Month

May 2015

Colorful Mommy & Me Boho Bracelets Tutorial

Create This Nordstrom Inspired, Mommy and Me Look with Our Amazing Matriarch How-To

The bohemian trend consistently reminds me of warmer weather.  I tend to stock my summer wardrobe with a lot of boho-esque pieces.  I love the comfort and  freedom of the loose, flowy fabrics when the temperatures soar.  With little effort, you can rock your inner bohemian goddess and look put together at the same time.  That’s a win win for any mom in a rush.

Recently, I came across some really fun, colorful, boho-chic bracelets at Nordstrom and I was inspired to recreate the look for less.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that these bracelets are very easy to make and look store bought. As I noticed my daughter picking them up and putting them on the moment each was completed, I decided to make her a matching set that fits perfectly.

Here’s what you need (all can be found at Michaels or your local arts and crafts store):

  • Different Variations of Colorful Beads
  • .5mm or 1mm Stretchy Elastic Cord or String (I prefer clear so you do not see the string when the bracelets stretch apart)
  • Closed Jump Ring in the Finish of your choice
  • Embroidery Floss in the Colors of your choice
  • Clear Glue

Step 1 – Stringing the Beads:

String the beads of your choice on the stretchy elastic cord.

**Tip**

Keep your string attached to the roll until you have completed stringing the beads.  This will help keep the bead in one place.  Once you have finished stringing the beads, tie a knot at the end where you inserted the beads, leaving about 1.5 inches from the knot until the end of the string so as to tie the sides together at the end.  It’s better to be generous and leave more string than less as you can always cut what you don’t use. If you don’t leave enough room at the ends then you will not be able to secure the beads properly.

Step 2:

Once you have finished stringing your beads, double knot the cord on one side (so the beads are held together).  Next, take the pair of scissors and cut the other side of the cord that is still attached to the rope.  Be sure to leave at least 1.5 inches from the end of the knot to the end of the string for the final tie.  Double knot that side of the cord so the beads do not slide and are held in place.

Step 3 – Making the Tassel:

Take an embroidery floss color of choice, that is already looped (most already come this way).  Grab your scissors and cut the floss in the middle of the loop.  Take one end of the floss bunch and wrap some clear tape around the tips.  Insert the taped side of floss through the middle of a closed jump ring.  Once the floss is inside the ring, cut a 3 inch piece of floss and wrap it around the nape of the thread (below the ring), securing with a double knot.  Next, remove the tape at the end of the tips and cut the tassel to your desired length. 

Step 4:

Once the tassel is complete, take one end of the clear cord and insert it into the middle of the tassel closed jump ring.  Finish your bracelet by securing with a surgical knot.  I like to apply 2 surgical knots and finish off the bracelet with some clear super glue to insure that the knot does not slip out of place.

These bracelets are perfect for infusing a little boho into your summer wardrobe or accentuating your swimsuit while sitting on the beach or by the pool.  Plus, they attract lots of compliments.  Make this your next mother and daughter project on a rainy day, not only will you love them but your daughters will be so excited to have a matching pair!

If you love these boho bracelets but don’t have the patience to try the look for less, here are a few of my favorites:

Just one Bohemian bringing colorful accessories to your summer wardrobe, Thia

Try this project at home with your mini me and share your experience with us via Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us using#amazingmatriarch. 

Snacks that Outshine the Lit at Book Club

Hosting book club always leads to a menu complete with snacks from Trader Joe’s, cheese, wine and recipes I’ve been dying to try. My May menu was inspired by spring, a longing for summer and a desire to try something different. Having actually finished the book, The Girl on the Train, I was not only ready to discuss the literature (total thriller, few clues, was never sure of the ending) but excited to sit, eat and drink with the ladies I’ve been sharing lit with since 2010.

Along with my requisite cheese plate and no-fuss heat and serve Trader Joe’ s Shrimp Gyoza, I added two healthy, homemade appetizers and a crock pot dessert that made the ladies in my book club happy.

