my life homemade


10/16/17

After School Spooky Snack Station

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackItAndPackIt, #SeasonalSolutions #CollectiveBias


Halloween has got to be one of my favorite holidays. It falls just when the seasons are changing, the weather is getting cooler, and the crisp smell of pumpkins are in the air. I love seeing all the oranges, deep reds, and browns. Hot apple cidar, hot coco, and coffee fill the cups and kids dressed in Halloween costumes is a must see sight.

I love to add a bit of fright and spookiness whenever I can. This Spooky Snack Station is no exception. Full of both my boy's favorite treats and snacks like make your own monster treats with Kellogg's® Rice Krispies Treats®, freighteningly delicious chocolate covered Pringles® Original and Keebler® Cookie Mini Fudge Stripes for a sneakely sweet snack that is perfect for after school school fun. 

Click on your favorite snacks above to purchase the products I used to create our After School Spooky Snack Station.




Creating your own spooky snack station for after school is simple! I used Halloween decorations I already had on hand. Plus, added our favorite Kellogg's treats placed in Halloween bowls and on plates and paired with fun pumpkins and Halloween sprinkles and chocolate for decorating our chocolate monsters.







Create your own Kellogg's® Rice Krispies Treats® Chocolate Monster Treats:


What you need:

  • Kellogg's® Rice Krispies Treats®
  • Pringles® Original
  • Keebler® Cookie Mini Fudge Stripes
  • Halloween candy sprinkles and candy 
  • Chocolate candy melts
  • Halloween monster eyes
  • Wax paper
How to create:
  1. Grab your Rice Krispies Treats®, open and place on a tray or plate.
  2. Melt your chocolate candy in a small bowl, according to directions per package.
  3. Dip your treat into the chocolate to coat on all sides. Either halfway or fully covering treat.
  4. Quickly coat your chocolate covered treats with sprinkles, candy, and/monster eyes.
  5. Place your treats onto a tray or plate covered with wax paper and let dry completely, about 15-20min.
  6. Dig in and enjoy!!!
Use your Pringles® Original in place of the Rice Krispie Treats for a sweet and salty treat everyone will scream for! 




I just love surprising my boys with fun and exciting treats for the holidays. Plus, I love that they are the ones that get to decorate and create their own monster masterpieces. It not only creates fun memories, but it also teaches them how to share, teaches them to use their creativity, and creates a delicious treat they will love to enjoy after a long, hard day at school. 


Check out great offers and limited time special pricing on Pringles Snack Packs and Keebler Cookie at your local Kroger or Kroger banner store! I visited my local Kroger Marketplace but you can visit any Kroger or Kroger banner store. For more Kellogg Halloween inspiration, visit the social hub! Plus, for more great deals, check out this digital coupon, from 10/02 - 11/02, to save even more on your favorite snacks. 


22 Tips for Planning the Ultimate Halloween Block Party

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR ~ JORDAN

You can feel it in the air. The breeze becomes crisper, the cascade of red and yellow foliage has begun, and there’s an eerie feeling in the back of your mind. Whether it’s the prospect of the holidays that’s rattling your nerves or the creepy spider decorations that are suddenly crawling around your neighborhood, that feeling is your signal that Halloween is drawing near.
As the ghostly trimmings of Halloweens past begin to haunt your house, kick up your block party plans with the following 22 ideas to make your bash the best yet.


THE FOOD:
This appetizer is easy to prepare and can be made in smaller or greater quantities, depending on the size of your party. Scrape the seeds from the jalapeno pepper if you don’t want the dip too spicy, or use a poblano pepper instead, which has less heat.
Another appetizer idea is these spider deviled eggs that will make your guests’ skin crawl! They’re simple to assemble and contribute well to the Halloween theme. If you wish to take it a step further, check out these spider web deviled eggs and consider adding avocado and wasabi to your deviled mixture.
This is your opportunity to get creative. These melon monsters can be as harmless or as scary as you want. Try cutting out arms from an additional melon that extend out from either side and encircle the fruit. Eyes can be slanted inward to make an angry face, and other features like horns, antennas and spikes can be customized to your liking.
4.   Ghost Pizza
If you’re serving a main course, you’ll want to make sure it’s something relatively inexpensive that can serve a lot of people. This Ghost Pizza is your perfect solution, while still staying in the Halloween spirit. Don’t limit yourself to just ghosts, but instead think of the possibilities of Frankenstein faces that can be created with a selection of veggies. Your options are endless.
Another option for a main course is these Jack-O-Lantern Cheeseburgers. Serve the burgers on a platter with bun tops off so kids and adults alike can admire your creativity.
For a sweet finish, try these pretzels covered in an orange candy coating with a green M&M accent to make the sweetest pumpkins you’ve ever tried. 
Don’t forget about the classic caramel apple that complements the fall season. This will give your overstuffed guests a taste of a traditional favorite without having to leave behind the bulk of the apple. For variety, try a peanut butter drizzle with chopped Reese’s on top or coconut flakes and diced almonds for a take on Almond Joys.
With a focus on food, it’s easy to let drink options slip the mind. For a beverage that celebrates autumn and Halloween combined, try apple cider inside a hollowed-out pumpkin. The pumpkin punch bowl can also be used for alcoholic beverages for adults. Try adding these ghoulish shrunkenapple heads to give your guests a shock!
If you’re strapped for time this year and can’t plan for food preparation, don’t panic. Look for a party rental vendor who offers products like popcorn poppers, pretzel machines, hot dog machines or even cotton candy machines to give you a break, but also lend a classy touch. These rentals are not very common at block parties and will surprise and intrigue your guests.

THE DECORATIONS
Warn your guests of their impending doom by decorating your house with monstrous features. This project can be done on any part of the house if you don’t have a garage door. Try adorning your front door frame with an upper and lower jaw so that guests must step through the teeth to enter.
This simple do-it-yourself project will be a sure sign to neighbors that your house is haunted. The cloth over the ghosts can be tied together as if they were joined in ghostly hand dancing around a fire, or they can be separated throughout the yard and left to eerily blow in the wind.
An easy way to give your house a creepy vibe is by throwing sheets over the furniture. This will make the impression your house hasn’t been lived in, in addition to being a fast way to decorate just before guests arrive. Spider webs attached to dark corners and crevices will also make your house seem vacant and mysterious.
Give your friends a fright when they walk into your bathroom and see cockroaches pouring from the vent. Get ready for a few screams!
No Halloween party is complete without scary faces breaking free of their picture frames. You can also use forms of hands or fingers to show that spirits are escaping from their haunted pasts in your home.
Although this idea was taken from the world-famous Harry Potter series, these floating candles will give your house a dim and chilling ambiance. Keep the lights low to give these candles their full effect.

THE ACTIVITIES:
Here’s a new twist on an old classic. Provide your visitors with a fun way to celebrate throughout your party with a soundtrack that’s on-theme. If you’re wondering what prizes to have on hand, try a pumpkin trick-or-treat bucket filled with little toys for the kids, or a ticket into a raffle which will be drawn at the end of the night for the adults.
A fun and busy activity for the kids is a t-shirt costume decorating contest. Set up a table for them to work on and provide kids t-shirts in a variety of colors, as well as sharpies, glue, glitter, paint, ribbon and other adornments. Once the shirts have had an hour to dry, have the kids put them on and do a Halloween fashion show!
Another game for the kids, or perhaps some very flexible adults, is this acrobatic challenge that can be easily assembled in your hallway. Hang toilet paper across a hallway so that anyone who wants to pass must climb through the spider web maze.
A Halloween party wouldn’t be complete without the opportunity to bob for apples!
Halloween Charades is a great way to get in the spirit of the season, and all ages can participate. Make up your own cards with famous Halloween movies, characters or creatures, and have your guests show off their acting skills.
If you’re wrapped up in the zombie craze, maybe your party is the perfect time for a little zombie action. This game can be modified if you don’t want your guests running around your house.
An example would be to give everyone three clothes pins as they walk into the house to clip somewhere visible on their clothes. One person is secretly selected to be the zombie and goes around sneakily stealing clothespins off of other guests. If you lose all your clothespins, you are now also a zombie and must steal other people’s clothes pins. Trust us; there will be no survivors.
Bean bag tosses are games that can be played while carrying on a conversation, and are great for block parties. To increase the competitive natures in your guests, add a point system and make smaller holes worth more than bigger holes. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Any of these block party ideas will contribute to your celebration’s success. After all the party preparations are finished, remember to kick back, relax and enjoy the fun of the fall season. After all, that’s what having a happy Halloween is all about.

10/13/17

Win with the New OREO Mystery Flavor

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MysteryOREO #CollectiveBias

Have you been loving the new OREO flavors as much as I have?! It’s like every time I go to Walmart, I never know which new flavor I might find. With Halloween right around the corner, I’m loving their new Mystery flavor the most + who doesn’t love a fun guessing game?!

Here’s the deets-

#MysteryOREO #Sweepstakes (10/13 to 11/30)
Go buy the Mystery OREOs at Walmart, (online OR in-person) and submit a photo of proof (in-store selfie at shelf with product or a pic of the receipt), and you’ll have a chance to win a $20 giftcard. Enter here!

THEN after you’ve bought the new Mystery flavor, taste it & go online or text in your guess in to 59526 - if you’re right, you’ll be entered in for a chance to win $50K! Enter here!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of 50 US/DC, 18+. Ends 11/30/17. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds & prizes: oreomystery dot com. Void where prohibited.

