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Life Update: Pregnancy update (week 12), my book stack, & football

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.

12 weeks! And our big news is that we found out the gender this week!!!* Knowing has made it so much more real to me, even though this whole pregnancy still feels crazy surreal and like a dream.


I think we actually all may have agreed on a name!! It’s very different having older kids who have very strong opinions about these things! Also, the NIPT test came back perfect. And I had a little more energy and a little less nausea this week.


I’m pretty sure I’m starting to feel those first few flutters. I didn’t for sure feel movement until 15 weeks with Silas, but I’m almost 99% sure that’s what I’m feeling.

Also, my appetite has increased big time — which has been weird and I’m still trying to adjust. I’m usually the type of person who eats when I’m hungry and then eats until I’m satisfied. But right now, I feel hungry almost 90% of the time — even right after eating!!

I’m so grateful to have the desire to eat, though, because it definitely has been super hit or miss for the last 6 weeks and most of the time I was just making myself eat so I wouldn’t feel worse because my stomach was empty. It’s so nice to actually *want* to eat much of the time now!


Oh goodness, have the cravings been intense this week. I feel like all I do is talk about and think about food. (This is SO unlike me! My kids keep saying, “Mom, you are so WEIRD when you are pregnant!”)

Speaking of weird, yesterday and today I wanted a taco from Taco Bell. Y’all, I can’t remember the last time I’ve even eaten at Taco Bell!! But, thanks to Jesse, I had a taco for dinner AND breakfast (he was smart and just went and got a whole BAG of six tacos last night!!)


4.5 pounds (I usually always gain around 30 lbs. and at the rate I’m going, I don’t think I’m going to have any issue doing that again.)

*At this point, we don’t plan to share the gender before the birth. That could always change, but we kept it a family secret last time and it made it so special so we are thinking we’ll likely do that again.

In other news, I bought this sweatshirt this week and can’t wait for it to come in the mail!

And I was thrilled to once again feel well enough to go to the grocery store for a quick shopping trip!

Silas played both baseball and flag football this season. His first playoff game was Friday night and their team won, just barely! So they move on to the next playoff bracket next week.

What I’m…

Reading right now: I Will Always Write Back and Come Matter Here (My book stack in my room is getting way too high — and then I have three shelves in the library full of books waiting to be read ASAP. I guess it’s a good problem!)

Watching right now: Silas, Kaitlynn, and I have been watching The Masked Singer.

Listening to right now: I finally came up first in line for Atomic Habits on the Libby app again, so I’ve been listening to the last hour and half of it (that I didn’t get to finish the last time I had it “checked out” on the Libby app).

Loving right now: The fact that it was cool enough weather this past week to wear my favorite booties (shown above).

In Case You Missed It:

$47 Kroger Shopping Trip

I had a little more energy and a little less nausea this week (YAY for almost being in the second trimester!!), so I did a bit more of a “real” shopping trip.

Full disclosure: We’re still a few weeks away from getting back to our $70 grocery budget and the family is still eating a lot of cereal, snack foods, super quick meals (like scrambled eggs and frozen waffles), and take out. I’m okay with that because we always loosen up our grocery bill and eating out budget during the first trimester of pregnancy. It’s a season and one of the reasons we are so careful and intentional with our finances is so that we can change up the budget categories, if need be.

I hope to be back to our $70 grocery budget and menu planning in the next few weeks, just as soon as more energy returns and I feel well enough to be able to do more cooking/planning/grocery shopping.

