5 Under $5

April 5, 2011

This is 2011 people — the dollar store is selling you poisonous toothpaste from China…allegedly! So I say give up the dollar dream…but under $5, there are good things to be had. So this starts a new semi-recurring post, 5 things that can enhance your life, each under 5 bucks. (And if anyone has anything to recommend, send them in under the comments or to familyfavs@yahoo.com!)

Egg Separator — I like egg white omelettes, and I find myself constantly having the yolk slip in or I’m fishing bits of shell out of the bowl. So for $1.99, I got myself an egg separator from Bed, Bath and Beyond. It hooks onto the side of the bowl and does the work for you. Just crack the egg in and only the whites slip out to the bowl below. Genius!

Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap — A bar of this in the shower does a body good because it’s all natural, AND it has a nice zing that wakes you up when you hit the sudsing part. Cleans without feeling too harsh, too. About $3 a bar — I get it at Whole Body.

Union Square Greenmarket Pies — There are a few different vendors that have delicious pies, and their small $3 ones are great. They allow you to try a bunch of different ones, and no one has to agree on just one kind of pie they want! As they say, variety really is the spice of life. I let my kids pick their own flavors and then they get to share — this weekend it was apple, pumpkin and a pecan for their dad. (For those of you not in the NYC area, check out a Farmer’s Market near you.)

Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser — It has been recommended on this site before, but it really takes the cake for getting stuff off your walls. Crayon, pen, grubby finger prints be gone! For about $4 you’ll have the power in your hands.

Starbucks Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte — It’s coming close to the $5 limit in Times Square ($4.45), but it squeaks under. No matter where you are, you can find a Starbucks, which means that no matter where you are, you can find a latte that tastes great, gives you a nice afternoon pick me up and satisfies your sweet craving all in one. I get mine decaf, but at only 130 calories, it’s still a nice treat.

There you have it. So in this installment, for about $17, life will be looking good! Try it all out and tell me what you think.

Really GOOD

I have been working so much lately that I haven’t felt like I’ve spoken to my husband in depth about much of anything. So we headed out for an early dinner to catch up. We went to Good on Greenwich Avenue, which has a great special between 6pm and 7pm every night: Any two courses are $24, three are $29. And they really mean any. So you can choose an appetizer from salads or mussels or flatbread pizza; entrees like scallops, fish tacos or pulled pork, and desserts including chocolate chip banana bread pudding or fresh donuts. It’s a great deal and the food is very good — it got surprisingly crowded that early, so I would make a reservation.

We Don’t Have a Winner

Our son signed up for Little League this year for the first time, and we were surprised when the rules came that THEY DON’T KEEP SCORE. It’s a game! People win and people lose — that is life. When we told my son, even he threw up his hands in the universal “WTF?” sign. I get that we want the kids to learn and the emphasis shouldn’t just be on winning, but I also think that by taking any sort of competition out of the game, whose ultimate purpose is really to have a winning side and a losing side, you’re setting these kids up for a lifetime of unreasonable expectations. I want my son to know that sometimes he will lose. I also want him to feel the burst of joy that comes with a win. But to have every game end with just a shrug and a handshake seems to me to be shortchanging every kid out on the field.


Every time it seems spring is on the way, rain comes along to dampen everyone’s spirits. I would like just a plain old delicious 70 and sunny day. No wind, no rain. Just calmness.

I saw Charlie Sheen bombed this weekend at his show in Detroit. Is anyone surprised? I’m not really sure who would buy tickets to that. Not exactly clear on what performance he’s capable of giving.

I took a nap on Saturday, late afternoon, and it was just what I needed. If you’re feeling low energy and have had trouble sleeping, I recommend a nap, pronto. It made me feel like I could function again.

Hope your Monday was bearable!


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