Posts Tagged ‘food’

My Week(342) in iPhone Photos

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

We have a lot of stuff going on over the next few weeks, which is good, because counting down to our Disney trip is making time pass SO SLOWLY. I’m terrible at secrets and I’m pretty sure I’m going to accidentally tell the kids sooner than I meant to. I’m still trying to plan how and when exactly we’ll surprise them, but because we had some unexpected reactions to rides at the amusement park on Sunday (Evan hated all the roller coasters and had to be coaxed onto even small rides) I think a few days of watching Disney vacation videos and YouTube ride-throughs will be a good idea.

Sunday:

Happy Mother’s Day to me!

Family Target trip

I’m so well loved

Monday:

Re-entry into real life is hard

Real life is hard for toddlers too

A good summer sunset

Tuesday:

Front porch life

Brother friends at the library

Evening walk

Wednesday:

Can’t keep a kid out of a fountain

Downtown New London is pretty

No biggie, my sister’s wedding is just in a magazine

  Thursday:

Monster attack

Robot vacuum tried to eat the baby

Cosmic Kids Yoga is their new favorite way to end the day

Friday:

Aquarium date with some penguins

Friday night we had the aquarium all to ourselves

Eating french fries in a beer garden

Saturday:

We’re working on moving him to the crib with mixed results

Linc and I invented carrot cheesecake bars and they were delicious

We always play guys vs girls and for the FIRST TIME EVER the girls won both times

Linc has been napping for THREE HOURS and I’m almost caught up on Call the Midwife so even though I slept sitting up in a chair all night today is pretty good. Plus I have a whole fridge full of meal delivery dinners so I don’t have to stress about what I’m making tonight. Now if only the baby will let me eat something without holding him I’ll be a happy person.

Related posts:

Caroline: 3 Years Old
My Week(219) in iPhone Photos
My Week(311) in iPhone Photos

My Week(341) in iPhone Photos

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

There is an awful lot of my face in this week’s pictures, because it turns out when I am without my children I have a lot more time to put on make-up, do my hair, generally relax and enjoy myself. I also took a LOT of photos of things I ate, because food made my someone else is very exciting for moms.

Sunday:

I went to the spa for a facial like I’m some sort of fancy celebrity

And then I went to lunch with these weirdos

This is one of my favorite views

Monday:

Packing

Watching Animaniacs “for the kids”

Me: Don’t shine that in my eyes. Linc: OK *shines it in his eyes*

Tuesday:

Mocha mint whatever. It’s delicious.

Not real life: Kia arrives to take me to dinner because I’m in the right place at the right time.

I ate/drank like 75% of the things in this photo all by myself

Wednesday:

Palm trees…swimming pools…

Not real life: when Olive Garden leaves you wine and glasses in your room

My only photo of my insane rainbow caftan. It was PERFECT.

Thursday:

I’m wearing a romper in this photo. Tiffany looks like a model and I’m basically a toddler.

I have known Kim on the internet since before I even HAD a blog.

Not real life: Hair stylists and champagne

Friday:

I’m not stealing all the cheese I’m just taking a picture. And then stealing all the cheese.

Fancy hair again

They’re going to kill me for posting this photo

Saturday:

Diet coke for breakfast, as it should be

Blue skies

Exhausted sweaty face IN FIRST CLASS

I had such a good time at Mom 2.0 in Florida. Because this isn’t 2011 I won’t write a whole recap post, but I will say Mom 2 is still my favorite conference where I feel like I meet the best people and always feel like I belong. The scary “omg she’s so famous”-ness I felt at other conferences just didn’t exist. I don’t know if I’ll make it to 2018 in California but if I don’t I will spend that week crying under the covers because I miss my people so much.

The good news is now we are officially LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY from our family Disney trip and I can freak out in earnest. I’ll have everyone 100% packed by next week. The kids are going to be like “Mom, why can’t I find any underwear or shorts?”

Related posts:

Caroline's Birth Day
Steppin' Out 2 Ways
Type-A Parent Conference - Atlanta 2013

My Week(340) in iPhone Photos

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Not only am I going out of town away from my children tomorrow for the first time in 3 years, I got ALL the self-care stuff done this week. I got my hair cut and colored, I got a facial and spent some time at the spa relaxing, and I got a gel manicure and a pedicure. So for the next four days I am totally prepared to look like a fully functional, stylish adult who doesn’t go a year between haircuts and wears pajamas to the bus stop. Let’s just hope I meet all new people and not anyone who reads here regularly and already knows I’m a mess.

