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The Fun, and Itchy, Days of Summer

After Bite® "The Itch Eraser" is America's #1 selling insect bite treatment. Its pen-like vial that is easy and convenient to carry and use. The ammonia based product relieves the itch from insect bites. Efficacy studies and 32 years of happy customers prove that it provides IMMEDIATE RELIEF FOR INSECT BITES. After Bite® Kids is specially formulated to provide fast relief for children. We removed the ammonia in order to make this formula non-stinging on sensitive skin. With Eucalyptus Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Baking Soda, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, this unique cream formula provides relief from insect bites. capabilitymom.com

capability mom The Itch Eraser

Summer means more time outdoors, dinners on the patio, hikes, the beach, lake, or body of water of your choosing, outdoor movies, and, for us, anyway, it also means more bug bites and itchy skin. We are a family who, as a whole, tends to get bites, rashes and dry itchy skin. Really. One year, our daughter returned from camp and looked like she could be on a poster for common skin problems of summer with arrows pointing to different part of her body where she had poison oak, sunburn, bug bites, and a rash from the boat she was in for two days. This same daughter also once (also at camp) had an allergic reaction to an antihistamine cream. Yes, thank you, I know that is not that common. My husband is known to get rashes upon rashes. And once my scalped itched for almost two years (no, thank you, it was not head lice). Yes, we are that family who sends photos to our dermatologist. What is this? Chiggers? Check. Poison Ivy? Check. Contact dermatitis? Check. You would think we would learn to stay indoors, my rash acquiring family and I, but no, we head out time and time again, and we gather all the bug bites, too.

Luckily, there is a local New Hampshire company that makes great products that lets us continue to leave the house and they sent me products to review. How did they know?

Here’s what I know – this company has been making After Bite® “The Itch Eraser” for 32 years and it is top selling insect bite treatment in the U.S. And my particular and itch prone family has all tried and loved it – there is even a a sensitive cream version that I used on the supremely sensitive child, of course. And I like the lock feature on the spray with a clearly notched button so you know which side you’re supposed to hold.

There is also an After Bite® Kids – specially formulated to provide fast relief for children with the ammonia removed so it doesn’t sting sensitive skin. Eucalyptus Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Baking Soda, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E all help to make this cream provide relief from insect bites. I think I’ll bring this to the next family outing with the nieces and nephews. I do love to be prepared so I’ll put some in my Mary Poppins Bag.

capabilitymom.com seabags

From the website:

After Bite + After Bite Kids:  Available at Walmart, CVS, Target, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Kroger, and at afterbite.com. Right now on their site, After Bite is offering a free super cute Professor Bugsbee (their mascot) key chain with the purchase of any two products.

The Itch Eraser is an all-in-one solution that stops the itch and heals skin affected by allergic itches and hives, poison ivy, oak and sumac, sunburns, rashes, redness and insect bites. It’s dermatologist-recommended and easy to apply, and available in a Max Strength Gel, Max Strength Spray and Sensitive Cream for every type of skin itch. Sold at Rite Aid, HEB Groceries, Kinney Drugs, Wegmans, Harmon, Hannaford, Bass Pro, Shopko Grocery, and at theitcheraser.com.

 

Disclosure: I received samples of products to facilitate this review but as always, all opinions are my own.

 

Upgrading with Fios

During my transition from being a Stay at Home Mom to a Work At Home Mom, I have been lucky to have great service through Verizon Fios. We have always had land line, internet, television and wireless service with Fios, and as our family grew and our use of iPads, computers, and cell phones grew with it. Considering that we hadn’t even looked at upgrading speed options since we first got Fios (in 2008), and our usage has definitely increased, I recently upgraded and am thrilled with how fast I can search sites, update blog posts – even with the house full of people streaming on their devices.

The speed and convenience that I now take for granted was highlighted even more  after a weekend at my parent’s house that definitely does not have Fios, and where I had to navigate their patchwork of services. Next project, set the parents up with Fios!

The Verizon representative was thorough, knowledgeable, professional and courteous. After the super easy, non-intrusive installation was complete, he helped me run a speed test on the computers and installed another Verizon router upstairs (we have a weird, old house) so now all of the house is covered. He also patiently answered all of my many questions. Great customer service again. Thanks Verizon!

So, if you have Verizon already – here is the Verizon Speed Test – give it a try. Don’t have Verizon yet? Just click here and see if it is in your area. Verizon Fios Boston

So while I am occasionally still locked out of Netflix, I now have the fastest download speed available and I am never at a loss for something great to watch.

 

Disclosure – I am a member of a Verizon #BostonFios influencer team (a natural for me – a Verizon superfan!) and we are compensated for social shares. All opinions are, and always will be, my own.

 

 

 

April Break in NYC

Sometimes a few days out of your routine is all you need. We love to zip to NYC – so close, so much to do! Whether you’re into Broadway shows (check out A View from the Mezzanine for great tips), are taking college tours, (NYU, Barnard, Fordhan, Pace, Cooper-Union, FIT, Columbia or any listed here), or if museums are your reason to travel to the city, then you are in luck. Aside from our favorites, the MOMA, the Met, the Guggenheim, and the Cooper Hewitt, if you’re traveling with little ones then check out the Math Museum, Lego Exhibit, and another family fave, The Central Park Zoo. We all love walking the High Line, exploring neighborhoods, finding great food, and exploring the many parks.

