5 Easy Halloween Crafts for Kids

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Get busy with these Halloween crafts for kids!

1. Plate Bat
2. Super Cute Plate Bat
3. Halloween Mason Jars
4. Bat Carton Craft
5. Family Ghosts

Five crafts not enough?
Check out 50 Halloween Crafts, Recipes, Printables, and More!

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Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe to Feed Hummingbirds

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Hummingbirds are awesome to watch, and easy to feed.  Hummingbirds eat insects, but nectar is their favorite.  Fill a feeder and you will soon have them flying every which way.  Many hummingbirds return to the same feeder year after year, so make a habit of keeping a feeder up from early Spring to late Fall.

There is no point in wasting money on expensive store-bought nectar when you can easily make your own at home, fast and frugal!

Find out what kinds of Hummingbirds are visiting your feeder.  Check out the Hummingbird Identifier.

Homemade Hummingbird Nectar  

First, start with a clean feeder.  Wash it in hot, soapy water and rinse well.  

NEVER use any chemicals on the feeder as this could harm the birds.

Cleaning the Hummingbird Feeder

To make the nectar, you will need:

  • 1 Cup of granulated white sugar.  Only use white sugar.  Chemicals in artificial sweeteners can harm the birds, and brown sugar, honey, etc. can make the mix go sour and do not provide the best nutrition.

  • 4 Cups of Water (If you have hard water, consider distilled or bottled)

  • This 4:1 ratio most closely resembles the sugar levels in natural nectar.

Ingredients for Hummingbird Nectar

I never add food coloring as this could harm the birds.  It is not necessary to color the water red, they will find the Hummingbird food without it!  Most feeders are red already, so clear nectar is easier to make anyhow.

TIP: Cut the recipe in half if you have a small feeder or don’t use as much.  I use a 16-ounce plastic feeder, but they come in all sizes, shapes, and materials.  16-ounce feeders are plenty big enough to feed a crowd without wasting nectar.  You can also put less in a larger feeder.  Pay attention to how much you use, and adjust accordingly.

Check out Hummingbird Feeders on Amazon

 Heating Hummingbird Nectar

Over heat, dissolve the sugar into the water.  Bring it to a hard boil for a minute or two.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before filling the feeder.  

Unused nectar will keep in the fridge for 2 days.  Make sure that you also clean the container you keep the refrigerated nectar in before you refill it.

Clean the feeder and refill it with clean nectar every 2 days.  Hummingbirds can be harmed by the mold that grows in a dirty feeder, so make sure to clean it well and often.  I use an old toothbrush and a bottle brush to get in all the nooks and crannies.

Keep the feeder full.  Birds may not return to an empty feeder.

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Vidalia Onion Casserole Dip Recipe

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onion_casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 Vidalia or sweet onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 10 butter-flavored crackers, well crushed

Directions

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, saute onions in butter until tender.  Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream. Spoon half into a greased 1-qt. baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Top with remaining onion mixture and crackers.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes till golden and bubbly.  Serve alone or with crackers as a dip.
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Make your own Food and Juice for Baby Alive Dolls – For Just pennies!

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Baby Alive dolls are very popular with the preschool set.  If you have priced the Baby Alive food and juice packs…well, you see why I set out to find a cheap substitute!  The Baby Alive Doll Food and Diapers Super Refill Pack, for example, is pretty costly.  Especially when my daughter can go through them fast!

Make the food and juice yourself!  This works with other baby dolls that eat and drink, also.

To make the Baby Alive Food, mix together:

3 Tablespoons of baking soda, 3 Tablespoons of plain tap water, and 1-3 drops of food coloring.  Use yellow for bananas, green for green beans, etc.

To make the Baby Alive Juice:

Simply mix together 1 cup plain tap water and 2-3 drops food coloring.

ALSO here are some alternative ideas from readers!  Thank you!  

“My daughter colors little piece of napkins with markers and mixes in water for juice.”

“For food got a cheap box of baby cereal and add the juice for the flavor she wants for it.”

How easy and frugal is that???  Kids like helping make the food and juice, with adult supervision of course.  Unless you trust a toddler with food color, in which case, good luck and send pics of the mess!  

Enjoy this frugal tip!


 

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The Queen Mother’s Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe – Gluten Free

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FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE from the Queen Mother

Ingredients:

7 oz semi sweet choc chips
3.5 oz butter/margarine (just under a full stick)
5 large eggs, separated
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
(you can substitute above flavorings with anything you want, even liqueur and sure, you can use imitation vanilla) (try peppermint or rum or orange)
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided (I have used Splenda or Ideal sugar substitute)

9″ pan, 275 degrees, 80 min (1 hr + 20 min)

Directions:

Mix 7 oz semi-sweet choc chips melted on extremely low (I use the chocolate setting on my micro, but you can try one minute intervals at 30% power or over warm, not hot water on stove) with 3&1/2 oz butter (Just cut between the third and 4th lines on the stick of butter/margarine for 3&1/2 oz).  If you don’t have or want to use butter, I’ve used margarine and even stick light margarine.

