Dec 082016
 

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

easy-jalapeno-cheese-fries

I don’t know about you, but my family is heading into our busiest month of the year. Between holiday parties, extra school events, December birthdays and life in general, we’re pretty much non-stop from now until the first of the year. I don’t mind because I love spending extra time with the people I love and since my husband is from a huge family (he’s one of seven), there are plenty of chances to visit our loved ones. Of course, I can’t show up empty handed, right? These easy Jalapeno Cheese Fries are one of my favorite go-to dishes to bring to family gatherings. Unfortunately for me, and lots of others, the jalapenos = heartburn. Thankfully Nexium® 24HR Capsules come to the rescue (stay tuned for more info on that).

jalapeno-cheese-friess

My Jalapeno Cheese Fries are easy to make and they always go over really well. Continue reading »

Dec 062016
 

I have received information and materials from Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post. 

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

how-to-freeze-your-favorite-foods

Time seems to be a commodity that is in ever-shortening supply these days. Especially this time of year when the holiday are quickly approaching. Because of that, we often don’t take the time to eat right and often opt for quick and simple solutions when it comes to dinnertime. That option isn’t always the healthiest. But with just a little pre-planning, you can make a variety of dishes that can be prepared beforehand and stored in your freezer which you can reheat quickly and enjoy when the time is right. Not only will this save you time when your week gets hectic, it will also cut down on your intake of take-out and fast food, making you a healthier and happier person.

Here are some tips for simple freezer meals that will let you enjoy a home-cooked meal without the time usually needed to do so:

Know What Not to Freeze
Before you freeze any of your dishes, make sure you know what kinds of foods won’t lose quality and consistency during the freezing process. Some foods don’t hold up to freezing temperatures. For starters, you should never freeze dairy or cream-based ingredients, such as milk or sour cream, yogurt, or cottage cheese as it will often crystallize and separate into its components upon thawing. If you are going to be freezing cream-based soups, be careful with how it tastes when it is reheated. You also want to avoid certain fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruit, cucumbers, watermelon, and lettuce. Cooked eggs are another food that will lose its consistency after freezing. If you want to freeze potatoes, they should either be raw or be mashed potatoes. Continue reading »

Oct 212016
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Healthy4School #CollectiveBias

easy-honey-pecan-overnight-oats-recipe

I can hardly believe it, but back to school is in full swing.  This past summer seemed to have flown by and before I knew it, the kids were hopping on the bus for their first day of school. If you’re anything like me, back to school means all sorts of new things.  New after-school activities to get the kids back & forth to, lots of homework (especially for my middle schooler) and a new routine in general. My boys are each in different schools this year, which means different start times for each of them.  It’s definitely been an adjustment, but so far we’re rockin’ it.

With all the changes in our lives, I try to be proactive when it comes to getting sick. Let’s be real, all of our kids get exposed to all kinds of germs while they’re at school. For the first few years my oldest was in school, we were all sick by the middle of October. It was definitely a learning experience and I am determined to help keep the germs away….or at least make sure I am stocked up on some products to make us feel better if we do get sick.

For my family, eating a fresh, healthy breakfast helps us fuel up for the day so that we’re not running on empty. A good breakfast helps us all concentrate and focus all day long. This Easy Honey Pecan Overnight Oats Recipe is a great way to start the morning off right. It’s easy to make and it keeps our tummies full and helps us power through our day.

easy-honey-pecan-overnight-oats-recipe1

Easy Honey Pecan Overnight Oats Recipe

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 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
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 092016
 

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

Chef Boardee

With the back to school season approaching, my family is looking for easy weeknight meal solutions. By spending less time in the kitchen, we can enjoy other after-school activities together. Now through August 29, 2016, each 14.5 to 15 ounce can of Chef Boyardee is on Rollback at Walmart for only $0.80! Purchase five cans for $4 in a variety of flavors that include: Mini Ravioli, Beefaroni, and Spaghetti and Meatballs. You can enjoy a week’s worth of quality meals at an affordable price.

Be sure when you stock up on Chef Boyardee at Walmart to look for the Chef Boyardee cans that feature NO artificial flavors, NO preservatives, and NO artificial colors. With quality ingredients since 1924, Chef Boyardee has been a pantry staple for many families.

While shopping at Walmart, be sure to look for the Rollback signs for Chef Boyardee in the Canned Food aisle!

Aug 032016
 

I have received information and materials from JOHNSON & JOHNSON CONSUMER, Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division, LLC. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post. #PositivelyPrepared #BacktoSchool #CollectiveBias

10 Things to do Before the Kids Go Back to School {Free Printable}

Every year around the end of May I sit down and make a list of all the things I want to do with my boys over the summer.  Around here, the kids get out at the end of June and here I am six weeks into their vacation wondering where the time has gone.  It seems like once they do finally get out of school, July 4th is not far behind. Throw in a few summer birthdays, a day trip here and there, a couple of beach days and BOOM! All of the sudden it’s August already.

