Google Dollops of Diane

Monday, March 2, 2015

Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt Pearls: Yum!

If you're a regular reader or know me in real life, then you know that I have a major sweet tooth. I try my hardest to balance a LOVE of sugary treats with enough exercise and healthy choices to stay moderately fit. Some days are easier than others! Given my love of sweets and desire to fit into my jeans after this LONG winter (they're getting tight!), I was excited to try new Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt Pearls. The pearls are scoops of Stonyfield delicious, organic frozen yogurt wrapped in an all natural fruit coating. So what does that mean for you? It means you can pop these yummy bites right in your mouth without even needing a spoon!

Stonyfield is always working to reduce packaging and striving towards a truly sustainable package. Thanks to WikiPearl Science, this dream is now that much more attainable. WikiPearl and Stonyfield were named as one of TIME Magazine's Top 25 Inventions of 2014!

 The Frozen Yogurt Pearls come in 4 decadent flavors:
  • Strawberry and Vanilla
  • Strawberry and Chocolate
  • Coconut and Chocolate
  • Peach and Vanilla
The kids and I gladly sampled the strawberry and peach flavors. We saved the coconut for my husband since coconut is one of the few flavors that I can just never get behind. The consensus was thumbs up all around.

I liked that they were tasty and easy to eat. Coming in at just around 20 calories per Pearl you won't feel bad about eating them. They give you the fix you need without destroying the hard work you've been doing to stay (or become!) healthy.

Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt Pearls are available across New England at Whole Foods Markets in the freezer section.

You can click HERE to print a coupon to get two packs of Pearls for $6.

*Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with Stonyfield. As a YoGetter Ambassador,
 at times I receive free product and/or compensation. As always, all opinions are my own. Photos courtesy of Stonyfield.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Life Is Never The Same Once Your Mom Dies

Six years ago today, my mom passed away. I think of her frequently, although honestly, probably not as much as I used to. Time passes and life moves on. You start living a new life where you remember that she's gone. You don't immediately think it's her anymore when your phone rings - You know it can't be. No matter what though, life is never the same once your mom dies.

Your home is not the same. They say home is where the heart is but really I think it's home is where your mom is. Although, you might visit her home after she's gone it's never the same. There is an emptiness that exists that seems to be jumping out from the walls. 

The birth of your final baby is not the same. As you hold him in the hospital minutes after his birth, all you will wish for is that your mom could be there to meet him. His first crawl and his first steps wont be the same either because she'll never be there to see them.

Your children's concerts, plays, and graduations are not the same. As you sit watching them you will see all the other grandparents in attendance and wish so much that your mom could be there to see them. You know she would beam with pride at her grandchildren - If only she had gotten the chance to see them grow.

Your birthday is not the same. Although you may be surrounded by friends and family that you love, you'll think of her. You'll think of her XX years ago sitting in her own hospital bed holding you. You'll wish that you could tell her what a great mom she was and how you are the person you are today because of her.

Holidays are not the same. She won't be there to see your children search for Easter Eggs. She won't be there to hand out Halloween candy with you. She won't be there to open your Christmas present. All of those things won't go unnoticed.

Television and movies are not the same. You'll see movies you watched together and wish you could watch them one more time with her. You'll see shows that she loved and you couldn't stand. You'll wish that you gave in more frequently and watched them with her because spending more time with you was all she really wanted.

Food is never the same. Your favorite meals will remind you of the times you shared them with her - and how you never will again. You'll never be able to eat her favorite snacks without a flood of thoughts about her.

These reminders of your mom are often welcomed. They might make you smile or laugh. However, some days they just make you ache. They remind you of the hole in your heart that will never be filled.

Six years ago today my mom died and life has never been the same.

My mom and Isabelle (Easter 2008)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Brothers Marketplace: Eat, Drink...Be Local!

This morning, I had the opportunity to attend an intimate blogging event at Brothers Marketplace in Medfield. Now to be honest, I knew pretty much nothing about Brothers Marketplace before today. The only thing I knew was that they are owned by Roche Bros so I envisioned that I would be going to a small cafe/market inside a Roche Bros. Nope, I was totally wrong. Brothers Marketplace is a gorgeous, stand alone, neighborhood market that is chock full of goodness.

We started off with a tour where we oogled and drooled over the prepared food section. All of the food is made fresh and in house. Some of the ones jumping out at me were the Eggplant Parmesan and the Maple BBQ Turkey Meatloaf. They also have a bacon guacamole panini that made my heart go aflutter. I can't wait to go back and try them (all) someday (soon).

We then headed over to the flower and produce section. Like with all departments in the store, they focus on providing goods from local farmers and producers so that the products are fresh, fresh, fresh! They also use minimal packaging on their fruits and vegetables so as to be as green as possible. How can you not love that?

