Easy Halloween Family Movie Night

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Thanks to Movies Anywhere for sponsoring our family movie night and this post.

Halloween is just days away so we are enjoying as much spooky fun as we can before the calendar turns over to a new month. This weekend we kept the Halloween fun going as we escaped the cold and cuddled on the couch for a movie night. The best part is that everything was easy- from finding the movie to decorating the snack table to getting dinner ready- so I wanted to share this easy movie night idea with you all!

We chose to watch Hotel Transylvania since it’s a family-friendly option that’s not too scary. This movie, and many other Halloween movies, are available on Movies Anywhere. Movies Anywhere is a free app and website that simplifies and streamlines the digital movie watching experience by allowing people to discover, access and watch their eligible movies in one place. It offers unprecedented access and next-level compatibility to the digital movie experience, syncing users libraries across their connected accounts to make it easy to see all the movies you own without having to switch from app to app. You can watch your purchased and redeemed digital movies through Movies Anywhere and across connected digital retail accounts so whether you are sitting on the couch watching a movie in your living room or huddled around your laptop enjoying some downtime on vacation, you can bring your movie collection with you.

Once the movie was picked out it was time to decorate. I used a black tablecloth and white spider webbing to cover the table and wall and I added some spiders because you can’t have a web without some eight-legged creepy crawlies in it. On the table I put a bat centerpiece, a vial of “bat’s blood” (aka fruit punch) and a jar of “eyeballs” (aka bubble gum).

I added bat stickers on to white paper cups and used plain black plates for our dinner. I picked up a cheap pizza and topped it with some fake spiders. Of course you can always make your own pizza but I was keeping it easy.

For dessert we had strawberry shortcake cupcakes. They had strawberry filling and white frosting on top with a swirl of red strawberry flavored icing. I added candy eyeballs on the top for some fun.

And what movie night is complete without popcorn? I bought a Halloween themed tin of popcorn and then split it up in treat bags with some bat shaped candies.

I love having movie nights with my family and it’s especially fun when we can have themed movie nights. This was the perfect way to end the weekend and get ourselves ready for trick-or-treating on Tuesday night!

Do you love having movie nights with your family? Make it easy with Movies Anywhere! Sign up for a free account at MoviesAnywhere.com and connect your digital movie accounts to see all your digital movies in one place. You can also redeem digital copies of movies you already own and find new movies to buy and add to your digital movie collection.

For a limited time you can get a special Movies Anywhere launch offer! Get up to 5 free movies when you connect participating digital retailer accounts. With one Digital Retailer receive Sony’s “Ghostbusters” (2016) and Twentieth Century Fox’s “Ice Age”. With a second Digital Retailer required to receive Disney’s “Big Hero 6,” Universal’s “Jason Bourne” and Warner Bros. “The LEGO Movie”. (Offers available for a limited time only. Movies subject to change. Void where prohibited. Movies Anywhere is open to U.S. residents age 13+. Visit MoviesAnywhere.com for complete details & terms and conditions.)

Which movie would you watch first?

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Mini Pumpkin Cake Bites

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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.

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Candy Corn Haystacks

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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!

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Mummy Pretzel Sticks

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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?

 

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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.

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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?

 

 

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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

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Jacob before school

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Please Be Patient This Halloween

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

 

 

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The Wisest Kid Shares Last Minute Halloween Ideas

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(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?

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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.

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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.

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Footprint Witch Craft

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

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10 Pumpkin Crafts For Preschoolers

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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!

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Shaving Cream Pumpkins from Teaching Mama

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Button and Ribbon Pumpkins from Toddler Approved

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Paper Roll Pumpkin from Little Family Fun

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Pasta Pumpkin

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Tissue Paper Pumpkins from Mama’s Learning Corner

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Beaded Pumpkin from Craftulate

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Scented Pumpkins from Education.com

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Puffy Pumpkin Lacing from I Can Teach My Child

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Pumpkin Stamping from The Little People Place

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

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Find 10 more Halloween crafts for preschoolers here.

