Friday, May 13, 2011

FYE: 5/13/11...Do You Like mini Boden??

If so then you are going to love this!  My sister called me the other day and told me to check out the website for NEXT Direct.  It is a UK clothing company that makes children's and adult's clothing.  They ship to the US in 2 days and their prices are so inexpensive.  I have always loved Boden's signature board shorts for boys, which run $28/pair.  NEXT has very similar ones for $21/2 yes you get two pairs of shorts (one pattern and one solid color).  They also have cool t-shirts, shoes, bathing suits, etc.  Hurry and go get your order on....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guest Bloggers

I know there are some of you out there who have considered writing something for Momsie but have lost your nerve because you are afraid you won't be funny or you are too shy or because you might use poor grammar.  If you have ever once gone to bed thinking about your hypothetical post then you should do this!  If you hate writing or hate mom blogs then, yes this probably isn't for you (you also probably shouldn't be reading this right now!) but if you like the thought of sharing your tips, frustrations, sense of humor, or thoughts this is for you.  If you still need some coaxing out of that corner here are some topics on which I would love to have some guest bloggers write:

* How to manage working outside of the home and raising kids

* How you started your own work-from-home scenario

* How to deal when you and your husband are the first of your friends to have a baby and they just don't get it yet

* How to make new mommy friends

* Dealing with having a child with food allergies

* Is it possible to ever find your sex drive again after kids?

Surely you know something about one of these topics and if not write about anything else you'd like.  Come on little writer mommies...come out of the woodwork or I will come ask you personally to do it (I do have a couple of names in mind!) 

Nature Museum *GIVEAWAY*

Raise your hand if you have a child.

Raise your hand if your child like animals.

Raise your hand if you would like four free tickets to a place that has animals and will entertain your child.

The Charlotte Nature Museum has a new resident baby alligator named Snappy and he is on exhibit in "Beginnings."  I have 4 tickets to giveaway to one lucky reader all you have to do is leave a comment letting me know you would like them.  The tickets are good through December...that means you could plan a day to go this summer while your kids are stir crazy!  I will announce the winner next Wednesday at 8:00am.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Summer Concert Series: UPDATE

I love how all of these shopping centers put on family friendly concerts all spring and summer.  They are beginning at most places in April so check out these schedules and mark it on your calendars!  Click on the picture for a larger, easy to print version.

Live Music at the MET...(located at Metropolitan Ave.)
Every Thursday from 6:30-9:30pm

May 12

The Stranger: Billy Joel Tribute

THE STRANGER is the complete premiere tribute to the music of the 
Piano Man himself, Billy Joel. Comprised of some of the best and most 
experienced musicians in the business, this 6 piece band brings together 
an authentic replication of Billy's timeless music, crowning it with soulful, 
spot on vocals that makes listening to a Billy Joel song so special. 
You will be amazed that what you're seeing and hearing is actually a tribute band.
Visit: Website
May 19The Band of Gold

The Band Of Gold as it stands today has morphed and changed with the 
years with one purpose in mind... a great time for everyone! With a big 
songlist that stretches from the 50’s oldies, through every decade of rock music, 
soul, R&B, funk, disco, beach music to the hits of today, The Band Of Gold plays it all.
Visit: Website
May 26Simplified

Simplified expands cleverly on music that sounds familiar, but is decidedly different. 
Tunes trip down a trail of neatly packaged stories, chocked with innovative musicianship, 
classy, cool lyrics and authentic vocals. Simplified manages a unique and singular musical 
kingdom, shuffling from sweet ballads to guitar driven power rock songs to reggae tinged
 sing alongs. The magnetic quality of Simplified is anchored in authenticity, and it’s indeed
 this pure, uncomplicated approach to music and performance that keeps fans engaged and
 supportive. Their loyal fan base see themselves in the songs, the stories, the Simplified-ness 
of the music.
Visit: Website

FREE Things to Do: 5/10-5/17

Charlotte Art League:  Spring Fling Family Art Day
When: Saturday, May 14th 1:00-4:00pm
What:  Parents and kids can come and make art together!  Rotate through stations and make some art to take home....and all for FREE!

