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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Smoothies & Frozen Fruit

Last night when my husband came to pick me up from work my daughter had unexpectedly thrown up in the car, and he was looking worse than I have ever seen him. The job of mommy/nurse never ends. After passing out the Zofran, I made smoothies for dinner. Here is my basic ad lib recipe:

2 cups frozen fruit
1 cup fresh fruit
1/2-1 cup juice (depending on how thick you want it)
1/4 cup yogurt (plain, vanilla, flavored, whatever)
As much fresh or frozen spinach as you can get away with (I usually do about 1/8 cup)

1. Blend until smooth. Vary as desired.

Notes: I'm pregnant and I live in the desert, these are pretty much a staple at my house. I find them to be a good way to use over-ripe fruits. Last night's smoothies were a mixture of papaya, mango, cantaloupe, pineapple, blackberry, honey dew, banana, spinach, strawberry and lime. (I read once that papayas are good for indigestion.) I also threw in about 1/4 cup of prepared strawberry jello because we had it in the fridge and it is an easy-to-digest source of added protein. I have found that if you use fruits like mango or papaya, you need to add a little bit of citrus for best flavor. So if you're using one of these and don't have any citrus handy, just add a teaspoon of lemon juice. I have also used canned pineapple in place of the fresh fruit and the juice.

To cut down on the cost of fruit I freeze my own. If I have a bunch of  fruit that's going to turn before we eat it, I chop and freeze it. A couple of months ago Bountiful Baskets was offering a case of 9 pineapples for $14. I bought one and chopped and froze half of them. I've done the same with cases of mangoes, peaches and blackberries. Ok, I didn't chop the blackberries, I just put them in a bag. To freeze fruit I line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Then I chop my fruit into chunks and spread them onto the cookie sheet. Freeze for two hours and then transfer to a plastic freezer bag. This makes it so that fruit isn't frozen into one big clump.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Keeping the Kid's Bedrooms Clean

 So the biggest battle we have at our house is keeping the kids' rooms clean. They are happy to help me scrub the bathtub, toilets and wash windows, but they act like it's the end of the world when I ask them to pick up their toys. I make all kinds of bribes and ultimatums. If your rooms are clean we can go swimming, have ice cream, go to movies, play video games, etc. This hasn't gotten me very far.  I am fully aware that at the ages of 3 & 5, they do not have the cleanliness standards that I have. Although it requires more work than actually cleaning their rooms myself, I insist that they clean their rooms. Hopefully someday they will appreciate this and enjoy just having their rooms clean. Now there isn't exactly one method to get the job done, but here are a few things that I have found to be effective.
  • Providing spaces for their toys. Each of my kids have a toy organizer (like below) in their room, giving them an easy place to sort and store toys.  Tot Tutors Toy Organizer, Primary Colors
  • Toy boxes and shelves also work.
  • Break it down into small tasks. Their entire room can be overwhelming. I often tell them that they need to pick up five things before lunch.
  • Make sure they have enough closet/ drawer space to keep clothes put away.
  • Make a time limit. "We are going to clean for 15 minutes." Then set a timer.
  • Pack up toys and clothes that are no longer used. The less stuff, the easier it is for them to manage.
  • Make a competition. "Whoever picks up the most stuff in 15 minutes gets (fill in small prize, candy, choice of movie, etc. whatever motivates your child)"
  • Be firm. If you say no games until the rooms are clean, stick to it.
So I tried all of these things, and they work to some degree, but sometimes you have to take more drastic measures. I told my kids that they had three days to get their rooms clean or the stuff on their floors was going to disappear. Then I spent a half an hour helping each of them, giving them a one last chance to pick up their favorite toys and me to pick up the things in each of their rooms that I felt were most important (books, learning toys, clothes etc.) After that I took a garbage bag to each of their rooms and filled it with what was left on the floors. Those garbage bags are now in my closet. Everyday that their rooms stay clean they get back one toy. My daughter's room stays clean and she's slowly earning her stuff back. My son doesn't miss the toys in my closet, and his room is far more manageable. I think it may be time for a yard sale.
 What do you do keep on top of the mess with little ones?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Food Storage Friday: Chicken and Easy Fresh Pesto

Last Saturday when I got my fresh herb pack from Bountiful Baskets, I knew that I needed to make some fresh pesto, and as I was eating it I thought 'Why haven't I blogged about this before?' It's so easy and delicious. Enjoy.

