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Scattered Sundays

Things I need to know from all of you:

  1. Which is more annoying – two days of a twitching eyelid, or the neighbor’s dogs barking nonstop for two hours?
  2. What is your favorite childhood food memory?
  3. If money were no option, where would you travel to for three weeks?

To all of you who celebrate Easter, I’m wishing you a very happy Easter this morning! We are the greeters (welcoming people as they come in the front door) at the 9:30 am service at church this morning. So, I’m going to do my best to keep Bennett’s fingers out of his nose for a solid 20 minutes.

We’re excited to be celebrating the holiday at my sister-in-law’s later today. She goes out of her way to make the day so special for all the kids and they’re so excited! 

I’m in charge of bringing “Sarah’s Rolls” (it is this whole wheat bread recipe formed into rolls. You bake for 18 minutes, brush baked rolls with a little melted butter and then sprinkle with a pinch of garlic salt on top), Avocado Yogurt Dip, and stuffing (aka dressing).

Stuffing is not a traditional Easter food, but the family really likes it and I’m happy to oblige. The recipe is adapted from my sister’s and from someone who doesn’t like dressing (me), it’s pretty phenomenal. I’ll be sharing it later in the fall.

What are you lovely people doing today?

This week has been a week of hard lessons for the kiddos. First, after being asked/reminded three times to get his f#@king shoes on so we could go to the grocery store before school, I told my nephew he lost the free cookie the store bakery gives out. 

He was sad but ok with it until we got there and realized they were his absolute favorite cookies in the whole wide world. I’ve definitely entered “mean aunt territory”, but holy balls am I sick of repeating myself with these three.

One of the things that this amazing book I read suggests is to not repeat yourself over and over. Rather, we’re supposed to simply start taking immediate action to change negative behavior. And I have found it works…when I remember to be consistent.

Second, after school on Wednesday, Jack opened his backpack and instantly burst into tears. What horrible fate happened to him to make him react like that? Well, he forgot his binder at school. 

Troy took him back to school to get it, and all was well.

So, Thursday rolls around and Jack opens his backpack only to realize the binder wasn’t in there. Again. Tears. Again. Whomp whomp.

Troy grabs his keys and is about to tell Jack to get his shoes on and I butt in with “absolutely not”. Troy said “you saw how he reacted yesterday and how upset he was about forgetting it”. My mean mom response? “Well, it clearly didn’t make enough of an impression to remember to bring it home today”.

Troy and Jack both made multiple cases for going back to get the binder:

  • Troy: He’s upset
  • Jack: But mom, I’ll have to stay in for five minutes at recess to do it AND I’ll get a “0”.
  • Troy: He doesn’t forget that many things. And it’s easy to go get it.
  • Jack: (something I can’t understand because he’s crying and not making a lot of sense)

But, no. I held firm. I explained to Jack he wasn’t in trouble and this wasn’t a punishment. I told him sometimes we learn life lessons in a way that really sucks, but that this was a low-stakes lesson to learn.

A few weeks ago I read this article about why we have to let our kids fail and it really stuck with me. And months ago I heard a discussion on a podcast about a study on addicts (I don’t remember the podcast or I would link it). After years of research, one of the commonalities amongst addicts of all kinds was that they rarely had the opportunity to fail during childhood. Someone was always rescuing them and they never had to own up to their mistakes.

To be clear, I don’t think forgetting his binder twice in one week means my ten-year-old will develop a crank habit soon. But, to me, understanding responsibility and taking ownership for our actions (both good and bad) is sooooo important for everyone to learn.

I spent YEARS making excuses when I screwed up – in my personal life and at work. I always tried to explain it away. Learning to say “I’m sorry, I screwed up and I take ownership for that” was soooo vital to my professional and emotional development.

^My friend Kat (who runs this amazing theater camp program in Florida) and is talented beyond all belief in every way, made this canvas print for me for Bennett’s room and it is one of my favorite things.

Jack’s science fair project is due tomorrow. I helped him organize his experiment, got him the supplies, and helped him think of a structure for how the project will look. We typed up the data for his trifold board together.

But I refuse to push to make this look like some amazing production. It’s his project, and it should look like a fourth grader’s project! We went to the science fair last year and all I could think about when I looked at 50% of the submissions were “all these kids learned is that their parents really care about appearances”.

This week we rigged a little portable fencing set up in our yard for the chickens. They’ve been free-ranging ever since and loving life. We had been letting them out of their yard (their coop, named Downton Eggy has a fenced area outside of it) for a few hours every day but they were tearing up the garden and getting wood chips everywhere.

The ladies are happier than a pig in shit with their freedom and have been dust bathing like they’re trying out for a Coppertone ad. And all the free-ranging has led to egg yolks an orange shade that I couldn’t even describe without a color wheel.

Snuggling up around my blossoming blueberry bushes.

We have two enormous Japanese maples in our yard and both are out of control. I need to learn how to trim these beasts because hacking at them with clippers is probably not how you maintain such amazing plants. Anyhoo, the chickens love to hang out under both of them and I want to put up a sign that says “mother cluckin’ fort”.

I’ve been out in the garden a bit this week after basically pretending it didn’t exist for the last few months. First up: weeding the very overgrown garlic bed (related: How to Plant Garlic). I swear this bed was clear two weeks ago and then BOOM, smothered in some random weed.

Left: before. Right: 35 minutes later

The raspberry patch got weeded as well (related: Raspberry Supports) which means my arms look like I got in fight with a drunk cat.

