Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Weekly Meal Planning + Walmart Grocery Pickup

Yesterday I posted on my Instastories a peek at how I get my groceries every week through Walmart Grocery Pickup.  I spent $92 for the week, which gives us enough food for breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday and dinner Monday-Thursday of this week.  This covers meals for T and I, as well as Thompson.  It also covers one dinner I'm bringing over to friends who just had a baby.


Here is what I purchased this week:

1Green Giant Broccoli & Cheese Veggie Tots, 16 oz$3.48
1Great Value Cinnamon Grahams Crackers 3 Packs, 14.4 Oz$1.94
1Great Value Fruit Pear Halves Bartlett No Sugar Added, 15 oz$1.08
1Bananas, 1 lb (approximately 2 bananas)$0.48
3Tyson Boneless Skinless Fresh Chicken Breasts, 1.5-2.0 lbs.$20.58
1Organic Romaine Hearts$3.77
2Treasure Cave Crumbled Feta Cheese, 4 oz$3.44
1Margherita Hard Salami Slices, 16 oz$5.98
2English Cucumber, each$3.96
1Strawberries, 1 lb$1.98
1Marketside Organic Grape Tomatoes, 10 oz$2.98
2Small/Medium Lemon, each$1.00
1Orange Bell Pepper, each$1.77
1Red Onions, 1 lb (approximately 1 - 2 onions)$1.48
185% Lean/15% Fat, Organic Grass Fed Ground Beef, 1 lb$5.98
1Great Value Sweet & Salty Peanuts Granola Bar, 6 pk$1.98
2Small Avocado, each$1.96
1Fage Total 2% All Natural Greek Strained Yogurt, 17.6 oz$3.37
1Great Value No Salt Added Petite Diced Tomatoes, 14.5 oz$0.72
1Zucchini, 1 lb$1.28
1Great Value Soy Sauce Less Sodium, 15 oz$1.88
1Kraft Original Microwavable Snack Packets Easy Mac Macaroni & Cheese, 6ct$2.98
1Viva Choose-A-Size One-Ply Paper Towels, 8 count$8.98
1Green Bell Pepper, each$0.68
1Mainstays 13" Glass and Bottle Brush$2.97
1Reynolds Heat & Eat Containers 32 oz, 12$2.98
1Great Value Sharp Finely Shredded Cheddar Cheese, 8 oz$2.22

I think the only three things I already had on hand and didn't need to purchase were a loaf of bread, milk, and tortillas for Thompson's quesadillas. Thompson's pancakes were already made and in the freezer.  I usually don't include paper products and cleaning supplies into my weekly budget, but I came in under budget this week so I went ahead and threw them in.

Greek Chicken Kabobs

I had a couple of requests to share our meal plan for this week, so here it is!

Breakfasts:

Avocado Toast or Breakfast Bars

Lunches:

I'll be making some kind of Mediterranean/ Italian salad each day inspired by these two recipes (here and here).  I bought cucumber and zucchini to spiralize, romaine, pre sliced salami, feta, and cherry tomatoes.  We already had some kalamata olives and pepperoncini peppers in the fridge.   I bought this spiralizer this weekend, and I've been obsessed with using it.  Pretty sure we've had something spiralized with every meal since I bought it, haha!

Dinner:

Monday- Greek Chicken Kabobs (whoa, throwback to a 2012 blog post while we were still living in our first apartment!), a Greek Salad w/ this dressing (made enough for two meals for us plus a meal to take to a friend who just had a baby)
Tuesday- Leftovers
Wednesday- Korean Beef and Rice and a salad with Asian dressing
Thursday- Leftovers
Friday- Out to eat, it's the weekend!!

