August 31, 2015

3 Reasons Why You Should Shop at Aldi

3-Reasons-to-Shop-at-Aldi

Up until recently, the only reason I went into Aldi was for their sales on produce. I never shopped anything else because, I, like a lot of people, have always been a little leery of off brands when it comes to food. It wasn't until I started couponing that I started opening up to the idea of using off brands and now that we are living on one income and trying to stick to a budget, I have become even more open to using off brands.

One day I decided to peruse through the aisles to check out their other products and since that day I've been doing the bulk of my shopping at Aldi.

Here are three reasons why I think you should shop at Aldi:

1. Their products are the same if not better than the brand names.

I've been shopping at Aldi for about 2 months now and have developed a love of some of the "off brand" items. Not only do they taste the same or very similar but they are just a fraction of the cost of the brand name!

One thing I have noticed about their products is that they seem to have far less ingredients (i.e. preservatives) than the brand name products. For example, the Clancy's brand chips. We are a chips and dip eating family, specifically cheese queso. Now, I have always been a Tostitos snob. Nothing ever really compares to my beloved Tostitos but when I started buying Aldi's Clancy's tortilla rounds, I was very impressed with the quality! I then decided to try their versions of Cheetos, Cool Ranch and Cheese Doritos and was just as impressed. Did you know that MSG is listed as one of the ingredients in Doritios and Cheetos?!

Aldi also carries a lot of organic and gluten free products. I haven't tried any of the gluten free products but I hear they are pretty good.

2. Their prices can't be beat

Back to the chips. I can buy a bag of the "Doritos" for about 40% less than the brand name Doritos. Forty percent?! That's a lot of savings for something that tastes just as good!

Now let me throw in a little disclaimer here, a lot of what I buy at Aldi are things that I typically can't get coupons for or are usually cheaper than the brand names after coupons (which is a lot). Also, there are some items that are very close in price to the brand names so it's a good idea to be aware of what you pay for items at other grocery stores.

Here's another little price comparison for you… Right before I started shopping at Aldi, the girls were begging me for Graham crackers during a trip to Target. I gave in and grabbed a box of the Honey Maid Graham crackers that were "on sale" for $2.99. Later when I started shopping at Aldi I discovered they had graham crackers for $1.39!!!! If I gave you a blind taste test between the two brands you would. not. be able to tell a difference. Not. at. all.

3. They have a limited selection.

Ok, this sounds more like a negative but hear me out. If you, like me are on a budget and have a hard time staying in budget because….SQUIRREL! Then this is the place for you. The fact that they have a limited selection means that you won't end up with a bunch of the junk food needless items that often end up in your basket at bigger grocery stores and therefore are more likely to stay in budget.

Favorite-Aldi-Products

Here are some of the Aldi brand products that I purchase on a regular basis:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Heavy Cream
  • Sour Cream
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Shredded Cheese – doesn't seem like it's cheaper but they carry larger bags so if you break it down per ounce, it is indeed cheaper
  • Orange Juice - Tastes just like Simply Orange
  • Little Salad Bar Guacamole – tastes just like Wholly Guacamole
  • Tomato Sauce & Tomato Paste
  • Graham Crackers
  • Canned Beans
  • Canned Veggies
  • Lemonade Mix
  • Macaroni & Cheese – My girls can't tell the difference. Beware of the single servings though, they're not any cheaper than big box stores.
  • Chicken, beef & vegetable broth/stock
  • Salad Dressings – I've only tried an couple and they are good.
  • Frozen Vegetables
  • Vanilla Wafers – same story as the graham crackers
  • Instant Oatmeal – however I often also make my own.
  • Rice
  • Baking Goods (sugar, flour, baking soda, etc.)
  • Muffin mixes
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • KCups
  • Biscuits and Crescent Rolls
  • Sandwich bread, hamburger & hot dog buns
  • Spices

 

If you haven't taken the plunge and shopped at Aldi yet, and have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments or email me.

August 30, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 35

Weekly-Meal-Plan-#35

My grocery list is short again this week because I was able to carry over meals and shop from my pantry!

