The Christmas Come Down

Now that most of the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season is behind us, I thought I’d share some of my favorite gift items from this year! I know it’s maybe a little late to be giving you gift ideas, but I can’t be spilling the beans to my family and friends! ūüôā Plus, some people are really organized and are probably already starting to shop for Christmas 2019!

My big crafting project of the season…..which I didn’t even get finished until the last moment….was a set of decorative pillows for my Sister’s condo. The pattern came from the lovely ladies at Knit Collage, although I did make some modifications. I decided to do both sides of the pillow in the herringbone pattern, it just seemed fancier and more inline with my Sister’s decorating style.

I ordered 4 skeins of Sister Yarn in Dusty Pink and got to knitting. Apparently I can’t read a pattern correctly, it turns out that 4 skeins of yarn is not enough yarn to make both the 18×18 pillows I had planned on. Alls well that ends well though, it turns out that rectangular pillows were on the list of home decor things my Sister was looking for. So, 4 skeins of yarn turned into a pair of 12×18 inch pillows with some decorative pom poms! I had a little tiny bit of grey sister yarn left over from a previously project, so that’s where the grey in the poms came from. The pattern doesn’t call for pom poms, but if you’ve got the yarn you might as well pom it!

Since I planned on doing both sides of the pillow in the herringbone pattern, I just knit one large rectangle instead of 2 separate 12×18 pieces. So I ended up only having to stitch 3 sides together, and the top of the pillow is nice and seamless. If you’re looking to modify the pattern to make the 12×18 pillows I will tell you it took me 54 rows not counting the cast on and bind off. For the rest of the pattern you’ll have to snag yourself the pattern….it’s not mine to share.

My favorite purchased gift is a handmade knife for The Engineer. It was made by David Maple of Tuckamore Custom Knives, and then I had it sent off for a custom sheath from J Sylvia Handcrafted Leather. It’s beautiful, feels good in your hand, and it’s truly a one of a kind piece. If you ever have a chance to get your hands on a Tuckamore knife, I would 100% recommend it. They are great knives, he’s very responsive to any questions you have, and I’m constantly drooling over all of his designs on Instagram. Give him a follow…you’ll be totally in awe!

Totally snagged this picture off the Tuckamore Custom Instagram page, but he takes better pictures than me. I snagged one of the black handle beauties in the middle!

The custom sheath totally pulls the whole thing together. Now the knife is all set for hunting or camping….wherever our journeys take us the knife will be set to go. I also snagged a leather stroping block from Tuckamore. It’s useful and so much more beautiful than anything you can buy in store for the same purpose. All we need now is some good knife oil and a sharpening stone and we will be good to go for a long time to come.

If you need some other gift ideas but knitting and handmade knives aren’t really doing it for you I have a few more ideas to toss at you.

  • O-Venture Key Rings – One of Oprah’s favorite things, and so handy for any busy women on the go who are on your nice list!
  • Souped Up Fleece Robe – Zips from the top or the bottom to keep you cozy while also letting you move around. Momma Mishappenings even started wearing hers as daywear around the house. Long and cozy!!
  • PooPourri – Truly a gift for everyone on your list! Smells for you, your girlfriends, the men in your life, and even special Holiday season smells! Remember to use it before you go!!

Maybe this will give you some shopping ideas for the loved ones in your life….but don’t forget that sometimes you just have to love yourself too.

No shame at all if you pick of some of these awesome products for yourself!

Old Enough to Know Better, Too Diva to Care

Yesterday, The Engineer and I spent most of the day at the emergency vet clinic with Scout….it was not necessarily how I had planned to spend the 2nd to last Saturday before Christmas. ¬†Not that any weekend is a good weekend to take your fur baby to the vet, but I was already feeling slightly stressed on the Christmas project time line.

