Maybe it's my Downton binge, but she's my current beauty muse. 


Agenda for Tonight

  • Pick up some red wine after work. I'm in serious need of a restock. 
  • Make Wild Mushroom Pappardelle with Mascarpone for dinner (via Plated), and marinate steaks for the rest of this week's dishes. 
  • Put away clean clothes still in their baskets from laundry day two weeks ago. Yikes. 
  • Take a bath and at least finish the first episode of Downton's new season. 
  • Make some headway on taking Christmas decorations down while I catch up on DVR. My problem is, I like to commit 100% to a show and have no distractions. I just care too much about TV. 
  • Do some sort of athletic activity for 20-30 minutes. It's too cold and icy for a jog with Maverick, so maybe something from the 7-minute workout app or from something pinned recently. 
  • Knock out some to do's on my non-work-related "Danielle is Busy" document. Yes, this is a real thing. 
  • Serious snuggle time with Maverick. Being away from him all weekend was brutal. 


A Month of Plated Meals

About a month ago, I saw a Facebook Ad for Plated - a new subscription service that delivers ingredients and recipes right to your doorstep each week. (As you know, I am a sucker for subscription services. I've been a loyal Birchbox subscriber for over a year now. Facebook Ads know how to target people, that's for sure.) Anyway, I decided to check it out. The ad had a code for 4 free plates, so I thought what the heck. 

Here's the deal - Plated puts up a new menu every week. You select which meals you'd like to try, and how many plates you'll need of each. You can select in quantities of 2, 4 or 6 plates - but be warned, you have to order 4 plates for them to ship to you. Each week, Plated delivers a box of ingredients to your house and the recipes for each. The recipes have lots of pictures and tips to make it super easy. 

Meals without a membership are $15/plate ; meals with the membership are $12/plate. Membership is $10/month. You can skip weeks at no cost (or at least, not that I'm aware). 
To be honest, they really got me with the food photography. It.All.Looks.Amazing. Before I ordered, I checked out #platedpics on Twitter and Instagram to see if real people's food looked as good as the professionally made/photographed, and what do you know… it did. Their tagline is to 'release your inner chef' - so if you're a super picky eater, this probably isn't for you. Although, you can create a profile indicating allergies, gluten-free, vegetarian, aversion to spicy food etc. 

I typically order 2 different meals, 2 plates of each. The portion sizes are legit. I know I tend to eat smaller meals, but I have gotten 2-4 meals out of each '2 plates' I cook. 

I look for ingredients I typically wouldn't choose or meals I wouldn't think to cook on my own. For example, I steer clear of stir fries, as rice + veggies + meat is pretty much the only thing I know how to cook. The meals I've chosen include sweet potato ravioli, eggplant rollatini, shrimp with garlic and white beans, and steak with onions and swiss chard. (I'm working on recaps/tips of each of those meals… Stay tuned.) 
A tip if you decide to sign up - in your Membership settings, turn OFF Auto Delivery. If auto delivery is on, it will charge you for and ship 4 plates to you every week - even if you forget to indicate which ones you want from the weekly menu. I'd rather absorb the $10 membership price than pay $48 for meals I maybe wouldn't have picked. 

The important thing to know is that the food is GOOD. I'm serious. I'm still shocked every time I cook and it turns out well. Out of the 5 Plated meals I've made, there is only one that I didn't love. And even that one introduced me to some new ingredients/techniques that I've used since. (Who knew roasted cherry tomatoes were so good?!)
The big question I get is, "Is it worth it?" In terms of price… we're looking at (in a four week month) $202 on meals if you don't skip any weeks. That's probably more than I typically spend on groceries… but it is also WAY better food than I'd cook if left to my own devices. In fact, I haven't gone grocery shopping aside from milk/bread/dog food in a month. 

Learn more and sign up for Plated here, and if you have any questions feel free to ask me! I'm not being paid/reimbursed/coaxed into writing this post either. I seriously just really like Plated. 

Snowed In


Selfie at the Fox

Snuck this selfie at the Fox after getting some liquid courage from Robust Downtown. Top and necklace from JCrew. Crossbody from Rack and Clutch


Winter Break, Basically

Basically, 'no pants Saturday' all day every day. 

Girls' Weekend: NYC

I went to New York with my mom and sister… in October.

We stayed in a great hotel near the Library, visited the Botanical Gardens, Times Square, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Highline (wish I had better pictures of that, but we went at night). We saw a Broadway show. We shopped a little. We ate pizza, Shake Shack, smoothies and (I) drank a lot of coffee.

I'm sad to say, despite how happy I look in the pictures, I wasn't exactly motivated to blog about the trip. I'm still not sure if I feel motivated to blog about it, but here I am. The pictures sort of feel like a dream. An out of body experience. Reliving it through these photos… and going to try to enjoy my girls' weekend in DC in a couple weeks a little more.


The Trouble With Cleaning

Reading this post on Unfuck Your Habitat seriously scares me to death. (a) It mentions spiders. (b) Embarrassed to say I've been there.

I hate cleaning. Really, really despise it. And I have this tendency to let things get a little out of control… and then one day, when I finally decide enough is enough and I need to clean I of course spy a spider or something in the mess and I'm too freaked out to touch anything.

Unfortunately, I don't have any help these days. So trying my damnedest to not let it get that out of control… and contemplating hiring a maid.

Every Day

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