Menu Planning and Money Saving with Flipp App

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Hello Everyone!  Today I’m partnering with Flipp, a free shopping app to tell you about how we menu plan, organize for the week and save money!  One of my New Year’s resolutions was to be more organized when it comes to our kitchen.  So I now have a Saturday morning ritual and it involves a cup of tea, a stack of cookbooks, my planner and my phone.  I look at my calendar for the week, figure out how many evenings we’ll be home and plan out our menu for the days to come.  I go through my cookbooks for recipes, or inspiration, and write down a shopping list.  I break it up into categories – we get all of our meat from the farmer’s market, our dairy from the Co-op, and most of our pantry items, produce and miscellaneous household items from Whole Foods.  All of this planning ensures that we won’t get caught in the pickle of nothing to eat and order takeout that isn’t really the best for us (I’m looking at you, pizza)!  Since quality is my top priority when it comes to food and I’m religious about my sourcing, food is our biggest expenditure each month outside of our mortgage.  We make sacrifices in other areas to accommodate the expense, but I am always looking for ways to save.  SERIOUSLY WHOLE FOODS, WHY ARE YOU EATING ALL OF OUR PAYCHECKS?!

Which brings me to the Flipp App, my new partner in shopping & saving money! My routine now involves checking out the sales on Flipp before I start menu planning to see if I can incorporate any of the sale items into my plan.  For instance, this week Whole Foods is having a sale on vine ripened tomatoes. Which means it’s a good time for me to make a batch of the tomato confit from the Gjelina cookbook that I like to have on hand as often as possible (please please make it if you haven’t already)!!  After I’ve incorporated the sales items into my meal plan, I photograph my hand-written shopping list and upload to Flipp where it is then transcribed so I can easily check the items off as I shop. This is a lifesaver because I find few things more irritating than having to go back to the market after I’ve spent a whole day running around shopping (and trust me that has happened more than I’d care to admit with my chicken scratch handwritten grocery lists).

Did you ever watch the shows or read about the coupon clipping fanatics who were basically saving billions of dollars, almost as a sport?  I’ve always admired those people so much!  BUT.  Before Flipp, I’ve never, not once, remembered to use a coupon I’ve clipped.  And there was a point where I was all I’m totally gonna be one of those people who spends pennies on their groceries because I use the bejeesus out of coupons!  But.  Again.  I failed before I started.  And, truth be told, there is only a limited amount of saving I can do while still buying the best quality food. I’m not willing to compromise there for as long as I can afford not to.  Lucky for me, there are coupons for all sorts of household items to be found on Flipp! Think: batteries, toilet paper, lint rollers, paper towels, laundry detergent!  OMG I know I’m a super nerd for getting so excited about it but I can’t help myself!  I can finally be one of those people who uses coupons!!!!  *Patting myself on the back*

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Let’s Keep This Going

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Hi my friends!  I hope you all had a great weekend!  We set out Saturday morning for the Women’s March as planned, but a few minutes into our walk from the car to the march, the rain started pouring down.  Lou forgot his jacket, so he was immediately drenched and cold.  I was wearing Teo, so he was snuggly but I had concerns about how long the rain might last and what would happen if the two of us became soaked as well.  With so much regret we turned around and headed back to our car, the risk of  Teo getting sick felt like too much for us at this moment.  I spent a good part of the rest of the day watching my social media feeds explode with photos and videos from across the globe – it felt like a dream.  I was filled with emotion and hope, I cried for the beauty and struggle of humanity.  It’s a tremendous thing to see people come together in such a powerful way to speak up for those whose rights are violated or threatened.  It reminded me that there will always be more good than evil, more love than hate.

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Life Update

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Hi friends!  I hope you all had the best holiday season!  I know, it seems like that was forever ago already but I’m getting a slow start to 2017!  2016 kicked a lot of asses, at least in my circle of loved ones.  I’m happy it’s behind us- it was filled with the highest highs and lowest lows.  I’m ready for a year with a more even keel, if the gods are willing.  So far we’re off to a good start- one week in and I was lucky enough to be at the birth of my best friend’s beautiful, healthy baby girl, Teo slept his longest stretch of sleep yet (8 pm- 4 am), his pediatrician said he’s growing well and I found out at my last Dr. appointment that my liver abscess has officially cleared out!!!!  All of this bodes well for 2017!

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JUJU HAT GIVEAWAY WITH ST. FRANK

Hi my friends!  We’re busy nesting and being cozy for the holidays but I wanted to pop in with a fun giveaway to celebrate the season!  St. Frank, a store I love for their epic collection of home goods, is offering up one of these amazing Juju hats to a lucky reader!  As you may remember from this post, I have a small collection of them in our living room.  Nearly every person who visits comments on them and I love sharing the background on their origin (*see below for a blurb about them from the St. Frank website)!  I also adore that St. Frank is supporting low and middle income communities and their artisans while simultaneously helping preserve their crafts.  I have an obsession with textiles from other lands, so this makes me extremely happy!

