Nov 262014
 

**Products were received at no charge in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

If there’s one major thing I love about having boys it is how snazzy I can dress them, even on a budget, even the big “boy!” There’s something about a bow tie and how fabulous it can make any outfit look.

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Truth be told, Chris had never worn a bow tie before, so he had to watch a YouTube video to learn how to tie it correctly. Continue reading »

Nov 252014
 

Are you looking for a one stop shop for all the young people in your lives this holiday season? Well, Shoebuy.com has you covered.  Don’t let the name fool you, Shoebuy.com has so much more than just shoes.  From clothing, to bags to winter gear – Shoebuy.com has it.  I know it makes my life a heck of a lot easier when I can get all of my shopping done in one place.  Have a look at all the good stuff they have to offer:

Teen Boy

Looking for that perfect look for the teen boy in your life? I love these styles and I think your teen boys would love them too. Check out the styles below to see which styles would suite your teen boy the best!

teen boys

Styles left to right:

  1. http://www.shoebuy.com/tommy-bahama-new-flip-side-pro-half-zip/728739/1509043
  2. http://www.shoebuy.com/511-tactical-chambray-l-s-shirt/697696/1432496
  3. http://www.shoebuy.com/patagonia-capilene-2-lw-zip-neck-44905/657531/1487914
  4. http://www.shoebuy.com/patagonia-lambswool-v-neck/657522/1486859
  5. http://www.shoebuy.com/horny-toad-override-jacket/724225/1497109
  6. http://www.shoebuy.com/horny-toad-override-jacket/724225/1497108
  7. http://www.shoebuy.com/patagonia-hemp-overstone-pants/721007/1488298
  8. http://www.shoebuy.com/prana-tucson-pant-30-inseam/723586/1495354
  9. http://www.shoebuy.com/sperry-top-sider-billfish-3-eye/185629/790782
  10. http://www.shoebuy.com/clarks-bushacre-2/500365/1053926
  11. http://www.shoebuy.com/muk-luks-bryan/725891/1501818
  12. http://www.shoebuy.com/clarks-novato-mid/713251/1466773
  13. http://www.shoebuy.com/clarks-darby-rise/713094/1466338
  14. http://www.shoebuy.com/ibex-stripee-beanie/674439/1381057
  15. http://www.shoebuy.com/muk-luks-hat-scarf-and-texting-glove-set/725882/1501806

Tween Boy

Your boy is no longer a baby but not quite a teen. With the looks put together below, you can create fashionable looks that your tween boy will love! Continue reading »

Nov 242014
 

**This is a partnered post on behalf of Unilever’s Project Sunlight, to help spread awareness for the Share A Meal initiative. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way**

When was the last time you were able to help someone in need? In no way shape or form should we only help those in need during the holidays, but it is a great time to do so.

Can you believe in the world we live in “1 out of every 5 children do not know where their next meal is coming from?” That means 16 million children in the United States are suffering from hunger at any given time.  Unilever wants to help turn the tables on child hunger here in America and they want us all to join the fight.  I’m teaming up with Project Sunlight because I also believe that no child should face hunger.

I have never gone hungry and it makes me sad to think that there could be children right in my own neighborhood who don’t have enough to eat. In order to give back, we’re Sharing a Meal too! The way we’re sharing a meal is by giving to a local food bank in my hometown. Of course, I had to get the boys involved in something so important, which is why we documented the process and want to share it with you!

The boys and I each wrote a reason on a sticky note about why we wanted to share a meal.

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As you can see, this is what we’re donating to the food bank. The boys enjoyed helping pick out food to donate. Continue reading »

Nov 232014
 

Homemade Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Sauce Recipe

I love this time of year.  The air is getting cooler, the leaves are changing and pumpkin flavored foods are everywhere as far as the eye can see.  Today, I am sharing a recipe for one of the most decadent pumpkin desserts I know: Homemade Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Sauce.  It’s super easy to make and it’s sure to go over big if you love pumpkin as much as I do.

