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Scattered Sundays

Last week we talked about the super sexy task of cleaning cabinets and I loved reading your suggestions/experiences with how you clean your own. The comments section in that post was super helpful.

One person mentioned that microfiber cloths were her favorite for cleaning. We do use them for the stainless steel on our island, but I have a real aversion to the feel of microfiber. I think it was stuffing all those cloth diapers for four years that broke me.

Another person mentioned that they love microfiber but find that everything gets stuck to them. My friends, I have the perfect in-between solution that you’re going to LOVE. And it is all thanks to my dermatologist.

Eight to ten(ish) years ago, I had three cysts removed from my scalp. I promise this circles back to cleaning cabinets! It was an in-patient procedure and all the surgical tools were covered with these thin blue/purple towels. They also had a few extra on hand…maybe in case I was an aggressive bleeder or something?

At the end of the procedure, they went to throw away the towels that hadn’t been used. They were perfectly good towels! I piped in with “I’ll take them if you’re just going to toss them”. The doctor gave them to me and offhandedly remarked that they’re amazing for cleaning, especially when it comes to windows.

My friends, I still have those three towels almost a decade later. And they are THE BEST window and general-purpose cleaning towels ever. They somehow remain lint-free (hence why they rock for windows) and they have the scrubby properties of microfiber without making me want to peel off my skin.

I checked Amazon and they do carry them in sets of 12+. Unless you’re running a cleaning business and assuming you wash your cleaning rags, nobody needs more than 12 of these towels. Remember, I’ve had the same three for 10(ish) years.

Oh, and pro tip: apparently the less desirable colors are cheaper than the blue ones I have. I’m sure they all clean the same and who doesn’t love saving $.79?

a pink flowering tree.

A few months ago, Troy switched the placement of our washer and dryer in our small laundry room. We tried it for a bit but I requested that they get switched back and he did that this week.

Moving the machines was a big project the first time and there wasn’t a lot of time for deep cleaning during that process. You and I both know that I wasn’t going to let that opportunity pass me by again!

He moved everything out of the laundry room/bathroom and I went to town on those 80s daisy peel and stick tiles and the hideous dark wood baseboard trim (the same crap that used to be upstairs along all our walls). It was a very satisfying clean.

Seeing the laundry room without the machines in there made me realize how disorganized the shelves had become. The shelves are wire shelving that is the bane of my existence but was installed by previous tenants and thus were free.

2 photos of a laundry room "before" and "after".

I ordered a few organizing thingys and spent a very riveting 45 minutes making the space work for us. I still hate wire shelves with a passion), but these ones at least are more organized now.

Fun fact: my hatred of wire shelving is what led me to “design” our pantry shelving out of two Billy bookshelves from IKEA. Instead of a complicated “pantry system” that would have cost a buttload of cash (and have been wire), I got the organization of my dreams for $108. You can see our pantry shelving here.

laundry room shelves before and after.

I shared this ^ photo on Instagram and someone messaged me and said “I absolutely love that there are no “fancy” jars, boxes, dispensers! This is realistic for many of us, thank you”. To which I responded, “I’m sorry, but my leftover cashew container from Costco IS pretty fancy”. Ha!

When I see those fancy laundry rooms on Pinterest and Instagram with glass jars, I wonder if these people live in places without earthquakes. A plastic cashew tub for our laundry detergent is fine by me! Our detergent comes in a recyclable box, but I transfer the powder to the tub.

shoes in a puddle of pollen.

More exciting organization was happening this week when I tackled my “office”, AKA in a corner of our bedroom. Shoutout to anyone working from home that is making do with a multi-purpose space. Work never ever seems to go away when you live and sleep with it!

I had a small second-hand bulletin board near my desk that was meant for work stuff. But lately, it had been covered with kid drawings and gift cards the kids have received for Christmas and birthdays. It just wasn’t remotely functional.

My love for a paper planner is deep and I also write out a to-do list on paper each week. The only thing more satisfying than marking off a task with a real pencil is when you used to be able to hang up angrily on someone with a flip phone. I miss that.

