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We all have children in our lives. Whether it be our kids, our grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, etc, we all have the joy of knowing these little tikes. There are plenty of things to do and see right in our own community, but what about a special trip out of town? There are so many super fun vaca spots that are day trip perfect or weekend long. Switch it up this weekend and go have some fun. All of these places I have personally been to so you know there good 😉

Number One – Storyland – https://www.storylandnh.com/
We love this one as it is perfect for young and old. We have been several times. It is a short drive away and in the White Mountain region of New Hampshire. There are amazing rides, great food, shows to watch, pirate ships to board, and it is affordable too. Put this down as one to visit.

Santa's Village – http://www.santasvillage.com/
Don't let the name fool you, this is a super cool summer place to visit. You can also go when it is cold, but it is most fun in the Summer. Tons of rides, food, shows, and more. Make sure you go on the hunt for all the elves too hidden around the park. Lines are never long here and hello? Christmas in July. Yes, please.

 santas

CoCo Key Water Park – http://www.cocokeyboston.com/
Imagine a huge water park, that is all indoors. This place has it all and you can stay in their hotel for extra benefits. 

Quassy Amusement Park – http://www.quassy.com/
If you are looking for a super fun "ride" park, then this is it. 

Seekonk Grand Speedway – http://www.seekonkgrandprix.com/
This is a ton of fun and pretty inexpensive. It is also very close by. They have an arcade too!

No list is complete without Canobie Lake Park – http://www.canobie.com/
There is so much to do here. Water Park, rides, shows, fireworks. It is not that far either for a day trip or stay the night in a local hotel.

canobie

Clark's Trading Post – http://www.clarkstradingpost.com/
This place has it all and a bear show! It is priced right and a bit of a drive, but it is perfect for a weekend trip to NH.

No matter where you roam, enjoy!

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As we get older, camping gets more and more enticing. It also is a lot of work if you bring kids and are un-prepared. Let's face it, we live in the best state for camping. Whether you trek it out alone or hit up one of the many campgrounds, it is always best to be prepared. As an avid camper, I am always looking for ways to make it a bit easier because the easier it is, the more free time I have to enjoy. I have a ton of tips I'll share with you and a few I have not tried. Happy Trails!

One of the best tips I do is to bring my Water Cooler. We always camp in campgrounds and the electric plug is a must for me. I like rugged, but I also like my coffee. Bringing in your water cooler not only gives you cold water all day, but mine also dispenses hot water for a nice cup of coffee in the morning. You can also use the water to brush your teeth and wash up. 

I also bring my mini fridge. There is nothing worse than hamburg meat floating in ice. Eww. Having that small mini fridge is essential to me as I can keep all my meat cold and also keep cheeses, dairy, etc. The less you have to worry about your raw food, the better.

Let's talk TP. Ugh, it always gets damp or moist and when wiping, just no. I keep mine in a old wipes container. I take out the middle cardboard spool and pull the tissue from the middle.It works just like wipes, but keeps it nice and clean.

In the bottom of your tent, place the puzzle floor mats you can get at any Walmart. It rubberizes the floor and makes it softer to walk on. It also makes it easier to sweep up.

mats

I love bringing a plastic shoe organizer. I can keep all of my utensils, salt/pepper, condiments, first aid, etc.. in the compartments. It is so handy.

Camping-Organizer-450x600

Prepare, prepare, prepare your food in advance. If you want to have a nice grilled vege side. Marinate it and stick it in Tupperware. Want some nice steaks, season them and wrap them up. Whisk your eggs and keep in a bottle. Mix up pancake batter so it is ready to pour. Mix a huge cooler full of lemonade and put out some cups. Planning now will make your cooking faster and more enjoyable.

For the love of Pete, bring fire starter logs.

Bring a bag of clothespins, you will use them ALL. A rope for hanging clothes is also essential.

Grab a bunch of those outdoor solar lights and pop them around your camp. It will offer you light when it gets dark and you can build a path with them to the toilet area.

Bring a screen tent or a pop up canopy in addition to your tents. You will want an extra space besides your sleeping quarters.

What are your tips and tricks?? Spread the love in the comments…

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Nothing says Summer like county fairs. The Midways, animals, shows, food, it is all so Summer and so New England. I am an avid visitor of these fairs and am listing my top favorites. These are perfect and affordable options for taking the kids or grandkids out for a day. Most offer wristbands to help keep costs down and the agricultural aspects of each will teach the kids a thing or two! What are your favorite festivals? Let us know in the comments below!

