My Brutally Honest Review | Grocery Delivery

I haven't stepped foot inside a grocery store since the middle of summer-- true story! Here is my brutally honest experience with these various grocery delivery services.

1. Aldi- Instacart

I just about DIED the day I found out that Aldi grocery delivery came to my area. Truly Aldi is my favorite store. I am a real bare bones, don't like a ton of options shopping experience. Do I REALLY need to stand there and pick between 50 kinds of peanut butter?! Add kids to this mix and it's a mess. I love the ease of Aldi, how quickly I can get through their store, and how affordable everything is. It's the only place that I can guesstimate in my head how much I have spent, and my total is LESS than the number in my head. LOVE.

I signed up for an Instacart account and got free delivery on my first order. I will say that I had a $20 off $35 purchase promo in my email BUT the coupon wouldn't work for me which was a disappointment. I DID have a referral code from a friend that gave me $10 off my first order. It was my first time using Instacart-- in my area you can also buy from Whole Foods, Publix, Costco, and Petco. I'll admit I like shopping at Costco (BY MYSELF- no kids)-- so I was new to Instacart's interface and the whole checkout process.

After I picked all my groceries I chose my delivery day/time and then I saw "service fee". I assumed this was the tip (and if I had read the fine print I would have figured out it wasn't in fact the tip). THIS FEE CAN BE WAIVED, so take that off your order- wish I had known that the first time. I opted to tip my driver AFTER delivery.

My first order was an hour and a half late which wasn't a big deal to me that particular day but it would have been frustrating if I had somewhere to be. They DID let me know the delivery was delayed through a text which I was appreciative of! Also it was the Thursday before Hurricane Irma (we were set to be hit Monday night) so I'm SURE traffic in and out of the store was nuts which is why I didn't fuss about the delay. My second order was SUPER fast- I ordered at 3:13pm and my groceries were at my door at 4:10pm! I got a random free delivery promo code for this order.

Grocery prices are more than the store. I would however say that it isn't by much. AND you ultimately have to decide if you time is worth the cost savings. FOR ME (and this is totally just my opinion) planning my week to go in the store and come home frustrated by my kids or everyone else out and about ISN'T WORTH the $5 I would have saved in the store. My 1.5hours is more important to me. I know other people who LOVE to shop. I just don't.

After the first free delivery you have to pay the delivery fee. They have an express option which allows you to pay upfront which is less than the pay per delivery amount. I was frustrated that I couldn't find how much this actually costs. It kept prompting me to start a 14 day free trial which I am not ready to do yet. From what I can tell there are multiple options but the only info I could find was $79/year (which seems HIGH to me- BUT broken down weekly/year it comes to $1.50/ week which is REALLY good. Just seems like a lot up front).

They assume you will be home to receive your delivery. You can tell them in the notes section to leave it at your door, but they do NOT put your items on ice so I would definitely schedule delivery when you will be home. There is a whole list of FAQ here.

Express: Plans start at $79
Minimum order amount: $10
Delivery Fee: $10 on orders less than $35, $5.99 on orders +$35
Suggested tip: 10%+ You tip either at the time of delivery (I handed my driver the money) OR from the confirmation email you receive after the order is delivered. 

The good- the option for 2 hour and same day delivery, amazingly priced groceries,  text communication with my driver
The bad- unless you sign up for their express payment option you pay for delivery. Also the sneaky service charge that can be waived. Organic food is hit or miss. Also if an item is out of stock, you are out of luck. You are stuck with Aldi's not amazing assortment of items-- BUT I justify this because at least I didn't have to make the trip to find out they are out of an item.

2. Amazon Fresh

I first started Amazon Fresh at the end of July. I received a promo for a free month of grocery delivery (usually $14.99). Because most people living have used Amazon Prime, I found the interface to be super easy and self explanatory. There were no hidden fees.

Instead of seeing a "Prime" next to items like usual in Amazon, you see "Fresh" next to the fresh items. I also like that you can click on "Fresh" from the homepage and it will only show you "Fresh" items (almost like you are in a virtual grocery store). They have a "deals" section that I always like to check out and they USUALLY have a 1cent item each week. We have received 1cent yogurt, fruit snacks, rice krispie treats (this is a TREAT for my kids that I NEVER buy) and tiny apples this week!

