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Scattered Sundays

Ye olde blog got two tiny little tech updates this week that you may or may not notice, but it is meant to improve your lives.

First up, we bumped the font up by 1 point. One little point might not seem like a lot, but for all the time everyone is spending on screens, collectively our eyes are getting weak AF. So, a slightly larger font is here to help.

Second, if you use my site on mobile, you may have noticed that from time to time the search bar in the header (tech-speak for the top of the screen) would sometimes glitch. As in you’d push the little search icon (a magnifying glass) a few times and it wouldn’t pop up the search bar.

I thought it was a bunch of different things and have tried for a long time to fix it, but to no avail. I finally reached out to the lovely lady who built my site, and naturally, she fixed it in like 30 seconds. So, there you go. Moral of the story is: I’m why we can’t have nice things.

2 brothers wrestling in front of a Christmas tree

For those of you who celebrate, what are your Christmas plans? We’re forgoing a large family gathering again, and once again praying this is the final year we have to do that. The boys will wake up at the buttcrack of dawn per usual and will do Santa presents and stockings once they’re out of bed.

My inlaws will come over around 8/8:30 am to do family gifts and a big breakfast. I’m making cinnamon rolls (DOY), make-ahead scrambled eggs, coffee, and something else I agreed to but can’t remember right this second. My mother-in-law is making a potato casserole recipe that she got from my mom years ago, fruit, and a small ham.

a piece of bamboo on the ground

If you’ve been following along over on Instagram stories, you’ll know that I’ve been on the hunt for hoodies for Bennett’s stuffed cats. <—not a typo, you read that correctly. Bennett said it was what the kitties REALLY wanted for Christmas. Oh, and they needed to be tie-dyed.

Y’all, I have been to the ends of the earth looking for hoodies for these cats. An alert reader let me know there was someone who creates custom clothing for guinea pigs (proving there truly is a lid for every pot). And I reached out to her. She was happy to help but would need me to ship her the kitties to fit the hoodies.

That was a hard no since these cats cannot be away from their boy for longer than a school day. No one would sleep if they had to be shipped somewhere AND then back. Just typing that makes my boobs sweat.

Instead, a friend found some white doll hoodies on Amazon that I ordered, and (again, not a typo) am going to tie-dye when they arrive. Please add that to the list of things I never in my life thought I would be saying. This kid and those damn kitties.

Sadly, the hoodies won’t arrive before Christmas, but his birthday is at the end of January. Hopefully, the kitties won’t be too disappointed in having to wait another month for their sweet threads. After all, they have a reputation as cutting-edge fashion influencers to protect.

Even though Bennett has a small Christmas tree in his room (um, year-round…), he has been pretty insistent that the kitties needed one too. This week, Troy built this little tree for them using some scraps he found out in the woods.

a tiny christmas tree on a woodstove

Bennett was really excited when he got home from school to find “their” tree, and set about decorating it with ornaments from his own tree. He wanted the kitties in the room but didn’t want them to see it until it was fully decorated. I had to cover their eyes for a solid 5 minutes so as to not ruin the surprise. Again, what we do for these bags of fluff!

a boy decorating a small christmas tree

I’m making all my holiday goodies tomorrow and Tuesday. I have what some might call “an inability to contain myself around sugar” problem, so if they’re not in the house earlier than the week of Christmas, then I am not sneaking out of bed at 2 am to eat them. 

Tomorrow will be old-fashioned fudge and an almond roca making day. I will promptly give away 90% of both to the neighbors. A bit later in the week, we’ll make my healthy sugar cookies, but let’s be honest, I’m going to put so much damn frosting on them that the “healthy” part goes out of the window. And that is ok!

When it comes to your own holiday baking, don’t forget my hacks for making your own brown sugar, and homemade powdered sugar. You never know, this might just save you an extra trip to the store!

a boy sleeping in a weird position

This defies logic

A few weeks ago I mentioned an app that I bought called “Mathway” so that I could help Jack when he was getting stuck with homework. The app lets you take a picture of the problem and gives you the solution but also shows you how to solve it step-by-step. Someone mentioned there was a similar free google option but I’m not familiar with it.

