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Ina Wanna Be

This blog is a bunch of random thoughts, some recipes, my musings, and I simply hope that you enjoy it.

Updated: 2018-03-06T01:24:37.945-08:00


Some advice


Hi everyone! You know that I like to share little tidbits (this word is being used to annoy Grace and my sister Krissa :)) along the way, right? I care about you, and if I come across a niblit (another good annoying word) that I think can help you, I feel compelled to pass it along.

So here goes......

If you have been feeling ill for close to 10 days, and find out five days after you visit the Dr. that you actually DO have strep throat (even though the quick strep test was negative! And you find this out when you arrive at your field trip destination which is an hour and a half from home and you have just transported five children and the TEACHER in your car and it is the last day of school before spring break for goodness sakes), DON'T, and I mean DON'T go to a soccer tournament for your son and hop into a Paul Mitchell Hair SCHOOL (yes, SCHOOL) to get a little touch up done on your recently cut hair that is having some issues in the back that need addressing. Don't do it.

I should have known. I am a smart woman. And while I am sure there are some talented stylists there in the SCHOOL, mine was not one. I should have known that I would get the one newbie in the place, and should have left the salon immediately when I realized that the procedure here was that she had to check with her "team leader" prior to each snip of hair. But I didn't. Oh no. There I sat, not wanting to hurt her feelings, and instead mentally sorted through my hat collection. It kept me occupied while the hair fell like snow all over the floor.

So there you go. It is hair, and it will grow. But if I can save even one of you from this type of event, my job here is done. Until then, I'll be in a hat. Today I am wearing a cute grey one.



This past weekend, we took a family road trip. The actual "purpose" of the trip was for a soccer tournament for Olivia in Southern California (The Anaheim Cup), but we decided to take the kids out of school a couple of days early, visit Disneyland and make it a mini vacation.

We were all excited about the journey. Well, the kids are never thrilled about spending seven hours in the car, but once we are on the way, the drive becomes part of the fun. I think it does anyway!
We had such a great time. Just being away together was priceless. The kids don't fight like they do at home (they fight but it isn't the same!), and everything about the days just seems different. Sometimes I think we all need to change up the routine a bit. (And it makes getting back into your routine again even better!)

I think I am pretty good about being grateful for my life. I could be better at times, but I really do make it a point to stop and take in things every day, and I know that I am really blessed to have what I have. We all know how quickly things can change.......and I appreciate my life so much.

I took some pictures that make me feel grateful. I want to share them with you.

Olivia and Matt holding hands in line for a ride - what????? When does this ever happen?!!!

The girls in an embrace....xoxoxox

Dan cracking up at dinner.....I am pretty sure we were imitating his snoring noises from the night before. He still refuses to believe he snores.....evs.


Sleeping at the end of a long day........too cute.

Grace is gone


It is a rite of passage - I know. The 6th grade Outdoor Education trip. At our school, the kids go to Sly Park Outdoor Education Center, a little over an hour away. I've been dreading this trip for Grace like the plague. When Olivia went, I was super sad, don't get me wrong. But she is just a different kid. Having her gone was so hard, but I knew she was having a blast and I didn't "worry" about her.

Grace, although she has an incredible inner strengh, is just more sensitive and is much more of a home body. She was so excited to go, was paired up with her best friend in the entire universe, but I knew that somewhere inside she had to be anxious.

On Sunday night, the day before the trip, I went to kiss her goodnight. Her bags were on the floor, all packed and ready to go. The list of things she neded all checked off and laying on her desk.

On the white board she keeps near her bed, I saw this note.


Kill me now.

The Hunger Games


Have you heard about these books? I may be a little behind the times here because I would have thought there would be soooo much more written about them!

Over break, I noticed that a Facebook friend (whose reading opinions I value) commented that she was reading the first book of the series and was addicted. I couldn't get her comment out of my head, so I headed to Target to get it. I brought it home, started reading and from page 1 was totally and completely sucked in. The kids saw me, reported that kids at school (yes, it is "geared" toward the 11+ crowd) loved the books, and they all wanted to read it too. They even offered up their own hard earned cash to get a copy for themselves! Being that my kids aren't the avid readers I had hoped for them to be, I was so happy. Off to Target I went again.

I am now on the final book of the series - book 3. Amazing.

A true testament is that I fell asleep while reading the first one, and the King picked it up. The King is a periodical reader (magazines, newspapers, junk mail...) but books? Not so much. The next morning though, he told me he was hooked! And he left on a business trip today and asked the kids if he could take it with him! Now if that isn't a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is!

