Review | Hello Fresh 2017

HFHF.jpg

hello fresh promoWhen the generous people at Hello Fresh Canada offered to send me a Family Box to enjoy, I jumped at the chance. I have been interested in meal services, such as this one, for awhile but because I live in a somewhat remote area, I didn't think we would have the chance. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Hello Fresh ships out to the Maritime provinces. My first impression of the actual delivery was a good one; our box arrived promptly at noon and was extremely well package. 

For a full look at the unboxing, please see the video below:

If you watched through the entire video review, you know that we are definitely new fans to the Hello Fresh service and plan to order occasional boxes. As mentioned in the video, there were only a couple slight cons. The price is more than what you would likely pay buying each item at your local grocery store. For some, the convenience and novelty may far outweigh the added cost, but for us, given that we work within a moderate grocery budget, this service is one we likely won't be enjoying on a regular basis. The only other con is that it took us longer to prepare some of the meals (steak and chicken) than the provided estimate of 35 minutes.

Despite the cost and longer preparation time, we loved our experience. The food itself was extremely fresh, healthy and each meal was different enough to allow us to discover new recipes, but not too experimental that our children didn't enjoy it. The three meals we prepared took the guess work out of deciding what to serve and provided some fun suppers we otherwise would never have tried. I would say our family favourite was the Ground Pork Cantina Tacos (so yummy!). What I loved most about the service is now we have three new recipes to add to our repertoire of meals that we know how to prepare and are a guaranteed hit with our children.

We agree that for us, this service is similar to dining out - it's not something we do weekly, but is definitely a treat we enjoy. I am already looking forward to the next box arriving!

If you are interested in trying out Hello Fresh yourself, the promo code YOUNG50 will give you 50% off your first box (how awesome is that?!).

Big thank you to Hello Fresh for allowing us to try their awesome service!

Monthly Favourites | January 2017

monthlyfavs.jpg

monthly favourites, shopping haul

PRODUCTS (click on titles for Amazon links*)

1. Rimmel 9 in 1 Hydrating BB Cream (shade light) 2. Essence Eyeshadow Primer 3. Almay Smart Shade Lip Butter Pink Light/Medium 4. Trader Joe's Pumpkin Body Butter 5. Upper Canada Soap Salon Dry Hair Towel *similar product 6. J.R Watkins Vapor Rub 7. Danskin Lifewear Cami 8. Calin's Starry Starlite Hoops (use promo: GIMMETEN for 10% off) 9. Orb Factory Morph

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Please note that I do receive a small commission based on purchases made through Amazon Affiliate links. This does not cost you anything and helps to support being able to publish my blog. I appreciate your support!

Spark Joy - First Impression of Marie Kondo's Second Book

sparkjaymariekondoNot to be too dramatic, but I have counted down the days in my planner to the circled January 5th release date of Marie's Kondo, "spark joy", for well over the last month. I had questions that only Ms. Kondo could answer and I hoped this companion book would finally shed some light on what I felt was vague or completely omitted in her first book, "The life changing magic of tidying up". And friends, Marie Kondo, delivered.

Before I get into things, a disclaimer is only fair, I have not finished the book... yet. I wanted to share with you my first impression of "spark joy" because I've been asked my opinion of it, and specifically whether it's worth purchasing. So, a full review is coming, but for now this is what I can share.

Buy the book! If you've started the KonMari method, I truly suggest purchasing this book now and when questions arise (as they likely will), refer to 'Part One: KonMari Master Tips" as you'll likely have your issues addressed in this section. Take it from someone who didn't have this new book while going through the process, it will really help. If you've completed the purging portion of the method and are in what I call phase two of organizing, this book is going to sort out all the storage potential your home has to offer... with visual aids, hurrah! See, you need the book.

Though I haven't read cover to cover yet, I have finished 'Part One' and flipped through the book enough times to confidently say, Marie Kondo has really revamped her delivery and overall writing style. Compared to the first book, which introduced the method, "spark joy" is much easier to follow; it's detailed and specific, the drawings provide the perfect accompaniment to her descriptions which doesn't leave room for confusion, and I love her  breakdown for home organization into almost every area of the house and category of items imaginable.

