First Things First

I am back in San Diego.   And I love being home.  This picture is actually a self-portrait from me from my soon-to-be-new-home’s balcony.

  All photos in this post courtesy of my iPhone + Instagram <—want to follow me?

Or take with my iPhone + gentle Lightroom 3 editing

After a weekend with my huge camera in Mexico, I rolled with the iPhone cam yesterday afternoon.


Where does any person who’s been on U.S. soil for an hour and who’s getting ready to move residences in the next 28 hours go?

Trader Joe’s, of course.

Just seeing sunny blue skies and all this makes me happy.

I mentioned that Mexico was full of meat + cheese + fried foodsNot my scene, at all. 

Yes there was lots of fresh produce, but there was lots of not-so-fresh-and-green foods, ahem.  Meat city.

I needed Sugar Snap Peas

Don’t doubt my love for the sugar snappies and everything I love to dip them into.

And I could have bought and bought and bought new-to-me products.

But I didn’t.  I’m moving Wednesday morning!

This is my baking cupboard photo in the new house that I posted to Instagram

I probably don’t need any more ingredients or things to make desserts and sweets with.  For a week or so at least.

And this is what my life looks like.  Boxes.  I fill them up, take carloads over to the new place, unload, come home.  Repeat. 

It sucks but pre-moving has been awesome.  That is, if moving can ever be considered “awesome”.

What would be awesome would be to plow through a Magic Eight Bar

Or maybe just even roll with a peach banana colada smoothie that I make myself.

Being back home, having my kitchen functional again, getting unpacked, settled, it will be such a great feeling!

Thanks for the compliments on my last round of Mexico City pictures.  Thank you, so much, to everyone who has commented, complimented me, mentioned that you have noticed my growth photographically, and just the overall praise.  I am humbled.  Thank you!


1. What’s the first thing you do, or what are a few of your first things first, when you return home from a trip?

Brush my teeth, wash my face, go grocery shopping, start a load of laundry, unpack my suitcase immediately.  I can’t stand things just lingering and waiting for me in my suitcase.  I also am that person that washes dinner party dishes at 2am because I could not imagine dealing with them the next day, either.

2. Are you on Instagram? 

I have had my iPhone for months now but never really utilized the iPhone camera, and really didn’t jump on board the Instagram bandwagon either, until this past week but have seen how:

Many of my friends use IG

How easy it is

How functional it is

And how fun it is!

I like IG wayyyy better than Twitter.

And I am pushing my Instagram updates to my Twitter feed.  <—social media much?

3. Any TJ’s products you just have to have?

There are so many of them and I have done posts on some of my fave TJ products (here for example are a few things), but yesterday it was all about the sugar snap peas.  And the chocolate chips!

54 comments on “First Things First”

  1. I am SOOOOO jealous of all that lovely produce. You are really incredibly lucky to have all that amazing organic selection. All of the produce sections here are pitiful, I can’t even remember the last time I saw REALLY fresh and great greens like that. Okay, enough of my pity party!

    First thing I do when I return home from a trip is SHOWER and EAT. After spending 24+ hours traveling (the norm here in Saudi Arabia) I feel SO yucky and a shower is really restorative. And EATING is a major necessity. No matter how much I eat while traveling I never feel really nourished and I am desperate to get back into my own kitchen.

  2. sooo true that moving in stages makes life that much easier. hope things go well today, too!
    1. i unpack right away, too. not unheard of to get in from a trip at midnight and then stay up for a couple hours unpacking. then laundry, groceries – although i have been known to have the airport limo pick-up stop at the 24 hour grocery store on the way home from the airport!!
    2. no clue as to what this is! :)
    3. no trader joe’s up here in waterloo, sorry to say!…

  3. Man, I need to get myself to a TJ’s again. It’s been far too long!

  4. My TJ’s must haves are their herbed pizza dough and the sundried tomato basil hummus! Those mini chocolate covered pretzels sound pretty darn good though too!

  5. i was away this weekend but i could see all your amazing pics on my google phone app. so so amazing avery. Quite the experience and i love all youre doing with it!

