Mindy

Mindy is a stay-at-home Mom to her 2 year old daughter and infant son. She previously worked full-time as a Paralegal for more than 10 years. She loves cooking & baking, classic rock, coffee and wine, sunshine and spending time with her children.

Sep 142017
 

Check out these super fun and easy Halloween treats kids will love!

Halloween is just around the corner, and my kids are already so excited to dress up in their costumes. Kayleigh wants to be Elsa this year, and Logan wants to be Spiderman.

Last year we found this one really long street in our city that was decked out like crazy. Almost every house was decorated with the finest Halloween decorations and there was plenty of candy to be found. My kids are still really little, so it’s nice to be able to just walk up and down one street, instead of having to travel all over the place with them to find Halloween candy.

We love to do all sorts of fun things leading up to the actual Halloween holiday. We watch family friendly Halloween movies, go to some trunk or treat events and I also like to make easy Halloween treats kids will go crazy over. This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link in this post. 

Recommended for you:

 Festival Candy Eyes Treat Toppers, 2.9 Ounce

 These easy Halloween treats for kids are so much fun!

20 Easy Halloween Treats Kids Will Love

  1. Bat Cupcakes from MomDot (shown)
  2. Candy Popcorn Balls from Trish Sutton
  3. Candy Witch Fingers from Organized 31
  4. Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Pretzels from Simple As That (shown)
  5. Cupcake Monsters from Hungry Happenings (shown)
  6. Eyeball Halloween Pops from Frugal Coupon Living
  7. Frankenstein Twinkie Pops from The Unprepared Mommy
  8. Graveyard Dirt Cake Cups from Sugar, Spicy and Family Life
  9. Halloween Candy Bites from Cooking on the Front Burner (shown)
  10. Halloween Confetti Pumpkin Pancakes from Chicken Scratch NY
  11. Halloween Mummy Hot Dogs from Frugal Coupon Living
  12. Halloween Twinkie Mummies from Frugal Coupon Living
  13. Halloween Spider Cookies from Cincy Shopper (shown)
  14. Halloween Witch Hat Cupcakes from Frugal Coupon Living
  15. Mummy Pizzas from Centsable Momma
  16. Peeps Ghost Brownies from Cincy Shopper
  17. Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats from The Farmwife Crafts
  18. Spooky Monster Brownies from Finding Sanity in Our Crazy Life
  19. Vampire Marshmallows from Finding Zest
  20. White Chocolate Banana Ghosts from Finding Zest (shown)

Which of these fun and easy Halloween treats would your kids love the most?

You may also like – 10 Yummy Candy Corn Desserts

                                        6 Fun Indoor Halloween Activities for Kids

                                       15 Halloween Safety Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe


Sep 072017
 

Thanks to Hannaford for sponsoring this Turkey, Cheddar & Apple Crescent Roll recipe post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Back to school season is in full swing, and with the holidays just around the corner, now is a perfect time for busy parents to find quick and easy dinner ideas that are affordable too.

Hannaford’s everyday low prices and quality brands can help save both time and money. With their wide selection of Hannaford brand products, it’s easy to create a fun and delicious meal that the whole family will love, even if you are on a tight budget.

I know I’m going to be very busy over the next few months, so I recently stocked up on a large assortment of Hannaford brand products. To make things even easier, I used their to-go service (available at select Hannaford locations) and was able to place my order online and pick my groceries up without even leaving my car! As a Mom of two kids, this is such a huge time-saver for me.

One of my family’s favorite meals starts with Hannaford brand crescent rolls, so I purchased quite a few packages of them. I love how quick and easy they are to bake (ready in just 11-13 minutes!) and how versatile they are. You can stuff these crescent rolls with pretty much anything your heart desires before baking them, to create something absolutely wonderful!

Hannaford Brand Crescent Rolls

For tonight’s dinner, I filled the crescent rolls with thin sliced roasted turkey breast, shredded cheddar cheese and thin apple slices. After they were done baking, I paired our tasty crescent rolls with a delicious honey mustard dipping sauce. The flavors all worked together so wonderfully, and my family really enjoyed them.

Turkey, Cheddar & Apple Crescent Roll Recipe

This Turkey, Cheddar & Apple Crescent Roll recipe is super affordable because I used Hannaford brand ingredients! As you can see, they are fresh, high quality products.

