Hello Fresh – Amazing

I have be dying to try Hello Fresh or really any service that will ship you all the ingredients you need to make delicious home cooked meals.

Does anyone else go to the grocery store and leave with way more then they went in for? I’m almost convinced that Hello Fresh could be cheaper then going to the grocery store. Almost. Or maybe I’m trying to convince myself because these meal delivery services are pretty expensive.

Hello Fresh is pretty versatile because you can choose from the Classic Plan, Veggie Plan, or Family Plan. The Classic and Veggie Plan are both $9.99/per meal and you can order them to serve either 2 or 4 adults. While the Family Place is $8.74/per meal and serves 2 adults and 2 children.

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Here’s another problem I have when making meals — I always cook enough to feed an army. Why have I made a buffet platter of lasagna for 4 or less people? Well because the box of lasagna has X amount of noodles and the container of Ricotta is X ounces. I’m not going to waste those ingredients. But we never need that much food.

Hello Fresh gives you portion sized food and only what you need to make the meals. Which seems scary – we’re so used to eating more then the portion size how could their meals possibly be enough? Well the first meal I made had enough for 6 people!

How does Hello Fresh work?

First you sign up on the Hello Fresh website, choose your delivery date, and choose your recipes. On the day of the week you selected, your meals will show up at your door in a heavily insulated cardboard box. The box below held three meals for 4 people and it weighed a ton!

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Each week you get all of the ingredients you need to make the meals (aside from a few staples they expect you to have at home – olive oil, salt, pepper, etc.) and huge recipe cards that walk you through all the steps. I should have taken a picture of the back of these cards but I was so excited to open everything that I forgot.

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The following pictures are from the unboxing:

The meat isn’t in any of the ingredient pictures because its under huge ice packs which are below the piece of cardboard in the bottom right picture.

This week I am making three meals from Hello Fresh which are:

  • Lemon Basil Shrimp with Orzo and Avocado Salad
  • Pork DIY Dumplings with Quick-Pickles Slaw and Soy Dumplings
  • Crushed Peppercorn Steak with Creamed Kale and Potato Wedges

Lemon Basil Shrimp with Orzo and Avocado Salad

Last night I made this dish because Hello Fresh lets you know which dish you should make first based on how well the ingredients will stay fresh.

First of all, I don’t eat seafood at all. So I don’t eat shrimp but I had a whole skewer of them yesterday because they smelled so good I couldn’t resist them. Then there is my Dad who only likes his own cooking. He couldn’t stop talking about how light, fresh, and delicious this meal was. My boyfriend’s only critique was that it could use more salt and pepper (he LOVES pepper and uses way too much)! I’ll be sure to use more for our next meals. Everyone loved this dish so much they filled their plate a second time.

Back to portion sizes – we had enough for 6 people to eat last night which is impressive at our house, we generally eat way more than a “standard” portion size. Look how many shrimp this made! A skewer and a half were used at this point – hey! we’re supposed to enjoy our food not just take pictures right?

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I’m so thrilled with Hello Fresh thus far that I decided to post my review before even completing this week of meals. Of course, I’ll come back and update this post. But, I wanted to share it with you all in time for you to try Hello Fresh next week.

With my referral code you can get $40 off of your first order. This was the best deal that I was able to find online. When I ordered my 4 person, 3 meal box  I wasn’t allowed to take advantage of the advertised $50 off on Hello Fresh’s for whatever reason.

Could you afford to buy meals from Hello Fresh every week? Probably not. But I would try it at least once. Especially if you’re only ordering for 2 people because you can try 3 meals for $20 after the referral discount.

Lola – Ultra Thin Liners

You may or may not have read my original post about Lola when I decided to try their tampons. (FYI – if the word tampon bothers you then this is not a post for you). In that post, I explained the amazing deal I got by combining a “two boxes for the price of one” offer with a friends referral code.

