Sustainable Cooks
First Time Visiting? Start Here!

Scattered Sundays

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

You all sent me so many messages about the freaky carpool Carebear photo I shared last week! Well, guess what? I was walking this week and the tie has been removed from the Carebear’s eyes! He looks like he had a little facelift, right?

I wonder if his (her?) owners decided it wanted to see the gorgeous fall colors that we’re experiencing right now. Very thoughtful. Also, this car keeps moving to different spots in the driveway so someone is definitely driving somewhere with this stuffed animal.

And…is it possible for my life to get MORE exciting? 🙂

Hey, I’ve told you all about Momables meal plans before, and am super excited about a new program they launched this week! It is targeted to families with picky eaters (kids or adults) and it’s all about stopping the meal battles.

Lauren, the creator of Momables and the new Happier Plates program is the mom of three picky kids. She spent seven years in feeding therapy with her kids after too many dinner table breakdowns (hers and her kiddos). She designed Happier Plates for families just like hers.

If you’re tired of making multiple meals and want your kids to try new foods, you’re going to LOVE this program! Check out Happier Plates today!

I heard from a lot of you about your own experiences with weighted blankets, and I’m so happy to hear how much you love yours! As I mentioned last week, we have one for Jack to help manage his nightmares and what I am self-diagnosing as racing mind syndrome. And it’s been wonderful.

He had a nightmare this week and didn’t feel the need to come and wake us up. He said the blanket helped him manage it. And on Thursday, our neighbor’s dog Jack (yep, and their previous dog was named Sarah…) passed away.

My (human) Jack was devastated. Both of my boys are scared of dogs, but they both adored Jack (the dog). His passing hit (human) Jack hard, but he slept ok comforted by his blanket. The blanket was worth every penny. And it’s still $10 off.

We had Troy’s half brother and his family over for dinner yesterday. The meal plan brought with it some challenges as one of them is dairy-free and has Celiac. We went simple with grilled chicken, grilled veggies, and garlic bread on the (very very far away) side for anyone who could eat bread.

For dessert, I was initially going to make Gluten Free Mug Cakes, but since the dairy-free person does consume butter, I ended up making Fudgy Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies.

If you’re part of our Facebook page, you have already seen this, but for anyone else, I’m so excited to share this news with everyone else!

Back in August (seems like a lifetime ago! This year is flying), my readers and I crowdfunded an Alinker mobility bike for a young man from Canada.

Well, it has arrived and he used it while touring college campuses and his mom shared a photo!

Just look at that smile! It turned me back into a mushy puddle for the day.

The Alinker helps people with mobility issues interact with the world at eye-level. Unless you’ve ever had people literally have to talk down to you, it’s hard to understand what sort of dignity comes from having people at your eye level.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you all again for making this happen! You’re proof that there are still really amazing people in this world. You’re our hope.

Bennett was a hell beast this week. There were a solid two days that I was tempted to just give him away. And it wasn’t just bratty three-year-old behavior; he was trying to be physical with me. Oh.Hell.No.Chiiiiiiild.

At one point, I had two of his hands in one of my hands and his ankles in my other hand because he was trying to hit and kick me at the same time. He had already been put to bed without any books or stories and I caught him reading a book (which I later realized was his children’s bible so maybe he was searching for the answers to his own crappy behavior) and I took it away.

And then the night (further) went to hell and he straight up lost his mind. I had to walk away because I was 100% not in control of my own behavior and was a few seconds away from throwing him out the window.

I’ve been trying hard to not eat sugar during the week, but that night I stress-ate the heck out of some chocolate. I’m human and that tiny little punk BROKE me.

That day had started with him slamming his door in my face after I sent him to his room for a time out. The result?

Little shit’s door became my property. I play for keeps.

I am also counting down the days until he turns four and his soul returns to his body. Until then, he’ll be studying his bible and hopefully finding the commandment about honoring thy mother and father… 🙂

I’m just a girl, standing in front of a blog, trying not to two boys to be a bag of dicks.

The garden has been put to bed for the season. Tomatoes have been ripped up, cucumber vines have been pulled, and the raspberry canes are trimmed.

I finally planted the garlic (related: How to Plant Garlic), and now I will ignore it for the next 10 months.


