Ten Years Ago, Amid Tragedy, the Power of Moms Online

Ten years ago this weekend, we all held our breath as a gargantuan hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Katrina was 400 miles across and carried winds of 140 mph.

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On August 29, we woke up to horrifying scenes of disaster – 80% of New Orleans under water, people stranded on their roofs, 20,000 people packed into the Superdome that itself flooded and was without sanitation, food or clean water.

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Photo by AFP

The day after the hurricane struck, this famous photo of President George W. Bush flying over the wreckage became emblematic of the aloof non-response of his administration and many government agencies.

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We were all screaming at our televisions that more wasn’t being done.

But this was 2005, the year we all realized the Internet had the power to connect us one to one, no matter how far away we lived from each other. Cooper and I posted this to our blog:

Families who have lost everything are going to need so very much to get their lives going again.

Here at Been There, we want to establish a direct connection between those with things to donate and the people who need them. To do that, we are setting up a clearinghouse for anyone who has toys, clothes or other supplies to send directly to families.

Here’s how it works. If you have something to offer, respond to this post with what you have (and please be specific, for example if you have toys, say for what age group, how many, what sort of condition they’re in). Families in need are invited to respond to your post directly.

And if you’re here because you have a specific need, and you don’t see what you’re looking for, please use the comment section to tell us a little about your story and your needs.

And with that the Been There Clearinghouse was born. People flooded to our website to give. Within days, our blog couldn’t handle the traffic and programmers in Mexico, London and San Francisco jumped in to rebuild our site on WordPress.

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You stunned us with your imaginative generosity. You gave used cars, airline miles, retooled Mac computers (nearly 800 of them!), homemade quilts, baby clothes, school supplies, even beauty parlor chairs to help rebuild a lost salon. Schoolchildren, church groups, neighborhood associations and alumnae groups came together to help people and families.

And you came to tell your stories.

Toni, who was 21 years old with three boys, said she knew she’d get through the dark days because she saw her grandmother rebuild after Camille.  Toni wrote:

Many believe the government should be doing more for them. Me, I am just thankful to have the air mattress I sleep on and my family driving me crazy. I say I have seen the best and worst of humanity. I have seen riots over food and money, and I have seen complete strangers open their homes to give those who have no place to go a roof over their head. I have faith in my city and state, and I am with my government in saying that we will rebuild, not just buildings, but lives as well. It will of course take time and plenty of patience. For those of us that call south Mississippi home, it is worth it. Like a the phoenix from the fire my town will return as beautiful as was before Katrina, and I pray that the hardship of the last month, will be a lesson for the future.

Maddie wrote about how hard it was to get FEMA aid:

Try lugging an infant 2 miles to the nearest place that’s giving out goods. At that point all you have energy and room for is what food you can carry or fit in a stroller. What would be hugely helpful are shopping carts, wagons, wheel barrels, etc. Things that folks can fit things in if they don’t have transport. We have one bridge open in the whole Coast area, theres one way in and one way out. That’s it. The Red Cross and FEMA seems to love to put their help centers on the other side of the Biloxi Bay in Ocean Springs … the only way to get there is the highway or boat since that bridge is out. We aren’t allowed in the water and most of us don’t have cars to drive over there and we aren’t allowed to walk on the highways…how do you get help? You can imagine the frustration. 

We heard that many of you had been through tough times of your own and people had come through for you then, and you wanted to do the same for others.

My house burnt down when I was a jr. in high school and people helped us, so I want to help someone else.

Last year, I delivered my youngest son prematurely in the middle of Hurricane Frances here in South Florida. I want to help.

We are a small town family in Six Lakes Michigan, and would love to help in any way that we can. We have 7 children and know first hand how hard life can be. Thank you for your time. Hope to help someone in need.

All of you who came to the Been There Clearinghouse ten years ago helped to bring to life a new form of giving – connected giving – where you found each other, one-to-one, so that whatever was there to be given went to a person or family who needed exactly that, often in a wrapped package with their names on it, and a thoughtful, heartfelt note inside.

