Catching Up – October 2013

Continued from the last post

October

This was the start of my favorite time of year to visit the WDW theme parks.  We attended Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival with friends.

For Halloween, Tadd and I dressed up as a wild west saloon girl and bartender.  Tadd had an awesome handlebar mustache to go with this getup, but it just wouldn’t stay on.  So sad!  I honestly didn’t care much for my costume, but wanted to wear it to go with his costume because I loved Tadd in the saloon bartender costume.  He even had a beer holster belt…and of course, the arm garters!

 

My favorite time of year!

Hi all!  Sorry again for the extended hiatus.  Life is finally starting to slow down a bit, which is great, as I am in serious need of some down time.

I just wanted to make a quick post to show some fall decorating that has taken place in my house over the past few weeks, in between all the craziness.  This is the first time I get to decorate my new living room, so I am excited to share!  Most of my living room decor focuses on my Boney Bunch collection.  It’s fun to be able to display it in one central location, since for years it was scattered all around the first floor.  The bookshelves are the perfect place for the majority of these pieces.

I realize the lighting is a bit dark (these were taken with my iPhone early one morning, before work), but I think you get the idea.

 

I think my favorite spot in the living room is the console table behind our sofa.  Remember the table runner I made last year?  By the way, the candies in the right-hand bowl are Caramel Apple Milky Ways, which are just as good as they sound.  Mmmmm…

When I was at the Magic Kingdom in early September, I came across this little Ghost Mickey Jim Shore figurine that I just couldn’t resist.  He’s the newest member of my Halloween decor collection.  Again, sorry for the dark pic.

Not really decor, but I could not resist when I saw these at Target…  I’m not really a HUGE soda drinker (at least by comparison to my soda-guzzling husband), so I love that these are tiny cans.  The caramel apple soda is actually delicious.  It kind of tastes like carbonated apple juice with a little something extra.  Tadd picked the blood orange soda…I’m not really a big orange soda fan, but it was okay.  If you like orange soda, you would probably like it.  But I just love the cans.  So cute and festive!

I will be back soon with tales and pictures of where I have been all this time!

Are you getting into the fall/Halloween spirit yet?

Boney Bunch Preview 2013

I know it’s still summer, but who is in the mood for some fall-themed topics???  I know I am!

The first Saturday of August is always the preview event for Yankee Candle’s Boney Bunch collection.  I have attended this event for the past few years and have been collecting Boney Bunch figures for 5 years.  The first year I collected (2009), I really just bought one figure, the pirate seen on the left in this picture:

We were in the process of buying our first house and I knew I would be in some stage of packing/moving during the month of October, so I really didn’t want to invest in much seasonal decor at the time.  But I just couldn’t resist this guy!  He really kicked off my Boney Bunch habit.  At the time I really knew little to nothing about Boneys, and I didn’t get him at the preview…I just happened to be walking by my local Yankee Candle at some point in early September, and he was on a display of Boneys that hadn’t sold out yet at the very front of the store.

2010 was my first year attending the preview.  I think this was my favorite year, because I feel like they were in their heyday of creativity that year.  They had such a variety of items, including several non-candle things.  That was the first year that I got a candy dish promo-with-purchase item, which I LOVED!  I also had to get the adorable salt & pepper shakers.  PLUS as you can see in the photo below, they gave out small jar candles that were Boney Bunch-branded.  I believe the small jar candle was free, and the candy dish was $10 with a $30 purchase.  I wish they still did things like this.

I ended up skipping the preview event in 2011, because I was in the midst of my No Spend August Challenge.  But I was right back to it for 2012.  Last year was the first year they had a kitty Boney, which of course, I love.  They did another kitty figure this year, so I am hoping that they will have a new kitty Boney every year from now on.  I also got the light-up submarine (Tadd’s favorite), and the “Dead and Ferried” rowboat.  I also got another promo-with-purchase candy dish (which you can see in the below pic from last year’s Halloween decorations).

THIS year, the only promo-with-purchase was a generic non-Boney pumpkin plug-in with your choice of scent refill for $5.  It’s definitely cute, and I did buy one (we got the Autumn Leaves scent if you’re curious), but I also thought it was kind of lame.  If I am at the Boney Bunch preview, I want the special promo item to be a Boney item, you know?  I didn’t take a picture, but you can see this year’s preview promo item here.  See what I mean?  Cute, but nothing special.

We also got the “Bone White and the 7 Dwarves” jar holder with a medium jar in Witches’ Brew.  I think this might be my favorite Boney item of ALL time!  It’s SO cute!  I love that Bone White is holding a black apple.  Nice touch!  The jar candle is adorable too.  It’s hard to see, but the candle itself is black glass, and it has all these cute Halloween images in white around it.  Really fun!

We also got the “Bone Dry” tea light holder, which unfortunately broke before we got it home.  We brought it right back to the store and were able to order another one before they sold out (it was already sold out at my store, which is why they had to order one for us), so it should be on its way to us shortly.

And, of course, we HAD to get the kitty tealight holder!

