Friday, October 30, 2015

Fun Halloween 2L Pop Bottles - EASY TO DO!!!!

So, tomorrow night we are hosting a Halloween party. We have some "spirits" planned for the adults, but we needed to have some pop for the kids. The kids are all under 12 and we want them to go to bed after the party, so we went for caffiene-free varieties of Sprite, Orange Crush and Grape Crush because we came up with some awesome ideas on how to make different Halloween spooks with those colors.

The faces on these are from 2 different jack-o-lantern decoration kits from Dollar Tree, but we used them on pop bottles instead. One kind is just stickers, the other one (witch) was felt pieces that I had to glue on. Then I just used this old witch hat decoration on it and cut out wings for a bat and glued them on. Simple and cheap! But so fun to look at!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Review: Just Think Toys Bath Blocks

I was excited for my kids to help me with this review and I must admit that they did fight over who got to take the first bath. My kids are 6 and 9 and both were very eager to try out the Just Think Toys Bath Block Floating Airport Set. 

Honestly, I thought I was going to get a different set of blocks because a set that lets them create waterfalls was pictured when I signed up and that is what I had told the kids about. When I opened the package I saw this set and wasn't sure what he kids would think, but they love it. 

I went to the Just Think Toys website  to see what exactly this set was and learn more about the company. What I learned was that this is just one of MANY sets you can buy. You could create a whole floating town and you are only limited by the size of your tub.

I knew that they these blocks contain NO PVC or phthalates which is why I had agreed to do this review. I also liked that they are made of mildew and bacteria resistant EVA.

MY KIDS LOVE THESE! My 6 year old must have called me in to the bathroom at least a half dozen time the first time he played with these to see how he could make them stick together, how they float on the water and how they stick to the side of the tub. Plus he was excited that once he dried them off (just wipe off) he could take them in his room and continue to play with them. So, this is a great toy for someone who doesn't want to have separate bath and play toys for their kids.

I still want to get the kids the waterfall set and the cooking set. They love to pretend they are "cooking" while they bathe. These are such fun sets!

Review: Urban Athletic Running Belt #RunningBeltforWomenMen

I had wanted to get one of these for some time ago when I was training for a half marathon. On those runs I would have a lot more things along with me than like small hydration bottles, gum, asprin, energy blocks, as well as mp3 player, phone and a key. My running pants only have small zipper compartments that are not big enough for a phone. Plus, I don't like trying to cram so much in one little zippered pocket because it then looks like I have some kind of growth on my back. With this Urban Athletic Belt I can have things spread out in different areas around my waist.

Plus there is a key hook attachment that you can hook a key ring on so that they do not move around and a pocket in front to just put your phone it. I have a Samsung Galaxy III with a hardcase on it and it fit in the phone pocket completely. There are slits in the running belt all around so you can access the inside from all different spots.

I have been wearing this in the fall in MN and the extra layer is nice as wind protection. I am looking forward to wearing this for winter running as well so I have some place to stick my extra layers that I decide I do not need as I warm up on the run, like running sleeves, gloves, and hat.

Disclosure: I received this running belt at a discount. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own. No monetary compensation was received.

12 - 4th & 5th Grade Level AR Books About Birthdays

My son's birthday is tomorrow! So, let's get our READING on!!!!

A Party for Papa Luis by Diane Bertrand
Saturn for my Birthday by John McGrnaghan
Wish Upon a Party by Phoebe Bright

11 Birthdays by Wendy Maas
The Surprise Party by Linda Chapman

A Toad for Tuesday by Russell Erickson
Cherry the Cake Fairy by Daisy Meadows

Lila and Myla: The Twins Fairies by Daisy Meadows
Mallory's Super Sleepover by Laurie Friedman

Skateboard Party by Karen English

Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry

Bernadette and the Lunch Bunch by Susan Glickman

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Market Theater Gum Wall

How about something weird and gross for Halloween week. It is not something you spend much time at and you do your best to only touch your own gum (I brought along wipes!) But it's a free thing to go check out, so why not!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Top 30 Popular Halloween Movies on Netflix (Oct '15)

A few days ago I gave you a list of 10 Free Halloween Movies on Amazon Prime, while those were all mostly unknown movies you may have never seen, this list on Netflix is filled will 30 popular movies that you probably have seen many of or at least heard of. Happy Haunting!

