It's time for another jaunt down the friendly aisles of Trader Joe's. Side note: If you shop at Trader Joe's and have kids, do you know about the stuffed animal hiding in the store that kids can find and earn a prize? I learned recently that each store has a different mascot; ours is Iggy the Iguana. I would love to know what yours is! And also, where is the social media account just for these creatures hiding among the pasta sauce and cereals? In my cart at Trader Joe's this week I tried... Organic Sweet Bread and Butter Pickles.... Read more →


I breathe a little sigh of relief when we cross the summer solstice each year. Even though we have many blazing days ahead of us, I love knowing that each day we are getting a tiny bit less of the blaze. We are on a (slow) path back to fall and winter. But we are making the most of it. Watermelon and corn is abundant at the farmer's market. There was an impromptu gathering at the public pool with friends where all the kids, 3 and 5 year olds, could not go off the diving board enough times. Our air... Read more →


Grab your modestly sized red cart, swing by the sample station for a tiny coffee, and join me for a little shopping trip at Trader Joe's! This is the first post in my new series In my cart at Trader Joe's. In each post I'll share four items I purchased at Trader Joe's recently. Some will be standby favorites. Others I will be trying for the first time. In each post I'll tell you a little bit about the product, what I liked or didn't, and give you the bottom line of love it, like it, or pass. I will... Read more →


If you've listened to The Girl Next Door Podcast or know me in person then you've probably heard me talk about ... TRADER JOE'S! I started shopping at Trader Joe's about six years ago after a good friend kept mentioning all the great things she bought there, especially as she made us delicious meals. Conveniently, it turned out there was a Trader Joe's just a few miles from our house. (Thank goodness!) After being used to the big grocery stores, it took me a few shopping trips to "get" Trader Joe's . But then I saw the magic. Instead of... Read more →


We are more than half-way through June and my mini summer sabbatical is well underway. Not going to work feels surprisingly normal for having gone most days for the past ten years but I am being consciously appreciative of how I spend my days now. I am not ready to take this big change for granted. My goal for this summer is to clear as much of my mega to-do list as possible so that with the start of the school year I am ready to get to work writing without my list nagging me. Although I always know there... Read more →