Jack is a 7th grader who is taking 9th-grade Algebra, but I swear the stuff that they’re doing was either trauma-blocked out of my brain or I just never learned it. This week they were working on solving equations by substitution. It was pure gibberish to me. If you had told me it was a foreign language written by tipsy elves, I would have believed you.

When he is feeling stuck, I make him work through the entire problem by himself, and then I “solve” it using the app to check his work. If it’s wrong then we go through the steps on how to solve it and to figure out where he went astray.

After “solving” a few of these, he got to one that he just couldn’t figure out. I jokingly said I was going to solve it by myself without the app, and after a lot of brain pain, I worked it out on scratch paper and then checked it with the app. Y’all, I GOT IT RIGHT. And you better believe that I talked about nothing else for the next hour. So proud. 

I’m all done with food photos for the year and I’m thankful to have a bit of a holiday break. Also because it’s really hard to take photos considering my photography space is right where the dang Christmas tree is.

When the boys are back in school in January, I’m finally unboxing all the flash photography equipment I got and am starting down that long and frustrating path of learning a new skill. It will come in handy during dark and rainy days, and when festive giant trees are hanging out in the living room.

Historically, I have made batches and batches (and BATCHES) of Overnight Cinnamon Rolls for the staff at our elementary school, and a big pan for the teacher. With Covid being what it is, I made the decision that people probably wouldn’t want homemade food this year.

BUT, I know his teacher will accept homemade goodies, because 1) I asked earlier in the year and 2) have been sending her extra goodies after I photograph them:

a text conversation

She got a big ol batch of ready to bake cinnamon rolls with the orange cream cheese frosting. I dropped them off on Thursday because I always want to give someone a backup day in case they forget them in the fridge. We had an incident of someone forgetting them at school a few years ago, and the principal had to let them into the school during break. 🙂

His teacher was super excited when she saw them (she squealed) but was so sweet and showed an equal amount of love to oohing and aahing over the drawing that Bennett made just for her. I also taped a Target gift card to the cinnamon roll container because I know what teachers like. 

a drawing of a penguin

His present for his teacher

Back in early summer when I officially decided I was sick of my adult acne, I made an appointment with a dermatologist. The practice wasn’t seeing new patients until freaking December, but I finally got to see someone this week. Since it took so long to get the appointment, I packed as much into it as I could.

First off, annual skin check. Nothing like meeting a new doctor and then getting butt-naked so they can examine your pasty skin. Good news: all in the clear. I work hard to stay pale and at least for this year, my efforts were rewarded with a clean bill of health.

I also asked about acne and scarring. Back when I made the appointment, my skin was flaring pretty badly. Since then, I have started taking Flo Gummies to help my breakouts and it has reduced them by 30-50%. But it’s not getting me all the way there and I needed more heavy-hitting help.

The doctor noted that my scarring is bad (no doy) but active breakouts were minimal. He liked that I was doing the microchanneling to reduce scarring and said to keep that up. But because new breakouts aren’t a huge problem, he didn’t want to prescribe any pills.

Instead, he suggested a topical cream called Arazlo that is an advanced (insert a bunch of technical jargon I can’t remember) medication that not only helps to reduce breakouts but increases the “turnover” of skin which means your scarring fades more quickly.

I know from the esthetician that I’m seeing that skin “turns over” every 28 or so days. This cream speeds that process along which results in a more even skin tone over time with reduced scarring. He mentioned that it isn’t a quick fix and that most people won’t see results for 58-80 days.

I pointed out that I had been dealing with this crap for 20 years, so 3 months was just fine by me. I’m obviously not a doctor (please don’t be surprised) but apparently you can’t use this cream if you’re pregnant, want to become pregnant, or are nursing. So there’s that.

