May 152017
 

I am a child of the 80’s and I am ok admitting that I spent an entire summer watching and re-watching the movie Annie.  On VHS. Ok, maybe I stopped watching to eat and go outside occasionally, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that I watched it at least 500 times that summer. I had the story line down pat and knew every word to every song.  I even went out trick or treating as Annie that year (which reminds me that I need to go through some old photos and dig that one out). I know that the movie has been remade a few times since the one in the 80’s that I loved so much, but I am loyal to the version I watched so many times that summer.

So now you know that I am a self-proclaimed expert on all things Annie, imagine how giddy I was when I got invited to see the live musical at the Boch Center (Wang Theater) in Boston last week.

Continue reading »

May 142017
 

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While I don’t like to eat a big meal first thing in the morning, I always like to send my boys off to school in the morning with a good meal in their tummies. These Pancake Breakfast Sliders are one of my favorite things to make for the boys. They both love them and I love them because they are relatively quick and easy to make.

You only need a few ingredients for these Pancake Breakfast Sliders and they are great to grab and go if need be. Plus, everything is better with bacon, right? Right!

Pancake Breakfast Sliders

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 pkg. Pancake Mix
  • 12 pieces Bacon, cooked
  • 12 Sausage Patties, cooked
  • 8 Eggs
  • Syrup

Here’s what you do:
1. Prepare your pancakes per the directions on the package. You will need 24 pancakes approximately 3 inches round. 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 »

May 082017
 

cook out tips and tricks!

Grilling out is a great way to enjoy food, and saves your house from getting to hot while running the oven in the summer. Plus, who doesn’t love sitting out and enjoy the cool summer day, while you grill up some tasty food? Nothing beats a steak or hamburger on the grill, it just adds so much flavor to the meat, it can’t be beat! 

Below are some cook out hacks to try out this summer! These hacks will change your cooking out experience for sure, and make it even more fun grilling! So kick back, grab a glass of lemonade or sweet tea, and keep reading to find out all the hacks you need to know for grilling! 

Grilling Hacks you Need to Know for Cooking Out this Summer 

Muffin Tray for Condiments: If you are having people over, consider putting condiments in muffin tins. Tomatoes, onions, ketchup, mayo, mustard, pickles and anything else. Then just place plastic spoons in each tin and let people use that to apply condiments to bread. 

Grill Watermelon: I know this sounds crazy, but try grilling watermelon this season! It is a whole new experience and offers an amazing flavor that will make all your friends go crazy. Just slice and cook for just a minute or two on each side. Peaches and pineapples are two other ones that taste amazing grilled.  Continue reading »

May 082017
 

Mother’s Day is going to be here before you know it (seriously – it’s this weekend)! Growing up, my sister brother and I always made my mom breakfast. Somehow over the years it seems that most people have transitioned from breakfast to brunch and that is a-ok by me. I love brunch and I am always on the lookout for great new things to try when I host brunch. Lucky for you, I recently found a bunch of great new recipes that are perfect for brunch. These Mother’s Day brunch recipes are sure to please mom (and everyone else) on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

Apple Cinnamon Crumple Doughnuts
http://strengthandsunshine.com/apple-cinnamon-crumble-doughnuts/

Breakfast Tacos
http://www.youbrewmytea.com/2015/05/country-style-breakfast-tacos.html

Nutella Deviled Strawberries
http://www.laurenslatest.com/nutella-deviled-strawberries/

Peanut Butter Banana Stuffed French Toast
http://leavenoleftovers.com/peanut-butter-banana-stuffed-french-toast/ Continue reading »

May 072017
 

If you are looking for a salty and sweet kid-friendly trail mix, then look no further! This is a very simple trail mix with only four ingredients. Everything in this mixture is kid approved and any child should absolutely love this trail mix. You can even raid your pantry and toss in some dried fruit, or other fun snacks your child loves. It is a very versatile trail mix!  If you have never had M&M’s and popcorn together, trust me when I say that it is a very tasty combination! Then throw in the crackers and grahams, and it is heavenly! Very simple to make, hardly no prep, and a great snack option for you and your kiddo!

Sweet and Salty Kid-Friendly Trail Mix 

Continue reading »

May 042017
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MoreThanAMom #CollectiveBias

As many of you already know, I lost my mom in February.  It’s been incredibly hard and even though it was expected at some point because she was very, very sick, it happened much sooner than my family was prepared for.

