Apr 252017
 

may 5th Mexican recipes for cinco de mayo

Cinco de Mayo, otherwise known as May 5th, is next week! Around here in our house, we have a true love affair with Mexican food.  Not that my family ever needs an excuse to eat Mexican, but if Cinco de Mayo isn’t the perfect day for it, I don’t know what is!

I am already busy over here planning out my menu for Cinco de Mayo.  Since it’s a celebratory holiday for our neighbors to the south, I feel semi-obligated to help them celebrate it by cooking up a Mexican feast.  As I was combing the internet trying to narrow down my Cinco de Mayo menu, I ended up coming up with approximately 20 of the best recipes out there. Now I am in a quandary because I don’t know which ones to make and I am afraid the feast for my family is going to end up turning into a party for the whole neighborhood.

Anyhow, here are all the amazing recipes I rounded up.  I hope you scroll through them and find a few that you like, too!

20+ Perfect Recipes for Your Cinco de Mayo Menu

Mini Taco Stuffed Peppers
http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2014/08/mini-taco-stuffed-peppers.html Continue reading »

Apr 242017
 

Daffodils at Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich

If you’re heading to Cape Cod and you’re looking for a great way to spend the day, you should definitely consider visiting Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich. I spent a good part of my childhood in Sandwich because my aunt and uncle used to rent a beach cottage on North Shore Blvd from a friend of theirs every summer. I fondly remember visiting the Heritage Plantation (what it was called back then) with my grandmother and aunt. These days it’s called the Heritage Museums & Gardens and it’s just as wonderful as I remember it being when I was younger.

More than 100,000 people visit the Heritage Museums & Gardens annually to spend time in the three gallery buildings that house special and permanent exhibitions, peruse the gardens, play in Hidden Hollow and more.  There is so much to see and do at the Heritage Museums & Gardens and it is safe to say that is something for everyone there. Continue reading »

Apr 232017
 

Mother’s Day is coming up quick you guys. It’s May 14th! Have you put any thought on what to get for mom this year because if not, I bet she would love something homemade. I know lots of other moms and we love. love, love homemade gifts and that is one of the reasons that this Mother’s Day Napkin Holder is perfect. Not only is it easy to make, it’s useful and mom will love it.

Mother’s Day Napkin Holder

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Apr 182017
 

Did you just get an Instant Pot for a holiday gift or birthday present and have no idea what is next? Maybe you read the manual and the *beginner’s guide* (link to the first article!). Now, you’re ready to start cooking! Before you get started, there are a few things I want you to know. You can cook healthier foods with your Instant Pot from simple entrees to gourmet dishes. I also want to show you that you can use your Instant Pot daily which can make it one of the most valuable appliances in your kitchen.

How to Cook Healthy Foods in Your Instant Pot

Easy does it. If you’re a beginner, start off easy. Skip long or heavy recipes until you get the hang of it. With simple recipes with few ingredients, you can learn how to make adjustments and discover how the Instant Pot works. You will learn how your food cooks and what you might need to read up on to truly master your Instant Pot. Try rice to learn the rice cooker setting and shredded meat to learn how to make your meat flavorful.

Start with a whole chicken. If you’re not sure how to get going with your Instant Pot, a whole chicken could be just what you need. While there are many recipes online for a whole chicken in your Instant Pot, you can add your own flair with seasonings and broth. Don’t forget that your Instant Pot should always have a cup of liquid in your pot when you cook. Continue reading »

Apr 182017
 

Summer is coming up quick (yay) and for me and so many others, summer means heading to the beach. I can practically smell the beach air already……

When I go to the beach I stay for the whole day and what better way to pass the time than to read while I’m there. Often times I can bang out an entire book in one day and I usually start planning my summer reading list around this time every year. My tastes vary, so there are many genres of books on my list each year, but sometimes I just want to immerse myself in book where I can just escape and block out the rest of the world.  When I want that escape, there’s nothing better than a romance novel.

5 Reasons to Read a Romance Novel This Summer

1. They’re Steamy
Get your mind out of the gutter – in romance novels sex is a healthy activity that is enjoyed by two consenting adults who usually end up falling in love by the end of the book. Some of the scenes in the books are quite steamy, so if you’re at the beach and those parts of the books make you blush – people will just think you have a sunburn.  Plus who knows, these types of books can inspire new things in your own sex life….. Continue reading »

Apr 172017
 

My family has a fun tradition whenever we go out to the movies.  During the previews, if they show one for a movie we like and want to see – we give it a thumbs up. If it looks like a movie we want to sit out, thumbs down. Sometimes our thumbs up/down ratings during the previews are more fun than the actual movie.

