Thoughts on Meal Delivery Services

During one of the last weeks of my internship, a coworker leaned over my cubicle wall and offered me some of the coupons she had stashed in her purse that she wasn’t going to have a chance to use before their expiration. I ended up scoring 20% off at Barnes & Noble which I used immediately (on my 2015-16 planner. *shivers in excitement*), and I also got a code for a  significant discount at Hello Fresh. It’s one of those Blue Apron-esque meal delivery services. They send you a box of ingredients perfectly portioned for the recipes they give you and you cook it yourself. Once again, not very college-y, but it’s summer and John and I have both had full time jobs so it feels more like real life.


Since I was about to move out of my apartment, I figured it would be cool to have the meals delivered during the week I was in Austin so John and I could cook together. I never planned on using the service for more than a week because it’s just not feasible at this point, but it was totally worth the try at $10 a meal for three two-person meals.

I’m not gonna lie–it was pretty awesome. The ingredients delivered were fresh and local and the recipes were DELICIOUS. They send along a recipe booklet and the recipes we tried would be super easy to duplicate if we bought the ingredients! You also need very little in terms of supplies and ingredients at home. Basically we just used a big pan, salt, pepper, and olive oil and everything else was in the boxes.The meal above was wilted spinach salad topped with chorizo and plated with corn on the cob brushed with feta and chipotle mayo. It. Was. Delicious. You get to choose the meals delivered each week and I went with their three gluten free options for this week.

This service was super cool for cooking inspiration. This past year, I found myself getting into a rut of salt and pepper only for seasoning and forgetting to reach out of my comfort zone with flavors and textures. However, the price of these meal services is so high. I totally understand why it’s a good option for some people–I imagine someone who works in a place like Manhattan with fewer fresh options and pricier groceries who is looking for something healthier than eating out would find this useful, but for most of us around the country it’s probably not realistic.

The service is $11.50 per meal per person normally, so $69 a week for three two-person meals. That’s more than a lot of weekly grocery budgets. I don’t blame the companies–this is an expensive service to run. They don’t charge delivery fees and they ship the food to you in a refrigerated box. But the savvy spender college girl inside of me says she probably won’t be doing this again unless, you know, I end up living in New York City with a job that pays enough to justify it.

Thoughts on Meal Delivery Services

Today I’m Feeling

a little too young to be halfway through college

and to go neighborhood hunting…

with my high school boyfriend. (A little embarrassed to admit to that one. Note: drive through the hills on the southwest side of Austin at sunset. few things are prettier.)


happy because I’ve been in sunshine for six days straight

and because Texas proved me wrong (and I’m finally admitting it)

and because have you ever spent like a whole week straight with John because I rarely get to, but when I do it’s basically the best week ever.


Happy hump day–I hope the first half of everyone’s week has been as awesome as mine.

Today I’m Feeling

Take It Slow

John and I visited Uchi, a famous sushi restaurant and the fanciest feast either of us have indulged in, on Sunday evening. (Note: Not for a college budget…unless someone in your party has a computer science internship, in which case let them pay.) If you’re wondering, the food was incredible. I don’t even remember what exactly we tried, but I don’t think you could go wrong with a single item on the menu. That said, I think restaurant eating experiences are 50% actual food deliciousness and 50% experience.

note: this photograph is not my own

When our server introduced himself, he recommended that we take it easy. Look at the menu, choose some items to try, but don’t pressure yourself to order everything at once. Leave some time between courses. Enjoy yourselves.

Guys, 10/10 for Uchi experience based on that piece of prolific advice alone. I have never felt so relaxed at a fancy restaurant. I’m talking stimulating conversation with my boyfriend while sitting in the middle of the fanciest restaurant of all time and not worrying about how long I’m taking the table for (2.5 hours haha) or how much I’m consuming in comparison to John.

Moreover, I think I need that advice for life in general. For some people, I think it comes naturally, but for me living in the moment is something that must be forced. I am so forward thinking that I miss a million little moments in life. Usually it doesn’t matter, but I think the whole experience would be a little more enjoyable that way.

My new mantra: live every day like you’re eating at Uchi.

Take It Slow

Long Distance Relationship Tips: Visiting

Happy Monday! This is the beginning of a series of posts I’m planning to share on long distance relationships. John and I started dating halfway through our senior year of high school and have been long distance (for us, MA -> TX) for almost two full years now. I remember panicking the summer before we left for school and google searching “Does long distance work?” (Hint: Don’t do this. It doesn’t help.) and couldn’t find much help. These posts will be directed at a college-aged crowd dealing with long distance, but could apply to a variety of people.


I’m in Austin this week visiting John while he’s interning for the summer, so it seemed appropriate to start with the importance of visiting. Being in college is not the easiest time for most to have an extra $200-500 lying around to travel far and visit, but it’s important to make sure you put in the effort to keep your connection strong. Freshman year, based on our schedules and available funds, we found that we could manage two visits on top of seeing each other on a couple of breaks from school. I saw John about once every two months during this time. This past year, we were able to up it and I saw him about once a month, which will probably continue to be the trend for the next two years.

