Thursday, September 2, 2010

I know it's been a while

...So to make up for it, watch this video all the way through. I found it on Mr. McKnob.

Sorry. You'll have to cut and paste the url, I can't get the video to imbed.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is it a Great Value?

In my continuing quest to save you money, the next item up for review is Great Value Sharp Cheddar cheese. It's priced well at $3.26/16 oz. package. I think it may have been on sale, but even at it's regular price of around $3.50, it's a Great Value compared to it's national name-brand counterparts.

I don't know about your family, but mine eats a lot of cheese. We're not huge casserole-type people, but for snacks, cheese and crackers is always at the top of our choices. We also use grated cheese a lot for breakfast, regular tacos for dinner, and salads. Most always, I buy the block of cheese and grate it as needed because it's cheaper and it doesn't have the added cellulose as a non-caking agent in the grated cheese packages.

That being said, regarding how my family uses cheese, I find the GV brand fine. The taste is good and it grates fine. My only issue with it is that it doesn't slice very well. It seems like the brick of cheese is really the left-over cheese curds that form during the commercial cheese-making process gathered up and pressed together with the moisture being removed. I'm, of course, making an assumption; I don't know how to make cheese. I only put that out there because of the way the cheese seems to break apart a little when you slice it. Kraft, Borden, and fine deli cheddars don't seem to have that problem.

Of course I will continue buying the GV brand. Considering it's price and quality, it's fine for how we use it. I think, though, if I'm using it for a cheese and cracker tray for a party or something, I'll get the better cheese.

By the way, today's the last day of school. Zac is having a couple of friends over to swim. I'll probably be making quesadillas for everyone!

AND, most importantly, one of the most important people in my life is having her birthday today. She's my Aunt Rhonda, but more. She truly is like a second mom.

She's been a moving presence in my life from the very beginning. I have early memories of my brother and me spending the weekend at her house playing in the den, watching her cut out patterns for the fabulous clothes she used to make, sneaking sips of her coffee (that she left out on purpose for us to sneak!), swimming at the lake, and taking road trips.

As I grew up, her role grew to a literal second mom by having my brother and me live with her young familiy during our high school years. Early days of playing in the den were replaced by laying out at the pool. Watching her cut out dress patterns were replaced by skilled shopping at the mall. Sips of coffee have now been replaced with sipping wine (or rum and diet coke) on the patio while my children run around her house playing and swimming.

Happy birthday, Rhonda. Everyone should be so fortunate to have a mom like you.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Okay, for real...two posts in one day?

I'm letting you know that the "Cash for Clunkers" program was a ridiculous waste of time and money.

The reason?

My dear husband, George, has been looking for months, literally months, for a $5000 vehicle to replace his HONDA. The HONDA is an absolutely wonderful car, but it's just a tiny bit too small. He coaches 2 baseball teams (head coach for Jake and assistant for Zac) and has a ton of gear to carry around; he, of course, is a youth minister and has to haul around stuff for work like sound equipment, camping gear, people, groceries from Sam's, and a miriad other things.

Like I said, he's been looking for MONTHS for a larger vehicle: Ford Escape, Ford Expedition, Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Blazer, Hyundai SUV, Toyota SUV. All of these particular vehicles could be bought a year ago for $5000.

Because of CfC, there are none left. The people who buy these vehicles and trade them after 3, 4 or 5 years on something new, cashed in on the GOVERNMENT PROGRAM and took these vehicles out of the Used Car loop.

Certainly, we can't be the only ones experiencing this problem?

Unintended Concequences...

Is it a Great Value?

As a disclaimer, I am absolutely not being compensated for my opinions relating to Wal Mart's Great Value store brand. I, like most people, am interested in making my dollar work harder and smarter to accomplish a wonderful life for my family. In my experience, the easiest way to stretch the household budget is in the grocery line-item.

