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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Here it is, our newest Chevy commercial!

If you'd like to get your family to the Franklin Park Zoo or Stone Zoo, sign up for a Chevy Traverse test drive at your local New England Chevy Dealer today!  Queen of the Road will be picking 25 lucky winners who will receive 2 free children's tickets to the zoo!  What are you waiting for?  Sign up now!

Follow Queen of the Road on Twitter @ChevyQOTR and on Facebook to keep up with the latest summer travel information, staycation ideas, restaurant reviews, Walt Disney World tips and MORE!  The Chevy Traverse is the car that makes it all happen!  Sporty, comfortable, plenty of room, great gas mileage and NOT a minivan!  Enjoy the ride!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

5 Reasons to Visit The Cottage Chestnut Hill

The Cottage Chestnut Hill ~ pretty bar!
I had the pleasure of meeting up with the Boston Parent Bloggers last night at a lovely new restaurant in town - The Cottage Chestnut Hill, located next to Bloomingdale's at the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center.

Thai Basil Sangria?  Yes, please!
  1. We had the pleasure of meeting co-owner Laura Wolfe and Culinary Director, Todd Kiley. Both are super-duper down-to-earth people who know what guests are looking for in their dining experience.  Presentation was exquisite, flavors were heavenly and the wait staff went out of their way to make sure we were happy. Greeters at the front (I think I counted 4 on a Monday night!) were cheerful and attentive. No waiting around to be acknowledged.  A+ in my book.  
  2. Atmosphere and ambiance.  I sort of felt like I was in Santa Monica!  Such a pretty restaurant. Chic, sophisticated, elegant, classy.  
  3. The drinks.  Ummm, for some reason we got to try A LOT of cocktails!  Started out with a local Pretty Things Summer Ale, out of Cambridge - YUM!  Then it was the Barcelona Red Sangria.  It had been a LONG time since I've had sangria and this one was delicious.  However, it was soon followed by their Thai Basil Sangria.  Now, you're talking!  The basil was just an amazing, refreshing blend added to a delicious white wine, brandy and orange vodka.  Now, you'd think I'd be tanked by now, right?  It was suggested that we sip these drinks, but they were just too good to pass up!  And they kept coming fast and furiously!  Most of us were double fisted all night long! (Remember, I said they were lovely and down-to-earth people?)  Last but not least, the servers waltzed in with these beautiful, tall pink numbers - the Pomegranate Margaritas.  Killer.  Need I say more?  
  4. The Fried California Avocado.  Just the perfect combination of crunch and kick.  To die for. 
  5. Everything on the menu is local farm fresh!  

Sesame Ahi Tuna Nacho!  
All I can say is plan your next date night at The Cottage.  You'll be so happy you did.  Find them on Twitter @thecottagechill and on Facebook.  I can't wait to take Chris!  Thank you to the folks at The Cottage for hosting us last night.  Well done and welcome to the neighborhood! 

So, the night came to a close and I walked to my car.  Well, I thought it was my car.   Just someone else's Chevy Traverse.  Had to snap a photo.  A funny way to end the night...even funnier, I forgot my glasses.  "I wear my sunglasses at night, so I can, so I can....."

Um, yeah, that's NOT my Traverse.  LOL.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy First Birthday Owen!!

Tomorrow, our littlest one is a year old.  God, I love this kid.  Thanks for coming into our lives and making us smile.  We love you more than you'll ever know.  

Owen just seconds old
About 2 hours old
1 month 
2 months
3 months
4 months
5 months
6 months
7 months
8 months
9 months
10 months
11 months
A year old
Oh, and I think he crawled today.  Happy birthday big guy.  Mommy loves you.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More on Running

Yes, I am a moron running.  I run so slow.  I run slower than most people can walk.

But I have been running.  Not far, but I'm still at it.

Bathing suit season is upon us.  We went to the beach twice this weekend, but I don't have any photos to prove it because I won't pose for the camera in my suit.

The breastfeeding days will soon be over and the margarita/beer season seems to be in full force, so something must be done.

Running in the heat of the day sucks.  I will not get up at 5am and run.  However, my goal is to run 3 times/week.  Can I do this?  Will I be able to keep it up all summer long?  Can I lose the bulge?  The muffin top? The love handles?

If I sign up for a 5K in the fall, I think I will keep at it.  But I will not run a 5K at 10am in July.  It just ain't happening.

Is anyone else trying something new to get in shape - maybe lose 5 to 10 lbs?  Do you believe in dieting?  Not me....I can just make better choices.  Like, the clam strip plate I had for lunch at Evelyn's Drive In yesterday afternoon.  (Well, I did opt for the small.  Does that count?)  Oh, and I didn't have ANY Gray's Ice Cream)

Lots of people are trying the Couch to 5K Plan.  I am doing my best to not over-exert myself and walk before I exhaust myself.  I seem to be getting better and going longer distances before needing to walk for a minute. The walk for a minute trick is pretty good though.  It's just enough time to catch your breath and run again. Some of the hills near my house though are killer.  Damn you, hills!

