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Easy Halloween Craft and Giveaway

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We have got an easy craft for you to make, and it looks cute too!  All you need is some paint, glitter, and a clay pot.

Combine some black paint with glitter (about 1/4 teaspoon).  Using a clay pot,  paint the pot black.  We recommend adding a tiny bit of orange glitter to get a little sparkle effect.  Once that has dried, paint on a fun Fall decoration like a pumpkin.

We have had this little treat jar for YEARS!  It is one of our favorite Halloween items.  The great news, it is easy!

Now that the countdown has begun for Halloween, remember there are many fun activities that you can enjoy with your little ghouls and goblins.  Between shopping for the perfect costume and finding the right treat for trick or treaters, Atlanta is your destination for lots of family friendly Halloween fun!

Atlanta Botanical Gardens through October 30:  Scarecrows in the Garden

Fernbank Museum Oct. 29: BOO-seum Trick or Treatm 

LEGOLAND Discovery Center every weekend on October:  Brick or Treat

Rock Ranch Weekend Fun: (each weekend has a specific theme)

Six Flags: Fright Fest

Stone Mountain:  Pumpkin Festival

Top Golf Oct. 29:  Tricks, Treats, and Targets

Zoo Atlanta 10/29-30: Boo at the Zoo

Can’t travel to one of these places?  Here are some ideas for some friendly home Fall fun!

Have a bonfire

Boo Your Neighbor

Make Caramel Apples

Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Jump in Leaf Piles

Bob for Apples

Make Leaf Rubbings

Do not forget to check out the family friendly Halloween television shows and movies!  Freeform is back with their 12 Nights of Halloween.  You can get an additional listing of movies to enjoy by checking out the Freeform Schedule 

Want to know more about the history of Halloween? Look here.

You can also find some great ideas for Halloween fun on my Pinterest board!

We want to help you prepare for the next holiday coming up– Christmas.  We are going to give away a $50 Michael’s gift card. This gift card is being sponsored by the contributors of Living the Life as a Mom and Teacher.

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Giveaway ends November 22.

ENTER HERE

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Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

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“I love my child, but parenting is hard.”

Parenting is tough!  As a mother, I know how tiring it can be. As a teacher, I hear the stories often of the real struggles you face.   I know how we find ourselves believing that we aren’t doing it right!  Nearly everyone of us would say we love our kids unconditionally, but we find that this is the hardest job we truly have in life.

Today’s world, as it was many years ago, is a struggle.  We face battles daily in our homes, workplace, and schools. It certainly isn’t limited to those locations though.  As a Christian, life is even harder as we face persecution throughout the globe.  As a child today, there are many additional challenges.

I was fortunate to grow up in a God fearing, Christian loving family.  Today though, it is different.  Our children live in a day and age when things are instant, and that includes the pain associated with peers and just understanding your place in this world.   They are exposed to so much more than we ever were!  Frankly, that is scary!  Equipping them with the tools to face life the way God intends for them to is priceless.

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In the midst of folding laundry, coordinating carpool schedules, and breaking up fights, many parents get lost. Feeling pressure to do everything “right” and raise up “good” children, it’s easy to lose sight of our ultimate purpose as parents in the quest for practical tips and guaranteed formulas.
In this life-giving book Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family,   Paul Tripp offers parents much more than a to-do list. Instead, he presents us with a big-picture view of God’s plan for us as parents. Outlining fourteen foundational principles centered on the gospel, he shows that we need more than the latest parenting strategy or list of techniques. Rather, we need the rescuing grace of God—grace that has the power to shape how we view everything we do as parents. Freed from the burden of trying to manufacture life-change in our children’s hearts, we can embrace a grand perspective of parenting overflowing with vision, purpose, and joy.

Whether you find parenting intuitive or impossible, we could all use a hand here and there. Paul Tripp shows you that God’s grace is our road map for parenting!

Disclaimer:  I received the book “Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family” at no charge to me in exchange for my review.  All opinions are my own.

