Nov 282016
 

Teaching your Children to Help Out Around the House

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Does it seem like your house is never clean, despite wasting your day away picking up? Chances are you have kids! Children tend to be messy, both when playing and even eating. It can be frustrating as a parent to be responsible for all this mess, especially if your children are getting older. Instead of following those kiddos around, constantly picking up their messes, try getting them involved in the cleaning process instead. Here are some great tips you can use to help teach your child to help out around the house.

One Toy Rule

Start with the one toy rule. Not sure how this rule works? Basically, each child gets to start with one toy to play with. It can be any toy in the house, but that’s the only toy they’re allowed to have out. Once they’re done playing with their toy, they need to put it away before they can grab something else to play with. This will help keep your house clean and toy-free so that there’s not an overwhelming mess by 9 am. Continue reading »

Nov 272016
 

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If you are a regular around here you already know that my youngest son was finally diagnosed with ADD earlier this year. It was a very long process and it truly felt like an uphill battle for a long time, but once we got confirmation of what we already knew – his dad and I fought hard to make sure he got all the help he needed.

We worked with the school and were happy that he qualified for an IEP (Individual Education Plan). Part of the plan was placing him in an inclusion classroom for this current school year. His teacher is ah-mazing and he’s got a wonderful teacher’s aide in the classroom for half of his day. He’s been working really, really hard and is making some huge progress this year thanks to the help of his teachers.  Obviously this makes my heart very happy.

Back in September at the school open house night, I met his teacher for the first time (although we had already emailed back and forth several times by then) and I asked her if she used parent volunteers in her classroom.  Surprisingly not all teachers do, but she was thrilled that I asked and I started volunteering a few mornings a week in her 3rd grade classroom the following week. I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me to be involved like this.  I am loving getting to know all the kids in the class and seeing what my son is up to during his school day, too.

The kids in my son’s classroom are awesome. They are seriously an awesome bunch of kids, so I want to bring them (and the two teachers) a treat.  These Santa Hat Cupcakes are perfect, right? I used a cake mix to make the cupcakes, so they were easy to whip up and come on – they are adorable, right?

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Nov 162016
 

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Anyone that knows me in real life knows that I always have a bracelet on.  I seriously never leave the house without one (or a stack of them) around my wrist.  So imagine my excitement when I got an email from Rachel, the owner of Mama’s Linkz Jewelry asking if I wanted to check out one of her bracelets.

Uh, YES!

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Rachel creates jewelry specifically designed to remind us of the connections we share with those who give us strength, comfort and meaning in our lives. It’s through this simple reminder that this jewelry line taps into a powerful energy of healing, comfort and peace in which a loved one can connect with you anywhere in the world. On her site she has bracelets that are perfect for mothers, daughters, grandmother, aunts, fathers, sons….as you can see, she has something for everyone. Continue reading »

Oct 032016
 

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I’m sure I can’t possibly be alone when I say that I love shoes. By shoes I of course mean boots, flip flops, sandals, flats, heels, the whole nine yards. I know not all women are into shoes but I am definitely part of the stereotype and I’m a proud shoe lover! There’s nothing I like more than making sure my tootsies are warm, cozy, and comfortable as we head into the fall and winter months. I like my boots to be stylish but also effective at providing comfort…let’s face it, I’m all about comfort!

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The Naot Gazania is an awesome boot. They’re a low, lace up, calf height boot. They have a zipper and laces which is awesome for me. I like that I can adjust them for the perfect fit but then easily put them on and remove them with the zipper. Another really great feature of these boots is the sole. It has about a million layers of comforty goodness…okay not a million but there are a bunch! The Gazania boot has a cork and latex footbed which is great for breathability and moisture absorption; the whole insole is then wrapped in suede and overtime your footprint is molded right in there. Nothing better than feeling like your shoe is meant only for your own foot. It’s like heaven in there! Continue reading »

Aug 082016
 

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When I was a kid in school my two least favorite subjects were math and science.  I hated math because I am just not good at it (to this day I still stink at it) and I remember being bored in science class.  Now that I am an adult, I wish I had listened more in science because a lot of that knowledge is relevant in my adult life, but hey – I thought I knew it all back then and wouldn’t have listened to my future self anyways.

