Recent Trader Joe’s Favorites

While I maintain a membership to Seattle’s wonderful Central Co-op and do make an effort to shop there for bulk stuff and produce, if I’m honest, most of my grocery shopping goes down at Trader Joe’s.

#basic, I know, but low prices + a bounty of healthy options + compact and easy to navigate = grocery heaven. The Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s parking garage does make me want to shank someone, but that’s not enough of an issue to keep me away.

Here is a little roundup of some recent TJ’s faves.

Hot & Sweet Mustard
Possibly the perfect mustard. A delight on sandwiches, burgers etc. but I also like to use this as salad dressing. Pretty healthy and a little goes a long way.

Mustard Perfection

Mustard Perfection

Jalapeno Stuffed Olives
I like to keep assorted jars of salty shit around to keep life interesting and this is a very satisfying option if you like a little heat. Amazing savory snack or chopped up in salads.

Spicy good times

Spicy good times

Organic Frozen Chopped Spinach
Great to throw into smoothies: spinach flavor is way easier to cover with a little fruit than kale flavor. This is a perfect purchase if you don’t drink smoothies every day and want to avoid a rotting bag of greens situation.

Blend me

Blend me

Spelt Risotto
Kind of a random find but so tasty as a healthy, easy meal. Takes like five minutes to make. Very flavorful with a nice, chewy texture courtesy the spelt.



Organic Baked Tofu
I keep this around as easy protein for salads or sandwiches. Short ingredient list. Processed soy is shady but I think tofu eaten once or twice a week is legit as a vegetarian protein source.

I'm much too lazy to bake my own

I’m much too lazy to bake my own

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels
I don’t buy these often because they encompass a perfect, deadly trifecta of my food weaknesses and I will kill the bag embarrassingly quickly. They are SO GOOD.

Holy shit yes

Holy shit yes

What I Want To Wear Post Pregnancy

As I sit here in a black maternity maxi dress I’ve worn like 100 times, I’m beginning to look forward to some new clothing options. Granted, for the first few months I will probably be garbed in a dirty sweatsuit, but my hope is that I can eventually reclaim some semblance of personal style post baby.

I’m envisioning simple pieces with a slight edge, mostly in black. Very similar to my pre pregnancy attire, but hopefully with a few higher quality items thrown in. God damn it I’m bringing a new life into this world, and I feel like I’ve earned a bit of a wardrobe upgrade.

Here are three pieces I’ve been eyeing, courtesy Nordstrom. Given their amazing selection and seamless ordering/return process, I’m expecting that most of my post pregnancy clothing purchases will be sourced accordingly, online, whilst wearing the aforementioned dirty sweatsuit.

1. Leather leggings



I have been dreaming of leather leggings for years. I’ve tried on a few when I can find them on sale, but they have all run really short, and I’m not into a cropped look when it comes to leather pants. Tall people problems. These lambskin beauties should actually be long enough and holy shit are they gorgeous. I love me some Helmut Lang for simple, modern, yet somewhat affordable (for designer) pieces. I fully intend to gift these leggings to myself once I can fit into regular clothes again, and I may never take them off (baby vom wipes right off leather, yes?).

2. High waisted denim



I tend to purchase all my denim at Nordstrom Rack, which is great for the discount, but the selection just isn’t as robust as at regular old Nordstrom, so I end up with lots of different pairs of jeans that work but that I don’t necessarily love. I need to get away from that: fewer pieces, but really kick ass ones. These jeans would be a start. I love a high waist. Man I miss my waist.

3. Leather baseball cap

Pairs well with a diaper bag.

Pairs well with a diaper bag.

Expectations for my new mother hair situation are not high. I think this hat would be a badass way to keep that shit under wraps. Maybe not to be worn in conjunction with the leather leggings though…On that note, I can’t wait to embarrass my daughter in all my leather gear. It’s going to be awesome.

Cool Shit on the Internet

Sup. I’m kinda tired, bloated and pregnant-feeling. Good times!

Definitely making this for my kid someday. I think she'll be impressed.

Definitely making this for my kid someday. I think she’ll be impressed.

But hey, it’s almost Friday. Here is a little roundup of some things that recently caught my eye online:

1. Monochromatic fruit salad (Cup of Jo)
Doesn’t that look pretty? Totally stealing this for a brunch gathering. Maybe I should throw a brunch gathering…

2. Where Seattle chefs go for cheap eats (Eater)
Great, mostly under the radar spots.

3. City guides (Roll with Jen)
Delightful guides to San Francisco, Portland, Victoria B.C. and more.

4. Dresses to wear to summer weddings (The New Potato)
I still have a couple more weddings to go to this summer, you?

5. Tips for hosting overnight guests (Cupcakes and Cashmere)
How to not be a shitty hostess. I definitely need to follow the part about leaving remote control instructions so I don’t have to explain mine to my dad every time he stays with us.

Seattle Summer Classics

Summer is here, and it is glorious. Actually it has been here for quite a while. Thanks climate change! Seattle’s typical June-uary gloom seems like it may be a phenomenon of the past. Though our farms are totally screwed for water we are doing way better than California, so we can be thankful for that at least (back off, William Shatner).