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4 Halloween DIY Craft Projects

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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.)

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5 Halloween Party Foods

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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

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Popcorn Eyeballs

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Halloween Caramel Apples with DIY Broomsticks

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Creepy Cheese Stick Fingers

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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.

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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

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Spooky Boo Bubbles via Momma’s Fun World

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 via Plain Vanilla Mom

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

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via Glittering Muffins

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Purple Monster Tub via Dandelions In My Vase

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Goblin Guts via Growing A Jeweled Rose

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via Suzy Homeschooler

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Spooky Sensory Bin via Happy Hooligans

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via Tutus & Tea Parties

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

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via Housing A Forest

Linked up at:

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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

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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.

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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.

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Spooky & Bright: 101 Halloween Ideas {Giveaway}

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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.)

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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.)

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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

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Miniature graveyard

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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.)

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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

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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.

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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.)

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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.



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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

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The True Cost Of Halloween {Infographic}

Halloween inforgraphic

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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!

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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

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Jacob as "James"

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Jacob and Lucas before the parade

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The boys trick-or-treating

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Lucas raiding the candy bowl

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They loved getting candy.

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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

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Halloween lunch in a muffin tin

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Ghost Mini Pizzas

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Vampire Burgers

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Pumpkin Themed Muffin Tin Meal

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Witch Sandwich

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

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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.

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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!! :)

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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

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Yoda Costume

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Thomas The Train Costume (with sound)

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Starbucks Frappe Costume

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Firefighter Costume

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Cinderella Costume

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Astronaut Costume

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Clown Costume

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

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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

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Sock Monkey Costume

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Owl Costume

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Golf Costume

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Octopus Costume

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Spaghetti & Meatballs Costume

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Strawberry Shortcake Costume

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

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New M&M’s Flavor For Halloween! #MMsGetCorny

mms

For weeks I had heard about the new White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s that were coming out in the Fall at Walmart. Instead of milk chocolate they were white chocolate and they were candy corn flavored. They sounded delicious. Every time I went to Walmart I looked for them and finally I found them at my local Walmart a couple days ago. I was so excited to get them home and try them. The verdict? So yummy! They are very sweet though so a handful at a time is all I can handle (which is good for my figure).

Have you found them yet? What did you think? They are slowly making there way across the US so if your store doesn’t have them yet, keep checking! Want to read more buzz about the new White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s? Just follow the #MMsGetCorny hashtag on Twitter. Also, make sure to click on the button below to RSVP for the Twitter Party!

M&M's Twitter Party RSVP

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post and bought the M&M’s with my own money but I am part of Collective Bias who is working on a campaign for the new M&M’s.)

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Autumn Themed Crafts {Saturday Stumbles}

Roses made from leaves

Some of my favorite Fall crafts I’ve seen around the web.

Click on the picture to be taken to the post :)

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Roses made from leaves

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Pumpkin made out of a book

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Fall garland

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Autumn Wreath

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The Thankful Tree

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Flower Covered Pumpkin

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Pumpkin Specimen Art

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And as an added bonus….

Check out this costume!!!!!!!!

Owl Costume

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Wordless Wednesday: Trunk Or Treat

 

Lucas

I have linked this post to: Wordless Wednesday Home

5 Minutes for Mom ~ Go Graham Go! ~ Jolly Mom

Mom of 3 Girls ~MomStart ~ Two of a Kind…

Momma Findings ~ Mom Knows It All

Frosted Fingers ~ A Daily Dose of Toni

The Divine Miss Mommy

Grammy Mouse Tails

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Top Ten Halloween Pictures

Camden the skunk, Madelyn the bunny, Lucas the lion, and Jacob the monkey

 

My little lion

Camden the skunk, Madelyn the bunny, Lucas the lion, and Jacob the monkey

Lucas loved Trick or Treating and would not let go of his bucket

Camden and Jacob with their Nana

Camden being silly

Madelyn and Lucas with their Nana

Lucas and Madelyn rode in the stroller most of the time because their little legs were tired

Camden and his Grandma

Madelyn enjoying her lollipop

Camden with his mom and dad

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Happy Halloween 2010!

