Oct 242014
 

**I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating**

I’m always looking for ways to get my family to have better dental health. Being the only girl in my family, I realized that it’s going to take something spectacular to get my family to ENJOY the process of getting a cleaner mouth. I feel as though my kids are old enough to take responsibility for cleaning their mouths but it’s my job to find the ideal product to help them get the job done right.

10

We are actually in love with all of the LISTERINE products, but recently I got my family hooked on the LISTERINE HealthyWhite Mouth Rinse. I love that my family can have a cleaner smile without the sting of peroxide. This specific mouth rinse from LISTERINE is totally peroxide free, which is perfect for my kids. I also love that HealthyWhite from LISTERINE helps restore enamel and prevents cavities. Continue reading »

Oct 222014
 

Original Boston Baked Beans

Have you ever wondered why Boston Baked Beans are called Boston Baked Beans?  It’s because of the molasses.

Families have been eating slow cooked beans since colonial times. Did you know that the pilgrims earned how to slow cook beans with maple syrup from the Native Americans? Eventually people started making their beans with molasses instead of maple syrup because it was a little bit thicker & sweeter.  Add in some salt pork and voila – you’ve got yourself baked beans. In fact, in the 1700’s, baked beans were prepared on Saturday nights and left in brick ovens overnight. Because Sabbath rules forbid cooking, on Sunday, people could eat the warm beans, served with brown bread.

By the early 1900’s, Boston was a center of production of molasses and in case you didn’t know, Molasses is used as an ingredient in the distillation of rum – and baked beans.  As a matter of fact, Boston was where The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 took place.  A huge tank filled with 2.5 million gallons of molasses exploded and sea of of it flooded the streets of the North End. The disaster ended up killing 21 and injured 150.  I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Boston Baked Beans continue to be one of New England’s most-loved traditional dishes, and today I am going to share my take on Boston Baked Beans, which I make every week for game day! They’re easy to make, delicious and by grabbing my ingredients at Save-A-Lot, I save money on the stuff I need. Continue reading »

Oct 212014
 

Spooky Owl Wreath Dollar Store DIY

If you love the haunting look of owls, you will love this easy DIY owl wreath! This spooky owl wreath can be crafted using just a few dollar store materials, and the end result is the perfect Halloween décor piece to spruce up your space. Take a peek below at how you can craft up your own spooky owl wreath in just minutes and for just a couple of dollars.

Here is what you will need:
Halloween themed ribbon
Grapevine Wreath
Owl cut outs
Black twigs
Scissors
Craft or hot glue, glue gun Continue reading »

Oct 202014
 

I love  living in New England.  We have so many fun fall traditions that make living here so special. Aside from the obvious (the gorgeous colors of changing leaves), a few of the thing that make living here so amazing are the corn mazes, pumpkin picking, apple picking and last but certainly not least, Spooky World.

Spooky World features five haunted attractions as well as food vendors, a paintball game where you get to shoot zombies, a small bar, a bonfire, dance floor, and much more. Spooky World is located at Mel’s Funway Park in Litchfield, NH, which is about an hour north of Boston.

Chris & I went to Spooky World last Friday night and had a blast going through all of the haunted houses.  Because it is the first one you come to when you walk into the park, we started with the Freak Show in 3D.

Spookyworld-3d-freakshow

We were handed 3D glasses before we entered and once we set out through the house, we were scared out of out wits several times. Complete with neon paint, strobe lights and monsters jumping out at us, this house was by far our favorite of the night.  And as an added bonus, it had one of  those spinning tunnels at the end that makes you feel like you’re walking on the ceiling.  It was awesome. Continue reading »

Oct 192014
 

Halloween Pretzel Sticks

As a mom of two active little boys, it seems like we’re constantly celebrating mini milestones in our house.  Whether it’s  my little man getting a 100% on his spelling test or my big guy advancing in his karate class, there is always something to celebrate.  Mini milestones deserve a mini reward, right?  Something tasty like the sweet-salty combo of chocolate-covered pretzels for instance.

Since it’s October, we put a little Halloween flare into them, but you can get really creative with chocolate covered pretzels if you want to change things up.  That’s one of the reasons we love these so much.

Halloween Pretzel Sticks -

1 bag of pretzel rods, any brand

12 oz. Wilton white candy melts

Halloween sprinkles

Baking sheet lined with foil or wax paper Continue reading »

Oct 162014
 

**Disclosure – I received a pair of New Balance sneakers for each of my boys and a family four pack of tickets to the Franklin Park Zoo at no charge to help facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

As the mom of two very active little boys, having comfortable sneakers for their little feet has always been a high priority for me.  While comfort is the number one thing I look for when it comes to my boys footwear, style is a very close second.  I want their feet to feel good and I want them to look good at the same time.  And that’s why I love New Balance.  Not only are they a Boston based company (yay Boston!), but they make really, really awesome sneakers, too.  I have been wearing NB kicks myself for years and the gruesome twosome have each had numerous pairs of New Balance sneakers over the years.

