Healthy Summer Recipes

By: Alicia Tapp, Guest Contributor

Cool off with these light summer recipes the whole family will enjoy!

salsa1) Fresh Tomato Salsa: Prepare this delicious appetizer for any event. Your friends and family will love the fresh ingredients, and it’ll impress even the peskiest of eaters. The homemade recipe goes with any chip and will hold your guests over until your next exciting dish. Try it with some pita bread to spice up the fun.

2) Grilled Honey Glazed Chicken with Green Pea and Mint Sauce: You might want to try this great entrée after digging into the salsa. With only a 30 minute prep time, your loved ones won’t be waiting long. It’s a refreshing twist on a classic dish.

3) Gazpacho

Put your garden veggies to good use. With tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and onions, you’ll be on your way to meeting your vegetable quota with this soup. The chilled recipe will cool off any hot day!

4) Grilled Balsamic Portobello Mushrooms

Are you a mushroom lover? Look no further!This great recipe will ensure your guests come back for seconds.

5) Strawberry Shortcakes

This quick and easy dessert will bring a great ending for any meal. It’s less than 230 calories, but will surely satisfy your sweet tooth.

Which healthy summer recipes do you love? Be sure to share below!

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A Day in the Life of a Mom

By: Anne Marie Holloway

Mom storiesAs the mother of four children, I often find myself smack dab in the middle of a “mayhem” I never thought could happen! I remember one harrowing and comical morning in particular where just finding a pair of pants for myself to wear was almost impossible.

I thought I would share the dialogue with you that I wrote down in my journal over four years ago.  I hope you find some comic relief in this post! Hang in there my fellow cape-wearing, endlessly-multitasking, energy-zapped super Momma friends. I am told it gets easier!?!

Here is the conversation:

My six year old stops in the doorway wearing his Superman Cape and carrying a green cup and says:

“Hey Mom, where are your pants?”

Me: (While standing in front of the dryer wearing an oversized ratty T-shirt while rustling through a dryer load of laundry) “I’m looking for a clean pair!”

Son: “Mom, you can’t just wear Dad’s pants?”

Me: (Muffled voice from within the dryer) “Nah, Dad’s pants would not fit me.”

Son: “Ahh..Mom? I just spilled the apple juice!!”

Me: (As I look to see the 1/2 gallon of juice on its side and continue to pour onto floor) “Oh jeez bud, I’m trying to get on my pants, I told you to wait and I would pour you some juice.”

Son: “But I asked you for some juice a long time ago!”

(Enter 3-year-old daughter, running through kitchen and who proceeds to slip on said spilled apple juice.)

Me: (Bumping my head on the top of the dryer as I attempt to run into the kitchen to save the day – still not wearing pants.) “Oh no!”

Son: (A judgment filled expression covers his little face) “Mom, why aren’t you wearing any pants?”

Me: (Huge sigh) “I don’t know kiddo…”

Son: (Satisfied Shrug as he puts his super cape over my shoulders – trying to help) “You’re silly Momma.” (Insert a slight hesitant pause here) “Hey, Mom?”

Me: (Sitting on the kitchen floor, wearing a red superman cape over my T-shirt, while simultaneously sporting a magnificent headache and hugging an apple juice covered sobbing toddler) “Yes, bud?”

Son: “Think you can get me some more juice now?”

Me: (Exacerbated) “Your sister hurt herself, there is apple juice currently all over the floor and I’m STILL not wearing any pants!”

Son: (With an optimistic tone to his voice) “Um, well  you have my Super Cape! And when Sister stops crying, we clean up, and you FINALLY put on your pants – Maybe then you could pour me some more juice!?”

Me: In the middle of the kitchen half dressed and holding an inconsolable toddler… looks blankly at first born son and blinks. (Insert cricket sound here)

Son: “Hey Mom?!”

Mom: (Slightly defeated – and not quite sure what to do next) “Yes?”

Son: (Huge relieved smile spread from ear to ear) “Hey! I found your pants!!”

I look behind me only to find my fourth and youngest child (the 15 month old) wiping up the spilled apple juice with my only clean pair of jeans..

Yep. Just another day in the life of a Mom.

Now, where is that super-suit?

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Meet the New Signature Mommy Bloggers: Teresa Tower-Sousa

By: Teresa Tower-Sousa

My name is Teresa Tower-Sousa and I’m a stay-at-home mom. My husband and I have been married for 11 years. We have a beautiful, 7-year-old daughter named Caylee. My husband also has a 14-year-old son, Dakota, from a previous relationship. Unfortunately, Dakota lives quite a distance away with his Mom in another state, so we have a long-distance relationship with him.

artMy daughter keeps me busy with her various activities. I’m also a student at Massasoit Community College. I’m in the process of earning my associate degree in Fine Arts. Art has always been a passion of mine. I love photography, painting, drawing and – one of my favorites – home decorating. I’ve always enjoyed expressing myself through art and writing. I think my daughter is following in my footsteps, since drawing and writing have become two of her favorite past times.

I’m really excited to be a part of the Signature Mom Blog group and can’t wait to share some of my experiences. I’ve had lots of ups and downs in my life, but I’m always finding new ways to overcome the struggles of life. I hope someone can find inspiration through my blog posts.

