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Scattered Sundays

It has been a full month since I started the Bean Protocol. You can read about how/why I started this here. Four weeks in and here are a little before and “in-progress” photos:

Two photos of a before and after on The Bean Protocol

Left: May, Right: June 15th Please, enjoy this close up of my crappy skin

As you can see, my skin does show some improvement. It’s not 100% for sure, but things are definitely headed in the right direction. I’m going to keep this up for another month to see what happens. Another month, another $6 in dried beans. I think I can swing that. 🙂

In addition to the improved skin, there have been (bean…?) two other great side effects that I hadn’t expected. One, my sugar cravings and snacking tendencies have greatly decreased. I’m a girl who LOVES a snack, but I find that I’m fueling my body with basic (read: cheap AF) wholesome foods that keep me full for a lot longer than before.

The second side effect that has been wonderful is a reduction in cramps. My cramps got worse with each kid, and up until six months ago, I was popping Advil like Tic Tacs for two days each month. I have a very high pain tolerance and still felt like I was going to puke for a solid 48 hours.

For two days each month, I was taking about 8-10 Advil a day until I found Flo Gummies. That reduced my Advil consumption to about 3-4 per day. Well, with adding the beans in, my last cycle I took one Advil. ONE. People, this is huge.

I’m not an expert in the Bean Protocol (this person is), and I’m not here shilling for “Big Bean”. There is nothing to buy and no subscription to purchase. I’m just eating beans with most of my meals and living my best life.

Basically since Troy and I first got married, we have practiced what we call “spending money”. It’s cash set aside at each paycheck that each of us gets and can spend however we’d like. Everything I ever spent my money on has been closed since March of 2020, so it’s just been sitting there and accumulating.

I decided this week that I’m taking that money and I am doing something about something that has bothered me for YEARS. I’m finally tackling my stupid acne scars. I’m turning 40 in October, and I would like my skin to no longer look like I’m a hormonal 14-year-old. Please and thank you.

In July I’ll be getting a “problem skin” facial AND am tackling another annoyance of mine – my eyebrows. The lady is going to shape these strawberry blonde caterpillars. Because see below, I cannot be trusted to know what is trending with eyebrows. A week after that, I’m starting microchanneling treatments.

a blonde girl in a yearbook photo

If you’re not familiar with microchanneling, you can get more info here. If you know what microneedling is, microchanneling is similar to that but more intense and effective in reducing acne scars. Depending on how my skin reacts, I’m looking at one to three treatments for it, done about one month apart.

I’m excited to get this renewed skin show on the road and move toward looking like a freaking adult, and not a teen. And of course, I’ll keep you posted on how it goes! Because humiliating myself for your enjoyment is very on-brand for me. 🙂

On Thursday we had our first in-person church council meeting in 15 months! It may not sound very exciting, but after over a year of Zoom meetings, it was so nice to just be in the same room with those lovely people.

The meeting also had the added perk of being in the evening and allowing me to leave the house, ALONE for over two hours. A two-hour meeting in an uncomfortable chair is glorious as long as it doesn’t involve my kids. It is pretty much a vacation at this point.

After some traveling, my dad will be back in Washington this afternoon! We’re thrilled to have him home and especially excited that his return is on father’s day. In his absence, I did a thorough deep clean of his place and got everything ship shape and aired out.

The day of the big clean was also a day that I ran, and by bedtime, I was at almost 32k steps. I’m about 99% certain that is a personal record for me. The next day I had a long walk as well as two photoshoots. Taking photos is such an oddly physical job, at least for me.

I still take photos in our living room, and because I take process shots (the step-by-step photos you see in posts), a single recipe can often involve 15-25 roundtrips between the kitchen and living room. Most days while I am taking photos, my watch likes to give a “it appears you’re working out, do you want to track this exercise” notification.

Photoshoot day ended up being a 23k step day. Which meant in 48 hours, I took almost 45k steps. I woke up Thursday morning before my alarm went off, but I just could not bring myself to get up and do a workout (I stream them). I was over it.

I got up to let the chickens out but then crawled back in bed. I just laid there, with my glasses on, for another 30 minutes before I got up and showered. I was still up and ready for the day by 5:45, but boy howdy, it felt great to just lay there for a beat.

