Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Themed Frames and Busy, Busy Day

I am super busy today!  I have a very long to do list and probably will not be on the computer much.  I need to finish my daugther's fox costume.  I need to run to the store to find a black sweatshirt for my son's costume.  I need to clean and decorate the entryway for the trick or treaters.  I need to finish my coustume, and the list goes on and on.     

Today I am sharing how we made some fun Halloween themed frames to highlight our favorite Halloween pictures from years past. 


Decorated Halloween Pictures Frames

I have so many Halloween pictures that I absolutely love, so I knew I needed some fun frames to display them in.  Since I didnt have any Halloween frames, I decided to make some.  I had planned on going a slightly different way, when I caught Kara playing with the eyeballs on the alien frame.  When she showed me her idea, I liked it even better than mine. That is when  I realized this project would be just fun for kids to make as adults. 

I found these plain brown frames at the Dollar Tree.  I painted one frame black, one neon green, and one white.  I then saw Michaels has orange glitter paint, and decided to change the white frame to an orange glitter frame. 

I added  google eyes from the dollar store  to the top two corners.  I left it on the table to dry, while I did other things. 

When I came back to the table, Kara showed me that she had added more eyes to the top of the frame.  She had also placed a yellow pipe cleaner on the frame for a smile and cut two circles out of red felt for the cheeks.  I had already attached a neon green pipe cleaner to the backside of the frame with a piece of scotch tape.

This frame was perfect for the picture of Kyle in  his praying mantis costume.  It also inspired my son, because now he wants to be an alien this Halloween. (since I wrote this post, he has changed his mind. He now wants to be a vampire.. Hmm.. maybe I need to make a vampire frame)  

She also told me that she wanted to make her own cat frame because she had a really good idea.  Since the cat frame was for her picture, I let her roll with it. 

I might add some black whiskers, but I am currently out of black pipe cleaners.    This picture of Kara is one of my absolute favorites.   She was 4 at the time, and dressed as Snow White. 

I wasn't really sure what to do with the orange glitter frame.  I thought I would drape black netting across the top, but it didnt look quite right.   I then decided to make it into a bow on the upper corner.  It reminded me of a spider web, so I then added a spider I made from black felt and google eyes. 

I made a simple spider shape and stitched it together with black thread.  I then hung it from the netting on the frame. 

I like it with the hanging  spider, so  much better.  I might even add a second one in the upper right hand corner.  I love this picture for many reasons.  Kristina, my oldest,  was a girl pirate and she had captured her brother the giant fly.  (yes he has a thing for bugs and critters, last year he was a flying chameleon)  The kids were so full of joy, and we also got to see the house all  decorated for Halloween in the background.  To this day, that year is  one of my favorite Halloweens.

I hope this craft will inspire you on how you can capture you favorite Halloween memories. 

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Wants some new ideas on how to carve your pumpkin.  There are a over 30 free stencils on Better Homes and Gardens.   I thought this one was very cute and a twist on the orignal Jack-o-lantern face. 
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More Last Minute Recipes

Halloween weekend is here!   This weekend will be full of last minute preprations and parties..  Here are a few more great treats I have seen on the blogs and recipe sites that you might want to try for your get togethers. 

Witch Oreo Pops from The Idea Room

Want to make a cake?  has directions on how to make this Bride of Frankenstien and many other fun Halloween themed cakes. 

I think I might try this 6 layer guacamole dip to eat during our pumpkin carving this weekend.  This 6 layer spider dip can be found on the Wholly Guacamole web page

Looking for a fun themed dinner.. How about Chicken Enchilada Mummies from  

In additon to meal ideas, they are also many sweet treats on  This quick an easy cookie pizza would be gobbled up by your goblins. 
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Meijer Deals

I went to Meijer for our grocery shopping this week.   There were some great deals to be found.  I know it is hard to see all that food in the pictures, so here is list of the best deals. 

Crave cat treats $1.49, used FREE coupon
4 Skinny Cown Candy on sale for .60.  I used two Buy 1 Get 1 free coupons.  Either .30 each or .60 for two and 2 FREE

2 Birdseye Chef Select on sale $1.33.  I had two .50 coupons that doubled, final price .33
2 Buddig lunch meat, on sale .50 each. I used .55 off 2 coupon, final price .45 for TWO
Cool Whip on sale for .99. I used a .50 Meijer Meal Box coupon, final price .49
2 Lipton Cup of Soup, on sale for $1.25. I used two .40 coupons that doubled, final price .45 ea..
2 KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce, on sale for $1.43.  I used two .50 coupons that doubled, final price .43 ea/
Dole Shakers.. last week they were on sale for $1.50, but were out of stock.  I got a raincheck.   Today they were $1.99, but were adjusted to rain check price.  I used $1 off 2 man coupon, and $1 off 2 Meijer Meal Box coupon, final price .50 each 