Mint Museum:
Uptown Location: Sunday Family Fun Days
When: Sunday, May 15th 1:00-4:00pm
What:  Wonders With Wood, a demonstration by wood turner Charles Farrar and ARTventure Scavenger Hunt.  Visit the website for more information.  All activities FREE after admission costs.

Randolph Location: Art Studio Second Saturdays
When:  Saturday, May 14th 10:00-3:00pm
What:  Families can drop in and create art together.  Cost is FREE after admission costs.

Charlotte Aquatics: Summer Safety Day
7835 Little Ave., Charlotte, NC 28226
When:  Sunday, May 15th 1;00-4:00pm
What:  Charlotte Aqautics is teaming up with the Charlotte Police and Fire Departments to host a family safety day.  There will be hands-on activities, storytime, and outdoor activities.  Valuable information on stranger-danger, child-proofing your home, bike safety, and water safety.  Special appearance by the Danger Rangers!
Cost: FREE

**In addition there will be two FREE toddler swim classes offered on this day at 1:00 and 3:00.  For ages 6 mos-30 mos. Space is limited so call today to reserve your spot!  

Michael's (All Charlotte locations)
When:  Sunday, May 15th, 1:00-3:00pm
What:  For ages 14 and up, come and make your own personalized gift tags.  FREE while supplies last.

Cotswold Toys & Co.: 242 S.Sharon Amity
When:  Fridays, 11:00am
What:  Music with Mr.Nigel
Jam out with your little ones and this entertaining music man.  He keeps their attention with lots of singing and hands-on activities.

Chick Fil A Mondays (Woodlawn Rd. location)
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!  Every Monday from 5:00-7:00pm when you purchase a milk shake you will receive a FREE original or spicy Chick Fil A sandwich!!

Plan a Staycation: SOUTHEND

Unfortunately the weather this weekend is not looking too promising.  They are calling for thunderstorms all weekend so you may just want to rent some movies, have a floor picnic, and not go a place.  If you are up for a rainy adventure though, here is a plan for visiting the Southend area.  Make sure to bookmark these "staycation" pages so you can quickly reference them this summer.

Southend is a great little area right outside of downtown.  The light rail runs right along this part of town so you can always park and ride to make things a little more interesting.

    • Where to park
      • There is plenty of public (free) parking in this area.  
    • Where to eat
      • Pike's Old Fashioned Soda Shop (1930 Camden Rd.) 
      • Owen's Bagel Shop (2041 South Blvd)
      • Rudino's Pizza (2000 South Blvd. Ste. 300)
      • Luna's Living Market (2102 South Blvd.)
      • Five Guys (2201 South Blvd)
      • Noodles and Co. (2201 South Blvd)
      • Common Market (1515 South Tryon St.)
      • Phat Burrito (1537 Camden Rd.)

    • What to see/do
The must stop on this staycation is the Atherton Market!  Its a great farmer's market with fresh produce, meats, vegetables, and plenty of local vendors.  There is also art and jewelry.  The market is open on Saturdays from 9-2 so you could stop in here first and then walk to one of the places listed above for lunch.  Luna's Living Market has been getting rave reviews for it's healthy but delicious food.  They have vegan and vegetarian selections as well as take-home treats.  Common Market is another great spot for sandwiches or their BOB Award-winning pimento cheese!  Big Ben Pub also relocated here to a great spot right next to the light rail tracks.  

After lunch you can take the kids for ice cream at long-time Charlotte staple, Mr. K's (open Sat. 10-4) located at 2107 South Blvd.  If you are looking for more hands-on activities check out these events:
  • Lowes Build and Grow Clinics
    • Offered at several locations but why not check out the store at 217 Iverson Way while in the Southend area.  Click on the link for sign-up information and clinic dates.
  • Charlotte Art League
    • Located at 1517 Camden Rd., this community art center is hosting Spring Fling Family Art Day this Saturday, May 14th.  Parents and kids can rotate through stations making take-home art projects.  Best part...its FREE!  Visit their website to sign up.

