The Jersey Momma Year in Review: 2016

Saturday, December 31, 2016
I know there's all this chatter about how awful 2016 was. As far as celebrity deaths and many world events go, it was terrible. But things on The Jersey Momma page were pretty spectacular this year. I look back at all of the fun we had, all of the places we visited and all of the cool products we tried, and it makes me so proud...yes, I can finally say that...proud. I am proud of this little blog and I hope it brings you as much joy as it brings me. I work very hard to bring you honest, high quality posts. I used to be afraid to say it out loud, but now I will shout it to the world: I'M A BLOGGER! I'M A WRITER! TAKE THAT, 2016!! And in honor of my new found pride, I put together a little year in review post to look back on all the fun. I even made a video! I hope you enjoy it, and that you stick around for the ride in 2017.



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One World Observatory Review: Visiting the Freedom Tower

Sunday, December 25, 2016
The Freedom Tower is a familiar sight to most New Jersey residents. We've watched it being built and slowly jetting into the New York skyline from afar. We've waited for the day that we could step through its doors and feel the awesome power of resilience and pride (mixed with sadness, too). The Jersey Momma's Boy grew up after 9/11, so he never saw the Twin Towers with his own eyes. But he watched the Freedom Tower rise, and we knew one day we would want to bring him there when he was old enough. We finally had the chance to take him to One World Observatory, and what a trip it was! If you're curious what it's like to visit, especially with children, read on!

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Simple Vanilla Muffins

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Here's a delicious, simple muffin recipe that's great for breakfast, brunch or even dessert! Simple Vanilla Muffins are one of my favorite treats to bake!

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Easy Handmade DIY Suncatchers

Sunday, December 11, 2016
I'm always on the lookout for EASY craft projects to do, especially ones that can double as gifts. I came across these suncatchers in the art room of The Jersey Momma's Boy's school. We were meeting there for cub scouts and I happened to see this awesome project on the sidelines that the teacher was working on (I'm sorry, Mrs. E, I didn't mean to snoop in  your stuff! I just couldn't help but notice how pretty they were!)  If you want to make them, too, all you need to do is follow these THREE easy steps (yup, that's it!).


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Creamy, Dreamy Easy Rice Pudding

Friday, December 9, 2016
I grew up with homemade rice pudding, although I can't remember exactly who made it. Isn't that sad? I thought it was my grandmother but my mom thinks it was our wonderful old neighbor, Marie. All I remember is a yellow tupperware bowl, and swirling my spoon around that creamy goodness! I searched the internet for a recipe similar to the one I remember as a child, and this was the closest I could find. And it's not hard to make, so come and try it! There's even a printable version at the end of this post.


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Staying at The Hotel Hershey: Woodside Cottages Review

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
If you're familiar with Hershey, Pennsylvania, you probably know about the beautiful Hotel Hershey, located just minutes from Hersheypark. But have you ever heard of The Woodside Cottages at The Hotel Hershey? We've been visiting Hershey for years and we always wondered what the cottages were like. They sit behind the hotel, essentially in their own little neighborhood. Well, we finally had a chance to experience them ourselves, and I'm so excited to tell you all about them! This is not a sponsored post (just an honest opinion, from me to you, so read on)!

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Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Gift Ideas for All Ages

Monday, November 28, 2016
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Seriously, though, it is wonderful and you shouldn't be stressing about gifts. Every year I like to gather gift ideas that are suitable for all ages, so check out these cool finds from all around the web, and don't sweat the small stuff!

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Easy Chocolate Marshmallow Bites for Picture Book Month : Celebrating Matthew Cordell

Wednesday, November 23, 2016
November is Picture Book Month, and I am a proud ambassador for this wonderful cause. Last year I made pupcakes to recognize the adorable work of Stephen Shaskan, and a few weeks ago we made easy, 2 ingredient dog biscuits to go along with the beloved Biscuit the Puppy books by Alyssa Satin Capucilli.  So, what's next, you ask? Why, the adorable work of Matthew Cordell, of course! Matthew Cordell is an author/illustrator of many books for children. His illustrations in the book, If You Were a Chocolate Mustache inspired us to create these easy, chocolate marshmallow bites!


