If you are looking for something special to do with the kids this holiday season Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker is that special experience unlike any other. I remember seeing the performance as a child with my parents. My mom would also have to make a stop at Lord and Taylor (hmm…wonder where my love for shopping comes from?) She also loved the ballet as well. The Nutcracker is a fun holiday tradition to start with your family. For those in the suburbs make a day trip adventure and stop for shopping and dinner, but don’t miss this magical performance this season!

We were so lucky to be invited to an afternoon dress rehearsal. We took photos in the grand lobby AND the performers visited with the audience and took photos during intermission. It was such a treat and a wonderful performance. The music, dancing, stage lighting and decoration was magical. This was my older daughter’s first time seeing the Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker and she really did enjoy it. For those with little kids The Nutcracker performance length is approximately 1 hour and 57 minutes includes one intermission. It really is a performance for all ages.

Here is more information about this special ballet. Boston Ballet’s Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker is a completely re-imagined production which premiered in 2012 and has since received praise from audiences and critics alike. This year’s production will feature all-new lighting design by Finnish-based Mikki Kunttu, and includes the full company of 68 dancers along with more than 200 Boston Ballet School students. The Nutcracker will run November 27–December 31, 2015 at the Boston Opera House so get your tickets and enjoy the magic of The Nutcracker! For more information click here. 
Disclosure: My kids and I were given tickets to the dress rehearsal performance. All opinions are my own in this blog post.

Such great ballet dancers at #BBNutcracker

Such great ballet dancers at #BBNutcracker

We had a fantastic time at @BostonBallet

We had a fantastic time at @BostonBallet

Thanksgiving is almost here, time for good fun and cheer! This year we are cooking a turkey which in years past we usually buy our turkey pies from my favorite place growing up - Raymond’s Turkey Farm. My kids love their turkey pie and fixings and it’s funny as I loved it as a child too. I just was so busy that I did not have time to get there. I do love this time of year for celebrating traditions. I am trying to make fun memories for my kids and continuing on with my goal of doing something fun and different, (and to travel more – whether it’s a day trip, weekend away or vacation) we are headed to a couple fun events this coming weekend including The Boston Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker and a visit to Great Wolf Lodge! More on those fun events later.

The girls asked me if they could do the Turkey Trot in our town this year and wanted me to do it with them.  Well, I am not a runner – AT ALL – but thought this would be a fun event to do with my kids and it’s for charity (proceeds go to our local food pantry) I have been trying to run every other day but I am only up to 1.5 miles LOL. Believe me this is the most I have ever run – it’s just not my thing- I am trying though….I hope I can make it the 3 miles! So we shall see how this Thanksgiving morning tradition will go. I will not complain though as I am lucky enough to be able to run, my kids are active, my family is here for Thanksgiving so lots to be thankful for!!

What traditions do you have?



I like to start my shopping a bit early…and at home…in my pjs! And dads out there (and anyone else who is trying to avoid the malls this season) QVC has the items for you! The folks at QVC have the best selection of gift ideas this holiday season and they sent me a few gift sets to test out. If your wife, mom, tween, niece or sister loves to receive a beauty kit or make-up kit as a gift (and who doesn’t?) QVC has the most coveted selection of make-up, beauty, perfume sets and more. In fact they have my two favorite brands – Tarte and Josie Maran. Both make-up and skin care lines are on the natural side and have no yucky chemicals in them. I feel good about giving my teen and tween girls lip sticks and moisturizers from each of these lines. They love the argan oil especially and this I would say is a must have for dry, itchy, winter skin.

The Decadent Bliss Radiant Beauty Argan Head to Toe Luxury Set from Josie Maran has the 100% Pure argan Oil, a creamy oil in a tube and the whipped argan oil as well, all to to moisturize face, treat split ends, or condition cuticles – Multiple uses all in one kit.

The Josie Maran Argan 3-in-1 Core Color Hydrating Lipstick Duo is perfect for stocking stuffers and is $30. This is a 3-in-1 lipstick formula with the moisture of a balm, the pigment of a lipstick, and the shine of a gloss – love the formulation as it goes on easy and with nice light color. It comes with two so you can have one in your make-up kit and one in the car. The colors are really nice and very moisturizing.