Anyhow, now I’m the mom and both of my boys love science and math.  They especially like science and because of that, we do lots of science experiments in our house.  It makes my heart happy that they are learning and don’t even know it.  Because my boys love doing science experiments so much, when MEL Science asked me to check out some of their chemistry sets I just couldn’t refuse.  Especially since the kids are on summer vacation and I want to make sure I keep their brains active while they’re away from school.

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MEL Science is changing science education through a subscription service of nearly 100 interactive chemistry sets chocked full of experiments per year with free mobile apps for iPads, iPhones, Android smartphones and tablets. Even cooler, MEL Science kits are VR-based, and the kit’s complementary Google Cardboard device integrates perfectly with VR to emphasize 3D graphics, macro photos, and videos that allow both kids, parents, and science buffs to view molecules up-close. Here’s a YouTube video of the MEL Science chemistry kit in action. Continue reading »

Jul 252016
 

My husband, Christian, and I are self-proclaimed foodies.  And by that I mean that we like to eat.  Scratch that….we love to eat.

Christian and I had a chance a day off from the kids recently and around 1 pm, we both looked at each other and realized we hadn’t eaten lunch – which explained the rumbles coming from our tummies.  We were in the area, so we decided to have lunch at the new (ish) Bonefish Grill located at University Station in Westwood, MA. This is only our second time dining at the Bonefish Grill and since the last time we went was for brunch, we decided to go for lunch this time so that we could try out their new seasonal summer menu.

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The wood-grilled fresh fish experts at Bonefish Grill launched their new seasonal menu last month and it features delights like fresh, hand-cut simply grilled Wild Salmon, Rockfish with Citrus Aioli + Shrimp topping and Dayboat Scallops — sushi grade George’s Bank scallops on a bed of creamy corn risotto topped with crispy bacon, lemon butter drizzle and green beans. Continue reading »

Jun 292016
 

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I’ve struggled with weight all my life. Sometimes I am down, sometimes I am up and other times I am way up.  I am in one of those way up phases at the current moment, but I am hoping to change that soon. The thing about me is that I like to eat and I truly enjoy food. Especially comfort foods.  Noms.

When it comes to cutting back, though, the real trick is not cutting out the things you love, it’s eating less of them and with the help of The Perfect Portion Cookbook I am learning to do just that.  The Perfect Portion Cookbook includes 150 Guilt-Free Comfort Food Recipes using Happy Days’ TV star and director Anson Williams 100-Calorie Counting System to Stay Fit and Healthy.

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This cookbook was inspired by Happy Days TV star and director Anson Williams’ own challenge to remain healthy, fit and energetic at the age of 65. It is a first-of-its kind, food-loving guide that tackles the timeless question of how much to eat with a simple idea of a 100-calorie counting system applied to the best-loved American comfort foods. Co-writers Bob Warden, a New York Times best-selling cookbook author and Mona Dolgov, a top nutritionist have made over 150 guilt-free recipes from mac & cheese to lasagna that are clearly shown in simple 100-calorie portion servings. Now you can eat what you want in the portion that is right for you. Continue reading »

May 022016
 

Bra shopping.  Ladies, what comes to mind when I say those words?  A feeling of dread? You’re definitely not alone.  Bra shopping is the worst, right? That’s what I used to think, too, but not anymore. Stay tuned because I am going to tell you how bra shopping can actually be fun. Yes, FUN!

So, here’s what typically happens when I go bra shopping:

1. Walk into Target.
2. Grab a bra in my size (or what ever the size of the last bra I bought was) and buy it without trying it on – because, well, who has time for that?
3. Try it on and spend the next month being uncomfortable until I wash it about 25-30 times and it stretches out and actually fits me half way decently.

