TJ’s Tuesday Fall Favorites

Alright, so I still have not done a pumpkin post, not because I haven’t been to Trader Joe’s lately, but because there honestly isn’t as much pumpkin stuff as I remembered in the past. Sure there are a few sauces and baking mixes, but I remember years before having a million pumpkin things I was excited to try. One of these weeks I’ll muster up the energy to find five pumpkin things I’d like to try, but until then we’re going to do a few of my favorite fall items.

1. Envy Apples
Envy apples are freaking amazing. Like, they’re the best apples you’ll ever eat. They’re super crispy and taste like a more tart version of their cousin, the Gala apple. Trader Joe’s is kind of cool too because they charge you by the fruit, not by the pound, so you can just pick out the best apple of the bunch and feel like you’re getting a great deal.

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2. Cinnamon Bun Spread
Have you ever smelled a candle and wished you could eat it? If candle eating resonates with you, this jar of cinnamon might just be your thing. The texture is almost like melted wax and if I could waft the scent around my home, it would smell like fall potpourri. I’ve read quite a bit about this cinnamon bun spread before, but never tried it until a couple of days ago. When I was at TJ’s contemplating this purchase, I saw that the first ingredient is honey, which I’m all for. I wasn’t the biggest fan, but I’m kind of glad I got it and I have a feeling I’ll crave this spread anytime I light a fall candle in my home. It should last me the entire season. Who knows, maybe I’ll come up with a better way of eating it than on the back of a shortbread cookie!

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3. Organic Strawberries 
Fall isn’t necessarily known to be strawberry picking season, which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I smelled how fresh the strawberries were from over a foot away. These ended up being so good that I ate the entire box in two sittings — and already went back for another bundle I’ve almost finished.

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4. Mini Peanut Butter Cups
Halloween is coming up, which means it’s time to break out the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Except these are even better. I sometimes get a stomachache from eating too many, so be careful how many you let yourself have because they’re addicting!

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5. Pumpkin Dog Treats
I think it was a real missed opportunity not calling these Pupkin Treats, but it is what it is. Jax and Macy both love these dog treats that are made with real pumpkin. As I was writing this I thought about how I was going to tell you that they smell just like a human pumpkin snack, and it dawned on me that I might be able to take a bite and tell you whether or not it tasted like one, too. I went to check the ingredients and here’s what I found:

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Okay, I know what wheat is and despite being gluten-free, a little won’t kill me. Pumpkin is fine, so is cane molasses. So far so good! Typical Trader Joe’s, making dog treats something good enough for humans to eat. Bravo. Canola oil is another check next to “human ingredient,” and so is ground cinnamon. I don’t know what citric acid is, but I’ve also seen it on my own nutrition labels before. What in the world is “Mixed Tocopherols?!” My laptop is recognizing it as a word, but I certainly don’t. First possibly scary ingredient, but I’m assuming it’s a pretty typical preservative (which, in anyone’s defense, can be scary in human foods too). Lastly, Rosemary extract. Something I am familiar with. Well, I guess I gotta go for it then! For the sake of the blog.

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I took a bite on my Instagram story earlier and it was totally gross. Despite smelling like a biscotti I would be happy to dip in my coffee, it tasted like crunchy, wheat flavored cardboard. I have no idea why Jax and Macy love these so much, but I see why in my 28 years on earth I’ve never had the desire to try a dog treat. I could have gone my whole life without making this weird decision.

Anyway, I know I posted a little late today, but I hope you find something new to try next time you’re at Trader Joe’s. Please don’t let my poor review of dog treats and candle flavored cinnamon goo deter you from trying something new or getting a treat for your pup while you’re out. I promise they’ll like it!


Read more about other Trader Joe’s favorites here

A Very Happy Valentine’s Day

I had the absolute best Valentine’s weekend I could ever dream of.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s always been my favorite holiday whether or not I am in a relationship. I’m excited to share a few stories from the weekend in the next few days, as I had a pretty packed schedule. I kicked off the holiday by writing over 45 letters and going shopping to get presents for some of my closest friends.

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Friday I had a great Valentine’s lunch with my forever Valentine, my mom, at Seasons 52. We enjoyed some of the best Filet Mignon I’ve ever had — you could literally cut it with a butter knife — and mahimahi tacos.

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I always get a lot of crap from my dates for ordering my steak “medium well.”

Saturday afternoon I got a package in the mail, which turned out to be a Valentine from a guy I’ve been seeing for a few months. He sent me chocolate-covered strawberries, which was the one thing I felt I would miss this Valentine’s Day.

It was actually kind of adorable because I told him ahead of time that we shouldn’t get each other presents or anything, and he said that he wouldn’t give me anything “On Valentine’s Day.” Little did I know this meant he was planning on sending me a gift the day before. He told me later that he ended up calling Shari’s Berries to switch his order from Valentine’s Day to February 13th in order to keep his promise. This just made the gesture even cuter.

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Later that day I went to a Galentine’s Day wine tasting. I’m not supposed to drink with POTS, but I tried tiny sips of each wine and actually found a few that I enjoyed. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to have a glass here and there again! Apparently February 13 is the official “Galentine’s Day,” so it was really nice spending it with a lot of other twentysomething girls.

My date picked me up from my party at 9 to go on a crazy fancy double date with one of our friends. He took me to L’auberge Chez Francois, which was easily the nicest restaurant I’ve ever been to. I have so many stories from that experience that I’ll be posting about later this week!

The next day, February 14, was excellent, as it was a little more chill than the previous days. My Valentine this year will be serving overseas soon, so we decided to have a day of dining, N64, and just visiting with one another.

I honestly couldn’t have imagined a better weekend. It was so filled with love and friends, which is what Valentine’s Day is all about. I’m excited for the Galentine’s parties to continue throughout the month (I still have a few to go to!) and hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. ❤