Hannaford Brand ProductsTo make these Turkey, Cheddar & Apple Crescent Rolls, simply separate the crescent rolls and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place a rolled up slice of turkey, a tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese and thin sliced apples on top.

Turkey, Cheddar & Apple Crescent Roll Recipe

Then, roll them up and bake them in the oven at 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Turkey, Cheddar & Apple Crescent Roll Recipe

So yummy!

Turkey, Cheddar & Apple Crescent Roll Recipe

The honey mustard dipping sauce is just a 50/50 mix of Hannaford brand honey mustard and mayonnaise.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Add some Hannaford brand sweet potato fries to complete this easy, delicious and affordable meal!

Hannaford Sweet Potato Fries

My kids gobbled these right up!

Turkey, Cheddar & Apple Crescent Roll Recipe

I like to switch this Turkey, Cheddar & Apple Crescent Roll recipe up and elevate it even further by adding different flavors to it. Some of my favorite additions are maple bacon, carmelized onions and apricot preserves. Play around with different flavors and find your family’s favorite combinations!

Hannaford’s affordable products make it easy to please everyone in the family. From canned and dry goods to dairy and frozen, they are made from the best ingredients and always the lowest prices on the shelf! When you’re looking for ingredients to fill your crescent rolls with, don’t forget to shop the perimeter and middle aisles of the store to discover new ingredients that your family will love and fit in your budget.

Hannaford bacon, apricot preserves

Turkey, Cheddar & Apple Crescent Rolls

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 8 oz. tube of Hannaford brand crescent rolls
  • 8 slices Hannaford brand thin sliced roasted turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup Hannaford brand fancy shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 thinly sliced baking apple (I used Braeburn)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Remove crescent rolls from package.
  3. Separate crescent rolls and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Top each crescent roll with one rolled up slice of roasted turkey breast, one tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese and apple slices.
  5. Carefully roll up the crescent rolls and bake in the oven for 11-13 minutes, until golden brown.

HONEY MUSTARD DIPPING SAUCE

To make honey mustard dipping sauce, combine 1/4 cup Hannaford brand honey mustard and 1/4 cup Hannaford brand mayonnaise.

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS

Add 1 tablespoon of carmelized onions. Here is a great tutorial for carmelizing onions. It’s a bit time consuming, but so worth it!

Carmelized Onions on Crescent Rolls

Turkey, Cheddar, Apple & Carmelized Onion Crescent Rolls

Add 1 slice of fully cooked Hannaford brand maple flavored bacon.

Maple Bacon on Crescent Rolls

Turkey, Cheddar, Apple & Bacon Crescent Rolls

Add 1 teaspoon of Hannaford brand apricot preserves.

Apricot Preserves on Crescent Roll

Turkey, Cheddar, Apple & Apricot Cresccent Rolls

Crescent rolls filled with thin apple slices dusted in sugar and cinnamon make a quick and easy breakfast that the whole family will love, too!

Apple Cinnamon Crescent Rolls

What amazing flavor combinations would your family make with Hannaford brand ingredients?

 

 

 

Aug 252017
 

You’ll fall in love with these delicious Caramel Apple Recipes!

Fall is just around the corner, and I cannot wait to feel that cool, crisp air, curl up under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa and watch a good movie, while noshing on one of these amazing caramel apple recipes!

My husband and I have been on a low carb diet for several months, and now that we’ve reached our goal weights, we’ve decided to loosen our belts a little and start eating some of our favorite things again, in moderation. After all, fall is the best time for eating the foods you love, right? These caramel apple recipes are just calling to me, and I am so excited to start baking with fresh apples from our local orchard.

I absolutely love fall baking. It’s one of my favorite things to do in the whole world. Baking with apples and pumpkins is just so much fun, isn’t it? The smells that fill my house are so wonderful, and it makes me feel all warm and cozy inside.

We have plans to go apple picking at our local apple orchard for my birthday in 2 weeks, and I can’t wait to make some of the delicious caramel apple recipes below. Don’t they all sound amazing?!

Caramel and apples go together so well. It was like they were meant for each other! I love the perfect balance of that tart apple flavor with the sticky sweetness from the caramel. I was so excited to find all of these delicious caramel apple recipes from some really great bloggers. I hope you will try baking a few of these this fall season!

You may also like – 20 Amazing Apple Recipes to Make This Fall

25 Sensational Caramel Apple Recipes

Make quick work of slicing apples with this apple splitter. It cores and slices apples into thin slices, perfect for baking! This will surely come in handy when baking up these delicious caramel apple recipes.

