Dec 112017
 

When I am out and about with my kids, I love to take family selfies. You know, so I can document where we were or what we were doing.  I have two issues with taking family selfies, though.  The main issue is that I am short and therefore have short arms, making it almost impossible for me to fit four people into the frame when I hold my phone out. Someone almost inevitably gets cut out of cut off – usually my little man because he’s much shorter than the rest of us.  My next issue is my husband.  He’s much taller than I am and since his arms are longer and he could actually fit all four of us into the picture, I have had him try time and time again to get a good picture of the four of us.  The thing is – he can’t. I don’t know what it is, but every single photo he takes comes out blurry. Every time.

So between those two things, it’s rare that I get a good photo of the four of us. You’re probably thinking “well, why don’t you just use a selfie stick??” and the answer is I could, but too many places have them banned now so it’s not even worth trying anymore.  And it makes me sad that we can’t get a good family photo (unless we accost someone walking by to take one of us), or at least it did until I found out about the Pi SOLO.

Pi SOLO is the world’s first immersive lifestyle camera for your smartphone! It's wide angle lens is perfect for selfies, group photos and panoramic shots.

Pi SOLO is the world’s first immersive lifestyle camera for your smartphone!  Just launched in the US. Pi SOLO (www.Pi-SOLO.com) is a camera for augmented reality combining social media and photography. Now you can fit everything in one frame without worrying about carrying around extra equipment. A super wide-angle lens also allows users to easily fit in everyone for a group selfie or capture full backgrounds without having to use a selfie stick. Continue reading »

Dec 112017
 

Like me, I know most of you are busy moms and being as busy as we are, sometimes we just need to get away. Sadly, a trip to warm tropical destinations is not always in the cards, but a staycation can be just what we need. Recently my husband and I had a chance to do just that – take a little staycation – at Extended Stay America in East Providence, Rhode Island. Yes, I live in Massachusetts, but this hotel is only about 30 minutes from me. This hotel is in a great location and there’s a ton of things to do in that area, so I was thrilled about the weekend away.

In the newly remodeled Extended Stay America in East Providence, RI, they have re-imagined everything to provide you with the best stay possible.

When you choose to stay at Extended Stay America you will not only find friendly staff, but the practical touches that make being away from home easier. Each of their spacious suites offers a fully equipped kitchen, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV with premium channels, free grab-and-go breakfast and on-site laundry facilities. While Christian and I chose a kid-free stay, Extended Stay America is family-friendly and kids stay free! If your babies aren’t the human kind, they have pet-friendly hotel suites in over 600 locations throughout the US. Continue reading »

Dec 102017
 

If you are looking for a festive dish to bring with you to all your Christmas get-togethers this year, try this delicious Gingerbread Cheesecake Dip.

If you are looking for a quick, festive and easy dish to bring with you to all the Christmas get-togethers your family is heading to this year, try this delicious Gingerbread Cheesecake Dip. I know, I know, not everyone is a gingerbread fan, but trust me – this dip is awesome and it’s not overly gingerbready.  I have made it a few times over the years and it’s always been a big hit. I mean, it has fluff in it, so how can you go wrong?  FLUFF!  Make it for your next Christmas party and just watch as everyone gathers around it. Bonus: it’s super easy to make, so you can whip it up last minute.

Gingerbread Cheesecake Dip

Here’s what you need:

  • 8oz package of softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 Cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 Cup marshmallow fluff
  • 1/4 Cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ginger
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tablespoon nutmeg
  • Christmas sprinkles
  • Gingerbread man peeps
  • Ginger snaps

Continue reading »

Dec 052017
 

Candy Cane Pretzel Rods are a Quick and Easy Christmas Treat! If you need a delicious holiday snack in a pinch, these are exactly what you are looking for.

When you husband comes to you the night before he needs to bring in a treat to work for his company Christmas party, what do you do?  Freak out?  Yes. It’s like 6 pm on a Wednesday night, I am in the middle of making dinner and I needed to come in with something quick and easy. I decided on these Candy Cane Pretzel Rods because they definitely fit the bill. They are not only festive looking, they are really tasty, too!