A big fan of green peas, I’d been dying to try Cooking Light’s Sweet Pea Crostini with Ricotta from the April, 2015 magazine. Feeling a little lazy (and entertaining a 2 year old all day), I skipped the whole make your own ricotta from Greek yogurt thing, and simply bought a small container of fat free ricotta cheese at my local market. This saved me a bit of time and clean-up so I could move along to other recipes before straightening out the disaster area I call my downstairs (in all fairness lots of fun is had here by my kids, but I never can quite keep up with the cleaning).IMG_2112

Assembled beforehand, these look lovely, but I opted for a make your own serving style as to limit waste because this pea spread would be fabulous on We Are Not Martha’s, Lemon Parmesan Spring Flatbread with Ricotta and Peas.

Along with the homemade crostini, I whipped up an Eating Well bean salad. Anyone with a blender, knife and can opener can master this healthy salad. A mixture of pink beans, yellow peppers, and edamame is topped with an herb focused avocado dressing that whips up in the blender in under a minute.  Served cold or at room temperature this meat free, protein packed powerhouse of  salad was flavorful and filling.

To drink we enjoyed our white and red, but in I was inspired to mix us a little sip of summer. Using pre-made Trader Joe’s Watermelon Cucumber Cooler I added a cup and 1/2 of silver tequila and a small bottle of champagne. Gently stirred, it was served in a glass over ice. This sipper was a star.

So much so that I made similar by the glass cocktails for a smaller crowd a few days later, altering the recipe to create something slightly different. Using the same Trader Joe’s Watermelon Cucumber Cooler, I subbed in a shot of  Privateer Rum and a splash of club soda. This cocktail was another winner and has me thinking that I’ll be stocking up on Trader Joe’s Watermelon Cucumber Cooler to use at all my summer gatherings.

A baker I am not; so when I found a crockpot rice pudding recipe in the June, 2015  issue of Cooking Light, I was determined to test it out, and book club gave me the perfect excuse.  This crockpot special features cardamom and vanilla beans and is topped with fresh seasonal fruit (peaches are suggested, I used nectarines).One of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made, all this recipe needed was a quick mix before I set it for 7 and 1/2 hours and forgot it for the day. The results were rich and creamy, with a sweetness that was not too strong and the essence of cardamom and vanilla. Comfort in a bowl that when served room temperature worked well for a cool spring evening.

This spread was as special as the ladies I was lucky enough to share it with.

-Finding excuses for good food and drinks on every occasion, Jess

Share your entertaining experiences with us! Via Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us on social using#amazingmatriarch. 

Whole Foods Kids’ Club Brings Sanity to Parents Shopping with Kids

A devout Whole Foods shopper, I thought I knew all their secrets. On May 18, 2015  the fishmonger at my local shop rocked my world with news I’ll not soon forget- Whole Foods has a kids’ club.

Walk into any Whole Foods location with your kids and head directly to the customer service desk; tell them you’re there for the kids’ club and they’ll supply you with the treats needed to make it through the store fuss-free. With a bag of animal cookies in hand, my two year old stopped requesting to eat all the snap peas we had bagged for purchase and focused instead on her goodies.

Shopping done; kid content; mission complete. Thank you Whole Foods!

-One mom on a mission to make grocery shopping glorious, Jess

Share your Whole Food Kids’ Club experiences with us via Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us using#amazingmatriarch. 

 

3 Days on Nantucket with Kids During the Off-Season

Amazing Matriarch’s Guide: Off-Season on Nantucket with kids

White Elephant Residences
White Elephant Residences

When you think of Nantucket hot summer days spent seaside followed by warm summer nights mingling outside come to mind. But Nantucket in the off-season is quite spectacular. With few more than the locals on island, you can get a glimpse of real life on Nantucket, see the sites without the crowds enjoy a meal without fighting for a table, and snag a deal on top notch accommodations.

For three days, we packed one suitcase each and set sail for Nantucket Island. My husband, myself, our 5 and 2 year old embarked on the fast ferry from Hyannis to the docks of Nantucket on a chilly spring afternoon. Our adventure began immediately as the unexpected rough seas had the kids referring to Kwazi on Octonauts each time the boat bumped and jumped. Happy to disembark, this final boat arriving for the day (the seas were deemed too rough), we were warmly welcomed to Nantucket and rapidly whisked to our hotel.

