Google Dollops of Diane: 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Happy 7th Birthday, Henry!

Today's the big day - Henry turns seven! He's still as sweet, clueless, and loveable as can be!

Henry and "Teddy" - The #1 item on his Christmas list.

Henry's 7th Birthday - 12/27/2015

Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Show/Movie: Jumanji
Favorite Thing To Do Inside: Play with superheroes and "Teddy"
Favorite Thing To Do Outside: Play firemen
Favorite Snack: Pirate's Booty and Cheez-Its
Favorite Meal: Pancakes, Waffles, and French Toast
Favorite Song: "Stitches" and "Honey, I'm Good"
Favorite Thing To Do With Dadda: Play football
Favorite Thing To Do With Mamma: Go to the theatre
What I Want To Be When I Grow Up: A lifeguard
If I Had Lots of Money I Would: Buy a mansion, go to Great Wolf Lodge, Disney World, and Disney Land.

You can check out Henry's answers from last year HERE and from when he turned five HERE. And if you really feel like heading down Memory Lane, you can check out his birth story HERE.

Happy Birthday, Buddy! We love you!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Boston Ballet Presents The Nutcracker

Boston Ballet is delighted to present the timeless holiday classic The Nutcracker— a favorite Boston holiday tradition that brings family and friends together to cherish the season and special moments with one another. Delighting audiences of all ages with a sense of youthful imagination, The Nutcracker will run November 27–December 31, 2015 at the Boston Opera House.


Since its world premiere in 2012, Mikko Nissinen and Robert Perdziola’s re-envisioned production has gained record-breaking popularity. With more than 350 handmade costumes and a series of elaborate sets featuring extensive amounts of moving scenery, the production has transformed into a uniquely magical experience for audiences of all ages.


The Nutcracker includes the full company of 57 dancers, 11 Boston Ballet II dancers, and 217 Boston Ballet School students. The 42-performance run will feature many never-before-seen casts, showcasing the vast talent within the Company, and providing many opportunities for dancers to shine in Soloist and Principal roles. Each performance will be accompanied by Tchaikovsky's renowned score, performed by the Boston Ballet Orchestra, led by Principal Conductor Jonathan McPhee.


All performances of The Nutcracker (approx 2 hours with one intermission) will take place at the Boston Opera House (539 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111). Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased online HERE. For more information, visit www.bostonballet.org or call 617-695-6955

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary pair of tickets to The Nutcracker that I'll be using later in December. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pay It Forward Challenge and Giveaway from Stop and Shop

So far in 2015, Stop & Shop has donated over $12 million and 300,000 holiday meals to hunger relief organizations and to those in need. They kicked off the 2015 holiday season by encouraging their neighbors to give back and create a stronger community throughout New England. By learning more about Stop & Shop’s commitment to being a better neighbor, they hope customers and families will be encouraged to bring back random acts of kindness and turn neighbors into friends, and neighborhoods into communities. Stop and Shop reached out to me to see if I would like to be a part of their Pay It Forward Challenge. They offered me a Stop and Shop gift card to use in any way that I saw fit to help benefit my local community. So cool, right?

I took this opportunity to support LYNN Ministries which stands for Love Your Neighbor Now. LYNN Ministries assists the local homeless population in the Foxboro/Attleboro/Brockton area. Each month, they deliver a hot meal, fresh fruit, fresh baked items, clothing, blankets, and personal care items to those without a permanent home. They also help facilitate a connection to resources, local churches, and provide one of the best gifts of all - hope.

I reached out to Debbie Snow, who runs the organization along with her husband, to see how Stop and Shop's donation might be able to assist them best. I know with charities they sometimes have an abundance of one item but are really low on others so I wanted to make sure that our donation was truly useful at this time. Debbie agreed to meet up with me and the kids after school at Stop and Shop (she must be a saint, right?) in order to tell us more about the organization and help us pick out items. The kids were really excited to be a part of the purchase and donation. 

