12 July – When The Social Butterfly Calls

Happy Humpday! Here we are at the midpoint of the week, 12 days deep in the month, and just shy of halfway through this challenge. Today was good and today was different. Let me preface the rest of this entry by reiteratin the mission and goals of our “Month in the Amazon”: if we need to buy something it has to be purchased through Amazon as possible. At the end we will identify the shortcomings of Amazon’s services and what gaps would need to be filled in order for someone to be 100% relient on them. Depending on your lifestyle, not everything can be provided by Amazon. Today was the first day we had to face this fact.

We broke the streak over lunch. Today was the birthday for one of those friends and we decided to corral a few people together to celebrate over some Indian Food. After 12 days of not eating at restaurants it was glorious. It was also weird to pay for something and not have the Amazon app open. Regardless, it was worth it to see friends, celebrate, and to prove that we haven’t lost our minds just yet.

The second phase of our Wednesday brought us face to face with a networking happy hour. As it happens, the draw to arm yourself with a little liquid courage snuck up on us. Whether we actually needed to buy drinks to blend in, or if we just wanted to make the most of one day of non-Amazon purchases, we went ahead and grabbed our libations.

Fear not!  Post mixer, we still went home and dined on our leftovers from the beginning of the week.

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11 July – It’s Turkey Time

 

It’s Tuesday! Dan returned and we’re back in the swing of things. With Dan balking at my suggestion to break out the cheerios for a second night in a row (hey, it was worth a shot), we decided to call our frozen ground turkey to the plate. Pun intended.

Our trusty Pinterest machine was able to hook us up with a Turkey Taco Quinoa Skillet (recipe here: http://www.spoonfulofflavor.com/2016/01/20/turkey-taco-quinoa-skillet/). Wait. Did we have any quinoa? Oh yes, we have 5 pounds of it. While we were assembling the rest of the ingredients Dan had a lightbulb moment: what else do we have many pounds of? Answer: Cornmeal. It’s time to put a dent in the reserve we’ve been stashing away in the pantry. Thus, cornbread was added to the night’s menu. As shown in the pictures, the process wasn’t too difficult. Add a dollop of sour cream and a spread of butter and the meal was complete. Bon Appetite!

Not too bad for a Tuesday night. Dan comes home and our challenge is back in full swing, with a slight upgrade. A successful main course with a basic but hearty side dish. Fancy living here we come!

 

 

 

 

Day 10 – Alone in the Amazon

How do you make a challenge like ours a little more interesting? Everything ordered off Amazon has to start with the same letter? You can only order green items? Make your next selection of purchases completely blindfolded? What about making the participants fend for themselves??

Which is exactly what we did for most of Monday until mid-Tuesday. Brought to light by a last-minute work trip for Dan, our challenge took a sharp turn we hadn’t thought through just yet. Since I can’t speak completely for Dan, this post will be split into our respective accounts and experiences of that day.

Jeannie

I lucked out. I didn’t have to go anywhere. I packed my leftover butternut squash tortellini for lunch, snagged a soggy banana for breakfast (no lie, it could have been ready for banana bread to be honest), rocked the Nature Valley bars for a snack, and only had to worry about dinner. I had this day in the palm of my hands.

What I didn’t count on was the mood I was going to be in when I got home. Worry not, I didn’t get the sudden inspiration to break these rules and hit the closest Italian restaurant for some fine single dining. What ended up happening was my complete lack of inspiration that was present when I got home.

What did I do, you ask? Yours truly spent the solo Monday evening of our challenge sitting down to a lovely, scrumptious, wholesome… bowl of cheerios. With a tall, cold glass… of water. Your girl here likes to keep it simple! I can’t explain it; I just went for the quickest, easiest thing I could think of. I did not have Dan’s parallel energy to push me into making something from all the things we had ordered off Prime Now. Was it laziness OR was it me subliminally wanting to wait until Dan returned to continue our special experiment? I’d like to think I was being courteous and not celebrating without him.

So lesson for the next order might be to select some frozen pizzas or dinner treats for nights like this. Something quick and filling that isn’t just a bowl (or 3) of wholegrain oats and 2%.

 

Dan

In the wise words of Archer “WHAT THE SH!T” AMAZON?!

I pack my trusty Amazon delivered granola bars for the flight.  You know, do the right thing and all that.  Then I land and check the Prime Now options.  Initially, I was bummed because they didn’t deliver down to where my hotel was (Denver’s Tech Center).  But then a popup asked if I was in Denver.

Interest: piqued.

I click on the “I’m in Denver” button and come to find out Amazon has paired with Sprout’s to DELIVER MEAT!  I present A) a screenshot to prove I’m not making this up and B) the photo of myself and a coworker, happy nibbling on the granola bars.  This was not the happy face I had once I found they delivered meat.  C’mon man…

PS Let’s also note the fact that my wife adds milk before cereal.  This is the telltale sign of a murderer…I’m sleeping one eye open tonight.

09 July – Tortelli-no-you di’int

Sunday was a simple one, yet completely successful by means of our challenge. We stuck true to our parameters and not only cooked another Amazon-supplied dish, but we managed to keep ourselves entertained with some free-range activities.

By a quick comparison, Dan’s adventures were slightly more exciting than mine. I decided on an activity that never lets me down: lounging by the neighborhood pool… for 3.5 hours. I had some time with friends who came by, I stared at the clouds, floated on my trusty pizza floatie, and was later joined by my challenge-mate. I was a happy camper. Dan opted for an early-morning scoot on his motorcycle; visited a friend and then zipped around the always beautiful Hill Country. He must have been jealous of my chosen path for the day because, as I mentioned, he couldn’t resist the call of the pool.

