Monday, November 29, 2010

Get Crafty ~ Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

While the weather outside is a little frightful you may need some indoor activities for the family. A great one for this time of year making cinnamon applesauce ornaments.

Cinnamon ornaments are an easy, inexpensive and fun idea and they look great on your tree or can be used to decorate holiday packages! 

Simply mix ¾ cup applesauce and a bottle of ground cinnamon (4.12 oz) until you have a smooth dough. 

Roll the dough ¼” thick and dig out those holiday cookie cutters. You can use a straw to make a hole in the tops of them to later thread a piece of ribbon through for hanging. 

Bake for 2 ½ hours at 200 degrees and then cool on a wire rack (or let them dry at room temperature for 1 – 2 days until thoroughly dry, turning occasionally).  

Decorate with paints, glitter, ribbon or whatever fun materials you have in your craft closet or leave them as is.

Fun for all ages and you will have some yummy smelling decorations that will last for years. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Breakfast with Santa at The Crayola Factory

Tired of the same old breakfast? If so, head to The Crayola Factory next month for their special weekend event - Breakfast with Santa.

Saturday the 4th, 11th and 18th the breakfast will take place from 9:00am - 10:00am. Sunday the 12th and 19th breakfast will be from 11:30am - 12:30pm. There will be no breakfast on the 5th. 

Children can visit with the big guy himself while enjoying a hot breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries and pastries as well as juice. Coffee and tea will also be provided.

There will be holiday music and each child will receive a Crayola gift valued at $20.00.

The fee for the breakfast is $20 per person and half price admission tickets to The Crayola Factory will be available to those attending the breakfast.

For more information check out The Crayola Factory's website

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kids Bowl Free continues keeping Kids Bowling for Free

 If you took advantage of the Kids Bowl Free program over the Summer you'll be delighted to know that you may find coupons in your KBF account to be used for the Thanksgiving weekend!

Kids Bowl Free is a program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time over the summer. A surprise email last week informed members that there 'may' be coupons for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and sure enough - they worked their magic - one free game of bowling each day: November 25th - 28th. They do suggest you call ahead to make sure there are available lanes but what a great idea to get the kids out of the house!

Their summer programs gives kids 2 games each day. They also offer a family pass that's only $24.95 and includes 2 games per person per day. You can have up to 4 people on the pass! Take the entire family bowling and only pay for shoe rentals!!

It's great for over the Summer when you're not sure what to do with the family and now it's also an option over the holiday weekend. Happy Thanksgiving! STRIKE!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Don't sit still this Winter - get active!

The Parks and Recreation Board of South Whitehall Township is offering a Winter Swim and Gym Program! Don't let the Winter blues bring you down or lead to a family of couch potatoes over the next few months - get out and get active!

While there are no exact dates at the moment, there is an impressive list of events planned to keep the entire family fit and happy over those cold days soon to arrive. The program is for family recreation only and just for fun so get the crew together boycott the television for an evening.

What's on the schedule? At Parkland High school from 1:00pm - 5:00pm there will be family swimming on Sunday afternoons. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years of age and there is no fee! The shallow end is perfect for non-swimmers.

Parkland High School is also offering an open gym. Kids 15 years of age and under (who are joined by their parents) can shoot baskets and play pick up games. No team games or practices are permitted. More details to come!

The South Whitehall Township recreation programs for adults (18 years of age and older) require registration in advance at the Permit Officer in the Municipal Building located at 4444 Walbert Avenue and there are fees.

On the agenda for this Fall/Winter: beginning ballroom dance at the Covered Bridge Recreation Building on Thursday Evenings from 6:30pm - 7:30pm. The fee for this is $60.00/couple and it is 8 weeks long (8 classes). You'll learn the foxtrot, waltz, east coast swing and of course the polka. You do need to bring along a partner and while they don't promise you'll find yourself on Dancing with the Stars you will have a fun time.

