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    Free Things to Do in Philadelphia

    July 20th, 2018

    As I am planning our summer fun and bucket list, it made me realize that the kids haven’t experienced a lot in our city, Philadelphia. While we live in the ‘burbs, we can be in the city in about a half hour (if we don’t hit traffic) and they are missing out on a lot of things. Liberty Bell? They have never been! I mean how does that happen. How have they not seen the Liberty Bell? It would be a shame if my child’s first experience with all the things that Philly has to offer on his 5th grade field trip.

    And the best part? A lot of the things to do in Philadelphia are free! So what am I waiting for?

    free things in philadelphia

    Free Things to Do in Philadelphia

    Whether you’re a local or a tourist, you’ll find plenty of free things to do here in Philadelphia! Here are a few of my favorites:

    1. The Constitutional’s self-guided tour takes you on a 3-mile adventure through the Founding Fathers’ footsteps, featuring over 30 historical sites in the Independence National Historical Park area. Some of the attractions in the park include the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the National Constitution Center. This is a fun and educational tour for all ages, and it’s free!

    2. Wissahickon Valley Park’s mostly flat surface is great for walkers of all ages. It’s nestled between two beautiful forested ridges, with trails running from along the distance of the creek. This park has beautiful views from any trail, and would be a great place for a picnic. Make a day of it!

    3. Saturdays at The Schuylkill Center is a fun activity for younger children. Grab your hiking shoes and bring the little ones for a naturalist-led exploration.  Then gather in the Discovery Center for story time and then hit the trails for guided exploration and discovery.

    4. Wanamaker Grand Court Organ is the world’s largest pipe organ with free daily recitals. The recitals are 45 minutes and you’re welcome to?meet the organist afterwards. This one might not be the best for toddlers and preschoolers, but if they can sit still for nearly an hour, count them in!

    5. Rocky Steps: 72 steps at the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum, they make a great photo opp for the family – not to mention the exercise potential here. Don’t forget to wear your Fitbit!

    6. Movie Night by Schuylkill Banks is sure to be fun for the entire family. New movies every week starting at 8:30pm. Bring some blankets to sit or lay on, and don’t forget the popcorn!

    7. Kimmel Center Tours: This one is for the older kids, 10+. One hour free tours are offered daily, at 1pm. The Specialty Art and Architecture tours are offered at 10:30am on Saturdays. You’ll learn about the history of the Kimmel Center, which is the perfect addition to any educational field trip – especially for those interested in performing arts. All tours are on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to 20 persons per tour. You may reserve a FREE group tour for 12 or more people, in advance.

    8. Independence Hall is where both the Declaration of Independence, and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. Rich in history, this one is a “must see” for everyone. Free with timed entry tickets obtained at the Independence Visitor Center, the tour is available from March through December for all ages.

    9. Reading Terminal Market is free, but parking will cost you $4. With fresh, local food served up every day, it might end up costing you more than “free”, but it’s always free to window shop and take in the sights. You’ll browse cookbooks, table items, and foods that are one of a kind. One thing I noticed that was unique about this market is that they have Amish specialties. Now that’s not something you see every day.

    10. Love Sign:  The Love Sign at Love Park is probably the most famous on this list – if you exclude Independence Hall – and it’s located right across from City Hall, so it’s a perfect photo opp for many reasons. Though it’s illegal to skateboard in Love Park, and has been for quite some time, you might catch a glimpse of a few teens skating on the wild side. Take a few pictures in front of the Fountain, and pack a picnic lunch so you can spend the entire afternoon people watching!

    11. United States Mint is a free and self-guided tour that takes about 45 minutes. Here, you get to view the actual coining operations from 40 feet above the factory floor. Another educational trip in the making, you will get to see the first coining press, dating back to 1792.

    12. The Thinker Statue is located outside of the Rodin Museum, and is in a lot of photographs! Go snap your own, or plan a scavenger hunt near the museum to make it even more interesting.

    13. Head to Dilworth Park. As Philadelphia’s Center Square, it is designed as a high-quality gateway to public transit and as a civic place with on-going programming, amenities, and activities that benefit the public and support the mission of the park

    14. Head to Eakins Oval, the fabulous outdoor park that sits at the feet of the Art Museum. Fun in the pop-up park runs all summer long, with special events starting July 15th.

