Mini Pumpkin Cake Bites

20160925_165711 (1) (2)

I’ve been seeing lots of pictures in my Facebook feed of all my friends at the pumpkin patch with their kids and I can’t wait to go pick pumpkins with my boys this year. I thought it would be fun to make some pumpkin mini cakes to celebrate this wonderful time of year (and the fact that fall temps are coming to Chicago this week)!

Ingredients

  • Box Cake Mix (any flavor) and ingredients needed to make the cake
  • Frosting (any flavor)
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Orange Colored Chocolate Candy Melts

Directions

  • Make your cake mix according to the directions on the box and let cool.
  • Crumble cake mix into a large bowl.
  • Add in one can of frosting and stir together.
  • Form into teaspoon size balls and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet.
  • Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, melt candy melts according to the package.
  • Using a fork, dip cake balls into the melted chocolate and place on a cookie sheet.
  • Cut a tootsie roll in half and place on top of the cake ball in the middle.

I chose to use a Funfetti cake mix with Halloween sprinkles for my cake bites but you can make them with any cake mix you’d like. I think a pumpkin flavored cake mix would be fantastic in this recipe.

Candy Corn Haystacks

20160925_122614 (4) (1)

Butterscotch haystacks are one of my favorite cookies and one I make often because they are so easy to make. These no-bake cookies only need a few ingredients and, while the inclusion of noodles in this cookie may make you question them, they really taste delicious! They are also versatile. I first shared the recipe for them on my blog in 2010 as a Christmas treat idea. Then this past March made them into nests topped with PEEPS for an Easter treat. Now I’m transforming them into the perfect fall treat by adding a Halloween candy staple to them.

Makes 15-20 haystack cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of butterscotch morsels
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1½ packages (18 ounces) crispy chow mein noodles
  • Candy corn

Directions

Melt butterscotch morsels in a microwave-safe bowl in microwave for 30 seconds on high power, then stir. Continue melting for 10-second intervals, stirring after each one, until smooth.

Stir peanut butter into melted butterscotch and thoroughly combine.

Place crispy chow mein noodles into a large bowl and add butterscotch/peanut butter mixture. Combine until all noodles are coated.

Drop a tablespoon of chow mein mixture onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper and repeat with the remaining mixture.

Top each haystack with a few candy corn.

Refrigerate until the haystacks harden, about 30–60 minutes and store in an airtight container or plastic bag.

It’s amazing how the crispy, kind of salty flavor of the chow mein noodles mix with the butterscotch and peanut butter flavors to form one sweet Halloween treat. Hope you all enjoy them!

Mummy Pretzel Sticks

20160924_152411 (1) (1)

Looking for a super easy snack for Halloween parties? These Mummy Pretzel Sticks take less than 10 minutes to make and can be a fun afternoon activity for children to help with. Kids (and adults!) will love these spooky treats.

Recipe yields 15-20 Mummy Pretzel Sticks

Ingredients

  • Pretzel rods
  • Package of white chocolate candy melts
  • Candy eyes or black icing (found by the sprinkles)
  • White icing (optional)

Melt the white chocolate candy melts according to the directions on the package

Dip the pretzel rods in the white chocolate and lay them on wax paper

Use the icing to pipe zigzag lines across the white chocolate

Add two eyes to each “mummy” using either the candy eyes or dots of black icing

Aren’t these fun?! What’s your favorite Halloween treat?

 

DIY Galaxy Pumpkin

20160916_095735 (1)

Thanks to Amazon Video for sponsoring this post.

To celebrate season 2 of the fun kid’s show Creative Galaxy available on Amazon Prime Video today, I wanted to create an out of this world DIY craft. This Galaxy Pumpkin is fun to make and kids can even help create this one of a kind decoration for your home.

To start you’ll want to gather the materials needed:

  • A pumpkin (either a black craft pumpkin or a real pumpkin you painted black)
  • Paints in colors of the galaxy (I used a dark purple, a pink, 2 shades of blue, and 2 types of glitter paint.)
  • Foam brushes
  • Paper plate
  • Optional: white paint and small paint brush
  • Optional: small rhinestones and glue to stick them on (if you want to use them for stars which I chose not to do on mine due to lack of time)
  • Optional: glow in the dark paint

There really is no right or wrong way to do this craft. The fun thing about it is that everyone’s “galaxy” will look different.

To start you’ll want to squeeze a little of each color paint onto your plate. You’ll also want to lay down newspaper or a garbage bag for easy cleanup and to keep you from getting paint all over your home. If your kids are helping you’ll want to put them in play clothes since they are going to get paint on their hands which means it will get on their face, their clothes, etc. I don’t think my boys have ever painted without getting paint all over themselves but that’s part of the fun :)

Step 1: Dab a little of the darkest color on your foam brush and then you are going to pat it on your pumpkin (do not brush it on). Once that paint on your brush is dabbed on your pumpkin you are going to get more paint on your foam brush in the second darkest color. You will alternate between these two darkest colors until you’ve covered your whole pumpkin in a light sponge-like pattern. Keep in mind, you are not fully painting the pumpkin so don’t worry that black is still showing on your pumpkin.

Step 2: Take the third and fourth lightest colors and dab those around your pumpkin in the same manner you did the first two colors. (If you have any other blues, purples or pinks you can sponge those colors on next. You can also add extra layers of colors if you’d like to though I’d recommend letting the first layer dry.)

Step 3: Once you have the pumpkin colored like you want it you’ll want to add any glitter paints you have, sponging them on in spots around your pumpkin.

Optional step: At this point you can add stars if you’d like to. I thought the glitter paints added enough glimmer but you can use your small tipped paint brush to add dots of white around your pumpkin or glue the rhinestones on it for stars. You can also dot glow in the dark paint if you’d like.

Isn’t that fun? I love how our Galaxy Pumpkin turned out and am looking forward to spending the weekend watching season 2 of Creative Galaxy with my kids. This cute show follows the adventures of Arty and his silly side-kick Epiphany, as they travel around the galaxy to solve problems using many different forms of art. Each episode highlights a unique creative medium (painting, music, sculpting, cooking, etc.) to reinforce to kids that art is all around us in many different forms. The interactive stories and live action segments encourage young viewers at home to get excited about their own creative ideas and the process of using creative arts to solve problems!

