Sweet Jack-O-Lantern

October 26
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If you want to do something really fun and tasty for your family and friends, I’ve got a wonderful holiday treat that will bring out the kid in anyone!  This cake is so cute for Halloween…and can be made from scratch or with boxed mixes!  The best part of this sweet treat is that it looks like a fat, little pumpkin so you could even consider making it for Thanksgiving festivities, minus the jack-o-lantern face!  And all you need to make the form is two ovenproof bowls…and some goodies for decorating!  See how easy it is to make a specialty cake that will wow your guests…

so sweet…inside and out!

Halloween in Miniature

October 24
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I love miniature things…I always have!  When I was little I had quite a collection of miniature figurines and objects.  I also had a doll house and was the most enamored with the tiniest things within it.  One of my childhood fantasies was wishing to be one of The Borrowers! (remember that book?)  To me, there’s something sweet and endearing about miniature things…and I still love to incorporate them into my decorating or entertaining whenever I can!  Since Halloween is a holiday that’s particularly whimsical, it’s a great time to have a tiny bit of fun!

itty bitty Halloween touches…

Pumpkin Patch on a Plate!

October 21

Happy Friday everyone!  Halloween keeps creeping closer and closer so I will end this week with one more really easy treat that the whole family will love to make…and eat!  I really enjoy being in the kitchen during the holidays and I love it even more when I can create some festive snacks quickly and inexpensively to serve up to my family or friends who stop by.  If you’re thinking of entertaining or just want to whip up a Halloween treat for your kids, this one is definitely a winner!  Rice Krispies cereal treats are so easy and delicious…and have always been a favorite in our house at ANY time of year!  So to celebrate fall and the arrival of Halloween, I decided to try a new version inspired by the season!  See how easy it is to create an edible pumpkin patch…

served on a platter!

Monster Munch!

October 19

All week I’m sharing some really fun and easy snacks to serve up this October!  I love being in the kitchen during the holidays, but Halloween is exceptionally whimsical and forgiving when it comes to the outcome of the sugary creations!  It flings the pressure of baking perfection right out the window and allows us to have unfettered fun…which is exactly what we did!  Even the boys got involved preparing some sweet and even goofy additions to a holiday snack mix I’ll be serving up soon!  Have a look at what was brewing…

a monster good time!

Spooky Snacking!

October 17
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I just love Halloween!  I have to control my urges to fill up my shopping cart with all the spooky goodies when I see them…and I HAVE controlled myself lately!  I found that I can get the same amount of enjoyment just browsing through those holiday isles…almost!  But the other day I found a treat that I really couldn’t pass up…something festive, perfect for the season, AND edible!  The only problem is they’re such a favorite that it might be hard to keep them on hand for very long!  I’ve had to replace mine several times and decided to hide all the extras so I have plenty for more Halloween entertaining!  What might this wonderful find be, you might ask?  Check it out and see for yourself…munchy, crunchy, cheesy

good old bags of bones!

Bar Cart Bunting

October 14
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I find myself in thrift and antiques stores on a regular basis.  Not just because of Giggle, though the hunt for vintage items to upcycle is one driving factor, but I also just love to hunt for those lost items that are screaming to be useful once again!  I often think I should consider opening a shop to sell all those vintage finds…I’m sure my husband would be happy to see some of my treasures go!  But I just can’t pass up the fact that antique stores and flea markets offer up one-of-a-kind treasures you truly can’t find anywhere else…and often times at bargain prices!  So with the holidays coming, I’ve taken plenty of quick trips to the antique mall to stock up on all the necessities for my Giggle creations…and along the way you can bet I’ve spied a personal favorite or two!  On my last trip I did find a sweet holiday treasure tucked away in one of my favorite booths…a Halloween bunting!  I’m not really sure how old it is but the price tag made it too hard to resist!  Unfortunately, since I’ve finished my decorating already I didn’t exactly have an idea of where I was going to use it!  But I loved it so much I was determined to find a place to display it…and I surely did–on my garage sale bar cart!  I do love to dress up my bargain cart for the seasons…it’s really easy to do without lots of effort!  I’m not an expert on cart styling…in fact, I don’t really know what exactly should even go on a bar cart!  But I rarely follow decorating rules anyway so I guess it doesn’t matter!  Any beverages or snacks can be served from a rolling cart…it can even be used to store serving pieces too pretty to be hidden behind cupboard doors!  So let me share how I styled mine for Halloween…with the help of my bar cart bunting!

