Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

It is time for a What's Up Wednesday.

What we're eating this week:  I have been trying out various meal prep kit services since the beginning of the year.  Last week I ordered a box from Marley Spoon and cooked the last meal from that box last night.  It was a Beef and Mushroom Stir Fry with Grains and it was delicious.  I have found that many of these kits say they make 2 servings but actually make 3 so I have leftovers for lunch the next day. A couple of weeks ago we had a game night at my brother in law and sister in law's house.  We all decided to make a taco bar for dinner so in addition to our portion of the food I brought along some Jalapeno Limeade to make margaritas.  If you like slightly spicy and margaritas run, don't walk, to Trader Joe's and get some of this drink!


What I'm reminiscing about: 
I am reminiscing about my last few trips to Disneyland.  I have gone twice this year so far and had a blast both times.  Disneyland is generally hot and crowded starting Memorial Day weekend until kids start to go back to school so I am not planning on making a summer trip.  I guess my good memories will have to tide me over until I can go back in the fall.

What I'm loving: I am loving our weather at the moment. We have had a couple of very hot days this spring but as a whole the weather has been perfect.  I will continue to enjoy our nice 75 degree days as long as they last!

What we've been up to:
We had a nice quiet holiday weekend and spent most of it at home but we did stop by our local food truck meet up after work on Friday to pick up some dinner and dessert.  Despite the fact the ice cream looks like the nasty blue bubble gum ice cream we all ate as kids in reality it was a fantastic flavor called Cookie Monster.  It was cookie pieces in vanilla ice cream that had been made blue to look like Cookie Monster!

What I'm dreading: I am not really dreading anything at the moment though I am always dreading cleaning my house since no matter how many times I clean it it just doesn't stay clean. I just cleaned and reorganized my bookshelf this past weekend so I am to keep that organized!

What I'm working on: I am working on eating healthy and continuing to go to the gym consistently now that my foot has pretty much healed. I am finally starting to see my body getting stronger though I have not really lost much weight. This week I have been really focusing on my food since I am doing a pretty good job with the whole move more thing.

What I'm excited about:
 I am excited to enjoy a fairly quiet summer.  Last summer was super busy with wedding planning and then honeymoon planning but this year we don't have any big trips planned. I am sure we will still take a few day trips and I have a girls day at the Giants game planned with my sister in law and niece planned so that should be fun.

What I'm watching/reading: A couple of weeks ago I started watching Call the Midwife on Netflix and am thoroughly enjoying it so far. I am on season 2 already and am pretty sure I am going be done with all the seasons in the next few weeks.

What I'm listening to: Mostly whatever comes on my Pandora which is usually a mix of country and a random mix of 90s-00s pop music.  Everyone needs some Britney in their life every once in a while.

What I'm wearing: This time of year (ok really all year) I am all about comfortable dresses. I bought this dress to wear for Easter and as soon as I wore it the first time it became a regular part of my wardrobe. 

Favorite Vacation Spot: This is such a hard question.  I love Disneyland and love going to visit various places in Europe and all over the US but sometimes it is nice to just have a vacation where you go and sit on a beach. Sometimes a go and sit vacation instead of a go and do vacation is just nice.  My favorite place to go and sit has to be Hawaii.  

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Marley Spoon Review

After trying Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and Plated I tried Marley Spoon. As I did with the previous  companies I tried it for 3 weeks so I could get a feel for what I liked and didn't like about it.  I got 3 meals a week (that each had 2 servings) so I tried 9 different meals. While I tried 9 meals you might notice there are only 8 pictures. Seems I forgot to take a picture of one meal. Oops!

The first dish I made was a Pan-Seared Cod with Greens and Garlicy Smashed Potatos.  In addition to the garlic the potatoes had vinegar in them which gave them a really unexpected taste.  I thought it was great but my husband wasn't a fan. Overall this was a solid dish.

While I cook soups and stews regularly I don't normally make stews with beef in them so this Beef and Root Vegetable Stew was a nice change.  It was delicious and pretty easy to make.

These Black Bean Burgers were delicious in taste but the execution/directions was a bit of a fail. You were meant to make the black bean mixture, refrigerate it and then shape it into a patty to cook it. The mixture was so soft and wet that even after leaving it in the fridge for double the time and adding some extra bread crumbs from my cupboard I could barely get it into a patty shape to cook it.

The second week started off with a Quinoa and Lentil Curry which was good but nothing super special.

The Pepperonchini and Broccoli dish was pretty good but it is not one of the recipes I have made again though I would consider it.

This Kale and Squash Flatbread was really good and not something I would normally think to make.  The orange salad on the side was also really good and refreshing.

