3: Five Things Friday Vol. 78

I am doing NaBloPoMo this month. 30 blog posts in 30 days. Come join me. #nablopomo2023

I did my weekly grocery shopping this morning before 9 a.m. and I was back home in < 45 minutes. Granted, I only had to make two stops today (Trader Joe’s and Corti Brothers, a European Deli) and both stores are less than 2 miles from my house). I am also one of the weird people who actually enjoys grocery shopping but who also likes to be efficient and unbothered by other people.

I adopted the early Friday morning grocery run routine during the pandemic and I must say, I can still see why keeping this up was a very good idea. You see, nobody goes grocery shopping on Friday mornings before 9 a.m. I mean, not nobody nobody but very few people compared to, let’s say, a Saturday afternoon. (I went to Target on a Saturday afternoon recently and let me tell you, it was a zoo.)

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On a sad note, Trader Joe’s apparently discontinued their “European-style Whole Grain Bread” and I am devastated. DEVASTATED. It was not just authentically German with a short ingredient list, but also very reasonably priced. I used to pick up a package almost every week. And now, they discontinued it without warning. I mean, they could at least have given me the chance to stock up before taking it off the shelves. Why does Trader Joe’s seem to always discontinue items that I am particularly fond of? (Does anyone remember their “everything bagel chips”? They were so good!)

Anyway, similar, vacuum-packed bread (even imported from Germany) is available elsewhere, but to be honest, it’s not even that great in comparison and so much more expensive. My mom helpfully suggested I start backing my own whole-grain bread, and I guess I theoretically could. It’s just that cracked rye is really hard to find here in the US (for whatever reason that is beyond my comprehension), and if you do find it, it’s freakishly expensive. I guess I’ll have to start looking around though.

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It’s the start of soup season in our house and I am always looking to add more soups to our already extensive recipe list. This week, I tried a new recipe for Stuffed Pepper Soup and it was an instant winner! In a typical San manner, I tweaked the recipe a bit (I used ground turkey instead of beef and substituted potato cubes for the cauliflower rice) and it was absolutely delicious.

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With the start of a new (governmental) fiscal year, I am (once again) trying to revamp and improve my note-taking and project-logging skills. I think I am doing pretty well (or so I’ve been told), but in all honesty, it’s an ever-evolving work in progress for an “organizer” like me. I currently use a mix of Word Documents, OneNote, and I am currently thinking of adding a spreadsheet.  Please tell me I am not alone. I do most of my note-taking/logging digitally (just because it’s easier to edit and search for information later). Do you have to keep notes at work? Do you have a foolproof system? Any templates you can share? Tips and tricks? I am all ears!

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Halloween was uneventful this year. I was gone on a day trip for work and missed out on the Chili Cook-Off/Halloween office party, which I am not terribly sad about. They always do a costume contest, which is fun (I guess) but I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in years. I got home late (by 7 p.m.), we had takeout and I didn’t even have the energy to watch a Halloween movie this year. We also didn’t get any trick-or-treaters, and I live vicariously through all of your Halloween shenanigans.

However, you can come back tomorrow if you want to see photos from my annual Halloween neighborhood run. That’s always fun!

How was your week and how did you slide into November?

  1. What a bummer that the bread was discontinued.
    Maybe I should pick up such an early shopping trip I am not so fond of early morning errands I rather do the late night shift. Only then the fresh meat stations are closed.

    November started off fine I guess. I am taking it very slow – some might say lazy – but I am in between jobs so I can give myself a break. More time for blogging and doing some creative work.

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s photo strory.

    1. I am up early anyway, so the early morning shopping is just second nature by now. Late night is good too, but yeah, they close the butcher counter at that time.
      Embrace that you have more time for blogging and creative work this month!

      1. Ah thank you. new word learned “butcher counter”.

  2. I feel you with your favorite bread being discontinued. They stopped making Bay Blend, which was my favorite coffee and their fig cereal bars. I found another one of their coffees and yes they do make other flavors of their cereal bars, but nothing as epic as their fig bars.

