Rachel Awtrey


Lifestyle | Travel | Faith | Marriage

Posts tagged Trader Joes
Galentine's Day at the Summit

As much fun as Valentine's Day is for some of us, I know it's not celebrated by everyone. But, have you heard of Galentine's Day? It lands on February 13th and it's the time to celebrate all of the girl bosses, best friends, and side kicks in our life. So, grab some cupcakes, champagne, a good chick flick, and celebrate those BFFs!

Galentine's Girls Night Suggestions:

What to snack on

  • Trader Joe's salted popcorn
  • Chocolate Gluten Free cupcakes from Trader Joe's
  • Your fave wine or champagne
  • Get fancy with a cheese board

What to do

  • Watch a favorite movie
  • Play a fun card game (like Cards Against Humanity) something to get everyone laughing
  • Exchange gifts

What to watch

  • 13 Going on 30
  • Definitely Maybe
  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
  • Along Came Polly

What to gift:

Gifts are tricky, especially for your friends. What if they don't like it? Will they be able to use it? How much do I spend? These questions always crowd my brain when it comes to gift giving to my BFFs. You feel like you know someone until you have to buy them a gift...ya feel?
I've put together some of my favorites ranging from $15 - $50 so you can pick your gift based on the set budget! For me, it's so easy to find anything that I'm ever needing at The Summit in Birmingham, Alabama. If you're in the Birmingham area, I highly suggest going to do your shopping there. You have Free People, Lululemon, Anthropologie, Madewell, West Elm, Sephora, Kendra Scott, Athleta, and way way more all in one place. I'm so grateful I can walk around and get all of my shopping for friends completed all in one trip!

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Easy 2 Ingredient Cocktail

I've always thought that cocktails were intimidating so I've never attempted to make anything other than a margarita, pour myself a glass of wine or open a bottle of beer (for Thomas. I don't like beer). But, this little concoction has changed the game for hosting: so simple, so easy, you don't even need a shaker, 2 ingredients.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2-3 scoops raspberry sorbet

  • 1 cup pink champagne 

  • fresh raspberries for garnish if you're feelin' fancy


  1. Place scoops of sorbet in glass.
  2. Pour champagne slowly over the sorbet. It will froth quickly so be careful!
  3. Allow to melt - it' best if it's melted! 
  4. Enjoy!
Fall Favorites

There's nothing better than a spreading pumpkin butter on a warm buttery croissant for a quick "pick-me-up" snack or dessert. You can also use this on pancakes or waffles, toast or mix it into the batter to give it a pumpkin-y flavor. What's any better way to welcome in fall than enjoying an autumn flavored sweet treat?

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One of my favorite parts of fall is the warm makeup looks. Between the warm eyeshadows with creams, browns and oranges and the warm blush tones, this lip sheer is a perfect fit. I also love the fact that it has a hint of vanilla, and it's moisturizing instead of making your lips a little more chapped. Which, we all know that moisture and fall is a needed combo.

These Madewell Slippers are the best to throw on during a cozy afternoon watching movies, cooking in the kitchen on the cold hardwoods or getting ready in the morning with the chilly titled floor underneath you. It has soft sheep fur inside and a great moccasin type look to it so it's not your average, ugly slipper. Praise!

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Peep toes are the greatest when there's a transition from warmer weather to more brisk weather. It gives your pedicure a little more time to be shown off but also adds a little flavor to your skinny or boyfriend jean outfit. This peep toe is great because of the warm texture of the suede and the fall color of forrest green. Bring on alllll the fall fashion!

Embroidered jeans are honestly fun for any season but they're coming back hard core or fall. It adds a flavor to your jeans that mixes up the outfit. If they're boyfriend jeans, you get extra points. This comfy fitting, but still chic, pant is great for errands around town, pair it with a white tee. It's also great for a night out with the girls if you add a blouse with a "front-tuck."

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With fall, you never know what to wear out of the house. In the morning it's chilly, so you may want to grab a light jacket. Towards the afternoon, it may get a little warmer and you may decide to shed the jacket. But, with a jacket, your wallet and phone, anything you may have picked up throughout the day, it can easily become a handful. That's why I trade in my summer clutch for this perfect leather backpack by Lauren Conrad

This is the perfect magazine to have on your nightstand or coffee table. It's a new favorite of mine. You can find recipes, fashion insight, stories and incredible photography inside. They're chic and minimal so you can thank them for a simple design. They have seasonal volumes and I've heard nothing but great news about this Fall's magazine.

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Peanut Butter + Honey Pancakes

Living out in the woods in Northern California is super dreamy but it does make grocery shopping challenging since our nearest grocery store is 45 minutes away. So, when we get the opportunity to stock up, we usually drive 2 hours to the closest Trader Joe's in Redding, California. So worth it.

We have to make this food last for a looooong time since we never really know when our schedule will allow for us to go back. One morning, we woke up and decided to make pancakes with Trader Joe's boxed pancake mix (we also love the Williams Sanoma pancake mix). We love using a griddle that we were gifted as a wedding gift - it even has a warming tray so you can keep your flap jacks underneath while the others are being made.

We then realized we forgot something very important: syrup.

I improved and made a peanut butter + honey syrup. Yall. It was so much better than regular syrup. It's our new "go-to" and not to mention: it's waaay healthier than even your "healthy" 100% maple syrup you may use. And of course more nutritious than the fake stuff.

