Halloween Baking

Halloween is more than costumes and candy. It brings opportunities to bake and bond with your kids. Cooking provides teachable moments, like measuring ingredients and answering questions, such as "why is butter yellow" and "how can I tell when cupcakes are done".

Even preschoolers can stir things and put cupcake liners in the baking pan!

Here are fun Halloween recipes:

Spiders on Orange Cupcakes

Nothing creeps out adults quite like spiders. Little boys think they are hilarious and girls will just giggle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ – Cup cake flour
  • 1 – Cup sugar
  • 2 ½ – Teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ – Teaspoon salt
  • 2 – Eggs – separate and beat whites to stiff texture
  • ½ – Cup orange juice
  • 1 – Stick butter – soften
  • 1 – Teaspoon vanilla extract


Cream sugar, vanilla, egg yolks and butter in mixing bowl. In another mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.

Add 1/3 dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Next pour in about 1/3 of the orange juice. Repeat sequence until all dry ingredients and orange juice are mixed thoroughly with creamed ingredients.

Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour batter into paper-lined muffin pan, filling about ½ full. Bake about 15 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 – Tablespoon butter
  • 1 – Cup powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ – Tablespoon milk
  • ½ – Teaspoon vanilla extract


Place butter in glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. Add 1½ tablespoons milk and stir in balance of ingredients. If necessary add more milk to form glaze consistency.

Drizzle over cooled cupcakes to form a spider web pattern.


Black jelly beans, black string licorice (cut in 2" strips).

Use a black jelly bean for the spider's body. Poke 4 holes on each side of cupcakes with skewer. Fashion legs from licorice and stick in holes.

Tip: Gummy spiders make good alternative.

Spider Cupcakes

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Ellen Show

Every year the Ellen show an episode called Last Minute Costumes. The kids and I love watching it when it comes out and it gives is some fun ideas. Here are some of the shows from 2010 to 2014. What will your kids be this year? Maybe this will give you some ideas.

This episode was totally adorable as kids show off their costumes to Ellen. Some of the costumes include Tyler dressed up as a bed bug, another Tyler, 7 year old playing a miner from Chilis. Isabella was a little political this year and dressed up as the 'Tea Party'. Ellen brings out 7 year old Sara and gives her an iron, turning her from a Chef into the Iron Chef lol.

A group of adorable kids dropped by to collect some candy, and Ellen couldn't resist helping them with their costumes. If you've seen a hilarious Halloween costume, send it to us right here! My Favorite is Money Balls where in the end they roll this little boy away!!

Ellen did a second episode on Oct 31st which was totally adorable. This is a must watch :)
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International Day of the Girl

The International Day of the Girl, which takes place on October 11th of each year, is a direct response to a relatively urgent issue that is currently being experienced in the world; that is, the neglect and the devaluation of girls in the United States and other regions of the world. Annually, girls of all ages come together in highly dynamic groups around the world in order to discuss, celebrate, and improve the lives and opportunities available to girls all over the place. When these girls come together on October 11th, they discuss what really matters to them and their lives. It is an opportunity to educate and inform. On the International Day of the Girl, females gather to discuss the gender issues facing them and work to encourage each other and other groups (for example, boys and adults) to take immediate action to transform the current status quo.

The International Day of the Girl on October 11th is more than just a celebration of a specific day; it is a movement that is designed to result in a positive, life-changing worldwide revolution. This movement is about the progress of girls and what needs to continue to be done in order to achieve gender equality. It is about multiple issues, multiple countries, and multiple ethnic groups coming together for one common cause – to optimize the lives of girls everywhere and to encourage the fair treatment of girls in all countries, across the globe. While highly recognized in the United States and other countries, in the year 2011, the United Nations officially designated October 11th as “International Day of the Girl Child”. The purpose and intent behind this official designation was to help cultivate worldwide enthusiasm to develop goals for girls all around the world so that they could take a leadership role in reaching their maximum potential and help other girls do the same.

The International Day of the Girl was designed to recognize the rights that girls possess and the unique challenges that all girls face in their respective regions. It is not at all uncommon to hear of females facing immense levels of discrimination and extreme violence on a daily basis in several regions. The International Day of the Girl is designed to encourage people to focus their attention on the need to address these devastating issues. In doing so, we all come together to successfully promote the empowerment of girls. In addition to this, we work to place a special emphasis on fulfilling the basic human rights of each girl in the world. Originally led in the years of 2011 and 2012 by the United States’ group known as “School Girls Unite”, today, several groups lead the events on this special day of recognition.

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Parenting - Teach and not Preach

Parenting in Such a Way That You Teach, Not Preach

Your parenting style should be one where you teach your children, not preach to them. This is especially true when it comes to problem solving. According to child behavior specialists, kids are natural problem solvers. There are many settings where your child may interact with others and actively participate in the decision-making process. These settings transform into experiences that will assist your child in being introduced to different types of thinking, will allow them to think in a creative and logical fashion, and take an active role in allowing them to become aware of the world that they are surrounded. Life is full of teachable moments. By helping your child recognize these moments and encouraging them to solve their problems all on their own, your parenting techniques will allow them to grow into emotionally-stable, mature, responsible, and independent adults.

Why Problem Solving Skills are Important

As people, we transition from childhood into adulthood. This process is not only physical. It is a process in which each of us learns many skills and concepts. We also make numerous mistakes throughout our early years and are faced with many challenges. The mistakes and the challenges that are thrown upon us as children allow us to engage in problem solving. When we work through problems as children and teenagers, we acquire the skills that are necessary to succeed in our adult lives. While, as parents, we often want to rescue our children when they experience setbacks, it is best to allow them to work through and solve their own problems. By doing this, they will be better equipped to deal with life as it is handed to them.

Problem Solving Aids in Thought Development and Understanding

As a child develops the ability to deal with various problems, they learn to navigate through the various stages of their lives. Thought development and understanding is developed as they gain perspective. Children will start to learn how their world operates, about others, and will learn the basic mechanics to developing solid relationships. While it is advised to provide guidance, you should never preach at your child or tell them exactly how to handle the problems that they are faced with. Instead, you should simply encourage them to develop their own insights. Even if you KNOW that the way in which they are handling a problem will not work, you should allow them to proceed so that they are able to learn.

Steps for Helping a Child Solve Their Problems

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Human Peace Sign

In an act of celebration Yoko Ono Helped Organize a Giant Human Peace Sign for John Lennon's 75th Birthday

On October 9th John Lennon would have turned 75 years old. Yesterday Yoko Ono celebrated his birthday by attempting to create in New York's Central Park the Worlds Largest Peace sign.

In a world with so much bad things happening it was great to see this. It lifted my heart and the hearts of my family. The best way to combat all the negativity in this world is with 'good'. I may not see a peaceful world in my lifetime, but I hope in my children's lifetime they will. Each life we touch we can all make a difference, one person at a time.

Even the smallest acts of kindness can make the world of difference in someones life. One small act of kindness may spill over to another and another creating a ripple. Over time that ripple may turn into a tidal wave of kindness. Kids look up to us for inspiration and strength.

We are like a mirror to our kids and the kids around them. Lets provide a good reflection and show them how to fight with goodness and kindness and then one day we may reach John Lennon's and  Yoko Ono's dream of World Peace. That is my dream too and the dream I have for my children and children's children.

Human Peace Sign for John Lennon

Yoko Ono


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best sprout tv shows

As a parent I love the Sprout TV Network. There are several wonderful TV shows on Sprout, the first-ever 24-hour television show dedicated to programming that is appropriate for children between the ages of 2 – 6 and their parents. Currently, Sprout is available in nearly 60 million homes. This children’s network was acquired by NBC Universal Cable Entertainment in late 2013. Since that time, it has quickly grown into one of the most popular children’s television channels to ever hit the screen. Sprout has a comprehensive lineup of the best television shows currently being broadcasted for children.

The network focuses on inspiring families to explore and experience the infinite possibilities of life on a daily basis. In addition to this, it introduces important skills and concepts that are tailored to preschoolers. Currently, the best Sprout TV shows include The Sunny Side Up Show, Nina’s World, and the all-time favorite, Caillou. Recently, Sprout named the ever-popular and highly respected actress, Alyssa Milano, as their very first “Mom-Bassador”. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn about the television shows highlighted in this introduction, as well as Alyssa Milano’s new role with the Sprout Network.

The Sunny Side Up Show

The Sunny Side Up Show is a specially-designed programming block on Sprout that was first introduced in the fall of 2007. Each and every single week, new themes are introduced to the viewing audience. Examples of these themes may include certain holidays, foods, animals, and more! It starts at 9:00am Eastern Time on each day of the week. The hosts of the show, Chica, Carly, Emily, Kaitlin, and Tim sign songs, tell stories, play a variety of games, and even feature birthday cards and artwork from the viewers. Recently, Sprout’s first-ever Mom-Bassador was featured on The Sunny Side Up Show as the “President of the Big City Committee”. Not only did she capture the imagination of Chica with the explanation of how much Mac & Cheese could be found in the big city, she captured the hearts and imagination of her viewing audience, as well!

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National Grandparents Day. We Love you!!

It is National Grandparents day. They are sometimes called Grandma and Grandpa, Meemaw and Peepaw, or Nana and Grandpop, but no matter what we call them there is no question they are the greatest. Lets make sure we all tell them how much we love them. I love my mom and dad very much. They are the best grandparents our kids could have. Here are some quotes to express how much we love and care about our Grandparents:

Great Quotes about the Grandparents We Love:

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.
~Alex Haley

A house needs a grandma in it. ~Louisa May Alcott

Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete. ~Marcy DeMaree

It is as grandmothers that our mothers come into the fullness of their grace. ~Christopher Morley

It’s such a grand thing to be a mother of a mother — that’s why the world calls her grandmother. ~Author Unknown

Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap. ~Doug Larson

A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend. ~Author Unknown

Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete. ~Marcy DeMaree

Grandmas never run out of hugs or cookies. ~Author Unknown

My name is NO NO but Grandma calls me precious! ~Author Unknown

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