Author Archives: Nichole S.

Mite Madness!

You’ve all heard of March Madness…well, let your child hit the ice during Cape Ann Youth Hockey’s Mite Madness for a free skate session!

Mite Madness Reminder!!

 FREE Skate & Information Session

Talbot Rink – Wednesday, March 29th 

5:30 – 6:30 PM

Click HERE to Register for FREE Skate and Informational Session!

  • Mite age player level with birth years 2009 and 2010 are invited to attend a free skate session on Wednesday, March 29th at 5:30 PM.   Mite players will skate an ADM skills game with GHS hockey players while parents are invited to attend an introduction to CAYH’s Mite Co-Ed Travel Program.  
  • Frank Caputo, CAYH Hockey Director, will discuss the ADM player development model and have an open discussion with parents and other attendees.  
  • Players must have participated in CAYH Cross-Ice, In House, or Mite Hybrid in 2016-17 (or an equivalent program) to register.  Skaters who have participated in Learn to Skate for at least 2 seasons and who have progressed to the “Learn to Play” sections are also candidates for this evaluation. Players must have a valid USA hockey number in order to participate in the on ice skate session.

Click HERE to Register for FREE Skate and Informational Session!

Click HERE if you would like to register for 2017-18 Mite Evaluations scheduled for Wed, April 26th, 2017

Still Have Questions?

Is Your Player a “Mite-Age Player”?

Does he/she have a birth year between 2009 & 2010 for the 2017-18 season?

All of our CAYH programs have different program  descriptions, cost and commitment levels, but we would like to familiarize the Mite Hybrid travel team to families that have qualifying players, but may not know much about the program. 

The CAYH Mite Hybrid Team is a travel team that participates in the Valley Hockey League and competes in half-ice games, per USA Hockey rules.  Valley Hockey League (VHL) Mite teams are divided into geographical areas to minimize travel and are also split up into multi-tier divisions to maximize parity.

Teams will play a 25 game schedule.  

Practices are held 2-3 evenings per week at our local Talbot Rink, and there is generally 1 game each weekend at a Valley League rink.  The season runs from September-March.   Tuition for the 2016-17 season was $1200.  The tuition for the 2017-2018 season is TBD. 

Due to popular demand, CAYH has increased the number of Mite-Hybrid travel teams over the past few years to accommodate this growing program.

For Example, The CAYH Mite-Hybrid 2016-17 PLAYER PACKAGE Included:

  • 25-Game Schedule, Plus Playoffs in the Valley League
  • Avg of 2-3 times weekly practice @ Talbot Rink
  • On Ice Skills by Power Edge Hockey
  • On Ice Goalie Skills by Bertagna Goaltending
  • Chaos Hockey On Ice Skills
  • Home & Away Jerseys with Socks (Value $150)**
  • Contribution toward End of Season Team Party
  • Contribution toward Team Tournament
  • Contribution toward Championship Team Jackets

For the 2017-18 season, each player will be receiving home/away personalized jerseys and socks that they will own and be responsible for.  This package is valued at $150.  

Jersey fittings and assignment of jersey numbers will completed at the end of June. 

So please attend the Mite Madness Free Skating and Informational Session on Wednesday, March 29th at 5:30 PM. We look forward to your player becoming a member of our 2017-2018 Mite-Hybrid Travel Team! 

** Should you have any questions regarding the Mite-Hybrid program or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Frank Caputo at or Jessica Cusumano at

Click HERE to Register for FREE Skate and Informational Session!

Click HERE if you would like to register for 2017-18 Mite Evaluations scheduled for Wed, April 26th, 2017

Thank You!



Lots of Progress at Maritime Gloucester

I stopped by Maritime Gloucester yesterday morning and checked out some of the progress on the pier and the aquarium.  It is coming along beautifully and is pretty exciting.  We clocked some serious hours in the Pocket Lab Aquarium when the boys were a bit younger and no doubt they’ll fall in love with the space all over again when they see the new digs!