Love the rainbow of pre-cut, ready to eat fruit!
Brothers Marketplace also has a large, meat, seafood, and cheese counter full of delicious, natural finds. The staff is super knowledgeable about the products. Need to know how to cook a certain type of fish? Just ask. Need a cheese recommendation? They've got you covered.

At this station, you can fill your own glass bottle (provided) with various infused oils

Oh, and another great thing - free samples all around the store every day! I sampled so much yumminess. 

Now keep in mind, like any local, specialty store, prices may be a bit higher. However, from what I saw they were in line with other natural, organic, prices at the local grocery store. In addition to all the fresh products and prepared meals, you can also pick up your weekly household essentials. In the grocery section, they still have all the day to day staples that you need. The selection is smaller (aka they won't have 15 brands of toilet paper) but you'll most likely be able to get all your essentials in just one stop.

Once you stock up on the necessities, make sure to swing by the bakery counter because let's face it - cookies and cakes are necessary, too. Many products are made fresh in house and the rest come from local bakers. You can grab a pastry and a cup of coffee and sit and chat with friends in their cafe seating area. My fellow blogging friends and I are already talking about when we can meet back there again.

The picture doesn't do these cookies justice. They are ENORMOUS!

And I've saved the best for last, at the Brothers Diner located in the market you can enjoy ice cream and burgers at the counter. It's like they designed this section just for me.

After our tour, we were invited to enjoy a tasting of several of their best sellers including salad, salmon, meatballs, sandwiches, sushi (which I passed on since I'm allergic to shrimp), and quinoa. Everything was delish. We then ended the meal with canolis and cookies. I almost had to be rolled out the door to my car. 

Seriously though, I feel like I was shown a hidden gem today. For those local to me, the Medfield location is only about 25 minutes away. They also have their original location in Weston as well.

Oh, and they had this sign in the store so I knew right off the bat that this place would be right up my alley.
I was given some chocolate covered bacon that I can't wait to devour try when the kids are in bed
 *I attended this media event and was provided with samples in-store and products to bring home. As always, all opinions are my own.*

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five Picture Friday: Week 3

In case you haven't been following along, Five Picture Friday is where I post the last 5 pictures taken on my phone. It's a great way to take a look back at pictures I take on the fly and a way to share tidbits of my life with you. Hope you enjoy!

Picture #1: The Kids at Gilette Stadium

We live just a couple of miles from the home of the Patriots so we often head there for shopping, movies, dining, etc. This day the wind was SO cold but there's always time for a picture. As usual, not all kids are looking but at least Daniel's doing a pose and not a mad face!

Picture #2: Henry and Hannah

"I'm not with him."
We met friends yesterday at a McDonald's play place for some fun. I love Henry's pose and the look on his friend's face. Ha!

Picture #3: Rock Salt and Knee Highs

To anyone surviving a harsh winter, this picture needs no explanation. To those not, you fill the pantyhose with ice melt and throw them on your roof to help with ice dams/roof leaking. I picked these up yesterday and texted this pic to my hubs with the caption "Winter Porn."

Picture #4: Icicle Fun

Daniel and Isabelle kept me company while I shoveled off our deck yesterday. Note that large pile of snow to the left of Daniel that I needed to tackle. They enjoyed playing with icicles and wading through 6 feet of snow around the yard.

Picture #5: Broken Shovel

Two hours in on Operation Deck Clear, I broke the only good shovel that we have left. On the plus side though look at the progress I had made with the snow! Isabelle kept saying, "Dadda is going to be SO mad that you broke his shovel" so we texted this picture to him. Bad news: More snow is coming this weekend and hearty shovels are hard to come by around here given the winter we've had. Good news: Like always, Amazon has anything I could ever need so this new friend is arriving here Saturday.

There you go, another week come and gone. Have a great (and hopefully leak free!) weekend!

PS - If you missed last week's picture post you can find it HERE!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Our Roller Skating Adventure!

This morning, the kids and I headed out for some roller skating fun. In hindsight, going alone with three kids who have never roller skated before was a bit ambitious on my part. Getting the kids in skates alone was like a 20 minute process! However, at the end of the day, we are all alive and not too much worse for wear!

We decided to try out United Skates of America in Rhode Island which is less than a half hour from our house. They had coupons on their website for vacation week so for skating and rentals it ended up being $10/kid. I didn't skate so I was free. I thought that I might have to skate since I knew I'd have to go on the rink with them but I was allowed to just wear my regular shoes which was definitely a sanity saver for this trip. It was HARD when we first got out on the rink. Pretty much none of the kids could stand even while holding on to the sides. You forget how difficult roller skating is!

Dominating the wall like bosses!
Isabelle was first to break free from the wall which surprised me since she can be a scaredy cat. However, she's also the oldest so I think the coordination came a bit more easily for her. 

