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Scattered Sundays

There are no words more beautiful in the English language than “back to school”.

You guys. You guys. OMG.

Both boys had school this week, and it is the first full week of Bennett having all-day preschool three days a week. Also, how many times can I say “week” in a sentence?

I celebrated the kid-free house by shooting three recipes and destroying my kitchen in the process. When I was all done and dripping in boob sweat, I realized it might just be easier to move than to clean it all up.

The 1970’s called and even they think my kitchen is stupid.

And my to-do list for that day was checked off before 2 pm. I went to bed before 11 and it was glorious! 

I’m still figuring out my new freedom, but I like it. I may quickly become drunk with work power. I have fit in a walk on my work days and I consider it my lunchbreak. When I used to work in an office setting, I would walk at lunch, and this seems like a sanity and health priority.

Are you familiar with the Palmidoro method? Basically, you set a timer for a certain amount of time and just plow through work until the timer goes off. Then you take a short break to move and refocus. They even sell a special timer for this (eyeroll from me). I use the timer on my phone.

I use this method because I’m someone who likes to move and just sitting at my computer for hours at a time is a guarantee that I will get up 4,290 times to get more water, have a snack, etc.

My routine involves setting a timer for 45 minutes, and then I get up a do a quick household task in 10 minutes like start a load of laundry, hang it up on the clothesline, or unload the dishwasher. Something new I have started is after that home task, I then do 20 sit-ups and 10 push-ups before going back to work.

When I sit down again, my head is clearer and I’m ready to hit the computer hard for the next 45 minutes. When working in an office, I did this without really thinking about it, by printing things I needed to the furthest printer on the floor. And then I would take the long way to get there. 

We gotta move people. That’s what I’m saying. Your brain needs it and your productivity needs it.

Speaking of moving, can we talk about the total con job that is female workout shorts? I WANT POCKETS! And not just that little key pocket. I want a pocket for my pepper spray and a pocket for my phone. I have been searching for months for such shorts and have found one pair made by Columbia on a clearance rack.


And yes, this is a fake background and floor. We removed their school details for amenity.

^Please note my 10-year old’s enormous feet. This child wears a men’s size 9. I accidentally wore his shoes on a walk the other day.

Jack seems to really like his teacher this year. She looks to be that perfect mix of super excited new teacher (I think this is her third year) paired with an amazing mentoring veteran teacher.

She does this “class cash” system that I think is genius and should be implemented in all classrooms. Each student has a class job for which they are “paid” $100 a week.

But…to keep their desks, chairs, and seat sacks (chair storage thing) they have to pay weekly rent that exceeds the $100. They earn cash for turning homework in on time, and lose $20 if their homework is late AND still owe homework.

Random acts of kindness, good behavior, etc., can all earn you extra money too. And lying costs $500.

I freaking love this because it is teaching kids about finances, responsibility, and integrity. Jack is determined to earn every dollar possible this year.

He needed a baby picture of himself for the first week and we found some old photos of me while hunting for one. Check out the similarities between 10-year old me and 10-year old Jack. Don’t hate on my perm, you know you had one too.

And three-year-old me and three-year-old Bennett.

Troy clearly had nothing to do with our kids. Or did he…?

Hey, my Canadian friends, listen up (eh)! You’ve heard me talk about the Mealthy Crisp Lid before, and how it is awesome and turns your pressure cooker into an air fryer. It rules. You’ve wanted one, but it hasn’t been available to you. UNTIL NOW!

Amazon Canada is now carrying the CrispLid and it has a special introductory rate at the moment. For anyone else, you can also get your CrispLid directly from Mealthy and take $10 off in the process with the coupon code “Sustainablecooks10”.

One of the extra things I did this week was to take down some maple saplings that were in our yard. We can’t remove the actual root system because it’s growing in a rock (nature is weird), but the branches were getting out of control.

And um, it was blocking the sun from hitting my clothesline in the morning. You don’t mess with my line drying abilities. So, the Sawzall and I had a playdate and now our laundry gets an extra two hours of sun. Two hours!

Bennett was clearly pleased to have his photo taken…#threenager

Before school started, we took one last little day trip as a family. Neither Troy or I wanted to go because being in the car with the boys and their fighting was just not appealing to either of us. But we thought it was important to have a last “hurrah” so we took a day trip to Port Gamble. It’s a quick ferry ride from Seattle or Edmonds.

Port Gamble is an old mill town that is freaking adorable. It has a great public park, the nicest park bathroom you’ve ever seen, a cute mini “town”, and nice beach access. The boys played, ate ice cream, and threw so many rocks into the water I think we may have cleared a section of the beach.

Bennett and I snagged the book Dear Boy from the library last week and I’m deeply in love with this book. This is my favorite page in it and something I am constantly trying to enforce with my boys.

As a mom of two males, my role in life is to raise respectful young men who listen and respect others, especially as they get older. I love this book and I think it teaches them important messages in such a creative way.

Apparently they also have one called Dear Girl but I haven’t seen it at our library. It is free with Amazon Prime reading though.

