Mar 312015
 

*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*

As a new mom six years ago, one of the hardest things for me to get used to was giving my child a bath. Expecting my fourth child does mean I have gotten some practice in. I’ve been able to get my hands on the Summer Infant Keep Me Warm Baby Bath and I can’t believe I lived without this for so long.

Summer Keep Me Warm Baby Bath

So Much Room

I love how big the infant bathtub is. It’s not TOO big that it’s annoying, but it’s the perfect size for baby an infant and allowing your child to also grow into the tub. The tub also fits perfectly in a regular sized tub or on the counter. I like the ability to move the baby bathtub wherever I need it to go and have the features to help keep baby comfortable during the process. Continue reading »

Mar 302015
 

**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**

If there is one thing in this world that I can not resist, it’s a new pair of shoes.  I have well over a hundred pairs and have been known to drop a pretty penny on a single pair (gosh, I hope my husband isn’t reading this).  Lucky for me, 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.

I was so excited when I heard that Famous Footwear opened two new stores in my area.  I am always out & about, so having more shopping options is always a good thing.  Where are they you ask?

1. The 6,000-square-foot Westwood store is located in the Westwood Station at 245 University Ave.

2. The 5,049-square-foot Hyannis store is located in the Capetown Plaza at 790 Iyanoough Rd.

I had a chance to stop by the new store in Westwood yesterday and was really impressed with the new store.  In case you’ve never been inside a Famous Footwear, they carry name brands at discounted prices.

Famous Footwear Store Westwood

Famous Footwear has a huge selection of brand name shoes including Sketchers, Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Dr. Scholl’s, Converse, Aerosoles, Naturalizer and Steve Madden Girl. They carry the latest styles for the entire family including women, men, girls and boys! Even though it has still been pretty chilly here in Boston, I have a major case of spring fever, so I wanted to get a new pair of sandals because I figured that would make me feel better about the fact I am still cold all of the time. Continue reading »

Mar 282015
 

5 Ways to Save Money at Chuck E Cheese

Whether you want to admit it or not, your inner child loves Chuck E. Cheese! We all know that it can really add up when you head there for an adventure, so it’s important to save some dough where possible. Check out my tips for saving money at Chuck E. Cheese.

Find Discount Deals

Once in a while you can find a local deal for a Chuck E. Cheese near you. When you see those deals, make sure you grab them. This is probably the best way to save money because you are getting a significant discount on the whole shebang.

Don’t Get Pizza

Just so you know, you don’t have to get the pizza when you head to Chuck E. Cheese. There’s no law that says you have to get pizza, wings, or salad. In fact, you can grab drinks and an appetizer and you’d be good to go. I know part of the fun is the food, but if you want to save money, you’ll have to sacrifice in some way.

Limit the Coins

The last time we went, we probably had around 100 coins. We went a little overboard, which you do not need to do. In order to save a little money, you can limit the amount of coins you use. Is it as fun? No. But those coins do add up and can cost you a lot of money. If the kids get ancy about winning a price, take them to the dollar store and let them pick out something. Continue reading »

Mar 262015
 

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FinalFourPack #CollectiveBias Coca-Cola is a corporate champion of the NCAA.

Easy Slam Dunk Cherry & Vanilla Coke Brownies #FinalFourPack #CollectiveBias

As I’m sure you’re fully aware of, NCAA® March Madness is in full swing.  Does your family get all into it like mine does?  Come the beginning of March, we carefully work on filling in our brackets and then watch all the games to see if our teams come out on top.

But seriously, what is game day without good snacks to keep our tummies full? In our house, snacks are synonymous with sitting down to watch the game.  We usually have an array of different foods whenever the game is on, but a sweet treat is a must-have in our family. These Slam Dunk Cherry & Vanilla Coke Brownies are insanely easy to make and they’re  guaranteed to satisfy hungry fans.

Rich chocolate and delicious cherries are a wonderful combination.  Mix in a can of Vanilla Coke and you have yourself an amazing pan of brownies that will disappear in minutes! Even better, the recipe only calls for three ingredients!

Since my recipe called for Vanilla Coke, I headed over to pick up some Coca Cola NCAA® Final Four Packs available at Walmart. I was so excited to find the Coca-Cola NCAA® Final Four Pack in Vanilla coke, but it’s also available in Cherry Coke and Coke Zero!  They’re perfect to share with friends and family during March Madness.

