Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jack O' Lanterns!

Happy Halloween!

We carved our pumpkins last night.  Nothing like last minute, huh?

Our IU pumpkin :)  Go Hoosiers!

Tyson's choice, Lightning McQueen.  He required a bit of surgery.

Quinn's pumpkin, Hello Kitty.  More my choice than hers, but isn't she cute?

The pumpkin trio:

We're trick or treating tonight, but it's going to be frigid here.  Happy Halloween to you!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kid's Halloween Party

This past Saturday, we hosted a kid-friendly Halloween Party!

We tried to keep it light and fun instead of spooky and scary.  I think the goal was accomplished and the kids all had a great time!  Some of our little friends were missing because of sickness, but the party went on :)

I also tried to keep the decorations simple, which for anyone that knows me, that in and of itself is a challenge!  I used some black and orange crepe paper behind the goodie table, a black tablecloth that I already had and some leftover fabrics from my son's Construction birthday party and my daughter's Bumble Bee birthday party.

I borrowed my mom's Cricut to make the bats and spiders and the word BOO and added a few silly spiders and a black cat garland, both from the Target Dollar Spot.

I filled up the table with all kinds of Halloween treats -- cheese balls, Halloween candy, goldfish crackers, Pirate's Booty, cupcakes, mellowcreme pumpkins, chocolate covered Oreos, Reese's Pieces and chocolate covered marshmallows.

We had quite a bit of food!  But hey, that's what a party is for, right?

We had fruit and veggie trays with dips, cheese, crackers and sausage.  My friend Laura brought the spider web taco dip and my friend Kathy brought the little chocolaty acorns.

We also served this chili, my favorite recipe, along with all kinds of toppings.  Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients.  This stuff is amazing!

For drinks, we served apple cider, sodas, beer and Capri Suns for the kids.

There were 7 kids under the age of 4 and they all came dressed in their costumes.  From left to right: Elliott, a bumblebee, Morgan, the Coca Cola polar bear, Tyson the pirate, Luke the race car driver, Andrew, Lightning McQueen, Quinn as Little Red Riding Hood and baby Rachel, a clown.

Photo by Kathy

Photo by Kathy

Photo by Kathy

Photo by Kathy
Photo by Kathy

After all of the kids were fed, played and had a zillion pictures taken, we decorated Halloween sugar cookies!  Different colors of icing in squeeze bottles and loads of sprinkles and sugars for the kids to choose from :)

It was a great party and the friends that couldn't make it were missed, but we had a lot of fun!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Mantel

I usually do a fall mantel, but I think this is the first year I've ever done one just for Halloween.  I love how it turned out!

Gourds, pumpkins, my tulle wreath and some little jack o' lanterns.

I made this tulle wreath last Halloween, inspired by a Pinterest find :)  I still love it!

I made these BOO funkins years ago and they still make an appearance somewhere in my Halloween decor.

This little raven was the lone new addition to my Halloween decorations this year.  I found it at Goodwill for 50 cents :)

We're ready for Halloween!

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I Heart Naptime
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I will be the first to admit that I'm not a huge pumpkin fan.  I love the smell of pumpkin, love the looks of them, but I tried pumpkin pie years and years ago and the texture just turned me off.  I know, blasphemy right?

I do like pumpkin bread and am obsessed with Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes.  Even my babies, some of the pickiest eaters on the planet, like pumpkin bread.

I pinned this recipe a few weeks ago and Sunday was the perfect blustery fall afternoon for some baking!  I had two little helpers and the recipe turned out delicious :)

The directions are simple and straightforward.  I followed them to the letter, but realized later that my bread could have baked the full 60 minutes.

The only small change I will make for the next two loaves I make -- I have plenty of pumpkin leftover for that many! -- is that I'll use mini chocolate chips instead of the regular ones.  

This is the perfect, sweet pumpkin bread.  My little taste testers agreed!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Front Porch

It's taken me some time, but I've finally finished our Halloween front porch!

Pumpkins, mums, lighted Jack o'Lanterns and some pretty fall pillows.

With the exception of a few funkins, some faux grasses and the wreath, everything is real.  

I always love my porch decorated for the fall and with the exception of the Jack o'Lanterns, everything will stay out until after Thanksgiving.

I use the same double wreaths on my door every year, but this year, I added some new flowers to bulk them up.  I grabbed a few 50% off hydrangeas at Hobby Lobby and added them to the existing wreaths.

The monogram funkin is actually from our wedding reception, almost 9 years ago.  *awww*  I love that it makes an appearance on my fall porch every year.  :)

See the lights inside of it?  I keep it and the faux Jack o'Lantern on a dusk to dawn timer.

Happy Fall and Go Colts! :)

I'm linking up :)

The Inspired Room
Savvy Southern Style
Home Stories A to Z

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The 20 Things I Love About Fall

Like many, Fall is my favorite season, hands down. There's just so much to love about it!

1. Pumpkins.  Any size, any color, decorated or just plain.

2.  Brach's candy corn and mellowcreme pumpkins.  Those little bits of sugary goodness are addicting!  But, they must be Brach's and no autumn mix with the Indian corn candy corn!

3.  Bonfires.  I love sitting outside by the fire, wrapped in a blanket and drinking a beer.  It makes for a perfect evening!

4. Those cool, crisp, but sunny days with no clouds in the sky.

5.  Chili.  It's one of my favorite foods and it's perfect for those chilly fall days.

6.  Sweaters. Boots.  Scarves.  Hoodies.  All of those great fall clothes!

7.  Open windows.  It's so nice to be able to open up the house and feel a cool breeze.

8.  Celebrating our wedding anniversary.

9.  The changing leaves.  Even a walk down our tree lined street is enough to make me smile.  I love to see the reds, yellows and oranges in the leaves.

10.  Apple Cider.  Pretty much in any form for me.  Hot, spiced, spiked, slushies :)

11.  Halloween!  I love all of the costumes and the fun that goes along with it.  Besides, what's cuter than little people dressed up?

12.  Football.  Go Hoosiers and go Colts!

13.  Tailgates.

14.  Thanksgiving!  What a perfect holiday.  :)  No gifts, just getting together with loved ones to be thankful for all of your blessings and to enjoy a wonderful home-cooked meal together.

15.  Mums.  Seeing the beautiful colors of mums everywhere really means fall for me.

16.  Hearty meals -- warm soups and stews.

17.  Decorating my house for the season.

18.  Crunching through those changing leaves.  :)

19.  Fall scents -- pumpkin, spiced cider, cinnamon.

20.  Outdoor activities.  Pumpkin patches, apple orchards.  We went to our first fall activity, an apple orchard over the weekend.  Even though there weren't apples for picking (darn early frost), we had lots of fun.

  What do you love most about fall?

I'm linking up to:

The Inspired Room