Saturday, August 31, 2013

8/31/13: Reflecting on Summer and Looking Ahead

After I took this picture yesterday at Wallis Sands Beach in Rye, NH I was inspired to write a post reflecting back on our summer.  Summer is such a wonderful time!  Especially for those of us that live in the Northeast with crazy weather in the winter it is nice to have sun and warm weather.  It is wonderful to be outside and enjoy.
Summer is all about relaxing a bit, no homework, no activities and for me a bucket list of activities.  There are so many fun attractions in our area that I like to visit.  Every summer involves a list of places to go and at least one day of each weekend we are off to an adventure.  
Places we visited this year included Story Land, The Conway Scenic Railroad Crawford Notch Tour, Santa's VillageWater Country, Canobie Lake Park, Roger Williams Park Zoo, the Franklin Park Zoo, Mystic Aquarium, McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, The Old MillParlee Farms, hitting the beach, going mini-golfing, and going to Kimball Farms in Westford.  
Here you can see Evan on the Bumper Boats.
Mini Golf at Kimball Farm.
It is all about spending time with the family in a more relaxed schedule which I love.
Then the end of August rolls around (at least here in NE) and it is time for summer to end.  My end was official when I had to put together 650 folders with documents for the first day of school.  Being the President of the PTO brings a lot of work to the beginning of the year.  Speaking at Back to School Nights, getting new members, PTO Meetings, and marching in the town's parade.
My officers and I got together to get all of these folders ready and then deliver them to all the classrooms.
Even though I am not going back to school, I will mourn summer vacation.  I will miss letting the kids stay up late, have sleepovers, sleep late, and not having to rush to activities.
Happy Back to School Time to Everyone, and RIP to Summer Vacation!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

8/28/13: Mother's Therapy Organics - Keeping Germs Away Naturally

Hand Sanitizer has become a staple in our society.  I always have one in my purse, when we had a diaper bag I had one in there, and usually have one in my car.  You never know when you will need it.  I recently was introduced to Mother's Therapy Organics products and they are wonderful.  I love sharing great new products and wanted to share this one with you at Back to School time when germs are at their highest.
Everyone loves Organic products.  Mother's Therapy Organics is a woman-owned company that strives to provide parents with healthy options for our children.  All their products are safe, natural and include organic ingredients.  My favorite is the Hand Sanitizer that can bought at Amazon.  I love the convenient clip allowing easy access to it.  Plus it has a fresh cucumber smell.  I have to be honest sometimes I get sucked in to buying scents like jelly donut and peanut butter and jelly and then are sickened after the smell after using it a few times.  This has a clean and not chemical smell that is light and not overpowering.   
It has a 99.9% germ-kill ratio and dries really quickly.  Plus because it uses natural alcohol it can leave skin softer than before you use it.  Plus it has aloe vera-based lotion in it.  My hands definitely felt softer.
The Germ Fighting Hand Lotion also felt luxurious.  Just a small amount is needed.  It is also non-greasy and water based so it does not go on thick.  It is great for diaper changes too as it is great for your hands and baby's newborn skin.  It can also be purchased at Amazon.
I don't really use Baby Lotion any more but I will give this to a friend with a young baby.  It is a natural alternative to rubs or creams and soothes sensitive areas.  You can also purchase it on Amazon.
Follow them on Twitter:  @MothersTherapy
Disclosure:  I was provided these Mother's Therapy Organics products for review purposes.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

8/26/13: Hoopersize Fun Get Fit, Have Fun, Hoop It Up

My daughter loves to Hula Hoop.  For some reason from the time she picked one up for the first time it was natural for her and easy to do.  She even won a Hula Hoop Contest at the School Family Picnic. When I saw Hoopersize from KidTribe which combines Hip Hop and Hula Hooping together I knew she would be a fan.  As you can see here with the smile on her face she loved it! Their tag line says it all:  "Get Fit, Have Fun, Hoop It Up". 
This is how it looks as packaged.  The Hoop needs to be put together but is super easy to do.
Lauren was able to put it together herself.  The Hoop is super sturdy and has a larger diameter making it easier to Hoop longer and do tricks.
 Once she had it put together it was right down to business.  Lauren has perfected hula hooping so she was excited to learn some cool new tricks.  But don't worry, if you don't know the basics the DVDs will go through that first before moving on to tricks.
 The two DVDs it comes with include many tricks and cool music for kids to practice to.  Plus it comes with a CD of music to practice to.
 Fitness guru Kellee McQuinn or "Miss Kellee" has taken the beloved hula hoop and added hip-hop hoop tricks.  Her company, KidTribe, prides itself on delivering “edgycation” to today's youth in a time when digital toys and stranger danger keeps kids off the front lawns or running around the neighborhood. 
Did you know that hooping burns approximately 210 calories per 30-minute session?  KidTribe’s program is a full body workout the tones and strengthens every major muscle group as it builds cardiovascular health, hand-eye coordination, focusing ability, and creative self-expression. But kids just think it’s fun!  I know Lauren did! 
Here is some video of Lauren in action with the DVD:
  KidTribe is so popular for its infectious routines that it has been a staple at the White House Easter Egg Roll in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013! Almost double the number relished the 2011 Nickelodeon Worldwide Day of Play festival in DC and an amazing 65,000 families are expected at the much-anticipated Nickelodeon 2013 Worldwide Day of Play in NYC. Over 3.5 million kids and teachers have participated in KidTribe’s award winning school assembly program, called the Hoopapalooza Fitness Concert. 
Lauren was having so much fun and can't wait to make up a routine of all her new moves.  Here she is jumping up while Hooping.
 Here is Lauren showing off her criss-cross trick.
 Now taking it down to the ground.
 She made it.
Hoopersize is being sold first online at and soon at specialty stores nationwide for $39.95.  For more fun in every household, additional hoops can be purchased without videos or CDs for $24.95 plus shipping and handling.
 "Get Fit, Have Fun, Hoop It Up"
Like KidTribe on Facebook:
Follow them on Twitter:  @kidtribe
Disclosure:  I was provided Hoopersize for review purposes.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

