Halloween Popcorn | Adventures in Pinterest

Happy one year anniversary to Adventures in Pinterest!

This project all started when Anna took on 30 Days of Pinterest last year and convinced me, Megan and Jessica to contribute. We all liked it so much we decided to continue tackling all the pretty things pinned on Pinterest. Some have been winners, some have not. Anyone remember the S’Mores Brownies?

With Halloween on the horizon, I’ve been brainstorming super cheap and easy alternatives to the Boo Bucket. Now, I don’t typically spend a lot of money on filling my boo buckets. My favorite filler is boxed cake mix, a can of frosting and some Halloween sprinkles but some people just want a treat they can enjoy right that very minute.

Hello, Halloween Popcorn.

I've been brainstorming super cheap and easy alternatives to the Boo Bucket and have come up with this yummy Halloween Popcorn recipe.

These are thousands of Halloween Popcorn recipes on Pinterest. I went to the store to get what I needed to make this version but as I stood in the candy aisle realized that I could make any variation of the recipe that I wanted to.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Popcorn

1 bag of microwave popcorn

1/2 bag Wilton Vanilla flavored Candy Melts

1 cup Peanut Butter M&Ms

2 cups pretzels

Halloween Sprinkles

This recipe is a total no brainer. Pop your popcorn, melt your candies, add your pretzels, candy and sprinkles. Let cool and eat.

I do have a couple of tips from my mistakes.

1. Skip the buttered popcorn. Your popcorn will be greasy and yellow, so just skip it and get the “natural” variety from Orville Redenbacher.

2. Sift your popcorn from the seeds.

I've been brainstorming super cheap and easy alternatives to the Boo Bucket and have come up with this yummy Halloween Popcorn recipe.

3. Mix your popcorn and melted candy melts in a large Ziploc bag – Shake & Bake style – and then spread it out on a cookie sheet to add the other ingredients.

I've been brainstorming super cheap and easy alternatives to the Boo Bucket and have come up with this yummy Halloween Popcorn recipe.

I've been brainstorming super cheap and easy alternatives to the Boo Bucket and have come up with this yummy Halloween Popcorn recipe.

Once it cools, bag it up into a cellophane bag and tie it with a bow. Each Christmas, my neighbor treats us to homemade candies and it’s a highlight of the season. I think a bag of this Halloween Popcorn will be gladly received by anyone.

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Talking All Things Boo

In this week’s episode of Long Story Short with Megan and Wendy…we’re talking about the BOO!

Do you dread the Boo sign taped to your door during the Halloween season?

Does “booing” your neighbors and friends fall in line with the absurdity that is known as Elf on the Shelf? Or worse, setting a leprechaun trap?

Well, we think 2014 is the year of the Boo and we’re breaking down how to create a boo bucket with a super simple boo bucket tutorial. Get on board with the Boo.

Halloween Boo Bucket Tutorial

You know what would be awesome, too? Giving us a thumbs up on this episode.

Easy Halloween Treats

We’ve hosted a kids Halloween party for some years now. I tend to go a little overboard because Halloween is fun and I like to make my guests feel like I’ve gone the extra mile for their enjoyment.

Halloween treats can make a big impact. But where to start? I usually choose a theme or color palette that will set the tone for food and decor. Last year, we threw a monster bash.

Candy Coated Monster Marshmallow Pops

Cake pops are cute but they are a lot of work. My friend Megan blogged about these marshmallow pops which are way easier to make with the same visual impact. I dipped regular sized marshmallows into green Wilton candy melts and stuck a few candy eyes to make Monster Marshmallow Pops. You can make these a few days ahead storing them candy side down on wax paper. On party day, I insert lollipop sticks and display in cups or lay on a tray.

How about a Boo Bucket? Watch here how to make one!

These semi-homemade Halloween treats are a party favorite and super easy to make. How cute are these Candy Coated Marshmallow Pops?

