Time? Who has time anymore? And seriously what did I do with ALL of my time before I had a child?? I still ask myself this daily. So I was approached by this watch company to do a possible collaboration with them and share it with my friends and followers. Honestly, I had never even heard of the company before. I mean have you ever heard of JORD Watches? I browsed through the link I was sent, and read over all of the information about the collaboration. My first email back to the company was short and sweet.Read More
Do you ever go to the grocery store because you need to pick out a bottle of wine for an event, a gift or maybe you are hosting something and have no freaking idea what to get because you either don't drink or you don't have that kind of time to try out every single bottle on the market? Well let me help you out a little! I love my wine. I love my champagne and I love finding new ones that I can add to my repertoire.Read More
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 :)
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.
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
How did I live my life without all of this stuff I have recently discovered by being on the inside of direct sales? I mean, seriously. I know everyone does an eye roll at the thought of one more Fabebook post advertising their crap, but this is the future people! Trust me, I do the eye roll too then remember I am one of them :) You have no idea how many people will see a post and that 1 post may be just what they are looking for at that specific time! Like if there was a potty training human I could have bought from a direct sales company a few months ago, I would've paid BIG BUCKS for it. I recently saw a post from a fellow friend about why not buy from a Direct sales person? Why not try to buy a gift for someone through a friend to support what they are doing? Sure you may not be into everything that everyone is selling, but have you even tried it before judging it? I am so so guilty and only until recently has my mind been changed. I have found products that I am absolutely in love with. I started out by just buying from people who were buying from me as a thank you, not knowing I would be their regular customers as well. As most of you know, if you are my FB friend or follow me on IG @ashleyn2504), I am a stylist for Stella & Dot. Who doesn't want to grab their girlfriends and have me come over to style them and drink wine or cocktail of choice?? I mean, duh! I even do fundraisers to help anyone and everyone raise money for their cause of choice! I do not have any alterior motives, I just simply love fashion and helping people find pieces they love and that make them feel great! Sounds soooo cliché but it is the truth! I get emails and photos texted to me all of the time of happy customers who are 5 years old to 85 years old...no joke. It is not for everyone and that is ok, but take a look at the things I have found and LOVE from a Direct Sales guy or gal and if something strikes your fancy, give them a shout. But remember, I am the ONLY Stella & Dot gal you will ever need ;)
Rodan & Fields: My worst habit is not washing my face. Never have and probably never will like I should but my drawer is filled to the brim with Rodan & Fields...haha. Why? I love the products that I have tried so far! I love the eye cream, the eye cleaning wipes, the redefine kit, hand cream, and now the roller! I thought it was just a little plastic thing and a joke until I rolled it on my face and had to text my consultant why my face was all red and bumpy...lol ( I have crazy skin and it was legit). See this is why you buy from friends! So you can text or call them and they will help you with whatever! Now I use the roller often and I never have a problem but my skin is always moisturized and not flaky anymore! My go to girl is Jen Penisten, so if interested contact her at Bestskinwithjen@gmail.com.
Usborne Books: If you have never bought books from them, Christmas is coming up and they are so awesome! Who doesn't love buying books? They have so many titles and the quality is top notch. The shine-a-light books are a favorite in our house. You take a flashlight to the book pages to discover hidden images! Need a gift or books, contact Tami Israel at Y4870.myubam.com.
It Works: I know you know someone who is a distributor for this company, I see more of this than anything else on my feed. I honestly have tried several things and it really isn't my thing BUT I have found something I love! The chew vitamins! I have been taking them along with my daughter takes 1 per day and it has helped SO much with her poop not being so hard....sorry for the mom talk :) So if you want soft poop for your toddler contact Dani Housley on Facebook! And one more wrap post and I may just try it before my October vacation ;)
Matilda Jane: The cutest clothing for littles! I have not personally bought the adult clothing, but that is because it is way more fun to shop for my daughter than me! If you love ruffles, lace and everything girlie, you will love this stuff. Plus, Joanna Gaines buys it for her girls, so you know it's cute!!! Haha #lifegoals My "Jane" as they call it is Jael Brose or trunk keeper #952 and you can order or send your wishlist here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lipsense: The newest lip gloss craze and it is a good one! Semi-permanent lip gloss in a variety of colors that you can mix and match! I am not going to lie, but the first few times I used it I was not loving the burn from the alcohol in the gloss, but the more you use it, the less you notice it! I love rose berry and can't wait to try out more! My Lip Sense gal is Kimberly Gleason if you need a hook up :) Just look her up on Facebook and she can add you to her group!
