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Scattered Sundays

Good morning. I need help. From you!

I have been trying to track down the perfect winter boot and (first world problems), it has eluded me. I got a Lands End gift card for my birthday and have tried their duck boots and some insulated boots that I loved but they had no insole and the sides rubbed on my ankles.

I also have an Amazon gift card so I think I’m heading in that direction. Here’s your mission if you choose to accept it – find me a super comfortable mid-calf winter boot that is adorable, has no fake fur on the trim and isn’t complicated AF to put on. Like a single side zipper. But no basic Ugg Boots cause that is not my style.

Deep emphasis has been placed on the fact that I want them COMFORTABLE. Annnnnnd go!

Teaching him to make my cold brew and for just a few seconds I feel like I have this mothering thing locked down.

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Hellllllo friends! Happy official start to the holiday season. I’m a big believer in “the bird gets its day” and Christmas/Hanukkah cannot start until the Friday after Thanksgiving (unless of course Hanukkah literally starts before Thanksgiving in a particular year). I know for my non-US readers this may not make sense, but I’m committed to it!

I had a reader reach out to me because she had ended up in the hospital for three days and was on lifting restriction when she came home. She printed off our Thanksgiving checklist and handed it to her three grandkids and told them to get to work.

She and I both laughed so hard when one of the kids said “who usually does all this stuff” as he hauled chairs from the spare bedroom. Pin this checklist for next year or use it for your Christmas/Hanukkah planning!

Loved that our Thanksgiving meal involved a bunch of herbs from the garden. Cranberry sauce and heavy cream defrosting from the freezer.

How was your holiday (if you had it)? We had a lovely time and a packed house. Blog reader Jennie and her husband and son joined us and it was a total blast. They had a trial by fire and jumped straight into our crazy extended family. They rallied like champs.

Just like the last time they were in town, Seattle was showing off in full force with amazing weather. I had told her before she even booked her trip that November is the ugliest time in the Northwest. Instead, it made me into a liar when we had the bluest skies ever and bright sun. It was (Seattle) freezing but stunning.

They got to taste my Fluffy Mashed Potatoes, Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce, a US Wellness turkey that I made using the dry brine method from my Paleo Roast Chicken, and some other fun family treats. And then Jennie and I ditched the boys and went for a nice 45-minute walk where I introduced this Midwest girl to some Northwest hills. 🙂

Yeah, I can’t take a selfie. I always forgot to look at the actual camera

With the weather so nice I have been loving my walks lately. Sunny but cold is better than rainy and warm. Getting outside is the best!

If you follow my Instagram stories, you watched me spend over an hour cleaning my oven on Monday. Yeesh, yes, an hour. I hadn’t cleaned it since we got the oven over four years ago. Yikes.

I was dead set against using an oven cleaner because those things have some scary AF chemicals in there! Troy has asthma as does my nephew, and Bennett was “helping” me so using something toxic was not even on the table.

What I ended up doing took a very long time and a lot of elbow grease but the results made it look so much better than before. 

Step 1: mix baking soda and water to create a paste. It’s like 2 or 3 times baking soda to water. You don’t have to be exact. Then spread it all over the door and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Also, yeah, I changed pants. Left: black jeans, Right: realizing this was going to be messy and I should be wearing my outside work pants.

Step 2: Use an abrasive sponge scrubber to loosen up what you can. After this, I had to actually use a metal tool to scrape off the really stubborn spots.

Step 3: Use a Mr. Clean magic eraser to get off all the final spots and polish everything up. Wipe down the whole thing with a damp clean rag.

Step 4: Never use your oven again.

Don’t be too jealous about my 1971 fluorescent light fixture that the moron who built my house actually dropped the kitchen ceiling down by a foot to put in.


Tomorrow is Cyber Monday! I’ll tell you what I tell anyone looking for deals – decide if you really need the item before buying. Otherwise, it’s not really a deal and you’re just contributing to additional waste.

BUT, if you are planning to purchase anything from Amazon, I humbly invite you to go through my digital storefront. I’ll have a category up for Cyber Monday deals to share with you all of the home and kitchen steals I’m finding.

