Archive | October, 2013

Haunted Houses and Spooky Stories #Halloween

30 Oct

My girls have counted down the days until Halloween!  Every morning they wake up and ask “are we trick-or-treating today”?  My girls are also excited for Christmas and always ask if we can make gingerbread houses with their friends again.  Since it’s too early for Christmas decorations and we are in the Halloween spirit, we decided to make Haunted Houses.  Head to your local Food Emporium or Target for everything you need!

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DSC_0119What you need:

How to make:

  • FIll the ziplock bags with the icing.  We added a little blue food coloring to one of our icing bags to add a little green.
  • Assemble the house using the graham crackers and the icing to hold it together. Front, back, and roof of the house need a whole graham cracker for each and the sides use 1/2 a graham cracker.  If you want an over hang for your house (my youngest did), break a graham cracker in half (long ways) and add it to the roof)    My girls needed help putting them together.

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  • Have fun decorating with your favorite Halloween Sweets!

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After the activity, read some spooky stories.  A few of our favorites (click on images to purchase):

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Image from Barnes and Noble

Image from Barnes and Noble

Image from Barnes and Noble

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Image from Barnes and Noble

Disclaimer:  I received Peeps Halloween candy from a “Sneak Peep” event I attended for the Holidays (post coming soon).  I discovered some of our favorite Halloween books at the Halloween Read-a-long with  Thirty Mommy and MBA Moms at the Mysterious Bookshop.

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Trick-Or-Treat For UNICEF

29 Oct

Last night the girls and I headed to Dylan’s Candy Bar to join The Moms and Laura Marano, actress and star of the Disney Channel series Austin and Ally.  The event was held to educate and highlight the 2013 Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF campaign!  I was excited for my girls to learn about Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF because they will be the third generation in my family helping save lives.

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For those unfamiliar, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more.  The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.  Together, we are working toward the day when ZERO children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.

Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF began in 1950 by a family collecting change at Halloween for children left vulnerable from World War II. Sixty-three years later, children continue to raise millions to help other children around the world.  No matter how big or small the donation, every penny counts.   How you can help:

The Trick-or-Treat School Challenge for Teachers:  Beginning October 1st through January 31,2013, K-6 teachers can submit a video or another form of creative visual media, demonstrating how their students are helping kids around the world through their efforts surrounding Trick-or-Treat For UNICEFResources, lesson plans, and things to do with the class are available on the Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF website to help get started!

Families:  If your school isn’t participating in the Challenge, your family can help by downloading everything you need.  After Halloween, send your money and donation form to: Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, 125 Maiden Lane, New York, New York 10038

Clubs and Groups : Get your soccer team, cub scout den or girl scout troop to help too!

Make this Halloween a happy one for those in need.  Join children all over and Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF

These items also benefit UNICEF:

UNICEF “I Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF” tote from HSN, Chasing Fireflies, and Grandin Road available in Orange and black until October 31st!

Image from Chasing Fireflies

Image from Chasing Fireflies

IKEA “Soft Toys for Education”: For every purchase from the soft toy collection between November  10th – January 4th, the IKEA Foundation will give one euro to support UNICEF.

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Image from IKEA

Gifts and cards from shop.unicefusa.org!

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Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I received a gift bag for attending the event which included items that help the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.  All information came from the event, the UNICEF website, and a press memo.

Vistaprint Personalized Stationery and Holiday Favorites!

28 Oct

I never thought to use Vistaprint for stationery and photo gifts. I always thought the site was for businesses to print flyers, banners and cards until recently.  My daughter celebrated her 5th birthday not long ago and received a tote filled with personalized (first and middle Name) cupcake stationary from Vistaprint.  My daughter loves cupcakes and was so excited when she opened the package and saw the cupcake print with her name on it.  The tote bag had note cards with envelopes to write thank you for a the wonderful gifts she received from friends and family, cupcake envelope seals, a notebook to practice writing, and a sticky pad.  The personalized touch to the tote, notebook, stickers, and notepad would make a wonderful gift for upcoming birthday parties. Other stationery available on Vistaprint include: return address labels, mailing labels, sticky note holders, letterhead, thank you cards, pens, appointments cards, and note pads.  All you have to do is choose your favorite or use your favorite image and add a name to make a fabulous personalized gift.

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With the Holidays sneaking up, Vistaprint can help you:

  • Send Holiday cheer to friends and family with a wide selection of cards.
image from vistaprint.com

image from vistaprint.com

  • Host a Holiday celebration!
Host a Holiday celebration! Image from vistaprint

Image from vistaprint.com

  • Decorate your tree with Personalized Ornaments
Image from vistaprint.com

Image from vistaprint.com

  • Give a personalized gift to loved ones!
Image from vistaprint.com

Calendars, Mugs, and iPhone Cases!
Image from vistaprint.com

To see all Vistaprint has to offer, visit http://www.vistaprint.com!