Has anyone else read them? What did you think?

Spa Day


When I was little, I loved to have a free weekend day to call a "beauty day". I would do my nails, condition my hair, and give myself a facial using my mom's creams. This may have come from my Nana, who every Sunday without fail would do a similar thing. She would take a long bath, shave her legs, and paint her fingers and toes. She had a flowered cardboard box of nail polish in the kitchen that she would pull out, and I loved being there when she was doing her nails so that I could do mine too. Those were happy memories for me.

So last weekend when my girls woke up and told me that they wanted to have a spa day with their awesome friends across the street, I was so happy! It seemed like my Nana revisited right here in my bathroom! They asked if they could use my big tub to soak their feet, use my facial mask and if I had enough vinegar so they could rinse their hair with it (old family secret for shiny hair......:)). I said SURE and set them free to do their thing.

I had a bunch of errands to run, and came home to their clean shiny faces, sparkling hair, freshly painted and very colorful nails and their big smiles when they told me that it was lots of fun.

Later that day I headed upstairs and what I saw in the garbage can made me smile and then laugh.......

Here it is:


When I asked them about it, Liv said "Oh, when we were doing our masks we put cucumber on our eyes......and then we ate them."

Hilarious. I love those kids.



Before I start to write, I want to be sure you know that not all of my blogs will be about the King. It is just that when I began this blog, I wanted it to be a cooking blog of sorts.....but then I realized that my real life is sometimes just more entertaining than my dinners -- which don't get me wrong, are great, but you know what I mean.

And the King....well, he just gives me so much dang material. If you know the King, I know you are saying "Oh, he sure does!" right this very second.

So while my posts will soon contain details about meals I've cooked (and some pictures too - that is a goal for me), my kids, my jobs, etc., today's entry will also be about the King. And the tsumani he created last night.

Picture it - we are "sleeping" and it is 4am. I should say, the King is sleeping and I am awake as I often am at that time of night, no doubt fretting about something, when I hear the King lift his head and take a drink of water. Thinking that he will get very thirsty during the night, the King usually brings a very large vat of water to bed with him. (Let me add here that most nights the King sleeps like a rock and never takes a sip of the water, but whatever......I digress.)

So the King takes his sip, and then I hear it - WHOOSH!!!!! Yup, he literally put the cup out into the air and let it go. No worries if the table was there, no thinking "Oh god what a mess that would be if I spilled my vat of water.......nope. WHOOSH...........drip, drip, drip.

The King let out a deep sigh. I didn't budge - sorry pal, your tsunami, your mess is what I was thinking.

The tale ends with the King spending the next 20 minutes with towels on the table, floor, surrounding piles of books (we'll get into the King's hoarding behaviors at another time), drying the items on the floor, etc. He was considerate and didn't turn on the light, and for that, I thank him. Sadly though, when he hopped back into bed to resume snoring away (another topic I'll likely touch on in the future), I was wide awake. At 4am........that is what a tsunami can do to a girl.

Let's Try This Again


Hi Friends!

I've tried a couple of times to jump back into my blog over the last year, and it just didn't stick. But I figured that with the start of a new year, and new resolutions, I would give it another try! Bear with me!

First, Happy New Year to you all! I hope that 2011 brings you all that you hope and dream. Or if it just turns out to be a better year for all of us, I'd be happy with that too.

We started out this year by using the King's new toy......a smoker. I did lots of research on them before I bought it, and came to the conclusion that because the King has an undiagnosed case of ADD, an electric smoker would be the way to go - no worrying about maintaining temperatures with charcoal, no babysitting except to add water and wood, and I hoped we'd have good results.

On Saturday, the King headed to the store for a brisket, which for some reason I wanted to be the first meat smoked. I wasn't even sure if I liked brisket, but off he went and returned with close to 7 pounds of meat. If you aren't sure what that looks like, just picture a cow lying on its side, and then remove the whole part facing you. We are talking about a huge hunk of meat.

I had been urging the King to read up on smoking, and we did briefly chat on Saturday night that he would likely have to get up early (not easy for the King) to get the meat in the smoker. I gently tried to tell him that Sunday dinner at midnight wasn't what I was looking for, and I headed off to bed hoping he heard me.

He woke up at 10. Slightly disgusted with this, I again tried to light a fire under him by putting out some foil, seasonings, and I quietly screamed over my shoulder as I headed out to church "That meat better be on there when I get back.........or I don't want to know what might happen." This is how you have to work with the King.

