The 7 People You Meet in HomeGoods

There are few people that can walk up and down the aisles at home goods and not get tempted into purchasing kitchen towels that say “Drink up, witches.”

Ah, home goods, the mothership. There are few people that can walk up and down the aisles at HomeGoods and not get tempted into purchasing kitchen towels that say “Drink up, witches.”

In fact, I have a theory. There are seven different types of people that you will meet in a HomeGoods aisle that are bound to have their carts overflowing with another skeleton or truck and tree pillow.

1. The Influencer

Ohh, girl you know who she is. Maybe I even tried to be her for a hot minute. (Transplanted New Yorker?) Come on guys, you’ve seen her before. There she is… with her Instagram open… ready for an epic story. Not only is she sporting a wide-brimmed hat (it is fall, you know) but she’s wearing a buffalo check flannel button-down with skinny jeans and a boot moment. She starts off her Instagram story with a boomerang of the HomeGoods sign with a caption of “uh oh, haul coming soon!” Steer clear, I think I’ve seen her start fights over the last twinkle light set.

2. The mom who just needs a break

If she has kids with her, she’s not getting a break— but has the day off and needs to get out of her house. She spends the majority of her time going up and down the aisles yelling at her children to get off the glass shelves because they definitely will not hold them. She’s the one that you hear screaming, “BRAXTON, GET OVER HERE” in frames while you’re over in the kitchen section. By the time you end up behind her in line, her children have tears coming down their face while she’s calling her husband talking about how bad they are. She’s bribed or threatened them… or both. All children involved have at least one toy from the kid’s section that will inevitably be put back before they check out.

3. The “collector”

Hands-down, easily the most annoying and obnoxious of all HG shoppers. She’s the one that you see knocking down the door at 10 of 10 on a Saturday. Regardless of her having her children there, they are so well-trained that you wouldn’t even know that she had kids with her. They know that once Mommy goes into home goods you do not misbehave or you will get all fortnight privileges taken away.  They’re the ones that are calling each and everyone of their bookclub friends to see if they want the latest Rae Dunn collection. Much to your demise, when you arrive at 11 AM, the entire shelf is empty. They then proceed to go on to Instagram, and use hashtags such as #wipedout #earlybirdgetstheworm. If you aren’t a HG shopper, you can easily translate this to the IG accounts that find deep discounted clearance at Target. Same person, same Lularoe leggings.

4. The mom who actually is getting a well deserved break

I don’t think this lady actually knows that she’s in a HomeGoods or that her children have stayed home with somebody else.  You can usually see her wandering around the same aisle three or four times before she realizes that she’s made a circle and have bumped into several shoppers. She usually takes this time to multitask, checking her emails or texting friends that she’ll forget about in an hour. She’s usually the quickest of the home good shoppers since she usually gets distracted and leaves. God bless her. And by her, I mean me. Because this is me.

5. The Mother/daughter duo saying “this is cute”

These two take forever, and usually aren’t paying attention. They go up and down every aisle so not to miss anything. Since they both have a cart each, they take up the entire aisle. Usually, they’ll shoot you a dirty look when you just want to pass them. Even an excuse me seems rude in their eyes. How dare you come to their aisle! Most likely there is a project started at home that they needed to come out to grab some additional items to finish. However, this gets thrown into the wind after they hit the pillow section. They comb through each section touching every piece of product on the shelves remarking, “this is cute”

“this is cute”

“this is cute…”

“Mom look, isn’t this cute?”

6. The couple

These two are too big for their britches. Usually it starts off with just one part of the couple walking up and down each aisle with the determination that they can find something cute for their apartment or house. By the time they get to the Tupperware section, the other half of the couple has either decided to leave them and go back to the car, or jump headfirst into a full house renovation. You’ll pass them contemplating all new dishes, “oh don’t we need this for the bar? How cute would that be?”, and planning what their ideal kitchen would look like. Phrases fly around like, “go with me here… I’m thinking an island!” Or “I was really loving what they did on love it or list it, we could probably make that”

7. The home goods returner

The rarest breed of all HomeGoods shoppers, is the one that goes back and returns. From what I’ve seen of this breed, they are usually not the most pleasant. They expect to be able to find all the items that they need for their project in one HomeGoods, and they can’t understand why there’s no website. Usually they will opt for an exchange, since no one can ever remember which bag they put your receipt…and the whole store has been reconfigured after they left two days ago, and now looks like a Christmas wonderland.

