Archive for October, 2010

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween!

Have a fun and safe



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It’s fun to make your own Halloween goodie bags for a party or for the kids in your neighborhood.  These are fun and easy to make!

Materials & Tools:

  • Cellophane Bags
  • Candy
  • Scrapbook papers
  • Stickers and/or Halloween stamps and ink
  • Scissors, glue and a stapler


  1. Fill cellophane bag 2/3 full of candy.  Fold the bag opening over at least three times, ensuring excess air is out of the bag.  Staple the folded edge so bag is completely sealed.
  2. Cut the background decorative paper to make a card. (In the example to the right, the orange and white striped paper is the background).  The width should be the width of the sealed bag plus 1/2 inch.  The length should be the desired front height then doubled.
  3. Fold the background paper in half (to make a card).
  4. Decorate the front of “card” with stamped greetings and stickers.
  5. Staple the decorate card on the top of the cellophane bag, hiding the sealed edge of bag on both side.



Bag Tags

You can also make cute “bag tags” using the same materials.  Instead of stapling the decorative card to the top of the bag, tie the bag with ribbon and add a bag tag.

These tags are also great to tie on to a bottle of wine as a host/hostess gift for Halloween parties!

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Are you looking for some new ideas for Halloween Treats?  Need to take something to a Halloween party?  Here are some fun ideas …

These “Boo Berries” are easy to make!  Dip strawberries in melted white chocolate.  Decorate with dark chocolate piped frosting.   -EverydayCelebrating.com

These Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes are from a recent post (Pumpkin Cupcakes – September 21, 2010).  To make tiny cupcakes, follow the recipe but use mini muffin pans.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Makes 34 mini cupcakes.

Aren’t these Mini Ghost Cupcakes adorable?  And they are so easy!  Simply pipe coolwhip into peaks on mini chocolate cupcakes and decorate with chocolate chips.  Click here to get the recipe.

We used to make “Dirt & Worms” for the kids when they were little.  You start with chocolate pudding, add crushed chocolate wafers and gummy worms.  The kids LOVED them!  Well, these Tombstone Treats are very similar.

Fill clear plastic cups with chocolate pudding.  Top them with crushed chocolate wafers.  Pipe RIP on Trader Joe’s Vanilla Wafers and wedge the “tombstones” into the pudding.  Kids will love them!

I love these Witch Cookies! I haven’t made these before, but they sound easy because you use store bought sugar cookie dough.  You use green food coloring and unsweetened cocoa powder to get the green faces and brown hats.  Check out the recipe here.

These Meringue Ghosts are cute and easy to make.  You beat egg whites and sugar into stiff peaks then spoon it into a zip lock bag.  Snip a corner of the bag and pipe out ghosts then bake on low heat.  Click here for the recipe.

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There’s nothing like homemade Chicken Noodle Soup on a rainy evening!  My favorite recipe is the Cascade Chicken Noodle Soup from Simply Classic, a Seattle Junior League cookbook.

It’s an easy recipe and one that my family loves.  I have modified it just a bit.  And, in the recipe below, I have included my “timesavers” from Trader Joe’s in parenthesis.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves 8


2 Tbs. Vegetable Oil

1 cup Onion, chopped (or TJ’s 10 oz. bag of chopped onion)

3 medium cloves of Garlic, minced

10 cups Chicken Stock  (or 2  1/2 Boxes of TJ’s chicken stock)

1 tsp. dried Thyme, crumbled

1/4 tsp. dried Dill

1/4 tsp. Pepper

5 sprigs of Parsley

2 Carrots, sliced

8 oz. Egg Noodles (or TJ’s Egg Pappardelle Pasta)

4 skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded

2 Tbs. Cornstarch

2 cups Unflavored Yogurt

1/4 cup Green Onions, chopped


1.  Heat oil in a large pot.  Add onion and cook over medium-low heat until onion is soft (about 10 minutes).  Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

2.  Stir in chicken stock, thyme, dill, pepper, parsley and carrots.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

3.  Remove and discard parsley.  Add noodles to stock and simmer over medium-high heat until noodles are soft (about 10 minutes).  Add chicken and cover pot to soup hot.

