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Scattered Sundays

I have a serious question.

No, really. It IS serious!

I really need to know what you think the creepiest first dance wedding song is of all time.

I told you it was serious. That will teach you to doubt me again.

Most of my podcasts are not kid-safe, so while I’m cooking or cleaning around the house, I listen to this Spotify playlist I made (it’s free if you want to listen). And one of the songs on that playlist is Into the Mystic by Van Morrison which was the song we danced to at our wedding.

Truth be told, I wanted Moondance, but I’m a crappy dancer and I thought the beat (is it called tempo? Someone help please) was too fast and I would look like Bambi walking across the ice while sneezing if I tried to dance to it.

And listening to this song made me think about all the weddings I have been to and all the first dance songs I have heard. I became obsessed with the idea of which were the worst songs anyone could have at their wedding.

I thought, and thought, and thought some more. And I have decided. It’s “I’ll be Watching You” by Sting. Because it’s a song about a stalker and it’s freaking creepy AF to think people use that as a love song.

But that’s my opinion. What do you think is the worst first dance wedding song ever?

I wanted to thank you all so much for your kind words and comments last week when I talked about the existential blogging identity crisis I was going through. You all are what keep me writing and it meant so much to see the kindness and encouragement from people I consider friends.

One thing that came up a few times was people noting that they don’t read the Instant Pot or air fryer recipes because they don’t have those kitchen gadgets. Which means I owe y’all a giant apology.

I clearly have not done a good enough job of making it known that any recipe with “Instant Pot” or “Air Fryer” in the title also always include conventional cooking options in the post. I swear! 

For Instant Pot recipes, I usually include stovetop and/or slow cooker instructions. For air fryer, you’ll find stovetop or oven instructions. For example, my Air Fryer Egg Roll recipe also teaches you how to pan fry them or bake those lovely veggie egg rolls in the oven.

Yep, for every single recipe. Cross my heart.

So if you’ve ever skipped over one of those recipes because you didn’t think you could make them, I invite you to check out my Instant Pot recipe archives and my Air Fryer recipe archives. Go ahead, poke around! TWSS.

Oh, and PS, the Instant Pot I own and love is on sale right now on Amazon… 🙂

And if you’ve ever looked at a Whole30 recipe title and thought “eh, that needs cheese”, you’re totally my people. Because my dairy-loving ass is definitely putting cheese on my serving.

I view cooking and any recipe that I share as the building blocks for making it your own. Please, please, please adapt the recipe to fit your preferences and tastes. Nothing makes me happier than seeing someone tweaking (not twerking) one of my recipes for their family.

He thinks he is auditioning to be the next spokesman for Bubly. Also? He continues to dress himself daily.

Ohhhhh, I’ve been excited ALL week to tell you about this face lotion I found by a happy accident!

The meds I am on for my stupid adult acne (an oral medication and a topical cream called Differin) are super effective. But I noticed if I am outside too long, my skin is sensitive to daylight. I’m always like a vampire in the sun, but now I’m like a really scaly vampire.

My skin was super dry and cracked this week. It didn’t hurt but it looked like junk. I have been using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream for years and have loved it. But even that wasn’t helping the dryness.

I found a sample of Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate from the last time I bought the facial cream and gave it a shot. You guys, it was a 100% difference in one night. I couldn’t believe how soft my skin was and all the flakiness was GONE.

I can’t tell you about the line reduction or anything, but holy crap on a cracker my skin was soooooo smooth. The sample lasted three nights and on night two I ordered my own bottle. Yeah, it’s pricey, so if my cheap ass shelled out $65 for this lotion, you know it is good stuff!

I am not an affiliate for Kiehl’s or anything, so I can’t offer you a discount code if you buy it for yourself. If you order it online, it is eligible for 4% back through ebates though. And shipping on orders over $50 is free.

If you have a Kiehls store or counter near you, stop by. It is my experience that they love giving people samples and should happily offer you a few. I bet you’ll be buying your own after you try it too. Let’s shake on it.

Did you see this story about the little girl who had The Nun as her third birthday theme? Bennett clearly needs to meet her.

Allergy season is in full force in Seattle. This week it hit me so hard I spent two days looking like a hot bag of crap. For anyone in a new relationship, I share this text thread with you to let you know that at some point the newness of a relationship will fade.

