You must try this! Santa Claus and his amazing PNP (Portable North Pole) console will be online during the entire holiday season. With just a few clicks, this technological marvel will let your loved ones receive a personalized message from Santa Claus himself, sent directly from his village in the North Pole. It is not only very cute, but FREE. Give it a try, we have been using it every year and must say it was a fun little video message that Oliver receives from Santa.
Welcome Santa to your house with the important cookies.  Share a jar with your friends and neighbors. Make It Do will show you how to craft the cheery covered jar and Bakerella has the recipe with the ingredients to fill the jar.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>    Remember Rudolph too. A fun craft for the family to make together: Popsicle Stick Reindeer to make and hang on your tree or gift away. Expat Mom has the steps, one, two, three. rudolph

Once upon a time there was a little old woman and a little old man. The little old woman thought she’d make a gingerbread man. She rolled out the dough, and cut out the shape, and she put raisins for his eyes, and peppermints for his teeth, and put icing on his head for the hair. Then she put him in the oven, and when it smelled good, she opened up the door to take a peek and out jumped the gingerbread man.

Today’s Recipe for Fun is Gingerbread Crayons.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Start by removing all the paper from the crayons and chop them into small bits. Fill your mould with the crayon pieces and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until wax is melted. You can add more bits of crayon through the melting process so the moulds are completely full. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Then push out the crayons and they are ready to use.  Caution, don’t let them get away until you are ready to surprise some special kids.

“Run, run, as fast as you can,

You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!”

This Recipe for Fun is from Torie Jayne.

How to disguise Gingerbread Men. Turn them upside down and look at the cute Reindeer cookies.

For a change of pace, how about baking up some Nijabread Men?

These Nijabread Men cookie cutters have been a hot item this season. Can you see them also as a Recipe for Fun?

Now that the kiddos arrived home with their candy booty. Be brave and take a look through their score. Could you now guess which candy is your state’s favorite? Let us know if the map below is accurate to your first hand observation.

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This dog is leading in the polls – don’t believe it, just ask him.

Halloween Safety Tips For Dogs

1. Avoid chocolate and other candy.  Make sure to keep any candy that you are going to hand out safely hidden from your dog. Notify kids in the house to put their candy bags away. Chocolate is a big no-no for dogs as it contains theobromine, which their bodies cannot properly digest. The darker the chocolate, the worse it can be. Small amounts are typically not lethal, so if he does snag a bite don’t freak out. But also don’t let it happen.

Candy wrappers, tinfoil, and other dangers can be found in candy bags, so keep your dog safe by putting these away.

2. Put your dog in a safe place, either a separate room or his crate, when the trick-or-treaters are coming by. You should not let him be at the door to greet the kids. Costumes, commotion, and loud noises will stress him out and can cause problems ranging from stress to aggression.

3. Don’t leave your dog around kids without supervision. The erratic movements and loud, startling noises can really upset him. Add in a scary costume and you have a formula for disaster.

4. Be careful about placement of electrical cords for decorations. If your puppy or dog chews on these, trouble will follow. Arrange them for safety and use a bitter apple spray on the cord to keep pets at bay.

5. Don’t leave candles unattended. Carved pumpkins look great with a candle burning inside them, but they can be tipped over. They can also be investigated by curious pets which can lead to burns or worse.

6. Make sure that your dog’s costume is the right fit. Don’t put him in a costume that is too small or tight. Also check for loose ends that could be chewed on and swallowed or cause other problems. If your dog hates having the costume on be a friend to him and take the costume off.

7. Watch out when the door is open. If your dog is not secured in another room or in his crate then he might bolt out the door. With all the activity outside it may be even harder to get him back in.

8. Walk your dog before the festivities begin – all those costumes can be scary.

9. If the noise is bothering him, try adding background sounds (radio, TV) to distract him from the neighborhood hubbub.

10. Be careful when out walking your dog after Halloween – loose candy can be found and he may grab a big piece if he sees it before you do.

11. Think twice about taking him out with your family to trick or treat. There’s a lot of costumes and commotion which can put any dog on edge. He might be happier at home.

12. Tell kids the dangers of the treats and to not feed the dog any.

13. Be firm. Don’t let anybody who wants to greet your dog just to be polite. Be willing to say “no thanks” if your dog is feeling anxious or if the other person (perhaps an excited, sugar filled child) is approaching inappropriately.

14. If you take your dog with you, do not take him up to a stranger’s door – the resident dog may not take kindly to that and it could end up being a bummer. Someone should wait at the end of the driveway with the dog.

