Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh Review Part 2

Welcome back to part 2 of my Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh review. Today’s post will be about our HelloFresh experience. To recap we received a coupon to try HelloFresh for free from a friend.

We received our meals again on Monday and I was excited to see what this box would bring.

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We tried the Chicken Cheddar Fajitas first because seriously who doesn’t love fajitas? This meal was quick and delicious and the serving size was perfect for us. We each got 3 fajitas and I was so happy that I tried the Lime Crema. Normally it wouldn’t be something I would try, but because I made it myself I wasn’t as hesitant as I normally would be. This is absolutely a meal that we will be making again.

Next we tried the Cherry Balsamic Pork, full disclosure we have not eaten pork in the almost 3 years that we have lived together. I’ve always been afraid to under cook the pork and get a worm in my brain! I was pretty scared making this and also nervous because I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the cherry glaze. This one again was relatively quick to make and they gave us small fingerling potatoes which made the prep time quicker and also more food than Blue Apron. The glaze wasn’t overpowering and I liked that I could choose how much glaze I wanted to put on my pork. This meal was amazing and the one that made us decide to continue ordering HelloFresh when we like the menu options.

Also side note, for the thyme that was on the potatoes it came in a pack ready to spread over them. No pulling little thyme leaves off the branch for this box!

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Last but not least was the Japanese Panko Chicken. I didn’t love this meal and it felt like it took the longest to cook. The serving sizes were great and I blame my dislike of this one on myself because I didn’t chop the ginger as small as I should have. The sauce was just a personal preference, but again super easy to whip up. My husband absolutely loved the chicken and ate both of ours.

I also really like that each meal has a vegetable side, something that we don’t always do when were cooking dinner on the fly. You can use our referral link to get $40 off your first week of meals. I would highly recommend trying HelloFresh as I think the meals would work for a lot of people and don’t take a lot of time to prepare. I would love to know if any of you have tried either box and what you thought. Or maybe there’s another box out there that would be better for us? Let me know!

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Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh Review Part 1

Recently I was gifted a coupon to try both Blue Apron and HelloFresh. I’ve always thought about trying out the meal delivery service, but with a $50+ price tag I was iffy. I received a coupon to try Blue Apron for $9.99 for 3 meals and I received a coupon to try HelloFresh completely free for 3 meals. I’m a pretty picky eater so it made me really nervous to only have a couple of things to choose from.

Week 1 we chose Blue Apron and received our 3 meals on Monday. I have to admit that I was happy to not have to stop at the grocery store on the way home from work and fight over what we should have for dinner.

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We tried the Cheeseburgers first thinking this would be the least out of my comfort zone. I didn’t realize how much work actually has to be put into making these dinners and was immediately overwhelmed. I didn’t end up making the pickled beets that go on top of the burger because to be honest it was too much work. Additionally they only gave us 1 potato to make wedges which frankly is not enough for 2 people in my mind. We should of at least got 2 potatoes. For the hamburger itself it was just ground beef and garlic, not exactly a flavorful burger. I ended up not eating this meal as the first bite turned me off.

Next we made the Chicken & Stewed White Beans, while cooking this it smelled awful to me and I was positive I was going to hate this. This one also took a lot of time to prepare and was very overwhelming. Instead of sending me a packet of thyme they sent me thyme still on the branch and I had to pull it off one by one. I’m not going to lie, this was the moment I knew this box was not for us. We work 45 minutes away so coming home to a meal that needs extensive prep is not ideal. I served the chicken and was terrified to try it, but once I did I was pleasantly surprised. I’m glad I have the recipe card for this one because I’ll probably make it again.

Finally the Stir-Fried Beef and Broccoli. I’m sad to say that we didn’t end up making this one. I had every intention of making it as it seemed the most promising to me, however life got in the way and we ended up not cooking it before the meat went bad.