Ain't she purty?

Ain’t she purty?

Below, a little roundup of activities to help maximize the delightfulness that is summer in the Pacific Northwest.

Drinks on a Patio
Get to a bar or restaurant with outdoor seating and order a beverage! And some oysters, fried seafood delights, or tacos. You’ll be joining like 45% of Seattle, so try to go at a less popular time (i.e. don’t roll through at 5pm on a Friday with 8 friends and expect to get a seat).

Marg at Little Water Cantina

Marg at Little Water Cantina

Westward, Little Water Cantina, Maximilien, and Terra Plata are a few of my favorites. Here is a nice little list if you need further inspiration.

Outdoor Music
There are so many good outdoor music options to be found in and around Seattle during summer. KEXP’s Concerts at the Mural series in August is FREE. Bumbershoot is a Seattle classic, though the lineup looks kind of random this year.

If you can deal with the hipster hordes, I highly recommend the Capitol Hill Block Party– if I wasn’t pregnant I would definitely be attending this year. For a slightly classier experience (I assume), I’ve been meaning to check out a concert at Chateau Ste. Michelle winery (two of my great loves, music and wine, in one place!) but I haven’t been so I can’t vouch for those.

Al Fresco Movie Night
If you’d rather remain in a reclined position while being entertained outdoors, hit up one of these.

Mariners Game
As a Seattleite you have to go to at least one Ms Game per summer, even if you think baseball is deadly boring. Safeco has great food options and beer/wine options galore. I don’t recommend trying to sneak in a flask on College Night-they will catch you and it will be embarrassing (not that I speak from experience…)

Safeco Field

Safeco Field

Find a Friend with a Boat
Ah the friend with a boat, so clutch. All of the fun with none of the cost or responsibility-it’s pretty much the perfect arrangement. Bring good snacks and booze and floaty toys and hopefully you will be asked back multiple times. Boating, in any format really, is the quintessential Seattle summer experience. Make it happen, even if you have to rent a canoe.

Recipe Roundup

Behold, some recipes I have made and enjoyed lately. Fruit is the theme here, apparently. Pregnancy makes me want sweet things and fruit is allegedly healthier than a “sharing size” bag of peanut butter M&Ms. Blah.

Also there is just so much delicious fruit in season right now and I want to eat it all. Summer in Seattle is the best!

Blueberry Pie (from The New Potato)

Here’s a secret (is it a secret?): fruit pies are a super easy dessert that will impress the shit out of people. You can go with a store bought crust but I went for the glory and made it from scratch, which wasn’t painful at all.



This pie was effing tasty. Serve with ice cream. Duh.

Pie friend needed way longer to bake than the recipe calls for; just keep an eye on it. I’d wrap the crust in foil at some point near the end so it doesn’t burn.

PB and J Breakfast Smoothie (adapted from something I saw on former Real Housewife of Atlanta Kim Zolciak Biermann’s Instagram, don’t judge me)

This was hearty, refreshing, and pink. Winner!

1 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 banana, ideally frozen
½ cup berries, fresh or frozen
½ cup ice
½ cup plain or Greek yogurt (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP rolled oats (optional)
2 TBSP peanut butter

Burrata and Stone Fruit Salad

I kinda made this up though there are a lot of different versions floating around the internets. This is great for a BBQ, summer dinner party, or when you need dinner but don’t feel like turning on your oven which for me has been most days of late.

Salad. Let's pretend the blurry effect was intentional and not the byproduct of a greasy iPhone lens.

Salad. Let’s pretend the blurry effect was intentional and not the byproduct of a greasy iPhone lens.

Greens (I like arugula)
Sliced stone fruit, whatever’s ripe and delicious
Chopped basil
Sliced heirloom or cherry tomatoes
Burrata, ripped in chunks to a size of your liking

Equal parts lemon juice or champagne vinegar, and olive oil
1 TBSP or so honey or agave nectar
Salt/pepper to taste
You can throw in a splash of OJ if you have that around
A little minced shallot would also be nice

What to Wear Whilst Knocked Up

Getting dressed while pregnant kind of threw me at first. I didn’t look pregnant for a few months, but stuff wasn’t fitting right and some of my go to pieces just weren’t working. But now that I’ve hit month 7 of pregnancy, I think i’ve figured out how to clothe myself somewhat stylishly, affordably and effortlessly (real talk: pregnancy clothing needs to be comfortable and easy to wear). These general rules have helped me build a preggo wardrobe that works for me and helps me continue to feel like myself despite my newly acquired girth.

Dark Colors
I’m biased; I almost always wore mostly black pre womb occupation. Maybe it’s just my dark and evil soul. But, dark colors are inarguably more flattering, especially when you feeling kind of lumpy (sup, cankles).



Slim Cuts
I am a fan of close fitting silhouettes in pregnancy. They show off the bump and make the rest of you look slim in comparison (especially if you wear a dark color). I haven’t much liked drapey things I’ve tried; they make me feel like a walking circus tent/like I am trying to smuggle illicit things under my clothes.