But 17 years in, what you want is for your partner to tell you that you look beautiful, despite it looking like you spent the afternoon in Fight Club. Also, Sandy is our neighbor two houses down. So yeah, I have a loud voice.

Troy and I went out last night for his birthday and the boys spent the night at the in-laws. We hit up a local diner for dinner because Troy, AKA Mr. Fancy Pants wanted a club sandwich for his birthday. He really aims high that one.

And then off to John Wick 3 (Still Wicking It as I call it) where I tried not to pee my pants from excitement. Or, it may have been the sparkling water I snuck in via my purse.

That reminds me of something funny we used to do with my mom. We’d blatantly bring in outside food to places where you definitely were not allowed to.

We once rolled into Safeco Field where the Seattle Mariner’s play with a Burger King bag (my mom loved the junior whoppers) right front and center on her lap. The security guard said “no outside food please” and I waved my hand in my mom’s direction and said “she needs this”.

It is my experience that the general public are terrified of offending people in wheelchairs. So much so that you can roll your ass into a baseball game with a Whopper on your lap. 

But me? I have to sneak in a can of La Croix into the movies like a hobo. A HOBO I tell you!

Bennett has preschool camp this week, which is 4 hours a day Monday through Friday. My head is exploding with how much work I can get done in that time. My to-do list is longer than Bennett’s last tantrum over the fact that I dared to open the microwave when HE WANTED TO MOMMA.

Three-Year-Olds Be Bonkers

In this week’s addition, Bennett, AKA the least reasonable person on earth, has decided it is completely and totally unfair that he cannot remove his own toes.

Also, he’s been losing his mind at church for the last month when we make him a nametag. He insists he only has one “t” in his name and will blow a gasket if we tell him otherwise. We finally just stopped making him a nametag.

Well, he had his last regular day of preschool on Wednesday and they gave me his snack placement.

Mystery solved.

What I’m Listening To This Week

I quickly blew through The Queen this week! There are only five episodes and none of them are longer than 35 minutes. It’s totally bingeable. 

If you have ever heard the term “welfare queen”, you may be surprised that it came from an actual person. And she is the focus on this podcast based off the book The Queen.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Mallory left this five-star review on Creamy Berry Party Drinks – a dairy-free and kid-friendly drink that is both patriotic AND refreshing. Here’s what Mallory had to say:

I have been thinking about making this recipe for 2 years (since you originally posted it) and finally got around to doing it this week! I used silicone ice cube trays instead of cupcake liners. My 2.5-year-old helped distribute the berries, so they’re not as pretty as yours, but still super tasty! It tastes like a light and refreshing pina colada with the coconut and pineapple. Also, soooo happy to finally have a use for pineapple cores! You’re a food garbage genius.

{Pin this recipe}

I’m adding “food garbage genius” to my resume. Watch me.

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Would it surprise you that this Type-A organizer has the rest of 2019 and most of 2020 planned out for blog content? I love the smell of an old-fashioned paper planner in the morning!

One thing I am focusing on for the next few months is getting back to basics. Basic kitchen skills that teach people how to be self-sufficient in the kitchen AND tie in gardening if that is your jam. And yeah, there are more jam recipes coming. 🙂

I’ve always tried to empower people to look at a recipe or a kitchen skill and think “you know what, I can do that”.

I feel like cooking and what my family does in the kitchen is seasonal. Spring and summer focus on more growing, saving, and preserving. Fall is all about regrouping, some preserving, and eating alllllll the soups. Winter is hunkering down with comfort food, and yeah, more soups!

Nana’s Cucumber and Onion SaladThis make-ahead Cucumber and Onion Salad is a summertime superstar. Simple and delicious, the fresh ingredients let the garden-fresh produce shine in this easy cucumber salad. From my Nana’s kitchen to yours, be the hit of your next BBQ or potluck with this classic cucumber salad recipe.

cucumber and onion salad in two bowls with persian cucumbers and a fork on a white background


{Pin this recipe}

Freezing Peas {How to Freeze Peas}Learn all the tips and tricks for Freezing Peas to extend the harvest. Learning how to freeze peas is a great way to preserve this delicious springtime veggie without needing to know any special kitchen skills (like canning). Find out how to stock your freezer with frozen peas with or without blanching.

