15 Practical Uses For Leftover Halloween Candy

Halloween candy should come with these instructions: “Unwrap and apply directly to hips.” You know, sort of like Play Doh. Every year, millions of Americans are stuck with the dilemma of what to do with leftover candy. Are we spoiled or what? We feel guilty throwing the sweet stuff out because, after all, it is food and we’re taught that food is not to be wasted. While there are tons of suggestions on what to do with it (“Wire the wrappers together to make a cat skirt,” “Save the wrappers to build a life-size sculpture of your kids,” etc.), many are time-intensive or just plain stupid. So here are 15 practical, low-effort uses for leftover Halloween candy:

1. Use it for ice cream.

I scored some major Cool Mom credit a few weeks after [Read more...]

About L. Klonsky

L. Klonsky aka Mom's Crayon is a born-and-bred Jersey Girl. She is the mother of two wonderful children, one biological and one adopted from China. As a later-in-life mom, she is currently caught between the drama of having a teenager in the house and the hot flashes associated with menopause. L. is also the author of two blogs: Mom's Crayon (http://momscrayon.blogspot.com) dedicated to the topic of motherhood and "'Is It Hot In Here' Menopause, Motherhood, & More (http://isithotinheremmm.blogspot.com) which offers a fresh perspective on The Change Of Life and motherhood, with unbiased product reviews and household tips thrown in for fun. Her goal is to minimize the amount of therapy her children will inevitably need. Visit her and share part of YOUR parenting journey!

Top 10 Gross-Out Halloween Goodies!

 

Having a Halloween Bash? Bring one of these daring dishes and see who has the heart to dig in. Warning: This really tips creepy scale. Not for the kiddie table. Proceed at your own risk.

 

1. Ear Wax Pops.

These are so wrong in every way imaginable but after you get beyond the gag-reflex, we’re sure they’re pretty tasty. Try’em and let us know.

[Read more...]

Pumpkin Spice Hype

Tossing and turning, sleep eluded me. The few hours of sleep afforded me were interrupted by feelings that something was missing, that a void had yet to be filled, that one element, I knew not what, was just out of my reach. I stumbled to the bathroom, cursing the sleep lost on me. I switched on the harsh, bathroom light, squinted, groaned and gazed at my sorry self: dark circles under my eyes, tangled hair in need of a cut, style, ANYTHING to perk up my look. Even my normally rosy complexion reflected the stark, white moonlight in a very haunting way. What could this be? This restless feeling, this emptiness. Then recognition dawned on me – I hadn’t drunk a Pumpkin Spice Latte yet, and I was probably the only one left.

What is it about that damn pumpkin spice that peppers [Read more...]

About M.B. Sanok

M.B. Sanok works as a stay-at-home mom attempting housework in her book-cluttered home while holding court on the phone and volunteering for the International MOMS Club. Raised in a Northern New Jersey town, she relocated to South Jersey for love and has a beautiful, mildly autistic eleven-year old daughter; a schmoozing, mischievous eight-year old son; and occasional thoughts of a third. Her current mantra: So little time to achieve greatness when my life is tied to meeting buses. Her accomplishments include being in the second grade reading class in the first grade, dressing up in full make-up as Ace Frehley from Kiss for her high school Lip Synch, writing horoscopes in college masked as one of the infamous Psycho Swamis, and, most recently, catching a fly ball with her butt at her first minor league baseball game. She started her writing career as a lowly reporter for her middle school newspaper, progressed to writing furiously in her journal and passing notes in class as a teenager, helming her college newspaper as a stressed out Editor-in-Chief, rejecting classified ads for massage parlors for a local newspaper and getting fired from her second publishing job for not remembering or knowing enough about the rival company’s secret website passwords. MB loves reading, writing, puzzles, music, and her husband, children, friends and family. She is the Executive Editor for South Jersey MOM www.southjerseymom.com magazine and a Contributing Writer for Jersey Moms Blog. She also volunteers as a State Coordinator for the International MOMS Club http://www.momsclub.org/. Some of her blogs have appeared on the MetroKids MomSpeak website which won the Gold Award for Best Blog in the 2013 Parenting Media Association’s Editorial and Design Awards Competition. The Monmouth County issue of The County Woman featured her and her blog post, “Updating My Stay-At-Home Mom Status”, in their “Woman in Profile” section in the July/August 2012 issue. She made her radio debut on March 6, 2013, on author and baby expert Blythe Lipman’s Baby & Toddler Instructions Live Internet Radio Talk Show on www.toginet.com.

