Thursday, October 29, 2009

You've Been Boo-ed

In college, I was a member of a service sorority, and every Halloween, we went trick or treating for canned goods to donate to local shelters. During our trick or treating, I started noticing these "You've been boo-ed" signs in everyone's door. Finally, I stopped to ask. Turns out, a trend is sweeping the nation. A yummy and fun trend!

It's called Boo-ing, and it goes like this.

1) You go to You've Been Boo-ed's web site and print out the card.

2) Fill two bags (or pumpkins) or baskets FULL of goodies. It can be homemade treats like breads, cookies, cake. It can be candy and chocolate. It might even be a basket full of scary movies, popcorn, and soda for the family to use in their Halloween celebration. However you choose to fill it is up to you.

3) You place the "You've Been Boo-ed" card in the basket, and you silently drop off a Boo basket at the front door of two neighbors.

4) They find the basket (surprise!), read the card, post the "You've been boo-ed" sign in their front door (so they are not boo-ed twice), and then they boo two neighbors. The chain starts from there!

It's a great way to spread cheer all around your neighborhood!

Now... off to boo some friends! Enjoy!

P.S. They have a Christmas version: Been Jingled


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Seed Frenzy

Last night, I was introduced to a world I knew very little about... pumpkin seeds.

I went to my first "Wine & Knives" party, which was a lot more fun (and a lot less deadly) than the title implies. It was an ol' fashioned pumpkin-carving party, complete with lots of great food and wine. We carved, and we ate. Then we carved, and we drank. And finally, the pumpkin seed making began.

Once we had all removed the "guts" of our pumpkins, we washed off the icky (my descriptive word of choice for the insides of pumpkins) orange stuff to get to the seeds. (This takes some tugging and scrubbing, but it's worth it.) Then we tossed some of the seeds in a bowl with olive oil, some kosher salt, garlic salt, a little spicy something, maybe paprika, and toasted them for about 15 minutes on 375. Out came deliciousness like I have never known.

So it got me to thinking... What about a Pumpkin Seed Bar?

At your next carving, set out bowls of spices--sweet and savory. As guests take a break from carving or finish up a project, invite them over to make their own custom batch of pumpkin seeds.

Spices you might include: kosher salt, garlic salt, roasted garlic, paprika, cayenne, cumin, rosemary, dried basil, dried thyme, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg. You won't need a lot of each spice as a little goes a long way.

Provide guests with bowls and spoons. Let them combine and mix to their heart's desire. Then lay them out on a single layer on lightly-sprayed parchment paper, label the parchment with their name, put the parchment paper on a baking sheet and pop in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes. As oven temps vary, watch your first batch closely. It may need less than 15 minutes.

Most guests won't eat all of them, so individual baggies might be handy.

For some delicious recipes, visit 101 Cookbooks. They have some great ideas you can whip up before guests arrive to inspire their creativity.

Happy Seed Making!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Greetings

I always find myself itching to send greeting cards to friends and family. But instead of buying boxed cards this year, I wanted to make my own--put my own unique twist on them--and be creative. So I tried to do a combo Halloween-Valentine's Day card. A love scare, if you will. Armed with some scrapbooking materials, a huge box of notecards, some glue, and glitter, I made my attempt. Sure, a kid might have made these by the looks of them, but with a little creativity, my simple steps and some amazing punches from Martha Stewart, you could make your own personalized, spook-tacular Halloween greetings!

1. Find some notecards and matching envelopes. Check Hobby Lobby and Michael's. They usually have a great variety of colors and often discount packs.

2. Pick your notecard. An eery purple was my first choice.

3. Using stickers, punches, or cutouts, arrange the card any way you like it. Glue all items down using a glue stick or spray adhesive.

4. For added punch, spell one of your words in glue and cover with glitter. Once the glue has dried, shake off the excess glitter. [Hint: I used a small, clean paint brush to brush away any glitter that stuck to the card.]

5. Finally, address the envelope, put a stamp on it, and send your love-scare to your Halloween-tine. :)

You are be-WITCH-ing!

