A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Month: October 2022

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy Book Review

I’m in awe!  I really don’t know how else to sum up my feelings after reading, “I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy.  My first thoughts go to the old saying, “You never know what goes on behind closed doors.”  While I have learned this to be true as I have gotten older, this memoir smacks you in the face with the raw truth of this saying.

Raising children creates many different situations as a parent that you never thought about when you first brought your sweet little baby home.  One of the biggest lessons that I worked hard to instill in our children was to always appreciate what they have and to not be envious when others have more.   Mostly  because envy isn’t good…but also because while things may look perfect from the outside, you never really know what families are dealing with on the inside.

Summary of I’m Glad My Mom Died ~

Jennette was a child star living her mother’s dream.  While most of us would think she was living a fairy tale life, Jennette explains that becoming an actress at the delicate age of 6 was never her wish.  The turmoil that unwinds over the years of her childhood were anything but happy, however, she was still too young to even realize this!

*This review discusses the topics related to “I’m Glad My Mom Died” without giving away all of the details.  I want you to read the book and come back and discuss it with me!

Breaking It Down ~

How very sad!  From the very beginning I found it was easy to see how her mom had unrealized dreams and was living vicariously through her daughter.  Interestingly enough, my daughter was initially seeing only how much her mom loved her and wanted to help her be successful.  (I want to point out here that my daughter is in her 20’s and a very mature young lady).   I’m looking forward to our bookclub this week as I believe her opinion has changed drastically as she delved deeper into the book.

As parents, shouldn’t we realize that when raising children they are young versions of ourselves just trying to make us happy?  Our job here is to help them realize THEIR dreams!  Even as young adults they strive to be the good kid!  I am realizing this more and more in my aging years.  I, too, EVEN IN MY 50’s have spent my life trying to make my parents proud.  Don’t get me wrong here, I am a very fulfilled wife and mother, but it just still gives you a little jolt of happiness when you know your parents are happy with something you have done.

Also, a child should never be placed in the position of siding with a parent, forced to feel they should not grow up, pushed to live anyone’s dreams but their own or asked to support their family.  This is in a perfect world though right?  Unfortunately, these things happen more often than we care to admit….and it all happened to Jennette

So what does one do when they actually realize this has happened to them?  Can they realize it at a young age or do they live through years of suffering, not really realizing they are suffering?   How does one even begin to realize what their dreams are after they have lived their childhood for someone else?

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12 Ways to Be Awesome Long Distance Grandparents

Becoming a grandparent is exactly everything “they” said it would be….am I right?  My husband would jump in at this moment and ask, “Who are they?” 😂  I’ve never been able to come up with a witty answer to that question, however, “they” were right!  Being a grandparent is THE BEST!  The only downside is that many times they live far away…but that doesn’t have to be a problem.  Read on for 12 ways to be awesome long distance grandparents!

If you have read any of my earlier posts, you know that I am a huge advocate of using the US Postal Service to communicate with your grandchildren whether you live close or far away!  Yes, even if you are in the same town….use that snail mail.  Kids LOVE to get mail!

12 Ways to Be Awesome Long Distance Grandparents ~

While I do love snail mail, technology has definitely helped bridge the gap with some very clever ideas!  Below are a few of the ones that I have either tried or heard wonderful things about…so check them out!  (If you are not technologically savvy, read on as there are many ideas for the non-techy too!

Game Apps or Technology Based ~

1 ~ Marco Polo App ~

This is a pretty cool video chat app.  What I love most about it is that you can chat in real time if you and your granchild are available OR you can record a chat and send it and then they can open it when it is a good time for them.  Think of it as your very own video walkie talkie…how cool is that?  There is a free version and a paid version….once again, you can have tons of fun with this app in the free version!

You can even create a group to make it easier if you have several grandchildren in one family.  Get in there and play around and you will see there are a lot of options for you!

2 ~ Mad Libs ~

Did you play this as a child?  Maybe you played it with your children?   There are still a ton of Mad Libs books out there to physically write in, however, there is also a Mad Libs app as well.   There are free books as well as paid books.  I can honesly say, I very rarely buy apps because I beieve there are so many free ones to take advantage of….but you do what works for you!

If you and your gradchldren are both logged into your own Game Centers through your apple devices, you can share with each other.  You also can just take screenshots and text them to each other.  How fun to read each other’s silly stories.  You can even facetime each other and read them as well!

