Thursday, February 8, 2018

GIVEAWAY - Plated Meal Kit Worth $72

Plated has provided me with another box worth $72 to give away. Plated will send the winner one shipment that includes three recipes and the ingredients needed to make three meals for two people for a total of six servings. Above photo shows an example of one recipe. Enter via Rafflecopter:

The winner must be over 18 years old, have never subscribed to Plated, provide me with their name and email address to give to Plated, provide Plated 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 Plated and simply need to click on the link to redeem their free Plated box online. To cancel future shipments: visit their website and go to my account settings, scroll down to the bottom and chose "cancel subscription" or to skip future shipments select weekly menus and chose "skip week". They ship to most of the US except Hawaii, Alaska and a few cities in TX including San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo & Midland. Box is shipped via FedEx and arrives at your doorstep on your choice of Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday. Vegetarian meals are also offered.

Learn more about Plated by visiting my Plated Pinterest Board. Click on the photos that interest you and it will take you to my matching blog post which provides a review of that recipe. Be sure to check out my reviews of Blue ApronGreen BlenderGreen ChefHello FreshHome ChefMarley SpoonPlatedSun Basket and Terra's Kitchen

Bargain Alert: 

Hello Fresh - $40 off
Home Chef - $30 Off
Sun Basket - $50 Off 1st Two Boxes *
*Affiliate Link

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Sunday, February 4, 2018

QVC's TSVs for March 2018

Preorder Numbers for Today's Special Values

1st - Sterling Silver

2nd - Isaac Mizrahi 

3rd - Vionic Footwear

4th - iRobot Roomba, read my review

5th - Josie Maran Cosmetics

6th - Prepare Your Home

7th - Martha Stewart Food

8th - 8 Greens Greener Eating

9th - Joan Rivers Classics Collection

10th - It Cosmetics

11th - Patio & Garden

This is just the beginning of the list for March. This is what has been released so far. The brand list will be updated every Sunday. The preorder numbers will be updated as information is released much closer to the air dates, so be sure to check back. Rest assured I'm researching these TSVs multiple times a day to get them to you as fast as possible. In the meantime, check out the February list.

I've started asking for donations due to the extra daily research time involved in compiling these monthly lists since QVC has recently made it even more difficult and time consuming to locate the preorder item numbers. Thanks goes out to Nicole, Margaret & Kerri for their donations last month. I really appreciate your generosity and support. Thanks also goes out to Anne, Tanya, Lisa and Carolyn who sent me preorder information that they found. I really appreciate your assistance. Thank you so very much ladies! You're the best! If you find preorder numbers I haven't posted, please contact me by leaving a comment below, email me or message me on the Blue Skies for Me Please Facebook pageIf you would also like to donate, click on the donate button below. If you can't contribute that way, there are also referral and affiliate links below that will help or click on the advertising on the right or simply share my blog with friends. 

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. I've seen my preorder lists being copied and posted in Facebook groups lately and it's really disrespectful to the time I've put into compiling the lists. One even took credit for the research while it was clear she simply copied my list word for word. Imagine my shock and disappointment. I really don't understand how she can feel good about her actions. Then another changed it up a bit so it didn't look so obvious it was an exact copy. Please show respect and only post links to my blog instead. If you see these copies, perhaps you can post a link to this blog under these posts to help out. Thanks goes out to those that have already shared a link. I really appreciate your support. I don't have funds to advertise this blog, so if you haven't already, please take a moment to share a link to this blog.

Bargain Alert: 

Bulu Box - vitamins, supplements & healthy snacks only $5.99 per box for life, code "DISCOVERY" or "BOX799". *
California Wine Club - six bottles $59.99, only $9.99 a bottle including shipping. *
Hello Fresh - $40 off healthy meal kit, only $3.32 a serving, check out my 14 reviews
Home Chef $30 off healthy meal kit, only $4.95 a serving, 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 snack box with 10+ gluten free snacks only $1.87 each. *
Mr. Rebates - $5 Sign Up Bonus & cash back for online shopping including QVC.
Nature Box - healthy, delicious snacks, extra 30% off first 3 shipments. Code "THIRTY3". *
Sun Basket $50 Off 1st Two Orders, check out my 26 reviews. *
Terra's Kitchen $40 Off, check out my 3 reviews.
Top Secret Recipes - secret restaurant recipes, cookbooks and spices, use code "Steps15" for 15% off. *
UrthBox - healthy, delicious snacks, Buy One Get One Free or $10 off use code "PROMO10". *
* Affiliate links