Chicken, Pasta and Pesto
Food Storage Ingredients:
10 oz pasta, prepared al dente
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons almonds, toasted
1/2 cup Italian dressing

Fresh Ingredients:
2 lbs of chicken
2 loosely packed cups fresh basil
2 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
dash of lemon juice
additional Parmesan for garnish (optional)

1. Marinate chicken overnight in Italian dressing. Or to make life easier follow these instructions. 2. Cook chicken as desired. Grill it, bake it, whatever pleases you. My favorite is to throw it in my medium-sized crock pot frozen and cook on low for 8-10 hours. 3. When you are almost ready to eat, puree almonds, cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and basil in a food processor to desired coarseness. 4. Spread over chicken and pasta.

Notes: The recipe that I originally based my pesto on called for salt. I feel like the cheese makes it salty enough, but if you like it saltier, by all means. Pesto traditionally calls for pine nuts or sometimes walnuts. I use almonds for two reasons. a) I do not like pine nuts or walnuts. b)Almonds are significantly less than pine nuts or walnuts. Once when I was a girl my grandpa took me up in the mountains to hunt for pine nuts. I decided that it was way too much work for something that just didn't taste that great. (The last time I was at Costco, a 3 lb bag of pine nuts was about $28. I'll stick with almonds, thank you.) I also keep a jar of pesto in my pantry, just in case. Since this is a meal my family is familiar with, we could get by on a meal of jarred pesto and pasta, but the fresh is much better.
 If you happen to have a large quantity of fresh basil (whether from your garden or your Bountiful Basket), you can make this and freeze it. Just leave out the oil and cheese and add those when you are ready to serve. Usually I make my pesto as I have spelled out above. This time I added a touch of fresh oregano, thyme and rosemary because I had them. Very delicious.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Awesome Deal on Skippy Peanut Butter from Amazon

Skippy Peanut Butter, Natural Super Chunk, 15-Ounce Jars (Pack of 6)Now normally my blog is not the place to come when you're looking for the hottest deals. There are many other bloggers out there who just do a better job. But if that hot deal is super convenient and involves food storage, I promise that I will let you know about it.

1. Select one case of Skippy Natural Peanut Butter-Super Chunk from (The price is listed as $13.23) Also available in the Creamy variety

2. Select Subscribe and Save. This should bring the price down to $11.25. (You can have it delivered as often as you want, and cancel later if you please.)
3. At checkout enter code TOTALUNI (This should bring your total down to $9.32) Although for some reason my total came to $9.27, not complaining. That makes it $1.55 per jar, shipped.
4. This same set of instructions also works for the Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter- Natural with Honey for a few cents more.

Amazon prices fluctuate, so I would hop on this deal NOW.

Thanks Freebies to Deals!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Legoland California

 Last year I came across a free subscription for children to Lego Club Magazine. Thing 1 loves to get her own mail, so I signed her up. In one issue there was a coupon for a free child's admission to Legoland with the purchase of an adult admission. We agreed that it would be a good family vacation for 2011.
 And I have to say that it was AWESOME. I believe that for my kids at their age (Under age 8), Legoland is better than Disneyland. Here are my reasons:

Legoland is pretty much Lego Mecca, with some fairly impressive displays throughout the park. (I love Legos, they're great learning toys that facilitate creativity.)

The longest line was a 45 minute wait. (And there was only one line that long.)

The lines that were longer than 15 minutes had a little area where the kids could play with Legos while the parents could watch them from their place in line. (Genius on their part, less whining=happier kids +happier parents.)
Thing 2 learning to drive
You get significantly more bang for your buck when it comes to the meal options. (My husband and I split one large combo meal and together we couldn't finish it. I also was satisfied with the options for my kids.)

There was tons of active play. My kids totally wore themselves out.

The best tree house I have ever seen. It took 3 shots to try to get the front. Look at it and try to tell me that you don't want to climb through that with your kids.

There were far less crowds. In one day we had to time to ride every ride at least once, and our favorites 2-3 times.
There are plenty of coasters that even my underweight 3 year old could ride.

They have a great aquarium attached that you can view for an extra fee. I thought it was worth it.

It's less expensive than Disneyland with plenty of discounts and coupons available. I totally felt like we were getting our money's worth.

