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It is the best time of year for fruits in New England. Don't get me wrong, I love the fall harvest, but late summer berries are really the best. Here are a few spots you can pick your own or just pick up a container. Enjoy!

http://cnsmithfarminc.com/ – Peaches and Blueberries are now ready – C.N. Smith Farm, located in the town of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, has been a family owned and operated farm for over 80 years.  We are the third generation of farmers carrying on the tradition of providing fresh, local fruit and produce while maintaining open space and farmland in our community.

http://www.freedomfoodfarm.com/ – All sorts of food – Freedom Food Farm is a mid-size farm started just outside of Providence, Rhode Island in 2012. We moved the farm to Massachusetts in 2014 and have been growing a sustainable, full-diet farm to feed Southern New England. The farm is operated by a small team of dedicated farmers that grow and produce food year-round. ​Freedom Food Farm is an 88 acre farm located in Raynham, Massachusetts. We are now in our sixth growing season!

http://www.keithsfarm.net/ – Keith's Farm is a  family business and offers a wide selection of the best produce and a variety of berries for miles around. In the spring, summer and fall, our farm stand is a showcase for all our fresh farm-grown seasonal fruits, vegetables and plants. Your family will have the freshest, tastiest and highest quality vegetables, fruits, harvested daily for the best taste.

http://www.sauchukfarm.com/ – Sauchuk Farm grows 100+ acres of vegetables and fruit in Plympton, Massachusetts.  Sauchuk Farm consists of several different locations open seasonally to the public.

http://www.ccreadingfarm.com/ – Come visit our farm, located south of Boston, in picturesque Plymouth County, Massachusetts! We are proud to offer a wide variety of organic and delicious produce plus outdoor fun for the whole family during the fall season! Visit our Farm Stand for delicious fruits and vegetables, pick-your-own berries and pumpkins in our fields, or enjoy our Corn Maze and other fall attractions for some good old-fashioned fun! Plan your visit now for a perfect day in the country!

http://www.dufortfarms.com/ – The Dufort family farm was established in 1990, on 32 acres of land that dates back to the approximately 1865. The farm  operates an additional 120 acres of leased land used for supporting our livestock. 

http://www.wardsberryfarm.com/ – Ward's Berry Farm is a family farm located in Sharon, MA. Brothers Jim & Bob Ward have run the farm since 1982, offering the finest quality fresh picked fruits and veggies. Their mother, Ann uses family favorite recipes to create her famous fruit jams and jellies, as well as the fresh cookies, muffins, breads and pies sold in the store.

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Who doesn't like to play? I do and sometimes the amount of games available is a bit crazy and hard to navigate. Sure, we all know about Angry Birds, and Pop Candy, but what about more involved ones? There are a ton of free ones and ones that require a one time fee or a monthly fee. So how do you choose? I prefer more involved games that you play on your PC. I am not one for mobile games, but plenty of people love them as well. I will list the ones that I know and play and some that are recommended. Let me know what you play in the comments and game on!

Second Life – http://secondlife.com
Second Life is the leading 3D virtual world where you can be whomever you’d like and create anything you can imagine. You can buy property, make a business, meet new people and so much more.

World of WarCraft – https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/
World of WarCraft is the fourth game in the WarCraft franchise and it has been in continual development for more than ten years with the initial release coming in November 2004. The original release takes place in the world of Azeroth just a few years after the events of WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne. Since its release, the game has become the most popular and subscribed MMORPG ever with more than 5 million subscribers. 

The Sims – https://www.thesims.com/
The Sims 4 is the life simulation game that gives you the power to create and control people. Experience the creativity, humor, escape, and the freedom to play with life in The Sims 4.

Rift – https://www.riftgame.com/en/play-now/
Rift (previously known as Rift: Planes of Telara and as Heroes of Telara before that while still in alpha testing) is a fantasy free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Trion Worlds. Rift takes place within the fantasy world of Telara. The game was released in March 2011. Two competing factions, composed of a selection of races and classes, battle each other and the enemies who emerge from dynamic "rifts".

The Jigsaw Puzzle – https://thejigsawpuzzles.com/
Welcome to TheJigsawPuzzles.com, an ever-growing collection of free online jigsaw puzzles. Albums on the left have hundreds of free jigsaw puzzles already – feel free to explore and play it all. Or, bookmark and check this page daily for a cool Puzzle of the Day! Tip: While solving a puzzle, click the button in the lower-right corner to go fullscreen – you're gonna like it. See more tips hereMissing a feature? We're working hard on keeping ahead of other jigsaw puzzle games, and every nice idea counts. Hit "Feedback" button on the right and let us know!

Escape the Room – SO FUN – http://www.365escape.com/Room-Escape-Games.html
There are a ton of these out there and all are super fun. You have to figure out how to escape the room by sorting clues.

Mahjong – http://www.247mahjong.com/
Instructions: Mahjong Solitaire is a tile matching puzzle game. You may click on any "free" tiles (those that are on the edge) to select them, and match them with other free tiles with the same face to eliminate them from the board. Beat Mahjong by eliminating all tiles. Additionally, you may also match flower tiles with other flower tiles, and season tiles with other season tiles–even if they don't have identical faces.

Poker Stars – https://www.pokerstars.com/
There are tons of sites where you can play poker and gamble online. This one seems to be a pretty good one. It has great reviews and looks super fun.

Where do you play?

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It is fun to take a beat and look back. Time changes many things, but none so apparent as the places we once visited. This week we are going on a little road trip back in time to compare what once was to what is now. Enjoy the ride!

 

Take a look at the Lincoln Memorial
linc linc2

 

Dubai India is another world now. The THEN shot was only in 1980.

 

 dubai dub

 

Las Vegas is a whole new city now. 

lv lv2

 

I love New York so this one is especially interesting to me. Look at the difference!

ny     ny1

 

And check out Boston! So much can change so quickly.

bos bos1

 

I added this one as there is not much change here. Well, now there is a fountain.

wh wh1

 

Do you have any to add to the list? Let us know in the comments and keep the fun going!

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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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