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Scattered Sundays

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Guess who has two thumbs, a clean bill of health after 8 weeks of recovery, and is officially off lifting and exercise restrictions? This girl!!!

I saw my doctor on Thursday and she praised me for following all the recovery guidelines, even though we both knew it drove me batty. It was so hard to restrict workouts and household work for two entire months.

I celebrated by taking some long walks up and down steep hills, and hauling and refilling the firewood storage on the front porch. No one can say that I’m a girl who doesn’t know how to party.

a boy in a cocoon and then with butterfly wings.

My friends, I am freaking freezing! It has been somewhat colder than normal this winter, but that’s not the main cause. It’s a combo of our basement being stripped down to concrete, soccer practice still happening (though Jack, with his 6% body fat is fine), and my inability to retain heat in my hands.

The medic who took me back to the ER after my surgery, two ICU doctors, and a nurse all asked if I had Raynaud’s Syndrome. And while I probably do, pursuing a formal diagnosis doesn’t change anything for me. My hands will be almost unusable with or without a diagnosis.

They get so cold that Troy has “helpfully” suggested I go volunteer at the burn unit at the hospital to provide instant relief to patients. That, or take up professional sushi making. So, you know, I have options.

Nothing really helps when I’m working at my computer because tech gloves don’t work with my mouse. And fingerless gloves are useless since my fingertips are the coldest part of my hands.

I keep a Costco heated blanket on my lap and will twist it in my hands when they get to the point where I can no longer type. And I hand snuggle a mug of hot water in a pinch.

I do have a pair of heated gloves that I got last year with a gift card, but sadly, they only heat the palms and it is the back of my hands that are the coldest. If they create a glove that is filled with a 360˚ layer of lava, I’ll be the first to order.

On the plus side, I have finally tackled the magical combination of how to stay warm outside on walks or during Jack’s soccer practices. It involves the right gear and multiple layers. And prayer.

The first of the layers is this fleece-lined thermal underwear (sounds so sexy, right?) that is not remotely bulky and I can wear them even under skinny jeans. I only wear the pants for walks or soccer practice, but I’m so obsessed with the shirt.

I ended up buying two more standalone shirts because I was having to wash this shirt constantly. Basically, I had turned into Bennett who likes to wear the same item almost daily. My sister said if I started covering my bed with stuffed animals, she was going to have an intervention.

For feet, I only wear DarnTough socks. Always and forever. DarnTough socks aren’t cheap, but they’re made in the US and guaranteed for life. Like, legit for life.

When they wear out, you can send them back to the company and they will issue you a merchandise credit to buy more socks. The first few pairs you buy are an investment, and then you have amazing socks for as long as you have feet. <—not a lifetime guarantee in my family.

I wear a pair of DarnTough thinner socks UNDER the thick socks and then stuff my hooves into my Merrell snow boots. Listen, people, this isn’t glamorous, but it is pure survival mode for my feet during winter soccer.

Also, I have finally cracked the code on handwear, which is the most important aspect for me. Before finding this pair of gloves and mittens, my hands would take 2-3 hours to thaw out once we got home. Every single time. So painful!

For gloves, this pair has been the only ones to keep my fingers toasty. And these mittens are the GOAT and my go-to for the coldest weather. And on REALLY cold days, I wear a thin pair of old tech gloves that I bought years ago at Costco UNDER the mittens. During one cold walk, my hands actually started sweating!

My friend uses some rechargeable hand warmers, and I have considered them but they don’t warm the back of my hands which is just a crying shame. I do have disposable warmers that I can tuck into the back of my mittens in a pinch. Really hoping for a lava-circulating handwear line to be released soon.

a kid with a dino hand coloring a dino.
If Inception were a 6 year old

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been hard at work on my 2023 editorial calendar. Y’all don’t need the boring /nerdy research details about how I choose blog post topics. But it’s definitely a more robust process than it used to be.

Sometimes I miss the days of early blogging, when food bloggers would spend 900 words talking about something that had nothing to do with the recipe, and then just typed the recipe in the post and you couldn’t even print it out.

Yeah, some people still write like that, but very few publish new content like that. You can still find some tragically long recipe posts back in my archives. That combined with the truly heinous photos is always good for a laugh.

a boy in a llama sweater wearing a Santa hat.

Bennett’s winter concert at school went well. As well as you can expect from 60+ kindergarteners and first graders. Troy, my inlaws, and I had some good laughs during the 40 minutes.

