Tuesday, September 19, 2017

5 Better for You Lunch Box Snack Ideas

What are some ideas for lunch box snacks? I hear it all the time, or I see posts in Facebook groups looking for new ideas for lunch box snacks and after school treats. All of those packaged cookies and chips are so convenient, but they're not always healthy. And if you have a picky eater at home like me, you want to make those snacks as healthy as you can get! Last year I brought you 9 Exciting Snacks to Liven Up Your Lunchbox. This year, I bring you five better for you treats to try. Let me know what you think!


Monday, September 18, 2017

A Review of Wild West City in Netcong, NJ: Is it Worth the Trip?

Readers have been asking me to review Wild West City in Stanhope for some time now. I featured Wild West City in my post about the 10 Classic New Jersey Attractions You Should Revisit because it's a place many New Jersey residents remember from their childhood. Most people are curious what lies beyond the fences, and if it's worth the trip. Many friends recall the Uncle Floyd commercials from the late 1980's, and wonder if Wild West City is even still open. Guess what, my friends? Wild West City is alive and well, open to the public, and just as wild as ever!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Easy Autumn Leaf Pressing: No Ironing Required!

When we were kids, my mom used to press autumn leaves for us to hang in the window. We would collect the leaves and then she would use the iron to press the leaves between two pieces of wax paper.  But I have a confession to make. Now that I'm a mom, I don't iron. I don't even know how. There, I said it.  I mean, don't get me wrong, if I really need to use the thing, I can figure it out (I've used it for plenty of craft projects, after all).  But if you handed me a fancy tablecloth and said, 'Can you get the wrinkles out of this for me?'  I'd sheepishly answer, 'maybe?'   Yep, it's true, laugh if you must. Anyway, I know an easier way to press leaves that doesn't require an iron at all.

So anyway, I recently saw an easy way to press leaves in Family Fun magazine.  All you need are some leaves, clear contact paper (I got mine in Walmart in the aisle where you find dish/kitchen utensils), and a pair of scissors.  The roll of contact paper was about $5.00, but it's a thick roll, so I can use it again next year, and maybe even the year after that.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

10 Books to Check Out this Fall: Fun Reading Suggestions for Kids

Looking for reading suggestions for your child? I found some fun book titles to start off the school year and hopefully inspire young readers! This list features both picture books and chapter books and can reach a variety of ages, so please check it out!


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Great Pumpkin Fest at PLANET SNOOPY in Dorney Park Allentown, PA

We're venturing out of the Garden State again, this time to explore Planet Snoopy inside of Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Who doesn't love Snoopy? The absolute cuteness of this park will make your heart melt. For info about the fun Halloween events taking place at Planet Snoopy this year, scroll below to read about The Great Pumpkin Fest!


Friday, September 8, 2017

The Great Big List of Fall Day Trips in New Jersey and Beyond!

It's finally here! My great big list of Fall day trip ideas in New Jersey (and some beyond, too)! Fall is such a great time to get out and explore. There are so many things to do and places to visit. I've compiled this list of handy links, and I've included an interactive Google map, too. You can zoom in on it and click on each destination for more details. The map is printable, too!


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Back to School Night: Tips for Teachers and Parents

If you've read my profile or the About Me section of this blog, then you know I used to be a teacher. Back to School Night (also known as Open House), is a teacher's chance to tell you all about the school year.  It's also a parent's chance to learn about their child's teacher and classroom.  I thought I'd share some tips for both teachers and parents for this important evening, since I've learned some things about holding a successful Back to School Night over the years,  If you're scrolling, you'll find the teacher section here at the top, and the parent section towards the bottom.  Happy reading!


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Fancy Food Show Spotlight on: Callie's Charleston Biscuits!

September is National Biscuit Month! So here's a flashback to one of my favorite biscuits of all time- Callie's!!

I will probably be talking about The Fancy Food Show until next year, but I can't help sharing some of the amazing foods and brands I sampled there. One of my many favorites was Callie's Charleston Biscuits. If you're looking for something new to serve at a cocktail party or even at a family dinner or brunch, you must check them out! The best part is their wholesome ingredients. It's like you're eating something homemade!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Raising Awareness: Childhood Cancer and Blood Cancer

In November of 2011, I was pleased to take part in the National Brain Tumor Society Race for Hope in Philadelphia in honor of an amazing little boy named Stephen, who lost his battle with brain cancer at the age of 7.  I remember being profoundly touched by the whole walk, seeing families and loved ones come together, celebrating survivors and remembering those lost.  I recall thinking how strong Stephen's family was, how loving his friends were.  I couldn't fathom how they handled something so horrible, how they endured such a tremendous loss.  Little did I know that two weeks later I would find out for myself.  My nephew Joey was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), a deadly form of brain cancer.  He was only 2.  No matter how much we hoped and prayed, GBM was a monster, and it took Joey from us before he could even turn 4.

