Friday, October 31, 2008


So, is everyone ready for the big night?!!!? 

I'm still trying to get my house in order, not only for tonight but for the big party tomorrow. As usual, I allowed myself to become consumed with grand plans and was completely unrealistic about how much time I actually have to pull it all together (what with life and kids and a small matter of holiday card season!).  So I'm trying to take deep breaths and systematically do one thing at a time. Let's hope it works! If not hey, it's Halloween, aren't there supposed to be cobwebs in the corners and half-hung decorations?

Luckily, I do have time to offer you a couple of treats in honor of the big holiday! Just in case you're running around crazy at the last minute like me and most of the moms in America. First, as you're organizing your Halloween candy (or just running out to buy it!), don't forget about the many ghouls and goblins with food allergies. Be sure to pick up some allergy-free treats and keep them in a  separate container (for a list of safe treats, go here). And to let the worried parents of these children know that you have safe offerings for their little goblins, you can print out a sign like the one pictured above to hang on your door (download sign here). These parents will be forever grateful that you took the time to think of their little ones. Halloween can be a very scary day for parents of children with serious food allergies and not just because of all the werewolves and vampires roaming about!

Now that you have the candy taken care of, you may need a few Halloween cards for special neighbors, family and friends and maybe a little goblin or two. No time to run to the store? Not to worry. You can download this adorable little card from Blackapple. Just print it out and you have a hip, adorable card perfect for the occasion! I adore the illustration and the little ghosts on the back.

Haven't decorated yet? (boy you are behind schedule!) Print and hang this sweet (get it - sweet?) candy corn garland from Skip to My Lou and see my halloween printables post for more easy and fun decorations!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I would like dozens of cupcakes lovingly displayed on this cake
stand please.

Thank you
very much. ♥

Monday, October 27, 2008


Well it was a blustery Sunday afternoon but everyone persevered and as you can see, the photo shoot went great (despite Pumpkin's head cold and the huge scratch on Peanut's nose - thank you, photoshop). 

If you are in the Boston area, or are planning to be here, there are two things you must do.

1. Call photographer Amy Riley. She is beyond fantastic and talented and wonderful with children. 

2. Go to Brewster Gardens in Plymouth. It's a glorious location with so many beautiful little spots for photos. And the best part is that it is actually quite small, so it's not overwhelming. Oh, and the stream is perfect for leaf races!

I can't resist a shot like this! (bad mommy). But not to worry, daddy came to the rescue.

Not only did we get great shots of all three children together (for the first time ever!), but Amy captured their individual personalities beautifully as well. I'll give you a peek at those tomorrow.

I know, I know. But indulge me, ok? Just roll your eyes and pretend to be interested - I'll be none the wiser


I plan my meals for the week on Monday. I know it's odd, since Monday is actually a part of the week I'm planning for and reason tells you that my meals should already be planned. The reality is that in the dinner department, it is actually a huge victory that I actually plan meals at all. So if you're like me and just planning meals for the week, I have the best ever Halloween meal. What makes it so great? It has the best of all worlds: quick, delicious, nutritious and fun!

Ever since Bats and Cobwebs (a/k/a bowtie pasta and mozarella) was featured in Everyday Food Magazine, it has been a staple in our house. Not just for Halloween (although we wouldn't have Halloween without it) but as a hearty meal all winter long.  You can find the recipe here (serves 4, I always double it to serve our family of 5 with leftovers).

The best part is that you can make it ahead during the day and then just pop it in the oven to bake about a half hour before mealtime. No crazy preparation while you're getting ready for trick or treating!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

VOTE FOR _______________________.

For months now I've been trying to score I Wish I Could Vote shirts for my kids. Months. They never have the right combination of sizes and with shipping costs, I can't justify making separate purchases as each size is stocked. Well, I still haven't found shirts for my kids, but in an unexpected turn of events, I scored a shirt for me and my husband! I found myself procrastinating on the Gap website when suddenly I hear this great song! I click back over to the window I just minimized and there they were: Vote for ___________ shirts. The music, the scrolling list of fillers for the blank, it got me. Big time.

So I called the store and they informed me that yes, they did have the shirts. They just arrived this morning and each store only received thirty shirts. Yes! I called just in time (i'm not obsessing, really i'm not) and our shirts are on hold for us to swing by this evening after parent teacher conferences.

Seems like my VOTE t-shirt luck has finally turned. Off to try my luck on the kids' shirts again!

P.S. Head over to the to hear the song and see the ad. And here for buttons and celebrity video snips.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The insanely talented woman behind Grosgrainfabulous creates these beautiful pieces of art to giveaway! Go here to enter the Marie-Therese Gown Giveway just in time for Halloween!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Sunday, October 19, 2008


The Gal to Gal Foundation, an organization that I have been involved with through Wish Upon a Necklace for several years, is currently holding their second annual Virtual Walk! The Gal to Gal Foundation is dedicated to providing resources and support for women with stage IV breast cancer. I am in awe of the women involved in this foundation; they are nothing less than a dream team of dedication and good intentions.

