Deliciously Tempting Candy Apple Bars with M&M’s

 These deliciously tempting candy apple bars with M&M’s are the perfect sweet treat to use up all of those apples you picked this season!  

Candy Apple Bars with M&M's - the perfect way to welcome fall and enjoy a delicious dessert

Oh my gosh you guys. I’m seriously melting right now and wondering where the heck fall is. Over 100 degrees today and the forecast does not look good over the next week. Oh, how I yearn for the cool crisp 75-degree air of fall.

With pregnancy cravings that have me wanting apple pie, hearty stews, and other fall recipes I can’t help but give into temptation and bake up a delicious treat for the family even when it’s a sauna inside and outside of the house. Did I mention we have no a/c in the new house? Yeah…

After finding some delicious Candy Apple M&M’s on our most recent trip to Walmart I was inspired to make these delicious candy apple bars that are part apple pie, part candy apple. 

Candy Apple Bars with M&M's ingredients

I made sure to gather most of the ingredients we needed and have it all pre-measured because another crazy girl in the house wanted to help mama out even in this heat.

I’ve found that when cooking or baking with kids a little prep work goes a long way. And makes things go a little smoother. And this recipe couldn’t be easier to make with kids. No mixer needed, no special measuring or ingredients. Easy peasy!

Candy Apple Bars with M&M's mixing

We mixed together the oat mixture and reserved a bit for the topping. The rest we mixed with some delicious applesauce 

Once the applesauce oat mixture was ready I let my daughter spread it on the bottom of our 9×13 pan while I tossed the apples in some flour.

Candy Apple Bars with M&M's spreading applesauce oat mixture

Next was my daughter’s favorite part. After I put a layer of apples down she was in charge of adding the Candy Apple M&M’s on top of the apples. Now normally I use a layer of caramel here for caramel apple bars but we wanted some chocolatey candy goodness.

Candy Apple Bars with M&M's adding apples and M&M's

Once she was done I spread the reserved oat mixture over everything and had her help push it down gently. Then we baked up this scrumptious dessert and enjoyed a little kiddy pool fun to cool down.

By dinnertime, these were perfectly cooled and ready to enjoy for our dessert. Boy, was this a good treat to end our hot day. Now let’s bring on some cooler temperatures!

Candy Apple Bars with M&M's ready to bake

5 from 2 votes
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Candy Apple Bars with M&M's

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 15

Ingredients

For the candy apple bars

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 3 peeled fuji apples finely diced
  • 1 granny smith apple grated
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup Candy Apple M&M's

For the drizzle

  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 3 tablespoons apple juice

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Mix brown sugar, butter and shortening in large bowl. Stir in 1 3/4 cups flour, the oats, salt and baking soda. Reserve 2 cups oat mixture. Mix remaining oat mixture with applesauce and spread on the bottom of an un-greased 13x9 pan.
  2. Toss apples and 3 tablespoons flour; spread over mixture in pan. Spread Candy Apple M&M's evenly over apples. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture; press lightly.
  3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender.
  4. While bars are baking, mix together powdered sugar and apple juice and set aside. Once bars are done, let cool before drizzling with icing and enjoy!


Grab What You Need:


 

Candy Apple Bars with M&M's

What’s your favorite fall-inspired dish?

*This post was originally featured on September 14t, 2014. 

Family Friendly Halloween Fun at Boomont Park

Why celebrate Halloween once when you can celebrate all weekend, all October long! We were invited to check out all the happenings at BOOmont Park over at Belmont Park last weekend and I have to tell you, I’m glad we went! BOOmont Park is fun for all ages. Starting Saturday, September 30th, activities will run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5pm to CLOSE plus Tuesday, October 31st.

BOOmont Park’s frighteningly-fun weekends include FREE trick-or-treating from 6:30-7:30 pm. Attractions include the Zombie Laser Tag where creatures will join you in this three-floor adventure, superhero Zip Line & Rock Wall and a pumpkin patch station with an option to purchase pumpkins to paint.

Family Friendly Halloween Fun at Boomont Park

Here is a list of frightenly-fun activities for the weekend: www.belmontpark.com/boomontpark. The costume contest starts at 5:30 pm and free Trick or Treating starts at 6:30 pm. There are various times for the other activities, please check the website. The rides will all be open throughout the day and evening. Make sure to check height restrictions for each game here.

Super Hero Zip Line & Rock Wall –

The rock wall was a huge hit with my kids. It’s 30 feet tall and has different routes to the top. Kids who are 40lbs or larger can decide which path to take and get harnessed in for a fun challenge (max 250lbs). 

