Cheesy Puff Pumpkins! Halloween treats for the 1 year old set

Last Halloween we sat at home and oohhhed and ahhed over the cuteness that was our first child on Halloween.

L First Halloween Costume Ghost

L's First Halloween Costume

This year we’re going out!  I got L a Tinkerbelle costume (costume parameters: lightweight, breathable, requires no head gear, ultimate cuteness) and we will be trick-or-treating with our nephews (14 month old twins) on Monday night.

I wanted to make something special to give the boys but I certainly didn’t want to give them candy.   And I needed it to be easy.

So I came up with the Cheesy Puff Pumpkins.

They were pretty simple to make.

First measure your container  and grab the height and width.  The Gerber Lil’ Crunchies container was 4 inches tall and 12 inches round.

Gerber Lil' Crunchies

Gerber Lil' Crunchies

Cut your paper to cover the container.  My paper was only 11 inches long so I let the nutritional information hang out.  Then you’ll want to draw a jack-o-lantern face on the front of your paper.  I used my Silhouette to cut the faces out of cardstock but this was a bad idea.  The smiles never stayed put due to the roundness of the container.

Pumpkin Faces

Pumpkin Faces

Then tape your paper with the face facing outwards to the container.

That’s it!   I think they’re pretty cute myself and I’m letting them hang out on my entryway table until tomorrow when I give them away to my favorite boys.

Cheesy Puff Pumpkins

Cheesy Puff Pumpkins

Successful Shopping Tip #1: Talk to the sales associates

This post starts my Successful Shopping tips series.   To me a shopping trip is successful if I find what I need for a price that is reasonable to me.  In order for a trip to be successful it must be in budget and I have to walk out not feeling guilty or second guessing myself!

Information is one of the key tools in saving and really getting the most for your money.   You can gain information from blogs, newspapers or books but some of my best money saving information has been gleaned from casual conversations with the sales associates of retail stores.

Now I don’t track down sales associates and corner them for their secrets but I do keep myself open to conversation.  I am friendly and approachable.   If a sales associate approaches me and offers assistance I usually take them up on this offer.  And even though I’m never fishing for sales information I usually get some tips!

You may also want to make a sales associate friend in the stores that you frequent.   At my grocery store I have cashiers that know me and also some workers that know me in specific departments.  Not only do we talk about store deals but they’ve also offered me fresher products then what I currently had in my cart!  When I was a sales associate for a large retail store I had frequent customers that I got along well with and I would always let them know when we were having mark-down nights.   Sometimes I would even give them my friend/family coupons that we received if I had leftovers!

Here are some pointers for getting great information for sales associates:

  • Don’t waste your time on a sales associate that is not in a helpful mood.   They may be having a bad day or they may be overwhelmingly busy.  There’s no reason to waste your time or theirs.
  • Have a nice, easy, enjoyable conversation.  I’ve of course had lots of conversations that ended up in no information at all.  But I left feeling better for having a great conversation and hopefully I made someone else’s workday a little more fun!
  • If you have a maintained relationship with a sales associate don’t feel pressured to always talk to them or choose their line for check-out.   A nice wave is almost always appreciated though!

It’s a Start…

I narrate to myself all day long in my head and I’ve made the decision to start posting my mental ramblings on a blog!  This blog as a matter of fact.

What do I plan for this blog to be about?  Since I’m a type A personality and a professional planner (of software projects) I have many plans.   And since I love a good schedule (and rarely get to implement one successfully) here’s my first stab at blog content.

  • Money Saving Ideas – my husband will also be contributing to these posts.   In our house I save little amounts of money (with coupons and homemaking) and my husband saves large amounts of money (refinancing our car and canceling cable for example).  We’ll share with you how we went from living beyond our means to saving over 10% of our income (while losing 1/4 of it!).
  • Mommy School – we have a (barely) toddler who is my entire world.  I’m absolutely fascinated with how she learns and so quickly!   I’ll share with you our weekly activities to stimulate her little brain.
  • Crafting – I love to make things.  I knit, sew, papercraft, and needlecraft.  I’ll show you all the cute things I make.
  • Random Ramblings – I have a lot of them so be prepared.
  • Stunning Photography – I am my husbands biggest fan but it’s well deserved!
I’m excited to get started and share my life with you!