How to Make Spooky Spider Snacks for Halloween!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Halloween appetizers

These spiders just appeared out of nowhere! We came up with these Spooky Spider Snacks on a whim as we were planning another recipe. I just thought, we have crackers, hummus, and olives, what if we just put them together in a recipe? That would seem a little weird if it wasn't for Halloween I guess. So it all worked out for the best! Anyhow, you can easily put these together for your own Halloween get together. You just need the ingredients I listed above and to watch the video below. Happy Halloween!

A Piece of My Heart Pasta Dinner For Your Kids!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Barilla®. All opinions are my own.

Sometimes you want to surprise your family by making dinner a little extra special and then there are times where you will give anything for your kids to eat dinner without complaining. During this hectic back-to-school time you don't have time to make dinner and deal with complaining as well, right? This is when this Piece of my Heart Pasta Dinner, made with Barilla pasta and sauce, comes in handy! These pasta hearts and veggies are super tasty but sometimes kids need a little extra motivation. When your kids see the little extra love that you put into their dinner, it just might give them that extra motivation and it will shock you with how eager they are to eat!

Barilla Pasta

Let's stop for a personal testimony here. My seven-year-old son always complains about eating his vegetables. At times, it's definitely a struggle. When we made this particular dinner, it was a completely different experience. He definitely loved the Barilla pasta heart, so I had an idea. Because of how easy the pasta is to eat, a portion of vegetables were also easy to eat after that. When he discovered that he could eat that combo together, he devoured the rest of dinner with no problem. The pasta worked a miracle!

Hey parents, have you ever wanted to sleep better? This might help!

Monday, October 23, 2017

You know how when you become a parent you give up certain things for awhile? You know how one of those things happens to be sleep? Yeah, I know, it's a sensitive subject. I remember when our third was born he was such a poor sleeper that we had to keep him downstairs while one of us slept on the couch next to his bassinet. For a month. Every night. If you're looking for a positive side to it, I don't really remember exactly how tired I was because I walked around like a zombie for that entire time. So there's that. Now if you are looking for tips on how to get your kids to sleep through the night, this isn't the post for you. This post is about how much, when you become a parent, you truly start to appreciate sleep. As big fans of sleep, my wife and I had the chance to review Tomorrow Sleep's mattress, comforter, and pillow. After a month of using them, this is what you need to know.

I have to stop and mention here that we love our old mattress that we've had forever. When we would travel, I would dream about coming home to our mattress. It was actually the first legit piece of furniture that we bought when we got married. The problem is that we've now been married for sixteen years. Let me rephrase that. The problem is that we've now had the same mattress for sixteen years. So as much as we love it, we knew it was time to look into a new one. This was about the time that Tomorrow Sleep contacted me asking if we would like to review their mattress and a few other products. I skeptically agreed. How great could a mattress in a box be? We literally have kept our old mattress in our room just in case we hated the new one. Now, on to what we think about the Tomorrow Sleep products.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Black Bean Dip

Sunday, October 22, 2017

I'll just be honest here. In our house we have gone through a few bowls of this dip because this Disney's The Nightmare Before Christmas Black Bean Dip is so good. I wish that we would have put together enough that it actually would have made it all the way to a party, but we have failed in that goal. However, if you have more self control than us, this Jack Skellington appetizer would be great for a Halloween get together!

You only need a few ingredients and a couple minutes to put this together. Below is the list of ingredients and you can watch the short video to see the instructions. Have fun this holiday season and whether you make this for Halloween or Christmas this is sure to be a hit!

The Perfect Bag of Snacks to Keep in Your Car

Thursday, October 19, 2017

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Snyder's-Lance. All opinions are my own.
Snyder's Lance Snack Better

It's the eternal parental problem. You're going drama practice, to a little league game, or even just to the park down the street. In your head, you know your kids are going to be asking for food exactly 2.4 seconds after you sit down. Apparently their stomach timers are synced to the timers in your muscles that control when you want to sit and relax for five minutes. But you can't fight it, you can only prepare for it. This is where your ability to choose the right snacks comes in.

Of course, as a parent, you've have to deal with this for years. There have been times where you picked the wrong snack (it melted in the bag), or you forgot the snack on the kitchen counter because it was hiding right next to your keys. I'm not judging, I've been there. This is why my family is always looking for a versatile snack that can go anywhere. After untold hours of searching, we might have found the snack that fits our needs. We have taken these to a local monument, amusement park, and even to my son's soccer game. They actually were perfect because we were able to hand them out to other hungry kids at the field as well. Kids at youth sporting events are actually kind of like ants. When they smell a tasty snack, they swarm you and there is no getting away from them. Sometimes I wasn't even sure they were there for the game, I think they sniffed out the snacks in their car while they drove by.
Snyder's Lance Snack Better

What is this magic snack you ask? You probably have to buy these snacks on the black market of the of the internet, right? They are actually right at your local grocery store. It's the Snyder's-Lance Snack Packs. So why are they the perfect snack-on-the-go? There are four reasons. There might actually be more than four, but we are parents here, and we probably don't have time to read more than four. In fact, only reading four will more than likely take 2-3 attempts trying to read this whole post with all of the interruptions, so let's just keep it simple.