GIVEAWAY: One Month of Healthy Snacking!

As a busy Mom with even busier school-aged children, I find myself on a seemingly continuous hunt for the right combination of lunch and snacks that will feed the minds of my little ones and help them last through the school day… and then some. But often the mad morning rush can be overwhelming and before I know it, into the lunch bag goes the salty-crunchy “this” or sugar-coated “that” and my best attempt at healthy snacking is derailed.

So this success story inspires me.

One Holmdel, New Jersey family decided to make a firm commitment to a healthy lifestyle and so began the journey of the Wave Bar, an all-natural soft-baked granola bar packed with flavor and 1/2 serving of fruit, 1/2 serving of 5 different veggies (deliciously disguised of course) and 430mg of Omega-3s in every bar. Their mission: “Snack with a purpose“.

Check out their awesome story. They’re great people. (Of course they are. They’re from Jersey! ) Then enter below to win a one month supply (3 boxes=36 bars) of healthy Wave Bars that both you and your little one will surely love!

INCREASE YOUR CHANCES of winning by scoring entry points below for Facebook “Likes”, Twitter “Follows” and Tweets! Enter now.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All Fitness, All Fast, No Fun Diet

I hate my all-fitness, all-fast, no-fun diet! A few years ago, I went to my doctor to find out why (after having three days of panic and Xanax) when I swallowed, my throat clicked, and my throat felt excessively full (save the dirty jokes, folks…). I felt like I couldn’t breathe and yet I could. Again, psychosomatic symptoms plague me despite the now disclosed and diagnosed physical cause.

Next I scheduled an appointment with an ENT who stuck a fiber optic tube down my throat and diagnosed me with Laryngopharyngeal Reflux aka Silent Reflux (silent for the quiet suffering and self-mocking you endure). You’re not allowed to drink alcohol, anything caffeinated, anything carbonated. Forget about smoking which I, thankfully, never started even though I cannot tell you how many people assume I smoke or once did despite my clothes never smelling, the absence of cigarette butts and nary a yellow stain on [Read more...]

About M.B. Sanok

M.B. Sanok works as a stay-at-home mom attempting housework in her book-cluttered home while holding court on the phone and volunteering for the International MOMS Club. Raised in a Northern New Jersey town, she relocated to South Jersey for love and has a beautiful, mildly autistic eleven-year old daughter; a schmoozing, mischievous eight-year old son; and occasional thoughts of a third. Her current mantra: So little time to achieve greatness when my life is tied to meeting buses. Her accomplishments include being in the second grade reading class in the first grade, dressing up in full make-up as Ace Frehley from Kiss for her high school Lip Synch, writing horoscopes in college masked as one of the infamous Psycho Swamis, and, most recently, catching a fly ball with her butt at her first minor league baseball game. She started her writing career as a lowly reporter for her middle school newspaper, progressed to writing furiously in her journal and passing notes in class as a teenager, helming her college newspaper as a stressed out Editor-in-Chief, rejecting classified ads for massage parlors for a local newspaper and getting fired from her second publishing job for not remembering or knowing enough about the rival company’s secret website passwords. MB loves reading, writing, puzzles, music, and her husband, children, friends and family. She is the Executive Editor for South Jersey MOM www.southjerseymom.com magazine and a Contributing Writer for Jersey Moms Blog. She also volunteers as a State Coordinator for the International MOMS Club http://www.momsclub.org/. Some of her blogs have appeared on the MetroKids MomSpeak website which won the Gold Award for Best Blog in the 2013 Parenting Media Association’s Editorial and Design Awards Competition. The Monmouth County issue of The County Woman featured her and her blog post, “Updating My Stay-At-Home Mom Status”, in their “Woman in Profile” section in the July/August 2012 issue. She made her radio debut on March 6, 2013, on author and baby expert Blythe Lipman’s Baby & Toddler Instructions Live Internet Radio Talk Show on www.toginet.com.

