wellness wednesday: my trader joe's favorites

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Happy Wellness Wednesday! One of the most basic tenants of wellness is nutrition and, while I love Whole Foods, I really think Trader Joe's is such a great resource for anyone looking to eat healthy and interestingly on a budget. Their prices are so much better than traditional grocery stores, yet they offer a ton of healthy and convenient products. Today, I'm sharing some of my favorite go-to items at Trader Joe's that will help you eat healthy this summer and all year.

General Produce Section
There's always a large selection of competitively priced produce, ranging from classics like bananas and apples to more interesting things like pre-chopped vegetables and cold pressed juices.

Fresh Flowers
The flowers at TJ's are so inexpensive which makes sourcing for arrangements really fun and easy. I especially love the eucalyptus branches and the hydrangeas.

Healthy 8-Veggie Mix
A mix of jicama, cabbage, carrot, bell peppers, and more that's great for eating raw in salads or sautéeing.

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Almond Butter
I love this almond butter for spreading on toast, mixing into smoothies, and making protein truffles.

Rolled Oats
You can't really tell in the photo, but this bag of rolled oats is huge! They last forever so you can use them for hot oatmeal, overnight oats, baking, and smoothies.

Unsweetened Almond Milk
While my all-time favorite almond milk comes from Califia Farms, the TJ's unsweetened original version comes pretty close.

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Orange Juice
Aside from fresh-pressed orange juice from Whole Foods, this Trader Joe's orange juice is the best. It doesn't have the artificial taste so many orange juices have. It tastes like you literally just squeezed the oranges yourself.

Nutritional Yeast
I'm a longtime fan of nutritional yeast, specifically Bragg's, and recently have been using Trader Joe's version as well. This is a dairy-free seasoning that has an umami, slightly cheesy flavor. I often sprinkle some on top of my steamed broccoli or mix it into a buttery popcorn topping.

Island Soyaki
This is TJ's cleaner version of your typical teriyaki sauce. It's great to mix in with rice and the 8-veggie mix.

Coconut Aminos
Another longtime favorite of mine is Bragg's Liquid Amino Acids. Trader Joe's version is called Coconut Aminos. This works as a perfect substitute for soy sauce.

Organic Tahini
I love Tahini. It's a mediterranean staple and there's so much you can do with it! Its flavor is deep and nutty, so you can use it to make a salad dressing or a dessert.

Maple Syrup
Can you believe this 25 oz maple syrup bottle is only $12.99? This thing lasts forever, plus it's great quality and tastes amazing.

Maca Powder
TJ's maca powder is super affordable. Mix it into your smoothies for natural energy, make hot cocoa out of it, or mix it into waffle batter.

Cacao Powder
This is a healthier version of traditional cocoa powder and it's super accessibly priced at Trader Joe's.

Coconut Cream
I love TJ's coconut cream cans so much! Usually, I'll buy them when I want to make dairy-free whipped cream. I just blend the cream with a bit of powdered sugar using a hand mixer then use the liquid content in smoothies.

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Dried Fruit
Yes, dried fruit has quite a bit of sugar but it's still a great alternative to most snacks on the market. TJ's has a pretty good variety, but I'm partial to the dried mango.

Fiber Crackers
These are similar to the famous GG crackers so many wellness bloggers like. They taste a bit better though and are definitely filling. 

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
I love treating myself to a box of these sometimes. They're basically mini Reese's cups but made with dark chocolate.

Vanilla Meringues
Another easy dessert I like to treat myself to is the TJ's vanilla meringues. They're crunchy, sweet, and fat-free.

Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
This is a go-to staple for just about everyone I know because it's literally just a bottle of the seasoning they put on everything bagels. This stuff is so good on avocado toast so if you've been sleeping on it, go get it now!

june entertaining tips

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The vision for this June party is super clear in my mind. It's one part French Riviera, one part Palm Beach. Very laid-back, chic, and European. I'm thinking rattan furniture, fresh oranges, and tortoiseshell. I think this party is meant to happen on a garden patio or inside the house with all of the doors and windows open. It certainly requires fresh air and a soundtrack of crickets.

MAKE IT EASY: Outsourcing Parts of the Meal
You've probably heard this tip from the likes of Ina Garten, but it's a good reminder. When you're having a big dinner party (or even just a medium sized one), making all of the dishes can get overwhelming, especially when you have appetizers, cocktails, a main dish, sides, and desserts to think about. To make things easy but still very special and high-end, choose one to three parts of the meal to outsource. You can pick up dessert from a local bakery, a pre-made appetizer from the market, a side dish from the deli, or even a bottled drink like sparkling lemonade.

DRINK OF CHOICE: Aperol Spritz
This is one of my favorite, refreshing summer cocktails and it adds an elegant, European vibe to your party. Just combine Aperol, prosecco, and seltzer then add ice and orange slices. 

HOSTESS GIFT: Citronella Candles
Remember the old citronella candles you'd find outside in the summer to keep the mosquitos away? They always smelled good to me but tended to be kind of ugly as they were often from hardware stores. There are so many cute citronella candle options these days and they make for a great gift. Check out this, this, or this.
 