Another fun option is Mad Libs by Glowwordbooks.com.  This site has an impressive number of books they have created for you…for free!  Choose your topic and start entering words!  It’s that easy!  Steve and Natasha Hanson have created a fun website full of poems, riddes, books and more so be sure to check out all they have available to you!

3 ~ Online Jigsaw Puzzles ~

Jigsaw Planet is a really cool website where you can get tons of free jigsaw puzzles to solve.  They allow you to create, play and share jigsaw puzzles with others.  You are also given the option to compete with other users.  Log onto their site at Jigsawplanet.com or use this link➡️➡️  Jigsaw Planet.  Choose a puzzle and then click the “Play As” to choose the number of pieces you want to have it made in to!  This feature is so wonderful because you can do easier puzzles with younger kiddos and harder ones with the older kids!

Non-Technology Related Ways to Connect ~

4 ~ Watch a Show Together ~

Ok, are you thinking right now that I am losing it?  The main focus of this post is for grandparents that do NOT live close to their grandchildren, right?   Soooo….don’t let this little thing called “distance” keep you from watching a show with your loved ones that are far away.  The way I see it is that you have 2 options for this idea:

  • Facetime or video chat at a set time that the show is on tv.  This may be a little more conducive for shows that aren’t super long, but you be the one who decides that!
  • Decide on a show that you both (or all) want to watch.  You both watch it respectively in your own homes and then call to discuss it!  Here are some topics you can discuss:
    • What was your favorite part of the movie and why?
    • Who was you favorite character…and why?
    • What was the funniest part of the movie?
    • What did you think of the ending?
    • Would you watch it again
5 ~ Send a Secret Message ~

These pens are litterally the bomb!  (Do people still use that term?)  Send a pen to each of your grandchildren and keep one or two for yourself.  The ink is all one color even though the outside of the pens are all different colors.  Write a message with the pen and then mail it off.  When they receive the message, they can use the light at the top of the pen to decode.  Then they can send you a message back!  Voila!  Super fun!

6 ~ Story Game ~

Get a piece of blank paper and start a story.  Mail it off to your grandchild.  They will then read the story and add more lines to it.  This can go back and forth as long as you would like!  It will certainly create anticipation as the child gets excited to get the mail and continue on with the story.

Here are some story prompts to get your creative juices flowing:

  • A conversation between two family pets
  • The day I turned into a superhero
  • The day I got lost in the woods and found a unicorn
  • You have discovered a secret island
  • How pizza was created
  • The day everyone wore purple
  • When my sibling got turned into a cat
  • My grandpa’s secret identity

These are just some samples.  Write several sentences or a couple of paragraphs to start the story.  Send it out and wait for them to add some more details.  This is a great way to be creative and laugh together.  Who knows, if the book turns out great you can even publish it!

7 ~ Cook & Eat A Meal Together ~

Use your phone, ipad, computer or whatever gadget you prefer.  Dial up the grandchildren and cook together.  This takes a little prep as you will need to discuss with their parents what you all will be making in advance.  This ensures that everyone has the ingredients needed on hand.  If you don’t have a “kickstand” or case that allows you to set your phone down, you will need something to aid with that as well.  Obviously your hands will need to be free to work on the meal prep.

  A stand like this is awesome as it works on many sizes of phones and tablets and is also adustable in height.

I suggest a simple menu that can be prepared fairly quickly and easily.  It will be more fun to sit and enjoy it together so that there will also be time for chatter!  Love this!

8 ~ Pen Pals ~

This is an age old topic that has stood the test of time.  You may have read my article I wrote some time ago about this very subject…click here to read my article about Pen Pal Fun With Grandchildren!  What is awesome about this is I don’t know who gets more excited about receiving mail….the grandkids or the grandchildren!

If the kids are too young to write….draw pictures to send back and forth!

9 ~ Read A Bedtime Story ~

Set up a specified time with the parents and have them facetime you.  Be prepared on your end with a favorite book that you can read to them over the phone, ipad, or computer.  Be sure to use your fun different voices and turn the book so they can see the illustrations.

10 ~ This or That? ~

Make up your own list of questions to present to your grandchild.  Would you rather be this or that…would you rather do this or that, etc.  Do you have a hard time coming up with some ideas?  Have no fear, I have also provided a couple of free printouts to get you started.  Print this out and mail it.

Let the child circle one from each row and then call you to discuss it!

Free printable This or That page to share with kids!

Free printable Would You Rather to share with kids!

11 ~ Send Mystery Boxes ~

Periodically send a fun mystery box….fill it with their favorites or follow a certain theme.  Let me assure you, your grandkids will be raving to their friends about just how awesome their grandparents are!

