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17 Nov 2019   ·   0

Life Update: Pregnancy (week 16), a trip to Wichita, the Blissdom blogging conference

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram.

16 weeks!! (And excuse the sort of goofy pose/facial expression. I was hanging out with some good blogging friends after the Blissdom conference on Friday night and we were all laughing over something right before this photo was taken and I couldn’t stop laughing enough to take a more normal looking photo!)

Jami Balmet is pregnant with baby #6 (she had two sets of twin boys in two years and then she had a little girl!) and we are both due on the same day so we had to get a belly shot! We were teasing her that she’s so chill about her pregnancy because she’s so experienced that she rarely ever talks about it online. Whereas I’m over here documenting everything like a first-time mom!


I can feel the baby moving a lot more — especially in the last few days. The kids are so hopeful they’ll be able to feel movement on my tummy soon. I keep telling them it likely won’t be for another few weeks, but they are super excited about it.


I have finally been able to start drinking more water again after weeks and weeks of having to get super creative in getting in liquids since water made me sick. As someone who used to drink a gallon of water everyday, this has been a challenge and I’m so happy to be back to my water-guzzling habits!


I have been ravenously hungry this past week! It seems the baby is going through a big growth spurt or something. I am so grateful that I have been able to get back to eating much healthier now, even if I do still crave pizza and tacos and (now) desserts. But hey, being able to eat and enjoy salads after so many weeks of just eating whatever I thought I could keep down has been so nice!!


How are the rest of you pregnant mamas doing??

I got to fly down to Wichita, KS for my mom’s 66th birthday this past weekend. Unfortunately, I only got one picture (the one above of my parents) because I was so focused on just hanging out with my family.

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to go. Since we’ll likely be opening up our home soon to a child (or children) in foster care and I’m having a baby in the spring, I know that I probably won’t be able to just hop on a plane and go somewhere by myself in the coming months and years!

I love these three more than words can describe — but I kinda wish that they had a little more personality. 😉

We went to get their passports renewed over lunch break on Tuesday. (Kathrynne is going to Suriname in the Spring so we renewed them all while we were at it!)

In my usual desire to document life so I don’t forget, I asked them all to stand under the passport sign so I could take a cute picture of them. I said, “Smile!” and this was the result.

Of course I could have said something like, “C’mon guys, actually smile for me!” (And I do say that sometimes!!) But I also love having photos like this that show their personalities way more than a perfectly staged smiling picture ever would.

I’m trying to soak up these days, these moments, these personalities, these people who are growing up so quickly. It’s hard to think they were once tiny babes in my womb!

Also, this current tiny human in my womb has no idea what they are in for when they arrive into this world!! These three already have a host of plans, ideas, and dreams for how they will be loving on, nurturing, teaching, and spending time with the baby and I can hardly wait to get to watch them all interact together (though I’m wondering if I’m ever going to get to hold the baby myself! Maybe at the midnight feedings?!?)

I got to speak at the Blissdom blogging conference on Friday on the topic of live video (one of my favorite topics!). It was so good to get to meet some of you there!

While I love getting to speak, one of the best parts of conferences is getting to connect individually with people after I speak! I love hearing stories and providing individual encouragement and cheerleading!

I loved getting to meet and do an interview with Jo Saxton on leadership.

One of the best parts of the conference was getting to see so many longtime blogging friends! A bunch of these women had gotten an AirBnB together and they invited me to come over afterwards for dinner. I haven’t laughed as hard as we laughed in a really long time. It was such a gift for my soul!

What I’m Currently…

Reading: Families Where Grace is in Place and The Killing Tide

Watching: You’ve Got Mail (I haven’t watched this in ages! We had a discussion about AOL recently as a family and I remembered this movie so I watched it with the girls to give them a better understanding of what email was like when we were teenagers!)

Listening to: Christmas Music!

Loving: The fact that I’ve finished all my business travel + speaking engagements for 2019! I’ve loved getting to travel and speak and meet so many of you this year, but I’m also grateful that I get to stay home now and just enjoy my family and making special memories together for the holidays (plus begin work on the new book I’m writing in 2020!)

