Friday, August 29, 2008

Recent stuff I love

  1. Wendy's -- Yes, it's fast food and we don't go there very often, but I am a huge sucker for their 99 cents menu and their Frostys (although I am afraid to look at the ingredients). But the real reason I love Wendy's now is because of their great kids' meal prizes. One time it was a tiny calculator, which R loved; another time it was a fun Cranium board game where you build your own zoo by collecting different habitats and animals. The best ones, though, have been Magic Tree House CDs. We are hooked on these now! They are fantastic kids' books, and R loves listening to the CDs of the author (Mary Pope Osborne) reading them -- in the car, at bedtime, etc. Yesterday, we went to the library and R picked out NINE of the books to bring home. The stories are fun, educational about history and nature, and they are helping R transition to longer, unillustrated books.

  2. All-natural chicken nuggets -- I don't feel guilty about letting R eat chicken nuggets when we get these and they're so delicious that A and I love them, too. They are a bit pricey, but our favorite grocery store often has them on sale, so we stock up.

  3. Reduced-sugar lemonade -- We don't drink much besides water at my house. A and I have V8 with breakfast and R used to have OJ in the mornings (he's since lost interest), but other than that, we don't really drink juice and we never drink soda. I broke myself of the juice habit a few years ago and switched to water and have never gone back. R eats tons of fruit, so he doesn't need the additional vitamins from juice, and he certainly doesn't need the extra sugar. He has enough natural energy as it is. Once in a while, we'd buy some lemonade when we were having people over during the summer. But this summer, I discovered that Newman's Own makes a lower-sugar lemonade. It tastes just as good as full-sugar lemonade to me (and I actually even just use it as a splash in my water). R loves it when he's been outside and he's hot from running around and playing, and I don't mind giving it to him because of the reduced sugar. Plus, I usually water it down with a bunch of ice cubes anyway. :-)

  4. "I'm thinking of an animal" game -- I can't remember when we started playing this game with R, but it wasn't that long ago. It works better than an entire bag of toys and activities when we're waiting for food at a restaurant or stuck in the car on a trip. It's basically 20 questions, but the answer is always an animal. It's taught R to ask questions and to make guesses based on the answers to those questions, which is really cool. When we first started playing it, R would just wildly guess animal after animal. But now he asks questions first - about habitat, color, what it eats, if it has fur, etc. And, he's become a master at picking animals and having us guess. Last week, after our trip to the zoo, he limited our choices to the animals we had seen that day.

  5. A menu plan -- Heidi at GGIP, Teachermom, IndigoGirl, and other bloggers inspired me to try creating a menu plan last week. So, on Saturday, we went grocery shopping armed with a list of specific dinners, allowed ourselves one night of take-out, and it worked! We ate all the veggies we bought (usually we forget about some and they end up yucky), saved a lot of money, and stuck to the plan. It even eased stress for us because A and I didn't have to have the daily stupid conversation of: "What should we have for dinner?" "I don't know, what do you think?"

    I guess should get started on the plan for this week ...
Happy Labor Day, everyone! I hope you all get a chance to relax and to have fun!


Mike said...

To each their own. I find Wendy's hard on the stomach.

Kansas Bob said...

When the kids lived at home we used to post our weekly menu on the fridge.. it created a bit of order and helped with the shopping.. these days we are just not that organized :)

Wendy's burgers are okay but their fries are really bad.. we tend to do takeout from a local burger place these days.. the chains have gotten a bit off their game.

Have a great weekend Kristen!

sandwhichisthere said...

AAHHH, burgers. The best are the ones you make at home when you grind the meat yourself. I tried the Cook's Illustrated "Best Old Fashioned Burgers" and they really are great. As far as chains go, Dairy Queen has to be my all time favorite. Then comes dessert at Dairy Queen!!!. Second best: Papa Gino's believe it or not.
Cooks Illustrated: It is impossible to find short ribs around here so I bought an extra piece of suet and ground that with some top of the round beef. They were nice as there was only some onion and sauce for toppings. It reminds me of the old Hamburger Troby I used to order at diners and truckstops. Dairy Queen cooks over a moving belt not a griddle, a griddle is supposedly bad, and they use a lot of BACON for their topping. Bacon is supposedly bad also but medical research has determined that we need a lot of anti-oxidants because oxygen is supposedly bad for us also. And the alternative is ???
Frosties are great and I remember that your Mother used to get Perdue Chicken Cutlets for the microwave and you would come home from school and dive into them. They lasted around the house about as long as the little packets of cheese for the macaroni and cheese did.
Eating out is fun. I was always partial to Diners. If you ever want to get rich, open up a restaurant called "Salt and Fat" and the world will beat a path to your door,
all of my love to you and your family, daddy

LEstes65 said...

Woah. Very cool. Bell & Evans...mmmmmmm. I like to make home made lemonade because then I can control the sugar content. I love tart lemonade. But then, I cheap out and buy powder because I tend to forget to buy a bag of lemons.

I love your idea of creating a menu. I've been working hard to eat in-house more these last few weeks. I've been doing pretty good. But I might have to try this trick!