While being so far apart has seemed to be a curse in many ways, I think it has been a blessing in some. If we lived closer together–say, if John were in NYC–we would probably visit too frequently and would both miss out on part of our own, independent college experiences because we were at the other’s university for such a large portion of our time. We’ve both been able to maintain our individual college lives and haven’t missed out on anything because of our relationship, which is something I made an effort to prioritize before we started.

As I said, however, visiting is important and it’s key that you make the most out of visit. I’ve seen many diagrams that show three parts to relationships: mental, emotional, and physical. My theory on long distance is that your mental and emotional relationship grow stronger (I guess that’s a plus, haha), but you miss the physical component for most of the time. Making time to visit each other allows you to continue to mature as a couple in the physical side of your relationship.

Lastly, for me, visiting is always a little bit of a struggle. It’s easier to go long distance when you start to forget the little things that you love about  physically being with the other person, but visits bring all of those memories back all at once. The first time John visited me, I spent most of the visit crying because he was going to have to leave eventually. I’ve found that the best way to cope is to live in the moment and try not to dwell on the end date of the visit, but rather know that there is an end date to the long-distance portion of your relationship.

Please let me know if there are any other long distance relationship topics you’d like me to cover or questions that you have! Until next time!

Long Distance Relationship Tips: Visiting

It’s Friday!

I’m getting super excited for the weekend ahead with John in Austin! We have a lot on our potential to-do list, and I’ll be sure to share our reviews as we come along.


I arrived in Austin last night and John and after spending some time reuniting, we headed to the famous Salt Lick for dinner. I can’t say I am a barbecue expert because I haven’t eaten at more than five or six barbecue places in my lifetime, but WOW the Salt Lick blew it out of the park.

Sorry I didn’t get any pictures of the food–I was far too excited about eating. We got a brisket plate and a pulled pork plate and were definitely expecting the former to be tastier, but the pulled pork knocked it out of the park. It was incredibly flavorful and not dry at all. Despite my argument that we wouldn’t be able to finish (John was right. We finished.), we added a side of sweet potato fries to our order. Once again, knocked it out of the park, Salt Lick.

After dinner, we watched the sun set off of the roof of John’s apartment and grabbed a slice of pie from the gluten free bakery near the UT Austin campus (John has celiac). It’s been great so far to escape Louisville’s humidity and if I haven’t already said it, I am so excited for the weekend ahead.

I hope you have a great weekend! Until next time!

It’s Friday!

On Texas

I used to be a Texas hater. The politics, the Bible belt, the state narcissism. It was all a huge turnoff. Then I started dating someone who wanted to go to college in Texas (and still thought he was crazy). Then I went to Texas in February.

John + Allison in Texas in February. See how happy I look?!
John + Allison in Texas in February. See how happy I look?!

Living in Boston has taught me a lot about myself. First, I thought I would love living in a place where everyone agreed with me on all political issues. Growing up in Kentucky, I was ready to flee the legislative grips of Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul; however, I quickly realized that the flip side had its own downsides. I’m frustrated when citizens with conservative viewpoints are written off as inhuman or worthless, and I have found that without having contact with people who think differently than you do, it’s really easy to dehumanize them in your mind. Primarily, this comes in the form of assuming all Republicans are idiots. I’ll admit I occasionally let myself slip into this mindset, but I try to remember at all times that Republicans are humans, too, with different experiences and backgrounds than my own to form their opinions from. Their opinions should not be valued any less than my own.

The Northeast has also led me to realize that I love tacos, barbecue, and an amazing restaurant scene (read: Texas). Boston is an awesome city for many things and reasons, but food is not one of them. Texas has food on lock. I’ll make a separate post sometime about my favorite Houston eats and you’ll likely hear about my favorite Austin eats over the next week while I’m visiting, but I feel like people who are not from the south don’t quite understand what delicious food tastes like. Or maybe no matter how much I love to hate the south, I will always have a little bit of it with me in my tastebuds.

Final awesome part of Texas? The weather in winter. Picture this: Leaving Boston hours before a huge snowstorm hits and landing in 65-degree Houston before enjoying a weekend of sunshine and 75-degree weather. I get the winter blues like crazy and being able to go anywhere that has awesome weather in February is an absolute dream.

Brace yourselves to hear even more reasons why I’ve learned to love Texas over the next week while I visit John in Austin. Until next time!

On Texas

Surviving the Flight: Two Tactics for Long Plane Rides

This was never intended to be a travel blog, but rather a college lifestyle blog. However, starting the blog during the summer means I’m writing a lot less about class and a lot more about whatever I happen to be doing this summer. I realized today that starting last week, I am going to be on an airplane at least once a week for the next five weeks.

