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Sunday, December 11, 2016

cross country drive, part 1

the best (and most exciting) part about our cross country move was the drive. yes, seriously. although we were apprehensive (or, i guess i should say, i was apprehensive) about driving 2500+ miles across the country, we were so excited to start this new chapter in our lives. 

but first and foremost... we could not have done this without the love and consistent support from our friends and family. we miss you more than words can describe and are so proud to know such wonderful people. thank you for everything you've given us, whether it was your ear, your time, jeep parts, craft beer, or fellowship... we will be forever grateful.


we were able to get in some family photos before we left, which i will forever be grateful for. these amazing people have made me into the woman that i've become today and i could not love them any more than i already do. 





the first moment that made me realize that this move was actually happening was the day our POD was delivered. we had dreamed and hoped and researched this moment for SO LONG that when it finally happened... we were speechless (and maybe a little overwhelmed).


so, we got to work! with some help from some very special people, we were able to get most of our possessions loaded into the continuously shrinking box.


and then the moment came where we had to shove the remaining items of our home into every nook + cranny of the POD, while holding our breaths when it was lifted back onto the truck, praying that it wasn't overweight. once it sped off towards utah with all our possessions and we went back into our very empty house, it was then we felt the realness of our situation.


but before we could leave our little hometown... we had to make sure to cast our vote in the presidential election!


since i kept these babies alive for over a year, i decided that it was in their best interest that i keep them and bring them with us to utah. you know, for science. 


around 2pm on a sunny saturday afternoon, we said "see ya later" to cardinal avenue. i'm not going to tell you that i didn't cry, because i did. i was excited, i was sad, i was scared. with one chapter of our lives closing and another opening, we were on our way to creating our newest adventure. 


we had to make a stop in spartanburg, south carolina to pick up a load leveling hitch. with every bump or pull of wind, the camper was all over the road. sketchy. but thankfully, northern tool was able to help and get us back on the road within an hour. 


we made it to georgia rv park in commerce, northeast of atlanta, around 8pm that night. we ordered pizza and succumbed to our exhaustion - as you can see below, a certain husky was glad to be in a bed rather then the car. 


that next morning, we stopped at cracker barrel for breakfast and continued our drive... 


...where we managed to make it completely through alabama and into mississippi. 


we arrived to yogi on the lake campground in pelahatchie, mississippi around 7pm that night after stopping to pick up some groceries. we were starving!


our spot was right on the lake! it was absolutely gorgeous. 





and just like that... we were yet again on the road. 


enjoy, friends!
kelly

Monday, October 3, 2016

the dreaded moment has come... packing.

oh, y'all.

i literally just had the best laugh.

while talking with my husband about how i wanted to pack the house up, he simply just said, "all you have to do is throw stuff in a box. don't over complicate it."

hahahahahah hahahaha hahahahahahahahaha haha hahahahahahaha

[i'm still laughing over here]

"okay, babe. sure."

[rolls eyes]

like i'm really just going to throw stuff into a box and call it done. who does he think i am?! an animal?! no, sirree.

i'm a planner.
i'm an organizer.

i'm certainly not a disaster.

well, okay, some days i am.

but when it comes to packing up all of our stuff and moving it across the country?! nope. i'm going to want to know where exactly everything is and what all is in each and every box. i'm going to want to know which boxes to unpack first and which boxes can be saved until we get more furniture.

i'm already uprooting my life and placing it 2500 miles away... the last thing i want to be is a mess when i'm unpacking.

so... i found some ideas!

  • Wrap breakables (dishes, ets) in shirts to save on bubble wrap
  • Garbage bags over hung clothes
  • Use toilet paper rolls to organize your cords - keep wires organized by wrapping each cord up and stuffing it inside an empty roll.
  • Cover all bottles of liquid (shampoo, cleaning supplies, etc.) with plastic wrap before putting the top on.
  • Color-code all boxes.
  • Use suitcases for heaviest items (wheels and handles will make things easier).
  • Defrost fridge a day before moving out.
  • Cut handles into the sides of cardboard boxes for easy lifting.
  • Keep track of expenses - some are tax deductible!
  • Stack plates in between styrofoam plates for no-breakage.
  • Use sandwich bags for small parts + screws - then label and attach to back of item.
  • Place masking tape on mirrors (prohibits shards if glass is broke)
  • Cover utensil tray in plastic wrap.
  • Paper bags instead of newspaper - Great for glasses!
  • Use wine cases (boxes) for glasses/mugs.
  • Use potholders to store knives.
  • Fill crockpots, pans, pots, bowls with spices and other small gadgets.

