Nov 022014

When I was recently invited to go on a winery tour on Long Island, NY, I don’t think I could have said yes fast enough. First off, I had never been to Long Island, so I was thrilled to be able to experience a whole new place.  Secondly, I had never toured a winery before, so it sounded like it would be an unforgettable experience and I was excited to be a part of it.   I met up with several other bloggers in New London, CT, which is where our day started.

Because Long Island is well, an island, we boarded the Cross Sound Ferry in New London to take us on the 16 mile journey across Long Island Sound to Orient Point, NY.  For this trip, we took the JessicaW, which is a passenger only, high-speed ferry. Cross Sound Ferry operates both passenger only and auto ferries all year round.

The ferry ride took about 40-45 minutes from departure to arrival on Long Island. Once we arrived, we met up with the lovely Jo-Ann of Vintage Tours with Jo-Ann Perry.  Jo-Ann provides guided winery tours of the North Fork of Long Island’s finest wineries.

Our first stop of the day was The Candyman, which is located at  22350 Main Road in Orient, NY. The Candyman is a small candy shop that specializes in homemade chocolates and candy.


As soon as I walked in the door, the smell of chocolate filled the air.  It smelled like heaven on earth.


The Candyman shop was filled with seasonal candy, fudge, jelly beans, small gifts and so much more. Continue reading »

Oct 302014

Keeping our kids safe is one of the most important jobs a parent has. That’s why it’s important to establish safety rules for trick or treating.

Isn’t it ironic that trick or treating basically goes against everything we teach or kids? (Don’t talk to strangers, don’t go up to houses, and don’t play in the street). For those couple of hours they’re trick or treating all kids should have some sort of guidelines. Check out these safety tips:

#1. Have Your Child Wear Bright Colors

Bright colors are a must if you’re going to go trick or treating this year. Make sure your child isn’t wearing all black and drivers can see them as they’re walking. If your child is going to wear all black, in the dark, it’s a good idea to have them wear a bright vest.

#2. Pick a Safe Route

My kids and I hit up the same route every year. It’s important that your family picks out a route that’s safe for you as well. Remember that during October the days get shorter and it can be harder to see. If you’re not sure of where you’re going it can be hard to see in the dark and can make for a dangerous situation. Continue reading »

Oct 292014

**Disclosure: My family was invited to the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston and received our meals at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

My kids went to their first Hard Rock Cafe earlier this year when we were in Hollywood and have talked about how much fun they had there off & on since we were there this past April.  When I told them that we were going to the one in Boston for lunch recently, they both just about burst with excitement.

The reason for our visit was because on Saturday, October 25th, The Hard Rock Cafe in Boston rolled out their new kids menu featuring the the Hard Rock Roxtars® and we wanted to check it out.


Here’s a little bit of information about the Hard Rock Roxtars program:

The Hard Rock Roxtars are a band of characters serving as brand ambassadors for Hard Rock’s multifaceted brand-wide programs catering to children of all ages, presented at Hard Rock Cafes®, Hard Rock Hotels and Rock Shops® worldwide.  Kids who dine at the Cafe will receive their own activity book, Hard Rock Roxtars themed menus and they get to eat off of cool guitar-shaped plates!

As part of The National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program in collaboration with Healthy Dining, a mission and online resource that helps parents and children alike select healthy menu options when dining out, Hard Rock Cafes worldwide will offer healthier food options, ranging from Skiddley’s “Not-so-diddley” chicken breast to the “twisted ‘n tasty” cavatappi pasta. Continue reading »

Oct 282014

Pumpkin Carving With Kids - How to Stay Safe!

The little ones are probably excited about carving a pumpkin this year. How do you keep things safe but still have fun at the same time? Well, you can’t just hand your child a knife and tell them to start cutting. You need a plan in place and these tips will help you out.

#1. Always Supervise the Kids

Even if you think you can walk away for a moment or two and your child will be safe, you’re probably wrong. Kids do the most damage when you’re not looking. Try to have two adults helping out if possible, this will help you really keep an eye on what’s going on.

