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 »

Aug 082014
 

How to Fail at Making Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

You ever want to just whip up a batch of cookies for your kids and watch their faces light up? That’s what I had in mind when I decided to make these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies! Here is my delicious recipe (well, my mom’s actually)!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 cups of instant oats
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate

Directions Continue reading »

Aug 072014
 

10 Ways To Sneak Exercise In

Exercising everyday can sometimes be hard to do in between taking care of the kids, working like a madwoman, and balancing life with family and friends. If exercise isn’t part of your everyday routine it might seem impossible to add it in to a schedule that is already busting at the seams. Here are 10 Ways to Sneak Exercise In so that you can get the benefits of regular exercise without losing your mind in the process.

1. Before you get out of bed in the morning, raise your arms above your head and point your toes. Making your body flex every muscle and stretch out helps to wake you up and preps your body for the upcoming day.

2. Once you are out of bed take two minutes to really stretch. Reach for the sky and then bend at the waist and touch your toes, repeat this three times. This one move has almost the same impact on waking your brain up as a cup of coffee. It also stretches your backside out and helps you move more freely throughout the day. Continue reading »

Aug 062014
 

HomemadeRanchDressing

Seriously, I made a salad to go along side a spaghetti dinner I made one night. I went to pull out the ranch dressing only to find we were apparently all out. Thankfully no one told me and I came up with this recipe with the ingredients that I had on hand. I seriously will never buy Ranch dressing again because this Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe is far beyond what I had expected to taste that night!

I have been keeping a mason jar of the Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe in our fridge. I have found the kiddos dipping their celery and carrots in it so I can honestly say that this recipe is kid approved!

Ingredients:

1/2 c milk
3 tbsp sour cream/ranch packet mixture
1 tbsp mayo
1 tsp dill weed/cloves/parsley
1 tsp spicy mustard
Pepper to taste

Before you begin you’ll need to use a Ranch Dressing Dip Packet along with a 12 oz. Tub of sour cream and mix together. We just happened to have this on hand as I’ve been munching on it throughout the day with veggies….hey Momma needs a quick snack throughout the day, so don’t judge!

Aug 052014
 

Closeup image of a yard sale sign

With the warmer temperatures finally here, many of us are heading out to our local yard sales to find some deals. If you’ve never shopped a yard sale or garage sale it can be tough to know what is a good deal. Here are some great tips for How To Find Good Deals At Yard Sales this summer. Find the treasure in someone else’s junk for the best deal this year!

1.  Go to sales in higher end neighborhoods.  Not to be stereotypical, but most of your expensive homes have higher quality products within them, thus the better deals at yard sales. This can vary from time to time so know that some of these items will cost more. You can however get some great deals on name brand gently worn jeans, purses, shoes and more. While typically paying no more than $5 for a pair of jeans at a yard sale is my rule – these sales could include $100 jeans for $15 that are like new. Continue reading »

Aug 042014
 

21 of the best bacon recipes

Who doesn’t love bacon?  For all you bacon lovers out there, here is a roundup of 21 of the best bacon recipes out there!

1.Macaroni and Cheese Pizza with Bacon and Green Onions/Rachel Cooks

2.Bacon Double Cheeseburger Stuffed Meatload/The Slow Roasted Italian

3.Bacon Chicken Jalapeno Dip/Call Me PMC

4.Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza Rolls/Six Sister’s Stuff Continue reading »

Aug 032014
 

Bedroom modern design with furnishings

One of the biggest expenses of going out of town for a weekend or a vacation is the hotel. It can eat up a huge portion of your travel budget if you are not careful and if you go too cheap, you might end up staying somewhere less than ideal. Since it is hard to know what is a good deal and what is a scary location in a new town or location, here are some tips for finding a hotel at a great price that won’t leave you scared to park your car out front.

How to Save Money on Hotels without Sacrificing Quality

Join rewards points programs. Many chain hotels offer programs that work kind of like a punch card. If you stay so many nights within a certain time period, you get free night’s stays. There are lots of blackouts and restrictions with these types of programs, though, so make sure to be aware of these when reserving your room.

Be flexible on dates you intend to travel. Many times, mid-week rates are slightly cheaper than weekend rates. If you are flexible as to when you will be staying, you can save more money. Continue reading »

Aug 012014
 

Ways to Turn Family Travel into a Fun Learning Experience for Kids

Summer vacation may mean school is out, but learning takes place year-round. A family vacation may be about fun and relaxation, but there is no reason it can’t be a learning experience as well. It has been said that there is no greater teacher than travel, and it is true. On a vacation, there are opportunities for kids of all ages to learn history, language, geography, culture and customs, even arithmetic and economics. Here are some easy ways to turn family travel into a fun learning experience for kids: Continue reading »

Jul 312014
 

10 Ways to Eat Healthier

Eating healthier is one of those things that we all strive to do, but sometimes have a hard time actually doing. It shouldn’t be so hard to eat better and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are 10 Ways to Eat Healthier starting today.

