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Something Sweet For Your Next Party

We love candy buffets. They are fun, pretty, easy, and everyone enjoys a mini-walk through the candy store! You are probably thinking, easy? They don’t look easy! But, you would be surprised at how easy and fast you can put together a fantastic candy buffet. One reason they are so easy is because, virtually, anything goes. There are basics, but a candy buffet is the product of the designer. There is no wrong way to put one together.  We will give you a few tips to get you started.

Candy

You can spend days in the kitchen making your own candy, but that is expensive and hard work. You are better off to use a quality online bulk candy supplier. The candy is delivered where and when you want it. It is pretty, and it is cost effective. Your candy supplier can help you mix and match your colors and even offer basic candy buffet supplies. Bulk candy usually comes in 5-pound bags. The general rule of thumb is that you will need 8-ounces of candy per guest. If you are serving other foods this may be adjusted.

Theme and colors

Choose your theme. It is to tie in with the event and any special colors associated with it. For example, if the theme is a super bowl party, choose the colors of your team pick. You want two or three colors unless you are going for a blow-out rainbow effect. In that case, stick with primary colors or pastels but do not mix them. The theme is your party type, wedding, baby shower, or birthday party.

Types of containers

Candy looks better in clear containers. However, that is not written in stone. You could opt to use low dishes like platters so the candy is displayed flat. But the easiest and most appealing is vases or jars of clear glass or plastic.

Tips For Your DIY Candy Buffet

  • Use taller containers in the back. Different size vases and jars to create height and depth to the candy buffet. Boxes placed under the jars to make them taller.
  • Estimate eight ounces of candy per guest will be needed. Special or designer candy should be limited to one or two pieces per guest. Fill the containers approximately 3/4 of the way.
  • Add decorations to the table to fill in empty places. Consider props, candles, flowers, fruit, or beads and confetti.
  • Allow your bulk candy supplier help you with your selection.
  • Don’t forget the scoops and tongs. You can substitute large spoons with ribbons, or even small plastic shovels if you find them in your color scheme
  • If you decide to order chocolate, pay attention to the storage instructions. Also, note the temperature as express shipping may be required in order to deliver it without fear of melting.
  • Add personal touches and beauty to the table with banners, table covers, and runners, backdrops, ribbons, balloons, or infant items
  • Provide goodie bags, boxes or cups for taking home candy.

Look around and ask your friends for their opinions (and supplies they will loan out). But get creative and use your imagination and make your candy buffet unique. There are no rules that cannot be adjusted.  The more unusual your candy buffet is, the better. If you would like to add other foods to the table, consider salty snacks like chips or pretzels for a complimenting flavor. You can do this! It is fun and easy. Just go for it and amaze your guests with a great and sweet experience.

Here are also the visual step-by-step instructions on how to put it all together:

Sweet Services perfect DIY candy buffet infographic – An infographic by the team at Sweet Services online candy store

 

Guest Author –  Bio

Wendy Dessler

Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMama

Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition. You can contact her on Twitter.

Thank you Wendy!

 

Vaccination Schedule – What we need to know

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“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future” John F. Kennedy

To many parents out there this will sound like I am against vaccines, but I am not.  I am however, against the unbelievable amount of vaccines injected into our children before the age of 5.  If we took a minute and went through all of the ingredients that comprise these vaccines we would be absolutely shocked.  Many of these vaccines contain metals which interfere with brain cell development; that alone should be a huge concern, not only for parents, but for doctors as well.

As parents we are constantly worried about whether or not we are protecting our children or providing the best welfare for our children.  Many times we rely on the opinions of others or the scare tactics that surround us or our children’s doctors, we are supposed to trust our doctors.  At the end of the day the best thing we can do is be informed and make well-informed decisions for our children; they depend on us.  The following video is very informative.  It is the 1st video of a 7 video series.  Please watch it, and be on the lookout for the following 5.  It is extremely important to be informed, especially if you are a first time mother or father with questions about the vaccine schedule.

