What I Buy at Whole Foods

I make no secret about this…I am really into Whole Foods.

The first time I went into Whole Foods, I was in my second year of graduate school, and looking for a place to get food that wasn’t Jimmy Johns or Dunkin’ Donuts (the two places that were directly across the street from my school at NC State).  I stumbled into Whole Foods, and it was one of the first times since I returned from fat campthat I felt like I’d found my people.  Weird folks.  Who wanted a salad.  Just like  me.

Following my grad school graduation, when I couldn’t find a job, but needed to pay bills, I took a job in the Whole Foods bakery and coffee shop, where I blended, latte-ed, and packaged baked goods with some really cool people for a few months until I could find something a little more in line with what I wanted to do.

Working there, I was absolutely immersed in the culture, and tried foods I’d never imagined trying.  Kombucha, chia seeds, vegan treats, natural remedies for common ailments….the whole shebang.  I went from a diet of subsisting primarily on Lean Cuisines and Yoplait Light to more “whole” (tee hee) foods, and saw a real change in my body and my energy (I started running pretty regularly around that time too).

So, despite the fact that Whole Foods can be pricy, and sometimes grates on peoples’ nerves, I’m pretty loyal, even as some of the other chains branch into organics, because Whole Foods, in my mind, was one of the first that made good food accessible to idiots like me.

Want to see what idiots like me buy on our trips there?  And mayyybe get a little explanation as to what all this crap is?


//Frozen fruit + Trop 50. I use this for my smoothies in the morning. Typically I do a red solo cup, fill it with fruit, add a scoop of protein, some chia, and some Trop 50 to cover the fruit to make my smoothie. It’s quick and painless, and doesn’t require much prep at all. Plus it’s WAY cheaper than ordering a smoothie, and easier to control what goes in it.

//Cedar Roaster Red Pepper Hommus.  Their spelling, not mine!  I like hummus, but I have yet to find hummus as good as what I had at fat camp for my alternative vegetarian meals.  This hummus ended up being okay, but really didn’t change me.  It was pretty cheap for hummus though.

//Noosa.  This full-fat Greek Yogurt is absolutely delicious, and because it’s so calorie-dense, an entire container can serve as a meal in the morning, or half can serve as a snack after lunch or something.  Again, pricey at first glance, but two servings in a container softens the blow.

//Lettuce.  Pretty straightforward.  Sometimes I eat green things for lunch.  Not too many though, cause holy fiber these days!

//Bulk dried mango.  This one is a treat for me.  I LOVE dessert, but it doesn’t love me back so much.  The bulk dried mango is probably one of the cheapest sources of dried mango you will find without any added sugar.  Added sugar and chemicals are usually the trap with things like Craisins and mango.  This is more like fruit leather, just cut up and dried out for a few days.

//365 Black Chia Seeds.  Chia has been this pregnant lady’s best bud as of late, but it can be super expensive.  Whole Foods has an in-house brand, which is a whopping $3 cheaper than the other brands.  Great source of soluble fiber, protein, and a little burst of energy as well.

//Fruit mixes.  This one is a pricey luxury because I wasn’t loving any of the prices on produce anywhere this week and I need fruit.  So I ate like half for dessert the other night, and brought the other half in to supplement my lunch.

//Grape Leaves.  This baby can deal with Mediterranean food for sure.  These are a great snack, and delicious!

For a grand total of about $81.  My priciest items were definitely the fruit and the chia, and I escaped without kombucha or a cookie that would have driven the bill way up randomly – so I should be set for a while, minus the more perishable things (fruit and lettuce), which I will need to make a run for next week again.

Do you have any special foods needs?  (Veg, Gluten Free Options)?

Where do you do your shopping for fruits/veggies?


Rent the Runway!

This is not a sponsored post, however, this post contains affiliate links.  All opinions are completely my own!

