Sep 222015
 

While school is in session, I have very little time to do what I want to do.  This year both of my boys are in different schools, each with different start and end times, so that has really thrown off my routine this year.  In addition to that, my little one plays soccer and my oldest needs to be at the dojo three or four times a week since he’s about to take his 3rd and final black belt test (it’s this Friday, so wish him luck and good skill).

While there are shows that I never, ever, ever miss like The Walking  Dead and The Blacklist, there are a whole slew of shows on my shelfie list.

What’s a shelfie you ask? We all have them – they’re the shows you’ve been wanting to watch but they’ve been sitting on the virtual shelf because…well, because like me, you’re a parent and who has the time?

There are many shows on my shelfie list, but today I am going to tell you my top three (in no particular order).

1. Scandal

A powerful team of Washington, D.C. lawyers makes scandals disappear while handling government crises and coping with problems of their own.

scandal

Continue reading »

Aug 272015
 

Tips For Making Homework Less Stressful

Homework has a way of being incredibly stressful on the whole family; however, there are things you can do to make it a whole lot less nerve-racking. Here are some tips for making homework time less stressful on the whole family.

Plan Ahead

It’s always nice to know what kind of homework will be coming home and when. I always try and communicate with the teacher when it comes to homework. Most teachers send an idea of what will be coming down the pipeline, which helps us prepare. It’s also nice to know if homework won’t be assigned on a particular day because this could be made into a “special” day!

Rewards are Always Welcome

Think about how many times in a day adult’s award themselves with something. It’s time to allow kids to award themselves for a job well done too! A week without fighting about homework? Let them pick their prize! Choose a reward system that works for your family and stick with it.

Stay on Schedule

It’s easy to remain stress free about homework when you know when it’s going to be done. Staying on schedule at a specific time with homework can help make this process a lot less stressful. Pick a time during the week that works every night. When a child knows what time they will be doing their homework it also takes a lot of guesswork out of their day. They know at 6 o’clock they’ll be doing homework so there’s no need to even question it. Continue reading »

Jul 212015
 

Summer time is full of fun and adventures for our family.  We only have a few short months of summer here in Boston and I like to keep the boys busy, busy, busy.  Whether we are at the beach, the playground, the pool, on a day trip somewhere, on vacation or even just hanging out with friends – we are almost always up to something.

Chris and I love to make memories with the boys and want them to be able to look back at their childhood and think back to all the happy times we had as a family.

Messed up selfie

Despite our silly selfie stick mishaps on our travels, staying home can definitely be fun, too.  We all love to cook together as a family and we especially love family movie nights.  We love to snuggle up on the sofa with a huge bowl of popcorn and watch our favorite movies. Continue reading »

Jun 112015
 

There’s something pretty awesome about connecting with your kids over something you loved when you were young, am I right?  It offers them a glimpse into what you were like as a kid yourself and gives you a way to relive your childhood.  Win-win.

As it turns out, cartoons such as the new Netflix original series Inspector Gadget and Danger Mouse are giving parents and their kids loads to bond over. Not only are the old-school classics we all grew up on more popular than ever, but new reboots are introducing a whole new generation to some of our most favorite characters.

I love snuggling up with my boys on the sofa to watch Inspector Gadget.

Go-Go-Gadget-Copter.

I plan on spending some time with the boys this summer watching these retro shows for sure, but watching them made me think back to all the other fun stuff we usually do over the summer in our family.

It wouldn’t be summer in our family without a visit to the local amusement park, Canobie Lake.

2009

2009 2

And we never miss going to watch the Patriots Training Camp every August. Continue reading »

May 212015
 

Families. We’ve all got one, but these days they’re starting to look less like The Cleavers. Am I right? The once traditional “nuclear” family has evolved into a kaleidoscope of possibilities.  Start with parents (maybe two dads, a single mom, or a stay at home dad…), add a dash of half/step/full/adopted siblings, a side of grandparents, a pinch of aunts, uncles, cousins, a splash of pets, topped off with close friends (and all the combinations thereof). Now you’ve got a modern family — each uniquely quirky — yet picture perfect in its own way.

