Sunday, October 31, 2010

Easy Halloween Craft Idea

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I look forward to it year round, and some even say I dress like it's Halloween every day.
I have always wanted to be a witch. Not the kind from The Craft, although that is an awesome movie that I know every word to, but the old school pointy hat, black cat, making potions by candle light kind of witch.

I accomplished the first part a few years ago when I got Petey. He's my little Halloween Cat. This is him just a few moments ago. Isn't he the cutest?

 Anyway, the point of this post was that, while I'm not a witch, Halloween lets me pretend I am. With this simple craft that I did today you can pretend along with me.

I took 2 antique spice racks (yes, I collect spice racks and bottles. It's a little bit of an obsession) and turned them into potion racks!

This isn't the finished product, but it gives you a good idea of what I did and I promise after trick or treating I will post a completed project photo.

The rack on the right and the one in the photo right above this, is the "dry rack" this is what it includes:
Top Row Left to Right:
Hamburger Spice and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Dragon Scales
Onion Powder: Mummy Dust
Kosher Salt - Children's Tears
Cloves - Bone of Bat
Chilli Powder - Dried Virgin's Blood
These are my measuring spoons (dash, pinch etc) however I replaced those with rubber cockroaches.

Bottom Row Left to Right:
Bay leaves - Frog Skin
Fennel - Maggots
Chocolate Sprinkles - Rat Poop
Mustard Seeds - Eye of Newt
Mix of bay leaves, Fennel, Chili Powder - Zombie Flesh
Ground Black Pepper - Hallowed Ground

The other rack is going to be wet ingredients as well as completed potions which will be accomplished by adding different beverages to the bottles and/or water with food coloring.
I haven't come up with all of them yet but some of the names will be:
Love Potion #1
Love Potion #13
Black of Night
Old Hag's Cackle
Scream of Fright
Zombie Drool
Dragon's Blood
Melted First Snow
Liquid Courage

Add some cobwebs and voila! You have a great centerpiece for your Halloween Party. If I were having an actual party, I probably would have tried to use ice cream toppings in the jars and served a build your own sundae bar where the guests could make their own evil potions of yumminess. The liquid cabinet would probably be a lot of fun with alcohol that guests could drink as shots.

If you could have a magic potion, any magic potion, what would you want it to be/do?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Holiday Recipe: Candy Corn Cookies

With Halloween just a few days away and some parties coming up I needed something that was super quick and easy to make. Boy did I luck out!

I totally stole this recipe from the Betty Crocker Website

  1. Line 8x4-inch loaf pan with waxed paper, extending paper over sides of pan. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms.
  2. On work surface, place 3/4 cup dough. Knead desired amount of food color into dough until color is uniform. Press dough evenly in bottom of pan.
  3. Divide remaining dough in half. Gently press one half of remaining dough into pan on top of orange dough. On work surface, knead chocolate into remaining dough until color is uniform. Press over plain dough in pan, pressing gently to edge of pan. Refrigerate 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until firm.
  4. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove dough from pan. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice into 5 wedges. On ungreased cookie sheet, place wedges 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are set and edges are very light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container. 

How cool and easy is that?!

My new toy(s)!

Wilton's 50 Piece Tool Caddy Decorating Set!

I'm so excited! I finally went and actually signed up for the class. I splurged and bought the caddy instead of the Decorating Basics kit b/c I had a 50% off coupon and figured it was a good deal. The lady at the register said it had everything I'd need for the first course. WRONG. I still need to go and pick up a few tips and some parchment triangles but I think this was still a good way to go.

The way our classes are scheduled we'll be making a cake the day before Thanksgiving! How cool is that? I guess I know what I'm bringing to my family dinner this year.

Have you taken any of the Wilton cake decorating courses? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Holiday Countdown 2010!

That's right friends, it's that time of year! Halloween is less than a week away which means there is less than 2 months till Christmas. I am Christian so most of the plans will revolve around Christmas but please, don't let that discourage you if you celebrate a different Winter holiday. Basically everything I will be sharing with you here can be adapted to fit your needs.

This will be my first year using any of these formal tactics so some of us will be learning together. I would love to hear some feedback and your experiences and advice along the way. If you have a different version of something I suggest, please share! If you've used what I'm suggesting and it didn't work for you, or it worked amazing, tell us about it!

I'm going to start easy today. Today is all about STARTING your holiday planner.
I will be using a combination of forms found over at and

I already have a control journal so I'll just be adding my pages to a dedicated section of my binder. If you don't already have one, grab yourself a three ring binder. All of the pages I will be using or talking about are completely free to download and print.