For now, I’m just celebrating the fact that I made it to the store with a small plan and was able to get some good deals on groceries and managed to survive without getting sick! Here’s what we bought:

$47 Kroger Shopping Trip

  • 5 boxes of Red Baron pizza — $1.99 each as part of the 3-day deals
  • 4 bags of Kettle Chips — $0.99 each as part of the 3-day deals
  • Simple Truth Greek Yogurt — marked down to $0.49
  • Grapes — $0.99/lb. — $1.90
  • 30 eggs — marked down to $1.49
  • 1 bag of avocados — marked down to $0.99
  • 5 boxes of Mott’s Fruit Snacks (40-count) — $1.99 each as part of the 3-day deals
  • Yoplait Gogurts — marked down to $0.99
  • Tropicana OJ — $3
  • Flour — $1.59
  • Sugar — $1.59
  • Milk — $2.99
  • 4 cans of pumpkin — $0.89 each
  • Chocolate chips — $1.99 (I was craving Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins… unfortunately, my stomach quickly decided it did not like them at all. But hey, my family was happy to eat the rest!)
  • Total with tax: $47.19

Cash Back I Earned: 1,025 points from Fetch Rewards + $0.10 from iBotta.

Did you find any great deals at the grocery store this week?

Brigette’s $88 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6


1 box Rice Squares – $1.49

2 boxes Crispy Oats – $2.38

1 5-lb bag Flour – $1.05

1 64-oz carton Orange Juice – $1.64

1 gallon Whole Milk – $0.97

1 64-oz carton Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.79

1 64-oz carton Skim Milk – $0.58

2 bags Riced Cauliflower – $3.78

1 3-lb bag Frozen Boneless Chicken Breasts – $5.85

1 3-lb roll Ground Beef – $6.49

1-lb Sausage – $1.89

1 16-oz bag Deli Meat – $2.85

1 pkg Turkey Bacon – $1.89

1 48-oz jar Canola Oil – $1.85

1 can Baking Powder – $0.99

1 24-oz carton Cottage Cheese – $1.59

2-lb bag Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $4.99

2-lb bag Shredded Mozzarella Cheese – $4.99

1 pkg Sliced Cheese – $1.79

1 can Whipped Topping – $2.85

1 pkg String Cheese – $1.95

1 bag Pretzels – $1.09

1 bag Plain Rice Cakes – $1.45

1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.65

1 jar Organic Jam – $1.69

1 10-lb bag Russet Potatoes – $1.99

1 bag Romaine Hearts – $2.09

1 bag Baby Carrots – $0.89

1 bag Mini Cucumbers – $2.09

1 3-lb bag Mandarin Oranges – $2.69

1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $2.09

1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.39

1 huge bag of Turnip Greens – from a friend’s garden

2 bags Broccoli Crowns – $2.30

1 2-lb bag Peaches – $1.99

1 pkg Zucchini – $1.39

1 container Grape Tomatoes – $1.39

1 large bag Red Grapes ($0.79/lb) – $2.12

1 Cabbage – $1.69

1 bunch Bananas ($0.41/lb) – $1.09

5 single-serving Greek Yogurts – $2.95

Grocery Total for the Week: $88.60

Weekly Menu Plan


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

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


Deli Meat/Cheese Sandwiches, Oranges, Cucumbers x 2

Pretzels/Peanut Butter, Cheese Sticks, Bananas, Mini Sweet Peppers x 2

Leftovers x 3


Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, Roasted Broccoli, Grapes

Chicken and Rice Casserole, Tossed Salad

Hamburger Vegetable Soup with Shredded Cheese, Homemade Dill Bread

Date Night Out (Macaroni and Cheese for the kids)

Cauliflower Rice and Ground Beef Skillet, Tossed Salad, Failproof French Bread

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara, Roasted Broccoli, Failproof French Bread


Sign up for my free 5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge!

Feeling like you’re losing momentum on your 2019 goals? Need something to help keep you on track for the last few months this year? Sign up for this FREE 5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge!

We’re just a couple months away from 2020! Can you believe it?

If you need something to keep you encouraged, motivated, and accountable to finish 2019 well, sign up for this completely FREE 5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge.

I designed this to give you a sort of shot in the arm to help you thrive the rest of this year!

When you sign up for this challenge, I’ll send you a short email every morning with a short motivational message and video from me plus a simple, practical strategy for you to implement immediately.

Plus, you’ll also get access to an exclusive Facebook Group (this is optional; I know not everyone is on Facebook!) so you can engage with others who are going through this mini course and we can all keep each other accountable to follow through with our daily projects.

