Tag Archives: trader joe’s

Weekend Recap

What a seriously awesome weekend!

Happy Sunday (evening) everyone!

I hope you all had a really great weekend, we sure did. This time of year is always busy because it is full of fun holiday things, but let’s be honest, it sure does feel great when things slow down and you’re able to be a bit of a lounge lizard, right? Let me tell you, there was quite a bit of lounging going on. Woot woot!

weekend family fun

I love this kid!

Saturday, Emmett was up right around 7 and we enjoyed some morning cuddles before getting up and starting our day. This time together, as a family, is one of my favorites. We’re all still a little sleepy and groggy and content to just lay there cuddling with one another. It doesn’t last long, because as soon as Emmett’s done with his morning milk, he gets impatient and is ready to start his day. We had a yummy breakfast at home and then spent a good long while playing with E’s blocks. He’s obsessed with those things, I’m sure it’s because he can so easily put them together and take them apart. He also is quite fond of helping someone else build their tower higher and higher, and I’m quite fond of watching him play. I love watching him work, I can just imagine what his brain is thinking. 🙂

The rest of the day was spent, with Seamus at the gym, Emmett napping, me doing laundry, a trip to The Cheesecake Factory (free of charge, thanks to gift cards from Seamus’ aunt), and then back home to play with BLOCKS (I told you he was obsessed) and relax!


Sunday started just about the same way as Saturday, but then we all got up and showered and headed out for some yummy brunch, and then grocery shopping. We’ve been going to the Dick Rd. location of Wegmans to avoid some of the city Wegmans congestion. So far it’s been working out great, even with it being a Sunday afternoon, it was NO WHERE near as crowded as the city. We were in and out of there in record speed, and then back home for nap time. Oh! And I found something new, and they are so good — Olivio Sea Salt and Vinegar olives. They’re so delicious, if you like olives.weekend-family-fun-112-3

While Emmett napped, Seamus and I relaxed and caught up on some TV, Dr. Pol in particular. I love this show and if you like animals, then I definitely recommend that you check it out. We had to head back out to Trader Joe’s and BJs, but other than that we spent a lot of the day playing and relaxing. It was fantastic!

Now, it’s time to get all geared up for the week ahead. I’m starting it off with a positive and focused attitude, hoping it carries through until next weekend.


Your turn!

What did you and your family do this weekend?

Wonderful Weekend

What a seriously wonderful weekend!


There are just some weekends that stick around as one of the best in memory. They’re those weekends that you think about when you’re kids are long gone and out of the house, and are home visiting again for the holidays. This was SERIOUSLY a wonderful weekend! So what made it so wonderful, you might ask? All the family time, time spent being a family and creating memories.

I’ve mentioned our weekend morning routine few different times on this blog, and we started that same exact way this week. I wish we had time to do that on weekdays, it really does put you in a great place mentally, when starting the day. Either way, once we rolled out of bed and began our day, we had our breakfast, watched our usual 8:30 am episode of Bob the Builder and had our Trader Joe’s Strawberry Toaster Pastries. I think I love Saturdays because there’s no pressure to get any chores done, and we can just spend time playing together.

After Bob the Builder, we did just that, we played and played and played. Emmett was being incredibly silly, but we had fun together. Eventually Seamus went to the gym, and I got Emmett bundled up to go outside to take some snowy pictures. This didn’t go so well – E had on a snowsuit, hat and mittens but still after only about 10 minutes, he’d had it and melted down. I felt terrible, but of course I had to snap a few photos of the meltdown before we headed in for some mommy cuddles and love.

He had been wearing mittens, but insisted I take them off. Oh Emmett!

He had been wearing mittens, but insisted I take them off. Oh Emmett!