What I’m Listening To This Week

My friend Cassie from Cook it Real Good suggested the podcast Unravel (season 4) to me this week and it’s GOOD!

It is the investigation into how an average New Zealand’s family’s encounter with a con artist turned their lives upside down.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Alison left this five-star review on our Lemon Bliss Balls (snicker): {Pin this recipe}

These Lemon Bliss Balls are balls to the wall good! Too good, too easy!! They are liked by all at my house!

a plate of lemon bliss balls with cashews and almonds

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Vanilla Extract Recipe – How to Make Vanilla ExtractMaking your own Vanilla Extract Recipe is so simple and makes the best handmade gift. There are even free printable labels for your own bottles! If you have a pressure cooker, I’ll even teach you to make Instant Pot vanilla extract. This is the best vanilla extract you’ll ever try!  {Pin this recipe}

three bottles of homemade vanilla extract with a dish of vanilla beans

Air Fryer Roasted Garlic RecipeAir Fryer Roasted Garlic is so simple to make and even better, cooking it won’t heat up your house! Packed with flavor, roasted garlic cloves add a delicious and mellow garlic flavor to so many dishes. You’ll love how quickly this roasted garlic recipe comes together! {Pin this recipe}

two heads of roasted garlic with fresh herbs on a marble surface

Canning Apple Butter {Crockpot Apple Butter}Canning Apple Butter is an amazing way to preserve the apple harvest. Use your slow cooker for making incredible crockpot apple butter. This is the best apple butter recipe and it’s delicious on toast, yogurt, muffins, or oatmeal.​ Freezing instructions are included too for the non-canners. {Pin this recipe}

jars of slow cooker apple butter with apples and cinnamon sticks

Easy Air Fryer Vegetable RecipesDiscover the nine most amazing Air Fryer Vegetable Recipes you’ll ever make! These healthy and easy recipes are both delicious and perfect for a fast weeknight side dish. You’ll find Whole30 air fryer recipes, vegan and vegetarian air fryer recipes, and paleo air fryer recipes. {Pin this recipe}

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Canning Peaches – the preppers were BUSY this Labor Day!  {Pin this tutorial}
  2. Virgin Mojito  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Canning Pears  {Pin this tutorial}
  4. Trader Joe’s Whole30 Shopping List  {Pin this post}
  5. Whole30 Beef Stew  {Pin this recipe}

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:: Paninis for the boys / BLTA salad for me

Tuesday:: Rotini with Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce (I’m adding ground pork from our local butcher to the sauce) plus cucumbers and carrots for the boys, and the same spaghetti sauce over green beans for me. I’m officially obsessed with this dinner and I can’t GET ENOUGH!

Wednesday:: Brisket, some sort of veggie, and grilled garlic bread. We got a brisket in our Butcher Box order and I turned to the nice readers on Facebook for suggestions on how to cook it. I’m going to attempt it in the Instant Pot. If it fails…it’s your fault. 🙂 

Thursday:: Crispy Oven-Fried Gnocchi and Veggies – the best one-pan meal ever! I have some Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi in the freezer that I use for this Dairy-Free Chicken and Gnocchi Soup. I’ve never tried it for this sheet pan dinner, so fingers crossed.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night. I’m also making Instant Pot Paleo French Onion Soup because Bennett’s speech pathologist gave me some extra onions from her in-law’s farm.

Saturday:: TBD. Maybe BLTAs again. Just being honest. Sandwiches are EASY.

Sunday:: My ML’s birthday! We’re having them over for dinner, dessert, and presents. Troy is making his famous burgers with our delivery from Butcher Box last week.

What We Bought This Week

I hadn’t posted a “what we bought this week” for months until last week. Frankly, it was just being a lazy thing. I got a lot of feedback that y’all missed it so I’m trying to be less lazy.

That being said, thanks to the garden, our well-stocked freezer, and all the pantry essentials, I didn’t buy anything this week except a trip to the farmer’s market ($xx)


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8 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. We were given Dear Boy by my mother in law and it’s a family favorite. We stress the same two pages you liked as well as the beautiful ending. It’s a book I need to add to my To Gift list. 

    Also, why are boys compelled to throw ALL the rocks in water? 

    • I put it on B’s Christmas list too. It was a library book. I agree with you about the last page a well!

      Not just boys…I have a slo-mo video of Troy throwing a huge rock into the water while the boys cheer him on. 🙂

  2. Family traditions are great! We would always go out somewhere special for dinner on the night before school started, and, over the years, ended up with other school families coming out with us. It was a nice way to finish out the school holidays and get the children to connect with their friends again before school started.

  3. YAY for uninterrupted work time! I’ve played around with that method, but usually once I am in the zone, I don’t want to stop, and if I do, I can’t get back into it.

    We are the worst at taking trips. You’d think that we would be expert tourists by now with all the moving we do, but we aren’t. We lived in Montana for 3ish years and never went to Glacier or Yellowstone. We are trying to do better here.

    • I find whatever works, keep on doing it!!

      You’re definitely taking advantage of your beach proximity! You look so happy there in all the IG photos.