 Isabelle and "Stuff"
Daniel was second to break free and really it was only his complete lack of fear and wanting to go a million miles an hour that made it hard for him.

Then there was Henry - oh, Henry. That kid never made it off the wall! So really the challenging part for me was having all three of them at different levels and trying to keep an eye on all of them. It is a circular rink but there is a concession stand/seating area in the middle that blocks a full view. I eventually just had to tell myself that I'd hear the other ones screaming if they fell and really hurt themselves! 

While we were taking a water break at one point, they announced that they had hidden some small dinosaurs throughout the rink and by chance I happened to have spotted one while grabbing napkins. So Henry turned it in and got a free game of laser tag in exchange. That actually worked out well so he could do that while the other kids kept skating. In the end, the lazer tag was his favorite part of the day. Oh, and the free cotton candy they were giving out!

Cotton candy is more fun than skating!
So all in all, it was a lot of fun. I got to reminisce about my good old days at Skate Town and the kids got to try something new. United Skates actually has a lot of different things there including skating, laser tag, video games (although they seemed pricey from what I saw), rock climbing, and more. Not a bad spot to check out if you haven't been there before! 

*This was something we did and paid for on our own. I'm simply sharing the details with you. As always, all opinions are my own.*

Friday, February 13, 2015

Five Picture Friday: Week 2

Last week, I started a new series called Five Picture Friday where I post the last five pictures taken from my iPhone. If you missed last week's you can check it out HERE!

Before I start on this week's though I'd like to provide an update picture:

 Update: Henry and my fixed coat!

All smiles this time
Last week, I posted a picture of my ripped coat and Henry (on command) making a super sad face. This week I sewed the coat and we reenacted the pose (in an Iron Man costume).

So now that we've got our updates out of the way, here are this weeks pics!

Picture #1: My beloved Madge Rosilnda

Madge is my first Cabbage Patch Doll that I got when I was 4 years old. My mother waited outside a toy store and grabbed her off a truck for me when they were first all the rage. I walked in to my room this week to find that Daniel had set up this nice little bed for her.

Picture #2: Isabelle and a mountain of snow

Sooooo it's pretty much been snowing here non stop I feel like for 2 weeks - maybe 3. Who can even keep track anymore? This is our driveway and the snow mounds are so high you can't even see to back out. It's like this everywhere around here. There's just no where else to put the snow. It should be extra interesting after this weekend since we're expected to get about another foot of snow. 

Picture #3: DJ Drummer Daniel

Daniel kept busy making a drum set the other day. Empty peanut cans never sounded so good.

Picture #4: Me

Daniel asked if he could take my picture and who am I to say no? The blur adds to the effect of it.

Picture #5: Henry getting ready for a day of love

This is his "kissy face"
This kid - it doesn't get much better than him. This was before he headed off to school today. Chance of the glasses making it back home with him? 30%

There you have it, my last five pics. Come back next week to see what else I'm snapping!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Whoopies and Wine

A couple of weeks ago, I received an adult education catalog from a local vocational technical high school in the mail. Now most people discard those kind of things as junk mail but not me. I immediately started looking through it to see what classes they were offering. Yup, total dork. Then low and behold, I spotted the perfect class - Whoopies and Wine! I immediately signed up and encouraged my friends to do the same.

After ENDLESS snow (currently still snowing out my window) in our area and (another) two back to back snow days, last night's Wine and Whoopies couldn't have come fast enough! The event was hosted by Mark at Franklin Liquors along with Kerri of Making Whoopie.  They led us through the tasting of three flavors of whoopie pies and 6 varieties of wine. 

We sampled (as in ate a lot of) the Vanilla Bean, Original Chocolate, and Snicker Doodle whoopie pies. All were good but I'd say my favorite was the Snicker Doodle with the Vanilla Bean coming in second. I'm not a huge chocolate fan so that's most likely why it comes in last in my book. I also enjoyed the wine (duh!) particularity though because I usually stick to whites so I like to try out different kinds of reds. As for the wines I'd pick the Butternut Chardonnay and the Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon as my favorites. We also sampled a moscato that was too sweet for several of my friends which worked out in my favor since I drank theirs, too. Nothing is ever too sweet for me. 

Overall the night was a great time - dessert and drinks with friends along with picking up some knoweldge from our friendly and informative hosts. The best part?  It was all in the name of adult education. Next time you get one of those course catalogs you might just want to take a peak inside. You never know what you might find! 

If you're interested in booze, baked good, or a combo of the two, go check out the Facebook pages of Franklin Liquors HERE and Making Whoopie HERE.

 How could a night like this ever be bad?
*I paid the $20 course fee with husband's hard earned money. I enjoyed it and am sharing it with you. As always, all opinions are my own.*

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