Category: PSYWL (page 1 of 17)

Probably something you would like… UPDATED with a new link!

I have to start off by saying this is NOT a sponsored post. As you all know, I am always sharing little things that I find and love here on the blog, and this is another one of those. In this case, I fell in love with a product and I contacted the company to see if they would be willing to hook you guys up with a deal, but I’m not getting paid for posting this or even getting a discount for myself. I would never cheapen PSYWL by turning it into a paid sponsorship type thing, just so you know.

Have you heard about Blue Apron?  Until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t either.  And then suddenly all of my friends were talking about it on Facebook.

Basically, Blue Apron is a food prep/delivery service. Each week, subscribers receive a box with the prepped ingredients for three meals along with recipes for preparing them. When I first heard about it, I thought it would probably be a good thing for people who don’t cook much, but I am a culinary school grad and it just seemed kind of…silly.

But then my friend Kate sent me a coupon code for a free box so I decided to try it. I mean, $60 worth of free food was nothing to sneeze at, right?

Blue Apron product shot 1

Our first box came three weeks ago. Right from the start, it’s hard not to be impressed. The packaging is thoughtful and effective. Everything was well insulated and each ingredient is carefully packaged and labeled. The produce included in each box has been top notch– there hasn’t been one ingredient that I would’t  have selected myself if I were at the farmer’s market.

When I say everything you need for each recipe is included, I mean EVERYTHING. If a recipe calls for a tablespoon of butter, you get a tablespoon of butter. The only thing I’ve ever run across that wasn’t included was salt for salting something to taste, and I think once we had to use our own tablespoon of olive oil. Otherwise, if you need it, it’s in the box

Blue Apron Ingredient

Here are the actual ingredients for our first three meals. I will say, if I have anything negative to say about Blue Apron, it’s the fact that all that packaging makes me feel guilty. I’m not sure how else they could do it though, so I don’t have a solution.

Now, about the recipes. I am a bit of a food snob. It’s not something I’m necessarily proud of, but I would rather have an apple and a nice piece of cheese for dinner than eat something bad or even just okay. I can honestly say that we haven’t had a dud yet in the 9 meals we have prepared from Blue Apron. I can also honestly say that a few of the meals have really surprised me by putting together flavor combos that I wouldn’t have thought of. We all tend to get in our little cooking ruts and it’s nice to have someone else come up with the ideas for a change.

Now, I can’t personally attest to the quality of the recipes because (and this is the biggest surprise of this whole experience) Mike has completely taken over our Blue Apron boxes. He has cooked every single meal since we got them.

I think this is the beauty of the Blue Apron service. Mike likes cooking but doesn’t have a lot of time for meal planning or grocery shopping. With Blue Apron, He gets to concentrate on the part of cooking that he likes– the cooking.  Mike says the recipes are all clear and easy to follow, even with minimal experience. And since everything he has made has been delicious and technically well prepared, I’m inclined to believe him.

Here are the meals we’ve had so far: (Sorry I didn’t take more pics! I wasn’t planning to blog about this in the beginning and also, I was hungry.)

Pan-roasted Salmon Ramen (this one was great!)

Pork chops

Center-cut Pork Chops with Beet, Heirloom Carrots and Hazelnut Salad (an example of flavors I wouldn’t have put together but it was my favorite so far.)

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Kumquat Relish & Freekeh Salad (I had never even HEARD of freekeh before)

Bouillabaisse-Style Fish Stew (this was amazing!)

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes & Maple-Glazed Carrots (Gabbi’s favorite so far)

Blue Apron BoxSteak & Miso-Roasted Vegetable Salad

Shrimp Po’Boy Sandwiches with Butter Lettuce & Apple Salad (very good, especially the salad dressing)

Chicken & Sage Biscuit Pot Pie with Cremini Mushrooms & Purple Tops Turnips (this one is on deck for tonight)

So you are probably asking yourself, how expensive is this box of wonderment? Honestly, it’s not that expensive. We get the two-person box with three meals per week. It works out to a little under $60 (including delivery), or $10 per serving. Now that may sound like a lot, but we realized quickly that the convenience of having everything we needed on hand and not running to the grocery store for ingredients (and ending up spending a minimum of $50/trip) and not eating out cause neither of us has through about dinner means we are actually saving money with Blue Apron. (I may be a food snob but I am also cheap. Trust me, it’s a good deal.)

We are also eating healthier (each menu is between 500-700 calories per person) and throwing away way less food.

We are also now positively evangelical about Blue Apron, as you can see. Which is why I emailed the company and told them that I have a little yarn company and a little blog, and would they like to offer our readers a special deal?

They were just lovely about it and said yes. My first 50 readers to try Blue Apron will get two free meals with their first Blue Apron box. You have to follow this link to get the Juniper Moon Farm deal, though.  ****

Bleu Apron Discount

When you click the link, it will take you to the page screen-shot-ed above. Click on the orange “redeem offer” button to get the discount. (If you have trouble, let me know!)

