Mar 072018
 

This satisfying hearty minestrone soup features a classic combination of fresh herbs, vegetables, white beans, and pasta. Try it for dinner, you'll like it!

This satisfying minestrone soup features a classic combination of fresh herbs, vegetables, white beans, and pasta. Although this recipe is delicious as written, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with the ingredients. This dish is a great way to use up any extra fresh herbs and vegetables you have available.

Tip: For best results, cook the pasta separately, rather than in the same pot with the rest of the ingredients. This extra step yields more consistent results by eliminating the release of excess starch into the soup. It also prevents the noodles from becoming too soft and mushy, which means more appetizing leftovers the next day and better results when freezing for future use.

Hearty Minestrone Soup with Fresh Arugula

This satisfying hearty minestrone soup features a classic combination of fresh herbs, vegetables, white beans, and pasta. Try it for dinner, you'll like it!

Continue reading »

Mar 062018
 

Have fun celebrating the new Sherlock Gnomes movie with these Rice Krispie Treat Gnomes! It's a really easy recipe to make and they are even more fun to eat!

Who else is excited about the Sherlock Gnomes movie coming out later this month?  We are a little gnome obsessed in our house….well, actually just I am, but anyways…..I decided to make some Rice Krispie Treat Gnomes in celebration of the new movie. They were seriously easy to make and I am wicked happy with how they came out.  If you love gnomes, too, you should whip up a batch.

Rice Krispie Treat Gnomes

Have fun celebrating the new Sherlock Gnomes movie with these Rice Krispie Treat Gnomes! It's a really easy recipe to make and they are even more fun to eat!

Continue reading »

Mar 052018
 

I was recently invited to a fun blogger event that my friend Jackie from Next On Scene organized. She brought a bunch of local mom bloggers together to hear from Amanda from Parenting with a Punch and paint some wine glasses thanks to Drinkable Arts.  Moms painted while they heard about parenting strategies from Amanda.

Amanda is a Parenting Strategist, Behavior Therapist and host of the podcast, Parenting with a Punch show. She is passionate and has a genuine love for her work. Amanda is continually inspired to work with parents and children to help them succeed and feel empowered. Amanda has always been someone who thinks outside of the box which gives her the natural ability to look through the child’s eyes, piece together the steps, and modifications needed to fully support families. Amanda’s foundation lies on promoting
optimal parenting styles and positive outcome parent-child interactions. Amanda is your family’s biggest cheerleader! When you can honestly take ownership of your energy and face the responsibility your role in parenting as their role model life will be more fun! Continue reading »

Mar 042018
 

This easy Easter Egg Slime recipe is good for hours of sensory fun! Make as many colors as you like and have a blast mixing & matching.

My boys are super into slime, so we make it A LOT in our house. I never mind making it because I know it is going to keep them occupied for a while and more importantly, keep them off of their screens. Since Easter is coming up, I decided to make some Easter Egg Slime. There isn’t really anything different about this slime. It’s the same slime recipe that I usually make, but in the spirit of Easter I put into some plastic Easter eggs instead of a regular old plastic food storage container like I would normally use. The boys both thought it was cool that I put the slime inside Easter eggs and yay for cool mom points. Right?

Easter Egg Slime

This easy Easter Egg Slime recipe is good for hours of sensory fun! Make as many colors as you like and have a blast mixing & matching.

Continue reading »

Feb 272018
 

If you hear "I'm bored" A LOT, make an “I’m Bored” Chore Jar so that every time your kids say it, you can give them something to do! Believe me, it works and it's super easy to make.

Here in Massachusetts, we are just getting back to school from February vacation. I know that school breaks are different in other parts of the country, but here we have a week off at Christmas, a week in February and another week in April. My kids are a bit older, so I hear “I’m bored” A LOT. So I decided to make an “I’m Bored” Chore Jar so that every time they said it, I was able to give them something to do! Guys, it works and it’s super easy to make.

“I’m Bored” Chore Jar

If you hear "I'm bored" A LOT, make an “I’m Bored” Chore Jar so that every time your kids say it, you can give them something to do! Believe me, it works and it's super easy to make.

Continue reading »

Feb 262018
 

Chicken soup is popular and the myths will prevail. Use common sense to determine what you believe and why and enjoy your chicken soup!

For decades, chicken soup has been the “go to” food when someone has a cold. Grandma, and perhaps your great grandma, believed that it cured a cold. Does it? Let’s take a look at the myth that chicken soup cures a cold, and a few other chicken soup myths.

