Be The Change

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi

Be The Change That You Wish To See In The World - Simple Sojourns

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Taste of ALDI

“This post was sponsored by ALDI as part of Influencer Activation for Influence Central.”

David and I do most of our shopping at local organic markets. It’s what best fits our vegan lifestyle. We’ve made the choice to eat fresh, natural and organic foods and not ‘fast food.’ We make as many of our meals as possible from scratch with the best ingredients. This week we were introduced to ALDI. The discount supermarket just opened more than 20 new locations in Southern California. I’ll admit I was skeptical about finding organic foods and fresh organic produce at a ‘discount market.’ But I was very pleasantly surprised.

Taste of ALDI - Simple Sojourns

The produce is gorgeous! We eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and ALDI selections did not disappoint. We were able to buy great produce, and most of it organic, for much less than we’d pay elsewhere. And a great deal of it was grown locally.

Aldi Produce - Simple Sojourns

See those oranges? I love fresh oranges. They make my mouth happy! You’re also looking at a few of our favorite vegetables. We steam them, roast them, and sometimes we simply sprinkle them raw on a salad. 

Fresh Produce - Simple Sojourns

What says ‘summer’ better than fresh strawberries? Add my favorite blueberries and I’m in heaven on earth!

ALDI has no shortage of fresh beautiful produce. Fact is, they’re a fully stocked supermarket with seasonal items thrown in to make it complete. Our entire shopping experience was a delight. And it all starts when you get out of your car.

You won’t find a parking lot littered with market baskets. ALDI has created a way to keep the baskets in place at the door, all lined up, just waiting for the next customer. You see … it takes a quarter to get a basket. Sound out of the ordinary? It is. But after shopping, when you return your empty basket to it’s place, you get your quarter back. Just like that. (Or you can do a twenty-five cent favor to the next customer and give them your basket.) 

Each Aldi employee we encountered was friendly and seemed truly happy to welcome us. All were eager to see if we were finding what we wanted and many shared what their favorite products were. They know what they’re talking about too! As part of they’re training experience, they’re encouraged to taste ALDI products so they’ll know first hand how to help customers and answer any questions. 

SimplyNature - Simple Sojourns

We found so many of our favorite organic products, right down to the condiments. SimplyNature is the ALDI organic line of foods. Actually, 90% of the products are ALDI labels. As vegans, we enjoy a variety of beans in our diet. I’m not one to talk about price/cost, BUT … we usually pay upwards of $3.00 or more for a can of organic beans. The SimplyNature organic beans were only 89 cents each. No kidding! That’s a nice savings on each can. And the Dijon Mustard? A buck twenty-nine. Yup! And I’m planning on a fresh tomato sandwich using that mustard for lunch. 

ALDI SimplyNature - Simple Sojourns

We also use a variety of grains and legumes. Again, ALDI has it covered with their SimplyNature organic line. We’ll soon be sharing our hearty soup recipe on the blog using those split peas. Delicious I tell you!

liveGfree - Simple Sojourns

There were a lot of surprises for me with the ALDI shopping experience. On top of being vegan, I’m also gluten-free. Needless to say, grocery shopping isn’t always easy for me. But I was truly surprised with ALDI’s liveGfree line of products. I really didn’t think they’d carry any that suited my lifestyle. I was wrong. Way wrong.

Of course, you need not be vegan to enjoy ALDI. You’ll love their USDA Choice meats. (think summer barbecues!). And ALDI takes it one step further with their own NeverAny! meat products. They’re free from added antibiotics, hormones and animal by-products.

ALDI Double Guarantee - Simple Sojourns

ALDI stands behind their products with a Double Guarantee. What’s that, you ask? Well, if ever you’re not 100% satisfied with a purchase, you simply return it to the store and they will replace it AND refund you’re money. You can’t beat that!

