Right now: June
In my cart at Trader Joe's

New series: In my cart at Trader Joe's

New series: In my cart at Trader Joe's | RISING*SHINING

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 27 different ketchups to choose from they have just one perfect ketchup. And yet for the products where I do want choice (cheese! granola! yogurt!) they have tons. The small store size means that even if I forget something on the other side of the store the trek takes all of a few seconds. And the employees, or Mates, are so friendly! Plus they seem to stick around. I recognize several employees at our Trader Joe's as having worked there since we started shopping at our location. A few recognize us and ask after the boys if they aren't with me and one woman has given me flowers on more than one occasion to celebrate a baby being born, a birthday, or an anniversary. It's enough to make you a loyal customer for life.

One day I had a longer chat with one of the women who works at our store and she told me how wonderful a company Trader Joe's was to work for and that they offer employees great benefits. That made me love TJ's even more. Maybe that's why everyone who works there seems so happy!

New series: In my cart at Trader Joe's | RISING*SHINING

And the seasonal items! It makes my season-celebrating heart so happy to see everything at Trader Joe's turn pumpkin in the fall and then to watch for the candy-cane Joe Joe's (like peppermint Oreos) to hit shelves signalling the beginning of the holidays.

Also the tiny carts for tiny shoppers!

New series: In my cart at Trader Joe's | RISING*SHINING New series: In my cart at Trader Joe's | RISING*SHININGBe still my heart!

After shopping at TJ's for six years I have several favorite go-to items. But part of the fun (ahem, excitement) of Trader Joe's is that they are always releasing new products. If Chris goes shopping without me I grill him on what he saw in the new product end cap. I had a delightful moment one day when I was lamenting that Trader Joe's didn't carry sliced jalapenos or a vegan mayo. Lo and behold! There both items sat in the new products end cap for me. Trader Joe, you might be reading my mind and I am totally fine with that.

New series: In my cart at Trader Joe's | RISING*SHININGThe Austin TJ's has a cold beer section. I am jealous.

Earlier this year, Erica and I recorded an episode about podcasts and each described podcasts that we wish existed. One of mine was a Trader Joe's product review podcast. On each episode I would host a different guest, perhaps with some repeat guests, and we'd eat and review a few TJ's products. It's a podcast I would love to make but I just can't take on producing a third show. I think I even promised Erica I would not add that to my plate. (Thank you, friend.)

Still, I couldn't stop thinking about a Trader Joe's podcast and how much fun it would be to talk about products I love and to try new products. So ... to indulge my Trader Joe's obsession without overloading myself I have a new blog series to share: In my cart at Trader Joe's. In each post I'll share four items I've bought recently at Trader Joe's. Some will be tried and true favorites. Others will be new to me and I'll tell you what I thought. I'm thinking I'll aim for it to be monthly but it might appear more often.

I hope you'll find some new things to try at Trader Joe's. If you don't live near one, maybe you'll find a compassionate friend who does and will send you a TJ's goodie box. And I'm looking forward to hearing what you love at Trader Joe's! It's a small store but with endless possibilities. (Why yes, Trader Joe's, I am available to work on your marketing team.)

I'll share the first post of the series tomorrow so stay tuned and stay hungry!

New series: In my cart at Trader Joe's | RISING*SHINING