Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Organic Coupons

Who knew! I can't believe that I have been paying full price for organics for so long! Shopping in a new city has me searching for ways to cut costs in any way possible, and I have been lamenting the much higher prices on most of our favorite foods. So, today I Googled "Organic Coupons". Here's what I got:

-Organic Valley offers two prints per coupon for $1.00 off of their milk, butter, eggs, and other products:

-About.com has a nice article on Organic food companies that offer coupons on their websites:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We need a pet.

Maybe this is my fault, for not letting Abi tear down spider webs or kill beetles. But this morning I saw an ant in the kitchen and attempted to smush it with my finger. She pleaded "No mom! That's my ant friend! You tried to kill my ant friend. It is okay if ants want to live with us!" Now my daughter has an ant crawling on her, and she is talking to it. We need a cat.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

How much is a fresh espresso really worth?

This is Luke here and I bought a newer espresso machine a little while ago and upgraded to the Ascaso Dream. Great machine, looks cool and makes a pretty good cup of espresso. My thinking was that if I bought even one espresso drink a day at $3/day it would definitely pay off in the long run. However, when we moved this past winter I failed to properly empty the water reservoir and with the cold weather the water froze and broke the internal parts. While we were off on the ship I had it fixed and now that we are moving again I wanted to make sure to empty it properly. So began the most traumatic experience with my espresso machine thus far. I read the instructions online and it said to run it until it was dry, then wait for it to cool, lay it on its back, open up the steam wand and turn on the coffee pump, then rotate up and back down. Strange but I thought how hard could this be? Apparently the waiting until it is cool is the most important part, and even though I had waited a while it was not cool enough. How do I know? Well, when I turned on the pump and opened up the steam wand (pictured with the red arrow) hot lava temperature water came shooting out and although I had a cup prepared to catch the water, I was expecting more of a gradual poor, not a laser beam of skin melting water to come shooting out and assault my left nipple. The Ascaso Dream was quickly turning into a nightmare. I screamed, the family and kids were wondering what I was doing, I felt the searing pain of a 2nd degree on/near a part of my body that while not that useful is very sensitive. In the matchup of Espresso Machine vs. Nipple, the espresso machine certainly wins hands down. This week the redness on my chest turned got nasty as the skin came off…I spare you with the details but luckily the most sever part of the burn missed my vital body part and is still intact. I’m still looking forward to using my espresso machine in Charlottesville, but this event has caused me to rethink the cost of a fresh cup of espresso. Had I lost my left nipple my equation would change to something like this: $3/day vs. cost of espresso machine + beans – (loss of nipple X severe pain) = one really expensive cup of espresso. It’s something to think about if you are in the market for an at home espresso machine.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Obsessive-Compulsive Clean Think

So...did I mention sometimes I obsessively research things as a way to deal with stress? (Both good and bad stress). Well...we're about to move into our house, and I'm about to be at home all day with children. This has me obsessing over the daily routine. I think this is with good reason - if you have ever experienced the sublime thing that is a "perfectly scheduled day" with children - you know what I am talking about!

In the past, when working most of the day, my main focus was feeding my family a good dinner and making sure we made the most of the hours between 5-10pm. However, if I am actually going to live in my house all day every day, I need it to be clean. We are so accustomed to moving every few years, I have quite honestly never cared to clean behind appliances or remove accumulating dust from high places. If we are going to live in a place for several years straight, I want to aim a little bit higher. I found this cleaning calendar online and thought it was well designed. Wanted to share it with you, because I like it.

What I like most is that there is a "catch up" day every three days designed to keep you from ever feeling "behind" on the chores. Each month has an area to focus on as a "challenge", so over a years time you are sure to declutter closets, deep clean curtains, etc., without having to schedule your whole life around it. It is also based around the premise that you will do your daily cleaning throughout the day and at times that make sense - tidying the bedroom and bathroom as you walk out the door in the morning, straightening the house in the afternoon, and making sure the kitchen is "reset" every evening.

Do you have a favorite cleaning schedule?