>>Yes, I’m in! I want to take the 5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge.<<

I can’t wait to cheer you on in this process! Here’s to an amazing rest of the year!

30 Super Easy Ways to Save Money

Want some easy ways to save money? Here are 30 easy ways to save money submitted by my Facebook followers. How many of these do you currently do?

30 Super Easy Ways to Save Money

1. Set up auto deposit to a bank that is hard to access.

Susan suggested: “Auto deposit to a bank you don’t have easy access to. I use our local credit union that is only open 9-3. While I’m working.”

Rachel says: “This is how I saved enough money to buy my first home outright. Lived on one check and sent the next 2 to a bank I didn’t have easy access too. (I had an account at a credit union 3 hours away so it was definitely a job to get the money out.)”

Kim says: “I automatically have money transferred into a savings account before I even see it from my check.”

2. Ask some questions before making a purchase.

Kelley says: “I ask myself more than once before making a purchase, ‘Do I really need this and will this make me happier a year from now?’ Pretty much stops me in my tracks most of the time!”

3. Take advantage of free family fun!

Lacy suggested: “We like to do outdoors activities and nature adventures as a family instead of dining out and shopping as ‘something to do’ as our family time.”

4. Cook and eat at home.

Hope says: “Cooking all our meals at home and making my own coffee drinks is enabling me to stay home.”

Moni also said: “Cooking homemade food and eating at home saves us a lot of money. My hubby also saves a ton of money each week bringing lunches and eating breakfast before he goes to work in the morning. Also coffee! Brewing our own saves as much as not getting food out!”

5. Shop at thrift stores.

Rachel says: “Shop at salvage stores and thrift stores.”

6. Record every purchase.

Shannon says: “Recording every purchase (yes, even things like a vending purchase!) in our budget spreadsheets helps us track categorized expenses and make sure we are staying within budget.”

7. Cancel your catalogs and unsubscribe from emails.

Jennifer says: “Limiting my exposure to beautiful things by canceling all the pretty catalogs and email blasts from the same stores is an easy way to save money.”

8. Cut your cable.

Rachel says: “Cut off your cable! Wish I had done it months ago!”

Laura also said: “We just did this, too! It’s saving us $65/month.”

9. Set a goal.

Tammy says: “When I have a goal set (usually travel), I can save money very easily. I have no problem not spending unnecessarily. No goal = I buy things I DO NOT need.”

10. Do it yourself!

Rachael says: “Easy ways we save money: Making my own DIY face/skin/cleaning products, canning, freezing, gardening, making our own wine, cutting my daughter’s hair, and doing handmade/homemade Christmas/birthday gifts!”

11. Only buy groceries on sale with coupons.

Valeria says: “Only buy groceries when on sale, using coupons and app rebates. Plus, purchase enough to get you to the next sale of that item.”

12. Order groceries online.

Edith says: “I save money by ordering groceries online. It keeps me out of the store and eliminates impulse shopping. I make my list at home, do the order, and pick it up outside the store.”

13. Stock up when an item is on sale.

Keiva says: “I use coupons with sales to buy more than we need at the time so it’s available to us when it’s not on sale. Also, stock up on sale items. This week, our grocery has Mott’s Apple juice 64oz. for $1. I’ll buy 40. With 6 kids, it goes quickly! They also have Peter Pan PB for $1, so I’ll buy about 20. I’ll be set for the next 6 months!”

14. Get rid of expensive habits.

Tiffany says: “Get rid of habits that cost money. I gave up coffee and tea a long time ago. Started saving me $15 to $25 a week. I stopped buying books unless they are $1 or less and just reserve books at a library.”

15. Cut your hair at home.

Barbie says: “Doing my husband’s and sons’ haircuts myself. My husband and older son only take about 10 minutes a piece. My younger son takes twice as long because he fidgets. I still figure I save on time by not going to a barber shop, and I save $60-ish every round of haircuts. My boys think going to a barber shop is quite the treat!”

16. Don’t buy it if you don’t need it!

Tosha says: “Remembering that just because it’s posted on MSM or another blog doesn’t mean I need to buy it! If I don’t need it and I buy it because it’s on sale, I’ve spent money I didn’t need to spend.”