This is going to be the first Mother’s Day without her and even though I haven’t completely processed the fact that she’s gone (I still half expect to pick up the phone and have it be her on the other end), I wanted to do something special in her honor. Years ago, I remember visiting with a friend who had an angel on her wall made from beach rocks. My mom always loved the beach and I wanted to try to recreate the angel out of beach rocks.  That way whenever I walk past my Beach Rock Angel hanging on my wall, it will remind me of her.

Obviously, I needed some beach rocks to make my angel from and last weekend I headed to the beach to collect some rocks. Lucky for me when I went it was low tide so there were plenty of rocks for me to choose from. I went home immediately and got to work on my Beach Rock Angel.

Beach Rock Angel Craft To Always Remember Those We Love

Continue reading »

May 012017
 

If you are planning to tackle a home project, make sure to utilize these Home Depot hacks to make sure you never pay full price on items again! These hacks are a great way to get the most out of your money and make sure you are getting the best deals possible. 

From price matching, saving money on clearance lumber, and so much more! This is really a great way to cut corners on expenses and still create the project you are wanting. 

Save Money at Home Depot With These Tips and Tricks 

Price Match Guarantee: Make sure to check your competitor stores in your area, if you find a price cheaper, Home Depot will price match. But to make it even sweeter, they will give you an extra 10% off on the item! Just bring in the flyer to show them the price.

Join Newsletter: Make sure to sign up for their newsletter, new members get a $5 off coupon! Plus you can get emails on special sales available and sometimes extra discounts. 

Rebate Center: Make sure to check out their online rebate center. You can save quite a bit of money on their larger items most of the time! 

Clearance Lumber: Okay, this one is awesome. You can get a discount on leftover lumber, up to 80% off. So make sure to check out the clearance wood. They will be different sizes and such, but you can always find some way to use it! They mark the clearance wood with purple paint.  

Trees and Plants: Did you know that the trees, perennials and house plants all have a one year guarantee. You just dig up the item if it dies, and take it in for a replacement plant.  Continue reading »

Apr 302017
 

I don’t know about you, but I am super excited about the fact that it’s finally spring. Once the nice weather rolls around here in New England, I like to plan out dinners that my family can enjoy al fresco.  To me, food just seems to taste better when it’s eaten outside.  Am I right? That is why these Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches are the perfect spring/summer meal.  They are really easy to make and they definitely taste better when eaten outside. Ok, ok, they taste good no matter where you eat them, but try them outside – you’ll like it.

You probably have most of the ingredients to make them on hand, too.  Raid your pantry and whip these delicious Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches up for dinner. I’m sure they will be as big of a hit with your family as they are with mine!

Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Here’s what you need:

  • 3-4 lbs. Chicken Breasts
  • 16 oz. Prepared Coleslaw
  • 2 cups Pineapple Juice
  • 1 ½ cups Barbeque Sauce
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Onion sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. flour, optional

Here’s what you do: Continue reading »

Apr 282017
 

ANNIE is Coming to the Boch Center Wang Theater in Boston May 9-21!

The original production of ANNIE opened April 21, 1977 at the Alvin Theatre and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album and seven Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, Best Book (Thomas Meehan) and Best Score (Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin). The show remains one of the biggest Broadway musical hits ever. It ran for 2,377 performances after it first opened, and has been performed in 28 languages and has been running somewhere around the world for 39 years.

The beloved score for ANNIE includes “Maybe,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You” and the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.” Continue reading »

Apr 272017
 

Culinary Fight Club is a National Food Sport Organization. They produce live cooking competitions to highlight local Culinary Talent, ingredients and resources. Culinary Fight Club competitions take place in Chicago, Omaha, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Boston, Knoxville, Johnson City, Pittsburgh, Virginia Beach, Charlotte, Twin Cities, Kansas City, Montgomery, Charlotte, Charleston, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Los Angeles and now Boston!  I was invited to attend the inaugural Boston event and it was such a fun experience.

cooking competition plymouth ma

The Chefs Competing in Boston’s First Culinary Fight Club Event.

