Odds and Ends: Life Update August 2019

Hey guys, I'm back!

When I started this entire blogging thing it really was just for the fun of it all. If people were making money off of it, it wasn’t like it was now. I am ready to get back to why I originally started blogging, for me.

Jaxon's allergies have been bothering him for a couple of days so he is actually taking a decent nap, which has given me time to actually get things done.

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I've done a quick work out, planned a little bit, and then now I'm actually getting to write!

I did have to intentionally try to not clean the kitchen, or fold all of the laundry that is currently sitting on our bed but it is all a little give and take.

Being immensely intentional with your time seems to be key in being productive, you can spend so many hours a day doing work that gets you absolutely no where or you can intentionally focus on certain tasks and seemingly as I have learned accomplish much more.

Jax is now awake. He woke up and has now fell back asleep on my lap while I type this. And this my friends is the epitome of mom life.

Life Lately

Blogging

I always feel like a much needed break is necessary for me even though I never intentionally do them, but I always feel so much better after having had them. I haven’t even posted to my main feed on IG in a few days and I can’t say that I miss that much either.

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I really just want to get back to doing all of this for the fun of it all. I have so much going on at different times and I feel like just letting life be what it is currently is what is best for me.

I can’t do the hustle, or the staying up super late while my family sleeps. I have been trying to wake up earlier and get some time to myself before J gets up.

Home

Lately I have been S L O W L Y transitioning our house to a clean-living-less waste way of living and yall I mean slowly.

I am also loving how oils are helping diy a bunch of things that I would constantly buy over and over. I recently made this hand soap for the bathroom and everyone from E to my MIL have asked me where I got it.

I feel like the less things we constantly keep in our house the less clutter it has. I think I am going to create a plan to go through one room each week and finally get our house in some kind of order.

I really want everything to have a place to go back to so it can be easier for our family [not just myself] when tidying up, it absolutely needs to be an entire household effort and lately it has been a ME only effort.

I have also been on the hunt to finally get our patios put together.

We have three [yes! three patios] and all of them need some TLC. I hope to maybe document what I do and share it here with you guys. I have a couple of ideas I am hoping to accomplish and I am praying that they look half way decent, when I am finally done with it all.

Planning

I have been transitioning into a digital planning system on my iPad versus lugging around a million different planners or buying new ones. I do have to keep myself from buying notepads and pens.

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I will always do damage in the office supply section.

I have also been trying to create a better schedule for myself and Jaxon. I feel like a lot of my day is constantly cleaning or washing and I would prefer to spend more time with him.

We recently had a fun day at the zoo with my mom and I realize that we are missing out on so much staying home every day.

In my defense J often says “Mom, can we go home?” and most of the time I can’t agree more, especially with the heat that Texas has been enduring the past couple of months.

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hello vashti | Zoo Day - Mom and Jax

DIY Bug Spray

I wish I would’ve thought to make this spray months ago but we have the recipe now and that is all that matters.

Texas weather has been really hot so the only time to get outdoors which J loves is to wait until the evening hours and then you are out there with all of the mosquitos as well.

J is like myself and has some type of reaction to mosquito bites and as any other child will scratch them until they bleed.

So in order to prevent this, I found this lovely recipe for a bug spray that can help with mosquitos.

A couple reasons I love this recipe:
I can tell you all the ingredients
It is safe for babies and kids [just leave out peppermint]
It smells amazing
It doesn’t feel all gross.


DIY Bug Spray

Ingredients
10 drops Lavender
10 drops Lemongrass
10 drops Purification
10 drops Citronella
optional
10 drops Peppermint [if making for children do not use.]

Directions:
Put all of the drops in a 4 oz bottle like this.
Fill a 1/3 of the bottle with witch hazel, I use Thayers.
Then top the rest of the bottle with distilled water.

If you’d like to sign up for essential oils with Young Living you can do so here, please be sure that #12121227 is in the enroller and sponsor fields.

Once you are signed up shoot me a DM on IG or email me at vashti@hellovashti and I will send over some amazing information.

Favorite Outfits of June

I am finally getting back into the swing of all things style related.

If you follow me on social media you know that I have been doing my best to get rid of a lot of items that I just don’t love, don’t feel comfortable in or isn’t just me.

