Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Our Experience and Review of HelloFresh Meal Delivery Service Take 2

We tried HelloFresh earlier this year to go along with our study of homemaking skills. When we were offered a great discount to try it again, we jump on the chance. This subscription is definitely too expensive for our family to use every week. But once and awhile it is a fun activity for the girls.

The Details

Three meals are sent out each week and there are three boxes to choose from:

  1. Classic for omnivores  for 2 $9.90  per person or $69 a box
  2. Veggie for herbivores for 2 is $9.08 per person or $59 a box
  3. Family of 4 $8.75 per person for $105 a box

Each meal has the food required to make it (some basics are required from your kitchen...butter and oil for example). The food comes packed with ice packs in an insulated bag.

Recipes for all three meals are included and have step-by-step directions with photographs to illustrate.  Generally these come in nice cards, this time around our recipes were on computer print outs. We found that the titles for each step of the directions were confusing for the girls when working on the recipes with our first box, so we just crossed out the titles. We also previously discovered that the difficulty levels don't really match for the girls, so we paid little heed to those and worked together to make everything. For the most part, I would read each step and assign part of that to the girls.  Nurtrician information is included on the side of the box.

You choose the date for delivery Tuesday-Saturday (It is set to arrive 8AM-8PM).

You can cancel or suspend by clicking in your profile, but be sure to cancel before the deadline or you will get sent an extra week (happened to us after this order, which made the deal good, but not as great as we were planning).

You can give it a try using our referral code. Right now you'll receive your first box and second box for $25 off! Yay! Our HelloFresh Referrel code is 8v82WV.

In Each Box
Each meal comes in its own box or set of boxes with the exception of meats. Meats are packed separately. Boxes are labeled with the name of the recipe. Inside an individual box, you'll find pouches and bags with grains, seasonings, and fresh produce.

Our Experience with our Second Box
We ordered a box for a family of 4. While we are a family of 6, we found that it still worked for us since we have a youngish family.

The first meal we made was Thai Beef Satay with Crispy Broccoli, Peanut Sauce, and Jasmine Rice. A neat thing about trying out a delivery service like this is that you get to try things you normally would not have experience eating. For this recipe, jasmine rice was our new food. I thought it was fragrant if that is possible. I've never roasted the broccoli before and it was wonderful.

This was the families favorite meal from this box. No one ate much of the peanut sauce or many of the limes, but everything else was eaten entirely.

The next meal that we made was Bone-In Pork Chops with Roasted Pears, Collards, and Shallot Cream Sauce. We chose to make this meal next because the collards were looking rather sad and we wanted to use them before they went bad.

There is also a mistake somewhere in the recipe because we ended up with something a little different than is pictured.

The pears are roasted and they make an excellent side dish. We've had them roasted for a dessert recipe before, but never as a side. Overall this meal was yummy; however, the pork was a bit bland as it was not seasoned with anything other than salt and pepper.

The final meal was Crispy Chicken Parmigiana Salad with Potatoes and Spinach. After serving everyone, I found there was a lot of spinach left over. I froze it and tossed it in a soup a week later.

We really liked the crispy Parmesan topping for the chicken.

This was another good meal for our family.

Overall, I feel like the girls have had some valuable cooking experience and we always enjoy trying out new foods. We found the meals much more to our liking this time around.

Remember if you want to give HelloFresh a try use our referral code. Our HelloFresh Referrel code is 8v82WV. If you want to try out any of these recipes for yourself, there is an archive section on the HelloFresh website where you can find them.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Joyful Moments: Anniversary for Momma and Poppa

Joyful Moments

at Little Homeschool Blessings

This week we've found joy here...

We'd love to see your Joyful Moments.

Leave your link in the comments and we'll come visit!

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Book of Astronomy Set from Memoria Press {Review}

Ceesa has spent most of the year studying the sky, so when Memoria Press sent us The Book of Astronomy Set (intended for third grade and up) to review, Jo-Jo was excited to have her turn. The set includes the Student Book and the Teacher Book.

This astronomy program covers many facets of astronomy.
  • Unit 1 includes: Summer and fall sky, constellations and zodiacs (Lyra, Aquila, Cygnus, Hercules, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius), Motions of the Earth, Star names, the summer triangle, and the zodiac.
  • Unit 2 includes: Winter sky and constellations and zodiacs (Orion, Canis Major and Canis Minor, Auriga & Lepus, Monoceros & Cetus, Pisces & Aries, Taurus, Gemini). 
  • Unit 3 includes: Spring sky and constellations and zodiacs (Ursa Major and the Big Dipper, Ursa Minor & the pole star, Ophiuchus & Serpens, Bootes, Draco, Virgo, Libra, Cancer, and Leo).
  • Unit 4 includes:The Solar System: Sun, planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune), dwarf planets, moons, and comets.
This is a page from Jo-Jo's copywork from Psalms.

