May 292017
 

fidget cubes

I am sure you have heard or even seen a few fidget spinners around your town! The fidget spinner has become the biggest sensation, and has people of all ages talking about it!

Fidget spinners were created to help you with fidgeting. Whether that is biting your nails, playing with your hair, twiddling your fingers, or any other form of fidgeting.

Some retailers do claim that their fidget spinner can help relieve stress and anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, help those with autism and more. By playing with the fidget spinner it is supposed to relax and distract you from things that may be bothering you.

How does a Fidget Spinner Work

Fidget Spinners are a compact, ball-bearing device that you can rotate between your fingers. Some fidget spinners can spin for around five minutes without stopping, others are a few minutes. You can transfer it from hand to hand while it spins, and if you feel lucky, learn to do tricks with it! Continue reading »

May 292017
 

When I was growing up, my mom always had homemade sweets in the house.  My sister, brother and I would come home from school and excitedly run to the kitchen counter to see what delicious treat she had made that day. Now that I am the mom, I know a little bit more about nutrition and eating right, so I don’t have sweets in the house all the time, but sometimes I do like to surprise all the boys in my house with a home baked goodie. Something like these Crockpot Peanut Butter Clusters for example.

They are absurdly easy to make and they always go over well.  Plus, they cover both sweet and salty cravings and if you are anything like me, you have both. Often. So if you’re looking for a tasty snack to have on hand for the family, try these crockpot peanut butter clusters. I promise, they will be a big hit!

Crockpot Peanut Butter Clusters

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 cups unsalted peanuts
  • 4 cups salted peanuts
  • 1 – 12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 – 12 oz bag milk chocolate chips
  • 2 – 10 oz bag peanut butter chips
  • 2lb white almond bark or vanilla candy coating

Continue reading »

May 242017
 

Struggling to find ways to connect to your older kid? If so, below are very simple and easy ways to make effort to connect with your child. They grow so fast, and before you know it they will be off to college! It is so important that you get in time to connect with your kid when you can! 

No matter what your child’s age is, they still crave love and attention. So that is the main thing, just make time for them, listen if they want to talk and be there! The best way to raise a child is with love! Below are easy ways to connect to your older kid, ages 8-12. 

Simple Ways to Connect With Your Older Child

If they are being quiet: If you see they are being extra quiet, try to get them to talk. Ask them about something you know they are interested in. Maybe a video game, movie that they love, or something else. Showing you care and trying to help them if they are having a rough time, without coming right out and asking can help them a lot. 

Ask How Day Was: Even if you only get a one word answer, it shows them that you are interested. One day you might be surprised and get a little story of something cool that happened!  Continue reading »

May 232017
 

The hot weather has arrived and with that comes all kinds of worries: sunburn and dehydration top my list. Despite being of mostly Italian descent, I am a pale gal and I burn to a crisp. But that is a story for another day. We all hear every summer that we need to stay hydrated (and being a nurse, I am constantly pushing fluids on people and educating them on the importance of it), but do you know what dehydration looks and feels like? I consider myself somewhat of an expert on dehydration and rehydration (the rehydration part is generally not fun for you if you’re seeing me for it at work).

That was until my son, who was 9 or 10 at the time, came out to me one night at about 9 PM crying and telling me that he had the worst headache he had ever had in his life. He’s not a kid who complains, so I knew it must be serious. And being a nurse, I just wanted to make it go away so I gave him Tylenol. That didn’t touch it. I had no idea what else to do; he was literally grabbing his head and crying. I paged his pediatrician who, knowing my son’s lengthy medical history, sent us on our way to the ER. The ER is a nightmare, as you all know.

