Apr 162014
 

easter-basket-ideas-for-boys

Traditionally, Easter baskets are filled with candy treats like chocolate bunnies, jelly beans , Peeps and chocolate-marshmallow eggs.  Oh, and that Easter basket grass that gets everywhere and kills your vacuum cleaner.

If you are wanting to celebrate the arrival of the Easter Bunny sans the trip to the dentist, than there are plenty of options that are just as fun for the kids. If you have little boys like I do and aren’t sure what to put in their basket this year besides candy, here is a list of suggestions to get you inspired:

  • One of the easiest routes to go with is his interests. Does he love cars and trucks? How about a Hot Wheels themed Easter basket?
  • Lots of boys are enamored with creepy-crawly bugs, snakes and the like. If you have a bug-catcher on your hands, then why not fill his basket with a butterfly net, a container for specimens and a book all about insects that can help him identify the local neighborhood bugs? Throw some fun stickers in the basket and voila! Continue reading »
Apr 032014
 

Have you ever wondered what the going rate for a babysitter is?  I have.

Back in my day when I used to babysit, I think I cleared $3 or $4 and hour and if anyone offered me more than that – it was like I had hit the lottery.  I remember babysitting one New Years Eve for nice couple that had three kids under the age of five.   The kids were all asleep by the time I got there, so all I had to do was sit there and hang out with Dick Clark.  When they got home around 1 am (a little more than a little tipsy) and the mother handed me a $50 bill as my payment, I’m pretty sure I cried a few tears of joy.

When my kids were younger, I always had family (either my mother or my sister) babysit.  I mean, it doesn’t get much better than free, right?  But now my sister is married & living north of Boston with her new husband and mother is in failing health & can’t handle them like she used to, so I have been starting to explore my options.

I truly had no idea how much a sitter would cost these days, so I did a little crowdsourcing and polled some people on my Facebook page. Continue reading »

Oct 182013
 

Halloween is my favorite holiday and when I was a kid, Trick or Treating was pretty much the highlight of my year.  Now that I’m a mom, I love taking my boys out Trick-or-Treating just as much as I loved it myself.

trick-or-treat

This year, the boys are going trick or treating with their dad (we alternate years), so Chris and I get the night off this year, but  whenever it’s my turn to take the boys out, I try to be as prepared as possible.  It makes my life easier and keeps them happy.

Here are a few things I’m going to do to make life easier – for all of us.

1. Look both ways before you cross the street.  I shouldn’t even have to say that, but you never know, right?

2.  Bring a flashlight with you!
Continue reading »

Oct 102013
 

Here in Massachusetts, particularly in my neck of the woods (near Cape Cod), we have a lot of rotaries.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a rotary is, let me explain.  It’s a a circular shaped road junction where the traffic moves in one direction around a central island.  I’ve also heard rotaries referred to as traffic circles and roundabouts, but around here, they’re rotaries.  For someone that’s not experienced in driving their way through a rotary, they can be vicious – trust me, I know first hand.   I live about 30 seconds from one and drive through it daily.

Keep in mind that I proudly live amongst some of the worst drivers in the country (I am a masshole after all), so this is definitley more of a survival guide than a how-to, but it should help you either way.

Rotaries actually keep the traffic moving a lot faster than conventional intersections with traffic lights & even though they may get backed up a little at rush hour, you’re not going to have to sit there long before it’s your turn to go.

The most important thing that people need to realize when approaching a rotary is that they are ONE WAY.  I’ve witnessed first hand cars going in the wrong direction inside the rotary.  Yes, really – three times as a matter of fact.

rotary

1.  When approaching a rotary, you should yield to oncoming traffic inside the rotary.  You are not required to stop! Only stop if there is no clearance for you to get inside the rotary – if there is no oncoming traffic inside the rotary and you stop upon approaching it – you’re probably going to get rear ended.  If there is no oncoming traffic, go! Continue reading »

Sep 232013
 

Towards the end of the school year last year, my youngest son came home from school one day with a super cute project in which his name was spelled out in different colored pieces of pasta.  I remember thinking when he brought it home that day that colored pasta seemed like a simple, fun project idea and since I am quite possibly the worst mom when it comes to doing crafts with the kids, it was something that they should be able to work with independently.

