I'm so excited for the "In Search of the Sanderson Sisters: A Hocus Pocus Hulaween Takeover" with the sensational Bette Midler, the incredible Sarah Jessica Parker and the hilarious Kathy Najimy on Friday, Oct. 30 at 7:00 pm CT. Sophia, Stella and I love Hocus Pocus and are so excited about the takeover which benefits the New York Restoration Project (NYRP). We just watched Hocus Pocus again a few weeks ago and the girls love the movie. I do too! While 2020 may be saying, "I put a spell on you!" this iconic trio is doing good while bringing some spooky joy to our Halloween. Bette Midler founded the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) in 1995 and has planted trees, renovated gardens, restored parks and transformed open space fo communities throughout New York City's five boroughs. It is fantastic that 100% of the Hocus Pocus takeover will go to NYRP. They also have an amazing list of people joining the spooky night including Glenn Close, Adam Lambert, Meryl Streep, Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Sarah Silverman and so many other festive friends. Buy tickets now!
This October, I've thought so many times, "It's just a bunch of Hocus Pocus!" It often feels like we are in some kind of crazy, scary movie. It may be a slight of hand or some magic, but I've been trying to keep things normal for the girls with Halloween movies, Halloween treats in their lunches and carving pumpkins. Just like the Sanderson Sisters had each other for some spooky fun, I've needed my girlfriends! Messy Mommy Holly and I hosted our October "Ghoul's Night In" on Zoom and it was so good to laugh and chat with the girls!
The creative and funny Tara Rand from Tara's Toddies showed us how to make a great Halloween cocktail, the Haunted Graveyard! It was so fun making cocktails along with Tara and it was a great bourbon drink! Thanks Tara for joining us!
Holly showed us how to make super cute and delicious candy boards! Holly went with a pink and orange theme since her daughter Eleanora and her friends are dressing up to the Mean Girls movie theme! I loved Holly's candy board! I made a mini candy board and Sandhya made a great candy board too!
Treva whipped up another great Tastefully Simple appetizer and then we played "Truth or Scare!" Just like the Sander Sisters, we laughed, cast spells, and had a great time. Time with the girls was just the potion I was looking for to help power through 2020! Thanks to the awesome gals that joined us! We hope you can carve out an hour for your girlfriends soon. Join us in November for our next virtual Girl's Night In! We hope you have a safe and fun Halloween. And, we can't wait to see what the Sanderson Sisters have in store for us! Thanks to the sensational Bette Midler, the incredible Sarah Jessica Parker and the hilarious Kathy Najimy for coming back together for a magical time!
Day 2 of Amazon Prime Day favorites! Today, we are sharing our ideas for fun Amazon Prime Day stocking stuffers and little gifts for the holidays! Please note, you help support our Messy Mommies blog by shopping with our links and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
We love this magnetic car phone holder!
Up your selfie game with this ring light!
Time to break out the karaoke!
Someone very clever invented this nail polish holder!
With so many people staying home, there is a bigger need for beard combs!
Get ride of stinky feet with these fun sneaker balls!
You can never have enough chargers!
We love grilling out!
We love reusable straws!
Today is Amazon Prime Day! We are so excited to share some of our favorite items that make great gifts and will help make the holidays special! Please note, you help support our Messy Mommies blog by shopping with our links and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
You must be an Amazon Prime member to receive the Amazon Prime Day Deals. Not a member yet? Sign up now!
Shop our Amazon Prime Day Favorites!
