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Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan

Can someone please explain to me how after 36 years on this planet, about 30 of them using the oven, and at least 10 of those years as a serious cook, how is it that I still let me glasses fog up anytime I open the oven? I mean for reals people, you would think by now I know to not put my damn face in front of the door when I open it. You would think.

You’d be wrong.

I think part of it is Bennett is very mischievous lately. Jack was all kinds of naughty, but Bennett is into everything. He thinks nothing of scaling our dining room chairs to climb onto the table to get something he wants (often unmonitored glasses of someone else’s water). Pulling every item of clothing out of his (neatly organized) dresser and saying “funny mommy” when I catch him. This kid is most definitely a second child (says this second child). And his biggest goal in life is to be in the way when I am cooking. We’ve tried keeping him out of the kitchen with baby gates, or Troy holding him back on the nights he is home, but this child is undeterred. Not to mention his new thing is to try to shove his head up my butt whenever I am standing or walking. He links his arms around my legs and then pushes his head right into my butt.

Opening the oven while you have a toddler dingleberry is like guarding a steak from a lion. I place my whole body between the oven and my cling on, and inevitably I fog up my glasses. It’s a real problem. At the heart of the matter, I should probably just get Lasik. But, I don’t believe there are enough tranquilizers in this world to get me to hold still and relax while a freaking laser beam cuts into my eye. Seriously, just typing that sentence made my stomach roll and my butt clench.

Jack and I have a mom/eight-year-old punk date scheduled for Tuesday. I’m planning to take him to see Wonder. In his hyper-competitive, everything falls into the categories of “right” or “wrong” and there is no grey areas life, I think a movie focused on empathy and kindness may just help. Maybe. I chose Tuesday because Troy is home, there are no evening activities planned, and our local theater sells all tickets for $5 on Tuesdays. Empathy with frugality.

You would think a movie targeted towards kids would be shown at times that correspond with school releases. You’d be wrong. There is a showing that starts five minutes after Jack gets out of school…or three hours later which means bedtime would get pushed back by an hour or so. I’m tempted to pull Jack out of school 15 minutes early to make the afternoon showing. I mean, you just have to look at his face and anyone would easily believe that he has a “dentist appointment” in the afternoon. That poor kid and his snaggleteeth. His mouth is going to cost me a fortune.

Anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time, knows I have a constant battle with sugar. I’ll consume too much of it when stress eating and then cut it out of my life completely for a month. When that month is up, I tend to binge and just make the problem worse. I think I have found a happy medium that has been working for me for the last few months. I haven’t eliminated sugar from my diet, but I have totally restricted the all-day snacking and sweets consumption. I allow myself one sweet a day, and sometimes that sweet is really big, and other times I just need a few bites and I’m good to go.

I have given myself Sunday as a “cheat day”, and all week I look forward to my spoonful of Nutella, a latte, alllllll the samples at Costco, and dessert after family dinner. When Sunday rolls around, I rarely even feel the need to eat half of those things. And then come Monday, I’m annoyed with myself for not having eaten more the day before.

For my life and my situation, this has been working out really well. My jeans are no longer tight, my clothes fit really well, and overall I have more energy. I don’t get that mid-afternoon sleepy slump, but that could be because Bennett and I now take our long walks in the afternoon. Damn you changing nap times!

When a big event is coming (Christmas parties, holidays, etc.,) I give myself some slack to have a bit more than normal. What’s funny is even when I give myself that permission, I rarely overindulge when given the opportunity. And let me be clear; I LOVE sugar. So, if you find yourself in the position of needing to reign in your sweets, I highly recommend a once a day system.

In this week’s adventures in thrift store shopping. I really hope this was accidentally donated. 🙁

On Friday, we hit up IKEA, also known as the place where the need for marriage counseling becomes apparently clear. I am a mission-based shopper and don’t feel the need to slow down and examine each item. Until of course, I get to the model kitchen section. Oh my-lanta how I love that part of the store. My hatred of our current kitchen is not a secret. I long for a day when I can take a sledgehammer to that space. It’s probably never going to happen, but I sure have wild fantasies about it.