  6. I’m the same way when I get home… I want to get everything out of the way immediately, so I’ll unpack, do laundry, get groceries, etc. I usually have a running to-do list in my mind as I’m getting close to home. But once that’s done, I usually need SLEEP! ;)

    Glad you made it back safe and sound, and good luck with everything this week!

  7. Wow – now I am way excited to start using my new Iphone…that Instagram looks like fun!!!
    First thing after arriving home is normally – unpacking, starting thre laundry, hop in the shower and enjoy a nice glass of vino!!

  8. Yep, Trader Joe’s is a frequent necessity for me; just went yesterday to reload on such necessities as snap peas, chili-lime cashews and bananas.
    I don’t think you mentioned; what’s the #1 favorite thing you ate in Mexico that you can’t get in San Diego?

    • chili-lime cashews — had them in my hand yesterday b/c i remember you writing to me saying they were great. but put them back b/c i kinda wanted peanuts with that flavor and my tjs’ was a zoo and didnt want to dig and look for peanuts (and not sure they even exist in peanut form)…if they do, lmk!

      the best thing i ate was actually a sweet potato. will post about it in another day or so (just found the image in my stash)

  9. Have to chk out instagram :) umm I unpack ,do the laundry and then umm the list just goes on

  10. The first thing I do is unpack and start laundry. I really try to hold off on errands until the next day just so I can relax.

  11. I usually stop at the grocery store on the way home from the airport and then unpack, shower, eat, in that order. I have this weird thing against eating before showering. No matter how hungry I am, i can’t eat until I shower if I am dirty. Unless I’m camping or outside, then it is no problem.

    I don’t twitter or instagram. What exactly is it?

  12. I’m slightly addicted to Instagram :)

    Kansas City is getting its first two Trader Joe’s and opening day is on Friday … so excited!!! :)

  13. iphone pictures are really good quality wow! It always feels great to get back into a normal eating pattern. Seeing and exploring new foods is always fun but nothing feels as good as your food groove, as you like to say. Good luck with these next 48 hours!!

    • well some iphone pics are good, some arent. again, i run ALL OF THESE (other than the Instagram ones) thru Lightroom. If I dont do photo editing on them, they are meh. And some just are better than others as is the case w/ any camera…b/c as we all know, there are some awful! iphone images out there.

      I think it also has to do a bit with the photographer behind the camera too :)

  14. I’m guessing Instagram is only for iphones? Then I’m SOL I suppose, oh well!

    When I get back from a trip I immediately unload my suitcase and wash everything — yes even things I didn’t end up wearing. Then I usually take a shower and then attack the rest of my things. Sometimes I change the sheets just so that I can sleep in a clean bed.

  15. I always, always, always unpack and do a load of laundry– even if we get home at 1am!!

  16. When I arrive home from traveling, I want to shower immediately. I usually do let my packed suitcase linger because I despise unpacking and laundry :)

  17. I unpack and get clean and comfy!

  18. What a gerat experience Mexico must have been! I’m hoping there are more pictures to come.

    When I get home from a trip the first thing I do is unpack my suitcase, put it ALL away and start laundry. But then again I’m also the person doing 2am dinner party dishes ;)

    New TJ’s item: grinder w. sugar chocolate & coffee :D I ground up some onto B’s breakfst yesterday and it was a hit !

  19. Good luck with the last phase of moving. You mentioned fireworks. I took a hour long workshop on how to shoot fireworks right before the 4th. Unfortunately, I was on a rocking boat and you have to be on tripod and very stable for good fireworks photos. What I learned in the workshop: Go full manual, set shutter speed on “Bulb” setting and plug in a handheld shutter speed device. Put ISO down to 100 because fireworks are bright. After the first round of fireworks, focus the lens. Set aperture to 11 at first and then go higher if necessary…

    • “Go full manual, set shutter speed on “Bulb” setting and plug in a handheld shutter speed device. Put ISO down to 100 because fireworks are bright. After the first round of fireworks, focus the lens. Set aperture to 11 at first and then go higher if necessary…”–

      THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

  20. welcome home! i just got back from being away too.