Be a pal and share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking their boxes here:

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

3rd Terra's Kitchen Delivery Review & $40 Coupon

Berry Balsamic Salad - $7.99

Berry Balsamic Salad Box

Red Grapes, Brie & Cheddar Cheese Snack Box - $5.99

Greek Salad - $7.99

Greek Salad Box

Organic Züpa Noma Superfood Soups - $6.49 each

Hummus with Multigrain Pita, Carrot & Celery Sticks - $5.99

Revolution Lunch Bundle Sundipper - $5.49

This is a review of a weekly food subscription service called Terra's Kitchen. I had not ordered in quite some time, so they emailed me a $20 coupon which convinced me to order again especially since they had some new offerings that peaked my interest. This is my 3rd delivery and this time I went with their new salads, soups and snacks rather than the meal kits. We were already receiving a meal kit from Home Chef for dinners that week anyway. I really like to eat salads for lunch, so I wanted to order a salad for each weekday. Unfortunately, they only offer delivery to my location on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If they offered delivery earlier in the week then I could order five salads. I do not enjoy cooking for one person, so I prefer salads and sandwiches when dining alone. I paid $57.34. They have a minimum purchase  of $72 to place an order for the week, so my order total was $72.39 before the discount and since my total after discount was under $72 I had to pay $4.95 for shipping. Shipping is free for orders of $72 and more. They have a new three day detox shipment which that I wanted to order, but it's too expensive for me. The soup I ordered is in that shipment. At first glance one might think the prices are a bit high, but my cost per serving for this shipment was only $4.25 a serving prior to my discount. 

Berry Balsamic Salad

Included in this salad are the following:  baby spinach, blackberries, blueberries, goat cheese, pecan pieces, sliced scallions and Lighthouse Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing. The box looked a bit small to me, but as soon as I unpacked it and placed it on a full sized dinner plate it looked much larger. They really packed it in the box tight. I like that it has a use by date on it since it gives me more confidence of food safety plus I place items in the refrigerator in order of use by date. I wish the other food subscription companies would do that. I received my order on the 25th, so this product allowed me four days to eat it. While the dressing had an unappetizing brown color, it was very tasty and it was a generous 2 fl. oz. portion. I really enjoyed the combination of ingredients and everything was fresh. The goat cheese was wonderfully creamy. I would definitely purchase it again. This one has 400 calories and it was healthy portion. 

Red Grapes, Brie & Cheddar Cheese Snack Box

I'm usually not a big fan of brie, but the consistency of this one was fabulous. I wish I knew which brand they send. The cheddar cheese was ok, just not my favorite which isn't a surprise because I'm really picky about cheddar since I eat it more than any other cheese. The red grapes were extra large, very fresh and tasty. Oh, how I wish I had ordered more than one of these boxes, it was that good! Yummy! This snack has 423 calories and it was a generous portion. I imagine you could use it as a lunch also.

Greek Salad

This salad includes the following: leaf lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, black olives, feta cheese and organic lemon garlic dressing. I found this salad a bit disappointing since it only had two small pieces of red onion and two small pieces of cucumber. I had a red onion in the fridge, so I added more. I love lots of onion in my salad especially a Greek salad. It had too much feta cheese for me since I'm not a big fan of that type of cheese. Everything was fresh except a little piece of lettuce that way laying under the feta cheese. The dressing was so very tasty. It was a delicious salad and it was a healthy portion. It has only 394 calories.

