Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

Hello Wednesday! Today, I am linking up with Shay for my seventh "What's Up Wednesday," which consists of answering the following questions, plus the bonus question, "What is your best spring cleaning tip?"

1. What We're Eating This Week
I recently tried Hello Fresh food service (you can read my review post here) and I loved a lot of the recipes, so I have been making those for dinner.   I made the roasted chicken with lemon potatoes earlier this week.  Delish!


2. What I'm Reminiscing About
Visiting San Francisco with my parents two years ago.  We had the best time!


3. What I'm Loving
This amazing primer.  I received a sample of it and will be buying the full size soon.  It seriously blurs all imperfections and wrinkles.  #win

4. What We've Been Up To
Lots and lots of events.  I went to a cute baby shower a few weeks adorable is the rustic decor?  I had a great time catching up with friends.

5. What I'm Dreading
Hmm...nothing comes to mind at the moment.

6. What I'm Working On
Going to the gym regularly again.  I was sick in January and then again in March, so it's been a bit of a struggle.

7. What I'm Excited About
Summer coming up and the warmer weather!  I also love the recent time change.  Nothing is better than leaving work and still having lots of light outside.

8. What I'm Watching/Reading
I'm still watching the OJ Simpson miniseries on FX.  I'm also watching Daredevil on NetFlix.  What can I say, I grew up with two brothers and love all things Marvel. 

I also finished reading Emily Maynard's book. It was quite fascinating because it's not the life I pictured her having.  It was a quick read-  I finished it in two days.

9. What I'm Listening To
The iheartradio app on my iPhone.  It's pretty awesome.

10. What I'm Wearing
Right now, these comfy pants and this top (in pink, of course!).

11. What I'm Doing This Weekend
I'm seeing Batman vs. Superman and also seeing the musical Book of Mormon.  I've heard good things about it.

12. What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month
Warmer weather and no more rain (hopefully!).  It's been unusually rainy here in California this month.

13. What Else is New
The L.A. Kings made the playoffs, which start next month.  The sport's fan inside of me is excited.  Playoff hockey is awesome to watch live.

14. What is your best spring cleaning tip?
Well, I don't really spring clean, since I'm a neat freak and keep things pretty clean and organized year round.  I guess that would be my tip?  Keep things clean year round so you don't have to spring clean. ;)

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Favorites

Another Friday, another Friday Favorites post. Here are my favorites from this week.

1. This meme I found true. And I have been watching X-Files, Fuller House, and the OJ miniseries on TV. All three have been excellent.

2. This brightener. I've been adding it to my foundation before putting it on. It gives you a healthy glow. Or you can dab it where needed for extra glow (e.g. on the cheeks). I put it on using this brush.

3. HelloFresh. I tried their food service last week and loved making meals such as these. I also did a review on them in another post here.

4. This wet brush. Apparently, I have been using the wrong hairbrush per my stylist, and it's given me weird split ends in the middle of my hair. Using this type of brush is best because the bristles are softer and lay flat when used instead of pulling on hair like stiffer bristles do. You can also use it on wet hair (hence the name of the brush).

5. Piggy and Polly on Instagram. This is one of my favorites to follow because of the two adorable French bulldog sisters, and I love the neutral colors used to shoot everything.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

HelloFresh Review

As promised, today I am reviewing my experience with HelloFresh.

What It Is
HelloFresh is a food delivery service that sends you all the ingredients and spices you need to cook a fresh, healthy meal. Only salt, pepper, olive oil, and butter are excluded from the delivery (they assume you already have these at home).

Package Options & Pricing
You can choose the meal package you want based on your family size. I tried the 3 meals per week plan for two people, which costs $69. The two people plans are priced is priced as follows:

3 meals per week for 2 people = $69.00
4 meals per week for 2 people = $84.90
5 meals per week for 2 people = $99.00

There's also a family sized plan. You then choose either the classic box (which includes things like beef, poultry, fish, etc) or the veggie box.

