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Scattered Sundays

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Oh, friends, I had such an amazing time in Denver last weekend! In a world where most of the friends I am closest to live far away, getting to hug someone in person is fantastic. My heart is so very full.

I flew in late Friday night, and despite a very long security line at SeaTac, the flight and travel were a breeze. We see horror stories right now about travel, and while I fully believe those things happen, I was lucky to avoid them.

Due to public transportation schedules, I got to the airport pretty early. In my mind, earlier is better than rushing. I was able to take my time and was not remotely panicked when I hit a wall of people in the screening line.

Being somewhere surrounded by people, but not needing to take care of any of those people, was a giant treat. If you’ve never been to the SeaTac airport, there are parts of it that are so lovely. Big windows, great food, and nice places to walk.

To avoid the dreaded “jet bloat”, I grabbed a giant Sweet Greens knock-off salad (side note: it randomly had pickles on it and now I always want pickles on a salad) and sat in a big airy space, drank lots of water, and read my book. I ate at the speed that I wanted to. It wasn’t controlled by another person. Heaven.

I did a few laps in the terminal (terminal A is my favorite) before boarding my plane. I’m never in a position to sit for three hours at a time, so getting all my wiggles out beforehand really helps. I’m essentially a toddler stuck in the body of an (almost) 41-year-old.

a woman in a mask at an airport.

The next few days in Denver were so fun! We tried some lovely restaurants, hiked, made some great food, tackled a few projects, worked out, and did a lot of reading. I’m never in a place to just sit and read for an extended period of time, so we’d each just hang on a couch and read at our leisure.

We also went to Meow Wolf, an interactive and hard-to-explain “museum”. I told Troy it was as if Willy Wonka, The Fifth Element, RoboCop, and Bennett had a fever dream and put it all in one place. It’s hard to explain without being there in person. But it’s rad.

5 photos from the Meow Wolf Museum in Denver.

I got home on Tuesday evening and got lots of hugs from the boys. I think the trip was wonderful for everyone…but mostly me. And I’m ok with that! Putting your oxygen mask on first is a great way to keep up healthy breathing.

A new thing I took with me on this trip was a set of packing compression cubes. Compression cubes are different from normal packing cubes in that they’re meant to condense your clothes into a smaller footprint.

I’m not 100% sure how much room they actually saved me, but I loved that everything was organized (pause for shock…) and secure in my carry-on. As someone who never checks a bag, I loved that all my stuff was tucked away should I have to open it up for security.

2 photos of a suitcase with packing cubes.

A few days before my trip, I hit up Goodwill. I’ve been searching for the perfect pair of jeans at the thrift store for about 5 months now. Heck, I can’t even find the perfect pair of jeans brand new at a normal store. Jeans are having a moment and I’m not along for the ride.

Our Goodwill has a section called “Fashion Forward” where they put all the nicer brands that they receive. They’re definitely priced higher at almost twice the cost of the rest of the clothing. But I start there on my hunt because I know the clothes are more likely in good shape.

I saw a few pairs of jeans that intrigued me, and per usual, almost none of them fit me. But, my friends, there was a pair that fit like a glove. As if these jeans had been custom-built for me. They were $19 (yeah, that’s $$ for Goodwill) and I happily bought them.

a woman in a black mask, white tshirt, and cropped jeans in a changing room.

I mentioned to a friend that I had never heard of the brand before. She’s a friend with a lot of brand knowledge and she informed me that I likely hadn’t heard of the brand before because they were $200 brand new. Of course, they had never been on my radar before!

And just like that, suddenly, $19 didn’t seem like all that much to pay. I was so freaking pleased with these jeans that I hopped onto ThredUp and found that there were a ton of gently used pairs for $20-30. I ordered two pairs and they’ll be here in a week or so. Fingers crossed they’re as lovely as my Goodwill pair.

I will say this – whoever owned these jeans prior to me, had a straight-up addiction to super stinky floral detergent and fabric softener. Holy smokes, please step away from the scented laundry products, my friends.

I have now washed these jeans at least 8 times and have soaked them in Defunkify and the waistband of these jeans still smells like Gain extra-strength. People, detergent should not burrow into clothing and hang on even after 8 washes. Please join us in the unscented detergent club. xoxo, my allergies.

a woman with her hair over a stuffed cat's head.

After three glorious months, my photography break came to an end this week. It was so lovely while it lasted. It took me a solid 15 minutes to remember how to set up my flash system, and much like the amnesia that moms get after giving birth, I forgot how many dishes were involved with photographing three recipes.

I eased back into it by taking two photos of old recipes for a future “glow up” to each post. I only did one brand new recipe and not only did it turn out very well, but it was so simple to make and photograph.

Not having to take photos for three straight months was an absolute gift. I fully intend to avoid photography next summer as well (and during school breaks!), which means I need to be hustling during the school year to make sure I’m working far enough ahead.

a landscape in the Colorado Rockies.

In the Garden This Week

The theme of this week was blueberries! Allllllll the blueberries. We have 26 total blueberry plants and two of them produce as twice much as all the other bushes combined.

On Wednesday, I spent some time during the afternoon picking 8 cups of berries, and then another 4 cups that evening. After all that hard work…it doesn’t even look like I picked a single berry.

a large blueberry bush with blueberries on it.

Someone on Instagram asked me if we had issues with birds and the berries. There are a few blue jays that come around and steal some berries, but honestly, there are just so many on the bush that the birds don’t even make a dent. It does keep them blue though. #science.

