Archives for July 2016

monday musings |7.19.16|

Another Monday – wasn’t it just Friday? All those in favor of eternal three-day weekends raise your hand. *raises*

It’s been a busy Monday for both of us – E is jetting off to NYC for work and I’m working on lots of 2017 planning whilst trying to prepare for a big blogger conference in less than 20 days. Eek!

Even amongst the chaos, I know myself well enough to know I can’t resist my early access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I signed up for a Nordstrom debit card long ago and although I never spend enough to get the rewards ($20 for spending $2,000…LOL), I do love that it gives me early access to shop their exclusive sales.

Now, in keeping with my month of saving, I’m trying not to buy anything “frivolous” (AKA anything other than food) for the rest of the month, but that doesn’t mean you guys can’t…right? Here are my favorite picks from the #nsale, going on July 22 through August 8 (card-holders can shop today through the 21st):

nsale pics

Anything you’ve seen that you’re loving so far? Share with us (but make me promise I won’t buy anything)!

xx, H+R

meal subscription services: blue apron

Chances are, if you’ve been around the internet in the past year, you’ve probably been inundated with ads for easy meal planning services: “6 meals for $20!” “Farm fresh meals without the hassle of shopping!” “Get your first box ON US!”…you know the deal. I can wholeheartedly admit that I’m the perfect candidate for these meal boxes.

If you’ve been thinking about trying Blue Apron, Plated, Greenchef or the like, consider these questions:

  1. Do you hate never having enough time to cook great meals?
  2. Do you loathe going to the grocery store?
  3. Do you want to learn to make new things?

If you answered yes to these questions, congrats: I think you’d love meal subscription and should definitely try it out!

I’ve experimented with a few, but my favorite has consistently been Blue Apron for a few reasons: the price point fits well into what I can reasonably justify for a week’s worth of meals, the meals are well thought-out and teach me new things and the website/app are super easy to use.

Blue Apron 2 Blue Apron 1

Pricing:

Blue Apron’s cost comes to $60/week for the 2-person plan – 3 meals, 2 servings apiece each week. That comes out to $10 a meal. Now, I know what you’re thinking: I could just go to the grocery store and make something in the crock pot for less! Yes – I won’t argue against that. However, if you’re comparing it to going out to eat, which we do a fair bit on the weekends, then it’s definitely saving some cash.

Meals:

The real pro for me with these meals is that I’m learning to make new things. I’ve made everything from chicken khao soi soup to black garlic ramen to spicy hoisin turkey meatballs. I would consider myself an average cook, but definitely steer away from the adventurous side – until now! One of my 2016 goals was to learn to cook more fish and Blue Apron is definitely helping me meet that. I’d suggest it for someone looking to expand their horizons – but that also likes to cook. There is a fair amount of prep involved, so if you’re not looking to spend time in the kitchen, a pre-prepared option like Freshly may be better for you.

Website/app:

The membership is super easy to understand on Blue Apron’s website and accompanying smartphone app. You’re not left wondering if you’re going to get charged for certain weeks or when your delivery will arrive – it’s all laid out on a neat calendar for you so you can plan ahead of time. There’s no commitment, either – I usually only do one box a month and it’s totally fine.

What to expect:

So what exactly does it entail when you get a box? For starters, I get the box delivered to work – that way, I don’t have to worry about getting it from my leasing office before they close for the night. There are a bunch of ice packs inside, so it’ll stay cool all day at your doorstep, but I always err on the side of getting it refrigerated as soon as possible! Inside, you’ll find ingredients for all three recipes, as well as three bags of “knick knacks” – the smaller things like garlic and seasonings that you’ll need for your meals. They’re labeled per recipe. You’ll also find the recipe cards, but you can also find the recipes online – I usually pull them up via my iPad app!

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The ingredients that I’ve received have all been pretty high quality – I know some people have issues, but I can’t say I’ve ever gotten anything like that. The meats are put in extra ice in the bottom for freshness.

As far as the recipes go, they’re always easy to follow. Most begin by chopping up the fresh ingredients, followed by cooking the meat or creating a broth then adding the veggies or other fresh ingredients. Like I said, the biggest advantage I gain from these boxes is learning to cook new things like fish or soups with Asian flare. They also make for great date nights without having to plan too much! 🙂

A few of my favorite meals are below – the app even contains an overlay you can use to put the recipe name on, which is helpful for those of us who are all about #doingitfortheinsta.

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If any of you have ever tried Blue Apron, what do you think? If you’re interested in trying it, we’re giving away a full box worth of meals (three meals, two servings apiece) to one reader! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter and let us know your thoughts! (Giveaway is open to new Blue Apron customers only.)

xo, H+R

P.S. This post is in no way sponsored by Blue Apron. I just legit love them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

monday musings |7.11.16| (+ our blogiversary!)

Happy 7/11, everyone! Hope you’re enjoying your free Slurpees if you’re lucky enough to live in a state with 7/11s – sigh, Georgia.

muc3yv

Today is a very *special* Monday Musings because our little blog here has survived another year out in the blogosphere – we’re two years old! It’s been a long journey with lots of post edits, gchats and tweets in between, but we love getting to share little pieces of our lives with you guys (and have some great memories to look back on).

In my opinion, the best way to grow as a blogger is to familiarize yourself with others in the blogging community who you can relate to and who inspire you. This week, we’ve chosen a few links from some of our favorite blogs that we read every week – thanks for producing some of our favorite reads!

monday musings blog photo 7/11

The 13 Best Hotel Pools in the World

We’re starting off with this today because 1. I can’t with Monday and 2. would rather be at a pool than at my desk. These all look absolutely incredible – and one is even in E’s hometown! Looks like we’re checking out The Standard next time I’m in town!

To Blend or To Juice?

I’ve been trying to up my blending game lately – taking lots of tips from E and her awesome Vitamixing – but never quite understood the benefits to blending vs. juicing and vice versa. Because there’s no fiber left from juicing, the nutrients are absorbed right into the body – who knew? This article has some goods tips on how to know which one is right for you that day.

DIY Blanket Ladder Plans

Let me preface this by saying I am the FURTHEST thing from a DIY-er. I do a ton of work with DIY bloggers through my job, though, so I’m always checking out their neat projects and wishing I could make them for myself. I’ve always wished I had a pretty blanket rack, the likes of which we’ve all seen adorned in the ads for $300 Anthro blankets, but could never justify spending a bunch of money on one. In comes these project plans from Cherished Bliss and I think I’m finally ready to try my hand at DIYing this weekend…I’ll let you guys know how it goes!

What Not to Wear When It’s Super Hot Out

Does this even need an intro? Here in Atlanta we’re all experiencing some major heat waves. With so many fun festivals and outdoor events coming up, we can’t be kept inside, so these tips are great to follow. One of my new summer favorites is this sleeveless knit swing dress from Old Navy – perfect for pairing with a long necklace + cute sneakers.

Reading List: Lauren Conrad’s Top 10 Summer Books 

Our book club is one of the things I’m most proud of in my post-college days – we’ve successfully gotten through (about) a book a month and love getting to spend time together with our favorite girls. We’re always looking for new suggestions to read, though, so LC.com’s article comes at a perfect time! #1 on the list, The Girls, is our July book. I keep seeing it everywhere, so I’m hoping to discover a gem when I dive in. Anyone read it yet?

Thanks for sticking with us over the past two years, real friends + internet friends alike. Cheers to the next year to come!

xo, H+R