Saturday, October 31, 2009

Boogie Man Pumpkin Carving

We haven't carved a pumpkin for a few years but this year I thought it was time to get into the pumpkin carving spirit. Plus I wanted to roast some pumpkin seeds and boy were they good! David and I tag-teamed the pumpkin carving and he was more of the "guts" guy and I was more of the carving gal. We got her done regardless and while I was carving, David was roasting the seeds he got from the pumpkin. Oh, we got a large pumpkin to carve but when we went to bring it in we discovered that it was beginning to rot -ugghhh, so I had to improvise and use one of the smaller ones we got just for decoration so the original art of work we planned on carving had to be changed.

Look at this concentration - carving is serious business.

Here's the boogie man peeking out of the blinds. Scary don't you think?!?!?

Happy Halloween everyone!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

House of Haunts

I love making Halloween cards for the little kids and this year was no exception. These cards were easier to make than they look and the embossed haunted house I think really makes it pop on the card and makes it even spookier. Don't you think? Oh and the subtle scary looking trees look even scarier with the tone on tone. That is a new idea I used in this card that I haven't with others and will definately be incorporating that in more cards in the future.

Supplies Used:
  • Stamps - House of Haunts
  • Paper - whisper white, basic black, rich razzleberry, crushed curry, kiwi kiss
  • Ink - crushed curry, basic black, versamark
  • Other - black embossing powder, heat tool for embossing

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Thanks for your feedback on which pumpkin dessert I should make for my hubby's return home. Not only did I have to clean up after myself all week (that was hard work), but I missed my hubby so much that I wanted to give him a warm welcome home. Therefore he will be welcomed home by some delicious, out of this world - Pumpkin Pie Bars thanks to a recipe I found on Joy the Baker's blog - that girl has some serious baking skills and her photography of her baked goods has me drooling. My pictures don't do these bars justice but you get the idea, can you smell the pumpkin spice from here?


1-1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) cold butter or margarine
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons bourbon (optional)
a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips for sprinkling on top (optional)

HEAT oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; grease foil. Mix flour, 1/4 granulated sugar and brown sugar in medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and nuts.

RESERVE 1 cup oat mixture; press remaining onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, vanilla, bourbon, pumpkin and spice with mixer until well blended. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture and a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips (if desired).

BAKE 25 min.; cool 10 min. Use foil to transfer dessert from pan to wire rack; cool completely.

ENJOY Stick fork into the yummy goodness and chow down. Yummy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Desserts - Decisions, Decisions

Last fall do you remember those delicious to die for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies that I made? They were the BEST treats I have ever made and I love to bake. If you missed out, click here for some pictures and the recipe.

With the hubby out of town and the autumn chill in the air, I am in the mood for some baking with my favorite flavor this time of year - pumpkin! I need your help with what I should bake this week.

Should I make these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies again by Rachel Ray?

or should I try these Pumpkin Pie Bars by Joy the Baker?

or should I try these Pumpkin Cookies with Butterscotch by Joy the Baker?

Decisions, decisions, decisions! I want to make them all but that's probably not a good idea for me or my waistline. I'd love to get your thoughts, my canned pumpkin is anxiously awaiting your replies on my counter.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

DIY: Bookcase Revamp with Burlap

I have been itching to play around with some burlap after getting some inspiration from the Queen of Burlap. Sarah has a blog called A Beach Cottage and her home is just my style and full of inspring projects.

One day I was looking at our bookcases and feeling like the back of them needed a little DIY to help my decor on the shelves to pop a bit. I got a few yards of burlpa for $1.99/yard from Hobby Lobby and got to work. I worked on this project when my hubby was at work because I wasn't sure if he would like the idea or not. Turns out he loved it and noticed it right away when he got home. 

Using a staple gun I just stapled the burlap to the back of the bookcase. We got these bookcases a long time ago from Ikea so I wasn't too worried about putting staples into them.

I just love the texture and the brightness it brings to the bookcase.


The texture of the burlap makes my white pottery really pop off the shelves.
Don't you think?


I love that this project was quick and cheap with a big impact on our ho-hum bookcases. I have extra burlap and I am eager to put the scraps to use. I was thinking of making a table runner, wrap some candles, or possibly make a memo board. Stay tuned because with the weather getting colder, I'll have more time on hands for some indoor projects.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Can I have some Cheese with my Wine?

Do you remember these Wine & Cheese party invites that I made last month? The invites were so much fun to make for my friend Sue's party and setting up for the party was just as much fun. Move over Martha because Melissa and Sue are in the house!

Look at that beautiful spread. Do you feel like you are at a vinyard or what?

Lots of cheese to try (all properly labeled of course).

and a little bit more cheese in case you want more for the palate.

