Nov 032015

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

5 Tips for Teaching Kids to Enjoy Reading

Reading is one of those “things” that kids either seem to enjoy or dislike. Luckily in my case, both of my boys truly enjoy reading, but I know that’s not the case with every child. Even if your child seems to dislike reading, there are things you can do to get your child to actually enjoy it instead.

#1. Try Community Reading Programs

Sometimes just reading for your own sake isn’t enough. Kids want to be recognized for their hard work and determination. Community reading programs are perfect for helping kids get excited about reading and making it more enjoyable. During these programs, kids get rewarded for the amount of hours they read… It’s pretty exciting!

#2. Try Reading Together

Sometimes adding a little bit of fun in with reading makes it more enjoyable. Parents, read with your children to spruce up the idea of reading. Spend time talking about the book and even using goofy voices while reading. Take the time to teach your child about how high or low inflections in their reading voice can add a little spin to their reading fun. Continue reading »

Nov 012015

5 Insider Tips For Viewing the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1

Did you know that over 3 million people head to New York City to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person each year.  Like every one else, I love watching it on television every year, but actually going to NYC to see it live had been on my bucket list for many years.  Since we’re only a few hours from NYC, last year my hubby, Chris and I headed down to Manhattan to see the parade.  Before we went down, I did my research and wanted to pass on my best tips for surviving the experience to you guys.


1. Know the parade route!

This is going to help you in a few ways.  First of all, I highly suggest you plan where you want to view the parade from ahead of time, so obviously you will need to know which way the parade goes. Plus, that way you can tell your cab driver exactly where to drop you off at when you get there.  Secondly, if you are watching the parade from near the beginning of the route, you will not walk into the crowds still watching it when you leave. Continue reading »

Oct 282015

Mini Travel Pouch For Kids

Over the weekend my family and I traveled to NYC by train to visit Comic Con! It takes us just over 2 hours by train for us to get to the city. I was worried about how to keep the kids occupied and reasonably quiet during the ride. I also do not like carrying a ton of stuff so I had to make sure I had all our essentials covered and that everything was light weight and portable.

Thankfully, my kids carry their own back packs. I knew we had a lot of walking ahead of us so I didn’t want to overload the packs. I packed a change of clothes and left enough room for an extra sweat shirt, some snacks and a mini activities pouch. I carried my own light weight pack filled with small snacks and my own essentials.

I knew after the initial excitement of the landscape whizzing by our train wore off the kids would start getting antsy. That’s when I planned to pull out these mini pouches filled with small, quiet activities and require only the power of their imagination. Continue reading »

Oct 192015

Easy Ghost Puzzle Craft

It’s no secret that It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is my favorite cartoon of all time.  As soon as I see Linus and Lucy walking towards that pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin, I am transported back to my own childhood.  I remember as a child (before DVD’s and even cable), my mom would let me stay up late every year to watch it when it came on tv.

It’s not just It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, either.  I have loved so many of the Peanuts gang specials and movies over the years and I was excited to hear that they have a new movie coming out on Friday, November 6th, 2015: The Peanuts Movie. You can view the trailer here:

I was even more excited when I heard that Shaw’s stores was going to be the exclusive grocery partner for the upcoming release of The Peanuts Movie and that they were going to have two exclusive reusable Peanuts branded shopping bags / trick-or-treat bags that are free (with purchase, while supply lasts).

Do you remember the scene in It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown when all the kids go trick or treating.  With the exception of Lucy, who is a witch, and Charlie Brown, who just wears a sheet with a lot of holes in it, the rest of the gang were all dressed up as ghosts.  My kids and I decided to recreate those cute ghosts by making a craft out of some old puzzle pieces.  It’s super easy to make and you only need a few things to make your ghost (and you probably already have them). My kids got a huge kick out of it.

Here’s what you need:

  • Old puzzle
  • Any black craft paint
  • Any white craft paint
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Paint brushes

Here’s what you do:

1. Start by painting the back of about 30 puzzle pieces white (more or less depending on how big you want your ghost to be). Let them dry completely. Continue reading »

Sep 152015

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

Complete Karate Mom Checklist Printable

I’ve been talking a lot lately about my journey towards getting my black belt in Krav Maga, but did you know that my son has been testing along with me?  Because Krav Maga is meant for adults and my oldest son is only 11 years old, he’s in the karate program at the same dojo.

He started around the same time as I did (only a few weeks before me) and has been training hard ever since.  The kids and adults follow the same process when it comes to black belt testing, so he & I have been going through our testing side by side.

