An Easy Way to Make Trick-or-Treating More Fun at Your House

#spon: I am in a partnership with Intel. Through this partnership I gain access to content, product, or other forms of value.

If you are reading this blog post, then you have some sort of a computer. Even those of you on mobile devices probably have something with a larger screen at your home. And if you do, then I’ve got a super simple idea to help you make all those little Elsas and other characters who show up at your house tomorrow night smile when you open the door.

Not talking about having candy, because I’m assuming that you’ve got that. Otherwise, you will have some seriously upset munchkins on your hands!

I’m talking about creating a fun ambiance without having to go spend $100 on decorations or even a costume for yourself (though bonus points to you if you have a costume! Kids love it when the grown ups dress up!).

intel AIO halloween display

I’m bringing my Intel All-in-One (AIO) computer over to our front entrance area tomorrow night. It has a beautiful, large screen which makes it perfect for showing eerie photos. I actually downloaded this set of 15 spooky images and set my computer to show a different one every 10 seconds. My girls already love it and I know the trick-or-treaters will like seeing it in the background, too.

I’m also going to have a playlist of kid-friendly Halloween music playing. You can find great sets of music on Youtube and just minimize the page so that your eerie photos are being displayed instead of the Youtube page.

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And finally, I’ll dress up the screen just a bit by adding some spiderwebs for an extra spooky effect. Our computers are such an integral part of our lives; why not get them more involved in our festivities? :-)

My Intel AIO is the perfect device to move all over the house to wherever it can be put to best use because it is so easy to tote around. There’s no tower to connect it to, and no cumbersome cords. All you need is right there on the screen. I just love it! For more details about my experience with this Intel device, check out my Intel AIO review.

And if you’d like more information on Intel AIO products, definitely check out Intel All in Ones as they come in a wide range of options!

Turning the Tables on Hunger Starts with Something Simple: Share a Meal

Friends, could I ask for 4 minutes of your time to watch a powerful documentary short? Unilever Project Sunlight has just released it, and it showed me something I REALLY needed to see:

The face of hunger doesn’t always look like what we think, does it? A hungry child might be sitting right next to your own child at school, or might live in the house next door to yours. Hunger is penetrating every city and even every neighborhood. You can never be too sure about what other people might be going through, even if everything seems on the surface to be just fine.

When my family and I make donations to our local food bank, I try to involve my children as much as possible. When my oldest asks why we are giving food away, I explain it like this: everyone on this planet needs some kind of help from other people at some point or another. Maybe the help needed is money or food. Maybe it’s love. Maybe it’s a certain set of skills. Whatever it is, we all have to rely on others somewhere along the way. Right now, it’s our turn to give because we are able to do so. Tomorrow, it might be our turn to ask for help. I want her to understand why giving is so important, and I also want her to understand that the truth is, none of us are very many tragedies away from being in dire need.

I want to encourage you to take a moment to share a meal, in whatever form that might take for you. It might mean calling up your local food pantry and asking what they need donated. It might mean volunteering in a community garden, or even committing to teaching yourself a bit about gardening so that you can grow some of your own food, and also share your harvest with neighbors. It might mean getting involved in a great organization that works to end food deserts in communities, like the Junior League of Chattanooga (I’m so proud to be part of this amazing group of women!). We are partnering with other great organizations to ensure that people all over the city can have fresh produce. You’d be shocked to realize just how many people in most communities cannot get access to fresh fruits and veggies on a regular basis.

Or perhaps you can just commit to getting to know your neighbors a little better in the coming weeks. You may learn about some struggles that you didn’t know were going on, and then you may be better poised to help out in some way.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Unilever. The opinions and text are all mine.

Fun, Quick Treat Seek & Stash Game (Great Purina Prizes Up for Grabs!)

This post brought to you by Triad. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Stuff Parents Need.

Need a little afternoon pick-me-up? Switch gears by heading over to the #SeekandStash game and try your hand at slashing some ghosts while getting lots of Purina® treats in your bag. This cute game only takes a minute to play, but it’s a fun little distraction, and unlike Candy Crush and other online games, you might actually win something when you play this game!

 photo purinaseekandstash_zps4ce740fd.jpg I didn’t seem to have the magic touch when I played, but I’ll try again tomorrow. It only takes a minutes, it’s totally fun to swipe at those ghosts, and after all, doesn’t Miss Hattie deserve a special treat from Purina®? And wouldn’t mama love to win it for her?