 Gate prices: Adult admission is $69, children's $59. Kids 2 and under are free. Hopper passes to either Legoland plus the Sea Life Aquarum or the Water Park are $81/$71. Or you can do all three for $89/$79. (We didn't check out the Water Park because it was closed that day.) You can add a 2nd day to any hopper pass for $10. Parking is $12 per day. Legoland California is located in Carlsbad California. Now let's talk about those discounts. I'm going to rank them according to most money saved for a short trip, although many are not available to the general public. Pick the best one that is available to you.
  1. Buy an Adult admission get a Child free- $59 discount. As mentioned previously, this can be found in some issues of the Lego Club Magazine. I've also heard that periodically you can find coupons like this in some fast food chains in Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico.
  2. Employee Discounts- varies- (I saved $14 per ticket on my 2 remaining tickets) If you are employed for a large company check this one out. I am employed for a large corporation that is based in Utah, and I was surprised that they still offered a discount through our employee website. I was able to print my tickets out the morning of, or you can have them sent via snail mail if you are less spontaneous than we were that weekend.
  3. Printable Coupon- $8 discount at this link. Only good on day passes (Up to 6 tickets) at the gate, cannot be combined with any other discount. Good until 5/31/11
  4. Entertainment Book- $7 discount for up to 6 tickets found in the San Diego 2011 Entertainment Book. Currently the books are $15 each. And if you're you're going this route, I highly recommend that you buy your book through, where you can get 17.5% back on your purchase. (I like Ebates for their many other discounts available.)
  5. Military Discount- 10% off for members of the armed services when you show your military ID.
  6. AAA Discount- 10% off tickets when you show your American Automobile Association card.
  7. Carlsbad Hotels- $6 off per ticket. Many of the local hotels offer tickets at a discount and it means that you don't have to wait at the ticket booth.
  8. Costco- This one is a better deal than the previous six deals, but only if you plan on spending 3 days at Legoland. I'm sure that my kids would have been just fine with that, but we had work, school etc. $99.99 for a 3-day pass + $2.34 shipping and handling. There is an extra fee if you don't have a Costco membership, for more details on this deal go here.
  9. Legoland Annual Passes- $129 for adults & $99- Ultimately the best bang for your buck if you live close enough to visit than 3 times per year or more, but we don't, or I'm pretty sure I would have bought these. This comes with multiple perks like free parking, and no black-out dates.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tornado Relief- Something You Can Do To Make a Difference

This evening I was browsing the blogosphere and came across this post. I hear about disasters like the one in Alabama and always wish that there is something that I can do. I have been so blessed and out there, there are so many people who have had their whole world knocked out from under them. And I love it when someone has a good idea on ways that I can actually help from where I am.
 Kristen Cooper writes the blog Couponing to Disney about how she uses the money she saves from coupons to pay for Disney vacations. Her hometown of Moody, Alabama was hit by a tornado causing wide-spread destruction. Her neighbors are in dire need of basic necessities. Now this is the part where Amazon helps you and I to save the world, you can get on Amazon, order items that are needed and ship them for free if they cost $25 or more, or if you have an Amazon Prime membership. I love that this is so simple, cost-efficient and helps people with something that they really need. If you order diapers or baby wipes and you have an Amazon Mom Prime Membership, you can get up to 30% off. Just add it to your cart and ship to the following address.

Disaster Relief
c/o First Baptist Church of Moody
902 Church Street
Moody, AL 35004

Items that they still need: 
Baby supplies (including diapers, wipes, A&D Ointment, baby food and juices)
Can openers
Convenience food (snack type)
Diabetic Monitors with Strips
First aid kits
Non-perishable food items
Over the counter medications (mainly Tylenol)
Shampoo and Conditioner
Soap Powders and Cleaning Supplies
Socks and underwear *NEW*
Sunscreen and Bug Spray
Trash bags

Now, you don't have to order through Amazon. You can just as easily order from Target, Walmart or where ever you please. I like Amazon because I have found that they generally have the best prices on baby supplies and you can find many other items from the needs list.

