Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Reuse your old socks - make #Halloween Sock Spiders!

Green Halloween Craft Idea: Sock Spiders!

Do you have single socks or worn-out socks taking up space in your closet or dresser?  For some reason, I have a mound of these and even though I use them for cleaning - they just seem to multiply!  Since I have a lot of black socks, I thought I would reuse them and create "Sock Spiders" to use as Halloween decorations.  This past weekend, we walked over to Michael's Craft Store and purchased some black pipe cleaners and what my son calls, "googly eyes" then came back and collected all those socks.  We stuffed the end of the socks with other socks or old ripped t-shirts (you could use cotton, paper or tissue) and folded the open end of the sock over the whole thing and tucked it into the open end.  Then we poked through the bottom with 4 pipe cleaners to form the legs.  I sewed the end of the folded sock top to make a smooth bottom.  My son stuck the googly eyes onto the top then I pulled some thread through the top using a needle and hung one over the doorway to the kitchen.  They turned out so cute!  We can use these every year now AND I got rid of all those lonely socks!  Way to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!!

If you have black or brown socks that have patterns or colors on them. you can have some fun - here is a sock spider using argyle socks!
 If you make your own recycled Halloween decoration, please share by posting a comment and if you have a photo, please send it to me and I'll post it here!
Happy GREEN Halloween!

Want more Green ideas? Go to`

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Greener Halloween Decorations

I love Halloween!  I always have - even growing up my favorite thing to do was help decorate the house or the bulletin board at school.  I think I spend more time and effort on Halloween than any other holiday!  Some people have a big box in their attic filled with Christmas decorations...I have a big box of Halloween stuff that I reuse every year!  The past couple of years, I have been making my own decorations and even goody boxes/bags for guests at my party.
One year I made dozens of bats cut out of black paper to stick on the walls and windows and hang with string from the ceiling and lights (like a mobile) and reuse them every year.  This is so easy to do - even the kids can do it!  I got this idea from my favorite magazine issue, Martha Stewart Living Halloween.  Click here to download a template and go to's Bat Mobile How To for full details.

Another fun thing I make myself are goody bags or boxes.  Martha Stewart has some great templates and I just love this candy box!  It is just the perfect size for a handful of candy and treasures and looks so nice lined up on a table!  Just simply print out the 2 templates (download it here in PDF format), fold, glue edges, let dry then then poke a hole in the top to add ribbon then add goodies, close top (glue closed).  Write "Please Recycle" on the back so the recipient can recycle the paper box when they are done.  For more detailed instructions, click here.  You can also purchase some recycled paper bags and print out your own designs to glue onto the sides.

One of my all-time favorite little decorations/treats are the classic Lollipop Ghosts!  Take a lollipop (how about an all natural type like Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops) and wrap it with recycled paper tissues or tissue paper or how about an old cloth shirt or hanky.  Tie a cute ribbon around the base of the lollipop so it looks like a ghost then using a marker, put 2 eyes and a mouth.  You can put these ghosts into goodie bags, hand them out to trick or treaters, or put them on display by sticking them into the tops of pumpkins, a cake or cupcakes or even on shelves and tables using playdoh or clay.

These home-made halloween decorations will not only save you some $$Green but will also reduce the environmental impact of waste from holiday decorations that are usually made of plastic.  These can be recycled if you used paper or better yet - reused next year!

Before you go, please stop by some of my fellow bloggers sites and also follow the Green Blog Hop!

Stop by Reduce Footprints for their Change the World Wednesdays!  Every week they post a new challenge - something we all can do to reduce our impact on the environment.  This is a great way to live more eco-friendly, one week at a time. (thanks RF for the shout out this week!)

If you are a Green Blogger, follow the Wednesday Green Blog Hop and connect with other Green Bloggers.  This is a great way to reach out to others to build your following as well as follow, read and learn about other environmentally friendly ideas.

Make sure to follow me and sign up for newsletters to be updated on more Green Halloween ideas as well as some up-coming Giveaways!
Thanks for stopping by!  ~Sprout

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Save 30% on Pure Bars

Pure Bar Organic Variety Pack, Raw Fruit & Nut Bars, 12-Count is now running a special promo for Pure Bars - the all natural, organic, gluten-free, kosher raw food bar.  I love these bars - so do my kids (my son asks for them in his lunch bag all the time!) so when they are on sale, it's a win-win-win situation!

Save up to 30% on select gluten free Pure Bars sold by Save 15% when you enter code PUREBRGF at checkout. Plus, save an additional 15% when you combine the instant rebate with your Subscribe & Save order--bringing your total savings to 30%. Offer valid through October 31, 2010.

