Oh, fine…just give me a grocery store

With the mixed reviews of local co-op produce quality and the pre-paid hassle of it all, I have felt a little overwhelmed and frustrated. We don’t have a Whole Foods closer 30 minutes drive and I’m determined to find a grocery solution that is manageable, affordable, and easily maintained. The farmer’s market has been okay. I have made a couple of trips to find they were out of eggs, bread was $6 plus, and I would always have to visit another site to cover a week’s supply of fruits and veggies.

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This week I didn’t even attempt the farmer’s market with all three children. Instead, I opted for another learning experience. I learned that Central Market has kid friendly carts, but that does not mean the crowded aisles are. It wasn’t unreasonable to buy actual food (22% of my bill was prepared food – I love their tarragon chicken salad) and I will be buying cereal there in the future. They are the only show in town with a decent selection of GMO-free options (Cascadian Farm has several varieties similar to the mainstream cereals my family likes). They don’t have a large choice of regular staples, and the ones they do have carry big price tag. There is also no bring your own bag credit. It’s definitely worth it to go early before the rest of the world wakes up.

I think my new favorite solution to the grocery dilemma is shopping early and alone. (Realizing that will be a rare treat) I headed out just after eight, made it to the grocery and Wal-Mart, and I finished by just after eleven. I even got to enjoy my free glass of tea while I shopped! This week, I think I’m going to look into local butchers. Anyone know of a good one?

I need a spa day!

I have been stressed. The other day I was thinking and I could not remember the last time I felt unburdened. So, I have been going on for months about needing to get away. One of the best ways to relax is to go to the spa: get a massage, manicure, pedicure, and be pampered.

Boy did Man deliver!

I came home to our routine dinner, clean up, kids’ baths, bedtime, dishes. Then, I upon retiring to the bedroom I found dim lights, soft waves and beach sounds, a massage table, and the opportunity to shower in peace by myself (only a mom of small children would consider that special). When I came out of the shower, Man gave me a nice little spa snack plate (on a tray in bed).
I wish I had taken a picture!!

Fresh berries drizzled with chocolate, sparkling water, and cucumber ice cubes.

I was then treated to an hour massage….and drifted off to a very good night’s sleep.

That got me to thinking…
The next time I wish I had a day at the spa, I’m going to try to recreate some of that magic at home by whipping up some spa inspired dishes. They are decidedly different, but all spa worthy so give them a try.

Triple Berry Salad

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Organic field greens
Half pint each sliced strawberries, blackberries, blueberries
Feta crumbles
Spiced pecans
Balsamic vinaigrette
Add grilled chicken breast if desired

Giada’s Apple Mint Green Tea Punch
It’s crisp, slightly sweet and very refreshing! One of my favorite drinks to have on hand.

The Lemon Bowl Brown Rice Greek Salad
Light, packed with yummy nutrients, and full of flavor

Strawberry Cake
Moist, not too sweet, and icing not required!

Today’s Mama’s Tomato Parmesan Soup
Rich and decadent

How do you recreate the best of the spa at home?