Thompson's Snacks and Meals:

Healthy Banana Pancakes (I make these in mass quantity and keep them in the freezer)
Strawberries
Spiralized Sweet potato sautéed with coconut oil and cinnamon (already had the sweet potato)
Bananas
Peanut butter toast
Cheese quesadillas
Canned pears
Broccoli and Cheese Veggie Tots
Graham Crackers
Mac and Cheese with zucchini added

I've been really happy with Walmart's Grocery Pickup service so far.  Every Sunday, I place my order with them and schedule a pickup for 11-12 on Monday morning.  Since we're so strict about our budget these days, it really helps me keep my costs down and not make any impulse purchases.  The only downsides I can see are that you do have to plan ahead to place your order and schedule your pickup time the next day, and our Greenville location does not let you order alcohol.  I think other locations might, but ours does not.  So if we need beer or wine for the week, I do have to make a second trip.  
If you're interested in trying it out, you can use this code to get $10 off your next order.  Full disclosure: if you use it I get $10 credit, too. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The $150 ORC: Week 6 Reveal

If you've landed here through Calling It Home's One Room Challenge linkup, welcome!  My name is Laura, and I live in Greenville, SC.  I'm a wife, a mother of a precious 11 month old boy, and a small business owner.  I'm so excited to complete my second one room challenge (check out my first here).  I've given our guest room a facelift on- get this- a $150 budget.  No fancy collabs, no interior designers, no $700 light fixtures, no frills.  Just consignment finds, DIY projects, and a whole lot of elbow grease. 

Coming in at the eleventh hour of One Room Challenge week six with my guest room reveal. Although this has been a six week long process, the reveal week somehow snuck up on me.  I just needed a few finishing touches for the room, and somehow those last few details seemed to stress me out the most.



I'll start you off with a few before pictures.  I always hate looking back at these once the room is complete.  I don't think I realized just how drab the room was! 





Since this room is where family and close friends stay when they visit, I wanted to adorn it with things that were important to my loved ones.   The entire room is filled with family heirlooms and photos that are important to us all.

The bed was T's grandmother's, passed down to us several years ago.  The vanity is an antique that was my desk when I was in college, and the stool was my maternal great-grandmother's sewing bench from years and years ago.  We filled the room with wedding photos, pictures from our newborn shoot, and a very special Clay Rice silhouette that I had made for Thompson.  The silver trays belonged to my paternal grandfather, trophies he won for having prized roses through his city's rose society in the mid sixties.  And lastly, the tassels on the lamps are an ode to my jewelry business, my livelihood.





















My challenge for this room was to give the space a new look without going above a $150 budget.  And, I'm proud to say I did it!  I used things that I already owned, swapped out lamps for some that we had in our foyer, bartered with my bestie for some beautiful handmade pillows, and scoured the aisles of Target and discount stores.   I must say, I love how the room turned out, and knowing that I changed the entire look and vibe of the space for $150 bucks makes it even sweeter.  

Since many of the items in this room are old and repurposed, I cannot provide links to everything, but I have provided some shoppable links to a few things still available.  





Thursday, May 4, 2017

The $150 ORC: Week 5

If you've landed here through Calling It Home's One Room Challenge linkup, welcome!  My name is Laura, and I live in Greenville, SC.  I'm a wife, a mother of a precious 11 month old boy, and a small business owner.  I'm so excited to complete my second one room challenge (check out my first here).  I'm working on giving our guest room a facelift on- get this- a $150 budget.  No fancy collabs, no interior designers, no $700 light fixtures, no frills.  Just consignment finds, DIY projects, and a whole lot of elbow grease. 


A few big changes happened in the room this week, and it's finally starting to come together!  My girlfriend Elizabeth of Wheaton Whaley hooked me up with these Kate Spade dalmatian print pillows, and they just somehow seem to tie everything in. 


I filled the frames above the bedside tables with family photos.  I'd originally planned to fill them with artwork or prints, but I couldn't find anything I loved.  Since the past few years have been filled with big life events (engagement, marriage, baby) we have all of these professional pictures that have never been printed.  This was a perfect opportunity to finally display them.  



I hung the curtains, and they also made a huge difference.  They really bring the eye up above the window and make the ceiling look so much higher.  I used two curtain rods from Walmart that were $5.50 each.  I'm glad I didn't splurge on anything more, because these are simple and perfect.  The black on the dalmatian pillows along with the black on the curtain rods make everything look so cohesive.  The curtains are a tad long, so I'll be hemming them this week.




