Friday, October 31, 2008


Finally the big day is here! Are you ready?

I've had my candy for a few weeks just waiting to be given out. We're actually getting ready to get a storm this morning and then it should be clear for the rest of the day....I think. The high is supposed to be in the low 70's so should be a nice night for being out and about. Halloween is my favorite holiday, always has been. I love dressing up even now as an adult. I love to see the grin on my children's faces when they walk up to a house and say Trick or Treat and are rewarded with candy. The magical atmosphere of the entire evening is amazing.

My only wish is that school was the way it used to be. When I was little, we were allowed to wear our costumes to school. I went to a very small school where all the grades (K-12) were in the same building. We would wear our costumes and have a day of parties and games and fun. At the end of the day we would all line up and parade around the hallways and the high school kids and teachers would all come out to watch and see our costumes. It's one of the best memories for me.

Unfortunately nowadays children are not allowed to wear their costumes or even have parties for Halloween. The costumes are disruptive in the classroom they say and some view celebrating Halloween as sacrilege or devil worship so we cater to the small few who actually think that and the rest have to do without. I think it's ridiculous. America needs to get back to the way things were and I know that will never happen but it's a nice thought.

After today this blog won't be updated as frequently. Hopefully at least once a month for Great Pumpkin Day. Stay tuned.....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2 days until Halloween......

Are you ready? Do you have your costume and your children's costumes ready and waiting? My son has decided that he wants to go trick or treating with his dad this year so that will be something new for me. I'm used to always having him on Halloween because it's a special holiday for me. This year it will just be me and my 2 year old daughter. My son is going to be Darth Vader and I will get him ready here before he goes so I can take pictures and my daughter is going to be a pumpkin fairy. We tried her costume on yesterday and it is too cute for words. I'm going to be a witch, as usual, although with a different costume this year because my old one has bit the dust. Next year i'll have to make myself a new one or find a new one to purchase.

I need to get the props put on the pumpkins outside and find my big candy bowl and then i'm all set. Everyday my son gets up and tells me how many days until Halloween. It's too funny. He's a holiday nut just like his mama.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Finished Halloween Countdown Altered Clipboard

I've had this finished for a few days now and just haven't posted the pictures yet. Here it is:

I used scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby for the bottom and the little square up top. I painted the entire clipboard black before applying the paper. The ghost, pumpkin, haunted house, and bats are all foam stickers from a kit purchased at Walmart. The letter stickers also came from Walmart. The pumpkins that the numbers are on came from Hobby Lobby. I attached magnets to the clipboard and then to the numbered pumpkins, however, next time i'll use washers for the clipboard side because the polarities of the magnets didn't quite work right, but it looks okay. This was my first altered clipboard, so definitely a learning experience!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Inside Decoration Pictures

I wanted to add these to the Fall Tour of Homes post i'd already made, however, that seemed like a big job with lots of work so I decided to just make a new post. So, if you're here for the Fall Tour of Homes, please also scroll down to the post called Fall Tour of Homes for a look at all my outside decorations which you can't miss!

These last two are additions to my outside decor that I wanted to share. Enjoy! Don't forget to look at my other post with all the outside decorations!

Fall Tour of Homes

If you're here for this scroll down a little. I posted my pictures a while back so they are the 3rd post now instead of the first. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fun Time Farms trip

This past weekend we went to Fun Time Farms. I was under the impression that they had a pick your own pumpkin patch, however, when we got there we were told all the pumpkins died so they had to buy some to sell there. We ended up getting 3 big ones for $5 apiece. Here's some pics from our adventures:

The kids on the cow train.
And going down the super slide.
The kids giving me goofy looks.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fall Tour of Homes

Over on Haunted Hamlet Cathy is hosting a Fall Tour of Homes. The official date is October 16th. Since I already have my photos uploaded to my computer I figured I would go ahead and post them.

The only things i've left to add are a homemade scarecrow for the porch, some pumpkins on the stairs, and cobweb on the gravestones. Enjoy!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Halloween Countdown has begun!

