In Blue Apron Recipes

Blue Apron!

For quite some time we have been debating about getting Blue Apron (or really any meal service of the sort.) We have been wanting to spice up our meals and have some fun in the kitchen. So we KNEW this service would do that, but we were pretty weary about the cost. So one night when we were talking to to Bruce about it, he sent us an offer code for a week free (no strings attached), and we said, "Why not!?"

We were pretty skeptical.. We are really good shoppers, pretty good amateur chefs, and do a great job with meal planning. But last Tuesday when we got our first box, we got REALLY excited about it! I pretty much have been talking to anyone who will listen to me about this service.. So here is a little recap of our experience. 

You pick your delivery day and they send you three meals that feed two people in an ice pack box. Every single ingredient you need (beside oil, salt, pepper) comes in the box, wrapped individually, and measured perfectly. 

Night One:
Lamb, Beef & Mushroom Stew w/Parmesan Potatoes and Chives

Each meal comes with a recipe card including every ingredient you will need and really easy to understand directions. And if there is something you don't understand, they have tutorial videos with each meal on their website! It is really 100% fool proof. They also give you wine pairing suggestions (or you could include the wine in your shipment for an extra charge!) 

At first, I was concerned with the amount of food.. I thought there was NO way this was going to feed the two of us. But boy was I wrong. I had so much that night, I was still full at lunch the next day!! (Side note: Blue Apron is sorta health conscious too.. Each one of our meals were under 500 calories!) 

This was my favorite meal of the week!! I would never buy lamb at the grocery store.. it isn't my meat of choice, and it's always so expensive!! I loved all the cooking techniques, and was totally reminded me how I should just add chives to everything! 

Night Two:
Tempura Fried Cod w/ Thai-Style Vegetable Salad & Jasmine Rice

This was my favorite protein.. least favorite side. Tempura frying just seems so daunting and messy, and something I wouldn't ever put on our menu. But these guys made it so easy! And crispy capers... YUM. The side salad was okay.. I'm not a huge fan of raw carrots.. 

Your biggest labor in all of this is chopping vegetables. Seriously every thing is measured out and packaged perfectly. And this really gave us the opportunity to try spices/oils we would have not bought otherwise. Because who needs 10 oz of tamarind concentrate in their pantry??? 

When you are selecting your services you can add in your dietary restrictions and/or pick vegetarian options if necessary. You can also log in before you meal is delivered and throw in a few vegetarian / non-vegetarian options if you want! Don't want it that week? Going on vacation? You can always simply click skip delivery, and you won't receive food or be charged. 

Night three:
Seared Chicken & Pearl Couscous w/Crispy Capers & Blood Orange Sauce

This was just some regular old seared chicken that I would do any time, but that cous cous and the blood orange sauce was out of this world!! We definitely get in cooking ruts.. seared pork chops and sauteed squash is a staple around here. So it was really nice to take a classic and really umpf (is that even a word??) it up! 

There were layers, and layers, and layers of flavor with this dish. It was absolutely restaurant quality, but wasn't that hard at all! I think this service would give some serious confidence to those of you who get nervous or uncomfortable in the kitchen. And it's not that timing consuming.. They promise it will take less than an hour start to finish. It took us around 30-40 minutes each night. 

The service is around $60 per week with shipping.. so you are roughly coming out to $10 per person, per meal. Now this is WAY more than I normally spend on dinner.. I can get meals down to just a couple dollars for the both of us!! (I'm savvy, I tell ya..) But for people that eat out often, this would definitely be a money saver!! So while we aren't their target audience on cost savings, it did get us in the kitchen together. And since our date nights are VERY feeewww and ffaarrr between, this is getting us some quality time together at night, not staring at our phones! 

So we have decided to do the service every other week.. I'm sure we will get burnt out.. Or the recipes will eventually get repetitive.. but for now we are LOVING Blue Apron. And I want you to love it too!! I have three free weeks to give away! First three people to send me an email or FB message, it's yours! 

P.S. I wasn't paid, nor did I receive any free food for this post.. but I totally should be their spokesperson, right!? Someone tell Blue Apron!! 