There's no bones about it; you're the best!

You look delicious! (This vampire only wants candy, not your blood.)

You are spooktacular!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cupcake Flags

Next week, I'll be updating with ideas from my recent birthday party, but first I'd like to send out some love to the sweet girl who made my cupcake flags for the event, Laurenmakes. In addition to doing customized flags like the ones for my birthday, she has some great Halloween and fall flags. She designs, prints, cuts, glues, packs, and ships them all herself. They come to you as precious as you'd imagine.

(From Laurenmakes)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Giving In: Vampires

I don't understand the obsession with vampires. I haven't read Twilight. I haven't watched Twilight. I have no plans to read or watch Twilight. But there's no denying it: vampires are HOT!

In honor of this latest craze and just in time for Halloween, I give you vampire...

Mummies vs. Vampires checkers. Check out PsAndQs on Etsy. Probably the safest vampires and mummies you'll ever play with.

Red Vampire Bat Coffee Cup Cozy from flappergirl on Etsy. You can go green (by not using those disposable cozies from coffee shops) while showing your knack for red. :)

As some of you may know, I have an obsession with cupcakes. All things cupcakes. So naturally, I couldn't resist the Vampire Cupcakes from Baking Bites. Get ready, office - we'll be having these for Halloween!

Another vampire-y idea: Red velvet cupcakes with white frosting. Use red gel icing to make fang marks. Simple, easy, and delicious!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Creative Costumes

Halloween is great for seeing other people's creativity. Usually, they're all more creative than me. So this year I've rounded up a few quick (and some not-so quick) but creative ideas.

Ladybug Halloween Costume from Reader's Digest

Come-Clean Washing Machine from FamilyFun -- I've been begging my brother to make and wear this for his marching band's Halloween show next week. So far, no luck. But I'm still trying.

Baby Sushi Costume from Parents

Lego Costume from -- Another one I've been begging my brother to try.

Print-and-Color Halloween Masks from -- Pick from 15 of their print-and-color masks for a super-fast costume.

(From Reader', FamilyFun,,, and

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Very Own Pumpkin

As I've said before, I'm not a fan of carving pumpkins (too gooey). But this pumpkin requires no carving, and it doesn't rot!

I bought this ceramic pumpkin last year from Julia at Do*It*Yourself Crafts. She hand-carved my name, and when it was dry, I picked my paint colors and went to town painting it. I chose traditional pumpkin orange, but if you visit her studio, you'll see an array of pumpkin paintings and get some great ideas. A hole is carved in the back for a light bulb and cord, so you won't need to worry about candle wax. Of course one with your name, or your spouse's, or even your kid's would be perfect this year and the next... and the next...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Devilish Delights

Too cute not to try at your Halloween party.
Vampire Blood Tomato Soup from Food Network

Check out the Black Widow Martini from Hostess with the Mostess. It's made with Blavod black vodka. That itself looks scary to drink!

My senior year of high school, we had to present a book report on Frankenstein in AP English. As part of our presentation, we made eery treats, including eyeball donuts. We used mini powdered sugar donuts, gummi Lifesavers, red icing/gel, and chocolate chips. Put the Lifesaver on top (for the colored part of the eye), place a chocolate chip in the center (for the pupil), use the red gel (for veins). It's creepy but oh so easy! This idea is originally from my mom, but I went out searching for someone else who has done it and ran across Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade magazine. Take a look at the Creepy Crunchy Doughnut Eyeballs.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween Games

Instead of pin the tail on the donkey, how about pin the bow tie on the skeleton? This idea, from, would be a blast, even for my 25-year-old friends.

Don't forget to download the skeleton template while you're there!

Tomorrow: Amazing Halloween Treats!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lamp Love

Found this on my friend Lauren's blog but ventured on over to the original post and love their blog! So cute and unique!

Check out this lamp recover and their step-by-step how-to.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pillow Pondering

My rocking chairs are almost finished, so now I'm on the search for pillows. Since Christmas trees and blow-up Santas are in the gardening and outdoor furniture departments at Lowe's, my chances of finding off-season outdoor pillows at great prices have dwindled. (Unless I like the ones with Rudolph.)