JD Karate1

Twice a year they hold boot camp qualifications at our dojo and if you pass, you move on to what they call “boot camp”. Once you’re in boot camp, you meet every Friday night over the course of three months for extra training with the instructors. That’s where they review the specific techniques that they want to see on which phase of the black belt testing (there are a lot of different techniques, so they break it up over the three tests). Then, once a month over the next three months, you test. Continue reading »

Sep 082015

10 Ways to Deal With Being the Only Woman in the House

You would think that being the only woman in the house was easy, but it’s not. Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair, but I get over it and move on. (Don’t get me wrong, I do love my boys). I have found several ways to deal with being the only woman in the house.

#1. My Kids Think I Have Superpowers

I’m not kidding, my kids sometimes really do think I have superpowers. Some days they think that having me cook their favorite meal is a superpower.

#2. I Have My Hobbies

Just because I’m a mom of all boys, it doesn’t mean I can’t do my own thing. There are some things that I enjoy doing around my house that the boys don’t like. It’s just one way I deal with being the only woman in the house.

#3. Take a Long Bath

If I ever need to just clear my head and remind myself of my mission, I head to the bathroom to take a long bath. The boys are old enough to let me have my peace of mind for a little bit, while I relax and collect my thoughts. Continue reading »

Sep 042015

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

How To Work Out For Free

If you’re a regular around here, you already know that I train in Krav Maga.  I’ve spent this summer training extra hard and going through the black belt testing process, which takes a total of three months.  At my dojo, they do black belt testing twice a year – once in the summer and once in the winter. I started the process back in June when I made it through the qualification round.  Once someone has passed the qualification test, they can move on to the three phases of testing.

There are three adults going through testing this cycle and we all passed our phase one test back on August 1st.  This past Saturday we had our phase two (of three) black belt test and I’m happy to say that all three of us passed!  Yay! Continue reading »

Sep 022015

Today was my boys first day of school.  The lazy days of this past summer are now just be a bunch of really great memories.  I can’t believe how fast the summer flew by this year, but honestly I am glad that it’s time to get back into our routine.  Things just seem to run better in our house when there is a firm routine in place. Last night we were busy loading all those school supplies into their backpacks, picking out the boys first day of school outfits and most importantly, packing their lunches.



For me, it’s important to make sure they eat well during the day.  Not only do I like to pack them foods they like, but I like to ensure they get foods that will keep them engaged and focused throughout the day. Continue reading »

Aug 272015

Tips For Making Homework Less Stressful

Homework has a way of being incredibly stressful on the whole family; however, there are things you can do to make it a whole lot less nerve-racking. Here are some tips for making homework time less stressful on the whole family.

Plan Ahead

It’s always nice to know what kind of homework will be coming home and when. I always try and communicate with the teacher when it comes to homework. Most teachers send an idea of what will be coming down the pipeline, which helps us prepare. It’s also nice to know if homework won’t be assigned on a particular day because this could be made into a “special” day!

Rewards are Always Welcome

Think about how many times in a day adult’s award themselves with something. It’s time to allow kids to award themselves for a job well done too! A week without fighting about homework? Let them pick their prize! Choose a reward system that works for your family and stick with it.

Stay on Schedule

It’s easy to remain stress free about homework when you know when it’s going to be done. Staying on schedule at a specific time with homework can help make this process a lot less stressful. Pick a time during the week that works every night. When a child knows what time they will be doing their homework it also takes a lot of guesswork out of their day. They know at 6 o’clock they’ll be doing homework so there’s no need to even question it. Continue reading »

Aug 192015

Everything You Need for a Date Night at the Drive-In

We have a list of things we do every single summer.  They’re kind of like traditions in our family and we always make sure we do them at least once every summer. One of the things on our list is going to the drive-in.  It’s such a fun way to watch a movie and it’s always a hit with the husband and kids.   When you’re planning a night at the drive-in, there are some things you will definitley need to bring with you to make your night a success. Whether you’re going on a date night with your hubby (or wife) or your whole family is in tow, don’t forget these essentials.

**Disclosure: Thanks to Breyers for sponsoring this conversation.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.


Lawn Chairs Continue reading »

Aug 182015

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

5 Ways to Help Your Child Transition from Elementary to Middle School

Is your child headed from elementary school to middle school this year?  In the town we live in, our middle school has grades 6-8 and my oldest son is transitioning in to 6th grade at the middle school this year.  It seems like there are a million things to do to prepare for the switch, but I have come up with a list of things that can help both you and  your child make sure you’re ready without causing any extra stress. Just keep in mind that middle school is a more complex environment than elementary school.

