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food review


Blue Apron Review: Dinner at your Door

Welcome Blue Apron

If you’re like me (and everyone else I know) you sometimes get in a rut when it comes to making dinner. At my house, we have our five go-to meals: spaghetti, tacos, pizza, pot roast and eating out! I finally reached a breaking point when not eating started sounding better than actually making the same boring dinner over and over again. That’s when my husband and I decided it was time to give Blue Apron a try. We’ve been cooking with Blue Apron now for about two months and we absolutely love it. Not only do we get to try a variety of new meals, we have fun learning about new techniques and ingredients. With a toddler running around the kitchen during meal prep it might not be a relaxing experience, but we are enjoying our time together in the kitchen.

Below are a few of my thoughts on our Blue Apron experience so far.

My friend told me about Blue Apron and sent me three free meals to check it out and see if I like it. I went online to redeem my freebies and noticed I had to put in a credit card number along with my personal information. I’m always hesitant to sign up for a service like this because I don’t want to commit to something long-term, especially if it costs a good amount of money. I almost didn’t move forward because I didn’t want to get stuck paying $60 per week if I didn’t end up liking it. However, I noticed there was no long-term commitment required and you can cancel at any time. The best part about it is you can even cancel from week to week. So when I’m going to go on vacation or have plans during the week, I can cancel my meals for that week and resume when it’s more convenient. You can also personalize your meals each week to your preference of beef, poultry, pork, fish or vegetarian. 

(Unfortunately, all the meals are assembled in the same facility so you won’t want to order Blue Apron if you have a food allergy.) 

Meal Types

Blue Apron posts the following week’s menu on the website or in the app a week in advance so you have the opportunity to choose your meals. With my plan of three meals per week, I can choose between six options.

Customized Menu

We were a little unsure about the price tag, seeing as how the plan we chose equals about $20 per meal. In theory, that’s just as much as going out to dinner, but then you add-on tax, tip and possibly desert, so we figured it was still cheaper. The other thing we’ve noticed since using Blue Apron, is we only go to the grocery store once per week and have reduced the amount of money we spend on groceries. Since we’ve signed up we haven’t noticed a negative effect on our pocket-book and it’s forced us to eat at home instead of spending money at a restaurant. 

Blue Apron has a couple meal plans to choose from depending on your family size and the number of meals you want to receive each week. Delivery is free so you don’t have to worry about any additional cost. 

  • 3 meals per week – 2 servings = $59.94
  • 2 meals per week – 4 servings = $69.92
  • 4 meals per week – 4 servings = $139.84

When researching Blue Apron, one of the benefits that really stood out was the food quality. Blue Apron has a direct relationship with farmers and suppliers so food is boxed and shipped at peak freshness with minimal time in transit. Another huge benefit (especially to my family) is all animals are raised without any added hormones or antibiotics. 

You might be wondering how the food tastes, since it comes in a box…in the mail. (I know, it sounds a little crazy.) All food comes in a refrigerated box with ice packs to keep everything cold and fresh. So you don’t need to worry about being home when your box is delivered.

Each box includes a recipe card with step-by-step instructions and color photos, which makes cooking the meal super easy.  So far, every meal has been very easy to follow. One of the things I like most about Blue Apron is that all the ingredients are included. If you need a little splash of vinegar, it’s included. If you need one egg, it’s included. The only ingredients you have to provide yourself are olive oil, salt and pepper. What makes this so great is if I wanted to cook these meals on my own, it would cost me a lot more money to buy a whole jar of a certain spice I would never use again. This way, I get to try a unique recipe without committing to a bunch of ingredients that will end up sitting on the shelf. 

Recipe Cards

I’m honestly not a fan of having to cut and prep all of the produce, mostly because it takes a lot of time and I always end up managing to cut myself! However, I will say that preparing everything has shown us new techniques and ways of preparing simple foods in a way I would have never thought before. I don’t know how many times I’ve said to my husband, “I never knew how easy it was to make a sauce” and “I would have never thought of using those ingredients together”. We’ve also learned about  fancy techniques like “blanching”!  Following these recipes has really opened our eyes to the way we prepare food and combine ingredients.