Nichole’s Picks 3/25 + 3/26

Pick #1: The Boston Flower Show



This year’s show theme is “Superheroes of the Garden”.  You’ve probably heard of Comic-Con, the huge celebration of comic books, video games and popular culture.  This year’s Flower Show will be a veritable Horti-Con, honoring the crusaders, innovative tools and legendary plants helping to make us all champions in the battle for garden supremacy!

Our gardens are created by landscape designers, garden centers and nurseries, farms, florists, schools, and non-profit organizations to delight attendees and introduce themselves and their services.  Gardens and displays feature dozens of examples of plants, methods and materials to increase the beauty, the bountiful harvest and the ecological friendliness of our gardens and outdoor spaces.  The gardens are judged just prior to the opening of the show by prestigious members of the New England horticultural community and awarded prizes based on creativity, use of plants and materials, color and fragrance, and ecological concepts among other criteria. Awards are posted at each garden. See if you agree!



Pick #2: HONK!


The North Shore Players Youth Theatre proudly presents the musical Honk!

The 18-member cast, ages 7 to 14, sing and dance through this retelling of the Ugly Duckling Story, as the Ugly Duckling struggles for acceptance, while avoiding two hungry Cats.  Honk! is presented at Hogan Regional Auditorium, 450 Maple Street, Danvers.  Performance dates are Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25, at 7 p.m., and a matinee on Sunday, March 26, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are:  $18/$15 (student/senior) and can be purchased at the door, through cast members, or below, online with PayPal: ($1 per ticket for service fee):

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Pick #3: Healthy Smoothie Class at Whole Foods MarketStreet

Local Fruit Smoothie Competition:

Sign up for a free class at a Whole Foods Market Wellesley! Students learn about healthy eating, and then compete in small group teams to create the best tasting fruit Smoothie, using local fruits, yogurt and 100% juices. Ready… set… buzz that blender.

Reserve your seat on EventBrite  as space is limited, ages 8+. (

About Kid’s Cooking Green:

Kids Cooking Green offers classes and activities introducing children to the importance of eating locally grown food. Through hands-on cooking, and lively classroom presentation students learn about nutrition and the positive impact eating locally can have on the environment, and their bodies.

Parents, we ask that you also stay at the store for the duration of the class.


As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Like Sand Through an Hour Glass…

I’ve never been much of a Soap Opera fan, but we all know the expression, “Like sand through an hour glass, so are the days of our lives.” Life is such a blur these days that it feels like time is flying by this quickly.  As crazy as it is, we try to find time to stop and smell the salt (or the roses).



Just in Case…

We’ve been to many hockey rinks since the boys started playing, but the one Thatch’s team played at this weekend has thought of everything.  Nice pro shop, full snack bar, beer, LOTS of advertising for Convenient MD Urgent Care (with its motto “Just Walk In”….which maybe should say, “Just Skate In”) and an Amazing Smiles Dental Clinic. Genius!



Nichole’s Picks 3/18 + 3/19

Pick #1: Wonka, Junior

There’s quite a buzz about East Gloucester Elementary School’s upcoming performances of Wonka Jr.

Shows on Friday @ 6:30, Saturday @ 2:00, and Monday at 6:30.

I’ve been told that tickets are $10 and are available at the door.


Pick #2: Cape Ann Youth Hockey:  Girls Open House Practice on Friday, March 17th at 6:00 pm.

CAYH - Girls Flyer 2017-2018 Season from kristin


Pick #3: Children’s Drop and Shop at the Pingree School in Hamilton

The Drop & Shop offers a unique, extensive shopping experience for families with kids 0-16.  You can shop for complete seasonal wardrobes for all your kids, or stock up on new [different] toys, games, books, DVDs, gear and furniture.  There are sizes, styles and price ranges for everyone.  Moms, Dads, Aunts and Grandmothers are all welcome to shop for the all the children in their life.  Best brands only.  All items are screened, hand-picked and approved from a team of experienced and savvy moms!
Plan for an extensive shopping experience by bringing an empty shopping bag, or three. The facilities offer plenty of room to roam.  We ask – no food or drink, cash and local check only.  Children are always welcome, but please consider others and make sure they stay within arms reach.  Roaming children will be asked to re-unite with their guardian.  It’s not okay to leave children unattended.