Organic Züpa Noma Superfood Soups

These come in two packs, but I'm only showing one of each in the photo above. I purchased all three flavors that they had available since they are not available in local stores for purchase. I ordered Tomato Gazpacho, Carrot Coconut Lime and Cucumber Avocado. Tomato Gazpacho ingredients are tomato, water, red bell pepper, cucumber, celery, lime juice, red onion, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, sea salt and turmeric. It only has 100 calories per serving. If you haven't tried Gazpacho before, I highly recommend you give it a try. I became a big fan when I went on the Tracy Anderson diet. This is the perfect soup for on the go since it tastes good cold. I recommend this flavor as a substitute lunch. This one is a bit on the spicy side and it's delicious. All of these soups are for drinking cold, but you have the option of pouring the soup in a bowl and warming it up in the microwave for forty seconds. Carrot Coconut Lime ingredients are filtered water, carrot, apple, coconut milk, lime juice, yam, ginger, olive oil, shallot, lemongrass, turmeric, coriander, sea salt, cumin and black pepper. It has 150 calories per serving. I recommend warming this one up, since it has a bit of a thick consistency. It tastes quite good. I first taste the carrot, then yam followed by ginger and spices. The Cucumber Avocado ingredients are cucumber, water, apple, avocado, lemon juice, Swiss chard, pumpkin seed, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, black pepper and spirulina. This one makes a great green smoothie substitute. It's a bit on the sour side. It has 110 calories. All ingredients are organic and each bottle has two servings. Four servings costs $12.98 which is $3.24 a serving. If I'm only having soup for lunch I'll eat two servings. These have a use by date of February 26th, so I have a month to drink them. The bottle says to drink it within fourteen days of opening it, I can't imagine keeping it more than a couple days. That seems like too long of a time. I found out you can order these soups directly from the manufacturer! Snag my $10 coupon for your first order!

Hummus with Multigrain Pita, Carrot & Celery Sticks

Included in this snack are eight celery sticks, seven carrot sticks, hummus and a ton of multigrain pita chips. It has only 210 calories which is shocking since it's such a large portion that I couldn't only eat half of it at one sitting. I'm not a big fan of celery dipped in hummus, I prefer peanut butter. The carrot sticks were good in the hummus and so were the pita chips. It was immediately filling even only eating half of it. The pita chips were a bit too hard for my liking. I prefer the Stacy's brand. It has a use by date of the 29th which gave me five days to eat it.

Revolution Lunch Bundle Sundipper

I ordered the Decker version of this lunch bundle and received the Sundipper one instead. Since the Sundipper one has two items made with soy, I wont be eating those. I try to avoid anything with soy in it because soy turns into estrogen in the body. I emailed them about the mistake and they gave me a store credit for the cost of the product, $5.49. This one has a use by date of March 9th, so I have plenty of time to eat it.

It was a very enjoyable shipment and I enjoyed trying the new soups, snacks and salads they have to offer. I was very happy to have two salads already prepared for me and I was delighted by their flavors. I can't skip meals due to an auto immune disease, IBS, but I usually want to skip lunch and snacks so I have to force myself to eat. Having these waiting in the refrigerator really helped a lot. The soup selection in my local stores is quite limited and I've become bored of the brands and flavors I have to chose from, so I was very happy to have something new, organic and very nutritional. If you have healthy foods already prepared and waiting for you, you're less likely to skip meals which slows your metabolism or eat something on the run which tends to be unhealthy. I really look forward to trying some of their other prepared snacks and salads. Of course, they also have many meal kits to chose from some of which I have reviewed previously. Check out my review of our 1st delivery and 2nd delivery before you go. Have you tried any of their new selections? I'd love to hear your review, so comment below. If you haven't given Terra's Kitchen a try, why not? If you are thinking about it, make sure you snag my $40 coupon below by clicking on the link. Enjoy!

Bargain Alert:

Terra's Kitchen - $40 Off 
Hello Fresh - $40 off
Home Chef - $30 Off
Sun Basket - $40 Off
Züpa Noma Soup - $10 Off

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

57th Home Chef Delivery Review & $30 Coupon

Greek Panko Crusted Cod with Spicy Lemon Aioli


Chicken with Parmesan Fondue Cream with Celery, Apple & Smoked Almond Salad


Tortilla Chicken with Elote Style Acorn Squash


This is a review of our 57th delivery from a weekly food subscription box called Home Chef. This week we gave one recipe four out of five stars and two recipes three stars. Calories ranged from only 551 to 568 and preparation time indicated on the recipe cards ranges from twenty-five to forty-five minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from forty-seven minutes to one hour. I picked recipes that we could easily make low carb or were already low carb for Hubby's current diet. Hubby skipped the apple and the squash to lower the carbs. My shipment comes to North Carolina from Georgia via FedEx and shipping is free. This order costs $59.70 for six servings and three recipes.

