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The little book with BIG resources!

8 Spooktacular Kid-Friendly Snack Ideas for Halloween

Halloween is in the air! You are sure to love celebrating the season with these 8 Spooktacular and Kid-Friendly snack ideas from Liz!  Take a look!

kid friendly snack ideas

8 Spooktacular Kid-Friendly Snack Ideas for Halloween

If you are hosting a Halloween party or attending one and need something tasty to bring, these fun Halloween food ideas will be a hit with all kids and parents!  Here are eight yummy and creative kid-friendly snack ideas for party goers of all ages!

#1 Boo-Nanas

Start as simple as with a black sharpie!  Draw pumpkin faces on oranges or mandarins.  Make a ghost faces on the packages of white string cheese or on a banana for BOO-NANA’s!

#2 Jack-O-Lantern Fruit Tray

Start by slicing up oranges for the face. Next use a mix of blueberries and grapes, shape into triangles for the eyes and nose. Use the same fruit to make a big happy grin for your pumpkin!

#3 Veggie Pumpkin Platter

Carve out a small pumpkin, fill with ranch and garnish with all your favorite veggies, including carrots, cucumbers, peppers, cauliflower and broccoli.

#4 Mummy Dogs

Wrap up hotdogs in mummy fashion- Lengthwise cut pieces of dough into as many mummy hot dogs that you need.  Wrap 2-4 pieces of dough around each hotdog to look like the “bandages,” and about ½ inch from one end of the hot dog leave open to show as the “face”. Bake your mummies at 375 degrees between 13-17 minutes. Go as far as using mustard to draw features on the mummies face!

#5 Apple Peanut Butter Teeth

Slice up your apples, spread peanut butter on one side of each slice, arrange a line of mini-marshmallows on half of the slices. Then top off with another slice of peanut butter slathered apple to make your big toothed smiles.

#6 Spider Web Taco Dip

Start with making your dip in any way you choose too and spread guacamole over the top. Mix sour cream with enough milk to make it thin and easy to come out of the squirt bottle. Draw your spider web on the top of the guacamole with the sour cream. Sprinkle olives, cheese, tomatoes and green onions around the edges. Place a spider (FAKE) in the center for decoration.  Serve taco dip with warm tortillas.

#7 Harvest Hash Chex Mix

This is the perfect combination of sweet and salty! Take a spin on the traditional recipe by adding in candy corn pumpkins, Reese’s Pieces, Bugles, Cheese Its, candy corn and any other tasty treats you love!

#8 Candy Apple Bar

Melt a large bowl of caramel. Cut apples into slices and stick on a bamboo skewer.  Choose your toppings: Crushed Oreos, crushed butterfingers, mini Reese’s pieces, mini M & Ms, crushed up Heath bits, mini chocolate chips and marshmallows.  Dip your apples in the caramel and in the desired toppings!

I hope you have a fun time creating these sweet treats for your Halloween parties this year! Happy Snacking!

From iFamily to Yours,


30 Plus Fun Candy Alternatives For This Halloween

Are you looking for ways to avoid the Halloween sugar rush this year? Here are a few easy ideas to contribute to your kiddos Halloween parties and fun alternatives to pass out from your door step!  Take a look!

halloween candy alternatives

30 Plus Fun Candy Alternatives For This Halloween

Food allergies are on the rise and many popular candies have peanuts and other allergens. With your kids getting candy at school, the bank, other houses and almost everywhere they go, why not you be the house with kid-approved fun alternatives to high sugary treats, I guarantee other mamas with thank you!

Small plastic toys are a great idea!

My daughter will be entertained with small toys for weeks after Halloween, passing the tinker toys back and forth between her purses and shopping cart. Tiny toys can be found at any party supply store or craft shops.

  • Bubbles
  • Mini puzzles
  • Kazoos
  • Whistles
  • Yo-yos
  • Bouncy balls
  • Whistles
  • Wind-up toys
  • Spin tops
  • Glow sticks
  • Mini play-dough

Dress-up items:

  • Plastic bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Sunglasses
  • Snap Bracelets
  • Plastic spider rings
  • Glow bracelets

Fall or Halloween themed school supplies:

  • Pencils
  • Sticker
  • Erasers
  • Rubber stamps
  • Mini crayon sets
  • Bookmarks
  • Stencils
  • Rulers
  • Post its
  • Pencil toppers
  • Mini notebooks

If you are still looking forward to handing out treats, here are some yummy healthy food alternatives for your trick-or-treaters

  • 100 calorie packets,
  • Granola bars,
  • Mini box of raisins
  • Low-fat packets of popcorn
  • Peanut butter or cheese cracker packs

If you plan on having a steady stream of friendly faces at your house, here are some fun ideas for those close neighbor friends, school mates or family members that will be stopping by

  • Hot apple cider
  • Caramel candy apples
  • Goody bags full of little treats, stickers and anything else age appropriate
  • Draw a pumpkin face with a black sharpie on oranges
  • Activity kits with crayons and a small coloring book
  • Small container of homemade slime (for the older treaters)

I hope these ideas will make all the kids feel extra treated this Halloween!

