Jul 152019
 

If I told you that you could drastically cut down on your grocery bill all by shopping for certain things at Trader Joe’s, would you want to know how? I knew you would! Believe it or not, I wasn’t always a Trader Joe’s convert. But a few shops in, I knew I could never go back. I now see why they have a cult following. What I get there is less expensive and higher quality than most other grocery stores. That’s not to say I buy everything there, but there are definitely must-haves on my shopping list that I always pick up at Trader Joe’s.

I shop at Trader Joe’s for the low prices and the fun finds you can’t get anywhere else. Read on to see why you should too!

And that’s not only because of reasons like they have the freshest produce or least expensive flowers, but because they have things you can’t get anywhere else too! On that note, let’s talk about my Trader Joe’s shopping trip must-haves shall we? Continue reading »

Jul 102019
 

New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Cog Railway just celebrated 150 years of doing the impossible on July 3rd of this year. That marks the date that, 150 years ago, cog steam engines successfully reached the summit of Mount Washington, becoming the first mountain-climbing railway in the world.  Here we are 150 years later, still being able to take the cog up the mountain!

If you're in northern New Hampshire and you're looking for a fun and unique experience, the Mount Washington Cog Railway is definitley it!

The train leaves from the Marshfield Base Station where you’ll find a free Cog Railway Museum, a gift shop, the the Peppersass Bar & Restaurant and restrooms.  Head downstairs to board on the platform (A, B or C) that’s printed on your tickets. Continue reading »

Jul 082019
 

Now that summer is in full swing here in the Boston area, I wanted to remind you to add seeing the Wicked BIG Bugs at the Franklin Park Zoo to your list of things to do with the kids. If your kids are bug lovers, your family will love this amazing display of gigantic bugs.

Wicked BIG Bugs is open NOW at Franklin Park Zoo! This is your chance to get up close and personal with some giant animatronic bugs and much more!

While you’re there, you will get a chance to see larger-than-life animatronic insects such as the red-tailed bumblebee, Mexican red knee tarantula, Madagascan sunset moth, meadow grasshopper, emperor scorpion, and a a bunch of others.  There is information at each bug so that you and your kids can learn about them, too! Continue reading »

Jul 022019
 

Looking for a new way to make corn on the cob? Slow Cooker Corn on the Cob is so easy to make and the corn comes out so soft and juicy!

One of my favorite things in the summer time is native corn on the cob. Obviously it’s only warm for about three months here in the Boston area, so corn only grows here in the summer. Therefore, corn on the cob is something we can’t always get here in New England and if we do happen to see it in stores during the winter months, it’s imported from somewhere. Since we can only get fresh corn on the cob for a short time around here, we eat A LOT of it. I mean A LOT – like almost every night all summer long.

Did you know that you can make corn on the cob in your slow cooker? I literally just found it out last year and other than grilling it, make it in the crock pot is the only other way I make it now. Slow Cooker Corn on the Cob is SO good.

Slow Cooker Corn on the Cob

Looking for a new way to make corn on the cob? Slow Cooker Corn on the Cob is so easy to make and the corn comes out so soft and juicy!

Continue reading »

Jun 182019
 

The past two weeks of my life have been filled with end of the school year activities. This year there was an exceptionally high number of “events” because my son is a 5th grader and will soon be moving on to the next chapter in his life, middle school. As Nathan moves up to 6th grade, my time as a mom to a kid in elementary school is officially over. And no, I am not ok.

As my child moves up to middle school, my time as a mom to a kid in elementary school is officially over. And no, I am not ok.

Nathan’s first day of kindergarten, 2012

No more half day hat days. No more Tuesday folders. No more lip-dubs. No more annual Spaghetti Suppers. No more Harvest Big Blasts. No more saving tickets to buy goodies at the school store. All of these things that have been such a big part of my my life and my children’s lives over the last ten years are now gone for good. I always knew this day would come, but I am really having trouble accepting that a school I have genuinely loved being a part of is no longer a part of my life.

As my child moves up to middle school, my time as a mom to a kid in elementary school is officially over. And no, I am not ok.

Jared’s first day of Kindergarten, 2009

Continue reading »

Jun 102019
 

Don’t let sensory overload ruin your family’s Walt Disney World Vacation. Prepare for the inevitable with this advice on how to beat Disney park fatigue.

If you’re planning more than a one-day trip at a Walt Disney World theme park, Disney park fatigue is a real possibility for your family. This is especially true if you have any first-timers in your group. As magical as Walt Disney World is, it can be overwhelming. There is so much to see and so much to do. Sometimes it’s hard for guests to know where to start or where to end up. As much as I love going with the flow, if you have an extended Disney World stay on the books, I recommend you go into your trip with at least a cursory plan.

And that’s where I come in. I’m going to share some of my favorite tips for how to beat Disney park fatigue with you, so you can look forward to nothing but happy times on that most magical vacay! Continue reading »

Jun 032019
 

This Greek Pasta Salad recipe will be the hit of your summer cookouts this year. It's delicious, light and makes the perfect BBQ side dish!

Summer cookout season is now upon us and it’s not a cookout without pasta salad. I have a few different pasta salad varieties that I make, but every now and then I make Greek Pasta Salad. I know it’s not for everyone, but if you like Greek salads, you will love ths Greek Pasta Salad! It’s really easy to make and it’s SO good!

The thing about pasta salads is that they are wicked easy to make so you can whip up a bowl of it in almost no time.   The longest part is waiting for the pasta to cool off….but if you use my ice trick (see below), it helps get your pasta salad cooler much faster.

Greek Pasta Salad

This Greek Pasta Salad recipe will be the hit of your summer cookouts this year. It's delicious, light and makes the perfect BBQ side dish! Continue reading »

May 292019
 

Summer vacation is coming up quick (my kids get out June 19th) and if you are looking for something fun to do with them over their summer break Boundless Adventures Aerial Park might be just what you’re looking for.  Located just under an hour from Boston, Boundless Adventures features 9 courses that include over 90 rope bridges, 16 ziplines and 3 leaps of faith. With so much to offer, there is always something new and different to explore there.

Boundless Adventures Aerial Park is a FUN all level ropes course in western Massachusetts. Spend the day traversing the course with your family this summer.

There are 4 different types of courses in varying degrees of difficulty at Boundless Adventures (9 courses in total). Each course consists of a number of obstacles developed to test your boundaries. Choose your own adventure based on your height, fitness level and comfort zone. Continue reading »

May 282019
 

There are many parts that go into hosting a sleepover, and today I'm going to show you how to do so without stressing out.

Hosting a sleepover is a fun way to let your kids have friends over and enjoy childhood. Sleepovers can be super fun at any age, but for parents, they can be quite overwhelming. Having a bunch of kids in your house for a sleepover can be quite stressful. You have to figure out what to feed them, if there are any allergies, and where everyone is going to sleep. There are many parts that go into hosting a sleepover, and today I’m going to show you how to do so without stressing out. Continue reading »

May 272019
 

Giant BUGS are invading Franklin Park Zoo! From now through September 2nd, visitors to the Franklin Park Zoo have the chance to encounter some really impressive bugs at Wicked BIG Bugs. See larger-than-life animatronic insects and arachnids including the red-tailed bumblebee, Mexican red knee tarantula, Madagascan sunset moth, meadow grasshopper, emperor scorpion, and a bunch of others during your visit.

Wicked BIG Bugs is open NOW at Franklin Park Zoo! This is your chance to get up close and personal with some giant animatronic bugs and much more!

I took two of my nephews opening weekend to experience these over-sized bugs for ourselves. We loved that we were able to walk around the area where the Wicked BIG Bugs were and stop at each one to learn a bit about each one and the part they play in healthy ecosystems. Continue reading »

May 242019
 

If you are looking for an easy snack idea to make for the kids this summer, try these Kool-Aid Marshmallow Pops. I promise they will be a huge hit!
Summer vacation will be here before we know it (my kids get out June 19th) and that means they are going to be looking for snacks all day long while they’re home. I really do try to come up with a few fun ideas here and there so they are not always eating the same snacks over and over again. These Kool-Aid Marshmallow Pops are one of my latest creations and boy were they a hit with the kids. The Kool-Aid is a little sour, which mixes really nicely with the sweetness of the marshmallow.

Kool-Aid Marshmallow Pops

If you are looking for an easy snack idea to make for the kids this summer, try these Kool-Aid Marshmallow Pops. I promise they will be a huge hit!

Continue reading »

May 212019
 

Every year on Mother’s Day my family goes for a hike at one of our AHmazing state parks called Purgatory Chasm. We’ve done a lot of hikes around New England, but Purgatory Chasm is definitley our favorite! Made up of towering granite walls that run for approximately a quarter of a mile, makes it is the perfect place to spend some quality time with the family!

Purgatory Chasm is the best hike in Massachusetts! If you are looking for a mix of hiking and rock climbing in New England, Purgatory Chasm is perfect!

The thing about Purgatory Chasm is that it’s more than just a hike – it involves a lot of rock climbing. There are trails around the chasm itself, but it’s way more fun to make your way right through the chasm. Continue reading »

May 162019
 

If you are looking for cheap eats in Boston, here are six of the best places to get some grub. Your tummy will be happy and your wallet will be lighter.

Boston may be known for its fine dining options (my mind goes right to the Top of the Hub when I say that), but that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to have a decent meal when you’re there. In fact, there are plenty of cheap eats around Boston, so you have plenty of dining options.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Cheap Eats in Boston

Sapporo Ramen (Cambridge)
Ramen lovers rejoice! Sapporo Ramen brings you a massive bowl of ramen for just over $10, and while the place might be surrounded by several other Asian restaurants, this one is definitely worth visiting! You’ll also get to choose from different options- the bases, the toppings and some side dishes too. Continue reading »

May 142019
 

Make your Memorial Day or 4th of July celebrations extra fun with these Patriotic Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes! They're easy to make and will be a huge hit!