 

Sugar Free? How about, Fun Free?

…and my pants shouldn’t be this tight.

I’ve been asked by many how I’m going through this transition of eating whatever TF I want, to actually being fairly disciplined in watching what I am eating. (Fairly is the key word in this)

Well, friends, it’s no easy task. Anyone can just log onto Instagram, Facebook, Twitter..and find a diet that is way too difficult, too unobtainable– and then give up after posting 3 pictures of themselves at Whole Foods Gluten Free aisle. Let me tell ya: Gluten Free ain’t something to do unless you have an issue: then by all means, be gluten-free.

I’ve met with dietitians that measured me, weighed me, and given me diets: and I really am happy to say that it actually worked. To get a plan was expensive but worth it. To have someone rooting in your corner was expensive and nagging…but WORTH.IT. I’ve since moved to a different state, lost a couple of years– but now, I’m back on track. (BTW pah-leeze don’t get mad at me because you think I’m wrong) BUT I am able to say: Sugar free, for me, works da best.

For three-five whole days I thought about decapitating everyone around me. I thought about food constantly, and only wanted just about everything that you walked past or saw on my Instagram feed. I did the opposite of exposure therapy.  I brought my own lunch to work, didn’t leave the office to walk past the various places with treats, and did not eat out for the first week. I needed a full on detox, from temptation and food. I made sure to drink water, not deprive myself of meals, and not load up on a ton of fruit. (You’ll just want something sweet)

Going grocery shopping when you’re deprived of something that seemed like my whole body was made of was the worst day of my life. I looked up recipes before I went and jotted down what I needed. My dietitian said to read every single label– read everything before you put it in your body– and obey the serving size. LOL have you seen how much cereal you should be eating? Jokes. Did you know cereal isn’t allowed on my diet? Lol. Jokes again. I went through aisle after aisle in my grocery store picking up things I thought looked “heathly” and putting them back down after seeing 12 grams of sugar in one serving. By the time I got home, I was crying because I came home with chicken, peppers, cauliflower, and quinoa. My dad actually made fun of me because I was crying about food. Which, in hindsight, it’s terribly funny because I was crying about food. After a week of dieting and taking pictures of every single portion I ate, I met with my good ole friend, Maria. She combed through my camera roll and gave me props or feedback about each plate.

“What kind of sauce is that?”

“Yea, your grains should never be so much that they are falling off the plate.”

“Are you sure that’s all you ate?”

She never made me feel bad about my image.  Everything she said was for me to get healthier. It was never about those measurements. After three weeks, I told her I could actually wake up with my alarm. I saw a difference in how my legs and knees felt. Yes, I had lost some inches around my waist- but I initially went to her because I felt sick, and at 24, I didn’t think I should feel so tired I could hibernate through the winter.

Fast forward to this year. I woke up the week of January 17th and felt sick. My baby was whining in the next room to get picked up and start the day- and I just couldn’t do it. I got up, sluggishly walked into his room, could barely pick him up, and unhappily started my day…at 8:30am. I knew I needed to change myself. If not for me, but for MP3. My whole life I wanted to be a young mom, because I felt like I would be able to chase my kids around and be the best mom possible…at 27, I shouldn’t be this slow. My knees shouldn’t hurt his bad..and my pants shouldn’t be this tight. (So much drama)

I knew what I had to do. After MP3’s breakfast, I made myself an Eggo waffle with Nutella and had my last meal. I packed my lunch (LOL if you know me), dropped the baby off at his grandmom’s, and pranced off to work feelin’ like a million bucks. I later got a granola bar that had 10 grams of sugar in it and said, “OK, now this is my last meal.” And, I meant it. I’m older, wiser, and have much more willpower than I used to. It’s because I know what didn’t work the last time. The last time around, I just said “just a taste” to everything after 6 months, and then it became…”well okay.”

