Fresh and Easy ain’t so easy
August 13, 2008, 8:05 pm
Filed under: food, mommyblog, Uncategorized, west valley phoenix

I was so excited to have Fresh and Easy open near me.  Convenient, healthy, pre-made meals, that I could just stop and grab on my way home.  Because it was owned by Tesco, a British company, I was hoping for some international flair.  Well they do have samosas and frozen Indian entrees.  But what a disappointment! 

The store is communist era spartan, with a warehouse feel, in a small store space.  The pre-made food isn’t that healthy (white rice instead of brown, for instance) and not very kid friendly either.   Despite touting themselves as environmentalists, they give you more plastic bags than you could shake a stick at for your groceries.  And, they plastic wrap fruit (four apples plastic wrapped together–Why?)  And, there’s not really a good enough selection of everyday stuff to do your regular grocery shopping.  So, Fresh and Easy is definitely an extra trip.

On the bright side, is that they have good sauces (like Thai peanut sauce), the frozen Indian entrees mentioned above are tasty, and whole wheat pizza dough which I haven’t been able to find elsewhere  is admittedly awesome.  Did I mention cheap wine?  That is a plus.  Also, their economic woes are my gain, as they give out a $5 off a $20 puchase coupon every week and, discount aging items 50%.  Do I care if my watermelon is past its sell by date?  No I don’t.  However, I predict that Fresh and Easy won’t be long for this neck of the woods (Phoenix West Valley).  You’ve got to be junk foody and mass appeal or go whole hog organic earthy crunchy international.  Can’t please everyone you know. 

What prompted this post is a nightmarish trip I took there yesterday with Q (almost 2) and T (almost 4).  It’s self serve check out.  Fine and dandy, but if you’re buying liquor or you’re using a coupon (and I was doing both) you need a salesperson to come and enter things for you.  This may be an effecient use of me by Tesco, because they don’t have to pay me to check out my groceries or to wait for their salesperson to view my license and enter my birthdate, but it’s not an efficent use of Tesco for me.  Also, forced to self-scan my coupon, I heard a reassuring beep and assumed all was well.  It wasn’t, so since I wanted my bleeping  $5 off, I had to get a void.  Meanwhile my children are losing it, screaming and running away and refusing to sit in the cart.  Did I mention how hard it is to scan and bag your own groceries with two small cranky children to keep track of?  Admittedly this is my fault, as I made this stop post daycare, and I should have known better.  By the time we got out of there we were no longer fresh or easy, but rather cranky and pissed.


Rediscovered Kid Foods Hot dogs and chicken nuggets
July 29, 2008, 9:11 pm
Filed under: fat, mommyblog

When was the last time you had fish sticks?  I bet the answer is based on whether you have kids or not.  Pre-kid I would never have bought/ordered fish sticks, who knows what they’re actually made of!  Deep fried!  Pedestrian!  But now fishsticks, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and hot dogs are regulars on the menu and sometimes I’m just too darned tired to make something different for the adults.  

And the realization then dawned… I wasn’t crazy about hot dogs before, but that was probably because I was getting the low fat or no fat turken/chicken variety.  My kids get the full up Porky pig ones and, although I hate to admit it, they taste darn good, pigs lips and all.  (I’m not totally throwing health to the wind, at least they’re nitrite free version).  Same thing with chicken nuggets.  And whole milk.  And regular syrup.  And restaurant macaroni and cheese (Claim Jumper, oh yes!).

For a while I thought “wow, I can switch to the full fat version of all this stuff and it makes no difference!  Except that it tastes a lot better”  well it took a while, but about 2 years and 5 pounds later, I have to admit it probably does make a difference after all.  I don’t know if I can go back though.  🙂

Small Liberal in a Large Conservative Pond
June 30, 2008, 7:07 pm
Filed under: mommyblog

Do you ever feel like a fish out of water?  I’m stuck among Republican, church going, stay-at-home momming, attend shop-at-home party going, folks out here in the West Valley of Phoenix.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But for a Democratic, NPR listening, New Yorker reading, working Mom, there’s just not a lot of like-minded conversations to have.  It’s sort of lonely.  There are too many good reasons not to move.  Any suggestions on finding people in my niche?   

World Wildlife Zoo, Glendale, Arizona
January 13, 2008, 10:43 pm
Filed under: mommyblog, west valley phoenix, world wildlife zoo

 OK World Wildlife Zoo, I want to hate you, but I can’t.  At first you shocked me with your political incorrectness.  You can feed the giraffes!  Stuff the fat animals in the petting zoo with even more food!  Animals behind chain link fences!   With nowhere to hide so you can always see them!  Up close!  $16 admission!  Small and smelly aminal viewing buildings!  Albino baby animals bred for your viewing pleasure!   Baby tigers! 

…..But yet, you are 10 minutes away from me.  You have a train for $3.00 that my son dearly loves.  You have a merry go round for $1.50.  Nothing off-limits to strollers.  You have some shade and some big trees.  You are open 364 days a year–even Sunday and Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  You have a playground, and a merry go-round and a boat ride and a sky ride.  We can feed the giraffes.  And an aquarium and a log flume is coming.  Oh, politically incorrect zoo, we have a season pass.  And we love you, even though I didn’t want to.

My New Year’s Resolutions (mommyblog!)
January 10, 2008, 5:10 pm
Filed under: mommyblog, new year's resolutions

1.  drink wine out of a wine glass instead of a cup for touch of class.

2.  Make new friends with similar worldview.

3.  Reduce, reuse, recycle!

4.  Smoke less.

5.  Do some resume padding activities.

6.  Exercise more.

7.  Update wardrobe.

8.  Do some arts and crafts with the kids.

9.  Paint interior of house.

10.  Get some cajones.

11.  stop reading parenting magazines or any Good Housekeeping type magazines.