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All Things Wood-Fired from Our Friends at HearthMasters!

As colder weather seeps into the metro area, residents are turning to heat sources to stay warm at home. Our friends at Hearth Masters, Inc in Independence have resources to keep your family safe this winter. In addition to their services to clean, restore, and protect your chimneys and fire places, they’re also a tremendous resource for all things wood-fired here in Kansas City. We’ve compiled some of their recent and interesting pieces for you to peek at today. Take a look…

All Things Wood-Fired from Our Friends at HearthMasters!


The Benefits of Wood-Burning Fires

What is it about a fire in the fireplace that immediately elicits feelings of comfort and ease?  Is it the warmth, the sound of gentle crackle and pop, the rhythmic pattern of undulating flames…? Perhaps all three; along with the added benefit that a fire invites us to slow down, sit down, and enjoy it.

Discover more here…

Energy Efficient Options for Fireplaces this Winter

There’s nothing like the warmth and coziness of a hearth fire for a comfortable evening at home around the holidays. But, the increase in gas prices have many people thinking “energy efficient” first and “ambiance” last. Bottom line: People are turning to alternatives for supplemental (and sometimes emergency) heating. When the energy crisis of the 70’s hit the United States, manufacturing companies answered the call for wood-burning stoves with large, heavy, and not very efficient appliances. Homeowners now have a large selection of heating options and Hearth Masters has some suggestions to help you find more renewable resources to help heat your home this winter.

Discover more here


Cut Costs this Winter

A good way to cut utility bills during cold weather is to use a wood-fired heating appliance such as a masonry heater, wood-burning stove, or wood-burning fireplace insert. Now is the time to have such an appliance installed before the busy fall season hits hearth stores and chimney sweeps. Some stove manufacturers such as Regency offer summer purchase incentives and rebates.

Discover more here…

Wood-Fired Food Finds in KC

To the wood-fired connoisseur, there is nothing that can compare to food – any food – cooked in a wood-fired oven. This is because the taste imparted to the food from the wood is something that can’t be obtained from gas or electric ovens. A team of taste testers was sent to Kansas City restaurants specializing in wood-fired food on multiple occasions over the past year in order to sample some of their wonderful dishes. The results were unanimous: Eat wood-fired whenever possible!

Discover more here…

More About HearthMasters

HearthMasters, a specialty chimney and fireplace contracting company serving the greater Kansas City area, is celebrating 35 years in business. HearthMasters is the largest company of its type in the Midwest region. How can Hearth Masters help you?

  • Chimney sweeping: all types of gas and wood-burning flues and chimneys
  • Chimney inspections with state-of-the art internal cameras
  • Dryer vent cleaning
  • Sales and installation of high-efficiency gas and wood stoves and inserts, and class A chimneys
  • Design/build masonry heaters
  • Design/build commercial and residential indoor and outdoor brick ovens
  • Diagnosis of performance problems
  • Leak diagnostic services
  • Restoration of historic chimneys and fireplaces
  • Restoration of modern chimneys and fireplaces
  • Fireplace remodeling
  • Rumford fireplace construction
  • Fire investigations involving chimneys or heating appliances
  • Installation of custom-made and standard chimney covers
  • Installation of decorative clay and copper chimney pots

Curiosity burning?! Discover more about campfire cooking, masonry heaters, recipes, cast iron skillet seasoning, and cooking in a wood-fired oven in the FREE digital issue of Wood-Fired from Hearth Masters. Call today to schedule an appointment for an inspection in the Greater Kansas City area. 816-461-3665



Halloween Candy Buy Back Kansas City

Halloween is almost upon us here in the metro area and we’re excited to see all the adorable kiddos dressed up around town next week. Like many of you, I try to limit the amount of sugary treats my daughter consumes on a daily basis and, despite our system for dolling out candy, we always seem to find ourselves with an over abundance of treats after Halloween.

Did you know that there are places that will buy (yes, BUY) your child’s Halloween candy from them after the trick-or-treating is over?! We’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to, and have found spots all around Kansas City that are offering some pretty great incentives to get rid of your stash this year. Take a look…

Halloween Candy Buy Back

Halloween Candy Buy Back Kansas City

#1 Enhance Dental Care

What to bring:

Bring bagged candy, up to 10 pounds.

What you’ll get:

$1 per pound (up to 10 lbs.) and a gift with coupons in addition to the money.


November 1st, 2nd, and 6th


3514 Clinton Pkwy G
Lawrence, KS, 66047

What they’ll do with it:

Donating candy to the troops through Operation Gratitude. 

Contact them for more details:

Phone: (785) 832-2882
Email: patrickm@enhancedentalcare.net

#2 The Learning Tree

What to bring:

At least one pound of candy in zip lock bags.

What you’ll get:

$5 off coupon for a regular priced item, one per family.


After Halloween


4004 West 83rd St
Prairie Village, KS, 66208

What they’ll do with it:

They’ll be donating the candy to veterans.

Contact them for more details:

Phone: 913 385-1234
Email: janegirson@the-learning-tree.com

#3 Blue Springs Dentistry

What to bring:


What you’ll get:

Discounted services for the office, $50 off coupon.


First week of November


1205 NE Coronado
Blue Springs, MO, 64014

What they’ll do with it:

Donate it to troops.

Contact them for more details:

Phone: (816) 228-4090
Email: saltkovskag@pacden.com

#4 My Kids Dentist

What to bring:


What you’ll get:

Discounted services for the office, $50 off coupon.


First week of November


1205 NE Coronado
Blue Springs, MO, 64014

What they’ll do with it:

Donate it to troops.

Contact them for more details:

Phone: (816) 228-4090
Email: saltkovskag@pacden.com


#5 Foster Dental Care

What to bring:

Bagged candy, up to five pounds.

What you’ll get:

$1 for every pound of candy, up to five pounds.


November 1st and 2nd 8am to 5pm daily.


2150 NW South Outer Road
Blue Springs, MO, 64015

What they’ll do with it:

They’ll be sending candy to Operation Gratitude. You can also include cards and items to send to the troops.

Contact them for more details:

Phone: (816) 228-6988
Email: rebeca@fosterdentalcare.com

In our search for places that will buy back your Halloween candy in Kansas City, we found a few additional spots that have offered it in the past that you can check out on your own:

The Temple Congregation, B’nai Jehudah
12320 Nall Avenue
Overland Park, KS, 66209
Phone: 816-506-6430

Adjusted For Life Family Chiropractic
105 S. Jefferson, Suite B3
Kearney, MO, 64060
Phone: 816.281.8300
Email: drzoeshelden@gmail.com

Options for Donating Your Candy: 

Soldier’s Angels 

Operation Gratitude

Operation Shoebox

Ronald McDonald House 

Call our local Kansas City Ronald McDonald location for rules for donating candy before heading in.

Operation Stars and Stripes

Any Soldier

Or, help out local Kansas City families by donating it to Harvesters!

From iFamily to Yours,


October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.  It’s a time to bring awareness to pregnancy loss and grief.  Bridgette shares some tips from her own personal journey to find comfort and healing.

pregnancy and infant loss awareness month

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is a month of many national days and is a month with many awareness’s. One of them being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness. As a mom that has suffered through this, and at times still suffers from the aftermath of it, I still have my moments where it can be a struggle. Over on my personal blog, I have shared my story before and you can read it here.

While it’s nice to hear one’s story for a little comfort or support knowing you are not alone, it still takes time to heal and fully move on. After having a miscarriage during my second pregnancy, I have found ways to keep a positive outlook on our loss and heal from the pain of losing a child.

Talk about it

One thing that keeps me at peace is talking about it. When you go through something as painful as losing a child or anyone for that matter, keeping your emotions bottled up will never allow you to fully heal.


Accepting the fact that your precious baby won’t be in your arms hurts. But once you are able to accept that fact, you will be able to move on with your life. I know firsthand this is easier said than done. It took me a while to accept this fact and it even made me ponder the thought that I was done with wanting to have another child. I wasn’t sure if I was emotionally ready to take that chance again. Thankfully I was.


Whatever you believe in or whoever you believe in, faith is always important. Have faith that you will heal, have faith that it will get easier to move on, have faith that when the time is right you will be able to conceive, adopt or accept your life for the way it is. Having faith brings more than hope to your life, it shines a light at the end of any tunnel.

You are not alone

Remember your spouse through this time. They suffered a loss as well so even if they are not showing it, there is hurt there as well. My husband isn’t an emotional guy…. at all. But I could tell there was some disappointment and shock during the first week.  Checking on him and how he was handling it made me “forget” about my pain for a moment. As women, we are natural nurturers, so when I wasn’t focused on what I was feeling but my husband or daughters I was able to laugh. I think that was one of the things that helped me the most, laughing with my Thai every day.

Share your experience

According to hopexchange.com, anywhere from 900,000 to 1 million women suffer from a miscarriage each year. Sharing your experience with those that are recovering from a miscarriage or having a difficult time moving forward can not only help them heal, but help you as well. When I first opened up about my loss last year, I had a flood of messages and comments thanking me for sharing my story. It even encouraged a few others to speak up and raise awareness. Once again, feeling like I was helping someone too the focus off my pain.

Losing a child will always be something that takes time to heal. When you think about your future, you never plan to have a miscarriage or give birth to a child that has already passed. So, taking the time to spread awareness and open up about the pain you feel are just stepping stones to a full recovery. It has been 7 years since I lost my baby and honestly it took years to be able to talk about it without crying. From time to time, I still feel that pain again, but my heart has healed, my life continues and I love and appreciate having my 4 kids even more knowing that I have been blessed to be their mother for even 1 day.

For help with healing and encouragement, you can visit the Hope Exchange website for articles and support.

From iFamily to Yours,

Spice Up Your Coffee Break With These 5 Tips!

Tis the season for warm drinks!  Treat yourself to a little coffee break fun with these 5 tips from Ruth!

coffee break

Spice Up Your Coffee Break With These 5 Tips!

Anyone who knows, understands that coffee is probably one of my best friends. As a full time teacher, parent of three, a puppy and a hubby; coffee seems to be an essential part of my daily routine. If you are a coffee lover like me then you might appreciate this fun list of ideas to spice up your coffee time. Aside from the obvious…flavored coffee and the pumpkin related coffee trend there are plenty of other ways to enjoy your regular cup of brew. The best thing about coffee is that you can take it or get it almost anywhere. The fun part is when you get a little creative about your coffee time.

Drink it at the park

Whether you like the changing leaves, a blanket or a park bench; a cup in the park can make for a relaxing way to enjoy your morning. You may need to get up a little earlier or take the kids with you to a playground. You can even enjoy it alone after you promptly drop them off at school. J

Have a coffee house party

This past school year my kids and I got into the new Gilmore Girls series on Netflix. We decided to watch all of the old episodes and then the new series. When we finished all the episodes we decided to create our own coffee house party at the park. We set up a coffee pot with mugs and table decorations to mirror Luke’s Diner. We even ordered Gilmore Girls coffee off of Boca Java with some accessories. This was a fun party and the kids all enjoyed hot chocolate.  A friend of our brought some pastries to share as well. It was a great time. You could create your own coffee party with your family or friends.

Take a hike

Gather your friends, grab a cup of joe and take a hike on a nearby trail or park. Coffee is always better with friends. There are several nice trails in the area such as Rozarks Nature Trail, Parkville Nature Sanctuary, Cave Spring Park, Overland Park Arboretum and Lowenstein Park to name a few.

Save your coffee grounds

Not that you need an excuse to enjoy coffee, but you can save the used grounds and use them to fertilize your garden. Adding coffee to your compost pile can help your garden prepare for next spring. Other uses for coffee grounds include using it to keep slugs and snails away from plants. Read more at Gardening Know How: Composting With Coffee Grounds.

Have a coffee Halloween fun

Grab those paper to go cups and let your kids decorate them with stickers or draw spooky characters on them. Add in some Halloween themed breakfast items such as ghost bananas, monster breakfast sandwiches and don’t forget the bagels with scream cheese! (Hotel Transylvania) Add simple homemade decorations and you have the perfect recipe for some spooky fun!

