Categories Food, Lifestyle

Blue Apron Experience

The meal kit industry makes up $2 billion out of the $800 billion dollar grocery industry.  This over saturated market is expected to grow five times that by 2020.  Why?  Becasuse as consumers we are naturally drawn to anything that is convenient, and it is even better if it help you save money versus eating out.  Living in New York City has made me even more appreciative of every hour in my day.  As a New Yorker we do things like schedule our errands around the train line we take home, utilize wash n ‘ fold services for laundry, or even getting that bottle of wine delivered home after a long day in the office.  Honestly, this list could go on and on about New Yorkers and our fine time management skills.  Without time management skills this city will eat you alive.  That sounds dramatic but so is trying to hit up three stores and getting home in under an hour but these are daily real life situations. So the day I got a Blue Apron $30 off coupon in my mailbox I decided to honker down and give the meal kit idea a try.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbkBIPRBFgZ/?hl=en&taken-by=blueapron

 

Blue Apron is one of the most well known names in the meal kit industry and has been in business since 2012.  They have expanded into the world of wine to accompany their pre-planned meals, sell cookbooks, and cooking utensils.  I consider myself an informed consumer and I typically conduct further research before making a purchase but Blue Apron is a trusted name.  I have had their app downloaded on my phone for months prior to receiving the coupon (#RetentionMarketingWorks) and occasionally glanced at their visually appealing menus.  Blue Apron has a choice of 2 person or Family plan, and you able to select 2 or 3 meals per week.  I selected 2 person plan with the 3 meal option which cost $59.94.  With the $30 coupon it brought the total to $29.94, and made each serving about $5.  I selected Fontina Cheeseburgers, Seared Chicken & Creamy Eggplant, and Salmon & Udon Noodle Stir-fry.  After ordering through the app it took about a week for the box to be delivered.  I had opted to have the box delivered to my office because they ship via UPS and you do not have a window of time when it will be delivered.

Upon opening the box I noticed how jumbled together the ingredients were.  I was forewarned by one of my colleagues who has ordered Hello Fresh and Blue Apron.  After about 10 minutes of going through the box I was able to figure out what items went with what dinner based upon the large recipe cards they provide you with.  All of the meals I had selected for the week took about 30 minutes to make and tasted great.  I never got around to making the third meal which was the Seared Chicken due to my household’s busy schedule.  The next time that I order from Blue Apron I will just pick the 2 meal option to prevent from wasting a meal.  Overall, it was a great experience and it is something I could see myself doing maybe once a month.  I wish there was some type of shameless plug I could do at this time with a referral code – but there are none.  Instead what Blue Apron allows you to do is reward a friend or family member with a free box after you have placed multiple orders.

Below I featured my outcome of the two dinners I made and following are the images from Blue Apron.  I feel as if my burger looks a tad bit sad but I think my Udon dish looks pretty spot on.

Have tried Blue Apron?  What did you think?  Do you have another favorite meal kit company you prefer?  Share with me in the comment section!

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Categories Knowledge, Travel

Ladies Leave These Friends At HOME!

We’ve all been there. You plan what you know is the ultimate girls trip. You book your flight, pack your bags, and head to your destination anticipating a stress-free, relaxing vacation. But you can’t.


There are one or two “friends” who have you wondering if you should’ve just traveled solo or simply left them off of the group text when you extended the invite.

Here are some examples of the types of friends who need to be left behind the next time you plan a getaway.

The “Broke” Friend

This is the chick who knows that she doesn’t have the money, but doesn’t want to be left out. So, she scrapes up just enough to get to the destination and then expects you to help carry her for the rest of the trip because she “didn’t know it would be this expensive.” Not today, Satan!

I shouldn’t have to come out of pocket for you unless we’re celebrating your birthday or an emergency arises (such as you losing your wallet). And even then, it’s out of the kindness of my heart and not out of obligation. Next time, don’t ask. You can’t come.

The “Calculator” Friend

This friend isn’t broke like your last friend. Nah, she just doesn’t believe in paying one ONE PENNY outside of her part of the bill. She is literally sitting at the table with her iPhone calculator open, ready to tell everyone how much they owe EXACTLY (plus tax and tip). There is never a compromise. If you say, “Let’s just split the check down the middle or three ways,” the “calculator” friend isn’t having it.

She wants to make sure that she’s not taking on any of your portion of the expenses because “that’s not fair.” Obviously, there should be exceptions. If you order the hot wings and I order a bottle of champagne, clearly I should take on that bill. But don’t nickel and dime me, sweetie! Put your debit card on the table and your calculator back in your purse!

The “Lit” Friend

Don’t blame it on the alcohol. Blame it on your lack of maturity because you knew as soon as you drank too much brown liquor, all hell was gonna break loose! This friend has either gotten so drunk that she’s developed imaginary superhuman powers and thinks that she can fight everybody or she is stumbling, loud, and belligerent to the point where you have to step in and get her back to the room before the both of you catch a case! I CANNOT AND I WILL NOT!

If you are what I call an “amateur drinker” and have a low alcohol tolerance, learn when to say when and stop ruining everybody’s fun!

The “Stationary” Friend

This friend has the luxury of traveling all the way across the world but doesn’t want to leave the hotel or resort. WHY. ARE. YOU. HERE?!

There is so much we learn about ourselves by visiting new places and meeting people who look nothing like us. Traveling is about exploring the unknown and discovering new cultures! How are you gonna do that if you’re either sleeping, posted up in the lobby (because that’s the only place the Wi-Fi works) glued to social media, or laying by the pool all day?! You really got a whole passport stamp just to do nothing?! Girl, bye!

The “Dangerously In Love” Friend

She’s the friend with a love interest (whether it be a dating relationship, boyfriend, or husband) that spends the entire trip on the phone with her significant other. It is understandable that you may want to check in with your love to make sure that all is well or that the kids are fine, etc. But more than two or three calls in a day and uh…he’s stalking you, boo!

I was actually on vacation with a girl who’s husband called (for the third time in one day) just to ask where a particular spice was in the cabinet so that he could cook! If you’re with someone overly possessive or you’re so in looooove that you can’t bear not talking to your significant other every 30 minutes, STAY AT HOME WITH HIM! You’re neglecting yourself and all that can be experienced on your vacation. Not to mention you’re neglecting the person(s) who came along with you!

Have you ever traveled with any of these friends? Which one are you? Let us know in the comments down below.

*Originally published on The Love of Food and Travel

Tiffany D. Smith is a TV journalist by day and a food and travel blogger by night from Chicago, IL. Since being bitten by the travel bug a few years ago, she wants people to know that it is never too late to follow a new passion and step out of your comfort zone. She believes that life is not about the material things, but about the memories we make along the journey.

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Categories Fashion

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: LOUIS VUITTON EXHIBIT

Louis Vuitton’s VOLEZ VOGUEZ VOYAGEZ has landed in New York City sharing the history of a true fashion legacy.  VOLEZ VOGUEZ VOYAGEZ is French for “Fly, Sail, Travel” and highlights the story of a young French boy that left his native home in eastern France to travel to Paris to land a job as a box-maker.  After perfecting the flat trunk Louis Vuitton decided to start his own company, and little did he know he was going to be one of the most recognized brands in the world.  The exhibit displays beautiful treasures from the past, and houses them in the same space with current day items.

This exhibit has been shown in Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, and now in the Big Apple.  To date this is the largest exhibit since it has been curated for Louis Vuitton by Oliver Saillard, and is housed on 2 floors in the historical American Stock Exchange building.  The exhibit has been open to the public since October 27th and will run through January 7th.  I would highly encourage making reservations now so you don’t miss out on this historical exhibit especially since this the FIRST DEBUT in the United States.  I have included a couple of tips that would of been helpful to me prior to going.  Plus sharing is caring.

 

  • Make reservations – I strongly encourage making reservation prior to attending.  You are able to reserve tickets for up to 5 in your party, and you can select either the guided tour or the self lead tour.  Walk-ins are allowed but after 6pm it gets rather busy with so many people getting off work.

 

  • They have coat check –  Feel free to haul that heavy winter coat because lets be real it is cold in NYC, and the coat check cost you absolutely nothing.  #TheHawkIsOut

 

  • Download the app – It is available for Apple or Android and it allow you to have interactive experiences with exhibits, utilize special filters, sign their digital guestbook, and more.

 

  • Give yourself enough time to get through the exhibit – The last admission is 30 minutes prior to closing but I would encourage you to allow yourself at least a hour and half.  There is a total of 2 floors and 10 rooms and trust me it is very easy to get caught up in each room.

 

  • Opt for the audio tour – I recommend opting for the audio tour or the self lead tour versus the guided tour.  If you do not want to feel as if you are under time constraints and want to get ALL your photo ops in I would NOT do the guided tour.  There is no cost to add on the audio tour once you arrive.

 

  • Know where the photo op spots are – There are a couple of moments where everyone likes to grab a pic.  They include the following and in chronologically order:
    • The entrance in which it showcased the LED board with the moving subway
    • The Louis Vuitton NYC subway inspired sign
    • The Trunk of 1906
    • The Expedition Room
    • The Automobile Room
    • Aviation Room (features the large plane)
    • Louis Vuitton Loves America Room

 

86 Trinity Pl, New York, NY 10006

Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton

 

Vuitton Family Tree

 

The Trunk of 1906

 

Hat Trunk

 

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Categories Music

Beyoncé Changes Her Email Weekly, SAY WHAT NOW!

In a world full of crazy people, hackers, and people that can’t hold water. The Queen B herself keeps everyone on her team on a need to know basis only and within arms reach. She is all about her brand and keeping things as, well BEYONCE as possible.

Beyoncé is one of the most in-demand, yet mysterious, artists in the world, so of course she’s not easy to get in touch with. Musician and occasional Beyoncé collaborator Ed Sheeran learned this while working with the singer on a remix of his song “Perfect.”

“I have an email address that I email that actually changes every week,” Sheeran told ET at KIIS-FM’s recent 2017 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball of how he got in touch with Beyoncé. “She’s very good at [hiding]. It’s kind of like what I aspire to be, I think.”

“So I emailed that and then we got on the phone, and it’s been in the works since May,” Sheeran continued.

Beyoncé’s cybersecurity strategy demonstrates impressive commitment to privacy, and it’s actually not all that shocking. She’s surprised her fans with an entire album not once but twice, and has highly curated social media accounts, though she often shatters records when she does post a picture on Instagram (especially if it has anything to do with her twins, Sir and Rumi Carter). Now if only the Beyhive could figure out how to get ahold of Beyoncé’s rumored secret Snapchat account.

 

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Categories Music, Uncategorized

The Year of CARDI B.

“…you can’t fuck with me if you wanted to!”

Cardi B. is now a two time Grammy nominated artist! From Love and Hip Hop to Billboard chart topper and now 2 Grammy nods, this is the ultimate Cinderella story!

She’s nominated for Best Rap Song along side Jay Z , Kendrick Lamar, Rapsody and Run the Jewels. She will also go up against Big Sean, Migos, Jay Z and Kendrick Lamar for Best Rap Performance.

Congrats Girl! You deserve to win!!!!

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Categories Fashion, Uncategorized

The Legendary Azzedine Alaia

Azzedine Alaia, 82, died last Sunday. I woke up at 6 am to use the restroom and before I went back to sleep, I decided to get on instagram. It was there where I saw supermodels of presents and past posting “R.I.P” under photos of the Tunisian born designer.

I immediately, screamed “WHAT?!”. Alaia wasn’t just my favorite fashion designer but he was an innovator that didn’t give a damn what anybody had to say about him or collections.

