Dec 172014
 

**Disclosure: I received a pair of tickets to see The Nutcracker at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

When I was in the 4th grade, my class took a field trip into Boston to see a matinee performance of Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker.  Being nine years old at the time, I basically had no appreciation for what I was watching.  Fast forward to the present when I had a chance to go see this years production of The Nutcracker at The Boston Opera House and got a second chance to take in the show – as a “grown up” with a whole different outlook on the show.  My husband, Chris, had never even seen The Nutcracker before, so I knew he was going to be in for a real treat.

Boston Ballet The Nutcracker

“Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker is based on the libretto by Alexandre Dumas père titled The Tale of the Nutcracker, which is adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.”  

The show itself was absolutely breath taking.  All of the dancers were so graceful and they all did such a great job of telling the story through dance.  Chris and I sat there in awe throughout the entire show.

More than 300 dancers will perform in the new production and each performance has approximately 150 dancers involved. There are 250 children in the performance, making up three or four casts (classical ballet students from the Boston, Newton and North Shore studios). Continue reading »

Dec 132014
 

**I received product a no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

If you know me in real life, you already know that I am completely hooked on Dunkin Donuts coffee.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that  I am there every single day – at least once. Usually I stop at one of their restaurants for coffee a couple of times a day, though.  I am really lucky because where I live, I have four Dunkin Donuts shops within a few miles of my house. Sometimes I just don’t feel like leaving the house to get my coffee from one of their shops, so thankfully Dunkin’ Donuts has K-Cups available so that I can have a cup at home any time I want!

Dunkin Donuts Dark Roast KCups

Dunkin’ Donuts’ has made one of its boldest additions ever to its coffee lineup, with Rainforest Alliance Certified™ DarkRoast Coffee which is now available at Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ new Dark Roast Coffee uses a unique roasting process to bring out key characteristics of different beans, creating a bold flavor and the smooth finish without the bitterness typically associated with most dark roast coffees.  When you go to a Dunkin’ Donuts shop, you can enjoy the new Dark Roast Coffee served either hot or iced, but it is also available for sale for brewing at home in both packaged coffee and in K-Cup® packs.

Dunkin’ Donuts new Dark Roast Coffee features the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal, indicating that it is made with at least 30% coffee beans sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods. Rainforest Alliance certification helps to protect wildlife; safeguard soils and waterways; and improve quality of life for workers, their families and local communities in order to achieve true, long-term sustainability.

Plus, it’s seriously delicious! Continue reading »

Dec 122014
 

**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**

Is your family up for trying something amazing this year? We had a chance to try out the new Skylanders Trap Team (for the Wii) recently and my boys were completely blown away when I opened the package and they saw what was inside.  We’ve always loved playing video games together, my boys especially, so we were excited to give this video game a go! The Wii is one of our favorite systems to play, so it only made sense to give the Skylanders Trap Team a try!

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They have been Skylanders fans since day one and as soon as they heard a new set was coming out, they starting asking for it.  I kept telling them that maybe Santa would bring it for them this year for Christmas, but Christmas came early for them this year!

The particular starter pack that we got came with the game, the portal, two Skylander “guys” and two traps. Trust me, there are a lot of hours of fun packed into such a small game. The boys even invited Chris into join in the fun and he loved it. Continue reading »

Dec 042014
 

Levana Keera Two Camera Baby Monitoring System

**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**

If you are a new parent, you might be looking for ways to get a better night’s sleep. A baby monitor is the perfect way to keep your eyes and ears on your child when you can’t be in the room with them, and Levana has introduced a new monitor to help you do just that. The Keera two camera baby monitor by Levana is the perfect way to monitor to your child, ensuring an easier night’s sleep for the both of you. I recently had the chance to sample this product, and I am looking forward to sharing my findings with you!

Levana Keera Two Camera Baby Monitoring System 1

The Keera two camera baby monitor is different than most monitors, offering features such as night vision, lullabies, two way radio, and more. Here are some of the features you can look forward to enjoying with the Keera model: Continue reading »

Dec 022014
 

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

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Boys and nerf guns go together like peanut butter and jelly. If there’s one thing my kids like, it is a fun and well built nerf gun. Recently, we were able to try out the new Nerf Mega Thunderbow Blaster. There are several reasons my kids loved it and I’d love to go into the details.

Attitude

This Nerf Blaster has so much attitude I love it. Sure, traditional nerf guns are awesome but there’s something doubly awesome about this bad boy! You’re sure to have fun with the Nerf Mega Thunderbow Blaster, even though you bought it for the kiddos.

