8.27.2015

Wal Mart Grocery Pickup || A Review

So, Wal Mart sucked me back in.


I gave up shopping there a couple of years ago, other than a random photo lab pick up or Christmas tree purchase. Note: their Christmas tree selection is excellent. I am a Target/Kroger girl through and through -- and have been known to frequent the Dollar General Grocery, which has a surprisingly robust food selection. However, a few weeks ago my friend and neighbor Katherine posted on Facebook that she had just tried the Wal Mart grocery pick up with success and I was intrigued. It is a new process that Wal Mart has rolled out to select stores where you order your groceries online just like any other online purchase, set a time for pick up and then when you get to the designated pick up spot in the Wal Mart parking lot, they will bring out your groceries to you. I have done it twice now and today, I am sharing the results.

The website: Very simple to use. First you create an account, which is no different than any other online merchant account. They do not accept Pay Pal, so you do need a credit/debit card to store.

The selection: Next you use the search engine to type in your item and add it to your virtual shopping cart. There is a $30 minimum order. You cannot go back and just replace an old order, you will need to add those standard items that you need every week to your Favorites, then easily add those items to your cart.

The scheduling: I made my first order on a Sunday morning and the pickup slots -- which are in one-hour increments -- were full for the day so I set it for the next day. The second order was much simpler. I logged in, selected my items and checked out. A $45 order took less than ten minutes. On the second order, made on a Tuesday morning, I was able to get an afternoon pickup slot that day. You do have to order six hours in advance. On the second order, I left off one item and was able to go back and modify the order to add it, as it still was more than six hours until pickup.

The pickup: It was pouring down rain during our first pickup and I had Little Kid in the car with me. I thought to myself how much I wished that we had grocery pickup when she and her brother were babies. We pulled up to the clearly designated pickup area -- it looked like the Wal Mart version of a Sonic car park. When we arrived we called the number posted on the car park and they brought out our groceries. They did not have two items that I ordered and had substituted two similar items. I did not have a need for the substitutes so they took them off of the purchase. Total time: 13 minutes.

The second pickup, they had substituted four items and as they were very similar, I kept three out of the four. Total time: 6 minutes.

Verdict: Quite handy. On the second day, I was not feeling good at all and rolled up in my slippers. It was a relief not having to navigate a grocery store with a second grader for an hour. Wal Mart has really made this a quick and simple process -- especially for parents with small children and people with limited mobility. I think its success really depends on how particular a shopper is and whether the shopper is okay with possibly not getting every specific item that they need. I also think that this cuts down on the number of impulse buys by eliminating time in the store. Although if you like one-stop shopping and need more than groceries, this probably is not going to be a time saver for you. And if you are like me and forget to add items to your list, then you might be frustrated -- or end up stopping in another store on your way home. All in all, this will be a service that I utilize again.

8.26.2015

What's Up Wednesday?

What's up Wednesday? Joining up with my girl Mel for her monthly link up:


What we're eating: I promised the kids that we would take them to Waffle House tonight between their school's curriculum night and church choir because we are the epitome of high class. 

What I'm reminiscing about: I passed the doppelgänger to my first car the other day which made me think about the Firebird -- which was much cooler than its teenage owner. Unfortunately, I could not find a photo but visualize the Smokey and the Bandit car:


It had no radio and I had to staple gun the ceiling but it represented freedom so I loved it. Unfortunately it was also somewhat of a lemon so for my seventeenth birthday, my parents bought me a red Chevy Cavalier for a more reliable vehicle for college. Apparently I have no picture of that either! Stock photo --


What I'm loving: That it is National Dog Day! Our furry family members over the years --


What we've been up to: Little started her first season of softball this week! I am not sure our coach received the memo that fall ball is supposed to be calmer and less intense than spring ball. Oy.

What I'm dreading: The total house scrubbing that is coming as soon as I can lick this kidney stone. Life with a basset hound comes with a price.

What I'm working on: I attended a Women's Equality Day commemoration today and I have to tell you, it was my favorite assignment of the year. The Oakwood University Aeolians performed and they were awe-inspiring! Wow. If you are ever in Huntsville, Alabama, and have the opportunity to hear them, take it. We are about to enter our busy season at the newspaper with back to back special inserts every month for the remainder of 2015. Hold me.

What I'm watching/reading: We Netflix'd Hot Tub Time Machine 2 last night and it was so bad that it was physically painful to watch. After about 45 minutes, I was out. 

I also finished this yesterday, which was a light companion on a sick day. 


What I'm listening to: Hopefully, some joyful noise this afternoon. I wasn't able to participate in our church's nursing home outreach as much as I wanted to this summer but I hope to be there more often this fall. 