I don't have much power over the price of the things my family uses or has. We have 2 paid-for vehicles, a 15-year mortgage, no credit cards, and a student loan payment. We've made choices on certain things. Granted, we could live in a smaller house with a lower mortgage, I could drive a less-expensive vehicle, or we could not run the air conditioner so much, but we choose certain things and pay for them accordingly.

I tell you all of that to let you know that I'm just offering my opinion on the Great Value brand of groceries, whether or not my family likes their taste, I like their performance when I cook with them, or I generally believe it is a good substitute for its national name-brand counterpart.

I went shopping yesterday and spent $212.57, of which $60.17 was GV branded. As I move through this batch of groceries, I'll attempt to offer my opinion on what we're using as we use it.


Great Value Twist and Shout Chocolate Sandwich Cookies.

They were only $1.77 for an 18-ounce bag.

They were the same size as the Oreo cookies, except with not as much cream in the middle. The cookie seemed a little bit crisper than the Oreo, but tasted exactly the same. I'm not much of a cookie dunker, but Zac told me that they held up well to dunking in milk.

I thought they were great, and at $1.77/bag, indeed a Great Value! (Ha ha, see what I did there??)

Anyway, I'll be buying these again in place of Oreos, except maybe if we're having company!

**Edited to add
I thought I wouldn't have these GV cookies for company because I didn't think I'd want anyone to really KNOW that I'm *that* cheap, but really...shouldn't a "Great Value" be shared with everyone?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just a quick note...

I've got a few things rattling around in my head, a couple of which are political in nature and one is an idea I've had about my opinions on some grocery items (non-compensated, of course). I need to finish my thoughts about them and I'll get it posted. Please stay tuned.

At any rate, Mother's Day was terrific. George, the boys and I drove home from the weekend in San Antonio for a family get-together. Naturally, we stopped at Taco Cabana as soon as we hit Houston on the way to SA, went to TC for breakfast when we left yesterday morning, then went to Ikea on our way back through Houston on our way home.

Ikea wasn't as crowded as I expected. We got the mirrors for the boys' bathroom, a shelf for their bathroom for over the sinks, a new mattress for Zac's double bed, some new glasses, straws and some napkins. I love the paper napkins at Ikea. They're thick, big, and not too expensive. (Click on the hyper-links and you ought to be able to see what we got.)

We got home last night around 8:00. The boys showered, ate some dinner, Zac finished up some homework, and went to bed. George and I stayed up and watched Saturday Night Live with Betty White I'd recorded. How hilarious was she???!!! I stayed up later to watch Breaking Bad after George went to bed. What a fantastic show. Very dark, but great purposeful story-telling not often experienced on a television show.

Now, I'm supposed to be cleaning out the boys' dressers so we can begin the monumental task of switching their rooms around and cleaning and organizing them so George's mom and my mom will have a decent place to sleep when they're visiting in a couple of weeks. Obviously, I'm putting it off as long as I can.

Better get to work.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Blinded By the Light

I just dropped and broke a compact fluoroescent light bulb...

WHAT DO I DO?????!!!!!!

Do I call the EPA? President Obama? Ghost Busters?

I swept it up and threw it away.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Where Have You Been?

I've been updating a lot lately on FaceBook and have ignored my blog. I guess it's because it's so easy to just jot down an idea or upload a photo on FB instead of organizing my thoughts into something coherent here.

Honestly, though, I just read through my posts back to Zac's birthday in August. Not much has changed.

I've begun to notice how my family's year-to-year activities are just about the same. You could overlay the calendar from one year to the next year and not have much variation: Jake's birthday, Mardi Gras, my birthday, Easter, baseball, summer vacation, youth trips, George's birthday, school, Zac's birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Those are the big highlights.

I always thought it was strange when I was a kid when the adults around me would comment on how quickly time goes by. I completely understand now.

One more thing...I've had over 6,000 hits on my blog since it started. There are also 8 followers. Pretty cool.