We learned that LYNN Ministries hands out 150 baggies each month with necessary toiletries and supplies for the homeless. These individuals and families do not have a permanent place to put their things so travel sized items are what are needed most. Currently, the ministry was very low on toothpaste so we were able to pick up a bunch for them.
The kids were fascinated to hear that some people live in tents (year round) so Debbie was kind enough to share this photo with me of one of her friend's homes. I say friend's home because that is exactly what the people she supports are to Debbie - her friends.

The picture really helps put it in perspective.
LYNN Ministries also provides a meal each month that they cook fresh, package up in individual containers, and deliver to those in need. We were able to purchase pork for them to serve at their holiday meal. The money they save from not having to purchase the meat themselves, they will now put towards winter coats, gloves, and socks. I loved hearing how Stop and Shop's donation of toiletries and meat would then have a trigger effect of allowing them to purchase other items that are desperately needed.

Here we are heading to the check out - bunny ears and all!
Debbie and John Snow with the donations that we purchased courtesy of Stop and Shop's generosity (WOW!!)
If you are interested in learning more about how you might be able to help, you can check out the supply list of items that LYNN Ministries is in need of (year round) HERE. If you are local to Foxboro, MA, I'd be happy to help coordinate with you a pick up/drop off of any donations. This really is such a great, hands on ministry where donations go directly to those in need.

Feeling touched and moved? Awesome, because it's your turn! I am giving away a $50 Stop and Shop gift card so that YOU can help pay it forward this holiday season. You can choose to spend the gift card on however you see fit - donating to your local food bank, buying toys/books for children in need, the list is endless! Once you do spend your money, we would love for you to share your donation story with others so that they might be inspired to do the same. Share your story and photo using the hashtag #PayItForwardwithSS on Facebook, Instagram, etc so that we can all enjoy them!

Best of luck - I can't wait to hear how you're sharing the love this holiday season!

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Monday, November 9, 2015

prAna: Review, Giveaway, and Discount Code! #JustBeYou

Being part of the Stonyfield team, I recently was offered the opportunity to receive and review an item from prAna's organic cotton line. It's no mystery why Stonyfield and prAna pair so well together. They are both committed to creating quality products in earth friendly ways. They seek materials from sustainable sources, treat people fairly, and seek to improve industry processes. They do their best to recycle resources, reduce packaging, and help to jump start the next generation of organic farmers.

prAna prides itself on the fact that you can wear their clothing during every activity on every day. Their catalog is filled with amazing looking people doing awesome things.


I was asked to #JustBeYou while wearing and reviewing my item. So I wore the Peppa Jacket doing things that I do best. Now I want to say that I sported it while climbing a mountain or sailing the seven seas but my life is not quite as exciting as that. You know what? That's okay because the Peppa Jacket was soft and cozy for everything that I needed in my regular life!


I rocked it at the bus stop...

Look at those cuties!
and while out running errands.

Target, here I come!
It also kept me warm, comfy, and cozy while I (unfortunately) battled a cold!

Booooo!
I also enjoyed an Apple Cinnamon Oh My Yog! while recovering on the couch that day. The apple/cinnamon flavor is perfect for fall and it tastes like a treat even while getting vitamins!

My prAna item is soft, fun, wears well, and comfy! Want to try something from the prAna organic line yourself? One lucky Dollops reader will win one prAna organic item valued at up to $99. Don't fret if you don't win because everyone can benefit from the discount code below!

Discount: 15% off* at prAna.com
Discount Code: JBYF15DOD

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*Discount code not valid for prAna Influencers, on Gift Certificates, or with any other offers. Ends  Dec 15, 2015.

***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.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween 2015!

Happy (early)  Halloween  from Henry the wolf, 
Batman Daniel, and Isabelle the slice of pizza!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Happy 8th Birthday, Isabelle!!

Today's the big day that Isabelle turns the big EIGHT!!  WOW!!! She had a great pizza, pajama party with her friends here at the house on Friday night. They made "friendship jars," played outside, played party games, and enjoyed pizza, cake, and ice cream while staying up "late" (8pm!). Such a fun night! 

Keeping with tradition, here are the questions I ask the kids each year on their birthdays...

