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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nature Nate’s 100% Pure, Raw & Unfiltered Honey. All opinions are 100% mine.

Ever since becoming a mother a little over four years ago, I’ve encountered and experienced so many moments that I want to lock in my memory bank. There have been big moments and small moments, but some of my favorites are the everyday moments. From the hugs and kisses to the funny things my kids do and say, motherhood has me laughing, smiling, crying, and trying to squeeze in endless amounts of love, patience, understanding.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, my husband asked, “What do you want to do to celebrate Mother’s Day?” I want to spend Mother’s Day with the people who made me a mom. Of course, since I live with a bunch of sweet-lovers, I can’t help but think about what we should enjoy for dessert. I’m usually one to watch what I eat, but over the past four months, I’ve been extremely cautious of my food intake since I started a health and wellness journey.

I’m also really aware of what my children eat. I try to make sure they enjoy a balanced diet. But, yes, I am a mom who serves her children sweet treats. When I was pregnant with my son, I craved chocolate all the time (and this is coming from a previous non-chocolate lover). So, of course he still loves a sweet treat (as do I). One way that I’ve found to be a bit smarter when it comes to my family’s sugar intake is to swap out honey for processed sugar when baking. Honey can easily be substituted for processed sugar in many recipes, and Nature Nate’s 100% Pure, Raw & Unfiltered Honey is my go-to.

Another added benefit of baking your own treats is that you can control what goes into them. Some honeys contain high fructose corn syrup, fillers, and even pesticides. Nature Nate’s does not include any unnecessary ingredients—it’s just pure honey—and unlike processed sugar, it contains loads of vitamins and antioxidants.

When it comes to spending time with my son, one of our favorite activities to do together is bake. He grabs his stool and takes over the pouring and stirring. I think baking with children is incredibly important because it teaches them so many life skills. From math to patience, there are so many elements that go into baking and my son acts like a sponge in the kitchen while he soaks in all of the information. When we’re baking together, I explain what we need to do in order to accomplish the end result. I also take that time to educate him on food choices. And, yes, things to tend to get a bit messy but it’s all in good fun.

After giving it some thought, I decided on baking carrot cake cupcakes with him. There’s nothing like carrot cake during springtime. Plus, I had carrots on the mind since he recently received a yellow stuffed animal bunny covered in a carrot pattern. He and his bunny are the best of pals. Years ago, before becoming a mom, I never thought someday I would have to not only tuck in my son but also tuck in his bunny and give them both a kiss goodnight. Motherhood is full of so many surprises.

After having the stuffed animal bunny for a day, my husband and I asked our son, “So, what’s his name?” Our son took one long, hard look at his new best pal and said, “Carrots!” My husband and I looked at each other, shared a laugh with our son, and told our son that it was the perfect name. We loved it! The two have become inseparable and it’s just the cutest thing.

As we were preparing our treat, carrot cake cupcakes, I decided to grab honey as an alternative to add into the cream cheese frosting. I always have a bottle of Nature’s Nate’s honey in our pantry since it’s a convenient option to swap for processed sugar. Honey is actually sweeter than processed sugar, which means you can use less honey than you would sugar to get the same desired level of sweetness.

Thanks to the sweetness of honey, you can use it in so many ways. Add it to baked treats, beverages, salad dressings, jams, marinades, and sauces. You can swap out honey for other refined sugars in any recipe.

If you’re putting together your grocery shopping list, then be sure to find Nature Nate’s honey and make this simple carrot-filled recipe.

CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES WITH HONEY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
A simple cupcake recipe perfect for Mother's Day
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
For the Cupcakes
  1. 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  5. ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  6. ½ cup dark brown sugar
  7. ¼ cup granulated sugar
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. ½ cup canola oil
  10. 2 cups carrots, peeled and grated
  11. ½ cup golden raisins
  12. ½ cup walnuts
For the Frosting
  1. 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  2. ⅓ cup sour cream
  3. ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons (preferably Nature Nate’s Honey)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Fill muffin tin with muffin liners.
  2. Grab a medium bowl and whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  3. Grab a large bowl and whisk together the sugars, eggs, and oil.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture.
  5. Fold in the carrots, raisins, and walnuts.
  6. Use an ice cream scooper to scoop the batter into the muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to allow the cupcakes to cool.
  9. Make the frosting by beating together the cream cheese and sour cream. Add the sugar and honey and beat until smooth. Chill until ready to use.
  10. Top the completely cooled cupcakes with the frosting.
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What’s your favorite Mother’s Day treat?