Greek Panko Crusted Cod with Spicy Lemon Aioli

This was our favorite recipe for the week which surprises me because cod doesn't have a lot of flavor on it's own, so they did a great job with this recipe. We gave it four out of five stars. To make it to five stars the pieces of cod would need to be larger, but 6 ounces each is a healthy portion. The ingredients were really fresh. The panko on the cod was really tasty and it didn't require egg. It was simply made with panko, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil. The sauce was made with mayo, olive oil, lemon juice and red pepper flakes and it was so yummy. I'm not normally a fan of feta cheese, but it was really good on the zucchini and red pepper. Calories on this one are only 568. Preparation time indicated on the recipe card is up to thirty-five minutes, but actual preparation time was fifty-five minutes. This one has only 22 grams of carbohydrates.

Chicken with Parmesan Fondue Cream with Celery, Apple & Smoked Almond Salad

We gave this recipe three out of five stars. The chicken was moist and tender, but we didn't care for the sauce. It was made with light cream instead of heavy cream so it wouldn't thicken. It has only 551 calories, but a few more calories to have a tastier sauce would have been our preference. The bites of the side salad without the smoked almonds were really tasty. I think if they used a different nut or almonds that didn't have that smoked flavor it would have been perfect. That smoke flavor mixed with apples was just too strong of a flavor and it overwhelmed the other flavors. The photo on the front of the recipe card shows the almonds whole and on the other side it instructs to chop the almonds contradicting itself. The dressing on the salad was very simple and easy to make yet so delicious and low in calories and fat. It's made with seasoned rice vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. This recipe states up to thirty-five minutes preparation time, actual preparation time was forty-seven minutes. It was a healthy and filling portion. This one has only 23 grams of carbohydrates and Hubby skipped the apple to lower it even further. 

Tortilla Chicken with Elote Style Acorn Squash

We gave this recipe three out of five stars. The chicken was the best part. It was tender and moist and the topping of tortilla strips, jalapeño pepper, and cheddar cheese were really good. I didn't like the chipotle spice on the squash, it should have gone on the chicken instead. Hubby added some of our Mexican spices to the chicken and more cheese. It has only 554 calories and I know they didn't give us much cheese to keep that count low, but a bit more cheese made it taste so much better. We didn't care for the sauce, the lime added to the sour cream just made it too sour. The recipe card states it will take up to forty-five minutes to prepare, actual preparation time was one hour. This ones has 33 grams of carbohydrates and Hubby skipped the squash to lower it. 

It was a pretty good week of recipes, they were certainly low in carbs and calories which is great for both of us. Sometimes Home Chef has too many high calorie meals, so I'm glad to see that they are offering more low calorie meals. While we occasionally enjoy a higher calorie meal, we prefer to stick to low calorie meals that are healthier. I'm expecting another box from Home Chef on Thursday and I will be trying one of their new salads that offer already cooked chicken so that preparation time is only five minutes and there's no cooking required. I like to have salad for lunch on weekdays since I don't like cooking for one person, so this is perfect for me. Have you tried one of their five minute salads yet? If you haven't tried Home Chef yet, what are you waiting for? Grab my $30 coupon below and order it today! You'll love it as I do.

Bargain Alert:

Green Blender $20 Off 
Hello Fresh Meal Kit - $40 Off
Home Chef Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads - $30 Off
Sun Basket Meal Kit $35 Off
Terra's Kitchen Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads, Soup, Drinks & Snacks - $40 Off

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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Mr. Dumpling Restaurant Review - Apex, NC

5470 Apex Peakway
Olive Chapel Village
Apex, NC  27502
(919) 387-7709

Exterior View

Interior Decor

Sweet & Sour Chicken - $9.95

Stir Fried Lamb Cumin - $15.95

This is a review of a new Asian restaurant located in Apex, North Carolina called Mr. Dumplings. It opened eight weeks ago in the Olive Chapel Village shopping center located next to the hospital. They are open from 11 am until 3pm and reopen at 4:30 and they close at 9:30 pm. On Friday night they reopen at 5:30 pm instead of 4:30 pm. They are closed on Tuesdays. We visited yesterday, Saturday night around 5 pm. We were immediately greeted by a friendly waitress and seated at a table. They were already very busy with carry out orders, but we appeared to be the 2nd customers for dining in. Shortly after we arrived a lot more customers arrived. The interior decor is lovely with many tables and some booths that seat up to six people. The atmosphere is calm and peaceful with latest hits music playing.