Are we friends on Pinterest already? If not (sob), follow our boards to be the first to know what I’m pinning and sharing. Just an FYI, the idea of being a “Pinterest mom” makes my skin crawl. So, you won’t find me pinning Disney character pancakes that take four hours to carve by hand.

Rather, I pin and share useful and REALISTIC meals, (some) crafts, and fun ideas. Basically, I don’t pin stuff that makes either of us feel like a piece of crap. 🙂

Click here to follow us on Pinterest

What I’m Listening To This Week

This one is for my true crime nerds! I started Murder in Oregon this week. So far there is only one episode but I’m hooked.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Marilyn left this five-star review on our Fluffy Mashed Potatoes recipe {Pin this recipe}:

These were delish! Served with roast and fresh green beans. I will say, I always soak my potatoes (especially red in cold water overnite) before boiling. It soaks ALOT of starch out. Drain, refill with cold water and boil. Really does make a difference.

An easy mashed potato recipe in a bowl topped with butter and rosemary

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Chocolate Pretzel BarkWhen you need a fast dessert or appetizer, whip up a batch of this easy Chocolate Pretzel Bark. Just two simple components and you’re on way your to a speedy and shareable snack that everyone will love! Pretzel bark and chocolate bark recipes are easily adaptable to be dairy-free, gluten-free, or vegan. {Pin this recipe}

12 Easy Instant Pot Side DishesDiscover 12 delicious Instant Pot Side Dishes to make weeknight dinners a snap. If you’re pressed for time, let your pressure cooker do the work of creating healthy side dishes. You’ll love that these easy Instant Pot sides are done in minutes and ready for your family. {Pin this recipe}

Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup –  Healthy and easy, this Chicken Gnocchi Soup is the perfect comfort food. Loaded with vegetables and packed with flavor, this Olive Garden copycat soup recipe will become a family favorite. A one-pot wonder, you’ll love this creamy gnocchi soup for the perfect dinner. It’s even better the next day, so you get to enjoy it for lunch too! {Pin this recipe}

a bowl of chicken gnocchi soup on a grey plate with a white napkin

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Mojito Mocktail  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Canning Pears  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Canning Apple Butter  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Canning Applesauce  {Pin this recipe}
  5. Instant Pot Orange Chicken  {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Crispy Baked Potato bar (Jack actually requested these! This is a kid who didn’t like any potato products, even fries until he was six) with a big side salad.

Tuesday:: Troy’s amazing burgers, grilled veggies, and tots. Because…tots. They’re organic at least. 🙂

Wednesday:: I have ground turkey in the freezer (related: our freezer essentials) so I’m going to make a version of this Simple Shepherd’s Pie with Turkey and a salad on the side.

Thursday:: Halloween! We’re trick-or-treating with a group and I like to make dinner for all of us beforehand. I’m making homemade frozen pizza and Spicy Vegan Butternut Squash soup for a member of our group who is vegan and gluten-free.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: TBD

Sunday:: Family dinner

What We Bought This Week

Trader Joe’s: $41.08

Fred Meyer: $22.87

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

19 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Have you listened to the All Killa no Filla podcast? I think it only comes out monthly but each episode focuses on a serial killer.

  2. I’m sorry about Bennet. You totally seem to be doing a good job handling it even if you feel like you almost lose it. We can only take so much. I feel like crap when I lose patience but I try not to beat myself up too bad. And I always try to talk to my kids more rationally after we both calm down!

    On another note, I’ve noticed this before but why do you call troys brother his half brother? I mean I get that he’s his half brother but why does it need to be said? Why not just brother? All my siblings are half brothers but I just call them my brother. And my children have half siblings but we never feel the need to differentiate. We’ve talked about the halfness but I always tell them we all love each other the same so there is no need to say half sibling. We are all family.

    • Because we only see him like once every 3 or so years. Troy barely grew up with him.

      The person I call troy’s sister (cause she is) is actually his half-sister but they grew up together and we see her all the time. I guess for me it’s a way to clarify for any long-time readers who this person is because I have never once mentioned him before.

      • Aww, that makes total sense! I suppose I have a brother like that too. I just say he’s my dads son ???? I only met them both when I was 27!

      • Wow, 27?

