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Scattered Sundays

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I’m speaking to the chicks born in the 80’s. Yeah, all you Sarah’s, Brandi’s, Jennifer’s, Jessica’s, Katie’s and Mandy’s.

Do you remember those portable curling irons and flat irons? Like you’d push in a fuel cartridge (was it butane??) to heat it up and then curl your hair after gym.

And once it cooled down, you’d throw it in your backpack and go about your day. With freaking butane riding around on your back.

I can’t for the life of me understand why these things aren’t around anymore…

Tomorrow is a day of reflection here in the states as we reflect on Veteran’s Day. If you or a family member are currently in service or have served, my family and I thank you for your sacrifice! Those who live in freedom will always be grateful to those who helped preserve it.

Hello from (almost) the other side of soccer season; we survived! Jack’s team did so well and it was crazy fun to watch the boys grow in skill and maturity. I will also say it was the first season where Bennett could play with all the other little siblings on the sidelines and we could mostly enjoy watching Jack play. 

He wants to play indoor this winter, but I would prefer basketball. For one, it’s cheaper, two it’s a hell of a lot closer, and three I think kids do better when they play a multitude of sports instead of going hyper-focused on one. I mean, he’s 10, it’s not like he is trying for a college scholarship at this stage. That comes when they’re 12, right? 🙂

On Thursday I headed down to Portland to meet up with some Oregon/southwest Washington bloggers and it was such fun! Chelsea from A Duck’s Oven organized it, and I also got to meet Shannon from Pass Me Some Tasty, Kristel from Photoricalfood, Cheryl from Bakes by Brown Sugar, Chelsey from The Saucy Fig, and Sarah from Yeoman Photo (the family cookbook project).

We got together at (<—not a typo) for an evening of networking, photography talking, and nerding out over SEO (search engine optimization which is how you technically write/tailor your posts so that Google shows them to people) all over yummy treats. 

If you saw my Instagram stories on Wednesday night, I brought a batch of Nordy Bars and another dessert that will be coming soon to the blog in December. Nothing tortures your kids like making Nordy Bars and then taking 98% of the batch for strangers.

Portland is so weird and fun. And to make the trip even better, I got to spend the night with Troy’s cousin’s family and see my niece and nephew (yes, technically they’re my second (?) cousins, but we go the route where anyone younger than us is a niece or nephew and anyone older is an aunt or uncle. One of my Filipino friends said that makes us all honorary Filipinos.).

After the event, my cousins and I chilled on the couch and watched Dateline together. And then I got home to find a bunch of selfies from their 13-year-old daughter on my phone. Amazing.

When Jack was little he received a Leap Frog pen and books for his birthday or Christmas. And for a year or so, people gifted him more books that he could read with the little pen. And he loved it!

After he outgrew them, we lent them to a friend with a younger son. We recently got them back and Bennett has been OBSESSED with them, just like his brother was. And of course the bubble wrap they wrapped them in has been played with for two weeks now.

This time around though, we’re a lot smarter as parents (maybe?) and put headphones in the pen. Everyone wins. The first night he got them he was so excited he stayed up waaaaay too late reading and organized them in his room to read as soon as he got up. Yep, that’s my boy!

If you have kiddos ages 3-6,these Leap Frog pens are perfect holiday or anytime gifts. Ours is now seven years old and has survived three boys.

The books tend to run $7-15 each, but they can be found secondhand as well. Though, a three-year-old being silent in his room for an hour entertaining himself is worth a full-price ticket. 🙂

It only took us four (maybe five?) months, but Troy and I finally got through all eight seasons of Game of Thrones. I found the most common things I would throw out during the series was “gross, they didn’t even have toilet paper and you’re doing THAT” and “it’s freezing cold and none of these people are wearing hats”. 

Now we’re on the hunt for something new to watch. Any suggestions?

The boys and I made Strawberry Freezer Jam last week with frozen strawberries from our garden (related: Freezing Strawberries and DIY Strawberry Towers). It’s jam so easy a 10 and 3-year old who can’t stop fighting for even 42 seconds can make it.


Have you made one of my recipes and loved it? Have you had a chance to leave a review and star rating on it? Those comments with ratings are so valuable to food bloggers as it helps Google recognize it as a quality recipe that it should show to more people. And it’s a totally free way to support food bloggers who literally bleed and sweat to produce free content.

If you have a moment and want to add a review to a recipe of mine that you’ve enjoyed, I’d greatly appreciate it! You can find all the recipes organized in my archives.

What I’m Listening To This Week

I finally finished the audiobook Lethal White this week. And just in the nick of time as it was almost due back to the library. It is the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series from Robert Galbraith (who is really JK Rowling) and I have read or listened to all them from our library. Apparently it is also a TV series in the UK that I need to try to track down to try to stream.

