Trying Out DailyLook

No manie or coffee break this week?! Whoops!

I had food poisoning over the weekend so it threw me off of my blogging game. Not that my game is particularly on point anyway, but ya know.

I wanted to stop in and invite you to try DailyLook. This is the second clothing delivery service thingy that I’ve tried and I’m interested to see if I like DailyLook a little better. It seems to be about the same as the other I tried, but they have a free 3-month trial so that you don’t have to pay the $20 fee to have them pick and send you clothes. I really love the idea of this service, but the I think it takes a little time for them to figure out your style and, at the time, I wasn’t willing to pay $20 a month just to try clothes on and send them back. I think with a 3-month trial they will have time to get my style without charging me for it.

Here’s a link for you to go try it out too. I hope we can become stylish together! I’m looking forward to sharing what I receive and how I like it on Affichomanie. My first box will arrive on April 3rd!

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Manie

Bryce and I took a little time off of work Friday and went to a wine & chocolate class at Indulgence Chocolatiers. But first I left work at noon, scarfed down some jimmy john’s, took a nap, grabbed dinner at black sheep, and drank a cortado. It was a day of eating and sleeping, really.

I was alone for most of Valentine’s day because Bryce had a work commitment, but then he showed up at our door with two dozen roses. I found a good one, people. Then I made the below pictured deliciousness via Blue Apron. It’s a farro, squash, kale, pomegranate salad thing and it was great.

Anyway, back to the important things, wine and chocolate. The class was jam-packed and a blast! 5 chocolates & 5 wines including:

  • Citrus Basil Truffle with 2013 Ross Andrew Celilo Pinot Gris
  • Ginger Passion Fruit Caramel with 2014 Banyan Gewurztraminer
  • Rose Pistachio Truffle with 2012 Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha
  • Smoky Pomegranate Truffle with 2012 Ca’Del Sarto Ardente, Italy
  • Raspberry Chipotle Pecan Bar with NV Shook Sparkling Shiraz, Australia

We bought the chocolate bar with sparkling shiraz and the bottle of pinot gris to take home. We like wine soooo…yep.

P.S. Definitely wrote this while watching SNL so there’s just not much to say. All of my favorite people in one show. It’s amazing.

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My Favorite Time of Day

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Every night, almost without fail, this little Ulmer family finds ourselves curled up on our extra long couch. Bryce and Beatrix are early to rise, early to bed so I’m the lone night owl watching over them as they fall asleep to sounds of whatever silly show I have playing.

And absolutely without fail, I take a minute to enjoy their peace. I giggle at Bryce’s snores and Beatrix’s tangled, gangly legs. I have a picture of the two of them, asleep on the couch, from almost every day since we brought Bea home. It takes everything in me not to wake them up, but I love that moment. Because everyday I get that time to be still and feel so grateful for what I have.

They are like my thankfulness alarm clock. And I hope you have one too. The world would be a better place if we all remembered to take a moment each day to be grateful for who and what we have in our lives.

I’d love to hear…what are you grateful for? Do you have a life alarm clock, that special moment each day, where you give thanks?

Blue Apron

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Yesterday we received our second box from Blue Apron and I think it’s safe to say we will be sticking with it. In case you don’t know about Blue Apron yet, it is a meal delivery service. They package up fresh, beautiful ingredients along with a recipe and ship it off to you. It is 3 dinners for 2 people for $60 a week (there is also a family option for 4 people). At first that sounds like a lot, but we realized we are actually saving money. It breaks down to $10 a person for dinner. Just think about how much money you spend going out or ordering in on nights you don’t feel like thinking up something to make and trekking to the store before you even start cooking. Or even when you do have a meal planned to cook and you have to buy a full container of something that you only need a scoop of. Ricotta comes to mind…that shiz is expensive.

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There are many great things about the concept of Blue Apron. Half of the meal planning and grocery shopping I had to do is eliminated. I just sit back and wait for my box to show up. I don’t have to constantly be thinking about what to make for dinner, chefs plan it for me. I’m not wasting food by being forced to buy more than I need for a recipe. You need 2 tablespoons of butter for this recipe? Bam, two tablespoons of butter. No need to run to the store and buy a whole box. All you need to have in your kitchen is olive oil, salt and pepper. Blue Apron provides the rest.

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So like I said, we are actually saving money on food. I mean, sure, we don’t always make dinners that cost as much as $10 per person, but sometimes we spend more than $10 per person. Like a lot more. Because Whole Foods is expensive. The other day when I looked at our bank account I was like WHOA…How do we have money?! Blue Apron, people. (Well, that and I’ve been cutting back on my spending. I’m so proud of myself!) And we are trying foods that I’ve never even heard of. Have you ever heard of einkorn? Probably not because it’s an ancient grain that’s only recently coming back. I ate it last week and it was fantastic.