Culinary Fight Club brings the passion of a high-energy kitchen and the thrill of a timed competition for you to enjoy. As a self proclaimed foodie and someone who is obsessed with cooking competition shows on the Food Network, it was amazing to be able to attend an event like this live and see the chefs in action with my own eyes.  No two events are the same, with new teams and themes every time, so you will definitely want to attend as many events as possible. Continue reading »

Apr 252017
 

may 5th Mexican recipes for cinco de mayo

Cinco de Mayo, otherwise known as May 5th, is next week! Around here in our house, we have a true love affair with Mexican food.  Not that my family ever needs an excuse to eat Mexican, but if Cinco de Mayo isn’t the perfect day for it, I don’t know what is!

I am already busy over here planning out my menu for Cinco de Mayo.  Since it’s a celebratory holiday for our neighbors to the south, I feel semi-obligated to help them celebrate it by cooking up a Mexican feast.  As I was combing the internet trying to narrow down my Cinco de Mayo menu, I ended up coming up with approximately 20 of the best recipes out there. Now I am in a quandary because I don’t know which ones to make and I am afraid the feast for my family is going to end up turning into a party for the whole neighborhood.

Anyhow, here are all the amazing recipes I rounded up.  I hope you scroll through them and find a few that you like, too!

20+ Perfect Recipes for Your Cinco de Mayo Menu

Mini Taco Stuffed Peppers
http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2014/08/mini-taco-stuffed-peppers.html Continue reading »

Apr 242017
 

Daffodils at Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich

If you’re heading to Cape Cod and you’re looking for a great way to spend the day, you should definitely consider visiting Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich. I spent a good part of my childhood in Sandwich because my aunt and uncle used to rent a beach cottage on North Shore Blvd from a friend of theirs every summer. I fondly remember visiting the Heritage Plantation (what it was called back then) with my grandmother and aunt. These days it’s called the Heritage Museums & Gardens and it’s just as wonderful as I remember it being when I was younger.

More than 100,000 people visit the Heritage Museums & Gardens annually to spend time in the three gallery buildings that house special and permanent exhibitions, peruse the gardens, play in Hidden Hollow and more.  There is so much to see and do at the Heritage Museums & Gardens and it is safe to say that is something for everyone there. Continue reading »

Apr 232017
 

Mother’s Day is coming up quick you guys. It’s May 14th! Have you put any thought on what to get for mom this year because if not, I bet she would love something homemade. I know lots of other moms and we love. love, love homemade gifts and that is one of the reasons that this Mother’s Day Napkin Holder is perfect. Not only is it easy to make, it’s useful and mom will love it.

Mother’s Day Napkin Holder

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Apr 182017
 

Did you just get an Instant Pot for a holiday gift or birthday present and have no idea what is next? Maybe you read the manual and the *beginner’s guide* (link to the first article!). Now, you’re ready to start cooking! Before you get started, there are a few things I want you to know. You can cook healthier foods with your Instant Pot from simple entrees to gourmet dishes. I also want to show you that you can use your Instant Pot daily which can make it one of the most valuable appliances in your kitchen.

How to Cook Healthy Foods in Your Instant Pot

Easy does it. If you’re a beginner, start off easy. Skip long or heavy recipes until you get the hang of it. With simple recipes with few ingredients, you can learn how to make adjustments and discover how the Instant Pot works. You will learn how your food cooks and what you might need to read up on to truly master your Instant Pot. Try rice to learn the rice cooker setting and shredded meat to learn how to make your meat flavorful.

Start with a whole chicken. If you’re not sure how to get going with your Instant Pot, a whole chicken could be just what you need. While there are many recipes online for a whole chicken in your Instant Pot, you can add your own flair with seasonings and broth. Don’t forget that your Instant Pot should always have a cup of liquid in your pot when you cook. Continue reading »

Apr 182017
 

Summer is coming up quick (yay) and for me and so many others, summer means heading to the beach. I can practically smell the beach air already……

When I go to the beach I stay for the whole day and what better way to pass the time than to read while I’m there. Often times I can bang out an entire book in one day and I usually start planning my summer reading list around this time every year. My tastes vary, so there are many genres of books on my list each year, but sometimes I just want to immerse myself in book where I can just escape and block out the rest of the world.  When I want that escape, there’s nothing better than a romance novel.

