#RetroMonsterCereal Brings Back Childhood Memories this Halloween

This post is brought to you by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

My girls have never eaten Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry cereals before we received a package of the old "monster" cereals that I grew up with.  The newly designed, "throwback" packages were sort of what I remembered with some updated twists.  The new Chocula Treats, Boo Berry Fruit Roll-Ups and Franken Berry Fruit Roll-Ups in special retro packaging, found exclusively at Target, were certainly not available when I was young!  It was a fun chance to share  some of my childhood memories with them.

Have you noticed the Monsters Cereals in Special Throwback Packaging at Target stores?   I always desperately wanted to buy these cereals at the grocery store as a child--especially during the Halloween months!  Do you remember watching the commercials during Saturday morning cartoons--and pretending to talk like The Count for too long afterward?  The retro style packaging is fun for those of us feeling a little nostalgic for those childhood days!  The backs of the boxes even have cut out masks of the characters for kids.  I would have LOVED that as a child!

#RetroMonsterCereal brought some new products for families this season.  While my girls were not very interested in the breakfast cereals, the convenience of the grab and go Count Chocula treats caught their interest immediately--and the Boo Berry Fruit Roll-Ups and Franken Berry Fruit Roll-Ups fit nicely into some Halloween party goodie bags that they had planned!

#RetroMonsterCereal let us get creative with some snacks and treats.  We had a few events and activities planned that needed some themed snacks and treats.  It was really easy to toss together some Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry cereals, nuts, and candy corn for a last minute snack mix!

The girls also had some fun making marshmallow treats with Boo Berry and Franken Berry cereals.

It was a nice Halloween throwback to a simpler time in my life.  A time before I was so concerned about the health and safety of products and ingredients.  Since memories like these were so much a part of my childhood--I continuously hope that General Mills listens to customers and works to make even small changes toward healthier products for our families. 

You can connect with the Hello Cereal Lovers page on Facebook to interact with this brand.

5 Important Tips for Keeping Pets Safe on Halloween

Both the young and old celebrate Halloween with great enthusiasm. Halloween parties, pumpkin carving parties, and community bonfires dot our October calendars. It is only natural that we include the family pets in all of the Halloween festivities—otherwise Fluffy and Spot spend many October weekends alone. While Halloween is a lot of fun, the holiday also poses some serious risks to beloved family pets. What are a few valuable tips that you should remember to keep pets safe this Halloween?

Let pets skip the neighborhood trick or treat circuit. We all know that your dog is absolutely adorable in his bumble bee costume. However, taking the pets out for trick-or-treating is not the safest option for your pets or neighborhood children. The sights, sounds and activities of Halloween’s Beggar’s Night sometimes frighten and excite animals. Even usually docile dogs and cats may jump onto costumed children or bite or scratch them out of fear. Let your pet watch the merriment from the safety of your home and save the costume display for personal parties and smaller activities.

Keep your pets securely indoors during Halloween night and Trick or Treat festivities. Try to keep your pets safely secured indoors or supervised during busy Halloween events. Frightened pets may jump out of an open door or vehicle or even run away and hide during loud, outdoor parties. Additionally, unsavory tricksters abound during Halloween, and it would be horrible to lose a family pet to a dangerous trick or prank.

Nix the door jumping risks during trick or treat. Rather than allowing children to ring the doorbell for every treat, set-up your treat station outside for the evening. Our dogs always hated the sound of the doorbell—and became overly excited at the sound of new voices. Our cats hide for the entire evening. It was all too common for our Pomeranian to escape from his gated room and dart out onto the sidewalk—sometimes snapping and barking. Moving the activity to the end of the driveway helps shelter the animals from some of the commotion, which our cats appreciated. It also helps us avoid chasing our canine escapees!

Make sure that your pet’s identification information is up to date. Our old Pomeranian was an accomplished escape artist. Without his identification tags and microchip, we would have lost him numerous times over his 16 years. Make sure that your pets’ identification tags hold updated contact information and that microchip details remain current. Sometimes a well meaning trick or treat parent may pick up your pet to keep him safe. It is vital that they have up to date information to return him to you.

Protect family pets from Halloween candy. While chocolate and other candy ingredients are harmful to your pet’s health, shiny, crinkly, candy wrappers also pose risks. Keep trick or treat candy securely out of your pets’ reach. We often fill a giant witch’s cauldron with candy during the week before trick or treat night—and secure it with a lid to keep our pets from getting into trouble. Our daughters store candy in a cabinet and take proper care in avoiding loose wrappers or misplaced candies. With a little extra planning, you can ensure that your furry friends have a safe and healthy Halloween too!  

This is a reprint of an article that I wrote for Yahoo Pets via the now defunct Yahoo Voices a few years ago.


Wordless Wednesday Link Up: Waiting

We spent a lot of time waiting for things this past week!  We had many late nights and a lot of fun activities--but, everything seemed to involve a lot of waiting time too!  I thought I would share some of our photos from the week's adventures as this week's wordless Wednesday link up!

Waiting for Daddy

The girls (and Mr. Maxi) were determined to wait up for Daddy's return flight from a business trip.  They almost made it--one crashed on the couch and the other (and Mr. Maxi) fell asleep on Daddy's pillows.

Waiting for the Orchestra Concert

Macy got in a little last minute practicing before the first school orchestra concert of the year.  Max didn't really photobomb....we actually moved into his space. 

Waiting for Lunch

A day off from school led to a girl's lunch out and about....and a pretty long wait for our food!

Waiting out the Competition

Elsa the Cat loves Max's tennis ball.   Max kind of likes it as well.  They spent a lot of time this week trying to wait out the other one for a little peace, quiet, and alone time with the well-loved (worn out) tennis ball!

Halloween Party Waiting

More time was spent waiting in line at the Community Halloween parties than doing the activities--but, the girls had fun anyway!

Tired of Waiting

Max loves storytime with the girls--I'm not sure what he's going to do when they outgrow the urge to read books aloud before bed.   One girl was at a birthday party, the other at a Halloween Party--and he was ready for a chapter of Harry Potter and bedtime!

In the end, we decided that everything was worth the wait times!  

Enjoy your Week!