Approximately two weeks before my sister’s wedding, I realized that I didn’t have anything to wear, and I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired to purchase anything.  Everything I saw didn’t quite grab me.  I remembered that a friend of ours, for our wedding, had doing something called Rent the Runway, a neat merchant who allows you to browse designer collections and have them shipped to you the day before a big a event.  You get to go to your fancy event in your dress, ship it back (in a container that RtR sends you), and you’re not stuck with an expensive dress that you can’t wear again.

So for Debbie’s wedding, because she was having her wedding at a pretty nice museum, I went with something that was longer, and appropriate for a black or white-tie event.  For some reason, I had the idea that sequins would be fun, especially with the event being so close to Christmas.  I was able to sort dresses by size, by color, by length, and by the fanciness of event.  Once I found the dress that I had my heart set on, I picked a pair of earrings for them to throw in, and I picked the dresses in two sizes, that way, if one didn’t fit, I would have a backup.

The dress showed up the day before the event, and I immediately tried it on to make sure it fit!  I sort of forgot that designer clothing is really true to size, so I ordered a 4 and 6 Long.  I tried on the 6 first, sure that it would fit like a glove, and since I’d ordered the 4, I had the backup to wear to the wedding!  The finished product was here…

Rent the Runway

The dress was a Badgley Mischka, and normally retails for $700 – I was able to get a dress and earrings all for about $100. I did not stop getting compliments on the dress, which I promptly shipped back, easy peazy, the day after the wedding.

Once again, my experience was so good I rented again for some holiday parties I had last week…

Rent the Runway 2The second rental was a Slate and Willow romper, the Jessica.  This one was really fun. It allowed for me to show off some leg, and still be holiday-esque without going full-on Beyoncé.  This one, I rented along with some earrings as well.  This beauty retails for about $470.  Once again, I was able to get the outfit for about $100, and this time, I rented for about 8 days, so I could be super cheap and wear it to multiple parties.

As a girl who mostly live in workout clothes, it’s so nice to splurge, even a little, and look like a million bucks, even if for a night, all to the tune of a benny.

So if you’re interested, the holidays are an awesome time to try this out. Use promo code HAPPY2015 to receive 20% off your order’s subtotal of $50 or more here.  If you’re down for a free backup size, head over here.  And for $40 off of an order, $100 or more, head here!

What’s your favorite way to do a fancy outfit on a budget?

I discovered the Cartwheel App

First and foremost, with all of my usual joking aside, I hope you’re having a seriously awesome Memorial Day.  Please take a second (or more) and lift your servicemen up in a thought or a prayer, because we seriously live in one of the most amazing counties in the world.  We live in a country where we’re free to disagree, we have clean water, access to school, housing, nice roads, and that’s pretty incredible, especially coming from 2 developing nations (Haiti and Trinidad).

So moment of silence.

Annnnd, I’d like you welcome you guys back to the blog.  I took Sunday off of writing to clean, do some wedding things, take a 5-mile trail run with a friend (where I did not sprain my ankle, hallelujah), so I hope you can forgive the absence while I caught up on life and things.

For this one, I actually put on longer socks and did some trail shoes, which seemed to help – also focused on picking my feet up to avoid tripping and twisting my ankle again.

So, I’m sure, you’ve gathered from the blog that budgeting and saving money is something that I’m starting to get into. Yes, I know it should have been something I had been into for a long time, but when I was not making as much money, it was easier to be short-sighted. Now that I’m getting married, and it’s not just me, it’s important to save, get into good habits, and get rid of that lurking student loan debt that I want gone ASAP.

So yesterday, I discovered the Cartwheel App from Target.

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 2.18.26 PMNumero uno, Super Target is one of the best and cheapest places, in my opinion to get your groceries.  Will you get the incredible selection that you will get at Harris Teeter?  Absolutely not.  But I’ve been ridiculously impressed with the price, and the selection is sometimes randomly good.  Additionally, it’s not Wal-Mart so that’s a plus.

So I’d been seeing this Cartwheel app pop up on Facebook, and additionally a lot of my mommy blogger friends have mentioned the app when they’re talking about saving moola.