Yesterday was the starting day for the Halloween Countdown. Check out the entire list here. I'm not having a party so my only task for this week is to set a date to visit the pumpkin patch and pick our pumpkins! I can't wait to do this, it's so much fun. We take take the wagon to carry the pumpkins and the kids when they get tired. I always get a picture of the kids on a pile of pumpkins or surrounded by pumpkins. Hopefully my camera will be working by then, it decided to give me trouble again.

What's on your countdown list for this week?

Finally Fall!!

The nights and mornings are cool and crisp, while the afternoons are warm and sunny. The leaves on the trees are finally starting to change to the beautiful fall colors I long for. My back porch is clean and ready to use and my Halloween decorations outside are up for all to enjoy (even if they aren't all the way finished yet).

I made a batch of sugar cookie dough yesterday and made 8 leaf cookies. Yes, 8....I get bored easily when having to roll out and cut cookie dough. I made the mistake of using orange sparkly gel to outline the edges of half the cookies. They looked pretty but I have never cared for the taste of the gels. So, they will probably all go in the trash and the rest of the dough into the freezer for later. Wasteful, I know.

I'm hoping to start on a fall throw soon. I have 6 yards of different fall fabrics and have decided that since that's not enough to make a big quilt, i'll make a throw for the living room to curl up under on those chilly nights. I just have to decide how big I want the squares and then start measuring and cutting.

Enjoy the first day of Fall!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I'm a little early but, with the help of my dad, I put up most of my outside Halloween decor this afternoon. I still have bat lights to put up and I need to get some more headstones and pick up some cobweb. The kids and I also still need to make a scarecrow and head to the pumpkin patch, but that will be later. It seemed as if everyone around me was putting their stuff out and I felt behind. So, now it's out there waiting happily for Halloween. I will have pictures up once I take some. I have yet to do the inside of the house, maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

GPD Tomorrow!

In honor of GPD tomorrow, I bought 1 yd. of six different fall type fabrics to make a quilt when I went to Walmart earlier this evening. Now I just need to decide how big I want the squares and if I need more material or not. I'll probably begin work on this tomorrow.

I'm also looking for a tall, skinny black cat to add to my altered clipboard. If anyone has an image they would be willing to share, please let me know! Enjoy GPD tomorrow. :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Altered Halloween Countdown Clipboard

Here is my unfinished altered clipboard. I still have to find something to put on the left side and then paint the numbers on the pumpkins I plan to use and attach them. But here is a picture to show you how it's coming. I messed up on the spacing of the letter stickers, but this clipboard is going to be for me so it's okay and I think I can live with the mess up.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ghostly experience to share

Last night I went to bed in the 10 o'clock hour. I always try to keep my eyes shut because if I open them, I see things.....sometimes pretty crazy things. Anyway, last night I opened my eyes for some reason and my closet door was 1/4 of the way open. I ALWAYS leave my closet doors closed. They are sliding wood doors that have no track on the bottom so it's dangerous for the kids for it to be open, i've smashed my fingers several times in it. So i'm sitting there hoping that someone's not in my closet and while i'm looking at the door, it starts slowly sliding closed. I couldn't believe it! I got out of bed and turned on my bathroom light, then I went and checked all the doors in my house to make sure they were still locked. I went back to the bedroom and decided I had to look in the closet to be sure. I turned on the closet light and opened the door.....of course there was no one in there. Ghostly experience or figment of my imagination? You decide.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Great Pumpkin Day!!

Today I went to the library and checked out more Halloween and Christmas books. I went through one Halloween book and marked things I liked. I didn't get to my supply lists and copying the directions yet, but I will. I also didn't get a chance to work more on my Halloween countdown clipboard, hopefully tomorrow.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Snickerdoodle Mini Muffin Review

After searching high and low for a mini muffin pan, I could not find one anywhere. I guess i'll have to start looking in the antique stores. I made the Snickerdoodle Mini Muffins last night but had to use a regular muffin pan. It made about 10 nice size muffins.

One warning: Make sure your butter is really softened or completely melted before adding it to the liquid mixture. Mine was just softened in the microwave and I had a hard time getting it to blend with the liquid mixture and it didn't get much better when I added the mixture to the dry ingredients.

Other than that, the muffins are good warm with butter on them.

