Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Blog-o-ween!

I made it, folks! A whole year of blogging. Not the most prolific year, but a year nonetheless. I wish to thank each and every one of you who ever stopped by to see what was going on in the Fun As You Make It lineup.

Halloween is a great time to celebrate, and boy, did we ever. We had a send off party for friends at a restaurant on Friday night, a MOMS Club party Saturday morning, a neighborhood party on Saturday night, and our traditional Halloween bag-filling and trick-or-treating today. Quite a fun-packed weekend.

Here are my two beauties tackling the 87 bags we filled, which turned out to be insufficient.

For the record, I had to use backup lollipops and Smarties that I had leftover from our Paper Bats craft and Candymen I made for the kiddies, AND open another bag of chocolates I had set aside for a special occasion.

The girls were more than thrilled to don their costumes multiple times. Daytime, nighttime, twilight - it's all good.  Have you ever seen a prettier pumpkin or more unique unicorn??

 Can you spot them at our annual MOMS Club party at our Town Green? Mom and Dad had a chance to get in on the costumes, too.

 Happy Halloween from yours truly, 'Benjamina' Franklin!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Double the Cookies, Double the Fun

For today's back-to-back Halloween parties, I decided to bring a bunch of cookies. But I was not about to bake several dozen cookies from scratch. Instead, I made a set of 'Witches' Hats', like I did last year and Chocolate Drizzled Mint Cookies.

My cookie arsenal:

The Witches' Hats consist of Fudge Stripe cookies, Hershey's Kisses, and frosting tinted orange or melted orange candy melts. With the cookie upside down, dab on a bit of the orange frosting or melts, then adherre the Hershey's Kiss on top. Can't get any simpler than that!

For the Chocolate Drizzled Mint Cookies, I started with prepackaged mint cookies, drizzled them with a bit of white chocolate, then a bit of melted orange melts, and finally a tiny toss of Halloween sprinkles on top for extra color.

Final product of cookie deliciousness:

But before the orange candy melts made it to the cookie trays for their dainty decoration, they first made a detour via the piping bag to my pajamas: a nice bright orange sash across the front of my shirt, down the leg of my pants, to the top of my slipper and onto the floor. And, no, the carnage didn't stop there. There was a broad splatter on the countertop, as well as the crack between the counter and the stove, the cabinet door, and the cabinet knob. Not so dainty. It was like Amityville Horror, but with melted orange chocolate instead of blood.

All was not lost, however. There was even some melted chocolate left over to make a few tasty skulls.

The skulls made a nice addition to the tower of treats I made with gummy worm skewers winding up around a styrofoam cone topped with a creepy rubber spider.

Gruesome and tasty. Hope you've had your share of Halloween treats too!  

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Halloween Homecoming

My daughters have a friend who was born in the US and lived here up until the age of 5. Last year, she moved back to her parent's homeland. Last weekend she arrived for her first visit back to the States, so we celebrated with a Halloween-themed homecoming party.

First were the hugs and squeals to pass around.
After much playing and giggling, the girls in attendance got down to serious craft making.

My thanks to Mama King for supplying the idea of  these simple prepare-in-advance paper bats that also serve to hold a lollipop.

There was the obligatory kid's requested pizza party. (They thought was funny that they all sat at the kitchen table and mom and dad were relegated to the kids table!)

To wrap up the evening, we had drop in guests of neighbors and the mom/dad/lil brother of one girl arrive just in time for the scavenger hunt and dessert. The kids had to search for clues around the yard that lead them to the sweet toppings (frosting, candy corn, m&m's, marshmallow ghosts, and orange sprinkles)

to decorate their own Devilishly Good Cupcakes:
A very special night of reconnecting with friends and getting us in the Halloween mood. I hope to get back to you with more of the great Halloween fun I've been knee-deep in this month but haven't made time to post about yet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Fever!

What is one to do when Pumpkin Fever strikes? Make as many pumpkins as possible!

Friday: The girls painted a pumpkin patch - using water balloons (inflated to different sizes) dipped in orange paint, and a green marker for the vines.
Saturday: They assembled 3D paper pumpkins. Eight strips of orange cardstock (each just under an inch wide), two small brads to connect the ends, and a loop of green construction paper glued to the top for a stem. 

Then they drew jack-o-lantern faces on orange paper sacks, stuffed them with balled up newspaper, and added contruction paper leaves and a pipecleaner stem they had coiled around a pencil.

 Sunday: And last but not least, they broke out the paint brushes once again to jazz up their mini pumpkins.
Next Saturday we get to carve the big ones!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lighthouse with a View

This past weekend, we headed over to South Carolina to visit my in-laws. They live on a salt water creek that puts on a daily display of nature's wonders. Steadfast sweetgrass in the changing tide, numerous water birds (heron, ibis, cranes, laughing gulls) and regular dolphin sightings. We witnessed one family of dolphins  'storming' the shore line, making almost ominous waves in pursuit of their shrimp dinner.

B and I spent a good deal of time spying on a couple sting rays circling around the dock, stirring up the fluff mud in search of food. The two of us were also invited by a neighbor to watch him cast and haul in his shrimp net. Along with some decent sized shrimp, he also netted a young flounder (about 7 inches) and a mini squid which he taught us appears white on the surface, but turns black when released to the water again.

One afternoon, the hubby and I were able to venture out on our own and take a walk on the beach at Hunting Island State Park. It is an incredible spot, with enormous trees dotting the coastline, downed by the encroachement of the sea. This is our 7th year coming to this beach, and it's the 1st time we took the opportunity to climb the lighthouse. The only lighthouse in the state of SC open to the public, mind you.

After climbing 167 steps of the spiral staircase...

this was the view of the beach from 132 feet in the air.

Personally, I kind of enjoyed the view from one and a half feet directly in front of me. :)