Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Young Women Halloween Party

This week we decided to do a Halloween party for the girls. We combined with the Mia Maids since the Laurels had a stake activity. It was fun! We kept it pretty simple.
We picked up a few pizzas and a couple things of breadsticks. We also had some hot chocolate there too. The girls wanted to make some sugar cookies-but not just any sugar cookies. They HAD to have swig sugar cookies. Swig is a place here in St. George that sells drinks and you can add any flavor shot to it. They also have some trendy cookies too.
I used the COOKIE recipe on THIS website. The only thing I did different was baked them at 375 degrees for 11 minutes. I tried the frosting on that website before, but it was a little too sour creamy for me (even though it's the closest thing to swig). Instead, I used the FROSTING recipe from THIS website. Instead of dying the frosting pink, we did black and yellow.

We also had a word Halloween game the girls played when we first got there. Afterwards, we just hung out, ate pizza and decorated cookies. Towards the end the girls decided to play a game of mafia.

A nice, simple activity :)

Classroom Party Ideas

Here are some printables and ideas if you're in charge of the classroom Halloween party!

To save each printable just right click the image and click save as. Then you can pull the image up and print it.

1. Halloween Bingo- this one is fun and easy. There are ten different cards here along with the call out cards.

2. Halloween Unscramble- Just unscramble the words in each of the columns.

3. Roll a Jack-O-Lantern- follow the instructions to have each child complete a pumpkin with their own design!

4. Coloring pages- print these out and let the students color their favorite Halloween picture. 

Just cut each page in half and you will have two coloring pages per sheet.
5. Decorate sugar cookies- my mom was the room mother every year. She would always make sugar cookies and we would decorate them. So fun. You can find here recipe HERE

6. Bring your Wii and play Just Dance. We did this activity in the class I student taught in. The kids LOVED it.

7. Paint pumpkins- A room mother had a family member that had a pumpkin patch. She brought a small pumpkin for everyone and they were able to paint them.

8. Musical Chairs -  do this with some Halloween music. It's so fun and all the kids love it.

9. Create a ghost story. You will need a tape recorder for this activity. The leader of this group (room mom or teacher) will start the story. Just make something up that starts out spooky. Pass the recorder around and have each student make up their own part. Later you could make this into a book for the classroom.

10.  Read a Halloween story. Most kids love to listen to adults read them a story. Find your favorite Halloween book and read with excitement. They will be on their seats trying to find out what happens next. You could pass out treats that went along with the book you chose.

Halloween Unscramble

Need more ideas for you kids' Halloween party? Here is another free printable with the answer key.

To download make sure you right click each image and then save it. That way you don't have the web address printed on the bottom.

if you prefer two per page you can use this one.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Caramel Apple Spice - Starbucks Copycat

This is one of my all time favorite drinks! Perfect to sip on a cold day, or any day really :) I posted awhile back about one I saw on Pinterest. It uses a slow cooker and cloves. I didn't like how the cloves didn't dissolve whatsoever. So here is the new and improved one, and so much easier!

3 cups apple cider
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons caramel topping
whipped cream

Bring the apple cider, brown sugar and cinnamon to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the caramel topping. Pour into glasses and top with whip cream. You can also add some caramel to the top for some extra flavor :)

*You don't have to use apple cider. Apple juice would be a fine substitute
** If you don't want lit bits of cinnamon in the drink, boil it with a cinnamon stick and then discard.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vegetable Dip

This dip is another family recipe. I use it any time I need a veggie dip! It's filled with good spices and the usual sour cream and mayo.

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons bon appetit seasoning
2 teaspoons dill weed

Mix ingredients together and chill until ready to serve.

*Bon appetite seasoning is hard to find. Beau monde seasoning is the same thing. If you can't find either, you can use 1 teaspoon onion salt and 1 teaspoon garlic salt as the difference.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Roll a Jack-O-Lantern Game

When I was in school I got to volunteer and then student teach in some of the different schools. I always liked going to the classroom parties! I really liked Halloween parties. They were always fun.

In one of the classes I was in we played this game and it was so fun! Feel free to print and play at your classroom party!

To print, right click the image and save it. From there you will be able to print it on a full sheet.

Halloween Bingo

I created some Bingo Halloween cards. It might be fun to do at home with your kids. You could also use this in your classroom for a Halloween party. If you're a room mom these would be perfect! There are 10 total bingo cards for you to use.