I was supposed to go to a concert Saturday night with a good friend, but the weather was pretty messy, and no plow had come down our street. If I had even managed to get out of my parking spot, I would have had to deal with slippery roads, so I unfortunately had to cancel. In the end, I didn’t even leave the house, except to take pictures, all day on Saturday. Instead of going out, I finally decorated our tree. We got the tree last weekend, and had placed lights on the tree, but had not yet put on any ornaments, now it looks beautiful!

Today, we woke up, partook in our normal weekend routine and then eventually hit the showers early. We wanted to grab brunch, and grocery shop before the crowds hit. Unfortunately, when we went out to my car the plow had gone down our street (this is a good thing) but had essentially blocked me in, so we had to spend a great deal of time shoveling out. Eventually I managed to get out of my spot, and off to The Original Pancake House we went. The food was delicious and it wasn’t that crowded yet, AND Emmett wasn’t the loudest kid there. Typically he’s the loudest anywhere we go, but there was another baby who was yelling/crying louder than Emmett was. It was a relief, but I feel for those parents, because I know what it’s like to have a yelling toddler.


After that we headed to Target to gets some odds and ends, then Wegmans for groceries and then back home, where we stayed for the remainder of the day and evening. Emmett took a nice nap and I was able to get a couple of Christmas presents ordered, and got some blog stuff done. While Seamus got dinner ready, Emmett and I played with my iPad. I have a bunch of fun toddler games on there and you tell how much he is growing and learning. He can now recognize some animals, when it asks him to point to the “cow,” or it will ask what an animal says, and Emmett’s able to respond to it. It is such an amazing thing watching him grow. We ate dinner, had a little time to play, had a bath and then it was (sadly) time for bed.

As you can see, nothing major happened to make this weekend stand out, but it was FULL of family time, which is so very important to me. Every possible moment that I get to spend with both Seamus and Emmett, makes my life just THAT much fuller.


Your turn!

What fun things did your weekend include?


What I Ate Wednesday – #21

Woot Woot! It’s What I Ate Wednesday time again!

Phew! What a day. I am tired and ready for bed, but I really wanted to get this blog posted before I head to dreamland.

Breakfast was a nice and simple breakfast Egg McSeamus, a toasted bagel with 1 egg, and a slice of cheese. I’ve pretty much cut gluten out of my breakfast entirely, but I was just sick of avocado and couldn’t bring myself to eat another one this morning, instead I opted for my old standby, it was delicious. Sadly, I forgot to grab a picture of breakfast.

My snack was something new and delicious, a recommendation from a good friend. I took some Trader Joe’s Organic Pumpkin and mixed it with, honey, unsweetened coconut, raw pumpkin seeds, pecans and cinnamon. It was DEEE-licious! I made too much of it, though, and ended up throwing over half of it out. It may look like baby diarrhea, but I assure you it tastes nearly like pumpkin pie. Yummy!

what-i-ate-wednesday-124-3Lunch was my typical salad, romaine lettuce, Krakus Ham, oven roasted chicken, sunflower seeds, blue cheese crumbles and Lite honey mustard. I know I eat this weekly but it is just so darn good! I actually look forward to eating this everyday.

what-i-ate-wednesday-124-2Tis the season for clementines. I love them and eat them frequently at this time of year.

what-i-ate-wednesday-124-1I needed a mid-afternoon pick-me-up and went with a delicious Tim Horton’s k-cup.

what-i-ate-wednesday-124Seamus typically works out on Wednesdays so we keep our meals nice and simple. Tonight’s was some delicious Al Fresco Apple Chicken Sausages, sauerkraut and leftover Tuscan potatoes from my mother-in-law (they were out of this world). If you’ve never tried the chicken sausages before, you really should, they’re delicious, sweet and savory all rolled into one.



And because I love this picture and because he looks so much like me in it…

what-i-ate-wednesday-124-5That’s it for this week’s What I Ate Wednesday. Be sure to jump on over to visit Peas and Crayons and link-up.

Your turn!

What has been some of your favorite food over the past week?

You can read some of my other What I Ate Wednesday posts, by clicking here.