It is really hard with the summer months here to not buy midi dresses and feel that summer vibe but if I am being honest I just don’t feel super comfortable in things that show off my arms.

My arms are one of those areas on my body that I have the hardest time loving.

I am working on it though.

Today I am sharing some of my favorite outfits from this past month.


Yellow Dress

Okay babes!

I am a sucker for anything with a pleat. I recently did a huge closet dump and found this beauty in the back of my closet collecting dust and decided it was time to bust her back out. I picked it up a while back at Old Navy but here our some similar styles and colors.

SIMILAR DRESS

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Oversized shirt and High Waisted Mom Jeans

The shorts are from Abercrombie and the shirt is from American Eagle, I was able to get both of them on sale. I did the oversized shirts because I love to wear them with leggings as well as shorts and jeans.

TEE / SHORTS / SHOES

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Oversized Femme Shirt + Levi’s Wedgie Retro High Waisted Jeans

Every single time I try to put jeans on I find myself running back into the house and wrestling them back off as soon as I get outside. This summer has been unbearably hot, and not jean wearing friendly.

I do however love these jeans and try to wear them closer to the cooler [if that is possible] times of the day, like going out to dinner with the boys.

I had originally saw this shirt at the AE store and then on one of my favorite bloggers Life by Lee I picked it up. It is perfect to live that pant-less life in or run errands with some shorts, leggings or even these jeans.

SIMILAR SHIRT / PANTS

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Vintage Pizza + Ranch Shirt with Faded Denim High Waisted Levi’s

You guys, when I finally posted this to my main feed [if you don’t watch my stories that is where I post everything first] I got all kinds of DMs about it. People love their pizza and their ranch.

I am a huge fan of it so when I saw it in the store I knew I had to have it. It has this vintage faded look to the letters and feel as well. I love to pair it with these black faded denim Levi’s as well.

I would pair it with a pair of dark denim shorts, or those biker shorts that are currently in style. I haven’t tried it yet but those who are wearing it look super cute. I am only 5’1 so I don’t think I have the height for them honestly. LOL.

VINTAGE SHIRT / PANTS : I couldn’t find something similar so I found something yellow and vintage.

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Simple Strawberry Shortcake

Good morning!

I have missed you guys! Having a puppy in the house really does cut into your time and energy.

I have been getting up at all hours of the night with her to make sure she does well with potty training.

I feel like Sundae has been one of the easier dogs we have had, when we picked her up she was already whining and fussing to go out to use the bathroom. Which is one of the hardest things to train a dog to do.

We have had a couple of accidents in the house because she didn’t whine but we are doing better and better each day. We took her to the vet yesterday and she weighs a total of 4.4lbs! So cute.

But let’s talk about this recipe really quickly.

If you need a last minute recipe for a holiday like today I have the perfect one.

I love this recipe because it is easy to have on hand and it takes little to no time to prepare.

If you want to have homemade pound cake you can definitely do that, this is just if you are in a crunch or have little to no time to make a quick dessert.

All of the ingredients are kept refrigerated and can be purchased ahead of time so you aren’t finding yourself in the grocery store instead of poolside with your family.

Ingredients:
a tablespoon of granulated sugar
1 container of strawberries
a can or container of whipped cream
1 container of Sara Lee Pound Cake [in your frozen section]

Toppings: [optional]
Sliced Almonds
Chocolate syrup

Directions:

Cut your strawberries into quarters, toss in sugar and keep in refrigerator. You can always add more sugar depending on how many strawberries you decide.

Cut your pound cake into cubes or slices depending on how you’d like to serve them. I like to cut mine into cubes so serving in a glass or plastic cup is easier.

Once you are ready to serve go ahead and put whipped cream into the bottom of the glass you are serving in, top with strawberries then pound cake cubes, and repeat until your desired amount per glass. Once that is done you can put on additional toppings.

You can add more toppings depending on who you are serving and their needs.

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How to Keep it Classic on the Fourth of July

Whew! It is only Wednesday and this week has been pretty hectic.

I am cleaning, washing, and packing for my trip to Nashville on Friday, which I still can’t believe is happening.

I also can’t even believe that we are only a few days away from July, I seriously felt like we just got into June.

