Designing Your Outdoor Space

With the market in favor of so many new homeowners purchasing their dream home, there also comes new responsibility to not only take  care of their new purchase, but the piece of land that their home is upon. Not only do you want your home to stand out amongst your neighbors but you also want it to look welcoming, inviting and worth stopping and staring at. If you’ve never tried designing a landscape before, the options and choices to make can become a bit overwhelming. For example, some common questions can be what type of path do you want to have such as straight lines or curved? Do you want specific plants and if so where should you be placing them? How about accessories such as planters, bird paths or benches? Designing the space is just like you would be designing a room inside your home. There are a few tips below to help get you started.

  1. Needs Vs Wants – Just as you made this big decision when it came to purchasing yoru dream home, you also create a list for what your lawn should look like. Do your kids need an area to run around play? Are you thinking about trying gardening to grow your own fruits and vegetables? How about some entertainment areas where you can gather loved ones? Take a look at the yard that you have and just think about what you could do with the space that you have. These can help determine your needs and wants as well if things won’t line up or fit correctly in your space. Thinking of your needs and wants also is determined by location and not only if you can fit it but where do you want it placed. Does your backyard get a lot of sun but the front does not? Make sure to put the gathering area that you are thinking about in a shaded location so the sun doesn’t beat down on everyone and make them uncomfortable.
  1. Think Of A Focal Point: While you might be looking at your yard, also consider a focal point you can view in a 360 degree area. Do you want to put a fountain in the middle of the yard? Is there a space in your home you want to emphasize and can do so by adding small plants around that area? Let that design draw your attention to that specific item or location to share. 
  1. Start Small: Part of designing and thinking about what is going to work in your yard is actually starting. I would start small and work from there. Begin by planting a small garden or a few flowers and see where that might lead you. Take your time and enjoy the process of planting your flowers and then seeing where that leads you a few days down the road. If you like it, begin by branching out and adding a small bench near by, potted plants or a string of lights. See how simple that was! 

Image: Onorato Landscaping, LLC 

  1. Hire A Professional: If in any time of the process of figuring out what is going to work best for your property, there is no question that you’ll want to seek out the professionals to get the opinion and even a price point to help if you need it. Living in New Jersey, there are some excellent landscapers but one I admire is Onorato Landscaping, LLC . These professionals are second to none when it comes to creating some beautiful and friendly designs for your backyard or front yard. Not only are they creative, helpful and trusting but they also provide excellent lawn care in the Bergen County area. They are a full-service hardscaping, landscaping and lawn service company that delivers value to both their commercial and residential customers. Marc Onorato who is the founder has over 10+ years working for a premium garden center and develops services that are sure to impress everyone. 

As a reminder to all beginners, take your time and be patient. There are so many thins to keep track of such as your kids, pets and temporary ideas that you’ll want to try and get done. There are also a lot of things to consider such as tracking in mud, using mulch or any tips to help figure out what you want. You can always change your mind and be open to change if you don’t like where things are located. 

I Play, You Play, we can all still play at iPlay!

We visited iPlay America yesterday and I wanted to recap how they’re doing when it comes to COVID-19 safety in 2021. They had hand sanitizing stations, signs on the walls about social distancing, and designated spots on the floor to keep the lines in order.

Everyone has been itching to get back some normalcy, and in mid-Winter this definitely brought alittle fun into our weekend! I was surprised to see quite a few birthday parties going on during our visit too, so if you’re wanting to host a birthday party soon, this may be your place.

You can see for yourself it was pretty empty for a Saturday at the time we got there at 2pm. I thought it would still be a bit more crowded than I’d prefer, but it wasn’t at all. There was a very small line to get in and it was distanced properly.

There was a sign in the front stating that all rides may not be operating at the same time due to limited staff, but every ride was operating except for the carousel and the climbing section.

