Blue Apron Experience

A sweet friend of mine introduced me to Blue Apron a month ago. I am all about making the dinner-making situation easier on myself, so I signed-up and ordered up. Received my first set of meals two weeks later. Will you join me as I take you through my first impressions and experience with Blue Apron?

First impressions are pretty important. I was really impressed with their packaging, delivery, food selection, recipe cards, and easy to navigate website. I was curious how they would package this food and keep it cold until I put it in my fridge. The box had cooling packets inside and everything was cool, packaged and labeled.

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 I received three meals which were intended to feed two adults. We have a family of five... 2 adults and 3 finicky eaters. I was concerned the meals would not provide enough food for our entire family but  stuck to the Blue Apron meal plan. There was always PB&J as back-up.

The first dinner I decided to conquer was the Spring Root Casserole. Mostly because I forgot to set out and thaw any meat (this recipe didn't require meat). The box included detailed, step-by-step instructions with pictures! I am very visual so this really helped, especially since I had never met kohlrabi and was about to cook it.

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I followed the instructions to the letter because that's how I roll and this meal was not going to fail because of the chef using sugar instead of salt. Each recipe card has you prepare and chop the veggies, herbs, and whatever's in the beginning. It feels a little Martha Stewart-ish, minus the perfection and help of a large crew.

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I jumped right into the process and pulled my daughter in for a little help. I put her to the task of releasing peas from their sleeping bags. Something I honestly have never done so, I figured we could work it out together. Guess what? Easiest thing since sliced bread.

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I proceed on with the preparing, chopping, and pealing when I got stuck on a strange word, "kohlrabi". Is that a typo or that the weird mystery veggie that came in the box? Probably the veggie. At this point, I'm thinking, "Better text the husband to bring home a back-up salad for dinner because this kohlrabi thing may just ruin me." Have you ever seen, eaten, or heard of kohlrabi? I mean, what the heckles is this thing? I'll tell you what it is... It's delicious. Thank you, Blue Apron, for introducing us.

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Alright, enough staring at my kohlrabi. Next up on the instructions was to blanch the kohlrabi and some onions. Say what now? I'm supposed to call Blanch Who? At this point in my meal prep, I have had to search Google twice... kohlrabi and blanching things. What have I gotten myself into? I am clearly calling out my serious lack of cooking knowledge in this write-up.

After a 45 minute meal prep, the food goes into the oven to cook. I'm wondering if it's just me or do these meals always take so long to prepare? Here is what I love about the Blue Apron system, everything was at my fingertips. It was all there, ready to go and I used every last bit of the ingredients, except a few garlic cloves. I love that the food is hand picked, fresh, and portioned out exactly with the amount needed for each meal. And, I didn't have to spend an hour trying meal plan dinners for the week and another hour at the grocery store.

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The casserole was delicious by the way, kohlrabi and all. All three of my picky eaters tried it and didn't die, so that's a win. We made the back-up salad to round out the meal and we had leftovers! Not because we didn't like it but, because it was filling. I think the amount of food one recipe makes would be a lot for two adults but possibly slightly too small for a family of five. Easily fixed by adding additional side dishes to fill those hangry people in your house.

I have made a second Blue Apron meal and took me even longer to prepare (1 hour with the Husbands help) but, equally delicious. Including prep and cooking time, each meal has taken me approximately one hour and twenty-ish minutes from start to the table. The last meal I made, got a 5-star rating from my son and there was no googling or new veggies involved. 

My overall experience has been positive. I do like the convenience and the fact I don't have to meal plan and grocery shop for said meal plan. That is a HUGE bonus in my book. Also, no food wasting, yay! It's also 100% healthier than pizza delivery.

My not-so-positives are the following: 

1. It takes me a very long time to prepare the meals and cook them. After a long day working, juggling sports and homework, I sadly don't have the motivation or energy to cook a Blue Apron meal. Take this comment lightly, I have NEVER really enjoyed the cooking processes so being in the kitchen longer than I have to is agonizing for me. Foodies gonna hate, I know. 

2. I can't pick the meals they send. Let me just say, so far, this has not been an issue. Every meal recipe I have received looks delicious and the meals we have made were tasty. I worry about the order that comes and I don't like the recipe... then what? I certainly don't want to waste food or lose a meal for the week. I guess I could gift it to a neighbor? Okay, maybe this isn't a con?

