Lovely Simply

Style and Lifestyle in New England

Tag: budget living

BJ’s Sneak Peek

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This past Tuesday, my sister and I loaded up the kids (three in total) and headed to the New BJ’s in Manchester NH for a sneak peek of it before they open on the 17th of this month. We kept telling the kids we were going on an adventure, and luckily for us BJ’s had these awesome carts with little race cars attached which basically made Redmonds entire day.IMG_0818

After a potty trip for the toddlers (because if you think you gotta go, stop and go right away…) we started our little tour of the new building. The first thing we saw was a huge wall of pretty much all of Redmonds favorite kid foods. Annie’s Mac and cheese, bunny grahams–the good stuff. We were told that this is their wow wall for #wowwallwednesday and features new deals every week. IMG_0813

After that, we headed to the family section of the store. I loved this area because it had basically everything a young family with little ones (like us) could need–diapers, wipes, ect. There were also all the over the counter medications that we try to keep stocked–and my favorite aspect  was that the sizes were bigger than what you find in your average drug store. We  just survived two sick kiddos where we ran out of ibuprofen and had to do the dreaded evening run to get more, and I want to be fully prepared for next time.

We checked out the fresh produce area after that, and I was so impressed by the variety. They also had their own deli (which you can call ahead to and have your order ready for pickup) and prepared foods section. And best of all….a bakery. I’m still thinking about the cheesecakes we saw. They looked so good!

I remember BJ’s being much more of a bulk shopping experience when I went with my parents as a kid, but now they carry basically everything and you could EASILY do all your grocery and home shopping in one stop. Pet food, patio furniture, Easter dresses–they had it all.

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As you can tell from these photos, Redmond  fell in love with a giant chicken, and picked out a bouquet of flowers (which he licked. Because….toddlers are gross), and had an all around amazing time. He didn’t want to leave. I had to remind him that we were going to sing happy birthday and have a treat with one of my closest friends to lure him out. An adventure indeed.

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BJ’s was kind enough to give me some gift cards so that we can do some shopping for our family, so I will be sharing some recipes that we make with our buys on my Instagram (@simply_hannah.joy). Check back in and thanks for reading!

p.s. They still have the deal going on for first time Members here

This is a sponsored post on behalf of BJ’s Club, all opinions are my own

BJ’s Comes to Manchester

BJ’s is coming to Manchester!

Grocery shopping is one of my favorite “duties” as a grown up. Redmond loves it, Laurie likes to be in his front pack looking around, and it turns into a fun outing for us. Meal planning is not one of my favorite duties though…even though I love cooking and I LIKE having a plan, it just is always daunting to me. Even with Pinterest. EVEN WITH PINTEREST. I know.

We have a pretty tight food budget, and the more Redmond eats, the harder it is to maintain, and I’ve been looking for some other options than the way I’ve been doing things. BJ’s Wholesale Club is opening a new location in Manchester, NH and I am super excited to visit their new location on their behalf and start saving. As a member of BJs ( and if you don’t already have one you can apply for one, here) families can save up to $500 a year on their groceries, gas, household items–pretty much everything. The membership right now is discounted and costs $25 year (normally $55!)* and we will be able to save 25% on normal grocery store prices which will make a HUGE difference to our budget. There’s also an Add-to-Card coupon feature where we can digitally clip coupons directly to our membership card for added discounts, which is cool since I never can keep track of coupons at the grocery store. I just looked at all the discouunts going on right now and got a little over excited, which I think shows that I am solidly a mom…because $2 off laundry detergent is worth celebrating.

My two little ones and I will be visiting next week, 3/6, to see the new club before the grand opening to the public on March 17th—and I’ll be on the lookout for the Wellsley Farms products specifically since they have a large selection of natural and organic items. I’ll be posting about our experience and some photos from the trip as well! So check out my Instagram next Tuesday for stories of our visit and follow along (@simply_hannah.joy) to see more!