Amazon automatically separates the fresh items from your regular Amazon items (if you already have items in the cart). With their recent merge with Whole Foods, you are able to get the 365 Whole Foods store brand which is AWESOME! I have found their selection of organic items is awesome.

My order was late once (I've used this service about 10 times). I contacted Amazon because honestly I was worried about my driver. He was an hour late at the point I contacted them. She assured me he was on his way and had 1 stop between where he was and my house. They offered to refund my whole order (!!) but I insisted that wasn't necessary so they gave me $10 off my next order. I REALLY try to have grace because they are doing me a HUGE favor and if they don't make money they are going to stop delivering!! He came about 30 minutes later.

Minimum Order: $40 (once you spend $40 you get "free delivery" with the $14.99 monthly payment). 
Delivery Fee: You can order as many times a month as you would like with the $14.99 monthly fee. Suggested Tip: 10%+ (they automatically calculate this- you can adjust it) 

The good- ease of Amazon's website, usually do a 1cent deal, and unattended delivery.
The bad- I have yet to be able to order and receive same day. One or two things I have to wait for a delivery time another day-- which is FINE. But Instacart is almost always same day.

3. Walmart Grocery Pickup 
So this isn't a grocery delivery service but it is worth mentioning. You can order groceries online, pick a pickup time and head to the closest Walmart that offers this service. The service is totally free and no tip is necessary. I have done this for over a year and I REALLY love this service. I did find that I had to plan my day around pickup time which is slightly inconvenient if you are not a plan ahead person like me. For the past year the nearest store to do this was about 25 min away with traffic. Within the last month, my closest store began offering the service so YAY! It's about 10-15min away depending. Definitely a great option for busy moms and dads who don't want to pay a monthly fee for delivery.

Minimum Order: $30
Fee: $0 
Suggested Tip: $0

All the delivery services:
-keep a list of previous orders and allow you to shop from the previous orders (YES!)
-have friendly/courteous drivers
-pick EXCELLENT produce and package the items well

4. Other: 
-Prime Pantry: This service is for non-perishable food items. It is fantastic if you needed a quick restock of paper goods, pantry items and health/beauty goodies. I talked more about this service hereThe gist of Prime Pantry is that Amazon gives you a box- each item you add to the box takes up a certain % of space and weight. Each item you click on will tell you what that percent is. Once your box is 100% filled you pay $5.99 to ship it.

Except I've never paid $5.99 to ship! Because, hello I'm CHEAP. They will occasionally offer free shipping on larger items you purchase through regular Amazon. Pay attention to the different ways to ship before confirming your regular order. 

-Kroger Clicklist: I can't fully talk for this service because I don't like shopping at Kroger and I have never used Clicklist. But from the research I have done and from talking to friends, you get your first (and maybe second?) pickup free. Then you pay $4.99 to use the service. It's similar to Walmart's Grocery Pickup in that you order online and drive to the store to pickup. But it costs money and I can get groceries delivered to my door for less per month (assuming I am shopping every week). ;)

-Prime Now: You have to have the app to use. I am a fairly recent user of this service. The premise is you get the items within 2 hours. It is a limited stock of items and it's not always the best price- but it's FANTASTIC if I forgot something that is non-perishable (say body lotion or a bag of chips). It's a $20 minimum and $5.99 delivery fee- just like Prime Pantry I have NEVER paid a delivery fee because I get credits on other orders. I do tip.

I hope that helps anyone who isn't sure of how these services compare! I am still honestly on the fence about sticking with one over the other. I think they work well hand in hand. I am leaning toward the Instacart Express ($79/year) because of how cheap Aldi is. But I can't get everything we always need from Aldi! Which is where Amazon comes in. So I am still undecided about sticking with ONE service. Of course if you live in an area where some or all of these service aren't available I am TRULY sorry. I have BEEN there. Once we lived in a small town where I had to travel and hour to get to TARGET. 

*contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are a win win. They provide a direct link to the  products I love, and they help support the blog! Read my disclosures here

Master Bath | Faucets

We were pretty in love with our house when we first laid eyes on it, but we knew that while it was well built and had great bones... cosmetically it needed a facelift.

I mentioned in my makeup drawer post that we are going to do this bathroom in 2 phases-- so phase one is faucets, paint, linens, decor. Phase 2 is the bigger stuff-- granite, shower remodel, maybe another window?

So these faucets were pretty high up on our priority list. I'll be honest that I REALLY wanted to update the faucets in the half bath downstairs and the kid's bathroom upstairs because these faucets are the same in every bathroom and the kids have a REALLY hard time turning the water off-- so I'll come upstairs at the end of the day to a faucet that has been running ALL DAY. ugh. To their defense I also don't always turn them all the way off-- we are just used to the back and forth faucets, not turn in a circle faucets.

Anyways-- Josh's faucet was broken so it expedited this project to the top of our priority list. Here are the faucets we purchased:

I said this in my lighting post but I'll say it again because I believe in it that much-- do not overlook AMAZON as a legit place to buy things for your home. So many times their prices are spot on. I have been looking for Oil Rubbed Bronze faucets for YEARS. We wanted to replace the faucets in our first house but never got around to it, and then thought about upgrading ours in the townhouse but the price was never right. In the 5 or so years that I have been looking, I never saw a faucet for below $80 at Home Depot or Lowes. I was able to get this faucet for $40 and it INCLUDED the drain piece (since our old drain was gold). That is an important detail because drains will run you about $20 so if you think the faucet is a good price/cheap but it doesn't have the drain you need to work that into your price!

I love the copper elements this faucet brings to the space and for a hot minute I am tossing the idea of adding copper hardware to the vanity after it's painted.... still not 100% sure yet.

I will add that if you spend a pretty penny on faucets, the guts of them will hopefully be metal. Ours are plastic and we are ok with that. That is where you get the cost savings. If you are paying a lot for faucets and the insides are plastic-- well you are just getting ripped off. We figured if a metal drain lasted 20 years, we are ok with a plastic drain lasting 10. Our taste will probably change and we are ok swapping it out down the road if necessary.

And because everyone loves a good before and after:

We literally moved in and I plopped everything I need daily on the counter and haven't looked back. Because we haven't really done anything in here yet, I haven't styled or really thought through how I want this space to look. Just figured I'd mention that this space isn't DONE by any means! Just slow gradual updates!

*contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are a win win. They provide a direct link to the  products I love, and they help support the blog! Read my disclosures here

High Five For Friday | Favorites

The last time I posted a Friday Favorites we hadn't yet left to travel to see the eclipse! I will do a separate post because it was that amazing. People who said it was "underwhelming" obviously didn't experience totality. It was beautiful, spiritual, and a force of nature that reminded me how little I was and how great our God is! 
This picture was snapped during the 1 minute 36 seconds of totality we had! We also enjoyed a 360 degree sunset. And YES it got dark as night. The first picture I took without a flash didn't show my kids! Had to turn a flash on for it. 

On a lighter note-- have you ever tried a hair serum?! I got this as a sample a few months ago-- loved it so much that I bought the bigger size. It is NOT CHEAP, but a little goes a VERY long way. I use half a pump (2-3 times a week) on all my dry ends to nourish them. I love putting it on before bed because my hair smells SO GOOD when I wake up. Also it's fantastic to use while your hair is wet. I also use it on Emmie's hair because it makes it smell AMAZING! Check it out HERE. Also add it to your subscriptions to save 15%! 

We are in our FOURTH week of school! We are loving the University Model of schooling. This was a view into one of our history lessons about archaeology. The 4 year old gets involved too!

This girl is in her third week of preschool and she LOVES it so much. She wishes she could go every day of the week. She loves her friends and her teachers. We get to the drop off line about 20 minutes early everyday (because I go straight from one school to the other) and so I get some good quality time with her.