Chef Dad

There is a cartoon hanging on our fridge in which a man is looking inside a refrigerator. The fridge is filled with butter, on every, single shelf. The bubble above his head says, “Hon, where’s the butter?”

Oh, the irony! Yes, dear reader, I can relate. My husband is a wonderful cook, but his schedule means I am the main Betty Crocker around here. Recently I have tried to get him more involved, at least in meal planning. It went well the first week; this week not so much.

His contribution yesterday was to ask whether we had stuff to make a salad to go with the homemade turkey soup I was making. (No. We had sliced English cucumbers on the side, thank you very much.) He also suggested I go to the bakery for a baguette instead of making the corn muffins I had planned. With a slight grudge I stopped on the way to my daughter’s piano class (which you know, moms, meant dealing with yet another parking meter and yet another round of coaxing the kid in and out of the car, navigating the seat belt, etc.) to the bakery, only to discover it was closed.

Sigh. Dinner turned out fine. But I had to laugh this past weekend when he did take over in the kitchen and made a super great lamb tagine seemingly out of thin air. (Well the truth is, he realized later that the whole thing was supposed to bake in the oven for 1.5 hours AFTER the stove top preparations, and he was missing some key ingredients, but it turned out delicious anyway!)

The part that made me laugh was it had been awhile since he had cooked a proper meal and he kept calling to me from the kitchen. Did we have gluten-free all-purpose flour? (Yes, top pantry shelf.) Did we have lemons? Did we have rosemary? (Yes, I am half way through reorganizing our spices.) Did we have butter?

Just kidding.

This is an original Jersey Moms Blog post. Theta Pavis is a freelance editor and poet. She blogs about dinner with her family at Kasha and the Chaos and dreams of eating out at least three nights a week.

tpavis

About tpavis

Theta Pavis is a creative writer, journalist and media consultant who grew up in Manhattan and Jersey City. She left the East coast for the West coast (with a stop over in the Midwest) and then spent a year backpacking around the world with her husband before returning East and landing back in Jersey City. She enjoys gasping at the gentrification in her hometown while railing against its under-performing school district (which is just as backwards as it was when Theta starred as Maria in her high school production of West Side Story.) These days the only musical theater she’s involved in is singing funny songs in fake accents to her five year old daughter. Theta holds a B.A. from UCLA and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and literary journals and blogs, including New York Family, Wired News online, The Mom Egg and the Journal of New Jersey Poets. She’s passionate about women’s issues and works as a consultant for nonprofits. She’s grateful she married a fellow journalist/editor who understands what a deadline means and why the dishes didn’t get done, again. Theta also blogs at the North Jersey Beanstalk

Keeping It Off

It’s that time of year again! You can’t go anywhere during the month of January without seeing something about how to lose weight and get fit. New Year, new you! People magazine’s current cover is the annual “Half Their Size!” edition. The new season of The Biggest Loser is premiering this week. Every store is offering discounts on fitness and nutrition products. But what about keeping the weight off? The magazines and televisions programs never really say much about that, do they?

I have a bit of experience in this area. Over 12 years ago, I began my weight-loss journey. By changing my eating habits and beginning a regular exercise regimen, I lost 128 pounds in about 20 months. No surgery, no drugs, just eating right and moving. I, like many others, am proof that eating right and exercising can help you lose weight. So, how have the last 10 years been for me?

Six and a half years ago I gave birth to my first son, B. He was not the best napper, so every day I took him for a 5 mile walk around our neighborhood. The daily walks and breastfeeding helped to get me close to my pre-baby weight. Then one day when B was about nine months old, my local mom’s club hosted a demo stroller class at the park. The class, run by Mommy-Moves, was a combination of strength training and cardio. I really enjoyed the class, and I liked that I could keep B with me. I immediately signed up for the class and started to go twice per week. Classes were held outside during the summer and fall, and indoors during the winter. When I became pregnant with my second child, I continued with the stroller class until my 38th week. I was amazed at how much better I felt during my second pregnancy. Once I received clearance from the doctor six weeks post partum, I resumed the stroller class and kept taking it regularly until my youngest son N no longer needed a stroller. The certified instructors, moms themselves, know how to tailor the program to fit everyone, whether you are pregnant, post partum, a beginner or ready for more advanced work. They also offer a mommy-only boot camp class, which is amazing (and on the beach during the summer!). [Read more...]

