The New Crew- Life Update

It’s about time I share something. My tendency to try and control everything has come to an end and I now realize that I can no longer plan every outcome, nor do I want to carry that burden anymore. I went back and forth on whether or not I even needed to address this or if I should just let it be, but you are all a big part of my life and keeping something from you is just hard. My life has become very public and you all invest your time and energy into my business and I would not be here without your faithful souls. Honestly, throughout the past year while dealing with this, you guys have been nothing but a healing spot for me. Every time I would open up my Instagram, someone had something kind or encouraging to say even when you had no idea what I was going through. It kept me going. It was actually quite easy to ignore the haters because their information is hear say, and so I will pray for them and thank everyone else.

As you know I have a daughter and she is the biggest reason I do what I do, and she is the reason this post is so hard to write. Some day she will be able to read this and I want her to know where my heart was. I want her to understand that she will always be the best part of my life no matter what season I am in. I have done everything throughout this process to shield and protect her because I am her mom and that’s what we try to do. People may not understand my thinking on this, but you are not in my shoes and many times I feel I don’t know what to do. I question choices and decisions, beating myself up as I prayerfully try to figure out what is best for our daughter in the long run.

After this post I will no longer talk about it and I will not answer questions or talk in any negative way about anyone or anything. Though I am being vulnerable and real with you as I struggle through some of the most difficult days to date, please respect my and my family’s privacy. I do not wish to speak of this in detail with anyone, and won’t address questions. I don’t want to speak negatively about anyone. And please stop believing everything you hear. It’s exhausting trying to live up to all the rumors. I have already beaten myself up enough about my situation and I have had several months to grieve and process all of the change occurring in my life. I am human, I am not perfect, but I am thankful for the grace of God and His word to continually motivate and push me forward. It’s hard not looking back and wish things could've been different. The worrying, the self blaming, the doubt, the insecurity, loss of control, all of it is a lot to bear alone. It isn’t healthy. I also have a LOT of incredible friends who have my back regardless of my situations. These people have no idea how much they mean to me because words alone can not express my love and gratitude for them. You know who you are.

And if you were one to reach out to me via text, I appreciate the straightforward approach. But it appears a lot of people don’t know what to do or say with these types of situations so I am going to give you a little advice. Just reach out and say “ Hey, I just want you to know that I am here for you if you need anything.” That’s it. I don’t need to share my story, I don’t need to confirm or deny information so everyone can chat about it, I just needed to know that people were in my corner. I started writing this post 6 months ago and I have had to delete and add a lot as I have gone through the stages of grieving. At one point it was so dark I didn’t even recognize myself. The anger I felt was something I had to deal with. I will never understand what it is people find “fun” in gossiping about people’s misfortunes.

My life changed in September, 2018 when my husband and I decided to begin the divorce process. I hate even putting this in writing because it hurts, a lot. Like I said, I will not spill details for everyone to grab the popcorn and judge our life. Know that I will never say a bad word about him, as he is my daughter’s father and always will be. We spent 8+ years together and have a lot of history and memories that will remain. We will co-parent to make our daughter’s life the best it can be moving forward. We will remain friends and I would ask that you give him the respect he deserves as well in all of this.

Yes, we still traveled together and I hope we still can sometime in the future. Yes, we still lived together throughout the process and are currently still living together until I move into my new home. I continued to cook meals because that is what was normal for our daughter. Everything I shared in my stories was real but I purposely left out the details because honestly it wasn't anyone's business. As much as I love this job, my first and foremost job in this world is to be Rowan’s mom and I was doing what was best for her. Ugh. How do you tell a 5 year old and have her comprehend what is going on? I don’t know if there is a right way to do this but it seemed like the only way for us. My idea was to finalize everything, get my daughter settled, then tell her the most devastating news ever, but it’s hard to do that when people are coming to you with rumors and questions before you are “ready” to tell the only person it will affect most, your child. We ended up telling her to allow her to process it and ask questions while we were still living together to let her know that we are both there for her no matter what our living situation may be. To say my heart is broken is an understatement.

Moving forward as I share new stages of my life with you on the blog or through my Instagram stories and posts, please don’t look at it as I am bragging or glamorizing divorce or my situation. Again, I am sharing my real life with you and new things will be happening for me and I look forward to sharing those things with you all. It doesn't mean that everything will be peaches and cream, but I will tell you that I have gained an unshakable joy that comes from the Lord and it is not affected by worldly circumstances (most days). I started reading the Bible every day and a daily devotional, Jesus Calling, this past January as a way to cope. Without my faith or support system, I would not be ok right now. I also hope by sharing this and being vulnerable and open, it allows you to realize that I am human and it’s ok not to be ok. My life never was perfect, far from it actually. So if this helps someone else facing this difficult decision then my job is done. Ladies and gents….life is hard. But it is better to do life together than against each other all of the time.