    I don’t have a foolproof system for work. I’m big on scheduling “meetings” for recurring tasks to remind me to do them, but I keep my notes in Word and have Excel sheets with processes listed out.

    1. Oh yes, the fig bars. I remember you raved about them. It sucks when your favorite items get discontinues :(

      That’s a thought: scheduling “fake meetings” for recurring tasks. I don’t have many of those – but time blocking is another good tool.

  3. Oh, man. I hate it when a favorite product goes away. How do you replace it? Rye bread is my favorite and whenever I’m on vacation without my husband, it’s something I go out of my way to find. LOL.
    I just started a new job and I can already tell I am going to need a system to remind me of when and how to follow-up with certain tasks. I don’t know how that’s going to be. I’d like a physical calendar for things that AREN’T meetings, but still need time, I think.

    1. Why is rye bread so hard to find in this country? I just don’t understand – it’s so good for you.

      Let me know what kind of system you come up with for your new job :) I am looking forward to hear more about what you’ll be doing!

  4. That soup looks tasty! I may give it a try.

    I also enjoy shopping but hate crowds. Early is a great time to go!

    1. This soup was a winner. Jon was an instant fan! Give it a try and see if you like it :)

  5. Oof, I HATE when things I love are discontinued. And without warning! I could have stocked up! Okay, with food that mostly doesn’t work because it would have gone bad anyway, but still. I could have prepared myself! I am terrible with change.
    You are a runner and you are organized. We are apparently very different people, lol. I hope we can still be friends. Variety is good, right?

    1. Variety is very good. You know, the whole “opposites attract” thing? We can definitely be friends. I am sure we have other things in common :)

  6. I hate when things I love get pulled. Grrr. And why is it always the best products? It makes no sense.

    I also love grocery shopping; we try to go in the evenings – at least where we live from 7:30 pm on it’s basically empty (just how I like it). I really like going on Thursday evening while our kids are at an event. It means we roll into the weekend with food in the house!

    1. Evening shopping trips work well too unless you rely on the “butcher counter” or bakery… then you might be out of luck.

  7. Totally team ‘get to the grocery store as early as possible’. It’s so much nicer without all the people! I had to go into Costco today (a Friday) and it was nuts. I could not wait to get out! Probably helpful on the wallet.

    I’m sorry TJs discontinued your favorite bread! What a bummer.

    1. Oh, Costco is a zoo any time of any day LOL

  8. Whoa. You live 2 miles from a Trader Joes????? That’s my dream! Are you sure the bread was discontinued for good? They didn’t have my soymilk for a while, so I asked, they looked it up and said it would be back “in November.” (Note to self- go to Trader Joes ASAP.) Maybe if you ask them they can tell you if it’s really gone for good, or if they’ll be getting it again.
    Now I’m craving chili. I want to go to a chili cookoff!

    1. I KNOW! I am so happy we have TJs so close because I do 90% of our shopping there.
      I asked about the bread, yes, and the TJ clerk said that the bread was discontinued. I am hoping he was wrong and it will pop up on the shelves sometime in the not too distant future. Sigh.

  9. Oh, how I hate when things I love get discontinued! So frustrating and YES, why can’t we have a little notice so we can fill our houses with the beloved thing???

    1. I think a warning would be common courtesy. Sigh. Thanks for commiserating, Nicole.

  10. I am a Google docs lover— my university has a subscription, and it’s my favorite thing now

  11. That is really frustrating about the bread. I know it’s hard for you to find bread you like in the US. My start to November has been awesome! New York City, **squeal** I’m loving it.

  12. Oh no! I hate it when things I love are discontinued. Maybe it will come back in a new form? I thought they had discontinued low salt almonds at Trader Joe’s, but they just repackaged them. I will hope for something similar for you!

  13. It is always disappointing when a favourite item is discontinued :(
    Hope you can find an alternative or the ingredients to make your own.
    During the pandemic we also did our shopping as early as we could. We got out of the habit now and shopping then takes longer.
    Looking forward to your photos.

