Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

October 28th, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Creating Halloween Memories

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Think back to your childhood….

What did you dress up as?

What was your most memorable costume?

Did you go on any Halloween “field trips” with your family?

How did you celebrate Halloween at school?

Did you carve pumpkins while you were growing up?

What were some of your favorite Halloween memories?

How did your family make Halloween a special time?

Did you like going to haunted houses as a child?

What was your favorite candy to get when you were growing up?

Take some time tonight at dinner to talk about what Halloween memories you have from childhood, then turn it around on your kids and see how they answer the questions. What are their favorites? What memories are you making that will stick with them? Life is about enjoying experiences and making memories! Spend this week making some good Halloween memories!

 

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October 17th, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Halloween Safety

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Halloween is such a fun holiday for kids! They get to dress up in costumes, trick-or-treat with friends, and get free candy. But with all that comes some concerns that you should discuss with your kids ahead of time. Safety first! Here are some things to think about, whether you’re taking your kids or they’re heading out with friends:

Costume Safety (For Parents)

  • If you are trick or treating in the dark, make sure the costume is visible. Give your kids a flashlight or flickering necklace hold or wear while they’re out. There is also reflective tape you could add to the costume.
  • Make sure the costume fits and isn’t hanging onto the ground, creating a tripping hazard. Also make sure any eye holes are big enough to be seen through.
  • Any props like guns, swords, etc. should be evaluated as to whether they are really needed for the costume.
  • Make sure any hair spray or makeup has been tested beforehand. Sometimes cosmetic substances like that can be irritating to the skin.

Trick or Treating Safety (For Kids)

  • Stay in the neighborhood (parents and kids should discuss boundaries beforehand). Be careful when crossing the street. Watch for cars and obey any traffic signals.
  • Never enter someone’s home, even if they invite you in.
  • Only go to each house once.
  • Don’t be greedy, take only one piece of candy (or two if the homeowner says you can) and leave the rest for other trick-or-treaters.
  • Stay with your group and/or adult or parent at all times. Don’t wander off.
  • Use manners – always say “thank you” after receiving your treats.

Candy Safety (For Parents)

  • Check your children’s candy to see if anything has  been tampered with, or if there is anything they are allergic to or should have because of certain dental or health issues. It’s generally a good idea to discard anything homemade or in unsealed bags.

Be safe and have lots of fun!!

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October 13th, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Fun Treats for Halloween

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Trick or Treat?

Halloween is really all about the treats, right?

There are so many ways to get creative with treats for this fun holiday. Here are some of my favorites.

Little Frankies

Frankenstein Cupcakes

Goldfish Filled Pumpkins

Monster Pudding Cups

Witches Hat Cupcakes

Frankenstein Rice Krispies

Mummy Hot Dogs

Pumpkin Rice Krispies

Yummy Mummy Treats

Frankenstein Halloween Treats

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Halloween Spider Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jello Worms

Banana Ghosts and Orange Pumpkins

Spookey Halloween Bones

Dracula’s Dentures

Mini Donut Spiders

 

I definitely will be making several of those for my boys over the next few weeks. An easy Halloween snack my boys love is caramel apples. Here’s how I make them for my family!

Caramel Apple Supreme

Ingredients:

Apples
Caramel topping for Ice Cream
Whipped Cream
Maraschino Cherries
Various Toppings: nuts, Heath bar pieces, mini M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, chopped candies, sprinkles, and more!
Cut the apple into slices and place in a bowl. Cover with heated caramel topping. Sprinkle on how many toppings you would like. Top with whipped cream and a cherry!

Super easy and super yummy!

 

 

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October 10th, 2014 at 12:53 pm

DIY Girls Costumes

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My mom always made costumes for my sister and I for Halloween. On the night before Halloween she would quickly craft two costumes out of almost anything! Thank goodness nowadays we have things like blogs and Pinterest to fuel our imaginations! Here are some fun costumes I found while scouring the web for girls costumes.