As you can see, the Coca Cola NCAA® Final Four Packs available at Walmart are 4 (16 cans) for $5!  What a great deal! Continue reading »

Mar 252015
 

10 Totally Awesome Things You Can Do at Universal Studios Theme Parks in Orlando If You're a Chicken (Like Me)

**Disclosure:  I was invited to take part in an amazing press trip at Universal Orlando Resort, but all of the opinions you will read here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.  Honestly**

Did you know that you can experience not one, but two world class theme parks when you visit the Universal Orlando Resort? Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure are both full of thrill rides and fun for every member of the family!  I got to spend an amazing day at both parks just a few weeks ago and I wanted to share some highlights of both parks with you.

The thing with me is that I am a complete scaredy cat when it comes to rides, so I spent many years of my life avoiding theme parks like these.

Seriously, just looking at this gives me anxiety:

IMG_0898

There is literally nothing on earth (or anywhere else) that would get me on it. I’m not joking. Thor could be sitting there smeared in Nutella (two of my favorite things of all time) and I still wouldn’t get on the ride.  See…..when I said nothing, I wasn’t kidding you.

But I digress. Continue reading »

Mar 242015
 

Summer Baby Touch WiFi Monitor

**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**

Recently I was able to review a couple of the coolest baby products from the Summer Brand!

One of the products is the Baby Touch WiFi from Summer!  This is one of the most high tech baby monitors out there that allow you to stay connected with baby, even from another room.

Summer Baby Touch WiFi Monitor1

Free Viewing App

One of the best parts about the Baby Touch WiFi from Summer is the free viewing APP for Android and Apple. You can actually log into see baby from the app. It’s also secure, so you don’t need to worry about any breaches. Continue reading »

Mar 232015
 

White Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

For a good part of the last decade, I have been hosting Easter dinner at my house.  While I like the convenience of not having to drag the kids out of the house sometimes, frankly all the years of cooking (and even worse, cleaning) have taken their toll.  So this year, I told my family that I no longer wanted to play host.  They took it better than I thought and my parents stepped up to host right away. About a week ago, we were all asked to sign up to bring a dish to their house that day and I snagged one of the dessert spots because I’ve had this recipe that I have been wanting to try out for chocolate dipped pretzels.  They’re super easy to make and I think they will make the perfect addition to any Easter dinner (or any dinner for that matter) this year.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 package white Almond Bark
  • Pretzel Rods
  • Sprinkles

Directions: Continue reading »

Mar 212015
 

**Disclosure:  I was invited to take part in an amazing press trip at Universal Orlando Resort, but all of the opinions you will read here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.  I swear**

While I was on a recent trip to Universal Orlando Resort, I had a chance to spend some time at CityWalk.  Actually, I ended up spending quite a bit of time there because there is so much to see & do. CityWalk is a massive entertainment/dining complex and it’s located adjacent to both of the theme parks. Everyone heading to one of the parks will pass through it and yes, there is a Starbucks there, so you can grab a coffee on the way in.

Not only does CityWalk play host to  a variety of restaurants, shops, night clubs and a huge cinema complex, they hold many different concerts and special events all year long. CityWalk is 30 Acres of fun and you will certainly find something for everyone there.

IMG_7330

Universal Citywalk

I spent three nights in Orlando and was at CityWalk all three of those nights.  My first night there, I had the pleasure of eating at the The Cowfish Burger Sushi Bar.  The Cowfish is the first and only “Sushi Burger Bar”! You’re probably scratching your head right about now thinking burgers and sushi?  Well, trust me, they make it work and if you are looking for a place to totally pig out, this is it! Continue reading »

Mar 202015
 

Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando Collage

**Disclosure:  I was stayed at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort as part of an awesome press trip at Universal Orlando Resort, but all of the opinions you will read here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.  Really.**

Have you ever dreamt about visiting the South Seas, but were put off by the amount of travel involved?  What if I told you that I know how you can get a taste of the South Seas, without having to travel halfway around the world.  I recently had a chance to spend a few nights at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando Resort and I honestly felt like I was on a tropical vacation.

check in

As soon as I arrived, I was greeted with a cheerful “Aloha” by the friendly hotel staff member that checked me in.  I arrived at the hotel a little bit before the 4 pm check-in time, so my room wasn’t quite ready when I got there.  The folks over at Luggage Services gladly held my bag for me until my room was ready, which freed me up to explore the hotel.

