Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sit Back and Relax, Instacart Brings Whole Foods Market Directly To Your Door!

The holiday rush begins late November, once Thanksgiving is upon us it's swiftly moving straight through to Happy New Year. It's funny because we all have so many events to attend, concerts, cookie swaps, open houses, work parties, but we still need to maintain our everyday lives. Laundry, grocery shopping, bill paying, how do we make all the moving parts work or heck just coast on through?

Welcome, Instacart grocery delivery service.

The way Instacart works, there's a $10 order minimum, they set their pricing (you pay what you see on the screen and get an Instacart receipt, not one from Whole Foods), first delivery is free and then goes up to $3.99 or $5.99 depending on which option you select based on timing.

Sit back and relax in the comfort of your home and let someone else do your shopping!

I found the Instacart site to be very user friendly, shopping by category and searching items, it had everything that was on my list. The website updates in real time, telling you the order has been placed, who is out shopping for you, and when the order is complete and delivery is on its way! 


When you log into your account, it alerts you to the fastest shopping option! I placed an order on a snowy Monday evening around 8pm and it arrived by 9:30pm (I live about 15 minutes from Whole Foods Market). 


Here's a look into what your order summary looks like, the item you ordered, the size, and the price. As I mentioned, Instacart sets their pricing, I didn't find any major discrepancies between what I normally pay and I actually purchased a handful of Instacart Sale Items! You can put notes on any item, for example I ordered coffee from bulk and noted I wanted a medium roast.


Overall experience as a first time Instacart user was definitely a positive one. I received one phone call from my shopper, he couldn't find a couple of items, and wanted to make substitutions with my permission. I was a bit concerned that he didn't really know the ins and outs of Whole Foods, but definitely gave him the benefit of the doubt (I directed him to where a couple items were). His substitutions actually saved me some money. I didn't order much produce because I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to produce and I how I like to select it. The produce items I did receive, were to my liking (see, I can give up control)!

I will definitely be using Instacart again, I don't know if it would totally replace all of my shopping needs, but I can see it helping take some of the pressure off on weeks where I am overwhelmed.

I just clicked onto my Instacart page and this is what I was greeted with, some of the last items I purchased and the window of delivery. I personally like the reminders and I am definitely a creature of habit and tend to buy the same brands or items weekly!


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Disclaimer, I was compensated by Whole Foods Market as an ambassador to try out the Instacart delivery service, all photos and ideas are my own. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Solidify Our Vibrancy

There was something about the small white padded envelope that was stuffed into my mailbox that stirred emotion deep inside me. I recognized the handwriting on the envelope, just like I would the voice on the other end of the phone before the days of caller id. Inside the package was a birthday card full of wisdom and a rose quartz heart. Rose quartz represents love, is known to heal the heart, calm emotions, and even help to release suppressed emotions. Sitting on my couch, just in from a long day at work, the small box open, the card still in my hands, I could feel my eyes well up with tears. It was the gesture that caught me off guard, the sentiment.

Technology has graced us with so many gifts, but it's also dulled our vibrant connections. While a constant stream of text based well wishes throughout my birthday lit me up with a smile, none of them brought a rise to my heart like the white padded envelope or a voice on the other end of a call. Even a phone call is a rare gesture these days, when a text can so easily do the job, a call solidifies our vibrancy. A single day out of the entire year it's nice to be reminded of our connections, it feeds my heart and soul.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

We Needed Milk

There was no sign of sunshine out my bedroom window. I tossed and turned, knowing I wouldn't fall back to sleep. I have an unspoken rule to not get out of bed while it's still dark out, unless I absolutely have to. Then my mind focused on the fact that we are going on three mornings with no milk in the house. Two days in a row I drank coffee sans milk. TWO DAYS.

So I dragged my ass out of bed and went to the store, at 6:30 am.