My kids weren’t quite ready for the zip line* but it looked like a great time! If adrenaline filled adventure is your thing, strap in and soar through the midway!Plus, kids in full superhero costumes receive 50% off both the zip line and rock wall! *Must be 46″+ and 50-250lbs

Zip Line is $15 per person | Sky Climb Rock Wall is $8.00 per person

Belmont Park’s 3-level Tron-themed laser tag arena has been transformed into an apocalyptic war zone in Zombie Lazer Tag. Zombie Lazer Tag is located inside the Lazerblast Arcade and open from 5pm-close.

Each game is $8.00.

Enjoy Fall-Themed Treats – 

Belmont Park is your one-stop-shop for everything Fall!

Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake
Get your fix at Belmonty’s

Specialty Caramel Apples
Purchase one at the Sweet Shoppe or Midway Snacks

Pumpkin Spice Latte
At Vibe Cafe, located next to Draft

Halloween-Themed Merchandise
Get yours at the Midway Kiosks

Pumpkin Patch – 

Come enjoy fun Halloween-themed crafts every Sunday from 5-7pm at the Pumpkin Patch. 

  • October 1: Make your own Trick-or-Treat bag
  • October 8: Pumpkin sand art
  • October 15: Cookie decorating
  • October 22: Make your own Halloween bracelet
  • October 29: Make a photo frame keepsake

While your kids are crafting, take your pick at a variety of pumpkins.

Belmont Park is your one-stop-shop for all of your fall needs: Pumpkins included! When you purchase a pumpkin from us, you can paint and decorate it for free! Let your inner artist out. The pumpkin patch is open from 12-8:30 pm. 

Cost per pumpkin is $2-12

Free Trick or Treating – 

Wear your costume and visit all of the shops for candy! Don’t forget to say “Trick-or-Treat”! You can grab a bag and a list of the shops participating at the Pumpkin Patch under the Giant Dipper. Trick-or-treating takes place throughout the Park from 6:30pm-7:30pm.

FREE for children 12 and younger

Come out and enjoy free admission and parking at Belmont Park. Print out these #OctoberSavings coupons to use on your next trip to Belmont Park!

For more information about BOOmont Park please visit http://www.belmontpark.com/ or call (858) 228-9283.

When’s the last time you rode the Giant Dipper?

Top 5 Things to Do At Knotts Spooky Farm This 2017 Season

Looking for a great way to celebrate the season and get into the Halloween spirit? My family was invited to come enjoy a day of fun at Knott’s Spooky Farm and let me tell you, it was great! 

This annual daytime, family-friendly Halloween celebration takes place weekends, September 30 – October 29 and Halloween Day. The kid-inspired “spooky” celebration will feature activities for ages 3-11, including trick-or-treating, a live show and costume contest with the Peanuts gang, and a Dia De Los Muertos Celebration.

Top 5 Things to Do At Knotts Spooky Farm 2017

Trick-or-Treating throughout Ghost Town

Kids ages 3 -11 can participate in Trick-or-Treating throughout Ghost Town, and interact with an array of spooky but friendly Shopkeepers. As you walk down the paths of Ghost Town you will see stations set out with friendly faces to pass out a few pieces of candy to each kid. Each station is marked with a unique door with a number on it that corresponds with your treat map. Make sure to grab your orange candy bag and treat map when you enter the park! 

Creepy Critters of Calico

New this year, Stanley Scarecrow has opened the Livery Stable for guests of all ages to get close and personal with the Creepy Critters of Calico. We were able to meet a beautiful boa, lizards of all shapes and sizes, see a few tarantulas, and meet a spooky skeleton horse. One of my favorite displays was the cute rats and their houses. Sure some say Eeeewwwww but we say Awwwww. The kids loved getting to touch and interact with the creepy critters on display. 

Camp Spooky

The Grand Sierra Railroad in Camp Snoopy takes riders on “A Trip To Camp Spooky” Presented by REESE’S, a one-of-a-kind experience which takes riders on an adventure, along with the Peanuts Gang, to Camp Spooky with added special Halloween theming effects. Then come to Camp Snoopy Theatre Presented by HERSHEY’S to show off your best Halloween costume at the Peanuts Costume Contest and afterward, join Peanuts characters in a Peanuts Dance Party!. Additionally, families can watch the Peanuts Gang in The Monsters Are Coming, Charlie Brown, where they’ll have guests of all ages singing and dancing along to classic Halloween tunes.

