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A VERY SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN TABLESCAPE

A VERY SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN TABLESCAPE

DIY spooktacular Halloween tablescape

There’s nothing I love more than fall.  The weather is cool, the trees turn golden, pumpkins everywhere, and Christmas is just around the corner.  This is my happy time and probably it’s yours too.  I mentioned in my last Halloween wreath blog post that I normally don’t decorate a lot for Halloween.  I can’t do scary but really I’m just hyper focused on Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This is the year I’ve decided to change all that!  Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but since we’re in the middle of a pandemic I think we all could use a little more fun.  So I’m excited to share my first ever Halloween spooktacular tablescape!

DIY spooktacular Halloween tablescape

I’ve always been a big fan of black and white decor, especially when it comes to setting the table.  I’m a firm believer that we all need a set of basic white dishes and basic black dishes.  Nothing anchors a table like black or white, and the combinations you can create year round are endless.

DIY spooktacular Halloween tablescape

I love having a vivid contrast in my decor, and these black and white striped chargers were an amazing find, and on sale for $2!  Pair them with these orange buffalo plaid napkins (also on sale) and my heart sings!

DIY spooktacular Halloween tablescape

DIY spooktacular Halloween tablescape

I’m a Le Creuset fan all the way, but I can’t help but be totally obsessed with these Staub pumpkins.  They’re the perfect size for soups, side dishes, and individual desserts.  I have the black pumpkins and the orange ones… I’m already feeling like I NEED the white ones too!  They’re adorable, oven proof, and double as home decor, you can’t go wrong with these!

DIY spooktacular Halloween tablescape

The ghost centerpiece was a cute, last minute craft project I made.  We’re having a not so scary Halloween this year and these friendly ghosts fit the bill.  I love them especially paired with my super easy white washed pumpkins.

DIY spooktacular Halloween tablescape

DIY spooktacular Halloween tablescape

Black & White Chargers | Black Dishes | Flatware | Napkins | Black Pumpkins 

If you follow me on Instagram I gave you a sneak peak of our back deck.  I’m so happy with the way everything turned out, and I can’t wait to do a full reveal on the blog so stay tuned and again happy fall!  It’s been a rough year so soak up all this fall goodness and Halloween fun.

DIY spooktacular Halloween tablescape

 

MAKE A SPOOKY-CHIC HALLOWEEN WREATH IN JUST 20 MINUTES

MAKE A SPOOKY-CHIC HALLOWEEN WREATH IN JUST 20 MINUTES

DIY Spooky-chic Halloween Wreath in 20 minutes or less

October is here and that means it’s time to decorate!  I love to decorate for every season, but some years Halloween gets left out.  Not by choice, I’m not against it or anything, it’s just that I’m usually already too focused on planning my Thanksgiving and Christmas decor and then it’s too late.  Since 2020 hasn’t exactly been an ideal year I decided if there’s ever a year I need to decorate the house for Halloween it’s this one.  I think we all could use some extra fun and playful joy right now!

I love to make wreaths, that is as long as they aren’t too complicated or time consuming.  Even though this is a Halloween wreath have no fear!  You can put this oh so easy spooky-chic wreath together in just 20 minutes or less.

DIY Spooky-chic Halloween Wreath in 20 minutes or less

When it comes to Halloween decorations I can’t do scary.  I’m a big baby and just can’t do it!  Luckily this wreath is the perfect balance of a little bit spooky and a whole lot of chic.  I’m definitely not a spider fan at all, in fact I have one trapped under a bowl in the living room right now for my dear hubby to take care of.  However, when you cover them in glitter or somehow make them cute suddenly I can deal.  I need something spooky right?

I’ve always loved making feather wreaths, especially around Halloween.  They’re just so festive and fun!  I’ve used purple feathers before, even lime green and all have turned out great.  So use this blog post as inspiration for your own unique wreath if that’s your jam.  Below I’ve listed where my items were purchased, some I had on hand from last year, but I’m sure you’ll be able to find similar Halloween embellishments pretty easily.

DIY Spooky-chic Halloween Wreath in 20 minutes or less

SUPPLIES NEEDED

18 inch straw or foam wreath ($4.99 from Hobby Lobby)

3 (6ft.) foot black feather boas ($3.99 each from Hobby Lobby)

Hot glue

A Halloween sign (Halloween clearance last year)

Black faux flowers ($2.99 from Hobby Lobby)

Glittery pumpkins (.99 from Wal-Mart)

Glittery spiders ($3 from The Dollar Tree last year)

DIY Spooky-chic Halloween Wreath in 20 minutes or less

INSTRUCTIONS

DIY Spooky-chic Halloween Wreath in 20 minutes or less

If you’re using a new straw wreath you’ll want to keep the plastic on to avoid a big mess.  Start by hot gluing the end of the feather boa on the back of the wreath.  Then wrap the boa all the way around the wreath and secure that end with hot glue.  Continue this with the next two feather boas, adjusting to avoid any bare spots.  I only glue the ends down so you won’t need much hot glue here.