Me and the Mr. both felt meh about this box and decided we would just skip weeks until we saw something we were excited to try. However I happened to check my credit card statement and saw that I got charged full price for the box that was supposed to be $9.99. This immediately put a sour taste in my mouth and I decided I needed to cancel our account before we randomly got charged again. I emailed them in regards to overcharging me and heard back a couple of days later that the full price would be refunded to me which I appreciated. When trying to cancel our “subscription” I was even further turned off because you can’t just click a button and cancel. You have to email them and they will send you “directions”. Really all they do is send you the link that they don’t post on their site, but this just seems sketchy to me and I don’t like companies that hope you’ll be too frustrated to cancel and then eventually forget to keep skipping and get charged for a box you didn’t even want in the first place.

My final verdict on Blue Apron is most definitely a pass. While it is fun to try new foods and not have to shop for groceries or go through the dreaded what’s for dinner argument it just wasn’t practical for us.

Check back tomorrow for my HelloFresh review.

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Book Review – A Curse So Dark by Heather Davis

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You can never really hide from what you’re meant to be…

A blood curse. Deadly secrets. A dark stranger.

When her deputy sheriff father goes missing, Lily Turner learns the quaint logging town of Pioneer Falls harbors terrible secrets– an unspeakable past connected to her family and a blood curse her father has hidden from his three daughters.

When Morgan McAllister arrives in town, Lily can’t deny their mutual attraction. But falling for Morgan may derail Lily’s efforts to find her father and to save her younger sisters from the family fate.

Searching for answers deep in the shadowy forests that surround the town, Lily will risk everything to uncover the truth. As hunters are exposed and rivals for the territory circle the Turner sisters, no one in Pioneer Falls is safe– especially with the full moon rising.

From the author of Never Cry Werewolf comes this suspenseful new series full of dark secrets and heartfelt romance.

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Purchase Links:

Chapters |Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Review: A Curse So Dark is a quick, fun paranormal read. I was super excited to read this book and couldn’t put it down. The setting as well as the characters were very well developed and I really loved the main character Lily and her relationship with Morgan.

I’m excited to see  where this trilogy goes and can’t wait to see what happens.

About the Author:

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Heather Davis is the author of The Pioneer Falls series, a new Young Adult Paranormal Romance trilogy set in the dark forests of the Pacific Northwest.

 

Her previous books include Never Cry Werewolf and its two novella sequels, Sometimes by Moonlight and Always in Shadow. Heather is also the author of Wherever You Go, and the RITA Award finalist for Best Young Adult Romance, The Clearing.

Heather loves writing about strong, smart heroines and the dark heroes that challenge them. In every book you’ll find suspense, a touch of humor, and tons of heartfelt romance.

She is obsessed with good coffee, books, indie bands, and perfect chocolate chip cookies.

Visit her at www.heatherdavisbooks.com

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

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Book Review – The Third Kiss by Kat Colmer

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I had the pleasure of receiving an arc of The Third Kiss by Kat Colmer which was just released on August 7. Check out the synopsis below.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Amazon.com.au | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled

Love curses don’t exist. At least that’s what Jonas, master of the meaningless hookup, tells himself when a letter warns him he’s an Eros Guardian cursed to endure a test of true love or forever be alone. His levelheaded longtime friend Cora figures it’s a revenge prank by an ex. The way Jonas stamps each girlfriend with a weeklong use-by date, it serves him right.

But when an impulsive kiss between the two friends reveals potential for more, Cora becomes the target of the Groth Maar: demons sent to wipe out the Eros Guardian line. And suddenly the curse becomes dangerously real.

Breaking the curse means Jonas’s biggest challenge yet. Failure guarantees Cora’s death. But success may cost him his own life…and the loss of his carefully guarded heart to the one girl far too sensible to fall for him.

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Review: This book was a great quick read and I really enjoyed all the aspects of it. I’m a sucker for witty banter and Jonas and Cora fully delivered. The will they, won’t they that played out was very enjoyable.  Cora is a take care of herself kind of girl which I fully relate to and really helped me connect to her as I feel like most YA books these days have ditzy main characters.