The morning started out normally enough. ¬†I got up and went to the gym while Roo and The Engineer napped. ¬†I got home, showered, and had a coffee FaceTime date with Lil B. ¬†The Engineer finally dragged himself out of bed after nursing his first hangover as a 29 year old. ¬†We were just getting dressed to go run some errands and grab lunch when I spotted it……..a large section of torn up carpet next to the bathroom.

Exhibit A…..the carpet

Now…..Scout-a-Roo has a long. lengthy, and impressive history of eating things she isn’t supposed to, but carpet has never been one of those things. ¬†While I was attempting to google how we might go about fixing the carpet, we discovered something else. ¬†She had eaten the wings and legs off her beloved duck toy.

Now, her beloved duck is several years old, and he’s needed some emergency surgeries of his own. ¬†I’ve repaired and patched several holes but mostly they have all been due to use and abuse…..and the occasional severe whipping around. ¬†Scout likes to make sure he’s dead before she gives him to you, she’s considerate like that. ¬†I had recently just had to apply a large patch to his whole abdominal area, but he was living to see more play days.

It seemed like 2 wings, 2 legs, and all that carpet was too much for Scout’s tummy. ¬†Occasionally when she was little and would get into something I would induce vomiting at home. ¬†I was hoping I could do that now and I could get the bulk of the material out of her before it started into her little intestines. ¬†Normally, we wouldn’t know she’s eaten something until she either decides to puke on her own….or we find bright decorative chunks of fabric around the backyard. :/ ¬†If it had maybe been one thing or the other I might have just left her to her own devices….she is semi professional in this capacity after all.

We dosed her will a round of hydrogen peroxide and then we waited. ¬†We waited through the loud tummy gurgles, and I sat near by with a garbage bag and hoped for the best. ¬†Sadly, the best never came. ¬†The gurgles came and went but no wings or carpet ever arrived. ¬†I couldn’t find anything online about what to do if you attempt to induce vomiting but it doesn’t work, so I finally caved and called the vet.

We ended up needing to take her in to the vet, initially because hydrogen peroxide can cause ulcers if it isn’t treated and neutralized. ¬†The vet took some X-rays, I think mostly because they didn’t believe me when I told them that these random things she eat tend to hang out in her tummy for really extended amounts of time. ¬†Sure enough, a whole little puppy tummy full of “stuff”. ¬†We were assured that one round of nausea inducing medicine ought to do the trick, so we waited and sorta listened while they worked on her in the back. ¬†At one point I think they sort of inverted her to try and get gravity on their side….the force was not with them.

When the vet is scary, you feel pukey, and you’ve brought great shame on the family.

15 minutes later they came back to inform us the medication hadn’t had a strong effect on her, but that they would try it again. ¬†Apparently a single dose of the medicine is suppose to make them vomit until they dry heave…..Scout was having no part of that. ¬†They can only dose the medicine once an hour….and we still hadn’t eaten… was around 4pm by this time so we left to come home and eat and then said they would call.

About an hour later they called…..tummy still had something in it, but they had gotten “a large amount of carpet”. ¬†“I’ve never seen a dog with this level of iron stomach, but I think we should try one more round again in an hour”. ¬†Clearly this guy has never met my dog….she’s the pukiest dog I’ve ever had, but she never pukes multiple rounds in a sitting. ¬†So, we sat at home another hour, and waited for a good phone call. ¬†Finally, they called and said they thought they got everything out and the x-rays were clear.

The list of items they got out of her stomach–

  • A large amount of carpet
  • A sock……that we didn’t know was missing
  • Maybe 10……1x6inch rag stripes from my entry rug….that we didn’t know were missing
  • 2 duck wings
  • Anything else potentially wrapped up in the carpet ball

Several hundred dollars and some hours later, she came home and is generally fine. ¬†I’m hoping that she’s learned her lesson, but honestly that seems unlikely. ¬†We did leave her for a few hours today with the torn up carpet and rug booby trapped….everything was undisturbed when we got home. ¬†Hopefully she ate something and it didn’t feel good, so she kept eating things to try and fix the first thing but who even knows with dogs.