4.  In a small bowl, stir cornstarch into yogurt.  Add 1 cup of soup broth and stir.  Add mixture to soup pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

5.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.  Garnish with green onions.

NOTE: I have substituted Greek Yogurt for the Unflavored Yogurt.  While the kids aren’t as fond of the Greek Yogurt, my husband and I like it better.  It gives it more of a tang.

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Sneak Peak at Roger’s Garden

Last week, my girlfriends and I went to Roger’s Gardens (in Newport Beach) to see the Christmas displays.  Every year, Roger’s creates a beautiful display of Christmas trees and holiday home decor.  It’s a great place to get inspired for the holidays!

(You can click on the pictures to view larger images.)

The entry room is all silver and white … it’s breathtaking!  They have trees and ornament balls that are covered with vintage silver jewelry.  Silver mirrors adorn the walls.  And there are mercury candle sticks, apothecary jars and vases everywhere.  My cellphone pictures don’t do it justice.


If you get a chance to visit Roger’s Gardens this holiday season, it will be worth your time.  And, you can always go to lunch or dinner at Fashion Island (across the street).


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Boo Banners

I found the cutest BOO letter stickers at Target last week (only 99 cents).  I decided I needed to make something with them.  So, I ended up making two different banners.

Here’s what I started with for the banner above …


  • White and Black card stock
  • Halloween decorative scrapbook papers
  • BOO! Letters (or your choice of letters) … Spooky, Happy Halloween
  • Ribbon
  • Black cording (to string letters)


  • Paper Cutter
  • Circle Cutter
  • Adhesive (tape or glue)
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Optional:  Edge punch or scissors (scalloped, loops, your choice)


  • Depending on your choice and size of lettering, cut circles from decorative scrapbook paper for the background “mattes” for letters.  (I cut four 3 inch circles since I was using the BOO! letters from Target.)
  • Cut black squares from card stock.  (I cut four 3 1/2 inch black squares.)
  • Cut white squares from card stock.  (I cut four 5 inch squares based on pre-set dimensions needed for using a Martha Stewart Punch Around the Edge tool).
  • Assemble the banner letters using adhesive tape or glue.
  • Punch two holes at the top of each assembled letter.
  • Thread the letters with black cord.
  • Cut strips of coordinating ribbon and tie ribbon on the cording.
  • Hang your banner



I made a variation of the banner, using only orange, white and black.  I made round fans using crepe paper streamers.

I used similar materials and tools.  I added orange and black crepe paper streamers as well as a needle and thread.

To make the fans, I used a needle and thread to gather the crepe paper and make a round fan.

I glued the crepe paper fan onto the decorative paper squares.

And I cut out 2 inch circles of white card stock for the background for the letters.  I glued the letters onto the fans.  I followed the rest of the steps (above) to complete the banner.

Have fun crafting!

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How do you welcome your friends and guests to the fall season?   Here are some front porches that I’m fond of …

The above wheel barrow with pumpkins, gourds and bittersweet is from Better Homes & Garden magazine.

I love black doors (and painted our front doors black when we moved in).  This is a warm welcome.  -Pottery Barn

Isn’t this stunning with the metallic pumpkins and gourds against the black?  -Country Living

This is the front door of Mary Carol Garrity (the owner of the Nell Hill’s stores in Kansas).  Love her stuff!!!

I also love red doors.  This is a simple, traditional look for fall.

If you had a white house, wouldn’t you love to paint your front door orange for Halloween and the fall season?  Then you could paint it black or red for Christmas!

Welcome your guest with a casual fall style using hay, fall leaves and pumpkins.  -Pottery Barn

Using fall foliage, pumpkins and candles, create a harvest-inspired setting with lanterns — inside or outside your home.  -Pottery Barn

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