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Scattered Sundays

Hey, so I need your help!

Yeah, no good morning, how do you do, etc. We’re just jumping right in!

Next month I’ll be giving a talk on starting/running a food blog at a library in the Puget Sound region. I was asked to do this as part of a winter series they’re doing. If I’m being honest, I’m pretty sure no one will show up. But I want to be prepared!

I’m planning on doing a short power point presentation, offering some handouts with key takeaways (that is my corporate background talking), and then doing a super short cooking demonstration. Much of the presentation will take some ideas from the blogging resources I already have on my site.

One of my points will be about knowing your niche (who your audience is) and creating content for them. Since my audience (you beautiful people) are busy people/families who like healthy food that doesn’t take forever (how long? Forrrrrever) and is affordable, I’ll be demonstrating fan favorite, Whole30 Tomato Soup. <—- yeah it’s had a bunch of names over the years, but it is still the same tomato soup that has a butt load of comments and 5-star ratings.

So, what do I need from you? I’m so glad you asked! What would you want to learn about at a talk about blogging? What would you want to be covered? What would interest you?


Troy and I are doing a new food challenge for March if anyone is up for a team challenge.

If you’ve read the blog for any length of time you’ll know I have a vicious sweet tooth. I mean, who decided to make sugar sooooo delicious? I need a hard reset every three to six months and typically cut out added sugar.

Then I can eat it in moderation for a few months but then I’ll find myself daytime snacking on chocolate chips or other sweets. Then the cycle starts over and I eliminate it from my life.

It’s a lifelong struggle.

We talked about doing another Whole30 round but ultimately nixed it because we both know our problem isn’t grains, or soy, or dairy. It’s sugar. Sugar. Sugar. Sugar.

So, we decided to give up sugar/sweets (no honey or maple syrup because I will totally take advantage of that shit) for 30 days. BUT we’re also making sure that half of our plates/bowls are filled with veggies at every meal. It’s a great way to enjoy lots of our favorite veggie recipes, and also reinforce positive behaviors for ourselves and the boys.

It starts March 1st! Let me know if you’re interested in joining us.

We don’t have a pet. Bennett has been pretending to be a cat lately. This is what I found when I came home from running errands.

Well, I have a three-year-old for sale. Any takers? I don’t understand this age. I don’t like it. And I’m looking forward to four.

Bennett’s been staying up later and later most nights. It’s probably time to cut out his nap, but as someone who works full-time in the margins in the day, I need his nap to happen.

When Jack was little, I had to get him up at 5:45 am for daycare, so we had to cut out the nap when he was three. Bennett can sleep in (can doesn’t mean he will) so Troy came up with the idea of just letting him read in his bed until he is ready to sleep.

It’s nice to see him pulling out and enjoying the same books that Jack did at this age. One of his new favorites is the Captain Flinn and the Dinosaur Pirates series. They’re so fun, the illustrations are awesome, and they’re written by a British writer so it’s not all gentle snowflakeness.

I highly recommend checking them out from the library or getting them at an independent bookstore. But here is an Amazon link if you’re interested in an online purchase.

And speaking of libraries, Bennett brought this book home last week and it’s adorable and the graphics are beautiful. It is a story about a boy who thinks he is a bear who meets a bear who thinks he is a boy. They teach each other boy/bear things like how to read and catch fish. 

During a snowstorm, they exchange boy and bear suits and realize they’re both too cold so they go to the boy’s cabin and eat honey sandwiches by the fire. You should read the negative Amazon review though because people are so effing ridiculous and wound way too tightly. Talk about snowflakes…good Lord.

One of the warm fuzzies of seeing him read these same books is finding these little gems from my mom.

Bennett didn’t get nearly enough time with her, so these little literary time capsules can mean so much.

I have been struggling with the issue of “boy funk” for about a year now. Jack is almost 10 and my nephew is almost nine and both of them are in my car five days a week. And Jack plays sports and gets in after being all hot and sweaty.

And I’m over it!

I ended up buying this little air diffuser thingy for my car and I like it a lot!

It comes with little felt pads that you can put a few drops of essential oils on and then the heat from your vents distribute the scent. Disclaimer: I don’t sell essential oils or anything. 

Troy and my nephew have asthma and I know many oils are not safe for little kids. So, I reached out to a long-time reader named Kailyn who knows about these things. She recommended either citrus scents or a mix of citrus with either bergamot or rosemary. 

I already had lemon from making my own Homemade Dusting Spray and rosemary from Homemade Vicks Soother Tablets. After experimenting a bit, I think I’m partial to just citrus because adding the rosemary in makes me think of one of the kiddos being sick. I’m almost tempted to use a few drops of the kid-safe Germ Destroyer I diffuse in our living room during cold and flu season.

I crushed some sales and thrifting this week! This rug ^ was found shoved into a back shelf in the kid section at Target. There was no price on it and even their system wouldn’t scan it, so the floor associates sent me to customer service.

I don’t think customer service wanted to deal with it, so the very nice lady slapped a $19.99 price tag on it and called it a day. The closest versions of the same brand we can find on Target and Amazon sell for $89-$149!

A sharp eye and a willingness to ditch my kids to sprint down the aisle at Goodwill led me to these two Lunch Bots for $2.00 each!

My boys each have a YumBox lunchbox and we love them dearly. They have lasted five years and still look brand new. The compartments are airtight so you can put yogurt or applesauce in there, and cut fruit won’t brown.