As always, there are different options.  You can choose to create your own, or if you don’t feel like you are good at this sort of thing, check out these options from Etsy!

Space History Box by MysteriesInTime

According to MysteriesInTime, “The Mysteries in Time Activity Pack is a fun award-winning pack bringing history to life for 6-11 year olds. Your child will receive a time machine envelope packed with fun activities, all linked to the history of Space. This has been developed by a primary school teacher with a passion for history.”  It is super cute….you need to check this one out!  It gets amazing reviews AND they have other historical fun packs too!

Children’s Mystery Care Package by Danis Care Package

Boxes range from toys to crafts and ages range 3 – 10.

12 ~ Send “Open When” Letters ~

Create a package of letters to open throughout a certain period of time….monthly, special days, holidays, etc.  This takes a bit of preparation on your part, but the kids will absolutely love getting this package.  Below are some ideas to get you started:

  • Send a large envelope with 7 letters in it for the week leading up to their birthday.  Include letters, gift cards, pictures, etc.
  • Create letters for the granchildren to open each weekend of a month.
  • Write letters for the milestones of a school year…first field trip, first holiday party, first school vacation, first school presentation, first time class performs a musical/concert, etc.
  • For older kids, write letters before the first sporting event or other important after school activity, before prom, before spring break, when receiving first grade card of the year, etc.

In Conclusion ~

So now you have 12 ways to be awesome grandparents.  If you are looking up ideas and found my post, I have an idea you are already pretty awesome!   Hopefully, you have found some fun new ideas!  There are truly so many fun ways to keep in touch…we just need to take the time!

Hugs to all ~





Gratitude Attitude For Kids

Blogging about fun ideas to do for and with kids all year round is the best! There are not enough days in the year to share all the ideas that bring joy to a child’s face.   Memories still flood my mind of finding creative ways to bring fun to my children’s lives when they were younger.   We have now been blessed with grandchildren to continue the excitement!  It’s hard to resist doing special things for them, whether monetary or not! This helped me to realize that maybe a fun activity for them to give back is a great idea too ~ The Gratitude Attitude for Kids!

First, a Little History ~

Much time has been spent since I started blogging, creating a couple of different “month” long activities to have fun with the grandchildren.  Flat Skelly Skeleton entered the scene in 2021…click here to read more about him!  This is full of Halloween ideas to do randomly through the month of October utilizing “snail mail.”  Some new ideas were brought to life this year…Skelly Skeleton is back with lots of new Halloween fun!

Next came Gizmo the snowflake!  Gizmo comes complete with a starter poem and some fun Christmas ideas to share with kids!  He will be coming back this December….so stay tuned!

Introducing Boone ~

Definition of boon ~ a thing that is helpful or beneficial

Over the years, people have used the definition to create the name Boone, which is symbolic for blessing or lucky.  Is this not perfect for our little Thanksgiving character to help children be thankful throughout the month of November?

Boone is going to help our kiddos bestow acts of kindness upon others….instead of acts of kindness always being done to them.  As I stated earlier, I’m all about doing for kids….all year long.  However, this also helps them to realize how fun it is to give instead of always receiving!

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Spooktacular Halloween Snacks for Kids

October is a month of Spooktacular Halloween Snacks for Kids.  It’s time to take those after-school or bedtime snacks up a notch.  This doesn’t mean that a ton of time needs to go into the preparation (well not all of them anway 😉).  What it DOES mean is that you will be creating fun memories for your children!

Believe me when I say, your kids will crown you “Parent of the Spooky Season” when you take a few extra minutes to create these goodies.  You also will be able to sneak in some healthy items that they may not even realize because they just look so fun.  What are you waiting for…….let’s dive in!

This post and its photos may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!

Apple Vampire Bites ~

It really doesn’t get any easier than this fun snack!  Slice apples, layer one side of each slice with peanut butter, add some mini marshmallows for teeth!  This scary snack is healthy and delicious.  Lay each “mouth” on a plate and add some spooky eyeballs to complete the look!

Items/Ingredients Needed ~

  • apples (sliced)
  • peanut butter
  • mini marshmallows
  • plastic eyeballs

Below is a link to purchase the eyeballs.  You may also have luck finding them in some of your local stores!

Hocus Pocus Spellbook Brownies ~

You will notice several steps in this spooktacular Halloween snack, but don’t run away just yet….this is a simple recipe too since you are using boxed brownie mix.  The detail in the instructions is just on the decorating, which goes quickly once you get the hang of what you are doing!