Happy Halloween!!

Just for fun I thought that I would share pictures from the past couple years:

 

Halloween 2009

Halloween 2008

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Halloween Saturday Stumbles

Since it is the day before Halloween I figured I’d gather a bunch of yummy Halloween treats for you to make. Enjoy!

(Click on the pictures to be taken to the blog posts)

Spiderweb Cupcakes

Mini Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

Halloween Pizza

Candy Corn Cookies

To see more great posts of the week you can visit It’s Come 2 This.

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Halloween Best Dressed Photo Contest

sponsored

Halloween Best Dressed Photo Contest

If you think your child’s costume is the cutest on the block, here’s you chance to prove it. Post a picture of your kid in his or her outfit to enter for a chance to win $1,000 Gilt Credit. Visit the “contests” tab on the Gilt Children Facebook page or click on the following link to enter to win: http://on.fb.me/GiltHalloween.

How the Contest Works

Between October 22 and November 8, upload a photo of your kid in his or her costume to the Gilt Children page by clicking on the Enter link above. The 10 most popular entries—as voted on by Gilt Children fans until November 19—will become finalists.

Fans can encourage their friends to vote for their the following ways:

1. Invite friends to participate in the contest: http://apps.facebook.com/contestshq/contests/68665/invites/new?ogn=facebook
2. Post your vote to your Facebook wall my selecting “share on my wall” when you vote for your favorite photo.
3. Let your friends know that you can vote for each entry once per day — so submit your entry early and vote often!

A panel of Gilt Groupe judges will then select five winners based on the overall quality of the photo and the costume, announcing the results by November 26 on the Gilt Children page and Twitter account. Each of the winners will receive a $1000 credit for use on Gilt.com.

(Disclosure: This is a compensated post through a Mom Bloggers Club member program. Good luck to all those who enter!)

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Wordless Wednesday- Lion Cubs In Love

Jacob found this little girl lion at Boo at the Zoo last year.

I have linked this post to: Wordless Wednesday Home

5 Minutes for Mom ~ Go Graham Go! ~ Jolly Mom

Mom of 3 Girls ~MomStart ~ Two of a Kind…

Momma Findings ~ Mom Knows It All

Frosted Fingers ~ A Daily Dose of Toni

The Divine Miss Mommy

Grammy Mouse Tails

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Tot School: Pumpkins

MONDAY:

Craft- Family Pumpkin Patch

Song- The Pumpkin Song

Activity- Play with pumpkin playdough

TUESDAY:

Craft- Paper Bag Pumpkin

Song- Pumpkin, Pumpkin

Activity- Carve a pumpkin

WEDNESDAY:

Craft- Paper plate Jack O Lantern

Song- Pumpkin Song

Activity- Family outing to the Pumpkin Patch

THURSDAY:

Craft- Paint a pumpkin

Song- Five Little Pumpkins

Activity- Make pumpkin pancakes as a family

FRIDAY:

Craft- Pumpkin Collage

Song- Five Pumpkins Fat and Round

Activity- Roast pumpkin seeds

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Quick Giveaway! Butterfinger Snackerz!

Just in time for Halloween comes a quick giveaway from Butterfinger!

NEW Butterfinger Snackerz

The website says:

A crispy, chocolatey, bite-size treat with a smooth BUTTERFINGER®-flavored center topped with a peanut-buttery drizzle!

This mom says:

Yum! I love Butterfinger candy bars and I loved the added peanut butter taste :)

My teenage sister says:

“They were just the right size to fill my Butterfinger needs. It was really, really good. It had a perfect amount of the drizzly stuff on the top, chocolate covering and the Butterfingery middle.” (Her exact words)

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Want to try them for yourself? (Ok and maybe offer some to trick-or-treaters?)

Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite part of Halloween (or Fall) is.

One Making Time For Mommy reader will win a Butterfinger Snackerz prize pack!

But hurry!! This giveaway ends Saturday, October 23rd at midnight.

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(Disclosure: I received Butterfinger Snackerz to try. All opinions are my own. The prize will be sent directly by the company.)


 

 

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Top 10 Tuesday: The Pumpkin Patch

Lucas liked the little pumpkins and tried to eat them because he thought they were apples.

Camden and Madelyn taking a ride in the wagon

Jacob pulling Lucas

Camden enjoyed his doughnut.

Lucas and Madelyn sitting in the pumpkins.

Jacob looking for the perfect pumpkin.

Some of the pumpkins were almost as big as Lucas!

Jacob and Lucas with mommy.

Lucas trying to get all of the pumpkins.

Madelyn playing in the pumpkins.

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Find more Top Ten Tuesday posts at Oh Amanda.

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Tot School: Spiders

MONDAY

Activity: Visit the library for spider themed books

Craft: Spiderweb art

Song: The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Snack: Pretzel Spiders

TUESDAY

Activity: Spider Tweezing

Craft: Spider Craft

Song: Spider Song

WEDNESDAY

Activity: Read The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

Craft: Eensy Weensy Tracks

Song: Spider on the Floor (Raffi)

Snack: Spider Pizza

THURSDAY

Activity: Count spider rings or fake plastic spiders

Craft: Handprint Spiders (Thanks to @SippyCupMom for the suggestion on Twitter)

Song: Little Miss Muffet

FRIDAY

Activity: Make and decorate cupcakes together

Craft: Spider Candy Holder

Song: The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Snack: Spider cupcakes

 

Look at these super cute cupcakes my friend Camisha made for her daughter's birthday party!

 

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Halloween Personalized Sticker Giveaway

Pear Tree Greetings has a great selection of Halloween photo cards and Halloween invitations. They also have a collection of trendy and affordable Halloween personalized stickers. These fun and frightful stickers bring out the Halloween spirit when used on candy for trick-or-treaters or to be given away at school. They are also great for party favors and a perfect complement to the chic Halloween Party Invitations.

Giveaway:

As a Pearista I am happy to be able to offer one lucky reader 24 Halloween personalized stickers.

How To Enter:

Tell me how you would use the stickers.

Giveaway ends on October 10, 2010 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I have not used these stickers before. Pear Tree Greetings will send the winner a code to redeem the free stickers.)

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Costume Supercenter Review

It’s still Summer but I’ve been thinking about Fall, and more specifically Halloween. I love to dress my boys up to go Trick-or-Treating and always look for the perfect costume at a reasonable price.

This year I searched Costume Supercenter‘s website and found a wide variety of costume choices for both children and adults. I love that the site was split into categories and easy to search for specific products. I looked through the selection of infant and toddler costumes and chose the Elite Lil’ Lion costume for my oldest child.

When the costume arrived I was very happy with the quality. The costume features a zippered bodysuit, attached tail with bow, booties and a hood with ears and plush mane.

I first tried the costume on my oldest toddler, Jacob, who I had chosen it for but he would not let me put the hood on. I then tried to put the costume on my youngest, Lucas, and he let me put the hood on but was soon trying to take it off. It’s a very warm costume so it will be perfect for the end of October but wasn’t so comfortable to wear in the August heat so I could get pictures.

Overall, Costume Supercenter has a great selection of quality costumes. Some other cute ones that I saw for infants and toddlers on the site were the Infant Lil Flower Costume and the Rompin Roo Costume.

(Disclosure: This post was written for Family Review Network and Costume Supercenter who provided the complimentary product in exchange for my honest review.)


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