Mummy Cakes

What’s a Monster Bash without mummies? A couple years ago I made these mummy pizzas that were cute but too hard to assemble and keep warm for a big party of hungry kids. I used Little Debbie Fancy Cakes, Wilton Black Sparkle Gel and more candy eyes to create these mummy cakes. Tip: if you’re a crazy perfectionist – like myself – turn your cakes so the icing runs horizontal like mummy wrap. Can you spot the one mummy cake that doesn’t fit?

These semi-homemade Halloween treats are a party favorite and super easy to make. All you need is a box of Little Debbie snack cakes, candy eyes and cake decorating gel!

Frankenstein Cakes

Ok, so they don’t technically look like Frankenstein but those worried brows remind me of the big lug. To make these, I recommend Little Debbie Swiss Rolls instead of Hostess Ho Hos. The chocolate on the Ho Hos were often cracked and crumbly and their tube shape was inconsistent. I used the same Wilton Gel and candy eyes for these too. Tip: Refrigerate the cakes before and after putting the faces on them. The chocolate gets sort of sweaty and soft pretty quickly.

These semi-homemade Halloween treats are a party favorite and super easy to make. All you need is Little Debbie snack cakes, candy eyes and cake decorating gel!

Pretzel Witch Brooms

These are always a big hit, I think, because of the sweet and salty combination. This is the one treat that takes the most time to put together and they are gone in a flash when kids grab them by the handful. To make, I use pretzel sticks, Fruit by the Foot and a pair of kitchen scissors. Wrap the Fruit by the Foot around the tip of a pretzel stick and press together to adhere. Snip the fruit roll-up three or four times lengthwise to create the bristles. You’ll get 4 or 5 sticks per foot of fruit roll up.

These semi-homemade Halloween treats are a party favorite and super easy to make.

Pumpkin Fake-Outs

I’d be a horrible host if I only served snack cakes and sugar to my guests. A tray of these Pumpkin Fake-Outs made by peeling clementines and adding Sour Punch Apple Straws for the stem are surprisingly popular. Tip: I peel these the night before the party and drape a slightly wet paper towel on top so they don’t dry out. I recommend waiting to add the Sour Punch Apple Straws until close to party time so they don’t get too gummy. Tip: You’ll only need one package of Sour Punch straws because a little goes a long way.

These semi-homemade Halloween treats are a party favorite and super easy to make.

What do you think? These are pretty easy, right? You’re mostly turning store bought items into one of a kind Halloween treats!

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I wish I could claim all the creativity for these Halloween treats but I can’t. I saw the The mummy cakes and Frankenstein cakes first at Tatertots and Jello. Some links above contain Amazon affiliate links.

Yarn Hair Extensions for Kids | Adventures in Pinterest

My daughter is obsessed with adding a little flair to her tresses. It started last summer when she saw a commercial for Hot Huez. Well, those things are a hot mess and quickly ended up in the trash when blue chalk and messy hands met my bathroom walls. Then for her birthday last month, we took her to Studio Disney 365 in Downtown Disney for an up-do cemented into the shape of a bow. She was stoked on the pink and blue hair extensions they used and has begged to wear them in her ponytail every day since.

Last weekend, I saw this photos from @myfaveverything on Instagram and knew they would be perfect for my girl and this month’s Adventures in Pinterest!

photo 2

So, you’ll see Shanna commented on her IG photo that the yarn hair extensions were a Pinterest find. She credits this blog post from A Beautiful Mess for the inspiration. I still haven’t been able to find it on Pinterest though!

I hit my local craft store for yarn. I don’t knit or crochet but figured it would be easy to find some yarn for this adventure. Well, I learned quickly that the ball of yarn I got was really too thin to make much of an impact once the hair was braided. It was cute but not enough pizzaz.

pinterest-yarn-extensions

A quick run back to the craft store to get thicker yarn plus I had another idea!

I grabbed another ball of bright, multicolored yarn but still not exactly what I was looking for. I really wanted some old school yarn. Maybe I should have checked the craft section?