The White Elephant is known as a harbor side, high-end, family friendly resort and our stay proved its worth. Located blocks from Downtown Nantucket, this resort is in a prime location for walking, allowing you to leave your car parked (or off island), and without the hassle of navigating traffic (even in mid April it increased as the week wore on) or finding parking. Staying outside of the Hotel and Inn itself, at the White Elephant Residences, our lodging more closely resembled an apartment, ensuring our family could spread out and enjoy our stay on Nantucket, even if the weather kept us inside. The two bedroom unit offered ample space for our family of four, and we sure did make use of it.

Whaling Museum
Whaling Museum

With two bedrooms the kids bunked up, enjoying a sibling sleepover all three evenings: movies in bed, staying up late talking and waking far too early; they had a blast in their shared bedroom. They both used it separately when quiet playtime and rest were on their mind. Best of all, they eagerly awaited the trinket placed on their pillow each night by the White Elephant staff- a stuffed elephant upon arrival, one lobster that evening and a whale the another, and I eagerly awaited watching the giddy excitement when they found their treasures.

Fully opening for the season the week we arrived, the White Elephant proved itself to be a well-oiled machine. Functioning as if it had been at full speed all winter, the concierge offered plenty of suggestions, including a sheet highlighting island events the week we were there, earmarked with ideas for entertaining the kids throughout the week. Best of all, they provided us with two guides geared towards kids about Nantucket.

Library time
Library time

The Nantucket Kids Adventure Guide was invaluable. It offered so many ideas for exploring the island that we could not possibly complete all that appealed to us on this one visit. Listing everything from playground guides to hiking trails to warnings, this book could have entertained us for weeks. The Look Book was a little old for, but still big hit with, my 5 year old son, allowing us to do a treasure hunt of Nantucket’s hot spots.

The library, Atheneum as it’s called, is a short walk from the White Elephant and hosted two activities that my kids still talk about : a sing along and a LEGO challenge. Both free, and requiring tickets or pre-registration,  they were great ways to feel like a part of Nantucket and be indoors. Year-round activities change and are geared towards various ages, but are certainly worth looking into before you head over. I initially came across the Atheneum when doing a Google search in preparation for our trip on the Nantucket Island Events website. Offering a comprehensive calendar listing I was able to simply click on the dates I planned to be on island then further research those of interest.

Children's Beach
Children’s Beach

This website also clued me in on free art projects taking place at the Whaling Museum. A visit to the Whaling Museum, followed by diorama construction and a treasure hunt kept my kids entertained for hours after lunch at the Pharmacy’s old fashioned soda fountain.

Situated right outside the White Elephant, you’ll find a sandy shore for play, Children’s Beach. Home to a seaside playground, and snack shack (which had yet to open) we spent time there each day, sometimes returning multiple times a day. The kids loved digging in the sand, and even testing the still cold from the winter water while the air temp hovered in the mid 50’s. We watched the ferry arrive and lobstermen bring in their haul while climbing, swinging and sliding. Holes were dug, friends were made and the sand in their shoes even made it’s way to the mainland.

Dining on Nantucket is anything but ordinary. A collection of quaint eateries mix with foodie havens bringing locals and visitors a taste of island authenticity as well as trendy tastes. Breakfast was something prepped in our large kitchenette: bagels or cereal, but the rest of the day we dined out. Sandwich shops allowed us to bring back lunch so cranky kids could stick to nap time while the rest of of played games or snuggled on the couch with a movie.

Met on Main
Met on Main

When we dined out, we found ourselves in the midst of a dining culture often reserved for major cities. A family friendly dinner at Nix’s brewpub gave adults a darn good lobster roll while serving kids pizza to their liking. A lunch at Fog Island Cafe had us seated among working locals looking for a great sandwich and even better iced tea.

Hiring a sitter for our final night on Nantucket, we walked around town piping into several popular eateries for drinks and dinner. We kicked off the evening with a drink at Nautilus. With its small dining area, chefs table and bustling bar specializes in small plates and killer drinks. It was difficult to stop at just one cocktail as everything is made fresh and the balance of flavors ensure your cocktail showcases the ingredients within. This pre-reservation pop in gave us a glimpse of the menu and left us planning a return to indulge in dinner.