Disclaimer: I received samples of personalized products for the purpose of this review.  As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

A Halloween Birthday Bash For Daddy

23 Oct

Yesterday was my husbands birthday. Since Halloween is next week, my oldest daughter wanted to have a Halloween themed party for my husband and his twin brother.  My daughter placed paper balloons she decorated around the apartment.  We baked cupcakes and she insisted we have “twin” Jack-o-lantern cakes for my husband and brother-in-law.  I started thinking about how I could create this idea for her with what we had at home. This is what we came up with:

I don’t have a round cake pan and I only had 1 box of cake mix.  I realized that our Oogga bowls are oven safe and the perfect size for personal size cakes. See my past Oogaa post.  We made the cake mix according to the package and then filled the two bowls.  We used the remaining mix to make twelve cupcakes for the guests.  I added green food coloring to the end of the batter to make one green cupcake for the stem (do not ice this cupcake when done baking).

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We only had a container of hot pink funfetti icing. We put a little pink icing to the side because both of my girls wanted a pink cupcake and started talking about how we could turn it orange.   My daughter did a color mixing unit at school last year and she pipped up, “we can mix yellow and red to make orange”.   I pulled out the food coloring and we started with yellow.  As we were mixing, it turned bright orange and she realized we didn’t need red.

Once the cakes and cupcakes were done baking, we started icing.  After we  finished icing both cakes, we cut the green cupcake in half and cut one end off.  We added it to the top of the cake.  We always keep chocolate chips handy because my oldest loves them. We decided they would be good to use for the eyes and mouth of the jack-o-lantern.  She insisted I put them on for her.  The “twin jack-o-lantern” cakes were ready.

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My oldest had so much fun she asked if we could make them again. There is a Halloween bake sale at her school next week so we plan to make a few to sell.  Leave the Jack-o-lantern face off for a great Thanksgiving dessert.

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Disclaimer:  I was not compensated for this post.  All photos, ideas, and opinions expressed are my own.

Halloween Treat Bag Picks

22 Oct

The countdown to Halloween has began.  It’s a little over a week away and the festivities begin this weekend.  We were putting up decorations when my daughter realized our treat bags were missing.  I told her we could use a pillow case like I used as a child and she thought that was the craziest idea ever.  My girls love accessories so it’s no surprise that they want a “pretty Halloween” bag.  I’ve been searching for Halloween bags that can be used every year, regardless of their costumes.  Here are my favorites (click on images to go to website to purchase):

Image from LottyLollipop on Etsy.

Handmade personalized jute bag.  Materials are hand painted, glittered, embellished, and personalized.  Image from LottyLollipop on Etsy.

 

 

Image from Creative Bags for Kids on Etsy

Love this treat bag.  All bags are handmade and made to order. Image from Creative Bags for Kids on Etsy

 

Image from Personal Creations

Glow in the Dark Bags from Personal Creations

 

Image from Strong Sparkles on Etsy

Light up the night with this personalized bucket  from Strong Sparkles on Etsy.  Image from Strong Sparkles

4.

Image from Chasing Fireflies

Super cute and a very girly ghoul treat bag from Chasing Fireflies.  

Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information about the treat bags came from the designer/brands website.  I did not receive compensation for this post.

Win It Wednesday: Stokke MyCarrier (#GIVEAWAY)

16 Oct

Halloween is 2 weeks away!  How do you take your little one trick-or-treating?  When my 2nd was born, trick-or-treating got a little tricky with 2.  I did not want to take my stroller through crowded hallways and streets.  Wearing my youngest was a much easier option.  Check out these awesome babywearing costume ideas.

Enter to win a Dark Navy Stokke MyCarrier to make this Halloween (and travels during the upcoming Holiday season) easier.  Contest ends at 11:59 pm October 24!

image from Stokke

image from Stokke

To win:

  • Leave a comment below telling me what your little one will be for halloween and/ or your favorite way to wear your baby (inwards, outwards, or on your back).

Additional Entries:

Please leave a comment for every entry.

About the Stokke MyCarrier:  The Stokke MyCarrier3 in 1 baby carrier, easily transforms as your child grows from birth through the toddler years.  It can be worn facing inwards, facing outwards and on the back. Retail value $219.99!  Watch this video to learn more.