So your first mission for today is to head over to and check out the Holiday Control Journal. Print out only the pages that you find useful, there's no need to waste paper or ink on things you won't read or use. I personally printed out the following pages:

Get The House Ready To Cruise Through The Holidays (it's a page on Crisis Cleaning, very useful)
Holiday Gift List (to Purchase)
Family Traditions
Catalog Orders Checklist
(I also printed out the Packing List to keep in my control journal year round)

Your next mission is to head over to and take a look at all of the options they have for Christmas planners. Try not to get overwhelmed with how much they have to offer. Just take a few minutes and see what they have. You can always go back and print out more pages later if you want to.
I printed the following pages:
Christmas Countdown 2010 calendar (it goes from Oct 24th-Dec 4th after that it's about celebrating not preparing)
Gift Closet Inventory
(I also printed out the Birthdays and Anniversaries page for my main control journal)

Next, if you have twitter, follow @ChristmasCntdwn b/c they will give you daily tasks to help you get your home ready for the holidays.

That's it for now. I don't want to overwhelm myself, or you with too many tasks. As flylady says, I can do anything in 15 minutes. (Much more than that and I lose interest) 

When you're done putting your holiday planner together, take a picture and post it in the comments. I'd love to see it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hip HOP Hurray!

I miss participating in all the fun hops so I figured I'd start again this week.

Smart and Trendy Moms

Product Review: Bubble Planner - The Big Bubble Edition

One of the main themes of my blog is organization and getting my life out of CHAOS. I can't even tell you how many planners I have gone through over the years in an effort to find one that actually works.
When I heard about the Bubble Planner something just clicked and I knew I had to have one.
It's not your standard planner, it uses thought bubbles, and mapping instead of simple lists. It's a very visual planner that helps organize your priorities, projects, and daily activities by catagory.

This section tackles your goals, not your to do list. It's a great way to map out your thoughts in an effort to help you achieve your goals rather than just list them and forget about them. There are pages after this that help you plot out the steps to achieve those goals.

This section takes care of your daily to do list. It gives you the 4 sections of your day to organize: phone calls, home tasks, computer tasks, and work/school tasks. There is also a section divide into 4ths like a clock to plot what you need to do when as well as a section for notes or any list you need to make.

There is also a section which I have found to be very enlightening and completely unexpected in a planner. It's called The Renew section and it covers Franklin's 13 Virtues. It helps you keep track of your habits and while some of them are a little strange to me, a lot of them are really nice to be reminded of. These are a few of my favorites...
Silence - Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.
Frugality - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself. i.e. Waste nothing.
Tranquility - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

There is also a regular montly calendar section that allows you to fill in the months and dates as you see fit, a weekly calendar section set up the same way as the daily time area,  a section to take notes, a section to list things you need to follow up on and who you need to follow up with, and a section to map out and plan your projects.

I love this planner and have been putting it to good use and would highly reccomend it to anyone who has not been successful using a standard planner. There are other planners available from Bubble Planner as well, one of which a few people have been asking about called "Bubbles for Busy Women" as well as one called "My Daily Bubble - Day Planner for Women". I hope to eventually review one of those for you in the future.

The Big Bubble version is a large planner - 8 1/2" x 11" . For those who don't need all of the features and who want a smaller planner there are options for you as well. However, I personally love this size since I don't have to struggle to fit everything on small pages. The binding is unique and awesome as it allows you to remove and move pages as you see fit without any hassle or need for a binder, but for those of you who prefer a binder, they have that option for you as well.

This product gets a 5 out of 5.

I received a free planner to review. No other compensation was or will be received. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

To Do Tuesday 10-21-10

Okay so it's a day late but whatever. I'm doing my best to stay on track here. Besides, it's still Tuesday on the West coast.

  • Mop the kitchen, office, and bathroom floors
  • clean/disinfect all of the lightswitches
  • give Jasmine a bath
  • Put a newcomforter on the bed
  • take old comforter to the dry cleaner
  • buy new pillows
  • write review posts for products that are sitting on my desk
  • figure out what to do for my birthday. 
  • figure out what to wear to the wedding this weekend.
  • figure out what we're doing with Jazzy while we're at the wedding

What's on YOUR to do list this week?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Something to look forward to :-)

I'm actually really excited about this...

I finally found someone to take the Wilton cake decorating class with! We'll hopefully be taking it in November. I can't wait! It'll be just in time for me to make something fabulous for Thanksgiving and the holidays. Maybe I'll even make myself a fabulous birthday cake.

Expect a LOT of photos and cake porn.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Product Review/Coupon: Printable Halloween Games

I was given the opportunity to review this set of Printable Halloween games
It's a great website that allows you the convenience of being able to just print these party games from your own computer. There are games for children, teens, and adults included in the pack so it's great for everyone.

 I really enjoyed the Halloween Newlywed Game as well as the Pumpkin Decorating Frenzy. I love the fact that games for all ages are included so that if you host a Halloween party you have all of your bases covered. The kids can be in one area playing these games and decorating their pumpkins while the adults are in another room playing their own games. 

It's a lot of fun and worth the $19.99 but if you click HERE you'll receive $5 off your purchase and get FREE Halloween Coloring Pages just for being a reader of my blog.