I know many parents are absolutely for vaccines and they rigidly follow the CDC schedule without question.  Or sometimes they do their research except that what is out there is only the half of the truth; the half the CDC wants us to see, the half that keeps every parent in fear, the half that convinces us we must vaccinate our children with an array of toxins before they are 5, before their brains are fully developed, before we allow their own bodies to immunize themselves against such things as allergies or common colds, ect.

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The sad part is that most doctors are not well-informed either, they are just following rules; they are just programmed since medical school to just follow the book.  Which is why it is our duty as parents to do our research. Although money drives many paths in this country, for the most part “most doctors are good people who are just trying to help, but they are hamstrung by a broken system  which discourages questioning medical dogma and even encourages physicians to coerce patients into accepting medical procedures which they do not consent.” The Truth About Vaccines

From one parent to another, I ask you to please be informed, educate yourself in order to make the best decision for your child/ren – They are our future, we must protect them.

Kari Aragon

View at Medium.com

3 Fun Things to do this Easter Weekend!

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1. Egg Decorating: This is a must-do with kids. Egg decorating can keep your kids or nieces and nephews busy for a few hours. My daughter loves to decorate Easter Eggs, she absolutely loves painting and being creative. Not only is this a time for them to put their creativity to work, but it includes them in the Easter spirit even if it is not for religious reasons. If you are a stay at home parent you can get this project started on Friday, or on Saturday if you are a working parent, whatever is easier. You can certainly use this time to get other things done around the house or join in the decorating fun.

Links for Decorating Ideas:

Artful ParentThe SpruceHappy Hooligans

2. Egg Hunt/BBQ: No Church Sunday morning? No problem! You can start your morning with some Easter Egg Hunt fun. If you have a backyard, plan this Easter Egg Hunt in your own backyard, invite some guests and get the kids hunting. While the kids are playing and hunting their eggs, prep for a nice and simple BBQ for everyone to enjoy. This is a such a great way to spend time with friends and family! If you don’t have a backyard…you can do this hunt with your own kids inside the home or join an Easter Egg Hunt event around town. The Spruce (Egg hunt ideas)

Easter Egg Hunt Events in New Jersey

Jersey Family FunNJ FamilyMommy Poppins
Indianapolis-Easter-Egg-Hunts

3. Find an Easter Day Event in your town (or nearby): For those of you who prefer to get out of the house all together, this weekend is jammed packed with events in our area. You can join events like Breakfast with Easter Bunny, Easter Parades, Easter Festivals, Park Events and more. Check out this link for a list of tons of events going on in different New Jersey areas.

New Jersey Leisure GuideNJ Mom

Wishing you all a safe and Happy Easter!!

Kari

Kiddle.co  – The New Search Engine For Kids

As parents, we always strive to protect our children as best as possible; including, but not limited to their protection from the craziness of the internet. Nowadays our technology is part of our everyday lives and the majority of us have access to at least one medium of technology that allows for our connection to the internet.  Our children are now growing up in our more technologically advanced world and can easily maneuver a cell phone, a tablet, a laptop or computer from a very early age, whether it is to use a kid friendly app or to watch or read something on the internet.

With my now almost 4 year old, I often find myself constantly checking in on her while she is using her tablet to watch kid-friendly YouTube channels, because it is very easy to end up on a different channel that is absolutely not kid-friendly.  I recently came across this post which talked about a new kid-friendly search engine called Kiddle which filters searches to only show kid-friendly results.  Even though my daughter is still not reading or searching for anything on the internet, when I heard about this new kid-friendly search engine I thought, “wow, a fabulous idea” for when she does start using the internet for her own searching

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Although, I think this is a great idea for kids between the ages of 7-14 who are constantly on the computer, who read and write and can maneuver their way around the internet,  this might only work if parents can really restrict access to other search engines and still monitor their kid’s searching habits. I don’t really believe there is any true way to restrict our kids from searching the internet, however, this idea is fantastic, as I strongly believe kids need to be kids first and foremost and our internet certainly exposes kids to all sorts of negative things at an earlier age than necessary. I figured that once she starts using the internet to search I can take away access to the other search engines and download Kiddle for her to use.  And even though there’s only so much I can control and keep away from her, I think any little bit helps to keep her mind as innocent as possible for as long as possible.  After a certain age I don’t think there is much you can do as far as restriction on their searching, but I think that if this search engine can really develop this idea and do more than what it claims it can do now, it can give some parents some peace of mind, at least for a little while. However, at the end of the day, our parenting skills is what is most important and what takes precedence over any negative exposures to our children.  If we are always doing our best as parents and teaching them as best as possible, right and wrong, good and bad and just being a good human being overall, they will be able to make good decisions in their lives regardless of what they see.

