Blue Apron Review: Promo Code Included!!

We have all been there.  Looking in our fridge, scratching our heads, wondering what to make for dinner.  Or, trying to think of a new, creative dinner (yet healthy) in order to break the monotony of eating our “go-to” meals.  For me, that’s baked chicken or baked salmon with sides of baked sweet potatoes or brown rice with veggies (can you tell I like baked items?).  Combine that with being short on time and the idea of healthy meal planning becomes an arduous task.

In a casual chat with one of my girlfriends, Brittany, I discussed how hard it can be to meal plan AND to go food shopping.  Excitedly, she told me about a food service that she uses called Blue Apron.  Blue Apron is a snazzy food delivery company that ships a box of pre-portioned ingredients to your doorstep, along with detailed recipe cards for three dishes.  She proceeded to show me a stack of glossy recipe cards with familiar, yet exotic dishes.  Calorie counts and educational asides were included on the cards.  I was intrigued.

To be honest, I was wary about the service–were the food portions going to be enough for my husband and me? (Yes, they were perfect.) What if I didn’t like the food but already committed to it? (You can cancel or modify an upcoming week’s meal online if you don’t like what is being offered.) What if my food bill was now even higher because of this “added” expense? (My food bill was actually LESS expensive. Adding the cost of Blue Apron ($59) with my food bill, I STILL spent less than I would normally spend on a weekly basis.)

So I took a baby step and tried a few of their online recipes. I tried the Crispy Catfish with Sicilian Eggplant Caponata.  Obviously, I didn’t have catfish & eggplants laying around the house, so I had to plan a shopping trip.  I also had to pick up tomato paste, rice flour, capers, and red wine vinegar.  I had to forgo the marjoram because I couldn’t find it (honestly, I never heard of that before).  The finished product was great (click here for blog post on that dish), but I was left with a lot of extra ingredients that I will probably never use again.  What a waste of money.

From Instagram, Livingfortwoplus

From Instagram, Livingfortwoplus

I decided to try out the service. What’s the harm? I told my girlfriend I was thinking about trying it out so she gifted me a week free so that I could try it “commitment free” (Disclaimer–>I DID have to enter my credit card info, but I could cancel before they charged me if I didn’t like my first free week of food).

On Saturday, I got a gorgeous and impeccably organized & insulated box of food delivered to my door. I got three selections of raw meat that were sitting on ice packs. Separate from the meats were various vegetables and “knick knacks”–all labeled and perfectly measured for their corresponding recipes. The recipe cards were super stylish: large glossy cards with pictures detailing each step of the cooking process. 

Since I had three meals already taken care of, all I had to do was think about two other meals for the week. I found the inexpensive solution of buying a rotisserie chicken from Sam’s Club for under $5. I then bought some other basic necessities like bread, milk, etc. My food bill was $50–more than $75 less than what I normally spend.

A recent study showed that when customers purchased the ingredients in one Blue Apron delivery at grocery stores (from local grocery stores to Whole foods) in five different cities, the ingredients were 60% more expensivethan a Blue Apron delivery, and fewer than 75% of the ingredients were available at any one store on average” (Blue Apron, About Us)

The meals:

I had this, this, and this. The recipes took me out of my comfort zone, as I never really “seared” anything before, made cod fish, or prepared an Indian dish. Each and every dish was absolutely lovely. The only downside was that since it was my first time making these meals (and I had a busy baby in the background), it took me a long time to get through preparing each dish–washing & chopping the veggies, rereading the recipe cards, and debating whether or not the meat/fish was fully cooked. If I were working full time outside of my home (instead of being a WAHM), I’d have to prepare these meals on the weekend.  Or, maybe over time, I’ll get faster.  Also, the other downside is that there are no left overs.  So I’d recommend opting for a family plan if you are looking for extra food to last more than one day. 


Special promo for you!

I reached out to Blue Apron to 1) tell them how much I love their service and 2) see if they would be interested in offering my blog readers a promotion code so that you all can try out Blue Apron.  I figured many of you would appreciate a few free meals (without a shopping trip). So here you have it faithful reader, a promo code so that you too can fall in love with Blue Apron –> My first 50 readers who use this link will get two free meals with their first Blue Apron Box (for first time customers only).

Some cool Blue Apron facts from Blue Apron’s About Us

Blue Apron is building a network of family farmers that champion sustainable farming practices.  These direct farmer relationships allow Blue Apron to give customers access to hard-‐‐to-‐‐find seasonal produce (e.g., fairytale eggplants, fiddlehead ferns, watermelon radishes and micro-‐‐basil).”

As of June 2015, over 1.1 million pounds of specialty crops were  planted and harvested by small, family-‐‐run farms for Blue Apron recipes. “
Blue Apron ships over 3 million meals per month to 99% of the U.S.”

I really, really, really hope that you enjoy Blue Apron as much as I did.  I decided to keep my subscription, so I got my second box of food yesterday.  I can’t wait to write & to post Instagram photos about this batch of food (follow my Instagram page here.


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I ❤️ Nautical

If you know me well, you might know this one thing about me.

I absolutely love nautical themed everything.

Actually, my favorite structured dress is a blue and white striped dress.  And because I recently squeezed myself into this somewhat tiny, prepregnancy dress, I wanted to share my thematic obsession.


This is the first time that I’m wearing this dress post pregnancy! I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to fit this *small* dress again. But ::whew::, I made it! Side note, Ava’s dress is striped as well, haha.


This dress is from Ann Taylor The Loft. I found a similar dress here. Shoes are Valentino and can be found here.  Similar shoes here, here, and here!


My favorite watch is a nautical themed watch.


