My Top 10 Weight Watchers Friendly Items @ Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s ranks pretty high up there on most people’s list of favorite grocery stores, and I’m no different. I often say that Trader Joe’s is my happy place. There are so many food offerings at decent prices for the outstanding quality you get. Often times they also have unique food options, which makes going to Trader Joe’s more fun than just heading to the Walmart down the road.

While Trader Joe’s had amazing food selections across the board, what I am most pleased with is how many items I find on Trader Joe’s shelves that are Weight Watchers friendly. I have an entire list of favorite things that I am sure to purchase pretty much every time I’m in that store. Since the rollout of WW Freestyle, a handful of my favorite items have decreased in Smart Points value, making it even more amazing than before.

Here are my top 10 Weight Watchers friendly items from Trader Joe’s.

Everything but the Bagel Seasoning:
If you shop at Trader Joe’s odds are you have tried this miracle spice given to us by the TJ’s gods. This magic creation adds everything bagel flavor to anything you put it on. Since I’m someone who has never eaten (more wanted to) an everything bagel in her life, I was skeptical as to if I’d like it, but since it was all the rage, I figured I’d give it a try. I am HOOKED. This blend of sesame and poppy seeds, garlic, onion, and sea salt adds an incredible flavor to pretty much anything. I use it in my eggs, my mac n cheese, on top of roasted squash, and anything that needs some extra flare. It takes things to a whole new level and I’m utterly obsessed. For 0 smart points and at only $1.99, I restock several bottles at a time because this is something my pantry will never be without. Read more

Trader Joe’s Favorites

TraderJoes FavesTrader Joe’s, in my opinion, is a very magical place.  While it is simply a grocery store, the quality, prices, customer service, and variety are all top of the line.  Many people rave about the products they find at Trader Joe’s, and I am no different.  I have never picked up something from TJ’s that I didn’t like.  They are pros when it comes to seasonal offerings too.  Bottom line: I love me some Trader Joe’s.

I know that everyone has their own go to favorites, but if you’re like me, you’re always looking for something new to be your next Trader Joe’s love, so here are a few of the products from there that I adore and purchase regularly.

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Friday 5: 2 Part Edition

Because I ended up having to be up at 6:30 and off to work some Weight Watchers meetings last Friday morning, I completely forgot to do a Friday 5 post, so this week is the special Friday 10 edition to make up for it.

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Wedding Rings

Erik picked out a wedding ring! After repeatedly telling him he doesn’t have an option when it comes to wearing one (business man who wants to be traveling every week?  Come on..I’m no dummy..) We went back to a high end jeweler we visited once before and after a lot of back and forth, trying different rings on, he narrowed it down to two.  It took me taking one away and saying “what if I told you this was your ring?” to discover that the one I hid was really the one he wanted.  The smile on his face gave away that he was actually excited by the idea of having a ring, and as the bride-to-be, it’s nice to see the occasional bit of excitement show through, even when he’s not putting forth the effort to show it.  It’s those moments that mean the most.

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Rekindling a LUSH-ious Love

My face has been terribly unkind to me lately, so being on my last nerve I decided to make the 30 minute drive to a different mall that contained one of my favorite beauty stores, LUSH, to get my skin some TLC.  I haven’t gone in quite some time because it is a tad pricy, but after making two trips (in one week…I get bored on my days off sometimes) I quickly remembered that it was worth the money, and have found myself falling back in love with a brand that I had ignored for almost a year.  The fresh face masks work wonders on the skin, and my Fresh Pharmacy face soap is trying to rescue my face from disaster.  I picked up a good haul from there, but I will be writing about the products later.  I’m just glad that I rediscovered this cult favorite.  Thank goodness my birthday is coming..