Stay tuned for all the other art activities that this series inspires my kids and I to create :)

 

Monster Krispies

20160914_142110 (2) (1)

Now that the kids are back in school we are getting ready for the next big things in our life- our family vacation and Halloween. Since my Disney Halloween playlist is getting so many views the past couple weeks I figured many of you all are in the Halloween mood as well. I wanted to share a super fun, quick Halloween treat that your kids can help you make.

I am calling this treat “Monster Krispies” because they are rice krispy treats designed to look like monsters. You can make homemade rice krispy treats or take the easy way out (like I did) and use the premade treats. No judgement here :)

Along with rice krispy treats, you will need colored candy wafers (found by the cake supplies at Michaels and Hobby Lobby) and candy eyes (found by the sprinkles). Now a word of caution here: I recommend finding wafers that are the color you want. I thought I’d get creative and use white candy melts with food coloring but the extra stirring caused the candy melts to turn into a frosting like paste which will not work for this recipe.

To start, melt your candy wafers according to the packaging. You’ll want to stir every so often and get out all the lumps.

Once melted, dip your rice krispy treat in the melted chocolate and completely coat the rice krispy treat. (I recommend putting a stick or skewer into the rice krispy treat for easy dipping.)

Let the excess candy drip off the rice krispy treat and then lay it out on wax paper or parchment paper.

Immediately put the candy eyes on the treats. I chose to make mine look like monsters with many eyes.

Let the Monster Krispies harden and then put in an airtight container once done.

What’s your favorite Halloween treat to make?

Last Minute Halloween Party Ideas

halloween party fun

I love planning elaborate parties but sometimes I just don’t have the time to do so. This season has been a perfect example with football, work, personal events and travel taking up so much of my time. I wanted to have a little Halloween party for the kids and decided it was just going to be a low key event this year. A couple weekends ago, in between Jacob’s noon football game and the boy’s Awana program at night, I ran to the store and and bought everything we needed and then hosted a spooktacular, kid-friendly party on a budget. A huge thanks to Meijer for making all of this possible.

The first thing I typically do for parties is dress my kids up for the theme so when I came across these Halloween shirts I just had to get each of the kids one. I love the designs that Meijer had this year. How cute is that little owl my niece is wearing?!

For the decorations I put a Halloween tablecloth down, added some pumpkin plates and napkins, a pumpkin bowl and orange dishes for the snacks. Instead of buying themed cups I figured it would be cheaper and provide an extra activity for the kids if I had them decorate their own cups. I bought clear plastic cups and a $1 sticker book and let the kids personalize their cups.

After decorating the cups we played a couple indoor games. The favorite one was pin the mouth on the skeleton. Even my mom got in on the fun! I found this game in the Halloween aisles and it was easy to grab and setup quickly.

 

We did a couple other activities, including playing with the jumping spider party favors I’d bought and decorating wooden Halloween pieces with markers and glitter to take home. These kept the kids busy while we were heating up dinner.

The kids worked up an appetite after all that fun so it was time for dinner. I kept it simple with fried chicken from the deli, baked beans, potato salad and carrots (to keep with the orange theme). After dinner it was dessert. We had pumpkin shaped cookies, candy corn and gummy worms.

Once we ate it was time to get dressed up in our Halloween costumes. Meijer had sent us some costumes for the kids to wear at the party. The kids liked getting dressed up.

After the kids were in their costumes we went outside and played ring toss with witches hats. The kids liked this game a lot and it was nice to get outside a bit to burn off the sugar rush from dessert. I wrote a post last week about fun Halloween games if you are looking for more ideas.

When we came inside it was time to start wrapping up the party and getting ready to head to Awana. I pulled out the bowl full of candy and let each child fill up a goody bag with treats. They each got a noisemaker and the spider toy to take home, too.

Overall, this party was so easy to put together. It only took me about an hour to prepare for and setup (and that included shopping time!). The kids all had a great time and I loved knowing that no matter how busy I am, I could provide an afternoon of Halloween fun for them. Seriously, look at how much these kids enjoyed this party…doesn’t it make you want to throw one of your own??

If you loved this party please pin it! :)

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win the following prize package…

HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about Halloween

FOR AN EXTRA ENTRY:

Share this post on a social network

Giveaway ends October 27, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 21 or older and a US resident to win.

Fun Active Halloween Games For Kids

halloween games for kids

(Disclosure: I am currently serving as a “Play Ambassador” for Let’s Play. This is a sponsored post, however, the opinions expressed are my own.)

Can you believe that it’s mid-October already!? Halloween is just around the corner, which means the planning of spooktacular parties is in full gear! Since this holiday involves lots of sweets, I like to make sure my kids are getting in extra activity this time of year to keep them healthy and balanced. I planned a little party for my kids, niece and nephew recently and am also helping plan Luke’s classroom party for Halloween day so I’ve been brainstorming some fun, active activities to incorporate. There are lots of great craft ideas online to keep the kids busy at the party but not a whole lot of play ideas so I wanted to share some of my favorite, spooky ways to keep kids active.

One game we played at our little Halloween party was a basic ring toss game, but we added a Halloween twist by having the kids throw rings onto “witch’s hats.” We bought our set but you can easily make one yourself by getting black construction cones and decorating them to look like a witch’s hat.

Another fun game that I used to play growing up is called “Ghost in the Graveyard.” It’s definitely a game you can play year round, but its name perfect for a spooky Halloween party. We’d wait until the sun went down and then play a version of hide and seek where one person (the “ghost”) would hide while all the other players would look for him or her. Once a player found the “ghost,” they’d yell “ghost in the graveyard!” and everyone would run back to base while the “ghost” tried to tag them. Whoever the ghost tagged was the next person to hide. This is a great game to play with kids who are a little bit older and need to release lots of energy.

For the younger crowd, a game of “Pin the Mouth on the Skeleton” gets lots of giggles. There are several different Halloween-themed varieties of this game, including “Pin the Broom on the Witch” or “Pin the Leg on the Spider.” To kick up the activity level a notch, have the kids spin each other around and then try to place the piece on the right spot while blindfolded. It adds a bit of a challenge to the game and gives them the opportunity to get their bodies moving.

For more ideas visit LetsPlay.com and sign the Let’s Play pledge while you are there! You can also find Let’s Play on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

What are your favorite active games to play during the Halloween season?

 

 

Treat Kids To A Frosty This Halloween

Halloween_coupons

It’s Halloween time which means the candy bowls are overflowing, costumes are being bought and the pumpkin patch is busy. On Halloween day, the boys will be bringing little treats to school for their friends. Since many children have allergies, the kids are not allowed to bring any food treats into the classroom.

