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Easy Lemon & Pepper Salmon

What you will need:
  • Salmon fillets - frozen or fresh
  • McCormick Lemon & Pepper (to taste)
  • Lemon juice 

After you make this salmon at home, you may never want to order salmon at a restaurant again.  This is a delicious and fast recipe that will be sure to impress your guests.

Preheat our oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray, and place your salmon on top.  This recipe works well with frozen or fresh fillets.  If you are using frozen, I like to let my salmon thaw slightly while the oven is preheating.  

Generously shake the lemon & pepper seasoning over (and under the fillets). Make sure to give them a good coating.  Then squeeze a little lemon juice over the fillets and you're done!  Bake your fish for approximately 20 minutes (give or take depending on whether you are using fresh or frozen salmon). 

TIP: To know if your salmon is ready, use a fork to pull the salmon apart in the center.  If it is ready, the inside will be a pale pink and the "meat" will flake off to the touch of your fork. 

I love to serve my salmon with a side of asparagus or green beans and long grain wild rice.


Easy Homemade Applesauce

This recipe has been adapted from Fabulessly Frugal.  It is super easy and only FIVE ingredients.  For my family of five, this is devoured in one sitting, so I'd suggest doubling, so you have some leftovers. 

6 Gala apples - peeled, cored, and sliced 
1  cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Peel and core your apples, slice, and toss into cooking pot. Add the water, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix the ingredients and then cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes (or until apples are soft).  Let stand about 5 minutes with the lid on.  

Pulse in your cuisinart (or blender) until desired texture. We like ours a little chunky.  Serve warm or chilled and top with a little extra cinnamon. 


Monster Jam Show Photos and Tips

Last night our clan went to the Philadelphia Jam Show at the Wells Fargo Center.  It was our youngest son’s first time, so we were super excited to see his reaction when the monster trucks entered the arena.  As we were walking along the concourse, L heard a “rumble” and he bolted into the arena.  It was adorable.  

If you haven't been to a show before, there are dirt bikes and quads that typically ride around the pit while the crowds wait for the trucks to begin, as well as in between monster truck show acts.  The kids will never be bored!  Here are some pictures we took last night, followed by our family tips.  We’d love to hear from you if you have an additional tip!

Here are our family tips:

  1. Make sure to bring ear protection. It gets super loud inside with the engines rumbling so you will want ear plugs or the “ear muff” protectors. They do sell them there but can be pricey, so we find it’s better to pick some up at your local hardware store.
  2. Bring coats. It can get chilly inside since they leave the door open for the monster trucks to enter in and out of the arena. Some people even bring a blanket depending on the location of seats. 
  3. The souvenirs can be expensive so if you think your kids will want a new monster truck at the show, buy one at Target before you come and surprise them with a new truck when you get there. I will note however, the soft monster trucks (like stuffed animals) are really cool and I have not seen them sold in any of my local stores…they sell for $20.        
  4. If you are attending the Pit Party, bring your own memorabilia (poster, book, hat, etc..) with you and ask the drivers to sign! It is always fun to meet the drivers, see the faces behind the trucks. My son loved the pit party when he was younger. He was in awe of the massive trucks and tires.

Monster Jam Ticket Giveaway

(I received a complimentary family pack of tickets for the purposes of this giveaway. No monetary compensation was provided for this post.  As always, all opinions are our own)!

The Monster Jam Show will be here next week and we cannot wait to for this year's performance!  Be sure to check back Saturday morning (10/4) for our pictures from the opening night show. 

 We have the opportunity to give away a family four-pack of tickets to one of our readers, for the FRIDAY night show at 7:30 pm.  Simply enter below and we will pick a random winner by Tuesday, 12 AM, ET (9/30/2014). 

Note: We also have an Exclusive Discount Code “BLOG” for $10 off on purchase of $25 and $35 tickets for October 3rd performance at 7:30 pm.  Click on this link to purchase your tickets.

Delaware Saengerbund Oktoberfest

It is that time of year has started, nights are cooler, leaves are beginning to fall off the trees, and we patiently await the tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest beer!

After having been to the official Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany and celebrating Oktoberfest in Dusseldorf, Germany, I can honestly say the Delaware Saengerbund Oktoberfest is the most authentic Oktoberfest we have attended in our area.  We initially learned of this Oktoberfest through my husband's co-worker.  He is a member of a German band that participates in the Oktoberfest every year.  We have been attending this fest for the past several years thus making it an an official Gunn Clan tradition.  Not only do we enjoy the German liters of beer and delicious food, but the kids have a blast listening (and dancing) to the German music, and of course, the carnival rides.

Hours: The Oktoberfest opens on Friday (10/19) at 5:00 p.m. and closes at 11 p.m. Hours on Saturday are 12 to 11 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 6 p.m. Admission: $8.00 per person.

Our tips for DE Oktoberfest:

1. For the cost of entry, you can have access to unlimited rides but come prepared with cash for food and beer tickets.  You may bring your own stein for beer and/or  purchase one there (they do bring in novelty gifts and souvenirs straight from Bavaria).