The post Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting appeared first on How To: Simplify.

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Let’s face it: Kids are messy. They also can require a lot of stuff, especially when it comes to riding in the car. Kiddos love toys, games, snacks, beverages … you name it, they probably want it (and you want them to have it so that you can enjoy the drive). But, when it comes to all of that stuff, how does one keep everything organized and keep the car clean? Toys, electronics, snacks, drink containers, etc. can start to pile up and make your car seem a bit chaotic and messy.

5 Ways to Keep a Car Interior Clean 1.) Use an Organizer

Over the years, I’ve learned that car interior organization is key to keeping a clean SUV, especially when kiddos are involved. We have two bucket seats and a bench third row in our SUV. Our daughter rides in her carseat in the bucket seat behind the driver seat. Our son rides in his carseat in the bucket seat behind the passenger seat. On the floor in front of their carseats, I keep this basket which contains all sorts of toys. The basket helps keep the toys in one easy-to-find easy-to-store location.

If you tend to have a lot of toys in your car, then a basket is definitely the way to go to help keep toys neat and orderly. Baskets come in a variety of styles, shapes, and colors so you can purchase one that fits your style and needs.

If you tend to have more items in your car (e.g., sippy cups, snack cups, crayons, electronics, etc.), then you might want to consider an organizer with pockets and various spaces for all of your car riding essentials. Having an organizer that meets your needs will drastically improve the organization of the car interior.

Here are some great organizer options to help keep your car interior clean with kids.

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2.) Have Wipes on Hand

We love using car cleaning wipes to not only clean the surfaces of the car, but also protect the surfaces and make them shine. You can store these wipes in the garage or even in a car organizer for easy access.

3.) Use an Air Freshener

Whether you spray an air freshener or use an essential oil car diffuser, using something to make the car smell nice is super simple and goes a long way in making the car feel clean.

4.) Vacuum on a Regular Basis

When kids ride in the car, they have a tendency to drop food on the floor, in their seats, etc. When we vacuum our SUV, we usually find cheddar bunnies, fruit snacks, and other snacks that the kids have accidentally dropped during a car ride. Before the snacks get ingrained in the carpet on the floor of the car interior, be sure to vacuum the car on a regular basis. Keeping a cordless vacuum in the car is always a great option for on-the-go cleaning.

5.) Maintain a Clean Car

That’s right, clean as you go. If you see a cracker on the floor, pick it up. Our son loves tossing fruit snack wrappers on the floor when he’s done eating his fruit snacks. Whenever I take him out of his carseat, I hunt down the wrapper and toss it so that the wrappers don’t pile up into a big garbage pile. Better yet, keep a garbage bin in your car to avoid having garbage all over the car. If you see a stain, be sure to spot treat the stain so that it doesn’t become an eyesore. It might even help to keep a carpet cleaner in your car organizer to help you clean stains. Once your car is clean, figure out simple ways to maintain the cleanliness. 

What’s your favorite way to keep your car interior clean?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

The post 5 Ways to Keep a Car Interior Clean With Kids appeared first on How To: Simplify.

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There’s nothing like walking into a clean bathroom only to notice spots all over the glass shower door. I know from experience. When we first had our glass shower door installed, I noticed that residue was starting to build up, even when I cleaned the shower regularly. We live in a home without a water softener so the hard water spots were hard to ignore.

I knew I needed to find a way to make the beautiful glass become and stay spot-free. I did some research, talked to friends, and came up with a cleaning system that works.

Keeping a glass shower door clean can be tough and might even seem like a time-consuming task. But, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time to keep your glass shower door clean. With just a few simple steps, you can clean your glass shower door and maintain a streak-free, soap scum free shine every day.

Important Note: Please refer to your manufacturers instructions when selecting and using cleaning products in your shower and on your glass door.