While I waited, I sat outside in the Orchid Court Lounge.  It’s a lovely area where I was able to enjoy the reflection pool that was surrounded by gorgeous carved statues. Continue reading »

Mar 192015
 

**Disclosure: As a Verizon #VZWBuzz  #VZBoston Lifestyle Blogger, I’m a member of a pretty cool team of influencers who share information about mobile living.   I was provided a device at no charge and compensation for my participation.  There has been no editing by a third party, nor any promise of positive feedback.   All opinions are my own.

It’s that time of  year again, folks.  Two words: spring cleaning.  None of us love it, but it’s a necessary evil.  And, honestly, don’t you feel good when you’re little piece of the world is all spic & span?  I know I do, even though it usually only lasts for a couple of days (if that).

Off topic a little bit for a second, but a few weeks back I got a Droid.  I’ve always been an Apple girl, so I have been spending the last few weeks getting acquainted with my new phone.  A few weeks ago, I was sitting on my couch playing around with my new phone, a dust bunny rolled by.  Eventually I got up to pick the big old dust bunny up and throw it away, but before I did,  I thought to myself, “I need to make this phone work for me.”  And I did.

I decided to go into Google Play and search for apps that were going to make my life easier and help me get my house in tip top shape. I narrowed it down to seven of them, actually.  Here they are (in no particular order).

1. Spring Cleaning Checklist

This is a free app that has spring cleaning checklists for every room in your house.

Spring Cleaning Checklist App

This app literally covers everything in your house. I mean right down to cleaning your blinds and wiping down windowsills. Continue reading »

Mar 182015
 

Mardi Gras Universal Studios Florida

**Disclosure:  I was invited to take part in the most amazing press trip at Universal Orlando Resort, but all of the opinions you will read here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.  I swear**

Although Fat Tuesday came and went last month, the Mardi Gras festivities are still going strong down at Universal Studios in Orlando! Every spring, you can enjoy the fun & excitement of “The Big Easy” right at Universal Orlando!  On Saturdays and select nights through April 18, Universal Studio’s Mardi Gras event treats their guests to an authentic celebration that transforms the a section of the park into a family-friendly version of the famous New Orleans festivities.

The annual event features big-name concerts, traditional Cajun cuisine, street performers, live music and one heck of a parade – oh, and that’s all in addition to complete access to all of the awesome Universal Orlando theme park attractions!!

Once you’re inside the park, you can visit the French Quarter Courtyard where you can eat authentic Cajun foods and listen to live music.  Every night during the event, you can listen to some of Louisiana’s most popular bands performing authentic blues, jazz, zydeco and more. I had a chance to listen to a from songs from a band called the Mississippi Rail Company & they were absolutely phenomenal. Continue reading »

Mar 172015
 

Snowboarding Tips

**I was invited to a complimentary day of snowboarding at Wachusett Mountain as part of a media event.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

For years I’ve wanted to try my hand at snowboarding.  I can ski, although I haven’t done so in a number of years, but for whatever reason, I had never given snowboarding a try – until last week.

Wachusett-Mountain-trails

I was invited to spend the day at Wachusett Mountain Resort in Princeton, MA.  I had the option to ski or snowboard, but I knew right away that this was my chance to have a go with the snowboard, so I jumped on it. Plus, I was going solo, so my husband wasn’t going to be standing there laughing at me, which was an added bonus.

Fun fact:  “Wachusett” is the Algonquin Indian word for “The Great Hill”.

As you know, winter is not over yet, and thanks to the copious amounts of snow we got here in the Boston area this year, there is still plenty of time to spend at the slopes.  In case you want to try your hand at snowboarding, I decided I’d go over some tips for snowboarding with you today.  You can never be too “safe” when it comes to snowboarding and I definitely learned a lot while I was out there on the bunny slope last week.