I've tried all flavors and really like the Apple Cinnamon - they really taste like apple pie!  The Wild Blueberry is also one of my favorites - light blueberry taste and very crunchy with nuts.  If you are a chocolate fan then you will also love the Chocolate Brownie (I do!) - they are moist and chocolaty without being too sweet.  See my previous review of Pure Bars here

Here's the nutritional info for Apple Cinnamon:
Calories (190), Calories From Fat (80), Total Fat (8 g, 13%), Saturated Fats (1 g, 5%), Trans Fat, Cholesterol, Sodium (5 mg), Total Carbohydrate (26 g, 9%), Dietary Fiber (4 g, 15%), Sugars (19 g), Protein (5 g), Vitamin A, Vitamin C (2%), Calcium (2%), Iron (6%), Potassium (250 mg, 7%), Vitamin E (4%), Thiamin (25%), Riboflavin (30%), Niacin (2%), Vitamin B6 (4%), Folate (2%), Phosphorus (8%), Zinc (4%), Magnesium (8%), Copper (15%)

Organic Dates, Organic Apples, Organic Walnuts, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Cashews, Organic Almonds, Organic Brown Rice Protein, Organic Cinnamon And That's All! (Unless You Count The 14 Essential Vitamins And Minerals, Antioxidants From Cherries And Healthy Omega 3 Fats In Every Bite) - Nothing Cooked. Nothing Processed - Completely Pure. sells these bars at a great price and they are available for Subscribe and Save so you can have them shipped every month or so and save 15% (plus free shipping with Amazon Prime).  Using the current promotion, you save an additional 15% - here is a breakdown of the savings:

Original price of 1 box Apple Cinnamon Pure Bars: $20.99 normal price: $19.16
Subscribe and Save price: $16.29 ($2.87 Amazon savings)
Current Promo Price: $13.42 ($5.74 Amazon savings - $7.57 overall savings! )
That's $1.11 per bar!

What a way to save some Green while eating healthy!
Offer ends October 31, 2010 so order now!


Check out more great October Deals and don't forget that October is Celiac Awareness Month and has 35% savings on select products:Click Here for Gluten-free Savings

Happy October!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fabulous Fall Activities around NYC

My daughter Siena loves apple picking!
September and October are probably my favorite months of the year - the weather is usually enjoyable and there are so many great things to do outside before it gets too cold and rainy.  My favorite thing to do is go apple and pumpkin picking at local farms.  There is nothing like a sweet, crisp apple picked right off the tree along with apple cider and donuts!  Last weekend we took advantage of the great weather and an early apple season on the East Coast and traveled to Masker Orchard at 45 Ball Road in Warwick, NY.  This was our first time here as we usually go apple and pumpkin picking in early/mid October in NJ.
My son Shea inspecting the apple
Masker Orchard is easy to get to from NYC (and NE New Jersey or SW Connecticut) and it's HUGE!  They have a great selection of apples (14 varieties), a well organized layout (they provide bags with a map on it at the gate) and they also have pony rides, food, places to sit and through October they have a maze and haunted barn!  Because I have been dubbed an Apple Snob, here is a small list of apples and their description to help you select the right apples too:

  • Macintosh - smaller red apples, juicy, slightly tart and softer, best for baking and applesauce; harvest: Sept.
  • Granny Smith - bright green, firm, juicy and tart, perfect for eating, in salads and baking; harvest: late Sept-early October
  • Empire - a NY developed variety is a cross of Macintosh and Red Delicious, semi-crisp, sweet and tart, good for eating, baking and desserts, cider; harvest: late Sept.
  • Red Delicious - dark red, sweet, med-crisp, great for anything, most popular apple sold in US; harvest: late Sept./early Oct.
  • Ida Red - big red apples, juicy and sweet, good for cooking/baking, desserts, applesauce; harvest: early-mid Oct.
  • Mutsu (Crispin) - one of my favs is yellowish-green, crisp and sweet, great for eating, applesauce and cider; harvest: mid-late Oct. for sweeter apples
  • Honeycrisp - my ALL TIME fav is medium red and yellow, very crisp and very sweet, just a little tart; harvest: mid Sept. and have a long shelf life; These are mostly grown in the midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan) as they were developed in Minn.  I have found that these are more expensive than other apples but in my opinion, well worth the price!

    Selecting the best pumpkin at Riamede Farm
    If you are looking to do both apple and pumpkin picking, I highly recommend spending the day in Chester, NJ.  We have done this for years and it makes for a perfect October day!  Our first stop is to Riamede Farm, located at 122 Oakdale Road.  It's very popular so go early or late.  They have a very large pumpkin patch (on a slightly steep hill, so walk carefully with the little ones) and have little red wagons for you to haul the pumpkins.  They also have a hayride from the entrance to the pumpkins and apples which the kids just love!  The orchard is great and has a good variety of apples (bring a bag or two).  There is a small fee but it is worth it.

    To experience a really fun Corn Maze and sample some great baked goods, donuts and cider, go to Hacklebarney Cider Mill at 104 State Park Road, Chester, NJ.  It is off the beaten path and not too big (parking lot gets filled up fast, so car-pool and park alongside the road if you need to).  The Corn Maze is AWESOME (and difficult) and they even hide their aerial on Google Maps so people don't figure out the maze before they go!  They have a fantastic farm market with absolutely delicious baked goods and cider!  There is a little knoll to sit and eat but because of all the cider, there are bees so be warned.  Again, because of it's growing popularity, it does get packed but it's also worth it.

    Corn maze at Hacklebarney Farm
    For much more on great Fall Outdoor Activities in and around NYC, go to Big City Moms (Thanks for the great article, Monica!)

    For an extensive list of places to go apple/pumpkin picking in NY, NJ and CT, check out this great article in TimeOut NY Kids: Click here to go to website

    Now get out there and enjoy the day!