Lovely Simply

Style and Lifestyle in New England

Category: Recipes

BJ’s Sneak Peek

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This past Tuesday, my sister and I loaded up the kids (three in total) and headed to the New BJ’s in Manchester NH for a sneak peek of it before they open on the 17th of this month. We kept telling the kids we were going on an adventure, and luckily for us BJ’s had these awesome carts with little race cars attached which basically made Redmonds entire day.IMG_0818

After a potty trip for the toddlers (because if you think you gotta go, stop and go right away…) we started our little tour of the new building. The first thing we saw was a huge wall of pretty much all of Redmonds favorite kid foods. Annie’s Mac and cheese, bunny grahams–the good stuff. We were told that this is their wow wall for #wowwallwednesday and features new deals every week. IMG_0813

After that, we headed to the family section of the store. I loved this area because it had basically everything a young family with little ones (like us) could need–diapers, wipes, ect. There were also all the over the counter medications that we try to keep stocked–and my favorite aspect  was that the sizes were bigger than what you find in your average drug store. We  just survived two sick kiddos where we ran out of ibuprofen and had to do the dreaded evening run to get more, and I want to be fully prepared for next time.

We checked out the fresh produce area after that, and I was so impressed by the variety. They also had their own deli (which you can call ahead to and have your order ready for pickup) and prepared foods section. And best of all….a bakery. I’m still thinking about the cheesecakes we saw. They looked so good!

I remember BJ’s being much more of a bulk shopping experience when I went with my parents as a kid, but now they carry basically everything and you could EASILY do all your grocery and home shopping in one stop. Pet food, patio furniture, Easter dresses–they had it all.

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As you can tell from these photos, Redmond  fell in love with a giant chicken, and picked out a bouquet of flowers (which he licked. Because….toddlers are gross), and had an all around amazing time. He didn’t want to leave. I had to remind him that we were going to sing happy birthday and have a treat with one of my closest friends to lure him out. An adventure indeed.

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BJ’s was kind enough to give me some gift cards so that we can do some shopping for our family, so I will be sharing some recipes that we make with our buys on my Instagram (@simply_hannah.joy). Check back in and thanks for reading!

p.s. They still have the deal going on for first time Members here

This is a sponsored post on behalf of BJ’s Club, all opinions are my own

BJ’s Comes to Manchester

BJ’s is coming to Manchester!

Grocery shopping is one of my favorite “duties” as a grown up. Redmond loves it, Laurie likes to be in his front pack looking around, and it turns into a fun outing for us. Meal planning is not one of my favorite duties though…even though I love cooking and I LIKE having a plan, it just is always daunting to me. Even with Pinterest. EVEN WITH PINTEREST. I know.

We have a pretty tight food budget, and the more Redmond eats, the harder it is to maintain, and I’ve been looking for some other options than the way I’ve been doing things. BJ’s Wholesale Club is opening a new location in Manchester, NH and I am super excited to visit their new location on their behalf and start saving. As a member of BJs ( and if you don’t already have one you can apply for one, here) families can save up to $500 a year on their groceries, gas, household items–pretty much everything. The membership right now is discounted and costs $25 year (normally $55!)* and we will be able to save 25% on normal grocery store prices which will make a HUGE difference to our budget. There’s also an Add-to-Card coupon feature where we can digitally clip coupons directly to our membership card for added discounts, which is cool since I never can keep track of coupons at the grocery store. I just looked at all the discouunts going on right now and got a little over excited, which I think shows that I am solidly a mom…because $2 off laundry detergent is worth celebrating.

My two little ones and I will be visiting next week, 3/6, to see the new club before the grand opening to the public on March 17th—and I’ll be on the lookout for the Wellsley Farms products specifically since they have a large selection of natural and organic items. I’ll be posting about our experience and some photos from the trip as well! So check out my Instagram next Tuesday for stories of our visit and follow along (@simply_hannah.joy) to see more!

*The $25 membership offer is only for new members

This is a sponsored post on behalf of BJ’s  Club, all opinions are my own

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“Asian” Summer Salad

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One of my favorite parts of summer time is how easy the cooking gets. Lots of veggies, a little meat–we can make a whole meal out of tomatoes, cheese, basil, and some crusty bread. I try to keep things a little creative AND we are on a food budget, so if I can stretch it and the ingredients don’t cost much, then that’s even better. Our little porch garden is growing rapidly and we will have lots of fresh produce soon– we are already plucking lettuce and herbs to throw into salads and sandwiches.

My dad and stepmom have been visiting us from Thailand, so I’ve been making lots of tasty, healthy meals for us, and this salad was a hit this past week. My dad has a friend who sells maple syrup in New Hampshire, so he regularly buys a half gallon to send to us. I use it in EVERYTHING, including this salad. It gives it the perfect amount of sweetness to cut the acidity.