As always, for a comprehensive listing of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Way to Represent, Traci Budrow!

I watched different meteorologists and news reporters knocking out storm coverage all day long from their windy, wet, and cold vantage points on T Wharf and Bearskin Neck in Rockport…from my warm home.  At one point I thought to myself, “It’d be nice to make sure they have some hot coffee since they’ve been down there for hours”….but I didn’t.

You know who did take the initiative to go take care of them though?  Rockport’s Traci Budrow…that’s who!  And, not just with coffee.  Good job, Traci.  Way to represent the charming town of Rockport.

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Hoping Shovels Will Turn into Fishing Rods Again Soon

As we plan for a significant mid-March snowfall, I can’t help but wish that we were taking out the fishing rods this morning instead of the shovels.  Sigh.  Soon enough, right?  Photos like this make me happy and help me keep my eyes on the prize….which is another fantastic summer not too far around the corner (or over the snowbank).


When a Good Old Fashioned Grilled Cheese is What You Need…

So this was unbelievably yummy.  Every once in a while a grilled cheese sandwich sounds like the right thing to order.  And this one did not disappoint.

Grilled cheese with arugula, roasted red peppers, and avocado from Half Baked Bakery in Beverly Farms. Come on.


Our Little Home By the Sea

Our home is officially for sale.

I’m not sure that making the decision to leave the house that you brought your two young children home to if ever an easy choice….and it certainly hasn’t been for us….but, it seems like it is time.

We love this little slice of paradise and it has been absolutely perfect for us for many years…sadly, we know if would be absolutely perfect for us several years from now as well…but, I’m not sure we can ride the storm for the decade or so in between.  Our boys are getting older…and bigger….and so is their stuff.

Even as I type this post, I remember carrying both boys over the threshold for the very first time and my heart breaks just a little bit.  First smiles, first words, first steps, one split forehead in the front yard and the six stitches that resulted, birthday parties, barbecues, puppies, and saying good-bye to three grown dogs….so much has happened here.  Good news, bad news, smiles, tears, laughs, fears, nerves, hopes, dreams, nightmares, little plans, big plans. Us.

Piles of sand from Old Garden Beach have been rinsed off in the yard and the quiet street has watched the boys grow from strollers, to radio flyers, to little bikes, bigger bikes, roller blades, and even an ATV.

Is it possible to not be ready at all…and to be more ready than ever….all at the same time? Because that is kind of how I feel.  If I stop and think of all of the Christmases, I may have to remove the For Sale sign from the front yard.

So, our precious little house is officially on the market and is even having an Open House tomorrow at 12:00.  If you stop by, check out the threshold to the kitchen that shows how the boys have grown over the years…it is kind of crazy.

If you know of anyone who wants a perfect little home by the beach, in the very best of neighborhoods, with great outdoor living….to begin their own history in….or to downsize and live a simple, happy life…. please share the word.

3 Smith Road, Rockport MA.  12:00 – 1:30.  Go say “hello” to Kim Jylkka Lorden from RE/MAX at the Coast and then spend the afternoon checking out the sweetest little seaside town you have ever seen.

Nichole’s Picks 3/11 + 3/12

Pick #1:  DownRiver Ice Cream!

One of the surest signs of Spring!  DownRiver Ice Cream in Essex opens at noon on Saturday!  Meet you there!




Pick #2: Cape Ann Museum: STEAM Bird Day

Saturday, March 11th 10:00-12:00

Enjoy a family-friendly tour of the galleries on this bird-focused STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math – Day at the Museum and create a bird-inspired artwork to take home.

This event is free for families. Space is limited; reservations required. Reservations can be made by calling 978-283-0455 x16 or emailing 



Pick #3: Ben Rudnick & Friends Concert

Saturday, March 11th 10:30

Tickets:  $8.50, $13.50

Ben Rudnick and Friends have been bringing families, music and fun together in their own unique style from their first release, Emily Songs, in 2000 to their January 2016 release, A Frog Named Sam, A Musical for Children.



