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Scattered Sundays

Both boys had conferences this week and they went great! I still have a small pit in my stomach before the conference starts; a holdover of the diarrhea-inducing conferences we used to have for Jack in kindergarten.

Jack is in a cohort program for nerds advanced kids and let’s just say that many of the kids he is in class with ALL day are a bit of a handful. But handful is the understatement of the century here. I swear half of these kids are actively looking for trouble daily.

His teachers were all appreciative that Jack comes to school with his homework done, ready to learn, and doesn’t contribute to the drama. This is funny because contributing to the drama is his #1 favorite thing at home.

Bennett’s teacher, who we agree was anointed at birth to become a kinder teacher, is just the greatest. We say “we’re so lucky he’s in her class” at least 3x a week.

She said Bennett was doing great, and an outstanding kindergarten citizen who is a kind and trustworthy friend. She said she can count on Bennett to stay above the drama and focus on the task at hand.

Much like his brother, this is NOT behavior he exhibits at home. I guess if my kids are going to be jerk faces, I should be thankful it’s not in public?

white flowering fruit tree

This may come as a surprise to some of you and a “no duh” to the rest of you, but these posts are written a day or two in advance. I try to work less on weekends because the kids are home, so Sunday posts get written and drafted by Saturday morning at the latest.

Which is to say, I won’t have a write-up about Saturday’s visit to the Neko Cat Cafe until next Sunday. But if you’re curious, you can hop on over to my Instagram stories to see some of the photos and videos I posted.

Bennett has been doing an intense countdown for weeks to our cat cafe visit. It’s all he can talk about at home and based on hearing from his teacher, it is THE topic of conversation at school too. 🙂

When we’re waiting in the drop-off line at school we practice his sight words. This week he has started using each word in a sentence related to the cat cafe. “LOOK, it’s the cat cafe”. I’m going to chalk it up to being semi-educational and call it a day.

We were looking at the merch on their site and Bennett really wanted a hat and the mask. I said no to both and mentioned that they might have other things at the actual cafe that he might want more.

Our state’s indoor mask mandate ended on March 12th, but given Bennett’s fever disorder, I’ve asked him to continue to wear a mask to school until Spring break happens. I told him that after Spring break it was entirely up to him what he did/wore.

Last Sunday evening he said “mom, would it be ok if I kept wearing a mask at school after Spring break”? I told him that would be fine and I’d be happy if he made that choice.

He then looked at me with his sweetest little Bennett look and said “so, I should probably get the kitty mask from the cafe, right”? Well played kid, well played.

a kid on the counter filling muffin tins

The solar company was here on Wednesday to start the installation process. Naturally, there was a wide range of PNW weather to greet them. In the hours they were here it was: sunny, windy, warm, cold, raining, and there were about 10 minutes of hail.

They had another project on Thursday and the installing team doesn’t work on Fridays, so they’ll be back tomorrow to work on the next steps. There might be an additional day needed, and I know the power company has to come out soon to connect it all.

frames for solar panels on a roof

As I said on Instagram, this is a lifelong nerdy crunchy dream being realized. I’m so dang excited! We’ve been in this house for 12 years now, and little by little we have turned it into a whole new space.

We moved into this place when we were broke as a joke. Small projects would take us an entire year to save up for, and that is with Troy and my father-in-law doing all the (money-saving) labor.

There was a three-year period where we replaced ONE leaky/drafty window per year because that was all that was in our budget. It’s been a true labor of love with this place. And we are very very grateful for it all.

a little boy holding a stuffed monkey

This little dude is turning 13 tomorrow. THIRTEEN! Long-time readers know that Jack was a hard baby and the first six years of his life were pretty challenging. None of us thought we were going to survive kindergarten.

But, of course, we did, and this big dude has grown into such a kind young man. His teachers are complimentary of his manners and how he conducts himself in class. This is a very far cry from getting his card turned to red almost every day in kinder…

He works hard, plays hard, but is considerate of others and looks out for people who have a hard time looking out for themselves. I may not be much of a baby person, but I’m totally digging the tween/teen years. I can’t wait to see where he goes next!

2 boys wearing the same shirt


I met the team from Bamboozle during my blogging conference in early March. Like a grown-up toddler, I was attracted to their booth because of the colorful products they had on display.

But then I got to talking with them and fell in love with their products and mission. They make items with bamboo, bioplastics, and other renewable materials.

I’ve been using their measuring cups, measuring spoons, and prep n’ serve set over the last two weeks and we’ve been super happy. Everything is solidly built, easy to use, and um, they come in pretty colors. 🙂

The Bamboozle team has offered my readers 10% off their total purchase. You can check out their products here and use coupon code Sustainablecooks for 10% off.

