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Scattered Sundays

This week found multiple contractors swinging by the house to take a look at the damage left from the washing machine flood. As of now, it should all turn out ok and in some cases, the end result will be much better than what we were starting with.

I mean, I definitely still wish we hadn’t had to deal with this at all, but it’s very much a first-world problem. It will be fine and it is fine.

Troy had a pretty genius idea with the shower that we’re removing in the laundry/bathroom. We’re pulling out the shower, but he suggested we leave the drain in the floor. If the washer ever floods again, the majority of the water will have somewhere to go. Major props to him for coming up with that.

We’ll be putting a storage cabinet where the shower is now, but if whatever we choose doesn’t come with feet to elevate it, we can always add some to make sure the water can make a direct beeline for the drain.

The very janky and very early 80s vanity was considered destroyed (sob…) and will of course be replaced. This is an extra bathroom and laundry room and so we don’t really care about replacing things with “the best”.

We’re batting around the idea of a “floating” vanity (like this one) so that again, the water has somewhere to go that isn’t directly into the vanity. If we catch any flooding early, we’d only need to remove baseboards to dry out the drywall.

And to round out our “let’s never have to replace things again” ideas, we decided to not formally replace the bathroom flooring. The only flooring that is essentially waterproof is tile, but that’s expensive and labor-intense. Everything else has to be pulled up to be replaced to allow the concrete under it to fully dry.

We were driving the other day and I said “if the concrete is the thing that needs to dry out in a flood, let’s just have concrete in the laundry room”. We’re exploring painting, staining, or polishing the existing concrete, once we remove the gross glue leftover from the horrible peel and stick tile that was in there before.

 a woman in glasses with stuffed cats stacked on her head.

Troy and I were between shows and decided to try The English on Amazon Prime. The show looks very much like a Western and follows a lot of Western formulas, BUT if you don’t like Westerns, this show is still very good.

Unfortunately, it is one of those shows where you cannot multitask. I love to zone out on my phone for 45 minutes while we watch TV at the end of the night, but it is not with this show!

There are multiple accents to track and many little hidden Easter eggs that require your full attention. And the dialog can be very quiet in some of the scenes. A few times we even put closed captioning on to make sure we weren’t missing anything.

Usually, I am able to predict the direction of shows, but this one had me guessing most of the time. There were times we had to pause the show to make sure we hadn’t missed an episode.

It just felt like we were missing important details. But never fear, it all wraps up in the end and you will fully understand the hero’s journey.

Not to mention, the show is visually stunning and Emily Blunt is a gift to the world. Chaske Spencer, who plays the co-lead, Eli, is amazing. More of him in all the shows. Please and thank you.

There are so many scenes where they’re under the blinding sun on the prairie with zero cloud or tree cover. At one point I turned to Troy and said “if I were the star of this show, my sunscreen budget would have been double that of craft services”.

a kid in sweat pants and shorts.
I once had a parent ask me if I picked out his clothes for him. And I just laughed and laughed.

We’re heading out this afternoon to get our Christmas tree. Each year I have a tradition of taking a photo of Jack in my arms at the Christmas tree farm. This year I am still under post-op lifting restrictions, so we’re going to have to get creative!

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, if it weren’t for my kids, I would never decorate for Christmas. I’m not a grinch (maybe…), but I just don’t care about all the pomp and circumstance. It’s not my thing. I’m also the one who is usually left to deep clean the pine needles from the living room once the tree is gone, so there’s that.

And yes, there is no need to inform me that fake trees exist. I knooooooow. By chopping down our own tree each year, we are: 1) supporting a local small business 2) supporting the environmentally-friendly option both for carbon capture while the tree is growing, and not tossing a fake tree in the landfill when it no longer serves our needs 3) guarantees our children one day a year to play with power tools.

Despite our commitment to the real tree, the boys do each have a small fake tree (ignore that carbon capture and landfill stuff up above…) that I found at IKEA during our kitchen remodeling phase. No other photo accurately captures the personality differences between my children than how each decorates their tree.

2 small Christmas trees - one has colorful lights and is heavily decorated and the other only has white lights on it.

While decorating is not my jam, I do LOVE the tradition of giving friends and neighbors homemade holiday goodies. Here is a nice little roundup of my favorite goodies to give. Also, humor me, because this is the one time of year y’all let me post dessert recipes:

Old-Fashioned Fudge {Pin this recipe}

a hand taking a piece of fudge from a container
This may have been Jack’s first hand modeling job I force him to do.

My Nana’s famous Almond Roca {Pin this}

a bowl of homemade almond roca on a white board with almonds and chocolate chips

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies {Pin this recipe}

healthy sugar cookies on a cooling rack


A friend of mine recommended the podcast, “If Books Could Kill”. Each week, the two hosts do a deep-dive into a popular “airport” book from the 90s and early 2000s, and absolutely pick it apart. It’s delightful.

If you’re a fan of the podcast, Maintenance Phase, Michael Hobbes is also a cohost of If Books Could Kill. He’s just as fantastic on this show as he is on with Aubrey on Maintenance Phase.

What I’m reading this week

I finished The Ink Black Heart, and of course, I loved it. This whole series is so good. The author is problematic but I ease my guilt by only getting the books from the library. It is not a perfect system at all.

A few readers on Instagram recommended I watch the series on HBO Max and I have been (slowly) enjoying it very much. The actor they cast for Strike is not really how I pictured the character but he’s fine. If you watch The Boys, the actor who plays Butcher is how I picture Strike in my head.