Seriously, though. I am a mom and who has time for bra shopping? As long as I have a bra, I am happy. If if doesn’t fit perfectly, so be it – at least I am wearing one, right?

Wrong!!

**I was provided complimentary product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

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I recently discovered Peach and they are on a mission to change bra shopping forever. Peach is on a mission to inspire every woman to feel beautiful and confident in her own skin. They are here to help you fill your top two drawers with bras that actually fit and high quality panties.  The best part is they make it easy and I can’t wait to tell you all about how it works. Continue reading »

Apr 052016
 

The latest and greastest from Hasbro for Tween Boys

Has the Yo-Kai Watch craze hit your house yet?  It hit here right around Christmas time and has been going strong ever since.  Each of my boys got the Yo-Kai Watch 3DS game for Christmas and when we found out there were a line of Yo-Kai Watch products out there, my kids were thrilled.

Now that my boys are getting older (they are 8 & 11), finding toys they like is getting to be a bit of a challenge.  My little guy still loves toys, but his tween bother is too cool for a lot of things these days.  Luckily Hasbro has toys for every age group covered and here are a few of their latest and greatest toys for tween boys.

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Experience the world of Yo-kai Watch with the Yo-kai Watch and Medals (watch sold with 2 exclusive medals, watch and additional medals each sold separately, subject to availability). Fans can imagine summoning Yo-kai characters, and when used with the medals, the Yo-kai watch plays sounds, music, and phrases. Insert one of the collectible medals displaying a Yo-kai into the watch to hear the character’s name, tribe song and more sounds. The Yo-kai watch recognizes over 100 collectible medals planned to be released through December 1, 2016. (Dates and number of medals subject to change. Check yokaiwatch.hasbro.com for planned release dates. Website not available in all languages or markets. Watch and medals each sold separately and subject to store availability.) The Yo-kai watch toy comes with 2 exclusive medals and batteries. Kids can get started exploring the wacky world of the Yo-kai with the Yo-kai Watch! Continue reading »

Apr 042016
 

NewAir water dispenser review
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Keeping hydrated is important and my doctor requested that I drink at least 10-12 glasses of water a day. Also you good people who work out regularly, know how important keeping hydrated is. If you are like me, you don’t like drinking from the tap. And all those water bottles aren’t good for the environment. Not to mention having lots of them in my car or the grandkids bedrooms!

I was looking into a solution, when I was given the opportunity from Masshole Mommy to review a new water dispenser from the NewAir Company. I checked out their website at http://www.newair.com.

After looking at several models I, decided on model WAT40 in black. This model is also available in white. I picked the black to match my other appliances. What else drew me to this unit was that the size was perfect and it would fit at the end of my cabinets and blend in well. But what really got me excited was the fact that the water bottle was hidden in the base of the unit. The NewAir WAT40 is a great convenient way to get all the fresh clean water you want. As I said the biggest selling point for me was that the large water bottle is hidden away in the base of the unit. All you do in open the cabinet in the front, remove the cap from the bottle and put in the pump nozzle, push it down to the bottom of the bottle, slide the bottle into the unit and close the door. It is that easy! No spills or lifting heavy bottles. The water is then pumped into stainless steel tanks. Being stainless steel, the tanks are 100% BPA free. Continue reading »

Mar 232016
 

If you know me in real life, you know I am never seen in public without a bracelet.  Aside from my “signature” red eyeglasses, bracelets are my favorite way to accessorize. While I am madly in love with silver bracelets from a very popular Rhode Island based brand, they don’t have much in the way of color if you know what I’m sayin’.  I still own twenty something of them, but I do like to add a pop of color to my wrist when I wear them.

Cue JVTV the Jeweler!

JVTV the Jeweler designs luxury bracelets for both men and women. Jeff and Teresa are JVTV the Jeweler and they just recently launched their Boston based (yay Boston) business. Teresa is a fashion blogger and her industry knowledge helps come up with new designs. Jeff works in IT, so design and attention to detail are his forte. Jeff & Teresa use only the highest quality materials and all items are handmade by them.

