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Can we talk about grocery shopping for a minute?

Can we talk about grocery shopping for a minute?

I despise grocery shopping. And grocery shopping with kids is even worse. I get way too side tracked to stick to a list, so I end up with a bunch of sale crap, and I’m usually missing at least 2 ingredients from 4 different meals. Which then means I have to run back to the store to grab what I’m missing. And bringing kids with you is just a friggen headache…”I want that!”, “you never got these before”, “ew I don’t want broccoli”, “are we done yet?”, “I have to go potty”, “I’m borrrrred”, “mom why are you laying on the floor in the fetal position crying?”. Okay, so that last one hasn’t happened yet. But mentally that’s where I am when I’m grocery shopping.

….and just when you think its over….it’s time for check out. ::head to desk::

I put my items on the belt in a specific way, cold stuff together, cereal boxes and snacks together, fruits and veggies together, meat together, canned goods together, and then all of the extra stuff together (trash bags, paper plates, soap, etc). I’m sure I’m weird but it’s easier to put stuff away like this. Which just means that I grab the cold stuff to put away and ignore the rest until later on lol. And by later I mean when I’ve used the items straight from the bag. I can’t tell you how many times they’ve not followed my system and have put a bag of shredded cheese in with cereal.

I mean sure this wouldn’t be a problem if I just immediately put my groceries away but that’s not the issue at hand! And you can just forget it when it comes to going through the check out with kids…..ALLLLL THE CANDY! Typically ends in either tears or me giving in and letting them get candy. Which wouldn’t be a big deal if I didn’t have to go to the store a few times a week. This is why I’m exhausted by the time I get home and usually end up ordering Chinese food. I’m way too tired to cook after that hassle!

grocery store

 

This whole ordeal just wasn’t working out for me. I begged my husband to take over the grocery shopping. But that means he will buy everything in store brand and will still come home with extra junk food. Last time he grocery shopped while I was away on a trip and he did it in the freezer section and lived on mozzarella sticks until I got back. He can’t be trusted to carry out such an important task.

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So we decided to give Peapod a whirl!

Peapod is through Giant Food Stores and is a grocery delivery service. I was skeptical at first like I usually am. It was so nice! We could just sit there from the comfort of my couch and meal plan. We started by making a list of about 20-30 different meals that we like. Then we chose 5 from the list to make for the week. And then we just went through each meal and ordered those specific ingredients. After that we added lunch items for my sons and just two extra snacks. Much better than the old system, which wasn’t really a system.

For 5 meals we ended up spending $126, and then added a first time shoppers coupon of $20 off! My only downside to the whole ordeal was that upon delivery we learned that the ground beef and lunchmeat ham that we ordered was unavailable. So I still had to run to the store to grab that. But overall this was much better. I’m curious about the other chains that do grocery delivery so I would like to try them all and weigh the pro’s and con’s of each. Here is a coupon for $20 off to try Peapod for yourself! The convenience is so worth it.

Mini NES: What’s All The Hype and How I Got One

Mini NES: What’s All The Hype and How I Got One

Today was the release of the Nintendo NES Classic Edition AKA mini NES! If you haven’t heard about this bad boy, you must have been hiding under a rock for the last few months. It has been highly anticipated by gamers of all ages since it was first announced on July 14, 2016.

The NES Classic Edition is a miniaturized version of the groundbreaking NES, originally released in 1985. Serving as Nintendo’s love letter to its system, the NES Classic is a retro inspired journey through its early history compacted into a tiny package. Nintendo curated 30 games from what it calls an 8-bit wonderland and crammed them into a miniaturized version of its legendary system. Most importantly it is HDMI compatible, which is an advancement compared to it’s predecessor. Just plug the NES Classic Edition into your TV, pick up that gray controller, and rediscover the joy of NES games. You can find the list of included games here.

 

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Obviously, I was worried about being able to get my hands on one since there wasn’t an option for pre-order and the supply was going to be limited. I knew I needed to act as quickly as I could, but my options are limited considering I have children who can’t be dragged out of the house for a midnight release, and who also need their mom to be home in the morning to put them on the bus. With that in mind, I had to come up with a game plan.

My hunt started yesterday afternoon as I called store after store, in my area, to find out what time they would be releasing the NES Classic and how many units they had in stock. My best options were the Walmart, Game Stop, and Target. Walmart said they were doing a midnight release. Unfortunately, that was not an option for me due to previously stated reasons. Game Stop was next on my list and they said that they only had 4 units, and that sales were limited to one per customer, they open at 10am. I didn’t call Target because I already knew the store would have them for sale and I assumed they were my best option. In the morning I could drop my kids off at the bus stop at 7:15 and then head straight to Target. I knew Target didn’t open until 9am, so I should be fine.

