Home » reviews » product reviews

Category: product reviews

Paprika App… Did you know they have a desktop version?!

Spoiler alert: Paprika Recipe Manager is awesome.

Imagine a traditional paper recipe box (or a recipe binder, or an untidy pile of curly, food-stained recipe cards). Now imagine that you can tag each recipe by meal, ingredients, dietary nuances, or any other category you require… and then search by keyword or category when you need something specific. And imagine if you could immediately add new recipes you find online, from emails, or from offline sources. Imagine if you could tap several of those cards and immediately a grocery list would appear with combined totals of what you need, which you could easily edit to remove items you don’t need to buy, and then imagine that this list was also on your phone so you don’t even have to print it.

Other amazing things it can do:

  • Keep notes about any changes you personally make to the recipe
  • Include nutrition information, if you like
  • Email recipes in a nice, usable format to non-Paprika users, with an attachment for instant import into Paprika if they also use it
  • For the intense home professionals, it allows you to keep an inventory of food on hand and will cross check when creating a shopping list
  • Paprika will keep your device awake while cooking, so your raw-chickeny fingers don’t have to touch the screen
  • It has a calendar for meal planning which you can use to produce a very specific grocery list
  • Built in timers
  • Ability to check off ingredients and highlight current steps as you go
  • And the list goes on…

Paprika is wonderful if you love to cook, and also wonderful if you hate to cook but have to cook anyway. I learned earlier this year that they offer a desktop version… sounds like a sanity-saving gift for myself! Purchasing a single desktop version allows it to be installed on up to 3 computers, which is great since I jump between two computers, and device app versions can be shared among family share plans as well (I haven’t tried this yet myself, but I’m told you can… super handy when those college kids leave the nest but want all your recipes).

screenshot of Paprika iPad app

Allow me to say that this is NOT an affiliate post. I have been a very happy Paprika iPad app user since 2012, having purchased at full price the iPad app literally days after my iPad was delivered by the stork. And I am still crazy about this app! It has revolutionized my kitchen life, and it deserves credit for the fact that I now cook a much wider variety of recipes, and regularly try new ones with ease, and am a more organized grocery shopper. It has made my life better in many ways, and I highly recommend it. It has great support, regular updates, and has never caused me angst.

As of this writing (April 12, 2017, but scheduled for November 17, 2017), the regular cost of either Windows/Mac desktop app is $19.99. That’s less than the cost of many cookbooks! Such a great value for what you get. It syncs with your other devices (those apps are sold separately, but regularly only cost $4.99 for iPhone/iPad/Android/Kindle).

I am posting this today, specifically, because in the past 5 years, Paprika has has offered their products at half off on this day of the month through the end of November as part of their Thanksgiving sale. So go check out their blog and see if they’re offering it again…

Happy recipe hoarding!!

Costume Update… Muslin Making is Done!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and decide to make a purchase, I may be monetarily compensated without any additional cost to you. All monies received via affiliate links will be spent on either fabric or tea, both of which fuel my blogging  

My Snow White and Evil Queen costumes are coming along… Last week, I took measurements, then completed the muslin making for each of 3 bodices and tested them out on the girls. No major tweaks needed, even the Evil Queen’s bodice with the giant collar I drafted (!!). To save my sanity, I plan to eliminate the yoke pieces by making a separate collar piece (which needs to be a white and heavily reinforced anyway, and perhaps attached to the cape). I can start cutting real fabric and making something much more exciting than marked-up scrappy beige shells. 2/3 of those marked-up scrappy beige shells can now become bodice linings (I am reminding myself that these are middle school costumes, and the insides don’t have any business being beautiful).

evil queen bodice muslin

Some of the tools I used to make the muslins include a cutting and craft board, wax tracing paper and a stiletto wheel. Two of the three dresses (and possibly a third hacked doublet for my own kid’s costume) need to come from a single tissue pattern, so I don’t want to cut into it (yet, anyway). Most of the craft boards and wax papers I use have come from estate sales (in case you are like me and love treasure hunting! oh, how I love treasure hunting!), but they are inexpensive items and can still be found easily online and at places like Joann Fabrics. My favorite needle-point stiletto wheel came from WAWAK.com, which is a great place to get sewing tools and consumable supplies like thread and zippers if you need more than a small order.

cardboard sewing and craft board wax tracing paper needle-point stiletto

A Few Favorite Sewing Notions

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and decide to make a purchase, I may be monetarily compensated without any additional cost to you. All monies received via affiliate links will be spent on either fabric or tea, both of which fuel my blogging  

I’ve been doing a little Spring cleaning in my sewing area, and thought it’d be a good time to share some of my most used and beloved little tools and sewing notions. This is not an exhaustive list, of course, but certainly a start!

Iris Swiss Super Fine Pins

It seems silly to recommend something as basic as a pin, but if you use them a lot, it becomes a lot easier to have real preferences. I have many little containers of different sorts of pins, but these are by far my favorite pins for dressmaking. They don’t bend and don’t leave holes, just like they promise. And the tin they come in is quite a neat little thing all by itself… you push down on the top to release the lid, and squeeze in from the sides to secure the lid back on.

Bobbinsavers

There are a lot of ways to corral your bobbins, but I like this inexpensive little contraption for it’s compact and portable simplicity. The rubbery material easily grips bobbins to prevent thread tails from growing, and prevents them from falling out. If you’ve ever dropped a bobbin and watched angrily as it unapologetically rolls into a distant corner under the furniture, you’ll appreciate this tool as much as I do.

MyoTape

This is not marketed as a sewing tool, but it is insanely helpful for getting measurements in the round… waist, hips, bicep, neck, head, etc. Especially if you are measuring yourself without the help of another person.

Slice Precision Cutter

This is a cute, comfortable, and very handy tool for cutting out all the curves and details of paper patterns and many other paper applications. It’s a lot safer than an X-acto knife (short blade) with the same functionality, and I keep finding new tasks that it seems to handle with ease. The ceramic blade will last longer than metal, and stays sharper.

ArtBin Super Satchel storage boxes

I have several types of ArtBins floating around my sewing room, and have been using them happily for the past decade or so. They will live a long happy life in your sewing area too because they are as versatile as they are durable… you might be using them for storing ribbon or buttons now, but they will easily convert to storage of a different kid when you want to reorganize. I am a fan of reusing and repurposing, and these boxes just won’t quit.

I hope you have found this little list helpful. Do you have certain sewing or craft items that you always recommend? Leave a comment with your personal favorites!