Simplify Dinner with Gobble

Thanks so much to BrandCycle for connecting me with Gobble and letting me try their service for free!

Before I had kids, I would cook dinner every night. With each child, those night got fewer and farther between. I feel like I'm constantly on the hunt for simplified dinners for my family, so when I was asked to try Gobble, I jumped at the chance.

IMG_7695.PNG

If you haven't heard of Gobble, it is a meal subscription box for the busy home cook. You select meals each week that are made in just one pan. They're 3-step recipes that you can get on the table in less than 15 minutes. Seriously.

IMG_1045.JPG
IMG_1046.JPG

Everything comes in a box, even the meat. Large frozen packs are included to keep everything nice and cool during shipping.

IMG_1043.JPG

The three meals I chose were Thai Basil Chicken with Brown Jasmine Rice, Balsamic Glazed Flat Iron Steak with Oven Roasted Zucchini Fries, and Grilled Flank Steak and Fajita Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing. Each serving size is between 500-700 calories. Not bad for a quick home-cooked meal.

IMG_1048.JPG
IMG_1049.JPG

The seasoning packet for the flank steak was delicious and not too spicy for my kids' picky palates. I hadn't grilled yet this season and was reminded of how nice it is to not heat up my whole house to cook one steak!

IMG_1044.JPG

My kids only wanted to eat the steak (big surprise), but I made them eat the salad too and they didn't complain one bit. The cojita cheese added a great freshness to an already bright, summer salad.

IMG_1134.JPG

A couple days later I made the balsamic steak. I was curious about the zucchini fries, since they were breaded with a garlic-seasoned coating. I sort of forgot they were in the oven, but they didn't burn and still turned out amazing.

IMG_1135.JPG
IMG_1133.JPG

The balsamic glaze was delicious. Based on my previous experience with balsamic vinegar, I was nervous it would overpower all the other flavors, but it didn't compete at all. It actually complemented the zucchini fries beautifully. All in all, it was a great dish.

I am a serious Gobble convert! The meals were healthy, quick to prepare, and tasted amazing. Gobble wants YOU to try their service too and have offered my readers $50 off the first week of meals! Just visit Gobble.com and enter code SECRET50 to receive your discount. You'll have to let me know which meals you choose!

My Favorite Finds for Frames

Some of the links I include in my posts are of the affiliate variety. That means if you order from them, I get a teeny portion of your purchase to help run this site. Just wanted you to know! :*

I was blessed with some crazy, allergy-ridden eyes. I can't wear contacts without my eyes throwing a fit, so I have a few pairs of glasses. I'm always on the hunt for inexpensive, but super cute frames, so I decided to branch out from my regular optics shop and try out Warby Parker's Home Try-On program.

The concept is simple. Visit their site and select five different frames you'd like to try on. They ship them to you and you have five days to decide if you love any of them before you return them in the same postage-paid box they arrived in. If you can't live without a pair, just order the same pair from their website. Here are three of the five I chose.

warby_parker_laurel_peacock

This pair is the Laurel in Peacock Green. I LOVED the color with my current red hair, but I feel like they're too round for my already round face. Maybe if the eye opening were larger, they would have worked. If you're wondering which frames look best for your face type, go with the opposite shape in the frame as the shape of your face is. My face is long, but also round, so I tend to go for more square or rectangular frames.

warby_parker_ames_whiskey

This was probably my favorite pair of the five. This is the Ames in Whiskey Tortoise. See how the wide browline helps balance out my cheeks?

warby_parker_louise_elderflower

This pair is the Louise in Elderflower Crystal. The size was borderline too small, but still worked. I thought I'd try these since most of my frames are pretty bold. After seeing them on, I realize I like to draw attention to my glasses. These were just too simple.

After my five days of trying on were over, I decided to stick with my favorite way of getting quality glasses inexpensively.

Here's my trick. Are you ready?

Nordstrom sells reading glasses starting at $38! "That's nice, Jill, but I need a prescription stronger than that!" Don't fret, my pet. Here's the secret...

You can purchase whatever frames you like and take them to your optometrist. Just ask him to put your current prescription in said frames and voila! Affordable, trendy glasses. My vision insurance pays for a new pair of glasses each year, so I only have to pay for my frames.

nordstrom_bobbi_brown_brooklyn

This is my current favorite pair: The Brooklyn from Bobbi Brown. They don't have this color anymore, but they do have a lot of other options. Another favorite brand of mine is Corinne McCormack. If any of you remember my leopard-print frames, they're from her!

I love ordering from Nordstrom because if they arrive and you just don't like how they look on you, just send them back or return them to any Nordstrom store. Easy peasy! Also, watch for sales. Every so often, they'll have their reading glasses on sale two for $88. I wait and buy my frames then. I'm all about a bargain!

Be warned, not every optometrist will do this for you. Also, they can't fit every frame. The more curved the glass would have to be, the more difficult it is to create. Basically, try to choose a more straight frame and you'll have a better chance of getting your glasses!

Would you consider an alternative source for your frames?

Women Need Women

I received products from Coca-Cola's 5by20 program; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

I'm incredibly passionate about empowering women to accomplish whatever they set their minds to. Unfortunately, there are women throughout the world who, no matter how big their dreams, are limited by their circumstances. Whether they lack resources, skills, or opportunities, they are unable to provide for themselves or their families. This is where Coca-Cola's 5by20 initiative comes in.

Coca-Cola saw the need for female entrepreneurs in developing nations to receive the tools and training they need to lift themselves out of poverty. With the 5by20 initiative, women are turning Coca-Cola packaging into decor and accessories sold at the 5by20 shop.

The PCF Narrow Ring-Pull Bracelet was created in the Philippines from locally sourced recycled aluminum ring-pulls and elasticized thread. It hard of the metal coordinates well with the delicate of the Coletivo Piraquet Handbag. Created in Brazil, its inspired by the scales of the ancient Pirarucu fish found in the rivers and lakes of the Amazon. Recycled PET "scales" are hand-sewn onto mesh for this delicate purse.

This Classic Flower was made by an entrepreneurial woman in Mexico.

The cop(m)adam Bottle Cap Purse from Turkey makes a statement.

This may be my favorite item I received. It's an Acacia Creations Soda Can Giraffe from Kenya. It's made with recycled aluminum cans and bound with recycled telephone wire.

Giraffe.jpg

The materials used to make these items would typically be considered garbage. Thankfully, there are women in developing nations that are creative enough to see its potential. Just as they see more in the materials, Coca-Cola saw the potential in women throughout the world to grow their businesses, families, and communities. Watch the "Chain of Inspiration" here.

The program has the goal to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020. Thus, the 5by20 Initiative. Why women? Well, we're more likely to reinvest our income to our children and families through food, education and healthcare. When women rise, our communities rise.

So ladies, let's support each other, not just in business, but in day-to-day life. We'll reap the benefits and so will society.