17. Stay out of Target.

Sandra says: “Staying out of Target and buying necessities on Amazon is an easy way to save money.”

18. Don’t shop without a list.

Oghma: “I don’t go inside a store until I have a list. Also, don’t shop just one item and then feel like you need to buy other things so the trip is ‘worth it’.”

19. Use a wood burning fireplace.

Holly says: “We bought a wood burning fireplace insert to save money. We’ve gotten firewood free but when we’ve bought it, the wood was still 1/3 the price of natural gas. Also, when we had a natural gas outage, we had no power but we still had heat.”

20. Use Rakuten to earn cash back.

Michele says: “We save money by using eBates when online shopping (now known as Rakuten). In the years I’ve been using it, I’ve gotten almost $1,000 back. They send you a check every three months. I never order anything without checking to see if the website is on eBates first.”

21. Get a 15-year mortgage instead of a 30-year.

Melisa says: “We have a 15-year mortgage instead of a 30-year mortgage. Yes, monthly payment is higher, but not double. Plus, it’s going to save us $112,000 in interest on a $290,000 home.”

22. Use your local library.

Patricia says: “We utilize every aspect of our local library. DVDs, audiobooks, reading programs with prizes, free events for kids, game night, kid computer games, online library for ebooks, etc.”

23. Pack food before you leave.

Bethany says: “We save money by packing lunch/dinner if we go out, bringing coffee along for the ride, and eating before we leave!”

24. Don’t buy beverages!

Robin says: “We don’t drink pop and we don’t buy beverages when we are out and about. Bottled water is also a no-no. I can fill a bottle at home real cheap.”

25. Watch the prices as they are scanned.

Beverly says: “I watch the prices as items are scanned in at the register. I save often by catching an accidental higher price being scanned in. Also, 2 main stores I shop at offer a price scan policy. If it scans in wrong, you get one free if it’s under $10. Or, you get $10 off if it’s over $10.”

26. Don’t buy things the same day.

Betsy says: “I take pictures of things I like at stores like Target and don’t buy them the same day. Sometimes I do this and then find something similar at the thrift stores.”

27. Plan your menu based upon what you already have.

Elizabeth says: “When I’m meal planning, I shop my pantry and freezer first and try to utilize what I have and not let things go to waste.”

28. Don’t shop just to kill time.

Andrea says: “Don’t go shopping just to fill time. If I go wandering because I’m bored, I will find things to buy. I’m trying to simplify and save money for adventures instead of ‘stuff’ for my little one and me.”

29. Ditch your clothes dryer.

Tricia says: “I save money by hanging all my clothes to dry instead of using a dryer.”

30. Don’t buy it just because you want it.

Jennifer says: “I’m learning to be an adult and understand that I don’t HAVE TO buy everything I want.”

What are some of your favorite super easy ways to save money?

photo credit

The 20 Best Products in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

Want to know the best products in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle? In this post, I share my top 20 resources from the bundle to help you determine whether you should invest in this special bundle.

If you missed yesterday’s Completely Honest Review post read it here.

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

In case you missed it yesterday, the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is available for the second time this year as a special two-day flash sale! And today is the last chance to get it for $29.97. It ends tonight, October 27, 2019.

The Best Products in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

This year’s Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is jam-packed with a huge variety of resources on everything from homeschooling to cleaning to decluttering to marriage to self care to working from home… and so much more!

As I talked about in my honest review yesterday, there are 104 resources in this bundle and you get them all for just $29.97 through tonight only! However, even at that low price, it can feel like a LOT to wade through.

In fact, I know some of you are wondering whether you should purchase at all because there are so many products!

I Went Through Every One of the 104 Resources for You!

To help you decide whether purchasing is right for you and/or to help you know where to start after you purchase, I bought the bundle and then downloaded and went through every single resource in it.

I shared some of my overall thoughts from the bundle in this honest review post (if you missed it, read it here). Today, I wanted to share with you my favorite products from the bundle.

Remember, I Am Biased.

