Jan 312015
 

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Dunkin’ Brands. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Hi, my name is Robin and I am a Dunkin Donuts addict.  It’s not an exaggeration when I tell you that I am there every single day – at least once.  Last week during the blizzard (Juno) that we had here in New England, there was a driving  ban on, which meant that per orders of the governor, any non-essential personnel caught driving on the road would be fined $500.  Apparently Dunkin Donuts employees were considered to be non-essential and for the first time in many, many years, I had to go an entire day without my delicious caramel coconut coffee from Dunkin Donuts.  It was a tough day.  Really tough.

Ok, so we’ve clearly established that I am a Dunkin Donuts addict through and through and I want to tell you about a fun program that they have at DD’s.  It’s called the DD Perks Reward Program and on January 27th,  the program turned one years old.

DD Perks

But what exactly is DD Perks?  The DD Perks Rewards program, offers points toward free Dunkin’ Donuts beverages for every visit their guests make at participating Dunkin’ Donuts locations. Continue reading »

Jan 282015
 

**My family was invited to experience the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

If there is one thing that my boys can agree on, it’s their love of LEGOS®.  We have thousands of Legos in our house and LEGOs® are pretty much their go-to toy.  They both knew that the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston opened last year and when I told them that we were finally going to go check it out, they were beyond excited.

But what exactly is the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston?

It is a 44,000 square-foot indoor attraction that features more than 3 million LEGO® bricks and is geared toward children aged 3 to 10 (and their families).  Sounds pretty awesome, right?

We arrived shortly after the place opened for the day because we were excited to check it out. Because the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston only sells a certain number of tickets per hour (because they want to make sure everyone enjoys their experience), it’s recommended that if you go, you buy your tickets online to make sure you don’t have to wait when you get there.  Plus, the tickets are cheaper if you purchase them online versus at the door.

Once we were inside, we took an elevator up to the second floor, which is where all the action is.

IMG_6940

Once you get upstairs, the first couple of parts of your LEGOLAND® Discovery Center experience are organized for you.  First up was the LEGO® Factory Tour: Continue reading »

Jan 272015
 

Monster Burger Fun Kids Meal

When it comes to eating, we are a fairly simple family.  Some of us are fussy, so there are only a handful of meals that everyone in the house agrees on that they like.  Burgers happen to be one of those meals. We all love a nice juicy burger in our family, but sometimes Chris and I like to have a little fun in the kitchen.  We recently made these monster burgers and the kids absolutely loved them.

The thing is, if you’re making a burger anyways, you don’t need anything extra to make these (well, unless you don’t normally have a jar of olives on hand).

All you have to do is cut “teeth” into your cheese slices before you melt them onto the burger in the pan. Continue reading »

Jan 262015
 

**Disclosure: My husband and I were invited to eat at Olecito and received our meals at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

This past weekend, my husband Chris and I had the chance to check out a new “Fast Food” Mexican restaurant in New Bedford.  We are big fans of Mexican food, but frankly good Mexican has always been pretty hard to come by in my neck of the woods.  Until now.

Erwin Ramos, owner of Ole, which is a fine dining Mexican restaurant in Cambridge, opened his first Mexican “fast food” restaurant, Olecito in Brookline and because it was such a hit, he opened a second one down on the South Coast in New Bedford this past December.  Living on the south shore, I was excited to hear about a location that was close by to where I live. Not that I won’t drive for great food, because I totally will, but it’s always nicer when you don’t have to drive so far.

When we pulled up to Olecito, we were a bit surprised to find that the restaurant was located inside a former gas station.  Yes, you read that right.

Olecito-New-Bedford-Mexican-Restaurant

But the second you step inside, you see what a great job they did renovating the place. Continue reading »

Jan 242015
 

Exploding Sprinkle Surprise Valentine's Day Cookies

It’s said that you eat with your eyes before you even take a bite. These Exploding Sprinkle Surprise Valentine’s Day Cookies will have your party guests or a special someone doing a double-take when they bite into these sweet, buttery cookies packing a surprise.

To create these heart-shaped cookies perfect for class treats, Valentine’s Day dessert, or an easy homemade gift, you will need a simple sugar cookie dough. You can use your favorite recipe or use those handy pre-cut cookies you can find in grocery stores. (I promise I won’t snitch.)

Here is a tried and true recipe that results in a thinner, crunchy cookie, perfect for creating these stacked cookies.