Ingredients:

15 oz. can of Pumpkin Puree
1 ½ C Dark Brown Sugar
1 C Melted Butter
3 Eggs
2 C Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 ½ tsp Kosher Salt Continue reading »

Nov 212014
 

**Disclosure:  We received a copy of this book at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Have you ever wondered how you will explain something terrible to your children? Sometimes sitting down our kids and giving them “the right” words isn’t always easy. There have been times in life when I’ve resorted to telling my kids a story through a book. Whether it’s a good story or a bad story, we try to see the good out of all things.

In order to explain the events of Boston to my boys, I discovered a book called This Is Our City: How the 2013 Red Sox Kept Boston Strong by Melinda R. Boroson! This book is beautifully written and explains how Boston came together during such tragic circumstances. Here is a short description of what this book entails:

A children’s book for children of all ages, beautifully illustrated and written as a keepsake to remember the unforgettable events that took place in Boston in 2013. The Red Sox have embodied the heart and soul of Boston for more than a hundred years, but never more than in 2013 when the city was rocked by the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombings. This Red Sox team, not a native Bostonian among them, caught the spirit and fortitude of the city. The Red Sox and the city of Boston inspired each other in a partnership that gave us all the courage to move forward–one step at a time. A companion volume to 86 Years: The Legend of the Boston Red Sox, This Is Our City: How the 2013 Red Sox Kept Boston Strong,tells the story of another remarkable Red Sox season–remarkable in ways that extend far beyond the game of baseball. Continue reading »

Nov 202014
 

**Disclosure: My family was invited to Bonefish Grill to experience their Sunday Brunch at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

There is something special about going to brunch on a Sunday, isn’t there?  Growing up, my parents took my sister, brother and myself out to breakfast or brunch every single Sunday and it was always something that the whole family looked forward to. To be honest, I have totally slacked on keeping that tradition alive with my own children, so when I get the chance to indulge in breakfast foods, I take full advantage.  So when the opportunity to go to Sunday brunch at Bonefish Grill came up recently, I was excited to try it out.  I had never been there and was excited to see what they had to offer.

Sunday Brunch at Bonefish Grill #BonefishBrunch Cranston

Brunch at Bonefish is only available on Sundays, but believe me when I say that it will probably be the highlight of your week.  Bonefish Grill serves brunch from 10 am until 2 pm every Sunday!

Sunday Brunch at Bonefish Grill #BonefishBrunch menu

There were so many delicious choices, that I had a really hard time narrowing down what I wanted to order.  At first, I was seriously considering ordering the Endless Bubbles Brunch. For just $19.90,  you have your choice of an Omelet, a Brunch Favorite, or Eggs Benedict along with an endless supply of Endless Bellinis, Mimosas or Blackberry Sangria.  For under $20, that seems like a great deal, right? Continue reading »

Nov 192014
 

Veggie Tales Vegetable Stamps

Do you and your child love the Veggie Tales? The Veggies Tales are a fun way for kids to learn some valuable life lessons, and their DVDs and cartoons are perfect for the whole family to enjoy. The next time you watch a Veggies Tales flick together; keep the fun going with these simple Veggie Tales vegetable stamps. Using some vegetables from your own fridge and a little paint, you can make your own Bob the Tomato and Larry Cucumber. Here’s how to get started!

Here is what you will need:
White craft paper
White, red, green, and black craft paint
1 squash
1 potato
2-3 carrots
1 celery stalk
Knife, cutting board
Assorted paper plates Continue reading »

Nov 182014
 

How To Prepare a Boy's Closet For Winter

Getting the family’s clothing ready for winter is a true task. I have all boys, so I feel as though it is a lot of work prepping their closet for winter time. I wanted to share my tips for preparing my boys’ closets for winter time.

Go through what fits and what doesn’t fit.

