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8 Dec 2019   ·   6

Life Update: Pregnancy (week 19), our first foster care placement, plus more!

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.


19 weeks!! It feels like the last two weeks have sort of dragged by slower than usual as I anticipated being at the halfway mark. I have a feeling once I hit 20 weeks, then it will feel like it flies by for a bit until I start anticipating 30 weeks and then 40 weeks.

HIGHLIGHTS

I definitely started looking more pregnant this week. A lot of people noticed it and it’s fun (and weird!) to look down and see a protruding belly! I also broke out my first pair of maternity jeans (see photo above!) which felt pretty monumental!

NOTABLE

I started taking only one dose of iron daily + one dose of Blood Builder (instead of a double dose of SlowFe). It seems like this combo is working well for my stomach + I seem to have had more energy this week and I have to wonder if the B12 is helping with that?! I’m still nauseous at least part of most every day and running on about 50% the energy that I usually am, but it’s SO much better than the first trimester and I’m so grateful!

CRAVINGS

Scrambled eggs, avocados, and sourdough toast with butter continue to be my go to’s. I also had this obsession with making a pie mixing yogurt and whipped topping and freezing it in a graham cracker crust (thanks to a suggestion from a follower for how to use up all this plain yogurt I got marked down at a crazy price!)

Weight gain: 10 lbs.

We bought and decorated a Christmas tree this week! I felt like we were at least a week behind the rest of the world in getting this up, but I guess there are no rules for Christmas, right? The good news is that because we waited, we were able to get the tree for half price!

(Psst! If you’ve been around here for awhile, you’ll remember that we ditched having a big Christmas tree last year. But this year, we decided to bring back the tradition and we don’t regret it! Want to hear about more of our Christmas traditions? We all recorded a podcast as a family on that very topic.)

Silas had this big wart on his finger that he got burned off this week at the pediatrician’s office.

Growing up, I had to get a lot of warts burned off, so I felt so badly for him when he was in pain for the next day as a result. But he really wanted to get it taken off and it was so big that I didn’t think any of the natural remedies would work (I tried a bunch of them growing up, including ACV, duct tape, wart remover ointment, and more and none of them ever worked at all for me!!)

Gratefully, the pain only lasted for a day and he’s really happy that it’s healing!

Kathrynne had her first basketball games of the season this week. She’s on Varsity this year and has a new coach, so she’s being stretched in good ways. We love getting to cheer her on and try to go to every single game that we can go to. It becomes a fun family activity — and we also get to see new parts of TN as we drive to little towns in different places for her away games!

We also had a big Christmas gathering for all of the youth group members from both campuses of our church + the leaders. I laughed so hard and it was such a gift during a very full week.

(By the way, Jesse and I have just loved the opportunity to serve as youth group leaders this year. It has brought us so much joy and life to pour into these kids!)

Friday afternoon, we got a call about a 3-sibling group in foster care that didn’t have a home for the weekend. They were 13, 11, and 3 and Jesse and I felt strongly we were supposed to say yes. It turned out to be such a wonderful weekend. Tiring, but such a gift to get to open our home up and love on these kids.

They had never decorated Christmas cookies before, so we had a fun time baking and decorating cookies together.

The 3-year-old gave Kaitlynn a makeover! 🙂

The stay included one night with very little sleep because the 3-year-old had a bad cough and it kept waking her up and then she’d get scared and cry. I finally figured out that if I laid next to her bed, when she woke up, she’d be a lot less scared if I was right there with her.

Her cough got worse on Saturday, so I took her into urgent care just to be safe. Gratefully, no ear infection (she’d be complaining of her ears hurting) and just an upper respiratory infection. They suggested honey and a humidifier. We also found Zarbee’s cough syrup that was approved for kids under 6 (we discovered this weekend that almost no meds are approved for kids under 6! I think maybe things have changed since our kids were little?) and we gave her that on Saturday night and she only woke up twice!)

We are so thankful we had the opportunity to open up our home this weekend — if only for a short while — to love on and provide a safe place for these kids to stay. I also have quickly realized how many big feelings are going to be involved in this foster care journey we’re on… as I told someone yesterday, it’s both beautiful and brutal.

8 Dec 2019   ·   0

This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + Menu Plan

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.