The Virtual Walk is taking place from October 1st - October 31st and walkers will travel cross the country from Boston to San Fransisco, making stops in many major cities along the way. To participate, simply go to, have some fun designing your gal and join the walk with a $5 donation. You can join the Pumpkin Petunia team or start a team of your own and then follow your progress in the support of women battling breast cancer.

This year I am dedicating my walk to two lovely and courageous women, Donna and Alicia, who are currently fighting their own battles with breast cancer. Their positive spirit is an inspiration and I have no doubt that they in this to win. ♥

Friday, October 17, 2008


Here are a few fun projects to keep you busy this weekend!

Sewing Stars has generously provided the template for this adorable skeleton decoration.

Allsorts has a template for a great Halloween banner. I love how she strings it on ric rak! You could print these letters on any color paper and use them for any and every occasion.

And no holiday would be complete without a little Martha! There are so many templates on Martha's site to choose from, but I particularly like these fun noisemakers  (template here).

There are so many more I want to share, but I think this will keep you busy for a bit!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Over the weekend I was flipping through some boxes of old photos and came across this picture of my great grandmother. Look familiar? She's the image of Peanut isn't she? Or I should say, Peanut is the image of her. It's like this photo was taken just last year, and that's my kitchen floor, and that door in the back ground looks just like the door to my pantry...

OK, you've got me! This is Peanut! And it is my kitchen floor (but don't look too closely, please. I'd like to think it was freshly mopped, but who knows!). We took this picture last November to show her first black eye. You can see it if you look very closely at the left eye (well, her right, your left). The old photo conversion hides the black eye nicely though, don't you think?

So, I'm sure you're not too impressed. There are likely hundreds of Photoshop actions that can achieve this old photo effect. But here's the big reveal. This was NOT done in Photoshop. You do not need Photoshop or any photo editing software to achieve this effect. 

All you have to do is go to this website and be prepared to burn up about an hour turning all of your new photos into old ones! Oh, it only takes a couple of seconds for the conversion, but once you get started, it's impossible to stop!

The site is in Japanese, but the process is pretty self-explanatory. Browse for your photo, click the button below it and the conversion will appear in the space below that. Click on the blue button above the converted photo to save to your computer.

Have fun! But please no hatemail complaining that you just burned up your whole morning playing with this. You have been sufficiently warned, now your fate (and your procrastination) is in your own hands!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


{from Country Home Magazine via Urban Grace Interiors}

This would look incredible on the buffet in my dining room. The buffet is in front of my front window, so you would see it from outside too. I wonder if I have time to pull this off? 

And I love the simplicity of this one, a Jack-o-Lantern in a glass vessell, just by placing it inside it looks that much more special. So clever (and the side of candy apples doesn't hurt)!

{both from Country Living via Urban Grace Interiors}

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Something fun at Better Homes and Gardens! Carve your own virtual pumpkin using the options provided. Be sure to make note of the features available to customize the stock options such as mirror, rotate and drag to help you get the precise expression you're going for. Then choose a background and your carved pumpkin is ready to email or print on a card to send or as a stencil to transfer for carving your real pumpkin. Once you get a hang of customizing their stock options, the possibilities are endless - as is the amount of time you'll waste creating!

One note of annoyance: You must register for their website and get past the subscription pop-ups before you are able to begin. This is my main gripe with; inconvenient navigation, annoying subscription requests. Once you get past all that - enjoy!


In an effort to prove that I am celebrating Halloween this year despite having ignored the holiday on this blog thus far, I give you my first halloween post. There will be more to come, I promise. This one was worth waiting for as it's a freebie!

Many of you have likely seen Noah Scalin on Martha's Halloween show, but if you haven't, I'll tell you a bit about him. Noah started a blog where each day he posts a different image of a skull that he has created. (weird, I know. but trust me, it's super cool!) I am always intrigued by people who publicly take on these creative commitments as I know how long that apron I'm sewing has been sitting in my sewing case. The fabric is most-definitely outdated by now, I'm waiting for it to be fashionably retro before finishing!

Anyway, back to the skulls. Noah spent a full year posting a different skull image on his blog each day. Now that the year has passed, he is asking his readers to submit their own skull images. Take some time to page through his site, the creativity is amazing! Noah has also provided two skull fonts available for download on his website. I'm not always in love with these types of fonts, they are often too busy and hard to read, but I think his are really fun. You can download Skullphabet #1 (shown above) here, and Skullphabet #2 here. Notice how he displays his fonts in the shape of a skull? I love that!

Now, off to create my last minute party invites for the halloween bash that I didn't know I was having! (true story)

Edited to add: While we're on the topic of great Halloween fonts, here's another one to add (and this one's not just for halloween!). It's called Ghosttown and is available for download here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


OK, so it's not entirely useless, but it's certainly not a necessity! How fantastic would these little acorns be made with a spice cake recipe? But I'd likely need more than one pan (from Williams Sonoma, by the way) as I could eat hundreds of these!

Postscript: Real posts will return later this week. I'm currently buried in beautiful last-minute details for a wedding this weekend.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I have participated in ornament exchanges before, but always with friends. I think this could be great fun to be assigned a virtual stranger and exchange ornaments.

Head on over to Pampered Becki's blog by October 25th and join in the fun!

