Quick and Easy Family Meals with Dinnerly

Quick and Easy Family Meals with Dinnerly

We have been living in a hotel for 137 nights when asked if we would like to do a Dinnerly review. Knowing that we were headed home soon, I asked if they could delay my delivery a week. The day we moved in, our Dinnerly box was awaiting us and perfect timing. So something in the swarm of being out of the house for so long, dealing with all the things – something that didn’t dawn on me is that we would return to the house with an empty fridge, minimal pantry and the lack of willpower to grocery shop. 

Remember how I mentioned being out of our home for 137 nights? Each of those days we had to eat our meals out – well with the exception of Easter. Our family needed a real meal and seeing that Dinnerly box on our doorstep – I was hopeful that they would get that. 

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I have had friends that have done the meal subscription boxes before, but none that have 4 kids (feeding a total of 6 people.) I wasn’t quite sure how big the meals are, because let’s face it – some of us eat like birds, while others of us eat likes bears. While we had the 4 person box, each night we had leftovers and each night, our kids loved the meals and ate well. The portions are generous and the food was delicious. 

Easy Meals with Dinnerly

Dinnerly Review

Our Dinnerly review box was well enjoyed. The service made dinner for the week super easy and my grocery bill significantly less. Here is a peek at a few of the meals we cooked. 

Dinnerly Review - Easy Meals Good Food

Click here to try Dinnerly!

Carbonara Pasta

The carbonara pasta was made with bacon (YUM) and parmesan and was out of this world delicious. We enjoyed the leftovers the next day and will be making this recipe again. 

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

They had me at TACOS. I am serious when I say I could eat tacos every single day. These chipotle chicken tacos were tops. Dinnerly also sent ingredients for a slaw that just completed these tacos. 

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

While I can’t get my kids to eat regular ol’ broccoli, they will eat broccoli and cheese soup and demand seconds (and sometimes thirds.) What made Dinnerly’s recipe for broccoli cheese soup unique, is they had you make homemade croutons and then bake them with the soup. I have to say this added a whole new dimension to the soup and i’ll be using this technique again. 

How Much Does Dinnerly Cost?

Being a family of 6, the cost is always a factor. Another hesitancy when it came to purchasing a meal subscription was the money factor. Dinnerly costs $5 per adult serving. Each meal box includes fresh ingredients to make 3 meals. The meat that arrived was organic, the vegetables were fresh, and the cheese was high quality. Even random ingredients like mayonnaise were included. We did need olive oil for one meal – but even with our bare-bones kitchen, we were able to successfully make the meals. 

You have 2 options for purchasing. 

Dinnerly price chart

Two Person Box – 2 portions per recipe, 3 recipes per week – $38.99 ($5 per serving and $8.99 for shipping) 

Family Box – 4 portions per recipe, 3 recipes per week – $68.99 ($5 per serving and $8.99 for shipping) 

After seeing all that you get in the Dinnerly box, and the simplicity of ordering, not having to think about family meal planning for the week and all of your meal ingredients arriving on your doorstep – the box, in addition to being affordable – is well worth it for sanity!

How to Order Dinnerly

Ordering Dinnerly is super simple. Click here to get started. 

You will choose which meal box you want to purchase – either the two-person box or the family box. 

Next, select where your box will be delivered and your delivery date. Because the ingredients are so fresh, I would say it’s best to plan to make the meals sooner rather than later. So if you order for delivery on Monday, don’t wait until Saturday to start cooking your meals!

You will be given the option of which recipes you want to order. Each week the Dinnerly menu changes. You can view the menu here. 

Pay and you are on your way. The beautiful thing is you are not committed to any length of time with Dinnerly.

5 Reasons We Love Dinnerly

In case I haven’t already convinced you to order your meal box, let me give you the 5 reasons we love Dinnerly and will be ordering again soon: 

  1. Affordable
    Dinnerly is significantly more affordable than other dinner meal boxes we looked into. 
  2. Convenience
    I mean all the food you need for 3 meals delivered to your door? LOVE IT!
  3. New Recipe Ideas
    We get into routines with our meals. It was great to break out of the normal menu and try new recipes, all of which my family loved. 
  4. Easy Recipes for Family Meals
    These meals are easy. There are a handful of ingredients and prep is super simple. 
  5. Great Meal Options
    The menu of options of meals to choose from is appetizing.