Most of you already know this, but my family is blended.  I am divorced from my boys father & when I married Christian five years ago, I gained a bonus son (who actually just turned 18 and is heading off to college in September).  We have lots of great memories as a family unit and it makes my heart happy that everyone in the house gets along.  For the most part…..

The five of us may not have been together for that long, but we have some awesome memories together. Sometimes we even get a little silly, and those are my favorite times.

zombie family photo

Speaking of blended families, Grace and Frankie, Netflix’s new funny and fearless original comedy featuring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, is a perfect example of how today’s families can shift, rearrange and blend in unexpected ways. When Grace and Frankie’s husbands leave them after 20 years of marriage—to be with each other—the women find themselves facing a change that they never expected, but they shift their perspective to get through it together with the support of their new blended family and, of course, a sense of humor. Continue reading »

Apr 202015
 

We all lie.  Do you agree or disagree?  I think it’s natural for really young kids to tell little white lies at they learn the difference between fact and fiction.  Older kids sometimes tell lies to cover for each other or to keep themselves out of trouble.  As parents, I think it’s fair to say that most of us have experienced at least one of these situations – if not both.

I recently experienced the latter with my oldest son.  A couple of weeks ago he had asked me if he could bring his iPod Touch to school. According to him, his teacher said that they were going to have “electronics day” or something along those lines on Friday.  Since no notice came home from the teacher, I said no.  I had just assumed he wanted to bring it in to fool around with and since the school normally confiscates electronics when they’re not supposed to be there, I didn’t want to see him lose it until the end of the school year in June.

A few days later, I had completely forgotten about it.  That Friday came and went, but a little while after the boys had gotten off of the bus, I overheard my little guy asking his big brother about the new wall paper on his iPod, which was a photo of him and one of his classmates.

When I asked my son point blank if he had snuck his iPod to school (despite the fact I told him that he couldn’t), he fessed up right away.  As punishment, I took his iPod away for a week, which was basically the equivalent of the end of the world to him, but he understood why and took his punishment like a champ.  I am pretty sure he learned his lesson, too.

Speaking of lying….. Continue reading »

Mar 152015
 

I don’t know about you, but I have been known to have epic Netflix marathons.  My kids are off with their dad most Saturdays and there have been times that I have literally sat on my couch from the time I woke up until bedtime just watching entire seasons of shows on Netflix.  True story.

netflix

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this every weekend – or even once a month for that matter, but I work hard and sometimes I deserve a break.   For me a break involves great snacks, pajamas and my television.  And hey, if I am going to spend the day vegging out in front of the tv, I may as well do it right and binge watch shows on Netflix that I missed out on. Am I right?

If it weren’t for Netflix, I would have missed out on a lot of great shows, so today, I am going to tell you about five of my favorites (in no particular order). These are all shows that I never would have started watching had it not been for Netflix making it possible.

1. How I Met Your Mother

This sitcom details desperate bachelor Ted’s epic search for his soul mate, told through flashbacks as an adult Ted recounts to his kids how he met their mom. As Ted bounces from one red herring to another, his best friends help keep him grounded.

How I Met Your Mother Netflix

Remember above when I said that my five favorite binge watched shows were in no particular order?  That may have been a little bit of a white lie because I CAN NOT get enough of How I Met Your Mother.  It’s tied for my all time favorite comedy show (along with Scrubs) and it’s one of those shows I can sit and watch over & over again. The characters are so funny and you can’t help but love them all. Continue reading »

Feb 232015
 

Gross Science Project

Recently, I have been hearing my oldest son, who is ten years old, start to talk about what he wants to do when he grows up.  I have heard a few different ideas floating around like becoming a chef, being an inventor and being a scientist.