This time, I came armed with a nagging husband, mom, and boss who all throw curveballs my way and then praise me with how well I’m doing. I’m doin’ this for me, but also for my instagram feed. (Just kidding)

If you want a friend to watch food with, or diet with–LMK. I’m not a professional, but I’m a friend!

 

Love you, mean it.

K

 

 

Disclaimer: Like honestly, go to a dietition or something if you need a food plan and don’t take my word as bible… because mine was designed around me…and they know some shit and went to school for this. This is for motivating the crap out of you.

 

 

Bags for the Chill Ma

Plus there is a top handle for when you feel sassy and want to go have some vodka clubs…

As a purse aficionado, I find it to be my duty to share with all the other moms out there what the best way is to carry around all the crap needed while being a HMIC. (In case that flew over your head it’s head mom in charge. Bitch is too drastic)

Anywho, we all know the feeling. You get up early, the babe is still napping, and you actually shower and brush your hair. There’s an extra spring in your step, and you decide, “oh I’m cute today.” For a fashion lover, what’s the best accessory? For me, it’s my bag.

Here’s a couple bags I want you guys to keep in your running when searching for a new bag all complied in my head while listening to the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood theme song:

    1. Longchamp Small Le Pliage Shoulder Tote: This Betty is on the more expensive side for a budget friendly bitch, but it’s worth it. The only drawback, as everyone knows, nylon bags can fray on the corners. So, don’t…throw it around? But, I call this $125 bag my on the go baby purse bag. Yes, I use the large version for my actual “mommin is a habit” bag, but the small over the shoulder is perfect when you get to the point that you think you can wing it with one diaper, a package of wipes, and a pacifier. Let’s call this bag your “living on the edge” bag. But Kate, Longchamps don’t have any compartments! But, Betty..there’s this thing and I lurv it: It’s an insert, and it’s not the one for $60.
    2. Cocktail Crossbody Bag: Girl, did you not go check out Who What Wear after my last post? Seriously. Go, and get this bag too. It’s a gingham, crossbody with just enough room for your money and car keys. Cross body bags free up your hands and make sure that they aren’t bulky and in your way while you are carrying a squirmy toddler who doesn’t want anything to do with being carried. Easy, peasy..and plus there is a top handle for when you feel sassy and want to go have some vodka clubs.
    3. Zooawa Diaper Bag, Large Capacity Baby Nappy Tote Multi Pockets Travel Handbag: Amazon prime lovers, unite! Log on and grab this just under $35 diaper bag with a perfect amount of room. Guess what? When you put too much in your bags, you can never find what you need when you need it. Baby crying? No pacifier anywhere…need a diaper change? You’re only grabbing your backup onesie.  Should I keep momsplaining? I really don’t want to. Make sure you pack what you know you’ll use and leave your “just in case” items in your car in a larger tote (along with backup formula and water bottles) No need to look like a crazy in front of everyone at the mall. Actually, nevermind– who cares? You prob have a cute AF kid, carry 6 bags for all I care.

I’m over the “I can use my Louis Vuitton for a baby bag” people. I was one of them. You know how damn heavy that was?! Sure, use your $1100 purse to carry around diapers and be at risk for spills of baby food and formula. After my son’s bottle became uncapped in my Neverfull, I.nearly.died.

One last pro-tip: Use 10 minutes of your time to just clean out and reorganize your bag each night or every two nights. You’ll be surprised at what falls into your bag, and what you throw in there when your pressed for time. If anything, you’ll feel more in control of something in your life, even if your baby won’t stop spitting up on every new outfit you change into 10 minutes before work. #spitupisthebestaccessory

Love you, mean it.

K

5 Go-To Recipes Under $20

Just like Taylor, I’m back.