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Everyday Evidence

By: Martianne Stanger

As my children grow, there are two sights I rarely tire of and continually marvel at – their backs…

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… and the tops of their heads.

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In fact, sometimes, seeing my children huddled together, heads bent at some simple task actually brings me to tears. Happy tears. Grateful tears.

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They are mine. They are home. They are safe. They love one another.

Yes, as two of my children sit on the couch doing a hidden picture puzzle together, tears well in my eyes. How blessed I am with this moment of quiet.  With this sense of thanksgiving. My children’s heads bowed together speak in such a simple, yet powerful way of their development, their bond, their natural inclination to learn and to love one another.

On another day, watching the backs of my three children exploring ahead of me on a trail overwhelms me with delight. I close my eyes for just a moment to take a deep breath, to smile and to whisper with every cell of my being, “Thank you.”

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My children are growing.  They are adventurous.  They are beginning to find their own ways – literally and figuratively – in this world.  Yet, they are still connected to one another, to me, to my husband, to the virtues and values we hold dear.  May they always be so and may none of us ever forget how beautiful life is.

At least once a day, I am taken aback by a moment where my children’s heads bend forward as they whisper to one another, experimenting, exploring or concentrating.

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It stops me short. I marvel at how the everydayness of a moment – three kids deciding to blow soap bubbles with straws – echoes of something miraculous.

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Three children gifted to my husband and me, given breath of life and the depth of love. Our responsibility. Our privilege. Our dependents for years that will go too quickly. Our delight.

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May they continue to grow in wisdom, stature and fun and may they never question: they are loved!

What everyday evidence of miraculous beauty and gratitude do you witness in your life?

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Meet the New Signature Mommy Bloggers: Kathy Trainor

Born and raised in the South Shore, Kathy is a teacher by day and blogger by night. She’ll offer fun ideas for local family activities. Meet her in this video.

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Have a Fun Fourth of July!

By: Alicia Tapp, Guest Contributor

July 4th

Unsure of what to do this 4th of July? The possibilities are limitless, but it’s important that you and your family stay safe while celebrating with loved ones. To keep your family entertained, try these fun-filled activities!

1)    Patriotic Ice Cream Cone Wrapper

Looking for a fun way to entertain the kids, while adding flare to your average cool-down treat? This project will surely keep all your loved ones occupied and will fit in perfectly with your holiday decorations. It requires few materials and is easy for even your youngest kids to do!

2)    Plan a Patriotic Sing-a-Long

Let’s be honest- who doesn’t like to sing? The fun really starts when you bring your favorite patriotic songs to your holiday gathering. Make sure everyone gets involved by printing out the lyrics to classic songs such as “The Star Spangled Banner.”

3)    Patriotic Cake

What’s more patriotic than a flag-designed cake? This fun and delicious dessert will liven up the party and encourage your guests to remember what the 4th is really about! Your guests won’t get enough of this fun dessert, so be sure to make enough for seconds!

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By: Heather Desmond O’Neill

HeatherThere are definitely two teams in our house.

Us against them.

We have to stick together.  If we don’t, our children may realize that ultimately we really have no power.

There are fabrications that we have told our children to keep the upper hand.  After the kids are in bed, sometimes my husband and I sit and debrief on untruths we may have told our children throughout the day.  Here are a few:

1.  Santa Doesn’t Bring Ride-On Toys – When my oldest son (now 6) was 3, he desperately wanted a John Deere tractor for Christmas.  We couldn’t afford the $400 to purchase the battery powered one, so Santa brought the pedal tractor.  It was much less expensive and he could use it whenever he wanted.  We weren’t a slave to the charge of a battery and he was getting exercise, so it was win-win all around.

2.  Ride-On Toys Don’t Cross The Street …. Or Leave The YardEver.  We live on a busy road and the fear of my kids riding into the street or venturing out of our yard is very real and constant.  We have relentlessly echoed this statement every time we are in the driveway on the toys.  This has been stated as fact and told them that if a toy does leave the yard it will be left at the end of the driveway for someone outside of the yard to take and enjoy.

3.  When The Music Is Playing On The Ice Cream Truck It Means They Are Out Of Ice Cream – Again, we live on a busy road and there are a few trucks that ride by blaring their annoying music right around dinner time.  Unfortunately I think they are catching on to us because we’ve seen a few trucks doling out cold treats to children of all ages and those trucks play music.  I’m not sure how long we’ll be able to get away with this one.

4.  I’m Really Only 25 Years Old – Let’s face it, at 6 years old, there are no secrets.  For some reason my son is obsessed with telling everyone how old I am, so I started telling him I was 25.  He has no concept of how old this really is and what’s wrong with him telling random strangers that I’m only 25?  I’m good with it.

5.  Mamas Know Everything.  There is nothing that my children will do that my husband and I have not done or tried to do.  Especially in these few short years.  My son gets his “Irish” whispering ability from his father and doesn’t realize that I can hear him from the other room.  Or that you can see a reflection in the sliding glass doors or windows.  It’s wonderful catching him in something he knows he shouldn’t be in and he has no idea how I caught him.

I don’t feel that these untruths are ones that will hurt my boys in the long run.  As parents, we need to keep one up on them as long as we can.  There’s nothing wrong with #TeamMomAndDad winning a few rounds here and there.

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