Dune, was where we found ourselves eating that evening and it lived up to all I’d heard. Overwhelemed by the menu choices, we opted to share what appealed to us. Fresh oysters; perfectly briny and icy cold found their way to our table to start our meal followed by a clam special laced with chorizo in a light and aromatic broth, then came a smoky roast shrimp and grits, fluffily cod and the miso ramen. Glasses of wine were poured and dessert ordered before we walked to our final destination that night.

Cocktail Time
Cocktail Time

LoLa’s hip vibe made their bar extra inviting. Loud music pumping and small groups chatting gave this Nantucket  restaurant the feel of New York City. After a quick nightcap, we turned in for the evening, welcomed back by our sitter who had successfully managed to get our excited kiddos to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Our boat ride home was bittersweet. As we checked out, we saw crowds checking in to take part in Daffodil Weekend. Boarding the fast ferry back to Hyannis, we pledged a return for more off-season fun, maybe in the fall.

 

-Making hot destinations easier to explore with your kiddos, Jess

Let us know how your trip to Nantucket turns out! #amazingmatriarch on social media. Find us on Facebook: at AmazingMatriarch Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  #amazingmatriarch 

Kidgits is Calling All Young Foodies for 1st Annual Lil Chefs Event

Kidgits

The Simon Malls Kidgits Club is whipping up some creative cuisine and loads of fun with this first annual event for Lil Chefs. On Saturday, May 16th, 2015 from 12pm – 2pm, children will experience, hands-on, the endless possibilities of food pairing. At the end of the day you can expect a new generation foodies to emerge. Hosted in the Macy’s Center Court at the South Shore Plaza (250 Granite Street, Braintree, MA), there will be a variety of food focused activities including:

Never too young to learn to cook
Never too young to learn to cook
  • Healthy Snack Ideas
  • Decorating Desserts
  • Food Samples
  • Disney and Lego Activities
  • Design your own Chefs Hat Craft
  • Kidgits Club Members will receive a Free Chefs Hat & Apron

All Kidgits are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the event to be donated to The Braintree Food Pantry to help those in need.

The Kidgits Club, which recently launced at the South Shore Plaza, is a fun and interactive program that focuses on health, wellness, education, safety and entertainment for children ages 3-8. For more information on how to become a member, visit www.simon.com/kidgets.

Make it a Mother’s Day She Won’t Forget

Before my kids came along Mother’s Day meant hosting elaborate feasts for my mother, mother in law and grandmother. Or running from house to house ensuring everyone got equal time on Mother’s Day. But the stress of appeasing everyone, in one day, all about an hour away form one another, became a burden when I became a mother and had two little kids demanding my attention so I switched things up and started a new tradition.

There’s no escape to the spa or ditching the kids in favor of “me time” on my mother’s day menu, but there are two elements I insist upon that fit the stage of life my kids are in: family fun (ideally outdoors), and eating out (even if it is just take out).

Anyone is welcome to join, but I plan a day that works with the weather (last minute) and revolves around my kids naps, keeping them active, avoiding cooking and cleaning for any member of my household, and keeping me sane.

Check out my picks in and around Boston for a Mother’s Day you won’t forget no matter your life stage.

If you’re the mamma of young children and want to skip the stress but keep your kiddos close, here are a few ways to have fun with little ones:

  • Find a local bike path. In the Boston area we often spend Mother’s Day biking Memorial Drive, where  the road is closed and the scenery along the river includes city views. My kids release some energy; I don’t worry about their decible level and  everyone has fun.
  • High tail it to waterfront park. South Boston’s Castle Island let’s you let loose, stroll the pathways or enjoy a picnic. Or skip the advanced preparation and have a kid friendly meal at Sullivan’s where the fried food is legendary and the lobster rolls reasonably priced.
  •  Go for a hike. This Mother’s Day, Boston area favorite Mass Audubon area, Blue Hills is offering a pancake brunch and guided hike
  • Check your local listings of places moms get in free.  Lincoln’s Drumlin Farm offers moms free admission on Mother’s Day.

