DIY CRAFT read more PARTY DECOR read more PATERNS read more RECIPES read more DIY CRAFT read more PARTY DECOR read more TRAVEL TIPS read more Party Planner and DIY Projects Popsicle Stick Haunted House CraftOctober 20, 2020... Read more...Tissue Box MonstersOctober 9, 2020... Read more...Mason Jar Jack-o-lanternsOctober 8, 2020... Read more...Spider Kids CraftOctober 5, 2020... Read more...You’ve Been Booed – A Neighborhood Halloween GameOctober 4, 2020This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase we get a small commission. This helps us keep the blog going! Thanks! Halloween has always been one of our favorite holidays. There’s candy, parties, costumes, decorations and lots of thrills; what’s not to love? For us it also marks the start of the holiday season. So when October comes around we drag out the Halloween decorations, of which we own many, and decorate. Then of course there are costumes to be decided on and to make; this process usually starts before summer ends giving us plenty of time to make them. Of course the best part of Halloween is trick or treating on Halloween night. The kids, even the teens, look forward to that! But the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on this beloved tradition; a tradition even hurricanes can’t seem to cancel (here in Hawaii when a hurricane or storm threatens to cancel trick or treating the Governor has been known to postpone it until the next day or as soon as the weather clears up. I’m not so sure anyone can postpone Halloween long enough until the pandemic is over. Nor am I sure how many parents are willing to venture out to take the kids trick or treating; or for that matter how many folks are comfortable enough to open their doors to a bunch of trick or treaters. I’m pretty sure we’ll be keeping the kids home this year. Bummer! But that doesn’t mean we won’t be celebrating Halloween, we’ll just have to do it differently! In past years we’ve played a neighborhood game called “You’ve Been Booed”. It’s a great way to share some treats with neighbors, friends, and family. It’s fun too because the object of the game is to deliver the treats anonymously without being seen! Sounds perfect for the current situation! It’s probably a good idea to get together with neighbors and agree to play this game so that it’s not quite as anonymous and everyone will be prepared to receive a basket at their door. You can’t be too careful these days! Also be sure to get the kids involved! Let them help make treat baskets and deliver them. Our kids really get in to the spirit as they plot out how best to deliver the treat baskets without getting caught! And when they make their deliveries there’s usually so much giggling and whispering it’s amazing they don’t get caught! To help you and your neighbors play this fun Halloween game our team has created some free printable pages for you to use. Just click on the links at the bottom of this post to download and print the ones you like. These are the Boo Baskets we made to share. I used my Cricut Maker to make the Layered Boo Letters which I taped together and mounted on a stick. It’s a super cute topper! The Layered Boo I used is a free cut file from Special Hearts Studio! Just download the file, save it to your computer then upload it to any Cricut or cutting machine the uses SVG files! The letters are cut in layers and you’ll have to glue them together. It’s best to keep a picture of the finished design to help guide you with the layers. BTW you can customize the colors to what ever you want! Click here for the free SVG file from Special Hearts Studio! I tucked into each basked one of my super cute Halloween Treat Boxes I also made with my Cricut Maker! Another fun Halloween Project. I used the free cut files from Crafting Cheerfully. These cute little boxes are simple to make and if you want to you can also cut out clear plastic squares to place under the box lid for a very professional look! Click here for the free SVG file from Crafting Cheerfully! But before you start printing here’s how you play the game! Print out 2 sets of the You’ve Been Booed sheets – 1 sheet says You’ve Been Booed and has instructions on how to keep the game going; the other sheet says We’ve Been Booed, a sign which those who’ve already received a treat can place on their front door or window to let others know they’ve received a treat. Of course you can still give them a treat if you want to! Prepare 2 (or more if you want to) baskets or boxes of treats to be enjoyed by the whole family. Include one set of You’ve Been Booed sheets in the basket. Drop off the baskets to your neighbors who haven’t been “Booed” yet, unless of course you want to drop off a basket to more than 2 neighbors regardless if they’ve been booed or not. That’s it! Easy peasy! So scroll down for our free printable sheets! Cute Witch Printable click here! Graveyard Printable click here! Graveyard Scene Printable click here! Jack-O-Lanterns Printable click here! Haunted House Printable click here! Mummy Printable click here! Trick or Treaters Printable click here! Fun Haunted House Printable click here! Witchy Haunted House printable click here! Haunted Witch Village printable click here! Scarecrow printable click here! Happy Halloween! ... Read more...Halloween Mantel … Er, FantelOctober 2, 2020... Read more...Sunflower Granny Square Blanket – Free PatternSeptember 14, 2020Lately I’ve been pretty much staying home as much as possible, I’m sure many of you are too. I’m not complaining, but finding things to do is getting more difficult as the days and weeks go by. After all I’ve been home since March! I’ve been cooking, baking, canning, sewing, painting, drawing, and doing just about everything I can think of just to stay busy and productive; after I get all my “real” work done because I have also been working from home. Anyway in the spring when the lock down began I made some crocheted turtles for my grandsons in Italy using some of the yarn in my “stash”. Since then I’ve been looking for other crochet projects. Recently I came across this free pattern from Crochet 365 Knit too. The pattern is call Sunburst Granny Square, then she changed up the colors and made this cute Sunflower Granny Square, it’s amazing what a difference the color changes made! The sunflower part of the pattern uses puff and bobble stitches worked in rounds. Once the flower is complete it’s framed in a square making it a