Feb 102016
 

Homemade Cake Pops Recipe

Whenever I get invited to go over someone’s house for a party or even just dinner, I can’t show up empty handed.  I just can’t. When I was growing up my mom always said that it was rude not to bring something with you when you were invited somewhere & that is something that has always stuck with me.  I determine what I will bring with me depending on the event, the people that will be there and the season (or if there are any upcoming holidays, etc).  Sometimes I bring a bottle of wine, sometimes I make a dip and other times I look for specific recipes.  These homemade cake pops are good for any occasion, though. They’re easy to make and always go over real big!  Plus you can decorate them with sprinkles, etc to make them festive if you want to.

Here’s what you need to make your cake pops:

  • Box cake mix – Yellow cake in this case
  • Container of frosting that compliments the cake – Vanilla
  • *Ingredients on back of box to prepare the cake as instructed*
  • Food processor (or you could crumble the cake by hand)
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Almond bark
  • Sprinkles
  • Shoe box with holes poked in it

Continue reading »

Feb 092016
 

Helping Your Child Succeed At Math

Do you have a child that seems to have trouble with math? You’re not alone. Many children and adults alike struggle with math, but just because math doesn’t come easily doesn’t mean it won’t come at all. Here are a few simple ways you can help your child succeed at math.

Start with the Basics

Although your child might not agree, math is really a simple subject. There are rules for everything, and if you know those rules, you can solve any problem. If your child is struggling in math, you might want to take a closer look at the basics. At some point, your child might not have properly learned an important rule that serves as a foundation in math. If you can start with the basics and work your way from there, your child will be much more successful at math.

Take it Slow

Some math concepts are more difficult than others. Your child might breeze through addition, but struggle with multiplication. Don’t be afraid to take it slow when your child gets stuck on a skill. Slowing down on those tricky skills will give your child the time they need to actually learn what’s going on. Since advanced math skills usually build on the basics, it’s important to make sure your child had a solid foundation to work from. Continue reading »

Feb 082016
 

7 Kitchen Pantry Beauty Wonders Celebs Love

Beauty on a budget and naturalists rejoice! These items you can probably find in your kitchen pantry right now are cheaper than your average one-trick pricey product and work so well, celebrities swear by them.

Olive Oil – Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett and Sophia Loren are just a few of the many celebs who swear by olive oil.  The ‘Pretty Woman’ star told Glamour that she soaks her hands in the kitchen cupboard staple to conditioner her cuticles. Cate credits it for her gorgeous complexion according to In Style magazine, while Loren once stated in an interview that she uses the oil from head-to-toe in a bath. Continue reading »

Feb 072016
 

cherry chocolate face mask with watermark

It’s that time of year again. Ladies you know, that time of year when our summer tans are completely faded and our poor skin is all dried out from the cold.  It’s not pretty, but you can rejuvenate your skin easily with this Homemade Cherry Chocolate Face Mask. The beauty of it is that you only need 3 ingredients and chances are you already have them in your cupboard.

Here’s what you need to make your Cherry Chocolate Face Mask:

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons 100% cocoa (cacao)
  • 10 Maraschino cherries

Continue reading »

Feb 032016
 

Quick and Easy Shepherd's Pie

If you are looking for an easy to make, hardy dinner, you will love this easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe. Using just a few basic ingredients, you can prepare this dish ahead of time and just pop it on the oven when ready. In less than an hour, you will have a one dish meal that the whole family is sure to love. Take a look!

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • ¼ cup of Worcester sauce
  • 1 packet of brown gravy mix
  • 1 cup each of frozen or canned peas, carrots, and corn
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cans of croissant dough
  • 2 cups of mashed potatoes (prepared, these can be homemade, boxed, or instant varieties) Continue reading »
Feb 022016
 

If you’re a regular around here, you already know that my husband, Chris, and I have declared 2016 as the year of Robin and Chris. We decided that we were going to make this year all about trying new things and going on as many adventures as possible. The two of us had a lot of fun during the first month of 2016 and today I am going to tell you some of the highlights of what we’ve done.