    15. Spruce Street Harbor Park is now open and continues to be free to the public. Named one of the best places to visit in Philadelphia by national press, Spruce Street Harbor Park features colorful hammocks, floating gardens, beautiful lights, refreshing craft beer, and food from popular Philly restaurants, making it a summer gathering space for locals and visitors alike.

    16. The Fireman’s Hall Museum presents and preserves the history of firefighting in Philadelphia, paying tribute to its firefighters, both paid and volunteer, through the museum’s exhibits, public programs and award ceremonies.

    17. One of Philadelphia’s five original squares, Franklin Square is Center City’s favorite playtime oasis. Centered around its beautiful fountain, Franklin Square also features the Parx Liberty Carousel, the one-of-a-kind Philly Mini Golf course, and the renowned SquareBurger.

    18. Take walk, jog or bike ride along the insanely scenic Boathouse Row and Kelly Drive. Pack a lunch for a picnic by the river!19. Go bird watching at John Heinz Wildlife Refuge. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!

    20. Do one of the seven walking tours through historic Philadelphia. Choose from Fairmont Park, Rittenhouse Square and more.

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    Why You Should Stay at a Hershey Resort

    June 21st, 2018

    I’ve partnered with Hershey Entertainment and Resorts to share the latest happenings in Hershey!

    Last week, we celebrated the end of school by visiting Hersheypark and staying at the Hershey Lodge for three days! It was a vacation that we really needed and we soaked up every minute.

    During our stay, we really came to realize all the benefits of staying at Hershey resort while visiting the park. We only live about 2 hours from Hershey and can easily the do the trip in a day but there are some real benefits for staying on property.

    Why You Should Stay at a Hershey Resort

    Resort Amenities. Each resort has their own amenities that are exclusive to the resort. When staying at the Hershey Lodge, you have access to Water Works (indoor waterpark), an outdoor pool and miniture golf. They also offer kid and family activities each and every day, from bingo to S’mores Roasts!

    More time at the parks! If you are not a current season pass holder, you can still get extra time at Hersheypark. Enjoy up to 3.5 FREE extra hours at Hersheypark (Memorial Day – Labor Day) with Preview Plan. Just present your ticket for the following day to enjoy the park the night before.

    And if that wasn’t a bonus, you can get in one hour early access with Sweet Start! With Hersheypark Sweet Start, you can start your day before the gates officially open with up to one-hour early admittance on select rides in Founder’s Way, The Hollow, and Kissing Tower Hill.

    Explore Hershey. When you check in, you will not only receive your hotel key cards and complimentary chocolate bars (always a bonus in my book), you will also receive tickets to Hershey Gardens featuring the new Butterfly Atrium and The Hershey Story’s Museum Experience!

    Shuttle service. We utilized the shuttle service for the first time during our last stay. Since we have Season Passes, we take advantage of the closer parking. However, if there are any events or concerts going on while you are at Hersheypark, you are going to want to skip the headache of parking. Just hop on the shuttle and the hassle of parking will be long behind you!

    Relax. The biggest benefit, for us, when staying at a Hershey Resort is the ability to relax. We don’t have to cram everything we want to do in a few hours. We can spend a few hours at the park, swim at the hotel, take a nap, and then head back to the parks! Being able to space out our activities keeps everyone happy and makes our trips actually feel like a vacation!

    And now it’s time for a Hersheypark Giveaway!

    Hershey Entertainment and Resorts are sponsoring a giveaway! One lucky winner will receive four 2-day passes to Hersheypark, good for the 2018 summer season.

    This giveaway is open to US residents ages 18+, and please make sure you are able to use the tickets and live within driving distance of Hershey, PA, or are planning a trip to visit this summer. The giveaway will end at 11:59pm ET on June 30, 2018. Good luck!

    Learn more about Hershey and Hersheypark!

    — Hershey Theatre: A Local Theatre with Big City Feels

    — Why You Need Hersheypark Season Passes

    — 8 Things You Need to Know Before Going to Hersheypark

    — Last Minute Summer Fun at Hersheypark

    — Hersheypark in the Dark is Fun for All Ages!

    — Everything You Need to Know about Christmas at Hershey

    — 5 Things to Do in Hershey

    — Where to Stay in Hershey

    6 Comments "

    Nutter Butter Flip Flop Cookies: A Summertime Treat

    June 21st, 2018

    These Nutter Butter Flip Flop Cookies are perfect for summer parties! Everyone will flip over these cute cookies.