We rounded out the day with an early dinner. It was time to whip up some Butternut Squash Spinach Tortellini. With Pinterest hot on the phone, we mixed together all the ingredients. Which, by the way, were all ordered off of Amazon Prime Now. Booyah. A 100% Amazonian dish. Believe me when I say it was a scrumptious as it looks in the photos below. You could try to lick the screen, but I guarantee it won’t be the same experience.

That was it for the day. It was a pleasant recharge and a surprisingly easy day to Amazon-Out.

Note: The rogue burger was a composed of venison that was gifted from a coworker quite some time ago. The lack of red-meat intake was wearing me out… I needed to replenish!

 

08 July – Week One Down

To quote Dan early in the day: “is it really only the 8th?”. What happened to 2017 flying by? Where’s that all-to-familiar feeling where you just got used to dating things for March and now you have to adjust  to April already? I guess July really wants us to savor this experiment. I see you, 7th month; you haven’t broken us yet.

Today we took inventory after our first full week. Dan had us pretty stocked up after the last order so no food was purchased today. I did, however, place my very first order with a newly discovered Amazon feature: Amazon Prints through Prime Photos. I ordered two large matte photos, with an estimated delivery date of July 21st. It wasn’t difficult to execute the order but I did huff, briefly, that the photo orders had to be placed through a computer and not the phone app (apparently there’s a image quality issue between the two platforms). No editing required for these puppies, so we’ll see what quality comes through on the 21st.

Other than a planned visit from a friend later that evening (which we thankfully had leftovers of the twice-baked potatoes to share), we had nothing scheduled for the day. As to be expected, every suggestion that came to mind were off-limits because they cost money. So we ended up making it a chill day staying in the neighborhood. 

Which brings me to my ponderings for the day: What resources does/could Amazon provide for active people? Could you do a night out on the town via the Amazon? Could it be called Amazon Do-Things? Amazon Date Night? This maybe our next level in this experiment; naturally more research is required. 

07 July – Wine Not?

We’re one week into our experiment and realized we had been searching for the wrong thing the whole time.  On a Friday, after an oddly long three day week, there was nothing more we wanted than to snag a beer and head to the pool.  From prior posts, you’ve noted our lack of success in the beer department.  Here’s where we went wrong….we didn’t search for other beverages.  Guess what Amazon sells?  WINE!  (insert that noise-from-heaven sound bite here)  Looks like someone’s going to be sipping with our pinkies out the rest of July.  Well, not for another week or so.  Here’s the rub.  It’ll take between 7 and 10 days to arrive.  At which time, the wife half will completely confuse the delivery guy when she hugs him.

Phew.

With that out of the way, time to recap today’s Prime Now shipment.  We’re finally wizening up as how to order.  Anytime someone says “hey, we’re running low / out of ____”, we simply pull up the app and add said item(s) to the list.  After your cart grows to a decent size, you hit checkout.  Today’s haul was pretty decent but we did end up with two more of those space age looking bags with freezer packs.  I wonder if there’s a way to return the freezer packs back?  We tried Blue Apron a few times and found it to be a bummer that you’d end up with so many of those bags…

Tonight, we dug into the freezer to use a bit of venison (gifted to us from a hunting coworker) in our twice baked potatoes.  Pretty tasty.   Note: the Dexter style gloves we’re actually a prior Amazon order for the husband’s bday present.

 

06 July – Champions Run on Fridge Scraps

06 Jul - 001

Thursday. July. 6th day of the year 2017. The day of the San Antonio Sports and Social  Club kickball  playoffs.

Shout out to leftovers from Day 5: thanks to the vegetarian enchilada dish fueling our lunch, we seemed to be on track to having  a grasp on living in the Amazon. Cue 5:30pm.

Our kickball game was at 7pm. Quick dinner  was needed. Did we have a quick dinner? Negative Ghost Rider. The Totinos freezer stash had been tapped. Day 5 leftovers were gone. It was time to get creative. With 90 minutes on the clock, we had to get  some serious calories in to fuel our calves, quads, glutes, and whatever other  body parts are deemed key to winning kickball matches (note “brainpower” not mandatory, which is probably why everyone drinks at these things).

Ladies and Gentlemen,  I’m not proud of the scene I’m about to describe, but in the spirit of  honest journalism the TRUTH must be told.  The data must be shared. SCIENCE depends on this level of honesty.

The fridge was ours for the taking. We started strong with a half-size chicken quesadilla each. Flour tortilla, cheese, and a scoop of the best of Sweet Sue’s Premium Chicken Breast-98% fat free (all “Prime Now” purchase BTW.. high fives). But it didn’t stop there. With no time to defrost or cook, anything was fair game. Baby carrots and 4th of July hummus? EDIBLE. Handfuls of cheese? Acceptable. Some chips and salsa? Totally cool. Spoonfuls of canned corn. No shame. It was messy and chaotic, but we did not leave the house starving.

Did we win? Yes we did. Our kickball team crushed it. And thankfully Dan and I had enough energy to be a part of it.

It’s one thing to have all the ingredients in house to make the meals you need, but it’s another thing to  have the time and discipline to prepare the meals ahead of time. Thursday was a revelation into that mindset. Not having the option of “picking up some Chipotle/Whataburger/Which-Wich” on the run to our next event adds some pressure to this experiment. Following this experience we’ve started to plan larger dinner meals so  as to have  proper leftovers in case of emergency. We’ve also placed an order for some deli meats, cheeses, and sliced bread that can be ready for consumption on  a minutes notice, so as to avoid another Fridge Raid 2017.

Jeannie: Out.

Happy Amazoning!

PS Yes, we’re in there…note the back of our heads as we had already turned away to go celebrate!