And sure enough, when I got home there it was, smoking away. While the "rules" of smoking vary greatly, he though 6 1/2 hours would do the trick. So we waited.

Well, actually, the King's ADD did kick in during the process and he headed downtown to watch a non-televised football game with a friend. Was I right to get the electric smoker or what? He never could have left if I had gotten him the charcoal smoker. Go me.

We waited patiently until the magic hour, and in walked the King with his beast..........

Here is a shot of it after it rested and was carved.


You might think a piece of meat cooked that long would be dry and chewey! But no! It was really delicious! A very successful first attempt. Good job honey!

Tonight I will try to get creative with the remaining 5 pounds in the fridge.......I'm thinking Brisket Tacos. Any other suggestions?



Where the heck did summer go?

Don't you think it stinks that summer is so much shorter than it was when we were kids? My kids got out of school on June 10th, and go back on August 27th. I know plenty of other kids who go back even sooner! Ugh!

We have done some great things this summer; a trip to Santa Cruz, a fabulous family camping trip, a fun trip to Reno, an upcoming trip back to Santa Cruz to hit the beach, and lots of relaxing time at home and with friends, but still it seems so short!

I say this at the end of the day, when this morning I'm sure I was thinking "Are these people ever going to go back to school?" but right now, it seems sad that it is almost over.

Any ideas on how to make the most of the three weeks we have left?

Summer Reading


This summer I decided to give the library another try. I love to read, and love the library, but I can never seem to get the books back on time. I'm not talking about a couple of days late either - if I forget, I FORGET. I'd rather not talk about the $30.10 check I wrote to the library to get my account back to current status. Lame.

But I am going to change.

So two weeks ago we went to the library, checked out about 20 books (just one for me, 19 for the kids) and yesterday we did something amazing - WE BROUGHT THEM BACK AND GOT MORE! Yup, we did. What a milestone.

My new thing is that I request from the library something I want to read, and once I get started on that, there is always a book waiting for me.

Here are some suggestions if you are looking for a good read:

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann - this was a really great book that I saw on Oprah's summer reading list, and it was totally worth it. It takes place in NYC which I just loved.

Cutting for Stone but Abraham Verghese - I am in the middle of this one and loving every page. I am a sucker for books about India and the culture and people, and this is a great one.

The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver - I loved the subject of this book, and although it got a tad slow at points in the middle, I liked it a lot. Interesting subject - and told in an interesting way......woman who has a long time companion (she is not married) kisses another man one night and the book is told from that point in two ways - one in which she stays with her companion, and in the other she leaves him for the man she kissed. You don't know what really happens until the end. Cool, huh?

Are you reading anything good this summer? Let me know!

Kids are brats


I really have a thing about kids - I LOVE my own, but you have to be a pretty special kid otherwise for me to think you aren't a brat. I am convinced that most kids are - sorry, they are!

Matt came home from school today - second grade - very upset. Apparently a girl from school called him a "Idiot and a weinerhead" today on the playground. She went on the call other kids several other unkind names, including "Dufus and moron".

She went to the principal, but upon further investigation, I've found out that this kid is a serial brat. So you know this behavior is acceptable at home and nothing will be done about it. not ok.

Great book!


I've been reading a ton lately. I'm not sure when I fit it in, but I take my book with me to pick up the kids, to drop off the kids, to pick up the kids, to drop off the kids.....I think you catch my drift. A page here, a page there - they add up!

My latest read is "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan. It is a historical fiction book - ie, there are facts and there is fiction so you learn something, but it is told in a way that makes it interesting!

This is a story about a portion of the life of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. I knew very little about Frank aside from the books the King has bought and a trip we took to a house Frank built in Phoenix that is now museum/national landmark. Pretty cool!

Anyway, from page 1 I loved this book. And since I had NO IDEA what Frank's life was about, it was riveting to me.

If you like books that entertain and teach (my favorites) go quickly to the bookstore and get this book.

If you read it let me know what you think!

Busy Weekend


This weekend was a busy one - and while it isn't quite over, we are in the home stretch.

Liv had three softball and one soccer game yesterday, Matt had his opening day Little League Parade, and then today Liv had another softball game, Matt had his first Little League game of the season, and in a few minutes Grace has softball practice. This busy schedule is even more compounded by the fact that the King coaches both Grace and Matt, so we always have to split up on weekends to get everyone where they need to be.