If you've had a chance to dive into "spark joy", I'd love to know your thoughts please feel free to share! [youtube id="1RdbSUJRC-E"]

 

Maritime Mompreneur Product Review & Giveaway

teebags.jpg

Hello! Here I am finally linking my blog with my YouTube channel (took me long enough - ha!). However, it's like the universe knew I wasn't ready to launch just then, because of all the posts that could be my first, I'm most proud of this one. I have always been drawn to things considered unique and crafty - I like things that stand out among the common, but which equally prove functional and are made of quality. I'm also a deep believer in supporting the community of people who are brave enough (yes, brave - it takes courage, in my humble opinion, to sell things made by your own hands) to venture into the business of producing such things. The idea occurred to me that I could share some of my favourite Mompreneur products that are made by women and fellow mothers from my corner of the world... and so here I am, not only showcasing their amazing talent and items, but I'm also offering YOU the chance to win two groupings of these products.Watch the video below for more on the thought behind this collaboration, see the items and hear my review of each. More information on both the businesses and the products can be found in this write-up, you'll note the business links and make sure you enter to win (you're more than welcome to enter both giveaways)! Oh! and thank you for finding your way to my blog, I'm happy to have you and hope you frequent often!

 

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTM-Be1iZrU[/embed]

 

Mairi's Must Haves:

Named after my own daughter, this pretty little collection of girly items is sure to delight any little lady! They're all unique, whimsical, and of course adorable!

 

bellasophia

Chunky Bubblegum Necklace by Bella Sophia As I mentioned in my video, when I opened the package containing LeeAnn of Bella Sophia's Bubblegum Necklace, I let out a genuine squeal of excitement (my Mum was there, she'll totally support this claim). The Rainbow pattern easily matches any outfit and is a combination of chunky solid and rhinestone beads - sure to be an instant accessory favourite of any little girl. Lee-Ann, who sweetly named her business after her own daughter, got her start over three years ago and quickly became a success with her line of accessories that include: hair items, bracelets, loopy bows, and of course her signature bubblegum necklaces. Lee-Ann pays considerable attention towards ensuring her necklaces are made with the highest quality jewelry wire and silver-plated toggles. She also uses a special technique to assemble the necklaces, but does suggest that any child under the age of four be supervised while wearing the accessory.

Bella Sophia - Facebook


spoiledsoother Custom Designed Onesie & Hair Clip Set by The Spoiled Soother

It doesn't get much more unique than owning a custom designed onesie by Abbey from The Spoiled Soother (Fun Fact: She has made approx. 700 custom Birthday shirts so far). Abbey is a creative Mom of three and a teacher by profession. Her "I'm the Fairest of Them All" infant shirt is sure to be a wonderful addition to any little princess' wardrobe. The clip set, which has has an inner foam strip is not only very trendy and makes for a cute everyday accessory, but it's gentle on sensitive heads! Win-Win! Abbey has been running her mom-powered business for five years and it was born out of wanting to buy a soother clip, but living in a remote area of the time and not being able to purchase one locally, she got crafty and DIH (Did It Herself). From a handy soother clip Abbey's business has grown to include a full line of accessories for both little girls and boys, offering such items as hair accessories, clip-on shirt ties, toddler belts and more!

