Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Painted Pumpkins Ideas



Carving pumpkins is fun, but it can be a messy task. Sometimes carving and cleaning up the mess can ruin the fun. We've compiled pictures of our favorite painted pumpkins. If you don't have the time to carve them then plan a day to paint your pumpkins with the kids. We have some cool ideas. 
















No Bake Dirt Pie with Worms







Ingredients:
 1/4 cup of butter,room temp
8 ounces of cream cheese
1 cup powered sugar
2 (3 1/2 ounce) packages jello instant vanilla pudding
3 1/2 cups of milk
12 ounces Cool Whip
20 Oreos crushed finely
20 Candy Worms (optional)


Directions:

Mix butter,cream cheese and sugar in a bowl and set aside. In a seperate bowl, mix milk and pudding. Fold in the cool whip. Combine the two bowls gently by folding until combined completely.

You can layer in individual bowls or in one large 12" pan. Start with a layer of 1/2 of the cookies on the bottom, layer mixture in middle and top with the remaining cookies. If you prefer, you can make single servings in plastic cups by following the same directions. Top with candy gummy worms. Refrigerate for atleast 2 hours before serving.


Jack-O-Lantern Strawberries


This one is super easy. Wash and dry your fresh strawberries first. You can use orange candy melts or orange cake frosting to dip the strawberries in and melted chocolate to draw the face.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Spider Man Candy Apples





Ingredients:

2 cups of white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cups of water
3 apples
1 teaspoon red food coloring dye
marshmallows
chocolate


Things you will need:

wooden skewers
a wooden spoon
wax paper
medium sized sauce pan
candy thermometer
spatula


Directions:

Wash and dry your apples. Take your wooden skewers/sticks and put them right in the middle of the apple. ( about 1/2 way in)
Take your 2 cups of sugar and pour in the sauce pan.
Add 3/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of corn syrup to the sugar.
Since the corn syrup is sticky make sure to use your spatula to get all of it out, because you need the whole 1/2 cup.
Add 1 teaspoon of red food coloring dye.
Mix together with wooden spoon.
Turn stove burner onto medium heat, stir until it starts to boil, once boiling stop stirring.
Use your candy thermometer and watch until it reaches 310 degrees.
Once it reaches 310 degrees remove it from the heat.
Once the mixture stops popping your going to dip your apple in and slowly spin around.
Let excess syrup drip off then sit your apple on your wax paper/ baking sheet.
Now comes decorating. You've probably saw numerous posts and each one does the decorating different. This is one of the easiest.
You can use a brown/chocolate decorating pen, or get a bottle with a small tip and put your melted chocolate in it. Both of these are easy ways to draw the stripes on Spider Man.
Take a regular sized marshmallow and cut off a thin piece for the eyes.






Ghostly Strawberries



This one is super easy. Gather up your strawberries and be sure to wash and dry them thoroughly.
Melt some white chocolate and dip your strawberries in them. Allow to cool/harden. You can use melted chocolate for the eyes and mouth.

Strawberry Mummies




Ingredients:

18 Large Strawberries
6 ounces of marzipan
6 ounces of Scharffen Berger 72% Signature Dark Chocolate ( 2 bars)


Directions:

Wash and dry strawberries thoroughly and set aside.
Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a sauce pan with about an inch of simmering water.
Remove bowl from heat, and dip berries in chocolate (enough to cover them).
Gently shake off excess chocolate and place dipped strawberries on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Allow to cool/harden completely.
Roll Marzipan into a sheet about 1/4 inch in thickness. Use a sharp knife to cut long strips of Marzipan about 1/4 inch wide. Use confectioners sugar as needed to keep the Marzipan from sticking to the counter. Lay lightly moistened paper towels over Marzipan until ready to apply.
Use the Marzipan strips to wrap around the dipped strawberries like bandages, leaving a space near the top for eyes.
Break off two small pieces of Marzipan and roll into two balls between your palms, press these onto the space for the eyes.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Oriental Trading Review!




Halloween is near and its one of my favorite Holidays. Theres something about the scary decorations, costumes, and the kids hyped up on candy that get me excited. 
Every year my family and I throw a Halloween party. I buy up bags and bags of candy,make up fun desserts like dirt pudding with gummy worms, spooky punch or other foods to fit the theme. We go all out with decorations and treat bags for the kids.
Once again, this year I chose to do my shopping at Oriental Trading. They have everything you could need to make your Halloween party Spook-tacular.




The first thing on my list was bags and boxes for the kids. I chose the Candy Corn Spider Filled Treat Boxes. The set comes with 8 boxes. Each box contains 6 assorted gift items like slinkies, bracelets etc.