From iFamily to Yours,


The 30th Annual Holiday Mart is COMING – We’ve GOT a Giveaway AND a Coupon, Too!

Happy Thursday, Kansas City!

In case you missed it, we’re just ONE week out from the 30th Annual Holiday Mart, an incredible shopping opportunity put on by our friends at The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri. To help you celebrate, we’ve got a flash giveaway right here in this blog post! But first, let me tell you a little bit about what you can expect at the Mart this year. Take a look…

holiday mart

Nearly 200 Vendors

From accessories for men and women to art pieces for the home and fun things for the kiddos, there truly is something for everyone (and every style) when you visit this year’s Holiday Mart at Bartle Hall in downtown Kansas City. With nearly two hundred vendors to visit during the event, the selection available to you will help you knock out even the hard-to-shop-for people on your gift list this Christmas and, BONUS, since the event is at the end of October, you can sit back and relax this holiday season knowing that your annual shopping is DONE. In addition to the wonderful gifts you’ll find as you peruse the aisles at the Mart, you’ll also find several vendors that offer a selection of dips and party treats for those upcoming seasonal parties you’ll be attending this year.

Pro Tip: Check out the complete vendor list online and plan ahead for your shopping weekend.

Fun Activities & Special Events

Attending Holiday Mart KC isn’t just about the shopping, it’s also about the fun and The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri works hard to come up with several opportunities during the long weekend to keep you entertained while you’re there. Here are the few special things available to you this year:

Preferential Shopping
Thursday, October 19, 2017
9 a.m. – noon
Ticket price:  $35

Experience the magic of Holiday Mart early! Start your holiday shopping at the largest fundraiser-shopping event in Kansas City and enjoy a continental breakfast buffet during our Holiday Mart Preferential Shopping Event. Browse Holiday Mart retailers that you know and love – or experience new retailers before the doors open to the public. The details:

  • Cost: $35
  • Date: Thursday, October 19, 2017
  • Time: 9:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Includes early admission on Thursday, access to all four days of Holiday Mart, breakfast (no voucher needed) and the first 500 people who arrive get a voucher for one drink.

30th Annual Holiday Mart Celebration
Thursday, October 19, 2017
5 – 8 p.m.
Ticket price:  $30

Cheers to 30 years! The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri is celebrating 30 years of hosting Holiday Mart. To celebrate, mix-and-mingle with the past, present and future Holiday Mart Chairs, enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and toast with a cocktail. The details:

  • Cost: $30
  • Date: Thursday, October 19, 2017
  • Time: 5:00 pm-8:00 pm
  • Your ticket gains you access to the Holiday Mart (one-day pass)
  • Your ticket includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres
  • You will receive one drink ticket

KC Needlepoint has designed a 30th Annual Holiday Mart Needlepoint Ornament – purchase yours!

Ladies Night Out (LNO)
Friday, October 20, 2017
5 – 9 p.m.
Ticket price:  $50

Gather your girlfriends and join us for an evening of shopping, sips and savory foods! Experience our exciting Ladies’ Night Out event that women from all over Kansas City look forward to year after year! Enjoy complimentary desserts, drinks and savory foods in our VIP lounge area. Plus, don’t miss live, enter-to-win giveaways including tickets from Southwest Airlines and a give-back at Kendra Scott, where the supporting brand sponsor will donate 20% of all sales to the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri!

  • Cost: $50
  • Date: Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Time: 5:00 pm-9:00 pm
  • Includes access to all four days of Holiday Mart, a swag bag, two cocktail tickets (provided at the event) and buffet voucher (provided at the event).

Pics with St. Nick
Sunday, October 22, 2017
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Free of Charge

Put on your festive holiday attire up and join us for pictures with St. Nick! Bring the entire family or your friends for a day of shopping, along with photo opportunities with Santa, cookies and festive holiday activities. Photos will be available for purchase online after the show.

