Curly Crafty Mom: September 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Halloween Dinner Made Easy with Nestlé® at Walmart!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Treats4All #CollectiveBias

Do you ever feel rushed on Halloween night? I know Halloween is on a Saturday this year, but that doesn't make dinner any easier... I always want to plan a dinner that is a little extra special for the kids, but I also don't want to have to be slaving over it all night. No one has time for that on Halloween! I am going to share with you how to cheat on dinner this Halloween. Your kids will have an awesome dinner with a Halloween theme and they'll be telling you how awesome of a mom you are before they are out the door saying 'Trick or Treat'.

Are you ready to learn how I prepared this delicious, quick and easy meal?

First, let's go on a little shopping trip to Walmart, ok?

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I went directly to the Easy Oven Meals area in the freezer section and picked up one of the STOUFFER'S® Family Size Entrées. They had a lot to pick from and I was standing there scratching my head while I tried to decide which one my family would enjoy the most. I went with the cheesy garlic lasagna with meat sauce, because who doesn't like lasagna?! This is a family sized portion and it fed my family of 4 and we had leftovers!

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Next, I purchased some cheater cookies from the Refrigerated Cookie Dough area. My husband's mom used to call these cheater cookies, because you can make a delicious cookie without all the extra work... hence the name 'cheater cookie'. So true! They had these cookies from TOLL HOUSE® Refrigerated Cookie Dough in a Harvest Apple variety, too... but, I went with the festive Halloween ones with orange colored chocolate chips!

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The last item I needed was some CANDY, to decorate the dinner table with and to give out to the trick or treaters. I found a huge bag of the NESTLE® Jumbo Assorted Fun Size Candy in the Candy aisle. The Butterfingers Cups are my absolute favorite and new to me!

Now, let me share with you about how I set the table up. It was really easy and I just used items I already had around the house. I used burlap with a little gold threading in it for the table cloth. Then, I added some tree slices to be holders for the food and drink. I made a little garland out of mini burlap pumpkins that have a little tree branch for their stem. I used some fun Halloween napkins that I found for $1 a package. I had a metal jack-o'-lantern bucket to fill the candy up with. It really all came together nicely and my family really loved the presentation of it.

STOUFFER'S® Family Size Entrées is the way to go! The lasagna was so easy to prepare. It takes a little over an hour if you want to bake it, so I cooked it earlier in the day and then warmed it back up in the microwave for dinner. It was delicious and everyone finished their plates. I will definitely be buying this meal and trying some of their other meals in the future for our busy evenings.

The TOLL HOUSE® Refrigerated Cookie Dough really added a lot of color to the table and they were really good after we finished the lasagna. Piping hot cookies fresh out of the oven are always the best!  It was so easy to prepare them, all I did was put the cookie dough on an oven tray and I let the oven do its magic. I only made half of the package and saved the other half to make later in the week!

For a Halloween dinner, you always want to have some candy around... this bucket was overflowing with a great assortment of NESTLE® Jumbo Assorted Fun Size Candy in Butterfingers Cups (my fave!), Crunch, regular Butterfingers and 100 Grand.

How can you resist such delicious candy from such a sweet jack-o'-lantern face, eh? ;)

I also thought it'd be fun to add a drink to this ensemble, so I made 'Pumpkin Punch', which is actually just orange soda. I added a fun straw and label to it to spruce it up.

Another great addition to this meal would be some bread sticks that you could throw in the oven at the same time as the lasagna.


Now that we've covered all the food, I thought I'd share a detail shot of the pumpkin garland. These little burlap pumpkins I had already laying around the house and I decided to use these tiny clothespins to hang them to a black string. 

And, there you have it... Halloween Dinner Made Easy!

Be sure to shop at Walmart to make an easy Halloween dinner with Nestlé® by clicking HERE! And, come back and tell me which items you would choose for your dinner!

To see which parties I have linked up with, click HERE.

Monday, September 28, 2015

12 Months of Drinks: Creamy Caramel Hot Apple Cider

I'm so excited it is time to share a drink again on the blog for the 12 Months of Drinks series! Of course, it is September and everyone is going to the apple orchards to pick apples. And, it is probably no big surprise to you that today's drink is apple themed! I thought about doing a boozy apple drink, but when my local orchard was out of my very favorite apple cider that they sell... I knew I had to do an apple cider recipe! But, not just plain ole apple cider.... no, but a CREAMY Caramel Hot Apple Cider... Yes, Yes, Yessssss.




And, what's great about this apple cider, is that you probably already have all the ingredients around the house!

So, are you ready to make this delicious drink with me?!