This blog started January, 2014 and I named it Lady and Red. I am the lady and my daughter is the red. It is her initials, RED. So the crew really isn’t going to change around here but our lives will be different moving forward.

I bought my very first house and will be moving out in July. I honestly missed sharing that process with you all but rest assure I will be sharing all things and updates moving forward and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for my life. Stuff is about to get crazy! I have new responsibilities and a child starting Kindergarten all at the same time…I do accept wine as a housewarming gift 😂 So friends, I appreciate you taking the time to read my story and if there is something that you can do for me, it is to PRAY. Please pray as I need it, my family needs it. I appreciate you all and stay tuned for what this new crew has in store for you! XOXO

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60 Books to Read!

I am constantly asking for book recommendations from my Instagram followers over @ladyandredstyle but then when I finish one book, I forget the list of the others! So I guess this list is for all of us and if you know me.....I am a total list maker because I LOVE crossing things off like it is some sort of major accomplishment! I think I made a list once that said, "make a list" 😂

I just finished The Wife Between Us and the title does not even begin to describe it! I actually really enjoyed it and read in 2 days....I definitely recommend it!

Books to Read:

1.) Girl Wash your Face- Rachel Hollis

2.) One True Loves- Taylor Jenkins Reid

3.) The Nightingale- Kristin Hannah

4.) The Great Alone-Kristin Hannah

5.) Small Great Things- Jodi Picoult 

6.) The Zoo Keeper's Wife- Diane Ackerman

7.) After Anna- Lisa Scottoline 

8.) The Masterpiece- Francine Rivers

9.) Luckiest Girl Alive- Jessica Knoll 

10.) The Thousandth Floor- Katherine McGee

11.) Crazy Rich Asians- Kevin Kwan

12.) Sharp Objects- Gillian Flynn

13.) The Missing Ones- Patricia Gibney

14.) The Lost Child- Ann Troup

15.) Not That I Could Tell- Jessica Strawser

16.) Then She was Gone- Lisa Jewell

17.) The Girl Without a Name- Sandra Block

18.) The Shining- Stephen King

19.) The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo- Taylor Jenkins Reid

