Must-Have Apps for Busy Moms | Cute Beltz

Whether you’re a working mom, or a stay-at-home mom, there’s no doubt that you’re up to your eyeballs in errands and chores. Moms are some of the busiest people in the world and keeping up with the daily to-do’s, special school projects and doctor’s appointments can become overwhelming in no time flat.  From grocery lists to travel assistance to health-related apps, we’ve pulled together a collection of our favorite phone applications that can help busy moms in their day to day routine.

Cozi

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Cozi.com allows you to organize your family calendar, make shopping lists, manage to-do lists, leave reminders to yourself and jot in your family journal — all in one place. With their free Cozi iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps, you can access and manage your Cozi account on-the-go.

BrainPop

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My daughters are big fans of BrainPop for its interesting fun facts and “movie of the day” feature. I’m a big fan of BrainPop for the educational benefit it provides. With a variety of topics — including social studies, art, science, and more — kids can continue learning after school has ended.

Karoo

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Do you feel like your baby’s life is already flying by? Do you have trouble keeping friends and family in the loop on all your child’s latest achievements? Karoo, the first mobile app from Care.com, helps parents, caregivers and relatives stay connected and share all the moments of childhood as they happen. You can create a private network of people you want to share information, pictures and milestones with. It’s also great for working parents, as your nanny or sitter can send you updates on naps, pictures of your child’s latest craft project and videos of play time at the park.

iCookbook

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With over 2,000 recipes, this app makes meal prep simple. No more worrying about finding healthy dinnertime options to serve your kids. You can browse recipes, personalize them (great for families with picky eaters!), create shopping lists and share ideas with friends. There is also a great hands-free voice option, so you don’t have to actually touch your tablet with flour-covered hands.

Mint.com

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Organizing a family’s budget and back accounts is hard work. Those math and economics classes you took in school seem like a very long time ago and maybe you need a little help remembering how to best manage your money. Once you set up an account, this personal finance app automatically stays on top of your transactions, categorizes them into helpful groups so you know what you’re spending money on and shows you how your monthly budget is doing.

Grocery iQ

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One of the best free apps for busy moms, Grocery iQ saves money and time when grocery shopping. Their barcode scanning feature makes creating lists easy. You can sort by category, aisle and more. This app is also integrated with coupons, so you can find easily find savings on the items on your list before leaving home. Grocery iQ is free for iPhone, iPad and Android users.

Kids Meal Deals

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To get all the latest “Kids Eat Free” and other family-focused restaurant specials in your area, this app is a must-have. Kids Meal Deals is updated regularly to keep all the dining promotions as current as possible. Available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android, this app will use your location (or you can enter another one) to find all the best dining deals for kids nearby.

Fandango Movies — Times & Tickets

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Every mom and dad deserves an occasional date night. If a movie is in your future, don’t make a move without this free app. Fandango’s “My Movies” list lets you keep track of what you want to see and alerts you when they hit a theater nearby. You can even pick and reserve your seating directly from the app. Fan and critic reviews, as well as movie trailers, are included. So hire a babysitter and treat yourself to a grownups-only night!

Do you have a favorite phone application that you can’t live without?  Share it with us!

 

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Fun Frozen Treats For Hot Summer Days

On those hot summer days spent at the park with your little ones running around, there is nothing like coming home and making something cold and sweet for them to cool down. Frozen treats are fun and delicious, no matter how old you are. Today we’ll be bringing you all sorts of simple ideas for frozen treats to make and enjoy with your kids.

Kiwi Ice Pops

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Glowing in green, these sweet and tart kiwi ice pops appeal to kids and adults alike. This recipe is not only refreshing but no-fuss, making it one of the coolest ways to extinguish summer’s sizzle.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup(s) water
  • 1 cup(s) sugar
  • 4 kiwis
  • 1/2 cup(s) (about 4 limes) fresh lime juice

Directions

1. Make the syrup: Combine 1 cup of water with the sugar in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Set aside to cool.

