My Mommy Mind

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  • The girls in the house have been fighting off the crud for awhile now. Evie will be sick for a day and then totally fine for a few days. I have just consistently felt like YUCK for a few weeks. Lots of coughing and sleepless nights. We’re coming around the corner… I’m speaking this into being out of desperation! Are you in a healthy house?
  • Evie has successfully transitioned into her big girl bed and I’ve successfully completed sanding, priming, and painting her up-cycled dresser. (Never again.) Next up: the big girl potty… and then perhaps a haircut? I’m conflicted.
  • Thanksgiving is officially less than three weeks away. My cousins are planning some fun games for Friday including Turkey Bowling. How this will work, I’m not sure, but the kids and I are ready to compete. Game ON! #teamwise
  • Mr. Rogers. I haven’t watched his documentary yet, but it’s on my agenda for the week. Intense week, right? What an incredible soul.

I’m a documentary goon. Netflix sucked me in long ago. What must-see documentaries have you watched recently?

Grocery Shopping Staples: Hy-Vee

Grocery shopping is always something of a chore for me.  Anyone else? Tuesday night I write out the menu for the week and our shopping needs.  Wednesday morning I head to the grocery store and power through.

Depending on my friend Jennie’s schedule, I sometimes have Evie with me. She’s adorable, but she’s a shopping terror.

Evie demands the “kids pink cart” which is the worst invention for parents as it weighs 900 pounds and has a turning radius similar to, well… there is none. She sits in the cart for 5.7 seconds before demanding to walk AND hold my hand. That means I maneuver that damn kids pink cart with my left hand, left elbow and collarbone. This of course happens while Evie tries to pick up every egg carton, samples everything in the produce aisles (as in the grapes for sale… not samples), and usually has at least one meltdown. It’s as awful as it sounds.

I know the layout of the Health Market at Hy-Vee like the back of my hand so I write my list in order of the items in the aisles. Anything to make it through alive, right?!?

I am often asked what items we get from each location (Hy-Vee, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods), so I wanted to share that with you. Today we will start with Hy-Vee. I’m not including produce in each review as that’s a given. I’m mainly sticking to “aisle” items.

While Hy-Vee (local chain) is my normal Wednesday shopping store with a monthly trip for items to the other locations, I’m finding some of the prices at Whole Foods are actually cheaper for the items we buy, as in substantially cheaper… $2 per item cheaper!  WOW!  I’m going to be reassessing my shopping and comparing lists in the next few months.

Here are our Hy-Vee staples. Our Hy-Vee offers 10% off Health Market (mainly organic) items Wednesday, hence why I shop that day. So take 10% off the shown prices for what we pay.

Almond Milk. We used to go through more milk, but the kids primarily only drink water. The almond milk is used for oatmeal or other cooking needs. Occasionally they will have a glass, but not like before. I usually have 4 1/2 gallons on hand, but lately we just finish 3.


Animal Crackers. Finn loves these things! Evie is mostly uninterested in crackers/cookies, with a few exceptions. Someone recently asked me why we spend the higher amount on “organic” snacks. It’s a good question. While most of these snacks still contain refined flour, they don’t contain high fructose corn syrup or other added “fake” ingredients. It’s a compromise.


Nick’s Sticks. When we have gone through our stash from buying them directly from the farm, I pick up a few from the grocery store. They are a little more expensive this way, but they are such a great snack… and sometimes meal!


Melina’s Salsa. This salsa is the BOMB! All real ingredients and so tasty. A pantry staple for our house.


Enjoy Life Bars. I buy these every few weeks for Finn. They are his FAVORITE snack.  He calls them “my bars.” :) Sometimes will have  good deal on them, as well.


Ezekiel Bread. This is my splurge. Because Ezekiel is sprouted and I don’t go through this quickly, I leave this in the freezer and pull out a piece when I want it. This is a quick breakfast for me some mornings with homemade super butter (almond butter).



Chicken Nuggets. Kids love nuggets, don’t they!?! Since we don’t eat fast food, these are our “fast food nuggets.”  Finn calls them “brown chicken” and gets insanely excited when I pull out the Pizza Pizzazz to make them every few weeks. I’ve seen these at Super Target for the same price, but with Hy-Vee’s 10% Health Market Wednesday, it’s a no brainer.


Eggs.  When we were first easing Finn into eating eggs, this was the one egg that didn’t make him react. They are local, they are good, and we stick with these. (We’ve since tried a few others at my parents and he’s shown no reaction.)


Pepperoni and Turkey. We love Applegate for homemade pizza Friday’s.  We occasionally make paninis on the weekends and this turkey is great for that.


Almond Butter. Although we make most of our almond butter (or buy at Trader Joe’s), these little packets are great for lunches out at the park or with friends. Justin also likes them for travel.


Olives. True story: I love olives. I honestly don’t know what’s different between the Hy-Vee brand and those at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, minus the price. I stock up when I go down this aisle. IMG_9656


Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods staples to come.

What are your standard grocery store staples?

My Mommy Mind

Did your Halloween go off without a hitch?  Ours was eventful!

After a 4:45p dinner, we quickly visited a neighbor who has watched the kids a few times. She’d called a week in advance to see them in costume!

From there we flew over to our old stompin’ grounds to trick-or-treat with the kids favorite friends. All Finn wanted to do was trick-or-treat with Ryder, so of course we made it happen. The kids had a BLAST!  Finn literally was running from house to house saying, “this is the yummiest day of the year!!!!!”

Evie wasn’t feeling great, so she lumbered behind, still managing to get more candy than the boys. (I later sent this picture to Ryder’s mom telling her this picture quite possibly could be in Ryder and Evie’s wedding video someday. Those 2 are smitten with each other!)


No matter the 900 superhero costumes Finn has at home, in an 11th hour switch-up, he wanted to be a ROBOT… the box he and some friends colored the week before. Such an imagination!


That evening, well past dark, we headed home and dumped the candy on the family room floor.  The kids had each had a sucker by this time and before I knew it, Evie had another TWO suckers slammed down her pie hole. Finn had two more pieces (one being bubble gum which he was totally confused by) as we put items in the “safe” and “unsafe” pile.

They picked 5 additional pieces to put in the kitchen for a later date and then wrote a note for “The Great Pumpkin.”  When I gave the kids the options for all the candy, they cheered at The Great Pumpkin visiting.  (Sarah – GREAT IDEA!) We put the candy on the porch and were off to bed.

The next morning the kids were THRILLED with the puzzles and books and art options left by this magical pumpkin, all of which cost me $10.60 from The Dollar Store. Finn is still in awe of the pumpkin, thinking through the fact that the pumpkin likely had to leave the items on the front step because he was too big to come through the front door.


Another great Halloween in the books with great friends! What was the highlight of your Halloween?