8/25/13: Baby Tog's Beautiful Clothing

I have been noticing now that my daughter is getting a bit older she is getting very picky about her clothes.  She loves sparkly clothes and this dress is so beautiful.  It is the Cassaundra Black Dress and a great value at just $22.99.
 Lauren wore it the day it arrived.  The second she saw it she knew she loved it.  You can see the beautiful beading along the neckline and the lovely sequins throughout the dress.  The size was perfect also.  
 She was excited as that night we had to go to my cousin's band's show, The Four Freshmen.  All night she was being complimented by adults how beautiful she looked and how pretty her dress was.
Disclosure:  I received this dress for review purposes.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Friday, August 23, 2013

8/23/13: Meeting the Super Buddies

We love dogs and we love Disney.  When the two come together you know it will be awesome!  We were lucky enough to meet the Super Buddies Rosebud and B-Dawg today at the Boston Children's Museum!  These adorable puppies debut Debuts On Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on August 27th.  Isn't Rosebud adorable?  Look at her super cute cape!
Here is B-Dawg.  He is joined by Rosebud, Budderball, Buddha and Mudbud, as caped crusaders em’barking’ on their biggest adventure ever. 
 He was a tired doggy.  Their trainer was there to give them treats and make sure they were doing alright.
Today's event at the Children's Museum was wonderful for families.  The Super Buddies were in The Common area on the 2nd floor of the Boston Children's Museum along with Posters, tattoos, coloring pages and more for all.
 First you got to meet one of the puppies and then go through and take some cool Super Buddies things.
 Tables were also set up for coloring.
 Of course the B-Dawg and Rosebud were the main attraction!  We have seen many of the Buddies movies and can't wait to see the newest one.
 I really love Rosebud.  So cute!  I am having visions of a Halloween Costume for our Shetland Sheepdog Fred.
Here is a sneak peek of the movie:

Here are some wise words from the Super Buddies.
Here is some video of their training.
Even if you didn't make it to see them here are some fun activities for you.
Download Super Activities
 About the Movie:
An ordinary day at Fernfield Farms turns extraordinary when Budderball, Mudbud, B-Dawg, Buddha and Rosebud discover mysterious rings that grant them each a unique super power. Before you can say, “Buddies, assemble,” the pups unleash their amazing abilities and race to the rescue when a shape-shifting bully from outer space threatens the planet. But can they succeed in kicking major tail without revealing their new secret identities? A must-own movie event packed with laughter, action and incredible new characters, ‘SUPER BUDDIES’ proves when you use your wits and work together, you don't need super powers to be a super hero! 
“Like” them on Facebook at 
View exciting trailers, games, video clips and more at 
Disclosure:  I was given tickets for my family to go to the Boston Children's Museum to cover the Super Buddies as media.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

