How to Enjoy the Outdoors in the Fall

Fall isn’t often thought about as the season where we spend all our time outdoors, but it should be! The weather is the perfect mix of not too hot, not too cool and nature puts on quite a show displaying a wide array of beautiful colors. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in the Fall. Here are some tips to prepare for them.

Fall Cookout

Barbecues aren’t just for the summertime. In fact, Fall is perfect grilling weather! Get out those autumn themed linens and set the picnic table. Don’t forget to take them to a dry cleaner nearby for a refresher. Also, fill up that propane tank for the grill. How about a nature theme for the decor? Pumpkins, gourds, corn cobs and leaves are never in short supply this season.

group hiking

Forest Hike

The changing leaves are one of the best things about Fall. A family hike through the woods is the perfect way to enjoy the show up close. Be sure to pack supplies like bug spray and a first aid kit, the forest can be unpredictable in this season. Your local pharmacy should have everything you need to prepare.


Be sure to check your local town ordinances for the rules on backyard bonfires. But if they’re allowed, go for it! The fall is the absolute best time of year to enjoy a backyard fire. Home supply stores usually carry firewood if you don’t have your own supply. Even your local drugstore may carry some seasonally, be sure to call ahead to check. Also, make sure you take all the necessary safety precautions like purchasing a fire extinguisher. If you already own one, check the expiration date and replace it if necessary. Don’t forget S’mores supplies from your local grocery store!

Bike Rides

A bike ride around the neighborhood or through the park is a great outdoor activity for the Fall. Don’t forget the helmets! While we’re talking safety, it’s always a good idea to have an updated first aid kit on hand for things like bike rides and hikes. Your local pharmacy should have all the supplies you need like bandaids, gauze, antibacterial gel and pain relievers

Outdoor activities are even more fun in the Fall. So with a little preparation, you can take advantage of all nature has to offer while enjoying the outdoors before winter hits.

Go Camping This Summer

Summer is here, but the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us. Most of us are still leery of flying, so vacationing overseas or out of state is not under consideration. Although we are in phase 2 of re-opening and many restaurants and shops are now open, our safest activities this summer would be outdoors, especially in parks and beaches, with social distancing, of course. One place I’d like to visit with my family is the Minuteman Campground in Lexington, which is just 30 miles northwest of Boston. There, you can enjoy a quiet, spacious campsite among the tall pines. The campground has tent campsites, RV campsites and cabins. The RV sites have picnic tables, Wi-Fi, laundry, fire pits and electricity hookups, so you won’t need propane for RV generator. For fun, the campground provides kids playground, swimming pool, basketball, volleyball and more.

rv in campground

As long as the family is outdoors, you always should be prepared with insect sprays and sunscreens, first aid kits and wound care supplies such as bandages, dressings and wound cleansers.

If you have a senior loved one at home, you may not be able to bring him or her along. In that case, it would be a good idea to get respite care service from a trustworthy home care agency. A professional home care aide can provide companionship, as well as take care of daily tasks such as simple meal preparation, errands, and also make sure that your loved one is taking prescribed medications.

Worried about your routine household chores while you are on vacation? Take a break and let others do them for you. Use the nearby dry cleaner to do your dirty laundry, maid service to clean your house, and a personal concierge to do whatever else that needs to be done. With their help, even though you are still in the Boston area, you can take your mind off your daily routine to rest, recharge and have fun!

Celebrating the 4th of July During a Pandemic

The 4th of July is always the event of the summer, but things are a little different this year. Maybe we can’t go to parades or fireworks celebrations, or have a giant neighborhood block party, but we can still have a good time. Here’s are some ways to celebrate the 4th during a pandemic.

Freshen Up Your Flag

You may have already been proudly displaying your American flag, but preparing for the Fourth is the perfect reason to freshen it up a bit. Most dry cleaners will clean flags for free, so give them a call to ask about their policies. A flag can get a bit grimy and even moldy after swaying in the breeze through all sorts of weather, so you should have it professionally cleaned at least once a year. If it’s a big flag, you should take advantage of a free laundry delivery service in your area.