My second post about Lola came two months later where I discussed how I liked the tampons and decided to keep my subscription.

This review (a year after my first post) is about the new Ultra Thin Liners that Lola offers. Spoiler alert: I LOVE them!

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I’ve also written about the Target Cartwheel app and since then gotten a Target RedCard. I’m a Target fanatic which is why in the past I decide to try the Up&Up brand liners. You can almost always get 5% off of Target brand items using cartwheel and my RedCard lets me get 5% off of everthing.

Surprise! The Target brand liners were awful. They’re the kind that doesn’t stay put and ends up getting bunched or sticking to your skin.

Anyway – after straying from my go-to Carefree Body Shape liners that I use every single day I didn’t want to try anything else. Until I got an email from Lola about their new liners and decided to look into it.

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I love that their liners have edge to edge adhesive which ensures that they’ll stay put throughout the day! They’re also made of 100% natural organic cotton so they’re breathable. Yes – these probably cost more then your go-to liner but they’re absolutely worth trying.

Not to mention Lola was started by two women who met in grad school and had a crazy idea to change this industry. I’m trying more and more to support people like them instead of big corporations!

If you’re interested in giving this product, or any Lola product a try PLEASE use my referral code kbailey6. You’ll get $5 off and I’ll get a $5 credit added to my account so I can keep trying Lola products and updating you all!

Ebates – Why you should join NOW

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Have you seen the commercials for Ebates? So have I and I wasn’t convinced. It seems like a scam. Anyone who knows me, knows that I refuse to complete an online purchase if I can’t get a use a promo code to get a good deal. And let’s be honest – I have way too much stuff already – why spend more money on stuff I don’t need.

So how did I end up using Ebates since I thought it was a scam and had no interest in trying?

Well, I was at a birthday party when a family member told me how much money she had been saving on Ebates. She pulled up the app on her phone and showed me how simple it was to use. I love an excuse to shop and search for a good deal so I signed up for Ebates as soon as I got home.

They have a welcome bonus offer where you can earn $10 cash back on your first purchase of $25. (Yes, you have to wait until the quarterly pay out to get any cash back that you earn throughout the quarter). Check out this slightly corny video that will explain how easy it is to use.

In the last 4 months, I have earned over $150 just by buying things I normally would have bought. How did I do it? Every time you refer a friend who signs up and makes a  $25 purchase you get $25! I referred three friends and earned $75 ($25 x 3) and they each got $10 ($25 purchase – $10 cash back = $15 spent). Even if your friend only uses it once you both still earn money.

Out of the three friends I referred, I made the first purchase for two of them. I spent my own money and they earned $10 while I was able to earn $25. Now, all of three of them use it everytime they make a purchase.

But Ebates isn’t just about cash back.

Like I said above, I refuse to make a purchase if I can’t use a coupon code and I HATE paying for shipping. Ebates also provides you with a list of coupon codes and will let you know when your favorite stores are having a sale. Frequently they will double or triple the cash back for stores making it possible to get an even better deal.

Are you the type of person who would forget to log onto Ebates and shop through their website?

Easy! You just need to install the browser add-on that will remind you to activate Ebates any time you shop. Ebates has a link that will provide you will all the information you need to know about installing the browser button.

I love browser buttons. They’re really useful and help us remember when we have a million other things going on. I also have a browser button to ensure that I always use Amazon Smile which donates a very small percentage of all of your purchases to a charity of your choice.

Below are a few screenshots that show how the browser button works. I typed katespade.com into my web browser and the button reminded me that I can activate 3.5% cash back.

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All you have to do is click the Activate button!

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Next, it shows this page.

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Cash back is activated and it shows you a list of coupon codes and deals that the retailer is running.

I don’t know if you’re convinced but I need a new purse and I’m dying to use that coupon code that expires tomorrow. If you’re interested in signing up please use this link to sign up!

Comment below if there are any websites or ways that you save money while shopping!