We had a full week and it ended with unexpectedly hosting three children from foster care who didn’t have a home to go to this weekend. Because they didn’t get here until Friday evening and it was a teen, tween, and preschooler, we had them pick their favorite fast food restaurant to go to when they got to our house.

Then, on Saturday, we discovered they had never been to Chick-fil-A, we decided to take them there on Saturday night. (Plus, I spent the evening at urgent care with one of them because they came with a bad cough and it got progressively worse so it worked out that I didn’t worry about dinner that night!)

Here were the groceries we bought this week:

Kroger Shopping Trip #1:

  • King’s Hawaiian Bread —  marked down to $1.79
  • Sugar — $1.59
  • Baking powder — $0.89
  • 2 packages Glutino cookies — marked down to $1 each
  • Multigrain Sprouted bread — marked down to $2.29
  • 2 Siggi’s yogurt — marked down to $0.49 each
  • Simple Truth Eggs — marked down to $1.49
  • Lettuce — $1.79
  • 2 cans of pumpkin — $1 each
  • Water — $0.89
  • Red Grapes — $0.99/lb.
  • Total with tax: $21.65

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

I could not believe this price on this yogurt! I used it in muffins and in two yogurt/whipped cream/raspberry pies, and plan to use the rest for yogurt/granola/fruit parfaits this coming week!

I was so excited about the weekend deals at Kroger this week! Just in time for holiday baking!

Kroger Shopping Trip #3:

  • 5 bags Nestle Chocolate Chips — $1.49 each with 3-day weekend deals
  • Whipped topping — $0.89
  • 2 cartons Turkey broth — marked down to $0.49 each
  • Ripple Half & Half — on closeout for $0.87
  • 2 boxes Quaker Cocoa and Sea Salt oatmeal — marked down to $0.79 each
  • 5 bags Gold Medal Flour — $1.49 each with 3-day weekend deals
  • 2 tubs of raspberries — $1.25 each
  • 5 bottles of Wesson oil — $1.49 each with 3-day weekend deals
  • Ground beef — marked down to $3.79
  • Total with tax: $35.28

My grand total for groceries this week was a little over budget ($73.11), but since I’ve been under budget the last few weeks, I had a little wiggle room to spare!

This Week’s Dinners:

  • Monday — French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Fruit
  • Tuesday — Marked Down King’s Hawaiian Bread, Mashed Potatoes, Sausage, Green Beans, Clementines
  • Wednesday — Italian Chicken, Grapes, Peas, Mashed Potatoes, Marked Down King’s Hawaiian Bread
  • Thursday — Corn Chowder, Banana Muffins, Grapes
  • Friday — Sonic (the choice of the kids who were staying with us this weekend!)
  • Saturday — Chick-fil-A (the kids staying with us had never been and were so excited to get to go!)
  • Sunday — Steak, Roasted Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli, Grapes
7 Dec 2019   ·   12

Have you signed up for your FREE Harry’s Shaving Bundle yet?!

If you haven’t tried Harry’s yet, you can currently get a FREE shaving bundle! All you’ll pay is shipping!

Harry’s is offering a free three-piece Shaving Bundle right now. You just pay $3 for shipping. This is valued at $13!

In this free set, you’ll get two weeks’ worth of shaving supplies from Harry’s: a Truman razor with a blade (choose from one of three different different colors), foaming shave gel, and a travel blade cover.

I ordered this and was very impressed with what I got for $3 shipped! The razor was seems to be really high quality and I loved the rubberized handle (and it’s fun that you get to choose the color!)

I chose the orange handled razor although I’m not really sure why! I think if I were to do it again, I would choose the blue. Oh well!

When you sign up for this Shaving Bundle, it signs you up for a subscription to Harry’s razors, however, you can choose to cancel before they send your next shipment. I ordered this and I chose the 5-month option (see above).

They said that they will email you before they send your next shipment and you can cancel your subscription then if you don’t want to continue getting shipments. Or, go ahead and cancel it as soon as your first order ships above so you don’t accidentally forget.

I went in and cancelled my subscription after my box shipped and it was SUPER easy to do.

Hesitant about Harry’s? Check out this recent Harry’s review from a reader:

“I’ve been using Harry’s since this past December and I must say that their products and customer service are GREAT! I also took them up on their mystery product and ALWAYS get an item much more valuable than what they charge.

