Blue Apron Unboxing & Review (plus get a free week!)

A relative sent us a coupon code for a free week of Blue Apron. I was really excited to try them out, as I had already been interested. The only doubts I had, were 1) Cost…would it make sense for a family on a single income? 2) We have 5 people in our family & it accommodates only 4. Our relative, however, assured me that the serving sizes are quite large so it should work for us (especially since one of us is a toddler!).

All I did was signed up with a user name & gave basic information (name, address, phone number). They did need a credit card number because they would bill us if we didn’t cancel the first trial week. Simple enough; I was happy with the easy process. I told them we would take chicken, beef, or seafood.

My box arrived on a Wednesday & here is the unboxing video:

I waited until Thursday to make my first meal. We decided to have the steak sandwiches with lemon aioli sauce & roasted carrots first. Here is the process of making the meal:

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2016-02-11 18.55.02-1This meal was amazing! The steak was top quality. The recipe was very creative & allowed me to try some new things. All 5 of us loved it & surprisingly there was quite a bit of steak leftover. Delicious!

Friday’s meal was miso-honey chicken with roasted bok choy & sweet potato wedges.

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I actually thought we would enjoy this meal even more than the night before, but we didn’t. It was still good; we all liked it, but agreed we would never go out of our way to eat it again. I must say I wasn’t crazy about the miso flavor, so this may be why. This time we had barely enough food for all 5 of us & the baby was even sick & didn’t have much of an appetite. All in all it was ok…just not for us.

In conclusion, we feel like Blue Apron is an amazing company. The price is a big high, but when you get that kind of luxury, you’re going to pay for it. It is; however, not as high as I initially thought it would be. We tried to cancel our service before getting charged, but missed the cut off by a few hours! It is ok though; and in fact we are a little bit excited to try one more week!

Try Blue Apron!!

Click here to try a free week of Blue Apron!

I do hope you try it! Let me know if you do!

Kelly

Oil Pulling 101

Oil pulling, according to Tummala Koteswara Rao, is ancient Ayurvedic practice. It was introduced to the western world in the early nineties, but its popularity seems to have peaked just in the last few years.

Oil pulling is the act of swishing oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes to “pull” harmful bacteria and toxins. It’s as simple as that. Traditionally sesame oil was used, but coconut oil has become the more commonly used oil due to its antibacterial properties.

I was quite intrigued about oil pulling and decided that since there is simply no harm in it, than why not? I’ve been oil pulling on and off for almost a year now and it has done great things.

There are so many benefits of oil pulling. They are as follows:

  • Whitens teeth
  • Prevents cavities & gingivitis
  • Strengthens teeth and gums
  • Helps TMJ
  • Helps headaches
  • Improves acne, psoriasis, & eczema
  • Cures hangovers
  • Removes toxins from the body

In my experience with oil pulling, I can say with confidence that it has helped whiten my teeth. I’m a coffee drinker, so this is one of my favorite benefits of oil pulling. Also, the first time I tried it I had a terrible toothache where a cavity was developing. The second day my tooth no longer hurt and it seemed to help reverse the cavity! I do feel like it has only done wonderful things to improve my oral health, but I really can’t say that it helped cure anything else; however, that is enough for me! In ancient times oil pulling was how they maintained oral health!

I must say that it’s really hard to get past the taste and texture of the solidified oil in my mouth. After the first 30-60 seconds the oil warms up enough to become liquified and then it is smooth sailing…it actually is only solid up to 76 degrees and then it becomes a liquid. If I remember I will put my jar of oil on top of the oven while it is on and that will liquify it, which makes for a more pleasant experience.

Directions:

Using extra virgin (unrefined) coconut oil, take 1 tablespoon and put it in your mouth. Immediately begin swishing. Continue this for 10-20 minutes. I usually end up going for 15, never any less, and never go longer than 20 minutes because the toxins in which you just pulled could become reabsorbed. When the time is up, spit your oil out in the trash can. Make sure not to spit into the sink because as the oil solidifies and could potentially clog your drain. Do this every morning before eating and before brushing your teeth. Rinse your mouth with warm water and be sure not to swallow any of the oil. Brush and floss. Repeat daily. I usually take a couple of days off per week and I occasionally get out of the habit, but always go back to it.