So finally, during yesterday’s trip I used the app, and was able, between the app and picking some good stuff, to save almost $15.00 on a nearly $200 order.  YIPEE!!!!  Why did I never discover this awesome app before?

No matter, I think it’s amazing, and if you’re into saving money and you shop at Target, download this app and get to saving!  It’s fun!


Wedding Wednesday: Finanaces

So in like, 3 months and 24 days (which I didn’t know til I blogged about how much time it was gonna be until our Wedding Date), I get to marry this hunk.


Now, I’ve talked openly and candidly about my finances here, but it was important to do that with my husband-to-be, and that meant being really open about my student loan debit and my spending patterns.

And I was really really embarrassed to sit down and talk with him about it.

Austin has a really, really good handle on his finances, and makes a ton more money than I do, and I can learn so much from him (and I have in our years together).  I make a social worker’s salary, and have a decent amount of debt from graduate school mostly, that I’m working on.  But we’ve gotten together every day for the last few days and created a budget, and gone over every single piece of paperwork involving my student loans, and for once, I don’t feel like I’m in a horrifying panic over the state of my loans.

Like I said last week, paying down more of my loans, and still having a little something left over to save, means some actual focus and work, but thankfully, I have a partner who knows what the heck it takes, and is helping me focus on the big picture.  And instead of being mortified and embarrassed, once we got down to the real work, I felt comforted that I was able to share my “burden” with someone else.

In other wedding news?

  • Save-the-dates are OUT!  I will do a big reveal next week, so I can make sure folks get theirs before I put all their business out there.
  • Wedding bands are purchased!  Just waiting for them to come out,
  • Invites?  The ball is rolling, but I have no clue what the wording on the invites is gonna say.
  • My mom screamed at me for not inviting one of her friends.  I am not a cold, heartless person, but she literally told me that she didn’t want to invite this person because they hadn’t been picking up her phone calls as of late.  Well she texted me last night to ask if I invited this person, and then yelled at me when I said no.  I WAS JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS!  Ugh.
  • Catering is thisclose to being finalized.
  • We’d already booked the photogs a while back, but in the course of some emails we’d been sending back and forth, I kinda let them know I needed them for our (very late) engagement photos and bridal portraits for you guys to put gifts under when I get married.

To do in this week?

  • The biggie is the wedding website HAS to get some progress on it.  Maybe I’ll work on that this weekend.

I am SO happy that things are getting done.

How do you keep up with your monthly budget/big ticket expenses?


Austin and I had to have a really difficult pre-wedding conversation yesterday, about budgeting.

I think it’s really cute and funny to be poor and subsist soley on Ramen and Diet Mountain Dew for college, but I’m out a few years, trying to build a life for me and my husband-to-be, and we would be complete idiots if we didn’t have the very difficult conversation about money.

I think naturally, money is just a really difficult and uncomfortable topic to talk about.  Then, throw in the fact that I don’t make very much of it, and Austin makes more than enough, and it makes for some learning curve and growing pains.

Because I make so little, I’ve gotten comfortable being a little sloppy with my spending.  As long as I can make my sort of “required” bills, I don’t worry about a ton else.  But that can’t work forever.  Things happen.  Transmissions go out.  Sometimes you jam your thumb (side eye).  Sometimes something just unexpected comes up.  And it makes me extremely uncomfortable to not have some sort of cushion or nest egg built up at the point that I thought I would.

