Tag Archives: pumpkin

grateful granola

17 Nov

Today’s DIY project is so simple and adorable. And, with the custom “I’m grateful for you” tags made by Jenna at Fleur de Lis, a paperie, it makes for the perfect favor or place card for loved one’s at this year’s Thanksgiving.

When I read Lisa’s, With Style and Grace, yummy gluten-free pumpkin granola recipe, I knew I had to make it. So why not make it and share it with everyone!

How To:
Make Lisa’s granola. For the complete recipe, visit here.
Buy half pint mason jars.
Buy raffia {I had some rust colored raffia in my ribbon drawer, but any ribbon will do}.
Buy, print and cut custom tags from Fleur de Lis {e-mail Jenna to order a full sheet of 14 tags for $5}.
Punch a hole in the tag, string raffia through the opening and wrap a bow around the mason jar.
Once the granola cools from the oven {read recipe}, fill mason jars with granola.


{images via Tutto Bella}


‘pear-fect’ place card

8 Nov

It’s almost that time of year when we gather with loved ones and reflect on what we’re grateful for around the table set for a turkey feast…Thanksgiving!

Throughout this month, we have ideas and inspiration {recipes, table settings and favors}  that will help you make this year’s Thanksgiving holiday special and fabulous!

Today, we have some wonderful place card ideas that will delight your guests as they make their way to this year’s table.

“Pear”-fect Place Card
{inspired by Real Simple}

You’ll Need:
pears {or fruit of choice}
alphabet stickers {I found at Michael’s. You can find online at}
spray paint {I used Krylon Metallic Brilliant Gold}

How To:
Open newspaper and lay on garage floor {or wherever you plan to spray paint} to protect your floors
Place an initial adhesive initial firmly on pear
Spray paint entire pear
Let the paint dry
{yes, it’s that easy}

NOTE: This project should be done a day before Thanksgiving because the green color of the pear will change to brown if done earlier. If you have time, you can spray paint the letter a different color prior to spray painting the rest of the pear, so if you don’t want a green initial, it can be red, white, black, etc}

ANOTHER NOTE TO SELF: This also makes a cute centerpiece.

If the pear place card doesn’t fit your fancy, look at these fantastic ideas…

1. Design*Sponge impresses again with these Clay Conifer place cards. NOTE: I think using the same white model magic by crayola to create a leaf place card would be a perfect place card. You can use a leaf-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the leaf. Use a hole punch to make a small opening to string twine through for a hang tag. Once the leaf dries, you can paint to desired color, or just use a paint marker to write your guests name. If you prefer to leave the leaf ‘whole,’ wrap twine around the leaf and attach a hang tag for name. This makes a beautiful place card, and a great ornament favor for guests. Make sure you read Design*Sponge directions here {even if you make a leaf} for insider tips.
2. Country Living creates a neutral and beautiful napkin place card. Write each guests name {with your best script} invisibly with the Prym Dritz disappearing-ink pen. Via Country Living…immediately trace over the name in a bronze, copper, or gold color with a medium round-tipped ink marker, such as Uchida’s DecoFabric Marker from
3. Buy 2 large leaf stencils {2 sizes – one large and one small – with the same leaf shape}. Buy designer fabric, or scrapbook paper. Simply trace the stencils on the fabric or paper. Make sure to use different fabrics for each leaf. Cut and tie leaves together with hemp ribbon {use a small hole punch to create an opening on the top of the leaves}. Add a hang tag and voila.
4. Add a vintage feel to your setting with these handmade, stamped hang tags from Elegant Knitting.
5. Fill these cute muslin, favor bags from Crafty Clementines with nuts or chocolate and add a name hang tag.
6. Write guests names on these handmade, burlap chalk cloth tags by Blue Pearls and then they can re-use at home.
7. Pumpkins are still very festive, and an easy place card. Just add a small wooden stick and flag {colorful tape}, then write guests name on the flag.
8. Better Homes and Gardens gives us an adorable DIY project with these Pilgrim Cap place cards. NOTE: I think a great alternative for acrylic paint on the terra-cotta pots is chalkboard paint {or spray paint}. It’s a cheap and easy paint swap. You can write names in chalk, and your guest can bring home to re-use for whatever their heart desires.

{images via Tutto Bella, Design*Sponge, New England Fine Living, Crafty Clementines, Blue Pearls, Elegant Knitting, Country Living , Better Homes and Gardens}

halloween treats

31 Oct

Caramel Popcorn
{family recipe}

1 cup butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup popcorn

Before making the caramel sauce, pop the popcorn {air-popping is best} and put into a large mixing bowl. Leave off to the side.
Cover an area on your counter with wax paper {I use about 4-5 wax sheets}.

Heat the butter, sugar and corn syrup on medium heat until it boils.
When boiling, keep on medium heat for approximately 3 minutes. Consistency should be thick and gooey.
Turn heat off and add vanilla. Add food coloring {use 1 drop red and 2 drops yellow to make orange}. Mix well.
Drizzle caramel sauce over popcorn, and mix evenly. Immediately, pour the popcorn on top of the wax paper to keep it from drying into a large clump.
Let cool for 2-3 minutes and enjoy! Makes 2 quarts.