I just want him to be happy with whatever he chooses to do with his life, but since he’s still so young, I figure I can take the opportunity to help him explore all of the things he’s been mentioning.  In addition to working together in the kitchen, my son has been busy inventing all sorts of things up in his room.  I also bought a few books with simple science experiments that we can do at home to help encourage his love of science.  My son zoned in on one activity in particular: making boogers.  Yes, boogers.

Have you ever wondered where boogers and snot come from? C’mon admit it, everyone has! Children and adults alike get boogers and snot from time to time; no one is exempt from these things. Snot and boogers are actually formed from proteins and sugars in our bodies, that mix and in turn become stringy. That my friend is where snot comes from. When those strings of protein harden, you have boogers. It is gross and fascinating at the same time! Find out more about how boogers and snot are made when you try this homemade boogers and snot recipe below!

Here is what you will need:
½ cup of hot water
2 packets of clear gelatin
¼ cup of sugar
Green food coloring
Spoon Continue reading »

Jan 202015
 

Cat Bookmark Craft for Kids

The only thing that can make a great movie or TV series even better is a four-legged star, am I right? My boys love watching anything that involves animals, especially when it comes to cats and dogs. I am happy to say that their love of animals extends far beyond the television. Both of my boys will happily pick up any book that revolves around animals and with that in mind, I decided to sit down and make a fun craft with them:  a cat bookmark.

Using just a few inexpensive supplies, you can make a cat bookmark just like the one you see here. It is the perfect way to be sure you never lose your place in a great book again. Here is how you can get started crafting your own.

Supplies needed:
Crafting foam and/or felt
Small craft pom pom
Scissors Glue Continue reading »

Dec 202014
 

Mocktails and Kiddie Cocktails Non-Alcoholic Old Fashioned

Mixology is a fascinating talent for preparing libations and mixed drinks. From fruity concoctions to refined drinks served in glass tumblers, you can’t beat the classics. An Old Fashioned is drink that conjures up images of times that date back to its roots in 1806. It exudes class. It’s like the monocle of mixed drinks.

Whether you are child-at-heart or have children, this mocktail will be great for parties in the holidays or refresh you on a hot summer day thanks to its traditional garnish of an orange peel. The Non-Alcoholic Old Fashioned kiddie cocktail will please kids…and designated drivers.

You Will Need:

  • 1/2 oz maple syrup (real maple syrup, not the corn syrup imitation)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tea bag
  • 1 orange
  • Peel from orange
  • Hot water
  • Ice
  • Splash of Club Soda (optional)

Continue reading »

Nov 192014
 

Veggie Tales Vegetable Stamps

Do you and your child love the Veggie Tales? The Veggies Tales are a fun way for kids to learn some valuable life lessons, and their DVDs and cartoons are perfect for the whole family to enjoy. The next time you watch a Veggies Tales flick together; keep the fun going with these simple Veggie Tales vegetable stamps. Using some vegetables from your own fridge and a little paint, you can make your own Bob the Tomato and Larry Cucumber. Here’s how to get started!

Here is what you will need:
White craft paper
White, red, green, and black craft paint
1 squash
1 potato
2-3 carrots
1 celery stalk
Knife, cutting board
Assorted paper plates Continue reading »

Oct 192014
 

Halloween Pretzel Sticks

As a mom of two active little boys, it seems like we’re constantly celebrating mini milestones in our house.  Whether it’s  my little man getting a 100% on his spelling test or my big guy advancing in his karate class, there is always something to celebrate.  Mini milestones deserve a mini reward, right?  Something tasty like the sweet-salty combo of chocolate-covered pretzels for instance.

Since it’s October, we put a little Halloween flare into them, but you can get really creative with chocolate covered pretzels if you want to change things up.  That’s one of the reasons we love these so much.

Halloween Pretzel Sticks –

1 bag of pretzel rods, any brand

12 oz. Wilton white candy melts

Halloween sprinkles

Baking sheet lined with foil or wax paper Continue reading »