However, just because my life stage dictates my activities and the idea of anything fancy, contained or controlled is torture with my two and five year old, does not mean this lady can’t dream. Those of you with well-mannered older kids should enjoy a little relaxation (someday this will be my ideal Mother’s Day). And Boston area restaurants have brunch plans with your name on them. Excellent restaurants serving up Mother’s Day meals you’ll remember include:

Legal Harborside
Legal Harborside
  • Legal Harborside serves up seafood treasures that are sure to make the aquatically inclined momma swoon. $65 gets you a customizable prix fixe complete with lavish choices like the (pictured) treasures of the sea. Always welcoming to little ones, Legal’s makes it easy to enjoy your Mother’s Day meal.
  • Hard Rock Cafe teams up with  the New England Aquarium to serve one rockin’ menu this Mother’s Day.  Breakfast is a bargain with a $13.95 price tag for adults and $9.95 for the kids. children under 2 eat free.
  • Head to high tea at Aragosta. Serving brunch earlier in the day, you can do something different and treat mom to high tea served from 2-4:30pm.

If your kids are grown (or close to it), or mom’s treat is eat out without them, then a couple of excellent suggestions include:

  • Pastoral’s monthly cooking class. Cooking with Mama kicks off on Mother’s Day and let’s you and your mama learn a new skill side by side. or simply indulge in brunch, where $42 gets you three courses and a cocktail.
  • The Taj Hotel where the view of the Public Garden is equally as spectacular as what’s on your plate. Sit outside on the rooftop patio or dine in elegance within the ballroom dining area. The buffets will include an impressive seafood tower and seatings are at 11, 11:30, 1:30 and 2:00pm
  • Reserve a table at Bistro du Midi where you’ll find elegance on your plate as well as in the decor. Window tables let you peek at the Public Garden while you sip their signature Bloody Mary that lives up to any hype you may have heard (the champagne cocktail is also delightful). A social occasion spot for sure, Bistro du Midi is a top choice for moms and their adult children.
  • Bergamot is serving three courses for $44 from 11am to 2pm, allowing mom to sleep in then enjoy a special dining experience.

-Because Mother’s Day should be fun for everyone, Jess

Fill us in on your favorite Mother’s Day activities! #amazingmatriarch on social media. Find us on Facebook: at Amazing Matriarch,  Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  #amazingmatriarch 

One Amazing Margarita to Celebrate Cinco De Mayo

Nothing beats a Margarita, be it on the rocks or in the blender, especially when the weather’s warm and the sun is shining. Best of all tequila is the only spirit that is not a depressant (or so a bartender selling me a cocktail once said), so you can drink it all day without getting sleepy (Silver Tequila is a great sub for Vodka in a Bloody Mary).

Because this member of the Amazing Matriarch team believes in the value of a stiff drink, you may want adjust the quantity and add a little extra simple syrup, Triple Sec or Cointreau to your shaker.

Recreate Jess’s favorite recipe (a riff on the Silver Coin served at Jasper White’s Summer Shack), served on the rocks with salt to pair with your fiesta this evening:

Recipe: 

  • 2oz Silver Tequila (Patron is a good choice)
  • 1oz Fresh squeezed lime juice (do not use the bottled lime juice or the drink will not be the same)
  • 1/2oz Simple syrup (more to taste)
  • Salt (for the rim)

Run a lime wedge along the edge of the glass, dip into a plate covered in salt (kosher, sea or cocktail salt) or sugar if you like a sweeter drink. Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, strain into ice filled glass, garnish with lime wheel or wedge. Sip and enjoy with your Cinco De Mayo spread.

-Mixing up a cocktail creation for every occasion, Jess

Share your Cinco De Mayo drink ideas with us via Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us using#amazingmatriarch. 

“Indulge, Fashion + Fun for Moms” at Simon Malls Thursday, 5/7/15

This Thursday get set to to shop at Simon Malls. Greater Boston area malls are eager to offer mom a little FREE Mother’s Day pampering at their  Indulge, Fashion + Fun for Moms events taking place at malls across the Commonwealth. Each event has a donation component supporting causes that benefit women in need.