Catching Up

It’s been several weeks since I’ve had time to just sit down and write! ¬†Seems like between work, vacations, and social events I just haven’t been home with nothing to do but talk to you guys in quite some time!

I thought maybe I’d just catch you up on a few things that have been happened recently! ¬†

First things first, The Engineer survived his first long distance, week long vacation with Momma Mishappenings and my Sister! ¬†We took him to what might be our favorite vacation destination….Colonial Williamsburg!

Williamsburg really is one of my favorite places. ¬†The smell of boxwood shrubs and gingerbread cookies fills the air and oyster shells give a particular crunch under foot that can’t be created or mimicked by anything else. ¬†Don’t even get me started about the magnolia trees. ¬†I can technically plant a magnolia tree here, but they aren’t the same variety as those large southern plantation magnolias that have come to be a system of southern living.

While in Williamsburg we made a day trip to Monticello. ¬†In all our trips to Williamsburg, I’ve been maybe 13 times…..we’ve never been to Monticello. ¬†Sometimes it’s discussed, but we always just end up staying the extra day in Colonial Williamsburg. ¬†While the house and lawns were impressive, I have to say the tour left some things to be desired. ¬†Tour groups run continuously at 10 minute intervals….so they really have to rush you through the house. ¬†It’s hard to take in all the furnishings of the rooms or see all the custom architecture, and there really isn’t even time to ask questions. ¬†While I’m sure the gardens are lovely in the Spring and Summer, fall trips to Monticello’s extensive gardens are a bit lack luster. ¬†I can’t say that I regret going, but I’m also not sure that I would recommend the visit….if that makes sense.

We also celebrated The Engineer’s birthday last week! ¬†It really did turn into a week long celebration, mostly because I managed to snag us tickets to a 4 course Beer and Dinner pairing at one of the boujee-ier restaurants in town. ¬†You know you’ve had a good night of eating when the dessert course was the least impressive of all the courses!

Smoked scottish ale and a porkchop on a bed of parsnip puree….yes please!

We took Friday off work to scout some public land for turkey and pheasant. We found both, but unfortunately the turkeys waddled through a thick windbreak into a private field, and the only pheasants we flushed up were hens. ¬†Never the less it was fun spending the day driving around and trudging around all the land that’s open to the public. ¬†I do love me a good trudge! ¬†I’m really not much for blaze orange, but now I have a hat and sweet matching vest. ¬†Safe to say I think I’ll mostly stick to turkey hunting so I can leave the neon colors at home!

Birthday week wrapped up with maybe the worst decision I’ve made in a long time. ¬†

In early September I found out that The Engineer’s alma mater was playing a rivalry game on his birthday weekend. ¬†I got really excited and snagged 2 tickets. ¬†I know how he feels about football, and how he feels about being a Jackrabbit, and I thought it would be a fun birthday surprise!

Ahhhh, inside drinking beers before we were forced onto the frozen tundra.

What I failed to consider when buying the tickets, was the drastic change in temperature that occurs in South Dakota between September and mid-November.  


I don’t know that I could tell you the last time I felt that cold. ¬†We were sorta okay until halftime. Two blankets, hot chocolates, and a pretty eventful game kept us going until the action stopped…every minute from halftime through the 3rd quarter felt like hours. ¬†Minutes move much slower in frozen toe time as it turns out. ¬†By the time we left the stadium and checked the weather from the relative warmth of the un-started car, The Weather Channel informed us it was 10 degrees and felt like -1 due to wind. ¬†Even with the seat warmers on high for the hour drive, my booty was still an ice cube when we got home!

Never again will I buy tickets to an event in an outdoor stadium anytime after Halloween!

This was before our faces felt like they were going to crack and fall off!

Final Days of Summer

This weekend marking the final day of summer and the first official day of fall. ¬†While I’m excited to decorate with pumpkins and bust out all of my delicious fall candles, I have one final summer throwback blog to write.