Even if you don’t end up buying what I’ve linked, if you still make a purchase through Amazon I get a small percentage and it doesn’t cost you anything extra. Ex: you click on a link to Amazon for this killer deal on an Instant Pot, but end up buying dog food, I still get a small cut of that sale.

Some other amazing deals that are happening tomorrow:

Butcher Box

If you’re thought about trying out a Butcher Box subscription, their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale is pretty bananas!

Starting today, all new users will receive the Ultimate Steak Sampler (2 Filet Mignons, 2 NY Strips & 4 Top Sirloins) for FREE in their first box. This is $75 worth of steaks, for free. This promotion will run from Friday, November 22nd to Friday, November 29th – while supplies last. You can get that deal here.


If you already have an electric pressure cooker (like an Instant Pot), Mealthy’s CrispLid will convert the pressure cooker into an air fryer! They are having a killer deal on their new and improved lid this week and you can use coupon code: SUSTAINABLECOOKS10 to take an extra $10 off a purchase of $59.95 or more. You can score that deal here..

Kettle and Fire Bone Broth

Now through December 2nd, Kettle and Fire bone broths are having their biggest sale of the year! Get up to 30% off ALL Kettle & Fire products (+ FREE shipping on all orders) Kettle and Fire Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale

And if you’re doing any online shopping at all, make sure you’re a member of Rakuten (formerly) ebates so you can earn cash back on online purchases. If you’re not already a member, signing up with my link gives you a sweet $10 cashback once you spend $25.

What I’m Listening To This Week

Lately, I’ve been listening to a podcast that’s been around forever – Stuff You Should Know. When I first started listening to podcasts, this was one that I subscribed to immediately. But with two episodes a week I found it overwhelming and I stopped listening.

We don’t have cable, but my Dad had it to his part of the house. We apparently benefited from it and got most of the channels. At night when Troy was gone for work, I’d fall asleep with the TV on the sleep setting. I have always loved “noise” while I fall asleep.

My Dad, realizing no one was really watching TV asked our permission to cancel cable. We were only using it like an hour a week so of course, we’re like “yeah, cancel it”. But I still needed noise.

I find the hosts of Stuff You Should Know have a soothing voice that quickly knocks me out.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Long-time reader Sarah (great name!) left this five-star review on our Fluffy Mashed Potatoes {Pin this recipe}:

The best potatoes I’ve ever made! Maybe a little more work than traditional mashed potatoes but so worth it! 

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

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Freezing CranberriesLearn all the tips and tricks for freezing cranberries to keep a stash of this short-season fruit in your freezer. Learning how to freeze cranberries is a great way to preserve this delicious staple of so many baked goods and holiday recipes. {Pin this tutorial}

Whole Wheat Waffles RecipeThis Fluffy Whole Wheat Waffle recipe turns out perfectly every time. A simple waffle recipe, they are light, crispy, and made from scratch. Only you will know they’re 100% whole-grain waffles. And secrets are fun! {Pin this recipe}

whole grain waffles on a grey plate with a fork and syrup

Gifts for the Busy Home CookThese Gifts for the Busy Home Cook will help you find the perfect present for the frantic foodie fanatic in your life. These 18 amazing kitchen tools will save them time and make cooking a breeze! {Pin these ideas}

Confessions – Everyone’s favorite post of the month!

Graphic Novels for Tweens and KidsYou’re going to love this list of the best graphic novels for tweens and kids! A comprehensive guide of beloved graphic novels, there is a special book here for any youth in your life. {Pin this post}

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

We have three new recipes on the leaderboard today and two are very holiday specific!

  1. Mojito Mocktail  {Pin this recipe}  – this post blew up this week. I think all the non-drinkers were trying to figure out how to deal with everyone talking politics at Thanksgiving. Lol.
  2. Crispy Fried Onions  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Canning Apple Butter  {Pin this tutorial}
  5.  Make-Ahead Scrambled Eggs  {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Breakfast burritos, greens, and fruit.

Tuesday:: New recipe I am working on with veggies and garlic bread on the side.