The curse itself and the world were so interesting to me and I really enjoyed learning about the curse slowly and all the different facets to it. There are a couple of twists in the book and I will say that I saw one of them coming for most of the book, but didn’t expect the other.

I’m excited to see what more we learn about the curse in the next book and where the story for our characters goes. Jonas, Cora, Beth and Leo are a lovable squad that you’ll be rooting for.

 

About the Author: Kat Colmer

 

Kat Colmer is a Sydney-based Young and New Adult author who writes coming-of-age stories with humor and heart. The recipient of several writing awards, she has won the Romance Writers of Australia First Kiss contest, as well as the Romance Writers of America On the Far Side contest for her debut Young Adult Paranormal Romance.

 

 

 

 

 

Kat has a Master of Education in Teacher Librarianship and loves working with teens and young adults. When not writing, teaching, or reading the latest in YA fiction, Kat spends time with her husband and two children.

 

Hope you guys enjoyed this post and look out for more book reviews coming soon!

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Book to Big Screen Review * The 5th Wave

If you guys remember my Books to Big Screen 2016 post you know that I was hoping to read all the books before I saw the movie. Well The 5th Wave came out yesterday and we went to go see it after work.

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I had finished the book a couple weeks prior so I was really excited to see how it translated over to the big screen. It seemed like a lot of the people in the theatre had read the book also as they were very excited when certain things happened in the movie.

I really liked the way they began the movie explaining all the waves and showing what happened. Small things were left out, but I didn’t think they were crucial to the story so I let it go. Also some things changed, but again not a huge deal for the beginning of the movie. What really bothered me is that they didn’t really delve into the characters so you never really felt connected to them. I understand for time purposes that they can’t go into detail as much as the book, but I felt like so much of the relationship between Cassie and Evan was left out and really if you hadn’t read the book you wouldn’t understand how close they really became. The movie made it seem like Cassie was at Evan’s house for 2 days. Another relationship that wasn’t really explored in the movie was between Zombie (Ben) and Ringer.

Another thing that was completely left out of the movie that I felt like was a very important part of the books was how the Others used a green orb to decimate an area and basically erase it off the map. This was never mentioned once in the movie, while in the book they use it on the camp Cassie was staying at and then it’s used to destroy the base where the Others have been training the kids for the 5th wave.

Also Zombie tied up Nugget (Sammy) so that he couldn’t go on the mission because he was afraid he would die, but in the book it is decided that he is too young to join them on the mission and would be moved to a different squad to train for a couple more years. I understand they did this in the movie to show how much Zombie cared for Nugget since that relationship also wasn’t fully shown in the movie, but for someone who didn’t read the books it seems ridiculous because it seems like Nugget and Teacup are around the same age and it just doesn’t make sense. Matt actually said to me after the movie that he thought it was messed up that he would only try to save Nugget and didn’t care about Teacup.

All in all the movie was a good movie, but a lot was changed or left out from the book. I always say this after seeing a movie that has been adapted from a book, but do yourself a favor and read the book first, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re someone who simply doesn’t care about reading a book before the movie (or ever) then I would definitely say that you could see this movie and fully enjoy it.

Influenster’s RoseVoxBox – Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara

Today I wanted to show you guys how I used my free mascara I got in my RoseVoxBox from Influenster. Usually I use quite a few different mascara’s to achieve the look I want and always spend a lot of time trying to separate my lashes at the end. I know some people love the clumpy look, but I just prefer the separated lash look and LET ME TELL YOU this mascara totally does this! The mascara and brush are quite large and I actually think that’s one of the reasons I feel like it does such a great job of separating my lashes. I’ve used another large brush before as well and I always love the outcome. Don’t let the large bottle and brush scare you away from trying it! Paired with some dark winged liner this mascara really does open up your eyes and give you that retro glam feel. Now I will be honest and say that I don’t usually wear makeup unless we are going out somewhere for the evening, but I wore it out yesterday to just hang out with a friend and really didn’t feel like it was too over the top for the day. This mascara hits shelves this month so be on the lookout for it and let me know what you think of it!

