Saturday, September 7, 2019

Baseballism is a great shop for fans near Fenway for fun gear! Enter to win a t-shirt now!

If you're reading this blog, then you can quickly tell things I'm interested in... Family, Sports, Tech, New England and Art (not in that particular order, of course!) and from time to time I find out about some really fun places to check out when you're in Boston. One of them is a great baseball store named Baseballism, right on Landsdowne Street in the shadow of the Green Monster! If you mention my blog, Parental Ideas, you'll get 10% off your entire order!

As a brand, Baseballism started in 2012 after a successful Kickstarter campaign to sell t-shirts based on a design that the founders created for a youth summer baseball camp they created back in 2006. They came together because they "had a passion to teach the game the right way." From the moment I stepped into the store it reminded me of coaching my daughter for softball and learning from my fellow coaches about how to teach the game. I'm on the board of our local youth Softball and Baseball association and immediately was drawn to everything I was seeing on each shirt.

The Baseballism Cap Giveaway
before every home game at Fenway!
As a softball coach, I felt right at home, and as a dad, I just fell in love with all of the fun puns!

They opened last summer, right during the historic 2018 season. I recently went in to pick up some gear, and had a hard time not buying everything in the store I just love all of fun designs they have. What's really nice is that the clothes are so comfortable. The staff lets you browse the store at your own pace and can help with any questions you may have.

If you are walking down Landsdowne Street roughly 25 minutes before the start of a home game, you may see Katy, the store manager, standing on top of the store speaking into a megaphone and tossing some limited-edition baseball caps that you can only get from the "cap toss" - the hats aren't available for purchase!

Here are some of my favorite t-shirt designs that you will most likely see me wearing. The folks at Baseballism are so great, they are offering a 10% discount if you mention my blog, Parental Ideas, when you're in the store and they also offered to have me host a giveaway and all you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

With every purchase they give you
a great reusable drawstring bag!

NOTE: I was provided with some neat Baseballism swag to facilitate this review. Baseballism will also be providing the t-shirt to the winner of the giveaway. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Enjoying the penultimate season of PawSox baseball in Pawtucket!

PawSox Mascot Sox at the Fan Fest
This summer, we enjoyed a few games of PawSox baseball in their penultimate season in Pawtucket. There were lots of fun activities for minor league baseball fans. Some of our favorite moments were playing catch in the outfield with both of my kids as well as my parents, watching Roger Clemens get inducted into the PawSox Hall of Fame, and enjoying the PawSox Annual Fan Fest after a game in August. We got to visit booths of PawSox sponsors like Papa Ginos, McDonalds, National Grid, Hasbro, and others!

One great way that the PawSox are involved with the community is by having their mascots, Paws and Sox, go to various events. They are even available to come to your birthday party or gathering! We highly recommend it. Paws spends time with everyone at the event and will play catch, interact with kids and adults, and is personable. The mascot staff who accompanies Paws is great and enjoys interacting with fans as well. If you're a school, non-profit, or charitable organization they will show up at no cost. To be considered you must submit your request at least four weeks prior to the event.

McCoy Stadium
Undoubtedly, the best moment was seeing my daughter's softball team high-five the PawSox players as they take the field. While I'm sad to see the Pawtucket Red Sox leave Pawtucket, I'm glad to have had the experience as a child to enjoy minor league baseball near my home and now have had the chance to share the same experience with my own children. I look forward to next season in Pawtucket and I'm sure there will be lots of fun times to be had as the PawSox celebrate their time in Rhode Island before their move to Worcester in 2021.

The PawSox annual Fan Fest

Playing catch in the outfield at McCoy before a Sunday PawSox game

PawSox Mascot Paws being silly!

NOTE: We were provided tickets throughout the season and a visit from Paws to facilitate this review and enjoy some great baseball! No other compensation was provided and all opinions, as always, are our own.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Half-sour pickles, my favorite recipe!

I've always loved a good half-sour pickle from a New York (or NY Style) Deli. The absolute tops outside of NY are from Rein's Deli in Vernon, CT (exit 65 off of 84). Since I haven't been there in over 5 years I decided to make my own using cucumbers grown from our garden or my dad's garden.

Half Sour Pickles
In order to make these delicious pickles, all you need to do is to throw them in the fridge for 4 or 5 days. The hardest part is waiting for them, but the longer you wait, the better they will be!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Total Jar Space Needed: 64 oz (1/2 gallon)

  • 4 or 5 Kirby (also known as "pickling") cucumbers - or whatever you can fit in your jar(s)!
  • 1/4 cup sea or kosher salt (if you're using kosher salt make sure it doesn't have an anti-caking agent)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • a few pieces of dill (fresh is best, but so is freeze-dried)
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves (or 3 teaspoons if from a bottle) garlic minced
  • additional whole coriander seeds and peppercorns to add on top

  1. Wash your cucumbers well
  2. Dissolve salt in the water and make sure it is fully dissolved
  3. Grind up all the dry ingredients (peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and bay leaves). There are a few ways to do this. The easiest way I've found is to put them in a freezer bag and smash them with a hammer. You can also use a rolling pin or a mortar and pestle.
  4. Put your cucumbers in the jar. If you're using multiple jars, then divide everything as equally as you can.
  5. Add the minced garlic over the cucumbers and the ground up spices.
  6. Pour the salt water on top. If there is any water left over, you can toss it.
  7. Put some pieces of dill on top.
  8. Add in some additional coriander seeds, peppercorns and a bay leaf.
  9. Make sure all of the cucumbers are completely covered in water and close the jar.
  10. Shake the jar back and forth genthly so that everything moves around.
  11. Put the jar in the refrigerator. You should let them sit for at least 4 days before eating. If you're anything like me this is the hardest thing to do!
  12. Enjoy!
A few things to note
  • Please make sure you are using a half-gallon jar as that is what all of the measurements for this recipe are. If you want to make more, just remember to increase everything accordingly.
  • If your pickles aren't crunchy enough, the next time you make them, you can add 1/4 teaspoon Ball Pickle Crisp Granules at the end.
Wash the cucumbers

Dissolve the salt into water

Ground up spices

Put cucumbers in the jar

Add spices on top of the pickles
Put the salt water in the jar and cover the cucumbers entirely.

Add coriander, peppercorns and dill on top

Make sure the cucumbers are fully immersed in the water

Put the jars in the fridge and wait 4-5 days.


Friday, August 23, 2019

My 12 minutes on the Monstah on the weirdest day at Fenway!

Finally saw some baseball atop the Green Monster!
Yesterday, I had the chance to watch something that hasn't happened to the Boston Red Sox in 51 years: a suspended game that didn't continue the next day. The Red Sox didn't know how long the resumed game would last and realized they could use this unique opportunity to create a fun atmosphere for the next generation of baseball enthusiasts and they absolutely hit a home run! There were activities all around the park from a pre-game walk on the warning track to running the bases after the game and everything in between. A perfect day to enjoy baseball in Boston.

The team opened up the park to all kids 18 and under for free, and all other fans were admitted for a $5 general admission ticket with all proceeds from the tickets going to the Jimmy Fund to supplement fundraising efforts from the 18th Annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon that just concluded yesterday.

I could not believe how crowded it was
on the concourse after the game!
I arrived at the park around noon, and it was the day to watch some baseball atop the Green Monster (or Monstah as we say here in Boston)! As a kid, I never imagined that I'd be able to watch a game where the nets used to catch homeruns, but I got to live out that dream today as the team let fans choose any available seat that they wanted and I was surprised to find out that the Monster seats were fair game. I couldn't believe it. For a whole 12 minutes, I was able to watch the Red Sox win from one of the most coveted seats at the old ball park! It was truly magical and I hope to be able to do again at some point.

“We haven’t had a suspended game that wasn’t played the following day in over 50 years,” said Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy. “This is a unique opportunity to open up the ballpark to kids this summer and also help raise money for our friends at the Jimmy Fund who will be concluding their annual telethon just hours before the makeup game takes place.”

The food lines were so long, and the food was so delicious!
There was a special kid-friendly $1 food menu including Kayem Fenway Franks, cotton candy, popcorn, chips, cracker jacks, candy, and Hood sports bars. The lines were so long, but so worth it!

The gates opened at 11 a.m. with fans being able to walk along the warning track prior to the game and then various activities on the kids concourse in center field. Even though it was quite hot, there were a lot of young fans at the ballpark and many parents pushing strollers on the concourses. After the game, kids were invited to run the bases, thanks to Marshall's sponsorship, and the line was so long it stretched from the center field kids concourse entrance to the field all of the way back to the oldest Red Sox logo (1908) on the first base line.

I kept walking around wondering how many hot dogs would be sold throughout the day as every line I went to was 40 people deep. One vendor I asked after the game said he sold 150 hot dogs himself, and that one of the stands probably sold over 2,000. Surprisingly the shortest lines were for coffee - I guess everyone had their iced coffee fix prior to coming to Fenway.