Here's a picture:

Monday, July 21, 2008


I recently purchased Autumn in the Country from Gooseberry Patch and let me tell you, it is a must have! Normally when I purchase cookbooks, I can only find one or two recipes that I or my family would actually like, not the case with this book. I have found so many, I could be cooking for weeks. Reading through it has really gotten me craving the sights, smells, and sounds of Fall. Today I wanted to share at least one recipe with you that I intend to make at some point this week.

Snickerdoodle Mini Muffins

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. quick-cooking oats, uncooked

3/4 c. sugar, divided

1 T. baking powder

1 c. milk

1 egg, beaten

1/4 c. margarine, softened

1 t. vanilla extract

1 t. cinnamon

Combine flour, oats, 1/2 cup sugar and baking powder; mix well. In a separate bowl, combine milk, egg, margarine and vanilla; blend well and add to flour mixture. Fill greased mini muffin cups 2/3 full. Mix together cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yard Setup for 2008 Halloween

I've been giving it alot of thought lately and kind of have a rough draft of what I want to do in front of my house. I have alot of steps so I will alternate a luminary and then a pumpkin going all the way up. On the landing there will be a witch and a scarecrow sitting having some gruesome looking concoction. By my front door will be big pumpkins on a little table.

I have several yard stakes that will be placed around the edge of my brick flower beds. There will be cobweb strung on the railings with big spiders in them. Bat lights will line the long flower bed that faces the street and inside the front window. I have a sign that will hang from a lamp post on my porch. I will have my ghost ring in the yard around the big tree, as well as, floating ghosts hanging from the tree branches. Tombstones will make a small graveyard and there may just be a few bones sticking out of the ground.

This year I plan on letting the kids paint pumpkins and decorate them however they want. I'm still debating the idea of making a spooky scene in my garage. I'm leaning toward not doing it because I think it would be too much work without Chad here to help me, but we'll see.

Anyway, these are the tentative plans I have so far and they are definitely subject to change.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy June GPD!

Sometimes I use both the 13th and the 3oth or 31st for my GPD because it allows me more time to prepare for Halloween. This month, however, i'll be out of town on the second GPD. Today i'm hoping to get started sketching and planning how I want my front yard to be decorated this year. This will be my first and last Halloween in this house so I want to have it planned and easy to set up.

I have lots of stairs leading up to my front door with a little landing in the middle. I also have several flower beds and lots of yard and a few trees. I am playing with the idea of opening up my garage and making it a scene of some sort. So, I need to make a sketch and start trying out ideas. Hopefully i'll be back later to share some of them with you.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Festive Pumpkin Dip

12 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup chopped dried beef
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1/3 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 round loaf (1 pound) Italian or pumpernickel bread
Fresh vegetables, crackers, or corn chips

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, pumpkin, taco seasoning, and garlic powder until smooth. Stir in beef, peppers and olives. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Just before serving, cut top off bread; scoop out bread from inside, leaving a 1/2 inch shell. Fill shell with cream cheese mixture. Serve with vegetables, crackers, or corn chips.

Makes 3 cups.

*Taste of Home

Pumpkin Cookie Dip

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 jars (7 ounces each) marshmallow creme
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
Gingersnaps or vanilla wafers

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and marshmallow creme until smooth. Stir in pumpkin, cinnamon, and orange peel. Serve as a dip with cookies. Store in refrigerator.

Makes 4 cups.

*Taste of Home

Tips for Perfect Jack-o'-Lanterns

This was taken from a Taste of Home magazine I had from last year or the year before.

1. Never carry a pumpkin by the stem. If it snaps it can accelerate the pumpkin's rotting.

2. Store pumpkins in a cool, dry place until ready to cut and display.

3. Wash the pumpkin before carving. Use 1 gallon of water and 1 teaspoon of chlorine bleach. This will help prevent mold.

4. Draw the pattern you wish to use on paper or use a template.

5. To transfer a template, enlarge it, cut it out, and tape to the pumpkin. Use a craft or utility knife or pin pricks to score the surface of the pumpkin.

6. You can use all sorts of designs, not just faces.

7. Think about buying a pumpkin carving kit. They are relatively inexpensive and come with useful tools to make your pumpkin detailed.