Once I get back home the 4th of July will be only a couple of days away and I desperately have been trying to not add more clothes back into my closet since I just did a major closet dump.

I believe we plan on staying home since Karma will be by herself dealing with fireworks if we are gone too long and this will be her first year dealing with them without our other dog Diesel [I still miss him].

We have also been tossing around the idea of getting a BBQ grill for our back patio so we can start spending more time outside in the back yard with J. I swear that kid would stay out there all day if I let him.

With everything going on the last thing I wanted to do was worry about what I was going to wear for the 4th of July.

So I went into my closet and found a couple of things that gave me the 4th of July vibe and these are the looks I came up with.


The Outdoorsy Type

This is one of my favorite looks and more than likely what I will throw on this year. If you have to chase a toddler you can definitely switch out the flats for a pair of converse or vans and this will still look amazing. I am in love with the A New Day Shirts from Target because the fit well and hardly wrinkle.

These mom shorts are by far the most comfortable shorts I currently own, no riding up my butt and the length is perfect for my legs.

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Let’s get Brunch

I would absolutely love to get brunch with my girls one of these days and if I do I will definitely be wearing this dress you can even switch out the chunky heel for the Target flats above if you aren’t about that extra added height.

I am 5’1, I need all the help I can get. Plus flats are just much more comfortable even when doing brunch. These Target shoes do run small so size up a half size, I wear a 6 1/2 and I need to go get a 7.

The dress I picked up at Boohoo last year I believe and still haven’t found anywhere I’d like to wear it because every where I go I have J with me.

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Take me to the movies

I don’t know about you guys but I freeze every single time I go to the movies and I love wearing a sweater.

I know everyone is spending some much needed time grilling in their back yards on this holiday so this is the perfect time to catch a movie you missed. I cannot wait for Lion King to come out!

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Since I transitioned my closet to more universal pieces that I could transition into all of the seasons it has been much easier to pull out something pretty classic and wear it for holidays while pairing it with a color that represents that holiday.

If you missed my post on how to build confidence in your wardrobe definitely read it. I feel like it helps a lot with how to keep what will work for you longer and get rid of what just serves a purpose for a short period of time.

How to Build Confidence in Your Wardrobe

Hello Babes!

I have been working hard behind the scenes with my current wardrobe and I thought I should share my tips on what I have done to feel confident in what I wear.

If you follow me on social media you are well aware that I have decide to build a type of capsule wardrobe and get rid of anything that didn’t fit my style, body, or daily wear. I am just past having a ton of stuff in my house and this is the best way for me to get anything that I don’t love out of it.

I am a sahm of a busy body two year old and I need everything in my wardrobe to fit that life. I finally came to terms with it and that was really the first step to building my confidence in my wardrobe.

I am sharing all the ways I changed my mindset and wardrobe essentials.

Stop wearing clothing you are NOT comfortable in

If you are constantly pulling, or tugging on clothing because it doesn’t fit properly, doesn’t compliment your skin tone or you just don’t feel yourself in. Get rid of it. It isn’t for you.

If you don’t fit in it now, don’t buy it.

Stop making yourself feel bad about your body because you currently don’t fit into something in your closet or something you are trying to purchase.

It really doesn’t boost your self-esteem and makes you feel bad for being human why do you want that negativity in your life or your closet. Clothes are supposed to make you feel good about yourself, or at least compliment what you already have going on.

If you do have a goal body and want to buy one item that helps you feel great about achieving that goal, I totally support that. But ONE item, not an entire wardrobe.

Quality over Quantity

I really want to get better quality items into my wardrobe but I also love staying on trend so it can be hard at times to do this without going the budget friendly route.

I recently found myself at F21 buying lower quality items because I am doing last minute shopping for a quick trip to Nashville. I am still debating on return some of the items to the store.

What I try my hardest to do is buy clothing out of season in hopes that it will still be in season when it rolls back around. I do this a lot.

You are still able to get quality items and still within a budget friendly mind. I love blogger Nadine Rebecca because she does this often and also shows you how to style items you have already with a series called #liftedherlook, you can read through her blog to see how she explains it or check out her IG.

Buy colors that you can transition into all seasons

This is the hardest thing for me!

