Trader Joe’s: Is it Worth the Hype?

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Among many other things, Trader Joe’s is a celebration of pumpkin everything!

Yes. Yes it is.

I have been meaning to visit this grocery store for a while. I didn’t really know what all the hype about it was, but this weekend I found out. It. is. amazing. And did you know that Trader Joe’s is actually owned by the Aldi Corporation?

Five reasons you should visit Trader Joe’s, and you will love it:

  1. Samples. Think Costco but no quite. Towards the back of the store there is a sample counter. You can ask for a sample of anything in the store. They will give you one, liberally.

2. Cookie butter. You may have already heard about this one. I know I had. Cookie butter is the consistency of peanut better with the taste of snickerdoodles. It will melt in your mouth. Yes, I know there are all kinds of recipes on the internet for cookie butter you can make at home. But you need to try the original at least once.

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3. Organic, fair trade, and affordable. October is Fair Trade month and as I have increased my own awareness of fair trade practices, I’ve noticed a lot of fair trade certified items at Trader Joe’s as well as affordable organic foods. And let me say this, Trader Joe’s definition of organic tastes good. Really good. I know that I don’t usually use the words organic and affordable in the same sentence, but Trader Joe’s is the exception to the rule. I’ve read that they are able to keep their prices low because of some sore of secret relationship with suppliers. Whatever the reason, it works for me and my wallet. (Don’t forget, you can enter to win a box of fair trade items this week in honor of Fair Trade Month!)

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4. Not overwhelming. I expected the store to be super crowded and give me sensory overload. It was a typical grocery store on a Saturday morning, but the store itself is not huge and overwhelming. As I matter of fact, I took the one child who hates crowds with me and she even enjoyed the experience, likening it to a village market. And that says a lot.

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5. No noisy intercoms. Trader’s Joe’s uses a bell system to communicate with employees. No loud and muffled noise hear. Just pleasant ringing that is not annoying at all.

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Overall I love the store! Have you ever shopped at Trader Joe’s?

And speaking of Fair Trade….don’t forget to enter our giveaway this week by reading the blog post post below. Here are other posts you may be interested in as well.

Click to enter and possibly win a box of fair trade faves!

Help! Click here to see how my kids stalk me on Facebook.Click here to learn about our experience with the Tacky Box!

First Day Awesomeness

We survived it. The first day of school in a new place. The butterflies and jitters were all there. Just like last week…no one wanted to go to bed on Monday night. They were excited — beyond belief!

But we did it…and here’s how it went. But first things first; the 6th grade outfit.

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She went with #1. Just for the record, I suggested this outfit when she asked my opinion. Clearly though, I don’t speak the language “6th grade girl” so she had noooooo time for me. And when I told her the majority of the replies on the blog and on Facebook liked this one, she didn’t agree to wear it until her 6th grade friend Caela commented. And Caela started 6th grade last week. So clearly, she knew what to do on the first week…and she obviously speaks “6th grade girl.”

Oh. She wanted me to tell you that she had on high tops with the outfit. She says they give her the “cool edge.” I know you were dying to know that part. Because you too will one day need to add a “cool edge” to an outfit and you will wonder what it should be. High tops. Even when it’s 105 degrees outside.

The new school. AWESOMENESS! Ok…that’s the word the school administrators use all.the.time. And yes, the school is awesome…but Tracy and I love saying AWESOMENESS like we are 14 and in the 9th grade because it makes us laugh. I like it because our family has a built in network there…and Tracy is part of the network. She’s a Mississippi girl, our families are long time friends, and we are sorority sisters. Her kids are in 2nd and 3rd grades, and my kids love the fact that they say, “My little cousins go here.” Emphasize the little part.

And speaking of the extended play family, their “cousin” Andrew also goes there and he is in the 8th grade. That makes the 6th and 7th graders instantly cooler. It just does.

Let’s review, shall we? For the cool points to go up, you’ve go to 1. wear high tops, and 2. have little cousins and an 8th grade cousin all at the same school.

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As you can see, the 5th grader put it in writing. “The school needs to know this,” she said.

We also have a friend in 1st grade…and when I asked if they saw him, the answer was, “MOM! We DON’T go near the 1st grade classrooms. AT. ALL. But he’s our cousin too.”

I guess they told me.

The energy at the school was amazing. Administrators on the parking lot, cute welcome banners with minions, a purple carpet leading up to the classrooms for the parent paparazzi, and music playing.

The purple carpet.

The purple carpet.

And the minions.

And the minions.

And my kids could not stop talking about it until 11:00 p.m.

NO! I didn’t let them stay up until 11…we shut it all down at 9…but they kept needing to tell something more about the day, or their teachers, or their friends, or cousins, or something about the awesomeness of the school. So they kept talking, and talking, and talking. And that means a lot. We have not had awesomeness in several years.

And if you need a reminder, the past two years have been filled with conversations about twerking in PE class, drugs, and fighting.

So there we have it. A new year at a new school has begun. And this momma is ready for it and all of the awesomeness it brings.