Barnstable County Fair – Going on now through the 23rd. 
1220 Nathan Ellis Highway, Route 151, East Falmouth, MA 02536
http://capecodfairgrounds.com/events/barnstable-county-fair/daily-schedule/
One of the best fairs around and is actually quite affordable if you buy the wrist bands.

Bolton Fair – Aug 11-13
318 Seven Bridge Road – Lancaster, MA 01523
http://www.boltonfair.org/index.html
The Bolton Fair will be open three full, fun-filled days – Friday, Saturday and Sunday – with a Midway preview and Bonfire on Thursday night.

Rochester County Fair – Aug 18-20
65 Pine St. – Rochester, MA 02770
http://www.rochesterma.com/contact.html
One of the smaller fairs on this list, but if you are looking for a small hometown fair to enjoy, this one is it.

The Marshfield Fair – Aug 18-27
140 Main Street – Marshfield, MA 02050
http://www.marshfieldfair.org/
This year marks the 150th year of the fair. If you have not been, this is one fair not to be missed.

King Richard's Faire – Sept 2 – October 22
235 Main Street Carver, MA 02330  
https://kingrichardsfaire.net/
King Richard's Faire is a place to escape all reality in an 80-acre wooded site with knights battling on horseback, fire-breathers, exotic tigers, roasted turkey legs, sword making and more. 

The Spencer Fair – Sept. 1-4, 2016
48 Smithville Road – ​Spencer, MA 01562
http://www.spencerfair.org/
The Spencer Fair is celebrating 128 years of fun on Labor Day weekend with various events including agricultural shows, truck tug-of-war and a demolition derby.

Finishing out our list is the BIG E of course – Sept 15 – October 1
1305 Memorial Ave. West Springfield, MA 01089
http://www.thebige.com/
Put aside a weekend for this one. They have music concerts, car shows, horse shows, and so much more. It is the fair to end all fairs!

Whatever you decide to do this summer, enjoy it with your family!

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Nothing beats the aroma of a grill smoking in a New England backyard. You can smell it in the air like cut grass during the summer in Massachusetts. We love to grill too and not just burgers. Linguica is a staple in this house along with grilled chicken and steak tips. There is so much more you can grill though, that you probably have not thought of. Fish, veges, potatoes, corn, dessert, etc.. are just some of the foods we grill up in the summer. Do you have a favorite dish or something "odd" you roast on the grill? I am going to share a few of mine, so please share a few of yours in the comments and we can all try something new!

First things first – Corn. Yes, grilled corn. If you haven't tried this, you owe it to yourself. Don't get me wrong,m there is nothing wrong with a nice boiled ear of summer corn. Grilled corn, however, is a totally different corn experience. Slather melted butter and salt and enjoy!

Fish/Seafood – Smoked seafood on the grill is so yummy. All you need to do is make a little pack out of aluminum foil or purchase a grill plate to lay the seafood on. I prefer the aluminum pack though. Take some aluminum foil and make a little boat shape. Then fill it with shrimp, scallops, fish chunks, etc.. Add butter and bread crumbs and close it up. Let it cook and enjoy with a favorite sauce and a nice white wine. Perfect summer meal.

Chicken – take strips of raw chicken and roll them in a rub. You can try a taco seasoning pack for a kick. Skewer them and roast on the grill. 

Camping? How about breakfast… Make a nice foil pack like we explained above and drop in scrambled eggs, cooked meats, and cheese and let cook.. You will have the most delish campfire egg scramble!

Vege's – You can cook almost any vege on the grill. The best way it=s to marinate your chopped vege in olive oil, garlic, and sea salt. Roast direct or on a grill plate. 

Potatoes – You can slice them up and grill or make a foil packet and drop in sliced potatoes, cheese, bacon, and seasons to make a delicious potato bake.

Taco's – If you have a grill plate, you can roast the meat and veges all together and toss in some cheese. Grill your taco's and serve. So delicious!

What do you like to grill? Let us know and enjoy!

 

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Massachusetts is well known for many things, but there are so many more wonderful things you may not realize this state offers unless you live here. Sure, we have great seafood and 4 lovely seasons, but what else? If you are thinking about making a move to Pine Hill Estates, read on and let me clue you in on what you can expect!

The Beaches – Sure, you know we have beaches. Who doesn't? You can spend years on the Cape and still not make it to every one. The Cape is not the only spot for beaches though! The South Coast offers so many options for beach goers. Silver Shell in Marion is a beautiful spot looking over the tri town harbor. You can take a short walk into downtown Marion for a treat or some shopping. You can also take a trip to Horseneck Beach in Westport. The dunes are lovely and the beach is super sandy. Nice big waves are also super fun at this popular spot. West Island on the tip of Fairhaven's Neck has a wonderful beach. It is never over-crowded and is a true hidden gem.