Does Chicken Soup Cure a Cold?

The unfortunate truth is that no study has proven that chicken soup is actually good for a cold. That being said, there are many reasons why chicken soup may make you feel better if you have a cold.

#1 Colds Dehydrate You – Chicken soup contains a large amount of liquid. When you eat it, you’re helping your body to rehydrate, which can instantly help you feel better. Cold medications that include antihistamines and decongestants dehydrate you. They pull fluid from your cells. So eating chicken soup helps to get more fluids into your body. Continue reading »

Feb 252018
 

These Peeps Popcorn Balls are a Perfect Easter Treat! They are super easy to make and they are the perfect combination of sweet and salty! Yum.

Thankfully I am not hosting Easter dinner at my house this year. Since I did the last holiday (Christmas), my sister is having this one at her house. Score! Of course I can’t show up to her house empty handed, so I have been experimenting with different desserts to bring with me. I came up with these Peeps Popcorn Balls and they are PERFECT. They are just the right combination of sweet and salty and I know everyone is going to love them. And if they don’t, that’s ok – I will eat them all myself!

Peeps Popcorn Balls

These Peeps Popcorn Balls are a Perfect Easter Treat! They are super easy to make and they are the perfect combination of sweet and salty! Yum.

Continue reading »

Feb 212018
 

Many bloggers would love to have more traffic arriving to their blog from Pinterest. The fact of the matter is that Pinterest has a high ranking with Google search engines. The reason we all know this is because when you’re doing a search on Google more often than not within that first few results you will see a link to Pinterest. This means Pinterest truly ranks high in search engines and as a blogger, you must learn how to take advantage of that status. Today I am going to share how to boost your blog using Pinterest.

Sign up for a Business Account
The first step as with anything you do online is to make sure you have access to the most extensive analytics possible. Signing up to have a Pinterest business account will open the doors to having ample analytics to ensure you are measuring the reach of your adjustments to boost your blog using Pinterest. Continue reading »

Feb 192018
 

If your child enjoys play dough, try making this homemade Rainbow Play Dough next time. It's easy to make and sure to be a big hit!

Having a child with sensory issues has been a learning experience for me. Because of his ADHD, he fidgets a lot and one thing we’ve found that he really likes to work with is play dough. He usually just squishes it around in his hands, which really seems to help him regulate himself, so I make my own play dough for him fairly often. I have experimented with different ingredients, colors and add-ins (think glitter), but recently I made some Rainbow Play Dough because well, I like rainbows and thought it would be cool to have a bunch of vibrant colors for him to play with.

Rainbow Play Dough

If your child enjoys play dough, try making this homemade Rainbow Play Dough next time. It's easy to make and sure to be a big hit!

Continue reading »

Feb 192018
 

These Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pinwheels are an easy after-school snack idea. They are really delicious and it's an easy recipe to whip up in a jiffy!

I’ve said a before and I will probably say this for many more years to come: my boys come off the bus starving. If I didn’t know any better, I would swear that they didn’t eat all day while they were at school. This is especially true when it comes to my oldest. If you’ve ever heard what they say about growing boys – it’s completely true.  That kid eats me out of house and home! Recently I whipped these Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pinwheels for the boys to eat after school and they both loved them.  So now they are in our regular rotation!

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pinwheels

These Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pinwheels are an easy after-school snack idea. They are really delicious and it's an easy recipe to whip up in a jiffy!

Continue reading »

Feb 142018
 

Are you looking for something fun to do? Try a ceramic class! They are making a comeback and it's perfect for all skill levels.

Are you looking for something fun and creative to do? Look no further. I consider myself a pretty crafty person. I scrapbook and crochet, though I don’t have time to do them now that I am in grad school. The one thing I can make time for is my weekly ceramics class. I know, I know……your grandma or your mom used to take ceramics. People look at it as an old lady thing to do, but this class is honestly my sanity some weeks.

I discovered this class completely by accident while attending the Boston Christmas a little over a year ago. There was a ceramics booth with finished products, but one item caught my eye – the ceramic Christmas tree. You know the one I’m talking about – our moms all had one when we were growing up. They have made a huge comeback in the last few years. Then I saw the big ceramic lighthouse that was way out of my price range but was gorgeous (I have a slight obsession with lighthouses). I began talking with the shop owners and they told me I could paint one of my own. Well sign me up!

Are you looking for something fun to do? Try a ceramic class! They are making a comeback and it's perfect for all skill levels.