The response by all of you, across the country and around the globe, woke us up to the power of the web, in particular the power of moms online. You inspired us to create The Motherhood in 2006. It was your heart, story telling, and generosity of spirit that catalyzed us. We created The Motherhood because we wanted to build on your power of connection, conversation, caring and resourcefulness.

Nearly 2,000 people died and more than a million people were displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and many people along the Gulf Coast are still recovering.  This weekend we are thinking of all of you who lost loved ones, who lost your homes, your neighborhoods, your businesses, and your communities ten years ago.  We hope with all our heart that you’re doing okay today, and the last ten years have been good to you.

And we’re thinking about the tremendous outpouring of love, concern and giving that happened across the country in response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Thank you for giving of yourselves, for caring so much, and for inspiring us to create The Motherhood.

The Motherhood Blogger Network: Why Work with Us

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Ten years ago, public relations veterans Cooper Munroe and Emily McKhann recognized the power and marketing potential of the communities growing online, particularly around parenting and families. At a time when the term “blog” was just beginning to enter the national conversation, Facebook was in its infancy and most social platforms didn’t yet exist, they founded The Motherhood and began building a dynamic network of PR-friendly mom blogs to apply that marketing potential.

A decade later, their vision is flourishing as brands, agencies and nonprofit organizations search for ways to join and contribute to the conversation online – and for good reason.

According to Nielsen (as reported in She-conomy), by May 2012, about one in three U.S. moms were bloggers. Research compiled by The Next Web outlines a number of compelling reasons to put your product, service or cause in front of moms online:

  • Women drive 70-80 percent of all consumer purchasing through their buying power and influence.
  • More than three-quarters of women in the U.S. use the Internet for product information before making a purchase.
  • Nearly two-thirds of moms ask other mothers for advice before they purchase a new product.
  • 90 percent of moms are online, and nearly 20 million Internet users who are moms read blogs at least once a month.

Many companies use blogger networks like The Motherhood to help them connect these dots: With the right blogger influencers sharing information, stories, reviews and positive word of mouth, they can build awareness and drive purchases.

As a parent blogger network and social media marketing agency, The Motherhood functions as an experienced partner in helping companies identify and approach highly targeted bloggers for both small and large-scale coordinated online marketing campaigns.

Here are a few of the benefits of working with blogger networks in general and The Motherhood in particular:

  • We can pinpoint your most influential consumers. The Motherhood’s proprietary database includes thousands of bloggers we’ve personally worked with over the years. We make it our business to know what’s important to the influencers in our network, and we can quickly identify and mobilize a team according to the specific criteria most important to you. Our approach to blogger engagement is personal, resulting in a team of influencers who are advocates of your brand and deeply invested in the program’s success.
  • We work with influencers to create rich, dynamic content. Working closely with you, and always with your overarching brand objectives in mind, we create opportunities for trusted blogger ambassadors to develop compelling, shareable content online. That content lives indefinitely and contributes to great SEO and search results for your company or client.
  • We know social. We partner with bloggers on a daily basis and live on social media, and we’ve done it for years. We can help you find exactly the people you want to engage in short-term blog campaigns, long-term ambassador programs, Twitter parties, virtual focus groups and more to spread the word about your product, service or cause. 
  • We’re experienced in PR. The Motherhood team comes from the world’s top PR agencies. We provide you with powerful ideas based on insight and years of experience in the industry, and we can move at your pace – fast.
  • We guarantee coverage. We identify influencers who fit your objectives and target audience and love your brand, so it’s a win for everyone – and we guarantee coverage and engagement. Every step of the way, we provide detailed results reporting, insights and analysis.

Brands, PR/ad agencies, nonprofit organizations and other companies: To learn more about our online campaign options to reach influencers or inquire about partnering with The Motherhood to supplement your integrated marketing efforts, email contact@themotherhood.com.