This watch is by my fav watch company, La Mer. A good friend of mine introduced me to them. I like them because they specialize in wrap watches and take the guesswork out of how to stack your “armwear.” Similar watch here.

My favorite fitted blazer is…you guessed it…nautical themed.


This fitted blazer though…literally gives me life. And I love when it is chilly enough to wear it. Then I can bust out my ingrained NY combination: boots, blazer, jeans, & scarf. You just can’t lose. Jacket (kind of old) is from H&M. Similar blazers here, here, and here.

There is something so classic about a nautical inspired outfit. And there are so many ways to “nautical-ize” your outfit, from a watch, a jacket, or a pair of slacks. Usually bllue & white stripes will do the trick.

Now that I’ve shared my obsession, do you have your own style craze? What is your go-to theme?

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Motivation Monday: Eat Right!



My motivation of the week is to make healthy food choices & to eat right.  The goal is not to diet, but to really focus on eating things that are good for me.  For months, maybe years, I’ve been trying to enjoy a healthy eating lifestyle: nothing extreme, just a balancing game so that at the end of the week, I’ve had enough healthy foods to balance my unhealthy favs (#sugarlover #carblover).  I call this flexible dieting. Here is my meal plan for this week (hyperlinks for specific brands that I use):

Main meals: 

1) Chicken caesar salad with olive oil dressing

I just had this for lunch...yum!

I just had this for lunch…yum!

2) Baked chicken, steamed cauliflower, and baked sweet potato

3) Broiled steak, brown rice, and kale


1) Oatmeal with walnuts & coconut milk


1) Homemade lactation cookies (NEW recipe to come!)

2) Mrs. Thinster’s Cookie Thins in Chocolate Chip

3) Apples & grapes

4) Maybe some gluten free brownies if I have the energy later this week, lol

5) Chobani Greek Vanilla Yogurt


1) Water

2) Coffee

3) Traditional Medicinal’s Lactation tea

4) Kale & apple fresh juice made at home

Here is how I work a meal plan: I set up 3-4 main meals, snacks, and drinks for the week.  Then I just choose all meals from that list. Following this philosophy (along with moderate exercising), I’ve lost 30 pounds twice in my life: first when I started this program to lose extra weight I packed on due to stress, and then a second time when I loss my baby weight.  I still have a handful of pounds to lose, but I’m not overly concerned. 🙂

From late November 2014 to late May 2015.

From late November 2014 to late May 2015. The exact same outfit. And yes, I was wearing maternity leggings in the picture on the right…

#eatright #snapback

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At Home Workouts: Arms/Legs

Time.  I always feel like there is never enough of it. From the moment I open my eyes to the minute I fall asleep, there is always something “urgent” to do.  And whether or not there is a kid in the picture, I’m sure you can relate.  It is just how the world is nowadays.

So where does “working out” fit in? Honestly, nowhere. But, depending on how much you love your body, it is imperative to find time–any time–to keep your body healthy & fit.  Even if it is just once a week.  That is one day more than you would have worked out before!

I coined this while talking to my dad about working out.

I coined this while talking to my dad about working out.

Here are some times that you can squeeze in a workout:

  • early in the morning–my husband wakes up ridiculously early to go to the gym (I admire him)
  • directly after work–I like this time.  I have a standing calendar appointment on Tuesdays after work with reminders to pack my gym clothes.  It is like a second job.
  • OR ANYTIME at home–I like this one best

I set up a mini at home gym in my daughter’s nursery.  It doesn’t consist of much: a yoga mat & some dumbbells.  You can do a lot with just that. And if you have a 17lb baby on hand, her chunky body can be the perfect weight for lots of workouts.

Not much is need to get a good workout. The most important & crucial part is willpower.

Not much is need to get a good workout. The most important & crucial part is willpower.

I’ve been pretty consistent between working out at home & at the gym.  Whenever I haven’t been able to go to the gym after work (maybe the babysitter has to leave early or I had to work super late), I turn to working out at home.

My workout accessories: Pandora station “Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout”; bottle of water; washcloth for all that sweat I’m going to work up; & Mueller’s Jumpers Knee Strap (my knees pop when I do squats: these straps help to prevent that.  I highly recommend them).

Here is one routine, focused on strengthening/toning legs & arms:

  • I spent about 10-15 minute stretching.  My hamstrings are so tight.  So is my lower back.  I’m sure this is all due to the awkward positions I find myself in because of Ava…rocking her to sleep, feeding her, rolling around on the floor when I play with her…oy vey!
  • 3 squat routines, 3 sets/10 reps each.
    1. Basic squat, no weights
    2. Basic squat, with dumbbells, varying between holding them straight down & straight forward (great arm exercise)
    3. Basic squat, with baby, varying between holding her close to my body & straight forward (another great arm exercise)
From Instagram, @livingfortwoplus

From Instagram, @livingfortwoplus

  • Here is where I added some dance/ballet moves from back in the day (when I danced consistently).  I used my daughter’s dresser as a ballet barre:
    • A set of pliés (aka, ballet’s version of a squat)
    • A set of grande battement kicks on each leg
Grande Battement.  From

Grande battement. From  This will make your leg burn!

Some ballet humor for you! From Instagram, @livingfortwoplus

Some ballet humor for you! From Instagram, @livingfortwoplus

  • Cool down, with leg and arm stretches

This pose gives me life! When the front of my leg is sore/tight after a workout, this is great for gently stretching them. From Instagram, @livingfortwoplus

This leg and arm focused workout had me exhausted.  I felt the burn for days after and I felt like my body loved me for the workout! I’ve been getting a lot of comments about my arms!

Try it! As long as you’re healthy enough for it and your doctor say’s it’s ok!

What workouts do you do at home? Comment below. 

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