Halloween Skeleton Meat & Cheese Platter

Brett’s ideas for food at the Halloween party this year were simple, but very creative in my opinion. We knew we wouldn’t have much time to grocery shop or prepare food since we were out of town for most of the week, so simple was the name of the game. One of the first ideas he had was this skeleton meat & cheese platter!

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We already had the white dish, found the skeleton in the Halloween section at the store, and used Hormel meat & cheese party platters for the rest! The platters come with the meats, cheese and crackers sealed and pre-cut, ready to be unwrapped and placed in the platter and enjoyed. It couldn’t get any easier.

Hormel Platter

Just stuff the ribs full of the various meats and everyone has to pull them out to eat them. Muah-ha-ha!

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It was definitely a hit – we went through two entire platters! I liked how we didn’t have to cut the meat or cheese and that the crackers already came with it.

Use Hormel party platters for an easy dish at your next party!

 

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This post was part of my involvement in the Hormel Family Blogger Program. Thanks for reading!

Celebrating Mini Milestones with Netflix

Although we didn’t make a big hoopla about it, we actually just had a huge milestone in our lives…Aubrey’s very first Disney trip! For Trent, we made a huge deal about it…we made a custom shirt, custom Mickey ears, special videos, and even a little bucket list of things we wanted him to do.

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Unfortunately for Aubrey, her first trip was more last minute because we decided last minute to celebrate another milestone…our 8 year wedding anniversary! Our anniversary has kinda gotten the cold shoulder the past few years and we wanted to do something special, while taking advantage of my last few days of maternity leave. I am so glad we were able to celebrate our anniversary this year and we will always remember Aubrey’s first Disney trip…even if she won’t!

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How do you celebrate milestones, big or small? Netflix has plenty of options to help you celebrate your family’s mini milestones!

For your kids:

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First Trick-or-Treat: Julius Jr.: S01E06, Dressed for Spook-cess
First Pet: Beethoven
First Move: The Croods
First Big Game: D2: The Mighty Ducks

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Plus a few major milestones for mom and dad:

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New Job: The Office
Getting Married: My Fair Wedding with David Tutera
Having a Baby: What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Life as a Parent: Parenthood
Running for Office: Parks & Recreation
Buying a Home: House Hunters

 

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This post was written by me as part of my membership in the Netflix Stream Team. Thanks for reading!

 

Halloween Party 2014

We had our annual Halloween Party on Friday and it was a blast as always! You can see the 2013 party here and 2012 party here. We had a family costume idea weeks ago, but Trent did not want to wear his costume at all. So with a week before the party, we were on the hunt again for something he would wear. We figured it would be best to find a costume that he didn’t think was a costume and luckily, Brett found this shirt that was a redneck/hillbilly-ish shirt, so we took that idea and made our group costume with that in mind…

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It was my most comfortable Halloween costume ever! And cheapest too because I had everything already! In fact, the only items we had to buy were my hair curlers and Aubrey’s pants. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing, but I’ll take it!

Of course, the main event is the food!

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Brett made a bread coffin and filled it with spinach artichoke dip…and a skeleton!

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He also made “spider eggs” with powdered donut holes! By the time the photo was taken, the teenagers had already ravaged through half of them.

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Brett’s third item he brought was a meat and cheese platter…but the twist was that you had to pull the meat out of a skeleton. Eww!

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Pizza fingers.

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Mummy dogs.

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Brett’s mom always has the best decorations.

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Brett says I look like the old mom fed up with the teenagers in this next photo.

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The bathroom makes me laugh…happy smiling kitties with blood and murdered skeletons.

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I always look forward to seeing everyone’s costumes!

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jessi, the birthday girl, and her piñata! Happy birthday Jessi!

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Trent did really well at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this past Tuesday saying Trick-or-Treat to everyone, so we may actually attempt to bring him trick-or-treating this year! I’ll let y’all know how it goes!

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(yes, my bra is showing…it’s part of the costume, I swear!)

Happy Halloween!

Getting Kids to Eat Their Veggies: Yummy Cheesy Corn Casserole

It’s no secret that Trent is picky. In fact, most toddlers are picky to a degree and I would consider anyone lucky that had a child that was up for eating anything…especially their veggies. Luckily, Trent loves fruit and will eat bananas, grapes, strawberries and blueberries all day, every day, so at least he gets some healthy foods that way. Veggies, on the other hand, are a different story. So how do we get Trent to eat his veggies?

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One tactic we use is to take a veggie he will eat and offer it different ways to keep it interesting.