While we’ve had a cold & rainy start to spring here in New England this year, that’s not going to stop Memorial Day and July 4th from coming up quick. Most of us will find ourselves at either a Memorial Day cookout or one for July 4th (or both). Why not make your Memorial Day or 4th of July celebrations extra fun with these Patriotic Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes? They’re wicked easy to whip up and will be a huge hit! Continue reading »

May 072019
 

May 7th is Teacher's Appreciation Day. Show your kids teachers how much you appreciate them with this simple, but fun gift idea.

Hey, did you know that today is Teacher’s Appreciation Day? I have always said that teachers have one of the hardest jobs there is.  I have been volunteering in both of my kids classrooms for years now!  My oldest son is a freshman and while I don’t volunteer in his class anymore (because he would never be caught dead), I have been volunteering since he was in kindergarten – and that’s a long time! I have literally volunteered every year since then.  Guys, that was 10 years ago!

Having spent so much time in the different classrooms over the years, I have seen what goes on first hand, I can personally attest to the fact that it’s NOT easy. Between super long days (sometimes they stay until 6 or 7 pm making photo copies for the next day), difficult kids, deadlines, standardized testing prep and actually teaching the required curriculum – I don’t know how some of them do it. Seriously. Continue reading »

May 062019
 

With summer break around the corner, many parents are wondering what in the world the kids will do. When you have younger kids it may be easier to entertain them, but as your kids get older what is it that they enjoy doing during the summer season? Today I’m featuring a summer bucket list with things for kids of all ages to do.

Keep Kids Busy This Summer With These Fun Ideas

With summer break around the corner, many parents are wondering what to do with the kids all summer. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Learn a Magic Trick

Whether you give the kids YouTube to find a new magic trick or you purchase a magic trick kit, learning a magic trick is fun for all ages during summer break. See what magic trick your kids will learn when you give them free rein to come up with a clever trick to entertain the family. Continue reading »

May 032019
 

This delicious white bean dip is a great addition to any party menu. It is quick and easy to make – and your guests are sure to love the subtle balance of flavors packed into each bite

Now that spring is just about here, it’s party time – well at least for us.  We LOVE having people over for get-togethers, but of course that means I need to whip up lots of snacks for my guests. This delicious white bean dip is a great addition to any party menu. It is quick and easy to make – and your guests are sure to love the subtle balance of flavors packed into each bite. It is perfect with mildly seasoned pita chips or veggie platters.

White Bean Dip with Seasoned Pita Chips

This delicious white bean dip is a great addition to any party menu. It is quick and easy to make – and your guests are sure to love the subtle balance of flavors packed into each bite

Continue reading »

Apr 262019
 

STEM learning is focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These four areas are some of the fasted growing areas in the world of careers and have become something that’s highly focused on educating kids. With the advancement of technology and the rise of jobs that require a background in STEM, it’s no wonder more and more STEM camps for kids have started to appear throughout the country. Today I’m going to share why STEM is so important for kids and share a fabulous camp for your kids to attend this year called iD Tech.

Why-STEM-is-so-Important-for-Kids

Why STEM is so Important for Kids

Advanced Intelligence

Having kids with a solid background in STEM education helps to provide kids with the opportunity to advance their intellect and iD Tech is here to help with that. We use STEM in our everyday life as well as in various ways that most people don’t even realize. We need math to bake, cook a homemade meal and budget our finances but beyond that, STEM is an area that will encourage kids to think deeper about the world around them providing them with a chance to advance their intelligence while enjoying fun activities. Spending time at iD Tech will help kids improve in all of these areas. Continue reading »

Apr 172019
 

This easy to make Froot Loops Milkshake is seriously the Bee's Knees! Using only three ingredients, it's super yummy and will be ready in just minutes.

We were out food shopping recently and the little one spotted Froot Loops as we were walking down the cereal aisle.  He had to have them and since I can’t say no to that kid, we walked out with a bowl of Froot Loops even though I knew he was only going to have a bowl or two and then he’s be all set with them. Sure enough, three bowls later and he was done with Froot Loops. So there I was with 2/3 of a box of Froot Loops that I needed to use up.  I decided to make a Froot Loops Milkshake out of some of them and it ended up being a huge hit with the boys. And me. And my husband. Seriously, making Froot Loops Milkshakes was one of the smartest ideas I’ve ever had and since I made them this first time, I’ve ended up making them a bunch more times because everyone loved them so much.

Froot Loops Milkshake

This easy to make Froot Loops Milkshake is seriously the Bee's Knees! Using only three ingredients, it's super yummy and will be ready in just minutes.

Continue reading »