We’re headed to Ocean Shores this week for a few days at my inlaw’s place. We’re so grateful to have this free vacation resource, and the weather is looking fantastic for our trip! We’re packing our Burley bike for Bennett so we can ride all over that gloriously flat landscape. 

The boys keep making lists of what we’re going to do, and of course, at the top of the list is “go play in the ocean and scare the crap out of mom”. I dread this part of the trip each time. Just stay away from the water you tiny little psychos. 

a stuffed cat toy wrapped in bubble wrap

Sleep well!

A few weeks ago, our family grew by one furry little member. Bennett’s beloved stuffed kitty, Baby GG (which used to be Jack’s), may not be long for this world. She has almost literally been loved to death.

Knowing that the inevitable was likely coming in the next year, I decided to track down a replacement. An understudy if you will. Baby GG was a gift from their Auntie Anne, and she generously tracked down the purchase details from 2013. The cat is no longer sold, but the order details at least gave me the brand and product title.

I tracked down a gently used Baby GG on eBay, and then we waited for her to arrive. Jack had already pre-named this new cat “Spare Parts”. Charmed I’m sure.

Bennett was SO excited for her arrival and lost his mind when I brought her (after a quick “bath” in the washing machine and dryer) to pick him up from school. He determined she was so cute and fluffy that her name should be Cotton Candy. Her friends call her Cotton.

a boy holding two stuffed cats while sleeping

For the first few days, the newness of Cotton kind of pushed Baby GG aside. Jack was enraged until I reminded him that Baby GG pushed the original Mama GG (or, O GG) aside when he got her when he was three.

Eventually, Bennett realized that Baby GG and Cotton were better together. His favorite four stuffed animals have been nicknamed “The Snuggle Squad”, and now we have “Team Tabby”. It’s good to be Bennett. 🙂

a boy asleep in a car seat holding 2 stuffed cats

The angle is deceiving with the center car seat strap. I promise it’s in the right position. I’m married to an over-protective firefighter. Don’t come for me.

In the Garden This Week

We had our first raspberry this week! Raspberry, singular. Just one. But it was delicious. Or, so I have been told. The boys and I have also been harvesting strawberries, but as expected, the haul is grim this year.

It was a perfect storm of crap that doomed the strawberries from the start. First, the soil was tragic and many of the plants didn’t make it. Then, right as the fruit started to ripen, Troy pressure washed the walkway and the berries got coated in dirt that will not wash off.

And then on Sunday, we had “end of days” rain that caused many of the nearly ripe berries to rot from the inside. Oh strawberries, we did you so dirty in 2021. Despite our best efforts at destroying them, we are picking about 1-2 pints a day. And we’re very thankful for every delicious bite we get.

a hand holding a red basket of strawberries

The peas are doing great, and the garlic is starting to put out scapes. The green beans are starting to grow in the same bed with our lettuce, and the cucumber starts are doing well in the same bed with the peas. Everything is on track to be awesome. Tasty and awesome.

We have a (Seattle) heatwave rolling in starting today. I’ve been watering the garden deeply, especially the lettuce which does not enjoy the heat (like me). I covered the lettuce back up with shade cloth as of Thursday and am just hoping for the best.


We got our Thrive Market order this week, and goodness, I’m so glad we found Thrive a few years ago. They have all our favorite things at super-affordable prices, all delivered to our front door. And, of course, the boys love the boxes for forts.

I’ve been doing the Bean Protocol for the last four weeks, and through Thrive I stocked up on lots of dried organic chickpeas and pinto beans. Even top-of-the-line beans are still so affordable. Try Thrive for yourself and start saving today!

What I’m Listening To This Week

Another shout out to Fake Doctors Real Friends as a podcast to make you laugh your butt off. It’s 100% NOT kid-appropriate, so grab some earbuds and get ready to giggle hard.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Aaron left this five-star review on our Air Fryer Egg Rolls {Pin this recipe}:

This recipe turned out perfect. This was one of my first air fryer recipes and turned out so good! I added leftover grilled shrimp cut into small pieces. Thank you!