I can personally attest to the quality of a bracelet from JVTV the Jeweler.  I received this lovely ping glass beaded bracelet last week and have worn it every day since.

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As soon as I opened the package I could clearly see how much detail went into making the bracelet. Continue reading »

Mar 072016
 

Head into Spring With Stylish Accessories From the ClaudiaG Collection

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The ClaudiaG Collection is a national designer brand of boutique-style gorgeously handcrafted and sophisticated handbags, accessories and trendy jewelry. The ClaudiaG Collection just launched their new Spring & Summer Collection full of bold, beautiful colors and I am excited to tell you more about the company and an amazing direct sales business opportunity with them today.

Not only does ClaudiaG offer a stunning line of products, the company also provides a unique, life-changing business opportunity for women looking to design their life with flexible hours and the opportunity for personal growth and financial independence. ClaudiaG is the only business in the direct sales industry offering a full and complete line of genuine leather handbags, all exquisitely designed in exclusive limited editions. Continue reading »

Mar 022016
 

Please and Carrots A Learning Toy Subscription to Support Milestones
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Babies sure are cute aren’t they?  It’s been a while since my two boys were babies (le sigh), but thankfully I have a five sisters in law who have had eight babies between them within the past five years, so I get my baby fix pretty regularly!  My newest niece is only four weeks old and I can’t wait to meet her next week when she comes up with her mom, dad, older sister and older brother from Connecticut.  The same weekend, my 7  month old nephew is coming up from his home in NYC (with his mom and dad) to stay with us for the weekend.  It’s going to be so much fun to have a baby in the house again – even if it is only for a few days.

The thing about babies is they change so much during the first few years.  It almost seems like sometimes it literally happens overnight. Do you ever wonder which toys are best for your baby’s development?  Please and Carrots is the solution.

Please and Carrots is a quarterly subscription box that contains learning toys, books and activities tailored to each age and stage of development. This service is a bit different because it’s quarterly instead of monthly. So instead of receiving a box once a month, you will receive a new box once every three months. Continue reading »

Jan 122016
 

My Experience With ThermiSmooth™ and BodyFX™

Do you remember when I told you about my consultation with Dr. Petropoulos last month? She’s a cosmetic surgeon located north of Boston and when I met with her, she introduced me to Botox. While I was talking with Dr. Petropoulos, I mentioned how unhappy I was with my saddle bags and asked her what I could do about them.

For those of you who aren’t sure what I mean by “saddle bags”, they are these thick fat deposits on the tops of the outside of my thighs. Sadly, I inherited mine at birth and like every other female in my family, I have spent many hours trying to exercise them away – and honestly, no amount of exercise makes fat that dense go away.  It just doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve been trying for years.

*Disclosure:  I was provided with complimentary services in exchange for sharing them here.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

After Dr. Petropoulos looked at my saddle bags, she said that what I really needed was Liposuction in the area to get rid of the fat completely.  I am not against having liposuction done, but we decided to try to tackle them with a combination of two procedures that they do right in the office. We did a combination of ThermiSmooth™ and BodyFX™. Continue reading »

Nov 092015
 

Created as a way to offer fashion savvy customers trendy bags that won’t break the bank, Olivia + Joy represents the hottest handbags and accessory styles of the moment. They deliver the right trend at exactly the right moment. Pretty, sexy and edgy all at the same time, Olivia + Joy offers studs and chains as well as ruffles and bows with a new twist. The collection features color palettes that vary from black and white for the rocker girl to muted pastels for the girly girl. The line also includes all of the newest twists on well-known silhouettes, such as convertible mini bags with removable straps that turn into a clutch, and much more!