My boys grow like weeds during the spring and summer. It takes me a while to go through their closets to see what still fits and what doesn’t fit. I will admit that some of the clothing they outgrow during the school year and that’s easy to take care of.

Add at least five pairs of jeans and 7-10 long sleeved shirts.

I know there are guidelines to which you should follow when it comes to how many pieces of clothing your child has in their closet. However, knowing what boys are like and how fast they go through clothing, I go ahead and stock up. Five pairs of pants and 7-10 long sleeved shirts are just the basis for me. I try to add on where I can. I also make sure the boys are stocked up on socks and underwear as well. Continue reading »

Nov 172014
 

Imagine a world where you can everything beautifully on the screen right in front of you. Perhaps, you can imagine a world where you can’t even distinguish television from real life, or a television that gives you an even better display than real life.

My husband and I have recently come across a television that is unlike any other and we both agree that it would be fabulous to own in real life. I mean we have a hard core television crush on the LG OLED TV, available at Best Buy.

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As a child, I remember watching television and thinking it was cool to be able to see my favorite shows. My boys have it made here in 2014! They can watch a television that changes the way they can view the world. Let me tell you why this TV is specifically so amazing!

  • Infinite contrast ratio and stunning color – delivers more natural, lifelike viewing.
  • 4 Color Pixel technology enhances color range and accuracy.
  • Super thin design
  • Find content faster with webOS

Continue reading »

Nov 162014
 

Game Day Buffalo Chicken Dip

If you ask me, one of the best parts of watching football on Sundays is the snacks.  Game day just isn’t the same around here without lots of things to munch on.  Buffalo chicken dip always goes over really well and today I wanted to share the recipe with you.

Here’s what you need:

2 medium size chicken breasts, baked and shredded or you could also use (2) 10 oz. cans of canned chicken to save time.

8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature

½ C. ranch dressing, any brand

½ C. Franks Red Hot Sauce Continue reading »

Nov 132014
 

This is a sponsored post. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Walmart-Online-Community

I consider myself to be digitally savvy.  I do pretty much everything online including the majority of my shopping.  There are a million apps out there dedicated to helping people save and although I know about a few of them, I am sure there are a ton more that I am missing out on.

Do you identify yourself as a digitally savvy shopper, too? Do you take advantage of online shopping, whether browsing for deals on your mobile phone/tablet, or downloading apps that help you save?  If you answered yes to any of these, check this out:

Walmart wants to hear about your shopping habits in their exclusive online community! Those who participate will get the chance to learn from others who also use digital options to shop smart and will serve as advisers by providing feedback directly to Walmart decision-makers.

In addition to the opportunity to impact the brand, members will receive a $5 Amazon gift code for joining and an additional $10 Amazon gift code each month for participating.

Sounds pretty good, right?  I think so, too.  You can learn more and see if you qualify here: http://mayweask.com/walmart11

So, what do you think? Do you plan on joining Walmart’s new exclusive online community?

Nov 122014
 

Thanks to Honey Nut Cheerios for sponsoring today’s discussion!

Mornings around my house can be really chaotic.  Not only do the kids have to get ready for school, but my husband needs to get ready and out for work – all at the same time.  The one thing I insist on is that everyone in the house has a healthy breakfast before starting their days. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and what’s better than kicking off the day with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios?  With Honey Nut Cheerios, I know that my family is eating a heart healthy, nutritious breakfast and even better, it’s something quick & easy to get for them!  I am all about saving time in the morning!

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Often times as we’re running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get ready in the mornings, we’ve got music playing in the background.  Imagine my excitement when I bought a box of Honey Nut Cheerios at Walmart the other day and I saw that it had a code for a free song download.  And not just any song mind you, it’s a brand new song from one of our favorite artist’s: Usher.  Score.  Usher’s new song, “Clueless” is is ONLY available through this Honey Nut Cheerios promotion! That’s right, it’s not included in Usher’s new album release and cannot be found or purchased anywhere else. Continue reading »

Nov 112014
 

5 Tips For a Thinner Thanksgiving

Don’t you love that after thanksgiving feeling where you feel too full to move? Well, that feeling is probably what has made you gain a few pounds over the years. Thanksgiving doesn’t need to be full of all of the fatty-ness, you can have a thinner thanksgiving by checking out these tips.