After several hours, labs, and much crying the diagnosis was……dehydration. WHAT??? Surely, they were kidding. I’m a nurse. I know all about dehydration and how to prevent it. Except that he had been at his summer program all day and it was hot. There was no AC and despite my constant lectures on drinking enough, he just hadn’t. I had never seen it present this way and it a real eye opener for me. So the next summer when we were on vacation and spent the day at Hershey Park and he started to complain of headache and became irritable, I knew what we were up against. Now when he gets aggravated with me constantly reminding him to drink, I remind him of that awful headache. Continue reading »

May 222017
 

When I was growing up, lacrosse was an almost unheard of sport. Over the last 20-ish years, it’s really picked up steam and now there are nine professional teams that play for a Major League Lacrosse here in the US. One of those nine teams are based right here in Boston! The Boston Cannons have been a part of Major League Lacrosse since 2001 and play right at Harvard Stadium in Boston.

I had the chance to go to a Boston Cannons game with my family recently and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  In fact, my oldest son, who is 12, is considering joining a team after seeing a live game. The thing is, it was more than just a lacrosse game – it was an experience. Here are some of the things that made going to the game more than just a game.

Boston Cannons Fan Zone

Get there early and experience the Boston Cannons Fan Zone. The Fan Zone is open at every Cannons home game two hours prior to the start of the game and remains open through the first quarter. At the Fan Zone you will find things like music, ping-pong tables, RCN Ice Cream Truck, FlingGolf, the Bud Light Build-A-Bar, and more! It has something for fans of all ages. Continue reading »

May 212017
 

Memorial Day is next week and before we know it, it will be the 4th of July. Man, they came up quick this year didn’t they? I am not sure what our plans for July 4th are yet (because we will have out of town guests staying with us this year), but we are definitely having some people over for a Memorial Day cookout. Nothing too big, but since my mom passed in February it’s really important to me to spend as much time as possible with the rest of my family – so we’re having my family over for a cookout. Not that I ever need an excuse for a cookout…..

I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy planning out the menu for parties and cookouts. I am a planner by nature and I suppose that’s why I like doing it so much. Anyhow, this year I am making some Patriotic Cherry and Blueberry Stuffed Crescent Roll-Ups for everyone.  When I host a cookout, I like to have some finger foods ready for my guests while the food cooks on the grill. These Patriotic Cherry and Blueberry Stuffed Crescent Roll-Ups are perfect because they are super easy to make and really yummy!

Patriotic Cherry and Blueberry Stuffed Crescent Roll-Ups

Continue reading »

May 172017
 

Teacher appreciation

Teachers have such a key role in helping teach your children and allowing them to grow up. I know that I can remember a few teachers from school that made a huge impact on my life personally, and I am sure a lot of you can say the same thing.

I always think it is really nice to give an end of school gift to the teacher of your child! This is a great way to say thank you for helping me grow this year, and become that much closer to being a grown up!

Below are some really fun and adorable DIY gift ideas for teachers at the end of the school year. You can let your children help make the gift, or you can make it yourself, either way it will put a smile on the teachers face.

DIY Gifts for Teachers for the End of School

Thanks A Latte Just Add Confetti: This is great for any teacher who enjoys coffee, grab a cute mug and print off this free printable!

Glitter Mason Jar Pencil HolderA Pumpkin and A Princess: I absolutely adore this one, they give you two options, a red apple one, and a pencil design. Both are darling and make for a very simple and elegant gift. Continue reading »

May 162017
 

PJ Masks Live! Time To Be A Hero, a brand-new, fully immersive musical production, will take the Wang Theatre stage for six performances on Saturday, October 7, 2017 and Sunday, October 8, 2017.  Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, May 19, 2017 at 10:00AM.

The live show is based on eOne’s top-rated animated TV series, which airs daily on Disney Junior. Catboy, Owlette, Gekko, and the Baddies will delight fans of all ages with live performances featuring world-class production, familiar and original music, acrobatics, and immersive interactivity.

PJ Masks, the hit series, follows the thrilling nighttime adventures of three young friends who transform into their dynamic alter egos, Catboy, Owlette and Gekko, when they put on their pajamas at night and activate their animal amulets. Together, they embark on action-packed capers, solving mysteries and learning valuable lessons along the way.

Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday, May 19 at 10:00 AM and are available at the Boch Center Box Office, Bochcenter.org, by calling (800) 982-ARTS (2787), and via Ticketmaster.

This presale offer goes live tomorrow, Thursday 05/16/17 at 10 AM  (remember, it’s not on sale to the public until Friday at 10 AM)

If you want to snag your tickets, you can access the presale by visiting this link. Once you select the performance that you want to attend, enter the presale code MOMS. Easy peasy.

If you end up going to the show in October, have fun!

May 162017
 

How I Met Your Mother is one of the best comedy sitcoms ever! It ended a few years back, and people (including me and my husband) still quote the show, and continue to watch the re-runs! After watching just a few episodes, there is a good chance you find yourself being sucked in and becoming addicted to the hilarious story line and characters!

How I Met Your Mother was nine seasons of listening to Ted share with his teens, how he met his wife, their mom. There are tons of twists and turns in his love story on and it was definitely an adventure to find the love of his life. He has a great group of friends in his life and their shenanigans will keep you entertained during every single episode. It is argued who is the best character, Lily, Robin, Marshall, Ted or Barney!

8 Reasons Why How I Met Your Mother is the Best Show Ever

Continue reading »

May 152017
 

I am a child of the 80’s and I am ok admitting that I spent an entire summer watching and re-watching the movie Annie.  On VHS. Ok, maybe I stopped watching to eat and go outside occasionally, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that I watched it at least 500 times that summer. I had the story line down pat and knew every word to every song.  I even went out trick or treating as Annie that year (which reminds me that I need to go through some old photos and dig that one out). I know that the movie has been remade a few times since the one in the 80’s that I loved so much, but I am loyal to the version I watched so many times that summer.

So now you know that I am a self-proclaimed expert on all things Annie, imagine how giddy I was when I got invited to see the live musical at the Boch Center (Wang Theater) in Boston last week.

Continue reading »

May 142017
 

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While I don’t like to eat a big meal first thing in the morning, I always like to send my boys off to school in the morning with a good meal in their tummies. These Pancake Breakfast Sliders are one of my favorite things to make for the boys. They both love them and I love them because they are relatively quick and easy to make.

You only need a few ingredients for these Pancake Breakfast Sliders and they are great to grab and go if need be. Plus, everything is better with bacon, right? Right!

Pancake Breakfast Sliders

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 pkg. Pancake Mix
  • 12 pieces Bacon, cooked
  • 12 Sausage Patties, cooked
  • 8 Eggs
  • Syrup

Here’s what you do:
1. Prepare your pancakes per the directions on the package. You will need 24 pancakes approximately 3 inches round. Continue reading »

May 102017
 

Disclosure: I received compensation from McDonald’s in exchange for writing this review. All opinions expressed here are my own and were not influenced in any way.

When I was a kid, going to eat at McDonald’s was the biggest treat there was. I don’t mean getting take-out, which was always awesome, but I mean eating inside. Whenever my sister, brother or I got a good report card, off to McDonald’s we would go. A lot has changed since then and I, for one, am excited about some awesome new changes at McDonald’s.

I got to experience some of the new changes at McDonald’s recently and I am wicked excited to share them with you here today.

You see, McDonald’s is always looking for new ways to raise the bar on everything they do — from their food, to putting more choice and control in the hands of their customers. They’re taking big steps to improve their customers’ dining experience at McDonald’s, offering new ways to order and pay, table service and premium menu choices.

Signature Crafted Sandwiches
It started with All Day Breakfast and continued with their updated Chicken McNuggets®. Then McDonald’s offered a Mac sandwich for every occasion and now, with inspiration from their customers, McDonald’s is proud to introduce Signature CraftedTM Recipes, made with premium ingredients and full of flavors everyone will love.

