Jul 012015
 

For anyone that knows me, it’s no secret that I am obsessed with shoes.  I have more pairs of shoes than I can count and my collection just keeps growing & growing. I lover that when I shop at Famous Footwear, I don’t have to drop a ton of money on new shoes.  They have a huge variety of all the latest styles for the entire family and more importantly, they are affordable.

**Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Famous Footwear, but my love of shoes is all my own.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Have you noticed how jeweled sandals have been trending this summer? I mean, everywhere you look, girls are wearing them and who am I to be left out – so of course I had to get over to Famous Footwear to get a pair for myself.

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They had so many cute pairs to choose from and I was in the store a good while deciding what to buy – because, of course, I wanted them all. Continue reading »

Jun 302015
 

7 Fun Travel Games for Kids

Traveling as an adult is one thing because we know how to deal. However, traveling as a kid can get kind of boring. It’s important to make sure your kids are occupied as they travel, but how? Check out these 7 fun travel games that are perfect for kids.

Name That Tune

If your family is big into watching television, you might consider playing “Name That Tune.” When it’s your turn, you start humming the theme song to a show or movie. The rest of the car has to decide what show or movie the song goes to.

Nature Hunt

When you’re in a car there are limited things for kids to do and that’s why creativity is important. Depending on what part of the country you’re traveling in, a nature hunt from the backseat is a ton of fun. Everyone has to look for a new type of wildlife, tree, or flower. Everyone needs to keep a list of what they saw and at the end of each round, go over who found the most interesting objects. This game is also great for rest stops!

20 Questions

It may seem as though our kids already ask us 20 questions a day, but this game is a ton of fun in a moving vehicle. The main person needs to think of a subject and everyone else in the car takes turns asking questions about the object. The idea is to guess what the original object was. The objects in this game can be silly, fun, or serious! Continue reading »

Jun 292015
 

Small Disclosure

Trust me when I tell you that I love getting presents just as much as the next girl. Seriously. I get all giddy when someone gives me a gift and since it just so happens that my birthday is coming up next week, I am hoping to get a little giddy (wink, wink).  Especially since it’s not just any birthday – it’s one of those milestone birthdays.  That’s right, I will be 29.  Again.

Sometimes, though, you really just want to give someone a gift that will blow them away. You know, give them something that is truly memorable and that they will talk about for years to come!

Cue 

Have you heard of them?  If not, here’s the skinny. Cloud 9 Living is the US leader in experience gifts, offering over 1,900 unique experiential gifts for men, women & couples in 51 regions. They have partnered with over 600 “Best in Class” experience providers who take pride in ensuring that every gift recipient enjoys a memorable experience.  I love the idea of gifting someone with an experience, don’t you?

With experiences ranging from thrilling and adventurous to relaxing and cultural, they really do have something for every taste and every budget.  You can choose from things like hot air balloon rides, racecar driving, helicopter tours, spa packages, food tours, golfing with a pro, dinner cruises and so much more.

I had the chance to choose an experience from Cloud 9 Living recently and I am excited to tell you about it.

On their website you can narrow your search down by gifts for her, gifts for him, the experience type or the most popular.  Since I really had no idea where to start or what I was looking for, I just did a search for all experiences in my area (Boston) and the site pulled up everything that was available to me.

There were so many cool things (I mean seriously cool) offered locally to me.  A few things caught my eye right away, and I was able to narrow it down pretty quickly to 3 or 4 things that I really wanted to do.  It was between a couples massage (for me and Chris of course), a flying lesson (something I have always wanted to do), a helicopter tour of Boston and a romantic dinner for two in which a seasoned chef comes into your home for a night and cooks dinner for you in the comfort of your own home.

Can you guess which one I chose?  Stay tuned…… Continue reading »

Jun 282015
 

Small Disclosure

Summer sure did get here quickly! A summer BBQ is the perfect way to spend those glorious sunny days outdoors. Here are some awesome tips for throwing that perfect summer BBQ.