Netflix caught on to the thumbs up and thumbs down rating system and have already implemented it (which you may have already noticed if you’ve watched anything on Netflix recently). You may remember that previously it was a 0-5 stars rating system, but now they’re all thumbs.

As you probably already know, Netflix caters to your entertainment preferences specifically, but when you have a full house of differing personalities and ages like mine, sometimes content recommendations can go off the rails. By setting up individual Netflix profiles for everyone in the family you can thumbs down a show like Beat Bugs without feeling bad and keep your own personal queue in tip-top shape. The new Netflix rating system and profile might just be one of the few things in your house that are uniquely yours.

Pro tip: create a “Family Time” profile so you can keep track and discover new recommendations when the whole family is watching together.

Netflix thumbs up and thumbs down rating system

But it doesn’t stop there, the personalized Netflix profile isn’t a single feature, it’s a full experience. In addition to the new thumbs interface, Netflix will also be introducing a percent match score for many of its titles. The percent match score is based on your own viewing patterns and habits—not on the overall quality of a title. It is a unique score that helps match members with their next favorite show, making your next binge just a click away. Continue reading »

Apr 162017
 

cocoa-pebbles-donuts

What’s your favorite cereal?  Hands down mine is Cocoa Pebbles and you can be guaranteed that no matter when you walk into my house, there is a box of Cocoa Pebbles handy.  I would literally live on them if I could.

Anyhow, one of my sister’s in law inspired me to get a little creative with my Cocoa Pebbles.  She makes these ah-mazing Fruity Pebbles bars (like Rice Krispie treats, but with Fruity Pebbles instead).  They are seriously awesome, but after a little thought, I decided that I could make something pretty awesome out of my Cocoa Pebbles.  So I did.  I made these awesome Cocoa Pebbles donuts and to say they’re a hit in my house is a complete understatement. As soon as I make them, they’re gone.  Seriously – within 30 minutes.

donuts9

You’re intrigued, right?  Here’s the recipe:

Cocoa Pebbles Donuts

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 Cups cocoa pebbles cereal
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • White Wilton chocolate melts
  • Sprinkles
  • 1/2 tablespoons butter or non stick cooking spray

Continue reading »

Apr 122017
 

Have you thought about organizing your kitchen cabinets lately? I opened one of mine yesterday and a bunch of stuff fell on me, so I figured it was time for a little cleaning and reorganization. Honestly, it doesn’t take much to get started and to keep them organized and here are some easy tips to get you started on organizing those kitchen cupboards.

Tips for Cleaning & Organizing the Kitchen Cupboards

Clean out the cabinets first.

Before you decide to organize the kitchen cupboards, take the time to clean them out. This is the perfect time to get rid of all broken Tupperware out of the cabinets. If there’s something you don’t want to keep, then now is the time to throw it out.

Take out all of the dishes.

In order to organize the cupboards like they should be done, take out all of the dishes in the cupboard. I try to be incredibly careful during this part because I don’t want to break any dishes. I set all of the dishes on the table until it’s time to put them back into the cupboards. Continue reading »

Apr 112017
 

Now that my son is older, I find myself looking for things to keep myself busy while not breaking the bank. My friend and I decided to look for inexpensive and/or free things to do, and that was the inspiration behind our Adventure Girls Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/adventuregirls0608/) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Adventuregirls0608/). We love to get out and do things, but New England winters are tricky so we had to find things indoors to do.

One of my favorite places to find bargains is Groupon. You can find almost anything on there, and we found a Plant Nite that piqued our interest.

I will be the first to admit that I do NOT have a green thumb; I have killed pretty much every plant I’ve ever had, and quickly. I wasn’t, however, letting that deter me from trying this out. These nights are located all over the US and there were lots here in Massachusetts to choose from. We wanted to stay close to home with the often-uncertain weather conditions here in New England during the winter, so we chose a local restaurant. Continue reading »

Apr 102017
 

I’ve hosted several Easter dinners at my house over the years, but this year I am happy to say I’m just a guest. My parents are hosting this year, but of course I can’t show up to their house empty handed.  Since my parents are making the meal (and they are feeding 12 people, so I know it’s a lot of work), I offered to bring a dessert – actually, I had told them I would bring a couple of Easter desserts because I want to make sure there’s enough for everyone.