Items/Ingredients Needed ~

  • 1 box brownie mix
  • black tube of icing
  • white tube of icing
  • large candy eyes (optional)

If you choose to use candy eyes instead of the icing (either one works perfectly), you can usually find candy eyes in your local store.  I have also included a link to purchase them below.  *You will want the jumbo size ones for the best look….pay attention to sizes as there are many different sizes of candy eyes.

I’m including this link as well because it is handy to have several sizes on hand when preparing different spooktacular Halloween snacks for kids all month long.

Directions ~

  1. Bake brownies per box instructions.
  2. Let cool and then cut into rectangular (book looking) pieces.
  3. Pipe white icing in a large circle for the eye.  (Optional – you can use a large candy eye in place of this step).
  4. Pipe black icing in middle of eye (unless using large candy eyes).
  5. Pipe a ziz zag line down one long side of brownie.  Next, pipe a straight line next to that and then add stitches down the length of the straight line.
  6. Pipe half circle on opposite two corners of the brownies.

Let’s not forget to add those special candy Halloween extras on our serving plate once we are done making the Hocus Pocus Brownies.  It just makes the presentation that much more fun!

Homemade Chocolate Halloween Candies ~

Another super simple recipe that is so fun to make.  You can be as simple or as creative as you wish.  Bonus….the kids can join in on the fun making these!  (Look in the Hocus Pocus Brownie picture above and you will see the various colored candies on the serving platter!)

Items/Ingredients Needed ~

  • silicone Halloween chocolate molds
  • colored melting chocolates

You can look in your local stores for the chocolate molds or purchase them from the links below.

Directions ~

  1. Place candy melts in a heat proof bowl.  *You can add a tsp. of shortening per each package used to thin the chocolate out a bit.
  2. Put bowl of melts in the microwave and MICROWAVE FOR 30 SECONDS!  (this is in all caps for a reason….follow these directions to ensure your chocolate doesn’t burn!)
  3. Take bowl out and stir thoroughly.
  4. Place back in microwave for another 30 seconds.  (even if it doesn’t look like they are melting, DO NOT go over 30 seconds at a time!  I promise, they are melting!)
  5. Continue doing this until chocolate is melted.

*If you need to thin chocolate out at any point during using, add one teaspoon of shortening.

The link below shows green candy melts (which is indeed a fun Halloween color), however, when you click on the link there are more color options.

If you prefer to use white chocolate melts, or even white almond bark and color it to your own liking, be sure to use oil based food coloring or your chocolate will get VERY thick….believe me….I know this to be a fact because I have ruined my chocolates before!

Halloween Frankenstein Kiwis ~

How cute are these little frankensteins?  A healthy snack that is oh so fun to serve up!

Items/Ingredients Needed ~

  • Kiwis
  • candy eyeballs
  • pretzel sticks
  • black tube icing

Directions ~

  1. Wash kiwi and pat dry.  Cut it in half and place flesh side down.
  2. Cut a little bit off of the ends and throw away.  Using a small vegetable peeler,  gently peel the skin upwards, leaving some on the top for his “hair.”
  3. Pat again with paper towel to remove excess moisture.  This ensures the icing will stick.
  4. Put small dots of icing for the “glue” for each eye.  Then place candy eyes on the icing dots and press lightly.
  5. Draw a mouth and “stitching” on side of face with tube of icing.
  6. Gently snap a pretzel stick in half and push into sides for his arms.

Banana Ghosts ~

*See picture above

Ingredients Needed ~

  • bananas
  • tube of black icing

Directions ~

  1. Peel bananas and then cut in half.
  2. Using tube of icing, draw your ghost face of eyes and mouth!

Mummy Juice Boxes ~

How cute are these?????  Another easy spooky treat that the kids will LOVE!

Items/Ingredients Needed ~

  • Juice boxes
  • Googly eyes
  • Gauze
  • Scotch tape

Directions ~

Wrap gauze around each box.  Gently tuck loose end in the gauze wrapping to secure.

Roll small piece of tape and place on back of googly eyes.  Then place eyes on gauze juice box.  *You can also get googly eyes with adhesive backs to use instead of tape.

Graveyard Pudding Cups ~

Kids love pudding and this ghostly treat will be sure to bring a smile to their faces!

