Oh Hellooooo, Fresh Direct!

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Nothing like a full refrigerator!

Nothing like a full refrigerator!

So a couple of weeks ago, some moms in my mommy group were raving about Fresh Direct.  It is an online grocery delivery service that had me quite skeptical at first…and kind of lamenting…I LOVE the grocery store.  Before I had Zach I used to peruse the aisles for hours! Seriously. I LOVED the grocery store.  And being that we live a block from both SuperFresh and Whole Foods, I would frequent these stores often. I also like having fresh groceries, so I would go every couple of days for “supplies” needed for the days ahead.  Anyway, it is a LOT harder with Zachary.  I especially wanted to try Fresh Direct to get things that are hard to carry with a baby (and even without) like bottled water and soda cases (I know, we have a bad diet soda habit in our house…working on it).  So I decided to try Fresh Direct earlier this month when I hosted a huge brunch party for 40 friends and family.  I figured this would be a good time to try it, as the idea of carrying home 6 containers of OJ and everything else we needed made me shutter.  So, I logged on and tried it!  Here are my thoughts.

Positives:

-Customer Service:  Fresh Direct has been SO good at addressing any of my concerns about product, quality etc (see below) and will answer your email literally within a few minutes of receiving it.  VERY good.

-Credits:  They will issue credits for anything you deem unsatisfactory. So far I have asked for credit for meat that did not have a fresh thru date and two loaves of bread that had an unacceptable fresh thru date (see below).

-Ease: self explanatory

-Comparable prices

-Both organic and conventional choices

Negatives:

-Not as many “sales” as I usually notice in a grocery store, although you can click to filter by sale items on the website.

-Can’t see everything laid out like in a typical store

-Not as many choices as a typical grocery store; mostly brand, although they will accept product suggestions

-They sent me meat (organic chicken) that had NO fresh thru date which I refused to use. I know, call me crazy, but not for me.  Along with this, TWICE they sent me bread that had a fresh thru date of THAT day!  Totally unacceptable when you need to have a loaf of bread with a fresh thru date at least five days from when you purchase due to the nature of the product!

-Amount of boxes: Is this a waste? It seems like it might be.  While I understand the need for them in terms of delivery and stacking in the truck I feel like it might be a waste.

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All in all, I would say give Fresh Direct a try.  Especially if you don’t like the experience of grocery shopping, live somewhere that does not allow for easy access to the grocery store, have an infant, or simply can’t be bothered with an in-store experience.  Delivery is somewhere between 6.99 and 8.99.  Orders can be placed up to 5pm to be delivered the next day. Orders can also be modified up until that time to allow for scatterbrains like me to add things.  Have you ever used a grocery delivery service?

Vegetable Soup in the Crock

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Make this recipe now; when it is cold and blustery and the idea of soup and buttered bread sounds delish!  This is a hearty soup, I shall warn you, and can be thinned down with broth (vegetable if keeping the recipe vegetarian or chicken if you’d like) the next day or if you like it thinner when serving.  Combine all of the following ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hours:

chopped potatoes (I use Yukon gold)- a small package

one package Steamfresh frozen mixed vegetables

One container V8 juice (42 ounces)

5 cups water

three stalks chopped celery

3 cloves minced garlic (or 1.5 tablespoons if you use the already minced refrigerated variety)

bay leaf

3/4 cup pearled barley

AFTER 6-8 hours of cooking on low, remove the bay leaf and add one can of diced tomatoes with italian herbs.  Cook for additional 15 minutes while you are preparing your garlic bread 😉  This also tastes delicious with add ins like:

oyster crackers

gold fish

mini pretzels

parmesan cheese

ENJOY!  This soup allows for leftovers-yum!!

So I wasn’t thinking and didn’t take pictures, and I need a picture for each blog post….so here is a cute Baby Zachary picture 😉

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Stay warm!

The best kind of day

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to the holiday. We sure are. Friday was one of those days. Caitlin recently wrote about one of these days. The kind that you want to cherish forever and that makes you truly thankful for all you have. Life is good. There wasn’t anything particularly special about Friday; it was just the feeling of the day in general. Zachary woke up around 8 (obviously a fantastic start to the day) and we had coffee and played until his morning nap. Zachary is usually in a good mood in the morning so that is always fun. Then during his morning nap I got a good fiver in (per run-a-day-cember of course). When Zachary woke up we went to the Comcast light show in the Comcast building. He enjoyed people watching as much as the lights I think. Then we visited the Christmas village in Love park. It was sooooo fun and festive. We drank hot mulled wine and bought some goodies (always fun). It was just such a fun-filled lovely thankful day. The kind I will remember forever and will be especially thankful for in these times and in this holiday season. Happy holidays to everyone. Peace. Joy. And love.

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Why Finding Mommy Friends is like Dating.

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Why isn’t she calling me back?

Was Zachary crying too much?

Were my “fancy sweats” (leggings) not fancy enough?  Too fancy?

