Spooky Snacks for Halloween

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

Halloween is one of my family’s favorite holidays! It is fun to create spooky snacks that celebrate the season, whether for parties or after school treats. One of my favorite things to use during Halloween is dry ice, and here is a fun Fanta Halloween Punch recipe complete with dry ice effects and OREO Truffle eyeballs.

Halloween Fanta Punch - Fanta, Ginger Ale, Sherbet and dry ice are perfect for Halloween

Punch is the ultimate party beverage, and a Fanta Halloween Punch is delicious.  The punch is very easy to make too, and goes together in seconds. I simply poured a 2 L bottle of Fanta into the punch bowl, along with a 2 L Ginger Ale.Continue Reading

Japanese Inspired Bloody Mary

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #HomegateHacks #TeamMary #CollectiveBias

Football season is in full swing, and my husband and I are enjoying all the action and excitement! We don’t get to many games in person, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a fun Homegate experience while we watch our favorite teams. This past weekend we created a Japanese themed Football party featuring a Japanese Inspired Bloody Mary and Sushi.

Japanese Inspired Bloody Mary - add some lime juice and Sake to a Bloody Mary cocktail, and top it off with pickled ginger and lime. A fun drink that pairs perfectly with sushi.

This made a great change from our typical pizza and chicken wings, and added some spice to the games! Football might not be a big sport in Japan, but that doesn’t mean we can’t mix the two cultures together. Bloody Mary is a cocktail that has lots of variations, so it just lends itself to experimentation. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time putting together our Homegate, so I used a LiDestri Bloody Mary cocktail as a base.Continue Reading

When Have You Needed Extra?

What was a time you needed extra? In my house there are two things we tend to run out of – milk and toilet paper! Milk is tough, because it is perishable so you can’t stock up too much, but toilet paper is easy to store, so there really is no reason to run out.  But with 3 kids and multiple bathrooms I can go from thinking there are 5 rolls left to realizing we are down to our last half a roll in no time at all.

Scott Toilet Paper with Extra

A few years ago we were hosting a birthday party for the family at our house, and I realized after the guests showed up that we had only one roll of toilet paper.  I had the kids clean the bathroom before the party, but they didn’t think to check the paper supply.  I tried to make a discreet exit to go into town and get more, but that is hard to do when you are the host!Continue Reading

Period Survival Kit

This post is sponsored by Lunchbox.

Do you have a period survival kit?  After all sometimes the unexpected happens, and it is always good to be ready!

Period Survival Kit

The last thing you want during your period is to feel blah and drab, so I like to keep a small pack with all the things I might want for a little extra pampering – lip balm, tissues, pain killer, hand sanitizer, chocolate and of course some pads. My two daughters have their own period packs with all their favorite pampering items too. It is a quick and easy way to make that time of the month less stressful.

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Apple Cobbler

Apple picking season is winding down around here, but I am still making apple desserts.  This Apple Cobbler is a great way to get apple pie taste without going to all the trouble of making a pastry crust!

Apple Cobbler with Biscuit Topping and Ice Cream

The recipe is just a whole bunch of apples tossed with a little sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and topped off with a fluffy biscuit topping.  I like to use lots of apples in my cobblers, so that the biscuit topping doesn’t overwhelm the fruit.

For pies I like to use crisp apples like Granny Smith so the pie holds its shape.  But I like my cobblers juicy, so I used softer Cortland and Gala apples for this dish.  Topping the cobbler off with a sprinkling of sparkling sugar adds a little crunch, and the sparkle makes the dessert seem more special with no extra effort.Continue Reading

Chocolate Mocha Mug Cake

Today is National Mocha Day!  Here is recipe for an easy Chocolate Mocha Mug Cake, perfect for celebrating the day.

Chocolate Mocha Mug Cake - an easy microwave recipe for making a mocha mug cake

Mug cakes are a delicious dessert, and so easy to make!  This cake comes together in only a few minutes, so it is perfect when you want a quick dessert just for yourself, because you need a quick coffee and chocolate fix.Continue Reading

Top 3 Fall Family Adventures

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #BestPlans4Fall#CollectiveBias

Fall is a busy time of year for my family!  After the more restful pace of the summer it seems like everything kicks into high gear, and we have activities and chores that just need to be done. But it is also the perfect time for Fall Family Adventures – and Walmart Family Mobile provides affordable plans for keeping the family on track and in touch during these adventures.


Top 3 Fall Family Adventures - Leaf Peeping, Pumpkin Picking and Apple Picking

I recently got a new LG Leon LTE, which is perfect for making our adventures more fun and productive. Here are the Top 3 Fall Family Adventures that my family is enjoying this year.Continue Reading

Symphoria – Central New York’s Orchestra

I received complementary tickets from Symphoria, and all opinions are my own.

Last night my husband and I had the chance to attend an amazing performance from Symphoria, Cirque de la Symphonie. The performance was a fun combination of classical music with circus acts, and it went together beautifully. The acts included jugglers, mime, aerial fliers, acrobats, and contortionists, and it was quite exciting. The orchestra would play a classic, like Tchaikovsky’s Valse from Sleeping Beauty Suite Op.66a, while a contortionist performed in time with the music at the front of the stage.

Before the performance I was a little unsure about this combination of performances, but was fantastic. The classical music enhanced the performances, and the action on the stage kept everyone’s attention. I will admit that at previous symphony performances I have attended my attention might drift off from time to time, but not last night. And there were a number of works that just featured the orchestra, like Strauss’s Thunder and Lightning Polka, which gave the audience a chance to really appreciate their talent without any distractions.

Symphoria - a Professional co-op orchestra in central NY

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Growing Old Gracefully

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

Last week I shared how I was transitioning our 10 year old dog, Dodger, over to Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind food. This food is specially formulated to increase cognitive awareness in dogs ages 7 and up. It just makes sense, after all puppies have special puppy food because their nutritional needs are different, and so are the needs of senior dogs.

Taking Care of Our Senior Dog

As dogs age the glucose metabolism in their brain begins to change, which can effect many areas, like memory, learning and decision making. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind contains enhanced botanical oils which promote memory, attention and trainability. The biggest difference we have noticed in Dodger is that he seems to have more patience.  We have a younger dog, Ziggy, who can be quite demanding. Dodger has been much more willing to actually play, and less likely to just go and hide from Ziggy’s attention.Continue Reading

Pecan Cookie Pie

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

Fall is the perfect time to try out some new recipe using favorite flavors, like this Pecan Cookie Pie.

Pecan Cookie Pie - a soft and chewy cookie pie made with M&M's® Pecan Pie and apple sauce

This pie is like a big chewy cookie, filled with M&M’s® Pecan Pie and pecans for a delicious seasonal dessert.  To make the pie nice and moist I used Mott’s® Apple Sauce instead of butter in the recipe, which makes for a soft and sweet cookie pie with tasty M&M’s® sprinkled throughout.Find more recipe ideas and enter the MARS Bake in the Fun Sweepstakes at the end of the post!Continue Reading