2. Arrive early on Saturday or Sunday if you are coming with the family.  It can start to get a little crazy later in the day as you can imagine.  

3. There is a small playground for the kids if you want to let them play while you try to eat.

4. You will see many people dressed in their Lederhosen or Dirndl dresses, so if you have one hanging in the closet, dust it off and sport your Bavarian attire.

Here are some pictures....Prost!

NEW Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches

Disclosure: I participated in a Blogger Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for  Stonyfield. I received coupons to facilitate my shopping trip and thank me for participating.

My older kids love yogurt and they eat it just about every day in their lunches and as a snack after school.  My youngest (16 months old) has not quite entered the yogurt craze simply because it can be so messy.  He does not like to be fed and he does not quite have the gross motor skills to feed himself the yogurt with a spoon.  Even though there are yogurt sticks  (and we love to freeze ours as treats), it can still be hard for a baby or toddler to eat.  So when Mom Central Consulting for Stonyfield asked if I wanted to try out their NEW YoBaby, YoToddler, and YoKid yogurt pouches, I was super excited.  

I was sent some coupons to purchase the yogurt pouches. I was able to find pouches at Wegmans (my favorite grocery store) making it easy to purchase and try out this new product.  The yogurt pouches can also be find  at the Giant, Target, & BJ's by me.  To find the closest store near you that sells the yogurt pouches, click here.  
Prior to trying out the pouches, we do not typically buy Stonyfield simply because of the cost.   My kids love the taste but they were just a little too expensive to buy every week.   I must admit, now that they offer pouches, the convenience along with wholesome ingredients is worth the extra change.  My 1 year loves the pouch and it has easily become a new staple for breakfast in the morning while we rush around getting the other kids ready for school.  Not to mention it's a great snack for "on-the-go" days with sports...when we're driving around in the car all afternoon.

Learn More about Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches

Stonyfield is the first refrigerated organic yogurt pouch available. All of the Stonyfield organic yogurt pouches contain pure organic ingredients and never any high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors. You can learn more at  To find the closest store near you that sells the yogurt pouches, click here.  Also be sure to follow and connect with Stonyfield through social media, so you can keep up with all of their specials, promotion, and goodies.
Twitter: @Stonyfield
Instagram: @Stonyfield

Have you tried the new Stonyfield yogurt pouches? If so, what's your favorite flavor?

ACC Men's Lacrosse Championship

The 2014 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship will be the first under the new-look ACC with six teams (Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Virginia) in the league. All six ACC teams are currently ranked in the top 11 of the national polls, with Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia occupying the top four spots in both the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and the USILA Coaches Poll. Those six teams also combine for 24 NCAA titles and 166 NCAA Tournament appearances.

For $5 off per tickets, use the promo code “ACCMOM” at

Win 4 free tickets today by entering a comment on our Facebook page here:

The four-team tournament will commence at PPL Park with semifinal action on Friday, April 25, with games at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The championship game will be played on Sunday, April 27, at 1 p.m. The two teams that do not qualify for the championship will play in the ACC Showcase on Saturday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, April 25
5:00 PM - Syracuse vs. Duke
7:30 PM - Maryland vs. Notre Dame

Saturday, April 26
7:30 PM - North Carolina vs. Virginia

Sunday, April 27
1:00 PM - TBD

Perrigo Nutritionals Review & Giveaway

As a mom who stays at home with three young children, I am always looking for new ways to save money and become more organized as our activities and schedules evolve.  I have always been a store brand shopper and tend to buy what I need by frequenting several different stores.  So when given the chance to try out a Perrigo Nutritionals gift pack, I was super excited.

First I must admit, I had not heard of Perrigo Nutritionals, but I soon learned that they are the largest supplier of Store Brand Infant Formula and nutrition products in the world...and one of only four companies recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for meeting the strict FDA requirements for safety, nutrition and quality for infant formula-manufacturing in the United States.  Pretty impressive.  Perrigo Nutritionals store brand products are sold under individual retailer brands, such as Walmart’s Parent’s Choice and Target’s Up & Up Store brand products.  

Here is a peek into my box full of samples: food puffs, food pouches, dried yogurt....all the snacks my youngest son loves!  He did not notice a difference in taste but I notice the cost savings!

As you can see, in addition to the samples of food, I also received a copy of Crystal Paine's book, “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your  Passion for Life."  A great book to have on hand and to refer.  For example....

Cyrstal Paine's 5 Money Saving Tips for Families

Create a Budget
A budget gives you parameters and purpose, it gives you boundaries, and it gives you freedom to live creatively within those boundaries.

Shop With Cash
When you shop with a credit card (or even a debit card, for that matter!) you can have your budget in your head and you can do the best to stick with it when you check out, but it’s so much easier to go just a little bit over here and there when you’re swiping!