Isabelle's 8th Birthday - 10/27/15

Favorite Color: Pink and Purple
Favorite Show: Spongebob and Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse
Favorite Thing to do Inside: Crafts and Color
Favorite Thing to do Outside: Go on the flip bar 
Favorite Snack: Baby Goldfish and Cheez Its
Favorite Meal: Pizza
Favorite Song: Timber 
Favorite Thing to do with Dadda: Plant seeds in the garden
Favorite Thing to do with Mamma: Go to the store with just Mamma
When I Grow Up I Want to be a: Teacher
If I had lots of money I would buy: A jumbo house with a swimming pool!

We loved checking out her answers from years past this morning and seeing how she's changed (and stayed the same!). You can find her answers from last year HERE and from when she turned six HERE.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Stonyfield and Shutterfly: $20 Promo Code!

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE pictures. My mom loved taking and displaying photos and she passed that love along to me. We have frames galore hanging around the house filled with captured memories. This past summer I recently bought two more collage frames (one can never have too many!) and printed off a bunch of my favorite baby pictures to display. Each day I pass by and admire the chubby cheeks, feetie pajamas, and wobbly legs of days gone by. Those baby days really do go by in the blink of an eye so I am so thankful that I was camera obsessed and can look back on them now.

Stonyfield and Shutterfly also recognize that babies and photos go hand in hand so they teamed up to bring you an awesome offer. When you purchase any Stonyfield YoBaby or YoTot yogurt 6-pack, you receive $20 off your order at Shutterfly.com. The offer is good for $20 off one qualifying merchandise order of $20 or more. It is limited to one per household and ends on February 29, 2016. You can learn the full details by clicking HERE. So next time you purchase a Stonyfield YoBaby 6 pack (which my babies used to love!), look on the top of the orange lid and get your code!

Shutterfly and Stonyfield were nice enough to send me a code to use and I made a Christmas ornament to hang on our tree this year. I know, I know, it seems too early for Christmas, right? I figured might as well get a jump on it and I used a photo from our family shoot this past summer. 


 
I loved that it came in a little bag for me to store it in or it would be perfect if I was giving it away as a gift. So now that I've made this ornament I feel tempted to make a million more. It's hard having a photo addicted personality! Looks like maybe I'll have to start buying Stonyfield baby yogurts again for friends and family!
 
*Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with Stonyfield and Shutterfly. As a YoGetter Ambassador, at times I receive free product and/or compensation. As always, all opinions are my own.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Wellness TruFood Wagon: Gourmet Food Truck for Pets!

The Wellness TruFood Wagon has been on the road and is now in the Boston area. They've been visiting local pet stores, pet events and dog parks to showcase their artfully blended TruFood recipes and Living Nutrition philosophy.


You can stop by the events for free samples, activities, and learn about TruFood recipes. Also, you can spin the wheel for a chance to win prizes including a year's supply of Wellness TruFood pet food!



Below are the upcoming events/dates in the Boston area:

Wednesday, 10/14, 1-7pm: PetSmart 250 Grossman Drive Braintree, MA
Thursday, 10/15, 11am-3pm: Greenway, Boston, MA Rings Fountain on Atlantic between Milk & State Street
Friday, 10/16, 12-6pm: Peter's Park Dog Park, 1178 Washington Street, Boston, MA
Saturday, 10/17, 8:30am - 4:30pm: Head of the Charles, Weld Exhibition, Boston, MA
Sunday, 10/18, 8:30am - 4:30pm: Head of the Charles, Weld Exhibition, Boston, MA

Although the tour is heading towards the end of its run, the best is yet to come with the truck's biggest events at the upcoming Head of the Charles.

This past weekend, the Wagon was onsite at Cape Cod Doxie Day where they had pets create a mural. For each paw print on the TruFood "Pawcasso" mural Wellness donated a bag of food to shelter pets in need. 


Be sure to follow @WellnessPetFood on Twitter for live updates and last minute Wagon stops! 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Davis Farmland: Ticket Giveaway!

I recently received 4 tickets to Davis Farmland in Sterling, MA. Our family has never been so I was pretty excited to go. I have heard nothing but great things about it and heard over and over again that it is well worth the money since you can easily spend the whole day there. I envisioned a good old fashioned, animal and pumpkin filled family day. However, life and other commitments have made that plan dwindle and now I fear we won't make it before Davis Farmland closes for the season.