Since I was a dollar away from my max spending amount, I knew I needed to sell something from the room if I wanted to spend any more money.  When starting this challenge, I allowed myself to use any money from the sale of items in the room to add to my budget.  I'd previously had two pillow covers on this bed that I no longer needed, so I was able to sell them on a local consignment Facebook page for $45.  I had already gone $14 over the $150 budget, so I'll use the remaining $31 to style the rest of the room and get it ready for the Week 6 reveal! 


Here's a quick estimation of what I've spent so far:


TOTAL SPENT: $164
TOTAL SOLD: $45 
BUDGET REMAINING: $31


Here's what I still need to do:

  • Hang and blinds (I've had these for weeks, just putting it off)
  • Hem Curtains
  • Purchase a few items to style the room

You can view progress from previous weeks through the links below. 




Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Thompson is 11 Months

Thompson is now eleven months, and I feel like he's doing or saying something new each day.  He weighs just over 20 lbs, and is in size 4 diapers for day and night.   He's wearing 12 month and 18 month clothing.   Although he's wearing larger sized clothing, his feet haven't caught up to his body.  He still has little feet and wears 2 and 3 shoes.





He just started to stand unassisted for several seconds at a time, and every time he does he gets so excited.   His crawl has also gotten a lot more coordinated, not the army crawl/scoot he did for so long.  Occasionally he'll do the wheelbarrow crawl now, which I think is the precursor to walking.  I'll be interested to see how long we're in this phase before it turns to straight walking.   Part of me is ready to have a walker and part of me is not!





His top two teeth are growing in, and I think that's the reason he's been dealing with a cold for the last two and a half weeks.  Thankfully he hasn't had a fever and his ears are clear, but he's had a runny nose and cough for what seems like forever.  Now that those top teeth are in, he's also been grinding his teeth.  Apparently this is called bruxism and is pretty normal, but the sound of it sends chills up my spine.   And he does it constantly.  Hoping that phase will end soon.


The one area where I've seen the most progress this month is his speech.  He's done really well learning a few new words.  Some of the words he's saying others wouldn't recognize, but now I get how moms can understand the babble that comes out of their children's mouths.  He says Mama, Dada (which sometimes is just Da), hat, and wow.  And he's just starting to attempt to say hello, uh oh, dog, and all done.  Hello is coming out like "heda" and he loves to smile and scream it to people when we're out running errands.  It's the best.

Meal time has changed a little bit.  He's so much more independent now when he eats, which has made it much easier for me.  He occasionally has a pouch, but he's mostly on all finger foods.  Breakfast usually consists of cheerios or oatmeal banana pancakes and fruit, lunches are PB toast or a cheese quesadilla with some steamed veggies and cut up fruit, and dinners are usually bite sized pieces of whatever we're having for dinner.  Being able to feed him table food has been such a game changer.  Makes meal prep much easier for me!  We gave him watermelon for the first time this week and he loves it, I think he'd eat the entire melon if I let him.  I don't think we've given him a fruit that he hasn't loved so far.  He just gobbles everything up, such a good eater.


He's still following the Mom's on Call schedule, and is doing great.  He takes a bottle at 7 am when he wakes, and a bottle at 7 pm before bed.  He takes sippy cups with either water or formula throughout the day, and takes two naps a day, one at 8:30 and one at 1:30, both are usually 2 hour naps.   He sleeps through the night from 7am to 7pm.

Our neighborhood pool opened this weekend, and we took him for an hour on Sunday evening.  He loves a bath, so I was so excited to put him in the baby pool.  He absolutely loved it, and we're going to be regulars there this summer.


I think my favorite change this month is that he's become a little bit of a snuggler.  Up until now, I'd try to cuddle Thompson and he'd push me away with all his strength and wiggle out of my arms.  He had no interest in it at all.  I'd never rocked him to sleep for a day of his life.  At bedtime and nap times we'd just plop him down into his crib and he'd put himself to sleep.  It was much easier that way, but it kind of killed my mom heart.  Just this month, I've started rocking and singing to him before bed, and he likes it, well maybe he just doesn't hate it.  He lays his head down on my chest as I sing to him, and nothing makes me happier.