What I’m reading this week

After finishing Cloud Cuckoo Land, I started Billy Summers (Stephen King) and it’s been a fun read so far. I’m not too far into it but knowing that it’s from Stephen King means it’s about to get pretty exciting and twisted soon.

Stephen King is a great writer, but I will say this – he keeps using the term “lappie” in the book as slang for laptop and it makes me want to punch the wall. Nobody, and I mean nobody, says “lappie”.


Long-time reader, Yoon-jee left this five-star review on our Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana {Pin this recipe}:

Seriously the simplest soup and amazing during the week when you want something warm and hearty without having to spend all day at the stove. Thanks for such a great recipe, Sarah!

a bowl of dairy-free instant pot zuppa toscana with kale


Instant Pot HamThis Instant Pot Ham is fall-apart tender and the ultimate comfort food. Thanks to the electric pressure cooker, you can free your oven up to cook all the delicious side dishes. {Pin this recipe}

a plate of Instant Pot ham with oranges and parsley.

Gluten-Free Scalloped PotatoesThese Gluten-Free Scalloped Potatoes are thinly sliced and topped with a delicious homemade cream sauce. Made without flour and you’ll also find dairy-free options listed. {Pin this recipe}

a white baking dish of gluten-free scalloped potatoes topped with thyme

Confessions – everyone’s favorite silly post of the month. Because life isn’t all about food 100% of the time.

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


  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! On, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}
  2. Homemade Pizza Rolls – freezer-friendly too! Basically, I think everything should be frozen. {Pin this recipe}
  3. Instant Pot Garlic Butter Rice – so easy and so comforting! {Pin this recipe}
  4. Air Fryer Pretzel Bites – one of my favorite air fryer recipes of all time! And these beautiful bites of dough are freezer-friendly too. {Pin this recipe}
  5. Air Fryer Cookies – for those times when you NEED cookies but don’t want to heat up your whole house by using the oven. {Pin this recipe}


Monday:: Jack’s birthday! He wants takeout pizza and my homemade chocolate cake.

Tuesday:: Troy is making grilled chicken, some form of potatoes, and veggies.

Wednesday:: Air Fryer Pretzel Bites, Roasted Frozen Broccoli, and a new recipe that I’m photographing.

Thursday:: Two of Jack’s friends are spending the night for his birthday. He wants to have a movie night.

Friday:: Chop/chef salad night because we’ll all need a good dose of veggies after this week. Stovetop garlic bread on the side.

Saturday:: Troy is making chicken parm, noodles, and veggies.

Sunday:: Bonus movie night because after a week of these buttfaces being at home for spring break, I’m fine with shoving their faces with food in front of a screen so that they will shut up.

What are you having this week?

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11 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Buttfaces

  2. Happy Birthday to Jack! We loved having a nice, kind teenager (and her equally nice, kind friends) in our home . . . I am sure this is what you have to look forward to.

    Can’t wait to hear about the Cat Cafe. Hope Troy did well with the after-effects. Saw the cat mask on Instagram; good for Bennett!

    Our house is still a work in progress after almost 33 years. Everything costs so dang much . . . and with my husband doing most of the work. And after all these years, it’s time to refresh some of the things we did at the beginning. When we haven’t finished with the initial work. We used to be able to say, “Thank goodness, paint is cheap.” Can’t say that anymore. Home ownership . . . the work never ends. Hope you enjoy your solar.

    • I haven’t even thought about the fact that once we get to “the end”, it will be time to start over again. Oy! That being said, I HATE the lighting we put in our dining room 12 years ago. So yep, that tracks. 🙂

  3. I am glad to hear that my kid isn’t the only one who is a kind, friendly, and well-behaved angel at school but a bit rough around the edges at home!
    We can’t wait to hear all about the Cat Cafe! If we lived closer you could always just come to our house to let Bennett snuggle kitties – we currently have 6 (3 of which are adoptable fosters through a rescue).

    • “Rough around the edges” is a lovely way of saying “being a butt face”. 🙂

      Yes, your home is peak cat cafe. Bennett would be in heaven.

  4. Thirteen!?!?! That went fast. Happy birthday to Jack and happy birthing day to you! It’s been such a pleasure following along your your journey 😊

  5. 12 years of trying times renovating your fixer-upper is a lot.. we just got our final electrical after 30 years (Yikes) Anyways HB to Jack .. teenager … but you do describe him as a good human so I know you will enjoy those years… I know your life and your families lives has its trials and tribulations but it’s so nice to read your positive words about them… look forward to read your life as they grow and change and your skin looks great… aloha S