Freakishly Fun Cookie Monsters for Halloween #Choosesmart #Shop @SmartFinal

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.


If you are looking for a non-stop shop for Halloween Smart & Final is for you!  Smart & Final is a perfect place for you to shop for all of your bakery items.

These Silly Halloween cookies I saw on Pillsbury site are made using home made pumpkin and chocolate chip cookies. Make them for the holiday as a fun activity for your kids or use them at your Halloween themed party, either way they will be a ghoulish hit. There are so many baking decorations choices at Smart & Final you will find everything you need..

Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe: 

Mix Together: 

  • 1- Cup Sugar
  • 1- Cup Pumpkin
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil (or Coconut Oil)
  • 1- Egg

Sift and Add to Above:

  • 2- Cups Flour (Pre Sifted or non Sifted)
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1- Tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2- Tsp. Baking Powder

Dissolve and Add to the Rest of the Ingredients:

  • 1- Tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1- Tsp. Milk
  • 1- Tsp. Vanilla

Add Chocolate Chips (and Walnuts if Desired) Spread flat to desired size & Thickness. Bake at 375* for 10-12 Min On Cookie Sheet covered with Parchment paper for best results (or Lightly greased) Let cool completely before decorating. Makes Aprox. 2 Dozen 3" Cookies

Decorating Cookie Monsters: (Spin off from Pillsbury site online)

  • Separate frosting into cups per desired amount of colors to be used.
  • Take one cookie and place half a marshmallow at back of cookie to help keep top cookie wedged open when filled with frosting.
  • Fill front half of bottom cookie with frosting, them top with second cookie.
  • Add desired treats and candies to create face/teeth/nose! Have fun with it!

Tip: Keep Frosting in refrigerator till ready to assemble, keeps it from getting too runny.

Which one is your favorite?  I like the one in the back.  Please share your monster cookie creations with me, I would love to see them!

Stay up to date with Smart & Final by following them:
Love contests?  Smart & Final opened their 200th store with a $200 contest!  To Enter CLICK HERE
Have you done the "Pick Your Best Smartie" contest?  This contest requires a selfie taken inside a Smart & Final store and uploaded to the Facebook page.  Participants can also participate on Twitter and Instagram by including the hashtag #Smartie200 to their selfie. Contest runs the entire month of October. 

What do you think of my Freakishly Fun Cookie Monsters for Halloween #CHOOSESMART #COLLECTIVEBIAS

Brick Or Treat @Legoland_CA

We are so lucky here in So Cal. There are so many different Halloween events to attend that are kid friendly, it's almost hard to narrow it down to only a few. We love going to Legoland once a year but had never attended their Brick or Treat event held during the month of October. So when we were invite to attend we more than happily made the trip down. 

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Rise! of The Jack O' Lanterns in #Arcadia @SantaAnitaPark

Looking for a family friendly Halloween themed event to attend with the family? Rise! of the Jack O' Lanterns  is the perfect one with 2 locations here in LA county. 
Rise! originated in New York and now has 4 locations, three of which are here in California. 
What is Rise? It is a self guided tour of 5,000 carved pumpkins arranged in the most clever designs that are all to easy to recognize as well as some amazing stand alone ones that are incredibly detailed. 

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Knott's Spooky Farm Halloween Lawn Decor DIY

 We love Knott's this time of the year and it's THE best time to get your 2016 Season Passes by the way. Knott's Berry Farm has stepped it up once again transforming areas of the park into Knott's Spooky Farm weekends now thru then end of the month of October. This along with the new Peanuts movie that is to be released this November had me super excited to revamp our Halloween yard theme this year.

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DIY Mummy Party Favors for Halloween

 Looking for a unique party favor to use at your child's school or party? I made these cute little mummies last year after attending a DIY event on the set of the Home and Family Show. One of the shows talents is Tanya Memme who gave our group a step by step on how to make them. I thought they we just adorable and was excited to be able to recreate them for my daughters Halloween Party at school.

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Halloween Pizzas for the Little Ghouls #ChooseSmart #CollectiveBias #Shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

 Halloween Pizzas for the Little Ghouls #ChooseSmart #CollectiveBias

Smart & Final makes it simple to make a fast and easy lunch, dinner or party food for your ghouls this Halloween and you can't go wrong with these individual Pizzas. Your kids can even help make them and the prep time is eerily quick! 

Here is what you'll need:

1st start off with any ready made/ready to bake pizza crust and bake per directions. I took a single pizza crust and made the 2- smaller pizzas.

2nd decorate how you like! Smart & Final has ALL the things you will need at a price that won't leave you cringing in fear but instead leaves you with extra money for those Trick or Treats for the monsters and Super hero's that will be visiting your door!

