Monday, January 7, 2008


Some things definitely improve with time. I don't know how many of you have enjoyed a bowl of alphabet soup lately, but I have! And let me tell you that the quality of the letter shaped pasta has improved dramatically. When I was a child I remember fishing out blobs of pasta and saying to myself, well, that could be a "W", or maybe an "X" - then again maybe it's an "H". It made spelling your name with your lunch kind of a challenge. Now the letters are big and distinct. And this was Great Value brand soup (you anti-Wal-Mart people might not know that's their store brand). I can only imagine the alphabetical delights that may await in a can of Campbell's soup. (I say this even though I'm pretty sure they would use the same pasta. I am convinced that store brands of most things come off the same lines as national brands and just get a different label. My mother strongly disagrees with this and says that all store brands contain national brand rejects and aren't fit for refined tables. Admittedly, some store brand items are distinctly different from their national brand counterparts. Cheetos, for one thing. Yogurt, for another. Creamed soups are never as good from anyone but Campbell's. I'm sure you can think of several more.)

On another note, here is a picture of what my children did while I was putting away a basket of laundry the other day.

They drew all over themselves with white board markers, and boy were they proud of it! We have a Christmas tradition that Tyler and I each make one gift for the children and give it to them on Christmas Eve (so as not to have all our hard work unceremoniously brushed aside in favor of the toys from the Jolly Old Elf). This year Tyler's gift to them was to put up these white boards in our game room for them to draw on. They each got a package of markers and their own erasure. I was so proud of the way they were following the rule to draw only on the designated board after an unfortunate carpet incident, and then this happens. Oh well. It took days and days to fade away. White board markers certainly aren't washable. At least, not from skin. I was just thankful they kept to areas of the body that are always covered up!


Laura said...

Let's just be grateful that they're not tatoos!

Oh...and about the store brands. I agree, that there are many things that are not as good (mayo is my #1) when it's the store brand. However, you are absolutely right about the label. My dad worked for Vons for years and he would pick up grocery items at the factories. These would be 3rd party factories that would make things for multiple companies and just change out the packaging. The one I actually witnessed for myself was a jam manufacturer. They made Vons brand, a brand called Tropical and Smucker's. It was the exact same mixture coming out of the pump, just into different jars with different labels...oh, and different price tags!

Liz said...

I knew there was a label/brand conspiracy! The nerve!!

Wendy, your kids were very smart to color their tummies so that their art project would remain hidden. Question: How did you find out? Did they just show you? Or did you see some signs and had them lift their shirts?

Gina said...

In my new adventures as a poor married gal, Chris has talked me into trying out generic brands. I was nervous at first, but I must admit, I'm giving in.

Target has a body wash that is so wonderful and smells so good.

Target also has an inexpensive peanut butter that rocks.

We (I) am learning and experimenting. :)

Rachel said...

I've started going to the cheap side and it feels (and tastes) just fine.

But what I'd really like to talk about is how CT's ears are glowing like an elf's. Does he have magical powers that you're not telling us about?

Amanda said...

A couple of generics that are NOT the real deal:
Kraft macaroni and cheese
Paper towels
Clorox wipes
It is sad that two of my items are cleaning items but I have been using an enormous amount of these two items with the new puppy!! How many rolls of paper towels do you think I go through a day? 2! Poop, pee, poop, pee! At least they don't throw up right?

Laura said...

Wow - this post has created quite a flurry of comments! I just want to say how much I agree with Amanda about mac and cheese and clorox wipes! I tried the generic clorox wipes and they practically disintegrated.

themayerfamily said...

ok, this may be a little different, but what do you all think about Costco brand. It is cheaper--I can't tell you how much I like their clorox wipes. However, Downy is one thing that I don't think should be substituted. It just doesn't smell or act the same. I guess I'll just keep to my formaldihyde.
And, Wendy, I hear you loud and clear about kids doing things when you are not looking. I think that they have a built in radar that when you think you're getting something accomplished, they set out to make more work for you. They are adorable though

Mendy said...

I love your musings on alphabet soup. Too funny! I know, some things I buy the generic and am totally pleased with my savings, but sometimes only the real brand will do!

I can't believe your kids and the dry erase markers. Those things don't come out of anything. They are a nightmare. I am wondering if you snipped the soiled fibers from your carpet like you used to do with nail polish. I confess I used your trick just last week with a bit of raspberry jam on the rug :)