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The Zap Zoom Tote from the Olivia + Joy collection is the perfect example of the stylish and cute options to choose from in the collection. Priced at just $98 it’s a steal for a fraction of the price that other trendy bags go for in big boutiques, so, you’ll be able to look and feel fabulous without having to clean out your bank account. Continue reading »

Oct 222015
 

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With the holidays just around the corner and holiday breaks from public schools looming on the horizon, it’s a good idea to try and plan out as much of those vacation days as possible. In our home we’ve had firsthand experience how an unproductive and boring holiday break can be for our children and have had our fair share of moaning and groaning when there wasn’t anything fun to do while on vacation. This year we have our bases covered with a handful of pre-planned activities, family visits and the all new Skylanders Superchargers game.

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Available on Wii, WiiU, Nintendo DS 2, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4, Skylanders Superchargers takes place when Skylands is in peril, threatened by villain Kaos and his most evil weapon yet- the Doom Station of Ultimate Doomstruction. As all of Skyland is threatened by the evil villain and on the verge of utter collapse, it’s up to the special team called the Superchargers to save the day. Assembled to pilot a fleet of unstoppable incredible vehicles, the Superchargers are tasked with saving Skylands and taking down Kaos once and for all. Your gamer will partner with the Superchargers team to pilot incredible machines over land, under the sea and through the skies to stop Kaos and his plan to destroy Skylands! Continue reading »

Sep 232015
 

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From Amazon:

HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE.

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

Fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train will thrill at “the perfect page-turner to start your summer” (People, Book of the Week): Luckiest Girl Alive—described by Reese Witherspoon as “one of those reads you just can’t put down!”

Loved Gone Girl? We promise [Luckiest Girl Alive is] just as addictive.”
Good Housekeeping

Continue reading »

Sep 122015
 

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Toys are everything when you are a kid, am I right?  I have so many fond memories of playing with my dolls and other toys when I was a kid and now that I’m the mom, it brings me so much joy to see my kids using their imaginations to play.  That’s why I was so excited to get some awesome new toys recently from my friends at Hasbro.  I can’t wait to tell you all about them.

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Easy Bake Ultimate Oven Baking Star Edition Continue reading »

Sep 062015
 

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Masshole Mommy and I really enjoy sitting down in the evenings after the kids are in bed and watching some tv together.  Being the patient husband that I am, I put up with her shows (Dancing with the Stars and American Idol), but there is one show that we both really like and enjoy equally.

The Vampire Diaries.

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If you keep up with the show, you know that they are going to start airing the 7th season next month & Masshole Mommy and I are definitely ready.

The Vampire Diaries is a really great show. It has everything for for both women and men.  I will briefly talk about the female aspect- Six words: Damon, Stephan and Elena love triangle.  Blah, blah, etc, etc.

Now I will talk about why guys will like it.  There is fighting,  blood and guts, double crossing and lots of back stabbing. Then there is Katherine, the sex craving “bad girl” vampire, who literally does not care who she hurts to get what she wants. Oh and then there is my personal favorite <3 Caroline.  She is the blond bombshell that keeps everyone else on the show in line. There are werewolfs and witches that work together or betray each other- depending on the day.  You never know what is going to happen and who is going to kill who.

The story-line goes back a thousand years with flash backs to different time periods like the middle ages and the roaring 1920’s along the way. I love that the vampires have super strength, speed and my personal favorite compulsion (think of it like hypnotizing someone).  There are epic battles between the sides with people switching sides on a whim. Continue reading »

Aug 112015
 

Sometimes it doesn’t seem as though there is much hope left in the day. What if you could receive hope in a box? Well, I did and I loved it! Are you wondering what H.O.P.E. in a Box is? Well, it offers inspirational gift ideas and Christian gifts. If you’re struggling what to send someone or just want to lift them up, then HOPE in a Box is an awesome ideas.

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Disclosure: I was recently sent a gift box H.O.P.E (Hang On Pray Everyday)! Opinions are all mine and were not influenced in any way.

What I really liked about HOPE in a Box is that there are boxes for everyone. There’s not a one box fits all, there are many options to choose from. I got the “Hope in a Box for Mom” box and I loved it! I received a coffee mug, blanket, and inspirational cards. Continue reading »

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