Plan a Menu
When you have a plan in place for what you’re supposed to be eating each meal and you’ve already purchased the ingredients for those recipes, it’s a lot harder to justify chucking the plan for takeout.

Use Coupons
Coupons are a great way to save a lot of money on your grocery bill, but they can be hard to keep up with. Clipping, sorting, and organizing coupons takes time — so enter a coupon database! You’ll have access to printable and other coupons currently available and it’s one of the most effective and efficient ways to save money on groceries.

Buy Store Brands
One way to save a great deal of money on your grocery budget is to learn to like and use a variety of brands. The sooner you can get over being a brand-snob, the more your pocketbook will thank you.
For example, while I breast fed my children, moms who choose to formula feed can save up to 50 percent by switching to store brand formula, which meets the same FDA quality standards as expensive name brands. There are also coupons available at a website - (  This one simple change can save moms about $600 a year. 

More about Perrigo Nutritionals
·         Many moms are not aware that they can save up to 50 percent on infant formula by choosing a store brand over a national brand.
·         Store Brand Formula is nutritionally comparable to the national brands, yet are typically up to half the price, and can save you about $600 a year.
·         Same standards and expertise used to develop infant formula applied to toddler foods
·         Toddler foods are appropriately developed for variety of stages of growth and motor skills with quality, nutritional ingredients to create foundation of good nutrition.

Now you can also win a gift pack just like the one I received...

The Perrigo Nutritionals product, information and two gift packs have been provided by Perrigo Nutritionals.  But as always, all opinions are my own.

Old Forge, Adirondacks

 If you close your eyes and think of an outdoors vacation, the town of Old Forge in the Adirondacks would appear in many a mind.  For the Gunn clan, the trek to Old Forge each July is a rite of passage.  We fell in love with Old Forge several years back and that affection grows with each visit.  This town (and all of the Adirondacks really) has a zen quality about it that exudes calm and tranquility.  The Main Street is welcoming, the residents are friendly and the temperatures are cool.  The entire town has a hip, rustic and non-commercial vibe.  Unlike some places that try to manufacture that image, what you see is what you get with Old Forge.  It is what it projects.  It is committed to outdoor beauty, locally owned businesses and family.


There are so many things that we love about Old Forge and the Adirondacks, here are some of our favorites:

  • Old Forge Hardware store – This place is right out of a Norman Rockwell painting.  It feels like you have traveled back in time to the 1950s while you wander around this gigantic store that seems to sell everything. 
  • Swimming in the channel – there is a dock and swimming area within steps of our cabin.  The kids love swimming there and it’s easy for us to keep an eye on them from the yard or deck

  • Enchanted Forest Water Safari  – this amusement park is a unique blend of fairy tale stories, rides, petting zoo, circus and water park.  The kids love it all!

  • Old Forge pondThe town’s public beach starts the Fulton Chain of lakes.  In addition to the beach, there is a platform with a diving board in the deeper water, a wooden ship / playground and one absolutely amazing view!     

  • Pied Piper – The only thing better than the ice cream is the view of Old Forge pond

  • Inlet – Small town north of Old Forge that has an old school playground including a "merry go round"(remember those?) and other play areas that you have disappeared from most parks because of liability concerns!

  • Bald Mountain – Hiking to the ranger's tower on Bald Mountain is a must.  The hike is challenging but not too challenging to do with children.  The views along the way of the Fulton Chain Lakes are breathtaking...

  • Bear watching – It’s not uncommon to stumble upon a black bear.  We’ve seen them in trees, in town, on the road.  One year, one even broke into our car to eat some candy that we had mistakenly left!

  • Slickers – This local restaurant has hands down the best French Dip sandwich you’ll ever taste, in our opinion.  We love going on Friday nights to listen to some live music, have a French Dip and share a pitcher of beer.
  • The Strand – Part movie theatre, part museum.  This theatre is so vintage you feel a little hipper just being there.  They are are now digital so if you would like to make a donation, please visit their link!

  • Adirondack Pizza and Arcade – The games are old and the prizes aren’t anything to write home about but this arcade has a vintage feel as well.  We get the family special of pizza and wings and then let the kids play games for as long as $5 will take them.

We love Old Forge and the Adirondacks so much.

It’s a tradition passed down to our family, from Margie's family, and will remain a part of our family for years to come.

We are a family focused on experience which often times means finding new places to create new experiences.  For us, Old Forge is so special that it deserves a repeat visit every Summer because each visit blends a combination of new experiences with the comfort of familiar memories. 

Old Forge is what other outdoor vacation towns try to be.

Here are a few more photos to share our "ADK vacation" with you...

View from our table looking out at 4th Lake at Northwoods Inn 
(great breakfast, lunch, and dinner)

Grab this paper as soon as you arrive to town...
We have found this to be the best way get all the info. on what is going on in the area.

Ask a local how to find this spring water spot...fill your own bottles off the side of road 
(just down from Bald Mt. parking lot).  How cool!?

Ever seen "bear proof" trash cans?

To read even more about Old Forge, we have made a blog with some more details here: