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Scattered Sundays

Jack went off to fifth-grade camp this week and had a pretty good time. He was initially fairly worried about it and was convinced that his cabin was going to get last place for points (they did) and they would have to scrub toilets (they didn’t). Oh, the stresses of 10-year-olds. 🙂

His cabin was Pac Man

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Troy and I were able to go to parent’s night on day two and we had dinner with him and then got to watch all the skits and songs. The kids all seemed to be living it up and enjoying themselves.

The camp is uber focused on sustainability and waste and it gave me all the pink puffy hearts. At dinner they only give out enough food for each person at the table to have one serving. Then, after about 20 minutes they offered more food, but you had to count the number of people at the table who wanted seconds and they would only provide that amount of food.

No one went hungry (you could have as many servings as you wanted), but it was very much an “eat and then pause to see if you’re full and be mindful of your consumption” situation. Which um, is honestly how we all should eat. 

At the end of dinner, we had to stack plates and scrape any leftover food into one container per table. Leftover food was referred to as “ork” and any table without leftovers got to do a cool little cheer (the Ork Report).

Then, each table brought the leftover food up to be weighed. Between the two schools at the camp and parents, there were probably 150-200 people there. And guess what? There were only four pounds of wasted food total! It was added to the compost and the kids were challenged to get to three pounds for breakfast. It was freaking awesome!

We slipped these into his toiletries bag before he left.

I also snuck a new book into his sleeping bag when we were touring his cabin. That’s the kind of stuff that makes nerds happy when they’re away from home.

I think these kinds of activities are awesome growth opportunities for kiddos (and parents too), and I’m so thankful our school has this event. They came off that bus seeming more mature and connected. And exhausted…and stinky!

When we saw him on Wednesday night he was annoyed that his cabin was always late (tardiness is a personal pet peeve of both Jack and me) and was very surprised at how dirty other kids are. He had a lot of learning to do this week – ha!

We gave him a big hug at pick up, and then promptly shoved him into the shower as soon as we got home. And oh my, the laundry! Because of his giant feet, he ended up taking a bunch of my pairs of Darn Tough socks and even my snow/rain boots. I never thought I would be sharing footwear with a 10-year-old.

Everything came back wet and smelly. I used my favorite new detergent, Defunkify, and now, nothing smells bad. I originally found this stuff at a local grocery store and bought it because of the name. But holy crap it works so well! And this isn’t sponsored; I just love this company and that they’re from the PNW.

The teachers and principal worked so hard to make it all happen – from fundraising, to the camp curriculum, and keeping 52 hormonal, stinky, and whiny kids safe for four days. All in the pouring rain.

They were away from their families for the week and I can’t imagine it was remotely easy. And because a weekend at the spa was out of the budget, at pick up on Friday, I brought them each a bottle of wine and Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Our house was SO quiet while he was gone. No fighting and no screaming. We sure missed him, but it was really easy to have just one kiddo for a few days. Given all the challenges that we had with Jack at an earlier age, it never seemed simple when it was just him. 

This week I was featured in two really cool articles. 16 Ways to Be More Sustainable in 2020 from TreeBird and How Long Does it Take to Make Money Blogging from Jessi on a Journey. Check them out and the articles have some other awesome tips from bloggers.

Bennett turned four on Tuesday, and is pretty pleased with himself now that he is “bigger”. Though he is pretty bummed that his voice still sounds “like a little kid”. 

Psst, you are still a little kid buddy.

We had his preschool conference on Thursday and it went so well. Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows that preschool and kindergarten were HARD for us with Jack. He was that kid who stirred up trouble, was distracting, and generally just a troublemaker. Conferences were so stressful because we never knew what was coming. He’s such a great kid in school now, but oy it was a hard journey.

Bennett even got a report card (is that a new thing for preschool?) and scored really well. They said he is a super nice kid who gets along with everyone and works really hard. We were relieved to hear all of this and really proud of this little guy. It just goes to show you that each kid is very much their own person!

For his birthday, my mother-in-law got him three of these picture frames and I am declaring them the best thing ever. Bennett produces more “art” than we can keep up with, and with these picture frames, he can change everything out multiple times per day. It’s like having our very own art gallery.

Who is watching the Super Bowl later today? Since the Seahawks aren’t in it, we’re just watching for the commercials and of course, the food.

I have been thinking really hard over the last few weeks, and have come to a decision I wanted to share with you all. Starting in March, I am planning on dropping my posting schedule down to two posts per week, plus my Sunday post. Right now I am doing a minimum of three (plus Sunday), and most weeks there are even more posts going live.

I have big plans for 2020, and frankly trying to make them all fit in with my current posting schedule was stressing me the eff out. It came to a head in December during winter break when I was trying to do all the things.