Today was a perfect example. Everyone was up, having breakfast and I was laying out the plan for the day. THis is mostly for the King's benefit since he has absolutely no idea what is happening or where he has to be when, and would likely sit on the couch all day if I didn't give him the play by play. I would take Liv to her game, the King would take Matt, Grace would go to our neighbor's house so as not to have to kill herself today watching another game, and then if Liv's game ended in time, I'd race back to town to see some of Matt's game.

Always just wanting to be sure he knows the full and complete deal, Matt came into the bathroom while I was drying my hair, to recap, if you will, the upcoming haps for the day. I once again outlined things for him, he seemed clear on it all, and left.

Moments later he reappeared.

"Mom, I think I get it, but I just want to be sure. You are going to try to make it to the bottom tail of my game, right?"

All I could do was run over to him and squeeze him as tight as I could. Love that kid.




Hey Kevin -

This blog is for you. I heard the words to this song "Let's Dance" by Lady Gaga in the car today and I started laughing so hard. You know why, right?

Way, way back in the day, shortly after I broke up with my fiance, was just getting to know the King, was about to become homeless and desperately needed a place to live, Dan introduced me to one of his best friends, Kevin. Kevin also needed a place to live, the King explained. Perhaps you could live together? Kevin seemed like a nice enough guy, I didn't have a lot of options, so I jumped at the chance.

We went out looking at apartments, after seeing lots of dumps, we finally settled on a dump on the upper east side of Manhattan. The King had decided that although he liked me, he wasn't going to jump into a "living with her situation" so Kevin and I signed the lease (I think, or maybe it was just me) and in we moved to our five story walk-up apartment (that means NO ELEVATOR). In the back our our minds we both knew that the King would spend most of his time there, and indeed he did.

Anyway, one weekend, we did the usual. Sleep all day, get up and go out to the bars. Where inevitably the King would pick a fight with me and I would leave the bar crying and go home. Which on this night, is exactly what happened.

I'm back in the apartment, feeling sorry for myself, when I hear keys fumbling in the door and in walks Kevin - but not regular Kevin. What I see is soaking wet, filthy dirty Kevin, looking amazingly disheveled, standing there WITH HIS SHIRT ON INSIDE OUT.

I stood for a moment taking it in before I asked "What the hell happened to you?"

The explanation was long and relatively incoherent, but if I recall it involved Kevin losing his keys, attempting to climb the fire escape, falling in a puddle, having the police called on a neighbor who saw him climbing the first escape, blah blah blah.

All I know is that we did a quick evaluation of the situation, realized it was way too early, Kevin changed his clothes and we went back out to the bars.

Hmmmm....what really happened that night is a question I guess we'll never know the answer to.

Follow up


As a follow up to yesterday's post, after reading Matt's email, I did actually have him go on this playdate. The family is a great one, he loves the kid, and I wasn't even sure these stories of being robbed were true. In any case, I felt okay with having him go, but knew I needed to handle this carefully.

So before school, I called him upstairs to talk privately. After reassuring him that Daddy and I would never send him anywhere unsafe, I told him that in the future, I would give him 24 hours to think over a playdate request rather than accepting on the spot, but that if he did say yes, he had to go.

And you know what he did? He said "OK Mom!", ran downstairs, got his shoes on and headed off on his happy day. Had a ball at the playdate, the mother declared my freaky son to be a delight, and we didn't speak of the email again.

Until the next time he gets his freak on........

Let's Try This Again


Folks, I fell off the wagon. No excuses. I'm going to try harder. I really am.

Here goes.

I am dealing with a new problem over here at the house. Let me tell you about it.

In our house, we stress communication. We tell the kids that it is important, that you have to talk, tell us what is happening, be honest, etc. And I have to say the kids are good about it. So far, even Olivia at 12, is still happy to talk to us, tell us things that are happening, etc.

Matt, on the other hand, has taken this communication thing to a new, and very very annoying, level. At 7, he is going through a little bit of a "nervous" stage - nervous about changes to the routine, about going to people's houses he doesn't know........blah blah. I'm not all that sympathetic I must say. Especially if when he gets his freak on, I have to change my plans to accommodate the freakness. Not good.

I assume that he realizes that this irritates me. So he has come up with a new method.

He emails me his feelings. Yup. That's right. He has a little hotmail account with just family members in it, and unfortunately, I am in there. So he parks his little butt down, and writes me a note containing his deepest feelings, and sends it to me. As he does this, I am downstairs. I am actually in the house.