Halloween Hootenanny

This Halloween season, the Timber Mountain Log Ride mystically converts into the Halloween Hootenanny by adding a new family-friendly twist to a park favorite. Every year the citizens of the Timber Mountain invite the mysterious creatures that live out in the woods and caverns of the area to join them as they celebrate the season at the Halloween Hootenanny. The ride’s interior will feature new fun surprises as guests venture past the Calico Coffin Creeper band, the town’s green witch and splash down Skull Mountain through a labyrinth of jack-o-lanterns. The seasonal ride will also feature an original song performed by Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies. Open for day and night guests, this is the perfect family experience for all to enjoy this Halloween season.

Dia de Los Muertos Celebration

In Fiesta Village, join the Dia de Los Muertos Celebration in the Fiesta Stage area for an interactive, non-scary, educational celebration of the season. The themed area offers a walk through a village filled with photo ops, educational activities and face paintings at a nominal fee. Then visit the Ghastly Gallery Presented By KIT KAT® in the Boardwalk Ballroom for a slate of entertaining activities including a live show and opportunities for your little ghouls to participate in drawing their best “monsterpiece.”

Have you gone to Knott’s Berry Farm during the Halloween season? 

Before leaving the park, make sure to try out a few delicious treats. Our favorites? Halloween-inspired bakery sweets at the Ghost Town Bakery and boysenberry and vanilla swirl ice cream. Yum! 

2018 Season Pass is the best way to experience Knott’s Spooky Farm. With a 2018 Season Pass you will get to enjoy all of the Seasons of Fun next year but will also receive one free admission to use in 2017. You can get your Season Pass now at the Best Offer of the Year! Regular passes are just $92 or nine easy payments of $10.22 and Gold Season Passes are $110 or nine payments of just $12.22. These offers end October 29, 2017. Applicable taxes and fees apply online. Payment plans are only available at knotts.com.

SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular plus Kids Free in October

Whoever said Halloween is only a night of fright hasn’t celebrated this boootiful holiday at SeaWorld San Diego®! SeaWorld announces its Halloween Spooktacular®, San Diego’s premiere not-too- spooky family-fun extravaganza (geared for kids 12 years and under). This must-see fangtastic experience kicks off Sept. 24–25 and runs every weekend in October.

And how’s this for the ultimate treat without a trick: SeaWorld is offering one child, aged 3 to 9, free admission with one full-paid adult admission through October, making this fun-filled day at the park an even greater value! Thanks to SeaWorld for inviting my family out to check out the festivities and take part in the fun this year! 

New this year for Spooktacular will be a family-friendly celebration of the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos. Large, beautifully dressed Catrina statues will welcome guests as they discover ofrendas (offerings) of mementos and flowers honoring loved ones who have left us.

Children 12 and under are encouraged to dress up in their finest Halloween costumes for a howling good time at this year’s festivities that includes free candy at 12 underwater-themed trick-or- treating stations. Guests can also creep over to the Clyde & Seamore’s Big Halloween Bash performance at the park’s Sea Lion and Otter Stadium, where those prank-loving sea lions, Clyde® and Seamore® , and the always-mischievous O.P. Otter® get their Halloween on. 

Plus, Mission Bay Theater will be the ghostly home for Sesame Street’s Who Said Boo?, starring Elmo and his friends as they sing, dance and romp their way through Count’s Castle. Monsters of all sizes can do the mash at the Spooktacular dance party! DJ Cotton Candy will spin sweet beats that will set the bewitching vibe for the ghoulishly fun costume party! On the dance floor, guests can mingle with candy-inspired characters such as Colonel Candy Corn, Lolly Pop N’ Lockit, and Goody Gumdrop, the King of Candy, plus new this year, Tabitha Taffy and Timothy Toffee.

Youngsters can also let their creative Halloween juices run wild while decorating cookies, painting pumpkins, and, at the kinetic sand bar, building sandy masterpieces.

In addition to taking advantage of SeaWorld’s free single-day child ticket with one full-paid adult admission, dads and mummies can unwrap the same offer at Dine With Shamu ® where each child dines free with the purchase of a full-paid adult, all at poolside tables near SeaWorld’s family of killer whales. Plus, a child age 10 to 12 can participate for free in SeaWorld’s Dolphin Interaction Program or Beluga Interaction Program with one full-priced adult participant per interaction (children must be at least 4 feet tall to participate).

What are your kids dressing up as for Halloween?

Visit www.SeaWorldSanDiego.com or call (800) 257-4268 for hours and information.

Easy Apple Cider Donut Recipe + Tips for Cooking with Kids with our Hands-Free Faucet

We’re making magic in the kitchen with this easy apple cider donut recipe sponsored on behalf of GROHE and Millennial Blogs! Learn how to make these delicious donuts with your kids as we share our favorite tips for cooking with kids (plus a cool hands-free faucet from Grohe that makes our life even easier!). 