Trader Joe’s – Some of Our Favorites

If you know me, even just a little bit, you know that I am deeply in love with Trader Joe’s.

Lucky for me, Trader Joe’s finally made it to Buffalo and opened in early October. I skipped going the first couple of weeks to avoid the crowds but I couldn’t resist any longer and made my first trip towards the end of that month. Since then, we’ve gone several more times and I can now safely admit to having many favorites from TJs. I can ALSO admit that there are only about 3 or 4 items that we have flat out disliked, everything else is so so yummy!

I know some of you are pretty familiar with Trader Joe’s and what an awesome store it is, but for those of you who aren’t, I wanted to share some of my favorites. I’m thinking, from time to time, as I come across new and different items, I’ll share them here, with you. Thoughts?

Okay, now, on to my current list of favorites from Trader Joe’s.


Fair Trade Organic French Roast 

Since I start my day with it every single morning, I figured I better start with my favorite coffee from them, so far. Yum! Like it says on the canister, it is a dark roast, rich, bold and bright. If you like dark roasts this is the one for you. I’ve been making it and drinking it for well over 3 months and have yet to get sick of it.

If you’ve never been to TJs, zeroing in on your favorite coffee is tough. They have about 4 shelves filled with so many different kinds of brews and knowing where to start is near impossible, though, somehow I managed it (yay!).

I typically will set my coffee maker up to make 8 cups at a time (that’s because I have the perfect measurements down for that amount). 🙂 I put in a 1/4 cup, and then an additional 2 tablespoons and it is perfection! Pour that into my cup in the mornings, add a splash of milk and I am good to go!

trader-joe's-favsGarlic Fries 

These are a new find and I’m so glad we came across them. They start out just like normal frozen fries, but you also get a pouch of garlic and butter that you thaw in some warm water. Once the fries are cooked, you dump the pouch over the fries and mix it up. Super yummy (but not super healthy).


Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches 

These are so so so so sooooo good! They don’t really need any further description.


Jumbo Raisin Medley 

These are a favorite of Emmett’s. Seamus and I aren’t really fans of raisins, but since Emmett loves them so much, we keep buying them. They really are huge raisins, and just a small handful at a time suits him just fine.


Dark Chocolate Covered Carmels 

I’ve mentioned these before, in a previous What I Ate Wednesday, but oh my goodness are they good! Since they are dark chocolate it is easy to eat just one and feel satisfied. Honestly, if you’re going to make a trip to TJs, and you plan on buying only one item, buy these!

That’s about it for tonight. I have a ton more favorites, but I’ll share those in future posts. Now get on out to Trader Joe’s and get yourself some delicious food!

And because I love my family so gosh darn much…


We all decided to cram on the couch this evening and cuddle, it was THE best. Emmett only lasted a few minutes, before he was off and running again, but Seamus and I had a wonderful time sitting and watching Baby Doodah play. <3

Your turn!

What are some of your Trader Joe’s favorites?

Yummy Oatmeal and Swerve Sweetener

I’m excited to share my new find, Swerve Sweetener!

I love oatmeal and would eat it every single day, if I had the time in the mornings to make it, but sadly I do not. Instead I usually have my Egg McSeamus, which is delicious but not oatmeal. When the weekends roll around I tend to have more time to make regular rolled oats (not quick oats) on the stove top.

One of my favorite things about oatmeal is that you can add anything you want to it. I typically stick with sweet items; fruit, peanut butter, sunflower butter, etc, but I have seen recipes out there for savory versions. It’s so versatile, which means that you’ll never get bored with it, and I get bored pretty easily when it comes to food.

One of my absolute favorite ways to make my weekend oatmeal is with Trader Joe’s rolled oats, a banana, a sprinkle of sunflower seeds, a couple tablespoons of sunflower butter, and (up until now) I used Splenda. However I have recently been introduced to Swerve Sweetener, I now only use it.

