Secrets of Mom Search Results

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

St George- Local Businesses

 When you move somewhere new, it can be hard to know where to go for various goods and services. It certainly took me awhile to figure it out. (And I can't say I've got it all down yet.) Here are some of the local small businesses that I have had good experiences with. I am not being compensated in any way for endorsing them. They don't even know that I am endorsing them. Each of them have just done a good job at a fair price.

Bosch Kitchen Store- 188 North Bluff Street  This place has the best prices on fresh organic bread. $1.84 per loaf and occasionally they have other deals going too, like buy 1 get 1 free. They have a good variety of breads at this price. My kids love the Cinnaburst bread, which makes great french toast. Cafe Atlas, the restaurant that they have inside the store, has some really yummy sandwiches and soups, but unfortunately they are only open until 4, or I swear I would go there a lot more often. The Bosch store is also the best local place to go for less than usual baking ingredients, like wheat gluten and a variety of grains. They also offer free cooking classes. Sometimes there are coupons for both the Bosch store and Cafe Atlas in the Valpak envelope, and Cafe Atlas has a deal on the Dixie Direct card.

Coyote Exchange- 140 N 400 W B3- A local second-hand clothes store with a really great selection. My husband's little sister recently got married and I had been looking for something to wear since before she was engaged. I had looked at every store locally, several online stores and a few dozen stores near where my family lives without any luck. Two days before the wedding I found a satin blouse in one of her wedding colors here for less than $8, and it looked brand new. I also found good deals on a few other items for myself and my husband. (They don't carry children's clothing.) They often have coupons in the newspaper, and have several in the local coupon calendar that comes in the mail. I am certain that I will be going back here.

Dixie Battery- 1250 W Sunset Blvd Ste C-18 This place is kind of hidden, and easy to miss, but they provide the best prices on car batteries. They were also knowledgeable and friendly guys.

The Tailor Maid435-674-7102 The summer before last my brother got married and I had a difficult time trying to find something to wear to his wedding and reception. A few days before we were to leave on our trip I found the perfect dress in a whole size to big. I called a few other seamstresses in the area first who said that taking it in would cost $60-$100 and take at least two weeks. That just was not going to work. Karen took in my dress in less than an hour and only charged me $10. I felt like I had found my fairy godmother. She has over 35 years of experience and did a fantastic job.

Terminator Pest Control435-862-9334 If you live in this area good pest control is a must. However I find that most local pest control places are ridiculously over-priced. And most that I talked to want to you sign a contract and have them come back every or every other month to spray again, charging around $90 each time. Ridiculous. John is nice, amiable guy, recommended by my neighbors and charges less than half of anyone else's best offer that I could find.

Friday, September 23, 2011

What I've been up to

 I swear I have a dozen blog posts bouncing around in my head, but not enough time to write them. That is, time where I'm in the 'writing zone' plus had enough sleep plus have 2 hands free. I've written a couple in a state of sleep deprivation and come back to proofread them and I'm not quite sure what I was trying to say, so we'll get back to those. So I'll just summarize what I've been doing in list form, because Heather is all about the lists. :)
  1. Feeding the baby- She gained 3 pounds in 4 weeks. I spend a lot of time feeding the baby.
  2. Chipotle Roasted Vegetable Quesadillas- I found this recipe on Skinny Bovine's Kitchen. I left out the corn, and added 2 tomatoes, 1& 1/2 medium carrots, one Hatch chile and doubled the chipotle (and left in the seeds cause I'm lazy). It was so yummy. Unfortunately baby couldn't handle the spiciness, and the two times I ate it as soon as I fed her she projectile vomited on me. But if you aren't breast-feeding I highly recommend it.
  3. Started reading How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. In the introduction he says that he tries to run his pantry dry at least once a year. I thought, I need to do that. So I have been trying to plan all meals around what I have in my pantry. In addition to rotating things, it just makes it easier to organize when I give myself a little space. And in the next few months I know there will be many sales on non-perishable items and I need to make room.
  4. In my efforts to clean out the pantry I made Peaches and Cream Oven French Toast, using canned peaches, evaporated milk and powdered eggs. It was pretty yummy and all members of my family or at least those with teeth ate some (Cue angelic chorus). However, I'm pretty sure that I could come up with a healthier version that is just as yummy.
  5. Dealing with reflux- A new development in just the past week. I've determined that baby can't handle it when I eat anything remotely spicy, but it seemed like cutting that out wasn't enough. No, no- there is a huge list of things that I have to cut out. And since I have it has made a huge difference. She's happier and sleeps longer through the night. The problem is when I got out beans, dairy and many fruits and vegetables, it makes it hard to find anything to eat, let alone anything vegetarian. (And I had gone weeks without eating meat and was feeling fine!) I may need to go back to being a carnivore for baby's benefit for awhile.
  6. Enjoying my oh-so-adorable children who are probably the only people whom I would tolerate such shenanigans from.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Maintaining a Clean House