One thing that always makes my heart happy is when my kids want to come into the kitchen and help us. Whether it’s making dinner, putting away groceries, or planning out a special treat, each of our kids has expressed an interest in helping in the kitchen and we love to use these moments as teaching moments. This weekend, in celebration of fall finally arriving here in San Diego, we decided to try out some easy apple cider donut recipes and landed on one favorite. 

We don’t make donuts all that often because they do take a bit of work with frying up but it’s so worth it once you find the right recipe. This donut dough is a sticky dough so be prepared for a little mess ahead of time. The kids loved watching the dough transform from a sticky, hard to work with batter in the bowl to actual donuts coming out of the frying pot. And I love that this is a simple batter with no yeast so we don’t have to wait too long to start working with the dough after it rests in the fridge. We can even make it the night before, put it in the fridge, and bring it out when we need it the next morning. 

Tips for Cooking with Kids

1. Teach your kids how to properly wash their hands before starting – 

While this may seem like a given, there are too many times when my kids start to reach for ingredients before washing their hands. And when they can’t find their favorite stool in the kitchen, they rely on us to help them out. Luckily with our new Grohe foot control faucet, we can do this with ease without manhandling our kids too much. 

2. Be prepared with the right tools – 

As I mentioned previously, the kids almost always need to have their stool on hand in the kitchen. I recommend having a simple 2 step folding step stool that can fold up and be stored easily either on the side of a cabinet or side of the fridge. That way the kids can go and drag it out themselves to help out where needed in the kitchen. Also, having age-appropriate kitchen utensils can help build confidence in skills. We have a set of special kid-friendly knifes for our kids to use so they can learn proper knife skills before “graduating” to our regular knife set. 

3. Find the right job for their age – 

My 8-year-old helps us with a lot more than my 2-year-old does but we don’t let them know that. With a little planning before tackling a recipe, I can ask each child for help with a specific age-appropriate task. For instance, the 2-year-old is a pro with stirring up a batter or cracking eggs, but the 8-year-old can now start helping with stove cooking (with proper supervision). As you continue to work with your children in the kitchen, you can build upon the skills they learn at each stage so they have a good grasp on basic and more advanced kitchen skills. This comes in handy when the 8-year-old can make the 2-year-old scrambled eggs in the morning! 

 

Making Easy Apple Cider Donuts

While many are enjoying the delicious flavors of pumpkin, we’ve turned our sights back onto the delicious flavors of apples. My husband knows how much the kids loved the apple cider donuts we picked up when we were visiting Boston a few years back and has been dying to try his hand at making them on our own. The only thing that has been holding him back was the mess he expected they’d make as we started making them. 

As I mentioned before, the dough is a wet, sticky dough and not easy to work with unless you have a well-floured surface. We didn’t flour the bottom of the board we were prepping the dough on when we first rolled/patted it out to cut out the donuts so we had to scrape everything back into the bowl the first go-round and re-flour everything. So our biggest tip is to make sure you’re prepping your workspace with flour so that the dough doesn’t stick. 

When you take 1/2 of the dough and pat it down to 1/2 inch thick, use flour on the top of the dough to make it easier to pat down. And don’t use a roller, it’s much easier to simply use your hands to do this job. Little kid hands are perfect to help out with this step! 

Next up would be cutting out the donuts. We use our favorite biscuit cutters to do this and flour the cutters liberally before cutting the dough. I found that using a floured spatula to lift the donuts from the cutting board helped them keep their shape as we walked them over to the fryer to fry up. 

By using a thermometer in the oil, we could make sure that the temperature stayed where it needed to be during the whole cooking process. This helped ensure that the oil wasn’t too hot or too cold. Too hot and the outside would cook faster than the inside, too cold and the dough wouldn’t cool very well and would stay oily/greasy. 

I think you’re ready for the recipe now! 

5 from 2 votes
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Easy Apple Cider Donut Recipe

Servings 1 dozen donuts

Ingredients

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
  • Oil for deep-fat frying

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring cider to a rapid boil and cook over high heat until reduced by half, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.

  2. Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, and cooled cider; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened (dough will be sticky). Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour (up to 24 hours) or until firm enough to shape.

  3. Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, pat each portion to 1/2-inch thickness; sprinkle with flour as needed to reduce stickiness. Cut with a floured 3 inch biscuit cutter. Make hole in the center of each 3 inch circle with a 1 inch biscuit cutter. 