Feel free to spread the word by
copying this image to your blog or website (just drag it to your desktop to save).

Friday, October 3, 2008


I am a couple of days late on posting about breast cancer awareness month and I have to admit, I am feeling really guilty about it. I think next year I'll wait a day to debut my cards and give October 1st my full pink attention. But enough with my true confessions, because I have the most wonderfully fantastic, super duper idea to tell you about. I'm so excited I can barely stand it!

Have you ever heard of "pass the plate?" I was actually planning to write a post about it and even went so far as collect all the materials that I needed (tea towel, plate...) to get a plate passing started and let you all follow it's trail. But this, THIS is a much better way to do it!!! Kitchenaid has teamed up with  Villeroy and Boch to design a party platter inscribed with the words "Cook for your Family, Cook for your Friends, Cook for the Cure." (The platter is for sale at the for $24.95) Once you purchase the platter, register it online using the code located on the bottom of the platter. Then cook your favorite dish and pass it on to a friend. Once received and your treats are enjoyed, the recipient tracks the plate online, cooks a meal and passes it on. For every time the plate is passed and the recipient tracks it online, Kitchenaid will donate $5 to the Susan G. Komen foundation. Here's what Kitchenaid has to say about this Cook for the Cure endeavor:
Turn your passion for cooking into a passion for helping win the fight against breast cancer. . . Cook something to put on your plate and pass it to a friend, and you're on your way to making an impact. Share your story and watch as your plate travels from person to person. Pass the Plate in honor of someone special, or just to help make a difference.
What a perfect way to spread awareness and help raise money for a cause that surely has touched all of us in some way. The thing I like most about it is that you actually get to do something. You cook, you connect and help spread the word in the best possible way. Whenever I write a check to a cause such as this, I feel like I should be doing more, that it's not enough. With pass the plate, we are all able to actively participate in such a fun and positive way. 

Be sure to comment here if you purchase a platter so we can all follow the trails of our plates together!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Well my friends, it's that time of year again! Time to coordinate those outfits, decide on a location and cross your fingers that no bumps, bruises, black eyes, rashes or major illnesses plague your children just before the big day. What big day you ask? The big holiday photo shoot! And yes, all of the aforementioned ailments and deformities have struck my own children just as I was hoping to get that great shot for my holiday cards. Actually, 4 of those five occurred simultaneously just last year. But not to worry, all was well and I managed to snap individual shots of each child between illnesses and injuries, resulting in this:

Not too shabby considering that we were in the midst of strep, violent reactions to medication and little miss peanut stumbling around like a drunken sailor! I have higher hopes for this year, of course. I always have high hopes. It's October 1st after all. There's plenty of time to capture that one great shot that will be mass distributed in our one big family press release of the year.

So here are my tips for a great holiday card victory in 2008!

Number One: start early! And by early, I mean now. Right now. Drop what you're doing and run!!!! No, just kidding about the running, but do start now. Figure out what everyone will wear, decide on a location or even better, scroll through some of your photos from summer vacation or days at the beach and see if you already have that one great shot.

Number Two: Don't stress! Your photo does not need to be perfect. It just needs to capture the essence of your family. You want your childrens' personalities to shine through, you don't want stiff little robots saying "cheese!" Because let's face it, that is probably the only moment your children stood still all year. That's not them! 

Number Three: Choose a card design that suits your photo and your family's personality. Or, if you find a card design that you love, keep that in mind during your photo session so that you get some shots that will suit the design. But if you do this, remember to be flexible. The best shot may not suit your chosen design at all, but if it's "the one" let the shot dictate the design because in the end, it's the photo that's important.

Number Four: Can't find a card design that's just right? No problem! I love to design a card around a photo - it's one of my favorite things to do. Just let me know which designs you prefer, send me the photo and I'll use that as a jumping off point for creating the perfect custom card for your family.

Number Five: Read this fantastic article with loads of tips for photographing children. 

Number Six: Remember, this is supposed to be fun! You have a wonderful family and you want to share that with the rest of the world (or at least 100 of your nearest and dearest) along with your best wishes for a wonderful holiday. This is about taking the time to connect with family and friends; keep the spirit and purpose of the cards in mind and be happy. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I am thrilled to announce that Holiday 2008 is now ready and available on my website! This year, all photo cards are available on both Kodak Professional Endura Supra Matte Paper and as Cardstock Panel Cards. The new panel cards will be sold in sets of 25, 50, 100, 150 and 200 and will be added separately to the shop later today. As always, the photo cards on Kodak matte will be available in any quantity (need 88 cards exactly? no problem!). Oh, and premium envelopes are always included. (do I sound like an infomercial yet?)

I will be adding more designs here and there as I begin to design around the orders that I receive, so keep checking back.  Also, if you like my style but don't see a design that exactly suits your photo, not to worry! I always design around the photo. I'm obsessive that way; physically incapable of just dropping a photo into a design without tweaking it to suit the photo perfectly. Just drop me a line and we'll work together to get just what you want.

So there you have it folks, browse at your leisure.  I'm off to take a nap...(don't I wish!).

P.S. Check back later for tips on getting that great shot for your cards!