But, I had a paper list of photos I plan to take before school gets it. It’s an ambitious list and always changing and I was sick of this list looking like a hot mess.

I finally decided to invest in a proper dry erase/bulletin board combo. And loving a fine point dry erase marker as I do, I hunted for a fresh pack to go with my sweet new board.

Guess what I found? Guess??? Smudge-free whiteboard markers! Unlike dry erase markers, you do need a damp cloth. But SMUDGE-FREE, people! As the mom of a lefty, this is a dream marker.

a before and after of a desk.

I did a lot of recipe testing this week and we had some winners in the bunch! One is for a dairy-free version of a beloved breakfast food that rhymes with smamcakes.

I gave Jack a small piece of one hot off the griddle and he yelled “THESE ARE SO GOOD” and then ate four for dinner. Troy and Bennett were huge fans too.

I still need to test them again because I actually had to use a dairy-based version of an ingredient due to not having the dairy-free version for my grocery order. My fingers are crossed so hard that I get what I need in my order tomorrow AND these dairy-free smamcakes are as good as their dairy-laiden brethren.

a kid snuggling a unicorn kitty body pillow.

I’m still working on my goal of two photoshoot days per week until the boys are out of school. It was a very productive week. On Thursday, my goal had been to get through five recipes total.

Two recipes were in the bag and I was halfway through the third one when the battery on my flash died. While I was charging the battery, I decided to not lose my momentum and I kicked it “old school” by using the window in the living room again.

My first recipe with the natural light was a dream. The photos were so pretty (you’ll see them in two weeks) and felt so warm and vibrant. I had the thought of “gosh, maybe I should switch back to natural light”.

And then the second recipe…I battled 15 different weather changes in 20 minutes and wanted to throw my camera across the room. By the end of it, I was yelling four-letter words at the sun like a perfectly rational person would do…

At some point before spring break, Bennett’s teacher created “Fursday”, in which the kids can bring a small stuffy with them to school every Thursday. It’s obviously Bennett’s favorite day of the week and he talks and plans for days which stuffy get to go to kindergarten that week.

The math and language lessons they do on “Fursday” are all stuffy-related. They measure their stuffies with one and ten blocks for math. They write stories about their stuffies for language/English.

The kiddos are SUPER engaged on Fursday and are also still learning. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but Bennett’s teacher was ordained by God at birth to teach kindergarten. She is a gift to the education system.

a pink flowering tree.

I’m starting a pantry/freezer cleanout to try to stay out of the grocery store as much as possible. Yes, prices are rising and I know that people are feeling the pinch worldwide.

What I hear from my Canadian friends and my European friends is that their price increases are much more painful than what we’re seeing in the States.

The best thing we can all do to keep our budgets in check is to reduce meat consumption (especially with the avian flu currently impacting chicken production in 29 states) and create meals based on what you already have hanging around.

Get creative, and if you do a good enough job of purging the pantry, the (Type A) reward would be to reorganize the pantry. Win-win! Maybe bust out the label maker and make it a night of it.

If you are buying meat, look for things that can be “multi-purpose” so that you stretch your dollar. Get two whole chickens (my recipe is here or just buy the rotisserie ones at Costco/grocery store) instead of one.

Depending on the size of your family, eat one (or more!) of the chickens, but don’t throw away the carcasses (there needs to be a better word to use here). Use any leftovers to chop up to make soup (like this one, this one, this one, or this one) or my Chicken Pasta Broccoli Bake or Chicken and Bacon Risotto.

Dried beans are super affordable and filling protein that can be stretched in multiple meals. Make my Instant Pot Bean Soup recipe and save the scraps from the veggies and combine them with the chicken carcasses and make chicken stock (my recipe is here). And yes, you can freeze chicken stock.

If done correctly and with a bit of planning, those two chickens are going to give you ~4 meals. 1) the actual chicken as a main dish 2) leftovers in a soup 3) leftovers in a casserole or another soup 4) enough (free) chicken stock to make two additional meals in the future.

