Friday, October 31, 2008

Making Halloween Magic!

Oh, I have been so busy for the last 24 hours getting everything together for tonight's big party. I thought I would share some pictures with you -
These are my magic wands that I love to make on Halloween. They are pretzel rods dipped in milk and white chocolate. So easy, so festive, so delicious!
I think the white chocolate ones look the prettiest.
Letting the chocolate set. I serve them on a big tray over a bed of shredded coconut that I dye green with food coloring. I will show you the finished product later.
I thought I would share this too - I used my fixed up table to make a makeshift bar for neighbor friends that pop by. I think it turned out extremely cute (almost as cute as my baby Rio hanging out in every picture I take!)
Pumpkin-tinis anyone?
And rumor has it that most of our neighbors give away the big candy bars to our trick-or treaters, so Tim stocked up on candy yesterday.
Rio, checking out the options.
Voted most likely to wind up in my mouth - this guy!
Wish me luck with my party! I can't wait to see and hear about all of your Halloween fun!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fun Night Out

We had a fun night out in Dove Canyon last night! It was our neighbor's bi-annual Halloween bash and since we are the new guys on the block, we just had to go and meet some more locals. After work, I got busy putting one of my appetizer platters together to bring. By the way, if you haven't had St.Andre cheese before, you simply must try it. It's like buttah, I promise.This is the hostess gift I brought for the Lushes. It is a lovely wine decanter I bought at Pottery Barn. I had fun embellishing the package with some fall sprigs and these super cool "Boo" tags I ordered from etsy.
And we had a ton of fun putting our costumes together. I decided to go as the "merry widow" complete with a sassy black veil that I made, a black feather boa, a fake deed to the house, and a black rose bouquet that I jazzed up with some fluffy black maribou feathers.

And no merry widow costume is complete without the ultimate accessory - a dead husband. Tim took a sword, cut it in half, and put it going into the back of his shirt and coming out of the front with a squirt or two of fake blood. Thank God he doesn't really have to put on make-up every day - he hasn't mastered how to not get it in your hair. HA!
I wish I could have taken some photos inside the Lushes house, but I didn't want to look like a tourist. It was decorated so incredibly for Halloween - not an inch of it was left undecorated. Just amazing! My favorite part of the party was a huge bar complete with glow in the dark martinis. Tim and I got to meet some very fun neighbors - and we got invited to the block party on Halloween night! We had a blast and the best part - when it was all over, we walked home - just four houses down! How cool is that?
Hope you are finding time to have some ghoulish fun too!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Let's Party

Oh, I love the neighborhood I live in. Just take a look at this amazingly fun invitation that was waiting on my porch when I got home from work tonight! Isn't it the coolest thing you've ever seen!
The Lush family lives about four houses down from us. I admire her beautiful garden when I go for my walks in the afternoon. She has the most gorgeous flowers and it seems like everything is always in full bloom around her house. I haven't ever gotten to meet her though - the lady behind the flowers. And just look at the sweet note she wrote to us inside the invitation.

Needless to say, we are so there. To be completely honest, I really need to get out there and meet some new people. I have been so busy with work lately and have lost touch with a lot of friends as a result of busy lives and just life in general which has taken us all in different directions. Hopefully, I will make a friend or two.
So, now I have to find a costume worthy of such a bash. Any ideas?

Monday, October 20, 2008

This year's pink

"It's really a sharp hat!
Don't you think?

You know black...
It's this year's pink!"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Around the house...

Hello Friends! It has been a busy and fun week here in Dove Canyon - so much work to do and of course, the ever fun Halloween Blog Party that Vanessa hosted yesterday. I enjoyed catching up on so many of your blogs (while Tim hooted and hollared through the Red Sox game.) Your creativity, imagination, and craftiness amaze me. Thank you for sharing your Halloween magic!
So, I spent the day tooling around with the outside of my house - getting ready for the big party we are hosting on Halloween night. My neighborhood is very into decorating and well, a girl has got to keep up, right?
You should see how cool this looks with the orange lights lighting up the tree in the dark -
I found these huge glitter ornaments at Shinoda on Wednesday with my mom. I think they are the coolest - they look perfect in this barren tree in my front yard.
And, after three hours of painting, my shabby old table that I inherited from Tim's dad looks perfectly new and adorable. This was my first real painting project - it was hard work, but I had fun and it was so worth it. Not too bad for $11.00 worth of paint supplies, don't you think? If you would like to see the table's before photo, I posted a pic of it a while back.
I hope your Sunday has been just as fun and restful as ours was here in Dove Canyon.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Welcome to the Party!

We've been anxiously awaiting your arrival.We've worked a little black magick for you this evening.

Good Old Jack put on his party hat for the occasion
And this little guy spun up a web of fun.Miss Matilda put on her best pearls.
It really is a charmed life here in Dove Canyon!
Let us drink a toast to All Hallow's Eve, the most magical night of the year.
Spiders and ghosts and witches galore - but let's not be full of fear.
For at the Dove Canyon bash, there will be only fun and laughter.
We shall have an evening to remember for the 355 days here-after.
A special thanks to Vanessa at Fanciful Twist for hosting this fun party.
Let's do it again next year!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Isn't it the cutest?