Since this new yarn was a little thicker, I only tied in five pieces instead of six.  I loved how bright and funky this version was!

vertical-yarn-extensions

There’s not much to it: separate the top ⅓ of the hair with a clip, tie the yarn across the mid-section of the hair close to the root (you can add as many ties as you want but my daughter has really fine hair so I was only able to get in five or six ties). Remove clip, lay hair on top of yarn pieces and gently braid hair.

Now for my hair brained idea! How much does your daughter love the movie Frozen? My idea was to tie in white pieces of yarn to create Anna’s signature white streak of hair! Here’s the thing…my hair styling skills are atrocious and I’m sure someone far craftier could create a way better version of this but my girl was over the moon pretending to be Anna!

annas-hair-tutorial

The idea is the very same here except you tie the yarn to only one side of the head above the right ear. Initially, I tied in two pieces but as I started to braid the hair, my daughter pointed out that it was too much and that Anna’s white streak was far more subtle. So, I just used one piece of yarn this time around.

anna-hair-tutorial

She had a blast being silly in Anna’s braids and then in a her coronation day hair style.

anna-frozen-yarn-extension

anna-frozen-hair-tutorial

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Adventures in Pinterest: Halloween Edition

Today kicks off a monthly challenge called Adventures in Pinterest!

Quick backstory: Last month, Anna from In The Next 30 Days challenged myself, Megan from MamaBub and Jessica from Chaos and Love Shop to actually execute one of the eleventy-billion recipes or projects we’re always pinning over on Pinterest. It turned out to be really fun. So, from that, a monthly challenge amongst friends was born. Want to play along? Work on your own project, write about it, and link up on October 30th.

Check out my project below!

adventuresinpinteres

While curating ideas and looking for inspiration for our annual Halloween party, I found this pin from the insanely talented ladies behind Eighteen 25. How hard could it be to make these yarn wrapped letters?

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 5.39.01 PM

I had a hard time finding the the cardboard letters. The ones I found at Hobby Lobby were only a couple inches tall and my plan was to put it on our hood just like the one in the Eighteen 25 photo. Instead, I found letters made of MDF that were plenty big for the space.

The problem? Wrapping yarn around those letters was incredibly time consuming (which is disclosed in the tutorial at Eighteen 25). It took me nearly an hour to wrap one of the O’s. And it was especially tricky in the curves of the letters. I tried a couple different ways and all looked terrible.

Plan B? Use a wide ribbon instead. That surely would take a lot less time to wrap the letters, right. True. But, those curves yielded bunchy ribbon and I hated it, too.

boo-letters-pinterest

Plan C? At this point, I’m pretty much over these damn letters but I want so badly to have them at my Halloween party. So, we painted them the same color as the yarn and the ribbon. Meh.

Plan C 2.0? Paint them with black chalkboard paint. Why chalkboard paint? I don’t know. For some reason, I thought the finish would look cooler than just regular old black. It didn’t. It just looks black. And it took like ten coats to cover the green paint.

I made the cute streamer bunting too but forgot to snap a photo before the string slipped out of the scotch tape and ended up on my floor. At second look, I actually think those are zeros instead of O’s.

Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know. I painted a couple of letters. But, I had the best intentions just poor execution!

boo-letters2

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Find Your Halloween Inspiration

I’ve been keeping my eyes out for that one thing that inspires the theme of our annual kids Halloween party. In the past, I’ve been inspired by a color combination or a piece of vintage-inspired scrapbooking paper. It’s usually just one thing that speaks to me. I’ve pinned a couple of things on my Halloween Pinterest board that has the wheels turning.

Do you see where I might be heading? 2013 is going to be the year of the Monster Mash!

monster-mash-halloween

The theme is the foundation for me. It helps me plan for the crafts, party decorations, food, drinks, games and goodie bags.

In previous years, I’ve put out color pages for the little party-goers but this year I think we’ll make these adorable DIY Monster Pencils from The 36th Avenue. Fun and affordable takeaways for our guests!