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Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Unique Gifts for All Ages

Sunday, November 20, 2016
If you're searching for some fun and unique gifts for those lucky loved ones on your list, then you've come to the right place!  I've gathered some super picks for all ages, so browse through and see what you can find. Oh, and some of these choices contain affiliate links (those from Amazon and Lego), but as I always say, I would never recommend something to you that I didn't totally love myself.  That's not how I roll!  So, without further ado, here are my top funky gift choices for the holiday season.


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The New Jersey Comic Expo: Fun for Everyone!

Saturday, November 19, 2016
I had the great pleasure of attending the New Jersey Comic Expo this weekend, and it was SO much fun! Family-friendly, unique and inviting, there's something for everyone at this event!

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Disney's Moana Recipes: Jello Treats and Free Printables!

Thursday, November 17, 2016
Disney's Moana is one of my favorite movies of all time. I am also a huge fan of The Rock, so I'm happy to help promote for him with this fun post. I'm your gal, Dwayne!  Anyway, I digress. In honor of the new movie Moana, I've come up with a fun little recipe to enjoy, and there are even some cute coloring sheets for you to print out, too!


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LEMYKA Skincare for Sensitive Skin : A Jersey Momma Review

Thursday, October 13, 2016
Being a blogger comes with some perks, and one of them is trying new products and telling you what I think about them. The nice people at LEMYKA Skincare contacted me to see if I would be willing to test their lotions and washes, so I thought, why not? The Jersey Momma's Boy has very sensitive skin, and I, myself, have very dry skin, so I was pleasantly surprised to see just how well LEMYKA'S products worked for us. If you're looking for a high quality, natural, organic solution for skincare, then read on to see what LEMYKA is all about!


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No Crowd Day Trips: Visiting Merrill Creek Reservoir

Monday, September 12, 2016
I love spending time with my family.  Strike that, I cherish it.  And truly, it doesn't matter where you go to spend quality time with the ones you love.  You don't have to be at an expensive museum or a crowded orchard festival (check out my blog on alternative things to do in the Fall).  A lot of times we forget that there are simple family things we can do together, too.  This is not to say that I don't still enjoy a good day trip (I'm the Jersey Momma, after all, it's what I do, man!), but I also know that my son doesn't need to be entertained all the time.  We take day trips and visit cool places because we like to.  Not because we're supposed to.  So this time, let's take a no-crowd day trip.  Let's visit Merrill Creek!


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Fancy Food Show Spotlight on: Bakerly (and a Giveaway)!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016
I've been talking about my visit to The Fancy Food Show in New York for months now. There are so many great products out there, and so many yummy things to tell you about! I keep writing about them not because someone paid me to, but because I want to share them with you. Haven't you ever tried something and wanted to tell your friends all about it? Well, that's how I feel about some of the great brands I've tried. I'm so happy to see new choices out there, ones that are better choices for my family, offering no preservatives, no additives, no GMO's. One of them in particular is called Bakerly. Read all about them in today's post, and don't forget to enter my contest to win some free Bakerly products of your own!


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Fancy Food Show Spotlight on Traina Foods Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup!

Monday, August 1, 2016
A few months ago, I attended The Fancy Food Show at The Javits Center in New York, and I haven't stopped talking about it since! There were so many wonderful foods to try, and so many things I vowed to share with my readers because I think you would love them, too. I've been highlighting some of my favorites and hope to do so for the next few months. Today I want to tell you about Traina Foods. And no, this is not a sponsored post or an ad, it's just something cool that I want to share with you because I think you'll like it.

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DIY: Nutter Butter Ice Cream Cone Cookies

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
If you're looking for a fun dessert to bring to a barbecue but can't spend hours in the kitchen baking up treats from scratch, The Nutter Butter Ice Cream Cone Cookie is a sure hit!


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Japan Fun Box: What's Inside?

