Thursday, October 31, 2013

Simple Thanksgiving Decor {Free Printables}

Happy Halloween!!

Are your kids pumped up for the big day? My boys have a Halloween parade, trick-or-treat and parties today at school. Then later this evening, we're going trick-or-treating (again!) with friends. It's bound to be a fun, full and sugar-filled day! :)

Now, onto something completely different... Thanksgiving! Well, Thanksgiving décor, that is. I absolutely love to dress up my mantel. You could say that I'm a mantel-aholic. (Yes, I just made up that word. Roll with it.)

(See, I wasn't lying!)

About 6 months ago we relocated our TV to above our mantel, which proved to be quite the challenge for this mantel decorating fiend! But, it didn't deter me and I've still found a way to make our home look festive for the holidays, even with a big screen smack dab in the middle of my showpiece.

I used things I all ready had on hand, plus the addition of a few pumpkins from the market and some printables that I whipped up on the computer. :)

I created this banner on my Silhouette. Instead of a cut file, it's printable... so even if you don't have a Silhouette, you can still print it off to hang on your mantel. The files are below, for you to use! :)

I love using books in my decor. They look beautiful and once you remove their paper covers, you can usually find just the color you need to go with your decor. The little squirrel is from JoAnn's and the small picture behind it was a $1 Goodwill find from a few years ago.

I whipped up this little Thanksgiving printable in Silhouette, too. The file is below if you'd like one of your own!

Right click, print and display! This will print it as an 8x10

Near our front door is this little sofa table. I use it to create vignettes throughout the year and this is what I came up with for Thanksgiving. 

Burlap wreaths are all the rage this year, it seems! This one was a labor of love and I really do LOVE it! I used orange chevron burlap to create petals, then hung a festive "Autumn Greetings" sign on it and topped it off with a big burlap bow. It's for sale in my Etsy shop, if you'd like one of your very own. :)

 Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek at my Thanksgiving decor!

Have you started decorating for Thanksgiving? Are you a mantel decorating fool, too?

                                                       Sharing with these lovely parties:
                                                            Moonlight and Mason Jars
                                                               The Crafty Blog Stalker
                                                      A Little Bird Told Me Wednesday

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Easy Crockpot Applesauce {Recipe}

One of my favorite things about fall, is apple season. Growing up in the midwest, we frequented the apple orchards a couple times each season. We brought home bushels and bushels of apples and made so many yummy treats with them. My favorite quick apple recipe is baked apples and you definitely can't forget about homemade applesauce.
Miss E's first trip to the apple orchard before we moved :-) 
Living in Texas, we really don't have any apple orchards around, so no apple-picking trips... But we do have some great farmer's markets and a local whole foods, who bring in apples from the midwest and northeast. And because it's apple season... they were on sale for 78 cents a pound! So I picked up about 20 lbs of apples, (fuji, honey crisp, and macintosh were my choices), and went to work...

This applesauce is the texture of a chunky applesauce, but with the taste of baked apples in brown sugar and butter. It's amazing! Best of all, it's pretty easy to make. I adapted the recipe from Southern Food to fit my taste and quantity of applesauce because I planned on canning mine.

Here's my ingredients:
15 lbs of apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup water/apple juice

First, I washed, peeled, and cored my apples. I used an apple slicer, so they were in nice uniform slices.  I made sure to check that all of the core was removed. No one wants a little hard piece in their bite!

Next, I used my multi-chopper to chop up all of the apples.

I mounded the apples in the crockpot & added the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and water. Stirring occasionally, I watched as the apples boiled down to a gooey masterpiece. I cooked mine on low for about 8 hours. After they cooked, I mashed the apples and used a stick blender to make it more saucy, but still chunky.

This delicious applesauce will be a fall staple in our household. We love finishing a meal off with this warm applesauce as a special dessert for the kids (and grownups). If you're not into canning, this would be super easy to do in smaller quantities, and even quickly on the stove.

What are your favorite fall recipes?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Much Ado About Monday {No. 33}

It's Monday Funday!