Kids Holiday Gift Ideas
Learning Resources Botley The Coding Robot 2.0 Activity Set, Coding Robot for Kids, STEM Toy, Early Programming, Ages 5+ https://amzn.to/2GK5T3X
Kids Beginner Microscope STEM Kit - We love science and this kit is awesome! https://amzn.to/3nKg8px
Lucky Doug Toy, 192 Pcs Race Car Track Toys Included 2 Cars and 1 Bridge with Lights and Sounds, Christmas Toys Gift for Kids, Toddler Age 3+ https://amzn.to/2SQdCjh
Roblox Action Collection - Legends of Roblox Six Figure Pack (Includes Exclusive Virtual Item) https://amzn.to/3lMjSFf
Hasbro Princess Candyland - So cute! https://amzn.to/2GTEah9
ELOVER Slime Advent Calendar 2020 for Girls Great Surprise Countdown to Christmas for Kids Teens - https://amzn.to/3lHe3bZ
Taco vs Burrito - The Wildly Popular Surprisingly Strategic Card Game Created by a 7 Year Old https://amzn.to/2Fp4KxR
Family and Friends Holiday Gift Ideas
Apple AirPods w/Charging Chase (Wired) - Great deal on AirPods! https://amzn.to/3lTR0en
Fitbit Versa Lite Edition Smart Watch - Get fit with this great deal! https://amzn.to/371atFG
“Holiday” Homesick Candle - https://amzn.to/2SObJnh
H iRobot Roomba 692 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging, Charcoal Grey https://amzn.to/3nFAYX7 Under $200
Beats Solo Pro Wireless Noise Cancelling On-Ear Headphones - Apple H1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, Active Noise Cancelling https://amzn.to/3143Mib
RENPHO Foot Massager Machine with Heat, Shiatsu Deep Kneading, Squeez, Relieve Foot Discomforts, Fits feet up to Men Size 12 https://amzn.to/2SNF1Co
Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker 11 in 1 w/ Air Fryer, 8 Qt https://amzn.to/3jYkffh
AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Blue - Perfect for fall soups and the holidays! - https://amzn.to/34VfJb4
Handmade Sloth Tween Girl Apron Gift for Kitchen or Art https://amzn.to/2IuLv7v
Pretex Balloon Pump Electric Air Blower Dual Nozzle Portable Balloon Inflator for Fast and Easy Bulk Balloons Filling for Event and Party Decoration - We have this balloon inflator and love it! https://amzn.to/311Hxtg
We are so excited for Amazon Prime Day on October 13 and 14! With all of the uncertainty and angst in 2020, one thing we know for sure is that the holidays are approaching and will be a time for celebration. And, while there is uncertainty of how we will celebrate, we are sure family and friends will be part of the celebration, whether in person or remotely. Now is the time to start thinking about what will make the upcoming celebrations special even if the ways we celebrate are different from years past!
The Messy Mommies will be sharing some of our favorite items that make great gifts, and also products that will help make the holiday season special whether you are cooking and baking through the holidays, helping the kids entertain themselves when taking a break from eLearning, or things to help you while working from home. We are providing direct links in our stories to items we think are great!
Please note, you help support our blog by shopping with our links and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for your support!
You must be an Amazon Prime member to receive the Amazon Prime Day Deals. Not a member yet? Click the image below and sign up today!
Amazon Prime Day tips for shopping! Download the Amazon App and turn on notifications for deals! Watch for the Prime Day badges! Ask Alexa, "Alexa, what are my Prime Day deals?"
Get ready for the holidays!
Find some inspiration in the Amazon gift guides!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, why not start planning for this special day. First, many of you may be thinking it’s time to pull out the flannel and we couldn’t agree more. Check out this cozy flannel shirt available in several colors. It will be perfect for the backyard friendly game of football or cozying up on the couch to watch a movie, and both adult and youth sizes are available. We also have a great hostess gift suggestion, or a gift for someone who can’t make it to the table this year, the Holiday Homesick Candle. Homesick Candles is a company on a mission “to connect people everywhere through the power of scent.” We love the “Chicago” candle but check out all of the options here Homesick Candles.
It’s always great to have a special playlist during the holidays. The New York Times WireCutter website rates Ultimate Ears WonderBoom 2 as the top bluetooth speaker. This will allow you to play all your favorite tunes during the holidays Wonderboom 2.
While the number of guests you host this year may be fewer as in years past, hopefully you are still planning to make a delicious pie. Two of our favorite kitchen tools that help make whipping up this Thanksgiving favorite are linked here:
Emile Henry 9” pie dish
OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler
If you happen to have leftovers, check out these Rubbermaid storage containers. The plastic food containers are not only dishwasher safe but microwave safe so heating up your leftovers is super easy!
And finally, we leave you with a fun family game. Left Center Right is a game our family has played over the years. The winner is always a happy camper. Make it a bit more fun by using dollar bills instead of the chips included in the game. The winner will be ready for Black Friday Shopping! And speaking of Black Friday…shop Amazon Prime Days and check out these great ideas for gift giving during Christmas.