Bundle Up

It’s safe to say that if you’re going to go snowboarding, you should probably bundle up! Bundling up allows you to stay warm while you adventure out into the snow. Continue reading »

Mar 162015
 

Healthy Snacks for Hungry After School Bellies: Make them something good and filling that won't disrupt their dinner!My kids come home every single day starving. How? I’ll never know. Their lunches are completely full to the top of their lunch boxes, and when I say full I mean 5 snacks and a sandwich. Their lunches are full of healthy and filling foods so I just don’t get it. However, When they are hungry – they are hungry so what else can you do besides feed them?

Well, Lately I’ve decided to be a little more on the strict side when it comes to after school snacks. They get home from the bus stop around 3:30/3:35 and we usually eat dinner around 5:00-5:30 so I’d like to them to eat their dinner more than snack on a bunch of snacks.

I’ve come up with some idea’s for after school snacks, my kids just LOVE them so hopefully yours will too!

Tuna Cheese Dip with Crackers & Breadsticks – This is fairly easy and has nothing out of the ordinary in it. I use Dolphin Friendly tuna in water. Drain, Mix well with Mayo, Shred some cheese – put to one side of container, and serve surrounded by cheese crackers and mini breadsticks! Yum. They absolutely love this one.

tunaA Bento Full Snack - I love using Bento box type lunch boxes and having fruit chunks, veggies with dip and crackers ready for them! Sometimes I’ll cube cheese, put celery and PB in there or even just put out a bunch of things and let them fill their box, once that’s full that’s their snack. Continue reading »

Mar 152015
 

I don’t know about you, but I have been known to have epic Netflix marathons.  My kids are off with their dad most Saturdays and there have been times that I have literally sat on my couch from the time I woke up until bedtime just watching entire seasons of shows on Netflix.  True story.

netflix

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this every weekend – or even once a month for that matter, but I work hard and sometimes I deserve a break.   For me a break involves great snacks, pajamas and my television.  And hey, if I am going to spend the day vegging out in front of the tv, I may as well do it right and binge watch shows on Netflix that I missed out on. Am I right?

If it weren’t for Netflix, I would have missed out on a lot of great shows, so today, I am going to tell you about five of my favorites (in no particular order). These are all shows that I never would have started watching had it not been for Netflix making it possible.

1. How I Met Your Mother

This sitcom details desperate bachelor Ted’s epic search for his soul mate, told through flashbacks as an adult Ted recounts to his kids how he met their mom. As Ted bounces from one red herring to another, his best friends help keep him grounded.

How I Met Your Mother Netflix

Remember above when I said that my five favorite binge watched shows were in no particular order?  That may have been a little bit of a white lie because I CAN NOT get enough of How I Met Your Mother.  It’s tied for my all time favorite comedy show (along with Scrubs) and it’s one of those shows I can sit and watch over & over again. The characters are so funny and you can’t help but love them all. Continue reading »

Mar 122015
 

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes The Perfect St. Patrick's Day Treat1

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit! That’s “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day” in Irish. If you really want to impress your pals, make sure you alter the grammar of it to Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh when addressing two or more people. However, nothing will astound your friends like these amazing Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes, the perfect St. Patrick’s Day treat!

These cupcakes are rich, moist, and the perfect balance of fluffy and thick decadence. An entire bottle of Guinness goes into these party-friendly delights. The flavor sings through dessert, adding a unique taste that compliments the chocolate. You can frost them with a fluffy white or vanilla frosting to fully encompass the tang of a bottle of Guinness. Using a chocolate ganache topping is also a delicious option.

You Will Need:

  • 1 bottle of Guinness (11.2 oz if you are lucky enough to have it on tap)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3/4 cup of quality cocoa
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of sour cream (plain Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Continue reading »

Mar 112015
 

**This is a sponsored post on behalf of  Pica Books.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

I feel like I have one of the pickiest eaters in the entire world sometimes. My seven year old would literally live on sting cheese, lollipops and goldfish crackers if I would let him. Seriously.  I honestly have no idea how he sustains himself sometimes because his eating is so erratic and unhealthy.  Not long ago I posted some of my best tips for dealing with picky eaters, but recently a new tool has come to my attention and I wanted to share it with you today.

It’s called the Pica Food App!

pica food logo

Pica Food is just one of Pica Book’s interactive animated educational books and games for your kid and a 10-minute expert advice video for you parents! Read, listen and play with your kid!