Beginning Latin Dance will be on Thursday evenings as well at the Covered Bridge Recreation Building from 7:30pm - 8:30pm. The fee is again $60.00/person and is 8 weeks long (8 classes). You don't need a partner so get yourself out of the house and learn the samba, cha cha, merengue and east coast swing. It's great exercise and a fun way to spend the evening with friends.

If you're looking to relax try Yoga. On Tuesday evenings from 7:00pm - 8:30pm at the Covered Bridge Recreation Building you can re-energize yourself, tone your body, increase flexibility all while relieving stress. They have mats available if you do not have your own and the fee is just $28.00/person for 8 classes.

Dates and more information will soon be available on the South Whitehall website

Don't sit still this Winter - swim, dance, play and relax with family and friends!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Let's Cook ~ Bruschetta

Another delish recipe find at - Tomato, Red Onion and Basil Bruschetta. I love bruschetta and always order it when I'm out and in the mood for something fresh. I love the tomatoes and onions and especially the garlic and it's a great thing to make when you have a garden and find yourself with a basket full of tomatoes which I ALWAYS do. I only had one tomato plant this Summer and still have a dozen tomatoes in the fridge. I admit, it's a money saver but the irony is that I don't really like tomatoes so I have to find other ways to enjoy them aside from in salads.

One of my favorite ways to use bruschetta is as a topping for chicken. After cooking chicken breasts in a frying pan you add freshly made bruschetta and let it simmer on low. I usually only let it go about 5 minutes (while I cut/broil the baguettes). Sprinkle a little Parmesan Cheese on top and it's a yummy dinner with lots of yummy veggies. The point is to just warm the bruschetta and not COOK it unless you don't mind it cold on top which being a Mom it usually is by the time I sit down to eat it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tuesdays at Perkins with Kids - Perfect Together

And don't forget their holiday baked goods!!
 As a stay-at-home mom I get a ltitle stir-crazy at times and need OUT! I especially feel this way when my husband works middle shift so it's only the kiddo and myself for dinner. I can't justify going out to eat since sometimes his appetite seems to get left at home nor do I like cooking for us because I always make too much and it's just boring. What do I like? (really I'm not that difficult)

I LOVE going to Perkins. The local Perkins Restaurant located at 3214 Hamilton Blvd. Allentown, PA 18103 has kids night on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Thursdays are character nights but if you go on a Tuesday as I have...we're usually the only ones there with a kiddo! It's a quiet night out and the kids eat free and I don't have to worry about dishes or hearing, "but I really wanted chicken and french fries" after putting meatloaf in the oven.

Another nifty thing about Perkins Restaurant is their Kids Birthday Club. Kids sign up and get an email for a free kids meal the week of their birthday! The website keeps track of how long before their birthday when they log in and there are even a few games and such to occupy them!

So next time it's a Tuesday or Thursday and you're not in the mood to cook head to Perkins...and don't forget to get a crazy cookie for dessert!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Let's Cook ~ Cider Glazed Apple Muffins

Nothing says 'Fall' like apple muffins!
It's always 'interesting' to try a new recipe; especially before a play date and you're hoping that it turns out edible so you don't have to stop along the way to buy something. We had a play date at the park earlier this week and with the weather so nice it was the perfect way to spend an afternoon with friends. Being a snack play date I debated what to bring and raided the kitchen cabinet and pantry only to find a box of brownie mix. I did grocery shopping and picked up the usual stuff as well as sugar since it's the best time of year to bake and still wasn't sure what to make so I looked in the fridge and there they were - what was left from an apple picking adventure. I went to my favorite recipe site ( and found the answer to my snack woes - Cider Glazed Apple Muffins.

The reviews were mixed from saying they were awesome to making a few changes to that they were too dry. I went with the original recipe so I could have my own opinion and I have to say after trying one - they're yummy. The muffins themselves may be better with the apples shredded rather than chopped since the muffins are small and the larger pieces could be a bit much and the glaze DOES take a bit so you should start it before getting the muffins going.

