It’s hard to go wrong at Trader Joe’s with so many solid and affordable options, but there is one mistake you could be making without even realizing it. If you’re not asking to try products before you buy them, you could end up wasting a lot of money on groceries in the long run. Yep, that’s right – Trader Joe’s has a “try before you buy” policy! In addition to its generous return policy, the store has a policy that allows customers to try just about anything that they’re unsure about buying. This includes snacks, produce, and ready-made foods like salads, sushi, and cheese.
I spoke to an employee at my local store and he confirmed that the only foods not included are raw or frozen foods (that require cooking) and alcohol (of course). This is not to say that you should be the annoying person who asks to try 20 things every time you shop there, but it means you should totally ask an employee to open up any new Trader Joe’s products you’re eyeing, like canned matcha tea or sweet sriracha bacon jerky. It’s not likely that your bill will be superhigh anyway, but this is another way to save money at Trader Joe’s, and honestly, it’s just another reason to love the store.
Volkswagen-the German automaker founded in 1937-is shaking up the camper and RV industry. Earlier in the year they debuted the I.D. Buzz, an autonomous, all-electric interpretation of the classic minibus that would go 270 miles on one charge. Now, they’ve announced the concept for an app-controlled California XXL camper that boasts a panoramic roof.
The sleek design takes RV comfort and combines it with adventure van perks, and auto experts say the California XXL is Volkswagen’s answer to converted Mercedes-Benz Sprinters, Ford Transits, and Ram Promasters. Like the regular California camper van-which isn’t sold in the U.S.-the XXL includes a bed, kitchen, and living area. But extras include a pop-up roof for 7.2 feet of head room, heated floors, and all-wheel drive.
The retractable bathroom expands from just under four square feet to eight square feet and functions as a wet room with a sink, shower, and toilet. In the kitchen, a large counter top provides ample workspace, and you still get normal RV amenities like a sink, gas stove, a fridge, and even an espresso machine. One notable design element is the x-shaped burners that raise up for cooking and then lower to create a flush countertop when not in use.
Another big difference is that the California XXL concept adds more space for a family; the high roof makes room for a two-kiddo sleeping loft about the front seats. Adults sleep in the rear on a 6.5 x 5.5-foot bed that can be both heated and cooled to maintain optimal sleeping temperatures. A digital projector-controlled by an app-above the bed lets you watch movies on the rear wall of the bathroom. The app also controls other onboard systems like lighting.
The best part just might be the panoramic roof that stretches almost the entire length of the camper and bathes the interior with plenty of natural light. Combined with the white panels, large windows, and the ambient lighting at night time, the California XXL is an airy retreat that appears much larger than other campers.
While the camper is still in the concept stages, it was on display at the Dsseldorf Caravan Salon in late August (check out some of the other cool RVs and campers from the show, here and here). There are no plans to bring the camper to market, and even if and when they do, there’s no guarantee that it will be sold in the United States.
But this sleek new Volkswagen camper provides plenty of innovation and there’s no doubt potential buyers would love that roof. Even if this VW camper never makes it to production, we’ll likely see at least some of these ideas incorporated into new vans in the future.
From the architect. The FSY house is located within a gated community on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, on a plot overlooking a small lagoon and a golf course. Designed for a couple that privileges the spaces of relaxation and reunion for when their children and grandchildren visit them.
At pedestrian level, the front facade seduces with a set of concrete planes that fuses with the large panels of the gate and main door clad in Neolith, and a passive parasol system of micro perforated sheets that filters and gives privacy to the openings. We get to the entrance door after walking on travertine steps that contrast with the intense foliage of the plants that surround the path. The exterior wall covered in travertine accompanies us to the interior. In front of this, a wall covered from floor to ceiling in lapacho wood hides the doors to the guest bathroom and spa.
The axis of circulation of the house is the large central space in double height. An exposed concrete wall, with a handmade cast, emerges from the reflection pool and disappears into the sky through the glazed roof. This meeting point of the house visually links all the rooms of the house. The reflection pool, coated in dark porfido, marks the bottom of the travertine ladder that floats on the water. Separated by a system of solid wooden jambs, the reflecting pool becomes the pool of the spa.
The spa, realized in dark tones and exposed concrete walls, creates an atmosphere of relaxation that invites to enjoy the indoor pool. The spa communicates to the outside through a large glazed pivot door, which allows access to the gallery that extends from the side to the back of the house. Overlooking the garden, a double living, and formal dining room takes shape. All set with minimal furniture of the highest quality. The travertine marble floor extends to the outside, blurring the boundary between the inside and the outside.
The kitchen and casual dining develops longitudinally to the ground and expands in the semi-covered barbecue separated from the main volume of the house. The quincho, like the rest of the house, was designed as a premier space. It stands out for its wooden ceiling that contrasts strongly with the volume of grill and kitchen in black slate. This space and infinity pool towards the lagoon form the space of relaxation for the guests of the house.
On the upper floor, to the front, we have three bedrooms en suite for guests. Each one with different dimensions to accommodate both a couple or a couple with children. To the back of the building, taking advantage of the best visuals, the main suite and office spread.
The office has a direct access from the main circulation. It develops in an L-shape, with a glazed roof sector that fills the place with light, to ensure good natural lighting throughout the day. In this room, the wooden floor is the negative of the exposed concrete ceiling, which copies the drawing of the wooden planks. The master suite consists of the sleeping space, dressing room, and bathroom. Each space was designed to be used independently, without disturbing other sectors.
In the last level, accessible only through the elevator, there is an atelier with access to the terrace. The 360 views are the inspiration for the use of the studio. A home designed to entertain the family and enjoy with company. Working with a finely dosed pallet of materials linking lapacho wood, travertine marble, exposed concrete, and details of black granite and black slate.
My kids are total sensory seekers, especially tactile sensory input. They are always touching anything they can get their hands on, particularly soft things. My older kiddo doesn’t like touching sticky things or slimy things, but she really likes anything soft. This slime recipe for soft and fluffy slime combines the best of traditional slime