Here is the latest:

"hi mom i know that were having a playdate but im just sortuve freaked out and i bet you would get freaked out to if you heard this this is alote of times to get because in califonia theres not alote of people that get robbed here shes gotten robbed twice one time they got robbed 700 dollars and then the second time semeone broke into there house and stole there game system like a wii or something i think it was a wii she told and to not tell anybody else because shes not supposed to talk about it not that i dont want to go im just a little nervous because i havent really been in a house that small"

Anyone out there a therapist? I'm thinking I might need one.

No Robes


One of the things that the King and I have learned while traveling is how nice it is to have coffee delivered to your room in the morning. Since I hate those in room coffee pots (thanks to disgusting stories my sister Jenna told me about what people really use those for) I won't use them. But I do need my caffeine first thing so having coffee delivered is perfect. So last night we ordered it from room service before we went to sleep (or passed out, it all depends on how you want to look at it).

This morning the King was up early. This is not normal. So I asked "What is with you?" To which to King replied "That was the worst night sleep I ever had, this room is so hot, the pillows suck, I felt like I was falling off the bed all night, the maid tried to bust into the room three times already and I'm annoyed." Oh-oh. Not good.

After getting some water, taking some aspirin and walking around a bit, he got back into bed. It was 8:45 and coffee was set to arrive at 9.

Here is the conversation:

King: "I guess I better get up and get dressed for the coffee guy to come. I'd just put a robe on but there aren't any in this room."

Me: "Really? That sucks. They really should have them. Why don't you wreck the guy's whole day and just open the door naked and say "Hey guy. I'd have a robe on right now, but your hotel doesn't have them. I hate to do this to you, but maybe this experience will change things around here. What do you think?"

We laughed for about a half an hour about that.......

Weekend in Reno!


This weekend, the King and I are taking advantage of the fact that our sitter is home from college, and we headed to Reno, Nevada for a couple of days!

The hotel we are at, the Grand Sierra, is beautiful and has a great Vegas-y feel, but at a really reasonable price. Gotta love that! We have no big plans while we are here except that I hope to finish the 983 page book Pillars of the Earth that I have been reading for my book club for what seems like two years now (actually two months but god is it long!) and to eat and relax.

Today when we went out the clouds over the mountains were huge and then we realized that they weren't really clouds, but SNOW over the mountains. How cool is that? Here is a picture:

And here folks, is a picture of the King doing what he does best......:)




I know, I know. As Kevin said "What, it all ends with a weekend in San Francisco?" :

Things have been a little hectic over the past month and blogging took a back seat for a while. But I'm back. I swear I am.

For my first blog of 2009 I wanted to post one of my favorite pictures from 2008.

(image) How great is this? Look at all of those kids! When I look at this picture I feel really lucky.

Happy New Year everyone!

Weekend in San Francisco


This weekend we decided last minute to go to San Francisco and spend a couple of nights. Liv and Matt love the city, and Grace has mixed feelings about it. The hustle and bustle, but mostly the large number of homeless folks in the city just isn't her bag.

One of the things the kids have taken to doing is counting the number of homeless people and comparing that number to our last visit. And since we come pretty often, they are able to keep their finger on the pulse of the homeless population.

Today as we walked and shopped, Matt was keeping track.

This is the conversation I overheard between the King and Matt:

The King: "Matt, so counting that guy, you've seen a total of eight homeless people, right?"

Matt: "Well, yeah, but....."

The King: "But what?"

Matt: "Well, we actually saw nine, but one guy had no legs and it made me feel bad so I don't want to count him."

Oh, kids in the city.

Happy Thanksgiving


From my house to yours, have a wonderful, laughter-filled and grateful Thanksgiving Day.

The Greenbelt at Midnight


When we first moved to our great little CA town, we bought a small but cute house across the street from a beautiful greenbelt. We loved it for lots of reasons, but mostly because it was really like having a park right in your backyard, and you didn't have to take care of it! It was a really nice place to live, and the greenbelt was a place where families could go, ride their bikes, play with their kids, walk the dog - you get the picture.

One night at about 3am, Layla, our chocolate lab, woke me up crying to go outside. This was unusual for her, so I knew I couldn't ignore it. And since we were trying to grow some new grass in the backyard, I quickly put the lease on her, grabbed a bag and headed out to the greenbelt. Our front door at the time was really squeaky, and although normally the King can't be roused by an earthquake, apparently the squeak of the door alarmed him, and he got up to find that not only was I gone, but the front door was wide open.

