First of all, let me just say, we just got back from the Champlain Valley Expo, which is the big state fair here. It was really fun. We were given free tickets when we gave blood, so we couldn't pass up a free visit! I will post more on that later, but just know that there may be a video of a pig race on this site within the next few days...
I thought I would list some of my favorite things lately...Here we go:
1. Apple Mango Tango Gain laundry detergent.
This actually ties more into just having laundry nearby.
While in Malawi, we did not have a laundry machine for the first six months. First Mercy did our laundry outside in the sink, then I did it inside in the bathtub. Not fun. Then, when we were moved on campus, we had a washer and dryer, which was wonderful. But then the dryer stopped working. So we would wash clothes, then dry them at someones house (thanks Beth and Emily!).
This past year, we didn't have a washer and dryer either. We could have bought some, but then the dryer would have had to go into our already small kitchen. So I brought laundry with me everytime (seriously, everytime) I went to my parents. I did lots of laundry there, plus some at the Evans and some at people's houses when I would overnight babysit.
Here, we have a laundry mat within the complex. So yes, I have to pay to use it and I have to walk to it, but it is so much better than the last two years! And I have been using my delicious smelling Apple Mango Tango detergent. Seriously, best smelling detergent ever!
2. Meyer's dish soap.
Meyer's has a whole line of natural cleaning products with AMAZING smells! My favorites are Geranium and Basil. I usually alternate between the two. It's pretty high concentrated, so you don't have to use that much each time you wash dishes (and we wash dishes a lot, because we don't have a dishwasher). It's slightly more expensive than other soaps, but so worth it. It's natural and smells great!
In Jackson, you can get this at Fresh Market or Everyday Gourmet. Here you can get it, well pretty much everywhere!
3. City Market Co-op
This grocery store is incredible! It is a co-op, and we actually just bought a membership in it. It's only $15 a year, and you get a dividend check at the end of the year based on how much you spend there. There are tons of options.
I googled this picture (and strangely enough, I'm pretty sure I met the girl on the left Saturday at the Farmer's Market). I think it gives a pretty good view of their produce section. They have a good selection of organic and conventional.
One of the other reasons I love it is pictured below...they have a HUGE bulk section! They carry the basics (granola, snack mixes, flour, sugar), plus lots of other items: tahini, fresh ground peanut butter, chocolate chips, beans, balsamic vinegar, dog food.
There are two great reasons to buy in bulk. The first is that you can reduce the amount of waste. At City Market, you can bring in your own containers and fill them up. You create less empty containers to be recycled or thrown away. The second reason is that it really is cheaper.
For instance, I use balsamic vinegar a good deal for salad dressings. A bottle of it may cost about $8. I filled 2/3 of the empty bottle up for about $3.
Or take spices. If you need a strange spice, you can go out and buy it in a metal or glass container for $3 or $4. Or you can go to a bulk section and get a small amount of the spice for 50 cents.Plus, I can buy milk there in glass bottles, which just makes me happy!
4. Tostito's Lime Tortilla chips.
I know, I know, so unhealthy. But I just can't resist them. I go through phases where I just love one particular food item, and these are it right now! I could eat a bag a day (don't worry, I don't!).
5. The fall!
I don't have a picture for this, but I am sure I will have ton's soon! It is starting to turn into fall here. Today, the temperature is in the low 70's, and I had to wear a cardigan to the fair. I am excited to do some very "fall-ish" things this year! We are going to go to a pumpkin patch and a corn maze, plus lots of looking at the leaves!