For a more comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

And Then There’s the Bloody Mary Bar

Joey wrote the other day about how you can’t beat the nachos at the Mile Marker.  I’m going to add that the Bloody Mary bar isn’t so bad either.  Here are my before and after photos.  Plain old Bloody Mary….and then, presto, custom built and much enjoyed version!


Tendercrop Again

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. if you haven’t pulled into Tendercrop Farm while driving down Route 1A in Wenham…you’re missing out.  I go in once each week to get some cheese, pears, blueberries, soup, and the absolute best pita chips you’ve ever had!  I’ll often grab a sweet treat for the boys and maybe grab some steak tips or eggs.

Head over now and also check out their adorable Easter decorations and flowers!




Nichole’s Picks 3/4 + 3/5

Pick #1:  Cultural Festival at Harborlight in Beverly

I am pretty excited about this event.  First of all, it is free.  A suggested donation of $10 per family would be appreciated, but is not necessary.

Children will be given a “passport” to go on tour through several different countries (classrooms).  Along the way, they will make crafts and be introduced to a bit of the cultural that makes each country special.  At 11:15 all guests will be invited upstairs to watch the live entertainment.  There will be a Lion Dance troupe and a group named Ballet Folklorico Colombiano Bajucol who will perform three separate cultural dances.  Harborlight students will also sing some songs that they have learned in Mandarin and Spanish…along with American Sign Language.   Baked goods will also be available for purchase.



Pick #2: Sugar Shack Saturdays at Appleton Farms

Saturdays, March 4, 2017 10am-11:30am & 1:30-3pm

Spring is coming and the sap is running! Experience the time-honored tradition of maple sugaring with Sugar Shack Saturdays at Appleton Farms. Spend the morning with us and see how we turn sap into sweet syrup. Start by getting creative with some maple themed crafts in the Appleton Old House then get outside and explore our very own sugar shack! Learn how we tap our trees every spring, see the evaporator in action, and taste the freshly made syrup.  We will end back inside with a farm snack, including Appleton Farms cheese, apple slices, and homemade maple ice cream while we read a story about maple sugaring!

Recommended for ages 8 and under but everyone is welcome! Space is limited. Registration is by the family- if you have 5 or more in your family, please register 2 families.  Crafts and snacks included and we want to have enough for all.




Pick #3: Lego Batman Movie Days at the LegoLand Discovery Center



Every weekend in March!

Super hero. Crime-fighter. Master Builder. LEGO® Batman is all of those and so much more. Come meet Gotham City’s Caped Crusader during this celebration of the Warner Bros. feature film, which will include photo ops with the scene-stealing star, a themed scavenger hunt and a LEGO® Batman-inspired LEGO build activity including:

  • LEGO® Batman Meet & Greets!
    Hi, kids. This is LEGO Batman, the star of his own brand new big adventure, The LEGO Batman Movie. Come meet the coolest, strongest, smartest and best-looking Super Hero of them all.
    Meet & Greets schedule TBD. Schedule of appearances subject to change.
  • Mystery Mosaic LEGO® Build
  • MINILAND Scavenger Hunt: The Villians have escaped

To avoid disappointment, please pre-book your tickets online to guarantee entry. BUY TICKETS NOW

As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Fantastic Summer Program at Harborlight

I know that those of you with young children are in the midst of trying to plan their summers.  Be sure to explore all options!  Harborlight has some pretty fantastic summer offerings for your child.  Their Beverly campus is very conveniently located if you should find yourself commuting out of town over the summer weeks and just a short 15 minute drive from Gloucester.

If you are looking for exciting and varied summer options for Grades PK-7 please look through their catalogue of summer offerings.

Harborlight offers one-week sessions beginning July 3rd and ending August 25th for Grades 1-7 and two four-week session for PK-Kindergarten aged children.

Elementary aged children may Sign up for one week, or sign up for all eight! 



Here are some of the descriptions for Children ages 3-5 and Grades 1-7.  




Celebrate the 4th:  Visit Trustees of the Reservations and Audubon properties to see “America the Beautiful.” Come back to campus for old-school picnic lunches on the lawn, BBQ, and yard games.  Make patriotic t-shirts, crafts and recipes. Spend the week designing and decorating a patriotic float and take it on parade on Friday!

