DIY Easy Acorn Napkin Ring Tutorial

By Jess on October 30th, 2014

acorn napkin rings

Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to start thinking of how you want to decorate for the rest of Autumn and for Thanksgiving!

This super simple napkin ring from BHG is made from real acorns and takes only a couple of minutes to make. Doesn’t it look really difficult? It will impress guests for sure, plus they can be used year after year!

To make this natural napkin ring, drill tiny holes through the sides of nine or 10 acorns. Using wire, thread the acorns together, alternating the acorns top-to-bottom so they nestle together tightly. When you get to the end, just tie the wire in a little twist and hide behind an acorn. All set and ENJOY!

Easy Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Lantern Tutorial

By Jess on October 30th, 2014

glow in the dark skull lanterns

As many know, Dia de los Muertos (or the Day of the Dead) is celebrated on November 1st every year in Mexico. It’s been celebrated for over 4,000 years – long before Mexico existed! It is a celebration of life and it is a loved tradition with beautiful decorations and altars, parades and music.

If you want to teach your children about Dia de los Muertos (or learn about it yourself) this website is full of information on the history, traditions, and current celebrations. Then create these Day of the Dead lanterns to celebrate the lives of loved ones in your life that have passed on with this tutorial from Growing Up Bilingual.

What You’ll Need:

  • glass mason jars
  • black sharpie or other permanent black marker
  • glow in the dark sticks

Directions:

  1. To make these lanterns, just paint a fun sugar skull or calavera design on the front of the mason jar.  You can Google ideas for inspiration.
  2. Cut a glow in the dark stick and pour the glow in the dark liquid inside the mason jar. Close the jar tightly and shake it making sure that the liquid covers all the inside of the mason jars.  Put them out in the dark and enjoy the glowing calaveras!

Note: Make sure that you use gloves when you cut the glow in the dark sticks and do not let children handle them or cut them as the chemicals inside the glow stick can irritate skin and eyes.  Some glow sticks also have glass inside so be careful when handling as there might be glass shards inside the glow stick.  Proper safety materials like safety glasses and gloves should be used when recommended to protect eyes and skin.

DIY Easy Fall Rosette Wreath

By Jess on October 30th, 2014

fall colorful wreath

Make this colorful seasonal wreath for less than $10!

Here’s how:

  1. Start by downloading this rosette template from  to cut swirl shapes out of felt.
  2. Tightly roll the ends of each flower together and secure them with double-sided tape.
  3. Arrange your rosettes on a grapevine wreath and attach them with a hot glue gun.
  4. Add sprigs of fall berries and secure with hot glue to complete the look.

For the full tutorial, visit Crafting Mom!

How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds

By Jess on October 30th, 2014

pumpkin seeds

Most families like to save their pumpkin seeds from the pulp of their jack-o’-lanterns and allow them to dry. Then which recipe is the best for those pumpkin seeds? This 5-star rated recipe from Food.com is PERFECT and everyone will love it – simple, delicious, and traditional. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 1 cup of seeds):

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter (olive oil or vegetable oil also work well) or 2 teaspoons melted oil (olive oil or vegetable oil also work well)
  • salt
  • garlic powder (optional)
  • cayenne pepper (optional)
  • seasoning salt (optional)
  • cajun seasoning (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. It’s okay to leave some strings and pulp on your seeds (it adds flavor), but be sure to clean off any big chunks.
  3. Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or oil and seasonings of your choice.
  4. Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking sheet.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

Recipe: Pumpkin Bread Truffles

By Jess on October 30th, 2014

pumpkin bread truffles

If you like the taste of pumpkin bread, then you will love these truffles from GHK! Decorate them like mini pumpkins to for a beautiful Fall dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 9×5-in. (about 1 lb) loaf of cooled pumpkin bread (can be store bought or homemade)
  • 1 cup (about 8.5 oz) cream cheese frosting
  • 24 oz orange candy coating
  • 2 Tbsp chocolate chips or chocolate candy coating
  • 2 oz green candy coating

Directions:

  1. Break apart the pumpkin bread into small bits into a large bowl, then work gently between your fingers until it is in tiny crumbled pieces.
  2. Add the frosting to the pumpkin bread crumbs then stir together until well-combined and no streaks of frosting remain. The mixture should be moist and hold together if you squeeze it into a ball between your fingers. If it is too dry, add another spoonful of frosting to get it to the best consistency. Keep adding frosting until the mixture is at the right consistency.
  3. Use a small 1″ candy scoop or a spoon to scoop out small balls of the pumpkin bread mixture. Roll the dough between your palms until perfectly round, then place them on a parchment or waxed paper covered baking sheet.
  4. Stick the balls in the refrigerator and chill them for 2 to 3 hours or until firm.
  5. Put orange candy coating in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring every 30 seconds to prevent overheating.
  6. Use dipping tools or a fork to dip a pumpkin bread truffle into the orange candy coating. Let the excess candy drip back into the bowl, then place the truffle back on the baking sheet. Repeat until all of the truffles are dipped.
  7. Melt the chocolate chips or chocolate candy coating in the microwave, then stir the melted chocolate into the remaining melted orange coating to make a deeper orange color. Transfer the dark orange coating to a paper cone, piping bag fitted with a small round tip, or a plastic bag with a small hole cut in the corner. Draw piping of intersecting lines across the top of the truffles to create pumpkin creases.
  8. Melt the green candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl, then transfer it to a paper cone, piping bag fitted with a small round tip, or a plastic bag with a small hole cut in the corner. Pipe curls of green coating on top of each pumpkin to look like vines.
  9. Refrigerate the truffles briefly to set the candy coating.
  10. For the best taste and texture, serve the Pumpkin Bread Truffles at room temperature, and store extra truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe: Caramel Apple Nachos

By Jess on October 29th, 2014

Caramel apple nachos

Apple season is at its finest right now – so is “having too much candy around the house” season! Combine these into this delicious snack or dessert idea from The Pin Junkie. Of course, you can always change candy and apple types, and add or take off some of the toppings. The apple nachos would also be good with chocolate syrup or pre-made caramel sauce.ENJOY!