granny square. The squares in the pattern were stitched together to make a really cute bag. But I though how cute it would to join squares to make a small lap blanket or throw. I made 36 Sunflower Granny Squares which I joined together using the Zipper method. I joined 6 squares across and 6 down to use all 36 squares. Then I crocheted 5 rounds of boarder using a combination of single and double crochet rounds. I used Red Heart Medium weight yarn in Coffee, Chamois, Goldrod, and White. The first 3 colors were from my scrap yarn stash (which was a good thing because yarn seems to be hard to find recently, at least in my state of Hawaii). The white used the most yarn, but I always have multiple skeins of white yarn. If you don’t have these colors or simple can’t find any at the store, no worries, use whatever yarn colors you have on hand. Keep in mind that sunflowers come in different shades of yellow! The pattern I used for the Sunflower Granny Squares is by Crochet 365 Knit Too! It’s free! Click hear for the pattern. The Zipper method of joining squares is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Here’s a step-by-step on how to do it from Look What I Made. As for the border I wanted to keep it simple so I used a dc in every stitch after joining the squares. In the corners I did 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc. The last DC was joined the to beginning DC. Then I made 4 rounds of SC using 3 sc, ch 2, 3 sc in the corners. If you prefer a different border you can use any style you want. This cute lap blanket is perfect for those chilly autumn evenings! ... Read more...DIY Party Hats & Giant BlowersAugust 8, 2020Last month as I was planning on a simple birthday dinner for my son and one of my grandsons I was told that my twin 5 year old grandkids were expecting a major birthday party. They were insisting on games, a pinata, and all the accoutrements of a “real” birthday party. This was all good except we were in the middle of a global pandemic and under a statewide hurricane warning. No one wanted to venture into the stores where tons of people were preparing for a hurricane in busy crowded stores. (If you’ve never been thru a hurricane warning and preparation well, think back to the toilet paper/hand sanitizer hoarding and shortages of last March. Ya, I’m sure you get the idea. Lots of people grabbing for toilet paper, bottled water, and canned goods!) So what to do, what to do? Face a pair of very irate 5 year olds demanding a real party or risk life and limb trying to get to a party supply store? Well we opted for the middle route. My son had to venture in to Walmart for something or other so he popped in just before closing and luckily found a pinata and grabbed a couple of bags of fillers too. My husband and I had gone grocery shopping a few days earlier in anticipation of both the birthday dinner and the hurricane so we had purchased an ice cream cake, we did forget the candles, but you do your best given the circumstances. The morning of the birthday dinner this Nana got to work, using materials I had in my craft room, templates, and instructions from the net I was able to whip up some cute party hats, blowers, and even come up with a pin the tail on the donkey game! It’s really not too hard and you don’t need a lot of fancy materials, whatever you have on hand will do. It just takes a bit of time and a bit of imagination. You can make them as simple or as fancy as you want depending on materials you have on hand. Trust me however you make them the kids will love them! I used this free template from First Pallet to make the hats. Click here for the template! I cut each hat out of different colored cardstock. It worked perfectly, I used each child’s favorite color! Using my computer I made these Llama stickers – I uploaded the design I created and printed them out on blank sticker sheets. (If you don’t have sticker sheets you can print them on paper and glue them on to the hats.) The cardstock had to be cut from the template and then shaped into a cone, then stapled to make the hat. I then placed the Llama sticker on the front of the hat, trimmed the bottom edge with washi tape, and stapled curled ribbons on the top of the cones. I made holes on either side of the hat and threaded lengths of ribbon thru them to use as ties. You can use elastic if you have some. If you don’t have curled ribbon you can use pompoms and other things to embellish the hats, or you can just leave them undecorated. You can also wrap the hat in colorful wrapping paper, use rick rack or whatever you have on hand. As an added bonus I made extra stickers for blank craft bags which I used as favor bags and tied with ribbons. I found instructions for Giant Party Blowers from Oh Happy Day I modified them to make regular sized blowers as I didn’t have enough empty TP or Paper towel rolls and had to use straws. It worked out. But next time I’m going to try to make the giant ones, they look like fun! Click here for instructions from Oh Happy Day! As for games, well we played limbo, all you need is a stick and music, super easy! We also had the Pinata, so that kept them happy. Then to top it off we played pin the tail on the donkey with this adorable free printable from the Crafting Chicks! Click here for that printable game! These simple DIY party gear didn’t take a lot of time, but they sure made a couple of kids very happy! ... Read more...Finger Foods and Other Food Ideas Kids Will LoveJuly 31, 2020Summer’s in full swing and like me you’re probably racking your brain for new breakfast, lunch and snack ideas for the kids. My grandkids have been home since March and each day finding something they want to eat is becoming more and more challenging. “I’m hungry” and “grilled cheese, spaghetti, etc. are all boring” has become the standard refrain at our house. My grandson who insisted he ‘NEEDED” cases of Chef Boyardee Spaghetti “O”s back in the spring now say’s they’re “boring”. Of course when asked what he’d like instead the reply is almost always “I don’t know”. This leaves me searching for something new and different for lunch and snack times. One thing I do know is that just about all kids love finger foods; and sometimes taking a “boring” sandwich and re-packaging it into something fun is all it takes to make meal times go smoothly. This can be as simple as taking a PB&J or any type of sandwich and cutting them in to 4 small triangles! Or you