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.

 

Summer Plans, Part One

For me, summer officially starts on the last day of school but this year was different. Our youngest graduated from high school in June, and there was so much more going on than the usual end of year picnics and the slide into camp schedule. All good things, just really, really different. Prom, graduation, graduation parties, award ceremonies, and family get-togethers- all wonderful but a super busy time. And I have a few part-time gigs going on… so lots of juggling on my part, and I am not really all that good at juggling.

And I always think that summer means slowing down, catching my breath and reading with my toes in the sand.

Do I ever have that summer? Have I ever had that summer? Definitely not, and while I do try to carve out at least a few beach days here and there – I have goals, people! I try to catch up on my reading, get to a Red Sox game or two, and hang out with my family. How am I doing so far? Reading, check – I have this great poster of 100 Essential Novels to keep me on track  – you scratch them off when you’ve read them – so fun!

Then it occurred to me to see how many of these classic books have been made into movies and to watch them this summer. Well, maybe I won’t finish this summer. Here’s what I am watching and reading and, in some cases, re-watching and re-reading. Make it a family movie night, and take turns choosing from your favorite adaptations. All are available on Fios – click on the image for more info.

To Kill a Mockingbird (Gregory Peck)

Pride and Prejudice – any version except the zombie one, but, hey, no judgement if you’re into that.

Gone With The Wind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Gatsby (again, choose your favorite – Redford or DiCaprio). No zombie version available, thankfully.

The Scarlet Letter – Demi Moore or the 1934 version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that should get you started with the classics. Also on my list:

The Fault in our Stars

Me Before You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water for Elephants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Help

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And no summer would be complete without the movie that made me afraid to go in the water for an entire summer.

Yes, Jaws.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

A Mother’s Day to Remember

Choosing Mother’s Day gifts has always been one of my favorite things to do, and except for the year I bought my mom a super ugly porcelain (!) flower pin from a church bazaar, I think I’ve nailed it. Luckily for my mom, my gift giving skills have improved, as has my access to shops. And as a Mom, I appreciate and love the simplest of things on Mother’s Day like hand-picked violets, a card, and maybe food I don’t cook myself, for at least one meal, anyway.

So, Mother’s Day is tomorrow, people! Forgot? Don’t worry. My friends and I at Go Local Boston have you covered.

First, head to either Medfield or Weston to one of the locations of Brothers Marketplace, my top go-to place for the freshest, most gorgeous flowers and yummy treats. They always have beautiful floral arrangements if you’re in the grab and go mode (me, always).

Since ideally Mother’s Day means nobody cooks, and trying to eat out can be stressful when you have young ones, put together a yummy cheese board with some fresh fruit, crackers or bread and some sparkling wine and cider. Grab a quiche – yummy, or some of the wonderful prepared food. You will be a star.

Gifts? got you covered, there, too.  Greentail Table in Newton is a great place for creative gifts for mom, from cool water bottles to sweet dish towels and gorgeous tableware. You can easily pull together a thoughtful and beautiful gift. Owner Linda de Valpine has a fantastic eye and everything in this store is gorgeous. Really, buy me absolutely anything from here.

Local love continues with beautiful cards, gift tags and stickers from Elizabeth at Bottle Branch. And as an extra bonus? You’ll learn something about plants because she’s also a botanist. And she and a friend co-wrote the super great site Manners for Mothers which I loved.


Even more local love local to Barbara at the Newton fave Sense and Humor – a great website with completely fun gifts for any time of year – my favorites for Mother’s Day? Add some tea and honey and a some cookies or a tea bread and you are good to go.

 

Don’t skimp on dessert – Mom has a sweet tooth, too! Praline in Belmont has the most delicious tarts and I should know, I sampled them all to ensure this is true – you are welcome.

Photos and fun from my cohorts at Go Local Boston:

KimWorld

A little bit about a lot of things

Leah’s Life: Pearls and Oysters

What do I want? I’m super low maintenance – well, I think I am anyway,  I don’t want a big brunch out or expensive gifts, a handmade card and some time with my family is the perfect gift. Okay, and that not cooking thing.

Feeling Art-y?

For Mother’s Day –  the outdoor market at SOWA is closed tomorrow, but the studios at SOWA Artists Guild are open. Maybe I’ll drag everybody to the Isabella Stewart Gardner or MFA. Or the newly renovated Boston Public Library.

 

 

 

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