The Spoiled Soother - Facebook


osweetmadeline

Peasant Dress by O Sweet Madeline Tanya, the Mompreneur behind her business, O Sweet Madeline, is a stay-at-home Mom of two who turned her love of sewing into a very popular business which features lots of handmade sewn items including hair accessories, bibs, bunting, dresses, bonnets (they're beyond adorable), hats and more. She loves mixing fabrics and matching patterns and it's easy to tell she has a talent for both. Tanya's peasant dress was truly my go-to summer outfit of choice for Mairi. They're a classic design that is functional and feminine. I also love that it's a piece that can transition well between the seasons and, bonus, grow with her from a dress to a tunic as she gets bigger. O Sweet Madeline - Facebook


SugarBee

Reusable Snack Bag Set by SugarBee Baby & Kids

Rebecca, along with being a busy Mom of two elementary school aged daughters, and a part-time Dental Hygienist can quite confidientally add "innovator" to her list of credentials Rebecca is the brain behind SugarBee Baby & Kids, a business whose foundation is built on the idea of creating handmade products that are "functional, fun, and useful for moms and kids on the go". Her reusable snack bags are a wonderful example of Rebecca's desire to produce items that are made well and from top materials as they are constructed with a linking that is waterproof, food safe and also CPISA compliant. SugarBee Baby & Kids has a wonderful range of goods including: PocketDoodlers (as shown in my video), take-along art kits and more recently custom made dolls and stuffies (they're amazing). SugarBee Baby & Kids - Facebook SugarBee Baby & Kids - Made Urban

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Mummy's Must Haves

A great opportunity to spoil yourself and your home, this collection featuring some of my favourite handmade Momprenurial items is such a treat to be able to share with you!

 

teebags

Ruffle Clutch Purse by Teebags Sewing since the age of 13, Tracy of Teebags has definitely perfected her craft. As a busy wife and mother, Tracy, has found fulfilment in pursuing her entrepreneurial endeavour of really "putting herself out there" and working hard on something she loves, her business. She has been designing amazing sewn products since 2010 with one of her most popular ones being her Ruffle Clutch purse. I was so excited to be able to share one of these wristlet-style pieces as part of this collaboration, they're functional, stylish and a stand-out accessory. I love that it's small enough for a night on the town, and yet still roomy enough to contain everything I need (the built in card slots are definitely a plus!). Tracy is also very welcoming to custom design requests. Teebags - Facebook Teebags - Etsy


harbourside

White Clay Tag Set by Harbourside Designs Erin's work stands on its own for creativity and uniqueness. Her business began three years ago, innocently enough, while experimenting with clay and her own handmade rubber stamps in pursuit of adding embellishments to gifts. What started as a hobby, has now afforded Erin the blessing of being able able to work creatively and stay at home with her family. Her pieces are reflective of and inspired by the East Coast, all with a whimsical, nautical feel and have been sent to customers around the world. While wonderful as a gift tag, among other options, these pieces can also be enjoyed as a decorative home decor item or a special Christmas tree ornament. Harbourside Designs - Facebook Harbourside Designs - Etsy


rusticmountain

Reclaimed Wood Signs by Rustic Mountain Designs

Sarah's story of how her business came to be is one of those that many Mompreneurs are all to excited to share; hobby, turned side job, turned full-time job that now allows her to be home for her two school-aged children. Sarah's business, Rustic Mountain Designs, has become a go-to for home decor signs that include her own creations as well as custom requested pieces. Sarah works with all reclaimed wood and uses paint distressing methods to create the rustic look for which she's well known. The piece that was sent to me, is a daily reminder of a lot of important things - it causes me to reflect on what matters most and not to lose sight of the blessing of every day. The 'All is Well' sign was actually inspired by a poem that a friend of Sarah had shared with her, I have included it below: deathisnothingRustic Moutain Designs - Facebook


AshleyMac

Chalkboard Wall Art by Ashley MacLennan Designs I recently discovered Ashley's work via Facebook and became an instant 'like' to her page. I fell in love with this Mom's creative style, the trendy chalkboard look of her pieces, but moreover the messages she chooses to design around. Ashley pays incredibly close attention to craftsmanship of her canvases and stained wood frames. Equally, her artist talent is beyond impressive and a talent all on its own. The piece I showed in my video, is a favourite in our kitchen that I'm always being asked about. The chalkboard art included in the giveaway can be seen above in the photo and a great compliment to any kitchen or cozy spot in your home. Ashley MacLennan Designs - Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway