Why the Dollar Shave Club is AWESOME

My list of least favorite things:

  • Going to the dentist
  • Paying taxes, all 3 versions I now get to enjoy
  • Getting rid of moldy food (I was dry heaving the other day after I found a moldy orange and accidentally grabbed it without looking)
  • Buying razors

Don’t ask me why, but I really can’t stand it.  In college, I happened upon the leftovers of a random sorority giveaway.  Each bag had 1 free razor + 1 free pack of refills.  I scooped up 10-12 bags and was set for the remainder of college.  No joke.

Fast forward to being an adult and running out of free razors.  I was astonished at how expensive razors could be.  Like completely flabbergasted!  4 little refills for $10+.  What?! Yes, you can get the single blades for much cheaper.  But who shaves with a single blade?!  Barbaric!

Luckily for Nick, I buckled down and bought razors from time to time.  But I sure didn’t like it!

Then Nick signed up for the dollar shave club.

The general premiss is that razors shouldn’t be expensive and they should show up in the mail.

For $1/month, you get a handle + 4 double blade cartridges
For $6/month, you get a handle + 4 quad blade cartridgesand for $9/month, you get a handle + 4 hex blade cartridges (6 blades)

You get the handle and with your first delivery of blades and then just blades from there on out.  You can also determine the frequency with which you get them! Every other month? Totally fine!  They just show up in your mail box.

Nick cuts his own hair these days :)   So he signed up for the club first.  Then, I ran out of razors….and the rest is history.

We get the quad blade cartridges.  It seemed like a nice compromise.  I mean, 6 is kind of overkill, right?!

Interested?  Use his referral link to sign up!  Or don’t.  But seriously, if it allows you to cross something off your “least favorite things” list, why not?!

I WANT CHEAP RAZORS THAT TOTALLY WORK AWESOME!

PS and don’t forget to sign up for my Blue Apron giveaway!

Try Blue Apron FREE for a week!

Have you heard of Blue Apron?

Basically, they send you a box of uncooked, pre-measured food.  They pick the menu and do all the shopping, all you need to do is cut and cook!

We’ve had 2 weeks worth of meals delivered.  Each week comes with 3 different meals, ~2 servings per meal.  I’d say that we’ve enjoyed 5 of the 6 dishes and it has been a great way to try out new flavors and ideas!  There seems to be more prep required than our usual meals, but it gets both of us in the kitchen, which is always fun!  And if you have little ones, you could probably get away with giving them a portion of your food.  Most of the 2 serving recipes provided enough food for dinner + 1 lunch.

So are you super excited about Blue Apron?!  Well guess what, I’m giving away a 1 week subscription to Blue Apron worth $60!  1 lucky ready can try it out!  This is not sponsored by Blue Apron, just me!  Must be NEW to Blue Apron and must live in one of the areas where they currently deliver.

You can enter by leaving a comment and telling me your favorite/go-to meal and by liking me on instagram.  I bribe people to like me.  I’m not ashamed.

The giveaway closes at the end of the day on Friday and I’ll announce the winner on Monday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Flourless, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip Cookies

We had a hankering for something sweet on Saturday night.  After a major kitchen cleaning, we found a large amount of oats.  So instead of brownies from a box (which are delicious), we decided something with oatmeal would be good.

A google search for “healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies” came up with all sorts of recipes with applesauce and bananas.  And I don’t have those things just sitting around the house.  And I didn’t really need them to be that healthy.

I finally stumbled upon a recipe for flour-less, oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies. (Original Recipe from Tasty Kitchen)

The cookies turned out great and will probably be making their way into the cookie rotation, at least until we eat up our oats!

Ingredients

2/3 C Rolled Oats (I used closer to a cup and am going to try a little more oats the next time I make them, Nick isn’t excited about this modification)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 C Peanut Butter (I used TJs creamy, salted)
2/3 C Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
2/3 C Chocolate Chips

1. Combine oats and baking soda in a bowl
2. Combine peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in a mixer until smooth.
3. Add oats/baking soda and mix
4. Add chocolate chips and mix until just combined
5. Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet (I used a cookie scoop and a jelly roll pan with a silpat)
6. Bake at 350F for about 10-12 min.
7. Let cool on a baking rack and enjoy!

Note:  The recipe made roughly 20 cookies, 2 batches of 10 in the oven, ~10×17 pan

This week

After a week of catching up from our week in Hawaii, I’m back on the road and binging on dystopian young adult novels.  Tomorrow I’ll be on a plane heading to the land of enchantment.  But only for 1 night.

Then it’s Newsies with a friend from work!

How was your weekend?  I ran for the first time in forever, and felt like I was starving the rest of the day.  I ate everything…and I’m pretty sure it completely counteracted the run.  Net zero.