haunting holiday cart…

Holiday DIY

October 12
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Holidays are such a fun time to craft…even people who think they’re “craft challenged” (two words I don’t believe in!) find themselves putting forth an effort or two at getting creative this time of year!  Well, I happen to LOVE crafting and spend a good time of the year getting my fingers covered in paint, glue, and glitter!  But I too get extra excited about all the fun projects during the holiday seasons…and it seems as though there’s endless inspiration out there!  So when the opportunity came up to work with my friend and fellow blogger, Beth from Polka Dots & Picket Fences on a crafting article for a local magazine…I think it’s needless to say that I was THRILLED!  We both are regular contributing writers for the “Creative Corner” section of Village Life & Home.  It’s such a fun way to share inspiration for decorating, crafting, and entertaining…and this time we got to work together which made it all the more merry!  So if you live in the Toledo area and receive the publication, check out the festivity!  This month we decided to share some Halloween inspiration by coming up with a DIY “challenge”!  After a trip to the craft store, we made a list of some ordinary, holiday crafting items and each came up with several easy ways to use them!  Have a peek at some of my creations…and if you get the publication, read the entire article to get double the inspiration!

getting a little crafty…

It’s Apple Pie Time!

October 10

We have several family traditions that we try to fulfill each year…one of my favorites is apple picking! The bonus on the back end of this tradition is spending an afternoon in the kitchen whipping up some apple pie fillings to satisfy our sweet cravings throughout the year until it’s picking time again!  We usually head to the orchard early in October to get our favorites before the trees are bare but we’ll always make the trip even if we can’t go at the most opportune time!  This year we got really lucky and could squeeze it in while the trees were just dripping with fruit…it also happened to be the Apple Butter Festival that weekend!  So while it was fun to see all the activities, crafts, and food offerings, the lines were almost too long to bear AND our favorite apple cider doughnuts were completely sold out for the day!  But that just means that we’ll HAVE to make another quick trip for a bag full of sugary goodness…like I said, it’s tradition!  Even though we didn’t get our doughnuts, we did spend a perfect fall day filling up our half-bushel bag with a combo of Granny Smith and Jonathan apples right from the tree!  And a week later…it was time to peel, chop, and cook the fruit into gooey, bubbly, sweet smelling pie fillings to keep in the freezer!  So that’s exactly what we did yesterday afternoon…spent some time together making the kitchen smell absolutely heavenly!  And along with the fillings, we HAD to make a pie too…just to make sure everything tasted OK of course!  I’ve shared my grandmother’s recipe before but I’ll include another printable copy…just in case you missed it!  It’s SO good and SO easy…I really hope you try it!

fun in the orchard…fun in the kitchen!

Easy All Hallows Eve!

October 7
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I love to decorate for the holidays…any holiday!  But I totally understand that not everyone shares the same passion…not due to lack of enthusiasm but sometimes not knowing where to begin!  It can seem overwhelming to go all out with holiday decor…not only can it be expensive but what goes up must eventually come down which can cause us to avoid the hassle!  I can’t imagine not decorating for Halloween, but as the years keep getting busier I don’t want to be under unnecessary pressure to create a holiday fun-house!  And I don’t want to feel the need to out-do myself each time a holiday rolls around…those expectations add too much stress to what should be fun times with family & friends!  Fortunately there are some simple ways to add some minimal holiday touches to a home…they’ll still look just as festive and won’t cost as much either!  I’d like to share some Halloween ideas that are easy to put up AND easy to take down…’cause I really understand the dread of packing all those decorations away!  So decorate as much or as little as you want…but you don’t need to pass on ALL the fun!  I hope you can get some inspiration from my pared down decorating this season…my much simpler displays are still enough for me to feel the whimsy of this season without all the effort!

simply spooky…

Time for Treats!

October 5
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Last week was a bit on the dreary side…but weirdly, I kind of like days like those.  Not that I don’t adore the sunshine, but a dark and chilly day offers the perfect opportunity to fire up the oven and do some baking or cooking…leaving your home smelling heavenly!  So that said, I took the opportunity to try some new and completely easy recipes for some fall-inspired treats!  The cool weather seems to call for us to gather around the fire and share conversation with family & friends…AND nibble on delights from the kitchen!  I love to be prepared for impromptu guests or even those moments where the kids are content to hang out and actually participate in conversation!  Setting out some treats and munchies can be a tactic to keep them around us a bit longer and keep the conversations flowing!  (nothing like a little bribery!)  And when guests come calling, the same applies!  Even though it’s easier to keep some packaged treats in the pantry, I do love serving homemade sweets whenever possible!  So today I’m going to share some tasty nibbles that are as easy as they are delicious!  So “hello fall”…

it’s kitchen time!