We have driven to the City, taken the bus, the train and plane. What is our top choice? Well, LimoLiner has a new sweet deal called Spring in the City. And there’s a buy one get one deal for less deal which helps make the decision even easier, and some sweet amenities. Like what?

So, for families traveling Mon. – Thurs, April 10 – 20, 2017 

 

Family-friendly amenities  including free Wifi and  on-board movies to keep kids entertained. This is key – table seating with enough room to spread out those coloring books, toys and iPads.

Free meals, snacks & first-class service. Yes, it is possible. The on-board attendant serves a (pre-selected) meal option, complimentary drinks, snacks and glass of wine on trips after 6pm

Easy boarding – just arrive 10 minutes before departure; No baggage fees or security checkpoints

Central pick-up & drop-off locations – LimoLiner passengers board and arrive in the heart of their destination (no airport taxi or Uber needed) in Midtown Manhattan, Boston’s Back Bay and Framingham, MA

Passengers are able to select their seats (reclining, leather seats) in advance at no additional cost, allowing families to sit together, or not :-)

 

So check out Limoliner, relax and get to NYC without the hassle of driving in the city.

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post but have received a complimentary media ride. All opinions are, as always, my own.

 

Ready for Easter?

In my family growing up,  Easter was a big deal. My mom made our Easter outfits (I know, pretty incredible), dresses in sprigged cotton and matching lining in the pastel wool coats. Yes, she made us coats. And new shoes and frilly ankle socks for me and my sisters, my brother got a new suit or new shirt and tie.  I particularly remember our footwear, especially the one year that white patent go go boots (to be clear, only we called them that), replaced the usual patent leather Mary Janes. Oh, we were mod.  I wish I could find a photo to show you the awesomeness.

There were Easter services, an excruciatingly painful time away from our candy, and we had awesome candy. Always an Easter egg hunt with plastic eggs filled with candy, and peeps, because there must always be peeps, and a solid chocolate bunny. Bunnies were special, and if your bunny was touched, you knew it and if it was defiled, you could tell by the teeth marks left behind. Or was that just us? It took years of hurled accusations to realize that the cleanly cut off tail was certainly the handiwork of our father, who would stoop to steal a bit of Easter candy but never in such a base manner as to actually gnaw on the bunny, and he always used a sharp knife. We should have known.

When I had children of my own, the week before Easter we dyed eggs (always fun and messy), and Easter morning had an Easter egg hunt (my favorite thing), and I made up pretty baskets and stayed true to solid bunnies. And just in case you think this is picture perfect, it’s not. Here’s how it usually goes around here, the night before Easter, I dig out the plastic eggs from last year to fill with the candy I have managed not to eat, and I go to the present cabinet for the few non-edible gifts I stashed there over the past few weeks. Seat of my pants, people, seat of my pants.

My blogger/friend/cohort team that makes up @GoLocalBoston, all approach holiday preparation with a purpose – some of us are just better planners. And for Easter, with a quiet (okay, not quiet), certain, and thoughtful focus, we curated gorgeous gift baskets. Why do we do this? For you, dear reader.

In general, we got together because we all like to support local businesses, and we like each other, and we all really like sweets. So this was definitely not a bad gig. Most of my work involved unwrapping candy, arranging hard to wrangle lollipops, and bolting down most of the Cadbury mini-eggs (sorry, Debbie). As we took pictures of the beautiful items from local companies, we called out orders to each other, laughed, sampled candy, and talked about the work at hand, other business, food and families. What a fantastic group of women to work with, and as we are all slightly opinionated and not afraid to share our thoughts, some people might need a lie down after a session with us. We are funny, too. Just ask any of us.

So for this project, we started off with baskets in the following themes: Nautical, Spring, Sports, and Farm. If that’s not your style, simply grab your favorite from each, and mix and match.

Want to round out the baskets with non-food items? Ideas abound and some of our favorites include:

Sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, bouncy balls, a frisbee or two, stuffed animals, art supplies, markers, pens, or colored pencils with sketch pads or journals, picture books, twinkle lights, phone cords, portable phone chargers, a cute new case, ear phones, a tea cup or coffee mug and fill with small treats, or add a small flowering plant. Since there is no shortage of cute baskets, pails and other containers, just go to local drug store or market to find the just right sized basket.

 

Easter basket treats are not just for the kids any more – I’d love to bring one of these as a hostess gift or use as Easter brunch centerpieces or even make small baskets as party favors.

Want to learn more about these local lovelies who helped us fill these baskets? Check out Leah’s Life, A Little Bit About A Lot of Things, and Kim World.

Featured brands include:

A Dozen Eggs

Bisousweet

E Frances

eh chocolatier

Cardullo’s

Formaggio

Gray Mist

Harbor Sweets

la Burdick

Magic Beans

Pao de Brasil

Phillips Candy House

Pure Sugar Candy

Royce chocolates

Seacoast sweets

Spindler Confections

Wilson Farm

#Easter Capability Mom

Amd P.S. I steal their candy, too. Only I know better than to cut the tail off.

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