The only problem?  I had absolutely no idea how to dye the pasta.

colored-pasta

So, I did my research and I’m happy to report that I’m now a pasta dying pro.  It’s so simple to do and there about a million different things that the kids can do with it. Continue reading »

Aug 262013
 

Last night, we made our annual trip to the drive-in.   We all love going, but since it’s such a late night, we only go once a year.  Admission is per car load ($25) and that included two movies.  Since the kids are still young and the movie doesn’t start until it gets dark, we usually only stay for the first one. Last night we saw Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters.

mendon-twin-drive-in-movie-boys

Going to the drive-in theater is so much fun and the kids absolutely love it. The thing is, because you’ll be spending hours there, there are a whole bunch of things you’l need to pack to make the evening go smoothly. Because you’re paying for the car load, you can bring in food, etc, which is nice and can save a bundle in food costs.  Here is everything we bring with us that we’ll need for the night. Continue reading »

Aug 132013
 

Are you on Twitter? If you’re a blogger, you should be. Even if you’re not, you should be. It’s a great way to get to know new people, whether they’re from your local area – or the other side of the world.  Not only that, Twitter is a great tool for sharing your blog posts with the world, so if you blog and you’re not on Twitter, check it out. I was actually on Twitter before I started my blog and it was because of some of the amazing people I met on Twitter that inspired me to start writing.

Granted, there is not necessarily a “correct” way to use twitter, however there are definitley some shenanigans that go on over on Twitter which drive me absolutley bonkers.  And that prompted me to make this handy dandy list of some Twitter Don’ts….and Do’s.

Continue reading »

Jul 292013
 

Today I’m heading to the beach.  For those of you who know me in real life, you probably already know how much I love the beach, but in case  you didn’t know – now you do.

If you’re a parent, going to the beach with the kids involves dragging along so much stuff. I remember the good old days like they were yesterday - you know, when it was just me.  I’d have one bag with all my stuff, so I could just grab it and go.  With kids, it’s a whole different story.  There are several bags and coolers that contain a whole slew of things I never would have thought to drag with me to the beach pre-children.

Here are some things that I think are essential for a great day at the beach with the kids.

1.  Sunblock.  This one is kind of a no-brainer, but I always bring two bottles with me.  The last place I would want to run out of it is while I’m at the place I need it the most.  I use the spray sunblock, which in my opinion, is much easier to apply on squirmy kids, but it’s not always easy to tell when it’s running low, so I bring the second bottle just in case.

2. Beach towels.  I bring two per person.  If you have kids, you know why – they’re messy and one towel is never enough. Continue reading »

Jul 252013
 

I was in Target the other day and they already had their back to school stuff out, so of course the kids wanted to go over and pick out new back packs and stuff.  We don’t go back for over a month, but I suppose it’s never too early to start preparing, right?

For the first year since my boys have been in public schools (my oldest is going into 4th grade), we have to buy our own school supplies.  In previous years, we just gave the PTA a check for $25 and they purchased everything.  I have to admit, it was nice.  Really nice.  Especially since most teachers have a specific list of things that they want the kids to have, it was one less thing that I had to worry about.  But, sadly, there have been some major issues in our school PTA over the past six months, so they have decided to discontinue the school supply program.  Sigh.  And that means I have to buy the stuff myself.

When we were in Target, I didn’t have the list (because I thought the school supplies wouldn’t be out for another couple of weeks), but I remembered the bulk of it, so I bought what I could remember and will grab the rest the next time I go.

I’m already done for the summer, so I can not wait for the kids to go back to school this year.  We have been doing all sorts of fun things this summer, but I am already ready to get back into a routine.
Continue reading »

Jun 272013
 

If you know me in real life, you know I love, LOVE the beach.  We only get about three months of good beach weather here in Massachusetts, but I take full advantage of it.  Here’s the thing – some people are downright rude at the beach.  I have very little patience for inconsiderate people, but there are a few small things that us humans can do to ensure everyone gets along and has an awesome day at the beach.

Here we go……

1.  Please don’t smoke near other people.  My kids don’t need to be inhaling your nasty ass second hand smoke, especially if we’re down-wind of you.  So please have the decency to light up away from other people.  I know, I know….it’s a free country, but come on – it’s gross.

2.  Keep your music to yourself.  It’s a beach – not a nightclub.

3.  When you’re walking by other people, please be careful not to kick sand in their faces.  Taking off your flip flops as soon as you hit the sand usually helps, but giving yourself a little distance from other beach goers will surely do the trick.  And if you instill this in your kids from a young age, it will nip a huge first world problem right in the bud.  For realz.

4.  Along the same line, when you’re packing it up for the day, please don’t shake your towel near other people – especially if the wind is blowing.  An eye full of sand is no fun – trust me, I know from experience.

4.  Most of the time, there are families at the beach, but if you’re there alone with your boyfriend/girlfriend, please don’t grope each other.   No one wants to see that, believe me. Get a room.  Seriously. Continue reading »

Nov 072011
 

Remember a while back I did a post about all sorts of useful household life hacks (shortcuts)?  I got a lot of positive feedback about it, so I decided to share a few more:

1. If you run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispie treats in the pan, the marshmallow won’t stick to your fingers.  I make a lot of Rice Krispie treats and it works. 
 