        It gets more complicated for me to publically explain him like that because I don’t publically refer to Troy’s birth father. LOL. I figure mentioning his brother once every four years seems easier. 🙂

      • Yeah I was 27. I found him by searching online. I was actually moving to Portland when I found him and he lived in a town about an hour away from that. And to make everything even a bit more odd, I Bought ancestry .com dna tests for my mom, my grandma (moms mom), my dad, and I in 2018. When his test results came back he found out the person he thought his dad his whole life was not and has found a whole new family! I guess his biological dad had 7-9 children and I think my dad is one of the oldest if not the oldest. Families are weird and complicated 😉

  3. Hey Sarah, hang in there. This is the stuff of future funny stories, right? Maybe?

    So I noticed (she said casually, despite having meticulously studied the photo) that you have a bag of apples in your Trader Joe basket. Do you have an opinion on Trader Joe’s produce? I saw an article on FB (so you know it has to be true ;)) that warned against buying produce from TJ because it is usually on the verge of spoiling. Have you found this to be the case? I am very highly open to suggestion so since that seed was planted, I am convinced that this is the case. I need some perspective here.

    What are your thoughts?


    • I’ve never read that before, but wouldn’t you know it, some cucumbers I bought tasted horrible as soon as I got them home.

      I don’t buy too much produce at TJ’s because I hate the packaging. I guess I’ve had decent luck with what I have purchased so far? I got those apples because they were a type I had never heard of and wanted to try. They’re fine. Nothing special.

  4. Here’s a little encouragement for you Moms in the trenches. My daughter did all this and more– she ran away at 5 (every other age-year seems to be bad) and I wouldn’t go after her…her father did. When we sold the house, had to get a new door BC she had slammed her’s so often and so hard that it had split. But guess what? She’s 44 years old now and a KINDERGARDEN teacher in Atlanta. She thrived and I survived…and you will too.

    • Thankfully having a 10-year-old means I know it does get better. But when you’re in the trenches it is so very hard to keep your head up.

      I’m sure your daughter is a lovely teacher and great for those little ankle biters!

  5. Oh, also, I went to family camp once, where I came down with the flu. I was in bed on the last day, just waiting for the boat to come to bring us home. A staff member knocked and asked if he could take the cabin door. Sure. Then someone came and asked if it was okay for them to take the light bulb. Sure, but WHY? Well, it turns out that at camp lights out is when it’s dark and no door keeps the shenanigans to a minimum. The only reason we had doors and bulbs was because we were adults in charge of the youngsters.

  6. Yep, that door slamming thing seems to be a rite of passage. I warned, but it certainly was cathartic to take a screwdriver and hammer to the (painted over, but not by us) hinges as the offending child wondered aloud, “You’re taking the DOOR OFF?!”
    And the thrashing about, kicking and screaming stage came to a head in a store. I carried her out and literally THREW her into the back (bench) seat of the car, slammed the door shut and locked it and stood outside hyperventilating. This parenthood thing is NOT for lightweights. A shout out thank you to Marilyn for the hint about soaking the potatoes.

  7. I wanted to tell my story during confessions but I was scared of the judgement of what I felt was my failure. I lost my shit when my 9 year old threw a tantrum a few weekends ago. We’re trying a new natural serotonin vitamin for when his meds wear off and I forgot this day. It was bad. On both sides. It ended with him screaming, “I HATE YOU!” and him running away from home. He just went around the block (with me following behind with the 3 year old) but it was enough. We straightened the house and everyone took a time out. I’m sorry we’re have to go through this but thankful to hear I’m not alone.

  8. I knew you were a kindred spirit! I found my god-daughter reading after lights out, she got a warning and then I removed all the lightbulbs in her room, I told her that I wasn’t asking her to go to sleep for the good of my health and if she wouldn’t do as I asked, then I would create the environment that ensured she had no other choice. Her little mind was blown. (and yes her mother did let me babysit again!).

  9. I have 2 boys who are 3 years apart. They are now 14 & 11.  We went through the door slamming phase.  My older son also lost his door.  After the door was gone  my older son (at the time was 3 or 4) got mad at me because he could not have quiet time in his room since the door was off.  It was off for like 3 days. It was returned on a trial basis. He was told if it gets slammed again it will be gone for a much longer time. We did not have to take it off again. He hated not having a door like a “normal” person lol. Got to love that age.