do you have any else to add? 
kelly

Friday, September 30, 2016

my favorite things: fall decorations

now that spring has sprung and summer has faded, we welcome fall with our arms wide open! 

and with fall comes cooler weather, falling leaves, campfires, and of course... pumpkins

see below for my list of favorite decor pieces i've found on pinterest!











enjoy, friends!
kelly





Tuesday, August 16, 2016

meal delivery service #3: home chef

one thing that i must say first and foremost: yes, these meal delivery services are automatically sent out each week on the delivery day of your choosing... but you have the opportunity to "pause" or "skip" the delivery if you're not feeling the recipes or your budget is a little tighter that week. you won't lose your spot and you won't be penalized for it! 

okay, now... onto the good stuff!

home chef was the third meal delivery box that i received, and i chose this one next mainly because of the extensive questions regarding your food habits. allergies? low carb? there's an option for that!

signing up was super easy. after inputting my email address and zip code, you're able to set your meal preferences, such as: what you prefer to eat; if you'd like to avoid any ingredients; and if you'd prefer low carb or low calories meal options.

you also have the option to decide how many meals you'd like to cook that week (between 2-6), how many people you're cooking for (2, 4, 6), and what day of the week you'd like to receive your meals.

i really, really, really like how you're able to choose your meals for that certain week. need four meals? only need two? no big deal! with the other meal delivery services, you can only get 3 or 4 meals per week.

after you're finished signing up, you can login to access your account. when you go to "your meals", it will have your future delivery date. if you're still within a certain amount of time frame, you have the option to change your meals if you're interested in trying something different.

your box will ship overnight air via UPS (and it will send you out a tracking number). it is packed very well with reusable ice packs to keep your foods cold - and of course, mine arrived just before i got home while temperatures were in the 90*'s - and the meals were still cold! 









each meal was placed in a clear plastic bag, labeled accordingly. i could see all of the ingredients. it was super easy to grab the bag from the fridge, not having to worry about whether or not i had everything i needed. 

the recipe cards were very informative! the instructions were precise and very easy to handle. home chef also has an app which i put on my iphone and ipad to make things a bit easier while planning and cooking my meals. 

for my first week, i had the following recipes: 

double-double crispy ranch chicken sandwich
quick-braised salmon
caramelized apple chutney pork chop
chicken with tiger sauce

the dishes were simple, but i'm not complaining since i picked them. the proteins were "regulars" of mine but weren't something i'm normally going to make. i'm not ordering my meals for a variety of recipes i've never heard of, so anything you put in front of me i'll make - happily!

all of them were delicious, honestly, so i don't think i could ever pick a favorite. i saved the recipe cards so i can put together a recipe binder (since they came on 8x10 cards).

the recipes are quite precise, so there's never any time to wonder what the next step is, because it will flow continuously. i was pleasantly surprised at how much time i saved!
________________________

{the details}

food quality: {3/5} although the food was good, i found out that they source all of their food from sysco... and for me, that's not something that i necessarily would like.

recipe variety: {3/5} although the recipes were good, they were seemingly simple.

app: yes! very easy to manipulate. you can schedule and track your orders; change your meals; and glance over future recipes (with the ability to share them!).

price: 2 people/3 meals = $60/week; $9.95/serving.

pro: each meal placed in an individual bag; everything is recyclable; nutrition facts on each recipe; easy to cook.

con: food quality wasn't that great; a lot of fatty recipes; customer service is terrible.
________________________

i highly enjoyed home chef, but it is not going on my list of possible meal delivery companies.

if this isn't something that's in your budget for every week, maybe it could help out when you have your girlfriends over or when the kids are at the grandparents for the weekend or even when your schedule is too busy to think straight. it could help to save time and spend less time at the grocery store - without missing any ingredients. 

pssssst, friends of twofivethree! are you interested in trying home chef? simply click here to complete your order. :)

enjoy!

kelly

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

meal delivery service #2: blue apron


one thing that i must say first and foremost: yes, these meal delivery services are automatically sent out each week on the delivery day of your choosing... but you have the opportunity to "pause" or "skip" the delivery if you're not feeling the recipes or your budget is a little tighter that week. you won't lose your spot and you won't be penalized for it! 

okay, now... onto the good stuff!

blue apron was my second meal delivery box that i received, and i chose this one next mainly because of their stellar reviews and mouthwatering recipes. win/win!