We went late season camping in Nebraska and it was great!!

The Engineer and I drove down to meet his Sister and Bro in Law for a long camping weekend at Calamus State Park. ¬†It’s about an even drive for all of us so it seemed like a good spot to try. ¬†They spent the weekend telling me they needed good blog nicknames….but didn’t suggest any, so I’ll leave it as The Camping Pros for now! ¬†Trying to get The Engineer to prep and pack for camping is almost useless….”If we forget it The Pros will have it so it’s not important.”


Remember to pack enough food and supplies to provide adequate puppy lounging opportunity.

I think I’ve officially waited long enough to ensure that none of the camping participants….furry or otherwise…..caught West Nile. ¬†The bugs down there were big and apparently impervious to any type of bug spray! ¬†Coming home covered in bug bites was really the only downside of the weekend. ¬†I had 18 on just my right ankle……JUST THE RIGHT ANKLE! ¬†The Engineer and I spent days itching and scratching while trying to ignore the constant full body itching.

Besides the unrelenting mosquito blitz we picked a slightly questionable weekend to camp. ¬†As The Engineer and I drove we watched a fairly severe thunderstorm brew up over the top of the park. ¬†When text messages to the pros weren’t immediately returned we were sure they were hunkered down waiting out the storm. ¬†Our suspicions of severe weather were reinforced by the gas station attendant in the small town neighboring the park. ¬†We left with our 2 bundles of firewood and visions of hail and storm winds in our future. ¬†Needless to say we were pleasantly surprised to find out that even though the radar system showed a huge red blob of thunderstorm death over the park, there wasn’t any rain happening at the campsite. ¬†We actually lucked out and only got rained on early Monday morning before we packed up to head home. ¬†All’s well that ends well I suppose!


The trees were sadly not 10-12 feet apart, but we had hammocks to use!


Due to the predicted forecast of less than stellar weather I, being the only member of Casa Mishappenings who plans for things, began to stress over the fortitude of The Engineer’s bargain price tent. ¬†Luckily, the Pros have several large, better tents, and they had one all set up for us when we got there. ¬†Their’s held up much better to the wind and rain. ¬†The Engineer, Puppachino, and I stayed nice and toasty dry and cozy!


Everyone begging for dinner around here!

We also didn’t discover until we got there, but I had somehow managed to rent 4 separate campsites in a “Group Camping” area. ¬†I had no idea! ¬†I just rented what was listed as the only available site for the long Labor Day weekend. ¬†It popped up site 09-12, but I just assumed that meant like site 12 inside of loop 9. ¬†NOPE……the 4 of us had one whole half of a very large open glen area. ¬†A large…..and somewhat odd family of rednecks took up residence on the other half, and for one night we did sublet one of our sites to a large Hispanic family.


4 sites, but we can only have 4 occupants and 1 tent…makes sense I guess!

Mostly, we spent a pretty low key weekend just hanging in our hammocks and hanging out together. ¬†Many naps were had and several beers were drank. ¬†We did make a special trip out to one of the local breweries for lunch one afternoon. ¬†If you’re ever in the middle of nowhere Nebraska I would seriously recommend the Ass Blaster Jalape√Īo beer from Bootleg Brewery! ¬†Also, the sweet potato fries are! ¬†By this point in the weekend we had extra space in the coolers, so I actually ended up buying a whole growler of Ass Blaster! ¬†It’s delicious….if I could buy it at a store locally I would keep it stocked in the fridge always!