A favorite is always the freedom coaster. It’s a cool indoor spinning coaster that is included in the iRide Plus wrist band package or 14 credits without it.

Being that we had the iRide Plus bands, which I highly recommend by the way, the kids went on this note than anything else. I also went on 2 times until my headache set in from the spinning.

I did notice the staff sanitizing every seat on every ride in between riders which was great. It obviously adds to the wait time, but since it was pretty empty the wait times weren’t long at all.

Like anywhere, there were many people not abiding by the social distance floor markers in line and it didn’t seem to be enforced at all. I guess that’s a risk you’re willing to take if you go out to a kid venue during this since they don’t understand it all too well.

The main area where the social distance lacked the most is the go karts line. Everyone was really on top of eachother even though they did a good job sanitizing each car after riders exited. I guess it’s more the young tweens hovering over eachother.

To ride as a single rider on the go karts you must be 56″ or taller. I believe this is mainly to be able to reach the foot pedals, but honestly I notice many of the kids who are tall enough still struggle with the steering wheel being hard to turn. Even for me it’s a bit tricky. We only rode them once even though the iRide Plus band allows for unlimited, and that’s because they really aren’t all that fun yet for my son. He isn’t able to ride alone, and I feel like for this one the driving is the whole fun part. They don’t go super fast like other go karts, and they are great for the kids but they stop everyone anytime someone crashes so it makes it kind of annoying. You just start getting alittle speed and the stop everyone every 30 seconds it seems due to a crash.

It just leaves much to be desired and I think they can do a better job with this attraction honestly.

The arcade is really fun, and has alot of different style games. You can get an 4 hour unlimited “non-redemption” game pass which is worth it if your kids like to play games like 1st person shooter, or driving/racing games. Anything that gives tickets or prizes isn’t included when you purchase this card, but you can add credits to it for those as well.

My son and I spend a good 20 minutes playing the walking dead game. It was really awesome being able to reload as much as we want and continue on the story when you’d normally need to stop or add more credits.

The virtual reality game(s) aren’t included even though they’re non-redemption. I’m not sure if that’s a glitch or if it’s because they’re newer and a premium type attraction.

All of the boardwalk style food vendors are closed and that was really a bummer. The on site restaurant is amazing and a great break in between games, but it does cut into your time as service takes a while, so it was really nice to have the option to grab quick bites, drinks, and snacks. I’m not really quite sure why they’re still closed, even with COVID indoor dining is allowed to resume in NJ, but maybe it’s the 25 or less people thing. Hopefully soon they’ll reopen but beware, eat before you go out be prepared to dine in there.

They have the stands open although there are only about 4 of them. It makes it feel like you’re down the shore, playing squirter gun & balloon pop games for prizes always makes me happy.

The laser tag and Top Golf Swing Suite is open as well although we didn’t do it this visit.

We stayed until about 530pm at which time the crowd really started to roll in. I’d say the number of people there nearly doubled by the time we were leaving, so if you’re weary of crowds right now, earlier is your best bet.

I love how they still have holiday lights and trees up. It makes it feel so festive and like a happy place!

Over all, we had a great time. The kids had fun, and got out to stretch their legs and be kids. And I got to spend some much needed time being a kid myself riding the rides and playing grab claw games!

Loveinthe.Box – NJ based Photographer with a Unique Style

Based in Bayonne NJ, LOVEINTHE.BOX is the brainchild of a unique photographer, Christie, who loves photographing children and pets in their element.

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NJ based photographer building the business of my dreams. I specialize in children and pet photography. My love for children and animals is infinite.

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Through my lens, i capture special moments with true emotions and translate them into art.

Capturing emotions is one of the most important parts of my work. I feel strongly about making the photographs that i can connect with. I find a reflection of my self in them.

Photography is the love of my life.

i truly look forward to meeting you.

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Now showcasing Valentine’s Day, LOVEINTHE.BOX is a homegrown photography business that caters to all themes. Follow on IG and dm or email to book your session today! Additional info available in photos. Coming to Facebook soon.