This quilt is a giveaway on the blog Pigtails and Snails.
It would be perfect in my guest room. Cross your fingers for me!

Now That's Scary!!

These just might be the scariest pumpkins I've ever seen! Thanks Better Homes & Gardens!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Star Struck

There is something about being in the same room as a celebrity that makes people...a little...well - starstruck! I got to see that first hand today at the Giada DeLaurentiis book signing at South Coast Plaza. As many of you know, I work for Williams-Sonoma and was lucky enough to be invited to help out with the event today. Giada's fans arrived at the store bright and early this morning to get in line to have their books signed. There were even some die hard fans that came without tickets and cried when they found out they couldn't get in!
Wow! I was blown away by the dedication and tenacity of these fans.
Over 500 of Giada's closest fans lined up throughout the mall in a line that went through the mall and even outside as you can see here -
I got to work at the entry desk, giving Giada's fans their books and helping them find their way to the line. I also got to see the many excited fans leaving with their mission accomplished - a signed copy of Giada's newest book Giada's Kitchen. She was so terrific with the customers, the children who came to see her, and all of us who work for Williams-Sonoma. She honestly could not have been nicer. I saw her several times flipping through the book to show pictures to the children and taking the time to say hello to each fan as she signed their books. She took a picture with our WS group at the end and I got to stand next to her! I'm so not the type to get star-struck but I couldn't help but feel a little excited by the fanfare of it all.
If Giada ever comes to your town, I highly recommend paying her a visit. She is just as nice as she is beautiful!

Photos courtesy of the Orange County Register.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Great Pumpkin!

Looks like Nick found it! Completely adorable - Have I mentioned how much I love this time of year?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bushels of Fun

We had such a fun time today in Oak Glen. What a perfect way to celebrate fall and enjoy being outdoors. We decided to bypass the uber-crowded part of Oak Glen (known as Riley's Farms) and head straight to Willowbrook which was a wee bit more authentic and manageable for the kids.After a brief lesson on apple picking, they let us loose on the orchard. Tim was handy to have around because a lot of the best apples were up high on the tree (out of the reach of most of the little apple pickers). The kids were so excited to have their own bags to fill with apples!
I couldn't help myself - I had to snap a few shots of how beautiful the apples were on the trees.
The perfect pick!
Love this group shot of the boys. Poor baby Ryan did a good job trying to stand for the pic.
Funniest part of the day was our time with this horse that they have at the orchard. They have a bucket of carrots that you can feed to the horse and each nephew took a turn giving the horse a carrot. Unfortunately there was one orange object just slightly out of the horse's reach. He kept trying to get his head through the fence, but this orange object was just too far to grab...
Yep, he was mistaken for a carrot. Poor Ryan!And of course, the animal lover in me fell in love with this girl...Blossom the Pig. I asked Tim if we could take her home. Isn't she the cutest?
After getting our fill (literally) of apples, we headed to Oak Tree Village and checked out some of the shops and ate lunch. We were lured in by the 9 inch high apple pie that everyone kept talking about but by the time we got around to the bakery, they were all gone! I guess I will just have to make my own with the 2 dozen apples we picked.And, Tim bought me this darling fabric pumpkin pillow. I saw something similar in Solvang and regretted not buying it when I got home. I think it is the perfect keepsake from the day.
So friends, what are your favorite things to do to celebrate fall? I would love to hear how you ring in my favorite time of year.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Oak Glen

I have been dying to go to Oak Glen ever since I found out about it through a co-worker last year. Evidently I may be one of the last So Cal natives to never have paid a visit to this fun collection of apple orchards near Yucaipa. Oak Glen offers a petting zoo, apple picking, cider making, hayrides, and incredible apple pies. Count me in! So, you can imagine how excited I was when Tim's sister Erin invited us to join them next Saturday. I know Drew will enjoy the kiddie area and I am all about going on a hayride and having a piece of apple pie.
I can't wait to share pictures and tales of the day. Oh and by the way, my neighbor a few doors down "out-Halloweened" me. She has the most incredible black garland running all around her house with huge, ornate black and white ornaments handing from it with orange lights. It's like something out of a dream. I will try to take a picture if I can do it without looking like a stalker.
Hope you are all doing well!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Much ado about merken!

Up until two days ago, I don't think I'd ever heard the word "merken" get thrown around. I didn't know it was anything - let alone a word with two extremely different meanings. My store sells this merken: Merken the spice is a fun blend of dried and smoked chiles which adds a smoky "adobo" flavor to your dish. It is phenomenal as a spice added to fajitas. I highly recommend it.
The other "merken" definition can be found by simply doing a quick google seach of the word. Consider yourself forewarned that the other type of "merken" is a little off color. Merken - one funny word for two very unique things!