Monday, January 22, 2018

24th Blue Apron Meal Kit Review


Togarashi Chicken Lettuce Cups with Orange & Radish


Ingredients


Top Chef Ginger Marinated Grassfed Steaks with Stir Fried Vegetables & Jasmine Rice


Ingredients


Mexican Spiced Barramundi with Kale, Sweet Potato & Avocado Salad


Ingredients



This is a review of a weekly meal kit subscription box called Blue Apron. This week we gave two recipes four out of five stars and one three stars. Calories ranged from 540 to 770 and preparation time indicated was thirty-five to fifty minutes. Actual preparation time was forty-five minutes to over an hour.

Togarashi Chicken Lettuce Cups with Orange & Radish

I usually love Togarashi spice, but this one was very bland. We gave this recipe only three out of five stars. The butter lettuce was in poor condition. There was too much watermelon radish and carrots. I would have liked a bit more lime juice. The orange was surprisingly tasty with the chicken. It was a very filling portion with leftovers. I'm not a fan of the mushrooms in this dish. This recipe has only 540 calories which is surprising because it was a large portion. The recipe card says it will take up to forty-five minutes to prepare, but this one took Hubby over an hour.

Top Chef Ginger Marinated Grassfed Steaks with Stir Fried Vegetables & Jasmine Rice

I watched Top Chef to see what the winning dish would be and it looked tasty, so I ordered it. Though his dish didn't have a side, it was only the steak. I absolutely love grass-fed meat, it tastes so much better. Don't believe it? Buy one of each and cook them, you will immediately notice the smell when cooking is much different and the taste. Do a blind taste test and you'll see! This steak was so tasty and quite tender and the sauce was scrumptious. I usually don't enjoy sauces made with sugar, but this one was devine. I just wish it had been a larger portion with more sauce. One of the sauces ingredients leaked during shipping. The side dish made with bok choy and mushrooms wasn't that great. I gave this recipe four out of five stars, but the steak and sauce get five! Hubby gave it five stars. I usually don't order steak from meal kits since they tend to be on the tough side, but when I saw it was grass fed I had to give it a try and I'm glad I did. This one has 740 calories and it took almost an hour to prepare.  The recipe card states up to fifty minutes.

Mexican Spiced Barramundi with Kale, Sweet Potato & Avocado Salad

We gave this recipe four out of five stars. Whenever they offer Barramundi fillets I order them since they are so delicious. The avocado was very small, but it was ripe enough for use. The side salad of kale and sweet potatoes was surprising tasty. The yummy dressing was made with clementine juice, zest, olive oil, garlic paste and jalapeño. The recipe card states that it will take up to fifty minute to prepare and it took Hubby forty-five minutes.

It was a pretty good week of recipes. What food subscription box did you enjoy this week? Don't forget to enter my current giveaway and check out my Pinterest Subscription Box Board and Pinterest Blue Apron Board.

Bargain Alert: 

Hello Fresh - $40 off
Home Chef - $30 Off
Sun Basket - $40 Off

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

GIVEAWAY - Blue Apron Meal Kit Worth $59.94


a Rafflecopter giveaway
The winner must be over 18 years old, have never subscribed to Blue Apron, provide me with their name and email address to give to Blue Apron, provide Blue Apron their credit card number in case they want to continue with the service past the first box and live in the US (not in Hawaii & Alaska). Winner will be sent an email from Blue Apron & simply need to click on the link to redeem their free Blue Apron box online. To cancel future shipments: visit their website and go to account info, then chose "manage"  & then "cancel" or to skip future shipments select delivery schedule and chose "skip". Box is shipped via FedEx and arrives at your doorstep on your choice of Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. 


This giveaway is only for those that have never subscribed to Blue Apron before.  Please do not enter if you don't intend to redeem the free box! Note you will have to give Blue Apron your credit card number to redeem. It's easy to skip and cancel online, if you don't wish to remain a subscriber after your free box. It's a limited time offer, so you'll need to redeem in a timely manner. I have reviewed twenty-two Blue Apron deliveries, so be sure to check those out before you leave. Start with my 23rd delivery. Then check out my Blue Apron Pinterest Board, click on the photo of the recipe that you fancy to see the matching blog post.  Also, check out my Home Chef reviews starting with my 55th delivery. In addition, check out my Hello Fresh reviews starting with my 14th delivery.

