Monthly Archives: October 2016

Blue Apron – yay or nay

oh if only the answer was so simple as yay or nay.  It seems to truly depend on one’s life circumstances, which sounds a bit dramatic for a meal delivery service but it’s pricey enough that I needed to properly consider the value added to our lives.

In a nutshell, we gave it the old college try and decided Blue Apron was not for us.  Here is my rundown on what worked and didn’t work for us:


The Yays:

  1. No thinking or planning: Anytime I have the option not to think I will seize it.  My husband and I do a lot of  weekly meal planning so this definitely took a task off our ToDo list, which I appreciate.
  2. No food waste. I am guilty of throwing away food. There, I said it.  I overestimate portions and despite my best intentions, do not eat enough leftovers.  On top of the leftovers, consider all the sauces, dressings, etc… inside the pantry. With Blue Apron these are portioned out to the exact amount.  Say goodbye to opened hoisin jars wasting away in the fridge.
  3. Tastes great: Obviously the most important consideration.  Every meal I made was delicious, even the ones I was suspicious about.  Not every meal was successful with the kids (oh did I mention they were eating this too – that makes a big difference).  However, the kids tried everything, and it got me out of comfort zone meals. Especially for my daughter who is an adventurous eater, she was able to explore a bit more culinary diversity.

The Nays

  1. Packaging is a semi-nay.  Many meals I make probably involve some level of packaging; whether it be a box of pasta or a bag of salad; but not nearly at the level of BA packaging. In fact at times it was laughable. Imagine one lone egg in a custom carton. This guy has a hilarious take on it.   On the flip side there is less food waste so it nearly nets out.screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-10-35-00-am
  2. Time: This is huge and was the ultimate determinant in canceling the subscription.  The simplest meals were made complicated. When sloppy joes took me 40 minutes I considered throwing the box out the window.
  3. I cook. For the last decade I have made nightly meals, some more elaborate than others. I’ve developed shortcuts and processes to streamline the operation so when confronted with a situation like the gourmet sloppy joes or a 30 minute pizza, I’m going to be mad.  Note: when you have a toddler, all recipe times need to be doubled during the witching hour.  So if a recipe takes me 1 hour and the final product is a pizza then it’s not going be good for my relationship with Blue Apron.

Here is who will like it:

  1. Someone who has some extra time. I could see my husband and I really enjoying this in our 20’s; before kids when we loved cooking together.  Now it’s all git’er done.
  2. Someone who wants to learn how to cook.  This is a great method to gain experience. There’s not an overwhelming need to sift through recipes and figure out what will work. Start with 2 meals a week.  Ingredients and instructions presented to you. You just find the time.

There are so many delivery services, maybe another one will suit our needs better.  My sister is currently trying Hello Fresh.  I’m waiting for her review and will update you.


5 for Friday


  1. The media coverage has simmered but the people are still suffering.  Consider donating to the victims of Hurricane Matthew.  Between 2010’s earthquake, a current cholera epidemic and now the aftermath of a hurricane, Haitians have experienced too much devastation. Charity Navigator offers a list of appropriate and responsible organizations contributing to the support efforts in Haiti.  St. Boniface Haiti, Direct Relief and Save the Chiildren are among some of the highest rated groups helping in Haiti.
  2. Transitioning to fluffier stuff – RFK Kitchen; Needham’s newest, hottest spot in town.  We will be enjoying the delicious fare in a few hours.
  3. A little goal for myself is to start including restorative classes into my yoga practice. I must move beyond the thought that if the yoga class doesn’t challenge me physically then I don’t need it.  A restorative class can be healing in such a deeper sense. Nicole Clark of Down Under Yoga is a gifted body worker and each experience with her teaching is incredible.
  4. Food for thought.
  5. Slim Aarons – ‘nuf said.

bienvenidos a miami

Another Gals’ Weekend on the books with my best college pals.  There can be conflicting emotions when it comes to a weekend getaway with friends (do men have this problem?). Between the logistics of coordinating a weekend (finding a “good time”, getting extra kid assistance…) and the guilt of leaving the fam it can feel daunting to set aside time for old friends.  YET I cannot stress enough how important it is. We have now made it an annual trip (see my post on our trip to Austin) and it’s incredibly therapeutic. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or extravagant but rather just an escape from the everyday rhythm of life with people that you don’t often see but love so dearly.

