adventures in heather land

Blue Apron Test Drive.

My love for consumerism makes me I’m a sucker for three things:

1.  Freebies

2.  Free Trials

3.  Local Coffee Shop punch cards that lead to any free beverage of your choice

 

This post is about a wonderful free trial to Blue Apron my beautiful friend Thi Lihn sent my way.  Being pregnant has put a damper on food-related things for me.  Between the nausea, the heightened sense of smell, and the exhaustion, Mr. Heatherland has had to step up to the plate and started to flex his culinary muscles (otherwise we would both starve). Blue Apron is a meal subscription service company that delivers fresh ingredients and recipes to us weekly, saving us time and precious energy.

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Thi Linh is a new mom, a talented artist, and a filmmaker.  Which means she has been adjusting to a whole new life with very limited time for things like making dinner.  She’s been using Blue Apron with great results, and I took her endorsement to heart because she hates to cookand if Blue Apron manages to get her in the kitchen then I thought it must be worth a shot.  Even though I love cooking, I hate grocery shopping, and I wanted to find a streamlined way to have Mr. Heatherland try new recipes with success.

 

The Investment

I did a quick comparison of the most competitive meal subscription service companies.  The heavy hitters are Blue Apron ($10 per meal, per person), Hello Fresh ($11.50 per meal, per person), and Plated ($12 per meal, per person).  All three companies are the same in concept, some have more flexibility than others, but at $60 a week for three dinners, Blue Apron is the most economical option.

 

THE MEALS

After I signed up I had a small pang of disappointment when I saw the meals that would be coming to me, my initial reaction was. “Meh, that’s pretty basic”.  But then I remembered it’s not about having exotic or complex meals.  The point of this is to simplify our life and make dinnertime easy:

  • Organic, local ingredients cheaper than I could have sourced on my own
  • Mr. Heatherland can cook these meals on nights I get home from work late
  • Healthy, calorie proportioned servings
  • Simplify dinner decisions/shopping so I can focus on being a new mom
  • The fixed price helps streamline budgeting for weekly groceries

 

The Protocol

Signing up was a simple as it gets as there are only two options: 3 meals a week for 2 people, or 3 meals a week for 4 people.  I placed my order and the lead time was less than a week.  Then the first box arrived.  It’s insulated and contains ice packs to help keep it cold if you can’t be there to accept the shipment.  Inside are all the ingredients you need to create the three meals (everything except salt, pepper, and olive oil), and everything is wrapped and labeled.  blue_apron_one

The recipe cards are each 6 steps and take anywhere between 25 and 45 minutes to prepare; however the timing really depends on your skill level.  The bonus is, they have a whole assortment of online tutorials to help you sharpen your kitchen skills.

 

The Verdict

I wish I knew about this sooner!  Even though I wasn’t wowed by the menu, I’m wowed by the product.  And Mr. Heatherland is doing great with it.  Meal number one was Chicken and Basil Fettucini Pasta:

blue_apron_four

ingredients

result

result

Meal number two was a very delicious and impressive Sirloin Steak dish:

blue_apron_two

ingredients

results

results

Tonight we will have meal number three, a Salmon Caesar Salad.  We have all the fixings in the fridge waiting for us:

ingredients

ingredients

It is such a wonderful thing to come home after a long day and see Mr. Heatherland in the kitchen whipping together dinner.  Plus, on the days I don’t work late we can cook these together.  Win-win. This is going to be a very good thing in our life.

Yellow Fever.

What do I have in common with Katy Perry, Olivia Wilde, and Heidi Klum?  Well, besides a rockin’ body of course, we similar taste in jewelry.

 

yellow gold engagement rings

From Left: Katy Perry, Oliva Wilde, Heidi Klum

From Left: Katy Perry, Oliva Wilde, Heidi Klum

 

It has been so lovely to see more and more yellow gold pop up on the scene.  For decades, yellow gold has been the ugly stepsister to platinum and white gold.  But, look out world: It’s back and as beautiful as ever!

Green Amethyst Forest Jewel Ring, ALEX MONROE

Green Amethyst Forest Jewel Ring, ALEX MONROE

 

Wearing yellow gold is like taking a nap in warm sunshine, or basking in the glow of a late summer’s night.  It’s rich and full of depth.

Yellow Gold Ring Set: Photo by Katie Pietrowski

Yellow Gold Ring Set: Photo by Katie Pietrowski

 

It is also flattering.  If you have a not of blue undertones in your skin, like me, yellow gold will compliment your complexion.

Marquise diamond wedding ring: HN JEWELRY

 

When Mr. Heatherland was in the market for my ring, he got the name of an AMAZING jewelry maven in the Diamond District named Sabrina.

My Ring: Sabrina and Mr. Heatherland

My Ring: designed by Sabrina and Mr. Heatherland

 

He came to her armed with two bits of knowledge: I wanted a band and I wanted yellow gold; and she knocked it out of the park!  He tells me that going to Sabrina was a much better experience than going to a jewelry store to pick out a ring from a case.

Vintage Art Deco Ring: Etsy

Vintage Art Deco Ring: Etsy

 

He and her talked about my ring, she showed him binders full options for the setting, then she brought him samples, and only when they had a solid idea of what he wanted, she sourced the diamonds and had all it put together.  If you are hunting for a talented jeweler in the NY area, please email me for her contact info- I’m happy to share the love!

ring trio: lover.ly

ring trio: lover.ly

 

However, if vintage is more your thing, there are plenty of pre-loved yellow gold settings to be had.  My favorite spot to obsess over antique little lovelies is Market Square Jewelers.  They’ve been in the jewelry business for over 25 years, and they have acquired a pretty impressive selection.

Flush Vintage Gold Ring: Market Square Jewelers

Flush Vintage Gold Ring: Market Square Jewelers

 

Like this jaw dropper, could you just die?  It’s incredible!

Vintage Beryl Ring: Market Square Jewelers

Vintage Beryl Ring: Market Square Jewelers

 

I know, I know… it is highly unlikely that I will be forking over $15k for almost 50 carats worth of awesomeness, but I love to stare at it!

 

Hail to the yellow gold engagement rings!