My Go-To Trader Joe’s Shopping List

My Go-To Trader Joe’s Shopping List

I have been loving Trader Joe’s for a long time, but the closest one in Connecticut was 40 minutes away when I lived there initially. When we moved to to Maine, there was a Trader Joe’s right down the street. I got used to shopping there for probably 75% of our groceries and reserved most meats and quick trips for the Hannaford within walking distance. I was sad to move back to Connecticut and leave my favorite grocery store behind but we FINALLY got one in the same town that I work in! In honor of this big milestone in my life (lol), I thought I would round up some of my favorite Trader Joe’s foods  for you. I recently did a grocery store analysis to share if online shopping for snacks and non-perishables was worth it, and there were quite a few categories where surprisingly TJ’s was the cheapest option! One thing about TJ’s is that they rotate their stock seasonally A LOT. There are some things you can always find there, for sure, but a lot that comes and goes. They don’t have a full website of products either so I had to be creative when finding images. Most of these were taken by me in my many trips to the freakin store.   Pita Bite Crackers with Olive Tapenade This is my number one go-to snack in general, let alone from Trader Joe’s. I would save up calories all day to snack on this at the end […]

Review Round Up | Evidence of the Affair, So Close to Being the Shit…, and My Lady’s Choosing

Posted October 18, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | Evidence of the Affair, So Close to Being the Shit…, and My Lady’s Choosing

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I was one of the first people to hear about this short story. I randomly saw it when browsing on Amazon and was shocked that there was no information about it. I immediately preordered and read it within the first week it was out. I couldn’t wait for new TJR words and I’ll be honest – the short story length was needed in my monthly reading goal. As expected, my reaction was “holy shit.” I’ve never felt so moved by a short story before and it should really come as no surprise which author made me feel this way. There was a lot packed into these pages. I thought I saw where some parts were heading but still ended up surprised by the end. Leave it to TJR to write a novella only through letters and STILL make me feel all the things. I’m really not a short story person and I don’t hesitate to recommend this to other people who feel similarly. If you like her other novels, just give this one a read. I think the ending was close to perfect, which is usually my issue with short stories. The books never feel complete. […]

On Playing Catch-Up

Posted October 17, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 2 Comments
On Playing Catch-Up

Over the last few years, I never really struggled with my Goodreads Challenge. The number was always achievable based on how I anticipated my life going in that calendar year, or how ~into~ blogging and reading I was at the time. I was 13 books ahead for most of 2016 because I binge-listened to the Series of Unfortunate Events on audio. It gave me so much wiggle room during the months I didn’t read as much. I even wrote a post about how I always get ahead on my goal and maintain it throughout the year. However, this year has been a struggle. Last year was a bit of a struggle too. I can’t motivate myself to read nearly as much as I used to. The saddest part of all this too is that I’ve LOWERED my Goodreads challenge over the past few years because I wanted to feel less pressure to read and achieve some balance in my hobbies. My current issue is that I feel like I have too many other interests right now – I don’t dedicate time to reading in the same way that I used to. There are a lot of different factors and potential reasons why, so I thought I would chat about my life at the moment and be honest with myself about my reading life. Playing Catch-Up I’m currently (at the time of writing this post) two books behind on my challenge and it’s all too familiar at this point. I know things like […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #205: Bookstores

Posted October 16, 2018 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 7 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #205: Bookstores

Favorite Bookstores I’ve Visited Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. The technical topic for this week is “bookstores and libraries I’ve always wanted to visit” but honestly I don’t have many on that particular list. I do a lot of adventuring to used/indie bookstores whenever I can, so I’ve seen some great ones up in the northeast. Here are some highlights from those visits! New York The Strand I feel like I have to start my list with one of the most famous bookstores available, especially in the northeast! The Strand does live up to the hype for me. I’ve been there multiple times and they always have a vast selection. I apologize for these garbage pictures – I haven’t been in a few years and for some reason haven’t taken many photos there. Massachusetts Montague Book Mill This is such a scenic spot in Mass! I love the country roads and the fact that this mill is basically hidden in the middle of nowhere. It was the kind of used bookstore you may not really find what you want, but it’s so worth checking out. You can read about our bookish adventures in the country from way back in 2014 […]

Lauren Lately | October 2018

Posted October 15, 2018 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 3 Comments
Lauren Lately | October 2018

Because my Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups got out of hand, I wanted to break up my monthly wrap-ups into two posts: one personal and one bookish/bloggy. I created Lauren Lately here to highlight all of the personal happenings in my life: events, activities, shows I’m addicted to, things I’m obsessing over, recipes I’ve loved, and goals for the next month. I decided to space them out so this wrap-up happens around the mid-point of the month and the bookish one happens at the end of the month. ✨ Check out my most recent bookish and bloggy wrap-up HERE ✨ My life was finally due to calm down after our trip to Charlotte and all of the wedding madness would (mostly) end for the year. Here’s what I’ve been up to from mid-September through mid-October! 6th anniversary and the Big E later | On September 16th, we celebrated our sixth anniversary of dating! We celebrated the best way that we, as a couple, could. We went to the Farmers Market in the morning, followed by football at my dad’s house in the afternoon. We grabbed sushi takeout on the way home and enjoyed it while watching the WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. It involved most of our favorite things, so that’s a win all-around! Chris bought me a Daryl Takahashi stuffed animal and I could not be happier about it. He’s the cutest and squishiest. We went to the Big E later in the month, which is a huuuuge regional fair in Mass. […]