#1. Less Carbs

Little did you know that you can make Thanksgiving a big hit without all of the carbohydrates. Try adding a little less carbs to the meal and a few healthier options. Instead of mashed potatoes, try sweet potato fries or mashed potatoes made out of cauliflower.

#2. Leave the Soda Behind

When it comes to those sugary drinks, avoid them over the holidays. Honestly, you’re probably not paying attention to how much you’re drinking. It’s best to drink water anyways, especially if you’re looking to have a thinner Thanksgiving holiday. Continue reading »

Nov 102014
 

redpack-tomatoes-review

**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 love all things tomato? So do I, which is why I was excited to try some of the staples of the Redpack Tomato Sauce line. Redpack has been making quality tomato sauce and tomato products since 1942, and they offer a great line of canned tomato products perfect for your kitchen recipes. I was able to test out the crushed tomatoes recently, and was quite pleased with the pasta sauce I was able to create right in my own kitchen. Here’s how I did it:

Ingredients:

2 large cans of Redpack Crushed Tomatoes
1 medium sized white onion
5-7 fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes Continue reading »

Nov 092014
 

maleficent-holiday-ornament-DIY

**I received a copy of Maleficent to review in exchange for my honest opinion of the movie.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

I tried so hard to see Maleficent when it was in theaters last spring, but because of one thing or another, I just never ended up getting there.  When I heard that the Blu-Ray & DVD Combo Pack was being released on November 4th, I knew I finally had my chance to see it.  Last weekend, I sat down with a big bowl of popcorn to watch it.

In case you’re not familiar with the story, Maleficent is the story about the villain in the 1959 Disney film, Sleeping Beauty.  To summarize, in the movie they tell the story of how Maleficent had her heart turned to stone by her first love who betrayed her.  She spends her life trying to right the wrong that was done to her.  I was captivated the entire time I was watching this movie.  It was a great story and it was very well told.

I can’t say enough about Angelina Jolie who stars as Maleficent in the movie. Long before the movie was ever released I kept saying that she was the  perfect casting choice and I was right. I honestly can’t even imagine anyone else playing the character. Her performance was incredible and she was absolutely perfect for the part.

maleficent-movie

Overall, Maleficent was one of my favorite movies of the year. I loved it and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should.

Maleficent is one of my favorite villains.  I loved the character long before this movie was ever even thought of.  If you love all things Maleficent, you have to give this Maleficent themed holiday ornament a try. Using a few basic crafting supplies and VERY little crafting skill, you can make your own Maleficent holiday ornament perfect for displaying on your tree. Take a peek so you can get started working your own Maleficent magic. This is a craft that is too fun to miss out on! Continue reading »

Nov 062014
 

**Disclosure:  We received a Transformers Rescue Bot at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Both of my boys love the Transformers.  There’s just something about a talking robot that turns into a vehicle that makes both of my boys stop and pay attention.  If you have “regular” Transformers toys, you know they can be a bit of a challenge for younger kids (and adults like myself) to transform from robot into vehicle mode. If that’s the case, Hasbro has the solution: Transformers Rescue Bots: Optimus Primal! Optimus Primal is made specifically for kids ages 3 to 7 years old! If your younger kids love Transformers and want one of their own, they’re going to love this!

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The Optimus Primal easily transforms from Optimus prime into a T-Rex in one motion, and with a push of a button can return back to Optimus prime.

