Grocery Outlet hits El Cajon

The Gemini Mama Grocery Outlet El Cajon


Did you know that Saturday The Grocery Outlet had their grand opening in El Cajon CA? Well the kids, daddy, and I packed up to go check it out. I had never been to, or even heard about Grocery Outlet so when I was invited to shop their store I was very intrigued. Their grand opening event turned out to be an exciting time.


Grocery Outlet now in El Cajon!


Before we made it into the store the kids were having a great time. They got to do crafts! An exciting note for all the parents close to the El Cajon CA store, they will have a kids craft table every month on the last Saturday. That is definitely one way to get the kids excited to go grocery shopping with you.



The kids also met Lois Prices, and had their faces painted.



So what did I think?


I was very impressed at how clean and neat the store was. I was easily able to find things that I was looking for. I was surprised to find that there was a refrigerator and freezer section, as well as produce, meat, and cheese. When I think bargain that is not what fills my mind. The prices were easy to locate, and clear. No questions or confusion.


I was also floored at how many organic items I found there! I can not say that they hunt down deals on organic products, but it sure seems like it. They also have them labeled differently so they are easy to spot.

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I really want you to take a good look at the items in this picture. Maybe take a minute to spot an item that you get every week. Then think about what you pay for it.


Got it? Good let’s move on.



Their prices are amazing!


That is really the bottom line isn’t it? How much will you pay, or save at check out?


The Justin’s peanut butter for only $2.99 is a steal, and Aveeno baby sunblock at $8.99 for a two pack is crazy!


I was genuinely surprised by the prices I found while shopping there. I got much more than I expected, and I even splurged on some things that we would not normally buy, simply because at those prices I could.


What should you know?


  • All Grocery Outlet’s are owner operated, and they buy with cash. That mean’s you get the best possible prices, no built in fees from using credit lines.
  • Products on the shelves are from buy outs. That means that you might not find the same item there, tomorrow so get it today! It also means that same items could be sold at a different prices at a later time, from a different buy.
  • Buy outs are for various reasons. Some of those could be; overproduction, package or label change, too short an expiration for grocery stores (1 year or less).
  • Their price labels list the prices “Elsewhere,” ….. think Target or other national retailers, for comparison.


How can you make Grocery Outlet work for you?


Take you list and start there! They have a great selection of various items, but often change. If you start your shopping here you can take advantage of the great deals as they fit your shopping list.

Don’t marry yourself to a brand. It will be easy for you to shop from your list if you are general in what you are shopping for. Think “crackers” not “Wheat Thins.” Not to say that you will never find the brand you love, you will just be more successful if you are flexible.


Now don’t be sad if you missed out on the grand opening celebration. All month long you can enter to win some grand prizes. My favorite, a year of groceries. Then on Saturday May 24th they will have the grand prize giveaway! Compete with coffee, and treats, wheel of bargains, and magic cart. At noon they will announce the grand prize winners.


Still curious? Feel free to view Grocery Outlet El Cajon’s website here or keep up to date with events and info on their Facebook page. 



Take a peek at what I got.


Annie’s bunny crackers variety pack

Cascade Farms peanut butter bars

Seattles Best K-cups House blend

Tom’s of Maine mouthwash

EO Shower Gel

Tom’s of Maine deodorant

Tarkettle Road Zinfandel

2 bags of Vegan Carob Chips

Oneida Jumbo muffin pan

Lil Critters Gummy Vitamins


Now let’s have a little fun.

Take a guess at how much I spent at check out! Let’s see who can come the closest!


Disclosure I received a gift card to facilitate my review, no other compensation was received. As usual, all opinions expressed are my own.

Glow Bug Cloth Diaper Review&Giveaway 5/1 US and Can

The Gemini mamaGlow Bug Diaper review


In the spirit of our cloth diaper series, I took the chance to work with Glow Bug Diapers to bring you this diaper review.


Glow Bug Cloth Diapers


Let me start by saying this is the most adjustable diaper we have ever tried. Most cloth diapers that intend to take you from newborn to toddler (7-35lbs) only have three rows of snaps adjustments, but Glow Bug Diapers have four. That would have come in very handy when K2 was newborn. He had that tiniest legs and everything leaked out all the time, because nothing would adjust small enough. These would be great for all those kiddos that seem like they are an “in between” size in diapers.


