Sep 282014
 

**My husband, Chris, and I received a complimentary paint lesson at The Paint Bar in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

I had been telling my husband for ages that I wanted to go to The Paint Bar and since he didn’t seem to be getting the hint, I took matters into my own hands and booked us a lesson at the Newtonville location.

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You see, I come from a family of artists, but somehow that artistic gene seemed to have skipped me.  Both my mother and sister graduated from the Mass College of Art and here I am barely able to draw a stick figure that even remotely resembles a human being.  That is why The Paint Bar intrigued me.  At The Paint Bar, the instructor helps everyone in the class create a masterpiece by teaching the class how to recreate one specific painting step by step – and I knew that would be perfect for a “beginner” me.

At The Paint Bar, you can call or make reservations online and because space is limited, reservations are suggested.  I made our reservations online and when you book online, you can see which paintings are going to be featured on which night, so can you choose based on that if you’re looking for something specific to paint – which is what I did.

Chris had no idea what we were going to be painting, but as soon as we walked in, they had the painting that the class was going to be working on displayed.  It is called “Moonlit Boston”. Continue reading »

Sep 272014
 

This contest has now ended. Congratulations to #483, Brad!
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Do you have a son or daughter that likes to listen to music while they are doing their homework like my son does?   I was the exact same way only,  back then there were no awesome SOL REPUBLIC headphones.  I just had a cheap pair from Bradlees (remember that store??).  SOL REPUBLIC has a wide variety of high quality headphones, ear buds and wireless speakers.  Let me tell you a little bit more about SOL REPUBLIC.

My oldest son got an awesome pair of SOL REPUBLIC Tracks V8 On-Ear Headphones.

Tracks_Red_Transparent_800x800

Features:

  • V8 sound engines for a comfortable, bass-rich music listening experience
  • Interchangeable Remix headband and cable to create custom looks
  • Virtually indestructible FlexTech™ Sound Track headband
  • Inline mic/music control compatible with Apple® and many other devices

Continue reading »

Sep 262014
 

Dollar Store DIY Halloween Ghost Treat Bucket

If you are hosting a Halloween party or just looking for a fun and frugal Halloween craft, look no further than this ghost treat bucket. Made from dollar store supplies, this ghost treat bucket is perfect for holding sweets and other Halloween favors. Take a peek below at how to make your own in just minutes. Perfect for kiddos or adults, this is a Halloween craft you won’t want to miss out on.

Here is what you will need:
White favor buckets (sold 2/$1 at Dollar Tree)
Googly eyes
Halloween ribbon
Black craft paper or craft foam (you can also use a black marker if you wish)
Craft glue
Scissors Continue reading »

Sep 242014
 

10 Spooky Halloween Treats & Snacks

Are you ready for the Halloween season? It’s the time for all the little ghosts, goblins, pumpkins and witches to make their grand entrance. Kids are excited about how they will dress for the great trick or treat night where they can get tons of candy and treats. Moms are all over the internet, searching for the most fun spooky treats to cook up for the big Halloween parties.

Whether you are a master chef who can turn cupcakes into amazing creations or you need the easiest recipes in the world, we’ve got you covered. I’ve got spooky gingerbread houses that will help you use up that extra candy corn and marshmallow pops to help celebrate the most beloved monster of all time – Frankenstein! We’ve got cupcakes that take simple chocolate peanut butter cups to a whole new level and end up looking like witches hats or spiders.

If dead lady’s fingers are more your style, we’ve got them too! Whether you are looking for ways to create some dead funny bones or just some spooky caramel popcorn, there’s something here for everyone! So spend a few minutes looking through this list of amazing, spooky Halloween treats and snacks, then head out to the grocery to pick up a few supplies. You’re going to be creating some amazing treats this year for your family and friends!

10 Spooky Halloween Treats & Snacks

Continue reading »

Sep 232014
 

My oldest son has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America for five years now.  He started with the scouts in first grade and has been advancing, along with the rest of his troop, ever since. There are so many things I love about being involved with the scouting organization, but the one that stands out the most is the friendships that not only my son has built with his pack-mates, but the ones I have built with the other parents.

Like I said, there are many things that I  love about the Boy Scouts of America.  I love that the kids get opportunities to try new things, participate in service projects, build self-confidence and reinforce ethical standards.