Lighting Plans | Kitchen

One of the rooms we are focusing on first is our kitchen. Clearly I don't need to explain it further after this before photo right?
So here is a list of what we HAVE done:
-Ripped down those valences
-Painted the walls (I called the yellow "daycare" yellow 😂) Benjamin Moore's Edgecomb Grey
-Replaced the faucet
-Replaced the pantry door knob
-Tore down the cabinet over the dishwasher and installed open shelving
-Began painting the cabinets
-Added under cabinet lights
-We pray everyday that the appliances die before our home warranty is up 😂😂😂 (sorta kidding, sorta not).

We are NO WHERE near being finished, but here are some progress photos:

We are s-l-o-w-l-y but surely painting the cabinets. It is definitely a process. Each cabinet needs to be scrubbed, deglossed, sanded, primed with 3 coats and then 3 coats of paint- and that's PER SIDE. Whew. I have purchased all the hardware (knobs HERE and handles HERE). By the way you can save a TON of money from buying hardware on Amazon!

The next task in here as we continue painting cabinets is LIGHTING! I am so flipping excited... I think. Our goal is to have all new lighting by the weekend of day light savings (so when it gets dark super early my kitchen will actually be bright). 

Our house is MAJORLY lacking overhead lighting. I guess that wasn't a thing in the 90s? Our living room has NO overhead lights, my office has NO over head lights, and the kitchen has an 80s box with fluorescent lights and a ceiling fan that doesn't spin. The fluorescent lights are dead, and I REFUSE to spend money on fluorescent lights when I hate that thing so much. 

So here are ceiling shots: 
(We are currently painting those 4 cabinet doors...)
So my plan is to add 4-6 recessed lights in 2 rows (either 2 rows with 2 lights or 2 rows with 3 lights. I am hoping the fluorescent light comes down without a HUGE hole in the ceiling that would be the middle of 3 lights (with one recessed light to the right and to the left) and then 2 or 3 more using the ceiling fan hole, leaving a space in the very middle of the room over the island. I'll come back to that in a minute.

Four to six recessed lights, then I want to add a pendant over the sink centered on the window. I REALLY wanted to have a wall mounted fixture above the sink, but unfortunately there isn't enough space. This is the fixture I was ready to buy:

But the ceilings are just too high (9 feet) and the wall is too little. 😥 So I continued my search for the perfect light! I came upon this BEAUTY!
I wanted it to be VERY clear so as not to obstruct the view outside. The glass is seeded glass which I love. It helps hide dust and looks so fresh and clean. I LOVE the shape of this fixture- it makes me think that Thomas Edison must have had a light like this in his studio! Also I bought it when it was $22!!!!! What a steal.

I'm not done! I told you I wanted LOTS of lights! So we have plans to extend the island (at the minimum we want to double the size-- maybe make it 2.5x's the size it is now). Of course we will get granite within the next 2 years. I want to make the island so the kids can pull a stool up and sit and so we can fit at least 4 people around it. We also would love to add shelving to the side and big chunky legs. I'm thinking something like this: 
Is that not GORGEOUS? 
Here is an island shot currently: 
The oak is KILLING me and we are using outdoor patio furniture for the kid's table. We'll look back at these days and laugh! But I can't wait to get a gorgeous slab of granite and to extend that counter! 

Then centered over the island I would like to add a chandelier as a focal point for the room. There is so much going on with the patio door to the sun room, all the cabinets/appliances, island, etc. so I need ONE place to focus on. Here is the chandelier I am eyeing: 
So that is the plan! 4-6 recessed lights, a pendant over the sink and a chandelier over the island! I can't wait to get our electrician in and to get everything wired and ready! 

*contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are a win win. They provide a direct link to the  products I love, and they help support the blog! Read my disclosures here

High Five for Friday | Favorites

So it's actually Saturday... but I like the alliteration of Friday Favorites, so I'm going ahead with it.
I missed last week, so I really wanted to update this week because we have done SO MUCH!

My birthday was the 4th, and we were planning a trip out of town to see family. We canceled at the last minute because of bad weather (traveling 12 hours in 2.5 days to spend all day inside didn't seem very fun). Our kids were DEVASTATED to not see grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, so we decided to have a staycation at home. We basically planned (at the last minute) fun stuff for every day that weekend. Our weekends are usually VERY chill so this was for sure out of the ordinary for us.

