Oct 222018
 

Whether you’re looking home away from home vacation, or spending the day in Vermont for fun, I’ve come up with a list of 10 sights to see while in Vermont.

This Northeastern United States location is rich with history. Vermont is a New England state that attracts tourists all year round. Whether you’re looking to arrive this summer for a little home away from home vacation, or spending the day in Vermont for fun, I’ve come up with a list of 10 sights to see while in Vermont that you must add to your travel bucket list.

Whether you’re looking home away from home vacation, or spending the day in Vermont for fun, I’ve come up with a list of 10 sights to see while in Vermont. Continue reading »

Oct 172018
 

For a true taste of fall, whip up some of this homemade pumpkin spice ice cream. It's an easy recipe and if you love pumpkin, this is the treat for you.

I remember when I was growing up, one of my dad’s “things” was making homemade ice cream.  It took him YEARS to perfect the consistency, but then again there was no such thing as the internet to scour for recipes back then. My kids are still baffled by the no internet thing, but if you’re my age – you know how to do things the hard way. #truestory

Anyhow, my dad would bust out his ice cream maker about once a month and eventually he perfected the recipe, but he usually only made traditional flavors like chocolate and vanilla.  He wasn’t (and still isn’t) an adventurous eater, so he made what he liked and that was it. Come to think about it, there are many foods I never even tried until I was an adult and pumpkin is one of them (GASP!!).  Fear not, though, because my palate has expanded quite a bit since I was a kid and have had the chance to try new foods. And lucky for my kids, they have been introduced to many of the foods that I was not as a child – like pumpkin.

Now that I am the mom, I have my own ice cream maker and can whip up this homemade pumpkin spice ice cream any time I want.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

For a true taste of fall, whip up some of this homemade pumpkin spice ice cream. It's an easy recipe and if you love pumpkin, this is the treat for you.

Continue reading »

Oct 152018
 

We ALL wish that cancer was GONE once and for all. One particular form of cancer that has affected my family is breast cancer. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor and I am thankful every single day that she beat it. It’s an awful disease and when I found out that Valvoline Instant Oil Change was helping to Wipe out breast cancer, I was excited to partner with them to tell you about a wonderful campaign they have going on during the month of October! While I partnered with Valvoline Instant Oil Change for this project, as always, all opinions expressed here are my own!

Be sure to stop by your local Valvoline Instant Oil Change this October and get Pink Wipers to help wipe out Breast Cancer once and for all!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and VIOC is selling AutoTex PINK Wipers throughout October! The proceeds from the sale of these special PINK wipers is going to National Breast Cancer Foundation. You can choose from full Pink Wipers or Black Wipers with a small pink ribbon at participating VIOC locations which can be found at https://www.vioc.com/pink-wipers These all-weather wipers fit 98% of cars, trucks and SUVs manufactured after 2003! Continue reading »

Oct 082018
 

This Roasted Red Pepper Dip recipe is sure to spice up your party. It's easy to make, only requires a few ingredients and it really delicious.

My step-son, Zane, recently graduated from college. Of course his dad and I are proud of him for his accomplishment, but the most impressive part (at least to me) is that he did it in three years.  Yes, he earned his bachelors degree in just three years.

In our town, some of the kids at the public high school (the ones that test into AP level courses) are given the opportunity to take some of their classes at a local community college that has a satellite branch in our town. So while they are completing their requirements to graduate from high school they are also earning college credits at the same time.  Isn’t that the coolest thing?  So Zane went into college with about a semesters worth of credits before he ever even started classes there. Not to mention that he worked his butt off taking summer courses and and extra course here and there to make it happen. Did I mention that we are very proud?

Anyhow, we had a little graduation party at our house to celebrate his accomplishment and I ended up making this Roasted Red Pepper Dip for the party.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

This Roasted Red Pepper Dip recipe is sure to spice up your party. It's easy to make, only requires a few ingredients and it really delicious.