8/22/13: Cats at the North Shore Music Theatre

 Last night we got our Purr on at the North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) seeing Cats.  I am allergic to cats but this was a performance I could watch and not be worried it would get me sneezing.  The special effects, performers, and of course the makeup/costumes were amazing.  The show is family appropriate and I think your kids will love it like mine did.  Plus Bill Hanney announced the line up for next year and it is amazing!  Read on and I will divulge what the shows are that are coming up.
        The show is still going on until September 1st so there is still time to get tickets.  Kids 18 and under save 50% on ‘Family Friday'- August 23 at 8 pm. 
 The whole show was amazing, however I will highlight some of our favorite parts.  Mr. Mistoffellees who was played by Ryan Koss was amazing.  What a wonderful performer and dancer.  Being a family of dancers we could appreciate all of his turns and how hard that is to do.  He was truly wonderful.   
 Credit for all photos to: ©Paul Lyden
We really enjoyed Mark Donaldson (Mungojerrie) and Hillary Porter (Rumpleteazer).  My daughter seemed to really like them.  I think she liked the cartwheels they did together.  My daughter is a gymnast so she was appreciating all of the flips being done by all of the performers. 
Kevin Torque as Rum Tum Tugger was really good.  His performance was great.  One thing I was impressed by of everyone in the cast was their cat like moves.
Of course one of the favorites was the memorable song Memories.  Katy Blake had a fabulous voice and had everyone clapping.  Even listening to the song I saw some emotion coming from some around us.  The performance was that moving.
Trent Armand Kendall also did a wonderful job as Old Deuteronomy.  My kids got a big kick out of the fact that he stays on the stage all through the intermission and at the end did a cartwheel.
Here is a video preview of the show:
The whole show is so amazing.  I highly recommend it!
You can also play the Cats Memory  Game and win 4 VIP Tickets for the show on August 31st.
More about the show:
Based on "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot, CATS, which contains no spoken dialogue, revolves around the antics of such feline characters as Old Deuteronomy, Jennyanydots, Mr. Mistoffelees, Rum Tum Tugger, Skimbleshanks and Grizabella who sings the crossover hit song "Memory." Originally produced at the New London Theatre on May 11, 1981, CATS began its New York run at the Winter Garden Theatre on October 7, 1982. The show won seven 1983 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Score for composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. On September 10, 2000 CATS, finally hung up its whiskers after nearly 18 years, and a record 7,485 performances. As time has proven, CATS is truly now and forever. 
Director/Choreographer Richard Stafford will bring CATS to life on North Shore Music Theatre's stage. Mr. Stafford has extensive experience with CATS, having performed in and served as the dance supervisor on the Broadway production, and directing and choreographing several touring and regional productions of CATS. 
Performances are August 20 through September 1, Tue - Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri and Sat at 8 pm, matinees Wed, Sat and Sun at 2 pm. There has been a 2pm matinee added on Thurs, August 29. For tickets and information call (978) 232-7200, visit the NSMT Website, or visit the box office in person at 62 Dunham Rd., Beverly, Massachusetts. 
So don't let these Cats sneak away, go see it!
As I promised above here is next years line up:
Anything Goes
Disney's The Little Mermaid - Lauren is so excited!
Grease - I can't wait for this one!
Les Miserables
You can also check out the North Shore Music Theatre:
Disclosure:  I received 4 tickets to attend this performance of Cats.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

8/20/13: Enjoy Zoo New England

I posted about Doc McStuffins Doc Mobile visiting the Franklin Park Zoo.  Now I wanted to focus on the Zoo part of that visit and other fun things going on at Zoo New England that you should check out before it is too late.  Plus, the Stone Zoo is the only zoo in the entire Northeast region where visitors can see koalas this summer!  Don't wait they are only there till Labor Day. 
First off lets start with some of the limited time areas you should visit now at the Franklin Park Zoo.  We love the Butterfly Landing which is only open through Labor Day.  Butterflies fly all around you while you walk through a beautiful environment.
My kids love this area.  The butterflies are so beautiful and you can see them up close.
This tented, outdoor seasonal exhibit also features several garden beds, a pond and soothing surround-sound music.  Please note: This exhibit is weather dependent   Check out these two ducks right next to two of the butterflies.
Another area the kids really enjoy is the Aussie Aviary.  There are hundreds of brightly-colored budgies. Budgerigars, affectionately called budgies, are also known as grass parakeets and are a variety of small slender parrots with long, tapering tails. 
You can buy a seed stick and feed the birds.  We always do this.  Sticks are $2 a piece.  Through Labor Day, Aussie Aviary is open 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. weekdays, and 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. weekends. After Labor Day, Aussie Aviary will be open on weekends only through September.  
Plus there are Giraffe Encounters at the Giraffe Terrace located on the Giraffe Savannah will continue only through Labor Day. After Labor Day, the Giraffe Terrace will be open weekends only through October, weather permitting. Space is limited to 15 individuals. Guests may purchase tickets at the Giraffe Encounter gate, located past the Giraffe Savannah and across from Outback Trail. Participants must arrive 15 minutes prior to the encounter time. Each experience will last approximately 30 minutes. Please note: There is no advance registration and the encounters may be cancelled at any time due to weather or the animals’ needs. WHEN: 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. COST: $5.00 per person (first-come, first-served) 

Some other fun stuff is seeing the Prairie Dogs.  We spent a lot of time in this area as my kids love these guys.
There was a beautiful bird in with them too.
 Zebras are cool of course.
Another favorite of my kids is the Gorillas.  Who is checking out who???
 The kids loved this little baby Gorilla who grabbed this blanket and hid under it while walking.  They are still talking about it.
Of course the king of the jungle is always cool to see.
But the Zoo has so much more.  There is a new 6D Motion Theater.
The new playground is amazing!
 It is so beautifully done and my kids could have spent the whole day there.
 Amazing slides!
 Super cool!

 Lauren was having a ton of fun!
  You have to sit on the tractor.
Disclosure: I work with the Franklin Park and Stone Zoo promoting their events. I was provided tickets to the Zoo but no other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.