The reason I choose coconut oil is because it is amazing! It certainly isn’t the cheapest, but with its antibacterial properties I find it to be the obvious choice. Here are some other awesome uses for coconut oil:

  • Cooking with a high smoke point
  • Add to food or drinks
  • Use in place of lotion…it makes your skin feel AMAZING
  • Makeup remover
  • To help diaper rash
  • Prevent age spots
  • SPF 4
  • Prevents stretch marks
  • Kills yeast
  • Hair treatment
  • Chapstick
  • In place of lanolin
  • Helps eczema and psoriasis
  • Helps increase milk supply for breastfeeding mothers
  • Improves insulin levels
  • Sunburn relief
  • Shaving cream and aftershave
  • Season cast iron pans
  • Helps get rid of cellulite
  • Has anti inflammatory properties to help with arthritis
  • Soothes bug bites
  • Tanning oil
  • Stimulates hair growth when applied topically
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Natural deodorant
  • Helps with cold sores

There are skeptics out there, but from experience I can say that it is a great practice with proven benefits. My daughter, who is almost 10, also does oil pulling…always ask your doctor, but it is safe for children (who are old enough to not swallow any), and those who are pregnant and breastfeeding. I hope you’ll give it a try; there is certainly no harm in it!

Photo of the Week!

FB_IMG_1450997614597My favorite photo this week is this photo of my 3 kids on Christmas Eve. As a tradition, they open their Christmas pajamas after dinner christmas eve. This year I was able to get them matching PJs:) I rarely get a photo of the 3 of them together. Mainly because of their age differences, it’s hard to get them together.

This week has obviously been a little hectic for me. I had my mom here, and then my dad, step mom and little sisters, and then Christmas a couple of days after. So my blogging schedule has been out of whack. I have all 3 of my kiddos home with me for another week, but I plan to work on some things with them for my blog. Plus, big things in store for Mamarazzi Blog in 2016! Stay tuned:)

Bad Mommy Confessions!

  1. Sometimes I hide in the bathroom just for some alone time!
  2. I am 14 months post partum and I still wear maternity pants because I refuse to buy bigger jeans…and, er, I like to be comfy!
  3. I do everything with my phone in my hand…I even mop the floor sometimes with my phone in my hand…which is just sad!
  4. I open drinks, snacks, and even children’s Tylenol and use it before paying every time I go shopping. The children’s Tylenol thing has happened twice recently.
  5. I regularly take my 14 month old out wearing pajamas.
  6. I got all the way to Target before noticing my baby wasn’t buckled into his car seat! This is one I have a hard time admitting, but most of us have done it once in a lifetime and this kind of thing doesn’t happen twice! Scary!
  7. I’ve never taken my kids on a real vacation because that is a luxury for two income families.
  8. When I don’t have anywhere to go, I don’t even look in the mirror. My hair remains unbrushed, jammies stay on, and yesterday’s mascara more than likely is smeared under my eyes…but I don’t care, so I don’t look!
  9. I have no self control when it comes to ice cream so I can’t keep it in my house.
  10. We have one night a week that we call ‘fend for ourselves night’. On these nights we are, for the most part, on our own. The big kids can make a sandwich for themselves, or we eat leftovers, or…GASP…even a microwave dinner! However, the other six nights of the week I do cook well balanced meals!

Well there it is folks! I got it off my chest! Lol what are YOUR confessions?

Photo of the Week! (11/15/15)

CameraZOOM-20151115200804815It has been a rough week with my 14 month old being sick. The top photo is my daughter Alana playing a Sesame Street episode for Noah, to make him feel better (while waiting for his motrin to take effect, as his temp had climbed to 104 as you can tell by his flushed cheeks). The bottom photo is my oldest son Vincie cuddling with his baby brother to make him feel better! I couldn’t possibly choose between the two photos…and it shows just how our week has been…so I made them into one photo!

