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The little book with BIG resources!

Uses for Halloween Candy

Once Halloween is over we are left with an absurd amount of candy. Sure we could just let our children munch on it until they are sick. We could even help them. Or we could also use the candy for some other things; here are my favorite ten ideas:

  1. Freeze and use it in milk shakes or in baking into cakes. There are lots of recipes online using Halloween candies. http://www.somethingswanky.com/50-recipes-using-leftover-halloween-candy/
  2. Send it to troops in programs like Operation Shoebox
  3. Save it and use it to decorate our gingerbread houses
  4. Use it to teach our children math skills
  5. Donate the candy to soup kitchens or food pantries
  6. Some dentist and orthodontist will trade or buy candy from kids.
  7. Use the candy for a piñata or a goodie bag for a child’s upcoming birthday party.
  8. Use it in science experiments. I found this great website with some pretty cool ideas. http://www.science20.com/science_motherhood/top_10_scientific_uses_leftover_halloween_candy


Gomadic Product Review & Giveaway!

If you’re anything like me (busy parent on the go), you’ve undoubtedly felt the sheer panic that takes place when your beloved smartphone runs out of juice. What if something happens to your child at school? What if you need directions? What if you miss that Kodak moment when your sweet little one does something adorable? How would you possibly even know what time it is without your phone? Okay, I’m kidding about that last part (or am I?!) but my point is that we all know how it feels to rely on something so much in our daily lives that we’re (sometimes quite literally) lost without it. That’s where the good folks over at Gomadic swoop in for the rescue. Thanks to advances in modern technology and genius invention, Gomadic has developed a nifty little lithium battery charger that you can take with you wherever you go. The best part about it is that it’s so small it can easily fit into your purse or pocket.

Retailing at just under $50, the Gomadic portable charging station is a great little gadget for families on the go. Here’s what the company has to say about their product:

Lithium Rechargeable Pack

No more scoping out airport waiting rooms for AC plugs. No more sweating in the parking lot waiting for your device to charge. Keep the family plugged in on camping trips or the office wondering how you so utterly available. Small; Lightweight; and extremely durable; The Gomadic High Capacity Battery Pack; is the perfect addition to any nomad’s road arsenal. Whether you need an extra boost to squeeze some extra hours out of your device; or you’re resurrecting it from the dead; the High Capacity Battery keeps you mobile; agile; and free. Consider yourself an independent and free-moving provider of energy!

  • Built with high capacity lithium polymer rechargeable battery technology (19 Wh / 5200 mAh) in a compact design

  • Integrated circuitry tailors output voltage and charging current to exact specification of the Amazon Kindle / DX / Touch / Keyboard / WiFi / 3G (accurate to 0.1v).

  • Continue to use your mobile device for hours OR recharge your device on the go without being teathered to a wall outlet

  • Uses Gomadic TipExchange Tips (tip for your device is included) which protects investment with easy upgrades that allow users to charge multiple mobile devices with the same power pack

  • Charging kit includes Rechargeable Lithium External Battery Pack; Coiled USB charge cable (expandable to 24 inches); and two charging tips for both your device and the battery pack. Backed by a lifetime warranty!

The Gomadic product line doesn’t end there. They also offer an array of phone accessories and chargers that fit any need or budget. So whether you’re in the market for a screen protector, a portable phone charger, or a solar powered charger for that pending apocalypse (or a power outage this winter), be sure to check out Gomadic online.The fun doesn’t end here…Gomadic has graciously offered to giveaway a handy lithium rechargeable pack to one lucky iFamilyKC reader.

To Enter:

Want to enter?! Simply comment on this blog post letting us know how a portable charger would save your day and then “like” the Gomadic Facebook page,  and write on their wall letting them know that #iFamilyKC sent you. The winner will be randomly selected on Friday November 1st, 2013. Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!

You can connect with Holli Ann on Facebook or by email (Holli@iFamilyKC.com). Be sure to check out It’s An Ordinary Blog to stay up to date with Holli’s journey through life & parenting.

*Gomadic sent over a device free of charge in exchange for a review and giveaway. All expressed opinions are unbiased. iFamilyKC is not responsible for the giveaway item from Gomadic.com.

Halloween Apps for Android and Apple


Today’s new technology is consistently surprising me with new things. I just learned that there are now fantastic apps available for android and apple users that kids will love and I wanted to share them with all of you. Some of these apps are free and some cost a little money. I have done a search and compiled the top ten apps that you and your family may enjoy.

