Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  I hope you enjoyed your day and that your children had the best Halloween ever! We had an awesome day minus some rain. We started our day off with a Halloween party playdate that was a lot of fun.  We played Pin the Nose on the Jack-o-lantern,  Pass the Pumpkin (just like hot potato, but with a pumpkin), and Halloween Bingo.  We made a few Halloween crafts and gobbled up a bunch of Halloween goodies. We ended our little party with an indoor costume parade and trick or treat, all of the moms bought little goodie bags for each of the kids to collect as they paraded around the house. Afterwards,  we went trick or treating with some friends for about an hour. Unfortunately,  it rained steadily for the entire hour, but you can't stop 7 boys on a mission!  Now,  my boys are sound asleep and I must admit that I am absolutely exhausted!  Halloween finally came and quickly passed. I hope everyone had a wonderful a safe Halloween! 

Our Halloween Tree

For the past year,  I have been participating in craft swaps on a site called Swap-bot. Earlier this month, there was a swap for Halloween ornaments. I had never put up a Halloween tree, I had never even thought of doing so. I signed up for the swap and hosted another of my own to help get me started.  I received a bunch of awesome ornaments, made about 15 of my own, and my kids made 8 using little store bought craft kits.  My kids were absolutely ecstatic about the idea! We pulled a 2 foot tree out of our Christmas stuff and hung the ornaments.  I put a pumpkin placemat underneath it to act as well tree skirt and added a felt witch hat to the top of the tree. My kids absolutely love it and we will definitely have a Halloween tree for years to come!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mermaid Jack-O-Lantern

I wanted to share this free template from Fin Fun Mermaid to make your very own Mermaid Jack-o-lantern. What little girl wouldn't want a mermaid Jack-o-lantern of her own? Print out a free copy of the template here. Be sure to check out Fin Fun Mermaid and all of their beautiful, swimmable mermaid tail costumes.

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Halloween Sensory Tote

My son loves his sensory totes,  so of course I had to put together a Halloween Sensory Tub for him. He is really enjoying it with all the skeletons, snakes, and other creepy crawly things that are in it-- What boy wouldn't?  It is filled with all things Halloween,  including ghosts,  costume glasses, trick or treat baskets, vampire teeth, pumpkins,  Jack-o-lanterns,  and witch fingers.  This is a great way for my son to explore all of the fun things about Halloween!

Paper Plate Jack-O-Lantern

I always try to keep my kids busy and creative. My son really enjoyed making this simple paper plate Jack-o-lantern. I flattened out a small dessert size paper plate and had him color the backside of it orange. As you can see, he felt the need to add a little red to his pumpkin...  I cut the eyes, nose, mouth, and stem out of construction paper and he glued them on using a glue stick. Simple, fun, and inexpensive!  The best part is that he is so proud to have it hanging in our house for all to see!

A Hay Playdate!!

We had so much fun with our friends and a bail of hay! We cut the bail open at let the kids have at it!

They had a blast throwing it at each other and rolling around in it!

After we finished playing, we made our very own scarecrow out of the hay and an old  pair of pajamas. We set it up in front of our house and my little guy loves it! He is so proud of the scarecrow that he made and happy that he's not too scary!
This was a lot of fun! It is a great activity for Fall, Halloween, or even a farm unit!
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Monday, October 28, 2013


Becoming a mother is the greatest thing I have ever decided to do, it is the most rewarding and important job in the world.

Our Lion Pumpkin

Every year we put together a pumpkin for our Cub Scout Pack's Halloween party and pumpkin decorating contest. This is a Lion Pumpkin we made last year.  I ended up making it out of one of those fake carvable pumpkins so that we could keep it and display it year after year.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Spooky and Yummy Pudding Graveyard Dessert!

I love Halloween , it is such a fun time of year! It is the one holiday that people depart from the norm when it comes to creating food. Nothing says Halloween quite like a graveyard. This recipe is sure to attract little ghouls and goblins!