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Don’t Forget the Shade

Everyone loves some sun, right? Just make sure you provide your guests with a way out of the sun. Set up a nice tent or beach umbrella for people to get a break from the scorching sun.

Lots of Cold Drinks

Is there anything better on a hot sunny day than cold drinks? I think not. One of my favorite things to do for our guests is fill a cooler with ours and their favorite drinks. It keeps everyone cool, calm, and satisfied when they can grab something cold to drink while standing around chatting.

Add Water Fun

When it comes to BBQs around our house, we add some sort of water fun. There may be water balloons, a slip and slide, or even a little kiddy pool. You need to have the best entertainment for the kids, so they’ll let the adults have some fun too. Continue reading »

Jun 262015
 

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If you know me in real life, you know that I am always looking for new ways to keep my boys entertained and busy.  They’re energetic little boys and when I heard that Killington Mountain in Vermont was opening a brand new adventure center, I couldn’t have been more excited about it.

Eight new attractions are open starting TODAY!   They include a 4,800’ alpine mountain coaster experience, a four-story ropes course with 42 obstacles above a 5,000 square foot maze, a 1200’ long Skyeride that seats two guests at a time and rises over 200’ in the air, Segway tours, ATV/UTV mountain tours, re-designed and expanded beginner and intermediate mountain bike trails built along with our industry leading mountain bike venue designers Gravity Logic, and a new BOGS Hiking Center.

You can get individual prices for each, or buy an Adventure Center Day Pass for the best value.

Adventure Center Day Pass –
$39 (ages 7+); $15 (ages 6 and under), includes:

  • Three rides on the Skyeride
  • Skye Ropes Course
  • Terra-Maze
  • 1 round of disc golf
  • Snowshed scenic lift ride
  • Add three rides on the Beast Coaster for a total of $59 (ages 7+)
  • Add a round-trip K-1 Express Gondola ride for an additional $15.

Continue reading »

Jun 252015
 

fridge

**While this is a sponsored post, all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way*

Do you ever feel guilty when you open the fridge door and you realize that food has gone off before you’ve even had a chance to eat it? If you’re a busy mom or dad, it’s quite easy to overlook certain food items when you’re prepping family meals – before you know it, the product goes in the food waste bin. But there is a way to make food last longer and it’s all about the organisation of your fridge and freezers. Because storing food in the right way really, REALLY makes a difference to how long certain types of food stay edible. Here are some top tips:

The top part of the fridge is for ready to eat items

Did you know that the top part of the fridge is the warmest part?  Place everything that is ready or nearly ready to eat here: milk, cheese, yogurts and leftovers. If things are going out of date quicker than you expect it may be that you need a new fridge or freezer – check out this Tesco buying guide for ideas.

Utilize the bottom of your fridge for fresh food

The bottom part of the fridge is the coldest – always store items like fresh and cold meats here. Wrap different types of meat separately and ensure that there is no air in plastic bags before you seal items. Continue reading »

Jun 242015
 

**This is a sponsored post with Mums the Word Network and Amwell. All opinions are my own**

amwell logo

Doesn’t it always figure that you get sick when your doctor’s office is closed?  And seriously, who wants to sit in the waiting room at the ER for hours on end when you’re not feeling well?  Trust me, I’ve been there and it’s anything but fun.

Imagine if there was a service that would allow you to connect with a healthcare provider in your area for those non emergency health concerns – right from you home?

There is!

American Well is the modern day version of the old fashioned doctor’s house call. By using the new app, you can connect with physicians in your area and have a live video visit right from your mobile phone or computer.

My husband Chris had a chance to check out the app over the weekend and was pretty happy with it.  It was super easy to use and the best part was, he never had to leave the couch.