 

Book your session today!

Onion Gravy Smothered Meatballs

I’ll start by saying that I got this recipe from Hello Fresh and I’ve been remaking it ever since!

If you like meatballs and gravy, the REAL brown gravy not sauce, then you’ll love this. You can omit the onions if you want, but they add so much flavor and texture that I’d suggest that you don’t.

So, first, there are a few must haves that you must likely do not have, but you should minimize this post and go get them on Amazon ASAP. Since I found out about these the my monthly Hello Fresh boxes, I’ve never been without them in my cabinet. They’re a bit pricey, but you can save them for your special dinner recipes if you do not want to keep buying them often.

Savory choice beef broth concentrate packets are what I use for this recipe, but I always have chicken from them and demi glaze as well which is what I used for the mushrooms in the photo. I recommend all 3 and I am not pushing any affiliate links in the entire post, just my honest opinion and recipe of you want to follow it properly. They are usually on prime and you can have it in a day or 2 if you want to plan a nice weekend dinner.

The next “prep” item that I suggest you make ahead and then always have in your pantry is the lesser known “Fry Seasoning”. You can make your own using seasonings you probably already have in your pantry, but there’s no comparing anything else to the flavor of fry seasoning… there just isn’t.. it’s so simple too, I use an empty seasoning container and just refill it as needed. It’s just EQUAL parts, any amount but EQUAL is key, of garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Then shake. That’s it. Wala! You are now the proud owner of Fry Seasoning!

Now let’s get started on the actual recipe now that I’m assuming you have everything stated above ready to go.

Add to a stand mixer (like I do, or do it the hard way if you must in a big ol’ bowl and get your hands dirty) 1lb of meatloaf mix or just ground beef if fine too though I always prefer the groud meatloaf mix (veal & beef) as it’s more flavorful and juicy for meatballs. Then 2 tablespoons of your handy dandy fry seasoning, 2 tablespoons minced onion (fresh or dry doesn’t matter) 1 tablespoon of water, and 1/4 cup plain panko breadcrumbs. THAT’S IT. Fight your temptation to add anything else. Nothing else is needed and will ruin these. No eggs or milk, no extra seasonings.. ok you can add parsley if you want some pop of color but that’s it! Mix until well blended and preheat your oven to 425°.

Then, I use a tablespoon measuring thingy to scoop even heaps of the meat mixture to a wire rack over a tinfoil pan. I like when the meatballs don’t sit in the grease and burn, the wire rack helps then keep their form and get the grease out.

1lb of tablespoon size meatballs yields about 30 meatballs. It doesn’t matter what size you make yours, but make sure they’re even sized. That is key!

Bake for 15 minutes at 425° and then let them rest for about 5 minutes.

For a batch like this, even though so simple I flash freeze half of them and then add to a freezer bag for another meal (like Hawaii crockpot meatballs) or the next time I make this gravy recipe or some simple spaghetti.

Now to the gravy, although you should be starting the gravy as your meatballs are popped into the oven since you would’ve already read this, you’ll need a pan and 3 tablespoons of butter. Start melting the butter on medium heat and add a thickly sliced onion. You’ll want to slice it thick so you get some nice caramelized onions. If you slice it too thin, they’ll burn before carmalizing.

Another trick, make sure you toss the onions very often and cover with a lid in between tossing. This helps soften them quicker and keep the juice lubricating them in the pan.

The onions should turn almost translucent, about 10 minutes of tossing and turning and covering but it’s worth it.

Once your onions are translucent, toss in 2 tablespoons of flour and heat and toss for a minute or 2 until flour is incorporated, then add 1 1/2 cup of water, 2 packets of the beef stock concentrate (not much can replace this since it’s very flavorful much more than beef broth, so make sure you have this) and a tablespoon of your fry seasoning. Heat on medium high stirring frequently until bubbling, then turn off and stir in one more tablespoon of butter until incorporated. The sauce will thicken as it sits and you can add more water if needed but I like it alittle thick.

