Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spooky Halloween Dinner

Happy Halloween my friends! I hope you are having a spooktacular day so far! I started my morning off with a Pinterest fail. Yeah. It was ugly, but we got a good laugh out of it. More on that later. I may even provide a photo for your amusement so stick around.

Last night our family had our annual "Spooky Dinner". I love holidays and traditions and Halloween is no exception. Every year we have a different menu of Halloween themed "spooky" food. I try to never use the same idea twice although that's becoming harder and harder (ideas welcome!). This year we had our dinner a night early because of work schedules. If you're reading this today (on Halloween), you still might have time to pull this off! If you stumbled upon this post at a later time, save it to Pinterest or to your browser favorites because it's never too early to start planning for next year!

I went super simple this year. Like suuupper simple. Normally "Spooky Dinner" is something I prepare for weeks in advance but let's just say this year has been nuts. After helping with a church dinner for 450 people last night, my grandiose plans were looking about as likely as Miley Cyrus joining a convent. Yeah. Not happening. Then this morning my son had to run the missionaries to urgent care with my car. Five hours later, no car, no way to get to the store, my plans had to make a little adjustment. Flexible, people. We must be flexible. So I made this menu happen with 2 hours from the time I was finally able to get to the grocery store, to the time it was on the table. BAM!

You're going to love how easy this is!

I absolutely love a beautiful presentation and today I had to let that go. As much as it may have killed me, this is all I managed to put together for the table. The thing kids loved it! They're not going to remember how I set the table, they're going to remember the time we spent together and the traditions we loved. P.S. The tablecloth is a piece of fabric I found at a thrift store for $1! I love the pattern and dimension it gives the table.

Severed Fingers (like I said......"Spooky" Dinner)

Embarrassingly easy. Slightly disgusting. Slice or tear a small portion off the bottom of the hot dog (for the severed area). Slice marks into the hot dogs to resemble knuckles. Carve out an area at the top for the nail bed. Place in a pot of boiling water to cook the hot dogs until warmed through. The "fingers" really look great at this point and you could serve them this way, but I just took it a step further and placed a small piece of sauteed onion in the nail bed area and secured it with a dab of ketchup underneath. Squirt a little ketchup at the base of the finger and you have yourself a pretty creepy dish. My boys LOVED it!

Swamp Juice found  Here

This "Swamp Juice" recipe found over at Purple Chocolat Home was really easy to make and tasted great! Because of my time crunch I just put the punch in a punch bowI, filled a clear glove with water and froze it as an ice cube for the punch. If I had more time I would've taken advantage of the free Swamp Water printable Here.

Bloody Eyeballs
As much as I would've loved to tell you this is my grandmothers famous meatball recipe, you would see right through that. "See" what I did there? Pun intended. These are frozen meatballs with a pimento stuffed olive on top. The sauce is one of my go to favorites from the time my kids were little, but you could easily use another sauce or bottled sauce. Mix 1/2 C. grape jelly with 1/2 C. ketchup (can also use chili sauce), heat in a saucepan until warm. Pour over meatballs for that eerie bloody eyeball look.

Cobweb Dip Here

I used a very basic bean dip recipe from but you could use any recipe you prefer. I added guacamole to the top of the dip and piped sour cream on in a circular pattern. If you have a piping bag you could use that but I was too lazy so I scooped my sour cream into a ziploc and cut off the corner to drizzle it out. Drag a knife from the the smallest ring in the center to the outside of the guacamole ring to create the webbed effect.

I can't tell you how many pictures like this one are on my camera. Remember my last post? See exhibit A as to why I am never bored.

I froze Dollar store bugs in ice cube trays for a fun addition to the spookiness factor.

Bloody Intestines
I have to admit.....these look pretty gross! They were a huge hit though and they were the first thing gone. Use your favorite breadstick or pizza dough recipe (or use store bought). Roll dough into one large, winding, rope. Twist inside non-stick pan or pan sprayed with cooking spray. I used marinara sauce with garlic to surround the intestines and filled in between each fold. 

Isn't he cute? Store bought bread with store bought spinach dip. Did I mention embarrassingly easy?

Table overview

I found this adorable Halloween Trivia Game with printable cards and envelope at The Mother Huddle. We had a lot of fun playing this game while we ate and visited.

The soda bottle labels are leftovers from the large set I mentioned in my Halloween Decorating post here. They were purchased at Target found in their Dollar Spot. I love them and with 9 labels for $1, I won't feel guilty about tossing them and purchasing new ones next year.

