Jun 192017
 

Yoga on a farm with baby goats

I will be the first to admit that I have let myself go and I am completely out of shape.  I used to run 7 miles and now I couldn’t run 7 minutes if I tried, and that is unlikely with the summer months upon us.  I’m always looking for things to do and for things that at least give me the illusion that I am doing something healthy. I recently came upon an article in our local newspaper about a local yoga studio doing yoga with goats classes.

I have never done yoga; I’m not particularly flexible or quiet (I’m Italian, we aren’t meant to be quiet).  I have heard all the health benefits of yoga: increased flexibility, increased muscle tone & strength, increased energy, and weight loss, just to name a few.  I’ve also never had much of an interest in trying yoga……but this was with baby goats!!  I’m an animal lover through and through and let’s be honest, baby goats are adorable, so my friends and I decided to sign up for a class.  Let me tell you, these classes sell out quickly!! The class cost $30 for an hour and was being held rain or shine (indoors if it rained) at a local farm. Continue reading »

Jun 192017
 

From the minute I walked into my house it was love at first sight.  I knew as soon as I walked through the door that it was built for me. It’s an older home (built in 1954), but the charm of it caught my eye immediately and I just knew that I had to live in it.  My then husband and I put in an offer right away and were giddy when we got the news that the owners accepted it.

The people that owned the home before us redid the interior of the house over the course of three years, so it was basically all brand new inside when we moved in. There was one thing that had me scratching my head about all of the work they did, though. The carpeting they installed up the stairs and throughout the whole upstairs of the house. It’s off-white. There isn’t a lot of natural light, so I am sure they were just trying to brighten things up, but come on, off white?

Carpet cleaning in Massachusetts

See what I mean about poor lighting?

We talked about replacing the carpet because we knew we planned on having kids who would inevitably soil it, but we kept putting it off. Now here I am 15 years later and the carpet is still there. Trust me when I say, it’s seen better days. Continue reading »

Jun 182017
 

I’m a bad friend. I totally stink at staying in touch with friends outside of commenting on their latest Facebook statuses. Once in a while I think to myself that I need to have all the girls over for snacks and a movie.  Since most of my friends are moms now, too, we like to keep it low key.  Recently I decided that enough was enough of this online friend only thing and had a few friends over to my house. Whenever there is a movie on at my house, good snacks are a must. I decided on chips and salsa for my get-together and ended up making some delicious Rainbow Summer Salsa. I haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t like chips and salsa.

Rainbow Summer Salsa

Continue reading »

Jun 132017
 

Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen, known as DCBK, serves up great southern comfort food and signature cocktails with a side of some of the best jazz in Boston. Tuesday thru Sunday, you will find a menu full of big Southern flavor, cocktails full of sublime combinations, and sounds full of rhythm and soul.

If you are in the mood for some classic Southern style dishes, be sure to stop into Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen.  They take classic dishes like meatloaf, jambalaya and pork chops and put their own spin on them. I had a chance to eat there with my husband recently and we were blown away by the whole experience.

We started with an order of cornbread Mini’s, because, well – I love cornbread.  After we devoured them, I told my husband that we should have gotten 16 more orders of them. They were warm and oh so delicious.

For the main course I got the chicken and waffles. If you haven’t had chicken and waffles before, you’re really missing out – it phenomenal. At DCBK’s they make a homemade buttermilk waffle, top it with their Glorifried boneless chicken strips and serve with butter and maple syrup. YUM. Continue reading »

Jun 132017
 

If you live in a state where the summer heat can really wear on you, then check out these simple tips to try and help you stay cool. It is so hard when it is 100 degrees or hotter outside or high humidity, it makes you want to hide inside where the ac is. 

Our bodies can easily become overheated, especially in young children and the elderly. I don’t know if you have ever got overheated, but it can make you feel pretty sick and wore down. So here are some simple tricks to trying to survive the extreme summer heat. 

Heat Stroke is very serious so make sure you are aware of the signs. Below are some of the signs of heat stroke. If you feel any of these symptoms start make sure to go to your doctor or emergency room. 