How to Make Easy Jack O' Lantern Orange Smoothies for Halloween!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Halloween Recipes

When I say that my kids loved a recipe, I don't throw that word around lightly. We recently created this smoothie idea and my kids couldn't get enough. They literally kept asking for more! That is why I had to hare it with you, especially with Halloween almost here. As parents, we are always looking for easy and healthy recipes that our kids will actually eat. This is one of those recipes. In fact, it is designed for Halloween but really can be served all year round, just skip the step on making it into a Jack O' Lantern.

The ingredients are listed below and I've also made a video with all of the instructions. Have a safe and fun Halloween!

The Nightmare Before Christmas Oogie Boogie Lunch

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Disney recipes

So it's about time one of the biggest stars from The Nightmare Before Christmas was featured in his own lunch. After all, Oogie Boogie was Jack Skellington's "enforcer." He is the one who held Sandy Claws hostage so that Jack could fulfill his mission. He also has one of my kids' favorite songs in the movie, so he has that going for him as well. I am also on a "Nightmare" kick so this is my third lunch in a row on this theme. To see all the other Nightmare themed lunches I have made over the year's, CLICK HERE.

I created this lunch in an Easy Lunch Boxes container and yes there is an actual sandwich underneath Oogie Boogie. The cheese is just the top for it! If your kids are as big a fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas as mine are, they will love this lunch. Directions are below!

Parents Need Each Other's Encouragement More Than Each Other's Criticism

Thursday, October 12, 2017

inspiration for parents

Dads are lazy. I just finished reading an article from a well known parent magazine talking about how "science" has proven that dads use their time at home hanging out and relaxing, while moms work. The title was absolute clickbait and it smelled strongly of a safe place to let unhappy wives vent about their husbands. Oh, and it also served as an incubator for accumulating easy website clicks. The article itself picked and chose what it wanted from the actual study done by a university, in order to make the editorial as inflammatory as possible. The beauty of the internet is that we don't need to let facts get in the way of our opinions. The article, and the comment section of the Facebook post, was pretty much a breeding ground for negativity. It once again reminded me how much more us as parents need positivity and encouragement, rather than criticism and name-calling.
This is one of my favorite new sites to find encouraging stories instead of negative ones.

The Strangest Netflix Giveaway Ever!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

You guys I am so excited for the Stranger Things Season 2 to come out on Netflix! I regularly scour the news for updates, I have my T-shirt, and I have been basically waiting on pins and needles for October 27th, 2017 to arrive. The only thing that's just as fun is that Netflix gave me two three month subscriptions to give away to a few fans in order to celebrate the new release! But more on that below. To prove to you how big of a fan I am, here is a fun little food art project I made after watching season one of Stranger Things.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Zero Lunch

Monday, October 9, 2017

So I figured, "It's Halloween, why not make another The Nightmare Before Christmas Lunch?" I know I made one last week but it is just far and away the best Halloween/Christmas movie out there. My kids love it. I love it. Why not? So I thought I would take a bit of a different angle and feature Zero the dog in this one. After all, he might be the unsung hero of the movie.

We actually still haven't watched the film yet this season but it will definitely happen. In the meantime, there are always more lunches to be made! I created this lunch in an Easy Lunch Boxes container. I also used Pumpernickel bread but you can use any dark wheat. I also had a silicone mold that containers a number of expressions for Jack Skellington. I have had it for almost a year but haven't used it. I figured it was about time. This is how I made Jack's face using white and black edible modeling dough. The rest of the directions are below!

3 Tips For a Small Town Trip With Your Kids

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Merrell shoes. All opinions are my own.
Merrell Shoes

Maybe you need a change of scenery or maybe you just need to prevent your kids from destroying the house again. Every parent gets the feeling once in awhile that you need to get out of town. You want to get away, but there is no way you can take that extra long trip. It's too much time and too much money. But you still have the motivation to gather up your kids, pack up the car, and go on a day trip. One of the easiest, and most cost effective, adventures you can take with your family is a day trip to a small town near you. This might sound cheesy, boring, or cliche, but believe me when I say that your kids will love it! When you promote it to them as a time to explore mysterious places, discover fun food, and climb over new obstacles, you can usually get them excited to go.

The thing about day trips is that you need to be a little bit prepared. You don't have to spend hours doing homework about the town you are traveling to, but it does help to spend a few minutes looking up local eatery ratings, getting some good shoes on your kids' feet, and making sure you have an extra hoodie in the trunk. Here are three more tips that will make your time together a huge success!

Merrell Shoes

The Nightmare Before Christmas Bean Burrito Lunch

Monday, October 2, 2017

It's October which means that it's time for... no not candy! It also doesn't mean it's time for costumes. October means that it is time to once again hold screenings for the incredible family cinematic adventure The Nightmare Before Christmas! Ok, maybe it's only our family that calls it that but I can say that there is no other Halloween/Christmas mashup movie that comes close to beating it. We are already singing the soundtrack together as a family. So in honor of October, I had to make my kids this Jack Skellington lunch to celebrate!

If you have been around my blog at all, you know this isn't the first time I've gone with this theme. I have a few other Nightmare lunches that you can find HERE. This particular lunch was made in an Easy Lunch Boxes container and is complete with a Jack Skellington bean burrito and Oogie Boogie yogurt! See the instructions below.

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