Friday, July 15, 2016
Everyone knows I love subscription boxes. I love the prospect of getting a treat every month in the mailbox, and the idea of it kind of being a surprise is even better, since the box contents change each month. I also love Japanese culture- anything kawaii (Japanese for 'cute') and interesting Japanese candies and foods. So when the polite and friendly folks at Japan Fun Box asked if I would review one of their subscription boxes, I said OF COURSE!
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Let's Visit Bluebird Farm Alpacas in Peapack, NJ!

Monday, April 18, 2016
New Jersey is filled with such beautiful farmland and farm experiences. You can pick your own fruits and vegetables, go on hayrides or explore corn mazes. There are flower farms and herb farms, farms with animals and farms with honeybees. But did you know you can visit a farm and meet adorable, fluffy alpacas, too? Bluebird Farm Alpacas in Peapack, New Jersey, is the perfect place to bring your family and children. Don't have kids? There's a place for you, too, at Bluebird Farm Alpacas. Trust me!  Read on and you'll see what I mean...

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What is The Hershey Story Museum? A Jersey Momma Review

Sunday, April 10, 2016
I am a huge fan of Hershey.  It's no secret that I love Hershey Park and the Hershey Lodge. I am a frequent guest of The Hotel Hershey, and Hershey Gardens is one of my favorite places. In fact, out of all of our trips to Hershey (and there have been many) one of the only places I hadn't visited was The Hershey Story Museum.  Until now! Come visit with me!


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The LEGO Americana Roadshow Review: Fun for All Ages

Saturday, April 2, 2016
The LEGO Americana Roadshow is here! New Jersey is in for a treat because The LEGO Americana Roadshow debuts at Bridgewater Commons Mall in Bridgewater this week. What is The LEGO Americana Roadshow, you ask? Well, LEGO fans, rejoice! This is a show you won't want to miss. And guess what? It's free!


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Best Playgrounds: Kids Castle, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
I love talking to other families about their favorite playgrounds.  My cousin lives in Doylestown and she had been asking us to come visit an awesome playground in her town, aptly named, Kids Castle.  If  you have ever been to Kids Street in Bridgewater, it is similar.  It was about an hour drive from where we live in Central New Jersey, but it was a fun day trip and worth visiting on such a sunny day!

Certainly a castle for kids!

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Let's Visit Hershey Gardens: A Jersey Momma Review

Thursday, March 24, 2016
Have you ever been to Hershey Gardens? Sure, you know Hersheypark and Hershey's Chocolate World, but you're truly missing out if you visit Hershey, Pennsylvania and skip seeing Hershey Gardens. What is Hershey Gardens? It's certainly more than just a garden! Read on and see!


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The LEGO Americana Roadshow in Bridgewater, NJ!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
The LEGO Americana Roadshow visited the Bridgewater Commons Mall in Bridgewater, New Jersey! Large scale LEGO models were on display, and guests could participate in free building activities. This all took place in 2016, and you cam scroll below to see what the show was like.

photo courtesy of LEGO Americana Roadshow

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Creative Uses for Colored Chalk

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Looking for some creative uses for all of that colored chalk you've gathered over the years? We've found sooooo many creative uses for chalk, so we thought we'd share some with you. 

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Minecraft Comics for Kids - Plus, Minecraft Books and Crafts, too!

Monday, March 14, 2016
Minecraft can be all-consuming for kids. I'm a gamer myself so I know that too much gaming is just no good. You've got to find a healthy balance! So I discovered some great Minecraft books for The Jersey Momma's Boy to read outside of his gaming, and then we even created some cool Minecraft Shrinky Dinks, too. Reading was such a big hit that we even reviewed some more Minecraft books and hosted a giveaway on my Facebook page.  So what haven't we covered yet?  How about Minecraft Comic Books?


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The Big Apple Circus: General Show Review

Friday, February 19, 2016
The Big Apple Circus is in town!!  How can you not be excited when you see this?
The Big Apple Circus at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater
If you haven't had a chance to attend a Big Apple Circus Show, read on to see what all the fuss is about! And guess what? This is not a sponsored post! Just my complete and honest personal opinion.

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Kid Cash Review: Teaching Children to Manage Their Behavior and Their Money!