Prepara Apple SplitterPrepara Apple Splitter

  1. Apple Caramel Overnight French Toast Bake from Having Fun Saving & Cooking
  2. Bloomin’ Baked Caramel Apples from The Life Jolie
  3. Caramel Apple Cake Chip Nachos Topped with M&M’s® Pecan Pie from Hungry Happenings
  4. Caramel Apple Cider Cookies from Centsable Momma
  5. Caramel Apple Crepes from Creative Green Living
  6. Caramel Apple Cupcakes from 3 Boys and a Dog
  7. Caramel Apple Dump Cake from Snappy Gourmet
  8. Caramel Apple M&M Blondies from Sugar, Spice & Family Life
  9. Caramel Apple Nachos from Frugal Coupon Living
  10. Caramel Apple Pie from Thrifty Jinxy
  11. Caramel Apple Pumpkin Pie from Finding Zest (shown)
  12. Caramel Apple Salad with Butterscotch Pudding from Mommy Moment
  13. Caramel Apples Snickers Salad from Dancing Through the Rain
  14. Caramel Apple Turnover from The Worktop (shown)
  15. Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake from Betty Crocker
  16. Cider Caramel Apple Crisp from One Lovely Life
  17. Easy Homemade Caramel Apple Recipe from Thrifty Jinxy (shown)
  18. Gluten Free Caramel Apple Cake from Fearless Dining
  19. Gluten Free Vanilla Custard Caramel Apple Tart from Fearless Dining (shown)
  20. Inside Out Chocolate Caramel Apples from Hungry Happenings
  21. Milky Way Caramel Apple Salad from A Mom’s Impression
  22. No Churn Caramel Apple Ice Cream from A Latte Food
  23. Pistachio Caramel Apple Butter Pancakes from Peas & Peonies (shown)
  24. Roasted Caramel Apple Crisp from Living Sweet Moments
  25. Snickers Caramel Apple Bars from Home Cooking Memories

Which of these caramel apple recipes will you make this fall season?


Jul 302017
 

If you’re on a low carb diet, or even if you’re not, you will absolutely flip over this Bacon, Cheddar & Jalapeno Cauliflower Casserole Recipe! 

This post was sponsored by Heluva Good! Cheese as part of an Influence Central campaign and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

As you may already know, my husband and I have been following a low carb diet for several months now. When you’re on a diet, it’s quite common to fall into a rut of eating the same things over and over again. This can lead to boredom, and eventually eating off plan.

We eat a lot of cauliflower on our diet, so I try to experiment with it a lot and create new recipes. Cauliflower is pretty bland and boring on its own, but it’s extremely versatile and there are so many ways to use it and add flavor to it.

One thing that always makes cauliflower taste better is cheese. Cheese makes anything taste better, right? I always keep a stash of Heluva Good!® Block Cheese in my refrigerator because it’s flavorful, high quality cheese. There are so many great varieties of Heluva Good available, including Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, Jalapeno Jack, Extra Sharp Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar, White Extra Sharp Cheddar, White Sharp Cheddar, White Mild Cheddar, Muenster, Monterey Jack, Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar, Colby, and Mild Cheddar. I told you there was a lot of them!

I love all of the Heluva Good! Cheese varieties, but my absolute favorite is the Jalapeno Jack. It is a delicious combination of Monterey Jack and jalapeno peppers. If you are not into spicy foods, don’t worry, this cheese isn’t really very spicy. It doesn’t set your mouth on fire, make your nose run, or anything like that. The jalapeno flavor is very mild, but so wonderful!

Heluva Good! Block Cheese

For this Cauliflower Casserole Recipe, I combined my favorite Jalapeno Jack cheese with Extra Sharp Cheddar and bacon. This flavor combination is out of this world, and really made the cauliflower taste amazing.

Bacon, Cheddar & Jalapeno Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

I grabbed all of my ingredients for this cauliflower casserole recipe at my local Walmart. They had a huge stash of Heluva Good! Cheese to choose from so I stocked up! I even got 75 cents back with this Heluva Good! Cheese at Walmart Ibotta Offer! *Limited quantities are available.