Substitutions & Exclusions
I'm allergic to shellfish, so I was concerned about what meals I would get. While you can't make substitutions and omissions, you can review your order after it's placed and choose the three meals you want for week. I was lucky in that there were enough meal options for the week that I was able to choose one meal with beef, and two meals with chicken. So while you can't necessarily exclude certain foods due to allergies or preference, you can choose the meals you receive.

Shipping & Packaging
Shipping costs are included in the prices listed above. My box arrived as scheduled on a Monday (in the evening a little late, so I couldn't use it that day, as I had already made dinner). It came with frozen ice packs to keep all ingredients cold. The meats were vacuum-packed separately from the other ingredients. The other ingredients were separated by meal in their own individual boxes and labeled. Also included was a recipe card for each meal, which had pictures showing step by step directions on what do to. The recipe cards also included the nutrition information (the nutrition information was also on the outside of the main box), which is convenient for those watching their weight or on a diet.

Shipping box:

Nutrition label on the outside of the shipping box:

Frozen ice packs to keep the meat cold:

Ingredients for the individual meals are in boxes:

Pausing or Deactivating Subscription
Both are easily doable on the website after you sign up. You can pause service for a while if you will be out of town, etc., and you can deactivate your account at any time.

Making the Meals
Making meals was relatively easy. I think the most time I spent on any one meal was about 45 minutes, which wasn't too bad. I enjoyed learning how to make a new recipe. The recipes were easy to follow.

Portion Size & Taste
These are the two things I was most worried about, because I've heard that with some other meal services such as this one, portions are tiny and taste is lacking. With this, however, I felt like the portion sizes were perfect-- not too little and not too much. And the taste for all three of my meals was very good.

The Verdict
Here's a comparison of what the recipe meals looked like vs. my meals. Not too shabby, eh? All three were very tasty too. I will definitely be making some of these again.

In terms of using the service again, I'm on the fence. I initially decided to try it because I had a coupon for $35 off my first order, bringing my order total to $34 for 6 meals, which is not bad. But paying $69 instead is too high, in my opinion--I can easily make the same meals at home for much less. You're paying more for the convenience of the service than anything else, since everything comes to your door and you don't have to worry about going to the supermarket or hunting around for certain ingredients. And as previously mentioned, another drawback to the service is that you can't make substitutions, and they don't offer a plan for singles. The boxes are either for 2 people or for families. I'd probably use this service again (but sparingly) for weeks where I don't have time to go to the supermarket.

For those interested in trying the service, you can get $40 off your first order by using code 3TXBP3 at checkout.

Happy cooking!


Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Friday is my second favorite day of the week because it's right on the edge of the weekend. My absolute favorite time/day is Saturday morning. I love sleeping in and waking up and having breakfast. It's my quiet time where I can reflect and relax.

Anyways, onto my Friday favorites!

1. I finally found what I've long been looking for...the perfect shade of baby pink nail polish. I think this shade would look great on any skin tone. I've had it on since Sunday, and as I type this on Friday morning, it's still not chipped.  Try it. You will not be disappointed. 

2. Hello Fresh food service. I received my first box this past Monday as scheduled, and it was so nice not having to worry about grocery shopping the entire week.  Plus, I had meals waiting for me when I got home from the gym; I just had to cook them.  I'll do a full post reviewing the service next week.

3. Two words: Hair glaze. Has anyone tried this? I was getting my hair cut last weekend and heard about this, so I decided to try it.  It left my hair shiny and healthy looking, AND it's ammonia and peroxide free.  The results last about 4 weeks (or longer if you only wash your hair once or twice a week), but I will definitely be getting it again after it washes out.  I highly recommend this if your hair needs a boost or is starting to look a little dull.  And there are options-- there are various tinted glazes or clear ones (I went with the clear one, as recommended by my hair stylist).

