December 27, 2010

Choose Frozen Over Canned

Those canned vegetables - I really don't have too much good to say about them.

It's good to have a couple on hand in case nothing else is available or an extra dish is needed, and we do have some.

But eating them regularly would really turn me off to veggies.

This mushiness of them, the salt, and the metallic canned taste just doesn't set well.

I have always purchased fresh veggies since I got married over 28 years ago.

I know they cost more than canned but they taste so much better.

And during the summer they are the best all the way around.

The last month or so, I have been quite disappointed with the selection of fresh veggies at the market.

I know it is winter, that is to be expected, but the prices have gotten so high and the quality has fallen.

So I have been turning to the freezer veggies to see what they have to offer.

I must say, I have been pleasantly surprised.

I don't want any of those kinds in "sauce" which are usually over-salted and not very tasty - I think they try to hide the less desirable veggies in them.

I just picked the ones that were still in their natural state, just frozen.

They are tons of selections, from the expensive ones to the store brand ones.

I tried some of each and found no difference in the quality and they are both quite tasty.

These frozen ones are easier to prepare than the fresh ones.

There is no waste - the whole product is eaten.

And they are cheaper than the fresh.

What a good way to get through the winter months and save some money too without sacrificing taste!

December 18, 2010

No Place to Park

The mall was not the place to be on this last Saturday before Christmas.

It is one of the biggest ones in our state, and there was no place to park the car in that vast pavement area of parking spots.

The rest of the year they are all abandoned as everyone likes to park close to the buildings.

Even the most remote spots were unavailable today.

We never made it into the actual mall - just one of the corner stores was our goal for the day.

And I'm glad we went no further - the masses of people and check out lines were unreal.

It really makes one quite tired - the calories were being burnt for sure today.

Glad the shopping is done for another year!

December 15, 2010

Deals for Christmas Gifts

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 Imports. All opinions are 100% mine.

One of my favorite places to browse and shop is Pier 1.

Whether it be online or in the store itself, there is always a deal to be found.

And with Christmas right around the corner, it's time to go do some shopping for some fine holiday gifts for the family.

Checking out their clearance section, I ran across these very popular LED candles.

I was skeptical about them at first - how could a lighted candle look like a real one?

As with the pillar style candles, the flame usually doesn't show, so the lights really do the job when it comes to looking real.

They glow and flicker just like real candles - it's hard to tell the difference.

The best part about them - there's no fire - which is great when there are kids and animals around who may knock them over.

This is a sure gift for several people that I know - got to do my part to keep them safe.

I also noticed on the website that Pier 1 supports the Toys for Tots program that is sponsored each holiday season by the US Marines.

They accept unwrapped toys or cash donations that make many children happy during the holidays.

By Liking Pier 1 Imports on Facebook, they will donate a $1 for every new fan to the Toys for Tots Foundation.

What an easy and great way to help out those in need!


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December 12, 2010

Care for the Humidifier

In my post a couple of days ago, I mentioned how dry the air is indoors in the winter and how a humidifier can help add the much needed moisture.

There are several different styles on the market and each one has it's pros and cons, but the most important thing about any of them is the cleaning of them.

The kind we use is a warm moist air style that sends a warm mist into the air.

I have found that I need to thoroughly clean mine about every two weeks - and that's using it all the time, constantly filling and refilling the water tank.

The tank and the unit each get their own treatment as they each have their own separate issues.

When the water in the tank starts to get cloudy, I know it's time for a cleaning.

If I don't then the bacteria starts to build up and get pushed out into the air in the water vapor of the warm mist.

Not a healthy thing at all.

The tank gets cleaned with a mixture of bleach and water - I let it soak for at least a 1/2 an hour.

The heating unit really takes a beating as our water tends to be hard - which means it has a lot of minerals in it.

The element gets coated and it needs to cleaned with water and vinegar and scrubbed with an old toothbrush - it is the only thing that works to release the hardened minerals.

Years ago, we had a cool air humidifier that only lasted us one season.

I could never get it cleaned good enough, and eventually it began to have an odor.

And it bothered my allergies quite a bit.

The warm air king may be a bit more expensive to run with the electricity, but I find it to be more efficient and healthy.

December 7, 2010

Store Brands are Just as Good

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have posted many times about how I like to buy the store brand of most of the products that I use.

Whether the item is a cleaning product, food item, office supply, or storage container, I check it out good, read the labels, and will for the most part, give it a try.

Many times my family can not tell the difference - especially in the food products.

We have saved a lot of money over the years by doing this, and my daughter has learned well - she is quite a smart shopper also.

There was one product that she would not compromise on though, and it was the baby formula she was using for our little grandson.

She figured that the name brands, especially the Similac formula had all the right amount of nutrients for her baby.

She used it until the Similac recall issue this past summer when she has to make some changes.

At that time, she began to use the store brand formula and was surprised to see how much she saved each week by doing so.

She carefully compared the labels, and since baby formula has to meet certain FDA requirements, she saw no difference in the nutritional content.

Since the store brands don't do the expensive advertising that the name brands do, and then pass that cost along to the consumer, she is able to still feed her baby the right food, and save a load of money at the same time.

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December 6, 2010

Humidifier for Dry Air

Winter air - it is so dry.

Especially in the areas that have to keep the heat on constantly.

Most of the cold and flu sicknesses are caught during this time of year.

And one thing that doesn't help with keeping them at bay is the dry indoor air.

Our bodies are wondrous machines, but they need our help sometimes to keep fighting and working correctly.

Many winter sicknesses are breathed in through our mouth and nose, and the mucous membranes that line these cavities work hard to move those germs out fast.

But the dry air causes these membranes to shrink which makes it pretty hard for them to perform their job.

Using a humidifier to add moisture to the air can help.

And anything that helps to ward off sickness is worth a try.

This is the second year that we have used a warm moist humidifier.

And even with it on high, I can only get the humidity to about 32 in the house.

The recommended indoor humidity is be between 40-50 for the most comfortable and healthy level.

Without the humidifier, the level is 19, which is very dry indeed!

December 2, 2010

Strep Throat Arriving Early

It is early in the season for this, but strep throat has entered our home.

This is the second time in all these years that we have had it in the family.

As soon as my son felt it, he knew exactly what it was.

There is no other sore throat like it, is his description.

But we also learned that mononucleosis has many of the same symptoms.

That really got us all nervous as it is very contagious.

Luckily the blood test was negative for the mono, but positive for the strep, which we already knew.

A round of antibiotics will take care of it for him, and so far he is the only one who has it.

Keeping the hands away from the face and frequent washing of them is always important.

It's the first line of defense and the most important!