Sustainable Cooks
First Time Visiting? Start Here!

Scattered Sundays

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

I have a question for you. It’s really important.

When you are applying chapstick, do you twist it up each time, or just apply it where it is when you open the cap? Back in high school, my friend Heather and I shared chapstick constantly. Thank goodness present-day circumstances weren’t happening back then. Absolute terrible social distancing there 16-year-old me.

Anyhoo, when she used my chapstick, she would instantly crank it up and then apply. And when I used hers, I always had to wind it down because I was terrified of just crushing her tower of gloss.

Which leads me to wonder if one or both of us was weird. So, what say you? What is your lip moisturizing technique? Are you a tower of terror applier, or someone who rides low? Oh, and if you’re stuck at home with nothing to do, try making your own chapstick (here is my recipe)!

We desperately needed to get out of the house on Sunday, but obviously everything is off-limits. We “went” to church online that morning and during the part when we’d normally greet our neighbor, Bennett said “this is where I would hug Kris”. Kris is a lady at our church that Bennett has been drawn to since he was a baby.

What’s fun about it is that Jack was instantly drawn to her husband who had MS when he was little. They even came to Jack’s 5th birthday party, and Jack used to make him art projects all the time that are still in her house.

So we decided to take Kris a bouquet, but the garden only turned out three measly little flowers. Putting on our thinking caps, we produced what we’re calling the “quarantine bouquet”. It’s made of toilet paper, a few flowers, a canning jar ring with Girl Scout mints taped to it. Very fashionable. It will be making its way through social media very soon.

Bennett started up his speech via distance learning this week and it went well. We’re so thankful that his therapist has the video capability to make that happen. Such a weird time, but I think everyone is just doing the best that they can to make things as normal as possible. Whatever that looks like.

Jack’s birthday is on Saturday and he is pretty bummed that he won’t be having a party. We’re doing our best to make it special for him, but we know some of the “shine” is off the day. Some family, friends, and neighbors are making surprise decorations and signs so we can decorate our front porch to try to do something fun.

This week while I was out on my walk, I ran into my elementary school principal. We walked and chatted for about two blocks, staying 10 feet apart the whole time.

I was what’s called a “teacher kid”, meaning I went to the school where my mom taught. My sister and I were there before and after school every day, and during breaks, especially summer. It felt like we got a few solid weeks of summer, and then we were put to work counting out dittos (remember those???), cleaning desks, and organizing classrooms. I can put up a bulletin board with my eyes closed in 20 minutes.

I knew the teachers, staff, and administration from the time I was really little. I probably learned to walk at that school. Whenever my principal and I would pass each other in the hall, we’d do a 5-10 second ballroom dance move. Yes, I was super cool as a kid. Thanks for asking.

It was nice to walk with him a little bit, even if we couldn’t dance. Also a good reminder for all of us to check in on each other, especially older neighbors who might be struggling more than others who don’t have as much social (media) interaction.

“Take a picture of me touching all your food, Mom”

If you are looking to make your own face masks, Cassie over at Wholefully has a tutorial up for both adults and kids. She also includes info on how to donate them. I scavenged some elastic in my sewing closet, but it’s not a lot. I bought a big thing of elastic on Amazon because all fabric stores around here are closed. I figured I can make some for all our family and neighbors and then make more to donate.

Secretly doing Instagram “duck lips” under the mask

I made one for myself, some for friends and one for our massage therapist. She is still working to serve existing clients because she sees a lot of first responders. Right now they’re getting pushed in ways that is really hard on their bodies and definitely need some non-medicated pain relief. The masks definitely aren’t 100% effective, but if anything, they stop us from touching our damn faces!

Speaking of first responders (they’re super hot) and medical professionals, here are a few ways you can say thank you for all their hard work:

  • Take care of your damn health! Eat well, exercise, drink that clear stuff that falls from the sky. For the love of God, stop smoking. A healthier you means you’re less likely to need non-emergency care. Yes, healthy people get sick too, but taking care of your body means you’re going to the doctor less, keeping appointments available for people who need it. And it also keeps you away from germy places.
  • Only call 911 for true emergencies. Keep the pros focused on actual sick people instead of calling because you have your first bloody nose (an actual call my husband has been on). Time and medical professionals are a finite resource. Don’t be the dbag who is wasting those things.
  • Don’t bring homemade food to fire stations right now. They will not eat it at the moment and it’s so sad for them to toss it after you leave. Now more than ever, nobody wants to waste food! Instead, crowd-fund with friends and family to have takeout from a local small business delivered. Troy’s station has had these surprise meals delivered and they’re so appreciative! Additionally, it is supporting a local business that is likely hurting financially.
  • If you have a large stash of medical-grade masks and protective gear in your house and you are not immunocompromised, keep a few for yourself and then DONATE the rest. There is a line between being prepared and being a jerk. Medical professionals are currently using masks all-day that are meant to be single-use. They’re putting used masks in paper bags and marking them with the date and patient they were used on. And then they are using them again in 15 days because “technically” any scary germs are dead by then.
  • These people are going to work and putting their lives at risk FOR YOU (and then coming home and potentially exposing their kids and super hot wives…I mean spouses). Keep your butts home. Our grandparents were called to war. We’re being asked to sit on our couches. This is doable.