Day one of our staycation involved going on a drive through animal safari. It was GREAT. So much fun for our kids and for us! I loved that the animals were free to roam ACRES of forest and grassland. It was so fun to get upclose and feed them. The highlight for me was the zebra and giraffe. They also had a little zoo area that had a SLOTH--which is also a favorite of mine!

Day two of our staycation we went to a local waterpark. It was SUPER fun and cheap and our kids are still talking about it!

First day of school!! It rained on Luke's first day of school, so inside pictures it was! He started this year at a University Model School where he goes to school 2 days a week and is homeschooled 3 days a week. It's an adjustment and we are getting used to it but so far it has been SO GOOD. We just love it! Emmie started pre-k 4s this year!

JUST CAN YOU EVEN. I said earlier that giraffes and sloths were my favorite-- but BELUGAS take the cake. They are 100% at the top of my list and I could actually sit and watch them swim for HOURS. Leave me at the tank and come back and get me when everyone else is ready to leave. Josh surprised me with a beluga experience for my birthday and I died. Like went to heaven. They are absolutely my favorite and to be able to experience them up close was incredible. I plan to do a whole post about the experience. We have almost 100 pictures that I'll pick my 10 favorites and share. For now though I'll leave you with this:

We are SLOOOOOOWLY working on painting our kitchen cabinets. We started at the end of July and I lovingly refer to my mom as my project manager. She'll come over and tell me "we need to do this, this and this today" dealing with the cabinets. I'm such a procrastinator that it would take me a year to finish. I am very thankful for her help and motivation. We are almost done with 3 of these doors and this coming week we'll be moving on to the other 4! I will say that I AM SO SICK OF LOOKING AT MY DISHES. So glad we don't have open shelving!

Exterior To Do List

Our house is going to slowly become ours as we work on things that desperately need to be done! Thankfully the house itself if in great shape-- it just hasn't been updated since 1998. 

I actually love the black shutters, neutral siding, and the overall architectural style of our home (hello-- that's why we spent a lot of money on it). Although compared to the area/neighborhood we feel like we stole this house (price per sq.ft.). 

I thought it would be fun to keep a master list of things we'd like to update as we go. We spend nearly every weekend in the yard doing SOMETHING, so I can't wait to show you how it evolves. By the way this photo was taken before it even became ours last April. Also I will link back to this post as we accomplish items on our list.

- Replace exterior lights with something bigger.
- Paint garage doors the color of the siding (Sherwin Williams: Perfect Greige)
- Add carriage hardware to garage doors
- Remove bush on far left and plant a new bush there and to the right of garage.
- New front door.
- Paint new front door.
- Remove blinds from foyer window (above front door).
- Trim tree limbs.
- Sod.

My Organized Make-up Drawer

One of the things I absolutely love about our new house is the size of our bathroom! We have never had a sizable master bathroom in any of our houses-- and while this bathroom is the LEAST updated of any bathroom we've had, the bones are there people! I spared you from seeing the mauve "accent" wall and floral border 😆

The counter is soooooo long. And while storage isn't optimized to it's potential, it's not horrible as is. We eventually would love to rip this builder grade oak vanity out, add an amazing unit with tons of storage and DRAWERS, and nice thick stone counters. But for now we have other pressing items where our budget is going (new sod out front and hiring painters for the 18ft. foyer ceiling).

Phase 1 in this bathroom will be keeping the main items (vanity, tub, shower) and upgrading with paint, new faucets, towels, rugs and art. Phase 2 will be a gut to replace the vanity, make the shower bigger, etc.

I'm not kidding when I say this was the FIRST space I tackled in this house. I needed SOMETHING to be in order and organized. I asked begged for the only drawer in the whole bathroom as a place to store my makeup so it was easily accessible and out of site. I had to store my makeup on the counter in our old house and it really cluttered things.
The drawer had contact paper from 1998 in it. And I swear it smelled like a nursing home. I ripped it out and put some elbow grease into cleaning that nastiness.
...sorry you can't unsee that.

I knew I needed some sort of organizers and cute shelf paper to cover that up. They make adorable contact paper/shelf liner with gorgeous designs, but I was REALLY feeling the sophistication of this black and white buffalo check wrapping paper. Wrapping paper will not hold up for the long run like actual shelf liner will, but for now I love it.