I made two batches since they were so simple and having run out of cider for the second batch I used a tablespoon of apple butter that I happened to have on hand as well as a tablespoon of water to equal things out. They have more of an apple flavor and the apple butter did work rather well, though you do need the cider or juice for glaze. Another change I made since I didn't have real cider on hand...I used my own homemade apple juice. It does have cinnamon/nutmeg seasoning in it so it worked rather well. And since this was a play date and thus the muffins were being shared - NO NUTS! I never realized how many people have nut allergies so this way no worries!

Give them a try and see what you think but over all we give them 4 Happy Bellies!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day

Clip Art provided by:
 A veteran (from Latin vetus, meaning "old") is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field; " A veteran of ..." . This page refers to military veterans, i.e., a person who has or is serving in the armed forces, and has direct exposure to acts of military conflict, commonly known as war veterans (although not all military conflicts, or areas in which armed combat takes place, are necessarily referred to as "wars").

When you stop to think about how much military veterans have done for us you almost feel guilty that you only recognize them on one day. While they may receive special treatment as far as discounts and such, does that really thank them for risking their lives for their country? This Veteran's Day thank a veteran. Fly your flag and wear that shirt you only wear on the 4th of July or Memorial Day. Remember those who lost someone or have someone overseas fighting now while their family waits for their safe return. I'm fond of a bumper sticker I read once, "I support the troops, not the war". I don't understand the whole situation overseas at the moment and why it's gone on so long with so many lives lost and promises of an end only to have more soldiers shipped over. I do understand that those fighting over there need our support and those who have fought do as well.

There are quite a few events around the area to celebrate Veteran's Day so get out as a family and show your support and gratitude this year if you can. The following is a partial list is from The Express Times.


The Easton Area Public Library, 515 Church St., Easton, will host a free talk at noon Wednesday. Guest speaker will be Robert Faro, a local veteran and father who will discuss his son, Pfc. Joseph Faro, U.S. Marine Corps, and his ongoing recovery from wounds suffered during a blast in Afghanistan. Information: 610-258-2917, ext. 307.

American Legion Post 397 of Hellertown will hold a ceremony rain or shine at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Union Cemetery, 89 Main St., Hellertown.

The Steelworkers Veterans Memorial Committee will hold a ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday at the memorial, Third and Filmore streets, Bethlehem. Retired U.S. Army Captain David A. Christian, a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran, will be the keynote speaker. Information: 610-360-7896.

Traditions of Hanover, 5300 Northgate Drive, Hanover Township, will hold a veterans recognition breakfast 7:30-9 a.m., Thursday. No cost for veterans; $5 for others. Guest speaker will be Maj. Nathan Kline, U.S. Air Force retired, liaison to the military for the city of Allentown. Information: 484-893-6689.

Williams Township Veterans Memorial Committee will hold a ceremony at 11 a.m. Thursday at the township municipal park, 655 Cider Press Road. Nancy Ackerman, committee member, and Roy Fox, a World War II veteran, will speak.

The Pomfret Club, 33 S. Fourth St., Easton, will pay tribute to veterans at 6 p.m. Thursday with a showing of one of filmmaker Lou Reda's programs followed by dinner. Call 610-258-7641 to make reservations.
The Thomas Paine Chapter of Veterans For Peace will hold a commemoration 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Thursday at the Bethlehem Rose Garden, Eighth Avenue and Union Boulevard, Bethlehem. One tombstone for every Pennsylvania military member killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003 will be displayed. Also a bell will be rung at the 11th minute of the 11th hour as a reminder of the original meaning of Armistice Day. Information: 484-248-6113.

Bethany United Church of Christ, Fifth Avenue and W. Market Street, will honor servicemen with a Pennsylvania Dutch meal 4:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday. The event will feature memory sharing, door prizes and a patriotic singalong. Tickets available at the door. Cost is $10 adults; $5, children ages 6-12; free, children 5 and younger. Information: 610-868-4441.