Candy Cane Pretzel Rods

Here’s what you need:

  • Wilton bright white candy melts
  • Pretzels rods
  • Red sprinkles

Candy Cane Pretzel Rods2

Continue reading »

Dec 042017
 

Make a warm and hearty breakfast to serve up to your family on Christmas morning with these Christmas Breakfast Dishes. Many can be made ahead, too!

I love planning ahead for Christmas morning to have a wonderful breakfast for the family and me to sit down and enjoy after we open our presents. A lot of these recipes you can prep ahead and toss in the oven first thing, and once you are finished with presents you will have a warm and hearty breakfast to serve up to your family. 

Christmas Breakfast Dishes 

Cowboy Christmas Casserole| A hearty dish to serve up, it has eggs, sausage, and more to add maximum flavor and leave you full until lunch. 

Hashbrown Casserole with Sausage, Egg, and Cheese| A crispy and savory dish you can make up to fill up all your bellies. Top with some shredded cheese, sour cream, and green onions for the ultimate flavor. 

Easy Breakfast Braid| Scrambled eggs, ham, onions, peppers and wrapped up in a braid crescent roll. The crescent rolls are perfectly flakey and act as the perfect crust for this. 

Overnight Praline French Toast| Here is a sweeter breakfast option. Prep this french toast the night before and then just heat it up in the morning. 

Gingerbread Waffles| Make holiday inspired waffles. A rich and spice filled gingerbread waffle will for sure get you in the holiday spirit this season.  Continue reading »

Dec 042017
 

If you and your family are planning a vacation and enjoy the beautiful snow, check out Ski Utah! Perfect for all your snowboarding and skiing needs. Are you ready for the Ski season? The mountains are becoming dusted with snow and several resorts opened their doors Thanksgiving weekend. I love taking our boys to ski over the holiday breaks! It is a fun outdoor activity that is a blast to do and you get good exercise. Not to mention the stunning views you see being surrounded by stunning snow. 

If you and your family are planning a vacation and enjoy the beautiful snow, check out Ski Utah! Perfect for all your snowboarding and skiing needs.

The Utah Ski and Snowboard Association is a non-profit trade organization that was founded in 1975. Their goal was to help promote Utah’s ski and snowboard industry! They have over 14 resorts across Utah, which is the perfect place to visit over your vacation. Here are 10 reasons why you need to Ski Utah Continue reading »

Dec 032017
 

Keep the kids busy with this adorable Santa Claus Clothespin Craft. It's easy to make and you can even add some string to make it into a Christmas ornament.

I have a very distinct memory of making clothespin ornaments when I was in Girl Scouts. My troop had met up and spent an entire Saturday making the ornaments for a fundraiser. We made male & female ice skaters, snowmen and Mr. & Mrs. Santa. ornaments. Of course my mom bought one of each and they were hung on our Christmas tree for many years after that. As my sister, brother and I grew up and moved out, my parents downsized their tree and stopped putting up all of the mismatched ornaments that we made over the years.

After my mom passed earlier this year, my sister and I (and our spouses) helped my dad clean out his attic and we came across a box of their old ornaments. I only found the female ice skater and the snowman, so I decided that I was going to try to recreate the Santa one.  And that’s how I came up with this Adorable Santa Claus Clothespin Craft. Right now, it’s just a Santa clothespin, but I do plan on attaching a piece of string to the back and hanging him on my tree this year – along with the vintage ice skater and snowman.

Adorable Santa Claus Clothespin Craft

Here’s what you need:

  • Red and flesh color acrylic craft paint
  • Red felt
  • Cotton balls
  • Small googly eyes
  • Red puffy paint
  • Hot glue/hot glue gun
  • Scissors

Keep the kids busy with this adorable Santa Claus Clothespin Craft. It's easy to make and you can even add some string to make it into a Christmas ornament.