We start a busier schedule next week with speech and bible study 3 out of 5 mornings. With this new schedule there's no time to think about or fight with them over what to have for lunch so I went ahead and planned out lunches as well!

Sunday
Hot Dogs (Momma gets a mini staycation!)

Monday
Lunch:  PB&J / Cheese Crackers
Dinner:  BBQ Chicken Sandwiches / Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Tuesday
Lunch:  Mac N Cheese / Peas
Dinner:  Tacos / Chips & Queso

Wednesday
Lunch:  Chicken Deli Meat / Cheese / Crackers
Dinner:  Red Beans & Rice / Corn Bread

Thursday
Lunch:  Corn Dogs / Yogurt
Dinner:  Baked Chicken Nuggets / Mashed Potatoes / Corn

Friday
Lunch:  Chicken Nuggets / Peas
Dinner:  Homemade Pizza / Salad

Saturday
Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas / Beans & Rice

 

What have you cooked lately that's your favorite?

Design Style + Mix & Chic

In the last few years my design style has changed a bit. I went from country to rustic to now more of a transitional style. However, even though I classify myself as transitional, I still like to mix in other styles into my décor. I think it makes it feel more comfortable and inviting that way.

Recently, I was asked by Chairish to join in on their Mix n Chic Style Challenge. This challenge was to design a space of my choice that incorporated the Shabby Chic style. Since I am still trying to decide what to do with my master bedroom, I decided to create a look for a master suite.

When I start designing a space, Sometimes I start with one main piece of furniture and work from that and sometimes I pick a color palette first. This time I started with a color palette.

In my mind a master suite needs to be calming and comfortable. This rug gave me my color inspiration. I love how it has many of the neutral colors but then it has that pop of Blue to keep it from being to blah and boring. I used that blue as an accent color in my design.

Chairish Mix & Chic Design Challenge - Mixing Shabby Chic with other Styles

 

When designing a space, I think the best way to go about it is to chose things you love and not necessarily stick to a specific style. Having an eclectic, mix and match room filled with things that you love, in my opinion, is much better than a matchy match room that feels more like an exhibit that you don't want to be in. As you can see in my inspiration board, there are a few different styles represented.

Chairish Mix & Chic Style Challenge - Mixing Shabby Chic with other styles

The following Shabby Chic pieces are from Chairish:

Just Wait til You have Kids | Chairish Shabby Chic Mirror from Chairish

Geometric Gray Wooden Mirror

Just Wait til You have Kids | Lane Vintage Chest from Chairish

Lane Vintage Chest

Just Wait til You have Kids | Angelus Deanville Provincial Dresser from Chairish

Angelus Deanville Provincial Dresser

 

What do you think? Do you like to mix styles when you decorate or do you prefer a room that is all one style?

*Chairish.com makes it fun and easy for design lovers to buy and sell vintage furniture, decor, jewelry and accessories to one another. Our shop exclusively features curator-approved treasures in a full-service and trustworthy environment.

**I was asked by a representative of Chairish.com to join in this Mix & Chic Style challenge. I accepted the challenge in hopes to inspire my readers. This was not a compensated post.

August 23, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 34

I'm getting bored with these meal plan posts. Is anyone still reading them?

I think I'll finish the year and not post them next year.

No worries though, I'll still be posting my favorite recipes.

Weekly Meal Plan 34

Sunday
Chicken Burrito Bowls
(We had a birthday dinner on Friday that pushed our meal plan forward)

Monday
Tuna MacNCheese / Peas

Tuesday
Tacos / Rice & Beans

Wednesday
Leftovers or Sandwiches

Thursday
Hot Dogs / Chips

Friday
Pizza Pasta / Salad / Garlic Breadsticks

Saturday
Family Date Night

 

What's on your menu this week?

August 21, 2015

For Love of Navy + Decor

I have been seriously crushing on navy Décor lately. It all started with this picture…

 
                                                       Source

I originally pinned it for the plank wall but I really loved the navy wall above it. We plan to do a plank wall like this in our breakfast area but because the wall carries through the entire front area of our house, we can't really do the navy paint.