Just in time for back to school this year, my boys were each sent a new pair of New Balance sneakers.  For my little guy, I chose the Hook and Loop 574 sneakers.  He can tie, but is still a newbie & it’s a little slow going, so I thought the velcro closure might be a little better for him while he’s away all day at school.  My oldest picked out his own sneakers and chose the Varsity 574.  I’d say both pairs are pretty sharp looking, wouldn’t you?

IMG_6247

I am excited to tell you about New Balance’s newest line – the Trip to the Zoo collection! This colorful collection of kicks is perfect for kids planning to hit the playground, explore the zoo, or impress at school! Featuring a lightweight EVA midsole, synthetic/mesh upper, and hook & loop closure for easy on/off, the new collection has been available since October 1st in infant and preschool sizes at www.newbalance.com & in New Balance stores for $47.95-$54.95. Continue reading »

Oct 152014
 

How to Have a Gluten Free Halloween

Halloween is one of the most scrumptious times of the year. You have access to handfuls of candy and deliciousness. One of the only problems is having to deal with a gluten free diet while enjoying this awesome holiday. If you’re nervous about trying to eat gluten free during this holiday, have no worries because with these tips you can have a gluten free Halloween.

Homemade Treats

If you’re unsure of what’s gluten free and what’s not gluten free, then consider homemade gluten free treats. There are tons of yummy gluten free recipes online that you can bake for your own Halloween fun. Here are ten treat recipes to get you started.

Read the Package

You might be surprised at how many candies are actually gluten free. If you’re not sure if the package has gluten in it, email the company yourself. Sometimes it’s nice to just have that reassurance that you can’t get anywhere else. If you’re looking for a gluten free candy list, then this list might help you out a little bit. Continue reading »

Oct 152014
 

**My family was invited to eat at Johnny Rockets at no charge at Johnny Rockets.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Have you heard of Johnny Rockets?  If not, it’s a restaurant chain providing a classic all-American experience including “The Original Hamburger”.  Johnny Rockets strives to provide an all-American food in a timeless and fun environment.

My family was in Providence, RI this past weekend, so we stopped into the 269 Thayer St location for dinner.

IMG_6046

If you know my family in real life, you know that we love burgers, so we each ordered “The Original” burger.  It comes served with fresh shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, chopped onions, relish, pickle, mustard & mayonnaise, but the kiddos just got theirs with cheese and added ketchup. Continue reading »

Oct 132014
 

Living in New England, I am right in the middle of prime ski country.  Although it’s been a few years since I’ve hit the slopes myself, I always seem to find myself thinking one thing as I ski or snowboard my way down a mountain: Wouldn’t it be cool if I could take a video of this?

Well, with GoPro cameras, you can do just that.  You can take amazing action shots and even mount them to your helmet so you can take photos or videos of your adventure!

I think we all know by now that when it comes to the latest cameras and camcorders, Best Buy has you covered. Of course, Best Buy is your one stop shop for the full line of new GoPro cameras, plus a huge assortment of accessories to go along with them. The holidays are coming up quickly and GoPro cameras make perfect holiday gifts for everyone, from kids and teens, to gadget gurus. With the GoPro’s new line of cameras, you can capture gorgeous images and videos of your adventures and really bring them to life.

DCIM104GOPRO

Here are some cool features about GoPro cameras: Continue reading »

Oct 122014
 

Easy Eyeball Cupcakes
Witches, vampires and other spooky critters will love making these Easy Eyeball Cupcakes almost as much as they will like eating them.

Halloween is pretty much the Olympics of themed and decorated food. Hosts bust out the best of their pinned items from their respective boards that manage to turn frosted confectionaries into Brain Cupcakes, making guests squeal with delight…and cringe with a fun scare.

You Will Need:

1 Dozen Baked and Cooled Cupcakes – Any flavor, but Devil’s Food cake is preferred.

12 Round, Brown/Black Candies such as M&Ms

12 Gummy Lifesavers

Red food coloring, preferably gel

White frosting

Toothpick Continue reading »

Oct 092014
 

Disclamer: I received the products featured in this post at no charge in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

My boys are pretty typical when it comes to things like zombies and monsters.  They love all of that kind of stuff, so just imagine their excitement when they received a box full of Monster 500 toys a few weeks ago.  It was like Christmas had come early in our house.

Wait, what?  You haven’t heard of Monster 500 yet?  Let me tell you a little bit about it then.  Monster 500 is a line of fun, collectible fiendish monster characters available in small and large vehicles. Kids will go bonkers racing the vehicles around and can enhance playtime by using the vehicles on two freaky playsets! Monster 500 vehicles and playsets are sold exclusively at Toys R Us.