What is Swerve Sweetener?
(from their website)

Swerve is a great tasting, natural sweetener that measures cup-for-cup just like sugar!  Made from a unique combination of ingredients derived from fruits and vegetables, Swerve contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives or flavors.  Swerve has zero calories, is non-glycemic, has no bitter aftertaste and will not cause digestive intolerance.

As I mentioned above, I had been using Splenda in my oatmeal for just a touch of added sweetness, but had recently received a free sample of Swerve Sweetener to try out, and I fell instantly in love.

swerve-sweetener-4I was lucky enough to receive an adorable package from Swerve Sweetener, full of all sorts of goodies. They sent a couple canisters of Swerve, a pouch of confectioners sugar (great for frosting) and a sweet little tin lunchbox full of measuring spoons, measuring cups, packets of Swerve, cupcake wrappers, a spatula and all sorts of other fun things.


Do I recommend trying Swerve Sweetener? The answer is a resounding YES! I love it! I’ll be honest, I haven’t yet done any baking with it but I love it in my coffee or in my oatmeal. I never have any weird aftertastes and honestly can’t tell the difference between Swerve and sugar. Give it a try, they have some fantastic deals on their site and there may even be some local stores that are carrying it (they have a location finder on their site).

Now for That Yummy Oatmeal


1/2 c Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats

1 c water

1/8 tsp salt

1 Whole banana

2 tbsp Trader Joe’s Sunflower butter

1 small handful of sunflower seeds

2 teaspoons of Swerve Sweetener


Add the 1/8 tsp of salt to the water and allow to boil. Once boiling add the rolled oats, cook until the water disappears (usually around 10 to 15 minutes). After all of the water has been absorbed, spoon oatmeal into a big bowl, stir in your Swerve. Finally sprinkle with some sunflower seeds, and top with some banana and sunflower butter.



Your turn!

Have you tried Swerve Sweetener yet? If so, what are your thoughts?

What’s your favorite way to make oatmeal?

Family Fun Weekend

We had some serious family fun, this weekend!

Fair warning, this will be a picture heavy post. 🙂


Every September, The National Museum of Play (or The Strong), provides free admission to anyone who works at my company. Seamus and I had gone when we were newly dating and it was pretty neat, but obviously since it is very kid-centric we didn’t spend a lot of time playing. Now, 6-ish years later, we went back with Emmett and had SO much fun!


We had been planning this trip for a couple weeks. We knew that admission would be free in September, we had some pretty busy weekends all month long, but were able to keep this (the last weekend of September) free and I’m really glad we did. Our original goal was to leave the house early, go to the museum, then get lunch at Dinosaur BBQ, and end with a trip to Trader Joe’s, but it didn’t quite work out that way.

Once Emmett was awake, we all had some breakfast and caught an episode of Bob the Builder. I did want to get the museum early but I really love our leisurely weekends, since weekdays tend to be such a rush. We sat and cuddled and just enjoyed each other’s company, and a little TV. I eventually got Emmett dressed and I threw on some shlubby (I just made this word up!) clothes and we headed to the farmer’s market for some of the last yummy fruits of the summer. I got some great tomatoes that are just amazing and I want to eat them on EVERYTHING!

Emmett fell asleep on our way home from the market, so I put him down for a nap and then jumped in the shower. Seamus got home from the gym and showered and then we waited for Baby Doodah to wake up, then we almost immediately headed out the door. Since it was already noon, we decided we’d go to lunch first and then to the museum and Trader Joe’s.


This was everyone’s very first time at Dinosaur BBQ, man was it delicious! I had some sort of jerk chicken sandwich, that was out of this world! Seamus had some form of a rack of ribs, I don’t know ribs so I have no idea what size or what cut, but he loved them. We ordered Emmett chicken fingers which might seem like a silly thing to order at a BBQ joint BUT they were hand breaded with their own breadcrumbs, and they were really really good. I, of course, had to try a bite. I’m glad we went with those because we know they’re something he’d eat AND they ended up being delicious!