#2. Use Guided Instruction

Instead of doing everything for your child, you can guide them in the process of pumpkin carving. You don’t have to give your child a knife to carve a pumpkin, there are pumpkin carving kits out there. Although each pumpkin carving kit is bound to have something sharp in it, so make sure you go over safety tips with the kiddos. 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!


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 262014

How to Embarrass Your Child This Halloween

Embarrassing your child is fun and Halloween is the perfect time to do so. Are you looking for some ideas to start embarrassing your children? I’ve done all the hard work for you by giving you the following ideas:

#1. Talk Loud

There’s nothing more embarrassing than a parent who talks really loud and there’s nothing your child can do about it. When they ask a question, just talk as loud as you can. Talk especially loud for the really embarrassing questions.

#2. Don’t Match

Matching your clothes this Halloween is easy, go on your Halloween adventure wearing the craziest clothing you can find. It’s Halloween so you need to really try extra hard to make this task embarrassing.

#3. Ask for Candy

At the last minute, whip out a grocery bag and ask random doors for candy. This is hilarious because your child won’t be expecting it. The key is to make sure you keep your face as serious as possible. Continue reading »

Oct 242014

**I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating**

I’m always looking for ways to get my family to have better dental health. Being the only girl in my family, I realized that it’s going to take something spectacular to get my family to ENJOY the process of getting a cleaner mouth. I feel as though my kids are old enough to take responsibility for cleaning their mouths but it’s my job to find the ideal product to help them get the job done right.


We are actually in love with all of the LISTERINE products, but recently I got my family hooked on the LISTERINE HealthyWhite Mouth Rinse. I love that my family can have a cleaner smile without the sting of peroxide. This specific mouth rinse from LISTERINE is totally peroxide free, which is perfect for my kids. I also love that HealthyWhite from LISTERINE helps restore enamel and prevents cavities. Continue reading »

Oct 222014

Original Boston Baked Beans

Have you ever wondered why Boston Baked Beans are called Boston Baked Beans?  It’s because of the molasses.

Families have been eating slow cooked beans since colonial times. Did you know that the pilgrims earned how to slow cook beans with maple syrup from the Native Americans? Eventually people started making their beans with molasses instead of maple syrup because it was a little bit thicker & sweeter.  Add in some salt pork and voila – you’ve got yourself baked beans. In fact, in the 1700’s, baked beans were prepared on Saturday nights and left in brick ovens overnight. Because Sabbath rules forbid cooking, on Sunday, people could eat the warm beans, served with brown bread.

By the early 1900’s, Boston was a center of production of molasses and in case you didn’t know, Molasses is used as an ingredient in the distillation of rum – and baked beans.  As a matter of fact, Boston was where The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 took place.  A huge tank filled with 2.5 million gallons of molasses exploded and sea of of it flooded the streets of the North End. The disaster ended up killing 21 and injured 150.  I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Boston Baked Beans continue to be one of New England’s most-loved traditional dishes, and today I am going to share my take on Boston Baked Beans, which I make every week for game day! They’re easy to make, delicious and by grabbing my ingredients at Save-A-Lot, I save money on the stuff I need. Continue reading »

Oct 212014

Spooky Owl Wreath Dollar Store DIY

If you love the haunting look of owls, you will love this easy DIY owl wreath! This spooky owl wreath can be crafted using just a few dollar store materials, and the end result is the perfect Halloween décor piece to spruce up your space. Take a peek below at how you can craft up your own spooky owl wreath in just minutes and for just a couple of dollars.

Here is what you will need:
Halloween themed ribbon
Grapevine Wreath
Owl cut outs
Black twigs
Craft or hot glue, glue gun Continue reading »

Oct 202014

I love  living in New England.  We have so many fun fall traditions that make living here so special. Aside from the obvious (the gorgeous colors of changing leaves), a few of the thing that make living here so amazing are the corn mazes, pumpkin picking, apple picking and last but certainly not least, Spooky World.

Spooky World features five haunted attractions as well as food vendors, a paintball game where you get to shoot zombies, a small bar, a bonfire, dance floor, and much more. Spooky World is located at Mel’s Funway Park in Litchfield, NH, which is about an hour north of Boston.