elizabethsboys

About elizabethsboys

Elizabeth has been living in New Jersey for over 15 years now, so she considers herself well-versed in all things Jersey- especially since she married a Jersey boy. Growing up in the midwest, she dreamed of moving to New York (thanks to the movie “The Secret of My Success”) and, while that dream became a reality when she landed her first job in Manhattan, reality also required a more affordable New Jersey rental. Thus began an 11-year relationship with NJ Transit. Elizabeth has a B.A. in Writing-Intensive English from Marquette University and worked in legal for two large corporations in New York City before turning in her key-card to become a stay-at-home-mom to two beautiful boys, ages 4 and 2. In her spare time she is an avid reader and amateur runner and triathlete.

But I Don’t Want to Diet! And Hurricane Sandy Ain’t Helping

My pants don’t fit. It’s really that simple. I’m forcing the zippers, buttons, snaps to close and walking out of the house wondering when they are going to fly open and pop — sending a projectile across the room and hitting someone in the eye.

It’s like something out of a TV commercial, only this is me facing my closet every morning and then struggling into something. Ugh. In the past I feel like I have been able to rein it in, and Weight Watchers has worked for me in the past. But this time, I just can’t seem to get into it. Part of it might be because I have been doing it (or, not doing it) online.

I already do everything else online, alone in my home office, so maybe that is part of the problem. Also – there’s the fact that I have a huge appetite and always have. Also, I love baked goods. I also have food sensitivities, so when I am trying to be good, that means staying away from dairy and wheat. So when I do get my hands on something wheat and dairy free — I tend to go a little hog wild. Those dairy free “ice cream” bars get gobbled up. And now with the holidays approaching it is only going to get harder.

It doesn’t help that I am lazy. I love going to the gym, but not until the work out is over. I’m like a kid you can’t get into the bath who, once in, has an awesome time and doesn’t want to leave. Getting myself to actually go to the gym is a huge hurdle. And not too far from the gym is this incredible French style bakery that opened up… [Read more...]

tpavis

About tpavis

Theta Pavis is a creative writer, journalist and media consultant who grew up in Manhattan and Jersey City. She left the East coast for the West coast (with a stop over in the Midwest) and then spent a year backpacking around the world with her husband before returning East and landing back in Jersey City. She enjoys gasping at the gentrification in her hometown while railing against its under-performing school district (which is just as backwards as it was when Theta starred as Maria in her high school production of West Side Story.) These days the only musical theater she’s involved in is singing funny songs in fake accents to her five year old daughter. Theta holds a B.A. from UCLA and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and literary journals and blogs, including New York Family, Wired News online, The Mom Egg and the Journal of New Jersey Poets. She’s passionate about women’s issues and works as a consultant for nonprofits. She’s grateful she married a fellow journalist/editor who understands what a deadline means and why the dishes didn’t get done, again. Theta also blogs at the North Jersey Beanstalk

I Shop, Therefore I Am

I remember when I first became a true, active consumer. It was when I registered for wedding gifts. This was well before having kids, mind you, when I had the time and mental capacity to ponder such vital decisions as Calphalon vs. All-Clad and Wusthof vs. Henckles. Oh, how those things mattered to me in that moment! I even recall feeling strongly about being a Honda owner when it came time to buy our first car, even if it was a many-times-used beater with the loudest engine on the block.

Now here I am, nearly 20 years down the road (on which I drive a Toyota) and I couldn’t care less whether my wine glasses match or what brand of pans I scramble eggs in. (Though I will mention that the high-quality All-Clad set so generously given to us by our friends and family are still in pristine condition and doing a damn fine job! Take that, Calphalon!!) Becoming a mom totally zeroed out the luxury of consumerism and brand fetishes I enjoyed for that little blip of time.

But I realized something curious recently. Now that I live in the burbs and spend such an inordinate amount of time thinking about food (i.e., feeding those endlessly gaping little mouths at home, finding ingredients for a new recipe, preserving my sanity with a good square of sea salt caramel), I’m finding that my fellow mommy-shoppers dedicate themselves to supermarkets the way Carrie Bradshaw once adhered to her Manolos.

[Read more...]