Through the end of this month, Butcher Box is giving all new subscribers two packs of bacon and two pounds of sausage in their first box. I have enjoyed Butcher Box’s bacon each month when we get our order and ranked it very high in my Whole30 Bacon Brands guide.

Finally, I wanted to let you know that slowly started adding a few videos to some older posts. It was a big goal for 2019 to include video with certain recipes.

The Sustainable Cooks Facebook community seems to be enjoying them, and I hope to keep adding some as time allows. If you’re interested in checking any of them out, the following posts have a video added (typically they’re in the top one-fourth of the post):

Spring preschool pictures. One of these days his head won’t be 75% of his body mass.

What I’m Listening To This Week

I binged the Gladiator podcast this week. Gladiator is the story of Aaron Hernandez, the former Patriots football player who was convicted of murder. It was fascinating and really well reported. It is from the Boston’s Globe Spotlight team (the people who had a movie made about them) and quite thorough. 

I’m not normally a sports podcast kinda chick (murder, politics, and business all the way) but I really enjoyed this one!

Comment/Review of the Week

This week’s five-star review comes from long-time reader, Ange who made our Sweet Potato Fries Dipping Sauce.

That dipping sauce is seriously amazing. I have made this twice now.  Since I am the only person in the house who would eat this (don’t ask, because I don’t know what is wrong with my family…), I scaled the recipe down (I LOVE that feature) to about 1/4 cup, then eyeballed the ingredients. I may have added a touch too much sriracha, but that didn’t stop me from devouring it!

a tray of sweet potato fries with sweet potato fry dipping sauce

{Pin this recipe}

And I had to include this because I know y’all would appreciate it. I had a comment in my blog spam folder this week where someone left a comment that I had a filthy mouth. I looked at the post in question and it had “hell” in it. I laughed so hard I looked like a real-life happy crying emoji.

I was tempted to send her a link to some of my saltier posts. But you know, I don’t have time for the crap shit. Lady, channel some of that overly clenched butthole energy into something productive. Like picking up trash for Earth Day or something. Or you know, cracking walnuts for some geriatric squirrels.

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Confessions – everyone’s favorite post of the month!

Addicting Garlic Hummus Recipe – Learn how to make the best homemade Garlic Hummus Recipe ever! An easy and healthy vegan and gluten-free snack, garlic hummus is so so addicting!

{Pin this}

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Virgin Mojito/Mojito Mocktail  {Pin this}
  2. Canning Supplies and Preserving Equipment List  {Pin this}
  3. Removing Rust From Cast Iron {How to Use and Love Cast Iron}  {Pin this}
  4. Best Ever Trader Joe’s Whole30 Shopping List  {Pin this}
  5. Whole30 + Paleo French Onion Soup  {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.!

This week is all about super easy meals. We’re prepping for Jack’s birthday party (making tons of homemade frozen pizzas, yard work, etc.,) and I have a bunch of deadlines around work that are hanging over my head. Soooooo, easy and fast is the name of the game!

Monday:: Instant Pot Lentil Soup some homemade baguettes (I use the recipe from this book). This soup makes me so happy and it’s super fast and simple to make. It’s a dump in the Instant Pot or slow cooker, push a few buttons, and walk away kind of dinner.

Tuesday:: Crispy Oven-Fried Gnocchi and Veggies. I can make this dinner in my sleep and every single person in the family likes it. Plus, it makes great leftovers.

Wednesday:: Breakfast dinner. I think our freezer stash of Whole Wheat Pancakes is almost out. And my nephew loves pancakes (he is here M-F before and after school)! Because I make my scrambled eggs ahead of time and bake bacon in the oven and freeze it, this dinner almost makes itself.

Thursday:: Veggie pasta with salad

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night

Saturday:: Jack’s birthday party

Sunday:: Will probably eat at Costco after Bennett’s swim lessons

What are you having this week?

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48 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Dogs barking, especially if they are small yippy types.

    Tried razor clams that we dug up on the beach earlier the same day.


    I don’t think you’re a mean mom, just a good mom. Moms are supposed to teach rules, boundaries and limitations. And when we fail, we learn that we are human. How else would we learn to say that we were sorry,or be thankful when we do get assistance? Feeling upset isn’t fun, but that’s life. And I think parents that do their children’s school work for them are just sick. It’s like their child is a reflection of them, not their own special personality with their own life to grow. And it never occurred to me that my mother would either do my assignments or drive back to school/home for anything I forgot. Just not thinking that would have ever happened.

  2. Hey Sarah!  
    I love your posts – they make me laugh so hard.  You keep it real and that’s why people keep coming back – for more!

    This is kinda sad so bear with me.  I think that the reason my adult kids struggle so much is that I helped/rescued more than I should have.  But I was no where near what we witnessed other parents doing.  I didn’t do projects, papers or homework but we knew others that did.  If someone had told me when they graduated HS that my kids would struggle like they have, I would’ve called them a liar and knocked them out.  Seriously.  I thought my kids were hard workers (which they still are) but they are unable to make good decisions.  Neither is successful, both have F’d up royally in not being responsible, using their education and sticking with a career.  Nothing illegal or anything like that just totally unhappy and wandering through the best years of their lives miserable and struggling.  I cry about this all the time.  They won’t take advice or guidance, they think they know it all even though their life just freaking sucks.

    So, to that end….make your kids responsible.  Allow them to fail.  Discuss everything so they fully understand that one day, they will be on their own.  Their life and the success of it, is totally UP TO THEM!

    OK my rant is over.  
    Keep up the good work!