Blue Apron

Blue Apron has an app that is pretty awesome. You can browse entire recipe collection, how-to videos and cooking tips. You can also use the app to customize your menu and manage your deliveries.

Bottom Line
All of the meals (except for two) have been incredibly delicious. When I look at the menu for the following week, I’ll be honest that I’m not always excited about what is coming. But then the moment we sit down to eat, I’m always satisfied with what we’ve made. This experience has really opened our eyes on the types of meals we can make at home. Another benefit, is the meals are super healthy and are perfectly portioned so you don’t overeat. It’s been a great experience and we will continue to use Blue Apron moving forward.

The only complaint I have about Blue Apron is the amount of time it takes to cook each meal. As a working mom of a toddler, I look for fast and easy options when cooking. This whole process has opened my eyes to the variety of food I can cook for dinner, however, we don’t end up actually eating until 8 o’clock! The cooking process is really fun and provides a fun activity for my husband and I to do together. However, most of the time one of us is rushing around after our daughter while the other one is trying to prep all  the ingredients. It would be nice if everything already came chopped and prepared, but then I guess you would lose in the freshness of your food and the experience of making the meal beginning to end.

If you would like to give Blue Apron a try, I have three free meals to give to five people. Comment below and I’ll send an email your way! If you already use Blue Apron, let us know about your experience. 

Blue Apron Meal sweetlemonmade.comBlue Apron Review: Dinner at Your Door

Sweet Picks

June Sweet PIcks

June Sweet Picks

Mom Shirt: I think this shirt speaks for itself! If you are a Diet Coke aficionado (read: addict) like me, you need this in your life. It is the perfect tee to throw on with your fave pair of jeans,  a cute summer skirt or under a great light jacket. Anyone who has seen me lately, has most likely seen the shirt as well.  It is just as comfy as it is cute. And even better, the cutest husband and wife duo design the shirts and run this great shop. Go check it out and grab a shirt… or two!
Image Source:

Batiste Hair: I’m no stranger to dry shampoo. In fact, if you look in my bathroom cabinet at any one time you’re bound to find at least 4 different brands of dry shampoo. I use dry shampoo every day whether I shower or not. I have fine hair so I use it to give my hair some weight and texture and then of course on days I don’t wash my hair I use it help eliminate oils and bedhead. I was on a work trip one time and had forgotten to bring dry shampoo and stumbled across this blonde version of Batiste at a ransom Urban Outfitters. I was intrigued by the “blondeness” it offered. My hair has blonde highlights (from a bottle) and this magic little can not only adds volume, texture, and depth, but it covers up any highlight regrowth! WIN!! It seriously is like magic. Just don’t go hog-wild and spray it all over like crazy. If you do, your scalp will glow yellow. So just spray a little on the top of you’re looking for a miracle between highlights!
Image Source: Ulta

Amope Pedi Perfect: Summer is officially here and that means…you probably need to show your feet some love to get them into tip top shape to wear your flip flops and those cute strappy sandals you’ve been itching to wear! Because let’s be honest, we are not all blessed with feet and heels that are as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Haha! I sure wasn’t! So, if you are like me and have been cursed with dry rough heels that have to be attended to all summer long you know a professional pedicure each week is just not doable for us busy working gals that don’t have the time. But don’t fret because there is a way to get smooth heels at home on your own with the Amope Pedi Perfect! This little machine will file your rough heels and smooth them out and it’s easy to use. All you have to do is turn it on and move it all around the rough areas. This little tool is great for at home pedicures and perfect for touch ups in between those professional pedicures.
Image Source: Amazon

Younique Touch Liquid Foundation: I have gone most of my life without wearing any type of foundation. Every kind I’ve tried feels heavy and sticky. Now that I’m turning 29 (+4 ), my skin is changing and is not like it used to be. I decided to try the Younique Touch Liquid Foundation since I kept hearing such great things about it. (No, I don’t sell it, but if you are interested I can put you in touch with about 20 consultants!) This stuff is absolutely amazing. It has great coverage and the best part is, I can’t even tell I’m wearing it. Once the liquid touches your skin, it feels like powder. If you’re in the market for a new foundation or are curious because of my awesome review, I highly suggest you check it out!