In Case You Missed It…

16 Nov 2019   ·   4

This Week’s Kroger Shopping Trip + Amazon Order = $63 spent!

Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

I only ended up going to Kroger once this past week, but I got some great deals and markdowns!

The Cream of Chicken soup was in the markdown section and it was just $0.49 each + it was part of the Buy 10, Get $5 off deal which meant that I got $0.50 off each — making them free!

I was super excited about finding the Yoplait 8-count packs of yogurt for just $0.99 and also the Off the Grid Waffles for just $0.99 each! There is a $0.50/1 iBotta rebate with a limit of 5 so I got back $2.50 for buy 5 boxes!

And finally, I was super thrilled to find eggs marked down! We were down to our last few eggs so it was perfect timing!

Kroger Shopping Trip:

  • 5 Campbell’s Soup — marked down to $0.49, got $0.50 off each because they were part of the buy 10, Get $5 off deal
  • 2 cans of Swanson broth — $0.49 each when you buy 10 participating items
  • 4 cans of Green Beans — $0.49 each when you buy 10 participating items
  • 2 pounds Land O Lakes butter — $2.49 each when you buy 10 participating items
  • 3 boxes Creamette Pasta — $0.49 each when you buy 10 participating items, used $1/3 coupon from a Kroger mailer = $0.50 for all three
  • 2 cartons cottage cheese — $1.49 each when you buy 10 participating items
  • 3 boxes of Swiss Miss hot cocoa — $0.99 each when you buy 10 participating items
  • Annie’s Mac & Cheese — marked down to $0.45
  • 5 boxes Off the Grid Waffles — marked down to $0.99 each, plus I got $0.50 back per box from iBotta
  • Old El Pasa Taco Shells — marked down to $0.39
  • 2 boxes SO Right frozen burrito bowls — marked down to $0.89 each
  • 1 dozen Kroger eggs — marked down to $0.59
  • 5 dozen cage-free brown eggs — marked down to $1.29 each
  • 2 Chobani yogurt flips — marked down to $0.19 each
  • Kroger peanut butter — free with Kroger coupon from the Kroger mailer
  • Kroger water — $0.89
  • 2 Dannon Oikos yogurt — marked down to $0.49 each
  • 2 packages Roasted Turkey — marked down to $1.79 each
  • Broccoli crowns — $0.70
  • Kroger smoked sausage — free with Kroger mailer coupon
  • 2 8-count packages of Yoplait yogurt — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 1 bunch of green leaf lettuce — $1.79
  • Bag of 3 apples — marked down to $0.99
  • Bananas — marked down to $0.50
  • Dole Salad Kit — $1.79
  • 4-lb bag of oranges — $3.99
  • Milk — $2.99
  • Total with tax: $53.28

Since I had some extra wiggle room in the grocery budget, I went ahead and ordered this great deal off of Amazon.

Dinners This Past Week

Rebates earned: $2.75 back from iBotta + 225 points from Fetch Rewards

16 Nov 2019   ·   4

Brigette’s $84 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan


1 5-lb roll 73/27 Fresh Ground Beef – $8.95

1 3-lb bag frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – $5.85

1 16-oz pkg Deli Meat – $2.85

1-lb Premium Sausage – $1.89

1 pkg String Cheese – $1.95

1 8-oz pkg Deli Sliced Cheese – $1.79

1 gallon Whole Milk – $0.97

1 gallon 1% Milk – $0.97

1 64-oz carton Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.65

1 pkg Zucchini ($0.95/lb) – $1.54

1 pkg Romaine Hearts – $1.99

1 Cauliflower – $1.99

2 pkgs Broccoli Crowns – $3.38

2 Avocados – $0.58

1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.49

1 bag Red Grapes ($0.95/lb) – $1.92

1 carton Grapes Tomatoes – $1.59

1 bag Mini Cucumbers -$2.09

3 cans Green Beans – $1.14

1 bunch Bananas ($0.38/lb) – $1.24

1 10-lb bag Russet Potatoes – $3.49

2 boxes Honey Crispy Oats – $2.38

2 64-oz cartons Orange Juice – $3.28

1 can Whipped Topping – $2.65

1 32-oz carton Half and Half – $1.55

1 box Pumpkin Pecan Instant Oatmeal – $1.99

1 bottle Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk Creamer – $1.99 (yes, I’m *that* person who buys everything pumpkin🙂)