Fast forward to this morning, I call Walmart at 6am to confirm that they had sold out at midnight; they had. So, at 7:20am after my two older kids get on the bus, I look up Target’s availability for today and notice that they open at 8am, not 9am. I throw my toddler in the truck and make a mad dash for the store. I get there at 8:05am and they were already sold out. Seriously?! The employee in electronics said there was a line at the door when they opened. A few other stragglers followed behind me, also disappointed at being a few minutes too late.

During all this I am in a chat with my husband and two of his best friends. I am in PA, husband is working in DC, one friend is in FL and the other is in MD. We are all 4 trying to buy the mini NES. They decide to use the site brickseek.com to find stores with availability. My husband goes to a Target in DC and he watches the last console be purchased as he is in line. Our friend in FL has heartbreak as every store he drives by has a line a mile long. Our friend in MD goes to Best Buy, Target, and Walmart with the same luck. This is getting depressing.

With Walmart and Target both duds, I had a decision to make. I could go to the Game Stop in the middle of town (which was closer) and see how long the line was, or I could go to the Game Stop one town over. This Game Stop was more out of the way and in a less busy area, so I made a split second decision to head straight there and not waste time swinging by the one closest to me. It takes about 20 minutes and I arrive at the Game Stop at 8:30am. Are my eyes deceiving me? There is absolutely no one in line! I rejoice!

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This is the same Game Stop I had called yesterday, so I knew they had 4 available. I park my truck and start to get my toddler out of the car. Another car pulls up next to me with two adults inside. I throw my toddler in her stroller without even buckling it, and dash to the door of the store! I knew if I was first in line, there would be no reason that I couldn’t get one. The two people who just pulled up fell in line behind me. I felt a sense of sweet victory as the manger showed up about an hour before the store opened and talked to the 3 of us. It was guaranteed, we were getting the consoles! Another girl showed up at 8:40am and that marked the final owner of a console.

 

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During the next hour, we had to let a lot of people down who were filing in line behind us. Most of them refused to believe that there were only 4 consoles. They would go through the all 5 stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) before finally admitting defeat and leaving. One lady tried to act like she would just be able to hop in front of the rest of us in line because she “called yesterday.” As victors, the four of us in line joined forces and let her know that wouldn’t be happening. She finally left.

At 10am the doors to the store opened and I proudly pushed my daughter’s stroller up to the front counter. I asked if they had any extra controllers to go along with the system. He stated they only had one extra controller to sell. Guess what bitches? It’s mine!

 

nesclassicbox

 

I’ll update the post with more pics once I get this opened up! If you didn’t manage to get a Nintendo Mini NES today, a Game Stop manager confirmed they would be stocking back up for Black Friday and my local Walmart said they would have more units the first week in December! If you did manage to nab one, post your story in the comments below!

My Child is Turning Nine…

My Child is Turning Nine…

Today, my oldest daughter, Hailey, turns 9-years-old! I remember like it was yesterday, the feeling of holding that 9lb 6oz. little human for the first time. This tiny person that my husband and I created. It was a magical moment. Now, I’m sitting here waiting for school to let out so we can celebrate another wonderful birthday for that same precious baby. I rejoice in the fact that she is a talented, smart, funny and amazing young lady. She has filled the last 9 years of our lives with so much pride and joy, but I have to admit that some part of me is a also little sad.

 

Hailey's 1st Birthday. Look at that face!
Hailey’s 1st Birthday. Look at that face!

My biggest baby girl is NINE! She and I have been through so much over the years. She was my first child and we hold that special bond. There was a lot of trial and error when it came to the early years of raising her, and I know that trial and error will continue through her teenage years and beyond. I was a 20-year-old first time mom who didn’t know what hoops this little bundle was going to throw me through. Now, I’m more seasoned, but I still don’t know what raising a girl through puberty and on will bring. With all that said, the last nine years have been full of laughter and tears, but most of all so much love!

Now here she is, 9-years-old! I think the hardest part is that it has dawned on me that nine is half of eighteen. This means that my sweet, darling, usually hard-headed, daughter is halfway to adulthood! Seriously?! Half of her childhood has already passed me by. I feel like I’ve wasted so much time with her. All the things I say we can do “later.” All the times I’ve thought something else was more important than what she wanted to do. Every “tough” day we’ve had that I just needed a breather from her.

I wish I could take all those moments back. I want to replace the “nos” with “yeses” and try to make the bad times happy and the happy times even happier.  Before I know it, she’ll be growing out of dress ups & Barbies and moving onto texting and make-up… then boys. Oh, gosh, then homecoming and prom, then off to college… *Insert my ugly cry face here* I’M NOT READY! I just don’t want the next nine years to pass me by as fast as the previous nine. From now on, I am slowing down to take in every moment I have left with this girl.