1. Visit the middle school

I know this isn’t an “aha” moment but you might be surprised at what visiting a middle school can do for the middle schooler’s brain. Also, ensuring your child knows how the school works is important. Nothing raises anxiety more than the first day of school than not understanding where classrooms are. Sometimes it’s also nice to see a school that’s not crowded with a ton of children in the hallways. If your school doesn’t hold an open house or walk-through day like ours does, call up the school and see if there is a time when you can take your child in to tour the school. Continue reading »

Aug 102015

7 Tips for Packing Successfully For a Move With Kids - massholemommy.comAt the end of August we are moving, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Where we live right now is pretty toxic (not literally, but the lack of respect and issues we’ve had to deal with the past 2+ years would make make your jaw drop!)

So, we’ve had to start getting things ready to go. I’ve had to figure out some tricks to get things moving along, get the kids to help and organize what we need, what we don’t need and how to deal with the stress that comes along with a move, finding a new place, securing the new place, changing addresses, making arrangements for hook ups, etc etc!

I wanted to share with you, just in case you need to move sometime in the near future what I’ve learned that will hopefully make the moving process for us go a lot smoother from here on out, and maybe you too!

Arm Yourself With a Good Plan:
I need a plan for everything in life, moving was a big one. Sit down and write out a plan to tackle your budget, boxes, rooms, junk and where you will start and finish. Anything you think you may need to plan for, do it. Even if small, or silly. You just never know and costs add up quickly especially those unexpected ones! Continue reading »

Jul 142015

Surviving Spousal Deployment

This review was made possible by iConnect and Duracell. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions are 100% mine.

If you’re facing a spousal deployment in the near future, it will no doubt be some of the hardest days and months of your life. However, thousands of people make it through this difficult time period, but how? Here are some tips to make it through any period of deployment.

Journal When You Can

Some of the best medicine on the planet for going through a hard time is journaling. Writing down how you feel and getting it all out is one way to combat those feelings. Whether you start a journal or blog, writing can help you document pictures and events during the deployment.

Make Sure You’re Financially Secure

Before your spouse leaves for deployment, make sure all the finances are in order. There’s nothing worse than dealing with debt and late bills than when you’re doing it by yourself. If you can, also make sure you have an emergency plan in place, just in case you come across an emergency situation and need the extra funds. Continue reading »

Jul 102015

Hatching Butterflies - What You Should Know

Watching a butterfly go through the stages of metamorphosis is an amazing experience. At least, that’s how I remember it from Kindergarten. I can remember the level of excitement in our classroom as we ran to peer into the converted milk carton every morning. “What’s it look like TODAY?!” we’d wonder.

A friend of mine gave my girls each a painted lady caterpillar in a small cup to watch it transform into a butterfly. “Oh good! Something educational and fun to watch in our very own home,” I thought. We set the cups on top of the counter and waited while the caterpillars ate through all the sugary substance inside the cup. The girls and I were so excited to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to our new family members every night. My darling cutie pies even named their little creatures after each other. It all seemed incredibly sweet until I realized something… caterpillars poop.

I started to notice all these little pellets piling up inside the little cup. “Ewwwwwww….. she pooped mom!” So, that was educational. I also started having nightmares of little spiky caterpillars crawling up my arms and I couldn’t stop them. They were a little tiny army I couldn’t out run! Suddenly, I realize there isn’t anything magical about this early stage of hatching caterpillars!

It took several days for the little wiggly things to crawl to the lid of the cup, attach themselves and hang in a letter “J” just as the instructions stated they would. It was time to transfer the little creatures to their habitat (a new, poop free cup). When I opened the lids on the cups there was a horrible smell and the cocoons seemed stuck inside of a fuzzy web. Not at all a glorious site (or smell). Continue reading »

Jun 302015

7 Fun Travel Games for Kids

Traveling as an adult is one thing because we know how to deal. However, traveling as a kid can get kind of boring. It’s important to make sure your kids are occupied as they travel, but how? Check out these 7 fun travel games that are perfect for kids.

Name That Tune

If your family is big into watching television, you might consider playing “Name That Tune.” When it’s your turn, you start humming the theme song to a show or movie. The rest of the car has to decide what show or movie the song goes to.

Nature Hunt

When you’re in a car there are limited things for kids to do and that’s why creativity is important. Depending on what part of the country you’re traveling in, a nature hunt from the backseat is a ton of fun. Everyone has to look for a new type of wildlife, tree, or flower. Everyone needs to keep a list of what they saw and at the end of each round, go over who found the most interesting objects. This game is also great for rest stops!

20 Questions

It may seem as though our kids already ask us 20 questions a day, but this game is a ton of fun in a moving vehicle. The main person needs to think of a subject and everyone else in the car takes turns asking questions about the object. The idea is to guess what the original object was. The objects in this game can be silly, fun, or serious! Continue reading »

Jun 282015

Small Disclosure

Summer sure did get here quickly! A summer BBQ is the perfect way to spend those glorious sunny days outdoors. Here are some awesome tips for throwing that perfect summer BBQ.