TIP:  Feather boas shed like CRAZY!  You’ll definitely need to vacuum afterwards, but be sure to save the larger feathers that fall off.  They’re perfect for filling in any gaps or bare spots on the wreath should you need them.

DIY Spooky-chic Halloween Wreath in 20 minutes or less

Once the wreath is completely wrapped begin hot gluing the largest items first such as the flowers and Halloween sign.  Followed by the pumpkins and spiders.  The feathers can be a little floppy sometimes, so you might need to add several spots of hot glue until your items are secure.

How easy was that?  Once you gather your supplies you’ll have this spooky wreath done is 20 minutes, or possibly less!

DIY Spooky-chic Halloween Wreath in 20 minutes or less

DIY Spooky-chic Halloween Wreath in 20 minutes or less

Spooky?  No, we’re spooky-chic darling.  A little bit creepy and a whole lot of glam!  Now go grab that bag of candy you’ve been hiding and  start having some Halloween fun!  I’ve got a few more “not too scary” Halloween projects to share with you soon, my spooky friends, so check back soon!

HOW TO WHITEWASH REAL PUMPKINS

HOW TO WHITEWASH REAL PUMPKINS

How to whitewash real pumpkins

Hello friends, if you haven’t already done so it’s time to break out the pumpkins!  I love decorating the house this time of year, and one of my favorite ways to do so is with whitewashed pumpkins.  If you’re unfamiliar with whitewashing pumpkins have no fear… it’s quick, cheap, and so easy to do!  I think we can all agree how adorable orange pumpkins are, but I love the effect whitewashing does to a pumpkin.  It slightly tones down the orange, enhances the natural character, and gives them a high end look.

When I decorate with pumpkins I prefer real over faux.  Not only do I prefer a more realistic look, but storage space is a major issue in our house.  I love the fact that I can simply toss my pumpkins after Thanksgiving and be done.  When whitewashing pumpkins, nearly any kind of paint will do.  I’ve used craft paint, wall paint (of all sheens), and even chalk paint… don’t worry it’s all good!  I seriously just use whatever, I recently used up all my Benjamin Moore white paint so for this blog post we’re using basic $2 craft paint.

Easy whitewashed pumpkins

SUPPLIES NEEDED

Pumpkins

White paint (craft paint, chalk paint, wall paint, any kind will do)

Foam or bristle brush

Paper towels

Disposable cup or bowl

Drop cloth or newspaper to protect your surface

Easy whitewashed pumpkins

INSTRUCTIONS

How to whitewash real pumpkins

1.  Lay newspaper or a drop cloth down to protect your surface.  Water down the paint by mixing equal portions of paint and water in a disposable cup or bowl.  I used 1/4 cup paint with 1/4 cup of water.  You can increase or decrease this mixture depending on the size and number of pumpkins you have, just keep it in equal portions.

2.  Brush the paint mixture evenly onto the pumpkin making sure the paint goes all the way into the grooves of the pumpkin.  Avoid getting paint on the stem for this step.

How to whitewash real pumpkins

3.  After the pumpkin is completely painted, wait about 30 seconds and wipe the paint off with a dry paper towel.  Be sure to wipe the paint off from the top to bottom for the best effect.  Let the pumpkin dry, it shouldn’t take very long about 10-15 minutes at most.

4.  Last, apply paint lightly to the stem and immediately wipe it off as you go.  The stems are very dry and porous so you want to use the paint sparingly here.  Now let the stem dry and you’re good to go.

How to whitewash real pumpkins

Once dry, feel free to repeat this process if you want a heavier whitewashed look.  Above you can see a lighter and a heavier whitewashing result.  I love them all, and it’s fun to experiment with different kinds of pumpkins.

Easy whitewashed pumpkins

You may be wondering if you can use this whitewashing technique on faux pumpkins, and the answer is yes.  Of course, you might need to adjust the amount of time you wait before wiping the paint off (more or less dry time), but the rest of the instructions should be the same.

I just love the effect that whitewashing adds to pumpkins.  It gives such a wow factor.  For the ultimate fall bowl filler try small whitewashed pumpkins with these bleached pinecones, it’s one of my favorite fall decorations. Happy fall!