5 tasty spots for foodies in San Diego

Foodie Guide San Diego

I recently had the chance to tack on a family vacation with my husband and daughter to San Diego since I was already going for a work conference. One thing I like to do before I travel is plan every detail. I might actually go a little overboard, but what can I say, that’s me! The number one thing I make sure to always have in my back pocket is a list of places to eat. I don’t know about you, but when I get overly hungry, I can get hangry. This is especially true when I’m in an unfamiliar place and trying to find a place to eat becomes overwhelming and time consuming.

I decided to ask my friends on Facebook if they had any suggestions. Turns out, I have a lot of friends who are familiar with San Diego. I figure it’s only fair that I share this awesome list of great places to eat!

Corvette Diner







Address: 2965 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
Corvette Diner Menu

We’ve all been to a 1950’s style diner at some point in our life, but Corvette Diner takes it to a whole new level! When we arrived, we were worried we would have a long wait since it was a Friday evening, but we were able to get seated right away. Traveling with a hungry toddler, it was a huge plus! We were guided to our table by a woman all dressed up, top to bottom in 1950’s attire, beehive wig and all. As we walked to our table, you couldn’t help but “ohh and ahh” at the fun and bright environment. (Check out the virtual tour on the website to see all the fun rooms in the diner!) When we sat down, we were showered with straws thrown at our table by dressed up waiters running around frantically having fun and acting in character.  As I looked around, I noticed kids and adults with tall straws all placed in their hair, compliments of the waitresses. As we were placing our drink order, music began blasting throughout the diner and our waiter shot up, got in position and started dancing to a choreographed number with other employees. They seemed to do this about every 10 minutes! 

The menu was full of home style comfort food, exactly what you expect from a diner. We started the meal with an order of fried pickles. Normally this appetizer comes as battered sliced pickles, but at Corvette Diner, you get pickle spears! It was absolutely delicious. For our meal, my husband ordered the cheese steak sandwich and I decided to go with a classic, a sloppy joe. I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous to try it, but figured it had to be good. I was right! This classic sloppy joe had the classic flavors of your Mom’s home cooked sloppy joes. The portion size was huge–spilling over with tons of meat and topped off with classic American cheese. We ordered a grilled cheese and a glass of milk for our daughter Olivia. Her milk came out with sprinkles layering the top of her lid and a marshmallow on top—she was in HEAVEN!!   And we couldn’t leave without getting some kind of dessert for ourselves, so we ordered a brownie fudge sundae. It was to die for, of course! 

All in all, Corvette Diner was such a fun, family friendly experience. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was perfect, making a great end to a busy day.

Corvette Diner Food
Corvette Diner Milk


barleymash logo






Address: 600 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
barleymash Menu

This rustic/industrial pub is right in the heart of the Gaslamp district in San Diego. My co-worker and I were looking for a yummy place to eat lunch in between our conference sessions and I can definitely say we hit the jackpot with this place. I could immediately tell that this place was the perfect hang out spot to meet up with a big group of friends on the weekend. Inside, it’s very spacious with three large communal tables and a huge bar, making it an inviting place to spend an evening catching up and enjoying a few beers. The decor was very trendy and hip, making it a fun vibe to relax and chill. 

When we sat down and started looking at the menu, I knew this place was going to be delicious. Half of the menu was full of items that were built from a base of homemade fries smothered in cheese! You can’t go wrong with fries and cheese.  You could add any type of meat or veggies including carne asade, short ribs, apple-smoked bacon and more. Even though everything on the menu looked to die for, I decided to go with the typical cheeseburger.  I rarely eat red meat and I have to say this was one of the best cheeseburgers I have ever eaten. It was worth it. My co-worker opted for one of the weekly specials, a sweet and sour pork sandwich.  This sandwich had braised pork shoulder mixed with a tangy sweet chili sauce, cucumber, pickled carrots and fresh jalapeno on a  bao bun. 

