Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My New Favorite Way to Meal Plan

I might be getting to the game late, but I have discovered the GREATEST time saver in meal planning history.  Alright, maybe I'm exaggerating a little but I was struggling with finding the time to write my meals, grocery list, print or go through my binders for recipes with two children, a house to maintain, a business to run and a newborn who never sleeps.

Enter the life changer...the app, Paprika.  For those of you who have never heard of this app, it includes a meal planner calendar, a specialized browser where you can search any recipe site and easily save recipes in printable format, and the ability to pull ingredients from these recipes into a grocery list.  I spent a few hours scrolling through some of my favorite recipe blogs and saved a TON of recipes. Then I went through a month ahead and planned the meals for the month.  I can easily make a grocery list for the week and even better, because of the new Apple update and the ability to share apps within your family, my hubs has it on his phone too.  So he can now easily help with grocery runs and cooking in a pinch.  It also has the option to email recipes or a list if your significant other doesn't have the ability to share the app on their phone.  The list is organized by category and most grocery items auto sort into categories for you (saving even MORE time at the store).


The recipe view is easy to read on both the IPad and Phone.  I like to use my William Sonoma IPad kitchen stand and splash guard when I'm cooking so I can view my recipes easily and touch the screen.  Luckily on the IPad this condenses those long directions on a blog into an easy to read one page view so no flipping through or scrolling needed!


You can also favorite a recipe, email it or add ingredients need to your weekly grocery list.   Below you can see a list of recipes and how you can organize them into easy to find folders just like a recipe binder.


I have to say that this has saved us a TON of money on dining out because I always have groceries and meals planned.  Making a monthly menu now takes only minutes and I can add items to a grocery list on the go, while I'm sitting at kids activities or even sitting in the grocery store parking lot (which has sadly happened more than I care to admit recently).  The price tag on the app is pricey ($19.99) but after hearing rave reviews from so many people  I finally buckled and purchased it. With an unpredictable newborn, easy planning is a must and I was getting desperate.  I can honestly say though this has been my #1 app I recommend to all my friends now.  It is everything a well designed app should be and I have saved so much more than the price of the app in food cost alone, just by having a super simple way to plan each week.  I HIGHLY recommend you check it out for yourself here!

Find this handy gadget here!

And here is the William Sonoma stand, my favorite way to cook using my IPad!  There is also an option speaker system which I don't have but would make a fun addition.  Lexi and I always listen to music when we cook meals with our Bluetooth speaker, so this would be a great way to keep everything in one place! Pick one up at William Sonoma. 



Monday, January 19, 2015

Catching up on 2014


This happily organized mama was on a much needed hiatus.  Managing a toddler and pregnancy and business was about all I could handle but I have missed my blogging days!  So much has happened in our little family and now that my new little bundle of joy is 5 months old, I feel like I can finally manage to handle all the cleaning and organizing tasks that I thrive on.

This pregnancy wiped me out.  I was much more sick with little Luke than I was with my first but he was worth every ounce of pregnancy woes.  Here's a little catch up from the Happy Organized Life home base before I get back into the swing of the blog!


On August 13th, this little boy blessed our lives.  God is so good and Luke has been a wonderful blessing.  Lexi has been an amazing big sister and loves to help be my little "mommy's helper" with her baby brother.


Soon after we celebrated Lexi turning 3!  Here was our family taking in a birthday trip to American Girl...Bitty Baby in her Ergo and Baby Luke in mine.



Luke is growing like crazy!  So quickly they go from being a little newborn to smiling and responding to the sound of your voice.  This has been precious to relive for a second time. 




Lexi started preschool at Applecreek and has loved every minute.  She constantly plays school at home now and I love hearing her mimic all the kind words of her teachers. 


Taking a little shopping trip...always my little fashionista.


Luke's first Halloween and also right around the time he started laughing out loud at 2 months.




One of our MANY visits to the pumpkin patch this year!


Somehow I missed taking any pictures at Thanksgiving (Luke always wants to be held so I probably didn't pick up my camera) and Christmas snuck up on his before we knew it.  Lexi was SO excited about Christmas this year.  She started counting down way before Thanksgiving and was so thrilled to be able to tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas.  Luke took the opportunity to try to catch a few zzz's, snuggled into Santa furry coat.


Sporting his first camo hat from Christmas. 


Ringing in the New Year with my favorite gal and my little teddy bear!


I'm looking forward to get back into the groove of blogging all about organizing, cooking, crafting and most importantly all the things that make being a stay at home mama so much fun!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut "Cookie Cakes"


I have started baking more because now Lexi is old enough to help me in the kitchen. Don't get me wrong, I baked before but my hubs is not a huge fan of sweets, so we tend not to go through cookies and cakes like we do salty snacks.  But it seems Little Miss has developed a bit of a sweet tooth (like her mama) and loves to have the occassional yummy dessert!

Though the hubs isn't a big chocolate fan, he has a bit of an obsession with all things white chocolate.  We decided to make a twist on a class white chocolate macadamia nut cookies by turning it into a cool ice cream style cupcake, perfect to help beat the heat!

This recipe is super simple.  Bake the cookie dough in the bottom of a muffin tin, with a liner and pop in the freezer for 20 minutes.  Then add a scoop of your favorite ice cream (we like good ole' homemade vanilla low sugar Blue Bell).  Freezer again for about 2 hours then take out of the freezer, remove the paper and top with yummy whipped cream, drizzle topping and even toasted nuts or fruit.  We kept it simple, but you could get really creative. 

My sister came to visit during a rare break from PA school and they had fun baking together!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Cakes

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs
1 Tbs. vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup macadamia nuts

Directions:
1. Mix butter and brown sugar until nice a fluffy.  
2. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  
3. Add flour, soda and salt and mix well.  
4. Add chips and nuts and mix to combine.  
5. Scoop into paper lined muffin tins and bake 11 minutes at 350. 
6. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes.  Place in freezer for 20 minutes
7. Remove from freezer and top with ice cream.  Spread and freeze for 2 hours.
8. When ready to serve, remove from freezer, remove paper liner and top with whipped cream and other desired toppings.

Recipe adapted from BecomingBetty.com






These turned out super yummy...the lack of color doesn't do this treat justice.  I can also see a "Strawberry Shortcake" version with a sugar cookie, strawberry topping and a slice a strawberry being delicious. 


 
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