Here are the ingredients. Simple items you probably don't even need to run out to the store for...
Mix together the apple juice, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Microwave (don't forget to cover it with a paper towel) for 2 minutes.

Pour the hot mixture into a blender with the caramel and heavy whipping cream. Blend it on high for 30 seconds.


Transfer to a glass (I dipped mine in brown sugar) and top with whipped cream and drizzle caramel on top. Yesses.

I have been enjoying this delicious warm drink in a travel mug while I sit in the pickup line at school. It is SUCH a treat and a perfect comforting fall drink!

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And, here is the recipe:

Creamy Caramel Hot Apple Cider

2 Cups of Apple Juice
1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Caramel Syrup
2 Tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream
Optional Garnish: Whipped Cream and Brown Sugar


Mix together the apple juice, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Microwave (don't forget to cover it with a paper towel) for 2 minutes.

Pour the hot mixture into a blender with the caramel and heavy whipping cream. Blend it on high for 30 seconds.

Transfer to a glass (I dipped mine in brown sugar) and top with whipped cream and drizzle caramel on top.

And, if this drink isn't enough... here is a round up of all of the drinks I've done this year so far:

White Hot Chocolate with Homemade Heart Marshmallows

St. Patrick's Day Green Sangria

Disney Copy Cat Mint Julep

Share a Chocolate Coke

My Favorite Infused Water Drinks

Piping Hot Sun Brewed Tea

Birthday Cake Martini

Creamy Caramel Hot Apple Cider

To see which parties I have linked up with, click HERE.

Bringing Toys Back to Life with Energizer® EcoAdvanced Batteries

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BringingInnovation#CollectiveBias

Recently, I decided to go through my sons closet to see how many toys he wasn't playing with due to the fact that the batteries were dead. I was amazed at how many lifeless toys were heaped at the bottom of his closet, just because we never got around to replacing their batteries.

I'll save you from viewing a ton of pictures of all the toys in his closet... but, this red wooden crate filled with toys caught my eye. I thought, why not clear it out and fill it with the toys that were once abandoned, and put them back in the bucket with fresh new batteries!

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But, first a shopping trip was in order for the perfect battery for these once abandoned toys! I went to Target and purchased several packages of the Energizer® EcoAdvanced batteries in AA and AAA (the most popular battery size for most toys!). 

Did you know that Energizer® is the first company to create a battery from recycled battery materials? 

Energizer® EcoAdvanced AA and AAA batteries are our highest performing, most responsible alkaline batteries; by using longer lasting and reliable batteries, consumers use fewer batteries, create less waste and have less impact on the planet.

When I got home, I got to work on decorating the chalkboard on the front of the wooden crate. I decided to write 'Reused Toys' on the crate, because these were toys that were long lost and would now be loved again with a fresh set of batteries!

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I went to work at changing out all of the batteries in the toys and I filled the crate back up with them.

And, ta-da! Here is the crate after I filled it back up with ALL of the toys my son had forgotten about. It included a robotic set, remote control car (those really eat the batteries!), an old electric Battleship game, a toy he never took out of the box, because it needed batteries... and, lots more! It was like Christmas all over again! I was so excited to share this crate full of reused toys with my son when he came home form school!

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When he came home from school, he realized I had forgotten to put batteries in the remote control to the robotic car! Oops! Mom should have known, good thing I had his help to put some batteries in it!

He went outside to check out the robotic car right away... He had to check out how well the batteries would work!

And, the batteries worked wonderfully! And, they latest all evening without wearing out!

Did you know Energizer® EcoAdvanced is the world's first AA battery made with 4% recycled batteries and is Energizer®'s longest-lasting battery. Isn't it great to know that you can power up your toys and have less impact on the planet?!

The car had lots of power and he was able to drive it on the patio AND on the grass (which can be a challenge if the batteries aren't strong). He played and played with his reused toys and mom had lots of time to do a little gardening. It was definitely a win-win situation! Yay!


And, a few more facts about the EcoAdvanced batteries:
  • EcoAdvanced batteries are available in AAA and AA.
  • Energizer® EcoAdvanced holds up to 12 years in storage
  • It's another step in our journey to bring performance and responsibility to the world. By 2025, our goal is to increase the amount of recycled battery material ten-fold to forty percent.
  • Follow @Energizer on Instagram by clicking HERE to stay up to learn more about Energizer® EcoAdvanced batteries and to stay up-to-date on their latest technology
It makes me feel good as a parent to use a battery that is good for our environment. I feel comfort in knowing that I am making a small yet important impact in our world by changing which batteries I use in my sons toys.