Joey and The Jersey Momma's Boy at the last birthday party they spent together.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

5 Alternatives to Pumpkin and Apple Picking This Fall

I hate to admit it, but I am not a fan of apple picking in the Fall.  Well, that's not exactly true.  I am not a fan of apple and pumpkin picking during the weekend in the Fall.  Why, you ask?  Because everyone and their mother is in those apple orchards on a sunny day in the Fall!  And I know some people don't mind the crowds, but I can't take it.  I'd rather hit the local orchard after school with the Jersey Momma's Boy if I can (that does exclude Mr. Jersey Momma, but he's okay with that).  Or I'd rather find an alternative.  So here are some ideas for fun things to do besides apple and pumpkin picking this Fall.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Easy Matcha Green Tea Cookies Recipe and Teapot Review

Are you a tea drinker like me? Even if you're not, you're bound to appreciate the adorable little teapot that Minos Home Living sent to me last week. It's so pretty that I thought I'd write a whole post about it, and include a recipe for some awesome Matcha Green Tea Cookies, which go great with any kind of tea. 


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I am Groot Giveaway! Sponsored by Disney

I am a huge Guardians of the Galaxy fan, and my DVD copy of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 just arrived in the mail (I also saw it in the theater). So to celebrate the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on DVD, I'm helping Life with Heidi to promote this awesome I Am Groot giveaway sponsored by Disney! Read on to see how you can win this adorable Groot statue as well as some other Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise!

Let's Visit Medieval Times: A Jersey Momma Review

Being the planner that I am, I searched the internet for a review of Medieval Times ages ago and could never quite find what I was looking for. I wanted an honest opinion on what age group this show was for, what it entailed, how the food was (that's just how I am, you know?). And since I never found exactly what I was looking for out there, I decided to see the show for myself and bring you my very own review (because I know I can't be the only one out there wondering what Medieval Times is all about!). This is not a sponsored post (although MT people, I'd be more than happy to come back and review a king's court package or something for you if you're offering! Just sayin'....).  And remember, my posts are designed for easy reading, so feel free to scroll to find the information you're looking for.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Jersey Momma Reviews: The ArtsBot Craft Kits for Kids on the Go!

I was so incredibly excited when Marcy from The ArtsBot reached out to me. We love arts and crafts in this house and we are always on the look-out for fun kits for kids, especially ones that can be used on the go. There are so many things I loved about these unique, earth-friendly, easy kits. We had a blast with ours! Not to mention that ArtsBot is also giving back to kids in a BIG way. Read on to see how ArtsBot is going to help kids in need, and read to the bottom of this post for a coupon code, too!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Transitioning Back to School with Creative Lunch Box Notes

Going back to school is not always easy for kids.  As a child, I loved school, but The Jersey Momma's Boy doesn't hold the same affection for education!  Crazy, right?  I'm a former teacher.  The teacher's kid doesn't like school?  Figures!  Anyway, who knew that some lunch box notes would help him make the transition back to school this year?


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Easing First Day Jitters: Back to School with Mac Book Review

Heading back to school is an exciting time for kids. There are new friends to make, new routines to try, and plenty of new facts to learn. But for some kids, the idea of heading back to school in the Fall causes anxiety and stress. Whether your child is excited or anxious about the first day of school, Mac the Apple is here to help with a brand new family tradition called Back to School with Mac! Read on to see how this cute plush apple and matching storybook by Kim DiLoreto can help ease first day jitters and put the cool back in school. 

The Cars from Transformers, Featuring Megatron and Bumblebee, Are Coming to America on Wheels!

Do you have a Transformers fan at home? Do you know someone who has always dreamed of seeing the Transformers cars in person? Well, hold on to your hubcaps! We're heading beyond New Jersey for this post, but not too far beyond.  America On Wheels Auto Museum is located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and it's worth the ride if you're a car enthusiast. Well, even if you're not, I think it's a fun place and worth the trip. And guess what? America on Wheels has a special exhibit starting September 9th. The cars from Transformers, featuring Megatron and Bumblebee, will be at the museum!! 


