Apr 282015
 

Old Town Trolley Tour DC

**Disclosure:  My family received tickets for the Old Town Trolley Tour at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way*

Washington DC is a big city.  It may not look like it on tv, but trust me, there is a lot of walking involved when you visit DC.  I spent a lot of time down there growing up because I have family in Bethesda, MD, so I am very familiar with the area, but to give you an example: if you want to walk from the Capitol building to the Lincoln Memorial, plan on at least a 30 minute walk.   It may not sound like a lot, but it all adds up.  Especially if you’re planning on stopping at some of the monuments & memorials (or even museums) along the way.

So when I had a chance to go on the Old Town Trolley Tour, which is a hop-on hop-off trolley with more than 20 stops all over the city – it was kind of a no-brainer.

The Old Town Trolley Tour is a guided tour in which you can sit back and enjoy a fun trolley ride as well as historical information provided by the driver.  All of the drivers we had the day we toured were phenomenal by the way.  They shared so much history, trivia and lots of behind-the-scenes details about presidential inaugurations and how they are celebrated in DC.  My boys, who are 7  & 10, were never bored once.  My oldest was truly interested in listening to the guides and learning about what he was seeing. Continue reading »

Apr 272015
 

Spring Cleaning Tips to Keep Things Fresh and Organized: Quick and Easy to get the jobs done! - sixtimemommy.comIt’s that time again! The weather is changing and it’s time to get things around the house organized and ready for the nice warm weather! At my house that job never seems to be done but, I find if I plan to do my Spring Clean out and Winter Clean out way ahead of time I usually get it done much quicker. Having a plan of attack is really necessary for me, I forget everything and seem to have developed a scatter brain the older I got, and the more kids I had! If you are anything like me this just may help!

These 5 tips have helped me get things done quickly and efficiently. No real tricks, but I go down the list in order and it works for me! Maybe it could work for some of you!

1. Clean out the Closets:
We have so many people in our house cleaning out closets can take a few days. But it’s necessary. Rotate the winter for the spring clothes. Put away the costs, hats and boots. I organize in tubs, label the lids and tuck away.

2. Go Through Cupboards:
I find over the winter months I get many containers that are winter themed. Snowmen, wreaths, even Santa. It’s time to tuck them away and organize all the Tupperware, food that’s been piling up (canned soups, etc!) inventory what you have, what you need and what can be tucked away or donated! Continue reading »

Apr 272015
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SkinnyCowMoments #CollectiveBias

5 Ways to Sneak in Some ME Time

Before I had kids, I knew that being a mom was more than a full time job, but it took me actually doing the job to realize the true meaning of that statement.  Don’t get me wrong, I love every minute of it, but having kids is a lot of work.   I have been on the go non-stop since I had my first son ten years ago.  Literally.

I have to make sure my boys are fed every day.

IMG_7454

And don’t even get me started on the insane amount of laundry I do in this house.  Every. Single. Day. Continue reading »

Apr 242015
 

30 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas That Won't Break the Bank!

Can you believe Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching? This is the one day of the year that we get to honor our moms. Just like any other holiday, the media gets a hold of it and turns it into this expensive holiday. It’s important to honor your mother on Mother’s Day, but you don’t need to spend a fortune doing it. Check out this list of 30 frugal Mother’s Day gift ideas.

1. Make a homemade card for mom.
2. Pick a bouquet of homegrown flowers
3. Upcycle an old t-shirt into a scarf
4. Make a coupon book for things she loves and adores (cleaning?)
5. Create a craft using your hand print
6. Put a play on for mom
7. Tell mom how much you love her with a letter.
8. Upcycle an old picture frame by adding your own decorative touches.
9. Head to the dollar store to put together a spa gift basket Continue reading »

Apr 222015
 

Rock Your Next Roadtrip With These 10 Apps

Roadtrips can be a lot of fun – if you plan in advance.  Aside from stocking up the car with Mad Libs, snacks and portable chargers for all of your devices, did you know that there are some really helpful apps that can help make life on the road a bit easier?  We’ve all heard the saying “there’s an app for that”, right?  Well, it’s true.  I just survived an eight hour road trip with my family this past weekend and here are a few of the apps that I downloaded onto my Droid that helped us along our way.