1. Set up an account.

Creating an account is easy, and literally only takes a minute. Once your account is created, your information is stored safely and securely for all future online visits. Continue reading »

Jun 232015
 

Why You Should Go Camping with Your Family

When was the last time you went camping with your family? If you haven’t gone in a while – or you’ve never gone, this summer may be the best opportunity to go! I recently enjoyed my very first camping experience and I wanted to share some of the reasons why I think you should go camping with your family. After all, you only live once, so making memories with the people you love is what it’s all about!

**Disclosure:  My family was invited as guests of GoRVing and Kampgrounds of America (KOA) to spend a weekend of fun at the Mystic,CT KOA. As always, all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Since I had never been camping before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but after my first time last weekend – I am now a firm believer that camping is good for the soul. As a novice when it came to camping, the lovely park model cabin that we got to stay in couldn’t have been a better way for us beginners to camp for the first time.

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And guess what?  These park models are actually recreational vehicles (RV’s), which are built on wheels so that even though they are intended to stay in one place, they’re portable.  If you are new to camping, these are a great way for families to get try camping for the first time.  I bet once you try it, you’ll be as hooked as we are now.

Have a look inside the cabin we stayed in: Continue reading »

Jun 222015
 

5 Small Blogging Tips That Are Just Good To Know - massholemommy.com

In the blogging world there are so many dos and dont’s. Some of which we don’t all know right off the bat – so it’s great to search before you do something if you aren’t sure but it’s also great to ask a fellow blogger their opinion. I have been blogging since I was 11 (I’m turning 30 in July, so you can do the math!) and I’m still learning as I go along….

But, I’ve also been helping a few fellow bloggers on the side. I don’t claim to know everything because I don’t and I’m still learning myself, but the things I have learned along the way I really strongly feel other bloggers should know, and the sooner the better… So, I’m sharing them with you today.

NOFOLLOW. When you are posting links make sure to always do NOFOLLOW posts if you want google to rank your blog. This is so important. It’s the best advice I ever got a few years back, and tell anyone I help with blogs – always use nofollow. If you don’t know what that means, or what the consequences are – please look it up. I’ve had quite a few people approach me to work with me but ask to use dofollow links (opposite of nofollow) and I’ve had to decline because I can’t risk my website. I won’t risk my website. Continue reading »

Jun 212015
 

DIY Patriotic Crayons

With July 4th coming up quick, what better time to make these fun patriotic crayons?  It’s a great way to use up those old crayon pieces you have laying around, plus they are super easy to make.  Not only that, the kids will love them!  I promise.

Supplies needed:

  • Red, white, and blue crayons
  • Muffin or donut tin, metal
  • Non stick cooking spray
  • Oven

Directions:

1. Begin by peeling away the wrappers on all of the crayons. Make sure all wrapping is removed thoroughly. Continue reading »

Jun 182015
 

**The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free**

Father’s Day is this Sunday!  I feel like it really snuck up on me this year.  We’ve had so many events in our family lately that Father’s Day almost slipped past me.  Luckily I remember about it (thanks to writing this post), but I find myself in a pickle.  I only have a few days left to get my husband, Chris, an awesome gift from the boys.

Chris is really a simple guy.  It doesn’t take much to make him happy, but he’s the most amazing husband to me and step-father to my boys that I really do want to get him something awesome for his special day.

Solo, the Smart Drone, fits the bill perfectly.

 

best buy drone

Best Buy is the destination for drones, including the new Solo™ by 3DR.  Now is the time to explore for Father’s Day. Continue reading »

Jun 172015
 

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

road trip essentials for families

Ah, the family road trip. There is nothing quite like it. The preparation, the unexpected glitches and plenty of fun and silly times. A road trip creates memories that will last a lifetime. To make the most of your trip, you need a combination of preparation and a “roll with the punches” attitude, because the unexpected will occur, and is often what makes those memories.

walmart road trip bridge

Many of you already know that my family took an eight hour road trip from Boston to Washington DC this past April. It was our first major road trip and since it was such a success,  we’re planning a six hour road trip to Hershey, PA next month!  I definitely feel more prepared for future journeys after our first major road trip this year. If you are planning a trip this summer, here are some road trip essentials for families you won’t want to leave home without: Continue reading »

Jun 162015
 

After having a newborn, keeping the house clean can be a real chore. Let’s be honest, keeping the house clean is always a ‘chore.’ However, after having a baby, I seem to struggle with keeping the house as clean as I’d like.  Check out these tips for keeping the house clean with a newborn in the house.