They also have crossover snaps to adjust to an even smaller waist size. There are also snaps on the wings, so that they do not droop or slide while in use.



Next what struck me was the inside 360 gusset. This is genius! Made to prevent leaking and those horrible, up the back, blowouts. I love this, and have never seen anything like it on another diaper. This is great because some materials absorb less quickly than others (think bamboo), this 360 gusset would give extra time for absorption.


There are also waterproof flaps at the front and back of the diaper, which help to prevent moisture wicking through to your child’s clothing.



Instead of having a pocket, this diaper is open on both ends. That means that you don’t have to sick your hands into a scary messy pocket to remove an insert. Yay! The insert can just stay in place for washing, if that’s what you want to do.


There is also another view of one of the water proof flaps. It folded right over the insert easily, and worked well.



The front of the sleeve has a snap to help your insert stay in place. This is great for pre-stuffing your diapers, or wiggly babies. It also means that I rate this diaper babysitter, grandparent, and day care friendly. The less complicated your diapers are, the easier it is for others to use them without a cloth diaper 101 class. That can be an important consideration if others will be helping in the care of your children. Lets be serious, every mama, and daddy, deserves a break at some point.





The diaper that I received came with one insert which worked out perfectly for daytime needs. I also could easily add an insert for additional absorption, if needed. No an additional insert would not snap in place, it would lay on top of the included insert, by would easily stay in place.



If you were thought that they would do without leg gussets because of the 360 gusset inside you were wrong. They really have gone to great lengths to ensure there will not be any leaking. That is a great thing pregnant friends, trust me.



On my live model, they fit really well.



No pinching or pulling and a really trim fit. Some cloth diapers can be bulky and hard to fit pants over them. That is not an issue with this diaper.



This diaper has held up to all the crazy that this guy has to offer.


Over all, I know these are very functional diapers, but my favorite thing about them is that they are so stinking cute! They select great prints, and fun colors and styles. These gears are perfect for my little guy, he was enamored with his new diaper. Most of his diapers are hand-me-downs from sister, so this was fun for him.


The Gemini Mama cloth diaper series


Are you in love and now you …


Want them?


Feel free to check out Glow Bug Diapers shop.They offer very affordable packages!


Now here is the exciting part. Glow Bug Cloth Diapers has agreed to send one boy, girl, or gender neutral diaper to one winner! That means one of you!


If you would like to win a Glow Bug cloth diaper please enter with the Giveaway Tool below! This giveaway is open to all US and Canada (void in Quebec) residents, ages 18 and older. Canadian residents must answer the skill question on the Giveaway Tools form in order to participate. The giveaway will run from April 17, 2014 through May 1, 2014 at 11:59 PM PST. Entries will be verified. Winner will be notified via email, and will have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize or another winner will be selected.


Gwen from The Gemini Mama received a diaper cover and insert from Glow Bug Cloth Diapers to facilitate her review, no other compensation was received.  The Gemini Mama is not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is in no way associated with social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Cloth Diaper Apartment Washing

The Gemini Mama cloth diaper series

This post is a part of the cloth diaper series that I have created in an effort to generate awareness for cloth diapering today.


For a large group of parents it is hard to say “yes” to cloth because of the necessary laundering. Lot’s of apartments do not have washers and dryers in the unit, which leaves you heading to a laundry mat, or on site facility. All those people telling you to do extra rinse this, and soak that, leave you scratching your head. Your likely thinking that they all own their own home, and don’t go to a laundry facility. You could be right, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cloth diaper. It also doesn’t mean you have to turn your bathroom into a washing station either.


A few things that you should know before I get started on easy apartment washing. We chose to use prefolds as our diaper style of choice. They are affordable, and easy to clean. Prefolds also happen to be made from natural fibers like cotton, bamboo, and hemp so they tend to not hold onto anything and wash clean. Synthetic fibers like microfiber my not be as easy to clean and it is possible that these washing instructions might need to be modified some to suit your diapers. We did have a few pocket diapers and a few all in ones in our stash, but there were either overnight or on the go diapers, not all day use. I did not have a problem with those diapers coming clean.


How to wash cloth diapers in a laundry mat


Living on the second floor in an apartment complex with a new baby meant that I had to carry her up and down the stairs in addition to everything else to do laundry. We kept our dirty diapers in a wet bag, and never used a wet pail. I am very thankful for this now, because I would never have been able to carry that up and down stairs to do laundry. Just something you might want to consider.


