Sustainable Cooks
First Time Visiting? Start Here!

Scattered Sundays

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Well, we got kicked out of indoor soccer this week. Kinda. Sorta. Not really.

Jack is very insistent on sticking with his fall rec team and the indoor team is year-round. We didn’t know that when we signed up. We assumed it was a training academy and you could pop in and pop out if needed since we had heard of other players doing that.

His coach talked to me this week saying that the year-round schedule is to develop players for summer and fall ball. And that it is really hard on the team if someone plays with them for 10 months and then just later days. So, she said if Jack didn’t want to play fall ball with them, he should step out after the final game of the session which was yesterday.

Try explaining that logic to a very emotional 10-year old who loves soccer.

We sat him down and explained the situation and gave him three options: 1) keep playing for the indoor team and not go back to rec in fall 2) stop playing indoor for this league and find another one until fall ball starts 3) go back to his fall team with the understanding that it will probably be the last year he is with them. And then he would commit to the indoor league long-term in December 2020.

He ended up choosing option three, so now our weeknights are suddenly MUCH less hectic for the time being. We’ll find him something to keep him occupied until fall ball starts in August. He’s like a border collie – you need to keep him busy to keep him out of trouble.

I mean, he’s only 10 (almost 11) and it seems really young for him to commit to just one thing. He really wants to do track in middle school (next year! holy crap!!!!) and he may fall deeply in love with that. Who knows. 

We got a delivery of a cord of wood on Monday. Mondays are the day Bennett doesn’t have preschool or isn’t at my inlaws. Which worked out really well because then he was around to “help”, AKA cause everything to take 2x as long. But, he was so excited to use his wheelbarrow (hand me down like everything else he owns) and spent a solid 10 minutes taking one piece of wood at a time to the shed.

After that, he used a broom handle that Troy wrapped with electrical tape as a Ninja Turtle bow staff and attacked a cement wall. Good times were had by all. Well, him. For the most part, I hauled and Troy stacked. It was a good workout and we are set with firewood until 2021. It’s a very exciting life we lead.

This week, we officially became “those” parents who did their kid’s work. Well, Troy did. 🙂 Jack had big ideas for his Valentine box for school. I remember making them IN school, but I suppose those kinds of fun tasks are now gone because there just isn’t enough time with all the testing/requirements expected from teachers and students.

Crafts are not my thing, but I do try. Troy decided this would be his jam and even bought felt at the fabric store. Remember Bennett’s play kitchen remodel? I started a simple paint job and then Troy decided it needed to be extra.

Jack was thrilled with the results and was pretty excited to take it to school for his party. This is the last year he’ll even have a Valentine’s party. So hard to believe; elementary went very fast. Even though kindergarten seemed to last 15 lifetimes.

Did you do anything on Friday? I really don’t give a rat’s behind about this holiday. I told Troy years ago that we shouldn’t do presents or even make a big deal out of it. We decided this year to do a quick breakfast out at a new diner in town, and then Jack had soccer in the evening. And Troy made me a card that I freaking loved.

I went for a walk in the morning while he took the boys to school (no bus service for either of them). And then shot what are called “process shots” (the photos showing the recipe being made. NOT the final drool-worthy version.) for a recipe. 

I spent a few days this week reshooting old photos. I have to tell you, cleaning up old janky posts feels SO good! Long-time readers know I almost quit my blog in May 2017 because I was over having no growth or direction. I didn’t (obviously), and I have spent the last two years REALLY buckled down and updating old junk. It feels like the best deep clean ever. But it is an ongoing process that never seems to be done.

The joy of taking new photos for old posts can’t be described. The pictures from these three posts made me cringe every time I saw them, even though I was super proud of the actual recipes. I’ll be sprucing up the posts with clarified directions and the new photos this coming week and will be sharing them with you soon!

With the 2020 US presidential race heating up, I wanted to take a second to talk about political ads that may or may not be shown on the blog. The ads you see in this post and others are what keep this site running. As annoying as we all find ads, if I didn’t have them, I would go back to the office setting and get a “normal” job. They keep the lights on, and it is actually incredibly expensive to run a profitable blog. 

Anyhoo, my ads are placed on my site by an outside company that I work with. When I signed up with them in 2018, I opted OUT of political ads, betting/gaming, tobacco, and anything deemed “get rich”. Opting out of any category actually costs me money, ESPECIALLY during an election season. But it is important for me to walk the walk.

The thing about opting out of ANYTHING though is that most of the partners (the people paying for the ads) and exchanges (the organizations paying the bloggers for displaying ads) don’t allow such granular controls on a per-site basis. So when you opt-out of things with Google, a brand can buy through any of the other partner spending on my site, and if you as a reader are their target demographic, things might still get through. 