*Disclosure: I received a free product in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way*

#1. Clear the Clutter

Anytime I can get rid of extra items in the house that we’re not using, I do! There’s something invigorating about getting rid of clutter that we don’t need lying around our home. I have found that this is one way I can help keep my home clear of clutter and make keeping the house clean a lot easier.

#2. Write Out a Schedule

I keep a basic schedule at home of when I will clean what. Of course, since a newborn dictates my schedule, it’s a very flexible schedule. I have found that if I write out what I need done, it’s much easier. For example—Mondays are my laundry days and Tuesdays are the days to get the vacuuming done.

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Continue reading »

Jun 152015
 

Star Spangled Cake Mix Cookies Recipe

Like most Americans, I will be attending a big cookout on July 4th this year.  Hey, it’s tradition, right?  Usually when I get invited to cookouts, I volunteer to bring a dessert.  I definitely prefer baking, but in the summer time I don’t like to have the oven on for too long because it heats up the whole house.  That is why these Star Spangled Cake Mix Cookies are perfect.  They are not only easy to make, they are festive and what’s even more, they only need a few minutes in the oven.  Check ’em out.

Star Spangled Cake Mix Cookie Ingredients:

1 box of white cake mix, any brand
2 tbs. flour
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 egg whites
1/2 C. red, white and blue sprinkles
Continue reading »

Jun 142015
 

10 More Free Things To Do In Boston This Summer

There are so many things that you can do for free in Boston this summer!  Last week I told you about 10 Things you can do for free in Boston, but today I wanted to tell you about ten more.

1.  Go Star Gazing

The Coit Observatory at Boston University has Public Open Night at their Observatory most Wednesday evenings throughout the year, weather permitting. Public Open Nights are a chance for people to come observe the night sky through telescopes and binoculars and see things they otherwise might not get to see, and learn some astronomy as well.

Starting times are 7:30pm during the fall and winter, and 8:30pm during the spring and summer. The program lasts about an hour. If the weather looks sketchy and you’re wondering whether the Open Night will be held, call their information number at 617-353-2630, no earlier than two hours before the scheduled starting time to find out.

The observatory is located at 725 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, MA, above the Astronomy Department. The stairwell up to the Observatory is on the fifth floor just to the left of room 520.

2.  Hike up the Blue Hills

Blue Hills Hiking

Ok, so technically this is not in the city, but it’s located only minutes from downtown Boston. The DCR Blue Hills Reservation stretches over 7,000 acres from Quincy to Dedham, Milton to Randolph and it provides a green oasis in an urban environment. The highest of the 22 hills at Blue Hills is the Great Blue Hill, which reaches a height of 635 feet.  You will have an awesome view of the city from the top. At Blue Hills, there are 125 miles of trails and terrain. Continue reading »

Jun 112015
 

There’s something pretty awesome about connecting with your kids over something you loved when you were young, am I right?  It offers them a glimpse into what you were like as a kid yourself and gives you a way to relive your childhood.  Win-win.

As it turns out, cartoons such as the new Netflix original series Inspector Gadget and Danger Mouse are giving parents and their kids loads to bond over. Not only are the old-school classics we all grew up on more popular than ever, but new reboots are introducing a whole new generation to some of our most favorite characters.

I love snuggling up with my boys on the sofa to watch Inspector Gadget.

Go-Go-Gadget-Copter.

I plan on spending some time with the boys this summer watching these retro shows for sure, but watching them made me think back to all the other fun stuff we usually do over the summer in our family.

It wouldn’t be summer in our family without a visit to the local amusement park, Canobie Lake.