Anyway you brew it, you can have a great coffee morning!

From iFamily to Yours,

4 Free Apps to Keep Your Kids Safe While Trick or Treating This Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner.  Many of you can remember going out on your own as a child to collect candy from people in the neighborhood. Trick or Treating is a fun experience, but unfortunately there are some scary things that can happen out there … and I’m not just talking about kids in scary costumes.  Our Tech expert, Burton, shares some great free apps that can help you keep your kids safe while they’re out trick or treating.  Take a look…

free apps

4 Free Apps to Keep Your Kids Safe

While Trick or Treating This Halloween

Many parents are reluctant letting their kids trick or treat alone because of what could happen and even if you’re going trick-or-treating with them, what happens if you get separated? Does your child want to go on their own this year to venture out to get candy but you don’t know how to protect them?  Want to be able to locate your child if you get separated from them? Fear not. Like everything else out there, you can find an app for that.  Here are four of my favorite apps that you can use to keep track of your kids while they are out and about  conjuring up some scares and collecting treats.


This app has been around for a while and has many useful features that can help parents keep track of their kids. It’s best feature is the crime alerts feature which allows you to keep your kids safe by knowing about areas high in crime hotspots on the map. You can view details of theft, burglary, vandalism, and registered sex offenders in your neighborhood and the neighborhood your kids are trick or treating in.


This app allow you to know your kids location in real time.  You can request the location of your child while they are out, or they have the option to freely send their location to you.  These updates can come in the form of a text message, email or on Facebook or Twitter.  You can also modify the app to send you constant updates while they are out so you will always know where they are.


This is another location sharing app that allows you to keep track of your kids.  It’s best feature is “bread crumb” feature that allow you to see every step they take as the are trick or treating.

FBI Child ID. 

This is is a must have app. In the unfortunate event that your child goes missing halloween night, you can use it as a tool to help authorities find your child.  Download this app and keep it updated with pictures and vital information of all of your children just in case one of your children wanders off.  Having this information handy saves vital time if you do need to report your child missing. It also contains important information on how to proceed if your child goes missing.

Halloween can be a fun time for your family,  but remember to take extra safety precautions. Its a good idea to label family contacts as ICE (In Case of Emergency) and sending a flashlight with your child.  Also encourage them to travel in groups as there is safety in numbers. Happy Halloween!

From iFamily to Yours,


Burton Kelso is the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. They offer tech support to homes and businesses all over the Kansas City Metro. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find Burton on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com

22 Places Kids Eat FREE on Halloween in KC!

iFamilyKC is proud to give you the scoop on Kids Eat FREE spots all across Kansas City each month on our website; But, did you know, there are some restaurants where your family can eat FREE (or super cheap) specifically on Halloween?! We’ve got the details for you RIGHT HERE on the blog. Take a look…

kids eat free kansas city

 Places Kids Eat FREE on Halloween in KC!


#1 IHOP {Kids eat FREE on Halloween}

kids eat free on halloween

Start your Halloween off with a big treat from your local IHOP restaurant! Starting at 7am on Halloween day ONLY, kids 12 & under get a FREE spooky-face pancake that includes candy corn, whipped topping, mini-oreos, and strawberries! All you have to do, is ask for the free pancake!

#2 Noodles & Company {Kids eat FREE 10/26-10/31}

With the purchase of an adult regular bowl, your kids will eat FREE at Noodles & Company from October 26th thru the 31st!

#3 Outback Steakhouse {FREE Oreo Parfait on Halloween}

On Tuesday, October 31st $2.99 kids meal with a FREE Oreo Parfait at your local Outback Steakhouse!

#4 Bob Evans {Kids eat FREE on Tuesday 10/31}

Stop by your local Bob Evans location where kids eat FREE on Tuesdays for a special Halloween treat! Dine in only after 4pm.

#5 Krispy Kreme {Kids get FREE donuts on Halloween}

When you show up in costume on Hallowee, Krispy Kreme will give you a FREE donut of your choice!

