Whirlwind Halloween

This Halloween came up way too fast for us!  Last year, I was able to take our son out every weekend to do something different in October either celebrating Oktoberfest or Halloween parties; I was 7 months pregnant, and it was hard, but I knew it was probably the last time for awhile that we’d be able to do so much.  I was right!  This year we did the bare minimum as far as parties and events go, and still had a hard time keeping up with the baby!

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Ninja Turtle karate moves on the way to his indoor trick treating fun.  I love the versatility of Halloween, how easy it is to do different costumes, especially if you save them from year to year.

I did cat makeup on the Eve of Halloween for our son’s party with his friends.

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It was so much fun, seeing all the little kids in their costumes is always my favorite part of Halloween.  I love seeing them having so much fun.

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We gave out candy and stayed for some of the games and fun while the kids chased each other around laughing and screaming.  We left and dropped the kids off with their grandparents.  It’s extremely rare for my husband to have the chance to have a weekend off around Halloween – so we took advantage of it to spend some time together alone.


And then it came to the big day!  Halloween night was finally here!  The boys wore their ninja turtle costumes and I changed into a Greek goddess costume my son picked from my closet for me.

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And of course, golden sandals 😉

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It was the perfect, gloomy start to a spook-filled night.

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The baby loved it – brave little one.  ❤

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They got lots of candy last night, and an eye-full of adventure to last another year.

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And then we were home. 🙂

Halloween Cookie Cakes


This month we’ve made a couple of cookie cakes – one just the size of a personal pizza, and then one really large one (the size of a pizza pan) for a party.  These taste amazing, from a homemade chocolate chip cookie dough recipe from GOOP.  It’s truly easy to do – easier than making cookies even because it takes less time!  And yet it tastes richer than the commercial cookie cakes they overprice.


Tate’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Read original issue here


makes about 40 cookies

  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) lightly salted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (Nestlé can’t really be beat)


1. Preheat the oven to 350º.

2. Whisk the flour, soda and salt together in a bowl.

3. In another large bowl, mix the butter with a wooden spoon to lighten it a bit and then mix in the sugars.

4. Add the water, vanilla and eggs to the butter mixture.

5. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined and then fold in the chocolate chips.

6. Spread all of the batter evenly across a foiled, greased pizza pan.  It should be about 1/4″ think.

7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the center is firm and the whole cookie is browned.

8. Let the cake sit in the pizza pan to cool, and leave it in the pan for easy transfer (cookies break).

 Recipe adapted from Tate’s Bake Shop.

Our pictures of this baking pleasure!  My son loves this first pic… says it reminds him of how good it tastes 😉


It takes only a few minutes to whip up the batter (the only thing that takes awhile is waiting for the butter to soften to Room Temp – but that can be sped up with the microwave).  You can also use any kind of chip… peanut butter, white chocolate (which is divine!), M&M’s work well, or caramel chips.  Doing it homemade gives you endless options to make this your own special cake.


If you’re worried about decorating it, don’t worry – with the variety of icing tips out there, you will be able to make a pretty design.  Start with the edges… this is just a simple “star” tip (a classic one at the store) and you just get used to pressing only for a second and out will come this little design.




For me, I’ve practiced the ghost busters logo, but it’s also easy to write on cake, outlining the letters with another (skinnier tipped) color.  Sprinkles add a great dimension as well, and your kids will love putting them on!


And the end result!






Best Halloween Oldies Kid’s Will Love Today

worst witch cat

Worst Witch (1986)

Before there was Harry Potter & Hogwarts, there was another school in Britain for young witches, a prestigious all-girls academy run by Headmistress, Mrs. Cackle.  The story follows one girl, Mildred’s, transition from feeling like a failure at everything, or literally, the worst witch in the school, to becoming herself and finding her confidence in her powers.  It’s a great movie for girls and boys, and no bad words to worry about.

worst witch potions

They even have a Potions class, much like Professor Snape at Hogwarts.  It’s adorable & my son loved and laughed throughout it!

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Like any good movie, there’s a villain, Mrs. Cackle’s evil twin sister, who wants to destroy the school and ruin the young girls there.  Her song she sings is addicting

Mr. Boogedy (1986)

A spooks & jokes salesman moves his family into a haunted house – aside from driving his family crazy with his terrible jokes and tricks, he finds out himself what its like to have tricks and jokes played on him and his family.  The house has a history of cursed enchantment on it, with a mystery that his children have to solve.  It’s a spooky movie (especially for really young kids) so if you choose to watch this one, make sure you all watch it together so they can hide under blankets if its too scary.

My son loved this one, but Mr. Boogedy himself is a pretty gross ghoul!

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Beetlejuice (1988)

One of my personal favorites, Beetlejuice is hilarious and creepy – another perfect Halloween movie for a family.  There is some potty/sexual humor, and one bad word in the movie – but I remembered none of this when I was young and watching it.




I loved the young Winona Ryder in this movie – she was perfect for the part of the emo-teenage girl, who possesses a kind of gothic beauty all of her own


The best part is the song from the movie Day-O (The Banana Boat Song).

Celebrate the Pumpkin

pumpkin cupcakes

I’m loving our Fall 2014!!  There is something about pumpkins and looking forward to the activities of October that just gets me pumped & excited!  Almost every weekend in October is full of plans and pumpkin-y things, from the first weekend when we picked out pumpkins 🙂 ❤ to Oktoberfest at the Beer Gardens this coming weekend, to Halloween parties – I want my son to really appreciate everything in each time’s season… not just feel like time passes by, but to learn how to have JOY in every season with all its unique changes and flair.

Soon, we’ll be posting us making the Pumpkin Spice (Latte) Muffins, complete with the video we use & the recipe.  We’ve already done our first batch of sugar cookies glazed with Dinosaurs, shields, and swords for my son’s Tuesday class once a week.  We’ll be posting a Frittata breakfast post – the perfect Fall morning treat aside with all its spices and warmth, along with Tamale Pie next week – with multiple ways to create it from “Yankee” aka – not really Tamale Pie, to Quick & Easy, to the real thing which uses the authentic masa.

Just this Wednesday, my husband and I were able to sneak away for a date night downtown.  It was peaceful and breezy – the perfect Fall evening – as we watched the river that runs throughout our downtown turn to black with the night sky.  It was a full moon that night, and we were able to just relax & enjoy each other, listening to the music and night life all around us.

Before we got to our destination, we walked through one of our favorite places, La Villita, or “the little village.”  This place has special memories for me as I used to dance there on weekends for performances.  This year they decorated every corner and front shop porch with pumpkins – I couldn’t resist capturing the memory!


This is what we saw when we first came inside La Villita… the beautiful vines in the backdrop, and the first of their pumpkin show.
















And an adorable, Halloween cat – this cat could easily have been named “Pumpkin” in my book.  ❤






The colors of the pumpkins are just so pretty in this picture – and how they slightly reflect on the white wall.  It was so beautiful.



Decorating our own pumpkins with Glow in the Dark glue!