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 »

Nov 192015

Copycat Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli Recipe

I don’t know about you, but the Olive Garden is one of my favorite places to go out to eat. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like packing up the family and traipsing out. Do you remember all the rotten snow we had here in Massachusetts last winter? I am hoping we don’t have a repeat this year, but I am prepared in case we get snowed in a lot this year, too. Luckily, there are some really good copy cat recipes out there, so you can have your Olive Garden favorites right at home. I happen to love their Pasta e Fagioli Soup and it’s so easy to make at home, which means I can  have it any time I like.


  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 large Carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery Stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 14oz/400g can of chopped tomatoes or pureed tomatoes
  • 1 quart/400ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 Cans Cannellini Beans
  • 1 (3-inch) piece Parmesan rind (optional, but if you
  • can get a hold of it, it adds a lot of flavor).
  • 1¼ cups/125g Small Pasta (ie – Small shells or ditalini)
  • A couple of good handfuls of Flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

Continue reading »

Nov 162015

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

No Bake Peppermint Bark Recipe

Christmas will be here before we know it and I could not be happier about it.  I love this time of the year. The food, the family, the presents, the decorations – I love all of it. One tradition that I look forward to every year is cutting down our Christmas tree and spending the afternoon decorating it.  While decorating the tree itself is fun, I always like to make something special for my family to munch on while we trim the tree.  One of my family’s favorites is my famous No Bake Peppermint Bark and I hope you like it as much as my family does.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups of white chocolate chips or Baker cubes (2 boxes)
  • Candy canes

Continue reading »

Nov 122015

10 Amazing Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes

Now that the cold weather has arrived, what’s  better than some good old comfort food.  I don’t know about you, but a grilled cheese sandwich is one of my go-to’s when it comes to comfort food.  Sometimes I like my grilled cheese with a twist and these 10 Amazing Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes have some of the best twists I’ve ever seen.

1. Broccoli Pesto Mushroom Grilled Cheese

Broccoli Pesto Mushroom Grilled Cheese­pesto­mushroom­grilled­cheese/ Continue reading »

Nov 082015

Pumpkin Sugar Scrub

I love, love, love homemade sugar scrubs!  The options are endless when you make your own, but since it’s fall, this Pumpkin Sugar Scrub is sure to be a crowd pleaser – or an awesome hostess gift at the very least.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 Cup coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice ( liquid)
  • 1 drop red food coloring (optional)
  • 1 drop yellow food coloring (optional)

Continue reading »

Oct 212015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Treats4All #CollectiveBias


Every year starting around the middle of September, my kids start counting down to Halloween.  They love dressing up and going out trick or treating.  My house is on a main road and sadly, there are no sidewalks on my street.  I don’t feel safe trick or treating in my neighborhood, so every year we head over to my parents house to trick or treat.  Their neighborhood is well lit, has sidewalks and is set up on a grid system. That makes it the perfect set up to make a killing when it comes to collecting candy – and that’s exactly what they do year after year.

trick or treating

This year Halloween falls on a Saturday, so we won’t be as rushed as we normally are as when it falls on a week day.  Yay for that. Trick or treating hours are generally between 6-8, so we need to get on the road by 5pm at the latest to get to my parents house, which is 30 minutes away.  That gives my kids a few minutes to visit with Nana & Papa as well as get into their costumes.  Since this all falls right at dinner time, I need something to help me save some time when it comes to feeding my kids. Continue reading »

Oct 202015


Summer has finally come to a close and the Fall chilly weather is here in Canada. The only thing that makes me sad about this whole idea is all the wonderful fruit we get to enjoy during those warm summer months really isn’t available to us up here (at least not at a reasonable price)

However, before they go bad, or are out of my price range I thought what a better way to use them up than with a delicious fruit dip! My kids love dipping just about everything so it was not hard to get them on board with a fruit dip!