Brandywine Heights Area Middle School will hold a program and luncheon at 9 a.m. Thursday at the school
for veterans who live in the district or are relatives of middle school students. Information: 610-682-5131.


American Legion Post 16, Slatington, will hold a service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Union United Church of Christ, 5550 Route 873, Neffs. Information: 610-767-6657.

Lower Macungie Township Historical Society will hold a program 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the township Community Center, 3450 Brookside Road. World War II veteran Robert F. Kauffman will speak. Information:

Lehigh County Senior Center, 1633 Elm St., Allentown, will host a celebration 9:30-11 a.m., Thursday. Entertainment will be provided by The Krazy Kids and Lehigh Valley Pops Orchestra. Information: 610-437-3700.

United Veterans of Wars of The United States, Allentown, will hold a ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Lehigh County commissioners room, 17 S. Seventh St., Allentown.

Happy Veteran's Day and Thank You to all who have and currently are serving!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. . .

Growing up I always thought that each holiday has its own month. I knew February would be full of hearts and March full of shamrocks and then October full of pumpkins and ghosts but now November isn't just scarecrows and turkeys - Santa arrives as well.

I've nothing against the holiday season and love Christmas but when you read that Santa's arriving at the local mall the first week of November you (or at least I) can't help but have a puzzled look on my face. I love Santa and taking my son to see him and up until a few years back I had nothing against visiting the guy and telling him my Christmas wishes but the first week of November? Really?

As with everything else this holiday is more and more commercialized every year though I'm debating whether or not it's completely bad. Did you know that you can print out VIP Passes to see Santa at The Lehigh Valley Mall? Indeed you may. No more waiting in the long line; instead preorder your photo package and bring your pass and go straight to the front of the line...or at least the VIP line. Let us pray that your little one even WANTS their photo taken that day otherwise who knows if they offer refunds or rainchecks. Even a simple trip to Santa now requires you to hop on the computer because you know when you get there and the line's a mile long you'll wish you had a pass. Is all that extra hoopla a good thing or does it take away from the magic of the season. Kids waiting in line in anticipation while they rehearse their speeches and clutch their letters for the big guy. Now you have mom and dad and the pass heading to the line so you can get in and out. It does help when you have a little one who may not be in the same frame of mind after waiting but eventually everyone will have the passes and they'll need another idea to help speed things along. Personally I just go to obscure malls where typically there are 4 or 5 people in line. Where is that you may ask? I'm not telling. ;)

So when DOES the big guy arrive? Santa's Photo Shop officially opens at The Lehigh Valley Mall on Friday, November 12th at 6:30pm. If you plan to go, don't forget to look into that "Fast Pass".

As for other local malls you'll find good 'ol Saint Nick at:

The South Mall on Saturday, November 13th at 11:00am  in the Center court and he'll have free Webkinz® pets for Santa's first 200 young visitors!

The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley will have their annual Holiday Tree Lighting Event in Town Square (near Starbucks) on Saturday, November 27. Holiday music starts at 5:30pm and Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive
by Fire Truck at 6:00pm courtesy of the Upper Saucon Township Fire Department. FREE Jingle Bell courtesy of QNB while supplies last.

The Palmer Park Mall welcomes Santa on Saturday, November 13th at 11:00am. It will be a flurry of fun when Santa arrives aboard a flashing Palmer Township fire truck with Holiday music by the Bill Hawk Brass! Children visiting Santa will receive a FREE Lil'Kinz® pet, while supplies last.

The holidays have arrived...whether you're ready or not!  Ho! Ho! Ho!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Celebrate the holidays 'Down Under' style at The Crayola Factory

The holiday fun begins tomorrow at The Crayola Factory in Easton! The theme until January 2nd, 2011 will be The Gingerbread Man and he's spending the Holidays in Australia!! Crayola Factory will be transformed into an Australian Holiday Wonderland and while there are some familiar traditions you'll learn how the land down under celebrates things in a bit of a different way.