As if the food and atmosphere aren’t enough, barleymash has entertainment seven nights a week from live bands and deejays to beer tastings and food pairings. 


Old Town Mexican Cafe

old town mexican cafe logo






Address: 2489 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110
Old Town Mexican Cafe Menu

When asking for suggestions to eat on Facebook, a lot of people suggested Old Town Mexican Cafe in Old Town San Diego. Of course, we decided we had to check it out since it was seemed to be so popular. When we arrived we knew it was going to be a long wait since we saw a line out the door. It was a Saturday night, so it was to be expected. We decided waiting to be seated was the perfect opportunity to walk around Old Town and check out the shops. We did have an hour to kill, so what else were we  going to do? If you haven’t been to old town, I highly suggest it. 

Immediately when you walk in, you see employees making fresh homemade tortillas. I’m pretty sure I overheard someone say you can purchase the tortillas fresh while you wait or order them to take home when you leave. When we finally got seated, the first thing we ordered were drinks, of course. (we just walked around for an hour with a toddler, we deserved it!) I had a classic margarita and my husband was overjoyed to have Pacifico on tap. Apparently that is not common. The chips and salsa were great, although the salsa was a little too spicy for my daughter to enjoy.

The menu was kind of overwhelming with a lot of options, and since we waited so long I was getting a little impatient. I decided not to look too closely at my options and went with what sounded the best in my head, fish tacos. My husband ordered the chili Colorado and we ordered a quesadilla for my daughter. I could only finish one taco before I was completely full, but both of our meals were absolutely delicious. 

The atmosphere was super fun and inviting as well. A Mariachi Band toured the restaurant serenading tables and handing out roses. I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for great Mexican food in San Diego with the caveat of coming for lunch instead of dinner so you don’t have such a long wait.

Old Town Mexican Cafe Food

Tin Fish Gaslamp

Tin Fish Logo






Address: 170 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Tin Fish Menu 

When I travel to the coast, the first thing I think of is, “Where can I get some great seafood?”  Let me tell you, I found THE place for seafood in downtown San Diego! The first day at my conference, I was so excited to see this little diner right across the street from the convention center.

The Tin Fish isn’t a formal dining experience but delivers on the quality of food. When you enter the restaurant you step up to a counter, place your order, and pay. It’s a little pricey but once you dig into your meal, you know why. Trust me, you won’t be mad paying the price. With tons of options on the menu it was really hard to choose what I wanted. I opted for a combination of fried shrimp and fish so I could taste a variety of what they had to offer.  The batter was perfect and neither the fish nor shrimp were greasy. I ate the entire basket and wanted more!

TIn Fish Food

UNION Kitchen & Tap

UNION Kitchen Logo






Address: 333 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
UNION Kitchen & Tap Menu

The UNION Kitchen & Tap was a place my co-worker and I happened to stumble upon when looking for a place to eat lunch in-between conference sessions. This place, like barleymash, has a very rustic but modern feel. The menu was full of great choices, but we decided to stick to some classics. I had the blackened chicken wrap with avacado and Hayden had the cheeseburger. The food was so delicious and had great flavor. The best part about this place was the selection of beer. The UNION Kitchen and Tap would be the perfect place to hang out with a group of friends on the weekend.

UNION Kitchen

Image Sources:
UNION Kitchen & Tap

Foodies Guide


Weekend in Waco at Magnolia Market

Magnolia Market

I just got back from a weekend in Waco living my “Fixer Upper” dreams. You know the show. It doesn’t matter if you’re 12, 25, or 65, chances are you’ve heard of Chip and Joanna Gaines and their wildly popular HGTV show, “Fixer Upper.” And if you’re like me, after one episode you’ve fallen in love with their down-to-Earth attitudes, Chip’s goofy antics, Joanna’s stunningly simple, fresh décor, and the shocking before and after reveals that accompany each episode.