Wednesday:: TBD because Troy didn’t come through with a dinner idea before I had to hit publish. Pfft!

Thursday:: Paninis and salad. We have soccer and the boys have been begging for paninis. Fine by me – easy enough to prep and eat on the run.

Friday:: Another new recipe I’m working on and then we’re headed off to soccer.

Saturday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night

Sunday:: Family dinner

What are you having this week?



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20 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Winter boot suggestions: Kamik boots are amazing, waterproof, comfortable. Much pricier but also great are La Canadienne boots – these are good for looking less “booty” but still being all the warm, waterproof, snowboot goodness.

  2. You need Panama Jack boots, I love mine. They’re lined and waterproof and very comfortable. Mine pull on but I think they do ones with zippers too.

  3. I need to check out Stuff You Should Know!  Podcasts are my reward for getting up an hour before everyone else to empty the dishwasher, make lunches, etc.  I also listen to them when I’m doing any housework on weekends so I can run through them pretty quickly!

    This week we’re having….
    Monday:  spaghetti with chicken and fresh
    tomato/spinach/mushroom sauce
    Tuesday:  My oldest has her first band concert at 6pm so we’re going out for Tex Mex, post-concert.
    Wednesday:  chili and baked potatoes 
    Thursday:  Middle daughter is singing at the tree-lighting ceremony so it’s going to be cheater packaged chicken tikka masala from Costco
    Friday:  probably picnic dinner (basically the same as your popcorn dinner)
    Saturday:  my kids have been begging for this beef and bacon  stew I make with cheddar herb dumplings, which takes all afternoon and is totally worth it

    • Oh, and I live in Central Texas so I have no boot recommendations!  Unless you find yourself needing some really pretty cowboy boots.  Then I could steer you in the right direction!  😉

    • OMG, I do the reward system too for getting up early! Mine is a can of flavored sparkling water. What podcasts do you like?

      I think I have tried that tikka masala from Costco before. I never thought I liked Indian food but I’ve been loving the samples they’ve handed out.

  4. Merrell. All the way. I have a pair very similar to this from 8 years ago, the sole doesn’t slide, minimal break in time, water proof – they are my go to for snow shoveling or rainy weather, even after buying a much more expensive full calf Kodiak thinsulate boot. They wear in wonderfully and require virtually no maintenance.
    If you live near an REI, they generally carry them and you can try on there – then order elsewhere for a much better price
    No fancy html for this girl, so sorry….

    • I love, love, love those! But I couldn’t find them in my giant foot size. I even checked the Merrell site since they were having a big sale yesterday. Dangit!

  5. Aren’t magic erasers amazing?  I use one to clean my glass stovetop and it’s a godsend!

    • They’re the best!!! I love them for walls and the door frames of the boy’s rooms since they can’t just walk into a room. Oh, no, they have to launch themselves into their rooms by swinging their hands on the door frame.

  6. “… find me a super comfortable mid-calf winter boot that is adorable, has no fake fur on the trim and isn’t complicated AF to put on.”
    *watching & taking notes*

  7. I just had to get new boots this year, so I have only used them a few times…in a good amount of snow and cold in MN and IA. Colombia Ice Maiden. So far, so good. Pretty well quilted, with the bare minimum of Sherpa type fur at the top, which is much easier to deal with than my old Sorels with a lot of fur. A tie up the front, but with long enough laces that they don’t easily come unlaced. Narrow enough to not make my feet look GIANT. My niece used them sledding, and I didnt hear any complaints!

    • Thank you for this! I’ll check them out.

      Another reader took her boots to a shoe repair place and had them put “speed hooks” on for the laces. It was $9. Maybe see if that is an option?

      Love a boot that doesn’t make a foot look like skis.

      • Yeah. I am 5’4″ on a GOOD DAY, and wear a size 9. I have now worn them for a few days of work on recess duty and shoveling. Still loving them!

        Also, thanks got the book recommendations for graphic novels. Can’t wait til our library re-opens so we can check some out! And I added some new podcasts to our lists too!

      • Like the letter “L”. 🙂

        You’re welcome! Love the library so I hope you can find them all!