The Monster 500 line features fiendish monster characters driving small and large vehicles, plus two fabulously play sets. The characters marry a child’s love of cars with the ghoulish and gross—the perfect combo! Each vehicle aligns with the Monster 500 app, which allows fans to bring their favorite monster characters to life in an action-packed racing game.

We received the following:

(1) Monster 500 Small Vehicle
(1) Monster 500 Large Vehicle
(1) Monster 500™ Toxic Terror Trap Playset
(1) Monster 500™ Graveyard Gauntlet Track Set

IMG_6106

The boys had a half day on the day that these showed up, so Chris surprised them by assembling the playsets so they were ready when the boys got home from school. They were both so excited when they saw everything set up and couldn’t wait to start playing. Continue reading »

Oct 092014
 

**This post is sponsored by McDonald’s.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

A couple of weeks ago, I told you all about how we survive going back to school and in case you missed it, you can read all about it here.  As I mentioned, we are always on the go after the kids get home from school and sometimes I just don’t have time to cook the boys dinner.  That’s where McDonald’s comes into play.  I love that I can swing by McDonald’s on the way home from the soccer field, grab the boys each a Happy Meal and be able to feel good about what I’m serving to my kids.

Each Happy Meal provides wholesome options such as Apple Slices and Go-GURT Low-Fat Strawberry yogurt. Additionally, 1% low-fat while milk, fat-free chocolate milk and 100% apple juice are the perfect beverage pairing for your kids Happy Meal.  In case you haven’t heard,  later this fall Cuties clementines from Sun Pacific are going to be included as a Happy Meal side as well.

IMG_5963

Since this time of year is so hectic for many of us, I wanted to share a few more of my best back to school survival tips. Continue reading »

Oct 082014
 

Apple Cider Sangria

Are you looking for a tasty fall cocktail to sip on by the bonfire?  Or maybe you’re just looking for something a little more “adult’ to do with all those extra apples you just picked?  Then this Apple Cider Sangria is just what you’re looking for.

Here’s what you need:

1 750mL bottle of pinot grigio, any brand

2 ½ C. apple cider

1 C. club soda, any brand

3 medium size apples, chopped + extra for garnish

Directions :

Add all the ingredients to a large pitcher and stir. Chill in the fridge approximately 1 hour and serve over ice with apple slices as garnish.

Perfect for those crisp fall days and company on the porch.

Apple Cider Sangria2

Oct 072014
 

How To Make This The Best Halloween for the Kids

Halloween is just a few short weeks away and the kids are pumped about the event. It’s time to make this the best Halloween ever and here is how you can do it.

#1. Dress Up Yourself

If you’re going to dress the kids up for Halloween this year, make sure you dress yourself up as well. The kids will love it if they see you get excited about this fun event that only rolls around once a year.

#2. Go Candy-licious

Halloween is all about the candy! Don’t forget that candy makes the holiday so try and let the kids have a little fun with it. Some parents want to limit the candy their children eat to only once piece. At least let your kids have two! Continue reading »

Oct 062014
 

Last weekend, my family and I were invited to check out Fright Fest at Six Flags New England. Not only do we love all things Halloween, but we love Six Flags, so to say that we were all excited about spending the day there is a complete understatement!

Six Flags New England offers family-friendly Halloween thrills during the day, but after 4 p.m., the ghouls come out to play. The park transforms into a fright-filled environment with walk-through attractions, scary shows and thrill rides that make the most of the season. Fright Fest is the largest Halloween event in New England with over 20 different attractions!

When the sun goes down, the ghouls come out. Watch as the park transforms from “Thrills by Day” to “Fright by Night.”

As you can see, the park was all decked out for Halloween:

decos

The detail of the decorations was absolutely incredible and the folks at Six Flags New England clearly went all out! Continue reading »

Oct 052014
 

Easy Halloween Treats Brain Cupcakes

That cold snap in the air followed by pumpkins appearing in grocery stores and aisles of costumes ranging from adorable cartoon characters to questionable nurses wearing short skirts and fishnet stockings can only mean one thing – Halloween!

Autumn is approaching and so is one of the holidays Americans will spend billions on when it comes to decorations. According to a consumer reports and retailers, in 2013 shoppers spent a total of $7 billion on costumes, home décor and party supplies. Halloween spending is second only to Christmas. (Link to consumer report via NPR:  http://www.npr.org/2014/09/03/345575950/the-business-of-halloween-means-you-can-buy-an-arm-and-a-leg)

You can save yourself some cash and stress with these easy, fun and affordable Brain Cupcakes that will please any ghoul at school or ravenous haunted houseguests.