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 - 1 hr 25 min

American Psycho - 1 hr 41 min

Children of the Corn - 1 hr 32 min

Corpse Bride - 1 hr 17 min

Flowers in the Attic - 1 hr 31 min

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers - 1 hr 28 min

Halloween Resurrection - 1 hr 29 min

Hellboy - 2 hrs 12 min

Hellraiser - 1 hr 33 min

Rosemary's Baby - 2hrs 16 min

Saw - 1 hr 43 min

Saw II - 1 hr 32 min

Saw III - 1 hr 48 min

Saw V - 1 hr 32 min

Scary Movie 3 - 1 hr 24 min

Scream - 1 hr 51 min

Scream 2 - 2 hrs

Scream 3 - 1 hr 56 min

Silence of the Lambs - 1 hr 58 min

Sleep Hollow - 1 hr 45 min

The Addams Family - 1 hr 39 min

The American Scream - 1 hr 31 min

The Awakening - 1 hr 46 min

The Fly - 1 hr 33 min

The Nightmare Before Christmas - 1 hr 16 min

The Omen - 1 hr 50 min

The Others - 1 hr 44 min

The Sixth Sense - 1 hr 47 min

The Village - 1 hr 47 min

Would You Rather - 1 hr 33 min

Monday, October 26, 2015

10% Off Love Cooking Bakeware

Love Cooking Company has set out with a mission to make baking a simple task. Partnered with some great names in the baking and entertainment industries, Love has crafted bakeware that helps you easily achieve the best-looking baked goods on the table, from filled cakes to bite-size desserts and more.

The PushPan is a 100% watertight and leak-proof cake pan with a patented silicone-lined removable base making it perfect for cheesecakes, pies and more! An alternative to a spring-form pan, you simply place the pan on something sturdy, press the sides down, and voila - the perfect cake! The PushPan also comes with a 25 year warranty.

The Mrs. Fields Cutie Cakes  pan creates 48 bite-size cakes when you need a small amount of something sweet. It's ideal for savory options, like mini corn dogs or potato pancakes. After you create your tiny treats, just pop the pan in the dishwasher.

The Mrs. Fields Fill N Flip is the easiest way to make a layered cake and create a surprise center that everyone will love. Once you bake your cake, add filling to the side with the large opening, place the non-filled layer on top, and enjoy! Plus, the pan is dishwasher-safe, making clean-up a breeze.

My Readers receive 10% off your entire order - Love Cooking is inviting you to take 10% off your entire order on with the promo code LOVE10. For a limited time only. For details on this and other special offers go to @usfg 

 Stay Connected with Love

Disclosure - At the time of this post I have received no product, but will be getting this product to review. All content was provided to me. No monetary compensation was received.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Cake Part
3 C whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 C raw sugar
1/4 C coconut oil, melted
2 eggs
1 1/4 C coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C pumpkin puree

1/2 C coconut oil, melted
1/2 C cinnamon sugar
1/2 C old fashioned oats
1/2 C pecans, chopped

Friday, October 23, 2015

Top 16 Kids Halloween Shows on Netflix (Oct '15) PLUS 3 on Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime (they didn't really have much, maybe there will be more closer to Halloween)

Casper and Friends 22 min

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (as read by Glenn Close) 22 min.

Thomas & Friends: Halloween Adventure 58 min


Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein - 78 min

Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet The Wolfman - 76 min

Casper's Scare School - 2 seasons

Children's Halloween Favorite Boo Treats (4 different shows/characters) 97 min

Curious George: A Halloween Boofest - 56 min

Dreamworks Spooky Stories - 4 episodes

Dreamworks Spooky Stories 2 - 5 episodes

Magic Puppy - 80 min

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures - 2 seasons

Power Rangers: Party Monsters - 23min

R.L. Stein's Mostly Ghostly - 97 minutes

R.L. Stein's Have Your Met My Ghoulfriend? - 90 min

Room on a Broom - 26 min

Spooky Buddies - 88 min

The Little Ghost - 91 min

Vampire Dog - 90 min

Thursday, October 22, 2015

10 Best Halloween Movies FREE for Amazon Prime (Oct '15)

If you are looking for something you haven't seen before to scare you this Halloween, then you should check out what Amazon Prime member can watch for FREE. Here is my Top 10 list of what looks to be the most interesting for free viewing:

Abandoned Mine 1 hr 36min

All Saints' Eve 1 hr 23 min.

All Sinners' Night 1hr 30 min.