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Help for Removing Your Butt From the Couch...

    I hate when anyone insinuates that stay-at-home-moms just sit around all day while the kids nap.  I won't even begin to defend us moms on why thats absurd (idiots!), but if I do have a free minute to myself I know that my butt is much more drawn to a couch than a treadmill.  I am small by nature but small, people, does not equal fit.  I am probably the most out-of-shape "small" person you will meet.  And I have never, ever been a runner.  So the fact that I am here today to tell you that I am training for a 5K is huge, HUGE news.  I feel kind of dumb having to "train" to run 3 miles but I do and so far I am actually enjoying it.  The program I am following is the Couch-to-5k program (C25K).  Its a great running schedule that works you into running gradually, hence the reason I am actually still doing it.  It is a 9-week program and I am on week 4 and I never thought I would say this but I actually like running now.   I started this because I wanted to have a goal to work toward so that I would stay motivated and this has really done the trick.  I haven't chosen a 5k yet but I am looking into ones near the beach so I can plan a trip around it.  I am telling you, that if I can do this anyone can!!  It s a 3 day-a-week commitment and it really does baby-step you into running.  If you would like to start C25K check out their site.  I have been going to the Y to run but there are also so many great greenways around that you don't need a membership to a gym to start.  Let me know if you decide to do this or have suggestions for any other programs!

    Mission: Feed my family for $40/week (week 5)

    Alright so this is going to be my last post about feeding your family for $40/week.  I will check in from time-to-time if I come across any good deals or tips but otherwise I am sure you all are sick of hearing about my fridge and its contents.  I hope that you all were able to jump on the bandwagon and start cutting down your grocery bill.  I am going to start next week with a new challenge that will hopefully keep our grocery shopping budget-friendly: meals that use 7 ingredients or less.  I will use the next few Mondays to bring you easy, new recipes that will not require a lot of shopping or money.  I welcome any suggestions!

    Week 4 was rough around here.  I have always tried to be honest on this blog and today I will continue that by telling you exactly what happened this past week.  I failed the mission.    My original shopping trip went well but then I made the mistake of going back for a second trip.  We needed some toiletries but as soon as I entered the store my $40 mission was in serious danger.  Let me back-up though and tell you why.  One week out of every month I eat like a horse.  No food, salty or sweet is safe from me and fast food restaurants better hide.  Any females know what I'm talking about?!  Without giving TMI I will just say that last week was not a good week for me to be roaming around a store full of food.  Suddenly everything looked really good and health and budget were two words far from my mind.  Needless to say I went over budget and basically have eaten us out of house and home this week.  But it felt goooood people.

    So week 5 I needed to get back on track and I succeeded.  I spent 39.32 and here is what I bought:

    green pepper
    red pepper
    wheat rolls
    poptarts (I really am trying to wean my kids off of these, I swear)
    *Annie's Chocolate chip bunny cookies
    tortilla chips
    Go-go squeezes
    cheese sticks
    ginger ale

    *Annie's organic foods are so cheap at Wal-Mart!!

    Here is what we are having for dinner this week (several nights last week we ended up not eating dinner at home so there are some carry-overs from last week):

    LOTS of chicken this week!

    chicken stir fry wraps (last week)
    chicken burgers
    pasta e fagioli  my recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp. tobasco and 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
    peas, zucchini, and risotto with grilled chicken (last week)
    salad with grilled chicken
    slow cooker chicken tortilla soup (last week)

    NOTE: The risotto with grilled chicken was a big hit in our house.  We had it last night and both kids gobbled it up!  This does not happen often so I will definitely put that one on rotation!

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    FYE: 5/6/11...Jam out with your little ones

    Here are some tunes to take you and the kiddos into the weekend....

    Tie Your Shoes

    Willy Was a Whale

    Airplane of Food

    And for some songs you might actually recognize, enjoy these next few posts...

    For more ROCKABYE songs visit their website, here.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Nursery Tours

    I really love seeing your great nurseries and apparently so does everyone else.  I have been getting lots of requests to keep doing these tours so please email me if you would like to share your nursery with us.  I would love to see some Big Girl and Boy room tours as well!