Highlights from HGTV Magazine’s #BloggerBlockParty

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On August 17, more than 500 attendees joined HGTV Magazine at their second annual Blogger Block Party – an all-day event dedicated to meeting, greeting, tweeting, DIYing and more. Read on for highlights from the event in our recap!

To kick things off, Brooklyn Craft Company’s Brett Bara and HGTV Magazine’s Lifestyle Editor Jodi Kahn went head-to-head in the Editor vs. Blogger Flea Market Flips Challenge, presented by Benjamin Moore.

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Take a look at these before-and-after projects!

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Later in the day, Laurie March – lifestyle expert and creative force behind The House Counselor on HGTVRemodels.com – gave a DIY art presentation like those seen in the DIY Network Blog Cabin.

Licensed contractor and TV host Jason Cameron also shared easy paint fix tips during a session presented by Wagner. Of the event, Cameron said: “HGTV Magazine’s Blogger Block Party is a great event! It’s a fantastic opportunity to connect with bloggers who are such an influence today and give them the opportunity to demonstrate some great products and allow the bloggers to get hands on with them.”

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Other sessions included eco-friendly lifestyle expert Danny Seo offering upcycling tips, HGTV’s Design Star season seven winner Danielle Colding sharing Designer Downloads and designer Genevieve Gorder offering design trends for 2016.

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During the event, attendees participated in dozens of interactive stations and entered for the chance to win exclusive giveaways, and they were surrounded by pops of color and DIY inspiration at every turn.

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Follow @HGTVMagPromo for even more highlights and tips coming out of the event!

All images courtesy of HGTV Magazine

 

Social Media News for the Back-to-School Season

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We can hardly believe that the end of summer is drawing near! As we get acclimated to the fall season and back-to-school routine, it can be easy to miss what’s going on in the social media world. Here are a few important social media news announcements that were made in the last week.

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Before last week, Twitter’s API only gave access to 30 days of historical data. But that changed last Tuesday when the company announced it would now be offering Full-Archive Search API. Users now have instant access to every tweet ever—that’s more than 500 billion tweets! We are particularly excited about this update as it will allow brands to better gain insights to their audiences. Agencies can also use this tool to determine the success and effectiveness of past marketing campaigns and strategies, giving them insight to create even more impactful campaigns in the future.

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Remember the long-lost Facebook Notes feature? You very well may be see it appear in your newsfeed soon, as the social media giant is revamping its Notes feature. The company is still testing the feature, which has a very Medium-like blog appearance. Facebook told Fast Company that it is looking for easier ways for people to create and read longer-form stories on the platform. New abilities to come with the Notes feature could include tagging people, resizing photos and adding links and hashtags. Take a look at the updated format here, written by one of Facebook’s employees.

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This week, Periscope, a live streaming app, announced that it has more than 10 million accounts! This is incredible news, considering that the platform launched just a little over four months ago. Periscope reported that approximately 40 years’ worth of livestreaming footage is being watched every day with their app! If you’re considering using Periscope for your company, here’s an article listing some ways brands are using the app.

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Are you pinning back-to-school ideas on Pinterest? If so, your pins are among the 172 million back-to-school pins on Pinterest. This blog post from Pinterest revealed that from July to September, there has been a 290 percent increase in pinning related to the back-to-school season. If you’re looking reach pinners this fall, it might be worth taking a look at this list of back-to-school trending topics.

Now that you’re up to speed on social media news, comment to tell us what you think of these developments!

The Motherhood Recognized as One of Pittsburgh’s Fastest-Growing Companies

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The Motherhood is honored to be recognized as one of Pittsburgh’s fastest-growing companies! Last night, The Motherhood was named to the Pittsburgh 100 Class of 2015, a Pittsburgh Business Times program that recognizes the 100 organizations with the largest rate of growth over a three-year period from 2012 to 2014.