As I stood there waiting for Layla, I turned to see the King crossing the street and heading in my direction. I was surprised to see him coming, and even more surprised when I looked more closely at him as he asked me "What the heck are you doing out here?"

My response was one I'll never forget, and I'm sure he won't either.

"Honey, that is the least of your worries. BECAUSE YOU'RE NAKED!"

I swear on a stack of bibles that this is a true story.



In July, we adopted a mutt. We met her at Matt's baseball game, she had been abandoned and she just seemed like a good fit for our family.

We brought her home on the condition that if she didn't get along with Cali, our four year old black lab, she'd have to go back to her foster home.

When she came in the door, she had total "little dog" complex. She barked and growled at Cali as if to say "I'm small, but mighty. Don't get in my way." And Cali, being a lab, let her push her around.

We named her Fergie, mostly because it is so cute to hear Matt say it - it sounds more like "Foorgie" and we love it. Fergie appears to be part Jack Russell and part daschund. She has a really cute face, and as time as gone on, she and Cali have developed an understanding.

Here is proof of this understanding - and this folks, is about as close as they'll get.


Cure for Hiccups


Poor Grace has had the hiccups for two days. We tried it all: holding her breath, scaring her, drinking while bent over, eating a spoon full of peanut butter upside down.........nothing worked.

So I googled "getting rid of hiccups" and one of the suggestions was to hold your arms out like a "T" and take five deep breaths.

It worked!

Consider this my handy tip for the day.

My Current Conflict


Blog land - please help me out with some advice.

Olivia, 11, is an amazing athlete. She is really, really good. So good that sometimes when I watch her play a sport I am so proud I could cry. Moms out there, you know how I feel.

Our regular soccer season just ended and kids can try out for a "Select" soccer team of kids who are skilled and want their soccer season to extend for a ridiculous amount of time - like until next June. Olivia is one of those kids. She was chosen last year for a select team and learned an incredible amount, although it was a huge time commitment both for her and our whole family.

This year, after much deliberation, she put her name in once again. It was a really hard decision since she also plays softball all year and loves that too, but she wanted to do it so we put in her application.

Last night I got the call that she had made a select team. Hooray! This is exciting news!

But there is a small problem.

The assistant coach of the team who chose her is the dad of a kid that was extremely, extremely mean all year last year to Olivia's best friend (different schools so Liv doesn't have too much contact with this girl). And the kid knows that Liv and her friend are the best of friends - and we know that because at a soccer game recently, this girl wouldn't shake hands with Olivia at the end of the game - she actually pulled her hand away when they went through in the line. It probably didn't help that this kid's team had lost and Liv had scored the only goal to beat them. Whatever.

So I just cringed when this coach called to congratulate Liv for making the team and told me who he was. And when I told Olivia she cried - hard. Her words were "I was just hoping for something better." Ugh. To have made a team of elite players and be so disappointed just kills me.

So what do I do? Get her off the team (which might be impossible)? Tell her to make the best of it? Let her quit altogether?


I Love Walmart


When the economy really started tanking, and gas prices soared, I took a good hard look at what I was spending on food. To be honest, I never really looked that hard at the prices of the things I generally bought every week. But realizing that I had less and less to spend thanks to gas and everything in general being so much more expensive, I started to look and to really pay attention.

And then a new Super Walmart opened not too far from me - maybe a 10 minute drive away.

OH MY GOD! Exactly the same items that I had paid $2.50 at my local grocery store were $1.75 at Walmart. One one item! That is huge!!!!! What astonished me is that these things weren't on sale at Walmart - that was just the regular price. There are many many items that are priced so much cheaper than at a regular grocery store. The savings can be huge.

So I became a convert. I shop for food at Walmart each and every week. I will admit that sometimes the produce grosses me out. If there is even ONE fly around the fruit, I'm out. I just can't do it. I've joked that my rule is that flies are okay around produce with a hard skin.......potatoes, carrots, wrapped lettuce - I'm good. Peaches, tomatoes, pears - no can do if there are any flying things around them.

So this is my announcement for the day. If you have a nice Walmart close by, go there to shop. If your Walmart is like the one near my sister Jenna's house where there is a good chance you could be shot while you are in there, reconsider. Or the one near where my father in law lives where it is totally fine to SMOKE in the Walmart, don't go.

But otherwise, run, don't even walk, and give Walmart a try.