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As we get further into 2019, we reflect on the previous year’s happenings – the highs, the lows, the successes – and hone in on things we want to do better in the New Year. How can we Make Life Better?

When you look back at 2018, many of us tried to Make Life Better each day, at least in a tasty and healthy way, as food culture and healthy living propelled the kitchenware category. In a HomeWorld Business magazine article, Senior Editor Lauren De Bellis outlined the highlights of previous years:

“Foodie culture propelled the kitchenware category into the spotlight this year. Between the increased sophistication of tastes, a continued interest in at-home meal prep, as well as a renewed confidence in their cooking skills, consumers actively turned to the kitchenware category for innovative tools and gadgets,” said De Bellis.

These are themes we expect to continue in following years. After all, now that we’ve all developed a sophisticated palate keen on the tastes of healthy and delicious foods we might never have thought to try, why not continue with goals that not only make us healthy, but happy?

Whether you began this positive journey this year or are ready to jumpstart a happier, healthier life next year, follow these tips on how to cook and eat better this New Year!

Meal prep.

The whole point of “meal prep” or meal preparation is to make life easier, and ultimately better, for you during the week. We all lead busy lives and sometimes that busy gets the best of us. This leads us to make unhealthy choices when it comes to our meals.

While the new year may be here fast and furious, take a moment to slow down in the kitchen. Take some time to plan before you begin your actual prep as this will make the process simpler and smoother and save frustration in the kitchen (nobody wants that ingredient in the mix!).

While it’d be great to meal prep for seven days of the week right away, don’t feel you have to jump right into the process. As fitness expert Kayla Itsines said, “If you are just starting out with meal prep, don’t overwhelm yourself! Cooking up a whole week’s worth of meals is a big task and even the best of us can struggle with that. My biggest tip is to ensure that it is manageable. I recommend sticking to a few days at a time to help you get used to the process.”

Allow yourself a little help

Asking for help is important for a lot of things in life, healthy cooking and meal prep is no exception.

You’re only one person. You only have two hands. It may seem obvious, but we understand the conflicted struggle we all sometimes feel about it because we want to tackle everything ourselves! Even if you’re going to be that independent go-getter, go at it in a way that makes it easy and efficient for you. Our Baggy Rack provides a hands-free way to fill baggies with all of your ingredients or freezer meals. Also, Erasable Food Labels are good tricks of the trade when it comes to meal prep.

Get in check with proper portions.

We developed our Healthy Steps Collection to provide the tools of the trade when it comes to healthy eating. So many of us struggle with proper portions. We get that! That’s why we created each item in this collection to easily measure single servings.

Coolest Gadgets recently highlighted our Healthy Steps Pasta Basket as a way to “keep your pasta cravings in check.” Each basket helps you measure a single serving of any type of pasta. Fit up to four baskets in one pot; this even allows you to cook everyone’s favorite pasta at the same time! Time-saving and possibly life-changing.

What are your goals for next year? Share it with us by using the hashtag #MakeLifeBetter!


Halloween is just around the corner and our kids are anxiously awaiting the mountain of candy that they’ll pour out onto the living room floor after a successful trip (or two) around the neighborhood during trick-or-treating.

If you’re trying to lose weight or keep extra pounds from creeping on during the holiday season, Halloween can be filled with scary temptations that can add pounds frighteningly fast if you’re not paying attention!

But it is possible to keep the Halloween binges under control. Here are three helpful tips to help you enjoy a healthy Halloween.

Fuel up before trick-or-treating


It’s a chilly October night and what’s more comforting than unwrapping a delicious melt-in-your-mouth candy bar? Though we do love to indulge every now and again, Halloween is a holiday that’s filled with excess calories, sugar, and fat. Rather than leave your house on an empty stomach before the night’s festivities, make sure to enjoy a healthy meal that will leave you feeling satiated and less tempted to eat candy along the way.


Be mindful

Though we’ll be surrounded with sugary goodness for the next few weeks, this doesn’t mean you have to take it upon yourself to eat your way through the Halloween candy bowl! Because you aren’t eating candy for its nutritional benefits, be mindful of what you’re consuming and why. We’re not telling you to put a padlock on the candy stash, but we are saying is that if you choose to indulge in a treat, take the time to really enjoy the taste. Also, choose candy you actually want, not the one that you think you should have because it’s the lesser of the two evils. If you deny yourself that treat you’ve been craving and opt for one that you really don’t want, you’ll be more likely to keep eating to fill that void.

Keep it out of sight and out of mind


Your kids don’t have to be penalized just because you’re trying to cut calories. Rather than getting rid of their candy stash, simply put it in a cabinet or a place where you can’t visibly see it all of the time. Another way to limit the over-consumption of Halloween candy is by portioning it out into small baggies for special occasions or trying to pair it with something healthy. If your kids want a piece of candy, they can enjoy a healthy snack to go along with it. Also, if you’re a holiday baker, save some of that Halloween candy for your holiday baking efforts.

It might take a little planning and willpower on your part, but you can have a healthy Halloween.  But don’t stress about it and give yourself permission to indulge. Just don’t eat all of your kids’ candy…they won’t like that, either.

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It’s Tuesday night and your kids are begging for something special for dessert. You don’t have time to make cookies, but you don’t want to spend the money to go out for ice cream. What do you do? Make some tasty mug desserts, of course!

MICROWAVE JELLY DONUT 

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • yolk of one egg
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry jam (or any fruit flavor you prefer)
  • Cinnamon sugar to garnish

Directions

  1. Place butter into a microwavable mug and microwave for 20-25 seconds, until melted.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients; mix well with a fork until just combined
  3. Once the batter is mixed place the spoonful of jam down into the batter
  4. Microwave for 45 seconds or until is firm on top (time may vary, depending on microwave power).
  5. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top and enjoy immediately.

S’MORES MUG CAKE 

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp graham cracker flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons of milk
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon graham cracker crumbles
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon of one-inch chocolate squares, halved
  • 3 large marshmallows (you can roast them on your stovetop if you have a gas stove)

Directions

  1. Combine flour, powdered graham crackers, baking powder, oil, milk, and sugar into a microwave-safe mug at least 8 oz in size.
  2.  Mix with a small whisk until no flour chunks remain. Stir in graham cracker crumbles and 1 tbsp of chocolate disc halves. Add remaining chocolate discs on top of the batter.
  3. Cook in the microwave for about 1 minute. Top of cake should look done and the surface of the cake should be dry rather than gooey.
  4. Add marshmallows on top to the still-warm cake, pushing down slightly so that the marshmallows partially melt onto the cake surface. Serve immediately.

FUNFETTI MUG CAKE

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon rainbow sprinkles

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and baking powder until thoroughly, completely combined, with no streaks of any ingredients remaining.
  2. Blend in milk, butter, vanilla, and almond extract until batter is smooth. Quickly stir in 1 tablespoon of sprinkles.
  3. Pour batter into a 14-ounce (or larger) microwave-safe mug with straight sides. Top with remaining 1 teaspoon sprinkles.
  4. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes (give or take 30 seconds depending on the strength of your microwave), or until cake is done to your liking. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving.

SINGLE SERVING APPLE CRISP (Source: Well Floured)

Ingredients

  • 1 small gala apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. In a small microwave-safe bowl combine the apples, granulated sugar, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
  2. Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, and remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
  3. Add the melted butter and stir to combine everything.
  4. Top apples with the oat mixture.
  5. Microwave on high 90 – 120 seconds. Careful- the bowl will be HOT!
  6. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Remember: Each of these recipes makes one mug dessert. And make sure to use our Bowl Holder to avoid burns when removing from the microwave!