#6 McAlisters Deli {Kids eat FREE on Halloween day}

McAlister’s Deli is getting in on the fun this Halloween! On Tuesday, October 31, McAlister’s is offering up free kids meals to costumed guests ages 12 and under. Their kids menu selection includes turkey and cheese, ham and cheese, nachos, and salad.

Cheap Eats & Other Halloween Treats

#7 Chipotle’s BOOritos {$3 burritos for kids & adults on Halloween}

$3/each on Halloween day when you show up in costume at your local, participating restaurant. Find the scoop online and be prepared for delicious fare for kids and adults!

#8 Sonic {.50 CENT Corn Dogs on Halloween}

50 cent corn dogs have become a family favorite in most households. Get fed for cheap before you head out for trick or treating this year at your local Sonic drive in!

#9 Baskin Robins {$1.31 ice cream cones on Halloween}

Enjoy sweet treats with dollar-thirty-one ice cream this upcoming Tuesday, the 31st!

#10 Pizza Street {$1.99 kid’s meal for ages 4-9 from 5-8pm on Tuesday}

Tuesday Specials Across the Metro:

#11 Cinzetti’s:

7201 w. 91st, Overland Park, 913-642-0101. Mon & Tues, 5pm – 9 pm, ages 4 thru 12, 2 free kids meals for each adult meal purchased, 3 & under eat free every day! Drinks not included.

#12 Denny’s:

All locations, 4:00-10:00 pm. 2 free kids meals per adult meal

#13 Fazoli’s:

Kids Night every Tuesday night from 5pm-8pm where kids meals are .99 with adult purchase & arts/crafts for the kids!

#14 Jumpin Catfish:

Free kids meal with one adult purchase. 834 SW Blue Pkwy, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063 (816) 554-3474. 1861 S Ridgeview Rd, Olathe, KS 66062 (913) 829-3474

#15 LoneStar:

Legends Shopping Mall, 1501 Village West Pkwy. Kansas City, KS, 913-334-9995. 12 & Under. 1 free kids meal with each adult meal.

#16 Perkins:

All locations. Kids eat free with every adult entree, 4:00 pm to close.

#17 Pizza Ranch:

4-9pm Free kids buffet with purchase of adult buffet, all metro locations:Liberty, Indep, KC North

#18 Pizza Street:

All locations. Buy child drink and child eats free, one child per parent, valid 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm

#19 Red Robin:

FREE SHAKE ONLY at 8657 W. 135th St. Overland Park, KS. Kids 10 & under eat free at 20155 W. 153rd. Olathe, KS 66061. 4:00pm – CLOSE, Two free kids meal per paying adult.

#20 Rockstar Burgers:

5:00 – 9:00 pm, Kids 10 & under eat free. Two free kids meal per paying adult. 1611 Genessee St. KCMO

#21 Salty Iguana:

17717 E. 40 Hwy., Independence, MO, 816-350-8003. 8228 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, KS, 913-381-3888, 8420 W. 135th St. Overland Park, KS 913-402-0200. Kids eat free all day with purchase of adult entree.

#22 Tony’s Restaurant:

711 S. 7 Hwy Blue Springs, MO 64014. Kids 10 & under Eat Free 5:00 to close, one free kid meal with each adult meal purchased. 816-622-8134

For an extensive list of where kids can eat free, or really, really cheap ALL year long, be sure to check out our website!

From iFamily to Yours,


Work It Wednesday: 5 Ways to Prevent Over Training

Some signs of overtraining are obvious, while others you might not notice right away—muscle fatigue, persistent soreness, depression, elevated resting heart rate, loss of appetite, injury and insomnia are just a few of the warning signs. Luckily overtraining can be easily solved.  Connie, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares some tips on how you can prevent over training.  Take a look!

prevent over training

5 Ways to Prevent Over Training

I work out for a living.  It’s my job, it’s my passion, and it’s what keeps me sane.  But it is also something that I tend to do too much of.  There most definitely is too much of a good thing.  Working out too much or too hard can lead to injury, metabolism issues, and burn out.  It can cause fatigue.  You can make yourself sick. The dictionary states, “Overtraining is a common problem in weight training, but it can also be experienced by runners and other athletes. It occurs when the volume and intensity of the exercise exceeds an individual’s recovery capacity. They cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength and fitness.”