Needed a bit of space– blank space if you will.

So, what have I been doing? Well, I’ve been:

Trying to make sure my kid stops being so mobile, haven’t put on make up in like a month, starting lusting over the color mustard, and making my lunches at home.

Yea, that’s right. It only took me about 3 years working in the same damn mall to realize that the food is actually shit there, and maybe it’s the reason I can’t seem to lose any weight. Bitter? Yes. Truthful? Yes.

Let’s just start with the choices that the state of Pennsylvania gives you as a whole: Applebees, Longhorn, Chickies (it’s good I get it, but like..not every Friday), Grand Lux, etc. The list of chains is endless. I guess being from New York makes me spoiled– but I’ll say it again. There’s literally nothing worth writing home about in this part of PA. Sorry, boo…but when you can’t find good Italian food 10 miles in any direction from your house, you start to get a bit irritated.

So, my lovely cook husband has started to whip up some awesome “take to work friendly” lunches and dinners. My problem with making lunches at home is that my hands are so full from my purse and my coffee that I usually don’t have a free hand to carry Tupperware in and out of work. I like easy, and simple, and lazy. Here’s a list of my favs and links to their recipes:

  1. Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad
  2. Paprika Parmesan Chicken
  3. Avocado Caprese Chicken Quesadilla
  4. Coconut Chicken Strips
  5. Avocado Egg Salad

If you wanted me to give you the recipes, you really are just reaching for me to do more work. In case you were wondering, this isn’t a cooking blog. But, alas– all 5 of these have something in common: They are so easy you won’t even feel like you’re really cooking– and with a 10 month old, I don’t really have enough time to cook a 5 course meal. Mostly because I’m too busy watching him crawl into my dog’s crate and try to eat one of Marlow’s 10 thousand tennis balls. Motherhood looks good on me, right?

Pro tip: Want to use Avocado in your lunch? It’s actually a freaking process– being that avocados oxidize like, super quick. You could put lemon juice on them or just leave the pit in to try to prevent oxidation. BUT I usually just wait to cut my avocados until lunch time–which is extra, and the ladies at the food court think I’m crazy when I ask them to cut an entire avocado open…but I do what I have to, amirite?

Want another pro tip? Make sure to remember to bring your containers out of your car. I know people probably adult much better than me, and that seems like a no-brainer, but just take the piece of advice and file it under your “Alright, I’m def more sane than Kate” tab. You may need it someday when your car smells.

 

Anyway, check back later this week (if I remember) to check out some new posts!

 

Love you, mean it.

K

 

Thank You Cards

Getting mail in your mailbox, actually touching a magazine or a newspaper…it’s something that I will never see going out of style.

Ah, stationary. According to most, it’s one of the world’s lost arts. As a writer, I find it fairly insulting. Sure, I get the whole “modernization” aka, Evites, not sending thank yous, and e-zines (just to name a few) BUT, it’s a huge part of what I loved growing up. Getting mail in your mailbox, actually touching a magazine or a newspaper…it’s something that I will never see going out of style.

I know for sure, that a blog on the internet isn’t the way to exactly..protest, but what can I say?

In the past couple of years, I’ve attended a ton of weddings, birthday parties, and showers. You know what? Every single one had a mailed invite. What it didn’t have? Personalized thank you’s. More than half did, but there were some that didn’t even sign their name..it just simply said, “Thank you.”

I get it, it’s hard to get yourself together after a huge event and then a possible move into a new home. My thank you’s weren’t even ordered until I got the proofs from my wedding, so I’m not here to throw stones. I will say, it’s kind of a necessity in my book. Take a wedding for instance: Travel plans, buying a shower gift, a wedding gift, hotel rooms, new outfits/shoes for the reception…I mean it adds up to even be a wedding guest, and guests take the time out of their lives to come and celebrate the bride and groom, I think the one thing they deserve is a thank you for spending the day.

After that long winded rant, let’s get to the point of my post:

Thank You’s! My favs right now, and where to get them.