Heluva Good! Block Cheese at Walmart

This Bacon, Cheddar & Jalapeno Cauliflower Casserole Recipe is so easy to make. I even used a bag of frozen cauliflower to save both time and money. The price of fresh cauliflower around here is pretty high, but a bag of frozen cauliflower is very affordable. I have two toddlers at home, so I try to make things as cheap and easy as possible.

Bacon, Cheddar & Jalapeno Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound bag of frozen cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup Heluva Good! Jalapeno Jack Cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup Heluva Good! Extra Sharp Cheddar (grated)
  • 5 slices cooked bacon (crumbled)

Bacon, Cheddar & Jalapeno Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Spread frozen cauliflower on baking sheet and toss to coat with extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Bake cauliflower for 25 minutes.
  5. Remove cauliflower from oven and mash into smaller pieces.
  6. Transfer cauliflower to a medium sized bowl.
  7. Add cream cheese, ½ of the Jalapeno Jack, ½ of the Extra Sharp Cheddar, bacon and salt. Stir to combine.
  8. Transfer cauliflower mixture to a 1.5 quart casserole dish.
  9. Top with remaining cheese.
  10. Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
  11. Cook cauliflower casserole uncovered for 10 minutes.
  12. Broil for an additional 3 minutes, until the cheese on top is slightly brown and bubbly.

Bacon, Cheddar & Jalapeno Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

Heluva Good! Cheese is a great way to add protein and calcium to your diet. It’s gluten free, made with milk and has 0 grams of trans fat per serving. It’s perfect for snacking on and adding to your favorite dishes.

You can find Heluva Good! Cheese in the dairy aisle of your neighborhood supermarkets in New York (New York, Syracuse, Buffalo/Rochester, Albany), Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, Harrisburg/Scranton, Philadelphia), Connecticut (Hartford), Massachusetts (Springfield, Boston), Ohio (Cleveland, Columbus), Rhode Island (Providence), Florida (Tampa/St. Petersburg, Orlando), Virginia (Roanoke), Maryland (Baltimore), Washington D.C. We have it here in Maine, too!

What other Heluva Good! cheese flavors would you use in a Cauliflower Casserole Recipe? 

Summer Home Maintenance Tips

 Posted by on July 15, 2017  No Responses »
Jul 152017
 

Get Your Home Ready for Summer with These Summer Home Maintenance Tips!

Summer is finally here, and I am so excited. The weather here in Maine has not really been that great for the last couple of months. He have still had some really cold days, and it has rained quite often. Hopefully the weather will start warming up now! This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on a link in this post. 

Summer is a great time for enjoying the outdoors. We love to travel around the state of Maine and enjoy the beautiful ocean views, as well as host back yard barbecues. Before we pack the family up for a getaway, or invite people over to our home, we spend some time checking on our home.

The beginning of summer is the perfect time to make repairs, before the heat is beating down. Every homeowner should have a basic tool kit before attempting any of the summer home maintenance tips below. I love this 69 piece general tool kit for home maintenance. It really has quite a lot of things that a homeowner will use on a regular basis, and it comes with a nice little storage bag to keep everything neat and organized.

Here are some summer home maintenance tips to start with!

Summer Home Maintenance Tips

  1. Air Conditioner – At the minimum, change the filters; better yet, have a tune up. It’s much easier to take care of problems before the heat of summer is underway, and you might have to wait several days to get a repairman to your home.
  2. Check Your Roof – Make sure that the roof is still in good condition, with no leaks or missing shingles. While you’re at it, clean the gutters to avoid leaks and clogs. If any gutters are loose, reattach them to the house.
  3. House Siding/Paint – It’s a good idea to wash down your paint or siding every spring. This allows you to see if there are any issues before they get out of hand.  It also makes your home’s appearance fresh.  Use a power washer and a mild detergent to clean.  It’s not a bad job on a sunny day.
  4. Windows – Inspect your windows inside and out to make sure the seals are still intact, and that they are operating properly. Wash them on the outside, after the winter rains and snow, they will most likely need it.  Check for any cracks or breakage and get them replaced. Make sure your window screens are in good repair, and clean out the window wells.
  5. Kid’s Area – If you have a swing set, or kids’ area of your yard, make sure that everything is safe, clean and usable. Swing sets can sometimes become a little loose and wobbly over the winter.  Make sure any sand areas are clean.  Spread new mulch or sand if it has become compacted.  If the metal swing set has become rusty, consider re-painting it. Check for sharp edges and wood that may cause splinters.
  6. Check Your Deck or Patio – Summertime is the season these spaces were designed for; make sure it’s safe! Check underneath you deck for missing or loose supports. Floor boards should be securely fastened.  Power wash and refinish if necessary.  Overhead coverings should be in good repair; if not, replace them.  Deep clean your outside cooking space – grill, fire pit, etc.
  7. Garden Chores – Remove any plants that didn’t survive the winter, check trees for soundness (you don’t want one falling on your house), mulch to keep weeds in check. Trim plants that might interfere with the A/C unit.  Freshen up any flower beds by planting new flowers.
  8. Check For Unwanted Pests – Lots of animals like to build nests and cause damage to your home. Check around your home, garage and shed for carpenter ants, termites, hornets, mice and other rodents, and get rid of their nests in a safe manner before they cause damage to your property.

