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Scattered Sundays

Hey there everyone! Look what you did:

If you’d like to donate to Jennifer’s campaign, you can do so here.

What a gift for the soul. And I think we all need those warm fuzzies these days.  Is it just me or is it exhausting to just be a human over the last few weeks and months?

So much terrible news, anger, and violence. Finding the rays of light in this world is what keeps us going.

These moments of generosity and basic “humanness” restores my faith in people on a daily basis.

Since Selma Blair started talking about her Alinker, they have become so popular that they are now back-ordered through October. The upside to that is the company is offering free shipping to people who order one now. If you know of anyone in your life who needs one, the free shipping makes it a very good time to get one. And no, this is not an affiliate thing!

Listen, I know social media can be a place for really intense debate, but I have to say the throw down that happened on my Instagram stories this week was shocking, even to me.

I mean, really! Who are all these people eating hot zoodles? What in the world?

Zoodles are best served cold or lukewarm with a hot sauce poured over them. Warm zoodles make me feel like they’re worms or something. Can’t do it. Won’t do it.

This week Bennett and I were in the kitchen making zoodles, and a UPS truck drove by our house without stopping. Bennett asked “is Felix mad at us”?

Felix is our UPS guy. Ahem. I don’t order that much stuff online kid, geez.

In my defense, we live in a small town and things I need can be hard to find! Like, I recently bought espresso powder for an upcoming recipe that is going to blow.your.mind. But it definitely was not available locally.

And yes, I’ll have other alternative ingredients listed in the post for those of you who can’t source this. I never forget you! I’m like an elephant.

Who are you again? New blog. Who dis?

First time helping out with communion and he was soooo proud of himself.

We got the school year guidelines for Bennett’s new preschool and holy hell the lunch requirements are bananas. They’re only following rules set by the state, but the people who determined these have clearly never raised little kids before.

Any item missing from his lunchbox will cost me $1 because the school legally has to provide it for him.

First off, I have to send 6 oz of milk with him every day. Bennett drinks milk occasionally, but will easily waste 75% of that milk. So now, I have to buy a separate water bottle just for milk that he will not drink.

And we just got him a lunch bag with a water bottle holder. They don’t freaking make lunch bags with TWO water bottle holders!

What about the kids with dairy issues? My oldest has never wanted to drink milk because of lactose issues. 

Additionally, I have to send so many ounces of whole grains anytime he has lunch. We have tried sending Bennett to school with a sandwich and he never eats it. Such a waste.

Instead, both of my boys have always preferred rolled up lunchmeat with no bread. I’m tempted to get a fake dinner roll and just put it in his lunch all year long. He likes whole-grain crackers, but that crunchy goodness wasn’t listed on the two-page lunch packing bible.

And the kiddos who have gluten issues, what are they supposed to do?

I do like the guidelines require that we send 1/2 cup of fruits and vegetables each day. Done, no problem. B-nut is a cucumber and carrot fanatic.

This is good for everyone, but still, my heart goes out the families who may not be able to afford fresh fruit and veggies each day for their kiddos. 

The rules and regulations about his lunch made my head spin. I eventually put down the packet and just walked away from it. 

The most delicious time of the year. Also, the weirdest of light situations ever.

This week marked a milestone in blogging for me. I get pitches daily from companies who want me to test their products for free in exchange for writing about them. I stopped this policy a long time ago as I can’t pay my power bill with free stuff.

But Monday I got an email that had me laughing and smiling for a solid 20 minutes. It is from a company that has created personal care items for, um, men’s junk. They asked if I would be interested in testing them out, which I found confusing but hilarious.

If you own an Instant Pot and actually use it (ahem, just do it), chances are the inside of the insert has become stained. After trying all different ways to clean mine, I found just a little corner of a Mr. Clean dry erase marker made it sparkly and new again.

Bennett desperately wanted shin guards and soccer socks like his big brother. I let him pick out whatever ones he wanted, and he fell head over in heels in love with the bright pink ones.

And yes, that is a pajama shirt. He loves it. Oh well.

If he’s happy, we’re happy! Jack’s team wears pink socks in October for breast cancer awareness month, and B is excited to show his support as well.

Waiting sooooooooo patiently for big brother to notice his awesome outfit.

Our favorite meal of the week:

The meat was from Butcher box, the crispy halloumi croutons (ala Hey Nutrition Lady) were made from Trader Joe’s halloumi. The rest of the food came from the garden or the farmer’s market. Even with only eating one of those pieces of grilled garlic bread, and I was still full all evening.

Anyone following along on Instagram saw me making the halloumi croutons. It was so simple and everyone in the family loved this crispy cheese. The people over at Mealthy sent me their new stainless steel pan to try out, and I christened it with making fried cheese. As nature intended.

The pan was fantastic and I felt like a real fancy pants using it. The weight and balance of it made up for the fact that we have the worst stove ever manufactured. Mealthy is offering my readers $10 off the pan of the CrispLid (which is currently on sale) or any of their other products with the coupon code “sustainablecooks10”. Discount applies to any purchase over $95.

What I’m Listening To This Week

I’ve been listening to the podcast Culpable since it came out, and it seems to be wrapping up. It is the story of a young man whose death was ruled a suicide, but everything about it suspicious.