Events include:

Burlington Mall, 75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington, MA  from 6:00 – 8:00pm (Center Court, level 1)

You’ll find inspiring fashion displays by Burlington Mall Retailers, making it easy to recreate the look that night by buying at the the stores within their roof, beauty tips and tricks to make you feel like the Amazing Matriarch you are, food and drinks samples, live entertainment and giveaways. Feel good by donating to a worthy cause, as The American Cancer Society will be onsite promoting their Burlington’s Relay for Life, Making Strides website and “Look Good Feel Better” program which offers assistance to women who are undergoing cancer treatment to help make them feel beautiful. A $5 + donation lets you leave with a Simon Mall cosmetic case complete with a passport entitling you to samples from on-site retailers.      

Emerald Square Mall, 999 South Washington Street, North Attleboro, MA from 5:00 – 7:00pm (Center Court, level 1)

Check out the fashion displays set up by  Macy’s, JCPenney, LOFT, and New York & Company then tag along on a  guided “Mommy Crawl” that will bring you to participating retailers throughout the mall where you can update your look for less by enjoying  special offers each retailer is offering for this event only. Nibble and sip on  the food and beverages out for sampling.

The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Research Foundation will be at Emerald Square to promote GloriDays, a 44-mile, multi-day journey through scenic East Bay, Rhode Island. All money raised at Indulge will be used to support the foundation’s future Survivorship & Wellness Center. For a minimum donation of $5, you gain access to the Mommy Spa along with spa swag, mini massages, manicures and special surprises. Any mom spending $100 gets a Simon  insulated wine tote. Cheers!

Northshore Mall, 210 Andover Street, Peabody, MA, 5:00 – 8:00pm  (Lower Level Nordstrom Wing)

Take in the fashion Show emceed by Aricia Symes-Elmer along with local moms from North Shore Modeling. They’ll be wearing looks from Northshore Mall retailers.  Take advantage of beauty tips & mini makeovers from Northshore Mall retailers, dig into food and drinks out for sampling, take advantage of  in-store events & sales with Northshore Mall retailers, admire the live entertainment. Those who want to up the fun factor and get creative can register for a VIP Glass Painting Class with The Painter’s Pub for $20! $5 from every painter’s ticket will be donated to several local families to support their fight against breast cancer, use the links provided to sign up:  5:30p.m. Session: http://bit.ly/1JbQ0b or 7:00p.m. Session: http://bit.ly/1PYtBnq. Drawings and giveaways will be taking place throughout the night. And those who spend $150 in the Northshore Mall or with local vendors during the event should bring their receipts to Guest Services to receive an exciting gift!

South Shore Plaza, 250 Granite Street, Braintree, MA, 5:00 – 8:00pm (Lower level Nordstrom Wing)

Make your way to the South Shore Plaza for Freeze Modeling Fashion displays by mall retailers, beauty tips, live entertainment and giveaways. Sip, and savor the food and drink samples while socializing at this great event. And for those who can’t make it but want in on the freebies, spend $150 between May 4 and May 7th for a free gift bag. The American Cancer Society will be hosting a VIP Entertainment Center – Make a donation to The American Cancer Society for access into the VIP Entertainment Center which will include a Fortune Teller, a photo booth and make your own wine glass charm! 

Solomon Pond Mall, 601 Donald Lynch Boulevard,Marlborough, MA, 4:30-7:30 (JC Penney Court)

Peruse the fashion displays featuring seasonal  must haves for mom’s closet while enjoying the tasty treats, wine and beer samples. Make time for a beauty session; hair, nail and skin consultants will be happening on-site. Look into your future with a Tarot card reading and be ready to win because Solomon Pond Mall will be giving away prizes at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30. If you find great goods and spend $100 or more Thursday, May 7 thru Sunday, May 10 at Solomon Pond Mall retailers you’ll be eligible for a free cosmetic bag filled with goodies with valid receipts from Guest Services. 

Square One Mall, 1201 Broadway, Saugus, MA, 6:00-8:00pm (Center Court)

Check out the fashion displays by Square One Mall Retailers, get complimentary beauty and fashion tips, and enjoy live entertainment. $100 in purchases gets you a Simon-branded insulated wine tote. Bring receipts to the Indulge Registration Table between 6:00 – 8:00p.m. on Thursday, May 7.