So give it a whirl. And let me know how it works for you. If you have any questions, I’ll try to answer them in the comments, but you can find tons of info on the Blue Apron FAQs as well.

**** We have a new working link, y’all!

Probably something you would like…

10 Tips to Start Living in the Present

10 Toxic People You Shouldn’t Bring With You Into The New Year



The 30 Most Amazing Photos Of Frozen Things You’ll Ever See Actually, there are about 6 or 7 that are amazing, some that are pretty good and a couple that leave you wondering why anyone would publish them, but the ones that are amazing are worth going to see.

This is the trailer for “Addicted to Sheep”, a feature length documentary that I want to see.


Magical Russian Fairy Tale Photographs. These really know me out!


Special Delivery: Rare Set Of Elephant Twins Born In South Africa

Best Wedding Photo of 2014

25 Must-See Wedding Photos From 2014. These are all pretty amazing.

What’s making you happy this week?

Probably something you would like…

I don’t know about you, but the last couple of weeks have been emotionally exhausting. I am in dire need of reminding that the world is a wonderful, magical place. Here are a few of the things that are making me happy this week:


The Man Who Quit Money: An Interview with Daniel Suelo. Interesting read.

Dishwasher Cooking

Dishwasher Cooking is apparently a thing.

Abandoned Textile Mill

A colourful past: Haunting images of abandoned textile mill show wool still on the looms and stacks of yarn on shelves. Amazing pics.

Van Gogh Inspired Solar Bike Path

Solar-powered Glowing Bike Path in the Netherlands Inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Is there anything making you smile this week? Please share with us here.

Probably something you would like…





Still need a Halloween costume? These downloadable and printable masks designed by Wintercroft are amazing! (Thank you, Elizabeth S. for sending me these!)


Um, how great is this Alexander McQueen cabled skull sweater? For $1000 bucks and some change it could be yours! Or you could chart something similar and make it yourself.

What’s making you happy this Halloween week?

Probably something you would like… Halloween Edition 2014

[So I had planned to have my new stuffed pumpkin recipe posted today, but I got kind of a late start with dinner yesterday and quickly realized it was way too dark to take good food pictures. So my family had take-out Thai and you are getting a PSYWL post today. But come back tomorrow– I’ll be starting dinner early today and those pumpkin pics will be glorious!]


eyeball cookies

Eyeball Cookies. Because EYEBALL COOKIES.

Garlic Soup

I originally wrote this Garlic Soup recipe for Valentine’s Day but it’s also probably your best defense against vampires on Halloween. BONUS: It’s delicious and you will want to eat it every day of winter.

Halloween for Preggos

Guess what this pregnant lady is going to be for Halloween? Yup, I finally got to order this t-shirt that I blogged about so many Halloweens ago. (I blogged about this two years ago. I NEVER thought I would be the pregnant lady who actually gets to wear it. Life is nothing if not unexpected.)


Every year, I say I am going to make Pumpkin Dream Cake. This is the year, dammit!

I never remember to soften the butter when baking. This is pure genius.

Unplugged Wedding Photography

Okay, this article is actually infuriating but  I want you to read it anyway. Please don’t be this wedding guest. Pretty please.

If you are the easily queasy type, DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO. For everyone else, check out this crazy relative of the star fish called the Basket Star.  So creepy but I can’t stop watching!

How to Properly Construct a Sandwich

As everyone who knows me knows, I hate sandwiches. When someone is trying to give you a sandwich they are cheating you out of eating something good. (Ironically, most of my pregnancy cravings have been for sandwiches. I am becoming that which I loathe the most!) This article about proper sandwich construction should be must-reading for everyone who has ever championed those soggy excuses for a meal.

Probably something you would like…

Probably something you would like…

It seems I haven’t done a PSYWL post in a million years. Let’s jump right in!

Fashion illustrator Grace Ciao‘s flower petal dresses are so extraordinary and happy-making!

Grace Ciao designs dresses with flower petals

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 8.58.01 AM

Fashion illustrator Grace Ciao‘s flower petal dresses are so extraordinary and happy-making!

Made me laugh

Made me laugh.

Article: Kentucky Restaurant Utilizes Interesting Alternative to Tipping. I am so for this!


I love this bathroom floor DIY.

I am both intrigued and repulsed by this machine. On the one hand, how hard is it to make flat bread? On the other hand, flat bread at my finger tips anytime I want it…


I spent this weekend marathon watching  Veep: Season 1 and  Season 2. So funny and really great writing.

The Farm

I read the new Tom Rob Smith book, The Farm, in less than 24 hours. It is un-put-downable. (If you haven’t read his Child 44  yet, you really should, but The Farm is a stand alone.)

Mike and I are currently doing the Whole30 diet, based on a comment a reader left here about the book It Starts with Food. Basically, you eat a very clean diet for 30 days, with no grains of any kind, sugar, alcohol (of course), dairy or legumes. You can eat plenty of veggies and meat, though, and you don’t have to count calories or go hungry. (You don’t really need the book to do the plan  but it’s helpful if you want to know the science behind the plan. Otherwise, it’s all spelled out on the Whole30 website for free.)