At the time we signed up, I was unsure if I was going to be able to keep up with the time commitments of signing on with the organization.  I mean, let’s face it, we are all busy and I was relieved that the time commitment was fairly minimal, but what’s even more – I loved that being involved in this organization has been a way for me to spend quality time with my son without those darned electronics.

We have troop meetings (with kids in our own grade) twice a month, a pack meeting (with all of the kids in each grade) once a month and spend a few Saturdays a year doing service projects in our town.

By being a scout, my son has learned how to build things:

jd craft boy scouts

Continue reading »

Sep 222014
 

Tailgating With Kids

If you have children, you might wonder how you can make tailgating possible. However, there are some things you can do to make tailgating a lot of fun for the whole family.

#1. Kiddy Foods

Bringing the kids tailgating means you need to have kid friendly foods! You can bring along kid friendly tailgating foods like dip & chips, pigs in a blanket, veggies, or fruits. Anything that’s simple to put together and easy to eat will do. Just think like a kid when it comes to these types of foods and you should be good to go.

#2. Simplicity

If there’s one tip I can give you on tailgating with kids it’s to keep things simple. It’s hard for children to focus when there is a lot going on around them. Tailgating requires a lot of activity, so if you plan on bringing kids, then it’s important to keep things simple. Continue reading »

Sep 212014
 

Before we get started here, I need to take a minute to apologize for all the crappy photos you’re about to see.  The venue that the event in which I met the first love of my life the handsome Donnie Wahlberg in was very poorly lit and on top of that, I went to meet him armed only with my iPhone.  What kind of a so-called blogger goes to meet someone she’s swooned over for the last 25 years without an actual camera?

This girl.

But I digress……

Today I am going to tell you the story of how it all came about.

But first, let me give you the back story.

I love Donnie Wahlberg.  When New Kids on the Block first came out in the late 80’s they were probably a bigger deal here in Boston than in other places because as we all know, all of the New Kids are from here.  I was in junior high when they first popped onto the scene and every girl I knew loved them.  As everybody knows, Donnie Wahlberg was the cute one.  Not Jordan. Not Joey.  Certainly not Danny and not Jonathan.  It was Donnie. It has always been Donnie.

Swoon.

I remember seeing NKOTB in concert at the old Foxboro Stadium (before Gillette Stadium was built) during the summer of 1989 and at the time, it didn’t get any better. I was so far away from the stage that all I could see were five little dots singing and dancing on the stage, but I didn’t care….I was in the same venue as my celebrity crush.  Life was good.

Since their boy band reign in the late 80’s/early 90’s, the New Kids have broken up and as you probably know, have reunited.  I have gone to see them in concert three times over the past four years and if they tour again – I’ll be there.

But back to my crush on Donnie.  Even in the Sixth Sense, when he literally looked his worst, I still loved him.  Like I said, it has always been Donnie.  So fast forward twenty five years (to about three weeks ago) and this finds its way into my inbox:

invite

I cried.  Literally. Continue reading »

Sep 192014
 

Thanks to my husband, Chris, for his take on what it’s like to be married to a blogger.

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10 Ways to know that you're married to a blogger

Top Ten Ways to Know that You’re Married to a Blogger:

10.  For every meal, snack and/or drink, a picture must be taken and posted to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter before one bite/sip is taken.

9.  You have been to so many kid events/activities that not only do you forget what a beer tastes like, but you can barely remember if the Patriots play in the NFL, NBA or are a soccer team.

8.  When they get writers block  or don’t have time to write a blog post, you have to write them a guest post (case in point here).

7.  They call themselves Social Media Consultants.

6.  They have 100 blogger friends, but only have met two in person.

5.  When you hear them cursing, you know someone is not commenting on their blog post.

4.  You get free tickets to a Baseball game, but you have to spend the whole time taking pictures of everything.

3.  They are on their phone so much, they have to recharge it every hour.

2. When they take a Selfie,  it is never good enough the first try.  There is a minimum of 100 attempts to get the right angle and lightning before it can be posted to all social media sites.

1. And the number reason you know you are married to a blogger: they make you drive 2 hours out of your way to get a picture of LITERALLY a fork in the road.

Sep 182014
 

**My family received complimentary admission to Sky Zone, but all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

The gruesome twosome are very active little boys.  Some days they go non-stop from the time they wake up in the morning until the time they go to bed at night.  I was super excited to take them to Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park, in East Providence this past weekend so they could burn off a little extra energy.

