Nov 292015

Take the Train to Maine on board the Amtrack Downeaster

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 Amtrack 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. Continue reading »

Nov 052015

Last week I had the chance to dine at a wonderful restaurant on Cape Cod.  Located in the heart of downtown Falmouth, the Bear in Boots GastroPub was nothing short of delightful and I can’t wait to tell you how much I loved it.

If you’re wondering where the name Bear in Boots came from, there’s a really sweet story behind it. Wife and Husband duo, Kate and Gates Rickard, named the restaurant after their three children, who are affectionately known to their parents as Boots, Bear, and Squirrel. Although their youngest daughter’s nickname didn’t make it into the name of the restaurant, when you eat at Bear and Boots you will surely notice the strategically placed squirrel decorations.


I dined with three other local bloggers the night we went and the four of us were treated to a nice variety of menu items that were all prepared by Chef Joseph Ellia. Joseph spent some time with us talking about the practices at the restaurant and how many of the dishes were prepared.

**Disclosure: Although all the food I ate that day was complimentary, as always, all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

Each night Bear in Boots offers specials in addition to their regular menu. One of the things off of the specials menu that we tried were these wonderful potato pierogies with house-made dry aged saucisson sec.  Oh, they were so good. Continue reading »

Nov 022015

Tavern on the Wharf opened in early June and is already taking Plymouth by storm. Located on the town wharf, when you dine there you are are guaranteed amazing views of historic Plymouth Harbor – seriously, you can see it from every seat in the restaurant.  What makes dining at Tavern on the Wharf really spectacular is that all of their food is fresh and the majority of it is sourced locally.  Much of their seafood comes right from Plymouth Harbor.

Tavern on the Wharf is both casual and classy at the same time. With very reasonable prices, Tavern on the Wharf really is the perfect restaurant for any occasion including date night or just a night out with the family.  The menu was created by Chef John Sheehan, and there is something for everyone on there. John may be young, but he brings lots of experience and fresh ideas to this restaurant.

Last week I met up with three of my fellow bloggers for lunch at Tavern on the Wharf and we were not only treated to a wonderful meal, but got a chance to spend some time with with the chef and were given the opportunity to tour the restaurant and see some of the behind the scenes happenings.

**Disclosure: Although all the food I ate that day was complimentary, as always, all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

Tavern on the Wharf1

Tavern on the Wharf’s menu selections include many seafood dishes, in addition to salads, burgers, steak, pizza and much more.  I was truly impressed by the variety of dishes on the menu. Continue reading »

Oct 272015

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey LEGENDS

I recently had the chance to take my family to the circus and it was the first time I had been to see it in about 30 years.  The last time I saw a Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey production was with my parents, brother and sister in Boston.  My brother was really little at the time (maybe 4 or 5) and at some point during the show a clown was shot out of a cannon.  The loud noise sent my poor little brother in to hysterics so badly, that we all actually ended up having to leave the show.  He just wouldn’t calm down until we left. But such is life, right?

Anyhow, when I found out that Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey LEGENDS was coming to the TD Garden in Boston, I was excited to take my kids.  I just knew that they would love the show and I was right.

circus 1

Disclosure:   My family received complimentary tickets to see LEGENDS from the folks at Feld Entertainment.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way. Continue reading »

Oct 252015

Oktoberfest, the yearly German fall festival that draws in more than six million people, celebrates everyone’s favorite things: food, beer, and merrymaking. Although the official Oktoberfest celebration takes place in Munich, Bavaria, there are Oktoberfest celebrations held all over the world. Foxwoods® Resort Casino, the Northeast’s premier resort destination, is joining the party with month-long food and beverage offerings through October 31st.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend a wonderful Oktoberfest themed press event at Foxwoods® Resort Casino, but as always, all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

Approximately a dozen bloggers and their plus ones met at Cedars Lounge, where we all started our evening with Oktoberfest beer tasting and social.