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Plant Nite: Terrarium Making Fun with a Twist (promo code included, too!)

If you're looking for a unique idea for Date Night, Girls Night Out or just a fun evening with friends, then Plant Nite might be for you! Read on to learn about the terrarium-making evening I spent with friends, and see what we created with succulents. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for a promo code that you can use at any Plant Nite Central New Jersey venue, too!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Descendants 2 Giveaway: Prize Pack Sponsored by Disney!

Are you a fan of Descendants and Descendants 2?  Well, then, I've got a contest for you! I've joined Life with Heidi to help promote this awesome Descendants 2 Prize Pack, sponsored by Disney! The Descendants 2 DVD was released on August 15th, so let's consider this a fun way to celebrate, shall we?


A Review of Liberty Science Center : What Age is Best for My Child to Visit?

Every kid should have a chance to visit Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, but sometimes it's hard to figure out what age to bring them. What age is right for a science center, after all? Well, that all depends on your child. But hopefully you can read through my description and some of the reader comments below to help you make your decision.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Make Ahead Vanilla Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Some mornings I crave oatmeal but I don't have the time or the ingredients handy to make my own, and I'm not crazy about some of the packaged varieties. This Make Ahead Vanilla Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal is perfect for hectic mornings or for grabbing something hot on the go. 

A LEGOLAND Theme Park is Coming to New York!

There's been a lot of buzz lately about a LEGOLAND theme park opening in New York state. Once complete, New Jersey residents would have a real, live LEGOLAND about an hour away! So, what are the details? The Jersey Momma has the low-down for you!

photo from LEGOLAND Deutschland  Photo cred: Vlad Shteltz

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Jersey Momma's Back to School Contest: Oh the Places You'll Go Giveaway Hop!

I know it stings a little to mention 'Back to School' around here, so I thought I'd offer a contest giveaway to help chase off those Back to School blues! I've teamed up with The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island to bring you a fun Giveaway Hop called Oh the Places You'll Go! What's a Giveaway Hop, you ask? Read on, and you'll find out how you can win my Jersey Momma prize pack as well as prizes from HUNDREDS of other bloggers! 


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Review of ABCmouse - Is It Worth It?

Before I tell you about ABCmouse.com, let me just point out that this is my honest review from a mom's point of view.  I was not  asked by ABCmouse to review their service!! This post has become very popular, so I try to keep it updated with accurate information and suggestions.

*Added note: Be sure to read the comments left by my readers at the bottom of this post. Their experience and advice is just as helpful as mine! And feel free to add your own comments about successes (or failures) with ABCmouse.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Best Adult Coloring Books and Supplies - Part 2

You might remember my last post about the best adult coloring books, the latest craze that's sweeping the nation. Don't knock it till you try it, I always say! Coloring for adults is a relaxing hobby, and a great way to express your artistic side, without a need for artistic talent. I've been exploring many different types of adult coloring books and mediums, so here are a few of my favorites, along with some tips if you plan on trying this fabulous hobby for yourself.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

How to Raise Monarch Butterflies: A Basic Guide

If you ever thought about raising butterflies with your little ones at home, I have some basic tips for you!  As I'm sure you've figured out, I am not a butterfly expert.  If you want all of the best information from the experts, feel free to visit them at MonarchWatch.  I have raised and released over 100 monarch butterflies over the past few years, so my tips come from what I've read and my own experience.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Minnie's Happy Helpers Giveaway! sponsored by Disney

Hey gang! I have a fun contest for you Minne Mouse fans out there, thanks to Life with Heidi and sponsored by Disney. Read on to learn about Minnie's Happy Helpers DVD and see the cute prize pack you can win!


The Hotel Hershey vs. The Hershey Lodge - Which to Choose? (Part 1)

If you're thinking of planning a trip to Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania but you're not sure where to stay, The Jersey Momma is here to help!  Here's my honest review of the Hershey resorts. You can also read Part 2 - The Hotel Hershey vs. The Hershey Lodge, which highlights the Hotel Hershey.  *FYI:  I was NOT compensated in any way by Hershey or these hotels.  I am just sharing my honest opinions with you 'cause that's how I roll.  I can't tell you which choice to make for your family, but I can tell you what I experienced at each one, and hopefully, this will help you decide!


