What to Buy at Aldi + Giveaway

9:23 PM

What to buy at Aldi

Any Aldi shoppers here?
For some reason I was super nervous to shop here. Actually, I do know the reason..Does anyone else remember the whole horse meat thing?
I thought to myself yeah..no way. I also was a total, non brand food snob if you will. I just KNEW the food had to taste awful.
Then a friend in a different state was all..WHAT? She couldn't believe it. She made me go try it! & I loved it!

what to buy at aldi

Did you know Aldi is the same company as Trader Joes? Most of their product are the exact same but in different package & for half the price!

First let me tell you, there is a learning curve to shopping here.
First, You need to bring your own bags, or pay for them when you get there.
Second, You also pay for your cart..but when you return it..you get your quarter back! Which brings to the end of this post for a giveaway! So keep reading!

Next, let me tell you about what we buy..& Don't for that matter.
Let me say though..I do most of the girls lunch shopping at Aldi. Not alot of our main groceries for dinner. So this is list is based on those needs.

Ready? Here we go!

  • Flowers -- this one may seem odd, but I really love fresh flowers. They can get pricey at the grocery! I can always find great fresh bouquets cheap here!

  • Baking Spices -- always only a couple bucks & great quality!
  • Coconut oil -- I use this for a lot of things..my hair, my face & I add a couple tablespoons to the girls baths!
  • Simply Nature Organic Salsa -- we go through this weekly in the summer
  • Simply Nature Organic Corn Chips -- SO GOOD
  • Live gFree gluten-free tortillas -- We do a lot of wraps. Kennedy  always is asking for them in her lunches. She loves the spinach ones! Okay so we are NOT gluten free, but you will see I buy a lot of it. I like to buy it with certain products just because it helps, particularly, Kennedys stomach with generally carb-y things to be gluten free if she eats often. As a dancer she can sometimes feel " heavy" when she eats a lot of carbs! This helps! 

Speaking of, they have a WONDERFUL gluten free section if you are gluten free! We have tried about all of them and all of the products are amazing & tasty!

  • On things we DO NOT buy here.. From our own experience we do not get any produce here. Ours always seems to go bad almost instantly. The prices are never enough of savings to make up for it. We still stick with our normal grocery for that!

  • Butter -- Butter is always the most competitively priced even without coupons at Aldi! They even have my favorite Kerrygold for the cheapest I can find!
  • Moo Tubes -- they are really great to have on hand! I hate how much sugar they have so the girls will have them as a fun snack here & there
  • Hummus-- I am not a huge hummus eater {it makes me gaggy}, but the girls are! They love the roasted peepers & ranch flavors!

  • Simpy Nature Organic Yogurt -- again very competitively priced! I get the vanilla its so yummy with the next thing I list!
  • Granola -- Any of the granola they sell there, even the gluten free. Both girls love making parfaits at home for breakfast & I pack them for lunch! They love the ones that taste like girl scout cookie flavors!
  • Frozen Fruits -- they are amazing to use for smoothies!

  • Almond butter -- it's always about half the price than what I can find anywhere else! Also great for smoothies!
  • Simply Nature Sweet Potato Chips -- Do yourself a favor & buy two bags. You will go through the first one in one sitting
  • Simply Nature Popcorn -- this come close to stealing my love for Boom Chicka Pop. It just doesn't come in as many fun flavors. This is a great yummy snack, that is guilt-ish-free!
  • Frozen Pizzas -- These are so great to have on hand for quick dinner nights when you don't want to cook..they are so tasty too!
  • Organic Apple Sauce- Apple saue is so hard to find with out a huge sugar content. But this one does the trick!
  • Dried Fruit -- we get the freeze dried anything. The apple, pears & strawberries are the faves & we also love the banana chips!
  • Beef Sticks -- Great protein snack for the girls..& me on the go!
  • Whole Grain Frozen Waffles -- Its probably cheaper for me to make them myself, & I do make a bunch at one time & freeze. But sometimes..you just don't have time. These are perfect for busy school mornings!

Now, I realize you are wondering about the meat. But I still haven't tried much. I do love their chicken sausage & things like that. But we get our meat from a local farm so I haven't really indulged in it too much!

But there you have it!
At the end of your shopping trip you take your cart over & bag all of your grocery up & then take your cart out front to get your quarter back! I hope this was helpful if you are overwhelmed trying Aldi for the first time!

