Allergy-Free Options for Halloween and the Food Allergy Trunk-r-Treat

Posted by Carly Morgan

Have you seen the Teal Pumpkin Project? It’s an awareness campaign started by FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) to encourage people to give out allergy-free options. Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep lets trick-r-treaters know that they can ask for a food-free treat so kids with allergies can stay safe. I’m very much hoping this becomes a lasting tradition since Halloween is our scariest holiday!!

One of the important parts of the campaign that might be a little confusing to people is that you don’t have to completely give up on handing out treats. You just need to have a basket of food-free items in case someone asks for them. Be prepared, though – I think the food-free options will be more popular than the candy!

Don’t worry, I did a price comparison and I found lots of options that are about as cheap (if not cheaper!) as the most popular Halloween candy people give out. I also found some fun things that are a bit more expensive but pack a big punch, so if you wanted to splurge…

Everything shown below was between three cents and twenty-six cents per piece at our local party store.

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Fun, no? We took a great big bowl with all of these to the Utah Food Allergy Network Truck-r-Treat and the kids had a great time choosing what they wanted.

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We had plenty of leftovers for our food-free Halloween option (my parents will also be giving out nut-free candy) so we’re covered! The nice thing is that if we have any leftovers I can just toss them in with the Halloween decorations after the holiday is over and they’ll keep just fine until next year. I might have gone a little crazy at the party store, so next year’s Trunk-r-Treat is probably covered!

A local business, Wasatch Front Farmers Market, donated pumpkins so every family was able to paint and take home a teal pumpkin. We brought our own teal pumpkins to the party, made from paper plates I picked up at the party store, but a wind storm got the best of them so they weren’t very visible. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll come back next year!

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The kids had a great time and it was nice to see so many families participating without having to worry about dangerous treats. (Of course, my little monster promptly bit the eraser off of one of his sister’s pencils but that’s a whole different problem.)

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I hope you have a safe Halloween, however you’re celebrating!!

Mom Plate, Kid Plate: Pork with Apples and Onions

Posted by Carly

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Here’s another dish my preschooler found a little intimidating. We made pork tenderloin with roasted sweet potatoes and my favorite apple onion relish, but kiddo just saw lots of meat and scary vegetables. So, I had to pretty it up a little with vegetable cutters and animal picks.

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Giving little bites at a time is a lot less intimidating and I’m perfectly happy with her eating only five bites of meat. Honestly, when I give her a full piece I usually have to fight with her just to get her to eat three bites! Pared down like this, she ate it right up.

Apple Onion Relish

/// two apples
/// yellow onion
/// apple cider vinegar
/// sugar
/// butter

Slice the onion and sauté in butter until they’re carmelized. Chop the apples and add to the onions with a splash of vinegar and a little bit of sugar to cut the bite. Enjoy!

Fitness Friday: Invisible Progress

Posted by Carly Morgan

17 weeks until the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

I got up and ran this morning, despite a head cold that’s coming on surprisingly strong. I almost didn’t run but “didn’t run” has become the theme around here lately and I’m tired of it. I’ve had legitimate excuse after legitimate excuse, but at the end of the day sometimes you just have to kick your own butt and get out there.

It’s hard to fight that feeling of losing momentum. My September and October have been the most interrupted months I can remember since I was on bed rest with Calvin. It’s been nothing but great stuff (trips, events, playdates, parties) but the disruption has definitely taken a toll on this fitness journey of mine. My second attempt at Whole 30 flew out the window in favor of convenience foods and eating what everyone else is having at whatever event I find myself involved in so yesterday I went through a drive-thru and picked up chili fries, a chicken burrito, and a Cherry Coke before I even realized what I was doing. And then the frustration happens. And the guilt.

So I got up this morning, sore throat and all. I thought about all of the blog stuff that I need to work on. I thought about finally getting the rest of the laundry put away. I thought about how we have a full day today and tomorrow and how I really need to feel my best. And then I put on my running shoes anyway and hit the road.

I braced myself for pain, fatigue, asthma, and anything else that might come from running after taking too many junk-food-filled days off but I surprised myself. I fell into an easy pace that’s just a little bit faster than I usually run. I realized that the cold air actually felt good on my throat and the dark streets gave me space to organize all of the jumbled work ideas that have been piling up. I ran my route, doubled back a bit, added a few extra streets, and collapsed on our lawn just because the leaves looked too inviting to pass up.

A few months ago, getting through a single mile was a huge struggle and always came with spending the rest of the day hobbling around in pain. This morning, cold and all, I feel fantastic.

I’m getting there.

Totally Cut My Own Hair Just Now

Posted by Carly Morgan

If you were online last night close to midnight my time, you might have seen that I got a little impulsive and gave myself a haircut. What can I say? It’s a pain to get childcare and even though I have the greatest stylist in Salt Lake, I don’t mind saving a bit of money on haircuts when I can.

Method:

1 /// Have long hair that can’t possibly look worse than it does uncut.

2 /// Pull into a ponytail right in the front-and-center close to your hairline.

3 /// Randomly pick a place to cut (understanding that the closer you get to the hairline, the crazier your hair will look.

4 /// Using the sharpest scissors you have on hand, chop that hair.

5 /// Release ponytail. Assess damage.

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I don’t think it turned out too bad, myself, especially in light of the fact that my hair was getting positively ridiculous. It’s definitely choppy, but I kind of like it!

