Saving Dinnertime with Munchery

It’s no secret that I love good food. I love eating it {duh}, but I also really love making it. Whipping up a homemade meal has always been a favorite way to unwind at the end of the day. A nice glass of wine and a well-practiced recipe is always so satisfying. Hence my obsession with constantly banking new recipes and collecting cookbooks.

But with this whole about to have a tiny human thing, I’ve been warned that there will be little time and even less energy for cooking. And while I can survive on Thai takeout {it’s certainly been on heavy rotation throughout my pregnancy!!}, I’m one of those crazy health-nut types who can’t go very long without a good, balanced nutritious meal.

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Everyone has told me to start a meal train or freeze a bunch of stuff before the kid arrives, but I have a really hard time asking favors from friends or family. And sure, I have grand plans to stock pile the fridge as my due date rapidly approaches, but what if this kid decides to show up early??

Thankfully, there’s a whole new world of life saving apps out there – new ones literally pop up daily. Currently on the tippy top of my must-have list is Munchery. Sure, you’re likely familiar with some of the meal delivery services out there, but Munchery takes food delivery way beyond “takeout.” I was recently invited to give the service a pre-baby test run and was truly impressed {and admittedly immediately slightly addicted!!}. The deliciousness that landed on my doorstep each evening quickly made me forget about cooking!

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There’s actually quite a lot to like about Munchery that goes far beyond the really yummy dishes. First of all, they work with local chefs with some pretty impressive pedigrees to create bespoke menus daily. The variety is nice, as you don’t have to pick from the same few choices everyday. A few of my faves to date have included a Vietnamese beef with rice noodles, stuffed winter squash with bulgar pilaf and walnut mint pistou and I won’t lie – I was totally tempted by a double chocolate brownie. That’s right – you can also add in desserts, sides, salads and beverages – even wine! Wine on demand for a new parent?! Now that sounds like the best idea EVER!

Munchery also uses organic and local ingredients as much as possible – a point that’s particularly important as I think about breast feeding. {yes, I just typed the words breast feeding – something I NEVER thought would be uttered here. I promise I won’t be mentioning it again. But I digress}. The app not only lists the ingredients for each dish, but also the nutrition information. That’ll definitely come in handy when I’m trying to shed those pregnancy pounds!

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But on top of all the personal benefits, Munchery also does good for the community. For every meal purchased they donate meals to local food banks to help feed people in need – an issue very near and dear to my heart. So really there’s kinda nothing not to love. You get a freshly made meal delivered to your door in minutes {or if you’re a tad more organized than I am you can schedule your delivery time!}. Simply heat things up and you get homemade yummy flavors and high quality ingredients – with zero pots and pans to wash when you’re done. It’s definitely a great way to remain well-fed when you can’t cook. I can now officially check that piece of new-parent anxiety off of my list!

And right now, Munchery is offering you a free meal! Sign up HERE and use the code APARTMENT34 for a $15 credit and give one of Munchery’s mouth-watering dishes a try. I just gotta warn you, you may find your desire to cook slightly impaired.

 

original photography for apartment 34 by aubrie pick // art direction + styling by erin hiemstra

This post is in partnership with Munchery. All thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. Thanks for supporting collaborations we’re excited about and that keep Apartment 34’s doors open! 

How to Have a Rockin’ New Year’s Eve…at Home!

Can you believe 2015 is just days away?! I’m more than excited to welcome it {given it means I’m only three months away from bebe!}, but when it comes to the biggest shindig of the year, I have to admit, I’m a bit of a party pooper. I’ve just never been a big fan of elbowing through huge crowds to watch fireworks {and freeze!} or countdown from 10 in the club with a bunch of drunk strangers. In fact, I 100% prefer staying home, cozy on the couch, watching the countdown on t.v. with a glass of something bubbly in hand. Yes – I’m totally old lady about the whole New Year’s Eve thing and I’m ok with that! But now with a growing belly, I have the perfect excuse to stay indoors and enjoy a slower paced, but equally celebratory way of toasting to 2015. Because, oh baby, it’s a wild world and I’d rather stay out of the fray!

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I think the perfect way to celebrate what is sure to be the most exciting time of my life looks a lot like this:

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Yup, over-indulging on cake with confetti flying around my head is ALL I want to do come midnight these days! I can see it now…

But just because I’ll be on my couch doesn’t mean I can’t snag the chance to still get a little glam. Even if it’s just while cooking in the kitchen or watching Ryan Seacrest freeze his ass off in NYC, I still want to make 2015 look good! Some of my go-to’s for making an at-home celebration feel special? A hot red lip never hurt anybody, especially while prancing around in a sexy pair of heels {I refuse to give them up!}. The dynamic duo certainly make cooking a New Year’s Eve dinner much more elegant and who says you can’t get dressed up in the comforts of your own home?!