I made a one eyed monster using the following ingredients:

  • Mozzarella cheese (block or sliced will work) Cut in a Large circle
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Pepperoni
  • Black Olives (sliced)

The Crust package has you pre bake first, add the toppings then finish off baking the remaining time, so it really makes for an activity you can prep ahead of time and is very quick to make.

So simple and I love seeing the kids get creative when they are making their monsters.  This is such a fun activity for the whole family, hope you enjoy it!

Stay up to date with Smart & Final by following them:
Love contests?  Smart & Final opened their 200th store with a $200 contest!  To Enter CLICK HERE
Have you done the "Pick Your Best Smartie" contest?  This contest requires a selfie taken inside a Smart & Final store and uploaded to the Facebook page.  Participants can also participate on Twitter and Instagram by including the hashtag #Smartie200 to their selfie. Contest runs the entire month of October. 

Eek! at the Greek! + GIVEAWAY

Photo Credit:  Greek Theatre

Photo Credit:  Greek Theatre

When:  Saturday, October 25th at 4:30pm, Symphony in the Glen starts at 7pm

Where:  LA Greek Theatre

This is the 4th annual Eek at the Greek which is a symphonic extravaganza presented by Children's Hospital Los Angeles.  A family friendly event with the following activities before the show starts (4:30 - 6:30pm):

Photo Credit:  Greek Theatre

Photo Credit:  Greek Theatre

  • Trick or Treating
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Face Painting
  • Costume Contest

The musical program includes some favorite creepy frightening songs:

  • “Infernal Dance” from the Firebird by Igor Stravinksy
  • Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens
  • Funeral March of the Marionette with children conductors
  • “Gnomes” from Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky
  • Devil Dance by John Williams

A special feature of Skeleton Dance from Disney cartoon will be seen with the symphony playing.  How awesome is that!



Screamfest 2014

Get into Fall at Forneris Farms Harvest Festival

Disclaimer:  I was invited by Forneris Farms and given passes to do the activities.  All opinions are my own.

Forneris Farms Harvest Festival

We were invited to explore Forneris Farms this weekend and knowing that it was going to be a hot weekend I got my kids up and ready early to be the first ones at the farm.

We started our day doing the Corn Maze.  The farm suggested it could take from 30 minutes to an hour to go through the whole maze.  They provide you with a map and along the maze you will find CORNundrums (riddles) for you to solve.  On the back of the map you place where you found your answer.  If you complete and have them all correct you are entered in a drawing for a prize.  My main focus was to get in and out of the maze without having to carry my toddler so I wasnt' looking for the signs.  We did run into about five of them which were neat for my oldest and I to try to solve.  We had plenty of water and I carried snacks just in case.  There were moments that I felt I was going the wrong way, but my navigator son was confident and reassured me that we were doing the right thing.  There was a lot of shade from the tall corn stalks which helped keep us going.  On the map there is a number just in case you need to call for help.  I am happy to say that we all made it through, my toddler walked all the way, and I didn't panic!  

After the maze we sat on some picnic tables with shade to rest and eat some snacks.

After snacks the kids ran through the Farm Frolic Area where they have the following activities:

  • Haybale Mini Maze - kids loved running through this over and over again!
  • Tetherball - my oldest would had stayed there all day if I didn't pull him away
  • Giant Pumpkin Jumper
  • Bike Race Track - my toddler had a hard time reaching the pedals, but with a little push from mom he was able to do it on his own.
  • Sandbox
  • Photo Ops
  • Hay Pyramid - a great view of the maze that you just conquered!

After running around and playing we decided to do the tractor pulled train ride.  This is about a fifteen minute ride that will take you around the farm.  You will see antique tractors, learn some history, and see the different types of pumpkins.

The other side of the farm is filled with these activities:

  • Pony Rides 
  • Petting Zoo - you will get food to feed the animals, there is a washing station outside that is perfect for little ones
  • Pumpkin Bowling - YES!  You bowl a pumpkin and if you get a strike you get a free pumpkin.  You knock down a pin and you get a small prize.
  • Carnival Games - depending on how you do determines the prize.  Everyone gets a little something.  I did like that the gentleman that was assisting my son suggested that he get closer due to is age.

You can also get your Face Painted!  Courtney, the face painter, did an amazing job with the kids.  She was very patient in helping them select what they wanted.  As you can see from her artwork she loves what she does.  

To contact Courtney directly email her at

We finished out the day with picking out pumpkins.  There are so many to choose from!  The kids picked out their pumpkins and then I was informed that if you purchase a pink pumpkin a portion of the sales is donated to breast cancer!  They also have pumpkins that are perfect for making pumpkin pies!

A note that Forneris Farms is cash only, they do have an ATM machine there but it is best to bring your cash with you.  