You don’t have to dip fruits in it though – you can dip bread sticks and even shortbread, or sugar cookies! We’ve made cookies into “cookie sticks” before and dipping those is pretty amazing! But, I personally love dipping strawberries in this dip! Continue reading »

Oct 082015

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

Philly Cheese Steak Loaded Nachos

Now, that it’s October, our back to school routine is in full swing. With my oldest going off to middle school this year, each of my boys are in different schools complete with different start and end times. Combine that with the fact my oldest has been training for his black belt test, lots of homework and my little man’s multiple soccer practices and games every week, it seems like we are literally always busy.

Since my husband, Chris, and I spend so much time focusing on the kids, it’s easy to forget to take time for each other. That’s why we try to have an at-home date night at least once a month, if not more often.  When we do manage to carve out some time for a date night at home, we love to make a snack together, watch some movies and afterwards, ahem, head upstairs to the bedroom.

Inspired by our recent trip to Philadelphia, for our most recent date night at home Chris and I made some Philly Cheese Steak Loaded Nachos to munch on while we watched a couple of our favorite 80’s movies. Continue reading »

Sep 302015

Tombstone Grahams

Was this the year that the invitation to Violet’s Halloween party finally showed up in your mailbox? If so, you probably don’t want to be that person who shows up empty handed, right?  But what to bring? These Tombstone Grahams are super easy to make and they are guaranteed to be the hit of the party! I will be making them and bringing them to all three Halloween parties I am going to next month.

Want to give them a try?

Here’s what you need:

  • graham cracker squares
  • 12 oz package of Wilton black candy melts
  • 12 package of Wilton white candy melts
  • Wilton sparkly green gel icing
  • 1 small sandwich baggie
  • kitchen scissors

Here’s what you do:

1. Separate the white and black candy melts into separate microwavable safe dishes. Continue reading »

Sep 292015

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

Easy Game Day Spinach Artichoke Dip

In our house Patriots game day is a HUGE deal.  Chris, the boys and myself all huddle up on the sofa to watch the game every single week.  In fact, we have missed some really cool parties and events over the years because we were afraid we’d miss the game.  Gasp!

If you know anything about professional football, you know that a 60 minute game usually takes about three hours to play.  For our family, three hours on the sofa watching the game means one thing:  snacks.  Great snacks are a necessity!  We usually put out a pretty decent spread for each game because often times, we have other people over to tailgate at home with us.  This past Sunday, it was just the four of us and I made one of our favorites.  My famous spinach artichoke dip.  It’s super easy to make and it is always the first thing to go whenever I make it.

I ran over to Walmart to pick up everything I needed to make my dip, but while I was there I grabbed a package of Viva® Vantage® 6 Big Rolls to help with the clean up.  I’ve been known to make some epic messes when I cook, so I wanted to make sure I was prepared accordingly when it came time to clean up my mess. Continue reading »

Sep 162015

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

Marvel Avengers Bento Lunch Idea

When my boys go to school, they are allowed to buy hot lunch once a week and the other four days, they bring their lunch.  I have very distinct memories from my own childhood of fun lunches that my mom used to pack for me.  Sometimes she would draw me a goofy picture that I would find when I opened my lunch box or sometimes she would make fun shapes out of my sandwiches.  She was very creative when it came to packing my lunches as a child and I loved those little surprises she sent me off with.

Now that I’m the mom, sadly I am not as creative as my own mother, but every now and then I totally rock the lunchbox and such was the case recently when I decided to make a MARVEL Avengers bento lunch for my little man to take to school.  We’re all very big fans of The Avengers, so I knew he’d be blown away when he opened his lunch box and fun a fun surprise in there.

With my MARVEL Avengers themed lunch, I covered Thor, The Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America.  Here’s what I did:

First up were some Thor Hammer Snacks.  They are simple to make and you’ll only need two ingredients to put them together – pretzel sticks and cheese that you can cut up in to small cubes. Continue reading »

Sep 072015

Candy Corn Fudge Recipe

The weather may still be warm, but now that the kids are back in school – fall in in full swing.   We went from a relaxed summer schedule in which we could do whatever we wanted to GO-GO-GO!!  Our school routine kicked into high gear within days of my boys going back and that means play-dates, bake sales and snacks for PTA meetings once a month.  If you’re like me and don’t know whether you’re coming or going and need to bake up a sweet treat in a hurry, this Candy Corn Fudge is for you.  You only need two, yes two, ingredients to make it and trust me,  everyone is going to love you for bringing it.