Here’s what you do:
1. Lay out a couple pieces of scrap paper or newspaper before you get started (so you don’t get paint on your good surfaces).
2. Paint the top front 1/3 of the clothespin with your flesh colored paint and paint the bottom 2/3 with your red paint and be sure to let them dry completely. Continue reading »

Nov 292017
 

If you follow me over on Instagram, you probably already know that I spent a long weekend in New York City last weekend. We spent three jam-packed days in the city, but managed to find some time to stop into La Pulperia, a restaurant featuring rustic Latin cuisine on the Upper East Side for lunch. Chris and I spent that morning at the Museum of Natural History and really worked up an appetite by the time lunch-time rolled around.

Between the ambiance, the great service and the menu at La Pulperia - it's the perfect combination for meeting up with friends, a date or a family dinner.

We were both immediately impressed by the atmosphere of La Pulperia when we walked in. It has a really cool vibe, but at the same time we felt like we had just walked into a really upscale restaurant. The decor in La Pulperia was spot on with handcrafted floor tiles from Mexico, reclaimed wood from Brazil on the ceiling and walls and gorgeous bar with shelves and shelves filled with bottles of liquor. Not to mention the great Latin music that was playing in the background. Continue reading »

Nov 282017
 

Here are some of the best family board games to buy for 2017! You might find a few fun games to add to your collection and create some new fun memories.

When you think of family games you might think of classics like Monopoly, Clue, Guess Who. But I have some of the best family board games to buy for 2017! You might find a few fun games to add to your collection and create really fun moments for your family. Whether you buy these board games just for fun or use to give as gifts, your family will thank you! 

5 Second Rule| This is a game that makes you think on your feet. You pick a card, read the topic and then start the timer. You have just 5 seconds to name 3 things that fit into the topic. It can be a lot harder than you think. Kids and adults have fun playing this fast-paced game. 

Trivial Pursuit Family Edition| This is great for families and adults who love trivia questions. You will find 1,200 questions for you to answer to win the game. Lots of fun to be had with this one. 

Charades for Kids| If you have younger kids, they might enjoy this Charades for kids. They simply act out what they see on the card and let their teammates try to guess correctly.  Continue reading »

Nov 272017
 

Located in the heart of Cape Cod, The Cape Codder Resort and Spa makes a wonderful spot for a family getaway. The Cape Codder has an indoor water park, a wide variety of room options, several restaurants, a full service spa and more. Everything you need to enjoy your getaway is located all under one roof!

Located in the heart of Cape Cod, The Cape Codder Resort and Spa makes a wonderful spot for a family getaway with their indoor water park and more!

Cape Codder Water Park

The Cape Codder Resort and Spa boasts the only one of its kind indoor/outdoor Water Park on Cape Cod. Here are some of the highlights:

  • There are two 160-foot “Stars and Stripes” high-speed water slides!
  • A 50-foot and an 80-foot water slide winding through a replica of a pirate ship.

Continue reading »

Nov 262017
 

Magic Reindeer Food is really easy to make and it brings the kids so much joy to make this special treat for all of Santa's reindeer on Christmas eve.

You leave cookies and milk out for Santa on Christmas Eve, right? But what about Santa’s reindeer?  A little birdie told me years ago that if you sprinkle some Magic Reindeer Food outside on Christmas Eve, it will make it easier for the reindeer to find your house. We make magic reindeer food every year and my boys love running outside before bed to sprinkle it all over the ground for the reindeer.  It’s easy to make and you can even double/triple the batch to make enough for your kids to bring some into school to share with their friends.

Magic Reindeer Food

Magic Reindeer Food is really easy to make and it brings the kids so much joy to make this special treat for all of Santa's reindeer on Christmas eve.

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Nov 202017
 

Whether you are traveling with your family or taking a solo trip these essentials will save the day! Prepping ahead with these essentials can really save you money and valued time as you are traveling. Remember, you pay for the convenience at gas stations, so be sure to bring everything you need with you to save yourself time and money while you’re on the road.

If you are planning a trip this year around the holidays, you might want to pack these holiday road trip essentials to make your ride a little easier!