Pumpkin Cookies
{recipe by Becky}

My fabulous boss, Becky, brought homemade pumpkin cookies to work last week and they were to die for! So, we made them for our Halloween bash tonight for our family to enjoy.
{Shh…don’t tell – Jess made them three nights ago too and ate them all!}
Thanks, Becky, for sharing your delicious pumpkin cookie recipe with us!

1 can pumpkin {pie filling}
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 egg
1 cup butter {softened}
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces chocolate chips {Becky said she puts in more. we put in 8 ounces}

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugars together. Mix in vanilla extract and egg.
In a separate bowl, combine and mix flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and the pumpkin to the creamed sugars and butter bowl. Beat until all is added and mixed well.
Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough in tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown. {it usually takes more time, about 15 minutes, or make the cookies a bit smaller than tablespoons}
Let cool and enjoy! Makes 4 dozen.

no carve pumpkin

25 Oct

Less than a week until Halloween…and to celebrate {and prepare}, today’s post is all about pumpkins. We plan to carve pumpkins this week because my son loves it and it’s fun, but if it were up to me, I think I’d leave the knife out of it, and stick to non-carved pumpkin decor.

1. Read the full tutorial of how to create Witches Legs on your pumpkin at Better Homes and Gardens

2. Spray paint pumpkins white and wrap lengths of grapevine around and up and down the pumpkin in different patterns for a rustic pumpkin. Hold on to this idea for Thanksgiving as well.

3. With some glue, a jar of black buttons and an elegant bow, you will have a button pumpkin with a boo-tiful message in no time.

4. Even pumpkins like a little bling. Glue rhinestones and glitter on your pumpkin and top it off with a metallic spider friend.  
5. Add a band of beans around pumpkins or candles like the talented folks at HGTV show you how to do here. This is a great addition to a Thanksgiving tablescape too.
6. Use metallic spray paint for glowing gourds. Paint a pumpkin silver or gold in its entirety or add a metallic pattern using tape or stickers and spray paint.
7. For a no-fuss centerpiece with a rustic feel, Good Housekeeping recommends pumpkins, a little double-sided take and patterned ribbon in a wooden bowl.
8. For that ultimate glam pumpkin, cover it with black lace. BHG gives you the easy how-to tips here.


fall’s favorite flavor

18 Oct

This is a very exciting time in my husband’s life. I’d like to think this is true because we are newlyweds {which it absolutely IS the reason he is so happy :-)}, but it’s the time of year that he likes to call “pumpkin season”, which is the most delicious time of year.

Some of his favorites are the Pumpkin Spice lattes at Starbucks and Pumpkin Pie in the Sky ice cream at Cold Stone {yumm!}. Pumpkin is in the crisp air, and we are definitely loving it!

For the next few months, my husband will be requesting any kind of food with pumpkin in it. Lucky for me, I came across these delicious pumpkin recipes. Happy baking!

{Pumpkin Pie Bites, Bakerella}

2 refrigerated ready-to roll pie crusts

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter

1/2 cup chocolate morsels
vegetable oil
re-sealable plastic bags

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use cookie cutter to cut 12 pumpkin shapes from each pie crust. Roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.
Press dough shapes into a 24 cup mini muffin tray. (Make 12 at a time, alternating cups to make sure pie crusts don’t overlap each other.)
Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie.
Mix cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined.
Spoon mixture into each pumpkin-shaped pie crust.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Remove pies to cool and repeat with second pie crust. Place the muffin tray in the freezer to cool it quickly for re-use.

Makes 24 pies. Keep refrigerated.

To decorate, melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave on medium. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Add a little vegetable oil to make the chocolate more fluid. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and cut the corner off. Drizzle or draw faces on pies.

For more adorable pumpkin inspiration from Bakerella, click here

{Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bars, recipe via Gluten-Free Goddess}

{just for all you gluten-free gals out there}

2 large free-range organic eggs

1/3 cup extra light olive oil or vegetable oil

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 cup organic pumpkin puree (canned is fine)

2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract

1 and 3/4 cups Pamela’s Ultimate Baking Mix or a dairy-free gluten-free flour mix with 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum added

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice- or a blend of nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger

1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan or line the pan with greased parchment.

Beat the eggs till blended; add the oil and beat to combine. Add the brown sugar and beat until smooth. Add the pumpkin, beat till smooth; add the vanilla, beat to combine. Add the baking mix and spices; and beat just until the batter is smooth. Add in the nuts and stir by hand to combine.

Dump the batter into the baking pan and spread the evenly. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the bars are firm, and a wooden pick inserted into the center emerges clean.

Cool on a wire rack. Frost when cool.