Graveyard Pudding Dessert


1 package of Oreo Cookies
¼ cup of butter
8 oz of cream cheese
2 large packages of chocolate instant pudding
2 cups of milk
10 oz of Cool Whip
1 bag of assorted gummy worms, gummy snakes, gummy insects, or gummy body parts


Take the package of Oreo Cookies and grind them in a food processor or a blender (If you do not have one available, you can put them in a Ziploc and crush them by hand). Place them aside. Blend together the butter and cream cheese in a separate bowl. Place to the side
Mix the 2 boxes of instant pudding with the milk. After the mixture is blended together, add the cream cheese and butter combination and the Cool whip. Beat this mixture by hand until the ingredients are well mixed.
Fill the bottom of a glass dish with a thin layer of the Oreo cookie crumbs. Spread out a layer of the pudding/cream cheese mixture over the cookie crumbs. Place a few of the gummy creepy crawlies or body parts in the mixture. Continue to alternate the layers of cookie crumbs and pudding mixture until you are within an inch of the top of the container. The last layer on top should be the cookie crumbs to give it the appearance of dirt. Decorate the top to look like a graveyard using whatever you like. This one was done using gummy snakes and skeleton an graveyard lollipops. Milano cookies make great (and yummy) tombstones and are very easy to find. Just write R.I.P. on them with decorating gel and you are set. This is a fun dessert that you can decorate differently every time and it is sure to be a hit with both the kids and the adults!
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Pumpkin Rice Krispies Treats

Last week, we had another fun playdate with the kids! We made some adorable Pumpkins out of Rice Krispies! They were almost as easy to make as regular rice krispies treat, but definitely more fun!


  • Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 Bag of Marshmallows
  • Butter
  • Red & yellow food coloring
  • 18-20 tootsie rolls unwrapped
  • Green Frosting for leaves



To make, all you need to do is follow the rice krispies treats recipe on the back of the box. When your marshmallows are nice and melted, add red and yellow food coloring until you reach a pumpkin orange color.
After you stir the rice krispies into the orange marshmallow mixture, spray some cooking spray on the palms of your hands and roll the mixture quickly into balls. I found that I needed to spray my hands between rolling each ball. Place a tootsie roll in the center of each pumpkin and garnish with frosting leaves.

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Fun Halloween Treats-- Witch Hats

This is another fun to make (and eat) Halloween treat. These are simple enough for the kids to make. All you need are the fudge stripped graham cookies (I get the ones from the Dollar tree, they taste just as good and are so much cheaper), icing in a tube in your choice of color, and some Hershey Kisses. Flip the cookies over, add a dab of icing in the middle, and stick the kiss onto the icing. These are great for parties and playdates because you can make an entire tray in minutes.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Our Little Spider Pumpkin

My youngest and I went to my girlfriend's house last week and she had a little pumpkin decorated as a spider that she made with her son. My son told me then and there that he wanted to make one too. I asked her about it and she said that it was a craft kit that she got for like $10. $10 for a spider pumpkin? I was quickly rethinking making one with my son...
The next night, I had to run to Target to pick up a few things. I found black glittery Styrofoam pumpkins in the dollar section. Jackpot! I grabbed one to turn into a spider and two others, I'd find a use for them when I got home. When we got home, we stuck some pipe cleaners into the pumpkin for legs and glues googley eyes on him to make him a spider. It cost me $1 for the pumpkin, everything else I had in my stash. My son loves his little spider pumpkin and since it is made out of Styrofoam, it can be used year after year.
We turned another pumpkin into an Eyeball Monster Pumpkin and decided to leave the third one plain, at least for now.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pasta Al Forno-- Another 30 Minute Favorite of Mine

I first found this recipe a few years ago in a Rachel Ray cookbook. When I looked at the ingredients list, I was so intrigued-- cinnamon and tomato sauce??  I'd never heard of such a thing! I figured it was one of those recipes that was either going to taste nasty or be absolutely amazing. I was so happy when it turned out to be the latter, it instantly became a favorite.