Ever since we adopted our own Halloween black cat, Jacoby, I have been REALLY into black cat Halloween decorations.  Some of you may remember last year when Yankee brought out their black cat collection at Halloween, and I could not resist ordering the tea light holder, because it looked JUST like my Jacoby!

Well, they brought back that same collection this year, and I could NOT resist this little jar clinger after Tadd pointed it out to me.  So this was a total impulse purchase, and not a Boney item, but I love it!

After taking pics, I sadly packed everything back up and put it all away until September.  Because August 3rd is too early, even for me, to start decorating for fall & Halloween!   Soon enough, my pretties!

This totally put me in the fall/Halloween spirit all weekend.  I wore my skull scarf on Saturday, burned one of my more fallish summer candles (Summer Boardwalk by Bath & Body Works…it has a very foody, bakery/cinnamon/caramel/popcorn kind of scent that reminds me more of fall than summer), and let Tadd talk me into buying a Sam Adams Harvest Collection variety pack.  I drank my first pumpkin beer of the season last night!

Are you getting into fall-mode like me?  Or are you holding on to summer a little longer?

A Jumble of Thoughts and Goings-On…Brought to you by Hurricane Sandy

It’s a very quiet day around here today.  At work, most of our clients and colleagues are based in NYC, so many of them are quite understandably spending the day preparing for Hurricane Sandy and not concentrating on sending me stuff to do.  Nice change of pace for the day, but it can get a bit boring.  However, I am definitely thinking about all of my many family, friends, and colleagues who are dealing with this Frankenstorm.  Please stay safe, all you North-easterners!  Having been through the Florida hurricane-palooza of 2004 (Charlie/Frances/Ivan/Jeanne), I know it can be scary!

We were not planning on dressing up for Halloween this year, which would have been kind of sad.  But a friend of ours put together a last-minute party about a week in advance, so we had to scramble to figure out costumes!  We decided to do the reverse of what we did 5 years ago.  In 2007, I was an angel and Tadd was a devil.  This year, I got to be the devil!  And Tadd was an angel (although let’s be honest, he’s no angel…ha!).  I reused his pitchfork and the red cape from my Little Red Riding Hood costume from last year and found a $5 set of horns, bow tie, and tail.

Here we are in 2007:

And here we were last Saturday (sorry about the poor quality…as you can see from my friend’s reflection behind us, it was taken with a phone in dim lighting):

Tadd and I went on a date night to one of our favorite Park Avenue dinner spots last night, but beforehand I was able to convince him to take me to JoAnn Fabrics!  I spent way more than I should have, but I got all kinds of stuff to make a few Christmas presents, and what I hope will be a Thanksgiving wreath.  So stay tuned!

I did get started on a new sewing project last night, but something in my sewing machine malfunctioned and it just was not working correctly.  Tadd is going to try to fix it tonight.  I hope so, because I was almost finished with what I was working on.  It was frustrating to be so close to finishing without being able to finish.

And in the spirit of Halloween, I will leave you with this:  At work, one of the executives’ wives is an amazing baker.  Their family had a Halloween party over the weekend and the leftovers were brought to our company breakroom for us to share.  Incredible!  There is a brownie graveyard, a haunted castle cake, a huge cauldron of candy, adorable cupcakes, etc.  I know I shouldn’t have, but I took one of the cupcakes and a chocolate oreo kitty.  How cute are these?  That little knife in the “bloody” cupcake is actually a tiny cookie!

Halloween Marshmallow Truffles

When they mentioned we were having a Halloween potluck at work, I decided to try something new, marshmallow truffles.  The concept is fairly simple: dip marshmallows in chocolate and then into any number of toppings.

I used small wooden skewers to make dipping and serving a bit easier.  I also found some Halloween-themed sprinkles at Target, that I thought made my truffles look pretty festive.  You could also use chopped nuts, crumbled cookies, graham cracker crumbs, coconut, whatever you want!

Each tub of dipping chocolate covered about a dozen marshmallows.  I think if I were to do it again, I would just buy a big bag of chocolate morsels or bar chocolate.  I thought I was going to get more mileage out of the tubs (this was my first time using them).

I ended up not using the orange sugar on the left…It just kind of melted into the dark chocolate and looked terrible.  You definitely want toppings that are not too small and not too big.  The other three types of sprinkles worked great.

This is exactly the type of recipe (if you even really want to call it a recipe) that I love.  Few ingredients, simple, and lots of ways to customize it.  My only issue is that it was quite messy and I felt like I got chocolate everywhere.  But that’s pretty much always going to be the case when you deal with melted chocolate.

What treats are you whipping up for Halloween?

Home Stories A2Z

shabby creek cottage

A little more fall & Halloween decor…

I realized that in my prior posts about this year’s fall decorating (here and here), I missed a few items I wanted to share.

This was one of my JoAnn’s finds from several weeks ago.  I could not pass it up!  Especially since I have a kitty named Stella.  I love all of the Victorian-inspired Halloween decor that seems to have been all the rage the past couple of seasons!