20.) White Girl Problems- Babe Walker

21.) What Alice Forgot- Liane Moriarty

22.) Behind her Eyes- Sarah Pinborough

23.) The Girl you Lost- Kathryn Croft

24.) The Dollhouse- Fiona Davis

25.) The Other Typist- Suzanne Rindell

26.) The Invaders- Karolina Waclawiak

27.) The Family Fang- Kevin Wilson

28.) Fractured- Karin Slaughter

29.) The Nest- Jon Klassen

30.) A Little Life- Hanya Yanagihara

31.) One of us is Lying- Karen M. McManus

32.) All the Missing Girls- Megan Miranda

33.) The Light we Lost- Jill Santopolo

34.) The Moonstone- Wilkie Collins

35.) Little Fires Everywhere- Celeste Ng

36.) Sing ,Unburied, Sing- Jesmyn Ward

37.) The Last Mrs. Parish- Liv Constantine

38.) Every Last Lie- Mary Kubica

39.) The Dry-Jane Harper

40.) Beartown- Fredrik Backman

41.) The Immortalists- Chloe Benjamin

42.) Home Fire- Kamila Shamsie

43.) A Stranger in the House- Shari Lapena

44.) Legacy of Spies- John Le Carré

45.) An American Marriage- Tayari Jones

46.) The Singles Game- Lauren Weisberger

47.) The Wife Between Us- Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

48.) The Light Between Oceans- M.L. Stedman

49.) The Hate you Give- Angie Thomas

50.) Manhattan Beach- Jennifer Egan

51.) Escape Artist- Brad Meltzer

52.) Ready Player One- Ernest Cline

53.) Bonfire- Krysten Ritter

54.) The Woman in the Window- A.J. Finn

55.) My (not so) Perfect Life- Sophie Kinsella

56.) All the Ugly and Wonderful Things- Bryn Greenwood

57.) The Breakdown- B.A. Paris

58.) Don't Let Go- Harlan Coben

59.) Trust No One- Paul Cleave

60.) Stay with Me- Sandra Rodriguez Barron
 

Blogging Q&A with Lady and Red

I started blogging in January of 2014 with this post HERE.  Short and simple, but something to hold me accountable. I had made the decision to stay home with my daughter and needed some sort of an outlet, as I am a very social person who enjoys spending time with other people! It was one of the hardest things to do for me in choosing to stay home, which I would never regret, but I felt like I was giving up MY thing. So I decided to trade in one thing for another thing that would allow me to still have something that was just for me. I used to write a lot about being a Mom because everyone assumed I already knew everything about babies, being that I was a labor and delivery nurse, but boy are you guys wrong. I told my patients no co-sleeping, we co-sleep, I told them not to get too worried about small things, and I freaked out all of the time. 😂 The list goes on and on, trust me, but I also told my patients to do what works for them, and that I do. People are so quick to judge, and force beliefs onto others without taking into consideration their situations. Stop it.

Have some grace, for yourself and towards others. That is one of my biggest tips for people who want to start blogging or that person who has started a blog but frustrated it's not taking off like they had hoped. When you put yourself out there each day with a public profile, photos, clothing, your child, your life, it opens your world up to a lot of criticism, rude comments, and unfortunately inappropriate comments as well. Proceed with grace. Realize that sometimes they are the ones struggling with something and move on, block, or use it as fuel to keep going! It may be hard sometimes to look away, but you have to know it will happen sometime. I mean, I am no Kardashian, but the comments I receive are sometimes so hurtful you start to think twice about allowing everyone to see your life in real time. But in hindsight, I have more supportive and kind people in my life due to blogging and I love them way more than to let a few comments get to me. Give grace, get grace. Simple as that.

How did you get started blogging?

I seriously think I Googled "best blogging sites" and bam signed up for Wordpress. I really just wanted to be able to write, have my own .com site without the .blogspot.com.blablabla so that is where I chose to purchase my domain, Ladyandred.com. There is a small fee for it but I think if it is something you want long term, it is worth it. Wordpress was perfect for me starting out because it was super user friendly, but this past May 2017, I was accepted to LiketoKnow.it and unfortunately unable to sync to Wordpress due to their incompatibility. Talk about panic mode. I put an SOS out there for someone to help this technically challenged gal out and a friend suggested this angel who then fixed me up and gave new light to my new business! If you are needing someone to help you, let me know and I will get you her contact info, because she is the best!! 

How did you choose what to blog about?

Well, like I said, I was a new Mom when I started my blog, it was a lot about mom stuff to start with, but I also loved to cook, and I have always loved fashion, so really that is how I came up with my name! Lady and Red. It stands for Lady= me and Red= is my daughter's initials. And that way I didn't have to choose just one thing to write about! In the beginning I was trying to show other Moms that just because we have a child or children, doesn't mean OUR lives should end. I was clearly a first time Mom 😂 haha. My life did not end, but it changed, and I would say for the better. I would choose a Friday night at home on the couch rather than bar hop any day! Keeping my independence was and is crucial to my happiness and sanity though! So if you go back and read my first posts, you will find entries like Easy Over Experience or Go Ahead and Judge Me because that is where I was in my life! Then in 2015 I signed up to become a Stella & Dot stylist because I needed that excuse to get me out of the house. Hosting parties is actually a blast! Wine & shopping are two of my favorite things! I started styling my jewelry like a mad woman and one of the first selfies I posted to IG was re-posted by Stella & Dot and that fueled my idea to pursue the fashion and styling part. So here I am! It has been a long journey of learning and my content continues to improve, but I want to remain the same honest and genuine person that I strive to be. It is so easy to sit behind a screen and want to pretend you are something much greater or that your life is "perfect" but that is not reality....for anyone. 

What is your advice to someone just starting out on IG?

I get asked this a lot. To tell you the truth, I am still trying to figure the whole IG thing out myself. I know it can be really hard not to focus on the number of followers you have, but try not to. With the new algorithm, it makes it even harder to be noticed I think! Some of my loyal gals may miss several posts if they don't continue to interact with my account. It's crazy.

Also, in the beginning before liketoknow.it, I thought you needed a certain number of followers to get noticed. But I was wrong. I bought, yes you heard me right, I bought 1,000 followers from some company I once again Googled. It did not hurt me or help me. Most of them dropped off rather quickly and it wasn't any help because I learned that they are bots, not buying, or engaging, which is what I needed and ultimately wanted. I seriously was starting from the bottom and willing to try anything. Don't do it. I feel now it is all a learning curve and wouldn't have know if I didn't try I guess. 