{For the yummy gluten-free frosting finishing touch recipe, click here}

a little something halloween for everyone

17 Oct

Halloween is just a few weeks away. Here are some fun ideas to entertain for both adults and kids on Halloween. Whether the party is the same night, or a different night, we found an adult-friendly version and a kid-friendly version for everything. Gotta love that!


For the Adults
For the adults, Celebrations at Home had a brilliant idea for those martini drinkers or highballers. Add some bling to the martini glass and fill it with Chris’ yummy Green Goblin Punch recipe. Or, add different colored shimmery spiders to help guests identify their goblets. Simply spray crafts store arachnids with adhesive, sprinkle each spider with a different shade of glitter, and hot-glue to black pipe cleaners {piped around the base and stem of glass}.

For the highball cocktail, try freezing plastic spiders in ice cubes for a creepy surprise.  And to make it a bit different, Chris recommends using a mini “fish bowl” vases from the craft store as a tumbler instead!

For the Kids
For your mad scientist tikes, Celebrations at Home had a great idea to use science beakers and fill with green punch and a straw with a decorative straw flag. Or, create other potions for the kids with free printables from Hostess with the Mostess.  

{warning, all foods can be served to adults and children}

It’s tradition in my family to have chili and hotdogs on Halloween. Turkey Chili. Beef Chili. Chicken Chili and Veggie Chili. We have it all. Lisa, With Style and Grace, shares some of her favorite chili recipes here. Or, use your favorite chili recipe.

Disney Family Fun shares Hot Dog Mummy snacks for the kiddos.

Hostess with the Mostess shared an adorable Mummy’s Night Out Veggie Dip recipe that will be sure to spook your guests and delight their tummies.

One Charming Party created festive Fruit Skewers topped off with a bat ring.


For the Adults
Black and white spider web cookies. Bake your favorite sugar cookies recipe.  This tutorial from Martha Stewart’s Firework Cookies will work perfect for a web-like effect.
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 teaspoon baking powder
Coarse salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Icing: white and black {store bought or homemade}

Make the cookies: Sift flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a large bowl.
Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, then vanilla. Refrigerate dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut out cookies using a 1 3/4-, 2 1/4-, 2 3/4-, or 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, rerolling scraps once. Transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Bake until edges just start to brown, 17 to 19 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

To Decorate the Cookies
Pipe an outline of white icing around edge of 1 cookie, leaving a 1/4-inch border, then “flood” with more white icing to cover.
Immediately pipe a black dot in the center of cookie. Then pipe concentric rings of black around the center dot (using the same color as the dot, or alternating colors).
Immediately drag a toothpick through the black to create a web-like effect, starting from the center dot and working toward the edge, then alternate dragging inward and outward as you work around the cookie.
Let dry. Repeat with remaining cookies and icings.

For the Kids
One Charming Party had a great idea to let the kids make their own Owl Cupcakes.  


For the Adults
Caramel Apple Bar for adults. Oh, this looks so yummy and fun! I love the rustic impact the twig sticks give the apples. I have a soft spot for anything rustic.

For the Kids
Bobbing for Apples for kids and Skeleton Art made with noodles, via Martha Stewart.

{warning this category has a little overlap for kid/adults decor}

For the Adults
This ribbon wreath will greet your guests with style {and can be used for a handful of other parties with its basic black construction}.

Family Chic black lace candles are an easy project and add a big glam impact to your Halloween table and mantle decor.

Twig and Thistle offers an easy DIY tutorial for individual pumpkin place cards. The pumpkin can be whatever color you like. I have to say, I’m digging the white.

Set up a Table of Treats with these tips from Good Housekeeping. Rip cheesecloth for a moth-munched look and drape over the table. Arrange snacks in servingware and on cake stands, then tuck in crafts store creepies and crawlies (spiders, skulls, mice, and crows). For a fun floral display by purchasing spider mums at the local florist. Lay down newspaper in a well-ventilated area. Spray-paint the flowers with black Krylon spray paint and put them in a slim vase. Nestle the smaller vase inside a larger vase lined with black-and-white damask patterned wrapping paper. Lastly, top off large, black candlestick holders with small white or gold glitter pumpkins. {P.S. I have these glitter pumpkins in my home and I love it…thanks for the DIY tips, Lisa, With Style and Grace} 

For the Kids
One Charming Party created an adorable kid-friendly vase decorated with candy. Or, make these mummy vases with helpful tips by Hostess with the Hostess.

Good Housekeeping shares how-to’s for fun batty branches and candy-filled cones. I like the black and white color palette this year, so I recommend spray painting the pumpkin for the batty branches white. 

Wait, don’t forget to find and print your free Halloween printables here.

{images via Celebrations at Home, Disney Family Fun, Family Chic, CasaSugar, Hostess with the Mostess, Good Housekeeping, One Charming Party, Twig and Thistle, With Style and Grace and Martha Stewart}


6 Oct

I consider myself a vibrant person and I love the use of color in the home and in fashion, but there is something so simple and gorgeous about WHITE. It’s neutral and romantic and timeless.

{images via Pinterest}