Items/Ingredients Needed ~

  • chocolate pudding cups
  • ghost marshmallow Peeps
  • graham crackers OR Oreos
  • candy pumpkins

Directions ~

  1. Chop graham crackers or cookies in blender or food processor until finely chopped (it should resemble dirt).
  2. Peel top of pudding cups off.
  3. Layer crumbs on top of chocolate pudding.
  4. Top with a marshmallow ghost Peep and a candy pumpkin.

While not necessary, it so much fun to add the casket backdrop to many of your snack presentations, giving a fun name to each snack!

Baked Halloween Quesadillas ~

Items/Ingredients Needed ~

  • Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • flour tortillas
  • spray cooking oil
  • Halloween shaped cookie cutters

Directions ~

  1. Place 2 tortillas together face down on cutting board.  Press cookie cutter into tortillas, making sure to cut through both.
  2. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Place bottom tortilla on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Top with handful of shredded cheese.
  5. Place top tortilla over top of cheese.
  6. Lightly spray top of tortilla with cooking spray.
  7. Bake at 350° for about 7 minutes or until cheese has melted.

*It helps to have the comfort grip cookie cutters for this snack to make cutting through both tortillas a bit easier!

Another fun Halloween serving idea is the coffin shaped cutting board.  This will come in handy for so many reasons throughout the month of October.

Mummy Dogs ~

This can be a fun little snack or part of your dinner menu.  You can mix it up and use regular size hot dogs or cocktail weenies.

Ingredients Needed ~

  • hot dogs or cocktail weenies
  • crescent rolls
  • mustard, ketchup OR candy eyes

Directions ~

  1. Unroll dough and separate at perforations, creating 4 rectangles.
  2. Press perforations to seal.
  3. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut 10 strips lengthwise down the dough.
  4. Wrap strips of dough around the mummy, layering them randomly to resemble mummy wraps.  Use 3 to 4 strips of dough for each mummy.
  5. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until dough is golden brown.
  6. Dot mustard or ketchup on the mummy for eyes OR push candy eyes into the dough.

Wrapping It Up! ~

There you have it my Halloween friends…a list of Spooktacular Halloween Snacks for Kids that will be a hit this season for sure!  I hope that you will create some (or all) of these yummy recipes…and have fun….maybe add your own little touches!  Send pics back in the comments when you do….I would love to see what you have created!

Once you have made all of your snack list ideas, be sure to engage the family in outdoor Halloween fun too!  Try this neighborhood fun…You’ve Been Booed!!! 👻.  Maybe have some Skelly Skeleton fun as explained here….Halloween fun by mail with Skelly Skeleton.

Last, but definitely not least, I would like to thank my dear daughter, Lauren.  I (and I have to say I on this one and not we) raised our kids to love Halloween and all of the fun that goes into the month of October.  She has taken that up a notch and created each of these snacks already this month (and we are not even half way through the month!!!)  She is a dedicated mom that truly enjoys holiday fun with her kiddos!  Our grandkids are indeed lucky!

Happy Halloween my friends ~



Mimi’s Favorite Finds

This page will be dedicated to all unique finds that I want to share with you.  It will be an ever-changing page as I will also put current great deals on here also!

If you are not a Prime member, you can use the handy link above ⤴️to get yourself set up.

Favorite Gift Ideas from Amazon

*Mimiblog.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising revenues by advertising and linking to Amazon.
Below are items that I love or have read amazing things from my fellow bloggers.  You will see that I tend to gravitate to educational toys.   Happy Shopping!

Fun gift ideas for your Christmas shopping!

Brick Loot Products

How to Make Your Own Ghostly Yard Decor!

‘Tis the season of Halloween hauntings….skeletons, witches, ghosts and ghouls!  Can you feel all the eerie feelings as you walk through your neighborhood on these crisp evenings?  Halloween is so much more fun when there are festive yard decorations all around…don’t you agree?  Have you started decorating yet….it’s not too late to make your own ghostly yard decor!  Follow along for these easy DIY directions.

As I walk through my neighborhood I see amazing store bought decor as well as homemade.  One style is not better than the other as far as I am concerned.  They all fit together nicely to create a fun atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.  I have been making yard ghosts for many years now.  In fact, I have the regulars that stop by each year to take a picture of their kids using the ghosts as their backdrop and I LOVE that!

How to Make Your Own Ghostly Yard Decor ~

These little ghostly guys are so festive and fun and yet so easy to make!!!  What is even better is if you don’t have all of the materials on hand, you can brainstorm to easily come up with some items to substitue and still get a good outcome.  Following is a list of the items you will need:

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