I try to remember what colors I have in my closet already. I don’t need 5 mustard colored items, or 7 lime green or hot pink colors that I can ONLY wear in the summer or fall months.

I love adding color into my wardrobe but remember those things can also be added with an accessory as well. I love hints of color verses an entire outfit of bright colors.

If that is your jam then more power to you, no hate here just not for me.

But if you are looking for a versatile closet, it is best to just have one or two items that you can weave into your spring/summer/fall/winter wardrobe and store away when you don’t need them.

Be intentional with your purchases

For the longest time I would go to the store and just pick up random items so nothing in my wardrobe complimented anything else.

I would then find myself back at the store trying to find things that paired well with an item or returning it because I had no business having in the first place.

Here’s what I did to fix it.

I went through my Pinterest Style Board, and looked through the things I liked or wanted to wear and if my wardrobe or the item I was trying to purchase didn’t align with that. I got rid of it or never purchased it.

Another tip is to create an album on your phone of items in your wardrobe whether it is your favorite shirt, the jeans you just purchased or even a Pinterest outfit you are trying to achieve.

Some store’s wi-fi mess with your service and it is so frustrating to have a little one in the store while trying to put an outfit together or login to a wifi connection when all you have to do is look through your photos.

If you haven’t worn it in 6 months [unless it is seasonal] get rid of it.

Girls! I can’t even tell you how much crap I got rid of that I had never worn. The most depressing thing I have done lately because it is so much money wasted.

I had items in my closet that I had originally bought to photograph for a blog post, or thought it would be great for an IG flat lay, or etc. .

If I don’t actually wear it, then I don’t need to post it to my blog or act like it is something I would wear for likes. NO thank you.

I feel like more people can relate to you when you show your true self because there are more people out there like us than we think.

Being who you are can help someone be more comfortable with who they are.

Try things on

Don’t roll your eyes at me!

We all were created differently and uniquely, so when something fits one of our favorite bloggers, or our girlfriends that doesn’t always mean it will fit us the same way.

The sisterhood of the traveling pants doesn’t work in the real world.

As much as I absolutely despise trying things on it is the fastest way to avoid taking home something you just end up having to return to the store.

I have a little guy who is always with me and I do understand how hard it is, so if you do take something home try it on as soon as possible and if you don’t love it or can’t pair it with something you have. RETURN IT!

Don’t forget the shoes!

How many times have you come home with an amazing outfit just to realize you don’t have the shoes to wear with it.

Instead of buying clothing for shoes you don’t have try to remember or take a picture of what you DO have and compliment that.

If you need new shoes because like me you are horrible on shoes, then remember what you are comfortable in and compliment your life.

I don’t wear heels often so I waited for a BOGO sale at Target and bought a couple of pairs of chunky heels in three different colors. Wedges and chunky heels are the extent of my heels now a days and I am totally fine with that.

I also love to wear converse, vans, or sperry type loafers for every day. They are easy to slip on and I can pair them with a bunch of items. I will also buy a couple of flats or strappy sandals for skirts and dress for Sundays with the boys.

Pops of Color with Accessories

Okay I will admit I don’t do accessories well.

I am even worst since I had J because I didn’t want things to scratch him or hurt him when I loaded him in his car seat, or had to grab him quickly in the store which is often.

But since I am trying to do my best to have a versatile wardrobe, I am going to start getting some accessories that may add a pop of color to outfits rather than the actual outfit itself.

You can do this with jewelry, bags/wallets, or hair accessories.

Stop comparing your body to everyone else

As women we really need to start loving ourselves more.

I say this as a women who /struggles/ with this at my current weight, I feel like I felt so much better in my body last year because I was active in working out.

This year has been a bit tougher because J just hasn’t wanted to be at the gym day care and he loves his mama too much [at least that is what I am telling myself].

I struggle with self-confidence but I am working on it and I don’t need to make myself feel bad about my body by putting clothing on that I don’t fit in or feel myself in.

Buying a size too small just because in my mind I’ll fit in it sooner than later, or the “bloat” will go away isn’t setting myself up to build my confidence.

We have to be proactive, the mind is a tricky space but setting yourself up for failure isn’t productive or kind.