  4. In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 325°. Use a thermometer to keep an eye on the oil temperature throughout the frying process. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown, 2-3 minutes on each side. Fry doughnut holes, a few at a time, until golden brown and cooked through, about 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels; cool slightly. If desired, toss donuts in spiced sugar after draining but while donuts are still hot. 

Recipe Notes

Spiced Sugar: In a shallow bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar and 2-3 tablespoons ground pumpkin pie spice. Toss with warm doughnuts. Yield: 3/4 cup.

Keep Clean and Germ-Free with Grohe

You know how sometimes there’s that one product or feature that you find and never knew you needed? Well, our new Grohe Foot Control faucet was just that. Whether we need to fill up a heavy pot for pasta, or quickly rinse our vegetables, GROHE Foot Control gives us greater mobility in the kitchen by freeing our hands and allowing us to use them for whatever we need. We just tap the base of the cabinet with our foot to turn the faucet on.

The best part about it is that it’s innovative, easy to use, and immensely practical. When I have raw egg or raw meat on my hands, I don’t have to touch the handle and spread bacteria (or germs from the kids). And if my hands and my kids’ hands are messy, I can easily pick them up and wash both of our hands at the same time while controlling the water flow with my foot.

With GROHE Foot Control Technology, you can switch the water flow on and off with a tap of your foot on an activation plate installed discreetly in the toe space of the kitchen cabinet. And yes, your kids WILL figure this out quickly. That means that when they get messy and can’t reach the faucet handle, all they have to do is touch the plate, pull up their stool, and wash their hands on their own! Believe me, it took the 2-year-old a mere afternoon to realize that we had changed the faucet out on her and replaced it with this cool hand’s free option (don’t worry, there’s an automatic safety stop after 60 seconds).

Have you tried apple cider donuts before? Have you made them from scratch? 

Love this recipe? Here are some more to check out! 

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How to Make a Pool Noodle Boat + Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales on BluRay!

Looking for some fun STEM crafts for your school-aged child? Why not make these fun pool noodle boats and challenge your child to find a design that will float and race! This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on the link, I will receive a small amount of money back if you purchase anything. 

This summer we spent a lot of time outdoors. Whether we were playing, exploring on our own, or making updates around the yard at the house, it just made sense to stay outside as much as possible. And with that, we also wanted to spend time with friends so we made sure we didn’t miss the movie night hosted at our kids school. 

In celebration of the great weather and being outside, we put together a cute pool noodle boat station where kids could come up and design their own boats and race them against their friends. It was a great activity to share before the movie started and kept the kids active as it became dark. 

What we loved was how easy it was for the kids to “get” it and start to create their own designs with little to no help from us. And I loved seeing all of their final designs once they were done decorating them. If you’re looking for a great outdoor STEM activity for the kids to try, grab some pool noodles, straws, and parchment paper and make a pool noodle boat to race! 

How to Make a Pool Noodle Boat

What you’ll need: 

What you do: 

Cut the pool noodles into 1″-1.5″ rounds. Place in a shallow container. 

Taking the parchment paper, cut out sails in trapezoid shape. Punch a hole on the top and bottom that fits a straw. Place sails in container with cut pool noodles. 

Place straws in a cup with drink umbrellas and set next to cut pool noodles and sails. 

Let kids put together their boats using their own designs and then have them decorate them to make them unique. 

Fill rain gutter (with end caps secure) with water and let the kids race their boats. Try using extra straws to blog into the sails unless you already have a natural wind going. 

Did the boats float? Did they sink? Did they move down the rain gutter with ease? 

Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales on BluRay

Did you know that Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tale is coming out on n 4K Ultra HD™/Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand tomorrow? YUP!! This activity would be a fun way to celebrate this new release. Just set up a movie night with your family or invite friends over for some fun, grab a copy of Pirates of the Carribean, set up an outdoor movie night and enjoy a fun time outdoors! 

What’s your favorite outdoor STEM activities for kids? 

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No Bake Halloween Treats Snack Bar With 50/50 Bar Floats

This no bake Halloween treats snack bar with 50/50 bar float recipe is an easy way to whip up some Halloween fun with friends!

Halloween Dessert Bar With 5050 Bar Floats, No Bake Halloween Treats Snack Bar

We’re in the final countdown to Halloween night and we’re planning a frighteningly spooky time with friends and family as we pass out treats to the trick-or-treaters. To keep everyone pepped up and ready for the busy night, I’ve created a delicious Halloween snack bar that includes a few of my family’s favorite treats: OREOs and Fanta orange soda.