I like a company that is on social media. It shows me that they want to, and will interact with their customers. ALDI is one of those companies. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To keep up with their latest news, recipes, perks and oh so much more, check out the ALDI Blog. I think you’ll love their Chill Out popsicle recipes.

So … check out the ALDI market locator to see if there’s a store near you. I’m banking you’ll be as delighted as we were!

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Tuesday Giveaway Linky

Welcome to Tuesday Giveaway Linky with Simple Sojourns and A Frugal Friend. Link up your giveaways and find some to enter!

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Join us every Tuesday (giveaway linky will go live 6pm Pacific time Monday) and link up your current giveaways. Easy Peasy! Or if you love to enter giveaways, stop by every week to see what giveaways are listed. Join the party, it’s going to be fun! 

Our giveaway:

Monterey Aquarium Giveaway 200 Button

Monterey Bay Aquarium Tickets

A Frugal Friend’s giveaway:

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RaceTrac Sodapalooza: 5/26

  • Link directly to your blog giveaway, not your homepage.
  • Keep them family friendly.
  • Your link must be a blog giveaway – all non-blog giveaways and/or affiliate/spam sites will be deleted.

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Peace Begins With A Smile

Peace begins with a smile. 

Mother Teresa

Peace Begins with a Smile - Simple Sojourns

A Simple Sojourns Printable

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Grab Life by the Moments in Monterey County – Giveaway – Monterey Aquarium Tickets

A few months ago we took one of the road trips of all road trips. It was everything we hoped for and more. We drove up the California coastline to Monterey County. Monterey County offers everything from beautiful beaches, majestic cliffs, delightful sea creatures and magnificent redwood trees. We grabbed life by the moment and we made each and every moment of everyday memorable.

Monterey white full size

We spent 5 days and 4 nights in Monterey County enjoying ourselves all the while taking in the many sights. Historic Highway 1 is a beautiful drive with many rest stops and innumerable panoramic views. While road tripping we’re never in a hurry. This gives us ample opportunities to pull over and enjoy capturing the surrounding beauty. 

Carmel Beach - Simple Sojourns copy

The beaches are gorgeous with a lot of uniqueness thrown in. Take Carmel Beach for example: Rated “One of America’s Top Beach Towns,” Carmel Beach is open 365 days a year and welcomes dogs. And unleashed no less! It’s a kick to watch the dogs race around on the sand and in the water. But that’s not all! Monterey County also offers awesome hiking trails, whale watching, surfing, fishing and golfing, along with the Monterey Mirror Maze, Monterey Zoo, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Pebble Beach’s 17-Mile Drive. And that’s just the tip of the ice berg! 

Monterey County Pelican - Simple Sojourns

There seems to be something for everyone, from kayaking and Segway tours to the ghost tour trolley ride through Old Town Monterey. Cannery Row was right up our alley. But if you have a need for speed … check out Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Monterey County Dining - Simple Sojourns

Oh my yum! The restaurants are amazing! I’m gluten-free and vegan so finding something that both David and I enjoy isn’t always easy. But the varied genre of restaurants and menu items suited both our palates. During our stay in Carmel-By-The-Sea we were invited to a olive oil tasting tour. Perfect for us! While we’re not wine drinkers, there are walking and trolley wine tasting tours.

Monterey County Carmel Mission - Simple Sojourns

California history is everywhere in Monterey County. We spent hours exploring the gorgeous and historic Carmel Mission. It’s gorgeous! Our granddaughter’s 4th grade history curriculum covers all of the California Missions. We wished more than once that she could have been with us!

So … have you ever been to Monterey County in California? In case you’re wondering, right smack in downtown Monterey on Cannery Row you’ll find the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The world-famous aquarium houses thousands of fish, plants and animals, representing more than 600 species. It’s a delightful and educational activity for all. 

Monterey Bay Aquarium - Simple Sojourns

Giveaway!!

We’ve partnered with See Monterey (The official website for Monterey County) to giveaway 5 pairs of Monterey Bay Aquarium tickets. That’s a $79.50 value! All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win.