1. Waze

Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. You can join drivers in your area who share real-time traffic & road info to save time, gas money, and improve daily commuting for all.

In addition to just looking up the traffic in your area, you can also actively report accidents, police traps and other hazards you see on the road. Get road alerts along your route and find the cheapest gas prices around you shared by the community. Plus, you can add friends, send locations or keep others posted on your arrival time.

Note: Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life. Waze will automatically shut down if you run it in the background and haven’t driven for a while.

Download this free app on Google Play here!

2.  Spotify

What is a roadtrip without great music? With Spotify, you can listen to artists and albums, or create your own playlist of your favorite songs. On Spotify, you can even get personalized recommendations.

Spotify is free and you can play any artist, album, or playlist on shuffle mode

Get it for your Droid here. Continue reading »

Apr 202015
 

We all lie.  Do you agree or disagree?  I think it’s natural for really young kids to tell little white lies at they learn the difference between fact and fiction.  Older kids sometimes tell lies to cover for each other or to keep themselves out of trouble.  As parents, I think it’s fair to say that most of us have experienced at least one of these situations – if not both.

I recently experienced the latter with my oldest son.  A couple of weeks ago he had asked me if he could bring his iPod Touch to school. According to him, his teacher said that they were going to have “electronics day” or something along those lines on Friday.  Since no notice came home from the teacher, I said no.  I had just assumed he wanted to bring it in to fool around with and since the school normally confiscates electronics when they’re not supposed to be there, I didn’t want to see him lose it until the end of the school year in June.

A few days later, I had completely forgotten about it.  That Friday came and went, but a little while after the boys had gotten off of the bus, I overheard my little guy asking his big brother about the new wall paper on his iPod, which was a photo of him and one of his classmates.

When I asked my son point blank if he had snuck his iPod to school (despite the fact I told him that he couldn’t), he fessed up right away.  As punishment, I took his iPod away for a week, which was basically the equivalent of the end of the world to him, but he understood why and took his punishment like a champ.  I am pretty sure he learned his lesson, too.

Speaking of lying….. Continue reading »

Apr 162015
 

Have you ever laughed so hard that you peed your pants?  Me neither, but chances are that if you don’t suffer from bladder leakage, you know someone that does. For me, it’s some of the ladies that I zumba with.  Whenever a song that involves jumping of any kind, there is usually a collective sigh from the moms who experience it.  I feel for them, I really do.

Here I am with a couple of my favorite zumba ladies!

Here I am with a couple of my favorite zumba ladies (at a party after class one morning)!

Luckily for people who experience bladder leakage, Depend underwear is here to the rescue! Continue reading »

Apr 142015
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BestMomsDayEver #CollectiveBias

Best Moms Day Ever

This is a photo of the people who I lived with for the first 23 years of my life.

my family at Taras wedding

They are my family. In the photo, I am pictured with my bother, sister and my parents. The picture was taken the day that my sister got married and it’s the most recent photo of the five of us together. Continue reading »

Apr 132015
 

**Disclosure: Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

“Fragrance is emotion brought to Life. The Caress Forever Collection evokes love, passion, sensuality, and elegance.”- Loc Dong

I love getting pampered.  What woman doesn’t, right?  The thing is, I am a busy mom and and as much as I would love to visit the spa daily weekly, I just don’t have the time or the money for that.  Lucky for me, the new Caress Forever Collection gives me a spa like experience – right in the comfort of my own home.  The  Caress Forever Collection is the world’s first body wash with Fragrance Touch Technology. The breakthrough technology of Caress Fragrance Release Pearls™ releases bursts of perfume with every touch of your skin. The best part is, the floral fragrance lasts for up to 12 hours.  12 hours!! So I smell great all day long.