To make our spread more festive, I created some mummy snack wraps and pumpkin drink wraps. It was so simple to make these up in PicMonkey and they were a great addition to our snack bar. Plus the mummy OREO 2-packs will be great to add to my kids lunches leading up to Halloween or to pass out to my son’s class as a treat for their Halloween party.

Halloween Dessert Bar With 5050 Bar Floats treat labels

How to Make Snack Wraps in PicMonkey

If you aren’t familiar with PicMonkey, it’s so easy to create little printables to use for parties and special occasions. For these treat wraps I simply used the design option and chose the Facebook cover canvas to make my wraps. They’re the perfect size to wrap around an OREO 2-pack or a Fanta orange 12oz bottle.

Once I have the canvas I choose a canvas color for the wrap. For the pumpkins, I simply used a solid color, but for the mummies, I went into the Themes and chose a canvas design from the Demons theme (apparitions). But there are so many different options!!

I then added various basic shapes to create my design. There are a lot of shapes to use in the Halloween themes as well if you just want to use one of the pre-made overlays.

Don’t have time to DIY your own treat wrap? Download mine!

Pumpkin Drink Wrap | Mummy Snack Wrap

Halloween Dessert Bar With 5050 Bar Floats oreo mummies, No Bake Halloween Treats Snack Bar

No Bake Halloween Treats Snack Bar

With delicious Oreos and some 50/50 Bar Floats available, we have the perfect snack bar spread for our guests to enjoy. I also made some delicious Oreo balls that I decorated as pumpkins however I’m sad to report that they didn’t make it over the weekend between the kids and the husband. The leftovers were NOT pretty and I didn’t want to share the delicious clumps of OREO balls that were left over.

However I will leave you with a link to the recipe here. Simply dip in orange candy melts or white chocolate with orange food dye and top with a mini chocolate chip for a simple and easy sweet treat. 

Halloween Snack Bar With 5050 Bar Floats set up, No Bake Halloween Treats Snack Bar

And now for this deliciously creamy 50/50 bar float recipe!

Halloween Dessert Bar With 5050 Bar Floats vanilla ice creamHalloween Dessert Bar With 5050 Bar Floats pouring sodaHalloween Dessert Bar With 50:50 Bar Floats fanta orange soda

50/50 Bar Float

  • 8 or 12 ounce Fanta orange soda
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Whipped Cream (optional)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Grab a large cup and fill up with vanilla ice cream.

Pour over an 8 ounce can of Fanta orange soda (or 1/2 a bottle of 12 ounce Fanta orange soda) slowly in stages. Once the delicious bubbles go down again, add more soda.

Top with whipping cream and sprinkles, add a straw, and serve to friends and family alongside some delicious OREOs!

Halloween Snack Bar With 5050 Bar Floats - a delicious treat, No Bake Halloween Treats Snack Bar

Halloween Dessert Bar With 5050 Bar Floats jack o lanterns

What are your favorite no bake Halloween treats? 

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This post was originally published on October 14th, 2015

DIY Lucy van Pelt Costume + Movie Themed Halloween Ideas

If you’re in need of a simple DIY costume for your child (or yourself) look no further then this DIY Lucy van Pelt costume! With a simple blue dress, some black felt, and some glue, you can have a costume put together in minutes.

diy-lucy-van-pelt-costume

I love Halloweentime. The change of the weather, the fun excitement of choosing and making a costume, and the fun parties and treats that come out at this time of the year. I feel like it kicks off the whole holiday season with a bang! When trying to figure out what to dress my youngest as this year (the other two are choosing their own costumes) I thought back to my oldest’s first Halloween when we dressed him up as Charlie Brown. And I wanted to recreate the simplicity of his costume for my youngest. 

Just like her siblings, Norah does not like confining clothes or “dress up” costumes. So we are always cognizant of this when choosing costumes for Halloween. By turning normal clothes into a costume, she’s none the wiser that she’s dressed up and it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) for mama! This DIY Lucy van Pelt costume cost less than $20 and most of it was spent on the dress that we can reuse again. 

diy-lucy-van-pelt-costume-on-set

I was able to pair up with Norah’s costume and created a Peanuts Teacher sign to carry around so I was “in costume” as well as the Peanuts Teacher. My husband made a shirt for himself when Ethan was Charlie Brown and simply wrote Wah Wah Wah Wah all over it. It was the perfect pairing for a child/parent costume. 

If you’re looking for a great base for a DIY costume, check out Primary.com’s selection of dresses, shirts, skirts, pants and shorts in solid colors that will match whatever you’re trying to put together! We were able to grab a blue dress for Norah and a yellow shirt for my son to recreate his Charlie Brown costume for our on-air appearance on The CW Channel 6’s San Diego Living segment yesterday. 