Bargain Alert: 

Hello Fresh - $40 off
Home Chef - $30 Off
Sun Basket - $35 Off

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review - January 2018



Here's to a Beautiful 2018


This is a review of a monthly cosmetic subscription box called Play! by Sephora. It's only $10 a monthly including shipping. This month the retail value of the box is $28.17 which is much lower than most of the previous twenty boxes I've received. Included in the box were the following products:
  1. Fresh - Rose Floral Toner, .6 fl. oz., made in France, $2.82 retail value
  2. GlamGlow - SuperCleanse, .5 oz, made in USA, $3.20 retail value
  3. Smashbox - Photo Finish Primerizer, .13 fl. oz., made in USA, $5.46 retail value
  4. Clinique - Pep-start Eye Cream, .1 fl. oz. 3 ml, made in the USA, $5.30 retail value
  5. Lancôme - Mascara Base, .07 fl. oz., $9.39 retail value
  6. Alterna Haircare - Caviar Anti-aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner, 2 x .25 fl. oz., made in the USA, $2.00 retail value
This month instead of sending a perfume sample they sent a foil packet of shampoo and conditioner. Most customers who pay for samples dread receiving a foil packet. I would have preferred a perfume sample. I guess customers were complaining that they were sick of receiving perfume samples though some of us are not. Alterna is free of parabens, sulfates and synthetic color which is what I look for in shampoo and conditioners since my scalp is very sensitive. I'm going to give it a try tonight. Since I have extra long hair, this sample will only be enough for one use. My skin as it's aged has gone from t-zone oily combination to dry, so I have stopped using toners. The Fresh Toner smells like roses which is lovely! The Smashbox sample is so tiny! I was quite shocked when I noticed it in the box. I have sampled a couple of their primers before and while they were ok, they aren't my favorite. This one combines a moisturizer and a primer which saves you a step. I like that idea, but Smashbox isn't one of my favorite brands. I was also shocked to see such a tiny Clinique sample, coming in at only .1 fl. oz.! I like this brand, so I'm anxious to give it a try, but being that it will only be used a few times it's certainly not enough product to figure out if it works for me. I have received the Lancôme Mascara Base a couple times previously and I just don't have the time to go to the trouble of using a base and then mascara. It's a step I don't want to add to my routine and I didn't find that it made any difference. I like to put on my makeup as quickly as possible since I'm usually in a rush to get out the door. I'm anxious to give the GlamGlow cleanser a try since I love this brand. I bought the YouthCleanse face wash and it dries out my skin. It would be perfect for those with oily skin. This box has the least retail value of the twenty-one boxes I have received so far, it's a disappointment. Also, there's no makeup included this time, which is really disappointing. I don't consider primers makeup, I'm talking about eye shadows, blush, mascara, lipstick, etc. I have come to expect at least one makeup product, so I'm not happy about the lack of makeup. If the next box is like this one with no makeup and a much lower retail value than previous boxes, they will be causing me to hit the cancel button and find another box. I've been putting off cancelling because I keep thinking they will return to boxes like those they sent previous to the last two. It would be a shame if I have to cancel since this one has been my favorite cosmetic subscription box lately. If you're a subscriber, were you happy with this month's box? If not a subscriber, what's keeping you from giving this subscription a try?

Bargain Alert:

Mr. Rebates - 4% cash back for online Sephora purchases! 

Check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to see what I have received in my previous twenty boxes. Also, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I've subscribed to over the years. 

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Yuri Japanese Restaurant Review - Cary, NC

1361 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC  27511
(919) 481-0068


Exterior View


Interior View


Sashimi Sampler Appetizer - $10.95


Mixed Tempura Appetizer - $7.95


Dr. Atkins Roll - $12.95


Cherry Blossom Roll - $12.95


This is a review of a Japanese restaurant located in Cary, North Carolina called Yuri. They are open on Saturdays from noon until 10 pm, we visited around 1:30 pm. To check out the rest of their hours and their menu, visit their website. The restaurant was a bit more than half full when we arrived. Their sanitation score is 97 which is very good. I was immediately greeted by a waitress and seated at a booth. Hubby was trying to find a parking spot without ice. Since Trader Joe's is a couple doors down the parking lot is very full and it takes a bit of time to find a parking space. Unfortunately, they didn't do a good job at removing the snow which turned into ice in the shady parts of the lot.

