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Ask Jess: Post-Pandemic vacations, a closet organization tip, the Ember Mug and more!

Post-Pandemic vacations, a closet organization tip, the Ember Mug and more!

All outfit items linked in this blog post

Happy Wednesday! (It IS Wednesday, right?) 

Halfway through the week! I’m on my first cup of coffee (in my Ember Mug, no doubt–one of today’s topics!) Neal is shoveling snow outside as we got a bit more yesterday. Let’s jump into a few reader questions for today’s Ask Jess! 

Ask Jess: Post-Pandemic vacations, a closet organization tip, the Ember Mug and more!

Where’s your first big vacation planned post-pandemic? 

UGH that’s so hard. I feel like every week we have a new place we want to go! Nothing planned yet because I feel like it’s too soon. 

I think it will really come down to the time of year–when exactly things are actually safe to fly again, etc. My gut tells me that an international trip won’t be super likely until fall or winter, or the first half of 2022, just based on vaccine rollout, but I feel like I’ve really learned to appreciate how many great options we have for domestic travel. We have made the decision to not fly until we can both be vaccinated and until anyone we may be visiting is also vaccinated. 

Whenever that time comes, the first place we fly will definitely be taking a trip out to Oregon to see my family again (finally) and then maybe we could tack on a California vacation to that? We’ve always wanted to do a California road trip, and we’ve never done wine country! Could be a fun option. We have also never been to New Orleans together–I’ve always wanted to go! 

My first Europe trip will likely be our Paris trip with Whitney and Rebecca and readers, whenever it’s safe and borders open! Not sure when that will be though, but again, a waiting game! Neal and I have also been talking about how much we miss Spain (especially Mallorca!) so maybe we’ll get back there!? 

Are you still doing P.Volve? Curious how it compares to Melissa Wood Health!

I still love P.Volve! I think they’re just two VERY different things. And I decided to try Melissa Wood Health because I was really unmotivated and a traditional “workout” just felt like such a slog and I couldn’t get myself to do it. But so many people rave about MWH because it’s really calming, a mix of yoga/pilates, with a lot more mental benefits, and for whatever reason this just sounded a lot more appealing and achievable to me than a traditional type workout (i.e. P.Volve) and I ended up loving it so much! 

I think they actually are really great to do interchangeably. I haven’t been doing MWH long enough to see results. But my guess is that you will see results from P.Volve a lot faster if that’s what you’re going for. (I certainly did). Although, pilates will definitely give you long and lean definition too! I do also use all my P.Volve equipment to make the MWH workouts even more challenging and I’ve been really loving that combo! 

What’s your #1 tip for keeping your closet organized? 

Uniform velvet hangers, hands down, no question!

You can’t have an organized closet with a mishmash of hangers! Uniform hangers will instantly make you breathe easier and make your closet feel like an oasis! (Plus, clothes don’t slip off of them!) You can find them literally everywhere–in stores and online. Amazon basics makes good ones!

Tip: Make sure you get all the same color–it’ll look so much better that way! (And use the same color throughout your house. I made the mistake of getting both tan and black for different closets and now when I need to pull from one to use in another it doesn’t look as nice!) 

Are you liking the Ember mug? Worth the money? 

YES! Omg. It’s the best thing ever. I love it so much. My coffee would always get so cold, and now I don’t have to rush to chug it before it cools down!

To charge it, all you do is set it on its little charging saucer. No more microwaving your coffee three different times before noon! Do you NEED it? Absolutely not. Nobody needs a $99 electric mug that keeps your coffee warm. But is it lovely? Yes. Also, it would make a great gift for moms or moms-to-be, if you’re looking for a great mom-focused gift. My mom friends always say it’s a godsend because they’re always too busy to drink their coffee while it’s hot, and it’s likely not something she’d buy for herself! 

Are you still doing Blue Apron? How many meals do you do per week? 

We hit snooze and took a couple weeks off over the holidays but we are back at it again this week! It really makes life so much less stressful, especially during the week. You can see my full Blue Apron review blog post here if you missed it–it’s very in-depth and covers all your FAQ’s!

We’ve found the sweet spot for us in terms of frequency two “dinner” meals and one “lunch” meal (they usually have a really quick meal that’s like a quesadilla, grilled cheese, etc, that I love having for a weekday lunch. It gives me something to look forward to and it’s nice having a delicious homemade lunch together on a random weekday. It makes the day more special! 

(Full disclosure, BA is a sponsor and I’m really excited to be continuing my partnership with them this quarter–and if you’ve been following for a while, you know that speaks volumes to how great they are! I take on very few partnerships because I do not take your trust lightly, and therefore, I’m incredibly picky about the brands and products I endorse). I’ve received so many great dms from those of you who started using them too and are so pleased–it makes me so happy! 

Here’s the short version of my favorite things about BA:

1. You don’t have to worry about meal prep, planning, or grocery shopping! (THE WORST.) 

2. They have a lot of variety of meals to choose from each week and everything is REALLY good (and I have very high flavor standards!)

Every meal and recipe is so streamlined with step by step directions–basically just opening and dumping into a pan or a bowl!

3. It allows the “non-cooking partner” a lot more autonomy in the kitchen and the ability to take the reins.

I am the “main” cook between the two of us simply because I love cooking, but that get’s old 5 nights per week. Sometimes I’m just exhausted and even though Neal gladly volunteers to cook, I don’t have the energy to dictate what to do and we just end up resulting to takeout too often.

BUT, on BA nights, Neal usually handles the cooking! Not that he isn’t willing to do that all the time, BA just makes it MUCH easier!

I can either play sous chef and we can enjoy cooking together (a role I’m not used to playing and is sometimes nice–ha!) or if I’m busy finishing a deadline, squeezing in a workout, whatever–I don’t even need to be in the kitchen at all (and he doesn’t need to interrupt me asking [completely fair] questions such as, “How do I thaw the ground chicken? Do I cut the zucchini the long or short way?” ????????) 

Also, BA is running a deal for $100 off your first 5 boxes right now through 1/29 if you purchase through my link! (Usually, my code only gets you $60, so this sale is a big savings!) 

That’s all for today, thanks to all who submitted! See more Ask Jess posts right here