Dec 122018
 

 If you are looking for a festive DIY Christmas decoration, try making a Painted Clothespin Wreath! It's easy to make, doesn't cost much & seriously cute.

I love everything about Christmas. The music, the decorations, the shopping, the parties…..I love every bit of it. Speaking of Christmas decorations, I have more than the average person. I have a weakness when it comes to decorating my house for Christmas and year after year I keep adding to the collection.  Lately I have been into making homemade decorations. When I helped clean out my parent’s attic after my mom passed, I ended up walking out with a bunch of stuff that I saved from going to the dump. One of the things I saved was a bag of clothespins and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.  Make a Painted Clothespin Wreath. I’ve seen them all over the internet and I was excited to make one of my own.

Painted Clothespin Wreath

Here’s what you need:

  • 58 clothes pins
  • 10 inch single wire wreath form
  • Green Paint – or paint of your choice
  • Foam Paint Brush

painted clothespin wreath

Here’s what you do:
1. Paint the faces of each clothes pin. Continue reading »

Dec 102018
 

Have some fun this year and take the stress of buying gifts out of the mix. Make some simple DIY Christmas gifts that everyone will love.

The holiday season can be a magical time of year. But when the thought of gift giving comes to mind, it can add some stress into the mix. Have some fun and take the stress of gifts out, and make some simple DIY Christmas gifts that everyone will love. These gifts are great for neighbors, family, co-workers and anyone else you want to give a small gift to.

For me, homemade gifts show you took time and thought about that person. I have gathered some of my favorite gift ideas for the holidays! If you have kids, they might even want to join in and help make these gifts!

15 Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas 

Magic Reindeer Food| This is an adorable gift that kids will especially love. You create a little mix of ingredients and sprinkle it outdoors for the reindeer to eat while Santa drops present off. Comes with an adorable printable.

Nail Polish Swirl Coffee MugsKnow someone who enjoys sipping on coffee or tea? Head to your dollar store and pick up supplies for this simple craft, and create a one-of-a-kind mug.

Rib Rub| If you have someone who enjoys grilling, make a homemade rib rub that will be the perfect blend of spices for their juicy ribs! Continue reading »

Dec 032018
 

Wow your holiday guests with these Hot Chocolate Cupcakes! They are easy to make and will surely be everyone's favorite dessert at Christmas dinner!

I am hosting Christmas dinner this year at my house. I’m not going to lie, I am not really looking forward to it, but it’s happening none the less. I have been tinkering around with recipes for desserts to serve that day and ended up with these Hot Chocolate Cupcakes. They are seriously adorable and I know that all my guests are going to love them.

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Wow your holiday guests with these Hot Chocolate Cupcakes! They are easy to make and will surely be everyone's favorite dessert at Christmas dinner!

Continue reading »

Nov 262018
 

Save time and book your vacation experiences directly through Tripadvisor. They offer more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide.

Whenever I am planning a vacation, whether it’s a local day trip or an actual vacation, the first place I look for information is TripAdvisor. We all go there for the reviews, right? but did you know that you can book activities and experiences directly through TripAdvisor? It’s super convenient to be able to look through all the things they offer to do in the city you’re traveling to, read reviews while you’re there AND book whatever catches your eye – all in one spot. And isn’t it better to know that your itinerary is all set before you even leave for your trip (or staycation)?

Chris and I just got back from a long weekend away in NYC and I as soon as we booked the trip, I ran right over to TripAdvisor to see what they had available for us to book. I found a bunch of stuff and thankfully I was able to narrow it down to a few that we really wanted to do and book them. All of these experiences that I booked were super easy to book online. I was able to search by date and find exactly what I wanted on the TripAdvisor site.

Save time and book your vacation experiences directly through Tripadvisor. They offer more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide.

The View from inside the Oculus: The new World Trade Center Transportation Hub

Once you complete your booking through TripAdvisor, they will email you a voucher which you will present once you get to your scheduled activity. Most will accept the voucher on your phone, but a few experiences need an actual printed voucher. Don’t worry because it will say in the confirmation email (with your vouchers) if something needs to be printed. I only mention this because one of the experiences I just booked for our recent NYC trip required a printed voucher. Continue reading »

Nov 262018
 

 If you need a sweet treat for all your Christmas festivities this year, try these Reindeer Brownies. They're easy to make and they'll be a huge hit!

I’ve been in a festive mood lately and have been experimenting with different desserts/sweets.  I have a whole bunch of Christmas parties to go to this year (more than usual – yay, I’m popular) and wanted to be able to whip up something cute & fun for at least one or two of them. I ended up with these adorable Reindeer Brownies and they were much easier to make than you’d think.

Reindeer Brownies

 If you need a sweet treat for all your Christmas festivities this year, try these Reindeer Brownies. They're easy to make and they'll be a huge hit!

Continue reading »

Nov 132018
 

If you're looking for something fun to put on the kids table this Thanksgiving, these Sugar Cone Cornucopias will make a fun addition to your tablescape.

