Happy Haunting!

Oh Halloween you give mommas a great excuse to dress up our kids in an adorable or hilarious outfit! It’s the time of year where you get to dress your 15 month old as The Situation (from The Jersey Shore), or your 3 year old as a character from A Clockwork Orange for your own amusement.

I think that’s the best part about your child’s first and second Halloween…as parents we still have a say in what they wear! As I pointed out on Monday’s post we dressed as the ‘Heinz” family for Lily’s first Halloween. Mike and I were mustard and ketchup and Lily was a little ketchup condiment packet. I keep glancing back and forth between last year and this year and it amazes me how much our babies grow in one year. Lily did a lot of growing…Mike’s shirt stayed the same!

This year since Lily is walking, attempting to mutter some form of language and enamored by the smallest object or activity, we set out to take advantage of this holiday and this fun toddler age.

Last Thursday we attended an outdoor Trick-or-Treat event at a local shopping strip near our home. All the stores had tables with candy ready for kids and there was a hay ride in the middle of the square. We met up with Elmo & Big Bird (Brady and Emily Ley, two of our dearest friends), and later we ran into the sweetest little candy corn (Lily’s friend Piper) with the cutest bloomers I’ve ever seen!

Of course Lily didn’t understand the concept of trick-or-treating. She wouldn’t even carry her Elmo treat bag. We finally held the bag up to her eye level to show her a bag of M&M’s get dropped inside. She was so excited to see this mini yellow bag of fun that she tossed poor Elmo to the curb. She held the bag close and shook the candy inside. At one point she stopped and did a little window shopping….until she saw the giant white fluffy poodle!

On Saturday we headed out to a small horse ranch near our house for a fall festival with best buds Bryan, Emily & Brady Ley again. This festival had it all…face painting, hay rides, bounce house, pony rides, pumpkin patch and a petting zoo. Emily and I tried to soak up every minute before our tired kiddos hit their breaking point…and conveniently it was right before we got pictures of them at the pumpkin patch. With the wind kicking up and getting too close to nap time we took them inside and lucked out with some of the cutest photos.EVER.

If you live near Tampa I highly recommend you check out Horsepower for Kids. It’s a non-profit organization that uses their horses and 40 other farm animals in fun & educational programs for children and/or adults affected by psychological or physical aliments.

All these little moments I try to soak up. During all the commotion it’s important to stop and watch your child absorb their surroundings. It’s important to take some quick pictures and then stop….stop and actually be there in the moment. Time flies too fast so I try to enjoy these sweet moments before they become memories.

Monday we had a blast at a Halloween party at Lily’s MyGym class and tonight we are heading over to her buddy Beckett’s house (his momma is a good friend and owner of the lovely goods at Oatmeal Lace Designs) for our first neighborhood trick-or-treating experience. To get all the kids together for this is going to be epic.

So soak up today and tonight folks. Enjoy making some fun memories with your kiddos, pets, husbands/wives and friends!

Happy Haunting!

 

 
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  1. D. Boykin commented:
    October 31, 2012 Reply

    Loved all the pictures! The one with the big white poodle is just precious!

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Tip Tuesday: How NOT To Store Bananas

Have you ever googled “pinterest fail”? DO IT! The photos and stories people share are hilarious.

Pinterest has become an obsession for many people…including me. I have found myself turning to Pinterest instead of Google to look up things such as “Holiday wreaths”, “toddler meals” and “cardio workouts”. The site has inspired me to attempt DIY projects and test out yummy recipes. Sometimes the projects go pretty bad and become a source of amusement for Mike. Today I decided to tell you about a Pinterest fail that I tested out a week ago.

Tested Tip: To keep your bananas fresh longer wrap the stems of the bunch with foil.

Conclusion: Didn’t work for us. After two days our bananas were turning and brown spots were showing.

After searching the web I saw that instead of foil you should use plastic wrap. I also read that you should separate each banana to keep them from ripening quicker. Hmmm…..

Another option is to store the bananas in the refrigerator once they are yellow. The skin might turn brown or black, but the inside of the banana won’t be brown.

So whatever way you choose good luck…all I know is that wrapping the stems of  a banana bunch with foil does NOT help!

