Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Trek

Since we are on a theme of boring blog posts, here is a good one: the weekend chores. For me, the main one is shopping, as in grocery. I am not a big shopper and the thing with the grocery shopping, it has to be done every week, or else we run out of milk. At certain times, the local stores just don't do and I have to make the trek to Greenville. The main stores I go to are Costco and Trader Joe's. These treks were started with my neighborhood commune. We would all go together, sometimes with kids, sometimes without. Now, I have to go by myself. :( It was Juliet, actually Juliet's mom who had the Costco card and first introduced me to the store. Really, I can't remember why I agreed to go that first time, but it turned out to be a good thing and I am now a proud Costco member.

The thing with Costco, you may think that by buying in bulk you save money. That might be true, but I don't think that is why I save money. By buying in bulk at Costco I end up saving money because I don't have to go to WalMart and Target. Here are my Top Five Costco finds:


1. Real Maple Syrup. I buy two of these at a time. You simply can't find it for a better price anywhere. I think it is $8 a bottle.

2. Nuts. The ones I get are almonds and pecans. Being Semi-Vegan, we go through a lot of nuts. Costco is a great place to get a lot of them for a pretty good price. I also can get dates there for my Kerri bars.

3. Finish Tabs. I think this is discussed in other blogs, but we run the dishwasher a lot. Like everyday. Sometimes two times a day. Sometimes less, but not often. I like the tabs because the way that my detergent holder is on my dishwasher. The last box I got was like 200 of them for $15. Last for more than 6 months!

4. Oats. This is actually one of those things that may actually be too big. It is a lot of oats. However, inasmuch I make and eat homemade granola every morning, it is good to have a super big box.

5. My skin care products, mainly oil of olay and cetaphil. I had been using the target brand, but this is bigger for the same price. Again, don't have to go to Target.

After Costco, I drive down the street to Trader Joe's. I was not impressed with TJ the first time I went there. I just didn't get it. But now, there are several staples that make the trip there necessary. Here are my Trader Joe's top five:


1. Olive Oil. Good quality olive oil. Low price. 'Nuff said.

2. Raw Cashews. TJ's is the only place I can find raw cashews. In my semi-vegan diet, I use raw cashews to make "cream" sauces. Delish.

3. Organic Cereals. File me with all those other crazy mom's who only allow their kids to eat organic cereals because it makes them feel better. I know it is probably not any better, but Andy does love the low sugar/whole grain puffins. Again, they are cheap here.

4. Salsa, tortillas, chips. I have given up buying these at the regular grocery store. Simply not good. I'll buy a bunch at TJ's and am usually a lot happier with him. They have a great roasted salsa, blue tortilla chips, and handmade toritillas.

5. Veggie broth. Good broth. Low sodium. 'Nuff said.

**Bonus. TJ's used to be the only place you could find organic yogurt for kids that was fruit flavored. As opposed to Dora's cotton candy flavored. However, you can now find organic yogurt at Ingles.

Am I forgetting something????


Yikes, I am...the wine! I do like their "three buck chuck" and they also have one of my favorites Vihno Verde for cheap. YUM!

What are you favorite Costco/Trader Joe's finds?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Three jobs and three blogs

So, it turns out I can't do everything.

I can't work full time, take my children to and from school, teach a weekly aerobics class, prepare for said aerobics class, prep and teach a 1 hour college class, make homemade meals and snacks that are whole food and vegan, and be nice to my children, AND keep up with 3 blogs.

I just can't.

I really wanted to quit my blogs, but my sister talked me out of it. I think I would have time to update but I don't neceassily have time to do fun things with the kids and take pictures to put on the blog.

And again, sister does not accept blog posts with no pictures!

So here I am to blog about the cold.

I know, me blogging about the cold in January is kind of like reporting on a big snow storm in Alaska, or reporting that it is hot in Texas in the summer, or that there are wildfires in California. I mean, DUH. But it was cold outside our house and inside.


It actually wasn't cold (yet) but we had a burning smell and the diagnosis was a cracked heat exchanger. I am not sure what it is, but it turns out it is very expensive. We ended up getting a new unit. However, then the new unit blew out the old thermastat and we (I) was cold again. We build a fire.


Really this post is just an excuse to put this picture of Andy up. He doesn't have his typical "duh" face on.


And then there was wrestling. Hey whatever keeps you warm!


And then we got it fixed and everyone (me) was happy.

Worst post ever? Post a comment and let me know!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Riverbanks Zoo

So, I have a job now. This makes things difficult when Mark and I have to work and the kids don't have school. This happened right before Christmas, but luckily Mr. Tony did NOT have to work so he took James, Andy, and his kid John to the Riverbanks Zoo. Why? Its complicated. I believe there was Qdoba involved. Well, aparently, James and Andy had such a good time and were so taken back by the rattlesnakes, they really wanted to go back. This past Monday I had to work, but James, Andy, AND Mark were off. Turns out, many really fun local kids places are closed on Mondays, so, Mark allowed himself to be talked into going to the Riverbanks Zoo. There was no Qdoba.


From what I understand, the Riverbanks Zoo is a lot bigger than our local zoo. They have different animals, such as penguins.


And Kangaroos


And gorillas


Lots of statues:


But of course they had Elephants, which is Andy's favorite animal!


This picture was not at the zoo, but still cute. They are star wars hats! How did I not know these hats exist and why didn't everyone get these hats for our kids?