Halloween Scrapbook Projects for Kids

Halloween is one of the most highly anticipated holidays of the year for children of all ages. Help your children remember the joy of this time of year by creating scrapbook albums together. Scrapbooking is a fun and easy way to keep memories alive for years to come. What is now a simple project will someday be a treasured keepsake.

Building the Album

Some people enjoy purchasing scrapbook albums while others prefer to make their own. There is no right or wrong when it comes to deciding which type of album to use. There are many beautiful albums that are available for purchase. However, a good project for children begins with making their own album.

A three-ring binder can be purchased inexpensively at any discount store. Choose from Halloween colors like black, orange, lime green, or purple. Have children go through fall magazines and cut out their favorite spooky images. These can then be placed on the binder using craft glue. Once the child has a look that he or she likes, the images should be covered in the craft glue again before being allowed to dry for up to two days.

Some may wish to cover the exterior of the binder with clear contact paper so that years of wear do not begin to remove the images. Of course, children do not need to be limited to pictures from magazines. They can draw their own pictures or can use print-outs of pictures of themselves from Halloweens of the past.

Individual Pages

The really fun part of scrapbooking is the individual pages. On these pages, children can truly let their imaginations come to life. Halloween themed scrapbook paper is widely available in multiple sizes. For most three-ring binders, the appropriate size of paper will be 8.5 x 11. Children may prefer to have blank pages or those that are decorated, though an assortment of styles and colors usually make the most impressive display.

Kids can then go through their photographs and choose the ones that they like best. Let your children create an entire page for a photo they particularly love. Share with them how multiple photos can be grouped together as well. When they settle on their selection of photos, help them find the best paper to match the scene. Show them how the hues from the photographs complement the colors of certain papers and contrast with those of others.

Trick Or Treat

Trick Or Treat (Photo credit: debbiepiercey)

After the photos are in place, children can decorate pages with adornments. They can use the stickers, buttons, and ribbons that are traditional with scrapbook pages. They can also use some of their own unique finds. Perhaps a child would like to decorate a page with candy wrappers, fall leaves, or personal drawings. These options are perfectly acceptable. After all, scrapbook pages should be unique. There is no better way to make an album completely original than to let a child’s imagination run free.

Scrapbooking for Halloween is a project that parents and children can enjoy together. This hobby can turn into a lifelong tradition. The secret is to make sure that this fun project is light-hearted and stress-free. Children may even begin to look forward to the scrapbook as much as costumes and trick-or-treating.

About this guest blog post: Brianna Kelly has over 5 years experience publishing articles on childcare education and parenting. She writes on a regular basis for Giraffe Childcare, a Dublin childcare provider with 18 locations.

Things I can’t say…

Are there things that you just can’t or won’t say on your blog? Are there things that you wish that you could say but worry what would happen if you hit that publish button?

For me the answer is a resounding yes. Yes, a million times over! I have a lot of things that I’d like to share but I have fear of what people will think of me or actually say to me so I hold back. I don’t share…. but today I am.


I was invited by Shell to share a guest post over at her place and that is where you will find me today. Sharing things I can’t say here… something that causes a great deal of hurt.

I hope that you’ll stop by and let me know what you think.