And for a laugh check out all the funny pictures people upload to Instagram with their hilarious attempts at Pinterest DIY projects and recipes (try #pinterestfail). And if you want a delicious banana bread recipe try this one it’s my favorite!

 
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Lily’s Halloween DIY Ghost Costume

Last year we gave homage to Mike and Pittsburgh by dressing as the Heinz condiment family (Mike was mustard, I was ketchup and baby Lily was the tiny ketchup packet). Still nursing and still carrying all the baby weight I was stoked to have a costume that fit me like a moo-moo. The ketchup packet had a convenient opening at the bottom so we could change her diaper. Lily wore red pajamas underneath and a red headband…easy! Plus it was super cheap…we purchased all three on clearance online for a total around $60.

Now that she is a toddler I thought I would go a bit girly and find a costume with a tutu. Inspired by some ghost costumes on Pinterest that are sold on Etsy I decided I was going to put my Martha hat on and make her costume.

The ghost costume consists of a simple white DIY tutu (see my tutorial here) and a white onesie with iron on eyes, mouth and fun googly eyes. For my first DIY costume…this was easy and gives me confidence to try a harder one next year. BUT then there was the four-hour ghost bow I created for her head….yes four hours. Read all about that doozey here!

Now steps for this easy costume (minus the ridiculous bow!):

  • Wash and air dry the white onesie.
  • Take a black pen and sketch on paper the eyes and mouth you want. I made some eye lashes on the eyes and gave the ghost a friend smile.
  • Cut those out and trace them on cardboard for your stencil. I used cardboard from an empty tissue box. If you are great at drawing you can skip the paper step if you trust your drawing skills. As you can see it took me numerous attempts until I found the perfect eyes. Tip: You can use one eye stencil, just flip it if you are adding lashes so they face the opposite way!
  • Take your cardboard stencils and using a pencil trace onto the fabric. I used black scrap paper so you could easily see the pencil. (save stencils)
  • Cut the eyes and mouth out of the fabric.
  • Using the same stencils trace the eyes and mouth onto The Heat & Bond. Once traced cut the shape.
  • Follow the directions on your Heat & Bond bag! Mine told me I needed to iron the paper liner to the adhesive side first. Well that step led me to actually ironing the sticky part on my ironing board!! (I have been trying to scrape it off, but I am going to just buy a new one at Bed, Bath & Beyond). Turns outs my Heat & Bond didn’t need the first step, so I cut new pieces!
  • Iron the heat and bond stencil pieces onto the onesie and allow it to cool. Once it is cooled you peel back the paper liner, lay the black fabric over the exposed adhesive and press the iron over to heat and seal the fabric together!
  • Flip the onesie over and with puffy paint write BOO on the bottom for a cute little message when your girl bends over to pick up the candy she drops!!
  • Hot glue the googly eyes on top of the black fabric.
  • For final touches I had her wear her black sparkle Toms and the special Halloween ghost bow I created (tutorial here).

Add pants or a long sleeved onesie if you live in cooler temps. To make this costume even easier and cheaper, you could cut out the shapes from felt and just hot glue them to the onesie! By using the Heat & Bond I didn’t have any worries about washing it. This year we have a few Halloween parties and festivals to attend so I made two onesies. After a festival near our house I was able to go home and wash her costume (just the onesie) for her to wear it again to another function. I think I’m going to get my use out of this costume…Plus Lily can wear the white tutu just for fun after the holiday! Even if I put Lily in a potato sack and she would still look BOO-tiful to me <= biased mom.

 
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  1. Paula (SuSu_ commented:
    October 21, 2013 Reply

    THIS IS MY F A V O R I T E costume of the year….smart mama and delightful baby girl…

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Lily & Bliss | Happy Haunting! on October 31, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    […] first and second Halloween…as parents we still have a say in what they wear! As I pointed out on Monday’s post we dressed as the ‘Heinz” family for Lily’s first Halloween. Mike and I were mustard […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | Two Burglars & A Ghost on April 28, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    […] For our last minute costume decision I sat and stared at our closets trying to think of what we could pull together from our own clothes. Starring at me were  8 striped shirts (yes I was on a strip kick for awhile) and the thought of being burglars popped into mind. Read all about Lily’s DIY ghost costume here. […]

  3. By Easy DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids on December 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    […] Source: lilyandbliss […]

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DIY Ghost Bow

Little girls and hair bows go together like biscuits & gravy…sorry I’m hungry and that was the first thing that came to mind!

