Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Party Inspirations~

It’s Amy Belle Isle, from stem parties, and I promise that no paper lanterns were harmed or even used in this guest blog post. (If you’ve seen any parties I’ve done that Jenn has posted, you know how hard that was for me.) In fact, this guest post was almost an entire post about ways to use those bad boys. Instead, I’m keeping it seasonal and featuring a few ways to work with the controversial Candy Vegetable of the Gods: Candy Corn.
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying it looks festive! Here are just a few ideas:
Serving TraysThe two versions of serving trays pictured a use inexpensive acrylic box frames, candy corn, tape and ribbon. That’s it!
The cupcake tray is simply one frame filled with candy and topped off with the party food of your choice. This could work for anything that is in an individual dish or wrapper. Shot glasses filled with chilled pumpkin soup, anyone?
The drink tray could be used to give some height and pizzazz to anything you’re serving. I’d steer clear of anything too hot on the surface though. Simply take two acrylic box frames, fill one with candy, line the edges of the other one on top of it, put a few pieces of double-sided tape to secure the two together and then run ribbon of your choice along the tape to “hide” the seam. Voila!
You can hot glue the two frames together but I like to encourage tape so you can reuse them. Just think of all the ways and themes in which you can use this idea by changing the items you place inside!
Party Favors:

I love the look of acrylic obviously. It just makes everything look a little more modern. Even though I don’t love candy corn in my mouth on its own, I do love it mixed with peanuts. Give me salty-sweet any day. Am I right, ladies? Fill the boxes with the mixture, tie with ribbon, add a tag and let your guests know that you’re glad they took time out of the busy holiday season to join you.

Floral AccentsThe simple arrangement I made here is made by placing a small cylinder vase inside a larger one and then adding candy corn in the gap between the two. Fill the smaller vase with water, pick the flowers of your choice and add a few twigs to give it an extra touch of autumn. I’ve adorned this one with some ribbon for that extra touch.

Candle AccentsShy of buying these adorable candles from Plum Party, nothing could be easier than filling various sizes and shapes of candle holders and vases with some candy corn and placing a candle inside. Give it a glow!
Invitations{pictured at top} How cute are these Classic Candies party invitations (starring our treat of choice!), and Candy Corn Halloween Cards from tiny prints?!
Not enough ideas yet?• Fill various sizes of cylinder or square vases with candy corn for a simple and chic display.• Completely cover inexpensive frames of all shapes and sizes with glued on candy corn and make a seasonal focal wall with them.• Use branches from your yard or the craft store and cover the branches with glued on candy corn. Place inside a vase to make an interesting centerpiece.• Hang clusters of orange, white and yellow paper lanterns all around the party space. (I almost made it. So close.)
I thought these ideas were cute! Have a Sweet Day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Drinks

What can you do when you're in the mood for homemade pumpkin pie, but you're squashed for time? Whip up a batch of these thick and tasty pumpkin smoothies.

Recipe Ingredients
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup milk or vanilla yogurt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. brown sugar4 ice cubes


Combine ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.
Pour the smoothies into small glasses (this drink is rich) and garnish each with a dollop of vanilla yogurt or whipped topping. For a fun touch, add a pinch of cinnamon or a few colored sprinkles. Serves 2 or 3.

Most kids won't eat a worm unless that worm is gummy. So we put them in this "rotten" punch to make it extra yummy.


Apple cider (adjust the amount for the number of people you plan to serve; we suggest at least 1 gallon)
Five 1/2-cup containers (we used Pyrex glass dishes; other small containers or cups will also work)
Red and green food coloring
10 to 15 gummy worms
Punch bowl


Pour apple cider into all 5 small dishes, stopping about 1/2 inch from the top. Add 2 drops of red and 1 drop of green food coloring to each dish and stir until the colors have blended.
Hang 2 or 3 gummy worms around the edge of each dish and place the dishes in the freezer. If you use more than 3 worms, the rotten apples won't float as well. Freeze until the rotten apples are solid.

Just before serving, slip the frozen wormy apples out of the dishes by setting them briefly in a few inches of warm water in your sink.

Float the rotten apples in a large punch bowl filled with untinted cider. For added creepiness, drape the gummy worms over the edges of your serving bowl.

Tip: Do steps 1 and 2 the day before serving the punch.

Filled with gummy creatures and fish eggs made from tapioca pearls, this sweet, bubbly drink looks like something scooped up from a deep, dark bog. Try making a batch for a Halloween gathering or as a spooky after-dinner treat.



1/2 cup small tapioca pearls (found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores)
Food coloring
4 tablespoons sugar
8 gummy fish
Seltzer water
8 gummy worms


MAKE THE EGGS: Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add the tapioca pearls. Reduce the heat slightly and boil the pearls, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes.

COLOR THE EGGS: Divide the pearls, with the remaining water, between two bowls. Add 4 drops of food coloring (we used 3 drops of yellow and 1 drop of green in one bowl, and 4 drops of blue in the other) and 2 tablespoons of sugar to each bowl. Stir the mixtures, then allow them to sit uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and rinse the pearls with cold water.

ASSEMBLE THE DRINK: Spoon 2 tablespoons of pearls into each glass and drop in a gummy fish. Fill the glasses with seltzer water, then add a splash of lemonade. Place a gummy worm around a spoon as shown.
Halloween is COMING and I thought these drinks were pretty neat! Maybe you can try one at your Halloween party!
Have a Sweet day!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fight For The Cure

For 10 years, Wacoal has supported Susan G Komen for the Cure® in the fight against breast cancer. While medical advances in research and treatment have helped millions of women, a cure still needs to be found.