American Horror Story (Season 1 - other seasons are available as well)

As the Night Comes 1hr 46 min

Babysitter Massacre 1 hr 19min

Boogeyman 1 hr 22 min

Halloween (A Rob Zombie Film) 2 hrs. 2 min.

Hayride 1 hr 37min

Scare Zone 1 hr 29 min

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

22 AR Books with a Halloween Theme for 4th & 5th Grade

All the books listed below have a Halloween Theme to them. None of them are about the history, traditions or customs of Halloween. There are certainly plenty of those books available to read, but honestly I think they pack too much stuff in them for a 1/2 point book and my kids would rather read a story than have a ton of facts to learn about.

Dawn and the Halloween Mystery by Ann Martin (4pts)
No Such Thing As Ghosts by Ursula Vernon (2pts)

No Trick-or-Treating by P.J. Night (5pts)
The Base of the Halloween Ghost by John Erickson (3pts)
The Halloween Monster by Janice Smith (1pt)

Captain Nobody by Dean Pitchford (5pts)
Halloween Party by R.L. Stein (5pts)
Kitten in the Candy Corn by Ben Baglio (4pts)
Scooby Doo and the Legend of the Vampire (1pt)

Boo to You, Winner the Pooh (.5 pts)
On the Day I Died by Candance Fleming (6pts)
The Ghost Tree by Yvette Landry (.5 pts)
Witch's Wishes by Vivian Vande Velde (2pts)

Beagle in a Backpack by Ben Baglio (4pts)
Not Very Scary by Carol Brendler (.5 pts)

The Haunted House That Jack Built by Helene Becker (.5 pts)
Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man by Wendelin Van Daanen (8pts)

Cinderella Skeleton by Robert San Souci (.5pts)

The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson (2pts)

Over My Dead Body by Kate Klise (2pts)

J is for Jack-o-Lantern: A Halloween Alphabet (1pt)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Brain Treats

This is super fun and simple to make. We made TWO big brains (as pictured with my kids holding them) from one Rice Krispies recipe. I used some pink marshmallows I found, but you could always add some red food coloring to make the pink color. Then I just used red icing to draw on the dendrites in the brain. I gave each of my kids half of the rice krispie treat mixture and allowed them to do the shaping on their own.

We did this fun treat project as part of a Plants vs,. Zombies theme week we did at home this summer, but I think this would be a fun treat to have out for a Halloween party.

Monday, October 12, 2015

#ad DIY Haunted LED Tombstones and review of #rtgsproducts LED Lights

Disclosure: I reviewed this set of lights, along with 5 other sets of lights in other colors from the same seller. I received them free, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was received.

All sets comes with 2 strand of lights and included the necessary batteries. Each strand is 3 feet long so you will have a total of 6 feet to decorate with.

In this one you can see the picture of the super bright cold white lights on the right. I though the brightness of this white helped add to the eeriness of a styrofoam tombstone that says R.I.P. from Dollar Tree.

On the left you can see what the blue lights look like against the Tricks or Treats styrofoam tombstone. I just taped them using clear packing tape to these Dollar Tree Decorations. Because they are LED they are cool to the touch and I don't have to worry about it melting the tape or styrofoam.

The center tombstone decoration has the green led lights on them. I think this color green is just perfect for Halloween. The 3 foot length wraps around these Dollar Tree tombstones a full perimeter and about another 8 inches or so. I only needed to use one of these of this project so I think I will use the second set for Christmas.

Other colors:

I haven't made my decorations yet, but my plan is to use one of these red sets to circle a Christmas wreath to give it lights. The place where my wreath hangs on my porch is no very accessible to electricity, so a battery operated set of lights is a must. Plus I think 6 feet total with allow me to circle the wreath a couple times.

I am holding on to the pink led lights until my daughter's birthday and tying tulle on these to make them reflect and glow even more for her very girlie birthday party. Because they are battery operated they will be easy to put anywhere I want this type of decoration.

This strand of warm white lights I plan to let my husband use when he goes ice fishing in his portable tent to help brighten it up. He doesn't have electricity and not a lot of space, so they will be perfect for it. These give off a warm bright glow.

Spicy Crab Rolls (sushi) Recipe

I love spicy crab rolls, but I find that they often are not very "spicy" when I buy them from a restaurant or store, so making my own at home assures I can get some more spice but allows you to make it less spicy as well. I used 4 tsp. of the chili garlic sauce but would have probably used anpther 1-2 more teaspoons if I wasn't making a big batch to serve the family who doesn't like things quite as spicy. If you have never made your own sushi rolls, I will be sharing a post next month on Northern Cheapskate on how to make your California Crab Rolls and tips on what you need to make your own rolls.

