Aug 222016
 

Last week I headed up to the Merrimack Premium Outlets to spend the day shopping so that I could stock up on all the back-to-school essentials that my kids will need this fall!

Merrimack Premium Outlets is an outdoor shopping center located 35 miles northwest of Boston and easily accessible off Exit 10 of Everett Turnpike (RT 3 from Boston). They have over 100 stores and in New Hampshire, you can enjoy tax free shopping at stores like Banana Republic, Bloomingdale’s Outlet Store, Coach, Elie Tahari, J.Crew, Michael Kors, Nautica, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Tommy Hilfiger and more all at saving of 25%-65% everyday.

My 12 year old will only wear Under Armour clothing these days so I was happy to see that they had an Under Armour outlet there. My little guy is into Nike, so I was wicked happy that I could get lots of great clothing for my boys for back to school at discounted prices.

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For the 2016 back to school season, Simon is encouraging shoppers to ‘find your style’ while reflecting on your past first days of school and the outfits that were the height of fashion in the 80’s and 90’s. Continue reading »

Aug 162016
 

Leading contemporary circus troupe Cirque Éloize premiered their latest creation, Cirque Éloize Saloon, at Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Fox Theater on Friday, August 12 and I was lucky enough to be able to attend the opening performance with my husband. Yay for date night!

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Cirque Éloize, a leading worldwide contemporary circus troupe, is thrilled to unveil their latest creation, Cirque Éloize Saloon, at Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Fox Theater next month. This captivating and energetic show transports audiences to the height of the Wild Wild West era, telling the story of a piano tuner’s astonishing journey through a world filled with gold diggers, rail workers, chorus girls and cowboys. Mysterious and intriguing characters will light up the stage to explosive live music, resulting in a series of unexpected situations packed with rhythmic acrobatic prowess and original choreography. The series begins Friday, August 12 and runs through Sunday, August 21 for a total of 12 remarkable performances at a variety of family-family show times.

Continue reading »

Aug 142016
 

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Can you  believe that Blue Man Group is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year? I’ve seen the show a few times over the years and it’s one of those things you need to experience for yourself.  It’s so hard to explain what the show is all about unless you actually go see it with your own eyes, but I’ll try:

Blue Man Group is comedy,theater, rock concert and dance party all rolled into one. This wildly popular phenomenon delivers an outrageous, multi-­sensory experience you’ll never forget. Don’t miss the show that has captivated 35 million people worldwide. Blue Man Group – enemy of monotony, remedy for boredom, promoter of overjoy and elation!

For their 25th, they embarked on a World Tour in March, launched their third album, THREE, in April and will release their first ever book, Blue Man World, in October.

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Blue Man World is a graphically rich, textually dynamic, cheekily clever deep dive into the world of the Blue Men, as well as a hilarious cultural satire. Including archival photographs, specially commissioned artwork, infographics, and interviews with Blue Man experts (both real and potentially not real), it answers all the burning questions including: Who are these Blue Men? Where do they come from? Why are there only three of them? What drives their curiosity? What do they hope to accomplish? Continue reading »

Aug 072016
 

Fun For the Whole Family at the Brand New Water Park at the Cape Codder in Hyannis

Last week my oldest son turned 12. TWELVE!  I’m honestly not sure when that happened, but in any case I can personally attest to the fact that the “tween” thing is real.  He’s not quite a teen yet, but definitely he has all the attitude & sassiness of one.  He’s also apparently too cool to do “kid” stuff anymore, which has created a bit of a challenge for me to keep him entertained (and off those pesky electronics) this summer. Both of my boys have August birthdays and I always plan a day of fun for them on their special days and this year I was really scrambling to come up with something that my oldest would like.

Then it came to me – I would take them to the brand new water park at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis.  If you’ve been around here for a while, you may remember that my family stayed there about 18 months ago and the boys really enjoyed the indoor wave pool (if you need a refresher, here is the post).  I had heard that the Cape Codder was expanding and creating an amazing water park and when I found out that they had just opened on Friday July 30th, I knew that it was where I was going to take my kids for my oldest’s birthday. My oldest loves to swim and I knew a day at the water park would be right up his alley.