You Will Need:

  • 2 heart-shaped cookie cutters – one needs to be smaller than the other
  • Sprinkles of any size or color
  • Frosting

For the Dough:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla (you can also use almond extract for a unique flavor)

Continue reading »

Jan 212015
 

10 Insanely Clever Organizational Tips For The Home

Are you tired of a not so organized home? There are a few simple things you can do to make your home more organized than ever. Check out these ten tips for an insanely organized home.

#1. Spend time deep cleaning your house first, so you’re not dealing with a mess the whole time you’re organizing.

#2. Take everything out of the area that you are organized, get rid of the non-usable stuff, giveaway some of the items you’ll never use, and then reorganize the area.

#3. File important papers away in one area of the house, instead of having it spread all over the homestead.

#4. The closet? No one wants to organize the closet, but it’s time to tackle that beauty. Take everything out, get rid of clothing you haven’t worn in over a year. I always hang up my shirts and fold my pants. You can choose what works for you!

#5. Are you out of organizational spaces? Go thrift shopping to find some inexpensive organizational furniture you can up-cycle. You’ll be able to get organized and still stay on budget. Continue reading »

Jan 202015
 

Cat Bookmark Craft for Kids

The only thing that can make a great movie or TV series even better is a four-legged star, am I right? My boys love watching anything that involves animals, especially when it comes to cats and dogs. I am happy to say that their love of animals extends far beyond the television. Both of my boys will happily pick up any book that revolves around animals and with that in mind, I decided to sit down and make a fun craft with them:  a cat bookmark.

Using just a few inexpensive supplies, you can make a cat bookmark just like the one you see here. It is the perfect way to be sure you never lose your place in a great book again. Here is how you can get started crafting your own.

Supplies needed:
Crafting foam and/or felt
Small craft pom pom
Scissors Glue Continue reading »

Jan 192015
 

Hasbro My Little Pony Friendship Rainbow Castle Play Set

**Disclosure: Product was received at no charge in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Do you have My Little Pony fans in your house? Or perhaps you remember the fun you had growing up with My Little Pony. Whatever the case may be, My Little Pony is back with another quality play set for your child to enjoy. I recently had the chance to try out the My Little Pony Friendship Rainbow Castle play set by Hasbro, and I am excited to share our experience with you!

First, let’s look at what you can expect with your Hasbro My Little Pony Friendship Rainbow Castle Play Set. You will see it has everything you need to start playing! You set includes:

-Special edition Princess Twilight Sparkle figure
-Side car, skirt, shoes, tiara, bracelet
-Vanity
-Sticker labels
-All necessary parts and pieces for construction. Continue reading »

Jan 172015
 

Stained Glass Valentine’s Day Cookies

These cookies are amazing and can be adjusted to be a year round, crowd-pleasing treat. Great for Valentine’s Day or any other holiday, including Christmas, stained glass cookies are a fantastic treat.

They are unbelievably easy and you probably have everything you need sitting in your pantry or lingering in your kids’ holiday candy baskets. Lifesavers, Jolly Ranchers, or any other hard candy will turn your sugar cookies into a show-stopping dessert that you can snack on or hand out to lucky party patrons.

The key is in an amazing sugar cookies base. The flaky, delicate crunch of a well-made cookie is all you need, but the gorgeous glassy insert of a bright red heart will be the perfect touch. Read the directions for tips on how to make the best sugar cookies and stained glass insert… Continue reading »

Jan 152015
 

6 Tips For the Picky Eater in Your Family

Does your child have a hard time eating the food items you’re making for them? My boys sometimes struggle with what I put in front of them, so I decided to try several different things.

#1. Patience is Key

I know that you want to move onto the next activity instead of watching your child slowly eat their peas, but you need to be patient. A child isn’t going to eat the food in front of them faster, just because you want them to. Try to be as patient as possible to make things easier for your child.

#2. Introduce New Foods

You may try 101 foods before you find a food your child will like, and that’s okay. I sometimes feel guilty for “wasting” food. Instead of feeling bad, I just make smaller portions now. If they love the food, I can always make more, instead of throwing tons of it out.

#3. Fresh is Best

It can be so tempting to give our children chicken, pizza, fries and lots of other processed foods. One of the best things you can do for your child is to offer them fresh foods. It’s healthier for them and you’ll love it if they grow up enjoying these types of foods.

Picky Eater

#4. Add Choices Continue reading »

Jan 142015
 

Coconut Pecan “Twix” Cookies

Growing up, Twix was one of my favorite candy bars.  At any given time during my childhood, I could go to the cupboard at my parent’s house and be guaranteed that there would be a Twix bar in there.  Actually make that bars.  Plural.  My mom always bought the big boxes of Twix that you find in the cookie aisle.  You know, the ones that came 12 bars to the box.