Affordable Dinner Options from Dinnerly

Click here to order your Dinnerly box and enjoy! 

Thanks again to Dinnerly for giving us a box to review. We thoroughly enjoyed the food. 

If you purchase a Dinnerly box, we will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Hilton Anatole and Jade Waters – The Ultimate Dallas Staycation

Hilton Anatole and Jade Waters – The Ultimate Dallas Staycation

We were invited to enjoy a Dallas staycation at the Hilton Anatole to review the Jade Waters pool complex and resort amenities. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Hilton Anatole and Jade Waters Review

Have you ever wanted a break from it all, but you couldn’t exactly book a vacation – but like seriously needed away from stress? That was us. You guys, this year has been hell. We have lived in a hotel for 137 nights, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer and had his colon removed (so no more cancer!), our house was severely damaged in a toilet incident and our 4 kids have each had issues of their own. It’s been a year, to say the least. 

Dallas Staycation Hilton Anatole

We moved out of the hotel a few weeks ago, except for one problem – our house wasn’t completely finished. While I enjoyed not having to drive 20+ minutes to school in the morning, living without a kitchen is well – hell. So when our friends at the Hilton Anatole asked if we would like to enjoy a little Dallas staycation. The timing couldn’t have come better. While we had been staying in a hotel for a bazillion nights, the Anatole knows how to cater to families. 

The kids had no idea that we would be spending the night at the Anatole. We sneaky style packed a bag told the kids to get in the car and to downtown Dallas, we went. We checked in right around 3:30 and lounged in the comfy Hilton beds until 4:45pm. At that time, we heard banging on our shared door – it was the kids. They were all decked in their swim gear ready to hit Jade Waters. 

Our 15 year old put together a video review of her stay. That video tech class paid off! 

Jade Waters Pool Complex

Jade Waters is the Hilton Anatole’s pool complex. We have visited a few times before, and this visit – like the others DID NOT DISAPPOINT. While the Anatole resort is gorgeous, Jade Waters is the kids fave. With 2 water slides, a tot area, a lazy river, adult pool with swim-up bar, pool lounge area and more – it’s hard to not love this place. I often tell friends, it’s big enough to keep the kids busy for hours on end and never bored – but it’s small enough where you aren’t worried about losing them. 

Jade Waters Features

Here is a list of features at Jade Waters. Jade Waters is available exclusively for hotel guests:

  • Leisure Cove Pool  (adults only on weekends) 
  • Kids activities
  • Splash and play area for kids
  • Lazy river
  • Two 180 ft. winding water slides
  • Private cabanas and daybeds
  • 23-seat Swim-up Bar
  • Jade Waters Grill & Bar

Family Fun and Kids Activities

We have 4 kids, ages 6 to 15-years-old. We spent 1 night at the Anatole, and doing the calculation, we spent just about as much time sleeping as we did at the pool. In addition to swimming, the Anatole offers a plethora of kids activities. The atmosphere is cheery with great music, comfy lounge chairs, and friendly staff.  

Dallas Family Hotel Hilton Anatole

We stayed the night before Memorial Day. One of the activities on this particular weekend was fireworks. And all I can say is wow. We enjoyed a 15-minute up-close and personal show. The fireworks were set to music and did not disappoint. 

View all the available kids’ activities at the Hilton Anatole.

My sister and her family were also staying at the resort. We all did dinner at the Media Grill located near the front registration desk. We have eaten at this restaurant many times and each time,  enjoy the menu. Something new they are offering is a kid buffet. This is such a great idea as the kids can immediately eat, the food offered is all kid favorites (think mac and cheese, fruit, cookies) and did I mention they offer 2 free kids meals? 