Welcome back to Much Ado About Monday, we are excited you are here and ready to party with us!
Our family had a very busy weekend. I helped my sponsor at a Scentsy booth the first half of Saturday, and no sooner than I got home from that, I transformed in to Wonder Woman and off to our Annual Halloween Party we went. Here are a few pictures of all the fun we had!

Sunday my entire family slept until 9. I don't know how, I have no tips, but seriously, that must have been some kind of party we went to :)

Our church has an annual Trunk or Treat and Fall Festival that we attend every year. The kids really enjoy all the fun games and of course begging watching in awe as candy falls in to their bags at every stop we make. The laughter and smiles at each car make it worth every minute :)

My Super Hero Family :)

I don't know about you, but I wish Halloween were on a Monday this year. Not because I don't love it or anything, but really, we have something Halloween related At least the kids are getting great use of their costumes!


Have you entered our Giveaway?? Today is the last day, you have until Midnight! Be sure to enter, you don't want to miss out on a great gift!


If you happened to miss our Friday Features, be sure to go back and give them some love! As always, they are awesome! And if you were featured, be sure to grab our button :)

And now on to what you came here to do... PARTY!
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Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Features {No. 32}

Here we are again. Another Friday is upon us! I can't believe it's almost Halloween, can you?? This weekend we're attending our Fourth Annual Family Halloween Party with all of the other families in our playgroup. All of us Huckleberry ladies will be in attendance with our hubbies and littles in tow. My boys will be going as Curious George and The Man in the Yellow Hat. They LOVE their costumes and are excited to show them off at the party.
 It's bound to be a great time! :)
This week we shared with you five FREE Halloween printables to get your home decorated for the upcoming holiday! Be sure to check them out and print off your favorite to display on your mantle.
 Jill also created a pair of fabulous pallet pumpkins that you just HAVE to check out! :)

Halloween Printables | Pallet Pumpkins
And now, onto our features!

Karla's Pick
Candy Corn Paper Napkin Wreath via Just Dip it in Chocolate

Emily's Pick
Caramel Corn Puffs via Life With the Crust Off

Jill's Pick
Halloween Pom Pom Fruit Spiders via TiTiCrafty

Lydia's Pick
Cream Cheese Monkey Bread via The Craft Dictator

Jamie's Pick
Monster Pumpkin via Pams Party and Practical Tips

Thanks so much to all of you who shared your beautiful projects, delicious recipes and helpful tips at this weeks party. If you were one of our featured posts this week, be sure to grab our button below and display it proudly on your blog!
Also, don't forget, our giveaway for a KitchenAid Stand Mixer ends this weekend! Be sure to enter if you haven't all ready!! :)
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

DIY Pallet Pumpkins

Next week is Halloween! Where did the time go? We still have to carve our pumpkins! Hopefully we'll get a chance to this weekend, before we head off to a spooktacular halloween party with the kids. I know we will have a blast, and the kids are going to go nuts over the decorations, just like they had a blast putting webs and spiders all over our bushes and front door. The newest addition to our fall yard decor are these super cute pallet pumpkins:

I love that these will carry into Thanksgiving and don't have to be taken down after halloween, like those creepy crawly spiderwebs. They only took a few hours to complete, and the total project cost us less than $7. Here's a breakdown of materials:

Pallet- free
Hinge- free, on hand
Paint- $7 we bought two samples and used what we had on hand 
Burlap ribbon- free, on hand from another project

First, we chalk-outlined the shape of a pumpkin on the pallet. Nothing perfect, just an idea.

My husband jigsawed around the outline, and numbered each board to keep them in order. 

He attached three boards across the back of the pumpkin to keep the pallet together.

We rounded all of the corners with the jigsaw. This gave lots of character to the pumpkins and really helped them look more recognizable.

Next, we made a stem out of a scrap from the pallet, and attached it with a few screws.

I came up with the idea to attach a stand to the back with a hinge. This way, when it's time to store the pumpkins, they won't take up much room! Yay for more attic space!

We figured that the big pumpkin needed a small friend. 

Next, I painted the pumpkins in alternating orange paint and topped them off with a green stem. A burlap bow added the perfect finish to these cute pumpkins. 

I'm so happy with how they turned out! 

Hope you all have a great weekend :-) Any cute pumpkin-carving ideas?