Even though it’s flown by already, my boys have had a really great summer so far.  We rented a cottage on the beach the last week in June, which was a blast.

boys 4th cliff

We’ve been to a few museums and playgrounds over the summer and we’re regulars at the beach in Newport, RI. Continue reading »

Jul 262016
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Scott100More #CollectiveBias

How To Make Overnight Guests Feel at Home

I love, love, love having people come to stay at my house – whether it’s just for one night, a week or even longer. My husband is one of seven and since a few of his siblings have relocated over the years, sometimes when they come “home” they need a place to stay. I am the first one to raise my hand when one of them needs a place to stay. My brother in law, his lovely wife and my super cute 1 year old nephew are regulars at my house and I get so excited whenever they tell me they are coming up. They live in Astoria (Queens, NY), so since they are fairly close, they come back to Massachusetts pretty often.

When they (or anyone else) stay at my house, I want them to be comfortable and feel completely at home. Just a few extra touches here & there can really make your overnight guests feel special.

1. Clean and/or Pick up your house.
Give your house a good cleaning. If your house is already clean, go through your house room by room and get rid of clutter. I am a parent and that means that there are toys all over the place. Take an afternoon to pick up all of those things laying around and put them back where they belong. Why not get the kids involved while you’re at it? I do!

How To Make Overnight Guests Feel at Home3

In addition, I always use having overnight guests as an opportunity to cross things off of my to-do list. Have a doorknob that’s wiggly and needs for the screws to be tightened? This is the time to get those little things done. Continue reading »

Jun 202016
 

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

5 ways to workout at the beach

I have been really trying to help my family live a healthier lifestyle lately. We have been eating better and getting more exercise and honestly it feels great. I have started working out a few times a week and we also do things together as a family, like hiking and bike riding. It’s been a wonderful way for my family to spend some quality time together. I have been really making an effort to be more active and it’s become something that I enjoy and look forward to. This weekend I had some free time and I decided what better way to enjoy the nice weather than doing my workout on the beach.

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So picture this – me on the beach in a bikini with perfect hair and makeup, working out while looking flawless and barely breaking a sweat. Okay, okay, you got me – I really did go to the beach to work out but I definitely wasn’t looking like a supermodel in the process, haha. I did get in a nice workout though and it felt amazing to be out in the sun with such a beautiful view of the water. Continue reading »

Jun 072016
 

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

Cheddar Stuffed Burger Bombs

We just love race day in our house.  It’s something that we’ve done as a family since the boys were little and plus it’s an awesome way to get the whole family together for something we all enjoy.  But let’s face it, what’s game day without a great snack?

My family is excessively carnivorous –  they want meat in great quantities.  Maybe it’s because they are all males – who knows? Meatloaf is often on our menu rotation, but we wanted to try something a little different.  In our house, we try to eat healthier most of the time, but some nights I like to treat them with what they really want – generous portions of red meat! The other thing my family can’t get enough of? Cheese! We put it in nearly everything so it was only natural that I pair these two for an awesome race day snack.

Here’s What You Need

  • 1 ½ lbs. ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. dried onion flakes
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1- ½ cups grated cheddar cheese

Continue reading »

Feb 222016
 

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

5 Ways to Get Your Booty Bikini Ready for This Summer

The holidays are officially over and spring is on the way! The groundhog says that warmer weather is on the horizon and that means it is time to stop shoving those discount chocolates in your mouth and get pumped for bikini season! If you need a little motivation, here are 5 ways to get your booty bikini ready for this summer!

1. Water

We started out easy on ya! Start flushing out all that excess salt and sugar from the long cold winter. You will be amazed at how much better your skin, body, and booty will look if you start making water a big part of your day! Try challenging yourself to drink a gallon of water every day. It’s really not hard to do and you can find TONS of breakdowns on Pinterest about how to time it out so you aren’t chugging a half gallon of water at ten o’clock before bed! Water helps not only flush toxins but it also helps keep your muscles hydrated so you can recover more quickly from your workouts! 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 »

Dec 152015
 

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

Minions Muddy Buddies

One thing we do every single summer is head to the drive-in.  We only do it once a year because it ends up being such a late night, but it’s such a treat for the kids when we go. Since we only go once, we choose the movie we want to watch there very carefully.  We make sure it’s something that we really want to see.  You guessed it, this past summer we chose the Minions movie!