The Seasons – We truly have all 4 seasons. Fall in New England is really as good as everyone says it is. Halloween and falling leaves really are the best. Winter is long, I won't lie. But, it is also wonderful. Christmas and New Years in the north is amazing and something everyone should experience once. Spring rolls in and all of a sudden everyone flocks to the outdoors. Seeing all the dormant trees surge back to life is pretty great. Then of course summer comes and with it warm summer nights and beach days. You are never bored.

The History – One of the original 13 colonies and one of the six New England states, Massachusetts (officially called a commonwealth) is known for being the landing place of the Mayflower and the Pilgrims. English explorer and colonist John Smith named the state for the Massachusetts tribe. Boston, the state capital, was a hotbed of activity, including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party, during the American Revolution. In addition to its revolutionary spirit, the state is known for sparking the American Industrial Revolution with the growth of textile mills in Lowell, and for its large Irish-American population. Visiting Boston to explore all these points never gets old as you can literally walk the path of the birth of our nation.

Places to study – Massachusetts is known for holding some of the best educational institutions in the world. Not only are there impressive public and private high schools throughout the state, we have some of the world's top universities. Just to name a few: Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, Boston College, Babson, Bentley, Amherst College and Tufts. Not that my high school grades would've ever gotten me into any of those schools, but it's no wonder why Massachusetts is voted to have the best education in the nation.

Things To Do – There is never a dull moment in Massachusetts. With countless waterfalls and parks to explore and endless concerts and events under the stars you will never be bored. Cape Cod has a great outdoor musical pavilion called the Melody Tent. There is also the Xfinity Center and the TD Bank Garden. In the fall there are countless farmers markets and harvest festivals. In the summer, you will find endless concerts, parades, and outdoor events.

Pine Hill Estates offers so much more than lovely homes, it offers a way of life in this great state.

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Now that summer is "officially" here, it is time to think drink! Who doesn't love a cool drink on a super hot day? Hazy days by the pool or at the beach beckon tasty beverages. Casual dinners and weekend cookouts are also prime times for a cold one. If you are tired of the same old drinks though, stay tuned. Each year new drink mixes are rolled out, but some of the classic remains. Of course, if you are driving you will have to go virgin, but if you are staying at home, by all means indulge. Here are a few tasty picks to start your summer off right!

Sour Watermelon Slushies

Total Time: Prep: Level: Easy – Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. Sour Patch watermelons
  • 1 c. vodka
  • 1 c. sprite
  • 1 c. lemonade
  • 1 c. ice
  • Pink food coloring (optional)

Directions

  1. Add Sour Patch Watermelon gummies to vodka and soak overnight.
  2. To a blender, add 2 ounces flavored vodka, Sprite, lemonade, pink food coloring (if using) and ice.
  3. Blend to combine. Garnish with Sour Patch candies and serve.

Lemonade Mimosas

Total Time: Prep: Level: Easy – Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 bottle champagne
  • 2 c. lemonade or pink lemonade

Directions

  1. In a shallow dish, mix lemon zest and sugar.
  2. Rim champagne flutes with a lemon and dip in sugar mixture.
  3. Place one slice of lemon inside each champagne flute, bending if needed.
  4. Fill flute halfway with champagne and top with lemonade. Serve.

Pepper Thai Cocktails

Total Time: Prep: – Level: Easy – Serves: 1

Ingredients

For the Strawberry Pepper Syrup
  • 12 strawberries, plus more for garnish
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 6 oz. water
  • 1 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
For the cocktail
  • 3 Thai basil leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
  • 1 oz. soda

Directions

  1. Make strawberry pepper sauce: Blend strawberries, sugar, water and pepper until fully combined.
  2. Make cocktail: In a mixing glass or tin, muddle basil leaves with 3/4 ounce strawberry pepper syrup. Add lemon juice and Smirnoff No. 21, then fill with ice and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass and top with soda.
  3. Garnish with sliced strawberry and a Thai basil sprig.

Frozen Dark and Storny

 

Total Time: Prep: – Level: Easy – Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 can ginger beer
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 c. ice
  • 4 oz. dark rum

Directions

  1. In a blender, blend first 4 ingredients until smooth.
  2. Divide among 2 glasses and float 2 oz. dark rum on top of each.

 

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It is getting to be vacation time for us northerners. I am not talking the big trips, we save those for the winter, I am talking fun short trips. Trips to the beach, long weekends on the Vineyard, etc. I know for me, packing is a huge pain. You don't want to take too much, but then you also may need that black dress. The best way to pack is to really know where you are going to be staying and what you will be doing. I am all for spontaneity, but knowing a good part of your trip can ease the packing woes.