Customized

Tiny Prints, Wedding Paper Divas…you get the gist. These are the easiest sites to get thank you’s in bulk– but you pay the price. A count of 50 cards can run you around $60-$70. The styles are cute, and you won’t get the customization at Hallmark. So, if you got the cash, opt in for this. A site that is customizable but is more reasonable than the other sites? Simply To Impress is cheaper per card than the other popular sites.

Lifeguard Press

Want something bougie and overpriced? Lifeguard Press is your place for all things basic. Not gonna lie, I go to this site all the time– but a set of 10 Thank You cards from kate spade runs you $20. That’s more than getting your name in gold foil from Wedding Paper Divas. They have free shipping, but you have to stalk your emails for promo codes, because they expire quick.

Home Goods

I know you guys are getting sick of me vouching for Home Goods SO hard, but have you ever been in the stationary aisle? Photo albums, gift bags, and a ton of greeting cards. If you’re lucky, there are a couple box sets for cheap. Grab ’em when you see them. They’re useful to have in the house.

Target

I’ve found that Target can be overpriced for some stuff, but depending on the kind of greeting cards you’re purchasing, you can get cards for $3.99 for a count of ten. They have a ton of options, and unlike Home Goods– you can see what they have available at home before you trek out to the store.

Anyway, I LOVE thank you cards. You can get so creative and send out cards for just being a friend. It’s a really nice way to show somebody they are appreciated.

Love you, mean it.

K

 

 

How to: Save Money While Road-Tripping

if you’re driving from Philly to NYC or anything LESS than 5 hours– you’re being selfish. You’re in the car, not the Gobi desert.

I’m not a connoisseur on traveling..like, by no stretch of the imagination. BUT, I do travel. A lot. I drive a ton, and as we ALL know– I’m not made of money. In fact, I’m made of about $100 at any given time, but I make the best of it.

So, how do I do it? TBH, I’m not entirely sure, I kind of don’t check my bank balance until my anxiety gets super high and then I log in with one eye open. I tend to take bets on where I am in my bank account– usually I’m right on the money (lol) but other times, I’m literally shocked.

No but really, I’m pretty savvy when it comes to this stuff. It’s like my bread and butter– only I seem to have a weird problem with bread lately– but seriously. Since it’s the summer, and all you people are out of school and some are out of work for the summer: I bet you one thing: You guys are gettin’ in that car and wastin’ all yo gas.

Drive Smart

This is one place that you can’t fly by the seat of your pants–not only because you’re driving, not flying– but because planning out your route to get where you need to go is essential. I have my ways to get back up to NY, and a back-up way, and a back-up to the back-up. If that’s..backed-up, I deal with the traffic and curse the day I decided to move to PA. If you don’t plan this part out, you can end up driving in circles, getting off at exits and having to repay when you find out it’s wrong, and driving right into bumper to bumper at the GW Bridge.

Fill Up The Night Before

I find this the weirdest of my rituals, but it’s a staple. No, it’s not because someone told me you “get more gas when you fill up when there isn’t any sun out.” (That’s an actual thing flying around the internet.) It’s simply because I’m not in a rush, panic, or waiting until the last minute when I absolutely need to get gas. The obvious reason is: Gas near highways is absurdly expensive. Don’t drive a quarter of the way there on what you had in your tank before you fill up just because you were super excited about getting on the road.

Don’t Drive Like an Idiot

I’m sorry, I just turned into my dad for a sec. But really, DON’T DRIVE STUPID, K? Manage your speed and stop pumping the brake (or slamming). It helps maintain the efficiency of your car. On top of that, you won’t get into a pointless accident because you were tailing someone and couldn’t brake on time.