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The Wave Pool, which was already there, is approximately 10,000 square feet and the expansion is an additional 20,000 square feet – you  you can only imagine how excited both my boys were when I told them that’s where we were going! It’s the only one of its kind on Cape Cod and has so much fun to offer! Continue reading »

Jul 182016
 

Small Disclosure

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Don’t you just love those nights when you don’t have to cook?  I don’t know about you, but once my kids go back to school in September, our lives are going to be chaos – especially on week nights.  My boys are in two different schools (middle & elementary) so they get off the bus at different times. Once my little man gets off his bus at 3:45, depending on the night it’s off to karate class, soccer, drum lessons or Lego club.

While I love that my boys have so many fun after-school activities, it can really be a challenge for me to make sure they are eating healthy dinners every night. I recently found out about the Foodery Boston prepared meal delivery service and my life has been changed forever.

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The Foodery started its healthy meal delivery service in September 2012 to help change the way food is raised and consumed in New England. They understand that it can be quite challenging for people in the city to consistently eat healthy, nourishing meals while maintaining a busy lifestyle.  They also understand that responsibly-raised foods in the city are scarce, so the Foodery improves access to these foods by delivering ready-to-eat meals to the homes of busy Bostonians. All ingredients sourced at The Foodery adhere to quality standards and each product gets labeled with ingredient and nutritional information. Continue reading »

Jun 302016
 

3 Free Ways to Make the Most of Boston This Summer

I love living in the Boston area, but especially in the summer time. With its rich history, bustling neighborhoods, and beautiful coastal landscapes, it’s a perfect place for the whole family.

I recently discovered a website called, MapAround, which is a search engine for finding local events in the Boston area. This was perfect for us, as it even has a “Kids & Family” category. Once we started searching, we had no idea how many events were happening around us every single night. From concerts to comedy shows, movie nights to boat cruises, farmers’ markets and festivals, I couldn’t believe how many awesome things are happening in Boston every single day.

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Here’s a few events that I liked best:

Free Friday Flicks

Free Friday Flicks is one of Boston’s favorite summertime traditions! Every Friday night around sundown, families and friends gather at DCR’s Hatch Shell along the Charles River to watch a movie. All you need are your own chairs, a cozy blanket and of course, some snacks. There are even fun games and prizes for the kids. This was a perfect way to end a long week. Continue reading »

Jun 052016
 

beach scavenger hunt printable

If you know me in real life, you probably already know that I love the beach. LOVE it. It’s one of my two happy places (the other one is Disney). I always try to make the most of summers here in New England and spend as much time as possible at the beach. I live right off of Cape Cod, but I’m normally found down at First Beach in Newport.  Frankly I don’t get the appeal of the cape and don’t go over the bridge all that often during the summer because it’s too crowded. I get a season parking pass for First Beach year after year and you can usually find me down there several times a week between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

My family got in our first beach day of the year over Memorial Day weekend and we seriously could not have been happier.

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Sadly, the boys don’t love the beach as much as their mom does, so often times they get bored after a few hours. Continue reading »

May 302016
 

The Great Escape Room Providence

If you are a regular around here, you already know that I am always on the go & I am always on the hunt for new ways to keep my family – especially the boys, entertained.  Recently the four of us had a chance to check out The Great Escape Room in Providence, RI and not to give too much away right off the bat, we LOVED it.

You’ve probably noticed that escape rooms seem to be popping up more and more & I have been curious for a while now to check one out to see what all the buzz is about. I have never done anything like this before, so I honestly had no idea what to expect. Let me just say that our experience at the Great Escape Room far exceeded my expectations.

