Halloween Fun Under $70

Okay, so this entire year has been quite the whirlwind. With news circulating that not all areas will recommend Trick or Treating I knew I had to have a back- up idea for Halloween.

Of course, I headed to Target and Target.com to score some fun stuff and was very impressed with their Hyde and Eek Boutique, which is mainly found in the Bullseye’s Playground. (Otherwise known in my home as the dollar spot!)

Everything pictured totaled out to be less than $70 (Keep in mind the quantity you will need, depending on how many kids you will have) I hope you are inspired and get some good ideas for your own at home party.

The top picture is the ring toss and is $10.00. The rest of it is $6.00 each!

Pictured from top to bottom:

Ring Toss Game- Shaped like Witches hat cones

Halloween Bingo Game

Pin the Skeleton Game

Bean Bag Toss Game

Spider Web Splat Game

All of these games have a fun twist on classic favorites and totally kid-friendly!

Top: $3.00 Bottom: $6.00

This Happy Halloween Paper Banner is so cute and a perfect addition to the party.
The 84”x 60” Pumpkin Toss Halloween Tablecloth has the perfect colors and will go with most classic party decor!

Mummy Bowling Game $10.00

My kids love bowling and this is such a fun game to incorporate into your Halloween fun! There are 10 bowling pins and 2 plastic balls. This is suitable for ages 3 and up!

100 count Orange Indoor/Outdoor Halloween Mini Fairy String Lights $5.00

These cute lights can be hung indoors above your main table, and a fun easy way to spruce up the place!

4 piece Halloween Gift Packaging Set $5.00 each

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean excluding friends from all Halloween activities. You can BOO them! Drop off a bag of goodies for them to include them in all the Halloween fun! This kit comes with a tote bag, a card, and envelope, and a door hanger reading “You’ve been Booed.” Fill the bag up, and customize it for your friends and family members.

All of these baskets pictured above are only $1.00!

The top baskets are fun and colorful, they are also taller than your typical basket. My kids love these ones because of the pink and blue options.

The middle basket is a glow in the dark style and is neon green when placed in a dark setting. If you can trick or treat in your area, this is a fun choice.

The bottom basket is the original basket and so fun. Even if the kids would rather use the other styles, this one is fun to fill with candy or snacks and use as decoration around the house.

This was a grand total of $64.00 (for our three kids) and I love all of it. You can certainly put your own spin on it and grab plates, cups, and snacks to your hearts desire, but I hope this gets the gears in your head turning as a start. No matter how you spend your Halloween, be carefree, stress-free and enjoy the little moments. This year especially, just have fun!

I’ve connected with some amazing Bloggers to share some blogs featuring Halloween At Home. Traditions, ideas, decor, recipes and so much more! Head to each of their blogs to check out what they are sharing.

| CHEYENNE 

https://www.babybumpsandmombuns.com

| JESSICA

https://www.mamabearwooten.com

| KARI

https://www.raisingwilliams.com

| TAYLOR

https://aikensadventures.com/

| LAILA

http://www.thegoodwivesblog.com

| KIMMY 

https://www.kimmymanzo.home.blog

| LATIFAH 

https://gypsyatheart.blog

Apple cinnamon Bread

Fall is here and I’m so excited you guys! It’s my absolute favorite time of the year. The colors, the decor, the clothing, the weather, and most importantly the food!

I have tried various recipes and breads but this one is by far my favorite and a huge hit with my family as well. So keep reading and get the recipe!

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar

4 cups flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 eggs

2 cups milk

2/3 cup oil (Vegetable or canola world best)

3 apples diced and peeled (I love tons of apples in mine, if you don’t 2 apples would work fine.)

Topping:

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat eggs, milk and oil until just combined. (Do not over mix.)
  • Gradually add dry mixture to wet until just moist.
  • Add apples and cinnamon.
  • Grease baking dishes and pour mixture an inch below to the top to compensate for rise.
  • Combine cinnamon and sugar.
  • Spoon topping onto each loaf and swirl in with a knife.
  • Bake 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.

It’s such an easy recipe and such a great taste of Fall! Try it out and let me know what you think!