3 Tips for Keeping a Glass Shower Door Clean 1.) Use a squeegee every day.

Now, I know, it might seem like a pain to use a squeegee every day. Trust me when I say that a squeegee makes a world of a difference. Invest in a good squeegee (this squeegee is my favorite) and keep it in your shower. When you’re done showering, simply run the squeegee downward across your glass shower door. In just a few seconds, you’ll have a glass door that is spot-free. Plus, it’s kind of fun to use a squeegee.

2.) Find a great cleaner and cleaning system.

I like to use a great glass cleaner at least once a week on our shower door. When soap scum and hard water stains start to make an appearance on our glass shower door, then I use a mix of a glass cleaner and Bar Keeper’s Friend. I take a paper towel, pour a little Bar Keeper’s Friend on the paper towel, and then spray the Bar Keeper’s Friend with the glass cleaner to saturate the powder a bit. I scrub the glass with the paper towel and watch the dirty marks disappear. Next, I rinse the concoction with water using our handheld shower device and then spray the glass cleaner on the glass shower door and wipe it away. 

2.) Clean the shower at least once a week.

Pick a day of the week and give your shower a good scrubbing at least once a week to help maintain a clean, shiny shower and glass shower door.

How do you keep your glass shower door clean?

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

The post How To Keep A Glass Shower Door Clean appeared first on How To: Simplify.

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The other weekend when it was unseasonably chilly, I went into our closet, took a look at the clothes that were on hangers and shelves, and decided I needed to do some purging. Every six months or so, I love to go through the items in my closet and decide what needs to stay and what needs to go. If I haven’t worn the item in a while and it’s in good condition, then it gets placed into the donation pile. If an item has seen better days, then it goes into the toss pile. If the item is in regular rotation, then you better believe that the item is staying on a hanger or on a shelf. 

After I went through all of my clothing items, I was staring at two massive bags full of clothes to donate. I couldn’t wait to drop them off at our local clothing donation location. 

But, then I took a look at my closet and notice that it was looking a little … well … empty. I only had a few shirts, a couple pairs of jeans, some shorts, and a few tank tops. Now, I’m not a fashionista by any means. Plus, I’m a work-at-home stay-at-home mom so it’s not like I need to worry about office attire. I like to keep my clothing simple but that’s what makes me feel confident and comfortable. In fact, take one look at my closet (or me on a daily basis) and you’ll see that I’m a jeans (skinny jeans to be exact) and tee (black almost 100% of the time) kind of gal.

I’ve tried to buy colorful shirts in the past but they are totally out of my comfort zone and never end up being worn. I know what I like and what I like is skinny jeans, neutral shirts (preferably black), tan boots or sandals, a tan bag, and aviators. That’s pretty much what I wear on a daily basis. As I sit here and type I’m wearing skinny jeans and a black t-shirt. 

The other day, I put on a shirt with some lace on it. I thought it was pretty cute since it was neutral, flowy, and the lace helped take the fashion factor up a notch (or so I thought). My four-year-old son took one look at me and said, “Mama, what are you wearing? No, no, no. Take it off. Put on the black shirt.” After I put on the black shirt he said, “Yes, that’s muuuuch better.” So, there you have it. He even knows what makes me comfortable and confident. 

In an effort to replenish my closet, I’ve been looking for some neutral casual clothing items that will be perfect for spring and even summer. 

Neutral Casual Clothing Items Perfect for Spring

Here are some great casual clothing items that I’ve been eyeing for the spring.

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What are your favorite casual clothing items?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

The post Neutral Casual Clothing Items Perfect for Spring and Summer appeared first on How To: Simplify.

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Disclaimer: The post and healthy meals were sponsored by Harris Teeter. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Now that I’m grocery shopping for a family of four, I’m becoming incredibly more conscious of the amount of money that I’m spending at the grocery store. To help us stay on track and not become wasteful, my husband and I prefer to meal plan. However, our meal planning usually consists of me going to the grocery store, seeing what looks fresh, and purchasing items for the week that go well together. We really enjoy fresh ingredients, especially since the healthy meals we make are simple. As long as you have good, quality ingredients, you don’t need a lot of them to make food taste good.

We hardly ever eat out since we enjoy cooking and eating homemade meals. We’ve always preferred healthy meals, but recently we’ve turned that into high gear, especially with our focus on fitness and healthy living. As part of our healthy lifestyle, we tend to enjoy breakfasts that are filling and last us throughout the morning, lunches that are light yet keep us energized, and dinners that are balanced. For the most part, our meals are simple and flavorful. 