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The Perks of Being A Wallflower

I am a Bath and Body Works addict, and have been since age 11 or so.  I have a strong loyalty to this brand, always have, always will.  That being said, I really disliked their wall flowers for the longest time.  I just felt like they didn’t work. Well, something this time around inspired me to get a fall themed one (Halloween wasn’t out yet) and a few scents I knew I loved just to add a little something to my bedroom.  10 minutes after plugging this baby in my room smelled like their Leaves fragrance like you wouldn’t believe (or maybe you would, if you’re smart unlike me and have been using the wall flowers).  I don’t know why I haven’t been using these, but I promise you this: I will become a collector of seasonal wall flowers to use year round.  These are WONDERFUL.  I’m sorry that I ever doubted you, Bath and Body Works.  It won’t happen again.

Two Week’s Notice

I gave my two week’s notice to Kohls on Tuesday!  It has gotten to the point that going to work for them 4 or 8 hours a week has turned into one of the less productive things i could be doing with my time.  With my studio and Weight Watchers picking up I have really lost the ability to take time to enjoy things like working out, cooking healthy things and blogging.  They have all turned into a chore because of this lack of time, and when the things you do for fun start to not be fun, something has to go.  I’m willing to take the rather tiny hit to my bank account (which won’t be a hit at all if work picks up like it has been) to increase the quality of my day.  Happiness is more important. Bye Bye retail, God willing, forever!

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Saturday at a Dairy Farm

Last Saturday the MBA program had a nice evening planned for the students and their families at a dairy farm about 25 minutes away.  We got to go on a hayride around the farm, where the tour guide stopped along the way and told us about how things work.  They have about 350 cows on the farm, each of which eats 100lbs of food a day!  Craziness.  We even got to see a cow who was expected to have her baby by morning and all of the little newborns.  Major cow cuteness.  Pictured above is a ring of pregnant cows.  The mamas must feel the need to support each other.

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Real Southern Pig Picking BBQ

Guess what else was at this farm??  A real Southern style BBQ, complete with the whole pig on the grill.  I must admit, this is some of the most delicious meat I have ever eaten.  Down South I guess the thing is a vinegar based sauce that gets injected right in.  This meant was tender, juicy, and unlike any BBQ I’ve ever had before. Take a look at that plate: The pig picked pulled pork, mac n cheese, a sweet potato casserole that was decadently delicious, green bean and 3 bean salads and southern potato salad.  Needless to say, I was NOT counting PointsPlus that night.  SO good!

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0 Calorie Cake?!

Product find: Limited edition Chapstick in Velvet Cake and Cake batter flavors.  Surprisingly I like the cake batter one better than the velvet one (shocker, I know!), but they both taste yummy.  I got mine for under $1 at Wal-Mart.  Look for them in the check out line. I will be going to get more.

Mod 1 Finals!

Yesterday Erik finished up his last final of his first module of business school!  Translation: total chaos is part way over.  I refuse to believe it gets better until next year, but many have said once he makes it past interviews for his internship in January he will have more time and more of a life (to spend with his new wife, maybe??).  Finals here are odd, as they all take place in the evening.  All week he has gotten up to go to a review session, most of which he left early, and then came back home only to go take his exam from 6:30-9:30pm!  By the end of the day I would not be motivated to take exams at all.  I give props to you UNC MBA students.  Congrats on getting through Mod 1.  Added bonus: Erik has a day completely off today, which means we get to spend the whole day together shopping, cleaning, making dinner together, and watching a movie.  I think I’m going to make him sit through Hunger Games 😉

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Trader Joe’s Find: BODY Butter??

Yup, you read that right.  There’s this little section in Trader Joe’s that had bath and body products.  I read they had pumpkin body butter and had to check it out.  Turns out this stuff is pretty awesome.  Made with shea butter, coconut oil and pumpkin seed oil, this a nice moisturizing  butter, and the scent is very subtle.  It’s a barely there pumpkin smell so I still get the gratification of wearing a pumpkin flavored product while not having to worry about carrying around an overwhelming scent of food.  The best part: it’s only $4.99 for a big container.  Way to go, Trader Joe’s!