This is very simple you might be surprised. These instructions are for top load washing machines only.


  • Load all dirty diapers into the washer
  • Do one large cold water wash with no detergent
  • After wash is complete do a second wash with hot water and use 1/4 amount of detergent for large load
  • Remove clean diapers from the washer
  • Dry diapers


Seriously that is it. That is all I did for 15 months while living in an apartment where I used a laundry facility. I had to put quarters into a machine and all.


A few notes, if your laundry mat is fancy and you have the option you can choose hot wash/cold rinse for your second wash. My facility did not have that option, so don’t worry.


About drying. Our apartment had a 5’x5′ sunroom where we stuffed everything we weren’t using, from bikes to snorkel equipment. When a diaper looked “stained” after washing I would hang it from something in that room so that it could “sun” which bleaches out the stains. I bought a rack like this Folding Clothes Drying Rack, White after we moved, and I wish I had it sooner. It is compact enough that it would have fit out on our door step, and holds a full load of diapers for one child. I would have saved a lot of dollars spent on dryer diapers if I had this sooner.


You can put prefold diapers into the dryer. Actually sometimes I prefer the way they come out of the diaper because they are softer and fluffier. When you hang them to dry they are a bit crunchier, but this makes them easier to fold. Anyhow, when I used the laundry facility dryer I found that it took about two cycles for the prefold to be fully dry. I always hung up my covers to dry. The PUL of your covers does not want to go into the dryer as often as your prefolds, just an FYI.


Lastly, I am not an expert. This is what I did and what worked for me. You can always check with a Real Diaper Circle near you to see what their recommended washing instructions are. Also water is different from location to location, so what works here might not work there. Keep that in mind as you are reading suggestions from different people around the web.


Do you have experience washing diapers in a laundry mat? Did it work out well for you, or were there challenges? 

Insta Friday

Because it’s still Friday, and why not?


If you want to follow along in real time I’m GT4936 on instagram. instafriday


Apparently I couldn’t even fake a smile or silly face for this. Not sure what was happening there, but reading and the vertical bike at the gym go together like Monday’s and coffee. This book was shared with me by my yoga teacher because I was asking questions. I am not sure that it answered any of the questions I had, but it was a good story about finding ones self, and I enjoyed it.

St. Patrick’s parade day in San Diego. We enjoyed ourselves. Not enough green tho. I think we missed a few spots.



Not staged, real life reaction when she discovered that we did not, in fact, capture a leprechaun. I know that lot’s of people do not have a leprechaun that visits their house, but you should. Of all the holiday shenanigans that go on throughout the year the leprechaun comes up more than any other. Sure all kids love presents, but Santa doesn’t hide them, and there are no games that make you think you might find him. I dunno, something about that little green guy really get my daughter going. She even remembered that he “pooped” in our potty last year. She isn’t even 4 yet.



Of all the coffee breaks I have taken my children’s lives, we have never had a snack together in a coffee shop. $10 on my Starbucks card made, and a long line at the drive thru made it happen. The kids were pretty well behaved and quiet for a 2 and 3 year old. I had coffee, they had water, and snacks. It was nice. I kind of felt like we were hanging out together. I will definitely do this again.



Yoga. Me. Pretty much every day. I have never, NEVER, been so aware of my body. I wish someone taught me yoga a long time ago. I would have been a better gymnast. Regardless, it is helping me to become a better me. I don’t feel quite as light on my feet as I did in my youth, but I am definitely getting there. After this photo was taken I decided to do a back handspring for the first time since having my ACL repaired. It felt good. A mom friend posted a message that day that said “Do something your scared of everyday.” That was my thing, for that day. Now to find something for tomorrow.



He woke up from his nap before I had escaped the room. When he saw that I was still there he got out of bed and laid down next to me. By next to me, I mean on my arm. Scarlet, my dog, took that as her sign to lay right behind me. Snug as a bug, I was going no where. Who am I kidding, I didn’t want to! All too soon there will be no more snuggles from my two mini’s.



I totally forgot that this book was coming to me, and it arrived just in time! I had just returned book the day before and had nothing to read. I’ll let you know how it goes.



When your home, and Wednesday actually feels like hump day, what do you do? Me? I make it sweeter! These were vegan brownie bites. Were because they are all gone now, naturally.