Recently, I was presented with a challenge: Go grocery shopping at Harris Teeter, shop for two days of healthy meals … and only spend $20. My first reaction was, “What?! How in the world am I only going to spend $20 for two days’ worth of food?” But, I’m always up for a challenge. The next thing I knew, I found myself at my local Harris Teeter with my daughter perusing the isles brainstorming ways to create two days of healthy meals for $20 or less. Thankfully, I have meal planning experience.

5 Tips for Meal Planning 1.) Know The Types of Recipes You Need

How many meals do you need to make? What kind of cooking do you need to do (e.g., grill, use a slow cooker, etc.)? For this challenge, I knew I needed breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes for two days. 

2.) Research Recipes

So many people find themselves in a cooking rut. As in, they cook the same dishes day after day, week after week. To avoid this rut, save recipes on Pinterest, research via Google, create a recipe binder full of recipes pulled from cooking magazines, flip through cookbooks and find simple recipes that you will love, use the grocery store’s website for recipe ideas, etc. There are so many resources available that can help you change up your cooking routine. 

3.) Create a Calendar

Whether you print a calendar, use a calendar from the store, or use a Google calendar, make sure you find recipes that you love and add them to different days of the upcoming week. If you use a printed calendar, post the calendar somewhere in your home so that family members can manage their expectations. Plus, you can avoid the question, “What’s for dinner?”

4.) Keep a Stocked Pantry

I strongly believe in having a stocked pantry. When we don’t have time to go to the store or schedules become a bit out of routine, it’s always nice to turn to the pantry and refrigerator to whip up a tasty dinner. Here are 10 of my favorite kitchen staples.

5.) Reduce Food Waste

Food doesn’t have to be complicated to taste good. With just a few ingredients, you can have meals that taste amazing. I shy away from ingredient lists that are long and/or include ingredients that I will never use again (unless I make the same recipe). To me, those recipes are wasteful. If you use good, quality ingredients, the few that you do use in your recipe will make the end result a showstopper. Also, be sure to create a meal plan that uses the ingredients you do purchase in a variety of ways.

Two Days of Healthy Meals for Under $20

Even though I have my meal planning system down, my daughter and I walked into Harris Teeter, were greeted by so many friendly Harris Teeter employees, and I became a bit nervous. Could I really make two days’ worth of meals for $20, especially when tasked with having to purchase as many items as possible from the Harris Teeter Organics line?

Before I thought of any recipes, I decided to walk through the store and see what types of ingredients were available in the Organics line. My nerves were calmed slightly when I quickly realized that the Organics line has items on every isle. There are 351 Harris Teeter Organics products available in their stores. The products are non-GMO, free from pesticides, and free from artificial preservatives. What calmed my nerves even more was that many of the items were priced below conventional, non-organics brands.

Based on the recipes that I typically prepare as part of our healthy lifestyle, I grabbed a few items in the produce aisle, added chicken to our cart, and made sure to pick out a few additional items that tend to be a pantry staple in our home. With trepidation, I headed to the checkout lane and immediately warned (and apologized) to the man who was scanning my ingredients. I told him that I had to keep the total under $20.

After scanning a few items, removing a few items, and decreasing the amount of some of the items, I finally arrived at a total that made me proud: $19.20. I did it. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, especially when Harris Teeter offers affordable, trustworthy, and less complicated solutions to purchasing organic foods.

Why did I choose these items?

  • Arugula — This item is one of my favorite greens for a salad. The leaves are full of spicy flavor that packs a punch.
  • Avocados — This item is so versatile. I knew that I could make a variety of dishes with this one ingredient. From sauces to standalone, I had a feeling I could get a lot of bang for my buck.
  • Beans — My husband and I love beans. We sometimes serve them as-is or add them into countless dishes.
  • Crusty Bread — There’s nothing like crusty bread in a sandwich recipe or on the side of a salad dish.
  • Chicken — I’m a fan of protein. I had chicken sausage but then opted for a large and less expensive container of protein that came in the form of chicken tenderloins.
  • Tri-Color Quinoa — This item is gluten-free, high in protein, and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids (source). I knew that I could stretch this ingredient and use it in a variety of ways.

