Five Things Friday: Giveaway, Stitch Fix, & Reviews!

Five Things Friday

 

It’s been awhile since I had one of these so lets jump right in!

1. How I Met Your Mother

Nick and I have finally watched the series finale, and I cried, a lot. Part is probably hormones, but part is because I felt like it was the show of our generation. I mean we all watched Friends, but as adults it seems like our lives match more to the likes of HIMYM. I liked how it ended, it was sad, but it felt real, all of the crappy things that happened at the end, those are real life. If everyone ended up happily ever after I think I would be more disappointed. What do you think did you like the ending?

2. Stitch Fix

So I drank the Stitch Fix* kool-aid. If you don’t know what Stitch Fix is leave me a comment and I will send you more info, but basically you sign up and fill out a style profile. You give them your info, sizing, style preferences, what types of items you want to receive, etc… and pick a date for your fix. You can either pick a single date or pick to have a recurring fix. For each fix you pay a $20 styling fee, if you like something that is in your fix then that $20 is credited against what you purchase, if you buy nothing then you lose the $20.

When you get your fix, which is 5 items, you will receive a list of the items you received and the price for each item as well as a style card. The style card has each item that was in your box and 2 ways to style that item. The also send you a pre-paid USPS bag to send back what you don’t want. If you purchase all 5 items you receive 25% off the entire purchase. You have 3 business days to return the items you don’t want.

Pink Martini Sally Mixed Striped Dress

1. Pink Martini Sally Mixed Striped Dress –  $98 – I loved the cut and the color of this dress, but it was snug around the thighs and it wasn’t flowy enough for me to wear to an event if I have B with me.

Kensie Jeans Sophia Ankle Length Skinny Jean

2. Kensie Jeans Sophia Ankle Length Skinny Jean – $88 - Again, I loved the color and style of these jeans, but they were snug around the thighs, at the price point it wasn’t worth it for me to keep them.

Striped Dolman Top

3. Pomelo Corinna Striped Dolman Top – $48 – I loved this top. I liked the shorter sleeve, and the material was super comfortable. I’ve bought a lot of long-sleeved shirts over the years that end up with holes or pulled material because the quality isn’t great, so this shirt was a keep.

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4. 41Hawthorn Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan – $48 – I loved this cardigan, the length is long enough that I can wear it with leggings but it is also lightweight. I can see pairing this with a maxi dress at a summer BBQ. After some texting with my sister, I ended up purchasing this as well. I have a thick pink cardigan that is similar, but like I said it is a heavier material and it is actually very short.

5. IMG_794341Hawthorn Holly Chevron Arrow Print Infinity Scary – $32 - I liked the scarf, but I already have scarves with similar color schemes.

Instead, I bought the infinity scarf I am wearing on the right. I purchased it after I completed Pure Barre Challenge as a gift to myself from the store at Pure Barre. The pattern is unique and it will match with a lot of my wardrobe.

The total of my items was $96 – my $20 styling fee. I paid $76.

3. Get Skinny Again

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I was able to receive a copy of Sarah’s book, Get Skinny Again*, awhile back, but I wanted to wait until I had the opportunity to try some of the recipes and workouts in order to give you a solid review. I am happy to report that my review will finally be on the blog next week! Spoiler: I really liked it. I have been reading Sarah’s blog and watching her YouTube videos for a long time so I am not really surprised, but it has a lot of things other diet books I have seen don’t have!

4. Avapalooza 

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The charity yoga event with Yoga Jake that I attended a few weeks ago was to benefit The Cure ATRT Now Fund as part of this years big fundraiser called Avapalooza. Avalanna is this Saturday, April 5, from 11 am – 11 pm. There is spinning and yoga as well as a few fitness and nutrition classes. I am bummed I can’t make it to any of the events, but if you are local to Methuen check out the schedule or you can donate here.

5. Just Add Cooking Giveaway

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Remember that Just Add Cooking review I wrote on Wednesday? Well, now I have a chance for you to win a 2-person, 3 meal box for yourself.

How to Enter the Giveaway:

This prize is for new clients only. Before entering go to Just Add Cooking and click on Get Cooking to create an account. There is no charge for this and you don’t need to enter a credit card. You also need to make sure you are in the delivery area, after you do that, enter the rafflecopter below. The giveaway ends Monday, April 7 at 11:59 pm EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What things are you excited about this Friday?

* are referral links

Just Add Cooking!

 Disclaimer: I was provided the Just Add Cooking box free of charge, all opinions and injuries are my own.