  21. Instagram is so fun! Love it!! I also really like the hipstamatic app, it takes fun pics, but does not have the social media aspect.

  22. haa… I can imagine you just sitting in that aisle of green veggies, so elated. ;) that is definitely one of my first things after time away, produce shopping!

    I am not (yet??) on instagram… its funny, I’ve known about it for some time and many friends use it, and suddenly I’m seeing a big resurgence just the past couple weeks… especially in the blog world. I don’t need another “thing” right now, especially when my computer time is already (by choice) reduced lately. :D I love looking at others photos, though.

  23. I had sugar snap peas with dinner last night. So good!

    I like unpacking and getting a few things settled. Well, I guess the last time I got back from a trip it was so late that I immediately just crashed into bed. I didn’t get home until midnight and I had to be up at 6 am for work. Yeah, not my best plan!

    • sugar snap peas are great arent they

      and your other comment to me about being an internet junkie and vacay means you dont have it….i can relate :)
      even tho i have it usually on trips, i dont go online nearly as much and it’s very…uncentering for me!

  24. Welcome home girl! Don’t you freaking love Instagram. Addicted to it over here :)
    TJ’s is always a first stop fore too.

  25. I live across the street from Trader Joes. We’re in there every other day AT LEAST.
    Unsweetened Dried Mangoes are one of our favs! I also love their Organic Free Trade French Roast, all the frozen fruits, Almond Butter, the new Smoked Sea Salt they have is AMAZING!!!! I know you don’t eat meat, but I love the hot italian sausage and chicken breakfast links too. The veggie section ROCKS!
    OHHHHH and if you haven’t tried the boxed wine it’s pretty damn GOOD!!! The Shiraz. I feel a little trailer trashy drinking it, but it’s so good I don’t care =)

  26. Good luck with the moving! Doing it in phases definitely seems to help. I love that one of the first things you did was go to TJs :) Ours is opening July 29- ahhhhh! So excited. When I return from a trip I’m a crazy unpacker/laundry do-er. I hate having that stuff just sitting around. I also like to get to the store and restock.

  27. I have never heard of an Instagram before, I’ll have to look it up. Glad you had a safe journey home from Mexico. Best of luck with unpacking and settling into your new home. The first thing I do when I get back from holidays or time away is call family and friends and have a shower! Can’t wait to get into the shower and clean bed clothes after I’ve been travelling.

  28. yes I am loving instagram!!! so glad you had a great time and you are back in action! FIRST thing I do is make a load of laundry! I cannot stand having dirty clothes from another place that probably smell and just sit there, if I dont do anything about it! haha I make a load of laudry and then I try to get some basics to have in the fridge too! i hate to buy food at work!

  29. I’m with ya, the first thing I do after vacation is shower! I feel grimy after traveling!

  30. Ah, how I wish we had Trader Joe and Whole Food in Norway!!
    Beautiful photo of you Aviere!
    Im exactelly like that too. I rather stay up late to wash the dishes or the apartment or whatever, than saving it for the next day. I cant sleep if I know not everything is clean. Like last night, I did my midnight-apartment-cleaning :) I often do! I turn on my favorit music and clean and dance and sing (poor neighbors :P)- and I actually enjoy it!

  31. I love the sunflower butter and all the chocolate covered things and the prepared food area if I’m lazy. The peanut butter filled pretzels are addicting!

  32. Miss TJ’s sooooooo much!!! That’s definitely one of the things I miss most about SoCal. Oy, I need to get on board with more social media… soon. Good luck with your official move tomorrow!

  33. hey welcome home! i am obsessed with instagram, i’m ‘misathemeb’ on it :)

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  35. First thing I do is laundry!

  36. I’d get some sovereign silver and sun butter!

  37. When I return home from a vacation, the first things that I do are open mail, stock up on groceries, and get together with friends!

  38. I feel we are so alike!! I would do the exact same things when returning from a trip. Also, I do the dishes immediately after dinner and also I would unpack the groceries I have purchased straight away!

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