Fun

My boys played with the Nerf Mega Thunderbow Blaster for hours! It was fun to have an indoor Nerf “Bow” fight. We played with the new ones and also of course with the Nerf Mega Thunderbow Blaster! After I got tired, the boys continued to play. Continue reading »

Nov 282014
 

gurus-flip-flops-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**

Some people are just more comfortable in flip flops, and I am one of them. Nothing lets your feet breathe and evoke the feeling of warmer days than a great pair of flip flops. I recently had the chance to check out a whole new concept in flip flops called Gurus. Haven’t heard of them? Gurus Natural Rubber sandals are a new spin on an ancient idea, the final product being a fun yet functional pair of flip flops your feet as well as the planet will love.

Gurus were designed based on a 5,000-year-old ancient Indian sandal design and mimic those worn by Gandhi. However this does not mean their style is outdated by any means! Gurus come in fun colors and have a sleek and trendy style, perfect for keeping up with the trends of today. Their design also allows for the toes to relax and not have to grip so hard to hold onto the shoe.

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So what else makes Gurus unique? They are made from sustainably-sourced rubber, and so they biodegrade quickly once they are worn out. You don’t need to worry about them taking up space in a landfill. Also, for each pair you buy, a tree is planted. How cool is that? Continue reading »

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 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 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 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 »

Oct 272014
 

shark rocket
**Disclosure:  I received a Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Upright Vacuum at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

As a mom of all boys, I’m always looking for ways to keep my house clean. When I say I’ve tried multiple cleaning products to clean my house, I’m not lying. I was recently asking to review the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Upright Vacuum and I was so excited to get this opportunity. I know many of my readers will fall in love the Shark Rocket just as I have. Let me share with you while you’ll love it and why my husband also fell in love with it. I’ll admit that he got his hands on it before I could. Hey! Any device that makes my husband want to help me clean, then I’m all game!

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Here is a starter list of what this amazing Rocket can do!

  • It can clean your bare floors. Although my kids no longer walk around with Cheerios in their hands, they still leave crumbs lying around. The Shark Rocket is pure genius!
  • The Shark Rocket keeps its suction for….EVER! Seriously, this vacuum has some amazing suction power…just ask the inside of our couch cushions.
  • The Shark Rocket will make your carpets cleaner than you ever thought possible, especially with the amazing suction power is possesses.
  • The Shark Rocket “makers” have thought of everything for this amazing vacuum! There’s even a hook that helps keep it off the floor storage wise. Yes!
  • I really love how many different ways you can clean with the Shark Rocket! It’s truly amazing to be able to go from cleaning the grime off your kitchen floor to sucking Lego’s out of your couch in a matter of seconds.

Continue reading »

Oct 092014
 

Disclamer: I received the products featured in this post at no charge in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

My boys are pretty typical when it comes to things like zombies and monsters.  They love all of that kind of stuff, so just imagine their excitement when they received a box full of Monster 500 toys a few weeks ago.  It was like Christmas had come early in our house.

Wait, what?  You haven’t heard of Monster 500 yet?  Let me tell you a little bit about it then.  Monster 500 is a line of fun, collectible fiendish monster characters available in small and large vehicles. Kids will go bonkers racing the vehicles around and can enhance playtime by using the vehicles on two freaky playsets! Monster 500 vehicles and playsets are sold exclusively at Toys R Us.

The Monster 500 line features fiendish monster characters driving small and large vehicles, plus two fabulously play sets. The characters marry a child’s love of cars with the ghoulish and gross—the perfect combo! Each vehicle aligns with the Monster 500 app, which allows fans to bring their favorite monster characters to life in an action-packed racing game.

We received the following:

(1) Monster 500 Small Vehicle
(1) Monster 500 Large Vehicle
(1) Monster 500™ Toxic Terror Trap Playset
(1) Monster 500™ Graveyard Gauntlet Track Set

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The boys had a half day on the day that these showed up, so Chris surprised them by assembling the playsets so they were ready when the boys got home from school. They were both so excited when they saw everything set up and couldn’t wait to start playing. Continue reading »

Sep 162014
 

dohvinci fun

Recently I was invited to The Paint Bar on Newbury Street in Boston, along with several other Boston area bloggers, to check out Hasbro’s new art experience: DohVinci.