The student book has reading material, table activities, constellation and star labeling and diagramming, questions with fill in the blanks, Psalm copywork, unit exercises, planet facts, zodiac chart, definitions, and pronunciation guide. You can see a Student Sample by clicking the link.

This Zodiac Chart is provided.

The teacher book has all of the student pages with answers, chapter tests, answers to the exams, and overheads. You can see a Teacher Sample by clicking the link as well.

This is a sample page that is provided for the constellations. This one is for Aquarius.

A recommended resource is D’Aulaires Greek Myths. It contains pictures and stories of the myths so children can make connections between the new constellations and stars from stories that were apart of the Greek belief system. We have read this book before and enjoyed it.

Each season unit starts with a map of the night sky during that season.

Jo-Jo used this program. She is very excited about the stars and has enjoyed working with the books. In fact, she has mentioned that she'd like to continue working on it through the summer. During the review period, she completed the first unit. She worked through the unit at her own pace completing small sections at a time. For anyone that wishes for an organized recommended structure, there is an option to purchase lesson plans as a download or print version.

Jo-Jo working on drawing constellations-her favorite activity.

Jo-Jo's favorite part of the book is to draw the constellations. She says that, "I like how it teaches you about the constellation, the brightest star, and then drawing them. It was interesting to learn about the summer triangle. There were a lot of constellations that I didn't know like Lyra. That is in the shape of a lyre. I play the lyre."

Sample pages from the solar system unit.

We would recommend using the set with both the lesson plans and D’Aulaires Greek Myths for those that would like to get the most from the set.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

Click here to read more reviews from Schoolhouse Review Crew.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Stitch Fix May 2016 {Review}

So after my first box from Stitch Fix (all Stitch Fix links in this post are through my referral link), I decided I definitely wanted to use the service again. Mother's Day came and Poppa said, "What would you like?" My reply was, "I'd like a Stitch Fix box please." And just a few days ago, I received my box. My girls love to help me make outfits and take pictures when the box arrives. We were all excited, when the box came 2 days earlier then it was scheduled. Getting fixes are just so much fun!

In case you have never heard about Stitch Fix, it is a company that provides you with a personal stylist for a fee of $20 for every shipment called a fix. In each fix, you will be provided with 5 items. You try the items on in the privacy of your own home, with your entire closet right there. After 3 days, you drop the items that you want to return into the provided envelope (no shipping charges applied) and give the bag to your postal carrier or drop it off at your post office. Then you go online and checkout, listing what you are keeping and what you aren't. If you choose anything from the fix, your $20 styling fee is applied to the clothing. If you choose to keep all 5 items, you get 25% off your entire fix.

To start a Stitch Fix profile, You go to their website and make an account. This is free and you should totally do it even if you aren't ready to schedule a fix. It goes through your sizes, preferences, samples of clothing styles, color interests, price points, and lots more. There's even a box to add additional information. Another great thing to do is build a fashion board on pinterest. Pin things that you really love to your pinterest board. That gives your stylist a wonderful idea of what you are looking for and what you really like. If you see anything in a Stitch Fix review that you really like, pin those. Pin mine away, if there is something you like here too! You can click on the box below to see my board.

pinterest board
When you are ready, you schedule a fix. You can receive a fix every 2-3 weeks, every month, every other month, every three months, or as you want to schedule them. Once you schedule a fix, you make a note to your stylist. In your note, you let your stylist know what you are looking for...like pieces for a special event or a hole in your wardrobe.

Poppa and I have been married for just about 17 years and every year we take an overnight stay somewhere. I thought it would be nice to request something for our trip this year. I wanted to try a few nice shirts and maybe a dress. And I requested Kristen, the stylist from my first box. Here is my note from her.

stylist note

And here is the stash...

My first impression was that I liked all of the colors and the one pattern looked doable. From my receipt slip, I knew there were two dresses and three shirts, one of the dresses was a maxi. I was a tad concerned, because, well I'm short, but then I noticed that the maxi was in petite. I let Jo-Jo unwrap the tissue paper for me and decide what I should try on first. 