Did the lunch I served suck?  The quiche was bland, wasn’t’ it?

Is my house too small?

Too many toys?  Not enough?

Was I letting Zachary be too grabby?

Was my type-a schedule too much for her to handle?

Did I over-share?

Does she want to be my friend?

This, my friends, is indeed my inner-monologue regarding new mommy friends.  I have heard people draw a comparison between making Mommy friends and dating, and maybe have even read a blog post about this, but I wanted to share my own thoughts.  I agree. Making mommy friends is certainly like dating.  And sometimes it works out, but sometimes it doesn’t.  And who knows why; maybe the quiche WAS bland!  But nonetheless it can sting when a “mom-lationship” doesn’t work out.  When it does though, it can feel oh-so good to have someone to hang with while with your baby!  You want someone who “gets you,”  preferably someone close or who is willing to travel, someone who you can talk to, someone who shares some of your ideas around parenting style or is at least open minded, and mosty importantly, someone who you feel won’t judge you.  And the list goes on!  I have found that mommy-hood has made me very vulnerable.  In the very wise and beautiful words of Barack Obama, “someone once described the joy and anxiety of parenthood as the equivalent of having your heart outside of your body all the time, walking around.”  That someone, by the way, was Elizabeth Stone, who said specifically, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  Anyway, the point is that who ever you choose to be your Mommy-friends, you share this vulnerability with them, and I guess that is essentially why it is so similar to dating.

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So tell me, what is important to, in making Mommy friends or friends in general?

Food (of late)

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Helloooooo there!  So Caitlin, one of my absolute favorite bloggers, just did a post sort of about what she eats in a day, and how it is pretty similar from day to day due to her baby Henry.  I left a comment in total agreement and wanted to talk about that here as well as some amazing meals I have been cooking up!  So here is what I eat in a typical day, and boringly, it NEVER changes.  With Zachary, it is just easier to know exactly what I am going to eat and is also easier when grocery shopping!  Although I have been super hungry lately, I think I am in a “sweet spot” with my daily meals so I’m sticking with it for now. I am also known to go through phases with my food loves.  For instance I’ve been on this pb & j kick for a while.  Before that it is turkey sammies.  OK, so here it goes:

When Zach wakes up (around 7:30) I have my beloved ONE cup of coffee (due to b-feeding I only allow myself one; anything to promote baby sleep!). I savor it (aka keep microwaving it until it is gone) until he goes in for his nap two hours later (around 9:30 or ten depending on wake-up).  Then, RIGHT when Zach goes down for his nap, I have my breakfast. I don’t drink my coffee with my breakfast; I like to enjoy separately!  Anyway breakfast is always the same:  A cereal salad (cereals mixed together; combinations deeply thought about hehe).  A few months ago it was Kashi honey sunshine with Special K honey nut.  For the last few months it is Cascadian farms organic wheat squares with Cascadian Farms organic cinnamon crunch (organic version of cinnamon toast crunch).  Bored yet?  Ha!  If not, read on.  So around noon I have a snack which can consist of graham crackers w pb or something of the like. THen for lunch I have the aforementioned pb and j on vermont whole wheat (I try to make this as adult-like as possible lol).  Sometimes I have some Lays Ruffles Natural sea salted chips if I am still hungry. Then, around 5 I get hungry again and have some grapes or a pear with pretzels or something else carby like a cookie.  Then for dinner, it is always protein, carb and veg.  I know. snore..

Anyway I wanted to share some great recipes/meals from recent weeks.  Keep in mind, these are EASY (as I have a baby at home) and some use “non natural” ingredients (aka caned soup) but whatevs.  All about balance!

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Forgotten Chicken Click for recipeIMG_1194

Quesadilla Casserole– holy amazingness: (click for recipe)

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Meatball subs- basic meatball recipe:

1 lb ground beef

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 egg

1 envelope onion soup mix

1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Dash of salt and pepper

Bake on 350 for 25-30 min.

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Quiche-I modify this often you can do so as well

6 eggs

Frozen pie crust

broccoli (or spinach)

mushrooms

dash of salt, pepper, nutmeg and garlic salt

1/3 c half and half milk

one cup cheddar cheese (shredded)

*Beat eggs.  Add milk.  Beat more.  Add spices.  Add veggies.  Add cheese.  Pour into pie shell. Bake on 350 for 45 min.

OK I think that is enough for now 😉  Wait!  One more thing: a cute Zach pic!!!

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8 MONTHS!

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My little boy is 8 months (yesterday).  I cannot believe!  Cannot.  Where does the time go?! Seriously!  While I absolutely LOVE seeing him grow and change each day, I admit to being a bit remorseful of the time as it seems to fly by.  I am so much in love with this little creature and the feeling is indescribable.  I am so lucky and blessed.  Here’s to many more amazing months, years, decades. I LOVE YOU, Baby Zachary.  The joy you have brought me is unreal.

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Oh, and as if on-cue, he started crawling on his 8 month birthday!