  14. It is always disappointing when a favourite item is discontinued :(
    Hope you can find an alternative or the ingredients to make your own.
    During the pandemic we also did our shopping as early as we could. We got out of the habit now and shopping then takes longer.
    Looking forward to your photos!

  15. you can definitely try to make at home. I am sure you can order the flour online. I try to make bread at home because when I look at the ingredients list and usually includes palm oil or hydrogenated oil, so I avoid them as much as possible. I try to bake few loaves at once on days that I can be home for extended hours. it’s not difficult but just time consuming.
    I also enjoy groceries runs, especially when the store is empty, preferably alone so I don’t feel rushed and can explore new things. I did it this morning and got a cart full of goodies.

  16. I went to visit my daughter at her college yesterday. It was a very nice time. Relaxing and full of chats and one bust a gut laugh. I have Fridays off this schoolyear and I’m bound and determined to occasionally do something I really enjoy – so no grocery runs or meal prep or housework, damn it.

    In my line of work (running an in home daycare), I don’t keep notes. For regular life, I keep a notebook on my countertop and I write down one list after another.

    I’m not crazy about Halloween, but I did enjoy making the kids costumes when they were younger. I’ve only eaten one piece of Halloween candy this year. I guess I’m not feeling like adding anything unexpected into my diet while I’m waiting to do this hydrogen breath test on Friday.

    My kids and everyone in the world is constantly raving about Trader Joe’s. I’ve been there, but there isn’t one near where I live or even near where I run errands, etc. So, it isn’t part of my usual stops. That stinks about your bread. I wonder if Amazon has it, or if you can google it and find it somewhere else, or can you ask your Trader Joe’s to bring it back? Good luck. I hate it when stores remove the thing I love.

  17. I take nearly all of my notes in the notes pages of my planner. So there isn’t a great way to save them. But the sales person on the call takes notes as well and they load them into sales force. So I don’t really need a system per se. Or what I am doing works for now. I like taking notes by hand as I am more apt to remember what was discussed and I can make checklist items for things that require follow up. But the nature of our jobs is so different?

    We really limped into November since Phil is still feeling pretty tough and fears he is developing pneumonia. He’s had a really awful fall with lots of viruses. I went to the doctor on Monday and got an inhaler for my cough which is helping. But I generally feel very worn down. :(

  18. Team Early Store here, too. I go at 0645 to the store that opens at 0600, then zip over to the one that opens at 0700, and I’m out of there by 0720, particularly if Mari is checking me out. (Yes, I know that Liz, Mari, and Sally are the ones working on Thursdays at store open. And no, I did not know the store clerks’ names when I lived elsewhere. This drives home how long – for me – I have lived in this one place, and had the same habits! :>) Then I zip home, put the food away, and head in to work. It’s a busy start to a weekday but oh, that empty store. Love.

  19. I swear, this always happens to me. Also at restaurants- there will be one item I always order, and inevitably, THAT will be the item that they “took off the menu”. Always!! Why!??

    I hear you on the note taking organizational stuff. I feel like I’m always kind of tweaking my digital systems just a little…. which sometimes feels like it defeats the purpose….

  20. I had to laugh at your “in typical San manner I tweaked the recipe”. That is totally me. Some recipes I have to wonder why no spices other than salt and pepper. There are a few more in the world than S&P and some people should start using them. My problem is, I never write down my “tweaks” so the next time I try the recipe I forgot what I did.

  21. Our TJ in Oregon still has the Everything Bagel chips. I don’t care for them but I see them at my weekly TJ run. I wish they ever had the German rye bread. :( You can talk to your store’s manager and they are ordering things based on demand. Worth a try?

  22. I love doing an early morning grocery run. My favorite is Monday mornings. If I can’t make it to the grocery store over the weekend, I opt for this time. I’d love to get into a Friday morning shopping habit, though!

    I’m sorry your fave bread was discontinued. I hate when that happens!

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