I so badly wish I could link this beautiful paper for you-- but I literally bought it on a Navy Base during their after Christmas sale... so.... good luck with that 😁 I did link a VERY similar one below (in tan). There are still tons of cute options! That white washed "wood" gives me all the heart eyes!

I bought #1 for another project in a different part of our house. OR use your favorite wrapping paper like I did!
                                               {1}*                                                     {2}*
                                               {3}*                                                       {4}*

I tried to separate my makeup by kind to figure out what I actually had and how I needed to store it. I measured the drawer across and mentally tried to figure out what size bins would work. Ultimately I decided I'd rather all the same size so I could mix and match laying them vertically and horizontally.
These are the acrylic drawer organizers* I chose:
I was pretty limited on the height of the organizer since these barely clear the top of the counter. My biggest piece of advice is to measure, measure, measure! Width wise my drawer was a little over 18inches and these acrylic organizes are 3in. wide X 6in. long. So I knew I could fit 3 length wise across or 6 vertically. Or a combo of vertical and horizontal (which is what I went with!). 

I am obsessed with how EASY this helps me get ready in the morning! Clockwise from 12o'clock I have my mascaras, matte eyeshadows, an entire bin for concealer (!!), my foundation/face prep/bb cream/moisturizers, my eye palettes/bronzers/blush in the middle, shimmer eye shadows in the center, lip stuff on the left, sample size creams/stuff on the far left and then eye liner/brow liner pencils! I love how this gives me a LIMIT. I literally can't fit anything else until I use through my products. To my defense I have a light bronzer and dark (summer/winter), along with BB cream and foundation that I keep 2 of for my tan face and pale face.

I literally pop my drawer open in the morning, get to work on my face, finish-- put everything back in it's place and close the drawer! So easy! I am obviously a Younique presenter, but am NOT a sales person so feel free to shop here (and ask me any questions!).

*contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are a win win. They provide a direct link to the  products I love, and they help support the blog! Read my disclosures here

High Five For Friday | Favorites

I have felt SO WEARY this week. I really pushed myself in my business and personal goals at the end of July, so I am having a hard time recovering and being motivated this month so far. Knowing that summer is ending is so so so sad. But...

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY! The older I get the more I realize how special birthdays are and how often we take them for granted. Not just mine, but my husband, kids, parents. A few friends have battled cancer and lost loved ones and it's a gentle reminder that we are never promised another!

So today I'll enjoy turning 31. 

We sold one of our houses (we owned 3 houses for 3 months 😂). My IRL friends are probably so sick of hearing me talk about it but SERIOUSLY this has been 4 years coming. I feel like some people effortlessly sell houses-- they cross the proverbial finish line, renewed and with energy remaining. We on the other hand just finished a marathon, bleeding out as we crossed the finish line. But WE FINISHED. Glory.
Long story short we bought this a year before the recession. We refinanced at the depths of the recession and moved 6 months later. We had to hold on to it because of how we refinanced so we rented it for 4 years. Renting is never ideal when you live 2+ hours away and it just became a burden.  We were under contract 3 times, 2 of those obviously didn't work. It was exhausting and an emotional roller coaster that I am so glad is behind us. I wrote a sweet post here about what this house means to us and truly how I will remember it.

Last weekend we got to see my college roommate and her sweet family! We had lunch, got to catch up, and let our kids see each other. They live an ocean away so it's always so wonderful to see them!

I enjoyed every second of making these sweet teacher shirts. I can't wait to offer them next summer in my shop!

I made sheet pan nachos twice this week (because the first time they were SO GOOD). Link to my Pinterest cooking board is HERE and a link to the actual recipe HERE.

Younique released their brand new one step mascara to the public this week! I haven't gotten my hands on it (the singles sold out in 30 minutes!!), but I WILL. Can't wait to try it! ONE STEP. They also released a lash serum that I also can't wait to try.

We are heading to the beach this weekend to see family! While public schools went back earlier this week we don't go back until next Tuesday. So many happy and sad feelings about this situation!