    Summer is quickly approaching which also means there will be a ton of invites to picnics, BBQs, and cookouts. I also like to bring a cute and easy treat with me and I normally fall back to my standard Hamburger cookies. Hey, they are quick and easy! You can’t blame me right? But this year, I wanted to switch things up a bit and try a different cookie treat, Nutter Butter Flip Flop Cookies.

    Nutter Butter Cookies are seriously underrated and could be used to make adorable treats for any party! These Nutter Butter Flip Flop Cookies are super easy to make. I mean after all, you just have to draw on some lines on them and call it a day. And? They look adorable!

    These would be perfect for a Last Day of School celebration or for a pool party! There possibilities are endless all summer for your to bring these with you to cookouts and picnics.  

    TIPS FOR MAKING NUTTER BUTTER FLIP FLOP COOKIES:

    These Nutter Butter Flip Flop Cookies are so easy to make! You’ll be bringing them to your get togethers all summer long!

    — There really aren’t any rules when making these cookies! Decorate them however you like!

    — Instead of piping icing straight onto the cookies, you can also dip the cookies in melting chocolate. If you go this route, place a fork between the cookie layers when you dip!

    Other Nutter Butter Cookie ideas you might like:

    — Nutter Butter Football Cookies

    — Nutter Butter Chocolate Covered Hearts

    — Nutter Butter Easter Chicks

    Nutter Butter Flip Flop Cookies

    You don’t need any special kitchen equipment to make these Nutter Butter Flip Flop Cookies so there’s no excuse not to make it right now!

    All you need is:

    Cookie Icing: I like to buy the pre-made icing in the pouch because it makes it easier to pipe…and it’s less mess!

    Sprinkles: You can get really creative with your sprinkles. Look for seasonal sprinkles, like stars and balls!

    Nutter Butters: If you are making these for a party, grab the family package! You can make a lot of these in a short amount of time. I guarantee they’ll be a hit!

    Using the icing, create your flip flop straps by starting at the indentation on the side of the cookie. Make a line from the indent down to the bottom of the cookie. Repeat on the other side. Place a sprinkle in the center where your lines meet as an embellishment!

    Nutter Butter Flip Flop Cookies
    Ingredients
    • Nutter Butter Cookies
    • cookie frosting
    • sprinkles
    Instructions
    1. Begin by squeezing a bit of frosting from each tube onto a test surface. You want it to come out smoothly and evenly. Testing it ahead of time and warming the tube up a bit with your hand with help.
    2. Place each cookie so it is running vertically. This will make the frosting application easier.
    3. Start at the indentation on the side of the cookie. Make a line from the indent down to the bottom/center of the cookie.
    4. Repeat the process, but this time you start the line from the opposite indentation. Make sure your lines meet at the bottom of the cookie.
    5. While the frosting is still wet, place a sprinkle or two at the center of the lines (where the lines meet) to act as an embellishment. 

     

    go ahead pin me

    Looking for more recipes like this one? Check out my Good Eats Pinterest Board! Don’t forget to pin the directions for these Nutter Butter Flip Flop Cookies so you can make it for yourself!

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    Greek Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

    June 17th, 2018

    This hearty Greek-style chicken sausage salad is full of wonderfully fresh flavors, and is so quick to prepare. Simply grill sausages and toss with the salad.

    THIS POST IS CREATED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ACME MARKETS. ALL OPINIONS AND STATEMENTS ARE MY OWN.

    Summer is all about light and hearty meals that don’t heat up the kitchen. The last thing I want to do on a hot summer day is stand at the stove and make dinner.

    Salads are the perfect summer meal that not only are quick and easy but are also filling.

    A lot of people think that salads can get boring but the best thing about salads are that the possibilities are really endless. Start with a green, leafy base, add a ton of fresh veggies, add a little protein, and don’t forget the cheese!

    I’ve had the idea for this Greek Salad for a while now. I love the heartiness of the romaine lettuce and the bite of the creamy balsamic vinaigrette. And you can’t forget about the feta cheese!

    But the real star of this salad is the Open Nature® Smoked Chicken Apple Sausage!

    Open Nature is all-around goodness that helps people live a clean, natural lifestyle and feel good about themselves.

    Open Nature provides high quality, minimally processed products for the well-being of your family, friends, pets, and the environment. Quality and satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!

    Open Nature products are available in my area exclusively at my local ACME Markets, and you can also find them exclusively at all  Albertsons Companies family of stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Shaw’s, Star Market, and Carrs/Safeway.

