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in food, travel

Tulum’s Hartwood: a sumptous jungle escape

Ah Hartwood. The little gem in the jungle. Smoke rising from the wood burning oven. Trees hanging over rustic tables. People chattering about their good fortune to snag a reservation. The name Hartwood is only one that I heard recently through Camille Styles blog. My husband and I so happened to be traveling to Tulum to shoot a wedding video, and so I read about this restaurant, lovingly owned by an expat couple living in Mexico. A celebration of local ingredients and culture.

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From my experience, there are two different ways to do Tulum. One, the vegan, boho experience where you stay in an outdoor cabana, do yoga in the morning, and reflect on the universe. And two, the luxury experience where you stay indoors, shop for expensive linen shirts, and eat at Hartwood.

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HelloFresh Meal Three

HelloFresh Pork Chops with Grape Salsa

Flavor: 4 | Ease: 5 | Dirty Dishes: 4 | Price for first week: $29

One of my favorite things about these meal services is that it makes a well rounded meal without you having to buy tons of groceries. Each package is perfectly portioned and contains a good protein, vegetable, starch, and garnish/sauce.

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HelloFresh Meal Two

Back again to report on the second of three meals delivered for my first week of HelloFresh. The first was a success. Delicious, well rounded, and simple to prepare. Let’s take a look at the next shall we?

HelloFresh: Seared Steak and Nectarine Salad

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Flavor: 3 | Ease: 5 | Dirty Dishes: 3 | Price for first week: $29

This was the meal I was most excited about but unfortunately the flavor fell a little flat. My favorite bites were the ones that had the sweet nectarine, but the vinaigrette was overpowering and the steak was a bit chewy.

Having said that, I think that the idea was good and the recipe could be improved with a bit of tweaking. I will say that I am starting to get used to the neatly packaged and perfectly portioned ingredients.

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HelloFresh Meal One

Like I mentioned in a previous post, I am extremely susceptible to marketing schemes. And lately, my facebook feed has been flooded with HelloFresh, Blue Apron, HomeChef, and so on and so on. Apparently this is the new way to cook dinner! The reason that this appeals to me is because grocery shopping appropriately for two people is actually quite difficult. I despise freezing food and I don’t like buying meat or fish more than 2 days before I’m going to cook it so I end up at HEB nearly every other day.

Having said that, I don’t have a really compelling reason to try any of these services EXCEPT that they are all offering crazy discounts for your first week! So I have decided to do an experiment for my benefit and for all of you out there that are curious about these offerings. I’m going to get a heavily discounted first week for several of these meal plans and report out on my findings. Week 1: HelloFresh!

HelloFresh: Pan-Seared Chicken

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Flavor: 5 | Ease: 5 | Dirty Dishes: 4 | Price for first week: $29

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in diy

DIY Marble Place Card Holders

This is my first “original” DIY project. I’m still a novice in the DIY world so I started with something with a low risk of failure or injury. When they installed the marble countertops in our kitchen I made sure to ask them to save the cutouts for the sink, knowing that I might want to use it for a project some day. This project requires a few things:

  • Dremel tool with x saw
  • 12 1″x2″x1″ pieces of carrara marble
  • gold leaf paint
  • paint brush

I had a larger piece of marble to start with which I had a friend cut into pieces with a tile cutter. If you don’t have access to one you might be able to go to a local fabricator. Once you have the pieces, you’ll use the dremel tool to cut a notch through the top of the marble. This will be the slot where you set your place card. Because I don’t have a fancy work table, my dad built me this little jig to keep the marble steady while I made the cut.

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That was all just the preparation. Now for the fun part. This is actually my first time working with gold leaf paint. This entire project was inspired by this Lauren Conrad project. Gold and carrara marble goes great together!
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