So, a few steps I’m taking to take some more charge of my finances?

photo (4)


  • I’m using Mint to keep track of/analyze my finances.  I almost dread when I open Mint up, but it’s necessary, I think, to keep track of what’s going on.  From Mint, I’ve gathered a few things.
  • I really need to chill out on the coffee.  Like it’s really not even funny, I have to chill out.  As of this month, I’ve spent $40 on Starbucks, and a few more dollars at McDonald’s and Bruegger’s on coffee-related items.  I need to come up with a plan to still get my caffeine, but to forgo a few trips to Starbucks.  Realistically, I’d like to limit my outside coffee budget to about $25/month, which can feasibly be done if I skip the fancier drinks and just go with americanos and flavor them to my linking.
  • I’m awesome with brown-bagging the lunch, but I need to chill on errant trips to the Teeter when I feel inspired to cook something weird.  My food spending is a little higher than it need to be. 
  • Switch to cash for food.  No more swipey swipey for me. 
  • By the end of this week, I need to call the awesome folks down at the student loan place, and figure out how much I’m going to be paying once we get married and combine the incomes.  It’s gonna hurt, but the bigger the monthly payment, the faster I can be free of that debt. 
  • Long term?  I gotsta make more money!  I’m keeping the eyes peeled for job opportunities that will afford me (hee hee) more wiggle room.

I have to admit, I feel like I have no clue what I’m doing, and I feel like a total idiot for not knowing some of this budgeting stuff already, but what are some of your best responsible spending and money saving tips?

Things you do when you’re broke.

My sassy boys over at Class and Trash and me were group texting, and discussing that fact that as it was getting close to the first, and we were waiting on pay day to come save us.



And here I present to you, the things you do when you’re broke/waiting on payday. 

  1. You pack all your lunches.  There is no eating out.  The only eating out you will do will involve a Starbucks gift card that you dig out of the back of your wallet.
  2. Speaking of Starbucks, your morning coffee?  Not a thing, you will be enjoying the coffee from the break room.
  3. Free stuff starts feeling kinda good.  Go for a run!  Go to Lululemon for a free yoga class!  Sit at the coffee shop and blog – maybe without ordering something.  That sounds fun, right?
  4. Your $16 hot yoga class downtown is not gonna happen for another two weeks.  
  5. And finally, when your friend asks you for drinks, you totally make an excuse to postpone it for another week or two. 

To be perfectly clear, I’m not like broke and decrepit, times just get hard for a day or two after I make my car payment.  How does your spending change close to payday?

I went into Target for like, one thing.

I hear this happens to other people.  But last Friday, I went into Target for one thing, and walked out with $100 worth of things.

How did this happen?  What did I buy?  What did I even go for in the first place?


I’m lead to believe the reason that I was in there in the first place was to grab a cheap pair of earrings for the photoshoot last Saturday.  Okay, that’s innocent enough, right?


Here are all the things I purchased, and an explanation of what the hell I must have been thinking as I walked through the store.

  • Backs for earrings.   
  • Cheap earrings for photoshoot.  Okay I got what I needed.  We can leave, right? 

Well, while I’m here, I might as well go down the cosmetics aisle. :/

  • Neutrogena transparent beauty bars.  Cause they’re the tits.  It’s not fancy at all, but it will get the job done on your face.
  • Neutrogena makeup remover wipes.  Cause I’m trying to make a better effort to not sleep in my makeup and have pretty skin for our wedding 🙂
  • Dove Deodorant.  Cause I’m getting like dangerously close to the end of my deodorant and I hate when it falls on the ground and you’re like 😦
  • Colgate Whitening Mouthwash.  It tastes like literally cat poop, and I’m not sure I can tolerate the 60 seconds they tell you to swish it around in your trap.
  • Colgate Optic White Toothpaste.  My secret weapon for a white smile despite the red wine and coffee I consume.
  • Crest 3D Whitestrips <—this item gets most improved.  They fixed the strips so they stick to your teeth and don’t slide around all over like they used too.  My only caveat?  Don’t overdo it, these things will make your teeth really sensitive.
  • Those flosser stick thingies.  I was running out when I thought about it!
  • Goody Hair Bands. Mama was running low.  There was nothing I could do.
  • Rubbing alcohol.  Makes your nail polish stick better to your nails cause it removes all the lotions and gunk that would cause it to chip.

And THAT is how I managed to spend $100.65 at the Target.

What’s the worst damage you’ve done at the Target?