Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce

It's so easy to make your own applesauce, and this recipe is one of my favorites. Not only can you use it as a side dish or for the holidays, but it also makes a great dessert topping on ice cream! Try it yourself and see!


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Creative Gift Ideas for Kids: Chalk of the Town T-Shirts: Plus, Win One of Your Own!

I love sharing fun finds and unique gift ideas. I also love the 'shop small' concept, so I can help support smaller businesses who have great products and services. I was so excited to come across these cool t-shirts by Chalk of the Town during my recent visit to Play Fair in New York City. I had never seen anything quite like them, so I was eager to try them out and see if they were as fun as they appeared. Wait till you see what I found out! Read on to find out how these creative t-shirts work, and enter to win one of your own!


Sunday, November 19, 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 and I paid for their service just like anyone else!! 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.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide: Fun Gift Ideas for Kids of All Ages - Plus, a HOLIDAY TOY GIVEAWAY!

Looking for Christmas gift ideas for kids or family members? Wondering what to get for Hanukkah or the holidays? I've compiled a list of some of the hottest toys, collectibles, and unique items this year, and I'm so excited to share them with you! If you need gift suggestions or you're wondering what the hot items are, The Jersey Momma has you covered! Plus, scroll below to enter my HOLIDAY PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY! You can win some of these toys for your very own! There is a huge Blog Hop link below, too, so join in the fun and hop around to some other blogs and try to win fun prizes.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Review of Hershey Sweet Lights and Hershey's Chocolate World (part 2)

If you haven't had a chance, please check out Part 1 of my two part blog series, Christmas in Hershey.  In Part 1 I talked about Hershey Park's Christmas Candy Lane and The Hotel Hershey. Here in Part 2, I'll talk about Hershey Sweet Lights and Chocolate World, both of which I love. And please note, this is NOT a sponsored post. I did not receive ANYTHING from Hershey, its parks or resorts. I am just sharing my opinion with you, 'cause that's what I do! If you like my Hershey stuff (and I hope you do), be sure to check out my Hershey Insider Page for all of my Hershey posts.

Monday, November 13, 2017

How to Decorate for Thanksgiving: Oreo Turkeys and More!

Last year I hosted Thanksgiving for my family, and I went into full-on Pinterest searching, party planning, decorating crazy mode!  I had Thanksgiving Bingo planned, and a Thankfulness jar complete with questions on paper leaves that everyone had to pass around and answer.  I had goodie bags for every guest and a kiddie table that would make Martha Stewart proud.  So from me, to you, I share my Thanksgiving ideas.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Everyone Matters: A Tribute to a Lost Friend and Operation Christmas Child

In 2015, the blogging community lost a wonderful writer and friend.  Her name was Melissa Matters, and she passed away suddenly at the age of 36, leaving behind two beautiful children, a husband and family.  I never met Melissa personally, but I considered her a colleague, a fellow writer, and an online friend.  I will truly miss her.  She kept a blog about being a mom, and wrote some beautiful posts about her family and children.  Her blog is called Wading Through Motherhood, and I hope you will check it out.

Melissa was an extremely supportive writer.  I met her during our time at Yahoo Contributor Network. She was always quick to comment and share the work and blog posts of others (which means a great deal to any writer).  So in Melissa's honor, I am starting a blogging movement called Everyone Matters.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Easy Turkey-Shaped Lollipops for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so here's a cute, quick way to show some gratitude to your friends and family, or just end your meal with a sweet treat. Turkey lollipops!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

DIY Thanksgiving Turkey Wreath

Thanksgiving crafts for kids are all over Pinterest, but this is one of my favorites! It's so basic and simple, it can even be done as a classroom project with young students. It makes a cute decoration for Thanksgiving and constructing it can keep the little ones occupied on a rainy (or cold!) day. It makes a cute gift for grandparents or teachers, and you can even personalize the turkey by adding a name across the belly or adding a little hat or bow.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Win Tickets to New Jersey Comic Expo! A Fun Family Show, 11/18-11/19

New Jersey Comic Expo was one of my favorite shows of 2016. I've been anxiously waiting for the 2017 show to arrive, and finally, it's almost here! If you're thinking, 'But I don't really like comics...' then read on, because this show is not just about comic books and comics. It's a celebration of fun pop culture icons, movies, artwork, favorite characters, celebrities, toys, and more! Check out all that New Jersey Comic Expo has to offer this year, then enter to win tickets for you and your family below!


