a smoother landing

by | Sep 26, 2019 | a slice of life | 17 comments

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.  As always, all opinions expressed are honest and my own.  Read to the bottom of the post to find out how you can get $60 off your first 3 weeks of Blue Apron meals.

When I get back from a trip, especially an extended one overseas, the landing can be a little bumpy.  Not only am I jetlagged and completely out of my normal routine, but there is a backlog of work and home stuff that needs my attention.  Jeff does great…  While I was in Europe, he ordered school pictures, watered my plants, and made sure the boys got to all of their activities on top of everything else.  But, I know from experience when he travels, you just have to let some stuff go when you’re pulling double duty.

One of the things that’s typically kicked down the road when I’m gone is the grocery shopping.  And I’m talking about real grocery shopping when you actually buy fruits and vegetables and things to make from-scratch meals.  The fridge ends up being a time capsule…there is the half-chopped pepper I left, now collapsed and slimy.  The cucumber has been reduced to a bag of water.

Knowing this was going to be the case before I even started packing my suitcase, I placed an order for some Blue Apron meals.  I actually forgot to tell Jeff, but we’ve ordered Blue Apron meals enough that he knew the drill and put the contents of the box in the fridge and the recipe cards on the counter, so all would be ready when I got home.

I selected the two-person meal plan (they have plans for two, four, and the WW Freestyle program) and ordered Sweet & Spicy Salmon for Jeff (salmon is one of his favorites) and Mediterranean-inspired Creamy Fennel & Olive Pasta for me.  I felt like I would enjoy a taste of Italy on the heels of my trip.

We decided to prepare both dishes at the same time while the boys were at youth group and then eat the leftovers on a weeknight when we had to cart the boys to activities.

Not only were we making dinner for a couple of nights, but we were getting to hang out together after he was flying solo while I was on my trip.  I worked on prepping all of the fresh ingredients while Jeff read ahead on the recipes cards and got the rice for his dish going.

He also rinsed off the salmon and patted it dry to prepare it for the pan.  Jeff loves salmon and this was a good opportunity to learn how to cook it really well.  The recipe cards give specific times and tips for cooking each ingredient, so preparing each dish becomes a learning experience.

I’ve shared this before, but I love experiencing new flavors and ingredients.  Blue Apron is a great way to do that because the recipes are developed by expert chefs, the ingredients are exactly the portion you need, and they source quality ingredients from local suppliers and artisans.  My recipe introduced me to a combination of fennel, olives, and walnuts mixed into pasta.  I loved all of those ingredients on their own, but together in a creamy, flavorful sauce…?  It is so tasty and I’m definitely hanging onto that recipe card to make it again!

Since we were making two dishes, we had to coordinate the timing in the hopes that they’d be done at the same time.

We worked together, stirring, checking the pasta and the rice, following the recipes, mixing in new perfectly-portioned ingredients.

My dish ended up being done before Jeff’s, but just by a little bit and we were able to keep mine hot in the pan.

As I said earlier, the pasta dish was excellent and there was more than enough for me to get at least two good meals out of it…possibly three.  Doesn’t it just look delicious?

Jeff sat down to eat his dinner and he said, “This is the healthiest meal I’ve had since before you left!”  We ate together, content with our dishes, the time we spent together, and the fact that we had some tasty leftovers going into the fridge.

Knowing that a few dinners were ready to make in the fridge took a little bit of pressure off, so I’m glad I had the foresight to place an order with Blue Apron before I left.

If you’re interested in trying Blue Apron, the first 50 people to sign up will get $60 off over their first 3 weeks of Blue Apron!  Click HERE to sign up. (Valid for first-time meal plan subscribers only. Cannot be combined with any other offer.)

You can roll these meals into your normal meal-planning rotation or just order them when you need it (like when you’re returning from a trip and have no idea what’s awaiting you in the fridge!)


  1. Anita

    I hope someone is feeding the boys too. The food you and Jeff fixed for yourselves looks yummy. Good for you!

    • Marian Parsons

      Ha! Yep, they are getting fed, too. They are pretty happy with cereal on busy nights. 🙂

      • Cheri Dietzman

        Cereal was a menu item often when the crazy schedules of school-age children were involved!

  2. Anita

    I’m curious, what kind of cereal do you give a diabetic youngster as a dinner meal???

    • Marian Parsons

      His favorite is Honey Nut Cheerios. He is Type 1, not Type 2, so he can eat pretty normally, but just can’t have “fast-acting” sugar (soda, sugary candy) unless he’s low, and has to receive insulin for the carbs he eats.