The Chance to Give Back Here in KC

Funds raised at Holiday Mart go toward the League’s work in our community. In 2017, the JLKCMO is partnering with these community agencies, providing volunteers and funding to enhance programming:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs
  • Happy Bottoms
  • Jewish Family Services
  • Kansas City Hospice / Solace House
  • Lazarus Ministries
  • Rose Brooks Center
  • Urban Neighborhood Initiative
  • Wayside Waifs
  • Women’s Employment Network

The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri (JLKCMO) is a 501(c)(3) organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Since 1914, the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri has been associated with more than 350 community agencies and organizations. Since the League’s inception, members have donated more than $16.5 million and over 2.3 million hours of volunteer time. League members research areas of need in the Kansas City area and educate the membership and the community about those issues. Currently, their focus area is Women and Children.

The Giveaway

We’re so EXCITED to have our hands on a few sets of tickets to give away for this year’s Holiday Mart! We’ll be randomly selecting THREE winners, each of which will get two single-day admission tickets to get into the Mart this year. Head on up to the top of this page and click on the “Enter to WIN Right HERE” button to enter, it’s THAT simple! This prize pack is valued at $24/each!

Can’t wait for tickets or want to go multiple days in a row?!

Save $2 per ticket using our exclusive code iFamilyKC  when you pre-order online!

Bonus- The kiddos (12 & under) get in FREE!

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


No-Toy Holiday Gift Ideas Your Kids Will Love

Psssst! Look {Inside} for a FUN GIVEAWAY!

We’re now *officially* less than 75 days away from Christmas 2017 (not that we’re counting or anything!) and our team here at iFamilyKC is excited to share some wonderful ideas, tips, and tricks for your family over the next few months. To kick things off, we’ve got some no-toy holiday gift ideas to keep the magic of the holidays alive even after the New Year. And, BONUS, we’ve got a giveaway RIGHT in this post! Take a look…


holiday gift ideas

No-Toy Holiday Gift Ideas Your Kids Will Love

There was a time in my life when I thought my family might want to explore living in a larger house. Why?! Simply put, we thought we needed more space. Life was feeling a little crowded and it wasn’t until we realized we just have too much stuff that we made the decision that more square footage wasn’t going to solve the problem in the long run – it would just make it worse with time. So we went on a mission (a long road that we’re still on, to be honest) to simplify life and get rid of all the excess stuff. Now that the holidays are approaching, we’re exploring new ideas for holiday gift giving that don’t involve toys.

We’ve got a few go-to ideas that we typically fall back on but were ready for some fresh concepts for Christmas 2017. So, we took to our brand new Community Group on Facebook (shameless plug– have you joined the iFamilyKC Kansas City parent group yet?!) to ask you for your ideas on no-toy gifts you can give the kiddos (or adults!) in your life this year. Here are some of our favorites:

#1 Books

It’s always a good time for learning and I am a huge fan of gifting books for special occasions (and normally give them for kid’s birthdays, too). Reading provides children with the opportunity to use their imagination and dive deep into other worlds.

“A reader lives a thousand lifetimes…” -George R.R. Martin 

With hundreds of thousands of different titles to select from, the possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to gifting stories for the holidays. If the special person in your life has a Kindle, tablet, or other e-reader, you could give them a gift card to purchase books onto their device. Depending on the age and reading level of your recipient, a book series can provide hours and hours of entertainment.

Some of my suggestions include:

  • Classic Children’s Books (all ages)
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama Books (toddler)
  • Pete The Cat Books (preschool)
  • Ivy & Bean Books (school aged)
  • Judy Moody Books (school aged)
  • Harry Potter Series (preteen)

#2 Experience Gifts {We’ve Got a GIVEAWAY!}

Over the last few years, my family has become really big into giving experiences as gifts (mostly to each other) and, in addition to being incredibly fun for both the giver and the receiver, they also help to bring your family closer together in ways that you might not expect (#FamilyBonding).

Each year for my daughter’s birthday, we gift her a membership to somewhere in the Kansas City area and, because KC is so full of amazing options for families, it’s awarded us with the chance to check out some fun spots across the metro over the years. We’ve done memberships to the zoo, the local botanical gardens, and to Union Station in the past and each has given us the chance to spend time together as a family – it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Many places that you can get memberships to here in the greater KC area offer tax deductions along with your purchase so you can consider that a little gift to yourself, too.

{Bonus!} Giveaway! 

We want to give YOU a head start on your gift giving this year and have a family four pack of tickets to the newly remodeled Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium ($28 Value!) AND a family four pack of tickets to Science City ($32 Value!) both at Union Station in downtown Kansas City.