But if you would like to know more about this new search engine you can check it out here or check out this other article which goes into more details about the pros and cons of it. It definitely gives you a better breakdown of what to expect.  If you  are a parent of a child who is beginning to use the internet on their own, maybe you can check out this new search engine and see how it works for you and your kid(s).  I would love to hear about your experience.

XOXO
Kari

Tiny Prints - Birth Announcements and More

SANTA FOOTPRINTS ~ DIY

FullSizeRenderAs parents who thrive off of the idea of Santa and its magic to make Christmas that much more special, it can get a little hectic when you run out of ideas for a special Christmas morning.  Last year I was asked by many how I did the Santa footprints, which were such a hit with my daughter that I decided to make a video of it showing each step.

Santa footprints will surely make Christmas morning absolutely magical! Take a few minutes Christmas Eve and make some footprints. You won’t be disappointed.

Check out the How to Video Here! Enjoy! Merry Christmas!

Please leave us a comment and let us know how your Christmas morning went.

xoxo Kari

KIDS EAT FREE – NEW JERSEY RESTAURANT GUIDE PARENTS WILL LOVE

Ever wonder where your kids can eat for FREE in NJ?  Here’s a guide parents will love.  I have compiled a list of restaurants where your child(ren) 12 and under can eat for free on different days of the week.  Make family night an awesome one for your kids and your pocket!

Please keep in mind these offers are subject to change at any time (the day of the week or times may vary).  We suggest you call and confirm prior to your visit. You must purchase an adult meal to get deal.

WHERE WHEN CONTACT COUNTY
Cheeseburger in Paradise Secaucus Tuesday (after 4pm) 201-392-0500www.cheeseburgerinparadise.com  
Buffalo Wild Wings Locations: Brick, Bridgewater, Eatontown, Linden, North Brunswick, Parsippany, Rockaway, Secaucus, Watchung, Woodbridge Wednesday (3-7pm) 732-475-7645www.buffalowildwings.com    Various Counties
Chevy’s Fresh MexLocations: Clifton, Linden Monday (after 4pm – kids under 5yo) 973-777-6277www.chevys.com  
Brother Jimmy’s BBQNew Brunswick Monday, Tuesday, Friday 732-249-7427http://www.brotherjimmys.com/new_brunswick  
IHOP All locations – various nights Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 866-444-5144www.ihop.com ** Contact for specific day and time Various counties 
IKEA Elizabeth, Paramus Monday – (everyone free breakfast until 11am) Tuesday – kids free 888-888-4532http://www.ikea.com    
Ariang Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi BarMountainside, Parlin Monday and Tuesday 908-518-9733www.partyonthegrill.com   
McCormick & Schmicks Sunday      
Bennigan’s Sunday    
Willie McBride’s, Branchburg & Hoboken Sunday Willie McBride’s, Branchburg & Hoboken  
Smashburger Monday & Tuesday    
The Brick Oven of MorristownMorristown Monday & Thursday 973-984-7700http://www.brickovennj.com  
Denny’sLocations: Avenel, Bordentown, Carney’s Point, Clementon, East Brunswick, Galloway, Northfield, Turnerville, Vineland Tuesday 732-634-4160www.dennys.com  Various Counties
MIller’s Ale House Mount Laurel

 

Tuesday MIller’s Ale House     
Arthur’s, Hoboken Wednesday    
TGI Friday’s Thursday    
Jake’s Way Back Burgers, Voorhees Thursday Jake’s Way Back Burgers, Voorhees  
MoonShineMillburn Sunday, Monday & Tuesday 973-218-6042
www.moonshinesupperclub.com
 
