Monday, October 30, 2017

Making Memories at Halloween Y'all

October 30, 2017 0 Comments





So tomorrow is Halloween and I probably should have gotten this post out a little earlier but that's how it goes when you are starting a blog! 

Halloween has become my favorite time of the year...maybe it's because it starts the holiday season off with a bang. As a kid, my best friend's mother would always throw us a Halloween party. It was soooo much fun! The one thing I really remember from those parties is bobbing for apples! I remember this the most because our entire 5th grade class would come (the cutest guy in the whole school was included) and when you bobbed for apples your Halloween makeup would smear, especially your mascara, (gasp) and then I would spend the rest of the party wondering if he was noticing me or seeing my makeup. (It was very traumatic.) 

Those days were a lot of fun. As an adult, I look back and I'm so grateful for all the hard work my best friends mother (I called her my second mom) put in year after year. For us it was just pure fun, for her, I guess the fun was watching us kids have a safe and fun Halloween. But alas, all good things must come to an end. After we grew out of those parties, I grew out of Halloween too.

But now suddenly, in my late forties, I'm trying to resurrect the Holiday. I have to say I think it's more for me than the kids!  I thought why not start a new family tradition of carving pumpkins? I never did it as a kid and I always wanted to learn how. So, why not torture my nephews and get them learn how! And that's how a family tradition was born! 

This year was a little better than last year since we know, more or less;) what we are doing. I have to say that I think it's a lot of fun!

In the age of computers and iphones its hard to get families to gather and really connect. Everyone is always on their ipad, phone, watching tv or playing video games. Ugh. Honestly, it drives me crazy! EVEN AT DINNER. Call me old fashioned but I want to go back to the days where families talked to each other. I want to make more memories like the ones of my childhood Halloween parties! No one even had cell phones back then! Can you imagine?lol.  

So this year our family went outside, and the guys watched football ( I didn't say I could work miracles) and the kids (and some of the adults too) carved pumpkins. It was great. We had a lot of laughs and... what do you know... everyone talked to each other (even if it was the adults telling the kids not to cut there fingers off).

 It didn't matter what we were doing or how our pumpkins turned out...we were making memories!

Hey, I just had a thought...maybe next year I can make my family bob for apples! lol! I'd have to offer a REALLY good prize for that! -it so sad I have to bribe my family:(


Anyway, I digress, back to the party... 

I tried to make it as fun for the adults as for the kids. (adults out numbered kids 6 to 2) We had football on the TV, BBQ buffet with all the fixins', alcohol (what's BBQ and football without beer) and an adorable ghost cake for dessert. Can you tell yet that I'm from Texas? And, of course, we can't forget carving pumpkins! Not too bad!

About the cake...


Is this cute or what? And it only took 5 minutes to decorate! What's my secret you ask? I cheated. I bought a chocolate cake at HEB. Then I walked over to the Halloween candy isle and bought the ghost Peeps. I had already bought the extra large gummy candy corn at Marshalls (by the registers) of all places! And for the life of me I can't remember where I got the little skewers ( I wan't to say Michaels.) Then I just put the ghosts on the sticks and stuck them in the cake. The orange bow came off the bag of candy corn. Then I put the candy corn at the base of each stick for a little color and all around the base of the cake. Soooo easy. Who needs cake decoration class?!?

Tips:

  • This could work for any holiday, if you can't find Peeps in your holiday theme, get creative. For example, for Easter you could make a white or yellow cake and use the colorful foil covered eggs to impale on the sticks. Use robin egg hard candies or a ribbon to put around the base.  
  • Find gourmet candies at Marshall for a discount. They taste just as good.
  • Print out holiday theme pictures or cutouts then trace the outline of the image on some cute scrap-booking paper and glue them together with the stick sandwiched in between.
  • Keep your eyes open ahead of time so when the time comes you already have some ideas in mind. 


About the cookies...
Last year I found these black silhouette stands at Michaels for dirt cheap after Halloween. I had no idea what I would do with them but I bought several. I'm so glad I did. I'm not sure what they are made of but its like very thick, stiff felt. There are two pieces that lock together so you can take them apart and store them flat. (gotta love that) I found a black cat, a tree and some crows. I took cookies, again from HEB, cake stand and threw the cookies around the base of the tree.--I forgot to tell you I put all this on a cake stand. It just so happened that one of the cookies was leaf shape so I stuck a few in the tree (i'm still not sure I like the "leaves" but I left them anyway).



Tips:
  • Visit the stores after the holidays to get good prices. The choices will be slim but you can usually find something that you like. 
  • If you love it and its a good price get it even if you don't know exactly what you are going to do with it but your fairly confident that you will figure it out. 
  • any time you entertain have a couple of things out for your guest to nibble on. It gives your guest something to do and holds them over until it's time to eat. Even though we had a big cake to eat for dessert I still has some cookies out. My nephews came in and went straight for them.

About the decorations...