What does this mean for you? Well it means YOU could go and have all the family fun that I imagined! That's right - I am giving away my family 4 pack of tickets to one lucky Dollops reader!

If you're unfamiliar with Davis Farmland, click HERE to check out fellow blogger, Gilda's, recent post about her family's trip there. It's filled with information, tips, and pictures!

The tickets expire on October 25, 2015 so this is a QUICK giveaway. Enter now so I can pick a winner and mail the tickets out to the lucky duck!

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Stonyfield Organic Fruit Snacks: Review

Have you heard that Stonyfield has ventured out of the dairy aisle with the release of their new Stonyfield Organic Fruit Snacks? Well they graciously sent my family some boxes of the fruit snacks to try. Now I don't regularly buy fruit snacks because I know dentists have heart palpitations when they see kids eating chewy, sugary snacks. Everything in moderation though, right? To be totally honest, I was a bit nervous that my kids wouldn't like the Stonyfield fruit snacks. I have those super picky kids that like things just so and I was afraid these might be a bit "too healthy" for them. After all, Stonyfield Organic Fruit Snacks are made with real fruit and real vegetables, have no artificial ingredients or preservatives, and contain 100% DV of Vitamin C. That seems like something kids could complain about, right? Well I was pleasantly surprised when the kids LOVED them. They gobbled them up in a millisecond! They were psyched to have them and I'm excited for a fruit snack option that I can feel better about purchasing for special treats.

I even tried out a bag myself recently when I felt like I might be coming down with a cold and was consuming as much Vitamin C as I could get. I couldn't even tell you the last time I had fruit snacks. Maybe even never? They were really good! Oh, and they are shaped like cute little cows. What's not to love about that?

So if your kids (or you!) are fruit snack fanatics, keep an eye out for them in your local grocery store!

*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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Viva®Vantage® 7-Day Switch Up

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Paper towels are honestly not something that I put too much thought into. I usually just grab and go in the paper products aisle. Therefore, I was excited when Viva® Vantage® contacted me to attend a live 7-Day Switch Up Event.

What's the 7-Day Switch Up, you ask? Well Viva® Vantage® understands that people fall into a routine when buying every day products and might not be aware of the other great options in the process. Therefore, Viva® Brand is asking customers to switch to Viva® Vantage® for seven days to see what they've been missing out on with their regular paper towel!

At the event I attended, we learned of the stretchy strength and great scrubbing power of Viva® Vantage® which helped to recently name it a 2015 Product of the Year. There were various stations and activities set up so that we could try out the product and it's revolutionary V-Flex™ weave.

One thing I learned is that you can place a wet paper towel under a cutting board (wood or plastic) to prevent it from moving while you slice, dice, and chop away.

Slicing bread with ease thanks to Viva® Vantage®

These apples weren't going anywhere!
Another Switch Up I learned of was thanks to the stretchy strength of Viva® Vantage®, you can use the towel as a colander when rinsing fruits and vegetables. We tested it out with grapes by placing them under running water and the Viva®Vantage® stayed intact!

Freshly washed grapes, anyone?
I often use paper towels on my hands but would never have thought to dress them up a bit and put them out for guests. At the event, they rolled them up and tied them up with a flower. At my house, you probably would have just been handed the roll of paper towels - party foul, for sure!


So nice, right?
I helped myself to one of these Viva® Towels and headed right to the food. There was an apple, brie, and prosciutto bruschetta that was to DIE FOR. I seriously had about 8 of them. I was then able to wipe my hands and mouth before diving in for another one!

http://bit.ly/1T3mdFX
Grooves on the paper towel to catch the drool from looking at the bruschetta!
Viva® Towels aren't just for the kitchen though. You can place them out in singles in a basket in the bathroom so that each guest gets his or her own towel to use and dispose of.

Who's excited about Viva® Vantage® in the bathroom? This girl!
And of course, no blogging event is complete until my blogging partner in crime, Stowed Stuff, and I have a little fun with props.
Cleaning up the world - One Viva® Towel at a time
This past week, I've been using Viva® Vantage® at home and one thing I like is the great scrubbing power that it has. With three young children we have lots of icky, sticky stuff going on here and Viva® Vantage® stretches to scrub those every day messes. There's nothing worse than when you end up with white shredded fuzz from a paper towel that couldn't handle the job. The sponge-like absorbency has also been great for those inevitable milk spills!