While I tried to pick resources that I liked best and felt brought the most value, please keep in mind that I am biased and have personal preferences. 🙂 So I can’t guarantee that you’ll agree with my list nor can I promise that you’ll agree with me on my picks.

However, I hope this helps you decide whether purchasing the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle would be a good investment for you. And I also hope it provides a great starting point for those of you who purchase the bundle.

Okay, Ready for My Top 20 List?

I have listed the products in alphabetical order below, just as they are listed in the portal to download after you purchase.

101 Screen Free Activities

#1. 101 Screen Free Ideas

This is a simple ebook but it had a lot of great ideas and would be perfect for inspiration as we head into summer. It’s set up so you could print the ideas cards and put them on your fridge or on a little ring any time you need screen-free ideas.

Yes, you could probably search online and scrounge up your own list of ideas from different posts and articles. However, it’s nice to have the work all done for you in this ebook. Note: I thought the design quality could have been improved.

A Heart for Hospitality by Jami Balmet

#2. A Heart for Hospitality eCourse

This course is very much from a Christian perspective and the first few sessions won’t apply to you if you’re not Christian. But I thought it was packed with so many practical ideas for how to open up your home and life and show hospitality!

Many of you have asked for more practical hospitality ideas after my post on Just Open the Door. If that’s you, you’ll definitely want to check out this course!

It covers hospitality on a budget, how to be hospitable when you have a tiny house or apartment, simple meal plans for when you invite people over, creative hospitality ideas, recipes, cleaning checklists to keep your home company ready, and more.

Begin Your Biz in 15 Minutes a Day

#3. Begin Your Biz in 15 Minutes a Day

Y’all. This ebook is a gem!

If you are thinking of starting a business or if you already have a business, you need to check it out. It gives you 15 minute daily projects to tackle to successfully set up your business.

I found that it was so thorough and doable. In fact, I wanted to go through it for my businesses because I feel like I have some holes in my systems and processes and this would be a great refresher!

Brush Lettering 101

#4. Brush Lettering 101 Course

I loved this course and want to go through it in-depth and practice the strokes and letters. The course creator does such a great job of breaking down the steps to successful brush lettering.

She gives fantastic examples of how to hold your pen and your arm, what kind of pressure to use, and what drills you should do to really improve your skills. She makes you feel like you can actually do this and she provides great Drill worksheets to really practice and become proficient.

(There’s also a Hand Lettering ebook in the bundle that teaches you how to write different greetings for cards, etc. which would go hand-in-hand with this course!)

Bust Out of the Makeup Rut

#5. Bust Out of the Makeup Rut

This helpful course is put together Alison from Get Your Pretty On. I loved how hands on and personable she was in it.

It didn’t feel like one of the fancy videos put together by gorgeous models. Instead, it was a real mom giving real makeup tips for the everyday woman.

Also, I picked up some new tips I’d never heard of before. (Concealer after foundation?? Say what?? Brilliant!)

#6. and #7. Command Center for Kids and Chore Board Printable Pack

If you are wanting to have a better chore system for the summer (or to start right now!), these two are fantastic options.

The Command Center for Kids would be great for younger kids (say maybe 4-8 years old) and the Chore Board Printable Pack would be great for ages 8+.

#8. Giant Date Night Bucket Lists: Printable Posters for Couples

Want to add some sparks back into your relationship or just need some inspiration to make intentional date nights a priority?

These Date Night Checkists are so fun — and so well done!

Declutter Your House in a Weekend

#9. Declutter Your House in a Weekend

I loved how beautifully done this ebook was and how doable and step-by-step it felt. Plus, there are printables to go with each step.

If you need a plan and a kick in the pants to get your house decluttered, check out this short but incredibly well done ebook.

Encourage My Tween Child's Heart

#10. Encourage My Child’s Tween Heart

As someone who is very much in this season, I loved the very practical ideas in here of how to connect with your kids, ask better questions, affirm your kids, offer them opportunities to build character, and encourage them to serve others.

