The Terrible Two’s Are Holding Me Hostage

I write this in a state of delirium. Countless nights have passed without quality sleep. Countless battles have been fought,  and lost as my sweet, two year old has waged war against me. Sleep is our main issue, she’s declared both going to sleep and staying in bed beyond 4am impossible. Yet she’ll nap in random spots, at random times when I cannot. I am now a fragile shell of myself who is set off by the slightest struggle, unable to rationalize and too tired to be productive.

This is not a blog of complaint; it’s a realization. Honest, and open; I know I’m not alone. Many have felt this way before me and come out the other side of the age 2. Many are in it with me.

I’ve come out the other side once before, but right now, in this state, the world is tilted. Jagged bits of self remain; mixed in I find who I’ve become and I’m not her biggest fan: a sad housewife who can’t seem to fulfill her job requirements (cook, clean, shop, provide 24/7 care to others, do laundry…) or pretend to enjoy it. I catch glimpses of the other side of 2 and know how great it will be; how I will became myself once again. But right now, I’m a hot mess.

I beg, cry and yell. None of these tactics work on a strong-willed two year old who responds, when locked in her room to clean the mess she inflicted in protest, by intentionally wetting her pants. I melt, truly just melt, into a heap on the floor hating myself for yelling-again, and frustrated that my sassy little lady won’t confirm.

But I’m also proud that she has strong convictions because her spunk will serve her well later in life; so I try not to crush her spirit all the while keeping mine. The contradiction astounding, but real and important in helping us both get through the toddler years.

While I sit here, my cute little lady requests, or should I say demands, yet another snack because beyond refusing sleep she also only eats snacks, not her meals. And I let her because I’m so tired of fighting. Her breakfast, that I consumed moments ago, hours after serving, was deserted just as many meals before.

Now she sits, quietly consuming a bag of sugary cereal (courtesy of a well meaning grandparent). Her teeth unbrushed, her hair wild, because I just don’t have the energy to fight right now. She’s watching  a movie at 9:30am, because playing with her seems like an impossible, miserable experience and I’m trying to avoid her.

I feel like a bad mom; in my irrational head a good mom would have rules she maintains without fail. A good mom’s  kids would behave with her well-planned warning system.  She’d have meal times and snack times set, and she’d be in control of her emotions at all times. Her two year old would sleep.

In moments of clarity I glance at my amazingly helpful, thoughtful, mature (beyond the potty talk) 5 year old son who did most of the caregiving when my husband and I were sick a few days back, and see things for what they are.

This is a stage; it’s called the terrible two’s for a reason. She will outgrow this stage; I may even survive it. And then in a few (not so short years) I’ll enjoy everything quite a bit more. She’ll become the helpful caring kid he is now, and maybe she’ll even let me sleep. Then I’ll look back and be thankful I have no more terrible two’s to get through.

-Keeping motherhood real in a world where perfection is expected, Jess

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Family Friendly Scavenger Hunt Activity for National GO Day

The warm weather is in full effect in New England and June is the perfect month to get outdoors and enjoy some active and healthy fun in the sun.  The humidity hasn’t yet set in and the kids are still in school so you are still limited in terms of travel.  Day trips to the beach and family hikes are a favorite pastime for late afternoons and on the weekends in our household.

In recognition of National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day), Saturday, June 13, 2015, plan a family excursion to the beach or an adventurous hike through the great outdoors.  A fun activity to do with your little ones is our Amazing Matriarch scavenger hunt.

Your kids will collect an assortment of natural treasures; they will learn about other habitats and the environment (hello, hands on science), and they’ll work on developing their math skills as they count their treasures.  Best of all they’ll remember what they learned, making this hunt better than any standardized test the powers that be deem a priority.

Here’s what you need:

  • Amazing Matriarch’s Scavenger Hunt List
  • A small bag or pail to collect and store your found items

Print up Amazing Matriarch’s scavenger hunt list (click on the beach edition or forest edition images below to download), cut the page in two and create little booklets so each child has a guide of their own.  For reference, I take a single hole punch and put a hole in the top left corner of the booklet and secure with a ribbon that can then be tied to a bag with handles, or held on their wrists for easy access.  A stapler, tape or glue will work for securing the pages together in your booklet as well.

Amazing Matriarch Beach Scavenger Hunt                              Amazing Matriarch Forest Scavenger Hunt

For a few glorious minutes, you’ll get to relax a bit and enjoy nature at its finest while your kids’ attention is focused on the thrill of the hunt.

– Just one adventurer adding a little learning to Family Fun on your next outdoor excursion, Thia

Try this activity with your family on National GO day and share your experience with us via Facebook:  Amazing Matriarch,  Instagram:  amazingamtriarch or  Twitter:  @AMatriarch;  Tag us using #amazingmatriarch. 