  1. House of Shadows  – a fun trick or treat puzzle game (.99)
  2. Hell Puzzle- jigsaw type puzzle on your device   (.99)
  3. LEGO Halloween Creationary- guessing game (FREE)
  4. Make a Zombie- game which allows you to make your own cartoon zombie (FREE)
  5. Pumpkin Ninja- a seasonal adventure type game (.99)
  6. Halloween!- collection of ringtones, wallpapers and costume ideas all in one app. FREE
  7. Halloween City- a SIM City type game (FREE)
  8. Carve a Pumpkin OR Pumpkin Pal – both apps allow you to carve a pumpkin on your android or apple device (FREE)
  9. Spooky Hangman- a little spin on the traditional hangman game makes this a fun choice (FREE)
  10. Creepy Tales- this spooky app is no game but instead tells you spooky short stories (FREE)

Keri Nichol: www.newfrugalmomma.wordpress.com

Trick or Treat Safety!

Halloween is approaching and the kids are super excited.  When I was a child it seemed as though Halloween was one night but now days it seems to be the entire month of October. We start by going to the local pumpkin patches and get into the grove of Fall with all the pumpkins, apples and other Fall harvest. There we get our pumpkins and then begin planning our costume parties and party costumes. Many of these parties are weeks before Halloween night. However, the big night is often chalked full of proud kiddos in their thoughtful getup showing off their look at neighbor’s doors and collecting all that candy. However with all the fun and celebration of the season we need to make sure we stay aware of possible safety issues just to keep our traditions positive ones.

·       Only trick or treat in places that you are familiar with and make sure your child know the area

·       Be certain you child can see clearly out of their masks

·       Make sure your child can breathe easily out of their mask

·       Be certain your child’s costumes aren’t trip hazards

·       Costumes should be fire resistant

·       Always make your child visible with glow sticks or flashers

·       Trick or treat with parents or with a group NEVER alone

·       Mom and Dad need to check the candy lot for safety and throw away anything that appears open.

·       IF your child has a cell phone- see if your plan has an app. that allows you to track your child’s location for extra security

·       PARENTS—be extra careful driving in neighborhoods as all the kiddos are crossing the roads and in out and out of cars. There is always one here and there that are hard to see and doesn’t have appropriate lighting on to be clearly visible. Be extra careful.

·       Remember not to let the little ones (especially 3 and under) to have complete control over their loot. There are lots of potential choke hazards in there.

·       Make sure your children do not go to doors where there are no porch lights on.

·       Be courteous and don’t allow your kids to trick or treat super late at night. There is still school/ work the next day so I think cutting the kids off by at latest 9:30pm is appropriate.

Keri Nichol: www.newfrugalmomma.wordpress.com


It’s Flu Season! Get Your Flu Shots!

Flu season is apparently upon us. I realize that there are many people against the flu shots and more power to them. I never judge other people based on their preference; however, I am one of the millions that line up as soon as that shot is available. Sure, I have been let down by the shot in the past. I got both of my girls shots when they were 5 and 7 years old and they both ended up with a bad case of the flu anyways. I believe that was the year when scientist had misjudged the strain of flu they should be protecting against. However, my theory is that people, much smarter than myself, are recommending that I get these vaccines to protect my family. I have faith that they have good intentions in their recommendations; therefore, I feel that I am doing everything I can to keep my children healthy by getting them vaccinated every year. I pray every year that scientist have gotten that vaccine right and that my children are protected. However, if they are wrong, I feel the only harm done is a small co-payment and a small amount of wasted time; all a very small price to pay in the gamble for health. With that being said many flu shot clinics are being set up in our areas to prepare for the season.  Most of our pediatrician offices hold their own clinics; however, if you have missed that clinic or are unable to attend it, I have listed other resources available in our areas for you to get your vaccine.

Neveda Lee Geriatric Internal Medicine 
6317 Evanston Kansas City, MO 64133 (816) 353-3939

10/23/07 9:00am-1:00pm and 10/30/07 9:00am-1:00pm

Medicine Shoppe 
6232 Nieman Rd Shawnee, KS 66203 (913) 268-4747

11/13/07 10:00am-2:00pm

Court at Overland Park 
11000 Oakmont Overland Park, KS 66210 (913) 491-1144

10/30/07 11:00am-2:00pm

Bickford House 
9110 E. 63rd Raytown, MO 64133 (816) 213-2017

10/25/07 3:00pm-5:00pm

2035 Independence Ctr. Dr. Independence, MO 64057 (816) 795-8602\

10/27/07 11:00am-3:00pm and 11/03/07 11:00am-3:00pm

241 East Linwood Blvd Kansas City, MO 64111 (816) 216-0002

10/25/07 10:00am-2:00pm, 11/03/07 10:00am-4:00pm and 11/14/07 3:00pm-7:00pm

19040 E. Valley View Parkway Independence, MO 64055 (816) 200-2002

10/25/07 10:00am-2:00pm, 11/06/07 3:00pm-7:00pm and 11/13/07 3:00pm-7:00pm

9350 Marshall Drive Lenexa, KS 66215 (913) 227-3702

10/26/07 10:00am-2:00pm, 11/06/07 3:00pm-7:00pm, and 11/12/07 3:00pm-7:00pm

12221 Blue Valley Parkway Overland Park, KS 66213 (913) 217-2052

10/23/07 10:00am-2:00pm, 10/29/07 10:00am-2:00pm and 11/10/07 10:00am-4:00pm

2435 E Independence Kansas City, MO 64124 (816) 483-6464

11/13/07 10:00am-2:00pm

3902 Main St Kansas City, MO 64111 (816) 931-5452

11/16/07 10:00am-2:00pm

1914 Swift N. Kansas City, MO 64116 (816) 221-1603

10/23/07 10:00am-2:00pm

921 Main Kansas City, MO 64105 (816) 842-2514

11/09/07 10:00am-2:00pm

5901 Independence Kansas City, MO 64125 (816) 231-2033

10/30/07 3:00pm-7:00pm

5314 Nw 64th St Kansas City, MO 64151 (816) 741-5576

11/05/07 10:00am-2:00pm

6129 N. Antioch Rd. Gladstone, MO 64119 (816) 453-2220

11/07/07 3:00pm-7:00pm

6300 Prospect Ave Kansas City, MO 64132 (816) 444-2922

11/06/07 3:00pm-7:00pm

4750 Lees Summit Rd Kansas City, MO 64136 (816) 350-3886

10/24/07 10:00am-2:00pm

8421 Nw Prairie View Rd. Kansas City, MO 64153 (816) 746-1933

11/17/07 10:00am-2:00pm

315 W 75th Street Kansas City, MO 64114 (816) 361-4639

11/13/07 10:00am-2:00pm

Walgreens Drug Store 
5400 Independence Ave. Kansas City, MO 64123 (816) 231-1429

10/30/07 6:00pm-9:00pm

Walgreens Drug Store 
4630 Troost Ave. Kansas City, MO 64110 (816) 931-4911

10/30/07 1:00pm-4:00pm

Walgreens Drug Store 
4951 Roe Blvd. Fairway, KS 66205 (913) 236-6978

11/03/07 9:00am-12:00pm

Walgreens Drug Store 
6320 N. Oak Trfy. Gladstone, MO 64118 (816) 453-1773

11/07/07 9:00am-12:00pm

Walgreens Drug Store 
11021 Shawnee Mission Parkway Shawnee, KS 66203 (913) 268-4604

10/29/07 6:00pm-9:00pm

Walgreens Drug Store 
6365 Lewis Dr. Parkville, MO 64152 (816) 505-1059

11/14/07 6:00pm-9:00pm

Walgreens Drug Store 
1536 E. 23rd St., S. Independence, MO 64055 (816) 252-0350

11/03/07 1:00pm-4:00pm

Walgreens Drug Store 
9430 Blue Ridge Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64138 (816) 765-5265

10/24/07 9:00am-12:00pm

Walgreens Drug Store 
17811 E. U.S. Highway 24 Independence, MO 64056 (816) 257-1017

10/25/07 1:00pm-4:00pm

Walgreens Drug Store 
13000 S. U.S. Highway 71 Grandview, MO 64030 (816) 765-6034

10/22/07 9:00am-12:00pm

Walgreens Drug Store 
8681 W. 135th St. Overland Park, KS 66223 (913) 239-9113

11/10/07 1:00pm-4:00pm

1701 West 133rd Street Kansas City, MO 64145 (816) 942-3847

10/22/07 3:00pm-7:00pm

8551 N. Boardwalk Ave. Kansas City (North West), MO 64154 (816) 741-1099

10/26/07 3:00pm-7:00pm

– Keri Nichol: www.newfrugalmomma.wordpress.com

As the hot weather gave in, I thought it time to take a trip with the kids out to Bonner Springs for the Renaissance Festival. It has been about 10 years since I had been and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but we had a great time. We spent about 4 hours out there doing all kinds of fun things. When we first came into the festival my youngest daughter, Jasmine, was given a Bingo sheet where she was to find different characters throughout the day and then if she got a BINGO she was to bring the sheet back to the entrance and redeem for her prize. She was absolutely convinced she was going to get an awesome knick knack to take home. So the game was on and we all played trying to search out different characters.