Home for the Holidays – BarkBox

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I’m really loving that BarkBox has a theme each month, for November 2016 the theme was Home for the Holidays.

Nana’s Leftover Sammy – $10.00

I haven’t given this to the dogs yet. It’s huge so I am saving it for Christmas

12-inch lamb one pack – $3.00

This all natural lamb stick is made in the USA. It’s made with wheat, corn, and it’s soy-free. I’m saving this for Christmas as well.

Salmon Droolers – $5.00

These all-natural treats are made in the USA. They’re also grain-free, corn-free, and soy-free.

Lick the Chef Apron – $10.00

I don’t remember much about this toy but I think it had the same easy to shred rope as the eye ball pull from last month.

Pepper’s Pumpkin Pie – $9.00

I was really impressed with how tough this toy was. You could barely squish it with your hand. This toy is designated for heavy chewers. After receiving our first BarkBox I reached out to a representative and asked them to mark my subscription as a “heavy chewer”. I believe you can do this yourself at sign-up now.

Below – you can see that Molly was not pleased that I got close to her Pumpkin Pie while she was trying to destroy it.

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Bark & Co Single Roll Poop Bag – $2.00

I thought these were adorable – they had cute saying written on them. I ended up giving them to a neighbor because we rarely walk our dogs.

Pumpkin Cheese Yums – $7.00

These were adorable. They look like mini crescents. They’re made in the USA and they’re gluten free. These are pumpkin and cinnamon flavored.

**Please note – the pricing in my posts are for large dogs. BarkBox typically sells their toys in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. I opted for large after our first BarkBox because I think that they’re harder to destroy.

If you’re interested in trying out BarkBox please use our referral link!

Are you Afraid of the Bark? – Barkbox

The October 2016 Barkbox was appropriately themed – Are you Afraid of the Bark?

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Kayla’s Cauldron – $14.00

This was a tough toy. But it still didn’t take long for Molly to chew through it. You can see a picture of what’s left of it below.

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Bully Stick – $4.00

I don’t remember much about this other than the fact it was very hard and difficult to break into two pieces.

Chick or Treat – $6.00

These treats are made in the USA. They’re grain free and taste like Chicken with Sweet Potato, Cranberries, & Apples.

Skin & Coat Gummies – $10.00

These gummies” are made in the USA with an ingredient called NutriCHIA. They’re good for your dog’s coat and are meant to help with bad breath.

Count Drool Culas Bite – $10.00

This one was very funny to watch Molly play with. Imagine a toddler who just learned how to make duck lips with pringles.

Oct Lips.JPGEye Ball Tug – $12.00

I was really disappointed in the quality of this item. The “rope” portion was made with really stretchy fabric that Molly destroyed instantly. However, the eyeball is still rolling around our house two months later.

IMG_5191.JPGThis has been Molly’s natural state since we subscribed to BarkBox…she’s always surrounded by a few toys.

**Please note – the pricing in my posts are for large dogs. BarkBox typically sells their toys in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. I opted for large after our first BarkBox because I think that they’re harder to destroy.

If you’re interested in trying out BarkBox please use our referral link!

September Barkbox

With Molly’s December BarkBox sitting on the floor next to me, I looked at my September post “Molly tries Barkbox” and wondered why I haven’t written one since.

In my first post, I swore that I wasn’t going to buy another BarkBox. Then I found a deal on Groupon for up to 24% off and an extra toy each month. It’s been so many months that I forget what I paid for a 12-month subscription…Yes – it was probably too much to spend on a subscription box for dogs BUT these boxes are a great value and they’re full of toys and natural dog treats for your dogs to enjoy.

I also found the Destroyers Club on their website and when you email them a picture of your dog destroying BarkBox items, you get credits to spend on their website. I believe I have gotten $3, $5, $2, & $8 credits which last 30 days. I’m not sure how they determine the values but I was very excited when we received $8 to spend. I used all of those credits to stockpile presents for Christmas!