Continue reading »

Oct 082018
 

Hear ye, hear ye! King Richard’s Faire in back in Carvershire (Carver, MA) and the faire is better than ever this year. Spread out over 80 acres of woods, King Richard’s Fairs is the place to be if you want to fully immerse yourself in the 16th century. If you’ve never been to a renaissance festival, it’s definitely not something to be missed.  Even if you think it’s not for you, trust me – it is. There is so much experience there and it really is loads of family fun.

If you are looking for a fun and unique experience for your family, head to King Richard's Faire in Carver, MA. It's an experience like no other.

Here’s what you can expect at King Richard’s Faire

Entertainment!

There are eight stages of live entertainment all day, included in your admission price at King Richard’s Faire. In addition to jousting show, you can see fire eating, magic, comedy shows, acrobatic acts and much more. Many of the performers ask for tips (and some might even beg).  If you feel inclined, feel free to tip them.  If you don’t want to, that’s ok, too. There’s no pressure at all, but in case you didn’t already know this – many of the performers at the faire spend their lives traveling from ren-faire to ren-faire, so they rely on tip money.  Just something to keep in mind. Continue reading »

Sep 272018
 

These are just four places to consider when you're looking for free things to do in New England. Honestly, it's just the tip of the iceberg.

If you’ve never visited New England there’s no better time to do so. The entire region is well-known for good food, a rich and interesting history and so much more.

Are you looking for free activities to participate in, while exploring the area? These are a few possibilities to consider. As you can see, there really is something for everyone!

Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut)

Yale University hosts a free guided tour of its historic campus. As long as your group doesn’t consist of more than 10 people, no reservation is required. Visit both the Yale Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art. While you’re there, you may be lucky enough to take in a free concert. Continue reading »

Sep 242018
 

If you want to get creative with your kids school Halloween celebration, these easy Halloween Classroom treats (with free printable) are perfect for you!

Back when I was a kid I always looked forward to holiday parties/celebrations at school. If I remember correctly, back in elementary school we had them for Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day (and maybe one or two more but I’m old so the details are a little hazy). Everyone in the class would bring in a treat and we’d usually spend the last hour or so of the day celebrating. It was always so much fun and I feel a little sad for my kids that they will never experience that joy.

The school system in our town chose to ban all outside food due to food allergies. And I get it, I really do. I have a niece with a peanut allergy, so I am used to making peanut free treats when I go to family parties, but some people just aren’t as good about it – so our schools take the better safe than sorry approach and ban all shared foods from coming in. And because of that, there really aren’t celebrations like I had when I was a kid, but Halloween is coming up and I just CAN NOT resist these Halloween Classroom treats. Continue reading »

Sep 202018
 

If you are looking for a unique adult aquarium experience, try Cocktails with Whales at the Mystic Aquarium. There you you sip cocktails with Beluga whales!

I am not ashamed to admit that I LOVE the aquarium. One of my favorites is the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut. I like the layout and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that they have beluga whales. They are such beautiful creatures and Juno, the younger of the 2, has quite the personality. He poses for selfies, photobombs, and starts trouble with the patrons. I recently went to an adults only evening that they have periodically called “Cocktails with Whales” and it is every bit as amazing as it sounds.

First of all, it’s only $10. That gets you in the door to socialize with your friends, coworkers, strangers, and the whales. There is a cash bar and prices are average priced. I nursed my $8 drink the whole 2 hours we were there. People, as a whole were friendly and courteous. Of course everyone wants to be near the tank and get their selfie with the whales but most were pretty considerate of others and moved along after a few minutes so others could have their chance. Continue reading »

Sep 172018
 

These ten allergy free goodies make popular hand outs for all the trick-or-treaters. This thoughtful act can make a child’s Halloween much more special.

There is nothing more fun than handing out Halloween candy to all the little princesses, robots, and witches who show up on your doorstep. For kids with allergies, a treat basket full of things they can’t eat is a disappointing find. If you like to be the door on the block that all the kids look forward to knocking on, include treats that will bring a smile to everyone’s face. These ten allergy free goodies make popular hand outs for all the trick-or-treaters.

1. Rice Krispie Treats
These are favorite among kids of all ages. The marshmallow goo combined with the crunchy puffed rice makes it the perfect sticky sweet Halloween treat. Annie’s Organic makes a delicious gluten free pre-packaged rice krispy.