I must admit two things:

  • I did have the help of salt and pepper from my pantry. Since most likely everyone has salt and pepper, I didn’t include this in my $20 budget.
  • If you really want to make these recipes pop with flavor, be sure to add a bottle of Harris Teeter Organics salad dressing to your grocery cart. You can marinate the chicken with the dressing, toss your salad with the dressing, and/or drizzle the dressing over the sandwich. But, the avocado sauce that I made (to stay under $20) was pretty tasty.

[DAY 1] BREAKFAST

Avocado Toast

Simply place two slices of bread in the toaster until lightly toasted. Slice an avocado and place the slides on top of the toasted bread. Feel free to sprinkle arugula and/or black beans on top of the avocado slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

[DAY 1] LUNCH

Chicken and Arugula Sandwich with Avocado Sauce

Season a few pieces of the chicken tenderloin with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until fully cooked. Make the avocado sauce by adding a few slices of an avocado into a blender. Add water into the blender and blend until desired consistency. Season the avocado sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Build a sandwich by putting a few slices of avocado and chicken on one piece of bread, add a few leaves of arugula, spread the avocado sauce on the other piece of crusty bread, and put the avocado bread on top of the layers.

[DAY 1] DINNER

Quinoa Bowl with Chicken and Beans

Make the quinoa according to the directions. Season a few pieces of the chicken tenderloin with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until fully cooked. Pour the quinoa into a bowl. Add the chicken, beans, and sliced avocado into sections in the bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

[DAY 2] BREAKFAST

Avocado Toast

If you can’t tell, I’m a huge fan of avocado toast. I could eat it every morning. Simply place two slices of bread in the toaster until lightly toasted. Slice an avocado and place the slides on top of the toasted bread. Top with arugula and/or black beans on top of the avocado slices. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

[DAY 2] LUNCH

Arugula Salad with Grilled Chicken

Make avocado sauce by adding a few slices of an avocado into a blender. Add water into the blender and blend until desired consistency. Season the avocado sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Season a few pieces of the chicken tenderloin with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until fully cooked. Build a salad by putting the arugula in a bowl. Toss the arugula with the avocado sauce and top with avocado, beans, and chicken.

[DAY 2] DINNER

Grilled Chicken Over a Bed of Arugula and Quinoa

Make avocado sauce by adding a few slices of an avocado into a blender. Add water into the blender and blend until desired consistency. Season the avocado sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Toss together the avocado sauce and arugula. Season a few pieces of the chicken tenderloin with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until fully cooked. Cook the quinoa according to the directions and add a few black beans. Season with salt and pepper. Place the quinoa, grilled chicken, and salad on the dish.

What’s your favorite meal planning tip for a healthy lifestyle?

The post Two Days of Healthy Meals for Under $20 appeared first on How To: Simplify.

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Let’s face it. Mornings can be tricky. First of all, who jumps right out of bed excited to tackle the day? I sure don’t. I’ve never been a morning person but I also have never been a sleep in person. With that being said, it takes me a few minutes to get up and get going for the day, especially after working late. 

With two kids (a four-year-old and a one-year-old), a husband (who usually has left the house for the day before the time my alarm goes off), two dogs, a house to take care of, a work-at-home full-time 40+ hour a week job as the Director of Account Management for an online agency, a photography business, and this blog, my to do list every day is pretty intense. I don’t nap (I’ve never been a napper) so when my head hits the pillow every night, I’m fast asleep within minutes (if not seconds).

To help me keep things organized, I rely heavily on a strong morning routine. I’m very much a routine person. Yes, I can veer away from the routine when need be. But, I always try to get back to the routine as soon as I can. My weekday morning routine helps keep me on track, accountable, responsible, and productive.

My Weekday Morning Routine Schedule

If you were to ask me, “What helps you accomplish things through the day?” My answer would easily be one word: routine. Here’s a quick at-a-glance of my weekday morning routine.

My Weekday Morning Routine Breakdown

Without a routine, I feel a bit unorganized and hectic. I rely so much on my weekday morning routine to help me get through the busy mornings. 

