Random 5 Friday – Stew Leonard’s, gift cards, and happenstances

It’s Friday – whoop! I am off today and here are 5 randoms thoughts from my week.

1) Trader Joe’s opened a store here recently. Never been there but folks here are awfully hyped up about this grocery store. If you want to experience THE grocery store, visit Stew Leonard’s – the world’s largest Dairy store – in Norwalk, CT.  I remember taking oldest boy there when he was very little, and the prices were well worth the singing cows and dancing milk cartons … Now THAT’s a grocery store. 🙂

2) I won an award at work and picked Visa gift cards as my prize. I don’t need more stuff. Instead I stopped, after work, for a mani/pedi and became one with the massage chair. Felt like a genius.  I still have a little $ to spend but I’m one to make a list and a careful purchase.  Likely involving books … got any recommended reading for me?

cook clean or read

3) It’s Fall and I cook more when as weather cools.   Brought out my Wolfgang Puck electric pressure cooker for a yummy  dinner this weekend.  The best part?  Beef stew, braised chicken, or a succulent roast in under an hour.   (I was scared to death of the one Mom used as we grew up – it had a screaming sound and jangly top that threatened to blow at any minute. Whenever it came out – outside I went!) Get yours here


Here’s what mine looks like – no jangling bits to blow off in my face!

4) Tuesday morning, while waiting for the results of medical tests, I quietly sung one of my favorite Elvis Gospel songs.  The next morning I turned on my Mp3 for the drive to work.  The MP3 has nearly 1,000 songs on it and is always set to “shuffle” – meaning it shuffles songs randomly.   That song came on first.  Coincidence? Nope.

5 ) 22 days till Halloween!  I no longer decorate for it like I did when the boys were little but I do love shopping with the Grands for their costumes.  We touch and try on crazy hats, test drive the spooky sounds of store displays and thoroughly enjoy the outing.  I remember these kinds of costumes, and our faces sweating underneath them.  How about you?


How was your week?  Ever been to a Trader Joe’s or Stew Leonard’s?  If you had a $100 gift card to spend, what would you buy?  Do you have any page-turners to recommend?  Ever cooked with a Pressure cooker?  How do you feel when you experience random happenstances?  Are they random?  And what costume do you remember sweating under?



Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Growth, halloween, Holidays, Joy, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Random 5 Friday – Stew Leonard’s, gift cards, and happenstances

  1. Pressure cookers still scare me. I had one of the jangly ones. Yikes! I use a slow cooker these days.

    • I never used Mom’s and always headed outside when she dragged it out (usually in summer for canning) – but I love the electric one. It’s slick as a whistle! 🙂 MJ

  2. Roxanne

    Yup, I remember Stew’s with fondness. But, Trader Joe’s (one in Danbury) is incredible! Try it….you’ll love it! And other than some produce, the prices are not high, and there are soooo many wonderful things to try. I don’t have a pressure cooker, but my Lodge cast iron pot is workin’ on slow-cooking beef short ribs as a type.

    • Stew’s prices were a little high but the singing milk cartons stick with me – like a Disney World for Grocery shopping!
      I will try TJ sometime, you know me, I’m not one to not miss what all the fuss is about 🙂
      Love my electric pressure cooker and am making a roast beast this morning, Cheers! MJ

  3. Never been to Stew Leonards, but I have been to Trader Joe’s – once or twice. I used to can in a pressure cooker: SCARY! I stood on the other side of the kitchen the first few times I used it.
    I know you’ll have fun with the little ones at Halloween.
    My favorite indulgence is a pedicure!

    • ha ha – that image of you on the other side of the room while canning takes me right back to Mom’s kitchen. When that thing would start shrieking I’d run for the hills 🙂
      The electric pressure cooker is easy to use and pretty foolproof – but it is not a “set it and forget it” device. You need to stick around to vent it when it’s done – and it does have a little whistle but not a shrieking banshee like the ones of old.
      My favorite gifts are experiences vs. things – I’d rather see a show, have a massage, or enjoy an outing than have more stuff to dust 🙂
      Cheers! MJ

  4. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    How great you had a day off! We have a Trader Joe’s here in Va Beach, VA and we enjoy going sometimes. I do remember those Halloween costumes, they came in a box all together. You could not see very well where you were going. As far as pressure cookers they scared me as a child. Have never touched one! Have a good weekend!

    • It was nice to have a day off although I did work some – I had a few appts, lunch with some girlfriends, picked up dinner and relaxed.

      And those costumes – remember how sharp the edges of the masks were? I remember snapping the elastic pretty easily and Mom having to staple it back on … those were the days. We usually made our costumes but, once in a while, we got one from the store.

      Happy weekending! MJ

  5. Diane Helminiak

    Joel Osteen came out with his new book “Power of I ams”. This is a philosophy that my network marketing company encourages us to do. Our founder, Kody Bateman wrote his first list of I Ams and most of them have come true. I have a list of things I want, need or would like to do. Many of them have come true. This is a way to keep focusing on what you want in your life. I AM glad I met such a wonderful person named Marilyn P.

    • I have yet to read his new book but I think it’s next on my list – and I loved your story of your “I ams!” wowza! Also, my vision board hangs right above my home desk, created in one of Beth’s workshops, and most visions on it have come true now 🙂 I am SO glad to have met you, Diane, and I hope to see you again soon!! MJ

  6. Those rubbery masks were terrible! We got a Trader Joe’s a few years ago, and then Whole Foods, too. I’ve not shopped at either one much. Our regular grocer is closer to home, and they have the best selection.

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