The Hotel Hershey vs. The Hershey Lodge - Which to Choose? (part 2)

If you're planning a trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania and you're not sure which hotel to stay at, The Jersey Momma is here to help! Are you wondering what the difference is between The Hotel Hershey and The Hershey Lodge? Read on!


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Design Your Own Jersey Momma Bracelet for a Good Cause!

As a mom, I know how important it is to do something for yourself every now and then. We're always giving so much of ourselves to our family, our friends, work, school, whatever, that we often forget ourselves. I recently met an awesome gal named Misty who offered to help me design something to commemorate my hard work as The Jersey Momma. It may not be a traditional job, but I sure do work hard on this blog, and I'm proud of how far its come. I loved the idea of wearing something to display my pride, to remind me of what I've accomplished. Read on to see how The Jersey Momma bracelet was created, and how you can design one of your own, too! The best part? 20% of your bracelet purchase will go to St. Jude's!


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer Reading Lists for Kids: Fun Suggestions from The Jersey Momma

If you're still looking for Summer Reading suggestions for kids, I have some good ideas to keep their brains active for the remaining months of the season! Check out my picks for readers ages 8-10 (and up), and let me know what you think in the comments section below!


Friday, July 7, 2017

The New Jersey Quick Chek Festival of Ballooning: Reviews, Tips and Advice for Attending

The New Jersey Festival of Ballooning (known officially as the Quick Chek Festival of Ballooning, but sometimes referred to as the Readington Balloon Festival or the New Jersey Balloon Fest) is held every summer in Readington, New Jersey, usually at the end of July. There's a lot to read about in this post, but I designed it so you can skim for the information you need. Please be sure to read my tips at the bottom of the post if you plan on visiting with kids or if you are questioning what traffic will be like!


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A Review of A Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine: Is it Worth the Trip?

Have you heard of A Day Out with Thomas?  Every summer, Hit Entertainment takes Thomas the Tank Engine on the road, and eager kiddos of all ages can head out to visit him at their participating train stations. But is it worth the trip?


Saturday, July 1, 2017

5 Reasons Why You Should Stay at Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown - A Jersey Momma Review

Planning a trip to Washington D.C. is exciting, isn't it? There are so many places to stay, with hotel choices in just about every area of the city. With so many reviews and recommendations out there, how do you know which one to choose? Well, we just returned from a three day stay in Washington, D.C., and we stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Washington, D.C. in the Georgetown area. It was amazing! If you're thinking, that's too luxurious for me, think again! We stayed here as a family- that's right, The Jersey Momma's Boy came, too, and it was the perfect choice for us. Read on to find out more!

How to Make Red, White and Blue Patriotic Cupcakes DIY

If you're in charge of bringing the dessert to a Memorial Day picnic or a 4th of July bash, then check out these patriotic cupcakes, which are actually super easy to make!


Friday, June 30, 2017

10 Classic New Jersey Attractions You Should Revisit

What comes to mind when you think of classic New Jersey attractions? Chances are, the places in your memory are still in existence today. New Jersey is filled with classic attractions that families and visitors have enjoyed for decades. Why not make some plans to revisit them this year?


Saturday, June 24, 2017

What's New at Hersheypark? Must See Attractions and Fun at The Sweetest Place on Earth!

Wondering what's new at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania this season? Curious what things you MUST SEE if you're planning a visit? Well, then, you've come to the right place! My blog is chock full o' Hershey posts because I am a huge fan of the Hershey Resorts, Hersheypark, Chocolate World, Hershey Gardens, Hershey Story Museum...shall I go on? We visit Hershey so much that we actually thought about not going this summer (gasp!). Luckily, Hersheypark offered me free tickets so I could come and experience what's new this season. I'm so glad they did! We discovered so many new and fun things that we would have totally missed out on. So come along on our 'Super Fun Hershey Day Trip,' and see what we discovered at the sweetest place on earth!


Friday, June 23, 2017

Fabulous Frozen Treats to Try This Summer: More Finds from The Fancy Food Show

Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a container of ice cream? Not every container, of course, but many of them (especially the popular brands) contain calcium sulfate and mono and diglycerides to keep them from melting or to keep ice crystals from forming. Just google 'why ice cream doesn't melt' and you'll see what I mean. Well, guess what? I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the FDA approved additives, and I'm ready to pay a little extra for something better. Last month I attended The Fancy Food Show in New York City, and I was able to sample some amazing brands of ice cream and frozen novelties that I think you should know about, too. This isn't a sponsored post, it's just me sharing my thoughts with you because that's how I roll. Read on to hear about some new brands and products worth trying!