This was the oddest staff meeting I’ve ever had.


If you’re missing fresh produce, check out Farmbox Direct. Unlike most companies, they have plenty of fresh produce in stock and will deliver directly to your home! They ship for free in the continental US. You can sign up here.

What I’m Listening To This Week

If you’re a true crime fan, nothing is more soothing than the melodic tones of Keith Morrison in your ears. This week I was whining to my friend Cassie at Cook it Real Good that Dateline hadn’t released new podcast episodes in days. And then thankfully they did! I’m not sure if I’m a weirdo (ok, that part is actually confirmed), but listening to true crime somehow calms my soul during these stressful times.

And if you want something that is not true crime and just pure interesting fluff, Stuff You Should Know has been releasing older distraction episodes that are worth a listen.

What I’m Reading This Week

I finally finished Night Town (it was great but the ending seemed a little abrupt and it kind of forgot about one of the main plot lines at the start of the book), and that is officially the end of the physical library books we have at home (all branches around here are closed). Thankfully, we have free ebook access from our library and Kindle Unlimited is free for two months right now.

I looked at my options and settled on Wild (from our library) as my next read. You can see my previous reads this year here.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Emily left this five-star review on our Overnight Cinnamon Rolls {Pin this recipe}:

These cinnamon rolls are legit! They were surprisingly easy to make, and the dough was a dream to work with. Best part is that when you are ready to eat in the morning, just pop them in the oven for 25-30 min and the most delicious breakfast is ready!

two plates of overnight cinnamon rolls with a fork and glass of orange juice

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Homemade Honey Wheat BreadA simple Homemade Honey Wheat Bread recipe that can be made without a bread maker. Homemade sandwich bread is easy to make (and freeze) and can save you so much money at the grocery store! {Pin this recipe}

2 loaves of bread in cast iron bread pans

Pantry Staples You Can Make YourselfYou’ll love these 28 delicious pantry staples that you can make yourself using ingredients in your fridge, cupboards, and freezer. Never run out of your favorites again with these easy homemade versions of kitchen essentials! {Pin these recipes}

9 photos of pantry essentials

Roasting Frozen Vegetables –  This is the ultimate guide to Roasting Frozen Vegetables. This is the best resource for helping you make tasty and healthy vegetable side dishes using all frozen veggies! Oven-roasted frozen vegetables are delicious and will save you so much time and money. {Pin these recipes}

Air Fryer Chocolate Chip CookiesSoft and delicious Air Fryer Chocolate Chip Cookies are an easy dessert that won’t require heating up your kitchen. Make the perfect cookie on your countertop for fast treats that your family will love. You’ll also find oven-baking instructions if you don’t have an air fryer. {Pin this recipe}

an upclose photo of 3 air fryer chocolate chip cookies on a beige plate

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

Our mojito mocktail was #1, so let’s take a look at the other top posts this week:

  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – baking and skillet instructions are also in the post  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Pickles – baking instructions are also in the post  {Pin this recipe}
  3. How to Freeze Spinach  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Homemade Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread – there are vegan alternative options in the post {Pin this recipe}
  5. Instant Pot Garlic Parmesan Rice – you’ll find non-Instant Pot instructions in the post {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Tuesday:: An old recipe I am updating and taking photos of. Can’t wait to share the spruced-up version!

Wednesday:: Jack requested Whole30 Potato Soup, and we’ll either be having roasted frozen veggies, or salad (the kale overwintered in our garden really well).

Thursday:: TBD. I might eat the children.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Takeout to support a local small business AND for Jack’s 11th birthday.

Sunday:: Jack requested Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana, which everyone in the family loves and it’s super easy.

What We Bought This Week

Azure Standard: $64.07 We got a case of whole canned tomatoes, Z Bars for the boys, and carrots this week. The pick-up was well-organized and safe (orders were placed a few feet apart around the parking lot). Though I will say I woke the boys up early to get the order and their behavior doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in their reaction in an actual emergency.