1. Eat Lemons. Lemons are a great for your digestion system and are packed with Vitamin C. Each time you drink a glass of water, squeeze a couple wedges in and help out your liver and kidneys.

2. Speaking of water, fill up a gallon jug with water. This is how much you need to drink daily. You can separate it out into smaller containers and fill those with fresh fruit to naturally flavor your water. Continue reading »

Jul 302014
 

5 Tips to Help Children Organize Their Toys

If you’re like any other parent, you might be slightly annoyed with the number of toys lying on your floor at the moment. There are several things you can do to help kids learn how to organize their toys on their own with limited assistance from you. Check out these five tips to help your children organize their toys.

#1. Set a Timer

In case you forgot, kids aren’t born to sit and organize for hours. Set a timer and let the kids get busy. A timer is great because the kids know that once the timer goes off, they are good to go. Adults should even set timers for organizing and cleaning, it helps you stay focused on the task at hand.

#2. Color Coding

I think color coding a toy room is pure genius. For example: All cars go in the red tote, you can even put a red dot on the bottom of all of the cars to signify that the cars go in the red bin. You could even color code the toys to coincide with who it belongs to. Place all girl toys in a pink bin, all boy toys in a blue bin, and all gender neutral toys in a yellow bin. Continue reading »

Jul 292014
 

**Masshole Mommy received four complimentary tickets to visit the Adventure Center at Loon Mountain in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

While we were staying at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire a few weekends ago, one of the things we did was take a gondola ride up to the summit.  We’ve stayed at Loon numerous times over the years, but it wasn’t until we got a Super Adventure Pass for their Adventure Center that we actually went to the top of the mountain.

Gondola Skyride

There are a few things to do up on the summit of the mountain, including the Glacial Caves.  There you can crawl, squeeze and climb your way through the really old caves & boulders that date back to the ice age.  Seriously.

More than 12,000 years ago, the massive Laurentide Ice Sheet covered Loon Mountain in more than a mile of ice. When the ice melted, it left behind a whole bunch of ginormous boulders just below the summit.  Now-a-days you can explore the small caverns and passageways tucked into the that area because they’ve built a  wooden walkway throughout it. Continue reading »

Jul 282014
 

**Masshole Mommy received four complimentary tickets to visit the Adventure Center at Loon Mountain in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way** \

Do you think the White Mountains of New Hampshire are just for winter fun? Think again.  There are tons of things to do in the summertime and the Loon Mountain Adventure Center has a whole slew of great activities for you to do on  your summer getaway!  The best part is that you can customize your experience.

Want to do it all?  The Super Adventure Pass is the way to go, which includes everything Loon has to offer.  Check it out -

Super Adventure Pass

Only want to do certatin attractions?  Check out the Loon Adventure Pass:

Loon adventure pass

If you only have a few hours to spend, the Base Camp Pass or Bunyan’s Bouncin’ Backyard Pass might be perfect for you: Continue reading »

Jul 272014
 

Haunted Boston

Haunted places from houses to building to cemeteries are a part of our culture. Being in a house and then finding out it is haunted can be a bit unnerving. Have you ever gone in search of haunted places when you are traveling? Boston is one of the oldest cities in the US and has no shortage of haunted places to check out. It doesn’t need to be Halloween to get your scare on. Check out these haunted Boston establishments and let me know if you experience any paranormal activity.

Fort Warren

Out on George’s Island at the entrance to the Boston Harbor is Fort Warren. This granite fort was built in the 1940s and housed the prisoners of war during the Civil War for the Confederate Soldiers. Even back then the island had a history of Union soldiers seeing shadows and they also complained about being watched. One woman, called the Lady in Black, was Mrs. Lanier whose husband was being held prisoner at the fort. She broke in to rescue him and during their escape attempt, her husband was shot accidentally from her own gun when a guard knocked the pistol from her hand. Mrs. Lanier was then hung and buried on George’s Island. She is seen quite often wandering the grounds in those same black robes she wore the night she tried to free her husband. 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 262014
 

**This post is brought to you by Beauty Encounter**

A brightened skin and freshly-scented garment can be done overnight so you don’t have to prepare much for the day. All you need to do is sleep soundly like Sleeping Beauty and you’ll get full beauty potential while your body works its magic at night time. Prepare your perfume spray, hair cream, nail balm and the rest of your beauty essentials before you take your beauty sleep.