The Mall at Chestnut Hill, 199 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA, 5:00-8:00pm (Bloomingdales Fashion Court)
Along with  fashion displays by The Mall at Chestnut Hill Retailers you’ll find beauty tips including a “Mini Class” on Botox and Wrinkle Fillers by Newton’s La Residencia. There’ll be plenty of food and drinks for sampling, live entertainment and giveaways.

Not to be forgotten, Simon’s New Hampshire Malls are also offering Indulge events on Thursday:

Pheasant Lane Mall5:00 – 8:00p.m. Center Court, 310 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, NH

The Mall at Fox Run, 4:00 – 7:00p.m., Sears Center Court, 50 Fox Run Rd, Newington, NH

The Mall at Rockingham Park,  4:00 – 7:00pm, Lord & Taylor Court, Level 2, 99 Rockingham Park Boulevard, Salem, NH

The Mall of New Hampshire4:00 – 7:00pm, Macy’s Court, 1500 South Willow Street, Manchester, NH

Each New Hampshire location is offering a variety of fashion, beauty, food, and other exciting activities, entertainment and giveaways and details can be found on each mall’s Facebook page.

In addition to the Indulge festivities every mall is offering moms and moms-to-be across New England the chance to enter to win 1 of 5 spa packages valued at $500.

Simon’s Indulge events are free and open to women of all ages. For more information, visit the participating properties Facebook pages.

“Simon has had a longstanding tradition of celebrating Moms and the important roles they play in our lives,” said Brian Nelson, Regional Vice President of New England. “Held right before Mother’s Day, Indulge events create a perfect opportunity for Moms – who always think of others first – to focus on themselves and enjoy a social evening of fashion, food and fun.” 

We say, Thank you Simon Malls for recognizing and celebrating the Amazing in every Matriarch!

-A mom who feels good when she looks good, Jess

Fill us in on your Simon Mall shopping adventures at Indulge, Fashion + Fun for Moms, or any day! Send us comments and pictures at: Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us using #amazingmatriarch and Simon Malls using #SimonIndulge

Vibrant Fruit & Flower Centerpiece In Under Five Minutes

Whenever we host a dinner party or get together, I always look for new ways to leave a unique impression on our friends and family.  As most women would probably put their time and energy into planning an unforgettable meal, I tend to spend my time on creating an experience with the mood and atmosphere (one reason Jess and I make a great team, the chef and the event planner).

I recently hosted an event at our house and with limited time as well as 2 kids in tow the day of, I could only make one stop and it had to be the grocery store.  Along with the food and drink, I wanted to buy fresh flowers so I could create an accent piece to put on the bar that evening.  Aiming for something to compliment the fresh spring air that day, and wanting to avoid breaking the bank, I let my yearning for something colorful and effervescent lead the way for the perfect budget purchase: fruit and flowers.

Here’s what you need to re-create this fruity arrangement:

  • Colorful Fruit (lemons, limes, clementines or a mixture of both)
  • Glass Vase
  • White Flower Arrangement

**Tip**

Try to stick with flowers that have a lush and billowy blossom.  Some great examples are hydrangeas, peonies, english roses and dahlias.

Lime Vase
Step 1

Fill your vase of choice almost to the top with your fruit.  I left 2-4 inches between the fruit line and top of the vase so the flowers would sit nicely.  Note – the fruit must be placed in the vase  first, if you fill the vase up with water and then add the fruit, you’ll have to start over because your fruit will float.

**Tip**

If you have some time on your hands, try cutting the fruit into narrow slices rather than using the whole fruit.  I have also tried this option and it looks fabulous as well.

Step 2:

Fill your vase with water about an inch above your fruit.

Sliced Fruit - Lemon & Orange Close upStep 3:

Trim the stems on your flowers and add them to the vase.  You might need to play around with the length of stem as it tends to get crowded when using a narrow vase.

With one stop to the grocery store and 5 minutes to create, this centerpiece is a no-brainer for your next spring or summer fete.

– Just one social butterfly helping to set the mood for your next dinner or event, Thia

We want to hear from you!  Try creating this centerpiece for your next gathering and share your experience with us. Find Amazing Matriarch on Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  #amazingmatriarch. 

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