GOOEY MONSTER COOKIE RECIPE

 

These would make great cookies for a Halloween party. Plus the kids will love to help make these colorful cookies and have a blast adding the eyes. I look forward to making these soon!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1/2 c butter softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 egg
  • powdered sugar
  • food coloring I used NEON food coloring to make them more vibrant
  • candy eyeballs

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Beat butter, vanilla, egg and cream cheese until fluffy.

  2. Mix in the cake mix. Divide batter into bowls for the number of colors you want.

  3. Add food coloring to each individual bowl and mix until all combined.

  4. Chill for 30 minutes.

  5. Roll into balls and dip in a bowl of powdered sugar.

  6. Place on greased cookie sheet and pat down a bit.

  7. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

  8. Add candy eyeballs while cookies are still warm. ENJOY!

Hacks for Cheaper & Smarter Last-Minute Travel

There are two types of people in this world; the kind that plans ahead for anything, and the kind that rush around and do things at the last minute. Which type do you think you are? The good news is that you can learn to be a little more like one or the other (though changing completely is quite unlikely). So with that in mind, today’s post is all about planning a last minute vacation. Some planning is still required, but we’re talking weeks ahead, rather than months and months, that the ultimate planning person might want as they plan a vacation. If you want to save some money as you travel, and even be a little more spontaneous, then this is the post for you. Hope it helps!

Close Up of Pictures

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When To Book

There are days and times that are going to make travel cheaper, or even more expensive. So if you are looking for cheaper tickets, then it is a good idea to remember to include something mid-week in your plans. If you travel or fly home on a weekend, then often there is a premium as they know many people would prefer that as it means less time off work or school. But if you have some flexibility, then that can make a difference.

It should also be worth noting that a lot of airlines reduce ticket prices usually on Tuesdays or Sundays when the travel is for that next week. So they can be better days when you are looking for general help with flights and getting a good deal last minute.

 

Book Single Tickets

On some airlines, and particularly for train travel, as crazy as it sounds, it can be cheaper to book two single tickets separately, rather than a return ticket. So if you trip really is last minute or you need to travel for an emergency, then that can be a quick and easy way of doing things. It could also be worth using a site like Bonsai Finance to get some cash quickly. That should only be done as long as you can afford to pay it back, of course. But if an emergency trip comes up, such as a funeral or to visit family in an emergency, then it could be a help.

 

Set Fare Alerts

For flights, there are a variety of sites like Kayak and ExpertFlyer, that all offer searches on flights and allow you to check a variety of routes and airlines. But the good news with all of them is that you can set flight alerts. So the particular route that you are looking for (or have as a dream destination) will keep being searched by them, and you’ll get notified when they have a found something even cheaper than the last time that you looked. If you have a dream to go somewhere but only when things are a certain price, then it can be a good (and free) thing to set up. Then you can book right away; talk about last minute!

 

Combination Deals

Researching your own hotels to stay at or flights to take can be half of the fun of travel. However, that can take a while, and time isn’t on your side if you are planning something last minute. So it can be worth looking at combination sites, like Expedia and Priceline, as they will have the details of package deals for you. On some occasions, it can work out cheaper to book one of those, especially if food is included, rather than do it all yourself at the last minute. Who knows, you might find a bargain.

Woman Walking on Pathway While Strolling Luggage

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Travel in Off Season

Depending on where you want to go, there can be some great deals to be had, especially if you are traveling in the off-peak season. Places like Australia can be great to visit, but the peak times are usually from November to February. This can mean everything is more expensive, as it is the time when most people will visit; even the locals going to different parts of the country. Which is why going in the off-season can be a good way to get a bargain. The hotels still need to have guests, as well as restaurants and so on, but there are less of them in their winter months, like June to September, for example. The good news is that the weather is still fairly warm and dry then, so you can still get to do the things that you would want to.

This applies to any place that you’d want to visit, though. Anything from the Caribbean to Canada; they all have peak seasons and all have off-seasons, but they shouldn’t be overlooked as a destination choice.