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Here’s a little background: “The Great Escape Room is a real-life room escape game based on the popular computer and mobile phone escape games. Escape games are the newest craze sweeping the nation – a fun, team-building, brain-busting experience! After entering a room with your team, the door is locked behind you. 60 minutes are on the clock! You must work together in order to find clues and solve puzzles that will lead you to your escape. It is part scavenger hunt and part puzzle game. Only about 20% of groups are able to meet the challenge and escape in time!” Continue reading »

May 232016
 

Now that summer is in full swing here in New England, it’s a great time to head out and explore all that western Massachusetts has to offer.  Boasting a wide variety of attractions for every member of the family, western Massachusetts is the place to be. Although we’re been to the western part of our state many times over the years, my family recently spent a fantastic weekend in western Mass.  While we were there, we stayed at the Holiday Inn in Enfield, CT.

When you book a stay at The Holiday Inn Springfield/Enfield, you will get a chance to experience the comfort and charm of all that New England has to offer.  The hotel is only a short drive from Bradley International Airport and Enfield is centrally located between Springfield, MA and Hartford, CT, (right off I-91) which makes this hotel a great choice for travelers.  There’s plenty of free parking, too!

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In addition to a fitness center, indoor/outdoor pools, and on-site recreational activities that include tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, The Holiday Inn Springfield/Enfield offers an airport shuttle to nearby Bradley International for their guests. Continue reading »

May 222016
 

6 Reasons to Visit Massachusetts Pioneer Valley

When someone mentions Massachusetts to you, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Boston?  Cape Cod? Those places are both great, but there is a lot of fun located in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, too. There are so many fun-filled attractions in the western part of the state and they are definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for some family fun this summer.

1. Six Flags New England

Did you know that Six Flags New England is the Coaster Capital of New England?  Six Flags New England is home to the New England SkyScreamer, Flashback, Pandemonium, Mind Eraser, Batman the Dark Knight, Goliath, Wicked Cyclone and the brand new Fireball, which just opened this year. Six Flag New England also relaunched the BIZARRO coaster this season.  It’s now SUPERMAN™ the Ride.

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If coasters aren’t your thing, you are not alone.  I don’t like them either, but fear not – there is a ton of other stuff to do at the park. For the little ones, there are four areas specifically dedicated to kids including Looney Tunes Movie Town, Kidzopolis, Whistlestop Park and Splash Island (in the water park).  There are tons of rides in those areas including bumper cars, a carousel, the scrambler and many more classics. Continue reading »

May 092016
 

As a former Jordan’s Furniture employee, I can personally attest to the fact that they truly enjoy keeping their customers happy.  The owners, Barry & Eliot had a vision of making visiting the stores more than just furniture shopping – they wanted to make it an experience for the whole family. Now that Barry has retired from the family business, Eliot has kept the family fun aspect of the stores going strong.  I worked at the Avon, MA store, which is the home of MOM (the Motion Odyssey Movie Ride), Enchanted Ice (an indoor skating rink) and the Boston classic, The Enchanted Village.  Families come out in droves for those attractions, but if you are a local you know that each store boasts at least one fun family attraction. In the Reading store, they have the BeanStalk™ Adventure Ropes Course and I was able to head there to check it out with my family last weekend.

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Disclosure: My family received complimentary tickets for the course in order to provide an honest review of our experience.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

The BeanStalk™ Adventure Ropes Course is a 32-foot tall, 2 level ropes course (12 feet or 24 feet up) complete with 30 exciting activities including zig-zag beams, cargo nets, angled rope ladders, crisscross walks and more. Participants choose their own path through the elements and go at their own pace. No two obstacles are the same! The ropes course is also equipped with a Sky Rail zip line connection measuring 69′ long. which costs $2 more to ride.