Want to get in on the action?!

We’ll randomly select TWO winners (one getting Science City tickets and the other getting Planetarium tickets) on Wednesday, October 25th!

#3 Gift Cards

I’ll admit, until recently, I’d never been big into gift cards for the holidays but, now that my daughter is getting older, I am starting to see the value in all that they provide. Charlotte, who is six, absolutely LOVES shopping at the little boutique jewelry (and hair accessory, hat, makeup, toy, etc) shop in the mall. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the one I’m talking about, it’s been around since most of us were kids. Ever since I took Charlotte to get her ears pierced over the summer, she’s been obsessed with going into the store. I can understand why, it’s every little girl’s dream to have fun costume jewelry and adorable accessories all in one place.

The joy she gets in shopping for earrings, “makeup” (relax, it’s just lip gloss…we’re not there yet), and other little things that the kids enjoy these days is really special. When you give a child a gift card, you’re giving them the freedom to explore, to discover what they really enjoy, and the entertainment of shopping.

Here are a few places I suggest for gift cards:

  • Claires (they often have ‘Buy 3 Get 3 FREE’ sales so your gift card can go further.)
  • Five Below (with everything in the store UNDER $5, a little bit can go a long way.)
  • The bookstore (See #1 for more details)

#4 Subscriptions

One of the moms on our Community Group offered up a suggestion that I hadn’t thought of before. As adults, many of us enjoy subscription boxes that come once a month or once a quarter. Why not give that as a gift for the kids?! There are several great options for subscription services specifically designed with children in mind and many of them give you the flexibility of deciding how frequently you want to send the boxes (read: how much you’re willing to budget for).

We found some options that you might be interested in exploring as gift for this year (please note that we have not used these ourselves and, as such, do not provide our endorsement for any of the following) online:

  • Little Passports
  • Kiwi Crate
  • Doodle Crate
  • SproutKin

#5 A “Yes” Day

I recently read an article that discussed how utterly exhausted (and beyond happy) actress Jennifer Garner was after successfully completing a “yes day” with her kids. It’s a concept I’ve never heard of but is apparently based on the book with the same name by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

The idea is simple, spend a day with your kids and let them take the reins in planning what they want to do. You set limits (budget, time, etc) and rules for the day and then allow your kids to call the shots. If it sounds as exciting to you as it does to me, check out the book from your local Mid-Continent Public Library branch and consider giving it to your child this Christmas.

We’ll have an in depth listing of resources available to your family this season in our Annual Holiday Guide. You can pick a copy up starting November 1st in any of our 1,000 drop spots across the metro area or access it online. Also, be sure to join the discussion on the iFamilyKC Kansas City Parent Community Group on Facebook!

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


The Art of Gift Giving; Teaching Kids To Help Others In Need

Gift giving can sometimes be a bit of a struggle!  With the number of toys that most households with small children usually have it’s hard to know what the perfect gift may be.  Max, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares with us a unique way that his family has found to give!  Take a look…

The Art of Gift Giving; Teaching Kids To Help Others In Need

There are so many little details that go into parenting that you’ve probably never thought of.  Some that actually wouldn’t think of until the situation you need them for comes up. One of those situations, for us, is gift giving.  Especially as our kids get older.  The dilemma is that our kids simply have enough toys. It is to the point that we are keeping some of them in the basement.  This way we can incorporate “new” toys into the selection for our children from time to time. There are several different resources available for how to cycle your toys, so we know that we’re not alone in this situation.

​​I have also witnessed the crazy number of toys that our friends’ children have to play with on visits over to their houses. Every time we go shopping for a birthday party (usually at Target) and walk the aisles looking at all of the shiny plastic toys, I just can’t help but think about all of the half-broken/half-played-with toys sitting around my own house. I actually feel kind of bad for my friends to be adding to their existing problem with my give. Plus, I have to wonder what the message and meaning behind all of these toy options at the store really is…

As you can see…

The dilemma is a pretty major one and the first solution I came up with was to get the kids books! My wife and I figured that the kinds can never have too many books and gifts like that fit our personalities since we both have a background in education. When you give a book, you’re giving a greater gift than just a toy since books have deeper meanings and messages for the readers. They’re not just an item. The one thing to be cautious about is making sure that, when you do give a book, you’re not buying duplicates of books that your children (or your friends’ children) already have. After all, nobody needs four copies of “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”.

