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Thursday, October 23, 2014

5 Ways to Get a Great Last Minute Halloween Costume {on a Budget}

Halloween is next weekend!  Do you have your candy all picked out and stashed away?  What about the costumes?  All set?  Just in case you need a last minute costume...

LAST MINUTE HALLOWEEN COSTUMES
{on a Budget}


1. Pajamas.  How easy would it be to turn this set of Mickey Mouse pajamas (affiliate link) into a costume?!  And bonus: your little one can wear it for more than just a single night (or a couple of nights, you party animal, you).  Just add a pair of ears and maybe a tail and ta-da!  You've got the cutest (and easiest) Mickey Mouse ever!  I also found Buzz Lightyear and Woody PJ's, and a cute set of rabbit pajamas for a little girl. Super simple to make into a costume!


2. Sweats.  You can turn sweat pants into almost anything.  Seriously.  We have two costumes this year that are glorified sweats.  And they turned out incredibly cute.  It doesn't get more comfortable than sweats and they are warm too.  Perfect for little ones and trick or treating.  If you do it right, they can wear them again as well.  Sneak peek of our sweats costumes:

3. Raid the closet.  You would be surprised what you have already in your closets.  When Big J was 3 he insisted on being a scarecrow.  I didn't want to have to buy a scarecrow costume... when was that ever going to get used again?  After going through his closet, and attaching a few embellishments, he was a pretty darn cute little scarecrow... for FREE!  That same year, Little J was a dinosaur made from a one-piece pajama set he already had in his closet, a bit of felt, hot glue and a couple googly eyes.  If my husband hadn't re-organized the server and hidden our family photos somewhere, I'd show you... That year, all the costumes were completely FREE and made from things we already had.

4. Only buy accessories.  A full costume can be pricey!  And, even this late in the game, you don't have to cough over the big bucks or settle for what ever is left to have a great costume.  Use what you have and only buy the extras.  When Big J was two, he was a cowboy for Halloween.  He already had jeans, a button-down shirt, a bandanna and shoes that passed as boots.  We found a costume set for $10 that had a soft hat, chaps, and a vest.  Because his costume only cost us $10 we decided to splurge on a $20 stick horse that made the costume. The hat, vest and chaps are now in our dress up box and the stick horse is still used as a weapon toy at least once a week.

5. Buy things you'll be able to wear after Halloween.  This year, Mr. Napping and I needed costumes that matched.  Do you know how hard it is to find matching clothes in men's and women's?!  And Mr. Napping is three sizes bigger than me...  We both ended up getting a new pair of pants and a matching men's shirt, but we can wear the pants after Halloween and Mr Napping says he'll wear the shirt too.  My shirt will probably get turned into a kid-sized apron after Halloween.  While this is a little more expensive, you'll get use out of it for more than one or two nights.

And there you have it.  How we keep our costumes in our budget and make excuses for what expense we do incur.  Halloween was never a big holiday in my home while I was growing up.  I can count on one hand the number of times I went actual Trick-or-treating.  I don't really feel like I missed out, but I don't want my kids to miss out on all the fun of Halloween either.  This is the first year we've made it a family affair... and I'm beyond excited to see the whole family all dressed up together.


How do you keep Halloween costumes in your budget?



This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.





Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Five Ways to Use WaterWipes

This post is sponsored by WaterWipes and Mommy Bag Marketing. Although I received product and financial compensation, all opinions are entirely my own.

With three kids running around (or rolling, in Baby N's case) we have a lot of messes. And I mean A LOT. If you can imagine the mess, I've probably cleaned it. A brand new bottle of bubbles? A whole tube of tooth paste? Baby powder and petroleum jelly goop? Yep, yep and a "you've got to be kidding me" yep. And all that was just before noon last Monday. Some days are messier than others...

All these messes means there's a lot of cleaning going on at my house. Ironically, you usually can't tell that just by looking. Sometimes, I need the broom and mop and vacuum and washing machine to clean up my boys' messes... but, more often, I just need a towel. Regardless of the mess, I don't want a lot of chemicals. I still have kids that think it's okay to put Legos and Connect Four pieces in their mouths or to lick every surface in sight. I don't want them licking unpronounceable chemicals and wondering if it warrants a call to Poison Control.