I hope you are enjoying the newness of fall and hopefully moments of joy during the continued pandemic. I am grateful each morning that we are able to get up and get ready to face the day. Eleanora is very much enjoying the opportunity to physically go to her school and see her teachers and friends in person. While this year’s 8th grade experience does not seem the same as it may have been in years past, this year is special nonetheless.
Last year I self-published the cookbook, Together: Recipes to Bring Family and Friends to the Table. I was excited to create this book because each of the recipes made their way into my kitchen thanks to the sharing of family and friends over the years. I love cookbooks of all kinds so why not write one! Also, while I very much enjoy baking and cooking, I want to make it very clear that I have no special training as a chef or baker. However, while I was in 8th grade, I did have to take the required class, Home Economics, for one semester. If you have a copy of my cookbook you will find a cookie recipe that my sister made while she took the same class four years prior to me. Seriously, sharing that this was one of my middle school class requirements dates me, but I will share it was a required class for ALL students. Looking back it was a good opportunity to learn about healthy ways to shop and cook. We even “learned” how to sew! I still laugh about the sewing portion of the class with my friend! Somehow the pattern never produced the shorts pictured on the front of the McCall’s pattern envelope. The other semester was spent in Industrial Arts! I guess those were the early days of ‘makers labs’ now found in many schools.
Anyway, I would really love to mark this crazy time of the Covid-19 pandemic by creating a second cookbook, Together Again! For me, March 13, 2020 began a new time for our family. We had to shift our thinking and change our plans for how we lived out most of our days. With Eleanora home from school working at the kitchen counter completing assignments given online by her teachers, and Matt setting up office in our dining room and canceling all work travel, we were spending more time together than we had in quite a long time. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were now something we looked forward to not only because we were hungry, but because we could all be together for each meal. During the last six months, we have tried many new recipes and tried to make a very uncertain time somewhat enjoyable. Luckily during this time we have been healthy and are very fortunate to have our friends and family remain healthy as well. My hope is that you too were able to have some enjoyable moments and possibly enjoy a meal or special dessert or drink that you, a family member or friend made for you. While we have had the opportunity to enjoy take out from favorite restaurants in the city during this time and even dine outside this summer at some of our regular lunch or dinner spots, we have done a lot more cooking (and washing of dishes) at home.
If you have been cooking at home, I’m looking to you to see if you are interested in participating in the creation of Together Again, a cookbook that will celebrate good food as well as tell a bit of what people have been doing during this pandemic. Several holidays, milestones and birthdays were celebrated during this time. These events were most likely celebrated in a much different way than in previous years or as initially planned. My hope is to create this book that can be used by many to bake a sweet dessert, a savory appetizer or a delicious entree to be shared with others when we finally can all be together again after this pandemic is over!
If there is a special family recipe you made during this pandemic I would love to hear from you! Would you be willing to share the recipe and the story of how/why it is special? If you take a peek at my cookbook Together, you will see that I included a short introduction of the recipe, the recipe itself and a photo of the food. At this point, I plan to present the recipes in a similar format. While I mentioned earlier, I love cookbooks and many times find great recipes in them to try out in my own kitchen. With that said, if you have discovered a favorite recipe in a cookbook/magazine/website, please reference that in your response to me. I would like to give credit to the author/chef of that cookbook/recipe. I also find myself starting with a recipe and sometimes changing it by omitting items or better yet, adding one or two of my favorite ingredients to make a recipe suited to my taste.
I am in the planning phase of this project and do not have a publisher. Together Again will most likely be my second self-published book. I am researching various self-publishing sites, ebook options and reaching out to local publishers that may be able to assist with this project. With that said, I look forward to the work ahead to produce a cookbook that holds special memories and can do that with or without a publisher.
I have two fun things to include in this next cookbook! First, the Murer family ZOOM Cake Baking Contest will be featured in the book with the recipes each participant made and shared over the Zoom call. Additionally, my dad’s 80th birthday celebration this past July in Tennessee will be highlighted with a few favorite family recipes we enjoyed that weekend. Do you have a delicious family recipe that you were able to make during this time? If so, I would love to have your story and recipe as part of Together Again.
I look forward to hearing from you! Send your recipe story, recipe and picture to email@example.com by October 20, 2020. Also, if you know of a publisher who may be interested in this project, let me know.
You can check out my cookbook Together: Recipes to Bring Family and Friends to the Table here!