A lot of our first encounter of Alaia was from “Clueless,” where Cher tells the robber she couldn’t get down on the ground because “This is an Alaia…a totally important designer!”. For me, it wasn’t this film but in vogue.

I remember, a magazine cover with supermodels decked out in Alaia in the 90s and remembering how I wanted the dresses they were wearing. So feminine, yet sexy!

Fast forward to my first job on luxury retail in Beverly Hills. I was finally able to touch and see the intricate detailing that goes into a piece from Alaia! It didn’t matter if it were shoes or a dress, it was worth the price tag.

While working at Saks, I became really intrigued by Alaia and it was there i learned that he basically responsible for making Naomi Campbell a supermodel when she was 16! Naomi ran into Alaia after she lost her wallet in Paris and the two have been inseparable since! Azzedine became Naomi’s “papa” and she was his “daughter”. Can you believe there were times when Naomi snuck out, Alaia would go to the club and drag her home?! When Alaia released his fragrance, he even modeled the color of the packaging in the likeness of Naomi’s inner arm. Talk about adoration.

I remember building a relationship with the Alaia reps and telling them how I wanted to knock on Azzedine’s door while I was in Paris and how bad I wanted to meet him. She replied, “You should’ve knocked! He would’ve let you in and given you a tour. That’s how humble he is.”

Monsieur, you were a true gem. Breaking barriers for women of color in fashion and teaching us to defy Fashion and social norms! There will never be another you!

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Categories Food

Serenata

Upscale Mexican food?!?!  It does exist.  Serenata has been my latest obsession for lunch, and dinner & drinks after a long day at work.  This Contemporary Mexican restaurant is tucked away in the basement level of building in Chelsea at 17th and 6th Ave.  I think what initially sparked my interest is $5 margaritas and sangria for happy hour.  Call me a lush if you want, but I am a sucker for a great happy hour.  The food at Serenata is not only pleasing to the eye, but will awaken all of your taste buds.

This restaurant is owned by Besim Kukaj which is the restaurateur behind 9 other restaurants such as Intermizzo and La Carbonara.  Knowing his experience and his time spent in hospitality it seems like he has the equation to success down.

Serenata has Happy Hour on Sunday – Thursday from 4pm – 8pm, and on Friday – Saturday from 4pm – 7pm.  If you want to catch them prior to happy hour I would encourage you trying their prix fixe lunch that starts at $9.

Shrimp Quesadilla  (more…)

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Categories Uncategorized

Rihanna to Host MET Gala 2018

What better person could Anna Wintour get to host the MET Gala than Rihanna?! Ok maybe Beyonce but Rihanna, along with Amal Clooney and Donatella Versace, will host the The 2018 MET Gala.
Rihanna has attended a 7 gala’s and performed at 2, while Donatella has attended a whopping 16!
Themed “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” the exhibit will feature religious pieces from The Sistine Chapel, many have never left the Vatican. The exhibit will also feature pieces from Chanel, John Galliano and more brands that were inspired by Catholicism.
We cannot wait to see how everyone pulls this off, last season was a fail for many but Rihanna was one of the FEW that nailed Rei Kuwakubo/Comme des Garcons theme. Not mention, Ri KILLED China Through the Looking Glass in 2016.
Hopefully, our invite doesn’t get lost in the mail but if it does we will be reporting to you live via instagram for the red carpet arrivals, April 30th, 2018.
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Categories Fashion, Lifestyle, Sales

Tiffany & Co. Wants to Sell You a Paper Plate for $900!

In today’s oddities, Tiffany’s has released it Everyday Collection where day To day items start out at $250! Now I know I haven’t hit 9 figures, yet but some things are outlandish! I will admit the concept is cool but the prices, not so much! I know that paper plate isn’t really paper but still, is it a set? Does it come with a live person to polish it for eternity?

I’m not gonna lie, I’d cop the take out box pill case but what’s a good pill case if I have to refill it EVERYDAY?!

Take a look at some of the items that they selling? That yarn better weave me the perfect man! (more…)

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