An Open Letter to HelloFresh

(Image Credit: HelloFresh)

(Image Credit: HelloFresh)

Dear HelloFresh,

I’ve always been a little skeptical of food subscription services. Perhaps it’s my fear that food that’s been shipped, no matter how well the box of ice is insulated, is going to be bad by the time I get it. Or worse, that it will be bad and I won’t be able to tell until I’m doubled over, regretting my decision to order and ship food from the internet.

But let me tell you that you’ve surprised me in the best way possible. I first caught wind of your service when my mom sent me a free box and I failed to use it in time. Ever since that moment though, you had been on my mind and I finally decided to try your service.

I signed up for 3 meals for 2 people per week – the carnivore one. I missed the deadline to pick my recipes, but figured no better way to immerse myself into the world of HelloFresh than with a random set of recipes. I waited around all day for the delivery, and when you came I was hesitant but excited.

When I opened my package I was surprised to see all the meals pre-portioned and separated into their own box. I was still hesitant though; concerned that those ice packs weren’t enough to keep my food (read: meat) at the appropriate temperature and free of bacteria. But my husband reassured me you wouldn’t be a business if you couldn’t ship your food.

Touché, smart husband.

So, irrational thoughts behind me, I was ready to make my first meal. We got California style cheeseburgers, a recipe for salmon, and garlic pan grilled chicken; we opted for the burgers on night one.

Holy delicious, Batman.

It was amazing. All these meals were amazing. I was so impressed, and my husband was literally licking his plate to savor all the deliciousness that you packed into this meal. And that sauce you put with your potatoes with the jalapeno and lime? I literally could have eaten just that for dinner.

So. Freaking. Good.

After three meals that blew our socks off, we are now talking about continuing our subscription at 5 meals per week for 2 people, every other week.

I’m all about healthy, delicious meals, and in a world where both my husband and I work, making dinner can be a chore and super expensive. Between gathering the ingredients, portioning them out correctly and having to buy way more than we need just to make a recipe for two, making our own meals is a serious sore spot.

But I’ve discovered that with you, HelloFresh, cooking is easy because 90% of the prep work is done, everything is already gathered together and there is no waste in ingredients because you give us exactly what we need. You’ve taken the hassle out of cooking, and for that I’m thankful.

So the moral of this story is I think I can trust you – that is, until you give me a reason not to. And thank you for reminding me why food is my favorite hobby.

 

Sincerely,

A new HelloFresh fan

5 Crazy Products You Can Have Made With Instagram Photos

(Image Credit: Printstagram)

(Image Credit: Printstagram)

Can you believe Instagram only a few years ago? The iPhone app (now also available for Android) has become the most popular place to post selfies, #ootd and party pictures. But what do we do with our photos after the likes and comments have stopped coming in? Do we let them fade into the past, never to be seen unless someone decides to scroll through every picture on our page? Not according to the internet! Instagram photographers everywhere can immortalize their pics in a variety of ways. You can now buy postcards, t-shirts and wall art featuring your Instagram masterpieces. There are many, many options for printing out your Instagram photos…Here are my top 5 products that you just might have to invest in: Continue reading

DIY: Circle Shelf from The Merry Thought

(Image Credit: The Merrythought)

(Image Credit: The Merrythought)

There comes a time in a person’s life where they head to the internet (e.g. Tumblr or Pinterest) for decoration inspiration. My latest inspiration comes from The Merry Thought. I was introduced to the idea of a DIY Circle Shelf which looks extremely complicated at first glance but it’s really not! Continue reading

What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Puppy Edition

(Image Credit: Phase4Photography)

(Image Credit: Phase4Photography)

It’s here and you’re excited. That’s right, you’ve taken the plunge into furparenthood (yes, it’s a word). You’ve done your research, you’ve found the perfect addition to your family, and you’ve nested the crap out of your living room. There’s a dog bed here, a big box of toys there, and you already know what you’re naming them. Continue reading

Quirky Item of the Week: Melting Clock

(Image Credit: ThinkGeek)

(Image Credit: ThinkGeek)

In the modern world, try as you might, you’ll never get away from time. It’s everywhere you look — your phone, computer screen and your watch, if you still wear one. Wherever you go, time is sure to follow. Sadly, time dictates our life in many ways, which is why it’s important to keep careful track of it, and yet equally important to remind the time who’s boss. Salvador Dali understood this. He melted and warped his clocks to illustrate that the schedules and deadlines we submit to are arbitrary increments of time, created by humans, who have no idea what they’re doing.

