Ghost Bowling

Fun Halloween party game--ghost bowling! Cheap and easy party idea that is great for all ages.

Here is a quick and easy game for a Halloween party!

Simply decorate Styrofoam cups to resemble ghosts. Either use stickers like I did or you can draw faces on them with markers.

Stack them up and have kids attempt to knock them over with tennis balls. Make sure to make a rule that the ball has to bounce once before hitting the ghosts. This prevents kids from chucking the balls across the room or too far away from the game.

Since we had lots of littles at our party last year, I set up two stations to prevent any scuffles with taking turns. It was a blast!

Looking for more easy Halloween preschool activities? Check out our 31 Easy Preschool Halloween Crafts round-up.

31 easy Halloween craft ideas for preschoolers. These are all VERY doable!

The Easiest Baked Mac & Cheese {Freezer Meal}

This dump, stir, and bake method really is the easiest Baked Mac and Cheese ever. Plus it's delicious! #freezermeal
Another Mac and Cheese recipe? Really? (Uh-hem, Rachel, you’ve already got the 5-Ingredient Mac and A Better Mac and Cheese in your Recipe Index.)

Really. Here’s why this one is worth yet another Mac and Cheese post.

Mummy Dogs–A Fun Halloween Treat

Mummy dogs are an easy to make, fun Halloween treat. This spooky treat is a huge hit at Halloween parties. Make lots! | Thriving Home

Look no further for an easy to make, fun Halloween party food!

Mummy dogs were a hit with all ages. They fall far from the real food philosophy that we try to aim for around here but prove to be a great party food and a favorite among youngsters. And lets be honest, we kind of have to chuck healthy expectations out the window on Halloween night. Just embrace it, people. Your kid is going to be stuffed full of sugar and processed food for a night and I promise they will survive.

Mummy dogs are an easy to make, fun Halloween treat. This spooky treat is a huge hit at Halloween parties. Make lots! | Thriving Home

To make your mummies, slice the bottom of a hotdog open to create legs. Now carefully cut each side of the hotdog to make arms.

Now slice up crescent rolls into thin strips. Wrap your strips imperfectly around the hotdog.

“Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: September 21-27

"Real Food Meets Reality" Menu Plan | Thriving Home

Sponsored by Hy-Vee Columbia

Weekly meal planning is hands-down one of the best ways to save time, money, and to eat healthier. Here’s why. Check back every Friday for healthy and easy recipes that your whole family will enjoy.

Please note that since we normally shop at our local Hy-Vee stores of Columbia and use their online shopping and delivery feature, our menu plans are based around their weekly sales in order to save our local friends money and time.

Weekly Menu Plan

(FF) = Indicates a freezer-friendly recipe. Save time and money by doubling and freezing this recipe for another dinner later. Read Freezer Cooking 101 to learn more about this helpful strategy.

(*) = Indicates recipe ingredients that are on sale this week at the Hy-Vees of Columbia

Hy-Vee Weekly Sales



  • Turkey Tacos (FF) (Directions: Brown ground turkey and season with our easy homemade taco seasoning mix. Place in your favorite taco shells and top with shredded cheddar cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, sour cream.)
  • Grapes

*Hy-Vee Columbia Weekly Sale Items for This Meal (9/16-9/22 sales flier): 

  • Hormel Ground Turkey Breast
  • Dole Iceberg Lettuce
  • Hy-Vee Sour Cream
  • Columbine red seedless grapes or Organic green seedless grapes


  • Broiled Parmesan Tilapia
  • Whole wheat cous cous (Note: I find it in the bulk food section.)
  • Green leaf salad (Directions: Top greens with chopped cucumbers, red bell peppers, carrots, feta crumbles, and your favorite salad dressing.)
  • Plum slices

*Hy-Vee Columbia Weekly Sale Items for This Meal (9/16-9/22 sales flier):

  • fresh tilapia fillets
  • Organic Earthbound Farm salad or Dole Salad Kit
  • cucumbers
  • sweet red bell peppers
  • Cal-Organic petite carrots
  • organic Hy-Vee dressing
  • Holiday red plums

Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner

*Hy-Vee Columbia Weekly Sale Items for This Meal (9/16-9/22 sales flier):

  • Crystal Farms Simply Potatoes
  • Hy-Vee frozen berries

ThursdayLeftover Night

Clean out the fridge and freezer. A few ideas:


  • Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin (FF) (Note: Double this recipe for Sunday’s meal.)
  • Red baby potatoes (Note: Boil and toss with a little butter, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs.)
  • Peas

*Hy-Vee Columbia Weekly Sale Items Used In This Meal (9/16-9/22 sales flier):

  • Hormel fresh pork tenderloin
  • Midwest grown baby red potatoes
  • Midwest Country Fare frozen peas or Green Giant Steamers

Saturday: Game Day!

*Hy-Vee Columbia Weekly Sale Items Used In This Meal (9/16-9/22 sales flier):

  • Cal-Organic petite carrots
  • Organic Full Circle yellow onions
  • new crop Gala apples


  • Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches (Directions: Place cooked pork tenderloin slices from Friday’s meal, cheddar cheese, and BBQ sauce on toasted bread or leftover baguette. Broil open-faced for a few minutes until warmed through.)
  • Leftover celery and carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and red pepper slices with hummus
  • Dessert: Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Breakfast Ideas:

*Hy-Vee Columbia Weekly Sale Items Used for Breakfast Ideas (9/16-9/22 sales flier):

  • Organic Cascadian Farm granola
  • Hy-Vee frozen berries
  • Organic Kalona SuperNatural yogurt
  • Organic Full Circle Maple Syrup
  • Philadelphia soft cream cheese
  • Natural Jif peanut butter

Shop Online Now

New Online Shopping feature! Save time and hassle by ordering your groceries online from any Hy-Vee of Columbia. If you spend $100, delivery is FREE!! (What!?) If not, it’s only $4.95 for delivery or $2.95 to pick up! (What!?) Learn more here…

Printable Menu Planner

Here’s an easy way to get started on saving money and eating healthier–download our free printable menu planner!

Free printable menu planner

More Healthy Recipe Ideas

For more recipe ideas, check out our past Menu Plans or our extensive Recipe Index full of healthy, family-friendly recipes.

Heathy Halloween Party Treats!

Healthy Halloween party treats: Clementine pumpkins and ghost bananas. Kids will eat these up!

I’ve learned that if you make food fun, kids are about 7x more likely to eat it. Yes, 7x- not 8x or 6x. 7 times more likely. I have no documented data aside from my own personal recollection so don’t ask for it. Just trust me.

Since your children will likely being eating themselves in a sugar-coma on Halloween, why not provide some healthier options earlier in the evening? Here are two easy ideas that are super easy to whip up: Orange Pumpkins and Ghost Bananas!