2. Gummy Candy
Gummy candies of all sorts are slimy, chewy Halloween staples. Gummy fish, worms, bears and rings all fit the bill for a sweet allergy friendly treat. They are readily available in the seasonal Halloween section of any supermarket already divided into little packs and ready to go home with trick-or-treaters. Continue reading »

Sep 122018
 

Do your feet hurt? Mine sure do. I don’t talk about this a lot, but I have plantar fasciitis. In a nutshell, it’s an inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and guys, it HURTS.  When people ask me what it feels like, this is my standard answer:  Imagine a pebble inside the heel of your foot and then step down really hard on it. Plantar fasciitis is legit and while it simmers down sometimes, when I have flare ups, I can barely walk.

And I do NOT have time for this nonsense.  Thankfully I discovered Wiivv custom fit insoles and sandals!  I got a pair of sandals and insoles that were made just for me.  Wiivvs provide the natural arch support your feet were designed to have. Their custom insoles distribute pressure and loading across the entire foot, reduce ankle rotation and keep you aligned from the ground up.

Wiivv custom insoles distribute pressure and loading across the entire foot, reduce ankle rotation and keep you aligned from the ground up!

Continue reading »

Sep 112018
 

If you are hosting a Halloween party this year or just even want a fun decoration for your house, try this Easy Dollar Store Glowing Pumpkin Craft.

I was at the dollar store the other day and saw these cute little glass candle holders.  I am more of a candle that comes in a jar kind of person, so I knew I would never use the candle holders to burn candles in.  That left me wondering what I could do with them and then the light bulb went off. I knew I could make a fun glowing pumpkin craft with some orange twinkle lights. I grabbed some black craft paper and ended up making this Easy Dollar Store Glowing Pumpkin Craft with my supplies.  I am absolutely in love with how it came out and it literally only took me about three minutes to put it together.

Easy Dollar Store Glowing Pumpkin Craft

Here’s what you need:

  • Glass candle holder
  • Orange twinkle lights
  • Black craft paper or felt
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue

Continue reading »

Sep 102018
 

 If you are looking for a fun day of making memories with your family in Orlando, head to Gatorland. There's a lot more there than just gators!

I don’t know about you, but I have been hearing buzz about Gatorland in Orlando for years. It’s one of those attractions that I have had on my bucket list for a long, long time and recently I was able to cross it off. We had some time between checking out of one resort before we could check into the next, so I figured it was the perfect time to head over to the the Alligator Capital of the World!

If you are looking for a fun day of making memories with your family in Orlando, head to Gatorland. There's a lot more there than just gators!

Sure, you go to Gatorland to see the gators, but in addition to thousands (literally) of alligators, Gatorland has much more to offer. Gatorland boasts the largest collection of extremely rare white leucistic alligators, a free-flight aviary, petting zoo, one-of-a-kind animal shows, thrilling Screamin’ Gator Zip Line and their new Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure!  Your day at Gatorland will be full of fun and memory making! Continue reading »

Sep 052018
 

It’s finally FOOTBALL season and the New England Patriots season kickoff is THIS Sunday, September 9th at 1 pm! The season kickoff is always special for us because it’s the start of 4 months of rooting for our team together as a family! We are huge Patriots (Pats) fans in our family and love to celebrate game day with lots of great snacks!

If you want to celebrate the upcoming football season in a fun way, check out your local Stop & Shop bakery for officially licensed NFL cakes today.

We always have munchies like chips, pretzels and other sweets on hand to snack on throughout the game, but this year for the Patriots kickoff this weekend, we got an amazing officially licensed NFL cake at Stop & Shop! How cool is this Patriots cake (please pardon the smudge on the bottom left – we had a little snafu at checkout). Continue reading »

Sep 042018
 

What’s worse after a long day of traveling than standing in a long line at the airport waiting to pick up your rental car? I always dread coming off of a long flight to have to search for the rental car counter and then wait forever for the long process to be over with- nevermind all the upsells they try to push on me once I am there. Having just gone through the rental car process in July when I was in Charleston (longggg lines and tons of paperwork), I said to my husband that there HAS to be a better way to get a rental car. Well, it turns out that there is and it’s called Silvercar.

