Oct 052014
 

Easy Halloween Treats Brain Cupcakes

That cold snap in the air followed by pumpkins appearing in grocery stores and aisles of costumes ranging from adorable cartoon characters to questionable nurses wearing short skirts and fishnet stockings can only mean one thing – Halloween!

Autumn is approaching and so is one of the holidays Americans will spend billions on when it comes to decorations. According to a consumer reports and retailers, in 2013 shoppers spent a total of $7 billion on costumes, home décor and party supplies. Halloween spending is second only to Christmas. (Link to consumer report via NPR:  http://www.npr.org/2014/09/03/345575950/the-business-of-halloween-means-you-can-buy-an-arm-and-a-leg)

You can save yourself some cash and stress with these easy, fun and affordable Brain Cupcakes that will please any ghoul at school or ravenous haunted houseguests.

You Will Need: Continue reading »

Oct 022014
 

**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**

Now that my boys have been back to school for about a month, we are back to a routine – which I am very happy about.  Things always seem to run smoother in my house when there is a set routine in place.   The thing is, some nights we are just so busy with after-school activities, that I feel like the rest of the night once we get home is very rushed.  One of the things I fear that my boys really rush is brushing their teeth. Let’s face it, sometimes brushing can be a challenge for kids, and I have a sneaking suspicion that my two aren’t doing as good of a job as I wish they did. Especially when it comes to getting in between their teeth.

LISTERINE Heroic Habits

Listerine has several great products and I think they are the answer to my problem. I am excited to try out these LISTERINE products, along with my family, so that we can all get get those hard to reach spots between our teeth super clean. Continue reading »

Oct 012014
 

I admit it, I have a slight zombie obsession, so naturally when I heard there was an an interactive tactical live-action zombie experience right in Abington, MA, I was all over it. Interactive you say? Yes, interactive!  During the interactive experience you get to travel through a small city infested with zombies.  Don’t worry, you will have the help of a guide and you’ll get a shotgun to shoot with to ensure you survive.

There are two areas of the city to be cleared at Boston Zombie Apocalypse. Chem Zone 44 contains slower Zombies and is a shorter experience. If you are nervous at all or are accompanying young people (no one under 8 allowed), then Chem Zone 44 is for you.  Z-Swarm 617 is a longer battle through a larger more intense part of the city.  You can do one or both.

Here’s the thing.  I went last year and had a pretty bad experience.  It was very poorly organized and I ended up waiting outside for over two hours in the cold.  Once I was inside the building, it literally took less than five minutes to run through the experience and boom, we were done.  I left there last year feeling very disappointed that I waited for that long to get in and it was over in just a few minutes.

But guess what, Boston Zombie Apocalypse has new owners this year.  They really listened to all the feedback about people’s experiences last year and greatly improved things this year.  Instead of having to stand in an extremely long line to wait for tickets, they are selling a limited number of tickets by the half hour to the two different zombie fields. That will ensure that you will enter your sector in a timely fashion without having to wait.

Chris and I were there this past weekend and were so happy that the whole process was streamlined.  Our tickets were for 7:45 pm and we only had to arrive about 20 minutes early.  It was so much better this year, so if you were turned off by your experience there last year, trust me – it’s not like that this year.  Oh, and did I mention that they have a food truck there this year now, too.  Last year while we waited for over two hours everyone in line kept saying that snacks would have been nice while we were waiting.  See, the new owners listened!

IMG_6120

Anyway, once it was our time to go in to the live action experience, we entered the building in a small group (about 8 people) and were met by a military guard who showed us how to use our shotguns and let us all have a practice shot at a target. Once we all got that, we met our guide who would be taking us through the city.  He led us through the field and we defended our territory by shooting the zombies that came at us alongside the rest of our team. Continue reading »

Oct 012014
 

This contest has now ended. Congratulations to #201, James.
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**This post is sponsored by McDonald’s. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

School is back in full swing and you know what that means…. It means days filled with packing lunches and driving kids to sporting events, all while trying to take care of your daily duties. All of those school year extracurricular activities can fill up your day, making it seem like you don’t even see your kids despite being in the car with them for what seems like hours. As our family is out running around from activity to activity, sometimes it’s been a challenge to grab the kiddos a quick bite of food to feel good about.

And that is exactly why I love McDonald’s.

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. And guess what? Later this fall, be on the lookout for Cuties clementines from Sun Pacific included as a Happy Meal side as well. My ten year old is already super excited about that – Cuties are his favorite snack.

I am so happy that McDonald’s gives me nutritious alternatives and it’s food that I can grab quickly if we’re in a hurry to get to karate class or the soccer field. Continue reading »

Sep 302014
 

What is a Regulah Coffee

Hi my name is Robin and I am an addict. A coffee addict that is and I am a Dunkin Donuts girl through and through.  I stop there at least once a day for a coffee, and some days I am there two or three times.

I literally have four Dunkin Donuts shops within a three mile radius of my house, so it’s not like I have to go out of my way to get my coffee fix.  I usually go to one DD’s shop in particular because they know me there (because I go there so much) and we’re at the point where I don’t even have to order anymore because when they see me, they already know what I want.

But, if I happen to be out & about and end up stopping at a different Dunkin Donuts, this is my order:

A medium caramel, coconut iced coffee regulah (or as you guys not from around here would say, regular).

But what exactly is a “regulah” coffee?   Continue reading »

Sep 292014
 

Best Halloween Costumes for Boys

It’s that time of year again! It’s time to start thinking about what you will dress your child for Halloween this year. My favorite part is trying to find the perfect Halloween costumes for my boys. I wanted to share some of my favorite costume ideas with you because it’s one of the best times of the year.

Superhero Costumes

I’ve noticed that it’s incredibly hard to go wrong with a superhero costumer. If you’re having a hard time deciding what your child will be for Halloween, consider going with a superhero costume. My kids love anything superhero, so that’s always a favorite. Which superhero character would your boy pick?

TMNT

If there’s one costume that’s perfect for the boy in your life, it’s a teenage mutant ninja turtle costume. There are several turtles to choose from, so if you have multiple boys—everyone can still be their favorite TMNT. I also love this idea because you can make your own costume or buy one from the store. There’s FLEXIBILITY—which I love. Continue reading »

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 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.

IMG_6031

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 »