    Visit ACMEMarkets.com to find a store near you and discover more meal prep tips and recipe ideas.

    TIPS FOR MAKING AND SERVING GREEK SALAD WITH CREAMY BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE:

    — Grill your Open Nature Smoked Chicken Apple Sausage ahead of time! You can either serve this salad with the chicken sausage warm or chilled. It’s really up to your liking.

    — The dressing is very simple and lite, but is packed with tangy flavor! You can make this Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette as a single serving or for a crowd. Just whisk equal parts Open Nature® Balsamic Vinaigrette and Open Nature® Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt Strained.

    — This salad keeps really well if you make it ahead of time. Make sure to cool down the sausages before you add them to the salad and dress your salad before eating.

    LOOKING FOR MORE SALAD RECIPES? WE THINK YOU MIGHT ENJOY THESE!

    — Asian Chopped Salad with Sesame and Ginger Vinaigrette

    — Fruity Nutty Salad

    Antipasto Salad

    IT’S SUPER EASY TO MAKE THIS GREEK SALAD WITH CREAMY BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE!

    Greek Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

    You don’t need any special kitchen equipment to make this Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette so there’s no excuse not to make it right now!

    This Greek Salad is made with Open Nature products found at ACME Markets! Open Nature food products are clean and free-from 110 ingredients like antibiotics, nitrates, sulfites, benzoates and MSG-type ingredients.

    I love that Open Nature products are prepared with as little processing as possible. With Open Nature, I can feel good about using the products for myself, my family and the planet.

    NOW THAT YOU HAVE YOUR COOKING ESSENTIALS, YOU ARE READY TO MAKE THIS GREEK SALAD WITH CREAMY BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE!

    Greek Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Ingredients
    • 1 package Open Nature® Smoked Chicken Apple Sausage
    • 6 cups Romaine lettuce hearts cut or torn into bite size pieces
    • 1/2 cucumber sliced and halved
    • Kalamata pitted olives
    • 1/4 cup Feta cheese crumbled
    • 1/2 red onion diced
    • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
    Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
    • Open Nature® Balsamic Vinaigrette
    • Open Nature® Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt Strained
    Instructions
    1. Grill the Open Nature® Smoked Chicken Apple Sausage over a medium high grill, 5 minutes per side. Slice on the diagonal 1/4" thick.

    2. Set up the salad in a serving bowl or platter and arrange the grilled sausage slices over the Romaine lettuce. Top with the cucumber, olives, feta cheese, red onions, tomatoes.

    Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
    1. Whisk equal parts Open Nature® Balsamic Vinaigrette and Open Nature® Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt Strained. Drizzle on salad.

    go ahead pin me

    Looking for more recipes like this one? Check out my Good Eats Pinterest Board! Don’t forget to pin the recipe for Greek Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette so you can make it for yourself!

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    Last Day of School Traditions

    June 7th, 2018

    The final bell will ring on the school year before we know it! As much as the kids are counting down the days, so am I. I am starting to prepare for the end of the school and planning our summer fun. And the best way to kick that off is with some last day of school traditions!

    You don’t have to go over board or even put a lot of effort into celebration the end of the school year. However you choose to celebrate, the kids will so excited!

    Iput together a list of some of the best ways to celebrate — from easy to over the top! Start these last day of school traditions with your kids this year.

    Last Day of School Traditions

    Last Day of School Signs and Printables

    — Last Day of School Printable Signs: Just in time to prepare for your End of the School Year Pictures for your kids, Enjoy these Free Last Day of School Printable Signs!

    — Last Day of School Countdown: Make last day of school countdown chain!  All you need are slips of construction paper and a stapler.

    — Last Day of School All About Me: Preserve your child’s unique personality, likes and dislikes with this adorable “All About Me” Interview for the Last Day of School.

    — Last Day of School Autograph T-Shirt:Make an autograph t-shirt for your child to wear. They can have their friends and teachers sign it for a memory keepsake!

    Last Day of School Star Wars Printable Signs: Add a little fun to your kid’s End of School Year Pics with these Star Wars Last Day of School Signs!

    Last Day of School Lunch Bag: Why not send them to school with a personalized printed lunch bag for their last day of school.

    — End of School Year List: Top 20 list of fun ways to celebrate the end of school!

    — Summer Dreams: Have your kids write down their dreams for the upcoming summer!