The bloggers invited were from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.  I loved that I got a chance to meet some new people and catch up with some old friends while I was at the event (That’s Sarah from Sweet Lil You and her husband Dave that Chris and I are talking to). Continue reading »

Oct 192015

Haunted Happenings in Salem

The Salem witch hunt was indeed a real-life horror story.  In case you need a refresher, twenty innocent people were put to death during the Witch Hysteria of 1692, leaving Salem forever branded.  Actually, these days many people refer to Salem as “The Witch City.”

The people of Salem totally play up their spooky reputation to tourists, too.   In addition to the town’s normal bewitching attractions, Haunted Happenings run for the entire month of October and draws nearly a quarter of a million people to the city.  This year, my family was among Salem’s visitors and today I want to tell you about all the fun we had there.

**Disclosure:  I received a complimentary media pass to all of the locations mentioned in this post in order to tell you about our experience in Salem.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

Since we had the kiddos with us, we kept our visit to Salem family friendly (well, as family friendly as the murders of 20 innocent people can be I suppose).  Here are all the things we did while we were there:

The Salem Witch Museum
The main presentation is based on actual trial documents. Visitors experience the drama of that dark time though thirteen life-size stage sets, figures, lighting and a stirring narration as they are witness to the web of lies and intrigue of the Salem Witch Hunt.
In our second exhibit, Witches: Evolving Perceptions, live guides take you through changing interpretations of witches, the truth behind the stereotypes, witchcraft practice today and the frightening phenomenon of witch hunting.


The Salem Witch Museum is located at 19 1/2 Washington Square and is open daily, year round: 10:00am-5:00pm, but they do have extended hours on select dates in October, so be sure to check their website before you go. Continue reading »

Oct 182015

Top 5 Eastern Connecticut Haunts

Connecticut is one of the most oldest states in our nation.  Being that it’s one of the first states, Connecticut is not only steeped in history, it’s full of things that go bump in the night. Connecticut’s sordid past, centuries-old graveyards, and gorgeous old mansions create the perfect recipe for spirit activity.

If you’re looking for a spine-chilling ghostly experience, eastern Connecticut is the perfect place to learn about the people and places that still haunt us to this day. If you want to experience some paranormal activity, check out these five haunted eastern Connecticut locations for your best chance. Guys, these are not staged haunted venues for Halloween- These are the real deal!

1.  Captain Daniel Packer Inne, Mystic
In 1873, Captain Packer’s 7-year-old niece, Ada Clift, was struck by scarlet fever and died at the Inne.  To this day, it is said that she still haunts the restaurant.  Apparently, according to staff & customers, her favorite place to play is in the stairwell.  She has also been known to befriend young children who are dining at the Inne.   Some employees say that the Captain still roams there as well. Continue reading »

Oct 152015

Fright Fest 2015 at Six Flags New England is in full swing. Like in the past, this year they have some seriously awesome haunts that are guaranteed to make everyone’s hair stand on end.  This year there are over 20 chilling attractions and over 200 petrifying characters. When you’re there, be sure to enter the Big Top and experience the all-new Slasher Circus 3D. If you love getting scared by sinister clowns, this is the attraction for you.  The clowns make it their mission to terrify people as they roam through this 3D attraction.

**Disclosure:  My family and I were invited to experience media day at Six Flags New England and received complimentary admission.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.


If you have little ones, don’t worry – there is something for everyone at Six Flags New England this Halloween season. Here’s the full Fright Fest breakdown. Continue reading »

Oct 142015

When I say Mystic, Connecticut, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?  Mystic Pizza, the 1988 film starring  Julia Roberts?  Sure, you can get a great pizza at Mystic Pizza (which is a real place) while watching the movie on replay mode inside the downtown restaurant, but Mystic actually has a lot more to offer than that.

Mystic, Connecticut is a small, quaint, historic New England village that’s just a few minutes over the Rhode Island border.  It’s only about an hour and fifteen minutes from my home in southeastern Massachusetts, making it the perfect place to escape to for a weekend away. Mystic has been a top tourist attraction in Connecticut for years with its restored sea captain’s houses, boating, museums, abundance of  local restaurants and other attractions like the aquarium and Seaport.

My husband, Christian, and I spent two nights in Mystic recently and and stayed at the Old Mystic Inn.