My other favorite from QVC is tarte. The tarte LipSurgence 5 piece set is perfect for teens. I like the LipSurgence as it’s not too sticky and the colors in this kit are wonderful. QVC also has tarte eyeliner and eyeshadow kits so check them out here

What is best about QVC is you can shop online too. Happy early shopping!

Disclosure: QVC sent me several holiday kits to test out. All opinions in this blog post are my own.

@tartecosmetics kits from @QVC make the best gifts

@tartecosmetics kits from @QVC make the best gifts

@QVC holiday gift ideas @tartecosmetics

@QVC holiday gift ideas


In the rush of weekend soccer and activities I forgot that this coming weekend is Halloween. In between soccer and dive I also had to grocery shop, needed some supplies and gifts for upcoming parties and like all moms had to figure out how to run around and get the kids their costumes and Halloween candy. I did it all in one stop at @BJWholesale club this weekend. They were nice enough to send me a gift card for the Halloween season and they had costumes, decorations and of course the best selection of bulk candy I have seen. The kids picked out the 110 bulk bag of dots and tootsie rolls. If you have lots of kids that come to your door on Halloween you have to get your candy here!  They also have very unique decorations for Halloween. They had rows of Disney costumes as well – a good selection the week before Halloween. It’s not too late to check out the selection this week at your local BJs Wholesale Club.

Disclosure: BJs Wholesale sent me a give card to use. All opinions in this blog post are my own.


BJ's Wholesale Club candy supply is looking good this weekend

BJ’s Wholesale Club candy supply is looking good this weekend

Shop BJ's Wholesale Club this week for the best selection of Halloween candy, costumes and décor!

Shop BJ’s Wholesale Club this week for the best selection of Halloween candy, costumes and décor!

Stocking up on Halloween décor @BJswholesale

Stocking up on Halloween décor @BJswholesale

Stocking up on more Halloween décor @BJswholesale

Stocking up on more Halloween décor @BJswholesale

Fashion Locker? Yes, kids do decorate their lockers!  If you have a tween girl you know that fashion can be important when it comes to middle school. Why not have them design their locker with fun accessories and décor? They can decorate their space with a bit of help from the experts at  LockerLookz. 

It is a creative and fun way for tweens to personalize their space at school and LockerLookz offers so many different accessories to choose from.  LockerLookz offers wallpaper, rugs, bins, frames, white boards and what a way to light up a locker  – a beaded chandelier! You can buy each item individually or in kits.  I also (*I mean my tween) loves the different color selections. The company also offers a new product line including fur pillows, a storage caddy, tape dispensers and a fun candy dispenser!  All these items are perfect for the tween girls bedroom at home as well. Check out the items online.

Check out my 6th grader’s locker  – almost complete thanks to LockerLookz.

Disclosure: The company sent me some LockerLookz items to test out and review. All opinions in this blog post are my own.

Turn a drab locker into a stylish one with @LockerLookz

Turn a drab locker into a stylish one with @LockerLookz

Stop & Shop is is pumping it up this season – with their pumpkin inspired creations from @StopandShop.  The grocery store has some very unique pumpkin flavored offerings in store this fall  – actually 45 pumpkin inspired creations like pasta sauce, tortilla chips, waffles and even ice cream!  I received a lovely package from @stopandshop and got to test out the sauce and the pumpkin seed tortilla chips and both were tasty!  They usually have these unique flavored items in store seasonally (remember limoncello for the summer??) Yum! Check out the line the next time you are at Stop & Stop.


Disclosure: Stop & Shop sent me a box filled with the tortilla chips and sauce to sample. All opinions are my own in this blog post.

#PumpkinPoet Pumping up the pumpkin offerings @stopandshop

#PumpkinPoet Pumping up the pumpkin offerings @stopandshop

If you have a child who is anxious about school (or tends to worry in general) take a look at this product. These adorable plush toys called Worry Eaters give parents and kids peace of mind. Simple have your child write their worry on a piece of paper or draw it and toss it into the Worry Eater’s zippered mouth. That is it and kids can go about their day worry free

Worry Eaters are a new product from The Haywire Group and you can buy them on the website here.  Each striped plush toy (eight to choose from in all) has adorable names like Polli, Flamm and twins Bill and Betti. Perfect for kids to write their worries down and zip them up right before bed too.  A great conversation starter and each plush character has big round eyes, soft bodies and a mix of two or three or more ears or horns! Worry Eaters are for ages three and up and retail for $15.99 for the small one and $22.99 for the large one.