There was a slight blip of excitement when we thought we might have spotted a mountain lion. ¬†I saw it first, The Pro Sister saw it second….in two separate viewings I’ll have you know! ¬†I turned around from making bacon the first morning and saw something slightly redder than a deer off in the trees beyond our camping clearing. ¬†It was moving in a way that caused the internal dialogue, “WTF was that slinking through the trees!?” ¬†The Pro Sister saw a similar size and shape animal the next morning in about the same place. ¬†I would like to point out that both of us are well versed in animals and their general style of movement. ¬†I’ve never watched a deer move through a wooded area or field and thought, “Wow look at that deer slink around over there!” ¬†The guys, and 2 park rangers, were quite sure that all we saw was a deer. ¬†Ppppsssshhh it wasn’t a deer, but whatever I guess…..The Pro and I know what we saw!


The ever elusive……BAT EARED PUPPERS

Making Mornings Easy

A couple weeks ago I discovered something amazing. ¬†Sadly, if you were hoping for a quick new breakfast recipe, this blog isn’t about that. ¬†My intermittent fasting has really put a damper on good breakfasts around here. ¬†If it isn’t coffee, it doesn’t much happen before noon around here. ¬†It’s the worst part of fasting….I love a good breakfast.

What I discovered is how good my eyelashes could look, and how sad they have been looking despite my best efforts to perk them up with mascara. ¬†I’ve always know my lashes were short. ¬†If I wanted my lashes to look like anything, or if I was wearing a heavy makeup look and wanted to actually see lashes, I had to throw on a set of falsies. Despite their obvious length challenges, in my brain they had always seemed quite curled. ¬†Sure, I applied multiple coats of multiple mascaras everyday, but that certainly got them looking on the up and up. ¬†I was wrong….. Even at maximum level makeup my lashes still never looked like much.


Obviously hunting after work means I had all the mascara on my short little baby lashes. ¬†The Engineer totally out lashes me….boys are blessed with lashes they don’t deserve!

Enter Laura McElroy Beauty¬†and the Elleebana Lash Lift….and of course an after lift tint job! ¬†You might be thinking to yourself, I love waking up extra early so that I can curl my lashes and coat them with mascara, plus my lashes are dark so why bother tint them. ¬†Well, wanting to wake up early when you could stay in bed makes you insane. ¬†Let me tell you what, I would give almost anything to spend an extra 2 minutes in bed, and dark tint still makes dark lashes look. ¬†I’ve seen Laura for a variety of waxing and beauty treatments over the years, but this was my first time getting a lash treatment. ¬†She’s the best around and offers a wide variety of services. ¬†She had been telling me for years that I would like a lash lift, I just thought I knew better……don’t be like me!

All the photos are curtesy of Laura, and I can attest that there was no photography trickery afoot. ¬†I know we can all get skeptical of before and after photos, but the only difference in the after in my curled ¬†lashes! ¬†Also, please ignore the snaggle brow….they were desperately in need of a wax at the time of the photos. :/


Think of it in simple terms as a hair perm for your lashes. ¬†A small rod is temporarily attached to your eyelid at the base of your lashes, and your lashes are then combed and curled up over the top of the rod. ¬†It takes about an hour and a half for the whole treatment, and the results should last about 3 months. ¬†It’s only been a few weeks like I said, but so far my lashes are still cute, curled, and needing very little upkeep. ¬†I was also amped that my lashes were long enough to the medium sized rod. ¬†I don’t have the smallest lashes!!

I do still swipe on mascara occasionally, but mostly just to plump the hairs up a bit. ¬†Even putting on mascara on days I feel like I want more oomph has become easy. ¬†Since my lashes are already curled and shaped a couple quick swipes is all it really takes. ¬†Applying falsies is easier too since my lashes blend more seamlessly. ¬†It really is an all around win in my book. ¬†I wake up everyday with perfectly curled, flared, and dark lashes. ¬†It’s so easy, especially for week days when I head off to work with minimal makeup effort.


I’ve you’d like some low maintenance lift and tint beauty in your life and you’re in the area you should definitely check out Laura at her salon. ¬† I love her, I’ve gotten one of my coworkers hooked on her for a few different services, and you’ll love her too! ¬†Plus, she is gracious enough to offer a referral discount of $10 if you see her for a service and mention this post!




