Month: May 2015

Loving This: The Create 365 Happy Planner – A Review

TheHappyPlannerHave you met the NEW Create 365 Happy Planner from Me & My Big Ideas? If you’re a planner nut like me, you’re going to love it. When I first saw pictures of it surfacing on Instagram, I fell in love, and immediately wanted one. This response was very similar to what happened when I first met the Erin Condren Life Planner last year, but I think I was a little more excited about the Happy Planner, if that’s even possible. Part of the excitement was that I couldn’t even get my hands on it right away. This is BRAND NEW.

Monthly View - with a little decoration for July 4th
Monthly View – with a little decoration for July 4th

The Happy Planner was released in April, I believe, but then there was the whole port embargo or something crazy on the west coast, so it wasn’t actually available to ship to stores until May. Luckily, Me & My Big Ideas (MAMBI) has their own online shop, and the planners were available there first. Was I one of the first to order on the very first day? No, but it was hard. I think I waited about 5 days before I took the plunge. I wasn’t sure about buying it, even though I wanted it; I already had an ECLP that’s good through December of this year. But when have I ever let something like that stop me? Yeah. Never.

Notes/Birthday Page Before Monthly Divider
Notes/Birthdays Page Before Monthly Divider

I couldn’t wait to get it, and it actually didn’t take long to ship, hurrah! I’ve been spoiled by Amazon, and now can’t stand to wait more than 2 days for anything I order to get to me. I didn’t do an unboxing video or anything crazy like that, but here are my first thoughts and reasons why I love this planner.


  • It’s so pretty! Love the gold foil, even though I wasn’t sure about it.
  • Removable pages.
  • Ability to add pages/inserts (oh, the possibilities).
  • Interchangeable covers.
  • Expandable – larger rings/discs can be purchased, which equals more pages!
  • Monthly/weekly views.
  • Lays flat.
  • Daily morning/day/night divisions.
  • You can fold it over on itself, like a notebook.
  • Tabs for each month.
  • The discs have hearts in the center!
  • The weekends in the weekly view are shaded, setting Saturday and Sunday apart from the rest of the week. As it should be.
Weekly View

Love a little less:

  • The monthly tabs aren’t laminated, BUT, the front and back covers actually lay over them, so that should help keep them from getting bendy. I may still get tab covers just to be on the safe side.
  • No personalized covers unless I make them myself. Don’t think I won’t.
  • You have to get a special hole punch in order to add your own pages and inserts. A standard 3-hole punch won’t work (at least not that I’ve discovered).
  • It’s printed in China.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love my Erin Condren, and will continue to use it. I haven’t actually used the Happy Planner yet, as it doesn’t start until July 2015, and I haven’t gotten the extension pack with customizable extra pages to go ahead and start using it now, but I will soon.

Overall, I’m really happy with this planner and excited to use it.

I’ll be doing a full-on comparison between the Erin Condren Life Planner and The Happy Planner in my next post, so stay tuned!


Easy Cheesy Mexican Rice in the Rice Cooker!


Do you love the rice you get with your dish at your favorite Mexican restaurant? Are you looking for an easy way to recreate it at home? We have ‘Taco Tuesday’ nearly every week, and Mexican or Spanish Rice makes a great side dish. I was buying the packs of precooked 60-second Mexican Rice at the grocery store, but those packets are kind of expensive when you’re buying them week after week. And there’s no telling what kind of stuff is in there – hello, ingredients I can’t pronounce. So, I went on the hunt for an easy and tasty recipe that I could make at home. Specifically, I wanted something that I could just throw in my rice cooker and let it do all the work.

I finally found a recipe that I modified a bit, and the family loves it! This is a regular in our house, and if we don’t have it with our tacos, enchiladas, and/or quesadillas, there is mutiny. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Rice Cooker Easy Cheesy Mexican Rice

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: About 2 cups


  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cheese - depends on how cheesy you want your rice!


  1. Place all ingredients in your rice cooker, and stir gently.
  2. Select the "White Rice" setting.
  3. Check the rice after 30 minutes - my rice cooker doesn't need the entire cycle, or the rice will be over cooked.


Under Construction…

Do things look a little different around here? They should – the blog is moving to its very own server! So, please be patient as I’m getting things back to normal. Everything is still here; all downloads are still available, but if you have issues, please let me know!

Be sure to visit again soon to check out the new look!