    Last Minute Cinco De mayo Party....

    I forgot all about Cinco De Mayo this week and though it is not really a US holiday it is special to me because it includes Corona, salsa, guacamole, and oh yeah I got engaged on May 5th!  I really wanted to do something festive this year just for our family and I think I may just pull it off.  Here is my plan and some tips if you would like to create a last minute fiesta for your family.  

    What you need:

    • The set up
      • your backyard/deck/patio
      • a table and chairs
      • table cloth
      • any festive decorations
      • cooler/ice bucket

    • The food
      • chips and salsa (click for an easy DIY recipe)
      • guacamole (click for an easy recipe)
      • fajitas, burritos, quesadillas, tacos...whatever dish that ends in-as or -os!
      • churros (click for a recipe for you go-getters!) OR
      • make these easy, peasy treats
      • Coronos on ice with a lime!!

    Let the kids get involved and help mix up the salsa or let them dress their tacos.  Make it a fun night and when you put the ninas and ninos to bed, kick back and enjoy an nice cold Corona!  Ay yi yi!

    If you don't have outdoor furniture you can set up a little dining area like I did.  I had a table on hand and I am considering leaving it set up all summer long so the kids and us can treat ourselves to dinner al fresco!  (Target carries a similar table in-stores for $30!)

    Check out our Cinco De mayo partay:

    National Prayer Day

    Today is National Prayer Day in which hundreds of people will publicly gather and pray.  I can't think of any group of people that could use the power of prayer more than mothers.  Take a moment today and thank God for your endless patience, for your ability to love these little monsters even after all they do and won't do, for your girlfriends who are the only ones who "get it", for your husband who finds you attractive even when you don't shower, for your mom who went through all of this for you and had the decency not to tell you how hard it is until after you had your own kids, and for the glorious staff of Starbucks.

    DIY Silhouettes...DONE!

    I completed one of the many DIY projects on my list.  I attempted the DIY silhouettes and they were not hard at all.  I really wanted to make one for my mother-in-law for Mother's Day and she was in town last weekend so it was the perfect opportunity for me to give it to her since I won't see her on actual Mother's Day.  I made hers with white paper on a black background but I did ours a little different.  I have been wanting something new above our couch and I really wanted to use burlap because...well I just love burlap in any form.  I think they turned out great!  Take a look...

    I followed the tutorial on (Samster Mommy).

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Last Minute Mother's Day Shopping...

    Now that you have hinted to your husband how to make Sunday special for you, have you thought about your own mom?!  Or how about some other important moms in your life?  If not, thats ok because there is still time to put together a thoughtful gift.  Once again I am going to recommend Home Goods because it basically has pearly gates.  I was there today and quickly got inspired by all the great stuff.  It dawned on me while I was there that I should get a little Mother's Day gift for my son's teachers.  They "mother" him while he is in their care and they go home and mother their own kids....they deserve a little something.

    I found a two-pack of these really cute popcorn containers ($8).  I bought 2 candy bars and 2 packs of popcorn ($4 total) and voila...a movie-night gift basket.  

    I saw lots of other cute containers there that could serve as your "gift basket" for a variety of themes.  Here are some ideas:

    Gardening Basket filled with:
    $- gloves, a decorative pot, and a foot scrub/soak for after all that hard work
    $$- giftcard for a pedicure.

    Picnic Basket filled with:
    $- inexpensive cups or plates, some printed napkins, citronella candles
    $$- a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers

    Book Lovers Basket: (use a basket, wooden box, or tote bag)
    $- bookmark, giftcard to bookstore, journal
    $$- add a coffee mug and Starbucks giftcard

    Cook's Basket: (use a basket, colorful collander, or place everything in the center of an apron and gather all the sides together and tie it with a ribbon)
    $- measuring cups, kitchen tools, some cooking oils, cookbook
    $$- A giftcard to Cooking Uptown's cooking classes

    Everything I have listed here (other than the wine, cheese and giftcards) was in HomeGoods.  They had tons of stuff for under $10!  Also they are running a deal right now where if you buy a $25 giftcard you receive a free year's subscription to Good Housekeeping.  This deal is good through May 8th.