  
O’Reilly’s Pub & GrillNewton Monday 973-383-4091
www.oreillysnewton.com
 
 
Toro LocoSouth Orange Sunday & Monday 973-761-1515www.toroloco.net  
Stage House TavernSomerset Wednesday (nights) 908-322-4224www.stagehousetavern.com  
Blue Moon Mexican, Wycoff Tuesday Blue Moon Mexican, Wycoff  
Pizza Hut Tuesday    
Pizzeria UNOLocations: Clifton, Deptford, Hamilton, Maple Shade, Metuchen Tuesday 973-574-1303www.unos.com  
Hooter’s Saturday    
The Famished FrogMorristown Monday 973-540-9601www.famishedfrog.com  
MemoireRidgewood Sunday 201-857-8899www.diningatmemoire.com  
Applebee’s Tuesday    
Baja Fresh Wednesday    
Cold Stone Creamery Tuesday    
Uproot Warren Monday 908-834-8194www.uprootrestaurant.com  
JalapenosGlen Rock Sunday 201-445-5566www.jalapenosmexgrill.com  
The Pop ShopCollingswood & Medford Saturday (free Breakfast 7:30-10:30am) 856-869-0111www.thepopshopusa.com   
JasmineMedford Monday & Tuesday & Thursday 609-654-8818www.jasmineorientalcuisine.com     
RoccaGlen Rock Thursday 201-670-4945www.roccanj.com  
Friendly’s Wednesday    
Escondido’s Mexican RestaurantFreehold Tuesday 732-577-0200www.escondidonj.com   
Al DenteMoorestown Monday 856-437-6593www.aldenteitaliana.com  

 XOXO

Kari

5 WAYS TO NATURALLY INDUCE LABOR

11224741_10206608765801416_3816183014202982893_nI have a friend who just recently gave birth, but a week before and after her due date had passed, she asked if I knew of any methods to naturally induce labor as she was ready for the baby to ‘come out’. She was scheduled to be medically induced a week after we spoke, but she didn’t want to wait and at the same time wanted it to happen on its own.  She mentioned she had been walking tons for the past week and cleaning and just staying active overall.  I told her to do some light squats and hip circles on a yoga ball, etc…She said she had done all of that, but would try the squats.  She later asked me if I had ever heard of anyone drinking Castor Oil or Karo Syrup to induce labor…I said no, but that I would find out.

As someone who had a midwife during my pregnancy, I am all for promoting the most natural ways to give birth rather than it being medically induced.  So, I went on a quest to find out from other moms what they’ve done to naturally induce labor. I put up a post asking moms the question and was immediately showered with answers with things that they had done themselves that worked for them.  So for those of you preggos out there who are past their dues dates and are looking for ways to naturally induce labor, here are some of the most common answers I received to my question.

  1. SEX – Have lots of sex
  2. Foot Massage/ Pedicure/Acupuncture/Pre-natal massage/Warm Bath
  3. Walk, walk and walk… a lot (squats and pelvic circles on yoga ball are good too)
  4. Foods that can help: Eat Eggplant Parmesan (CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE), Pineapple, Spicy Food, Chinese Food.
  5. Let the baby come out when it wants to (it won’t be in there forever LOL)

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Although, many of the women were against drinking Castor Oil as it causes extreme abdominal pain, diarrhea and meconium (having the baby poop inside; which of course would not be a good thing), some of the women had actually used Castor Oil and claimed that it worked for them (as long as you don’t abuse the dosage).  Of course this post is for informational purposes only and in no way it is to be taken literal.  I am not a professional in this field and your decision to try any of these suggestions would your own responsibility.

I thought it was very interesting finding out what other women claimed help induce their labor process.  Some of the woman said that after doing one or two of the above they were in labor just a few hours later.

So if you are in this situation and are looking for a natural way to induce labor, I think the 5 suggestions in this post are fun to try and non-threatening.

If you do try any of these, I would love to hear if they worked.

Wishing you a happy and healthy labor and baby.

Xoxo Kari
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