The Best (Healthy shhh…) Pumpkin Muffins!

For those of us that love pumpkin, we LOVE our pumpkin! But whether you’re a mom wanting to give her kids a slightly healthier version, or you just want to eat a little more pumpkin without adding to your waistline this season, these muffins are for you! Super easy and kids can help!!

Makes 16 muffins

Ingredients:

1 ( 15 oz) can pumpkin

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1/2 c. egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 c. ( 2%) evaporated milk

2/3 c. whole wheat flour

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 and line with silicone liners or foil liners sprayed with nonstick spray. If you are not using liners, spray your pan with nonstick spray.

Mix the pumpkin with the next 5 ingredients (through the evaporated milk). If you are not opposed to Splenda, you can also substitute the sugars for the same amount of Splenda.

Combine flour with the next 4 ingredients (through baking soda). Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix until blended and smooth.

Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

That’s it! You can serve with ice cream, or a dollop of whipped cream (or Fat Free Cool Whip works too!)

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Cute Reindeer Snacks your Toddlers will Love!

There’s two types of toddlers – those who eat anything, and those who eat nothing. If yours is the latter, you’ve probably had your fair share of challenging moments trying to come up with creative ways of getting him or her to scarf down lunch, or even a snack for that matter. Have no fear, though, we’ve got the perfect (and cutest) solution for your hungry little this holiday season!

 

These reindeer themed snacks are super cute and easy to make. You will need:
  • Cookie Cutter – we used a heart, but anything circular will do
  • PB & J Sandwich – just the normal PB & J with your little guy, or gals, favorite bread
  • Pretzels – we’re using twists for this project
  • Mini Chocolate Chips – these are for the eyes
  • Red M&M or Skittle – just one for the little nose

Simply cut your PB&J sandwich with your cookie cutter, use the pretzels for the antlers, chocolate chips for the eyes, and your red M&M or Skittle for Rudolph’s nose! It’s that simple!

10 Adventurous Outdoor Family Activities

Children love to play outdoors. Even though the hot, summer days are mostly behind us, fall brings crisp, cool weather that is in some cases even better for outdoor activities! At first it might seem a challenge to figure out what to do in the new temperatures, so we have put together a few family-friendly ideas that all ages can enjoy!

  1.  Feed the animals! Animals love visitors as much as we love to visit! Look into local ponds, lakes, or even animal charity organizations.
  2. Get out and meet the neighbors (or invite them out to play!). Not only is it great for kids to socialize, but they also learn teamwork, sportsmanship, and coordination.
  3. Have a trail? Ride bikes! No trail? Often parks have great areas to ride too, serving as the perfect place to help your little one throw out the training wheels.
  4. Everyone loves scavenger hunts! Whether it’s finding nature items, or setting one up in the backyard with toys or household times, it is something kids of all ages love!
  5. Find a local pumpkin patch! At the very least it is a great place for photos! At some of the larger ones, they often have games, contests, hay to climb, snacks, petting zoos, etc.
  6. Decorate for Halloween or fall! For big kids, carving pumpkins is fun! Or for little ones, they can draw on or use stickers to decorate!
  7. Attend or have a Halloween event! Local businesses often have fun events for everyone!
  8. Go on a picnic and fly a kite! Jump in a pile of leaves!
  9. Borrow activities from a fair or party! Bob for apples, have a pie eating contest, dress up and take photos!
  10. Take a nature walk! You can also add in #4 here too!

Whether you use one idea or several, these tips should help you get outdoors and enjoy the fall weather and fun season with your loved ones!

Washable DIY Chalk Paint

Imagine the endless fun your children will have as they doodle hearts, smiley faces, monsters, flowers and maybe even Olaf the Frozen Snowman with a pallet of washable chalk paint! With a few ingredients you have at home, you can easily entertain any toddler, and older children! Let the sun shine on their bight little faces and join them for the fun. This easy DIY Chalk Paint recipe is washable, won’t stain, and it can be rinsed off the driveway with a quick splash of water.

You will need:
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1-2 tablespoons washable paint
5-6 plastic containers or a cupcake tray

 

Directions:
In each plastic cup add 1/2 cup cornstarch to 1/2 cup water
Add 1 -2 tablespoons of paint
Mix until an even color is present

 

The cornstarch will settle a bit as the paint sits, so give the paint a good stir before using. If you decide to substitute the washable paint with food coloring, we recommend you wear a craft apron as food coloring can stain.

 

Have fun!

Little Sleepy Head Less-Fill Pillows Now Available in Toddler and Youth Sizes

Little Sleepy Head pillows have been designed to be the perfect shape and size for your kids. Whether your child sleeps on his or her back, front, side or even next to the pillow, Little Sleepy Head pillows are the perfect balance of support and snuggle.

That said, we all have our own perfect level of fluff. Some of us like a fuller pillow than others. To make sure your child will always “love the fluff” in his or her Little Sleepy Head pillow, we’ve added less-fill options to both our toddler and youth sizes. They come with the same guarantee, but a bit less fluff.

Many younger than 2, or smaller children tend to prefer pillows with slightly less fill, as do tummy sleepers. This helps to explain why our less-fill pillows are already highly popular, despite the fact that they’re brand new to our store.

Getting a pillow that is just the right size is as important to your little one as it is for you. At the same time, toddler and youth pillows typically need to be more versatile than their adult-size counterparts. After all, not only do children grow very quickly – which means that pillows need to remain appropriate over a range of child sizes – but they also sleep in a huge range of positions.

Kids are constantly moving around as they sleep. They’ll roll onto their backs, tummies and sides. They’ll sleep on top of their pillows, next to them, or snuggled with them. If there is a way to be in contact with a pillow, your child will find it. The Little Sleepy Head pillow is there to make sure kids are comfortable no matter what.

Many children also become very attached to their pillows. Just like a favorite stuffed animal, the soft and snuggly place where they rest their head is a comforting part of their sleep and naptime routine. Fortunately, Little Sleepy Head less-fill pillows are 100% hypoallergenic, just like the fuller versions. They are also machine washable. Just toss the pillow into the gentle cycle in cold water. Once clean, one can dry the pillow on “low “ in the dryer, making sure to dry thoroughly. A little bit of fluffing up is all that is needed before it is once again ready to cradle your child’s head.

All of our pillows – regular fill and less-fill – are locally made right here in the United States. They have a 200 thread count cover fabric made of beautifully soft 100% cotton. The fill is made from premium polyester cluster fiber. We add just enough to provide your little one with proper head and neck support.

Since Little Sleepy Head pillows are perfect for both home and travel, many parents make sure to buy two at a time – one for home and the other for family visits or preschool naptimes. Don’t forget to pick up a perfect size, soft pillowcase, too. Your little sleepy head will love the fun and playful prints and patterns.