Friday, April 10, 2009

Looking for free but informative?

Check out your local public library! Many libraries are currently handing out passes good for free admission to local zoos and museums free of charge.

Many also offer regular story time programs for kids, summer reading programs with rewards and activities, and adult seminars.

At the Provo library:

Gardening basics: getting started on a vegetable garden
April 21, 7 pm, Bullock Room #309
no registration required

Coming up:
Becoming credit wise (May 19)
Safely preserving foods (June 16)

Provo library also hosts free Monday night programs from 7:30-8pm, including stories and puppet shows, in the ballroom.

Home with a kid during the day? Check out their amazing story time programs! there are multiple age ranges.

Book Babies (0-12 months)
Friday at 10 am

Mother Goose (13-24 months)
Friday at 11 and 11:30am

Toddler Time (2-3 years)
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 10:10 and 11:10am

Story Time (3-5 years, check-in at the children's desk)
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 10 and 11 am sharp
*Children are signed in and attend story time without their parents, doors close promptly on the hour

Spanish story time (all ages, all in Spanish)
Monday 7pm, Friday 10:30am

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I was reading Reader's Digest this weekend when I saw it: the list of the 10 germ-iest places in your house. Some I expected but a few shocked me, and led to my morning cleaning adventures. I cleaned probably the dirtiest thing I have ever cleaned in my life: a vacuum cleaner.

Have you ever cleaned yours? Like, REALLY cleaned it? In a national study, 1/3 of vacuum cleaners tested positive for salmonella. If you ever vacuum your kitchen floor, or any food particles, the bacteria lives and grows inside your vacuum cleaner. Then, when you vacuum your house, you spread that bacteria everywhere! GROSS!

I thought it was time to take action. I took out all the filters, cleaned all the dirt out, and soaked them for a few minutes in a diluted bleach solution. The article recommended doing this once a month--and don't forget to clean the wheels! It took a little time, but it was oddly satisfying to get rid of all that gunk. Besides, I bet my vacuum cleaner will work much better next time I turn it on!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Provo's Hidden Gems: Part II

Part 2: Great little restaurants

I love the treat of eating out but we're on a tight budget. Here are some of my favorites around town.

El Salvador (332 W Center St)--great authentic Salvadorian food. Try the papusas, they're great and cheap!

Diego's Taco Shop (45 W 300 N) they moved a year ago to this new location but are still close enough to walk to. They make the best horchata I have ever tasted! It's pure heaven. I also love the chicken nachos.

Thai Ruby (744 E 820 N) I don't consider this a cheap eat, but we often stop in just for dessert--mango with sticky rice. If you like Thai food or mango, this is to die for! The perfect addition to make a basic home cooked meal seem like a classy night out.

7-11 (496 N University Ave) still the cheapest place for a quick summer fix: the Slurpee. If you're really cheap, buy a bigger, reusable cup and save it. The price is cheaper for refills. Best slurpee flavor: crystal light.

Provo Bakery
(190 E 100 N--closed Mondays) is a great little shop hidden in south Provo. Stop in a try a homemade doughnut or muffin.

J Dawgs (880 N 700 E) worth it at least once--eating a J Dawg is like hiking the Y. Tradition.

Doc's Pizza Buffet (2250 N University Pkwy # 22--by Cafe Rio in the Movies 8 complex). If you haven't been here in awhile, it's worth another look. Under new management it's a little more expensive and there's no longer hilarious karaoke, but the pizza is better. Price includes pasta, salad, pizza (request your favorite!), breadsticks, dessert pizza, drinks, and an ice cream cone.

Want to get a great deal on eating out? Check out City Deals for half price gift cards. Order in the morning, pick up in the afternoon!

Missing your favorite? Let me know! I'm always up for something new :o)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Provo's Hidden Gems: Part I

Ok, it's April, but still gray and cold outside. I personally spend hours wandering around outside every week to keep my son entertained, and in so doing, have stumbled upon some less well-known places. For those of you who live in or around Provo, enjoy!

Part 1: Food and Clothing for Less

Smith's Food and Drug (350 N Freedom) has a student fresh values card that takes 5% off every shopping order. Essentially, all of your food is tax free! Smith's also has 2 Redbox rental stations. Their weekly ad comes out every Wednesday and they participate in the Shortcuts electronic coupon program.

Walmart (1355 Sandhill Rd, Orem). Never fails. Not the best shopping experience but the deals don't get any better. Bring store ads for all the local grocery and retail stores and Walmart will price match (if it's the exact brand and size). If you have the time and energy to spare, it's worth the haggle.

Honk's Dollar Store (650 N Freedom) offers good deals on basic cleansers, office supplies, stationary, gift bags, etc. Every Tuesday every dollar deal is reduced to 88 cents! My favorite buys: scented diaper disposal bags (a life saver for that between breastfeeding and pottytraining stage!) and knock-off teddy grahams.

Habitat for Humanity Re-Store (626 N Freedom--right next to Honk's). This place is amazing for several reasons.
1) You can drop off almost any extra building materials you don't want to store or dispose of.
2) You can buy supplies for a quick fix at insanely low prices--a gallon of oil based paint is only $1. Great for paintbrushes, wood stain, nails and screws, or odds and ends.
3) They offer monthly home maintenance classes for free.
4) They offer a tool-rental system just like a public library that lends tools for personal use free of cost.
5) This place keeps any kid entertained for at least 20 minutes because it is full of gadgets, gizmos, and interesting people!

Kid to Kid (2250 N University Pky, #26--next to Cafe Rio in the Movies 8 complex). Kids grow way too fast to pay full price for clothes, shoes, socks, toys, strollers, etc. The provo store has a great selection of kids clothes in all sizes, as well as two racks of shoes, a variety of toys, and a surprisingly good selection of maternity clothes. All products are gently used, look brand new, and most are name brand. My favorites:
1) 3 pairs of socks for $0.99--and I get to try them on his wriggling feet to know how long they will last!

2) Every Tuesday at the Provo location is grandparent's day. Simply show off a picture of your adorable grandchild and get 10% off your entire purchase. (I love to shop Tuesdays when my mom is in town visiting!)
3) A walled in kids zone full of toys to keep my monkey occupied while I browse.
4) If you really need to stock up, pick up a frequent shopper card to earn a free purchase. These cards are now accepted at any location.

Deseret Industries
(1415 N State St) In addition to accepting donations and helping you recycle your used stuff, the DI has some great bargains. My favorites: cheap games (I've bought Racko for $1 and Scene It for $1.50) and kids shoes ($2-$3!)

Plato's Closet (592 E University Pkwy, Orem--just across from University Mall) Kid to Kid for moms :o) If you don't mind gently used clothing or want to spice up your wardrobe with something trendy, this is a great place to pick up fashion ideas or that perfect pair of jeans or shoes on the cheap. Also, if your wardrobe is "classy and trendy" enough, you can sell your gently used clothing and accessories for some easy cash.

Ross Dress for Less (222 W 1300 S, Orem). No shopping list of mine would be complete without Ross--I owe almost my entire wardrobe to this store, including my amazing red heels and all my favorite pairs of jeans. The Ross in Orem isn't the best ever, though their petite section is expanding and offers some great options for walking the fine line between forever teenaged and frumpy mom. If you ever need help finding something great, call me--I never fail.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Freebies: Pantene, Quaker, Jergens

Want more free products and samples?

Quaker snacks: try their new chocolate drizzle or cheddar cheese snacks

Pantene: Pro-V Nature Fusion sample

Jergens: "Glow" light tanning facial moisturizer sample

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