last minute halloween costumes are my fave

October 24, 2013

ice cream man halloween costume

drummer boy halloween costume

The request was to create Halloween costumes that could be made with items you most likely already have in your home. The results were a marching band drummer and an ice cream scooper modeled by a candy bribed toddler. You can find the directions for both of these costumes (plus three adorable ones from Kelly) right here on Martha Stewart. Yes, Martha Stewart! Hot diggity dog.

ten minute costumes are my fave

October 22, 2013

I don’t think I knew that store bought Halloween costumes existed as a child. My mom would somehow find a way to whip up seven costume requests, often tirelessly the night before. While I didn’t inherit her sewing skills, I did inherit her diy attitude. Here are three costumes that can be pulled together in 10 minutes or less with items you probably already own.

The Marathon Runner:
marathon runner halloween costume

- white tee
- shorts
- tennis shoes
- paper
- markers
- white cloth headband

marathon runner halloween costume

The Original Mouseketeer (this will score you big points with the 60+ crowd):
mouseketeer halloween costume

- white tee
- black marker
- mouse ears

mouseketeer halloween costume

The Cute Clown:
easy clown halloween costume

- patterned pants and tee
- bow tie
- party hat (I covered mine with fabric)
- yarn (for a pom flower)

easy clown halloween costume

For more easy diy costume ideas, my friend Kelly has an awesome series that’s definitely worth a look.

PS The only way I could get Beck to sit still and not pull the hats off was to turn on a Taylor Swift music video. That’s why he has the same glossy eyed expression in every photo.

a surprise birthday party is my fave

October 17, 2013

My niece turned twelve last weekend so as a special surprise, I flew to Minneapolis to help my sister pull off a surprise party (yes, I’m the cool aunt and Beck is the youngest cousin so naturally the favorite). Everything from the color palette to the favors were based off of  the theme Maren’s favorite things. Here’s a look at the results.

surprise 12th birthday party

surprise 12th birthday party

surprise 12th birthday party

surprise 12th birthday party

surprise 12th birthday party

surprise 12th birthday party

surprise 12th birthday party

surprise 12th birthday party

I have to admit, I’m not really familiar with what 12-year-olds think is cool nowadays so I was a bit stumped creating the party plan. We ended up having a photo booth (which was a huge hit), a sit-down dinner with a menu they could customize, haiku writing (about the birthday girl), and then I taught them some group games. They were hilariously loud and over excited about everything. Ah, middle school. One girl deemed the party, “Pinterest worthy,” so I’m going to consider it a success.

invitation and menu design: Kirsten Bingham
sources: cake stand, honeycomb balls, gold glittered letters from Michaels, party hats, striped straws, favor bags

paper bag lights tutorial

joining the slow blogging movement is my fave

October 10, 2013


Over a year ago I declared on Twitter that I had lost my blogging sparkle (an embarrassing choice of words, I admit). At the time I thought I was just adjusting to motherhood. But as time went on and even as I had established a schedule for myself, I couldn’t shake the feeling of missing something.

I listened to all the voices telling me that all I needed to do was, “HUSTLE!” So I kept at it, working harder and putting in more hours. But the feeling lingered and maybe got worse. I sought advice (and pep talks), attempted some formulaic ideas and methods, and kept going. The blogging stress and pressure seemed to be a daily experience.

Eventually I had to realize that the hustle and formulaic approaches were causing my work to suffer. And not just my work, but I was neglecting the more important parts of my life too. I think I realized this months ago and it has taken me some time to come to my conclusion of change. Today I’ve decided to follow Erin and join what she termed the slow blogging movement. I’m slowing things down a bit around here. Less content. More thought. I like what my friend Danyelle says, “your blog can be whatever you want it to be.” Right now I want it to be a place I enjoy again because that’s just silly if it isn’t.

PS I’ve been thinking about deleting this post all morning but have decided maybe one of you will benefit from hearing the words slow down instead of hustle.

quote source: Anamu

apple dessert topping is my fave

October 8, 2013

Today’s dessert post is from Rebecca Hansen of First Mate Photo and it’s perfectly timed with apple picking season.


I’m sure everyone is already into the fall spirit by now (thanks Starbucks), but in case you aren’t here’s some apple pie topping for all of your favorite desserts, ice creams, oatmeal, and spaghetti?

PicMonkey Collage

Apple Dessert Topping:
- 4 Apples, cubed
- 10 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
- 4 Tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Melt butter in medium sized saucepan
2. In a small bow mix together all dry ingredients.
3. Stir the cubed apples into the dry mixture.
4. Add apple mixture to the butter once it’s melted and stir, add vanilla.
5. Let simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes.


If you’re going to be using as an ice cream or cupcake topping like I did, make sure to let it cool for a little bit or it will destroy your frosting and melt the ice cream.


Happy Fall!

See more from Rebecca in her Etsy shop and on her new blog, Present (I love her journal keeping idea).

monster favors are my fave

October 4, 2013

monster favor boxes

Since haunted houses make me cry and The Ring still haunts me over ten years later, I thought a more lighthearted party theme of monster mash would be a better fit for my Halloween festivities this year. Learn how to make your very own monster favor boxes right here on Julep.