Thursday, February 18, 2016
Have you ever heard of KidCash? Sounds intriguing, right? I know so many parents who have tried behavior modification charts, chore charts and allowances with no real success in helping to manage their child's behavior. KidCash is actually more than a behavior modification system. It's more like a reward system where kids can also learn about money, banking, self-discipline and patience. Read on to see how KidCash worked for us. Then enter my raffle to win a KidCash set of your own!

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How to Make Salt Dough Memory Stones DIY: Easy Crafts for Kids

Saturday, February 13, 2016
Salt Dough Memory Stones are easy to create and make great gifts for teachers, friends, and loved ones. My mom, The Jersey Grammy, has a birthday coming up, and we wanted to make her a beautiful personalized stepping stone for her garden. But Michael's did not have the kit I wanted, so I wound up buying the cheaper version, which was all they had. That resulted in, not one, but two failed garden stones. What a waste of time and money! After that fiasco, I thought, let's try to make our own memory stones. Obviously, these can't go outside in the garden, but here's what we came up with...


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Sweet Treat Gift Ideas

Friday, February 12, 2016
I recently came across a cool site called Chocolate.org that offered some neat ideas for people who have a sweet tooth as big as their heart. Such great gift ideas here!



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How to Make No-Sew Sock Puppets

Thursday, February 11, 2016
I always wondered how to make no-sew sock puppets because I can't sew. I am seriously sewing challenged! Years ago in my classroom, we made sock 'poppets' for Colonial Day, using rubber bands and newspaper for stuffing. I wanted to make something similar to this with The Jersey Momma's Boy, so I set forth on my usual internet search-fest. That's when I came across Danielle's Place, an adorable site with tons of tutorials for no-sew sock animals and plushies. So here's one we made with inspiration from her site. Meet Fritz, our no-sew sock puppy!

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What to Send Besides Flowers: Reviewing Gardenia's Fire

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Gardenia's Fire is certainly in a class by itself! Because what do you send someone as a gift besides flowers these days?  Have you noticed that choices are limited? It's either flowers, fruit, gift baskets or cookies. Sigh. If only there was something unique out there to send someone as a birthday gift, a thank you present, a Valentine's Day surprise...well, now there is!



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Let's Visit Chick-fil-A Flemington!

It's about time! Chick-fil-A has opened in Flemington, NJ! I have loved Chick-fil-A for years, ever since visiting them on family vacations to Florida. The food was always good, and I was sad that we didn't have them here in New Jersey.Well, times they are a changin', and Chick-fil-A's have finally made their way further north! The latest addition to our community can be found in Flemington, New Jersey. Take a look!

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Let's Visit The Paint Party Studio in Flemington, NJ!: A Jersey Momma Review

Sunday, January 24, 2016
The Paint Party Studio in Flemington is my new happy place. Really! I consider myself a creative person, even artsy if you will, but I am not good with paint. I've never been good with a canvas, and it's not usually my first choice of medium when expressing my creativity. So I admit I was skeptical about attending a paint party. I'd seen photos of friends attending paint parties- all of them drinking wine, smiling, holding canvases of their work, but I had never gone to one myself.  And then along came Eileen of The Paint Party Studio in Flemington, and she graciously invited me to come visit her studio and try it out for myself. Skeptics, take note:  I had a blast!!! If you've ever wondered what a paint party is all about, let me fill you in.

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Fun Apps for Kids

Monday, January 4, 2016
A while back, I published my favorite educational apps for kids. That post was a huge success, and many readers asked me for more suggestions! I decided this time around to publish my favorite fun apps for kids, not just focusing on the educational aspect (although I do feel some of these apps have educational benefits). So here are my picks for the best fun apps for kids! These are great for ages 5 and up, depending on your child's skill level. Most are available on both iOS and Android devices, unless otherwise stated.


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Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 2, 2016
Happy New Year from The Jersey Momma! 

2015 was so much fun. We did so much and visited so many fun places. We met great new friends and tried out some cool new products. I hope you'll stick around for the ride in 2016!

One thing to look forward to? This year I'll be visiting the TOY FAIR in NEW YORK CITY! I can't wait to see all of the cool, new toys for 2016!!  Don't worry, I'll tell you all about them!


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