I can't believe that in less than a month I will have a one year old.  I'm already making plans for his birthday party, and it's going to be so much fun!  In true first time mom fashion I'm probably going way overboard, but who cares.

See previous month updates for Thompson below. 



Monday, May 1, 2017

Weekend Recap

This weekend was just what the doctor ordered.  T had a bachelor party in Kentucky, and I had a girls weekend planned at Lake Murray.  I love my husband and son with every molecule in my body, but I was ready to kiss them both goodbye for a couple of days and spend time with my closest college girlfriends.  

Every year we have a standing weekend planned with my girlfriends two weekends after Easter.  We rented a house at Lake Murray, and the only plans for the weekend were to drink wine, play games, and catch up with one another.  These girls have been my best friends for ten years now.  So many things have changed, yet so many have stayed the same.

We've had new jobs, engagements, marriages, babies, deaths of parents, and the death of a sweet child.  The highest of highs, and the lowest of lows.  I think sometimes I forget just how lucky I am to have this group of girls in my life.  A tribe of women that'll be there for each other no matter what, such an incredible blessing.





Thursday, April 27, 2017

The $150 ORC: Week 4

If you've landed here through Calling It Home's One Room Challenge linkup, welcome!  My name is Laura, and I live in Greenville, SC.  I'm a wife, a mother of a precious 10 month old boy, and a small business owner.  I'm so excited to complete my second one room challenge (check out my first here).  I'm working on giving our guest room a facelift on- get this- a $150 budget.  No fancy collabs, no interior designers, no $700 light fixtures, no frills.  Just consignment finds, DIY projects, and a whole lot of elbow grease. 




It's now week four of the One Room Challenge and things are, well, looking a whole lot like they did last week.  Womp womp.  I found two frames that I like for hanging above the bedside tables.  Snagged them this week at Target for $20 a piece.  Now I'm working on figuring out what exactly to put inside of them.  I originally planned on some kind of artwork or print, but now I'm leaning more towards getting two family photos printed.  



I also gave the pulls on the bedside tables another coat of paint.  I didn't love the look of the gold spraypaint I originally used, so I picked up a container of Martha Stewart Gold Gilding, and I love how it changed the look.  They're now a much richer metallic gold color, exactly what I was wanting. 

Here's a quick before and after of the pulls.  Before is on the left, after on the right. 


I also managed to get the window hung above the dresser, and I like how it fills up the wall.  I used a french cleat to hang the mirror, which I had never used before.  I was a little nervous hanging something so heavy on the wall, so I love how secure the french cleat is. 



Pillows are on order through Wheaton Whaley, and I should get them in next week! They were a little out of my budget (considering I now have less than $1 left, ha!), but I've bartered with Elizabeth. I have a jewelry business, and Elizabeth is one of my most loyal customers.  I've agreed to do a few custom pieces for her in return for the pillows.   



Here's a quick estimation of what I've spent so far:

  • IKEA Rast bedside tables: $70
  • Curtains: FREE
  • Chalk Paint for tables: $3.50
  • Two additional bin pulls: $7.00 (already owned the other 4)
  • Old Window: FREE
  • New white outlets, switches, and covers: $8.00
  • Old book for wreath: $.50
  • Liquid Gold Gilding: $5.00
  • Lamps- FREE (repurposed from another room in our house)
  • Bedding- FREE (using what we already had in there) 
  • Picture Frames for above bedside tables- $40
  • Curtain Rods- $11
  • French Cleat for hanging window- $4

TOTAL SPENT: $149 


Here's what I still need to do:

  • Hang curtains and blinds (I have both in my possession, I'm just dreading this part)
  • Throw pillows for the bed
  • Print pictures to put in gold frames
  • Sell something from the room so I have more money to spend! (I'm allowing myself to consign anything that's been in that room, and use that money to put back in the space)



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