And a couple more Halloween posts for your reading pleasure:
- Easy diy animal costumes for kids
- Halloween garlands to festive up your home

Have a weekend full of Halloween candy you’re supposed to be saving for the kids.

creepy eyeball party favors are my fave

October 2, 2013

Today’s post is from super crafter and cute mom, Amelia of The Homebook. I’m pretty sure you would be the crowned the coolest mom ever if you made these for a classroom party.

creepy eye party favors

I was never the biggest fan of Halloween. “The Devil’s Holiday” is what my grandma called it, and that spooked me enough to stay far away from all things ghost and goblin. And then I grew up and realized Halloween can be cute and creepy and fun, as long as you mute the TV, close your eyes, and sing a happy song when the scary Devil movie previews are on. I know I’m not the only one that does that. Anyway, like I said, I am a fan of cute and creepy Halloween stuff, and these eyeball party favors fit the bill. They’re kind of like small spooky piñatas, and poking your finger through the tissue paper on the eyeball to get to the candy inside gives them that icky Halloween eerie-ness you’re looking for. Plus, they’re easy to make. Win win!

creepy eye party favors

creepy eye party favors

Supplies: round paper mache ornaments (from Michaels,) serrated knife or a drill fitted with a hole saw bit, paint, small paintbrush, scissors, tissue paper, Mod Podge, a fine-tipped red marker, and candy.

To Make: Your first step will be to remove the string from the paper mache ornament and cut a hole in each one large enough to stuff some candy inside. I was able to use my husband’s drill to get a nice sized hole (it’s faster and easier that way,) but using a small serrated knife works too—just be careful! Once your holes are cut, give the balls a few coats of white paint. When the paint is dry, carefully paint a round iris with any color you like, and a pupil with black paint. Give the eyeballs a few coats of each color, letting the paint dry in between. When all the eyeballs are dry (that sounds weird) fill each one with candy or small creepy Halloween treasures. To close the hole, cut small squares of tissue paper (about 3x3in) and glue them over the hole using Mod Podge. I used 3 layers of tissue on each eyeball. Let the Mod Podge dry, draw on some squiggly red lines with your marker to resemble gross bloodshot eyes, and you’re done!

creepy eye party favors

creepy eye party favors

creepy eye party favors

Seriously guys, these eyeballs are easy to make. It’s time to embrace the creepiness of Halloween. Now get to eyeball squishin’!

See more from Amelia on The Homebook

a shine bright birthday banner is my fave

October 1, 2013

shine bright birthday banner

My best friend’s little girl, Matilda, just turned one and they threw a little shine bright party for her. I loved the custom banner she made so I asked her to spill her secrets. Here’s how to achieve a similar look:

shine bright birthday banner

Step one: Print your text out as big as you can onto regular printer paper.

Step two: Spray glue the printed sheets face down onto poster board to give it weight.

Step three: You should be able to see through the paper so cut out following the lines, using an exacto knife for the more detailed sections.

shine bright birthday banner

Hooray for Matilda!

Visit Cloudy Day Gray for more of the cute party details (and more baby cheeks).

fresh donut favors are my fave

September 30, 2013

donut favors

I going to be honest, Halloween is not my favorite. Kids in costumes? Good. Candy? Good. Creepy crawly, ghouls and spook? Meh. But I do like the idea of having a black and white party (with a touch of Halloween) and these are the favors I’d be sharing.

donut favors

- black paper cups
- paper straws
- fresh donuts print out (design by Kirsten)
- Martha Stewart Crafts test tube favor kit
- washi tape

To make the paper flag, cut slits into opposite sides of the straw and insert cut out design to stick in the donut filled cup. Then fill the test tube with toppings like powdered sugar, cinnamon and sugar, or sprinkles and attach to cup with a strip of tape.

donut favors

So easy, even the non-crafty folk can handle it.

This project is part of 12 Months of Martha, one craft a month using products from the Martha Stewart Craft line.

a salty sweet trifle is my fave

September 26, 2013

salty sweet trifle

This weekend I was in a rush to put together a dessert for my friend’s birthday. I was instantly reminded of an easy, brownie trifle my mom used to make that was so easy and delicious!

salty sweet trifle

- One 9×13 pan of brownies (boxed or homemade, your preference)
- Chocolate Pudding (boxed or homemade)
- 1 c whipping cream (whipped)
- Fleur de sel
- A candy bar of your choosing (I usually use Heath, but this time I used Lindt EXCELLENCE A Touch of Sea Salt – and I will never go back)

salty sweet trifle

In a large bowl simply layer brownies, pudding, whipped cream and then a layer of chopped up candy bar. Repeat the layering three times over.  For an increased chocolate flavor and an added touch of saltiness, sprinkle Fleur de Sel on top of each pudding layer. For individual servings, be sure to layer in glass dessert cups.

salty sweet trifle

Delicious every time, I tell you!

If you are a fan of salty-sweet desserts, check out this video of chef Curtis Stone sharing some innovative ways to add great flavor in your kitchen (I’ve loved him since Take Home Chef).

Also make sure to visit Lindt on Facebook to get a $2 coupon. Try Lindt EXCELLENCE A Touch of Sea Salt and Taste the Difference for yourself!

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