How To Host The Perfect Halloween Party

This post was written by contributor Taylor.

Halloween is just around the corner and you’re probably getting ready to host or attend a terrific Halloween party! Halloween is a great time of year to get in the spirit of the upcoming holidays, dress up the kids, and spend some quality time together. If you’re planning on hosting, there’s a few things you’ll need to know about how to host the perfect Halloween party.


1. Have a costume party!

No Halloween party is complete without a costume party. To encourage participation, consider having prizes for best costume, worst costume, best couple costume, and more! If you’re having a family friendly Halloween party, you could also do a kid’s contest as well as an adult’s contest! It provides a lot of great entertainment and you get to see how creative your friends and family can get. Costume parties are truly one of the best parts of Halloween!

2. Get creative with your treats.

While it’s nice to have some simple run of the mill treats on hand, and obviously candy, try and make some creative treats! If you scour Pinterest or home magazines before your party, you’ll be sure to find some great treat ideas. Not only can you find some cute creative ideas, but you can also find some creepy and spooky ideas to complete your Halloween party!

3. Decorations are key!

Every great Halloween party features some equally great Halloween decorations. Don’t be afraid to do too much. With a holiday like Halloween, it’s perfectly acceptable to go over the top and decorate like you’ve never decorated before. If you’re hosting a Halloween party, consider buying some cheap “spider webs” to place all over the house to start with and branch out from there! You’d be surprised how awesome you can make your house look for a few bucks!

4. Remember the music.

It’s not often that adults get to get out and attend parties anymore, so that can leave it a little quiet in the house, depending on the crowd. Don’t be afraid to hook up your favorite Pandora station or even a classic Halloween tunes CD up to some speakers to encourage fun and conversation!

5. Plan some games!

Plan some games for your guests. This is especially great if you have guests that don’t know each other so they can get to know each other and break the ice! Pinterest has several great party game ideas, and you can even play some you already play or own! Even board games encourage people to get to know each other!

What is your favorite part of Halloween? Do you intend on hosting a Halloween party?

4 Ways to Avoid Harsh Chemicals and Keep it Simple #SimpleSkinSavings {Walgreens Gift Card Giveaway}

Sponsored post by Lunchbox all opinions are my own.

Every day, we are exposed to too many chemicals to count. Some of them are harmless, and are just a part of living. But there are those that can harm us or our bodies- and have found their way into our food, our water, and even our air.

It is possible to lower your exposure to dangerous chemicals, though. How?

1. Check your canned goods. In light of the recent push to become more Eco-friendly, many companies have removed BPA from their cans. However, not all companies have, and some of this harmful chemical can leech into whatever food is contained inside.

2. Leave your shoes at the door. Just think about all of the places you walk every day, and all of the things you have to step on. Now think about how many harmful chemicals are likely lurking on those streets! We don’t allow shoes in the house because it keeps the floor cleaner- both visibly and chemically.

3. If you garden, consider your pesticide use. Some kinds of pesticides can get into your soil and your plants, and if you’re eating those plants, into you. Either check for a healthier option or forego them. At the very least, be sure to wash any vegetation you grow before eating it.

4. Use products that are free of the bad stuff. Simple skincare products all have NO parabens, NO dyes, NO artificial perfumes and NO harsh irritants! When your environment keeps you down, keep your moisturizer light with Simple®, the expert on sensitive skin.


Want to give Simple a try? Visit Walgreens on this Saturday, September 20th from 10am-5pm to get expert beauty advisor tips on all your favorite Simple® Skin products! Beauty advisors will be handing out an exclusive $1 off coupon on Simple® Skin products on this day only.


You’ll also get 2,000 Balance Reward Points when you purchase 2 or more participating Simple® Skin products at Walgreens- AND you’ll get 50% off the second product with your Balance Rewards Card! If you really want to take advantage of an outstanding deal, go into Walgreens on September 20th from 10am-5pm and get your $1 off coupon on top of all these offers for some serious savings!

Win It: One lucky reader will win a $50 Walgreens gift card to help them save even more! Just enter using the simple form below. Good luck!

[Read more...]

The Importance of Bedtime Rituals {& Twitter Party Alert!}

This post is brought to you by Johnson’s and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

Even though Zac is just 7 months old, I can already tell that my boys have a lot of things in common. One of those is that they are not great sleepers.


When Shane was a baby, he could fall asleep in his swing, his bouncy seat, the car- you name it. He would sleep often, but he also started getting night terrors {which are different than nightmares and involve the person’s body going into panic mode while their mind continues to sleep, basically} at a very young age. He still gets them on occasion, but usually only when he is overtired.

Zac sleeping

Zac hasn’t had any night terrors yet, but he has his own bedtime issues. While he usually falls asleep easily the first time I put him to bed at night, he wakes up a lot and it’s hard to get him back to sleep. Several times a night I’ve had to do things like rock him for an hour, listen to white noise, sing “Twinkle Twinkle” thirty times, bounce him JUST the right way, and try ten different positions for holding him- often, all at the same time.

Shane in bed

One thing that I have noticed that helps with both boys is a night time routine. Now that Shane’s older, he doesn’t want to go to bed- he would rather stay up and play! To help make sure he is getting enough shut eye {and avoiding those night terrors}, we do a full routine every night to help him wind down and get sleepy.

A routine helps Zac too, although his is much shorter right night. Bedtime routines can still be effective even when they are short- Zac’s just includes changing into jammies, using a face wipe and some lotion, and singing a couple of songs. After that I nurse him and he falls right asleep!

Whether you have a long or short bedtime routine, Johnson’s wants to hear about it! Join me tonight for a Midnight Moms twitter party!


When: Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 11:59 p.m. ET (11 p.m. CT / 9 p.m. PT)

What: Join us for a “Midnight Moms” Twitter Party for tips & tricks on bedtime rituals, useful videos on baby bedtime, and info on the JOHNSON’S® Baby 3-step routine clinically proven to help babies and toddlers fall asleep faster.

After analyzing the sleep patterns of more than 80,000 babies, JOHNSON’S® Baby has developed the only bedtime routine clinically proven to help babies and toddlers fall asleep faster, which works along with help from their BEDTIME™ washes and lotions. Whether you’re a new mom looking for advice or a longtime mom with tips to share, we would love to see you at the party.

Hosts: @theMotherhood, @theMotherhood25, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann

Hashtag: #BedtimeForBaby


Prizes! We will be giving away five JOHNSON’S® Baby BEDTIME® SWEET SLEEP™ gift sets to randomly selected participants. Each gift set includes an assortment of JOHNSON’S® Baby products and other bedtime items with an estimated retail value of $33. Prizes are limited to U.S. participants only.


Andrea, Mommy PR,, @MommyPR

Andrea, Momma in Flip Flops,, @mommainflipflop

Caryn, Rockin’ Mama,, @rockinmama

Chelsea, Someday I’ll Learn,, @somedayilllearn

Desiree, The Funny Mom,, @DesireeEaglin

Hanan, EAT.CRAFT.PARENT.,, @EatCraftParent

Jamie, The Denver Housewife,, @DenverHousewife

Jenn, Sweet T Makes Three,, @SweetTMakes3

Jessica, The B Keeps Us Honest,, @bkeepsushonest

Kim, Shop With Me Mama,, @shopwithmemama

Mariah, Formula: Mom,, @formulamom

Sarah, In The Know Mom,, @intheknowmom

Shell, {Not Quite} Susie Homemaker,, @NotQuiteSusie

Does your child have a bedtime routine?

The Hottest Fall 2014 Style Trends {Ulta Gift Card Giveaway}

Sponsored by Lunchbox, all opinions are 100% my own.

While it’s still hitting 100 degrees in the afternoon around here, it seems like stores are unaware of this. Fall clothing has been on the racks for months, making it really hard to find a much-needed new pair of shorts. On the bright side, it means that fall styles are already available for window shopping- or actual shopping!

I’ve been looking at some of the clothing trends coming up this season, and I have to say that I’m excited. Just in time to eat way too many baked goods for a few months, this season’s clothing errs on the side of comfy! Below are some of the trends I’ve seen for Fall 2014:

4 Hot Fall 2014 Trends Crazy Patterns, Metallics, 60's Fashions, and Sweater Dresses

Long sweaters: Paired with leggings for the ultimate comfy combo, long sweaters are an easy way to look put together on a cool fall day.

The 60’s: It’s back! Everything that was trendy in the 60’s- and then resurfaced in the 90’s- is back this fall. Get ready for mini skirts, funky patterns, and maybe even some groovy boots.

Metallics: Metallics are hot every year around this time, especially as the holidays get closer. They can be very flashy though, so try them in accessories rather than dresses.

Novelty Prints: Think back to the sweaters your grandmother used to send you for Christmas- the ones with the funky kitten prints on them. That’s basically what’s going on this year. As you can guess, I’m not so sure about this one, but I have seen similar prints at every store so far so we’ll see! At the very least, this year’s “Ugly Sweater” contest is going to be a doozy!


Whether you follow the trends or march to your own beat, there’s one fall fashion must-have: luxurious locks! Style starts with your wardrobe, but it ends with your hair. This September, perfect your look by bringing it all together with TONI&GUY at ULTA. They are offering 3 new collections to complete your style — Casual, Classic and Glamour — and you can get a free cosmetic bag with purchase*. Visit an ULTA near you, and put the finishing touch on your style today only with TONI&GUY.


Win It: One lucky reader will win a $50 Ulta gift card and some TONI&GUY product to start your fall off right! Just enter using the simple form below. Good luck!

[Read more...]

Easy Kid-Friendly Pizza Sandwich Recipe

Now that Shane is in school five days a week, it’s more important than ever to keep his little body fueled. He takes after me and gets cranky if he’s even a little hungry- plus I also worry that he won’t be able to focus in class if his tummy is rumbling.

Shane Kindergarten

Since he is in PM kindergarten, we eat both breakfast and lunch before he goes to class, giving us plenty of opportunity to fill his belly. However, a lot of the time we are out and about in the mornings- whether we are going to our music class at Gymboree, story time at the library, or just running errands. That means that I don’t always have a whole lot of time to make something for lunch before it’s time to pack up and go, so we are always looking for fast and easy lunch solutions that are kid-friendly.

One of our new favorite lunches are these pizza sandwiches. They use Oscar Mayer’s new Old World Style Classic Pepperoni and are so easy to put together- Shane can even help!

Easy Pizza Sandwiches- Kid friendly and quick!

Easy Pizza Sandwiches


Bread or Roll of your choice

Oscar Mayer Old World Style Classic Pepperoni

Kraft sliced mozzarella

Sprinkle of dried oregano

Pizza sauce


Place all ingredients onto roll on a baking sheet- personalize quantities to your taste

Place in oven and broil open-faced, watching closely, until cheese begins to melt

Remove, let cool, and enjoy!

Optionally, you can include a small cup with more pizza sauce for dipping!

There are no complicated steps and you don’t even have to wait for the oven to preheat, so it’s the perfect lunch for a busy weekday!

Oscar Mayer Old World Style Pepperoni and Salami

Oscar Mayer has several great new Old World Style options that kids and adults will both like, including Classic Salami, Cracked Black Pepper Salami, Classic Pepperoni, and Turkey Pepperoni. All of them come in sandwich-ready slices, so you could easily mix up your sandwiches- whether they are pizza sandwiches or not. Each of the items in the Old World Style line has up to 8 grams of protein per serving, helping keep little bellies full for longer- making for the perfect ingredient for school lunches!

You can find Oscar Meyer products at your local grocery store in the refrigerated meat section. They just came out in August, so if your store doesn’t have them yet, keep checking back!

What is your favorite quick lunch?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...