For starters, where are you staying? Are you renting a house? Did you choose a nice hotel or B&B? This matters as you can use their amenities to your advantage. For example, if the hotel or house you are staying at has a laundry facility, your packing changes completely. You just don't need to bring that much as you can quickly wash it or have the staff wash it for you. This is well worth the few dollars, trust me. This allows you to bring a lot less clothes and will also make less laundry for when you get home. I hate that after vaca laundry dance, ugh.

You can also head to any big box store and grab travel size of almost any kind of soap and shampoo. If they do not have your brand, grab it anyway. You can empty out the bottle when you get home and add in your specific shampoo or conditioner. You will be amazed at how much space this saves in your bags. It is also a great idea to grab a travel toiletry bag. You can keep everything neat and clean in there and if you do happen to have a spill, you can clean it up quick and it will not ruin your clothing. You can also unscrew the tops of your bottles and place a small amount of cling wrap to the bottle and then elastic it. This will make sure no spills occur just incase those tops screw off. **Cling wrap is also great for laying out your jewelry on sheets and placing another layer over the top. This makes your chains stay in place with no tangles when you travel!

Shoes have to be the worst part. These are better packed first so you can stow items in their soles. Make sure the shoes you are wearing when you leave the house are ones you will be wearing on your trip too. Try to limit it to 2 pairs. One for everyday, one for evening. Wrap them in plastic bags and place in bottom. You can then fill in the soles with other items to save space.

You should also pack a few extra plastic bags in case you bring home dirty clothes or shoes. You can keep them wrapped up and separate from your normal clothes. Also, do not forget the sunscreen, bug spray, and a small first aid kit.

 

 

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Some great new models are rolling out this year and with it tons of great options. Home Point’s suite of smart home products from trusted brand names are designed to fit seamlessly into your life and home. Finding the right home used to be all about "location, location, location." Today, it's also about convenience, energy saving and safety. Home Point offers all three in two versatile packages.

Ask Pine Hill Estates today about how you can get Home Point installed in your new home in Raynham, MA.

Convenience

The future has never been this easy to use. Home Point’s suite of carefully selected products from trusted brand names are designed to fit seamlessly into your life. Intuitive app-driven controls from your smart devices allow you to create the experience you want and the future you deserve … today.

Energy-saving

It begins with the Nest Learning Thermostat, a smart device that provides both energy efficiency and accurate climate control. Whether you’re out to lunch with friends, spending a busy day at work or enjoying a family vacation, you can tailor the thermostat’s settings to save energy while you are away.

image-energy-saving-titan-new-york-800x400

Safety

Late nights, long hours, lonely evenings: No matter the reason, you should always feel safe. With Home Point, you will. A high-definition video camera, smoke and carbon monoxide detection, and Lutron lighting that can be scheduled to turn on at sunset and off at sunrise.

image-safety-titan-homes-800x400

Packages

We offer two Home Point packages to provide precisely the features you want.

Home Point Standard

 

image-home-point-standard-titan-homes-800x261

  • Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, 2 Pico wireless remotes, 2 visor clips, 5 in-wall dimmer switches
  • Nest Learning Thermostat
  • 2 SnapPower Guidelights

Home Point Plus

image-home-point-standard-titan-homes-800x261
image-home-point-package-plus-titan-homes-800x261

Home Point Plus includes everything offered in the Home Point Standard packages, as well as:

  • 1 Nest Protect
  • 1 Nest Cam Indoor
  • 1 SnapPower USB charger outlet cover

Call us today to find out more!

 

 

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Long days sitting in the sand or by the pool are almost here and that means a fabulous summer reading list. So many great books have come out this year that it will be difficult to choose. But choose you must! Summer is fast approaching and you must be prepared to relax and catch up on your reading. Many of these I have read myself, but I will add in a few recommended reads for you too. If you are like me, I love to tell everyone I can about a great book I read. Please post in the comments your favorite summer reads so we can all enjoy! Happy Sun Bathing!

Save Me The Waltz – Zelda Fitzgerald
This book is written by the famous Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of Scott Fitzgerald. There is a new interest in the 1920's power couple as of late and of course everyone knows Scott's books. Zelda was a brilliant writer in her own right though and this story is basically a retelling of her life as she saw it. It is an interesting take on the Fitzgeralds and well worth a read.

Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk – Kathleen Rooney
It's the last day of 1984, and 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish is about to take a walk. As she crosses the unsafe landscape of a run-down Manhattan, a city anxious after an attack by a still-at-large subway vigilante, she encounters bartenders, bodega clerks, chauffeurs, security guards, bohemians, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be-in surprising moments of generosity and grace. As she strolls, she recalls a long and eventful life that included a brief reign as the highest-paid advertising woman in America, cut short by marriage, motherhood, divorce, and a breakdown. A love letter to city life no matter how shiny or sleazy, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic, from the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

For One More Day – Mitch Albom
I loved this book – this is a DEF read. He is an amazing write.
A beautiful, haunting novel about the family we love and the chances we miss. For One More Day is the story of a mother and a son, and a relationship that covers a lifetime and beyond. It explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one? As a child, Charley “Chick” Benetto was told by his father, “You can be a mama’s boy or a daddy’s boy, but you can’t be both.” So he chooses his father, only to see the man disappear when Charley is on the verge of adolescence. Decades later, Charley is a broken man. His life has been crumbled by alcohol and regret. He loses his job. He leaves his family. He hits bottom after discovering his only daughter has shut him out of her wedding. And he decides to take his own life. He makes a midnight ride to his small hometown, with plans to do himself in. But upon failing even to do that, he staggers back to his old house, only to make an astonishing discovery. His mother — who died eight years earlier — is still living there, and welcomes him home as if nothing ever happened.

Just One Day AND Just One Year And Just One Night – Gayle Forman
I know these are 3 books, but Gayle Forman is the most amazing writer. If you have not read any of her work, I encourage you to do immediately. Her stories make you think, question, laugh, and just appreciate your life and loves. Such beautiful stories. Pick up these books right away and you won't be disappointed.

The Arrangement – Sarah Dunn
This one is so funny, get ready to laugh.
Lucy and Owen, ambitious, thoroughly-therapized New Yorkers, have taken the plunge, trading in their crazy life in a cramped apartment for Beekman, a bucolic Hudson Valley exurb. They've got a two hundred year-old house, an autistic son obsessed with the Titanic, and 17 chickens, at last count. It's the kind of paradise where stay-at-home moms team up to cook the school's "hot lunch," dads grill grass-fed burgers, and, as Lucy observes, "chopping kale has become a certain kind of American housewife's version of chopping wood." When friends at a wine-soaked dinner party reveal they've made their marriage open, sensible Lucy balks. There's a part of her, though-the part that worries she's become too comfortable being invisible-that's intrigued. Why not try a short marital experiment? Six months, clear ground rules, zero questions asked. When an affair with a man in the city begins to seem more enticing than the happily-ever-after she's known for the past nine years, Lucy must decide what truly makes her happy-"real life," or the "experiment?"

Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

IT – Stephen King
The new movie is coming out this Fall so use this summer to brush up on your IT history. It is a large novel so it is perfect as a summer novel goal.

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Mother's Day is this Sunday and the question on everyones minds is where to take Mom for breakfast,brunch, lunch, or dinner. The same old place won't due as we all want to celebrate the wonder that is Mom, so where to go? We have put together a great list of local restaurants and banquet halls that offer up amazing menu's for Mom. From small local fare to large halls serving massive buffets, there is something on this list to make Mom smile, besides the flowers 🙂

Waterfront Grille in New Bedford
36 Homers Wharf
New Bedford, Massachusetts

Waterfront Grille offers a casual atmosphere and contemporary New England cuisine. It is a local favorite, as well as a must-see for tourists. There is a great harbor view from every seat in the house, and a first hand look at the fishing industry at work.

waterfrontgrille

Bittersweet Farms
438 Main Rd
Westport, Massachusetts

Bittersweet Farm is the perfect setting for special occasions. Enjoy a romantic dinner for two in our cozy Fireside Tavern or on our beautiful patio when the weather permits.

Mom-2017-BSF-1

White's Of Westport
66 State Rd
Westport, Massachusetts
Treat Mom to a fabulous Mother's Day dinner! We're offering our Grand Dinner Brunch Buffet and our Full Course & Traditional Family Style dinners. Reservations are required, please call 508-675-7185 to reserve your table!

Whites.Mom2017-1

Stoneforge Grill
90 Paramount Drive
Raynham, Massachusetts 02767
Make your Mother’s Day Special at Stoneforge Grill! • Reservations Begin at 11:00 am to 8 pm • Featuring Mother’s Day Dinner Specials plus our full dinner menu View: Stoneforge Grill Mother’s Day Dinner Specials

Stoneforge-Grill-Mothers-Day-Dinner-Specials     Publick-House-Mothers-Day-Dinner-Menu-1     Publick-House-Mothers-Day-Dinner-Menu-2

Wherever you decide to go, the only thing that matters is spending time with Mom. Have a wonderful Mother's Day everyone!

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