Chris & I went to Spooky World last Friday night and had a blast going through all of the haunted houses.  Because it is the first one you come to when you walk into the park, we started with the Freak Show in 3D.


We were handed 3D glasses before we entered and once we set out through the house, we were scared out of out wits several times. Complete with neon paint, strobe lights and monsters jumping out at us, this house was by far our favorite of the night.  And as an added bonus, it had one of  those spinning tunnels at the end that makes you feel like you’re walking on the ceiling.  It was awesome. Continue reading »

Oct 192014

Halloween Pretzel Sticks

As a mom of two active little boys, it seems like we’re constantly celebrating mini milestones in our house.  Whether it’s  my little man getting a 100% on his spelling test or my big guy advancing in his karate class, there is always something to celebrate.  Mini milestones deserve a mini reward, right?  Something tasty like the sweet-salty combo of chocolate-covered pretzels for instance.

Since it’s October, we put a little Halloween flare into them, but you can get really creative with chocolate covered pretzels if you want to change things up.  That’s one of the reasons we love these so much.

Halloween Pretzel Sticks -

1 bag of pretzel rods, any brand

12 oz. Wilton white candy melts

Halloween sprinkles

Baking sheet lined with foil or wax paper Continue reading »

Oct 162014

**Disclosure – I received a pair of New Balance sneakers for each of my boys and a family four pack of tickets to the Franklin Park Zoo at no charge to help facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

As the mom of two very active little boys, having comfortable sneakers for their little feet has always been a high priority for me.  While comfort is the number one thing I look for when it comes to my boys footwear, style is a very close second.  I want their feet to feel good and I want them to look good at the same time.  And that’s why I love New Balance.  Not only are they a Boston based company (yay Boston!), but they make really, really awesome sneakers, too.  I have been wearing NB kicks myself for years and the gruesome twosome have each had numerous pairs of New Balance sneakers over the years.

Just in time for back to school this year, my boys were each sent a new pair of New Balance sneakers.  For my little guy, I chose the Hook and Loop 574 sneakers.  He can tie, but is still a newbie & it’s a little slow going, so I thought the velcro closure might be a little better for him while he’s away all day at school.  My oldest picked out his own sneakers and chose the Varsity 574.  I’d say both pairs are pretty sharp looking, wouldn’t you?


I am excited to tell you about New Balance’s newest line – the Trip to the Zoo collection! This colorful collection of kicks is perfect for kids planning to hit the playground, explore the zoo, or impress at school! Featuring a lightweight EVA midsole, synthetic/mesh upper, and hook & loop closure for easy on/off, the new collection has been available since October 1st in infant and preschool sizes at & in New Balance stores for $47.95-$54.95. Continue reading »

Oct 152014

How to Have a Gluten Free Halloween

Halloween is one of the most scrumptious times of the year. You have access to handfuls of candy and deliciousness. One of the only problems is having to deal with a gluten free diet while enjoying this awesome holiday. If you’re nervous about trying to eat gluten free during this holiday, have no worries because with these tips you can have a gluten free Halloween.

Homemade Treats

If you’re unsure of what’s gluten free and what’s not gluten free, then consider homemade gluten free treats. There are tons of yummy gluten free recipes online that you can bake for your own Halloween fun. Here are ten treat recipes to get you started.

Read the Package

You might be surprised at how many candies are actually gluten free. If you’re not sure if the package has gluten in it, email the company yourself. Sometimes it’s nice to just have that reassurance that you can’t get anywhere else. If you’re looking for a gluten free candy list, then this list might help you out a little bit. Continue reading »

Oct 152014

**My family was invited to eat at Johnny Rockets at no charge at Johnny Rockets.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Have you heard of Johnny Rockets?  If not, it’s a restaurant chain providing a classic all-American experience including “The Original Hamburger”.  Johnny Rockets strives to provide an all-American food in a timeless and fun environment.

My family was in Providence, RI this past weekend, so we stopped into the 269 Thayer St location for dinner.


