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Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan

September came and brought some cooler temps and a bit of rain, and I was like “yasssssss” Fall is here!

Then October showed up and was like “hold my pumpkin spice latte”. So much sunshine, pure blue skies, temps in the low-70’s, and no rain. Dude, it’s been crazy here and I’m both grateful and ready to get our traditional fall weather on track and started.

Basically, I want a fire in our fireplace. I want to be cozy and warm and I want it to be real fall. They say it supposed to be coming later this week. We’ll see. We’ll see.

This tree on my drive home gives me all the feels.

For my US readers (most of you), have you already registered to vote for the midterms (check status)? I worked in campaigns and for the Washington State Legislature for three years, so this is all up in my nerd alley. I realize that not everyone loves following the news or tracking elections, but it’s super important to make sure your voice is heard.

If you’ve been reading this blog for more than 20 seconds, you’ll know how important access to health care and protecting the environment is to me. If you’re interested in seeing which issues will on your state’s ballot, the best place to start is your Secretary of State’s office.

I started a new series this week, The Romanoffs on Amazon. I’m not one for much TV these days (but I looooove TV) but do like to have something on in the background while I am up late on the computer.

It is from the creator of Mad Men, so it’s gorgeous stylized and all that jam. The first episode had a ton of French subtitles so it may not have been the best thing to watch while trying to type, but it was really good. Weird. But good.

The smart people on Facebook have suggested The Ozarks next for Troy and me to start. Have you watched it? Thoughts?

I had to get my Outback’s oil changed this week and my dealer offers free oil changes for life. I spent some of my waiting time test driving the all-new Ascent. It is their brand new third-row vehicle and boy howdy it was nice!

It’s not in my price range and I’m not in the market for a new car but hopefully one of you will buy one. Then I can live vicariously through you and know what it is like to not have kids touching each other the whole time they are in the car.

Monday through Friday I have my nephew before and after school, and both boys are open enrolled at the same school. That means transportation is on us. Thankfully it is a short ride, but Jack, Bennett, and my nephew spend the whole time making each other and thus me, absolutely miserable.

Oh, to go back to the 80’s and 90’s when anyone could ride in the front seat at any age. <—-unpucker your butthole, that was a joke. We all now know it isn’t safe for kids to be in the front seat.

This week, an episode went live on a podcast I recorded back in August! If you’re wondering what mistakes I made as an early blogger so you don’t have to, check out my interview on The Blogger Genius Podcast. If you’ve been around since the beginning, you got to see many of the mistakes firsthand, but the stuff on the backend was even worse. Yikes!

I burned the ish out of my finger this weekend with the pop of some oil while making Easy Paleo Salmon Cakes. I was texting with a friend later with a cold washcloth wrapped around my finger and she suggested a drop of lavender essential oil.

So, I tried it, and it worked really well! A tiny drop over the area killed the pain for about 20-25 minutes before I needed to reapply. But it made me soooo sleepy.

I like essential oils and use them for various things like cleaning, but I don’t sell them or anything like that. This is the kind I have and I get it from Amazon. I’ve had that same bottle since 2011.

Our mini Whole30 round is up, and just like last time, it was fine overall and really helped inspire me to create some new recipes. I think of everything that came out of these last two weeks, the Cinnamon Almond Butter and another (to be) published recipe are my favorites. Both are so freaking tasty and we plowed through them in a matter of days.

But with the mornings getting cooler, it will be nice to enjoy a mug of cocoa from time to time without thinking “is this compliant”. I have been sipping on this green matcha and this chocolate mint tea for a cozy morning treat. The chocolate mint is made extra special with a splash of your favorite milk.

This week I was able to add an extra preschool day for Bennett going forward! I’m super excited for both of us. But mostly me.

Preschool class photo

I can get at least two recipes photographed on preschool days and having more time means I can get a bunch more done each week and maybe not stay up until midnight most nights. Also? I just don’t have the temperament or desire to be a stay at home mom.