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In Fashion Gigi Maddie Jane What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday

 The last Wednesday of every month I link up with Mel at The Larson LingoShay at Mix and Match Mama, and Sheaffer at Sheaffer Told Me To

1. What we're eating this week...
We are so excited to be trying out Blue Apron for the first time this week! We have debated back and forth for months, and when Bruce sent us a free trial, we said why not!? I am planning on doing an entire post on our experience, so stay tuned! This week we are having:

Lamb, Beef & Mushroom Stew w/Parmesan Potatoes and Chives
Seared Chicken & Pearl Couscous w/Crispy Capers & Blood Orange Sauce
Tempura Fried Cod w/ Thai-Style Vegetable Salad & Jasmine Rice

2. What I'm reminiscing about...
TimeHop gets me every single morning. Here is a gem from a year ago today. Ohhh how I wish I could have that tiny baby back!!! 

 3. What I'm loving... 
 Valentine's!! Well kinda. AJ and I have spent 7 Valentine's together and this one was probably the biggest fail. We stayed in because #parents and ordered take out that AJ ate 3 bites of, because he was STILL sick. We were revved up for a fancy date night on Saturday night and then Maddie Jane got hit with the stomach virus for the third, and hardest time. So we had to cancel..

But this little girl got a giant teddy bear from her Daddy that she is now obsessed with!!

And Mama got a nice flower delivery to work. 

Here is a flasback to Valentine's Day two years ago. We look so young, and tan, and well rested. HA! I was so, so crushed we had to cancel our dinner plans Saturday night. We haven't had a meal at a restaurant alone since OCTOBER. Sending Gigi flight options daily to come give these parents a break!! :) 

4. What we've been up to...
Like I said.. we got hit with the stomach virus HARD on Thursday of last week and Maddie was throwing up and running a high fever until Sunday. (She had thrown up/ran a fever 5 and 9 days before this!! And AJ had it too! Still mind blown that I dodged this bullet..) There were lots of cuddles, lots of tears (by the both of us), lots of clorox wipes, but I THINK we might be germ free in our house now.. 

Maybe she is sick all the time, because her toy of choice is the toilet plunger? I don't know. Mom of the year, clearly.

5. What I'm dreading... 
Alllllll the temper tantrums. Maddie Jane has started throwing them daily hourly over any and everything.. But usually something involving the trashcan, or toilet, or wine glasses that she KNOWS she isn't supposed to touch.

It's hard disciplining at this age.. She understands "no," but I can't sit her down and tell her why she shouldn't be doing what she is doing. So we have lots of hand pops, and lots of time outs, and LOTS of tears.. And then on Monday we had a lunch out at a nice restaurant and sweet girl colored quietly and ate her fruit while kids around us are screaming their heads off, and I felt like just MAYBE I am doing something right.. 

6. What I'm working on...
 Getting this girl's closet summer ready!!! Since we are going to the Caribbean in April, I am working on getting Maddie Jane plenty of shorts/tanks/dresses for warmer weather a little earlier. Gigi sent a big box of shorts, short sleeves, tunics, Honey covered the swim suits, and I stocked up on a ton of stuff during last year's end of summer sales. So we have been trying on everything and getting it washed in Dreft.

A couple more flip flops and summer time pjs, and we will be cruise (and summer!) ready!! And Maddie Jane will be so glad that the whole trying on business is over. 

7. What I'm excited about...
That we are finally germ free!! We finally busted out of the house on Sunday afternoon after being cooped up for three long days. We went to Cha Cha Chicken in Santa Monica and took a stroll along the beach.

And I tried to get Maddie to take a picture with me.. 

Yeah no thanks Mama. 

8. What I'm watching/reading...
I am watching the usual suspects.. Grey's, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder.. I also picked up this book at the airport.. It's ok. It has a good story line with potential, but just not a page turner. Not my favorite, but I'm determined to finish it!! 

9. What I'm listening to...
We have the Sam Hunt Pandora station rocking at our house most nights. I just can't get enough!

10. What I'm wearing...
I got these jeans in college and just rediscovered them in my closet and I can't stop wearing them. I'm obsessed. And they are pretty stinkin perfect for weekend wear. I tried to find them online but clearly American Eagle doesn't still have stuff from 8 years ago, ha!

And usually you will find me in the jeans above and the strip shirt below.  You can find it HERE and it killlsss me that it doesn't come in more stripe colors. I am weird about my puffer vest.. I don't like too much puff or I feel claustrophobic. You can find this one in a fun print HERE (& size down two sizes!! This is an xx-small. )

You can find this dress on Loft HERE on super mega sale, like they are practically giving it away. I love this sweater/vest/cardigan AJ got me for Christmas - you can dress it up or down. It's from Loft too, but of course I can't find the link.. 