They’re great mystery/thriller books and I got my dad hooked on them because the hero of the story is an amputee. That’s like Captain America to my dad’s people. 🙂

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Kirsten left this five-star review on our Baked Brie in Puff Pastry With Roasted Garlic {Pin this recipe}:

This recipe is such a treat for the mouth. I’ve been known to forego the crackers and just cut this baby up and eat as-is. Sometimes instead of puff pastry, we just use Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. And sometimes, we switch it up, doing sliced apples and brown sugar instead of the roasted garlic. Yummm!!

baked brie in puff pastry with a plate of crackers and rosemary

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Instant Pot Garlic Parmesan RiceGarlic Parmesan Rice is a fast weeknight side dish that the whole family will love! Made in the Instant Pot, this garlic rice is great for meal prep and is delicious even after a few days in the fridge. No pressure cooker? You’ll also find stovetop instructions in the recipe. {Pin this recipe}

a side view of rice in a blue bowl topped with parsley

I will say, this recipe took off in some Instant Pot Facebook groups and people made it the same night it was shared. It was awesome to read the comments I got from people about how much their families LOVED this rice!

Nana’s Almond Roca Recipe –  Addicting homemade candy, my Nana’s Almond Roca Recipe is the perfect holiday treat. Whip up a batch of this easy almond toffee for a special homemade gift. A delicious buttercrunch toffee topped with melted chocolate, this will become a family holiday favorite year after year. {Pin this recipe}

Whole30 Air Fryer RecipesDiscover the 10 most amazing Whole30 Air Fryer 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, gluten-free and paleo air fryer recipes. {Pin this post}

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

This was the first week in a long time that a canning post wasn’t in the top 1-2 spots! I guess that is to be expected as the last of the garden and seasonal farm harvests are winding down. My How to Can Pumpkin post skyrocketed the day after Halloween. Due to needing super clean practices when it comes to canning, I hope people were NOT canning their jack-o-lanterns.

  1. Mojito Mocktail  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Instant Pot Orange Chicken  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Instant Pot Garlic Parmesan Rice  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Canning Pumpkin  {Pin this tutorial
  5. Canning Applesauce  {Pin this tutorial}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Whole30 Beef Stew and some bread that is crusty AF! We got beef tips in our Butcher Box box this week and I’m assuming I can use it as stew beef. I guess we’ll find out.

Tuesday:: Spinach Ravioli we got from Smith Brother’s (our milkman, aka whom Troy calls Bennett’s dad) and a salad.

Wednesday:: Sheet Pan Pork Fajitas and salad. There were boneless pork chops in our Butcher Box order and this recipe is perfect for those!

Thursday:: Jack has his end of the year soccer party. Pizza that someone else has to cook!

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night

Saturday:: TBD

Sunday:: Family dinner

What We Bought This Week

Smith Brother’s Farms: $20.97 (there are multiple containers of ravioli stacked up in there). That Tony’s Cold Brew is so insanely good. We buy it once every three months as a special treat.

Fred Meyer:: Jack already shredded the receipt so I have no idea how much I spent. Haha, looks like a fun cart this week, huh? Marshmallows and butterscotch were for the Nordy Bars. Theo Chocolates (hollah for an awesome Seattle company) for an upcoming post.


What are you having this week?

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24 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Right now we are finishing Chuck on Amazon prime.

    • I used to love that show! Have you watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? “Chuck” is a character in last season and he looks hilarious in 1960’s clothing. He’s so tall and the pants are SO high! 🙂

  2. My son has played only soccer since he was 6 and year round (fall, spring, and indoor) since he was 7. He LOVES soccer to say the least. We also supplemented with personal training and classes. Not because we are trying to raise an Olympian, but because he loves soccer and I wanted to make sure he got the opportunity to reach his potential. Fast forward to age 14 and he was a freshman starter on the high school varsity team. I think every family needs to decide what is best for their family, and it is different having only one child compared to multiple. I love being a soccer mom and am already dreading when HS is over.

    • I definitely should have linked the article that led me to state my opinion about playing multiple sports. Without that it just makes me look like I’m spouting weird opinions. 🙂

      But I can’t find it and I read it like five years ago. Alas. The jist of it is 20 years ago, kids used to play a different sport every season and their bodies would get a chance to recover from the repetitive motion of the previous sport. It was something along the lines of specializing too early can lead to body burn out that doctors are seeing in college kids that they used to see in 40-year-old professional athletes. It was a super good article but I must have read it in a hard copy magazine (I used to work with nurses and they all left their medical journals laying around).

