May 152018

Spring has finally sprung here in New England and that means that everyone is getting themselves outside as much as possible. Seriously, we only have a few months of warm weather here, so we all have to make the most of it. One of the things that makes me happy in particular once the weather gets nice is cooking out.

Cooking and sharing a meal outside with my family makes my heart happy. But this year we are trying something a little bit different. Griddling outdoors (in addition to grilling of course). Outdoor griddling goes beyond the “same old, same old.” Anything that can be cooked on a typical grill can be cooked on a griddle – along with thousands of other foods.

How do I bring my family together over an outdoor griddle you ask?  The answer is my new Blackstone 28” Griddle!

Outdoor griddling goes beyond the “same old, same old.” Anything that can be cooked on a typical grill can be cooked on a griddle - along with thousands of other foods.

As you can see, it is shipped in a box, so some assembly is required.  It took my hubby, Christian, less than 20 minutes to put it together.  You will need a propane tank to fire this baby up and one battery for the igniter, neither of which are included.  We just pulled the propane tank off of our grill. Continue reading »

Apr 232018

Book your vacation Experiences Directly Through TripAdvisor! They offer more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide and with that many experiences it's safe to say there is something for everyone.

If you follow me on social media, you know that my family recently spent some time in New York City.  A good bloggy friend, Melissa from The Staten Island Family, invited my family to her son’s Bar Mitzvah. When she first told me that an invitation was heading my way, I was really excited and when it dawned on me that it fell during my kids April school vacation I got wicked excited.  None of us have ever attended a Bar Mitzvah before and I thought it would be a wonderful thing for my family to experience.  And it was even more wonderful than I could have imagined. Her son impressed the hell out of us with all the Hebrew passages he read (there were a lot) and a speech he gave, which was far beyond his years.

Since it was school vacation week, I wanted to extend our trip by a few days and make the most of our visit. My husband and I go down to NYC a few times a year, but don’t usually take the kids with us.  Since they came with us this time, we wanted to make sure they had an amazing time. I decided to go to my trusted resource, TripAdvisor, to see what we should do while we we there.

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.  I mean, you are going to TripAdvisor to look at the reviews anyways, so why not take it one step further and book your experiences right on their site.  It’s easy peasy and that way your itinerary will be set before you even leave for your trip (or staycation). Continue reading »

Apr 022018

The spring season brings beautiful flowers and more sunshine, which of course makes more people feel happier. While the beauty of spring can surely boost your spirits, the pollen flying everywhere can take you down for the count. You’re not alone because millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies (including me). Spring is the time when you want to get outside with your family to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, but what happens when your seasonal allergies keep you from enjoying this newfound warmth? Well, you have to find products that will assist in keeping you healthy. That’s what.

Stay Healthy This Spring by Beating Seasonal Allergies. It’s time to start focusing on the ear, nose, and throat to help stay healthy this spring before your seasonal allergies hit.

I want to introduce you to Lifestix E.N.T. Care, an oral immunity probiotic that will help many people (both kids and adults) stay healthy this spring season. Please note that this product is not a gut probiotic and is not for use to help with digestive health. Lifestix E.N.T. Care contains a specific probiotic that focuses on the health of ear, nose, and throat for the entire family. With the delicious strawberry flavor and the ability for anyone ages 2 and beyond to take, it’s worth checking into this product if you or anyone in your family suffers from seasonal allergies. Continue reading »

Feb 122018

Upgrade Your Trip By Booking Experiences Directly Through TripAdvisor! They offer more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide and with that many experiences it's safe to say there is something for everyone.

I don’t usually make any major travel plans during the winter time. If there is one thing I’ve learned as a life long New Englander, it’s that the weather is unpredictable.  It’s such a bummer to have your flight delayed – or worse, canceled, because of snow and yes, I had to learn the hard way about what a bummer it actually is (sleeping at the airport is NOT fun).  So instead we do lots of local outings and day trips during the winter time.

