Google Dollops of Diane: February 2015

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

Whoops!
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.*

Monday, February 9, 2015

Princess Kiley's Pediatric Cancer Research Fundraiser

Several years ago, my mother in law remarried which made my husband's already large family that much larger. We instantly, officially, inherited a whole new family to add to our gang. One of the members is a step niece, Kiley, who like most of the nieces and nephews was no more than a toddler on that wedding day. No one could have imagined the long, hard battle that she and her family would start just a few short years later. Only a couple of weeks after her fifth birthday in 2014, Kiley was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare pediatric cancer. Since then, she has been facing a very difficult battle including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. 


In order to gain more funding for pediatric cancer, her family is hosting a "Princess Kiley's Me and My Doll Experience" fundraiser on both Feb 14th and 21st. All proceeds will be donated to The Children's Cancer Therapy Development Institute

The Sullivan family has turned their former house into a virtual American Girl museum for children to explore. There will be American Girl (and various other brand) clothes, accessories, furniture, and shoes available for sale. In addition, there will be an "interactive school" where girls can bring their dolls to play and be students. They'll also have extra dolls in case anyone doesn't have one! In addition, the event will sell homemade items, crafts, books, and baked goods. Raffles and silent auction items will also be taking place during the event. So fun, right?

Event Details: 

Princess Kiley's Me and My Doll Experience
Feb 14th AND 21st
12pm-4pm

85 Wardwell Road
West Hartford, CT

 
 

Isabelle and I will be attending and helping out on the 14th and we'd love to see you there!

If you'd like to learn more about Kiley and follow along with her journey, please like her Facebook page HERE. If you are interested in volunteering at the event, you can find out more information HERE. If you can't attend but would like to donate towards pediatric cancer research, you can click HERE.

Gooooooooo, Team Kiley!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Five Picture Friday: Week 1

Like most people, I take a lot of random pictures with my phone. Some pictures are of important things, some are silly, and some are accidental pictures of my feet. I was scrolling through some of them last night though and realized that I often never really look at them again once I take them. So I decided that I would start a new series this week called "Five Picture Friday" where I post the last 5 pictures from my phone's camera roll each week. I promise that they will be the last 5 whether they are beautiful, ugly, boring, or incriminating. Who knows what we might see? So here we go...

Picture #1: A Reese's Peanut Butter Heart

I picked up that bad boy while running errands yesterday and needed to post a picture of it to make all my friends jealous. It's what anyone would do.

Picture #2: Holey Jeans

My friend Kim was recently discussing how her son always has holes in his pants. We suffer from the same epidemic at our house so I snapped this pic and sent it along to her letting her know that I was thinking of her.

Picture #3: The Weather Forecast


I mainly took the weather pic just to complain about snow on Instagram.

Picture #4: A picture of the EB Police Department FB Status Update

I'm from good old East Bridgewater and sadly they are having a really tough time with drugs recently. My brother still lives there as well and he and I were texting about it. No matter where you go, your hometown always has a spot in your heart and it's sad to hear news like this.

Picture #5: Henry and my coat

Last night I looked down to see that my North Face coat had a large rip in it. I've had the coat for over 10 years so I've definitely got my money's worth out of it (and I even bought it at an outlet). However, I was still bummed about it. I told Henry to make a super sad face and we then texted this pic to my friend who was with me when I bought the coat.

So there you have it, my last five iPhone pictures. Interesting that each of the 5 pictures I took to either text to someone or post on social media. What's that say about me? Hmmm....

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Stop and Shop's Frozen Promotion!

Have a Frozen lover in the house? Well don't miss out on this promotion from Stop and Shop!

Shoppers at Stop & Shop in New England have an exclusive opportunity to get  Disney’s Frozen-themed merchandise as part of a three-week, mail-in promotion. The promotion is in connection to Disney On Ice presents Frozen presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt at the TD Garden in Boston from Feb. 13 – 23, 2015

Shoppers who purchase $25 of participating P&G products at Stop & Shop can mail away for different Frozen merchandise each week. This includes a collectible Elsa or Anna doll, a Frozen fleece blanket, and a plush Elsa or Olaf doll. In addition, select Stop & Shop locations will feature a colorful Frozen display along with balloons, prize wheels and coupons.

Each week from January 30th through February 19th  customers who purchase $25 worth of select P&G products, including Bounty, Pantene, Puffs, Crest and Tide at Stop & Shop locations, will receive a mail-in coupon at checkout to get the select Frozen merchandise for that week. For the first week, customers could receive either the collectible Elsa or Anna doll. During the second week, the promotion prize includes a Frozen fleece blanket, and the third week’s offering is a plush Elsa or Olaf doll.
We've got plenty of snow to keep Olaf cool
Click HERE to find out more about the promotion and to find a participating store near you!

*Disclosure: We received complimentary Frozen merchandise. As always, all opinions are my own.

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