Pre-college, when I could count on one hand the number of times I’d flown, being on an airplane by itself was extremely exciting and could keep me entertained. But between long layovers for flights home, living a four hour flight away from my boyfriend, and traveling by plane all around India last summer, I feel like a bit of a master at keeping myself distracted in flight. I’ve tried a variety of tricks, but two have proven so tried and true I do them just about every time I fly.


1. Dramamine + Pillow. Guys. Never fly without these two things. I have two types of Dramamine: non-drowsy and drowsy. I take non-drowsy dramamine when I have free wifi and want to watch TV on the flight (I see you, Southwest) and drowsy dramamine when I either did not get enough sleep the night before or want to sleep for the entirety of my trip (including layover). I don’t always have issues with motion sickness, but Dramamine is a great safeguard. I also have a handy neck pillow to keep me from laying/drooling all over the people next to me. It makes me sleep considerably better and I can just attach it to my backpack handle to store it.

2. Magazines. I always buy a magazine on my iPad before a flight. Be sure to download the entirety of the publication before your flight because airport wifi is never strong enough for downloads. Magazines are lighter reads than books so I can get distracted and get back into it. I could also see myself buying a magazine from a store in the airport before a flight. I’ve occasionally read books while flying, but I find magazines are much better at keeping me entertained.

Hope these were helpful! Until next time!

Surviving the Flight: Two Tactics for Long Plane Rides

Beach Must Haves

I’ve been dreaming of laying on the beach since February, and I’m finally only a couple weeks out from our family vacation to Florida. It won’t have the same effect as it might have in February, but I am still beyond excited. I wanted to share some of the items I’ve picked up lately for my trip, and some that I’ve been loving forever!

Beach Must-Haves

Sun Hat // I needed a hat for the beach and was in the market for something inexpensive and classic. I hit the outlet mall over the holiday weekend and snagged this one at J. Crew Factory for around $12. I’m not super into hats and definitely wasn’t interested in investing, so this fit the bill perfectly. They’re sold out online, but I have seen several similar hats elsewhere for low prices.

Bikini (top/bottom) // Bikinis are, generally speaking, not my friends. The widest point of my body is my hip bones, and I happen to carry my weight primarily in my love handles. Bikini bottoms are basically the least flattering article of clothing possible for that combo. I splurged on this bikini from J. Crew several months ago and haven’t looked back. The high waist pulls me in and the ruching does a great job of camouflaging what I’m trying to hide. This is the first time I’ve felt like I will be comfortable standing face-on in a beach picture in years without looking massively disproportionate.

Sunscreen // My skin is incredibly sensitive (read: I do not wear foundation of any type to avoid breakouts) and sunscreen breaks me out like no other. My family discovered this miracle substance a couple of summers ago and I haven’t looked back. I use it on my face daily and it hasn’t broken me out at all. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Sunglasses (top/bottom) // I have two pair of sunglasses: prescription and non-prescription. I bought the prescription glasses last summer from Warby Parker and like that the lenses are small enough that they don’t take over my face like some pairs. The bottom pair are nonprescription and I picked them up a few months ago at the Prudential Center because it was sunny and I couldn’t find my old pair of sunglasses to wear when I have contacts in. I was looking for something cheap and these fit the bill, but I’ve gotten more compliments on them than any pair ever.

Sandals // I’ve been looking for a go-to pair of sandals for a while now, and after getting hooked on reading blogs this winter couldn’t get Saltwater sandals out of my mind (I’m guessing Saltwater is a Mormon-owned company). Guys. These things are incredible. I walked three miles to and from work in them for two months and never once felt them rub, got a blister, or had to worry about getting them wet in the rain. They don’t have any arch support, so if that’s what you are after, these may not be worth it. But otherwise, these receive a 10/10. I expect to have them for years to come.

Beach Must Haves

A Low Key Fourth

I got back to Louisville on Thursday afternoon and have been going nonstop ever since. In some ways, it’s been great to come back in time for a holiday weekend because everyone is home, but it’s been a little overwhelming because I haven’t had a chance to sit down and think. The fourth was super low key, but my sister Lauren and I decided to make it special.


I’ve lost contact with most of my high school friends and don’t usually make effort to make plans anyway while I’m at home, especially on holidays (partially for the sake of keeping my mom happy). My family didn’t have any plans this year either, but I wanted to do something at least somewhat fun to celebrate. I picked up some sparklers at Kroger for $2 and Lauren and I used them to do some super cool photography. Here’s what we came up with:

IMG_2240 IMG_2267 IMG_2291 IMG_2297 IMG_2309 IMG_2315

Wanna do it yourself with some discount sparklers? You need a tripod and a DSLR camera, but you just set your F stop to ~11, ISO at 100, and shutter speed at however many seconds you want to do your art. We found it was great to go outside about an hour before sunset to set everything up and practice a couple times in the light because it gets difficult to see late at night. We brought a flashlight out as well to help make sure we were in the frame.

A Low Key Fourth