Don’t Snack Up your Trip

I take my driving seriously. For anyone who has taken a long drive with me knows, we can stop for snacks once and maybe the bathroom if you’re lucky. Listen, snacks and driving are a great combo– but if you’re driving from Philly to NYC or anything LESS than 5 hours– you’re being selfish. You’re in the car, not the Gobi desert. 9 times out of 10, you ate before you got in the car. You’re not going to starve. (Exception: Coffee– it just tastes better if you don’t make it 🙂 )

If you are going on a long trek, pack those snacks. Not only do you not waste needed money, but you are probably going to make better dietary decisions if you already have food. We all know Chic-Fil-A and Cinnabon are super nutritious for your 21-day fix, but let’s get real…packing a portioned out snack is easy and already in your car…unless you forget your food like I do.

Get An EZPass

Stop being an old-fashioned “I prefer cash” kind of person. Cash is king in two places: Construction on your house (great discount) and restaurants. Other than that, I don’t carry cash..partially because I’m terrified I’m going to get mugged. So, here’s the deal. EZPass (or what ever your part of the country calls in..Sunpass, etc) has a discounted rate when you go through a toll, you aren’t always waiting in long lines of cars (unless some idiot texting and driving gets in an EZPass lane and actually just has coins) AND it can be replenished as much or as little as you use it. Just don’t get carried away and volunteer to drive your friends places just because you have a simple out of your hair way to pay for tolls. It can get expensive.

Moral of my long-winded story: driving and budgeting while driving is important. Vacas are fun, and necessary– but it doesn’t mean you have to go all out and go broke, too.

 

 

Love you, mean it.

K

Wanna Save Money?

I wouldn’t call myself exactly…broke AF– but we’re scraping by…so I wanted to close that gap by trying out a couple of ideas that you always see on the internet– and see if they work: Guess what? They don’t.

I wouldn’t call myself exactly…broke AF– but we’re scraping by…so I wanted to close that gap by trying out a couple of ideas that you always see on the internet– and see if they work: Guess what? They don’t..and NO you can’t make $5,000 by doing surveys because you will literally kill yourself from frustration 10 minutes in.

So, I figured out that I should take out my daily spending money per paycheck in cash and leave the rest in my bank account– untouched. WHALE– that kind of worked– but if I didn’t want to spend my spending money because of something I just …needed…to buy, I would just swipe my debit card. SO, that didn’t work too well, but I did figure out that I am deathly afraid to be without a credit card for fear I’ll get kidnapped from work and need to pay for my way home after I escape. So glad I watch so much Person of Interest.

Anywho– here’s what I found works if you are looking for some extra cash, and you have no dignity– like me!

Stop Having Friends

Yea- I said it, but you were thinking it. Friends are super expensive. Weddings, Bar nights, dinners out– sure, you end up sitting home alone every night wondering what to do with the decor of your house– but at least you have your money. (Loljk)

For real though–

Poshmark

Yea, that’s right. Put your crap up for sale. No, not your crappy crap– but your clothes and accessories that you don’t need. And by that I mean– if you didn’t wear it this past season, and it doesn’t fit you…and you forgot about it– SELL it. It makes you feel good!Don’t just sell your clothes, sell your baby’s unworn clothes, or your husband’s clothes that he doesn’t like!

Granted, Poshmark takes out a portion of your profit– but you know what, the app is super user-friendly, and after a couple great reviews– you can shop their wholesale and really turn a profit! However, I haven’t tried that yet, because I’m not too big on the whole…risk your own money for a 50% chance of a reward. Knowing me, I’ll end up with 5 duplicate graphic tees that say “Barre so hard” and no one to sell them to.

Be A Guinea Pig

This too…you read that right. Look up research groups or research study groups. Guess what? If they’re willing to pay me $60 to taste their off brand peanut butter cup…I’m in, and you should be too. Check out local college unions or libraries to see if there are advertisments. They need people, and honey– we’re people!

Stop Buying

Guess what else worked? Not shopping at Nordstrom’s. Or Lilly, or francescas, or etsy…The easiest way to see money in your bank account is not to waste it away on something frivolous. You worked hard for your money– stop wasting it. (Says the girl who was on a mission to buy a new dress for a wedding today)

Well, we can’t all be perfect all at the same time.

Love you, mean it.

K