One of my favorite things about being a blog follower is how the experience goes from just following along to eventually feeling like you are taking advice from a friend. As a result of my love for blogs, I have purchased clothes, tried hair styles, decorated mantles, read books, organized my office, discovered health tricks, and become inspired in countless ways! Reading about a solution that an everyday person, just like me, finds enriching to their lives has been really helpful – so here on HALF I thought I would get in on the info sharing action and include a weekly favorites post! Each week I will share one of my favorites things! The topic areas will range from favorite clothes to organizing solutions even some health tricks. Really anything that we just can’t live without – or would really not want to – at the Bessette home and maybe you can find something you love too!
Hey there friends! For the next day or so we will be living the hotel life and not really cooking…. which I love, because as you all know I do not cook. In fact meal planning, shopping list creating, grocery store running, putting everything away and then usually throwing out what did not get used the week before – are also my least favorite to dos. Luckily Danny likes to cook, so I have resigned myself to the fact that if all I have to do is the grocery pickup its not that bad. However since mid-february Danny has been eating minimally and pretty much a version of rice, mashed potatoes, oatmeal and cliff bars for 90% of his meals. Plus I have been on mission to really work on my health – which does not in fact align with a mashed potato diet. So at 34 I have suddenly needed to learn to properly plan and cook, specially meals that fuel me – not just feed me. Luckily while on this journey, Ashburn finally got its first Trader Joes – and friends it has changed our world!
Like all good procrastinators when I was assigned to take care of my eating habits I spent hours on Pinterest “researching”. In all honesty, I did need a little help finding things to make, learning how to make my meals cleaner, and how to not break the bank doing it. Our household loves Whole Foods -but can’t really afford to give them our whole paycheck. And as I continued my research mission there was one consistent theme: Trader Joe’s. My two inspirations for how to eat were the Mediterranean diet (lots and lots of veggies)and an idea that with a few tweaks each meal could be that much healthier (like pasta made out of veggies). I would try and stick to these two schools of thought using the 80/20 rule – so I would not need to be perfect (you gotta be super clear with us a-types), but make a game out of striving to make each meal just a little better. Well Trader Joes products make that VERY EASY.
By spending sometime online and then exploring the store since about mid-February, I have come to really enjoy it. There are so me great frozen food staples (these pancakes or the cauliflower gnocchi) as well as some great meal basics (like chicken sausages or gyro meat). I absolutely LOVE the green pressed juice (no joke, as I write this from the hotel in Baltimore I am craving one…..) and find their snack foods (crackers, chips, nuts) with a lot of creative alternatives. Plus there are no shortage of bloggers with some awesome posts on what to get there: Mix and Match Mama, Momfessionals, Tall Blonde Bell.
And I can admit it – I am an experience gal. Yes, I crave a good ice latte – but I choose Starbucks cause I know they are reliable and I enjoy the vibe. Trader Joes has an excellent experience – I can pick up the best fresh flowers and there are lots of unique things to try (like Whole Foods) – but neither cost you an arm or leg. You guys, I can’t even believe I am going to type this… I actually look forward to my grocery run there: grab coffee, plan my week, wander the aisles while enjoying the gorgeous blooms I nabbed when I first came in the door. It is a great experience.
So if you are anything like me and assume that Trader Joes are for really cool young kids with tight jeans and man buns OR for stay at home moms who live in mc-mansions and have tons of extra money and time to spend – well they may be there, but this store is not just for them. I was so wrong and now I am enjoying my weekly runs, eating healthier and not eating out as much (good for the body AND the wallet) because I know that I want what is in my frig! The summer is here and what a great excuse to try something a little new as we enter the season of grilling out and attending pot luck BBQs. Let me know if I was right….
Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!