On to the giveaway!
If you are a Aldi shopper you know what a pain it is sometimes to find that dang quarter to get your cart! & that is where this comes in handy! A little key-chain to hold your quarter for easy finding & keeping on you at all times for when you put it in & get it back! Find out how to enter by visiting my Facebook post HERE!

Kensley's LOL Surprise Doll Birthday Party - LOL birthday Ideas - LOL Birthday Cake

6:38 PM

LOL Surprise Birthday Party Ideas

I can't believe it, but somehow we celebrated Kensley turning 6 today! She turns 6 in a couple days, & I just can't comprehend how that is possible. 6 just seems so old, I don't know why. It's like 6 is a kid now. It's so bittersweet because I love watching her grow, but she's my baby!

We haven't had very many birthday parties in the last couple of years. Now that they are a little older to make decisions for themselves about these things, we give them an option of a party or an "experience" & the last couple years she had chosen to go do something! { see past parties HERE}

She is obsessed, & I mean obsessed with L.O.L surprise balls for the past 3 years. Back when they were REALLY hard to find. You had to order them, they weren't even at stores {thanks YouTube}
So it was a no brainer for her that, that is what she wanted her party to be.

I am a little off my birthday game, but with a death in the family days before; the party ended up turning out great! This was her first friend birthday, & it was so fun to see my shy girl in this environment being so goofy with her friends! 

For ya'll asking on FB & IG; I will have a Snapchat Geo filter tutorial & balloon arch tutorial coming this week!

lol birthday party ideas


LOL doll cookies

lol birthday party ideas

LOL Birthday Cake - LOL Birthday Ideas

Add caption

lol birthday party ideas

LOL birthday cake

& because I couldn't choose one of her, here is 100000 pictures of Kensley doing pretty much the exact same thing in every photo.

obsessed with this pic. I just love her in it!

Kensley & Her Friends!
I had some fun & made her this snapchat geo filter for fun photos with her friends! {tutorial coming this week!}

Rebuilding who I am

1:51 PM
This post is long overdue. I get alot of emails & questions for updates on what exactly going on & updates with all things pregnancy & babies. 
I've wanted to make this post, but keep putting off. Its hard, sad & raw. I've kinda felt like I've been in the in between & like I couldn't talk about my struggles with all of this because of what I have now. So I just haven't. I didn't want anyone struggling to come into this space & see pictures of my girls & my life with my family now & be angry or hurt, which I understand. So if that is you & have to scroll on, no worries. I hope you feel the love I have for you during your struggle no matter how much or how little we know one another.
I have alot of my readers who have been readers since before Kennedy or during my pregnancy with Kennedy. Some of you have cried happy & sad years with me. And some of you have just been wondering in the back of your head. 

So here I am.

 I feel like the last time we talked about this was a update on where I had been & about a recent miscarriage I had, had. It was a crazy time in my life. I remember being so sad & happy & scared & confused. It was so many emotions. I didn't have much time to figure them out before the baby was gone. & then I just didn't talk about anything pregnancy related again.

For those that are new here. Pregnancy is hard for me. First, it's harder for me to get pregnant. With time, we found out I could fairly easily get pregnant with fertility drugs. & much to our surprise we even found out I could pregnant without them! But the thing that's the hardest, & really the most important part of the whole getting pregnant thing; is staying pregnant. My body fights to get rid of the pregnancies, we fight to keep them. I get very sick. Lots of shots, Lots of meds, lots of tubes, pumps, even more ultrasounds & appointments. But we were okay with it. There was times I was scared. I was mad. I even said the pregnancy after Kensley, I didn't want to be pregnant. Which I never thought I would ever ever say. . My life was on the line, I knew sickness & hospitalization was just around the corner, & I had these precious little girls I really want to alive for. They were 2 & under 2, & I had no idea how I would care for them during the pregnancy. 

That time changed me. More friends had babies, more family. My urge that I've had since a young girl came back  That big family we always had wanted. I knew the risks. There was many a argument about this decision. Lots of discussion. 

I know alot of you are are all ?!? " you should be so grateful for your two girls." "some people don't have any, you are so lucky" But, {& let me stop here to say if you are in the same boat as me, or with secondary infertility. Please, DO NOT let that stop you. DO not let these comments take away from the family you want. You can be grateful for the children you have & still want more children. You can still be grateful & thankful for the children you have mourn losses & growing your family.} My whole life I dreamt of being a Mom. & not just a Mom to one child. I was going to be a Mom to large family. There would chaos & at holidays arguments & ruckus. & it was going to be most glorious life I could imagine. So, yes I am so unbelievably grateful, & feel that's very apparent, to have my girls. But my longing for that family can't just be turned off.