 

hailey balloons

Happy 9th birthday, my sweet Hailey!

an open letter to “that perfect mom”

an open letter to “that perfect mom”

Dear perfect stay-at-home-mom,

I see you everywhere. You are in the grocery store buying organic fruits and veggies to make your own baby food. You are putting together themed meals for your toddlers (who honestly can give two shits by the way). Your house is immaculate and perfectly decorated for each and every season (see Rebecca’s post on her love/hate for holiday decorating here). You show up to every school event and meeting with gluten free snacks that you “just whipped up”. You carry a 2” planner around to jot down every little thing about Sarah’s life. You are always in workout gear fresh from your morning exercise (probably drinking some nasty ass green protein shake) and are so proud to discuss your clean eating regime and which exercise will knock off the last bit of baby weight. And if you’re not in workout gear, you’re wearing monogrammed shit or you’re clad from head to toe in Lularoe, and probably have your daughter in a matching outfit that’s equally stylish. We all know someone like this, I like to call them “The Pinterest Moms”.

perfect mom
I wish I could have even a speck of my life together. But I don’t. I work part time evening hours in the busy emergency room that usually keeps me up late to wind down from after a shift. I am in nursing school which drains the life out of me with every class and study session I make it through. On top of those, I have two boys that have two different schedules of their own between First Grade and Preschool. A co-op preschool that requires a parent to volunteer in the classroom twice a month. And lest I forgot my husband who likes to have a hot meal when he gets home from his 12 hour long day (with a hectic commute from DC).

perfect mom
I want you to know that I do not hate moms like you. It’s not your fault you are perfect at everything you do…it’s just that I’m so IMPERFECT that I end up measuring myself against you! We are both just trying to do the best we can for our family, but why do I suck at it lately? You get picked for every field trip at school (and why not when all of the kids, moms and teachers love you!) while I am stuck missing out because I have to go take a test and can’t miss class. I don’t understand how you moms do this! How do you keep it all in check? And how do you make it look so effortless!? Are you a robot? When do you sleep? When do you Netflix? When do you have adult time with your friends? Maybe you don’t.

perfect mom

I’m concerned you are eventually going to run out of batteries. I was sitting at an important meeting at somebody’s school (can’t remember which child it was for…maybe I showed up to the wrong school lol) and I realized that it’s okay to not have it all together all the time. It’s okay to grab store bought snacks instead of having to make homemade cookies. It’s okay for my toddler to watch a few back to back cartoons so that I can squeeze in studying. It’s okay that there is a mess in the background of a perfectly timed picture. Because one day, when the chaos dies down, I’m going to look back at that picture and realize that while I didn’t have the house perfectly in order, or even a little bit in order…I was present in that moment and enjoying that little tiny window of time I had with my boy. That is what matters. Not the pile of shoes in the background by the front door.

 

I have to remind myself of this in the future when I feel myself turning into the green envious monster-mom. It’s okay that I don’t have it together right now. In reality you are probably feeling the same way about another mom, and might be trying to “keep up with (the Kardashians? Errr, I mean…) the Jones’” too. You don’t have to. We are all in this parenting thing together and it isn’t a competition. I feel very relieved realizing this now lol. It’s okay to not have it all together all of the time. Solidarity sister!

 

-Kim

clean that filthy grout!

clean that filthy grout!

When you have two kids, a dog, and a husband who acts like he still lives in a frat house (at least he’s cute)…your house get filthy. And your floors are the worst part. It always cracks me up (hah see what I did there?), and when I say ‘cracks me up’ I mean sob uncontrollably, when I look back at old pics from before we had kids…and even some when Owen was still a baby. The house was so clean! There wasn’t any clutter, everything was in it’s place. And then I realized it was because I actually had free time lol, I mean I literally cleaned a few times a week. Why the hell did I do that!? Life is too short to clean that often. And besides…I’m not cleaning until my kids move away to college. 

cleaningmeme

 

 Anyway….we had LVT flooring installed a few years back. If you don’t know what LVT is…I think it stands for  Luxury Vinyl Tile. It looks identical to ceramic tile, but it isn’t cold like ceramic and you won’t break a plate if it drops. Perfect for me because I drop shit alllll the time (plates, glasses, iphones, my pants, plans, babies…jk)!! The downside to any type of tile flooring is the grout. Eventually, it’s just going to get gross. We did get tinted grout, best decision I ever made. 

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As you can tell, the grout is filthy. And I’m posting it for everyone to see. Typically I just wipe the floor on my hands and knees with hot water (like a little old cleaning lady) and either Mr Clean or the lemon scented Lysol, sometimes bleach water. It wasn’t doing the trick though with the grout. It still looked like the bottom of a Survivor contestants foot.  So I scoured my cabinets for some cleaners and scoured Pinterest and found an awesome Pinterest win! Toilet Bowl cleaner with bleach!! Why didn’t I think of this!? I buy this exact cleaner to clean my toilet anyway. Seemed like it was worth a shot. 