Mommy - Baby Selfie

Mommy – Baby Selfie

After lunch it was time for PLAY! Oh my goodness, readers, we had such a blast. From the moment I pulled into the parking of The Strong, I was giddy like a school girl. Ha! There was so much to see, even before you walk in the door. We checked in, got our wristbands and a map and then made a pit stop for a bathroom break and diaper change. The bathrooms are really nice, spacious and both the men’s and women’s have places to change a diaper PLUS they have a family changing area, which is always a bonus. I know to some readers this might seem like a silly thing to mention, but I assure you that for parents (or any adult with a child in diapers), knowing this, is of utmost importance!

Alright, enough about the bathrooms, onto the fun! We first went into the Field of Play. This was pretty neat, they had all sorts of interactive things to do, some were a little above Emmett’s skill set but we still found plenty to do. He opened and closed a bunch of little doors with stuffed animals in them, that were named alliteratively. I don’t think he knew what was in there, other than it was colorful and cute but he had fun opening and closing the doors. There was also an area to race cars and a perspective room. Throughout the entire exhibit there were areas that books sat out that pertained to the activities in the exhibit. I loved this! If Emmett were a little older, and had a higher attention span, we definitely would have utilized this.

family-fun-17 family-fun-22 family-fun-23 family-fun-25family-fun-24We made a quick stop at Sesame Street! It is almost an exact replica of the famous Sesame Street stoop. We got some pretty cute pictures of Emmett here, unfortunately they didn’t come out great. We just couldn’t get the lighting in the room and our flash figured out.

family-fun-21 family-fun-20

Our next stop was to the Wegmans kids grocery shopping center. Holy cow, is this AWESOME! It is obviously sponsored by Wegmans, but the whole thing is set up to look exactly like a Wegmans grocery store. They have little baby carts and then they have carts that are slightly taller for the older kids, you walk around and grocery shop. You’re allowed 5 items at a time (because you have to re-shelve them yourself), once you’ve shopped you take them to the check-out and literally scan each item, like you would at the store. They have miniature conveyor belts, a working scanner and some sort of mechanism that collects what you “purchased” and prints out a legit receipt, like you just shopped at a real Wegmans. We didn’t spend a lot of time in this area, because it was mobbed and any time I went to grab something, Emmett would grab and knock everything over. Playing in this area when I was a kid, would have been a dream, I always wanted a cash register. I also didn’t get a lot of pics because Emmett grabbed his cart and was a speed demon, Seamus watched us from outside the store and said seeing him with the cart was adorable. He ran into a few kids, but overall he did pretty well with it.


The newest exhibit at the museum is what they call Little Builders. It had just opened yesterday and once again, it was pretty mobbed. Emmett did a really good job of maneuvering around everyone and finding things to do. There are all sorts of activities where you build things and each station has a different type of block, then you have the hammering station, the crane station and all sorts of other activities. We spent the majority of our time in here because there was just so much to do and Emmett was having a blast. Check him out in the little orange construction vest! Isn’t he THE cutest?

family-fun-14 family-fun-1 family-fun-28 family-fun-16 family-fun-15 family-fun-13 family-fun-12 family-fun-11 family-fun-10 family-fun-9


Pooped after all that play!

Pooped after all that play!

After that we wandered to a few different other areas, nothing really specific and we didn’t even make it upstairs. It was getting late and we still needed to make a quick stop at Trader Joe’s and make it home by 7. On our way out, we swung by the gift shop, this left a lot to be desired. It is full of toys, but very little (like a tiny section) are logo’d items. Seamus and I have a rule, you can get a souvenir when we go on trips like these (as long as we can afford it), but it has to be a logo’d item. The other toys might be fun, but you can likely get them somewhere else for much cheaper, but you can’t get a t-shirt that says Strong Museum of Play. Seamus said this is how his parents did it when he was a kid and I absolutely love it, so we’re stealing and using it! Anyhow, we ended up finding Emmett a cute tie-dye t-shirt (his Aunt Bridget will love it!) and I got myself a nylon draw string bag that I will be able to use on my bike rides.

