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Blue Apron — The Best Lazy Cooking Money Can Buy

October 22, 2015

You know, life can move a little quickly. And by a little I mean a lot. One day you’re in college where waking up early meant anytime before 10am, and drinking heavily on a Tuesday was a social necessity, and you ate chicken fingers and french fries and a diet coke, because, after all, a diet coke has no calories. Next thing you know you’re a young professional with an actual profession, and there are more photos on your Facebook page of babies than there are of jello shots, and your idea of cleaniness involves Lysol and 409 instead of the back of your sleeve.

The transition into — gasp — adulthood is a strange and bizarre one. I am reminded of the scene in Home Alone when Kevin McCallister is standing in front of the bathroom mirror after showering, brushing his teeth, flossing, and finally shaving his hairless face. He remarks to his reflection with a sense of accomplishment and pride on his meticulous dedication to his physical appearance, noting his particular care in washing all his body’s nooks and crannies, as if washing the nooks and crannies of one’s body is obviously the mark of an adult. He then pours a handful of after shave into one hand, rubs his hands together, and then slaps the liquid on his face — the immediate daggers of alcohol into open, youthful facial pores are brutal on poor Kevin and he screams in shock and pain at the after shave’s astonishing, agonizing sting, not unlike the swift slap of adulthood. Whenever being a grown up sucks, I imagine this scene and laugh. 

Even though growing up does stink from time to time, it does have certain perks. Like being able to have food delivered to your door with little to no effort put forth — all you do is set up a profile online, enter your shipping and billing info, and bam! Meals are delivered. This may be more of a credit to today’s technology, but bear with me now. 

Meet my cardboard best friend Blue Apron (don’t worry she recycles very well). Every week for $60 (for two people) Wilson and I receive a box full of individually packaged ingredients to prepare three delicious meals. The box includes all ingredients for the recipe — all you need is cooking utensils, salt/pepper, and olive oil. Each delivery also comes with a step-by-step recipe to guide you through the cooking process and even has pictures. The pictures are the best. The recipes take an average of 25 to 45 minutes to prepare, depending upon how overserved you are during the cooking process, and the meals really are scrumptious and restaurant quality.

Don’t get me wrong though —  just because everything is pre-packaged and spelled out for you, you do have to cook and sometimes you will cave and order from foodpanda but just keep trying. Once it becomes a habit it will get easier.  As Wilson put it when we first began our Blue Apron subscription:

“Step 1: Thinly slice 15 different vegetables. Step 2: Delicately sear the meat and try not to overcook. Step 3: Burn everything. Step 4: Call Domino’s.”

Wilson isn’t much of a culinary enthusiast, but since using Blue Apron for six months he’s turned into quite the cook. He can now expertly smash and mince garlic, chop an onion, and fry a myriad of things.

To further convince you that Blue Apron is incredible and cost effective and that you should subscribe immediately, I took some photos of last week’s dinner prep of some sort of tacos.

ingredients

The beautifully fresh ingredients from the box.

This whole Blue Apron idea upsets my dad to no end — the idea of someone spoon-feeding you (no pun intended) meal after meal week after week is lazy in his opinion. Being a real adult according to dear ol’ Dad means getting up at the crack of dawn, driving 45 minutes to work, working a full day, driving 45 minutes home, going to the grocery store, and then cooking a full meal once you get home. And since his idea of adulthood is my personal hell, it’s a good thing I have Blue Apron. Dad, agree to disagree. 

prepared ingredients

Oh look and here they are all chopped and organized and pretty. Can someone please teach me how to operate a camera? This photo is just bad. 

Another bonus of Blue Apron is there is no waste. Each meal is perfectly portioned for two people (or four if you choose) and there are no extra leftovers that will sit in the fridge for a week or two until they grow hair. It’s pretty great.

dry ingredients

The dry ingredients.

mix

The dry ingredients having a party together.

onions

Some onion pickling happening here…

pickled onions

And here…

ingredients prepared

 Taco innards getting ready for insertion into said taco.