Resort Amenities

Here are all of the resort amenities: 

  • 50% off self-parking or $10 off valet
  • Guest room and public WiFi internet access
  • Access to Verandah Club and classes (ages 16+)
  • 15% discount on VSpa treatments
  • Two kids dinners for free in Media Grill + Bar; (kids 12 and under only)
  • Dessert with dinner at Media Grill + Bar or SER Steak + Spirits.
  • Two Starbucks drip coffees per day
  • Local & 1-800 phone calls
  • JadeWaters resort pool admittance

Food at the Anatole

The following day, we woke up early and enjoyed an amazing brunch buffet at the Terrace restaurant, located near the front registration. We then hit up the pool for several hours, until we had to drag the kids out kicking and screaming. I wish I could say I was kidding with that last sentence, but they all were pretty upset when I said we had to go home. All that said, we came home to new floors with kids that went to bed early from playing so hard. Dallas staycation, SUCCESS!

Dallas Staycation

If you are looking for a place to get away and to enjoy a Dallas staycation – put the Hilton Anatole on your list. Their Jade Waters pool complex is open until October 7, 2018.

Book Your Stay at the Hilton Anatole

Anatole Art

The Hilton Anatole, make sure to take advantage of all things that the Anatole offers. Did you know the Anatole has an impressive art collection? Here are a few silly photos my 8-year-old posed for while we toured various art pieces throughout the property. 

Art at the Hilton Anatole

Learn About the Anatole Art

My FAVORITE piece is the Nebula. 

The Nebula

So if you have been to the Hilton Anatole before, you know about the Nebula.  I found this video and am even more fascinated by this magnificent piece of art. The Nebula is a kinetic piece of massive art that hangs and moves in the atrium of the Anatole. When I say massive, I mean massive. 

For reference, here are some stats about the Nebula:

  • More than 100 feet long
  • 50 feet wide
  • Weighs 10,000 pounds
  • Consists of 10 miles of aircraft cable
  • 1780 pulleys
  • More than 4,500 amber reflectors
  • Floats more than 50 feet above the crowd

Before you see the Nebula in real life, or before you see it again – watch this video on how it was created. It’s simply fascinating and inspiring. 

Thanks again to the Hilton Anatole for hosting our family. If you are looking for a family-friendly resort in Dallas, Texas or are looking to do a Dallas staycation, the Hilton Anatole is your hotel. It is located right next to downtown with easy access to the plethora of options of things to do in Dallas. But really, you just need to stay here and not leave. Enjoy the spa, Jade Waters, and the restaurants – and don’t forget to stop and appreciate the art!

 

 

5 Most Addicting Puzzle Apps

5 Most Addicting Puzzle Apps

I love puzzle apps! There is something about beating my last score, beating my sister if it’s an interactive game and well just frankly my addictive personality just loves playing games that challenge me. Looking for a way to KILL your weekend? I have the answer! THESE PUZZLE APPS!

addicting puzzle apps

So what are the most addicting puzzle apps that I am playing? Let me share and reel you into my app addiction.

SpellTower

This is my new favorite app and my sister cursed me for ruining her weekend last week since all she did was play this. There are multiple play options, my favorite it Puzzle mode (go figure).

This app is $1.99 and totally worth it!

Cut the Rope

cut the rope app

My kids love Cut the Rope! This app has been downloaded over 500 million times and get this, we were in Dave and Busters sure enough there is a life-size arcade game of this app!  The focus of this app is to cut the rope to feed candy to little monster Om Nom. Definitely something the kids will love – and I love to play it on the iPad.

Cross Fingers

cross fingers puzzle app

How fast are your fingers? This puzzle app will challenge you to put together a shape in a fast time. Beat your best time, move up levels and get mad at your screen for not moving the blocks fast enough!

Flow Free

cross fingers puzzle app

I got totally wrapped up in playing this app – when I should just be writing this review. Whoops. So anyways, about Flow Free – you are given a puzzle with a grid – you are trying to connect the colors but space is limited.

Word Search Puzzle

flow free puzzle app

If you are a fan of word searches – you will love this app! Word Search Puzzle app brought me back to stealing my parents’ newspaper on Sundays so that I could do the word searches. Grandma and Grandpa will love this app – not to single out our older folks, because I love this too – but just thinking if you have bought the grandparents and iPad, this would be a great app to get them started using the tablet!