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And we never miss going to watch the Patriots Training Camp every August. Continue reading »

Jun 102015
 

The EcoTarium Worcester MA

My family recently visited the EcoTarium in Worcester, MA.  We’ve been wanting to visit for quite some time, so the boys were really excited when I told them that we were going. The EcoTarium, New England’s leading science and nature center, is a unique indoor-outdoor museum that offers visitors a chance to walk through the treetops, take a thrilling multimedia journey through the galaxy at a digital planetarium, meet wildlife, stroll nature trails, and get hands-on with tons of family-friendly exhibits.

**Disclosure:  My family received complimentary admission to the EcoTarium in exchange for our honest review. As always, all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Inside, the EcoTarium has three floors of interactive exhibits.

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In addition to seasonal exhibits, the EcoTarium has many permanent exhibits including: Continue reading »

Jun 092015
 

6 Reasons to Hire a SAHM

I remember the day I interviewed a mom returning to work after staying home with her kids for three years. She was ready, she was assertive, she had skills. I thought she was perfect for the job, but my boss at the time disagreed. Her reason, “her skills aren’t relevant anymore. All she has done is stay at home with kids for three years.” I felt like I took a dagger to the heart that day on behalf of stay at home moms every where.

At the time I was only a few months pregnant, and had freshly announced my pregnancy. When I rebuked my bosses comments she insisted I must be feeling sympathy for my “future self.” As in, one day I’d find myself returning to work after leaving my career to “just” take care of kids. I’d also be out of date, behind the times and irrelevant. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I owe her comments a great deal of credit for pushing me to find value in my skill sets as a stay at home mom.

6 Reasons You’ll Want to Hire A Stay At Home Mom:
 
1. Multitasking– the very nature of being a parent requires one to perform several tasks at once. If I can change a diaper while making an appointment with the plumber over the phone, I can certainly handle more than one office task at a time.
Continue reading »

Jun 082015
 

6 Easy Ways To Boost Energy Without Caffeine

**This is a sponsored post, but as always, all opinions are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

When the afternoon slumps kick in and you want to reach for a cup of java or a sugary snack, there are ways to kick start your energy level without the use of caffeine or sugar. Try one or more of these 5 easy ways to boost your energy the healthy way.

Exercise. Get up, take a walk, or do some light stretching. If you can, get outside and walk around the block briskly to not only get your heart rate pumping, but the fresh air can help wake you up. If you are indoors and can’t get out, get up and do some stretching or a few old school jumping jacks.

Meditate. Just breathe. Sit back, relax, and breathe in and out with your eyes closed. Clear your mind of everything and focus on just your breathing. Mindful meditation techniques like this can not only relax your body, but your mind becomes open and therefore your natural energy can increase.

Sleep better. Try a bedtime relaxation routine to ensure a more restful night’s sleep. Turn the TV off earlier, put the cell phone away, and decompress from your day. Try a cup of hot herbal tea and some light reading until you find yourself in dream land. Continue reading »

Jun 072015
 

10 Free Things To Do In Boston This Summer #Travel

If you’re heading to Boston this summer, here is a list of 10 things you can do in the city for free.  Yes, I said free.

1.  Cool off at Frog Pond

Spend the day letting the kids splash around in the giant wading pool and cool off under the 30-foot spray flume at Frog Pond.  It’s open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 1st through Labor Day. Lockers are available for $1.

The Frog Pond is located on the Boston Common, off the Park Street stop on the Red or Green line.

2.   Walk the Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile, red-lined (brick or painted red line) urban walking trail that leads you to 16 historically significant sites that bring the history of the American Revolution, as it began in Boston, to life.  Along the route you will see such places as the site of Boston Massacre, Paul Revere’s house, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, Old South Meeting House and the Bunker Hill Monument.

10 Free Things To Do In Boston This Summer Freedom Trail

You can start your Freedom Trail tour at the beginning, middle, or end and here’s a map of the route in case you want to walk the walk. Continue reading »