 

Stay With Friends

If you have got friends or family in certain parts of the country, or even in different parts of the world, it can make it a much more doable trip if you have their homes as your accommodation. As long as they’ll be around to let you in, last minute trips can be made much simpler (and cheaper) when you have someone to stay with. It could eliminate the need for things like rental cars if you’re flying or on the train, as well as reduce food bills as you’ll have a kitchen to cook in. So have a think about who you know, and think about where they live.

 

Avoid Business Travel

When people are traveling for business and their work is paying for it, the price isn’t a massive factor for them. So they choose the travel times and flights that are going to be the most convenient for them. That will tend to be Friday evenings, Sunday evenings, and Monday mornings. These are often at a premium, especially on some flight routes, so it is worth shopping around, and avoiding those times, to get the best price on a last minute deal. Middle of the week (Tuesday to Thursday), are usually the cheapest days to fly out on.

Family Time!

I’ve been trying to find some ways to spend more quality time with my boys as a family. On my husband’s days off we usually do Charlie’s favorite thing, get ice-cream and go to the park. The park is fun, but I would like to have a variety thing to do while daddy is home with us. I found some great ideas Charlie may enjoy doing as a family and especially on days when daddy can join us. Some of these could easily become family traditions for us. Charlie looks forward to spending time with daddy on his days off, so I know he will enjoy doing any of these just as long as daddy is there to play with him.

 

 

  1. Go camping and let him pick out the snacks and games
  2. Take him to his favorite restaurant then laser tag
  3. Build a paper boat and let it sail in the pound
  4. Go see a movie at the theater
  5. Pajama party. Eat junk food and stay up late watching a movie in your jammies.
  6. Find a local park or pond where you can go fishing.
  7. After dark, head outside with binoculars and look at the stars
  8. Have a water gun battle in the backyard.
  9. Pack a picnic lunch and walk the trail at the park
  10. Pick out his favorite toy or something to build and go home and play with it together

 

 

 

Wooden Baby Swing

I received this swing and within an hour was able to get it hung up and ready to try out! It was super easy to hang already put together, which I loved. This swing fits Charlie perfectly. I was surprised at how well built it is and how thick the rope is. This is a fun swing for the kids and so safe. I don’t have to worry about them falling out because the bar is all the way around them. So no matter how crazy they get, they won’t fall off. Here is a preview of him in his first swing. Needless to say that smile says it all!

You can get it from Amazon, check it out:    Click here

We hung this swing a little lower than the normal swing so if they were to have an accident getting in and out of the swing they would have far to fall. Love the classic look of this swing and the many details. You won’t be disappointed!

 

MEIGO Magnetic Blocks

I have been looking for something other than Legos for Charlie, my oldest son,  to bring out his creative side. We’ve tried Legos and it doesn’t seem to spark his interest, but that might be because his younger brother knocks them down as soon as he starts to build something. I’ve noticed he has taken interest in magnets. So, when I saw these, I said we have to have them! These magnetic blocks are plastic, non-toxic and if they are left on the ground and stepped on I won’t be in pain for the next 15 minutes. That was a huge plus for me, I step on at least two toys a day and it so painful. The age range is  3+ so I knew they would be perfect for Charlie!

 

  

 

I talked to Charlie about this order and explained to him what all you can do with these magnets, he was very excited for this order to arrive. He had us check the mail every day hoping they would come in, thankfully the shipping was very fast! When they arrived, they were in a nice teal box neatly organize with an instruction book with different ideas on how to build things. It also came with a red velvet storage bag with a drawstring. I love the bag because when the boys are done playing they can pack them up and they are ready to grab and go if we heading to town that day or just dump them out and start playing again.

These MEIGO Magnetic Blocks are the best, we can do so much with them! We received the 30 piece set, that comes with squares and triangles. I love that they come in many colors to help with color recognition, they are thin and easy to hold on to.  They have a very strong magnetic hold, which helps when your building your models. The instruction book has so many ideas on things to make, this not only helps children build their shapes but also shows them how to follow directions. Really great quality for an affordable price. The boys never get bored with these magnetic blocks!

I know your kids will love these as much as mine do! I would love for you to surprise them with a magnetic set of their own and let their creative side come out. Go to http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077ZQ6H6W and enter this code”KBH6GXD6” at checkout to receive your 10% off coupon!