Need more info? Talk to your doctor. Who is not me. 🙂 But I will be tracking and sharing my progress while using it because dear God, I want and need something to freaking work. Let’s goooooo. And you’re like “stop talking about your skin. What we’re here for is more woodchip content”. 🙂

Oh, if you’re looking for a cute Christmas movie this week, we really enjoyed 8 Bit Christmas. It’s a mix of A Christmas Story and The Princess Bride. Super cute and family-friendly.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO THIS WEEK

Dateline. It’s been all Dateline this week. I found this past week was really stressful for a variety of reasons. I know it doesn’t make sense to “comfort” listen to podcasts about true crime, but Keith Morrison and his melodic tones just allow me to zone out. 

Dateline is like Top Ramen – you know it’s not good for you, but it’s familiar and comforting in its own weird way. Unlike Top Ramen, it doesn’t make my hands swell. So that’s nice.

a tweet about true crime

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Tammy left this five-star review on our Old-Fashioned Fudge {Pin this recipe}:

Omg this recipe is amazing. My hubby and I doubled the recipe and It turned out perfect.

old-fashioned-fudge-1

ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK

(I’m so so so excited to share this “dump and go” one-pan dish with you and your beautiful faces! It’s been in the works for a very long time.)

Chicken Pasta Broccoli BakeThis Chicken Pasta Broccoli Bake is a simple and easy one-pot meal that you can throw together in minutes. Chicken alfredo casserole is pure comfort food that the whole family will beg you to make over and over again. {Pin this recipe}

a spoonful of chicken broccoli pasta

Homemade Almond Butter CupsYou only need two simple ingredients to make amazing chocolate Almond Butter Cups! You’ll love this easy homemade candy recipe for gifting or to satisfy your sweet tooth with a healthier option. {Pin this recipe}

almond-butter-cups-5

Frozen Crab Cakes in the Air FryerCooking frozen Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer is incredibly easy and fast. Baked, not fried, this easy air fryer appetizer is simple to make and cooks in only 7 minutes. {Pin this recipe}

air fryer crab cakes on a blue dish with dill

THE FIVE MOST POPULAR POSTS THIS WEEK

  1. Old-Fashioned Fudge– this post has been blowing everything else out of the water for the last three weeks! {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Pizza Rolls – like the ones you ate as a teen, but without the burning lava cheese stuck to the roof of your mouth. {Pin this tutorial}
  4. Homemade Rice Heating Pads – EASY and fast Christmas/holidays gifts using things you already have around the house. {Pin this tutorial}
  5. Canning Apple Butter – honestly, I can’t believe this post is still in the top 5. Canning season is over people. I’m here for it though! {Pin this tutorial}

MEAL PLAN

Monday:: Instant Pot Beef Stew (I have the perfect cut from Butcher Box) and stovetop garlic bread. This was supposed to happen tonight but my inlaws graciously took our buttfaced children for the day so I’m not cooking dinner.

Tuesday:: We’re going to zoolights with some friends and dinner is TBD.

Wednesday:: Bennett asked for Air Fryer Pretzel Dogs, so I’ll double the batch and freeze half because they’re such an easy fast weeknight meal. We’ll have air fryer carrots and salad on the side.

Thursday::  Troy is making tacos, and rice with salad.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Christmas! Since we are only doing Christmas breakfast, I’ll make some homemade pizza earlier in the week and pop them in the freezer. We can have pizza and watch a bonus Christmas movie. My vote was Die Hard, but pfft, kids.

Sunday:: Troy is making meatballs and spaghetti with salad.

 

What are you having this week?

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8 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. LOL I legit saw that meme this week and thought of you. I couldn’t remember how to message it to you (it’s been a long few months of working in the ER non-stop). Have a great Christmas!

  2. Bennett is soooooo sweet with his little kitties!  Melts my heart (but then, I’m a huge cat lover so I may be biased).  He’s such a caring little boy.  Love to see that!

  3. Just poppin’ by to say Merry Christmas. Very smart about the Thursday thing. In a similar vein, I never make dr. appts. on Mondays. Nothing like waking up and saying woops I should have woken up at 7 and been at the doctor’s at 8 today… Also the Target (tar-JAY) gift card thing. You are very good to your teachers! Have enjoyed your blog this year and will of course enjoy it next year. All the best, Melissa_in_NJ

  4. Um… where can we find 8 Bit Christmas?!?!