  I love cooking and I am just starting to get the hang of this meal planning thing, but the last few weeks have been hard. There has been a lot going on behind the scenes, so spending an hour meal planning and a few hours meal prepping were just not in the cards. I am grateful for one of the weeks I was able to try Just Add Cooking. Just Add Cooking is a meal service that provides meals that are pre-measured and high-quality, plus it is delivered straight to your doorstep. They are a Boston-based company and the ingredients are sourced locally to ensure freshness and support the local economy. When possible, ingredients are also locally produced and may be organic. JAC Logo_Normal_RGB     Just Add Cooking recently launched the 2 person box, there is also an option for a 4 person box, but this new launch is what we tried. Prices are very reasonable, for a 2 person box it is $79 for 3 meals, $89 for 4 meals, and $99 for 5 meals. The 4 person boxes are $109 for 3 meals, $129 for 4 meals, and $139 for 5 meals. Vegetarian boxes are available in 2 and 4 person boxes, but you can only receive 3 meals. There are no other dietary restriction boxes available (gluten or dairy free for example) but you can see what is available the following week and see if those dinner options fit your needs. The boxes include almost everything, it is expected that you will have things like salt, pepper and olive oil on hand, but almost everything is included and pre-measured. Alright, so let’s get to what I ordered. I decided to pick 2 vegetarian meals and one fish meal. Since we are fasting, I wanted to try out some meals that could maybe become staples in our home. The box arrived at our house between 2 and 6 pm on Sunday evening. I was supposed to get a text when it was out for delivery but for some reason I didn’t. Unfortunately, we were in CT last-minute and we didn’t get home until Monday morning. Luckily, the delivery person placed the box in a shaded area on our back porch and the temperatures were cold, so the fish never warmed up. Included in the box is a packet, each recipe has its own sheet of paper with instructions and cooking instructions. They let you know what the recommended cooking order is for the items as well.

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I went a bit out-of-order, I cooked the Mexican Cod on Tuesday night. I can easily say that the cook time was spot on, it only took 30 minutes  and it is a meal that will easily be kept in the rotation for a long time.

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I added asparagus, but it came with the potatoes, the only thing I didn’t include with the meal was the olives. I just don’t like them, but Nick ate them right out of the bag while he waited for dinner. Nick told me it tasted like a meal you’d pay $60 for in a frou frou restaurant. Success for sure! I also like that they included other types of fish that would taste great with the same recipe.

JAC's photo of the black bean burger!

JAC’s photo of the black bean burger!

On Wednesday I decided I wanted to try the Black Bean Burgers. I am always on the hunt for a burger that has minimal ingredients, and nothing complicated, like 3 different types of beans and flours.

The cooking timeline for the burgers

The cooking timeline for the burgers

When I made the patties they seemed very dry and it felt like I had way to much stuff to make 2 normal sized patties. I followed the directions, but the patties were falling apart in the pan. I decided to blend up the mixture and make smaller fritter type patties. I ended p making six smaller patties and Nick and I just stacked two in our sandwiches. I saved the leftover ones for Friday’s lunch.

What my burger looked like #reallife

What my burger looked like. Black Bean patty/fritter on the top and bottom, lettuce, avocado & tomato in between. #reallife

Because of the burger issue this meal took more like 45 minutes start to finish. I don’t know where I went wrong, but I am glad that I have experience cooking because that definitely helped.

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This is on every recipe. Degree of difficulty, serving size, time it takes, calories and type of meal. This is for the burgers.

The last meal I made was the Red Bean Chili, I make a lot of chili but I use the same recipe every time. I was looking forward to trying something new!

JAC's Red Bean Chili

JAC’s Red Bean Chili

I made this on Friday, again it was another fasting day and this was perfect. The chili had kidney beans, tomatoes, and lentils. The directions were easy to follow, however I had to let mine cook longer and add more liquid because the lentils were nowhere near done at the end of the cook time. Also, the bread that was supposed to go with it was stale by the time I made this. I think rolls might be a better option, the bread was cut from a long loaf so both ends were exposed causing it to dry out extremely fast. The other issue is the hot pepper, I don’t cook with them, ever. I can’t handle a ton of spice. I cut it an de-seeded without wearing gloves, I am sure you know where this is going, and I didn’t think anything of it until my contact needed adjustment and I touched my eye. BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER. I learned my lesson and will always be prepared.

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My Chili

I just have a few issues, for the items I chose, not a single one came with a veggie on the side that wasn’t a carb. I love veggies at dinner time, and I think those are items that a lot of people struggle with knowing how to prepare. The other issue is that I used A LOT of pots and pans when I was cooking. Normally, not a big deal but when I want this to be quick and easy, I don’t want to spend longer cleaning dishes than I did cooking.

While some recipes did not turn out exactly as planned, Nick and I loved every single meal and came away from the experience with 3 new recipes to add to our rotation and two new recipes to add to our fasting recipe index. I also must note that every meal had leftovers, this might not be the case for everyone, but it was for us, some B ate and some I saved to have as part of the next days lunch.

If you become a regular customer of JAC you can plan your meals up to two weeks in advance. This week they have a great looking Leek & Potato Soup as well as Poached Salmon and in the next two weeks they have items like Carrot Patties, Flank Steak with Grits, and Dill Chicken!

Overall, I really like the concept of Just Add Cooking. I think it is a great way to learn your way around the kitchen and learn how to cook. Or a way to find new recipes, and I definitely did that! I love that the meals are constantly changing and they are reflective of what the company can find around them.

On Friday I am giving away a box to one lucky person! They will receive the same size box that I did, a 2-person, 3 meal box. For all of you who don’t win Just Add Cooking is giving you a $20 discount first order (new customers only). This is a credit on any sized box and is good until 5/31/14. Use code SPRINGBLOG.

 Have you tried Just Add Cooking or a service like this?