Advocare: I actually tried this before I started selling Stella & Dot because I was working as a nurse and as you all know we work long shifts sometimes and need a little pick me up! Now I need it daily being a mom and running around like a chicken with my head cut off, dealing with a toddler who has boycotted naps at the ripe old age of 2. Boo! The product I love is the spark and it is probably the best seller for them! I love love love the pineapple coconut with coconut milk!! It is like the "pink drink" but better and less expensive habit! I also like the blue raspberry. I do like the rehydrate if I am working out, which is not very often! Haha I buy from different people because some have kinds on hand that I love! Shasta Hilmer (www.advogirl35.com) is my on hand girl and I recently met the sweetest gal Crystal Thurber (http://www.advokc.com) in Kansas City at a tournament and she was so kind to send me samples of each of the products! I can't wait to try them. Younique: This was one of those parties where I was invited by a customer and I bought a lip stain because I really never change my make-up or try anything new! But I am a lipstick whore. Well lucky me I freaking loved the stain and better yet, it stays on! So then once again, my friend invited me to shop her party, so I ordered the foundation because it was "all the rage". Well I picked up some from a local gal and realized I looked like an Oompa Loompa because it was the wrong color (until Summer came along). Well, long story short, I now use the foundation daily, the primer when I go out, eyeshadow, lip stains, lipstick, and concealer. My local gal is Kaylyn Moore and my other go to gal is Ashley DeJonge at www.youniqueproducts.com/ashleydejonge (because I loved her name, no really) plus she turned out to be the sweetest gal ever! Funny how Direct Sales brings you to meet new people!
LulaRoe: If you know me you would say, no way no how does she wear that stuff. Well you are partially right. I was at one of my first vendor events and there happened to be a consultant there. I was browsing her racks and saw they had adorable little leggings and dresses for my daughter! ( See there I go again buying her crap). Then I decided it would be really funny to buy a pair of printed leggings for my mother who I knew would freak out and tell me hell to the no. I know, I am such a good daughter :) So after that I wanted to do a joint party with one of the local consultants with my Stella & Dot to reach people who don't know that we offer jewelry that doesn't need to be dressed up all of the time! This was the first time I bought leggings (black) and a Julia dress! And they are both pieces I love! Lord knows people in the Midwest have LulaRoe dealers like crack dealers around here so these are 2 of my gals Alicia Trogdon and the ever so sweet Tricia Rivas (also the owner of the amazing Trixies Salon here in Des Moines.)
Beauty Counter: I love their lip gloss too! I am telling you, I have a lot of it :) I also use the body scrub that makes my skin feel super moisturized after a shower, plus it smells so good, I want to eat it! I really want to try the charcoal mask and the face oil. Those will be my next purchases :) I heard that Target had some of it on the shelves for a hot minute, so you know it's good stuff! I have only purchased through a party so the 2 gals I know who sell it are Maegan Carroll www.beautycounter.com/meagancarroll and Katie Nola www.beautycounter.com/katienola
Young Living: Ok, so I know there are 2 companies out there that are popular, Young Living and doTerra. I have read the difference and I am really not sure why I chose one over the other, really no reason at all. I think that my go to girl Brianne Koch posted something on FaceBook at the right time and the rest is history :) See, you never know who is going to be reading each post. I now own the starter kit, and since have placed 3 additional orders because diffusing is my jam. Every night at bedtime, I turn on the diffuser with new concoctions depending on my mood. My favorite is lavender, peppermint and lemon all together. I use thieves on my canker sores and they are so much better by the next day. I love them! Oh and don't be afraid to drink that pouch drink in your starter kit, Ningxia Red, it is delish. Brianne's website is oily inspired.com.
Keep: Last but not least Stella & Dots sister company, Keep :) Adorable charms and bracelets to fit each personality and situation and style. Plus it goes really well with our Stella & Dot arm parties :) These make great gifts as they are easy to build upon, so you can buy 1 charm at a time! I just bought from an online party's so I don't have my own personal Keep Collector but I am sure if you ask on FB if anyone sells it there will be plenty of suggestions.
Oldies but goodies that I have bought from before I started with direct sales is Pampered chef, Avon, Tupperware, Uppercase Living, and Tastefully Simple ( the beer bread). I am sure there are some that I am forgetting or maybe I am leaving out some since my Grandma and Mother will read this ;) Haha
So you may ask what the point of this blog post was? Well, people ask me all of the time what products I use, what colors and what are products that I love. I am frequently looking for party hostess online or in home, and I feel like with all of the options out there, people get totally overwhelmed and annoyed with all of the party requests they are receiving. If you don't love it, it's OK!!! Maybe you have a friend you know would love it, so order it for them as a gift! Connections or networks, whatever you want to call it, really has led me to friends who will be around for a very long time, and I am so grateful for that! So the next time you are invited to a party, at least take a look and see if there is anything you could buy! Support friends because you never know when you may be the next to jump on board the direct sales train. It isn't "selling" if you love the product and are passionate about it!
You can email me anytime if you ever want information on joining my Stella & Dot team! Ladyandred2504@hotmail.com. No boss, no quotas, and a lot of accessories! Or if you just want to browse my online boutique shop here: www.stelladot.com/sites/ashleydejong