Thank a teacher during National Teacher Appreciation Week

May 7 through 12 is National Teacher Appreciation Week – and the 9th is National Teacher Appreciation Day. If you stop and think who influenced and shaped your life the most beyond your parents, it was probably a teacher! Maybe you are still in touch with a few who had a particular impact on your life – if so, it would be nice to reach out and thank them. But even if you’ve long lost touch with your teachers, you could still offer a thank you to teachers everywhere with a note of appreciation this week on your social media feed.   The National Education Association suggest posting with the hashtag #ThankATeacher and offers some ideas and some graphics – or create your own.

One person who has always been great about encouraging and thanking teachers is Ellen Degeneres. These fun clips from the Ellen Show offer times when she recognized a particularly great teacher.

The first one in our clips is a teacher from Massachusetts …

This is a teacher from Maine …

And we love Mr. Bonner …

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Celebrate spring with Easter Egg Hunts, Patriots’ Day and Marathon Monday

This weekend, most of the country’s celebrations include Easter and Passover, but for many of us in New England, it’s also Marathon Monday weekend. In Massachusetts, Monday is celebrated as a state holiday, not for the Marathon, but for Patriots’ Day – which is only celebrated in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Maine.

Every year, the Boston Marathon has been held on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday in April.  And since 1959, the Boston Red Sox have also been scheduled for a home game.

You can learn more about Why Boston Holds a Marathon on Patriot’s Day at a story that ran in The Atlantic a few years ago.

If you plan to attend the Marathon, the Boston Discovery Guide offers a Boston Marathon Guide featuring maps, schedules, routes, times, transportation, viewing tips and more. But if you prefer to celebrate the historical significance, see their guide to the Patriots’ Day Reenactment Schedule – 2017

Hopefully, none of the marathon runners or patriots will be stepping on Easter Eggs in their travels. Saturday is a huge day for for Easter Egg hunts, with many scheduled throughout the region – a great way to celebrate Spring outdoors with your kids.

Here is where you can find one near you:

Connecticut Easter Egg Hunts – 2017 and 2017 Easter Activities in Connecticut

In Massachusetts, find Easter Egg Hunts Around Boston; 2017 Easter Guide to absolutely every Easter event in Greater Worcester! and the Big list of Pioneer Valley Easter Egg Hunts.

Easter egg hunts and events this weekend in Rhode Island

New Hampshire Easter Egg Hunts 2017

In Maine, find Easter Egg Hunts for greater Portland

Vermont calendar of Easter egg hunts

Are you ready for the Super Bowl?

It’s one of our favorite days of the year, particularly when a hometown team is in the lineup: Super Bowl Sunday! OK, we hate to be a spoiler, but Teddy the prognosticating porcupine holds a 4 to1 record of correctly picking the Super Bowl winners – check out his prediction for this year’s game.

If you have football fever, you might enjoy this post about the first Super Bowl, which took place January 15, 1967 and wasn’t even called “the Super Bowl.” The post is authored by actor/comedian Eddie Dezeen, who delves into the history of the first game between the Green Bay Packers, led by their immortal coach Vince Lombardi and the Kansas City Chiefs, under coach Hank Stram. It was played in the Los Angeles Coliseum to the only non-capacity crowd in the event’s history.

Besides the sport itself, there are a few tried and true traditions associated with the Super Bowl.

Great TV ads – Here’s a preview of some ads that have been leaked already. Plus, don’t miss a selection of five of the most popular Super Bowl ads from all time – real classics!

Amazing snacks – See some of the best all-time stadiums made of food or get some recipe ideas from the Food Network’s Big Game Bash page

NFL Bad Lip Reading videos – here’s the latest

Puppy Bowl – if football isn’t your thing, then tune it to Puppy Bowl for an overdose of cute. All the animals on the show are shelter animals up for adoption. Here are some highlights from over the years

Super Bowl parties. If you are planning to host a Super Bowl party in your home, plan to ensure that your guests will be safe and you can avoid any host liability. The Insurance Information Institute explains:

Social host liability, also known as “Dram Shop Liability” laws vary widely from state to state, but 43 states have them on the books. Most of these laws also offer an injured person, such as the victim of a drunk driver, a method to sue the person who served the alcohol. There are circumstances under these laws where criminal charges may also apply.

At the link above, you can find some tips to promote safe alcohol consumption and reduce your social host liability exposure.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds everyone that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk, and offers these tips for party-goers and hosts:

  • Designate your sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you; or just stay where you are until you are sober.
  • Use your community’s sober ride program.
  • Never let friends leave your sight if you think they are about to drive and have had too much to drink.
  • Always buckle up – it’s still your best defense against other drunk drivers.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange alternate transportation.
  • Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink.

‘Tis the season

Portrait of Santa Claus carrying huge red sack with presents


It’s Friday afternoon in the middle of the holiday season, a perfect time to offer a seasonal serenade – a medley of songs and carols for your amusement!

If you’ll be shopping on or offline this weekend, be sure to check out our post from last year on seasonal fraud: Scam-apalooza! Don’t let fraud ruin your holiday

Thanksgiving 2016: Best times to travel

Traffic jam

What’s America’s favorite Thanksgiving pie? If Google searches are any indication, then it’s pumpkin pie followed by apple. Unless you live in Alabama, Louisiana or Mississippi, where pecan pie is the favorite. At Google Trends, you can find out pie popularity by state, most searched for recipes, food and drinks and many other facts about what people are searching for this Thanksgiving. Popular searches include traditions like football, parades, and Black Friday shopping. The concept of “Friendsgiving” is gaining traction too.

One of the biggest searches is “best and worst times to travel” over Thanksgiving, and Google offers this handy infographic:

best driving times Thanksgiving

AAA projects that 48.7 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, an increase of one million travelers compared with last year.
Driving remains most popular mode of travel for Thanksgiving – 89% of those who travel will drive.

According to GasBuddy’s 2016 Thanksgiving Travel survey, 52% of those traveling this year will be on the road for at least 4 hours; 20% of which will be driving 10+ hours. While these won’t be the cheapest gas prices we’ve seen int he last decade, they are stil pretty low. Gas Buddy says, “Over the Thanksgiving travel period, Wednesday, Nov. 23, to Sunday, Nov. 27, motorists will be collectively spending nearly $1.7 billion less at the gas pump than the five-year average.”

Although Thanksgiving dinner is the focal point, it’s also a huge weekend for shopping. Check out our post-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza safety tips. Whether you’re shopping online or in stores, we offer pointers on how to avoid scams, pickpockets and thieves!