Halloween decor inside the house is almost as important to me as outdoor decor. I love these yarn wrapped letters from Eighteen 25. I have a hood over my stove exactly like the one in the photo! Totes doing the same thing. P.S. I freaking love Eighteen 25.

Party treats are huge for me. I want my guests to be wowed but what I have to offer them. I think these green popcorn from Paper & Parcel is a perfect snack for little hands. I’m still trying to decide if this is something that should go home with friends at the end of the party or if I want to serve it during the party. Hmm…green popcorn on my floor. What do you think?

Finally, I adore these Monster bottles from The Idea Room. I think I’ll  have guests guess how many candies are in each and send them home with the winners.

halloween-inspirationNow that I’ve got my theme, I can get to working on all the details that make a great party!

If you missed the first two posts in my Halloween series, be sure to check out Halloween Traditions: How to Make a Boo Bucket and How to Decorate for Halloween. This was only going to be a 3-part series but lucky you…next week I’ll wrap up the series with a peek into the freakishly awesome treats that have been served at my Halloween parties past.


Decorating for Halloween

Thanks for all the great feedback on my How to Make a Halloween Boo Bucket post! I think gifting cake mix is a pretty brilliant idea, if I say so myself.

It’s all about home decor in today’s post. This time of year kicks off months of rotating tchotchkes in our house. By the new year, I so do not want to see another holiday themed knick knack. In fact, our Christmas tree is usually down on December 26th because I am usually just done with it all. But, hey…it’s Fall so let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves yet.

Let’s start at the front of the house. I always fill up our bird bath with gourds. They are cheap and usually last several weeks, sometimes through Thanksgiving too. I’m thinking I could use a few more…the bumpier, the better.

decorating-with-gourds

I use chrysanthemums in various sizes as the starting off point for my porch decorations. The two urns are there year round but my black thumbs can hardly keep anything alive. Truth be told, these gorgeous chrysanthemums are usually dried out and dead by the time Halloween arrives. But, damn…it looks really good for a solid three weeks! I decorate the potted chrysanthemums with Halloween garden stakes and add tons of real pumpkins in various sizes. The skeleton and black cat (which is kind of hard to see) are reusable decorations that you poke into the pumpkins. I got them years ago from Pier One.

how-to-decorate-your-front-porch-for-halloween

I love Halloween wreaths for the front door and have two that I’ve used for years. We recently put in a new front door though and I was afraid of scratching it up with a wreath hanger. Maybe I’ll use one of those removable 3M hangers this year because I am loving these festive wreaths:

Googly Eyes Halloween Wreath by Number 2 Pencil

Chevron Halloween Wreath from Tatertots and Jello

Square Rolled Paper Wreath from That’s My Letter

Animal Eyes Halloween Wreath by Tried and True

Skeleton and Ribbon Wreath by Lil’ Luna

I usually wait until just a few days before Halloween to put out the spookier decor. Last year, I found these really cute sound-activated eyes that rattled anytime someone came to the door. I hid them in my chrysanthemums. The damn things would rattle when a car would drive by and I was always changing the batteries. This year, I think I might make my own glowing eyes using empty toilet paper rolls and glow sticks. We have tons of trees that these would look pretty cute in.

My absolutely favorite outdoor Halloween decoration are these witch and cat silhouettes from Martha Stewart. I think I first saw them on a MS Halloween cover years and years ago. Only if I knew how to use a jigsaw!

home-for-halloween

I’m pinning a ton of Halloween stuff on my Halloween Pinterest board. Come over and see what else is there! One more in this Halloween series: fun Halloween foods for your party.

Favorite Halloween Traditions: The Boo Bucket

College football on the television, Crock Pot recipes in the Pinterest feed, and a Pumpkin Spiced Latte on the Starbucks  bar…Fall is around the corner, isn’t it?

Looking back through my archives, I don’t think I’ve ever written about Halloween here on the blog. There was this post about my Mixed Up Feelings for the season, but other than that…nothing.