And if you’re not sure how to cook dried beans, 1) don’t be ashamed and 2) head over to my girl Katie’s site and check out her billions (only slightly exaggerated) of tutorials on cooking different kinds of beans. Katie is the queen of beans. Canadian Bean Queen.

Have already cooked beans? Now is a great time to use that random can of pinto beans you bought on sale, or figure out what to do with lentils (I have some suggestions here and here).

And take it from me – funky random meals are easier to sell to your family if you do two things. One: buy tortilla chips. Most casseroles or “bakes” made out of pantry and freezer items are better if scooped in a tasty chip.

Two: make it fun. Think of it as starring in your own version of Iron Chef. Get friends/family involved on social media. Post a photo of an ingredient and ask for suggestions on what to make with it. And when in doubt, email me or hit me up in my Instagram messages and I’ll give you a few ideas.

And then of course, once you get food home from the grocery store – USE it! If you have fresh ingredients about to go bad, check out my “how-to” archives to find ways to freeze or dehydrate foods.

I mean, yes, I have canning recipes too, but I find that for most people they only have the time and energy to freeze or dry something. And that’s ok; do what you can. Get it…can?

On Thursday (Fursday), Bennett and I were waiting to pick Jack up from cross country practice. Bennett was on the grass watching them and I was hiding in my car from the overly-aggressive pollen.

Jack must have asked his coach or his coach must have noticed Bennett, because all of the sudden, Jack came over and told Bennett he could join the last 15 minutes of practice with them. It was a dream invitation for someone who idolizes their big brother.

Bennett ran a half-mile with the team and finished in the middle of the pack. I took a video of them rounding the corner to the finish line, and you guys, I noticed the sweetest thing when I rewatched it.

This big tall eighth-grader was just about to cross the finish line when he noticed Bennett coming up behind him. This kid slowed down almost to a crawl to let Bennett pass him. My heart burst into a million pieces.

They also do a little end-of-practice “break” cheer and I didn’t have to guess that Bennett was allowed to lead it when I heard 40 tweens and teens yelling “on 3, 1-2-3 kitty cats”. Seriously, Bennett was in heaven.

I sent the video to Cassie and she said “this gives me faith that this next generation is going to get it right”. Amen!

And no, I’m not able to post the video because it contains kids who don’t belong to me and I don’t play that way with other people’s privacy! Just know that it is adorable and so sweet.


If the podcast creators decided to design something just for me, it would be Scamfluencers. From the website:

In today’s world, the power of influence can be the quickest path to money and fame, and it often ends in ruin. These are the stories of the world’s most insidious Scamfluencers. And we are their prey. On Wondery’s new weekly series, join co-hosts Scaachi Koul and Sarah Hagi as they unpack epic stories of deception from the worlds of social media, fashion, finance, health, and wellness. (source)

If you liked The Dream, season one, you’ll really enjoy this podcast.

What I’m reading this week

I finished The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley. Meeeeeeeh. That’s my official review: meh. And here is an updated list of my Good Reads books.

Now I’m reading Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. I’m not too far into it and the start of it has been very confusing. Reminds me a bit of The Slap with all the bouncing back and forth. This is funny since both take place in the Sydney suburbs.


Marie left this five-star review on our Lemon Garlic Pasta {Pin this recipe}:

The perfect pasta. This had all the right amounts of comforting, creamy and tangy and we’ll definitely be having this again.


Paleo GranolaCrunchy and naturally sweet, this Paleo Granola is a hardy and delicious grain-free breakfast. An easy recipe using maple syrup, these delightful gluten-free granola clusters are also vegan and dairy-free. {Pin this recipe}

a glass bowl of paleo muesli with blueberries

Freezing Brussel SproutsLearn all the tips and tricks for freezing brussel sprouts to save a ton of time and money. Learning how to freeze brussel sprouts is a great way to preserve this versatile crop without needing any special equipment. {Pin this tutorial}

a tray with parchment covered in frozen brussel sprouts.