I have 3 motivators that keep me going:  (Is this normal??)

  • My buddy Kevin M. (almost like a little prayer for strength and courage when I'm clearing my brain and doing some deep thinking.....)  If he can do what he's doing so courageously, I can run a little bit.  Maybe I can run FAR for Kevin one day. 
  • I gave birth 3 times.  I can run a little bit.  Is running harder than giving birth?  Could be...
  • Dad.  Dad would want to be on his boat enjoying the sunshine, enjoying a cold one.  Run for Dad. Run a little harder and a little longer.  He gets in my head and tells me I can do it...

What keeps you going?  Who motivates you to keep on running?


Friday, June 17, 2011

Got Juice?

Well, summer is here.  Well, almost.  School is out on Thursday for us.  But I only work half days.  Oh, and I took a personal day on Monday.  So 3 half days left.  1 and a half full days until I am home with the children all summer long.  We'll all be looking for some fun things to do with our beloved children and things to do without our beloved children while they're at camp or with a sitter.  Sitter?  During the summer?  Yes.  Guilt-free mommy time.  Plenty to be had.  Cue music and enter Juice in the City!  Think Living Social, Groupon, Eversave, etc. What a concept!

Juice in the City will soon be launched (mid July) in Beantown.  They are a unique deals site built up for and by moms!  All the deals are sourced by moms as well, and moms sure do know what we're all looking for, so it's going to be great!  Whether it be a mani/pedi, a deal on a kids' top-rated show in town or someone to come in and clean our kitchens, you'll want to keep up with these amazing deals!  And I'm sure we could all use a little local date night deals, right?  Especially when a local mom is recommending!  

Juice in the City is committed to saving local.  They value a mom's time at home, he hard earned money and the community of local businesses.  And you know, they're currently hiring!  Couldn't you use a few extra bucks working from home?  You may want to become an LBC for Juice in the City Boston!  If you want a flexible work schedule so that you can spend more time home with your children, you may want to apply!  You'll become the local hero bringing more deals to other moms like yourself!  
So, I'm totally pumped for Boston's launch of Juice in the City.  Well, they hired me to bring you the deals, so you'll want to stay tuned all summer long so that you are the first to know about all the amazing LOCAL deals headed our way.  The deals will be quick and changing all the time, so you'll have to be on your toes to keep up with us!

The first thing you'll need to do is subscribe to their emails so that you don't miss any of the super deals coming our way.  You'll also want to join their facebook page and follow them on twitter @jitcboston.  And have you joined my friend connect yet?  You'll probably want to do that too!  ------>

Watch here to find out a little bit more about how Juice in the City is doing it's thing in Cali.  Being an LBC looks super fun and flexible.  A great way to bring in some extra cash for the fam!  It may be just the thing you're looking for!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oak Hill Country Day Preschool Wooo!

Brynn, Camryn & Emily
Tomorrow is Emily's last day of preschool.  Just seems like yesterday that I was pulling out of the lot in tears at the first drop off.  Just about 3 years later and I have one happy, well-adjusted, curious little girl who is ready for K.  Thank you Oak Hill Preschool for teaching her well.  You are all amazing!  Sending a Stow boy in September...the cycle begins again.  7 straight years of Oak Hill, folks.  7 wonderful preschool years in the making.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Emily Loves Learning How to Read

In this video, you see some great early reading strategies being put to good use by Emily while decoding.
  • Don't just tell your child the difficult words.
  • Use the phrase, "Get your mouth ready."  Your child should notice the first letter or first group of letters and make the appropriate sounds.
  • Ask your child to "stretch it out."  You can see me using my fingers to tap out the sounds with her as well.  Stretching it out requires them to slowly say each sound and then put it together.  
  • Teach your child to look at the pictures for clues.
  • Ask, "Does that make sense?"  They will then learn to internalize this rule and ask themselves this question while reading.  
  • Look for known parts or chunks in bigger words.
  • Praise, praise, praise!!!  Keep it fun!


More from Our Glee LIVE Boston Adventure

Jenn, Annie, Katie, Diane
I picked up the girls from work in the Traverse and we had a super comfy ride into Boston.  It was a breeze getting my 3 car seats out of the Traverse so the girls could fit.  We relied on OnStar to get us to TD Garden, the tunes were blasting, we were singing and the A/C was blowing!   We got a prime parking spot in the garage and headed on over to the Garden.  

Team Chevy!
We met up with John Morrison and the Chevy gang, who took us to our meet and greet with some of the cast members!  Pretty incredible!  Brittany told my friend, Diane, that she looked familiar!  Hilarious.