For Lily’s costume I thought about attaching a bow to her costume and I knew that I wanted some kind festive bow for her hair. I thought it would be easy enough to complete during her nap. FOUR hours later I finally finished her hair bow and gave up on making other bows for the rest of her costume.

First let me tell you that I am horrible at tying bows. Usually one loop is much bigger than the other.

And for all you perfectionists (usually I consider myself one) and regular bow makers I know that the ends are a little frayed in my pictures…after four hours I could care less about those ends! In the future hopefully it won’t take me so long now that I’ve had four hours of training.

The hardest part was making the actual ghost. Mike said he lost track of the deep sighs (more like grunts) I made every time I messed up. The ghost has several pieces of ribbon and if each one is not glued right, you have to start all over!

The ghost bow is all over Etsy and I foolishly attempted to make it by myself instead of search the web for a tutorial. Hopefully these steps will help a beginner bow maker. At least I can laugh about it now and have a great story to tell Lily when she gets older.

To make the bottom bows you will need following:

19 inches of 1 ½ inch black ribbon
15 inches of  7/8 inch black gingham ribbon
1 inch 3/8 inch black ribbon
White cloth stem wire (found at Joann’s near jewelry and floral dept.)
1.25 inch hair clip
Hot glue gun
Fray Check (found at Joann’s near sewing, keeps the ends of the ribbon from fraying)

1. Take the 1 ½ inch black ribbon and fold the ends over each other (see top left corner of picture).

2. Gather and pinch the center of the ribbon to create the shape of the bow. Wrap the middle with the stem wire (you can use jewelry wire too!) to hold the bow in place.

3. Repeat these steps for the smaller black gingham bow.

4. Apply Fray Check to this ends of the bows to keep them from fraying.

5. Place the gingham bow over the back bow and secure them together with the stem wire.

6. Take the 1 inch black 3/8 ribbon and wrap it around the middle to cover the wires and secure it with hot glue. Trim off excess ribbon.

7. Use your hot glue gun to attach the hair clip to the back of the bow.

8. Once you have your ghost completed you will attach it to the middle of the bow with hot glue.

Making the above bows was simple and fast….the ghost is where I had issues and where the majority of the 4 hours was spent!!! For the ghost you will need the following:

3 inches of 3/8 inch white ribbon
5 1/2 inches of 3/8 inch white ribbon (make v-cut to the ends)
3 pieces of 3 to 4 inches of 3/8 inch white ribbon (make v-cut to the ends)
Hot glue
Black puffy paint (or small googly eyes to be funny!)
Fray Check

Before starting make sure you make the small v-cuts to the pieces of ribbon I listed above and apply Fray Check to the ends of the ribbons to keep them from fraying.

1. Take the 3 inch long piece and lay it down and then take your 5 ½ inch long piece and create an upside down “U”, then use your hot glue gun to secure them together like in the picture. Make sure that the bottom pieces of the “u” ribbon are evenly lined up! FYI the above picture is actually wrong, you want the 3 inch piece to be glued BEHIND the “u” shaped piece!!! This picture just so happened to be one of the many I messed up and of course I didn’t take a picture of the correct way!

2. You will need to flatten out the top of the “u” by using a small amount of hot glue under the crease.

3. Apply a small amount of hot glue to the middle of the ribbon and start to attach the 3 remaining pieces of white ribbon. Remember to keep the bottom pieces of the ribbon even. Do not worry about the top of each piece sticking out over!

4. Once the three pieces are glued to the middle, bend the top of the three pieces back and add a small dallop of hot glue to the top of the “u” and lay the threes pieces back down so they are full attached. Carefully trim the top of all three ribbons back as close to the glue as possible so that they are no longer stick over. You will be attaching a mini bow to the top of the ghost so don’t worry about how it looks!