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I’m actually headed to Walmart tomorrow, and since I know that Purina® treats are plentiful there and also quite affordable, I’ll just add them to my list. Everyone else in the house is getting plenty of treats this week with Halloween headed our way. I shouldn’t leave the cats out of all the fun! But maybe you’ll have better luck than me and get a FREE treat for your pets!

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New Books for the Charlie Brown Fans, Featuring Heroes, Explorers and Adventurers

Books provided for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.

Attention all fans of the Peanuts gang. Charles M. Schulz has just released a trio of books that help children learn about important figures in American history.

charlie brown books

The books each have a story involving the characters we all know and love, and a little bit of information about different figures in American history are woven into the stories (sometimes in a very seamless way, and sometimes it’s a bit clunky, though to be fair, it’s hard to work all that info into a short story!).

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At the back of the book, more detailed information on the 5 figures is highlighted so that kids can get a clearer picture of that individual’s importance in history.

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Of the 3 sets of books, the one I personally like the best is the Great Heroes book, because of the diversity of individuals highlighted. As a mom of girls, and as a woman, myself, I’m sensitive to opportunities to include women and their accomplishments, and I was pleased to see 3 of the 5 people profiled in this edition to be women who achieved great things (Rosa Parks, Clara Barton and Susan B. Anthony). In contrast, I was a bit put off by the Great Inventors book, as only 1 woman was profiled, and that woman invented the chocolate chip cookie. Now, let me be VERY clear…this invention was a gift to the entire world, to be sure. But the inventor of the cookie was a woman, and the inventions produced by men included the airplane, the telephone, the automobile and the light bulb. Seemed a little lopsided, in my opinion, and like an all-around poor choice for the one female inventor’s work to stem from the kitchen.

Still, it’s a nice set of books for any child who is starting to get into history, as the Peanuts gang helps introduce some pretty cool new characters in a way that is easy to understand.


My Hairstyle Rut-Buster and Other Great Tips and Tricks at the Walmart Suave Hub

Thanks to Global Influence for partnering with me to make this post possible. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always! 

So my best friend and I have this running joke where we ask each other over the phone, in a voice of desperation, if we are remembering to roll our hair. The joke stems from the fact that during my first two weeks of college, my mom would call my dorm room (land lines…remember those???) and ask my roommate if I was rolling my hair. She just wanted me to make a great first impression with everyone I met, and she firmly believed that having hair that looked good was an important component of a great first impression. We actually took a picture of me sitting on my bed and reading with rollers in my hair just to put her mind at ease.

It was one of only a handful of times that I rolled my hair during college. I had other stuff to do, y’all.

roll your hair!

Even now, an alarming 15 years after those phone calls were made, I still have a lot going on and my hair usually comes dead last on the list of things to give time and attention to. But this year I bought a set of steam rollers (after giving my hot roller set away a few years ago because they were COATED in dust from lack of use. And you know what? I hate to admit this, but my mama was right (at least somewhat!). Now that I have found a set of rollers that I actually like, I can get my hair in them in about 6 minutes flat and let them set while I put on makeup, or write content for the blog, or any number of other things. And then I just pull them out and run my fingers through my hair. The amount of hairspray I apply depends on how tight I want the curls to stay. But for at least 4 hours after doing this, I have hair that actually looks like a I cared about it, and it makes a significant difference in my overall appearance. So for me, rolling my hair is a 10 minute trick that can help me look totally pulled together. Do I roll my hair every day? Of course not. But today, for example, I’m meeting with someone at my daughter’s school to discuss a fundraising project. I hope they recognize my lack of ponytail when I show up!

Walmart Suave Hub

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You can find lots of great beauty and hair tips just like mine above at the Walmart Suave Hub. You’ll also find product promotions (sweepstakes, coupons, samples, etc.!). When you combine these offerings with the awesome Suave Family Perks program I blogged about a few weeks ago, it’s easy to see how Suave is making life a little less hectic and a lot more fun for you and your family. And that’s a great thing, indeed!