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Awesome Painted Pumpkin Ideas from Around the Web

Get those paintbrushes ready!  It's pumpkin decorating season!  I searched the web for some of the coolest painted pumpkin ideas I could find, and here's what I came up with.  I tried to give credit where it's due and link back when possible, so please know that not all of these creations are mine (but the Angry Birds below are ours!).  They certainly inspired me, so maybe they'll inspire you, too.  Happy painting!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A LEGOLAND Theme Park is Coming to New York!

It's official! A LEGOLAND theme park is coming to New York state!

There's been a lot of buzz lately about a LEGOLAND theme park opening in New York state, and today, it became official. Once complete, New Jersey residents will 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

Sunday, October 22, 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.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Play Fair New York: Enter to Win 2 Tickets to the Show!

Play Fair is coming to New York!! What is Play Fair, you ask? According to their latest press release, Play Fair is a public celebration of play and entertainment for all ages. It's an 'immersive, experience-rich event for children, parents, families, and teenage and adult fans.' (So basically, it's great for the whole family!) You'll find 'hands-on exhibits, awe-inspiring displays, dozens of toy and entertainment brands, and never before seen exclusives. Attendees can feel, touch, and take home their favorite toys and games- and be the first to glimpse the toys of tomorrow!' Doesn't that sound like fun? Well, read on to learn even more about the show, then enter to win tickets to Play Fair, too!!


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

10 Easy Halloween Cupcakes That You Can Make Yourself

We're not all cupcake artists, and sometimes it's hard to find the time to decorate a beautiful cupcake for a party or holiday. So I combed the internet for some easy Halloween cupcake decoration ideas, and I've compiled them in a little round-up below!


Monday, October 16, 2017

Enter to Win: Boo! Two A Madea Halloween T-Shirt and Stencil Kit!

It's almost Halloween, and Madea is back! You scurred? Read on to hear about the new movie, Tyler Perry's Boo! Two, A Madea Halloween, in theaters on October 20th. Then enter to win a fun Boo! Two t-shirt and stencil kit of your very own.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fun Halloween Projects: Candy Corn Kids

If you're looking for a fun and easy project for Halloween, look no further!  Candy Corn Kids are easy to make, cute, and make a great decoration in a classroom or home.  Check out my quick tutorial on how to make your own!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October Funko Giveaway! Join the Howl-o-Ween Hop for Fun Prizes!

I've always had a love of Funko items, and I have a shelf full of Funko POP vinyls to prove it! Since The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island are hosting another blog hop, I figured I'd join in the fun! Scroll down to see how you can win this cute Batgirl Dorbz and a Batman mystery mini figure, too! Then enter to win prizes from over 100 other bloggers!  Ya can't beat that.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

10 Things You Didn't Know About The Hotel Hershey: A Jersey Momma Review

Is The Hotel Hershey too fancy for kids? Is it too upscale? Is it too expensive? As a self-proclaimed Hershey, PA expert, people ask me those questions all the time! If you haven't read my in-depth review of the Hershey resorts and attractions, please visit my Hershey Insider Page for answers to many of the common Hershey resort-area questions.  If you have an upcoming trip planned to The Hotel Hershey (or if you were thinking about planning one), I have some fun facts and tips for you in this post, as well!  And chill out, FTC, 'cause this is not a sponsored post! I was not paid or compensated in any way. I just really love Hershey, and I feel like it's my duty to sprinkle magic Hershey dust everywhere I go.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Autumn Review of Sesame Place: The Count's Halloween Spooktacular

Wondering if Sesame Place is right for your child? Looking for tips, suggestions and advice about visiting Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania this Fall? Well, you've come to the right place! Langhorne is not a far ride from New Jersey and is definitely worth seeing if you have little Sesame Street fans at home! And just a note that I was NOT compensated in any way for this post, this is just an honest review of our visit there in the Fall, 'cause that's how I roll.



Thursday, September 21, 2017

Scratch and Sniff Stickers: 80's Flashback!

In honor of Throwback Thursday, I'm sharing my collection of scratch and sniff stickers from the 1980's. Scratch and Sniff stickers will always hold a special place in my heart. Sometimes referred to as 'stinky stickers,' or 'smelly stickers,' the mere sight of them bring back nostalgic memories for so many people. So I thought it would be fun to take a little walk down memory lane and see some of these old scratch and sniff stickers from the 1980's. Want to come along? They're all from my own collection!


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 Stanhope, 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!

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 at 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. 

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! 


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!