can change it up and call lunch or snack time “Tea Time” and serve a small selection of finger foods. I love tea time and my grandkids do too! But life isn’t all that easy, so here are a few food ideas that your kids might enjoy! They might just save a bit of your sanity! Eggs in Frame I have been making these for years, started when my kids were small. This is a great breakfast idea and kids almost always think it’s pretty cool. Just cut a hole (any shape) in the middle of a slice of bread and fry an egg in the hole. You’ll end up with a fried egg on a toasted piece of bread. I usually use a bit of butter to fry these in. Silver Dollar Sprinkle Pancakes Add some sprinkles or chocolate chips into your pancake batter and instead of making large Turpancakes make smaller ones about the size of a silver dollar. If the chain restaurants can do it so can you! Turkey & Cheese Pinwheels These are a family favorite! You can pick some up ready made from Costco or you can make them at home. It’s super easy! Click here for this recipe! Ham & Cheese Sliders Sliders of any kind are great finger foods both kids and adults love. These Ham & Cheese Sliders are another family favorite. I usually make a tray of them and the kids just grab as they want. A tray lasts thru lunch and snacks all day! Click here for this recipe! Taquitos Not everything needs to be homemade. Sometimes you just don’t feel like making lunch from scratch. No worries, there’s always frozen alternatives. We always keep a box of frozen Taquitos in the freezer. They’re great for lunch or snacks, just heat them up in the oven and you’re good to go. I like to serve them with salsa, melted nacho cheese, and sour cream for dipping. You do know kids love to dip! My year old grandson Jaxon is all about dipping these days! Pigs in Blankets Pigs in Blankets is another favorite and a staple at many of our kids’ parties. But to truly make it a finger food you need small ones. I cut the hot dogs and crescent dough in half. Roll each hot dog section in one of the dough sections, place on parchment paper and bake. Serve with whatever hot dog condiments you prefer. Fruit Kabobs I’m sure you know kids love food on sticks. So dress up fruit by cutting them into balls and other interesting shapes, then string them up on skewers. Older kids will love them. For younger kids skip the sticks and just serve them the fruit cut in to different shapes, you should also cut melon balls and grapes in halves to keep toddlers from choking on them. ... Read more...4th of July BrieJuly 3, 20204th of July Brie Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Dessert, Snacks Keyworddessert, Salad, side dishes Servings 8 SERVINGS Servings 8 SERVINGS 4th of July Brie Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Dessert, Snacks Keyworddessert, Salad, side dishes Servings 8 SERVINGS Servings 8 SERVINGS Ingredients 1 (35-oz.) wheel brie 6 strawberries, tops removed and sliced 1/2 c. blueberries 1/4 c. freshly squeezed orange juice 2 tsp. honey Graham crackers, for dipping Servings: SERVINGS Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more... Recipes, Parties, Crafts & Travel Veggie SkeletonOctober 22, 2020Veggie Skeleton Print Recipe CourseMain Dish, Vegetarian KeywordVegetarian Veggie Skeleton Print Recipe CourseMain Dish, Vegetarian KeywordVegetarian Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Virtual Tours of 5 of the World’s Creepiest CemeteriesOctober 21, 2020Nothing is creepier than a midnight stroll through a cemetery on Halloween. I’m sure anyone with or without much imagination will find the experience to hair raising and chilling. Exploring old cemeteries is a hobby for many people although most of the exploration is done during the day. A while back grave rubbings were all the rage and why not many of the old tombstones have some interesting epitaphs. But of course the Halloween season is probably the time when folks looking for things that go bump in the night will take walking tours thru some of the world’s most famous and of course haunted cemeteries. This year travel is difficult and most I imagine would prefer to avoid crowded tours, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore some of the world’s creepiest cemeteries virtually. Here are 5 famous or perhaps infamous cemeteries you can wander thru without ever leaving the safety of your home or the comfort of your couch. You may want to take it with friends and not just before bedtime. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Located on the east bank of the Hudson River just 30 miles away from the bustle of New York City in Westchester County is the village called Sleepy Hollow. This village is in the town of Mount Pleasant. It is the setting for Washington Irving’s short story titled the Legend of Sleepy Hollow which features the infamous headless horseman. Washington Irving lived in nearby Tarrytown in his house named Sunnyside. He is buried in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery along with a lot of Rockefellers, Andrew Carnegie, Elizabeth Arden, and Leona Helmsley. The cemetery and the village have attracted tourists since 1900 and continue to do so today. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 New Orleans is said to be America’s most haunted city so it’s no wonder that some of the world’s most haunted cemeteries are located there. Lafayette Cemetery in the Garden District is the most historically significant and most haunted cemetery in NOLA. Founded in 1833 the cemetery is still active today. Paris Catacombs When Parisian cemeteries became overcrowded in the 18th. Century the remains of over 6 million people were transferred to this underground ossuary (a vessel or site that houses skeletal remains). The remains are stacked along curing dead end tunnels creating an underground maze that has become one of the scariest places in the City of Light. Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo Italy has no shortage of spooky catacombs but this one is located on the island of Sicily in the city of Palermo. Originally intended as the final resting place of Capuchin priests it became a status resting place for residents when others were permitted to be concealed there. 