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August 2008
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October 2008

September 2008

A Dazzling Discovery

I'm so excited to tell you about "Krafts by Kara". A friend of mine recently started selling her unique and artistic "krafts", and we are so glad she did. Currently she is selling baby/children's blocks. These would make a fabulous addition to any nursery or children's room. They can also be personalized! To see more "Krafts by Kara" and check out her blog, click here.

A one of a kind baby gift.

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Ghost Cupcake Cake

This ghost is so cute! Its great for a party because you won't be stuck slicing. Also less messy for the kids. Would be great for their school Halloween party!

1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar, sifted (4 to 4-1/2 cups)
Black decorating gel
5 OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided

PREPARE cake batter as directed on package. Add dry pudding mix; mix well. Spoon evenly into 24 paper-lined medium muffin cups. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

BEAT cream cheese, butter and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition. *Instead you could also buy the premade icing!

ARRANGE cupcakes on large serving platter or tray to resemble a ghost as shown in diagram. Spread with frosting. Use decorating gel to outline the mouth on the cupcakes. Finely crush 3 of the cookies; sprinkle inside mouth. Place remaining 2 cookies on cupcakes to resemble eyes. Store in refrigerator.

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Fall Wedding Inspiration

Fall is the most beautiful time of year in my opinion. The colors of the leaves and the cooler temps are energizing. This time of year urges me to get outdoors and go exploring in nature. It also brings out my creative side with decorating inside and out for the season. While I was decorating our home this year, I started thinking about how pretty it would be to have a Fall themed outdoor wedding at night. The colors are so warm and its a great time of year for candles. The ideas are endless! It seems most people get married either in Spring or Summer. Why not Fall? With these pictures from marthastewart.com its hard not to get inspired for a Fall wedding! Enjoy!

This table setting is absolutely beautiful!

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This bouquet really incorporates the colors of Fall.

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These boutonnieres are my favorite-especially the acorn one.

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Why not throw leaves instead of flowers?

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A Dazzling Discovery

Apple Votives

I discovered this at marthastewart.com. It is such a great idea! A twist on the traditional Halloween carnival favorite: bobbing for apples.
You take a steel tub, or you could use one of those metal drink tubs, and fill with water and apples with votives in them. This would be great on a front porch for a Halloween party or for trick or treaters. It would also be great on a deck or patio. Martha's website said to test the apples first to see how they float, then mark the top with a dot. Place your votive over the dot and cut around it with a utility knife, cutting down as deep as the votive. Then spoon out apple to fit votive inside. Squeeze lemon juice into the cut part to prevent the apple from turning brown. Then insert the votive and light. What a warm inviting sight! I cannot wait to try this!

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An Easy Fall Centerpiece

I am not the craftiest of people but I love crafts, especially when they are this easy. It ads a special touch when you know you made something yourself.
For this centerpiece I purchased an artificial white pumpkin, floral sponge and artificial branches with leaves, acorns and pinecones. I cut the top of the pumpkin off and inserted the floral sponge. Then I trimmed my branches to fit and inserted them. Voila! An easy Fall centerpiece that's homemade!
Another idea would be to use a real pumpkin and real flowers. You could cut the top of the pumpkin off and hollow it out. Then place cut stems from mums or your favorite flower. Just add water. You could even get smaller pumpkins and cut your stems shorter and set them around your house instead of just using them as a centerpiece. Here is a picture of my creation. Enjoy!

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Another Fall Cocktail

I know there are a lot of people who love pumpkin pie-how about in a drink??? I found this on Rachel Ray mag.com. I haven't tried it yet, let me know what you think! Would be great for a Halloween or Thanksgiving gathering..

Pumpkin Pie Martini

Makes 2 drinks

Ice cubes
2 ounces (1/4 cup) vanilla vodka
2 ounces (1/4 cup) crème de cacao
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Whipped cream, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add the vanilla vodka, crème de cacao, heavy cream and pumpkin pie spice and shake well.
2. Dip the rims of 2 martini glasses into a bowl of whipped cream. Strain the cocktail into the glasses

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Creepy Cocktail: Vampire Kiss Martini

Halloween is right around the corner and I am so excited! It is one of the most festive, fun times of the year. There are so many ways to transform decor, food and drink from ordinary to extra creepy!

Here is a cocktail recipe I found on foodnetwork.com, it is from one of my favorite shows: Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee. Enjoy!

Vampire Kiss Martini

1 part vodka, chilled
1 part Champagne
1 part Chambord
Garnish with wax teeth/candy corn/blood orange slice

Pour vodka in a martini glass, top with Champagne and pour a little of the Chambord over the back of a spoon to make it float.

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Rubber Ducky Baby Shower

I recently threw a rubber ducky baby shower for a friend of mine. She does not know what the sex of her baby is so I figured the ducks would go either way. We had it at 11 AM and served brunch. It turned out great! I got the ideas for the fish bowl centerpieces from hostessblog.com, I just changed them up a bit...Here are a couple of pics of the decorations. Hope they give you inspiration for your next baby shower!

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Olive Oil Dipping Sauce

This from a good friend of mine-thanks Nicole!

Olive Oil Dipping Sauce
Combine all ingredients, except oil, in a bowl
pour olive oil over mix
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 -1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Great for dipping French or Italian bread.