when you order for the first time, your first delivery contains three free meals. another win/win! 

signing up was super easy. after inputting my email and creating a password, i needed to decide which plan was right for me: the two-person plan (2 servings) - which serves 3 recipes per week; or the family plan (4 servings) - which serves 2 or 4 recipes per week. each box tells you the price per serving and what your first week total will be (the grayed, marked through price is the regular price). i chose the two-person plan.

next, you'll choose your dietary preferences. the options are: beef, poultry, pork, lamb, fish, shellfish, and 'i am vegetarian'. you have the ability to check which foods you'd like and which foods you wouldn't like, with the option to change later on.

after you're finished inputting your billing and delivery information, you can login to access your account. your homepage shows your meals that were included in your box, so you have the ability to check out each recipe online. they also include helpful videos if you're unsure of a step or how to prepare a certain ingredient, which is quite helpful. if you're still within a certain amount of time frame, you have the option to change your meals if you're interested in trying something different. you would simply go to "delivery schedule" and it shows the weeks of your delivery and what recipes will be included.

your box will ship overnight air via fedex (and it will send you out a tracking number). it is packed very well with reusable ice packs to keep your foods cold. i found out that fedex usually delivers early - so while it was hours before i got home, it was still cold and there was no damage to the box. 







the recipe cards were wonderful! the instructions were precise and very easy to handle. blue apron has an app which i put on my iphone to make things a bit easier while planning and cooking my meals. although the food wasn't in individual containers, i found a few small empty baskets i wasn't using and placed them in the fridge for easy keeping. 

blue apron offers recyclable options for your box and packaging. the website shows how to tear the box down and what the recyclable numbers are for on each product. if there isn't a recyclable option available for you in your town, it allows you to clean the packaging out, repackage, and have usps pick it up on their normal delivery route (reduces carbon footprint!). another win/win!

for my first week, i had the following recipes: 

fresh basil fettuccine with sauteed cherry tomatoes and zucchini
chicken and buttermilk biscuit sandwiches with shredded collard greens and carrot slaw
beef albondigas with sauteed summer squash and pan con tomate

the dishes were simple, yet still conveyed an eclectic taste. the pasta dish wasn't original, but it was nice and easy to prepare on a busy night. i'm not ordering my meals for a variety of recipes i've never heard of, so anything you put in front of me i'll make - happily!

although they were all delicious, i still had issues with two. the beef albondigas were my favorite - yummo! and the squash? delish! the zucchini that i was sent went bad before i had a chance to use it so i just substituted for squash; and the shredded collard greens and carrot slaw were not my thing - so the dogs ate them instead! :)  

the recipes are quite precise, so there's never any time to wonder what the next step is, because it will flow continuously. i was pleasantly surprised at how much time i saved!
________________________

{the details}

food quality: {3.5/5} since all of the produce and knick-knacks were squished together in the box, i did have issues with bruising and packaging coming open. it was all delicious except for the zucchini and in one recipe i had to add more tomatoes and butter.

recipe variety: {3.5/5} i had never made beef albondigas before, which is why it was my favorite recipe. but the pasta dish was something i would've already made, and hello, i live in the south - chicken and buttermilk biscuit sandwiches are everywhere!

app: yes! very easy to manipulate. you can schedule and track your orders; change your meals; and glance over future recipes (with the ability to share them!). the app also includes videos and tips for each recipe so you can follow along easily as well as a camera so you don't have to exit the app while documenting your dinner. 

price: 2 people/3 meals = $59.94/week; $9.99/meal

pro: everything is recyclable

con: each meal isn't placed in an individual box; produce wasn't that great; recipes weren't as exciting
________________________

i enjoyed blue apron, but i am going to have to order again to contemplate going on my list of possible meal delivery companies. they also have a wine delivery service - which you'll get a coupon for $20 off your first order - where it sends you six 500ml bottles once a month for $60. 

blue apron has a "market", which hellofresh does not, where you have the ability to purchase high quality items such as glass prep bowls, non-stick pans, knives, prep tools, and etc. 

if this isn't something that's in your budget for every week, maybe it could help out when you have your girlfriends over or when the kids are at the grandparents for the weekend or even when your schedule is too busy to think straight. it could help to save time and spend less time at the grocery store - without missing any ingredients. 

pssssst, friends of twofivethree! are you interested in trying blue apron? if you are, drop me your email address and i'll send you a link for a FREE delivery! 


enjoy!
kelly