There you have it! 5 puzzle apps – great for brain training and wasting precious moments of life. You are welcome.

What is your favorite puzzle app?

 

100 FREE Workout and Weight Loss Apps for Android

100 FREE Workout and Weight Loss Apps for Android

Free workout apps for androidGet our workout on and start losing weight with a FREE app!

I don’t know about you, but I feel like every time I really get focused on the weight loss and work out game – I end up spending a ton. Okay, I do admit that MAY include new workout clothes and then I need workout shoes to go with it. And then the food. There’s 6 mouths to feed and going from store to store to make sure I have all the right ingredients – just talking about this is giving me a headache.

Let’s not think about all of those other expenses and embrace the FREE. Get your booty shaking, watch those pounds melt away with these fabulous workout and weight loss apps.  If you are on an Android – this list is just for YOU!

100 FREE Workout and Weight Loss Apps for Android

  1. Lose It! – Free
  2. Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal – Free (Such a great app!)
  3. Monitor Your Weight – Free
  4. Weight Watchers Points Calculator & Tracker – Free
  5. BMI Calculator – Weight Loss – Free
  6. Weight Loss Tracker – Free
  7. Calorie Counter – Free
  8. FitBit – Free
  9. Easy Weight Tracker – Free
  10. Weight Loss Yoga – Free
  11. Calorie Counter by FatSecret – Free
  12. Workout Trainer – Free
  13. Abs Workout – Free
  14. Weight Tracker Free Fitness Journal – Free
  15. Moms Into Fitness – Free
  16. Daily Burn Video Workouts – Free
  17. Weight Watchers Points – Free
  18. Weight Loss Tracker Free – Free
  19. Yoga for Weight Loss – Free
  20. Nexercise – Free
  21. Fat Burning Yoga – Free
  22. BMI Calculator – Free
  23. Calories Calculator – Free
  24. Simple Weight Tracker – Free
  25. Extreme Weight TrainerPro – Free
  26. Dance Fitness Workout – Free
  27. Sworkit Circuit Training Workouts – Free
  28. Free Weight Loss Cardio Workout App – Free
  29. Fast Food Nutrition Points – Free
  30. Weight Loss in 9 Weeks – Free
  31. Daily Workouts – Free
  32. Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by SparkPeople – Free
  33. Weight Loss Video Guide – Free
  34. Abs Workout – Free
  35. 7 Minutes Workout Assistant – Free
  36. Weight Tracker – Free
  37. WW Tools – Free
  38. Simple Scale – Free
  39. Thigh Exercises – Free
  40. Monitoring Weight – Free (Watch your weight go down!)
  41. Workout Planner – Free
  42. Weight Manager – Free
  43. Yoga-pedia – Free
  44. Weight Loss Diary – Free
  45. Pacer Pedometer for Weight Loss – Free
  46. BariatricPal – Free
  47. Calorie Lookup – Free
  48. Withings Health Mate – Free
  49. 7 Minute Full Workout – Free
  50. Fitness Pal – Free
  51. Daily Ab Workout – Free
  52. Couch to 5K – Free
  53. Simply Yoga – Free (Stretch, breathe, relax)
  54. Monitor Your Weight Loss – Free
  55. Weight Loss Boot Camp – Free
  56. My Weight Loss Coach – Free
  57. Weight Loss and Fitness Tools – Free
  58. Universal Weight Loss Yoga – Free
  59. iExercise Journal – Free
  60. 100 Pushups – Free
  61. Daily Arm Workout – Free
  62. JEFIT – Free
  63. Just 6 Weeks Lite – Free
  64. My Diet Coach – Free
  65. VirtuaGym – Free
  66. Daily Cardio Workout – Free
  67. GYM Workout Fitness – Free
  68. Daily Leg Workout – Free
  69. HIIT Interval Trainer – Free
  70. Circuit Training Assistant – Free
  71. Fat Burning Exercises – Free
  72. 200 Situps – Free
  73. Ultimate Core Workout – Free
  74. Body Stretching Guide – Free
  75. Workout Timer – Free
  76. Water Drink App – Free
  77. Stretching Flex – Free
  78. Daily Yoga Fitness-On-The-Go – Free
  79. Pedometer App – Free
  80. Yoga for Beginners – Free
  81. RunKepper – Free
  82. FitYou – Free
  83. Ladies Abs Workout – Free
  84. C25K 5K Trainer – Free (Great for those who want to get into the running game!)
  85. Exercise Tracker for Fitness – Free
  86. My Fitness Pal Guide – Free
  87. C25K – Free
  88. Lazy Fitness – Free
  89. Dance Fitness – Free
  90. Extreme Fitness Tracker – Free
  91. DailyBurn – Free
  92. Simple Workout Tracker – Free
  93. Personal Trainer – Free
  94. Home Exercises for Women – Free
  95. Map My Run GPS Run Tracking – Free
  96. iCross Fitness – Free
  97. Fitness Diary – Free
  98. Home Training – Free
  99. 30 Day Ab Challenge – Free
  100. Accupedo Pedometer – Free (Love this app!)
5 Apps to Encourage Your Kids to Learn During Summer Break