We are super excited that our favorite summer movie just came out on Blu-Ray/DVD on December 8th!  I ran out to get it that day and we have been watching it a lot over the past week.  We just love the Minions © 2015 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

The day I got it, we had a family movie night to watch it – but what’s a movie night without a snack? Of course Illumination Entertainment’s Minions movie was the inspiration for my recipe.  It is the perfect recipe to include in our Minions Movie night!

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Dec 092015
 

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

Helping My Man Put His Best Face Forward

My husband Christian is an accountant with the Department of Labor. Yup, I am married to a fed. Basically he deals with civil issues and criminal issues having to do with employee benefits (retirement and health plans). His job is to protect employee’s benefits because, let’s face it,  there are some really shady employers out there.  Anywho, most of his time in the office is spent reviewing financial records to find inconsistencies and errors, but sometimes his cases go from civil to criminal depending on the situation and amount of inconsistencies he finds.  Sometimes those criminal cases are settled and sometimes they’re not.  When they’re not, often times, Christian is called to testify about his findings in front of a grand jury.

Obviously when he has to testify in court, he needs to look professional.  He is always well dressed, clean shaven and accessorized when he goes before a grand jury – and that includes his most important accessory: a nice smile.

chris tie

Seriously, in his head he thinks he is the Jack Bauer of the Department of Labor….

Moving on. Continue reading »

Dec 072015
 

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

M&M® and Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Cake Mix Cookies

Every year my mommy friends and I do something fun – a Christmas cookie exchange.  It was something that we all participated in when we were all in the moms club in town together and even once our kids aged out of the club, many of us carried on the tradition. Every December we pick a morning and get together to exchange cookies, have some tea, coffee or hot chocolate and share some laughs together.  It’s something that I look forward to all year long.

Here are the cookies my mom friends are going to be getting this year at the annual cookie exchange:

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Nov 242015
 

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

Date Night Essentials

Over the years, my husband Chris and I have had some pretty epic dates.  When we were first dating he took me to a shooting range & that’s the exact moment when I knew he was a keeper.

When it comes to fun date nights, he’s got a knack for finding some pretty cool things for us to do.  We’ve gone to a couple of paint nights,  tons of different ghost tours, we’ve made our own beer – from scratch and we’re regulars down at the Firehouse Theater in Newport, RI to see the Bit Players, which is an improv comedy troupe.

This is us at the Medieval Manor in Boston, which is a themed dinner & show.  It was one of my favorite dates.

date 1

I’m not sure if this qualifies as a “date” per se, but last year when we were in Manhattan to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, he let me drag him all the way across town to see the Ghostbusters headquarters.  It was rainy and cold that day, but he knew it made me happy. Continue reading »

Nov 242015
 

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

Easy White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

There are certain times of the year when I like to do something special for my boys teachers and bus drivers.  Each year for teacher appreciation week I get their teachers a gift card to go out to eat.  I mean, if anyone deserves a night off without having to cook, it’s a teacher.  Then at the end of the school year, I also get nice gifts for the teachers as a way to thank them for such a great year with my kids.  Of course, I always like to get something for the bus drivers, too.  After all, they are responsible for getting my boys back and forth to school safely every day.

At Christmas time, I like to get festive when it comes to gift giving.  I love to make sweet treats for the teachers and bus drivers and based on the feedback I have gotten from them in the past, my baked goods are always a hit.  This year, the bus drivers and teachers are getting some delicious white chocolate peppermint fudge.  It’s easy to make and I know it’s going to be a big hit. Continue reading »

Nov 182015
 

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

Special Delivery From the North Pole Printable Gift Tag

If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ve seen this photo before. If you’re new, meet my family.

my family at Taras wedding

In the photo, I am pictured with my bother, sister and my parents. The picture was taken the day that my sister got married (a little over two years ago) and it’s the most recent photo of the five of us together.

What you don’t know about this photo is that it took a lot of work to get my mom over to the spot where we took this photo.  At the time, you would never see her go anywhere without her cane, but as you can see in the photo above – she doesn’t have it.  It took two people holding her arms to help her walk to where she stood for the picture. Continue reading »

Nov 162015
 

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

No Bake Peppermint Bark Recipe

Christmas will be here before we know it and I could not be happier about it.  I love this time of the year. The food, the family, the presents, the decorations – I love all of it. One tradition that I look forward to every year is cutting down our Christmas tree and spending the afternoon decorating it.  While decorating the tree itself is fun, I always like to make something special for my family to munch on while we trim the tree.  One of my family’s favorites is my famous No Bake Peppermint Bark and I hope you like it as much as my family does.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups of white chocolate chips or Baker cubes (2 boxes)
  • Candy canes

Continue reading »