Dec 282015
 

How To (1)

Isn’t it time your pantry stopped looking boring and started looking snazzy? I love storage ideas that are brilliant, but that help keep my pantry as organized as possible. I’ll be the first to admit that I love wowing people with my snazzy storage ideas.

Patterned Wallpaper

One of my favorite ways to make the pantry look snazzy is by placing wallpaper behind the shelves. This really helps bring personality to my pantry in so many ways. The tough part for you will be choosing patterned wallpaper that you and your spouse can agree on.

Unique Storage Units

You know, there are simple storage units and then there are snazzy storage units. When choosing storage options for your pantry, you don’t need to go boring. I’ve seen some amazing organizational tools at places like Ikea, Walmart, and Target.

Always Go Up

I’ve learned that to keep my pantry looking snazzy and uncluttered it’s best to “always go up.” What I mean by this is always take your storage up to the top of the ceiling. You can always place new shelving within a pantry by stacking on top of each other. Drawer organizers are a great example of this, they help you have tons of storage, but they can also be placed vertically in your pantry. Continue reading »

Dec 272015
 

Cilantro-Lime-Baked-Chicken-Wings-recipe

Are you in need of an easy appetizer for a party you’re heading to?   Maybe a New Year’s Eve party perhaps?  Well today, I have just the thing –  Cilantro Lime Baked Chicken Wings!  They are really simple to make and trust me, they always go over really big!

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 lbs. Chicken Wings, partially thawed so there is no ice
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. Oil
  • 4 Tbsp. Lime Juice
  • ½ teas. Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teas. Black Pepper
  • 1/8 teas. Cayenne
  • 6 Sprigs of Cilantro Leaves, minced
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Cilantro Lime Baked Chicken Wings ingerdients

Here’s what you do: Continue reading »

Dec 212015
 

Hasbro's Hottest Toys of 2015

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?  Don’t be jealous, but mine has been done for well over a month.  I get panic attacks in crowds (no lie), so I steer clear of the stores for the entire month of December.  I know I am in the minority, though, and personally know quite a few people that haven’t even started their shopping yet – even though the big day is only four days away.  FOUR days, guys!

If you’re stuck on ideas for what to get your kids this year, fret not because Hasbro has you covered and then some.  They seriously have the coolest toys out this year and your kids are going to flip their lids over some of these things!

**Thanks to Hasbro for sending my family these amazing toys to review at no charge.  As always all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

Obviously, Star Wars is all the rage these days with the movie coming out last Friday (no spoilers in the comments please, I am not going to see it until Thursday).  What would Christmas morning be without a little Star Wars?  I am loving these awesome games for my oldest son because he’s 11 now and thinks he’s too cool for toys.  We’ve got a serious case of the tweens going on over here, so these games are absolutely perfect for him.  Continue reading »

Dec 212015
 

A Gift Guide for the Man in Your Life

Small Disclosure

It’s gift guide season again, ladies and gentlemen. And if you’re like most Americans, December 19th is absolutely NOT too late for you to make use of this. I think it’s fitting that this last minute gift guide would be about the kings of last minute shopping – our men. LOL

A Wicked Awesome Gift Guide from LivingSocial

If you’re looking for last minute gifts for your guy, then LivingSocial is the place to look. They have all sorts of offers that appeal to the man in your life, from golfing to skydiving to steakhouse and more. If you can imagine it, you can probably find a great deal on it from LivingSocial. It’s a gift giver’s paradise. Continue reading »

Dec 192015
 

10 Delicious Christmas Morning Breakfast Recipe Ideas

Are you one of those people who usually cooks a big breakfast on Christmas morning?  I love a big holiday breakfast, but we actually do it on Christmas Eve morning.  It started many years ago (about 10) when my sister was living with a roommate from out of state.  Her roommate’s family always came in to spend Christmas here in Massachusetts, so my sister came to stay at my house the nights of the 23rd and 24th to give her roommate and her family some space.