5 Apps to Encourage Your Kids to Learn During Summer Break

5 Apps to Encourage Learning During the Summer - #Kid_AppsWhile our kids love the summer downtime, the US Educational Department says this comes at a cost. Keep your kids encouraged with continual learning during the summer break.

Our friends over at Shiny Things, an educational app development startup has developed a line of children’s apps in line with the Common Core curriculum. The Common Core test has now been adopted in 44 states.

These app are designed to be interactive, engaging and inspiring.

With a strong policy to respect their users privacy, Shiny Things apps collect no data from users and have a strict no in-app purchases so parents don’t have to worry about their kids accidentally racking up huge bills.

Shiny Picnic

shiny picnic children's learning appFor ages 2-4, toddlers join Charlie the Monkey and his jungle friends catching flying fruits, packing the picnic basket, and feeding their animal friends across three fun and educational games that teach essential pre-number skills, such as matching and sorting. Shiny Picnic is also a storybook with highlighted text as the story is ready aloud.

Download Shiny Picnic

shiny circus  children's learning appShiny Circus

For ages 4-6, this app introduces mathematical concepts in a fun and engaging way. Kids will begin to identify measurement qualities and their relationships and lets kids experiment with weight and distance. It’s also an interactive read-along storybook.

Download Shiny Circus

shiny bakery  children's learning appShiny Bakery

For ages 2-5, Shiny Bakery introduces early number sense through counting, measuring, dividing, and sequencing activities as kids help Alice the Zebra help mix, measure, decorate, then serve cakes and cookies to customers. Watch the trailer here.

Download Shiny Bakery

quick math children's learning appQuick Math

For ages 6-12, Quick Math improves math proficiency and promotes development of mental strategies for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and mixed operations. The in-built unique handwriting tool improves the child’s handwriting skills and strengthens muscle memory.

Download Quick Math

quick math plusQuick Math+

A challenging step up for ages 8+, Quick Math+ builds on Quick Math, introducing indices, negative numbers, and order of operations questions. It includes new game modes to test memory, logic, estimation ability, and pattern recognition. Watch the trailer here.

Download Quick Math+

A Fitbit Alternative – Moves iPhone App

A Fitbit Alternative – Moves iPhone App

Looking for an alternative to Fitbit?  Move over Fitbit – it looks like there is a new app in town that replaces you. Introducing the Moves app for iPhone

fitbit alternative iphone app

Moves App – Fitbit Alternative

In the fitness world, the Fitbit and Nike Fuelband are all the rage. The Fitbit is a wireless activity tracker that rings in at $99.95. While I have heard rave reviews about this device, I personally haven’t tried it.

With that same idea of tracking your activities, you can use an app as a Fitbit alternative. Meet the Moves appThe new Moves app for the iPhone tracks physical activity for ‘everyone else’ for free and without the need for pricey gadgets. Did I forget to mention, whoops – this app is FREE!  (more…)