Caress Forever Collection

It took more than 25 scientists across 4 continents to develop this technological breakthrough.  Loc Dong, who is an award winning perfumer with nearly 20 years of experience under his belt, created the scents for these two new body washes.  He was inspired by the confident and sensual modern woman and was able to capture the essence in these two scents: Continue reading »

Apr 112015
 

North End Wine Tour

**Disclosure: My husband and I were recently invited by City Wine Tours to join them on a complimentary North End Wine Tour.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way*

One of my favorite places in the world to be is the North End of Boston.  Coming from a large Italian family myself, I have so many fond memories of taking the train into the city with my Grandparents to get fresh ingredients to cook with.  As I got older, I truly enjoy the amazing tastes that I find in the North End.  Aside from my mother’s cooking, the North End has the best Italian food around. And seriously, what is a great meal without a nice glass of wine (or three) to accompany it?

Other than knowing I like it, admittedly, I am not much of a wine connoisseur.  That’s why I was really excited when I recently had a chance to go on a North End Wine Tour through City Wine Tours.

Wine tour you ask?  Now that I have piqued your curiosity, let me tell you more.

During each wine tour, you will be met by an extremely knowledgeable wine ambassador, who will take you around to three hot spots (in my case it was the North End).  At each stop, you will get a chance to sample two wines (six in total) and try several food pairings at a reserved table – with wait staff standing by, ready to serve!  What’s even better is that each tour is limited to 12 guests, so it’s like your own private wine tasting!

Each North End Wine Tour begins at Aragosta at the Fairmont Battery Wharf, which is right along the waterfront.  The views there were absolutely gorgeous. Continue reading »

Apr 092015
 

Strawberry Banana Mason Jar Mix

I am a major snacker.  I love to eat in general, but sometimes I would much rather sit down with a snack than have a meal.  That’s especially true when I am watching a movie or even blogging.  Some days I feel like I snack all day long and since I try to keep track of my calorie intake, healthier choices have been where it’s at for me lately.  This strawberry banana mason jar mix is literally the easiest snack you will ever make.

Here’s What You Need:
  • Plain popcorn
  • Dried cranberries or dried cherries

Strawberry Banana Mason Jar Mix5

  • Freeze dried strawberries and bananas

Continue reading »

Apr 092015
 

**Disclosure: Product was received at no charge in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

When it comes to their underwear, I have found that men can be just as particular as women. They want something soft, comfortable, something that fits well, and something that washes well. I recently had the chance to sample Gildan boxer briefs for men (well I didn’t, but my husband did!), and I must say they excelled in all of these categories.  He had never tried Gildan before, so he was looking forward to trying something new. Let me tell you more!

Gildan boxer briefs
First, here are a few things you should know about Gildan products. Gildan is a well known name in the world underwear for both men, women, and children. They make quality threads in a variety of styles and colors, and the quality can’t be beat. They are an ideal brand for the whole family, with prices that fit into even the tightest of budgets. With this budget friendly price, you are in no way sacrificing style. Gildan offers their products in bright colors and trendy designs that are by no means outdated. At the same time, you are not sacrificing quality either. I immediately noticed the quality materials used in these products, tight stitching, quality fabrics, and durable waistband. Continue reading »

Apr 082015
 

Girl Playing With Pet Spaniel Dog Outdoors In Garden

Do you have an animal-loving kid on your hands? If so, you should consider getting your child involved in activities at your local animal shelter.

Many parents are surprised at the array of programs that many shelters offer for kids of all ages. And, there are lots of things, big and small, that kids can do to help the animals.

Make Treats or Cards

Kids can make all kinds of projects, like toys, treats and more, to help animals in a shelter. Some shelters ask for kids’ help making frozen treats at home that they can deliver to the shelter pets.  Your child can also make thank you cards the shelter can give to adopters when they give a dog or cat a forever home. Homemade toys are another popular item kids can make. Check with your local organization to see what kinds of toys, crafts or treats they can use.

Volunteer

Volunteering to walk dogs, socialize kittens or perform other duties at the shelter is a great way for your child to get involved. The age minimum varies, however, so call your community organization to find out about their requirements. And, many shelters ask that kids under 16 volunteer along with a parent or guardian, so it can also be a fun activity you can do together! Continue reading »

Apr 072015
 

Selfie Sticks.  Some people love ’em and some people hate them.  Since they have really started popping up last year, it seems they’ve been the topic of huge controversy. The fact of the matter, folks, is that selfies are here to stay and whether you like them or not, Selfie Sticks have made the process of taking them much easier.