Whenever I am planning to visit someplace new, whether it’s a fun day trip or a vacation, the first place I look for information is TripAdvisor. I can always count on honest reviews by fellow travelers over there, but did you know that TripAdvisor recently just leveled up?  In addition to thousands of honest reviews about anywhere and everywhere, you now have the ability to book attractions, tours and experiences directly through TripAdvisor.

Obviously, it’s February and since that’s the heart of winter here in New England, we’re still keeping it local this time of year. So off to TripAdvisor I went so that I could book some fun activities locally. I sat down and perused the available options for the dates I wanted to do something on. There are a lot of cool things happening in Boston on any given day (Boston is such an awesome city!!), but it was fun to scroll through all of the available experiences. I really like having so many options in one place, so I can easily search for what best suits what I am looking for.

Upgrade Your Trip By Booking Experiences Directly Through TripAdvisor! They offer more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide and with that many experiences it's safe to say there is something for everyone.

I ended up picking out a few fun experiences in the Boston area for my family and here’s a little bit about the things I picked. Continue reading »

Jan 082018

No one likes getting sick, but it's bound to happen.By following these tips, you can help prevent colds and flu this winter (and all the time)!

I don’t know if where you live is being hit, but many states are getting hit hard with colds and flu already. I am the type of person who likes to try all I can to avoid anyone in our house from getting sick. Granted, no matter how hard you try you are bound to get sick every now and again. I try to keep us as healthy as possible, and I do so by following these tips below to help prevent colds and flu.

Hand Washing
Make sure every person has good hand washing, as that really helps limit exposure to viruses and germs. You need to scrub and wash hands for around 20 seconds or more. A lot of the germs we pick up are from door handles, counters and more, and washing hands often will help limit spreading germs. Carry hand sanitizer with you so that when you can’t wash your hands you can at least use hand sanitizer.

No one likes getting sick, but it's bound to happen.By following these tips, you can help prevent colds and flu this winter (and all the time)!

If you like protein try to make sure you have a higher protein diet. If you don’t consume enough protein it can lower your immune system. So think meats, eggs, dairy, and more. 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 »

Oct 302017

If you find you are having trouble sleeping, you might be doing some things wrong before bed. Check out this list of things not to do before bed. Not getting enough sleep or quality sleep each night is exhausting, it not only makes us tired but we can’t be our best when we are exhausted.

Here is a list of things not to do before bed, to ensure you get the best quality sleep you can. Not getting that adequate sleep each night can lead to foggy thinking, mistakes while working, and accidents during your day. Before you crawl into your comfy bed, make sure that you are not following these habits.

Here are 5 some ways to really help make sure that when you go to sleep you can sleep more soundly and get a good nights sleep once and for all!

What Not To Do Before Bed

Don’t bring your phone into your bed with you or other gadgets. It will overstimulate you and can actually keep you up, or make you struggle to fall asleep. Try to power down from your electronics for at least one before bed. This will help the mental and physical stimulation from your phone! Continue reading »

Oct 252017

Conagra Brands sponsored this post, but the opinions are my own!
You never know when you will need a delicious meal in a pinch. Banquet and Marie Callender's Pot Pies are perfect for those times.

Do you ever have nights when you plan out a great family meal, but then everything goes wrong? You know those nights…you’re running late, there’s traffic, you get a flat tire, practice runs late – you know what I’m talking about! You finally get back home and everyone is starving, but by now it’s late and there isn’t enough time to get that fancy pants meal on the table. Thankfully there are Banquet or Marie Callender’s Pot Pies to the rescue!

With Banquet or Marie Callender’s Pot Pies you can whip up a quick and delicious meal for yourself and your whole family. Even better, why not stock up on Pot Pies for a great price at Walmart. Then you will always have some in your freezer when you need them. There are lots of varieties, so everyone can have a pot pie they like.

You never know when you will need a delicious meal in a pinch. Banquet and Marie Callender's Pot Pies are perfect for those times.

Continue reading »

Oct 232017

I wanted to share some tips on how to make sure you get a good nights sleep. I know it’s not easy for a lot of us, but it definitely can be done. Regardless of your sleep pattern now, I want to share some ways to really help make sure that when you go to sleep you can sleep more soundly and get a good nights sleep.

