Links We Love: Homemade Play Houses, Articles Clubs and Healthy Halloween Treats

Get a jump on the weekend with these fresh ideas, courtesy of some of our favorite blogs and websites...

Make a House-in-a-Box
It’s an age-old phenomenon: You agonize on the perfect gift for a little one, and his favorite part is playing with the box. Bella Dia shows how to turn those boxes (anything from leftover gift boxes to pudding or tea boxes work great) into colorful playhouses. All you need is tape, scissors and paint to pretty it up. Create an entire village, or leave one flap open to recycle it into a gift box.

Go Healthier for Halloween
The next two weeks are sure to be packed with Halloween parties, which means way more candy than you’d normally condone. Throw something that’s not filled with fructose corn syrup into the mix: We love this super simple idea from Under Construction to decorate little clementines with clever jack-o-lantern faces. All you need is a black marker or pen and a few minutes to make this fruit festive and cute.

Start an Articles Club
Here’s a busy mom idea we can get behind: A Cup of Jo suggests starting an articles club instead of a book club -- a much easier time commitment for those of us who can’t seem to get beyond page 10 without little ones interrupting. To kick off your club, check out this essay on Salon. Start talking!

Liven Up a Family Favorite
Granted, kids love spaghetti and meatballs, but try this hearty family-friendly version from 100 Days of Real Food. Substitute whole-wheat spaghetti, and add grated carrots to the meatballs for a little extra veg. It’s super easy and delish!

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