      I too love being a soccer mom. I hated being a baseball mom (soooooo boring!) but enjoyed cheering on basketball. Mainly because it was inside during the winter. Lol. In middle school, I’ll become a track and cross country mom too. I have no idea how that will be, but I know I’ll need to invest in waterproof mascara. Each and every time I watch Jack race, I start crying watching the kids cross the finish line.

      Good luck to your kiddo and congrats on his huge accomplishment!

  3. Born in the 70s but totally know about the butane curling irons! My sister used to take hers and click it on while holding it in her jacket pockets to warm her hands. (in northern California where it was maybe 50F?) Thank you for the laugh, haven’t thought of those in YEARS.

    TV? I’d recommend Peaky Blinders (Netflix), His Dark Materials (HBO), and Narcos (but subtitles) (Netflix).

    • That is a hilarious way to warm your hands! I love it and could totally see my sister doing the same thing.

      We love Peaky Blinders but I haven’t seen the other ones you’ve recommended!

  4. We visited Seattle over the summer and stopped at Theo’s Chocolates. Yum

  5. It’s really strange to me that your football season has finished, small boys freezing during Sunday morning football in December is a British tradition, we started in August/September and go all the way to May and if you’re lucky you have school holiday off!
    Have you read Range? It’s about early specialisation versus having a broader base, that uses the stories of Roger Federer and Tiger Woods as examples. I haven’t read it but I’ve read a couple of articles about it (, maybe you can use it to persuade Jack! If he’s the next Christian Pulisic, then that might work really well for my beloved Chelsea FC!

    • We’re Aug-Nov here and then it switches over to basketball season. Are your fields (pitches?) real grass or artificial? The local fields are grass so by November they’re totally thrashed. Total mudfest.

      I heard about that book on a podcast but haven’t read it yet.

  6. The first season of Goliath on Amazon Prime was pretty good (if you don’t mind Billy Bob Thorton). Not sure if you’ve seen that yet. Season 2 was ok and 3 is just weird from what we’ve watched so far. 
    How’s that seltzer? I can’t find a La Croix flavor that doesn’t taste like dirt to me. ????‍♀️
    LOVE seeing the recipes for sweets!!!! ????

    • There is something about how large his teeth are that bothers me, but I do think he is a good actor and would be willing to watch it. Lol

      It’s good! That flavor is our favorite, but I find that most sparkling water tastes the same. Have you tried Buble? My sis’ family doesn’t like La Croix but they are crazy for Buble.

  7. I love the cormorant strike books! She is such a good writer so I’m glad she’s writing books for adults now. The series is available on Amazon but not prime. I’ve read such good reviews about it, though, I plan to pay to watch at least the first one to see if they really are that good. I hate paying but good shows are hard to find!

    Have you read or listened to Casual Vacancy? It’s got mixed reviews but was really good. The bad reviews complained there were too many characters to keep track of. Whiners….

    • I agree she’s a great writer! I bet the library has the series. I’ll look into it.

      I did read Casual Vacancy but I can’t really remember a single thing about it. Was there a trashy teen girl? A kid who was a waiter in a restaurant? I do remember there were a ton of characters!

  8. Did NOT know the Cormoran Strike series was a show in the UK! If you find out how to get it in the U.S., please share. I’d love to watch it! Have you watched Downton Abbey? Love. My husband finished Yellowstone and Narcos and loved them. He’s on Mindhunter now and says it’s really good. I slowly get through shows; I’m more of a book fan (hence my enthusiasm for Cormoran Strike) 🙂

    • I’m going to try our library first, but another reader said it is available on Amazon Prime but costs $$.

      I did watch DA because my mom loved it. I think I stopped the season after Matthew died. I don’t remember anything after that!

  9. Ooh, if you like sci fi and drama, maybe the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica (2004)? It’s not cheesy at all like the original, and my husband and I were hooked when it came out. It’s now free to stream with a Prime membership on Amazon. If you like police drama, I love CSI:NY with Gary Sinise. We’re also considering watching the original V with the kids for our movie night.

    • I actually don’t like sci fi, but do love drama. And great crime shows!

      I haven’t watched BG before, but one of the actors is a supporter of funding Alinkers (the mobility bikes) so that’s a draw for me! 🙂

      • BSG is more drama than sci fi, they don’t get bogged down with science. CSI: NY is a great crime show. It got me through a surgery recovery; my older kids enjoyed it “because of the science.” Criminal Minds is great, but gets quite gory/weird sometimes because: serial killers.

  10. Just placed a hold at my (online) library for your book recommendation.  With a 20 hour drive coming up soon I’m looking for many distractions! Thank you!