Customers can select a freshly prepared quarter-pound 100 percent beef patty, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken or Artisan Grilled Chicken with either a sesame seed bun or toasted Artisan Roll. They use premium ingredients for the Maple Bacon Dijon, Pico Guacamole and Sweet BBQ Bacon sandwiches on their new Signature CraftedTM Recipes menu.

I was invited to go back into the kitchen where they prepare all of their food and guys, it’s fresh. I saw all of the food and can personally attest to the quality of what was back there. I was super impressed. Continue reading »

May 082017
 

cook out tips and tricks!

Grilling out is a great way to enjoy food, and saves your house from getting to hot while running the oven in the summer. Plus, who doesn’t love sitting out and enjoy the cool summer day, while you grill up some tasty food? Nothing beats a steak or hamburger on the grill, it just adds so much flavor to the meat, it can’t be beat! 

Below are some cook out hacks to try out this summer! These hacks will change your cooking out experience for sure, and make it even more fun grilling! So kick back, grab a glass of lemonade or sweet tea, and keep reading to find out all the hacks you need to know for grilling! 

Grilling Hacks you Need to Know for Cooking Out this Summer 

Muffin Tray for Condiments: If you are having people over, consider putting condiments in muffin tins. Tomatoes, onions, ketchup, mayo, mustard, pickles and anything else. Then just place plastic spoons in each tin and let people use that to apply condiments to bread. 

Grill Watermelon: I know this sounds crazy, but try grilling watermelon this season! It is a whole new experience and offers an amazing flavor that will make all your friends go crazy. Just slice and cook for just a minute or two on each side. Peaches and pineapples are two other ones that taste amazing grilled.  Continue reading »

May 082017
 

Mother’s Day is going to be here before you know it (seriously – it’s this weekend)! Growing up, my sister brother and I always made my mom breakfast. Somehow over the years it seems that most people have transitioned from breakfast to brunch and that is a-ok by me. I love brunch and I am always on the lookout for great new things to try when I host brunch. Lucky for you, I recently found a bunch of great new recipes that are perfect for brunch. These Mother’s Day brunch recipes are sure to please mom (and everyone else) on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

Apple Cinnamon Crumple Doughnuts
http://strengthandsunshine.com/apple-cinnamon-crumble-doughnuts/

Breakfast Tacos
http://www.youbrewmytea.com/2015/05/country-style-breakfast-tacos.html

Nutella Deviled Strawberries
http://www.laurenslatest.com/nutella-deviled-strawberries/

Peanut Butter Banana Stuffed French Toast
http://leavenoleftovers.com/peanut-butter-banana-stuffed-french-toast/ Continue reading »

May 072017
 

If you are looking for a salty and sweet kid-friendly trail mix, then look no further! This is a very simple trail mix with only four ingredients. Everything in this mixture is kid approved and any child should absolutely love this trail mix. You can even raid your pantry and toss in some dried fruit, or other fun snacks your child loves. It is a very versatile trail mix!  If you have never had M&M’s and popcorn together, trust me when I say that it is a very tasty combination! Then throw in the crackers and grahams, and it is heavenly! Very simple to make, hardly no prep, and a great snack option for you and your kiddo!

Sweet and Salty Kid-Friendly Trail Mix 

Continue reading »

May 042017
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MoreThanAMom #CollectiveBias

As many of you already know, I lost my mom in February.  It’s been incredibly hard and even though it was expected at some point because she was very, very sick, it happened much sooner than my family was prepared for.

This is going to be the first Mother’s Day without her and even though I haven’t completely processed the fact that she’s gone (I still half expect to pick up the phone and have it be her on the other end), I wanted to do something special in her honor. Years ago, I remember visiting with a friend who had an angel on her wall made from beach rocks. My mom always loved the beach and I wanted to try to recreate the angel out of beach rocks.  That way whenever I walk past my Beach Rock Angel hanging on my wall, it will remind me of her.