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In both Robot Mode and Dino Mode, Optimus Primal has lights and sounds!  There are 20-plus sounds and phrases. When Optimus Primal is in robot mode, it says things like: Let’s stomp, chomp, and rescue!” When you change Optimus into dino mode, he will roar, breathe, and make other T-Rex sounds. Continue reading »

Nov 052014
 

Non Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

Doesn’t the thought of eating turkey and mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving make you feel a little traditional? I feel as though it’s time to step out of the box and think non-traditional this year. That’s why I’m letting you know about several different non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner ideas that will have you smacking your lips.

#1. Chinese Food

I’ve always thought this would be a great idea for a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Who says you need to have a table full of turkey, pasta, and potatoes? I’m thinking along the lines of Chinese Food this year. It tastes delicious and I know everyone will love it.

#2. Healthier Versions

I am frankly tired of gaining weight over the holidays and that’s why I’ve thought about just being completely healthy about Thanksgiving this year as well. Instead of mashed potatoes, I like the idea of sweet potato crisps. Don’t worry about the #1 in this post though because Chinese food is naturally healthy and those calories don’t count (insert wink here). Continue reading »

Nov 042014
 

Cooking With Prince Spaghetti4

**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**

Considering we are a family that enjoys a fast yet hearty meal, we were excited to recently give Prince Pasta a try. Prince Pasta has been in the business of crafting quality pastas since 1912, so it should come as no surprise that it is a pasta we truly enjoyed.

Prince Pasta makes a variety of pastas such as spaghetti, rotini, bow ties, and so much more. Most recently they started creating pastas for the more health conscious consumer, including whole grain, fiber added, and even gluten free varieties. This is quite exciting news since pasta has traditionally been thought of as unhealthy. Prince is taking pasta in a new direction and creating products that even the health conscious or restricted dieter can enjoy! For this review, we sampled the spaghetti noodles they were sent to us, along with some ready made sauce and organic dried basil. Continue reading »

Nov 032014
 

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Trifle

It’s that time of years again.  You know what I’m talking about.  It’s time to pumpkinize!  If  you’re like me and love all things pumpkin and you happen to be looking for a fantastic pumpkin dessert, look no further. This one is a doosey!  I’m talking about a Salted Caramel Pumpkin Trifle!  Doesn’t that sound amazing?

To make the pumpkin bites you will need:

15 oz. can of Pumpkin Puree
1 ½ C Dark Brown Sugar
¾ C Melted Butter
4 Eggs
2 C Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Cinnamon
Dash Allspice
1 ½ tsp Kosher Salt

Caramel Sauce:

1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Heavy Cream or Half and Half
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Kosher Salt Continue reading »

Nov 022014
 

When I was recently invited to go on a winery tour on Long Island, NY, I don’t think I could have said yes fast enough. First off, I had never been to Long Island, so I was thrilled to be able to experience a whole new place.  Secondly, I had never toured a winery before, so it sounded like it would be an unforgettable experience and I was excited to be a part of it.   I met up with several other bloggers in New London, CT, which is where our day started.

Because Long Island is well, an island, we boarded the Cross Sound Ferry in New London to take us on the 16 mile journey across Long Island Sound to Orient Point, NY.  For this trip, we took the JessicaW, which is a passenger only, high-speed ferry. Cross Sound Ferry operates both passenger only and auto ferries all year round.

The ferry ride took about 40-45 minutes from departure to arrival on Long Island. Once we arrived, we met up with the lovely Jo-Ann of Vintage Tours with Jo-Ann Perry.  Jo-Ann provides guided winery tours of the North Fork of Long Island’s finest wineries.

Our first stop of the day was The Candyman, which is located at  22350 Main Road in Orient, NY. The Candyman is a small candy shop that specializes in homemade chocolates and candy.

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As soon as I walked in the door, the smell of chocolate filled the air.  It smelled like heaven on earth.

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The Candyman shop was filled with seasonal candy, fudge, jelly beans, small gifts and so much more. Continue reading »