It is an older Inn, but it has lots of charm. Christian and I have stayed in many bed & breakfasts over the years and I have to say that my expectations were more than exceeded at the Old Mystic Inn.  It was such a delightful, charming place to stay and I left there wondering why it took me so long to stay there in the first place.

**Disclosure:  I received a two night stay at the Old Mystic Inn at no charge thanks to my friends at Mystic Country.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

Let me tell you all about our experience at the Inn. Continue reading »

Oct 122015

My husband, Christian, and I have been to Mystic, CT numerous times.  In fact, you have probably seen me write about our trips down there a few times in the last year alone. We only live about an hour and fifteen minutes away, so while it’s still relatively close to where we live, it’s just far enough that it makes for a perfect weekend getaway spot.

Last weekend we found ourselves in Mystic yet again and had a chance to go on the Seaside Shadows Haunted Tour one of the nights. If you are a regular around here, you know that I am obsessed with love walking ghost tours.  They combine two of my favorite things in one – history and paranormal activity.  Seriously, as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t get much better than that.

**Disclosure:  My husband and I received complimentary tickets to this tour thanks to my friends at Mystic Country.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way!

As I said, I have been in Mystic many times, but I had no idea that this community had such a dark past.  I loved hearing the spooky stories as we strolled through downtown Mystic by lantern light.


The tour met on the sidewalk by the Mystic River Park (near the drawbridge). Once the tour started at 7 pm, we all headed over to the Park’s boardwalk to start the tour.  It was there that the tour guide, Courtney McInvale Reardon, told us a little bit about herself.  In addition to being a Connecticut native herself, she is a sensitive and has been connecting with the other side for many years.  She also told us about her experiences growing up in a haunted house which was actually investigated by the famous Warren family. Continue reading »

Oct 062015

5 Reasons Why You Need To Go To King Richard's Faire

Hear ye, hear ye!  It’s that time of year again.  For two months every fall, you can travel back in time at King Richard’s Faire in Carver, MA.  Spread out over 80 acres of woods, King Richard’s Fairs is the place to be if you want to fully immerse yourself into a day in the life of someone back in the 1500’s.

**Disclosure:  My family and I received complimentary admission to King Richard’s Faire in order to tell you about our experience there.  All opinions are strictly my own and we not influenced in any way.


If you’ve never been to a renaissance festival, you’re missing out on a chance to travel back in time to the 16th century.  I could probably list out a million reasons why you should check it out, but today I am going to tell you my top five! Continue reading »

Oct 052015


If you’re a regular around here, you know that I am fascinated by all things spooky and haunted.  In addition to going on ghost tours on a semi-regular basis, I drag my poor husband to as many reportedly haunted locations all over New England. Today, I am going to tell you a little bit about eight of the spookiest places right here in Massachusetts!  I’ve visited four out of the eight and only had an experience at one of them – the Lizzie Borden House, if you can call it that.  No, I didn’t see a ghost, but all my batteries (phone, camera) that were fully charged drained as soon as I entered the house.  I can’t wait to check out the other four.

1. Old Yarmouth Inn, Yarmouth Port, Mass
The Old Yarmouth Inn was established in 1696, making it the oldest Inn on Cape Cod. It stands to reason, then, that there are a few ghosts here. The ghosts are not mean or scary, though; they seem to have a sense of humor and actually enjoy being irritating to the guests. Since the Inn also served as a post on the underground railroad, one of the ghosts may be a woman who visited the Inn in that manner. The other is a benevolent spirit of a grandfatherly old man.

2. USS Salem, Quincy, Mass 
This gunship was built in 1947 and commissioned in 1949. Her guns were never fired in anger, but she did serve as a flagship for other U.S. ships in the Mediterranean during WWII. It has since been turned into a museum to the industry of shipbuilding and the wonderful marvel of this type of ship. Although this ship was never fired upon, it does seem to have its fair share of ghosts. They are seen roaming the decks going about their work, as if it’s just another day. Continue reading »

Sep 292015

Where Kids Can Eat Free South of Boston

I don’t know about you, but there are definitley sometimes in which I don’t feel like cooking, but don’t want to pay a fortune for the four of us to go out to eat.  I knew there were some places around where kids could eat free down here on the south shore, but wasn’t sure which places had offers.  I decided to make a list of all of the places I could find so that I could refer back to it when I needed it.  If you live south of Boston, I hope you find this helpful.