The baseball portion of the day only lasted 12 minutes when Brock Holt (#12!) hit a walk off single to end the game - more on that later. Maybe I'm the only one that found it interesting that the game lasted 12 minutes and ended on a play by a player who wears #12. As I was watching the video highlights of the game a broadcaster said it could be 12 minutes or 12 innings. Quite foretelling!

I found my answer on hot dogs after reading some recaps of the day. According to Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald: "The Sox had 16,441 scanned tickets at the gate on Thursday afternoon, 15,140 of which were new tickets. More than 6,000 of them were given away free to children while adults made a $5 donation to the Jimmy Fund.  With discounted food prices including $1 hot dogs, more than 11,000 hot dogs were sold.  Kids were allowed on the warning track before the game and ran the bases afterward. Nearly 4,000 children participated." (source:

On August 7, the Red Sox were playing the Kansas City Royals and were tied 4-4 in the top of the 10th inning with catcher Meibrys Viloria facing a 2-1 count against Red Sox reliever Josh Taylor and the game was suspended due to unrelenting rainfall. The two teams wouldn't meet up until a mutual off-day, when Kansas City was traveling to Cleveland after a series in Baltimore and the Sox had finished a series against the Phillies and were preparing to head out west to play the San Diego Padres. When play resumed today at 1:05 pm, Taylor was pitching to Nick Dini, who was pinch hitting for Viloria. The Royals went in order, 1-2-3, and then the Sox came up to bat. Benintendi struck out, Vasquez doubled and then Chris Owings went to pinch run for him. Sam Travis was intentionally walked. The game ended when Holt singled on a line drive to left field and Chris Owings scored.

According to Elias, the last time the Red Sox played a game that was suspended and did not resume the following day was June 13, 1968 – the second game of a doubleheader at Fenway Park against the Angels. That game was suspended in the sixth inning with a 1-1 score. The game resumed on August 4 with the Red Sox winning 5-1 on a walk-off grand slam by Ken Harrelson.

Have you ever seen the food prices at Fenway
so good, so good, so good?

The "run the bases" line seemed to go forever!

Tessie, one of the two mascots, was on hand for photos!

DISCLOSURE: I am providing this recap of the day for your enjoyment. I donated money for admission to the continuation game in support of The Jimmy Fund and all of the amazing work they do. As part of the #RedSoxParents program, I was provided with tickets to a Red Sox Game earlier this week for promotional purposes. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.

Monday, August 12, 2019

"Avengers: Endgame" movie comes to physical media tomorrow 8/13

Image from Walt Disney Studios
Tomorrow, August 13th, Avengers fans around the world are invited to assemble once more for the physical release of the "Avengers: Endgame" movie on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD and On-Demand.

Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Endgame," the climactic conclusion to an unprecedented, 11-year cinematic journey in which the Avengers take one final stand against Thanos, delivered the biggest opening weekend in history and is currently one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

The Avengers franchise has had an unprecedented cinematic journey, spanning several galaxies over the Marvel Cinemati􏰀c Universe's 11 years. Now the newest entry, "Avengers: Endgame," brings to the big screen the highest stakes and deadliest showdown ever between the Avengers and the universe's most powerful and deadliest villain, Thanos.

"Avengers: Endgame" picks up with the Avengers having been soundly defeated by Thanos, who, a􏰁er collec􏰀ng the six Infinity Stones, imposed his twisted will on all of humanity and randomly wiped out half of the world's popula􏰀tion, including many of the Avengers. In the aft􏰁ermath of the destruc􏰀tion, the remaining Avengers are faced with their biggest challenge yet—finding the resolve within themselves to get off the mat and find a way to defeat Thanos once and for all.

Fans who bring home "Avengers: Endgame" will gain hours of additional screen time with their favorite cast members and filmmakers who have shaped the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Bonus features include a tribute to the great Stan Lee; the tale of Robert Downey Jr.'s casting as Iron Man; the evolution of Captain America; Black Widow's dramatic story arc; directors Anthony and Joe Russo's experience at the helm of both "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame"; the making of an epic battle scene with the women of the MCU; the creation of Bro Thor; deleted scenes; a gag reel and more.

The must-own, final chapter of the 22-film MCU series, "Avengers: Endgame," will be packaged several ways to ensure fans get the most out of their in-home entertainment experience. Viewers can bring home the film two weeks early on Digital 4K Ultra HD, HD and SD and gain access to an exclusive extra highlighting the love story of Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Peggy Carter. A physical copy of "Avengers: Endgame" is available as a 4K Cinematic Universe Edition (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and Digital Code), a Multi-Screen Edition (Blu-ray and Digital Code) and a single DVD. Fans who wish to revisit all four films in the Avengers franchise may opt for a Digital bundle, which includes "Marvel's The Avengers," "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame."