  • 6:00 a.m.:Wake up to an alarm, check the baby monitor, scroll through my phone, make the bed, put on workout gear, and go downstairs.
  • 6:30 a.m.: Grab a bottle of water, turn on my workout app (I’m in love with the BBG Program by Kayla Itsines and have been doing it for the past 12 weeks) and the television (I like to watch the news while I work out), and complete my workout for the day. My son usually comes downstairs around 7:00 a.m. I’ll change the channel for him and he’ll cuddle up on the couch and watch cartoons while I finish up my workout.
  • 7:15 a.m.: Give my son a shower and get him ready for the day, give myself a shower and get ready for the day, bathe my daughter (she wakes up around 7:30 a.m.), and prepare breakfast (smoothies for everyone, coffee for me, and food for everyone).
  • 7:45 .a.m.: Hop on the computer and answer work emails while my kiddos play in the playroom. I’ll usually bounce between answering emails and playing with the kids until my son has to go to school.
  • 8:00 a.m.: Run the dishwasher and toss a load of laundry into the washing machine.
  • 9:00 a.m.: Drop of my son at preschool and then head home with my daughter so that we can play. Every Friday, my daughter and I go on breakfast dates to a local cafe  after my son is dropped off at school.
  • 9:45 a.m.: Put my daughter down for a nap. I spend the rest of the morning on my computer getting work done. My daughter wakes up a few minutes before noon which is perfect since we pick up my son from preschool at noon.
  • 11:55 a.m.: Hop in the car with my daughter and head to my son’s preschool to pick him up at noon.

What’s your weekday morning routine like?

The post My Weekday Morning Routine appeared first on How To: Simplify.

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Every Sunday morning, I head into the kitchen, take out the pancake mix and pancake pan, and get to work making pancakes for my family. Three out of the four people in my family love pancakes. I’m the outlier. I’m more of a French toast person but I love making pancakes for my husband and kiddos. What’s even better is when my son joins me in the kitchen to help me make them.

Our Sunday morning usually consists of my son and husband sitting at the counter, my daughter in her highchair, smoothies blending away in the blender, and me flipping pancakes at the stove. It’s one of my favorite weekend activities that has quickly become a tradition.

This morning, I went to reach for the pancake mix when I realized we were low. So, I took inventory of what we had in our refrigerator and pantry. I set key pancake ingredients on the counter, along with a measuring cup and measuring spoons.

My son was my right-hand man as we worked our way through a recipe. He helped me measure the ingredients and pour them into the bowl. With a whisk in hand, he was at the ready to mix the batter. 

After tearing one of the pancakes into small pieces for my daughter, I turned around a minute later and the whole pancake was gone. I served up two pancakes to my son and within minutes the pancakes were devoured.

I think it’s safe to say that we found a winning pancake recipe. Because, let’s face, there’s nothing like a big stack of pancakes on a Sunday morning (even if you’re not a huge fan of pancakes). I love starting the day knowing that my husband and kiddos have happy tummy thanks to the stack of pancakes and smoothies.

Old-Fashioned Pancake Recipe
Serves 4
A simple pancake recipe perfect for a weekend morning
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
604 calories
76 g
115 g
19 g
34 g
11 g
915 g
1013 g
46 g
1 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
915g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 604
Calories from Fat 167
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g
29%
Saturated Fat 11g
56%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 115mg
38%
Sodium 1013mg
42%
Total Carbohydrates 76g
25%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 46g
Protein 34g
Vitamin A
34%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
123%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 tablespoon white sugar
  5. 1 14/ cups milk
  6. 1 egg
  7. Cooking spray or 3 tablespoons melted butter
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk the ingredients to combine.
  2. Coat a griddle or pan with cooking spray or butter.
  3. Heat the griddle or pan over medium heat.
  4. Place the pancake batter in a cup that is easy to pour.
  5. Pour the batter onto the griddle or pan.
  6. Brown one side of the pancakes (wait for the pancake batter to bubble). Flip the pancakes and brown the other side.
  7. Serve warm.
Adapted from All Recipes
beta
calories
604
fat
19g
protein
34g
carbs
76g
more
Adapted from All Recipes
How To: Simplify http://www.howto-simplify.com/

What’s your favorite breakfast food to enjoy on the weekends?