You Will Need: Continue reading »

Oct 022014
 

**I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating**

Now that my boys have been back to school for about a month, we are back to a routine – which I am very happy about.  Things always seem to run smoother in my house when there is a set routine in place.   The thing is, some nights we are just so busy with after-school activities, that I feel like the rest of the night once we get home is very rushed.  One of the things I fear that my boys really rush is brushing their teeth. Let’s face it, sometimes brushing can be a challenge for kids, and I have a sneaking suspicion that my two aren’t doing as good of a job as I wish they did. Especially when it comes to getting in between their teeth.

LISTERINE Heroic Habits

Listerine has several great products and I think they are the answer to my problem. I am excited to try out these LISTERINE products, along with my family, so that we can all get get those hard to reach spots between our teeth super clean. Continue reading »

Oct 012014
 

I admit it, I have a slight zombie obsession, so naturally when I heard there was an an interactive tactical live-action zombie experience right in Abington, MA, I was all over it. Interactive you say? Yes, interactive!  During the interactive experience you get to travel through a small city infested with zombies.  Don’t worry, you will have the help of a guide and you’ll get a shotgun to shoot with to ensure you survive.

There are two areas of the city to be cleared at Boston Zombie Apocalypse. Chem Zone 44 contains slower Zombies and is a shorter experience. If you are nervous at all or are accompanying young people (no one under 8 allowed), then Chem Zone 44 is for you.  Z-Swarm 617 is a longer battle through a larger more intense part of the city.  You can do one or both.

Here’s the thing.  I went last year and had a pretty bad experience.  It was very poorly organized and I ended up waiting outside for over two hours in the cold.  Once I was inside the building, it literally took less than five minutes to run through the experience and boom, we were done.  I left there last year feeling very disappointed that I waited for that long to get in and it was over in just a few minutes.

But guess what, Boston Zombie Apocalypse has new owners this year.  They really listened to all the feedback about people’s experiences last year and greatly improved things this year.  Instead of having to stand in an extremely long line to wait for tickets, they are selling a limited number of tickets by the half hour to the two different zombie fields. That will ensure that you will enter your sector in a timely fashion without having to wait.

Chris and I were there this past weekend and were so happy that the whole process was streamlined.  Our tickets were for 7:45 pm and we only had to arrive about 20 minutes early.  It was so much better this year, so if you were turned off by your experience there last year, trust me – it’s not like that this year.  Oh, and did I mention that they have a food truck there this year now, too.  Last year while we waited for over two hours everyone in line kept saying that snacks would have been nice while we were waiting.  See, the new owners listened!

IMG_6120

Anyway, once it was our time to go in to the live action experience, we entered the building in a small group (about 8 people) and were met by a military guard who showed us how to use our shotguns and let us all have a practice shot at a target. Once we all got that, we met our guide who would be taking us through the city.  He led us through the field and we defended our territory by shooting the zombies that came at us alongside the rest of our team. Continue reading »

Oct 012014
 

This contest has now ended. Congratulations to #201, James.
*************************************
**This post is sponsored by McDonald’s. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

School is back in full swing and you know what that means…. It means days filled with packing lunches and driving kids to sporting events, all while trying to take care of your daily duties. All of those school year extracurricular activities can fill up your day, making it seem like you don’t even see your kids despite being in the car with them for what seems like hours. As our family is out running around from activity to activity, sometimes it’s been a challenge to grab the kiddos a quick bite of food to feel good about.

And that is exactly why I love McDonald’s.

Each Happy Meal provides wholesome options such as Apple Slices and Go-GURT Low-Fat Strawberry yogurt. Additionally, 1% low-fat while milk, fat-free chocolate milk and 100% apple juice are the perfect beverage pairing for your kids Happy Meal. And guess what? Later this fall, be on the lookout for Cuties clementines from Sun Pacific included as a Happy Meal side as well. My ten year old is already super excited about that – Cuties are his favorite snack.

I am so happy that McDonald’s gives me nutritious alternatives and it’s food that I can grab quickly if we’re in a hurry to get to karate class or the soccer field. Continue reading »

Sep 302014
 

What is a Regulah Coffee

Hi my name is Robin and I am an addict. A coffee addict that is and I am a Dunkin Donuts girl through and through.  I stop there at least once a day for a coffee, and some days I am there two or three times.

I literally have four Dunkin Donuts shops within a three mile radius of my house, so it’s not like I have to go out of my way to get my coffee fix.  I usually go to one DD’s shop in particular because they know me there (because I go there so much) and we’re at the point where I don’t even have to order anymore because when they see me, they already know what I want.

But, if I happen to be out & about and end up stopping at a different Dunkin Donuts, this is my order:

A medium caramel, coconut iced coffee regulah (or as you guys not from around here would say, regular).

But what exactly is a “regulah” coffee?   Continue reading »