I firmly believe it's the little things that are going to get us through these tough times. And cocktails, great cocktails. The coronavirus pandemic, the elections, racial injustices, back to school either in-person or remote, natural catastrophes, and so much more keep piling on the worry and stress. It's important for us to take few minutes for the little things to recharge so we can keep plowing through the train wreck of 2020. That is exactly what the Messy Mommies did with our September virtual Zoom "Girls Night In!"
Messy Mommy Holly and I decided to do a Zoom "Girls Night In" because we had survived the past six months and the kids were back in school in-person! These mommas needed a drink with their Messy Mommies friends! We think the little things can help make you feel special and make a good gathering become great. We invited Messy Mommies friends and Holly shared her fabulous pretzel dip recipe with the gals. Because we knew everyone really needed a drink, we wanted to make it special. I've been following On The Rocks Cocktails on Instagram at @OTRcocktails and loved their posts. I read about why 3 friends created On The Rocks Cocktails and was so impressed with their hustle and passion for cocktails and people. Check out this great article, How On The Rocks Cocktails Came to Be in D Magazine! I searched out these ready to drink cocktails and found them at Binny's! They lived up to the hype! So, to help cheer on our friends and prep for our Zoom, we dropped off On The Rocks Cocktails and pretzels on front porches and Instacarted the drinks to our friends in Chicago. Now, that is a delivery that definitely makes you smile!
The day of our Zoom I said to Holly, "Wouldn't it be cool if we could get a message from Liz Foster, the Social Marketing Director for On the Rocks cocktails for our Zoom?" I had searched on LinkedIn to try to figure out who was their social media rockstar and had found Liz's name. Holly agreed and I sent a message to Liz on Instagram with my crazy request. I really didn't think I would hear back. I as so surprised and happy when she responded that she could send a video. I almost fell out of my chair when Liz sent me not just a video of her sending cheers to our Messy Mommies gals, but two videos!
Our friends joined our Zoom that evening and we had fun introductions since not everyone knew each other and we were sharing who had kids remote learning or in person. We all were so happy to be talking to other adults! I thanked our gang for joining and said that we had a special video to kick-off our Girls Night In. I surprised the girls with Liz's so fun video and they thought it was so cool. Watch Liz now!
But wait! There's more! Then I played the video from the co-founder of On The Rocks Cocktails, Rocco Milano and the gals couldn't believe that Rocco did a video for us! It was awesome and we did a cheers to Liz and Rocco. It's the little things that make us smile and make a difference right now. And, it may have seemed like a little thing to Liz and Rocco to send off a quick video but it was a big thing to me and so fun! As we toasted and cheered, we were all so glad to be together, even virtually! Rocco also told us how they serve the On The Rocks Cocktails at the Four Seasons in Bora Bora! I had to look up where Bora Bora is and we all decided we need to go there. Definitely more smiles during our Zoom thanks to Liz and Rocco! Watch Rocco now!
Next up, Holly shared a great one pot and one pan recipe to help with our back to school meals. You can find the recipes here. So good! Then, Treva talked about the latest Tastefully Simple fall products and she whipped up an appetizer on our Zoom! It was like she was on a TV talk show! Again, it's the little things that are the pockets of joy during this crazy time. Send Treva a message on Facebook to place your Tastefully Simple order! We shared which OTR Cocktails we were drinking and chatted about kids, back to school, cooking and more. Amy's schedule had changed and she was a late add to our Zoom but her OTR Cocktails arrived via Instacart during our Zoom which was super fun. Our time flew by but we all seemed to decompress a bit and laugh a lot.
As we look to the months ahead, we hope you'll take some time for the little things and gather some friends for a cocktail. Taking a few minutes to talk and laugh was fantastic and I know we'll be making time to do so again soon.
Huge thanks to Rocco and Liz for being a part of our Messy Mommies in the City "Girls Night In" and thanks for your fantastic cocktails! They are delicious and strong! You can search for a location near you that carries the ready to chill and drink OTR Cocktails on the website! Our favorites are the cosmo, mai tai, and margarita! We still need to try the Aviation! Rocco, Liz, and all our Messy Mommies friends, we look forward to seeing you all at the Four Seasons in Bora Bora sometime soon! We'll meet you at the bar on the beach and will be drinking the On The Rocks Cocktails.
We are a great group of moms that are long-time friends and family.
Order Holly's cookbook
Together: Recipes to Bring Family and Friends to the Table! https://www.blurb.com/b/9645370-together