*”The Juju hat is a symbol of prosperity and divinity in Bamileke culture. The Bamileke is an ethnic group from Cameroon’s west and northeast provinces. Birds, whose feathers are used to create this elaborate headdress, are sacred to the Bamileke because their power of flight allows them to soar to the heavens. Traditionally, the Juju hat was worn by members of the high Kuosi class during Bamileke rituals and festivities. The Kuosi consisted of prominent tribal leaders, affluent landowners, and celebrated warriors. The Juju hat was worn to perform an annual dance celebrating the kingdom’s prosperity.”  HOW INCREDIBLE IS THAT?!

Ok, I’ll get to it!  Here are the details:  Comment below with where you’d hang your very own Juju hat- I’d love some fresh ideas on where to display them!  In a week from today a random winner will be chosen and receive their pick of any in-stock Juju hat from the St. Frank website.  One entry per person please. Good luck everyone!

Please note that by entering the contest you agree to receive promotional emails from St. Frank.    

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The Procrastinator’s Gift Guide

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Hello my friends!  I’m only doing one gift guide this year and it’s for those of you, who like me, are wildly behind with shopping this holiday season!  Maybe, like me, you’re ALWAYS wildly behind during the holidays and have started to pride yourself on your ability to swoop in at the last minute and WIN AT GIFT GIVING AGAIN!  I know it’s not a competition, I don’t mean it like that.  But I do pride myself on my ability to find that just-perfect something for my loved ones at the final hour.  Maybe I just work best under pressure!  Or maybe I’m an actual procratinataholic.  It’s a tough call.

All of that is neither here nor there though my friends.  Today I’m going to let you in on my secret weapons to winning at the last minute gifts, in case you’re new to this last minute game: Amazon Prime and the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card! That’s right.  Amazon Prime saves me with their two day shipping (everything above is available for Prime shipping!) and with the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card I earn 10% back on my Amazon purchases.  The way I see it, I’m practically getting paid to find last minute gifts for my pals.  *This is highly delusional but give me a break, it’s the holidays for Christmas trees sake!*  Ok, now I’ll let you to it.  Hop on it my procrastinating cohorts, shop away!  xx- Sarah

Herbivore Botanicals Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist // Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Milk Bath Soak  //  Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones  // Cashmere Travel Set  // Kitchenaid Pour Over Coffee Brewer  //  Aroma Diffuser  //  Tom Dixon French Press  //  Enchanted Forest Coloring Book + Solabela Colored Pencil Set  // Way to Dinner Cookbook  // Jonathan Adler Pop Candle  //  Green & Black’s Chocolate Library Salt Collection  // Cassina Rosa Gourmet Salt

The post was produced in partnership with American Express.  Thank you for supporting our sponsors!

American Express and Amazon, Saving my LIFE!

Hi friends!  I’m now a little over a month deep in this new life as a mama and it’s mind boggling how much has changed!  My priorities have shifted and it feels like our lives now orbit around this tiny, incredible, sweet little human.  I feel infinitely more vulnerable to all of life’s ups and downs which is both exhilarating and terrifying. My heart now lives permanently attached to this little guy’s happiness and well being- and that alone sometimes nearly takes my breath away!  As you may have read here, we had a rocky start.  Things have improved but I’m still fighting the good fight to heal and have had a few bumps in the process.  Thank you all so very much for all of your sweet comments, kind notes and support!  I read every one of them and if it wasn’t so important for me to use the rare free moment I have for rest I would have responded to each of you with my love and gratitude!  You are all seriously the BEST!

As all parents know, these first months are exhausting!  We recently found ourselves awake at 3:30 am wondering what trick might help our little babe sleep through a particularly fussy phase (upright to help with reflex and out of our bed for a couple of hours so that we could actually get a little deep rest as well).  Within minutes we were on Amazon reading reviews and ordering the mama roo swing, which turned out to be a lifesaver when it arrived two days later!  THANK YOU AMAZON PRIME AND HELLO SLEEEEP!  Repeat this scenario with different needs 20 times and you have our life right now, in a nutshell.  We collected very few baby things in preparation with the reasoning that every baby is different and that they need so little in the beginning anyway.  It’s been wonderful because we don’t have anything that’s not being used- we’re ordering as we go (with free two day shipping it’s yet to be an issue)!  There’s a short list of items that I’d recommend for every baby, and I’m sharing it below.  But first and foremost I recommend signing up for Amazon Prime and the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card where new card members earn 10% back on Amazon purchases for the first 6 months.  Given our current ordering rate that’s a big deal!  HELLO SAVINGS!!!!!  They’re making me feel better about our middle of the night desperation purchases and the extra expenses that come with this new addition to the fam!  Click through to see my must-have short list and let me know what saved your life with a newborn- we are open to anything that will help make this sweet phase in life just a little easier.  xx- Sarah

This post was produced in partnership with American Express.  Thank you for your support of this site and our sponsors!

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