I have this large island in my kitchen and it has this area that I always feel I need to have something rather large and colorful. I usually have some sort of tray and I use the same design for each occasion. I picked of the chalkboard sign last year at Hobby Lobby. I love it! I do the designs myself and they are a lot of fun. Then I have this beautiful vase my friend gave me and it works great for the height. The Halloween plates are last year at Marshall's (I think the have the same ones at Target). Each plate has a different pattern and they come in a set of four. I bought two sets. One for my tray and one set for my breakfast table that seats 4. I absolutely love them. The tray (of course) is from Marshalls. I liked this tray because it was only $16 dollars and it was rustic for the fall holidays. To dress it up I just took a ribbon and taped it to the tray. Then I took a Halloween sticker and just stuck it in the center. How easy is that???

Tips:


  • Buy cute dessert plates at Marshall's. They always have cute ones and they are so much cheaper than even Target.
  • Invest in a couple of trays. Trays really pull your vignette together and make it look like a neat cohesive unit. 
  • Try to stack things in varying heights and add different widths 
  • Chalk boards are so cute and add an unexpected element. And if you practice you can change them for each occasion. 

Trick or Treat!
Happy Halloween and make some memories guys!






Saturday, October 28, 2017

Made You Smile...

October 28, 2017 0 Comments


I bet this makes all you dog lovers out there smile...



muddy

But seriously, who's dog looks this neat when they get in the mud??? Not mine! Here is my pit bull, Levi...




 Now that's more like it!!! Who's dog knows how to have more fun????





Friday, October 27, 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Simple but Elegant Fall Centerpiece for Buffet

October 22, 2017 0 Comments

Time To Decorate For Fall




I LOVE to decorate for the holidays! Like a lot of people, Christmas has always been my big holiday with tons of decorations. It's easy for most people to decorate for Christmas. The market is flooded with everything from Elf on the Shelf to gold glittered reindeer while we Texans are still running around in tank tops and flip-flops--if you're a Houstonian you will know exactly what I mean! So last year I decided to up my ante for the fall holidays... Halloween and Thanksgiving. But, I mean Yikes! Where do you start when you'er starting from practically scratch?

Where to start???


  • Lets start in the first room you see when you walk into my house..my plain dining room...



Pretty boring, right?

My dining room was a little bare but I had the essentials...an antique buffet, a table and chairs, mirror and lamps. So then I needed the details - I think of it as the perfect jewelry to your fabulous outfit! (Btw, I tried my best to get a good picture of my entire dinning room but this was the best shot I could get. I promise to work on my photography skills!)


I recently found this great country French container at The Accessory Place in Town and Country Village-one of my favorite shops. ( It was a bit of a splurge but sooo worth it-I'm certain you will be seeing more of it- It's so versatile and I needed something that would really fill a large space.)

 I went to my local Trader Joes and HEB to get the plants. I knew I wanted something quick and easy but also elegant with high impact. I started with the Crocus (on left) and found two other smaller plants (Chrysanthemums) to throw in for filler.




 I just took them... pots and all... and stuck them in!

No one is going to look carefully at how you construct your arrangement. Just throw the plant how it comes in the pot. If it's something like Orchids, hide the containers with green moss. (I buy mine in a bag at HEB when I pick up my flowers.)

Once I put my fall arrangement together I started thinking of what I could do to tweak it for Halloween.  I was stumped! It was beautiful...for Thanksgiving--but what about Halloween?

And then the light bulb went on and I had that moment...the moment of Ah -Ha...that moment when everything is right in the world...when the clouds part and the ray of sunshine washes your face...

Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic...but you know what I mean!

I just happened to have picked up an orange and black glitter Boo sign at Michaels for a wreath.



 I decided it would look perfect just propped up on the white container!!! 

How easy is that???


And then I had my second ah-ha moment...




 I remembered that I had a orange glittery witch broom somewhere in my craft closet. I had bought two actually because I thought they would come in handy.

BINGO!

 I added a black and orange bow on it, stuck it in the back and Voila! An amazing centerpiece that looks like a million bucks...or at least I think so (crickets chirping.)






A few things to think about:

Texture...
If you are a beginner with texture think- smooth and rough. Notice the smooth shiny container and the rough pumpkin. The broom stick defiantly adds rough texture and contrasts nicely with the smooth plant leaves and the ceramic container. Also, the glittery orange broomstick ties into the glittery Boo sign. The ribbon ties into the black and orange theme with the satin ribbon and black velvet dots.

Contrast...
 A lot of people don't realize that contrast is just as important as texture. It took me forever to figure out that contrast can make things pop and keeps your colors pallet from becoming muddied down. In my dinning room I had all the fall colors: orange, yellow and lots of brown. Brown buffet and brown table. I needed the white ceramic container to stand out or pop out from the browns and oranges. Also, I knew if I put that black and orange Boo sign in front of the white it would really pop too! You want to make sure if you are standing at a distance you can still have some features stand out.


Always decorate in odd numbers. 3's and 5's are your new lucky numbers.
  • Use bubble wrap, scrunched up plastic bags or anything you can think of to fill up the bottom and provide support for your plants.
  • You don't need to spend a lot of money on everything. Just buy that one plant that makes a statement and go cheap on the rest.
  • Don't forget to think about texture and contrast.
  • Take your container with you to get the right size and amount.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for advice. Just be honest and explain that you want to learn to do your own arrangement's but don't know the first thing about plants. I have found most people are happy to give you some advice.

So I hope you enjoyed my post. Since I'm new to blogging I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and feedback in the comments below. Also, Pinning is appreciated!

Happy Decorating,








 



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