We started off the year by doing the Polar Bear Plunge in Newport, RI on New Year’s Day.  Chris and I only made it waist deep into the icy cold water, but I am good with that.  Frankly, it’s further than I thought we’d make it.  You can read all about our adventure in the arctic water here.

polar plunge3

The same weekend we decided to check out the Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MA.  It just opened last year and it’s the first casino in Massachusetts.  Even though it’s only about 15 minutes from our house, we had never been (we always opted for the bigger casinos like Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun). Continue reading »

Feb 012016
 

Best Spots in Disney to Grab Coffee

To the joy of so many parents, the coffee situation at Walt Disney World has improved by leaps and bounds. For a place that does so many things right, it’s hard to believe that once upon a time it was hard to find a good cup of coffee, and even harder to find a calm place to sit and enjoy that coffee. Now though, you actually have a few places to grab a cup of coffee at Disney, and it is even possible to choose from among the best options.

These are among the best spots in Disney World for grabbing a coffee to help you get through a busy day.

Starbucks

There are now several Starbucks restaurants in the parks, as the chain was recently added to the lineup of recognizable brands to join Disney. The new location at Main Street Bakery is by far the most popular and most used, with lines forming at the start of the day and never really getting short until closing time. The Epcot location, right under Spaceship Earth is another fan favorite and has a futuristic feel to match the theme of the park and nearby rides. You can expect to find all of your Starbucks favorites here, from drinks to snacks to sandwiches. Continue reading »

Jan 312016
 

DIY Valentines Day Banner

I am going to be honest, we’re not big on Valentine’s Day around our house.  In fact, my husband and I refuse to celebrate it, but that doesn’t mean that the kids can’t have a little Valentine’s Day fun.  I generally adorn my house with a few small decorations to acknowledge the “holiday” and this year I decided to make a fun Valentine’s Day conversation heart banner to hang up.

The banner is wicked easy to make and it will make a lovely addition to anyone’s decor. You can get as creative with the sayings on the conversation hearts as you want and believe me when I say, it can be real fun to come up with some out of the ordinary sayings. Because of the kids, I kept mine family friendly, but you can go in just about any direction you want with yours. Continue reading »

Jan 272016
 

Natural Cough Remedies That Actually Work

Dealing with a cough is not only monotonous it, can take a toll on your body. While sometimes my coughs don’t seem to lead to anything but annoyance, I have found several natural ways to help remedy my cough.

Honey Works Wonders

Although spooning down honey isn’t ideal, it really does work. I often use this remedy when I’m trying to go to bed. I just eat a spoonful of honey and most of the time it works, the honey sooths my throat enough to allow me to sleep through the night.

Warm Drinks

There’s nothing that remedies a cough more than a nice warm drink. Add a tad bit of honey to warm tea and that is like the ultimate cough soother. Usually when you’ve been coughing a lot, your throat is sore and that’s why drinking something warm feels so good. Continue reading »

Jan 272016
 

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

DIY Moisturizing Exfoliating Coffee Scrub

I don’t know about you, but my skin is incredibly dry in the winter.  It’s gets pretty cold around here in Boston and my poor skin sure pays the price.  I am always looking for ways to keep my skin moisturized and over the weekend I got a brilliant idea.  I decided that I wanted to make a homemade coffee scrub.  Being the coffee addict that I am, I figured it would have a dual purpose by moisturizing and smelling awesome.

I headed to Walmart to grab some Jergens moisturizer to use in my scrub.  I couldn’t decide which one to get, so I grabbed a bottle of Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer (Green Tea Oil) and a bottle of Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer (Coconut Oil).  I only needed one for my scrub, but with my super dry skin this winter, I figured they would both be good to have on hand.

Jergens at Walmart

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/3 Cup Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer (Coconut Oil)
  • 1/3 Cup ground coffee
  • 1/3 Cup brown sugar

Continue reading »

Jan 252016
 

Have you heard the news?  Last week McDonald’s introduced a brand new breakfast item – the chicken sausage!

Offered as an alternative protein to McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches and platters, the new chicken sausage is a juicy breakfast meat flavored with rosemary and additional spices. Those familiar with McDonald’s pork sausage will find the taste, texture, and appearance of the chicken sausage just as tasty and the best part is that it contains only 5 grams of fat and 80 calories!.

