October 15, 2014

costco finds + reviews {love it or leave it scale}

When we hit up Costco last week I had a list of things to buy that were my favorites, and if you're a Costco/Sam's member you probably can guess what happened... ;)

I waited too long, and they had less than half of the items I came for. The seasons switched on me or something, and I had to find new things to try there. {insert happy/sad/happy face}

So I figured I would review our new Costco food favorites on a scale of love it or leave it {at the store}.

10 = love it, 1 = leave it! :)

1. Snapea Crisps

These tasted a little strange for the first bite but we quickly grew to love them. The baby is very picky about food, and he loves them too! They are made of snap peas and rice and a couple of other ingredients. The only downside is I can't stop eating them! hahah!

Love it or leave it:
** 8 **

2. Kirkland Organic Animal Crackers

Oh! These have something homey-tasting in them like cinnamon, and are more like cookies than animal crackers. The baby will eat them occasionally, but I don't like to give them to him because they are way messy! :) And I'm not sure what I was thinking bringing 4 lbs. of yummy carbs into my kitchen. They are slightly evil. And so delicious.

Love it or leave it:
** 9 **

3. Crispy Veggie Chips

I try not to eat chips or bread often, so these actual vegetable chips were an exciting find. I loved them more than anyone else in our house by far. I never thought I would be so excited about dehydrated veggies. :) They are salty and take a bit to eat each one {unlike processed versions!}.

Love it or leave it:
** 10 **

4. Snappers dark chocolate sea salt caramel treats

My tastebuds keep surprising me, because I thought I would love these and I didn't love them too much. I did like that each treat took a while to eat, but they were so salty that I didn't feel like I had much of a sweet. And they kind of tear up your mouth like Captain Crunch. If you offered me one for free, I would eat it, but I wouldn't buy them again. ;)

Love it or leave it:
** 5 **

5. Kirkland Soft & Chewy Granola bars

My kids love these, and I love how convenient they are. They do have corn syrup of the non-high fructose variety, and I think they taste a little weird like maple or pancake syrup. They were a repeat purchase, so I guess we like them well enough. I prefer my homemade version but luckily the wrappers on these keep me from over-snacking. ;)

Love it or leave it:
** 7 **

6. Rosarita No Fat Refried Beans

We love these beans for our Mexican food nights. My husband loves refried beans so much he will dip them with chips, and all the kids will eat these beans.

Love it or leave it:
** 8 **

7. Pre-cooked Organic Super Grain Trio {freekah, farro, kamut}

I have found convenience foods like these to be so helpful in keeping a healthy diet. I am the only one who eats these most of the time, though I will heat up one for Rob in a pinch. I only eat a cup or two of grains every now and then so making a big batch in advance doesn't work well for me right now. These packages are awesome, though they require a microwave {which we don't have anymore}. If you're buying for one person, these 90-second grains are worth the cost.

Love it or leave it:
** 8 **

8. Tasty Bite Madras Lentils

I mentioned these before, and we do love them still. I don't eat them myself {legumes and I don't get along}, but Rob eats one of these instead of sandwiches for a somewhat healthier lunch. I'll put them over chips, rice, or even pinto beans and he's a happy camper. He loves them!!

Love it or leave it:
** 8 **

 9. Pink Atlantic Wild Alaskan Salmon

I know I tend to like stranger foods altogether, but I love this straight up with a little salt. It's a splurge  to buy the wild version, but the wild version actually has less calories and way more protein! And it tastes better to me. It's a once a week food for me too, so I can get a variety of vitamins and proteins.

Love it or leave it:
** 9 **

10. Organic Butternut Squash

I love this squash! But- it goes bad rather quickly, so I've had to throw it out twice.  I am not fast enough to eat it all, and I waited too long to cook it both times I've bought it. :(

Love it or leave it:
** 4 **

Those are my current buys, but I would love to hear what you think! :)

Is there anything new I need to try next time I'm at Costco?  :D

Mixed sweet +salty = mixed emotions for you too? :P lol!

What do you think? Are healthier convenience foods worth the cost to you?