Even though I am full grown adult with children of my own, somehow I STILL get seated at the kids table when my family has its big holiday dinners. And that goes for dinners I host at my own house, too! Whyyyyyy? Actually, the truth is that I don’t mind at all – it’s more laid back at the kids table. Plus I don’t look as conspicuous when I spill some gravy on my shirt at the kids table as I would with the adults.

Whenever I host a family dinner I like to put out fun little decor items on the table. I think it adds a certain ambiance as opposed to just putting out the dinnerware settings. At the kids table, I like to do something fun with the table decor. These Sugar Cone Cornucopias are super simple to make, require no special skills, and you can fill them with whatever you want! Easy peasy.

Sugar Cone Cornucopias

If you're looking for something fun to put on the kids table this Thanksgiving, these Sugar Cone Cornucopias will make a fun addition to your tablescape.
Continue reading »

Nov 072018
 

These Donut Hole Acorns area fun fall snack idea. They are an incredibly easy treat to make and are lots of fun to gobble up!

I travel every year for Thanksgiving (for fun – not to spend time with out of town family), so I usually just sort of skip over it and go right into Christmas as soon as Halloween is over. For me, the fall season basically just consists of October and I am ok with it. I mean, my heat is already on so we might as well just call it winter, right? Anyhow since I was feeling fall-y the other day (because it was 70 degrees in Boston on November 1st…..WHAT??) I decided to make some Donut Hole Acorns.

They are just what they sound like – acorns made out of donut holes (or munchkins if you’re from around these parts). They are easy to make and they’re pretty darn festive if I do say so myself.

Donut Hole Acorns

These Donut Hole Acorns area fun fall snack idea. They are an incredibly easy treat to make and are lots of fun to gobble up!
Continue reading »

Nov 052018
 

When the cold and flu hits a household, it can wipe out everyone in the entire house, so today I’m sharing some tips to stay healthy during this season.

It’s that time of year, cold and flu season! If you’re prone to getting sick or have children who go to school, chances are you’ll have to find ways to stay healthy during this season. When the cold and flu hits a household, it can wipe out everyone in the entire house, so today I’m sharing some tips for you to stay healthy during this icky season.

Take Your Supplements
Rainbow Light, an organic multivitamin brand, has you covered. You can start taking their immune boosting multivitamins NOW – right before cold and flu season. Rainbow Light multivitamins are perfect for the whole family to enjoy and I am loving that they are keeping myself, my teen and my pre-teen healthy this season.

When the cold and flu hits a household, it can wipe out everyone in the entire house, so today I’m sharing some tips to stay healthy during this season. Continue reading »

Nov 012018
 

My boys both love basketball (especially my 14 year old who is OBSESSED) and they love rooting for their favorite team – The Celtics. We’re going to our first game of the season in a few weeks and then in December both of my boys will be participating in one of the Jr. Celtics Clinics at the TD Garden (also, it’s really hard for me not to call it the Boston Garden). My two did one of the Jr. Celtics Clinics last year (read all about our experience here), so they are pumped to do it again.

Jr. Celtics teaches the core values of Boston Celtics Basketball as part of its mission to improve healthy youth development in the Boston community.

The Boston Celtics have expanded the Jr. Celtics program this year by adding a series of new programs and events. The Jr. Celtics program teaches the core values of Boston Celtics Basketball as part of its mission to improve healthy youth development in the Boston community through basketball programs. Programs include Basketball Clinics, Coaches Clinics, Leagues, Tournaments and Summer Camps. Continue reading »

Oct 292018
 

If you are looking for a fun and easy Halloween treat, try making these Nutter Butter Frankensteins. They are perfect for your Halloween parties and more!

Well, well, well…..we finally made it. Made it to what? Halloween week of course. Some people love different holidays for different reasons, but around here, we love Halloween. We’ve been looking forward to it since last October and it’s finally here! Since it’s a week long celebration in our house, I decided to surprise my gruesome twosome with a fun after-school snack: Nutter Butter Frankensteins.

These Nutter Butter Frankensteins are really easy to make and they are a wicked fun Halloween treat.

Nutter Butter Frankensteins

If you are looking for a fun and easy Halloween treat, try making these Nutter Butter Frankensteins. They are perfect for your Halloween parties and more!
Continue reading »

Oct 242018
 

t’s 1987 on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip when a small-town girl meets a big city rocker. As they fall in love in L.A.’s most famous rock club, ROCK OF AGES allows fans to rock out once again to their favorite ‘80s hits. Featuring the music of iconic bands such as Styx, Poison, Twisted Sister, and Whitesnake among many others, this Tenth Anniversary production features a dynamic new cast revisiting the larger than life characters and exhilarating story that turned ROCK OF AGES into a global phenomenon.

rock-of-ages-boston

ROCK OF AGES opened April 7, 2009 on Broadway and played more than 2,300 performances at the Brooks Atkinson and Helen Hayes Theatres earning five Tony Award® nominations including Best Musical. The show also enjoyed successful national and international tours and, in 2012, was turned into a major motion picture by New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures. With a book by Chris D’Arienzo and arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp, the tenth anniversary tour is being directed by Martha Banta and choreographed by Janet Rothermel. Continue reading »

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 »