Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween Y’all!


From BOO! To Thank You!

I might be a little too sneaky for my own good. With all the awesome Halloween decor up for a month already, I’m beginning to long for Thanksgiving. In cleaning the bathroom, I snuck out a small piece of decor (yes, my kids help decorate now – and yes, they pick the bathroom. But hey, that’s what makes it fun!).

I crept over to the box, placed the mummy underneath some bubble wrap – knowing that I’ll keep the rest of it up until tomorrow night. And on Tuesday morning, I’ll gladly say goodbye to Frankenstein and say hello to Thanksgiving.

So I found it rather cute that today’s lead story on the JBF Corporate Blog was all about transitioning from BOO to Thank You- and thought their post was perfect for today.


Transitioning Pumpkin Décor from Halloween to Thanksgiving


During the month of October, the decorations usually consist of skeletons, ghosts and of course, pumpkins! This fruit is very versatile as a decoration. Even better, you can also use it to decorate for Thanksgiving! Here are a few ideas to transition pumpkin décor from Halloween to Thanksgiving:

Spray Paint: An easy way to turn your Halloween pumpkins into thanksgiving décor is to spray paint them. You can use dark fall colors such as maroon, navy, or gold. You can also use metallic colors such as silver or bronze for a dressier feel.

Center Piece: If you did not carve your pumpkin for Halloween, then carve it for thanksgiving! Instead of cutting a face into the pumpkin, carve out the center of it and leave a large hole at the top. Place your favorite fall flowers inside to make a centerpiece for the dinner table or outside by the doorstep.

Candle Holders: You can also carve the middle out of smaller pumpkins and insert candles in them to add a festive glow to your décor. These are great for the fireplace or the dining table.

Cornucopia: Thanksgiving décor would not be complete without at least one cornucopia lying around. Fill it with your small leftover pumpkins along with fall leaves and gourds for a seasonal arrangement.

Pumpkins are great for the whole season! Use pumpkins for all of your fall holidays and get creative when transitioning them from Halloween to Thanksgiving. What other ways do you like to decorate with pumpkins?

Get a Move On – Movements Add Up!

child-playing-with-autumn-leavesIn the last few weeks, we’ve talked about various motor skills your child should have by the time they are off to kindergarten.  You can keep an eye on your child’s development and be a great role model too. It’s important to remember that even in limited space, you can still encourage your child to move and play. See if your child’s movements are adding up!

Traveling Actions:

  • Walk
  • Run
  • Hop
  • Jump
  • Gallop
  • Skip
  • Side-slide

Stabilizing Actions:

  • Push/Pull
  • Bend/Stretch
  • Twist
  • Turn
  • Sink/Rise
  • Small/Big
  • Wide/Thin

Manipulating Actions

  • Rolling
  • Throwing
  • Catching
  • Dribbling
  • Kicking
  • Striking

As always, if you have any concerns about your child’s motor skills, talk to your pediatrician.


This is part of the Get a Move On series – keeping your child healthy through activity and movement.

Spooky Halloween Foods

Another great post from the – all about creating some fun snacks for your kiddos for Halloween. With only a week to go, my little ones are having a ball with everything orange or spooky or fun or silly.

Enjoy some of these fun snacks this week!


Halloween is quickly approaching and we all know it’s every kid’s favorite holiday (other than Christmas of course.) Look no further parents because I’ve come up with my 3 most favorite Halloween treats that you and your kids will be dying to try. Check out these spooky snacks!

Candy Corn Jell-O
by Passion for Savings
Spooky Snacks Who doesn’t love Jell-O? This treat is simple to make and fun to eat.


  • 1 Lemon Jell-O Gelatin (3 oz)
  • 1 Orange Jell-O Gelatin (3 oz)
  • 8 oz thawed Cool Whip
  • 1 1/3 cups boiling Water
  • Candy Corn


  • If you can find tall shot glasses they will work best, but any clear glass will do.
  • Place lemon gelatin in a bowl and add 2/3 cup boiling water.
  • Stir well until dissolved and allow cooling.
  • Fill each cup 1/3 full of yellow and place in refrigerator.
  • Place orange gelatin in a bowl and add 2/3 cup boiling water.
  • Stir well until dissolved and allow cooling.
  • Fill each cup 1/3 full of orange and place in refrigerator.
  • Top each portion with whipped topping and garnish with a piece of candy corn.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve

Mummy Hot Dogs
by Creative Juice
 Spooky Snacks
This treat is hands down my favorite to make during the holiday. Not only is it fun to make and super yummy but it will for sure be the party favorite.

*Feeds 8*


  • 1 can Crescent Roll Dough
  • 4 American Cheese slices
  • 8 Hot Dogs
  • 16 candy eyes
  • Cooking spray


  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Cut each cheese slice into 4 strips.
  • Unroll dough and separate into 4 rectangles (crimp diagonal cuts in each one together).
  • Cut each rectangle lengthwise into 1/2″ strips and join 2 together to form one long “bandage”.
  • 10 pieces, making a total of 40 pieces of dough. Slice cheese slices into quarters (1/2 slice cheese, cut in half).
  • Wrap “bandage” of dough around each hot dog and 1/4 slice of cheese.
  • Make sure to leave a gap for the face.
  • Place wrapped hot dogs (cheese side down) on non-stick cookie sheet and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  • Bake 15 minutes or until dough is lightly brown.
  • Place a small piece of cheese where eyes go and place in oven to melt slightly.
  • Place 2 eyes on each mummy

Spider PB&J
by Welch’s
spooky snacks
This treat is for all the PB&J lovers out there. It takes no time to make and don’t require anything to be cooked. All you need is 5 simple ingredients and you can make this treat anywhere.