Archway cookies on sale for 1/2 price..  $1.43.  I used a .45 coupon that doubled, final price .53
Domino brown sugar 2 lb on sale for $1.67. I used .50 coupon that doubled, final price .67 (stock up for holiday baking!!)
Meijer 2 liter pop on sale for .78 each
Bagel Bites on sale for $1.50, also a promo, Buy 2 get one FREE.  3 boxes were $3 or $1 each

4 Prego spaghetti sauce on sale for $1.66.  I used two .50 off 2 coupons that doubled, final price $1.16 ea.
2 Capri Sun on sale for $1.87.  I use two .50 Meijer Meal Box coupons, final price $1.37
Nestle Tolls House Dark Morsels, $2.79.  I used .50 coupon that doubled, final price $1.79
2 Barber Frozen chicken, normally $4.99 each, on sale for $3.50.  I also two $1 off coupons, final price $2.50 each.  That is 50% off!
Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches, normally $5.49, on sale for $3.50.  I used .55 off coupon final price $2.95

I used $30.41 in coupons and free promos, and had $40.31 in sales. Total savings this week was $70.72.
I spent  $89.44 this week, so I was  under budget.. YEA!!

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Spooky Spiders

Do you need a last minute treat for a class party?  How about these spooky spiders from Very Best Baking.     They are very quick and easy to make. 
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Sunday Paper Coupons

The weekend is almost here.  Its time for the Sunday coupon preview.  See what great coupons you should receive in this Sundays paper. It looks to be a great coupon week, with 3 flyers this week!  

Also be sure to print all your end of the month coupons because many of your favorites may soon be gone.. 
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Are you ready?

Are you ready for Trick or Treaters on Monday?   Last night I took a trip to Target to pick up my candy.   We have a lot of kids come through our neighborhood, so we need a lot to give out.  I had a coupon for every bag of candy, which really helped with the price.  

Diet Pepsi was on sale for $3.33.  I had a Target coupon for $1, final price $2.33

Many fun size bags of candy are on sale at Target for $2.49.   

Hershys.. I had $1 off 1 coupon, making the price $1.49.   What I failed to realize was I also had a $1 off 2 Target coupon, but didnt see it until I was home which would have made each bag only .99.   It does have an expiration date of 11/12 so I  might try and use it on Nov 1 and stock up on some more Hershy bars for Christmas goodies.. 

Snickers..  I had a $1 off 2 coupon, making each bag $1.99

Skittles.. I had a $1 off 2 coupon, making each bag $1.99

Butterfinger/ Crunch.. I had a $1 off 2 coupon, making each bag $1.99

I also bought a $6  Ninja sword for my son, how plans on being a Ninja Vampire this year.  This should be interesting..  LOL!!  His imagination never ceases to amaze me.. 

I saved $6 in coupon and and spent only $23  for a sword, 12 pack of Diet Pepsi and 8 bags of candy. 
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hi Ho, Its Off to Camp We Go..

I was not able to post earlier today, because I went to camp with my daughters school.   Each fall the kids in the 5th grrade spend 2 1/2 days having a team building experience.   It's  a pretty big deal.   Each day is full of activities, and the kids come home totally exhausted, but happy.    Today was day 1, so I was there for the check in, finding the cabins, first day activities etc..    At first the weather seemed pretty nice, but as the day went on, it got colder and rainy.  

Each of the kids had to bring a sleeping bag, pillow, and suitcase full of warm clothes, boots etc..   

After setting up the cabin, and eatting lunch in the dining hall, it was off to our first activity.  

It was cold and chilly on the lake for our canoe ride.  One of the girls in my canoe was having an anxiety attack, and constantly freaking out because she thought we were going to tip.  We took went back to the dock, so she she could get out if she wanted to.   She  shocked the entire boat when decided not to,  but two other girls did decide to get out..  I got out with them.  I have to admit I was happy to be on dry  land.  I wasn't freaking out, but the boat was rocking a bit too much for me, and I did not have warm clothes to change in to if we tipped. 

Next up was outdoor survival skills.   I have to admit I was very impressed with our group.  The were able to work together to build a shelter for all 16 of them, and started a fire with a little bit of help.  

Pioneering was next activity.   We learned how to make wax candles.  Though  real pioneers did not have melted crayons to make all the pretty colors, we did learn how to hand dip the wicks to make usable candles. 

We also did something very interesting  that I had not seen before.  We made bread on a stick.  The camp counselor mixed up a batch of corn  bread dough. Everyone had a large heated branch, where the bread dough was placed, and put in the fire.  After sevearal minutes in the fire, the dough was cooked enough to be eatten.  I was surprised with how good it actually tasted.    It could have been because it was a really long day, and I was very hungry, but I would definitely try it again. 

