Thursday, December 31, 2015

Day 365 - FINAL OFFICIAL DAY and review of Blason de Bourgogne Brut Reserve Crement de Bourgogne Burgundy

THIS IS IT!!  I can seriously say, I DID IT.  365 days.  1 product EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.  A whole year!  Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!

Let’s look at a few stats:

·         I took at least 1,850 photos for this project. I say “at least” because I do not have an exact count.  I tried to keep them organized in a folder but sometimes life just got too out of control, so some are thrown about in other places on my laptop.  Many of them were featured in the blog, some were total duds and never saw the light of day, until now…  J

Florida Lager - scary in the store for some reason, but never reviewed...

"Scary Clown" wine - never reviewed

English Breakfast Tea - never reviewed

·         Each entry took an average of 45 – 50 minutes to write (I think).  If we add all of those together, I spent around 304 hours this year writing this blog.  That is ALMOST THIRTEEN FULL DAYS (if I worked round the clock) just to WRITE the blog (not counting taking photos, cooking, tasting…)
·         55 guest reviewers participated (counting each guest reviewer only once even if they tasted on more than one day)
Guest reviewer Elizabeth
·         Of the 55 guest reviewers, at least 8 of them were complete strangers before I asked them to participate  J
·         One review was in ASL see it here
·         I reviewed 29 wines (that is almost a full month of wine!) (30 wines if you count today's review!!)
Wine is Fine
·         One review was via Skype see it here
·         35 products got coveted 5 star reviews!
·         Only 2 products got 0 star reviews – Cranberry Juice (here) and Pumpkin Scones (here )
Poopy Pumpkin Scones
·         The blog keeps a running tally of the 10 most popular posts.  I am proud that as of the moment I am writing that list is really varied!  It contains 1 pasta, 1 fish, 3 toiletry items, 1 snack food, 3 wines, and one chocolate!!  The bottom 1 or 2 entries change frequently.
·         The entry with the most views BY FAR is the one about Head to Toe Moisturizing Balm.  It sucked as a product (1.5 stars) but people must really like that review cuz it has 1,843 views.  J  You can see it here:  here.
For some reason this review is super popular
·         We visited 24 Trader Joe’s stores this year
OMAHA Trader Joe's
·         We visited Trader Joe’s stores in 11 states (plus one District) this year
·         Of all of those visits, only one store (Clarendon, VA) and TJ’s corporate replied to letter I sent to each one (except Jacksonville Beach – your letter is coming)
·         I met one reader in person this year – Ttrockwood, in Chelsea, NYC (see her here)
·         I did reusable bag and honey exchanges with 2 other readers this year (a 3rd was tentatively scheduled but cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control).

A reader SENT me these!!!  So nice!!!
·         I gave away around 120 business cards for the blog (I am not a great marketer…).
·         One review featured a video of an original song about bacon
  • And final stat - as of this morning, the blog has surpassed 75,000 total hits!!!
And now, with n further ado, drum roll please…  May I present, with a couple of tears, the FINAL REVIEW for this year long Trader Joe’s 365 review project!!!

I decided to close out this amazing project with a bang - well, with a BUBBLY!!!  We went to Trader Joe's to get a champagne to have a double celebration:  making it through the year of reviews, and NEW YEAR’S EVE!! 

David making his fancy pants hoity toity face with our "champagne" purchase
Only, we ran into a slight glitch...  The blog technically finishes TODAY, December 31, 2015, and New Year’s doesn't really happen until MIDNIGHT, making it January 1, 2016...  I couldn't wait until midnight to pop open the bubbly to review, because then I would have missed a day on the blog!

So we did the only sensible thing - WE MOVED NEW YEAR'S UP A NIGHT!  Yes siree, we celebrated New Year’s (and the blog) last night!!  (Of course we will celebrate AGAIN tonight, but for you, gentle reader, we will sacrifice and celebrate twice...) 

BREAK OUT THE BUBBLY - it's faux New Year's Eve!!
The "champagne" we chose has to have quotation marks around it, because in actuality it is a sparkling wine and not a champagne (which can only come from a specific region in France).  But hey, champagne without quotation marks was out of our budget, and maybe it is out of yours too, so we got this sparkling wine which I shall refer to as "champagne".  

After a day at the beach and an evening of putting together an Ikea Stuva (see here - who says it is just for a kid's bedroom? It screams "kitchen storage unit" to me!!) we busted out the "champagne" (Blason de Bourgogne Brut Reserve Crement de Bourgogne Burgundy) with our friend Kathy. 

Beach kindness - David "saving" a jelly fish/man o' war (he was a tiny bit alive but still floated back to the sand.
RIP little fella)

Wheee - THE BEACH!!!!