I have five guidelines to help me decide what I want to keep: 
  • I have to love the item alone
  • It has to look good with layers
  • I have to be able to wear it in at least 3 different outfits
  • I have to try it more than once
  • And it has to be Poppa approved
Poppa said all of them looked great on me and even tried to throw away the envelope, so I couldn't return anything. :) Sweet husband. Without further ado...

1. Papermoon Waters Knit Maxi Dress~Light Blue $68.00
Papermoon Waters Knit Maxi Dress ~Light Blue

I tried this one on with a pair of wedge sandals which would work great for summer. A white cardigan would warm it up for spring and a jean jacket would make a nice fall transition.
Papermoon Waters Knit Maxi Dress ~Light Blue
This dress is lovely. I wouldn't normally pick out patterns, but these worked and seemed to have a very slimming effect, which is really what I'm going for in a maxi dress. :)  The petite worked wonderfully, since I was initially afraid a maxi would trail on the ground. This would be great to wear to my neice's graduation in June. It is in Texas and this material is so light, I think it would withstand that heat.
Decision: Kept

2. 41Hawthorn Tameron Button Down Blouse~Red $58.00
41Hawthorn Tameron Button Down Blouse ~Red

This shirt is a button up with dime sized brass buttons. The material is very soft feeling. It has tabbed sleeves. I tried this shirt with my pair of skinny jeans from my first fix with a white camisole and black flats.
41Hawthorn Tameron Button Down Blouse ~Red
I love red and the material is nice, but I really don't like button ups unless they are crisp and tuck into a skirt or jeans. I prefer to have another detail like a cowl neck or ruffles. I'm not a huge fan of tabbed sleeves. And this red looks reddish-orange and I'm most fond of true red and purpley reds, although the camera gives it a more orange tint then it actually had in real life. In the end, I just wasn't very fond of it.
Decision: Returned

3. Gilli Kamile Knit Dress~Black $54.00
Gilli Kamile Knit Dress ~Black

This dress is knee length on me and can be worn in many ways. I threw on some black strappy wedges.
Gilli Kamile Knit Dress ~Black

It has perfect pleating at the chest and a strip that creates a bodice look.
Gilli Kamile Knit Dress ~Black
I love the style and cut of this dress. I debated the longest about this item. I have several black dresses. I thought, I really don't need another one. If it was any other color, I would keep it pretty much unconditionally. However, after trying my other dresses on and my girls insisting that I should keep it, I decided it was time to give those other dresses up. I realized I actually never wore them, because they didn't fit properly and weren't flattering. The girls were excited to get 3 black dresses from my closet too.
Decision: Kept

4. Collective Concepts Alliyah Split Neck Blouse~Navy $54.00
Collective Concepts Alliyah Split Neck Blouse ~Navy

I tried this shirt on with a pair of corduroys and navy heels. Although on me, I think it would make a much better shirt layered.
Collective Concepts Alliyah Split Neck Blouse ~Navy

The back has a nice pleating under the seam.
Collective Concepts Alliyah Split Neck Blouse ~Navy
I love navy, but I just couldn't like the fit of this blouse. It seemed to puff out at the bottom giving me a triangular look that I don't want. I tried tucking in the front, but I didn't like that either. And also it is dry clean only. With all of these kids, I prefer hand wash or even better machine wash.
Decision: Returned

5. BRIXON IVY Eugene Swiss Dot Blouse~White $68.00
BRIXON IVY Eugene Swiss Dot Blouse ~White

I put the swiss dot blouse on with a pair of light wash jeans rolled up and brown wedge sandles. The sleeves can be buttoned up or unbuttoned with the tabbed sleeves.
BRIXON IVY Eugene Swiss Dot Blouse ~White

It came with a white camisole underneath. The front had a folded design and buttons (just sewn on).
BRIXON IVY Eugene Swiss Dot Blouse ~White
I already have a swiss dot blouse in white, but I really like this style, cut and material. I would love it in another color...like navy or coral or teal or deep purple. If I didn't already have one like it, I would have kept it.
Decision: Returned

Kristen is doing a wonderful job getting closer and closer to my style profile and what I like. Last fix I kept 2 things, this one I would have kept 3 had I not already had something just like it. I am looking forward to my next fix. :) I think in my my next fix to get some shirts that work well for my body type, that I can wear alone and layered. Stitch Fix is really helping me update my closet with classic staple pieces and getting rid of my clothes that just hang in my closet because I am not comfortable wearing them.

What do you think? Anything to add to your pinterest board?

Want to start a profile? You can do so here: Stitch Fix.

Do you have a young fashionista at your house? You can check out our homeschool fashion study posts too!

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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