See you next week with another photo!

How to Make a Tornado in a Jar!

 

Tonight’s experiment was so fun for the kids! Basically you vigorously swirl the jar to create cintrifugal motion. It is actually quite amazing how defined the tornado was! Our first try didn’t work because we used a tad too much soap. You need the smallest drop you can produce and then you’re in business! Watch the video to see how it’s done!

My most treasured photos…

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I wanted to share with you all my most treasured photos that I carry with me on my phone! I have them all saved in clouds, computes, phones, tablets, and hard drives. The first two are my older two kids Christmas portraits that I took in 2012. Next is my older kids holding their new baby brother in 2014. Then a photo I took of my daughter at her Christmas concert for school last year. She looks stunning in the photo and it truly captivated her beauty. Next is a photo I found of my daughter when she was only 3 years old (I treasure this photo so much because it is SO her at that age…back when she was an only child; a true princess). Next is a random candid photo of me and my husband at our wedding in 2005, both of us look so young! Then there is my youngest Noah on his 1st birthday a couple of months ago. And lastly…an irreplaceable photo that I treasure so much of my brother Mike and I dancing to Coldplay’s “Fix You” on my wedding day. I remember everything about this moment…the way the crisp autumn air smelled, the pride I felt when my big brother asked to cut-in and dance with me at my wedding, and that comforting/safe feeling that I felt when hugging him. My brother passed away just over 4 years after this photo was taken. Someday soon I will write about him because I have SO MUCH to say…about the grieving process, being a bereaved sibling, and so much more. This January will be 6 years since I lost my only brother! This photo of us is my favorite of us as adults…

25 Get to know me questions!

1. Do you have a middle name?
Renee!

2. What was your favorite subject in school?

English and photography. They are still my two favorite things. I am a photographer and a blogger!

3. What’s your favorite drink?
Coffee! I am a total coffee junky. I absolutely cannot function without coffee!

4. What’s your favorite song at the moment?
Well, I’m a mom so I mainly only get to listen to Disney radio on Sirius. I love Taylor Swift, Wildest Dreams!

5. What would you name your children?
I’m not having anymore kids, so I’ll tell you my kids current names. My 9.5 year old is Alana. My almost 6 year old is Vincent. My 13 month old is Noah! 

6. Do you participate in any sports?
No, but I’m a soccer mom!

7. What’s your favorite book? 

I do not have time to read, but the last book I purchased on my Kindle was 50 Shades of Grey…one of these days I will actually read it!

8. What’s your favorite colour?
I love purple, but wear black because it’s most flattering!

9. What’s your favorite animal?
Cats! I have 2 myself.

10. What’s your favorite perfume?
I love Clinique Happy.

11. What’s your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving.

12. Have you graduated from High School?
Yes.

13. Have you been out of the country?
Only to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls! Lol.

14. Do you speak any other languages?
Nope.

15. Do you have any siblings?
Yes. My sister Carie is 5 years older than me. My brother Mike was 2.5 years older than me, and tragically he passed away nearly 6 years ago in an car accident. Would be 37. I have 2 very little sisters. Samantha is 15 and MacKenzie is turning 13 this month. 

16. What’s your favorite store?

Target!

17. What’s your favorite restaurant?
It must be Olive Garden because we go there any time we go out to dinner. 

 
18. Do you like school? 

I love learning, but I must admit…I didn’t care too much for school!

19. Who are some of your favorite YouTubers?
I love the Daily Bumps, Shaytards, and itsjudyslife to name a few.

20. What’s your favorite movie? 
The Other Woman! I just adore that movie!

21. What are some of your favorite TV shows?
The Voice and Grey’s Anatomy is about all I have time for these days.

22. PC or Mac?

Mac!

23. What phone do you have?
I have the Samsung Galaxy S5.

24. How tall are you?
I’m 5’4″.

25. Any pets? 

We have 2 cats.