David feeding his buddies

Here is what we all thought:

Kathy - "This is light and refreshing.  It is quite nice.  I don't really know much about champagne, so I can't compare it.  So I am not comparing it to anything else, I am just taking it on its own face value.  I would give it a 4.5."

Nothing says fancy like plastic flutes.
David - "I like this better than many fancy champagnes that I have drunk.  (Editor’s note:  I think David must have drunk fancy champagnes in a former life before he was reincarnated as himself, cuz I have been hanging out with him for quite a few years now and “fancy champagnes” are not normally on his list of drinks…)   I think it is tasty in the sense that it is, as my wife says when she is referring to me, FRUITY!  And it has a lot of taste and it tastes like WINE, which is better than CHAMPAGNE, which usually to me just tastes like bubbles and effervescence, which I am sure is what it is supposed to do, but I like WINE.  So there ya go.  I will give this a 4.75."

The fancier the people are, the higher the pinky is raised.  Proven fact.  :)
Me – I like champagne.  I don’t normally have it often, and now I realize that probably what I have drunk before at places that tell me they are serving me champagne is really “champagne” (sparkling wine like this is).   I mean, if they just put it in a fancy glass and tell you it is champagne you go with it, right? 

I like this TJ’s “champagne” better than many champagnes or “champagnes” I have been served in the past because this seems lighter, fruitier, and not soooo dry.  Sometimes champagne/”champagne” has a weird thing where you are more thirsty after you drink it than before you drank it!  It is just so dryyyyy.  But this one doesn’t feel like that, and I enjoyed it. 

This “champagne” was a nice celebratory way to ring in the “New Year”.  I GIVE IT A 5.  (But I have to admit that the 5 is as much (perhaps more even more so) for the completion of this project as it is for the taste of this particular drink. 

After hearing my rating of a 5, David changed his to a 5, too! And after hearing David raise HIS score, Kathy raised HERS, too.  J  So in the end it was unanimous – A FIVE FOR THE “CHAMPAGNE” AND A FIVE FOR THE BLOG!!!  J


Price – $9.99
Rating - 5

Thank you again for reading this year.  I will post infrequent reviews from this point forward, probably mostly TJ’s products that we find that we adore or make us gag.  J

But I would love to keep in contact with you and perhaps inspire you to spread some kindness with my NEW PROJECT – Kindness Activist.  Find it here:

·         Blog –
·         Facebook – Kindness Activist
·         Email –
·         Twitter – @kindactivist, Kindness Activist, pw Kindness Activist 1

See you on the new kindness blog.  And in the meantime, keep shopping at Trader Joe’s!!!!  (And if you happen to see David and I shopping at a TJ’s, pleeeeease come over and say hi!!)

New year, new project :)


  1. Thanks for doing such an entertaining blog. Your reviews were almost always more fun to read than any of the other TJ's blogs--mine included! I'm sad that I found it so late in the year, and even sadder that you won't be continuing on a regular basis. But I do understand the time and work involved doing this EVERY DAY. And even with my occasionally Grinch-like heart, it's hard to complain about shifting your focus to a subject like *kindness*. I hope it brings you, your readers, and those to whom your kindness is extended as much joy as this project did.

    Since Nina moved to Asheville from D.C., I think there's a decent chance we'll take a trip to her old stomping grounds sometime next year. If we do, we'll make sure to meet up with you and David.

    1. I hope you and Nina DO come to DC!! That would be fun! I could take you to our favorite Trader Joe's (and cook you a TJ's dinner!). :) I am glad we got to "meet" (albeit virtually) and thanks for reading this year! Make sure to send me any kindness you do, witness, or receive!!! Seriously, it would be fun to take our TJ's connection over to the kindness side! Hugs.
      - Susan (send the kindnesses to me at )

  2. Congratulations! You not only finished but did so with style. Your reviews were so entertaining and creative. Thanks. While I will miss your daily reviews I am sure I will return to re-read some of my favorites. See you on the flip side and here's to KINDNESS.

    1. I will miss you, too!!! It has been 3 days with no reviews and I must say, it is difficult not to write them.
      But let's toast to KINDNESS! (and to 2016)

  3. What an amazing year!! I'm so sad this blog is winding down but i know you'll be back here :)) great way to celebrate with the bubbly!

    1. Bubbly is a good way to celebrate anything, yeah?
      "Mammogram results are in, they are CLEAR! Bust out the bubbly!"
      "We caught a huge trout! Bust out the bubbly!"
      "Kid got an A in his History class! Bust out the bubbly!!"
      We still have a bottle of Lambrusco to open that we bought at your suggestion :).

  4. Thank you ever so much for the time and energy you invested in giving us all a smile and a window into your world. Peace and blessings, and lots of kindness!

    1. You are very welcome Molly. The pleasure was mine. I loved it. Peace, blessings, and KINDNESS to you, too!