  • Dine at SKY in Norwood with your family on Sundays (3pm-9pm), and for each entrée ordered from their regular dinner menu, each child under the age of 10 eats for free* from their kids menu (one child per adult).
  • The Charlie Horse West Bridgewater  Children under 12 pay a penny for every pound that they weigh on Sundays from noon-9pm with adult purchase!
  • Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (Seekonk): 1 Free Kid’s Meal for kids 12 & under per paid adult meal of equal or greater value. Dine-in only.
  • Chili Head BBQ (West Bridgewater):  From noon until 9 pm, kids eat free (Kid’s Meal) with the purchase of an adult entree. Dine-in only. One kids meal per one adult entree.
  • Zendo Bistro (in the Hingham Shipyard): Kids 3-12 years old eat free with an adult meal purchase.
  • Healthy Grille (Dartmouth) – Kids eat free on Sundays 12-8 with an entree purchase of $10.99 or more.

Continue reading »

Sep 032015

NEW KidsFest logo

Doesn’t two days of music, food and fun for the entire family sound like fun? If you answered yes then the 25th annual KidsFest at Wachusett Mountain is exactly what you’re looking for. It’s being held September 19th & 20th from 10-5 and it’s going to be an entire day of FUN for everyone.

Let’s talk about my favorite part first shall we?  Food!  At KidsFest there is going to be sampling by more than 50 Market Basket Vendors! You will be able to enjoy sample foods on the spot, like burgers, hot dogs, pizza, ice cream, snacks and more… or take pre-packaged foods home with you.

Kidsfest juggler

While you snack, you can watch some of these amazing shows: Continue reading »

Aug 252015

As a kid, I always looked forward to going back to school shopping with my mom.  It was so much fun going from store to store picking out a whole new wardrobe for the upcoming school year.  Now that I have my own children to shop for, I love that I get to spend some time with them picking out some new duds for them to go to school.  My oldest is going into the middle school this year and he’s really coming into his own when it comes to fashion.  He definitely knows what he likes and what he doesn’t like.

**Thanks to Simon for sponsoring our back to school shopping trip at Merrimack Premium Outlets.  As always, all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.


I decided to take my boys up the the Merrimack Premium Outlets up in Merrimack, NH this past weekend to do their back to school shopping. Heading to an outlet mall can bring about a lot of adventure, especially in the back to school shopping department. I love heading to the outlets for things like back to school shopping because in addition to already discounted prices, they usually have lots of great deals for all the back to school shopping season.  Here are some tips for back to school shopping at an outlet mall!

Premium Outlets brings together the finest brands, unique outdoor settings, and savings of 25 to 65 percent every day. Continue reading »

Aug 182015

If you have ever heard of a “Cirque” show, you probably have an idea of what to expect during a show – especially if you watch America’s Got Talent.  But did you know that there are different “Cirque” groups?  Up until last week, I had no idea.  We’ve all heard of Cirque du Soleil, but for the last 20 years, Cirque Éloize has been taking people by storm in more than 440 cities around the world.

Cirque Éloize was founded in Montreal in 1993, over a decade after Cirque du Soleil and for the month of August, Cirque Éloize’s iD is playing at the Fox Theater at Foxwoods.

Cirque Éloize’s iD blends old-school acrobatics with street dance and hip hop. I got a chance to see the show last week and trust me, it’s not like any circus you’ve ever seen before.

But before I tell you what I thought of the show, I wanted to share a little bit about a fun opportunity I had the afternoon before the show.


If you follow me on Instagram, you may have followed along with the fun last Friday when I joined several other local bloggers for an exclusive behind-the-scenes blogger workshop with some of the cast members of Cirque Éloize’s iD.

