Simple DIY Fall Pallet Decoration


I love fall. It truly is my favorite season. It is the gateway to cooler weather, leggings & tunics, football, pumpkin spice everything and so much more. My fall decorations from previous years were starting to look a little drab, so I had to toss them last year. I was sad to see them go. However, without doing so I might not have had the great idea to make my own decoration this year. This  DIY Fall Pallet Decoration is so simple and you can reuse it for years to come. You only need about $30, 2 hours (total time including drying time) and a little creativity!

What you need:
Outdoor Spray Paint/Paint
Paint Brush
Ribbon *optional
Stencils *optional

I found my pallet on the side of the road for FREE! But, you can find them at your local hardware store for under $20 or ask local garden shops if they can spare one! You’d be surprised how many extras they have to give! I already scored another one for my DIY Winter Pallet! I bought outdoor spray paint, paint brushes and a sample of outdoor paint at my local hardware store. That’s all you need!


I had letter stencils and ribbon already in my craft stash. I freehanded the pumpkin from an image online. My pallet cost me about $15, but shouldn’t cost more than $30 if you have to buy everything. What a great deal! If I didn’t have to spray paint my pallet, it would have been even cheaper. I needed to spray paint my pallet because it was written on already. I find the natural color and texture of the aged pallet would make for a fine background for your creation!

I found that keeping the theme to just “Fall” versus anything else will allow me to keep it up through the Thanksgiving holiday. I saw a ton of these floating around Pinterest, saying “Grateful” or “Give Thanks” and “Trick or Treat”, but I find those limit the time that they can be left up. I put mine up half way through September and will take it down December 1st. I like a long shelf live with my projects! My winter one will go up on December 1st and hope to keep that one up through February! You’ll have to come back and see what I have in store for that one as well!

Until then, get crafting! I would love to see your projects!


Fall Family Bucket List

Do you love Fall and all that is associated with it? Do you have a Fall Family Bucket List planned? There are so many things to do during the fall season that I like to write them all down so I don’t forget!  Ever find yourself contemplating what to do on a gorgeous fall afternoon? Jot down your favorite fall past-times, place them in a mason jar and when the mood strikes (Yes- I am talking about boredom)- PICK ONE! Of course, if you are like me, you will cross off your favorite activities almost immediately! The second the pumpkins and apples are ready to picked- you can be rest assured that’s where I will be!


I love fall festivals (Scituate Art Festival is my local favorite), apple picking, pumpkin picking, hayrides, hiking, running, FOOTBALL, fall baking, fall decorating, biking… I could go on and on. So, this weekend take some time to talk as a family about what you all love most about fall. Give each member of your family 5 pieces of scrap paper and write your ideas down.  Each time you are in the mood for a fall adventure, have a new family member pick from the jar! Get creative. There really is no way to steer your family wrong. As long as you are playing together, you’re creating memories that will last a lifetime! That’s the magic of the season!

My Fall Family Bucket List story is featured on the cover of this months Rhode Island Health & Fitness. To read the whole story and get some ideas, click here! Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ve added to your bucket list! I am always looking for more ways to have adventures with my boys!


Photo By Rhode Island Health & Fitness magazine


Escape Reality And Explore The Renaissance

It’s fall, and fall in New England wouldn’t be complete without King Richard’s Faire, the oldest renaissance faire in New England. Here, you will be immersed from head-to-toe in a 80-acre forest that is set to resemble a 16th century marketplace. The family and I had a great time exploring the artisans, watching the shows and interacting with each strolling character as they passed by. The are knights, mimes, mud beggars, wenches and members of the royal family walking amongst you. You truly feel as though you have stepped into another time. If you have a child who enjoys history museums, this will surely delight. My son, loves to learn about different places and times in history. He felt as if he went back in time and really enjoyed himself.


I thought at first, King Richard’s Faire might not be a good fit for my son due to his Sensory Processing and Anxiety. Think loud noises, smells and crowds. But, if you scope out the map ahead of time, find a quiet spot to rest and try not and fit everything in, chances are you will have a plan for success. It was loud, but not in an obnoxious way. The wind and trees seemed to dull out some of the crowd noise and we found a great spot to take a break under some pine trees. We let him dictate the shows he wanted to see, which worked out perfect. He chose the Great Cats of The World Show, The Royal Parade and the Challenge of Champions. 

Honestly, the Great Cats of the World Show is worth the ticket alone! We sat in the 2nd row right and got to see a Black Panther 10 feet in front of us. And the white Bengal Tiger was just as impressive. The Geoffroy Cat was small but mighty (and adorable to say the least). The knights put on a great show. There was horseback riding, jousting and tricks with their lances among other things. And our knight (blue & white) won the challenge! My son picked the right spot to sit in! The Royal Parade is the perfect chance to see all the roaming characters in one place! It’s also the prefect time to grab a bite to eat and find a table and watch as they make their way around the village!