Plan a Picnic With Your Family

You may not be able to have a giant backyard BBQ this year, but you can still plan a fun picnic with your family. Now would be a perfect time to prep your linens and blankets, and anything else you may need for a picnic in the grass. Most of these items can be machine washed, but for fancier or delicate fabrics, you may want to take them to your local dry cleaners. Don’t forget the bug spray and sunscreen, both available at your nearby pharmacy.

Go Camping

Now’s the perfect time to go on a camping trip, even if it’s not very far away. If you don’t own an RV or camper, think about renting or borrowing one, for a great weekend getaway on a budget. Don’t forget to fill that propane tank so you’re all ready to go.

4th of July during a pandemic doesn’t mean you have to be stuck inside, think outside the box and enjoy some quality time with your family safely!

Celebrating Mother’s Day During COVID-19

We usually celebrate Mother’s Day with flowers and gifts for mom, taking her out to dinner and may be a shopping spree or a trip to the spa or salon. While our city is still in lockdown, with restaurants, salons and shops closed, how are you celebrating Mother’s Day?

Mother’s Day Gifts

For the most part, we can order gifts online and get them ready by Mother’s Day. If you cannot get a gift delivered in time, don’t forget that your local drugstore is still open and carries a variety of health and beauty products that your mom would love – from age-defying skin care, hair coloring and styling to perfumes and manicure products. Your community pharmacy may provide curbside service so you can stay safe.

Happy Mother's Day card

Take a load off

Mom is always busy caring for her family. The list of household chores is never ending. During the quarantine, the amount of cleaning and disinfecting has probably quadrupled. So a great gift would be to take over some of her work. How about letting the local dry cleaner nearby do the laundry? Schedule a laundry pickup before Mother’s Day, so that she is relaxed and not worried about doing the laundry.

If mom’s work includes caring for grandpa and or grandma, which is not unusual in this age of the “Caregiving Crunch,” you can take a load off her by hiring respite care providers from the local home care agency. A home health aide can provide respectful professional care and companionship for a senior loved one while the family caregiver takes a break.

Fun activity together

Do something fun with your mom at home, such as watch a movie on tv, take a trip down memory lane by viewing old photos together, make handicrafts or artwork, give mom a manicure, and so on.


If your mother is living in the same house, you can perhaps cook a nice dinner or if you are not a good cook, you can order a big meal online and get it delivered to the house. But if your mother is not under the same roof, you can try sharing a virtual dinner on Zoom. That way, you can still see and chat with each other during dinner.

With a little creativity and preparation, we can still give mom a memorable Mother’s Day during these unprecedented times. Stay safe and have fun with your mom on Mother’s Day!

Photo by Karolina Bobek ✌ on Unsplash

Taking a Walk in Nature

Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

There is scientific research that shows walking a nature can do your body and mind a lot of good. It can decreased depression, improved well-being and mental health, and lower perceived stress. It can also bring about better cardiovascular health, healthy weight, and strengthened bones. In the city of Newton, MA, there are many places where you can walk in nature and enjoy its benefits. For example, Charles River Reservation, Cold Spring Park and Cutler Park are all well maintained and very popular spots for neighbors to enjoy a daily stroll or weekend hike.

Given the current concerns about EEE, it is important to take precautions when you take a walk a nature. It is wise to wearing long sleeves and pants and use insect repellent sprays. Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk, so we should avoid being out in the woods during those hours. Of course, we should also bear in mind the usual warnings about ticks, mosquitoes, poison ivy, etc. On sunny days, sunscreens are a must.

You can get sunscreens and insect sprays from big stores like Target or CVS, but there are many advantages to shop local and go to a local pharmacy like Keyes Drug instead. You’ll get better service and the pharmacists will get to know you and your family really well. They can provide compounded medications to help you get the personalized health care that you need. Veterinary compounding services can make customized medicine for your pets as well.