September 2016:

This was the second box we received in September. I had to sign up for a subscription using a new account to redeem the Groupon that I purchased. The theme for this month was Cooking. After the first box disappeared in a few days I decided that I would ration when the dogs get to have their toys and treats. Even with a discount – this service isn’t exactly cheap.
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Beef Tendersticks – $8.00

Like I said in my previous post – there is no point commenting on how my dogs liked the food portion of their boxes. They will ALWAYS be happy with treats. These all natural treats are made with 100% beef and they’re gluten free.

Orbee-Tuff Strawberry Dog Toy – $14.00

This toy had a weird smell to it and the outside was kind of sticky. Both dogs played with this toy – because there were treats inside. Winnie (the one who doesn’t play with toys) had a really hard time getting the treats out. She had such a hard time that she eventually gave up and Molly ate the rest for her. This toy is also still alive.

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Bacon Benebone  – $10.00

I was pleasantly surprised that the dogs actually shared this toy. One dog would play with it and when they got bored the other dog would pick it up. No growling or anything. Which is SO WEIRD because Molly refuses to share the plush toys. We just threw it away about a week ago (about 3 months of use) because the dogs were eating chunks of it.

No Grainers Turkey & Sweet Potato Chews – $8.00

These treats are gluten free and made in the USA. They taste like turkey and sweet potatoes.

Peace Sign Rope Toy (Extra Toy Club) – $13.00

This toy is still alive which is amazing in our house. I think overall the “Extra Toy Club” toys are pretty high quality.

Beef Jerky Stick – $4.00

These jerky sticks are made in the USA and come in a 2 pack.

 

**Please note – the pricing in my posts are for large dogs. BarkBox typically sells their toys in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. I opted for large after our first BarkBox because I think that they’re harder to destroy.

If you’re interested in trying BarkBox please follow our link!

Bath & Body Works Bath Fizzy Vs. Lush Yoga Bomb

Last week Bath & Body Works came out with a new line of Bath Fizzys! Which is fantastic because a trip to Lush for their Bath Bombs isn’t convenient for me.

I went to B&BW a few days after they came out and picked up four bath fizzys.

Currently the B&BW bath fizzys retail for $6.50 and are available in 5 scents: A Thousand Wishes, Beautiful Day, Sweet Pea, Moonlight Path, Japanese Cherry Blossom, and Warm Sugar Vanilla. Bath & Body Works also has 3 bath fizzys wrapped to look like candy in their seasonal scents: Twisted Peppermint, Vanilla Bean Noel, & Winter Candy Apple.

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I didn’t purchase any of these as I was shopping for a friend who prefers bath “bombs”.

As some of you may already know – Lush is known for their “handmade, 100% vegetarian, ethical buying, naked packaged products which allows for the freshest cosmetics without any animal testing.” I love Lush products but I live about an hour away from the closest store. The creation of bath fizzys at B&BW means that I can have bath bombs any time I want AND I can use their coupons to get a better deal.

Here are the differences that I notice between the Bath & Body Works Bath Fizzy and Lush’s Bath Bombs on first glance:

  • The B&BW bath fizzys are much smaller at 4.6oz than most of Lush’s bath bombs.
  • The B&BW bath fizzys are wrapped in plastic.
    • While Lush bath bombs are placed in 100% recyclable bags.
  • The B&BW bath fizzys smell exactly like the lotions and shower gels that we all know and love.
    • While Lush bath bombs are made from various natural ingredients and essential oils which makes each one smell unique.
  • I was unable to find the B&BW ingredients online and had to physically look at the bath fizzy package to read the ingredients.
    • While Lush ingredients are available on their website with clickable links to “Lushopedia” where you can read what other products have the same ingredients.

Let’s see how the pricing and ingredients of the two products that I will be testing stack up.