The Motherhood was ranked #41 overall and sixth in the consulting and professional services category. The Motherhood is also the second-fastest-growing marketing company in Pittsburgh, and we were one of just two companies in the top 50 with 10 or fewer employees!

As the 100 organizations represented last night have proven, Pittsburgh has transformed from a steel town to a region that is leading advancements in the technology, robotics, healthcare, biomedical technology, finance and education industries. We couldn’t be prouder to be included in such amazing company.

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After the awards ceremony, a reception was held to celebrate all the Pittsburgh-area honorees.

In June, The Motherhood received the news that we were named one of Pittsburgh’s fastest-growing companies. The list ranks the fastest-growing private companies in the region, with a rapid growth rate of 30 percent or more between 2012 and 2014.

Congratulations to all the companies named to this year’s Pittsburgh 100 List! 2015 has been such an exciting year for our team and we can’t wait to see what comes next!

Social Listening and Insights: What It Means for Brands

Industry Round Up

As social media evolves, and continues to generate vast amounts of data, the question is no longer, “Should I be collecting this material?” but rather, “How can I turn it into valuable insights for my brand, company, or product?” Consumers share opinions, experiences and preferences online on a daily basis. Are you listening to what they have to say?

Social listening can have a variety of useful applications for brands:

  • Customer service
  • Understanding brand health
  • Source of relationship building
  • Inspiration from real customers
  • Competitive benchmarking
  • Evaluating campaigns
  • Understanding when, why and how your customers make purchasing decisions

There are thousands of fantastic social listening tools to choose from to implement any of the above applications. However, most companies still struggle to anticipate what their most valued customers will do next.

It is crucial to understand the context around individuals posting about your product or brand and to always keep in mind who your key demographic is. Companies must put in place effective strategies and clearly defined goals for managing social listening and data analyzation to create valuable insight.

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Image Source: Crimson Hexagon

There have been some exciting developments in the world of social media listening and insight recently; here are a few highlights!

In a continued push for privacy, Facebook shut down access to hashtags through their API. Services which plug into the social network are no longer able to access hashtag data and statistics, and third-party tools are no longer able to provide public content from Facebook via hashtags at all through the API. However, Facebook will provide audience data for marketer insights through Topic Data, exclusively working with DataSift to pull in data from posts on the social network anonymously. Third-party tools are beginning to work with DataSift to bring this functionality to their own platforms as well.

DataSift’s method has smoothed the ongoing complications of searching through private posts by the more than 1.5 billion active users on Facebook. While respecting privacy, DataSift pulls in public and private posts from Facebook enabling companies to analyze everything that is being shared. Private posts on Facebook are now accessible by brands, anonymously, but this has opened up a new world of more accurate social listening.

Twitter recently announced the development of a new API that will allow brands to access every tweet ever! Thats more than 500 billion tweets over nine years! This development will exponentially increase the ability to analyze conversations on the platform.

Tumblr’s latest deal with software firm Crimson Hexagon gives the firm real-time data from the site’s more than 24 million blogs and gives brands a live view on standard information such as popular topics, brand mentions and brand sentiment.

Sentiment analysis is also a huge part of social media monitoring. While every platform seems to have a different method of categorizing sentiment, we can agree its important to know more than just the number of conversations about your brand or industry. For effective listening we also need to understand how people are interpreting messaging and in what context they’re talking about various topics.

Do you know how consumers interpret your online messaging? IBM wants you to be able to tell how your tone comes across in written communications. Recently, Big Blue unveiled Watson Tone Analyzer, you can test the demo out here!

Social data from customer conversations online provides brand, product and consumer insights that can be applied to everyday business and marketing decisions. Social media is a source of rich, real-time data, so get your customers and market talking! You might find your customers know more about your brand or product than you think.

