Monday, October 25, 2010

Flaunt the Haunt: Shabby Spooky

Who says you can't decorate for Halloween when your dining room is baby blue? Here's how.

My mom and I were recently "tapped" by my aunt Becky to help her decorate her dining room for the scary season and we were super excited to do it. You see, in our family we like to do what I call swarming. Swarming is when one person has a project/event and everyone with an ability to help swarms in and gets it done.

My mom and I make a particularly good swarm team because we're honest, sometimes brutally honest, with each other. BUT it's a good thing. For some reason we can critique each other's ideas and no feelers get hurt. It works out especially well because she favors clean and simple and I lean toward bold colors and mismatching so we always come out with a good balance.

Becky's running theme through her house is kind of shabby chic. So for Halloween decor you just kind of roll with it. We had a lot of fun with her dining room because she had a lot of stuff to work with. Here are a few of the details:
A couple of ceramic owls are a cute little touch, we also made the "Boo." Above the faux fireplace Becky had already framed pretty Halloween scrapbook paper, which is a great statement and can be changed out easily with different seasons and holidays. In the fireplace we hung a wooden jack-o-lantern. I loved it because it reminded me of the little doorways to the different holidays in "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Like you could almost open it and step right into Halloween town.

Here's another frame Becky outfitted with scrapbook paper and cute letters. Eek!

The rest of room was dusted with Halloween knick knacks, serving trays, tea towels, and when in doubt, tie a ribbon on it! Decorating is all about using what you have, making it work and having someone there to reel you in.

You only have a few days left to decorate so get to moving! And just like last time...

Monday, October 18, 2010

DIY: Photo Booth Fun

 A few weeks ago I got to help plan a birthday party for my younger cousin, Honor (on the left.) She turned 10 on 10-10-10. How cool is that?! She also wanted to have an art themed party. What a fun girl.

One of the ideas I thought would be great to incorporate into the party was an old timey photo booth. It tied in with the art party perfectly and let the girls show off their unique personalities. You should try at your next gathering, it will definitely be a hit. Here's what you need:

-Sheet or a blank wall
-Balloons (or anything to keep your subject in place...these were handy for keeping the girls in frame)
-Sense of humor

And here's a few highlights from the evening:
We picked up fun and silly props for the girls to dress up in. Now's a great time to grab them up because there is a ton of great stuff around Halloween.
Look how much fun they're having in this picure! So cute. Honor brought in each of her guests one at a time to have a mini silly photo shoot.
Who would have guessed this cheap little "Bang!" gun would have been the favorite prop. I pretty much had to wrestle it out of her hot little hands to get a variety of shots. Glad she liked it so much and this pic so adequately captures her personality.
We had to get in on the fun too. From top to bottom: My parents, my aunt and uncle (Honor's parents,) my parents and me, and aunt and uncle again.
Of the nearly hundred pictures I took, the most priceless one to come out of the bunch is the one of our Nana and Papa. I know this will be something I cherish for the rest of my life. Just perfect.
This was just one aspect of the evening. I have a ton of more pictures of this very special party to come and I can't wait to show you soon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Flaunt the Haunt: Vintage Classic

This is a little series I like to call "Flaunt the Haunt." On a recent trip home my mom and I got into the holiday mood and decked out her and my aunt's dining rooms. This particular post is my mom's spooky dining room filled with classic Halloween decor with a vintage look.

The thing about decorating for any holiday is the little things. I love the details in this room because we get the vintage look with an old timey cat. We get classic with the jack-o-lantern pails cascading down the steps, and we get a little glamour from the glittered pumpkin in the candlelight. My mom also wanted to use one of my bridal portraits to make things a little spookier. Not sure what to think about that... :)
Here are a few more looks at what we did with the space. The wreaths with the orange berries will last her all the way through Thanksgiving so double the value and the owl and ghost really contribute to the vintage look. I've also brought your attention to the up lit tree in the window. It makes it look kinda creepy, so that, plus all the candles really puts off an extra spooky vibe...BOO!

Also it's fun to include throwbacks to Halloweens of the past. I think I made an adorable toothless tooth fairy and my brother a cutey of a Captain Hook. Those were the days...

So that's my first installment of "Flaunt the Haunt" hope you liked it. There's more to come, so get yourself decorating and remember...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fix It: Cantaloupe Ice Cream

So a few years ago the Husband and I moved to Japan. We lived there for a year, and one thing I loved about it was the way the Japanese flavored things. They were so daring! I had curry flavored Pringles, grape Kit-Kats, and strawberry covered Cheetos. Sometimes they were good, sometimes...not so much. My favorite of all was the cantaloupe soft serve. YUM. It was just so different and so delicious that I had to make my parents try it when they came to visit. They loved it so much that they came back and looked up a recipe to make it themselves. And they've been making it ever since, and because I'm home, they made it for me tonight. Happy times! So here it is for you, from me, via the parental units, via some unknown site (sorry.) Try it and enjoy!

-1 Large Cantaloupe (very ripe)
-Juice of 1 Lemon

For Sweet Cream Base :
-2 Large Eggs
-¾ Cup
-2 Cup
-Heavy or Whipping Cream
-1 Cup

1. Cut the cantaloupe in half and clean out the seeds. Scoop the fruit into a mixing bowl, add the lemon juice, and mash until the fruit is puréed.
2. Drain the juice into another bowl and reserve. Cover the melon purée and refrigerate.
3. Prepare the sweet cream base and whisk in the fruit juice.
4. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions.
5. After the ice cream stiffens, about 2 minutes before it is done, add the cantaloupe.
6. If more juice has accumulated, do not pour it in because it will water down the ice cream. Continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.
7. For sweet cream base : Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
8. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue to whisk until completely blended, about 1 minute more.
9. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend.
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