My Dinners with Blue Apron [Review]

Monday, August 31, 2015

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I'm sure many of you have heard about those meal delivery services where you cook the meals and the company gives you all the ingredients. Well, I got to try out Blue Apron for a week and I wanted to tell you all about it! Blue Apron has different plans depending on the number of people you need to cook for. I got the 3 meal - 2 person plan. 

When the box arrived it was neatly packaged inside with the 3 recipes on top and information about eggplants, which is one of the main ingredients in one of the recipes.   In order to get the meals you like, you basically get to tell them which meats, etc. you do or don't like and if you have any allergies or sensitivities.  
My 3 recipes ended up being Spiced Meatballs, Stir-Fried Chicken, and Seared Salmon and Panzanella.
Some of the minor ingredients come in a little brown baggie marked with each recipe.  Each ingredient is labeled.   The produce is gorgeous and the meats were kept in a very cold section at the bottom of the shipping box.  

So for the first meal - Seared Salmon and Panzanella with Corn, Shishito Peppers, and Thai Basil.

The directions are pretty detailed with how to prepare the ingredients.  For the most at you can do it with basic cooking utensils and tools. 

FINISHED! This was by far my favorite meal! I love fish and I loved the taste of all the veggies!

Next up was Spiced Meatballs with Garlic Toasts & Summer Squash Salad.
This was a bit more challenging because I was really multi-tasking a lot and sometimes it's just nearly impossible to do everything perfectly all at the same time so I definitely had to enlist James' help!

And finally there was Stir-Fried Ginger Basil Chicken with Tinkerbell Peppers and Coconut Rice.

This one was super challenging so without James I likely would have burned the house down!

All in all the meals we got were pretty delicious but also very involved.   It took me longer than expected to prepare them but that could just be because I'm not used to cooking so much.  For instance, instead of making my own croutons, I'd probably just buy premade ones.

The portion size was accurate and it definitely filled and satisfied two mouths.   The only downside is the amount of clean up afterwards because of all the different knives and cutting boards and bowls I used.   But still it was a great experience.   Make sure you have the time to make these meals within a few days though because some of the ingredients may start go bad and lose their freshness.

And if you read this post to the end you are lucky because My first 50 readers will get 2 free meals with their first Blue Apron Box - redeem here.

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Pixie's Birthday Celebration, Dog Park Etiquette + A Giveaway!

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So  last week I posted about Grace's birthday celebration and this week is Pixie's!

I can't believe she is 10.  Of course we celebrated with Doggie Froyo which we do every year.  I also took her outside to play for a bit. We do plan to go to a dog park in the next few weeks. Speaking of dog parks - did you know there are a few rules that you should always keep in mind?

[1] Clean up - If your dog makes a mess make sure you have a baggie on hand to clean it up!

[2] Leave the puppies at home - If your puppy is under 4 months of age, it's best that you keep them at home.

[3] Pay attention - Stay off your phone or any other electronic devices and pay attention so you can make sure your dog isn't interrupting anyone else's good time.

[4] Learn commands - Make sure before you even take your dog to a park, they know some basic commads. It's important to keep your dog in line when out and about with other dogs and humans.
Training treats should always be clsoe by.  Speaking of that, Bil-Jac treats are great for teaching! Visit to find the best variety for you!

Pixie's special treats for her birthday were actually from Bil-Jac.  Bil-Jac Grain Free Dog Treats are yummy and nutritious and she loved the Chicken and Sweet Potato flavor!  They are great as a training reward or just to suprise her every once in a while!

And guess what! One lucky winner will get some Grain Free Dog Treats for their pooch!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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4 Ways to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Relationship this Fall