The best advice is to interact with like accounts to your niche. If you are into fashion, follow fashion people who inspire you. Comment, follow, lift up, share through Follow Fridays or just share in general. We are all in this together and when you help and lift up others, I think it makes you more successful. Plus, the more people who learn how to shop with Liketoknow.it, whether it's from me or another fellow blogger, it helps us both. For the most part, we all have our own styles and products, so you are not seeing the same things on every blogger or maybe you are but they are styling it differently. Make sure you friend these alike IG people because they will be the ones to help and support you the most. They all had to start somewhere too. So the next time you see something you love, share it with your friends! Tag the gal who inspired your look, share bloggers with your friends, and comment!

How do I get accepted into LiketoKnow.it?

It was a long process, trust me! I first applied alone, and that is ok to do but I don't recommend it. I have some pretty awesome friends who are also blogger babes and they referred me through the referral system in Liketoknow.it. The person who refers you will end up receiving a small commission from your sales, but only for the first year (it's really minimal so don't think we do it for the money! Haha). I don't mind referring anyone, but I will look at your content and give you some tips and suggestions if I do not feel your IG is ready, because I want you to succeed too! Keep in mind though, just because you are referred by another blogger, doesn't mean you will be accepted!! Just keep trying to better yourself if you are rejected, then re-apply!

What do they look for to be accepted into LiketoKnow.it?

I would say they look for good content, consistency, and photo quality. Now I am just guessing based on their feedback during the acceptance process and also if you follow them on IG, you can tell by what they repost as to what they are looking for. Photo quality is big because you want people to see the details of the pieces you are wearing. Think about it like you are a part of the magazine that is modeling these products for the companies! With that being said, you don't have to loose your creativity! 

I have heard that posting 1-2 times a day is best for you to be noticed, but also staying consistent is key because people want to see what you are wearing even on your "off" days. But let me tell you one thing, they don't care how many followers you have. Some people have 400 and some have 400K. It doesn't matter.

How do you start making money blogging?

The biggest misconception is that once you start a blog, you start making money....like a ton of money. Nope. I am fortunate enough to stay home with my daughter and that is why I blog. I did not quit my job because I was making so much money blogging, I wish. After several companies started reaching out to me to collaborate with them, I was taking a lot of time away from my daughter to meet, style and promote these products just for an exchange of product. I had to figure out how to better balance my time and if I was going to take the time away, I needed to be compensated. I put together a media kit, which I highly recommend, and once companies reached out after that, I was able to send that directly to them and they can choose "packages" that I created to accommodate their needs and mine too! 

I do know that you do need to be reaching a certain number of people for the larger companies to even look at you! But that is to be expected right? Makes total sense for them to put their money with someone who is reaching a lot of people from their accounts! Something to work towards!

Are you in any of those comment pods? How do they work? Do they help?

I am! But my pod has like 6 people in it 😂 They are some Stella & Dot sisters who also love fashion! I have been asked and added to several pods but at the beginning of the year I was totally overwhelmed when I was added to one with like 40 people! I literally freaked out thinking about the mass amounts of comments and likes I was going to be responsible for and removed myself from it before I even started! That is not to say I wouldn't join another small group, because I do think they are beneficial, but I really just love to scroll feed and comment and like things I love, and on my own time.

Comment pods work by helping the algorithm of Instagram and making your photos seen. The more likes and interactions you get, it helps get noticed on others feed. So you join a group (if you wish), and once you have posted or each time you post, you notify your group and they like and comment on your photo. Now do you see why I freaked at the thought of liking and commenting on 40 other people up to two times a day?! 

Are you constantly on social media or on your phone?

The short answer is yes, but that is my job. Yes I have boundaries that I have set for myself because it can take over very quickly. I usually get up before my daughter so I answer questions, scroll feed and reply to people while I drink my coffee. (Now you see why some comments bother me? Because I haven't had a full cup of coffee yet 😂) At night I turn my phone to silent. No buzzes, dings or calls because I need my sleep or I am a B. I do most of my phone stuff after I put my daughter to bed while I watch reality TV, multitasking at it's best! If I am out to dinner or on a date, I leave my phone in my purse because I HATE when couples are out to dinner and both on their phones. Also no phones at the home dinner table either. I am not perfect by any means and you may see me out and I am looking down but I haven't ran into anything yet, so I consider that a win! 😉

My social media accounts consist of Facebook, TwitterInstagram and my blog. I would say I spend the most time on IG but the second runner up is definitely Nordstrom! Haha

I truly hope you all enjoyed this post and that it answers some or all of your questions! If you have any other questions, of course feel free to ask!! I think most of you know I try to respond to each comment or message!

