Cherry picking, washing, pitting, and freezing.

We have been having a blast picking this summer now that the the twins are 3 and a half.  This is the first Summer that we have been able to spend some time picking with the kids old enough to participate a little.

Here is what we have picked this year:

  • Organic Blueberries at Minto Island Growers $1.74 ish per lb.
  • Cherries with Salem Harvest-Free!
  • Cherries at our generous friends the Askeys-Free!
  • Broccoli with Salem Harvest-Free!

It was a little hard to decide what to do with all the cherries, but in the end I decided to just wash, pit, and freeze what we could not eat immediately.

 

Here are the steps I used to “put up” our cherries…

1) After I read about some different techniques to wash fruit I got excited about using vinegar and water.  I figured that instead of a making a spray I could probably make a soak for them.  I put 3 parts cold water to 1 part vinegar and let them soak for a few minutes and agitated with with my hand a bit.  Then I fished them out with a shallow ladle type tool with holes in it.

2) After the soak I rinsed them in cold water for a bit to get the vinegar off and get them a little cleaner.

3) Next, I dumped them into my salad spinner to let them drip dry a little more without getting the counter soaked.

4) Now it was time to pit!  Little Miss woke up from her nap and was so excited to help me.  It was our first summer harvest we have gotten to work on together and a great memory.  She was very helpful and so eager.  Her job was to pull the stems off and keep my hopper full in the cherry pitter.  She took pride in her work and said some of the funniest things.  “Oh look at this tiny sad one Mama! You think she will be okay (cherries are obviously girls)?”  She also told me, “I am a Mama” and made it clear that she was feeling so very grown up.

This was my first summer using the Norpro Deluxe Cherry Pitter.  I bought it from Azure Standard and I have no idea how I would have done this job without it.

4) I then bagged the pitted cherries flat in zipper bags.  I got as much of the air out as I could and then stacked a couple bags on a cookie sheet to freeze.  After they were frozen flat in bags I rearranged them in our freezer.

These will be great for smoothies, baking, mixing into ice cream, and cobblers!  What a blessing to fill our freezer with free fruit!

My favoirte deals right now.

Borders has just reduced their prices again! Everything is now 40%-60%.  Check out your local store to see if you can score anything great!

I went in a couple weeks ago and found a nice little pile of books for the kids for cheap.  I was able to get some holiday and bargain books for even better prices than the books in the regular areas of the stores.

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Rue La La is offering free $10 credits to new signups!

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See Kai Run (One of our favorite shoe brands) just reduced prices on a bunch of cute shoes and socks.  Great prices up to 50% off.

Happy Thursday!

A Trip to Old Navy (plus coupon giveaway)

Yesterday I was lucky enough to get to go shopping for a bit.  We drove up to Portland and I headed to the Clackamas Old Navy with the baby while the Hubs kept the twins occupied elsewhere.  I got to take my time and really check things out.  While I like shopping at Old Navy for summer pieces, I love shopping there even more when the fall merchandise comes out.  Fall means sweaters, jeans, scarves, and boots.  Oh so cozy.  I was excited to see what they had for this year.

Here are some pictures of some of my favorite finds. Yes, I know it is back to school time…but I could not resist checking out stuff for the mamas too!

Some of my favorite deals right now

Jeans for kids are $12

Out of the in store options for toddler boy I loved the "painter" jean.

 

I also love the "Regular fit". They get great reviews!

These are my favorite jeans for toddler girls "Double-Button Boot-Cut Jeans." Little Miss has had this exact pair in her last 3 sizes. They have a hint if pink stitching, cute buttons, and a great wash.

Solid toddler boys polos for $5.50. I also found cute striped polos for $5.00.

They also had girls leggings for $6

 

Some of my favorite finds.

Nothing cuter than a little Madeline shirt!
Cute toddler boys camo hoodie in great stylish colors.
Great boys sweater. Because boys need great looking sweaters too!
Toddler girls ruffle sweater. Little Miss has a similar one in navy and has worn it endlessly.
Love this top.

 

Great selection of clearance items

Reasons why I love the Clackamas location

It was the Old Navy I used to beg my parents to drive me to before we had a local Old Navy and the place I took my friends to on my sixteenth birthday.  Good memories.

It was also the location of my first date with Hubs during the summer between our sophomore and junior year of high school.  I was trying to revamp his wardrobe which basically consisted of 2 well loved Tommy Hilfiger t-shirts, a pair of jean shorts, and some Dr. Martin sandals.  Holding hands on the way home from a successful Old Navy trip is so romantic.

All moms can appreciate parking in one spot and hitting up multiple stores.  If you happened to need a caramel macchiato, some toilet paper, a loaf of good bread, party supplies, soccer cleats, a discount designer bag, and some never ending soup and salad and bread sticks you are in luck.

Lastly, because there are other Old Navy locations in the greater Portland area they seem to have a better selection of clearance items!

 

How does Old Navy compare to other value brands?

I would say it is at the upper end in terms of style and quality.  When shopping at stores whose regular prices are already fairly low I am looking for certain things.