What I'm wearing: Okay, I splurged. Nordys put their Tory Burch Miller sandals on deep discount and I finally picked up a pair after coveting them for years. Proof: I pinned the black version on Pinterest four years ago. Those extra hours that I worked this summer are paying off.


What I'm doing this weekend: Well, it looks like we will be at church quite a bit this weekend -- our pastor invited us to a young adults get-together, which made The Engineer and I laugh. We haven't seen the young adult years since probably pre-kids, but we are rolling with it. We have also been doing a weekend restaurant crawl for the past few weekends. It is well-known that The Engineer likes a good meal so for his birthday, he was given several restaurant gift cards of which we are making good use.

What I'm looking forward to next month: My birthday! Woo hoo! I don't usually make a big fuss, but the older I get, the more I appreciate every year. So I am taking a cue from my birthday buddy Stephie, and I am doing it up right this year. Plus, I have a new special birthday buddy this year -- my nephew RHR, who will be turning one on the same day! I just ordered his birthday gift today. As much as I say that I am going to celebrate me this year, it is still more fun to rain down presents on this little dude:


So that's August in a nutshell! Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully, it will be better than Tuesday. About 2pm the pain subsided which means I think the buckets of liquid I consumed hopefully flushed out the kidney stone. I admit, I was worried. About 11am, I threw up (TMI!) and that has not happened in years. I am still not 100% but fingers crossed that the worst is behind. Happy Wednesday! 

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8.25.2015

Hello Kidney Stone, My Old Nemesis

I sat down this morning with my cup of coffee and was hit my a sharp pain in my side. Noooooo, I thought. Not another one. For the past 15 years, I have been plagued with kidney stones. Big ones, little ones, a whole variety of stupid little stones that pretty much grind my life to a halt. We still don't know exactly what causes them, and I had hoped that mine were behind me since I had not had a larger one in awhile. I have pains here and there that I interpret as small stones, but nothing like in the past. Let's take a trip down memory lane while I guzzle a gallon of cranberry juice.

2000: I was living by myself in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I woke up one morning to go to work, climbed out of bed and collapsed on the floor, immediately puking into the garbage can by my desk. That would be Kidney Stone #1. I had never experienced anything like that before and thought my appendix burst. I was in so much pain that I was not thinking clearly to call any friends -- I called 911 and passed out. Luckily I woke up long enough to unlock the front door for the paramedics. Next thing I knew I was in the ER. The plan was for me to try to pass it on my own but until then I would stay pretty hopped up on painkillers.

What I remember about that special week is that I had an interview with the Secret Service that I did not want to reschedule. So the Bestie drove me to Nashville and I still went through with it, drugged to the gills. I explained to the agent that I was having a lithotripsy that week but he was not overly sympathetic. I was convinced that I had bombed the interview so imagine my shock when they called later that week to schedule the next interview in the process. I don't know what that says about the Secret Service that I passed their interview stoned out of my gourd.

What I also remember is that it was the same week as the Super Bowl. And if you are a Tennessee Titans fan, you remember that Super Bowl. The Super Bowl we lost by inches. I went to a Super Bowl party with some friends and you can imagine the mood after that heartbreaking loss. I just sat on the couch with a dopey smile on my face thinking that I was going to be pretty bummed when I came down out of the clouds.

Kidney Stone #2: It was 2005, I was married and living in Tullahoma with the Engineer. Big was seven months old and it was his first holidays. And I was high as a kite. Unfortunately no procedures were scheduled until the week after New Years so I had to soldier through until January. We traveled to The Engineer's hometown for Christmas and once again, I ended up in their ER after the Lortab stopped working. Good times.


I look a little glassy-eyed.

Kidney Stone #3: Little was three months old for this one so that would make it April 2008. And while it was the biggest stone yet, we were prepared for it. My urologist told me that pregnancy usually grows the stone larger and this one was a doozy. Thankfully, I did not have to waste time passing it like in the two previous instances and we just went ahead and scheduled the surgery. This stone was so large that it was more intensive and I was admitted after the surgery and set up with my very own morphine pump. I liked that morphine pump just a little too much. That was my first and only experience with withdrawal. I came home the next day with the shakes. No bueno.

Since then, I have had much better luck with passing them so I am confident that I can pass this one again with my trusty drugs+cranberry juice combo. Let's hope so because I do not have time for surgery!

So has anyone else had kidney stones? What do you do to pass them? While I am an old hat at this, I am also always looking for new ways to avoid doctors visits and cat scans. My last one was in 2012 but luckily I was able to pass that one on my own without medical intervention. Fingers crossed for a similar experience with this.

Happy Tuesday!