Image from Stokke

Image from Stokke

Disclaimer:  I received this Stokke MyCarrier at an event.  My girls are past the age of carriers so I would like to give it to one lucky reader.  Information about the MyCarrier is from stokke.com

Congratulations to Jessica for winning the Stokke My Carrier!  Thank you to everyone who entered!

 

I’m SMILING IT FORWARD™, You Can Too! #SPON #SmilingItForward

14 Oct

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I’m SMILING IT FORWARD™ because I can always count on TYLENOL® when my girls get sick. No matter how many parenting books I read when I was pregnant, they didn’t prepare me for the first time my daughter got sick. The first few times her temperature spiked above 100 degrees, I ran straight to the doctor. They assured me everything was OK, it was just a virus, and to give her a little TYLENOL®. Five years and another daughter later, I’ve learned that I don’t have to run to the doctor every time but if I need to I’ve realized that I am very fortunate to have good health care.

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A month into the new school year and the change of seasons, I know my girls will be getting sick soon.  Starting with a sniffle, a cough, or constantly grabbing at their ear, the next thing I know, I kiss their forehead and they are burning up. My sweet energetic little girls become cranky, lethargic and no longer want to do the things they love. A couple of days later, after TYLENOL®, lots of comforting with hugs, kisses and love from their favorite stuffed animals, the spark comes back and I can see my girls coming back to life. They are ready for dance parties, play dates, scooter rides in the park and they are back to the daily routine. Nothing makes me happier then when they “feel better” and fill the room with laughter with a big SMILE on their face.

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The makers of TYLENOL® were so inspired by the “feel better” smiles shared organically by moms across the country online that they’ve teamed up with How I Met Your Mother star and mom of two, Alyson Hannigan, to launch the SMILING IT FORWARD™ campaign. Together, they hope to set the power of giving in motion, inviting everyone to share smiles of good health to help children in need.

I’m excited to be part of this wonderful campaign.  You can SMILE IT FORWARD™ too!  Between September 17, 2013 and January 31, 2014, McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., the makers of TYLENOL®, is inviting anyone 18 and older to share a photo that makes them smile on SmilingItForward.com. Each photo approved & shared will trigger a $1.00 donation from TYLENOL® to Children’s Health Fund, with a minimum donation of $75,000 and a maximum donation of $100,000. Review Terms and Conditions for complete program details. For information about Children’s Health Fund, visit www.childrenshealthfund.org.

 

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Disclaimer: I have received information (in italics) and products from McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., the makers of TYLENOL®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks.

Fun Friday: A Color Me Mine Halloween

11 Oct
Image from Color Me Mine

Image from Color Me Mine

One of our favorite outings is to Color Me Mine.  My girls love picking their pottery and using as many colors as they can to paint it.  Our favorite to go is around Halloween.  The girls love going to the themed workshops.

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This month the Tribeca Location will have these “Spooky Workshops”:

image from Color Me Mine.  Click for the entire October Schedule!

image from Color Me Mine. Click for the entire October Schedule!

Our Spooky Collection!

Our Spooky Collection!

 

While I was looking up the events to sign-up for this Halloween, I discovered they also have PJ Party themed sessions on certain Fridays during the month.  If you paint in your PJ’s you will receive 50% off the studio fee!  Color me mine also allows you to bring your own food and drinks! In addition to Halloween, Color Me Mine also has other Holiday events.  The pottery makes a great gift for parents, grandparents, and friends.  A trip to Color Me Mine would make a great uKloo surprise too!  Find a Studio and Schedule of Events near you to get painting!

 

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Photos unless noted are my own!

Video

Discover Brands For Kids With The Lil’Stylers App

8 Oct

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The other week I was at the park with my daughter.  Another mom approached me asking about my daughters dress (pictured below).  She wanted to know the brand and store I bought it from.  Like her, I often see cute outfits on children and wonder what brand (s) they are wearing and where their parents purchased it from.

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On October 1st, Lil’Stylers, an awesome new iPhone App launched to help moms and dads connect to brands and shop mobile.  I had the opportunity to try Lil’Stylers before the launch and am loving it.  I’ve discovered Pale Cloud, Duke and Duchess, Two Els, Baby Fish, and so many other brands I would have never known about before using Lil’Stylers.  I also like seeing how “stylers” have pieced together smaller, more expensive brands with brands like GAP and Target to create a stylish look for their child.  I’m not the only one loving the App, my oldest loves scrolling through and picking out looks she likes.  It’s helpful knowing style she like when shopping for her because she likes to dress herself and often doesn’t like what I pick.  I’m excited to continue using the App as it grows and more brands join.20131007-220006.jpg

Download the free App in iTunes now to discover new brands,  see the latest trends for children, shop, and share your favorite photos of your “lil’styler(s)”.  Don’t forget to tag the brands featured in your photos. If you see a look you like and a tag with a shopping bag next to it, the brand has joined Lil’Stylers.  Click on the bag and you can connect to their website easily to start shopping.  Check out the Lil’Stylers video to learn how to use the App!