  • Rapid Pulse
  • Elevated Body Temperature
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Nausea and/or Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Dilated Pupils

Different Ways To Keep Cool This Summer 

Run Errands First Thing: Before the day gets to hot get out and get your shopping done early. Whether it is grocery shopping or heading to your farmers market. This will help you to enjoy the cooler part of the day for outside activities.  Continue reading »

Jun 122017
 

New London is an up and coming town in coastal Connecticut. I’ve driven through it a million times, but never got off the highway to explore all that it had to offer – until recently.  My husband and I spent a weekend in the area and were super impressed by all the great food we ate in New London.  There are lots of great places to eat in New London, but here are some of the places we loved eating at and highly recommend checking out:

Have Breakfast at Breakfast at Muddy Waters

Whether you want a cup of strong locally roasted coffee, a chai latte, or a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and a banana, Muddy Waters makes sure you start your morning off right. Pick up a paper or catch the local gossip. Baristas whip up a full menu of coffee beverages while you drool over the pastries and cookies in the display cases. Lunch offerings include sandwiches, grinders, tomato soup, and the famous “Love and Lust” salads. Enjoy the deck overlooking the river or relax in Muddy Waters’ comfortable, eclectically furnished interior. Continue reading »

Jun 122017
 

One of the great things about living in New England is the year round access to fresh seafood. Muscles are one of those things that are perfect any time and are defintely meant to be eaten by the dozen, but for some reason they just scream summer to me.  Muscles are pretty easy to get here in New England, so we steam them up all the time.

muscles1

There are plenty of ways to prepare them, but we are major garlic lovers here in our house, so we make garlic muscles quite a bit.  If you’ve ever had muscles, you know they are best served with some bread.  We prefer our bread toasted and I will explain later why bread goes so well with muscles. Continue reading »

Jun 112017
 

Having grown up in nearby Massachusetts, as an adult I am just starting to learn that the state of Connecticut is full of all sorts of hidden treasures. There are so many cute little towns with many sights to see and I want to see as many of them as I can. One of my recent discoveries in Connecticut is New London. It’s great waterfront town that’s over 350 years old!

New London, CT is full of art, music, culture, one-of-a-kind boutiques and more than 30 eateries, all which make it a wonderful vacation destination! Here are five things not to miss on your trip to New London. Continue reading »

Jun 052017
 

When there is a holiday coming up, I like to decorate my house.  Especially when it comes to July 4th.  We have a big cookout and I like it when my house looks the part. I’ve been known to go all out when it comes to holiday decorations (and that goes for any holiday), but since people are coming over for the 4th, I like it when my house looks especially festive. I was at the dollar store recently and picked up the supplies I needed to make this Patriotic Wall Plaque.  It is wicked easy to make and I am really happy with the way it came out.

Dollar Store DIY: Patriotic Wall Plaque

Here’s what you need:

  • Wood hanging plaque
  • Red, white, and blue craft paint
  • Q-tip
  • Paint brush

Continue reading »

Jun 042017
 

The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut sits high up on a hill overlooking Fishers Island Sound and Mystic Harbor. Once a private estate, the Inn at Mystic now consists of a hotel, restaurant, mansion, and full service banquet operations.   They’ve been welcoming guests for over fifty years and with relaxing accommodations including rooms with ocean views, Jacuzzis, and wood burning fireplaces – it’s no wonder.

Stay in comfort at the Inn at Mystic

The Inn at Mystic consists of three unique lodging choices: the Main Building, the East Wing, or the Haley Mansion. The Main Building and East Wing are centrally located on the property with 52 rooms decorated in a nautical style that fits in perfectly with the surroundings, all with modern amenities and private baths.

Continue reading »

Jun 042017
 

We seriously love the Minions in our house. I surprised my kids with these Minion strawberries the other day and they almost flipped their lids. They could not have been easier to make and they are oh so cute.

Minion Strawberries

Here’s what you need:

  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Black, Yellow and Blue Candy Melts (you can also used white chocolate that you color with food dye)
  • Candy Eyeballs
  • Candy Melts E-Z Thin (you can also use Crisco)
  • Candy Melts Decorating Tips
  • Decorating Bags or Ziploc Bags

Continue reading »

May 312017
 

Summer is almost here and for my family that means one thing – the beach.  We get a season parking pass for the beach and will be there all summer long.  One of the things my boys really like doing while they’re at the beach is to collect things they find.  Sand dollars, star fish, shells, rocks, hermit crabs…you name it and they will spend hours searching for them. One of the things there seems to be an abundance of here in New England are clam shells. When my boys collected a huge bucket of clam shells recently, I had a brilliant idea.  I would make a fun clam critters craft out of them.  So that’s what I did and I am pretty happy with the way they came out.

