I am super excited to host a spooky early Halloween dinner
tonight for three of my most favorite people. Joining my husband
and I will be my cousin Lindsey and her husband Gino. Lindsey and I
were very close growing up and she is like the sister that I never
had. We spent many Halloween's together as kids, often being forced
to eat hot dogs at our grandma's house for what seemed like an
eternity when what I really wanted to do was canvas the
neighborhood for candy. We lived in the country and houses were
really far apart, so if you wanted to accumulate any candy at all,
you really had to get a move on.
Anyway, it's so fun now that we are both married gals because the
only two people that might have more to talk about than we do are
our husbands. The four of us always have a great time, and it has
been years since Lindsey and I have gotten to spend Halloween
together. So this year, to mark their autumn visit to Asheville,
one of our activities for the weekend will be a spooktacular dinner
Here is a little preview for you. Behold the tablescape!
Here is a little preview for you. Behold the tablescape!
I whipped up a few paper luminaries, which I have
been a little addicted to lately, but the real show stopper is the
bat tree centerpiece. This could not have been easier or less
expensive and the pictures do it no justice. It came out so cool, I
could not be more excited about it!
I picked up two twigs from the yard, sprayed them off in the sink
and let them dry, cut small bats out of black card stock, arranged
the twigs in an orange glass vase that I had on hand and strung the
bats from them with black string. When the candles are lit in the
luminaries below, the heat from the flame makes the bats flutter
about. The effect is impressive, especially for how totally easy it
was to construct. Oh, and a big thank you to the Graphics Fairy for
the awesome images!
Happy haunting this weekend!
Red velvet is delicious cake and fun for many special occasions,
especially Halloween. Check out these devilishly delicious
This trio of treats from Meghan's
Cakes and Cookies, Brain Cupcakes straight from the mad
scientists' lab of Salt
Says, and Dracula's Bites from
Parenting, are all excellent examples of how creative you can
So hit up this classic red velvet cake recipe from the Joy Of
Baking and whip up some spooky holiday fun of your own this
Here is a fun little project I came up with today, candy corn
Party Hat Tutorial:
Party hats are really easy to make, especially after you've made
the first one.
Your will need:
Free Candy Corn Party Hat Template
a color printer
8.5x11" white cardstock
2 lengths of narrow white ribbon
double sided tape
a hole punch
First print the
template and cut it out along the yellow edge, so that you have
a semi circle. Then trim along the small black half circle on the
straight edge. Use a hole punch to punch out the two. small black
dots in the yellow stripe. Using the double sided tape, join the
straight edges to form a cone. Thread one length of white ribbon
through each hole. Tie a knot on the inside ends to secure the
ribbon to the hat.
I hope you enjoy this fun little project and I would like to say a
big thank you to Lizzie-Lou, my weimaraner and reluctant hat
The pumpkin carving party was a success and a good time was had by
all, including the hostess. I thought I would share a few photos
and some recipes for the treats I whipped up. The pumpkin sugar
cookie cut-outs were a hit. I had a wonderful time baking and
decorating them. I used the classic Crisco
sugar cookie recipe and made my own royal
icing for decorations. I love the royal icing for sugar cookies
because it sets up really nice and makes it easy to display or
package the finished product.
The dining room looked ready for pumpkin carving fun with my
paper jack-o-lumiaries and
paper table cloth with spider web runner.
And the treat table, with candy corn and
Martha's candy corn cookies, along with the pumpkin
sugar-cookie cut outs, was a crowd favorite. I made the paper
scroll "TREATS" sign as a last-minute addition. I printed the text
our onto a piece of parchment card stock, trimmed it like a ribbon
and used the closed edge of a pair of scissors to curl the paper
enough for it to stand on it's own.
Everybody really got into the carving
We had some pretty creative guests and the final result was
Just in case you had sparkle pumpkin envy real bad, the brilliance
that is Twig and Thistle has come to your rescue. Behold, the
DIY candle holder version of the foam
glitter pumpkin that I picked up at Michael's a few weeks ago.
