Monday, 28 October 2013

Halloween Treat ideas and Trick or Treating Prep

When it comes to Trick-or-treating, I like to switch things up a bit. Instead of the expected candy bar and pop, I like to give out more healthier treats. Kids need proper hydration and nutrition on Halloween night. With all the walking, door knocking, sweating (in hot costumes) and sugar consuming it's nice to give them a little something to help keep them going all evening. It's also convenient to have healthy snacks for packing lunches the rest of the week.
Some great ideas for drinks are mini bottles of water or juice packs. Snacks can be granola bars, small sized apples, goldfish or a clementine. All of these are still just as cheap as buying a box of of mini chocolate bars. My kids actually get excited when they see a snack like this because they know they can eat it right away if they want, and they get thirsty often throughout the night so they know they can grab a drink when they see one.

Goldfish now come in fun Halloween themes

Draw jack-o-lantern faces on clementines to be festive

Halloween night is busy and exhausting but lots of fun for the whole family! Here are a few tips we follow to make sure our night is a success.

Eat a good supper - We all get together and eat a good meal so we've all got full bellies and lots of energy.
Plan out a route - We live in the country, and we like to trick or treat on foot, so we always go into town where houses are closer together and there are sidewalks. We all have select houses and neighborhoods we want to visit, so we make sure to plan out where we are going. We usually trick or treat on foot first in a familiar neighborhood and then drive to visit other friends and family around town.
Wear comfy footwear - heels might go with their costume, but my kids are wearing sneakers regardless. We do alot of walking and I'm not carrying anyone.
Bring extra layers or rain gear. Our weather changes every 5 minutes and we have no time to pause this game and run home.

4 more days until Halloween !!!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Friday Fun Snack - Caramel Corn Class Treats

Nothing says fall like Caramel Corn. If your kids like popcorn, this is the same except it's dipped in gallons of sugar, and it tastes so good.
Caramel Corn is fun and easy to make. You can be creative and add some extras to it or have it plain. I've mixed in nuts, pretzels, chocolate chips, and marshmallows. It's easy to bag up and store for snacks on the go, or giving away as treat bags for a party or gift.

I made some for my kids to take to school for their Halloween parties. I used cute Halloween baggies and mixed in some chocolate chips, marshmallows and pretzels.

What you need

1/2 Bag popcorn kernels
1 cup Butter
1 cups Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Corn Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Soda

How you make it

Pop the popcorn
Pick out the un-popped kernels
Mix butter,brown sugar, and corn syrup and boil for 3 minutes (stirring constantly)
Remove from heat and add Vanilla and Baking Soda and stir
Pour over popcorn and stir
Bake in oven for 30-45 minutes @ 250 degrees


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Halloween Costume Ideas - Couples

Countdown to Halloween continues!
I've always enjoyed finding costumes for my kids, but never really put much effort into my own. I basically just grab whatever we have in our "tickle trunk". But lately Mike and I have been taking Halloween costumes more seriously and dressing up in couples costumes. They're fun to think up and people usually get a laugh out of them. Here are some of our previous costumes and some pretty great inspirations for next year!

We recreated the famous picture of the sailor and nurse from NYC

What's a ghostbuster without a ghost?

Our grand-in-laws - our kids loved it

You might find us wearing these next year.

Looking for a classroom snack idea for your kids to take to school? Come back tomorrow for Friday's Fun Snack and see what I cooked up!

7 days till Halloween!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Halloween Party Spooky Snacks

My Halloween countdown begins! It's my second favorite time of year!
On the weekend we threw our annual family Halloween party! One of my favorite parts is making spooky snacks. Here are a few of our party creations.

Nothing is spookier than punch with eyeballs and dead hands!

Finger shortbread cookies

Edible pumpkin throw-up chip dip

Halloween is so much fun, and gives me a chance to bring out my creative side. Kids love anything spooky, scary and disgusting. All of these snacks were huge crowd pleasers and got a few squeals out of my guests.

10 days until Halloween !!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Don't You Just Love Fall Weddings?

Fall seems to be the season for weddings. Couples are getting married amidst pumpkins, autumn leaves and sunflowers. Mike and I were among the many who chose the gorgeous fall foliage as the backdrop for our nuptials 5 years ago. We made our own bouquets out of sunflowers, used white lights and autumn leaves for decorations, and mason jars filled with wild flowers lined the tables.

If you're a fan of fall colors and decor then it's a perfect time to set the date. The air is cool, but the sun is still warm. Decorations can easily (and inexpensively) be mixtures of seasonal flowers and plants. Such as pumpkins, sunflowers, leaves and straw.

Picture backdrops can be wooded hideways bursting with yellow, red and green or a farm field lined with cornstalks.

Bouquets can be mixtures of seasonal flowers, berries and straw.