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DIY Lucy van Pelt Costume

What you’ll need:

  • prewashed blue dress
  • white socks
  • 1 sheet black felt
  • no sew glue
  • cardboard square
  • black sharpie

diy-lucy-van-pelt-costume-materials-needed

What you do: 

1. Grab your felt and scissors and cut out two small circles with a line connecting them similar to the photo below (or you can do what we did for our Baymax sock rice packs and grab some buttons and felt). 

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2. Add glue to back of felt making sure to get close but not on the edges. 

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3. Glue felt pieces to middle of shirt and let dry completely. Secure with 1-2 stitches in either circle if you plan on washing the dress afterwards. 

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4. If you don’t have saddleback shoes for your little one, re-create Lucy’s look by cutting out a black felt strip and gluing to white socks to give the appearance of saddleback shoes. Or, if you have white shoes, use a sharpie or felt to cover and look like saddleback shoes. If you’re wearing shoes, pair with white socks. 

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5. Make an Advice sign similar to what Lucy uses in the cartoon by cutting out a small rectangular hole in a square cardboard piece and writing on it in sharpie. 

Enjoy! 

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Movie Themed Halloween Ideas

Looking for more great Halloween-movie themed ideas for this Halloween? Check out these amazing San Diego blogger creations featured on the same segment:  

san-diego-bloggers-on-san-diego-living-san-diego-featuring-halloween-movie-based-treats-and-craftssan-diego-bloggers-on-san-diego-living-halloween-segment

For more great movie ideas for the holidays and beyond, please check out my friend Suzette Valle’s book, 101 Movies To See Before You Grow Up. It’s a great place to start when thinking of great movies for the kids to see. And to find out what you’ve missed and need to catch up on! 

Charlie Brown Halloween Costume for Baby

You can find our original DIY Charlie Brown Costume post here. Perfect for a family costume idea – Charlie Brown, Lucy, and parents as teachers! You can print your own Peanuts Teacher Wah Wah sign here

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Who is your favorite Peanuts character? 

Looking for more movie night ideas? Check out these great posts! 

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Movie Night Popcorn Bark

5 Reasons To Be Thankful For Summer + an outdoor movie night idea on a trampoline with blankets and pillows

Outdoor Movie Night On A Trampoline

Family Movie Night Snack Recipes and Superhero Spread

Family Movie Night Snack Recipes

Homemade Microwavable Ranch Popcorn in a Bag ready to enjoy

Homemade Microwavable Popcorn

 

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This post was originally featured on October 12th, 2016

Bali Hai | San Diego Restaurant Week September 24th – October 1st 2017

One thing I can’t get enough of here in San Diego are the restaurants with amazing views. And the Bali Hai has one of the best views of the San Diego skyline. As soon as we walk into the restaurant we’re blown away by how close we are to the water and how well we can see the skyline from the large floor-to-ceiling glass windows that line the top floor. It’s one of our favorite restaurants to take visitors to because we not only get to show off how pretty our city is but how good it’s food is as well. If you’re a San Diego native or just visiting, you need to try out the Bali Hai menu during Restaurant Week! We were invited to try it out last Sunday and I cannot wait to come back for one more meal next week!

Bali Hai | Shelter Island

The Bali Hai is very close to many of San Diego’s attractions. And it provides a great spot to relax with a slightly upscale dining experience. While it would be a great date night spot any day of the week, they also provide a kid-friendly menu that hits the spot for our kids each time. With homemade mac and cheese, ham and cheese sliders, and other kid favorites, the whole family will be able to enjoy a bite to eat at Bali Hai. 

Bali Hai | The Food

For Restaurant Week, we were able to sample a few of the options on the menu and chose to share each dish brought out instead of keeping things separate. That way we could try a few things on the menu. To start, the salmon cakes and kalua pork poutine came out first. I have to say that I’m a huge fan of salmon cakes but the kalua pork poutine won the show with it’s delicious and creamy flavor. The hot, salty fries were topped with slow roasted kalua pork, mushroom gravy, feta cheese and a 1-hour egg. The salty and savory combo hit every spot it could. And I’ll definitely be back just for those! 

Next up came our main dishes which we shared as well. We enjoyed the pan seared market fresh fish paired with sesame ginger eggplant puree and bok choy and the local whitefish curry that came with a spicy heat. Both dishes were very flavorful but still light. We didn’t feel weighted down after our meal and were completely prepared for the delicious dessert in our near future. 