 

Just like last year, I have my fun Black Cat Cafe plate on display in the kitchen!  Now that I have my very own REAL black cat, all of these black cat Halloween decorations delight me even more.  So fun!

 

I placed a few little Halloween touches in our powder room.  And yes, I even temporarily relocated the Target Dollar Spot owl in here, just for the season.

 

I recently  moved this very tiny corner shelf unit to our stairwell to give it some pizzazz.  Eventually this piece will get a makeover with a new coat of paint, but for now I have decorated it with a hodgepodge of some of our smallest fall/Halloween items.

 

A handful of our neighbors have full light displays and outdoor graveyards going on!  I have seen skeletons and giant spiders and pumpkin carriage lights and all kinds of fun stuff.  Sooo cute and creative.  I am jealous, and maybe one day my love of Halloween decor will expand to my yard.  But for now, this will do!  Seeing all the fun items displayed all around the house makes me smile.  I love this time of year!

A Halloween Non-Mantel 2012 (and more!)

I can now officially wish everyone HAPPY FALL!

This is always the time of year when I regret not having a fireplace & mantel.  I make do with my entry table, which is where I tend to do my seasonal decorating.  This is what I came up with for Halloween this year…

My favorite parts are the little potted tree in the woven container (both tree & container from Ikea), topped with pinecone and pumpkin filler, placed next to a pair of rustic wooden ravens (filler and ravens from Hobby Lobby)!

I suppose you could say that my wall of shelves in the living room is a good mantel substitute too.  This is where I am displaying most of my Boney Bunch collection.

Linking up with…

Halloween Mantels

			

Buy all the things!

I had promised myself that I would pull out all my fall & Halloween decor last night, but I got something in the mail that I had been waiting for, so that derailed me for the evening.  However, I have now re-promised myself that TONIGHT will be the night!  Tadd and I stopped by JoAnn Fabrics on the way home from work yesterday and it was Halloween-palooza!  They have some freakishly adorable Halloween stuff.  I wasn’t as keen on their fall stuff this year, but they had one aisle where I seriously wanted to BUY ALL THE THINGS!

I bought a few items, but will probably go back for more.  And I need to stop by Dollar Tree.  Even though I REALLY don’t need anymore Halloween decor.  I think I have a problem.  I started shopping for this season hoping for more fall stuff and less Halloween, but for some reason I am always drawn to the Halloween stuff.  Go figure…

I didn’t buy any of this stuff, but I wanted to!

I also bought some fall fabric, which I am HOPING to turn into something pretty.  My idea is simple, but since I am still fairly new to sewing, I sometimes worry that constructing something very simple on my own (without a tutorial) will still conclude in failure.  But I don’t know until I try, so I suppose we will see.

I bought about $54 worth of stuff, but only paid $18 out of pocket, thanks to my favorite shopping combo: sales + coupon + giftcard (I still had $10.78 left on one card from my birthday).  Tadd was impressed with how much stuff we got for so little.

All that rambling to tell you that hopefully I will be able to share my new purchases, and some of my old items in new ways starting tomorrow!  Bring on the fall decor!

Jacoby’s Halloween Doppleganger

When I got home from my trip, there was a package waiting for me from Yankee Candle.  I had seen this black cat tea light holder in the 2012 Halloween catalog and absolutely fell in love.  But it wasn’t in stock when I attended the Boney Bunch preview back at the beginning of August, and when I tried to order it online, it said it was out of stock.  A few weeks later, I checked the website again and it was available, so I snatched it up (along with a small jar candle in the Pumpkin Pie scent so I could use my $10 off $25 coupon…it’s my FAVORITE of all the pumpkiny Yankee Candle fragrances).

When I opened the candleholder, I was absolutely delighted with how much it reminded me of my Jacoby-kitty.  Don’t they look like they could be twins?

So happy with this purchase!  And even though I haven’t pulled out the rest of my Halloween & fall decor yet, this one is already on display.  I just adore it.  And so does Jacoby!

Instagram Link Party: More Halloween Treats!

It’s the big day!  Happy Halloween!  It’s also Monday, which means Instagram Party day over at a {little} dash of ash!

I wanted to share with you what we brought with us to the Halloween party we attended on Saturday night.  I was inspired, as I believe a lot of others were too, by this popular post on Pinterest of witch hat cookies!  They looked really easy, fun, festive, and adorable.

From Explore. Dream. Discover.

So I decided to make them myself.  It’s just a Keebler Fudge Stripe cookie, turned chocolate-side-up, with a Hershey Kiss attached with a dollop of frosting.  I decided to change it up a bit by using both orange and purple frosting.  They were a big hit at the party!

We also brought two pitchers of swamp punch, which is just a half gallon of lime sherbet, a 2-liter of Sprite, and 2 cups of lime vodka.  This went FAST at the party!  And the green murky/swampy/foamy texture was so perfect for Halloween.

Halloween is just about done!  It’s almost time to start thinking about Thanksgiving, and then Christmas!  I love the holidays.   Thanksgiving decorating begins tomorrow (yes, I decorate for Thanksgiving)!