**Disclosure:  This conversation is sponsored by McDonald’s of Eastern New England, but as always all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

Chicken Sausage at McDonalds

The chicken sausage is an especially great addition to one customer favorite, the Sausage McMuffin with Egg – a warm, toasted buttered English muffin made with wholesome chicken sausage, a slice of American cheese and a freshly cracked Grade A egg! Continue reading »

Jan 242016
 

Avengers Printable Valentines

This year Valentine’s Day is going to be a little bittersweet for me.  While my husband and I boycott it choose not to celebrate it, my kids have always gotten excited to exchange valentines at school with their friends.  This year my oldest son is in middle school and wouldn’t be caught dead handing out a valentine.  Well, that and the fact that they don’t hand out valentines in middle school.

My little one is in third grade, so at least I still have one that’s little enough to get excited about handing out valentines to his friends. Since we love Hawkeye in our house, and by we I mean me, my little man is going to be handing out these super cool Avengers valentines featuring the very handsome Hawkeye and friends.

Or maybe just the Hawkeye ones. Continue reading »

Jan 202016
 

Mint Oreo Cheesecake Dip Recipe

Football is a big deal in our house.  When the Patriots play, forget about being able to reach anyone in my household.  We completely shut down when the game is on & that includes checking any social media or answering texts.  So obviously since we love football so much, the Superbowl is a major event in our house and if the Patriots make it into the game, forget about it – the excitement is almost too much.

Since the Superbowl is such a big event in our house, we have people over to watch the big game every year.  It’s always more fun to watch the game with friends and having people over means one thing: lots of food.  Chris and I love to entertain and always put out a good spread when we have people over.  I generally put out a good variety of appetizers and desserts.  This year when we have people over for the big game, one of the things I will be serving is a Mint Oreo Cheesecake Dip.   It’s super easy to make and lucky for me, I was able to find everything I needed to make it right at Save-A-Lot.

savealot store pics

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Jan 192016
 

Easy Focaccia Bread Recipe

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/P&G

In our house Sundays mean one thing and one thing only – game day! For most of the season, our New England team has been doing some serious damage across the NFL. While we haven’t had a perfect record this season, we’ve done pretty darn well.  Whenever our beloved team plays, my family is glued to the television to watch.  Even though we only live about 20 minutes from the stadium where they play, we prefer to watch the games from the comfort of our own couch on game day!

Since we like to watch from home, we usually end up having some people over to watch the game with us.  The more the merrier when it comes to watching our team kick some butt! From prepping before my guests arrive, to the clean up after they leave, I can count on Proctor & Gamble to have me covered and the best part is, I can get everything I need for our game day traditions right at Walmart. Continue reading »

Jan 172016
 

Bookstore Scavenger Hunt

Today is a special day – it’s Chris’s 41st birthday!  Happy Birthday, Chris.

Since we had some alone time yesterday, I took him to do something fun in celebration of his birthday weekend. He loves to read & spend time at bookstores, so we went on a bookstore scavenger hunt.

rueyear bookstore scavenger hunt

It wasn’t as easy as it sounds, but it was a blast.  Oddly enough, we ran into each other after about an hour and 15 minutes & each of us only had one thing left to find – so it was neck in neck.  The good thing about something like this is that the answers are pretty subjective. Not only did we both end up winning since we finished at the same time, but there was one answer that neither of us could get (finding a book with exactly 394 pages. He found one with 395 and I found one with 393 – so we were both pretty darn close) – so we both had all the “right” answers.

If you want to head out on a bookstore scavenger hunt, too, just print these four pages out and you’ll have everything you need for a fun day with your main squeeze. Continue reading »

Jan 122016
 

Direct Energy Plans allow residents of Massachusetts and other states to save more money on their electricity bills. I love that, because like I said in an earlier post, this is the Year of the Ruehrweins. And the year of the Ruehrweins doesn’t involve paying more on electricity than we have to!

