October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from me,
my Spider Witch,
my Spooky Skeleton
and my Little Black Cat!

October 27, 2011

Shutterfly Card Giveaway WINNERS!

Good morning, everyone!  Thanks so much to all who entered our Shutterfly Card giveaway.  Shutterfly really does have a TON of awesome card designs and I'm excited to take a few pictures of my crew and make up our own holiday card.

And now, onto the winners...   

This giveaway was for three lucky winners to each receive 25 FREE cards.  We had 53 comments as entries, so using random.org, the following numbers were chosen.

And the corresponding winners...

Comment number 20...  Kristin

Comment number 34...  Jessica

and Comment number 39... Rebecca

I'll be emailing each of you soon!

Thanks so much to everyone who participated.

October 26, 2011

Spooky Glow-in-the-Dark Drinks

I originally posted this idea this summer, but it's absolutely perfect for Halloween parties, so I'm reposting it.  (with the added adjective "Spooky"  ;)  ) 

Pretty awesome (and spooky) isn't it?

Because the glow sticks never touch the actual beverage, they're perfectly safe to drink (and perfectly cool to look at!)

Here's what you need:

  • glowsticks (I used the kind with connectors to make bracelets)
  • clear plastic tumbler cups
  • larger opaque cups (I used red keg cups)
  • your beverage (clear or mostly clear drinks work best ~ we used Sprite)

Here's what you do:

Activate your glow sticks and bend them to fit in the bottom of your larger cup.  ( If your glowsticks have the connector piece to make them into a bracelet, it's helpful to make it into a circle so it stays in place and doesn't push up on the clear cup). Nestle the clear cup inside the larger cup and fill with your drink.  

That's it!  Serve to your amazed kids ( or fill with an adult beverage and serve to some amazed adults!)  

October 25, 2011

Five (more) Fun Ideas for Halloween Foods

I love making Fun Foods for kids 
(and adults who are kids at heart!)
A few weeks ago I shared these
that were linked up to our Halloween and Fall parties.
Well, the ideas just kept coming so here are
Five MORE Fun Ideas!

Ghost Milk
{ Crafts~N~Things for Children }

Isn't this a clever twist on chocolate milk?
My kids would love this!
(Plus Amanda shares several other fun, 
ghost-themed ideas in her post!)

Guaca-moldy and Creature Crackers
{ Phaedra's Adventures }

Ooh, I love this idea of using cookie cutters to make
Halloween themed crackers!
The green guacamole is perfect for dipping, 
but even just salsa would be fun.

Mummy Meatloaf
{ Let Kids Create }

My kids actually love meatloaf,
so I know they'd get a huge kick 
out of this spooky mummy!

Monster Eyeball Pops
{ Phaedra's Adventures }

Here's another fun idea from Phaedra!
I love treats that just involve dipping things in chocolate,
and these eyeballs are super cute.

Easy and Fun Monster Meal
{ chicken babies }

I love how Erin used a combination of 
"regular" foods and spooky foods 
to make this Monster Meal.
By using fun descriptions 
and pretending to be monsters 
going out to eat at restaurant,
she turned a simple meal 
into something really memorable.

Thanks, ladies, for sharing these really fun ideas for Halloween Foods!
I know there will be many dinner tables that are a little more fun 
this Halloween season thanks to you.  
Feel free to grab a featured button from my sidebar.

And readers, don't forget to keep checking our Halloween Ideas party,
tons of cute ideas are being linked up all the time.

Sharing at:

Come Together Kids

October 24, 2011

Cinnamon Tortilla Jack-O-Lanterns

This was a cute, fun, and easy activity as well as a yummy little treat.  Last winter, I posted about the Cinnamon Snowflakes that we made using flour tortillas and cinnamon sugar.  These cute Jack-O-Lanterns use the same "recipe" but with a different cutting technique.

Here's what you need:

  • small flour tortillas
  • cinnamon sugar
  • cooking spray (or melted butter)

Here's what you do:

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cut a jack-o-lantern face in your tortilla.  We used a butter knife and it worked just fine (However, it was a bit difficult to cut rounded shapes, so triangles and straight lines were easier than circles)

3.  Put your jack-o-lantern face on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray (or brush with melted butter).  Then sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar.

4.  Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the tortilla begins to turn golden brown (check often).  Let cool and then enjoy.

We also made an easy Pumpkin Fluff Dip to go with our new Jack-O-Lanterns.  

Just combine:

1 (15oz) can of pumpkin puree 
1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix  
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Then fold in one 8oz. container of cool whip.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The Pumpkin Fluff Dip was also super yummy with cinnamon graham crackers and apple slices.

Tip Junkie handmade projects

October 23, 2011

Crustless Crockpot Pumpkin Pie

I love pumpkin pie, but as I've mentioned before, I'm not much of a baker.  Therefore, I resigned myself to only having my grandmother's pumpkin pie once a year on Thanksgiving.  That is, until I came across this recipe on A Year of Slow Cooking (by the way, GREAT blog for crockpot recipes!!).   It has all the yumminess of a pumpkin pie without the hassle of a crust.  Plus, you make it in the crockpot, so it's even easier.  Ever since I discovered it a couple years ago, it's been a favorite of ours.  Once the leaves start changing and fall is in the air, the kids start asking for it and I happily oblige!

With a little bit of whipped cream, of course!

Here's what you need:

  •  1 can of pumpkin puree (15 oz)
  •  1 can of evaporated milk (12 oz)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup Biquick mix (or other similar mix)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (original recipe calls for the individual spices)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Here's what you do:

1.  Spray the inside of your 4 quart crockpot with cooking spray.  (I've used a 6 quart crockpot with success when I double the recipe)

2.  Put all of your ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until fully blended.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared crockpot. Cover and cook on high for about 3 hours, or on low for about 5. Check your "pie" after 2 hours on high, and 3 hours on low, then check every 30 minutes.  You can tell it's ready when the edges are browned and the center no longer "jiggles" when you shake it slightly.  Mine is usually done after about 2 1/2 hours on high.  

This got a little too "browned" on the very edges
because I had to run out to the store for whipped cream,
but it was still really yummy!

4. Let it cool to room temperature, then scoop out and serve with whipped cream.  I actually like the flavors even more after refrigerating it and when it's cool not room temp, but it's yummy either way.

Five (more) Fun Ideas for Halloween and Fall Activities

Fall is finally here 
and Halloween is fast approaching.
Here are a few activities to help your kids 
enjoy this fun time of year.
These ideas linked up 
to our Halloween and Fall parties
are easy to do and inexpensive, 
but still lots of fun.

Leaf People (with cute printable!)
{ Happy Home Fairy }

Make up a bunch of these cute leaf people 
using materials from the dollar store,
then give them out to others
with the cute printable from the post.

Pumpkin Pie Playdoh
{ Dinosaurs and Octopuses }

Here at Come Together Kids we've made
but never Pumpkin Pie Playdoh!
That will change soon because 
this just sounds like it would be awesome!

Hungry Monster People Toss
{ chicken babies }

What a fun idea!
Make a monster with an open mouth
and toss it people to "eat"
(Fisher Price little people and other small people figurines)

Halloween Crayon Rubbings
{ Let Kids Create }

We've tried crayon rubbings before, 
but sometimes it's tough to get a good enough impression.
But, by drawing your picture with hot glue
you get a great raised image that's easier to use ~ brilliant!
( I bet it would be really cool to do with leaf shapes too!)

Colorful Autumn Leaves
{ Boredom Busting Mommy }

Here's a fun activity for even the littlest kid!
Put a leaf shape in a plastic bag with some paint,
seal it up, then let the kids mix the colors.
You'll get colorful fall leaves, but without the mess!!!

I love all these great activities!
Thanks so much for linking up and sharing your great ideas with others.
Feel free to grab a featured button from my sidebar.

And, of course, continue to check out the 
Halloween and Fall Fun parties 
for even more great ideas!

Tatertots and Jello

Tip Junkie handmade projects

October 22, 2011

The Elf on the Shelf

Okay, I  know it's not even Halloween yet, and I'm not usually one to rush the season, but we've really enjoyed this little guy for the past few Christmases.  In fact, just last week in a school essay about family traditions, my oldest included our Elf on The Shelf as one of her favorite things we do each year as a family.  Because the elf makes his (or her) appearance right after Thanksgiving, I wanted to share this fun little tradition with you now.  (You should be proud of me since I usually wait until the last minute or even after the holiday to write a post!)  Besides, as of Tuesday, there are only two months until Christmas!!

Anyway, here's our elf!  

( We have the boy elf, but I just found out 
they have a cute girl elf version too)

The elf comes with a cute book explaining the tradition ~ Each year the elf comes to your house for the holiday season.  He watches over the children each day, then flies back to the North Pole each night to report his observations to Santa.  (Let me tell you, just knowing that the elf will be telling Santa if they've been good or bad each days results in a noticeable improvement in behavior!)  The book also has a spot for you to name your elf ( ours is Haddihat Foofer ~ don't ask how the kids came up with that one!!) and write down your family's name and when you started the tradition.

Here are my kids reading the book when our elf made his appearance after Thanksgiving last year.

The fun part of this tradition is that early each morning when the elf returns from the North Pole, he finds a different spot to spend the next day.  One day he may be sitting on the mantle, the next day inside the china cabinet and the following day on the ceiling fan!  The kids LOVE waking up each morning and rushing to find where he decided to stay.  (as long as Mommy remembered to move him!). 

Here was our elf watching from the curtain rod!

Now, for the past three years, our elf has simply watched over the kids and moved to a different spot each morning.  However, thanks to the wonders of Pinterest, I've discovered that many people have a whole lot of fun with it and have their elves do all sorts of fun pranks and tricks. 

Here are some fun ideas I've found that you can do with your elf...

I think my kids would get be thrilled if Haddihat Foofer has a little more fun with them this year.

Sharing our elf at:

Shutterfly Card GIVEAWAY!!

I love taking pictures of my family.  Over the course of several months I'll have taken literally thousands of photos trying to capture both important occasions and day-to-day life.  For years now, I've been using Shutterfly to help preserve some of the memories I capture on film.  I've always been pleased with the price, the quality and the customer service I've received.

Every year for Christmas, I turn to Shutterfly for my holiday photo cards.  I love being able to share a few of my favorite pictures of the kids in my holiday greetings.  I really appreciate all the design and color options they have to choose from.   I especially like the variety they have for the number of photos in each card.  I no longer have to worry about getting that one perfect photo of all three kids together (which is nearly impossible, believe me!).  Instead,  I can choose the best picture of each kid and put them in a multi-photo layout.  

Look at the awesome card I created for 2011
5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Check out our Christmas cards from the past couple years...

Shutterfly has cards for Christmas, birth announcements, and almost every other occasion you can think of!  

I love the photo books at Shutterfly as well.  Every year I make each of my kids a "Year in Review" photo book as my Christmas gift to them.  Once I make the tough decisions of what photos to include, Shutterfly makes it super easy to put those pictures together into a gorgeous photo book.  My kids love receiving the books I make for them and they will often pull out the books from past years to look at themselves when they were "just little kids".

Now that I've shared some of the reasons why I love Shutterfly, let me tell you the good news!  THREE of my lucky readers can win 25 FREE cards of their own.   Woo hoo!!

I'm going to make it super easy for you to win.  All you have to do is visit Shutterfly and check out their amazing card choices for 2011.  Then, just leave a comment below telling me which card design is your favorite!  (Please make sure you have your email in your profile or leave your email address in your comment to so I can notify you if you win!)  I'll leave the giveaway open through Wednesday, Oct. 26th at midnight.

Good luck! 

This giveaway is now CLOSED!  Winners to be announced tomorrow, Thursday Oct 27th!

** Disclosure:  I have not been paid by Shutterfly to give this review or host this giveaway, but I am receiving some free cards of my own.  All opinions are 100% mine and I have truthfully been thrilled with my experiences at Shutterfly so far.

October 21, 2011

Five Fun Ideas for Halloween Decorating

I read recently that Halloween is second 
only to Christmas in terms of holiday decorating.  After seeing some of the many cute ideas 
linked up to our Halloween Ideas party
I can see why.  

Check out these 
Five Fun Ideas for 
Halloween Decorating!

Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead!
{ Sew Blessed }

Okay, this is just too fun!
A pair of tights, a pair of shoes and some stuffing 
and you have yourself a really fun way 
to add some fun to your front porch!

Googly Eyed Busts
{ Design DNA }

These just made me giggle.
They're the perfect combination of 
a little bit spooky and a little bit fun.
 (You have to check out their 
funny evil fairies and spooky spell book too ~ 
how creative!)

Pine Cone Mobile
{ Zombies Wearing Helmets }

Who would have thought pine cones and twigs 
would make such awesome looking spiders?
This would be such a fun project to do 
after a Fall nature walk!

Feather Boa Wreath
{ supercalifragilisticexpialidocious }

There are several really cute Halloween wreaths 
linked up to the party,
but this one made from a feather boa really caught my eye.
I love that they were able to make it in just a few minutes,
and everything's just attached with pins so it can all be reused!

Hula Hoop Spider Web
{ Creativity My Passion }

A huge spider web made from a hula hoop?
What a smart way to use those 
hula hoops left over from summer play.

Thanks so much, ladies, for linking up these great ideas for Halloween Decorating!  Feel free to grab a "featured" button from my sidebar.

These are just a few of the many incredible ideas 
that have been linked up so far.  
Check out the Halloween Ideas party 
for even more inspiration.

Come Together Kids

Sharing the Halloween spirit at: 
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