Season with alittle salt and pepper and again, feel free to add parsley for some extra plating color.

Stir in your cooked meatballs and you’re done! This post is probably longer than it needed to be, but I wanted to be sure to hit some points and tricks so that you get the best outcome possible.

These are great alone or served on top of mashed potatoes. Yum!! Let me know if you try it in comments.

Matching Family Holiday Pajamas by IFFEI

Everything is much different this year with Covid. We had to cancel our family photos this year, or at least delay them past the holidays, but that did not stop us from having our own family photo session and nothing makes for a great holiday photo session like matching family pajamas.

We actually did them last year too so it’s become sort of a tradition for us. I’m thankful we did because the made for great Christmas cards this year that I’ll be sending out to friends and family next week.

IFFEI has some of the best styles around to choose from, so many and their sizes are perfect for most families. We went with the “What the Elf” ones this year but it was so hard to choose. We got 10-11 for both boys, medium womans for me, and large men’s for my husband because he likes them alittle big. They fit perfectly. Tylers were a tiny but big, but he’ll grow into them for next year and can still wear them comfortably this year too, so it’s even better.

The quality of the pajamas is much more than you’d expect for the price. The white portion of the pants is not see through, but breathable and not too hot. The top green is the same, it stretches if needed, but it’s a soft cotton feeling material.

I mean, I can’t get over how much these matching family pajamas really made it feel like the holidays even though Thanksgiving isn’t even here yet. We had so much fun doing this shoot to show these off to you that we forgot we were “working” on this post to show you. As a parent, I will cherish these photos for years to come and week certainly be sharing this cuteness all over my social media and family texts.

Even my 12 year old got into the spirit. I haven’t seen him smile that much in a while and it was so nice to see both boys getting along genuinely and not staring at their electronics.

Check out all of the styles they have to offer of matching Christmas pajamas on their official IFFEI store. As with most Amazon offerings, most of these are prime and you can have them in just a couple of days. There’s still time to do your own little photo shoot and create an awesome Christmas card to get out. Don’t let Covid stop you from enjoying this special family time.

Daylight Saving Time – How Changes in Routine Impact Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Daylight Saving Time – How Changes in Routine Impact Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Dr. Jeffrey Selman, PsyD, BCBA-D, VP, Clinical Services for First Children Services, which serves children with autism spectrum disorder and their families through its STRIVE Autism Care Continuum in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Dr. Selman discusses below:

  • Tips for helping a child with autism cope with routine changes or new activities
  • The importance of strict schedules and routines for some kids with autism
  • Why changes in routine can cause difficult behaviors for kids with ASD
  • How First Children Services’ Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and trained behavior specialists help kids with autism manage behaviors and establish routines through its STRIVE Autism Care Continuum

How Changes in Routine Impact Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder by
Dr. Jeffrey Selman, PsyD, BCBA-D, VP, Clinical Services for First Children Services, which serves children with autism spectrum disorder and their families through its STRIVE Autism Care Continuum.