8,000 corpses in varying stages of decomposition panel the walls. Visitors have claimed to have heard whispers and whistles; some of them have claimed to have returned to a section only to find that some remains have shifted positions. Highgate Cemetery One of the “Magnificent Seven” Highgate Cemetery was the third burial ground to be built out side London. It was built in 1839. It is the final resting place of many historic and famous people including Karl Marx and George Michael. It is also one of the most haunted places in the world. Starting with the Highgate Vampire there are a host of spectre, ghost, ghouls, and devils that many have claimed to have seen in the vast cemetery and the small alleys surrounding it. Seen enough spooky places yet? If not check out my article about Haunted Places in 50 States! ... Read more...Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull CakeOctober 20, 2020Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Dessert KeywordPork Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Dessert KeywordPork Ingredients Chocolate Skull: 4 ounces white chocolate melting wafers 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil 4 ounces strawberries, sliced Cake and Filling: Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour (see Cook’s Note) 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 8 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (1 stick) at room temperature 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract 1 large Egg at room temperature 1/2 cup Sour Cream 8 ounces strawberries, sliced 2 teaspoons granulated sugar 2 cups sweetened whipped cream Strawberry White Chocolate Sauce: 8 ounces strawberries, finely chopped 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons Lemon Juice 1 1/2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract 1/2 cup heavy cream 3 ounces red candy melting wafers Servings: Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Loin of Pork with Fennel and GarlicOctober 15, 2020Loin of Pork with Fennel and Garlic Print Recipe CourseMain Dish, Pork KeywordMain Dish, Pork Loin of Pork with Fennel and Garlic Print Recipe CourseMain Dish, Pork KeywordMain Dish, Pork Ingredients 1-5 pound loin of pork, bone in,”frenched” and tied 6 garlic cloves, 1/3 cup fresh rosemary leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 2 lemons) 2 teaspoons fennel seeds 2 tablespoons Good olive oil 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper Servings: Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Virtual Tours of 5 of the World’s Spookiest PlacesOctober 14, 2020There’s a chill in the air, days are getting shorter, leaves are falling, and the spicy scents of autumn fill our homes. That can only mean it’s almost Halloween and we’re all in the mood to get just a little bit scared. This time of year we usually list some of the scariest places you can visit to get in the Halloween spirit and possibly get the pants scared off you! But travel is challenging these days and physically visiting anywhere may not be possible. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take virtual tours of some of the world’s scariest places. That’s right you can visit some of these places without ever leaving the safety of your home or the comfort of your couch! Here are Virtual Tours of 5 of the world’s spookiest places, I’m sure you’ll find one that will send chills up your spine! Chernobyl Near the Ukrainian town of Pripyat the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant’s reactor exploded in 1986. This disaster forced thousands to evacuate and the town became a ghost town. It’s no wonder it’s one of the spookiest places on earth. In recent times under very strict safety protocols visitors have been allowed to visit on day trips. I’m not sure if these tours have resumed, but honestly the safest way to “explore” these ruins is virtually. This YouTube video will take you on a virtual tour of the abandoned town and will even let you travel inside derelict buildings still filled with the evacuees belongings. RMS Queen Mary Docked in Long Beach, California this luxury liner turned into a luxury hotel is said to have been haunted since its maiden voyage. I’m certain that having 60 people die on board since 1936 plays a big role in earning this ship her haunted reputation. There have been haunted tours of the Queen Mary for years. It’s been a favorite of paranormal investigators and some parapsychologists insist that there’s a vortex to a supernatural realm on the ship that makes her more vulnerable to hauntings. This virtual tour of the Queen Mary follows the path of the actual tours on board. The Stanley Hotel Located in Estes Park, Colorado the historic Stanley Hotel was the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel The Shining. Room 217 is said to be haunted and not even the toughest folks will stay in it. The King of Horror claims that the novel was inspired by a terrible nightmare he had while staying in that room. The virtual tour give you a glimpse of the entire hotel then takes you on a ghost hunt in the infamous room. The Lizzie Borden House “Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother 40 whacks, when she saw what she had done, gave her father 41.” So the rhyme goes. The murder in this family home may be the most recognizable and infamous murder mystery in America. The home currently a Bed & Breakfast located in Fall River Massachusettes was the scene of a particularly grisly murder. Lizzie Borden who lived in the house with the murder victims who were her father and stepmother is believed to be the perpetrator. But to this day no one has been able to prove it. But after such a horrific event it’s almost certain that the house is haunted. This virtual tour is well done and actually pretty scary. Pennhurst Asylum For almost 80 years patients were tragically abused, neglected, and brutalized behind the closed doors of this facility. Located in Spring City, Pennsylvania this building once housed the region’s mentally and physically disabled residents. The facility started treating patients in 1908 and finally permanently closed its doors in 1987. It’s said that paranormal activities linger in it’s halls; no wonder given the amount of human suffering that occurred within its walls. Which virtual tour will you take? I’m sure whichever one or two you choose will give you goosebumps! ... Read more...Skeleton Meat PlatterOctober 13, 2020Skeleton Meat Platter Print Recipe CourseMain Dish KeywordPork Skeleton Meat Platter Print Recipe CourseMain Dish KeywordPork Ingredients Skeleton Head: 4 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped Three 8 ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature One 8 ounce bag shredded Cheddar 4 scallions, thinly sliced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto 1 pimento-stuffed green olive, cut in half widthwise Skeleton Body: 1 medium red bell pepper, stem removed 2 pounds coiled hot Italian sausage 1 full rack cooked ribs, cut in half (about 13 ribs) 2 pounds cooked pulled pork (from two 1-pound packages) Sliced baguette and assorted crackers, for serving Servings: Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Haunted Gingerbread HouseOctober 12, 2020Haunted Gingerbread House Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Dessert Keyworddessert Haunted Gingerbread House Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Dessert Keyworddessert Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Mummy Hand PiesOctober 6, 2020Mummy Hand Pies Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Dessert Keyworddessert, Pies Mummy Hand Pies Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Dessert Keyworddessert, Pies Ingredients 1/4 cup canned pumpkin 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg kosher salt 2 refrigerated pie crusts, thawed if frozen All Purpose Flour for dusting 1 large Egg 12 raisins 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar optional Servings: Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Delicious Homemade South West Egg RollsSeptember 30, 2020South West or Tex Mex Egg Rolls are featured appetizers at many well known restaurant chains. It’s one of my favorites at Chili’s and Cheesecake Factory where I order them all every time we choose to dine at one of them. I know they’re considered appetizers but most of the time I order them as my main course, that way I get a whole plate of them to myself! I’ve actually seen them frozen and ready to fry at several grocery stores. They’re marketed as the “original” Chili’s or Cheesecake Factory Egg Rolls. They also carry a hefty price tag which I’m not willing to pay for something I still have to fry! But I can definitely make these yummy crunchy rolls of Tex Mex goodness at home. It’s super easy! I usually make a big batch and freeze some for later, they freeze very well. Now there are 2 versions of this Egg Roll, one uses actual Egg Roll wrapper usually found at any Asian Market, and the other rolls the filling in flour tortillas. The former makes for a delicate crispy egg roll as the wrapper is a thin pastry just like the egg rolls you’ll find at most Asian restaurants. The latter has a different look and crunch as the tortilla is a much thicker wrapper. Either way they’re delicious! I use the frozen grilled chicken strips to make my egg rolls, but you can make your one cooked chicken to use in this recipe. This recipe makes a large pot, whatever I don’t roll into egg rolls I make into bowls by serving it over a bowl of Mexican Rice and Refried Beans. To freeze roll the filling in egg roll wrapper or tortillas and place in freezer bags. Label and freeze for up to 3 months. These egg rolls are delicious dipped in a Creamy Avocado Sauce or topped with Pico De Gallo. The recipe for the sauce is included at the bottom of the egg roll recipe. South West Egg Rolls Ingredients: 1 Tsp. Olive Oil 1 Pkg. Frozen Grilled Chicken Strips, thawed and diced 1/2 Onion, diced 2 Tbs. Minced Garlic 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced 1 Tomato, diced and patted dry with paper towel. 1 Can Black Beans, drained 1 Can Corn Kernels, drained 1 – 2 Tbs. Cumin, adjust to taste 1 – 2 Tbs. Chili Powder, adjust to taste 1 Tbs. Salt 1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro, coarsely chopped 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar/Jack Cheese 1 Pkg. Frozen Egg Roll Wrappers or 8″ Flour Tortillas Oil for frying Directions: Heat Olive Oil in large pan. Saute onions about 1 minute or until they start to turn translucent. Add garlic and continue to saute. Add peppers and cook until peppers start to get a bit soft. Add Chicken, beans, and corn. Add in Cumin, Chili Powder, and Salt. Mix until well combined. Add Tomatoes and cook until any liquid in the pan starts to thicken. Add Cilantro and cook until it starts to wilt. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until it melts. Set aside and prepare your wrappers. Place a heaping tablespoon in the center of your wrapper and spread into a line across. Roll the filling in the wrapper burrito style. Heat about 2″ of oil in a frying pan or use a deep fryer if you have one. Fry rolls in oil until golden brown. Cut each roll in half diagonally and serve hot with Avocado Dipping Sauce. Creamy Avocado Dipping Sauce Ingredients: 1 Cup Whipped Cream Cheese 1/2 Cup Sour Cream 1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro finely chopped 1 Ripe Avocado mashed 1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder 1/4 Tsp. Chili Powder Directions: Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve. Delicious Homemade South West Egg Rolls Print Recipe CourseAppetizers CuisineMexican, Tex Mex Delicious Homemade South West Egg Rolls Print Recipe CourseAppetizers CuisineMexican, Tex Mex Ingredients South West Egg Rolls: 1 Tsp. olive oil 1 Pkg. Frozen Grilled Chicken Strips, thawed and diced 1/2 onion diced 2 Tbs. minced garlic 1 green bell pepper diced 1 Tomato, diced and patted dry with paper towel. 1 Can black beans drained 1 Can corn kernels drained 1 – 2 Tbs. Cumin adjust to taste 1 – 2 Tbs. Chili Powder adjust to taste 1 Tbs. Salt 1 Bunch fresh cilantro coarsely chopped 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar/Jack Cheese 1 Pkg. Frozen Egg Roll Wrappers or 8″ Flour Tortillas Oil for frying Creamy Avocado Dipping Sauce: 1 Cup Whipped Cream Cheese 1/2 Cup Sour Cream 1 Bunch fresh cilantro finely chopped 1 Ripe Avocado mashed 1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder 1/4 Tsp. Chili Powder Servings: Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Massaman curry roast chickenSeptember 29, 2020Massaman curry roast chicken Print Recipe KeywordBarbecued, Chicken Massaman curry roast chicken Print Recipe KeywordBarbecued, Chicken Ingredients 1.8 kg whole chicken about two thumb-size pieces root ginger 1 stick lemongrass, bashed with a rolling pin 1 Lime cut into quarters 70/2½ g/oz pack Massaman curry paste (I used Blue Elephant) 1 tsp olive oil 450 g baby new potatoes, any larger ones halved 