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Before we ever left the house to head to Sky Zone, I filled out a liability waiver on their website. All jumpers under the age of 18 are required to have one on file. It only took a minute to fill out and it’s good for an entire year.  Don’t worry if you can’t get one filled out ahead of time, either, because you can fill one out there.  It just saves a little time to do it ahead of time.

At Sky Zone all jumpers are required to wear SkySocks, which cost $2 per pair, but they are reusable, so be sure to save them! Continue reading »

Sep 172014
 

Fantasy Football Isn't Just For Guys

Okay, so I am the queen of a house full of boys and I don’t think normal women love football as much as I do. I’m not going to lie—I’m in love with it! I’m especially in love with fantasy football. Since the whole family is going to get involved I decided that I might as well too. Here are some of my best tips as a woman to survive like a man in the fantasy football world.

Take Chances!

If you’re going to do the whole “fantasy football” thing the make sure you take chances. You can’t sit back and play it safe, you have to give it everything you got. If you’re holding back, it’s time to give a little more. In my opinion, you have to play as well as the real football players out there on the field.

The Right Team

You can’t play fantasy football without putting together the right team. You’ve really got to sit down and think about this for a moment. Think about putting a team together that will give you the best advantage. Don’t pick a football player just because you feel bad for him, pick him for your team because you know he’ll do a great job. Continue reading »

Sep 162014
 

dohvinci fun

Recently I was invited to The Paint Bar on Newbury Street in Boston, along with several other Boston area bloggers, to check out Hasbro’s new art experience: DohVinci.

Dohvinci Paint Bar Event

But what is DohVinci you ask? DohVinci, an entirely new art experience from the makers of Play-Doh, just launched and is an enjoyable and unique creative experience for kids and adults of all ages! Since the design compound sticks to other surfaces such as wood, glass, duct tape, and paper – the creative possibilities are endless!

We were given the chance to decorate some household items with DohVinci (chalkboards, picture frames and jewelry boxes).   Continue reading »

Sep 152014
 

5 Fall Activities Your Little Boys Will Love

Fall is almost here and summer is getting left in the dust. If you’re a mom to all boys then you know how crazy life can be when cold weather starts to hit. You are going to need a list of activities to do to keep those little minds and fingers busy. I have to warn you that these ideas start out small but only get bigger. It’s going to be an awesome fall season with our boys!

#1. Playing in the leaves

Okay, this is pretty much one of the best activities that you can do this fall with your little boys. If you can handle the thought of a few chilly fall moments, then it’s time to just jump in some leaves. Playing in leaves is pretty simple and doesn’t require much thought either.

#2. Paint with leaves

Oh, painting with leaves is so much fun. You’ll basically want to gather a bunch of leaves. You want the big bulky leaves. Put some paint down on paper, dab the leaf on the paint, and then put the painted leaf on a blank piece of paper. You can make some really fun creations with this type of fall activity. Plus, boys love painting and getting messy! Continue reading »

Sep 142014
 

Game Day Mustard Dip Recipe

In our house, Sundays mean one thing:  FOOTBALL!  Whether we have friends over to watch the game or just sit down as a family to watch, we always have snacks on hand while we cheer on our team (go Pats!).  Whenever I make dips, they always seem to be the thing to go first and mustard dip is one that’s always a hit.  It’s super easy to make and trust me, if you love mustard, you’re going to want to try this dip.

Mustard Dip Ingredients -

8 oz. mustard

8 oz. sour cream

8 oz. mayonnaise

1 package of ranch dressing mix Continue reading »

Sep 132014
 

Things You Should Never Forget To Pack For Vacation and How You Can Remember To Pack Them

Packing for a vacation or even a quick trip can be exciting- and stressful! You always forget something, and then you remember it right as you need and can’t get to it. If you want to eliminate the stress of packing for a trip and remember all of the items you need, check out these tips:

What you do NOT need to bring:

Too many shoes. This will take up space. Do you really need a new shoe for every outfit? Just find a pair or two (no more than four) that will work across outfits.

Outfits that consist of different items. You can wear the same pair of jeans twice in a week. There’s no need to pack a different pair for every day. Make outfits out of items that can be matched differently to save space.

Liquid items. Travel sized toiletries can be bought at your destination when you arrive. Continue reading »

Sep 122014
 

skinny-lemonade-recipe2

Who doesn’t love a refreshing glass of lemonade? The sweetness mixes with the delicious tang of a lemon that instantly evokes the feeling of a sunny day. The average 8 oz glass of lemonade has 99 calories a whopping 25 grams of sugar. This recipe will cut the calories to 60 per 8 ounces and practically eliminate the sugar.