A Letter to What Not To Wear

I’m on vacation!!
Today I have the wonderful Missy Stevens here to entertain you! I am really excited to have her here because at the last minute I asked if anyone wanted to guest post and she answered my plea immediately! I couldn’t be more thankful! So without further ado please give Missy a warm & magical welcome and leave her lots of love!
Dear Stacy and Clinton,
I love What Not To Wear. I like watching people discover their style and figure out what flatters them. I’m insanely jealous of the $5,000 gift cards that must be spent on new clothes and shoes. And I love the aha moment when it clicks for some participants and they realize that, shallow though it may be, the truth is: many people won’t bother to judge you based on the insides if the outsides look like you robbed Goodwill during a bad trip.
If I love the show so much, why do you sense a but coming? Because you’re smart and intuitive, that’s why.
You have a good show, but you are overlooking an important segment of the population: Moms, during the summer months. Personally, here in central Texas your tips are perfect from November through March. But every year I fight a seven-month battle of style vs. sweat.
Let’s discuss.
You always recommend layers, like adding a cardigan or light jacket to an outfit. In July in Austin, the only thing I’m layering is regular deodorant on top of clinical strength deodorant.
While I might be able to throw on a light sweater inside a movie theater or a restaurant – no, I’m going to stop right there. You know what kinds of movies and restaurants moms patronize in the summer? Kid friendly kinds.
The shear physicality of wrestling kids in and out of high chairs, rescuing them from the top of the Chick-Fil-A play area, or simply having them sit in your lap during a movie (so sweet, so much body heat) leaves moms soggy. And that sweater we threw in our purse in case the theater was cold? We just used it to wipe up spilled juice.
I cannot accessorize in the summer. Can’t do it. About the time I have my kids buckled in their car seats, I’m ripping off my jewelry and throwing it in my purse. Forget about belts. They only create upstairs and downstairs lines of demarcation for the pooling perspiration.
In my purse right now: a multi-strand beaded necklace, worn approximately 13 minutes before I had a matching sweat necklace; a chunky, red bracelet that looked fantastic with my blue and white striped tee shirt and white pants, until a puddle formed under the bracelet; a pair of dangling earrings that became stuck to my neck, due to – you guessed it – sweat that was mixed with sunscreen, forming a glue-like paste that attached the lovely earrings to my neck.
In this one area we’re probably okay. I don’t want any leather or other toasty material wrapped around my ankles. Hello, ankle sweat. But as long as I can chase down a rogue toddler in them, I don’t take issue with stylish shoes in the heat.
Wrap Dresses
I single out wrap dresses, and their faux sisters, for a couple reasons. One, I redirect you to the discussion of belts (see above) and two, they are often made of jersey or some equally clingy material. Clingy material in 100 degree heat: unless you’re into bondage, it’s not comfortable.
Hair and Makeup
Oh, forget it. Hair goes in a ponytail. Faces get sunscreen and waterproof mascara.
In conclusion, I am hot. I am sweaty. I look terrible. I would love to be fashionable and put together every day. But when I do take the time to look like a million bucks, the Texas heat renders me a damp $2 bill in seven minutes or less.
Stacy and Clinton, I beg you: help the summertime mom.
Yours Always, In Fashion and Out, And Very Rarely Wearing Yoga Pants In Public, I Promise,
Missy Stevens
Sweaty Mom
Missy Stevens writes, blogs, raises a couple boys with a very good man, and fails at homemaking in Austin, Texas. She’s a reformed social media addict, meaning she’s only on Facebook and Twitter part of every day now. You can also find her once a week or so on her blog, Wonder, Friend.

Monday Menu ~ Breakfast Omelet Muffins

I’m a big fan of breakfast foods; pancakes, french toast, eggs & fried potatoes, any of it really. Breakfast foods aren’t just for breakfast either! We often have breakfast for dinner and it’s one of my kids favorites.

Recently I asked Stephanie from The Scoop on Poop and My Write Side if she wanted to guest post, she agreed, and then sent me the most amazing recipe! It’s an omelet and muffin combined into one rather delicious breakfast treat. I love how easy & versatile this recipe is. You can use any cheese you like, crumbled bacon or any other meat you want, or no meat at all, any veggies you want (spring onions taste divine and give a sweet touch of color too), and you could even let the kids help! Let them make their own Breakfast Muffin to help encourage them to eat their veggies!

These are so good, your whole family will want more than one!

1 pound Pork Sausage, diced
1 cup broccoli florets (or other veggie)
8 large eggs
1/4 cup cheese
1/4 cup milk (or half and half depending on how you’re feeling that day)
1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. baking powder (out of baking powder? Use 1-1.5 tsp. flour)
salt & pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese as needed

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. In a large sauté pan, over medium high heat, brown Italian Sausage for about 5 minutes, or until the
sausage is no longer pink. Remove from heat and stir in broccoli.
3. Whisk together eggs, milk, oil, cheese, and baking powder. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Lightly spray a 12-cupcake pan with oil. Spoon out the sausage and broccoli mixture evenly into each
5. Ladle the egg mixture over sausage and broccoli.
6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

If your out and about the internets go check out some of Stephanie’s incredible fiction writing over at My Write Side….  you won’t be disappointed.

Monday Menu – Crab Stuffed Fried Jalapenos

A few weeks ago when I heard that Julie from MamaMash was taking a little break from blogging I was sad! I loved reading her posts and especially her Monday Meals… she had so many wonderful recipes to try. When she sent out the tweet that she’d be around and would guest post if asked I immediately jumped at that and asked if she would share one of her recipes with me here on the Monday Menu.

Please give Julie a warm & magical welcome!

Thanks to Jackie for pulling me back to the blog world for a bit to share a recipe. I miss my online community and hope to return to you soon!

I married a sports guy. I swear I didn’t know he was a sports guy when I accepted his proposal – I thought he was a musician.

Turns out the two aren’t mutually exclusive (who knew) and not only are my weekends filled with the otherworldly noises emanating from his synth rig upstairs, I can also count on a dull roar of fandom as heard through surround sound downstairs.

Lucky me.

Over the last few years, I’ve developed a bit of Stockholm Syndrome and I’m often found flopped on the couch riveted to the game along with my husband. We live in Kansas City, so it’s usually a depressing experience.

