Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 29 - Face Painting Tutorials

Just when I didn't think I could find an awesome CHEAP costume idea... For those who need some last minute ideas, go pick-up some FACE PAINT! 

THIS WEBSITE has some AWESOME tutorials for the following (and more) face painting options... SIMPLY, dress the kiddos in all black for an instant costume...

Aren't they cute? Bookmark the site or subscribe to this post for your child's birthday party too.  Face painting and tattoos are ALWAYS a hit!


Day 28 - $2 INSTANT Halloween Decor

I'm about to show you 2 VERY easy Halloween decor options.  We will DEFINITELY have 1 on our porch for the trick or treaters... As if being easy isn't enough, they are both REALLY cheap!

1. Glow Stick Goblins.  White balloons + Glow sticks = FABULOUS.  We'll tape these to the porch for a quick and easy decor item. LURVE!

2. Milk Jug Ghost.  Save your milk jugs, draw a face with a black marker and drop in a glow stick (or battery operated light)... Fab and EASY!

Munchface woke up in the mood to make the house HALLOWEEN ready so we'll be doing something similar to get ready! I could totally see something similar for any event really... Maybe letters of a name lining an entrance for a night time party?

Hmm, might have to keep this in mind....


Day 27 - Creative Costumes

My definition of a creative costume coming up was one that didn't require us to spend money - baby, doll, Marine, Ninja... these were my typical "free" costumes.

I found some AWESOME costume inspiration online for costumes that you can create for $10 or less!

- Crayons. Dress each child in a solid color and use black tape to create the lines of the wrapper design.  Take party hats and paint them in coordinating colors for your child's color of choice.  Parent costume could be a crayon box.

- Pringles can.  Dress your child in red, slick the hair with a part in the middle, make the mustache of card stock and, and re-create the pringles can sign using construction paper and poster board.

- Sushi.  Dress in all white, draw/color a pink salmon shape and attach it to the body by wrapping with black (electrical?) tape or ribbon.  For girls, you can create a cute green (wasabi) and pink (ginger) headband... Parent costume: kikkoman sauce? all black with red hat and a "label" made of poster board... Check out this CUTIE:

- Bag of jelly beans. Take a clear trash bag and fill it colorful balloons.  Use poster board to re-create the Jelly Belly label and adhere the bag to the body.... EASY and cute. You could also pin purple, red or green balloons to a solid colored outfit for Grapes... lots of bounce... and LOTS of fun.

Speaking of creative costumes, Munchface made a request to be Willow Smith from her video "Whip My Hair Back and Forth" and we've been hot gluing for days to re-create this look:

I think we may have done it for less than $20... I'll tally up after Halloween and let you know!  What are you doing to make this a fun holiday?


Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 26 - Host A Spooktacular Dinner

I've decided to host a fun family dinner party this weekend.  We'll decorate our family pumpkins, make a spooky dessert and have some holiday-themed food... 

I love cool food tricks as  much as the next person but SOME Halloween food freaks me out.  I can't do any of the following no matter how creative they are:

Yes, it's food; jell-o in a straw = earth worms.

The sight of those images makes my stomach turn... I couldn't eat them if I wanted to! So, for our family dinner, I'll keep it more CUTE than CREEPY.  Here's what I'll serve for dinner:

- Mummy Dogs (hot dogs wrapped in Croissants).  Yummy and EASY!

- Mummy mini pizzas (mini bagels with marinara sauce, cheese and 2 olive eyes).

- There's a Bug in my Salad (spinach salad with a gummy worm on the bowl for the bug).

For dessert, we will make monster fingers (we tried sugar cookies but they swell up to be too plump for witch fingers...). We just use pink icing nail polish for and Munch, the monster nail technician adds sprinkles nail designs.

Ours will be a girly version!
I know, it's nothing crazy... Just a little something to help us have family fun for any reason at all really :)

What are you going to do to make something so dark and creepy fun for your little one?


