The Busy Giffs

October 9, 2017

Easy Halloween Brownies

Did you know that in addition to coffee and mac and cheese, Halloween is another one of those things that everyone else seems to love and I just don't?
I mean... there were stages of my life where I really enjoyed it, but I've never liked scary things...
I don't do haunted houses... I don't even like walking from my car to the house in the dark...
I don't watch scary movies...

Literally, my ideal Halloween now is taking my kids Trunk or Treating somewhere lit, where we're not walking on dark roads, and then coming home to watch It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and Hocus Pocus while having a glass of wine and enjoying the candy I bought for the trick or treaters we never get.

I will admit though that my children love the idea of Halloween. Costumes, treats... they love it! They spent most of Saturday morning in their Halloween costumes and kept pretending to trick or treat around the house. I figured a good distraction was cooking or baking something since they love being in the kitchen.

I've been hankering for brownies lately so a quick boxed mix and the extra ingredients was an easy fix.  I used a shallow 13x9 pan and baked according to the directions. After letting them completely cool, we used our amazing circle cutter set (the same one we use for making our own Uncrustable sandwiches!) to make smaller circle brownies.

Last week, we picked up some ghost and pumpkin shaped marshmallows, as well as some candy eyes, so we knew they'd be the perfect decorations!

Simple food dye to some frosting gave us some color and the kids enjoyed adding the marshmallow toppers.

For the mummies, we frosted them with white, added 2 eyes, and then (using a sanwich bag with a hole cut in the corner) we added some lines to look like the gauze!

Frankenstein was easy as well: green frosting, 2 eye candies, and black decorating icing for the hair and mouth.  We even added two candy corn for his bolts!

I think they're adorable and were so easy to make!

Which design is your favorite?

xo, Heather

October 2, 2017

Apple Picking at Tougas Family Farm

I love apples. They get skipped over a lot by pumpkin, but I like to give apples the whole fall to be wonderful. My favorite thing is apple picking.  We've gone every year with the kids and it's just a great day, followed by great baking.  This year we ventured to Tougas Farms in Northborough.

We met up with my mom and sisters to go picking for the morning. Tougas Farm has you pay for the bag ahead of time.  The smaller bag, a Peck - about 10 pounds, is $30 and admits up to 4 people into the orchard. The larger bag is a 1/2 Bushel ~ 20 pounds. At $40 it admits up to 6 people into the orchard. We grabbed a larger bag and hopped on the hayride to the orchards (included in price). When you get off the wagon, they give a quick overview of what apples are where and then you're off. 

I love a good crunchy Honey Crisp apple so I loaded up on those! After we were done picking, we made our way over to the playground.

And checked out some wildlife...

Our trip wouldn't be complete without some cider donuts (gone before pictures could be taken- whoops!) and a few pumpkins!

It's a gorgeous farm that is well taken care of and we had such fun for the morning!
Where do you go apple picking? I'm always looking for new places to check out!

xo, Heather

September 27, 2017

Emmalee's HasCon 2017 Picks

Hasbro hosted it's first ever HasCon this year in Providence, Rhode Island and we were lucky enough to attend, thanks to some tickets provided by Hasbro. Emmalee was absolutely in love with the toys.  We're huge Hasbro fans anyways, but we're taking a quick minute to highlight her absolute favorites from the show!

In no particular order....

1. Baby Alive

Emma has been asking for a Baby Alive for months.  She loves the idea of feeding and changing the diapers! There are so many different ones, ranging from as low as $15 so they are a great toy to keep on hand for the girls in your life!

2. FurReal Pets

Emmalee loves Pandas and was extra excited to find a Fur Real Pet Panda at HasCon! It's an adorable little toy! Tyler preferred the bigger Tiger, aptly named Tyler!

3. My Little Ponies

There are so many new ponies! Pirate Ponies and Mer-ponies! We could have spent all morning just coloring and playing!

4. Littlest Pet Shop Rings

The Littlest Pet Shop Animals are adorable and now they are micro-sized to wear around everyday!

5. Equestria Girls Dolls

These dolls premiered at HasCon- how fun! Sadly, they won't be out until Spring but Emma is obsessed and I'm sure we'll be adding them to the rest of our MLP collection!

6. Doh Vinci

I was actually surprised that Emmalee loved the Doh Vinci! We recieved one a couple years ago and she tried it, got bored , and walked away.  At HasCon, she would have been occupied for hours with it! It even made it's way on to her Wish List! I can't really even describe it- it's almost like PlayDoh (but it doesn't get under your fingernails!) but you use the device to use it almost like a caulking gun and then it hardens!

7. Disney Tangled Dolls

We've always been big fans of Tangled and now we love watching the TV show, so why not add a few more Rapunzel dolls to our collection?

8. Descendents Dolls

The Descendants quickly became a favorite of Emmalee's- she's even being Evie (the duaghter of the Evil Queen) for Halloween! I love the premise of the show, and any show that helps kids deal with their own feelings of belonging are great in my book! The detail on these dolls are gorgeous!

9. Hanazuki

This was a big favorite! We had never even heard of the brand before but Hanazuki has a Netflix series, plush dolls, and collectible treasures!

10. Sit and Spin

Such a simple toy, but always a favorite-- even when I was a kid! Check out the huge one in the background... seriously bummed they wouldn't let me have that one.

11. Trolls stuffies

Trolls are pretty adorable already, but these mini, super soft plush toys are the cutest version of Trolls I've seen! They're the perfect size for stockings!

12. Star Wars Forces of Destiny Dolls

These dolls are seriously B.A. I love them and I love that the show gives my little girl a strong, courageous show full of strong females... not just one that starts as meek and learns to be strong, although, knowing my kid, Barbie and Rey will be swapping clothes at some point.

13. Disney Frozen Collection

This is another set that isn't actually out yet but will be soon! Even though Frozen has been around for years, with a new short coming out, the characters got an update. A few pieces are already available on Amazon, but the rest will be coming up soon!

There was so much to see, we absolutely didn't get to share it all in this post but these are a few of Emma's favorites! Which is your favorite?

xo, Heather

Easy Halloween Brownies

Did you know that in addition to coffee and mac and cheese, Halloween is another one of those things that everyone else seems to love and I ...


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