8. Always use a sawing motion when carving your pumpkin.

9. The more pumpkins the better. Several small pumpkins have more of a visual impact than one large one.

10. You can always buy a hollow acrylic pumpkin or craft pumpkin. They can be carved and they last forever.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lollipop Ghosts

Lollipop ghosts are a very easy, kid-friendly craft and great for those school parties. Pick up a bag of tootsie pops, a box of facial tissue (or you could use tissue paper), and some Halloween ribbon. Make sure to have a black marker handy. Put one tissue over the top of the tootsie pop and tie at the bottom with the ribbon. Use the marker to dot on some eyes. Simple, yet fun!

You could also adapt this idea to hang outside in a tree or from your roof. Use crumpled newspaper and white trash bags with ribbon to make a floating ghost. Secure with fishing line so it appears that they are floating.

More Decorating Ideas

I know it's not GPD yet (I do the last day of the month), but I wanted to go ahead and share some more decorating ideas that we have used in the past.

Last year we made our own tombstones. Just like anything, it was a learning process. My wonderful husband made some tombstones out of plywood. We spray painted them gray and then I used black paint to write epitaphs on them with a paint brush. I highly recommend researching some funny and witty epitaphs and sketch out your writing before putting the paint on the tombstone. I’m sad to say, mine looked awful. I will probably paint over them this year and redo the epitaphs to make them more eye-catching. Maybe add in some dripping red paint to look like blood.

You could also use heavy cardboard to make your tombstones and just paint them gray or black. You could stick some fake limbs in the ground in front of them to make it look like the skeleton is trying to come up or wasn't buried all the way. You could also put spiderweb in between the tombstones to make it look really old.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Decoration Finds

Today I have been searching the net for easy, but nice handmade Halloween decorations. Here are my finds:

Well, that's it for now. Enjoy!

Dancing Ghosts

There are so many options to decorating for Halloween, it’s hard to pick just a few to incorporate. Last year I saw a ghost circle online and knew I had to give it a try. There were no instructions, however, so I was on my own as to how to make it. Luckily, I have a handy husband.

We bought wooden dowels and Styrofoam balls (these are quite expensive so if you can think of something else, use it). I took a trip to the thrift store for white sheets. I took the balls and inserted the dowel into each one (I had 4). Then I stuck them into the ground in the yard in a circle.

*This doesn’t work well with just 4, I recommend using at least 6.

I had one sheet for each ghost. Draping the sheets over the balls was easy enough, what was hard was figuring out how to keep them there while still having the ghostly effect. I ended up using sewing pins to keep the sheet attached to the balls. I took the corners of the sheets and tied them together to make it appear like the ghosts were holding hands. Now, if you get a sheet in the right size, it should appear that the ghosts are floating, meaning you can’t see the dowel sticking in the ground. Even with the sheets pinned on, they still blew around and even took the ball off the dowel on several occasions. And they weren't very weather friendly.

Definitely a few lessons learned with this experience. I love the concept, implementing it successfully is rather difficult though.

I have come across instructions for something of this nature and they used white trash bags stuffed with newspaper or leaves (this sounds like a much better and more cost effective idea). They tied twine or something similar around the neck of each ghost to keep it attached to the dowel. Tie the ends of the trash bags together and you have floating ghosts dancing in a circle. This year I will be using the white trash bag idea with 6 ghosts and placing them around the trunk of a big tree in my front yard.

It's Great Pumpkin Day!

My plans for today are putting together my Halloween notebook (a very rough one right now) and researching some homemade decorations. I absolutely cannot wait for Halloween this year. I'm in a different house so decorating will be different. I have many front porch steps that will be lots of fun to decorate i'm sure. I'll be back later with ideas!