If you know my family in real life, you know that we love burgers, so we each ordered “The Original” burger.  It comes served with fresh shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, chopped onions, relish, pickle, mustard & mayonnaise, but the kiddos just got theirs with cheese and added ketchup. Continue reading »

Oct 132014

Living in New England, I am right in the middle of prime ski country.  Although it’s been a few years since I’ve hit the slopes myself, I always seem to find myself thinking one thing as I ski or snowboard my way down a mountain: Wouldn’t it be cool if I could take a video of this?

Well, with GoPro cameras, you can do just that.  You can take amazing action shots and even mount them to your helmet so you can take photos or videos of your adventure!

I think we all know by now that when it comes to the latest cameras and camcorders, Best Buy has you covered. Of course, Best Buy is your one stop shop for the full line of new GoPro cameras, plus a huge assortment of accessories to go along with them. The holidays are coming up quickly and GoPro cameras make perfect holiday gifts for everyone, from kids and teens, to gadget gurus. With the GoPro’s new line of cameras, you can capture gorgeous images and videos of your adventures and really bring them to life.


Here are some cool features about GoPro cameras: Continue reading »

Oct 122014

Easy Eyeball Cupcakes
Witches, vampires and other spooky critters will love making these Easy Eyeball Cupcakes almost as much as they will like eating them.

Halloween is pretty much the Olympics of themed and decorated food. Hosts bust out the best of their pinned items from their respective boards that manage to turn frosted confectionaries into Brain Cupcakes, making guests squeal with delight…and cringe with a fun scare.

You Will Need:

1 Dozen Baked and Cooled Cupcakes – Any flavor, but Devil’s Food cake is preferred.

12 Round, Brown/Black Candies such as M&Ms

12 Gummy Lifesavers

Red food coloring, preferably gel

White frosting

Toothpick 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


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 »

Oct 092014

This contest has now ended. Congratulations to #15, Alexis!
**This post is sponsored by McDonald’s.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

A couple of weeks ago, I told you all about how we survive going back to school and in case you missed it, you can read all about it here.  As I mentioned, we are always on the go after the kids get home from school and sometimes I just don’t have time to cook the boys dinner.  That’s where McDonald’s comes into play.  I love that I can swing by McDonald’s on the way home from the soccer field, grab the boys each a Happy Meal and be able to feel good about what I’m serving to my kids.

Each Happy Meal provides wholesome options such as Apple Slices and Go-GURT Low-Fat Strawberry yogurt. Additionally, 1% low-fat while milk, fat-free chocolate milk and 100% apple juice are the perfect beverage pairing for your kids Happy Meal.  In case you haven’t heard,  later this fall Cuties clementines from Sun Pacific are going to be included as a Happy Meal side as well.


Since this time of year is so hectic for many of us, I wanted to share a few more of my best back to school survival tips. Continue reading »

Oct 082014

Apple Cider Sangria

Are you looking for a tasty fall cocktail to sip on by the bonfire?  Or maybe you’re just looking for something a little more “adult’ to do with all those extra apples you just picked?  Then this Apple Cider Sangria is just what you’re looking for.

Here’s what you need:

1 750mL bottle of pinot grigio, any brand

2 ½ C. apple cider

1 C. club soda, any brand

3 medium size apples, chopped + extra for garnish

Directions :

Add all the ingredients to a large pitcher and stir. Chill in the fridge approximately 1 hour and serve over ice with apple slices as garnish.

Perfect for those crisp fall days and company on the porch.

Apple Cider Sangria2

Oct 072014

How To Make This The Best Halloween for the Kids

Halloween is just a few short weeks away and the kids are pumped about the event. It’s time to make this the best Halloween ever and here is how you can do it.

#1. Dress Up Yourself

If you’re going to dress the kids up for Halloween this year, make sure you dress yourself up as well. The kids will love it if they see you get excited about this fun event that only rolls around once a year.

#2. Go Candy-licious

Halloween is all about the candy! Don’t forget that candy makes the holiday so try and let the kids have a little fun with it. Some parents want to limit the candy their children eat to only once piece. At least let your kids have two! Continue reading »