Did you watch the Oscars?  I only watched bits and pieces, but LOVED Lady Gaga’s Sound of Music tribute.  I was nervous.  But she did Julie Andrews proud.  Happy Monday!

 

Kona, HI

We just got back from an awesome trip to Kona with Nick’s parents!

Eat

Best Shave Ice – Original Big Island Shave Ice Co (food truck), follow them on FB to be sure you know where they will be.  But the Blue Dragon parking lot in Kawaihae is the likely spot.

Best Poke – Da Poke Shack in Kona.  Pick your poke and pick your sides for around $10.  We got the bowl (comes with rice, sides, 2 flavors of poke) and then added 1/3 lb of just poke.  Perfect for a large lunch.  Thought the tuna consistency was a little better than Umeke’s but we never had bad poke :)

Best (and only) Acai Bowl – Basik Cafe in Kona (and SF!).  Just Acai bowls and smoothies.  Lots of combinations.  The regular is pretty big and the large is huge.  Naturally, Nick wanted the large.

Best local food – 808 Grindz Cafe in Kona. Tasty and inexpensive local food – only open for breakfast and lunch.

Local things to try

Apple Bananas – small bananas that taste less banana-y than a banana.  I enjoyed them more than a regular banana.

Musubi – rice + seaweed + meat.  Sometimes it’s spam, sometimes it’s fried chicken, who even knows!

Macadamia Nuts – Hamakua in Kawaihae had at least 10+ different flavors to taste.  They also sell brittle and ice cream!  So tasty!  Oh, did I mention the coffee too?!

Lava tube exploring! We have some relatives on the big island who took us on a tour towards the end of our trip.  We headed to a “secret” lava tube fed by a fresh water spring.  It was pitch black and the fresh water pool was totally clear and freezing cold!  So much fun!

Kona Recap

  • The waves were big and resulted in a donation to the sea.  In the form of snorkel + mask (times 2).
  • We ate shave ice on 5 different days.  Fro yo on one of the non-shave-ice days.
  • We received awesome, $35 massages at a massage school south of Kona.
  • Saw Venus and Mars almost every night and spotted them back home!
  • Lots of whales.
  • Fish cleaning the turtles while snorkeling at 2 step beach.  Which should really be called, pummeled into the rocks beach.

This week

Sporting events are just too stressful for me.  I have the opposite of nerves of steel.

We spent the Super Bowl with friends from Seattle, as the better part of Northern California was mostly uninterested in the game.

I decided to bring rice krispy treats to our party.  And then proceeded to spend way too long on the world’s easiest dessert. 5 minutes making the actual rice krispy treats, and the next 30 minutes decorating them.

It was a rough loss for sure.  But hey, just a game, right?

  • We’re heading to Kona soon, any suggestions?
  • If you’re feeling down about the Seahawks loss, this video of Marshawn playing Mortal Combat with Conan O’Brian and Gronk will make you laugh (may not be safe for work).  WAAAAAYYYY more violent than the version we played growing up.
  • I’m patting myself on the back for not eating a single Costco muffin at work this past week.  Probably made up for it hanging out by the snack table at the super bowl party though.
  • We finished season 1 of the Blacklist.  Nick hates getting sucked into a show :)
  • I decided to send out a few valentine’s this year – real ones via snail mail.

Have a great week!

Shepherd’s Pie

I made a version of shepherd’s pie last night and it was pretty tasty.

Ingredients

1 package of costco hamburger
1.5 c diced carrots2 bags of shallots (TJs)
1 bag sliced crimini mushrooms (TJs), chopped
2 strips of bacon, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp worcestershire
1.5 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1 head of cauliflower
3 Tbs butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c shredded cheese (We used a parmesan/mozzarella combo)

1. Caramelize the shallots.  Finely chop and saute in about olive oil (1.5c shallots to 1/8c olive oil).  Cook for 4-5 min over med high heat, then reduce to low and stir – the longer the better.  I did this first and then prepped everything else, adding these at the very end.
2.  Brown the meat, drain the fat and set aside
3.  Saute the garlic in about 1 Tbs olive oil.  Then add carrots and bacon and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add mushrooms and continue to saute.  Add worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, salt, better and beef and cook for an addition 2-3 minutes.
4.  Add the onions to the mixture.
5.  Pour into a 9×13 pan
6.  Break the cauliflower into florets, and steam until soft
7.  Combine steamed cauliflower and 3 Tbs of butter in a food processor.  Add the salt and garlic powder.  Process until smooth – you may need to add a little more butter or olive oil to get things moving.
8.  Spread the cauliflower over the beef mixture in the 9×13 pan.
9.  Broil until browned – OR refrigerate until ready to eat.  Then bake for 20 min at 350 and then broil to brown the top.