I should add that if you are picky, Blue Apron is not for you. The recipes are all delicious in my opinion, but unless you like a variety of foods, you should probably just stick to my Dad’s way of doing things and grocery shop just for yourself. BORING

doggie

My sous chefs. Wilson chops, Birdie licks up any spills. We are very efficient at the Jones household.

birdie

Where’s my plate!?

the necessities

The other sous chefs.

plates

The finished product. The recipe instructions even include how to artfully plate your dish, which I love. So fancy. 

tacos ended

If anyone would like to try Blue Apron for free, please leave a comment on this post and I’ll send you some free meals I have to give away. I want to spread the good news of Blue Apron with all of my peeps so don’t be shy. I only have five to giveaway so don’t dilly dally. 

Happy Thursday!

Home Living

Barware for Under $50

October 9, 2015

It’s Friday peeps, and I’m ready to get my happy hour on. Right now. Why is no one handing me a glass of rosé?

No really. 

I’m so ready for my Friday afternoon cocktail that I’m planning on how I would set up my bar if I wasn’t on another spending restriction (that Patagonia sale was a hit at the Jones household).

 

Barware for Under $50

 

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven

Very Hollywood regency meets cheap bar. What a magical combination. And that cocktail shaker is pure gold. I’ll be here all day folks, come get your cheap laughs here…

Any of these items would be just lovely arranged around some beautiful bottles of alcohol on your perfect barcart — I love the Bombay and Tangueray gin bottles because that add a little color, and give a great buzz. Remember my barcart here? It’s a safe assumption to make that the UNC-themed barcart didn’t last long.

WHERE IS MY DRINKKKK

Home Living

Free Workout Videos Online — FitnessBlender.com

August 12, 2015

Ok so I may be very behind the curve on this, but I recently discovered FitnessBlender.com and am slightly obsessed. For those of you who are thinking WTF is this shit, cool it. I promise I didn’t just make a website up.

Fitness Blender is an interweb page that has tons of free workout videos created by a Houston personal trainer. You can select which areas you’d like to focus on — upper body, core, lower, etc. — then filter for what kind of exercise you prefer or are in the mood for — cardio, strength training, yoga — and more. I really like it because I’ve been a bit bored of my normal workouts lately and wanted to change things up a tad. I started off by buying Flexx Labs supplements.

Now that I’ve changed things up with Fitness Blender, I’m sore as F and want y’all to be sore too. Misery loves company. 

I made Wilson Wilson and I did this video after a walk the other day –re: we walked around a few squares with a beer in hand — and afterwards he astutely observed, “That was hard.”

Well said, Wilson.

Fitness blender

 via

Their expressions are a tad creepy, no? But don’t take that as an indication of the quality of their workout videos. They are fantastic and super easy to use — highly recommend. And no I did not receive a cut for promoting these. 

Ok enough talk about working out — let’s discuss something really interesting and worthwhile. What are you drinking right now? I’m drinking “coffee.”

Home Living

Lamps Under $100

July 31, 2015

Ever get that itch to update something in your home? I’m constantly resisting to scratch this itch, but if you must scratch, then scratch wisely. An easy way to give your home an affordable refresh is to switch out older lamps. Here are some of my favorites and they are all under $100…

 

i love lamp
one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine

 

i-love-lamp

 

via

 

Happy Friday!
Home Living

Recycled Wall Plates

July 15, 2015

Howdy!

It’s been awhile since Wilson and I completed any real updating to our little apartment, but this past weekend we decided to be adults and do adult things. Like, do laundry. And change the air filter.

And — hang plates on wallsThe pinnacle of maturity. You know you are an adult when you think, instead of using this to for food, let’s hang this plate on a wall. 

Remember these white plates from my master bedroom wall in Charlotte? I bought them for $5 a piece at Sleepy Poet, my long lost Queen City BFF. They’ve been stuck under my bed for the past year because I couldn’t decide where to hang them.

bed at angle

bedside table

But I found a place. They now flank a map in our living room. And I have to say, they look like they belong.

living room

 I love symmetry and these plates satiate my OCD in the best way possible.

vertical

table

And because I liked the way I’d arranged my coffee table on this particular day, here’s a photo of that too.