Pasta Al Forno


1 pound penne pasta
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped (I use minced garlic)
15 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 pinches ground cinnamon
salt & pepper
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped (if you can get this in the deli, have the cut 1 thick slice, if all you can find is pre-packaged slices, that works fine too)
1/4- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Softened butter to coat a medium casserole or baking dish


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then salt and cook pasta to al dente, about 7-8 minutes.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

While water is coming to a boil and pasta is cooking, heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Cook onions and garlic in oil 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and bring to a bubble. Add cream and season sauce with cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Add chopped prosciutto to sauce and stir with cooked pasta until combined. Coat a medium casserole dish with butter. Adjust seasonings and transfer pasta to casserole dish. Top pasta with cheese and place in over for 10 minutes. Serve hot from the oven. If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fun Halloween Snack-- Quick & Easy Broomsticks

My kids love these-- who wouldn't? They are simply peanut butter cups and pretzel sticks, a combination that most like. Whip some of these up in just minutes, your kids will be thrilled that you did!! Even better, have your kids make them!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Oreo Cookie Spiders

These Oreo Cookie Spiders are so much fun to make! A pack of Oreo's, some icing(to hold the M&M eyes on), licorice laces, and M&M's and you are on your way to have some fun with the kids!


Caramelized Onion Penne-- From Kitchen to Table in Just 30 Minutes!!

This is a go to recipe in my house, especially when we receive unexpected company. Caramelized Onion Penne is delicious and it only takes about 30 minutes to make, although it tastes like it took a lot longer to make! I almost always have everything to make this on hand. I included some of my go to substitutions as well. I usually always at least double this recipe to make 1 pound of pasta, in times of company, I triple it or quadruple it.

Caramelized Onion Penne

*makes 2-3 Servings


1/2 pound of penne pasta
kosher salt
2 Tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, sliced thinly
1 bay leaf
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (I sometimes substitute Italian Cheese Blend or Parmesan Cheese)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (I sometimes substitute dry parsley)


Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Sal the water and add the pasta. Cook to al dente and drain.

While the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the onions until they are very soft and light caramel brown in color, about 20 minutes.

Stir in cream and cook until heated through. Remove the bay leaf, then add pasta and cheese and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with parsley and serve.

Fun Food for Halloween-- Mummy Hot Dogs

I love Halloween and I especially love all of the fun foods and goodies that you can make to eat. Mummy hot dogs are one of my kids favorites and they are so easy to make. All you need are some hot dogs and a tube of crescent rolls. Roll out your dough and cut thin long strips out. Wrap them around your hot dogs to give them the mummy look. Put them on an ungreased baking sheet and bake as directed. When they are done, let them cool for a few minutes and add eyes using black cake decorating gel, mustard, or ketchup. Your kids will get a kick out of these! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Spooky Eyes Halloween Wreath

Last night I made this very simple, but cute wreath. I spray painted a foam wreath black, let it dry completely, and hot glued a bunch of googley eyes onto it. Like I said, very simple, but cute! It matches our Eyeball Monster Pumpkin perfectly!

Easy to Make Doc Mc Stuffin's Stethoscopes

We are working on putting together a Community Helpers Sensory Tote and one of the items I decided to make was a stethoscope. I used headbands, ribbon, and felt. I picked up all of the materials from the Dollar Tree-- the headbands were 6 for $1, ribbon was $1 for the roll, and the felt was a pack for $1. I made 6 of these stethoscopes for $3 and still had felt and ribbon leftover! I cut long rectangles of felt, wrapped them around the end of the headbands, and hot glued them into place for the ear pieces. I used about a foot long piece of ribbon for the strap and cut out 2 circles out of felt and glued them together with the tip of the ribbon in between them. I then cut a small band aid out of felt to glue on top. You can even add a small heart on the band aid if you like! The kids are really enjoying these, my son takes it out every time we watch Doc Mc Stuffin's on TV. I will definitely be making more of these for Christmas presents!