It is easy, especially if you are focused on a weight loss or muscle mass goal or a race, to lose sight of your need to rest.  Your body needs time to recover from a hard workout, rebuild itself and rejuvenate.  How much rest you need definitely varies from person to person.  Certainly, the better shape you are in, the easier the more intense workouts seem, and then it seems logical to think that you need less rest.  But that is not the case.  All fitness levels, body types, etc. need rest to recover.

Take a rest day or two 

Training 5-6 days a week can produce great results, but you will see even better results when you allow yourself to rest at least one-two days a week.  Take a break from the gym and let your muscles recover.  Go back refreshed, refocused and ready to take on a hard workout.

Vary your training

If you are lifting weights, change up the muscles you are working every day.  If you lift chest and biceps Monday, move on to triceps and back Tuesday and then legs on Wednesday.  Continue rotating and that will allow your muscles to recover from a tough workout.

Make sure you are eating enough 

Proper calorie intake can make or break a workout routine.  You have to take in enough calories to support your body through your tough workouts.  If you are trying to cut weight, you still have to eat to keep your metabolism revved and your body nourished.  It’s when you are not eating enough that your body starts to stress and hold on to what little fat and calories it is getting, leading to weight gain and a sluggish metabolism.

Foam rollers and stretching 

Roll out some of your soreness using a foam roller.  This helps relieve the soreness and tightness of overtraining.  Make sure to stretch—muscles tend to get tight after a tough workout, leading to prolonged soreness and loss of flexibility.

Take a break 

If you are really starting to feel fatigued and rest days aren’t helping, there is nothing wrong with taking some time off.  Stay away from the gym for a week.  Or if you have been doing cardio, lighten it to just walking for a week.  Put down the weights and take up jogging for a week.  Just give yourself a break.  Let your muscles recover.  Let yourself relax.  The gym will still be there when you are ready to come back.

Overtraining is a hard topic for me.  I tend to do too much all the time.  Between teaching classes, trying to get in the weight lifting I want to everyday and then getting in my cardio, I am working out sometimes two and three times a day.  And I am the worst injured person you will ever meet.  I do not do well with being injured or sick, as both take me out of my routine.  I have to remind myself that while exercise is good for me and what I enjoy, my body also needs rest.

Taking a rest day will not cause me to lose all my muscle mass.   If I miss one run or one stair stepper session I will not lose my cardio endurance .  I have to constantly tell myself to give it a rest and let myself recover.  I can’t teach when I am injured and I’m not a very good instructor if I am overly tired, so I am learning to find the balance there.

From iFamily to Yours,


To the Unknown Mom at Target; You Are Not Alone

We’ve all had that moment in the middle of Target with the child screaming at the top of their lungs.  This goes out to you, the unknown mom at target.

a letter to the unknown mom at target


To the Unknown Mom at Target:

I saw you last night, while I was cruising the aisles of my favorite local hangout.  I heard you the first two times you told your toddler that he could not have the candy.  I couldn’t hear you the third time, but I know there was a third time.  I imagine that is what sent your otherwise adorable child into a full-on tantrum.

I saw you trying to reason with him by looking into his eyes and appealing to his sense of logic.  You gently tried to explain that it was dinner time, and that he could have dessert after dinner.  I saw all this from two checkout lanes away.  You nearly had me convinced to put my candy bar back.  Your toddler, who was within an arm’s reach of you, was unfazed as he continued to scream like a banshee.

I watched as your cheeks turned red, and you tried, in vain, to stop that sandy-haired munchkin of yours from embarrassing you further. After just a couple of minutes, I saw you throw up your white flag of surrender and purchase the candy.

Please do not think we are judging you.  There’s not a mom on this side of heaven who hasn’t experienced what you went through last night.  Every single one of us has been publically humiliated by a toddler who sounded as if he was calling down fire from the skies.  We’ve all had to maneuver through the store with a kid who refused to take a nap, or the one so fixated on the toy that she left in the car that you decided it was easier just to go back to the car, causing you to abort your store mission all together.