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk 1 tsp brown sugar any type 200 g Green Beans trimmed 1 tsp fish sauce 2 tbsp unsalted peanuts, crushed (optional) basmati rice, to serve Servings: Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more... Get Our Newsletter Success! First Name Last Name Email Subscribe Latest Posts Veggie SkeletonOctober 22, 2020Halloween / Main Course / Recipes / VegetarianVeggie Skeleton Print Recipe CourseMain Dish, Vegetarian KeywordVegetarian Veggie Skeleton Print Recipe CourseMain Dish, Vegetarian KeywordVegetarian Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Become An Expat Expert: Your Guide To Moving AbroadOctober 22, 2020Travel Tips / Travel With KidsIt’s certainly an exciting thing when you have decided to move abroad. No matter what country you might be coming from, or where you intend to end up, there is so much to look forward to, and if nothing else it is likely going to constitute one of the most exciting periods of your life to date. But it is also potentially fraught with stresses and difficulties, and it’s certainly wise to be as well-prepared as possible before you set off. Take a look at the following tips on how to move abroad. Know Your Requirements Wherever you plan to move, there are always going to be requirements when it comes to the paperwork. You need to check what the visa situation is going to be, first and foremost, and also make sure that you are aware of any restrictions regarding where you are moving from and where you are moving to. Be sure to look into all this far in advance, as that way you are going to be able to get it right, and not land yourself in any trouble further down the line. Transporting Your Family If you are moving solo, in many ways a lot of the process is going to be much easier. But if you are moving with your entire family, there are many things that you might need to look into if you are going to make sure you get it right. For one thing, there is the added cost of transporting your entire family, so make sure you count that in your moving budget. Then there is the issue of pets – if you need to have your cat transported safely, for instance, you will likely need the help of professionals who specialise in that area. You can view quotes on that online and go from there. Planning To Settle In After you have moved, you are going to have to find a way to properly settle in, and that in itself can be a very difficult thing to get right. There is going to be so much that you have to consider, and it might at first be challenging to know what to look into. The best move you can make is to plan it all out first in as much detail as possible, which will of course require plenty of research on your part before you actually move. As long as you know about how to set up the utilities, how to pay rent and so on, you are going to find it so much easier once you are out there. Finding Your Way In The Culture At first you might experience some degree of culture shock, depending on the nature of the transition and where you are going from and to. You just need to bear in mind that it is always going to take a while to find your way in the culture, but you will get there eventually, and in a way it is one of the most exciting parts of the journey. So get ready and try to enjoy the ride.... Read more...Focus on Finances:Can You Save Money In These Areas?October 21, 2020House Hold Tips / Parenting TipsA lot of us are taking a long, hard look at our finances at the moment. The COVID pandemic has hit our finances hard, and many of us are beginning to think about how we can get back on track, and how we can reduce our costs. It can be a lot easier said than done, though. Here are a few ways in which you may be able to save a bit of cash if you are overstretched and need to review your finances. Debts Unfortunately, many of us have a debt of some sort, and since they can get you into serious economic situation and impact your credit rating, they need to be prioritised. It could be that if you are struggling, you need to consider extra sources of income or seek specialist financial or debt advice. You may also want to think about calling lenders to reduce your repayments or to come up with some kind of payment plan to help get them back under control while leaving you with enough cash to survive on. You could also seek advice on debt forgiveness. Cut Your Outgoings Take a look at your utility bills (gas, electricity, and water) first and find out whether you are getting the best deal possible. It could be worth calling your provider and seeing if they can give you a better deal, and if not, switch providers. It is reasonably easy to these days. Do the same with things like your car, home and health insurance, cell phone provider, internet provider and so on. Even a few dollars saving each month adds up over the course of the year and can make a huge difference. Look at what you are spending The odds are you are wasting money. Everyone does it to some degree. It could be the sneaky grande latte on the way to work or that lunchtime burrito. It could be the bottle of water you grab when you are out or that membership to the gym that you never have the time or energy to use. For a week, keep a list of all your expenses and see what you can leave out. Take a flask of coffee with you to work, a packed lunch and a reusable bottle of water, and take up running or home exercises and cancel the expensive subscription to the gym. Some of these behaviors can be more difficult to stop than others. They are usually well ingrained into your everyday life and it is easy to think that a few dollars here and a few dollars there will not make a difference. However, when you total them up at the end of the week, you will be surprised. With some discipline, planning and preparation when it comes to your finances, you can save a significant amount of money to put away for the future.... Read more...Popsicle Stick Haunted House CraftOctober 20, 2020Corner / DIY Crafts / DIY Holiday Crafts / DIY Projects / Halloween... Read more...How To Confidently Help Others Understand Your Medical NeedsOctober 20, 2020Health & FitnessWhen it comes to living a normal life, some have to work harder than others. Does this mean that their quality of life is reduced because of problems they have to deal with? Not always. Some may struggle with disability, mental illness, and challenges that really are