  1. Tips for helping a child with autism cope with routine changes or new activities:
    Many children have difficulty responding to changes in routine. Humans in general are creatures of habit and change requires effort and energy. For children with autism, it is particularly challenging because the need for sameness helps create predictability and comfort in a world that may otherwise feel overwhelming. Rigidity and inflexible
    adherence to routines is hallmark diagnostic criteria for children on the autism spectrum. When there are changes, even subtle changes, it can be distressing and trigger disruptive behavior, tantrums and anxiety.
  2. The importance of strict schedules and routines for some kids with autism:
    It is important to maintain consistent routines and predictable transitions for children with autism. Often times, routines are utilized for parts of the day (e.g., morning routines, evening schedules, etc.), but some individuals benefit from added structure and for tasks to be broken down into shorter increments or steps. Children with autism may have difficulty with receptive and expressive language; therefore, visual schedules with pictures or written directions are encouraged.
  3. Why can changes in routine cause difficult behaviors for kids with ASD?
    Transitions can often trigger challenging behavior. Most children present with at least some resistance, often because we are asking kids to end a preferred activity (perhaps video games) to initiate a less preferred activity (dinner time). Challenging behavior may be a result of internal dysregulation (anger, frustration, anxiety, cognitive inflexibility)
    and reinforced behavior. We want to be sure we are giving ample preview and countdown before a transition occurs. Transitions should be highlighted within a more robust schedule for the day, and these moments can be role-played and rehearsed.
    Providing plenty of rewards can help reinforce the desired behavior. Parents, caregivers, and staff working with the child should remember to give specific, in the moment labeled praise. Some children will also benefit from tangible rewards, which can motivate a more positive response.
  4. How does First Children Services’ Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and trained behavior specialists help kids with autism manage behaviors and establish routines through its STRIVE Autism Care Continuum?
    Through our STRIVE Autism Care Continuum, First Children Services’ Board Certified Behavior Analysts and clinical staff develop programs for clients that address challenges with transitions and breaks in routine. Programs are delivered in clinical settings and in families’ homes where parents can receive plenty of one-on-one guidance, support and training. It is imperative that kids are exposed to similar structures and programming in multiple environments, and that parents understand how to implement the strategies in a natural, positive and consistent manner.

About First Children Services’ STRIVE Autism Care Continuum:
Part of First Children Services’ integrated care network, the STRIVE Autism Care Continuum is dedicated to improving the lives of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania with treatment plans focusing on increasing communication, social skills and life skills to help children ages 18 months and older maximize their full potential. Operated by premier providers of innovative and evidence-based services, the STRIVE Autism Care Continuum utilizes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapies to provide every child with customized intervention plans tailored to their skills, needs, interests, preferences, and family situation.

via Pexels.com


As a community-based provider, First Children Services is committed to expanding access to high quality care and vital support services through its STRIVE Autism Care Continuum as well as a wide range of home, school, and center based therapeutic and educational services to achieve life-changing outcomes for exceptional kids in the communities they serve. To learn more, visit firstchildrenservices.com.

iPlay America Return to Fun

Finally, a little bit of normal. iPlay America is open! You know we are big fans of iPlay America in Freehold NJ. Check out the specials they have starting this weekend including a little Halloween fun.

Kids who come in costume get a FREE light up skull mug with the purchase of a kids meal. As always Snap a picture of your high score, iTickets, or your prizes and tag it #iPlayWeekendWinner for your chance to WIN a $25 game card.

They also have a new Topgolf Swing Suite which is really cool for Date Night or with the family.

Tell em’ It’s a Jersey Thing Blog sent ya!

Bev and Wally’s FREE Halloween Party Keansburg NJ

Bev & Wally’s FREE Family Halloween Party

Date: Sunday, Nov 1 Time:12:30-5:30pm

**face protection required**

This is a very weird time for all, and Halloween is sure to be weird this year. If you live in NJ, odds are you know of Bev & Wally’s on the Keansburg Boardwalk.

We’ve been there this year, and felt it was clean and safe. Enjoy a FREE good time with your kids in the spirit of Halloween, and BONUS! Kids Under 12 in Costume get a $5.00 Game Card!

Another bonus, the beach is always free in Keansburg, and even though it’s going to be a cold day, it is supposed to be sunny and there’s nothing like costume pictures on the beach!

FREE Awesome family friendly SAFE Halloween Party at Bev and Wallys Family Entertainment Center / Keansburg Amusement Park 46 Beachway

About this Event

Our annual Halloween Party is ON !

Family Friendly with all precautions to make sure everyone is safe . We clean with Biocide 100 to make absolutley sure we are free from any problems . Feel safe bringing your family out for an afternoon of fun .