5 Years: Remembering and Moving Forward

Saturday, July 28th marked the 5 year anniversary of my Dad’s passing.

It seemed oddly fitting that I spent most of last week out in the Black Hills.¬† It happened to be that the interns my family sponsors in Dad’s memory were doing their final presentations on Thursday.¬† We made our annual family trip out West to honor Dad by attending the presentations.¬† I always feel a bit awkward about all the attention we receive when we go, but I suppose that’s just a bit of my Dad showing himself in me.¬† He wasn’t ever one for the spotlight really, and even after his diagnosis he just wanted our lives to continue on as normal as possible.

I was partially left to my own devices while I was there, which I secretly sort of love.¬† Anymore, feeling like you’ve escaped the hustle and bustle of everyday life seems to be a rarity for people, but I think it’s important to be okay being alone.¬† If you’re going to be stuck in a place without a car, I would strongly recommend Lead, SD.¬† I had what amounted to about 24 hours essentially on my own without a car.¬† I was staying with Lil B, but unfortunately she had to work both Thursday and Friday.¬† I spent the time reading, hiking with her Momma, and generally just enjoying the outdoors.¬† I¬† had a wedding and bridesmaid duties in Rapid City on Saturday, in case you were confused as to why my Momma and Sister left me in the Hills. ūüôā


Cute little twins and their momma just off the trail

Friday morning, while waiting for The Engineer to arrive in town and the start of the wedding activities, I went for a 6 mile jog/hike on a new trail that runs between Lead and Deadwood.¬† The trail is gorgeous and is perched high above both cities with stunning views of the mountains and hills surrounding the towns.¬† Out here on the prairie, we would say the towns are nestled in valleys.¬† Out in the West…they don’t have valleys…they have gulches.¬† They are sharper, more severe, and create a much more nerve racking albeit amazeballs view when you stand on the edge.¬† It really can’t even be described in a way that does it any manner of justice, and my photography skills will never capture the true feeling of standing on the rugged edge of nature.




















I’m not much of a runner honestly, but while pounding my way down the pine lined trail, I think I finally began to understand why my Dad liked to run so much.¬† Normally, I consider the thin mountain air to be a major struggle factor when I try and exercise out in the Hills.¬† In fact, Thursday afternoon I tried to jog up a large hill and across Lead to the grocery store…..I didn’t even make it halfway up the hill before I was doubled over and trying to pull all of the oxygen out of air that seemed too thin for my lungs to even hold.

For probably the first time ever, I didn’t feel like I was struggling to get enough oxygen to fuel my legs down the trail.¬† It was cool, breezy, and clear….and I just ran.¬† The air out in the Hills has a specific smell about it.¬† It’s pine, but such a subtle, delicate pine that you’d have a hard time recreating it.¬† Take every Christmas Tree candle you’ve ever smelled and toss it out the window.¬† It isn’t like that at all….not that I don’t enjoy a good pine scented candle during the holidays!¬† There’s a slight sweetness to the air, but I find that I only notice it when I focus on it.¬† It’s something to be discovered and savored, and is probably lost on people who don’t take time to pause and enjoy the surroundings.

Before I’d even realized I had ran almost 2 miles straight…..with brief pauses to carefully traverse down a particularly steep or gravely section of trail.¬† I’m no running expert, and I’m certainly not well versed in trail running.¬† Better safe than sorry….sorry being hands and knees scraped up and full of dirt, gravel, and pine needles.


It was glorious.¬† Honestly, for how ever brief a time I think I really understood what my Dad always saw in running.¬† It cleared my mind and was just such a nice time to reflect.¬† It was easy…I just ran.¬† I’ve only ever felt that way one other time running, that I can remember.¬† The first Father’s Day after Dad passed I headed to my townhome’s gym and ran a 5K….but it didn’t feel natural, I’m sure it was fueled purely on sadness, anger, and stress.¬† This run felt different, it felt natural….like I was put out there specifically to go on this run, and have this time, and feel a connection to my Dad that I haven’t felt in a while.¬† That’s the thing about being raised by parents who taught me to move forward, even in times of difficulty, and to never quit.¬† I sometimes¬† forget that moving forward doesn’t mean I can’t pause and take time to reflect.