Don’t Forget the Shade

Everyone loves some sun, right? Just make sure you provide your guests with a way out of the sun. Set up a nice tent or beach umbrella for people to get a break from the scorching sun.

Lots of Cold Drinks

Is there anything better on a hot sunny day than cold drinks? I think not. One of my favorite things to do for our guests is fill a cooler with ours and their favorite drinks. It keeps everyone cool, calm, and satisfied when they can grab something cold to drink while standing around chatting.

Add Water Fun

When it comes to BBQs around our house, we add some sort of water fun. There may be water balloons, a slip and slide, or even a little kiddy pool. You need to have the best entertainment for the kids, so they’ll let the adults have some fun too. Continue reading »

Jun 252015


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

Do you ever feel guilty when you open the fridge door and you realize that food has gone off before you’ve even had a chance to eat it? If you’re a busy mom or dad, it’s quite easy to overlook certain food items when you’re prepping family meals – before you know it, the product goes in the food waste bin. But there is a way to make food last longer and it’s all about the organisation of your fridge and freezers. Because storing food in the right way really, REALLY makes a difference to how long certain types of food stay edible. Here are some top tips:

The top part of the fridge is for ready to eat items

Did you know that the top part of the fridge is the warmest part?  Place everything that is ready or nearly ready to eat here: milk, cheese, yogurts and leftovers. If things are going out of date quicker than you expect it may be that you need a new fridge or freezer – check out this Tesco buying guide for ideas.

Utilize the bottom of your fridge for fresh food

The bottom part of the fridge is the coldest – always store items like fresh and cold meats here. Wrap different types of meat separately and ensure that there is no air in plastic bags before you seal items. Continue reading »

Jun 232015

Why You Should Go Camping with Your Family

When was the last time you went camping with your family? If you haven’t gone in a while – or you’ve never gone, this summer may be the best opportunity to go! I recently enjoyed my very first camping experience and I wanted to share some of the reasons why I think you should go camping with your family. After all, you only live once, so making memories with the people you love is what it’s all about!

**Disclosure:  My family was invited as guests of GoRVing and Kampgrounds of America (KOA) to spend a weekend of fun at the Mystic,CT KOA. As always, all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Since I had never been camping before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but after my first time last weekend – I am now a firm believer that camping is good for the soul. As a novice when it came to camping, the lovely park model cabin that we got to stay in couldn’t have been a better way for us beginners to camp for the first time.


And guess what?  These park models are actually recreational vehicles (RV’s), which are built on wheels so that even though they are intended to stay in one place, they’re portable.  If you are new to camping, these are a great way for families to get try camping for the first time.  I bet once you try it, you’ll be as hooked as we are now.

Have a look inside the cabin we stayed in: Continue reading »

Jun 172015

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

road trip essentials for families

Ah, the family road trip. There is nothing quite like it. The preparation, the unexpected glitches and plenty of fun and silly times. A road trip creates memories that will last a lifetime. To make the most of your trip, you need a combination of preparation and a “roll with the punches” attitude, because the unexpected will occur, and is often what makes those memories.

walmart road trip bridge

Many of you already know that my family took an eight hour road trip from Boston to Washington DC this past April. It was our first major road trip and since it was such a success,  we’re planning a six hour road trip to Hershey, PA next month!  I definitely feel more prepared for future journeys after our first major road trip this year. If you are planning a trip this summer, here are some road trip essentials for families you won’t want to leave home without: Continue reading »

Jun 092015

6 Reasons to Hire a SAHM

I remember the day I interviewed a mom returning to work after staying home with her kids for three years. She was ready, she was assertive, she had skills. I thought she was perfect for the job, but my boss at the time disagreed. Her reason, “her skills aren’t relevant anymore. All she has done is stay at home with kids for three years.” I felt like I took a dagger to the heart that day on behalf of stay at home moms every where.

At the time I was only a few months pregnant, and had freshly announced my pregnancy. When I rebuked my bosses comments she insisted I must be feeling sympathy for my “future self.” As in, one day I’d find myself returning to work after leaving my career to “just” take care of kids. I’d also be out of date, behind the times and irrelevant. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I owe her comments a great deal of credit for pushing me to find value in my skill sets as a stay at home mom.

6 Reasons You’ll Want to Hire A Stay At Home Mom:
1. Multitasking– the very nature of being a parent requires one to perform several tasks at once. If I can change a diaper while making an appointment with the plumber over the phone, I can certainly handle more than one office task at a time.
Continue reading »