MASK REQUIRED at all times for all guests for everyones safety.

The party will run all day so come early or come late JUST COME OUT ! Wear your costumes and we’ll be taking photos of everyone .

We will have candy for the kids and plenty of GAME SPECIALS for the day.

Due to COVID we will not be having the face painting this time but as soon as things get better we will have the face painter back as well as the other things we have done in the past .

Free parking in the front .

Get your FREE Tickets today and come enjoy the fun this weekend!

Holiday Gift Guide 2020 – For All Ages!

Take a first look at all of this seasons top toys! Act fast because we all know this year has not gone as planned so far… That may be the understatement of the year. I’ve compiled a HUGE list for you!

Shop early to make sure you get everything on time, supplies are all limited due to COVID overseas as well and difficulties manufacturing and exporting.

Top Toy Trends: At-Home Activities

SMARTLAB TOYS NEW Toys for 2020 including the Tiny Science Kits:

ELENCO/SNAP CIRCUITS Snap Circuits:

LEARNING RESOURCES Botley 2.0 The Coding Robot

Top Toy Trends: The ones you know and Love

http://www.playmatestoys.com

My son is the absolute biggest Godzilla fan. He has been waiting for the new Godzilla vs. Kong movie since the spoiler at the end of the Godzilla King of the Monsters Movie. These toys will be BIG this year for sure! Stay tuned for amore in depth review of them, some available at Walmart now!

PLAYMONSTER Build to Battle SnapShips we previously reviewed. These are some of the items that made the toy of my tons Christmas list.

FAR OUT TOYS Crash Circuit

BONKERS TOYS with ALL NEW RYAN’S World Toys every kid has been waiting for!

Also from Bonkers Toys,

SK8 Wheel Braille toys. These are based off of the actual skate materials used by the Braille Army fans. There are some awesome blind packs and sets with ramps for all of the skate fans out there.

We got a sneak peek at the Holiday of Play Zoom meeting with Bonkers

PLAYMONSTER Drone Home is a fun one we reviewed during a play demonstration at Sweet Suite with Playmonster. Be careful though, do not try to catch the drone, I hurt my finger pretty bad!

FUNKO GAMES Marvel Battleworld

WOWWEE BRAND TOYS are geared up this Holiday and taking over! They have a whole slew of top toys this holiday:

Top Toy Trends: Preschool Favorites:

Baby Shark Dancing DJ

Pet Starz:

Sing & Snuggle Plush, and the Musical Playpad, Power Treads, MiP Arcade, Hands Full, and Brite Brush, Game Brush and Power Treads:

STEP2 Side-by-Side Push Around SUV

STEP2 Ball Buddies Adventure Center **2020 Toy Insider Winner**

Ball Buddies Adventure Center is the 2020 Toy Insider Top Holiday Toy Winner!

BLUE MARBLE National Geographic Mega Science Magic Kits

Magic science your kids will love! These mind-blowing experiments aredesigned to be performed as a magic trick. This kit includes everythingyou need for 20 magic science experiments and a bonus experiment guidewith 30 experiments that can all be done with common household items.

•Great for ages 8 and up

•Perfect for virtual science magic show or distance learning activity

•Magic wand and gloves included to let your children play the part

•Illustrated experiment guide with kid friendly instructions

•Everything you need for 20 magic experiments

•30 bonus experiments using standard household items

•Price: $29.99

Top Toy Trends: Game on

HORIZON GROUP USA Mixy Squish Tabletop Creativity Desk allows kids to create their own squishys!

WECOOL TOYS: Great holiday gift ideas
for every price point!

