Archive for April, 2017

So it begins – Decluttering

I’ve always been an organizer. If I could do it professionally, I would. The problem is eventually I have become overrun with stuff and organizing isn’t fun anymore. It becomes overwhelming.

As a child, I was surrounded by clutter. It was normal for me. My house was overrun with toys, clothes, and general clutter. When I first moved out, I didn’t take much with me to my small apartment. I enjoyed being forced to be a minimalist simply because of lack of space. But for the past ten years since getting married, moving to bigger and bigger places, taking teaching jobs, having a baby, and opening a home daycare, I’ve accumulated too much stuff! Despite minor decluttering every couple of months, clutter still seems to be overtaking the house.

So I’m starting a 30-day challenge to declutter my life. I’m blogging about it so I have some accountability. ┬áHere’s the challenge I joined: http://alliecasazza.com/declutter-like-a-mother

The challenge begins May 1, but I may get a head start tomorrow. Join me if you want. It’s free! Happy decluttering!

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My Review of Blue Apron

So we jumped on the bandwagon and tried a subscription meal kit: Blue Apron specifically. ┬áKeep in mind we are only ordering the vegetarian meals from the service. Here’s my review for those curious about it.

Pros:

  • Unique gourmet recipes: So far all the meals we tried have had flavor combinations I never would have tried. But they’ve all been delicious!
  • Got us out of our rut: we have been stuck in a rut cooking the same meals over and over but that is no more!
  • Convenient: no planning or shopping for the weekend anymore
  • Saves (some) money: it’s cheaper than eating out and certain gourmet ingredients (such as specialty cheese and spices) would be expensive in the store or I’d buy too much and waste the extra.
  • Great for date night in: Much cheaper than paying a sitter and going out to eat. Plus we can put Nicholas to bed early and cook together. We both love to cook anyway.
  • Better quality food than restaurant: As a vegetarian in a fairly small town, I can cook better food at home with Blue Apron than I can get at any local restaurant – and for less money
  • Easy to follow instructions: there are even tutorials online for certain skills, and I love how it tells you how to prep each item at the beginning. Keep the recipe cards and replicate the dish later after doing your own shopping.
  • You can skip weeks: If the menu doesn’t appeal to you or you’ll be out of town, skip the week
  • Filling meals: We have the two – person plan but often have leftovers even if we share with Nicholas
  • Fresh ingredients: all the produce and dairy we’ve received has been fresh, and they source locally from the east coast (mostly New Jersey). The shipment comes quicker to us than to the grocery stores

Cons:

  • Expensive: It costs $10 per person per meal. Obviously this is not practical for everyday meals or for large families. I’ll be doing an experiment in a few weeks were I will shop for a Blue Apron meal and see how much it costs me at my local store. I’ll keep you all posted!
  • Semi-complicated: most meals take 45 minutes to an hour to make which I don’t mind since i enjoy cooking and challenging myself in the kitchen.
  • Extra dishes to wash: There’s no one pot meals. If you have a dishwasher though, it’s not much of an inconvenience
  • A lot of packaging: You can rinse and repack all your packaging and send it back to blue apron to recycle or reuse it. Or you can recycle it yourself. But obviously not having all the packaging to begin with is ideal.

Overall we love Blue Apron! Let me know if you want to try it, and I can get you a free delivery!

We’re going to also try Hello Fresh this weekend, so I’ll do a review of that soon!