In order for you to print them, you'll need to right click each picture and then save them. Then you can print them and they will pull up as a full page.


and here are the call cards. Just print and cut.
*I realized I was missing one so this is updated. I'm sorry for any problems.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Young Women Activity

This week our YW activity was supposed to be just a class activity. However, the rest of the girls decided they wanted to come too! We are so excited to go and do this activity together! We are kind of keeping it simple this time. Simple is good sometimes anyway :)

We are going to go the corn maze here.

Here in St. George, Staheli Farm has an awesome fall activity area they do every year. I'm sure it's like most of the farms around the country. They do a corn maze, a haunted corn maze, a pumpkin patch, hay rides, train rides, and all that fun stuff.

Just an idea if you're needing one!

Gender Reveal Party

Last week we had a gender reveal party to announce what we were having.....

We just kept it simple. I served HOMEMADE OREOS, PASTA SALAD, and a simple drink.

I had a chalkboard out for people to make guesses on the gender. The best part was we had a bunch of silly string in the color of the gender. My family went outside on our lawn and sprayed the silly string on one another. I was having a pregnancy moment when the silly string was happening and took a video the wrong way on my phone. (that has NEVER happened) I only ended up getting the last part of the silly string.

Anyway, here are just a few things from the party.

IT'S A....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

I was in charge of the combined young women activity this month. Since the theme of this month is to be more Christ like, we decided to do something that can help us become more Christ like. We followed a theme of Random Acts of Kindness.

The activity:
We divided into groups that split up and went to various parts of our neighborhood/ward. I had a few things ready for the girls to just take to people. Each group grabbed a few things.
The assignments and/or stuff I gave ideas to do were:

  • take bubbles to the park and either give them to kids playing or leave them for the bubbles to be found later.
  • deliver homemade cookies to different people
  • pass out root beer with the saying "we are rooting for you" to any they know that might be competing in something. Or someone that might just need a root beer :)
  • Wave and say hi to everyone they see.
  • Write chalk messages on the sidewalk
  • bring garbage cans up to people's houses (this worked out nice since today was garbage day)
  • pick garbage up if they saw it
  • write anything to make them happy
  • anything they felt inspired to do
The only rules were that every girl had to do at least one thing.
These were some of the handouts I did...

Afterwards we went back to the church. We put our chairs into a circle and had the girls tell me what they did and how it made them feel.  It was really cool to see who they delivered stuff too. Most of it was just to some random strangers. I was so impressed. One girl had the idea to bring bubbles to a house with a bike and knock on the door and run. So many people left chalk messages, a group of girls pulled garbage cans up. The stories were so neat to hear!

Then we played a game with some yarn. I started and threw the yarn to someone. When I threw it to them I had to tell them when thing I admired about them. They wrapped the yarn around their wrist and threw it to someone else and did the same thing. At the end, the whole circle was a big web. Everyone had something nice said about them, and everyone was able to complete a last random act of kindness. I mentioned that even though we are all different we can all have something nice to say to one another. Let's be more Christ like and look for the good in others, not the bad. Our YW president also gave a great message. She said that everyone
is good at something. If we look to the person sitting next to us we can find something they are better at than us. It was fun to see the girls all in a circle and talking nice to one another.

I gave them this handout and then had rice krispie treat balls as snacks.

Monday, October 14, 2013

10 months old

My baby boy is 10 months old! Time sure does fly by. I have loved every second with him, well almost every second. He is such a sweet boy. I am a lucky girl to have someone give me smiles and kisses all day. Still a little guy, but crazy active!
I have been documenting his monthly milestones with chalkboard pictures. I just use Picasa to add the text. It's been fun to see how much he changes!
Here's his 10 month picture.

Also, I thought I'd share all his previous pictures to see how he's changed.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October 2013 Visiting Teaching Message