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 25 - Ghoulish Goodies

I made ghost cupcake 2 years ago for my co-workers and they were a HUGE hit... I found a photo of the same recipe I used online... I'll post my own this weekend BUT I didn't want you to miss out on baking some of your own AWESOME ghoulish goodies:

Photo Source

Simply follow the package instructions to bake and frost your cupcakes.  Purchase pre-made white fondant.  Cover your workspace with flour.  Roll the fondant out until you have a thin layer.  Have your little one use a large circle cookie cutter to cut the rolled fondant.  place the fondant over the iced cupcake and EITHER poke the eyes (as pictured), draw the eyes (with an edible marker) OR use mini candies (and extra icing to hold) to create the eyes.  

Easy P-Z and o so fabulous...

Mommy Tip: For smaller batches of cookies and cupcakes, visit your neighborhood Dollar Tree.  They sell the smaller boxes that make 1 dozen cookies/cupcakes... PERFECT for a smaller group, class, or office (just a co-worker hint-hint)! Go and BAKE something easy today!


Day 24 - Kid-Safe Candy

Halloween is fun for me because I enjoy the excitement of Munchface dressing up and putting on sparkles to go from house-to-house.  It's fun for her because she enjoys all of the above PLUS the sweet rewards that come with it. .. WHICH gives me mommy anxiety over two things -

1. What candy should I buy? 
2. What candy should I allow Munch to eat?

I had a tooth ache the other night and it's prompted me to wonder the damage all this sugar has on her teeth AND what damage will the candy I buy do to others' teeth?

Apparently my good ol' favorite CHOCOLATE is the best candy option for the kids.  Though it has a small amount of caffeine, it won't stick to their teeth and has very little (if any) artificial flavors/colors.  Keep in mind though that many children have an allergy to nuts so steer clear of ALL of my favorites (like Snickers) when buying for kiddos.  Some good chocolate options? KitKat or Hershey's Kisses.  Wal-Mart has some other options for Halloween goodies that are festive and healthier (like mini pretzel packs, cookie packs, and fruit snacks).  I am going to pick up a mixture of both chocolate (which I'm VERY happy about) and better-for-you snack packs.

As far as the WORST candies on the list, I made up a little rhyme to help me remember:

If it's chewy, sticky or hangs around,
It will make teeth turn shades of brown!

In other words CHEWY/STICKY candy like Laffy Taffy, Now-&-Later, Starburst, etc. stick to crevices in your teeth and allow bacteria to feed on them longer. 

Candy like Lollipops and jawbreakers that HANG AROUND in your mouth have the same effect and should be avoided.

If you do allow your child to have the candy mentioned above (2-3 pieces after dinner is a reasonable treat), have a few apple slices to help pull the junky stuff from those hard to reach places and REMEMBER to brush their teeth before bed!

Hope this helps you know which candy options are good for keeping a pretty little smile!


Day 23 - Fall Decor

I don't spend much time or money on Halloween decorations and it's not JUST because I am bad about taking them down (if they're gone by Christmas I'm good, right?).  To get more bang for my bucks, I decorate for the season (not just Halloween) with pumpkins of all sizes, leaf garlands and seasonal vase fillers. Here's some ways Munchface can helps with Fall decor around our home:

- I save my jars (spaghetti sauce, jelly, jams, pickles, etc.) to create centerpieces and seasonal arrangements.  The one below was created with googly eye stickers and muslin, isn't it A-frikkin-dorable?

- You can recreate the cute spooky pumpkins below by cutting felt masks and gluing it to the pumpkins.  Then simply carve (or paint) a mouth. Wouldn't it make a cute addition to stairs, tables or even an entryway?

- Here's another cute use forf pumpkins and muslin.  Simply wrap and glue... then add eyes for a mummified pumpkin.  To transition the same pumpkin into Thanksgiving, remove the muslin, cut (and gut), then place mums inside for a fabulous and simple centerpiece!