2 Ingredient Candy Corn Fudge Ingredients:

  • 1 container of Betty Crocker Candy Corn frosting
  • 12 oz package of Wilton white chocolate candy melts
  • handful of candy corn to sprinkle on top (optional)


1. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Continue reading »

Sep 012015

Nutella Cookie Smores

If you know me in real life, then you know about my love of Nutella.  I could easily down a jar in one sitting, but every now and then, I like to pull the spoon out of the jar and actually make something with my Nutella.  Today I am going to share a little gem of a recipe for Nutella Cookie S’mores and if you love Nutella as much as I do, you are going to love these.

Nutella S’more Ingredients :

1 C. Nutella
2 tbs. sugar
1 egg
½ C. flour + 1 tbs.
½ C. chocolate chips (optional) Continue reading »

Aug 312015

Ants on a Log

I don’t know about your kids, but both of my boys come off the bus from school starving.  Most days, the first thing they say to me as they’re walking off of the bus is “Mom, what do we have to eat”.

Knowing they are both ravenous when they get off the bus, I always have a snack ready for them when they come home from school. Because they are growing boys and basically eat me out of house and home, I do a lot of my grocery shopping at Save-A-Lot.  There they offer discount groceries every day, so you can bring home fresh foods at great prices. Seriously, by shopping there, I save up to 40% compared to conventional grocery stores.

Since I save time and money by shopping at Save-A-Lot, I can really stock up on after school snacks for the boys.  One of their favorite after school snacks are Ants on a Log.  My mom made them for me when I was a kid and now that I’m the mom, I love making this fun snack for my two.

When I was at Save-A-Lot recently, I grabbed some celery, raisins and peanut butter to make my Ants on a Log. Continue reading »

Aug 052015

Buy Local Produce with Stop & Shop

**Thanks to Stop & Shop for sponsoring this conversation.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

This month marks both of my boys birthdays.  This year they are turning 8 and 11 years old, which I almost cannot believe. Where the heck did time go?  I love having two boys and I wouldn’t want it any other way, but there is one thing about being an all boy mom that I never really realized until recently – they eat non-stop.  The phrase eating me out of house and home really rings true in our house and since my growing boys go though so much food, I always keep the house stocked.  I am very happy to report that not one, but both of my boys both love fruits and vegetables and that makes me one happy mama. Continue reading »

Jul 312015

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

Minecraft Creeper Veggie Tray

Are you one of those parents that faces a major challenge in getting their kids to eat their veggies?  I am.  My oldest son is the exception when it comes to veggies – he can’t get enough.  On the other hand, my little guy will almost never put a vegetable in to his mouth willingly. Talk about complete opposites.  So with my youngest, sometimes I have to get a little fun and creative when it comes to getting him to eat his veggies.  I have tried lots of different things ranging from sneaking them into other foods (my pasta sauce for example) to buying delicious Kraft Dips to help encourage my son to eat his veggies!

Here are some of the things I’ve tried over the years to get him to eat his veggies. These ideas are so convincing that you might even start eating your veggies, too.

Bake Amazing Meals

Okay, so looking at veggies, it’s pretty clear as to why kids don’t want to eat them – they look boring. So why not take those veggies to the next level?  Try making dishes like stuffed peppers or bright and colorful salads to help convince your children to eat their veggies.

Sneak Them Into Other Foods

I have been known to mix some cauliflower into my mashed potatoes or chop up some veggies really finely to put into my pasta sauce. I love that the kids don’t even realize they’re eating veggies and as long as you tell them at some point when they’re are older, like when they’re 50, it’s not considered lying!