    Reminder: Place your order with Thompson Poultry

    The next delivery date is this Saturday, May 7th.  Click on the picture below for more information including purchase/delivery info.

    Celebrate a Mama

    This weekend there is a day set aside just for moms.  A day that should be spent expressing your utmost gratitude for this lady that not only lugged you around inside her womb for 9 months but birthed you and has since dedicated her life to you.  Mother's Day used to fall under the same category as like, Secretary's Day for me.  I grew up with a great mom and I definitely appreciated her I just didn't get what all the fuss was about.  Luckily I grew up with a father who was smart enough to make us celebrate her on that day no matter what.  My first Mother's Day as an actual mother was special but more for the fact that I was in the club and could now call myself a mother.  It was yet another milestone our new family was celebrating and to be really real it was a good test for my husband to see if he really appreciated me.  Plus it was almost kind of a let down because even though it was supposed to be "my day" that didn't stop poop diapers from happening or bottles that had to be made.

    Since that first year I have grown to learn what motherhood really is about.  Not only do you get initiated into this new role with sleep deprivation, brain cell loss, and a new best friend called worry, you also quickly learn that your life is not, nor ever will be just yours again.  I have been reminded over and over again just how selfish I could be before children whether it be sleeping in on weekends or making stupid decisions.  What used to be decisions I made for myself and only myself now had to be weighed and decided based on someone else.  And the hardest part of all was learning that I now had something so precious to me that I could not protect from life and that I would have to some day let grow up.

    Mom, I believe, is a title you earn over the course of your life.  You get your first couple if badges when you give up your freedoms while pregnant and protect the little gummy bear inside.  You get more when you manage to make it through the first newborn months without killing someone.  You earn another when  you miss a fun night with friends because your babysitter cancelled.  And yet another when you stand by your child's side and rub their back as they throw up.  As they get older the title is going to be harder to earn because it will take even more patience, even more wisdom, and even more love.  

    A close friend of mine is going through her parents divorce right now and she is having to deal with a lot of really hard emotions.  She had to help her father move into his apartment, on his birthday and still try to be strong for him.  When she woke up the next morning her son was doing typical 2-year-old stuff: whining, crying, wanting, etc.  Through tears she said "Its not fair, I can't be a mom today but I guess the show has to go on."  That sums up motherhood perfectly.  You aren't always up for it but it doesn't stop. Its the 24/7 job that we all wanted so badly but had no way of preparing for.  

    So I finally get what all the fuss is about.  Mother's Day is not just some made-up holiday and an excuse to eat brunch, its a day to really celebrate ourselves.  Its a day to sit back and realize that you are someone's mom and you will be responsible for all of their wonderful memories and the rock they come back to rely on year after year.  Will we get it right every second of every  Did your  But don't you respect your mom even more knowing now what she did go through for you?!  To make it through one day as a mother with your sanity and with every one feeling loved is a feat.  Don't forget that as you put your feet up and relax this Sunday!  I hope that you all get whatever it is that you want on that day and I hope we all can take a minute to congratulate ourselves on another year survived: the good, the bad, and the ugly!

    Happy Mother's Day!

    I Knew I was a Mom When....

    In honor of Mother's Day coming up here are some instances in which I have really felt like a mom:

    • When I had to kiss someone's boo boo.  Not just pretend but really kiss a nasty scrape.  Gross.
    • When I had to rub my child's back while he threw up even while I gagged, breathed through my mouth, and silently tried to think about daisies and butterflies.
    • When I licked my finger and wiped something off my child's face.
    • When I have realized their was poo on my hand while changing a nasty diaper and didn't think twice about it.  On numerous occasions.  Several days a week.
    • When I have touched something in my house and gotten a booger on my hand....thats not mine.
    • When I have gone to bed with unfolded laundry on my couch, legos under my bed, and a sink full of dishes.
    • When I have considered ripping a random three year old a new one because they told my child he is not their friend.  
    • When I have pulled up at preschool only to realize I didn't pack a lunch BUT was able to fashion one out of the contents of my car.
    • When I started viewing my dog as more of a vacuum cleaner/garbage disposal than a pet.
    • When my mental checklist before a trip went from lip gloss, sun glasses, and purse to passy, blankets, and diaper bag.
    • When I left hall lights on and reassured my child that their are not monsters in our house.
    • When I used phrases such as: think before you speak, be nice to your brother, if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all, and I am not your maid.
    • When I was able to change a dirty diaper with nothing but dry paper towels and a toilet seat cover.
    What was your moment??