significant, but through those trials have the personal strength necessary to make the most of things. It’s when life is most tough that you become more grateful for the little victories. More people need to learn that. However, sometimes it can be hard to describe to others the issues you are having, or the problems you would rather avoid. It can be debilitating and no uncertain amount of tiring to have to dance this dance with people, as not every will be understanding or ‘okay’ with handling your needs, particularly as you try and move into the dating scene, or need certain concessions in public settings. Of course, that says more about them than it does about you. Being able to confidently express your needs is essential. Here’s how you can do that: Keep It Digestible It sounds tough, but keeping your condition and requirements explainable in a digestible manner is important. We’re not suggesting that you deserve anything less than full attention of course, only that people often only have so much time or patience to spare in order to make concessions. This is why, for instance, some people carry around jewellery with paper in it explaining the conditions someone might live with and what needs to be done in an emergency. Keeping your explanation well-rehearsed, using simple, actionable phrases can be important, and will help someone understand you more easily, and with more respect. Be Unapologetic There’s no need to be ashamed about who you are. If this is what you need, this is what you need. End of story. Anyone wishing to disregard you for having excess medical needs is not someone you need to waste your time with, and there’s no reason to apologize for these concessions you ask for. For instance, catheters are essential pieces of equipment for many, and it no way defines you as a person. In fact, being appropriately cared for shows you your strength and willingness to live as strongly as you can. A warm thank you is another story, but don’t let people treat you as lesser simply because you need to use the disabled lift to go up a floor, or if you need to ask staff to bring out the ramp for wheelchair access. Know Your Rights It’s important to know your rights as someone who lives with a disability or medical requirement. For instance, most public businesses are supposed to grant you facilities with accessible disability functionality. If this is not provided, or they aren’t working, it could be that taking things further could be a worthwhile means of ensuring future visitors have this offered to them. It’s also worthwhile to know your rights in regards to allowing others to administer help if you need it most. For instance, wearing a locket with emergency information on it is a regular method used by those with extra medical needs. From disabled parking to access to trained first aiding staff, knowing your rights can help you understand what provisions you should be afforded. Ask your doctor for advice relating to your specific condition. With this advice, we hope you can confidently help others understand your medical needs.... Read more...Not So Scary Halloween Movies for Younger KidsOctober 16, 2020Family Activities & Events / Parenting TipsWe all love to watch scary movies during the month of October. It helps us get in the Halloween mood. I know that there are many horror film aficionados who can’t resist a violence filled gory movie like John Carpenter’s Halloween, a true horror classic. Then there are those like me who prefer the subtler thrillers like The Sixth Sense. But I think most of us will agree that neither of those types of horror flicks are child appropriate. I doubt anyone wants to spend endless nights soothing kids’ nightmares after having watched such horror. But of course we want to watch Halloween movies with the kids. It’s part of the deal! So here are some of our favorite age appropriate films to watch with your kids. I’ve grouped them by levels starting with pre-school all the way up to Middle School. Hope you find one you and the kids will love! This article contains affiliate links Pre-School – Kindergarten Room on the Broom Based on the children’s book by Julia Donaldson this short film is perfect for ages 3 and above. It’s about a friendly witch who keeps dropping her things which animals retrieve in return for a ride on the broom. This film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. This film is available to stream live on Amazon Prime or you can buy the DVD here! Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie It’s a haunted Halloween in the Hundred Acre Woods. Tigger warns of the Gobloon who’ll turn you into a Jaggedy Lantern if he catches you, and Roo has a new best friend called Lumpy. It’s a cute an cuddly fun adventure with Pooh and the gang. The whole family will love it! It’s available for rent on Amazon Prime or you can order the DVD here! Mickey’s Treats Dress up and join Mickey and his pals for some spooktacular Halloween fun! They’re headed to Pete’s house for a Halloween party, but first they must get thru the Candy Corn Patch! Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fans will love this short flick! Click here to buy your DVD! (Trust me you’ll want your own DVD, the kids will watch it all year long!) Elementary School Scoob! This latest Scooby Doo movie was released last July. This full length film explores the origins of besties Shaggy and Scoobie and the rest of the gang. Did you know they met on a Halloween night? After solving many mysteries that feature spooks, goblins, monsters, and things the go bump in the night the gang sets out on their toughest case yet. They must save the save the world from a global “dogpocalypse” when an the evil ghost dog Cerebus is unleashed. In the process they discover Scooby’s secret legacy and a destiny beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. This movie is available to stream (buy HD) from Amazon Prime or order your DVD here! Hotel Transylvania Watch one or all three of this adorable movie. Join Dracula and his friends and family for a hilarious good time! I won’t tell you the plots but rest assured they’re not scary at all! These are 3 of our favorites! The movies are available to rent from Amazon Prime or you can buy the 3 DVD Collection here! Coraline Be careful what you wish for and things aren’t always what they seem! This creepy movie was adapted from the book of the same name. It’s a cross between fairytale