The friendly waiter immediately greeted me prior to my husband's arrival, so I asked him to come back later when my husband arrived. Since we were waiting a long time for the waiter to return, Hubby flagged him down. I ordered the Mixed Tempura Appetizer and the Cherry Blossom Roll. Hubby ordered the Sashimi Sampler and the Dr. Atkins Roll. Hubby was very happy to see they have six sushi rolls without rice since he's on a low carb diet. Our appetizers arrived quite quickly followed by our entrees in only seven minutes. We weren't done eating the appetizers. I wish he had waited until we finished our first course. I found it very annoying and we had to shuffle plates around to make room on the table. Hubby loved the sashimi which is thicker than the competition. He also enjoyed the Dr. Atkins roll which has extra large pieces. He said he would order both again. My Mixed Tempura came with two pieces of shrimp and some vegetables which were zucchini, green beans, onion, sweet potato and broccoli. There was too much batter on the shrimp. I could barely taste the shrimp, so I pulled off some of the batter. The dipping sauce was very good. The Cherry Blossom Roll is described as salmon on top of a California Roll, but the roll just had crab meat (not the usual imitation crab), avocado and spicy mayo with no cucumber sticks. I wasn't crazy about it, I wouldn't order it again. I also wasn't crazy about the prices which totaled up to $51.20 before tip. I should have ordered the Bento Box which was much less expensive, but I found the Bento Box choices on the menu very confusing. Hubby couldn't order the Bento Box since there aren't low carb choices. The waiter had to be flagged down to order, to get a drink refill and to get the check. There were only two waiters, so maybe someone didn't show up or this is the norm. While the decor was ok, I didn't find it to be a peaceful environment having to call the waiter for everything, and having customers all around us coughing. Really people, stay home if you are sick! Thankfully, we didn't catch their colds. Hubby says he would return, but I don't think I will. He may take co-workers there for lunch since he loves the low carb menu and since they make the sushi quickly. What's your favorite sushi restaurant in the Triangle?

Be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews before you go. There is a list of them on my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board. Follow this blog via TwitterGoogle +Bloglovin'Facebook or Networked BlogsPlease share this restaurant review blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:

Yuri Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Ajisai Japanese Fusion Restaurant Review - Raleigh, NC

427 Woodburn Road
Raleigh, NC  27605
(919) 831-9907


Exterior View


Interior View


Salad with Ginger Dressing & Miso Soup


Harumaki


Sashimi Deluxe (16 Pieces) - $20.25


Chicken Tempura & Salmon Roll Lunch Bento Box - $11.00


This is a review of a Japanese restaurant located in Raleigh, North Carolina called Ajisai. We visited around 1:30 pm on a Saturday. It's located in the Cameron Village Shopping Center. We had to drive around for about five minutes to find a parking space since parking is quite limited and it's quite busy on Saturday afternoons. This restaurant is open from 11 am to 10 pm Monday through Thursday, they stay open an additional hour on Friday. Saturday they are open from 11:30 am until 11pm and Sunday they open from noon to 10 pm. Their sanitation score is 95.5 which is very good. We were immediately greeted and seated at a table for two. They have several booths and tables, but it's quite small inside and there is a steady stream of customers. Customers that came in behind us had to wait for a table. It was a bit chilly near the door when the wind was blowing inside each time a customer opened the doors. This restaurant has a very nice atmosphere with lovely decor, but customers are a bit on the loud side so much so that I couldn't hear the music.