That first year we made her a big old breakfast and it just became tradition – even though my sister hasn’t spent the night of the 23rd at my house in many years.  I am always on the hunt for awesome new recipes to make for my family when we have our traditional Christmas Eve morning breakfast.  If you do a big breakfast for your family on Christmas morning, you will love these 10 Delicious Christmas Morning Breakfast Recipe Ideas:

1. Breakfast Enchiladas: Festive Make­ Ahead Christmas Brunch Continue reading »

Dec 172015
 

Kmart Fab 15 Toys are Awesome

Holiday shopping doesn’t exactly evoke excitement in most people I know. In fact, it’s more like dread. When The Most Wonderful Time of the Year rolls around, shopping becomes an exercise in torture for me, but with the Kmart Fave 15, holiday shopping goes from “Oh man…” to “Aww YAY-uh!”

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of the Role Mommy Writers Network and Kmart. All opinions are 100% my own.​​

Holiday Shopping Like a Boss

Holiday Shopping has always been a game of chance for me. Occasionally, I’ll hit the mark, but not always. I think that’s been the most frustrating part of holiday shopping for me. If I could just hit the mark every year, that would be awesome. Luckily, I have the Kmart Fave 15 to help me out. Continue reading »

Dec 162015
 

Fun Gingerbread & Friends Craft for Kids - massholemommy.comWhen the weather gets colder we like to find more things to do indoors. We are from Canada but that doesn’t mean we all like the cold or want to be outside in it, because we don’t – at all!

We like to do more crafts, make more sweets, and even watch more movies together as a family when we can’t be spending excess amounts of time outside. I think our favorite besides making (and eating!) sweets is doing crafts. Especially Winter or Christmas themed. Who doesn’t love having homemade crafts for decorations especially with a house full of kids? We do!

So, today I’m sharing this fun craft for kids to make Gingerbread and Friends!

gingerbreadmaterials

Materials Needed: Continue reading »

Dec 152015
 

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

Minions Muddy Buddies

One thing we do every single summer is head to the drive-in.  We only do it once a year because it ends up being such a late night, but it’s such a treat for the kids when we go. Since we only go once, we choose the movie we want to watch there very carefully.  We make sure it’s something that we really want to see.  You guessed it, this past summer we chose the Minions movie!

We are super excited that our favorite summer movie just came out on Blu-Ray/DVD on December 8th!  I ran out to get it that day and we have been watching it a lot over the past week.  We just love the Minions © 2015 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

The day I got it, we had a family movie night to watch it – but what’s a movie night without a snack? Of course Illumination Entertainment’s Minions movie was the inspiration for my recipe.  It is the perfect recipe to include in our Minions Movie night!

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Dec 132015
 

Ride the Polar Express at Edaville

Inspired by the hit movie, this holiday favorite comes to life as you and your family take a ride on The Polar Express. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, families are sure to enjoy their trip to the North Pole, complete with hot chocolate and cookies served on board the train.

My family had a chance to ride the polar Express at Edaville last week and I want to tell you all about it.

**Disclosure:  We received complimentary tickets to ride the Polar Express in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Our train was scheduled to leave the station at 6 pm, but we noticed that people were lining up early (like around 5:30), so we lined up, too.   There was a Thomas Christmas train running the same night, but they had the Polar Express riders on one side of the platform and the Thomas riders on the other.  It was clearly marked, so we knew exactly where to go. Plus, there were employees there to switch out our tickets from the printed ones we had to the golden tickets we needed to board the Polar Express, so they were able to direct people. Continue reading »

Dec 112015
 

Netflix_Logo_Print_OneColorPMS

I’m in my second year as a member of the Netflix Stream Team, and I’m so excited to share some Netflix love with you guys this Christmas.  Because we all know that sharing is caring…….unless it’s the flu. Did you know there are a ton of great Christmas movies and specials on Netflix that you can stream right now.

Here are my ten must see Christmas Specials that are streaming on Netflix right now:

1. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – One of my all time favorites!
2. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
3. Ernest Saves Christmas
4. A Christmas Carol – The one from 1938!
5. Christmas with the Kranks – it’s hilarious!
6. The Legend of Frosty the Snowman Continue reading »

Dec 092015
 

What Happens When You Get Botox For the First Time

Do you ever catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and think to yourself “Eh, I wish I could change that”. Well guess what? Thanks to a lot of advancements in medical cosmetic treatments, there are a whole slew of modern non-surgical options for people who want to turn the clock back.  They’re a lot more affordable than you may think, too.