By performing these summer home maintenance tips at the beginning of summer, you can spend the rest of your weekends doing what you please.  These simple jobs will keep your home not only looking good, but in good repair, too.

Do you have any summer home maintenance tips to add to the list? 

Jul 122017
 

This post is written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Acorn Influence, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Looking for a quick and easy low carb breakfast option for when you’re busy or on-the-go? Jimmy Dean has you covered with their new Simple Scrambles!

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles

As a busy Mom of two toddlers, I often have trouble finding time to make breakfast for myself and my husband in the mornings. We have both been following a low carb diet for over 6 months now, so we can’t just grab something like a donut to eat when we’re busy or on-the-go.

We usually eat bacon or sausage, eggs, and cheese for breakfast, but it’s often hard to find the time to cook it. Bacon especially takes a while to cook, and it’s something you really have to pay close attention to. My husband often rushes off to work without eating breakfast, simply because we just didn’t have the time to cook anything.

I recently heard about Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles, and I thought it would be a perfect solution for the mornings when I am too busy to cook breakfast for us.

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles come in three varieties – bacon, meat lovers and sausage. You can find them at Walmart, in the refrigerated meats section next to the pre-cooked bacon.

I love how easy these are to cook up. You simply peel the lid off, pour the (REAL!!) eggs in the cup, microwave for 45 seconds, stir, add the meat and cheese, and microwave for an additional 20-30 seconds. That’s it!

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles

I have to say, these Simple Scrambles taste really good! I was afraid they might taste a bit bland or rubbery, but they actually taste like something I would cook myself at home. I love that they are high protein and low carb, and are a fantastic option when I need a quick and easy breakfast. My husband will be taking these to work with him now too!

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles

The portion size of this product is just perfect. It’s not too much, but it’s enough to leave you feeling full and satisfied. They certainly did not skimp on the meat and cheese either!

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles

We are planning on taking a family vacation soon, and really want to keep costs as low as we can. We are planning on bringing our own food and eating in our hotel room for most of the vacation. Eating out with toddlers is not really very fun, it’s expensive to eat out all the time, and it can also be challenging to follow a low carb diet when eating out at a restaurant. I will definitely be packing some Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles to take with us on our trip. Our hotel room has a microwave and a refrigerator, so we will be all set!

Pick up some Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles at Walmart, and use the Ibotta app starting August 2nd to snag a 75 cent rebate!

Maine Summer Attractions

 Posted by on July 11, 2017  No Responses »
Jul 112017
 

You’ll love these Maine Summer Attractions!

Enjoy these Maine Summer Attractions to explore some “off the beaten path” spots with your family. Maine is known for lobster and picturesque waterways, but we’re more than just that! This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link in this post. 

Maine Summer Attractions

The Great Outdoors

Maine’s diverse landscape makes it the perfect destination for all things adventure and outdoors!

Monhegan Island – Located 10 miles from the nearest mainland, Monhegan Island is only about a square mile in area and is only accessible by boat. There are no cars, paved roads, etc. It was once known to Native Americans as a prime fishing area, though it’s mostly used for tourism now. Monhegan is the place to go if you’re looking for relaxation and beautiful wilderness. Take the Hardy Boat out of New Harbor to get there.

McLaughlin Garden – Featured in Coastal Home Magazine, McLaughlin Garden is located in South Paris, Maine. It’s a garden and homestead, perfect for nature lovers of all ages. Known as one of Maine’s most stunningly beautiful gardens, McLaughlin Garden is home to a collection of many trees, woody shrubs, and beauties such as hostas, iris, and over 200 lilacs. You definitely want to bring your camera with you when you visit McLaughlin Garden.