Friday, August 28, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #KYTrySomethingNew #CollectiveBias
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Fall is in the air which means that the kids are going back to school and the weather will start to get cooler.   That is the perfect equation for intimacy, romance, and focusing on a better relationship!  But it’s not so easy to get right back into the swing of things with your partner so I put together a few tips to help you embrace your romantic side and keep the spark alive!  Enjoy these date night ideas!
|1| Cook Dinner
Sure you can easily go out and order dinner at a restaurant or even call in a delivery order but taking the time to invest in your partner is very important.  So if that means buying ingredients and cooking a homemade meal then so be it.  Read the recipe, get all the necessary items, and carefully cook.  Make sure you have a nice table setting with nice plates and silverware so you guys can feel extra special and pampered together! Not only is this rewarding to your partner but also to yourself when you have a sense of accomplishment after you’ve created the meal.  Aside from being satisfying, eating a proper meal can help avoid any crankiness later.  I know when I’m hungry I get cranky, and I’m sure my boyfriend wants nothing to do with me so keeping a satisfied belly allows me to be on my best behavior and that’s always good for passion in a relationship.
|2| Watch A Movie
Going out to the movie theatre is nice but sometimes being at home is just that much more comfortable.  Find a nice comfy spot on the sofa, make some popcorn and have some wine, and settle in with blankets to keep cozy and warm and enjoy a movie while snuggling together.    Don’t let cell phones or anything else distract you. Enjoy the alone time with just the two of you!   Plus, snuggling releases happy chemicals in your brain and can help set the mood for later on.
|3| Go On A Walk
Sometimes it’s nice to just spend time alone in nature.  Go on a nature walk or a stroll around your neighborhood.  Focus on each other and talking about what’s been going in both of your lives lately.  Make jokes and laugh and don’t be afraid to show a little affection!  Since the weather should be getting cooler, a walk can be a nice way to not only keep active, but spend alone time with your partner and catch up despite the busy lives we all lead these days.
|4| Embrace Your Fun Side
Keep the phones and TV off and head into the bedroom.  Since you may feel a bit nervous at first try to get comfortable with K-Y® LOVE Sensuality Pleasure Gel or K-Y® LOVE Passion Pleasure Gel.  These K-Y® products are helping people embrace their intimate side by inspiring couples to grow together.  Intimacy is very crucial to a healthy relationship as it allows couples to express themselves in a deep way.  It’s all about keeping the passion alive through every season!  Passion can bring a couple even closer by helping them connect in a way that is shared only between the two of them.  And a nice way to ease back into your passionate side is by using a product like K-Y® LOVE Passion Pleasure Gel or K-Y® LOVE Sensuality Pleasure Gel.
You can find K-Y® LOVE Sensuality Pleasure Gel and K-Y® LOVE Passion Pleasure Gel at Walmart.

What ways are you going to warm up and keep the passion alive this Fall?

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Grace's Birthday Celebration!

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My babies are growing up! Make it stop! On Monday, Grace turned 8 and this coming Monday Pixie turns 10!   I want to cry and scream!   But I love my babies so I always do something special for their birthdays. 

Grace went out for some doggie ice cream like each dog does every year.  She loved it! It's nice to have some alone time with her since it's hard to do that at the house.

Another fun treat that everyone got to indulge in was Merrick Jerky Chip Treats from Chewy!

I love these because they are made in the USA and are oven baked.  They don't have any corn, wheat, or soy and they are a huge hit with my pups!   I also loved that they didn't have a stinky odor like most dog treats do! It was also nice because it helped distract the dogs so I could get a few things done in the meantime.

And a special special special snack for all of the babies was Freshpet Vital Raw Rolls.   They are now available at Petco and they are acctually different than other raw diets because they are ready to serve right from the fridge and are made with fresh fruits and veggies and they even have probiotics.  Probiotics are important because they grow and create an environment where pathogens can not survive so it makes for a longer shelf life and it helps support a healthy immune system. I loethat they is no thawing required and my babies loved all the recipes they tried.  This is so easy to serve them and it's really good for Rocky who is a finicky eater!

What do you do for your pets when it's their birthday? 

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Frizz Fighting 101 with VO5 + A Giveaway!

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I despise frizzy hair but I'm not alone because apparently, 80% of women suffer from frizzy hair.   So if you are like me then you are probably always looking for waysto fight it.  
You see, frizz is caused when the air's humidity and moisture gets into the cuticles on your head and causes hair to literally spring out of control. To help fight all that frizz, Alberto VO5 has created an easy and simple 3-step process with products under $5.

1x a week - Hot Oil Treatment ($4.79): Moisturize and condition hair before shampooing from roots to ends with VO5’s iconic Hot Oil Therapy treatment which helps restore shine, strength and silky softness. Use once a week.

3x a week - Smooth + Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner ($2.49 each): Formulated with a unique smoothing complex that helps manage unruly hair, use the shampoo and conditioner together three times a week for best results in helping eliminate frizz, pronto!

7x a week - Shine, Glow and Go Beauty Oil  ($4.99): Light, natural oil blend for both hair and body. This new innovative oil that’s mineral oil-free, quickly helps replenish dry hair and skin to help you feel soft, silky and look radiant. Apply once a day.


I loved the shampoo and conditioner from VO5.  It didn't leave my hair greasy at all and it really made a big difference in the humidity.  Their Hot Oil Therapy is such a nice way to pamper myself and treat my hair.