I’m not sure when I’ll have another run that feels comfortable and easy.¬† I might not ever, and I came to terms with the fact that running just isn’t my jam a long time ago.¬† But, I might try again next time I’m out in the Hills on a high up mountain trail.¬† Worst thing that happens is it’s horrible and I end up walking….which out there isn’t all that bad either.


I ended up doing more walking than jogging most of the way back to Lead once I got to the end of the trail in Deadwood.¬† Turns out that the whole trail, even the “flat” parts had an ever so slight downhill trajectory….which suddenly explained why going to Deadwood felt so glorious, and why going back to Lil B’s house felt less than stellar most of the time.¬† Also, about a mile from the end of my run/walk I got distracted and forgot to check where my feet were landing.¬† I took a rather large rock right to the side and/or arch of my left foot and ended up with a rather swollen and bruised foot.¬† Still not the worst thing….I ended up walking¬† back to Lil B’s house and came upon a cute little buck in velvet hanging out on the edge of town.


So close I almost could have touched him!


New Finds and Old Favorites

I went shopping in Omaha last weekend, and really just spent way too much money. ¬†The Engineer was working on getting a wort hog taxidermy mount sown up…..TRUE LIFE STORY, so I took his truck and drove into the big city for some shopping. ¬†It’s probably a big relationship step when you get to leave town and drive into Omaha with your boyfriend’s truck!!

I’ve occasionally taken the truck around town at home, and usually end up driving it to the gym on weekends because it blocks my car in the garage. ¬†This was the first time I’ve taken it out of town, down the highway, jumped on the interstate, driven in congested traffic, and had to park it in relatively crowded parking lots. ¬†I also had to navigate a sudden lane merging around a burning semi truck that did actually cause a couple accidents around me when cars didn’t stop quick enough! ¬†Turns out the smoldering semi trailer was full of hot dogs. ¬†Would have been so delicious to stop and grab a snack had I known what it was at the time!

Rest assured, I didn’t hit anything! ¬†I really only vaguely know where I’m going in Omaha, but I know just enough to get myself to the mall and to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. ¬†First stop was Trader Joe’s to restock some of our favorite things and try out some new finds.

Our must have items from Trader Joe’s!

  • Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels…..the salted kind!
  • Pork Pot Stickers
  • Hatch Chili Mac and Cheese
  • Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
  • Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Last weekend’s new finds that we’ve tried!

Image result for trader joe's iced coffee concentrateIt’s such a delicate, light coconut flavor, but it’s delicious. ¬†I wish it came in an large bottle like the regular coffee concentrate.

Image result for trader joe's smoked peach salsa

Honestly, a big flavor let down. ¬†It sounds so good, but it’s quite bland. ¬†Not spicy, not really smokey. ¬†It’s very sweet and does have some good peach flavor, but I wouldn’t buy it again. ¬†Stick to the Roasted Tomatillo and Mango salsa….you’ll be happier!

Image result for trader jose

It was too cute and funny not to buy, and The Engineer likes Corona so I thought I’d give it a shot. ¬†He drank a few, but I’m not sure he’d request I go back to the store for more. ¬†I bought the regular, but it also comes in light and dark.

Image result for trader joe's taco seasoning

Mostly I bought these cute little taco spice packs because I thought they would be good for camping. ¬†They come in pretty sturdy feeling plastic baggies and seem like they would survive being tossed in with our camping cooking gear. ¬†We tried a pack the other night for some nachos and they aren’t bad….aren’t great but like I said they will serve a good purpose for camping ease. ¬†The instructions say half a pack of spice per pound, I’d say just use the whole pack. ¬†It wasn’t overwhelmingly flavored at half a pack.Image result for trader joe's dog treats

Scout-A-Roo seems to have no complaints about these.  They are most dry sausage textured than jerky, but her emergency stash of treats in her travel bag needed to be filled

Things I bought but haven’t tried yet!

