Tag: Review

A First Look at Butcher Box

A First Look at Butcher Box

Reviewing of the Butcher Box Service

UPDATE: March 3, 2020

Subscription services are not for everyone and the customer service for these services is not always quick to respond. FAIR WARNING!

For several years, we invested part of our income tax refund into organic beef. Basically, we would go in with several other folks to purchase a cow and then when it was butchered we’d collect our portion.

It’s expensive if you consider it has to be paid all in one lump sum. It’s not as expensive when you realize we have beef for almost a full year.

Or we used to. I got made at our stand up freezer because I had to keep defrosting it – plus, it was big and took up a large portion of my laundry room. Plus, the older boys were off to college so I didn’t have as many folks to feed. Plus, the youngest and husband go off to school all day so I don’t have as many meals to make.

I wanted the organic beef, but I didn’t need as much of it. Plus, I also wanted other organic meats as well.

I had been seeing the advertisements for Butcher Box for several months, but after a visit to the grocery store sent me home empty-handed (I was searching for a free-range chicken), I decided now was as good a time as any to make the leap.

Besides, there was a bonus of free ground beef for life and that’s ALWAYS an item I can find a way to use.

The ordering process was simple. I chose a variety of chicken, pork, and beef. Fortunately, I only ordered one whole chicken because the school served chicken six out of ten days after I ordered. My family is not thrilled about chicken at the moment.

It took longer than I expected for the package to ship, and then I was panicked about the delivery. We had an issue earlier in the week with the FedEx guy mixing up our address with the neighbor’s address and I didn’t want that to happen with a box of meat (especially with a momma bear and her two cubs wandering the neighborhood – but one issue at a time).

I called the local FedEx office after lunch to make sure things were still on track. The lady who answered assured me they would make the delivery before the end of the day.

As I was telling my husband about the call with FedEx, the FedEx guy showed up.

I enlisted my son to help with the unpacking.

I was surprised that the meat wasn’t in a styrofoam box – the last time I ordered meat delivered, it came that way. But this had boxes around boxes and an empty plastic bag which I suspect had once been dry ice.

We moved all the meat from the box to the sink and sorted the frozen from the thawing.

I then used the Butcher Box chat feature on the website to update them about our shipment.

We just received our first box and we were almost the last delivery of the day for FedEx. All of the dry ice was gone, and the items on the bottom of the pack were thawed or in the process of thawing.

There were four sirloin steaks, two of which were completely thawed and the other two on their way. The ground breakfast sausage was also partially thawed. The chopped sirloin tips were also partially thawed.

We brought the box in as soon as FedEx delivered – but that was 4:30 pm our time.

We checked the box, and it only had one place where it said the items were perishable. It might have been all frozen had it been delivered earlier.

I’ll keep up updated on how things go.

Thank you, Kathryn

. They immediately responded and offered me some safety tips about temperatures of meat (which I didn’t know). After using my digital thermometer to measure the internal temperature, two of the steaks were right on the edge.

Grace offered to make it right, and she did. She then sent me an email with a complete transcript from the chat, which I definitely appreciated (and it’s the first time I’ve had a chat service do that). It makes it easier to keep records – and also to blog later on about the moment.

Most of the meat went into the freezer. Some of it went into the meat drawer of the refrigerator because I know I’ll be using during the next week. I originally put the chicken in the refrigerator, but I’m think about holding off on thawing it for now.

All and all, it was an eventful start. It may not have started out the way I expected, but it’s good to know that they are willing to back up their product.

If you want to try out Butcher Box for yourself, you can use http://fbuy.me/nIZkx

Be sure to let me know what you think of the experience and I’ll keep you up to date about how I put these treats to work in our meal rotation!

Have you ever tried a meal service? Share your thoughts, concerns, or blessings!