Here are 5 some ways to really help make sure that when you go to sleep you can sleep more soundly and get a good nights sleep once and for all!

Set a Routine
Setting a routine for going to bed is a great way to get your body used to go to sleep at a certain time. It also will allow you to help monitor how many hours you are getting a night. I like to aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Try to limit screen time on your tablet, phone or other devices an hour before bed. Be consistent in when you lay down for the night, to help you learn to fall asleep faster. If you are not super tired when you lay down, read a book (that always makes me tired) or listen to soothing music. Continue reading »

Oct 112017

Minecraft is Coming to a Boston Movie Theater THIS Weekend!

Does your child love Minecraft? Starting this Saturday morning, instead of just playing at home, they can enjoy the game while meeting new friends as part of a local team representing Boston, thanks to Super League Gaming and their Minecraft City Champs tournament, run in partnership with Nickelodeon. It’s like little league for Minecraft players! Fun, positive and a great opportunity to get out and play with other kids their age. Past players clearly have had a GREAT time!

And one skilled player will win a HUGE prize for their family – 4 tickets to Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards 2018, inclusive of round trip airfare, 2 nights in a hotel and a $500 spending allowance. There will be other giveaways for all players, including an official Boston Revolt team jersey!

Minecraft is Coming to a Boston Movie Theater THIS Weekend!

While you may find it challenging to pull your little ones away from their iPad or Xbox, the truth is that playing Minecraft (and video games in general) can be beneficial for your kids on many levels, including problem solving, building self-confidence, enhancing creativity, understanding teamwork and improving academic performance. Continue reading »

Oct 112017

I think it’s safe to say that 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 in October! While I partnered with Valvoline Instant Oil Change for this project, as always, all opinions expressed here are my own!

Let's help end breast cancer. This October Visit Valvoline Instant Oil Change and Get Your Pink Wipers to Help #WipeOutBreastCancer

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. What’s cool is that you can choose from full Pink Wipers or Black Wipers with a small pink ribbon.  It’s all about options, right? These all-weather wipers are available at select participating Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations and they fit 98% of cars, trucks and SUVs manufactured after 2003! Continue reading »

Sep 292017

My hubby and I love to snack on chips & salsa when we’re Netflix binging or catching up on some DVR.  It’s our first go-to snack and we love it because it’s quick and easy. The thing is, it can be tough to find really good fresh salsa in the grocery store. And by really tough, I mean basically impossible. Until now.  I recently had a chance to try some salsa from Nola’s Fresh Foods and I’m hooked!

Nola's Fresh Foods salsa is an authentic Mexican salsa. No artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, no sugar and no oils & they're Vegan and Gluten Free.

Nola’s Fresh Foods salsa is an authentic, bold, fresh and all-natural Mexican salsa. Once you try it, you’ll never go back to any other salsas you’ve tried before. It’s a perfect snack or addition to your favorite meals (think taco Tuesday). Nola’s Salsas have no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, no sugar and no oils. They are Vegan and Gluten Free, so everyone can enjoy the best salsa ever. At Nola’s, they are committed to providing you with the best product on the market using only the freshest, all natural ingredients available. Nola’s Salsas are always fresh and flavorful. Continue reading »

Sep 252017

It’s fall here in New England and now that the chill is back in the air, it’s time to switch back over from iced to warm drinks to help me stay warm. My go-to beverage is coffee, but every now and then I like to get a little fancy….I just don’t like to pay the fancy prices.

Cue the McCafé beverages from McDonald’s!

Celebrate the Relaunch of McDonald's McCafé Beverages With Delicious Lattes and Mochas! The quality is outstanding and you can't beat the price!

This fall, McDonald’s is excited to celebrate the relaunch of their McCafé experience. The expanded offerings include the introduction of new café-quality espresso beverages to the McCafé lineup – which are made with freshly-ground espresso and U.S. sourced whole or nonfat milk – in addition to recrafted lattes and mochas. Continue reading »

Sep 062017

This delicious pumpkin pie smoothie is perfect for the pumpkin lover in your life!