  3. Anita

    I know it is none of my business, and thank you for your honest answer. I worried, reading your posting, because my husband developed type 2 diabetes, and it was such a struggle to maintain his proper blood levels over the years, (he did not cooperate, and life became a nightmare for us. I should realize that you know what you’re doing, and though it might seem to me that the boys are getting the short end of the stick, it’s just not so. Sorry, and I truly mean it. I raised four, and dinner time was always dinner for everyone, no matter what. Maybe I just made it harder for myself than it had to be.

    • Marian Parsons

      I appreciate that you asked and didn’t make assumptions! We do often eat together as a family, but with some church and school activities, our eating schedule can suffer. My type 1 diabetic son is also a super picky eater and he has to eat, so we can’t just tell him, “This is what’s for dinner and if you don’t like it, you can be hungry.” So, it’s a little tricky, but he’s getting better at trying new things and broadening his food vocabulary.

      He also sees a nutritionist regularly.

      And yes, type 1 and type 2 are totally different. I wish they were called different things because it causes a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. Type 2 is the most prevalent diabetes, so it’s the kind most people are familiar with. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease and it can’t be reversed, treated with a pill, or controlled with diet. He is completely insulin depeendent and there is no cure (yet.)

  4. Lynn

    Hi Marian….My husband is a type 1 diabetic and it’s true…..most people just don’t understand the
    difference between T1 and T2. Most of my married life, (50 years) I have had to explain or at least try to explain the difference between the two. Thank goodness for the pump….our lives changed dramatically, for the better because of it. His diet is just a good basic diet without tons of carbs unless called for . Loved your post. 🙂

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! I am so thankful for the pump and continuous glucose monitors. I am hopeful that there will be a cure in my son’s lifetime.

  5. Cynthia Johnson

    Thank you for the entire previous conversation. I never knew Type 1 was autoimmune disorder. I just thought it was Type 1 an advanced stage of Type 2. I always learn something here.

    Your meals look wonderful Marian! And to spend time alone with your hubby is precious time!

    • Marian Parsons

      I didn’t really understand the difference completely until my son was diagnosed. Type 1 is when your own body kills off the beta cells in your pancreas that produce insulin. Your body cannot make any insulin on its own and you must receive insulin through injections or a pump or you will die. (Before insulin injections were discovered, t1d was a death sentence. You would waste away, lapse into a coma, and slowly die. It was terrible.)

      Type 2 is when your body develops a resistance to insulin and it can usually be controlled and/or reversed through diet and exercise. Since type 2 is most prevalent (over 90% of diabetics are type 2), most people lump them all together or assume that type 1s have to eat sugar-free foods, etc. Most sugar-free foods aren’t all that helpful for type 1s because they still have just as many carbs as something that has real sugar. So, my son eats normal food and he can even have ice cream and chocolate, but he just has to stay away from pure sugar unless he is low. I hope that helps!

  6. Michele M.

    Blue Apron is awesome too for empty nesters. I loved it because it really is fun preparing things with one’s spouse (or partner, roommate, parent, etc.) Highly recommend trying them if you have not.

    Love what you chose to eat too. Jeff is a handsome fella – great hair!

    And whom wouldn’t adore fixing anything in that incredible kitchen of yours???? It is dreamy!

  7. Harper

    Instead of spending the money for “dinner” delivered, why don’t you just order groceries online and cook meals. I have looked at all those food sites and the prices are crazy. I can get a whole bag of salmon for $10 and cook it on cedar planks with seasoning. Just my thought. I don’t have money to waste and I like cooking how I want. My dad was also type 1 diabetic so we grew up with actual home cooked meal, not fast food or delivered dinners.

  8. Marian Parsons

    I like doing the blue apron meals, because all of the ingredients are perfectly portioned. I find that I actually try new flavors when I don’t have to buy an entire bottle of something, especially If I don’t know if it’s something I like. I make most of my meals from scratch as well, which is one reason why I like the blue apron dinners. They are all fresh ingredients and I can make a good, healthy dinner. It sounds like you have dinner down, so just do what works for you.

  9. Sharon

    Please, please take down the “subscribe today” pop up. It has popped up no less than 15 times while I was trying to read this post. Finally had to give up because it was so annoying 🙁

  10. Marian Parsons

    I am so sorry about that! It should not be popping up that often. It is only supposed to show up for one person one time. I thought we had it fixed, but obviouslyIt is still an issue. I’ve asked my assistant to take a look at it.

  11. Ziane

    We have benefited the subject thanks.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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