The Motherhood is deeply tapped into moms online. For The Motherhood, data is human and data informs all we do. We pay close attention, listen to, aggregate and analyze what moms are saying, what engages them, what they care about, how and when they share, how and what they buy and the actions they take. We can learn so much from moms online by simply listening.

Do you have a strategy in place to analyze the boundless amount of information about your brand and industry available on social media?

Top Three Reasons to Cook with Canned Foods during Back-to-School Time

Canned Food Recipes with Pineapple

During the back-to-school season, the dinner table is often overlooked, as more time is dedicated to homework, carpooling and after-school activities. But when you have a well-stocked pantry – or “Cantry ” – you can make nutritious, homemade, A+ meals a reality every day! Read on for reasons to cook with canned foods.

Cans Get You Cooking is here to help you unlock the goodness of canned foods and get you cooking on even the busiest back-to-school nights! Here are just three reasons why we think canned foods should have a place at your table:

  1. Fresh fruits and vegetables are harvested and canned at their peak of ripeness, sealing in their nutrition, freshness and flavor, making the can one of the best ways to get food from its source to your family table. Studies also show that canned produce is on par nutritionally with fresh and frozen varieties, and in some cases even better!
  2. When you eat canned foods, you’re more likely to consume the food groups highlighted in USDA’s MyPlate healthy eating guidelines. MyPlate recommends comprising each meal with about one-quarter protein, one-quarter grains (preferably whole grains) and half fruits and vegetables. Keeping your “Cantry” full of canned fruits, vegetables and proteins (like chicken and tuna) can help you meet these guidelines at every meal. Have a picky eater at home? Follow these Kid Tested, Mom Approved tips from Cans Get You Cooking to win them over!
  3. Americans throw away approximately 15–20% of the fresh fruits and vegetables they purchase every year. Because most recipes are designed specifically around canned food portion sizes, canned foods help waste less food, saving time and money, and reducing our impact on the environment.

To learn more about the benefits of canned foods and for some easy, homemade recipe ideas, you can join the #CansGetYouCooking Twitter party hosted by @TheMotherhood with special guest @CansGetUCooking and RD @MarieSpano on Tuesday, August 18 at 8 p.m. ET.

We’ll be giving away four Cans Get You Cooking prize packs that includes a Cans Get You Cooking branded apron, tote bag, can strainer and a $25 Visa gift card. One grand prize winner will receive a Cans Get You Cooking prize pack and a $50 Visa gift card.

#TBT Social Media Case Study: 77kids Do Good Day

Do Good Day Activity

Photo credit: Stacy, Stacy Uncorked

Hard to believe it’s been five years since The Motherhood created and led Do Good Day, a nationwide retail launch for the 77kids clothing line, and a new, big idea at the time. Imagine the incredible momentum and magic of 77 of the country’s top online influencers leading their communities to do helpful, kind, neighborly acts in celebration of the 77kids launch. The program makes us proud and we wanted to share it with you as a social media case study for #TBT!

It was the summer of 2010, on a limited budget, and with seven launches planned across the country, the company asked us to build buzz about 77kids nationwide in a fun, memorable way, keeping the importance of local communities front and center. To do that, we hired 77 mom bloggers – seven people in 11 different markets, clustered around the seven launch locations where 77kids would be opening. These moms were challenged to find ways to do good in their community in the name of 77kids.

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Each group of influencers received a 77kids Do Good Day kit filled with items including 77kids-branded thank you cards and collateral, Silly Bandz and dollar bills, all meant to be distributed to unsuspecting locals to brighten their day. We also encouraged participants to find a location that would help them and their kids do good and share the 77kids message of helping local communities.

The influencers, and their families and friends, came up with a wide range of ideas for executing Do Good Day and shared on social platforms through the entire process. From creating thank-you cards for soldiers serving overseas as part of Operation Gratitude, to cooking lunch for families staying at the local Ronald McDonald House, to giving flowers to people passing on the sidewalk, these do-gooders in cities across the country helped others feel good about themselves – and the 77kids brand.