And when your beach day plans get ruined by both rain and vomit, you color with the kids. It just seemed like the best thing to do at the time.


What were you up to?


Buttons Cloth Diaper Giveaway Ends 4/10

Buttons Cloth Diaper Giveaway


Sponsored by Buttons Cloth Diapers

Hosted by The Gemini Mama


The Gemini Mama Buttons Cloth diaper giveaway


If you or someone you know is considering cloth diapering, or they are already using cloth diapers this is a perfect giveaway for you! Buttons cloth diaper covers are both durable and affordable. Made from bright and bold colors, in Northwest Washington. With easy to use snap closures and absorbent inserts, these diapers are great whole diaper solution. With a weight range from 9-35 pounds they can take you from birth to potty learning. These diapers would make a great gift for a new mom or dad to be. Gwen from The Gemini Mama had a chance to review a buttons diaper and it look like they put it to the test!


Buttons cloth diapers will be giving away one diaper cover in the winners choice of color and two inserts!


If you would like to win a Buttons diaper please enter with the Giveaway Tool below! This giveaway is open to all US and Canada (void in Quebec) residents, ages 18 and older. Canadian residents must answer the skill question on the Giveaway Tools form in order to participate. The giveaway will run from March 27, 2014 through April 10, 2014 at 11:59 PM PST. Entries will be verified. Winner will be notified via email, and will have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize or another winner will be selected.


Good luck!


Gwen from The Gemini Mama received a diaper cover and two inserts from Buttons Diapers to facilitate her review, no other compensation was received.  The Gemini Mama and all participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is in no way associated with social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Buttons Cloth Diaper Review Buttons cloth diaper review


When you are first considering cloth diapering the available choices are overwhelming. There are several different basic styles and even more manufacturers to choose from. With this in mind I contacted Buttons cloth diapers to work together and bring this review to you today.


The Gemini Mama cloth diaper series

Buttons cloth diapers were created at home, by a husband and wife team, and are based in Northwest Washington. I received a one size diaper cover in apple. The diaper fits approximately any baby from 9-35 lbs. K2 is on the higher end of this and it fits him great! Buttons diaper review


It’s hard to get this guy to sit still.


The cover is very durable. It is thicker than the other covers we have at home. Because it felt so thick I tried it as an overnight diaper for the first time using it. Both of my children were super soakers when it came to night time diapering. Even before I switched to cloth, disposable diapers weren’t enough. We have gone through several different night time diapering solutions for both of my children. This being said, using this diaper as an overnight for the first try, was a huge test.


Well, it passed! The cover is very thick and durable as I mentioned. Paired with one large day time insert and one large night time doubler it worked great as an overnight. The nighttime doubler has 6 layers of microfiber, and the daytime insert has 4 layers of microfiber and soft fleece on top, which wicks away moisture. This also is the easiest night time solution that we have used.


My diaper arrived packaged beautifully. I completely understand why other mom’s get excited for their “fluff” to arrive. Look at that!



The inserts were very easy to prep. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the washing instructions are the same as our routine already. We use mostly prefolds, so I expected these diapers to have a more challenging wash routine.



If you have ever used a cloth diapers then you already know that most of the time snaps are better, and easier to use. If you have yet to diaper, just go with the snaps. I actually had all my hook and loop (velcro) diaper covers converted to snaps just before K2 arrived because they were more convenient.


With lot’s of snaps this cover will fit almost any baby, and they are easy to use.



The daytime insert has a fleece liner which will wick away moisture and baby will feel dry.


Double side gussets leave lots of room for leg movement with out a mess. K2 has no problems running, jumping, and playing in this diaper. Also, no leaking. None. Not one little bit. That is an important feature. Now that he is on the higher end of the weight scale I am finding that a few of our covers, aren’t covering it (haha).


Another fancy thing worth mentioning, the inserts snap in place.


They also snap together if you are doubling up.



For a long time I suggested that parents considering cloth keep a few All-in-ones on hand for those times, although few and far between, that you sneak out of the house. AIO’s are easier for people who do not diaper on the regular to figure out. They also go on and off exactly like a disposable diaper.


Well snap this baby together and it is just as easy to put on and take off! How great is that?



That means that you can wash your diapers and snap them together so that they are ready for you. On the changing table, or in the diaper bag. I would also imagine that care takers (such as day care) would be willing to work with these because they can be put together and ready to go.