5 WAYS TO USE

WATERWIPES

WaterWipes is the world's purest baby wipe with 99.9% water and that other 0.01% is grapefruit extract! And that's it, that's all these wipes contain. I bet you can pronounce both of those, right? No harsh chemicals. Perfect for that delicate baby skin. Did you know that baby skin is five to seven times thinner than an adult's skin? Definitely not where you want to be applying chemicals 10 times a day! Right?!


1. Baby Wipes. The most obvious way to use these is exactly what they were made for: baby bums. Water Wipes are great baby wipes. My only complaint is that I wish they were a little thicker. I like a nice thick barrier between me and whatever tushie ick I'm cleaning up at the moment. Despite that, I really like these wipes. I love that these won't dry out my little one's skin and can prevent diaper rash. These natural baby wipes are so gentle, but they still get the dirtiest of jobs done.

2. Spot Treatments. Have you ever fed children? They are notorious for being messy. On the rare occasion that we go out to eat with our kids, you can bank on some sauce, jelly, or other condiment coming home on their clothes. WaterWipes are great for quick little spot treatments and since it's just water, the spots don't dry with rings around them or discolored. For spills that require a wardrobe change, I put the wet WaterWipe on the spot, fold up the clothes and seal it in the wet bag we keep in our diaper bag until I can get it home to treat it with the laundry. The wipe keeps the spot wet so it doesn't set before I can get it taken care of.

3. Craft Clean Up. My boys like to paint and, inevitably, they drip on the table, counter top or each other. I love using WaterWipes to clean up their spills on solid surfaces because I don't have to worry about any lingering chemicals hanging out and getting on food. I can scrub my kiddo's hands and my baby can pop his fingers right back in his mouth with no icky tastes lingering on them. I can use them on my two year old's face without worrying about getting anything in his eyes.


4. On-The-Go Wet Wipes. Whether you want to wipe down the shopping cart, clean peanut butter off your toddler's face after lunch at the park or wipe down a toy that's been hanging around the backseat for who-knows-how-long, these wipes are fantastic. They come in a plastic, resealable bag that keeps them moist and if they dry out, just add a bit of (distilled) water to wet them again. And the single wipes are perfect to keep in your purse or the diaper bag (although if you keep just a single wipe in the diaper bag your life is far less messy than mine). 

5. Makeup Removers. If your skin dries out really easily or is prone to break outs, WaterWipes are great to use as make up remover cloths. A lot of the reasons these are such great baby wipes are the same reasons they are great facial wipes. They are gentle on your skin and aren't soaked with chemicals. If you suffer from psoriasis, dermatitis or other skin conditions you can still use WaterWipes without the adverse effects of harsher make up remover wipes,  The single sample size packages are great to throw in your make up bag or an overnight bag. The wipes are already wet and sealed in their own package. It's compact ready to use and there are no worries about spilled bottles!


Bonus Idea: Cool Cloths! About a week and a half ago, my littlest boy had a mild fever.  Nothing that was too severe, but he obviously wasn't feeling well. Somehow every single washcloth in our house was in the laundry (the somehow being that's what Big J used to clean up the nearly full gallon on milk he'd dropped on the floor earlier that evening). We put a couple WaterWipes in the fridge for a few minutes and used them to cool his forehead and sore legs. They worked fabulously.  He stopped fussing and finally fell asleep.

These are a great addition to your arsenal, whether you're battling the office, motherhood, spoiling grandkids or something else. WaterWipes are eco-friendly, truly chemical-free, and perfect for so many of life's everyday little messes.


You can find more info about WaterWipes and stay connected by following WaterWipes on Facebook and Twitter



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

{October Spooktacular} Monster Mash Munchies Mix Printable Snack Labels

Usually I get all kinds of excited to decorate for Halloween. I don't know if it's our 80° weather or just that life is busy - when is it not with three kids?  I just don't have the aspirations to bling out my house in Halloween splendor this year, although we may be sporting a cobweb or two.

