Friday, October 28, 2011

Spooky Graveyard Cupcakes

We're getting ready for Halloween at our house!
I love this time of year...
All of the spooktacular decorations, the candy, the fun!

No matter what time of year, there's always something yummy baking in the oven.
I never need a reason to get creative in the kitchen, and these little treats were no exception!

SpOoKy GrAveYard CuPcaKes!!

Aren't these super cute?!

I made them for my son's school Halloween party...

Ghoulishly delicious devil's food cupakes
With eerie sugar cookie tombstones,
candy pumpkins, fondant skulls and ghosts.

These cupcake liners have a surprise greeting when you turn them over.
Trick -or- Treat!

I accented my wire tiered tray with real, preserved oak leaves.

Decorating for each holiday can easily get expensive,
but by re-using things you already have on hand,
things you find in nature, and things you can make inexpensively like my cheesecloth ghosts,
you can give your house a spectacular and festive touch without breaking the bank.

We'll be watching Halloween specials this weekend,
and getting ready for trick-or-treating on Monday.

Are you all ready for the little ghosts and goblins that will coming to your door?

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October Eves

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”

~ Humbert Wolfe

It's been a typically fallish weekend in Pennsylvania, blustery, overcast and brisk.  Football and festivals are in full swing.  Neighborhood yards are decorated with haybales, cornstalks, and plump, orange pumpkins.  Halloween will be here before you know it!

For a little afterschool treat, I've made old-fashioned, buttery popcorn balls {with itty bitty Reese's Pieces candies in them in autumnal shades of orange, yellow and brown}.  Each homemade treat has been wrapped carefully in a cellophane bag and tied with coordinating fall ribbons.  I love this recipe because they stay nice and chewy (unlike the dry, crunchy ones in the store).

 The kitchen beckons this time of year, and the smells of something yummy being cooked fill the entire house with warmth and delicious smells.

I hope you're enjoying this bewitching time of year! 

want a bite?

Monday, October 10, 2011

5th Birthday Movie Party

Lights! Presents! Action!
5th Birthday Movie Party!

My baby boy turned 5 recently!
Turning one whole hand is a milestone event!

The fun festivities kicked off the week beforehand by attending his first ever NHL game between our own Pittsburgh Penguins and the Minnesota Wild.  Because it was his birthday the following day, he was choosen to ride the zamboni prior to the start of the game! 

The staff of the Penguins gave us the all-out royal treatment! 

We were given free tickets to see the game, and got to see the players warm up!
One of them even was so kind as to give Andrew a practice puck
(thank you, Matt Cooke)!

On his big day, his dad and I took him to see the Pittsburgh Pirates

After the game, we went out for dinner at one of his favorite local restaurants, Quaker Steak and Lube!  Perfect place for a car-loving boy! 

The following week was his birthday party with his friends!
He chose a movie theater party to see
Dolphin Tale!

Adorable magnetic invitations from Deb Den Designs
I loved his invitations! 
They were created for me by etsy seller, Deb Den Designs!
I can't recommend her highly enough!  She worked closely with me to get everything just right!
Right down to the coordinating "ticket" Thank You cards!

Movie-theme cake from Faithfully Cakes
His cake (topped with REAL popcorn, coated in delicious white chocolate and drizzled with buttery-looking yellow candy melts) was created by a local cake designer named Tammy.  She was so friendly and helpful in creating the movie-theme cake I envisioned with movie reels and fondant licorice (oh and the chocolate chip flavor was DELISH!)

His cookie favors from Bee's Knees Creative

In keeping with my movie-theme, I had these adorable cookie favors for all of the kids at the party.  Darling tubs of popcorn and directors clapboards were a huge hit!  The cookies arrived in perfect condition (packed with lots of care) and were even cuter in person!

For favors: I purchased popcorn boxes and filled each one with a cookie favor, movie-theater candies (dots, rainbow licorice, tootsie rolls, rainbow lollipops, and gummies) - along with a Dolphin Tale movie poster!

Each guest received their own movie poster in their popcorn favor box!

Giant mylar balloons helped give the party room
extra cuteness!

Mixed in with theatrical red, pearlized gold and pearlized black latex balloons in
classic movie theater colors, the mylar balloons jazzed up the room's decor instantly!

I wrote party details on the directors balloon with a poster paint Sharpie!

The birthday boy on his extra special day!
His adorable popcorn shirt was from mini Boden.

Before the movie, each child and parent was given a movie meal consisting of popcorn, taffy candy and choice of drink in a cute, portable box to carry into the theater!

I made each child their very own
V.I.P. All Access Movie Pass!

I wanted everyone to feel special, not just the birthday boy! 
A party is a celebration and guests should feel pampered and included in the festivities!

They looked so cute walking into the theater together
with their VIP passes into our own special section...
like they were attending their own Hollywood premiere!

** Please note: I would not recommend lanyards around smaller children's necks. 
Please use caution.  You could substitute stick-on passes instead.

It was SUCH a fun day! 
Popcorn, an inspiring movie, pizza, candy, and presents!

Giant buckets of popcorn lined the party tables.

The kids felt so grown up getting to sit together in a darkened movie theater
(with their parents in the row behind them, just in case!)

What a magical way to celebrate turning 5!