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The program drew the attention of local media, Do Good Day signs appeared on the Today Show set, and the participating moms blogged and cross-posted their content on their social media platforms. By the time the campaign ended, Do Good Day had garnered more than 110 blog posts, 3,000 tweets and more than 10 million overall impressions for the 77kids brand. In the years since we’ve been surprised at conferences on a few occassions when Do Good Day is highlighted by speakers as a social media marketing innovation case study!

5 Tips for Packing School Lunches

Pile of Apples

For many parents, the back-to-school season means the return of packing school lunches for their children. This mid-day meal offers an opportunity to develop healthy habits and to make sure your children are getting the nutrients they need to fuel them all day long, but knowing how to balance healthy choices with what your kids will actually eat can be a battle. The Motherhood recently sat down with the Giant Eagle Registered Dietitian Team to get the scoop on packing school lunches that are kid-friendly and kid-healthy.

1. Pick 5 to Pack the Perfect Lunch

Are you worried that you’re not packing enough or that you’re packing the wrong items? For a simple visual representation of an ideal lunch, visit the USDA’s choosemyplate.gov. The MyPlate illustration shows the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet. A child’s lunch box should include lean protein, fruits, vegetables, grains (preferably whole grains) and dairy. Don’t forget that a serving of low-fat milk counts as serving of dairy as part of a balanced lunch.

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Image courtesy of choosemyplate.org.

2. Fall Back on the Familiar

While you may want to introduce your child to a variety of new and different foods, the team of Giant Eagle Registered Dietitians recommends not experimenting during lunch. They suggest packing foods from those five groups that you know your child likes so lunch doesn’t wind up in the garbage can.

Rather, save the exploration for dinnertime. When kids are hungry, they’re more likely to taste a new food, so try serving the unfamiliar dish first. It takes at least 10 tastes to know if you really like a food, so don’t give up if a dish isn’t a hit the first time around.

3. Ask Picky Eaters to Help Pack

Get children involved in the process. Kids of all ages can help you make a shopping list that contains healthy foods they like. You can work together to create a checklist for each of the five food groups and let kids mark the ones they’d like to have in their lunch each week. Most kids will enjoy deciding what to include in their lunch box, and it’s a great opportunity for parents to guide them in planning a balanced meal.

You can also try a different preparation. While your child may not love carrots, sometimes roasting the carrots or pairing them with a dip or seasoning will make kids change their tune. We think these Carrot Meets Ranch Bolthouse Farms Kids Veggie Snackers can liven up any lunchbox and have kids crunching their way to a healthier day.

KIDS_VS_BAG_RANCH_HIRES4. Be Chill

Packing school lunches the night before is one of moms’ favorite morning time-savers, but the team of Giant Eagle Registered Dietitians urges us to leave an insulated lunch box open in the refrigerator and not zip it closed. Just as these lunch boxes are insulated to keep cold in, they could also keep necessary cold air out, which could leave the contents susceptible to food-borne illness.

Another easy way to pack with food safety in mind is to put an ice pack in a sealed bag in your child’s lunch box. You could even freeze a mini bottle of water or a portable snack like the Bolthouse Farms Kids™ Fruit Tubes to keep everything chilled until lunchtime.

5. Remember that Practice Makes Perfect 

Particularly for younger children, eating lunch at school may be a new and intimidating event. It’s a good idea to do a “dry run” in the week or two leading up to the start of school. Pack your child’s lunch as you plan to do during the year, and let him or her make sure they can open the packaging, help them learn to pace themselves for the time they have allotted and see if the quantities satisfy them. Make sure they know that they don’t have to eat it all—they can save the non-perishable items for after school if they’re full.

These tips on packing school lunches are brought to you in partnership with Bolthouse Farms Kids™. All opinions are our own. 

