Looking for a gift idea for ANYONE!!

Posted by Melanie Begley.

I have a few suggestions for gift ideas for really anyone. These 3 items were given to me and I love them, but never would have thought of it myself. Have you heard of Skylight? I hadn’t until my husband and daughter gave me Skylight for Mother’s Day this year and I LOVE IT!   It’s a digital picture frame that is so easy to set up and enjoy right away.   You send pictures to an email address via a computer, cell phone or iPad and they will pop up in the picture frame. You can give the email address to anyone so they can also send pictures directly to the frame. The photos appear as a slideshow, but you can freeze it on a specific photo that you like. It’s so much better than just a regular photo frame that you would have to take the picture and replace it with another one. I like to change the photos with the holidays. Right now, I have last year’s family Christmas photo up, which I just changed from a Thanksgiving photo. It would be great at home and at the office.

The next gift idea is Raddish – a cooking club for kids. My mother gave this to my daughter for her birthday and it has been a great help getting us in the kitchen. I am not a very good cook, nor can I cook from scratch, but this is really helping me in the kitchen while also teaching my daughter how to cook. A new “kit” arrives every month, depending on the plan that you choose. You can pick 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or 12 months.   The kit includes 3 recipes, a kitchen tool to be used with one of the recipes, a game for table fun, kitchen techniques and conversation starters. The first kit also included an apron. We also get an email when the kit has shipped letting us know what is on the way. I love the step by step instructions as well as the complete list of groceries you will need. I think the Strawberry Shortcake recipe has to be my favorite so far. My daughter really enjoys getting the kitchen tool. When the pastry blender came in the kit, I had no idea what it was. Luckily the recipe card told us. I really should have spent more time in the kitchen with my mom when I was younger. I regret that now but am enjoying this time with my daughter.

The last gift was given to me by Auntie JoJo. Keep our Sea Plastic Free t-shirt is the softest, most comfortable t-shirt I have ever worn. I get compliments on it all the time. I’m not sure exactly where she purchased it, but I found it at Wholesome Culture.com and I’m sure you can find it on Amazon. Wholesome Culture has a nice mission statement and they also donate 10% of profits to animal rescue and environmental organizations.



Posted by Melanie Begley.

I LOVE crock pot season, especially on Sunday’s watching the Patriots play; no worries about when to start making dinner. Plus, the fact that I’m not a very good cook, I am always looking for easy peasy recipes. One of my favorite go to recipes is called Mississippi Pot Roast. If you get the right cut of beef (I usually ask the butcher at the grocery store what would be best) this will be “melt in your mouth delicious.”   It goes great with roasted potatoes/mashed potatoes and asparagus or just some buttered noodles. You can also make a nice gravy, but I’m clueless when it comes to that (like I said before, not a good cook). Just put it on low heat for 8 hours and let the crock pot do all the work.

I normally add Sea Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder to the roast before putting on the mix. For the roasted potatoes I use the recipe on the Lipton Onion Soup mix packet, add a little bit of ranch dry mix and it comes out great.


  • 1 (3-4 pounds) chuck roast
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • 1 packet au jus gravy mix
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4-5 pepperoncini peppers
  • Instructions
  1. Place roast in the slow cooker and sprinkle the top with the ranch dressing mix and the au jus mix. Place peppers on top of the mixes and add the butter.
  2. Cook over low heat for 8 hours. Serve with noodles, rice or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!


A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens

Posted by Melanie Begley.

My 7 year old daughter loves acting and drama and for the last 3 years she has participated in the Creative Drama & Dance class held at Dramafun in Sandwich.  She and I both absolutely love Courtenay Harrington-Bailey, who is the founding director and teacher.  She is amazing with the kids and always puts on a great performance with the children at the end of the session. In addition she produces “Broadway Jr.” productions three times a year with her children’s theatre company.  We went to the most recent show in December called A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens.  The almost all kids cast brought us back in time to the Victorian streets of London where the characters Jack and Annie helped save Charles Dickens from his past and the memories that haunted him. I certainly felt like I was at a Broadway show!

If you have a chance I would suggest checking out their next big show, Mary Poppins Jr, which will run on Saturday, April 7 @ 2pm & 7pm and also on Sunday, April 8 @ 2pm in the Mashpee High School Auditorium.  Tickets are $15 a person, kids 4 and under are free.

Chili Anyone?

Posted by Melanie Begley.

The 12th Annual MDA Firefighters Chili Challenge was this past Sunday at the Hyannis Resort and Conference Center.  I had the pleasure of attending with my 5 year old daugther.  My husband was there with his firehouse, Joint Base Cape Cod, and while they didn’t win I still think theirs was the best.  Of course I may be a little bias here seeing as this is my hubby’s family recipe.  The People’s Choice winner was Wareham.  Second place went to Mashpee and Third Place was Hyannis.  Blackstone Firehouse won for the best booth display.  The Chef’s Cup winner was Yarmouth, second place was Mashpee and third place was Plymouth.   MDA and the local firefighters put on a good show.  The chili was hot and drinks served cold.  Orleans won for hottest and it certainly was.  I had just a little taste and OH Boy that was one HOT chili. My mouth was on fire.  My daugther and i also enjoyed the live band that was playing.  Good times for a good cause.  The proceeds benefit the families in our community fighting the effects of muscular dystrophy, ALS and similar life-threatening diseases.  See you again next year.

Joint Base Cape Cod   Blackstone Firehouse    Future Firefighter       Enjoying some music

Tribute to Bob Fair, co-founder of Fair Insurance

Posted by Melanie Begley.

Bob Fair

Bob Fair was co-owner of The Fair Insurance Agency of Centerville. He began his career in the insurance industry with New York Life, then joined his family at Fair & Yeager Insurance in Natick, prior to founding Fair Insurance Agency in Centerville with Kathy Silvia in 1987.

Bob served in the Navy from 1952 to 1954. He passed away in 2011.

The Fair Insurance Agency was Bob’s second family—he brought humor to the office, a positive attitude, and he was always reaching out to help others. He was much beloved by all, both in the agency and in the community. While the passage of time has healed some of our loss, he is still sorely missed.

We’re really happy with the commemorative portrait we had commissioned – it captures an expression we all knew so well.  You can see the gleam in his eye.  We all strive to carry on the strong values of service, community and excellence that Bob brought to his work.