The final thing we did before we left is find this bench in the gardens. When Seamus and I came here as a new couple we sat a good long while on this bench, and just talked (like you do when you’re new to each other). We took a picture that day (the one that sits on my desk, if you work with me) and we wanted to replicate it today. We got a couple with Emmett and a couple without, such great memories!

family-fun-8 family-fun-7 family-fun

We left shortly after that, made the quick drive to Trader Joe’s and then hit the road for Buffalo. Emmett slept the entire way, he was so perfect all day and seemed to really enjoy everything. We will absolutely take him again, as he gets older he will find more and more value out of all the fun things they have to offer.




If you live in Rochester or the surrounding areas, I really recommend that you visit The Strong Museum of Play. It has so much to offer, and I promise that your kids will be exhausted by the time they get home. Emmett was, even after napping the whole way home.

Your turn

What family fun did you have this weekend?

And just for the fun of it, be sure to check out My Finds Friday from this week, visit the links and link-up any finds you might have!

What I Ate Wednesday – #10

Happy 10 week anniversary to me and What I Ate Wednesday!

Oh my, what an AMAZING day I’ve had! I have absolutely been sticking to my Weekly Wishes goals that I’ve set for myself. I have today, tomorrow and Friday off and I swore to myself (and put it on my blog), that I would NOT waste these days being a bum on the couch and I have (proudly) stuck to that.

I woke up early with Seamus, got everything ready for Emmett to go to day care and then off we went. He got there at just about his normal time, I wanted to maximize my alone time. I’ll admit to feeling slightly guilty about leaving him there, when he could have stayed home with me but I reminded myself how much I have been looking forward to these days without work and a few hours without baby. I stopped for coffee on my way home, once home again I opened my laptop to blog. It has been wonderful being able to type away without interruption! Don’t get me wrong I love Emmett so so so sooooo much, but it’s nice to have some uninterrupted time, I’m sure other momma’s understand.

I just can’t believe I have two more glorious days! I know that it probably seems like I won’t stop talking about this vacation time but I literally cannot remember the last time I’ve been home completely by myself, with no work and not pregnant. I was sitting on the porch this morning, typing away and it hit me, the last time I was home alone was last summer, however I was (very) pregnant so I didn’t really get up off the couch except to pee. And while I (really) love my job, I needed some days away. I haven’t had longer than a day away since my maternity leave last October (other than weekends), I really think I was due. This way I will go back calmer (hopefully) and refreshed and ready to take on all the craziness ahead.

Alright – Onto What I Ate Wednesday

Breakfast was a couple delicious oozy sunny side up eggs on 100% whole wheat toast with First Light Farm and Creamery Garlic and Dill Chevre, strawberries, blueberries and half an avocado. Seriously, my favorite breakfast!


It was a very busy day, I spent time on the porch blogging, watched some TV, worked out and relaxed. I was so busy that I didn’t even think about a snack and just went right into lunch around 1 PM. I had some delicious Trader Joe’s Mushroom and Black Truffle Flatbread. If you haven’t tried it, I would absolutely recommend that you go out and buy some now, it is so very delicious!



what-i-ate-wednesday-918-2 what-i-want-wednesday-918Dinner was some leftover pulled pork on a Ciabatta roll and some boiled potatoes. Certainly not the healthiest of meals, but it was so good.

what-i-ate-wednesday-918-7 what-I-ate-wednesday-918-6Even though Emmett’s been pretty finicky with his food, he is still so darn adorable!

Emmett singing for his meal.

Emmett singing for his supper.

Your turn!

What yummy eats have you had this week?

Thank you to Peas and Crayons for hosting, What I Ate Wednesday.

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