I recently had the opportunity to have a consultation with Dr. Anna Petropoulos at the New England Facial & Cosmetic Surgery Center in Danvers and I am excited to tell you about my experience.

botox1

*Disclosure:  I was provided with complimentary services in exchange for sharing them here.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way. Continue reading »

Dec 092015
 

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

Helping My Man Put His Best Face Forward

My husband Christian is an accountant with the Department of Labor. Yup, I am married to a fed. Basically he deals with civil issues and criminal issues having to do with employee benefits (retirement and health plans). His job is to protect employee’s benefits because, let’s face it,  there are some really shady employers out there.  Anywho, most of his time in the office is spent reviewing financial records to find inconsistencies and errors, but sometimes his cases go from civil to criminal depending on the situation and amount of inconsistencies he finds.  Sometimes those criminal cases are settled and sometimes they’re not.  When they’re not, often times, Christian is called to testify about his findings in front of a grand jury.

Obviously when he has to testify in court, he needs to look professional.  He is always well dressed, clean shaven and accessorized when he goes before a grand jury – and that includes his most important accessory: a nice smile.

chris tie

Seriously, in his head he thinks he is the Jack Bauer of the Department of Labor….

Moving on. Continue reading »

Dec 082015
 

Edaville USA is a modest theme park located in Carver, MA with cranberry harvesting and railroading as its two main themes. It is a really fun family attraction which features about a dozen or so amusement rides including a Ferris Wheel, carousel, bumper cars and more. Each admission includes a five mile train ride through the cranberry bogs on their property. It’s one of New England’s largest displays of Christmas lights and our family looks forward to going every year.

IMG_9440

**My family received complimentary admission to Edaville in order to experience the Festival of Lights for ourselves.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

In fact, I grew up going there with my parents, sister and brother and I am happy that it’s still around for my own children to enjoy. Continue reading »

Dec 072015
 

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

M&M® and Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Cake Mix Cookies

Every year my mommy friends and I do something fun – a Christmas cookie exchange.  It was something that we all participated in when we were all in the moms club in town together and even once our kids aged out of the club, many of us carried on the tradition. Every December we pick a morning and get together to exchange cookies, have some tea, coffee or hot chocolate and share some laughs together.  It’s something that I look forward to all year long.

Here are the cookies my mom friends are going to be getting this year at the annual cookie exchange:

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Dec 022015
 

Festive Homemade Dog Treats

This post is sponsored post by Lunchbox, but as always all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

It seems like from the moment it  December 1st comes around, our lives literally turn into chaos.  Between cutting down & decorating our Christmas tree, more parties than I can keep track of, seasonal events/outings and just regular old daily life – sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up and let some things go. This time of year my poor dog Milo is one of them.  He’s a member of the family, of course, but since we’re out of the house so much, he doesn’t get as much attention during the holidays as he usually does simply because we are so busy.

When I manage to sneak a little free time, I always like to do something a little extra special for Milo – especially this time of the year.  I want him to know how much he means to us and that even though we may not be around quite as much, we still love him to the moon and back.  I decided to make him some of his favorite treats recently so that he knows how much he’s loved.  They’re super easy to make and they were a huge hit with Milo. Continue reading »

Dec 022015
 

10 Fun Mason Jar Christmas Craft Ideas

There’s some extra special about getting homemade gifts at the holidays, am I right?  They are both fun to make & give as gifts and to receive.  With the recent trend in mason jar crafts, I rounded up some pretty cool things to make and gift to your loved ones – or use for yourself.  Check them out:

1. Winter Luminaries Snowy Pinecone Candle

Winter Luminaries Snowy Pinecone Candle

http://craftsbyamanda.com/snowy-pinecone-candle-jars/ Continue reading »

Dec 012015
 

For over 100 years, Stop & Shop has been committed to being a better neighbor to New England. This year they will donate over 300,000 holiday meals and $12 million to families in need through their ongoing hunger relief programs such as Turkey Express, Food for Friends and Trimmings Boxes. With the holiday season in full swing, they are encouraging their customers to give back as well – and they asked for my help!