 

tilepost

 

I took it a few squares at a time and just used the spout to fill the grout lines.  Since we have tinted grout, I didn’t know if it would be possible to lightened it even more than the original tint, which I didn’t want to happen. I let it sit for a few minutes and then took an old handled scrub brush and scrubbed the grout lines up a bit. 

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Then I just took a wet mop to get up all of the cleanser. This was the annoying part because you have to do it a few times since it is pretty concentrated. Well worth it though! 

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LOOK HOW AMAZING! Literally looks brand new! You can really see the difference in this pic. And voila!!!

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Revamp An Old Sofa!!

Revamp An Old Sofa!!

I have a serious love for mid-century modern design, actually I have a serious love for all things 1950’s-1970’s, minus the oppression…it started as far back as I can remember, my Grannie Annie had a few pieces of gorgeous MCM pieces and cute kitsch decor. During one of my Mad Men binges on Netflix I was inspired to add some MCM pieces to my house, since I live in a house built in 1954 I thought it would be cute to add some history to it! My husband was sooooo not into this idea, bless him. His idea of decor is a cold concrete room, no windows because that would cast a glare, with a barcalounger aimed at a tv and gaming system…ain’t he cute. As you can see our styles don’t exactly match up! I love vintage and repurposing, he loves cold and modern. Mid-century modern is honestly the perfect mix of the two, he just doesn’t want to admit it! The clean lines of the furniture play into his modern (cough cough..cold side). While the warm woods and colors play more towards my vintage side. Plus I actually feel passionately about this, so I win! “Happy wife, happy life!” couldn’t be more true when it comes to decorating. Honestly I’m being very mild because if it was completely up to me I would turn the whole house into a 1960’s time capsule…

mcm1                                                                                                Look at those clean lines!

 

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This is the inspiration I’m going for in our living room!

mcm3                                                                                Vintage Pyrex collection! SWOOOOOOON

 

mcm4                                                                              me looking at anything MCM (and foodporn)

I began scouring Craigslist for MCM items, which about broke my heart because these pieces cost upwards of $1,000 on average. SO NOT in my price range. After a few weeks of regularly checking, I came across a gorgeous tuxedo sofa in PERFECT condition…the zinger is…it’s rust colored. I immediately emailed and the stars aligned and I was the first to inquire. How lucky am I that I get to be so lucky to win the bid for a rust colored sofa!!??! I could hardly contain myself. The price was even better at $75!! Seventy-five dollars for a MCM sofa in brand new condition!

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…I’ll spare you the details on me conning my sister into helping pick up the sofa and tie it into the back of my SUV (who I named Deb) and the 30 minute drive home on the Baltimore Beltway during rush hour…had I not been so stoked for my new find, kussin’-Kim would’ve made her appearance. And let me just say, the saying “they don’t make them like they used to” also couldn’t be more true! This sofa is SOLID. So consider being more green and finding a good condition, cheap Craigslist find that you can revamp, because it’ll last forever AND less trash for the landfill.

During my approach with Brad about Big Red (the sofa), I showed him pictures of similar sofas that sell on eBay and Craigslist for $500-2500. He had dollar signs for eyes. I mean I can’t really blame him because I could pay for an entire year of school with the resale of that sofa. But I fell in love. The only thing that was a little annoying about the sofa was it felt like an old man. Perhaps because it was an old man’s estate sale. I lifted the skirt and saw that she has beautiful dark wood peg legs. PEG LEGS ::heavy breathing:: So I got the genius idea to remove the skirt and show off those gams!!! Brad’s face when I told him my plan…

 

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Brad’s face when I told him my plan.

My first step was to lift the flap and see if the edge underneath was finished…I saw that it was stapled under the front wood piece so we were good to go! There really is no special way to do this, just grab some needle nose pliers and yank out the staples! Some of them were in there really good so I had to tap a screwdriver under the staple to give me some kind of leverage for the pliers to grab.

old sofa

These are technically some type of electrical plier but it was all I could find lol

Almost done…

old sofa

 

And voila! A revamped old sofa!!

old sofa

Before: old man sofa     After: “Mad Men sexy”

 

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Who knew smoking could look so sexy! (btw, it’s NOT)

 

Eventually I would like to have the sofa reupholstered into a nice linen gray type of fabric, but for now my kids are disgusting and I’m not spending $700-1500 to have a sofa recovered for them to cover it in shmutz. So for now, Big Red is staying 🙂

Kim-1, Brad-0