Summer Break

Hi Loopsy Gals- we have been on quite the hiatus. Summertime means lots more to do with the kids, vacations, and general schedule-wreaking havoc. In honor of our return, who would like to win a $25 gift certificate to Pink Narcissus Gainesville and a set of Lilly Pulitzer tumblers in Elephant Ear?

Click the Rafflecopter Link Below to enter!

And thank you to Pink Narcissus Gainesville for sharing this great gift with us!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Try: Chef Ami Local Food Delivery Service

A couple of weeks ago, we posted an article about the fantastic new trend of fresh food delivery. Our article focused on national delivery services such as Blue Apron, Plated and Hello Fresh. We loved the portion size, healthy food options, ease of cooking the meal, as well as the packaging. However, we were thrilled when one of our readers told us about a local company, Chef Ami, that provides the same service but with some great new twists! We contacted Chef Ami and they provided us one of their fresh food delivery boxes to compare with our Blue Apron experience.


Matt and Johana Dickhaus

The owners, Matt and Johana Dickhaus.

Let’s start by saying that the owner, Matt Dickhaus, personally delivered our box of three meals to our door.  How great is that? It was so nice to not just have a UPS guy deliver the food, but the actual person who develops the recipes, builds the relationship with the farmers, and oversees every aspect of the business. Can’t get anymore local than that! Matt was very kind to offer to answer any questions we might have and mentioned that the Chef Ami Facebook page offers various tips on food preparation. Matt and his wife, Johana, brought Chef Ami to Gainesville in the hopes of providing fresh, local, healthy, and easy to cook food for those with a busy schedule. They also wanted to do more in the community, so they have invested in the Feeding Florida Program. Every time you cook with Chef Ami, a meal is donated to Second Harvest to aid in their fight against child hunger right here in Florida (or equivalent dollar value). For example, if you order a box of 3 meals for 2 people, Second Harvest will be able to provide 6 meals to children in need.

Everything inside the box was so well-iced and sealed that it could have been outside on the porch for 2-3 hours and everything would have been kept nicely cool.


All of the ingredients to prepare the Chicken Manchego

The first meal, Chicken Manchego with Herb and Feta Couscous, was prepared in 30 minutes from start to finish and that was with two children biting at my heals. It was so nice to be able to use no more than 2 dishes to cook in, and to have everything pre-measured and set. I also enjoyed knowing where my food was sourced from.

Chef Ami’s philosophy is that it’s important to know what you’re eating. They believe the foundation of a great meal begins with high quality, fresh ingredients which is why they work directly with local farmers and only the finest suppliers in the area, making sure all of the ingredients arrive farm fresh to your plate. They want their customers to benefit from in-season, local, and organic ingredients and they make sure to include it as much as possible. During the summer months and for some of the more exotic ingredients, imported produce will be included to ensure their menus are full of exciting and diverse flavors year round.

So although not everything in every box is 100% organic or 100% local, they make it a priority to ensure most of your ingredients are.


How cute is this box that the egg from Rainbow Star Farms came in!?


Like many other national brands we reviewed, Chef Ami also includes a pre-printed card with a picture of your meal, an ingredient list and detailed instructions for the meal preparation.

In terms of price, Chef Ami is comparable to national brands like Blue Apron. Their current prices are as follows:

– 3 meals for 2 people for 1 time delivery : $75

-3 meals for 2 people for a weekly delivery: $65 (This would come in a little higher than the Blue Apron price point, but you are getting locally sourced food, supporting a local company, and you are providing meals to hungry children- not bad for a few extra dollars).

-3 meals for 4 people for weekly delivery: $123

-3 meals for 6 people for weekly delivery: $179

We found that the 3 meals for 2 people had enough for just that, 2 people. The protein and starch portions were large enough for two adults and two small children (ages 2 and 5), but we did have to supplement vegetables as there just were not enough to stretch the meal.

Menus are pre-determined each week and substitutions at this time cannot be made. There is discussion of a vegetarian option in the future, but for now each box does contain meat. Deliveries are made on Tuesdays and you may pause, cancel, or skip upcoming deliveries directly from your account with 6 days notice. Delivery at this time is free.

Please feel free to reach out to Chef Ami with any specific questions. We have found the staff to be accommodating, genuine, and nice.

All in all, the meals were delivered in a timely manner, were well-sealed and organized, included very easy recipes to follow and cook, even when children interrupt the process, and were all really tasty. We also cannot express enough that we support their fight against child hunger and are encouraged by their meal for meal campaign with Second Harvest.  Our Loopsy families really enjoyed what Chef Ami had to offer and look forward to using them in the future.

If you would like to try Chef Ami, they are offering a $25 off code for all Loopsy readers; just enter Loopsy during the order process. 

Cheers and Bon Appetit!



Loopsy Contributor Amanda Allen: Summer Bucket List for Kids

Today we have a guest post from Loopsy Contributor, Amanda Allen, of Amanda Allen Photography. 

Summer is almost here… long days and free time galore. This can also mean loooooong days with your kids complaining there is nothing to do and you scrambling for ways to entertain them. Last year I made a summer bucket list. It really helped give our family a framework for how we wanted the summer to run. My (at the time) 4-year-old daughter truly looked forward to checking off each item on our list. This year, I involved my 5 and 3 year old a little more in the planning process. Over dinner I asked them for a few things they would like to do. It was fun to hear what they came up with and to see their excitement over my suggestions. Because this was our second year, I also loved that my daughter asked to do a few things she remembered from last summer. I can see family traditions beginning to form.

For our bucket list, we use a simple checklist on a chalk board. It works for me because I like being able to see all available options at once and I like seeing what we have already checked off. You can find lots of other creative options on Pinterest, such as calendars, jars, framed lists, themed days of the week, etc.

There are also extensive activity lists out there to give you a starting point. Here are a few of my favorites:


For those of you living in Gainesville, I’ve compiled some of our favorite summer activities around town.

Outdoor Activities:

Feed the horses at Mill Creek Farm in Alachua (Saturday)

Alachua Splash Pad

City pools (Westside and Northeast both have splash pads)

Tons of local trails and parks

Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Explore inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

Feed the ducks at North Florida Regional Medical Center

Go to a farmer’s market

Play frisbee golf

Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo

Lots of local springs for swimming or tubing

Payne’s Prairie (a great morning activity before it gets too hot). See the recent Loopsy article on Payne’s Prairie HERE.

Possum Creek skate park

Morningside Nature Center Living History Farm


Indoor Activities:

Visit one of the area’s many libraries (lots of activities going on throughout the summer)

Florida Museum of Natural History

Check out an exhibit at the Harn Museum of Art (Tot times & Family Days also offered)

Oaks Mall playground

Bouncin’ Big

Sun Country Stay and Play (Tuesday and Friday)

Summer dollar movies (

Family Nights at the Archer Road Chick-fila (Tuesdays)



Do you have any to add to my list? We would love to hear from you! Please comment below or on Loopsy’s Facebook page!

Have a great summer!

Amanda Allen

To check out some of Amanda’s beautiful photography, you can visit her Facebook page HERE.

Amanda Allen Photography

Amanda and her son, Logan.