I’m not about to make a sad situation worse by tossing out some Fritos and bean dip, so I insist we eat good food on game day.

So, one week we watched the Chiefs lose and ate some pretty serious 5 alarm chili.

The next week we watched the Chiefs lose and had grilled Gruyere sandwiches and tomato basil soup.

This coming Sunday, even though the Chiefs aren’t in the Superbowl (I know, I’m shocked) we’ll still be sprawled out in front of the flat screen anyway. We’re going to see large, overpaid men compete for bragging rights and a sparkly piece of jewelry, and I’m gonna make my mama’s fried stuffed peppers.

(Technically, these aren’t my mama’s. A lovely former co-worker of ours used to bring these peppers to the teacher’s lounge on special days. If we knew in advance she was coming, we’d lurk around the corner so as to pile our share of peppers on a plate and sneak them into our classrooms for later. If you waited til lunch for a pepper, well, you’d be licking the crumbs off the paper towels is all I’m sayin’.)

Crab-stuffed Fried Jalapenos

1 box Stovetop Stuffing

1 can crab meat

1 large can whole jalapeno peppers

1 cup flour

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup breadcrumbs

vegetable oil for frying

Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise, rinse and dry well with paper towels. If you’re a sensitive-skinned type, wear gloves. Better yet, make someone else do this part.

Prepare the stuffing as directed and set aside.

Open and drain the crabmeat well. Combine with the stuffing then stuff each pepper, leaving a nice rounded mound.

Refrigerate the stuffed peppers anywhere from two hours to overnight. You’ll probably want to cover them tightly as milk tends to taste funny when it absorbs a pepper/shellfish smell.

When you’re ready to serve them, set out a plate of flour, a bowl of buttermilk and a plate of breadcrumbs.

Heat the oil to between 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roll each pepper through the flour, dip in the buttermilk and roll through the bread crumbs, then slide into the oil.

Cook the peppers until they’re slightly browned and transfer to a wire rack with paper towels underneath.

Hide two or three for yourself, then plate and send out to the crowd.


You can also check Julie out on her blog, Facebook, and of course Twitter!


Are you looking for more great recipes? Check out the Monday Menu page!

Guest Post ~ Educated but not prepared

Today I have a special guest for you! Tim from Soge Shirts, a funny t-shirt shop, is here to share a few thoughts on education. You can find him on Twitter or Facebook throughout the week supporting all of us bloggers. And we love him for all the support!

My parents both had teaching careers lasting over 20 years. My dad taught for thirty and retired a few years ago and my mom is in her 20th and final year of teaching. Education has always been important to me, and I still think it needs to be viewed as being even more important. Transitioning into adulthood I find that there were things in high school and college that my education completely skipped over. Sure as kids in school we learn about the Civil war and the periodic table of elements, but we often leave the educational system without proper job skills.

How about some mandatory classes in high school about how to manage ones finances? How to handle credit responsibly and plan for retirement? How to deal with banks and open an IRA account? Things like this in my education I never received from school. Luckily we have Google and my dad gives pretty good advice. Still there are people out there that have limited access to computers or don’t have educated parents. Mandatory classes on finance during high school or even junior high could have a huge impact on the future of our economy as a whole and individual financial success. Realistically knowing every president in our countries history is a fine and admirable thing but it doesn’t help our economic futures much.

Also I feel schools should help prepare their students better for the work force. It seems few majors in college actually help one land a job. If you are studying to be a doctor or lawyer and are at the top of your class then you will find work quite easily. However if you are in political science, communications, or any other general major you can still get a job, but it will be harder. I majored in communications and while it taught me how to write better all I was qualified to be out of college was an unemployed soul with no sense of direction. Luckily I decided to get into online business on my own and have since learned much more educating myself how to make it in business then I ever would have learned in school. My point is that while memorizing facts and figures is great for passing tests I’m not sure schools and colleges do great for preparing one for the real world.

Tim is a consultant for Interactive Music Teacher where they teach online music lessons

Monday Menu ~ Collard Greens from a girl north of the Mason-Dixon

I am so happy today because I have a special guest post for you! Today my sister has joined the ranks of blogging and this is her first ever post anywhere in the blogosphere! How exciting is that!! 

My sister, like myself, loves to cook and find all sorts of new recipes and then sometimes make them her ownjust like the one she is sharing with everyone today.

So please give her a warm welcome an enjoy the recipe!

Well, I was born in raised in the beautiful state of Michigan so needless to say, collards did not make an appearance on the family table at holidays, nor any other day of the year.