After a purely disastrous (lack of) tomato growing season, I’m ready to just pull the plants and give them to the chickens. Next year will be better. It always is.

It’s time to start putting the rest of the garden to bed for the season, and I’ll be pruning the cucumber vines back in the next week or so. One of the raised beds needs to be cleaned out and amended with chicken crap compost to be prepared for more lettuce, beets, and carrots.

What I’m reading this week

I finished What Happened to the Bennetts and I liked it a lot! The plot reminded me a tiny bit of the Junior Bender series (seriously, one of my favorite series ever. Maybe I should reread them soon).

With my trip to Denver, I got a lot more reading done and finished The Love of My Life in two(ish) days. This one kept me guessing and you never really knew where you stood with the plot. I can usually see twists coming a mile away and this one had some surprises.

I started Epitaph on my last day of the trip and thought I was reading pretty slowly until I realized it is almost 600 pages. When you read on a Kindle, the number of pages can be deceiving.

I’m enjoying the book, even though I am not remotely a fan of the Western genre. That being said, I do love the movies Tombstone and Open Range and the TV show Yellowstone…so maybe I’m just a liar about not liking Westerns.


This episode of How I Built This was sooooo good! Guy Raz interviewed Pierre Thiam, the founder of Yolélé Foods – a company working to introduce the world to an ancient West African grain called fonio.

Like most Westerners, I had never heard of fonio before, but holy smokes, it’s a super intriguing grain! It’s: 1) gluten-free 2) nutrient dense 3) exceptionally easy to grow 4) exceptionally drought-tolerant 5) improves the soil that it grows in.

I found some fonio items from Thrive Market and am going to add them to my next order. I must try this!


Sam left this five-star review on our Air Fryer Turkey Burgers {Pin this recipe}:

Thank you for sharing this recipe!! My family loved it so much that they can’t stop talking about it. All because of you. 

a close up of an air fryer turkey burger with lettuce, cheese, and onion and another turkey burger behind it without a top bun.


This old beloved post got a glow up this week!

Instant Pot Mac and CheeseThis is the creamiest Instant Pot Mac and Cheese you’ll ever make! Even better, it can be made in one pot – no muss, no fuss. Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese is so easy (no roux!), and is ready in under 20 minutes. {Pin this tutorial}

a black bowl of macaroni and cheese with a spoon and shredded cheese on a board.

Boursin Mashed PotatoesThese delicious Boursin Mashed Potatoes are the best mashed potatoes ever! Creamy and lump-free, these heavenly mashed potatoes with Boursin cheese will be the star of any meal. {Pin this recipe}

a bowl of Boursin mashed potatoes topped with butter and chives.

Vegan PestoA simple recipe for Vegan Pesto made with garden-fresh basil. This homemade dairy-free pesto recipe is wonderful in so many different dishes. {Pin this recipe}

a small jar of vegan pesto with almonds and a grey cloth


  1. Canning Peaches – like sunshine in a jar that you can enjoy all year long. {Pin this tutorial}
  2. Canning Pears – Welcome to pre-fall, everyone. {Pin this tutorial}
  3. Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce – use up all those delicious garden tomatoes in this simple recipe. {Pin this recipe}
  4. Canning Apple Butter – I cannot explain to you how amazing your house will smell with this apple butter simmering away in the crockpot. Recipe includes canning and freezing instructions. {Pin this tutorial}
  5. Canning Applesauce – the first time in the top 5 in 2022! {Pin this tutorial}


Monday:: Troy is making dinner and we’re excited to eat whatever it is!

Tuesday:: Takeout to support a local small business and my sanity.

Wednesday:: Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos, salad, and another recipe that I’m photographing earlier in the day.

Thursday:: Instant pot shredded chicken (I’m going to make a bunch of plain chicken to freeze for tacos and other recipes) with garlic butter rice, salad, and a new recipe that I’m photographing that day.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: TBD. We will likely have loads of leftovers after some photoshoots for the week.

Sunday:: Family dinner! I’m 90% certain I’m making Air Fryer Fish Tacos.

What are you having this week?

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8 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Are the jeans Kut from the Kloth? I too am on the tall side and accidentally ran across this brand when thrifting and have been in love with them over since! I have a pair just like the ones you’re wearing in the photo but also some completely different cuts and they’re all perfect:)

    • I once had a pair of their cords that I randomly found somewhere.

      No, the brand is Adriano Goldschmied. Had literally never heard of them until I found this pair.

  2. “Meow Wolf” looks similar to “The City Museum” in St. Louis–except that is art meets playground meets hidden rooms you can’t stop exploring. If you ever get to go to St. Louis, HIGHLY recommend it.

    • Meow Wolf definitely has the hidden rooms and things to disappear into. I’ll definitely check out The City Museum if I’m ever in that area. It sounds great!

  3. I love that you got to have some time away from the boiz…. Hey, I am a thrift shop devotee for most of my adult life… I do think now most Goodwills/thrift stores spray each article of clothing with FEBREZE…that’s what you are smelling .. so yeah good idea to wash them to get that ridiculous smell out of them.. I started noticing this after the Rona years … prior to that I don’t think they did this…but I am a second hand rose from way back even though now it’s very HIP and eco-conscious to wear vintage or hand-me-downs… Aloha Steph 

    • Hmmmm, I haven’t smelled Febreeze in a long time so I guess I need to take a whiff the next time I am at Target to see if that’s what I’m smelling. It’s definitely a very distinct smell that is on these clothes!

  4. So glad you enjoyed your trip!