Disclosure: The Haywire group sent me the Worry Eaters to test out and review. All opinions are my own.

Kids feed their worries to the Worry Eaters and zip them away!

Kids feed their worries to the Worry Eaters and zip them away!


I love a nice sweet treat in the afternoon, usually right after lunch and so do my kids but who knew this tasty little disk of chocolate called Adora was good for you?

Adora® Calcium is a chocolate supplement that is made with organic Dark and Milk Chocolate from Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa. With even more vitamin D3 for enhanced absorption just two of the chocolate disks provide 100% of the daily recommended value of calcium. Of course us  moms need calcium and so do kids!  I love the dark chocolate and my kids love the milk chocolate. The disks are small enough to not make you feel guilty having a sweet treat!  Here is what I packed for tomorrow for lunch! My daughters will be excited to see the Adora disk in their lunch.

Disclosure: Adora sent me a package of the dark and milk chocolate to test out. All opinions in this blog post are my own.

Little disks of goodness - chocolate calcium disks!

Little disks of goodness – chocolate calcium disks!

Kids lunch filled with goodies and Adora Calcium disks!

Kids lunch filled with goodies and Adora Calcium disks!

Yes, I still use a hard copy calendar and yes I still like to write check lists!  No all calendars are created equal. That is why I love this mom’s planner from Plan Ahead. It is an 18-month calendar and a planner all in one. It lists out the holidays up front (key for planning purposes), has a month glance, weekly calendar, contact section, vacation planning section (my favorite) party planning section, gift record and gift ideas and a separate notebook for contacts that you can pull out and take with you. Plus it’s just the right size and you can put a photo up front!  What do you use to schedule and map out activities? You can find Plan Ahead at many major retailers like CVS, Target and Amazon.com.

Disclosure: Plan Ahead sent me the calendar to review for back to school. All opinions are my own in this blog post.

#PlanAhead calendars for #backtoschool

#PlanAhead calendars for #backtoschool


Mom's Organizer from #PlanAhead

Mom’s Organizer from #PlanAhead

Yes, I know summer is not over and we are talking back-to-school deals. We have not started school yet but we know some families that have. Of course my kids love to get their supply lists and head to the store to pick out their items. Our favorite retailer is of course Staples. Just in time for school they have the best selection and great deals. For example:

• Back to School 110% Lowest Price Guarantee: The Staples Back to School 110% Lowest Price Guarantee gives shoppers the lowest prices on their back-to-school shopping. Staples matches any competitors’ prices, plus gives customers and additional 10 percent of the difference between the Staples price and the competitor price at time of purchase.

• Less List: The Staples Less List offers the lowest prices on key back-to-school essential products that are low priced all season long such as: 1-subject notebook (25¢), 2-pocket folders (15¢), index cards (48¢), composition books (50¢) and 24-pack Crayola crayons (50¢) and more.

• Extreme Deals: Throughout the season, Staples has Extreme Deals in its weekly circular and online at www.staples.com/weeklyad

• Exclusive Offer for College Students: For students heading to college, Staples is providing exclusive student savings by offering an additional $50 off any PC, including HP®, with a valid College Student I.D. or verifiable .edu email address for online orders.

Have you done your shopping yet? If not here are some tips I have for shopping with the kids for their school supplies

1.  If you can, focus on one child at a time  – it can get a bit hairy if you have 3 lists and 3 kids and trying to get it all done at once. Space it out and make a night of back to school shopping with each child individually. (and grab some dinner after for a bit of one on one time)

2.  Take it one isle at a time – we looked at our list and ran around to all the different isles and it took twice as long. Scope out each isle and look to see what is on your list – saves time!

3.  You can avoid the crowds if you go early morning or later at night. Also, if you hate back to school shopping for supplies, have your hubby or grandma help the kids. I don’t mind back to school supply shopping but I know some moms find it a chore so ask for help if you need too!  Kids can also pick a buddy to go with them and that eases the time too!

Disclosure: Staples sent me a gift card to shop for school supplies. All opinions in this blog post are my own.

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