Snacks
Packing your own snacks and drinks is a huge money saver! I pack a little cooler for drinks and any cold snacks. String cheese, dried fruits, and nuts, protein bars, crackers, chips, those are all great items to pack up. If you buy boxes of snack goods I recommend packing them up in single serve baggies, so everyone can grab one and eat it easy.

Medicine
Make sure to pack essential medicines you might need. From Pepto to Ibuprofen to Neosporin and more. That way if anyone starts feeling yucky along the way, you have medicine on hand. I also pack some small trash bags in case someone gets sick along the way. Continue reading »

Nov 202017
 

 If you want to make a fun and festive Christmas treat this year, check out these Christmas Tree Brownies. They are easy to make & come out so cute!If you want to make a fun and festive Christmas treat this year, check out these Christmas Tree Brownies. They are incredibly easy to make and they are absolutely adorable.  I’ve made them a few times already this year and will undoubtedly be making them again and again before December 25th.

Christmas Tree Brownies

Here’s what you need:

  • Brownie Mix
  • Eggs (the number specified on the box of brownie mix)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Green Frosting
  • Mini Candy Canes
  • Nonpareils (Round Sprinkles) or Christmas sprinkles
  • Star Sprinkles

If you want to make a fun and festive Christmas treat this year, check out these Christmas Tree Brownies. They are easy to make & come out so cute!

Continue reading »

Nov 172017
 

Flu season is upon us and there is a lot of misinformation out there. Here's what you need to know about the flu this winter.

Flu season is once again upon us and, as a nurse, I feel like this warrants a blog.  There are some common misconceptions about the flu.  My personal favorite is one that we’ve all heard – “I got the flu shot once and it gave me the flu”.  This is absolutely 100% impossible.  The flu vaccine is NOT a live virus, making it scientifically impossible for you to get the flu from it.  If you get sick after getting the flu shot, it is purely coincidental; you were likely brewing some sort of viral illness prior to receiving it.

This brings me to my next point: not every illness/virus/cold someone gets during flu season is the flu.  People tend to call whatever they contract the flu.  The only way to know with 100% certainty that you have the flu is to be tested.  It’s a nasal swab; it’s not pleasant, I’m not going to lie.  At the Urgent Care that I work at on the weekends we do rapid flu tests right there; results within 10 minutes.  How’s that for service? Other facilities send the swabs to the lab and you’ll have your results back within a few hours.  If it comes back negative, you likely have some other viral illness that’s going around.  I know, I know….no one likes to hear “it’s just a virus”.  Bear in mind that the flu is a virus; these things just need to run their course.  No antibiotic will make any of it go away.  Treatment is rest, fluids, Tylenol…. the usual.  **IF** you are diagnosed within 48 hours of the start of the symptoms, there is Tamiflu.  Tamiflu is an antiviral that will lessen the symptoms and duration of the flu.  It is only effective if started within the first 48 hours.   Continue reading »

Nov 162017
 

Lake Compounce, New England’s Premier Family Theme and Waterpark, is the oldest continuously operating amusement park in North America, celebrating its 171st season in 2017. It’s home to the number one wooden roller coaster in the world, Boulder Dash, and the largest water park in Connecticut!

Lucky for you, Lake Compounce is offering some pretty amazing Black Friday deals to give their guests the best discounts on tickets and season passes! You can enjoy an entire year of Lake Compounce fun at a fantastic discount price!

Continue reading »

Nov 152017
 

Stormalong Bay is arguably the best pool at Walt Disney world. Located at the Yacht & Beach Club, it's a mini water park and a great break from the parks.

My family loves our trips to Disney World and we really enjoy experiencing all of the resorts on Walt Disney World property.  One of the things that Disney does really well are the pool areas at the resorts.  We’ve stayed at several and have never been disappointed with the pool areas. While the pool at Caribbean Beach was our favorite for quite a while, we recently stayed at the Yacht Club and had a chance to experience Stormalong Bay – and now we have a new favorite. We were beyond impressed by the Stormalong Bay pool “complex” and it’s without a doubt the best pool at any of the resorts on the Disney property.