On the way back to the dining hall for dinner, it started to rain.   It was also time for me to go home, since the overnight chaperones were arriving.   Kara didnt want me to leave, but I know she will have fun tomorrow.   They are going to do a zip line.. (waaaa!  I wanted to do that!)  go on a bog hike and a few other fun activities.  I am just glad I can sleep in my own bed, and not have to stay in a cabin with 12 giggling girls for the night..

I look forward to hear all about the rest of the week!
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Last Minute Costume Ideas

We are in the home stretch before Halloween.  If you still need a costume, here are some fun ideas I saw on Family Fun.    I like the food inspired costumes such as this ham and cheese sandwich

and this cookie cutie

If Kara saw this before we started her fox costume, I think she would have wanted to do a Pick of the Litter costume.  I know we have enough stuffed animals to have a huge litter.

I thought this jellyfish costume    was cute and original

If you would perfer scary to cute, there is a video on how to make this easy Frankenstien costume

All of these costumes and many more were found on
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Make Some Extra Money Writing

If you enjoy writing and have a subject that you know a lot about, there is a site where you can earn some money sharing your knowledge with others.  A couple a months ago I was told about it, and wanted more information.   On the site,  I found that there were people from all over the country writing about a wide range of subjects.   I decided that because I know a lot about parties and saving money, that I should give it a try.  I submitted a sample article on how to have a party on a budget.  I heard back from them a day or so later, telling me that they enjoyed my writing. They offered me a postion writing about  family events  in my area.   I now share with others where to find fun family activities on a buget.  While it started out slow at first, mostly because I did not have a lot of time to write,  I recently received my first check.   If this is something you would like to check in to, contact me and I will give you more information.
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Party Pops and More

We are just a few days from Halloween and classroom celebrations.  This is such a fun time of the year for kids everywhere.  If you need some inspiration of fun and easy treats to bring to your class party, check out the wonderful pops (and one cupcake) I saw on Craft Gossip

These witches chaldrons look like htey would be hard to make, but are actually quite easy.  You can see the details on how on the blog Bubble and Sweet

As you know from some of my previous posts, I love marshmellow pops.   I really like these Scaredy Cat Marshmellow pops from The Seven Year Cottage

If you like Sugar Daddy candy, you will love these Bride of Frankenstien pops from Sweet Simple Stuff

How about spiders and bats from Oreo Cakesters from The Decorated Cookie.  I can taste the chocolate goodness. 

While these are not pops, I thought they were too cute not to link.  These adorable witch cupcakes are also from Sweet Simple Stuff

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Okay, its not my bithday yet, but it will be later this week.  The reason for this post is I want to share how many resturants and businesses want to shower you will  freebies and deals during your birthday month.   In the past two weeks my email and my real mailbox have been overflowing with wonderful gifts and coupons.  
I have received :

a $10 gift card from Kohls
a free dinner at local Japanese steakhouse ($19.99 value)
a free birthday burger from Red Robin
a free sundae from Ritters (a custard shop)
a $3 coupon from Fantastic Sams
a free pastry from Panera Bread
a free brownie sundae from Chilis
a free dessert from Carinos
a free burger, salad or sandwich from Bennigans
a free dessert from Buffalo Wild Wings
a free 12 oz shake from Arbys
a free burger from Ruby Tuesdays
a free Rooty Tooty Fresh & Fruity from IHOP

Even if I ate every meal out for the next two weeks, I wont be able to use all of the goodies that have been sent to me.  If you have a favorite place to eat,  make sure to get on their email list.
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Layered Chicken Casserole

We eat at KFC every once in awhile, and sometimes we order a  Famous Bowl where you get an entire meal in a bowl.   This past week we tried the new Bacon Bowl and loved it. 

When trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight, I realized I had all of the ingredients to make a layered chicken bowl at home.     First I cooked some chicken nuggets in a glass casserole pan for 20 mins at 400  degrees. (I followed the directions on the back of the bag)

While the chicken was cooking, I mixed up a batch of  instant mashed pototoes.  (you could definitely make some of the real stuff instead, but when feeding hungry kids I often do the shortcut version)
While the nuggets were still in the oven, I also warmed up a can of white sweet corn.  Any type of corn would do, that just happened to be the only corn I had in the house. 

When the chicken came out of the oven, I then layered the mashed potatoes on top of the nuggets

and mixed in a large spoonful of the corn.  Though it is not in the picture, I used a slotted spoon to add the corn, because I thought the corn liquid would make it too soggy.  I also personally did not add of the entire amt of corn, because a couple of my kids can be funny about eatting corn. 

I added some cheese on top and them placed back into the warm oven  for a few minutes so it would melt. 

The family was a little unsure at first, since I had never made this  before but to their surprise  THEY LOVED IT! One of the kids who is a bit pickier than the rest, actually asked for seconds almost immediately.    While quick and easy version(less than 20 mins), the ingredients could be changed if you would prefer not to use boxed potatoes and frozen nuggets.  I will be making this recipe again, because I got a thumbs up all around.     
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