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What do you think? Brave enough to give yourself a new look?

Our Disney Princess Slumber Party

Posted by Carly Morgan

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser to celebrate the release of the Sleeping Beauty Blu-Ray gift set available at Walmart. All opinions are mine alone. #DisneyBeauties #CollectiveBias

Eva had her first pajama party last week and it was the kind of night that makes you wish you could freeze kids and keep them just at this age. We had three friends over and they ate and played and dressed up like princesses and thought everything was magical. A perfect evening.

Princess slumber party #DisneyBeauties #shop

Some of the things we used for the party were things we had on hand from past parties, like the tassel garland from Eva’s 2nd birthday and a few serving dishes, but most of the party goods came from one big Walmart shopping trip. They have a ton of Disney princess American Greetings party goods available so I was able to create a magical ball with almost no real effort on my part (yay!) and there were plenty of Disney princess toys on hand so I picked up different princess crowns and heels for each guests with no repeats (double yay!).

Princess slumber party goods at Walmart #DisneyBeauties #shopDisney princess toys at Walmart #DisneyBeauties #shop

Buying party supplies at Walmart #DisneyBeauties #shop

I also grabbed the new Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition gift set which comes with the extra Disneybound: Sleeping Beauty Style DVD. This is the first year that we’ve had a Blu-ray player so it was exciting to see one of my favorites of the Disney animated films in such brilliant color. Plus, there was a coupon if you were picking up party goods!

Sleeping Beauty gift set at Walmart #DisneyBeauties #shopDisney bounding DVD #DisneyBeauties #shop

The theme of the party was a Disney princess sleepover, but realistically I knew that inviting three girls in the 3-4 year old age range over for a sleepover was like inviting madness wrapped in glitter over to the house, so we had everyone over for comfy pajama movie time instead. I told them all to go ahead and eat dinner before arriving (bedtime theme, etc.) but I wanted to have some snacks on hand so I used some of the party goods I picked up to do mini pancake stacks and fruit kabobs.

Mini pancake stacks for princesses #DisneyBeauties #shopDisney princess fruit kabobs #DisneyBeauties #shop

As for the decorations, the party goods I picked up at Walmart made it easy. The big hit was the paper chandelier – it really set the mood for the royal ball! I also added Eva’s little Disney princess castle and some fresh flowers as centerpieces.

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Guests at the Disney princess party #DisneyBeauties #shop Enjoying the Disney princess party #DisneyBeauties #shop

As I mentioned, each girl got a crown and a matching pair of heels for a different princess. We had Snow White, Aurora, Rapunzel, and Cinderella in attendance and I thanked a million lucky stars that nobody fussed about which princess they ended up with.

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They also all had a tray at their seat with some Disney princess party favors in the middle, a pink or purple shoelace, and a bunch of Fruit Loops sorted into colors by my amazing husband. The trays are from Walmart as well and they’re surprisingly inexpensive so I was excited to find them – lots of uses for things like this!

The shoelace and fruit loops were so that the girls could make edible necklaces to have as their snack when it was time to watch Sleeping Beauty. There was a bit of a learning curve with the necklaces…mainly because it was hard to explain why everyone shouldn’t just shovel handfuls of cereal into their mouths, but once they got the hang of it it was a good way to keep everyone occupied.

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Activity at princess party #DisneyBeauties #shop Making Fruit Loop necklaces #DisneyBeauties #shop Preschool party activity #DisneyBeauties #shop Dress up at Princess party #DisneyBeauties #shop

As for the movie room, I had Eva help me drag all of the extra pillows and blankets onto the floor and we spread them out into a big fluffy pile. I thought about creating a more formal seating area, but since the girls would be in their pajamas and I thought they’d be pretty hyped up on sugar it didn’t seem like a good idea to force them to sit in one particular spot.

Instead, I used fairy lights to set the mood and hung some more of the American Greetings Disney princess party decorations from them. It was quick to set up the lights because I just used removable hooks to attach them to the walls, but it made a big impact on how festive the room felt. It also helped to set the sleepover mood – tricky since the sun was still up when the girls were here!

TV room at princess party #DisneyBeauties #shop Princess decorations #DisneyBeauties #shop American Greetings Disney princess party decor #DisneyBeauties #shop Hang party lights with removable hooks #DisneyBeauties #shop Sleepover room at princess party #DisneyBeauties #shop Fairy lights at slumber party #DisneyBeauties #shop Guests watching Sleeping Beauty #DisneyBeauties #shop Preschool sleepover #DisneyBeauties #shop

I thought that the girls might be too amped up to sit quietly but they all lined right up and munched on their necklaces and watched Sleeping Beauty, even though a couple of them had never seen it. It’s amazing how much of a spell those movies weave. The really fun thing is that while the girls watched the movie, Kyle and I took over the dining room with the rest of the parents and we all had big bowls of Fruit Loops and had our own royal ball.

Disney Princess Slumber Party guests in their pajamas #DisneyBeauties #shop

All in all we had a great time and everyone left quite happy. It was also an easy clean up (maybe a half hour?) and since I barely had to cook anything I think this might go down as one of the least labor-intensive parties we’ve ever thrown! The toughest part was explaining to Eva why we couldn’t do it again the next night.

Thanks for letting me share so many photos! If you want to hold your own slumber party, here’s an easy planning checklist to get you started: Slumber Party Planning Checklist

Princess Party

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