See Monterey will be giving away 5 pairs of tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium! And See Monterey will be selecting the top 5 comments from the participating blogs to determine the winner. Giveaway ends 6/6/16 and the Tickets will expire 7/31/16.

That’s it! Tell us what you love about Monterey County. See Monterey will choose their favorite inspiring and unique comments. Go ahead, give it a go! We want to hear what you love most about Monterey County!!

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Tuesday Giveaway Linky

Welcome to Tuesday Giveaway Linky with Simple Sojourns and A Frugal Friend. Link up your giveaways and find some to enter!

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Join us every Tuesday (giveaway linky will go live 6pm Pacific time Monday) and link up your current giveaways. Easy Peasy! Or if you love to enter giveaways, stop by every week to see what giveaways are listed. Join the party, it’s going to be fun! 

  • Link directly to your blog giveaway, not your homepage.
  • Keep them family friendly.
  • Your link must be a blog giveaway – all non-blog giveaways and/or affiliate/spam sites will be deleted.

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Write Your Own Story

Write your own story. 

Write your own story - Simple Sojourns

A Simple Sojourns Printable

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Tuesday Giveaway Linky

Welcome to Tuesday Giveaway Linky with Simple Sojourns and A Frugal Friend. Link up your giveaways and find some to enter!

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Carmel Beach – Carmel By The Sea

One of the many treasures along the coast of California is Carmel By-The-Sea. Snuggled along the shore of Carmel Bay is this extraordinary little town with a unique array of restaurants, hotels/inns, art galleries, and a seemingly endless number of shops of various kinds. Olive oil tasting as well as wine tasting are a favorite pastime. Only about one square mile in size, Carmel By-The-Sea has one of the most popular post offices we have ever had the pleasure of visiting. In this friendly town residents and business proprietors alike check in at the post office regularly. You see, there are no numerical addresses in Carmel By-The-Sea. Not a one. We stayed between 3rd & 4th Ave on San Carlos Street. That’s the location of the Hofsas House Boutique Inn. While there we had dinner at Basil Seasonal Dining, which is also on San Carlos, but between Ocean & 7th Ave. Not having a specific address may sound confusing, but it’s not. It’s a kick and we had so much fun exploring.

Carmel Beach - Simple Sojourns

With that said … at the end of Ocean Avenue in Carmel By-The-Sea is the iconic Carmel Beach City Park. Rated “One of America’s Top Beach Towns,” Carmel Beach is open 365 days a year and welcomes dogs. And unleashed, no less! 

Carmel Beach - Simple Sojourns copy

We sat for quite awhile observing several varieties of canines enjoying the surf and sand and running like the wind. It was a refreshing sight seeing them frolicking about, sometimes at full speed ahead. They seemingly paired up with two or more in a group, as if they were there for a meet and greet.

Carmel Beach - Simple Sojourns

The famous white sands are surrounded by beautiful blue water and lush greenery. Popular with visitors and locals alike, Carmel Beach offers volley ball on sand courts, parking and restroom facilities.  

Carmel Beach Landscape - Simple Sojourns

There are hiking paths for hikers, and of course waves for surfers. And it’s also a popular backdrop for weddings. Having grown up around Southern California beaches we were both very impressed with the beauty of Carmel Beach.

Carmel Beach City Park | Simple Sojourns
Carmel Beach Park - Simple Sojourns

Carmel Beach Tree - Simple Sojourns

Carmel Beach City Park - Simple Sojourns
Our experience:

Why: Road trip

When: March 2016

Who: Just the two of us

What: Carmel Beach City Park – Dog friendly beach

Where: Carmel By-The-Sea

Open For: 365 days a year

Vibe: Beachy keen!

Website:  Carmel Beach

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Tuesday Giveaway Linky

Welcome to Tuesday Giveaway Linky with Simple Sojourns and A Frugal Friend. Link up your giveaways and find some to enter!

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