Deanna Q

About Deanna Q

Deanna Q was raised in Jersey (exit 151) but has never, believe it or not, owned a Bon Jovi album. (Springsteen is the only true Jersey rock god, in her humble opinion.) After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, she spent 20 years in the San Francisco Bay Area where life was good and the burritos even better. She has recently returned to the Garden State and now resides in Morris County where she and her Texas-born/Jersey-raised/California-found husband are raising two wild and wonderful kids and trying not implode from the ongoing culture shock. A freelance writer with a background in book publishing and the social expression industry (i.e., greeting cards), Deanna Q has a passion for international children’s film, chocolate, reading great fiction (and the occasional bit of fun trash), and 40-something movie stars named Johnny. She was utterly thrilled to have been chosen for the Star-Ledger’s Munchmobile on her first try and finds that writing about life in NJ continues to help ease the transition back from life on the left coast.

Nuts About My Son’s Allergies

The peanut hung over my son J’s lip while chocolate drool poured down his chin.

“Mom, I did something…I accidentally ate something with a peanut in it.”

Speechless, I couldn’t remember what to do.  I barely knew how to use the EpiPen in my purse, and I didn’t want to jump the gun and shoot him up with the pen before I tried Benadryl first.  Unfortunately, I’m not the type of mom who carries tissues and snacks, so I’m lucky I even had the pen with me.  Sometimes, I even forget to carry money.  I made a mental note to put some Benadryl in the car.

We were at a birthday party and goodie bags were distributed.  At each party and Halloween, I repeat the same instructions ad nauseam: Don’t open the bag or unwrap any toys or candy until we go home.  I don’t like sticky hands and party trinkets scattered everywhere.  Also, I worry that J will inadvertently eat a nut-filled candy.

When he informed me about his mistake, I dropped everything, rushed to the bathroom and made him rinse his mouth out.  Then I raced through goodbyes.  Once home, I gave him Benadryl and waited for the reaction that thankfully never arrived.

A week before J turned 2, he tried peanut butter and broke out into mild hives.  When the pediatrician examined him during his annual check-up, he suggested we try it again next year.  We chickened out.  Although I was somewhat concerned, we ate at places like Chik-Fil-A and Five Guys where they use peanut oil, and he never experienced an allergic reaction, so it couldn’t be too serious.  After confirming his allergy later on, the doctor explained that the peanut protein, not the oil, usually causes the allergies to act up. [Read more...]

About M.B. Sanok

M.B. Sanok works as a stay-at-home mom attempting housework in her book-cluttered home while holding court on the phone and volunteering for the International MOMS Club. Raised in a Northern New Jersey town, she relocated to South Jersey for love and has a beautiful, mildly autistic eleven-year old daughter; a schmoozing, mischievous eight-year old son; and occasional thoughts of a third. Her current mantra: So little time to achieve greatness when my life is tied to meeting buses. Her accomplishments include being in the second grade reading class in the first grade, dressing up in full make-up as Ace Frehley from Kiss for her high school Lip Synch, writing horoscopes in college masked as one of the infamous Psycho Swamis, and, most recently, catching a fly ball with her butt at her first minor league baseball game. She started her writing career as a lowly reporter for her middle school newspaper, progressed to writing furiously in her journal and passing notes in class as a teenager, helming her college newspaper as a stressed out Editor-in-Chief, rejecting classified ads for massage parlors for a local newspaper and getting fired from her second publishing job for not remembering or knowing enough about the rival company’s secret website passwords. MB loves reading, writing, puzzles, music, and her husband, children, friends and family. She is the Executive Editor for South Jersey MOM www.southjerseymom.com magazine and a Contributing Writer for Jersey Moms Blog. She also volunteers as a State Coordinator for the International MOMS Club http://www.momsclub.org/. Some of her blogs have appeared on the MetroKids MomSpeak website which won the Gold Award for Best Blog in the 2013 Parenting Media Association’s Editorial and Design Awards Competition. The Monmouth County issue of The County Woman featured her and her blog post, “Updating My Stay-At-Home Mom Status”, in their “Woman in Profile” section in the July/August 2012 issue. She made her radio debut on March 6, 2013, on author and baby expert Blythe Lipman’s Baby & Toddler Instructions Live Internet Radio Talk Show on www.toginet.com.