I do, however, have lovely snacking aspirations. And room mom aspirations. So I combined the two and created some fun snacks for Big J's kindergarten class. Behold, I give you...

MONSTER MASH MUNCHIES MIX
PRINTABLE SNACK LABELS

All you need to do is DOWNLOAD THE FILE and print it out.  This single image can be used to create three different sized labels!  The full image will fit a sandwich-size zip top bag.  If you cut the image apart you can create smaller bag labels that fit a 4- inch zip top bag (a common size for cellophane treat bags) and a 2-inch zip top bag (the perfect size for little candy corn snacks)!


Happy Snacking!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

{October Spooktacular} The Best Halloween Android Apps

The countdown is on!  Halloween in a mere 25 days away.  Have your holiday preparations begun yet?  We're still in the middle of a hot debate on costumes over here...

This time of year lots of holiday related apps start to pop up.  Lots of them are garbage.  Dumb apps with ads to no end from a developer trying to take advantage of the season and make a few bucks.  I don't the developers one bit for trying a few dollars, but if I'm going to have ad after ad interrupting me you'll see just how fast I can uninstall your app.

So what's worth the download?  Well, here are a few apps that are worth checking out.

FIVE HALLOWEEN APPS
FOR ANDROID

1. Bouncy Bill.  Help Bouncy Bill make his way through each level by navigating his way onto, over, or under magical platforms and other enchanted obstacles.  Game includes 24 levels and simple game play.  Suitable for ages 3 and up, although my two year old likes to make Bill jump on the pumpkins.  He doesn't quite have the cognitive skills yet to complete a level on his own yet though.  Free in the Play Store, although in-app purchases are available.

2.  Halloween Pumpkin Carver.  This app is ridiculously simple... and addictive.  I downloaded it for my kids to get them to hush while I finished some grocery shopping and ended up playing it for 15 minutes later that night.  Use your finger to carve a pumpkin!  What's not to love?  All the Halloween fun of Jack-O-Lanterns without the pumpkin guts!  Free.

3.  Halloween Games.  While I'm not thrilled with the ads in this app, it's got a couple of good games for my 2 year old and some that my 5 year old likes too.  There's a couple memory games, a jigsaw puzzle, a shape puzzle, connect the dots, decorate a pumpkin, and a scratch to reveal game.  Usually the ads aren't too intrusive, but my toddler has bumped them and had trouble getting back to his game before.  My kindergartner knows not to touch them.  A decent set of games for free.

4.  Dress Up Halloween.  I liked this game and so did my kindergartner.  Basically, you choose the character's costume and dress him/her from a set of bodies, hats, eyes, hair, clothes and other features.  It's a great exercise in sequencing, as you can layer the "stickers".  Also tests matching skills.  I wish the costume pieces would "snap into place" when you get close to their intended positions, as it would help my two-year-old play.  Free in the Play Store,

5.  Halloween Blocks.  This is pretty simple, but still a good way to spend a few minutes in a waiting room or a good way to practice matching skills for kids.  It's simple enough for my kindergartner.  The Halloween-themed blocks fall to the bottom of the screen and you have to click on matches of at least 2 like pictures to make them disappear.  Free in the Play Store.



This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.





Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Halloween Countdown Jar Printable

Guess where I am today?  In reality, I am probably cleaning up some sort of toy disaster or bodily fluids or trying to get somewhere on a design project while my two year old tries to climb to the top of my head while fighting with his brother and the baby needs to eat... BUT, in the blogerverse, I'm over at Ask Anna.  AND, I've got a really fun printable for you this month!

A Halloween Countdown Activity Jar for the kiddos (and you)!  Don't miss out on all the fun that October has to offer with this fun project the kids can put together and then use when you need a little fun and family time or a few minutes with the kids occupied.  So, head over to Ask Anna and get your copy NOW!



You might also want to check out my Christmas Countdown Jar too (because it'll be here before you know it!) or the full version of the Halloween Countdown in my Etsy Shop.



This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.





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