So, what do you have in your house that you can recycle to use again? If you buy things you love, you’ll always find a place to put them. Even $5 white plates.

Home Living

Majorca

June 24, 2015

Ah Majorca. Quite possibly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. C’est incredible. 

We stayed at Hotel Esplendido, which was a stunning hotel with amazing views and fantastic decor. Understated and modern, but not annoyingly so. It’s tagline was Hasta La Vista Baby!

There are so many photos from this trip and I kept finding more and more that I wanted to share. So apologies for the extreme amount of photos included below, but I feel like they speak for themselves. Majorca was incredible and you must visit as soon as possible. End of story.

beach view right

beach view left

paddleboarders

We rented paddleboards and paddleboarded around the little bay.

clear water

The Mediterranean was crystal clear.

an intruder

Oh hello!

blue things

Some sort of something that washed up on the beach.

crazy hair

incoming train

There was a little train that connected Puerto de Soller, where we stayed, to the nearby town and was just the cutest thing I’d ever seen.

the train

train 2

the room

I absolutely adored our room. I want that wallpaper stat.

room again

It was so cool at night that we kept the doors open to the porch and listened to the quiet roll of the sea all night long. There are no bugs there either. If we left our doors open in Savannah our apartment would become the jungle of no see’ums. 

the view

Our view from the porch.

oh hey

white chairs

These are the chairs outside the hotel lining the quaint street. I want them for my porch!

austin

Our neighbors.

view from room

me and wilson on beach

the four of us

That selfie stick was clutch.

the four of us first din

Dinner with a view.

sunset and wilson

sunrise on porch

One morning I randomly woke up at sunrise and snapped this photo. And then went back to sleep.

boats

How cute are these little boats?

me and wilsie

lunch

Lunch one afternoon. Wilson got sashimi — he claims it is the best he’s ever had — and I had some sort of ceviche. It was scrumptious. With a glass of rosé, of course.

maggie and austin

See how orange the orange juice is? Yes I realize how dumb that sounds, just humor me ok? Orange trees grow like weeds in Spain, and Spanish orange juice was on point. So you can imagine how delicious the mimosas were… 

olives

maggie in majorca

mi amor y sunset

the four of us best night

This was my favorite dinner of the whole trip. The food was delicious, our waiter was hilarious, and the company was the best I’ve ever had.

maggie and blanket

There was a chilly breeze blowing off the water and the restaurant gave us fleece blankets.

guys

And because the boys want to be just like us, they wrapped up too.

to the shops

chairs

town and mtns

trees and chairs

beach view

sailboats

sunset from pool

me and wilson in the pool

The infinity pool that overlooked the entire port.

sunset

Each night the sun set perfectly behind a rolling hill, providing a breathtaking view. People lined the streets each evening, wine in hand, and toasted the sun as it set.

sunset from our room

sunset from room 2

So I thought looking back at Barcelona photos was bad, but these pictures almost have me in tears. Such a fabulous trip. Spain is the best. You must go and experience its amazing culture. I need a mimosa. Or maybe a xanax. Or maybe both.

On Friday I’ll be chatting about some cover ups since I need one and maybe you need one so come back then. We can have champs together.

Home Living

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts

May 5, 2015

For all you procrastinators out there — present company included — a word to the wise: Sunday is Mother’s Day, and shit is about to get real. We’ve put our mothers through the ringer over the years, and it’s time to show dear ol’ Mom (Mom you’re not old) just how much you love her and how much you appreciate her patience while you blossomed into the amazing person you are today. You are amazing, right? 

Here’s some gift options that are all $100 or less — except for that iPad case oops — and provide a wide variety of things to choose from. I’m particularly in love with those coral salad tongs. Salad tongs may seem like an odd present for Mommy dearest, but, I assure you, they are not. They are perfect and she will love them. So there. 

 

Last Minute Mother's Day Gifts

 

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine

 Which is your favorite? Chat with me in the comments and tell me your favorite Mother’s Day memories. Y’all have been awful quite lately.

Home Living

Women Love Blankets — Berkshire Blanket

March 19, 2015

Ok so I have a confession.