Spicy Crab Roll Filling
2 C imitation crab (shredded)
2-4 tsp chili garlic sauce
1/2 C mayo

Directions: Mix all ingredients together and allow to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Add to your sushi rolls as desired. Enjoy!

Monday, October 5, 2015

How to Make Banana Chips with a Food Dehydrator

If you buy banana chips from a store these may be perfectly whiteish-yellow with no browning but are covered in sugar and possibly coloring or HFC. Make your own banana chips with a food dehydrator and have a healthy snack on hand for you or your kids. They are exactly what you expect, just bananas! I know my kids come home from school and immediately want a snack. My son like to have banana chips on top of toast with peanut butter, talk about a healthy snack!


  • Slice bananas in 1/4-3/8" slices
  • Place on your food dehydrator trays in a single layer
  • Turn your food dehydrator temperature to 150 degrees
  • Cook for about 6 hours
  • Test to see if they are crisp
  • Allow to cool and then remove from trays
  • Enjoy!

Review: Finding Noah #FindingNoah (released to select cinemas on Oct. 8th)

My Thoughts:

I had the opportunity to review and advance screening of Finding Noah and wanted to share with you what I thought of it. This is a faith based documentary film that is rated for ages 12 and older, which I think is right because the content is more technical than could be taken in by children younger than that, although it is definitely a family friendly movie that you can continue to watch in case your children are around while you are watching it.

While I watched it the more I learned about Mount Ararat and the quest to find Noah's Ark, the more questions I had. I find it fascinating that most of the world has documented stories of a great flood occurring around that same period of time. What is even more fascinating is the analyzing of all these stories and how many similarities occur across the stories from vastly differing cultures.

I learned quite a bit about the dangers that surround mountain exploration and the ongoing political unrest existing in the area, both of which put these scientists, archaeologists and professional mountaineers in physical danger.

It was a very interesting documentary and I had to share information with my husband about what I had learned.

Check out the Trailer below so you can get an idea what it is about:

About Finding Noah from Fathom Events:

For over 2,000 years, man has been searching for the final resting place of Noah's Ark. Though there have been many attempts, few have been able to fully explore the one place specifically noted in the Bible: Mount Ararat. Located in Eastern Turkey, Agri Dagh or "The Painful Mountain" is the tallest mountain in the region and lies in the very center of a centuries old, geo-politically unstable hot spot. With constant threats of deadly rock slides, hidden crevasses, and glacial ice falls, the Kurdish Rebel held mountain poses great risk to any explorer, let alone those performing a thorough scientific investigation.

Join director/producer Brent Baum and the FINDING NOAH film crew as they follow an expedition of intrepid explorers on a perilous trek up to Mt. Ararat's desolate summit. There, using state of the art technology and real-time satellite imagery, this team of archeologists, scientists and professional mountaineers will begin a grid work of exploration unlike any before, hoping to finally resolve the age-old question: did Noah and his Ark actually exist?

Shot in never-before filmed locations in the harshest of conditions, this unprecedented feature-length documentary shows just how far men are willing to go to discover the truth. Narrated by Academy Award nominee Gary Sinise, FINDING NOAH is more than a quest for answers, it is a testament of the human spirit, where belief and the need for exploration transcend risk and limitation.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the post. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. No monetary compensation was received for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Easy Fleece Scarf for Kids to Make

Making a fleece scarf is soooooo easy that even my 5 year old son could do it and it's pretty inexpensive as well. I have instilled a love of homemade gifts in my kids (both receiving and giving) and he wanted to make this scarf for one of his friends.

Just cut one length of the fleece from a 60" width bolt of fleece. Cut it to your desired width between 6"-12", obviously if you cut it smaller you can make more scarves from one yard of fabric and if you watch sales you get it for up to half off at JoAnn Fabrics, and if you really want to be thrifty, check the area for remnant where they sell small pieces (which might be all you need if you are just making one) for 50% off whatever the current price is, so if it's half off you will get another half off that price on a remnant.

I pre-cut the rectangle for my son and let him cut the fringe. He was very proud that he made "clothes" for his friend and has since used other scraps of fleece to make scarves for his stuffed animals.