I have never been that great at visiting teaching, even now. However, now that I'm home, I really don't have any excuse to not visit teach. I guess you could say I used my schedule and me being busy as an excuse to not do it. In reality, it's only because I was uncomfortable giving messages. I've always been shy to people I don't know. I also didn't become an "active" member of the LDS church until I was in college. I also felt awkward delivering messages to people that probably knew more about the church than I did.
When my visiting teachers would come over, it was weird. Actually, the whole thing was just awkward. Sometimes I felt like I was the charity case and that the only reason these people came to my house was to get me to go to church so they could feel good that they got someone to go to church. I didn't go for many reasons. 1) I didn't want to go by myself 2) When I did go, I was put into awkward situations where they would ask me to pray, tell them my favorite scripture, or my favorite hymn. I had NO clue what to say when asked. 3) I didn't want to be the charity case. It's not that I was doing anything bad that prevented me from being a good church member. It was simply because I was uncomfortable being there.
I did grow up with a basic understanding of the church and parents that enforced that standards and teachings of the church in our home. We would have bible and Book of Mormon study groups and would always be encouraged to say our prayers. We just didn't attend church. My father still expected me to live as if I was an active member of the church. I'm very grateful for that. I could've easily made wrong choices if it wasn't for the good examples my parents set for me. I finally became active in the church because it's what me and my husband decided we wanted, for ourselves.
If there's one thing I've realized is that people have to want to do things for themselves. No one can force them to do it. The biggest influences on my life were those living examples. It made me want what others had. I had an aunt and uncle that were very active in the church. Whenever I went and stayed with them, it was always such a spiritual experience for me to watch them as a family. They weren't the strict Mormon family that forced it down your throat. They just set a good example of how I wanted my family to be. I would watch them say family prayers, scripture study, and encouraged their kids to live by good standards. It didn't really hit me hard until one of their sons went on a mission. I went to the airport with them when they dropped him off. They had a family prayer as they were gathered in a circle. I could feel the spirit and from then on, I knew how I was supposed to live my life. I wanted a close family like that, and I felt the best way for me to get there was through God.

Anyway, now that I'm an active member of the church I feel a little more comfortable visiting my assigned people. If I ever get assigned a less active person, I certainly don't want them to feel the way I did. Instead, I would just offer to be their friend and give the message. I hated sitting down and "discussing" the messages I knew nothing about. It got to the point I would ignore the visiting teachers because I didn't want to feel stupid again. Maybe that's why I've always been a little intimidated about visiting teaching.
I'm going to give it a good shot here and just be a little more casual about it. We'll see where it takes me.

Here's a message if you do decide to visit teach your sisters. :)

Just right click the image and save and/or print it.
I'm still tying to figure everything out, so if you have any problems just let me know and I can get a pdf file to you.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tomato Tortellini Soup

There is a recipe going around on Pinterest that looked so good! When I looked at the ingredients I noticed that my friend makes a recipe similar to that. I decided to take what I liked best about both soups and mix them together.

2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans condensed tomato soup
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
9 ounces of cheese filled tortellini
Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomato soup, whipping cream, milk, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and mix well. Turn temperature to medium high heat. Add tortellini. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes, until tortellini is tender. Serve in a dish and top with parmesan cheese and basil.

I like to serve these with nice warm homemade breadsticks. Find the recipe HERE

Homemade White Bread

My mom's dough recipe is perfection! Seriously. They make the best breadsticks, rolls, and homemade bread. Everyone loves this (except for my husband that doesn't like homemade bread. I know, he's crazy)

First, make the dough

2 cups heated milk (heat in the microwave for 2 minutes)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
4 1/2 -5 cups flour
2 teaspoons yeast

If you have a bread maker just put the ingredients in the bread maker in that order on the dough setting. If not just use a mixer. Melt the butter in the milk. Pour milk into mixer. Add sugar and salt. Slowly add half of the flour. Add the yeast and the rest of the flour. Knead for 5-10 minutes. Dough should be soft. Cover and let raise for about 45 minutes. (at least 10 if you don't have a lot of time)

This recipe will make one big loaf and one small loaf.

Take 3/4 of the dough and roll it into a loaf size. Put into a greased loaf pan and let raise til doubled in size.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top. After you take it out of the oven, brush some butter across the top.

Waalaa, you have some homemade bread!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's the time of year to make these cookies! I couldn't be happier. From now til the end of the year is my favorite!!! I love the cooler weather.

This recipe is my Aunt Leslie's recipe. They come out PERFECT every single time!


1/2 cup shortening
1 cup pumpkin
1 egg
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips


Mix together the wet ingredients (the first three). In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients. Mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Smoothie Tip

I got this tip from my little sister. Most mornings I make a smoothie with fruit and orange juice. I know there's a lot of sugar in OJ, but I didn't like the taste of anything else. My sister told me that she uses crystal light packets as her OJ. I tried the plain orange one and it turned out great! Could barely taste the difference, plus less sugar! My sister says she used Orange Sunrise. I haven't tried that, but I'm sure it's even better.