5 Simple Ways of Conserving

I mention recycling fairly often on my blog, but I think that recycling is a only a small part of energy conservation. Don't just recycle, reuse, re-purpose, use less and throw away less. I believe that a big part of it is attitude. 'What small things can I do today to make the world a better place?' Here are some of the things that I do, and yes I am aware that they don't make an enormous difference, but if everyone is doing small simple things to help the environment, it can make an enormous difference.
  1. Reusable grocery bags- I love these. They're bigger and easier to carry than multiple plastic bags and they save me money. For every time you use one of these at Target they take 5 cents off your total. Every time you use one of these at Smith's, you get 5 points, which essentially translates to a 5 cent reward towards future grocery purchases.
  2. Reuse cooking water- I realize this is not always easy to do, but when I boil pasta or corn I drain the water into a container instead of the sink and pour it on my garden after it cools. I also pour half-full luke warm glasses of water on my lawn instead of down the drain.
  3. Save and reuse popsicle sticks- Why should I pay for popsicle sticks for craft projects when I rinse off the hundreds that we go through around here and use those?
  4. Reuse plastic grocery bags- Even with using the cloth bags I still get these sometimes. I make a point of not throwing them away. I use them to line the small garbage cans in our bathrooms and the office. I keep a couple in my car to hold trash, or soiled children's clothing. They're also good for wrapping Christmas ornaments or fragile items when moving.
  5. Reuse paper- You know those credit card and insurance offers that you're always getting in the mail?  I use the back sides of those papers to print coupons. I also use them to write my to do lists on. I use the envelopes to hold my coupons divided by grocery store. I've printed coupons on the backsides of bills before. I also maneuver it so I always print at least 2 coupons per sheet of paper. Junk mail can also be used for paper mache or for small children to color on.
Here are a couple of other posts I have written in the past about things you can do to help the environment that will also save you money.

Ways to save money that are good for the environment too.

More ways to save money that are good for the environment.

Ways to save money on your utility bills in the summer.

What things do you do to help out the environment?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Food Storage Friday: Chili and Rice

This week I have been out of town, come down with a nasty cold and have generally felt tired, busy and achey with all that comes with pregnancy and mothering small children. So when I was trying to come up with what to eat for dinner this week I was not feeling super creative. I just wanted something quick and easy that would satisfy my family. I thought of something that my mother sometimes made when I was growing up: chili and rice. She got the idea from her friend who grew up eating chili this way in Louisiana. Considering I got the chili on sale for 17 cents per can (after coupons), I can easily feed my entire family of four for about 50 cents and have leftovers. It takes less than 20 minutes to prepare, and if you add a side of fresh fruit, is a fairly well-balanced meal.

Chili and Rice
Food Storage Ingredients:
Chili of your choice (I found that one 15 oz can makes about 2 & 1/2 servings)
3/4 cup of prepared rice per person

Fresh Ingredients: (optional)
grated cheese
chopped green onions

Pretty self-explanatory, chili over rice. Add toppings if desired. If you are feeling a little more ambitious than I, make your own chili from scratch and add some cornbread on the side. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vitamin D during pregnancy could prevent RSV in infants