November and December are the busiest time in blogging. And December is the craziest time in parenting with the holidays and a long winter break. And I found myself gasping all the time. Straight up gasping.

I have friends and family with anxiety and I knew it wasn’t that. But something was up with my brain and it wasn’t communicating well with my lungs. 

I thought it might be stress, a reaction to sugar (hey, I was eating sooooo much over the holidays), or who knows what. I never came up with an actual answer but I realized that something proooooobably needed to be adjusted.

Step one was making sure I was doing ONE thing for myself every single day. I already try to walk daily but it doesn’t always work out. I needed something I could do that 1) cost nothing 2) was manageable 3) wasn’t weather or child-care dependent. And that is how the uber-simple goal of reading 15 minutes a day came to happen.

So far, I have read five (maybe six?) books and have remembered how much I freaking love reading. And while as a family we are giant library users, it’s fun to pick up books that are FOR ME.

The week we had two snow days, my work schedule got shot to crap. And then a few days later we got the notification that Bennett’s school had an all-day field trip coming up.

Hand to God, I sighed and was incredibly irritated that going with him meant losing yet another day of work. I debated if I just stay home and let him be the responsibility of the other chaperones.

And then I checked myself and realized giving up one day of work to take him to the aquarium wasn’t going to matter in a few years. But I couldn’t get that time back with him. So I went. And yes, I wanted to start drinking about 30 minutes in, but I went.

So, I made the decision that at least for March-June, I am dropping down my posting schedule. It will give me time to slow down my aggressive schedule just a wee bit and work on content for upcoming months so that I’m not feeling like I’m constantly churning. And maybe, just maybe, my lungs will remember how they are meant to work.

Two years ago, you all convinced me to start watching The Good Place. Well, the series ended this week. It was bittersweet. I’ll miss the show, the hotness that is Chidi, and the ball of sunshine that is watching Kristen Bell do anything.

But, I do have a big complaint about this final season. What ding dong in wardrobe decided it was ok to take their rage out on Kristen Bell? The clothes they put her in this season were HORRIBLE! She’s super short, and they put her in big dumb giant pants and awkward shirts that just made her look so boxy. Leave her alone to be adorable!

A yoga studio is opening this month really close to my house. I’ve never tried yoga before and it 100% does not seem like it will be my thing. But I am tempted to try it once, even if it’s just to support a small business.

I hope it’s not too expensive, since paying for yoga is essentially paying to fart in front of strangers. I mean, I can do that for free anywhere, right? 🙂

I’m not scared, but I think it would be more interesting with a friend. I’m going to try to rope a mom friend from Jack’s school into going with me. She just doesn’t know it yet.

What I’m Listening To This Week

On the way back from Canada last week I finished the audiobook of The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye. I’ve listened to or read this whole series and while they’re all good, my brain glosses over like 90% of the Swedish words.

Have you noticed how often they talk about what street they’re on or turning onto? My ears just freeze and wait until they’re onto words I know how to actually pronounce. It’s like the songs that used to be written in the pages of the Little House books. As soon as Pa took out his fiddle, my brain checked out and fast-forwarded to the next page.

Housekeeping

Looking for a great at-home Valentine date night? Butcher Box is back with their popular Surf and Turf promotion! New members will receive 2 lbs of wild-caught salmon and 2 grass-fed filet mignons (6oz) for free in their first box. Right now ebates is also offering $2.50 cashback for all Butcher Box orders.

ButcherBox beef is 100% grass-fed, grass-finished and raised free from antibiotics and added hormones. It is also humanely raised and pasture-raised. Their salmon is wild-caught and sustainably harvested from Bristol Bay, Alaska. Get this amazing Surf and Turf deal from Butcher Box!

They also still have the free wings for life promo happening until February 3rd.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Katie (not my vegetarian friend Hey Nutrition Lady Katie) left this five-star review on our Instant Pot Beef Tips and Gravy {Pin this recipe}:

We couldn’t get enough. This will get added into the regular rotation. Thanks for a great recipe!!

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Pub CheesePub Cheese is a delicious and flavorful spreadable cheese dip that you’re going to love snacking on! Perfect with crackers, veggies, and pretzels, this beer cheese recipe is a super-fast appetizer that will quickly get gobbled up. {Pin this recipe}

a glass bowl of cheese dip with veggies and pretzel bites on a wooden board

Whole30 Bruschetta Chicken RecipeThis delicious Whole30Bruschetta Chicken recipe in the Instant Pot or crockpot is an easy weeknight recipe that the whole family will love. A healthy chicken dinner with balsamic and tomatoes that is dairy-free, Whole30 compliant, paleo and Keto-friendly. {Pin this recipe}

a white bowl with zoodles and bruschetta chicken topped with basil and tomatoes

Confessions – Everyone’s favorite post of the month!