Sunday:

Honestly I have this on my Timehop from EVERY year

One of these kids isn’t mine

Very fancy dessert

Monday:

EYELASHES

SO MANY NAPS

I am such an amazing fashion blogger

Tuesday:

He thinks it’s hilarious that he’s outside with no shirt

Linc, did you eat all Finn’s dried strawberries? “No”

Dinner assistant

Wednesday:

Mini-me

Tree full of vultures

Hey, Snuggles

Thursday:

May the 4th Be With You

I took these guys bra shopping. They were remarkably patient.

Yoga time

Friday:

Friday vibes

Linc hated the shower until this exact moment, now he likes it

Saturday:

I love this corner

Linc loves chips and salsa

Finn HATES hospital bracelets

The hospital trip was because Finn was super grumpy and warm and when I took his temp it was 104.9, higher than I am comfortable ignoring, which is what I usually do with fevers. So I called the after-hours number and the doctor on call told me she’d feel better if I took him to the ER to make sure there wasn’t anything seriously wrong. They couldn’t find anything. He seemed fine, except that it was midnight so he was really tired. But the diagnosis was basically “you have a super cute baby, take him home and get some sleep”. So we did. And he’s been mostly ok since, except that he’s still got a low grade fever and hates sleeping.

Send up lots of good thoughts and prayers that he cheers up and doesn’t have a fever at all this week while E is solo-parenting!

Related posts:

Wordless Wednesday: Caroline Eats A Granola Bar Edition
My Week(189) in iPhone Photos
My Week(209) in iPhone Photos

My Week(335) in iPhone Photos

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

I had absolutely no idea I was three weeks behind until I tried to find photos from last week. I guess that means spring is making time go by faster, which is good, because this winter was approximately 746 months long.

Sunday:

I bought GIANT yarn because it would be fast, but I still haven’t finished

Gnocci with garlic bread from one of the boxes

 

Last minute book report finishing

 Monday:

Happy baby

Me: Evan, are you ok with Linc sleeping on you? Evan: Thumbs up.

Hurricane Lincoln

Tuesday:

Letting the toddler get his own food so I can watch Jill’s Tuesday playdate

Sweetheart

Too cool for my filters

Wednesday:

Home Depot Helpers

Doing homework in the sunbeams

Evan was not interested in me today

Thursday:

He was so excited to be “uppa”

Mid-afternoon toddler crash

I don’t know why they’re yelling

Friday:

Linc’s chores include letting the dog in and dumping all his food on the floor

Tired boy

In case she forgets her name

Saturday:

Chubby baby arms

These tiny beads are a pain but they keep the kids super busy

SEIZE THE DAY

I think I lost a week because of spring break. It was a black hole of time, between my parents visiting and E’s work schedule changing and having all four kids to watch full time. It has made it very clear that my goal for the summer should be to make sure at least one kid is signed up for an activity every week. So far we have two Seaport camps, town day camp and VBS. Maybe I should look into farm camp for my horse and chicken obsessed daughter.

Related posts:

Great Expectations
Welcome to the World Cadence!
My Week(291) in iPhone Photos

Meal Delivery Showdown: HelloFresh vs Blue Apron

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, my love for meal delivery services is well documented. Although there are a lot to choose from and several I’m tempted to try, HelloFresh vs Blue Apron seems to be the most common comparison and most popular choices. I’m currently subscribed to both services, and have been using them for several months so I feel like I’ve gotten a pretty good sample size to make recommendations.

hellofresh vs blue apron

First, I’ll do a quick overview of how it works and what it costs. Both services ship food to your house in big cardboard boxes lined with insulation with fresh ingredients on top and meats in the bottom under ice packs. The system works well. My meat has always arrived sufficiently cold with the ice packs still fully frozen. If something leaks, it’s contained in the insulated bag/liner and doesn’t get on the cardboard box. None of my boxes have ever been damaged. HelloFresh boxes each meal’s non-meat ingredients in their own smaller box, while Blue Apron has all the ingredients together. At first I really preferred the separate boxes system, but it means you need to either refrigerate the whole box or take out things like sour cream that need to go in the fridge. There is quite a bit of packaging involved in sending food this way, but both companies encourage recycling and send things like sauces and oils in plastic or glass bottles or jars that make it easy.

Cost Breakdown

I’m currently subscribed to the following:

HelloFresh: Classic meal plan for 4, 3 meals a week, $119.88 (breakdown: $9,99/meal)
If you do the same number of meals in the family plan vs the classic plan, it’s $8.74/meal

The ACTUAL charge that shows on my credit card is $129/week, because of taxes I guess (it’s in their small print, but not easy to find).

Blue Apron: Family plan for 4 people, 2 meals a week, $69.92 (breakdown: $8.74/meal)
Family plan is also available with 3 meals a week, but the cost breakdown is the same

The ACTUAL charge that shows on my credit card is $69.92, so Blue Apron wins for transparency.