The key to good lemonade is balance and the key to great lemonade is first making a simple syrup. And the secret to swapping sugar and calories while maintaining that amazing flavor is infusing the syrup with the zest of a lemon while drastically slashing the sugar with a substitute. The result is lemonade that is almost silky and full of refreshing lemon taste.
Continue reading »

Sep 112014
 

5 Ways To Know You Were Born To Raise All Boys

Growing up, I never thought about what it would be like to have a household full of boys. Thankfully, this role in life fell into my lap. It was not until I had boys that I realized that I was born to do this. Here are five reasons I know I was born to raise all boys.

#1. They Melt Your Heart

I guess whether you have girls or boys, you can relate. Having children ultimately melts your heart and there’s nothing you can do about it. Whether you’re putting them to bed or helping them make breakfast in the morning, they are a total delight. Most of the time.

#2. You Enjoy Laughing

You know you were born to be a carefree mom if you love to laugh. It’s hard not to sit back and giggle with your boys all day long. Trust me, boys always find something to giggle at, even if it’s bodily functions. Continue reading »

Sep 102014
 

10 Caramel Apple Recipes

Fall will “officially” arrive very shortly, and with fall comes apples!  Whether your favorite variety is Granny Smith, Gala, Honey Crisp, or McIntosh, you’ll start to find them on every display at the grocery store, the kids are picking them on field trips, and you may even have them growing in your yard.  After a while, the apple overload can get to be a bit much.  Pair them with caramel in one of these recipes for an exciting twist to the usual apple recipes.

Caramel Apples – Let’s start with the basics.  Okay, these don’t look very basic, but they’re caramel covered apples with other dessert toppings. Delicious and so much better than anything you’d ever get at the State Fair!

Caramel Apple Pork Chops – Sweet, Savory, and still pretty good for you.  This one’s a twist on the hum drum applesauce and pork chop recipe.

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake – Simply, Wow.  This couldn’t possibly look any more delicious.  If you want to impress people, this is probably the recipe that will do it. Continue reading »

Sep 092014
 

Bonding Over the Dinner Table

Life can get busy. You and your spouse have to worry about work and house duties, while your kids’ days are filled with school, homework, and extracurricular activities. These busy schedules can make it so you only see your family at dinnertime, making dinnertime the most important meal of the day. If this sounds like you, here are some great tips for helping your family bond over the dinner table.

Make It a Tradition

Bonding over the dinner table won’t happen unless everyone in the family actually sits down together. To help make this happen, make dinner a family tradition everyone needs to participate in. Set aside a time of day that everyone can be home for so that no one is missing at the dinner table. This should be done each day to help create more bonding time for the entire family.

Put Your Phones Away Continue reading »

Sep 082014
 

Last weekend my family decided that we wanted to spend the day in Boston.  There is so much to do in the city, so we like to get the kiddos in there as much as we can.  Since it was a lovely day out, we decided to take the new Cultural Connector, which is a first-of-its-kind water transportation service that provides a water shuttle linking Boston’s waterfront cultural destinations.

The Cultural Connector can bring you to six different cultural destinations on Boston’s historic waterfront:

  • Institute of Contemporary Art
  •  Tea Party Ships and Museum
  • New England Aquarium
  • Boston Children’s Museum
  • Faneuil Hall
  • USS Constitution and Museum

We decided that we wanted to spend our day at New England Aquarium

aquarium

I have been to the New England Aquarium many times over the course of my life.  My very first school field trip was to the aquarium (kindergarten) and I love that the aquarium really hasn’t changed much over all these years. Continue reading »

Sep 072014
 

santander_scholars_0

To celebrate the back to school season, Santander Bank, N.A. today announced a new “Soccer Scholars” sweepstakes in partnership with the New England Revolution as part of the Bank’s sponsorship of the Major League Soccer team.

Between August 28 and September 19, 2014, parents are invited to submit 100 words or less highlighting their child’s finest academic accomplishments from the 2013 school year using the sweepstakes nomination page, www.revolutionsoccer.net/santander-soccer-scholars. With every entry, the parent will be entered for a chance to win a spot for his or her child in an exclusive soccer clinic led by Revolution Academy coaches and New England Revolution players in the Dana-Farber Field House at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, September 28. Continue reading »