Maintaining a clean house is just about that, maintaining. You've got to keep the mess at a certain level. If you aren't constantly taking small steps to keep it under control, things get out of hand and quickly. How you run your house depends on your household, needs, circumstances, etc. Here is the dynamic that we have going on our house:

  • My handsome husband- really great about playing with and teaching our kids when he's not at work full-time. He has recently become a vegetarian (with lots of allergies), which means that meal preparation requires more thought and planning and take-out or instant meals are rarely an option. 
  • Thing 1- 5 years old and just started Kindergarten. She loves to help as long as what we are doing doesn't involve the word "clean". (Pull weeds, scrub toilets, sort laundry, fine, clean room-no way) A real sweetie-pie who is everyday is saying 'teach me, play with me' and loves to help with the baby.
  • Thing 2- A three year old ball of energy and oh my goodness he's going to be a heart-breaker. It's really not fair that a boy have such gorgeous blue eyes and such long eye lashes. I adore him, but he can be difficult, especially when it is too hot to play outside. He's a adjusting to not being the baby of the family and it's a big adjustment. A couple weeks ago he single-handedly convinced my sister-in-law that she is not ever going to have children. His favorite job is throwing away poopy diapers. Don't ask me why.
  • Cindy Lou-Who- Almost four weeks old, and a little easier than my previous two (yay!) However, she still wants to breast-feed most of the day.  I love, love, love that she's getting fat rolls.
  • Then there's me- mommy, not sleeping as much as I would like, but hanging in there and enjoying a whole lot of sweetness.
That's my family and meeting their needs is more important than a spotless house. However, some of those needs include maintaining some amount of cleanliness. On every given day, my house is not has clean as I would like it to be. But I'm trading that for the little sleep I can squeeze in and time with my family. Here are the things that I do to try to maintain a state of livability.
  • Every morning I make my bed. It is the largest feature in my bedroom, and if it is made the whole room feels cleaner. (Learned that one from my MIL)
  • I have my kids pitch in a little at a time. Before my kids can have treats, play games or watch movies they have to 1) get their stuff out of the living room and 2) pick up and put away five things in their rooms. They also have to pick up the last game that they played with if they haven't done so. They also are rewarded for doing chores beyond managing their own messes.
  • Every day I get rid of at least five things. Junk mail, newspapers, magazines, etc.
  • When I get bills I pay them and file them immediately so they're not cluttering up the house.
  • When I go grocery shopping I take the recycling bins with me. (They could stand to be emptied more often.)
  • I wipe up spills as they happen.
  • I sweep every other day, and mop at least once a week. Ok, sometimes it's like three times a week. The house isn't clean if the floor is sticky. (Not to mention where I live, food and spills on the floor attract insects.)
  • Once a day I pick up the living room, and every other day I vacuum. Unless you're walking in through the back door, it's the first room you see and it takes up a big chunk of the house. If this room is a mess, the whole house feels so.
  • At least once a day I wipe down the counters and the kitchen table. (Ok, I'll be honest, that's not entirely true, but that's my goal and when I neglect it, it just makes more work later.)
  • At least once a day I load the dishwasher. Even on the rare evenings when there aren't enough dirty dishes to run it, I load it so I can empty the sink.
  • Then I scrub the sink. It takes two minutes, some Ajax and a scouring pad, but if the kitchen sink is clean it improves the appearance of the whole kitchen. (Learned that tip from the FLY Lady.)
  • About every other day I wash a load of laundry. Part of this is because baby creates so much dirty laundry, and part of it is it's much easier to deal with when I handle it one load at a time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Homemade Salsa Revisited