Fall makes for a gorgeous backdrop to a magical day!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Outdoor Decorating for Fall

My love of fall continues with some outdoor decor ideas! Fall is such a beautiful time of year and decorating for the season can be really fun and easy. The whole fall theme is based on leaves, sticks and pumpkins. You can find most of those outside, except pumpkins, unless you grow them, which is at the top of my list to do for next year. You can never, ever have too many pumpkins.
Here are a few decorations I whipped up this year!

I made this wreath from vines that grew in my backyard. I left some of the leaves and berries on the vines to add some color to it and I created a small embellishment out of just leaves and berries to tie on the side. My dreary barn door seemed like the perfect place to add a pop of color!


We have a beautiful old bench that we used in our backyard, but since the colder weather is here we aren't spending as much time back there. I moved it against a tree overlooking our front yard, and dressed it up with a few fall accents. 

I found this antique watering can in our barn (fate couldn't have been more on time) and filled it with some plants that grow all over our yard and added a little pumpkin.

Fall mums are in bloom, and full of color. I picked one up to place by my front door and continued with my love of pumpkins and added a few more!

I'll have two more posts this week celebrating my love for Fall! Then it's on to Halloween!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Friday Fun Snack - Smoothies

Smoothies as a snack? Why not? It's something different, and can be alot of fun for kids to make up recipes and test them out.
Smoothies are great because the preparation, cleanup and consumption are quick and easy. They're also a great way for busy kids on the go and picky eaters to get their much needed nutrients. I make a smoothie every morning for my 9 year old to grab on her way out the door to the bus and she drinks it on the way to school.

Here are a few tips and recipes I'd like to share:

1. Invest in a good smoothie cup with a lid and straw. It's the best way to avoid spillage even if you're just sitting around the house.

I have this cup for my 9 year old. It's durable, non-breakable and
has a good quality straw that can be closed.
An insulated cup is great to keep your smoothie cold.

This is genius! Everything tastes better in glass instead of plastic.

 2. Buy a good quality blender. I use a Magic Bullet and I highly recommend it. You want something that's easy to wash and will blend up your fruit and ice so it doesn't leave any big chunks.
These blenders got really great reviews:

Ninja BL 660

Bosch Porche Stand Blender

Cuisinart Smart Power Blender

3. Make smoothie prep easy. I use frozen fruit instead of using ice cubes so my smoothies aren't watered down. I prefer to buy it fresh, cut it up, freeze it and then bag it. You can bag it organized by fruit, or by smoothie type.

4. Find a smoothie recipe you like. Part of the fun is discovering and trying new smoothie recipes. You can blend almost anything together! I had Madison help me make up some recipes and prepare the fruit bags and she's looking forward to trying them all.
Try sneaking some spinach in the smoothie for some added iron, and some flavored instant oatmeal to help thicken up the smoothie and add some taste. The kids will never know!

I like to mix my fruit with vanilla flavored Almond or Rice Milk because I like a little sweetness and orange juice for some vitamin C. For a chocolate fix, try some chocolate Soy or Almond Milk.There are so many recipes and ways to make smoothies depending on your taste. Here's a great step-by-step to make a smoothie from Super Skinny Me.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend Everyone! We have a weekend of turkey, corn mazes and fun prepared!

Monday, 7 October 2013

5 free fall activities

Two of my favorite F words. Free and Fall. Next to Christmas, it's my favorite time of year. Here are some fun and free activities to try out with your kids to celebrate the fall season.

Coloring contests
Most grocery stores run a Halloween colouring contest for the month of October. My kids love colouring and the thought that they might win something. And the best part, the pages!

Outdoor Walk
What better way to take in the beauty of fall then to walk through it. Luckily we have a trail that runs behind our house that is bursting with nature. Pack a picnic, or some hot chocolates to go and start strolling!

Autumn Leaf Hunt
The ground is littered with leaves of all shapes, sizes and colours. Make a list of different leaves to look for and create a type of scavenger hunt. Check out this leaf hunt sheet from

Have a Fall Themed Reading Session
If you're like my kids, they love bedtime stories. If you've got some "fall themed" books in the house, bring them out and read just those. Or find some stories like "Autumn Leaves" from Online Reading. You can even click your mouse to turn the pages.

Make a Craft
Take all those leaves you collected and create something crafty. Head on over to Momtastic Parenting where Stephanie has 10 great crafts to share using fall leaves.

Happy Fall ya'll !

Friday, 4 October 2013

Friday Fun Snack + A Little Something New

Since it's now October and fall is slowly creeping in, I decided to whip up a snack that fit the season. Rice Krispie Pumpkins! It's basically Rice Krispie squares with a little touch of Fall. They were really easy to make, and left very little to clean up afterwards. They also made many tiny bellies very happy.

What you need
1/4 cup butter
1 pkg mini marshmallows
1/2 tsp vanilla
Food Colouring
Green Icing
Pumpkin Stems - I used Reisen candies. Other great ideas are tootsie rolls or green jelly beans.