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Bubble, Bubble! No Toil! No Trouble!

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The countdown has begun for Halloween!  Between shopping for the perfect costume and finding the right treat for trick or treaters, Atlanta is your destination for lots of family friendly Halloween fun!

Atlanta Botanical Gardens through October 30:  Scarecrows in the Garden

Fernbank Museum Oct. 29: BOO-seum Trick or Treatm 

LEGOLAND Discovery Center every weekend on October:  Brick or Treat

Rock Ranch Weekend Fun: (each weekend has a specific theme)

Six Flags: Fright Fest

Stone Mountain:  Pumpkin Festival

Top Golf Oct. 29:  Tricks, Treats, and Targets

Zoo Atlanta 10/22-23 and 10/29-30: Boo at the Zoo

Can’t travel to one of these places?  Here are some ideas for some friendly home Fall fun!

Have a bonfire

Boo Your Neighbor

Make Caramel Apples

Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Jump in Leaf Piles

Bob for Apples

Make Leaf Rubbings

Do not forget to check out the family friendly Halloween television shows and movies!  Freeform is back with their 12 Nights of Halloween.  

Wednesday, October 19th

5:30pm The Nightmare Before Christmas

7:00pm R.L. Stine’s Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls (television premiere)

9:00pm Hocus Pocus

12:00am Corpse Bride

Thursday, October 20th

3:00pm The Nightmare Before Christmas

4:35pm Hocus Pocus

6:40pm The Addams Family (1991)

8:50pm Addams Family Values

12:00am The Final Girls

Friday, October 21st

4:00pm The Addams Family (1991)

6:10pm Addams Family Values

8:20pm Sleepy Hollow (1999)

12:00am Frankenweenie (2012)

For additional listings of movies, please see Freeform Schedule 

Want to know more about the history of Halloween? Look here.

You can also find some great ideas for Halloween fun on my Pinterest board!

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Tonight we had the chance to attend the Fantastic Beasts Global Fan Event.  This event featured  a Q&A session with the stars from J.K. Rowling’s screenplay, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  Even the producer, director, and J.K. Rowling herself were in attendance.  The stars shared their love of Harry Potter and the beloved book/movie series and how excited they were to be apart of this series.  Following the Q&A session, we got to see an exclusive 8 minute preview of the much anticipated movie.  I gotta tell you, it looks GREAT!  I so did not want it to end.

What I am most excited about, and so are a couple of thousand people in attendance tonight through the world, J.K. Rowling announced that there are going to be FIVE movies associated with this new series.   As a Happy Potter nerd, I am super excited!  I do not know about you but as I read through these classic books, I always had questions about characters.  I wanted to know more about their background.  What is exciting is that this new series helps reveal some of those Harry Potter connections.  We are basically getting the story before the boy!

Disclaimer:  We were invited to attend the Global Fan Event in Atlanta. All opinions presented are 100% mine.  No compensation was received for this post. 

 

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Get your Fright On at Six Flags Over Georgia’s Fright Fest

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I do not know what it is about youth that sparks an interest in all things scary.  I can recall watching those classics Nightmare on Elm Street movies over and over.  Not to forget the classic haunting tales of the Omen, Texas Chainsaw Massacre,  and the Exorcist.  If there was a scary movie coming out, I was there.  As I have grown older something changed within me, and getting my scare on was not something that appealed to me.  Perhaps it is because of the way technology has evolved.  The special effects are just too real that my head just can’t seem to watch the films that are out now.  Or maybe it was because I had children and the idea of scaring them while getting scared myself–nah, I would rather not!

Even though my heart was not in it, there was apart of me that wanted to experience that scare again.  For years I have watched the previews and promoted Six Flags Over Georgia’s Fright Fest, but I just could not gather up enough courage to take the plunge.  The commercials looked ever so tempting, despite my fear of all things scary now!  Heck, I can’t even watch The Walking Dead or American Horror Story.