  • How well does it look like it will wash up? (Skip black if it looks like it might fade.)
  • How well does it look like it will hold its shape? (Make sure it is just a bit longer than you will want it in case of shrinkage.)
  • What is the weight of the material?
  • How tight is the weave?
  • What IS the material?

Old Navy has denim, woven (think dress shirts/sheet type material), and thicker knit material that will hold up great.

For every thin t-shirt or tank I find, I can usually find a thicker one I am happy with.  Sometimes shirts that are a cotton blend will hold up better than ones that are 100% cotton.

For comparisons sake their boys solid polos also felt like better quality than brands like Target and Children’s Place.

 

Ways to save at Old Navy:

Sign up for their Email list to learn about new promotions and sales and get great coupons.

Check your receipt and see if it has an opportunity to do a survey for a discount on your next purchase.

Watch your paper for occasional coupons.

Look for clearance items throughout the entire store.  Some of the best items I found were items which were marked down, but not even in clearance area.

Ask an employee what their current promotions are.  Sometimes it is easy to miss some of them.

Currently they are running a promotion called Super C-A-S-H where you earn $10 for every $20 you spend through 8-18.  Looks like each super cash voucher is good for $10 a $20 purchase.  (Works much like Gymbucks)

 

What did I get?

  • A new pair of double-button boot-cut jeans for Little Miss $12
  • Grey toddler boys polo for $5.oo
  • Pair of strip leggings on clearance for $2.99
  • Pair of toddler boys plaid shorts $3.97
  • Toddler boys t-shirt $3.99
  • Dressy tank for myself $5.99

Total- $33.94

Not to shabby!

When I was showing everything to Hubs and the twins after they came back Little Man said, “Those look like fall shorts!”  “Oh, like colors for Fall?? (thinking I had a very fashionable son), I said.  “No like fall….like they fall…fall off”, he says.  At least my skinny little boy can recognize a pair of wide legged shorts. He was absolutely right.

Now on to the fun part! Needing to do any shopping??  I scoured my coupon stash and have a coupon for $10 off any purchase of $50 or more for the first 7 people who comment below AND email me their mailing address.  I would randomly draw for them, but they expire next on the week on Thursday the 18th and I want to get them out to you ASAP!  If you would also take the time to subscribe via email, RSS feed,  or follow me via Google Friends I would be forever grateful!

This coupon would be a great way to earn some Super C-A-S-H and save even more money!

Email-  TwinMamaLoves (at) gmail.com

 

Disclosure: Old Navy compensated me for my drive and time with a small gift certificate.  I was not paid to write this post and these thought are my own.

A trip to Trader Joe’s and Fred Meyer

When I occasionally actually get into the stores (we have been swamped lately) there are definitely some deals to be found.  The Hubs and I loaded the 3 Littles up and did a Trader Joe’s trip followed by Fred Meyer.

At Trader Joe’s we shopped like we still didn’t have a local store.  You would think we were preparing for Y2K like pretzels and counterfeit “Pirates Booty” were going to save our life.  “Divide and conqueror” turned into divide and “double up”.  Pretty sure we won’t need to buy snacks for 2 months.  My kids were “those kids” and I blame those darn little carts.  Last time Hubs took the kids he let them use them.  This time mean mommy said we had too much shopping to do.   I did not want to spend 3 hours using my nice voice to try and protect other shoppers ankles.  We went with the push the double and single  BOB’s and drag a cart approach.  What we ended up with was 2 toddlers who wanted NOTHING to do with the stroller and know how to push each and every button of their twin counterpart.  But, lucky for us they offered our kids taffy and suckers (I think we were the suckers).  Only 3 minutes later daddy was crawling around the van looking for which crevasse the taffy fell into and revoking the sucker for being stuck to inappropriate surfaces.  Next time I think we might pass on the “Mojo” basket.

The next stop was Fred Meyer.  Needless to say I went in while the rest of the family stayed in the car.  I was happy with my trip. I came out to pleasant kids and a patient daddy and Buzz Lightyear sticking out from our mini van’s sunroof.  I love my life.

Here is a tiny snapshot of my FM loot (Hubs has the good camera and phone today).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Came home from with…

2 Crayola colored pencils 99 cents

3 Crayola 24 ct. crayons 39 cents

2 packs of Avery 3 ct (with bonus) glue sticks. On sale for $1.49 and had a B1G1 coupon hanging from price tag.

Johnson’s Natural body wash. Had coupon for $1.50 off. (Having a hard time finding a good price on a good natural baby wash. This will do for now.)

Cottonelle wipes (great for toddlers!). Coupon for free product, but the shelf price was more than coupon would allow for. Anybody ran into this before? I think this shows that Fred Meyer’s regular prices are a bit high. I just asked if I could pay the difference.

3 big organic peaches on sale for $1.48 (decent price)

Whoppers (yes I said whoppers) $1.49ish or $1.25 with in ad coupon

Kettle chips. $1.50 after $1 off coupon at coupons.com

Pantene conditioner. Coupon for free product

Total $13. 24!

I also noticed that they had their clearance toys an additional 50% off.  I was at the South Salem store.  I did not find anything amazing but they did have quite a bit.  Might want to check it out!

Happy Tuesday!