I’ve also connected with some amazing Bloggers to share some blogs featuring ALL THINGS FALL! Bucket lists, recipes decor and more! 🍂 Head to each of their blogs to check out what they are sharing.

| CHEYENNE 

https://www.babybumpsandmombuns.com

| JESSICA

https://www.mamabearwooten.com

| TAYLOR

https://aikensadventures.com/

| NOEMI

https://misssnoemiblogs.wixsite.com/mysite

| HEATHER

https://www.sexonaweekday.com

| KIMMY 

https://www.kimmymanzo.home.blog

| LATIFAH 

https://gypsyatheart.blog

Barbacoa Tacos

Barbacoa is braised beef in a chili sauce and a total family favorite over here.

You will need:

2 ancho chilis

5 California chilis

3 wahoo chilis

Chuck roast

Cumin

Cloves

Small stick of cinnamon

Bay leaves, onion, garlic, salt and pepper (to taste)

You will start off by putting the chuck roast in a pot with water. You will add half an onion, a couple teeth of garlic, a couple bay leaves on high heat until boiling and then lower the heat to low/medium and cover.

While that is cooking, you will open up the chilis and take the seeds out, and put the chilis in the pot with the beef for five minutes (or until they soften up a bit.

Take the chilis out, put them in the blender with a couple teeth of garlic, a quarter of an onion, cumin, the ground up cloves, salt, pepper and some of the broth from the beef and blend!

You will then pour it back in to the pot with the beef and let simmer for 3-4 hours or until you are able to shred the beef with the tongs.

Now that your star of the show is finished eat it with rice and beans, tortillas, homemade salsa or your own yummy choice of side!

We will be enjoying this with our weekly Taco meal!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and subscribe for more recipes in the future!

I’ve connected with some amazing Bloggers to share some blogs featuring tacos. Tacos, fajitas, nachos and all things taco themed. Head to each of their blogs to check out what they are sharing:

| CHEYENNE 

https://babybumpsandmombuns.com

| JESSICA

https://www.mamabearwooten.com

| KIMMY 

https://www.kimmymanzo.home.blog

 | LATIFAH

https://gypsyatheart.blog

| TAYLOR

https://aikensadventures.com/

| SHELLY

https://www.envision31.com/hope

|LAILA

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Well hello strangers, I’m just so happy to be back! As I’m sure you’re feeling it, life is crazy. Things have been rough, to say the least.
So, I’m really excited to share a fun lighthearted blog post inspired by National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

So follow along (below) for my peanut butter & chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches!

Ingredients

·       1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

·       1 teaspoon baking soda

·       1/2 teaspoon salt

·       1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

·       1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

·       3 tablespoons granulated sugar

·       1 large egg

·       1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·       1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 

·     1 cup peanut butter chips

· 1 scoop of ice cream (I used Vanilla bean)

Instructions

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray.. (To get best results, use parchment paper)

2.   In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt together.

3.   In another large bowl, beat together the butter, and sugars until smooth and mixed together well.

4. Add the egg and vanilla and mix just until mixed in.

5. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix in until just incorporated. Do not overmix.

6.  Add Peanut butter chips and chocolate chips then stir, again no overmixing, just until incorporated.

7. Use an ice cream scoop or tablespoon to drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. (Note: For chocolate chip cookies, the dough needs to be chilled for best results, so stick the cookie mix in the fridge for about 30 minutes before baking).

8. Bake cookies until bottoms and edges are lightly browned and the tops feel firm when lightly touched, This is 8-10 for smaller cookies and 10-13 minutes for larger cookies.

9.  Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

10. Once cookies are completely cooled, lay one cookies down and scoop 1 spoonful of ice cream onto cookie. Then close the sandwich with another cookie on top & enjoy!

if you end up making this recipe be sure to tag me on Instagram: Instagram.com/gypsyheartedmama 💕

I’ve connected with some amazing Bloggers to share some blogs featuring Recipes, Hacks, and more for National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Head to each of their blogs to check out what they are sharing:

 | CHEYENNE 

https://www.babybumpsandmombuns.com

| KALAH

https://www.kayandbabe.com

| HEATHER

https://www.sexonaweekday.com

| ANNE 

http://www.texascharmedlife.com/

 | NOEMI 

https://misssnoemiblogs.wixsite.com/mysite

Spring Drink: Strawberry Mojitos

Well the weather is warming up here in Nebraska and we are on to exciting things like getting more plants, fun in the sun, and being able to enjoy a nice drink with my husband!

Some of my blogger friends and I have created a drink train to showcase our favorite Spring Drinks! I’ve linked those bloggers and their pages at the bottom of this post!

My favorite adult beverage is a refreshing Mojito! So of course, I had to share this recipe with you!

