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

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

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.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sticker Swaps Review and an Awesome Coupon Code!

Are you a sticker lover like me? I still have all of my sticker books from the 1980's, and I even wrote about my obsession with scratch and sniff stickers here on the blog. Then there was the post about my Magic Sticker Box (and why you should make one, too) . So I was very excited when the chaps from Sticker Swaps asked if I wanted to review one of their sticker packs. Take a look at the cool stuff they sent me!


9 Exciting Snacks to Liven Up Your Lunchbox: Highlights from the Fancy Food Show

Are you looking for some new ideas for snacks or lunchbox treats? Wondering what to pack in your bag for a long trip or an afternoon playdate? Well, you've come to the right place. Snacks are a thing in this house. The Jersey Momma's Boy would live on snacks alone if he could (actually, he might just be living on snacks alone, now that I think about it), so I am always on the lookout for healthier snacks or better-for-you treats. I was so excited to attend the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York last week. This event features amazing food vendors from all around the world. I was able to sample so many tasty treats and meet some wonderful people who wanted to introduce me to their products. So here are some of my picks from the show (and you know how I roll, right? No one paid me for this- these are my honest opinions on what tasted really, really good). Onward!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day gift ideas are more challenging every year, aren't they? What does one get for the mom who has everything? If you're having trouble finding a gift for that wonderful mom of yours, check out my list of ideas to honor the best lady in your life!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Best Fidget Spinners for Kids

What are fidget spinners? They're all the rage here in New Jersey. Fidgets are basically little stress-relieving tools that fit in the palm of your hand. Most are flat but they come in a variety of shapes- cubes, stars, even flowers. I never thought I'd jump on the fidgets bandwagon, because they do seem like a fad that will come and go quickly (don't they all?). But The Jersey Momma's Boy kept asking if he could have one, so when I saw them at my local Huggables Hallmark store, I picked one up for him. I was surprised at how this little toy actually did help him, even though he just wanted it because everyone else had one.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Handmade Mother's Day Gifts for Kids: Crafts Anyone Can Make!

Mother's Day is just around the corner, so I've compiled some of my best project ideas together in one post, just in case you're at a loss for ideas this year (I know I am!).  My mom is such an amazing mom and such an awesome grammy to The Jersey Momma's Boy.  She really appreciates special gifts from him, especially handmade goodies. So whether you are looking for a gift for your own mom, your wife, a grandma or a friend, here are some ideas to get you and the kiddos started.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Gifts for Every Mom

Last year I published some fun ideas for Mother's Day gifts. Most of them were experience gifts (and I still highly recommend those!) so this year I thought I'd add in some more tangible items for moms, too. Here are some fun suggestions for Mother's Day gifts that won't break the bank! There's a little something for every type of mom here.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Quick and Easy Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Teacher Appreciation Week is upon us, and being a former teacher myself, I can tell you that this week does mean a lot for teachers.  Well, at least it did for me.  So if your child has a great teacher and you want to show them a little love, here are some quick goodies you can put together in a flash.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Minecraft Books for Kids : Inspiring Reluctant Readers

Minecraft has truly taken the world by storm, and there's no better way to inspire young readers than with subjects they love. But if you search any book site for Minecraft fiction, your choices are a bit overwhelming! So I've narrowed down some of the best Minecraft series we've read so far (and believe me, we've read many over here). I've also included Amazon affiliate links throughout, in case you'd like to purchase some of them yourself (you can read about my affiliate connection on my disclosure page). If you like this post, you can also read my other reviews,  More Minecraft Books for Kids: Diary of a Minecraft Zombie and Minecraft Comics for Kids.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Fun and Easy Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is the perfect chance to honor our beautiful planet! Here are some fun and easy ways to celebrate Earth Day with your family. Many thanks to all of the bloggers who contributed to this fabulous round-up!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Let's Visit The Raptor Trust in Millington, NJ

Are you looking for a fun outdoor day trip in New Jersey? We love, love LOVE  taking mini day trips around here, especially ones that don't cost us much (or anything at all).  One of our favorite places to visit (which is often overlooked, in my opinion) is The Raptor Trust in Millington, NJ.  It is no secret that I am a certified 'bird nerd.'  I can tell you what kind of bird is nearby just from hearing its song (who knew, right?).  I keep binoculars on my kitchen table in case a bird watching moment appears.  I have a hummingbird feeder and I actually cook the nectar myself (well, it's just sugar and water, but I cook it with love!).  I could go on and on, but I don't want you to start getting frightened about how weird I am.  Anyway...


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Enter to Win a Tropical Vacation from SOUR PATCH Kids! Ends 5/31

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #spktropicalsweepstakes #CollectiveBias

Ah, Summer! There's nothin' finer! Are you dreaming of a tropical getaway in the sun? Well, guess what? SOUR PATCH Kids is offering you a chance to win a trip for four to Hawaii! YEAH!!  Read on for details, and hear all about their new tropical flavors!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

The New York International Auto Show Rocks! (and here's why)

You don't need to be a car enthusiast to enjoy The New York International Auto Show. Contrary to what people believe, you don't have to be a car lover and it's not just for men (or 'dudes,' as I like to say). I used to visit the auto show every year as a little girl, and it became a special tradition for our family. I like cars but I don't love them. I drive an old SUV from 2007 (but I do love her and I even named her Kea Lani). You won't find posters of cars all over my room and I don't read every issue of Car and Driver (nothing against them, though, it's a great magazine). I don't know the difference between engines and models and torque. But I do know that the New York International Auto Show is just plain cool. If you've attended in the past, then you already know this, too. But if you're contemplating visiting or wondering if you should take the family, let me explain to you what makes this show so special.