Help KNOCKOUT breast cancer at a Fi(gh)t for the Cure event.

Receive a complimentary fitting in a Wacoal or b.tempt’d bra from a Wacoal fit specialist. For every woman that participates*, Wacoal will donate $2 to Komen for the Cure for breast cancer research and outreach programs.
Wacoal will also donate an additional $2 for every Wacoal bra, shapewear piece or b.tempt’d bra purchased at these events.

Our gift to you... a pink lingerie wash bag.**

No purchase necessary.* While supplies last.** For 2009, Wacoal will make a minimum guaranteed donation of $250,000. Fit for the Cure® is a registered trademark of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. For breast health information, please visit http://www.komen.org/ or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.
October is BREAST CANCER AWARENESS..ladies check your local Dillards stores for details to get fitted for a great bra for a IMPORTANT cause!
Have a sweet day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Mother's Blessing

A Mother Blessing is a celebration for a new life. It can be used by anyone, expecting a baby, adopting a baby, or just in need of a celebration of life in general. This can be looked at as an alternate form of a baby shower.

Mother Blessing has also been used with the term Blessingway. This is actually a Navajo term. Many people now use this term to mean a celebration of pregnancy and motherhood. The Navajo people actually do not approve of its use in this form, so many others use the term Mother Blessing or something similar. No matter what you call this ceremony, the meaning is the same - to celebrate becoming a parent.

Unlike your typical baby shower, there is no commercial gift giving emphasis. The guests are invited to spend time with the mother-to-be. The tone of the Mother Blessing is much more positive, you won't find those horror stories of labors and early parenting that seem to be so common in a traditional baby shower. Other attendees like the fact that there aren't the silly games also associated with baby showers.

Without the silly games, the ooos and ahhs over presents, what do you do?

Invitations can be very similar to any other invitation. Though you may want to specifically say that gifts are not requested. If you choose an activity that required the guest to bring something, this is where you would indicate such a request. Sometimes that is a quote, a candle, or a bead. The invitations should have a positive, woman centered theme.

There are many things that can be done for a Mother Blessing. It can be designed by the mother herself, or whomever chooses to host the "party." Here are some typical activities that you might include at a Mother Blessing:

Prayer Flags: Inspired by Tibetan prayer flags, these are strips of cloth that are cut about 3" X 18" (or any other size you choose). They are handed to each guest to write a birth blessing or positive message on it. When the guests are through the mother is given the flags to read and take with her to her place of birth. Messages can be anything. Some examples include: "You are a strong woman." "You can do all things through G-d." "Your baby will be born at the right time."

Necklace: You can orchestrate the making of a necklace or other piece of jewelry for the mother to wear in labor to remind her of everyone thinking of her. You can either ask everyone to bring a bead or have them make a bead from clay, like Fimo clay. You don't have to be artistic to do this. If you choose, you can have each guest talk about what their bead symbolizes.

Belly Casting: This is a great way to celebrate her pregnancy. These are fairly simple to do and create a great keepsake of her pregnancy. Pamper mom while you do the cast for an added treat.

Candle Lighting: Have each guest bring a candle. Set them up on a single table or all around the room. You can have each guest light their candle and say a blessing for the mother-to-be or something positive to help her confidence. Another way to do this is to actually send each guest home with a small candle. When the mother goes into labor, a phone tree is started and all the candle holders are notified to light their candles and think good thoughts as the woman labors.

Yes, there are co-ed mother blessings (parent blessings/family blessings). As you would honor and respect the mother, the father is treated the same way. Some Blessings include a traditional Navajo foot washing with cornmeal, this would also be done for the father.
No matter how you choose to celebrate the birth of a new baby, it is a special occasion. A Mother Blessing is but one way to have this recognition. It is a time to celebrate and rejoice in new life.
*I thought this was a inspiring way to celebrate a new life before the birth of a baby; maybe you might try this as an alternative to having a baby shower.*
Have a Sweet day!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Turtle Baby Shower

So here's the scoop on all of the fun turtle details!

Finger sandwiches filled with either Sundried Tomato Goat Cheese or Cucumber Chive Spread were cut into the shape of a turtle using a copper cookie cutter. Be sure to select a goat cheese that is made with pasteurized milk so the mom-to-be can enjoy without worry!
Chocolate turtle candies were a sweet treat that fit right into the theme.
The cake is one that I made, using the napkins as inspiration for the stripes. The turtle on top is hand sculpted out of fondant.
A baby clothes line was hung on the mantle above the present area. It featured monogram items created by one of the hostesses, along with baby booties, a turtle onesie and pacifiers.
I designed these turtle cookies to match the color scheme... bagged and tied with a blue ribbon. What a perfect little favor.
The adorable turtle invitation is from Inviting Smiles.
Game cards were made from coordinating scrapbook paper. Striped pencils were topped with polka dot turtles made of felt and pop sickle sticks. Could they be any cuter?
Iced cucumber water was a refreshing spa-like treat while lime sherbet punch added to the sugar rush!
I thought this was SO cute!
Have a Sweet day!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Yummy Cupcakes!

These are some cupcakes I baked over the weekend for a surprise birthday party! I made some moist rich vanilla cupcakes topped with sweet buttercream frosting & sugar sprinkles, along with a tasty strawberry filled yummy cupcake topped with buttercream and fresh strawberries. They were delicious!
Have a Sweet day!