Here are all the ingredients you will need :

1 lime cut into slices

6 strawberries (More for garnish)

8 fresh mint leaves (more for garnish)

2 tablespoons sugar

4 ounces of rum (Your choice, we used pineapple Captain Morgan)

Club soda

Ice cubes

Muddler (Mine is from the brand Houdini, I got it at Target for $9.99)

First, you will need to add 2 lime slices, 4 fresh mint leaves, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and half of your strawberries to each glass.

Second, you will muddle together all of the ingredients in the glass until the sugar has dissolved.

Next, you’ll add the ice cubes, and your garnish of fresh mint leaves and sliced strawberries around the inside of the glass.

Lastly, pour 2 ounces of rum in each glass, stirring well. Top off each glass with your chilled club soda and that’s it! Now it’s time to enjoy your fresh fruit strawberry mojito!

**We made a second round of drinks and replaced the chilled club soda with chilled pineapple juice and that was very yummy too! **

I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe and that you’ll recreate it or maybe even switch out some of the ingredient for some of your own favorites! That is truly what makes it the most fun!

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, subscribe for more recipes, crafts, and everyday adventures of a Gypsy mama!

Happy Drinking! Head over to these accounts to check out their drink recipes too:

Kaysdailyinsight.com. Instagram.com/kaysdailyinsight

Briasnyder.com Instagram.com/Bria.snyder

https://misssnoemiblogs.wixsite.com/mysite Instagram.com/_noemielizabeth

Kayandbabe.com. Instagram.com/kayandbabe

Mombunsandmargaritas.com Instagram.com/mombunsandmargaritas

Mamallamallama.com Instagram.com/mamallama.llama

https://smileytalkblog.wordpress.com/ Instagram.com/1000smiles

Www.noturaveragemomof5.com Instagram.com/noturaveragemomof5

Www.theblissfulmomma.com Instagram.com/theblissfulmomma

Www.babybumpsandmombuns.com Instagram.com/babybumpsandmombuns_

#womenbloggerscreate

Easy Spring Treat

Hi everyone! It feels SO GOOD to publish a new blog post! I’ve really missed it!

This is one that (as you can see below) we’re pretty stoked about hehe. I hope you enjoy it too!

You’ll only need three ingredients!

  1. Snyder’s Butter Snap pretzels

2. Ghirardelli’s White Chocolate Baking Bar (I have seen others use the baking drops or even white chocolate chips.)

3. M&M’s

First you will need to lay your pretzels out on a tray or plate. After, break two of your white chocolate bar pieces off and place in a microwave safe bowl.

Put the bowl in the microwave for about 15 seconds and check. Depending on the wattage of your microwave the time will vary. Mine was ready in 25 seconds, You will know it’s ready when you stir it and it’s melted.

Next, you will take a spoon and spread the melted chocolate evenly on each pretzel. Immediately after, place an M&M in the center of the pretzel. You’ll then put six more M&M’s around the outside of the middle M&M. Let stand 15-20 minutes.

That’s it! I told you it was an easy one!

The kids absolutely loved helping. I recommend this one for smaller children, since it’s quick and easy. It will keep them focused for a little while and let them be creative with their colors! We took the opportunity to work on colors and counting with the ones below.

I hope you liked this easy (and a little messy) treat idea. If so, subscribe for more mom hacks, fun activities, and everyday adventures of a Gypsy Hearted Mama. Thanks for joining me!

**Also, head over to these blogs to get some more fun Spring treat ideas:

Instagram.com/kaysdailyinsight Kaysdailyinsight.com

Instagram.com/bria.snyder
briasnyder.com

Instagram.com/mamallama.llama mamallamallama.com

instagram.com/_noemielizabeth. misssnoemiblogs.wixsite.com

Instagram.com/babybumpsandmombuns_ babybumpsandmombuns.com

DIY Valentine’s Day Mason Jar

Well if you didn’t already know, crafting and DIY projects are something I usually let the ladies of Etsy handle for me! So I was very excited and nervous when my awesome group of mama blogger friends decided we should all create a Valentine’s Day craft! It was so much fun, and a new tradition I’ll keep up for years to come. So here it is!

I bought all of these items for under $20! I wanted each of my kids to have a jar to decorate for their teacher’s (even though the twins share a teacher!)