This next picture pretty much sealed the deal on my navy crush. When I saw it, I kicked myself for not doing a built-in china cabinet….and painting it navy. Oh. My. Word. This is gorgeous! Anyway, there will be a piece of navy furniture in my house in the very near future.


                                                       Source

When we were building our house I really wanted the island to be a fun color like turquoise but I got overruled by my other half. Maybe if I had suggested navy I could have won him over.

casual entertaining and living kitchen.
                                                      Source

I have a chest of drawers similar to this, maybe I'll paint it navy…..

Thomasville Stacked Hepplewhite Dresser in Navy WD-1
                                                       Source

I only have 2 tray ceilings and neither one is in my dining room but I am swooning over the navy ceiling in this dining room!

navy ceiling, navy dining room
                                                    Source

So what do you think? Could you get on board with Navy décor in your house?

*For more décor in navy, follow my "For the love of Navy" Pinterest Board!

August 19, 2015

Randoms + All About Shopping

I don't get out much to shop except for maybe Target and the grocery store. Occasionally, I'll drag my girls into HomeGoods, since it's by Target. They haven't quite gotten the shopping bug yet so dragging them in there is almost like torture for them. Thankfully, they have an aisle of toys that I can use to bribe them…"If you are good and let me shop, I'll let you look/play with the toys for a few minutes when I'm done." It almost always works.

Yesterday I was on the hunt for tote bags for the girls for school so of course we had to make some extra stops.

Candy Dishes

I found these cute candy dishes at Michael's. They were 60% off and being the party planner/party printable designer that I am, I HAD to buy them! Would you believe they are plastic? Also, that smaller cylinder shaped one is divided.

Just Wait til You have Kids | Fave Home Decor Finds

Lamps

I just can't keep from looking at lamps when I go to HomeGoods and Hobby Lobby. It never fails that I find one or two….or four that I want to bring home with me but if I did that, I'd have to open up a lighting store….or maybe a museum so I could keep them.

As I was perusing through Hobby Lobby (while one of my four year olds was yelling at me to focus and that we were there to find tote bags) these caught my eye. They would look great on a buffet in a dining room or on a dresser in a bedroom, don't you think?

Just Wait til You have Kids | Fave Home Decor Finds

Moving on to HomeGoods….I debated on getting this lamp for my craft room/newly turned office but I have another specific lamp in mind. I loved the rectangle shade!

Just Wait til You have Kids | Fave Home Decor Finds

This one stopped me in my tracks. I literally had to force myself to walk away from this lamp. With the grey ribbon trim, it would have looked great anywhere in my house!

Just Wait til You have Kids | Fave Home Decor Finds

Ok now this lamp base and shade from Target did come home with me. We moved a small cabinet into our family room and JMac thought it needed a lamp because that particular side of the room tends to be a little dark in the evening. We already have a wooden floor lamp so we thought a smaller version might help balance out the room.

Just Wait til You have Kids | Fave Home Decor Finds

Pillows

Back to HomeGoods, I was texting a friend who was also at HomeGoods (in another state…and by pure coincidence) and had found a banquette. I walked by these pillows and thought, "those would look great on her bench!" So I texted her a picture with a "you need these" message and she texted me back a picture of the same pillows with a message, "great minds think alike".

The color scheme matches my house perfectly as well. I'm thinking they might look good in my master suite if I can ever get it done.

Just Wait til You have Kids | Fave Home Decor Finds

Furniture

Last but not least, my most favorite finds this week were at HomeGoods. One I purchased and the other I only wished I could purchase.

I literally gasped when I spotted this nightstand/chest. It's exactly what I've been wanting for my master bedroom. I even posted a similar version on my Master Bedroom Design Board.

Just Wait til You have Kids | Fave Home Decor Finds

For the item I brought home, with JMac's help of course, was this media cabinet. Our old one was from the previous house and was banged up pretty good. It was also, in my opinion too short and bulky for the space. When we spotted this beauty as soon as we walked in the door, we knew we had to have it.