Ready, Set, Chef!: Take a journey in the life of a restaurateur.  We will explore what it takes to create the concept of a restaurant and what the space and menu will look like.  We will travel to different restaurants on and around the North Shore learning to cook, create, serve, and run a restaurant. Students will launch their own pop-up restaurant on Friday and will be open for business.

Marine Heritage:  Explore Cape Ann’s rich marine heritage.  Join the marine science crew aboard the Sea Station’s vessel Endeavor.  Set sail on a lobster boat, visit touch tanks and learn about ocean life in a fun, hands-on learning environment.

Rock On!:  Join the band and hone your music performance and ensemble skills in a creative and fun environment. Experiment with and learn about instruments from around the world. Improvise during a percussion circle, create through sound-painting activities, and learn to express yourself through music.

History Alive:  Walk the streets that hummed with the actions of the revolution, puritans, accused witches, artists and writers. Be a Colonial! Learn how to make traditional colonial foods, try colonial crafts, games and visit some of the places made famous during the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the American Revolution. Be a part of history.

A Day at the Museum:  Learn about the history of art through trips to some of the North Shore’s most intriguing museums.  We’ll provide a sketchbook.  You bring a bag lunch, water bottle and your imagination!

Biking and Hiking:  Explore nature as we hike and bike the great outdoors!  We’ll study wildlife, compete in nature scavenger hunts and enjoy geocaching activities while gaining greater appreciation for the natural world.

Break a Leg!:  Let’s put on a show!  Enjoy the rehearsal process while learning more about stage directions, improvisation and character development. On Friday, family and friends are invited to the performance!

Small Swell:  Entering grades 4-8 .   Catch a wave this summer! Learn balance, coordination, timing the waves, falling and getting back on the board in this fun, educational program that is ideal for children of all surfing abilities.

Art Walk:  Stand in the footprints of famous maritime artists and see the harbor through their eyes.  Create your own art inspired by the seascapes and working waterfront before you.  Walk Gloucester’s “Harbor Walk”, complete a scavenger hunt challenge, and stop along the way to sketch, paint, and draw.  Visit the Cape Ann Museum, snack by the water, and return to campus excited to continue the creative process in both the indoor and outdoor art studios.

Coast and Compass:  Entering grades 4-7 .   Enjoy some great summer adventures as we kayak, hike and hit the beach. The highlight of the week will be our legendary two-night trip to the Isle of Shoal’s Star Island where you can hike, play tennis, jump off the dock, roast marshmallows over an open fire, and learn the local lore of the island!

Authors’ Corner:  Become an author and illustrator! Share your love of books with friends as we read, write and illustrate our own work. Learn the craft from guests who are professional authors and artists. Children will come home with a finished product of a picture book, poetry collection, play, or graphic novel.

I Survived!:   Entering grades 3-7 .     Ever wondered how to start a fire, build shelter, search for food, and stay safe in the wilderness? Learn some of the basic skills taught in the Army Ranger School program and then apply your knowledge as we rough-it during a two-night camping trip in New Hampshire.

Animal League:  Come spend a week with Iris the therapy dog and her friends! We will wash, groom, train, walk and play with dogs! Meet a real dog trainer and learn a few tricks yourself. Bake healthy dog treats and learn about various breeds. Have a community “dog wash” and we will give all money earned to our local dog shelter when we visit there. Bring your dog or borrow one of ours for “Bring our Dogs Day” on Friday.

Game On!:  Let’s play some games!  Tennis, soccer, bowling and mini-golf are among the fun activities planned for this session.

And, as the standard Summer Session Day ends, children who wish to sign up for more hours will enjoy Get in the Game: 3:00 – 4:30 daily from 7/3-8/25

Get moving as we explore the wonderful nature of games and sportsmanship. Fine- tune the skills necessary to challenge yourself in a variety of mental games, beach and lawn games and physical challenges. In the circuit of games and strategies presented, many skills will be enhanced, strategies developed, and missions accomplished.





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