Learn together how you can encourage your child to transform an unhealthy menu into a healthy one, and receive a personalized diploma for your kid saying he is all grown up, and knows how to eat right to stay healthy and strong. You can share the diploma with your family and friends! Continue reading »

Mar 092015
 

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

M&M's Crispy Monster Cookies Recipe

You asked for it and you got it.  Oh yeah, I’m talking about M&M’s® Crispy!  They’re back! Customers asked for them and M&M’s brought them back due to the high demand. I was totally hooked on them when they were out before and when I heard that they were making a comeback, I couldn’t get to CVS fast enough to get some.

I found them right on candy aisle and may or may not have bought five bags of them when I was there.  Ok, I did, but come on, they’re awesome. M&M’s are my all time favorite candy and the crispy ones are SO good.  If you missed them when they were out before, get out there and get yourself some.  You will thank me.

M&M's Crispy CVS

In case you haven’t figured this out for yourself already, M&M’s are great to bake with.  You can do so much with them, but since I am a cookie addict, I went with M&M’s® Crispy Monster Cookies! Continue reading »

Mar 062015
 

Making the Most Out of a Bad Situation: No one likes being left with a huge issue or situation especially if it's bad. With kids? it can seem even more extreme than we are used to, heres how we deal with it! - massholemommy.com

The past year or so I’ve really been pushed to my limit as a parent. My patience has worn thin and my temper has gotten the best of me. No, I’m not talking about my kids making me mad, or having no patience with my kids. I’m talking about things that involve my kids. School issues, to household occurrences out of our control that put my kids health or safety in jeopardy. I’ve been put to the test and I will say, I’ve cracked. The pressure has been way too much for this mama bear.

As you may be well aware, because I know even Robin has shared here how much snow she has gotten this winter over in Mass, well Toronto has been hit pretty hard too. Not with much snow, we are all pretty used to snow – but temperature wise, it’s been really awful. This February Toronto has been under quite a few deep freezes. So much so over 2,200 people have called into the City without water due to freezing pipes.

Guess what? We are one of them! Right now there are 400 homes without water. As of now we’ve been without water over a WEEK. Yes, a week. Our toilets won’t flush, our showers and bath tubs won’t fill up, we can’t wash our hands, or dishes. It’s been something I have never ever experienced before and I can’t say I’m too happy, my limits have yet again been put to the test and I failed miserably. Continue reading »

Mar 052015
 

**I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Reebok and Finish Line. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for participating**

Are you looking for ways to keep your kids active? It’s so tempting to allow our kids to stay inside to play video games and watch television, but it’s important for them to get moving! I wanted to share some ways you can keep your kids active around the house.

#1. Have a Dance Party

Nothing gets the body moving faster than a dance party. Plus, your kids will love the fact that they are getting in exercise without even really trying. You can have a freestyle dance party, or you can try and learn a specific dance together.

#2. Set up an Obstacle Course

Putting together an obstacle course is really simple, you just use what you have lying around your home. You can create an indoor obstacle course or put together one outside. Either way, your kids will have a great time completing and competing.

#3. Create a Drum Line

What little person doesn’t like to bang on items? Just like a marching band marches, allow your kids to create a drum line and begin marching around the neighborhood. Anything and everything can be used for drums. Use old pans, sticks, or anything else you can find. The most important thing is that your kids have fun.

#4. Play Silly Games

When it comes to getting active, there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Playing silly games with your kids is one way to keep them active. Games like “Follow the Leader” and “Simon Says” are great games that kids of multiple ages can play together. Don’t be afraid to try new games that keep your kids active. You never know which ones they’ll love. Continue reading »

Mar 042015
 

Big Hero 6 Cupcakes Baymax Recipe

**Disclosure:  My family received a copy of Big Hero 6 on Blu-ray & DVD at no charge.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Have you ever wanted to make your favorite character from Big Hero 6, but weren’t sure where to start? We recently got a copy of Disney’s Big Hero 6 on Blu-ray & DVD and I wanted to bring Baymax to life for my kids while we watched the movie, so I put my baking skills to the test. You can make these Baymax from Big Hero 6 cupcakes too! Just follow along.

Supplies:

  • 1 or 2 cupcake pans
  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix
  • 1 tube of black icing
  • 1 tube of vanilla frosting
  • Cupcake liners

Big Hero 6 Cupcakes1

Here’s what you do:

1.  Mix the cake mix together as instructed on the box. Continue reading »