Category Archives: HOME

Topics of interest for running a household, homemakers, householders, full-time, part-time, SAHM, SAHD

Groceries delivered

Here are some of the ways I’ve  been trying getting groceries delivered to my house:

use the links or codes to say thank you to me for this blog and give me a bonus.

  • – My sister will get some cash back. Why sign up?
  • Instacart  or use referral code: RERNST6121  I will get $10.
  • Frontier Co-op.  Free Shipping only with $250 order, but what I do is order a couple of times per year and stock up on some basics. The prices really are the best you can get, rivaled only by
  • with my Prime Membership – I use this when the other sources don’t have what I need.

In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area: 

  • Urban Tails pet supply delivery. The best quality foods.  I use frozen, raw dog food chunks.  Northwest Naturals and there’s another brand that is even better AND cheaper–I ask for the 10 lb. bag of Turkducken.  Go into the shop first and get set up. There are deals to be had with their frequent buyer programs – get the 12th bag free and such.


Orthodontic – What Every Parent Should Know

Meredith Damon braces on upper 2/6/17

  1. Damon Braces are the way to go!  Get at least one evaluation with a Damon orthodontic specialist! This especially important in a crowding situation as early as possible, hopefully before age 7.
  2. Othodontists all give free evaluations up to the point where they would create a treatment plan and begin treatment.  So, it’s really worth it to visit more than one orthodontist and get multiple opinions.
  3. It’s one of my missions in life that parents of young children all take their child at around age 6-1/2 to a free evaluation with a Damon braces orthodontist for FREE evaluation.  There are easily problems that parents don’t know about.(1)
  4. Parents of young children, watch your child closely for mouth-breathing, daytime and nighttime. If a child does mouth breath, especially if there are any kind of breathing problem in sinuses (like allergies), please watch closely. Mouth breathing needs to be treated. If the tongue is not in the correct position (impossible in mouth breathing) the light, constant pressure of the tongue on the palate will not allow for correct growth and development!
  5. Early assessment allows for proper timing of treatment. You cannot go backward in time, but you can always wait for the right developmental time.

Questions?  Please Reply below.

(1) I have 2 kids. Their mouths were both somewhat crowded. I had one treated with the conventional practices, non-Damon. I’m kicking myself for that one. The younger kid is in Damon Braces now. She had a problem only detectable on x-ray (and we also had a 3-D scan for $250 in order to determine if further action was required, other than waiting 6 months. The 3-D scan would help determine if the adult tooth root was being eroded by the other adult teeth that were out of alignment deep in the gum. This particular problem affects about 3% of the population. Without the Panoramic X-Ray (Panex, Pan-X) we wouldn’t have known or suspected (except that she was slow to loose some baby teeth, but not really unusually so–damage could have been done before we would have become adequately suspicious. It really does pay to visit the orthodontist for free, have your child monitored about every 6 months between ages 7-9, so you can catch these problems.

Cleaning tips & Textile (cloth) recycling

Rags can be a primary cleaning tool that people often overlook.  The way a rag or brush performs is important to how easy and fast it is to clean your house.  Here are some ways that I use rags.  Are you surprised that I am somewhat picky about this?  Continue reading

My Standing Desk

I needed a semi-temporary solution for a standing desk.

IMG_1702Why? To get my tablet off the dining room table to a safer home.  Associated papers and mess would get organized in the new standing desk area.  I could then always take the tablet back to the table in order to sit, but bring the tablet back to it’s home at the standing desk.

After deliberation, some internet research, shopping at IKEA, and looking at my home and existing materials, here is what I camp up with.  I utilized IKEA for this one! Continue reading

OFFICE ORG: document storage & filing

Here’s one way that I began filing some of our paper crap a couple of years ago. Document boxes like the Bigso Oskar from Amazon.

I have 5 of them now. They represent categories of paper filing which I need to stash things regularly.

The first four boxes relate to taxes, and at the end of year will all go into the year’s tax file in the filing cabinet.  One big fat file annually. But, in the current year, I keep these things as separate categories, one box per category: Continue reading

“I can’t remember to take my multi-vitamin!”

A friend of ours commented on my supplement routine.  She said, “I can’t remember to take my multi-vitamin!”

I can almost understand what you are saying, LOL!  But, seriously, as I contemplate this problem (maybe it’s not a problem for other people, but for me it would be, since my body quite clearly does need a multi-vitamin), some practical solutions come to mind.  After all, that’s probably why you read my blog at all.  All 17 of you.  So, here’s another peek into the brain of Rachel. Continue reading

Life Upgrade: 5 Before 11

See my review on

See my review on

Here’s a tip worth at least $400,000, on how to be more productive.  This article is a quick read and distills down one of the core concepts from one of my favorite books, The 7 Minute Solution: Creating a Life with Meaning 7 Minutes at a Time by Allyson Lewis, about working effectively, on what matters most. Continue reading

Where to shop for groceries

In this post, I will boil down my years of honing my shopping strategies for groceries, including food, pantry and cleaning products, and health and body products.

Where to purchase groceries is an individual decision based on budget, quality & types, breadth of selection/stock, timing, and convenience/location. But, among my friends and family, most people are making similar kinds of choices. So, there are some assumptions to be made that might apply to most of us. Continue reading

Are you a filer or a piler?

The Great Purge of 2016 is under way.

If there were a facebook post on this, it would read:

"There are so many things that do not give me Joy."

“There are so many things that do not give me Joy.”

And, so, this link to an ever-so-helpful article comes to you FYI from, curated from the annals of Houzz:

I taste notes of Gretchen Rubin and just hints of the system (using document boxes) that I started to develop (and have been waylaid). I will tame this Tiger soon!  Tiger, thy stripes do not confuse me!

I am not busy.

I am not busy.

Or, at least I am thinking hard about how not to be busy. And, I have to say, I am starting to get there.

“Isn’t ‘Lazy’ a negative connotation? Do you want your blog to be associated with ‘lazy’?”

Well, I think most of us are either workaholics or driven extrinsically to do too much. But, I’ll just speak for myself here. I’m both. So, when trying to be as Lazy as possible, it all works out in the end. I’m still doing stuff. I hardly ever get to eat bon bons. I rarely watch television of any kind.

That’s fine. What I’m shooting for is a lot more:

  • sleep
  • reading
  • sitting (alone or near someone I like cuddling with)
  • gentle exercises I learn in physical therapy
  • walking outdoors

Get inspired by this quick blog post from the Marriage Geek family therapist:

Make your game a winnable game. Set the bar “lower.”

P.S. Do I wonder what would happen if everyone became so low-key, lazy, and less “productive”? Yep. But, let’s not argue about whether this is for everyone. This is for parents and caretakers, especially the person most responsible for taking care of children and elderly. Because if you are, then you are already doing [one of] the most important jobs in the world. I’m not going to worry about whether the world will come to an end if I sit down. I think I’ll notice it before it gets that bad. For now, I’m calming the world down one person at a time, starting with myself, and osmotically, the other 3 people I live with.