When I was given the opportunity to come out to Six Flags Over Georgia to check out their 2016 Fright Fest, that young girl inside awoke.  Something just happened, and I decided it was time to face my fear.  After all, I know Six Flags well.  I go there several times a year, and always feel pretty safe there.  What could there possibly be there that could really scare me!

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Once you walk through the ticketing gate, you can sense you are in for a real scare.  Attention to detail is one thing that Six Flags definitely has mastered this frightful holiday season. From the eerie music that plays throughout the park to the ominous fog that travels throughout , Six Flags Fright Fest is calling your name.  More than 20 spine-chilling haunted attractions await those who dare to enter the gates at Six Flags Over Georgia for the largest Fright Fest® event in park history.  

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We began our adventure at Dr. Fright’s Frightorium in 3D.  The name of this place was definitely calling our name especially since it was daylight and I figured I had time to escape, if need be:) I mean 3D and Haunted House in one.  If I was going to let that inner girl escape at Fright Fest, this would be the place to begin.  Of course, I laid out the directions prior to walking up the creaking steps to Dr. Fright’s.  Me to my husband, “Alright, I will be holding onto you and walking BEHIND you as you lead them through!”  His response, “Of course dear!”  We were given our 3D glasses and lead into the gathering spot where we were told the do’s and don’ts by a unique character dressed in bright, glowing clothes.  Then we were on our way.  Was it scary?  Yes, and if you are afraid of clowns…well, this might not be the stop for you!  I can tell you when I exited the Frightorium, I was ready for more and pretty much scared.  Strange how I could want the exact opposite at the same time!  I am thinking I felt comfortable because it was still daylight, and people are safe from the fright until the sun sets.  Right?

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Following the haunted house, we headed to the Big Top Terror show.  This is where you want to begin your evening. Fright Fest begins each night with The Uprising, where bloodthirsty monsters are released into the dark of night.  Here you meet Dr. Fright and his band of traveling monsters.  They are looking for more people to join their show, and you better get moving if you are going to make it out!

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In case you have not figured it out, this year’s Fright Fest has a kind of circus freak show appeal to it.  In order to get the characters ready, Six Flags goes to great lengths to bring its guests as close to scary as possible.  We had the chance to go behind the scenes to check out just how they transform their employees into monsters. Chris and his crew begin their work on Fright Fest early in the year.  They prepare molds for masks and arrange for materials that will make their creations as life-like as possible.  Most of the magic happens through airbrushing and prosthetics.  As someone who was trying to relive her inner teenage girl, I was comforted as an adult when I learned that under no circumstances are they allowed to touch guests.  They have this three-step rule to follow that allows them to get close, but not too close.

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10/9/09 8:24:19 PM -- Six Flags Fright Fest Performance Photography. "Dead Man's Party" © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2009

10/9/09 8:24:19 PM — Six Flags Fright Fest Performance Photography. “Dead Man’s Party” © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2009

One thing you will not want to miss when you are here is the Dead Man’s party!  I was so impressed by the caliber of artists that were in the show.  They were amazing!  Between the music and the choreography, you are in for a real treat!  Six Flags takes pride in who they are hire, and they work hard to make sure that those characters are ready to provide an authentic experience to guests.  And that does not stop at the shows.  Throughout the entire park guests will encounter a variety of unusual spirits that are ready to help you get your scare on!

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Fright Fest is included as part of the normal Six Flags Over Georgia tickets.  If you want to participate in the mazes and haunted houses, you will need to purchase an additional Haunted Attractions Wristband.   Visit here for more information on Fright Fest Ticket options.

Do not forget to stop by and check out Rage of the Gargoyles. In Rage of the Gargoyles, riders wearing Samsung Gear VR headsets will become pilots of an Apache-style helicopter, transported into a futuristic battle against blood-thirsty gargoyles on Dare Devil Dive and experience:

·         The incredibly immersive world of virtual reality – straight up nearly 100 feet as the gargoyles pound on the copter’s windshield;

·         Flying down a 95 degree launch off the edge of a building – beyond vertical;

·         Darting between a devastated cityscape with battered skyscrapers, hazardous bridges, and falling debris; 

·         Daring aerobatic maneuvers through three inversions and zero-gravity hills; and

·         A fully interactive gaming battle through 2,100 feet of track to destroy the vicious master gargoyle.

