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.

I have not been to BJ’s wholesale club in a while and I was certainly missing out!  They have a great optical section, coupon books with extra savings, a few samples of food for the kids to try and of course items in bulk that any family can use for back to school season.  Just last week I was at BJ’s Wholesale Club to film a segment with @NECN for what products to buy or not to buy this time of year (more to come on that in the next post) and took along my older daughter. She was very happy to shop for back to school snacks but put in so many items in our cart that we went a bit overboard. You have to be strategic about this back to school snack shopping!  Here are a few tips  if you plan to bring your kids along with you (yes, they can help)

1. It can be very fun to shop here but it can be overwhelming so have a plan on which items you want to buy and stick with it. Because if you don’t one turn down the candy isle and the kids will go crazy. FYI…This is THE place to get your Halloween candy.

2. So if your plan is to get some back to school snacks be picky in each category. For example we chose one case of chips, one case of juice boxes, one granola bar box – as tempting as it was for my daughter to choose 7 snack options – you have to set a limit!

3.  Know what your kids like  – My daughter picked out a new brand of granola bars (and she is very picky) so  I thought oh great – what if she does not like them, then I have 500 left over!  It is best to stick with favorites here! Fyi….the bars were Cascadian Farms organic chewy granola bars and I love them!

Disclosure: BJ’s Wholesale sent me a gift card. All opinions in this blog post are my own.

BJs Wholesale for back to school

BJs Wholesale for back to school

Summertime is not over yet!  If you are looking for a quick day trip and are planning to be in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire area check out Water Country! We had a great time and here are trendymommies tips to surviving the day at Water Country!

  • Plan ahead and make sure you pick a sunny, warm day – We did have a great sunny day but toward the end of the day we were cold!  I know that sounds funny as it was 72 degrees but many of the slides had umbrellas – for good reason – as if it’s very hot they provide a nice area for shade.  It’s just we just would not want to be there in the cold!
  • Buy the locker.  We wanted to take photos but didn’t want to carry around our phones all day and thankfully they had lockers to store our stuff. It was pricier than I thought  – $12 – but so worth it.
  • You can walk with you flip flops and towels – or just store them in your locker but I liked to have my flip flops handy – especially if you had to run to the bathroom.
  • Enjoy the wave pool – what I like about Water Country is that there are lots of places to lounge if you wanted to watch the kids and the wave pool is the perfect place to do this. Plus you can enjoy an ice cream or treat while lounging!
  • Lots of place to eat – enjoy the food – You can certainly pack some snacks and water and store them in the locker but they do have a variety of places to eat there so enjoy and don’t worry about packing a lunch if you don’t want to.
  • As with any travel destination  – early or later is the best time – anytime is fun at Water Country but we did notice at the end of the day the lines were shorter and that is when the girls went up and down multiple times on their favorite slides.

 

Check them out on the web site here.

Disclosure:  Water Country sent me 4 passes to enjoy the day. All opinions in this blog post are my own.

 

Well it has been a few weeks since we visited the Red Jacket in South Yarmouth and I miss it!  Summer has been so busy but I will never forget our quick adventure to this must see beach resort! As part of the Red Sox Moms the kids and I were invited to stay at this lovely beach resort and we loved it! It is not too late to enjoy a night or more at this fun beach resort so check out the specials they are offering here.

The Red Jacket Beach Resort is on a beautiful beach on Nantucket sound. If you have been to Cape Cod you know there can be a lot of running around and many things to see. What I like about the resort is how quiet it is yet there are so many things to do right on the property.  They have an indoor pool and an outdoor pool that is very close to the beach. Some of the adventures of staying here include yoga on the beach, a great restaurant right on the property, a complete spa and children’s activities each day!  Here are some of our photos from the trip. If you want to explore some more around the cape and for more information go to the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce web site. Click here for the site.

Disclosure: I was treated to a two night stay to the property as part of the Red Sox Moms initiative. All opinions in this blog post are my own.

Lots to do @rjresorts

Lots to do @rjresorts

Indoor pool at night #RedJacketResorts #CapeCod

Indoor pool at night #RedJacketResorts #CapeCod

 

The Red Jacket beach resort in South Yarmouth has the best sunsets I have ever seen!

The Red Jacket beach resort in South Yarmouth has the best sunsets I have ever seen!

 

 

The outdoor pool @rjresorts

The outdoor pool @rjresorts

It’s always a great day for a ball game! Even if your kids are young there is always something to do at Fenway Park! There are so many food options and places to check out even when you need a break from the game.  Yesterday we were treated to a special event – a Red Sox Kid Nation Press Conference. The kids were excited to be able to ask Brock Holt questions and then we got a tour of some of the great spots to watch the game – hello green monster! What is great about Fenway and the Red Sox games is it really is a family event and very kid friendly. Wally’s Clubhouse is the perfect spot for kids to take a break from the game and is open each home game from the third through seventh innings. Is is located in the champions club and offers activities for kids of all ages including face paining, balloon artists, caricature artists and appearances from Wally!  Plus it is cool in there so especially after yesterday’s heat it was great to take a break.