That left me with the big decision of what to make.  I spent some time searching the internet for festive Easter desserts and treats the other day and came up with more than I could ever possibly make – but they were sure fun to look at. Here are some of the yummy recipes I found:

Easter Blossom Cookies
http://mykitchencraze.com/easter-blossom-sugar-cookies/

Italian Easter Bread
http://bakewithchristina.com/italian-easter-bread/#comment-5976

Carrot Cupcakes
http://www.justataste.com/carrot-cupcakes-with-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe/

Bunny Cupcakes
http://www.pillsburybaking.com/recipes/bold-tie-dyed-layer-cake-8660 Continue reading »

Apr 092017
 

Homework stinks, right? No kid wants to come home from an entire day at school only to come home to do more work. As much as I wish they would just abolish the whole homework thing, I am pretty sure it’s not going anywhere any time soon, so I wanted to come up with a way to make homework a little more fun. These Pom Pom Monsters Pencil Toppers are super easy to make and my kids both love them. They’re not a toy per se, so I found that they didn’t distract my kids from their homework, but both of my boys definitely didn’t mind doing their homework quite as much once they had some little pom pom monsters to help them do it.

Pom Pom Monsters Pencil Toppers

Continue reading »

Apr 072017
 

Spring break is almost here and Foxwoods has some really cool free events lined up to keep the little ones busy.

Free activities:

  • Face Painting ~ Mondays
  • Balloon Characters ~ Tuesdays
  • Xbox and Playstation Games
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Giant Jenga, Tic Tac Toe & Connect 4
  • Cornhole

**Located at the 25th Anniversary Celebration Zone across from Great Cedar Casino.

If you and your family want to catch a movie, check out these free movies being shown in the Grand Theater:

Continue reading »

Apr 052017
 

Freezer meals are a quick way to meal plan healthy dishes. The main idea is to freeze some of your meals for use at a later day. You can cook the meals ahead of time, freeze them, and heat it up at dinner time in an oven, on the stove, or even in a slow cooker. It saves you a lot of time and energy throughout the week, and it helps you stay on track with your healthy eating goals.

Here are a few ideas for easy freezer meals for your family. It is important to note that there are two different ways of “freezer meals.” The first is by adding ingredients to a freezer bag and freezing. The second way is preparing the actual meal first (in the oven or on the stove) and freezing it. Both ways have their benefits, but the second way provides a way to slash prep time. You just simple defrost, heat up, and serve.

Easy Freezer Meal Ideas

Baked Macaroni and Cheese. Create a comfort meal for everyone with mac and cheese! It is a classic dish that is much tastier when made from scratch. Skip the powdered cheese and make your own with whole wheat noodles (or even vegetable pasta if you dare!), cheddar and low-fat cottage cheese, some vegetables like spinach and broccoli, and cream. Bake, cool, and freeze the entire container. What a time saver! Continue reading »

Apr 032017
 

Disclosure: Post sponsored by Mirum Shopper, but as always, all opinions are my own!

I am so happy that spring has finally sprung up here in Boston.  In all honesty, winter wasn’t too bad this year (coming from a girl who is still traumatized from the 4 feet of snow we had on the ground at once a few winters ago). I am so happy we made it through this winter with only a blizzard or two and I am ready for spring like you would not believe.

With the change in seasons, I like to not only spring clean my house, but spring clean my menu, too. I have a picky eater in the house and we all definitely have our favorites around here, but change can be good – and  with the nice weather, I was inspired to try something new. Especially with the great deals going on at Shaw’s! Starting 4/24 you can save $10 instantly when you spend $30 on participating Unilever products like Hellmann’s, Knorr and Lipton.

Score!

Online they have tons of delicious sounding recipes, and it has been so warm this week, the four of us decided to have dinner outside on the deck. But what’s dinner outside without an amazing beverage to wash it down. I ran over to Shaw’s the other day and picked up the ingredients I needed to make this amazing recipe for Lipton Mega Mint Iced Tea that I found. Continue reading »

Apr 032017
 

Can you believe that Easter is right around the corner. This year is flying by, and soon we will be coloring Easter eggs and having scavenger hunts. I thought it could be fun to share some really inexpensive Easter inspired crafts that are from the Dollar Store. You don’t have to be super crafty to do these! Plus if you have children, they could really enjoy helping make some of these.

