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food, foodie, health, healthy, healthy food

Blue Apron Vs. Hello Fresh

Hi, all! This past week, my husband and I made 2 Blue Apron meals and 2 Hello Fresh meals. My brother uses both subscriptions (he likes the variety), and sent us free codes. I thought it would be fun to compare them and share our experiences.

Here goes:

PACKAGING:

BLUE APRON: Both meals came in an insulated box, but they weren’t separated out. Honestly, it was a big mess and a pain. I’m not sure if something happened while it was being delivered, but it all just seemed thrown into the box without care.

HELLO FRESH: Each meal was separated into sealed bags. I loved how nicely packaged it was! It made it so easy.Clearly my packaging pick winner is Hello Fresh.

PREP, INSTRUCTIONS, AND COOKING:

They both had detailed instructions and pictures for each step. I’d put these as a tie!Our Blue Apron meals took a little more time, and seemed to be a touch more advanced to make. We enjoyed this, as we felt like we were pulling out our inner Master Chef haha.

With Hello Fresh, I loved that the instructions told you exactly what tools you need to get out beforehand.

THE MEALS:

I chose off of the healthy menu for each service.

BLUE APRON:

MEAL 1: Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry with Spicy Sambal Sauce.

This was absolutely delicious, and I loved the kick of the sauce! We did add rice to this to make it more filling.

MEAL 2: Italian Chicken And Mozzarella Skillet With Mozzarella and Grana Padano Cheese.

Oh my gosh, this meal was so tasty!! The fresh mozzarella added so much. We put this over pasta, and it made it top notch.

HELLO FRESH:

MEAL 1: Southwest Stuffed Poblanos With Quinoa and Corn.

This was so different and delicious! My husband thought he’d miss having meat, but he ate every bite. It has a nice spice to it as well!

MEAL 2: Crispy Maple Mustard Chicken With Roasted Potato Wedges and Carrots.

This was definitely the easiest meal to make, but it sure wasn’t lacking in flavor! We loved it!

OVERALL:

We had a lot of fun cooking together and truly enjoyed each meal! Both services took the edge in different ways, and the food did not disappoint at all! I would definitely like to try some of the other services out there.

I would love to hear your experiences with meal delivery services!

Thanks for stopping by!

With love,

Carly

apple picking, baby, coffee, coffee date, family, fitness, food, foodie, healthy, marriage, motherhood, motivation, parenthood, workout

Let’s Have A Mid-Week Coffee Date

Hi, all! Happy hump day!! I am sitting here enjoying a (third) cup of coffee while the little one naps. My breastfeeding/pumping journey has officially ended, and my coffee consumption is back to an all time high.

I wanted to update you all with life lately, and what better way to do that than with coffee? Haha!

Let’s begin…

BABY:

We took baby on our annual apple picking date and had a blast with her.

Comparison to her in my belly to her now!

Baby has been thriving in her bugs class, and stood up by herself (while holding onto the bars) yesterday. My 7 month old is a rockstar!!

She sleeps like a champ, and I am proud of our consistent bedtime routine.

She laughs constantly, and knows when she is being funny. I seriously adore this kid more than anything!

I could continue all day, but let’s move on.

LOVE LIFE:

The beginning baby stage was hard, as my husband and I were exhausted and figuring this parent thing out, but now that things have settled, I love him even more than I did on our wedding day. He is the best dad, husband, and provider I could ever ask for.

He always tells me that I’m beautiful (even when I am covered in vomit). Haha! These two love each other so much. Oh my heart!

We haven’t been out on a date in a while, but we do incorporate date nights at home. These include movies, board games, and cooking dates (we have had a blast with our Blue Apron and Hello Fresh meals).

That being said, our anniversary is coming up in October and we are planning on a fun night out!

UPCOMING VACATION:

We leave in a couple weeks for North Carolina, and I am so excited for the baby to see the ocean for the first time.

I have a slight ping of sadness, as we visit the Outer Banks, and hurricane Dorian hit hard this year.

FITNESS:

Since having the little one, I can’t get to the gym like I used to, so I have to get creative at home.

I love running the baby outside! She gets to look around, and I get cardio and arm work pushing the stroller.