Wild Blueberry Festivals – Did you know that Maine produces nearly 85% of the world’s wild blueberries? That’s more than 90 million pounds of blueberries each year! Attending a Wild Blueberry Festival is a must if you’re in Maine.

Pemaquid Point – It’s not a trip to Maine without a lighthouse visit. Pemaquid Point was chosen to be in the 50 State Quarters program, and is one of the most photographed lighthouses on the coast of Maine. The views are breathtaking.

 Explorer’s Guide Maine (18th Edition) (Explorer’s Complete) Frommer’s Maine Coast (Complete Guide) Maine Off the Beaten Path®: A Guide To Unique Places (Off the Beaten Path Series) Maine’s Most Scenic Roads: 25 Routes off the Beaten Path Maine Lighthouses Illustrated Map & Guide Moon Maine (Travel Guide) Acadia: The Complete Guide: Acadia National Park & Mount Desert Island (Color Travel Guide) Explorer’s Guide Maine Coast & Islands: Key to a Great Destination (Third) (Explorer’s Great Destinations) 50 Things to Do in Maine Before You Die Maine 101: Everything You Wanted to Know About Maine and Were Going To Ask Anyway

Larger Than Life in Maine

World’s Largest Telephone – Located in Bryant Pond, this crank powered 14 foot tall telephone is the largest in the world. It weighs over 3,000 pounds!

3-story Outhouse – Also in Bryant Pond, you’ll find this lovely gem.

Paul Bunyan Statue – Standing tall at 31 foot high, this Paul Bunyan statue weighs nearly 4,000 pounds and attracts attention to Paul Bunyan’s birthplace of Bangor. For some reason, his blue ox, Babe, isn’t nearby.

Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory – Enjoy a panoramic 360-degree view from a bridge tower forty-two stories high – one of only three such Bridge Observatories in the world and the only one in the western hemisphere!  The Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory is near Bucksport, Maine on Route 1.

From the top of the observatory, you will be able to see beautiful Penobscot Bay as it meets the Penobscot River. You’ll also have a spectacular view of the Maine coast south to the Camden Hills, East to Mount Desert Island and Northwest to the eastern reaches of the Appalachian Trail and Mount Katahdin.

Fun Oddities in Maine

No Maine Summer Attractions list is complete without some fun and unique things thrown in. You will only find these in Maine!

Eartha – This 3-dimensional scale model of earth actually rotates, and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the World’s Largest Rotating Globe. It took two years to build, and represents earth as it is seen from space. The Globe measures 41.5 feet, and can be seen for free in the lobby at DeLorme Headquarters.

Stephen King’s House – You didn’t think I’d skip this one, did you? Maine is where the famous author was born, and he used it for the setting of many of his stories (including Pet Sematary). You can even take a private narrated tour of the Stephen King sites in and around Bangor, Maine!

International Cryptozoology Museum – Yetis, Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, and other larger zoological species that remain unverfied by science are studied at this museum. If you’re wondering whether Sasquatch is real or not, I think this is a great place to start.

Desert of Maine – The Desert of Maine is a 40-acre tract of exposed glacial silt (a sand-like substance, but finer-grained than sand) surrounded by a pine forest near the town of Freeport, Maine, in the United States.

Perry’s Nut House – Perry’s Nut House is a tourist stop and store on Route One in Belfast, Maine. Perry’s Nut House opened in 1927, and is a classic example of an American roadside attraction. Here you’ll find Maine’s favorite fudge, shelled nuts, toys, gifts and more!

Leave your favorite Maine Summer Attractions in the comments!


Jun 252017
 

Want to have a fun and adventurous summer? Keep a toddler travel bag in your car, and you’ll be ready to hit the road in a jiffy!

This review was made possible by iConnect and Luvs.  I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.

Summer is here, and I’m so excited! We had a pretty cold and wet spring here in Maine, so I am anxious to finally have some nice weather and get out of the house with my kids.

During the summer months, I love to travel around our state. I’m not a fan of the snow, so I pretty much hibernate all winter long. When summer comes, I want to go, go, go! My husband, John, and I, have already taken our kids to the zoo, to some new playgrounds we have never been to, out for ice cream, and to a few different places along the Maine coast. I am really looking forward to taking more day trips this summer. I want to go to the beach, have a picnic at the park, go to the botanical garden, and so much more!