These Halloween Cellophane Bags are perfect for filling with candy and they only cost $2 for a dozen. Im thinking I will make candy corn and fill the bags up and include them in the treat boxes. The Monster Candy Buckets would be ideal for classroom Halloween parties. Im going to fill them with small candies. I wanted a couple small things the kids would play with and the Mini Little Boolievers Paddleball Games were perfect. You get 48 pieces for only $8.50. Another good item I found was the Halloween Pencil Top Erasers. I got 144 erasers for under $5. Thats enough for multiple classrooms full of kids. 



I think the kids will love the Spin Tops which also came with 144 pieces, for under $7. Some of the other items I got included the Ghost Kid Magnet Craft which will be something fun the kids can do together. The Monster Photo Prop, amazing for pictures, and the Sticky Jack-O Lanters.


Everything I got was under $100. Its enough for an entire Halloween Party or multiple classrooms. You can also find fun ideas for your party theme like this witch's hat ring toss game we made. Oriental Trading has everything you need this Halloween. 





With Oriental Trading the possibilities are truly endless! Get started planning your perfect party, get together or event today start your shopping at Oriental Trading. To connect with Oriental Trading on social media follow the links below:






Win a $250 Oriental Trading Gift Card!

Visit www.spooktaculargiveaway.com today and enter to win our weekly prize -- $250 in Halloween products of your choice from Oriental Trading. Plus, we’re giving away a $25 Oriental Trading gift card every day! Contest ends October 17, 2015.

Tin Can Frankenstein Craft!

Make this darling little Frankenstein out of felt, glue and a tin can. Fill him with lollipops for Halloween or use as a pencil holder for your homework desk!

Tin Can Frankenstein

What you need

empty aluminum can
1 sheet green felt
1/2 sheet black felt
scraps of white and light green felt
1 black skinny chenille stem
white craft glue
2 small black pom poms
scissors 
4 round magnets
 

Instructions

Make sure can does not have any sharp edges around the opening. If it does, use a piece of sandpaper to sand them down.
Lay green felt on work surface. Lay the can down onto the felt. Roll the can up in the felt to see exactly how much you will need to go all the way around the can. Trim, leaving about 1/2″ overlap. Leave about 1″ overlap that will fold over the bottom of the can as well as a 1″ overlap for the top (mouth) of the can. Glue the green felt around the can, glue the excess overlap to the bottom and inside the mouth of the can.
To create the hair, lay the black felt on the work surface and place the can on top like you did for the green. Roll can up in the black felt and measure about 2″ down from the top of the can. Trim excess. Before attaching black felt, cut one side in a grass-like scissor cut for the hair.
Glue the hair in place, lining up the straight edge with the top of the can.
Cut out the patterns for the eyebrows from black felt and the eyes from white felt. Glue in place (see photo).
Cut out the pattern for the nose from the light green felt and glue in place.
Tin Can Frankenstein Pattern
 
Cut chenille stem into a 4″ long piece. Bend into a squiggly mouth as shown in the photo. Glue in place.
Glue the black pom poms to the centers of the white eyes.
Place 2 round magnets on each side of the head for the bolts, no glue required! The magnets should stick through the felt directly to the can. You can glue them in place if you prefer.
Let him dry before filling with candy, pencils or anything else you can think of.

 

Bones Recipe!



Ingredients:

Pretzel sticks

Mini marshmallows

White chocolate.



Directions: Place mini marshmallows on both ends of the pretzel sticks and dip into melted white chocolate. Place on wax paper and cool in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

Plastic Cup Hanging Bat Craft!




This quick Halloween project shows you how to make an inexpensive plastic cup hanging bat that can be used to decorate tables, doorways or hang them in the tree's for a great night time effect.
Plastic Cup Hanging Bat

What you need

Black Plastic or Paper party cups
felt or foam pieces for face
Cord for hanging
Craft Glue
Scissors

Instructions

Start by cutting out your bat’s face. Adults can prepare this step for smaller children and then have the children simply glue the pieces on.
Use the image as a guide to face shapes.
Alternatively you can use simple marker pens, or for a spooky night time effect use glow in the dark paints to highlight the eyes.

Frightening Fingers Recipe



TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min.
 MAKES: 30 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened 1 cup confectioners' sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon almond extract 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt Red decorating gel 1/2 cup sliced almonds

 Directions:

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Divide dough into fourths. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll into 1-in. balls. Shape balls into 3-in. x 1/2-in. fingers. Using the flat tip of a table knife, make an indentation on one end of each for fingernail. With a knife, make three slashes in the middle of each finger for knuckle. Place 2 in. apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 3 minutes. Squeeze a small amount of red gel on nail bed; press a sliced almond over gel for nail, allowing gel to ooze around nail. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: about 5 dozen cookies.