We know you are embarrassed.  Because we were all embarrassed.   We know that your kid doesn’t always act like that, and we know that you don’t always cave.

But today we are grateful…Grateful that the candy saved our eardrums from any additional pounding.  That dollar was totally worth it. And Grateful that it was your kid today, not one of our own.

Hoping that tomorrow will be a better day for us all.


Another Mom who has wished to be invisible.


Simple And Fun No Carve Pumpkin Ideas

Hey Kansas City! Time sure is going by fast.. I mean wasn’t it JUST September?! Seriously where did it go? Well one thing we know for sure is that these Fall months mean one thing, PUMPKINS!  Bridgette, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad has some great no carve pumpkin ideas for you!

simple and fun no carve pumpkin ideas

Simple And Fun No Carve Pumpkin Ideas

I have tons around my house already and I am still on the hunt for more lol. There is just something about Fall and Pumpkins! As a family that does not observe Halloween, it can be kind of difficult for the kiddos to enjoy their pumpkins as much as I do. I mean I am totally ok with just sticking them in my front hall for decoration! The kids…not so much! While they do love pumpkins, they tend to get bored with plain ones. So, this year, we decided that when they get their pumpkins, we can do some fun alternatives to jack-o- lanterns! So, if you or your family don’t observe Halloween (or you just don’t feel like carving a pumpkin), which takes a lot of time and skill, check out these super cute ideas that everyone will love!


Character pumpkins are so cute and can really be done in anyway. All you need is some paint, markers and maybe a few craft items (eyes, hair, accessories). Plus, what kiddos doesn’t love having their favorite character around! Check out these ideas that kiddos will love!

Pete The Cat Pumpkin

Superhero Pumpkin

Olaf Pumpkin

Minion Pumpkin

Ninja Turtles Pumpkin

Elsa Inspired Pumpkin

Rainbow Dash Pumpkin

Emoji Pumpkin


Artsy pumpkins are some of the easiest ways to be creative. You can make a unique pumpkin that is fitting to your style and home decor. Yet, these kinds of pumpkins can also look the most complicated. Check out these simple artsy pumpkin ideas!

Melted Crayon

Spilled Ice Cream Pumpkin

Photo Pumpkin

Gratitude Pumpkin

Galaxy Pumpkin

Donut Pumpkin

No Mess/ Toddler Friendly

Let’s be honest, craft time can be really messy and chaotic, especially if you have more than one crafter on your hands. These easy, no mess and toddler friendly pumpkin ideas are perfect for a quick craft break!

Washi Tape Pumpkin

Tissue Paper Pumpkins

Confetti Pumpkin

Alphabet Pumpkin

This alphabet pumpkin idea can be used in many different ways as well. Instead of doing numbers or letters, you can also use themed stickers like farm animals, fruits and veggies or colors too!

All of these ideas are simple yet creative enough to keep everyone entertained!

What are you planning to do with your pumpkins this year?

From iFamily to Yours,

Trick or Treating and Halloween Events Around The Kansas City Metro

Halloween is just around the corner and I hope this season finds you and your little ghosts and goblins getting ready for some trick or treating!  If you are looking for a safe alternative to neighborhood trick or treating or just looking for some extra fun Halloween activities for your family, check out these awesome places around the metro that are offering trunk or treating and much more! And, if your organization is having a trunk or treat event, be sure to let us know in the comments!

halloween fun, hallowee, trick or treating, trunk or treating, trunk or treat, trick or treat, halloween kansas city

Trick or Treating, Halloween Parade & more!

Summit Lanes – Trick or Treat Bowl, October 28th, 1pm, $15 per adult/child team, prizes for costumes.  More info here.

Zona Rosa – Northland SAFE Trick or Treat, October 31st 5-9pm, Ages 4-12, FREE.  Includes a haunted house, games and giveaways. Candy and TONS of fun!

Kansas City Zoo – Boo at the Zoo, October 28-29th, 9:30am-5pm, FREE for FOTZ members, event is included with regular zoo admission.  Trick or Treat different stations throughout the zoo and enjoy different Halloween themed activities.

