Friday, October 28, 2011

My Spider Solution

I hate bugs. Like, really, really hate them. More than the average person. I realize few people really, really like them, but my entire day can be ruined by finding a spider in my baby's room, or seeing an earwig pretty much anywhere on my property. Yuck and a half. Hence, the semi-annual visit of my spider guy, which I have always hated paying for but couldn't force myself to do without. Jason does NOT understand the need to pay to have the house sprayed inside and out every spring and fall because he says we don't have any bugs. Well, the reason we don't have any bugs is because our house is sprayed inside and out every spring and fall! Still, I would schedule the visits at times when I knew Jason would not be home just to be safe. This fall I decided to do a little investigating and see if I could find a product that I could spray myself and save a little $$ and not have to feel like I was sneaking around behind my husband's back. So I took a little trip to IFA and asked the lady behind the counter if she had any suggestions. Her face lit up and she practically jumped over the register. "I have just the thing for you. This is what the professionals use! They come here and buy it, and then they spray your house with it!!" She led me to the pest control aisle and showed me this nifty little bottle. 

It's called Tempo SC Ultra Insecticide and it is professional grade pest killer that is safe as soon as it is dry. You mix 16 ML (it shows the measurements in the little section at the top of the bottle) with a gallon of water and spray along the baseboards inside your house and along the foundation of the outside, just like the professional little spider guy used to get paid way too much money to do. My whole house, inside and out, only took one gallon. The bottle contains 220 ML and costs about $45. I also bought a gallon tank sprayer for $12. Since I was spending at least $65 every spring and fall to have my house sprayed, plus $5 to spray the inside of the trailer, it seems like a pretty good deal. And man, is it fun! I just whip through my house whenever I feel like it. No one will ever charge me $5 to spray the inside of my trailer ever again. I can spray the heck out of it for free. Whenever I want.  So there, Spider Guy. I felt like charging him $5 for talking to me on the phone when he called to try to schedule an appointment recently. $5, my tail. Sucka.

The IFA lady also told me to spray around the doorways of the outside entrances to my house to keep the flies out and it actually worked! It's been a few weeks since I first sprayed and we haven't had any bugs and the flies disappeared almost immediately. I also just love the little line of dead bugs around the outside wall of the garage. I bless the IFA lady every time I sweep them up. No offense is intended to the pest control industry by this post because I am sure they are all good people in their hearts. I'm just really glad I don't need them now!

Monday, October 24, 2011

My favorite "under" shirt: Hapari Shores

I pretty much wear a "Shade" type shirt under my regular shirts every single day. I have them in every color and style and brand. It's a little embarrassing how many of them I have, actually. I have a whole section in my closet dedicated solely to shirts that I will be wearing under other shirts . However, recently I discovered Hapari Shores, which are basically little half-tees and I think I may need to purge all 350 of my old shirts and replace them with just a few of these. They fit so great and I love that I don't have to worry about tucking in or not tucking in an extra shirt, especially under dresses. They look like a real shirt, too, none of that unfinished edge business that you find with other brands that looks like maybe I didn't mean to have my undershirt sticking out, but maybe I did, and people are just left to wonder if I got dressed all the way or forgot something or do I just have four kids and can't keep anything straight... it's confusing to everyone involved.  Shores aren't too pricey, either, about $16 each, and I just got an email with a coupon code for 60% off the entire site!! Just enter the code FALL60 at checkout. If you want to, you can go try them on at their store in American Fork, at 69 East Main Street. I don't know if everything in the store is on sale, so I am just ordering online. Who cares about shipping because Jason owes me big for the deer hunt that I am going on in about 4 hours that I did NOT agree to, but I am trying to have a good attitude and be a supportive wife, though it may be through gritted teeth. I digress. I love all my Hapari swim suits, too, so check those out while you're there. I am ordering, um, several new shirts, and then I will be downsizing my undershirt collection. I can't wait! My journey to minimalism has begun.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Greek Yogurt: My Favorite Breakfast

Several months ago I tried Greek yogurt. I've always been a yogurt fan and I'd been reading about how great it is and how much healthier than regular/sugar-laden yogurt. For example, I would generally buy light yogurt, which in a one cup serving has 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 13 grams of sugar, 15 grams of carbs and 6 grams of protein. The ingredient list is about a mile long and includes things like fructose, aspartame, and about a thousand things I can't even pronounce, including phenylalanine, whatever that is. One cup of Fage Greek yogurt has 130 calories, no fat, 9 grams of sugar, 9 grams of carbs and 23 grams of protein. The only ingredients are milk and live active yogurt cultures. And that much protein! Plus, I don't really like the flavor of light yogurt, but I can't justify 40 grams of sugar in one serving of regular yogurt. So I decided to convert.

My sister-in-law warned me that Greek yogurt is very similar to sour cream: thick and not really something you want to spoon into your mouth again and again, which you would need to do to get in the one cup serving requirement and reap all the benefits of eating it in the first place. I thought, sure, but I love yogurt and it can't be that bad, so I picked up a container like this on my next trip to Costco:

The problem is, it really was that bad! I could hardly gag it down. It sat in my fridge for several days until my cute, precious, adorable sister Kristen saw it one day when she was visiting and said, "Hey! You should try mixing your Greek yogurt with Crystal Lite! It tastes so much better, and there's no sugar!" So I did. And a new addiction was born. I now eat (at least) a cup of Greek yogurt every single day. I can't go a day without it. It is so rich and creamy and I love it. I feel like I am eating custard. My very favorite flavor addition is this:

Sugar Free Hawaiian Punch Lemon Berry Squeeze. I only use a half of a single-serving pack for one cup of yogurt, so I figure the artificial sweetener won't take too many years off my life. The benefits of Greek yogurt far outweigh a half serving of Splenda, or whatever the heck is in there. So now I will share with you how to make my yummy yogurt. You might want to write this down, it gets a little complicated. Put one cup of yogurt in a bowl, sprinkle on half a package of drink mix...

Looks about like this:

Then you stir it til it's nice and creamy...

And there you have it! I always add fresh or frozen fruit and my favorite granola that I also can't live a day without. Seriously, you should make this granola. It is so easy and so good. I will never buy granola again! Step-by-step instructions are here, courtesy of my good friend Sierra. All her recipes are amazing, by the way! I LOVE her web site.

Since strawberries are about out of their glory this year, I am currently using the Costco, yes Costco again, brand of frozen triple berries. I like to set a cup of berries in the fridge at night and then add them to my yogurt in the morning when they are nice and thawed and all that juicy juice can mingle with the creamy goodness of the yogurt. Yum.

The bad news about Greek yogurt is that it's way more expensive than regular yogurt. The good news is that Costco just released their very own Kirkland variety that is way cheaper and just as good. It comes in a twin pack (8 servings) for about $7. The Fage brand, my first love, is about $5 (I think) at Costco and a lot more expensive at grocery stores and it is only 4 servings. So go with the Costco brand, even though it has 3 fewer grams of protein per serving. 20 is still a lot. Give yourself an extra spoonful or two if it means that much to you.

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While we are on the subject, yes, I do go to Costco way too much. I just can't stay away from the place! I need intervention.  I think the employees are getting sick of me.