Step into Salvador Dali’s dream world with the addition of a single quirky item in your room: the legendary Melting Clock, in three dimensions. Not only is it practical in keeping perfect time, but unlike other clocks, the melting clock shows us that time is just a figment of our collective imaginations. The surreal appearance of the clock reminds us not to take time too seriously.

So if you’re looking for more weirdness in your life, look no further. Next time reality gets just a little bit too real, give yourself a healthy dose of surrealism.

Quirky Item of the Week: ‘Star Wars’ Han and Leia Hand Towels

(Image Credit: Thinkgeek)

(Image Credit: Thinkgeek)

As a self-proclaimed nerd, I feel warranted in stating that when you are a geek, you are obsessed with all things geeky. And I truly mean obsessed. We buy replicas of characters’ wands from Harry Potter. We have plastic lightsabers from Star Wars. We have sonic screwdrivers from Doctor Who. I know it’s not just me. Continue reading

Featured DIY: Delicate Jewelry Storage by A Pair and A Spare

(Image Credit: A Pair and A Spare)

(Image Credit: A Pair and A Spare)

I love the delicate jewelry trend, but it can be difficult to store a plethora of necklaces and bracelets when you live in a small apartment with limited closet and counter space. That’s why this DIY Delicate Jewelry Storage tutorial is so awesome! When it’s completed, this clothesline-style jewelry storage system serves a dual purpose – it keeps your necklaces neat and works as a pretty piece of décor. Continue reading

DIY: Tips for Creating Your Home Library

(Image Credit: Holly Storrow / The Daily Quirk)

(Image Credit: Holly Storrow / The Daily Quirk)

When my books covered more floorspace in my bedroom than my actual furniture, I knew I needed to make a change. And I sure wasn’t planning on giving up my book addiction, so the next logical step was to give my books a place of honor in my home, on shelves made specifically for them. And thus, my library was born. Six months of painting, building, shopping and organizing later, and the storage room in our house was converted into my very own home library. And I’ve never been happier.

So if you’re thinking about tackling the same project in your home, here are a few tips from what I discovered about creating my home library.

(Image Credit: Holly Storrow / The Daily Quirk)

(Image Credit: Holly Storrow / The Daily Quirk)

1. Plan, plan, plan!

The last thing you want to do when transforming a room into your home library is cost yourself extra time and money because your not sure what you want. So grab a tape measure, a utility knife and an old cardboard box and plan yourself a room. I’m a fan of visualizing things in advance, so I found it helpful to measure the dimension of my room, including the locations of the door and window, to see just how much space I had for shelves, seating and any decor I wanted to add. Then, using the box, I cut everything down to size for a mini-model of my future library. Without it, I might have bought a couch so large it blocked any and all entry into the room.

But if you’re not a fan of the make-your-own version, there are plenty of free online room planners available, like Room Sketcher and the Icovia Room Planner available for you to use.

2. Know your limits

Even if you have a small space to work with, don’t underestimate the time and (potentially) money that you’ll be putting into your library. Shelving, if you choose to make your own, cannot be built, primed, painted and ready for books in one day. Heck, your room cannot be painted and ready to move in all in one day for that matter. Plan a weekend for a small, solo project, or grab a few buddies and make it a transformation that lasts a couple of weekends. Just don’t stress yourself out. Creating your own library is supposed to be fun and something to be proud of when it’s all finished.

(Image Credit: Holly Storrow / The Daily Quirk)

(Image Credit: Holly Storrow / The Daily Quirk)

3. Pick your style and get creative

Decorating a library can be expensive if you plan on buying everything new. And that’s where flea markets, antique stores and Pinterest all come in handy. There are plenty of cool DIY decorating projects that you can tackle all on your own for a lot less money. I wanted my library to have an antique feel, but I’m living on a recent college grad’s budget, so flea markets became my best friend. I dug through some of my grandmother’s old pictures to make a stylish black and white photo collection, used antiques bottles that I had collected throughout the years to decorate empty shelves and bought discounted fabric to sew accent pillows.

And don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that you can’t make cool things!

I loved the idea of this window coffee table but I didn’t have the budget to buy it. Instead, I hunted up an old window of my own, used the extra wood and paint from my shelves, and viola! A total of $16 was all I spent to get the coffee table of my dreams.