How you make it
Melt butter and marshmallows on the stove
Add vanilla
Add food colouring until your desired shade of orange is reached
Add Rice Krispies

Mold the mixture into balls and stick in your "pumpkin stem" (make sure to do this while the balls are still warm)
Once they have cooled off, drizzle on the icing in shape of leaves

I'm excited to share a new addition to the blog. For the first time, I have a picture watermark! All my creations that I post on the blog will finally have my credit. This is a big step for this blog, with many more new additions to come!

Let me know what you think?

Happy Weekend to you all! Since it's mine and Mike's 5th Wedding Anniversary this weekend, we'll be enjoying some actual adult time and the chance to eat a decent meal without having to prepare it!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Guest Post - Our blended family just got bigger !

I'm proud to say I belong to what society would call "A Blended Family". Not your typical contemporary family of a mother-father team. I have a biological father, a second step-mother and 2 younger brothers. One is my step-brother and the other is my half brother (who is 20 years younger than me) My biological mother and first step-mother both passed away when I was younger.
The pattern continues with my children. My two oldest daughters (Madison & Jessee) share a different biological father than my two youngest children (Lily & Noah). My husband and I met when Madison was 2 and Jessee just 5 months old and have since been married, and together have Lily and Noah. My ex, who's name is also Mike has recently remarried, granting Madison and Jessee a new step-mother, Anna. 4 weeks ago, Anna gave birth to adorable twin boys! This makes them Madison and Jessee's half-brothers.

Are you following?

There are moments of confusion and humor when trying to explain it all, sign guardian permission slips and fill out application forms for kid's activities, but we make it work, we get along, and there is never a lack of love or support. Anna explains it perfectly when she says "we may not be your typical family, but we are a family in every sense of the word".

Anna has graciously agreed to write my second guest-post for me all about her two new additions and how life has changed for her since having twins...

If someone had of told me that when I grew up I would be settled down, married, a step-mom to two step-daughters, and a brand new mom to newborn identical twin boys, I very well would have laughed at the image in my mind. Today that is my reality that I'm living and I honestly don't think I could be any happier.

 I was only 19 and fresh out of high school when I started dating my husband. At that time many of friends and family thought I was crazy to date an older guy who was a father to two beautiful little girls. What some of you readers out there might also think is crazy is that those two little girls are Madison and Jessee, Brooke's oldest girls.
After four years of dating, two years of engagement and one year of marriage, Madison and Jessee have become a HUGE part of my life. Needless to say so has Brooke and her family and I feel that overall we have all established a very healthy and supportive relationship for everyone involved. One might even call us one big happy family!

I am very grateful to have been able to watch Madison and Jessee grow into the young ladies they have become today. However at the end of the day, when they were kids I was always able to hand them back to Brooke after a long week at work, or after a crazy weekend. Although they are with my husband and I often, Brooke has always been their sole provider. Kudos to her for always making being a mother of four look so easy!

When my husband and I received news that we were expecting twins, you can understand the stress and anxiety I was feeling that I was soon going to become responsible for these two little babies that I'd never be able to hand back. All I had ever known of being a mom was every other weekend, and a few nights here and there through the week. All of a sudden this new addition that we wanted to add to our family had become two additions that shocked us all.

Luckily we found out early in my pregnancy that we were in fact expecting twins. This gave us time to prepare in more ways than one; mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially (if that's ever possible).
After a LONG and HOT pregnancy we recently welcomed two handsome boys into the world, Logan and Luca.

One thing I've learned is that no matter how much you prepare, you can never totally be prepared. Sure we had almost anything and everything one might need to bring a newborn into the world. However, that newborn, or  newborn(s) in our case, depicted how and when you're going to use that anything and everything.

Some might call me a little OCD or a control freak when it comes to things around the house. I have my own way of doing things and my own system. Let's just say they have all gone out the window since the arrival of the boys. Michael, the girls, friends, and family have been doing most of the chores around the house the last few weeks. Sure Michael's white underwear now have pink spots on them, dishes are not where they should be, Jessee's clothes are in Madison's drawers, and the towels are definitely not folded how I fold them, but the main thing is that the chores are getting done.
I've slowly been letting go and accepting that things don't have to be perfect or done the way I normally would do them and I definitely appreciate all the help being sent our way.

It is certainly a scary thought to think that we are only at the beginning of this crazy chapter to our lives. It doesn't matter how much you plan or picture how your life is going to be because in most cases it turns out to be nothing of the sort. The main thing is to embrace what you are given and make the best of it. I'm sure there are going to many ups and downs as the twins grow and Madison and Jessee become teenagers but we will get through it together and as a family. We may not be your typical family but we are a family in every sense of the word.

Like my blog? Share the love and take a minute to cast me a vote on Top Mommy Blogs!

                                                                  Vote for me here
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...