I ordered the Sweet & Sour Chicken and a Diet Coke. I noticed on the table a list of Wine & Beer they offer which I had not seen on the menu. Hubby ordered the Lamb Cumin hoping that it would be low carb. He also ordered hot tea, but I didn't see that beverage on the menu either. It landed up being Jasmine tea and he enjoyed it. The tea and soda were $1.50 each. Since we were visiting in the evening, the dinner prices were in effect. My Sweet & Sour Chicken was $9.95, but at lunch it's only $6.50 and it includes soup and an egg roll, bargain! Our food arrived very quickly which was about eight minutes. I was happy to see my dish wasn't swimming in sauce. It had just the right amount of sauce on the bottom of the plate with the chicken, red onion and green peppers, red peppers and pineapple on top. The sauce was perfect, best ever. It wasn't syrupy, it was thin, light and scrumptious. It also came with a very large bowl of white rice. I was also happy to see that there were sizable pieces of chicken inside the breading. Too many Chinese restaurants have too much breading and very little chicken. The breading was nice and crisp without being greasy. I wish there had been a bit more more onion and green pepper, but all in all it was the best Sweet & Sour Chicken I've had. I'm craving it as I write this post! The white rice was also perfectly cooked. I can't wait to return and have it again though I'll try to push myself to try something else, perhaps the Cashew Chicken or the Lamb & Carrot Dumplings. If you have been, do you have any suggestions on what to try next? Hubby's Stir Fried Lamb had a ton of red chili peppers on it! He always complains that when he orders "hot" dishes that they aren't hot enough, so this was fun to watch him eat. This may be the hottest dish he's had in a long time. He loved it and plans to order it again soon. I had a few bites and it was very tasty lamb. First you taste the lamb and then the spice hits your taste buds. 

We really enjoyed our first dining experience at this new restaurant and we can't wait to return. The Asian waitress was really friendly, kind and attentive. They had one person just tending to taking the orders to the kitchen and brining out all the dishes to the customers. He was very efficient. Also, one lady was making dumplings which you could watch, if you sat at the bar. If we lived closer, we would definitely be weekly carry out customers. I highly recommend you give this restaurant a try soon and we plan to visit often.

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:

Mr. Dumpling  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Friday, January 26, 2018

15th Hello Fresh Meal Kit Review & $40 Coupon

Tuscan Sausage & Pepper Spaghetti with Tomatoes & Parmesan


Creamy Shrimp Bruschetta with Monterey Jack Cheese on Baguette Toasts


This is a review of our 15th delivery from a weekly meal kit subscription box called Hello Fresh. This week we gave both recipes three out of five stars and we skipped making the 3rd recipe, Pork Wonton Money Bags, since we didn't make it within the five day deadline and we didn't think the pork was still good. Calories were 520 and 890 and preparation times stated on the recipe cards is thirty minutes and forty-five minutes. Actual preparation time was fifty-five minutes and over an hour.

Tuscan Sausage & Pepper Spaghetti with Tomatoes & Parmesan

While it looks tasty in picture above, we only gave this recipe three out of five stars. The sausage came in links which required removing it from the casing to crumble it. We would have preferred it ground without the casing. It was suppose to be sweet Italian sausage, but it wasn't very tasty at all and we normally love Italian sausage. It really lacked flavor. Our biggest complaint was there wasn't enough sauce and it lacked spiciness. They gave us chicken stock, spices and whole peeled tomatoes. We would have preferred marinara sauce. The spice was suppose to be hot, but it was not. Also, there was very little parmesan cheese. It was a disappointing meal. Calories were 890 which seems high and it was a large portion. Preparation time stated up forty-five minutes, but it actually took over an hour.

Creamy Shrimp Bruschetta with Monterey Jack Cheese on Baguette Toasts

We gave this recipe three out of five stars. This one really needed some spice to liven it up. The instructions were flawed since the bread didn't stay crisp, it was soggy. The topping shouldn't have been placed on top of the bread until it was ready to be served or at least not as long as they indicated. The other problem is the topping was too wet, it included too much cream cheese. It was tasty, but the cream cheese upset my stomach. I'm not sure if it was because it was in the top of the box during shipping too far away from the ice block or it was just my sensitive stomach acting up due to too much cream cheese. 

Bargain Alert: 

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

It wasn't a great week of recipes. They sure looked good on the recipe cards, so it was really disappointing. Hello Fresh is currently at the bottom of my list for favorite meal kits. Sun Basket, Home Chef & Blue Apron are my current favorites. Also, Plated, Gobble and Green Chef beat Hello Fresh. What's your favorite subscription box? I invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin', or Networked Blogs. Please share this post via Twitter and Facebook:

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