This one is probably one of the most frequent smoothies made here since I usually have all the ingredients on hand. Sometimes I don't add the spinach :)

Black Light Party

Our beehive group was in charge of the combined young men/young women activity. The girls have been dying to do a glow in the dark party. With Halloween here, we thought this would be a great idea!

We didn't do much set up to keep it simple. We made a few poster boards with some neon paint. We also had three big black lights and 1 strobe light.

We started out with a devotional on the talk made my Elder Uchtdorf called " Tge Hope of God's Light. We did this devotional with the lights dimmed and the black lights on.

With the devotional we served the refreshments. It's always hard to gather everyone up towards the end. We served sherbert ice cream and then poured some sprite over it. We Put a glow stick underneath the cup to make the cups glow. They were all different colors so it looked cool.

After the devotional we played some games. The color of the glow stick they had determined the team they were on. We thought about glow in the dark volleyball, but then changed our mind to do some team building activities. We divided them into five different groups and then played these games:

Human Knot: They put their hands in a circle and hand to untangle the knot. This was fun because it was in the dark.

Rock Paper Scissors Dragon: Our ward always has a tournament during it's ward campout. I thought this game would be fun to do, but just adding on something a little different. In their groups they found someone to play rock paper scissors with. If they lost the round, the grabbed onto the shoulders of the winner. That group played another group and the losers would then add on to them. Finally, they have to play all the other teams until the champion is at the front of the chain.

Tape Ball: I didn't use tape on this. What I did was wrapped up some candy and glow bracelets and other knick knacks I had laying around. I used cling wrap and wrapped it into a ball. I made sure to have some spots full of cling wrap. Their were 2 people rolling dice in each team. When someone got to doubles they could have a turn unwrapping the candy.

Ooga Booga: For this game we divided the big group into two big circles. They held hands and then looked down and called out "ooga booga, ooga booga, and then looked up and said "ooh" When they looked up they had to look at someone in the eyes. If that person was looking back then they were both out. It was fun because when people started to get out, they started doing games of their own.

We also had a girl who does photography in our ward volunteer to take some cool pictures. She found a dark place and had the kids make different shapes with the glow
sticks. There were some cute ones!

We had the kids and leaders say this was an awesome activity. We definitely had a lot of fun!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Favorite Things Party

My extended family and I are putting on a "favorite things" party. We have a large family so we thought we would bring an item (or some) that we love for about $10. Then we would draw a name to see who gets our item. I've done this before and loved it! Some people play it where each person brings 5 of the same item, but where this is a large group, just one is good for us. It's fun to see what other people's items are. Makes for a great evening!
Anyway, I made this announcement and thought I'd share.
I would be happy to customize this announcement for anyone that may want it. Just let me know! You can leave a comment and then I will email you the picture so you can print it out anyway you would like.

14 Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

My mom's favorite cake has always been carrot cake. This is her mother's recipe. I make it every year for my mom's birthday. I have also tried the recipe as cupcakes and they turned out just as good.
The people that eat this tell me that they don't like carrot cake, but love this one. It's moist and tasty! You can't even taste the carrots in it.

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cooking oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
3 cups grated carrots (about 4 large carrots)
4 large eggs

Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and mix well. Add eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition. Add carrots. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick tests dry.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 lb. powdered sugar
1 stick margarine (soft)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 8 ox package of cream cheese, softened
pinch of salt (takes away the powdery taste)

Mix together. Frost center and sides of the cake. Ad chopped nuts and coconut to icing for cake top, if desired.

Favorite Cheese Ball

Today has been one of those days! I decided I needed to blog to make the day a little better. Plus, it's about time I post a recipe or two.

This cheeseball/spread/dip (or whatever you want to call it) is such a hit for any gathering. We always serve it during Christmas time, and then again for any baby shower, bunco night, or anything else my family is in charge of.
You can use any kind of meat, I just like ham so I use it.

2 packages of 8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 small packages of sliced deli meat chopped up in little squares (if you want to layer the outside with the meat then grab an extra one)
1/2 green pepper, chopped
green onions, half a bunch or so chopped
garlic salt, to taste
onion salt, to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcerstershire sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, saving one package if you decide to cover the outside. Mix well. Form into a ball and the cover the outside with squares of meat, if desired.
Serve with your favorite crackers.


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