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Six Flags Atlanta  Photo by: Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Six Flags Atlanta
Photo by: Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

During the day, the park is filled with tamer Thrills by Day Halloween activities for families to enjoy together, including a harvest festival, arts and crafts, pumpkin painting, spooky stories and more. Children 12 and under are encouraged to wear a family friendly costume to the park and take part in a costume contest with their favorite Looney Tunes friends.  

Fright Fest at Six Flags Over Georgia runs through Halloween night October 31 on select days. A Haunted Attractions Pass is required for all mazes. For more information, please visit Fright Fest 2016.

Disclaimer:  I attended a Media Night Preview of Fright Fest.  All opinions presented are 100% mine.

 

 

 

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Picking the Perfect Pumpkin

 

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The cool, crisp weather and the rustling of leaves means it’s finally fall!   That means pumpkin season is in full swing!   All things pumpkin abound!  From the pumpkin scented candles to the pumpkin flavored lattes. if you are a pumpkin lover……then this is your dream come true!

While orange remains the most popular color for the seasonal squash, there are a variety of hues and a quality selection available to choose from at Pike Nurseries. Pumpkin varietals – including Tiger Stripe, Knucklehead, White Ghost, Heirloom, Huge Mac and mini pumpkins (orange, white and striped) – can bring a fresh element to traditional autumn décor. In addition, gourds are great to pair with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, as they offer pops of color and will last well into the winter.

To help residents get into the festive fall spirit, the neighborhood garden center will host its annual All You Can Carry Pumpkins challenge at all store locations through the end of October! Pumpkin lovers can load their arms with as many classic medium-sized orange pumpkins as they can carry for $19.99 and share pictures of their armful with the hashtag #PikePumpkins on Facebook or Instagram.

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DIY Pumpkin Projects
Go beyond the jack-o’-lantern with creative craft ideas for all skill levels from Pike Nurseries on how to incorporate pumpkins in home décor. Tall varietals can be hollowed out and filled with fresh flowers or foraged branches for an all-natural vase, whereas monochromatic pumpkins paired with fresh fall foliage will create a beautiful autumn centerpiece, bringing the outdoors inside during the colorful season. Homeowners looking for more pizzazz can create sparkly and elegant arrangements with glitter pumpkins, spooky designs using fun fabrics likestockings and lace and sweet designs with bows and buttons.

For outside décor, pumpkin topiaries can add structure and statement when stacked high at the front door. Adorn the doorstep or mantle with different sizes to replicate each family member for a fun twist. These can be painted, tacked, etched, left as is for a more natural look or carved. To carve, use a permanent marker to outline a Halloween-inspired design, download a stencil, purchase a pumpkin carving kit or reinvent the process with the pumpkin power tool project. When finished, stick a battery-operated candle inside for an illuminated masterpiece that’s also safe. For more DIY ideas, visit bit.ly/PikePumpkinCrafts.

Pump (kin) up the Flavor
Delicious pumpkin recipes offer a true taste of fall (and nutrition) to both sweet and savory dishes. Whether it’s a tasty breakfast treat (baked pumpkin French toast or pumpkin pancakes), hearty meal (slow cooker pumpkin chili or pumpkin and chickpea fritters) or decadent dessert (traditional pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread pudding), this festive fruit fits in a variety of recipes to satisfy any autumn appetite.

After cleaning out the inside of the pumpkin, don’t waste those scooped out seeds. Roasted pumpkin seeds are an easy and delicious autumn snack to make, in addition to being a great source of Vitamin E and K, and are high in protein, zinc, copper and iron. Simply wash the seeds in a colander with cool running water, and dry with a paper towel. Then, place the seeds on a baking tray, drizzle with a small amount of oil and add a pinch of salt. Bake at 300 degrees and roast until the seeds are just starting to brown (about 20 to 25 minutes). Enjoy right away or keep for a few days in an airtight container.