The post Old-Fashioned Pancake Recipe appeared first on How To: Simplify.

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I live with cookie monsters (me being one of them). When I was pregnant with my son, I craved chocolate all the time. I mean like every minute of every day. It was quite ridiculous, especially since I never liked chocolate prior to be pregnant and I was trying to eat healthy when being pregnant.

So, in an effort to try and stick to my healthy eating lifestyle while still satisfying my pregnancy cravings, I poured a bag or chocolate chips into a freezer bag and kept the bag of chocolate chips in the freezer. When I craved chocolate, I would pop a few frozen chocolate chips into my mouth and it was pure heaven to my taste buds.

I was kind of hoping that I would fall out of love with chocolate after having my son but nope. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Check my freezer and you’ll more than likely find a bag of frozen chocolate chips just in case a craving kicks into high gear.

You’ll also find a bag of frozen cookie dough balls. Why? Because there’s nothing like a warm cookie.

Simple Tip for Always Having Freshly Baked Cookies

As I said before, I live with cookie monsters: my son, husband, and me. My daughter is slowly but surely hopping on the train too. We really try to limit the sweet treat intake in our house so I’m always trying to find ways to have sweet treats but keep them to a minimum.

I realized that we don’t have to bake all of the cookie dough all at once. Instead, I make balls of cookie dough and place them in a freezer bag and then pop the bag in the freezer for a later date.

Here are the simple steps to follow to have freshly baked cookies:

  1. Prepare the cookie dough. Here’s the most popular recipe on the site: Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
  2. Roll all of the dough into the same size balls. It’s helpful to use an ice cream scooper to get uniform sizes.
  3. Bake the amount of cookies that you prefer.
  4. Place the remaining cookie dough balls onto a plate and freeze them.
  5. Place the frozen cookie dough balls into a freezer bag.
  6. Mark the freezer bag by writing the following: date / type of cookie / bake temperature / bake time.
  7. Place the freezer bag in the freezer.

When you’re ready to bake the frozen cookie dough balls, simply do the following:

  1. Preheat the oven according to the directions on the freezer bag
  2. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  3. Place the frozen cookie dough balls onto the parchment paper.
  4. Bake according to the directions on the freezer bag.

Voila! You’ll have freshly baked cookies in a matter of minutes.

What’s your favorite freshly baked cookie tip?

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

The post Simple Tip for Always Having Freshly Baked Cookies appeared first on How To: Simplify.

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So, you just finished dinner and you’re getting ready to do the dishes. You notice that you have leftover food that would be great to enjoy either for lunch or dinner the following day. You open the cupboard and start sifting through all of your plastic food storage containers. The next thing you know, you’re up to your elbows in tops and bottoms that don’t match. And then, voila. You found a matching pair. Now you have to try and put everything back into the cupboard in some type of organized way.

Does this sound familiar?

That was me a year ago. For years and years, I struggled with trying to keep our plastic food storage containers organized and easy to navigate. No matter what system I tried, I never seemed to figure out a solution that would work in the long term. Yes, the system would remain organized for a few days. But, the next thing you know, the following week the cupboard would look like a hot mess.

I take pride in having cupboards that are completely organized. Yes, I’m strange like that. So, you can imagine how frustrated I was with the plastic food storage container cupboard. I was pretty embarrassed whenever we had guests over for dinner and they saw the cabinet while helping with the dishes. Yikes.

I knew there had to be a solution.

And then that’s when I stumbled across my favorite solution …

The Best Food Storage Containers

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*click to purchase these amazing containers*

Do the containers pictured above remind you of takeout? I swear, these plastic food storage container have been a game changer. We bought a package of the black containers while we were at Costco about a year ago. My life has been forever changed for the better.

I keep the bottoms in one neat stack and the tops in another neat stack. The containers all the same size so they are easily stackable. Plus, they are dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe, oven-safe, and BPA-free. We are a year in with our set and they are still going strong thanks to the sturdy plastic. We use these containers for leftovers, packed lunches, etc. You can even use them for your weekly meal prep session. The possibilities are endless.

So, there you have it. I’m completely in love with these plastic food storage containers. Open up my cupboard and you’ll see two nice and neat stacks of the gems. Since getting rid of my other plastic food storage containers, I never waste time looking for tops and bottoms that match. I just quickly grab a top and a bottom and am good to go.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliated links. Photo via Unsplash.

