Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I know, I know. I sucked at blogging this month. Quite a let down after the September of blogging awesomeness. I'm going to try and do better in November.

We had an awesome Halloween party at our place on Friday, complete with 13 babies in costume. Now that's scary! Here's a couple of shots from the party...

Kiddos and mamas
Good grief
What fun! The party was an absolute blast. Here's a quick run-down on what we did...

Theme: Halloween (duh).

Decor: I didn't want to do anything too scary, so we did lots of pumpkin decor with black and orange accents. I got some awesome 10-foot paper buntings on clearance at Michaels for $2.99 each, which we strung up all over the house. I love the whimsical look of buntings. They are festive, without being cheesy. They are my go-to decor item for almost any party.

Halloween buntings
I splurged on a black and orange pumpkin table cloth at Target for $14.99. I'm sure you could go today and get the exact same table cloth for pennies, but I just had to buy it for the party. It looked so cute on the table, and really helped set the mood.

Crafty and spooky
My mother-in-law, sister-in-law and I also made these really cool mason jar lanterns for the table center piece. They were really easy to do. We just covered mason jars with tissue paper and Mod Podge, then glued on paper faces and ribbon trim. They looked adorable on the table all lit up.

I also had my regular fall decor out and about, which was really fun to do this year. I have not one, but two mantles to play with at our new house! So I did maple leaf garland, pumpkins and candles on one mantel, and tall fall florals in hurricane vases on the other mantel. I think they turned out really darling.

Fall florals
Pumpkins and garland
The candles pictured above are flameless candles from Target. They look really real when they're lit up! They flicker and everything. I love that I don't have to worry about the hot wax or flame with Will.

Food: The food for this party was so much fun. For the kids, I did "frightening" fruit salad (mango, kiwi and grapes) and "jack-o-lantern" pitas (pitas topped with hummus and fresh veggies).

For the adults, I made lemon-rosemary chicken wings (my mom's recipe), mini pumpkin pies, caramel apple bites (bite-size apple pieces topped with caramel drizzle and toffee pieces), and of course the standard cheese and antipasto platters. A friend also brought a dairy and nut-free spiced apple cake that was an absolute hit. We served sparkling apple cider, beer, soda and water to drink.

Devilishly delicious
Favors: My mother-in-law had these little two piece pumpkins that snap together, so we stuffed each pumpkin cup with two animal finger puppets. Since the cups were free (thank you, Julie!), I only had to buy the finger puppets (20 for $9.99 on Amazon). Not to shabby!

Halloween surprise inside!
I actually forgot to pass out the favors at the party (of course), but I'll be getting them to the kids in the coming days/weeks. Will's really into finger puppets lately, so I hope they like them too!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Remember Me?

Oh, hi there!

Allow me to sheepishly re-enter the blogging world after a two week hiatus. Things have been a tad... hectic. I'm up to my ears in work and grad school and child care, oh my! Unfortunately, the blog is the first thing to go when life gets busy.

We've had a great start to our October. We were in Minnesota last weekend to celebrate Grandpa Jeff's 60th birthday, and we were in Door County this past weekend to celebrate my in-laws 30th wedding anniversary. So many fun milestones, so many reasons to celebrate!

Of course, I have photos of none of these events. Chasing after a 14 month old doesn't allow much time for capturing memories.

Fortunately, we took some time last weekend to take some family photos with my friend Kristin and her husband Tom at Lanari Photography. Here are a few of my favorites...

Lanari Photography - Copyright 2011
Lanari Photography - Copyright 2011
Lanari Photography - Copyright 2011
Lanari Photography - Copyright 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Daybook

Borrowing this from my friend Meghan over at Fumbling Grace... happy October!

Image courtesy of 123RF, via Google Images

Outside my window... It's chilly! Only in the 40s this morning. Sunny and brisk. Great fall day in the works.

I am thinking... I need to start getting my fall decorations up. I want to make these mason jar lanterns and get some pumpkins and mums in front of the house.

I am thankful for... A lazy weekend at home with my family. It always seems like we're going, going, going. I love being at home and doing whatever strikes us in the moment.

From the kitchen... Ben is making these yummy crock pot ribs for tonight. The recipe is adapted from America's Test Kitchen, one of my favorite cooking shows/cookbook series.

I am wearing... My favorite Gap jeans and JCrew cardigan.

I am going... To the farmer's market and the tree nursery today! We already stopped by the market for apples, pumpkins and lamb shanks. We're heading to the tree nursery after Will wakes up to buy three trees for our new house. I'm thinking two maples and a linden, but we'll see.

I am reading... "Leonardo and the Internet" by Thomas Misa for my graduate class in Technology, Culture and Learning.

I am hoping... That my contract proposal gets accepted by the dean (more on this later).

I am hearing... The clink-clank of Stella's collar as she snuffles around the kitchen for dropped goodies.

Around the house... Will is napping, Ben is cooking, I am blogging.

One of my favorite things... I'm going to have echo Meghan on this one and say my Google Reader. I just embraced RSS instead of visiting each of my fav blogs individually. It's such a timesaver! And I don't miss any posts from any of my favorite bloggers.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Will and I are going to a local farm/orchard on Friday with our stay-at-home mom and baby friends! I'm really looking forward to that. Otherwise, lots of school work, work work, and house work for this mama.