5. Turn the ghost over and glue back the perpendicular ribbon. You can trim each side off, but I think it looks cleaner to just fold the edges back and secure with hot glue.

6. Turn the ghost over and hot glue the mini bow on top of the ghost (tutorial below) and use black puffy paint to create the eyes and mouth!

I love this little ghost… Thank goodness I only had to make one of ’em! To make the ghost’s mini bow you will need the following (btw I used this tutorial to make this mini bow- I decided to search the web for help after the ghost project above):

Any kind of 3/8 inch ribbon. I scored the orange “boo” ribbon for $.99 at Michaels. You can use as much as you want for the desired length you want the ribbon to hang. I used about 5 inches.
Black thread (or any other color you want to match your ribbon)
Large fork
2 clips (you can used bobby pins, wooden clothes pin or even paper clip!)

1. Place your fork down and lay your ribbon down behind it (if you have a design have it facing down).

2. Fold the ribbon over the edge of the fork and secure it with your clip.

3. Fold the other side of the ribbon over the other side of the fork and secure with clip.

4. Thread your black thread through the middle and wrap it loosely around the middle several times.

5. Turn the fork upside down and slowly start to pull the thread tight as it begins to bunch the ribbon to create the bow. Tie the thread in a knot and trim off the excess thread.

6. Trim the ends of the bow to the desired length and slowly pull the bow off the fork.

7. Glue the mini bow on your ghost. To add more sparkle you could glue a small rhinestone to the middle of this bow!

And there you go! I hope I haven’t scared off anyone from attempting to make this. Because I am a perfectionist this took me much longer. Lately Lily has been taking her bows out of her hair and I was surprised that she actually kept it in. I know it’s because she was having way to much fun sucking on a mini bag of M&M’s while hanging out with her buddy Brady Ley, who was dressed up as Elmo…her favorite!

Great thing about the bow…she can use it every Halloween…so the four hours was worth it!

 
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  1. Elizabeth commented:
    October 29, 2012 Reply

    Oh, Amy! That is darling!!! I love it!!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      October 31, 2012 Reply

      Thanks Elizabeth!!! I just hope Lily keeps the bows in so she will like them when she gets older like your cutie!

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An Unplugged Friday…

TGIF everyone! No post today….

Today we had a break at the park with our friends Emily & Brady Ley. Needed to “unplug” and just have fun!

”Cold front” (= weather in the 70’s) headed to Tampa and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it! Enjoy your Friday and hope ya’ll have a fabulous weekend….

 
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Meet Shauna & Chris Anderson

Shauna & Chris Anderson have been battling infertility for years and now they are starting their journey to adopt.

Shauna and I have been close friends since the second grade. Only a few streets apart, we were only a short walk or quick bike ride from each other. Most of my early childhood memories include Shauna. As kids we would hunt for crawdads in the creek between our homes. As pre-teens we would listen to Wilson Philips for hours on end. “Some day somebody’s gonna make you want to turn around and say goodbye…Until then baby are you going to let them hold you down and make you cry…” Sorry I freaking love that song!

Once we tried to see how many Lucky Charm marshmallows we could chew at once. We laughed hysterically as we created a crazy green sugar mixture in our mouths. When we took a sip of cola the green mixture started to fizz and spewed all over the counter. Anytime I see that cereal I crack up thinking of how silly we were.

Shauna became like a sister as we grew up and as one, I had her present when I confronted my mom with my first speeding ticket. She was my support system. But just like a sister, my mom could have cared less at my attempts to use her as a buffer to lessen the punishment!

As a sister I have always looked up to Shauna for her morals and exceptional work ethic, which she demonstrated by graduating early from high school and college. I can recall even as kids how I longed for her pretty penmanship! Shauna has an immense zest for life that is contagious. She makes me want to be a better person in all avenues from my handwriting to my health.

She knows me better than anyone and has always been there for me when I needed her. Now as busy adults no matter how much time goes by in between our phone conversations, we can always pick up where we left off.

As for Chris, he is the perfect equal for my dear friend. It is so cheesy but he completes her. The love and support he showed Shauna while they battled infertility is beyond inspiring. I can’t think of any other couple that deserves to be blessed with a child.