Our friendly, prompt waitress introduced herself and was happy to answer our questions about the menu. I decided to have a Bento Box with a Salmon Roll and Chicken Tempura for $11.00, as shown above. Hubby decided to have the Sashimi Deluxe which offers sixteen pieces for $20.25 which breaks down to $1.27 a piece which is very reasonable. My diet soda was $2.25. I asked about their hot tea, but they only offer one type which is a rice tea which didn't sound great to me, so I passed. They also serve alcoholic drinks from cocktails to beer, wine and sake which the majority of customers ordered. With the yelp app I was able to get free Harumaki and I was surprised to receive three spring rolls, it was a generous portion. The spring rolls weren't greasy or overcooked and they were served hot. They were very tasty and they came with a delicious dipping sauce. I was surprised my Bento box came with a salad and soup. Most Japanese restaurants only offer one or the other. The soup was cool enough to eat right away. I would have liked it a bit warmer. It had bits of tofu, noodles, green onions and seaweed. It was tasty. The ginger salad dressing was delicious and so was the salad which was fresh and crisp. It included a tomato, shredded carrots and a cucumber slice. I snagged Hubby's tomato from his salad since he's on a low carb diet. My Chicken Tempura wasn't greasy or over battered and even though it was only two pieces, they were large pieces. It also came with two slices of sweet potato and a piece of broccoli. The dipping sauce was pretty good. The white rice was perfectly cooked, it was sticky, hot and scrumptious. I'm not a fan of shumai, so I just sampled one and left the other one. The salmon rolls had absolutely delicious pieces of salmon in them with the perfect texture and flavor. They featured larger pieces of salmon than the competition. I asked for a side of eel sauce, I dipped them in that, yum. Hubby was making some crazy happy faces while eating his absolutely scrumptious sixteen pieces of sashimi. I was jealous and he wouldn't share any. Next time I will order that for sure. The presentation is absolutely fabulous! It had a swan ice sculpture with a blue light shining behind it. The sashimi was sitting on twigs and chopped ice. It's a feast for the eyes. Hubby loved every single piece of sashimi and appeared to be in heaven while eating it. The look on his face made me giggle. The lovely waitress was quite attentive especially since every table was filled with customers. We had to ask for drink refills and the check which we didn't mind due to it being so busy. Our food was promptly brought out which we greatly appreciated, it makes for a pleasant dining experience. The salad and soup were brought out shortly after were ordered. The spring rolls were brought out nine minutes later. Four minutes later our entrees were brought out. Our dining experience took about an hour. Our total came to $36.26 with tax before tip which is lower than the competition. 

If you haven't tried this Japanese restaurant yet, put it at the top of your list! This one is a must try! I highly recommend you visit this restaurant as soon as possible! This one is a winner with four and a half stars on yelp.

Be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews before you go. There is a list of them on my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews BoardI invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin', Facebook or Networked Blogs.

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Ajisai Japanese Fusion Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

56th Home Chef Delivery Review & $30 Free Food


Hot Honey Salmon with Thyme Roasted Zucchini & Tomatoes


Ingredients


Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Water Chestnuts & Sesame Dipping Sauce


Ingredients


Butter Basted Pork Chop with Roasted Carrots & Spinach


Ingredients


This is a review of our 56th shipment from a weekly food subscription box called Home Chef. We gave two recipes five out of five stars and one recipe three stars. The calories ranged from 526 to 605 and preparation time indicated on the recipe cards was twenty-five to forty-five minutes. Actual preparation time was thirty-nine minutes to an hour. 

Hot Honey Salmon with Thyme Roasted Zucchini & Tomatoes

Hubby gave this recipe five out of five stars and I gave it four. The salmon was definitely five stars, so incredibly scrumptious. Such a simple topping of honey, red pepper flakes and butter and yet it was so delicious. Also, the cooking technique of searing the salmon and then baking it made it so flaky, moist and tender. Thyme and green onions were a nice addition to the zucchini and tomatoes. It only has 526 calories and it's suppose to take up to 35 minutes to prepare. Actual preparation time was 45 minutes. It was a healthy portion.

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Water Chestnuts & Sesame Dipping 

I've lost count on how many times we have ordered this five star recipe. It's always scrumptious and it's a large, filling portion yet it only has 565 calories. The recipe card says it will take up to 35 minutes to prepare. Actual preparation time was 39 minutes. If you haven't tried this recipe yet, you must order it next time they offer it. It's the perfect combination of quality ingredients to make the best Thai Lettuce Wraps.