Items needed:

Dollar Tree

  1. Mason Jar(s)
  2. Valentines Day foam stickers
  3. valentines day heart stickers
  4. disposanle gloves (optional)

Target

  1. Rust-Oleum glitter Gold spray Paint

First, the kids placed their foam stickers on all the spots of the mason jar they wanted to ”see through” (as the foam stickers will just be peeled off, in order to see inside the jar)

Second, the jars were spray painted outside on the patio. I recommend also purchasing disposable gloves, as this part can get messy. If you don’t have a set place to spray paint, I would also recommend putting a plastic trash bag down, or an old towel to set the jars on once you get to this step.

The jars will then need to dry for a minimum of two hours (so set that time aside as well.)

Once the jars are dry, peel off the foam stickers.

At this point you are done, unless you want to jazz up your jars a little more and add the stickers. The kids had a lot of fun with this step, making their jars unique! We put some candy in each one, and will continue to fill them up with goodies for our teachers we just love!

As a mom of three kids (and twins) I need quick, easy, fun crafts and this was definitely one! If you’re really crafty you could add ribbons, or find other ways to make it your own. I hope you enjoyed this DIY blog and come back soon for many more!

Also check out some talented mama friends of mine below to see the crafts they created:
https://mommadoris.home.blog/

http://www.coldcupsofcoffee.blog

http://www.olovebranch.com

— Gypsy Hearted Mama

PinkBlush

Disclosure: PinkBlush has gifted these items in exhange for honest reviews on the products. All opinions on these items are my own.

When the conversation came about on publishing a blog post for PinkBlush, I have to admit I almost said no. The thought of myself giving fashion advice or tips to other women sounded almost comical.

Here I am a mother of three, who rarely has time to get ready and go out, let alone shop. How could I give fashion advice? Not to mention I’m constantly struggling to find cute clothes that I like at my new size.

Weeks went by and after considering it awhile, it started to make alot more sense. I ordered a few items and decided to just see how I felt in them. When they arrived, I half expected to hate them. Spoiler: I alsolutely loved them.

Insecurity is a real issue and it doesn’t disappear when you become a mother. In fact, for me it got a whole lot worse. I know I talk alot about self- love but that is so much easier said than done. The fact that I ordered these items and loved the way I felt in them was so huge. I knew I had to publish a blog post, and so here we are! (All items listed will be linked but you can also find them at Shop Pink Blush)

The first item I received was the Burgundy Waffle Knit Button Front top. This waffle knit v neck is so soft and light it’s the perfect everyday item. I love the placement of the buttons as it is modest enough for work, but can also be dressed u0p with a pair of heels and leggings for a fun night out! I wore this around the holidays, but it will be so cute for Valentine’s Day coming soon too. My absolute favorite way to style this top is with medium wash jeans and leopard flats!


The second item I received was the burgundy puff sleeve popcorn knit sweater which is honestly my new favorite sweater! The fit is great, the material is so warm and comfortable, and the sleeves are so fun! I wear this to the office with a pair of slacks and booties (shown below) but it’s so easy to also dress this item up! I’m planning on wearing it with skinny dark jeans and ankle heeled boots to the next night out with my girlfriends this month!

Another issue we face as busy mothers is finding the time to shop. So the thought of shopping in a brick and mortar mall, department store, etc. has lost all of its appeal to me. It’s either find a sitter (good luck) or bring the kids along (also a hard pass.) So being confident in shopping online and knowing the price, styles, and quality are great is the most amazing thing.

PinkBlush is that brand and I am so excited to share it with all of you. You can check out my Instagram post to shop these styles!

Welcome to Nebraska

Well, it’s taken forever but here it is. My first blog post of 2020! It seems fitting that it’s going to be a life update! We’ve officially been in our new state for one month and we are loving it. God is continuously blessing us and showing us little signs that we are exactly where he wants us to be.

Now, it isn’t all peachy. We miss our families so much and the holidays are a TOUGH time to be away, but it really has given us a deeper appreciation for our loved ones, and helped us rely on each other so much more.

Raine has started at a Christian school here, and he is really thriving. His classmates made a welcome sign for him the first day and his teacher is amazing. The office staff, principal, and school are wonderful. I’m so happy his transition into a new school here has been an easy one, and that he can continue to learn about Jesus in his place of education. It’s just so important.

Jax and Rowen are loving their new playmates here (our bestfriends son and niece) and they will be starting preschool at Raine’s school in January, after winter break. They are so ready and excited!

Daniel has landed a morning job with another catering company similar to the one he worked with in LA. It’s at a University, so he works 6 am to 3 pm and has evenings and weekends off, as well as paid holdays off. He also has all the same breaks as the kids so it’s going to be a fun winter and summer break! California friends and family, expect visits from us then!