There were lots of things for the kids to do. You could get face art, ride a ride for $1, do some sand art in a bottle for between $6-$12, buys lots of different costumes for about $8 and up. My girls saw the elephant ride and fell in love. For $4 each they got to take a lap around the elephant area on top of a real live animal. Evidently the elephant was hungry because he kept trying to eat the trees above him but the girls were very excited anyways.

Then we took a walk through the mermaid area and read all about how the Mermaids were discovered. Then they got to see “real” one.

For lunch we sat on hay bales and ate some chicken strips and fries, which were $5 and too bad of a price for a festival. Then, Jewelia had a hair piece made with one of the characters, we watched the parade, seen some fire, bird and fighting shows and thought we’d call it a day. Unfortunately, Jasmine had one more character she needed before she could call a BINGO. It was Rapunzel. Oh my goodness, we searched out Ms. Rapunzel for at least an hour before finally finding her in the Queens Quarters. We returned Jasmines Bingo Card to the entrance and she was rewarded…….with a free ride card for one of the rides in the Children’s Realm. Although, we were all very ready to leave, Jasmine had to ride her ride so we waited in line for the Barrel Swing. After a fairly short wait Jasmine decided she didn’t actually want to ride and that we could now leave.  Don’t you love the thought process of our children…lol


All in all it was a GREAT day. This was such a fun activity to do with the children. You want to make it a day event since it is a fairly long trip and after all the walking and adventure you are pretty worn out afterwards. The bathrooms that we used did have changing tables for the babes which was a big relief since I didn’t know what to expect. Words of advice….don’t bring your umbrella stroller, it is very hard to maneuver in that terrain; don’t lotion up your feet and wear sandals or crocks or you will leave with very nasty feet, and do bring some cash and the whole family cause you will have a great time.

– Keri Nichol: www.newfrugalmomma.wordpress.com

The Missouri Rhythm Basketball Ticket & Prize Pack Giveaway!

Kansas City sports enthusiasts needn’t look further than our own backyard in search of a professional basketball team to cheer on this season. Missouri Rhythm, part of the American Basketball Association (ABA), aspires to connect with metro area families through fun, entertaining basketball games, camps, and events. This Saturday, October 19th, at 7:00pm, Missouri Rhythm takes on the Disciples of Christ in an epic battle against Leukemia and Lymphoma. The game, which doubles as a fundraising event for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, will be held at Okun Fieldhouse in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

Missouri Rhythm has graciously offered a prize package and tickets specifically for iFamilyKC readers and fans to help spread the word about their team and this great event. Want to get in on the action?

Your Grand Prize Package Includes:

  • 4 Tickets to the Missouri Rhythm vs. Disciples of Christ game on Saturday October 19th
  • A Missouri Rhythm T-Shirt
  • 2 Missouri Rhythm Wristbands
  • A Mini ABA Basketball

Your 2nd and 3rd Prize Package Includes (Each):

  • 2 Tickets to the Missouri Rhythm vs. Disciples of Christ game on Saturday October 19th

For more information about Missouri Rhythm basketball team, to see their schedule, or to check out their involvement in the community, visit them online at: http://www.missourirhythm.com or check them out on Facebook! Be sure to tell them that iFamilyKC sent you.

Want to get in on the ticket and prize package giveaway?! Simply SHARE this blog post with your friends on Facebook using #iFamilyKC in your public post so we know it’s you. You can also earn entries by adding a comment to this blog post telling us your favorite thing about Missouri Rhythm. Winners will be randomly drawn on Friday October 18th at 10:00am and announced both on the iFamilyKC blog and on our Facebook page. Good luck, everyone!

October Reading Suggestions Pre-K on Up!

Picture books are as much fun for kids in third grade, as they are for the kids in first grade.  Choosing the right book, presentation, follow up discussion and activities all play a big part in getting the kiddos excited.  I’ve picked out a couple of books for October that will have even the squirmiest of kids glued to their seats in anticipation and reading along!

My favorite book for all ages in October is “Big Pumpkin” by Erica Silverman. This book hosts the classic Halloween characters; Dracula, witch, mummy, bat and more. I suggest going onto the scholastic website and purchasing the tape that goes with it.   This book will have everyone singing along in anticipation to find out if it takes strength or brains to move this pumpkin. This book would be fun to read before picking out a pumpkin for the holidays. Making a pumpkin pie with the kids and inviting friends over to help eat it is a fun follow up! Have kids cut out an outline of a bat with black construction paper, put eyes and teeth on with chalk and stick a Hershey bar on body and fold wings over it.  Really cute!