Obviously, I needed some beach rocks to make my angel from and last weekend I headed to the beach to collect some rocks. Lucky for me when I went it was low tide so there were plenty of rocks for me to choose from. I went home immediately and got to work on my Beach Rock Angel.

Beach Rock Angel Craft To Always Remember Those We Love

Continue reading »

May 012017
 

If you are planning to tackle a home project, make sure to utilize these Home Depot hacks to make sure you never pay full price on items again! These hacks are a great way to get the most out of your money and make sure you are getting the best deals possible. 

From price matching, saving money on clearance lumber, and so much more! This is really a great way to cut corners on expenses and still create the project you are wanting. 

Save Money at Home Depot With These Tips and Tricks 

Price Match Guarantee: Make sure to check your competitor stores in your area, if you find a price cheaper, Home Depot will price match. But to make it even sweeter, they will give you an extra 10% off on the item! Just bring in the flyer to show them the price.

Join Newsletter: Make sure to sign up for their newsletter, new members get a $5 off coupon! Plus you can get emails on special sales available and sometimes extra discounts. 

Rebate Center: Make sure to check out their online rebate center. You can save quite a bit of money on their larger items most of the time! 

Clearance Lumber: Okay, this one is awesome. You can get a discount on leftover lumber, up to 80% off. So make sure to check out the clearance wood. They will be different sizes and such, but you can always find some way to use it! They mark the clearance wood with purple paint.  

Trees and Plants: Did you know that the trees, perennials and house plants all have a one year guarantee. You just dig up the item if it dies, and take it in for a replacement plant.  Continue reading »

Apr 302017
 

I don’t know about you, but I am super excited about the fact that it’s finally spring. Once the nice weather rolls around here in New England, I like to plan out dinners that my family can enjoy al fresco.  To me, food just seems to taste better when it’s eaten outside.  Am I right? That is why these Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches are the perfect spring/summer meal.  They are really easy to make and they definitely taste better when eaten outside. Ok, ok, they taste good no matter where you eat them, but try them outside – you’ll like it.

You probably have most of the ingredients to make them on hand, too.  Raid your pantry and whip these delicious Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches up for dinner. I’m sure they will be as big of a hit with your family as they are with mine!

Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Here’s what you need:

  • 3-4 lbs. Chicken Breasts
  • 16 oz. Prepared Coleslaw
  • 2 cups Pineapple Juice
  • 1 ½ cups Barbeque Sauce
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Onion sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. flour, optional

Here’s what you do: Continue reading »

Apr 282017
 

ANNIE is Coming to the Boch Center Wang Theater in Boston May 9-21!

The original production of ANNIE opened April 21, 1977 at the Alvin Theatre and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album and seven Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, Best Book (Thomas Meehan) and Best Score (Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin). The show remains one of the biggest Broadway musical hits ever. It ran for 2,377 performances after it first opened, and has been performed in 28 languages and has been running somewhere around the world for 39 years.

The beloved score for ANNIE includes “Maybe,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You” and the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.” Continue reading »

Apr 272017
 

Culinary Fight Club is a National Food Sport Organization. They produce live cooking competitions to highlight local Culinary Talent, ingredients and resources. Culinary Fight Club competitions take place in Chicago, Omaha, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Boston, Knoxville, Johnson City, Pittsburgh, Virginia Beach, Charlotte, Twin Cities, Kansas City, Montgomery, Charlotte, Charleston, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Los Angeles and now Boston!  I was invited to attend the inaugural Boston event and it was such a fun experience.

cooking competition plymouth ma

The Chefs Competing in Boston’s First Culinary Fight Club Event.

Culinary Fight Club brings the passion of a high-energy kitchen and the thrill of a timed competition for you to enjoy. As a self proclaimed foodie and someone who is obsessed with cooking competition shows on the Food Network, it was amazing to be able to attend an event like this live and see the chefs in action with my own eyes.  No two events are the same, with new teams and themes every time, so you will definitely want to attend as many events as possible. Continue reading »