Blue Apron: Week 20

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Roast Chicken & Potato Latkes with Savoy Cabbage & Apple-Mustard Chutney
I think we may've overcooked the Roast Chicken & Potato Latkes with Savoy Cabbage & Apple-Mustard Chutney. It was still good, however. The latkes we made were uninspiring, really makes me appreciate all the tasty ones I've had. These were rather labor intensive and a bit of a let-down.

Harissa Lamb & Beef Burgers with Roasted Carrot Fries
The only reason why these burgers are rated above the third dinner option this week is because Blue Apron messed up and sent us the seafood meal. I wasn't actually around to make/eat these Harissa Lamb & Beef Burgers with Roasted Carrot Fries so here's Jim's summary: "It was pretty good. I figured out that once the burger was burnt on both sides, nuke it for a minute and a half instead. Came out much tastier. But it's still not as good as a restaurant."

Tamarind-Glazed Cod with Lime Rice & Cucumber Relish
Instead of sending us the vegetarian Roasted Sweet Potato & Caramelized Onion Pizza
with Béchamel Sauce, Fontina Cheese & Arugula Salad
, Blue Apron sent us the seafood option: Tamarind-Glazed Cod with Lime Rice & Cucumber Relish. We were given a $30 credit for the mistake. We've also been missing an ingredient here or there over the past few weeks, but it's not such a big deal to borrow 1/2 parmesan from another recipe, or skip out on green onions. It is, however, a decently big deal to be given a seafood meal when you don't eat seafood.

Classy Moppe

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ikea Hack - Moppe Mini Chest

What started as a birch plywood Ikea Moppe mini chest a neighbor left in the lobby, has turned into this nice little Raspberry Pi organizer for Jim. I started by painting the fronts of the drawers with a white enamel paint, and it hung around like that for awhile, looking like a miniature doppelganger of our birch veneer Ikea Expedit shelves. But then I decided to class it up a bit with some Special Walnut 224 stain leftover from our headboard tutorial awhile back.

It's amazing how you can transform an untreated wood piece with a bit of stain and some paint. Even if it's one of Ikea's cheapest pieces!

Ikea Hack - Moppe Mini Chest
Ikea Hack - Moppe Mini Chest
White Irises in a Blue vase

Blue Apron: Week 19

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Chile-Rubbed Steaks with Quick Kimchi & Tomato Rice
These Chile-Rubbed Steaks with Quick Kimchi & Tomato Rice from Blue Apron were the best this week. Although, I'm not really sure that quick kimchi really counts as kimchi. The steaks came out perfectly and the rice was a nice complement. No leftovers.


Chicken Meatballs with Braised Kale & Spiced Celeriac Mash
The Chicken Meatballs with Braised Kale & Spiced Celeriac Mash from Blue Apron this week were pretty solid. 'Celeriac mash' doesn't sound amazing, but it was surprisingly good. Tasty. No leftovers.

Creamy Sweet Potato & Kale Casserole with Spiced Coconut Béchamel & Ginger
Just say no to Blue Apron root casseroles. Not a fan, not even of this Creamy Sweet Potato & Kale Casserole with Spiced Coconut Béchamel & Ginger. Lots of leftovers, of course.

Moving! Mattresses in boxes!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

11 Pass Cat Inspection
When your first week or so sleeping situation looks like the one below, you are thankful to see the one above. Although, by now you also know that we already have a bed frame, so the photo above is an older one. It is also the first of three mattress-in-a-box companies we tried.

The key to all these bed-in-a-box companies is their no fuss 100 day trial with free returns/recycling. If you don't like the mattress in the first 3 months, they get rid of it and give you a full refund. We've done this twice now, it's pretty much exactly how it sounds.

Life Without a Mattress

First, we tried Tuft & Needle because it looked like the best value. When that didn't work out, we turned to the Casper Mattress since the reviews hinted that a complaint would get you a free soft foam topper. Both of these mattresses are "revolutionizing the mattress industry" by only having one firmness of mattress, no brick & mortar store, and offering a 100 day risk free trial. It turns out that one-size-fits-all does not hold well for mattresses, or at least not for Jim and me...but 100 day trials do indeed fit all. We made great use of that policy! So, we eventually found a brick & mortar store called Nest Bedding that offered the same trial & return period, but also offered a handful of mattress lines with 3 levels of firmness and different foam materials. We ended up with a Soft Love Bed. Let's hope this works out. No jinxes!