Make Sure They’re Hungry

One of my favorite ways to get my kids to eat their veggies is to make sure they’re hungry. It’s one of the first things I feed my kids when it’s time for a snack. They are more likely to eat their veggies if they are hungry and trust me on this one, I know from experience. Continue reading »

Jul 142015

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

Easy Barbecue Chicken Pizza #EffortlessMeals #CollectiveBias #ad

If your family is anything like mine, you are always on the go in the summer time.  Here in the Boston area, we only get about three months of really nice weather, so we are always outside enjoying it as much as possible.  Whether we’re at the beach, the town pool, having a picnic with friends or going on a day trip, our days are always filled with fun and adventure. Since we’re out out doing something pretty much every single day in the summer, it leaves me very little time to plan meals let alone actually cook them.  But I have the perfect solution for that!  An easy homemade barbecue chicken pizza – on the grill! And hey, I am all for an effortless summer meal that the whole family enjoys.

I headed over to Walmart to get what I needed to make our pizza:

Quick Meals at Walmart

I grabbed a fully cooked Marketside rotisserie chicken and a Marketside ready to cook pizza along with the rest of my ingredients while I was at Walmart.  The rotisserie chicken and ready to cook pizza make it easy to create a meal quickly.  It’s a bonus is you don’t have to heat up your house in the summertime by not having to turn on the oven to cook the chicken.

All you need to make your pizza in addition to the fully cooked Marketside rotisserie chicken and Marketside ready to cook pizza is some of your favorite BBQ sauce, an onion and some fresh cilantro. Continue reading »

Jul 132015

**This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HouseofBBQ #CollectiveBias This content is intended for readers who are 21 and over.

Easy Peasy Beer Cheese Dip

My husband Chris and I love to entertain at our house all year round, but we especially like having friends and/or family over in the summer time.  There is just something about sitting outside by the fire with some good company and some even better food to munch on that makes summer nights absolute perfection.

I think by now that many of you know that our living situation is a little different. In case you didn’t already know this, Chris is my boy’s step-dad.  My boys have an amazing relationship with their real dad (yay) and they spend several nights every week over their dad’s house – giving Chris & I some much needed “adult” time every single week.

Since we entertain fairly often when the kids aren’t around, I like to make this amazing beer cheese dip for my guests.  It’s the perfect dip to serve when there are no kids around and trust me, it’s always a hit. Always.

This past Saturday just so happened to be one of those kid free days, and since the weather was gorgeous, we decided to have a few friends over.  The first thing I said to Chris was “I need to make my beer cheese dip for everyone”.  I stopped by my local Price Chopper to pick up some of our favorite beers: Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy & Grapefruit Shandy. My dip only calls for one beer, but hey – I wanted to make sure I had lots of beer for my guests.

Price Chopper Beer

Ingredients: Continue reading »

Jul 062015

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Strips

This recipe is a tasty dinner that both the kids and grown-ups will love! Not only is it delicious, it’s not fried making it a healthier meal option for your family. The kids love helping with this meal, too – crushing pretzels and dipping chicken is just plain fun and it teaches them some basic kitchen skills (make sure they wash their hands well before and after, of course). Add these Pretzel crusted chicken strips to your dinner rotation this week for a quick, yummy meal!


  • 1 ½ lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 ½ cups pretzels
  • ½ cup white flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Continue reading »

Jun 152015

Star Spangled Cake Mix Cookies Recipe

Like most Americans, I will be attending a big cookout on July 4th this year.  Hey, it’s tradition, right?  Usually when I get invited to cookouts, I volunteer to bring a dessert.  I definitely prefer baking, but in the summer time I don’t like to have the oven on for too long because it heats up the whole house.  That is why these Star Spangled Cake Mix Cookies are perfect.  They are not only easy to make, they are festive and what’s even more, they only need a few minutes in the oven.  Check ’em out.

Star Spangled Cake Mix Cookie Ingredients:

1 box of white cake mix, any brand
2 tbs. flour
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 egg whites
1/2 C. red, white and blue sprinkles
Continue reading »