When I learned about the special Frosty coupon books at Wendy’s® I knew they would be perfect for the kids to bring to school. The books I got were 5 Jr. Frostys for $1. I love these books because ninety cents of every $1 Halloween Coupon Book sold between September 13 – October 31, 2014 will benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®. This year, Wendy’s® aims to give $10 million to The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®.

For Lucas, my Kindergartener, I plan on putting the Frosty coupons in goody bags with a Halloween pencil, spider ring and a Halloween coloring pack. Jacob’s class will get the Frosty coupon taped onto a mini water bottle with a Halloween pencil and spider ring.

 

I hope that, by passing these out, my children’s friends will have the chance to go out with their families and be able to take a break and relax at Wendy’s®. It’s also great knowing that it’s all for a good cause. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s®, established The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® in 1992 as a non-profit public charity with one primary goal: to help every child in foster care find a loving, permanent family. Thanks to Wendy’s® consumers and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®, 4,000+ children have found adoptive families.

Visit your local Wendy’s® to purchase a Jr. Frosty™ Halloween Coupon Book* for $1, which benefits the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®!

*Coupon book may contain coupons for 5 or 10 free Jr. Frosty™ treats. Prices and participation may vary. Ninety cents to every $1 coupon booklet sold between 9/15/14 and 10/31/14 will benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®. Coupons valid from 11/1/14 through 2/1/15. ©2014 Oldemark LLC”

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Halloween 2013 Pictures

Jacob before school

The boys had a great time yesterday at their school parties and trick-or-treating. I wanted to share the pictures of them in their costumes. Jake was the Red Power Ranger and Luke was Darth Vader.

Lucas at his school parade

***

Jacob before school

Please Be Patient This Halloween

be patient this halloween


Author unknown. I found it on Facebook two years ago and still haven’t tracked down the original author.

 

 

The Wisest Kid Shares Last Minute Halloween Ideas

campbells halloween

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I am an Ambassador for Campbell’s and The Wisest Kid in the Whole World. All thoughts are my own.)

Halloween is tomorrow and my kids are so excited! We’ve been to the pumpkin farm and decorated pumpkins. We went costume shopping and made “mummy” dogs. We have treat bags ready for our school friends and bags of candy to pass out. Their favorite part of the holiday though? Trick-or-treating, of course! They can’t wait to dress up and get candy.

Lucas has been going around our home for the past week with a bucket saying “trick or treat”. He’s collected whatever we can find around us to put in his container including toys, pinecones, pieces of paper, pencils, cards from a game and stickers. He’s been hoping for candies but thinks it’s hilarious when we put other things in his bucket. He will be so happy when he finally goes trick-or-treating for real and gets chocolates and other candy.

To balance out all that junk my kids will be eating Halloween night, I consulted the Wisest Kid in the Whole World about how I could work in some veggies to their dinner. I heard it’s supposed to be raining and cold so I definitely want to make sure I put something warm in their tummies.

He had some great ideas and shared some delicious recipes made with Campbell’s soups that both parents and kids would like. Here are a few of my favorites:

Mini Chicken Pot Pie

Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Pockets

Mini Taco Mac & Cheese Cups

Hmm…wonder what other wise advice he has? I’m sure he has a great last-minute costume idea. Let’s check out what he has to say!

How simple is that? Print out the beard and you are all set for trick or treating. Check out Campbell’s Facebook page for more great costume ideas. What would you ask the Wisest Kid in the Whole World?

Spooktacular Disney Halloween Music Playlist

disney halloween soundtrack

I have the perfect Halloween soundtrack for you! This family-friendly mix on Rdio will be perfect to play during your Halloween festivities.

Songs included:

1.       This Is Halloween – The Citizens of Halloween – Nightmare Before Christmas Special Edition

2.       Grim, Grinning Ghosts – Ghosts – Mickey’s Monster Bash

3.       Swinging Wake – Xavier Atencio, Buddy Baker – The Haunted Mansion

4.       Oogie Boogie’s Song – Danny Elfman – Nightmare Before Christmas Special Edition

5.       Friends on the Other Side – Keith David – Disney Villains: Simply Sinister Songs

6.       Otherworldly Concerto – Gaylord Carter – The Haunted Mansion

7.       Poor Unfortunate Souls – Pat Carroll – Disney Villains: Simply Sinister Songs

8.       Heffalumps and Woozles – Disney Chorus – Halloween Songs & Sounds

9.       The Siamese Cat Song – Oliver Wallace, Peggy Lee – Disney Villains: Simply Sinister Songs

10.   Pink Elephants On Parade – Disney Chorus – Disney Villains: Simply Sinister Songs

11.   Ghostly Music Box – Music Box – Haunted Mansion – The Haunted Mansion

12.   They Don’t Scare Me – Mickey Mouse – Halloween Songs & Sounds

13.   Monster Mash – Goofy – Mickey’s Monster Bash

14.   I Wanna Scare Myself – Tigger – Halloween Songs & Sounds

15.   Which Witch Is Which? – Goofy, Mickey Mouse – Halloween Songs & Sounds

16.   Pool Monsters Attack – Danny Elfman – Frankenweenie (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

17.   Night Creatures (Sound Effect) – Walt Disney Sound Effects Group – Halloween Songs & Sounds

18.   Haunted House (Sound Effect) – Walt Disney Sound Effects Group – Halloween Songs & Sounds

19.   The Witches (Sound Effect) – Walt Disney Sound Effects Group – Halloween Songs & Sounds

20.   A Dark & Stormy Night (Sound Effect) – Walt Disney Sound Effects Group – Mickey’s Monster Bash

Enjoy! :)

Halloween Spider Bites {Recipe}

spider bites pic

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tsp. vanilla
  • 1 package black rope licorice cut into short 1” pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small tube of green (or color of choice) decorating gel
  • Toothpicks

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine shortening, sugar, water, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add eggs into the mixture and blend.
  • Slowly mix in flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder using low-medium speed.
  • Drop tablespoon helpings of mixture onto ungreased cookie sheets and roll each helping into a ball.
  • Bake 9 minutes at 375 degrees. The batch should produce around three dozen cookies.
  • Let cookies cool for about 10 minutes. Then using a toothpick, create four small holes in either side of the cookie.
  • Still using the toothpick, push one end of a piece of the cut licorice into each hole, creating the “legs” of the spider.
  • Once all eight pieces are in place, create eyes or decorate at will using the green decorating gel.
  • Then serve and enjoy!

Recipe idea adapted from “The Braces Cookbook” by Pamela Waterman. Image courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists.

Goblin Goodies {Recipe}

goblin goodies

Ingredients:

  • 1 small box rice cereal
  • 1 small box corn or wheat cereal
  • 1 small box rice puffs cereal
  • 3 cups pretzel sticks
  • 1 stick of margarine
  • 1 bag of milk chocolate chips
  • 1 bag of white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups of milk

Directions:

  • Line a cookie sheet or large baking pan with tin foil
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, putting margarine in the pan and the pan in the oven as the oven preheats so that the margarine will melt.
  • Remove pan from oven and add pretzels, rice puffs and corn and rice cereal – slowly stirring to coat with melted margarine or butter.
  • Once all the cereal and pretzels are in the pan, place pan uncovered in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Once the snack mix is finished baking, remove from oven and allow to cool. While cooling, in a small sauce pan, over low heat, melt milk chocolate chips with one cup of milk, adding milk slowly until melted. Repeat for white chocolate chips.
  • With a spoon, drizzle melted milk and white chocolate over the snack mix and allow to firm. Once chocolate is more firm, toss and serve. Store cool in airtight container for future snacks.

Recipe and image courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists.

Footprint Witch Craft

witch craft pin

Lucas made this Footprint Witch last year in preschool. I love it!

10 Pumpkin Crafts For Preschoolers

pumpkin crafts for post

Halloween is right around the corner so I wanted to do a quick pumpkin craft roundup. All of these activities are great for preschoolers (and some work for toddlers and elementary aged kids as well). Have fun!

***

Shaving Cream Pumpkins from Teaching Mama

***

Button and Ribbon Pumpkins from Toddler Approved

***

Paper Roll Pumpkin from Little Family Fun

***

Pasta Pumpkin

***

Tissue Paper Pumpkins from Mama’s Learning Corner

***

Beaded Pumpkin from Craftulate

***

Scented Pumpkins from Education.com

***

Puffy Pumpkin Lacing from I Can Teach My Child

***

Pumpkin Stamping from The Little People Place

***

Water Bottle Pumpkin Jack O’ Lantern from Motherhood on a Dime

***

Find 10 more Halloween crafts for preschoolers here.

Shape Monster Craft For Kids

shape monsters

I teach Sunday School and it’s held in a preschool classroom. I couldn’t resist the cuteness of these shape monsters on the wall! How adorable are they?

Make them with your own kiddos by cutting out various shapes in different sizes along with arms and legs and let the creativity happen!

4 Halloween DIY Craft Projects

no sew masks

Trick-or-treat! Time to paint pumpkins, decorate with spooky spiders and skeletons, and whip up some cute, clever costumes—Halloween is almost here! Below are 4 easy DIY craft projects you can do.

No-Sew Critter Costume for Kids: Is making a Halloween costume for your child always a problem because you’re not a sewing expert? No worries—this year your child will look festive and creative and you won’t even have to pick up a needle! All you’ll need is felt, a glue gun, and ribbons for your child to be the cutest fox, deer or skunk anyone has seen! This quick and easy craft is the perfect costume for this Halloween. For a full list of instructions and materials, please visit: http://www.countrywomanmagazine.com/project/woodland-masks-no-sew-craft/

 

Glitter Pumpkins:  Painting pumpkins with funny faces may be fun, but making a pumpkin glitzy and glamorous is even better! Put the pizazz in your pumpkins with a dusting of fine glitter. On a mantel or your autumn-themed table, these pumpkins will sparkle in sunlight and glisten in candlelight. For a list of materials, visit: http://www.countrywomanmagazine.com/project/glitter-pumpkins/

 

Candy Corn Goodie Bags: For a Halloween party, a Thanksgiving favor or even “just because it’s fall,” these candy corn goodie bags will delight everyone with their familiar shape and colors. Stuff with wrapped candies and hand out to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, or give them out to guests at a Halloween-themed dinner party! For step-by-step instructions, see: http://www.countrywomanmagazine.com/project/candy-corn-goodie-bags/

Halloween Birdhouse Crafts: Forget cheery robins and bluebirds—these vibrant birdhouses invoke instead Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller “The Birds” and Edgar Allan Poe’s timeless poem, “The Raven.” This DIY Halloween craft project takes these boring birdhouses from garden-cute to Halloween ready! For a full how-to, check out: http://www.countrywomanmagazine.com/project/birdhouse-halloween-crafts/

 

For additional creepy crafts, spectacularly spooky décor and clever costumes, visit Country Woman Magazine.

(All ideas and images are courtesy of Country Woman Magazine.)

Family Fun At The Pumpkin Farm

pumpkin 8

(Disclosure: We received free tickets into Pumpkin Fest but all thoughts are my own.)

I love going to Fall festivals with my family. Last weekend we went to Pumpkin Fest at Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm in Crest Hill, IL. There was so much to do there and the kids were in awe as they ran from activity to activity. We only were able to stay a couple hours but they jumped on inflatables, rode a pony, went on a hayride, went through a haunted barn, went through an obstacle course, saw animals at the petting zoo, and played on giant climbing structures.

There were pumpkins for sale throughout the farm and a big pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Other activities we didn’t get a chance to do included paintball, stories told by the Pumpkin Princess, a big bouncy inflatable “cloud”, a giant corn maze, a rock climbing wall and a train ride.

Here are some pictures from our afternoon of Fall fun:

The boys posing on the pumpkins {the one must-take pumpkin patch photo!}

***

Wooden train play area

***

The cornfield maze

***

Jacob and Daddy

***

Big spider web climber

***

Luke on his pony ride

***

The haunted barn we went in (which wasn’t all that scary but good for kids)

***

The playland area the kids loved

***

The pick your own pumpkin patch we got to by hayride

What a fun afternoon! Visit Siegel’s Pumpkin Fest in the next couple weeks to make great memories with your family.

Decorating Pumpkins With Ribbons

ribbon pumpkin

Pumpkins and ribbon have a lot more in common than you think. They both come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. Did you ever think to put the two together? This fall, decorate your pumpkin with ribbon. It’s a fast and easy way to get your pumpkin out on display in your home or apartment!