Clam Critters Craft

Here’s what you need:

  • Seashells
  • Large googly eyes
  • Brightly colored craft paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Hot glue/hot glue gun

Continue reading »

May 302017
 

water slides in New England

If you are wanting to stop by one of the most popular water parks in Massachusetts (or southern New Hampshire this season), then check out this list below! This is a list of the top places you will want to add to your travels this summer! No matter which park you pick, I am sure you and your family will have lots of fun!

Enjoy inflatable rides, lazy rivers, wave pools, and amusement rides and more. This is a great way to find fun things to do near you, or plan a trip for you and your family. Beat the summer heat this year at one of these fun water parks or amusement parks listed below. Make this summer filled with fun memories.

Water Parks in Massachusetts

Water Wizz (Wareham, MA): Southern New England’s largest water park! Mussel Beach is a huge wave pool that is very popular. If you like to live on the edge try the Squid Row, it’s a tube ride, with high speeds. Or if you want to go with little kids, they do have a family pool area as well. Thrilling slides, tubes and cabanas to relax in, this water park has something for everyone.

Nelson Park Splash Pad (Plymouth, MA): Located inside Nelson Memorial Park on Nelson Street in Plymouth, this is a popular place for kids to cool off in the summer. In addition to a free splash pad, there is a playground, beach area and plenty of room for a picnic lunch here. Parking is free, but I highly recommend getting there early because the lot fills up fast. For a day full of free fun, stop by the Nelson Park Splash Pad this summer. Continue reading »

May 292017
 

fidget cubes

I am sure you have heard or even seen a few fidget spinners around your town! The fidget spinner has become the biggest sensation, and has people of all ages talking about it!

Fidget spinners were created to help you with fidgeting. Whether that is biting your nails, playing with your hair, twiddling your fingers, or any other form of fidgeting.

Some retailers do claim that their fidget spinner can help relieve stress and anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, help those with autism and more. By playing with the fidget spinner it is supposed to relax and distract you from things that may be bothering you.

How does a Fidget Spinner Work

Fidget Spinners are a compact, ball-bearing device that you can rotate between your fingers. Some fidget spinners can spin for around five minutes without stopping, others are a few minutes. You can transfer it from hand to hand while it spins, and if you feel lucky, learn to do tricks with it! Continue reading »

May 292017
 

When I was growing up, my mom always had homemade sweets in the house.  My sister, brother and I would come home from school and excitedly run to the kitchen counter to see what delicious treat she had made that day. Now that I am the mom, I know a little bit more about nutrition and eating right, so I don’t have sweets in the house all the time, but sometimes I do like to surprise all the boys in my house with a home baked goodie. Something like these Crockpot Peanut Butter Clusters for example.

They are absurdly easy to make and they always go over well.  Plus, they cover both sweet and salty cravings and if you are anything like me, you have both. Often. So if you’re looking for a tasty snack to have on hand for the family, try these crockpot peanut butter clusters. I promise, they will be a big hit!

Crockpot Peanut Butter Clusters

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 cups unsalted peanuts
  • 4 cups salted peanuts
  • 1 – 12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 – 12 oz bag milk chocolate chips
  • 2 – 10 oz bag peanut butter chips
  • 2lb white almond bark or vanilla candy coating

Continue reading »

May 242017
 

Struggling to find ways to connect to your older kid? If so, below are very simple and easy ways to make effort to connect with your child. They grow so fast, and before you know it they will be off to college! It is so important that you get in time to connect with your kid when you can! 

No matter what your child’s age is, they still crave love and attention. So that is the main thing, just make time for them, listen if they want to talk and be there! The best way to raise a child is with love! Below are easy ways to connect to your older kid, ages 8-12. 

Simple Ways to Connect With Your Older Child

If they are being quiet: If you see they are being extra quiet, try to get them to talk. Ask them about something you know they are interested in. Maybe a video game, movie that they love, or something else. Showing you care and trying to help them if they are having a rough time, without coming right out and asking can help them a lot. 