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Plan a Staycation: DOWNTOWN

    Last weekend we had our own mini-staycation.  It was great to do things around our own city and then be able to come home to our house instead of a hotel.  Even better was that there was no long drive or expensive flight, no packing, no meltdowns, and no bad airport food involved.  I encourage all of you to try it...plan a day to just hang out in a different part of the city than you usually would.  Go out to eat somewhere new or find a cool place for a picnic, whatever your budget allows.  Spend the day seeing our city in a new light and enjoying it like a tourist would.  May sound cheesy but I swear you will really appreciate the city we live in even more.  Each week I will feature an area of town and some things in which your family can do and see.

    Charlotte is finally starting to see some life downtown when the work week is over.  Find a place to park and just get out and walk around.  You may catch a magic show or live music on the sidewalk.
        • Where to park:
        • Where to eat:
          • Newk's on 101 N. Tryon
          • Panera on 8152 S. Tryon
          • Villa Fransesca on 321 N. Caldwell St.
          • Fuel Pizza on 500 S. College St
          • Pinky's Westside Grill 1600 W. Morehead (not within walking distance)
          • Burger Co. 1500 W. Morehead (not within walking distance)
          • Nix Burger and Brew on 201 N. Tryon
          • Chickadee's Cafe on 1617 Elizabeth Ave (not in walking distance)
          • Basil Thai on 210 N. Church St.
      There are plenty of options for eating from fast food to a nice restaurant depending what mood you, and your children, are in!

        • What to see and do:
          • The Firebird sculpture in front of the Bechtler Museum on 420 S. Tryon St. (free)
          • The Green at 400 S. Tryon St. (free)
          • Imagnion 300 E. 7th St. (free)
          • Public library on 310 N. Tryon St.
          • EpiCentre on 210 E. Trade St.
          • Panther's Stadium
          • Discovery Place (admission costs)
          • Blumenthal (for list of performances click, here)
          • Mint Museum (uptown)
          • Bechtler Museum
          • Imaginon
          • Nascar Hall of Fame

      Ideas For Mother's Day

      These are just some things that I am lusting over and thought you might enjoy them too.  Maybe you can "accidentally" print this and leave it in your husband's briefcase!

      **Also if you are stuck without a babysitter this weekend the Harris YMCA is offering Parents Night Out on Friday from 6-9pm.  Members can drop off their kids and enjoy some time away...FOR FREE.  No cost and they feed your child dinner as well.  Sign-up at the front desk but hurry because space is limited!

      My list is pretty simple this year because honestly I am just happy with a good dinner.  That I didn't have to prepare.  I hope that all of you get treated to whatever it is that makes you feel appreciated and loved this Mother's Day!

      FREE Things to Do: 5/3- 5/10

      UPDATE:  Just heard about an event going on just for moms this Thursday.  
      Where-  Southpark Mall:  3rd Annual National Mom's Nite Out
      When- Thursday, May 5 at from 5 to 7 p.m. in Center Court
      This free event is a guilt-free excuse for moms to take the night off to relax and enjoy a celebration of motherhood.  

      Go ahead and buy your tickets now for Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players!
      Cost- $10 advance, $13 day of the show
      Where- Blumenthal
      When- May 22 at 3:00pm
      For tickets and more information click, here.

      Bring the whole family to The Bechtler Musuem this Friday, May 7th for Family Day!  There will be exploration, hands-on activities, and more.
      Cost- $0-$4
      Where- 420 S. Tryon St.
      When- 12-4pm
      For more information click, here

      It is First Fridays at the Mint Museum Uptown.  There will be live entertainment, hands-on activities, and more!
      Cost- members= free, non-members= $10
      Where- 500 S. Tryon St.
      When- 6-9pm
      For more info. click, here.