The post The Best Food Storage Containers appeared first on How To: Simplify.

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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Handsome Brook Farm in partnership with the Mom It Forward Influencer Network. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

What did you have for breakfast today? What about yesterday? Was it a nutritious breakfast recipe? Or, did you just happen to grab a handful of cereal and a sip of cold coffee as you ran out the door to start your day? As a mom of two young kiddos and a husband who is already off to work by the time we get started on our day, mornings are up to me to get the kids and myself ready, fed, and out the door. Needless to say, breakfast can be a bit of a crunch time for the three of us.

From running around on errands to answering work emails to taking care of kids … we are all pulled in a million different directions day in and day out. From the moment the alarm or baby monitor makes a noise to the moment the head hits the pillow at night, days can be filled with so many activities, needs, wants, emotions, responsibilities, tasks, etc.

With the on-the-go, busy lifestyle, it can be easy to forget about ourselves. But, I also know that tuning into yourself has so many benefits. This year, I chose focus as my word of the year. I’ve never picked a “word of the year” but figured now is as good of a time as any to start.

This year, I’m going to focus on myself. Sounds selfish, right? Over the years (even before I became a mom), I developed bad habits. Well, the way I’m going to focus on myself is by saying goodbye to bad habits. The three bad habits that I have on my list are the following:

  • Not Working Out
  • Getting Very Little Sleep
  • Biting My Nails

As part of saying goodbye to my bad habit of not working out, I’ve put a big focus on my nutrition. If I’m going to be working out, then I should be focusing on what I’m eating. I need to keep my body fueled in order to perform, especially during my workouts.

I’ve always been a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As part of my breakfast routine, I’ve really put a strong focus on making my breakfast choices nutritious. I’ve been having fun enjoying a nutritious breakfast recipe in the mornings.

I always make it a point to have eggs in our refrigerator just in case I want to make a protein-packed breakfast recipe. Eggs are a great source of protein and beneficial vitamins and nutrients — but all eggs are not created equal. One of my favorite brands is Handsome Brook Farm Eggs. 

Handsome Brook Farm has built a revolutionary network of small family farms with smaller flocks – so they can ensure farmers get the fair wage they deserve and their hens have the space, attention and love they need to produce the best quality eggs.  

Handsome Brook Farm Eggs are pasture-raised organic eggs that come from organic-fed, pasture raised hens. The hens are given an all-natural diet and freedom to forage outdoors. This lifestyle gives Handsome Brook Farm eggs their trademark golden-orange yolk and rich, delicious flavor.  

It can be confusing to understand the different types of egg labeling—certified pasture raised eggs means the hens are raised on grassy pastures with room to roam free, forage, and get plenty of sunshine and fresh air. Studies show that these eggs are more nutritious than any other type of eggs.

In fact, pasture raised eggs, like Handsome Brook Farm eggs, can contain 2 times more Omega 3s, 38% more vitamin A and 23% vitamin E than conventionally raised eggs—making them a super nutritious option at any meal.

Handsome Brook Farm eggs are pasture raised and organic, which is not the case with all pasture raised eggs. Not to mention, you can definitely taste the difference between Handsome Brook and all other eggs. So, the next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to give Handsome Brook Farm Eggs a try.

Nutritious Breakfast Recipe: Quinoa Bowl With Egg and Avocado

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup hot cooked tricolor quinoa
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 2 large eggs, preferably Handsome Brook Farm eggs
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
Directions:
  1. Whisk together oil, vinegar, and dash of salt.
  2. Combine quinoa, tomatoes, beans, cilantro, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; toss gently to combine. Divide mixture evenly between 2 bowls.
  3. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium. Crack eggs into pan. Cover; cook until whites are set and yolk is still runny, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Drizzle dressing evenly over quinoa mixture; top with eggs and avocado.
  5. Sprinkle with remaining dash of salt. Garnish with additional cilantro, if desired.

What’s your favorite nutritious breakfast recipe?

This recipe was adapted from Cooking Light.

The post Nutritious Breakfast Recipe: Quinoa Bowl With Egg and Avocado appeared first on How To: Simplify.

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