4. And speaking of hair, this little magic in a bottle is a must have if you have fine hair and are looking for volume.  I have a lot of hair but it's fine, so no matter how much I tease my hair, it ends up going flat by the end of the day.  I purchased a small bottle of this after I heard my hair stylist raving about it. 

5.  Magic Eraser.  I'm way late to the party...but I finally purchased this...and it. is. amazing.  This little cleaning tool makes my OCD happy.  I have already gone around the house and removed all the scruffs from my baseboards with this.  I can't wait to see what else it does.  Anyone have any other tips of where/how to use this?  Please share.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma

Good morning! I think I'll call today Tasty Tuesday, since I am sharing a recipe I made over the weekend. I am also linking up with Sweet Little Ones for 'Tuesday Talk.'

I found this recipe on the NY Times Food Pinterest page (click here to see the Pinterest page and here for the recipe), and since it sounded simple yet delicious, I decided to make it. I followed the recipe for the most part, but made a few changes:

*The recipe says to marinate the meat for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours. I was short on time the day I made it, and was only able to marinate the chicken for an hour, but it still turned out delicious!

*I reduced the amount of olive oil used (the recipe calls for 1/2 a cup of olive oil, but I only used a 1/4 cup).

*I omitted the fresh parsley.

*I doubled the amount of red onions (I used two large ones instead of one).

*After 40 minutes of baking in the oven, I took out the chicken and chopped it all up on a cutting board. I then returned it to the oven and turned on the broiler so the chicken could get crispy.

Here's the finished result after coming out of the oven:

I served the chicken on top of some brown rice, with chopped cucumber and tomatoes, and some sauce (see below for recipe). I will definitely be making this again because it was so flavorful and easy. I also had left overs for the next day and made a wrap for lunch.


Shawarma sauce
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 a lime juiced
1 tablespoon Tahini
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons dry dill
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix everything together well, either in a blender or a food processor. Bon appetit!


Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! This week flew by and I couldn't be more happy about that because it's the weekend! However, it is supposed to rain the entire weekend, so I'm not looking forward to that. Here are my favorites for the week.

1. These shoes that I just ordered from Kate Spade. Aren't they adorable? I have been eyeballing them for a while and finally bought them since they were on double sale. Now through March 7th, you can get 25% off sale items with code YESPLEASE.

2. Hello Fresh
I decided to try this service after I received a coupon for $35 off my first box. Basically, it's a food delivery service that sends you 3 meals per week, with the recipe and all the ingredients needed to make the meals. My first box arrives this Monday. I'll do a review post next week of my experience with the service, the pros, the cons, the cost, etc.  Stay tuned.

3.  This thermal shine spray for hair.  I use it before I blow dry by misting my wet hair with it, and then also once I'm done blow drying to add shine and body.  Love this stuff.

4.  Live Love Pop Truffle Salt Popcorn
This is hands-down my favorite popcorn ever.  I found some at Home Goods last weekend so I bought every single bag. #noshame

5.  Paris in Color by Nichole Robertson
If you love all things French like I do, you will enjoy this book and it's beautiful pictures of Paris. Available here.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Shopbop Sale

The Shopbop sale is currently going on. Now through March 5th, get up to 25% off your order with code BIGEVENT16.

Here are some items I am eyeballing:

1. Frends Taylor Headphones

2. Casetify Romantic Chic Floral iPhone 6 / 6s Case

3. South Parade Coffee is the New Black Tee

3. Kate Spade New York Licorice Floral Pumps

4. Sophie Hulme Mini Tote Bag (also available in white)

Happy shopping!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2016 Oscars

Hello! Happy Tuesday. I am so glad Monday is over. Today, I am linking up with Sweet Little Ones for 'Tuesday Talk.'

I watched the Oscars this past Sunday, and truthfully, I was a bit disappointed in the show. There were no standout acceptance speeches, and overall, the show was a bit boring. Anyone else agree?  Even Leo's speech was just so so (but I was happy he finally won that little gold statue).  

I did, however, like some of the dresses I saw on the red carpet. Here are my favorites from the show.

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