Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Pumpkin, a Pumpkin, so many things to do with a Pumpkin

Our friends at Martha Stewart always have some wonderful ideas for pumpkins that you can do with your kids, so we thought we would take a few minutes and share a few with you.

image from our friends at Martha Stewart

Take two miniature pumpkins to become a hoot of an owl! Secure the two pumpkins together with a toothpick or kabob skewer. To give your little owl eyes to see take 2 toothpicks and attach pumpkin seeds thru, add a few more and fan them out; repeat several times so it makes a complete circle and top the end with a pearberry. To give your little guy feathers on top of his head take a chrysanthemum bloom and toothpick or hot glue it to the top. And to complete your little friend, hollow out his beak area and insert an almond. Isn’t he cute?

image from our friends at Martha Stewart

Every little girl loves creating jewelry. Why not make a pumpkin necklace? Take your seeds from inside your scooped out pumpkin and put them in a bowl of water. The seeds will separate and float to the top when they do take them and put them on a towel or pan to dry out for a few hours (at least 6). Then take a needle and thread it with silk beaded cord and pierce each seed and create a pattern, you can also add candy corn to make it a bit more colorful!

image from our friends at Martha Stewart

A pumpkin birdhouse has to be one of my favorite ideas! Take a small pumpkin, cut it in half, scoop it out leaving about ½” thick wall all of the way around. In the rim take a knife and slit a ½” rim around to make a “rim” for pumpkin seeds to sit on (really wedged in) To make cute perches, poke a hole with a twig branch and insert. Add some berries. To hang take 2 pieces of twine, knot the ends, secure (where the knot is) on the bottom of the pumpkin. And then fill with birdseed, I know the birds will love visiting here! And in my case, so will the pesty squirrels!

Do you have any cute ideas of pumpkins? Share them! Hope you have a wonderfully sweet and fun Halloween!
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ghoulish delights for your little monsters

Halloween is a fun time for kids big and small, so I thought I would do a little research and put together a few ideas for you and your little monsters to have the best “spooktacular” holiday.

photo credit: Southern Living, Loved it since i'm all about playing and the outdoors!

I hosted several Halloween parties when my kids were small and I always loved getting everything ready for these parties, and to start the party with a spooky or fun feeling I think the invitations should start your party off with the right feeling. Paper and Cake has created a cute collection that is perfect for a night of Trick-or-Treating with friends, a Pumpkin Carving Party all you need to do is print and cut. How easy is that?

This Collection Includes:
* Invitations
* Front Door Welcome Sign
* Cupcake Picks (can also be used as stickers)
* Mini Treat Bags
* Mini Candy Bar labels
* Snack Cones
* Menus
* Placemats
* Finger Puppets with Play Background
* jpeg artwork for you to use on canvas trick-or-treat bags
* full sheet patterned paper (can also be used as napkin rings or candle wrappers)
* cup wrappers

Food is an important and can be fun, especially for Halloween. I think these recipes will work great for your party.

photo credit: Mrs. Prindables

Magic Wands
• 48 pretzel rods
• 1/2 pound sweetened bakers dark or white chocolate
• Edible colored sprinkles

1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or sauce pan. When melted, pour in a glass bowl.

2. Dip and coat each pretzel stick with melted chocolate; about half the length of each stick.

3. Roll chocolate coated pretzel sticks in colored sprinkles. Let "magic wands" stand and set before serving.

Mummy Dogs
• 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
• 2 1/2 slices American cheese, quartered (2.5 oz)
• 10 large hot dogs
• Cooking spray
• Mustard or ketchup, if desired

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll dough; separate at perforations, creating 4 rectangles. Press perforations to seal.

2. Slice cheese slices into quarters (1/2 slice cheese, cut in half).

3. Wrap 4 pieces of dough around each hot dog and 1/4 slice of cheese to look like "bandages," stretching dough slightly to completely cover hot dog.