I received the BEST customer service email that I have ever received from ANY company that I’ve done business with. I was so pleased that I emailed them back to thank them for such a nice, friendly email and they replied-pronto!

AND their blades are really nice! I get auto shipping every 3 months, but these blades start sharp and stay sharp for much longer than those I used to buy in stores.

As a disabled ARMY veteran I chose the OD Green color razor, which too, is a wonderful product. The weight of the razor makes shaving so much more enjoyable and effective.

I really think that you’ll enjoy these products!”

Here’s how to get this deal:

Woohoo! Just $3 out of pocket for the set!

Let me know if you’ve ordered from Harry’s before or have a subscription. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Also, see my Completely Honest Review of Dollar Shave Club. (And you can get a Starter Set from Dollar Shave Club for just $5 shipped here.)

7 Dec 2019   ·   8

Sign up with EF Education First to work from home as an ESL teacher!

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

Looking for unique ways to earn a part-time income from home? Apply to teach with EF Education First!

If you hold a Bachelor’s degree, you can currently apply with EF Education First to to make money teaching kids English online from the comfort of your home!

With EF Education First, your teaching is supplemental to what they’re already learning in a classroom environment. You don’t need any mandatory props or teaching backdrops.

And you can earn up to $2,000 per month teaching part-time with EF Education First!

Interested? Here’s how to apply:

  1. Go HERE and and enter your name and e-mail address to get started.
  2. Complete the application form.
  3. Speak to someone from the recruitment team.
  4. If hired, you’ll get a contract and be up and running in as little as two weeks!

Go here to apply to teach with EF Education First!

Psst! Looking for more opportunities like this? You can also apply with VIPKID or Qkids to teach part-time from home!

7 Dec 2019   ·   2

Brigette’s $87 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

My older sister, Brigette, shares her shopping trips and menu plans every week! You can go HERE to see all of her weekly menu plans and you can go HERE to read all about her family!

Aldi

1 canister Quick Oats – $2.36

2 pkgs frozen Broccoli Florets – $1.90

2 3-lb bags Mandarin Oranges – $5.18

2 2-lb bags Honey Crisp Apples – $5.18

1 bag fresh Cilantro – $0.75

1 Cauliflower – $2.29

1 bag Mini Cucumbers – $2.19

2 bags fresh Green Beans – $3.38

2 cans Green Beans – $0.74

1 bag Romaine Hearts – $2.39

1 large jar Unsweetened Applesauce – $1.95

2 Avocados – $1.18

1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $1.99

1 bag Baby Carrots – $0.89

1 bunch Bananas – $1.45

1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.69

2 cartons Raspberries – $2.58

1 carton Grape Tomatoes – $1.19

2 64-oz cartons Orange Juice – $3.28

1 16-oz carton Heavy Whipping Cream – $1.55

1 gallon 1% Milk – $0.97

1 gallon Whole Milk – $0.97

1/2 gallon Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.65

1 can Whipped Topping – $2.65

1 box Butter Quarters – $1.99

1 jar Spaghetti Sauce – $0.85

1 jar Mild Salsa – $0.98

1 jar Onion Powder – $0.79

1 jar Garlic Powder – $0.79

1 pkg Deli Sliced Cheese – $1.79

1 pkg String Cheese – $1.95

1 pkg Deli Sliced Ham – $2.79

1lb Ground Sausage – $1.89

1 pkg Sliced Pepperoni – $1.99

1 2-lb bag Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $4.99

1 5-lb bag Flour – $0.99

1 pkg Tortillas – $0.95

1 bag Pretzels – $1.29

1 bag Nacho Cheese Chips – $0.75

1 bag Plain Rice Cakes – $1.45

1 bag Veggie Straws – $1.89

1 box Cheese Crackers – $1.49

2 boxes Crispy Oats – $2.38

1 box Frosted Flakes – $1.33

3 dozen Eggs – $2.31

1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.65

Grocery Total for the Week: $87.58

Weekly Menu Plan

My husband got two more deer this week, so we’ve spent a lot of time processing approximately 75 lbs of meat the last couple of days (the deer in South Carolina are tiny!). I’m very thankful for a freezer FULL of venison (this makes 5 deer for the season so far).

