Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! I meant to post pictures of Liv’s costume and our party prep yesterday, but time started to run out and costume changes were being made with cobwebs still to be hung… and then everyone arrived for trick-or-treating. So here we are with a fun little round up of yesterday’s events! I hope you had a wonderful, safe night full of trick-or-treating (or handing out candy, or sitting fireside with a nice glass of wine), too! Those being affected by Sandy right now, you are in our prayers.
First up a few halloween decoration shots from around the house. We didn’t go crazy this year, just a few sprigs of black spray painted fake flowers to mix in with the usual mantel decor (made those guys a few years ago) and a couple of pumpkins (that we can keep up through Thanksgiving).
I also added a few Halloween additions to the gold dipped pumpkins on the buffet…
And spent most of my time decorating outdoors on our new deck! Look at that baby, she’s finished! Needs a coat of stain but she’s ready for a Halloween party.
A few globe lights and white paper lanterns in the trees and near the fireplace, too.
And a row of candles, burlap and black frames for the NEW table that Kevin built for the side yard (more on that to come!).
Then our little trick-or-treating crew began to arrive!
And soon we had the entire gang. No one was very happy about the obligatory group pic.
(Check out these same babes just a couple of years ago. Some of them weren’t here just yet…)
And then off to trick-or-treat! Forgive the blurry photos, I didn’t realize my focus wasn’t set correctly until the night was through.
We actually went through a few costumes with Liv before she agreed to dress up for Halloween, and even then it was as her friends were arriving that she put on her final attire (nothing like a little peer pressure…). My first costume for her was a cute little cupid outfit (with momma and daddy wearing hearts that connected), but I should have realized earlier that the tiny wings were just too overwhelming and would result in tears every time we pulled them out of their box.
Soooo plans b & c were a cow costume that Mimi (Grandma) sent or a duck (thank you for Killer B for the fabulous last-minute inspriation!). Liv decided no cow (they’ll work great as PJs) and so we went with the yellow and pink wings that resulted from my morning felt fest (while on a conference call with our main office with my regular 9-5 job… shhhhh don’t tell).
The process to create the cape was quite easy. I first cut enough ‘feathers’ to cover my cape template (which was basically a slightly curved rectangle) and applied a simple stitch to hold each overlapping feather in place. A ribbon at the top allowed me to tie the cape around Liv’s shoulders.
At the last minute Liv wanted to wear her owl cap (a previously brainstormed costume), so we added a turquoise belly and brown pants to her outfit and turned her into an owl!
Which she was keen on and we were all happy.
After candy sorting, it was time to continue the party and share a delicious potluck dinner.
Followed by delicious Halloween desserts! Nice job, Steph and Melanie. Below are adorable owl-oreo cupcakes and nutter butter ghosts. We also had little mini cupcakes and delicious creamscicle cocktails that I neglected to photograph.
That’s our Halloween! A fun night with great friends and a lively street full of trick-or-treaters. And just in case you’re wondering, that’s Kev above in his last minute costume as Ron Burgundy/Ron Swanson in the wig and mustache. You stay classy, San Diego.
Happy day after Halloween .
Tags: Crafty Solutions, Decorating, Desserts, DIY, Halloween, Parties & Entertaining
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Family & Friends, Holidays, Olivia, Parties & Entertaining | 1 Comment »
Happy Friday! We have had such a busy week here at the house – a new wall is near built! We just poured the concrete footings for a little raised garden bed and we’re about ready to officially start on the deck. Plus the house is alllmost finished with its exterior painting and we’re on to the windows next (still undecided on the trim – but thank you for the comments and emails! they have been really, really helpful).
Before the weekend arrives, I’ll send you off with a Friday Guest Blog Interview with none other than Monica Pedersen, the talented author behind Make It Beautiful and a designer on HGTV’s “Designed to Sell”. I am honored to have her join me at PDB today.
Monica is also a co-host of HGTV’s Dream Home Giveaway and HGTV’s Bang 4 Your Buck. She joins us to share more about her passion for entertaining and how she incorporates fashion, textiles and favorite trends into home decor choices and beautiful parties. Plus a few sneak peek images of Monica’s newest coffee table book…
On to the interview!
Tags: Dinner Parties, Guest Blog, Guest Interview, Parties & Entertaining
Posted in Guest Blog, Interview, Parties & Entertaining | Comment »
And they’re gluten free. But don’t let that deter you my wheat-eating comrades, these guys are amazing.
My good friend Anna recently threw a party for her son’s 2nd birthday and featured these chocolate treats as the dessert.
They were so delicious. Rich, moist, flavorful and – dare I say, healthy? okay not quite, but with ingredients ranging from your traditional sugar and eggs to mashed ripe bananas and nay a stick of butter in sight, I’m counting it.
After discovering hers and her son’s intolerance to gluten and dairy, Anna has found ways to substitute key ingredients in delicious recipes to create yummy meals. The secret behind these doughtnuts? A fabulous cookbook that she recently lent me by Silvana Nardone, editor-in-chief of Everyday with Rachel Ray and author of Cooking for Isaiah (check out Silvana’s daily blog here):
Other than the unique flour blend that Silvana has created (which I’m thinking I can substitute with white flour – funny that I’m trying to re-gluten a gluten-free recipe?), the ingredients are basic: eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, baking powder, ground cinnamon, salt and bananas.
Banana Doughnuts (from here)
Makes: 12, Prep Time: 15 minutes, Bake Time: 15 minutes
1¼ cups Silvana′s Gluten-Free Flour Blend
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups mashed ripe bananas (3 bananas)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350 °. Grease 2 nonstick, 6-count doughnut pans. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon. In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs, 1 ¼ cups mashed bananas, 2 teaspoons vanilla and the oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Spoon the batter about three-quarters full into the prepared pans. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out dry, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool completely on a rack.
¼ cup boiling water
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped (about 1 cup)
2¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1½ tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Stir together the boiling water and chocolate until melted. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and add the corn syrup and vanilla; stir until smooth.
Set doughnuts on a rack over a baking sheet. Dip the doughnuts in glaze and set on the prepared rack; top with sprinkles. Enjoy!
Yum. And more photos from the adorable birthday party!
Favorite details include paper lantern hot air balloons (holding little dinosaurs who are each peering over the edge) hung up in the trees and a scrabble mat that doubled as a brightly colored tablecloth (above).
Happy Birthday Mr. Gavin!
PS he’s Kevin and my’s godson, which gives me even more bragging rights.
So handsome. This is my favorite picture from the day.
Have you been surprised by any alternative ingredient recipes lately? I must try these doughnuts again soon.
Tags: Decorating, Desserts, Green, Kids Party, Parties & Entertaining, Red, Yellow
Posted in Family & Friends, Weekend Fun | 4 Comments »