Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #12: Ruth's recommendations

Thirteen Things I Am Currently Recommending

1. BPA-free bottles

We're trying them all out. Here's the rundown:
Nalgene: My all-around favorite, especially the sippy cups for the kids. Because we need something that can fall over and spend the day on the couch, unnoticed, without dumping out its contents. The grown-up bottles are good, too. The cap flips open easily and closes fully.
Camelbak: These are nice, too. They won't spill if you just knock it over, but if it sat on its side all day, the water would gradually leak out. They have a straw so you don't have to tip it to drink.
Klean Kanteen: without a doubt the coolest looking BPA-free bottle, but the least convenient. It feels awkward to hold onto the lid while I'm drinking, but if I put it down I'm likely to lose it. The other problem I have with these bottles has more to do with my own klutziness: I can't seem to drink out of them without spilling some down the front of my shirt.

2. Eucalyptus mint Le Scrub by method

I have been using this for all sorts of things since I moved in: tile and grout, the refrigerator, the kitchen sink, the list goes on and on. It works well but it is gentle and won't damage most surfaces. Best of all, it's non-toxic and smells terrific rather than chemicalific.

3. Vinegar

I am just now beginning to discover the many uses for this inexpensive and planet-friendly product. Mostly I just mix it with water in a spray bottle to wipe down counter tops, tile floors, appliances and just about everything else. I'm open to other suggestions, and I'm also on the lookout for a good book full of uses for vinegar.

4. Krusteaz Wheat & Honey Pancake Mix


5. Spray-on sunblock

I love being able to summon all the kids to the backyard, spray them all down in less than five minutes, and be done with it. I can spray my own back. My kids always seem to be the ones who rub sunscreen in their eyes. We've never had that problem with the "no tears" kids' sprays. It dries quickly and seems to protect well, at least for our everyday outings to the park.
Of course, you can't use it on their faces, which is why I also recommend...

6. Sunblock stick

The kids like this way better than when I spread lotion on their faces. It does not run into their eyes, and I love that I don't have to scrub my hands after applying it. Plus, it's easy to toss in a bag and reapply as needed throughout the day.

7. Trader Joe's organic yogurt

This is simply the best yogurt I have ever tasted.

8. Trader Joe's quinoa

I never even heard of quinoa until my friend Melinda introduced it to us. When she'd visit us in Iowa she would come bearing tasty gifts from Trader Joe's. I couldn't find any quinoa at my local grocery store in Iowa, so I'm now happy to be living less than a mile from the closest Trader Joe's.

9. Pretty much Trader Joe's everything

One thing I dislike about grocery shopping is how overwhelming it can be. Once you know your way around a store, it's not so bad, but it can still be hard to find what you want, and difficult to decide which of the 600 types of cereal best meets your needs. Trader Joe's has most of what you need, without being too big. Everything is the type of stuff I like to buy anyway, the all-natural and organic type of stuff. Yet, the prices are more reasonable than some other health-food stores.

Note to commenters: if you don't like Trader Joe's, that's fine, but I don't want to hear about it.

10. Homeschooling

Of course we've only been at it for a week. But so far, so good.

11. Sleep

I'm not sure if I am ever going to get serious about getting adequate sleep, but I still feel qualified to recommend it. Because, when I do get enough sleep, I really like the effects.
For those days when I don't log my eight hours, though, I start my day with...

12. Tea

Specifically, Tazo Awake Tea. I'll still get a latte if I'm out, but at home my coffeemaker is gathering dust. Tea just feels cleaner, healthier, and less caffeinated. This stuff is pretty strong, so drinking a pot of it can really jump-start my day, but without making me jittery. I usually drink it hot with milk and sugar, but it is also good iced.

13. My blog

It's called Ruth, the Mom. I recommend reading it daily.

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Yasmin said...

Happy TT!
I like spray on blog and #13.

Joyce said...

Happy Thursday 13. Number 13 is cute. :)

Maureen said...

WOO HOO! Trader you are so lucky to be in my hometown....I miss it and Trader Joes.

You lucky duck!

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

The last one is great and made me smile. :-)

I'm a TJ fan too. Love their organic vanilla yogurt. They have great products. I do have two pet peeves with them though. I don't like that they so often discontinue items (find them once, but not twice) and that they have started a trend of using lots of corn syrup (not in the least healthy). Aren't those insulated bags colorful and so convenient, especially on hot days?

You have a great list here.
Happy Thursday!