Don’t Fear a Heel
If you rocked them before and feel confident you won’t topple over, I say keep wearing your heels. They may make you feel sexier which can be really self-esteem boosting while preggo. Just go for something with a built in platform, or a wedge, if you want to stay (relatively) comfortable.



Maxi Dresses
I’ve been able to continue wearing normal sized maxi dresses for quite a long time during my pregnancy. These are a great way to go if you want to buy things you’ll still be able to wear after you’ve popped out your kid.

Accessories Galore
Sometimes (most of the time really) all I want to wear is something stretchy, soft and black. This gettup can look surprisingly fashionable with some help from accessories. A bunch of bangles piled on is a great way to go: lots of impact and it doesn’t matter if your fingers are bloated (goodbye, rings). A bold, collar style necklace or haphazard pile of a few chains also works well. If you like hats, which I definitely do, a Panama style hat is great for summer or you can go against the season like me and rock a black felt number with a wide brim.

Embrace a Minimalist Wardrobe
I’ve found it really freeing to rely on a few staples I love during pregnancy-I’m no longer overwhelmed by an overflowing wardrobe. It’s a major time and money saver and really, most people won’t notice that you’ve worn that dress like five times. The minimalist wardrobe approach has been so helpful that post pregnancy, I’m going to commit to more of a capsule wardrobe and will try harder to buy fewer, but nicer, pieces I absolutely love and will get a lot of wear out of.

Where to Shop
Here is where I’ve had success finding non-dumpy maternity garb (I’ve mostly stuck to online shopping):

Joe's Jeans, A Pea in the Pod

Joe’s Jeans, A Pea in the Pod

ASOS: On trend and affordable. Can be somewhat hit or miss in terms of fit and quality but returns are easy. Good for special occasion wear.
Target: Affordable staples (t shirts, tanks, leggings), and workout wear.
Pea in the Pod/Motherhood Maternity: Good to go in person and grab a pair or two of designer maternity denim. I think high quality maternity jeans are worth the splurge. I bought some Joe’s skinny jeans that I love. People also rave about J Brand. Paige and 7 are other widely available brands.

Do you have any hot tips on what to wear during pregnancy, and where to find it? Leave it in the comments, I’d love to hear!

Inside My Makeup Bag

Having hit my early 30s, I’ve been trying to uplevel my makeup situation. It feels worth it to splurge a little on a few products that really seem to make a difference. Which is not to say that drugstore beauty items can’t be awesome: they definitely can. I’m not trying to spend hundreds of dollars a month on makeup, so some cheaper options need to be thrown into the mix.

Mascara Primer: The Skinny Confidential’s Lauren, one of my blogging heroes, raves about this product. I have really long eyelashes but they could use some thickening, and eyelash primer seemed like a way to address this without having to resort to adding individual false eyelashes which I am just not motivated enough to do.

Lancome Vibrating Amplifying Primer

Lancome Vibrating Amplifying Primer

I’m now a convert and you can find me gooping this stuff onto my lashes pre mascara when I want an extra boost.

Concealer: My undereyes have become a little more noticeable to me (e.g. bags, dark circles and sun damage, yay) of late and I wanted to do something about it. After reading about how amazing Cle de Peau concealer is about seventy different times I finally went for it.

Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer

Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer

This concealer lives up to its hype, and I get to use a brush to apply it which makes me feel fancy.
It’s effing expensive but I can tell it’s going to last forever.

Lip Stuff: Personally, I usually go for cheaper lip color. Lip goo doesn’t tend to last long on me and I don’t feel like eating layers and layers of a $30 lipstick.

I am a little picky about lip product textures though; my lips are super dry and matte stuff tends to get cakey. I also sort of suck at applying lip makeup so I like something that you can smudge on a little haphazardly.

Revlon Colorburst Laquerbalm

Revlon Colorburst Laquerbalm

Enter Revlon Colorburst Laquerbalm: it’s moisturizing and a little glossy but also stays on well and the fatty pencil tip makes it really easy to apply. I have it in Enticing. Drugstore makeup colors can be tricky but warm reddish or berryish, but not purple-y, options tend to work for me.

Birchbox Finds: My Birchbox subscription, while sometimes hit or miss, tends to keep me well stocked in higher end mascaras and in lip color products I wouldn’t normally buy. This makes the monthly $10 fee worth it to me, for now at least. A recent summery gem courtesy Birchbox:

Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain

Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain

This has become on of my summer go tos. It adds a really nice punch of color which is supposedly custom, adjusting to your individual skin tone/chemistry. The color lasts a decently long time.

The Bag Itself: As I began to step up my makeup game a bit I realized I should step up my makeup bag so I picked up this little number.

Ted Baker London

Ted Baker London

I like the pattern, and it’s big enough to hold a lot of crap but not so big that it won’t fit into my smaller handbags. Similar options available here.

There you have it: a lovely roundup of some of my recent makeup favorites. Next up on my quest to wear makeup like an adult, a truly daunting task: I’m going to try and find a foundation that doesn’t look like the cheapo orange shit I wore in middle school that scarred me for life. Wish me luck…