Featured image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons user Michael Stern

HelloFresh Helps Spice Things Up in the Kitchen

HelloFresh Dinner

The Motherhood recently had the opportunity to work with HelloFresh, a meal delivery service that brings chef- and nutritionist-designed recipes and fresh, pre-measured ingredients to your doorstep each week.

We asked five stellar influencers to put the service to the test and create summertime meals that minimize time in the kitchen (each meal takes about 30 minutes to make) and maximize time spent socializing. Read on for highlights from their experiences.

Want to give HelloFresh a try? Enter promo code 40MTH at checkout or click on this link to get 40 percent off of your first delivery (new customers only; promotion ends 9/30/2015). Happy cooking!

Ashley, Surf and Sunshine: “I can’t think of anything better than a juicy pan-seared steak with a Spanish-inspired potato salad. The salad consists of crispy potatoes, briny olives, and crisp green beans. P.S. This was my family’s *favorite* dish. Luckily, HelloFresh sends their recipes on sturdy card stock so I can keep them to make again later.”

Ashley-SNSAshley with Surf and Sunshine recommends pairing the Seared Steak and Crispy Potato Salad with Tomatoes, Green Beans, and Shallot Pan-Sauce meal with a medium red like Merlot or a medium-weight Australian Shiraz.

Kristin, Our Ordinary Life: “The one thing my husband enjoys is spending time in the kitchen. His cooking skills have gotten much better and he’s quite the chef. That’s why we find ourselves spending time making and preparing meals together. We recently had the chance to try out HelloFresh, a unique meal service that sends you everything you need to make three delicious meals right at home. Right away I liked that the HelloFresh meals were packed full of flavor and quite unique. Many of the dishes are ones I wouldn’t try myself so it was nice to get to explore new flavors.”

Kristin-OOLKristin with Our Ordinary Life tried the Garlic Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa Verde and Spiced Honey-Butter Corn, and called the corn the “highlight” of the meal. 

Mariah, The Simple Parent: “As you know, when it comes to the kitchen, I love cooking and entertaining. But, I need it to be easy. So I have to admit that when I first opened up my HelloFresh recipes and got out all of the ingredients, I was a bit overwhelmed. I wasn’t sure I had the kitchen skills to make the amazing food that was promised in the recipe book. But, HelloFresh took me through each step and I’m pretty sure my family thought that I had gotten food from a restaurant! Nope, just Chef Mom! I had to admit that I was pretty proud.”

Mariah-TSPThe Simple Parent’s Mariah whipped up Coconut & Macadamia-Crusted Tilapia with Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper, and Cilantro-Lime Forbidden Rice.

Maureen, Wisconsin Mommy: “One of the things I love best about the HelloFresh meals is that they are all made from whole ingredients. There is no ‘adding the mix’ or anything like that. Any sauces or extras (like the awesome tomatillo and avocado salsa I made) are made from the ingredients in the box. The ingredients are all fresher than what you would even find in your local grocery store – must be because HelloFresh supports local businesses whenever possible.”

Maureen-WM Maureen with Wisconsin Mommy shares her Instagram-worthy Peruvian Shrimp Ceviche Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Avocado (recipe here).

Melissa, Serendipity and Spice: “I love that there’s no searching for ingredients because they have EVERYTHING there [in the box]! If the recipe calls for balsamic vinegar, then there is a tiny bottle of balsamic vinegar in your baggie. If the recipe needs honey, then there’s a tiny jar of honey in the bag. HelloFresh makes sure that you have every ingredient and just the right amount so there’s no waste.”

Melissa-SNS Melissa with Serendipity and Spice recruited her little one to help stir up some delicious meals, including the Warm Spinach & Spicy Chorizo Salad with Blistered Tomatoes and Feta-Crusted Corn on the Cob.

If your appetite is whetted, remember that you can visit HelloFresh and enter promo code 40MTH at checkout or click on this link to get 40 percent off of your first delivery (new customers only; promotion ends 9/30/2015). Enjoy!

Featured image source: HelloFresh 

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