He likes corn, so one of our go-to recipes that we all really enjoy is Cheesy Corn Casserole. This recipe also employs another tactic…add cheese to the veggies! This dish is on the sweet side, so that’s another plus on our side.

Here’s how to make Cheesy Corn Casserole.

Ingredients:
1 can (or 11 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can cream-style corn
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 egg
1 (8.5 ounce) package dry corn bread mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

 

For the whole kernel corn, we used a package of Birds Eye Steamfresh Super Sweet Corn. We like eating this corn alone because it’s so sweet and delicious, so we figured it would be great in this recipe too!

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1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

2. In a large bowl combine whole corn, cream-style corn, sour cream, egg, dry corn bread mix, and 3/4 cup of Cheddar cheese.

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3. Mix well and pour into prepared dish.

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4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for another 20 minutes.

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Look at that yummy golden cheese!

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As the main dish, we used a Birds Eye Voila! bag, which is full of veggies too!

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We like using fun dinnerware for Trent’s dinner…kids may find it fun to eat their veggies in order to see the characters underneath!

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Here are some of our tips to get kids to eat their veggies:

-Try offering veggies in different recipes. Just because they don’t eat it one way, doesn’t mean they won’t eat it another way.

-Continue offering veggies they do like.

-Add cheese or other toppings/flavorings to keep it interesting.

-Use fun plates/forks.

-You can always sneak veggies into other recipes using purees!

-One tip we like from Melissa d’Arabian in the video below is to pair new vegetables with familiar favorites and to introduce new foods slowly.

This year, Birds Eye has partnered with Melissa d’Arabian, celebrity chef, mom of four, and host of FoodNetwork.com’s web series The Picky Eaters Project, to make a difference and help moms with the dinnertime dilemma. Everyone knows it can be tough to get a balanced meal on the table every day and Birds Eye is here to help. Birds Eye frozen vegetables helps mom by providing nutritious, tasty veggies that kids will love. Together, Birds Eye and Melissa are combining their expertise in getting children to eat more veggies, one bite at a time.

Step Up To The Plate is Birds Eye’s long-term commitment to reshaping kids’ veggie perceptions and getting children to like veggies for life. Today, 9 out of 10 people in the United States do not get the proper amount of vegetables, according to The State Of The Plate report. Birds Eye continues to make eating more vegetables a reality by showing families how to fill half the plate with veggies in fun and simple ways moms and kids will both like. By providing moms with more than 40 unique vegetable blends year round at affordable prices, Birds Eye continues to be her ally in the dinnertime dilemma.

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

 

Registry Tips for Expecting Parents

A recent survey, conducted by Huggies Little Snugglers, found nearly 75% of new moms anticipate changing fewer than 2,500 diapers in the baby’s first year, but the reality is the average mom will change 3,500+! Huggies has partnered with Lindsay Pinchuk, founder & CEO of Bump Club, to provide Baby Registry 101: a series of tips, covering topics from diapers and wipes to car seats, that will help guide first-time moms to registry success.

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Here are some of Lindsay’s tips:

1. You are now CEO…of your family.

Remember: you have to do what is best for you and your family—not anyone else. This is in regards to anything and everything: feeding, diapering, bathing, where to live, what to buy, schools, day care, etc. While we appreciate our family’s suggestions, don’t feel any pressure and do what’s best for you!

2. Shower yourself with…everything!

Whether you are going to have a shower or not, create a registry. You only have your first baby once and people will want to buy you and your baby presents! You would rather get items you want vs. ones you don’t, so making a registry is key. Bring a friend with you who just had a baby, or have her look over your registry. Baby gear changes every few months, and it’s great to know what is new and necessary.

3. Don’t overthink the obvious.

Make sure to include diapers on your registry. So many people leave them off, but they are the #1 item you will be using when you bring the baby home! I love new Huggies Little Snugglers. The GentleAbsorb* Liner has hundreds of tiny absorbent pillows to draw mess away from your newborn’s delicate skin. Huggies Natural Care Wipes are also great because of the simple formula and Triple Clean* Layers that are tough on messes, yet gentle on baby’s skin.

4. When it rains it pours, but try to curb the shower excitement.

Don’t open every box and item you receive from your baby shower before you come home from the hospital. Inevitably there are going to be items you don’t use or will want to return once the baby arrives. Only open what is absolutely needed for when baby arrives home and use things as you need them.

5. Baby brain and mommy brain are for real.

Just know that no matter what happens, the love you will feel for your baby on the other end of your labor and delivery is indescribable.

 

Here are some additional baby registry tips:

Registry tips for baby #2

Baby Registry tips

 

This post was sponsored by Huggies. Thanks for reading!