the women’s empowerment hustle culture. It puts everything I’ve felt for years into words.

It also clarifies why that industry and rah rah culture (not to mention terms like “boss babe” and “mompreneur”) have always given me a visceral reaction. And why crap like GOOP make me sprain my eyes from rolling them. It’s MLM for empowerment, and just like an MLM, 99% of participants LOSE.

Bottom line: if being inspired by someone requires you to buy a ton of products that they are selling in order to feel like you’re successful like them, run, don’t walk.

What I’m Reading This Week

Last week I asked for any readers who are independent bookstore owners to please email me. A lovely reader reached out to let me know her aunt owns an independent bookstore in my own back yard called Page 2 Books.

I am now linking to Page 2 Books in the hopes that if you’re looking to purchase a book, you’ll do it through a small bookstore. Thank you! Oh, and I don’t earn anything for this; 100% of sales will go directly to the bookstore.

In a hilarious turn of events (see above in “listening to” section), I’m reading a book called Professional Troublemaker by Luvvie Ajayi Jones. The book markets itself as “powerful book that talks about how to tackle fear–that everlasting hater–and live boldly and audaciously in spite of all the reasons we have to cower”.

I discovered Luvvie after another influencer’s followers went after her for educating the influencer on why her comments were problematic. I started following Luvvie on Instagram because of her grace in that situation and decided to read her latest book.

And? I love it! I’m not a self-help book reader and I don’t need to feel empowered. I was born with an innate confidence I had no right to own. I’ve always been loud and never once felt the need to apologize for taking up space. In a nutshell, I’m an introvert’s worst nightmare. 🙂

BUT I adore reading the experiences of others who don’t have the same life experiences or opportunities as I have had. I LOVE seeing what makes them tic (tick?). But I always want it through the lens of honesty and not in the “I’m successful because I get up early to work and tell you that you need to hustle or you’re a loser…but don’t tell you I have a nanny” way. And sadly, no, I don’t have nanny. Goals.

Luvvie’s book is awesome and I think her words will speak to those who need to hear everything she is saying. Unlike other books in this genre where I felt like “meh, this isn’t for me but I know someone needs to hear this”, I’m still getting lots of value from her story and I think you will too.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Sarah (not me, but likely someone else born in the 80s) left this five-star review on our Honey Wheat Bread {Pin this recipe}:

Such a great bread recipe that is SO MUCH EASIER than our family recipe. I used it to make my delicious wheat bread toast each morning (with a little pb and honey-so good!) and to make small rolls last week. DELICIOUS every time!

2 loaves of bread in cast iron bread pans

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Unique Gift Ideas For Mother’s DayFind the perfect Mother’s Day gift ideas with this list of Unique Gift Ideas for Mom. You won’t find the same old typical presents in this gift guide! Treat your mom to something special and creative, and maybe even homemade this year. {Pin this list}

different gift ideas for mother's day on a white background

Mojito MocktailA refreshing mix of lime and mint, this Virgin Mojito Recipe will be your new favorite drink! This non-alcoholic mojito recipe will be a hit with kids and adults alike. {Pin this recipe}

Two glasses of virgin mojitos with lime and mint on a white board

Confessions: Everyone’s favorite post of the month!

A woman with a finger up to her mouth saying "shhhhh"

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan/vegetarian as written, but you can make your version to your tastes.  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Pizza Rolls – the childhood favorite with none of the burns on the roof of your mouth.  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Instant Pot Garlic Rice – on our menu. Weekly. So good. {Pin this recipe}
  4. How to Freeze Spinach – here comes gardening season!  {Pin this tutorial}
  5. Air Fryer Pretzel Bites – legit one of our favorite snacks. {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

A few weeks ago Troy and I had a long discussion on how I could get more work time. As many parents discovered in the last year, working from home with kids means constant interruptions and never being “off-duty”.

a boy holding a craft in a bedroom

“Hey mom, I know you woke up super early to work in a quiet house. But LOOK, I made a tie fighter”. Also, the tripod in the background is a telescope. Pervs.

I cannot work for more than 10 minutes before someone asks something of me. I shut the door, LOCK the door and put in earbuds, but there are still little knocks on the door. And since I live with all males, most of those knocks are followed by questions of wanting to know where things are that are right in front of their damn faces.

One of the decisions we made was that Troy would take over two dinners a week. The plan is for me to work while he is cooking (it has only worked out half the time so far but I have hope!). And not having to spend brainpower planning and prepping for those dinners has been lovely.

Monday:: A new recipe I am photographing. We tested it last week and everyone in the family LOVED it. Can’t wait to share it with you in a few weeks! Salad on the side.

Tuesday:: Troy is making chicken parmesan, pasta, and salad.

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Thursday:: Troy is making meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and grilled veggies.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Testing a new air fryer recipe (which of course will have oven-baking instructions) and salad.

Sunday:: Takeout to support a local small business.


What are you having this week?

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8 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. We made your mocktale for the KY Derby yesterday–very refreshing!

  2. I am adding your book suggestion to my list! My ready time has taken a serious nose dive since we got a puppy AND I got a job. WTF was I thinking!?!

    The puppy is Emma’s dog. She is almost 7 months, so thankfully she sleeps through the night, but unfortunately she doesn’t sleep as long as Emma needs to sleep, so my quiet peaceful mornings are now occupied with crazy puppy energy. A good day is one where I manage to finish my coffee before it gets cold.

    And I am finally submitting this comment almost 12 hours after writing it… puppies.

  3. I just got back from a weekend away. My husband usually takes a hunting trip with his dad in January. Since he didn’t go because he caught COVID a week before leaving, I asked if I could use the leftover funds to get an VRBO/Airbnb for a weekend. After being home with the kids while working nights, covid quarantine, and the last 2 times I tried to take off from work I got called in, I was done. I told work, “If someone gets hurt on Friday, tell them to suck it up. I’m not coming in.” Luckily, it went off without a hitch and I’m back in a much better mindset. I wish I had the cleaning gene. I would take a second job just to cover a maid if I had the time.

    • I’m so proud of you for doing that and I’m so happy it worked out!

      Cleaning has always been my stress response. I also grew up with parents who had stuff EVERYWHERE and that clutter makes me anxious. Bennett’s room is a bitter pill to swallow for me. Lol

  4. OMG. Goop is evil incarnate. 

    If you loathe bullsh1t, check out Dr. J’en Gunter on Instagram and Twitter. She takes special care to point out the ridiculousness of big wellness and gives you science to actually empower yourself – by giving you science backed information about your body. No Jade Eggs for sale!