The book, “Picking Apples and Pumpkins” by Amy Hutchings is another fun book for the fall season.  This is a super read with real life pictures of a family’s day at the apple farm and pumpkin patch.  The kids really love that they can see how other families celebrate the fall harvest and look forward to creating memories of their own.  Make sure to take lots of pictures and let them help make a memorable fall scrapbook as well.  Have the kids make apple pie and/or applesauce with the apples they picked. To make the recipe easy for the younger kiddos have apple corer, peeler, apple slicer and the remaining ingredients available for easy access!

Books always seem to make a day more exciting especially when they are followed by discussion and hands on activities. Make sure to check out the library there is always a special shelf that has good reads for the season!  Happy Reading.

Submitted by Shari Jacobs, iFamilyKC Mom Squad Member

KC Pumpkin Patch FUN for the Whole Family!

Fall time is upon us and that means lots of fun at the pumpkin patches. This past weekend we loaded up the kids and headed out to Gardner KS to the KC Pumpkin Patch. Normal admission is $9/person with kids 2 and under free. That gets you into the patch and allows you to participate in many free activities. My kids had fun watching the shows, going through the haunted barn, having duck races and racing kids on the pedal cars. Then we dug out a little change and went to feed the goats and the pigs. They are free to pet but the feed is a quarter if you want to do that.


Next on the list were a couple of the activities that were a little extra. My 7 year old went in the spinning ball for $2 and my 9 year old who was super scared of the ball decided she would shoot the gourds for $1. After that little adventure we had some more of the free fun and went down the giant slide in potato sacks.


We were all a little worn out from all the fun and posing for pictures so we thought we would take a tractor ride out to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins. Pumpkins at the patch are .60/lb. and gourds are $1 each. The kids all picked out their own pumpkin. Bigger seemed to be better until they got tired of packing them around so they traded in for something a little more manageable. We decided not to participate in the corn maze although lots of people appeared to be having a great time. On the way back from the patch on the tractor ride we got to see the area where the Fear Farm takes place at night and boy did it look scary.

We found a wagon when we got off the tractor and loaded up our pumpkins, got some kettle corn and shopped in the country store. Then we looked at all the giant pumpkins and decided it was time to head out.  We made a day of the KC Pumpkin Patch and had a terrific time out in nature. I think we will be returning again next year to pick out our pumpkins.



Submitted by Keri Nichols, iFamilyKC Mom Squad Member

Grammy Museum Experience @ Sprint Center

As Kansas City begins its descent into cooler weather, families across the metro will be looking indoors for activities to escape the Winter cold. The GRAMMY Museum Experience, located inside Sprint Center in Kansas City, offers a musical adventure for kids and adults of all ages. I recently had the opportunity to spend some time touring the GRAMMY Museum and found it to be a unique and wonderful early afternoon spent downtown.

Upon entering the facility, guests are invited to become part of the band. No auditions necessary. Each station is set up with its own individual headset so that the musician can hear his or her own talent (or lack thereof) while at play. This stage, which features various instruments and a vocal station, is the perfect opportunity for people to explore. I imagine that it’s especially useful for students who think they might be interested in playing in an actual band later on down the road.

As visitors continue to navigate through the experience, they’ll find themselves feeling rather groovy as they’re encouraged to take part in dance lessons from one of the two major music legends of the 20th century. This interactive area comes complete with bright lights in alternating colors that create a fun, playful atmosphere within the GRAMMY Music Experience.

Also available within the experience is an abundance of information detailing Kansas City’s rich history with music, a timeline of the Grammy’s in America, and an incredible opportunity to witness how modern day hip hop has been influenced by performers in decades past. Guests will be blown away by the connections between modern music and musicians who paved the way in America. Additionally, visitors have the opportunity to listen to tracks of by artists who put meaning behind their lyrics.

After dropping a beat at one of the mix stations available within the GRAMMY Museum Experience, guests will have the opportunity to take a peek at some amazing artifacts from their favorite musicians. Including costumes worn on stage, instruments, and awards. All in all, the Grammy Museum Experience offers a mix of education and fun right in the heart of Kansas City.

One of the best ways I recommend enjoying this experience is to grab a ticket to Rock The Line, offered at select Sprint Center events, which includes access to the GRAMMY Museum Experience, red carpet fun, and a spot at the front of the line during your favorite concert or event. For more information or to purchase tickets, head on over to the GRAMMY Museum Experience website. Be sure to check them out  Sprint Center on Facebook and let them know that iFamilyKC sent you.

Follow writer Holli Ann’s journey through life and parenting on It’s An Ordinary Blog. You can connect with Holli on Facebook, Twitter, or by email at Holli@iFamilyKC.com