Duration: 15 min

Supplies:

  • Pumpkin
  • Glue gun (and glue sticks of course)
  • Ribbon

Instructions:

1. Pick your pumpkin

Pumpkins come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Any pumpkin will work perfect for this project. Pick the one that is right for you. Just keep in mind that the bigger your pumpkin, the more ribbon that you will need to use.

2. Pick your Ribbon

Like pumpkins, ribbon comes in various shapes, sizes, colors and even patterns. Any fabric type ribbon will work. Pick your favorites and move to step 3.

3. Measuring

Measure your ribbon to pumpkin ratio. Place the end of the ribbon at the top of the pumpkin – just next to the stump. Continue to wrap the ribbon vertically around the pumpkin until it meets the other side of the pumpkin at the stump. Trim off the excess ribbon.

4. Glue

Using your glue gun; place a bead of glue at the top of the pumpkin then secure one of the ribbon. Repeat this step to secure the other end of the ribbon. Be creative and layer the ribbons!

5. Bow

To finish off your ribbon pumpkin, tie a bow at the top with coordinating ribbon colors.

(Disclosure: Images and directions provided by rent.com.)

5 Halloween Party Foods

cheryl 1

Hosting a Halloween party? Check out these 5 spooktacular treats and appetizers, courtesy of Cheryl Najafi, that will make your party one that will be talked about for years to come.

Creepy Crawly Deviled Eggs

***

Popcorn Eyeballs

***

Halloween Caramel Apples with DIY Broomsticks

***

Creepy Cheese Stick Fingers

***

Halloween Donut Hole Monsters

Find even more Halloween ideas (including decor and costumes) here.

About Cheryl: New York Times best-selling author of party-centric You’re So Invited: Panic Less, Play More and Get Your Party On!, no-fuss home entertaining and lifestyle expert, Cheryl Najafi, is revolutionizing home entertainment with simple, affordable, easy-to-do tips that ‘break the rules’ of “proper” hosting etiquette on CHERYLSTYLE.COM, along with ideas for DIY food & drink, handmade fashion, and practical yet artful innovative decor.

Halloween Trends From The Children’s Place

halloween clothes 3

(Disclosure: I wasn’t compensated for this post but have received gift cards from The Children’s Place before and I am a TCP mom.)

13 Halloween Sensory Bins

spooktacular sensory bins

I had lots of fun creating a roundup of Fall sensory bins (find that post here) so I wanted to do another one focused on Halloween sensory bins! Here are 13 different ones to help you have some spooky sensory fun this season.

via 3 Dinosaurs

***

Spooky Boo Bubbles via Momma’s Fun World

***

 via Plain Vanilla Mom

***

CREEPY, CRAWLY HALLOWEEN WATER BEADS SENSORY BIN via Little Bins For Little Hands

***

via Glittering Muffins

***

Purple Monster Tub via Dandelions In My Vase

***

***

Goblin Guts via Growing A Jeweled Rose

***

via Suzy Homeschooler

***

Spooky Sensory Bin via Happy Hooligans

***

via Tutus & Tea Parties

***

Spooky Slime Sensory Tub via What Do You Do All Day?

***

via Housing A Forest

Linked up at:

Photobucket

Halloween Sensory Table

halloween sensory table

I shared about this Halloween sensory table a year or two ago but discovered that when I moved my site this post was lost. Here’s a picture of what was in my Halloween sensory table:

What was in it:

-black and orange feathers

-black and orange shiny pom pom balls

-black crinkled paper (like the kind used for packaging)

-small Jack O’ Lantern buckets

-beans

Decorating Pumpkins With Candy

candy pumpkin

In the October issue of Food Network Magazine, now on newsstands nationwide, our editors dream up fun, no-mess ideas for decorating holiday pumpkins. We used gumdrops, candy corns, marshmallows, cotton candy, M&Ms and royal icing to make pumpkins as cute as they are creepy. The best part? Some of the designs require little or no carving, so you and your family can have a blast without the mess.

Image courtesy of: Lisa Shin 

To create the Mad Scientist Pumpkin

For the hair: Pull apart cotton candy and attach small tufts to the pumpkin with royal icing.

For the eyes: Separate 2 chocolate sandwich cookies and, using royal icing, attach the 2 pieces that have filling on them to the pumpkin, filling-side out. Stick 1 M&M into each cookie filling.

For the ears, nose and mouth: Attach Circus Peanuts with royal icing for the ears and nose, then draw a mouth and eyeglass rims with the icing and cover the lines with red and black licorice strings.

Image courtesy of: Lisa Shin 

To create the Alien Pumpkin

For the eyes: Use a spoon to carve out small holes, then push in gumballs so they fit snugly. Draw pupils with an edible marker. For the eyelids, attach pieces of sour belt candy with royal icing.

For the ears and mouth: Attach 2 sour watermelons with royal icing for the ears, then add a sour apple ring or a peach ring for the mouth.

For the antennae: Push 2 lollipops into the top.

To make Royal Icing 

Sift 2 tablespoons meringue powder (found in the baking isle or at craft stores) and 1 pound confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl. Beat in 6 tablespoons water with a mixer until glossy with soft peaks. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag; snip the tip of one corner to pipe.

All of these fun ideas are courtesy of The Food Network. Read more here.

Pasta Pumpkin Craft

pumpkin craft

Looking to do a pumpkin craft with your kids? Check out this cute craft Lucas made at school! All you have to do is paint round pasta pieces orange and a few mostacholi pasta pieces green, let the paint dry, and then glue them on to a pumpkin shaped piece of paper. (Luke’s teacher used white paper but you can use orange to make it more pumpkin-like.)

Halloween Treat Bags & Bingo Game {Free Printables}

halloween printables

Halloween is coming up soon! Check out these cute printable treat bags and bingo game. They are just right for a spooktacular party! You can download and print them from the Paper Coterie blog.

Spooky & Bright: 101 Halloween Ideas {Giveaway}

spooky1

A week ago I shared about Spooky & Bright: 101 Halloween Ideas, the book I received for review that I had been finding great Fall ideas in. You can read my post about it here. I’m excited because now I get to give one away to a reader!

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a copy of the book Spooky & Bright

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following and leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Comment and tell me what you love most about Halloween

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Subscribe to this blog via email (look in upper right corner)

Giveaway ends October 1, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be a US resident, 21 or older to win.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of the book for review.)