This ​​left ​​us ​​with ​​the​ ​new dilemma​​ of​ ​knowing ​​that ​​we ​​did ​​not ​​want ​​to ​​add​ ​to​ ​our ​​friends’ ​​collections ​​of ​​plastic​ ​toys.  Now we were also ​​feeling ​​that books​​ may ​​not ​​be ​​that ​​different​ ​from the ​​original ​​problem.

For ​​us, ​​the ​​solution ​​has ​​become ​​to ​​donate ​​to ​​a ​​charity ​​in ​​the ​​name ​​of ​​the ​​child. ​​

We ​​try​ ​and choose ​​a ​​charity ​​whose ​​mission​ ​is ​​a ​​concept ​​that ​​the ​​child ​​will ​​understand, ​​like ​​clean ​​water. ​​We also​​ realized ​​that ​​it ​​is ​​beyond ​​anti-climactic ​​for ​​a ​​child ​​to ​​receive​ ​a​​piece ​​of ​​paper ​​as ​​a ​​gift. ​​That is​ ​why ​​we ​​make ​​sure ​​that ​​we ​​also​​ include ​​a ​​book ​​about ​​the ​​topic ​​of ​​the ​​charity’s ​​mission. ​​So, ​​if we​ ​donate ​​to​ ​Charity ​​Water, ​​we ​​would ​​get ​​a ​​children’s ​​book ​​that ​​explains ​​the ​​fact​ ​that ​​there ​​is only ​​so ​​much ​​water ​​on​ ​the​ ​planet ​​and​ ​that ​​not ​​all ​​kids ​​have ​​access ​​to ​​safe, ​​clean​ ​water. ​​

We were ​​a ​​little​ ​hesitant​​ the​ ​first ​​time ​​we ​​gave ​​this ​​as ​​a ​​gift ​​because​ ​we​ ​did ​​not ​​want ​​to ​​seem pompous ​​or ​​offend​ ​anyone, ​​but ​​it ​​went ​​over​​ great. ​​The ​​child ​​was ​​excited ​​to ​​get ​​a ​​new ​​book ​​that had ​​a ​​science angle ​​and ​​the ​​parents ​​were ​​excited ​​because ​​it ​​gave ​​an ​​easy ​​opening ​​to ​​a discussion ​​about ​​the ​​broader ​​world. ​​I ​​like​ ​that ​​it ​​also ​​gives ​​us ​​an ​​opportunity ​​to ​​talk ​​to ​​our children​ ​about ​​charity ​​as ​​well ​​as, ​​the ​​concept ​​of ​​giving​ ​a ​​gift ​​with ​​meaning.

​​We​​ can​​ talk​ ​and​ ​ask our ​​kids ​​what ​​kind ​​of ​​charity​ ​they​ think​ ​their​​ friend ​​would ​​be ​​interested​ ​in​ ​helping. ​​It ​​is ​​never ​​too early​ ​to ​​start​ ​these ​​conversations ​​and​ ​start​ ​the ​​empathy ​​building.

From iFamily to Yours,


5 Spooktacular Ideas For Celebrating Halloween in the Classroom

 Halloween is going to be here before we know it!  Here is Ruth, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad with some spooky ideas for celebrating Halloween in the classroom!

celebrating halloween

5 Spooktacular Ideas For Celebrating Halloween in the Classroom

Halloween comes around once a year, and there are a lot of ways to make it special without adding lots of sugar and hyper kids into the mix. Many of you are already planning out ways to help your child’s classroom celebrate this year. Here are a few ideas that are great for the classroom!

#1 Do-It-Yourself Games & Activities 

DIY games are a great way to celebrate parties at school. Most of the time they are cheap and use items that you can find at home such as ghost bowling.

Items: bowling pins or empty water bottles, crepe or toilet paper, googly eyes or black paper and a small ball. The kids can even help prepare the activity. For directions and other DIY party games check out this link from Good Housekeeping.

#2 Skip the Sweets 

Non-candy Halloween treats are a delicious and healthy idea for the classroom party. There are a lot of fun and healthy alternatives that can be made at home and sent in without giving every child a sugar buzz. Mini mummy pizzas, ghost bananas and spider crackers are just a few ideas to get you started. Listotic.com has 64 ideas to choose from.

#3 Get a Little Crafty 

Crafts are usually a winner with kids. They love things that are hands on and it’s also the best way to teach young ones new skills. Parents.com has some fun ideas for party crafts that kids can create at school as well as some other fun ideas for costumes and decorations. These ideas are simple to create and there are video tutorials for some of them as well!