Meet Amazing MOM, Sera Anderson

Sera’s life story has the makings of a Disney Movie. Abandoned on a doorstep in South Korea as a baby, Sera was found miraculously alive and well. Adpoted by an American family in rural Vermont, Sera grew up on a farm with her parents and brother. Married to her very own Prince Charming, She’s a stay at home mom of a “spirited” son and a beauty queen. This stunningly beautiful princess’s tale just keeps going.

Sera when she was found in box in South Korea
Sera when she was found in box in South Korea

Staying in the northeast for college then settling in Vermont, Sera landed a job as a pharma rep, bought a condo and lived the dream of every 20 something. Weeks spent running around for work were followed by nights and weekends unwinding amongst friends. Until she met her prince. Seth Anderson entered her life several times before their romance bag. First in passing at a hospital, then while out with friends, and eventually these two connected sending their lives barreling full speed ahead to success.

You can usually say the woman made the man, but these two made each other. Changing so much through the years they’ve been together, the Andersons have always been in-sync. Sera says, “I still have a list somewhere of all the incidents and examples of how he and I finished each other’s thoughts and sentences. Literally. It happens so much I started writing it down. It was creepy.  We keep each other responsible for ourselves… We hang out and talk. Talking is one thing we never fail on..we talk about politics, religion, controversial issues, universe, pop culture, Caden, family worries, everyday negotiations. You name it. We rarely have nothing we can’t share or talk about… The ways we differ I feel we teach each other things about life. It’s a great partnership. Are we perfect? No. But I focus on the good.”

Allowing one another to truly be themselves, their relationship was solidified long before they tied the knot. Dating for five years, these two bought homes, changed careers and saw each other through tough times. They welcomed one another’s family and friends into their lives; embracing them as if they were the one who established the relationship.

Right before they married, Sera quit her pharmaceutical sales job to follow her dream of owning a Cafe, successfully running her business until after their son Caden entered the picture in 2012. Wanting to be a mom, was replaced with actually being one and Sera learned quickly that this was the hardest job she’d ever have. Desiring to focus on her little man full-time Sera sold her business and took off running; a mom on the move.

With Caden
With Caden

When Sera welcomed Caden into this world, after a truly horrific labor and delivery, everything shifted. Her love for him grew with each passing day and she set off on a journey of learning how to parent. Meeting this “job” with the voracity she’s put into every other venture, Sera struggled with shortcomings, especially where sleep was concerned.

For 15 months Caden kept her awake. Wreaking havoc on her circadian rhythms and her sanity. Sleep deprivation made her depressed and feeling hopeless. She tried it all, including hiring someone to help her sleep train-everything failed. Caden was the driving force in his sleep and once he started to sleep, so did Sera.

Once she was able to sleep again,  Sera found herself seeking a new challenge. Encouraged by friends who were planning to enter, Sera signed up for the Mrs. Vermont pageant in 2104.

Sera invested time into prepping for the Mrs. Vermont pageant. Gracing the stage as her husband and son cheered her on from the audience. Her small frame decked out in a lovely red gown, made up with her signature black eyeliner and her extra long, jet black locks styled perfectly to show off her exquisite features, Sera rocked the pageant and won. Being crowned Mrs. Vermont her life once again set off in a new direction.

A typically private person, and introvert who favors small gatherings with a few close friends over large parties, Sera did not realize how quickly her privacy would be taken away when she became Mrs. Vermont, 2014.

Taking part in the Mrs. America pageant and fulfilling her duties (think parade marching, volunteering and hosting a fundraiser) throughout the year taught Sera that beauty really does come from within. Inspired by the loss of those close to her from Cancer, including a close childhood friend and her mother in law, Sera wanted to do something symbolic. And she did.

Head shaving
Head shaving

In September of 2014, Sera set-up a fundraiser where she herself shaved her head. Teaming up with the Vermont Agency Foundation Sera set a goal to raise $25,000 to benefit the Vermont Cancer Center. And with grace and dignity, she made good on her promise to shave her head. Seated in the center of a tent, surrounded by those there to support her cause and her spirit, Sera took the first swipe herself. By the end she was just as outwardly beautiful as she was before.

As if a beauty queen shaving her head was not enough of a shocker, several friends attending the event jumped in and had their heads shaved as well, some with hair long an healthy enough to be donated to causes making wigs for those who’ve lost their hair to Cancer.

While Mrs. Vermont Sera even took a stab at writing, submitting a column for her local newspaper about her experiences with parenting. These wildly popular monthlies were the chatter of all her friends, who could relate to what she was sharing, but also popular with those who did not know her and were struggling themselves. sera reached another goal; that of connecting with parents in her community, if only through her words.

Now that her term as Mrs. Vermont has come to an end, Sera sets off on another journey, one that is now shaped by her experiences as a beauty queen, one of volunteerism, motherhood and of simply finding out where life will bring her next.

-Making motherhood look good one tiara at a time, Jess

Know someone who’d make a great Amazing MOM? Share her information with us via Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us using#amazingmatriarch. 

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

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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. 

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