Hub Network’s First Annual Halloween Bash & Costume Contest

hub network

The Hub Network, a destination for kids and their families, will host the “Hub Network’s First Annual Halloween Bash,” to be broadcast on Saturday, October 26, 2013 on the cable channel.

The special will be hosted by Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”), along with Halloween expert Martha Stewart who will lead a panel of celebrity judges, and includes music performances and a nationwide costume competition where 50 semi-finalists from each state will head to Los Angeles to be a part of the two-hour star-studded event.

One lucky winner will win $25,000 and a walk-on role on the Hub Network’s Daytime Emmy® Award-winning series, “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series.”

The “Hub Network’s First Annual Halloween Bash” costume competition is open to all ages, including individuals or a maximum of five people per group submission.

Participants are encouraged to create eye-popping, hair-raising and spooky costumes within one of the following six categories:

·         Howl-arious – Shows the lighter side of Halloween with a take on a fun, funny or otherwise hilarious costume.

·         Spook-tacular – Get ready to frighten America by showcasing the most spine-chilling costume for all the ghosts and ghouls out there.

·         Mad Genius – Unique, original, innovative and never seen before. A knight in armor fashioned from bottle caps, bat wings made from old umbrellas, or a cardboard-box jetpack, the possibilities are endless. Display a costume unlike any other — show your Mad Genius.

·         Blast from the Past – Take a stroll down memory lane with a timeless costume. Memories, nostalgia and yesteryear brought to life. Show your take on great figures from before the 20thcentury or a retro 50’s sock hop get up, 60’s flower child or other “period” inspired costumes.

·         Animal Kingdom – Transform into a living creature from the past or present. Be a roaring lion, a school of jellyfish, a firefly, or a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

·         Everyday Stuff – We’re looking for the coolest refrigerator/freezer, remote control, mailbox, block of Swiss cheese, telephone and more.  Be creative and transform the ordinary into the extra-ordinary.

For more information on how to enter, as well as to check out the latest entries, please visit hubworld.com/halloween and also the video. The deadline to enter is Sunday, September 29, 2013.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post however I am entered into a gift card drawing for posting it.)

 

 

Best and Worst Halloween Candy: Avoiding Scary Dental Decay

Young girl outdoors in cat costume on Halloween holding candy

Halloween is the No. 1 holiday on the kid calendar. They get to dress up, go to parties and make a candy haul that can’t be challenged, even if you add Easter and Christmas together. With the Centers for Disease Control reporting that over 19 percent of children ages 2 to 19 have untreated cavities, Halloween drops down a few notches on parents’ lists. You probably do a stellar job of watching what the kids eat any other time of year. Sugar control goes out the window, however, when your child brings home a bottomless bag from a successful night of trick-or-treating.

Before the big night hits, educate yourself on which candy is capable of the most damage and which is easiest on teeth. Arm your little ones with some preventative items and then sit back knowing you’ve done as much as possible to protect their pearly whites.

Worst Candies

Sticky candy and long-lasting candies that take forever to dissolve in your kids’ mouths are the hardest on teeth. According to the American Dental Association these are:

  • hard candies
  • suckers and lollipops
  • taffy
  • gummy bears
  • caramels

These types stick to the teeth subjecting your kids to destructive acids for extended periods of time.

Best Candies

Sugar-free gum is the absolute best Halloween treat you can find in your child’s candy bucket. Encourage your kids to chew a piece after eating any of their other sugary booty. If you don’t consider gum to technically be candy, then others on the list include:

  • candy bars that don’t contain sticky caramel or nougat
  • chocolate covered nuts
  • candy corn
  • individually wrapped peanut butter cups

Not much of these candies remain in the mouth for very long, and what does gets washed away by saliva or with a swallow of water.

Treat Your Own Kids

Yes, it will bum out the neighborhood kids if you give out toothbrushes and travel-sized toothpaste for Halloween. There’s no law against doing it for your own kids, though, especially since they’ll get plenty of sugary treats elsewhere. WebMD says Halloween is the ideal time to change out your kids’ old toothbrushes for new ones, anyway. Assemble a Halloween treat bag for your children with a toothbrush and toothpaste, but also include a bottle of fluoridated water for sipping after a candy binge, dental floss and a packet of disclosing tablets to help them get in the habit of brushing more thoroughly. Slip in a few coloring sheets from Kool Smiles. The activity sheets along with a brand-new box of crayons are a sweet way to round out your dental health treat bag.

Reducing Chances of Halloween Damage

You don’t have to take Halloween — or the candy it brings — away from your kids just to ensure optimal oral health. That will only end up in tantrums and trauma. Instead, set a few rules and encourage already good habits. For example, specify when your kids can indulge in Halloween candy and how much they can have. It can be after school or right after a healthy dinner. Limit them to two or three pieces, and allow them to pick out what they’ll eat each day. Encourage them to drink water while they eat their treats and afterward, too. Hold your children to their regularly scheduled tooth brushing routine, and make sure they floss. You’ll want to help if your child is younger than 8 years old, but older children are capable of flossing on their own.

(Guest post Author: Kim is a freelance writer who covers health and fitness.)

Spooky & Bright Halloween Ideas

spooky1

School has just started but, based on the posts being read recently on my site, I know many of you are already thinking about Halloween! I’m really excited to share about a book I received called Spooky & Bright: 101 Halloween Ideas from Country Living magazine.

There are 125 great Halloween ideas in this little book. I’m already planning which ones I am going to do in the next couple of months. Here are some of my favorite ideas from the book:

Enchanting Tree

***

Miniature graveyard

***

Mama and baby bird

Need ideas for pumpkin displays, Fall home decor, or tasty treats for your Halloween party? The Spooky & Bright book is perfect! You can purchase it online here.

(Disclosure: I received the book for review but all thoughts are my own.)

60+ Ideas For Fall Family Fun {Bucket List}

fall family fun

I’ve spent the past week or so thinking of all the fun things my family has done during the Fall season in years past. Here are over 50 ways to enjoy the Fall season.

1) Go apple picking

2) Bake a pumpkin pie

3) Stuff a scarecrow using old clothes

4) Rake leaves into a pile and jump into them

5) Go on a nature walk

6) Drink apple cider

7) Play with apple pie and pumpkin pie scented playdough

8) Go to a football game

9) Make a list of what you are thankful for

10) Make a bird feeder

11) Pick a pumpkin at a pumpkin patch

12) Have a bonfire outside (don’t forget the smores!)