2.  You can remove grass stains from your clothing by rubbing Karo corn syrup onto stain.  Then just wash as normal.

Continue reading »

Oct 312011
 

Happy Halloween! Halloween is my favorite holiday and when I was a kid, Trick or Treating was pretty much the highlight of the year.  Now that I’m a mom, I love taking my boys out Trick-or-Treating just as much as I loved it myself.

Tonight I’m taking my boys out trick-or-treating solo.  My little man is a handful, so it should be interesting to say the least.  Whenever I take the boys out, I try to be as prepared as possible.  It makes my life easier and keeps them happy.

Continue reading »

Oct 282011
 

Did you know that as a parent, you are lawfully entitled to collect a candy tax on Halloween?  Oh ya, it’s a federally mandated law. I’m sure of it.

Basically, any child who collects a large quantity of candy when they go out trick-or-treating on Halloween is subject to the tax.  This percentage is up to and including any and all Milk Duds (or you can insert your favorite candy here), if the amount constitutes 10% or less of the total haul.  However, if your kid winds up with some outrageously large amount of candy – say a large pillowcase full of it,  the candy is then subject to a 15% Candy Tax.  The candy tax covers the time and stress of the parent having to manually inspect each piece before the kiddos dig in. 

Continue reading »

Oct 262011
 

If you ever find yourself right in the middle of a horror movie type scenario, here are a few tips on surviving the ordeal:

1.  Never, ever, become a camp councelor.

2.  Whenever it appears that you have killed who ever or what ever is after you,  NEVER check to see if it’s really dead.

3.  You will need to uproot your life & move out of your home immediately if you ever find out that you’re living on an old Indian burial ground, in an old insane asylum or you find out satanic worship was ever practiced in your house.

4.  Never, under any circumstances, use a Ouija board.  This one’s for realz folks.  I kid you not, Ouija boards are one of the few things in life that really scare me.

Continue reading »

Oct 142011
 

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you may remember a few weeks back when I posted a tweet asking about tipping tattoo artists.  I had an appointment to get some new ink and I had always tipped in the past (and planned on tipping this time), but I was curious to see where other people stood on the subject.  Surprisingly, I got a mix of answers that ranged from “of course you tip them” to “they make more than enough off the tattoo itself that there is no need for a tip”.  So I decided to do a little research and see if there was some sort of “master list” of tipping rules.  FYI – no such thing exists, but I found enough compelling evidence to support tipping tattoo artists (and many other people that provide services) that I decided to start my own master list of whom to tip and how much of a tip is generally suggested.

Continue reading »

Oct 072011
 

If anyone were to ask me what the one essential item that I think every home owner needs to have on hand at all times, my answer would be simple:  duct tape.  Because whenever I have the chance to buy anything in the color pink – I do, so my duct tape is….you guessed it, pink.  I use duct tape all the time for just about anything and everything.

Here are some clever uses for duct tape:

Continue reading »

Oct 052011
 

My boys are still much too young for cell phones of their own, but even at their ages (four and seven), they know what it means to text and eventually, they will start asking for their own phones.  My 14 year old stepson does have a cell phone and he basically has his freedom with it.  He’s a really, really good kid and never gets into any trouble, but it got me thinking about the what if’s.  He’s in high school now and I’m not naive about what goes on in teenagers heads.  Even though it was quite a while ago now, I still remember what it was like – the only difference now is that there is all of this technology at their fingertips and they can stay in constant contact about god knows what.  

Continue reading »

Oct 042011
 

I love going out to eat.  I wish I could say it was because I liked to try new things, but that’s not always the case…I just like to go out and not having to cook for a change.  I’m pretty lucky in so far as that my two boys go with their dad at least one night a week, so I get a chance to go out with my husband alone sometimes, which is pretty nice I have to admit.  I love my kids, but taking them out to eat can sometimes be a challenge and there is definitley some planning involved when they come out to restaurants with us.

Here are five things I do to help ensure things go well while we’re eating out at a restaurant with the kids:

Continue reading »

Sep 232011
 

We all know that cleaning our teeth is the primary (and obviously the most important) reason for using toothpaste, but did you know that toothpaste has many other uses around the house?  Since my recent post on some useful household life hacks seemed to be pretty popular, I decided to share these great shortcuts – using toothpaste.  Here we go….

1.  Remove crayon marks from walls.

2. Eliminate food odors from your hands (ie onions or fish).

3.  Remove scratches from CD’s.

Continue reading »