Streamline your car rental process by renting an Audi from Silvercar. Done via an app on your smartphone, avoid the lines, paperwork and hassles!

With Silvercar there are no lines and no paperwork. Yes, you read that right – no lines or paperwork!! Everything is done on their app and right now Silvercar is available in 24 cities across the US.  I had a chance to try out renting a car through Silvercar when I was in Orlando last week and let me tell you, it’s a game changer when it comes to renting a car. Continue reading »

Aug 222018
 

This Homemade Butternut Squash Cream Soup is a perfect fall soup recipe. It's hearty and will keep you warm on a chilly winter day.

I am one of those people who is always cold. Sometimes it goes right down to my core and I just cannot get warm no matter how hard I try. When I have days like that, a nice warm bowl of soup really helps to warm me up. One of my favorites is my Homemade Butternut Squash Cream Soup.  It’s hearty, filling and definitely helps warm me up when I am cold.

Homemade Butternut Squash Cream Soup’

Here’s what you do:

  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Celery Stalks, finely chopped
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock (replace with Vegetable to make this a Vegetarian soup)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • ½ tsp Marjoram
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Cornstarch (as needed to thicken)

This Homemade Butternut Squash Cream Soup is a perfect fall soup recipe. It's hearty and will keep you warm on a chilly winter day.

Continue reading »

Aug 212018
 

After receiving feedback from fans of the original 5-section MasterPan, its creator are launching the smaller, yet still versatile 2- and 3-section MasterPan this summer through a Kickstarter campaign. These skillets allow users to prepare full meals with the use of a single pan, like a full breakfast of eggs, pancakes and sausage, burgers with bacon for lunch, and grilled chicken and veggies for dinner. Cooking with the MasterPan can also help with preparing the right amounts of food, helping to control portion sizes and minimize food waste (both of which are issues in my house).

We make brinner (breakfast for dinner) often in our house because it’s one of the few meals we all can agree on. Can I just tell you how convenient it is to be able to make everything in one pan (I have used both the 2-section and 3-section pan depending on what’s on the menu). Continue reading »

Aug 202018
 

If you grew up in Southeastern Massachusetts (like me), it’s that time of year again. Time for the Marshfield Fair that is! Growing up, my siblings and I looked forward to the fair returning at the end of every August. The 151st Marshfield Fair is here NOW through August 26th. If you’re local and you’ve never been, you are truly missing out on a fun experience. The fair blends carnival rides, live music, animal demonstrations, a demolition derby and more.

Marshfield-Fair-2018

There really is something for everyone at the Marshfield Fair. While we were there we enjoyed seeing truck pulling, a magic show, a blacksmith demonstration and walking through the petting zoo. Oh, and of course my boys loved riding the rides. There is a lot going on at any given time at the Marshfield Fair and they also have some fun specials coming up. Continue reading »

Aug 132018
 

I am not going to lie to you guys. These caramelized onion, cheddar, and potato pierogies are no joke. They are best attempted with at LEAST one other person helping you. Assembly line style is best. If you can tackle it though, the end result is really, really, really worth the extra effort. They are amazing. At the end of making these I was too exhausted to enjoy them properly. They certainly CAN be done alone. I’ll never do it again, by myself, but you might be tougher than I am. The magic happened when I left the boiled but not sautéed pierogies in the fridge for a few days, and then fried them up and topped them with the sour cream, bacon, and even MORE caramelized onions. Then ate them. That, my friends. That changed my mind. That made me think that the hours of work WAS worth it. No frozen, store-bought, mass produced product can compare to these. It isn’t possible. Maybe a restaurant version could, but I haven’t seen them on many menus.

I'm not going to lie, these homemade pierogies are a lot of work to make, but TOTALLY worth it. No frozen, store-bought, mass produced product can compare to these.

First things first…get your large pot of water boiling and your potatoes peeled and ready to go in. Continue reading »