Now as I is this mornings Pinterest fail. Have you seen this photo floating around Pinterest?

Halloween Treat Donut Face

It is a really cute idea that seems easy enough. Right? Ha! Not so much. Here's my attempt:

Feel free to laugh. I did! These poor little guys didn't stand a chance! I'm thinking Krispy Kreme doughnuts are too soft to hold the teeth in place. I put the vampire teeth in the center and within seconds they expanded all the way ripping the faces of those cute little guys right open. Mean ole teeth. One little guy had his face explode and his eye popped off right off and shot across the box. Sad day. It's a good thing Krispy Kremes can make anything better.
As much as I would've loved to have been able to prepare my extravagant, homemade meal that I had planned out in my mind and served it on a perfectly styled table, that wasn't my life today. I considered not posting this meal because of the dark photos and simplistic meal. To some, maybe this dinner is not "blog worthy", but the funny thing is, one of my sons told me he thought it was the best "Spooky Dinner" ever! We laughed, we enjoyed good food, we enjoyed each others company and most importantly we made memories. One memory that I will take with me is the fact that things don't have to be "perfect" to be perfectly happy.

Have a 'Boo'tiful day!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Faves!

Happy Friday! I hope you have had a great week that and your weekend will be even better! My husband almost always has to work on Saturdays so the weekend isn’t so thrilling anymore. Don’t get me wrong.....weekends are glorious if only for the sleeping in part. No alarm? That’s good stuff right there. But after the hubs is off to work, the teens are off to “hang out”, and the cleaning is done, it tends to get a little boring around here. Okay, I just lied. Twice. First off, the cleaning is never done. I repeat, never. I have these things called teenagers. Not only are they teenagers, but they are the boy kind. And they seem to multiply. Therefore the cleaning is never done. However, the absence of the smell of a boy’s locker room is good enough for me. Lie number two: It is never boring around here. I repeat, never. I have these things called teenagers. Not only are they teenagers, but they are the boy kind. And they seem to multiply. AND feed off each other. Therefore I am never bored. But when I can possibly justify it and my house is imaginary clean, I love to go onto Pinterest, a favorite DIY blog or scan the pages of a magazine. I love looking at pretty things, finding new tips or tricks, discovering a new recipe, or reading a review of a product I’ve been dying to try. It makes me happy. And my friends, I want YOU to be happy! So I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my favorite things I have found this week. Sound like fun? Let’s call it Friday Faves. Feel free to clap and shout with glee.

The Cottage Mix

Seriously? I die.  What's there not to love? All the white! Those floors! Those wood beams! The light fixtures! All of them! Perfection.

Favorite quote I needed to hear this week. 

Favorite website I'm excited to share  Here
Ladies, if you are not familiar with Jenny Bevlin, you're in for a treat. Her new website features all of her free, printable, customizable, monogram designs in one convenient place. This is gonna rock your world. Customize your own binder covers, phone chargers, calendars, luggage tags, etc. I love my monogrammed phone charger!

Home Alone Sweater With Double Layer Hood
Favorite Sweatshirt  Here

I need this sweatshirt in my life. Like for reals. This makes me want to curl up under a blanket, in an imaginary clean house, when I am imaginary "bored" and read a good book. Heaven.   

Favorite Bathroom  Here

I died again. I'm in love with the planked walls, the gorgeous tile, the light fixture, the fantasy of leisurely soaking in that tub. With the blinds closed. Very closed. 

Cinnamon and Sugar Mason Jar Shakers
Favorite Afternoon Craft  Here

Who doesn't love a project you can finish in one afternoon and likely have all the supplies on hand for? These powdered sugar and cinnamon & sugar shakers are adorable and super easy! Score!

Last but not least....... 

Drum roll please.........

NYC Applelicious Glossy Lip Balms  Here

Yes, I realize these might look like a gift for my 10 year old niece, but trust me you'll be hooked. I love these babies! I literally have like 10 of them. They're really moisturizing (Shea Butter, Jojoba & avocado oil) while providing just a hint of shine and color. Check out all the colors at the link above. Color 350 - Blushing Golden is my very favorite - but I warn you it has a touch of shimmer. If that's not your thing and you're looking more for a great nude (wait....that didn't come out right.....) color 351 - Caramel Apple is what I'd recommend. Heck! At $2.59 - $2.99 each - Get 'em both! Remember, I want you to be happy!!! 

What are some of your favorite things? I'd love to hear in the comments!

Have a great weekend!