Dohvinci Paint Bar Event

But what is DohVinci you ask? DohVinci, an entirely new art experience from the makers of Play-Doh, just launched and is an enjoyable and unique creative experience for kids and adults of all ages! Since the design compound sticks to other surfaces such as wood, glass, duct tape, and paper – the creative possibilities are endless!

We were given the chance to decorate some household items with DohVinci (chalkboards, picture frames and jewelry boxes).   Continue reading »

Aug 102014
 

**Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op**

Sometimes I feel like breakfast is a struggle in my house.  It seems like everyone has different tastes and combine that with my little picky eater – forget about it.  There is one thing that everyone agrees on, though, and that’s oatmeal. We are really big on oatmeal in our house.  That’s why I was pretty psyched when we got to try out the new Nature Valley Bistro Cups where I would be able to make the oatmeal with my Keurig instead of with the microwave.

Introducing New Nature Valley Bistro Cups #BistroCups #PlatefullCoOp

Available in two delicious flavors – Apple Cinnamon Almond or Brown Sugar Pecan — Nature Valley Bistro Cups are not only a smarter breakfast option for you and your family, but also easy to prepare!

Simply pop the Bistro Cup into your Keurig, pour the 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats and Fruit & Nuts pouch into a mug, brew, stir, and enjoy! Continue reading »

Jul 262014
 

This contest has now ended. Congratulations to #190, Alissa
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This review and giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Febreze. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

I recently had the opportunity to take part in a Febreze Noseblind Movie Night Event in which I invited three of my besties over for a movie night. We ended up watching Bridesmaids (this is at least the 4th time we’ve watched this movie together) and eating a ton of popcorn.

Before we started the movie, we were supplied with a link to take a quick survey, which was the noseblind test. After the surveys were completed, I made the popcorn and then we all had to complete another quick survey.  After the movie, popcorn and about a million laughs, it was time for the final survey of the night.

Febreze  #NOSEBLIND

I think we all thought that the noseblind test was pretty interesting. We all agreed that when that when the girls arrived, they could smell the meatballs I had made for our family dinner that night, but after I popped the  popcorn, that smell completely took over. By the end of the night, all we could smell were the Febreze products that I had set up in the house (mainly the plugin). Continue reading »

Jul 052014
 

**Masshole Mommy received two Budsies in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

A stuffed animal made from my boys drawings?

Yes!

I had no idea such a thing existed until recently when I was approached by a company called Budsies and “told that they bring kids’ artwork to life”.  As soon as I heard that, I knew my boys would love to create a Budsie. The way the whole process works is really pretty simple. You have your child draw their Budsie (they can either draw their own or use one of the templates on the website), submit the drawing to www.budsies.com  and in about five weeks the kids hand-sewn, high quality, one of a kind stuffed animal will arrive at your doorstep!

Here are what my boys drew (the six year old’s followed by the nine year old’s):

Budsies Collage Pictures

They both literally asked me every day when their stuffed animals were coming and after about five weeks, their Budsies showed up in the mail.  They couldn’t rip open the box fast enough.   Continue reading »

Apr 262014
 

This contest has now ended. Congratulations to # 320, Amy!
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**Masshole Mommy received one gift card from Wayfair.com in order this review and one is being offered for giveaway. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Sometimes I get frustrated when I look at certain areas of my house because I feel like they are just so plain and boring.  This is one of them:

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Yup, that is my dining room.  It’s attached to my kitchen and combined, those two room are the main hub of my house.  I look at the plain old table every single day and I have been saying for years that it was in some serious need of help.

I bought my house in 2002 and these are the things that I purchased to “decorate” my table way back when I moved in: Continue reading »

Apr 192014
 

This contest has now ended! Congratulations to #26, Alissa!!
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**Masshole Mommy received products at no charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Have you ever bought a package of underwear for your kids and when you actually touched the underwear it felt scratchy?  Ok, so it’s not just me – phew.  I always found that it was especially the case when I purchased character undies for my boys.  If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years of being a mom it’s that uncomfortable kids are cranky kids, so imagine how excited I was when I heard about Lucky & Me.  They are a line of children’s underwear that is made from a luxurious fabric that’s super-soft, smooth to the touch and free of harmful chemicals!  How awesome does that sound, right?

The amazing folks over at Lucky & Me sent over some things for my boys to try out and I couldn’t wait to see what they thought.  Each of them received their own Logan Boys’ Classic Tee Shirt (2-Pack) and one pair of Grayson Boys’ Boxer Briefs each.

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They were so excited about their new duds and put on their undershirts right away. Continue reading »