I’ve always been a sucker for home remodeling shows. I think it was TLC’s “Trading Spaces” that first got me hooked. You know, the one where two sets of neighbors got to spend $1,000 and redecorate a room in each other’s houses in two days? I remember watching episode after episode during my freshman year in college and wishing that hottie-handyman Ty Pennington could make me a built-in bookcase. Trading Spaces ended, but I followed that quirky, tan carpenter over to ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

I’m a sucker for “big reveals” and a cause, so naturally this show literally had me crying each week when they said, “Move that bus!” In 2009, hurricane GRADUATE SCHOOL hit and I was forced to say goodbye to free time, cable, and happiness. It has taken me years to recover from that bomb and find TV again, but I’d like to thank the Food Network for reeling me back in and Hobby Lobby for re-igniting my love of home décor with their endless aisles of stuff. I’m back in the creativity game and it feels good. Take that science degree. 

Now back to Waco and the country-chic-flea-market-finding-shiplap-loving mecca that Chip and Jo are creating there. What a blast. The market was actually a little smaller than I thought it would be, or maybe that’s just because it was crawling with well-meaning, decorating wannabes like myself. But the space was enchanting and full of fresh ideas and “Fixer Upper” staples. Many of the items rotate through seasonally, making it a unique selection of goods each time you go.

Magnolia Market

Weekend in Waco

In addition to home goods, they had a few of Joanna’s favorite items for purchase as well—like her favorite perfume or candle. I only wish I had suitcase to bring it all home on the airplane with me. Given my rationed space I was forced to buy only packable items, which included a #shiplap t-shirt, tea towel, and a black Magnolia canvas tote. If I could buy whatever my heart desired I would have purchased some cool light fixtures, some dishes (if you know me, you know I have a slight addiction to bowls), some fun florals and vases. 

Joanna's Favorites

Magnolia is to Waco what Disney is to Anaheim. No, but seriously. The fun doesn’t just stop at Magnolia Market, next to the market are “the Silos” where they have a huge turf and lawn games, dozens of picnic tables, swings sets, food trucks, and gardens. The atmosphere is unique with a clean, urban design among the farmland backdrop. The area is very family-focused and a perfect spot to hang out and enjoy lunch. They are also working on a garden shop that is slated to open up later this year. People love this place and are flocking by the thousands to experience all things Magnolia. I have a feeling there may be a Magnolia Amusement Park in the near future, but that’s just a guess, haha.

Magnolia Market

People love this place. It is a perfect day trip if you’re in the area or an easy weekend getaway. But if you’re wanting to stay onsite at the Magnolia House you’re going to need to plan ahead, way ahead. That place and practically every other B&B and hotel in Waco is sold out until 2017. Can you believe it? But if you’re itching to get down there sooner, I know a nice roadside Marriott just out of town that you can stay at. And if you’re making a weekend out of it like we did you’re going to need a few more things to do while in Waco, so check out these fun spots while you’re down there…


  • Spice Village: A huge market full of different booths and shops from locals and other larger brands. It’s like Etsy, but in real life.
  • Dr. Pepper Museum: Yep, Dr. Pepper was created in Waco and the town couldn’t be prouder. Stop in here for a self-guided tour and pick up a Dr. Pepper float when you’re done.
  • McLane Stadium: Home of the Baylor Bears, even if you’re not into sports this place will “wow” you. Nestled right on the Brazos River, this state-of-the-art facility is a fun stop on your Waco tour, especially if it’s filled with 45,140 screaming fans!
  • Food Trucks: Xristo’s, Club Sandwich and Pokey O’s to name a few. Waco’s food truck scene is small when compared to larger cities, but it’s a niche market that is continuing to grow. Look for them around town mid-morning to mid-afternoon (even at the Magnolia Silos!) or check out the top 10 Waco food trucks.
  • Torchy’s Tacos: A classic Texas taco joint and one of my favorite. With fried chicken, shredded barbacoa beef, slow-roasted pork carnitas, beef brisket, blackened salmon, jalapeno sausage, hand-battered shrimp, seared ahi tuna and Jamaican jerk chicken on the menu you can’t go wrong. Order it “trashy” and you’ll your taco will be topped with their amazing, green chile queso. If only this was a universal term, I’d prefer most things I eat in life covered with melted queso.
  • Manny’s on the River: This is actually a pretty basic Tex/Mex restaurant, but if you sit out on the back patio the breeze and river make up for the generic food. That being said, this restaurant is basic and casual enough to accommodate kids, large groups, grandparent taste buds, and everything in between. Not to mention the chips, salsa, and queso are great!
  • Looking for more food options? Check out The Local Waco 10 Favorite Restaurants.

weekend around town

Image Sources:

Waco Suspension Bridge from Baylor website.
Manny’s from Manny’s on the River website.
McLane Stadium from CE Engineers website.
Dr Pepper Museum from the Dr. Pepper Museum website.
Spice Village from Waco Point website.