frozen peas in a silicone freezer bag

{Pin this}

Freezer Essentials – How to Stock Your Freezer For Healthy EatingFreezer essentials are your go-to items to make healthy eating realistic f0r your family. A well-stocked freezer is an insurance policy for last minute dinners and go-to healthy snacks. Learn about the must-haves from a family that loves to cook from scratch.

food items and text "freezer essentials for healthy cooking"

{Pin this}

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Mojito Mocktail  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Trader Joe’s Whole30 Shopping List  {Pin this}
  3. Whole30 Bacon Brands  {Pin this}
  4. How to Plant Garlic Step by Step  {Pin this}
  5. Whole30 + Paleo Teriyaki Sauce  {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

I’m trying a new meal planning service this week and so far I am LOVING it! While not all the recipes they sent this week will work for us, I’m excited that not only do they plan the meals, but there is a day by day prep list and shopping list. And even a how-to youtube video for most of the recipes.

I’m partnering with Momables to bring you classic meal plans, Whole30 plans, family meals on a budget, as well as picky eater plans! We are using the classic plan this week.

Monday:: Vegetarian Jambalaya (from Momables), but I’m adding some chicken sausage. And I’m making the biscuits (or scones?) that Bennett and I made on an Instagram live a few weeks ago. Recipe linked here.

Tuesday:: Paleo Salmon Cakes and Air Fryer Asparagus. So, pretty much northwest AF.

Wednesday:: Quick and Easy Lasagna Skillet (from Momables) and a salad. This is not something I would typically make, but I’m excited to try it and it looks simple.

Thursday:: Nacho Loaded Sweet Potato Fries (from Momables) and a salad. I think I might make sweet potato “chips” instead of fries but we’ll see.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: TBD. Probably chef salads depending on the weather.

Sunday:: Father’s Day. TBD. Up to Troy, my father-in-law, and my dad.

What We Bought This Week

Thrive:: We got an order from Thrive which contained some groceries and some household stuff. I only ever include groceries in my budget for these posts, but I’m too lazy to break it all down. Everything in this box was $97.15 ($86.32 cheaper than retail). The highest valued items are Barney Butter and a new brand of ghee I wanted to try. And toilet paper. Pretty “exciting” stuff.

All new Thrive customers can get 20% off their first three orders. Orders over $49 always ship for free. Both times we have ordered, our package has come within two days. TWSS.

What are you having this week?


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48 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I have been to at least one wedding where the 20-something bride and groom have danced to Etta James’ “At Last”. As if they have waited for their entire baby lives to find their love! As if they have spent every minute since they came out of the womb looking for this exact person who is now legally bound to them! That song is acceptable only for those who have found love after, like, 40+ years or a terrible first marriage or something else that was a significant barrier to their happiness. And I write this as a 29 year old. (Can you tell this is something I have thought a lot about but never had any venue to share it in?)

    • That’s so funny! I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wedding where that was played, but I’ll never think about it in the same way again.

  2. My song was “Angel Eyes” by Jeff Healy (you can hear it in the full version of Roadhouse but not why we picked it). The one I most cringe to is “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran but that’s due to an unfortunate wedding I attended where the bride lied about being pregnant, came clean two months later, then refused to give the wedding gifts back. Both parties were under 20 years old.

    I often wonder if my neighbors can hear me yelling as well. My hubby’s out of town working so the kids are working my last nerve too.

    When he’s out of town, I get to cook things he wouldn’t eat but, now that he’s coming home (thank the good Lord) it’s back to IP hamburger stew, slow cooker pork tacos, IP Thai Green Curry, and Greek meatballs.

    • Holy smokes that sounds like a downright sketchy wedding!

      I definitely know my neighbors could hear me. I use my ROTC voice and our windows are open a lot. Just assume your neighbors know you asked nicely multiple times first.

      I’m glad he’s back, but bummer on the food you’re sick of eating. Does he not like trying new things?

  3. My husband picked “Proudest Monkey” by Dave Mathews. It was NINE MINUTES & ten seconds long.

    Luckily we had a weddingmoon (location wedding) so we only bored the hell out of the videographer, wedding planner and the couple we met on the bus to witness the wedding.