Smith Brother’s Farms (our milkman): $22.47 – super thankful they’re delivering and we’re supporting a local business! If you’re in the Puget Sound region, they’re an awesome option.

For anything else, we ate from the pantry, fridge, freezer, and garden.



What are you having this week?



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. This allows me to continue to provide free content, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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

34 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I was always one of those dorks who thought of the teachers as adults and sort of got along with them better than the kids. Sometimes I would stay after school to talk to them (I especially got along with math teachers somehow). It seriously was not a crush. And it was never heart-felt conversations. Just shooting the shit for a few minutes. I had a couple of friends but I don’t know, the math teachers “got me.” These days it would probably considered taboo. That’s a shame. We were seriously just talking and kidding around about stuff. I never expected or got extra treatment.
    I send my husband out for grocery shopping which, in NJ, you have to go at as odd a time as you can muster because this state is populous. Some stores just flat-out limit the number of ppl who can go in at a time. We still have a TP shortage. I’m w/you — we always have about a month’s worth in the house so I’m not that concerned, even though we go through THREE rolls a day. Yup. I know. That’s a lot. A BUTT-LOAD (rim shot).
    Rainy weekend so nobody’s walking etc. I would imagine tempers are frayed. Sad. I am trying new recipes all this week, like beef barley soup and stuff. (Not new like unusual but new like haven’t made before) My mom died in Oct. and I grabbed a big bag of her clipped recipes. She had developed heart failure so she basically was on borrowed time, but she continued to write out these incredible, nutritious, complete menus for each time my sister or I visited. With new recipes for each night! And then she saved every clip-out and menu for like 20+ years in a bag. Yeesh what a hoarder. I’m nothing like that. So I’m going through them and just saving what i like except, um… I like a lot of what she likes LOL. she had super eclectic taste despite my dad’s rather meat-and-potatoes yearnings. But the number one recipe that she clipped like 35 times was that cookie recipe where you make PB cookies and then you jam the Kiss into it after it bakes. No joke, like 35 times. It’s hilarious. Meanwhile I think she made it like every 8th year for Christmas.
    So happy you’re continuing Speech. Lags can really set him back. important.

    • I was the same way with history and social studies teachers. I had one in eighth grade and we used to trade movies. But math teachers and I were not compatible.

      TP shortage in our stores too. It’s bananas.

      Rain can’t stop me! I’d rather be wet than cooped up inside.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your mom’s passing. Let me know if you ever want to talk. It does get easier. But I love the meal plans and recipes! My mom was the same way with random recipes! But the Hershey kiss peanut butter cookie recipes made me laugh!

      His SLP says he is 80-90% done with speech and doesn’t really *need* to continue. But insurance pays 100%, he LOVES her, and she loves working with him, so it’s a win win for everyone.

  2. Today is my daughter’s fourth birthday and she doesn’t quite get it. We’ll be making cupcakes later and probably doing a drive by next Saturday but it’s just not the same when toys are a 4 year old’s world.

    We ordered pans of food from a local place to bring to my sister and her respiratory therapist crew yesterday. That might be a way to feed a fire house.

    • Awww, happy birthday! And yes, Bennett wouldn’t really get it either.

      You must skim text as I do. Cause the local food thing is what I totally suggested. HA!! 🙂

  3. Perfect timing! I was going to ask you today how Troy is holding up and what we can do to support our local first responders!

    Once whatever I have is gone, I’ll dig through my craft stash and see what I can make for masks. Until then, the couch and I are best friends.

    Our local farmers market is offering curbside pickup. It may be something available in other areas.

    Thank you and your family for being so awesome and entertaining!

    • LOVE the curbside option at your market! Your growing season is months ahead of ours and not much would be available right now anyway. Hopefully, ours will figure out some sort of similar set up if this lasts too long.

  4. Is it possible to get Jack and his friends together online to chat and goof around and have a virtual party for his birthday?  Or, host a Facebook watch party, where they can all watch the same video (but the trick there is that it has to be posted on Facebook, you can’t link to youtube or netflix, unfortunately) and talk about (through!) it?  That might be a fun alternative?  Especially if the kids are not normally on social media (you know, being 11 and all…)    Just my thoughts.  Nobody should be bummed on such a special day.

    As for your chapstick question, I am a ‘only twist it up if I need more’ person.  Once the plastic scrapes my lips, I know to crank it up a little.

    I am Generation X, and I am having absolutely zero problem being at home.  In fact, I did that before this started.  The only difference now is that I can’t pop out to the store any time I feel like it now.  Naturally, I feel like I desperately need an item from this store and an item from that store….  But, really, I do not.  (and I stay home)
    Mostly my husband and I are missing our almost-3-month-old granddaughter.  She is growing and changing so much and we are missing it. Snapchat videos help, but aren’t the same.  And we know that she won’t recognize/remember us when we finally DO get to see her and that breaks our hearts. 

