Posted in Adventures at home

Spooktacular Halloween Party

I love Halloween. I love to decorate for it. I love to make costumes for it. I love to steal trick-or-treat candy from my kids once they are in bed. Halloween is another excuse for me to express my creativity. Plus, I love to surprise my boys with spooky treats and special parties. This year I put together a spooky celebration complete with witches brew and pumpkin pizza.

I decorate for Halloween like some people decorate for Christmas. I focused my decorating on the dining room and kitchen this year to add even more pazzazz to the party. Across the patio door I suspended a giant bendable spider that I secured to the wall with a tea cup hook. Draped over the doorway were two strands of black and candy corn garland. I added a few spider webs to tie the decorations to the nearby wine cabinet. The wine cabinet was decorated with a webbed candelabra and a simple white skeleton.

The tablescape was my favorite part of the party. I used a spiderweb table runner that was topped with two medium, white pumpkins and three small, orange pumpkins. The idea for the fabric covered bats was found here. It was easy to create and added just the right amount of whimsy to the table. Place settings were created using orange and black buffalo plaid placements, black and white buffalo plaid dinner plates and polka dot and spider salad plates. A simple punch of green Gatorade and Sprite filled Belgian beer glasses. I added sour gummy worms to the glasses and told my boys it was a special witches brew.

I covered the kitchen island with a cheap plastic table cloth and used two black and orange buffalo plaid placements as a runner. The island centerpiece was a white metal scale from a home interior store. I found the pumpkins at Target, they were actually the inspiration for the centerpiece. I’ve had my eye on the scale for a couple months and once I found the pumpkins, I knew just how I’d use it. I plan to incorporate the scale into my kitchen decor after Halloween. The banner hung above the island was also found at Target.

The party was a great way to start our night before we went trick-or-treating. I went door to door as The Momster. Frightening.
Party Supply List
  • Spooktacular Supply List
    • Dining Room
      • Giant bendable spider
      • 2 strands of black and orange garland from JoAnn Fabrics
      • Webbed candelabra with glitter candles from Michael’s
      • White ceramic skeleton
      • Small amount of white spider webs
    • Tablescape
      • Black webbed table runner; similar found here
      • Black and orange buffalo plaid placemats
      • Black and white buffalo plaid dinner plates found at Home Goods
      • Orange polka dot and spiderweb salad plates (paper) found at Hobby Lobby
      • Belgian beer goblets with witches brew punch
    • Centerpiece
      • 3 small orange pumpkins
      • 2 medium white pumpkins
      • Floral wire
      • Black and white wasi tape
      • wooden bats
      • black patterned fabric
    • Island
      • Orange plastic table cloth
      • 2 orange and black placemats
      • White metal scale
      • Three pumpkins in various shapes and colors
Posted in Adventures at home

Pumpkin Patch

My favorite color is fall. Sipping cider, rustling leaves, bushels of mums and rusty wagons overloaded with pumpkins are my ideas of fall perfection. Every year, our family seeks out those sweet fall moments at a pumpkin patch. Hayrides, corn mazes and a chance to snag the perfect pumpkin were at the top of our agenda when we decided to try out Pinehaven Farm in Wyoming, MN. I’d recently come across an article in Reader’s Digest listing Pinehaven as the best pumpkin patch in Minnesota. We went to see for ourselves.

activities for everyone

We arrived on a Friday in the early afternoon (took advantage of an early out day at school), hoping to beat the crowds. We basically had the whole place to ourselves. Admission at Pinehaven Farm ranges between $9-$14 per person, depending on the day you go. There are so many activities to do for the price, it’s worth it. We spent about three hours at the farm feeding goats, zipping down the slide, climbing haystacks and bouncing on the giant pillow. There are dozens of other activities to try at Pinehaven including a corn pit, a pumpkin eating dragon and a trolley that shuttles guests to and from the pick-your-own pumpkin patch.

My favorite part of the farm was the corn maze. I may be a bit directional challenged, but the maze was a chance for the boys to work together as we attempted to navigate the maze and earn punches on our corn maze card. We tried our best to find all the checkpoints, but eventually tired of the process and went to find a snack. On weekdays, Pinehaven offers cookies, caramel apples, mini donuts and a variety of sodas and drinks. Weekend snack seekers have more selection with roasted corn-on-the-cob, nachos, hot dogs, funnel cakes, cheese curds and a beer garden. Next year we’ll plan to come back on a weekend, for food reasons alone.

pumpkin cannon

Twice daily a train whistle sounds, summoning guests to gather at the pumpkin cannon for a launch. Using about as much pressure as a car tire, the cannon hurls a pumpkin at about 250 miles per hour for a distance of about 1/3 of a mile. The boys were impressed.

I’d do that again

Due to the wet conditions in the pumpkin patch, we chose to pick our pumpkins from the pre-picked patch. The boys painstakingly pawed through the pumpkins trying to choose just the right one. We had a great time at Pinehaven and are already making plans to go back next year.

Posted in Adventures at home

Spooky Snacks

When the calendar flips to the month of October, I start planning and prepping for spooky snacks and creative costumes. I love Halloween and I love to decorate my house and make treats to celebrate this spine-tingling time to year.

Here are a few creative creations I’ve made that will help you and your ghouls get into the ghostly spirit.

Pumpkin candy bowls

These lack-o-lantern filled treat bowls will take at least one overnight, to allow the candy melts to set up overnight. The patience level for this snack is high, but the skill level low. Simply blow up a few water balloons and then dredge in orange candy melts. Then leave the balloon inflated while the candy sets overnight. The next day, you can pop the balloon, use chocolate icing to pipe on a jack-o-lantern grin, fill the bowl with candy and done. I used clear plastic Cello bags to wrap the bowls and attached a purchased treat tag with a piece of orange and black string. I found a tutorial for how to create this treat here.

  • Supply List
    • 1 bag orange candy melts
    • water balloons
    • black icing to pipe jack-o-lantern faces
    • cello bags
    • decorative labels/tag and string
Donut spiders

These creepy crawly donut spiders were simple and required just three ingredients. I used chocolate covered mini donuts and cut apart mini pretzels that were stuck into the donuts to look like legs. Yes, I know spiders have eight legs. The mini donuts just didn’t look good with some many legs. I used a tiny bit of chocolate frosting to attach the M&M eyes. See the tutorial on how to assemble them here.

  • Supply List
    • chocolate covered mini donuts
    • mini pretzels
    • M&Ms
jack-o-lantern pizza

The jack-o-lantern pizza is a easiest Halloween treat. Step #1: Go to a Papa Murphy’s. Step #2: Order the Jack-o-Lantern pizza. Step #3: Make the pizza.

Our family does this every year and judging by the line of people at Papa Murphy’s on October 31st so do many others. This year I plan to order online and pick up before 2pm to avoid the crowds.