Archive for the ‘Boston’ Category

Review: Mix it Up and Paint at The Paint Bar!

Disclosure: I received complimentary passes for a class at The Paint Bar. As always, all opinions expressed are my own!

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Can I tell you a secret? I don’t allow paint in my home! I know, I know, I’m such a terrible Mom! During my daughter’s toddler years she loved to draw and color, as many toddlers do. I have boxes full of her masterpieces that I don’t have the heart to throw away. (If anyone has ideas on what to do with kids artwork email me!). Her love for drawing and coloring slowly outgrew paper and made its way to the walls. Maybe it’s my fault though; I gave her those washable crayons you can use to write with in the tub. Either way I freaked when my pretty white wall had paint marks on it and therefore all paint was laid to rest in my house. RIP.

But thankfully my mini Picasso doesn’t have to mourn the loss of paint, as she is able to mix it up at The Paint Bar! I was sold after learning that they provide all that you need to create your next masterpiece: the paint, the instructor, the brushes, the aprons, the music. Two hours later you can pat yourself on the back for creating Boston’s skyline, Fall trees, or Moonlit Dragonflies! Oh and cleanup? As easy at throwing out your paint plate, washing your brushes, taking off your apron and heading out the door with your canvas? Are you in love with this idea already? No? They serve booze too. I know….you’re in love now!

A few weeks ago before my kiddo and I headed on vacation we were invited into The Paint Bar’s Newton location to mix it up! We’d be painting “Funky Seashells”. Mini me was over the moon excited, me on the other hand, I was worried. I’m no artist, so I was worried I’d create a piece of crap and everyone would laugh at me! Our instructor, a funny woman named Breanna quickly began the class with an overview and many jokes and also said that no shaming of our work would be allowed or we’d have to go on stage! Step by slowly created our “Funky Seashells” and sure did mix it up with the colors! With Breanna’s instruction and some music in the background we settled in and over the course of two hours left with two beautiful pieces! A few women next to me really customized their paintings adding rocks, birds and airplanes!

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You may think The Paint Bar….for kids? I’m telling you YES! Many sundays at 1:30pm The Paint Bar hosts Family Days with family friendly options like a Fluffy Owl, Colorful Birch Trees, and a Funky Pumpkin. While alcohol is offered for purchase during this time many people don’t take advantage of indulging. It’s a great opportunity for families, grandparents and beyond to get creative! What’s great about this whole experience was that I came in with ZERO painting experience…and that is ok! They are teaching folks like me how to paint and offer painting classes for anyone and everyone ages 8 and beyond! They are bringing together a great experience and fun environment where people can have a relaxing yet entertaining night (or afternoon) out for around $25 – 35 a class! And remember this includes ALL materials you’ll need and minimal cleanup! Oh and you can also purchase a frame for your canvas too! They’ve really thought of it all! The Paint Bar has two locations: 823 Washington Street in Newtonville and their newest location at 248 Newbury Street in Boston.

Didn't we do a good job!!

Didn’t we do a good job!!

We had such a fun time we’re considering hosting my daughter’s birthday party there and I’m excited to go there for date night! It’s good to mix it up and get creative!

Have you visited The Paint Bar or another paint night? What did you love most about it?



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Boston Families: Annual Family Film Festival at The Shops at Prudential Center!

While August is upon us, our family has just under a month left until the school year begins. But until September 2nd rolls around we’re still enjoying the summer sun with lots of time outdoors with friends! While we prefer to be outdoors than inside watching the TV, we’re looking forward to the Annual Family Film Festival at The Shops at Prudential! The Prudential Center’s Magic 106.7 (my favorite bedtime relaxation station) festival runs until August 30 so there is still time to get the family down to the Center’s South Garden and enjoy a flick when the sun sets! Enjoy entertainment, games and gift card giveaways (starting at 6pm) and the first 20 guests to arrive receive a FREE picnic blanket compliments of The Shops at Prudential Center! Oh and did I mention there is no admission fee? That’s right, the Annual Family Film Festival is free and open to the public! If you feel like heading inside the shops and grabbing dinner or dessert of $10 or more, you can take advantage of on-site discounted parking!

Considering it is New England, in the event that it rains Saturday rain dates are scheduled for the following Wednesday. Full details can be found on The Shops at Prudential Center’s website or Facebook page.

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 Our family will be attending the August 16 film to see The Lego Movie…who wants to join us?