Shauna and Chris have set up a Facebook page (here) and Shutterfly account (here) to promote this marvelous journey. Please stop by and “like” and learn more about them and please share with your family and friends…

They have met with agencies and have been nose-diving in books and blogs to prepare them for this road to parenthood. If you have any advice for my friends please share. Any advice and help is appreciated! Thanks for reading this personal post. I love you Shauna”banana” and Chris xoxo

 
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  1. Jen commented:
    October 25, 2012 Reply

    Love this! We wish them the best of luck on their new journey!

  2. Kimberly Romano commented:
    October 25, 2012 Reply

    So sweet Amy…best to them!

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  1. […] friend, Shauna, who is about to become a mom for the first time. A few months ago I shared her journey to parenthood and their choice to adopt. I’m thrilled to announce that she and her husband Chris will be […]

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Zucchini Pizza Bites

I have become obsessed with faux mini pizzas! I took the steps from Skinny Taste, but there are tons of similar recipes. These mini pizzas are a healthier option than the classic Bagel Bites.

Besides pouring some salsa in a bowl and opening a bag of chips, this recipe has to be one of the easiest gameday (or any day) dishes to prepare!

Best part…it’s delicious and healthy!

Enjoy!

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Zucchini
Pizza sauce or pasta sauce (I used Bertoli’s Olive Oil, Basil & Garlic)
Shredded part-skim mozzarilla
Optional: Turkey pepperoni , black olives, avocado, ham & pineapple…possibilities are endless! You could even do pesto instead of pasta sauce…yum!

  • Place your oven on Broil.
  • Cover cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Slice the zucchini about ¼ inch thick and lay on cookie sheet.
  • Spray the top of the zucchini with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt & pepper (do NOT use table salt…go kosher or sea salt). Flip the zucchini over and season the same way.
  • Place in the oven and broil for two minutes. Turn them over and broil for another 2 minutes.
  • Place pizza sauce or pasta sauce on top, sprinkle with cheese and then add any other toppings.
  • Broil again until cheese is melted 1-2 minutes.
 
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  1. […] sports seasons when we are forced to eat late due to practices and games. Finding these handy Zucchini Pizza Bites helped fill the never ending, what can I have for a […]

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Tip Tuesday: Another Use For A Toothpick

The creation of the toothpick is right up there with The Pet Rock and Post-It. I mean really….a small stick people use to eat cheese and tappas with…genius.

Mike always grabs one when we leave restaurants to pick his teeth on our drive home…an act that always grosses me out….but then I use them to clean my nails at times, an act that can give others the heebie geebies too. Today’s tip is another way to use those tiny pieces of wood.

Have you ever had a spill over while trying to steam broccoli or cauliflower? The boiled water starts to fry and turn black. The kitchen smells like you burnt something and the cleanup blows! Usually the problem is too much water or food in the pot, or the heat is too hot! If neither of these two are your issue then next time place the tip of a tooth pick in between the lid and the pot. You will make a small enough hole to allow some steam out while the opening will still be small enough to steam your food. For items like rice you usually have to take the pot of the heat or simmer it on low, so no need to use this it.

Don’t worry about having a boil over and making your husband assume you burnt dinner again…just use the amazing toothpick!

 
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It’s Pinktober

The month of October is a time to stand up and support survivors, women still fighting and those who have lost their battle to breast cancer.

My mother had a scare when I was in high school. My parents held back the news that doctors had found something for sometime to protect my brother and me. One day I was having an argument with my mom (probably over not being about to go out to a party) when she started crying and confessed what she had been hiding. Suddenly my teenager dilemma became insignificant. My mom had the mass removed and fortunately it was not cancerous. She is one of the lucky ones. Just thinking back my stomach is turning and the thought of loosing her to breast cancer is beyond heartbreaking. My love and prayers go out to anyone who has family or friends battling breast cancer.

