Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blogger / Vlogger Obsession: Pretty Neat Living

A couple of months ago, I stumbled on to a blogger known at the time as OrganizedJen. Jennifer Ross, queen of all things organizational, maintains a regularity updated lifestyle blog and a YouTube channel with over 120,000 subscribers. (Which is crazy to me since I get excited when my blog view count for the day skyrockets to 8.)

Just click on one of her videos and you can see why she's so addicting to watch. As if I didn't love her content enough (she's inspired me to do a home purge and upped my cosmetics game by about a thousand), she's also an avid Disney fan. She and her husband are regular vacationers at Walt Disney World and she has quite a number of Disney-related vlogs - everything from booking a Disney trip to what she packs for visiting WDW. They are definitely worth a watch. Here are some of my favorites:

She just relaunched her brand as Pretty Neat Living which represents well the content she's been putting out there for five years now. Far more than just organizing, Jen invites you into her delightful little slice of the world in which suitcases are always big enough and no task is insurmountable with help from The Container Store. Go check out Pretty Neat Living!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Garden Grocer Rave Review

Today I want to share my review of Garden Grocer, an online grocery delivery service based out of Orlando that specializes in deliveries to the Walt Disney World Resorts. 

Before our second trip to Disney World last summer, I’d done a lot more research on sites like MouseSavers and DISboards than our first go around…Disney is really just one of those things you need to experience to understand how it all works. Don’t get me wrong, first-timers will have an incredible trip without reading all the guidebooks, but for subsequent trips, you definitely know what you need to prepare, pack, not pack, and plan ahead. For my family, one of those things was strategizing a way to cut down breakfast time to be able to get in a little more sleep and a little more magic. Additionally, we found that, for us, that the meals at WDW are so filling, it’s unnecessary to have a full breakfast every day.

Now, while I’m not usually looking for more than a big mug of coffee and a piece of toast, my husband is a “breakfast person;” but even he insisted that a bowl of cereal and piece of fruit was more than sufficient, especially considering all the fabulous Advanced Dining Reservations at Signature restaurants we had planned for dinner throughout our stay. My research led me to the wonders of shipping items to your resort to arrive ahead of your stay. Enter Garden Grocer. 

Every aspect of ordering from Garden Grocer was perfect start to finish. The website is easy to navigate and the prices are reasonable (an absolute bargain compared to New York City prices, and certainly WDW food costs). Before even signing up for an account, you can browse the online shelves a bit to get an idea of what they have (answer: everything). When you create an account, you can even favorite items so that you can mull over your list before putting them in your shopping cart. What really sold me on this particular service was the communication. The follow-up phone call order confirmation gave me confidence in dealing with this company for the first time and the text message I received letting me know my groceries were waiting for me at the Wilderness Lodge while I was en route on Disney’s Magical Express from MCO gave me great peace of mind. Furthermore, the accuracy of my order and the freshness of the products I received were of the best quality (– fresh fruit salad and milk were part of my order). 

The products I ordered were there as promised. I simply mentioned it at the check in desk and I was sent just a few feet away to the bell hop counter. Less than 10 minutes after I got to my room, the bellhop was there with our groceries! And as promised, all of the refrigerables (not a word but I’m making it a word!) were kept cold by my resort until I was ready for them. 

One of the features of having placed an order (and therefore having an online account) with Garden Grocer, is that you can view past orders to remember what you purchased last time. Based on 4 adults for a 6 day stay, I ordered:

1 package of bakery fresh blueberry muffins
12 cereal single cups, assorted cereals
2 packages of Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars
1 box of Quaker Instant Oatmeal Variety Pack
1 half-gallon of milk
6 pack of yogurt, assorted flavors
1 container Tropicana orange juice
1 bowl of fresh mixed fruit
2 cases of bottled water, 32 count each

Including the $14.00 delivery fee, sales tax and gratuity, the bill came to $100 on the nose. This was more than enough food for all of us for breakfast (I wanted to have a variety for my husband and brothers-in-law to choose from) and came out to $5 per person, per day, including ALL of the bottled water we used on the trip! (At $2.50 a bottle in the parks, we paid $.25 a bottle using Garden Grocer.) Everything fit well in our little refrigerators, split between our two rooms and we restocked the water in the fridge nightly. For just one of the mornings we made an ADR for Kona Cafe which was a great experience and a nice break from the small and quick in-room breakfast. Needless to say, lunch was skipped that morning! (Tonga Toast = HEAVEN)

The only thing I would add for next time is either purchasing some disposable bowls, plates, and cutlery or bringing some light plastic reusable ones from home. We ended up having to take what we needed every morning from the quick service cafeteria when we went to go fill our Resort Mugs with coffee. 

It was a real luxury to eat breakfast in our rooms and to not have to pay extra or use a Quick Service credit on such a small meal. I highly recommend using Garden Grocer for anyone staying at a Walt Disney World resort. I won't hesitate to use them on all of my next stays at WDW!

This post is neither endorsed nor sponsored by Garden Grocer or gardengrocer.com. My opinions are based on my own research and experience. I did not receive any compensation, discount, or incentive for using this service.