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1. When you’re preparing your outfit the night before, spray some scent on a padded hanger. Hang your blouse and place it inside your closet. The scent from your cologne spray will seep through the fabric of your top. Another way you can do this is to put some drops of your perfume to your laundry when you’re about to put them in the dryer. The scent will last longer as compared to your usual spraying.

2. Frequent hand washing can dry up your nails. Before you go to bed, apply nail or cuticle balm on your nails and the surrounding skin area. Put on some gloves and when you wake up in the morning, you’ll notice your nails giving off that shine. Continue reading »

Jul 252014
 

25 Gluten Free Snacks

With so many people these days realizing that a lot of their health problems have to do with Celiac Disease or Gluten Allergies it is becoming more common to see Gluten Free listed on foods and in restaurant menus. Unfortunately, it still takes some work and understanding to come up with easy to snack on gluten free foods. Here is a great list of 25 Gluten Free Snacks for you to choose from to satisfy that need for something crunchy, savory or sweet without causing discomfort.

25 GLUTEN FREE SNACKS

Greek Yogurt: Pair with some granola or fresh fruit for a hearty snack or on it’s on for a boost of protein in your diet.

Fresh Fruit: Fresh fruit of any variety is always a healthy option. Bananas, apples and oranges are easiest to pack on the go and in lunch boxes.

Hard Boiled Egg: Hard boiled, deviled or scrambled with some fresh veggies they are great high protein no gluten snacks.

Hummus with Veggies: Make your own or grab ready made and serve with celery, carrots, cucumbers, snow peas, broccoli or cauliflower. Make sure to read labels because gluten sneaks into many processed foods without notice. Continue reading »

Jul 242014
 

10 Ways to Clean With Lemons

There are a ton of cleaning products on the market, and you’ll notice that many of them include lemon on their labels. There is a reason for this. Citrus fruit, particularly lemon is a powerful cleansing agent that disinfects, breaks down grime and smells amazing. The good news is that you can get all of the benefits of lemon as a cleanser without all the harsh, unsafe chemicals that come in store-bought cleaners. Coupled with another powerful and natural cleaner such as baking soda, lemon can get rid of soap scum, hard water and mold, as well.

Here are ten ways to clean with lemon:

1.  Clean and freshen your garbage disposal by cutting up a lemon, running the hot water and then running the disposal. Continue reading »

Jul 232014
 

No Fire Needed Frozen Smores #recipe

On those hot summer days, these frozen treats will cool you off and give you the cozy feeling of a campfire. You won’t need a fire to create this revamped smore. But, you will get that same velvety filling squished with chocolate between two sweet graham crackers for a delightful crunchy and creamy combo.

You will need to plan ahead. Prepping the night before is best and it sets you up for an easy dessert that is fun and delicious. It can also be a healthier alternative to those fire-free versions that replace marshmallows with frosting. Make room for a pan in your freezer and get ready to enjoy the praise for your ingenuity.

You Will Need: Continue reading »

Jul 222014
 

10 Perks of Being a Mom to All Boys

So you’re a mom to all boys? I’m sure you already know how awesome it is, but I want to share ten of the best perks of being a mom to all boys with you.

#1. No one to share with

As a mom of all boys, there is one major perk, you don’t have to share any of your girl items with your sons. Okay, maybe they will want to try on one or two girlie things from time to time, but for the most part everything is yours.

#2. Endless kisses

Of course any child will give you endless kisses, but there is a special bond between a mother and a son (or sons). Those kisses he gives you mean everything. Continue reading »

Jul 212014
 

6 Ways to Nix Sibling Fights This Summer

Has the bickering and fighting already started? If you don’t figure something out soon, you might not be able to keep your sanity this summer. Check out these ways you can nix the constant battling between the siblings.

#1. Getalong Shirt

You may have seen this “getalong” shirt floating around, but I’ve heard it actually works. When the kids start fighting, stick them in a huge shirt. This will make them find a way to get along or stay miserable for a long period of time. It might only take one or two times of being put in this shirt for them to get along.

#2. Summer Challenge

It can be hard to stress the importance of getting along as siblings. Natural fighting is going to occur, but you must put an end to summer bickering. You can do this by promoting a summer challenge in the family. This encourages no fighting, if you fight, you have to complete a task on the chore list. Moms have the power to make pretty long chore lists. Continue reading »