Favorite Style Bloggers I love to reference

Building a wardrobe can be hard and I wish I had all of the style tips and tricks for you guys but over the years these ladies have helped me so much.

I am 5’1 and it is really hard to find style or ways to wear clothing that helps me figure out what works and what doesn’t.

These girls help me figure out what I like and what won’t work for me.

Lee Ann Benjamin - Budget friendly style

Andee Layne - still remembering I am a hip mom with style

Naomi Boyer - how to wear items that I love without looking frumpy.

Miss Louie - Petite Styles that work for my body, putting outfits together well.

Let's Talk Lash Extensions

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Oh happy day!

I am writing this while spooning yummy delicious cinnamon milk leftover from Cinnamon Toast Crunch into J mouth wishing it was mine.

You guys this month is seriously FLYING by, this weekend I have a wedding to help photograph and then next weekend I’ll be headed to Nashville!

I feel like I have been waiting so long for this trip and now it is here and I am so unprepared, as usual.

I hope you girls had an amazing weekend with the Father’s in your lives, we spent the day relaxing and cooking together. It was one of the best days, just spending time at home with just the three of us.

Let’s talk some lash extensions!

I have to admit, I really love them.

A while back I received a free pair of lashes from Amazing Lash Studios but wasn’t really fond of the process, customer service and didn’t really care for lashes after that.

You can say I was a bit tainted but kept seeing a couple of my blogger friends who loved them and thought maybe it is just me.

I have been going to Laura at JustTooFlawless for all my waxing needs and have always wanted to try her for lash extensions but wasn’t sure I could find the time to get away from mom life in order to get them done.

It takes about 2 hours to get your initial set of lashes installed and then after that your refills will take about an hour.

I finally made time and got them done.

Initial Reaction

At first the weight of the lashes felt a bit too heavy for me to consider keeping them for a prolong period of time but just like a muscle it felt better and better the longer I had them.

I already have a pretty hard time getting to the gym so I was a bit worried about making time to get them done and then the cost was a bit much for me.

I just decided that I would alternate on doing my nails one month then my lashes another. Once you start getting refills the cost is less than doing your nails, plus my nails needed a much needed break from all the damage I had done.

If you messaged me after I got them done, I probably told you they just weren’t for me and at the time it was most definitely true.

Make up

I follow @Girrlscout and she has lash extensions and loves them and has a couple of videos showing how to wear makeup, how to remove make up, and etc.

I just haven’t felt the need to go through all of the trouble to wear makeup unless we were going out to dinner, etc.

I think I have may have worn makeup a total of 3 times since I had my lashes done in May. If you keep up with me on instagram I have been having a ton of skin issues [which I think are gut related] and I was trying to keep make up that could be causing more issues off my face completely.

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Care of Lashes

You will need to use an oil-free make up remover. The oil in the remover will break down the glue holding the lashes on yours and will cause them to fall out.

It is recommended to wear powder-less eye shadows, cream shadows are ideal. I don’t have many cream shadows so I didn’t wear a ton of eye make up during this process. But I think it is possible just not ideal to wear powder eye shadows because it gets into the lashes and it can be difficult to get the powder out since you can scrub the lashes.

You will need to have them done about every 3-4 weeks. I have gone once for a refill since having them put on at the end of May so it also just depends on you.

Just as you brush your teeth and hair, you will need to brush your lashes out daily. I just work it into my daily routine.

Laura said that removing them and giving your lashes a break every 3 months is ideal some girls don’t but I think I will.

Cons

I seem to be having some sort of reaction to the glue used with Laura so there is a 3-4 day period where I have to use eye drops for my eyes to feel better.

I have redness and dry eyes during that period which can be a bit frustrating. But this is something I have noticed when I looked at a bunch of other highly recommended lash gurus.

Finding your Lash guru

I am not afraid to ask someone in public where they had them done, who did them, and their thoughts.

I highly recommend looking at reviews, calling and asking any questions you may have, and figuring out who suites you.

I am not one of those people who like to go to different people for all the things once I find someone I love, I stick with them. I love Laura so if we can find another glue option then I will continue to go to her.

She did highly recommend visiting another lash studio and seeing if I like them better. She said every technique, process and customer service is different so she would prefer you are comfortable where you go, which is why I love her.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts on Lash Extensions or any questions you may have.