5 Reasons to Read a Romance Novel This Summer

1. They’re Steamy
Get your mind out of the gutter – in romance novels sex is a healthy activity that is enjoyed by two consenting adults who usually end up falling in love by the end of the book. Some of the scenes in the books are quite steamy, so if you’re at the beach and those parts of the books make you blush – people will just think you have a sunburn.  Plus who knows, these types of books can inspire new things in your own sex life….. Continue reading »

Apr 172017
 

My family has a fun tradition whenever we go out to the movies.  During the previews, if they show one for a movie we like and want to see – we give it a thumbs up. If it looks like a movie we want to sit out, thumbs down. Sometimes our thumbs up/down ratings during the previews are more fun than the actual movie.

Netflix caught on to the thumbs up and thumbs down rating system and have already implemented it (which you may have already noticed if you’ve watched anything on Netflix recently). You may remember that previously it was a 0-5 stars rating system, but now they’re all thumbs.

As you probably already know, Netflix caters to your entertainment preferences specifically, but when you have a full house of differing personalities and ages like mine, sometimes content recommendations can go off the rails. By setting up individual Netflix profiles for everyone in the family you can thumbs down a show like Beat Bugs without feeling bad and keep your own personal queue in tip-top shape. The new Netflix rating system and profile might just be one of the few things in your house that are uniquely yours.

Pro tip: create a “Family Time” profile so you can keep track and discover new recommendations when the whole family is watching together.

Netflix thumbs up and thumbs down rating system

But it doesn’t stop there, the personalized Netflix profile isn’t a single feature, it’s a full experience. In addition to the new thumbs interface, Netflix will also be introducing a percent match score for many of its titles. The percent match score is based on your own viewing patterns and habits—not on the overall quality of a title. It is a unique score that helps match members with their next favorite show, making your next binge just a click away. Continue reading »

Apr 162017
 

cocoa-pebbles-donuts

What’s your favorite cereal?  Hands down mine is Cocoa Pebbles and you can be guaranteed that no matter when you walk into my house, there is a box of Cocoa Pebbles handy.  I would literally live on them if I could.

Anyhow, one of my sister’s in law inspired me to get a little creative with my Cocoa Pebbles.  She makes these ah-mazing Fruity Pebbles bars (like Rice Krispie treats, but with Fruity Pebbles instead).  They are seriously awesome, but after a little thought, I decided that I could make something pretty awesome out of my Cocoa Pebbles.  So I did.  I made these awesome Cocoa Pebbles donuts and to say they’re a hit in my house is a complete understatement. As soon as I make them, they’re gone.  Seriously – within 30 minutes.

donuts9

You’re intrigued, right?  Here’s the recipe:

Cocoa Pebbles Donuts

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 Cups cocoa pebbles cereal
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • White Wilton chocolate melts
  • Sprinkles
  • 1/2 tablespoons butter or non stick cooking spray

Continue reading »

Apr 122017
 

Have you thought about organizing your kitchen cabinets lately? I opened one of mine yesterday and a bunch of stuff fell on me, so I figured it was time for a little cleaning and reorganization. Honestly, it doesn’t take much to get started and to keep them organized and here are some easy tips to get you started on organizing those kitchen cupboards.

Tips for Cleaning & Organizing the Kitchen Cupboards

Clean out the cabinets first.

Before you decide to organize the kitchen cupboards, take the time to clean them out. This is the perfect time to get rid of all broken Tupperware out of the cabinets. If there’s something you don’t want to keep, then now is the time to throw it out.

Take out all of the dishes.

In order to organize the cupboards like they should be done, take out all of the dishes in the cupboard. I try to be incredibly careful during this part because I don’t want to break any dishes. I set all of the dishes on the table until it’s time to put them back into the cupboards. Continue reading »

Apr 112017
 

Now that my son is older, I find myself looking for things to keep myself busy while not breaking the bank. My friend and I decided to look for inexpensive and/or free things to do, and that was the inspiration behind our Adventure Girls Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/adventuregirls0608/) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Adventuregirls0608/). We love to get out and do things, but New England winters are tricky so we had to find things indoors to do.

One of my favorite places to find bargains is Groupon. You can find almost anything on there, and we found a Plant Nite that piqued our interest.

I will be the first to admit that I do NOT have a green thumb; I have killed pretty much every plant I’ve ever had, and quickly. I wasn’t, however, letting that deter me from trying this out. These nights are located all over the US and there were lots here in Massachusetts to choose from. We wanted to stay close to home with the often-uncertain weather conditions here in New England during the winter, so we chose a local restaurant. Continue reading »