1 jar Pasta Sauce – $0.85

1 pkg Crème Brulee Coffee – $3.79

1 pkg Tortillas – $0.65

3 dozen Eggs – $2.31

1 32-oz bag Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $4.99

2 loaves Sandwich Bread, reduced – $0.50

1 bag Gluten-Free Pretzels – $1.85

Total: $80.09

Harris Teeter

8 cans Beans – $2.72

1 bag Pretzel Crisps – $1.99, used $1.00/1 printable – $0.99 after coupon

1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dip – $1.25, used $0.50/1 Hidden Valley Ranch Dry Dip or Seasoning Mix Exp 12/10/19 (SS 11/10/19 R) (doubled) – $0.25 after coupon

1 pkg Bridgford Parkerhouse Style Rolls – $1.84, used $0.75/1 printable (doubled) – $0.34 after coupon

Total after Coupons: $4.30

Grocery Total for the Week: $84.39

Weekly Menu Plan


Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfasts. Choices include:

Cereal, Oatmeal, Toast, Fruit, Smoothies, Veggie Omelets, Fried/Scrambled/Boiled Eggs


Cheese Quesadillas, Grapes, Carrots x 2

Pretzels with Peanut Butter, Cheese Sticks, Apples, Cucumbers

Baked Potatoes with Shredded Cheese, Bananas, Grape Tomatoes

Leftovers x 3


Chili, World’s Best Honey Cornbread

Lasagna Casserole, Homemade Breadsticks, Tossed Salad, Green Beans

Cheesy Hamburger Soup, Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

Leftover Chili over Baked Potatoes, Tossed Salad, Broccoli

Date Night Out (macaroni and cheese for the kids at home)

Crockpot Italian Chicken, Roasted Broccoli, Rolls, Creamy Milk Rice

Venison Roast in the Crockpot, Rolls, Green Beans, Garlic Mashed Cauliflower, Tossed Salad

16 Nov 2019   ·   0
Yumble Kids Meals

Yumble Promo Code: 50% Off Healthy, Delicious Kids Meals

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Take advantage of this Yumble promo code to get 50% off your first three weeks of delivered kids meals!

Yumble Kids Meals

If you have a difficult time coming up with quick & easy, nutritious meals that your kids will love, you might want to check out Yumble!

Yumble is a new meal subscription service for kids ages 2-8. All of Yumble’s meals are nutritious, kid-approved, and take just a few minutes to heat up in the microwave.

And right now you can get 50% off your first three weeks of boxes with promo code BXAYUMBLE50 at checkout.

Yumble Meals

Here’s how to get this deal:

  1. Head over HERE and click on the “get started” button.
  2. Put in your zip code and choose at least 6 meals. (Or choose the “top rated” box to get a box of the most popular meals.)
  3. Click on the “Continue to Checkout” button.
  4. You’ll pay just $23.97 shipped for 6 kids meals — which is like paying just $3.99 per meal!
  5. If you buy 12 meals, you’ll pay just $3.75 per meal.
  6. Your coupon code should be good on your next two week’s worth of boxes, as well.

Considering the convenience factor, $3.75 – $3.99 per kids meal is a pretty good deal — cheaper than what you’d pay for a kids meal at most restaurants.

So if you find yourself frazzled on weeknights and always picking up to-go food from a restaurant, this might save you money and sanity.

Yumble Choices

Note: When you sign up for this deal, you’re signing up for a subscription of weekly deliveries. You can pause, skip, or cancel your subscription at any time, though. If you don’t want to continue getting subscriptions after your first box, be sure to go into your account and cancel your subscription before your next box ships out.

Go here to get started with Yumble.

16 Nov 2019   ·   0
Free Etsy Starter Kit

Free Etsy Starter Kit!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Are you interested in starting an Etsy shop? Grab this Free Etsy Starter Kit!

Free Etsy Starter Kit

Have you been wanting to start an Etsy shop but confusion, overwhelm, or fear holds you back? If so, be sure to grab this FREE Etsy Starter Kit!

