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!


Friday, March 10, 2017

Make Your Own Peeps Houses: More Fun with Peeps

Wondering what to do with Peeps besides eat them? Peeps houses are one of our favorite Spring projects! Check out how we made them in these easy steps!


Thursday, March 9, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Crafts: Simple Shamrock Angels

Here's a quick and easy St. Patrick's Day craft that anyone can do. I used to make these paper shamrock angels (also called Leprechaun Angels!) in my classroom and they looked so cute 'flying' around the windows. They don't take much time and you don't need many supplies.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Make Your Own Smurfs Village Recipe - Plus, Smurfs: The Lost Village Movie Giveaway Fun!

I grew up watching The Smurfs in the 1980's, so I'm excited about the new Smurfs movie by Sony Pictures opening April 7th nationwide. Smurfs: The Lost Village promises to be a smurfin' good time for the whole family! Read on to hear more about the film, and see my recipe for your very own edible Smurfs village. But wait, there's more!  Enter to win your very own SMURFS SWAG! Cool, right? Your Smurfs Swag will include lots of cool goodies from the movie, including a t-shirt, bookmark, planter, activity pages, and tattoos. Read on and don't miss the fun!

Monday, March 6, 2017

How to Make Rainbow Cupcakes: A DIY Tutorial

If  you're wondering how to make rainbow cupcakes, you've come to the right place! I've been experimenting with this for a while now and I think I've finally come up with the best combinations of colors and methods. It's not as hard as you think!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

10 Fun Spring Day Trips in New Jersey (Pennsylvania and New York, too!)

What are the best Spring Day Trips to take in New Jersey? Some of them might be right around the corner from where you live! Check out this list of the best places to visit in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York during the Spring season, and get outdoors!


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

RAK Rabbit: A Random Acts of Kindness Review and Giveaway!

If you're looking for ways to spread Random Acts of Kindness, look no further! While visiting Toy Fair New York last month, I came across this adorable little bunny named RAK Rabbit. Isn't he cute? He has such a wonderful message to share, and he can help your children spread Random Acts of Kindness! Read on to learn more about him, and see how you can win a RAK Rabbit of your very own!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Easy Dr. Seuss Inspired Cupcakes for Read Across America Day

If you need easy, quick cupcakes for Read Across America Day or a Dr. Seuss inspired theme party, I've got just the recipe for you! Do they remind you of Thing 1 and Thing 2? I hope so!


Duck Donuts is Now Open in Green Brook, NJ!

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am that Duck Donuts is finally here in Central New Jersey! You might have heard of them before (there are two other locations in New Jersey, including Avalon and Middletown), but this Duck Donuts is a first for Green Brook. Duck Donuts promises to deliver fresh, hot donuts in a family friendly atmosphere.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Dr. Seuss Day Games for Read Across America: Yertle the Turtle Stacking Game

Looking for a fun Dr. Seuss game to play for your Read Across America celebration? This one involves the book, Yertle the Turtle, one of our favorite Dr. Seuss stories. It's a fun stacking game for any age! If you're not too keen on making the game yourself, then scroll to the end of the post for a short cut!


Saturday, February 25, 2017

DIY Upcycled Starry Night Luminaries

Being a member of the Chick-fil-A Moms Panel has been quite an adventure! Last month they asked us to create a cell phone coop to encourage family dinner time. This month, they asked us to try their delicious chicken tortilla soup, then upcycle the container into something useful. I love these little containers and I usually save ones like it for Lego construction (you need a place to put those pieces as you build, after all). But I wanted to make something really unique with this one. Thanks to an unusually warm February evening full of stars here in New Jersey, this idea popped into my head.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dr. Seuss Party Games for Read Across America: Easy Ring Toss

Each year I search for fun games to play during our Dr. Seuss Read Across America party. You might have read about my Yertle the Turtle Stacking Game, remember? This year I threw together a character ring toss. Draw or print out your images and then stick them on colored cones (I used clear packing tape). A few rings and you're good to go!


Monday, February 20, 2017

15 Fun Finds from Toy Fair 2017

Toy Fair New York was everything I dreamed of and more. I walked through oceans of adorable stuffed animals and hugged life-sized versions of my favorite characters. I saw stickers, toys, electronics, educational games, collectibles and prototypes. I learned so much about the world of toys! So what should I do with all of this new and wonderful information? Share it with you, of course!!  Here are 15 of the coolest, most awesome finds from Toy Fair 2017.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Make Your Own Spin Art T-Shirts (Great for Field Day!)

You might have seen my post about creating your own Spin Art, and just how easy it really is. One of the other things I like about the whole project is that it's portable, so you can literally do your spin art anywhere! That came in super handy when I decided to make our own Spin Art t-shirts for an upcoming event at my son's school.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Minecraft Projects for Kids: DIY Minecraft Shrinky Dinks

The Jersey Momma's Boy could play Minecraft for hours if I let him. I'm a gamer, too, and I really like Minecraft, but I have my limits! I recently lured him away from the screen with a hands-on Minecraft activity. Do it Yourself Minecraft Shrinky Dinks! What's more enticing than that??


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Easy Oreo Penguin Cookies for Valentine's Day!

I didn't plan my Valentine's Day dessert menu very well this year. Valentine's Day is only a few days away and I don't have the energy to whip up a cool cake or cupcakes at the last minute. But these simple Oreo penguin cookies were easy enough, and they sure do look cute on a plate!


Thursday, February 2, 2017

DIY Valentine Milk Jug Card Carrier: Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids

One of my favorite holidays to celebrate as a teacher was Valentine's Day. I used to have my students make adorable teddy bear card holders so that they had a place to put their cards and an easy way to bring them home. Plus, this was a project they could easily do in school (or even at home) without much mess or hassle. They look adorable all lined up and can hold a large number of valentines and trinkets. Here's an easy tutorial on how to make them. And scroll below for free pdf printables of the bear and heart patterns!


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Easy Three Ingredient Chili Cheese Dip Recipe

If you're looking for a quick and easy dip for Super Bowl or any time of year, check out this yummy three ingredient chili cheese dip! It is one of the best dip recipes around, and SO SIMPLE to make. You need three (yes, three!) key ingredients, and some Tostitos.  That's IT!! I try to always keep these ingredients on hand in case I need a dip for guests or parties. So here it is...behold! The Chili Cheese Dip Recipe! 


Monday, January 30, 2017

A Review of The Other Tales: Adventure Escape Rooms in New Jersey

Have you ever heard of Escape Rooms? Although it sounds like something to be frightened of, they've been all the rage in Europe for years, and are gaining popularity in our country at a rapid pace. So, what is  an Escape Room? Do you really get locked in? Is it scary? Is it difficult? What if you don't escape? Relax, people, I've got you covered!  Come with me as I visit The Other Tales Escape Rooms in Hawthorne, New Jersey, a family-friendly adventure room that is sure to leave you smiling. I'll do my best to explain the concept of escape rooms and The Other Tales without giving too much away (no spoilers, I swear!).

Friday, January 27, 2017

Free Home Depot Workshops for Kids!

A few weeks ago I posted a link on my Facebook page to the latest Home Depot Workshop for kids. Home Depot's workshops are completely free. I mean, really, I've said it before and I will say it again- ya can't beat free!!!  *Note, Lowe's Home Improvement Stores also offered these workshops for kids but ceased offering them in December of 2016. Boo, Lowe's!  Read on for links to Home Depot's fabulous workshops and what you'll experience there.