Subscription Service: Ucook
If you haven’t heard of Ucook yet, you’re about to. And you’re welcome.
In a nutshell, Ucook is a food subscription service where you order weekly dinner meal kits that are ready to prepare, delivered to your doorstep. Each kit contains a menu and all the ingredients needed to prepare your meal, conveniently pre-portioned. So no meal planning or grocery shopping.
Each week there are 12 dishes to choose from (you can choose max 4 dishes per week), and all dishes are designed by professional chefs.
Why I love Ucook:
- Sustainable packaging and recycling. Your meal kits are delivered in boxes containing sustainable and recyclable packaging, which you can return to your driver/courier the next week to be recycled by the Ucook team. They also offer more information and advice about recycling on their website.
- Free gifts & discounts. Not every week, but most weeks you can expect a free item in your box. These items are usually food related and can range from snack bars and candy to condiments and wine, sometimes accompanied by discounts for future purchases.
- They support local in a big way. From the free items included in the box (which are all sourced from local businesses), to the produce used for ingredients in the subscription boxes – it’s all local and ethically sourced. All of their suppliers are listed on their website.
- Working towards a better future. I won’t go into too much detail, but apart from the above points the Ucook team also started a Food Fund where they managed to raise R1 Million in 2020 towards providing meals to those in need. Ucook customers were able to contribute to this by purchasing a Music for Meals ticket and enjoying an online concert featuring some of South Africa’s top music artists, and even some international voices!
- Great customer service.
- They are constantly expanding their business. Ucook started off with their meal kits and have expanded their business in numerous ways since, including ready-to-eat craft meals and baby food.
- You can pause & unpause your subscription at any time.
- If you’re a Discovery Vitality member you can validate your Ucook subscription to earn HealthyDining points on selected dishes.
- Lastly, thanks to Ucook I’m enjoying cooking way more, learning better cooking skills, and eating boujee ass meals 4 nights a week.
Apart from alllll of the above, let me just tell you this. From a marketing perspective, this company is like a damn unicorn. I love what they stand for, I love how they enrich not only my life, but the lives of countless others, and they’re marketing & social media is on point. They can do no wrong in my eyes, so just support them. You know you want to.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I don’t like horrors, and I stay far away from supernatural shit. When it comes to psychological thrillers and true crime though, ya girl is first in line. With that said, Criminal is right up my alley. It’s a podcast about true crime stories from all around the world, hosted by Phoebe Judge.
Now apart from the podcast just being the actual best podcast to ever exist, Phoebe’s voice deserves her own segment on #annemyneApproved. Her voice is what ASMR dreams are made of.
Why I love Criminal:
- The stories are not boring. You’ve most likely never heard of any of the stories featured on the podcast.
- People involved in the incidents are interviewed, so it’s not just someone telling a story.
- Variety. I have found that many podcasts can become repetitive when you follow them for a long time. Criminal, however, does not. The stories featured range from old to fairly recent and cover all different types of crime.
- Quality. It’s not kak. No awkward silences, white noise, vibrating phones, breathing noises or any of that shit that drives us all nuts.
- The research that was done and the amount of time and effort (that I’m assuming) goes into each episode makes my heart skip a beat.
Clothing Brand: Sweet Peas Handmade
Sweet Peas is a Durban-based fashion brand started by two sisters. Since their launch they have expanded their line from leather shoes to the most beautiful linen and cotton clothing, accessories and even home ware.
Why I like Sweet Peas over other local brands:
- Quality. I’m a quality over quantity gal, so everything about this brands’ shoes makes me want to throw my money at them. Specifically, anti-slip rubber soles (so no slipping in malls or grocery stores), memory foam soles, and the overall workmanship.
- Fit. This brand is the closest thing to European clothing I’ve come across in SA. They actually offer regular, broad and slim fit in all their shoes which is just amazing.
- Ethics. Each pair of sandals “are made from quality cow leather that is sourced and handmade locally in South Africa.”
- Philanthropy. Sweet Peas donates 5% of each pair of shoes sold to a non-profit by the name of The LEARN Project. Their goal is to “put books into the hands of South African school children & build sustainable libraries & classroom book corners.”
- Style. I actually like the style of their shoes & clothing items (some, not all). Majority of the items are timeless (to me) and don’t subscribe to fast fashion which is one of my pet peeves. The Cleo sandals are my faves and I wouldn’t mind having them in every colour.
I am very passionate about education and I believe it’s something that, if addressed properly, can solve a lot of the world’s problems. With that said, I will continue to support Sweet Peas and everything they stand for as their values align so much with my own.
For those of you who don’t know, a Kdrama is a Korean drama, which is literally a Korean TV Series. I am obsessed, and I dare you to watch a Kdrama and not get hooked.
Why Kdramas are the best thing on TV:
- The humour. The comedy and sarcasm is just on another level. Few shows have been able to make me belly laugh the way Kdramas do.
- The story lines. Predictable is not a word used to describe these shows. I particularly enjoy their take on sci-fi and fantasy.
- The wisdoms they share. This may sound corny, but there are so many life lessons to be learnt from a lot of these shows. Some of the cast’s lines deserve to be inspirational quotes against my wall.
- The quirky editing. The way these shows are put together is different to what I’m used to when watching British or American TV. You can even expect to see some animated effects added into some shows, which I absolutely love.
- Insight into other cultures. Learning about other cultures is something I really enjoy, and I’m particularly interested in Korean culture. Obviously I know that Kdramas are just fictional shows, but you still get to see bits of Korea’s landscape, people, traditions and beliefs which excites me.
If you’re keen to give them a try, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to reply with some recommendations.
In short, Evernote is a notes app but on steroids. It’s a free app with paid options, and is available for all devices.
Like I said, Evernote is more than just a notes app. Apart from creating plain text notes you can also add lists, check boxes, planners and reminders, as well as add media like embedding videos and Google Drive links, adding code, and even sketching.
I probably only use 20% of what the app has to offer, but here’s why I love it:
- Convenience. Evernote is available as a mobile app, but also in desktop form (a website). When you create your free account all of your notes are synced, so you can conveniently work on your desktop at home or work, and on your mobile app when travelling.
- Interface. I am someone who geeks out on design and usability, and Evernote passes the test (for me). It’s very easy to use and I love the modern yet minimalist design.
- Security. You are required to change your password every so often, and you also have the option to set up two-factor authentication. I’d recommend doing this especially if you save sensitive information like passwords in your notes.
- Organisation. You can create multiple different ‘note books’ to save your notes under. This helps me to keep things compartmentalised, for example shopping lists, to-do lists, freelancing notes, side hustle things, admin, etc.
- It’s ad-free. As mentioned the app is mostly free (all of my needs are covered by the free plan), but there are paid plans for example if you are going to be using more than two devices, etc. Even though there are paid options, there are no ads within the app, unlike others I’ve used and found extremely annoying.
That’s all folks (did I just give away my age?).
Please let me know if you try and/or find value in any of my recommendations. I love conversations about things I’m passionate about, so please don’t be shy.
Until next time. Kthanksbye x