DECOR STAPLE: Vintage Tableware
In Palm Beach a few weekends ago, we ate outside at Pizza Al Fresco and they serve their drinks in the most beautiful blue glassware. I love the idea of vintage blue glasses for this summer party, paired with gold candlesticks and other mismatched glassware. Pop into your local thrift store and you'll have no trouble finding some beautiful, inexpensive pieces to make your tablescape more interesting.

EASY APPETIZER: Marinated Mozzarella
This may be the easiest appetizer ever and it's so good. Literally all you need is mozzarella, olive oil, and herbs like oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Combine the herbs with salt and pepper in a bowl, then add olive oil. Drizzle this over the sliced mozzarella and let it marinate for twenty minutes before serving on its own or on crackers.

PARTY LOOK: 
In keeping with the blue-and-white look, pair a soft white t-shirt with a denim wrap skirt and flat leather sandals. To pull the look together, tie a patterned silk bandana around your neck or use it as a hair wrap. I chose one that's blue-and-white to keep the color palette going, but you can also use this as an opportunity for a pop of color with something like this or this

pretty things no. 15

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Happy first weekend of June! I'm out on a shoot today at a gorgeous location for my brother's engagement photos. So exciting! What are you all up to?

Lately (and every summer really), I've been obsessed with a particular summer aesthetic: white linen, raffia accessories, Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot, St. Tropez, and bohemian. 

If there's one piece I'm absolutely in love with for summer, it's the Piper Petal dress from Apiece Apart. It's a breezy, cotton-poplin dress that will take you from drinks in Positano to poolside in Palm Beach. It'd also look super cute paired with anything else in this round-up.

If you follow any fashion bloggers on Instagram, I guarantee you've seen the Stella bag from Cult Gaia recently. It has a bold, graphic shape that makes it such a stand out piece. It is unlined, so it's better suited for carrying your makeup bag, wallet, a book, and a water bottle as opposed to any loose items.

The ultimate summer body product, Tom Ford's Soleil Blanc shimmering body oil is a beach babe must-have. It gives your skin a bronzed, glowing luster that pairs perfectly with a white bikini.

Speaking of which, this white Zimmermann bikini is to die for. It reminds me so much of Honey Ryder's iconic white bikini in the Bond film Dr. No but with a modern, slightly bohemian twist. The bottoms are hand embellished with white daisy appliqués! Can't you just imagine wearing this by the pool in St. Tropez?

I'm a huge fan of the brand Ancient Greek Sandals and the Thais sandals are perfect for this summer. They keep with the trendy raffia look but are also incredibly classic. I love trends like that, don't you? These sandals come in several different color/pattern designs, but I'm partial to the raffia pictured above and the polka dots.

The other day, we had a little dinner party and were talking about how cute the tablescape would look with raffia chargers like these from Williams Sonoma. They dress up simple white tableware but would also look gorgeous with more intricately designed pieces.

answering the proust questionnaire

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One of my favorite things to do is read is other people's answers to the Proust questionnaire. You all know I love a good questionnaire in general but, the Proust questionnaire goes far beyond the usual topics. Vanity Fair is known for featuring a celebrity's responses to the questionnaire at the end of each of their issues and the website Brain Pickings does them as well. Some of my favorites are Joan Didion, Diane Keaton, and Ina Garten.

So, I wanted to sit down and answer the questionnaire myself:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Eating good food and drinking wine outdoors somewhere beautiful; talking, laughing with interesting people and listening to our favorite songs.

What is your greatest fear?
The Handmaid's Tale becoming reality, so I guess that would amount to having my life completely controlled by an entity or an ideology that I didn't choose.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Audrey Hepburn, Princess Margaret, Jane Austen.

Which living person do you most admire?
Amal Clooney, Barack Obama (aside from my family).

What is your greatest extravagance?
To be honest, my entire life is probably an extravagance, but if I had to choose just one it would be high-end skincare.

What is your favorite journey?
Flying over the Labrador Sea and into Reykjavik is such a great view.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Obedience. 

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Lately, it's been "henny" thanks to Jonathan van Ness.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Singing and fluency in multiple languages.

What is your current state of mind?
Positive vibes only.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would be just a little less shy in public settings. 

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
Probably a house cat.

What is your most treasured possession?
A collection of memorabilia from my life stored in an old Burberry box. 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Having one's life be totally controlled by someone or something other than oneself.

Where would you like to live?
I'd love to rotate between a flat in a Haussmann building in Paris, Pierhouse in Downtown Brooklyn, a 1930s oceanfront estate in Palm Beach, and a country manor in Berkshire, England with interiors by Axel Vervoordt. Or some little bungalow in Austin so I could have constant access to good tacos.

What is your favorite occupation?
Baking desserts, being in the sun, and staying in hotel rooms.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Wearing glasses or sunglasses.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Having a passion, being loyal.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Confidence, kindness.

What do you most value in your friends?
Their personal tastes, humor, and support.

Who are your favorite writers?
Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Louise Penny, Joan Didion, Fitzgerald, Donna Tartt, Ian McEwan, so many more.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Jane Eyre.

What are your favorite names?
Romy, Karolina, Chloé, Bianca, Henry, Ansel, Elio, Arthur.

What is it that you most dislike?
Intolerance.

What is your favorite motto?
"I am going to make everything around me beautiful. That will be my life." - Elsie de Wolfe