Tightrope Walker

Dr. Suess – Sam I Am

Animal Costumes

Mermaid

Elsa from Frozen

Owl

Sock Hop Girls

Unicorn

Cupcake

S’mores

Jellyfish

Cabbage Patch Doll

Felt Cupcake

Rapunzel

Wonder Woman or Bat Girl

Easy Halloween Makeup for girls

Plus, you can make practically anything into a costume when you make a tutu. I saw a ghost with a white t-shirt, princesses, pumpkin queens, clowns, superheroes and more!

What fun ideas have you made?

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September 15th, 2014 at 10:31 am

100 Days ‘Til Christmas

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Can you believe there are only 100 days until Christmas? You are probably booing me right now….but with little kids, the more preparation time you have the better! Plus, the more you have done once Thanksgiving approaches, the more you can actually enjoy yourself during the month of December.

Here are some ways to get organized and prepared ahead of time:

Start your Christmas shopping list now. List each person that you need to buy for. If you have any ideas, great, list those too! Make sure to assign a dollar amount to them also.

Determine your Christmas budget. Add up the dollar amounts from your list above, but be sure to add a little extra. There are always gifts that come up last minute that you forget about.  Think about decorations, food, and all the other things that go into celebrating the holiday season.

Plan out items you need to make. Do you need to plan out your Christmas cards? If you have the picture you are using then you can get your card made and printed. They can be signed and ready to send out at a certain time. Are you making any gifts? Can these be started early? Make a list of things you may need to make these items.

Clean out your kids’ toys. The presents your children receive can take up a lot of extra space that you might not have,  so take the time now to start weeding out the old ones. Donate toys that they’ve outgrown or are are no longer interested in, and throw away  broken toys or toys with missing pieces that cant be replaced to make some room for the new ones. While you are doing this, take into account what things your children already have so you don’t buy something similar.

Start writing lists. Write a list of clothing needs, grocery lists, cookie choices and recipes, cleaning expectations, and more! Make your own holiday notebook to keep all these lists organized.

Christmas goes a lot smoother when things are organized, so get a head start today!

 

 

 

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July 3rd, 2014 at 9:00 am

Why I Love the 4th of July

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The 4th of July has always been my favorite holiday. When I was a kid, I woke up early and sang songs like the Star Spangled Banner and This Land Is Your Land at the top of my lungs.  I would unroll the family flag and my sister and I would have a flag ceremony where we would march from the back door to the front flag stand. We would hang the flag and then say the pledge of allegiance.

Here are some of the reasons I love the 4th of July…..

  • the colors – red, white and blue
  • parades
  • patriotic music played by bands
  • kids waving flags
  • decorated bikes and strollers
  • pinnacle of summer
  • barbecuing
  • s’more brownies
  • fireworks
  • lawn games
  • special outfits  to show patriotism
  • my mom wears her flag pin
  • snow cones
  • family gathered together
  • water games
  • God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood

What are your favorite things about the 4th of July?

 

 

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June 26th, 2014 at 7:47 pm

4th of July Desserts

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Fourth of July fun is only a week away and chances are you’re thinking about what goodies to make for the occasion. Keep a BBQ simple with the standard staples like burgers, hot dogs and side salads, but make sure you WOW with the desserts! Red, white and blue, stars, sprinkles and more, there are tons of festive dessert recipes that are as lovely to look at as they are to eat. Check out these great 4th of July desserts…which one will you make this year?

Sparkler Cupcakes 

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American Flag Strawberry Shortcake

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Jell-O Firecrackers

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Spangled Ice Cream Sandwich Pops

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Stars and Fruit Bowl

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Inside American Flag Cake

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4th of July Trifle

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Strawberry Firecracker Cake Balls 

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Star Spangled Ice Cream Pie

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Red, White and Blue Tie Dye Cake

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June 9th, 2014 at 9:08 am

Handmade Father’s Day Cards

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Father’s Day is a great day for your kids to show everyone how much they appreciate what their Dad does for them.  A simple but special treat for Dad is a handmade card. Below are some examples of everything from printables to handprints, and even specially cut cards. Your little one will enjoy being creative, and Dad will love a card lovingly created by them.

