The Jersey Momma Year in Review, 2017

Sunday, December 31, 2017
What a year it's been!  I've watched this little blog grow with leaps and bounds, and I am so proud of how far its come. I was able to visit so many fun, family-friendly locations in New Jersey and beyond this year, and it's been a blast sharing them with you! Here's a little review of what I experienced and shared in 2017, and I can't wait to see what's in store for 2018!!


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Winter Boredom Busters for Kids

Thursday, December 28, 2017
Winter can be so much fun for kids, but it can also get boring pretty quickly, especially on sub-zero days when you literally can't go outside. So I've compiled some ideas for indoor winter fun (that don't take too much planning or effort).  Think Spring!


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Easy Overnight Stuffed French Toast

Saturday, December 23, 2017
If you're looking for an easy stuffed french toast recipe, look no further! This is a recipe that I make every Christmas Eve to enjoy Christmas morning, but it's good any time of year and tastes amazing. Plus it's easy, easy, easy! You know I'm all about the ease.


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A Review of Mellisa B Naturally Skin Care Products: Plus, a Coupon Code!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
It's hard to find good skin care products these days, isn't it? Especially if you have sensitive skin or specific needs. Many brands are expensive, and you wind up blowing money on a bunch of products that don't work. So when Mellisa B Naturally contacted me and asked if I wanted to try out some of their products, I was excited to give them a shot (although, admittedly, I was skeptical, too). Mellisa B Naturally is also a New Jersey based company, so I figured if I enjoyed the products, I might feature them in my upcoming Local Business Spotlight Section. Lo and behold, here we are! So read on to hear about these awesome skin care products from New Jersey's own Mellisa B Naturally, and scroll below for a coupon code, and contest, too!


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Santa Lollipops Made with Jolly Ranchers: Great Christmas Candy Gifts!

Thursday, December 7, 2017
Making your own lollipops (or suckers) is not as hard as you think! These Christmas Santa lollipops were not tough at all, and they look adorable when they're finished! All you need are some Jolly Ranchers and a little imagination! Well, and this tutorial. But you get the idea...
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Why I Started The Jersey Momma Blog

Monday, November 27, 2017
Why start a blog? I hear this question often, and many people are curious about how I started the blog and why. My friend over at Theresa's Reviews recently posted an article about why she started her site, and it inspired me to do the same! So here's the story about why I do what I do, and how The Jersey Momma was born.


5 Easy Tips for Winter Car Safety: A Mom's Guide to Car Care

Last February, I had the great pleasure of attending the New York International Auto Show (you can read all about that here). I've always loved cars, even as a child, and visiting this show with my dad was one of my greatest childhood memories. Unfortunately, many of the cars I owned in my life have not loved me back! I had numerous problems with cars over the years, and I've found myself broken down on the side of the road no less than six times (six!! Can you imagine?!). Since then, I've learned some important ways to keep my vehicle in tip-top shape, and some tricks to avoid safety issues in the future. So come along as I show you 5 easy tips for winter car safety. Trust me, I know all the tricks now.


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Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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!


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

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
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!


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

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
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.


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

Thursday, November 2, 2017
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!


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

Monday, October 16, 2017
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.

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

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
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.


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

Sunday, October 8, 2017
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.


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Scratch and Sniff Stickers: 80's Flashback!

Thursday, September 21, 2017
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!


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

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
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!

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Easy Matcha Green Tea Cookies Recipe and Teapot Review

Friday, September 1, 2017
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. 


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I am Groot Giveaway! Sponsored by Disney

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
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!

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

Monday, August 28, 2017
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!

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The Cars from Transformers, Featuring Megatron and Bumblebee at America on Wheels!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
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!! 


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

Sunday, August 20, 2017
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!


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Descendants 2 Giveaway: Prize Pack Sponsored by Disney!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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?


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Make Ahead Vanilla Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Tuesday, August 15, 2017
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. 

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

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
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! 


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Minnie's Happy Helpers Giveaway! sponsored by Disney

Thursday, July 20, 2017
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!


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Design Your Own Jersey Momma Bracelet for a Good Cause!

Thursday, July 13, 2017
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!


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

Wednesday, July 5, 2017
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?


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

Saturday, July 1, 2017
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!

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

Friday, June 23, 2017
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!


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What is DaVinci Science Center? A Jersey Momma Review

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
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.


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BBQ Catering in New Jersey: Back Door BBQ in Ringoes

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
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...


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LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia: A Jersey Momma Review

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
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!'


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Simple Little Vanilla Cake Recipe

Sunday, May 14, 2017
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!


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

Friday, May 12, 2017
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.


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Sticker Swaps Review and an Awesome Coupon Code!

Thursday, May 11, 2017
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!


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Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Monday, May 8, 2017
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!

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The Best Fidget Spinners for Kids

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
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.


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

Monday, May 1, 2017
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.


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Mother's Day Gift Guide: Gifts for Every Mom

Thursday, April 27, 2017
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.


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Let's Visit The Raptor Trust in Millington, NJ

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
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...


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

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
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!


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

Saturday, April 15, 2017
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 Toyota 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.


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Chocolate Chip Pan Cookie Recipe : Spring Peeps Bunny Cookie

Friday, April 7, 2017
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.



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Everyone Matters: 3 Ways to Share Acts of Kindness

Friday, March 31, 2017
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.


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

Thursday, March 23, 2017
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.


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

Monday, March 20, 2017
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!


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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
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!


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

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
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!

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Duck Donuts is Now Open in Green Brook, NJ!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
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.

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DIY Upcycled Starry Night Luminaries

Saturday, February 25, 2017
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.


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