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Want a peek at the styles for Spring/ Summer 2014?  Lil’Stylers covered petitePARADE with live posts.  Missed petitePARADE?  Once you are set up, go to “Find Stylers” and search for petitePARADE.  All of the brands and styles featured on the runway are tagged!

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“Lil’Stylers has created a gateway for consumers, brands, bloggers, and other fashion influencers to seamlessly connect through one integrated experience that is assimple as Tag, Click, Shop.”-Kirti Baliga, Co-Founder of Lil’Stylers

Find Lil’Stylers on Twitter, PinterestFacebook, and Instagram.  You can search for TastefulyChldsh to follow me on Lil’Stylers!  Happy Syling!

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated for this post.  Images were screen shot from the Lil’Stylers App.

Halloween with See’s Candies

7 Oct

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See’s Candies, founded in California by Mary See, have been making candies for over 90 years.  Only the finest, freshest ingredients are used in making each recipe.  No preservatives are added to their candy.   I can’t believe it’s October already.  Invites to Halloween parties are starting arrive and the girls are making plans with their friends. I’m always looking for festive gifts for teachers, host/ hostesses, friends, and families.  I also love having treats for my daughters friends when they come for Halloween themed play dates.  My family recently tried a few of See’s Candies seasonal Halloween treats perfect for those occasions and gifts.  Below is a list of what we tried, gift ideas, and how to serve your See’s Candies:

Sour Bats (Nut Free):

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These super sour bats will make you pucker. My girls loved them! Add a few to your child’s lunch for a yummy surprise or give a bag to their teacher!

Milk Chocolate Jack-O-Lanterns:

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These rich, creamy, milk chocolate jack-o-lanterns are delicious! Tape one into a handmade card for friends, family or teachers for a sweet Halloween touch!  See allergen information at the end before giving to a child with nut allergies.  Sold as a box of 6.   

Chocolate Mashmallow Jack-O-Lanterns:

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My youngest doesn’t like chocolate with the exception of these chocolate marshmallow jack-o-lanterns. They are delicious but a little big so we cut them into 1/4’s and put the leftovers into a plastic bag for later.  Attach to a card or hand out to friends or family.  See allergen information at the end before giving to a child with nut allergies. Sold as a box of 6.

Pumpkin Spice Lollypops (Nut Free):

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I did not personally try these because my girls insisted the were only for them. They loved them and wanted to save them for their Halloween play date with friends! I thought it would be cute to color the sticks and add jack-o-lantern eyes and a mouth to the wrapper.

Pumpkin Spice Truffles:

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I get excited for fall because I love everything pumpkin spice. These truffles are rich, creamy, and full of my favorite pumpkin spice flavor. Great to include at a dessert table at a Halloween party or share a box with the host/hostess of a party you are attending. The pumpkin spice truffles are so delicious, I will be bringing a box to Thanksgiving as well! Sold in a box of 12!

Having a Halloween party or play date? Here are a few ideas to server See’s Halloween Candies:

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The sour bats are a great topper for mini cupcakes. Add a milk chocolate pumpkin for decoration in the center and surround it with the cupcakes.

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We used a Jack-O-Lantern candle holder my daughter made at Color Me Mine one year for the Pumpkin Spice Truffles and the Cool Gear Light Up Skeleton Mug for the Pumpkin Spice Lollypops for extra Halloween flare. My daughter drew a “spooky” picture to display behind the treats.

See’s Candies also has a selection of gift boxes which include some of our favorite See’s Seasonal Candies featured above.  Click the image below to find out about gift boxes available.

Image from See's Candies!

Image from See’s Candies!

See’s Candies can be found in these shop locations or purchased online.  Click here for shipping rates!  No need to worry about candy melting during warmer months. See’s Candies uses warm weather packaging and cold packs to protect your candy from the heat.

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Have a SWEET Halloween with See’s Candies!

Disclaimer:  I received samples for the purpose of this review.  This did not alter my opinions.  Opinions and ideas expressed are my own.  Information in italics came from sees.com!  Allergy Alert: The chocolate marshmallows, chocolate jack-o-lanterns, or pumpkin spice truffles are made on equipment that also process peanuts/ tree nuts so aren’t advised for those with nut allergies.  Click the link for See’s Allergen Information!