  • Bread
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Pretzel stick (legs)
  • Chocolate chips (eyes)


  • Cut bread into small round pieces (also cutting the crust off)
  • Place one piece of bread on a plate
  • Spread a small amount of peanut butter on the bread
  • Spread a small amount of jelly on the bread
  • Space 4 pretzel sticks on each side on the bread
  • Place another piece of bread on top
  • Add two chocolate chips on top for the eyes
  • *Repeat each step as many times as you want to make as many sandwiches that you want.

Have you tried any of these spooky snacks or do you have other recipes that your kid’s love? Let us know!

Spotlight on Safety – Recall Notice

We’re continuing to work our way through the Top 25 most recalled baby/children’s items. Up next is the Mother’s Touch Deluxe Baby Bather.

Mother’s carrying their infants in the bather risk fall and injury in cases reported where the hinge disengages and folds in half. Bathers have side adjustable hinges with five rivets and a white wire frame. Bathers created since 2007 now come with a disclaimer not to carry an infant in the bather. A strap can be issued for security and can be obtained by contacting Summer Infant.


Keep your little ones safe!

The Most Popular Kid’s Costumes for 2016

Thanks to the JBF Corporate Blog for passing on this post about kid’s costumes for Halloween. If your house is anything like ours, plans are being concocted and revised almost on a daily basis!!

Here’s hoping for a Spooktacular lead up to a fun day with your kids!


batman-1126127_1280-1024x682October is here which means it’s time to start thinking about one of the most exciting (and maybe spookiest) nights of the year! Halloween is fun for the whole family, and kids love dressing up in the coolest costumes. What will the most popular Halloween costumes for this year be? It is easy to tell from this year’s most popular movies, the coolest toys, or cartoons. Here are some of the most popular kid’s costumes you can expect to see for Halloween 2016:

Star Wars: The new Star Wars movie was a huge hit this year! No doubt you will be seeing lots of Jedis, Storm Troopers, and Kylo Rens running around your neighborhood this year. Because these movies are a hit for all ages, the whole family could dress up as their favorite Star Wars characters. May the force and all the good candy be with you.

Disney: You can never go wrong with the classic Disney costumes. This year expect to see a lot of Disney descendants outfits and of course, our beloved fish: Dori and Nemo.

Ghostbusters: This classic movie is back and your neighborhood streets will be ghost free thanks to those brave Ghostbuster trick or treaters.

Superheroes: It seems like every year a new Avenger movie comes out, and every year this is one of the coolest costumes for Halloween. Expect to see a lot of Captain Americas and Iron Mans. The girls will be just as heroic in the Wonder Woman costumes!

Shopkins: These little toys are all the rage with the young girls, and they will love dressing up as their favorite Shopkin whether it is Apple Blossom or Kookie Cookie.

Let your children help pick out their costume so they will love it and have fun wearing it. Whether your child chooses one of these popular costumes or the classic ghost costume, he or she is sure to be the coolest trick or treater in the neighborhood. Enjoy Halloween with your children and go all out to make their costumes the best of the night!

Get a Move On – Jumping Skills

Wow! It’s been a while! We’re back to our regularly scheduled “non-sale” posts about keeping your family in tune with what’s going on in regards to kids, recalls, safety, fun things to do – and frankly, keeping your sanity, too!

Our next installment of Get a Move On is aptly timed for a glorious weekend ahead. We’re in a true West Michigan Fall where it was so chilly this morning we needed gloves, but now we’re sweating in the sun and longing for the flip flops we wanted to wear. Am I right, or am I right?!

When we last left throwing, catching, kicking and so on – we still needed to cover one more subject: jumping!

Because if your kid was anything like mine at 3, the jump was more of a wobble. By 4, it was a gallop. Age 5 brought at least a leap – and now we’re seeing cartwheels and acrobatic stunts that keep the ER in business.

Alas – some tips about jumping:

It seems pretty simple, but even the easiest tasks take a little getting used to before they are mastered. Just like the tips on kicking, the tips on jumping over (forward), up or down will help your child become more confident in the motor skills they need. Not only does coordination build self-esteem, but it helps playing games on the playground too!

  • Stress a safe, upright landing – “you’re going to land on both feet”
  • Efficient jumps include a little crouch, full arm swing and a two-foot take off.
  • Cue your child “when your legs jump up (or out), your arms go up!”
  • Practice different kinds of jumps: jump over, jump up, jump down
  • When jumping over, use a target to aim for
  • When jumping up, look at the target first
  • When jumping down, stand or kneel in front of your child to keep him/her from falling forward.

Get outside this weekend! Rake some leaves – and jump like crazy. It’ll be snow-season before we know it!


This is part of the Get a Move On series – keeping your child healthy through activity and movement.


check_your_emailHey, hey! It’s a bright, sunny day! If you participated in the Kalamazoo sale, your check has been sent via email. Just print it out, take it to your bank and deposit as normal!

We’re delighted to see this second sale in Kalamazoo grow – with your help, it’ll be one rockin’ awesome place to be! We’re grateful for your support – and look forward to seeing you in 2017.

Another One in the Books

A huge shout out to all of those who come to consign, shop and/or volunteer at our second Kalamazoo sale. We’re excited to report we’re tracking growth in sales and volume. And it’s quite close to what Grand Rapids experienced in its second-ever sale. So things are good!

It takes a ton of man-hours, energy, patience, commitment and focus to get an event up off the ground and running smoothly. We’re so grateful for your support as we’re in the beginning stages and can’t wait to see what’s ahead in 2017. We’ll be picking your brains for ideas for growth, stability, support and, of course, fun!

pick-upRemember, pick up is today from 1pm to 3pm and after that, all unclaimed items will join our donation bins to support those in need in Kalamazoo through The Dream Center.

So many fun things ahead, thanks for Clearing the Clutter with us – we’ll see you soon!