    Last Day of School Teacher Gifts

    Thanks for Helping Me Grow: These easy DIY teacher appreciation gifts with a free printable envelope are perfect for the end of the school year!

    Chalkboard Teacher Mug: Make a plain mug stand out by painting it with chalkboard paint!

    Relaxation Bucket: Send your teacher into summer ready for some relaxation with a Relaxation Bucket! Fill it was magazines, a beach towel, and a spa gift card.

    Hands Down the Best Teacher: Bath & Body Works is always having a deal on their hand soaps so this can be an inexpensive teacher gift.

    —  Fun in the Sun Gift Bag: Teachers like to have fun in the summer to! This gift bag will keep them covered throughout the summer!

    —  “Orange” You Glad it’s Summer: This is such a fun theme for a teacher gift basket! You could find so many things to put in it!

    — Couldn’t Have Picked Any Better: Any teacher would love this thoughtful gift on the last day of school!

    — “Thanks for Keeping Me on Target”: Target gift cards will ALWAYS be a hit!

    Last Day of School Friend Gifts

    Have a KOOL Summer: All you need are Kool Aid Jammers and Crazy Straws for an easy last day of school treat!

    End of the School Year Bubble Gift: What kid doesn’t love bubbles?

    — Fruit-Roll-Up Diploma: Yummy treat to celebrate graduating to the next grade!

    — Bursting with Fun: Water balloons are a must this summer!

    — CHALK Full of Fun: Kids and sidewalk chalk go hand in hand (see what I did there!).

    Have a Ball: Gumballs paired with this printable are the perfect combination!

    — Rockin’ Summer: Pop Rocks are always a favorite treat!

    Last Day of School Activities

    — Last Day of School Breakfast:Start the morning off with a last day of school breakfast!

    — Last Day of School Car Pickup: When it’s time to get the kids from school, pull up in the car line with a decked out car.

    — Shower them with Silly String: When the finally get home, shower them with silly string!

    — Summer Fun Bucket:Now that the kids will be home for summer, put together a Summer Fun Bucket.You can find everything you need at the dollar store.

    — Last Day of School Books: What a great way to kick off summer reading. There are ton of books all about summer and summer vacation, like The Night Before Summer Vacation.

    — Make a summer bucket list: Sit with the kids and write down everything you want to do this summer!

    — Last Day of School Basket: Start Summer vacation the moment your kids walk through the door!

    — Finish Line: Make a finish line for them to crash through as they arrive home from that last day of school!

    — Surprise Water Gun Fight: Have the water guns filled and ready when they arrive at home!

    Oh The Places You Will Go: Ask your Child’s teacher to sign each year. When graduation day comes you’ll give it to them.

    — Take a picture of your child each year wearing a big t-shirt with their high school graduation year!

    Last Day of School Tailgate Party: This is such a fun way to bring on summer!

    10 Songs to Celebrate the Last Day of School: You are going to need some tunes while you you having fun celebrating!

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    Free to Be Adventurous on the Field with the Help of Claritin® from Target

    June 7th, 2018
    I am participating in an influencer program on behalf of Claritin®. This program is paid for by the makers of Claritin® and I have received compensation for my participation. All opinions expressed are my own.  

    We are in the midst of baseball season. Both kids. At least four days a week. You know what that means? A lot of time spent outside. Don’t get me wrong, I love being outside once the weather is nice but there’s one thing we don’t like about the outdoors; seasonal allergies.

    To combat the kids’ seasonal allergies, I need something that will keep them in check and allow them to enjoy not only baseball but the great outdoors.

    My go-to come allergy season? Claritin® RediTabs for Juniors! Claritin® RediTabs for Juniors are available at Target (my third home away from home) and are available in the healthcare aisle near the pharmacy. With 24-hour allergy symptom relief, my kids can play and participate in life and not let their seasonal allergies stop them!

    We love Claritin® RediTabs for Juniors because they can pop it in their mouths and they instantly dissolve. This means I can keep them in my baseball mom bag and they can take them at the fields when their allergies strike. No messy liquids! Seasonal allergies will not stop my boys from playing the sport they love.

    With Claritin® RediTabs for Juniors on my side to relieve seasonal allergy symptoms, the kids are free to kick up some dirt when running the bases.

    They are free to swing big and run hard.

    They are free to dream big and reach for the stars.

    A little seasonal allergies won’t stop us from enjoying the baseball life!

    Don’t forget to check the CartWheel app to save even more when stocking up on Claritin®!

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