This year, Stop & Shop challenged me to jump-start the holiday season with a pay it forward challenge that enabled me to give back to my community.  They asked if they could send me a gift card so that I could go and make a purchase at Stop & Shop and use what I purchased to pay it forward in any way that I chose.  How could I say no to that?  As soon as I accepted the challenge, I knew exactly who I wanted the donation to go to: The Sacred Heart Food Pantry right in my hometown of Middleboro, MA. There are so many great charities, but I wanted to keep it close to home.

I emailed them to ask for list of what they really needed to stock up on.  They emailed back and said that they really needed pancake mix, pancake syrup, canned meals, microwave meals, baked beans, ketchup, mayo, mustard, boxed pasta (not spaghetti or elbows), and soups.  That made it really easy when I went into Stop & Shop to make the purchase.

stopshop1

When I got there, I looked at what was on sale so that I could make the most of the money (gift cards) that I was sent. Continue reading »

Nov 292015
 

While many New Englanders refer to the entire east coast of Maine as”Down East”, it’s actually just one particular coastal region of the state (from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian border) – either way, though, Maine is such a lovely state to visit.  Ever since I was a kid, I have had a love for Maine and have always said that if I didn’t love Massachusetts so much, I would be living up in Maine.

My husband Chris & I recently spent a day in Freeport, Maine and our ride up to the pine tree state was nothing short of comfortable on board the Amtrak Downeaster.

**Disclosure:  I received two complimentary round-trip tickets, in addition to a stipend for our daytrip in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

The Amtrak Downeaster strives to provide exceptional rail service to connect the New England communities in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. With five round-trips daily between Boston and Portland, and now two round-trips to Freeport and Brunswick, the Amtrak Downeaster is your car-free connection to exciting Maine destinations all year long.

The Amtrak Downeaster leaves from North Station in Boston (at the Garden) and can be accessed from the green & orange lines on the T, certain Commuter Rail lines or you can drive in & park at one of the many garages in that general area.  Chris & I took the T in to North Station on the day of our trip.

About 10 minutes or so before the train was set to depart, the track number was announced (on the board and it was announced over the intercom) so we knew exactly where to go to get on the correct train.

Maine1

There are two types of seats on the Downeaster: Coach and Business class. Continue reading »

Nov 242015
 

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

Date Night Essentials

Over the years, my husband Chris and I have had some pretty epic dates.  When we were first dating he took me to a shooting range & that’s the exact moment when I knew he was a keeper.

When it comes to fun date nights, he’s got a knack for finding some pretty cool things for us to do.  We’ve gone to a couple of paint nights,  tons of different ghost tours, we’ve made our own beer – from scratch and we’re regulars down at the Firehouse Theater in Newport, RI to see the Bit Players, which is an improv comedy troupe.

This is us at the Medieval Manor in Boston, which is a themed dinner & show.  It was one of my favorite dates.

date 1

I’m not sure if this qualifies as a “date” per se, but last year when we were in Manhattan to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, he let me drag him all the way across town to see the Ghostbusters headquarters.  It was rainy and cold that day, but he knew it made me happy. Continue reading »

Nov 242015
 

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

Easy White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

There are certain times of the year when I like to do something special for my boys teachers and bus drivers.  Each year for teacher appreciation week I get their teachers a gift card to go out to eat.  I mean, if anyone deserves a night off without having to cook, it’s a teacher.  Then at the end of the school year, I also get nice gifts for the teachers as a way to thank them for such a great year with my kids.  Of course, I always like to get something for the bus drivers, too.  After all, they are responsible for getting my boys back and forth to school safely every day.

At Christmas time, I like to get festive when it comes to gift giving.  I love to make sweet treats for the teachers and bus drivers and based on the feedback I have gotten from them in the past, my baked goods are always a hit.  This year, the bus drivers and teachers are getting some delicious white chocolate peppermint fudge.  It’s easy to make and I know it’s going to be a big hit. Continue reading »