Ask How Day Was: Even if you only get a one word answer, it shows them that you are interested. One day you might be surprised and get a little story of something cool that happened!  Continue reading »

May 232017
 

The hot weather has arrived and with that comes all kinds of worries: sunburn and dehydration top my list. Despite being of mostly Italian descent, I am a pale gal and I burn to a crisp. But that is a story for another day. We all hear every summer that we need to stay hydrated (and being a nurse, I am constantly pushing fluids on people and educating them on the importance of it), but do you know what dehydration looks and feels like? I consider myself somewhat of an expert on dehydration and rehydration (the rehydration part is generally not fun for you if you’re seeing me for it at work).

That was until my son, who was 9 or 10 at the time, came out to me one night at about 9 PM crying and telling me that he had the worst headache he had ever had in his life. He’s not a kid who complains, so I knew it must be serious. And being a nurse, I just wanted to make it go away so I gave him Tylenol. That didn’t touch it. I had no idea what else to do; he was literally grabbing his head and crying. I paged his pediatrician who, knowing my son’s lengthy medical history, sent us on our way to the ER. The ER is a nightmare, as you all know.

After several hours, labs, and much crying the diagnosis was……dehydration. WHAT??? Surely, they were kidding. I’m a nurse. I know all about dehydration and how to prevent it. Except that he had been at his summer program all day and it was hot. There was no AC and despite my constant lectures on drinking enough, he just hadn’t. I had never seen it present this way and it a real eye opener for me. So the next summer when we were on vacation and spent the day at Hershey Park and he started to complain of headache and became irritable, I knew what we were up against. Now when he gets aggravated with me constantly reminding him to drink, I remind him of that awful headache. Continue reading »

May 222017
 

When I was growing up, lacrosse was an almost unheard of sport. Over the last 20-ish years, it’s really picked up steam and now there are nine professional teams that play for a Major League Lacrosse here in the US. One of those nine teams are based right here in Boston! The Boston Cannons have been a part of Major League Lacrosse since 2001 and play right at Harvard Stadium in Boston.

I had the chance to go to a Boston Cannons game with my family recently and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  In fact, my oldest son, who is 12, is considering joining a team after seeing a live game. The thing is, it was more than just a lacrosse game – it was an experience. Here are some of the things that made going to the game more than just a game.

Boston Cannons Fan Zone

Get there early and experience the Boston Cannons Fan Zone. The Fan Zone is open at every Cannons home game two hours prior to the start of the game and remains open through the first quarter. At the Fan Zone you will find things like music, ping-pong tables, RCN Ice Cream Truck, FlingGolf, the Bud Light Build-A-Bar, and more! It has something for fans of all ages. Continue reading »

May 212017
 

Memorial Day is next week and before we know it, it will be the 4th of July. Man, they came up quick this year didn’t they? I am not sure what our plans for July 4th are yet (because we will have out of town guests staying with us this year), but we are definitely having some people over for a Memorial Day cookout. Nothing too big, but since my mom passed in February it’s really important to me to spend as much time as possible with the rest of my family – so we’re having my family over for a cookout. Not that I ever need an excuse for a cookout…..

I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy planning out the menu for parties and cookouts. I am a planner by nature and I suppose that’s why I like doing it so much. Anyhow, this year I am making some Patriotic Cherry and Blueberry Stuffed Crescent Roll-Ups for everyone.  When I host a cookout, I like to have some finger foods ready for my guests while the food cooks on the grill. These Patriotic Cherry and Blueberry Stuffed Crescent Roll-Ups are perfect because they are super easy to make and really yummy!

Patriotic Cherry and Blueberry Stuffed Crescent Roll-Ups

Continue reading »

May 172017
 

Teacher appreciation

Teachers have such a key role in helping teach your children and allowing them to grow up. I know that I can remember a few teachers from school that made a huge impact on my life personally, and I am sure a lot of you can say the same thing.

I always think it is really nice to give an end of school gift to the teacher of your child! This is a great way to say thank you for helping me grow this year, and become that much closer to being a grown up!

Below are some really fun and adorable DIY gift ideas for teachers at the end of the school year. You can let your children help make the gift, or you can make it yourself, either way it will put a smile on the teachers face.

DIY Gifts for Teachers for the End of School

Thanks A Latte Just Add Confetti: This is great for any teacher who enjoys coffee, grab a cute mug and print off this free printable!

Glitter Mason Jar Pencil HolderA Pumpkin and A Princess: I absolutely adore this one, they give you two options, a red apple one, and a pencil design. Both are darling and make for a very simple and elegant gift. Continue reading »