I also take advantage of the tons of YouTube videos (HIIT workouts, pure barre, etc.)

Carrying my little around all day is a workout itself!

OTHER:

Today is my sweet Maverick’s “gottya day.” We have had this little one for 5 years!

Last, but certainly not least, I am reflecting on this day 18 years ago. I was only in the 8th grade, but remember that day vividly. What a reminder to hug our loved ones a little tighter.

That’s about all for this coffee date, friends! Have a wonderful rest of your week!

With love,

Carly

fitness, food, foodie, health, healthy, motherhood, motivation, workout

Food, Fitness, Motherhood, And A 7 Month Baby Update

Hi, all! Happy Saturday!! I’m sitting here enjoying a pumpkin muffin and drinking coffee before the crew wakes up.

Guys….my little baby will be 7 months old on Monday! I have noticed SO much growth in her this past month, and she is more fun each day.

Month 6 to 7:

*Loves hearing herself scream

*Yells “maaaa”

*Loves her cats

*Sits like a champ

*Drools constantly, and puts everything in her mouth

*Laughs all the time

*Is making friends at Bugs class

*Holds tight to mom and dad when new people are around

Goshhh, I love this child of ours.

I have a great routine down with her, and finally feel like I am figuring this “mom” thing out!

It is important for me to eat well and workout, but not beat myself up if I fall off track. It’s all about balance, and teaching my daughter to love herself.

This week in FITNESS:

TUESDAY: My work bestie and I took a hip hop class and it was a BLAST. I’m a terrible dancer, but we just had fun with it.

WEDNESDAY: 3 mile run

TTHURSDAY: Spinning at the gym

FRIDAY: Hiit workout video and a jog/walk with baby

This week in FOOD:

Edamame spaghetti! It had an interesting taste, but I enjoyed it a lot. We had a spicy sauce with lean ground beef. Yum!

Pork over salad with a white sweet potato on the side.

Whole Foods salad bar when my mom was in town.

The rest of our meals weren’t picture worthy haha!

This weekend, and upcoming week, we will be getting two Blue Apron meals, and two Hello Fresh meals. My brother uses both, and sent me free meals. I’m SO EXCITED!!! I will do a post comparing them.

Now I am off to get the rest of this weekend going.

Have a great one, all!

With love,

Carly

family, fitness, food, foodie, fun, health, healthy, motivation, workout

Our Long Weekend Of Food, Fitness, And Family Time

Hello all!! How was your weekend? Since yesterday was Labor Day, my husband had the day off and we enjoyed the extra family time.

Here is the recap:

FRIDAY NIGHT:

My husband picked us up dinner from Jersey Mike’s on his way home from work. We ate and rented Godzilla.

I also had a mountain of veggie straws with my meal haha.

SATURDAY:

We decided to go out for a family breakfast. We dressed in our OSU football gear and headed to the Fox in the Snow Cafe.

Everything was delicious and it was nice to sit outside, eat, and chat.

Once we got home, the baby went down for a nap and I headed to the gym for an upper body lifting class.

It was a good one.

When I got home, we watched football, played with the baby, and went out on a long stroller walk.

Dinner was quick and easy!

I fell asleep early!

SUNDAY:

The day started slow with coffee and a walk with my little. I went to the gym for a much needed hour long yoga class. It felt absolutely amazing!

My mom came into town and spent the day with us, which was so nice. We went to lunch at Whole Foods, took some stroller walks, and enjoyed being together.

My mom left early evening and I got things ready for dinner. We had crescent rolled hot dogs (mine were turkey dogs), avacado pasta salad, and pumpkin muffins.

Dinner was so yummy!

After dinner, my husband and I played Clue and Trouble. It was fun playing board games instead of watching TV.

MONDAY:

The day started with coffee and a 3 mile run before the weather got too hot.

Later, we took baby K to the park and she had a blast!

The sun and fun wore her out and she fell asleep early last night!

For dinner, we had Hawaiian chicken and I put mine over a salad! I loaded it with our leftover pasta salad, cheese, and nuts. I also had a pumpkin muffin!

We watched Bachelor in Paradise before bed.