Just Wait til You have Kids | Fave Home Decor Finds

Now to fill up those empty shelves and get something on that empty wall.

August 17, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + 33

I'm a day late posting my meal plan. I spent the weekend cleaning up and organizing my craft room so I can have my own little space for blogging and working on things for embellish*ology.

Every one here is in recovery mode so meals have been tricky. Lots of soft foods for the girls and bland foods for JMac. The girls have started demanding meat so I'm back to actually fixing what is on our meal plan.

Weekly Meal Plan 33

Sunday:
Chicken Alfredo / Steamed Veggies

Monday:
Sloppy Joes / Sweet Potato Fries

Tuesday:
Leftovers

Wednesday:
Red Beans & Rice / Cornbread

Thursday:
Chicken & Veggie Bake

Friday:
Skillet Lasagna / Green Beans / Homemade Garlic Breadsticks

Saturday:
Chicken Burrito Bowls

What's on your menu this week?

August 13, 2015

Life Update

Since so much has been going on lately I thought I'd post an update on everything.

 

I'm So Tired

Y'all, I'm tired. I feel like I need several (one in every color) of the I'm So Tired t-shirts. I seriously don't know how I've made it through the past 3.5 months without getting sick or just completely crashing. Actually, I do…by the grace of God, lots of coffee and a hyperthyroid (which is being corrected now).

 

Weight Loss

Just-Wait-Life-Update_2

I've lost 15 pounds this summer. Partly due to all the stress and partly due to having a hyperthyroid. Now that the hyperthyroid is getting corrected, I'm going to have to fight to keep off the weight. I love where I'm at now, I'd just like to tone everything up. I know I've asked this here before but if you know of any good YouTube workout videos, please share them! I'm too cheap to buy any.

 

Bugged Out

I haven't posted much about this but we somehow acquired some very unwanted guests in our house earlier this summer. We discovered them on Father's Day and I am happy to report that we haven't seen any signs of them in a month! That was the most awful, mentally and physically exhausting time and we've seriously become quite paranoid about every dark speck that we find. Also, my house has never been more clean and I haven't been behind on laundry for quite some time (#brightside). I hope we NEVER have to go through that again!

 

Healing Hubby

Just-Wait-Life-Update_1

I don't know what we were thinking scheduling procedures/surgeries for JMac and TnT in the same week. JMac's recovery was supposed to be fairly quick but instead we ended up in the ER and he's been having trouble ever since. I feel so bad for him and wish there was something I could do to get him back to the normal he so wants to be. Bless his heart, he powered through the girls' surgeries on Monday and went back to work today. We are hoping soon he will be feeling himself again.

 

Profoundly Large

Just-Wait-TnT-Ice-Cream

The ENT who took out the girls' tonsils and adenoids said that their adenoids were "profoundly large" No wonder one snored worse than her daddy and the other was constantly sick! They seem to be doing well. Today was day 3 and I've been told 3-5 days out they start having pain again so I'm somewhat prepared if/when it happens.

 

Pre-K

Next week the girls start Pre-k and I can't believe it's already here! I bought their school supplies last week. I wanted so badly to buy them each a cute backpack but at their school the pre-k and kindergarteners don't get to have backpacks. ::Sad face::

I think they are pretty excited. They're excited about making "lots of new fwends". We'll see how excited they are on the first day. I have a feeling some shyness is going to come out.

 

embellish*ology

Just-Wait-Creative-Office

Amongst the chaos I've still been working on orders. It's been nice having something creative to work on as it's a good stress reliever for me. It also inspires me to come up with new designs/themes of printables for the shop.

Since we aren't homeschooling this year, I have plans to transform the craft/homeschool room into my office for embellish*ology and Just Wait. I have lots of plans/goals/dreams for my shop and this blog. Maybe with the girls in school 12 hours a week and having a dedicated office space I can actually accomplish something!

 

Sad Summer

So it doesn't sound like a lot but between the bugs and being sick, our whole summer passed by without much enjoyment. We did have a week here and there (probably 3 total) where we were able to have some fun but dang, we had a lot more planned. I had a long bucket list of things I wanted to do with the girls before they started school. I guess I'll save them for next summer.