EXPLODING KITTENS A Game of Cat & Mouth

http://www.lego.com

Send your 6-8 year old kids deep into a world of imaginative play, where they can create their own stories and build and rebuild their favorite characters!

http://www.mattel.com

See what’s new from
Thomas & Friends, Barbie, Hot Wheels, and UNO like this Talking Thomas & Percy Train Set:

Fisher-Price® Thomas & Friends™ Talking Thomas & Percy Train
Set (GLK80)
SRP: $49.99 | 3Y+ | Available Fall 2020 at Amazon, Target and
Walmart
● Sodor is usually an island in the middle of the ocean, but
sometimes, with the Fisher-Price® Thomas & Friends™
Talking Thomas & Percy Train Set, Sodor can also be in
the living room.
● This highly detailed playset features favorite places from
the island of Sodor, including the Vicarstown Bridge, the
Railyard, the Brendam docks, and Blue Mountain.
● It also includes motorized Thomas and Percy train
engines who recognize and talk to each other when they
meet on the track!
● Young conductors can help Thomas and Percy work
together by dropping boulders down in the Blue
Mountain cave for them to load and unload along with
other cargo at Bulstrode the boat and by creating their
own exciting adventures all around Sodor.

MOOSE TOYS Squeakee the Balloon Dog and #FailFix dolls

SPIN MASTER Present Pets, The Animal & Much More

SUNNY DAYS Ravel Tales, Pop N Play Playhouses, Wonder Wings plush,
and Maxx Action trucks

IMC TOYS NEW Cry Babies & VIP Pets

THE POP INSIDER: The Pop Insider launched its second annual
Geeky Gift Guide! Check out holiday gifts for every geek 🤓
on your list.

Disclaimer – I may have been given product in exchange for some items in this blog post but all opinions are my own.

Check out some of my other recent posts!

10-Minute No Bake Oreo Truffles

No introduction needed. Just get to it!

For the truffles: You need 1 box of regular oreos and 1 stick (8 oz.) stick of cream cheese. THAT. IS. IT.

It’s important to only get the regular oreos, not the double stuffed or funky new flavors because it messes up the perfect ratio of these 2 things together.

Crush the full oreos, middle frosting and all, in a food processor, chopper, or blender,  just get those suckers into powdery crumbs, no big lumps or it just isn’t the same.  The should look like this when ready…
Then,  add 1 stick of cream cheese,  if you have a stand mixer it doesn’t matter if it’s room temperature or fresh from the fridge.  I prefer cold cream cheese negate ultimately the “dough” will hold its form better, but if you’re mixing by hand go with room temperature so you get the mixture all incorporated.


The mixture should look like thick brownie batter when ready.

Spoon equal amounts into your hand (wear gloves or wash wash wash your hands because you’ll be doing alot of rolling) and roll into equal size balls.  It doesn’t REALLY matter since they aren’t going to be baking or abutting,  but they look nicer when done if all are equal sized. I actually use my little measuring spoons and find the tablespoon size is just the perfect size, especially if you’re looking to add a stick to these and make them into cake pops!


Chill the rolled balls in the freezer,  you can do the fridge too if you don’t have room but the freezer gets them nice and chilled quickly.

Chilling is important ONLY if you’re dipping them in chocolate.  White or dark,  I choose Ghirardelli melts because the just taste the best, but you can use any melting chocolate.
After chilled for about 10 minutes,  work by taking a couple out of the freezer at a time so they don’t get mushy in between. I like to dip and then put onto a wire rack, and then transfer to a wax sheet,  but feel free to use your own method.

If you want to mix it up and not do all chocolate dipped, you can leave them plain (boring…) or roll them in powdered sugar,  or some coconut flakes. Easiest way to do this is to not chill then so they sticky enough to pick up the topping. I like to just put the topping in a ziplock bag and drop 1 ball in at a time and shake.  Coconut is great because you can add some food coloring and add alittle pop of holiday color to your finished product.


When you’re done,  store all in fridge until ready to eat.

Since holidays are coming up quick,  I purchased some treat boxes from Amazon and they come in handy for these.
Enjoy!