I know that breakdown makes it sound like I’m paying $200/week for meals, but because of our schedule and their menus, I skip more weeks than I receive. They both make that VERY easy to do, since you can read the menus and make changes from their phone apps as well as the computer. This was one of my big concerns before I signed up; there are weeks where E is gone and it doesn’t make sense to cook nice meals for just me and the kids when they prefer cereal and also because E can be pretty picky. Skipping is why I am still signed up for both. My HelloFresh comes on Mondays and my BlueApron comes Fridays (but those are flexible, you can choose most days).

A few more things: HelloFresh’s recipes seem to have less prep in general (less chopping and peeling and cutting) even though they have about the same average number of ingredients. Blue Apron seems to be slightly fancier, even though I have the “family” plan.

I haven’t had any problems with my Blue Apron boxes or deliveries, which means I haven’t had to deal with their customer service yet. I have had to both call and email HelloFresh (a box got lost, a box was late, ingredients were missing, once a cucumber was squishy) and their customer service is GREAT. They offered me either partial credit or a whole free box immediately to resolve issues. After my late box showed up I emailed them to tell them I got it and they told me I could keep the full credit as an apology.

HelloFresh assumes you already have more things (like butter) in your kitchen, which Blue Apron sends almost everything. Both offer vegetarian plans. Blue Apron has an option to exclude specific proteins from your plan (lamb, fish, beef, etc) but you can avoid specific ingredients easily by customizing your menus each week, either from the app or online. My plans show 5-6 different options, and HelloFresh just started including one breakfast option, which is cool either for breakfast or as breakfast-for-dinner. Both have “farm-fresh” ingredients but Blue Apron seems to make a bigger deal about sustainability, local-ness, and working with small family farmers.

HelloFresh assumes you already have more things (like butter) in your kitchen, which Blue Apron sends almost everything. Both offer vegetarian plans. Blue Apron has an option to exclude specific proteins from your plan (lamb, fish, beef, etc) but you can avoid specific ingredients easily by customizing your menus each week, either from the app or online. My plans show 5-6 different options, and HelloFresh just started including one breakfast option, which is cool either for breakfast or as breakfast-for-dinner. Both have “farm-fresh” ingredients but Blue Apron seems to make a bigger deal about sustainability, local-ness, and working with small family farmers.

Recipe Comparison

HelloFresh: Sizzling Beef Stir-fry with Bok Choy over Jasmine Rice

hellofresh vs blue apron

Prepped:

hellofresh vs blue apron

What the kids got on their plates:

We are technically a family of 6, but Finn doesn’t really eat human food yet and my children don’t eat a grown-up sized portion of anything yet, so the 4 person boxes have always been plenty of food. The only time it becomes a problem is if we get something like burgers or sandwiches which only have 4 rolls/buns to feed 5 people.

hellofresh vs blue apron

This was really good, although the rice was a little boring because there wasn’t much of a sauce. It was very gingery, which we like.

Blue Apron: Crispy Catfish & Creamy Lemon-Caper Sauce with Broccoli & Farro Salad

hellofresh vs blue apron

Prepped:

hellofresh vs blue apron

hellofresh vs blue apron

What the kids got on their plates:

hellofresh vs blue apron

Caroline ate it. Evan and Linc tried it.

hellofresh vs blue apron

I really love capers and lemon, so I thought it was delicious.  I did get one bone in my fish, but that’s not super unusual in catfish.

My Recommendation

I like them both. If I had to pick just one forever, I would go with HelloFresh just because the recipes seem to be slightly less work and I end up with fewer pots/pans/dishes. They offer pasta more often (in my experience) than Blue Apron and my family really loves pasta.  I also think their portions are slightly bigger. But those are small, picky things, not make-or-break problems. If you don’t have any picky eaters in your family and enjoy time spent cooking as a joint activity with your partner, you might like the Blue Apron experience a little more.  I plan to continue paying real dollars for both services until our living situation changes and the Navy steals my husband for an extended period of time. I’m looking forward to more summer seasonal ingredients in the next few months and will report back with an update about who offers me a balsamic salad with strawberries first.

If you sign up for Hello Fresh using my link, you get $40 off your first box and I earn a credit. Blue Apron does their affiliate marketing through a program I’m too lazy to sign up for, but you can get cashback if you use Ebates when you sign up and they’re always offering $30-$40 off your first box or even first box free if you Google for a code.

Non-disclosure disclosure: I don’t have a relationship with either brand, although I think when my brother-in-law finishes school he’s going to go work for the wine division at Blue Apron. I definitely would accept some free wine for review.

Related posts:

No
Re-Enlistment Day
My Week(318) in iPhone Photos
Get Adobe Flash player