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My boys have done rope courses before, so they already knew to empty their pockets before the employees helped them put their safety harnesses on, but for those of you who have never done a course like this – you do need to empty your pockets so nothing falls out on the people on levels below you.  And no, cameras are not allowed on the course, either. Continue reading »

Apr 112016
 

Taking the Hahvahd Tour

I’m a Boston girl.  Always have been and always will be. It’s no secret that I love living here and whenever I meet someone who is not from around here, as soon as they find out where I’m from I inevitably get asked the same question: “Can you say park the car in the Harvard yard”?  Seriously – it happens every single time.  It fun to play along, though, because we know how cool our accent is around here and we love to bust out the Boston whenever we can!

For the record, there are no “R’s in that statement whatsoever.  It’s paaaahk thuh caaaaaah in the Haaaahvid yaaaaad.

Even though there are no R’s to be found, there is tons of IQ at Harvard and my husband Chris and I learned all about it when we took the Hahvahd Tour last weekend.

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The award-winning tours of America’s most prestigious University are led by current Harvard students. Harvard student guides greet you right in Harvard Square. which is where the tour leaves from. The tour is scripted to be an entertaining, theatrical experience – you’ll have fun learning about Harvard! Continue reading »

Mar 012016
 

JZz

If you’re a regular around here, you probably remember how I told you last week about this cool podcast that gets broadcast here in Boston. Jaclyn Zukerman’s podcast is called “Social Scene with JZ” and on her show she promotes worldwide clientele from start-ups to celebrities. The podcast was created to allow her guests to inspire audience members and followers and allow the audience members to be able to follow and interact with the guests. This week she will be talking with Evan W. Spencer, who is a real estate broker here in Massachusetts.  He has been helping people buy & sell houses in here in MA for the past 13 years!

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Here’s his bio: Continue reading »

Feb 232016
 

It’s no secret that I love living in the Boston area.  I was born and raised here & can’t even imagine not raising my family here. Do you know what else makes my heart happy?  Finding out about really cool Boston based businesses.  There are tons of businesses that come out of Boston, but some really stand out, you know?  JZ Social Enterprises is one of them.

JZ stands for Jaclyn Zukerman and in September 2014 she started her own radio podcast called “Social Scene with JZ”.  Since she started, Jackie has promoted worldwide clientele from start-ups to celebrities. The podcast was created to allow her guests to inspire audience members and followers and allow the audience members to be able to follow and interact with the guests.

Her show has become so successful and grew such a great following she now has created her own company JZ Social Enterprises.

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JZ Social Enterprises in addition offers marketing/promotions to clients from luxury to individual talent to startups. This is where she helps build partnerships, grow their following and online promotions and more. Her goal is to help showcase what people do through her podcasts, events and social media outlets.

This week on the Social Scene with JZ, Jackie is going to feature Delight. Delight is a psychic medium, angel communicator and Reiki master. She teaches people how to connect with the spiritual realm in order to hear their soul’s calling and live their best life.

Delight is also the creator of the e-course 44 Days to Connect with Your Angels which helps spiritual seekers to meet their team of angels and learn how to tap into their spiritual guidance every day. Continue reading »

Jan 122016
 

My Experience With ThermiSmooth™ and BodyFX™

Do you remember when I told you about my consultation with Dr. Petropoulos last month? She’s a cosmetic surgeon located north of Boston and when I met with her, she introduced me to Botox. While I was talking with Dr. Petropoulos, I mentioned how unhappy I was with my saddle bags and asked her what I could do about them.

For those of you who aren’t sure what I mean by “saddle bags”, they are these thick fat deposits on the tops of the outside of my thighs. Sadly, I inherited mine at birth and like every other female in my family, I have spent many hours trying to exercise them away – and honestly, no amount of exercise makes fat that dense go away.  It just doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve been trying for years.

*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.

After Dr. Petropoulos looked at my saddle bags, she said that what I really needed was Liposuction in the area to get rid of the fat completely.  I am not against having liposuction done, but we decided to try to tackle them with a combination of two procedures that they do right in the office. We did a combination of ThermiSmooth™ and BodyFX™. 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 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.

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*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 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.

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**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 »

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.

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

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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 »