You could also choose to put them together as you go. There aren’t rules to cloth diapering, which is great. That being said I will add that I have also used this cover with one of my “baby” sized prefolds, and it works just as well. The prefold is just slightly larger than the inserts, and fits into the cover great.


My little mover and shaker was difficult to capture on camera, but here is a shot of the back, so you can see the great fit.




  • thick cover
  • snap closures
  • inserts snap together and in place
  • diapers can be “ready to go”
  • super absorbent inserts
  • fun colors!
  • affordable


My Thoughts


Buttons diaper covers and inserts are very reasonably priced for the quality you are receiving. That makes them accessible to all parents considering cloth. With inserts that snap in place, and snap closures these diapers can be your whole diapering system. They are easy to use for parents, grandparents, and caregivers. Adding in that these diapers are extremely easy to clean and maintain they are a great choice for anyone considering cloth!


Check back tomorrow for a chance to win one of your own!



Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag Review + Giveaway 3/20-4/3 US and Canada

The Gemini Mama cloth diaper series

This next post in our series is relevant to both individuals who use, or plan to use cloth diapers, and basically EVERYONE else. Seriously, even if you do not have children in your life you could one of these.

The Gemini Mama Planet Wise Review

When you choose to cloth diaper there are a few things that you need to have beyond the diapers themselves.


A place to store the dirty diapers while you are home pretty much tops the list. The second non diaper item you need is a place to store dirty diapers when you are out and about.


Planet Wise is a well known name in the cloth diapering world. They are known for having great quality wet bags. Naturally I wanted to include them in our cloth diaper series, so I agreed to review a wet bag from them so together we could see what makes their products so great.


When I received this wet/dry bag to try out I didn’t realize so a thing was out there. The wet/dry bag idea is genius, and a whole lotta awesome!

At 12.5″ x 15.5″ in size it is large. Which makes it more versatile than a smaller bag might be.



Truly the is great. One thing that has been frustrating for us cloth diapering on the go, is a wet bag that doesn’t fit more than one or two diapers. Those of you with newborns know how unrealistic that is for an outing of more than two hours. When they aren’t newborns anymore the diapers are bigger. You can see the problem with a bag that is too small. This size we have easily fit 3 dirty diapers into with room for more.


So what makes this wet/dry, and stand out from other wet bags? There are two pockets! One “wet” pocket, which is waterproof (shown above). Then the second pocket is a dry pocket. It is slightly smaller and located on the side of the bag.

The Gemini Mama Planet wise review

I easily fit three diapers, (two prefolds, one all-in-one) a cover or two, one package of wipes, and a few dry cloth wipes into this dry pocket. Honestly I could fit more.


As you can see it closes easily! What is great if you choose to partner this bag with your cloth diapering is that everything is all in one place. The last three years we have had clean diapers in the backpack, and a separate wet bag for dirty ones. I love the idea of keeping everything together, no hunting while baby is squirmy.


You know what else is great about this? Swim days! Where do you put your wet bathing suits that you aren’t going to ride home in? Hello wet/dry bag! You can fit a change of clothes in the dry pocket, and when you are all done swimming place your wet garments into the wet pocket. Easy peasy. Also since this bag is machine washable you can throw everything in the wash together when you get home.


I will be getting one of these for each child. They have lot’s of great prints so each can choose their own, and they can carry their own stuff to the pool while we’re are at it.


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The last important feature you should be aware of, the snap loop. When you are dealing with a dirty diaper you don’t want to struggle with anything. I love that this bag has a loop that can be snapped anywhere. On my bag, as you see in the above image, or onto a stroller handle.


In love with the Planet Wise Wet/Dry bag?


Planet Wise will be giving one winner their choice of one Wet/Dry bag!


If you would like to win a Wet/Dry bag please enter with the Giveaway Tool below! This giveaway is open to all US and Canada (void in Quebec) residents, ages 18 and older. Canadian residents must answer the skill question on the Giveaway Tools form in order to participate. The giveaway will run from March 20, 2014 through April 3, 2014 at 11:59 PM PST.  Entries will be verified.  Winner will be notified via email, and will have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize or another winner will be selected.


Don’t want to wait?


You can shop Planet Wise today.


Good luck!


Gwen from The Gemini Mama received a wet/dry bag from Planet Wise to facilitate her review, no other compensation was received. The Gemini Mama, and all participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment.  This giveaway is in no way associated with social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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