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.

Almost A Lemon

Not the car but fun pic.

Almost But Not Quite a Lemon.

When we first made the move to the suburbs from the city, my husband and I prided ourselves on the proximity of our house to public transportation – I took the T into Boston, and it was fine to share a car. We were mobile, young, and both worked outside of the home.

Fast forward to the birth of our first child, my husband was gone all day – most importantly, with the car – and we realized we needed a second car. We went to our local auto dealership with our three month old (always a good idea for maximum focus) and negotiated a deal for a lovely used station wagon with low mileage and a pesky engine light that seemingly always flickered and then stayed on. The dealership promised to fix the light, and while I may have had a fair amount of spit up on my shirt by the time we signed the papers, sign we did.

That night at home during the usual 3 AM feeding, I realized I was concerned about the cost and the dependability of the car. What about that engine light? What if something was really wrong with the car? Would I know or just assume the engine light was faulty? I grabbed a legal pad and began scribbling. Finally, exhausted, I finished my work and baby and I went back to bed.

When my husband woke up the next morning (both baby and I were still fast asleep), he found a three page analysis of why we should buy out the lease of our existing car instead of the station wagon with the wonky engine light. It was in a Pro/Con format (as I was taught, thank you Dad), and I even ran numbers. And because I never run numbers, or even really, make lists, my husband knew this was serious. Pretty much I had reasoned that our existing car was a known entity with a known record, and the newish car a sort of scary unknown vortex of breakdowns and hefty repair costs (this was before sites like CarFax, people).

My husband agreed with me and while we were a little embarrassed (well, I was), we cancelled the sale of the car (which you can legally do – here is the info) and bought out the lease of our car.

That car ran like a top and was great until we had two little ones, a more often than not messy dog, and needed more room, and we finally did end up with a station wagon (named Mommy Car) IMG_0758which I drove for the next eleven years. So my #switchersremorse was buying a car and then un-buying the same car within 24 hours. You can change your mind. Sometimes it’s easier than you think.

This is a paid post for Verizon’s #SwitchersRemorse campaign. If you switched away from Verizon and are regretting it, don’t worry. They’re making it easy for customers to come back. For more information head over to your local Verizon store.

A Highlight Reel with My Motorola Droid

Disclosure: As a Verizon #VZWBuzz #VZBoston Lifestyle Blogger I’m a member of a pretty cool team of influencers who share information about mobile living. I was provided a device (a Motorola Droid)  at no charge and compensation for my participation. There has been no editing by a third party, nor any promise of positive feedback. All opinions are my own.


Yes, I am making movies now – well, more like a photo slideshow but it’s cool, right? Maybe it’s watching my kids so easily create videos (okay, one is a film student so I do have in-house tech support if needed), maybe it’s because it’s fun to put music and images together, and maybe because it is now so easy to do!

I went to a blogger lunch last week at the Tuscan Market (in Salem, NH – there’s one in Burlington, MA I’m going to visit next), and wanted to share the amazing food and atmosphere. Usually when I write a post, I make a photo gallery or post still images but I sort of accidentally stumbled upon this feature and was intrigued. And it was incredibly easy to do using my Motorola Droid. Really, I’ve always been a little shy to try making videos (high expectations here and all that), but I found the Android phone really intuitive to navigate on my own. Sure, it took a few tries to get the first video the way I wanted it (four attempts, to be exact but mostly because I was fussing with the length and the music), but I made the second video below in under two minutes and it was so much fun!

8 Easy Steps to a Video

1. Go to Camera Roll or Gallery

2. Select photos

3. Tap the box to create a Highlight Reel (next to the Google Mail box)

4. Add the Title

5. Choose Movie Length

6. Choose Quality (HD available)

7. Select a Song from available downloads (or check No Music)

8. Save and Share!


I’ve found lots of fun features on this phone but this is my new favorite. Get ready for more highlight reels! #VZWBuzz #VZBoston #sponsored




One of my favorite things…my Droid Turbo

Disclosure: As a Verizon #VZWBuzz #VZBoston Lifestyle Blogger I’m a member of a pretty cool team of influencers who share information about mobile living. I was provided a device at no charge and compensation for my participation. There has been no editing by a third party, nor any promise of positive feedback. All opinions are my own.

Flowers at the grocery store reminding me that Spring is near


I love to find things. I even have a category in the header of this blog: Finds – Chic and Geek – sometimes it is clear that it’s one or the other but sometimes there is crossover… like with my new Motorola Droid phone. It’s both awesomely geek and chic. Gorgeous, easy to hold, and sharp looking (I get asked about it all the time while I’m out and about) and it also has a state of the art camera (21-megapixel) and screen (5.2-inch Quad HD) that takes fantastic pictures that makes me look a little a lot more skilled than I am …and that’s always good.

So while I’m out finding new finds – new restaurants, shops, exhibits, galleries, artists and activities… I’m generally snapping pics. My family is so used to me making them wait to eat so I can get a quick pic that my kids grab what we call my big phone, and even take a few pics for me.


Baking pic


An easy weeknight dinner pic


A salad pic (Vine Brook Tavern in Lexington,MA )
Love this flatbread pic (also from Vine Brook Tavern)
Salmon on a greens pic (Legal Seafoods in Dedham, MA)
The crystal clear display of my Motorola Droid with some more gorgeous pics

So I’m looking forward to discovering even more fun finds and sharing them here! Heads up – I’ll be taking tons of pics for Newton’s Festival of the Arts in May!


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