I also think nothing screams home-bound holiday time like baking. So, I plan to whip up a batch of festive cookies and enjoy them in something luxuriously comfy! After a civilized meal, I’ll throw on a cute set of silk pajamas while the cookies are baking and hop on the sofa for some much needed mani/pedi/lounging/movie time before midnight {anyone have a favorite movie right now??}. I’ll get ready for the big 10-9-8…with cute confetti poppers and bring out the special glassware for toasting. Just because I can’t have any alcohol doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some bubbly – San Pellegrino that is! In a gold-tipped wine glass, the sparkling water glitters and feels uber festive and sophisticated!

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Get Your 2015 On:
> Oscar de la Renta Bow Heels
> Chanel Rouge Lipstick in Passion
> Black and Gold Confetti Poppers
> Shortbread Cookies
> San Pellegrino
> Equipment Striped Silk Pajama Set
> Norther Hemisphere Gold Wine Glass
> Porter Magazine Issue 6 > Jin Joon Nail Polish “Tout Ensemble”
> Jersey Boys Movie 

If you’re like me and will be spending your time reflecting on 2014 and cheering in new year at home, here are a couple of other fun indoor ideas on my radar!

Love these festive mylar “2015” balloons available at Urban Outfitters. You don’t need any other decoration with these hanging on your wall!

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This Salted Caramel Recipe looks like just the right amount of sweet and salty deliciousness for me. Since I haven’t been craving chocolate, this is a yummy alternative!

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How cute is this Gold Fringe Party Hat DIY? Putting on a party hat is such a fun way to still be festive in your pj’s!

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And if you’re headed to someone else’s house for the evening, I’m loving this idea. Wrap up a bottle of wine, bubbly {or Pellegrino!!} in a tea towel for the perfect hostess gift!

wine-bottle-hostess-gift Do you have any exciting New Year’s plans this week? Whatever they may be {even if you’re celebrating from your sofa too!} I wish you a safe and memorable holiday bringing in what’s sure to be an amazing year ahead!  

 

image 1 via // 2 via Karen Walker // 3 via Urban Outfitters // 4 via Donal Skehan // 5 via Almost Makes Perfect // 6 via Cotton & Flax  

This post is sponsored by San Pellegrino. Practice the Art of Fine Food, every time you can. All thoughts and opinions are100% my own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open! 

A Memorable Soundtrack for the Holidays

What’s a beautiful holiday lunch party without an epic playlist? No party at all! It’s simple: music connects people. A good song is like a good meal, it affects the way you feel! When you hear a song you absolutely love or maybe one you’d completely forgotten about, aren’t you put in a good mood immediately? For me, holiday music has the special power to conjur up sweet memories from season’s past and I just love that moment when everyone exchanges a sly smile around the table and says, “love this song, turn it up!” and then things get a little groovy!

But just like finding time to throw the ultimate holiday party is a challenge, it’s just as difficult to sit down and come up with good tunes off the top of your head. I mean, who really has time to go through tons of tracks to make a playlist? Luckily, there’s this simple beauty to help us out: the Aether Cone!

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With all of the insanely complicated gadgets around the house {who knew a remote could be so confusing…in fact, which remote IS THIS that I’m holding?!} the Aether Cone by far is the simplest. With just three buttons, this voice command music player makes technology so much easier. Basically, you tell the player what you want to hear and boom it plays it. Want to listen to Beyonce while getting ready? Easy. Sinatra while guests arrive? Done. Modern spins on Christmas classics while eating ? No problem {ps: I’m obsessed with the Sufjan Stevens Christmas album!} Synced with Rdio and 30 million songs {!} the player can take it away and play songs based off what you like! Who are your some of your favorites anyway? Mariah Carey Christmas, anyone?! Come on…you know you love it! I just love that I don’t have to rely on a computer or my phone to play music anymore.

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But can you guess what we love about the Aether Cone the most? How pretty it is of course! We made no fuss about finding a place for the cone at our lunch. In fact, we wanted to show it off! It fit right into our holiday tabletop decor, obvi! We LOVE the black and copper version {it also comes in a white & silver version} – it’s so chic and beautiful and the size of it is just right. It’s small enough to fit seamlessly on a side table, leaving us plenty of room to further pretty it up with a festive little floral arrangement and some yummy chocolate truffles, of course! We firmly believe there should be little treat in every corner of the house this time of year.

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So while we’re wining and dining, putting on our makeup or cooking {and dancing!} away before guests arrive, now we have way to listen to our jams wherever we are in the house! Having a soundtrack for these moments allows you to create wonderful new memories and that’s really what the most festive time of the year is all about.

And with that, we’re off to enjoy the heart of the holiday season. We’re taking an entire week to jam out to Christmas tunes, create new memories with loved ones and be as merry as absolutely freakin’ possible {I think I’m going to bake this fo’ sho’}!

We will see you back here in all our post-Christmas bliss. Cheers and Happy Holidays, everyone!

original photography for apartment 34 by Ashley Batz // styling by Erin Hiemstra // florals by Tulipina 

This post is in partnership with Aether. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open.