      Monday, May 2, 2011

      Cornhole Tournament and Room Make-Over...

      A BIG thank you to all who came out and supported our efforts to raise money for the Sarah's House room make-over project.  We raised close to $400!  In addition to this money we have had some people offer their services for free.  We will now have fresh paint and a beautiful picture wall with updated pictures of the residents at absolutely no cost!

      I got the chance to spend some time with some of the residents this weekend at their Annual Alumni Picnic.  I am always amazed when I see these young girls with their babies because they are really still babies themselves.  They have never had a lot and are going to have struggles to provide for their kids so I am so happy to see all that Florence Crittenton Services does for these moms.  I know it will make their lives better. 

      We still need a lot to really transform the room so please contact me if you would like to donate your time, money, service, furniture, or anything else! 

      Mission: Feed my family for $40/week (week 4)

      I told my husband this weekend that it makes me really happy to see our fridge and pantry almost bare every Sunday.  It lets me know that we are eating what I am buying and that confirms to me that we are wasting less and spending less!  This week is super double coupons at Harris Teeter (thru the 3rd) so if you are a coupon clipper you should be able to make out with some great deals!  

      Another option to help you get on the $40 budget is online shopping with Harris Teeter.  I signed up for it when I had a newborn so I didn't have to take the kids in the store but now I am finding it helpful for staying within my budget.  HT offers e-VIC specials that you can only get if you shop online and it tallies your total as you go so you will be able to stay within $40 with no problem.  Its a lot less hassle to put something back from your online grocery cart than your real-life one.  I used the online shopping just to see my total as I shopped, kind of a test run, and then went and shopped in the actual store.  There was no calculating as I went and I was in and out in 20 minutes.  I spent $41.24 this week.  I know I could have saved probably that extra $1.24 (or more) by going to Wal-Mart but I saved that dollar in gas by shopping closer to home!

      Here is what I bought this week:
      Nature Valley granola bars
      taco dinner kit
      ground beef
      crunchy peanut butter (HT brand)
      green chilis (HT brand)
      vitamin water (free with coupon)
      discounted produce (I haven't seen this before but basically it is produce that doesn't have much of a shelf life left that they bag and mark down.  I got 3 oranges and 1 grapefruit for $1)
      boston lettuce
      red bell pepper
      english muffins (buy one get one free)
      milk (1/2 gallon HT brand)
      lactose free milk
      string cheese
      shredded cheddar
      yogurt (coupon)

      And here is what we will be having for dinner:
      Tacos (good ole fashion El Paso)
      Peas, zucchini, orzo pasta (substituted risotto for orzo bc thats what I had)
      *Slow cooker Chicken tortilla soup (the recipe I have doesn't call for enchilada sauce)
      3 tomato spaghetti  (I am going to add grilled chicken)
      Chicken stir fry wraps

      *An example of how I saved a little money with this recipe is that instead of using a packet of taco seasoning, like it called for, I am using spices I have on hand.  I just googled "taco seasoning" and it brought up a recipe.  I have all of the spices already and you probably do too because they are basic spices.   It only saves me .70 cents but is money!

      I know this post is getting long but one more thing.  I have had several people ask me what I do for breakfast and lunch so I wanted to give you some examples of typical meals here:


      • whole grain Cheerios with sliced bananas
      • english muffin with crunchy peanut butter and sliced banana
      • granola bar
      • yogurt
      • cheese toast
      • fruit
      • oatmeal
      • Poptarts when I am lazy or rushed


      My kids are not big meat eaters so lunches for them are an array of things.  I also try to have them eat what we eat for dinner but if not this list applies to that too.

      • crackers and cheese
      • peanut butter on crackers
      • granola bars
      • cheese quesadillas
      • grilled cheese
      • PB&J
      • graham crackers, yogurt or applecause
      • turkey roll-ups
      • bagel sandwiches
      • turkey hotdogs
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