Did you know that in Australia Santa arrives on a surfboard landing on a sandy beach! And did you know that Australian’s enjoy traditional Holiday food, but they prize their flaming Christmas plum pudding for dessert. How will the Gingerbread Man celebrate while he's there; maybe he'll be out soaking up the sun and playing Cricket. The Gingerbread Man will make appearances at The Crayola Factory so miss Family Fun Night from 5:00pm - 9:00 pm on November 26!

There's a lot of fun workshops planned so be sure to register now since space is limited! On November 13th and December 11th you can create a faux gingerbread house. Start a new tradition or continue an old one by havig breakfast with Santa at The Crayola Factory! Santa will be there on December 4th, 11th, 12th, 18th or 19th! Be sure to call today to save your space ~ 610-515-8000. Events and workshops are subject to change.

The Crayola Factory is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 9:0am - 3:00pm, Saturdays 9:30am  - 5:00pm and Sundays from noon until 5:00pm. They are closed most Mondays. You can purchase admission tickets ahead of time through their website Adults and Children (ages 3 - 64) are $9.75 each, seniors (ages 65+) are $9.25, and infants (2 and younger) are free. Military personnel are $8.75. Admission price does not include the 5% City of Easton admissions tax.

The Crayola FACTORY is located at 30 Centre Square, Easton, PA 18042. You can pack a lunch if you'd like and sit outside to enjoy the day or visit the McDonald's in the lobby area

Plan your trip today for some down-under fun at The Crayola FACTORY!

Get Crafty at PaintSome Pottery

PaintSome Pottery, located in the Tilghman Square Shopping Center, is the place to go if you and your little one(s) are feeling crafty. An added bonus to the trip - the resulting art pieces make wonderful gifts for family and friends! Even if you are convinced that you have no artistic talent you can head over for their Make, Munch & Mingle events on the 12th and 22nd. It's a BYOB event where you'll learn different techniques, have a few laughs with friends and in the end have a gift for someone on your holiday list! This month the experts at PaintSome Pottery will be teaching a masking technique that results in a designer look with only novice abilities. They'll guide you step-by-step so your work will be just as beautiful as their samples! That takes care of a night out with the girls but what about getting the kids out for some creativity while you get some holiday shopping done?

PaintSome Pottery has a rather helpful event called Drop & Shop! The next one is scheduled for November 19th and from 6:00pm - 9:00pm PaintSome Pottery will keep the kids occupied by helping them make gifts for family and friends while you get your shopping done! Be sure to make reservations because space is limited! Three hours to shop kid-free for only $25!

Another wonderful opportunity for the kids (and yourself) is the Black Friday Art Camp! Drop your kids off as early as 7:00am for a fun day of camp which will run until 3:00pm. They can stay for an hour or all day for $12/hour and again, reservations are highly suggested! And while you're there on Black Friday be sure to pick up a few gift certificates for friends using the 20% off coupon on their website! The coupon is only good on the 26th so you can finish off your holiday shopping list and save a few bucks!
Drop in on the 28th any time from 12:00pm - 5:00pm when kids can make a clay Santa hand print ornament for only $10! Another cute and creative gift for Grandma, a teacher or your own tree!

If you can't make it with the little one(s) on those dates, PaintSome Pottery is open Mondays 10:00am - 7:00 pm, Wednesdays & Thursdays 3:00pm - 7:00pm, Fridays & Saturdays 10:00am - 9:00pm and Sundays from 12:00pm - 5:00pm  (closed Tuesdays). Their address is 4610 Broadway in Allentown and are located in the Tilghman Street Shopping Center.

Be sure to like their new FaceBook page so you stay in the loop because they have even more good stuff planned for December! It's a crafty and artsy way to start the holiday season!