I consider myself a work at home mom and I am someone who has always loved to have a “job” and have been working outside of the home since I was 14. With Bennett old enough for the little school near us, I think we’re all a little happier to be settling into a routine that works for us and brings us joy.

Comment/Review of the Week

This week’s review comes from a loooooooooooong time reader Tina, who left a five-star review for The World’s Second Best Baked Potatoes. (Pin this recipe)

So, as I was walking out the door last week, I told Emma (my twelve year old) she should make baked potatoes to go with the chili-stew thing cooking in the crockpot. I told her to look for the recipe on your site. She found the recipe, she made them all by herself (while home alone!), and they were AWESOME! She is now the official baked potato chef in our house. Thanks!

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Strawberry Fudge Energy Date Balls – Healthy snacks don’t need to be boring and tasteless! These Strawberry Fudge Energy Date Balls are delicious little paleo, Whole30(ish), vegan, and dairy-free nutrition powerhouses.  {Pin this recipe}

strawberry fudge energy date balls in a bowl with 3 on a white board with dates and dried strawberries

How to Make Powdered Sugar – Learn how to make powdered sugar at home! Powdered sugar without cornstarch is affordable for your favorite recipes like frosting, icing, or whipped cream. You’ll never buy storebought again!  {Pin this recipe}

homemade powdered sugar in a blue bowl with a black background

Homemade Cinnamon Almond Butter – Learn how easy it is to make delicious Homemade Cinnamon Almond Butter at home. This healthy snack only tastes sinful but is Whole30, paleo, and keto-friendly. {Pin this recipe}

homemade cinnamon almond butter on a spoon with a jar

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Whole30 Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
  2. Whole30 Bruschetta Chicken
  3. Instant Pot Sous Vide Egg Bites
  4. Crispy Oven-Roasted Butternut Squash
  5. Homemade Sugar-Free Coffee Creamer

Meal Plan

Monday:: Working on a new recipe. Guess what? It’s a soup!

Tuesday::  Easy Homemade Tomato Soup (pin this recipe), salad, and a slice of garlic bread. Normal homemade garlic bread…not Cheesy Garlic Bread!

Wednesday:: (Trunk or treat night at church) Boys want pizza and a big salad (<—-they don’t want that but they don’t cook, so they can suck it).

Thursday:: Taco salads.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Zuppa Toscana. Yeah, it’s soup week. Sue me.

Sunday:: Family dinner

What We Bought This Week

Costco: I have no idea where the receipt is for this shopping trip. My nephew loves that cereal and eats it, so that is a win!

Fred Meyer: $$37.06. The Uncle Ben’s and tuna pouch were Friday Freebies. We won’t eat them but they are being donated to our church’s community resource office.

What are you having this week?

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20 comments on “Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan”

  1. ozarks – it’s dark and depressing. not the most fun IMHO…

  2. Very excited about all of the soup recipes. It’s finally cooling down here in NC (it was hot as balls until last week), so I’m ready to make some.

    Also, re: your earlier blog mistakes; I’ve been reading for YEARS, and have thoroughly enjoyed your evolution (although I was also perfectly happy with random ramblings, too). And in creepy fan-girl fashion, I was reading Joshua Becker’s *The More of Less*, and he does an exercise where you answer some questions…one being who you admire and why. And you were the first one to come to mind. So, there’s that.

    We’re roasting a pan of chicken sausages, zucchini, onions, and brussel sprouts tonight. Hopefully the house won’t still smell like a fart tomorrow.

    • Were you impacted by the latest hurricane at all?

      Thanks so much for being such a long-time reader! And you’re so sweet to include me in the exercise. I’ve never heard of the book but will try to track it down!

      It probably will smell like farts but that’s ok! I simmer a pan with cinnamon and cloves for 15 min and it takes away all those farty fart smells.

      • Reporting back: House did not smell as much like farts as I thought. I shouldn’t have winged (wung?) it, though, because it was a tragedy. I used garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted at 350 for about 30 minutes. They dried out too much. So I’ll do something different the next time (if my husband allows it).