Ready to take the challenge yourself? You can kick off your own 7-Day Switch Up by clicking HERE for a coupon to purchase the product. Once you've experienced the product, you can return to the site to dish on your switch and enter for a chance to instantly win a $100 gift card.

Happy cleaning, scrubbing, stretching, and wiping everyone!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Viva® Vantage®.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Forgetful Henry

Henry is our dreamer. His head is frequently lost in the clouds. More than once I've found him playing with one shoe on. Why? Because he got distracted and forgot to put the other one on. Who has time for completing a task when you've got so many other exciting things on your mind?

It's no surprise then that he's having difficulty remembering to bring his folder home from first grade. Now in Kindergarten, the teacher makes sure you have it but that's not the case in big kid first grade. He is responsible for filling it with his work from the day and bringing it home. It didn't make it home yesterday....or the day before...or days before that. Somewhat shockingly, I've been patient about it. I have two other kids at the school and know other families in the class so if there was BIG news in the folder, I'm sure I'd find out. I've been trying to keep in mind that September is always a big transition month for everyone. So I asked Henry why he thought he was having a hard time bringing the folder home. He told me that he has an assigned job that he needs to do at the end of each day. He then said, "Maybe next month my job won't be so hard and I can remember my folder." And there you have it. His job (which involves some type of classroom cleaning) is hard for him and he's working hard at it. After a long day of school and a "job," his brain is full.

The thing is I know Henry. I know that his brain is partially full of super sweet thoughts. This morning he spent an hour before school drawing out a thank you card for Isabelle's piano teacher who recently gave him a toy. He hugs me the longest at the bus stop. He is the first one to ask me how my day at work was. He is considerate and compassionate.

So I'm letting the folder go. I'm giving gentle reminders but am not disappointed when the backpack returns home empty. After all, I don't want to risk replacing kind thoughts with folder thoughts in his full brain. The folder will make it home eventually - especially if he gets an "easy" job in October!

What folder?

Monday, September 21, 2015

King Richard's Faire 2015

Yesterday, the kids and I headed to King Richard's Faire for a day of fun and excitement. For those of you not familiar with it, King Richard's Faire is New England's largest and longest running Renaissance Faire. It offers live, interactive entertainment for all ages. I had never visited the Faire before having children and honestly they are what made believers out of me. My children LOVE it. This was our fourth year going and the kids have been eagerly talking about it all summer. They are actually still talking about the performances that we see there in years past.

King Richard's Faire puts on shows and acts that you don't see other places. Yesterday, we saw dueling knights on horses, a man whipping fire, amazing acrobatics, tight wire walking, and MORE. When you walk through the gates it's like a whole new world. Everywhere you look at the Faire there is something interesting going on. No wonder the kids think it's so fascinating and memorable!





If you've never been to King Richard's Faire, check out my post HERE that I wrote a few years ago which answers some FAQs. You can also follow the King on Facebook HERE. The Faire runs in Carver, MA from September 5 through October 25, 2015 on weekends and Monday holidays (Labor Day, Columbus Day). Faire hours are 10:30am-6pm. Tickets are $29 for adults (12+) and $16 for children ages 4-11. Children under 4 are free. Parking is also free. 

Now as you can see from the ticket price - it isn't cheap. Rides, games, and food will also cost you additional. As anyone who knows me knows, I'm pretty cheap. I want to assure you that you and your family can have a GREAT time at the Faire whether you do every ride/game there or you do none at all (like us!). The Faire itself is full of excitement, great people watching, and showcases talents that you don't see elsewhere. We spend our day enjoying the live shows, listening to music, engaging with people, and taking it all in. We then cap our day off with an ice cream cone. It's become part of our tradition :)

So there you have it, another Faire visit in the books. I know some people who are already looking forward to next year!
*Disclosure: My family received complimentary tickets to the Faire. As always, all opinions are my own.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Back to School and a Krusteaz Cookie Giveaway!