4. About 1/2 inch from one end of each hot dog, separate "bandages" so hot dog shows through for "face."

5. On ungreased large cookie sheet, place wrapped hot dogs (cheese side down); spray dough lightly with cooking spray.

6. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until dough is light golden brown and hot dogs are hot. With mustard, draw features on "face."

photo credit: Woman's Day

Spider Web Pizza
• 1 pkg (10 oz) prebaked mini 8-in pizza crusts (we used Boboli)
• 1/3 cup pizza sauce
• 2 (1 oz each) mozzarella string cheese
• 3 large pitted black olives

1. Heat oven to 450°F. Place crusts on a baking sheet; top with sauce. Pull cheese into thin strips; place on pizzas in the shape of a web.

2. Bake pizza for 8 to 10 minutes until cheese melts. Cool 3 minutes.

3. Cut off one end of 2 olives for spider heads. Halve remaining olives lengthwise. Use one half for body; cut remaining pieces into strips for legs. Assemble spider on each pizza.

photo credit: William Sonoma

Halloween Sugar Cookies
It’s easy to transform basic sugar cookie dough into delightful Halloween treats. Using cutters shaped like ghosts and black cats, you can create spooky sweets that will cast a magic spell over holiday gatherings.

• 2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
• ¾ cup sugar
• 3 egg yolks
• 1 piece of vanilla bean 2” long
• 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• Colored sugars and decorating pens

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and, using a small, sharp knife, scrape the seeds into the butter mixture. Mix well.

2. In a sifter, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the flour mixture directly onto the butter mixture. Reduce the speed to low and beat until well mixed.

3. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball, and then flatten the balls into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (The dough can be prepared up to 3 days ahead.) Let it soften slightly at room temperature before continuing.

4. Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter 2 large baking sheets.

5. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out a dough disk 1/4 inch thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. Transfer the cutouts to the prepared baking sheets. Gather up and reroll the scraps and cut out more cookies. Repeat with the remaining dough disks.

6. Bake until the cookies are golden on the edges, about 8 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Decorate the cookies as desired with colored sugars and decorating pens. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Makes 24 to 30 cookies, depending on cutter size.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, Holiday Baking, by Jeanne Thiel Kelley (Time-Life Books, 1995).

Of course it wouldn’t be a Halloween party without costumes. These are a few of my favorites for the little one and even for your furry monsters!

Check out this adorable “western cowgirl.” The set comes with a red tutu, red bandana, white hat with star, and stick horse. It is available in size 12m, 18m, 24m, 2t, and 3t.

Mytouchofaloha has a Cupcake Cutie Costume that they created much like the Pottery Barn Kids Costume! Made of soft felt this one piece costume will make your little one the most delicious thing this Halloween! Comes with its own strawberry cream topper! Now available in a 12m - 5T.

These little bloomers were just so darn cute I had to include them, they come from Sugarlocks.

Petiecat makes some beautiful costumes and this little kitty is no exception! The costume is a 5 pc stretch velvet set. Top and pants, arm warmers trimmed with maribu, satin bow on headband and a pull on hand tied tutu over skirt. Available in all sizes 12 month up to size 10. They can also make this in long sleeves.

For your little treaters to collect all of their goodies in style you can have wonderful handmade bags made like these by Tedecco and plain jane and company created this cheery pumpkin Halloween trick or treat bags are darling for your child's Halloween!

Bags are sewn from a cheery mix of orange fabrics and are accented with green "leaves." They are quilted to a soft cotton batting. Patterned black bias and handle top the bag while a cheery blanket-stitched face complete the charm.

Bag dimensions are a perfect size for children. The bag body is approximately 6" tall and 9" wide. This chubby pumpkin would hold all the candy you'd like your child to have!

Let your little ones trick or treat in style this year with a fun appliqu├ęd canvas bag created by plainjaneandcompany! The great thing about these bags is that they are reusable and personalized!

And to cherish your Halloween memories you can get this adorable frame and put in your favorite photo of your little ghoul. This frame was handmade. It holds a 5x5 photo. It has a Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving theme with the brown hand painted paint and the red, orange and gold ribbon. Holes were drilled around the frame and the ribbon was looped through to create this look.

If you have a little furry critter let them join in the fun and check out these adorable little costumes which can be found at Center Pet Pharmacy. Just give them a call 888-260-0801. And our friends at Center Pet Pharmacy are hosting a costume contest where the winner will win $150.00, so send your photo over today to

Hope it’s a spooktacular holiday for you all!
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