Ingredients:

  • 2 green granny smith apples, cored & sliced
  • half a bag of caramel
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips (or M&Ms)

Directions:

1.  Unwrap all individual caramels. Place them in a saucepan with one teaspoon of water over medium-low heat.  Stir the caramel constantly until caramels are completely melted.
2.  Drizzle melted caramel over sliced apples.
3.  Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and mini chocolate chips.

Recipe: No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Enchiladas with Caramel Drizzle

By Jess on October 20th, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Enchiladas

It’s Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING time! I bet you never thought you’d see Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Enchiladas!!! Well, here it is and it’s a fairly easy recipe, too. Thank you to Jamie at Love Bakes Good Cakes for this awesome recipe! Go over and tell her thank you from us. Also, check out her other pumpkin recipes. She has a ton!

Ingredients: (9-12 servings)

  • 1 pkg (8 oz.) of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • 2½ cups pf Cool Whip, thawed
  • 18-24 flour tortillas
  • 6 tbsp of butter, melted
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • Caramel sauce

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar and pumpkin pie spice with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Then gently stir in the whipped topping.
  2. Divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between the tortillas. Roll each tortilla up and put on serving plates.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the butter, sugar and cinnamon. Brush the mixture over the over the rolled tortillas.
  4. Top with caramel sauce, and either serve immediately, or cover and place in refrigerator until ready to serve. It’s that simple!

Recipe: Pumpkin Sheet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

By Jess on October 20th, 2014

pumpkincake with cream cheese frosting

It’s that time of year again — PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!!! Instead of going to the store or bakery, you can make your own super easy pumpkin cake at home with a recipe from Eat at Home.

Ingredients & Directions for Pumpkin Cake:

  • 16 oz can of pumpkin
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsp  of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  1. Beat the pumpkin, sugar and oil in a medium mixing bowl. Then add eggs and mix well.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the pumpkin mixture, beating until well blended.
  3. Pour into a greased 10×15 inch baking pan.
  4. Bake for 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees.
  5. Cool the cake completely and then frost it with the cream cheese frosting.

Here’s what you’ll need for the frosting:

Ingredients & Directions For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 5 Tbs of butter, softened
  • 3 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1-3/4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tsp of milk
  • Optional: Chopped nuts or fall candies for the top
  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together.  Add the vanilla and blend till smooth.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix well.
  3. Add the milk a bit at a time until you get it to a spreadable consistency.
  4. Spread gently and evenly over the cooled pumpkin cake.
  5. Optional: Add the nuts or candies to the top of the cake evenly or in a decorative fashion.

Fall Owl Wreath Tutorial

By Jess on October 20th, 2014
  • fall-owl-wreath

Try something new for your Fall decorations this year by making this simple owl wreath from Country Living. Here’s how:

Wreath base: Wrap burlap ribbon around a 16″ Styrofoam wreath form.

Eyes:

  1. For the first eye, using utility scissors, cut a 5″ circle from a sisal linen doormat.
  2. Trim a 2″ strip from the edge of a raffia table skirt, then hot glue along the outer edge.
  3. Next, hot glue the outer ring of a 4 1/2″-inch Mason jar lid inside the raffia, securing it to the sisal circle.
  4. Hot glue a metal bottle cap at the center of the ring and glue the circle with dried pumpkin seeds.
  5. Hot-glue a red wood bead inside bottle cap.
  6. Repeat for second eye.

Wings: Cut two 8″x 5″ teardrop shaped pieces from the sisal linen doormat.

Beak: Cut a 3″ triangle from the doormat, then hot glue with dried pumpkin seeds.

Assembly: In this order, attach the beak, then the eyes, and then wings, with hot glue. Enjoy your new Fall wreath!

DIY Halloween “Preppy Pumpkin”

By Jess on October 20th, 2014

If you don’t want to carve your pumpkin or you have a fake pumpkin to decorate, here’s a great, simple, and very pretty idea that you can imitate and create your own version with different colors and words. Thanks to Pomp & Circumstance Events for the cute idea. All instructions below are for the pumpkin in the picture with all black decorations.

What You’ll Need:

  • Pumpkin (real or fake in size of your choice)
  • Ribbon (black or designed)
  • Black paint (optional)
  • Sharpie (black)
  • Buttons (preferably black)
  • Hot glue gun & extra sticks
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. Write a word/phrase across your pumpkin of your choice. Write in size and design you want the letters to look.
  2. Use hot glue gun to glue buttons on top of the word/phrase you wrote in marker. Try to get buttons as close together as possible.
  3. (Optional) – Paint the stem black, then wait for paint to dry fully.
  4. Cut ribbon the length of the pumpkin
  5.  Tie ribbon in a bow around the stem and secure with hot glue.