My husband and I have a running joke about the fact that my youngest son is just like me.  And in so many ways he is. From the fact that our feet are always cold to the fact that we both sleep with a fan and a sleep mask on every single night. Another thing we both share is our dislike for eating first thing in the morning. Frankly I could wait until lunch to eat, but obviously I can’t send my little guy off to school everyday without something in his tummy. That sort of forces me to get a little creative when it comes to a light breakfast. I generally make him a smoothie because it’s filling, but not overly heavy. One other thing that he and I have in common is our love of all things pumpkin!  I decided to make him a “Lighter” Pumpkin Pie Smoothie recently and it was a huge hit. With both of us.

“Lighter” Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

If you are a pumpkin lover, try a delicious "Lighter" Pumpkin Pie Smoothie! It's filling, tasty and ready in just a few minutes.

Continue reading »

Aug 302017

If you live in Central Massachusetts, mark your calendar for September 23rd because you and your kiddos are invited to Touch A Truck at the Auburn Mall! This is a fun community event that gives families the opportunity to have enjoy themselves while also giving back at the same time. The admission fee of $5 per person OR $20 maximum per family benefits the Auburn Fire Department and Susan G. Komen. Two great causes.

Truck enthusiasts of all ages are invited to Auburn Mall to get a unique and up-close look at a variety of vehicles, since toy trucks just can’t compare to the real thing. This includes:

  • Auburn Police Cruiser
  • Auburn Fire Truck
  • Cranes
  • Dump Truck
  • Landscape Chippers
  • Motorcycles
  • Coca-Cola Delivery Truck
  • And more

More features of this kid-friendly community event will include: a moon-bounce, Animal Adventures shows from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., a McCoy Karate demonstration, face painting by Noelle*, and more! The first 350 children will also receive a complimentary goody bag. Continue reading »

Jul 312017

My family was recently on vacation up in New Hampshire when disaster struck. A big thunderstorm rolled through.  Gasp!  It was a major storm involving torrential downpours and ping-pong ball sized hail, so we were basically trapped inside of our condo (I’m just glad we were already inside when the sky opened up!!). Anyhow, not five minutes into it my boys both started with the “I’m bored” nonsense. Thankfully all of our devices were fully charged and ready to stream some some of their favorite shows on Fios.

Verizon Fios Tween Streaming Guide

Because I have two tween boys, I decided to round up some of their favorite go-to shows. If you have tween boys, check out this Verizon Fios Tween Streaming Guide because who knows – you might find a new show that you love! It’s super exciting that new areas in Boston are getting Fios service all the time and I am thrilled to be partnering with Verizon to bring you some information about their new service in the Boston area! I’ve had Verizon Fios for years and I have never been anything but happy with it!

1. American Ninja Warrior

From schoolteachers to firemen to police officers to social workers, this competition gives everyday men and women the chance to transform into fearless acrobatic competitors at the six regional qualifying competitions held throughout the U.S. 100 finalists will have a shot at a $500,000 cash prize and the chance to win the coveted “American Ninja Warrior” title at the national finals in Las Vegas. Continue reading »

Jun 262017

I have had Verizon Fios for about nine years now. As soon as I heard that it was going to be available in my town, I called to schedule an appointment to have it set up in my house.  I had my Fios within the first week of service in my town and I love it.  You could ask anyone who knows me in real life and they would tell you that I should be a Verizon Fios spokesperson because I speak so highly of it. Over the last nine years, I have not had one single issue with them. Not one.  I think that says A LOT about how great their service is. That is why I am thrilled to be partnering with Verizon to bring you some additional information about their new service in the Boston area.

Verizon Fios isn’t just internet and TV service anymore, though. Did you know you can stream your favorite television shows and movies anywhere with Fios On Demand? Most of the TV shows are available for free for Fios customers. Newly released movies can be rented or purchased, too. Since my family has a couple of road-trips coming up this summer, being able to stream our favorite shows in the car is going to be a lifesaver.