2. Make the ice pops: Using a paring knife, cut kiwis into quarters, peel, and remove the white core and seeds from each piece. Place the seeded kiwi pieces in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée to a liquid — about 1 minute. Combine the puréed kiwi, 3/4 cup syrup, lime juice, and remaining 3/4 cup water in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into molds and freeze until solid — about 6 hours.

Lemon Sorbet

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This fragrant sorbet can be served as an intermezzo to cleanse the palate and stimulate the appetite, or be presented, instead, with not-too-sweet cookies for a light dessert. Add fresh herbs to the sorbet to give this treat an unexpected twist.

Ingredients

  • 10 sprig(s) mint, stemmed
  • 4 teaspoon(s) mint sprigs, finely chopped
  • 3 sprig(s) thyme
  • 3 cup(s) sugar
  • 3 cup(s) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon(s) lemon zest, finely grated

Directions

1. Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in three small saucepans. Add the mint leaves to one pan and the thyme sprigs to another. Bring all three to a boil, remove from the heat, and steep for 12 minutes. Strain each steeping mixture into a separate bowl, stir 1 cup lemon juice into each, and cool completely. Process each batch separately — starting with plain and ending with thyme — in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions for sorbet. Stir the finely chopped mint into the mint-infused sorbet once it has set. Stir the lemon zest into the plain lemon mixture when it has set. Place a film of plastic wrap directly on the sorbet surface in an airtight container and freeze until firm — about 1 hour.

Watermelon Pops

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Don’t be fooled by these frozen treats! Made from sorbet blended with mini chocolate chips, they’re a great cool down dessert on hot summer days.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup strawberry sorbet
  • 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup lemon sorbet
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • wedge-shaped popsicle molds
  • popsicle sticks

Directions

1. To make a batch, mash together 1 cup strawberry sorbet, 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips, and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl.

2. Put the mixture into wedge-shaped popsicle molds (we used six 2-ounce molds), filling each about two-thirds full.*

3. Spoon a thin, even layer of lemon sorbet on top. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup lemon sorbet, 2 drops green food coloring, and 1 tablespoon water.

4. Spoon a layer into each mold and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze the pops for at least four hours.

Ice-cream Cookie Cups

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This summer, double your pleasure by serving your family’s favorite ice-cream flavors in edible chocolate chip cookie bowls.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. To make the cookie cups, beat together the shortening, butter, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until combined.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, baking powder, and flour, then gradually stir them into the batter. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a flat disk, and wrap it in plastic. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

4. Heat the oven to 375º. Turn two 12-cup muffin tins bottom side up and cover 10 of the cup bottoms with squares of aluminum foil (use every other cup so there’s some space between them). Grease the foil with shortening and set it aside.

5. Unwrap 1 disk of dough, place it between 2 sheets of waxed paper, and roll it out to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out 4-inch circles of dough and place each one over a cup bottom, smoothing out any cracks. Repeat with the other disk, rerolling and reusing any scraps.

6. Bake the cookie cups for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Let them cool for 10 minutes, and then remove the foil and cookies together from the muffin pan. Peel off the foil and let the cups cool completely on a rack. Just before serving, fill each cookie cup with a scoop of ice cream. Makes 10.

What are some other ideas that would make great frozen treats?

 

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Happy Thanksgiving | Cute Beltz

Wishing you & yours a blessed and happy Thanksgiving! –Cute Beltz

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Happy Culinarians Day – The Chefs/Cooks We Love!

Culinarian is just a fancy word for chef, so today we celebrate anyone who loves to cook or perhaps does it for a living.   My mother is an extraordinary cook! I keep telling her she needs to put together a cookbook and I’m waiting for the day she says, “YES!” to my many request.  She makes the best short ribs, sweet potato pies, spaghetti(so many fans), macaroni and cheese, three bean soup, green beans with red, yellow and green peppers and the list goes on! I’m sitting here getting hungry, longing for her good food.

I celebrate many of our great chefs, Rachel Ray, Paula Deen, Giada De LaurentiisBobby Flay , G. Garvin, Ferran Adrià, Moms, Dads, Grandparents, You and so many more who love to cook!

What’s your favorite dish to cook?

Happy Cooking!

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