Monday, April 10, 2017

The Great Big List of Spring Break DayTrips (in New Jersey and Beyond!)

Planning a staycation for Spring Break this year? Wondering where to visit in the wonderful state of New Jersey (and its surrounding areas)? Well, here's a list of over 50 of the best New Jersey day trips, as well as an interactive map to help you find them.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Chocolate Chip Pan Cookie Recipe : Spring Peeps Bunny Cookie

Peeps are so cute that I tend to enjoy them even after Easter.  I bought an adorable Peeps bunny cookie pan from Candyland Crafts in Somerville (if  you live in Jersey, you must go visit them!) but then I got sick right around Easter time and I never had the chance to use it.  Never one to let a good, adorable cookie pan go to waste, I made a Spring bunny cookie for myself The Jersey Momma's Boy after the holiday.



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Awesome Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas

Are you on the hunt for Easter basket items? Looking for some new ideas instead of candy this year? I have some fun finds for you, and they won't cause cavities!


Friday, March 31, 2017

Everyone Matters: 3 Ways to Share Acts of Kindness

Every March I pay tribute to some very special people who touched my life. I hope you'll read this quick post about how you can help spread kindness in the world, as well honor the people who meant so much to you.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Let's Visit Diggerland USA in West Berlin, New Jersey: A Jersey Momma Review

I've been wanting to see Diggerland USA since it opened in 2014, and I'm happy to say that we finally had a chance to visit! I hope you'll join me for this honest review of the ONLY construction themed adventure park in all of North America!  It really was quite a unique and entertaining place. I can't wait to tell you all about it. Oh, and don't forget, my posts are designed for easy reading. There might be a lot of information here, but you can scroll to find what you need under each bold heading.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Easter Egg Hunts and Activities in New Jersey (PA and MD, too!) with Interactive Map

Easter is almost here! If you're wondering where the best Easter egg hunts and Easter activities are in New Jersey, look no further! I've teamed up with Been There Done That With Kids again to bring you an interactive map of the best Easter activities in New Jersey (as well as Pennsylvania and Maryland, too!). Check out our interactive map, complete with website links and zoom in/out features!


I See Me! Book Review and Giveaway: Win a Personalized Book of Your Own!

It's always tough to think of birthday gift ideas, especially as kids get older. There are only so many toys you can buy! That's why I was excited when I See Me! reached out and asked if I would like to review one of their products. They sell a variety of personalized items, from books to lunch totes, puzzles, growth charts and more! Wait till you see the beautiful, personalized book they sent me. And guess what? They offered to give a book of choice to one of my readers, too! So be sure to enter my contest at the end of this post to win your very own personalized book from I See Me! Books.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Is a Legoland Theme Park Coming to New York?

There's been a lot of buzz lately about a proposed Legoland theme park opening in New York state. If that's true, 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

Fun with Peeps: Peeps Jousting!

I love when Spring rolls around and all of those colorful Peeps start hitting the market. They're just so bright and cute- I'm always looking for fun things to do with them. I was so excited to hear about Peeps Jousting, and so was The Jersey Momma's Boy. This is a fun activity that doesn't require much time or mess. Give it a try, you're sure to wind up laughing!

How to Make Peeps Popcorn: More Fun with Peeps

Spring is here, so what to do with all of those Peeps? If you've read my last two posts about Peeps Jousting and Make Your Own Peeps Houses, then you know I love playing with Peeps! I mostly like decorating with them and using them for projects, but this recipe for Peeps Popcorn is actually pretty yummy. And if you need any Peeps supplies, you can check out my handy affiliate link at the bottom of this post.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Win a Prize Pack from the Movie, 'Gifted' in Theaters 4/7!

I'm proud to help promote the new movie, Gifted, which debuts in theaters on April 7th! As a former educator, I love movies that focus on children and the talents they possess. Gifted is all about an amazing little girl and the lives she touches. Read on to learn more about the movie, and see how you can win a Gifted prize pack!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How to Make Rainbow Rice Sensory Bins

Sensory bins are one of the best things about childhood. What better way than to promote creative play and independent discovery? There are some amazing ideas for sensory tables/bins all over Pinterest, and when The Jersey Momma's Boy was about 2 or 3, I would change up the sensory bins every few weeks for him. He's a little too old for them now, but he still enjoys playing with the rainbow rice. Because, well, let's face it, it's cool. Rainbow rice is perfect for St. Patrick's Day or any old time of year. And don't worry, it's not as hard to make as you think!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Build a Better Easter Basket: Egg Filling Ideas, Gifts and More!

Coming up with ideas for your child's Easter basket can be challenging. Sounds silly, but it's true. The Easter Bunny needs to step up his game year after year! So I thought I'd search around for some fun finds to help you build a better Easter basket this year. Take a look at what I've come up with!