 This week a study was published online from the American Academy of Pediatrics that found that a deficiency of Vitamin D in cord blood is associated increased rate of RSV in infants. So it stands to reason that if an infant is not starting out Vitamin D deficient, they are decreasing their chances of catching RSV. The study suggested that if pregnant women increased their Vitamin D intake, it would decrease the rate of RSV by about 20%. That is AMAZING! And not only would it decrease the number of cases of RSV, it would decrease the severity, meaning fewer deaths, fewer tiny babies on CPAP and vents, and fewer infants being held down by nurses like me so they can have boogers sucked out through a tube in their noses. I may be jeopardizing my job security by proclaiming this information to the world, but I'm OK with that. But seriously RSV is a HUGE part of what I do and I would be glad to see fewer kids come down with it.
 The point is, if you are pregnant I recommend that you make sure that you are getting enough Vitamin D. Start today.  Not only does it reduce rates of RSV, your body needs it for cardiovascular health, a thriving immune system and strong bones. One may ask how much is enough Vitamin D and where do I get it?- The latest recommendations (as of November 2010)  for daily intake is the same for men and women under age 70, 600 international units, and 400 IU for children. Now there is debate that because of these new study findings, perhaps pregnant women should get more than that. It remains to be seen. The caveat with Vitamin D is that if you take too much it can lead to toxicity. (Vitamin D poisoning can lead to dehydration, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, muscle weakness, irritability, fatigue and kidney stones. Pregnant women have enough issues with those conditions without taking a vitamin supplement that would make them worse.) Vitamin D toxicity is actually pretty rare. It only happens when too much is taken over a period of time, usually months, and when an adult is taking 50,000 IU or more per day. Vitamin D from food has never resulted in an overdose.
  Of course you can get your Vitamin D from a prenatal vitamin or a Vit D supplement, but if you are looking for an answer that doesn't come in a pill form, here are a few good places:
  • sunshine- not that the sun actually contains Vit D, but our skin has the power to turn ultraviolet light (UVB rays) into Vitamin D. (Aren't our bodies amazing?)
  • fish- especially fatty varieties like catfish, salmon and tuna
  • eggs
  • fish liver oils- I suppose this proves that my grandma was right, or at least partly. Eating a tablespoon of cod liver oil a day can prevent illness. One tablespoon contains 1360 IU. That doesn't mean you can convince me to take it. It smells ghastly.
  • mushrooms- I recently learned that a serving of button mushrooms contains 100% of the Vitamin D that you need for a day.
  • In the United States milk is fortified with Vitamins A&D, because they help with the absorption of calcium. (Many people find it surprising that "Vitamin D milk" or whole milk has no more vitamins than skim or 2% milk. The only thing that it has more of is saturated fat.)
  • Most cereals, butter and dairy products are also fortified with Vitamin D.
 Now I'm asking you to do me a favor. If know someone who is pregnant, share this information with them. Making sure that you're getting enough Vitamin D  while you're pregnant is a simple way to make a huge difference. If 20% fewer children in the United States came down with RSV each year, that's roughly a million children. And think how many families that would effect if there were that many children who weren't coming down with RSV. The thought makes me happy. So please, please, if you are reading this, spread the good news to your friends and family so they can keep their families happy and healthy.

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Do's and Don'ts & Facts About Recycling

     So it has become a habit of mine that every Monday morning I load my recycling bins and drop off in the larger recycling bins that are in the parking lot of my local grocery store. This past Monday I was pretty annoyed with what I saw. There is one bin that is just for paper and a second bin that is for paper, plastic and metals. In multiple places on the bins it says "No glass" and "No cardboard". Yet overflowing from the bins were large cardboard boxes and strew on the ground around the bins were large amounts of broken glass. And both bins were overflowing with non-recyclable items like clothing and garbage. I realize that I'm ranting a little and I  also realize that the people who most need to hear this are probably not the ones who read my blog, but I'm going to say it anyway.*Warning, this is where I get on my soap box.*

    • Cardboard, glass, metals, plastic and paper are all recyclable items. You just have to take them to the right places.
    • Here are the locations if you happen to live in St George. If you live elsewhere you can type in your zip code and what you want to recycle to and it will tell you where to take it.
      1. Cardboard- the recycling bin in front of the new Bosch kitchen store
      2. Glass- the yellow binnies found in the parking lots of Smith's, across the street from the old hospital, Harmon's parking lot, as well as a few others
      3. Paper, plastic and metal- all of the above plus the parking lot of Lin's
      4. You can recycle old clothing by leaving it in the Big Brother, Big Sister bins that are at the Bosch kitchen store and Lin's,  or by taking to Deseret Industries, the Salvation Army or the Catholic Church Community Center
    • Do encourage your children, friends and family to recycle. Big changes won't happen unless lots of ordinary people start doing little things.
    • Think about things before you throw them in the garbage. Some lawn furniture, siding, gutters, car components and window frames contain aluminum which can be turned into soda cans just as well as old soda cans can. Foil candy wrappers works as well.
    • Don't recycle cardboard or paper that has food or grease on it (i.e. your standard pizza box). The grease can contaminate and ruin huge batches of recycled paper, making the process very inefficient. Either throw it away or shred it and use it as compost. (This is one that I just recently learned myself.)
    • Don't recycle used paper towels, napkins, plates, etc. This is for the same reasons. The paper pulp and oil stick together and once the contaminants are squeezed out you have a product with holes.
    • Don't bother to thoroughly clean plastic, glass and metal containers. These items are recycled through a different process than paper and food residue is burned off. (I usually give these items a quick rinse before tossing them in the recycle bin, just to cut down on smell and keep my bin cleaner.)
    • Don't pour motor oil down the drain. Motor oil is recyclable and never wears out, it just gets dirty and needs to be processed and refined. One quart, if given the chance can contaminate 2 million gallons of water.
       I highly encourage people to recycle. It turns what is otherwise garbage into something useful. It conserves resources and helps keep the places we live in cleaner and greener. And I think that a lot of people are thinking that if they throw something into a recycling bin, that they're helping out. However, if you are not going to do it right, don't bother.  Irresponsible recycling costs recycling companies more than $700 million each year. It's not rocket science people, my three year old knows how to sort the recycling. I'm assuming that these people making messes are adults, and guess what their mothers aren't here to pick up after them, and in being careless they are making life more difficult for someone else.