Confessions – everyone’s favorite silly post of the week!

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. Instant Pot Garlic Butter Rice – so easy and so comforting! {Pin this recipe}
  3. Homemade Pizza Rolls – freezer-friendly too! Basically, I think everything should be frozen. {Pin this recipe}
  4. How to Freeze Spinach – I can smell spring in the air when this post starts climbing the ranks! {Pin this tutorial}
  5. Air Fryer Cookies – When you’re craving amazing cookies and don’t want to heat up your oven and entire house! {Pin this recipe}


Monday:: I’m testing a new recipe that I’m excited about but the kids are going to hate. I think they’re bummed that my job doesn’t always involve photographing ice cream recipes.

Tuesday:: Instant Pot Potato Soup and veggies since the weather shows no sign of warming up and I have some sad-looking potatoes in the garage.

Wednesday:: We have a cross country meet and will be getting takeout from a local small business on our way home.

Thursday:: It’s a gong show of a night with a tball game and a church council meeting. Troy is making chicken parm with pasta and veggies.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Another recipe that I’m testing. It’s a one-pan/casserole kind of dish!

Sunday:: We’re having (delicious!) pizza at my inlaw’s for Mother’s Day.

What are you having this week?

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8 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Aloha Sarah, I too bought two chickens from Costco and what a savings it has been.. I roasted one (one put in freezer) and got meals for all week, roasted the carcass, made chicken broth and then froze the broth.. my dog enjoyed the skin and I will use the chicken and broth to make tons of chicken enchiladas when the family all comes here in the next couple of weeks…all in all it’s the Best Buy now for food prices which are the most expensive of all here in Hawaii.. and your recipes are so appreciated …. I am happy to follow your blog… bless you woman.. Mahalo

  2. I have always wondered about the ‘Pinterest Perfect’ laundry detergents in glass, as well as anything for the bathroom (homemade liquid soaps, lotions, potions, salts, etc.).  I know I would have a glass jar broken within a couple of weeks in the bathroom. Slippery hands and all (being naturally klutzy doesn’t help).  My Costco cashews come in zip-top bags, so using cashew containers wouldn’t work for me.  
    I have been working on very slowly decluttering and organizing my home.  Seeing your laundry room was nice.     Nice because it is motivating to see I’m not the only one doing stuff like that!  
    I have also been working on using up all the bits and pieces in my pantry and freezer.  Things are clearing up quite nicely and soon I should only have items that I use regularly in both of those spaces.  
    I absolutely love the way that Jack’s team invited Bennett for the end of the practice, and the boy who slowed down sounds like a great kid.  

    • Interesting about the cashews! This tub is probably 4-5 years old so the packaging might have changed. But I swear I still see them in tubs sometimes. Maybe it’s another kind.

      Using up the surplus food is the best feelign!

  3. Sarah,
    We tried your air fryer pickles and they were so delicious! My husband really got into even making them. We took them to a neighborhood party. They went so fast! Even the kids thought they were delicious!
    We will be making them quite frequently!
    Thanks. and I love your emails!

  4. Oh, I hate wire shelving too. We have it in the small pantry in our new house. One thing I did to make it less annoying is to put a thick shelf liner down–this way at least corners of boxes don’t get stuck in the gaps. Eventually I would like my husband to get some sheets of plywood and cut them to lay across the wires, to make REAL shelves. I also feel like wire shelving just…isn’t sturdy? I can’t put lots of cans and jars on it, so canned goods all live in a cupboard with real shelves. But the liner helped a lot!

    I just invested in a e-cloth window cleaner set, and so far I love it, as it’s the first thing I’ve used that didn’t leave streaks on my mirrors and windows, but I don’t have texture issues with microfiber (I, too, remember stuffing diapers back in the day!). The Huck cloths look interesting, though. Do you use water with them? Or a cleaner?

    • That’s a great idea with the shelf liner!

      What is e-cloth? So intrigued! The Huck cloths I use like someone would use a paper towel – with a cleaner.