Disclosure: I received a free download of this product to review. I received no other compensation. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

This Product Was a Free Giveaway

Recipe: Bruschetta with Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella


  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • basil leaves, chopped or dried (I used dried but if I had fresh I would have used it)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  •  1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
  • olive oil  in a misto sprayer or have a brush to spread it


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • rinse and dice tomato
  • slice bread and place on baking pan.
  • lightly coat the bread with olive oil spray or with brush
  • bake bread till it is lightly toasted, around 5 minutes or so.
  • in a glass bowl combine tomato, basil, olive oil, and vinegar
  • add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • slice mozzarella  and place slices on the bread right out of the oven
  • spoon tomato and basil topping over the mozzarella
Serve and enjoy! Makes a great appetizer or lunch.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

To blog or not to blog...

that is the question right now.

How do you decide whether or not to share personal information on your blog? How do you decide whether the support of your readers and friends outweighs the fact that your family may be reading and find out things they did not know? How do you keep them from being upset? How do you know when something is supposed to be a secret? Have you ever been afraid that once you put it on your blog it suddenly becomes real? That you can't take it back and that once it's out in the universe there is no turning back? How do you face the fear that people will think you're writing about something just to get attention when really all you're looking for is support?

I guess I'm about to find out.

My mom has cancer. I may have mentioned it in passing over the past year or so, it's not the first time she has had cancer. She battled lung cancer when I was little, and melanoma when I was a bit older. She has survived massive heart attacks and diabetes. But this cancer is fighting back. This cancer is being a real asshole. A stage iv asshole to be exact.

I am angry. No, that doesn't quite do it justice. The anger I feel burns so hot I feel like I may explode. I want to scream. All the time. I want to punch walls. I want to break everything that I see. Yet, I silently cry myself to sleep, wake up in the middle of the night mid silent scream, and let the silent tears roll down my cheek throughout the day. With all this anger and sadness and fear that is just ready to explode, I am unusually quiet.

I have never felt more alone. While my husband and friends have been great, quick to offer "anything at all" in an effort to help. The only thing I need they can't provide. A mom that isn't sick.

I try to paste a smile on my face, keep a laugh in my voice, but I find it turning to a scowel, the laugh to an edge and I feel myself pushing people away.

I want to be like some of my fellow bloggers who are dealing with cancer in their lives who always talk about their faith in God and are always so positive and inspiring but I just don't know how. I don't understand how some of these women even get out of bed every day let alone find the time or the strength to make me laugh. Currently they are even making me angry and bitter.

This sucks. A friend said that to me today and it was one of the best things anyone has said at all. THIS SUCKS. It's so simple, yet so fitting and I wish I could scream it from the rooftops.

The only thing I ask is for prayers and good vibes for my mother. Don't waste time or effort or prayers on me b/c she needs your thoughts a hell of a lot more than I do right now. I know I made this post all about me, and how I'm feeling, but it is my blog isn't it?
Also, wear sun screen, stop going tanning, wear hats and long sleeves in the sun and get an annual screening for skin cancer. Go to for more information.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

I know that I've been MIA lately. I promise it's for good reason. As much as my blogging has suffered, my routines have suffered more. That ends tonight. 
My sink is shined. 
My lunch is packed.
My clothes are picked out.
My purse and work stuff is at my launching pad.

I am now drinking a cup of sleepy time tea and will hopefully be drifting off to sleep soon.
I have a few giveaways coming up. One of which isn't what some would call exciting, but it's health related and I think it's super helpful.  The other is for a company I have worked with in the past and am very excited about working with again.

I'd also really like to get some book reviews posted but I have the memory of a goldfish and if I don't write down the points I want to cover while reading the book, they rarely get written at all. I was thinking maybe I'll just post a quick personal review of why I did or didn't like a book and a really brief synopsis maybe even stolen from the publisher so at least you have some information about it. What do you think?

Lord Hill and I just got back from Walt Disney World. It's my home away from home. I always hate having to leave there and find myself feeling homesick when we return. Jasmine spent the week at my parents' house with my dad babysitting her. She LOVES him. He didn't think she'd want to come back to us! But she did. She is the cutest. Here's the most recent photo I have of her:

I want to start a Disney related blog but I'm worried I would spend all of my time writing about and researching Disney and then never get anything else accomplished b/c I'm THAT obsessed with it as it is. I can see it in my future... would you like to see my future?
Oh Spaceship Earth how I miss you....

Okay folks. That's all I've got for now. I'll be sure to make some posts this weekend and maybe even write a few in advance. I miss all of you and I'm trying to keep up with everyone's blog. If you have a post you think I must see or you want my readers to see please leave a link in the comments section!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Winner! - Pink Digital Key Chain!

Congratulations to From Tracie who said "Such a cool giveaway! I've been wanting one of these for a long time. =)I follow you through GFC! "

 The winner has been contacted by email and has 48 hours to respond. If I do not hear from the winner within that time frame I will draw another winner.

Thank you to everyone who participated!