Monday, June 19, 2017

New Jersey Boardwalk Bucket List: 10 Boardwalk Treats to Try Before Summer Ends

One of the best things about visiting the Jersey Shore is hitting up one of its many fabulous boardwalks. Rides, games, entertainment, and...food!!  So many snacks, treats and specialties to choose from! Everything just seems to taste better at the shore. So I'm making my own 'Boardwalk Bucket List.' This includes all of the best boardwalk treats to try before summer ends. I realize the list could be infinite, so I've tried to narrow it down to ten of the most scrumptious goodies I could find from boardwalks along the shore. Are you ready?

Friday, June 9, 2017

Father's Day Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Every Dad

Father's Day gift ideas are a piece of cake with my handy dandy gift guide! I've gathered a few of my favorite items for dads right here on the blog, so check it out and find something special for the #1 man in your life.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

End of Year Teacher Gift Ideas: 'Orange You Glad it's Summer?'

Are you searching for an easy end of the year teacher gift?  Do you need ideas for a special teacher gift but you're not sure where to start? Well, look no further! This 'Orange You Glad it's Summer?' gift pack is so easy to make, and it's super-cute, too! All you need is a soda bottle and some goodies and you're all set!


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What is DaVinci Science Center? A Jersey Momma Review

If you love the Liberty Science Center and you're looking for another fun science destination that's not too far outside of New Jersey, you might want to try DaVinci Science Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

BBQ Catering in New Jersey: Back Door BBQ in Ringoes

If you're looking for a good BBQ caterer in New Jersey, look no further. I've got the place for you! You can order your food online, pick it up, or have it delivered. Back Door Catering in Ringoes is my new go-to source for BBQ catering (and other goodies, too). Here's the low-down on what they offer...


Monday, May 29, 2017

Let's Visit Brookhollow's Barnyard in Boonton Township, NJ!

Planning a day trip in New Jersey is easy if you just know where to look! One of our favorite outdoor trips for kids is Brookhollow's Barnyard.  Nestled among the trees in cozy Boonton Township, it's sure to hold fond memories for you, long after your children have grown.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Great Big List of Summer Day Trip Ideas in New Jersey and Beyond!

Looking for Summer day trip ideas in and around New Jersey? I got ya covered!! Here's my great big list of over 100 fun places to visit with your family this Summer, as well as an interactive map to help you find what you're looking for.


Monday, May 22, 2017

A Review of The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

If you're thinking of visiting The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, but you're not sure if it's worth the trip, I'm here to help! There are so many fun things to do in New Jersey, but you know every now and then I like to venture out of state, too. You can see all of the fun places we've visited on my Travel page. Today, we head to The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City, so let me tell you all about it!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Valley Shepherd Creamery Tours: Spring Lambing Tour and More!

There are so many fun things to do in New Jersey. Today we had a chance to visit Valley Shepherd Creamery in Long Valley, New Jersey. Not only were we able to learn how cheese is made, but we were also able to meet the cheesemakers, and hold newborn lambs!!!  Need I say more? So come along and see what it's like to visit this fabulous local creamery, and then schedule a visit of your own.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia: A Jersey Momma Review

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia is a LEGO lover's dream come true! Come read my review of our fun afternoon at the 'ultimate indoor LEGO playground!'


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Simple Little Vanilla Cake Recipe

I was looking for a basic and simple dessert to make for my mom, since she's not a huge fan of heavy frosting or too much chocolate.  When I came across this recipe for a little vanilla cake from SimpleBKitchen, I was so excited!


Friday, May 12, 2017

Finding 'Me Time': Visiting TRU Salon + Spa in Branchburg

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a simple gal.  I consider myself 'hair challenged' and so it's sometimes always in a ponytail (this is my signature look).  I never even blow dry my hair.  I just let it air dry and then I use a flat iron on it.  I wait until the last possible minute to book my hair appointments (which means my roots look like a dark highway through my head), and I have not had a manicure since my wedding day in 2005.  So when the general manager at TRU Salon and Spa, contacted me about their business, I was excited (and scared- I am so not a salon regular!).  She asked if I'd like to visit them and share my experiences with my readers (that's you!).  So I'm going to tell you what it was like for me to give the salon experience a chance, and to visit a local New Jersey business that I truly enjoyed.  I'm also going to tell you why I think 'Me Time' is so important, and how you can find some of your own.