Thank you Twig and
I great idea for entertaining this fall is to host a pumpkin
carving party. I am planning one for this Sunday afternoon. It's a
great party to have with children, but you are never too old to
carve a pumpkin! We are having all adults at our party, so we might
skip the apple bobbing, but I have plenty of fun in store for my
The party I am hosting is BYOP (P stands for pumpkin). If you are
feeling like an outing to start the festivities, meet friends at a
local pumpkin patch to start the fun by selecting the perfect
pumpkin. If you don't know where to find a pumpkin patch near you,
here is a
great source for locating a pumpkin patch in your area.
Another option is to provide pumpkins for your guests. Maybe you
had a bumper crop yourself this year or you know a local grower
that will give you a great price on pumpkins, either way, use hay
bails, mums and maybe even an wheelbarrow to
set up a cute display by your front door and let party goers
pick a pumpkin on the way in.
Next step is to prepare for some carving. Pumpkin carving can get
messy, so plan to cover your table with newspaper or, to make
things even more festive, take this tip from me and use brown craft
paper. I used a sharpy marker and a ruler to draw a spider web
"table runner" on the craft paper for added cuteness:
Have some pumpkin carving tools in place, like a variety of kitchen
knives, a few
pumpkin carving kits, and some
Sharpie markers, and some trash bags for the pumpkin
And what is a party without some snacks. The menu at my house is
popcorn, toasted pumpkin seeds (of course) and pumpernickel
pretzels with pumpkin dip. For dinner we are having vegetable soup
and whole wheat rolls. And for dessert: Martha's
candy corn cookies,
pumpkin sugar cookie cut outs, and of course, pumpkin pie.
For drinks, I'll serve local apple cider and a local Octoberfest
As with any party, it can be as simple or as detailed as you would
like to make it, but a pumpkin carving party is a great reason for
friends to get together this time of year. You can put on scary
movies or watch some football. You can get creative and make the
carving a contest and offer prizes for the winner. Or you can
simply take a photo of the finished products, all aglow, at the end
of the evening. Regardless, guests are sure to relax and have fun
at this casual fall -fun get together.
I made some delicious Pumpkin Butter this morning and the recipe
was to tasty not to share!
Gina's Skinny Recipes
Servings: 14 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup • Points: 1.5 pts
Calories: 88.2 • Fat: 0.3 g • Protein: 1.0 g • Carb: 27.3 g •
Fiber: 2.5 g
Combine pureed pumpkin, vanilla, apple juice, spices, cinnamon
sticks and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a
boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes or until
thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to your taste.
Head on over to Gina's
Skinny Recipes blog where you can find this
super easy recipe for Pumpkin Butter. And she has other recipes
to use your freshly made pumpkin butter in, everything from a
Pumpkin Spice Latte to Pumpkin Spiced Pankakes with Pumpkin Butter
How cute is this little guy?! I was on a quest for cool table
number ideas and I came across this tutorial from
Intimate Weddings, which gave me a great idea--why not make
jack-o-luminaries to decorate my house for fall? I love how they
turned out and this was an easy and fun project. It would be great
for kids too, with a little supervision on the cutting part.
For this project I used three 12x12 sheets of orange card stock
and one 12x12 sheet of black card stock (which made four 6x6
luminaries). I also used my paper cutter, an excato knife, a pencil
and a glue stick.
To get started, cut each sheet of 12x12 paper into four 6"
squares. Draw your jack-o-lantern face of choice on one of the
orange squares and use the exacto knife to 'carve' it. (Please
note: the side that you have drawn on becomes the 'back' of the
square, so that it faces the inside of the cube on the finished
Next, fold over a 1/2" flap on one side of the orange square
that has your jack-o-lantern face, two additional orange squares,
and one black square. Apply glue to the 1/2" flap on each square
and glue them together to form a cube.
Be sure to put the orange square with the face cut out on the
front, the black square on the back, and the plain orange squares
on each side.
Place over a tea light in a glass holder and enjoy!
I thought I'd share a few fall touches that I put around
the house so far. In the dining room:
I found the big glitter pumpkin at Michael's today and it was a
must have item. Love it.
and I redecorated the front door vine wreath with some silk leaves
and glittery orange ribbon:
Hooray for sweater weather!!