Etsy Quickstart Guide

#11. Etsy Quickstart Guide

If you are thinking of starting an Etsy shop anytime soon or are just curious what all is involved in the process, you’ll want to read this ebook. I felt like it was a very valuable resource to get a basic overview of how to set up a successful Etsy shop.

There were a lot of screenshots and step-by-step instructions that would be perfect for anyone who feels intimidated by what it takes to get started on Etsy!

Guilt Free Guide to Summer

#12. Guilt Free Guide to Summer

The creator of these videos has so much energy and enthusiasm and is really relatable. Plus, the videos are high-quality.

That said, the creator’s energy might feel a little over the top, but she has some very practical ideas for a way to set up your summer for success in this course. She covers routines, chores, intentional time as a family, goals for summer, meal times, having fun, and more.

How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home

#13. How to Choose Paint Colors

Since we’re getting ready to start in on our bathroom remodel and also plan to paint the walls on our main floor this year, I was excited about this ebook!

The ebook was short but also very in-depth and I found some really helpful tips for how to decide which paint color is best.

How to Host an Incredibly Profitable Garage Sale

#14. How to Host a Crazy Profitable Garage Sale

As someone who has held many garage sales and made thousands of dollars from them, I was interested to see what the advice in this ebook would be.

I was pleasantly surprised that almost all of the suggestions and tips were spot-on and I can vouch for the fact that they work! In fact, I bet that following just a few of the suggestions in this ebook would pay for the price of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and then quite a bit more!

I did disagree with the pricing that the author suggested in the ebook (I thought it was too high, but maybe it would work for certain parts of the country?), but otherwise, I thought it was a very valuable read!

Lean Fit 1.0

#15. Lean Fit 1.0 Home Workout Guide

Looking for a workout program you can do at home? In this ebook, you’ll get a workout program complete with printable checklists and daily workouts. It’s a well-designed ebook and has great photos in it, too.

Mom to Mompreneur

#16. Mom to Mompreneur

Want to start a blog? This well-done ebook walks you through the steps to take to get your blog successfully running in 30 days.

I especially loved the strong emphasis on branding and colors and graphics. They are such an important part of successfully building a blog in this visually driven online world.

Online Safety Handbook

#17. Online Safety Handbook

The design of this ebook isn’t great and some of the content is outdated, the information is really important. Since I spend a lot of time online, I’m a huge advocate of understanding the dangers that are there.

This book does a great job of making parents and caregivers aware of ways that kids are preyed on. It also exposes ways that the internet and social media can have a very detrimental impact on kids. Plus, there are lots of tips and suggestions for ways to set up safeguards for our families and kids.

The Stay at Home Mom's Year-Round Outfit Guide

#18. The Stay At Home Moms’ Year-Round Outfit Guide

I loved this ebook! If you need some outfit inspiration, don’t miss it.

This ebook helps you put together capsule wardrobes. Then, it gives you outfit formulas for creating adorable outfits from these  — for every season! And the outfits were almost all really cute and totally my style!

The Swap: The Lazy Genius Guide to Decluttering

#19. The Swap: The Lazy Genius Guide to Decluttering for Life

This well-designed ebook helps you think through areas where you tend to struggle with clutter. come up with creative solutions. I love Kendra’s no-nonsense approach to life and it really shines through in her wisdom and suggestions in this ebook.

TIme Blocking 101

#20. Time Blocking 101

This fantastic workbook helps you to account of how you’re spending your time. Then, it helps you find ways to be much more effective and intentional.

I loved the beautiful design of the ebook. It just made me want to jump in and follow through with the outlined plan in the book. Plus, the printables were super helpful!

Ready to order the Bundle?

You can get all 20 of these products + 84 more for just $29.97 through midnight tonight! Plus, there are some AMAZING bonuses that you’ll get! (You can see all the bonuses towards the bottom of the sales page HERE.)

Click below to purchase the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle for just $29.97!

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

P.S. This bundle is backed by a 30-day happiness guarantee. Not sure whether this is a good fit for you? You can go ahead and purchase. If for any reason, the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle doesn’t live up to your expectations, you can request a full refund — no questions asked.