October 13, 2014

I'll never forget, a double win, and a not-so-friendly visitor

Last week was a doozy. 

It started out pretty awesome with a run to the big D/Costco:

And we double-won with a Freebird's date:

My partner-in-crime loves to help me eat these days:

But the baby got sick the next day, and by Monday I wasn't feeling quite normal either... but school had to go on:

And then on Monday night, the dreaded and not-often-seen stomach bug hit our house big time. Thankfully, it had been years since we had a round of it, but it got nearly everyone this time:

I didn't leave my bed for 36 hours. Rob took care of all of us as we took turns losing our lunch, and Abbie risked her life week to bring us activated charcoal, grape juice, and flowers! What a good friend!! And I can't say how lucky I am to have a husband who will stop everything to care for us.

The kids recovered fairly quickly, and I felt much better the day after, but the effects kept lingering.

Good thing Noah wanted to make breakfast for us on Saturday morning.

It was the first time I gave Noah and Bella full reign in the kitchen to make breakfast for us on their own:

I was um...nervous...when I spotted the marshmallow bacon rolls. But the biggest surprise of all? 

Eggs- with candy corn mixed in. 

Starburst candy corn eggs.

After the week of vomiting. 

I tried, I really did. I took a bite. I sure love those munchkins {bless their little hearts}, but I couldn't handle it. Oh. My. Goodness. The memory alone still haunts my belly. I may never be able to forget it. Or eat scrambled eggs ever again.

You know one thing is for sure- life around our house is never dull these days. :)

Has that awful stomach bug hit your house this year?

Have your kids ever surprised you with their creative cooking? ;)

Favorite Halloween candy? 
Mine used to be candy corn. For real.

October 6, 2014

our new "house"

I've been waiting so long to tell you about our move! Life has been crazy busy, but thankfully the last two nights Zane slept through the night and I feel so much better today! :P

We've moved about 30 minutes from our old house to right beside Rob's work. He's been commuting so much less now that we've moved, which makes his job so much easier. I think it's been a great change for us all.

The Lord has been very gracious to us and has provided for us at every turn with this whole house business. I don't know what He has up His sleeve for our lives, but we try not to look too far ahead, and just trust Him for every little step. I would have never expected this kind of move to happen, but we're overjoyed and so thankful for the blessing and provision! It's so awesome. :D

Right now we're living in a temporary house as this is what our future "home" looked like this summer:

We've been blessed to be given an opportunity to build a house in my favorite country neighborhood. :) We are SO excited to-Lord-willing- build a house that works for our big family, and have lots of room for the kids to play outside!

I can't wait to share all the building process with you as we go through it! :) We've never built a custom house before, and we're trying to do it on a squeaky tight budget, so I'm sure it will be quite an adventure! :) I'm hoping to have lots of good deals/DIY projects to show you in the next year! :)

Have you ever built a house before? Any tips for us?? I'd love to hear!!

October 2, 2014

life lately: recovery, breakfast in bed, fires, and toddling

We didn't move too far from our old house, but a few miles and a couple of towns away and our life suddenly feels completely different. We're still adjusting to the many changes, and {thankfully!} I've been in recovery mode for the last week, trying to rest in between unpacking and messes and school.

We took a school break the first few days after we moved, so I was happy to be served a relaxing breakfast on the couch our first day at home while Rob went back to work:

They must know I love carbs and drinks, because there were an awful lot of pies and breadsticks and mugs on that tray. ;) I can dig it. I've decided the slow life is for me. :) We actually moved to a smaller country town where I can run into the grocery store and get everything I need within a 50 yard distance. YES! :D

I went there to pick up graham crackers for s'mores...

and spotted these... and no, I did NOT buy them, nor was I tempted to: 

{Chad Scott, what were you thinking? No, just no!} ;)

This boy certainly loved his first s'mores campfire:

And last week I enjoyed my first slow "country" run:

Oh, the air out here. It's unbelievable. I'm in awe of the quiet and the freshness of it all. I was so ready for this. :) I've really needed a break. We worked on our house for months to get it ready for listing, and then the long move, and after the hectic-ness of it all... I can finally sort-of-almost breathe again. :) Now my focus is on being thankful and trying not to be overwhelmed by the aftermath and the constant mess. :)

Thank you Lord God, for good husbands who drop you off for coffee and a little alone time while they take all the kids to Lowe's. :) 

And for ones who go into the store to return your item and bring you flowers back. ;) 

The kiddos deserved a good break too, so we took a little weekend jaunt to the fishery for the first time:

We have much better luck fishing at the grandparents' house than there, but hey, the fishery did have stink bait. ;) The big boys were happy about that! :)

And speaking of BIG boys, look who's walking now!! :D


Five times I've seen a baby learn to walk now, and I'm still thrilled by it. :) Sleepless nights aside ;), it's so fun to be a mama! That smile when they finally make it over to you....oh, my heart. :D

What have you been up to lately??

September 24, 2014

it's over {and saying goodbye forever}

It's over.

No one was injured. My husband is amazing. The cars all worked, the children were happy and diligent workers, and we made it. out. alive. And let me tell you- there were at least two straight-up miracles of the Lord that we saw firsthand over the last week.

There are always lots of reasons to be thankful! :D Praise the Lord, for He is good! I'm so in awe that He cares about every detail of our lives, and even in the times that we feel completely overwhelmed and want to give up or lose it, He answers when we call on His name. He gave me more strength than I knew I had to keep going.

I'll spare you all the details of the last couple of weeks, but I will tell you this: the process of moving was extremely difficult for us this time around. 

It probably didn't help that I sorted through every single drawer and cabinet before I packed and organized it. That's not exactly what you're supposed to do the week or two before moving, but it was what it was. I didn't want to move anything I didn't need, you know? ;) And I didn't realize how much time it took to go through it all. We had so much stuff!!

Our house was pretty much in this kind of chaos until the end:

I even had the kids organizing their toys using the same throw-it-all-out-there method:

We love Lego blocks don't we? ;) Best toy ever.
And good news- I ended up finding all those pencils and pens I lost over the last 4+ years:

Packing up 7 people and all their junk was challenging for sure. :) We purged, sold, and gave stuff away at every turn and we still had way too much left. It's convicting to see how we've {mostly I've} collected more and more over the years. I remember moving to college with just a few boxes. And now we've got truckload after truckload...hmm.

But another praise...can I say- I'm so impressed with this man? He is a hard worker, and his boys are following in his footsteps. They were awesome.

And then, right in the middle of it all, the baby and I got sick. :( I tried to muster up a full smile after our closing, but I knew I couldn't really smile until Christmas... {a.k.a. after we were completely moved out}.

I felt like this baby looked here- physically and mentally... :) He was pretty good, but I had at least two meltdowns that I can remember. That poor Home Depot employee probably never expected to help a bawling female looking for metal #8 1/2 inch screws...

But, like childbirth, you know there has to be an end at some point.

And it finally came.

Empty and full of echoes, we said goodbye to our very old house one last time...


As much as we loved our house, it's comforting to know that walls, windows and doors don't make a home.

It wasn't too hard to leave it behind, because we know that no matter where we live, our home is where our people are.

And they're going with us on this journey. :)

Thanks be to the Lord for His help and for His many, wonderful blessings. It's amazing to me that we are entrusted with the bringing up of these eternal souls and that the Lord provides exactly what we need to do it.

He abundantly provided this perfect house for us, at just the right time and price we needed it. What a blessing our very old home has been to us over the last four years. It gave us a place to host friends and strangers...as well as a place to work hard and to learn how to remodel for years. ;)

Thank you Father, for your love for us. Thank you for our wonderful home, where you led my husband to salvation. Thank you for changing our hearts. Thank you for bringing us Zane there, and for giving our children rooms in which to run and play.

Thank you, Lord God, our abundant provider, for the sweet memories that we were given in our big, old dream house. You have been so good to us, Father. We praise your name for the good gifts you have given us. 
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