But two Lunch Bots for $4 was a total steal. They’re smaller than an actual lunch portion but work perfectly for car snacks.

What I’m Listening To This Week

I listened to the (free library) audiobook of Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. It seems like people are fanatic about this book. I thought it was fine. I enjoyed it but didn’t get the same sense of hype that others have.

Anyhoo, I started listening to her podcast, Rise and really loved this week’s episode with the co-founder of clothing brand ABLE (I have zero affiliation with this company). I knew nothing about this brand until the podcast. I know nothing about fashion but I loved their mission towards helping trafficking victims and former sex workers find gainful employment.

Comment/Review of the Week

This week’s review comes from Erin (long-time reader and fellow toddler boy mom) who left a five-star review on Sesame Sheet Pan Pork Fajitas {Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Gluten-Free}:

Sustainable Cooks continues to be my go-to for weeknight and snow day meals. Having a pre-schooler running around on snow days makes it almost impossible to find the time to make a nutritious and balanced meal for my family. This sheet pan meal is amazing and that garlic sauce is killer! We subbed in a GF Filipino soy sauce that they carry at our local Lotte instead of using coconut aminos, and I’ve even done this recipe with chicken instead of pork. We have had it served with rice or on tortillas or with chips… the options are endless! Definitely five stars for this delicious, pre-schooler and busy mom approved meal!!

A special hint for anyone planning to make this dish…double or triple the garlic sauce and then put it on everything in your life! {Pin this}

A hand holding a lettuce wrapped pork fajita with peppers and onions

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing {Whole30, Paleo, Vegan} – A light and creamy Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing that’s so easy to make from scratch.  A healthy dressing that is great on salads, roasted veggies, meat, or as a dip. This garlicky vegan sauce might just change your life!

a jar of lemo tahini salad dressing with halved lemons and fresh thyme

{Pin this}

Blistered Shishito Peppers {Whole30, Paleo, Vegan} – Addicting and so poppable, Blistered Shishito Peppers are a cult favorite snack/appetizer. Salty, delicious, and so simple to make, you’ll fall hard for these roasted shishito peppers.

a blistered shishito pepper dipping a pardon pepper into a spicy dipping sauce

Many thanks to my 9-year-old Jack for more successful hand modeling

{Pin this}

Paleo + Whole30 BBQ Sauce {Whole30, Paleo, Vegan} – A delicious smoky homemade Whole30 BBQ sauce that is perfect for ribs, pulled pork, chicken, or even veggies. This paleo BBQ sauce is Whole30 compliant, refined sugar-free, and vegan.

overhead photo of a jar of

{Pin this}

I had to slip this photo in to show you the behind the scenes of what it is like to be a work at home mom. Sometimes big ol’ toddler heads almost make it into the shot.

Go to the post and look closely at the left side photo of the two pictures of the food processor. You’ll see Bennett’s reflection in the base of the food processor because he was all up in my business for the whole photoshoot. “What’s this? What’s that? What’s it do?”. Agggggh!

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Virgin Mojito Recipe  {Pin this}                  
  2. Instant Pot Sous Vide Egg Bites   {Pin this}
  3. Best Ever Trader Joe’s Whole30 Shopping List   {Pin this}
  4. 21 Easy Instant Pot Recipes For Beginners    {Pin this}
  5. The Ultimate Guide to Roasting Frozen Vegetables   {Pin this}

Meal Plan

Looking for someone to do the meal planning for you? I’m partnering with Real Plans to bring you personalized meal plans that fit all dietary needs. Try it yourself for free for 30 days.!

Monday:: Mini quiche, fruit, and a small salad. We love these (the kids are obsessed) but honestly, I’m just making them to update the photos.

Tuesday:: Chicken tacos, grilled veggies (well, roasted in the oven)

Wednesday:: New recipe I am trying out. Maybe you’ll find out what it is. Maybe you won’t.

Thursday:: Homemade frozen pizza and salad. The boys really want it and we haven’t had it in a looooong-time. To be clear, they want the pizza. They don’t want the salad.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Chef salads because they’re easy yo!

Sunday:: Family dinner

What We Bought This Week

Smith Brothers: $14.48. No photo cause Troy snagged it from the milkman when I wasn’t home.

If you’re in the Puget Sound area, get a $20 credit for signing up with Smith Brothers for their awesome home delivery.

Costco: $36.94 

The zucchini was a total miscommunication between Troy and myself that I take full responsibility for. He took the boys to get them out of the house so I could shoot photos for three recipes (14 years of marriage and he gets me). And came home with zucchini. In February.

I gave some to a neighbor, sauteed some in a pan, and ended up using some for an upcoming recipe. But, zucchini is summer food so we won’t be enjoying anymore until July.

Those chips weren’t on the list either. TROY!

What are you having this week?


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33 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I would LOVE to do a no sugar & 50% veggie challenge! I tried 30 day challenge but didn’t make it 30 days. Sugar is my weakness. 
    My family and I love your tomato soup recipe! 

    • Jean, I feel ya. Sugar is DELICIOUS. Why is it so delicious???? Join us and do your best for as long as you can!

      Thank you! The tomato soup recipe is one of my favorites and I know everyone in the house will be happy (or at least won’t whine) when I serve it. And I can make it with my eyes closed by now. It’s nice to have a few recipes that you can put on automation.