Stormalong Bay is arguably the best pool at Walt Disney world. Located at the Yacht & Beach Club, it's a mini water park and a great break from the parks.

But what’s all the fuss about? Continue reading »

Nov 142017
 

Froot Loops Waffles are a great way to make breakfast fun!

If you know me in real life, you know that brinner (breakfast for dinner) is pretty common around here. I am not sure if breakfast foods just taste better in the evening or I am too lazy to get super fancy with food first thing in the morning. Whatever the reason is, we have brinner at least once a week in my house. Sometimes I like to get creative with it and recently I made some Froot Loops Waffles. I had some Froot Loops left over from a recent road trip to our condo that weren’t getting eaten, so I figured this was a great way to use them up.

Froot Loops Waffles

Froot Loops Waffles are a great way to make breakfast fun!

Continue reading »

Nov 132017
 

I am super excited to share the news about the new Jr. Celtics program here in Boston. It’s their brand new official youth basketball platform where kids will have the chance to learn the values of Celtics basketball by participating in on-court training right at the TD Garden in Boston!  Yes, the kids get a chance to do some really fun drills and exercises on the very same court that our beloved Celts play on.  If you’re child is a Celtics super fan, the Jr. Celtics program will provide the ultimate basketball experience.

The Boston Celtics are providing the ultimate basketball experience for kids throughout New England by launching the ‘Jr. Celtics’ program.

Serving as the official youth basketball platform of the 17-Time World Champions, Jr. Celtics will promote the values of Celtics basketball through on-court training and exclusive events in a safe and fun environment directed towards youth development. Over 20 clinics will be offered in the program’s inaugural year, all of which will provide feature coaches, special guest VIP appearances and exclusive Jr. Celtics apparel. Clinics held at the Celtics’ Practice Facility in Waltham, or at TD Garden, will also feature exclusive access to team facilities. Continue reading »

Nov 122017
 

These Rudolph Pretzel Treats are honestly really easy to make, not to mention totally adorable. Impress your kids with this fun holiday snack today!

If you are looking for a super easy treat to make for the kiddos this Christmas, how about making these Rudolph Pretzel Treats. They happen to be a favorite in my house because they contain that highly sought after mix of sweet and savory. I made them as an after-school snack for my boys, but they would be a fun snack to send into school with the kids or even to bring to a Christmas party you’re going to. One of the reasons I love these Rudolph Pretzel Treats so much is because they are honestly really easy to make, not to mention totally adorable.

Rudolph Pretzel Treats

These Rudolph Pretzel Treats are honestly really easy to make, not to mention totally adorable. Impress your kids with this fun holiday snack today!

Continue reading »

Nov 072017
 

With the colder weather here, I love having hearty and warm soups for dinner. Here's a a list of 20 Instant Pot soups for you to try out this season!

One big reason I have fallen head over heels in love with my Instant Pot is that it makes soups. With the colder weather here, I love having hearty and warm soups to serve for dinner. Pair with a refreshing and crisp salad, or serve your soup in a bread bowl. There is something about soup that makes me feel cozy inside. I have created a list of 20 Instant Pot soups for you to try out this season! 

20 Hearty Instant Pot Soups 

Creamy Tomato Soup| A rich and creamy tomato soup that is topped with crisp parmesan chickpeas. This tomato soup is a total upgrade from the canned soup I ate as a kid. 

Chicken and Wild Rice| I love the hearty flavor from the rice paired with chicken, it is one of my favorite soups. This is a very healthy and simple recipe to make and cooks fast. 

Butternut Cauliflower Soup| This is one hearty soup that is packed full of rich nutrients and fiber to fuel your body. Minimal prep and packed full of rich flavors. 

Pumpkin Soup| You can’t go wrong with a rich and creamy pumpkin soup. It is a perfect fall and winter soup that fits the season. 

Zuppa Toscano| This is an Olive Garden copycat recipe that is sure to please your taste buds. It is full of hearty vegetables, sausage and more to give you that authentic Olive Garden flavor.  Continue reading »