I went 35 long years without collard greens and even had the audacity to scrunch my nose up when offered ( I was a picky eater as a child and only have come to like green leafy things later in life a.k.a  “late foodie bloomer”).

Young collard plants growing in a container

Image via Wikipedia

I tried collard greens for the first time last year and was head over heels for them.  I inquired as to how to make these things and was advised to use certain things.  Well, being headstrong amongst other adjectives to describe myself, I made a few adaptations.   Here is what I make.  Just a note, my even pickier husband loves these.  He DOES NOT do green and leafy and is my work in progress, folks.

These measurements are approximate as I really don’t feel it necessary to measure because it is not baking (YEAH).  My beautiful sister measures because she is an awesome baker, I am not….

One package of cut and cleaned collard greens (What, you thought I cut them up??? NOPE).  Feel free to give them a good rinse in a colander ….  (I do that at minimum).

1-2 cartons of Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock (Make sure it is not the Unsalted version).  One carton is generally enough, unless you like a lot of juice.

7-10 cloves of garlic, minced (approximately) (Did I mention how much I love, love, love garlic?)  Please feel free to adjust to your taste.  NOTE: I have never had an encounter with a vampire, he he he

1 large onion, chopped

1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes

1 pkg of smoked turkey wings (Yes, they have to be smoked)

2 Trappeys hot peppers (minced), plus a few shakes of the vinegar from the bottle (For the love of all that is holy, do not add more unless you like HOT stuff),.

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Ok. This is a layered event.  Here is the order in which it goes:

Pour some chicken stock in HUGH-ASS stock pot.


Salt and Pepper




1 Trappeys pepper, plus 1-2 shakes of the vinegar in the bottle of Trappeys

Cut off some meat of the turkey wing and throw on top of all that.  And then add the smoked turkey wing with the bone in.

REPEAT until everything is gone.  Cook on low for about 3 hours with the lid on. The greens will cook down and the meat will fall off the bones, but make sure you remove the bones before serving (unless you don’t like the person… KIDDING… Remove the bones, seriously).

I serve this with cornbread.  Now don’t get all excited, I use Jiffy.  I suck at making homemade cornbread and I’ve made several attempts.  Jiffy turns out so much better… But I do add a tablespoon of sugar to the cornbread mix.  See… its homemade!!!!

Do you eat collards? How do you prepare them?

Monday Menu ~ Roasted Chicken with Pinot Noir Sauce and Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Welcome back to another episode of the Monday Menu! One of these days I will get to making a cute button for this feature and make it all official like.

Today I have a special guest for you and I was so happy when she agreed to guest post for me! Please give a warm & magical welcome to Gigi from Kludgy Mom! She has a great recipe that I know you’ll all want to make for dinner this week.

Thank God for Jackie Cross, because she asked me to guest post for her Menu Mondays eons ago and the guilt of not doing that in a timely fashion inspired me to head back into the kitchen after a long hiatus!

As one of the founders of #winebuzz, I find myself with a lot of wine around my house all the time. If I drank every last drop of every last bottle we sample, I’d be on Intervention, so I started looking around for some great recipes that use wine as an ingredient.

This recipe is from Cooking Light. I like cooking chicken breasts because they’re easy and fast, and this recipe delivered both. The Pinot Noir sauce is super flavorful, but not overly heavy like most red wine reductions. You can prep the potatoes and pop them in the oven while you cook the chicken and the sauce, and be done in less than 45 minutes. I don’t eat a ton of fingerling potatoes (they are a little pricey) but these were delicious. And the biggest bonus? One breast with sauce + some potatoes is a measly 500 calories. More room for fudge!!
Roasted Breast of Chicken with Pinot Noir Sauce (recipe courtesy Cooking Light Magazine, Oct 2010 issue)

• 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
• 8 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
• Cooking spray
• 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
• 2 cups pinot noir
• 1 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
• 3/4 teaspoon sugar
• 3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Sprinkle thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and rosemary evenly over chicken. Dredge chicken in flour; shake off excess flour. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 chicken breast halves to pan; cook 2 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; cook 1 minute. Remove chicken from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining chicken. Arrange chicken in a single layer on the rack of a roasting pan coated with cooking spray; place rack in pan. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 160°. Remove from oven. Cover and let stand 10 minutes.
3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots to saucepan; sauté 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until wine is reduced to 1 cup. Add broth; cook 16 minutes or until broth mixture is reduced to 1/3 cup. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and sugar. Gradually add butter, stirring constantly with a whisk until smooth. Serve sauce with chicken.

Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

• 2 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, halved
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Place potatoes on a jelly-roll pan. Drizzle potatoes with oil; sprinkle with salt, rosemary, and pepper. Toss to combine; spread into a single layer on pan. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and tender.

Chicken with Pinot Noir Sauce