We are now on week three of back to school here at the Dollops household. Summer is (sadly) starting to feel like a distant memory.

Here they are off to1st, K, and 2nd!
September is not only back to school here but also back to homework and piano and soccer (x3) and Girl Scouts and what feels like a million other things. It often feels like there aren't enough hours in the day to get things done so I was excited when Krusteaz sent me a box of cookie mixes to try out. Now I actually really enjoy making cookies. If I had more time and more will power not to eat the dough, I'd make them more often. With the Krusteaz mixes though I don't need that much time. They're also the perfect amount of work needed for kids to help but not drive you nutty in the process!

Two bakers (and yes, a burnt wooden spoon)
Krusteaz cookie mixes come in the following flavors:

Triple Chocolate Chunk
Meyer Lemon
Double Peanut Butter
Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Oatmeal Scotchie
Butter Vanilla Sugar

So far we've tried out the Butter Vanilla Sugar that we enjoyed on movie night and the Double Peanut Butter as an after school snack. Both got two thumbs up from everyone!

To find our more about Krusteaz and all the yummy products they offer, click HERE.

Krusteaz has been gracious enough to allow for one lucky Dollops reader to get in on the baking fun, too. One winner will receive a Krusteaz prize pack including one of each of the cookie mixes listed above as well as some additional Krusteaz goodies. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win!

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*Disclaimer: This post was written in partnership with Krusteaz and I received complimentary products. As always, all opinions are my own. 

That Time I Broke Up With My Dermatologist

To make sure everyone is up to speed: I am as fair as they come, covered head to toe in freckles, and my father died of Melanoma Skin Cancer. I have gone to the dermatologist once a year (sometimes more frequently if they are watching anything on my skin in particular) since I was about 15. In that time, I've had maybe a half a dozen moles removed that looked questionable. Checking my skin and having skin exams has become second nature to me.

Fast forward to about two years ago, I changed my primary care doctor to one who was part of a larger network so it made sense to also change my dermatologist. You know how it goes, easier to share records, billing, blah blah blah. So I went to a new dermatologist and didn't really love him. I went back the following year and again didn't love him. I felt like he could have used a little more bedside manners and personality in general. I told myself when I left there that I'd switch to a different one within the practice before the following year. Of course, time and laziness got in the way so when this appointment came up today with him I just went with it. So after looking at me for maybe 5 minutes he comments that he knows I'm fair, have freckles, and are high risk but that he doesn't feel he needs to see me again. LIKE EVER. Say what? I couldn't believe it. He said to just watch myself and if I noticed anything alarming that I could go back and see him. Ummm...how about the moles on my back that I can't even see at all? And at this appointment alone today, I had two changes that I noticed and pointed out to him. Now I know that I can have my primary care doctor check me out at yearly physicals but still. I'm in shock as to how the whole appointment went down. It goes against everything that every doctor has ever told me!

So anyway, that's my skin update. I plan on talking it over with my PCP next time I see him and going from there. Also, regardless of when I need to go back, I'm definitely going to be getting myself a new dermatologist!

Break ups are hard. Skin cancer is harder.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Little Elliot, Big City: Book and Wall Decal Giveaway!

We are big fans of Little Elliot, Big City in this household. I mean what's not to love about an adorable elephant, his friend the mouse, and cupcakes (yum!)? Oh, and it just so happens that my hugely talented brother in law wrote and illustrated the book! The kids think it's so cool to find Uncle Mike's book at every bookstore we go to...

But beyond sounding biased because we have a personal connection to the book, it really is a cute story with beautiful illustrations and a kind message. We can't wait for Little Elliot, Big Family to hit the shelves on October 6, 2015!

We were also recently given the opportunity to receive wall decals from Live In A Story featuring none other than Little Elliot. The kids were so excited! Live In A Story decals are designed by picture book artists, eco friendly, and made in the USA. The decals were super easy to apply, stay on well, and add extra excitement to the room!

Super cute, right? One lucky Dollops reader is going to receive a free copy of Little Elliot, Big City AND a set of Live In A Story wall decals! In addition to this prize being great for you, it could also make a great donation to your child/grandchild's classroom or a local library! Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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*Disclosure: I received complimentary wall decals to help facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

80s Fun!