I’m an adult that sleeps with a blankie.

Yes, I am a complete and utter child. I’m like Lionel from Charlie Brown, dragging a soft blue blanket behind me wherever I go. I take this blanket with me everywhere — even when I studied abroad in Italy in college, this blanket came with me. I’ve had the same blanket since I graduated high school (great grad gift) and it still looks brand new.

If you are in the market for a wonderful – but a tad bizarre I’ll admit – gift, a $30 Berkshire Blanket is just what you need. Slap a monogram on there for another $10 or so and you’ve got yourself a real show stopper. I gave my mom one of these blankets two years ago for Christmas and now she also is an adult that sleeps with a blankie. Like mother like daughter. We have a strong affection for wine in common as well.

 

Pinzon Velvet Plush Blanket, Full/Queen, Grey


amazon prime baby

 

I’m en route to Messy Toe right now and I have to admit that this blog post is partially informational for my glorious readers and part ode to my blanket because I didn’t bring the blankie with me to Mexico. Blankets in airports are my germaphobic nightmare/undoing.

Blankie, I miss you. I’m pouring one out for you tonight.

In other #SST news, don’t forget to enter to win the Towne & Reese giveaway by clicking here to get a chance to win these very cute earrings. I am planning on wearing my very own pair tonight. Also, because I’m en route to Mexico, I will be basking in the Central American sun with SPF 100 for the next four days and if you want to contact me, send a telegram or perhaps one of those birds with the notes attached to their leg. I will be completely unplugged after posting this blog.

Adios amigos!

Home Living

Help a Fella Out — Gift for $32

March 4, 2015

It’s been a little bit since I’ve helped my fellas out on SST, so today I will change that. If there are any men still reading SST besides Wilson and my dad, I’m not sure why you are reading, but I am certainly glad you are here. And in the event that you’d like to shower that certain someone with a gift for $32, you’re in luck. I have just the thing for you.

Linen cocktail napkins are one of my favorite things, and these pineapple ones are no exception. One of my favorite Charleston haunts Open Door Shop carries them and they would make the perfect surcee. Maybe I will turn this into a surcee series… 

 

shop hemstitch cocktail napkin | open door shop | Open Door Shop

 

 

napkin

Wanna know the best part? Open Door Shop is having a 20% off sale today online with the promo code SPRINGSALE. Holla. These napkins would be the perfect hostess gift, birthday present, or Happy Humpday gift. Go getcha some!

In other news, it is a glorious 70 degrees already in Savannah as I’m writing this and I have a major tingling of Spring Fever, which really means I am dying to pour myself a mimosa in a bikini. Don’t give me that look Wilson, you know you want to too. 

Who’s with me!?

Home Living

Investment Piece of the Month

February 13, 2015

My sweet aunt and uncle gave Wilson and me a gift certificate to Bed Bath & Beyond for Christmas this past year. I have to admit something about Bed Bath and Beyond — that store overwhelms me almost to the point of being frightening. It is so massive and has so many useful things in it, and coupled with my extraordinary ability to rationalize just about any purchase, I could easily spend a mortgage payment in there.

Truly, I think it’s the Beyond part that is so scary. What is BEYOND? You mean to tell me there is MORE than the 100,000 items you carry in this store? Absolutely insanity I tell you. 

But here’s the best part about BB&B — its online store. I can easily peruse to find what I need without spending $200 on strange potholders and a lemon zester. Phew. 

Anywho, with my handy gift card I purchased a new set of knives, and my culinary life has never been the same since. February’s Investment Piece of the Month = a few good knives, but these knives in particular are bomb. Thank you Marilyn and Norman!

 ZWILLING J A HENCKELS Zwilling J.A. Henckles Four Star 3-Piece Essential Knife Set

 

via

These knives are so good. Last night I made zucchini noodles (zoodles!?) for Wilson and me with the big knife. A bit time consuming certainly, but my zoodles were freakin’ on point because of the ultra-sharp, ultra-precise blade of the Henckles knife. Henckels I love you. 

This set of Henckels knives is $100, and worth every penny. Buy them. Do it.