Actually, I could probably get in the car, drive to my parent’s house right now, open the cupboard and still find a 12 pack of Twix in there.  It is just a staple in their house.

Today I have a fun twist on Twix (say that ten times fast); Coconut Pecan “Twix” Cookies.  You can thank me later.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Pkg. Lorna Doone Cookies
  • 1 Pkg. Caramel Bits, 11 oz.
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 Cup Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Pkg. Milk Chocolate Chips, 11 oz.
  • Pecan Halves

Continue reading »

Jan 122015
 

Euroflex Monster Vacuum

**Disclosure: Product was received at no charge in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

It seems as though the holidays leave a whirlwind of dirt and debris behind, which is why I was excited to give the Monster Euroflex Vacuum a try. I recently had the chance to try one of these new and innovative vacuums, and I was quite pleased with the results.  I am excited to tell you about what the Monster vacuum can do for you, just in time as you recover from all of the holiday madness. If you are like me, you have plenty of messes that now need to be cleaned up!

First, here is a little bit you should know about the Monster vacuum according to their website:

The Monster hand-and-stick cyclonic vacuum. Designed for high performance and high style, this 600-watt unit offers power, versatility, and convenience. It’s a marvel of Italian engineering, featuring exceptional floor-to-ceiling cleaning with a hassle-free bagless filter system. 

With your Monster you can expect to find:
-Main floor tool
-Rectangular 2-in-1 upholstery and pet-hair tool (my favorite!)
-Fine cleaning tools
-Two extension tubes
– Handy storage bag Continue reading »

Jan 102015
 

5 Winter Energy Efficiency Tips For Your Home

Are you ready to start prepping your home for the winter months? One of my “main” things during these winter months is to try and save as much energy as possible. I’ve learned that the more energy I can save, then the more money we also save in the long run. Check out these five energy efficiency tips for the home.

Use carpet or rugs on wooden floors.

If you have hardwood floors, it may be harder to keep your flooring warm. I always use carpet or rugs when possible because this helps to add heat retention, which means warm air will stay put longer.

Set your thermostat to 68 degrees.

It’s funny because in the summer time I keep the air conditioner at 72 but in the winter I keep the heat marked at 68 degrees. The heat bill seems to really add up during those winter months. I have found that keeping it at 68 degrees is a smart financial move. You can always put more clothes on while my house if you’re cold (just no taking clothes off, please)! Also, don’t forget to change your furnace filter at least every month. Continue reading »

Jan 082015
 

**This contest has now ended. Congratulations to #9, Denise**

Disclosure: I was selected to work with Chevrolet and SheBuysCars as a Boston Auto Show Ambassador.  Although compensation was received, all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

Every year I hear I hear all sorts of buzz from my friends about the cool new cars at the Boston Auto Show, but can you believe I’ve never actually attended the show? Crazy, right?  I swear, every year while the show is in town, my Facebook feed is loaded with my friends photos of all the cool cars, but this year I will be joining them because for the first time, I am attending the show! I’m pretty excited about it, too.

You see, I am actually in the market for a new car right now myself. I haven’t come to a final decision yet, but one thing I know for sure is that it has to be an SUV.  I’m just not a mini-van kind of mom. One of the cars I am dying to check out at the show is the new Chevrolet Trax! The Chevy Trax is definitley on my list of vehicles that I am considering purchasing.  Why you ask? Mainly because it’s a small sized SUV and since I’m only 5’2″, smaller cars really just work better for me.

traxThe Chevy Trax has loads of awesome features such as the fact that it’s 4G TLE WiFi hot spot capable and that it has a household plug outlet to name a few.  Not only that, but I think that Orange Rock Metallic colored one (pictured above) would look awesome sitting in my driveway. Oh, and did I mention that the Trax connects to your smartphone, so Siri can read you your texts, etc as you drive.  Score. Continue reading »

Jan 082015
 

Have you ever gotten a delicious looking cupcake, you know one like this:

The Right Way To Eat a Cupcake #yum

You look at it in all its delicious glory and think to yourself “how the heck am I going to open my mouth wide enough to take a bite?”.  Unless you’re a boa constrictor, most people’s mouths don’t open that wide.  Plus, you end up getting frosting all over yourself when you try to take a bite.

So, here’s what I do:

I slice the cupcake in half. Continue reading »

Jan 072015
 

Canvas-factory

**Disclosure: Product was received at no charge in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

It seems as though canvas prints have become quite popular over the last few years, and the popularity doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Recently I was given the opportunity to join the crowd and try making a canvas of my own at the Canvas Factory.  I was so excited to see what all of the fuss was about and create my own canvas print, as I had yet to create one or display one in my home. Here is my review of the Canvas Factory, including my experiences creating, ordering, and displaying my canvas. Take a look!