We hit up the allen wrench factory in the hopes of finding a desk for Jack for Christmas. Growing up, my sister and I had desks made by my grandpa (the same man who built Bennett’s play kitchen). They were incredibly solid and functional, but large. Of course, they’re no longer in the family, but there isn’t a space in Jack’s small room for anything that big anyway. We did find a desk and it is the perfect mix of a starter desk and not enough drawers for him to squirrel away a ton of junk.

Also on our list was a little stool for Troy to convert into a hacked learning tower for Bennett’s Christmas present. The hack uses this $20 stool (how cool is it that you can find out what aisle something is in before you even get to the store?!). Part of me is regretting this learning tower before Bennett has even been gifted it. As if we need one more thing for this kid to climb. #secondchild

I had a moment of panic and sadness earlier this week. Last year, I perfected a recipe for whole wheat sugar cookies. It was the ultimate sugar cookie recipe. They were chewy, absolutely delicious, and not one single person knew they were whole wheat. Until of course, I told them because I just can’t help myself. I was getting ready to make some cookies for a charity that our church supports, and guess where that recipe was? No seriously, guess because I didn’t know. I was so sad that I didn’t feel the need last year to put it in a safe and secure location. Ugggggggh! But then guess what? I found the piece of paper with my notes and it was like angels started singing.

You’re like “suuuuuper interesting story Sarah” as you tiptoe backward out of this post and hit the “x”. Come back friends! I have more to tell you about the cookies.

The best part of the whole wheat sugar cookie recipe? I solved the age-old problem of rolling out rock hard refrigerated cookie dough. Resting the dough is such a necessary step when making cookies, but it sucks. It is the step I hate when making cookies. By the time I am done rolling out the cold dough, I feel like I just did three hours of cross fit.

We’re going on a preschool “tour” tomorrow with Bennett. I mean, it’s a four hour a week school where I want my kid to get socialized and to boost his immune system. Unless they’re actively beating kids while we’re there, I’m probably not going to say no. But it will be fun to see what he thinks of it. Spoiler alert: I almost don’t care. He’s going.

Need help getting caught up on any posts you missed this week? Well, I am here to help!

First, if you are part of the Frugal by Choice community on Facebook, you may know* that I found out this week that a Canadian website published an article I wrote for them this fall. There was a miscommunication, and they actually published it right after I wrote it, but I wasn’t notified. The piece I wrote was called “Parenting Through Grief“, but the title was edited and seems more sensationalized to me. Oh well, the actual writing is still mine. It was a hard thing to read after not seeing it for three months, but important for me to do so.

*I say may know about the article because Facebook is a giant douche when it comes to allowing people to see my posts. They recently changed their policy and screwed over anyone with a business account. People reach out to me all the time asking if I took a break from writing since they never see my posts anymore. The reach I get is maybe 15% of how many followers we have. Why? Because they want you to pay to advertise your page and boost those numbers. Facebook can lick my cheap nuts.

I share most of my posts on Instagram as well (<—-also owned by Facebook, but less evil. For now) so if you follow me over there you’ll be notified of most new posts.

As of now, many of you get my posts sent to you via email. The FeedBurner system I use is not user-friendly and I have had more and more issues with it lately. Many posts are not displaying in the email, some photos never show up, and last week there was a giant random smiley face in the middle of one of the email posts. WTF?

With my site redesign coming up (due by the end of January!!!!), I am going to have to make some changes. I can’t transfer the FeedBurner info to the new URL, so I am currently looking for alternatives to make sure I can still send out my posts via email. Once I have a solution, I will let you know because I want us to stay connected. Let’s be friends m’kay?

Ok, back to the posts from this week!

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide. Alllllll the crunchy gifts.

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide

Easy Homemade Gift Tags. These are so fun, easy, and inexpensive. The post includes a free printable if you want to make your own!

gift tag

My Nana’s Almond Roca. I had to give this whole batch away because we were making asses out of ourselves eating it.

almond roca

Best Gifts For Babies and Toddlers. There are plenty of present ideas, but spoiler alert: I recommend a paper bag full of tissue paper as the ultimate gift.

gifts for babies and toddlers

Meal Plan time!