Blue Apron offers lamb, beef, pork, poultry, shellfish, fish, and vegetarian options. You are able to select what categories of meals you want each week. Obviously, I just have ours set to vegetarian so we don’t really get to trade anything out if we don’t want it. Hasn’t really been a problem. Here’s what we had, have, and will have next week.

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Week 1:

  • Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Einkorn & Crispy Sage — This was OMG good! You may have seen the photo via Instagram where I mentioned we did a slow clap when we finished this meal. Not kidding, it was that good.soup
  • Butternut Squash & Kale Minestrone with Horseradish Gremolata & Parmesan Toast — Have you seen an actual full piece of fresh horseradish? I hadn’t. This was such a great soup. Sometimes vegetarian soups lack depth in flavor, but this had an amazing spice blend that rocked my world.IMG_2771
  • Shiro Miso Soba Noodles with Poached Eggs, Yu Choy & Turnips — I was a little nervous about this one because I pretty much didn’t know what I was eating. It was fantastic and flavorful. Bryce LOVED it and he’s not usually that into asian food.

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Week 2:

  • Lentil Minestra with Crispy Sage & Fontina Walnut Toast — As you may know, I’m allergic to walnuts so the second this box arrived I threw them in the trash. Which made me sad because a big reason I like Blue Apron is because I’m not wasting food. At this point there’s no way to request a change in your meal — the only option is to completely cancel your delivery for the week and I didn’t want to do that because of one little bag of walnuts. This soup was good. I really liked the black beluga lentils. It lacked a little depth so we actually added a tiny squeeze of dijon mustard to the soup and it was delicious. (That was a pro vegetarian soup tip, right there! Take notes!)
  • Warm Squash & Kale Salad with Pearled Farro & Pomegranate Dressing — We will eat this on Saturday and I will report back via Instagram!
  • Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Wild Mushrooms & Swiss Chard — Eating this tonight. Check ze Instagram!

Week 3 (arriving next week):

  • Farro Jambalaya with Crispy Maitake Mushrooms
  • Winter Mushroom Ramen with Mustard Greens & Soft Boiled Eggs
  • Red Bean & Collard Green Dirty Rice with Buttermilk Biscuits & Honey Butter

Not gonna lie, I’m a little bit disappointed with the meals for next week. Both the jambalaya and dirty rice have the same spice blend and beans. I love southern food, but two very similar southern meals in one week? The heck? I’m sure they will be delicious, I just think someone at Blue Apron should have thought that out a bit better. Plus, kidney beans are my least favorite beans and I have to eat them twice…hmph. Still not cancelling though! I really want to try everything that comes our way. Expanding my taste bud’s horizons.

So, into the nitty gritty…signing up is very easy and cancelling delivery for future weeks is also incredibly easy. I think completely removing yourself from enrollment requires an email, but canceling deliveries for future weeks is just a click.

Blue Apron is not available everywhere yet, but they are growing rapidly. I know people in Kenosha, Racine, and (obviously) Milwaukee that get it. It’s a weekly delivery and some people have options for the day of the week they want the box. We didn’t. I’m not sure if our lack of options was based on our location or because we have a strict vegetarian box. Either way, it’s no big deal. They send you an email when the box ships (2 days before it arrives) with a tracking number. It should arrive at your home between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on delivery day and it is perfectly packaged in a refrigerated box so no worries about your food spoiling.IMG_2767

Before your very first box arrives you will receive an email with lots of information including how to recycle each part of your box. All of the ingredients are individually packaged and clearly labeled. You receive three cardstock recipe sheets that are great to hold on to so you can make the recipe on your own in the future. I would only warn that you should completely read through the recipe before starting. I don’t often follow the exact directions because I’ve found that their order of steps is not always the smartest in terms of time management.

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Each recipe card lists how many calories the meal is. It will always be between 500-700 calories per serving. So, easy to watch how many calories you’re consuming too if that’s your thing. And every meal takes 35 minutes to prepare, on average.

To sum it all up:

  • Fast 35 minute meals.
  • Portioned for a healthy number of calories.
  • Chef created recipes.
  • Fresh ingredients from artisans around the country (yeah, I didn’t mention that yet. cool, right?)
  • Potentially cut down on grocery costs.
  • Save time grocery shopping.
  • No food waste.
  • Exciting new recipes and types of food to try.
  • Easily stop deliveries for vacation or if you just don’t like the meals for the week.
  • Meals based on dietary needs — vegetarian, beef, lamb, pork, chicken, seafood. Select what you want!
  • Delivered to your door in a recyclable refrigerated box.
  • Awesome recipes that you get to keep.

So, if I have convinced you to try Blue Apron, I highly recommend doing a quick google search to find a discount code. I got my first box for just $40. Woot!