  • B&BW Sweet Pea Bath Fizzy
    • Pricing: $6.50 for 4.60z or ~$1.41 an oz
      • BUT – you can use coupons at B&BW
    • Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda – makes the fizz), Citric Acid (occurs naturally in citrus fruits), Maltodextrin (food additive), Canola Oil (canola, huile de colza), PEG-180 (used as a binder and a solvent), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Fragrance (Perfum) (catch-all for a companies formula), Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Butylphenyl Methylpropional (floral smell), Linalool (occurs naturally in many essential oils), Benzyl Salicylate (floral fragrance additive and UV light absorber), Amyl Cinnamal (floral smell suggestive of jasmine), Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone (fragrance ingredient), Citronellol (a natural acyclic monoterpenoid?), Red 33 (CI 17200).
  • Lush Yoga Bomb
    • Pricing: $7.95 for 6.3oz or ~$1.26 an oz
      • Lush never has coupons.
    • Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda – makes the fizz), Citric Acid (occurs naturally in citrus fruits), Fragrance (catch-all for a companies formula), Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate), Cassie Absolute (Acacia farnesiana), Olibanum Oil (Boswella Carterii), Ho Wood Oil (Cinnamomum Camphora), Sandalwood Oil (Santalum austro-caledonicum vieill), Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (foaming agent), Lauryl Betaine (synthetic vegetable derived liquid), Benzyl Benzoate (solvent and preservative), Eugenol (essential oil from cloves), *Limonene , *Linalool , Snowflake Lustre; Frosty Holly and Gold Glimmer Lustre (Potassium Aluminium Silicate (anti-caking agent), Titanium Dioxide ?, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite (bulking agent), Iron Oxides (may make the color), Silica) , Red 28 , Blue 1 , Yellow 6 . *Occurs naturally in essential oils

Both of these have a TON of ingredients. But honestly – most people aren’t reading the ingredient labels before they hop into the bath. This section was include for those of you who prefer to know whats in the products you are using.

Now for the fun part:

Test 1 – Bath & Body Works, Sweet Pea Bath Fizzy

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How was the Bath & Body Works bath fizzy? First of all, it was so difficult to get the packaging off! Make sure to open this up with scissors before you get into the tub. Or else you’ll end up like me having to bite the packaging off with your teeth which leaves a very gross taste  in your mouth.When I dropped the bath fizzy into the tub it sunk right to the bottom and lasted for about a minute and a half. I stayed in the tub for about 20 minutes and my skin felt pruney. While I didn’t smell much Sweet Pea while I was in the tub the scent was still on my skin even after I rinsed off in the shower. I took a video to post – but since I do not have a premium wordpress account you can watch it here.

Test 2 – Lush Yoga Bomb

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How was the Lush Yoga Bath Bomb? First of all it smelled fantastic and took at least 15 minutes for the bath bomb to fully dissolve. The bath bomb started off fizzing and the tub became a bright orange color.

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Then the center started to disappear and there were green and purple colors coming out of the bath bomb. At this point I realized that I was sitting in a tub full of glitter. But some how there isn’t any glitter left on me. I asked my boyfriend to see if the tub was stained orange, green, or purple and he responded by telling me it was covered in glitter. Ooops!

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Wondering how you can get an awesome ring in your tub? All of the credit goes to shampoo that claims to dye your hair 😉

But guess what! Using this bath bomb was fun and relaxing. Except for the icky gray color the water turned into once all of the colors had come out of the bath bomb. If you would like to see a video of this bath bomb click here.

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At the end of the day – I would purchase a Lush bath bomb over a Bath & Body Works bath fizzy every time. BUT, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t run out and try one for yourself. Bath & Body Works lets you use coupons which means you can save a bunch of money when buying these for yourself or your friends. I love Bath & Body Works products and they are the first place that I go for foaming hand soap, lotion, and even candles. But let’s leave the bath bombs to the experts at Lush.