And as for online shopping, it seems my options are all high-end places, way out of my price range.

So the search continues...

If I ever scrape up $220, I am getting two of these, one for each chair. Without question. :)


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Better Bench

I'm pretty sure the wood was once part of a battle ship that fought in the American Revolution, and the nails were from 1860 (at least). Under that water-stained material was a floor rug from the 1960s (based on the colors maybe even 1950s). But alas, here it is... my refinished bench seat for my dresser! (The bench itself is a project for another day.)



The bench once belonged to my great-grandmother Louise. (The dresser my grandparents bought when my mom was young.) Both have been sitting in my grandparents' storage shed since I was a little girl. (I wanted it so badly I made them store it for years.) The dresser matches/matched the chest of drawers I refinished before moving from Atlanta back to Birmingham in April. [Note to self: Look for before pictures of that so you can show the improvement!] One day down the road, I'll refinish the dresser too, but for now it's a beautiful avocado green with gold antiquing. :)

To update, I purchased hobby foam at Hobby Lobby, 2 pieces at $2.99 each. The material (which I love just as much as the great stuff from is also from Hobby Lobby. It was 30% off, so for a yard I paid only $4.19. I still have half a yard for another project!

All in all, a great facelift and for only $10!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Retro Fabric on the Cheap

As I'm getting ready to recover my bench seat, I'm looking for some retro material, something fun to brighten up that spot in my room. However, if you search "vintage material," you'll likely find old material (some even from the 1920s) that are upwards of $50/yard. Not in my budget, and often not my style.

I did dig up one great web site...

They have great material and have already even made pillows out of some of their more popular fabrics. My favorites: a 22" x 22" pillow in "Water Light Blue & Denim" is only $34.95! Even better--Just to make sure you like the fabric, you can buy a swatch of the fabric for only $1. Perfect for making sure my colors match!

But back to the material...
-My top 3 for the bench recover-
Illusion, Sadle

Tonal Doozie, Leaf

Garden Trellis, Moss
[this one comes in several colors with the same pattern]

Monday, October 12, 2009

Home Improvement Help

As I'm getting ready to host my birthday party next weekend, I've decided it's time to tackle some small projects around my apartment. Yes, the same projects I've been putting off since I moved in April.

To do list:
- hang mirror [don't break mirror or injure roommate]
- sand and stain rocking chairs
- refinish chair cover on dresser bench
- sand and paint bedside tables
- rally all magazines [and organize without getting distracted]

That last one is easier said than done. I admit it: I'm addicted to magazines. I love the smell of the ink, the feeling of the paper as I flip the pages. Blame it on my job! I work for a large publishing company, and magazines are everywhere. Some of my co-workers are the most creative, inspiring people. They literally create what you're trying to duplicate in your own homes!

My new fascination: Lonny magazine. It's a brand-spanking-new online magazine, and for now, it's filling the void in my heart left by the shuttering of Blueprint and other shelter mags.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pretty Patterns

Maybe I'd have better luck carving if I had great patterns. I normally just go after a pumpkin with a carving knife and hope something like a face comes out in the end. The Pumpkin Lady has some great patterns, and if you look at the bottom of each theme page, you'll likely find a free one. I like free! Below are the patterns Toothy and Trick or Treat. Look for them on her page.

Know of some other great pattern sites? Let me know.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Graphic Pumpkins

These graphic pumpkins definitely make a statement without getting your hands dirty. You don't have to use black and white. I may try cream and brown. White with a neon color would be fun for kids. A few different designs on various sized pumpkins will be very unique and definitely creative.


No-Carve Pumpkins

Carving pumpkins is not fun to me. Maybe it's the goo. Maybe it's the smell. But Halloween isn't Halloween without a pumpkin.

My creative alternative? These precious pumpkins.



the things i love about october
fall. cooler weather. changing leaves.
my birthday.
halloween. columbus day. football games.
candles. campfires.
autumn air.


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