Separate 5 large eggs.  With wire whip on an electric mixer and in a bowl FREE from any grease or oil, whip the whites with 1/4 tsp cream of tartar till very soft peaks form (just past “frothy”).  GRADUALLY, 1 Tblsp at a time, while whipping, add 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup granulated sugar till stiff glossy peaks form.  In another bowl, whip the yolks till “ribbons” form and GRADUALLY, 1 Tblsp at a time, while whipping, add 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup granulated sugar. Add 2 tsp pure vanilla extract and 2 tsp almond extract (I keep some on hand for very special recipes like this, picking up at Michael’s with their weekly 40% off coupon—same for almond extract) and very gently, fold in cooled chocolate/butter mixture.

Carefully and gently and in thirds, fold in the yolk/chocolate mixture into the egg whites.  Pour into a 9″ cake pan (A springform will work), which has been sprayed on bottom and sides and a piece of wax or parchment paper cut in a 9″ circle to fit the bottom.

Bake at 275 degrees for one hour and 20 minutes (80 minutes).  Cake will crust across top and seem to “fall” away from the crusty top.  When cooled 1/2 hr, take a fine sharp knife or spatula and go around the inside of the cake pan’s edge and invert on cake serving plate. I leave the paper bottom (which is now the top) in place till serving time.  I take a long strip of plastic wrap folded to height of cake’s side and wrap around the outside of the baked cake to keep it from drying out.  This cake freezes well or stores in fridge up to a week in Tupperware pie keeper!

At serving time, remove the paper circle liner and sprinkle cake top with powdered sugar through a tea strainer.  Use a fine thin bladed knife which has been dipped in water to cut the cake, cleaning the blade and redipping it each time you slice the cake.  Dust top with powdered suger.  Serve with a spoonful of Smuckers seedless raspberry jam underneath (stir it well first till it thins a bit) or on top cake slice or drizzle with chocolate sauce.  Or cook 1 cup frozen or fresh raspberries with 1/2 cup sugar till berries break down and run through a sieve to remove seeds. Garnish with fresh raspberries and a spoon of cool whip or real whipping cream on side. OR on super low setting on micro or over warm water, melt 4oz choc chips with 1/4 cup cream, milk or half and half (I use the fat free half and half myself) for a ganache and drizzle that over the top of the cake which has been set in a puddle of raspberry sauce.  You can also add chocolate curls. The ganache can be thinned more by adding milk/cream a tsp at a time till you get it like you want it.

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Make an Advent Calendar – Several Ideas – Easy and fun for the kids!

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Advent Candy Tree & PoemWaiting for Christmas Day to arrive can be tough. The anticipation of Santa’s visit, family gatherings, and special gifts can make each day seem like an eternity, especially for kids.
The word advent originated from a Latin word meaning ‘arrival’. With an advent calendar, you countdown each day until Christmas in a special way. You usually start the countdown on December 1st, but you can design your advent calendar to start on any day you like.
 

Here are some advent calendars you can make to help you with the countdown.

Advent Candy Tree and Poem
Follow these instructions and you can make a special advent craft along with a poem that goes along with it.

Advent Collage Craft
Made with printable templates and magazine pictures, this advent craft is simple enough for the youngest crafter.

Advent Handprint Wreath
This fun advent wreath is made with paper handprints.

Good Deed Advent Jar
Decorate a plain jar and fill it with good deeds. Pull out one good deed (or more) to do every day before Christmas.

Advent Christmas Tree
Print out a Christmas tree template and Christmas tree ornaments and use them to count down the days until Christmas.

Days until Christmas Activity Calendar
This calendar will not only help you count down the days until Christmas, but also gives you fun activity options for every day.

Felt Advent Christmas Tree
These instructions include a printable pattern for a Christmas tree.

Advent Santa Beard
Create an advent calendar that looks like Santa and his beard is made of advent rings.

Advent TP Christmas Tree
Recycle toilet tissue rolls into a fun Christmas tree decoration that doubles as an advent calendar.

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Creepy and Cheesy Halloween dinner — Baked Eyeballs Casserole

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Fuel up your Trick ‘or Treaters with something good and hearty before they stuff themselves full of sugar.
Recipe available HERE

Baked Eyeballs Casserole

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 8
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