If you are looking for some shows to binge on this summer, look no further.  Here are four great TV shows you can watch on Fios On Demand this summer:

Life in Pieces
Accomplished actors Dianne Wiest and James Brolin star as the heads of a large, happy family, in which each member is approaching different milestones. Their eldest daughter, Heather (Betsy Brandt) and her husband consider having another child as they get closer to an empty nest; middle child Matt (Thomas Sadoski) thinks he has found true love; and the youngest of the three siblings, Greg (Colin Hanks) is overwhelmed after having his first child with his wife. Various perspectives are employed as each family member’s story unfolds.

This is one my my husband’s and my favorite shows. It’s absolutely hilarious and we find ourselves having to pause it all the time because we laugh so hard over some of the things that happen on the show.  If you are looking for something light-hearted and fun this summer, watch Life in Pieces. You’re welcome. Continue reading »

Jun 212017

Did you know that June is Adopt-a-Cat Month?  Consider yourself informed. I actually had no idea myself until I got an email from my friends at Scotties telling me about a wonderful event they sponsored earlier this month.

Back for their 4th year, Scotties Facial Tissues partnered with animal rescue organization up and down the east coast in an effort to get eligible cats and kittens into loving adoptive homes. Each organization – The Animal Protective Foundation (Albany, NY), Boston MSPCA (Boston, MA), and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (Tampa, FL) all received $5,000 each to go towards the re-homing of cats. All cats and kittens adopted have been spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and screened for temperament. During the Adoption event, all fees associated with adopting select felines were waived at participating locations thanks to a generous donation from Scotties.

This initiative was first started by Scotties in 2014. It is part of an ongoing effort to increase the number cats and kittens going to good homes. From June 1st through the 7th during “Scotties Adoption Week” they are proud to say that in 2017 alone over 400 cats and kittens have gone into brand new loving forever homes.  I think it’s safe to call the event a huge success! Continue reading »

Jun 202017

Today I would like to introduce you to songwriter and producer Almost Owen, the singing drummer who releases new music in Boston regularly.

**This conversation is sponsored by sponsored by JZ Social Enterprises.

Songwriter/Producer Almost Owen has been quietly grinding it out, waiting for his moment. Since moving back to the US from India where he worked as music teacher from 2013-2014, the 26 year old has played nearly 500 shows. He’s toured massive music festivals in Panama, theaters in China and India, intimate sets at UNESCO in France, and beer soaked clubs in his native Boston, MA. He’s also written and produced songs for other artists, taking time to hone in on his own sound and message. Gearing up to release his own projects, Almost Owen is ready to show everyone exactly who he is. Continue reading »

May 102017

Disclosure: I received compensation from McDonald’s in exchange for writing this review. All opinions expressed here are my own and were not influenced in any way.

When I was a kid, going to eat at McDonald’s was the biggest treat there was. I don’t mean getting take-out, which was always awesome, but I mean eating inside. Whenever my sister, brother or I got a good report card, off to McDonald’s we would go. A lot has changed since then and I, for one, am excited about some awesome new changes at McDonald’s.

I got to experience some of the new changes at McDonald’s recently and I am wicked excited to share them with you here today.

You see, McDonald’s is always looking for new ways to raise the bar on everything they do — from their food, to putting more choice and control in the hands of their customers. They’re taking big steps to improve their customers’ dining experience at McDonald’s, offering new ways to order and pay, table service and premium menu choices.

Signature Crafted Sandwiches
It started with All Day Breakfast and continued with their updated Chicken McNuggets®. Then McDonald’s offered a Mac sandwich for every occasion and now, with inspiration from their customers, McDonald’s is proud to introduce Signature CraftedTM Recipes, made with premium ingredients and full of flavors everyone will love.

Customers can select a freshly prepared quarter-pound 100 percent beef patty, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken or Artisan Grilled Chicken with either a sesame seed bun or toasted Artisan Roll. They use premium ingredients for the Maple Bacon Dijon, Pico Guacamole and Sweet BBQ Bacon sandwiches on their new Signature CraftedTM Recipes menu.

I was invited to go back into the kitchen where they prepare all of their food and guys, it’s fresh. I saw all of the food and can personally attest to the quality of what was back there. I was super impressed. Continue reading »