The good thing? We are all on the mend (I hope) and can hopefully knock some things off our Fall bucket list. :)

I hope I didn't sound too much like a negative nancy. I'm trying to get better about seeing the positive in things (you know, since my word for this year was 'Joy') but sometimes it's hard to see through the smoke.

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August 10, 2015

Color Me Happy Birthday Party

So much has happened since the girl's birthday party that I haven't had a chance to blog about it. I knew I'd get around to it eventually but I didn't think it would take me a month!

They had requested a rainbow/my little pony party but by the time I got around to prepping for the party I just didn't have time (to be read as "want") to incorporate the ponies so it was all rainbows and the girls loved it!

Their invitation was a labor of love. I went through 3 drafts before I came up with a design that I liked. I also printed the envelopes to match the invitations. Since their birthday, like mine, is around 4th of July, I decided to have the party the weekend after their birthday.

TnT-Rainbow-Invitation   06 25 15_9815

I purchased most of my party supplies and paper goods at Wal-Mart. I love that they have good quality supplies for close to $1!

I had the Spritz White balloons in my party stash and I made the tassel banner using tissue paper from my gift wrapping stash. The Rainbow balloon was purchased from Amazon and is still floating around in our family room a month later!

07 11 15_9648

I used plastic table cloths to create the backdrop behind the sweets table. Right before the party I found the white trays at Target and thought they'd be perfect to hold the cookies and cupcakes.

I decided to go easy on the food menu and just order pizza. The cupcakes were a pinterest find that I had a local bakery duplicate. I could not figure out how to get the candy rainbows to keep their shape! The rainbow fruit cups were a huge hit!

07 11 15_965007 11 15_965107 11 15_9653

To keep up with my tradition, my beverage station was stocked with Crush sodas along with tea, water and juice boxes.

07 11 15_965407 11 15_9655

I can't believe my babies are FOUR and starting Pre-K in a little less than 2 weeks!

07 11 15_9649

Party Supply Sources

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August 9, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 32

There's no right or wrong way to do a meal plan. Some just make a list of meals and pick from the list and others plan for each day on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. I plan bi-weekly but post weekly because we often have events that weren't planned for so it allows me to adjust accordingly.

For example, JMac had a procedure this week and it got us a little off track with our meals. However, I'm glad to have the meal plan because it allowed me to to pick and switch around meals that I had already planned and that he could tolerate.

Weekly-Meal-Plan-#32

 

Sunday
Leftovers

Monday
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches / Tomato Soup

Tuesday
Chicken Burrito Bowls

Wednesday
Crockpot Sloppy Joes / Potato Wedges

Thursday
Korean Beef Bowls

Friday
Homemade Pizza

Saturday
Family Date Night

Recipes:

August 2, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 31

Weekly Meal Plan Free Printable | Just Wait til You have Kids

I'm doing away with the meal plan picture this week. If you want a copy to display your own meal plans you can download it for free on my Freebies page. If you'd like a copy but don't want the Aqua color, leave me a comment and I may add other colors.

On to meal planning…..

I am still working on keeping the grocery shopping on/under budget. I had no idea how hard this would be! It takes so much planning and thriftiness. "But you're a couponer" you say? Well, yes I am but while I have been couponing for several years, I never really stuck to a strict budget. Now that sticking to a budget is a necessity for us, I'm having to make some adjustments and learn how to grocery shop in a completely different way. However, this last grocery shopping trip I actually almost came in under budget so I'm making progress!

Week 31 Meal Plan:

Sunday: 
Dinner at my Parents

Monday:
Grilled Hamburgers / chips

Tuesday:
Burritos / Mexican Rice

Wednesday:
Chicken Fried Rice

Thursday:
Chili Dogs / Chips

Friday:
Spaghetti / Green Beans / Homemade Garlic Breadsticks

Saturday:
Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas / Mexican Rice

Recipes:

 

What's on your menu for this week?

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