This is not your Grandma’s ceramic class. We have all ages in our class – our youngest student is 15. We are all very different, but it is like a little family. It’s 2.5 hours of painting, laughing, and therapy. The owner and instructor, Dale, is so talented and helpful. You can tell that she truly loves what she does. In fact, this is her retirement job. She has a huge assortment of pieces and even if you think you have no talent for painting, with her direction you will create amazing pieces. We all made Christmas gifts for our loved ones, and everyone loved them. Prices are SO reasonable ($10 a class or $32 for the month plus the cost of the piece, and some pieces take several weeks to complete). Continue reading »

Feb 132018
 

I never tell my kids where we’re going, I just tell them we’re going on a Mystery Ride and we go. Sometimes we go to Walmart, sometimes we go to Washington, DC. It’s a surprise every time. So, when the opportunity came up to go to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Boston for #LEGOStarWars #MINILAND Preview Event I was psyched. This was going to be a perfect Mystery Ride! With my oldest being almost 13, the age gap between him and the 9- & 8-year olds feels like dog years. It’s getting harder and harder to find Mystery Rides they will enjoy together but something like this was a no-brainer.

Star Wars MINILAND is the newest addition to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Boston. For Star Wars fans, this is a display not to be missed!

When they saw Gio, the giant Lego Giraffe, and realized they were going up to the Discovery Center, the excitement was palpable. Even the tweenager smiled. We found parking two blocks over that was free for the first 3 hours, made a mental note that there was an ice cream shop across the street and headed in for our adventure. 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 »

Feb 112018
 

Moist, juicy, delicious meatloaf with some surprising sauce ingredients that might just make you reconsider your opinion of meatloaf in general!

Begin by pouring your glaze mixture of ketchup, yellow mustard, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar into a sauce pan. Stir frequently until it starts to simmer. Let simmer while you are mixing up the meat, keeping a close eye on it and stirring it frequently.

Moist, juicy, delicious meatloaf with some surprising sauce ingredients that might just make you reconsider your opinion of meatloaf in general!

Finely chop one small to medium sized onion. I use my mini food processor so I can get the pieces as small as humanly possible. I don’t know, but if your kids are anything like my kids, the mere sight of a piece of onion can send them into dinner hysterics. I firmly believe this is my punishment for torturing my mother for so many years over the CHUNKS!!! Oh My GOSH there are CHUNKS IN THIS FOOD! Sometimes they just have to deal with it and pick them out, because as you guys well know, there are onions of some sort in about 80% of the food I cook. I don’t have time to be a short order cook. Over here, you eat what is served or you get to be hungry. Bummer!

After your onion is finely chopped, dump it into a large bowl and mix in the eggs, milk, ketchup, A-1, salt, pepper, dry mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, garlic, panko bread crumbs, and crushed up saltines. Mix this all together well, and then dump in 2.5 pounds of 80/20 ground beef. Stir this until the mixture is fully incorporated with the ground beef. You can get in there with your hands if you want, but I usually use a heavy wooden spoon. Continue reading »

Feb 082018
 

**The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free**

Laundry.  It never ends.  Surely you’ve seen the memes floating around the internet that joke about the 12 seconds when all of the laundry is actually done – and it’s completely true. There is always something that needs to be washed. I have found that the older my kids get, the more laundry they create (sports uniforms, multiple showers on game days, etc) and sometimes I feel like I just can’t keep up with it all. There are times when I think to myself that it would be so nice if I could do two loads at once! Well guess what? The ability to wash two loads at once is now a reality with the LG TwinWash System at Best Buy. Brilliant!

With LG’s TwinWash system you get the best of both worlds. For small loads that can’t wait (think things like your yoga pants after your hot yoga class, the red shirt in a pile of whites, the dirty school uniform on a Sunday night) there is the LG SideKick pedestal washer. You can even use it simultaneously while you do a bigger load up top on your LG Front load washer. This might just be the greatest invention since the wheel for us busy moms!

Not only do these washers have mega capacity to tackle any size load, they are energy efficient while giving you the best cleaning performance. No wonder more households have chosen LG laundry over any other brand!

From 1/11-4/25 receive up to $500 off a LG laundry solution for your home at Best Buy!  Now that’s a great deal!

So tell me, wouldn’t you just love to try LG’s TwinWash System? I know I would.

Feb 072018
 

Did you catch the Facebook live I did this morning with Leah from City Living Boston live from The Royal Sonesta Boston. Actually, Kim from Kimworld was there, too, but she did all the behind the scenes stuff for us (THANK YOU for that by the way, Kim)! During the live stream we covered local things to do over the Winter break/February school vacation.