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This Weekend: WGBH Boston 2014 Music & Ice Cream FunFest! #WGBHfunfest

I’ve partnered with Fidelity & MEFA for this post in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 I scream, You scream, We all scream for, Ice Cream!

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Summer and ice cream. Can you think of a more perfect union? Well, if your family loves music, ice cream, and fun you won’t want to miss WGBH’s FunFest this weekend, sponsored in part by MEFA and Fidelity Investments. Get all the details below:

When: Saturday, July 12, 10am-4pm (rain or shine!)

Where: WGBH Studios, One Guest Street, Boston, MA 02135

What: The FunFest will be full of music, ice cream, performances, face painting and interactive games. Are you excited yet? You’ll want to make sure you stop by the Massachusetts Educational Financial Authority (MEFA) U. Funds Dreams Tour tent and give your kids the opportunity to live out their dreams. What’s a Dreams Tent? It’s where your child and their dreams unite! Does your child have aspirations to be the next President? Astronaut? Musician? Watch their dreams come to life in front of a real green screen complete with props, and leave with valuable information about saving for college along with a takeaway of your child in front of a background of their choice! The dreams tent does not disappoint!

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Who: Some of your favorite kids characters like Curious George, Arthur, and Clifford The Big Red Dog! You’ll leave with a happy belly after stopping by some of the vendors including Ben & Jerry’s, Friendly’s, J.P. Licks, Nesquik, and Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese!!

Will we see you there? Click here for more information about tickets and parking.

WGBH enriches people’s lives through programs and services that educate, inspire, and entertain, fostering citizenship and culture, the joy of learning, and the power of diverse perspectives.



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Saving for College Is Possible with the MA U.Fund & ‘Grace for President’ Book #Giveaway #DreamsTour2014

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With the end of another school year upon us (we’re counting down the final TWO days of school) it’s been fun to look through the projects, pictures and poems my daughter created over the year in 2nd grade. Along with a special book of poetry and projects learning about her Jamaican and Colombian heritage was a packet asking her what she wanted to be when she grew up. I’ve asked her over the years what she wanted to be when she grows up and she hasn’t been shy about her varying desires.

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“Mommy, I want to be a Police Officer like Daddy and help people. I also want to be a Teacher. Oh and I love music, and Michael Jackson is my favorite artist, and I want to be on the Disney channel and be a singer and dancer. Mommy – why aren’t there any female Presidents? I think I could do that too.”

Do I want my baby girl to grow up? Sometimes…but not really. Am I looking forward to seeing the woman and advocate she will be when she grows up? Absolutely. Listening to her speak of her future gives me butterflies. I’ve always encouraged her to be creative and engage in diverse activities so she has a well-rounded childhood. Did I tell you she’s running a triathlon at MIT next month? I don’t want any opportunity to be out of her reach – and if I’m able I want to provide her with varying experiences to show her all that the world has to offer.

Growing up as the youngest of four children I don’t remember having conversations with my Mother about my future or career. I wasn’t encouraged to think about the future or college, I knew I had greatness within me, but didn’t know how to tap into it. I completed college applications on my own, didn’t receive any monetary support for college, and actually didn’t participate in sports my senior year of high school so I could save for college. I still remember moving into my dorm room 11 years ago with less than $20 in my bank account. My future didn’t seem very bright at that time, and I wish with the support of my Mother we could have planned for my college journey.

My College Graduation

My College Graduation

As I think about my daughter entering 3rd grade in the Fall (yikes!) and eventually graduating high school and moving onto college – it makes me quite nervous! As a single Mom who isn’t yet 30 I’m still building my life, and figuring out where the road will take me – but my daughter’s education is a priority because I don’t want her to have any barriers accessing higher education as I did. But I can’t plan for her future alone, which is why I’m thrilled that the U.Funds Dream Tour and their Dream Tents will be engaging with families around Massachusetts this summer and fall and getting them excited about seeing their dreams come to life and saving for college.

I had the opportunity to stop by the Dreams Tent this past weekend and was so impressed at the valuable information for both kids and families and the interactive displays for kids. The most exciting part for my daughter was being in front of a green screen decked out in rockstar attire. Given that she has big dreams of being a singer and dancer she was able to pose and see her picture printed on top of a concert background. She was able to see her dreams come to life which was great and also brought up how she can pursue her dreams – and we both know that education is key.

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The U.Fund Dreams Tour is just the beginning and a great way to get your kids involved with their future. MEFA’s Ufund is a Massachusetts 529 college-investing plan, tax-advantaged savings plan managed by Fidelity. MEFA is a dynamic local non-profit state authority working to make higher education more accessible and affordable.