My brother in law and sister in law recently celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary. Since they didn't do a big bash for the original wedding they decided to throw a party for the anniversary. So we spent this past weekend in Vermont having family fun. There were lots of laughs, lots of food, and lots of beverages. The big event of the weekend was Saturday night, where I'm not going to lie, Tim and I crushed it for the era themed party.

We're like totally rad, right? 80s to the max!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday, Daniel!

Today Daniel turns FIVE! He continues to be rambunctious, full of life, and loves to be active. He loves sports, going to the beach, and annoying his siblings.

D's favorite path at Borderland
Each year, I ask the kids the same questions on their birthdays. Now that they are getting older, they love looking back on their answers from the past.

Daniel's 5th Birthday

Favorite Color: Orange
Favorite Show: Chuck (The Adventures of Chuck and Friends)
Favorite Thing To Do Inside: Play with Henry and play checkers
Favorite Thing To Do Outside: Swing on swings, play Tire Ball (throwing a baseball through a tire), frisbee, and play football 
Favorite Snack: Cat Cookies (from Trader Joe's) with milk and muffins
Favorite Meal: Tacos
Favorite Song: This Land Is Your Land
Favorite Thing To Do With Dadda: Get ice cream
Favorite Thing To Do With Mamma: Go to the bike path
Favorite Thing To Do As A Family: Go to a hotel (This is a new question that Daniel wanted to add this year!)
When I Grow Up I Want To Be: A Baker and  Fireman
If I Had Lots of Money: I'd go to Launch (Trampoline Park)

Just can't get enough of Daniel? You can check out the story of his arrival HERE, his first year in pictures HERE, and his answers to last year's questions HERE.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Perfect Waterproof Bag for Summer

Earlier this summer, a friend brought a new bag with her to our trip to the zoo that I loved. As anyone addicted to Amazon Prime does, I immediately ordered myself one. Let me introduce you to my new best friend...

Isn't she lovely?
Now I'll let you in on a little secret, it's actually a wet bag for cloth diapering but I have so many other uses for it. It has a larger waterproof compartment and then also a smaller zippered area in the front. When we are heading to the beach or pool I put tissues, Blistex, my ID, etc in the front pocket and then a change of clothes for the kids in the large section. When the kids are done swimming, they change and I put the wet suits in the waterproof section. No more remembering to bring plastic bags or dealing with wet clothes making everything else wet in a bag. Everything in the front compartment stays perfectly dry. The bag is big enough that I can cram a change of clothes for 3 kids and myself (we're talking shorts and t-shirts - not bulky items) in the bag. I then throw that bag in my larger beach bag which has towels, sunblock, etc. I also like that it keeps the change of clothes separate, dry, and not sandy instead of just thrown loose in a big bag. 

Beyond beach/pool days, I also use the bag for snacks and toys on the go. I also like that I can throw water bottles in it on a hot day and not have to worry about them sweating condensation all over my bag.

So there you have it, the hottest fashion accessory of Summer 2015 - a wet cloth diaper bag (what an exciting life I lead!). If you want to grab one for yourself you can check them out on Amazon HERE. Also, if you're not a Prime Member click  HERE to find out about a 30 day free trial.

*Disclaimer: I bought this product, loved it, and am sharing it with you. No compensation was received for this post. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

New Family Photos!

I had been thinking for a while that it was time for us to update our family photos. The last ones we took were four years ago and the kids were basically babies. But like a lot of things, I put it on the back burner. That is until I heard that Faye Joyce Photography was holding mini sessions as a fundraiser to support my friend, Lisa Deck. Supporting local business, helping someone in need, and getting great photos? It was almost too good to be true!

We met Faye one Sunday morning at Borderland State park for a half hour session. About two weeks later, she emailed me a link to all our photos online. I'm in LOVE with them. Makes me wonder why I waited so long. Here are some of my favorites...








So nice, right? If you are local to Foxboro, MA and looking for a photographer you should definitely consider Faye Joyce. You can find her website HERE and her Facebook page HERE.

*Photo Credit For All Photos: Faye Joyce Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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