What, you missed it?  No worries – grab a snack, sit back and have a look:

Before I get into all my February vacation picks, here are a few of the links for things mentioned in the live stream for your reference:

Little Scientists Package: https://www.sonesta.com/…/royal-sonesta-boston/offers

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston February Vacation Offerings http://www.mfa.org/…/special-event/february-vacation-

Mirror Maze Exhibit at Museum of Science, Boston https://www.mos.org/exhibits/mirror-maze

Love Royally at the Royal Sonesta Boston https://www.sonesta.com/loveroyally

As promised here is some information on the locations I discussed in the video (plus a few that I didn’t have time to mention): Continue reading »

Feb 052018
 

If your child wants to impress their friends at school, have them hand out some of these adorable Printable Dinosaur Valentine's Day Cards for their classroom exchanges this year.

When I was a kid I loved exchanging valentines with my classmates in school. Back then the only real option was the store bought kind, which are totally fine by the way, but now that I am the mom I like to get creative with my my kids valentines. I ended up making these adorable Printable Dinosaur Valentine’s Day Cards this year and I am super happy with the way they came out.

Printable Dinosaur Valentine’s Day Cards

If your child wants to impress their friends at school, have them hand out some of these adorable Printable Dinosaur Valentine's Day Cards for their classroom exchanges this year.

Continue reading »

Feb 052018
 

My husband, Christian, and I got recently invited to check out a new show in Boston called “BABEL: An Evening of Mind Reading”. Sounds cool, right?  Well, it was cool. Actually, it was totally mind blowing. We love it when we watch America’s Got Talent and a mentalist comes on and it always ends the same way with the two of us: when the trick is over, we look at each other and say in unison, “how the h-e-double hockey sticks did they do that??”

BABEL is a 90-minute intimate evening of mind-reading with Boston’s premiere mentalist, Christopher Grace, at The Bostonian Boston in the financial district and we went to BABEL’s debut show last Friday. It’s a performance designed for sophisticated adults looking for a different type of entertainment and Christopher delivered on his promise.

BABEL is a 90-minute intimate evening of mind-reading with Boston’s premiere mentalist, Christopher Grace, at The Bostonian Boston in the financial district. It's a performance designed for sophisticated adults looking for a different type of entertainment.

Christopher completely confounded the entire audience on Friday with his seemingly impossible mind-reading abilities, acts of super memory, and actually entertaining rapid fire math skills. He was inside all of our heads and kept up laughing the whole time. Continue reading »

Jan 312018
 

These Mini Shepherd's Pot Pies are a perfect winter meal! They are really easy to make, ready in 30 minutes or less and they will definitely fill your family's tummies.

There are certain nights of the week that we are super busy after school.  On those nights, we don’t get home until after 6 pm, so I don’t have a long time to get a meal on the table. I actually prefer 30 minute (or less) meals on those days because I like to have dinner done and over with by 7 pm so that we can start our night time routine. One of my family’s favorites are Mini Shepherd’s Pot Pies. Talk about comfort food!!  The Mini Shepherd’s Pot Pies are ready in about a half hour and they go over big with my family.

Mini Shepherd’s Pot Pies

These Mini Shepherd's Pot Pies are a perfect winter meal! They are really easy to make, ready in 30 minutes or less and they will definitely fill your family's tummies. Continue reading »

Jan 302018
 

 These 5 places are sure to be an unforgettable addition to any trip through Washington DC. Have a blast showing your kids one of the nation’s most historic cities!

Traveling with kids is such a rewarding experience. Places like Washington DC are fantastic family travel locations. There is so much rich history and fun activities all over the city that you can really show your kids a great time and feel good about them learning something at the same time! The next time you are in Washington DC check out these 5 unforgettable places to take your kids. They will be sure to have a great time and be talking about their trip for a long time afterwards. In the end, planning a trip that sticks with them is the best reward. You want them to have an experience that means something to them so that they can get the most out of traveling!

1. The Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an epic tribute to one of our nation’s great leaders. Your kids will be blown away by the sheer magnitude of the memorial itself. Nothing makes you feel small like standing next to a humongous statue. They’ll learn so much without even knowing it and having their photo taken next to a giant Abe Lincoln will surely be an unforgettable part of their Washington DC adventure!

 These 5 places are sure to be an unforgettable addition to any trip through Washington DC. Have a blast showing your kids one of the nation’s most historic cities!

Continue reading »