This kit will help you:

  • Get rid of overwhelm or fear of the technology
  • Eliminate confusion about what to focus on first
  • Not waste money on tech tools you don’t need
  • Finally get your shop open and start making money from your creativity!

Go here to sign up!

16 Nov 2019   ·   1

3 Steps to Start That Blog You’ve Been Dreaming Of!

Have you been dreaming of starting a blog?

As a blogger, I remember what it was like trying to get my blog started without the help of someone who knew the ropes — the wasted time and frustration trying to figure it all out by myself.

I don’t want your frustrations and fears to keep you from starting that blog you’ve always dreamed of!

And that’s why I’ve decided to offer FREE lifetime access to my one-hour introductory blogging class 3 Steps to Start That Blog You’ve Been Dreaming Of!

Go here to sign up!

15 Nov 2019   ·   8

7 Face Masks + 2 Bonus Items only $4.90 shipped!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Looking for some frugal stocking stuffers? These face masks would make a great option!

Right now, FaceTory is offering their 7 LUX Box for only $4.90 shipped when you use the promo code 7LUX15 at checkout! That’s $15 off your first box!!

This box includes seven handpicked, luxurious K-Beauty sheet masks plus two bonus items (Skin & Lab Barrierderm Mileage Sample Kit and ID Plascosmetics Face Fit Lip Fit-ler).

That makes each item just $0.54 shipped! I have tried some of these face masks before and loved them.

We got our box and I was so impressed with everything in it and couldn’t believe it was just $4.90 shipped!!

You can watch Kaitlynn and me unbox my box here to see what all they sent us. Kaitlynn has had the BEST time using these face masks and I might even get brave and try a few! 🙂

{Please note that when you sign up for this, you will continue to receive and be charged for a box every month. If you no longer wish to continue your subscription, be sure to cancel before your next box ships.}

Get your 7 LUX Box here.

15 Nov 2019   ·   10

The Perfect Joanna Boyfriend Tee only $10.95 shipped!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Looking for the perfect tee as we transition into the cold winter months? This is it!

Cents of Style has their brand new Joanna Boyfriend V-Neck Tee for just $10.95 shipped when you use coupon code JOANNA at checkout!

This is the same shirt as the wildly popular Jagger tee, but with long sleeves!

The Perfect Joanna Tee

This shirt is SUPER soft and really versatile! It can be worn long over leggings, tied in the front for a really cute look, tucked into skinny jeans, or layered with a long cardigan.

It comes in sizes S through 3XL, and there are 15 color choices!!

Sizes and colors will sell out lightning fast so hurry and shop right away!

Valid through November 17, 2019, while supplies last.

Go here to get your Perfect Joanna Boyfriend V-Neck Tee for $10.95 shipped!

15 Nov 2019   ·   1

Adidas Men’s Cloudfoam Shoes only $23.10 shipped (Reg. $65!)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

This is such a fantastic price on these Adidas Cloudfoam Shoes!

You can get these Adidas Men’s Cloudfoam Shoes for only $23 shipped right now! Here’s how:

Adidas Men’s Cloudfoam Advantage Shoes – $33 (regularly $65)
Use promo code GIVEADI (30% off)
Shipping is free for Creator’s Club members (free to join)
$23.10 shipped after code

Psst! You can still get these Adidas Ultraboost Shoes for only $75.60!

Thanks, Hip2Save!

15 Nov 2019   ·   0
VAVA Himalayan Salt Lamp

VAVA Himalayan Salt Lamp only $12.39!

{This deal post is sponsored by VAVA and contains affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.}

This VAVA Himalayan Salt Lamp is perfect to provide a soothing and tranquil environment.

VAVA Himalayan Salt Lamp

Amazon has this VAVA Himalayan Salt Lamp for just $12.39 when you clip the 20% off e-coupon and use coupon code L77G752S at checkout!

This comes with an extra two bulbs. Perfect for a bedside table, desk, coffee table and more. It would make a great gift idea!

Valid through November 17, 2019, while supplies last.

Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get guaranteed FREE two-day shipping (and possibly one-day or same-day shipping!). And don’t forget you can sign up for Swagbucks to earn free gift cards to use on deals on Amazon.