and The Twilight Zone. Coraline discovers an alternate family in parallel universe where things look much better than her home in the real world. But things turn out creepier and more dangerous and she must use all her wits to return to her normal life. You can rent this movie on Amazon Prime or order your DVD here! Middle School Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark This one’s for the Tweenies! Those kids that are too old for the cute Halloween movies but too young for a real horror flick. It’s loosely based on the series of books by the same name. The movie follows a group of kids who investigate local legends before the legends get the better of them! You can stream this movie on Amazon Prime or order your DVD here! Goosebumps Based on the children’s horror books by R. L. Stine which have become modern day classics. These short movies are scary enough for this age group but not so scary that it will keep them up all night. There are many different DVDs, just like there are many books. Choose one that’s a favorite or find something new and different. Order your own DVD sets here! Beetlejuice It’s a good time to introduce your kids to this Tim Burton masterpiece about a pair of ghosts who want to scary off the family that moved in to their old house. It’s a fun and not so scary movie for the whole family! You can rent it on Amazon Prime or buy your DVD here! Many of our favorite Halloween movies are adapted from a favorite Halloween book. If you’re looking for a Halloween Reading List check out our post “Halloween Reading List for Kids” it has a lot of great suggestions! Click here to read that post! ... Read more...Loin of Pork with Fennel and GarlicOctober 15, 2020Corner / Halloween / Main Course / Pork / RecipesLoin of Pork with Fennel and Garlic Print Recipe CourseMain Dish, Pork KeywordMain Dish, Pork Loin of Pork with Fennel and Garlic Print Recipe CourseMain Dish, Pork KeywordMain Dish, Pork Ingredients 1-5 pound loin of pork, bone in,”frenched” and tied 6 garlic cloves, 1/3 cup fresh rosemary leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 2 lemons) 2 teaspoons fennel seeds 2 tablespoons Good olive oil 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper Servings: Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Skeleton Meat PlatterOctober 13, 2020Corner / Halloween / Main Course / Pork / RecipesSkeleton Meat Platter Print Recipe CourseMain Dish KeywordPork Skeleton Meat Platter Print Recipe CourseMain Dish KeywordPork Ingredients Skeleton Head: 4 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped Three 8 ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature One 8 ounce bag shredded Cheddar 4 scallions, thinly sliced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto 1 pimento-stuffed green olive, cut in half widthwise Skeleton Body: 1 medium red bell pepper, stem removed 2 pounds coiled hot Italian sausage 1 full rack cooked ribs, cut in half (about 13 ribs) 2 pounds cooked pulled pork (from two 1-pound packages) Sliced baguette and assorted crackers, for serving Servings: Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Haunted Gingerbread HouseOctober 12, 2020Cookies, Cakes & Pies / Corner / Desserts / Halloween / RecipesHaunted Gingerbread House Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Dessert Keyworddessert Haunted Gingerbread House Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Dessert Keyworddessert Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Financial Planning For Retirement: What You Need To KnowOctober 12, 2020Health & Fitness]When it comes to your retirement, the more plans you have in place, the better. Although retiring should be a long-term financial goal, with measures put in place throughout life to support it, the period around five years before you aim to stop work is critical. This is the moment to put your financial affairs in order and start getting some informed advice about your options and what decisions you will need to make. These choices will very much shape the remainder of your life, so seeking support from a qualified financial advisor and pensions specialist is a must. However, there are some steps you can take independently that will help you go into an appointment prepared. Understand Your Income and Outgoings Having a very clear picture of the state of your personal finances is the first key step in your retirement planning, Use online retirement calculators to work out what you might need in order to support the quality of life you expect to have. It’s a good idea to collect together or request up to date copies of all of your pensions statements to understand what the reality is when it comes to what you will be receiving in a few years time. Take into account the savings and investments that you have hopefully built up over time that may be able to provide an additional stream of income when you formally retire from work. De Risk Your Portfolio Where you have savings in stocks and shares or other commodities, now is the time to look at transferring to low-risk options. Higher risk profiles often bring much greater returns, but they are only suitable for savings you don’t require access to for a long time. That way, if things should suffer a downturn, there is time for them to even out and for the portfolio as a whole to correct itself eventually. If you will need to access returns in a short time period of five years or less, you need to go for options which are relatively low-risk but which may provide lesser gains. This will give you a bit more financial security and a clearer idea of what income you may be able to count on in retirement. Boost Your Pension Pot If you discover that the projected amount you’ll have to live on is a little less than you’re comfortable with, you’ll be able to refocus your efforts on boosting the amount you can save. Plan to up your pension contributions to as much as you can afford, or if you are fit and well, think about deferring your retirement or just continuing to work part time for a while longer to help you build up your savings. This has the double benefit of helping you to increase the amount in your pension pot, while also decreasing the length of time you’ll be relying on it. Build a realistic budget that you will be living on after retirement, and try it out for a few months – any savings you make can go back into the pot.... Read more... Shop Fun.com for Back to School supplies!