To begin, I had to create an account with the Canvas Factory. This is a cinch and just involves your email and a username. When you log in, you will get the chance to upload the photo of your choice. You can pull right from your own computer in just seconds. The hard part was deciding which family photo we wanted to use! Uploading was fast, easy, and Canvas Factory will instantly notify you if they don’t think your choice is ideal for a canvas print. As you can imagine, you want to use a photo of good quality so it transfers well to the canvas. The website was able to help me pick the perfect photo and get it uploaded. Continue reading »

Jan 062015
 

20 Slow Cooker Recipes #recipes

Running short on recipes or time? I know I am, so I hit Pinterest up for slow cooker recipes! Lets face it, what is better then throwing everything in your slow cooker, turning it on, and a few hours later having a meal ready to go! This round up has it all, from Chicken and Dumplings to Lava Cake. I am thinking some Beef Stew sounds pretty good tonight!  Continue reading »

Jan 052015
 

5 Tips for Prepping Your Vehicle for Winter

Getting your vehicle ready for winter is probably one of the most important things you can do over the next few weeks. Having your vehicle prepared for winter can give you peace of mind. Check out these five tips for prepping your vehicle for winter. Yes, girls care about this topic too! I mean, I haul my precious cargo around in my vehicle, I need to have it ready for winter.

Make sure the vehicle has plenty of fluids.

Just like any person needs fluids, so does your vehicle. You really can’t skip out on this part. Whether your car needs an oil change or needs windshield wiper fluid, this is a vital part of prepping your vehicle for winter.

Don’t forget about ensuring the tires are good to go.

Tires are one of the most important parts of winter driving. I know some people who get special tires just for winter. I just try to make sure my tires are nice and blown up for winter driving. The last thing I want to deal with is a flat tire on the side of the road with six feet of snow staring me in the face. Continue reading »

Jan 032015
 

5 Tips for Getting Back into a School (1)

I don’t know if it’s just our family, but getting back into a routine after vacation is really hard. It takes us at least a week to fully get back to normal. There are some things we do to help get back into a routine and I thought I would share those tips with you.

#1. Easy Does It

Some people love to come home, get everything unpacked and then relax. Our family prefers to just bring everything into the house and then slowly unpack. We’re not in a hurry when it comes to unpacking and getting everything put away. Do what works for you to help keep the stress to a minimum.

#2. Always Give Yourself a Day

You see, we try not to get back late at night and then head back to work and school. We’d rather have a whole day off to get back into the routine of things. My kids always seem to be well rested after they’ve had a day to recuperate from traveling or having a few busy days in a row.

#3. Skip the Fast Food

When we are traveling or not into a routine with school, it can be easy to eat out a lot. When it’s time to get back into the routine, we try and focus on eating at home and as healthy as possible.  Sometimes eating fast food can make us feel sluggish and give our bodies an even harder time of recuperating. Continue reading »

Jan 022015
 

spank 50 shades parody

Disclosure:  I received a 4-pack of tickets to attend the show in exchange for hosting this giveaway.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Two summers ago, I spent pretty much every minute of my precious beach time reading the three 50 Shades books.  They were all the rage at the time and as my boys played in the sand, I sat in my beach chair anxious waiting to read about what Christian and Anastasia were going to do next.

Of course, I didn’t take the books too seriously, but I couldn’t put them down, either.  Last year, SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody played at The Vets in Providence and I was so bummed that I missed it.  Lucky for me, the show is coming back later this month and I am so excited that I am going to be able to have a fun girls night out seeing the show this time around.

SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody is the whip-smart comedy that takes on the naughty fun of the best-selling book and highly-anticipated movie, and brings it to outrageous life! Featuring musical numbers, steamy performances highlighting the famous hunk and his grey tie, and lots of hilarious surprises, SPANK! is bound to have you begging for more. Get in the mood with pre-show cocktails, then stick around and fulfill your fantasy, with the opportunity to take photos with the star himself. It’s a riotous night of fun that will leave your Inner Goddess breathless. Don’t miss your chance for the ultimate “girls’ night out!” Learn more at spankshow.com.

SPANK! takes place at The Vets on Sunday, January 25th at 7pm. Tickets start at $35.50 (plus applicable service fees) and are on sale NOW!  Tickets can be purchased at thevetsri.com, 401-421-ARTS, or the Providence Performing Arts Center Box Office. Continue reading »