Tuft & Needle

The process for most mattress-in-a-box companies is the same. For Tuft & Needle, you visit Sleepopolis for a review of the mattress (coolness of foam mattresses is apparently a thing). You order from their website. 'Just one way to avoid interacting with mattress salespeople and save a little money. The mattress shows up a week later in a small 90lb box. You drag that sucker to your bedroom, pull it out, unwrap it, remove the plastic, and wait for the mattress to inflate.

I liked the Tuft & Needle because it had outstanding reviews, it was a great price, and they have the most boring-looking mattress in the world. Who needs a lovely damask mattress, when you're just going to cover it up? Waste of time and money. However, after 30 nights, it was making both our backs sore. Terribly so. Tuft & Needle's return policy had us giving away the mattress for free to some stranger off craigslist.

1 Tuft and Needle mattress arrives (thank goodness they took it to our second floor!) 3 Drag 95lb box to approximate final destination
4 Remove mattress
5 Remove first layer of plastic
6 Position mattress
'Totally beast-moded this 90+lb mattress into place.
7 Cut open second layer of plastic
9 Remove second layer of plastic


Casper

We had a bit of an overlap where we had a Tuft & Needle and a Casper mattress, so we wouldn't have to sleep on the floor. The Casper was a little more expensive, but had equally positive reviews some of which hinted that if it was too firm for you, the company would send out a soft foam topper after 30 days. So we figured the Casper was worth a shot. Perhaps the foam topper would fix the overly firm medium-ness of the mattress?

After 30 nights, we ended up needing the soft mattress topper. We had to pay shipping and handling ($20), but it did greatly improve the mattress. It no longer hurt our backs, but we never really looked forward to laying in the bed. If you're going to spend a grand on something, you better hope you love it. 'Was not the case with the Casper, even with the foam topper. Their return policy was pretty simple - they just send 1-800-got-junk to your apartment. Easy peasy. And we even got to keep the mattress topper!
Casper Soft Foam Topper Casper Mattress In A Box
New Casper Mattress - Two mattresses, great look.
Dizzy and the Foam Topper


Nest Bedding - Love Bed

In between the Casper and the Love Bed, I ended up sleeping on the slats+foam topper+down comforter+mattress pad. It was not the greatest, but it did remind me a bit of my Japan times. We'd gone into the Nest Bedding store three times (and the same manager was there all three times!) before finally ordering the Love Bed in soft. While trying it out in store is certainly no guarantee for success (T&N and Casper didn't hurt our backs until several full nights' sleep), we're really hopeful. A couple 30-somethings shouldn't be moaning this much about their aching spines! Besides having a physical store, Nest Bedding carries several different lines of beds, most with different firmnesses, at varying price points, free shipping, and all with the great 100 day return policy like the online bed-in-a-box stores.

The Love Bed also happens to be a bed-in-a-box that gets shipped to your door. Although, the mattress was not folded in half like the others so the box was more unwieldy. And the FedEx delivery guy took one look at our stairs and noped his way out of there. He left the box in a random spot in our complex and I had to get a neighbor to help me carry it up the stairs because Jim was out of town. Thanks for that experience, FedEx!

Ohhhh, I hope hope hope this bed works out. I'm sick of shopping for new mattresses!!

FedEx Guy Noped Outta There At The Stairs Teddy Bear Flattened Into Mattress Roll
Unwrapping the mattress
Letting mattress inflate
Dizzy loves making the bed.

More Strawberry Applesauce

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Strawberry Applesauce

Everyone needs MORE strawberry apple sauce. I was gifted a bunch of small-ish apples from someone's yard. A lot of apples. And two pints of strawberries. This is what you get. This strawberry applesauce is tart. 'Just your friendly reminder to always use a variety of apples in your applesauce. Don't be me.

Strawberry Applesauce

Movin' on up

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Up to 8 & 10 lb dumbbells!

I've been on 8 and 10 lb dumbbells for the past several months. It's a pretty big step up from the days of using a can of beans. I've returned back to Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. I just like it a lot more than any of her other DVDs I have.

I've also been at this whole fitness thing for over a year now (actually, a year and a half!), and I've pretty much been maintaining at my current weight for about 9 months. I don't do my workouts daily like I once did, but apparently 3-5 times per week is adequate for longterm maintenance.

Purposefully moving your body regularly works, yo.

Up to 8 & 10 lb dumbbells!

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