(Image Credit: Holly Storrow / The Daily Quirk)

(Image Credit: Holly Storrow / The Daily Quirk)

4. Splurge on seating

One thing you don’t want to do is skimp on seating. Assuming that you’re creating a library to not only house your book collection, but to also have a comfortable and relaxing place to read, you’ll want a seat that won’t make your back ache or butt fall asleep 15 minutes into your newest read. Here’s where saving on decor allows you to spend a bit of extra cash on a super comfy couch or chair. Just make sure it fits nicely in the room and doesn’t overpower the space. Stores like Ikea and Overstock.com have good deals on furniture from time to time, but shop around until you find something you like. I managed to snag my loveseat at Walmart for a good deal.

5. Make it your own

Lastly, make sure the space is all you. If you want hot pink walls and purple carpeting or white everything, it’s cool. As long as your library is a space where you can unwind, then do your thing. Don’t be afraid of color. Add movie posters, pictures or your own art to the walls. Have mini-bookshelves or fill the entire room with books. Ask for suggestions from the people around you, but ultimately make sure that the final result is a space that you’re going to love just as much a year from now as you do the day you finish.

So for all my book lovers out there, I hope you’re adventurous enough to give creating your own home library a shot. And I seriously hope you have as much fun with your project as I had with mine.

DIY Library Gallery

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

TDQ Tags TDQblogger003

Five Ways to Clean Your Jewelry At Home!

(Image Credit: Trionis)

(Image Credit: Trionis)

Every now and then you may want to get fancy and throw on a little bling, but infrequently worn jewelry may be stored out of sight, collecting dust or rust. If you don’t want to spend money at a fancy cleaner’s, try these methods to spruce up your jewelry before decking out your latest outfit. In most cases a toothbrush, a shallow bowl, and one easy household item is all that is needed! Continue reading

The 15 Best Things About Living Alone

30 ROCK (Image Credit: NBC)

30 ROCK (Image Credit: NBC)

Making the move to a place of your own? Living alone can be daunting at first, but after the move-in, while it sucks to pay the utility bills on your own, the upsides of having your own place can make it the best time of your life. For all those who are thinking of moving out and for those who already have, here are our top 15 things about living alone! Continue reading

(Image Credit: Yanlev)

Throwing a Party? Pick a Theme!

(Image Credit: Yanlev)

(Image Credit: Yanlev)

Every year, my birthday finds me just like clockwork, no matter how hard I try to hide from it. I dread birthdays, but not because I’m getting old. On the contrary, I’m young and full of life and spunk, and plan to be that way at any age. I dread my birthday because parties are such a pain to plan. Continue reading

(Image Credit: Woodleywonderworks)

5 Ways to Feng Shui Your Place

(Image Credit: Woodleywonderworks)

(Image Credit: Woodleywonderworks)

Whether you’ve had a stressful day at work or a fight with your significant other, the best part of any difficult day is being able to come home and relax in your own personal space. For most people, this magical sanctuary is usually their bedroom. Being the room you get your beauty sleep in, having your bedroom in check is key to living a healthy, balanced life. Continue reading

(Image Credit: Dean Hochman)

Would you… try AmazonFresh?

 

(Image Credit: Dean Hochman)

(Image Credit: Dean Hochman)

What is AmazonFresh, you ask? AmazonFresh is a subsidiary of Amazon, and it’s revitalized the way you do your grocery shopping. Launched in 2007 as a beta (it was initially only available to residents of Seattle), the delivery service expanded in 2013 to areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco. The service offers grocery items, household beauty products, and merchandise from nearby bakeries & restaurants. Paired with everything else has you standard Amazon has to offer, including home improvement and kitchen ware products, there’s no reason to head to your crowded supermarket (unless you want to people watch – which can be pretty entertaining, so don’t feel guilty). If you’re wondering whether to take advantage of the service (if it’s available in your area, that is), the answer is a resounding “Yes.” Continue reading

Paint (Image Credit: Robert S. Donovan)

Simple Home Improvements Anyone Can Do!

Paint (Image Credit: Robert S. Donovan)

Paint (Image Credit: Robert S. Donovan)

A lot of home renovations take all kinds of time, money, and professional talent. And let’s face it: most of us don’t have those things on hand. But you don’t need to do a complete overhaul on your house to make it look good. Even the smallest improvements can make a huge difference and get your humble abode looking a little less humble and a little more like the home you’ve always wanted. There are lots of do-it-yourself projects that will spruce up your home in no time. We’ll take a look at each part of the house for some ideas to get you started. Continue reading