Three air fryer egg rolls on a wooden tray with a dish of soy sauce

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Raspberry Freezer Jam – This Raspberry Freezer Jam is beyond simple to make and has an incredibly fresh taste. Just three ingredients and 20 minutes (including clean up!), and you’ll have homemade raspberry jam in a flash. {Pin this recipe}

4 jars of raspberry freezer jam on a white board with mint and a lemon

How to Dry Basil – Learn how to dry basil in a food dehydrator, oven, microwave, or by air-drying. Drying basil is such a simple way to preserve this delicious pantry staple! {Pin this tutorial}

a plate of dehydrated basil leaves

Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs – You’ll love how flavorful these Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs are! Baked turkey meatballs are such an easy meal prep option. The creamy lemon sauce is so good you’ll want to put it on everything. {Pin this recipe}

a bowl of zoodles with greek turkey meatballs and basil

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. How to Freeze Spinach – so many people are going to have awesome smoothies this winter!  {Pin this tutorial}
  3. Canning Peaches – this post will likely remain in the top five until September(ish). Get used to it. {Pin this recipe}
  4. Instant Pot Garlic Rice – we always have a bag of this in the freezer for quick meals. {Pin this recipe}
  5. Homemade Peach Ice Cream – AKA a bowl of sunshine. {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: My inlaws are coming over for a belated Father’s Day dinner/I invited them over because it’s going to be 90 degrees and we have AC. I’m making lettuce wraps and a ramen cabbage salad thing that we made all the time growing up, but I don’t think I’ve had it probably 10 years. I got a craving for it the other day and it will not be quelled. I’m going to be hunting through my mom’s janky avocado green Tupperware recipe card holder today to find the recipe.

Tuesday – Friday: eating at the ocean! We know we’re going to Bennett’s Fish Shack one night (weather depending, we’ll eat on the patio as our first restaurant experience in 15 months, or get takeout), grill hot dogs, have a movie night, and do soup and grilled cheese. Salad and veggies on the side each night.

As an aside, if you’re ever in Ocean Shores or Westport Washington, you have to go to Bennett’s Fish Shack. The service is slow, so don’t be in a rush, but the food is fantastic. Ironically, it is the place we realized that OUR own Bennett LOVES seafood.

My go-to casual dining restaurant order is a veggie burger with cheddar and bacon. And yes, servers giggle each time at that request. Bennett’s has hands down, the best veggie burger I have ever had in my life. No question, no contest.

Saturday:: Sandwiches and veggies because we need something easy after driving all day with our ahole kids.

Sunday:: Belated father’s day with my dad and sister. My dad’s choice!

What are you having this week?



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3 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Hi Sarah,

    It’s been a while since I last commented (back when I just joined AdThrive last year). I saw you wrote about your acne so just wanted to share my past experience. I also had to deal with adult acne several years ago. In the beginning, I cut down on refined sugar and dairy drastically and it did help but wasn’t enough.

    After reading and trying a lot of things, I found out another main reason for my acne was I was drying out my skin. I had thought maybe my skin was too oily, causing the acne, so I had used cleansers for oily skin which turned out to be too harsh for my skin. From my research, our skin has a natural protective outer layer with a pH of 5.5, slightly acidic. A lot of cleansers have a pH above 7 which is too harsh and can dry out the skin and damage the protective layer, resulting in acne. So I switched to gentle cleansers, with pH of 5.5 and moisturized my skin intensively daily. I saw huge improvements after not too long. It was really an eye-opening experience for me. Now that I think more about it, dry skin does slow down wound healing. My paper cut took so so long to heal in winter (it’s so dry in winter in Illinois ><).

    Everyone's skin is different, so I can't say what worked for me may work for you but it may be worth a try. There's actually quite a bit of research paper on skin dryness and adult acne that I was able to find back then. I still need to keep my intake of refined sugar and dairy low or I will still get small breakouts. 

    The strawberries from your garden look beautiful :).


    • I wish my issue was as simple as that. I use the oil cleansing method (which was approved by my derm) and actually clean my face with sweet almond oil. No drying out here!

      I hear you on the wounds healing during the winter. Holy smokes I feel like our hands were cracking all day this past winter. It was brutal.

  2. I might have to try the beans!  I recently upped my protein at breakfast and lunch and really noticed a difference in how full I am between meals but there is always room for improvement!

    I pinned your turkey meatball recipe and will need to try them soon.  The last recipe I tried was shot down by my family for being too bland but yours will definitely have more flavor!

    We leave on vacation a week from tomorrow so this week’s meals will be all about using up what we have.  So there will be quiche and pasta and curry, which are all great for throwing in odds and ends!  Things might get pretty creative by Monday!

    Hope you have a great trip!