As a blogger,  I take a lot of pictures and depending on the situation, I take many of them with my phone.  There have been many times where I have tried to take a selfie with my whole family and we just didn’t all quite fit. I figured there had to be an easier way, right? So, I finally jumped on the Selfie Stick bandwagon and BOOM!  That was the solution.

The folks at SelfieGeeks were kind enough to send me a Selfie Stick and I am totally addicted to that thing.  Now that I have it, I have no clue how I ever got by without one.

The Selfie Sticks come in Blue, Black or Pink and since I will always choose pink if it’s an option, that’s what I went with.

selfiegeeks selfie stick

The setup is really easy.  Honestly, it hardly took any time at all.  All you have to do is attach your phone, adjust it to the angle you want, attach the cord to the audio port on your phone and press the button on the handle of the Selfie Stick.  It’s super easy. Continue reading »

Apr 062015
 

Building Friendships Online or Offline.. Does it Matter Which? - massholemommy.com

Being a mom and making friends is hard. I moved Toronto 5 years ago this August and I have 1 actual friend in this City.

Why? Well to put it as nicely as I can, I don’t like many people. I don’t like fake people or fair-weather friends, and often that’s what I have found here and tried hard to stay away from.

It’s so important as a mom to build and have lasting friendships, so what do I do?

I have the best of friends online and back home. Not only is this good for my sanity but it is also less invasive and less drama. The people I have met in person here have turned out to be just that, drama. I don’t need drama, I have children who provide enough of that during the day for me I don’t need it from grown women. I do have one very good and loyal friend, she’s there when we both need each other or to just chat about nothing. Sadly, she lives across town but she’s there.

I will make good friendships where I can. If that’s online, then so be it. I’ve made very good and year long friendships that are still going strong. Continue reading »

Apr 042015
 

10 Uses For Dawn Dish Soap

You may have fond memories of Dawn dish soap as a kid. It seemed as though every household had it and used it. While you might remember your parents using Dawn dish soap to get dishes squeaky clean, did you know it can be used in other ways as well? Take a look below at 10 uses for Dawn dish soap that you can try. You may never look at this blue liquid the same way again!

1. Make mega bubbles.
Dawn dishwashing liquid makes amazing bubbles. To make your own mega bubble solution, simply mix ½ cup of dawn with ½ gallon of warm water. To make them even more mega, add a tablespoon of Karo syrup.

2. Remove price tag residue.
Dawn does a great job at removing price tag residue. If you buy items at thrift stores or garage sales and they have residue on them, just dab on some Dawn and rinse.

3. Enjoy a cheap manicure.
Add a few drops of Dawn to a dish of warm water and let your fingers soak in it. Your nail beds and cuticles will soften right up and your nails will get clean. Continue reading »

Apr 022015
 

Many of you that know me in real life already know this, but for those of you who don’t – my husband, Christian, is a retired Air Force veteran.  He retired about a year and a half ago after serving our country for 20 years. Because he’s been deployed numerous times and our family understands the hardships that the entire family faces during those times, we are all about helping Veterans.

Speaking of being deployed, Christian was actually deployed overseas immediately following September 11th and he’s actually got a really interesting story that I wanted to share with you.  Because it’s his story to tell, he wrote it:

I am a military retiree who served 20+ years in the United States Air Force as a fire fighter. One of my most memorable/hardest deployments in the military was right after 9/11. I remember watching the news that day like everyone else and wondering what was going to happen next. As it turned out I was on a plane two weeks later heading to the Middle East. The plane ride there summed up what I was in for over the next few months.

The plane ride, coming from a civilian point of view, was like this;  think about taking a four hour plane ride to Disney World, but instead, it is a 25 hour flight.  Your seat is just a bench and there definitely were no flight attendants.  We got powdered meatloaf for breakfast, a powdered  hot dog for lunch and a bottle of water for dinner.  I spent the whole time looking at the truck right in front of me for the whole trip. When we landed I stepped off of the plane, I turned my head and all I could see was sand. I turned my head in the other direction and again, all I see is sand. Instead of taking a breather, stretching our legs or finally get some rest, we had to build out tent to sleep in that night.

