Why I Like Pop-Tarts

Pop-Tarts, Frosted Chocolate Fudge, 16-Count Tarts (Pack of 8)Yeah, I know they're not good for me and they're loaded with sugar and other cardboard like substances but I love them. I have since I was a child. Hmmm, maybe that's why I like them so much:)

Yep, I'm a child of the 1970s and never got to eat Pop-Tars unless we were traveling to see my grandparents. My mom used these treats to keep me quiet on the airplane. Of course, in those days they weren't made with High Fructose Corn Syrup and they only came in the 6-pack box. I ate the crust first then at the rest, savoring each bite, drawing out the pleasuring as long as I could because once those six Pop-Tarts were gone they were gone until the next time I saw an airplane. It was a long couple of years between chocolatey goodness.

Then I got a job in high school and started making my own money and I decided to buy my own breakfast occasionally. Pop-Tarts were still just as magical and they're just as magical even now that they're loaded with stuff made in the lab. But to me the flavor is layered in pleasure and still takes me back to those trips to see my grandparents. Sure, I rationalize that there are essential vitamins and iron --there used to me 9 and now there are only 7 - not sure what happened to the other 2?

I realize Pop-Tarts aren't like rainbows and unicorns but they help get me going some mornings. Maybe I need to grow up and find an adult breakfast alternative but until I turn 50 I'm sticking with Pop-Tarts!

Good Government

I've mentioned before that until recently I haven't watched much television that wasn't animated or with furry monsters. That's what comes from having no time and small kids. Recently, however, we decided to ditch our premium cable channels and subscribe to Netflix. I cannot tell you want a different this has made. I've revisited old TV shows, caught up on movies I love, seen some I never had time to see in the first place, and I'm watching my way through some great documentaries.

Then Amazon decided to join the playing field when they added free instant viewing of TV and movies to the Prime Membership. Of course, there's some overlap with Netflix and Hulu but since I'm already paying for Prime I gave it a spin.

The first TV series that I've watched all the way through on Amazon was a season of Inspector Lewis including the episode Dark Matter. I was a huge fan of the Inspector Morse series and to know that Lewis gets his own chance now is great. Plus, it's fun to watch him be the master and pass along the wisdom he received from his mentor.

But as much as I loved Lewis I took a break because we found a great new show on network television. Yeah, it was a surprise to me, too.  If you're not watching Chicago Code then you're missing some seriously good television. I will say that if you're looking for a gritty cop drama about Chicago days of old then this isn't for you. This is a show about the way life could be - or maybe a better way to put it is that it's a show about the people who want their city cleaned up and what they have to do to get it that way. Oh, there's lots of good old Chicagoland politics along the way but this is a story about how life could be better and the challenges that everyone faces along the way.

I have no illusions that each episode of Chicago Code is going to end wrapped in a pretty ribbon but I do know that these are people who are trying very hard. Just like the characters in The State Within. This is a BBC production filmed almost entirely in DC and Florida it seems, with the main characters being the British ambassador to the US [Jason Isaacs] and the US Secretary of Defense [Sharon Gless]. It's only seven hours of drama and the poor British Ambassador has at least five people close to him [either in proximity or relation] die, he brokers peace talks, he tries to keep a man from lethal injection, he tries to tackle political corruption, and he tries to stop an international conflict. The first episode is hard to watch as it starts out with a plane exploding in DC due to a terrorist bomb but it's okay, the Ambassador is there to help. No, really, he is.

And while these shows couldn't be more different in some ways they are both similar in that the main characters believe that government and the people that work for those governments are supposed to be doing their best for the people and the slimy, corrupt people are the bad guys. It's still a good story with some good twists and turns and neither series has a pollyana attitude. So, give them a try. These are definitely good stories about people trying to make our world a better place..

Spring Cleaning

Yep, it's that time of the year again and no matter how much I dislike it Spring Cleaning really does serve a purpose.

Last week we started by going through the toys. This was not an overly popular task but the girls helped and it really did go easier this year. While I put away the toys that got a reprieve for another year,  I sorted through the shoe cabinet and pulled out shoes that no longer fit. I hadn't gotten around to this last year so I actually had a full sack to pass along.

Today, while the girls played and watched cartoons - it's pouring rain right now - I went through my emails and deleted the random ones that had drifted along in my Inbox for months and months. I do this a few times a year and still I end up trashing a few hundred emails each time.

Why is this important? For me, it's partly peace of mind. I like to know where things are. Yes, I maximize the filing system that Yahoo allows and at most times I utilize all the folders allowed. The other reason it's good to go through your emails is that you might get a surprise - just like finding money in an old purse or pair of pants. And that's exactly what happened.

I'd done some online shopping a couple of years ago using Bing and gotten a series of cash back advantages. Last summer, they discontinued the Bing program but my account had trouble and it took a while to get it taken care of. In the meantime, I'd totally forgotten about it. The reason this is important is that all cashback requests from the Bing Cash Back program must be requested by July of 2011.

Sometimes spring cleaning really is beneficial to us. My cash back money wasn't a lot but it's now safely tucked away in my paypal account. Just in case you used the bing cash back program and haven't requested your payout - hop on over and take care of that before you lose your money.

So, how is your Spring Cleaning going? Have you found anything surprising along the way?

Baby Bargain Monday

Every Monday Amazon has super-duper bargains on baby items. You can find savings on car seats, strollers, baby monitors, diapers, wipes, etc. And don't forget to join Amazon Mom and get 30% off diapers and wipes when you use subscribe and save. 

Dr. Seuss Day

This is one of my favorite holidays - after Christmas, Easter and my birthday. Dr. Seuss's Birthday is celebration of reading and a good reminder of things we learned as kids.

There are lots of great activites on the NEA Read Across America's website. I know that schools like to incorporate the event into the day, too. I used to volunteer at several school and always went to read to classes on Dr. Seuss Day. At Comfort and Joy's schools they'll be having Green Eggs and Ham during breakfast.

Another way we use the Dr. Seuss books at our house is by reminding the kidlets to try new things. Reminders to not be a 'Sam I Am' often get them to try new foods. So, take a moment to wish Dr. Seuss a Happy Birthday today and read a book to someone in celebration. As a bonus, try a food that you might not normally eat. These are all Cool Ideas!