I just landed a position with the state and I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s part- time, so I can still focus on my writing and blogging, and have extra time to spend with the kids and Daniel. It’s a dream come true for us to all be on the same schedule and one we have fought so hard to have. Family time is so important to us and it’s all thanks to Jesus of course that we finally have it!

This move was a total walk of faith and i’m so happy to share the good news and our journey with you! A huge thank you to our bestfriends as well, for letting us stay with them until we settled in. As well as the emotional and spiritual support we’ve received. We are so grateful to have you both!

We moved into our new place last week and though we still have so much to do, it’s just so nice to have a place we can call our own. There are just so many things to be thankful for! I”ll be doing a blog next month showing you around our home (which is just a couple weeks away, eek!)

I have to say Nebraska has been very good to us, the people are so nice and friendly, and we are so excited for all the adventures and memories we will be making here. As always, thank you for joining us on here and have a wonderful holiday season!

-Gypsy at Heart

Photo credit: Livelyphotographyne.com

Nebraska, Nebraska I love you!

Okay, I know the title of this blog post is actually a rip off of a Lady Gaga verse (Can you name the song?) Anyway, it’s also a great segue into OUR NEBRASKA MOVE!

Yes, California friends and family: We are moving to Nebraska. I say that because whenever I’ve brought this topic up to anyone where we live now, it’s as if I said we were moving to Mars. There are tons of reasons for us to move out of California right now, and although I know I don’t have to share them, I feel most people would like to know. So here are 5 major reasons why we are going:

  1. God is guiding us there
  2. Our best friends live there.
  3. Family Values
  4. The kids are young
  5. Cost of living

So number one: Daniel and I pray about ALL major decisions we make for our family. It’s just something we do, and aren’t going to change anytime soon. God guides our family, and Daniel and I are having faith in the signs he has given us! It’s really that simple!

Onto number two: Our best friends live there, I mean come on! It’s very hard to find friends who are married and have kids when you are young parents yourself. Statistics say that Daniel and I shouldn’t even still be together (teen mom and all) let alone, know another married couple (with a child) who we have so much in common with. We are so fortunate to move somewhere where we have love, support, and our friends who went through the same thing; Leaving all they know in CA for a simpler life in NE. Thanks so much Mel and Ced, we love you!

Number three might offend some people, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Family time is so important to Daniel and I. We’ve both hustled HARD for our family. Five years of straight school for me, missing dinner and bedtime routines with my kids and sometimes days off with Daniel. He has worked two jobs at times to support us during all this and missed out on a lot of the early things with Raine too. Now I know it isn’t going to just magically happen, us having more family time. Unfortunately where we are now, those old fashioned family values are just not here. I can’t wait for Daniel, myself, and the kids to have the same schedule, and being able to enjoy quality family time. These kiddos of ours are only going to be young for a short time, and I’m not willing to sacrifice time with them for the “rat race” lifestyle expected of us here, sorry not sorry.

Number four is a no brainer for me. The kids are still young enough that a move like this will be sad, but not completely miserable. They are young enough that they can make friends quickly, and the other kids haven’t necessarily found their cliques yet (yes they exist, and I’m not going to be naive about it.) I moved A LOT growing up, (in all stages) and my elementary school moves were a lot easier. I made friends a lot quicker than I did when I moved in middle school or high school. We’ve also explained to the kids about our big adventure coming up, and they are looking forward to a bigger house, and our first white Christmas the most!

For number five, I just know someone will argue with me about, but here it goes. The cost of living is way less out there in NE. Yes the cost of living is based on lots of things, but for us: a kitchen manager and recent B.A. graduate, the fact that we can’t afford a quality lifestyle out here is pretty ridiculous. My brother jokes the reason it’s so cheap is because it’s a “flyover state.” But in all honesty, having kids has totally changed both of our mindsets on what we truly need in this life. We are looking forward to a quieter, cheaper, simpler life. Plus with three kids, and full time jobs, we aren’t exactly going to clubs in Hollywood every night, so our daily life won’t be too interrupted by not living here in So Cal. We will miss the beach, but can always visit (and our wallets will be a little bigger when we do!)

I hope this blog post puts some of you questioning our judgement at ease. When you are a family truly working together and looking to God for guidance, it doesn’t always make much sense to others. But that’s what faith is I guess, huh? Trusting that our plan isn’t always his plan, and being okay with that.

_Gypsy Hearted Mama