  • Jarred Pizza Sauce
  • Fire Roasted Diced Green Chiles

After Trader Joe’s I was off up the road a couple blocks to the Whole Foods. ¬†Now, I had never been to a Whole Foods so I didn’t really know what to expect. ¬†Now having gone to both I think I prefer Trader Joe’s, but only situationally. ¬†I will say that the food court area of the Whole Foods all looked amazing, and if I had actually needed food for lunch or something to take home to make for dinner I would have been all over that area. ¬†I did pick up a Carmelita bar from the bakery for a snack and a loaf of the Cinnamon Raisin Brioche Bread. ¬†The Carmelita was a bit….chocolatey for my liking?! ¬†It didn’t really taste like caramel at all which was a big disappointing, but it was still a tasty little snack. ¬†The bread is so fluffy you might almost die!


My actual reaction when I picked up the loaf of bread!


Not really as oomphy with cinnamon as I would have expected. ¬†I bought it with intentions of freezing it and pulling it out in the future to make french toast. ¬†I’ve since proceeded to eat most of the loaf toasted up and slathered in Kerrygold butter. ¬†Whoops!

My best Whole Foods find was a Rebbl protein drink that I only tried because Juli at PaleOMG talks about them all the time! ¬†I was really feeling like a health food blogger after spending most of the morning wandering around Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods getting my shopping on. ¬†I think it’s a sign that I’m getting old and lame that buying potentially overpriced, healthy, and organic food is a major source of weekend excitement for me!



My little protein pick me up was so good! ¬†Thick and creamy, but not chalky like some protein shakes. ¬†Little bit of coffee, little bit of protein, little bit of coconut milk which i love with my coffee…..perfect little snack to get my through my power shopping adventures! ¬†The only major bummer is that I can’t find these at home. ¬†Several of the HyVees in town carry Rebbl products, but I can’t find the protein drinks. ¬†Ugh…..major buzzkiller.

If like me, you don’t live in a place big enough for a Trader Joe’s and a Whole Foods….but big enough for a Costco…I’ve got a tasty little find for you!

Image result for milton's cauliflower crust pizza

Seriously….proceed to your nearest Costco and buy as many as your deep freeze can hold! ¬†My only criticism is that it is a little heavy on the roasted veggies. ¬†Great that they don’t skimp you, but I’m a roasted veggie eating machine and I could see how it could be a bit overwhelming for some people. ¬†The Engineer and I added some frozen pepperoni before baking, because who doesn’t love a pepperoni pizza?! ¬†If you don’t love pepperoni on your pizza we probably can’t be friends.



The pizza bakes up really nice and the crust gets nice and crispy. ¬†If you didn’t tell someone it wasn’t a regular pizza crust I honestly don’t think they would notice. ¬†If I had kids, this seems like an excellent way to get more veggies into them without them even knowing. ¬†Milton brand makes several other pizza “flavors” but roasted veggie is all my Costco had stocked. ¬†The Engineer said, “It’s not the best pizza I’ve ever had…”. ¬†Well….it’s a frozen pizza…..none of them are ever going to be the best pizza you’ve ever had! ¬†But, it does make a good freezer item to have on hand for rushed nights when you want pizza and you need it quick! ¬†Would 100% buy again!!

Hopefully my little shopping adventure has given you some ideas of staples and fun new things to stock your pantry with. ¬†I always think it’s fun to go and try out new versions of the foods we eat everyday. ¬†You won’t find your favorite new beer or salsa if you don’t try something new. ¬†Plus side, even less than amazeballs beer and salsa are still better than no beers and no salsa!