Let’s talk food. We split a bloomin’ onion, chicken fingers & fries platter and some fudge! It was all delicious. The food was exactly like what I expected, with a slight edge over regular carnival food.  I did notice they offered gluten free options as well as lactose intolerant! As a mom to a food allergy kid, I found this to be a refreshing surprise! I can’t forget about the massive ice cream cone and homemade pickle served from a barrel! Delicious! It does get a bit busy around the traditional lunch time, so if you can wait to eat later that will save you from having to really search out for a table.

Listen, we could have stayed longer. Explored more. Played more games. Ate more. Shopped more. But, we had about 1 hour drive and it was getting late in the day. There really is so much to do and see there. I find this event is more suitable for kids 7 and over. The games were fun, but some I think would be better for the older set versus the younger! Same with the shows. While some kids younger than 7 would find the shows enjoyable, I think the majority of older kids would be able to sit for them longer and really get something out of them! Landon was the perfect age! He is almost 9 and like I said, in love with history.

If you are looking for a quintessential fall New England event to enjoy, get yourselves to King Richard’s Faire.

I am so grateful at the opportunity to receive free admission to this years event in return for a review. And guess what? I have 4 tickets to give away and are good for any of these dates: October 8, 10, 15, 22 and 23. I only wish to be able to attend next year and cross off everything we missed off our list! My son is already talking about his outfit that he wants to wear! A knight who fights for freedom and love! What is better than that? I have my eye on a flower crown!

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A Busy Moms Guide To Staying Active

If you know me, you know I adore fitness. Not for vanity reasons. I am what society likes to call “plus-size”, so I think the vanity portion is lost on me! I adore fitness because of how it makes me feel. I feel strong. It clears my racing, anxious thoughts right away. It sends a dose of happiness right to my brain. I am over 1 year free of my anxiety medication because I turn to fitness. Plus, it is fun. Yes, fitness can be fun. It can social. It can be life-changing. It can be what gets you through the day. It can be whatever your heart desires. But, only if you commit yourself.


No, you do not need to go all in. You don’t need to start running 5 miles per day and spending hours at the gym. You can start small. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Chances are if you run into something without taking the time to properly see what works for you, you might end up jumping ship real fast. I don’t want that. You don’t want that. I want you to succeed. Whatever your definition of success is. Everyone’s success is measured differently. Just as everyone needs to find what works for them!


I recently wrote an article for Rhode Island Health & Fitness entitled, A Busy Moms Guide to Staying Active. I talked about some of the ways we as moms, or any individual can fit more activity into their lives. We are a nation that is constantly living in the fast lane. Self-care can’t happen if you don’t slow down and make the time!  Check it out here, and perhaps there are some tips you could take into your lives today and become happier & healthier!


Comfort Food Gone Clean: Chop Suey

Comfort food. I know there has to be more people out there like me that crave it after a bad day! Or how about just any day for that matter? Comfort food is, well comforting. It does something to our insides. That is GOOD & BAD. It tastes delicious and can actually make us feel better when we treat ourselves to our favorite food. However, chances are the food in question is full of fat, sodium and carbs and really has no nutritious value to it. Fear not, I am determined to makeover some of the most well-loved comfort food dishes out there! Comfort Food Gone Clean. I will turn them into delicious, lean & nutritionally valued meals for all to enjoy! First up- Joys Chop Suey.

Chop suey is usually filled with sodium and carbs, and really no amount of veggies that go into it matter much. Other than the protein of choice, chop suey is not something you want to consume on a weekly basis. I, however have come up with a dish that you can eat daily (if you wish) and is PACKED with nutrition. Not only is it delicious, it is so easy to make! I challenge you to try the recipe and let me know your thoughts! Remember, it will never taste “exactly the same” as traditional chop suey, but it comes pretty darn close and definitely will satisfy your craving!

99% lean ground turkey (or chicken)
1 large organic yellow pepper
1  organic Vidalia onion
1 package of organic mushrooms
1 cup of Butternut squash noodles (I bought them already made at Whole Foods)
1 15oz can of San Marzano tomatoes
Spices to taste preference:
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp Himalayan sea salt
1/2 tbsp black pepper
4 long stems of basil (diced)

Dice up the pepper, onion, mushrooms and saute in oil of your choice. When that combination is almost done cooking, add the butternut squash noodles to the same skillet. Once the noodles have cooked (about 5-7 minutes), remove the veggies from the skillet. Add a small bit of oil back to the pan and place the ground turkey in. Top with all the seasonings (minus the basil) and cook until browned. Once the turkey is cooked, add the can of tomatoes and bring to a slight boil. Push the turkey mixture to the sides of the skillet, creating a empty circle in the middle of the pan. Add the veggies back to the skillet and reheat for a few minutes. Once you feel the veggies have reheated enough, mix all the ingredients together. Portion out 4 servings and top with fresh basil.