Well, there you have it! Have a wonderful rest of your week! I’m off to clean!

With love,

Carly

health, healthy, self-care

Easy, Affordable Ways to Bring More Self-Care to Your Day (Guest Post)

Hello, everyone! Today, I have an awesome guest post brought to us by Brad Krause at http://selfcaring.info

Hope you enjoy!

EASY, AFFORDABLE WAYS TO BRING MORE SELF-CARE TO YOUR DAY:

.We all know that self-care is crucial to a healthy, balanced life. Taking care of yourself can boost your mental, emotional, and physical health. According to Good Therapy, people who “adequately meet their needs are often able to better cope with everyday stressors.” In addition to boosting resiliency, self-care also reduces stress, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. 

 

Of course, it can sometimes be tricky squeezing “me” time into your day along with all your other responsibilities. That’s especially true if you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford a massage or a fancy day spa. 

Luckily, caring for yourself doesn’t have to be tedious or expensive. You can prioritize your needs without spending a dime or even leaving your house.

The following self-care tips can help improve your mental health on any budget. 

 

Get Enough Shut-eye

When you think about self-care, what comes to mind? An exotic vacation? A trip to an extravagant day spa? Perhaps even a luxurious yoga retreat? Believe it or not, taking care of yourself starts in the comfort of your own home. One convenient, cost-effective way to start prioritizing your needs is by getting enough sleep. 

 

Sleep keeps your heart, immune system, and mind healthy. According to Very Well Health, it boosts your memory, reduces inflammation, and may even prevent certain cancers. If you’re prone to late-night anxiety, insomnia, or have difficulty falling asleep, there are some things you can do. First, try going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day. Consistency helps regulate your body’s natural circadian rhythm. To help kickstart the process, you could also take natural supplements like CBD oil or melatonin, both of which can help you fall asleep. 

You could also turn your bedroom into a relaxing haven. To help get some shut-eye, paint the walls a soothing shade like green or blue. Next, purchase a few sleep-friendly products like comfortable bedding, memory foam pillows, or even a white noise machine. Look to stores like Macy’s or Bed, Bath & Beyond for great deals on quality linens, and don’t forget to scout around for coupon codes or discounts to help stretch your dollars. 

Physical Activity

Like sleep, fitness is crucial to self-care. In addition to making you feel more self-confident about your body, exercise can improve your mood, reduce stress, and ease anxiety. You don’t have to purchase an expensive gym membership to get more physical activity. Instead, invest in some at-home fitness gear like exercise balls, yoga blocks and straps, and a supportive fitness mat. 

Of course, if you’re the type of person who enjoys working out with other people, then you might benefit from splurging a little on a monthly gym membership. Of course, if you’re a senior who has a Medicare Advantage plan through a company like Humana, you don’t have to worry about this added expense. Many Medicare Advantage plans, Humana’s included, allow seniors to take part in the SilverSneakers program, which provides zero-cost gym benefits at different fitness centers around the United States. This is a good way for older adults to keep in shape and stay socially active, both of which are incredibly important as we get older.

 

Make Time for YOU

Getting some alone time is arguably the least expensive and most essential tip of all. Prioritize your needs by maintaining healthy boundaries. It’s okay to decline additional responsibilities to make more time for yourself. Reducing stress not only keeps you healthier and happier, but it also makes you better equipped to help others. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Use that extra time to rest and relax, even if only for a few minutes. Diffuse essential oils like lavender, or light incense or sage. Meanwhile, listen to some relaxing music. Purchase a meditative CD or search for playlists on Amazon, Spotify, or YouTube. If you’re stuck in rush hour traffic, satellite radio stations offer peaceful, commercial-free channels like Sirius XM’s Spa channel (channel 68) or Yoga music channel (channel 1092).


Getting enough self-care each day doesn’t have to be hard. Many overlooked practices, like the ones mentioned above, are easy and cost-effective to implement in your daily routine. Simply taking time for a few deep breaths, going for a walk in nature, or stopping to smell the flowers won’t cost you a dime. These daily self-care practices will leave you feeling refreshed and mentally ready to tackle whatever comes your way.