My Eyeball Monster Pumpkin

I love crafting, especially around the holidays. Halloween and Christmas are my 2 favorite holidays so this time of year I am always crafting! I found these black foam pumpkins at Target in their dollar section and decided to pick 3 up. This is the first one I made, simple but cute. My kids love monsters and googley eyes so I figured I'd make a monster pumpkin filled with a ton of eyes. They really got a kick out of it. It didn't take me under a half an hour to hot glue (with a low temp gun) all of the eyes on. I picked the googely eyes up from the dollar store, so this pumpkin cost me under $2 to make and brought me lots of smiles. Now to figure out what to do with the other pumpkins!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bridal Shower Chalkboard Decoration

This was one of the decorations  did for my best friends bridal shower this past weekend. It was so simple to do and it looked great. I used a large chalk board that I picked up on Amazon and chalk board markers. You can totally use chalk if you like, I just prefer the markers because they don't smudge or rub off once they dry.

Slow Cooker Chicken Yum Yum

This was  super simple to prepare and super yummy to eat, hence the name Chicken Yum Yum.
It is an all in one meal with chicken, gravy, and stuffing.

Chicken Yum Yum

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6-8 slices of Munster Cheese (feel free to substitute with other cheeses)
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Can Cream of Celery Soup
1 Box of dry seasoned stuffing mix (I use Stove Top)
Add ingredients, in order, to your slow cooker (chicken first, topped with the cheese, both soups, and then the stuffing).
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Stir well before serving and enjoy!

DIY Bridal Shower Centerpieces

Life has been so crazy lately! I spent the last few weeks preparing for my best friend's bridal shower amongst everything else that we had going on. As the Maid of Honor, I had a big part in planning her bridal shower. The shower was a bit of a rush due to the fact that she found out in the beginning of September that she is moving to South Dakota on the 19th of October. We decided that it was best to have the shower  before she moves so that she can pack all of her gifts on the moving truck. The shower turned out wonderfully and my friend was so happy! It was a great way to end her last weekend in PA.
Anyways, I wanted to share the centerpieces that I made for the tables. They really ended upcoming out so cute and they really fit the bride's personality.

Aren't they cute? I was so happy with them and so was the bride!

I collected wine bottles and spray painted them with black chalk board paint. I sprayed one coat, let them dry for about 20 minutes, and then sprayed them with a second coat of paint. I let the chalk board paint cure for 48 hours. I then added some ribbon, using my hot glue gun, on the top and bottom to dress them up. I put some fake flowers in them, I picked hot pink flowers since her wedding colors are hot pink and black.
This one was an empty Rum Chata bottle that we shared with her sister a few weeks ago. I figured I'd use it since it symbolized one of our last get-to-gether's before she moved. I love the shape!
To finish them off, I used chalk board markers (you could use chalk, but the markers do not rub off once the dry) to write different sayings like "Always & Forever," "Here Comes the Bride," "Headed to the Chapel," "Mr. & Mrs.," "True Love"...
Overall, they were a huge hit! If you prefer not to use the chalk board paint, they looked awesome in all black with just the flowers.
It is amazing how things transform with a little bit of paint!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Popsicle Stick Catapult

I made these simple popsicle stick catapults last week for a playdate. I gave the kids each their own catapult and a bowl of mini marshmallows and they had a BLAST!
These catapults are quick, easy, and inexpensive to make! All you need is 5 rubber bands, 7 popsicle sticks, and a water bottle or soda bottle lid.

Group together the popsicle sticks and a wrap a rubber band around each end to hold them together.

Put one popsicle on top, one on the bottom, and use a rubber band to hold them together.
Using another rubber band, wrap it around the center of all of the popsicle sticks to hold them in place.
Use the fifth rubber band to do the other side.

Glue the water bottle lid on (I used my glue gun) and you are ready or action!

Had to Share...

I cannot even begin to count how many times I have done this! Perks of being a mom!