 If you're looking for something funny, check out this hilarious blooper reel :

BONUS MATERIAL (may vary by retailer):
Digital Exclusive:
·         Steve and Peggy: One Last Dance – Explore Captain America and Peggy Carter's bond, forged in moments from previous films that lead to a momentous choice in "Avengers: Endgame."

Blu-ray & Digital:
·         Remembering Stan Lee – Filmmakers and cast honor the great Stan Lee in a fond look back at his MCU movie cameos.
·         Setting The Tone: Casting Robert Downey Jr. – Hear the tale of how Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark in the original "Iron Man" — and launched the MCU.
·         A Man Out of Time: Creating Captain America – Trace the evolution of Captain America with those who helped shape the look, feel and character of this compelling hero.
·         Black Widow: Whatever It Takes – Follow Black Widow's journey both within and outside the Avengers, including the challenges she faced and overcame along the way.
·         The Russo Brothers: Journey to Endgame – See how Anthony and Joe Russo met the challenge of helming two of the biggest films in cinematic history ... back-to-back!
·         The Women of the MCU – MCU women share what it was like to join forces for the first time in an epic battle scene — and be part of such a historic ensemble.
·         Bro Thor – His appearance has changed but his heroism remains! Go behind the scenes to see how Bro Thor was created.
·         Six Deleted Scenes – "Goji Berries," "Bombs on Board," "Suckiest Army in the Galaxy," "You Used to Frickin' Live Here," "Tony and Howard" and "Avengers Take a Knee."
·         Gag Reel – Laugh along with the cast in this epic collection of flubs, goofs and gaffes from set.
·         Visionary Intro - Intro by directors Joe and Anthony Russo.
·         Audio Commentary - Audio commentary by directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

NOTE: I received a copy of Avengers: Endgame in exchange for the post. Most content is directly from the press release. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Embracing the moment, reflecting and incorporating mindfulness

I've been spending some time recently thinking about current events and trying to be more mindful about embracing each and every moment I have with my family. Being able to enjoy time with family family is truly a gift.

During the past few years I've found joy in participating in activities with the kids and watching them grow. It is truly a magical thing to watch kids grow up and such a special thing to be able to participate and guide them.

I've learned to slow down, embrace the moment and be more mindful. It's hard work and takes practice. I encourage you to take a few moments each day to find one thing that is your favorite part of the day that happened, one bad part, one thing you did that was kind and one thing that you're grateful for. Being able to notice these things helps to learn each day and enjoy the small moments. It is, after all, all of the small moments that make up this great journey that we call life!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Baseball promotions in August at Friendly Fenway and a flash giveaway for a Jerry Garcia Red Sox Shirt

Picnic in the Park benefitting
the Red Sox Foundation
. Photo from
The Red Sox keep the fun promotions and activities heating up during August with giveaways and special theme nights! We are excited to offer a quick giveaway for a limited-edition Jerry Garcia Red Sox shirt, keep on reading for details on how to enter. A few dates to note:

8/1: Margaritaville Night
This special night will include a pre-game concert on Jersey St. by The Island Castaways Band and a limited-edition Margaritaville Red Sox towel.

8/3: Picnic in the Park benefitting the Red Sox Foundation
Picnic in the Park, benefitting Red Sox Foundation, allows families to watch the Red Sox/Yankees gamefrom Fenway Park's outfield. Attendees can enjoy live entertainment, BBQ dinner and can meet Red Sox alumni.

8/6: Brock Holt ALDS Hitting for the Cycle Bobblehead
Brock Holt ALDS Hitting for the Cycle Bobblehead Presented by New Balance for the first 7,500 fans in attendance!
8/6: Jerry Day
This special night celebrates iconic rock legend Jerry Garcia with a pre-game concert on Jersey Street by Terrapin and a limited-edition Jerry Garcia Red Sox shirt using this special link to buy tickets. A portion of proceeds benefit the Red Foundation.

8/13: Movie Night at Fenway - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
The Red Sox will feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on the centerfield videoboard

Wally's Math Academy
“Wally’s Math Academy” replaces generic word problems with actual game data and is free to educators with the goal of enriching and empowering young students.

Student 9's Ticket Offer for High School, College and Graduate Students
Student 9's offers high school, college and graduate students the opportunity to purchase $9 Red Sox tickets and to receive special offers for student promotions and events.

Here's the details on the quick giveaway for a limited-edition Jerry Garcia Red Sox shirt. Enter using the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
NOTE: We are proud to be part of #RedSoxParents and are providing you with this great information. No compensation was provided and all opinions are our own.