15. Do not leave your dog outside. There are plenty of rumors that dogs are taunted and teased, that gates are opened, and that candy is tossed in yards. It’s unlikely that lots of kids are running around causing harm to dogs on Halloween night, but the commotion is enough to unnerve your dog and it is conceivable that a youngster might toss a treat toward your dog with the best of intentions but bad results.

It may seem like a lot, but the truth is that Halloween is a fun time for parents and kids and can easily be fun for dogs too. Many dogs enjoy being the center of attention and will tolerate wearing a costume (which we get a huge kick out of!) to do so. Keep an eye out for the dangers of candy, keep your dog secure in your house, and be ready to ward off over excited kids and all will be well. Happy Halloween.

Deviled Eggs, always for Halloween, but this year we’re egging you on to eat spider eggs. Spider eggs are high protein and may be a great way to creep out some friends.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon (3 oz.)
  • 8 hard-cooked large eggs
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

1. In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon, turning slices as needed, until browned on both sides and crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When cool enough to handle, crumble bacon.
2. Cut each egg in half lengthwise; gently scoop out yolks and place in a bowl. Mash yolks with a fork, then stir in mayonnaise, green onions, mustard, and crumbled bacon until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spoon about 1 tablespoon yolk mixture into the hollow of each egg-white half. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 4 hours.

Don’t you agree this is a super timely recipe for fun?

For most parents, choosing the best mattress for their child can be rather confusing since there are so many different types of mattresses available. Without a right mattress, sleeping could become a problem for your child. At a glance, mattresses may all seem the same. However, there are few things you need to consider before making the decision to purchase.

1. Growing widespread concern regarding the effects of potentially harmful chemicals.

As your child will spend about ten to twelve hours a day sleeping on their mattress for many years, it is best you avoid heavily-treated mattresses containing polyurethane foam, Eco-foam (which is mostly polyurethane foam), vinyl (PVC), phthalates, chemical fire retardants or barriers and industrial chemicals. Many chemicals may release gases from the mattress and be inhaled by your child.

2. Mattresses that are made of organic and non-toxic materials are ideal for children. A good choice is a mattress made with organic cotton or organic wool fabrics and filling. Children are especially sensitive to toxic chemicals so care should be taken to limit their exposure.

Remember that not all organic mattresses are alike. For instance, “natural latex” or “coir” may actually be allergenic for your child. Look for a mattress that has earned the recommendation or certification of a reputable organization.

Avoid vinyl, nylon, polyurethane. Ask for FDA food-grade polyethylene, the safest way to waterproof and dust mite proof a mattress.

In addition, you will want to purchase a good firm mattress. A firm mattress provides a child with proper support for their growing bodies which is recommended by pediatricians.

3. Certainly, price is also a factor. A cheap mattress would mean that your child could end up loosing sleep when the springs start to poke through or when the mattress starts to sag.

Make sure to do a research and focus on the materials used.

4. It is not a good idea to use a hand me down mattress. Be aware that if the mattress is no longer comfortable for an older sibling, it will not be good enough for a younger child as well.

5. Always buy a mattress with an extended warranty. Kids often jump on their beds, and this could cause damage.

To extend the life of your new mattress, be sure to turn the mattress regularly and use a padded mattress topper on it to reduce wear. A breathable mattress protector to keep the mattress dry as well as free of dust and perspiration is a wise idea. Be sure to change the sheets regularly and vacuum the mattress occasionally.

Remember, a good comfortable mattress enables your child to sleep more peacefully and this in turn will help him or her to be attentive during the day. So, shop around and pick the best children mattress available within your budget.

Folks ask us almost everyday about how the different sizes of mattresses vary. Here is some basic sizing information:

·         Mattress Sizes

o        Twin–39″W x 75″L or 99 x 190 cm

o        X-Long Twin–39″W x 80″L or 99 x 203 cm

o        Full–54″W x 75″L or 137 x 190 cm

o        Queen–60″W x 80″L or 153 x 203 cm

o        King–76″W x 80″L or 198 x 203 cm

o        California King–72″W x 84″L or 182 x 213 cm

·         Fitted Sheet Sizes

o        Twin–39″W x 75″L or 99 x 190 cm

o        X-Long Twin–39″W x 80″L or 99 x 203 cm

o        Full–54″W x 75″L or 137 x 190 cm

o        Queen–60″W x 80″L or 153 x 203 cm

o        King–76″W x 80″L or 198 x 203 cm

o        California King–72″W x 84″L or 182 x 213 cm

·         Flat Sheet Sizes

o        Twin–66″W x 96″L or 167 x 243 cm

o        X-Long Twin–66″W x 102″L or 167 x 259 cm

o        Full–81″W x 96″L or 205 x 243 cm

o        Queen–90″W x 102″L or 228 x 259 cm

o        King/California King–108″W x 102″L or 274 x 259 cm

·         Comforter Sizes

o        Twin–68″W x 86″L or 173 x 218 cm

o        Full/Queen–86″W x 86″L or 218 x 218 cm

o        King/California King–100″W x 90″L or 254 x 229 cm

Our personal shoppers are always available with free advise to help you find the proper mattress for your child. Give us a call 952-881-2425.