One winner will get to fight frizz with all the above products in this giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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How to Use blu e-Cigs

Thursday, August 27, 2015

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. Readers must be 18 years of age or older. All opinions are mine alone. #bluPLUS #CollectiveBias
It seems that lately a lot of friends and family members of mine are switching to e-cigs.   And if you don’t know what they are or how they work, it’s actually pretty simple.  Here is a tutorial I put together to show you how blu e-Cigs work. 
The blu Xpress Kit is very easy to use and comes with 2 Classic Tobacco blu Tanks which have 500+ puffs per tank.  It also comes with a rechargeable battery and a USB Charger.   The Rechargeable Kit comes with a wall charger, USB cord, 2 rechargeable batteries, a quick-charge capability in the pack for batteries, and 3 Classic Tobacco blu Tanks with more than twice the capacity of blu flavor cartridges.

Setting up and using your blu Xpress Kit is simple!  

1\\ Remove a storage tank from your kit and peel off the protective film.
2\\ Remove the silicone cap and the pull-tab.
3\\ Screw the tank onto the battery.
4\\ Your battery will have a partial charge but just screw on and plug it in to a USB port until the red light turns blue, letting you know it’s fully charged.
5\\ Screw the battery onto the tank and take a puff!  
Told you it was easy!

blu PLUS+ can be purchased here.  The blu website has several products with different strengths of nicotine and different flavors that are only found online.  Their website also features special discounts and sales that you can only get online.  And online orders include free shipping!  You can also take advantage of the Xpress Kit bundle offer that comes with a free pack of tanks.  It’s a $30 value for only $14.99 and is available while supplies last. 

I found the website so easy to use!  There’s a great selection of product and I love the amazing offers!
blu products include a 1-year warranty and the return process is handled through their website.   If you have a return it will get processed and shipped within 48 hours.  Talk about world-class customer service!   And did you know that blu e-cigs are based in Charlotte, NC?   Never be afraid to reach out and speak with their friendly helpful reps.  You can even chat live with customer service via the blu website!

There is even a blu Nation Rewards program where you can earn free stuff just by buying blu.  You can earn points without even purchasing anything as well just by reading articles and connecting your social media accounts.  And blu is very present on social media with giveaways and prizes.  Be sure to connect with them on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest

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How I Take Care of Myself Lately

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Lately I've been in a great place with my fitness and beauty routines.   For beauty - I am loving the products I use from Pura D'or.

Hair Loss Prevention Therapy Shampoo - This product is great because it adds volume and strengthens my hair and is loaded with vitamins for hair growth. I need my hair to keep growing long and strong so it's very important I use a product that stimulates growth.

Healing Conditioner - My poor hair is always so dry. I love this conditioner because there are no sulfates, parabens, or harmful chemicals.  It really helps my frizzy hair and leaves it smooth, shiny, and detangles.  This conditioner has coconut and vegetable proteins inside to help hydrate and repair damaged hair like mine from the root to the tip.   And it doesn't leave a buildup behind which is great. 

Pure & Organic Argan Oil - Argan Oil helps minimize wrinkles, stimulate skin cells, and reduce the appearance of scarring and stretch marks.  It helps me get softer and smoother skin and is great for eczema, which I suffer from on a regular basis.   It restores the nutrient content to skin cells and when I use it on my dry scalp, it really moisturizes it and stops the itching.  Argan Oil can even be used to repair hair damage.   It's 100% pure and is imported from South Western Morocco.  There are no chemicals added so it's safe for all skin, hair, and nail types. I just use a small dab, rub it in my hands, and apply it to whatever area I'm using it on for 1 minute.

Also, we have a gym in our basement...well it's a nice big space to workout so I've been jumping rope to get some good cardio in. My favorite jump rope to use is my TKO Soft Grip Jump Rope.  TKO has a line of products from boxing gloves and punching towers all the way to body balls, yoga mats, and kettle bells.  They even developed a line of fitness apparel.  And they understand that these days people have more time constraints so a lot of us try to exercise at home.  Their products are great for a home gym and that's why this jump rope is perfect for me.  It has a soft rubber coated grip so I can easily grasp it and not worry about it flying out of my hands in the basement.  There is metal ball bearings and a 9 foot solid vinyl rope. 

Jumping rope has so many benefits. Not only is it good cardio, but it helps me destress after a long day. I can just reflect on my day as I mindlessly jump rope. 

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