The Kindle version of The Ink Black Heart was 1400 pages, so I wanted a fast and non-dense read for my next book. I turned to an old standby, the literary fast-casual version of books, John Grisham.

I started The Racketeer and spent the whole book thinking “I have read this one before, right…?”, but that’s just Grisham and his formulaic writing style. But hey, I enjoyed it and I knew what I was getting into when I downloaded it from the library.

I’m in the lovely nerdy position of having TEN ebooks from the library downloaded to my ancient kindle. The wi-fi has been turned off and those books aren’t going anywhere!


Danielle left this nice review on our Roasted Frozen Cauliflower tutorial {Pin this recipe}:

Looking in my freezer, I found two bags of frozen cauliflower…looking at my schedule I found two children’s sports games. So what did that call for in the recesses of my recipe memory? Roasted cauliflower soup! So yes. The cauliflower was roasted perfectly. The cauliflower soup, including bacon…was, chef’s kiss…perfection!

a plate with colorful roasted cauliflower on a white wooden board


How to Cook Bacon in the OvenLearn how to bake bacon in the oven in this easy tutorial. Make delicious, perfectly crispy bacon each and every time with this simple kitchen hack. {Pin this tutorial}

slices of cooked bacon on a grey plate

Homemade Rice Heating PadsThis easy tutorial will teach you how to make homemade rice heating pads that are a perfect project for any beginning sewer. Heat these DIY rice bags for a microwavable heating pad or stick them in the freezer for a homemade ice pack. {Pin this tutorial}

4 rice heating pads with ribbons on a white board

Confessions – everyone’s favorite silly post of the month.

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


  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! Oh, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}
  2. Garlic Butter Rice – I can’t think of a week that goes by in this house without at least one batch of this comfort food being made. {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Cookies – I’m a big fan of this recipe and you’re going to love it! {Pin this recipe}
  4. Turkey Bone Broth – no drop left behind after the big holiday! {Pin this recipe}
  5. 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}

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10 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Aloha Sarah, so good to know you are getting better and better with your recuperation from surgery. I can’t believe how delicious your photos of your made treats look. My oh my makes my mouth water, but alas and alack cannot have much sugar these days. But I love the bacon cooking in the oven, have been doing this ever since you first posted about doing that. I watched Wednesday and thought it was pretty darn funny and although probably not for anyone under 12 … I liked it alot. I am pretty limited on watching shows out here in Hawaii cause of the cost of networks and their streaming and or buying to watch a movie for $15.99 what the heck. We have the world’s smallest christmas tree, I think it is from a train set from the 50’s. HAHAH..Anyways, trying to not also be appalled at the cost of sending family presents in the mail also, geez, I sent two boxes out ..both were about $40.00 each… I just didn’t want to use Amazon, but they are definately making us slaves to them. Happy Holidays, Stephanie and ALOHA (we are safe from the volcano fyi, we are 2 hours away from where it is erupting).

    • I can’t believe streaming is so expensive there! I knew everything costs more in Hawa’ii, but streaming? Once you pay for the internet, it seems like it should cost the same as what the mainlanders pay.

      Glad to hear you are safe from the volcano, though I assume the air quality is getting dicey(?)

  2. The two trees are hilarious!!!

    We have a room in our “new” house that is half tile and half laminate hardwood-ish with the.. (whatever the piece is call that goes between transitions of the floor) going right down the middle of the room. I really want to pull it all up and just paint/stain the concrete under it, but in our area it looks like it would be kind of expensive and I don’t have the brain power to DIY it. I’m excited to see what you do with your concrete floor!

    I remember the days where Emma would wear the craziest things. Now she’s got an amazing fashion sense and I love seeing the outfits she puts together! Bonus, she loves thrifted clothes and is teaching herself how to mend/alter clothes to fit her style.

    • My friend, the word you’re looking for is a “transition”. Those little narrow pieces of wood are so freaking expensive! A few transitions in our house cost as much as an entire box of wood flooring. I cannot figure out why in the world they cost so much money.

      Did you buy or rent this time? Are you able to change the flooring? Have you watched any Youtube videos on staining concrete? I did (including one from Behr…I think) and it seems pretty doable if you have the patience and time. It looks like it is a multi-day process because it needs 24 hours to dry in-between applications.

      Go Emma! I hope her new style is making her feel more comfortable in her foray into public school.

  3. Oof. My husband’s a HUGE fan of Westerns, but we just gave up on The English after the first episode – too gory. And we were really hoping to finally find something we both would like on Prime. Back to PBS reruns.

    • It only gets MUCH gorier, so if the first episode was too much, it’s good you stopped.

      Mosquito Coast is very good and I don’t remember any gore in it.

  4. Glad to hear things are back on track. I can’t get a real tree because I’m allergic to pine needles when I get poked by them putting the ornaments on the tree. I miss the smell. I am so not into decorating but I enjoy the end result LOL. My sister takes great pains and always does it the Friday after Thanksgiving. We do it when we have the time! But she does have a beautiful end result _sigh_. Good luck with your renovations.

    • Oh, what a mean allergy! Do you get welts or something? Strawberry plant leaves make my hands and arms breakout out in a rash, but I’m not allergic to eating strawberries.

      I have friends like your sister, but some of that start decorating on November 1st! My mantra for that is “great for them, not for me”.

  5. I am listening to an amazing podcast that I think you would be interested in. It’s called “The Letter”.

    It’s a story of a shooting and the aftermath from it.