* Please leave a comment as to what you're doing today on Great Pumpkin Day. :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

31 Days of Halloween

This year I plan on doing the 31 Days of Halloween. One of my goals is to have a fabric or cookie sheet countdown calendar made by October 1st. Included in this 31 Days of Halloween so far will be:

  • ABC Family's 13 Days of Halloween movies
  • Visit a pumpkin patch/corn maze
  • Carve, paint, or decorate pumpkins
  • Read Halloween books
  • Visits from The Great Pumpkin (with gifts)
  • Test run of costumes
  • Possibly a party
  • Halloween decorations (crafts)
  • Make treat bags for trick or treaters
  • Try new Halloween recipes
  • Watch Halloween favorites
  • Attend Heritage Days
  • Nature walk
  • Drive to look at leaves
  • Decorate
  • Roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories

These are what I could come up with right now. I'm sure more will come to me later. Once I start finalizing these, i'll post more details about them.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spider Web Dip and Spooky Tortilla Chips

What better way to excite your party guests than to serve yummy Spider Web Dip with Spooky Tortilla Chips? I have yet to try this recipe, but I might just do it this GPD, it sounds delicious and looks so easy.

Spider Web Dip

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 jar (8 ounces) prepared salsa
1/2 cup guacamole
2 tablespoons sour cream

*Place cream cheese and salsa in blender or food processor container; blend until almost smooth.

*Spread cream cheese mixture on round serving dish or pie plate; smooth guacamole over top, leaving 1/2 inch border. Place sour cream in small resealable plastic food storage bag; seal bag. Cut off tiny corner of bag; pipe sour cream in circles over guacamole. Run tip of knife through sour cream to make "spider web".

Spooky Tortilla Chips

3 packages (12 ounces each) 8-inch plain or flavored flour tortillas
Salt to taste

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet with olive oil nonstick cooking spray.

* Using 3-inch Halloween cookie cutters, cut tortillas, one at a time, into shapes. Discard scraps.

* Lightly spray tortilla shapes with cooking spray. Place on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.

* Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 90 chips.

Recipes from Frightfully Fun Halloween Crafts & Cooking

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April GPD Plans

This month will really be my first GPD of the year. I haven't done any work as of yet and need to get busy.

  • Start Halloween notebook
  • Research homemade decoration ideas

GPD List for the Year

Like I said in another post, Halloween and Fall are my favorite. I usually go all out decorating and this year will be no exception. I'm in a different house so everything will be different. Here are some of the general things I want or need to get done throughout the year on Great Pumpkin Day.

  • Research decoration ideas
  • Supply list for decorations
  • Decorating plan
  • Decide on party or not?
  • Costumes
  • Treat bags
  • Make a Halloween notebook
  • Try new recipes for Halloween
  • Pumpkin carving patterns
  • Make a fabric Halloween countdown calendar

Each month I will pick things to put on my monthly list that I hope to accomplish and post it here. I will also share whatever craft ideas I plan to use and recipes I plan to try, as well as other things.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Halloween and Fall

Halloween is my favorite holiday and Fall is my favorite season. I have at least 5 totes of decorations for the two combined. I'm always looking for fun new ways to decorate or decorations to add to my ever-growing collection.

This year, I plan to get a ton of those little pie pumpkins, two for each step leading to my front door. I'm not going to carve them all, but I may draw or paint on faces or use props to make them appear to be dressed up. There are many more options for pumpkins than carving! Every year I have at least 2 pumpkins dressed up, usually one is a witch and the other a pirate. I use sewing pins to hold the props in place.

What do you like to do with your pumpkins?

Ideas for Great Pumpkin Day

Great Pumpkin Day is one day of the month, usually the 31st but some do it on the 13th, to prepare for the upcoming holiday of Halloween. Here's some ideas to get you started:

* Start a costume or just buy the needed supplies
* Research decorations you might like and begin making your list of needed supplies
* Try a new recipe that you might use at Halloween
* Are you having a party? Start planning the games or activities.

No matter what you decide to do, make sure you have fun!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Great Pumpkin Day

I have started this blog to honor Great Pumpkin Day. I intend to share ideas, lists, plans, decorations, recipes, and anything else I can think of that has to do with Fall or Halloween. Great Pumpkin Day was originally started at Organized Christmas and then moved to Magical Holiday Home. Ginger from MHH plans to start a blog ring for Great Pumpkin Day blogs. Keep an eye on the sidebar for links to more excellent blogs devoted to Great Pumpkin Day!