We also had an opportunity to view the rooftop garden called Fenway Farms. The Red Sox  have created a rooftop garden behind the Gate that will grow vegetables and herbs throughout the baseball season.  Presented by Stop & Shop (our favorite grocery store!)  Dole, Sage Fruit, and Fenway Park concessionaire Aramark, the items grown will be used in food products prepared at the ballpark, including the restaurant in the EMC Club.  As part of yesterday’s festivities we got to sample some Fenway cuisine with a small Fenway Food Festival and hear more about the yummy offerings (there is much more to eat than a fenway frank). The kids loved the grilled cheese and chicken fingers and I loved the pad thai inspired noodles.  If you want to head to a game and learn more about what’s in store for kids at Fenway click  here.

 

Disclosure:  The Red Sox treated us to an afternoon of fun and food and the game as part of a partnership as a Red Sox Mom. All opinions in this blog post are my own.

Fenway Farms

Fenway Farms

Red Sox Kids Nation press conference

Red Sox Kids Nation press conference

Wally! #Callingallkids

Wally! #Callingallkids

 

The crisp scent of apples, leaves, fall….oh wait it’s summer!  But still I always like to be in the know when it comes to new products so I am glad that I was able to sample some of the new fall fragrances from @TheYankeeCandle.  Yankee Candle always has great fragrances for any season and great accessories for your home. Some of the new fragrances for fall include Autumn in the Park, Sugar & Spice and Vanilla Bourbon.

Autumn in the Park is a combination of my favorite fragrances – apple and pumpkin. It combines the fragrance of apple and leaves with a hint of pumpkin so crisp!

Sugar & Spice is a new favorite.  What could be better than the scents of sugar, vanilla and cinnamon? Nothing for sure. This candle smells so good, in fact I started it in the summer – could not wait for the fall!

Vanilla Bourbon is spicy!  With cream scents it could be your new favorite.  Check out the new line at yankeecandle.com

Disclosure: The company send me the above candles to test out. All opinions are my own.

New Fall Fragrances from Yankee Candle

New Fall Fragrances from Yankee Candle

 

 

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Camp costs too much with adding in those “extras” – from spending money to laundry costs? Trendymommies has some tips.

@NECN interviewed me on their Money Saving Monday segment for savings on camp costs.

 

See the clip below.

Trendymommies.com on NECN

 

Summer is the time for fun, breezy, easy hairstyles. Ever try to get the perfect beach wave without frizz? It can be tricky. I love a salt sea spray but sometimes it can make your hair sticky and frizzy. That is why I love the @The BEACHWAVER!  It is my favorite new product. The Beachwaver S1 is a ceramic rotating curling iron that is super easy to use and you get nice beachy waves. Actually it helps you to create three different styles – defined curls, glam waves and the must this summer –  beachy waves! The product features include a 5.5″ ceramic rod, temperature clock, temperature range, 8 ft swivel cord, a home button to reset clamp, a speed switch with fast/slow rotation and the ceramic barrel distributes even heat from top to bottom. Check it out at sarahpotempa.com.

Disclosure: the company send me a beachwaver to test out and review. All opinions are my own in this blog post.

Greatest curling iron! The Beachwaver

Greatest curling iron! The Beachwaver

I test out a lot of products and like to use all natural ones. Here is one that is made in the U.S. (in Vermont) that is 100 percent natural and non-toxic called Tata Harper.

My skin must have been really dry as after using the refreshing cleanser and hydrating floral essence my skin felt amazing. The cleanser has grapefruit and bergamont and pomegranate enzymes in it too.  The hydrating floral essence is like a toner but is a good refresher for your skin throughout the day. You can even use on top of make up. It does smell a bit strong for me but the benefits of this moisture mist is worth it. The replenishing nutrient complex is a lightweight facial oil serum that promotes an instant glow. After using these products I felt like I had a facial!  They also have great aromatherapy treatments such as the irritability treatment which is said to promote relaxation and centeredness. The ingredients for this include roman chamomile, bergamont and patchouli and of course with this natural line there is no synthetics, no fillers and the products are gluten free.  I also liked the aromatic stress treatment which helps to calm and soothe and promotes relaxation – use it when you need it!

Read more about Tata’s beginnings here:

Disclosure: The company sent me the above products to review. All opinions are my own.

@TataHarper products - 100 percent natural

@TataHarper products – 100 percent natural

 

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