If you are wanting to read past posts, utilize the search bar or the tab at the top of the page to find what you are looking for! XOXO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Apron or Hello Fresh?

I said I would give my review and here we go! I honestly don't know why I chose to sign up for Blue Apron first but I did, probably because they were the first to tempt me with a promo code or a FREE box! Haha They must know my trigger words. I love to cook and sometimes I get into this rut where I cook the same things. Also, since my daughter turned 2, she began to boycott naps. Yes, please feel sorry for me! With that being said, no naps means she gets extra hairy around 4pm, the exact time I start to prep and cook dinner since my hubby gets home around 5:30. Again, I like to cook, so for me it is a process that I enjoy to start early, have time to prepare and throw in extras to see what flavors I can create! But.....when you have a child crying at your legs because she can't watch a show on TV that is not on at that time, the dinner struggle becomes what can I cook with the most amount of ease?? I love my crockpot but seriously get tired of the same old stuff and I try to cook healthy and the crockpot for me screams comfort food, just like the meals my mother made! Yes I know you can make healthy dinners in the crockpot, but we all know that we have our recipes that we cook over and over again because they work, and our kids eat it without complaining. Because who wants to slave over cooking a dinner only to listen to your child or husband scrape the fork on the plate separating the green things from the white things and what are those red things? Am I right or am I right?

Ahhh so you suggest I get on Pinterest? Well I am already on there and I have like 3 different tabs for food that I NEVER cook! 1.) Because I don't have all of the ingredients on hand or 2.) Because when I go to the store I do not want to buy another cabinet full of things I will never use again. 3.) Because see when I actually do go buy all of the things for a new recipe from Pinterest I forget why I have coconut milk in my cabinet and never make the recipe. So hello Blue Apron. Thank you for joining the party, or am I?

Blue Apron was my attempt at trying new recipes without the stress. I bought it with some promotion and honestly you should never buy anything like that without a promotion because they are everywhere!! I just received another $30 off code in my Zuilly shipment! So once I signed up, I was able to choose which day I wanted it to be shipped on along with how many meals for how many people. I chose 2 people 3 times a week because that seemed to be the best "fit" for us. Well not really because a few times a week we have my step children and then we have 4 but the other days we have 2, but we always have a small child who doesn't really eat an adult portion but I am tired of sharing everything I have....kidding. Sort of. And then you check the calendar to make sure you are going to be home at least 3 meals for the week and not eating out or gone. You get the point, signing up and making those decisions was stressful enough! Haha. My first box was delivered and I couldn't wait to open it! My 3 recipes were Seared Chicken and Fregola Salad, Mexican Beef Quesadillas, and some Teriyaki salmon thing. Out of the 3, I chose to cook Seared Chicken and Fregola Salad first since it was just the hubby and I eating and it looked yummy! Everything arrived in 1 big box with small tiny brown paper bags with small labels to which recipes, although you had to decipher how many green onions went with each recipe as there wasn't a "box" within a box. The first meal is always fun to cook because you have time and you are excited to make something new, but realizing the chopping, peeling and sautéing and switching of pans is creating more dishes than you want to clean up, but you press on. Recipes were fairly easy to follow but with foods I have never heard of (Fregola salad), you really have to read and pay attention instead of just throwing crap in a pan :)

After all of the steps, it was ready to eat! It was delicious!

 I honestly struggled to find when I was going to make the next recipe since we had things that popped up so I ended up making the Mexican Beef Quesadillas when my hubby was on call at work, but good lord they were to die for but I felt like gut rot after as I did not drain the grease like I maybe should have!

 The anxiety of the whole thing was the worst part for me because I felt like I had this fresh food in the fridge and if I did not cook it, it would go to waste and I didn't want to do that since I paid for it! A few more days passed by and I finally decided I would make the last recipe and it was more work than I thought and it was not good, we both did not eat it and ended up eating popcorn for dinner! It even looks like poo plated 🙈

Needless to say I was NOT in a rush to order anymore boxes or order from another similar company even though that was my intention! I wanted to try both companies and compare and then eventually subscribe to 1 or the other! My first Blue Apron came August 26th and I did not order Hello Fresh until January 11th! Haha. I wasn't kidding.