If you’ve ever gone on a day trip with a toddler, you know just how much time and energy goes into packing a toddler travel bag. It honestly takes so much out of me every time I try to pack a toddler travel bag for a day trip. I run around the house like a mad woman trying to find everything I need to pack, and there’s always something that I forget to pack. It’s so exhausting, and by the time I’m done, I don’t even want to leave the house anymore. One day, I finally decided to save my sanity, and pack a toddler travel bag that could be left in my car at all times. Now, we can all be ready to leave the house quickly!

Pack a toddler travel bag with the items below, and you’ll be ready to leave the house in no time at all this summer!

What to Pack in a Toddler Travel Bag for Summer

  1. Sunscreen – Keep your toddler from getting burned by the sun! Always keep a bottle of sunscreen in your car. You won’t want to be caught without it. Make sure you seal it up in a resealable plastic bag so it doesn’t leak out all over your car or toddler’s belongings.
  2. Sun hat – My son has very blonde hair and his head burns quickly in the sun, so I always make sure to keep a sun hat in the car.
  3. Extra set of light clothing – We all know how messy toddlers are, so it’s important to keep an extra set of light clothing on hand in case an outfit change is needed.
  4. Extra set of warm clothing – Living in Maine, we often travel to the coast during the summer months. Some times it is a lot cooler along the coast when the ocean breezes are blowing, so I like to keep a set of warm clothes in the car to keep my kids nice and toasty.
  5. A light jacket with a hood – We often get thunderstorms in the afternoon, so I keep a hooded jacket in the car for my toddlers in case of rain.
  6. Swimsuit – The beach is my favorite place to be in the summer, so I always have a swimsuit in the car for my toddlers.
  7. Beach towels – Don’t forget the beach towels!
  8. Beach toys – Bring a few toys for your toddler to play with at the beach! Mine like to play with sand buckets and shovels.
  9. Water shoes – Beaches can sometimes be a bit rocky and hard on the feet, so I bring water shoes for my toddlers to keep their feet nice and comfortable. It also helps them to walk along the sand easier.
  10. Life jacket or arm floaties – Safety first! Bring a life jacket or arm floaties to keep your toddler safe when they are in the water.
  11. Non-perishable snacks – Toddlers love to eat, and can become hangry very quickly! Don’t forget to load up on their favorite non-perishable snacks!
  12. Picnic Blanket – We often like to have picnics at the beach or park, and it’s nice to have a picnic blanket to sit on while we eat. It keeps our pants from getting dirt or grass stains on them, and also helps to keep the bugs away from our food. Bring a blanket that can be wiped off easily if any food gets spilled on it.
  13. Paper plates, napkins, and cutlery – If you’re having a picnic, you’ll also want to have these on hand!
  14. First aid kit – You never know what might happen while you’re out and about with a toddler. Be prepared for cuts and scrapes with a first aid kit. Keep things like alcohol wipes, band-aids and a pair of tweezers on hand.
  15. Trash bags – Keep a few trash bags on hand for food trash, dirty diapers and wipes, or to store your toddler’s wet clothes until you can wash them.
  16. Diapers and Wipes – Make sure you keep your toddler travel bag stocked up with lots of diapers and wipes! Save some money for summer fun when you print this coupon for $2 off any one Luvs diaper pack. You can use this coupon at any mass, discount, or grocery stores where Luvs Diapers are sold. Luvs Ultra Leakguard Diapers with NightLock Plus™ are softer and more absorbent than before*, with large stretch tabs for easy fastening, ultra-leakage protection and a money-back guarantee. Luvs provides features babies and parents need for less cost than premium brands, so you can have more fun this summer!

Luvs DiapersWith a fully loaded toddler travel bag like this, you should be able to get out of the house quickly! Grab some bottles of water for the road, and you’ll be all set.

Don’t forget to restock your toddler travel bag after each day trip, so you’ll be ready for another one!

 

*Vs. product replaced, sz. 2-5

Jun 122017
 

This is a sponsored post for Colman’s. All opinions are 100% my own.

Cauliflower seems to be all the rage lately, and I have totally jumped on the bandwagon! I use cauliflower in place of rice and potatoes all the time. I even recently made a cauliflower ‘hummus’. It was delicious, and surprisingly, very similar to regular hummus!