EASY DIY FALL APPLE WREATH

EASY DIY FALL APPLE WREATH

How to make an easy apple fall wreath

Hello blog readers I am back! Some of you may not know this but my blog has been gone for nearly 3 weeks.  I had a notification of a comment from a reader and when I went to respond poof… my blog had disappeared!  I’ll keep this brief because nobody wants to read a novel but after a week of scratching our heads we had to call in professionals to look into some deep coding details. Basically I had reached a data limit with my old hosting company.  Without any notice they pulled the plug and tech support offered no help in solving the problem.  I’m happy to say we’re back up and running, we’ve switched hosting companies and this shouldn’t ever happen again.  My apologies to everyone… ok so let’s move along here and make a fall apple wreath!

How to make an easy apple fall wreath

First off you may be thinking why apples? I’m a pumpkin loving nut just like everyone else but this fall I was craving something a little different so I went with apples.  I must say I’m happy with how it turned out and I love the cute pop of color from the apples.

Instead of floral stems I went with a garland for the greenery because that’s what was on sale.  A great bonus about using garland is I didn’t need to dig out my wire cutters… just pull the leaves off and you’re good to go!

Fall wreath ideas

SUPPLIES NEEDED

18 inch grapevine wreath form $4.99

2 basic leaf garlands 17.99 at 50% off= $17.99

1 bundle of small plastic apples 6.99 @40% off =4.19

Ribbon 3.99 at 50% off= $1.99

Scissors

Hot glue gun

2-3 hot glue sticks

Total cost: $29.16

INSTRUCTIONS

How to make an easy apple fall wreath steps

1.  Begin by threading a piece of ribbon through the top of the wreath and set aside.  Pull the leaves off the floral garland and hot glue.  Be sure to glue the leaves in different directions so it looks extra fluffy.

2.  Once you’ve glued all the leaves on begin gluing the apples.  I know… it’s complicated.

How to make an easy apple fall wreath steps

3.  Turn the wreath over and make a knot to create a hanging loop.  Pull the loop to the back of the wreath and secure with hot glue.

4.  Arrange the remaining ribbon around the wreath and secure in random places with hot glue.  Poof all done!  I kept my ribbon connected with the loop in the back and just pulled the ribbon to the front, feel free to cut it if that’s more convenient. I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to add the ribbon or not. I loved both looks but in the end I decided the ribbon gave a bit of pizazz, but it’s your choice.

fall apple decor

Fall apple decor

I love the homey comfort of apples this time of year and I can’t get over how cute and realistic these apples look.  This wreath costing under $30 and the fact that I only had one hot glue burn is what I call success my friends!

Be sure to check out my holidays category for some of other fall projects and decor, including my favorite fall potpourri and how to bleach pinecones.  Take care!

APPLE PIE BODY SCRUB

APPLE PIE BODY SCRUB

It’s not officially fall yet, but once September 1st gets here all bets are off around here and we go into full fall mode.  The beginning of fall is just so truly magical that I like to be prepared for it so I can savor every precious moment.  To me fall means warm blankets, fuzzy socks, watching the leaves change, and everything smells like cinnamon spice.  I’m a pumpkin spice nut just like everyone else… but another fall favorite of mine are apples.  There is something just so warm and wholesome about apples, the way they look and how they taste and how they smell… I just love them.

I think we can all agree 2020 has been a bit rough on us all… am I right?  We need fall comfort more than we’ve ever needed it and this apple pie body scrub is an easy way to pamper your mind and body right into fall.  It’s the ultimate luxury in the shower, exfoliating and moisturizing your skin while the aroma of apple pie fills your shower.

How to make apple pie scented body scrub

When it comes to body scrubs I strongly prefer using coconut oil over any other oils.  Not only is coconut oil super moisturizing, its light texture is easy to work with and glues all the ingredients together.  As I’ve mentioned before with my other body scrubs it’s important to keep the coconut oil at room temperature, meaning solid, you never want to melt it.

TIP:  Ideally you want to work with refined coconut oil.  Refined coconut oil takes away the coconut smell and taste which is ideal for a non-tropical scrub such as this.  If all you have is unrefined relax… you can absolutely use that as well you might just get a whiff of coconut with your apple pie.

When I make homemade bath and beauty products I like to keep the ingredients as simple as possible.  Coconut oil, basic sugar, spices and other household ingredients.  To intensify the apple pie scent I added a few extras along with my basic spices, but these are optional!  I decided to add a few drops of cinnamon essential oil, and to get that great apple scent I added a little apple extract, which can be a little tricky to find but Amazon to the rescue!

Please note that if you don’t have cinnamon essential oil or apple extract you can still make this scrub with basic pantry spices.  So I’ve listed these items as optional in the recipe.  You can find the recipe and photo steps below.