It’s very well-reported and you really feel for the family as they try to get justice.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Kori left this five-star review on our Healthy Cinnamon Apples:

These are seriously delicious! I like everything tart so tossed in a little lemon (also prevents browning as they sit in the counter while your kids distract you), they satisfy my sweet and sour cravings!

{Pin this recipe}

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

The Softest Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip CookiesA one-bowl easy recipe for the best whole wheat chocolate chip cookies ever! Packed with flavor and oh so good, these are hands down the softest whole grain chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever had.

four whole wheat chocolate chip cookies on a plate with a glass of milk

{Pin this recipe}

Freezing Zucchini {How to Freeze Zucchini}Learn all the tips and tricks for Freezing Zucchini to extend the harvest. Learning how to freeze zucchini using multiple methods, is a great way to preserve this delicious summer veggie. Find out how to stock your freezer with frozen zucchini with or without blanching. And for my friends outside the states, I’ll teach you how to freeze courgettes!

freezer bags with shredded zucchini and zoodles

{Pin this recipe}

Refrigerator Dilly Beans {Pickled Beans Recipe}Learn the secrets of how to make amazing Refrigerator Dilly Beans. This easy recipe for pickled beans involves zero canning and will help you “put up” the summer bounty in a delicious and snackable way.

Two jars of dilly beans with garlic and red peppers on a wooden board

{Pin this recipe}

Easy Instant Pot Iced Tea and Tea ConcentrateYou’ll love this smooth and Easy Instant Pot Iced Tea for a quick and healthy refreshing drink. You can also make tea concentrate to get that same great flavor while saving space in your fridge. As always, non-Instant Pot cooking instructions are included in the recipe.

iced tea with garnishes

Those ice cubes are fake AF

{Pin this recipe}

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce {Sugar-Free Spaghetti Sauce}This fresh, homemade Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce is a delicious meatless sauce made from scratch. This paleo/Whole30 spaghetti sauce creates magic from fresh tomatoes and herbs. Make a huge batch of fresh tomato sauce and learn how to freeze it to enjoy your garden bounty all year long.

a bowl of crockpot spaghetti sauce with tomatoes and herbs

{Pin this recipe}

Azure Standard Shopping List: Save Big Money on Organic Groceries – Save money and time on healthy eating with Azure Standard! Azure Standard is an amazing source for bulk organic and sustainable products at incredibly affordable prices. All the benefits of warehouse club pricing without any membership fees. Save 20-40% off of grocery store prices!

a collage of items from Azure Standard

{Pin this post}

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

Yes, yes, my Mojito Mocktail is still #1 and the Trader Joe’s Whole30 Shopping List is still #2, and the rest of the posts are a celebration of delicious summer eating. And prepper food. ????

  1. Canning Peaches  {Pin this tutorial}
  2. Dill Pickle Relish  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Peach Ice Cream  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Air Fryer Zucchini Chips  {Pin this recipe}
  5. (Welcome to the leader board) Canning Pears  {Pin this tutorial}

Meal Plan

If you’re looking for some help with meal planning, we highly recommend Momables. Momables emails you a weekly meal plan, shopping list and prep list for $10 a month. It rules.

Monday:: Jack is making homemade pizza and salad. He was supposed to make this last week but he pissed me off so much I couldn’t trust myself to be alone in the kitchen with him. Mom of the year.

Tuesday:: TBD. I have an appointment until 5 and Jack has soccer at 6.

Wednesday:: Soup (the one I was going to make last week for an upcoming blog post but it was soooo hot), salad, and bread.

Thursday:: A birthday for our cousin’s kiddo. 

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night

Saturday:: TBD

Sunday:: Family dinner


What are you having this week?

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28 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Oh, and sorry to pile on but… #teamhotzoodles

  2. I’m at a loss for words. I don’t even know where to start with those lunch “guidelines” – they are hardly guidelines but rather very specific mandates. My kid’s school lunch guidelines are “no potato chips”, “no fast food disguised as homemade”, “no soda”. Those are guidelines. I just don’t understand how they can impose this. Who fell asleep at the wheel and allowed this to happen? Was this even opened up for discussion with the district before it was implemented? I would have to guess it wasn’t, because it is in place. I know a lot of people don’t have the luxury of alternatives but I would certainly have to look at another option.

    I feel like the only acceptable “clarification” at the parent orientation would be to learn that they scrapped the whole program.

    Good luck, Sarah.

    • It’s a state requirement. The poor daycare is just following the directions to keep their licensure.

      I’m intrigued by the “no fast food disguised as homemade”. I need examples! Like sending nuggets in a bento box?

      • Oh, I totally understand that it is a state requirement and wouldn’t blame the school either but I still have the same question… who fell asleep at the wheel? How did the state decide that this was a good idea? Did they even open up the issue to actual parents of school age children?

        And that is exactly right- that is one of the examples cited – chicken nuggets in a plastic container from home. I guess some parent(s) even had the temerity to door dash a fast food combo to the school. 🙂 Maybe we do need state interference? Just kidding. I still can’t with all those mandates.

        Hope you all have a great school year! 🙂