For homeowners looking to grow their own pumpkin patch, clean the seeds before planting in rich soil with full sunlight during the spring (May to mid-June). Then, watch the pumpkins grow throughout the year. When fall finally comes, a home-grown pumpkin patch will be ready and ripe for the picking!

Whether pumpkins are used as a festive centerpiece, in a tasty recipe or as a spooky jack-o’-lantern for Halloween, Pike Nurseries has the quality selection to pair with ideas to decorate and celebrate the season!

For more seasonal pumpkin ideas from Pike Nurseries, visit bit.ly/PikePumpkins.

Timeless is a Must See!

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One of my favorite subjects to teach is Social Studies.  As a Social Studies teacher, I believe my job is to make history come alive for my students.  From the first day of school I teach my students to be Jack and Annie.  I realize for many of you reading this, Jack and Annie mean nothing to you  As an elementary school teacher, Jack and Annie instantly take students back to a classic series most have read called The Magic Treehouse.  In this series, Jack and Annie simply go to the treehouse and point to a picture in a book.  They are instantly whisked back through the hands of time.

Social Studies is a subject that I like to bring to life through storytelling and project based learning opportunities  My love for history does not stop at the classroom.  I take that deep love into my personal life.  From the events I choose to attend to the shows I watch on television, I am always looking for ways to enrich my knowledge.   That is why I so super excited a about a new series on NBC called “Timeless.”  Plus, it does not hurt to know that Lucy, the main character, is a teacher.

Timeless,” is a story that involves three unlikely heroes:  a history professor, a scientist, and a solider.  All three work together to prevent a dangerous criminal who has stolen a secret time machine from trying to stop the Hindenburg’s 1937 explosion.  Although it seems honorary to stop people from dying from this event, as one would expect, you can alter history without changing the course of events to follow.

Recently we were given the opportunity to interview via phone Abigail Spencer, who also happens to be a mother to an 8-year old.  Abigail Spencer is the star of this action packed series, and she loves her new role in this show.  One thing that really peeks her interest is the fashion that is involved in this show.  As she travels through history she gets to experience the fashion of the time.  She also loves that she gets to empower women through this.

One of the things that make me love this show even more is that it is for families.  Abigail  wanted to be apart of a show that her son could watch and actually learn from.  Television and learning are meant to be a shared experience.  I love that “Timeless” is that kind of show, where spending time together and learning are blended.

 

About the Show

From Eric Kripke (“Revolution,” “Supernatural”), Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”) and the producers of “The Blacklist” comes this thrilling action-adventure series in which a mysterious criminal steals a secret state-of-the-art time machine, intent on destroying America as we know it by changing the past. Our only hope is an unexpected team: a scientist, a soldier and a history professor who use the machine’s prototype to travel back in time to critical events. While they must make every effort not to affect the past themselves, they must also stay one step ahead of this dangerous fugitive. Can this handpicked team uncover the mystery behind it all and end his destruction before it’s too late?

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The cast includes Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Visnjic, Paterson Joseph, Sakina Jaffrey and Claudia Doumit.

Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan serve as writers and executive producers. John Davis, John Fox, Marney Hochman and Director Neil Marshall also executive produce. “Timeless” is produced by Davis Entertainment, Kripke Enterprises and MiddKid Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television.

Credits:

Starring
Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Visnjic, Paterson Joseph, Sakina Jaffrey, Claudia Doumit

Timeless” will air Monday, October 10 at 10pm (EST).  You can bet I will be tuned in to catch this new series, and I hope that you will join me.  Right now you can check out the preview here on their webpage.   I would love to have you take a journey through the past with me.  Are you going to tune in? Did you catch the first episode?

Disclaimer:   This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer’s Network.  All opinions presented in the blog post are 100% mine and were no influenced in anyway.  I would only recommend shows that I would personally watch with my own family.