Don’t forget that sunscreens and insect sprays can leave stains on your clothing. Here are some tips for removing sunscreen stains. For best results, bring the stained clothing to your local dry cleaner or use a laundry delivery service in Boston.

Summer is nearly over. Do take advantage of the beautiful Fall weather to enjoy walking in nature before Winter arrives!

What’s in Auburndale, MA?

In case you haven’t heard of Auburndale, MA, it is one of the thirteen villages that comprise Newton. Situated in the West part of Newton, it borders Wellesley on the West and Waltham in the North. It is conveniently situated at the intersection of the Mass Pike (Interstate 90) and Route 128 (Interstate 95). It is home to Lasell University and Woodland Golf Club. Auburndale Park has play & picnic areas, trails, tennis courts & a ball field in a tranquil location by the river. The playground equipment includes slides and climbing nets that blend in well with the natural surroundings.

Photo: John Phelan 

Auburndale Plaza is a shopping center conveniently located on the main thoroughfare, Commonwealth Avenue. It is anchored by the supermarket chain Star Market. There is also a dry cleaner, Utopia Cleaners, a Bank of America, Supercuts and Bruegger’s Bagels.

Utopia Cleaners provides green dry cleaning services, as well as wash and fold laundry service. It’s open Monday through Saturday. As part of a dry cleaning company with 5 stores in Greater Boston, Utopia Cleaners processes clients’ dry cleaning and laundry at its own facility in Arlington. Through its free laundry drop off, dry cleaning pickup and delivery service, it serves neighbors not only in Newton, but also Wellesley and Waltham. If you need your clothing cleaned at the last minute, which happens when you are too busy and forget, then you can depend on Utopia Cleaners’ same day dry cleaning service.

Also, just one block away from Auburndale Plaza is the local pharmacy, Keyes Drug. This popular drug store provides prescription refills and delivery, vitamins & supplements, vaccines, orthopedic braces, home health products like walkers, incontinence aids, and diabetic supplies, as well as general health and beauty products for eye care, dental care, hair care, skin care and much more.

Keyes Drug is also a compounding pharmacy that provides compounded medications for various conditions including Autism, Dermatology, Diet restrictions/allergies, GI/digestion, Hormone balancing for men and women, Mitochondrial and metabolic diseases, Pain management, Pediatric and Veterinary needs.

Auburndale is a safe and beautiful community that is well-equipped with all your lifestyle needs and many more good things to offer!

Free Fun at Capron Park Zoo

Hey Bostonians! The Highland Street Foundation is sponsoring Free Fun Fridays again this year. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit museums and cultural venues across Massachusetts for free!

Among the venues is Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro which is about 50 minutes from Boston. It’s a nice ride out of town to see exotic animals such as the white lion, red panda, emus and pythons. But for us, the main attraction is the splash pad, a fun and exciting zero-depth water playground that thrills children of all ages. For maximum enjoyment, bring bathing suits and beach clothing and sunscreen for your kids. The local pharmacy near me offers a quality selection of sunscreens and other health and beauty aids for the whole family and they provide more individualized care than the national chains. You should try them, if you are not yet a customer.


The adults can use some sunscreen too, but take care that it doesn’t stain your clothing. The oil component of these lotions leaves invisible stains that can become visible over time. These stains may not be easily removed in normal washing. I usually take stained clothing to a dry cleaner near me for stain removal.

The park does not allow visitors to bring picnics, but there is a Concession Stand that offers delicious fresh cooked food, ice cream and cold drinks while you rest at shady picnic benches.

The Zoo is a wonderful place to visit at other times of the year too. There are educational classes on animals and how to take care of them, conservation, photography and more. If you have teenage children, you may consider enrolling them into the Zoo Crew program which gives teens the opportunity to volunteer at the Zoo.  The Zoo also offers birthday party packages for children – a perfect birthday celebration for the kid who loves animals!