    And being thought of as a monkey on my wedding day!?!?!?

  4. Troy is definitely a ‘keeper’!   My girls laughed at me when One Direction had a hit that had a line in it that said ‘you don’t know you’re beautiful’.  They laughed because I made a point of letting them know that the song is absolutely true and that if a guy likes them, he really thinks that way.  They laughed because I was being “such a mom”!        But… … …  it’s TRUE!!!!

    I ALWAYS smuggle snacks/drinks into movies.  Except Endgame.  I only smuggled a small snack for that one, NO drink because it was 3-hours long and I was NOT getting up to pee!   We went to a 6:00 showing and we also brought sandwiches to eat while waiting (in our seats) for the movie to start!  (after a sandwich and a snack, you have no idea how thirsty I was when I got home! hahahahaha!)

    Was Still Wicking It as good as the first two?  Is Keanu still a joy to look at?(Of course he is…. why even ask that?)

    I guess Bennett has gotten a lesson about how adults make mistakes sometimes.  
    Names are very important.  Shame on the teachers for not spelling it properly!  My daughter gets that ALLLLLLL the time because we took her ‘boring’ name, and changed the spelling.  It sounds just like yours, but is spelled Cera.  (we stole the spelling from Land Before Time.  The triCERAtops spells her name like that and we liked it.)  She gets all sorts of weird pronunciations.

    • I agree! Next month will be our 15th anniversary and 17 total years together.

      You’re so strategic with your movie going! I could not drink for a week leading up to a movie and still have to pee in the middle of the show. So glad you enjoyed it though!

      But I only got up once during John Wick. And yes, it was wonderful! It starts up basically as soon as John Wick 2 ended. Amazing fighting scenes and there is a really awesome act with two dogs.

      All of the other names on his items at school (his bin, coat hook, etc.) were spelled correctly, so I have no idea how this one got overlooked.

      Do you ever offer your Cera tree stars? LOVED Land Before Time as a kid!

      • We probably offered her tree stars when she was very small, I don’t remember  But it sounds like something we would do.   I DO remember that we got her big sister (at about 3 years old) to eat broccoli by comparing it to tree stars and pointing out how much Littlefoot would like it though!  We still tease her about that and she is 25 now!
        Our Cera (21)  likes to say that we named her AFTER a bossy little dinosaur.  Drives me nuts because we did NOT name our child after a saucy cartoon character.  We just liked how her name was spelled after we decided on her name!

        You call my movie planning ‘strategic’, I call it ‘cheap’!  I rarely go to movies because they are so expensive.  But I needed to see Endgame on the big screen.  Unfortunately for me, that forced us to also go see Captain Marvel since it was still playing (which I thoroughly enjoyed.  It is just unfortunate I couldn’t watch it at home).  Other than that, It had been about five years since I was in a theatre!!!  Our last movie was Muppets Most Wanted. 

        15 years is a great milestone!  I wish you many, many more!

        If Bennett’s name was spelled right everywhere else, I wonder why he was so insistent that the ONE different spelling was the correct one.  We will probably never know. I hope he’s got it right now though.

        One last thing.  All of a sudden, seemingly out of the blue,  my computer stopped being a jerk (must have updated behind my back) and I can send emails again AND I am getting your notifications again!!!!!

      • Littlefoot!!! I got a lot of teasing about Sarah the triceratops because she was so bossy. I was a super bossy kid and it is something I still battle as an adult.

        I’m glad it was worth the effort, time, and full bladder then! Not sure if they have it up there, but most chain theaters around here do “tightwad Tuesday” where tickets are $6 USD.

        Yay for the computer finally getting with the program!!

    • They do some sort of ‘cheap Tuesday’ here at the theatres, but I already dislike movie theatres, so I am sure I will NOT be there on crowded, cheap Tuesday. I think it is only something like $3 less anyway.  The I was a teen, it was “Two dollar Tuesday”!!!  Those were the days…

      The husband and I have a Ducky (from Land Before Time)  picture that we send each other all the time.  Someone screenshot her in a perfect, ridiculous expression and we send it to each other every time one of exasperates the other (or just tells a bad, bad joke).  And we STILL say “yup, yup, yup!” all the time.  😀   

  5. You are totally right about “I’ll be watching you”, followed closely by the wedding I attended where they exited to “Jessie’s girl”. Why yes, his name was Jessie, and yes, they left their wedding ceremony to a song about coveting someone else’s girlfriend. 