With the arrival of fall just around  the corner and  Starbucks now serving their Pumpkin Spice Latte, are you ready for the season? This recipe for fun may put you and the kids in the mood. We have found a Pumpkin Latte Playdough for your little ones that just may become a new autumn classic at your house. Dinosaurs and Octopuses has the recipe for fun this week.

Here it is:

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp cream of tartar
1/3 of the jar of pumpkin pie spice (the tiny jar)
maple extract
vanilla extract
food coloring

Combine the dry ingredients and the oil. Slowly add the water. Add a few dashes of each of the extracts and a few drops of red and yellow food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring until stiff. As it mixes you can see if you’ll need more food dye. Adding a little at a time until the desired color is  achieved. Turn out onto wax paper. The pumpkin pie spice was too spicy by itself, for my liking. The extracts make it smell sweeter, just like a pumpkin pie. Sniff the dough. Does it smell too spicy? Add a little bit more extract and knead it all together. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If it’s too dry, add a few drops of water.

Betsy, you must give this a try for Katherine.

Anyone looking for a copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Latte recipe? Give this one from the Kitchn a try!

Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin or 1 teaspoon of Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup (your choice)
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute – you can halve this amount
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee if you don’t have an espresso machine.)

Directions:
In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry about it – just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.

Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top.

Optional: Top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.

Save

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Join Totally Kids fun furniture & toys for a day of Family Fun on Saturday, November 12th as we celebrate National Neighborhood Toy Store Day.

We are proud to be your Neighborhood Toy Store and we’re throwing a party to celebrate! Please join us!

Exclusives

Fun for the Whole Family

Bring the kids…and the grandparents and tell your friends to meet you here.  This is an event you will not want to miss!

butterfly-face

There will be so much to do, from trying out our favorite toys and games, to winning contests and featuring face painting by Cindy Lou!

Refreshments and snacks will be served.

Play fun games and win prizes. Each child who donates a new or gently used toy for families economically challenged by the affects of Autism will receive 50% OFF their favorite toy or game.

Register to win an Eco-friendly car!

All children will go home with a FREE prize.

Our experienced staff is looking forward to showing you the hottest toys for this holiday season.

 

An essential for back to school item we all know is the pencil and have them on our lists. Why not add  this cheesey pencil idea from Moneywise Moms to your list too? Hop on over and learn how to make these funky fun pencils.

Liz has done it again making back to school pencils a little sweeter. All that you need is right here, but for a beautiful how to pictorial hop over to Hoosier Homemade.

Back to School Candy Pencil Supplies

  • Rolo Candy
  • Hershey Chocolate Kisses
  • Yellow scrapbook paper
  • Pink scrapbook paper
  • Paper cutter {optional, but it’s really handy}
  • Black and Blue Marker
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Adhesive – we used tape, Elmer’s Extreme Glue Stick, Tape Runner
  • Scissors
  • Tags – string, paper and erasers

If any of you have great back to school surprise recipes, please send them our way.

 

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It’s a good day to melt some heat away.

There are many versions of ice cube painting. We’re going to try the Kool-Aid one but definitely outside today where it is very hot, not to mention MESSY. We’ll let you know how it goes and if it turns into semi-permanent body painting with colorful little fingers.

Share & Remember freezes liquid water colors by filling the trays with water first, then added watercolors & stirred which are left to freeze overnight.

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Keep the painting project less messy by freezing Popsicle sticks in the ice cubes.

Our approach will be to let the little Van Goghs cool off their hands as much as possible while creating their masterpieces hopefully on large sheets of paper.

Ice painted gift wrap!

Minieco put her 3 year old to work which resulted in brilliant and  most amazing gift wrap.

Our recipe was mixing 5 flavors of kool-aid with about 1/4 cup of water for each color, then freezing the colors into a few ice cubes. The less water you use, the more vibrant your colors will be.
We know that this will be super messy and must caution all that it will stain clothes and hands.

Give this Very Cool Recipe for Fun a try.