11. What I'm doing this weekend... 
Hanging out with these two!!! We have a low key weekend planned, and Mama is happy! Hopefully getting back into our routines after the crazy year that 2017 has been.. 

12. What I'm looking forward to next month... 
My mom coming to California.. You're coming right Gigi!?!? Nothing like a little public pressure to make sure :)


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In Ares Life Lately Maddie Jane Molly Weekends

One day life will slow down..

.. Until then, let me update you on the past three weeks. 2017 has been rough. I've been on planes 4 out of the 6 weeks, and unfortunately never to a luxurious resort in a tropical location. I'm exhausted, burnt out, and have been away from my sweet girl more often than with her. I'm kinda a scrooge right now, but I'm trying my best to get these sweet times with Maddie Jane on the blog!

A couple weeks ago, we took Maddie to a parent/me gym class. She LOVED it! 

Everything was pretty simple.. nothing too structured. At the beginning of next year, I definitely want to get her in actual tumble/gymnastic lessons. 

Favorite parts of the class were for sure the ball pit and the slide! 

We had a little party at AJ's boss's house.. Why does she look so big?!?

A Shake Shack opened up right by our house, and Maddie Jane had her first hotdog. Little girl was in LOVE and ate so stinkin much. 

And of course a couple sips of milkshake too :) 

Aunt Denise and Uncle Clint sent this sweet ride to Maddie for her birthday/Christmas. She thinks she is something in it!! 

On the plane from Louisiana, Maddie discovered Barney, and now it is out nightly routine to watch 15 mins or so to wind down. 

Sweet Molly girl.. never gets any love around here any more!! 

This is what 90% of the pictures look like on my phone. Maddie Jane the blur and stealing shoes out of her closet. She is OBSESSED with shoes and it is the most recent word she has learned. 

All the festive clothes were worn the first couple weeks of February. 

Can not get over the sweet girl of mine!!! 

Mom sent me some just because flowers. She knew just what I needed during these rough couple of weeks. 

Auntie Paige sent Maddie Jane a Valentine's outfit, bear, and a card with our favorite Mickey!! 

 A little grocery shopping.. 

And walking Molly.. 

And having a little weekend lunch :) She is so growny looking!! Please slow down little girl! 

And her new favorite.. taking off socks, shoes, diapers, EVERYTHING. Just because she can. This escape attempt knocked her right out. 

We are learning to use a spoon... it is um, messy. To say the least :) 

We tried to cheer on our falcons... 

And we all felt like Molly by the end.. 

I hope this little girl loves football as much as her Mama. Being from Georgia, it's usually heartbreaking, but it's the greatest sport in the world. 

And I headed back to New York for work... 

But at least had a little time to get some amazing food while I was there.. The sardines at Babbo.. AMAZING.

I waved hi to GMA for Mom on my way to the office. 

And celebrated solo the (hopeful) end of Private Equity recruiting season in NY.

Left my hotel at 4:30am in hopes of catching the first flight out of NY before the huge storm. We boarded and I was so, so hopeful.. then we sat on the runway for two hours and never took off... 

After 15 hours sitting in JFK, 4 different flights booked.. I finally made it out around 9:30pm. It was awful and absolutely confirms my desire to never, ever, live in the north.

Finally got back home to my girl!! We are working on saying "cheese" for the camera. She will do it, but then gets distracted looking at herself in the mirror hahaha

E sent Maddie Jane some bathing suits, so of course we had to try them on. I could eat that little ruffle butt up!! 

And we spent a little bit of time outside in between all the crazy rain we are getting in So Cal. 

And little mama is finally getting the hang of the stroller and loves pushing that baby round and round and round our house. 

I planted new flowers in two of my planters and all the extra rain has them looking great! 

Saturday night the stomach bug that AJ had earlier in the week finally hit Maddie. Poor girl was pretty pitiful, but woke up feeling much better! At lunch on Sunday you would never had known she was sick! 

We headed to the park to swing and slide a little and then she was out cold sitting straight up! 

That's a little bit of our life lately. Really, really hoping things slow down and we can get back in a normal routine around here! 

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