13) Make a leaf rubbing

14) Go to the library and checkout Fall themed books

15) Have family game night

16) Carve pumpkins

17) Make cinnamon apples or mini apple pies

18) Dress up in costumes and go trick or treating

19) Have a football watching party and cheer on your favorite team

20) Go on a hayride

21) Make apple prints using halved apples dipped in paint

22) Paint pumpkins

23) Take a drive to look at the trees changing colors

24) Make a leaf collage

25) Go to the zoo or a farm

26) Donate food to a local food pantry

27) Drink a pumpkin spice latte or other pumpkin flavored drink

28) Make a Fall wreath for your door

29) Go camping

30) Bob for apples

31) Go to a turkey farm

32) Fill a box for Operation Christmas Child

33) Decorate your house for Fall

34) Make spooktacular cake pops

35) Go tailgating

36) Have a special Halloween lunch

37) Take a family photo

38) Make crockpot applesauce

39) Go through a corn maze

40) Host (or attend) a costume party

41) Eat candy apples

42) Make leaf print art

43) Bake pumpkin seeds

44) Have a family movie night and cuddle under blankets

45) Make chili

46) Attend (or watch) a Fall parade

47) Eat a big Thanksgiving meal

48) Go horseback riding

49) Volunteer in a soup kitchen

50) Make lollipop ghosts

51) Watch Charlie Brown Halloween and Thanksgiving movies

52) Attend a Fall festival

53) Make a paper turkey and on the paper feathers write what you are thankful for

54) Bake homemade pumpkin bread

55) Watch a Casper movie

56) Eat candy corn

57) Listen to spooky music (like Monster Mash)

58) Make tasty treats for Thanksgiving

59) Make corn cob prints

60) Make a fun Halloween craft with the kids

61) Throw a home canning party

Halloween 2012 {Wordless Wednesday}

halloween2012 1

We had a fantastic Halloween last week and I hope you all did, too! I wanted to share pictures of the boys Trick or Treating and also at their Halloween school parades.

***

***

***

***

Pumpkin Patch {Wordless Wednesday}

pumpkins3

***

***

***

10 Halloween Photo Opps Not To Forget

shutterfly tips

Image courtesy of Shutterfly. Do something special with you Halloween pictures and make a Halloween photo book! Currently their photo books are 50% off :)

(Disclosure: I was sent a Trick or Treat bag from Shutterfly with no requirement to post. I’m posting because I think these are great tips.)

Something To Think About This Halloween….

halloween patience

Last year on Halloween this was passed around on Facebook and I thought it was really great so I wanted to share it with you all this Halloween:

Tonight a lot of creatures will visit your door.

Be open minded.

The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy might have poor fine motor skills.

The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy might have motor planning issues.

The child who does not say trick or treat or thank you might be shy or non-verbal.

The child who looks disappointed when he sees your bowl might have an allergy.

The child who isn’t wearing a costume at all might have SPD or autism.

Be nice.

Be patient.

Its everyone’s Halloween.



Lucas And His Pumpkin

pumpkin carving 1

I love this picture I took while we were carving pumpkins this morning. Lucas took the lid off the pumpkin and did this when he saw what was inside. lol

The True Cost Of Halloween {Infographic}

Halloween inforgraphic

Halloween Candy Counting Activity

halloween counting activity

Can you believe that Halloween is next week already?! Here’s a fun candy counting activity for kids to do after they’ve gone Trick-or-Treating.

Thanks to Kiddie Academy for the printable!

Halloween 2011 {Wordless Wednesday}

Lucas raiding the candy bowl

I didn’t get many pictures this year that weren’t blurry but here are some of my favorites from Jacob’s school “Harvest” parade and Trick or Treating:

Lucas watching Jacob's parade

***

Jacob as "James"

***

Jacob and Lucas before the parade

***

The boys trick-or-treating

***

Lucas raiding the candy bowl

***

They loved getting candy.

Halloween Lunch Ideas For Kids

halloween lunch ideas

I have been coming across tons of fun ideas for Halloween themed lunches so I wanted to share a few of my favorites.

Click on the pictures to be taken to the posts they came from:

Veggie Skeleton

***

Halloween lunch in a muffin tin

 ***

Ghost Mini Pizzas

***

Vampire Burgers

***

Pumpkin Themed Muffin Tin Meal

***

Witch Sandwich

This post is linked up to Things I Love Thursday :)

The Pumpkin Patch {Wordless Wednesday}

our pumpkin

Pictures from our recent trip to the pumpkin patch:

***

***

***

***



Halloween Crafts For Adults {Saturday Stumbles}

pumpkin lanterns

This is part 2 of Halloween Crafts. Part one was posted this morning with lots of crafts for kids. Click on the pictures to be taken to the websites the pictures came from.

***

***

***

***

***

Halloween Crafts For Kids {Saturday Stumbles}

halloween crafts

Last year I featured Halloween treats I’d found around the web (you can see the post here). This year I want to feature fun Halloween crafts I have found online (click the pictures to be taken to the website they are from). Looking for adult crafts? Find that post here!! :)

***

***

***

***

***

***

Fall Decor {And More} At Family Dollar!

These scarecrows are so cute and best of all? The little ones are only $1!

Sunday I went to Family Dollar to check out their Halloween and Fall selection. If you are still looking for Halloween items I recommend stopping in because they are having a huge sale. A lot of the items I found were Buy 1, Get 1 50% off their already low price. Here are a few of the things I found:

This garland is fun and I could probably find a ton of uses for it!

***

These scarecrows are so cute and best of all? The little ones are only $1!

***

This would be a quick way to decorate the front porch!

***

Jacob wants to hang this from the tree in our backyard.

***

This turkey will be cute sitting on a shelf. He's only $3 but it looks like it cost more because it's so detailed!

***

Family Dollar has Halloween costumes if you are still looking!

This pirate costume is really cute and they had a princess costume for girls. Each were only $6 which is a great value!

(Disclosure: I received a gift card to Family Dollar so I could go shopping but all thoughts are my own.)

Halloween “BOO!” Bag With Mars Chocolates

my decorated candy corn bag


It’s always fun to do something for other people and this weekend I got to put together a candy bag for a fellow blogger. When I signed up for this activity I was able to choose any blogger in Collective Bias‘ Social Fabric Community. I chose someone who I had the chance to meet on a blogging trip and someone that had been working so hard to make our community the best it can be. I can’t say who it is yet because I want it to be a surprise when she gets the box! :)

I headed to Walmart and found a whole aisle full of candy.