Butter Basted Pork Chop with Roasted Carrots & Spinach

This week's box arrived one day late and since Hubby was out of town I had to prepare this one. I'm not a great chef, I'm a good baker. So I'm not experienced at cooking pork chops. I followed the directions, but the pork chops were overcooked, dry and tough. I didn't care for the sauce either. I should have just skipped the sauce and mixed the thyme with the butter as a topping instead. The side of vegetables made with shallots, carrots, garlic and spinach were really tasty and the cooking directions worked out perfectly. I'm sure if Hubby had cooked the chops, they would have been very tasty. So it's difficult to rate, I give it three out of five stars. If the pork chops were cooked properly, I'd give it four stars. This recipe has 605 calories and the recipe card states up to 45 minutes preparation time. Actual preparation time was one hour, but mind you I'm an inexperienced cook. It was a healthy portion. At first it looked like too many carrots, but they shrunk a bit during baking.

It was another enjoyable week of recipes even though FedEx delayed the shipment a day. Home Chef has 11 dinner recipes, 1 smoothie, 1 fruit basket and 1 lunch to chose from each week. If you haven't given this meal kit a try yet, snag the coupon below, chose your shipment week, pick your recipes and await the excitement and fun to be delivered to your doorstep shortly. Having ordered 56 boxes so far, I obviously recommend Home Chef! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I'll help you out.

Bargain Alert:

Hello Fresh Meal Kit - $40 off
Home Chef Meal Kit - $30 off
Sun Basket Meal Kit $35 off

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

QVC's TSVs for February 2018



Preorder Numbers for Today's Special Values


1st - Skechers

2nd - Josie Maran

3rd - Cuddl Duds

4th - Belle by Kim Gravel

5th - Mally Cosmetics

6th - Harry Slatkin

7th - Cook's Essentials 

8th - Gem Day

9th - Kipling Handbags

10th - Philosophy

11th - My Pillow

12th - Denim & Co

13th - Patio & Garden

14th - Lenox

15th - Martha Stewart Garden

16th - Susan Graver

17th - Clarks 

18th - Vitamix


That's all the information QVC has released so far. I will update this every Sunday with another seven brands that will be offering TSVs and on days that preorder numbers are released. Be sure to check back for updates. In the meantime, check out my January TSV list.

As you can imagine researching these TSVs daily and updating these TSVs multiple times a week is very time consuming. It's been made even more difficult and time consuming due to recent changes by QVC that have limited the release of preorder information. For example, I had to read the Hot in Hollywood giveaway rules to find their TSV preorder number for you. QVC still hasn't released the info. Some readers do not understand that I'm not an employee of QVC and that I do not make any money unless you click on the advertising or affiliate links. Referral links give me store credit. There are over 800 blog posts that you can check out for free. Please show your support for this blog by donating today. No amount is too small, any amount would be greatly appreciated! I've donated to You Tubers who I frequent, it's a nice way to show your appreciation.

You are welcome to share a link to this blog post, but please be kind & respectful and do not copy my post and post it elsewhere. 

Bargain Alert: 


Bulu Box - vitamins, supplements & healthy snacks for only $5.99 boxes for life, code "DISCOVERY" *
California Wine Club - six bottles for only $59.99 including shipping *
Green Blender - 5 healthy smoothie recipes a week along with all the FRESH not frozen ingredients, 2 servings each. 10 smoothies a week. Check out my reviews.
Hello Fresh - $30 off healthy meal kit, check out my 14 reviews. *
Home Chef - $30 off healthy meal kit, check out my 55 reviews *
Julep - 12 full sized nail polishes for free, $168 value! Amazing deal! Check out my reviews *
Love with Food - 25% off gluten free snack box *
Mr. Rebates - $5 Sign Up Bonus & cash back for online shopping including QVC, click here.
Nature Box - healthy, delicious snacks, extra 30% off first 3 shipments. Code "THIRTY3" *
Russell Stover Chocolates - 20% off with email sign up, check out my review *
Sun Basket - $35 off healthy meal kit, check out my 26 reviews *
Top Secret Recipes - secret restaurant recipes, cookbooks and spices, use code "Knock Off" for 15% off *
UrthBox - healthy, delicious snacks, $10 off use code "PROMO10" *

* Affiliate links

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