This past weekend

How was your weekend?  We had friends visiting and indulged in a lot of dense carbs!  Above is a shot of Nick holding baby Isla.  Isla had her first norcal visit, accompanied by her parents, Caresse and Tyler.  She also had her first introduction to Mochi the wonder Shih Tzu AND her firs pretzel party!

We were first introduced to pretzel parties by Caresse and Tyler.  They partied with the pretzels back in Michigan growing up.  When they moved to the Bay Area, they brought the tradition along with them!  We decided that their visit was the perfect excuse for a pretzel party!  We used Alton Brown’s dough recipe x4 :)   And used a “secret ingredient” for the boiling process.

Then, it was time to celebrate Malina’s 2nd birthday.  Since we live so close to costco, Nick and I were on pizza pick-up duty.  Not wanting to be without food, Brooke ordered 8 pizzas.  I told Nick he could just pull up in front and I’d run in and grab all 8 pizzas.  He looked at me, trying as hard as he could not to squash my bubble, and told me he’d park the car and help.  Well, apparently Saturday was the busiest night of the year at costco.  We’ve never parked this far away before.  And now we were running late.  So we got the 8 pizzas – each of us carrying 4 – and walked back to the car.  By the time we got to the car I was a little winded and my hamstrings were a little tight.  Nick handed me all 8 so he could get out the keys (And take a picture).  And I’m really glad I didn’t end up carrying all 8 by myself.

We capped off the weekend with an engagement shoot that involved this gigantic donut.

And since we’re headed to Hawaii in 3 weeks,  I plan on eating nothing but lettuce until then.

A few things

How was your weekend?  We ran a few errands and watched the Seahawks with friends.  All in all, quite relaxing!

  • Are you slow dancing?  We still are!  Don’t forget to tag #ayearofslowdances and follow me on instagram, brynashley
  • And did you see Nicole Kidman on Jimmy Fallon?! Jimmy just found out he went on a date with Nicole Kidman.  I love Jimmy.
  • We only have a few friends here in NorCal who will watch Seahawks games with us.  The rest hate the Seahawks.  So we invited those 2 friends over on Saturday to watch the Hawks.  Man.  Kam Chancellor.  What an athlete.
  • And for anyone interested, Nick’s TedTalk just went live on youtube.  He blogged about the experience over on his blog (he was a crazy ball of nerves for a few weeks).  #proudwife

#ayearofslowdances

You’ve probably heard that a 20 second hug is really good for you and the person you’re hugging.  It releases oxytocin (NOT oxycodone) which results in an increased bond between the 2 people hugging, likely making both parties a bit happier. (This article says even 10 sec hugs have huge benefits and WEBMD says it lowers stress).

Nick turned me onto this last year.  He’d run up and say “30-second time” and wrap his arms around me (notice how he upped it to 30, likely anticipating that I’d want to cut it a little short).  The problem?  I’m not a big hugger.  I’ll one-arm hug you til the cows come home.  But full, double armed embraces aren’t my thing.  And don’t get me started on lingering hugs.  If you’re going to double-arm-me, make it snappy.  If you linger, it just gets awkward.  I’m never getting a hug again, am I?

I have a cousin who’s the same way.  So when we see each other, we just bump shoulders, silently thanking the other with a casual nod.  It’s our thing.

Regardless, the 30 second hug always puts me in a better mood.  I just wish my initial reaction was more positive.

Fast forward to January 2nd.  I’m listening to some love song station on pandora, trying to find good wedding slideshow inspiration.  Nick and I start talking about popular first dance songs, which somehow leads us to our friend’s Kelly and Sean. We both really liked their song, True Companion by Mark Cohn.  It’s just a really good first dance song.  So we played it, and started dancing.

30 second time turned into 2 minute time and we were both in a great mood the rest of the day.  So I said, “we should do this everyday.”  Nick was all for it!  It appeals to my love of dance, and Nick still gets his “hug”.

Then we forgot.  Until Monday night :)   And I decided I’d instagram it.  This time to Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud.

I told Nick, “Guess what, the hashtag ‘a year of slow dances’ wasn’t taken!’ to which he replied, “you don’t say…..”

Then people made nice comments and it got a few likes….so I hope people don’t get sick of us.  But it will force me to get a bit more creative with the photos, I think.  In any case, if you’d like to join in, just tag it with #ayearofslowdances.

OOoh, and if you have some suggestions for a song, leave it in the comments below.

Don’t worry, we’re just waiting for the right time to bust out KC and JoJo’s All My Life.