The three of us are traveling from different areas of the country so we try to mix up the location.  This year we ventured to Miami.  A spot none of us have visited save for the airport. We do like to indulge a bit on these vacas – a nice hotel since we all share one room and beautiful dinners out.

Here’s the rundown on our itinerary:

  1.  Faena We stayed at this lovely hotel with phenomenal service including a room butler. The spa was gorgeous; no treatments necessary.  We used the wet lounge/hammam and that was all we needed for a good detox.                        img_4898img_4904mammoth_featureimg_4873
  2. The Standard We dined at their bayside restaurant for healthier fare and enjoyed the spa; although a little rundown when compared to Faena.  The Standard has a cool vibe especially for younger folk. We enjoyed a post-dinner fireside chat.  standard-miami-102the-standard-miami-poolimg_4954

3. Bazaar by José Andrés: Very fun and delicious tapas restaurant with Latin and Asian flavors. Our croquetas were served in a shoe.


4. Los Fuegos.  If you watch Chef’s Table on Netflix you may have seen the episode with Francis Mallman – beret, funky glasses.  We had the privilege of enjoying his delish fiery food while he was in the kitchen!


5. Biking via citi Bike Miami: Awesome way to scope out South Beach.  We rode along the boardwalk from our hotel to the tip of South Beach, ate lunch, and biked back along the water.


6. Ice Skating at Basement: A skating rink in a nightclub – sign me up!  Located in the Edition Hotel, Basement has a bowling alley and an ice skating rink for those looking for an alternative to sitting and sipping.


An Aside: Is there a human capable of visiting Miami without harkening back to Will Smith’s song?



Of course I needed to catch up on my Yoga Journals by the pool!

Is apple cider vinegar the new coconut oil?

Every year there’s a hot new miracle product that everyone is touting as the elixir for all issues. Last year it was coconuts.  God forbid any suburban home was without coconut water, coconut oil, coconut bras… This year appears to be the year of AVC.  We Americans love to choose a food, product, miracle of nature and make it très de rigueur. Never mind that said object has been around for eons. We like to think we just discovered it and proceed to use it for every single purpose possible.  We are strange, strange, strange.

Our ancient forebears used vinegar for pickling food, medicine, cleaning, wine making…the list goes on for the many applications of vinegar throughout the ages.  Today ACV (for those who want to be in the know – you have to shorthand apple cider vinegar)  is experiencing a renaissance (buy shares of vinegar stock.  We are going to be rich!). Drink it, bathe in it,  clean with it, pour it on your head when you’re having a bad day…ACV can solve all of your ailments.  Is it truly that good?

Well, first, in my research the type of vinegar appears to be critical.  The kind you get at stop ‘n shop, safeway, publix, arnolds…i’m trying to get a larger geographic demographic reading this blog…is usually a filtered, processed version.  Some of the original medicinal properties may still exist but in a much more diluted format.  Raw, unfiltered ACV – that is what you want.  Whole Foods and other natural grocery stores sell it.

It looks like this:


Okay moving on…why use it?


Hair: Spray a solution of 1 cup water with 2 Tbsp ACV onto hair after shampoing to ehance shine, detangle, remedy dandruff, and remove product buildup.  I do this about once a month and it definitely makes my hair feel lighter.

Teeth & Breath: Gargle with ACV for whiter teeth and better breath.

Skin Toner: Use it in on a cottonball in lieu of harsher toners.

Detox bath: I add this into my bath. I don’t know if it detoxes but mentally I think it does so that’s enough for me.


Diet: Not sure about this one but I have heard of people drinking 1 -2 Tbsp a day to lose weight.  I tried it a few times and it does seem to get these moving along if you know what I mean so if your motility is sluggish this could be your elixir.  There is a burning sensation like heartburn when it first goes down but it subsides quickly.

Medicinal: Gargle with ACV to soothe a sore throat or rid yourself of hiccups


Delish has fantastic ideas for using ACV in salad dressings, detox drinks, pork glaze, doughnuts, and many more recipes to get your fix.


I prefer white vinegar, especially since you can buy it in large jugs and then add a little oil to cover the vinegar smell but ACV does the same job. Check out my post on spring cleaning the healthy way for more cleaning recipes.

It’s the world’s newest miracle product that’s been around for centuries.