With summer just around the corner, I am now thinking about how to use cauliflower in my favorite summer salads. It’s such a versatile vegetable that can be used so many ways. I can’t wait to experiment with it some more and see what other fun recipes I can come up with.

I have always loved potato salad, but my husband and I have been eating low carb for over 6 months now, and our diet no longer includes potatoes. Not to worry, though, because cauliflower makes a great faux potato salad!

Spicy Cauliflower 'Potato' Salad

Cauliflower on its own can be a bit bland, so I added a little spice to this recipe by adding Colman’s Mustard. Mustard is always a staple in my home, and I usually have at least half a dozen different flavors on hand. It adds so much flavor to my dishes, and it also fits well into my low carb lifestyle.

Spicy Cauliflower Potato Salad

Colman’s Mustard is spicy, but it’s a nose hot, not a throat hot. It doesn’t leave your lips feeling like they are on fire, but it has a nice amount of spice to it. It’s kind of like a mix between wasabi and cayenne pepper, and it’s delicious!

Spicy Cauliflower 'Potato' Salad

INGREDIENTS:

  •        2 cups cauliflower florets, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  •        2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  •        Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
  •        2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  •        2 tablespoons sour cream
  •        1 tablespoon Colman’s Mustard
  •        2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
  •        2 tablespoons finely diced celery
  •        2 tablespoons diced green onion

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss cauliflower, salt, pepper, paprika, and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl until cauliflower is well coated.
  3. Arrange cauliflower on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 22-24 minutes, until cauliflower is slightly browned and crispy. (I prefer baking my cauliflower instead of cooking it on the stove because it gets more moisture out of the cauliflower and keeps the salad from getting soggy.)
  4. Remove cauliflower from oven and allow it to cool.
  5. Transfer cauliflower to a medium-sized bowl and add hard-boiled eggs, celery and green onion.
  6. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, Colman’s Mustard, and a dash of salt and    pepper.
  7. Pour dressing over cauliflower mixture and toss until well combined.
  8. Cover cauliflower salad and place in refrigerator for at least one hour to allow the flavors to combine.

Spicy Cauliflower Potato Salad
Spice up your summer dishes with Colman’s Mustard! Find lots of incredible recipes on their website here.

 

Jun 012017
 

This is a sponsored post for Colman’s. All opinions are 100% my own.

Summer is almost here, and one thing I am really looking forward to is all the yummy food I will be eating! My family gets together quite often during the warm summer months, and we always have a great time catching up with each other, playing with our kids in the back yard, and eating delicious foods, of course!

One of my favorite summer dishes is deviled eggs. My husband and I have been on a low carb diet for over 6 months now, so eggs have become a staple in our home. I love deviled eggs because they are so versatile and delicious. You can really flavor them up any way you want, and they are a perfect ‘grab and go’ food. No plate required! As a Mom of two busy toddlers, finger foods like this are definitely my friend.

Spicy Deviled Eggs

One ingredient I always add to my deviled eggs, no matter which flavor direction I go in with them, is mustard. I love mustard so much that I always have about half a dozen different flavors of it in my refrigerator. You can really add so much flavor to your favorite dishes by adding a bit of mustard. It just gives it so much more depth.

Spicy Deviled Eggs

I was recently given the opportunity to try out Colman’s Dry Mustard. I have never tried this product before, but I was very intrigued by it, as I love mustard so much. I also love all things spicy, and when I heard this mustard had a great kick to it, I knew I had to try it!

Spicy Deviled Eggs

I added the Colman’s Dry Mustard to my deviled eggs, and it sure did give them a nice ‘kick’! The heat from this mustard is not throat hot, but nose hot. It’s sort of like a cross between wasabi and cayenne, and it’s delicious!

Colman’s Dry Mustard can be used in lots of recipes to really bring out the flavor and heat. Add a pinch to pasta, sprinkle on your pizza or serve on sushi! I can’t wait to add this mustard to some of my other favorite dishes, like summer salads and dips!

Spicy Deviled Eggs

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Tablespoons Colman’s Dry Mustard
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • 5 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 5 tablespoon dried chives
  • 3 tablespoons Sour Cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Hard boil, cool and peel eggs.
  2. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove yolks.
  3. Place yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Mixture should be smooth and creamy.
  5. Spoon yolk mixture back into the egg whites.
  6. Garnish with additional dried chives, if desired.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

What dishes will you add Colman’s Dry Mustard to?