It wasn't light out yet and the first sign that I should not be functioning outside my house at that hour, was a car coming head on towards me head where normally two lanes travel east. What in the world was going on?!? Oh just some magically appeared overnight road construction, bright lights, and a glimpse of a ginormous hole dug out in the westbound lanes. I safely pulled into the parking lot.

I tried to focus on what I needed as the brisk air came rushing over me walking into the store. I grabbed a basket instead of a cart, which was mistake number one. A basket is always my attempt to keep it simple, only what I can carry. Remember I was just running in for milk, that damn milk they put in the very back corner of the store, curse grocery store designers.

Oh my goodness, there was inventory going on, all these random people with hand scanners. Then to top it off, they were rearranging the shelves. The cereal aisle was GONE, the shelves were empty. Why me. I powered through, waking more with each step, I felt like I was in a dream. Fruit, bread, puffs, two KIND bars, gallon of organic milk, yogurt. I put down the heavy milk to pick out the yogurt, then I grabbed some organic chicken tenders. I got to the register and truthfully looked around like where the hell is the milk I came in for? Oh yeah, the milk I set down to pick out my yogurt? I told the woman running the self checkout registers that I had to go back and get the milk I spaced. My check out did not go smoothly, a container of yogurt I picked up was cracked and leaking. The quart of yogurt I picked up instead of my gallon of milk needed to be put back on the shelf. I accidentally scanned an item getting out my reusable bag and I could not figure out what item it was.

I've come to two conclusions, self check out should not be open until people are properly caffeinated or I should just stay in bed until the sun rises.

Do over?


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My MasterChef Junior

Somehow last year we discovered Master Chef Junior, even without having broadcast television. Maybe it was fate, as the girls have become devoted to Chefs Graham, Gordon, and Joe. Not to mention, they are incredibly inspired by the contestants ranging in age from 8 to 12. Granted they've always been great helpers in the kitchen, but now they want to take charge. Tonight, Sj made dinner, full on by herself, the entire meal. Rice which she cooked with turkey bone broth (we had already prepared after Thanksgiving) topped with a sauté of turkey, carrots, onion, kale, and herbs. Of course she even garnished the dish with fresh parsley because isn't presentation just as important as the food itself?


How lucky am I? Trust me, I know. 

Side note, here's a funny interaction I had on Twitter with Graham Elliot because he's awesome!




Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Welcome, XXIII

Twenty-three. 23. XXIII. Twenty-three is one of the most powerful prime numbers, only second to seventeen in my opinion. Although, thirteen is my favorite prime number and culturally speaking we could easily agree that thirteen carries the heaviest cloud of superstition over it.
Redwood Forest, 1993
And today, December 2nd, marks twenty-three years J and I have been together. More importantly, December 2nd was the day we picked to mark our anniversary of being together. We were hanging out a lot before the 2nd, but a year into it and I felt like we needed a commemorative date. While the cliche is, in a blink of an eye, I can't really quite fathom how twenty-three years have passed. How do you wrap your arms around that? Two decades and three years. I could think of a hundred ways to make the number and I'm not quite sure it would solidify the magnitude of this milestone.

This human being came into my life when I was a child. While the first sight of him left my heart racing and cheeks red, over the next few years our friendship blossomed. Once we became romantically intertwined, we never once hit the stop button. I never saw twenty-three years into our future, but here I am basking in it. I contemplate how the chemistry stays so incredibly vibrant and our communication styles fail time and time again, only to be reinvented. We continue on, navigating new territory, learning from yesterday and discovering just how wonderful twenty-three years later could be.

It's like everything and nothing has changed, simultaneously.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

December. D E C E M B E R. December.

December arrived with a double take. This morning I was half asleep, did one of those eyes closed blind reaches to grab my iPhone from my nightstand, pressed the home button to see what time it was, when my eyes transfixed on Monday, December 1. DECEMBER. I was instantly awake, December woke me right up. I've found with December, it's sometimes easier to hop up and buckle in, and enjoy the roller coaster ride that ends with Auld Lang Syne.