        I think you’d find *The More of Less* interesting; Joshua Becker is a good writer, and his thoughts on minimalism are inspiring (although I could never be one…I like random crap too much). The exercise was more toward trying to figure out how to pursue your passion (which for me is writing and being able to stay home…which is currently NOT my reality).

        Re: the hurricane(s). We got about 15 inches of rain with Florence (I’m about half an hour southeast of Charlotte, NC), so there was a lot of flooding in my county, but my house escaped unscathed. Michael brought us a TON of wind and lots of trees down, but significantly less rain. We escaped tree damage, but had to run outside in a torrent to keep the garbage can from becoming airborne and sprinkling trash everywhere.

        Wow, that was a novel.

      • Ah, based on what you’re saying, you actually used too low of a temp. When I roast, I roast hot – like 425. That helps get all the good carmelizing happening without sitting in the oven forever and ever.

        That is SO much rain Melanie!

  3. “Hold my pumpkin spice latte” — I might borrow that from you this Fall. Also, your pix are getting SOOO good.

  4. That’s such a good idea to donate the Friday freebies. I’ll start doing that myself. ????
    Pulled pork with coleslaw for dinner here. I’ve been canning tomato sauce and apples so I need something I can ignore while its cooking.

    • Even if it’s something weird like cat food, I’ll still donate it. Our resource coordinator can always find something who needs the item.

      Mmmmmm, I loved pulled pork with coleslaw!

  5. Emma made another batch of baked potatoes because they make for easy and mostly healthy quick meals. Tomatoes hate me right now so I topped mine with broccoli and cheese while the rest of the family had chili on theirs.
    I have a pork roast that needs to get cooked up, so that will happen with carrots, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts. That’s all I’ve got though.
    We signed Emma up for online school this year. Her official start date was Oct. 15th. Cause misery loves company, I signed up for a virtual bookkeeper program. It’s been a rough transition for us to go from having no outside responsibilities to, well, having to get stuff done by a deadline. I am excited for both of us though!
    I’m glad you’ve had a sunny autumn so far! I think we’ve gotten rain every day this month so far.

    • OMG is another food turning on your family? WTF is up with that Tina? You’re all going to be done to only like lettuce and green olives pretty soon.

      So does the online school mean she isn’t officially doing a homeschool curriculum now?

      How exciting about the bookkeeper program! How long is the course?

      • Lots of not so awesome food choices make it hard for my body to process real foods.
        Emma is still technically a homeschooler. The way the program works is she submits assignments and tests after every two lessons she completes. So it’s kinda self-paced with deadlines.
        The bookkeeping program is also self-paced but it’s designed to have the student’s business up and running within 3-6 months. I love that it teaches bookkeepig AND how to run a business.

      • This is all super exciting Tina! I can’t wait to hear more as you go through the program.

  6. I had a coffee burn last year that I couldn’t treat with the traditional lots of cold water until the pain goes (I was on a train) and the lavender oil really helped with preventing scarring but I use it in a diffuser at night to help me sleep better and did spend the week wanting a nap!

    • Burns hurt so dang bad! I didn’t realize that it also helps with scarring. That’s great to know for my “usually useless knowledge” brain bank.

      • Burning myself in odd ways is a ‘gift’ of mine. From when I was a kid and pulled an iron on my leg to more recently plunging a French press and getting coffee everywhere including my bra. Blisters on you boobs are not fun! The best thing to do is put the burn under cold running water for 10 minutes. It really takes the ouch out and stops blisters but if you can’t do that lavender helps!

      • Boob blisters sound horrible!

        I had a 1940’s gas oven (the kind you light with a match) explode on me when we lived in LA. I used so much cold water and was ok at first, but when the shock wore off it was to the ER for morphine!

  7. For burns – I find that snipping a part off my aloe vera plant and applying the gel from inside that to the burn works really well. A week after the burn and the scarring is also not noticable. 

    You can buy fancy products – but a plant in the kitchen is quick and easy. 

    • I had an aloe plant and loved it, but gifted it to a friend instead. I keep meaning to get another one!

      I use the oils for many other things though. This is the first time I tried it on a burn.