Monday, October 7, 2013

My Favorite Things: Save on Diapers from Target, Power Salad Recipe, etc.

----------FOR MOMS----------  

1. Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System ($25 From Amazon)

I've had this puppy for over a year now and I am a FAN. I bought this to replace my son’s nap/bedtime sound machine that was nosily hobbling along on its last leg. I decided to spring for one with a projector and boy was I glad. This thing is awesome. The projector is
basically a nightlight for the ceiling so he has something to look at as he drifts off. It has a timer and you also have the option to make the projector and/or sound noise-activated in case all your crying baby/toddler needs is a little distraction to help soothe him back to sleep. I travel with it so no matter where my kid has to sleep, he’s happy as a clam and feels right at home with his usual projector lights/noise. Brilliant. After my recommendation, my sister bought this for her four month old twins. They showed their appreciation by immediately taking championship naps and sleeping so much better at night. Chalk one up for the Munchkin Projector.

2. Target Diapers--New Subscribe and Save Discount

I'm a loyal Red Card Holder (aka The Target Card). Around here in the Bay Area, you’re sometimes better off shopping at national stores that have national prices, so we buy our "pantry items" from Target. Because Red Card holders get 5% off and free shipping, I buy stuff online when I can, including diapers. If you’re a brand snob (like I am with smaller sized diapers), you’re probably better off at or Costco (I hear is good, too). But if you buy your diapers from Target (for bigger sizes, I like the Up&Up diapers), you may want to know Target just added a subscribe and save additional 5% discount for the bulk (largest) box of diapers (trying to compete with Amazon, I assume). It doesn’t show up right on the product page (at least not yet), so it’s a little hard to find. You have to add the diapers to your cart, then view your cart.
(Step 1): Click on the item
(Step 2): This brings up a dialog box that gives you the option to subscribe.
Click on image to enlarge
You will then be sent an e-mail that allows you to manage your subscriptions. Only paying $0.21/diaper (including tax) for size SIX diapers is a major score in my book, especially considering the free shipping.

3. Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You ($7 From Amazon)

This children's book is a great present for a baby shower or 1st birthday. My friend Rachel gave me this book when I had my first little guy. The illustrations are beautiful and the words and sentiment are even sweeter. One part makes me cry almost every time. It’s a great bedtime story, something along the lines of what the book “Love You Forever” was for me as a kid.

4. Camp Patton (Free at

My friend Rachel (who is clearly full of good recommendations) introduced me to this blog a few months ago when I was whining about my husband being out of town. Camp Patton is a mommy/lifestyle blog written by Grace Patton. She is Catholic, has three kids aged 2, 1, and 0, and is hilarious. She has been known to use a "swear" or two once in a great while, but her perspective on life and parenting little ones is so refreshing. Her husband is an OB-GYN resident, so he works crazy hours, but she survives with her hilarity intact. Not many blogs make me literally laugh out loud, but this is one of them.


5. Contour Leg Pillow ($20 From Amazon)

I vividly remember mocking this pillow that started as an As-Seen-On-TV product, but if you are (a) a side sleeper and (b) have lower back problems, this pillow may be the thing for you. My chiropractor gave me this pillow when I came in for lower back pain and described what position I usually sleep in. She suspected I might be twisting my lower back while I slept. She recommended I start sleeping with this pillow between my legs to keep everything together and supported. I have to admit, it was really annoying at first and I had a hard time keeping it in place all night. If anyone but my beloved chiropractor had recommended it (who is ten times better than any other chiro I’ve ever seen), I probably would’ve given up during the first week. Luckily, I stuck with it.   
Not only did it solve most of my lower back issues, I started sleeping better in general and now I actually prefer sleeping with this pillow. I don’t travel with it (I make do with a regular pillow), but I do think its design helps it stay in place more comfortably. Just be careful you don't buy a memory foam version, as that won't hold its shape.

6. Glass Oil Cruet ($12 From Amazon)

My mom insisted on getting me one of these, which I hesitantly accepted. But since I started using olive oil a ton (and since we buy those giant vats that come from Costco), this thing has become a must-have. I fill mine with olive oil and keep it by the stove. You can also use it for dressings.


7. Shauna's Power Salad

My friend Shauna is a nutrition-conscious super mom of seven kids. She has managed to get even her little ones to eat this salad on a daily basis. At a young age, they learn how to make it themselves. I try to make some variation of it at least once a week. Something about eating it makes me feel so good (hence why I named it the "Power Salad." I usually make it for lunch one day, then eat it for several more meals combined with various leftovers (e.g. I added Tilapia once--amazing). 

Shauna's Power Salad Ingredients (feel free to add/drop/dub--make it your own):
- Romaine, Kale and Spinach
- Quinoa (I throw some in the rice cooker the morning I plan on making this salad)
- Apples
- Jicama (My local Sprouts doesn't seem to carry jicama, so I substitute with daikon)
- Craisins
- Feta or Bleu Cheese
- Sunflower seeds, pecans and pumpkin seeds
- Shredded carrots
Dressing: Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix made with Balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

----------TECH SAVVY----------

8. Word verification--enter the letters only

When commenting on a blog with word verification, it usually shows an image with letters and an image with numbers. Like a sucker, for years I assumed you had to copy both into the dialog box to have your comment be approved. False. You can enter the letters only and completely ignore the numbers. Okay, I realize it’s a small victory in my epic ongoing battle against word verification, but I’ll take victories where I can.  (See here for how to remove word verification--which by the way, I STILL haven't had spam issues since removing mine).

9. Quickly and easily find ancestor records directly from your family tree

Ever felt the call to work on your family history, but thought there was nothing left to do or didn't know where to start? No more. I have to point out the exciting new feature at They added a way to search for documents (e.g. photos of an actual census, naturalization record, etc.) matching your ancestors' names. For example, in a matter of minutes, I was able to log on, go to my family tree, click on my Opa's name, click on the right sidebar "Research Help: Search Records" and immediately found his naturalization record from 1957, signed in his own hand. When we signed onto my husband's account, we were able to find the 1860 census record for the great-great-great grandfather we just named our second son after. Very cool stuff. You are also able to link these documents to your family tree as sources. How cool is it to actually be able to access and view these records so easily?

10. You Tell Me

As always, Favorite Things Item #10 comes from YOU in the comments section.
What products/recipes/tips/tricks are you loving lately?

What's your go-to salad during the week?



  1. Isn't Grace the best? I seriously love her so much.

  2. For some unknown reason, I'm just now reading this. A. Excellent to know that I don't need to type in the numbers, although I wish I could just type in the numbers and not letters B. Glad you're loving the book and the blog C. Do you have 1 or 2 of the sound systems? Jilly has had a fan in her room all summer, but I'm thinking we need to say adios to the fan now that it is freezing at night and I do notnotNOT want Mattie to be waking her up at night, and I do notnotNOT want Jilly to wake Mattie up during the day. Think I could put one in one of the girls' rooms against the wall and they could both hear it? Or am I being ridiculous?


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