I am not going to lie to you– the first few days were tough. It turns out that I was pretty addicted to sugar. And Coke Zero. But today is Day 8 and I’m feeling really good. I’m sleeping better and I have more energy. Plus, I’ve lost weight already, which is super encouraging.

I’m not going to bore you by blogging about this too much– there are tons of bloggers who’ve literally written about every meal they ate while on the program, something I found very helpful when trying to plan meals. But I will tell you we’ve had great luck with recipes from NomNom Paleo (we have her cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans and I love it!). The Slow Cooked Kalua Pork is a fave and I am can’t wait to try the Panna Cotta with Strawberry Balsamic Compote.

That’s it from me– what’s making you laugh or smile (or cry) this week?

Wine to Go

The best purchase made at Spa a couple weeks ago was not any yarn, or even the two awesome skirts and a coat that I found at a thrift store. It was a traveling wine glass.

Travel Wine03

When not in use, the bowl flips upside down and locks into the base over the stem. It’s made of a sturdy feeling plastic and feels quite strong when locked into place.

Travel Wine02

It’s pretty ingenious and the perfect pairing for a relaxing weekend filled with laughter, friendship, knitting and wine. So whether you’re knitting,

Travel Wine06

or spinning

Travel Wine04

you can enjoy your wine and yarn!

If you get adventurous or maybe you’ve had a drink or two, you can bling it out and use it as a lazy Susan for your yarn. (Probably not a recommended usage.)

Travel Wine05

We found our wine glasses at L.L. Bean in their camping section, but I also found them on Amazon (available thru Prime!) in case you need to get your wine on before your next trip to Maine!

Travel Wine01

(We have no connection with the wine glass maker, I just though that this was probably something you would like.)

Probably something you would like…

Way back in 2009, I was contacted by artist Lisa Congdon about using on of my photographs as the basis for a painting. Of course I was flattered, and delight to say yes.


Painting by Lisa Congdon

Lisa sent me a print of her painting when she finished it and I absolutely treasure it, particularly since Liberty has since retired and gone to live at another farm where she will live out her days grazing sweet grass and lolling on the sunshine.

I’ve followed Lisa’s career since then and it’s been amazing to watch! In 2010, Lisa did a project called “A Collection a Day”. For 365 days in a row, the artist photographed, drew or painted collections of objects. Sometimes they were quirky and interesting but often they were everyday items that you wouldn’t think twice about. I don’t know quite how to put this but the very act of showcasing these items in the way Lisa did made them transcend their everyday-ness. I highly recommend going through the blog dedicated to the project. Lisa published a book of the collections but it is out of print and pricey pricey.

Lisa’s main blog is an everyday read for me because I find it so inspiring and uplifting, so I was super excited to see she has a new book coming out on April 1st.

Whatever You Are Be a Good One by Lisa Congdon


Whatever You Are, Be a Good One: 100 Inspirational Quotations Hand-Lettered by Lisa Congdon. I have pre-ordered my copy and will be waiting by the mailbox on April 1st!

Lisa also has a new video class available on CreativeBug called Line Drawing with Lisa Congdon. (If you haven’t taken any classes on CreativeBug yet, I highly encourage you to look into them. The technology is pretty amazing. I have the 12 month unlimited subscription and it lets me take any class I want, any time I want from some amazing instructors. The knitting and sewing classes alone are worth 10x the price.) Even if you are a non-artist like me you will love this class.

Joss Whedon says that, in order to be prolific and creative, we have to constantly be “filling our tank”.  I think that may be the single most important advice I have ever gotten and it’s something I remind myself of everyday. Following Lisa Congdon’s work is one of the surest ways I know to fill my tank!

I would love to know how you fill your tank. Please hook us up with links, book titles and whatever else inspires you to creativity.





Probably something you would like…

Disney-Themed Celebrity Portraits By Annie Leibovitz

I don’t think they are new but these Disney-Themed Celebrity Portraits By Annie Leibovitz are spectacular!

I am not much of a jewelry person but the work of artist Datter Industries has a quiet beauty that really speaks to me.

Photographer Melissa Groo

Photographer Melissa Groo

“When wildlife photographer Melissa Groo was tipped off by friends about a fox family that set up home in a backyard shed, she promptly put up a blind and spent a season with them.” 

Days of Honey

I am reading Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War
It explores the culture and history of parts of Middle East through it’s food. I love this book and I’ve learned so much from it already. Highly recommended.

Snow Flake Close-ups

Photographer Tapes a $50 Lens To His P&S Camera To Take Stunning Macro Snowflake Photos. This world is a magical place, y’all.

Vanishing Tribes

Vanishing Tribes

Vanishing Tribes

Vanishing Tribes

Photographer Captures Portraits Of Disappearing Tribal Groups. See above comment.

What is making you marvel this week, my friends?

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