How would you reuse or repurpose something in your home? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Creative Corner Link Up Party - 9/27/15 (and Meal Plan 79)

The Creative Corner link party | Come to inspire, stay to be inspired. Share your latest DIY, craft, and home decor posts! 
Burlap and Babies Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin’
Dwelling in Happiness Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Google+ | Bloglovin’
Curly Crafty Mom Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin’
The Dempster Logbook Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin'
Making It In The Mitten Blog | Etsy | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin’
The Southern Couture Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Google+ | Bloglovin’

Welcome back to our DIY/Craft Link Up Party! Thank you for stopping by every week, I appreciate it! I can't wait to see all of the new fall crafts, decor and recipes for this week!

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So... my weekend in a nutshell? I got my hair done for the fall, went with more chocolate browns and some caramel highlights in the front. You can see how it looks on Thursday when I share my outfit of the week. I had my first #PSL of the season (I don't count the iced one I had last week, since it was too hot for a regular latte). Sorry, no photo of the #PSL, I was too busy running errands while I was enjoying it. I even accidentally spilled some and it was almost as bad as when you spill wine... the stuff is gold, do not spill it! Nathan went to the Science Center for Nova training for cub scouts. And, Brian and I enjoyed a lovely evening out and I had a wine flight with scallop and shrimp fettuccine. Yum! Wine flights are fun and it was only 3 glasses with two ounce servings each, which is great since I'm trying to only drink 5-6 oz of wine once a week. I know, the torture. :) But, I'm really trying to push the water over anything else (even over those tasty #PSL's!). Water is my drink of choice these days (especially Monday-Friday when I drink it exclusively) and the benefits are amazing!

I also did more painting in Autumn's room (I think I am done with the painting now) and I did my last super long training run (12 miles!) on Sunday. My eigth half is in THREE weeks!

Here is this weeks Meal Plan:

Meal Plan Week 79

Sunday - Order In

Monday - Tacos

Tuesday - German Pancakes, breakfast for dinner! Recipe HERE.

Wednesday - Frozen Pizza
We have a cross country meet AGAIN, so having an easy frozen pizza for dinner!

Thursday - BLT's with Chips

Friday - Baked Potato Bar with Bacon, Baked Beans, Cheese Broccoli, etc. for toppings.

Saturday - Eat Out

Check out what my fellow bloggers have been up to and don’t forget to check out my feature for this week as well.

DIY Foraged Fall Wreath from The DIY Mommy.
Fall On The Farm Home Tour from The Logbook.
Master Bathroom Makeover Ideas from The Southern Couture. 
Tidying Up The Accessories from Dwelling In Happiness.
Metallic Gold Pumpkins from Making It In The Mitten.
Fall Porch Reveal from Curly Crafty Mom.

The Creative Corner link party | Come to inspire, stay to be inspired. Share your latest DIY, craft, and home decor posts! 
Ready to share what has been motivating you this past week? Link up a recent post of yours that motivates you to create or just be awesome! Our goal is for this link up to focus on craft, DIY, & home posts so please try to remember that when linking up.
  • Limit three links per week and remember to link directly to your post, not your blog.
  • Do not link stores, giveaways, or other link parties.
  • Be sure to hop around some of the other posts that have been linked up to share the love and get motivated by what others have been up to.
Each week, your hosts will choose a post to feature from the previous week. If you want a chance at being featured, you must follow all of the hosts in someway. By linking up, you agree to let each host share your photo and link back to your site, as well as receive a weekly e-mail letting you know when the party is live. We will never give your e-mail or info to anyone, nor will we spam you! The Creative Corner link party goes live Sunday 6pm PST and ends Thursday at 5pm PST. I'd love for you to grab The Creative Corner button in my sidebar to put on your own blog if you want to help spread the love!

The Creative Corner link party | Come to inspire, stay to be inspired. Share your latest DIY, craft, and home decor posts! 

Cozy (Cookie Cutter) Front Porch
Lauren at Bless'er House shared her fall front porch at last weeks party. Her porch looks so inviting, I could just picture myself sipping the hot cider she has set on the wood crate and the plaid throws look so comfortable! She also built wooden shutters to frame each side of her door and her MIL made adorable scrap wood pumpkins that she has set out next to some pots of mums. What a warm and inviting porch to sit out on!

Now hop over to all the other cohost’s blogs and see what caught their eye this week. You just might be featured there too! Don’t forget to grab this button if you’ve been featured.

The Creative Corner link party | Come to inspire, stay to be inspired. Share your latest DIY, craft, and home decor posts!

Now it’s your turn to join in on the fun and link up your recent craft, DIY, or home posts so get ready to motivate others and be inspired! Don't forget, if you want a chance to be featured next week to follow all of the hosts above!

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