Hello Fresh

I honestly felt like the ordering process was a little more user friendly here and this time around I went with the 4 people option and 2 boxes a week for only 2 weeks because now I have commitment issues! Haha So the first box arrives and again I am excited to break into it to see what our meals consist of and what they are like! I love that each box has everything into it's own box (except the meat, but that is a no brainer) although I can see them being too bulky and big for some people's fridge! I chose the most kid friendly meal to start with since I was going to be feeding a 3 year old and a 16 year old. The recipe was Beefy Taco casserole with a side salad. Well, I don't eat salads unless it is from a restaurant so this was a complete wasted ingredient for us. It was easy enough to make and yummy enough to eat! Easy to assemble but a tad messy to eat!

Our next meal was Honey Ginger-Glazed Chicken. Ok, how cute are those little fish bottles with soy sauce?? I love anything mini and have been known to hoard small condiments from hotels and airplanes! No shame in my game! So before the box came, I received and email notification that they could not send the chicken tenders so they sent chicken breasts instead and informed me that I should just cut them into strips as a substitution. Well, I didn't follow that direction and just left it as a breast, much easier that fondling a raw chicken breast.

Somethings, well a lot of things I found annoying about this "meal kit". 1.) Why can't the garlic come chopped or minced? 2.) Same thing with the ginger. 3.) Who wants to take the time to trim both ends of each sugar snap pea, especially when I don't even like them!? Ugh, but my hubby does so I pressed on to correctly complete this recipe.

In the above recipe on how to prepare your meal, you will notice it says "Pour in 3 TBSP white wine vinegar (we sent more)". Why would you send me more? Another step that I have to do that I don't want to do because I am lazy and that is why I bought this box. Why can't the exact amount be sent? Hmmmm maybe I am a little out of sorts as I am writing about this recipe after the fact that I happened to get "something" after eating this meal that gave me stools with ease ( if you catch my drift.) for 4 stinkin days and then out came the Imodium after I saw no end in sight. TMI? I am a nurse so you will just have to get over it! Haha I am not saying it was the meal, because my hubby ate the same thing and was fine but you know how it is when you think of the last thing you ate or drank before you became ill. No bueno. Nonetheless, it was very tasty with great flavors!

Our final week of meals was due to be shipped on Tuesday and we received an email that it would be delayed due to an ice storm that hit us here in the Midwest. I appreciate the heads up as it is no problem for me at all to receive it a day later! This weeks menu was Juicy Apple Pork Burgers and Ginger Beef Stir Fry. So I decided to go for the burgers because I had actually saw that a friend had made them a few days before and they looked amazing! 

Again with the salad, boo but the rosemary fries were spot on! I also failed to take a photo of the finished product and I can not remember why, but we all loved them! The zested apple in the burger mix was crazy good!

Since my box came a day late, I was so nervous that the meat would not be good since it was sitting out an extra day. I am sure it was fine but after the last fiasco, you can imagineI was a tad more cautious. Unboxing the last meal I was sooooo over it again. Why did I order this stuff again? Another freakin ginger box with SUGAR SNAP PEAS! If you look below, the ingredients were almost the exact same as the ginger chicken the week before and I thought maybe they would have noted what they already sent me and tried to hook me up with variety, nope.

So instead of using the sketchy beef, I substituted for Costco salmon, which is a favorite in our house. I trimmed and cut 1 bag of the peas again, cursing the entire time then tossed the second bag in the fridge for my hubbys salads at lunch. Also, instead of sending me those adorable little fish of soy sauce, they sent me like 10 packets of soy sauce. Ya know the kind you have to tear open at the restaurant with your teeth? Yep, I had to individually open each packet to get 4 TBSP of soy sauce. I may have laughed in disbelief, no, I am sure I did. The glaze that you make is delicious and I will probably keep that for salmon glaze again! The flavors I achieved with Hello Fresh was top notch! Probably my favorite thing about them because seasoning is key!

Overall, I have decided that I will not do either again and just stick with what we already love & cook or pull out Ina Garten recipes when I am feeling fancy! I just love her. I do feel that 2 meals a week was right for me as the pressure to cook them was not as intense and maybe I am the only one that feels this way, but remember this is MY review and I do know a lot of people who love both of these companies. Maybe I went into it thinking it was to make cooking easier and in some ways it does, but for me I want dump and go majority of the time or one pan wonders :) This has been fun and if you have any comments, feedback or suggestions I am open to them all! XOXO