Bennett had a speaking part and he worked hard to memorize it. Every time he practiced it at home, he mumbled or used a silly voice. I was completely shocked when he got up to the mic and used a big voice and confidently recited his part. Well done, little man.

a woman in a grey shirt in a dressing room.
This is the shirt that I can’t stop wearing. And my Merrell snowboots. HA!

I don’t mean to brag (narrator: that’s exactly what she is about to do), but I scored another pair of $200 jeans at Goodwill this week. And they were only $19.97!

They actually had two pairs on the racks, but despite being the same size, one pair was way too tight for me. Pity as they still had the original price tags on them.

I took them up to a cashier who looked about my size but more petite. I whispered to her how much they were worth, and encouraged her to try them on during her break. Her eyes got huge and she tucked them away behind the counter. I hope they were super awesome for her.

With mere hours to go until the start of Hanukkah and one week until Christmas, I hope your homes are filled with joy, good food, and family members who are well-behaved like the jolly man is watching.

If you haven’t already seen my tutorial on fabric gift bags, give it a look-see. These are super simple to make and are definitely considered a beginner’s sewing project. We pair our fabric bags with this ribbon.

We use the same holiday bags year in and year out, and it makes me so happy to not throw away a ton of trash after the gifts are opened. We simply fold up the bags and ribbon and put them with the Christmas decorations and store them until next year.

If you don’t have time to make bags this year, hit up the fabric store in the days after the holidays, when Christmas and Hanukkah (which always has a pathetically small selection) fabrics are heavily discounted. I’m talking 60-80% off.

a white dish with eggnog bread pudding topped with raspberries

And finally, if you’re in the market for some make-ahead breakfast for the holidays, I have this whole post positively (not negatively) packed with ideas. I strongly recommend the Overnight Cinnamon Rolls as well as the Eggnog Bread Pudding.

Tomorrow, I will be spending much of the day prepping batches upon batches of cinnamon rolls for the staff at Bennett’s school. It was a yearly tradition when Jack was there, but that went by the wayside with the ‘rona. We’re back now!

And as you get in the mindset of all the delicious holiday goodies, don’t forget that if you run out of brown sugar or powdered sugar, I have DIY options for you!

two plates with overnight cinnamon rolls, a fork, and orange juice

What I’m reading this week

I finished Wrong Place Wrong Time and it was a great and twisty read. Exactly what I like in a book. It had some undertones of The Midnight Library.

I had eight library books downloaded to my Kindle and let the wise people on Instagram choose my next read. They selected The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and I was warned it is a slow burn at first and I’m definitely finding that experience to be true.


Long-time reader and not first-time caller, Laurel, left this five-star review on our Air Fryer Chicken Cordon Bleu {Pin this recipe}:

Made this for 3rd Sunday of Advent dinner. Prep was super easy and fun to use the mallet. Had to double the dry rub portion as I had unreasonably large chicken breasts from Costco. They cooked up perfectly crispy, the dijon sauce is easy and tasty. We served it with pan roasted veggies and each plate was wiped clean. Looks very impressive plated and even though the recipe looks long and complicated, it goes together super fast. Will absolutely make this again.

4 air fryer chicken cordon bleu cutlets on a plate topped with parsley.


Boursin PastaThis Boursin Pasta is a simple and easy dinner that you can throw together in minutes. The whole family will beg you to make this delicious homemade comfort food over and over again. {Pin this recipe}

a white skillet with Boursin pasta topped with parsley.

Whole Wheat Pizza DoughDelicious and filling, you’ll love this simple Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe! Easily made in a stand mixer, food processor, or by hand, this homemade vegan pizza dough is fool-proof and sure to become a family favorite. {Pin this recipe}

2 balls of whole wheat pizza dough on a white board with tomatoes, basil, and olive oil.

Instant Pot Soup RecipesYou’ll love these Easy Instant Pot Soup Recipes for delicious, fast, and healthy meals. There is an easy instant pot soup recipe here for anyone! {Pin these soup recipes}

8 photos of instant pot soup recipes


  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. 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. Old-Fashioned Fudge – smooth, creamy, and packed with amazing chocolate flavor. {Pin this recipe}

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24 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I hate cold hands, and can never find the right ones that actually keep my hands warm, so was happy you provided a link. Unfortunately they are not available on amazon, so I’ll have to google them tomorrow if they are available elsewhere (bedtime here).

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas.

  2. OMG I absolutely LOVE Darn Tough socks!!  They are so warm, come in such fun colors/patterns, and they are perfect for hiking.  I asked for a couple more pairs for Christmas (haven’t had any of my other pairs wear out yet, either)!  Come on, Santa . . .  P.S.  Are you no longer posting your weekly menu plans?  I really loved that each week!