My First Experience With Book Outlet

It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day! If you are ever in Memphis, Tennessee and want to learn about this amazing man, and others involved in the Civil Rights movement, check out the National Civil Rights Museum. You know, when Covid hasn’t closed it. They are having virtual programs today, Jan 18, if you want to learn more.

On with the completely unrelated blog post!

I heard about Book Outlet on TicTok. So I read a few reviews online and decided to give them a try.

First thing you need to know is that they don’t carry the newest releases. What they do carry is recent releases that are maybe one or two years old. But maybe not the most popular things. But sometimes the popular things. You just have no way of knowing unless you check back regularly.

I know, super helpful.

Second thing to know is that the shipping is, well, problematic. They tell you with the free shipping that it can take anywhere from 3 to 20 business days. They mean that. I ordered mine on Friday, November 20th and didn’t get it until Saturday, December 12th. That’s 23 total days, 14 business days.

The website interface is…interesting. Searching for books by title is easy enough. And you can break down the book options by genre. It’s when you go to search by authors that it gets really tricky. You have to search last name first, with a comma between the last and first names, and both must have the first letters capitalized or the search results will come back with nothing. It took me a few tries to figure this out.

Twas annoying.

Now onto the books themselves! I ordered 6 books and I am pleased to report that I received all 6 books. And in good condition! Though one did arrive with a store sticker on it. I had seen that was a possibility before hand, I was just hoping I would be spared that fate.

Oh well.

The packing slip came with clear instructions on how to make a return, file a claim for missing or mismatched merchandise, or just how to ask general questions. I had no need to do any of those things, so I can’t speak to whether or not that’s easy.

I’d say my only drawback was the shipping time, so if you need a book fast, don’t buy it here.

I have since purchased from Book Outlet again.

Martha and Marley Spoon-A Break Up

Well, it finally happened. We had to break up with Martha and Marley Spoon.

I know did a pro/con list when I did my review in September, but the food was really good, so we were willing to give them a fair shot. Now, here we are, 5 months later, and we are cancelling Marta and Marley Spoon.

I thought I would tell you why.

Problem #1: We kept getting bad meat. They would always credit our account, but it just kept happening. At least once every two weeks.

Problem #2: The customer service is so slow. We would wait a week or two sometimes for a reply from them. We would get a generic “due to high email volume” form email after two or three days, but still. The waiting.

Problem #3: We kept having to get the steak and potatoes to accommodate my food allergy. Also their Asian inspired cuisine wasn’t very good, so that also eliminated some food for us.

And there it is. The three reasons we are breaking up with Martha and Marley Spoon. We thought we would give Hello Fresh a shot this time. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Book of the Month- A Review

So let’s talk about Book of the Month.

A little background: Book of the Month is a monthly subscription box that is all about books! And all you get is the books you select! It’s a hardcover new release or early release for $14.99 each month, with $9.99 for each additional book. You can also skip the month you don’t want the books from.

I’ve heard about BOTM through bookish people of various mediums. But what really convinced me was my friend Erin, who also happens to be the leader of one of the book clubs I happen to have joined this year. And, of course, there was their cyber week sale. Also, a book I recommended for book club (that didn’t get picked because reasons, I’m really not bitter because the winning pick was so dang cute!) was one of the choices for BOTM for December.

So really it was three things that led to me finally deciding to go with BOTM.

Go me.

I joined on November 30th, my book shipped on December 2nd, on December 10th I got a notification that my book was out for delivery, and an email when it was delivered! So that was pretty awesome. When I got the email telling me that my book had shipped, they also said it would take a little bit longer than usual due to the high volume of packages sent during this holiday season. I appreciated the heads up, even if it was something I already knew.

It arrived wrapped in plastic, which I appreciate, as it protects the book from the elements if it has to be left on a porch or in another outdoorsy environment. I’ll be interested to see if this is something they continue.

They also included a little book that went over the history of BOTM, some stickers, and a bookmark. The stickers were so cute!

The book I picked was In a Holidaze by writing duo Christina Lauren. It’s a romance that features the use of a time loop, a la Groundhog Day (or my favorite episode of Stargate SG-1, if you know, you know).

The next month’s picks became available on December 27th, with me acquiring 1 credit on my account. Luckily, a book I wanted for January was in the mix, so I picked that up, as well as a past title for $9.99 that I had been wanting.

So far I am really liking Book of the Month. But time will tell if it holds up.

Do you use BOTM? What do you think of it?

Home Chef-An Update

Well, it looks like we are breaking up with Home Chef.

I know, I know. I waxed poetical about them back in March. But a lot can change in 6 months. And so, it seems, it has.

See, what had happen was they change distribution centers, at least for us. Our packages used to come from Georgia and now they come from California. And ever since then we have been having problems.

Specifically with the chicken. It keeps coming in bad. And when that’s the main ingredient in your Truffle Butter Chicken Breast, well, you can see where that could be a problem.

At first it was a box every month that the bad chicken would appear. Home chef would make it right with credits and we would go about our business. But then it started happening more frequently. This last time we got two in a row. I told the hubs I was done.

So now. Well now its time for a change.

We’ve decided to change to a new meal service. We happen to like meal services. They do the shopping for you, prep the recipes, and cost less than going out to eat. It’s a win win!

We are going to try Martha and Marley Spoon for a little while. If we stick with it, I’ll do a review on it for you in a couple of months.

Sometimes change is scary. But sometimes, change can be tasty!

Home Chef-A Review

So the hubs and I have been getting Home Chef meal delivery service for about seven months now.  Suffice it to say, this is going to be a positive review.

Home Chef is a DIY meal delivery service.  Meaning they send you the ingredients and you make the food.  I love cooking, so naturally, I enjoy this.  The meals range from easy to expert level.  Most meals can be cooked in 30 minutes.  Some recipes are done in an hour.  They even have some recipes that can be cooked in 15 minutes!


We picked Tuesday delivery for our meals and, with one exception due to a holiday falling at an inopportune time, all of our meals arrived on time.  The box that didn’t, well, that arrived too hot to eat the meat.  Home Chef gave us credit towards our next box of meals equal to what we paid for the original box.  Since it wasn’t Home Chef’s fault the food was late, we gave them another chance and everything has been great since!


The food arrives in an insulated box with the freezer packs on the bottom, over the meat.  I’ve noticed that the warmer the weather forecast, the more freezer packs there seem to be.  Huzzah!


The meal ingredients come separated in their own bags and are labeled.  I use each bag as my garbage bag when I am cooking, so that’s helpful too.  The meat also comes individually wrapped and sealed, which is nice.


Each meal comes with easy to read (and follow) instructions.  As long as you read over the instructions carefully before you start making each meal, you won’t have any problems.  There have been times where I missed a step because I didn’t read the recipe over once before I started cooking, and well, I should know better because I cooked with recipes all the time!   User error is always fun.


It’s good for people who have allergies. like me, because they tell you before you select your recipes for the week what allergens are in what items!  Since I am allergic to eggs (is anyone getting tired of me bringing that up yet?), having the allergens laid out like that is invaluable.


Obviously, if we’ve been eating it for seven months, we love the food.

I can tell you, that out of seven months of doing this, we have had only one or two times where we really didn’t like the meal to the point of not wanting to finish it.  Okay, maybe three times.  That’s not a bad track record when you think about it.  And since it’s cheaper than a restaurant meal at (usually) $10 a serving, that’s not bad at all.


All in all, and with a smile on my face, I recommend Home Chef.