One in eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer. About 85% occur in women with no family history of breast cancer. A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. (These facts taken from here)

Nearly 40,000 women will die in 2012 from breast cancer. 109 women die every day from breast cancer…4 die every hour…1 in every 15 minutes. And Men get breast cancer too. (these fact found here)

Volunteer, donate or participate in events that fight against breast cancer. If you don’t have time there are still ways for your to get involved. You can simply donate to wonderful organizations like:

Breast Cancer Research Foundation (90.9% goes to research & programs)
Susan G. Komen For The Cure (84% goes to research & programs)
Living Beyond Breast Cancer (83.7% goes to research and programs)

Breast Cancer is the perfect excuse to shop if you ask me. Here are 10 items you can purchase that a percentage will go to various cancer charities.)1. Pink Pony tee $88 Ralph Lauren
2.  AG Adriano Goldschmied jeans $159, 20% of the proceeds go to the Keep A Breast Foundation
3. One Voice Hopefull Heart Charm $34 Dogeared
4. Nine West leopard print loafer flats $34.50. Shop on QVC on Wednesday October 24th  where this shoe will be on sale and 100% of proceeds go to charity!
5. The Opi Pink of Hearts Duo Set, including You Glitter Be Good to Me & I Think In PInk, $15 at OPI, donating $25,000 to Susan G. Komen.
6. Hardshell Needlepoint Print Phone Case Tory Burch $48, 15% up to $15,000 to BCRF.
7. Rope bracelet, $38; KielJamesPatrick.com. 20% to BCRF.
8. Strawberry Fields Tic Tac mints are $1.29 at all local retailers. Tic Tac will donate $100,000 to CancerCare.
9. Clinique’s Limited Edition Breast Cancer Awareness Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion with a Clinique signature key ring and a Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Ribbon Charm $36 Bloomingdales, $10.00 from this purchase will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers Pink Terrible Towel $9.95

For more information head to any of the above foundations or check out breastcancer.org. For steps on how to properly give a self-exam read this.

 
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DIY Butterfinger Bites

Halloween….the little bite size candy given as treats during your holiday can drive a woman insane. I know that if I purchase the bite size Butterfingers or Snickers early it will result in a depressed state of mind as I sit with wrappers all around me. I mean I had to get them since they were on sale….this year I made an oath, to myself, that I wouldn’t cave and by any of your wicked candy treats until the 31st.

I failed. Kind of.

I purchased a bag of candy corn to place inside a five-dollar glass pumpkin I scored at Target. In my mind I thought…it’s décor, I won’t eat it. I could place a candle inside…and if the candy is touching a candle I won’t eat it. Oh the mind games I play with myself in the candy isle.

I stayed strong for a few days until I brought up the idea of making Butterfinger bites from the candy corn to my friend McKay, of Oatmeal Lace Design. When I get an idea in my head it’s really hard to stop it from happening. The next day I stood in my kitchen and broke my personal oath as I made my favorite candy bar from “holiday décor”.

Pretty amazed that it only took three ingredients: candy corn, peanut butter and chocolate. I found this recipe sometime ago, but this awesome creation has been making its rounds all over the web. I made a small portion in attempts to keep me from completely falling off my “eat clean wagon”. BUT Mike and I only had ONE piece and then we tossed the rest away! I know insane, but I didn’t have that “Oh sh!t did I just eat all of that” moment! Everyone deserves a cheat day!

Enjoy this really easy treat!

DIY Butterfinger Bites

1 ½ cups of candy corn
8 oz. peanut butter (I used creamy)
Chocolate to coat (I used semi-sweet morsels I had on hand)

In a microwave safe bowl heat the candy corn for one minute. Stir and keep heating for 20 second intervals until completely melted.

Stir in peanut butter. I use organic peanut butter so it was in the fridge. I placed it in the microwave and heated it by 20 second intervals again, stiring in between, until it was blended.

Take a loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. Place the candy corn mixture into the pan and let it cool completely for about 2 hours.

Once it is cooled you can remove from pan and cut into pieces (I made about 15, remember bite size!).

Heat your chocolate via the microwave or the stovetop and then dip your butterfinger bites into the chocolate, drizzle it or spoon some on the top like I did. Just put some chocolate on it!!

 
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  1. Elizabeth commented:
    October 22, 2012 Reply

    Wow, this sounds incredible!!!

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