#4 Don’t Be Too Scared to Keep it Fit 

Make it a fit Halloween by adding in some themed movement activities. You can do a Halloween dance party, do story yoga, spider parachute toss, zombie tag or a variety of other exercises that will be fun to get them up and moving. These activities are geared toward PE teachers but they would work well out on the playground too! GopherSport.com has some great ideas for Halloween!

#5 Every Good Ghoul and Goblin Loves to Read 

Get those kids reading with Halloween themed books and songs.  Fortunately, there are books out there for all ages at the school library or book fair. You can do buddy reading or a group story time. You can make it more fun with puppets, finger plays, or let kids act it out and tell the story to each other. The more participation that is included, the more fun it will be for everyone. Here are some fun book ideas for younger elementary kids from StorytimeKatie.com.

I hope you find some of these ideas useful for this year’s Halloween party!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Throwing a Fabulous DIY Summer: A How To Guide

Despite unseasonably cooler temperatures this week, summertime is in full swing here in the metro area and we’re excited for all the DIY Summer fun in store for your family this season. Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team is sharing her ideas for fabulous summer parties today on the blog. Take a look…

diy summer fun

Throwing a Fabulous DIY Summer: A How To Guide

Summer time can mean a lot of things. Swimming pools, drive ins, picnics and more. One of my favorite things to do is throw and attend parties. Just fun, let’s celebrate summer and have a great time party! So why not hit up your local dollar store or Target and put on a great party.

Here are a few ideas you can easily throw together AND entertain a large crowd for the low!

DIY Summer

Build a Hot Dog Bar

Who doesn’t love a good weenie roast?! Hot dogs are a great way to feed a crowd without spending too much. A simple hot dog bar doesn’t require much, grab some ketchup, mustard and all your favorite fixin’s and you are good go to go.

diy summer

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Take your love of ice cream to the next level with insane toppings! Gather all your favorite candies, nuts and sauces and let everyone build their own sundae. Don’t forget the root beer to make sundae floats too!

DIY SUmmer

Movie Party

This is probably the easiest way to entertain a crowd. Pick a cult classic of fave family movie, pop some popcorn, add a variety of pops and salty snacks and you are ready for an evening under the stars or your living room full of people in their pjs!

DIY Summer

Taco Party

Another fun way to feed a crowd is a taco party. Much like the hot dog bar or sundae bar, you and your guests can grab a bag of chips or shells and then add all their favorite toppings. Tacos are always a favorite among most people so this would definitely be a great way to celebrate Taco Tuesday!

DIY Summer

Carnival Party

A friend of mine through a summer carnival party two years ago and it was AMAZING! Popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs and of course carnival games! She even had a face painter or strong man there to entertain! A circus or carnival party can be done in so many ways that everyone will have a great time.

DIY Summer

Camping Party

Camping is one of my favorite past times. Fires at night, s’mores and ghost stories. The summer is the perfect time to have a camping party. Grab some stuff for s’mores and a sleeping bag for a late night.

DIY Summer

Luau Party

Luau parties are always fun too. Bright colors, grass skirts and pineapples! Grab some bright table cloths, throw some Hawaiian dogs on the grill (wrapped with bacon and pineapple) and get ready to dance the night away. You could also throw in some great games like a hula hoop competition or limbo.

DIY Summer

Southern Belle Tea Party

Want a more chic party? Throw a Southern Belle party. Have your guests dress in their Sunday bests, throw on some lace gloves and get ready for a variety of teas. Have your guests bring their favorite tea (preferably already brewed) and sip while eating bonbons or pecan pie.

DIY Summer

Beach Party

What better way to celebrate summer than a beach themed party? Head to the dollar store and grab some floaties, noodles and beach balls. Have everyone pot luck style their favorite food or make a spread of your favorite picnic foods. Don’t forget the pools! Get a blowup pool or have some bring theirs!

I hope these ideas were enough to spark your summer party planning adventures!

From iFamily to yours,

emailsignupforblog3


Four Simple Ways To Enjoy Independence Day

Independence Day is just around the corner and, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably trying to think of simple ways your family can have an enjoyable holiday this year. Look no further! Our very own iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger has put together four ways you can enjoy the fourth this year. Take a look…

4 tips for a fabulous fourth

Four Simple Ways To Enjoy Independence Day

I love the Fourth of July. When I was a kid it meant fireworks and “God Bless the USA” on repeat, hot dogs and apple pie and as I have grown older not much has changed. I now find myself yelling at my kids not to run with the punks and don’t stand over the firework—something I am pretty sure I did more than once including the one year that I got so brave as to launch the bottle rocket from my hand! I really don’t know how I survived!