What that means is you might end up seeing political ads sneaking through on my site even though I have asked them to not be shown. If you see any ads, you can click the little “report” button underneath them. It doesn’t mean it will disappear, and it won’t penalize me (thanks for asking), but it is something we can try to better tailor your viewing experience.

Watermelon shark from Bennett’s birthday. As expected, the watermelon was soooo gross!


If you’ve ever thought of starting a blog or online business (it’s so rewarding but a metric butt-ton of work), I’m excited to share two resources with you (one totally free)!

My friend and graphics designer, Madison Wetherill from Grace and Vine is hosting a four-day FREE online summit for existing and new bloggers. Some of the people I have learned so much from (and paid money to take their courses) are presenting for free during the four-days. You can sign up here!

And Kate from Root + Revel is hosting a live two-hour workshop on February 20th for people who have had “start a blog” on their to-do list forever.

This is for TOTAL BEGINNERS + NEWBIES who want to start a blog, but who get stuck, overwhelmed, or confused every time they try to start. This Live Workshop lasers in to focus exclusively on how to get started, breaking it down step-by-step. You get a workbook and unlimited replays of the workshop. You can sign up here!

What I’m Listening To This Week

I’ve been fascinated with the CounterClock podcast lately. It follows a reporter in North Carolina who is trying to solve a 20-year-old cold case. If you liked Serial or To Live and Die in LA you’ll really enjoy CounterClock!

What I’m Reading This Week

I started Death in the Air from our public library (go libraries!) on Wednesday. It is the story of a serial killer AND the great London smog of 1952. Combining true crime with history is pretty much a dream come true for me! 🙂

I’m fascinated with WWII and post-WWII cold war fiction and non-fiction. Any recommendations for my next read?

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Long-time reader Jp left this five-star review (complete with a joke that I loved) on our Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts {Pin this recipe}:

So first things first I just learned that these are Brussels Sprouts, not brussel (see there’s no ‘s’), duh how have I never know this before?!!! Now second, I tried what I believe were brussel sprouts once before, I gagged and spit it out never to be eaten again. THEN I gave it another try when I read that you could make these with bacon and make them crispy. NOW I can’t get enough of these! They are sooooooooo delicious. I can’t say thank you enough for opening my eyes to these little balls of yummy goodness (that one’s for you I know how you like 13-year-old boy jokes)!!!

crispy brussels sprouts on a grey plate with a fork

Fun fact: see that sprout on the fork? It’s positioned there to cover up the residue from a price tag that I can’t remove.

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Easy Butternut Squash ChiliThis easy Butternut Squash Chili is a delicious and hearty meal that the whole family will love. A ton of cubed butternut squash gives this chili a vitamin-packed boost. This tasty recipe also has Instant Pot, slow cooker, and meatless options. {Pin this recipe}

a white bowl of butternut squash chili topped with shredded cheese and green onions

Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip MuffinsDelicious and fluffy, Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are the perfect tasty whole-grain breakfast. Made with 100% whole wheat, they’re super fluffy and packed with amazing banana flavor and a kiss of chocolate chips. {Pin this recipe}

a muffin tray with a fluffy healthy banana chocolate chip muffin in focus

Greek Yogurt Deviled EggsThese Healthy Deviled Eggs are a delicious and lighter take on a classic recipe. Greek yogurt deviled eggs are perfect for potlucks, dinner parties, Easter, and basically any event where people have taste buds and like to eat! And thanks to the high-protein in yogurt, these also make the perfect keto deviled eggs. {Pin this recipe}

greek yogurt deviled eggs on a white tray sitting on a wooden board

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

Our old faithful Virgin Mojito is in #1 again. Let’s see what else is rounding out the top six. Three of them are air fryer recipes, but remember…all my air fryer recipes have conventional cooking instructions in them.

  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Pickles  {Pin this recipe
  3. Crispy Ranch Air Fryer Potatoes  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Trader Joe’s Whole30 Shopping List  {Pin this resource}
  5. Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana  {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Kiddos want Ramen Noodle Bowls

Tuesday:: Grilled chicken, bread or rolls or Air Fryer Ranch Potatoes, and salad.

Wednesday:: A new soup recipe that I’m photographing during the day.

Thursday:: Troy wants to make his amazing burgers, which we’ll probably pair with fries and salad.

Friday:: Return to Friday movie nights now that soccer is on hold.

Saturday:: We have two birthday parties during the day, so if anyone is hungry we’ll just eat leftovers or something simple like grilled cheese.

Sunday:: Family dinner?

What We Bought This Week

Fred Meyer: $42.20

Jack signed up to bring Oreos for his class party



As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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

18 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I’ll have to check out Death in the Air (and love the other suggestions here! Yay readers!) I wanted to throw a vote in for Transcription by Kate Atkinson. as a good historical fiction that I just finished. And please tell me you’ve read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr?