Instant Pot Chicken ChiliYou’ll love this delicious and simple Instant Pot Chicken Chili recipe. Packed with flavor and ready in a flash, this creamy chili is sure to become a family favorite. Like all soups, it’s even better the second day, making it a perfect addition to your meal prep routine. You’ll also find slow cooker instructions included. {Pin this recipe}

A white bowl of Instant Pot Chicken Chili with lime and cilantro on a white board

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

The Virgin Mojito is gracing the #1 spot again today. Here are the rest of the top six:

  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Whole30 Trader Joe’s Shopping List  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Whole30 Beef Stew  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Instant Pot Orange Chicken {Pin this recipe}
  5. Air Fryer Pickles  {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Four of our seven dinners will be plant-based, which is pretty decent given my goal to make our meat consumption more mindful in 2020.

Monday:: Cheese ravioli and salad

Tuesday:: A new recipe I’m photographing

Wednesday:: Soup of some kind. Haven’t decided yet.

Thursday:: Air Fryer tofu with peanut sauce, rice, and veggies.

Friday:: Soccer, so we’ll have sandwiches

Saturday:: Movie night! Soccer has a bye week. Yahooooooo! So funny how we celebrate not having to go to a sport we spend so much money for our kid to play.

Sunday:: Leftovers from Bennett’s birthday party

 

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19 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I’m dying that Bennet signed his last name as though Jack wouldn’t know who it was LOL

  2. Yoga is awesome. It got too expensive for me though. When I did it my body loved me more. If we get decent raises for next year I’m going to try again. Sure there are some free sessions but they are usually at 0-dark thirty on weekends any that’s prime sleeping in time!! I have some apps in my Apple TV but without someone helping me do it right I quit.
    It’s okay not to post as much. Honestly, I like scattered Sundays and your confessions posts the best and almost never have time to read all the weekly posts anyway, so I catch up on Sunday. Still love your blog and laugh out loud-FOR REAL!!

    • My friend does yoga via youtube and loves it! And then my other friend said she absolutely will not stick with it unless she is in class. I guess we’re all different!

      Scattered Sundays and Confessions are regular readers’ favorites, but 90% of my traffic comes from the other posts. It’s all about finding the right balance.

  3. I think your Scattered Sunday posts are the best. You could always try to make that one a ‘tiny’ bit longer and just do one more post mid week.  I don’t know how difficult it is or time consuming, but you could always just post your meal schedule on the other days and tag one of your recipes that you are using. I think you Scattered Sunday posts are the most popular in my opinion.  I love the picture of Bennett clinging to the whale fin, just imagine if you missed that!  There is a saying  “no one ever said that they wished they worked more on their death bed”.  I always keep that in mind to keep myself in check. I hope you feel better soon!

    • While on their death bed no one ever said I wish I worked more.  –  I think that is how the saying goes. You get the idea. 

    • Making them longer doesn’t really accomplish much. I stop writing when I feel like I’ve said all there is to say. Making them longer would just be for the sake of them being long. And probably not very interesting!

      Scattered Sundays are my most popular of the week, but the other 90% of my posts bring in the traffic that pays the bills. 🙂

  4. Haha! I hated those songs when reading out loud the little house series to my children 😆 is often skip them and they never knew. Or read them in a monotone voice.

  5. Thank you Sarah for posting as much as you have been.. and am so glad you’re not stopping your Sunday post! It’s 
    the one I look forward to reading g with my first morning coffee; sorta like the old days reading the Sunday paper.. but now it’s “reading Sarah’s always entertaining Sunday post”.., so thank you.

  6. You do you, girlie! We’ll still be here and still telling all of the people to check out your blog. 🙂

  7. Two posts plus a Scattered Sunday is a perfectly fine amount to post. If you have something extra to say, have an extra post. If not, two well crafted posts are better than more stress written posts. Sustainable should also encompass the amount of energy you put into this. Your blog is fantastic and I would hate to see it go due to burn out. 

    • Awwww, I love that. Thank you!

      And I got your email this morning and loved that link you sent. To post it in a comment you can just copy and paste it when you’re writing everything else. Sometimes they do get flagged as spam though.

  8. I have been in a reading drought because all the e-books I have holds on have, like, a 6 week waiting period or something. Also I haven’t been able to make it to the half-price bookstore in ages because of illness and plague around here. When I have nothing new to read I get anxious and depressed. My poor family. And yes, I have plenty of books I love that I could re-read, but as I stated, I seem to need something ‘new’ to read or I go to pieces. I finally found a GOOD book ready to borrow: Death in the Air by Kate Winkler Dawson. It’s nonfiction, set in the post WWII England era, and is RIVETING. Her writing style is fantastic. Highly recommend.

  9. Be kind to yourself Sarah!