They have contests about every half hour which everyone will have fun participating and the winner will get a free pumpkin.  Pictured on the right we played hot potato version with mini pumpkins.


We had a such a great day and it really did get us into the fall season.  Now I want to hear from you, have you ever been?

Are you infected? Knott's Scary Farm new mazes!

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.

Since there are so many things to do at Knott's Scary Farm I am going to show you my strategy.

Get there early, they open the gates at 6:30 pm and then you are at the start of Knotts.  Go and wait for the entrance of Calico Ghost Town.  The monsters will get you worked up watching them come closer to you, greeting you in.

Once opened then head to the left, go all the way to the back.  Make your choice (all great mazes but super long lines)

Dominion of the Damned - is really good.  I love when you walk in and here other people screaming.  Crazy jumping when some walls come to light and reveals what is inside.

Photo Credit:  Knotts Scary Farm

Photo Credit:  Knotts Scary Farm

This twisted tooth fairy steals more than just baby teeth as he drags his victims out their bedroom window and into a world of deranged dentistry. Unbelievable special effects include a blackout room through which guests must feel their way out, a disorienting x-ray strobe light room, and a final encounter with the massive tooth fairy, himself.

Toothfairy - This still haunts me!  You walk in and you see this little boy on his bed looking for his brother.  Then you start hearing the sound of the dentist.  There is a part where this little boy is sitting in the dentist chair half of his jaw missing and the toothfairy is taking out his teeth.  All the way through it is scary.

Beware the cursed swamps of New Orleans, where mindless zombies trudge through the murky bogs in search of bloody sacrifices and demons use Voodoo curses to possess innocent souls. Choose your path carefully children, for one wrong turn and you will be hexed forever.

VooDoo - I was lucky enough to see this in the day time.  I was even scared then.  You get different paths when you visit and I am not going to say what happens when you go out to the swamp walking on the bridges, but you will be scared!  In one room there is an exorcist happening in the other a human sacrifice.  As you go through the woods it is lit by fog and you don't know what is coming up!  Creepy!

Photo Credit:  Knotts Scary Farm

Photo Credit:  Knotts Scary Farm

I would hold off Trick or Treat for the end on the way back. 

Then Infected!!!  Well this is a timed attraction.  They give you a time to come back and either you are Alpha or Bravo.  Alpha you enter through the opening of Camp Snoopy.  Bravo you enter though the other side where the Fiesta Village is.  Look I came out okay!

YES!  Finally someone has done exactly what I wanted for Halloween!  To take down some ZOMBIES!  Infected is where Camp Snoopy is.  You go in and wait for your instructions.  They provide you with a gun that you have have to shoot the zombies in the head.  If the zombie gets to close you are of the game.  You go through the building and start being attacked.  I was so into it, I felt my adrenaline kick in.  They were coming from everywhere.  You get out of the building and start making your way across the bridge through the cave.  In the cave you cannot see anything.  Once you make it out of the cave you come across a campground.  You have to look in the tents to find survivors.  Crazy!  Loved every minute of it!  Here is a tip to know how many zombies you got look at your gun at the end.  It will have a number showing your killings.  This was a great way to my night!

Photo Credit:  Knotts Scary Farm

Photo Credit:  Knotts Scary Farm

Then walk through the mist of Calico, which you can't see anything, not until it is right in front you.  Hold tight to your friends cause you don't want to get separated.. 

Photo Credit:  Knotts Scary Farm

Photo Credit:  Knotts Scary Farm

Head over to Pinnochio - I did like this a lot!  So creepy and the boy you see on the far left of the picture above man he gives the chills.  Marionette's have always scared me and seeing the human flesh covering the wooden boy was creepy!

Then Forevermore - I didn't really care for this maze.  It did have some cool scenes with the ravens which I am scared of birds, but other than I think they could of done more with the giant screen.  

If you need a break then watch Elvira!  Yes she is back, the legendary Mistress of the Dark, ELVIRA!  She will be at Knott's Scary Farm every night at the Charles M. Schultz Theatre.  You can also shop and meet Elvira at the Boo-tique.  Each night a limited number of guests who spend at least $50 at the Elvira Boo-tique during Knott's Scary Farm will get a chance to meet Elvira!

The Hanging is a great show.  Very funny!  Just wished it was shorter.  My feet were killing me from standing.  Careful though the little piggies are out to play!

My recommendation is this if it is your first time there or haven't been there awhile invest in the Fright Lane Pass which has almost zero wait time so you can jump from each maze.  

Skeleton Key

If you are a seasonal Knotts Scary Farm guest get the Fright Lane Pass with skeleton key.  There is a 20 minute wait at some since they only allow 6 guests at time into the extra rooms.   Then you go straight into the maze after that.