Below you will find a list of different Dollar Store Easter Crafts for you to create this year. You could give these as gifts to friends and loved ones, or use to decorate your home with. Either way they are fun to create and adorable to look at!

Dollar Store Easter Inspired Decor For The Home

DIY Spring Wreath (The Happy Housie): In five minutes you can create this simple, yet adorable spring wreath. Everyone will be asking where you bought this beautiful piece.

Easter Mason Jars (Mason Jar Crafts): These are beyond adorable, and would be great to display on your kitchen table or on a shelf! If you can’t find a mason jar at your store, just buy a neat jar! Anything will work!

Easter Nest Hurricane Glass (Salt and Pepper Moms): This is a stunning piece and would look gorgeous to display in your home for Easter. Continue reading »

Apr 022017
 

If you’re hosting Easter dinner this year, you can totally wow your guests with this delicious Cadbury Creme Egg Dip! Seriously, I have seen many jaws drop over the years when people walk into my house and see the dip sitting there in all its glory on my kitchen island.  The best part is that it’s insanely easy to make, so if you’re in a hurry, you can make this dip in just a few minutes. If you love Cadbury Creme Eggs, you are going to want to try this dip recipe. I promise, you will thank me – it’s divine. Like eyes rolling back in your head divine. Really.

Cadbury Creme Egg Dip

Here’s what you need:

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup Butter, softened
  • 7 Cadbury Creme Eggs

Continue reading »

Mar 292017
 

The Mount Washington Valley area of New Hampshire is one of my favorite parts of the state to visit. Made up of eight villages, it is almost like taking a step back in time when you visit the area.  In the heart of Mt. Washington Valley, you’ll undoubtedly end up in North Conway and once you visit, you will definitely want to stay. Cathedral Ledge Resort is located in North Conway, New Hampshire, is just a little over two hours from Boston and if you’re looking for a place to stay in the area – this is it.

There are a couple of options when staying at Cathedral Ledge Resort. You can choose to rent a Bungalow or a Townhouse. My family stayed in a townhouse, but I am going to tell you about both of your options – so that way if you are planning on booking a stay there, you can choose what’s right for your family.

Bungalow: Lovely out of the way cottages sleep six with private driveway, two bedrooms each with private bath & Jacuzzi, plus 1/2 bath in case you have kids set up on the pull-out couch overnight. Full kitchen, washer/dryer, outdoor grill and patio set. Have all the amenities, just a little more quiet. Continue reading »

Mar 282017
 

Did you know that Cranmore Mountain was named #1 in New Hampshire for Off-Hill Activities by Ski Magazine?

My family recently stayed in the North Conway, New Hampshire area and going snow tubing was high up on our list of things we wanted to do while we were there. We’re not big skiers, but we definitely wanted to make some time to play in the snow.  That’s why we all love snow tubing: tubing is a family friendly activity that requires no special skills or equipment. Continue reading »

Mar 272017
 

April Fools Day is coming up quick guys and I am already planning out some awesome April Fools Food Pranks to play on my boys.  Growing up, there was absolutely no pranking in parent’s house.  They didn’t go for that sort of thing, so my sister, brother and I behaved. Then I met my husband, Christian, and he happens to come from a family full of pranksters. Christian knows I am not a fan, so they rarely get played on me, but my boys are a whole other story.

The boys think pranks are the best thing ever and pretty much live for April Fools Day because that’s the only real day that they can get away with them without consequences. But what kind of a mom would I be if I didn’t play a few pranks back?  I have experimented over the years and have found that food pranks are the best way to go with my two. It gets them every time. If you want to try some food pranks of your own, take a peek at some of these links.  There is lots of good stuff in there. Continue reading »

Mar 272017
 

News flash – cookout season is coming! With the warm weather heading our way, most of us will be coming out of hibernation and that means cookouts, cookouts and more cookouts. We host plenty of them at our house and will get invited to equally as many over the course of the summer. Whenever I get invited to one, I always volunteer to bring my quick and easy Italian Pasta Salad.  It’s so easy to make and it’s always a hit.

Italian Pasta Salad

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 (12 ounce) box of pasta I used the Tri Color Rotini
  • 1 package of Pepperoni Minis (0r buy full size and cut into fours)
  • 1 8-ounce mozzarella
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 can of sliced black olives
  • 2-3 tomatoes (or buy the grape tomatoes and cut in half)
  • 1 bottle of Italian dressing (we like Wishbone brand)

Continue reading »