Science City at Union Station – Spookfest, October 28th, 5-8pm, $8, $6 for Union Station members. Hands-on science activities and labs, snacks, creepy critters and eerie edibles, costume contest, spooky science stage shows and demonstrations. More info here.

Jump City – Friday, October 27th from 6-9pm your family can enjoy games, goodie bags, unlimited playtime, meet your favorite character, and enter to wins for free jump passes! $10 admission for kids. More info here.

Urban Air – Kids can enjoy JumperRoo playtime on October 31st from 9:00am-noon for preschool and toddler playtime! More info here.

SEALIFE Kansas City – Underwater Pumpkin Carving, October 21-22nd, 28-29th, 11am and 1pm. Included with regular admission. More info here.

LEGOLAND KC – Brick or Treat, Oct 21-22, 28th-29th. More info here.

Mid-Continent Public Library – MCPL branches have Halloween fun all month long all across the metro area. These activities are FREE for families. More info here.

Sky Zone Lee’s Summit – Sunday, October 29th Halloween Parade & Jump Toddler Time. $12.99 admission per child includes one free adult jump from 9am-11am. Scoop Here.

Halloween Parade at the Independence Square – Saturday, October 28th FREE parade, face-painting, candy, and more. More info here.

Free Petting Zoo at Paradise Park – October 28th FREE petting zoo fun for the family! More info here.

Gymboree – Gymb-o-ween Costume Party, October 27th, 6pm. $15 members/$20 nonmembers. Dress up little ones for a spooktacular costume party and Halloween bash, parade, craft, snack, parachute and bubble time. More info here.

Mercury Gymnastics – Halloween Spooktacular, October 27th, 6pm-9pm, FREE admission, tickets available for purchase for extra activities,  games, obstacle courses, cake walk, mazes, face painting, trick or treating through the gym

Shoal Creek Living History Museum – Kid Safe Halloween, October 28th, 11am-3pm, FREE. Trick or treat throughout the Shoal Creek village. Wear your costume and bring a treat bag!

Sunflower House – Pumpkin Palooza, October 21st, 9am-1pm. FREE. Games, face painting, trunk or treat, live entertainment, baked goods and painted pumpkins for sale.

Mahaffie Farmstead – Trick or Treat OFF the street, October 28th, 3pm-6pm, $3, Ages 3 and up.  Horse drawn hay ride, games, crafts, candy stations

Alldredge Orchards – Fall Family Fun Night- October 27th, 5-8pm, $5 in advance, $6 per person ages 2 and up. Hayrides, campfires, free marshmallows, spooky stories, food and fun!

Fun Run – 3rd Annual Trunk or Treat – October 20th, 6pm-7:30pm, $5.  Trick or treat outside and go inside for some bouncy house fun!

We Rock the Spectrum Gym – Not-so-spooky Costume Party, October 27th, 10am-1pm, regular admission rates apply. Enjoy a sensory friendly environment, games, crafts, cookie decorating, open play on the equipment.

Olathe Bible Church – Trunk or Treat 2017 – October 28th 2-4pm, FREE.

Liberty Hospital – Trunk or TreatOctober 28th 3pm, Trunk or treat, FREE community event, TRUCK or TREAT event with trash trucks, tow trucks, zoo mobile and more!

Autism Works Liberty, MO – Trunk or Treat – October 28th 4pm. FREE

Eastside Baptist Church, Independence, MO – Trunk or Treat October 29th, 4pm-6pm, Come out for some sweet trunks and some spooky characters and free candy! FREE for families. Located at the

Blue Springs Assembly – Costume Carnival – October 28th, 2-4pm, Carnival rides, games, prizes, inflatables, food. FREE

Trick or Treat Downtown Liberty- October 31st 5-7pm. Trick or Treat downtown Liberty businesses

Independence First United Methodist Church- Trunk or Treat, October 29th 12:30-2:30pm, hotdogs, popcorn, face painting, balloon artist, games, trunk or treat. FREE.

Have a Spooktacular Time!

From iFamily to Yours!