So,  I would see these stories being shared on Facebook. These miracle pregnancies.  I thought, that can happen to me. Why wouldn't it? We have SO much love to give. I was a good enough Mom right? I was a good enough person. Surely, it would happen to me. So I saw doctors, specialists, holistic midwives. 

But this time in private. I had to do this alone. Which meant acting like everything was fine. Sitting through dance for the girls while gushing blood & having to act like not a thing was happening.You see, the second loss.. it's sad. Third time, people are worried about you. Four times, they pity you. So as I go into 5+ I had to stop. We couldn't tell family, not even my mom who I am so close with. Because, obviously I feel like no one can love my kids more than myself & Brandon. But I tell you my mom comes pretty dang close. She loved the babies as I did, the moment I told her. & I got sick of making her sad. I got sick of the looks on peoples faces when I would have to tell them. I got sick of the pity in their eyes. & I really got sick of the "at least you have the girls".  It got to the point when people were done with being invested. & I get it. Shoot, I got there too. I even lose track of numbers. I became numb, surely everyone else was too.

So time passed, eventually we had to stop. Every day I was pregnant was waiting for that doomsday. Some got far, some not so far. You can only spend so much time, money & lay on a table waiting for *turns monitor* "the doctor come finish the appointment". & mostly I was sick of everyone else doing that I literally biologically made to do & couldn't. I was broken. I got so sick of not understanding why this was happening to me.

It was and still is hard for me. I've had to mourn babies yes, but I have also had to mourn the dreams & life we had for our family. We had to alter what our family in our minds & hearts would look like. I had to stop blaming myself & stop trying to understand.

My losses have very much been apart of me. It's why I started this blog. People know me for my struggles. I have helped & continue to help women with their struggles, with advice & always a listening ear. & it makes me feel like this pain has purpose.

When I re did this blog recently, I didn't put any of this in my "about me". When I deleted my old one, I cried. I remember when I had put the first two slashes through my "miscarriage survivor" number & then I just stopped updating it. Part of it was hard deleting that & part of it was very freeing. That I could explain who I was without explaining that part of me.

I've come so far in this journey of motherhood. This journey has effected my whole life & who I am.
It has effected friendships, when baby showers & baby announcements were hard for me. It's been huge in marriage, with aside from the obvious trying to conceive woes; feeling alone & guilty. Oh the guilt. I think that maybe was the hardest for me. The guilt that I'M the reason our family can't grow. That my husband has to be sad because of ME. MY body. 

Loss makes you into this thing you didn't even know you were capable or intention of being. It will harden you, yet make you soft. It tears down everything you were, & makes you into someone else. Any loss, no matter what it is. Death, Job, home, pet & in my case the loss of babies. All wished for, all prayed for, all named, all so very loved, all gone. It leaves you in shell. & you have try to rebuild into the person you once were with what is left.

That's what I am here to say. You can rebuild from those ashes. But you won't be the same, you won't be the person you once were. That was the hardest hurdle for me. I was trying to be a person, I just wasn't anymore. My fire is different now, & maybe even a little brighter & bigger. But different. I am finding a new me. & really, a new life. I've spent the better part of 8+ years spending all my time, energy, body...my entire being about making our family. If I'm being honest, I still spend time on it. I wince in pain sometimes with flashbacks to hospital rooms. I wince in pain,when seeing my husband with small children & I catch a glimpse, only for a second that he allows, of the pain in his eyes too wishing things were different. But I am getting better. The sadness isn't constant. The anger is pretty much gone. I am learning who I am again outside of all the sadness & loss. & I am starting to like her. Which is something I haven't done in a very long time.
 The past 2 years I have been working on my relationship with God again. It's a work in progress. I've had hate & anger & disappointment; but I am ready to start listening, needing & watching him again.

So, that's my update for you all. It's a little all over the place. It's a little sad, but has a lot of hope. & I hope if you are going through this too, this gives you some hope. For some of those to keep going, to keep trying & for those that are ready to move on. I can't bring myself to say "give up" because I never have, & never will give up. I just needed to move on. Whichever one you find yourself hoping for, I am here for you. & for those of you that don't know which your hoping for, you are stuck between keep trying & waving the white flag, I've been there. The time will come, & you will know. I am here if you ever need help.