    I totally forgot about those cinnamon rolls!  I am going to take a peek and see if it is possible to scale it wayyyyy down to 4 rolls.  I somehow doubt it, but if I can, I think I have a Saturday morning treat in mind for me and Hubby.

    I love your photo captions!  Stay safe and healthy!

    • Sunday around lunch I started planning a surprise drive-thru birthday for Friday. As of today, we have 24 families from school friends, church families, and relatives coming by, staying in their car and getting a cupcake (if they feel comfortable with it). Even his teacher is coming!!

      I cannot believe she is already 3 months old!!!! I hope you guys get to be together again very soon.

      • The “Drive-Thru” sounds like a GREAT idea! (for everyone…. it will give those families a chance to get out of the house and have something fun to do as well)  I hope he is surprised and happy.

        *Almost* three months. One more week and she will technically be three months old.  BUT… The three of them are healthy and happy.  My son-in-law is still working (his work is outdoors and solitary, so he continues to work -and get paid).   And fortunately/unfortunately Hubby is considered essential because he maintains the traffic lights for all of Toronto.  But they seem to have excellent measures in place to keep them all away from each other and healthy.

        I hope Jack has a wonderful birthday, full of fantastic memories.  (and it should be the easiest party you have ever cleaned up after!)

  5. In my town people are celebrating kids birthdays with car parades. They post online to get the date and time out then bunches of people from all over town drive past the kids house with signs and balloons and shout happy birthday.

    • I started planning on at lunch on Sunday and so far we have 24 families committed to coming by! And our neighbors who face our house are all decorating their windows with signs for him.

  6. I started doing tele-speech with my students this week and I have LOVED seeing them!  It’s kind of fun to see them in a different setting and I have gotten to “meet” a lot of pets!  It’s definitely an adjustment, but one I’m happy to make to stay connected to my students.  Glad to read that it’s working for your family.

    We are going to smoke a fairly large pork shoulder for dinner and then my family will be told that the sentence “What’s for lunch?” will only have one answer this week, so they can skip asking and go straight for the leftover pulled pork.

    My middle daughter turns eleven on Thursday and my oldest turns 12 on Friday.  They have been really good about their party being cancelled and, with my youngest daughter, have planned a lot of little surprises for each other.  Middle has requested green chili chicken tacos for her birthday meal and Oldest wants shepherd’s pie.  And I think we’ll make cupcakes so they can have some fun decorating them.

    Thank you to Troy and all first responders and their families for keeping us all safe and well!

    • These birthday will really stick in their minds and be remembered.  And your youngest will also remember how she was instrumental in making them memorable!  Good work, Mom!
      I also just LOVE your comment about meeting your students’ pets.  The kids must really like you to share something (someone?) so important with you.

    • Are you doing 30-minute sessions? I think Bennett wasted a solid 10 minutes showing her his magnet tile bridge and picking his nose into the camera.

      Love a good “make-ahead” lunch that you can eat from all week.

      Glad you are finding some ways to celebrate! I hope the dinners and cupcakes are a hit.

  7. Listening to Wild on audiobook is pretty good too. I probably walked an extra 15 miles while listening to it last year. 

  8. I wanted to put this separately so it didn’t get lost in my comment: A HUGE THANK YOU to your husband and all the first responders out there who are putting their health and lives on the line. It’s very easy for me, a non-essential person, to sit at home and stay out of peoples’ way. First responders can’t! They’re doing the work that really needs to be done, and I’m sure right now it’s hugely stressful, more than usual. So thank you.

  9. I was a teacher’s kid too! My mom would take me with her to set up her classroom. I loved it, because I am a huge nerd. There was something so neat about being in the school when no other kids were around (I was social distancing before it was a thing, ha). Also, her principal always gave me quarters for the amazing Coca-Cola machine in the teacher’s lounge (it gave out glass bottles!). I also got paid to grade math sheets. I loved putting up bulletin boards! And previewing books for my mom’s classroom library!

    Ironically I am now a homeschooling mom, and nobody pays me to grade anything.

    • That sounds like a rad pop machine! Ours has cans but you had to pull out a metal crank tab thingy and turn it and then a can would roll sideways to grab. And it had Tab!!!

  10. Thanks for posting and letting us know you & fam are ok. 
    I’m hoping to try your bread & cookies today. My first day off from the pharmacy in what feels like months. 
    Crazy times certainly increases the cra cra in people!
    Take care & hang in there
    Prayers & virtual hugs from Lancaster County, PA