  6. I have been looking for months for a great moisturizer that won’t make me break out, even coming to you and trying your recommendations. But I just can’t spend $60+ on lotion so I recently found this one. 2 weeks in and no new breakouts!!! and not heavily perfumed which is important to a person (ME!) who is allergic to almost every scent. Finally !!

    • I love that you found something that works for you! I took a look and it doesn’t seem like it has SPF. Are you using a separate sunscreen?

      • Yes, I use a separate sunscreen… I couldn’t stand smelling like sunscreen from a lotion even when I wasn’t spending any time outside

  7. I promise to go back and look at the air fryer recipes if you will forgive me for not buying an Instant Pot because I have an emotional attachment to my slow cooker which belonged to my grandparents. As soon as that thing dies (which it won’t because it was bought in the 80s when kitchen appliances were built to last!) I will buy an Instant Pot.

    Also, I was totally going to do a before and after of our cupboard makeover and send it to you on Instagram but my husband was too quick and I didn’t get a before shot but the after is lovely (no label maker use though).

    We’re out for dinner twice this week, learning to make sushi and then at a museum event that allows you to get takeout. All the other nights are quick, practical meals.

    • I’d forgive you but there is nothing you need to apologize about! Is your grandparent’s slow cooker one of those with a separate base and crock? My parents had one and my dad still occasionally uses it. It makes Troy so nervous because it has a cloth cord!

      A before and after shot of your pantry would have made my whole week! I’m bummed you didn’t get to share it, but as long as you get to enjoy it now that is all that matters.

  8. Now that we have an address, I will be trying out Thrive. That, and it’s starting to look like I’ll need to shop at 3 or more different places to get all the things we normally buy. No thanks.

    The last wedding I went to was a super long time ago. Can’t help with that.

    Poor Bennett. When I was in 3rd or 4th grade, I was taking some enrichment class with a teacher that was new to the school. The only thing I remember is arguing with her about the spelling of my name. She insisted it was spelled CHristina no matter how many times I told her (with lots of sass and attitude) that my birth certificate has it spelled Kristina. I leaned a lot from that class.

    • Oh no, 3+ stores to get what you want? That’s so frustrating and a dumb waste of gas.

      What freaking teacher would try to tell a child they didn’t know how to spell their own name?

  9. My 14 yo and I were both switched to Differin by our Dermatologist and it has made a difference in both my adult breakouts and her teenage angst hormonal crazy ass ones. So happy with the difference it’s made and for the fact he didn’t recommend the super intense meds some of her friends are on which frankly scare the crud out of me (one causes depression…like a teenage girl needs that!). Good grief I witnessed a melt down the other day because I removed silly putty from the wall (granted it was holding her pictures but seriously that’s not what it’s for!).

    My daughter also insisted on dressing herself from a young age and to this day still wears mismatched socks…every time, usually bright colors and I figure it’s a form of birth control. She’ll figure it out in her own time.  

    Since I don’t do most of the cooking I actually print the recipes that sound interesting and post on the fridge by the shopping list. Then when I get home from work, if my sig other agreed with my choices, the recipes have magically made themselves. It’s our form of meal planning via your meal planning which I appreciate 😉

    • I hope you’re buying it on Amazon or at Target. Our insurance would have charged us $180 for what is $13 on Amazon. I’m so glad it is working for you both! Do be careful about the sun with on Differin though.

      Your meal planning seems a lot like how you all do home remodeling…at least that is the fireplace rumors on IG. 🙂

  10. Um…sometimes the bonkers lasts until they’re five, I’m just warning you. When my youngest’s fifth birthday was winding down, I told him it was nearly bath time, and he got angry about the sun setting. “Why does God make the sun set?! Rewind the day!” I said we couldn’t do anything about it, and he kept on ranting, “I want a bear for a pet!” “Dude, we can’t have a wild animal in the house.” “I would just want a LITTLE bear!” Oy.

    • Hard to argue with a LITTLE bear!

      Jack was an utter nightmare at three, but by 4 and one week, I liked him again. Now, his sassy behavior in kinder was a different story and a different cause for drama…