      A few interesting facts about recycling:
      • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours -- or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
      • There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled.
      • Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
      • If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!
      • Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!
      • The construction costs of a paper mill designed to use waste paper is 50 to 80% less than the cost of a mill using new pulp.
      • Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
      • The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or a compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.
      • On average, it costs $30 per ton to recycle trash, $50 to send it to the landfill, and $65 to $75 to incinerate it.
      • Glass takes 4000 years or more to decompose.
      • Plastic is made out of oil, the same oil that can be turned into gasoline. Recycling plastic helps to cut down the demand for this resource which in turn helps to lower the cost of gas. :)
      In conclusion, I believe that it is important to carefully use the resources that we have. Part of that is recycling (although an even bigger part is just using less). However, for your recycling to help you need to be careful and make sure that you're putting your stuff in the right place, otherwise you may be undoing the efforts that someone else has made. I'm not perfect when it comes to recycling everything, but the reading that I did to write this article makes me want to do better.

      Friday, May 6, 2011

      Food Storage Friday: Pregnancy

      Last Saturday my husband and I were sitting in the shallow end of the pool watching our kids play in the water.
      My husband patted his stomach and said "I need to exercise more."
      I patted my stomach and said "I also need to exercise more."
      "That's not fat. That's a baby." It's not that I think I am fat. It's just that since I became pregnant, exercise has dropped down to less than once a month. I need to do better, but growing a baby just makes me tired.
      I grabbed a love handle and said "This is not a baby."
      "No, that's food storage for the baby. You're just practicing what you preach."
      That man never ceases to make me laugh.
      Happy Mother's Day and have a great weekend.

      Wednesday, May 4, 2011

      Preparedness Wednesday: April in Review

      For those of you just tuning in, every week I try to do something to get my house in order (fix things, get out of debt, etc) and purchase something to add to my emergency supply. If you want to follow my deals as I find them. I post them on my public facebook profile as I find them if you are interested.

      • Taxes
      • Bought a push lawn mower, not only is it powered by exercise instead of gas (which saves us money with rising gas prices), it doesn't send a fine spray of cut grass into the air, which always makes my husband's allergies go berserk. It's definitely the best lawn mower for us.
      • Bought materials to build a few more shelves in our home
      • Worked some extra hours

      Emergency Storage:
      • Case lot sale at Smith's- Ramen 10 cents per package & canned corn at 47 cents per can.
      • More canned tomatoes from Lin's Case Lot Sale- 48 cents each
      • #10 Can of powdered orange drink mix- $10 Walmart
      • Idahoan Mashed Potatoes- 19 cents per package at Albertson's
      • A case of Charmin- $22 (Thank you Amazon Subscribe and Save)

      Monday, May 2, 2011

      Family Fun in Las Vegas Part 3: Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium

       I love aquariums. I find them fascinating and relaxing. So of course we had to stop at the one in Las Vegas. The Shark Reef Aquarium is located inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The hours are 10:00AM - 8:00PM Sunday through Thursday and 10:00AM - 10:00PM Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for children over 4. (4 and under are free, and prices are reduced for Nevada residents.) I tried to find some current coupons or codes to this place without success. (If I find any I will let you know.) When we were there a few months ago there was a deal where you get tickets for 3 Vegas attractions at a discount, but we didn't have the time to see more than this.
      The aquarium has some great tunnels that when you can see the sea life to both sides and above you.
      My kids enjoyed touching the rays. (And no Thing 2 is not falling in, Grandpa was trying to hold him out closer so he can reach.)
      My kids favorite part were the windows in the floor so they could see the sharks swim underneath them.
      If you can, sure to stop by around 3pm, because that's when they fish are fed.
       My favorite part was the jellyfish. Jellyfish are pretty weird. 
       They also have a golden crocodile there, which I had never seen before.