Sep 232016
 

Notorious premiered last night (Thursday) at 9|8c on ABC – did you see it?  If you missed it, you might want to go back and watch it because it was really, really good.  I feel like I have this bad habit of missing out on shows until they are a few seasons in.  Then I am stuck having to binge watch for a week straight to catch up. This time I caught myself, though, and I am happy that I started Notorious from episode one.  Now I won’t have any regrets about not watching it.

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Wondering what Notorious is all about:

Notorious duo Jake and Julia are always in charge. She’s a top rated investigative news producer and he’s a high powered lawyer. Together, they mix law and media in a sexy interplay of scandal, drama, and the twisty exploration of what it means to make the news. Piper Perabo and Daniel Sunjata star in Notorious, Thursday at 9|8c on ABC.

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There were lots of plot twists and the cast was awesome. I have been a fan of Daniel Sunjata since Rescue Me and he was fantastic in Notorious.  Piper Perabo was phenomenal as well. I can’t wait to tune in next week.

**Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Notorious on ABC. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

 Sponsored Post  Comments Off on Catch Notorious on ABC at 9|8c on Thursdays #Notorious
Sep 202016
 

Fingerprint Pumpkin Craft

I got invited to a Halloween party this year and want to bring a little gift for the hostess.  I hate showing up to a party empty handed, so I ended up making this really easy fingerprint pumpkin for her.  It only took a few minutes to make and I think it came out really cute. I had most of the supplies to make it on hand, but if you don’t already have them around your house, you can pick up everything you need for just a few dollars.

I am actually so happy with the way it came out that I am considering making a few more for the kids to give to their grandparents this year. Nana and Papa always love homemade gifts like this.

Here’s what you need:

  • Orange craft paint or stamp pad
  • White card stock or craft paper
  • Small picture frame (You can get them at Michael’s for $1)
  • Pair of Googly eyes
  • Craft glue
  • Black marker
  • Green craft foam or green marker
  • Scissors

Continue reading »

Sep 202016
 

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

What To Pack For a Day at One of the Disney Water Parks

We are major Disney fanatics in our house.  We seriously love all things Disney and every year our family visits Walt Disney World in Orlando. Actually we just got back from our 2016 Walt Disney World vacation about two weeks ago.  I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I definitely know my way around the parks.  Normally when we go to Walt Disney World, we get the Park Hopper ticket which allows us to go in and out of the 4 parks, but doesn’t include the two water parks. This year we got the Water Parks and More option, so we were able to go to the water parks as well. The “more” part of the Water Parks and More option included mini golf.  Our family took advantage of the “more” this year as well, but really enjoyed our time at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, too.

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Since we stay on Disney property, we don’t rent a car and rely on Disney’s bus transportation to get us where we wanted to go.  Since it takes time to get from our resort to where we’re going, I like to be prepared with everything I need for the day and that especially goes for one of the water parks. Continue reading »

Sep 182016
 

easy-pork-taquitos-recipe

In our house we try to have a family movie night at least once a week. We all love spending quality time together every week, but seriously – what’s a movie night without a snack? These Easy Pork Taquitos are perfect for family movie night because they are budget-friendly, easy to make and most importantly, they are kid approved! Not only that, they are a great way to use up that leftover pork you have sitting in your fridge! Score.

Easy Pork Taquitos

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 ½ cups of roasted pork, shredded
  • 6 to 8oz of Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 10 small flour tortillas
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Cooking spray (optional)

Continue reading »

Sep 152016
 

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

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If you open my fridge at any given time, you will see that one of the thing I always keep on hand is Snapple.  We love in in our house, so imagine my excitement when I heard it was on rollback at Walmart!

$1.50 Rollback on 64 Oz. Snapple Peach, Diet Peach, and Kiwi Strawberry ONLY at Walmart!

Shop at Walmart now through November 30th and snag your favorite Snapple drinks for only $1.50! Make Time for Snapple!

 Collective Bias  Comments Off on Snapple is Now on Rollback at Walmart #SnappleRollback #ad
Sep 132016
 

diy-pumpkin-spice-candle

Anyone who has ever been to my house knows that I almost always have a candle burning. With a house full of boys, sometimes there are not-so-great smells lingering in the air that just need to GO!  Candles are a quick solution for those yucky boy smells and they work fast, which is why I love them so much. Within a few minutes of lighting them, the smell is usually gone.

Now that the chilly weather has arrived here in New England, I have embraced all things pumpkin and decided that a pumpkin spice candle was just what my house needed.  Even better, I decided that I spend way too much money on candles and wanted to try my hand at making one myself.  So I did.

DIY Pumpkin Spice Candle

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups soy wax flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid vanilla candle scent
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Long waxed candle wick
  • 8oz Mason jar
  • Long wooden skewer or pencil
  • Glass measuring cup

diy-pumpkin-spice-candle1 Continue reading »

Sep 122016
 

Hear ye, hear ye!  It’s that time of year again.  For two months every fall, you can travel back in time at King Richard’s Faire in Carver, MA.  Spread out over 80 acres of woods, King Richard’s Faire is the place to be if you want to fully immerse yourself into a day in the life of someone back in the 1500’s.

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**Disclosure:  My family and I received complimentary admission to King Richard’s Faire in order to tell you about our experience there.  All opinions are strictly my own and we not influenced in any way.

If you’ve never been to a renaissance festival, you’re missing out on a chance to travel back in time to the 16th century.  They make for a seriously good time.

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King Richard’s Faire is very family friendly. There are many rides and performances throughout the day that are offered to entertain any and all age groups. From face painting to carnival rides to the beer garden, King Richard’s Faire does their best to keep everybody happy.  For my family, it’s the overall atmosphere that keeps us going back time and time again.  It’s a fun and light-hearted way to spend some quality time with your family. Continue reading »

Sep 112016
 

hawaiian-style-pineapple-pizzas-recipe

The thing about being an all boy mom is that they are literally always hungry. When someone told me that growing boys would eat me out of house and home, they weren’t kidding.  My boys eat big lunches at school, but both of them come off the bus starving just a few hours later.  Every single day. I usually have snacks ready for them when they get off the bus, but sometimes I like to get a little creative with their snacks.  These Hawaiian Style Pineapple Pizzas are easy to make, delicious and definitely qualify as being creative. This recipe is a huge hit with my boys whenever I make them and the best part of this recipe, besides the flavors, is how cost effective it is to prepare. It cost me less than $10 for all of the ingredients.  How can you beat that?

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Hawaiian Style Pineapple Pizzas

Ingredients:

  • 1- 20 ounce can of Pineapple slices.
  • 1- 10 to15 oz can of pizza or marinara sauce.
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • 1 package of 8-12 Canadian bacon slices.

Continue reading »

Sep 072016
 

10 Family Activities that Won’t Break the Bank in NYC

Let’s face it, traveling to New York City is expensive just to get there, pay for a hotel, and provide basic meals. Just showing up, sleeping, and eating a few meals is not really an exciting trip. Instead of stressing about having a fun trip that completely blows your budget here are 10 ideas for family activities that won’t break the bank for the next time you are in NYC! Like any place, NYC has families that are always looking for activities and travelers can often take advantage of these kinds of activities as well! Sitting in the hotel or roaming around aimlessly are no longer your only options for a frugal family trip to New York City!

1. Let’s Go to the Zoo
This is a big one which is why it is number one! There two different zoo locations in NYC that are actually free or donation only on Wednesdays! You can visit the Bronx Zoo and you simply make a donation! The Staten Island Zoo is also free on Wednesdays from 2-4:45pm! Check out one or both to save some cash and see some exciting animals while you are visiting NYC!

2. Botanical Gardens
The Brooklyn Botanic garden is free during the week from November first through February twenty eighth! The New York botanical Garden is free on Wednesdays from 10-6pm and Saturdays from 9-10am! These are two great locations for the whole family to explore and take a walking tour without having to worry about spending any of your vacation budget!

3. Children’s Museums
Both the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan are free on certain days! For Brooklyn it is Thursdays from 2-6pm and in Manhattan it is the first Friday of every month from 5-8pm. This is a great way to enrich any trip to NYC without having to spend any money. You will all get to enjoy the sights and sounds but they require none of your vacation budget! Continue reading »

Sep 062016
 

Hello!!!!! It is September. What does that mean?? Fall is approaching, pumpkin spice everything, back to school and HELLO ALLERGIES. I do not know about you guys in Massachusetts, but in Illinois when September hits look out allergies!!!! And Literally on Sept. 1 my sons nose was turned on like a faucet.

So what does this all natural momma do. Break out her all natural remedies.

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How many people love this vapor bath stuff, whatever brand it may be that you use. Well I am one of those mommas, but since I am now and essential oil momma, I make it myself!!!!! Continue reading »

Sep 052016
 

How To Save Money Without Coupons

Do you want to save more money on items for your household, but don’t want to spend time clipping coupons? There are ways to save money without spending your whole day with scissors and paper. Check out some of these ways to save money without coupons.

#1. Look at the Ads

This may seem like foreign language to some, but you can save money by looking at the ads in a newspaper. Some grocery stores and big box stores even have their ads online, which means you can look anytime you’d like.

#2. Save up for the Item

When you put an item on a store card, you may feel as though you’re saving money but there’s a catch. You will be paying interest on your credit card, which in return does not help you save money. You can save money without coupons by paying cash for items. Cash is king when you want to save money and not pay interest on anything.

#3. Buy Online

Although some people like to support the local economy, you can save more money by buying online. A lot of stores offer free shipping online and this can help you save something as simple as gas money. Know exactly what you’re going to buy and stay on budget. If you can’t trust yourself and think you will spend way too much money, get an accountability partner to ensure you’re not spending more money than you are supposed to. Continue reading »

Sep 042016
 

Low Carb, Flourless Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe

If there is one thing I will never, ever, EVER cut out of my life it’s carbs.  Hey, I am an Italian girl and carbs are in my blood.  While pasta and bread will always be staples of my diet, if I can cut my carbs down a little, I will. This Low Carb, Flourless Chocolate Mug Cake recipe has 5 net carbs per serving and tastes absolutely delicious. Not only that, it’s really easy to make and when you’re craving a sweet treat, this is what you’re looking for – trust me on this.

Low Carb, Flourless Chocolate Mug Cake

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons Splenda
  • smallest pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream/almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Continue reading »

Aug 312016
 

So recently I started to work at the local county animal shelter to help pay for the cost of my daughters ballet. Now to start we are basically a no kill shelter. The only way we put an animal down is if it is too sick to help or too injured to help. I have been at the shelter a month and my eyes have been opened to the life of a shelter animal.

It’s not all happy times. It isn’t just coming down feeding and loving on the animals. There is a lot more to it. I would say that 98% of the stories that I have are no where near like a Homeward Bound story. Animal runs, animal finds way back home or returned to the owner. I have seen maybe 4 dogs get claimed that have sat at the shelter a few days. The rest nobody comes forward for.

Yes we have our fun and cuties.

Brandi1 Continue reading »

Aug 302016
 

Superfood Quinoa Power Bowl with Turmeric-Tahini Dressing Recipe

After a weekend of too many chips and margaritas, this is a fantastic way to begin the week with a fresh start. Rich with high quality nutrition and loaded with antioxidants, these bowls are delicious served warm or right from the refrigerator. They would be ideal to layer in a takeout container to pack a perfectly balanced power lunch.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable stock (water can be substituted)
1 large sweet potato
1 cup kale
1/2 cup red cabbage
1/2 cup baby spinach
1 cucumber
1 avocado
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 lemon
1 can chickpeas
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 teaspoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (soy sauce can be substituted)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper Continue reading »

Aug 292016
 

Best Family Food Spots in Washington DC

Traveling is always fun but it can be stressful to find places in an unfamiliar city to feed your family. Not only is it stressful to find good food that your family will enjoy it can also be ridiculously overpriced! Fear not, I’ve rounded up some reasonably priced eats in Washington DC that will be sure to please the whole family. These are the Best Family Food Spots in Washington DC so you can plan your trip without worrying about how to feed everyone without breaking the bank!

One of the best ways to find food places nearby is by using your smartphone or specific apps to locate local cuisine with good ratings and low prices. If you are a planner you can always search ahead using online resources as well! These are some of the most highly rated restaurants in Washington DC that are also inexpensive. I love when I can find great food that is also affordable because feeding a big family on a budget while on vacation can be difficult!

1. Crepaway: 2001 L St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Is an awesome place to get some delicious dessert! Who doesn’t love dessert! It’s inexpensive and highly rated and everyone can get flavors that they love. This is an awesome alternative to ice cream stops or other dessert places for a sweet treat while exploring the city!

2. Wiseguy NY Pizza: 300 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
Pizza is always a great option when feeding a family on vacation. Wiseguy NY Pizza is highly rated with 4.5 of 5 stars and it’s an inexpensive option that everyone can enjoy. I love that you can customize, get different things, everyone feels like they’re getting their own choice without blowing our entire food budget! Great for a family meal or pick up to take back to the hotel! Continue reading »

Aug 292016
 

Easy Italian Popcorn Recipe

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Weight Watchers, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #WWMarket  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Do you know what my favorite part of the day is? My daily snack break. As a work at home mom, it’s one thing after another at my house and my snack time is something I look forward to every day.  It’s my time to step away from the chaos and just enjoy a treat. Sometimes I feel like a sweet treat and other days, something savory is what I’m craving, but like a lot of us, I am trying to watch what I eat. Weight Watchers products are a delicious and healthier option when it comes to snack time.

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Since my boys are still home on summer vacation, I recently decided to make us all a healthy snack recipe with a few things I picked up from Stop and Shop. It’s something  that my mom made for me when I was a kid and I knew that my kids would love it.  It’s called Italian Popcorn and it’s super easy to make. Continue reading »

Aug 222016
 

Last week I headed up to the Merrimack Premium Outlets to spend the day shopping so that I could stock up on all the back-to-school essentials that my kids will need this fall!

Merrimack Premium Outlets is an outdoor shopping center located 35 miles northwest of Boston and easily accessible off Exit 10 of Everett Turnpike (RT 3 from Boston). They have over 100 stores and in New Hampshire, you can enjoy tax free shopping at stores like Banana Republic, Bloomingdale’s Outlet Store, Coach, Elie Tahari, J.Crew, Michael Kors, Nautica, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Tommy Hilfiger and more all at saving of 25%-65% everyday.

My 12 year old will only wear Under Armour clothing these days so I was happy to see that they had an Under Armour outlet there. My little guy is into Nike, so I was wicked happy that I could get lots of great clothing for my boys for back to school at discounted prices.

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For the 2016 back to school season, Simon is encouraging shoppers to ‘find your style’ while reflecting on your past first days of school and the outfits that were the height of fashion in the 80’s and 90’s. Continue reading »

Aug 222016
 

Tips to Improve Interaction on Twitter

Twitters’ true value is engagement, while sure the search engines index it and you will have a Google Page Rank for your Twitter profile, without interaction you are wasting your marketing time. It is super easy to get intertwined with Twitter and being a broadcaster. When you have blog posts scheduled to go out live, content to get out there on a regular and your feed is full of information, you are half way there to improving interaction on Twitter.

Getting the content out there is not as tedious as working to improve interaction; after all you want your followers to engage with you because it reaches a wider range of viewers. When someone @ replies to you, their followers get to see your name and read the conversation. Having that interaction with people on Twitter helps to build your online brand, personal character and shows that you are a real person seeking to engage with others.

Twitter tiles

As a blogger on Twitter, it’s all about building the person behind the brand because people want to follow bloggers who keep it real, are approachable and maintain a loyal interaction online. If you are seeking to improve interaction on Twitter, then please follow the below tips to ensure your interaction increases on a steady basis: Continue reading »

Aug 182016
 

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

Homemade Slime #recipe #craft 1

Have you guys seen the new Ghostbusters movie yet?  I took my twelve year old and two of his friends to see it the weekend it came out and we loved it – not that I had any doubt that I would.  The original Ghostbusters (from the 80’s) is my ALL-TIME favorite movie, so there was no chance I was missing the new, updated version.  It has an awesome, and I do mean awesome, cast and definitely lived up to the hype – oh and I’ve seen it three times already.

Since we’re such big fans of Ghostbusters, I decided that I need to make some homemade ectoplasm (slime) for the kids to play with. Slime, goo, gunk, glop, ooze or whatever you’d like to call it, this creation will please boys (and girls) of all ages. It’s incredibly easy to make and only requires 3 ingredients!

The combination will create chemical reaction that can be fun for a hands-on educational experiment. Chemical bonds form as you mix the ingredients. The molecules stick together and become polymers which create the slimy texture. The formula is also non-toxic and, when kept in an air-tight container, it can last years. It’s not recommended for consumption, but it won’t harm those little ones who just can’t help but try and taste it.

You Will Need: Continue reading »

Aug 162016
 

Leading contemporary circus troupe Cirque Éloize premiered their latest creation, Cirque Éloize Saloon, at Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Fox Theater on Friday, August 12 and I was lucky enough to be able to attend the opening performance with my husband. Yay for date night!

cirque eloize saloon2

Cirque Éloize, a leading worldwide contemporary circus troupe, is thrilled to unveil their latest creation, Cirque Éloize Saloon, at Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Fox Theater next month. This captivating and energetic show transports audiences to the height of the Wild Wild West era, telling the story of a piano tuner’s astonishing journey through a world filled with gold diggers, rail workers, chorus girls and cowboys. Mysterious and intriguing characters will light up the stage to explosive live music, resulting in a series of unexpected situations packed with rhythmic acrobatic prowess and original choreography. The series begins Friday, August 12 and runs through Sunday, August 21 for a total of 12 remarkable performances at a variety of family-family show times.

Continue reading »