Five Things Friday | Football

Posted October 12, 2018 / Five on Fridays, Weekly Memes / 1 Comment
Five Things Friday | Football

I used to post a Five on Friday every once in a while, but then my Lauren Lately wrap-ups (and more personal posts around here like On My List, Currently, lifestyle or makeup stuff, etc.) took over my need for a Five on Friday. They used to just share five things I was thinking about, doing, buying, loving, etc. Many of my bloggy friends have started similar themed posts on Fridays (Cristina has the wrap-up kind and Kay has more recommendations based on a weekly theme) and I decided to kind of bring it back a little in a different format. I’ll be sharing my thoughts or recommendations on a specific topic whenever I feel the need. This week I’m chatting about… football! The Panthers won last weekend by kicking a game-winning 63 YARD FIELD GOAL. The Panthers and the Giants somehow always find a way to make their games interesting, even though they have no real rivalry. The last time they played each other in 2015 was when this GIF of Cam Newton became popular: That year, OBJ and Josh Norman antagonized each other the entire game. The Panthers dominated most of it, then allowed the Giants to come back, and then squeaked by with a victory in the end. I’ll be honest, the Panthers love getting ahead, allowing a comeback, and then barely getting a win in the end… but it’s even more dramatized with the Giants for some reason. This game was no exception. There were terrible […]

On My List (6)

Posted October 11, 2018 / Features, On My List / 6 Comments
On My List (6)

I love Jamie’s New to the Queue feature because it highlights new things she’s added to her different “to do/ read/ watch/ etc.” lists. This new random feature – called simply On My List – will show off the most recent books, movies, shows, podcasts, recipes, crafts, and other things to make it on my to-do list. Published Books     Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton | I’ve seen this book everywhere lately! A lot of my trusted friends have read it or added it to their TBRs, so I decided to go ahead and do the same. It honestly isn’t a very ~Lauren~ book but I’ve been expanding my reading choices a lot more lately. Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay | My recent affection for cozy mysteries led me to this one. My local library evidently has a mystery book club and this is what they picked for the upcoming month (I’m not planning to go though). I decided to toss it on my TBR and see how it goes! All the Little Bones by Ellie Marney | I haven’t read her popular Sherlock Holmes-retelling trilogy yet but I hope to. I’ve been into the whole carnival/circus thing since reading CARAVAL but I tend to add them to the TBR and never read them. Hopefully that changes soon because this sounds gooooood. I Do Not Trust You by Laura J. Burns/Melinda Metz | I was evidently invited to read this one via email but for some reason didn’t see it until recently. (Stupid Gmail […]

Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Reviews: China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems

Posted October 10, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Reviews: China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems

I posted my review for Crazy Rich Asians (and the movie) recently and had to keep reading ASAP to see what happened next! I binge-read (and listened) to both books in September, so here are my thoughts on the remainder of this trilogy! This book took me forever but I have to blame my lack of reading motivation and not the book itself. It was definitely a fun sequel, but I preferred the first book probably? This series is ridiculous in many ways, but some of the plot points in this one were crazier than I could have imagined. It was interesting following a mix of new character and old ones; I wish there was a bit more of Rachel, Nick, and Astrid (especially because I wanted to knock some sense into Astrid this whole book). Kitty Pong has turned into a really intriguing character because she was previously painted pretty terribly in the first book. You learn a bit more about her motivations here. I think one of the things I like the most in this series is that none of these rich people are strictly good or bad really – there are many shades of gray. They’re all motivated by money, greed, and power, but a lot of them kind of mean well? Some are terrible and some are nice, but everyone has a bit of darkness no matter what. The new characters, like Carlton and Colette, were definitely an interesting addition. It was fun to see Rachel […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #204: Longest Books

Posted October 9, 2018 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 9 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #204: Longest Books

Longest Books I’ve Ever Read Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. This is the perfect topic for ya girl, who is feeling quite lazy with blogging lately. I have afternoons of inspiration where I write five posts… and days where I can barely be bothered to put a TTT together. Today’s post literally just required me sorting my “read’ shelf on Goodreads by number of pages and going from there! Spoiler alert: it’s a LOT of Harry Potter, y’all. On top of that, there are actually only FIVE different authors represented here. Most of my longest books were parts of major series with looong books.

A Day in the Life (10/5)

A Day in the Life (10/5)

I’m taking a cue from lifestyle bloggers and vloggers who share daily vlogs about their lives for this feature! I’m not sure if it will be a regular things around here or not, but I always am fascinated by people’s daily lives and routines. I’ll be sharing various pictures and descriptions of a day in my life – what I wore, what I ate, where I went, what I did, and more. Let me know what you think in the comments! 6:30 AM – 9:00 AM I used to love getting up super early and having time to myself before work. That changed when we moved to Maine for a while because our schedules were really weird with Chris working nights and me working from home. I had to get back into the swing of having a commute and giving myself “me time” in the morning again. I have to get up at 7:30 to shower, get ready, and drive to work for 9 AM, so I like to get up anywhere during the “6:00 hour” to have as much time as possible to enjoy my morning. I went to bed somewhat early last night because I was uninterested in the TNF game, so I woke up at 6:30. I scrolled through my phone a bit and got out of bed at 6:45 to make coffee and cereal. Tis the season for Pumpkin O’s from Trader Joe’s! I ate my food in the kitchen while listening to the newest episode […]