Fishing Card

Footsteps Card

Daddy’s Little Monster Card

Collared Shirt Card

Dad Jokes Card

Fathers Day Letter

Printable Cards To Color

Fingerprint Monkey Card

Dad Typography Glasses

Grilling Card

Dollar Bill Father’s Day Card

Football Father’s Day Card

Father’s Day Coupon Book 

Another great option is a tie card. Fold a sheet of paper in half cut into the shape of a tie. Decorate that tie and have dad “wear” it for his special day.

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June 5th, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Unique Father’s Day Gifts From Etsy

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Father’s day is right around the corner, and my sisters and I were just discussing what we’re going to get our father this year. It seems that, over the years, it has gotten harder and harder to find gifts for our closest family members. Last month, Kim did a blog post about great mother’s day gifts from Etsy, so I decided to check it out. The great thing about this website is that there really is something for everyone…and you find tons of handmade and unique items you won’t find anywhere else. Here are my top 10 Father’s Day gift ideas from Etsy.

Dad and Baby Dinosaur Matching Tees from Zoey’s Attic

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Personalized Toiletry/Travel Bag from Designs By Daffy

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Custom Photo Keychain from Too Too Posh

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Personalized Leather Wallet and Money Clip Combo from My Personal Memories

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Charging Stand and Valet from Improve Results

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Personalized Grilling Apron Set from Monogram Envy Boutique

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Personalized “Daddy” Picture Frame from Custom Wood Engravings

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Father’s Day Hot Sauce Gift Set from In Nonna’s Kitchen

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Personalized Postcard Pillow from Olive Handmade

(Great for military dads!)

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Guinness Truffles and Dark Chocolate Covered Bacon from Champagne Chocolate

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May 22nd, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Memorial Day BBQ Planning

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Memorial Day Weekend is almost here! Usually the first big weekend for pools and BBQs, we’re following the tradition and inviting friends and family for a good old-fashioned cookout. BBQs can be pretty simple to plan with some burgers and hot dogs, but if you want to really make a splash, consider some of these ideas during preparation.

  • “Make Your Own” Stations - The best part about hamburgers and hot dogs is the many ways you can customize them to your taste. Consider setting up different stations. Grill chicken, sausage, hot dogs, and hamburgers as the base. Put out a variety of breads and toppers (different kinds of cheeses, sliced onions and tomatoes, pickles, sauerkraut, etc.) and all the condiments you can think of. Add a chalk board “menu” of ideas so your guests have some inspiration (see our recent hamburger post for some great recipes).  You can do this for drinks, desserts, etc. as well.
  • Signature Drinks – It’s easy to throw some beer, soft drinks, and bottled water into a tub of ice and call it a day, but you’ll wow your guests if you offer some delicious and refreshing mixes. Some ideas: A sangria with fresh fruit, a lemonade/iced tea mix, a fruit punch, etc. Walmart has a great drink dispenser with an ice core, so your guests can help themselves.
  • A Fun Music Playlist – There’s nothing like a good playlist to get a party going! Consider fun, upbeat classics and top 40 that guests of all ages can enjoy. Try searching for some summer playlists online if you don’t know where to start, or ask your friends what some of their favorites are!
  • Lawn/Outdoor Games – We don’t have a pool, so we’re planning on setting up a few games to pass the time. Bocce ball, badminton, horseshoes, beanbag toss, and frisbee are some great choices. For kids, a slip and slide or water balloons can provide hours of fun!

Do you have anything special planned for your Memorial Day BBQ? Share your ideas with us on our Facebook page!

Photo Credit: “Burger Bar” - http://www.lovethispic.com/image/14660/burger-bar

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