But if you are anything like my family, your summers are sometimes even busier than during the school year! We have one daughter’s birthday right before and the other daughter shortly after the holiday. Of course birthday’s in my house take precedence over ANYTHING so we always try and make it bit lower key. Here are my four easy steps to a fabulous fourth!

#1 The Food

You gotta eat right? But everyone in the neighborhood is going to have the typical hot dogs and hamburgers, which is just fine but maybe spice them up a little. The fresh meat counter at the grocery store may have something that could help there! Our family LOVES brat burgers (basically the ground up brat formed into a patty) they always have great flavors and you can make some great toppings to go one them. Instead of just a plain mayo, why not make it a spicy mayo or add some chopped up pineapple or mango salsa to really get some good flavors going!

Usually these are just as inexpensive as getting hamburger and you don’t have to make the patties yourself! Chips and dip are table staples at fourth parties, but again take a look around your local grocery and think about an additional out of the box dip. Hummus for instance or create an easy Mexican flair dip with sour cream and taco seasoning, cut up some tortillas and serve with some pico de gallo or salsa. And don’t feel like you have to do everything just because you are hosting; have your friends bring the sides or something for their kids if they have the picky eaters!

#2 The “Frinks” (sorry I couldn’t find an F-word for beverages!)

Obviously the only drink of summer is kool-aid but let’s branch out a little more! I cheated and went on Pinterest and found some really neat red, white and blue drinks one in particular I think I am going to try for the kiddos. You take a clear cup (they used milk bottles) pour in a small amount of Cranberry-apple juice, then load up on the ice pour in a little amount of SoBe Pina Colada drink (no alcohol) and then finish by pouring in a little blue Gatorade.

According to my friend on Pinterest it is supposed to work! Basically you are just stacking the drink by sugar content—more sugar goes toward the bottom. I haven’t tested this but will report back! For the adult drinks, if you are making them alcoholic just make sure they aren’t too strong. We need adults on full alert in order to watch for rogue bottle rockets or a tipped over artillery shell container (I know this from experience—sober you right up!). Beer and a nice summer sangria really hits the spot and you can dial down the hard stuff for this night.

#3 The Fireworks

You have to have them! I realize that a lot of communities around the area don’t allow fireworks for understandable reasons; chances are there is a display just a short drive away. If not a city display ask a local fireworks tent if they are planning on doing anything; a lot of them will shoot off their larger fireworks because they know they won’t sell them for this year and obviously can’t save them for next year.

If you are one of the few that can shoot off fireworks make sure you have a sturdy board or table to shoot them from. I would also recommend rigging some sort of holding device for those artillery shell launchers (see above statement) they aren’t made to really withstand much so they can get really tippy which means they are aimed straight at your guests! Putting the launcher inside the hole of a concrete block would help this tremendously!

#4 The Favors

If you have read any of my posts about parties you know that I love party favors! It’s what makes coming over to my house unique. Now is the time to start looking! Target’s dollar spot has tons of glow sticks, head bands, wands, and necklaces that are very affordable so you can buy one for everyone. Plus it looks really neat to see everyone lit up after dark. I also need to mention that it is a really nice tool to keep an eye on your kids; sometimes you can’t see them in the dark but you can see their glow stick bracelet walking ever closer to the firework launching pad! Favors and life-saving all in one package!

Have fun, be safe, and Happy Independence Day!

From iFamily to Yours,

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12 Dazzling Fireworks Displays in KC You Can’t Miss This Year!

Independence Day is almost here, Kansas City and we are so excited for all the fun in store for your family here in the metro area. If you’re looking for fun fireworks displays around the metro, we’ve compiled a list of 12 spots you don’t want to miss this year. Take a look…

fireworks displays

12 Fireworks Displays in KC You Can’t Miss This Year!

It’s almost the 4th of July and you know what that means.. FIREWORKS! Fireworks are one of the best things about the 4th of July, and if you have a crowd, they can get expensive and the process of finding the perfect spot to show them off can become tedious.  So, why not go and enjoy a show instead! There are so many places around the metro area that put on great shows for the entire family! Check out this list!

#1 River Fest

Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park, 1298 Riverfront Dr., Kansas City, MO 64101 July 4th. You can find ticket information, directions and more online!

#2 Worlds of Fun

4545 Worlds of Fun Ave July 1-4th

#3 Parkville

July 4th Celebration: English Landing Park – Over the Missouri River
8701 Clark Avein Parkville, Missouri 64152.