Apple Pie Body Scrub

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (preferably refined)
  • 4-5 drops cinnamon oil (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp apple extract (optional)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • a storage container

Instructions

  • In a medium size bowl add coconut oil and mix it with a spoon until it softens up. If you're using cinnamon oil and apple extract add it now with the coconut oil.
  • Add the spices to the coconut oil, mash and stir well to blend.
  • Add the sugars and mix again, using a spoon at first, and then your fingers to remove lumps and completely blend.
  • Store in a clean storage container and use within 3-4 weeks.

Apple Pie Body Scrub Steps

I’ve made this scrub a few times, first with only brown sugar, it was a great scrub, but in the end I decided my favorite was a blend of white and brown sugar.  The texture had a bit more grit which I prefer for a scrub, but it’s up to you.  As with all my body scrub recipes you can tweak them to your liking.  Add a bit more spice, sugar, or coconut oil until you find your happy balance.

How to make apple pie scented body scrub

Fall scented body scrubs

Like all my body scrubs this one should come with a warning.  It smells so good you just might be tempted to eat it while showering!  I don’t know about you but I’m just so happy fall is here and I’m ready for all the cozy goodness it brings.  If you’re an apple lover like me I’ll be sharing my apple crisp within a few weeks.  It smells and tastes like apple pie, but it’s better and easier too!

RED, WHITE, & BLUE TRIFLE

RED, WHITE, & BLUE TRIFLE

4th of July Desserts

We’re less than a week away from July 4th and I wanted to share my delicious red, white, and blue trifle dessert with you.  This trifle is an absolute favorite dessert of ours all through the summer but especially for our 4th of July celebrations.  Years ago, and I mean years, I bought this gorgeous trifle bowl at a Southern Living Home party.  I’d never made a trifle before but I was mesmerized by this cute little dish.

Sadly after receiving it my trifle journey didn’t start.  Nope, I tucked it away and completely forgot all about it until one day I found it buried in the back of a cabinet.  Feeling sad for my poor little trifle bowl, I made it a mission to fulfill its destiny by making as many different trifle desserts as possible.  We’ve made every combination you can think of, but this stunning red, white, and blue trifle is a true summer favorite.

Strawberry summer desserts

It’s light and fresh, making it perfect for a hot summer day.  Made with a store bought angel food cake it’s also a breeze to assemble!  You may think this is just a basic angel food and whipped cream dessert with strawberries and blueberries but it is not.  Adding just a few more simple ingredients takes this trifle dessert from good to WOW!  It’s like magic.

Strawberry Blueberry Trifle Dessert

If you’ve ever eaten a store bought angel food cake you probably know they don’t taste the best.  Brushing the store bought angel food cake with an easy-to-make lemon sugar syrup transforms it into something magical.  Yes, you can absolutely make your own angel food cake if time allows, just don’t skimp on the lemon sugar syrup!

Besides the delicious syrup the other secret to this amazing dessert is the cream cheese.  The cream cheese takes this fruit trifle to a new level with its rich creaminess, plus the cream cheese stabilizes the whipped cream so it won’t turn runny.  When preparing sliced strawberry desserts consider using a strawberry slicer, it’s a great timesaver!

4th of July Desserts

Red, White, & Blue Trifle

Servings: 10

Equipment

  • Electric mixer

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 pre-made angel food cake, sliced into 1 inch slices
  • 2 8 oz containers of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups heavy cream, room temperature
  • 2 pints strawberries, rinsed and sliced
  • 2 pints bluberries, rinsed

Instructions

To Prepare the Lemon Syrup

  • Heat 1/4 cup of sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract. Let cool.

To Prepare the Trifle

  • Brush both sides of the pound cake with the lemon syrup. Then cut the slices in into 1 inch cubes.
  • With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese with 2/3 cup of sugar on medium speed until light and smooth. Add the cream and beat on medium-high until it's the consistency of whipped cream.
  • Arrange half of the cake cubes into a trifle dish, then layer half of the blueberries, spoon half of the cream mixture, followed by half of the strawberries. Repeat the layers one more time, ending with the strawberries and adding extra blueberries for garnish if desired.
  • Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator, then serve.
  • Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

 

My strawberry shortcake poke cake is also another popular summer dessert that’s quite easy to make, and perfect for the 4th.

red, white and blue patriotic trifle

Up on a pedestal a pretty trifle demands attention.  It’s such a pretty dessert isn’t it?  Not only is it pretty but it’s so easy to make and looks amazing on my blue and white tablecloth – and it’s under $10!   My trifle dish is pretty ancient and no longer sold but below I’ve found some gorgeous affordable trifle dishes below and all are under $40.

Don’t hide your trifle bowl in a cabinet and forget all about it like I did.  It’s too pretty and versatile to stash it away!  Use it to serve salads, salsa, and other dips… you can even decorate with it.  Use it as a fruit bowl or to hold candy, potpourri, or other decorative items!   Take care and have a happy safe 4th of July!