*The $25 membership offer is only for new members

This is a sponsored post on behalf of BJ’s  Club, all opinions are my own

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5 minute Acai Bowl


I am really into breakfast. I work out every morning, and I HAVE to eat before I exercise. Never anything too heavy, always something delicious. I make a batch of granola about once a week and it serves as breakfast and dessert (over a little yogurt) during the week when I steer away from baked goods and ice cream. While I was pregnant, I had massive cravings for smoothie bowls. I spent waaaaayyyy too much money at Fresh Press in Portsmouth getting their Acai bowls. But finally (finally!!) our grocery store carries Acai smoothie packs and I can have my favorite breakfast/lunch without throwing down ten dollars. So. A super quick little post today. I hesitate to even call it a recipe…but a few people asked me how I make mine so I figured I’d let you all know. Obviously I staged that photo (I don’t eat breakfast surrounded by flowers very often…) but it is a pretty, healthy, and delicious breakfast and it takes less time to make than my usual oatmeal does. I use Frozen acai packs which are stocked at our local market basket. They’re getting easier and easier to find, so check the frozen fruit aisle of your grocery store. If not, then you can order acai powder on Amazon–but I’ve never tried it. Anyway. I top mine generally with bananas, pineapple, strawberries, raisins, and my homemade granola (I’ll get that up ASAP) . Then I drizzle Krema natural peanut butter on top. It’s my current favorite because it’s super soft (almost soup-y) and pours easily. Not great for sandwiches, but I always use my pb for a topping, not a pb&j.
So anyway. 

5 minute Acai bowl

1 packet frozen Acai

1/4 cup mixed frozen fruit

1 tbs plain Greek yogurt

1/4 banana

Toppings: banana, pineapple, strawberries, granola, peanut butter. Or anything you desire.

Soften the frozen pack by running it under hot water and then blend everything (minus the toppings) in a blender or magic bullet. Pour into a bowl, top it up, and dig IN! 

I eat these for any and every meal during the summer. And my husband loves them too. 

Enjoy! 

I Wish, I Wish

So as mentioned Here, I’m on a pretty strict shopping budget. So strict that it’s basically non-existant… And even though I have plenty of clothing, a girl can dream. And so, since I can’t really buy any of it, but I still browse around and, you know, put stuff in my online shopping cart, I figured I’d put an Impossiblities Wishlist together. And maybe if it’s not Impossible for you, you can buy it and I’ll live vicariously.  

 This dress. It’s actually not that out of the realm of reality–it’s only 17$ (!) and I could maybe nurse in it. But until the Endless New England Winter draws to its close, I’ll have to dream of sandals, turquoise bracelets, and the perfect top knot to pair with this dress.

 IF I didn’t have gigantic milk boobs, I’d be all up in this. But if I attempted to wear this Suit, it would be a disaster of nip slips and side boob and probably milk stains. When I say probably I mean definitely milk stains.

This dress begs for warm weather, red ballet flats, and a big-ass brunch, sitting outside and eating all the treats and drinking all the mimosas. Oh, and it’s only 23$. Probably cheaper than this brunch situation I’m imagining. 

 Well This little duo would be perfect for a afternoon spent bopping around a flea market. If I had a cool 100 to drop on it. And if it was warm enough to hop around a flea market. I’d add a straw boater hat like This one and be fabulous.    

  Be still my heart. IF I didn’t have boobs. This dress I’d wear on a hot summer evening, sipping a margarita and gossiping with my girlfriends.  

 

This dress. Oh, that DRESS! It basically has my name written on it…the print…the full skirt…the sash in the back…the fact that I could nurse in it…oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear.
No picture here because you should see them for yourself but, Basically everything from Beverly swimwear. I just want to be on a beach. Drinking fancy drinks.   

And finally, This dress. I don’t think I could pull off those amazing sandals, but the cool, sexy, comfortable vibe of this piece…I love it. Throw it on with a wrap around leather belt and a wide brim hat and LETS HIT THE SHOPPING DISCTRICT in some wonderfully warm Italian city. It’s less than 20 bucks. Buy it and head to Europe. You’re welcome. 

Sometimes I wish that I had all the money in the world to shop. But then I remember how damn lucky I am with the life I have–a precious baby, a loving husband, and so many little luxuries. Life is very sweet. 
P.s. What’s on your wish list??