For dessert, the Restaurant Week menu features a trio of island favorites: chocolate and kalua layered cake, caramelized pineapple and dark rum mousse, and a mochi cake with kalamansi curd. My favorite had to be the caramelized pineapple and dark rum mousse but the chocolate and kalua cake came in a close second!

Bali Hai | Restaurant Week Highlights

For San Diego Restaurant Week, Bali Hai offers a 3 course meal with 8 different entree options for only $30 per person. You can find their full dinner menu for Restaurant Week here. Looking for a great lunch date? Head over to Bali Hai during Restaurant Week and score a 2 course lunch for only $15. And if you don’t have to go back to work, grab one of their famous Mai Tais. So good! 

And as I mentioned previously, this restaurant is perfect for those who are gluten free. Each gluten free menu option is noted with an asterisk on the menu and there is a large array of options to fit any dietary needs. The flavor combos were fresh, delicious, and unique. And the dessert trio? Oh my goodness! Definitely a treat for date night! 

San Diego Restaurant Week | September 24th – October 1st 2017

The 14th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, September 24th through Sunday, October 1st for an edible extravaganza to welcome fall! With over 180 participating restaurants offering prix-fixe menu options throughout San Diego County, you’re sure to find the perfect place to satisfy any craving. 

Over 180 participating restaurants will offer three-course prix-fixe dinner menus for $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person and/or two-course prix-fixe lunch menus for $10, $15 or $20 per person. The participating restaurants span across the county from the South Bay to East County and to the borders of Oceanside and Fallbrook to the North.

Now is your time to dine with over 150,000 fellow diners to celebrate San Diego’s thriving culinary scene. Tickets are not necessary for this delectable week of discounted dining, but reservations are recommended! Visit SanDiegoRestaurantWeek.com for more information, including a list of participating restaurants, or to make your reservations in advance!

What restaurant are you looking forward to trying?

Here are a few we’ve tried in the past: 

Greystone Steakhouse

Double Standard

SHIMBASHI Izakaya

The Hake Restaurant & Bar

Grant Grill

Oceanaire Seafood Room

 

Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Milk

Looking for a dairy-free pumpkin pie filling? This pumpkin pie with coconut milk is perfect for those who are dairy-free or who just don’t have condensed milk in the pantry! 

pumpkin pie with coconut milk, pumpkin pie made with coconut milk, dairy free pumpkin pie filling

I am a huge pumpkin pie fan. Like I’ll do just about anything for a slice. It’s my favorite pie and I look forward to Fall every year because of the fact that pumpkin pie is everywhere. But sadly I have never actually made a pumpkin pie. Let alone a pumpkin pie recipe with coconut milk

So I decided to rectify that right away and this year tackled making a pumpkin pie. Except when I went in my cupboard to get the ingredients I realized I had no evaporated milk. Then when googling alternatives for evaporated milk I realized I could sub coconut milk in and it’d be even healthier! Win win for everyone once I got the perfect recipe figured out.

So now I just need to figure out a gluten-free, dairy-free crust that’ll work for this gluten-free, dairy free pumpkin pie filling. Got any ideas?

Oh, and by the way? This pie? To die for! You can’t taste the coconut milk at all. Just rich, creamy pumpkin pie filling. And it’s even better with a dollop of whipped cream. If you prefer to go all organic and natural try your hand at pumpkin puree. It’s super easy to make and is great in a lot of different dishes.

pumpkin pie with coconut milk close up, pumpkin pie with coconut milk, pumpkin pie made with coconut milk, dairy free pumpkin pie filling

Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Milk

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 425.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl and mix in the sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Gently stir in pumpkin and coconut milk.

pumpkin pie with coconut milk measured, pumpkin pie with coconut milk, pumpkin pie made with coconut milk, dairy free pumpkin pie fillingPour into pie shell. Be careful not to overfill the shell.

Bake in oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.

If crust is browning too quickly, wrap edges with foil.

Let cool completely before serving and serve with a dollop of whipping cream.

tetra pac pumpkin pie

Print

Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Milk

Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Whisk eggs in a large bowl and mix in the sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Gently stir in pumpkin and coconut milk.
  3. pumpkin pie with coconut milk measuredPour into pie shell. Be careful not to overfill the shell.
  4. Bake in oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.
  5. If crust is browning too quickly, wrap edges with foil.
  6. Let cool completely before serving and serve with a dollop of whipping cream.

What’s your favorite pie flavor? Have you used coconut milk in pumpkin pie before?

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pumpkin pie with coconut milk, pumpkin pie made with coconut milk, dairy free pumpkin pie filling



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