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The whole thing took about twenty minutes to throw together (I had shredded chicken in thefreezer) and I made it before leaving the house for the day. It tasted fantastic that evening and I LOVE coming home from a long afternoon knowing that dinner is already prepared. Just be sure to add the Mama noodles right before you serve it so they stay crunchy. I grew up on these noodle packets in Thailand and they are about one million times better than the U.S. alternative…img_5158

Asian Summer Salad

4 cups shredded green cabbage

2 cups shredded romaine

1 large cucumber, chopped

1/2 onion, diced

1 tbs green onion, sliced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

2 cups shredded chicken

(to be added before serving)

2 packages mama noodles

1/2 cup peanuts

Dressing

3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

3 tbs sesame oil

3 tbs olive oil

2 tbs maple syrup

2 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs siracha

Add the shredded vegetables to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients for dressing and whisk. Toss the salad in the dressing and refrigerate for at least an hour. Before serving, add the crushed noodles and the peanuts. Enjoy!img_5157

 

My dad buys the maple syrup from This shop. It’s always an incredible deal, and supports a local small business, so if you’re in the market for some, check it out!

 

5 minute Acai Bowl


I am really into breakfast. I work out every morning, and I HAVE to eat before I exercise. Never anything too heavy, always something delicious. I make a batch of granola about once a week and it serves as breakfast and dessert (over a little yogurt) during the week when I steer away from baked goods and ice cream. While I was pregnant, I had massive cravings for smoothie bowls. I spent waaaaayyyy too much money at Fresh Press in Portsmouth getting their Acai bowls. But finally (finally!!) our grocery store carries Acai smoothie packs and I can have my favorite breakfast/lunch without throwing down ten dollars. So. A super quick little post today. I hesitate to even call it a recipe…but a few people asked me how I make mine so I figured I’d let you all know. Obviously I staged that photo (I don’t eat breakfast surrounded by flowers very often…) but it is a pretty, healthy, and delicious breakfast and it takes less time to make than my usual oatmeal does. I use Frozen acai packs which are stocked at our local market basket. They’re getting easier and easier to find, so check the frozen fruit aisle of your grocery store. If not, then you can order acai powder on Amazon–but I’ve never tried it. Anyway. I top mine generally with bananas, pineapple, strawberries, raisins, and my homemade granola (I’ll get that up ASAP) . Then I drizzle Krema natural peanut butter on top. It’s my current favorite because it’s super soft (almost soup-y) and pours easily. Not great for sandwiches, but I always use my pb for a topping, not a pb&j.
So anyway. 

5 minute Acai bowl

1 packet frozen Acai

1/4 cup mixed frozen fruit

1 tbs plain Greek yogurt

1/4 banana

Toppings: banana, pineapple, strawberries, granola, peanut butter. Or anything you desire.

Soften the frozen pack by running it under hot water and then blend everything (minus the toppings) in a blender or magic bullet. Pour into a bowl, top it up, and dig IN! 

I eat these for any and every meal during the summer. And my husband loves them too. 

Enjoy! 

Well-Earned Granola Bars


If you follow me on snapchat (simply_hj) you’ll see a good amount of food content. I love cooking. I love inventing. I love eating good, whole food. I DON’T love counting calories. For me, that is a slippery slope and one that I need to stay well off of. Especially with breast feeding, I try to get plenty of tasty, real food into my body every day. Because I love cardio workouts, I need a little extra which is why I’ve titled these the Well-Earned bar. I have one after my morning sweat session, and it hits the spot. I have no idea how many calories are in them, but they are full of good fats and keep me satisfied.

 I am perfecting a recipe for a soft, chewy bar. These ones are soft but a little crumbly. Which makes them perfect for eating on their own or putting on top of some fruit and yogurt for a little treat.

 You could also add in more nuts or dried fruit–I made them on the cheap (I talk a lot about budgets…and our grocery budget is one that is challenging in a fun way for me) so I kept it pretty simple. I really love granola bars but I HATE the cheap ones that are filled with fake ingredients and never satisfy me. And I love buying small batch homemade ones from local sources, but they get seriously expensive. At my gym they are 2.50 PER BAR. I can’t afford that. These are the perfect alternative.

Well Earned Bar

3 cups quick oats (this keeps them from getting too crunchy. The old fashioned oats don’t quite do it.)

2/3 cup unsweetened shredder coconut

3/4 cup natural peanut butter or other nut butter(smooth is best)

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/3 cup molasses and maple syrup (or just maple syrup. I like the flavor of molasses though)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbs chia seeds

Combine all ingredients until everything is blended. Press into a 9×9 pan and refrigerate for at least an hour. Cut into pieces and enjoy!


If you want more snack and meal ideas, follow me on snap chat and let me know what you’d like me to post recipes to!