A Mom's Review on Hello Fresh

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Happy Friday, you filthy animal!
[that was an Austin Powers reference, I don’t think you’re filthy.]

Time is flying especially with a toddler! I have been so busy tidying up, and organizing all while J comes behind me and creates another mess.

/Mom-life am I right?/

For years, I kept seeing all the buzz about Hello Fresh and I was just like the cost is ridiculous. I mean who would pay 80 dollars for 3 meals?

Then Hello Fresh had this amazing deal for so much off of your first box, etc., and we tried it. And I. was. hooked!

When I sat down as a busy mom and women, I realized how much Hello Fresh freed up time, keep me a bit more sane, and helped with my dinner time schedule.

I found us eating dinner much earlier freeing up time for E and I to actually have a conversation and it not be in passing. We were able to fit in a movie on some nights before bedtime and we felt a bit more of a family rather than an ever moving circus.

Convenience

With Hello Fresh, there is no going to the grocery store, there is no “oh, shit! I forgot the tomatoes”.

Everything you need for your meals is packed in these boxes, then separated neatly so each meal has a bag with the ingredients and then the meats are packaged separately.

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All you’ll need is your oil, butter, salt, and pepper. But every thing else is perfectly proportioned out for your meal and delivered to your door.

There is no searching online for your groceries, loading your toddler in the car, and then running over to pick them up. There is also no running around a packed germ infested grocery store un-necessarily looking for everything you forgot you needed and trying to deter a toddler from everything they “need”.

Delicious

So far we have loved all of the meals and I love learning how to make, creams, sauces, and other things I never would have tried had it not been in our box.

Most of the meals, Jax has been pretty fine eating. He isn’t a picky eater but he does love vegetables more than he does meats at the moment but if it comes with a sauce he will eat it.

So far I have learned how to make Chipotle Crema, Maple Mustard, Garlic Mayo, Garlic Herb Rice, and this Apple Carrot Slaw [I wish I ate all of in one sitting].

If you are delivering soon, having company over, or even trying to impress someone with your new found cooking skills. I completely recommend Hello Fresh.

You get to pick your meals for the week, so if you want to mix it up, have something a tad bit fancier [you will have to pay for an upgrade], or even just something simple as burger or tacos. They have it all!

Little to No waste

Another thing I love about using Hello Fresh is that we don’t have any waste, so there aren’t any bad tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots or any of that going bad in our refrigerator.

Which ends up being less things we need to “keep” in the fridge, less things that expire, less things that may cause the fridge to stink and for me less things to throw out when I do the weekly cleaning on Fridays.

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All of the recipes I cook out of a book or via Pinterest all have me buying containers or packages at a time of ingredients that I don’t use for the rest of the week or month and then I find myself throwing so much out.

So for me, not having to throw anything I just paid extra money for verses the things that are proportioned out with Hello Fresh is another cost saver that I didn’t factor in initially.

Ease of Cooking

All or most of the recipes are pretty easy to cook, you aren’t having to cut the meats because they are already cut to whichever type of cut you need.

All of the ingredients are proportioned out if you are doing the 2 person meal you may have some left over ingredients, but nothing too major that you couldn’t either just use for another quick recipe or discard if needed.

With each meal box you receive recipe cards and with each card there step-by-step with photos on how to accomplish the recipe.

There is also information on what utensils you’ll need or extra ingredients that you should have around the house and if you don’t a quick pick up at the store should do the trick.

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Final Thoughts

I will admit I was completely against these box meals at first but for me as a stay-at-home-mama, it has helped me so much in a space that I was stressing so needlessly about. I am an avid over-thinker and I desperately needed to take something so trivial off my plate.

If we do decide that adding another little one to our family is a good idea. I think Hello Fresh is the perfect way to prep meals prior to heading to the hospital or just having ready for when we return.

While I know as mom’s we should ask for help, E and I as a couple aren’t great at it yet. So being able to prepare fully for our family to increase, or just a busy week. We both agree that Hello Fresh is just one of those things we love.

And the best part, if you are going out of town or not feeling the meals planned for that week. You can skip that week or put your account on hold.