Pretty cool, right?

As soon as I entered the Fox Theater at Foxwoods,  I couldn’t help but notice the impressive set.  As you can see, it’s massive and as I would find out a little while later, it’s even more complex than it looks.  The set features about 10 doors & windows that the performers use throughout the show to come & go through – plus a quite a few moving parts. Continue reading »

Aug 092015

Boston Red Sox Baseball Summer Camp

I love living in the Boston area.  I always tell people that this is the best place in the country to live and I honestly mean it. One of the things I love the most about living here is our awesome sports teams. I love them all, but when I tell you that there is nothing like spending a day at Fenway Park watching the Red Sox play is one of the best ways to spend three hours in the city, I speak the truth. Sure, the Sox have their ups and downs, but whether they are winning or losing, they always put on a great show.  I learned something new about the Red Sox this year, though.  They hold a summer camp for ballplayers ages 5-13 every summer.  How did I not know about this before?

**Disclosure:  Both of my boys attended Red Sox Camp at no charge in order to share our experiences with you.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

I am happy to say that my boys recently had the opportunity to attend Red Sox Baseball Summer Camp.

The Red Sox Camps curriculum is highly organized based on age & ability and is infused with lots positive energy to get kids excited about baseball. Along with instruction, the camps include: Continue reading »

Jul 272015

If there is one thing that can be said about my boys, it’s that they love to be in the water.  Last year, our family went to Water Country in Portsmouth, NH for the very first time and we all loved it so much that we couldn’t wait to get back again this year.


**Disclosure:  My family received complimentary admission to Water Country in exchange for this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

Last week we packed up and headed up to Water Country, which is New England’s largest waterpark, for the day.  I am a huge list maker, so I sat down the night before to make a list of everything we needed in order to spend an entire day at a waterpark.  I would seriously hate to forget something, so making lists helps me make sure I have everything I need.  I always say that I would rather bring too much than need something and not have it.


Here is my list of items to bring with you to the waterpark in order to have a great time with the family: Continue reading »

Jul 232015

Recently my husband, Chris, and I had an oh-so-special night. You know what I’m talking about – the kind that doesn’t involve kids. That’s right, we got to go out on a date.  Alone. Without children.  Since he and I both love a good mystery, we decided to go to a murder mystery dinner show.   As far as I’m concerned, you can never go wrong with a little mystery, intrigue, and murder.

**Disclosure:  I was provided complimentary tickets to the show thanks to Vimbly in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

MurderMystery sign

We ended up choosing to go see the Crime and Pun-ishment Interactive Dinner, which is put on by The Murder Mystery Company at the Sons of Italy in Quincy, MA.

Here is the description of the show:

Things take a turn for the gutter at Mafia Don Lou Zar’s juice joint when someone is put on ice! The crowd is chock full of potential suspects. Jealous, jilted lovers, a rival Mafioso, and a pair of undercover feds make an appearance at this speakeasy and not a single person is muttering a word! Help find out who’s on the level and who’s on the lam by trading clues with your guests, gathering information, and solving the crime before the murderer hotfoots it out of there! Continue reading »

Jul 202015

My boys are only three years apart in age, but at the particular ages they’re at right now, they seem to have a lot of trouble agreeing on things they like to do. My oldest is a few weeks shy of his 11th birthday and he’s got a major case of the tweens going on.  No matter what I suggest, it’s not cool.  Even things that are very cool, he always finds something to complain about.  My little guy on the other hand, who is just shy of his 8th birthday, is still a little kid and much more agreeable to pretty much anything I suggest doing. Thankfully there is one thing that they both still agree on – the zoo.

Stone Zoo

**Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary admission to the zoo in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

My family and I recently had a chance to visit the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, MA for the very first time recently and I have to say that I was really impressed.  I’ve been to my share of zoos over the years and unlike its larger sister zoo, the Franklin Park Zoo, the Stone Zoo is much more low-key and smaller in size, making it a great place to visit with little ones. The day we were there it was not very crowded and it’s not too far from where we live, so I’m over here scratching my head about why we’ve never gone there before. Continue reading »