These Fish Tacos with Orange and Jicama Slaw were probably the best things I have gotten from any of the boxes.  I have made these tacos again at least half a dozen times since we first got them in the box. They are super easy and very refreshing. This is a great summer dish so I plan to share the recipe for this one sometime soon.

This curry was also a hit.  I have not made it again but would definitely if I was ever in the mood for a curry.

  • It was nice to only have the ingredients I needed for a recipe and not to have to buy a whole bottle of something I will only use once.
  • There were multiple recipes that I have made again or plan to make again.
  • Made me cook things out of my comfort zone and use ingredients I don't normally use but I feel like the ingredients weren't quite as out of my comfort zone as with Blue Apron.
  • There were 10 meals to choose from (7 that are new every week and 3 that are encore recipes so stay the same for a month at a time) and I could choose any 3 without restrictions.
  • As I said in the pros there were not as many ingredients I had never used/had never heard of. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as it will make these recipes easier to recreate but didn't push me as much to try new things.
  • Not quite as many options to choose from as Plated.
The cost this one was within a dollar or two or Blue Apron and Hello Fresh so that overall was a neutral point.  Plated is the only one with a noticeable price difference. I think the balance of the cost and larger number of options makes this the one I am most likely to continue to order from of the services I have tried so far.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Stitch Fix #23

Another month another fun Stitch Fix box. This box came right before my latest trip to Disneyland (post on that coming up later in the week) so I asked for some things that I would wear to the park.

In addition to park appropriate wear (which this is obviously not) I always ask for work appropriate clothing too so this is what was sent for that.  It doesn't look that cute all spread out on the bed but on me it is adorable.  The full skirt and defined waist are very flattering on me so I kept this one.

This one I was on the fence about keeping.  The navy color was great and the lace detailing is adorable but the lace didn't have any stretch to it.  Without stretch in the lace it pulled just a little around my hips so I ended up sending it back.

I loved the color and the comfy fabric of this causal dress.  It would have been a perfect casual dress if it had been about 2 inches longer.  It technically covered everything but I would have had to be way too careful wearing it for me to want to keep it.

I knew the minute I saw these in the box that I would not be keeping them.  I don't need clothing that comes with holes already in them. Even without the holes the fit of these shorts was not good so I wouldn't have kept them anyway.

This picture doesn't quite do this shirt justice in terms of color but in real life it was a very pretty pale mint green.  The shirt was a great color and fit well but I the eyelet fabric it was made of was see through.  If it had come with a matching mint green camisole I would have kept it in a heartbeat.
My next box arrives this week but if you want your own fun Stitch Fix box you can get one here

Monday, May 8, 2017

Week (end) Wrap Ups

After a rainy winter here in the bay area the sun has come out and spring has sprung.

Last Wednesday was Administrative Professionals Day and my office likes to go all out. This year theme was "You are a Lifesaver" so it was kind of cruise ship/ocean themed.

They even covered up the big windows in our conference room to make it look like the ocean with fishies swimming in it.

There were all kinds of fun props to use to take pictures and I never pass up a good photo op!

The party was held during lunch time so of course lunch was provided.  We had a make your own burrito/taco salad bar and it was delicious.  All that was missing was a make your own margarita bar but since this was a work event we had to do without margaritas sadly.

Since Easter was over and weather was so nice I decided to decorate my house for spring.  I really just took down anything that was specifically Easter and put up more things with flowers on it.  I put a really cute tablecloth on our dining table that just makes the whole room look so colorful.

Last weekend was quite warm so we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and head to a German restaurant downtown for dinner Sunday night. Sunday was pleasantly warm but the rest of the week was just outrageously warm!

Great thing about being able to take the lightrail to downtown from our condo is that no one has to be the designated driver.  German beers for all! After enjoying our beers on the patio we ordered some dinner and then we still had a bit of room in our stomaches so dessert.  Dinner was good but dessert was amazing.  My husband had an apple strudel and I had some sort of rhubarb tart thing that was super good.

The weather finally cooled down at the end of this week just in time to head down to Salinas for my uncle's surprise party.  I was excited to get to wear a fun dress that I had bought to be my Easter dress a few weeks ago.

I didn't take many pictures at the actual party (we were having too much fun) but the decorations were all about fishing.  My cousins and aunt did a great job planning the party.

Even though the party was for my uncle his actual birthday was a few days ago but my mom's actual birthday was that day.  It was nice to be able to see my mom (and dad) on her birthday and we will be heading down to Salinas again next weekend for mother's day and to see my little sister while she is home from school.