My daughter’s education is an investment in herself and her future. I never want her to stop learning or stop growing and I hope through saving for her college education at an early age will truly provide her with the support she needs to dream BIG.

Speaking of dreaming big, one of our favorite books to read is a great book called “Grace for President” by Kelly S. DiPucchio which talks about one determined young girl who is upset there haven’t been any female Presidents and runs a Presidential campaign in her school – and wins! It’s a powerful educational book to read with my daughter that reinforces my desire for her to think and dream BIG and I want to offer this book to one lucky reader – enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Being a Car Free Family in Boston is Easy with Uber & NEW UberXL!

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I first heard about Uber coming to Boston early last year, and to be honest I was a bit skeptical. I wasn’t sure how it would be any more convenient than using a cab, and initially didn’t think much about it. As their presence grew in Boston, I decided to take a chance and sign up and a year later our car-free family loves Uber! We use the service at least twice a week and have been tremendously impressed with the convenience of using Uber Boston!

My kiddo and I have lived just outside of Boston, in Cambridge for the past five years. It’s a diverse city with tons of family friendly activities and a great public school system. We moved here from a few towns over not just so my daughter could have a great education but because of the accessibility. We’ve been a car-free family for about four years now, and primarily use the bus and train to get around. We live right along the Minuteman Bikeway and can walk to the local train station and local shops in just under 10 minutes. We can easily take the train into Boston and go shopping along Boylston Street, catch a movie downtown or go ice skating in Boston Common. While living car-free is pretty easy in Cambridge, we cannot always rely on the public transportation system and/or it doesn’t go to where we are travelling.

What we enjoy most about using Uber is the ease – no need to stand outside trying to hail a cab or worry about going to the ATM to get cash. Simply download the app on your smartphone, connect a credit card and you are good to go! I don’t know about you, but I’m terrible about carrying around cash with me, and the times I would try to get a cab I would be denied because they refused to accept credit cards. When I’ve got a cranky hungry kid, who needs to go to the bathroom, the last thing I want to hear is that I need to travel to the ATM to get cash. That just wasn’t working for me! Once you’ve downloaded the app you can enter your pickup location and choose which of their high-quality services you’d like to use:

uberXL Vehicle ViewUberX: Low cost – Base fare $2.25 – Seats up to 4 – Toyota Camry, Nissan Accord etc.

UberBlack: The Original Uber – Base fare $7 – Seats up to 4 Lincoln Town Car, Mercedes-Benz E350 etc.

UberSUV: Room for Everyone – Base fare $14 – Seats up to 6 – Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon etc.

 At various times I’ve used all three services, but we use UberX primarily because of the price – it’s often cheaper than a regular cab and I can usually have a driver arrive in under 10 minutes! Once you’ve booked your car, you get a text letting you know they are on the way (including the driver’s name) and a text when they’ve arrived at the pickup location. Even better? In the Uber app you can see a small photo, name and license plate number of your driver. It’s super helpful at night or when you’re in a crowded place.

New as of today, Thursday, May 8, Uber has added another service, UberXL to Boston, with seating up to six people, its ideal for transporting large groups with the same convenience, safety, and ease of Uber at an affordable price. How does UberXL differ from UberSUV? Two things: the price point and the cars. UberXL is essentially an extended version of UberX consisting of vehicles like Honda Pilots and Toyota Siennas. This is the perfect option for larger families who may not need the glam factor that comes along with the UberSUV.

Why do we love using Uber?

  • Customer Service: Every driver I’ve had has been off the charts friendly, often opening the doors for us and helping load groceries in the car.
  • Convenience: With a couple of clicks I can book a car, and can choose the right service to fit my needs at the time. No more waiting for a bus in the winter time or carrying cash!
  • Affordability: With prices of UberX comparable to those of taxis – you’ll be impressed with how affordable using Uber is.

It really has set my mind at ease knowing I can rely on Uber and on amazing customer service! With the launch of UberXL today, I’m sharing a special  discount code: $30 off your first ride! If you’ve been wanting to try Uber or need an alternative to a cab, please sign up with Uber Boston today! Simply download the Uber app on your iPhone, Android or Blackberry and use the codeSingleMomsJourney” or visit https://www.uber.com/go/SingleMomsJourney.

Uber really does have you covered and with UberXL the possibilities are endless! 



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