Would I recommend Blue Apron to a friend? I sure would, you're welcome. It's very convenient. The plans are automatic so I don't have to remember to place an order each week. My delivery comes on the same day of the week, I get a reminder email that the box is coming, and it's pretty affordable. Thank you to my sweet friend, Lisa, for sharing some free meals with me so I could give this a try. For now, we will continue to stay on the plan and I will continue to work on loving the whole cooking thing. If you want to find out more about signing up, pricing, or see what else they offer, check out the Blue Apron website:

Comment on this post if you would like to try Blue Apron out, I think I get some free meals to share after a few deliveries. First come, first serve! ;)

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Fashion Friday

Its Fashion Friday featuring Cents of Style!

Today ONLY, 4/11/14, they are offering them at 55% off the original price with the coupon code LAUNCH. Shirts will all be under $16 shipped! How cute are these for summer lounging or pairing with your favorite layers? Here are a couple of my favorites... I can't decide which one(s) to buy!

Be The Good, $32.95 reg

Be The Good, $32.95 reg

Let It Go, $32.95 reg

Let It Go, $32.95 reg

SHOP NOW and don't forget to use promo code: LAUNCH to get 55% off today only!

Happy St Patricks Day

As history tells it, St. Patrick utilized the three leafed clover as an illustration of the Christian holy trinity. St. Patrick visualized the the three "hearts" on the clover that was so prevalent on the Irish hillsides, the shamrock seemed a perfect visual-aid for making his point. St. Patrick was passionate about sharing his faith with the people of Ireland, and associated each leaf of the clover with the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit).

I like Patrick's style. Also, I love that the shape of each shamrock leaf is a heart.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Jewlery Display

I am always looking for fun ways to display my jewelry from chloe+isabel.  The other night, I was wondering through a local craft store and challenged myself to create a necklace display that was under $10.  I strolled the aisles searching for supplies and came up with the following idea...

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The Tools:

  • glue gun
  • glue sticks
  • scissors
  • ruler

Time Commitment:

  • Approximately 10-15 minutes (probably less if you aren't a finicky crafter like me)

The Materials:

  • 9"x12" white canvas
  • rope
  • embellishments (flowers)*
  • hooks*
  • plate stand

*I had these items at home so, these did not add to my cost.


This project was so simple, you are going to LOVE it!  As I was assembling my necklace display, I couldn't help but think of all the different variations that could be made with this project!  Fun stuff, I tell ya.  I took pictures along the way because I'm visual and hope you are too.  Here's my step-by-step...

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STEP 1 // Cut the rope
Roll out your rope along the edge of the canvas to measure one side and cut with scissors.

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STEP 3 // Add the hooks
Grab your ruler and measure the center, this is where you will add your first hook.  Press your hook through the canvas and screw into the wood frame.  Then repeat the left and right side.
(A little note about the hooks, they have a screw on the bottom and I had white on hand but you can chose any color you wish.)
TIP:  Be sure that the hook lines up with the wood frame on the back of the canvas, otherwise, your hook will fall off if not mounted into the wood frame.

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STEP 2 // Glue it down
Run your glue gun along one side of the canvas and press your cut pieces of rope into the glue.  I suggest only doing one side at a time because the hot glue will dry fairly quick.  Repeat on all edges of your canvas.

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STEP 4// Place on stand
Isn't that so simple!  Your finished and ready to display your lovely jewels. (chloe+isabel, I hope!)


Now, remember when I mentioned all the other options you could create with this project?  I couldn't create them all but here is a list of ideas for your inspiration:

  • use ribbon or fabric instead of rope
  • paint the canvas a bright color to match your display or make your jewels pop!
  • add fabric flowers (see below)
  • add more hooks to display more necklaces (this would work with pendants or charms)
  • create a "collection" display... you could easily put earrings through the canvas to display along with your necklace and hang a coordinating bracelet on another hook.
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All jewelry is available in my boutique: www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/cares

Did I complete my challenge?  SO CLOSE!  But, I'll call it a win anyway.  I had a 40% off coupon and remember, some of these items I already had at home.  Check out the price breakdown:

white canvas, $4.19
plate stand, $2.99
rope, $3.49
Grand Total: $10.67

Are you going to give this a try?  I would LOVE to see it!  If you have any questions, post in the comments and I will try to respond as soon as possible.

Toodles.

Modern Convertible Torsade Necklace

I absolutely LOVE when I find a piece of jewelry that is versatile with so many outfits.  Not only does this necklace go with everything, it can be worn in so many different ways!  Totally worth the investment, in my opinion.

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I also decided to pair the Convertible Torsade with my Tresors layering chains, giving another option for length!  I didn't add my charms but, think of the possibilities for endless styling potential!

Modern Convertible Torsade Necklace , $148 , N228B

Modern Convertible Torsade Necklace, $148, N228B

Tresors Layering Necklace Set, $48, N214B

Tresors Layering Necklace Set, $48, N214B

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Available Online at: chloe+isabel