My job as a fire fighter was put on hold and I became a tent builder during my first week  there because we were preparing for arriving troops. One of the toughest things to deal with was that I was not able to communicate with my family.  There no care packages for the first month and it was two weeks before we had the showers built – and for the entire time I was there, we had no hot water at all.

For me, one of the hardest things to deal with was the food. We ate MRE’s (meals ready to eat) every day for two meals.  One of the two was a hot meal (although most of the time it was cold), which either consisted of chicken and rice or eggs and sausage.  Those were our only two choices every day for over 100 days. The only thing we had to drink at first were water bottles )for the first couple of months) and around day 60 I waited in line for an hour to try our second choice of beverage, which was warm (we had no refrigeration) goats milk – at least it came in chocolate. I still remember getting back home after my tour was finished and having my first Coke after about a six month hiatus.  It felt like I was swallowing shards of glass.

Continue reading »

Apr 012015
 

The first question people ask when they hear I am a stay at home mom with twins is, “how can you afford that?” The truth is no one can entirely afford to live solely on one income. It is hard to make the dollars stretch for most families not just my family of four.

Before kids I was tracking expenditures for corporations. Now, I track expenditures for my own household.

Before kids I was tracking expenditures for corporations. Now, I track expenditures for my own household.

I have not worked a traditional 9-5 job in five years. I thought I would stay home just the first year. Then I thought one more year. Eventually, we decided I will stay home until the kids go to Kindergarten. So, how have we afforded for me to stay home this long? Well, to start, it is amazing what you will live without once you have kids. And, if you have them two at a time like me, you really learn quick how to get creative with what income you do have. Continue reading »

Mar 312015
 

*Disclosure: I received a free product in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way*

As a new mom six years ago, one of the hardest things for me to get used to was giving my child a bath. Expecting my fourth child does mean I have gotten some practice in. I’ve been able to get my hands on the Summer Infant Keep Me Warm Baby Bath and I can’t believe I lived without this for so long.

Summer Keep Me Warm Baby Bath

So Much Room

I love how big the infant bathtub is. It’s not TOO big that it’s annoying, but it’s the perfect size for baby an infant and allowing your child to also grow into the tub. The tub also fits perfectly in a regular sized tub or on the counter. I like the ability to move the baby bathtub wherever I need it to go and have the features to help keep baby comfortable during the process. Continue reading »

Mar 302015
 

**Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Famous Footwear, but my love of shoes is all my own.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

If there is one thing in this world that I can not resist, it’s a new pair of shoes.  I have well over a hundred pairs and have been known to drop a pretty penny on a single pair (gosh, I hope my husband isn’t reading this).  Lucky for me, when I shop at Famous Footwear, I don’t have to drop a ton of money on new shoes.  They have a huge variety of all the latest styles for the entire family and more importantly, they are affordable.

I was so excited when I heard that Famous Footwear opened two new stores in my area.  I am always out & about, so having more shopping options is always a good thing.  Where are they you ask?

1. The 6,000-square-foot Westwood store is located in the Westwood Station at 245 University Ave.

2. The 5,049-square-foot Hyannis store is located in the Capetown Plaza at 790 Iyanoough Rd.

I had a chance to stop by the new store in Westwood yesterday and was really impressed with the new store.  In case you’ve never been inside a Famous Footwear, they carry name brands at discounted prices.

Famous Footwear Store Westwood

Famous Footwear has a huge selection of brand name shoes including Sketchers, Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Dr. Scholl’s, Converse, Aerosoles, Naturalizer and Steve Madden Girl. They carry the latest styles for the entire family including women, men, girls and boys! Even though it has still been pretty chilly here in Boston, I have a major case of spring fever, so I wanted to get a new pair of sandals because I figured that would make me feel better about the fact I am still cold all of the time. Continue reading »