 You may have noticed that my posts have been a little more sporadic lately. I'm still here, still buying and using food storage, still trying to do my small part to make the world a better place. Having a third child has sucked away all of my free time, even if she is my easiest baby yet. And in addition to sucking away my time and energy, she has also sucked away all of my pregnancy weight, so it's not all bad. So believe me I still have plenty more to say, I just don't have as much time to do it.
 Along with everything else that has been happening I found myself in possession of two boxes of beautiful tomatoes from my parents' garden (they tried to give me more than that.) After giving a bunch to the neighbors I decided that newborn or no, I really had to make salsa. I just did it crockpot style. That way I spent about 45 minutes chopping & rinsing ingredients, let it simmer for 6 hours and processed it for 20 minutes at the end. Totally doable.
Aren't they beautiful?

There is something so satisfying about home canning. It makes my house smell good and it means that I'll have yumminess in my pantry for quite awhile. 3 dozen tomatoes made 12 pints canned, plus 3 more pints that are in the fridge. (And I still have plenty of tomatoes.) For the recipe I used go here. Although instead of jalapenos I used the red Anaheims from my garden, and instead of the green Anaheims I used some green Hatch chiles from my thirty pound monster bag of a couple weeks ago. This made for spicier salsa than usual. That's ok, I like spicy food. Unfortunately we have discovered that baby really doesn't like it when I eat anything remotely spicy, and lets me know by giving back any tainted meals that she is given. Speaking of which I have laundry to do. ttfn

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Preparedness Wednesday: August in Review

I didn't quite make my typical preparedness goals, but I feel entirely justified because it was over 100 degrees here every single day of the past month and I had a baby. I'm amazed I got anything done .

  • Had the air conditioning fixed, which should dramatically reduce our next power bill
  • Made 4 digital photo books (I think this falls under getting things organized)
  • Experimented numerous times with my sun oven
  • Harvested onions and peppers from my garden, then planted seeds for our winter garden
Emergency Preparedness
  • Cottonelle Toilet Paper- $3.25 for a 12-pack at Walgreens
  • Geisha canned mushrooms- 25 cents each at Walgreens
  • Skippy Natural Super Chunk Peanut Butter- Amazon Subscribe & Save- I love it when my food storage buys itself.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tips on Newborn Diapers

Cindy Lou-Who modeling the W brand diaper
 Through personal experience and talking to other moms I have determined that when it comes small babies (7-10 pounds), Pampers Swaddlers size 1 (8-14lbs) are more effective than Huggies at preventing leaks. After that stage I generally use Huggies because there are more coupons and deals available, and there's not a big difference.
 Last Saturday night, we were staying with family and I realized we only had 3 diapers left. So I made a late night run to Walgreen's. They did not have Pampers Swaddlers in size 1 stocked. So I decided to give the store brand a whirl. The Walgreens newborn diapers are sized up to 10 lbs, so I tried those.  I found that I have been having even fewer leaks than I did with the Pampers, and they are significantly less expensive.

Here's the price comparison for the Walgreen's that I stopped at.
Pamper's Swaddlers size 1- 40 diapers- $11.99
Walgreen's Newborn- 42 diapers-$8.99

Currently there is a P&G (manufacturer's) coupon out for $1.50 off 2 packs of Pampers or one case, and if you ask at the make-up counter there is another coupon (store) for $2 off any package of Pamper's diapers. At Walgreen's you can use both a store & a manufacturer's coupon for the same product. (Ask for the Infant Care coupon brochure.) So if the Pampers were available my total would have been $18.48 plus tax.

Currently (through 9/24/11) there is a deal where when you buy one Walgreen's product you can get a second of the same for 50% off. And in the Infant Care coupon brochure there is also a coupon for $2 off any Walgreen's Brand diapers jumbo pack. (Because it is a store coupon the $4 is taken off before the 50% off discount.) So my total was $10.48 plus tax for 2 packages of diapers. And they are just as good if not better for the stage that my infant is at right now. And yes, you don't have the reward codes, but a discount of $4 per package of diapers is worth more than a reward code.