The Mom

Holiday Inn Express Offered The Mom a Rare Weekend Alone

Holiday Inn Express Offered The Mom a Rare Weekend Alone

You can always find a reason to complain – or you can find a reason to praise. The difference is not just in your experience but in the experience you leave with those you encounter.

find positives
The Mom had a treat this past weekend. I had the opportunity to spend two whole nights in a hotel . . . ALONE!

I had to work the days at WordCamp Birmingham 2018, but I had the hotel room all to myself.

The Holiday Inn Express in Pelham, Alabama was one of the sponsors for the conference and that was the hotel of choice for many of the attendees, speakers, or organizers. Not only did HIE provide a great group rate AND amazing amenities, but it was also within walking distance of the Pelham Civic Complex.

I checked in after we met to get set up for the weekend event, and was immediately impressed with the ease of the process. The staff welcomed me and had me checked in within a couple of minutes – even though I didn’t have my confirmation code available.

I LOVED the room!

Room at Holiday Inn Express

The next morning, the breakfast offerings caught me off guard. The omelets were tasty and just what I needed to get my morning started, but I’m fairly certain I could have eaten the cinnamon buns all day. If you can make a cinnamon bun delicious without having to drip it in icing then you have my attention.

I tried to say relatively “smart” in my breakfast choices, so I did complete the meal with some yogurt.

The hotel was packed full for the weekend, as was the parking lot, but even with folks having a party in the indoor pool area (or maybe it was the meeting room – I didn’t bother to investigate), my space was quiet and I had a second peaceful night’s sleep.

Breakfast on the second morning was even more of a surprise – because I came in expecting the same offerings. Sunday morning featured bacon . . . do I really need to say any more?

Great Parts of My HIE Stay

  • The room was fresh and clean – but not overly scented. I have stayed in hotels that used air fresheners to “present” clean, but that much scent only gave me a headache – NEVER fun when you are on a trip.
  • The staff was amazing! Everyone greeted me with a smile and was helpful (and even eager) to answer my questions. Sometimes you can run into crowded weekends that wear out the staff, but these folks never seemed to slow down.
  • Coffee

  • Coffee! The breakfast was spot on, but the never-ending coffee was even better. I was only a few doors from the lobby coffee, so it was easier to walk down and get fresh coffee than it was to make coffee in my room. *BONUS* The lobby cups were much larger than the room cups.
  • The location was perfect for WordCamp Birmingham 2018. It was easy to get to all the different after events, the conference, and even local stores.

All in all, I can say that HEI met and exceeded my expectations.

The Down Parts of My HIE Stay

  • The in-room refrigerator was small – not normally an issue, but with all the left-overs from the event, I could have fed my army of men for a few days if I could have kept it all cold.
  • COFFEE! Okay, so the lobby coffee wasn’t exactly never-ending. Day two of the conference left us without afternoon coffee and me without afternoon energy. I slipped away from the event to grab some lobby coffee from the hotel and was sad to find that at 3 pm there was not coffee to be had.
  • Ground floor room – which was great for getting in and out of the room but not so great for opening my curtains. I like to sleep with the curtains open so the morning light pours in and wakes me. Being on the ground floor meant I had to keep my curtains closed the whole time. *NOTE* I believe the staff would have moved me if I had asked – and a room had been available – but I knew I wasn’t going to be in my room that much so I adjusted.

The down parts of my stay at Holiday Inn Express Pelham were easy to adjust around and not really things I expected (as much as wanted). I could have found things to complain about – like the fact that the parking lot stayed crowded and there was always one 18-wheeler in the lot at night – or I could focus on the praise – did I mention the cinnamon buns to you yet? Often the place where I put my focus determines my experience – and also affects the experience of the people around me.

Thanks to the HEI. It was a wonderful stay and I appreciated that they were willing to join WordCamp Birmingham 2018 as a Community Sponsor.

Share your stays

Share your stories of “nights away” in the comments below. Share your favorite parts and how you think it could be better (or what others should watch for).