So, I thought I’d get on the broom stick early this year and share a couple of traditions we always make sure to do this time of year. Today’s post is a first in a series of three and I’m talking about Boo’ing your neighbors.

how-to-boo-your-neighbors

 

True story: Our house has never been booed. I remember seeing “BOO!” signs on our neighbors’ doors long before I had a kid of my own and couldn’t wait to start that tradition because who doesn’t like surprise gifts waiting on their door step. I figured we would do a few peeps and then we’d definitely get booed back. Two years since we started this tradition…still waiting.

We like to Boo our neighbors with treats they can make. While I think it’s special to give homemade goodies to friends and neighbors, do you really think someone is going to eat something left on their door step anonymously? Yeah, probably not. So, we pack up Halloween themed buckets (you can find them at any drug store or dollar section for a couple of bucks) and fill them with holiday themed cake mix and frosting. Cake mix and frosting is cheap, yo. Find a coupon and get yourself a couple of boxes. I think it’s fun to include Halloween themed cupcake liners and cupcake toppers, too. I’ve been lucky to find super adorable trimmings at Home Goods, Target, and Michaels. Dress it up with some Halloween tissue paper and ribbon and  you’re done – almost.  Local friends: if you find one of these baking Boo buckets on your door step…guess who it’s from!

step-to-building-a-boo-bucket

Now, you can’t forget the Boo sign! It’s the most important piece because you want your friends or neighbors to hang the sign on their front doors to let any other potential Boo’ers know someone has beat them to it. Also, I’ll think it’s kind of a non-verbal acknowledgement to say “Hey, we got your Boo bucket!”

The chandelier Boo sign we used last year came from The TomKat Studio. I thought it matched nicely with the swirly black and white tissue paper – cute, right? I’m including a couple of link to my favorite Boo signs out there too:

Orange and White stripes with Spiders from Grey Square Designs

Cartoon Frankenstein from Happiness is Homemade

Orange polka dots with black cat from Nola Mommy

Green with Black Bats from Anders Ruff

Simple and Cute Ghost for Neighbors or Office

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>Up next: Ideas for a killer, er…fun kids Halloween party including Halloween themed snacks and games! Be sure to check out my seasonal Halloween board on Pinterest too! I’m pinning tons of ideas for our annual party!

All Mixed Up for Fall


Fall brings mixed feelings for this girl.

I get why everyone loves it because I used to love it too.

As a kid, I was the one who looked forward to going back to school – and ONLY because I had hopes the new year would be somehow different than the previous. I secretly also wanted my friends and I to break into song out on the school steps wearing our pink jackets and black sunglasses a la “Grease 2.” I was such a dork.

As an adult, I adored the glowing sunlight on a late September afternoon. I had always loved Halloween too, so I took great pride in decorating our home for the occasion – even before we had a child. And speaking of, I REALLY wanted to have an October baby so that I could throw a ghoulish-themed birthday party like one I had seen in the movie “Hanging Up.”

My love affair with Fall ended though in 2008 when I was diagnosed.

I was completely blindsided and it crushed my well laid plans. That year was our baby’s year of “firsts” – Halloween (and no, I didn’t get an October baby but instead a January baby and we have rain on her birthday instead of falling leaves – but I digress), Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Those “firsts” went on as planned but it was definitely not what I had dreamt them up to be.

And here three years later, Labor Day behind us, and headed back into the season that changed me. It stirs up feelings I would rather just forget. I can’t help but look at the calendar and see October 15 as the day I was diagnosed, or October 23 as the day I had a 5 cm cancerous tumor removed from my left breast, or November 20 as the day nurse Rita injected two different chemotherapy drugs into my veins.

I hate that I haven’t been able to move on or forget just a little.

I desperately want to crawl under my blankets on those anniversaries but doesn’t that mean that cancer wins a little bit?  I can’t allow that.  So, this year I will look forward to the Fall like I used to. I will unpack those cute decorations, I will throw a ghoulish Halloween party for the little one, I will bask in the afternoon sun, and maybe I’ll even watch “Grease 2″ for old time’s sake!