Here's what we did:

1/3 cup of natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy will do)

1/2 cup of local honey (we got ours from Five Mary's, a farm about 10 minutes away from us)

Heat up peanut butter and honey in a microwavable-safe serving cup for 20 seconds or until well blended and creamy (like regular syrup).

Don't overheat though or it'll turn peanut butter into a bubbly mixture.

Pour on top of pancakes (or waffles) and sprinkle Trader Joe's chocolate chunks on top for even more of a sweet treat. 

Let me know if you tried it and what you thought! Or, if you experimented yourself, did it work?!

Favorite Trader Joes Finds

I think I'm emotionally attached to Trader Joes. I love wandering the aisles looking for what I need, seeing things I didn't think I needed but I definitely do (maybe). It's a fun place to see new foods, try different ingredients or recipes and pick up a beautiful bouquet of eucalyptus at the same time. 

I'm not sure if you know this but Trader Joes actually let's you try things out of the box. If it's not open and you're not sure if you would like it, they'll open a box for you to try! If you like it, you can take it home, if not - no problem!  If you get home and try something and you don't like it, bring it back (what's left or an empty bag) and they will reimburse you. Yes. No hassle, it's just fun! it's a great place to go and expand your pallet with all of the foods they offer from countries across the globe. Their frozen meals are already prepped and just need heating, their produce is always fresh and their wine is gooooooood and cheap.

But, out of everything that Trader Joe's offers, I've picked out a few of my favorites that I think are a "must try" for everyone.

1. Cookie Butter

Use it as icing, dip pretzels or chips in it for that salty, sweet flavor, add it to recipes, whatever! It's the sweetest treat right out of the jar. It looks like peanut butter - but better!

2. Pineapple Salsa

It's time to spice up your regular salsa and add some fruit. The pineapple salsa is tangy, sweet and salty and goes great with any tortilla chip, on top of fresh cooked salmon or add it on top of your burger. I mean, c'mon. 

3. Coconut Creamer

I add this to my coffee and it is the best substitute for milk in the morning. The coconut adds a natural sweet flavor while also being extra creamy at the same time. Get a hand-held frother and you have yourself some gourmet coffee in your very own kitchen!

4. Coconut Cooking Spray

A great alternative to your regular Pam cooking spray or non-stick butter spray. It's healthier, and a great way to keep things from sticking. I use this when I'm baking or sautéing vegetables and such. I spray a little in the pan (instead of olive oil) and toss the vegetables and it adds a non-stick layer to whatever I'm prepping. 

5. Eucalyptus

The smell, the look, the fact that when it dries out and dies it's just as beautiful - it's all a "win" in my book. This is a great option for us plant killers and they sell it at Trader Joe's. I use this in my pictures a lot or toss a bunch in a vase and set it in the middle of the table as a centerpiece. I get questions all the time of where I've gotten my eucalyptus and, y'all, I got it at the dang grocery store. It's that easy! 

6. Blueberry Vanilla Chèvre Cheese

I'm not a cheese girl (unless it's mac and cheese or grilled cheese) but this is the greatest to pair with any red wine and your favorite crackers, It's a brick of the best chèvre cheese covered with vanilla dipped blueberries. Whip it out when you're hosting, put it on a cheese board with a knife, crackers and some prosciutto and you're good to go! 

7. Lime Tortilla Chips

I mean, yum. Not only are they salted but they have a lime flavor that kicks up any chip and salsa experience. Throw these out for a party and you've simply made everything twice as delicious. They're crispy and taste similar to the one's at your favorite Mexican restaurant. 

8. Frozen Orange Chicken

This is the greatest solution to the "crap! What do we have for dinner" or "It's eight o'clock and we still haven't eaten but I don't want to wait an hour before we eat" frustration. It's a frozen meal you just open and pour in a pan, heat on medium heat for 15 minutes, cook some rice at the same time and you have an at-home Chinese meal that will rock your world. 

9. Frozen Garlic Cubes

Instead of getting the jarred minced garlic or crushing/mincing it yourself, save the trouble and go get some frozen garlic cubes. It comes in a pack designed to where they just pop out with a little push. No sticky or smelly fingers. They melt quickly in any pan or recipe. It's measured out perfectly so each cube is one clove - genius. 

10. Tingle Shampoo/Body Wash

I recently went to get my hair done and my stylist was peeved that I was using a drug store shampoo because it actually "strips your hair of nutrients and oils it needs." She recommended a shampoo called Tea Tree Tingle and all I could think was "how am I going to afford this?" Then she told me I could find it at Trader Joe's for less than five dollars - what....? True story. They also have Conditioner and Body wash to keep the healthy and natural theme going. It has a hint of tea tree and mint smells so it's a spa experience in the shower, really. It does give a little tingle. When I first started using it, my hair wasn't lathering really well with it but I came to find out that it's because my hair was so unhealthy. I've been using it for a month and it lather's just fine now and I've found that my hair is shinier, smoother and less greasy. Hallelujah!

I mean, Trader Joe's is a one stop shop for any kitchen and pantry needs but you'll run into some really great finds there as well! What are your favorite Trader Joe's finds? I wanna find some more great things in there! Share, share, share!

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