I had a hard time choosing which candy to buy. Not only was I making this bag but I wanted to pick up my candy to pass out on Halloween as well. I had my little “assistant” with me and he wanted to get some candy for himself, too.

How could I say "no"?

Once we chose our candy we picked up a few more items and then headed in search of items to make our bag. I found a cute gift bag in one of the Halloween aisles and then I wanted to find some puffy paint to decorate it so I went in the craft aisles. I found some glitter gel pens and headed to the checkout.

Once I got home I started on decorating my bag. I used Elmer’s Glitter Glue pens to outline the candy corn and words on the bag. That is all I had planned on doing but once I did so I thought it still looked a little plain. That’s when Sinisa suggested I glue some White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s to the bag. I thought it was a great idea so I took my half eaten candy bag and sorted out the colors and laid them out on the candy corn image on the bag. I had plenty for the white and yellow part and just enough orange ones so I got out my Elmer’s Craft Bond All-Purpose Glue and glued them down on the bag.

I thought the bag turned out great. The only problem I had was figuring out how to get the candy in the bag without any M&M’s falling off of it. I gathered up all of my candy and put it in the bag while the bag was laying down on the table and planned to ship it that way, too, so it made it to the blogger’s house intact.

The chocolate candies I chose to include were: Peanut M&M’s, Milky Way, Milk Chocolate M&M’s, Twix, and Snickers.

To learn more you can view my ThisMoment story HERE.  #DontBeTheDarkHouse

(Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #CBias All opinions are my own!)

(Linked up to- Under $100 Linky Party, Frugal Friday, Fun For Kids Friday, Friday Favs)

Halloween Costumes For Preschoolers {Saturday Stumbles}

clown costume

Here is the second half of today’s Saturday Stumbles. Find the first half here. (Click on the pictures to be taken to the website the images are from.)

Ladybug Costume

***

Yoda Costume

***

Thomas The Train Costume (with sound)

***

Starbucks Frappe Costume

***

Firefighter Costume

***

Cinderella Costume

***

Astronaut Costume

***

Clown Costume

***

What is your child going to be for Halloween this year?

Halloween Costumes For Infants & Toddlers {Saturday Stumbles}

strawberry shortcake costume

Happy October! While looking for costumes for the boys online I ran across tons of really cute ones that I wanted to share. This is a two part Saturday Stumbles post. The second half (being posted this afternoon) has costumes for preschool girls and boys. Click on a picture to be taken to the website the costume was found on.

Peacock Costume

***

Sock Monkey Costume

***

Owl Costume

***

Golf Costume

***

Octopus Costume

***

Spaghetti & Meatballs Costume

***

Strawberry Shortcake Costume

***

What is your baby or toddler going to be for Halloween this year?

Spooktacular Cake Pops

Halloween Cake Pops

I love to bake but I don’t do it very often. I kept hearing people talk about making cake pops but they always seemed too time consuming and difficult to make. Looking through the September 2011 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal I came upon an article entitled, “Bake Sale Treats”, and it shared a recipe for cake pops that made it seem easier than I had thought it would be. I decided to make them with the help of Sinisa and two little taste testers, Jacob and Lucas.

I headed to Michaels to get the supplies I needed to make cake pops. To see more about my shopping trip to Michaels and all the Fall items I bought click here.

Ingredients to make cake pops:

-Boxed Cake Mix

-Container of Frosting

-Candy Melts

-Sprinkles

Optional: cute basket, styrofoam pieces, and crinkled paper to display the cake pops.

Directions to make the cake pops:

Follow the directions on the cake box mix and make the cake like you normally would (without the frosting)

***

Let the cake cool completely. Once it is cool, crumble it in your hands or using a food processor.

***

Add a container of frosting and mix well until you have a dough like consistency.

***

Roll mixture into 1-inch ball and freeze for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes take them out of the freezer. Dip the lollipop sticks in melted candy melts and stick in the middle of the balls. Stick them back in the freezer for another 20 minutes.

***

After 20 minutes take them out of the freezer and dip them into a bowl of melted candy melts.

***

Dip the cake pops in sprinkles and let the candy coating harden before eating.

I think I did a good job for my first try making these but here are a few tips I learned from the process:

1) Don’t add too much frosting. One container is enough. I promise. I added a little extra from a second container because it didn’t seem like they had enough frosting and discovered that I added too much.

2) Make sure you melt the candy melts properly and make sure the bowl isn’t too shallow. I couldn’t easily dip the cake pop in the bowl and didn’t have the candy melted enough so the outside coating of my cake pops is too thick.

3) Once you dip the cake pops in the candy melts and add the sprinkles try to let the candy melt harden on them while they stand up. If you put it back on your cookie sheet upside down the sprinkles sink into the top and they don’t look right.

********

By the way, Ladies’ Home Journal is hosting a Personal Essay Contest. Here is more information about the contest: “For the first-ever LHJ Personal Essay Contest, we’re looking for first-person narratives of personal growth — a term you can interpret as broadly as you like. Whether you choose to write about a life lesson you learned the hard way or a challenge you managed (or perhaps failed) to meet, no topic is off-limits. And you could win $3,000 and have your essay published in LHJ. Essays will be judged chiefly on their emotional power, their originality, and the quality of their prose.” To learn more you can read about it here.

***

(Disclosure: This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #CBias. All opinions are my own.)

Linked up at: Share Your Sunday Best, Craftomaniac Monday, Made By You Monday, Making The World Cuter Mondays, Homemaker Monday, Making Monday Marvelous, Inspire Me Mondays, Too Cute TuesdayTutorial Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Traditions, Tea Party TuesdayMade From Scratch Tuesday, Tutorials & Tips Tuesday, Idea Sharing Wed, Show and Tell, What’s Cooking Wed, Show Off Your Stuff, Crafty Soiree, Share Your Awesomeness, Get Your Brag On, Hookin Up With HOH, Let’s Linky, Promote Yourself , Catch a Glimpse, It’s A Keeper Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, I’m Lovin It, Flaunt It Friday, Friday Favorites, Fantabulous Friday, Feature Yourself Friday, Fine Finds Friday, Freestyle Friday, Friday Favs Party, Fun For Kids Friday, Sundae Scoop, Sunday Showcase Party, Inspiration Board, and Creative Jewish Mom