  2. I am currently 3/4 of the way through “The Alphabet House” by Jussi Adler-Olsen. It’s historic fiction with the first half set in a mental hospital in WWII Germany and the last half is set in 1972. It’s very long (~460 pages) but I’ve been enjoying it. It has an air of mystery to it so it combines my 2 favorite genres!

    • Oh that sounds interesting!

      Have you ever read any of the Ken Follet books? They’re 900 pages on a “short” day! You’d love the Century Trilogy that starts with Fall of Giants.

      • No I haven’t read them yet but I’ve been a blog reader since 2012 or 2013 and every time they come up I remember that I want to (love your annual Christmas lists by the way).

  3. Kate Quinn has two historical fiction novels about some true badass women. One is called The Alice Network and the other is The Huntress. They aren’t connected so you could read in any particular order.  🙂

  4. I just finished the audiobook of Resistance Women which is based on some real heroic women and men in Germany during WWII. Excellent!

  5. I am one of those parents who is strongly against the idea of doing my child’s schoolwork, I have to say that box was pretty cool.  I also highly doubt there were any grades involved, so that is a project that I feel it is okay to take over.  Especially if it makes the kid really happy.

    I applaud you guys for allowing Bennett to help with the firewood.  He was probably so proud to do that!

    We are not Valentine’s Day celebrating people.  But I did print off a silly Valentine for my husband.  I ALWAYS give my girls silly/cute Valentines cards as well.  The 21-year-old got a ‘Baby Yoda’ card and the 26-year-old got a ‘Forky’ (from Toy Story 4, which she hates, so Forky is a big joke in our house).  The girls never got any candy this year from me, which is unusual, but I was kind of chained to my house all week and couldn’t get anything good.
    Hubby and I also had a slightly nicer than usual dinner at home on Friday.  But that it.

    Your watermelon shark is awesome, but why was the watermelon gross?  That’s a bummer.

    • Oh yeah, I am so with you on that! Jack’s science fair project last year looked like a 4th grader did it. BECAUSE HE DID. LOL. There were so many “professional” science fair posters last year. Made me ill.

      You guys will never let her live Forky down. Too funny!

      Watermelon that is grown out of season always has to travel really long distances and just doesn’t have good flavor. I’ve never had good watermelon during non-summer mmonths. Blech!

      • I hope all the parent-done projects were graded accordingly.  There is nothing wrong with giving a child assistance, just let THEM lead.  The parent is the assistant/gopher/holder of parts that have glue drying…..
        Re: Forky.  She actually said (with a little smile) “I hate this” while putting the card in her bag to take home.   HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!       The other kid thought hers was cute and said thank you.  LOL.

        I don’t think I have ever bought watermelon outside of summer.  Thanks for the tip because we are having a party is a couple of weeks and need fruit to put out.  I will NOT get any watermelon.

  6. Hey Sarah, just a quick comment as a sports mom, be wary of putting Jack in a year round league at a really young age. Statistics show that’s why a lot of high school athletes are having “career ending” surgeries. Sports are meant to be cyclical and seasonal, to give growing developing bodies a chance to rest and recuperate in the off season. These year round leagues don’t allow for that. My boys played baseball, not soccer, but it holds true for any sport. We were seeing kids who played comp ball having tommy john surgery as juniors and seniors because they’d been throwing a baseball 10 months of the year since they were 11-12 years old. I can only assume that knees and ankles would take a beating in soccer. I’m sure (I’ve been reading your blog long enough to know!!) you’ll do your research on it, but wanted to give you a heads up!

    • A girl after my own heart. I wrote that very thing in this post and even referenced the surgeries and injuries in a reply to a comment I got from a parent:

      • Matthew used to get soooooo mad at me when I’d tell his rec league coach to pull him off the mound. I kept a close eye on his pitch counts and innings pitched and refused to let his coaches overuse him. He thanked me his senior year when he could still use his arm. ♥️♥️ 

      • Gratification is always delayed when parenting, isn’t it? 🙂

        I’m not sure if things have changed nationally, or if it was just the league Jack played for, but they were very careful with our pitchers. He last played 2 years ago and would often pitch. Each team had a “pitch counter” parent and once the kiddos hit a certain number in a day, they were done for the day and for at least one following game or day, whichever was later (depending on if there was a double-hitter). The number of pitches allowed was determined by age if I remember correctly.

  7. The Maggie Hope books by Susan Elia MacNeal are great.

    Also Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. It’s a young adult book, but one of my all time favorites.

  8. Ooh! I hope you like Death in the Air. I finished it last week. So creepy. I just started another book, The Ghost Map, by Steven Johnson, about the cholera epidemic of 1854, and how they figured out how it got started. Really well written and Pro tip: do not read it while eating, especially the first couple chapters. Just sayin’.