#4 Olathe Red, White & Blue

Various addresses July 4th. For information on parking locations visit them online.

#5 Gladstone Independence Day Celebration

Oak Grove Park July 4th. This is a free viewing and you can find more information on parking here.

#6 Red, White and Blue Springs

2000 NW Ashton Drive in Blue Springs, Missouri 64015, July 4th.

#7 Platte City Fireworks Display

High School Pirates Stadium 1501 Branch Street in Platte City, Missouri 64079.

#8 Pleasant Hill Fireworks

Skyline Field – 1301 Myrtle in Pleasant Hill, Missouri 64080.

#9 Salute to the Union Fireworks

Merritt Lake, Grant Ave., Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027 July 4th.

#10 OP Fourth of July Celebration

8717 W. 110th St.

Overland Park, KS 66210 July 4th.

#11 Westwood Fireworks Display

St. Agnes Athletic Field MONDAY JULY 3rd.

#12 July 4th Celebration in Gardner, KS 

Live music, food vendors, out of this world bounce houses, face painting, portable zip lines, interactive entertainment and one of the best fireworks displays in the area!

Before you head out to view the fireworks, check your destinations site to see if there are any rules and guidelines for pets, chairs and beverages you can bring. Some places are located on school and church campuses so glass and alcohol may be restricted. Also, fireworks have gotten louder over the years, make sure you bring noise reduction headphones or earplugs. Don’t forget the snacks and blankets too! Have a great 4th of July!

From iFamily to yours,

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Eat Your Way Though Independence Day: Quick and Easy Recipes!

Looking for some quick and easy recipes for your fourth of July cookout? Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, has compiled a list of her favorite mouth watering summer favorites that your family can make today. Take a look… quick and easy recipes

Eat Your Way Though Independence Day: Quick and Easy Recipes!

Nothing says summer like the 4th of July! Fireworks, swimming pools and everything red, white and blue. When I was younger, I always loved a few things about the 4th of July and that’s the picnics and fireworks. Getting together and spending a day eating summer favorites, popping fireworks and fighting your exhaustion from the day just to see the big ones go off at night made it all worth it.

Now that I am older, and have a family and an obsession with Pinterest, I get more excited to host the picnics and get togethers more than anything. Once the fireworks go off at night, I feel like it is the “ta-da” moment of the day lol.

The 4th of July is such an awesome holiday and it can be the highlight of any summer. But I also know that it can become complicated, overwhelming and just downright tiresome. So this year, have no fear! Here are some of my favorite quick and easy 4th of July recipes!

#1 Red, White, and Blue Salad

When it’s hot, you don’t really want a whole lot of piping hot food. This red, white and blue salad is so easy, light and perfect for summer!

#2 Patriotic Popcorn

I love sweet popcorn and this one is perfect for the 4th of July! Check out this easy recipe for some of the best sweet and salty popcorn yet!

#3 American Pride Ice Cream Sandwiches

I am definitely doing these this year! So quick and easy plus very patriotic! Who knew that 2 simple store bought items could become something so creative! Check out the how to here

#4 Red, White and Blue Strawberries

CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES… need I say more lol?? Who doesn’t love chocolate covered strawberries!? Give them a patriotic twist by using a few ingredients! Check out these super cute ones from

#5 Jello Snacks

Jello is one of the easiest snacks to dress up. By adding a few items to it, you can use it for just about every holiday. Try doing this with your kiddos for a quick 4th of July treat!

** pro tip, pre made jello snack cups if you are short on time or simply can’t make jello like me lol**

#6 Firecracker Dogs

Possibly the cutest hot dog you will ever see! These firecracker dogs are sure to please everyone! Check out these simple dogs perfect for the 4th!

#7 Grilled Chicken Berry Salad

One of my FAVORITE salads! I love everything about this salad, the sweetness, the crunch and the fact that it is healthy. Plus it is easy to whip up for a crowd. Check out how easy this amazing and easy this salad is!

#8 Veggie Flag Tray

When it’s summer time and especially when it is a holiday, you can be surrounded by nothing but sweets and treats. So to make sure you get those veggies in check out this super cute and delicious veggie tray idea!

#9 Red, White and Sangria

This is the perfect adult beverage for the 4th of July! Check out how simple and crowd pleasing this is.

#10 Patriotic Punch

And in case you haven’t had enough sugar or cool treats for the 4th, check out this awesome kid friendly patriotic punch! Not only does it look cool, but it screams HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

All of these recipes are super easy and can definitely be modified to your own liking. Enjoy your 4th of July!

From iFamily to Yours,

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