Breakfasts

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

Cereal, Fried/Scrambled/Boiled Eggs, Veggie Omelets, Freezer-Friendly Baked Oatmeal, Smoothies, Fruit, Applesauce

Lunches

Baked Sweet Potatoes, Cottage Cheese, Apples, Mini Cucumbers

Deli Meat/Cheese Sandwiches, Carrots, Raspberries/Bananas x 2

Peanut Butter on Rice Cakes, Cheese Sticks, Apples, Mini Peppers x 2

Leftovers x 2

Dinners

Upside Down Pizza, Tossed Salad

Leftover Turkey with Gravy, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes, Biscuits

Taco Salad (using seasoned ground venison), Spanish Rice, Broccoli, Oranges

Meatloaf (mixture of ground beef and venison), Creamy Milk Rice, Tossed Salad, Broccoli

Date Night Out

Cheesy Hamburger Potato Soup (I’m going to substitute ground sausage for the hamburger) Tossed Salad, Homemade Dill Bread,

Leftovers

6 Dec 2019   ·   0
Doll Clothing Set of 7 Outfits

Set of 7 Doll Outfits for just $9.75 shipped!! (Fits American Girl and Our Generation Dolls!)

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

Whoa! This is SUCH a good deal on doll clothing!

Doll Clothing Set of 7 Outfits

Amazon has this Set of 7 Doll Outfits for just $9.75 shipped when you use coupon code VRVXSZOQ at checkout. This is a GREAT price for doll clothing that fits American Girl and Our Generation!

Note: This is not Prime eligible, and it currently says the arrival date is between December 12th and 17th.

You can also still get this Doll Clothes 28-Piece Set for just $29.95 shipped — also a great deal!

Thanks, Hip2Save!

6 Dec 2019   ·   0
THE LEGO MOVIE 2 Shimmer & Shine Sparkle Spa!

HUGE Savings on LEGO Sets!

6 Dec 2019   ·   0
Strategy Games

Up to 65% off Strategy Games!

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

Today only, Amazon is offering up to 65% off Strategy Games! These would make great gift ideas. Here are some deals you can score…

Strategy Games

Get this Bezier Games One Night Ultimate Werewolf for only $8.75!

Get this Forbidden Island game for just $9.99!

Get this Codenames: Pictures for just $8.99!

Get this Dragonwood A Game of Dice & Daring Board Game for just $10.45!

Get this Forbidden Desert Board Game for only $13.99!

Shop the Strategy Game sale here.

Valid today only, December 6, 2019.

Looking for unique gifts for board gamer lovers this holiday season? We have you covered with this Board Game Gifts Guide — and they’re all under $30 to help you stick to your gift budget!

Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get this deal plus 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.

6 Dec 2019   ·   0
Blokus game

Blokus Game for just $9.99!

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

Grab this popular Blokus Game at a low price right now!

Blokus game

Amazon has this popular Blokus Game for just $9.99 right now — a rare price drop and a great deal!

If you prefer to shop at Walmart, you can also get it over there for the same great price right now!

Looking for more board game gifts? Check out our Board Games Holiday Gift Guide!

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.

Thanks, Hip2Save!

6 Dec 2019   ·   0
Vintage Hymn Prints Large

Vintage Hymn Prints only $4.37 + shipping!

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

These Vintage Hymn Prints would make great frugal wall decor!

Vintage Hymn Prints Large

The popular deal on these Vintage Hymn Prints for only $4.37 + shipping is BACK!

Choose from four sizes and tons of different print styles. These would make great gift ideas!

Shipping is $3.77 for the first print and $0.47 for each additional print shipped within the same order.

Psst! We love Jane! Looking for other great Jane deals? Check out our custom Jane page for more of our hand-picked favorite deals each day!

6 Dec 2019   ·   0
Urban Style Clutch

Urban Style Clutch for just $11.99 + shipping!

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

These Urban Style Clutches are so cute!

Urban Style Clutch

Jane has these Urban Style Clutches for just $11.99 + shipping right now! Choose from three styles.

This would be a great frugal gift idea for someone on your Christmas list!

Shipping is $1.99 for the first clutch, and then free for any additional clutches shipped within the same order.

Psst! We love Jane! Looking for other great Jane deals? Check out our custom Jane page for more of our hand-picked favorite deals each day!