Katie, Tina, Annie, Jenn, Diane, & Brittany
Double fisted!
We had so much fun.  It was a pretty ridiculous night!!  I've never experienced those kinds of seats before!!  Not to mention 2 stages, amazing pyrotechnics and the closing confetti falling on top of us!  Oh, and the margaritas!!
Annie and the Magic Beans Co-Founders, Eli and Sheri!
Party Time!
Jenn had the time of her life!  

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Glee LIVE in Boston!!!

A big thank you to our New England Chevy Dealers for sending us to Glee Live at TD Garden!!!  We had such an amazing night!!!  Igo Room 105 really knows how to have a good time!!  Thanks for joining me ladies.  It's a night we'll never forget!!   SMOOCHES!

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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Take the Kids to Battleship Cove

We took a drive to Fall River, MA. on Memorial Day to check out Battleship Cove, which is home to the world’s largest collection of Historic Naval Ships, located in Fall River, Ma. 

There you can climb on board the USS Massachusetts, which is Massachusetts’ official memorial to WWII and Persian Gulf War.  It is massive!!  The kids loved climbing up and down the many ladders, seeing the mess hall, the galley kitchen and the huge decks! 

You can also wander through the USS Lionfish, which is an attack submarine from WWII and the Cold War.  Totally awesome.   The ships represent many American sacrifices made in defense of our freedom.  It was pretty amazing to be there on Memorial Day.   

USS Joseph P. Kennedy, JR is another vessel not to be missed.  This ship is Massachusetts’ official memorial to the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  HUGE!  Ladders, decks, ladders and more ladders!  We had so much fun exploring. 

Did you know you can even have an overnight stay on board Battleship Massachusetts?  The overnight camping adventure details can be found here.

Can’t pass up a good old-fashioned carousel with a 5  year-old and a 2 year-old.  The Fall River Carousel is conveniently located in Battleship Cove as well and cannot be missed!    Carousel #54 of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company has been completely restored to the beauty of its days at Lincoln Park.  Not to be missed at $1/ride!  And you can even rent the carousel for birthday parties!  Emily and Aidan loved it!  (Ok, it was the main reason they wanted to go to Battleship Cove, but it turned out to be far better than they expected with all the ships!)

So parking is free and it’s a beautiful spot on Mt. Hope Bay.  Take a ride this summer to check out Battleship Cove and climb your way through history.  Your kids will love it and so will you!  

What are some of your favorite area day trips for the family?

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

Here, Home, Hope ~ A Book Review

I just finished reading Here, Home, Hope, by Kaira Rouda.  First, let me start by saying that it was a quick read and that is usually not the case for me.  I read it over the weekend!  Secondly, this was my first digital read and it was fun to be able to read it on my laptop and my husband's Kindle. I think I want a digital reader for the summer.  When is Mother's Day? Crap, too late.

Anyway, let me give you my takeaways from Here, Home, Hope.  It's a novel about Kelly Johnson, a 39 year old wife and mother who is having a hard time with turning 40 and has had a recent cancer scare.  She is on the cusp of a mid-life crisis and is in constant reflection regarding the direction of her life.  I loved Kelly.  She is writing a T2C list throughout the novel, which stands for Things To Change in her life.  She creates her list using sticky notes, and Lord knows I love sticky notes.  Kelly lives in the 'burbs, hates the dentist and is married to an attorney.  We've got a lot in common.

Kelly thinks the grass is always greener and comes to find out that it's not always the case.  Her friends' marriages are falling apart around her and Kelly is the go-to gal for fixing everything in her friends' lives.  She is constantly doing for others and not always thinking about what she may need.

She starts a new career, helps pick up the pieces for all of her friends in times of need and figures out how she wants to live her life.  The self-reflection is full of wit and good humor.  I wanted to punch Rachel (the obnoxious know-it-all, in your face, crass mother in the neighborhood) in the face.

The only that may have been lacking for me was deeper character development, especially in the love triangles. I felt I was left hanging at times and wanted to know more about the failed marriages and the new relationships.

Overall, it was an uplifting story that is a good reminder of what really matters in life -- love, friendship and happiness.  Here is what other people are saying about the book.  Kaira Rouda is currently on a book tour, so you can check out this list of dates to find out when she'll be in your area for a book signing.  Happy reading!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disclosure:  I received a copy of the book from One2One Network to facilitate my review.  


Friday, June 03, 2011

Grandma's Garden

Emily takes after her Grandma.  They both love to draw, do arts and crafts, paint, and tend to the beautiful garden.  Grandma keeps busy, lemme tell ya.  This back garden was bare when they bought the house in 2006. Grandma and Grandad have turned it into a masterpiece.  Chris, luckily, has a green thumb too.  This is why we have blueberries and radishes growing in our back yard.  Emily picked some on Thursday and today she yelled at me when she noticed them beginning to shrivel up.  "Mommy, I told you they'd go all funny if you didn't eat them!"  "But Emily, I don't really like radishes."  "Hmmmppphh"  

Anyway, the photos tell it all.  Emily is learning from her Grandma.  She is going to have a beautiful garden of her own one day.  I just know it.