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I received Rimmel’s Retro Glam Mascara free in my RoseVoxBox from Influenster, all opinions voiced are my own.

 

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Influenster’s Rose VoxBox

I was one of the lucky people chosen to receive Influenster’s Rose VoxBox. Influenster is a company that sends out different products for free and in return you complete tasks promoting the products, the more tasks you do the more likely you are to get picked for another box or product. I have been lucky enough to receive a couple different products and boxes to test out and I have to say that I LOVE Influenster. It is completely free to sign up and to participate, you do however have to be invited to join so leave an email and I will gladly send you an invite! Now lets get to unboxing this bad boy!

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1. Lindt LINDOR Milk Chocolate Truffles $3.99

 

Smooth, Melting, Luscious. When you break the shell of a LINDOR truffle, the irresistible smooth filling starts to melt and so will you. Available in 10 smooth, melting flavors. I love Lindt chocolate and every time I go to the outlets I always check to see if the bars are on sale because the toffee crunch is my absolute favorite. So much so that last time I bought and ate 5 bars!

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2. Dr. Scholl’s For Her Cozy Cushion $12.49

Dr. Scholl’s For Her Cozy Cushions help keep feet warm and dry while providing all-day comfort. Their multi-layer design helps insulate the foot while two plush layers provide extra cushioning. Cozy Cushions help keep feet dry by absorbing perspiration and offer superior support on hard surfaces. I so wish I got these a couple days earlier so I could of put them in my boots I wore on Halloween, but I know that I will get a lot of use out of these since I live in boots all winter.

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3. Vitabath Hydrating Lotion $7.99

Moisturize your skin with lotion formulated with Aloe Vera, Safflower and Olive Oils for silky soft skin. This Hydrating lotion enriches skin with luxurious moisture and a delicate scent. Free from propylene glycol, phtalates, mineral oil, and synthetic color. Right about this time my skin starts to get super dry, I was hoping this year wouldn’t be as bad as years past since I am drinking a gallon of water a day but it seems that it has already started. As much as I love bath and body works and their lotions sometimes I think that it doesn’t actually quench my skin as well as it could so I am excited to try this and see if it helps my dry skin and the extreme itching I experience.

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4. belVita crunchy Breakfast Biscuits $3.69

belVita crunchy Breakfast Biscuits are made with delicious ingredients and carefully baked to release steady energy that lasts all morning. They’re a good source of fiber and B-vitamins, contain no high fructose corn syrup, have 18-20 grm=ams of whole grain per serving and taste great – perfect for on-the-go. I remember when these first came out I was dying to try them and for some reason I just never did. Even though we are starting a 6 week nutrition challenge at our house and eating 90% clean, I will be giving these a try tomorrow on my drive into work!

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5. Kiss Gradiation Polishes $6.99

Give yourself a trendy gradiation manicure in no time with Kiss Gradiation Polishes. Quick and easy to apply in three easy steps, you will end up with a mani filled with glitter and shine in no time! Available at Walgreens. I will admit that I probably won’t be using this. Aside from going to get my nails done at a salon lately I have a HUGE nail polish collection and I just don’t see myself using these colors when I have so many others that I like more. Who knows though, I may get the urge and try these out one day when I don’t feel like going and getting a mani.

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6. Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara $5.99

The 60s are back in full swing with a thicker, fuller, wide-eyed look! Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara brings you a bold, wide-eyed look, fanned out volume, and no clumps for lashes that are up, out, and over the top! I love Rimmel products and actually used one of their other mascara’s for quite a while until I changed over to Benefit’s They’re Real mascara. I love layering mascaras and trying out new ones so I am super excited to see how well this mascara works, layered and alone!

 

So run, don’t walk, over to Influenster now and sign up to qualify to test awesome products for FREE!