Comfort Food Gone Clean

Super easy, one pan and so good! I don’t know what else to say other than you have go to try this! Be creative with it. Add different chopped veggies, your favorite seasonings etc. Maybe try it with zucchini noodles as well? This was packed full of protein and fiber and ZERO carbs! It was so satisfying, it is on the menu weekly from now on. Try it and let me know what you think! For those friends who are following the 21 day fix meal plan, you’re in luck! It is 21 day fix approved! It’s time to make mealtime delicious & nutritious!



New York Hall of Science- Family Fun is Awaiting

Family Fun is awaiting you.   New York Hall of Science offers a hands-on approach that explains science, technology, engineering and math programming to children of all ages. NYSCILogo150

Their permanent exhibit, Connected Worlds, is a fully immersive, digitally rendered, interactive display. Visitors explore the interdependence of six environments and interact with creatures, trees and plants within each atmosphere. Through gestures and movements, visitors learn the core principles of sustainability and see the impact of human decisions on the environment. Visit today for an immersive experience!


My husband has been eagerly awaiting taking our son here. He is at the perfect age and just loves science! My husband grew up not far from here and spent many days with his own family (and school trips) here. I am excited to be able to watch him happily reminisce about how it was like when he was younger, while having a completely new experience with our son!

We are ready to learn and make memories at the New York Hall of Science!



Reduce Your Child’s Stress With SELF-REG By Dr. Stuart Shanker

If you are a parent, chances are there are times when things can get pretty stressful with this parenting gig. Whether it is you or your child, sometimes our emotional responses are not what we would say is appropriate! Fear not, there is something that can help alleviate the stress! SELF-REG is a new book written by Dr. Stuart Shanker, that aims to help parents and caregivers (and their children) break the stress cycle and successfully engage in life. This book resonated with me more than I thought it would. And, I think it could do the same for you.

13512009_1369642833052803_7513924312647813087_nAt the start of the book, you learn about the discovery of the limbic system, often referred to as the “emotional brain” and how it’s connected to our emotions. Each one of our memories is stored here and is associated with an emotional response, whether it be good or bad. Now I know why I am still afraid of the dentist at 33 years old! The ability for our emotional response to be rational and precise, largely is affected by one’s stress level. Each person has an individual level of stress that their limbic system values as a threat. When a threat is seen, our ability to control our responses is lessened.

“Self-control is important but not the central organizing feature of a strong, healthy mind and life success. Self-regulation is.” Dr. Stuart Shanker 

Right from the beginning of the book I felt at ease about my son and I. As most are aware, we both have been diagnosed with Anxiety Disorders and Sensory Processing Disorder. We are usually playing out a “fight or flight” scenario in our minds weekly, even when nothing seems to really be bothering us. When we are anxious, we tend to be more emotional. Overly happy or terribly sad and agitated. It all seemed to make sense. Dr. Stuart Shanker explained it in a way that was easy to understand. I always knew our anxiety was something that we couldn’t control, but it is always nice to hear that we are not alone.

SELF-REG: 5 Core Steps for Transforming Behavior

  1. Read the signs and reframe the behavior
  2. Identify the stressors
  3. Reduce the stressors
  4. Become aware of when you’re overstressed
  5. Figure out what helps you calm, rest and recover

How simple do these steps sound?  While it may take time to learn ALL the signs and stressors, you can start putting these to use immediately. Think about a time when your child was acting fresh or rude. Was there something bothering them? Was there a large crowd, noise, light bothering them? Were they not feeling their best? I ran these steps in my head a few times and was able to determine a few stressors of my son’s that I wasn’t aware of before. We can help our kids navigate their emotions on a healthier level with these steps. Society sometimes tells us that having emotions is a bad thing. That we need to keep them bottled up and repress them. With these steps, kids (and adults alike) will also learn the importance of emotional openness and safety. Holding our emotions in can actually lead to more stress in our lives.

self-reg 6

I highly suggest this book for anyone who has a tough time recognizing their child’s behavior.  These steps for transforming behavior are not to control our children. It is to help them understand “why this” behavior and to help them self-regulate. It is never too early or late to start learning this technique. And remember, these steps can help us understand our own signs and stressors. A little understanding can go a long way, especially when we can understand ourselves on a deeper level. We not only become better parents, but better people for it.

I was given an advance digital copy to facilitate my own opinion. You have a chance to win a hardcopy of SELF-REG by entering the giveaway below. I hope you enter~there is much to learn from this book!
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