Gruesome Green Toes


TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + standing
MAKES: 22 servings

Ingredients

12 ounces white candy coating, coarsely chopped
Green paste food coloring
22 Nutter Butter cookies
11 Crows candies, halved lengthwise

Directions

In a microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Tint green.
Dip one cookie into candy coating. Let excess drip off and place on waxed paper. Immediately place a candy half, cut side down, on the cookie. Repeat. Let stand for 15 minutes or until set. Yield:22 cookies

Leg Bones Recipe











TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 24 servings

Ingredients:

2 tubes (11 ounces each) refrigerated breadsticks
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Unroll and separate breadsticks; tie each end into a knot. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Brush with butter and sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper.
Bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Yield

SparX Candy


                                 
                                                              


 Halloween is a fun and exciting time for kids, but a destructible and toxic time for their teeth.  As a parent, how do you stop your child from partaking in the joy that is trick-or-treating? With the help of the 11th annual Halloween Candy Buy Back program, in which local dentists “buy” back kids’ Halloween candy in exchange for product packages, cash, or other incentives, Halloween can be enjoyable for kids, parents, and even US troops overseas!  This year, we want to promote a positive dental health message and hope to introduce kids to the great tasting, natural sweetener, xylitol.  While most children enjoy the taste of regular sugar candy, it is neither good for the child’s oral health or body.  Our product packages will be full of goodies including xylitol candy provided by Xlear Inc. which tastes great and is actually beneficial to your child’s health!




 SparX Halloween Candy from  Xlear, Inc. includes 30 trick-or-treat sized bags of xylitol candy in three great flavors: Natural Fruit, Natural Berry, and Natural Citrus. These naturally-flavored candy “dots” are loved by kids and parents alike, and are available for a limited time at xlear.com for $4.32. These are the perfect treats for kids on Halloween!



Founded in 2005 by Dr. Chris Kammer, the Halloween Candy Buy Back Program began as a way to keep excess Halloween candy “off the streets” and help keep kids’ mouths healthier. This year, the program is moving to be a force for good by teaming up with Xlear Inc., the leading manufacturers of xylitol products, and Tess Oral Health, makers of dental, professional, and oral hygiene products. Together they will partner with dental offices nationwide to reach the goal of sending 100,000 toothbrushes overseas as well collect children’s Halloween candy to give the soldiers a holiday away from home.  This simple act of kindness enables children to exchange their Halloween candy and receive a token in return while showing love and support to our men and women fighting for our country every day.





Gobble It Up Reviews received a sample to facilitate this review. All opinions stated are my own.

Spooky Eyes


Spooky Halloween Eyes




 TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + chilling

MAKES: 24 servings


Ingredients:

2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 pound white candy coating, coarsely chopped
24 brown Reese's pieces or milk chocolate M&M's
1 tablespoon water
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring



Directions :

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar, peanut butter and butter. Shape into 1-in. balls; place on a waxed paper-lined pan. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm.
In a microwave, melt white candy coating; stir until smooth. Dip balls in coating; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper. Immediately press a Reese's candy onto the top of each eyeball for pupil. Let stand for 30 minutes or until set.
In a small bowl, combine the water, food coloring and remaining confectioners' sugar. Transfer to a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in a corner of bag. Pipe wavy lines downward from pupil, creating the look of bloodshot eyes. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 2 dozen.

Spider Suckers


                                                     


 




 Spiders: First snipp off the top of a black garbage bag, so it's still useful, just smaller and cut the long strip into squares. Arachnids indeed have 8 legs but that would be a little excessive for our creepy crawlies. So we took three pieces of black chenille craft wire and snipped them in half which made 6 perfectly sized legs. First we wrapped the 3 wires around the stick once to hold the garbage bag on tightly and finally gave them knees by putting a kink in each leg at the center.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fresh Families

                                Little Laundry Lifehacks Giveaway




I'm teaming up with some great brands and bloggers to share some of my favorite laundry hacks, plus a chance to win a Little Laundry Lifehacks Giveaway (including a $150 Walmart gift card.)


Four Fabulous Laundry Hacks



1. Sick of ironing? Put your iron away and use Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus instead. Just spray, smooth and tug and watch those wrinkles disappear! Click here to download a coupon.


DWR to the rescue


2. Have a stain while you're out and about? Use the Dreft Stain Stick to remove the stain ASAP. Click here to download a coupon.


SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES


3. Keep forgetting those wet towels in the wash? Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator to the rescue. Add some to your next load of laundry, and #SinktheStink. Click here to download a coupon.


the-key-to-fresh-laundry


Image courtesy of Kids Activities Blog.


4. Trying to get your clothes as soft as possible - and don't have an HE washer? Don't forget about the Downy Ball! Click here to download a coupon.


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Enter to Win


Complete the form below to enter to win a Laundry Lifehack prize pack - full of product from Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus, Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator, Dreft Home and Downy Ball. Plus a $150 Walmart Gift Card.





Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Spice Lab

 
The Spice Lab is a  family owned business operating out of Fort  Lauderdale, Florida. In 2009 an entrepreneur by the name of Brett Cramer decided he wanted  to make unique, handmade Christmas gifts for his friends and family. He wanted to use some of his best skills- gourmet cooking and wood working.
He ended up creating wooden stands out of scrap lumber and filled those stands with tubes of exotic sea salts.
 
The presents were so well received that Brett decided to begin creating them with the purpose of selling them. This led to the creation of The Spice Lab website, where he started to expand his collection of sea salts.
In 2010 The Spice Lab became a direct importer of salts and spices. It has became one of the best sources for gourmet salts and spices. Their spices are flavorful, exotic and unique. The Spice Lab is currently offering over 180 different sea salts from 30 different countries. It has the largest selection of gourmet salts from a single source.
The Spice Lab offers more than just salts though. They offer a variety of special gift accessories. shot glasses, spoons, bath salts, teas, etc.
 
The Spice Labs Sea Salt Collections are award winning also. In 2012 they won the Sofi Silver Award from The Specialty Food Association and Scovie Awards for Outstanding Food Gifts. They've been noted in several magazines including Oprah Magazine.
 
 
 
 

Ozeri

                                                         Green Earth Wok by Ozeri


I recently had the opportunity to review the Green Earth Wok by Ozeri. Its 100% free PTFE, PFOA and other harmful chemicals. The Green Earth Wok features a unique natural ceramic non-stick coating that is more scratch resistant and durable than other non-stick surface brands.
The coating has five layers: Powerful non-stick ceramic layer, Premium top ceramic layer, Aluminum, Pro Base ceramic coating layer and Pro ceramic coating bond layer. With this new coating you will use half the amount of oil for frying. Its made out of  heavy gauge aluminum amd has a heat resistant Bakelight handle so that you can even put it in the oven. It also features a magnetized induction stove safe base for rapid heat transfer.

Every household needs a good non stick skillet. I've went through countless brands that all promise the same thing, non-stick and scratch resistant. Even the expensive well known brands fail to keep there word. Some of them last a few uses while others don't last through one use.

My experience with Ozeri has been the most positive. I love that there durable, well-made, convenient and havea sleek, modern design. The first time I used it I made an omelet for the kids. Normally I start out with plans of an omelet and end up scrambling them half way through because they start sticking. With my new Ozeri skillet I ended up with  perfectly made omelet. The best part is that after getting the egg out the pan looked like it hadn't even been used. Clean up is easy peasy with a quick wipe and rinse in the sink. Everything about the Green Earth wok is simple, sleek and effortless.





Disclaimer: I received this product for review purposes only. All opinions stated are my honest, personal experience with this product.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Just Think Toys

                                                                  
                                                                     Bath Blocks


Sometimes the most educational toys are the simplest toys- toys with lots of open ended possibilities that encourage young minds to think, create and explore. The best of these toys provide progressive layers of challenge for children to discover as they grow. At their very best, these toys encourage exploration, reward discovery and empower our children.


Bath Blocks bring classic block play into a fun, new, fascinating water environment. The bathtub is the perfect place to create waterslides, ball runs, floating towns and more. The "sticky" viscosity of water creates a helpful cling between blocks, and the movement, buoyancy and flow of water add an engaging twist to classic block play (dipping BathBlocks into soap or shampoo suds increase their stick to tub walls and other blocks dramatically)


Bath Blocks are made from bacteria and mildew resistant EVA and contain no PVC or phthalates. They have also won Oppenheim Gold awards. Your children will never want to get out of the bath again. There are so many ways to build and change the Bath Blocks. Wether it be the popular  20 piece Coast Guard set or the 21 piece Ball Run, your children will love being able to switch up designs. Just Think Toys even offers expansion sets you can purchase separately. Theres not many options for bath tub toys so Bath Blocks from Just Think Toys are a must have for your little ones.
Giveaway coming soon.





Enter the Giveaway below 

Borax-Free Gak Slime

Excerpted from 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids Copyright © 2014 by Asia Citro, Med, and published by Adams Media, a division of...