Monday:: Chicken Gnocchi Soup and salad. Yes, this was on the menu last week. But we didn’t eat it. I opened the basement freezer to get some chicken out to defrost and found a homemade frozen pizza in there. I had made it last week and stuck it in there to freeze. And um, never covered it with foil. So I decided I should probably bake the pizza instead of making soup.

Tuesday:: I’m taking Jack out for a date. Troy can figure out what to feed himself and Bennett. I’m on strike.

Wednesday:: Air Fryer Fried Tofu With Orange Sauce and rice. Because I love to listen to Jack whine.

Thursday:: Healthy Sausage and Roasted Vegetables and garlic bread.

Friday:: We’re going to my friend’s house for a cookie decorating party. So, I’m guessing we’re eating cookies. 🙂

Saturday:: Leftovers

Sunday:: Family dinner

Smith Brother’s Farms: $19.70

Costco:: $65.81

Fred Meyer:: $34.67. We didn’t need milk, but at that price, I thought it would be fun to try out yogurt in the Instant Pot. (<—affiliate link)

What are you having this week?

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12 comments on “Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan”

  1. Back to the cookies…what’s the solution for rolling cookie dough? One of my daughter’s presents is a rolling pin and cookie cutters. While I know she’ll love the present…I’m not looking forward to the cookie dough…it’s such a pain in the rear?

    • Ok girl, you’re totally ruining my huge “draw” for the future post, but I’ll tell you. Ready?

      You divide the dough in half. Put half on a piece of parchment and roll it out. You’ll likely need a bit more flour than normal because it will be sticky. Then, repeat with another piece of parchment and the other half of the dough. Place the parchment and dough on top of each other on a baking sheet in layers and put the baking sheet in the fridge for 2-3 hours until the dough is hard.

      Now your dough is already rolled out, totally chilled and ready to go and you look like a total badass.

  2. Thank you! I have 2 boys sharing a small room and have been looking for desks that will fit their room. This Ikea desk you found for Jack will fit 2 in their room perfectly and for the frugal person in me the price is just right.

  3. Fridays dinner sound fun & delicious #HolidayPerfection 🙂

  4. Your website is bookmarked on my browser and a long time ago we downsized our friends list on FB to like 30-40 people and “un-followed” every one of those we kept. I now have to actually type the persons name to go check out their posts (mostly my sis and sis-in-law, Dad…etc) and yours is one I check once a week and I go back through until I reach the posts/photos I already saw so I don’t miss any. What I’m trying to say is don’t worry about me not getting emails or notifications, I will still web-stalk you, haha!

    Interested to see how your yogurt in the IP turns out (I don’t think I have that function on mine, I’ll have to check) $2.99 is a good deal on milk in your neck of the woods? It’s like $2 a gallon here all the time. In Ohio where my mom is it’s $1.50. I used to live in Guam where it was $4-5!

    Funny what Bennett has been doing lately, I think my guy Orion did the same thing, weirdos!!!

    • Glad to have/keep you as a stalker. 🙂

      This was organic milk and I think it is $5-6 a gallon for the normal price. Our store typically discounts dairy items that are supposed to expire within 12 days to 50% off and I paid $2.99. Our store often has regular milk on sale for 4/$5 for half gallons, but it isn’t organic. We aren’t milk drinkers, except Bennett, but I use it for cooking a lot. Bennett goes through maybe a half gallon in 1-2 weeks.

  5. Ahahahaha, cheap nuts…

  6. I’m right with you on the lasik. There’s not enough tranquilizer in the world!

    My company uses Mailchimp to get emails sent out. I don’t know if it would work for you, but you could check it out.

    • MailChimp is the one I am looking at right now. My new site designer uses it and likes it a lot. It is at the top of my list, but I really need to investiate if I can publish a full post in the email. It is a promise I made to a reader a few months ago and I don’t want to break it. 🙂

  7. We have the stool part of the hacked learning tower. We’ve had it for years, through two kids….It is