Saving Money Lets Us Live Like We Want

We’ve got plans this year. Big plans. Huge plans. Those plans require money. One of the best ways to help get that money is to save wherever possible, and one of our biggest problems is electricity costs. I’d much rather put our cash towards a trip or a short jaunt than our utility bill. Therefore, I’ve put together some ways that the family can save on our utilities.

polar plunge6

Turn Out the Lights

I don’t know how it is in your house, but in my house, the lights always seem to be on. My husband blames the kids, and my kids blame my husband. I think it’s a little of both. Either way, we’re just burning 75 watts of cash. From now on, we’re turning off the lights when we’re not in the room. Continue reading »

Jan 122016
 

My Experience With ThermiSmooth™ and BodyFX™

Do you remember when I told you about my consultation with Dr. Petropoulos last month? She’s a cosmetic surgeon located north of Boston and when I met with her, she introduced me to Botox. While I was talking with Dr. Petropoulos, I mentioned how unhappy I was with my saddle bags and asked her what I could do about them.

For those of you who aren’t sure what I mean by “saddle bags”, they are these thick fat deposits on the tops of the outside of my thighs. Sadly, I inherited mine at birth and like every other female in my family, I have spent many hours trying to exercise them away – and honestly, no amount of exercise makes fat that dense go away.  It just doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve been trying for years.

*Disclosure:  I was provided with complimentary services in exchange for sharing them here.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

After Dr. Petropoulos looked at my saddle bags, she said that what I really needed was Liposuction in the area to get rid of the fat completely.  I am not against having liposuction done, but we decided to try to tackle them with a combination of two procedures that they do right in the office. We did a combination of ThermiSmooth™ and BodyFX™. Continue reading »

Jan 112016
 

Ah, 2016. A brand new year. A fresh start.

I am always looking for new adventures for my family.  I want my kids to be able to have amazing experiences. When my boys are all grown up, I want them to look back and have tons of great memories from their childhood.

One of the reasons I try to travel with my kids as much as possible is that I rarely went anywhere when I was a kid.  My mom wouldn’t fly, so we always stayed local.  I didn’t fly anywhere until I was an adult, but I am happy to be able to say that my kids have flown over a dozen times (at least) and each of them have been flying since they were under a year old.

Our family traveled to a couple of new places last year (Philadelphia and Washington DC, which was new for the kids) and while we don’t have anyplace new slated to visit this year, yet, we are planning on taking a few return trips to a couple of our favorite destinations in 2016!

First up is San Diego.  This will be our third visit and although, Disneyland is not in San Diego, it’s only a 90 minute drive and we will most definitely be getting our Disney fix while we’re out on the west coast.

disneyland

We are also planning on taking a road trip back to DC this summer.  Last year we spent a week there and only got a chance to see a fraction of the sights – so we’re going back.  We actually stay with family in Bethesda, MD whenever we are down there, so we might explore a little more of Maryland while we’re there (I’m thinking Baltimore). Continue reading »

Jan 102016
 

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

Snickers Dip Snack Stadium Recipe

To say that we are major football fanatics in our house is a complete understatement.  Whenever our team plays, life stops so that we can huddle up on the couch and watch the game – unless we happen to be at the game. This year, our team is doing pretty well and might even make it to the big game next month (fingers crossed).  Even if my team isn’t in the big game, my family is still having some friends and family over to watch it regardless of which teams are playing.

And what’s a party without some great snacks?

When it comes to hosting, I really do try to impress my guests by getting creative with some of the food.  And this year, they are all sure to be impressed. I headed to Walmart to stock up on snacks and got everything I needed.

Walmart

See?  I got something for everyone: Continue reading »

Jan 062016
 

10 Ways to Use Vinegar

Vinegar is one of the most versatile items to have in your home. From cooking and cleaning up, to home remedies and even gardening, white distilled vinegar is a rock star. Grab a gallon at the store for under $5 and try these 10 ways to use vinegar.

10 Ways To Use Vinegar

1. For poached eggs add a tablespoon (tbsp) of white distilled vinegar to the water. This ensures the egg whites form better and helps the eggshells from cracking.

2. Tenderize meat by using vinegar in the marinades. Perfect to add to the slow cooker if using inexpensive, tough cuts of meat. Continue reading »