Italian Food with a modern twist at Park City’s Vinto restaurant

Vinto Park City

As you’re learning, food is my love language and trying new restaurants is like opening presents on Christmas morning…it’s exciting, you’re not quite sure what you’re going to get and you’re hoping to not be disappointed. Christmas disappointment is bad, but food fails are the worst. Seriously. So when hunger hit us as we wandered the galleries and shops of Park City, we naturally turned to the 249 Yelp reviews  and the positive word of mouth from the overly-chatty art gallery hostess we ran into earlier and ventured down to Vinto on Main Street in Park City.

The atmosphere was modern, but comfortable. On a Friday night it was bustling with customers that had come post ski day in their Patagonia fleece with sun-kissed cheeks and fresh goggle lines, while others took the classy Friday night approach with a string of pearls and some heels. So clearly they have a pretty wide dress code and no one will give you judgy looks about your matted ponytail or ski pants.

Now, the food. After perusing the menu it was clear that this meal would require a coordinated order to ensure that we had maximum exposure to the delicious menu options. And after seeing a bundino (more on my bundino love affair later) on the dessert menu it was a given that regardless of how full we were, dessert was definitely happening. There were multiple things we wanted to try and after much deliberation we chose the roasted cauliflower with almonds, truffle oil, and fresh mint as the starter and then shared the butternut squash pizza with pancetta, caramelized onions (side note: I’ll order anything that has caramelized onions—insert heart eye emoji!), fontina cheese, and fresh oregano and then the pear, ham, and brie panini with a spicy honey drizzle. Oh yeah, and we also ordered the classic Margarita pizza for the conservative palate of the group.

Vinto Pizza

Vinto Panini

And let me tell you, the pear, brie and ham panini with the spicy honey…like, whoa. It stole the show. So simple, but it packs a flavor punch. That spicy honey should be patented–it belongs as a regularly scheduled part of my diet. Two thumbs up. The butternut squash and pancetta pizza was full of classic savory flavors, with a hint of sweetness from the roasted squash. And the desserts did not disappoint. I ordered the bundino dessert, oh bundino. I fell in love with bundino years ago when I was living in Philadelphia for grad school.  The food scene in Philly is legit and one of my favorite places, Barbuzzo, is where I was first introduced to this simple, Italian custard-like dessert. It was literally life changing. The mere mention of the word “bundino” to my crew of Philadelphia peeps will trigger an instantaneous sigh “ohhhh, bundino…..” as they longingly recall each creamy bite. I have lived a few places since Philly and haven’t seen a bundino on a menu since! When I saw it on the menu at Vinto, I practically had to restrain myself from ordering it as an appetizer.  Although a slightly different composition than its Philly predecessor, this creamy, rich rendition brought back all the beautiful bundino memories from my Philly days.

Apple Crostata

Bundino sweetlemonmade.comBut wait, don’t let my nostalgic rant about bundinos distract you from the other star of the show, the apple crostata. The centrifugal arrangement of perfectly sliced, steaming cinnamon apples atop the rich, buttery crust, sealed together with a subtle apricot glaze and garnished with a scoop of house-made gelato is what dreams are made of. And if your dreams aren’t made of this then we shouldn’t be friends.

As you can tell, Vinto was the perfect ending to a great day. Check out the rest of the menu and try it next time you find yourself hungry in Park City.

(Side note: if you are ever in Philly you HAVE to go to Barbuzzo and order the bundino. You won’t be sad about it. It’s THE BEST. End rant.)