10/12/17

Throw the Ultimate World Series Viewing Party

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR ~ JORDAN

Your team has made it — after 162 games and two playoff series — they’re in the World Series. It’s a terrific opportunity for a celebration, with friends and family all cheering for your team and their time in the sun.

Or you’re a diehard baseball fan, and even though your team did not make it to the World Series, you’re going to watch — you’ll bring friends over to share in their company and enjoy the game.
Maybe you are part of a circle of friends. Some are rooting for one team, and others for the other. Throw a fun party which gives everyone the opportunity to wave their favorite team’s MLB flag  a chance to celebrate and moan as their teams battle it out for the World Series Crown.

No matter your reason for hosting a World Series party, here are some ideas which will allow you to throw a grand slam World Series Party.


DECOR:
Your décor should provide the proper baseball feel. Napkins, plates and plastic cutlery should all be in your team’s colors. If you have a party filled with fans of both teams, you can be gracious and include colors from both. The larger items, such as the tablecloth, should be in your team’s colors.
Getting one of your team’s banners to hang over the fireplace or front door should set the tone.
On top of the color scheme, you can get many party favors which emphasize the baseball theme. The decorations you get are up to you, but banners, bunting and ribbons always add to the festivity. Hanging decorations will enliven your house for the evening.

THE TV:
You’re going to want to make sure everyone can watch the game. If you have multiple TVs in the house, you may be able to move them to appropriate places, so your guests can enjoy the game throughout the house.

Consider renting a large screen TV or projector setup for the evening. The projector setup will work especially on large open walls.

Set up folding chairs as well as your regular seating around, but also consider flow. No matter how important the game is, people will be moving around for food, conversation and leg-stretching.

HOT FOOD:
Since the party will serve as dinner for most of your guests — most game coverage starts around 7:30 pm Eastern time, with the first pitches shortly after 8 pm, most of the country will be hungry during the game. Make sure you serve an array of hot food, like these Honey Chipotle Chicken Wings, which you can manage easily from your kitchen while still watching the game — after all, you are a party-goer, too.

One item for early on might be a fun Buffalo Chicken Dip, which has all the fun and flavor of wings, but far less of the mess. Serve several dishes of these early, in separate parts of the room. Another easy item — which can be made ahead and then baked right before the game — is this version of Cocktail Meatballs.

For the more substantial part of the “meal,” consider Ground Sirloin Sliders, which can be made very quickly and easily during a commercial break, if you have everything ready to go. A vegetarian option with flair is Polenta Cornballs with SpicyMarinara Sauce.

Heavy hors d’oeuvres are the perfect finger food for the hot food portion of this party.

COLD FOOD AND APPETIZERS:
Greet your guests with food already on the table. You can provide a traditional assortment of cheeses, crackers and baguette slice.

Since it’s a baseball game you’re watching, you need to have some peanuts — assuming no peanut allergies are in the house. These Hot and Spicy Roasted Peanuts will fit the bill, and you won’t have to worry about cleaning up peanut shells for weeks afterward.

One fun item which can be made right before people arrive is this Sweet and Savory Cheesy Bacon Twist. Combining cheese, bacon and puff pastry, this appetizer will tease the bacon fans in your crowd.

Make a batch of Peanut Butter Caramel Corn in advance, and distribute it ready-to-eat in ballpark-style cups.

Surprise your guests by greeting them with a box of Cracker Jack for each. Cracker Jack is still associated with baseball and even comes with a prize!  


BEVERAGES:
In the background, you will have the usual array of sodas, ice tea, coffee and other standard beverages ready for your guests. In addition to the standbys, you might want to consider a few items with some flair. This Cherry-infused Soda Punch should stand up well on a chilly fall evening. Another option, which can be served in pitchers and passed around, is a tangy Pineapple Ginger Sparkler.

If you are serving alcohol, you know to keep track of your guests’ consumption. While we don’t say you must cut them off after the 7th inning as they do at ballparks, you might want to keep in mind your guests’ drinking habits.

That said, remember that it’s baseball — beer is always welcome. If you can, consider a small quarter keg of your favorite brew for that ballpark feel. If you plan to serve hard liquor, honor baseball greats by mixing Highballs, the Babe’s drink of choice. They’re easy to make and perfectly sporty.

Another drink with true baseball spirit is the Golden Glove. Combining rum, lime and Cointreau, and this drink will hit it out of the park.

REMEMBER THE PROGRAM:
Remember this party’s focus is the game, so don’t wear yourself out showing off your cooking skills. You want to serve enough that people leave satisfied, but there’s no need to lay out a full meal.
The food is not the focus of this party — nor of any party, really. The focus is on the people and purpose. Since you will be watching the game, the conversation will be interrupted by spectacular catches, amazing steals and bad calls at the plate. Wave your team’s flag wildly.

The goal for throwing a World Series party is to spend time with friends and share the experience of watching the game.
Enjoy the party!

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