- FAMILY pumpkins.  We carve our pumpkins the weekend before Halloween... This year, we're creating family pumpkins (each member will have his/her own pumpkin) for a look similar to the ones below:

- Make a Fall garland.  This weekend, I'll let Munch paint 2 pieces of construction paper with Fall colored paint (orange, red, brown, green, etc.) then I will cut 4 triangles for a pennant banner. I'll add the letters F-A-L-L to the triangles, glue it to a ribbon and hang... It'll be adorable and will add her special touch to the decor.  Don't worry, I'll be sure to add a pic when it's all done!

Fall is a season that's full of beautiful colors which makes it a great opportunity to have little one(s) help you invite the outdoors in!

Mommy Tip:  I let Munch pick leaves from around the yard... Once she has a handful, we make cards and decorate the cover with leaves to mail to family members.  The inside reads, "A taste of Fall from our yard to yours!"  She loves to scribble on the inside and it's the perfect time to send (school?) pictures to family.  Let me know how you invite the warm and cozy Fall feeling into your home; I LOVE COMMENTS!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 22 - Pumpkin Patch Fun

Let me just say that I can't wait to be done with this whole 31 days posting thing... I've had fun but I've been dying to post some topics other than the kid-friendly life topics I signed up for.  On second thought, the purpose of this challenge was so that I could prove to myself that I can find time to blog more often thus making my island more an online therapy session and environment for me.  So, I hope you will tune in November 1st for the NEW and EXCITING topics I can't wait to cover!

To make these last few days more FUN for me, I'm going to finish up my 31 days with crafts, recipes and FUN for the upcoming holiday, Halloween.

Munchface and I will do something EVERYDAY in preparation for the FUN that is DESTINED to come with costumes and candy and crafts and STUFF...

Today's post is dedicated one of our Fall traditions - the Pumpkin Patch! No matter how small, you won't regret the adorable moments that come with your little one visiting your local Patch...

First, stop for us? Starbucks. Mommy can't function without a little treat... "Hello, uh... yes, may I have 1 child's hot chocolate split in 2 cups? THANKS."

We love Pumpkin Patches because they typically have some of our favorite things:

Moon bounces (5 to be exact):


Candy apples and popcorn and hot dogs and crafts and games and.... OF COURSE PUMPKINS!
I thought we had our pumpkins picked out pretty quickly...
...Until Munch took off running because she found a "better" one.

This whole running and squealing from pumpkin to pumpkin went on for about 15 minutes.
Until FINALLY we had pumpkins and, trust me, they were RIGHT ones (as you can see from the hugs and kisses).
All we had left to do was pay (with our Daddy dollars that PAY for everything in the whole world) and we were ready to head home for the carving...

 Anyone with kids knows the THOUGHT of using sharp objects is asking for an ER visit... I'm not in the mood for one of those *like* ever so, here's how WE carve pumpkins: Mommy cuts off the top and hands over a big spoon for little ones to dig out the insides (and put them in a pot so we can bake the seeds later).

Chazity was a PRO with the spoon...

Next, we traced their little hands on the lower portion of the pumpkin.  Then, while they washed their hands and picked out their glittery paints, I carved out the hand shapes.  Once I was finished, I handed over the victims pumpkins and let the glitter fest begin. 

When they finished fancify-ing their pumpkins, we add our character pumpkin picks (we had Elmo and Cookie Monster last year) and this year our picks are Princess Mrs. Potato Head.  I love the pumpkin picks because all we have to do is carve a small hole and stick the picks in the pumpkin and VOILA instant decor... Target sells them and, because they are re-usable, I save them from year to year... Check out how CUTE the pumpkins turned out...

Mommy tip: trace the hands of your little one onto a pumpkin every year and take a (better than I did, hopefully) pic of them next to their pumpkin... it documents how their little hands are growing AND makes for a cute photo-op for the scrapbook.  You could even carve each family members hand onto your family pumpkins for another CUTE option...

Let me know if you plan on going to the Pumpkin Patch!  We're always game for a play date!


Goodwill Finds: The Magnolia Wreath

Happy Friday, Islanders. I wanted to share a thrifty find from a while back.  Ugh, I love my local Goodwill Outlet.  Oh, and yes, you saw ...

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