Epic Turtle Jump

Make the most of your small accomplishments.

Happy Friday!

September 2013: Favorite Things and Other Things

I can’t even believe that September had come to a close already!  With the postings of my weekly “Friday 5” I don’t know how much “life stuff” there is to discuss, but lets recap, and I do have some favorites this month (happy day!)

 

Work: The music school has opened up 2 additional days for me to teach.  I originally started with Mondays and Thursdays and quite quickly they threw Wednesday in the mix, and as of a few days ago we agreed to open up my Tuesdays as well.  The Tuesday lessons will take a little bit to get moving because it requires another teacher potentially moving her studio, but the initial planning is out there, which means I can be teaching up to 4 full nights a week.  Good news for my bank account, good news for keeping me busy while Erik is so busy, bad news for actually wanting to do things before 9pm on weeknights.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some, and this is definitely a win.

 

Wedding planning is still in full swing.  The end of October I fly home for my bridal shower and bachelorette party, we purchases Erik’s wedding ring, and I’m starting to look into the smaller details now while RSVP cards show up on a daily basis.  I would say more, but the 4th of October means a wedding post is coming (3 months!)

 

Life at home gets very stressful for us both and that makes it very easy for us to get aggressive and defensive with each other.  Despite all of the stress in the air, we still manage to be in love and looking forward to the wedding.  Once we moved to NC people kept asking us “so, are you still engaged” because it’s the first time we’ve lived in the same state.  While sometimes the stress gets to us, we both are good at trying to take care of each other emotionally when the other is on the verge of breaking down.  Ultimately we rest peacefully knowing that we’re actually surviving the hell of the first half of year one MBA and all that implies and we’re looking forward to just being married and allowing that at home dynamic to change.  If we can survive this period of stressed out chaos, we can survive anything…and we know we’ll survive with flying colors.

 

And now, some favorites things!

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Trader Joe’s Rainbow Macaroons ($4.99 for box of 12)

I am completely obsessed with these delicious cookies!  You might be thinking that $5 for a dozen seems like a steep price, but have you looked for these cookies in bakeries (aka the only other place you can find them)??  They’re $2+ a piece!! Now, they’re good cookies, but that means I’d be paying almost $25 for my box of 12.  So, thanks to TJ’s this is a bargain box for the best cookies around.  They have the light, crisp outside with the soft chewiness as soon as you bite into it.  The flavors in this box are great!  You get 2 of each flavor (espresso, salted caramel, cassias (i think?), raspberry, pistachio, and orange) and they’re simply delicious.  Want to know the best part?  1 point each!! OR 14 Points Plus if you choose to binge on the entire box! Those stats are beyond amazing.  Go to Trader Joe’s and get a box of these right now!  Actually, get two…then send one to me 🙂

 

Pitch Perfect

I FINALLY saw Pitch Perfect.  It was amazing.  The music in this movie was fantastic and listening to it left me very emotionally satisfied.  Being someone who did musical groups my entire life, this was a great way to satisfy the itch of not currently being in one.  A capella music is one of my all time favorite types of music, and that’s all Pitch Perfect consisted of.  If you like music at all and enjoy a good laugh, please go rent this DVD.  It made my voice and my heart sing.

 

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Pumpkin Flavored ANYTHING

I’ve been on a HUGE pumpkin and pumpkin spice kick this month, and I anticipate that flowing right into October as well.  This is just one photo of a few of the pumpkin things I have gotten my hands on (you’ll notice this is clearly a Trader Joe’s haul) but the list goes on, and I intend on finding more.  Tell me what I need to be on the lookout for this season or try making this season.  I’m all ears.  Comment below and make my pumpkin flavored (and scented) day even better!

 

That’s about all I’ve got to wrap up this month.  Look for many more posts come October, as one of my goals is to really get my act together with this blogging business.  I hope everyone had a great September.  See you tomorrow with a post about what’s up this next month! Until then, be happy, my friends.