Here's a sampling of the red wines we drank tasted.

In addition to the cheese there was plenty of crackers, breads, grapes, fruit, and hummus to go along with the wine and cheese tasting.

And one last photo for those that missed the festivities.

Helping with the invitations and party planning was so much fun. The best part was that since my friend hosted, I just got to do the fun stuff and not the not so fun stuff such as cleaning. I'd love to host a similar party down the road so that I can taste even more of my friends favorite wines.

P.S. Sorry but no pictures from the actual party because what happens at the party stays at the party! (i.e. No blackmail photos of me people!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blogiversary Giveaway Winner

I was overwhelmed by the response to my 1st Blogiversary post and want to thank everyone who commented and became a follower. All of your positive comments filled not only my email box but also my day, thanks for making me feel wonderful.

To celebrate my blogiversary I also hosted a $20 Starbucks giveaway and the lucky winner was #13 otherwise known as Kathryn from Operation Sippy Cup. Kathryn just email me your mailing address and the giftcard will be on it's way. I am craving a Pumpkin Spice Latte just thinking about it. Yummy!

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall Votives and Some Spooky Decor

This weekend in addition to getting the house and yard ready for winter, I was able to sneak in a little decorating time as well. I love fall but I also wanted to add some Halloween fun as well without going to overboard or looking hoaky. I hope you will agree that I accomplished that with my coffee table display.

First I took some cheap votives I had around the house and wrapped them with some leaves I had leftover from our wedding (7 years ago) and tied them with twine. It's that easy and I'll be able to use these all the way through Thanksgiving. Cost = $0 so you can't beat that!

Then I decided to add a bowl full of wine corks with a creepy spider and a bowl of bones for some fun. The only purchase here was the skeletal hands which I got at the Dollar Tree for $1 and I couldn't beat that either.

Now that I have the coffee table decorated, I need to finish up the rest of my displays and I'm eager to share those with you too. Have you created any spooky displays in your home? Please share.

P.S. Don't forget there is still time to enter my $20 Starbucks giveaway celebrating my 1st Blogiversary. The drawing will take place on Saturday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

DIY: How to Paint an Existing Picture Frame

I recently changed the artwork in the guest bedroom and am putting the final touches on that room but this picture below was not working out for me. All of the artwork and frames in this room are black and this frame needed to be no exception. So do I go to Ikea and buy a different frame or use the existing one? You guessed it, I'm way too thrifty to buy a new frame when a can of spray paint will make it look like new.


Add a couple of coats of black spraypaint and watch the magical transformation occur.
(Ok, I know it's a bit dramatic but I'm lovin spraypaint! Where has it been all of my life?)

What a difference, I may have to use that spraypaint on a few other projects around the house.
I'm really tickled pink over this $3 can of paint transformation.
And it looks a lot better with the black and white photo too.

Now the new frame and artwork match the rest of the artwork in the room. All the frames are a bit different so not too matchy/matchy but definately more cohesive.

Now that I'm falling in love with spraypaint, can you please share with me what you like to do with a can of spraypaint? The possibilities are endless and I'm looking for some inspiration.

P.S. Don' forget you have until Saturday to enter my 1st Blogiversary giveaway. You could be the lucky winner of a $20 Starbucks gift certificate.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's My 1st Blogiversary!

It's my 1st Blogiversary!

I can't believe it's been a whole year since Second Time Mommy inspired me to go on this blogging venture. I wasn't sure how long it would last but the blogging world has me hooked and I'm not going anywhere soon! The blog has evolved a great deal since I began but it has a long way to go. Enjoy All Life Has to Offer is undergoing a bit of an identity crisis but maybe it's not blog and is actually me?! I am a pretty random person with a number of hobbies and passions that I want to share with everyone but they don't seem to have a common theme. I guess I'll keep plugging away and slowly but surely the theme of the blog will rise to the top. Once that happens I plan on doing some design work on the blog and possibly renaming it. Any suggestions?

In celebration of this big day, I thought I would take this opportunity to answer a couple of FAQ's in hopes that this will help each of you to enjoy the blogging world as much as I do.

Comments - I LOVE comments and I promise it's easier to do than you think. I know that about 150 people a week visit and read my blog and I would sure LOVE to hear from each and every one of you. It's easy, I promise and leaving a comment for a blogger is like giving them a great big hug. Ok, I've got you sold right? At the end of the blog post, at the very bottom, click on "comments" and it takes you to the comment box. If you don't have a google account and just want to leave a quick comment, just leave a comment anonymously and sign your name in your comment. That's it, super easy, and now let's practice on this blog post.

Giveaway's - I know that you are itching to practice leaving comments so I need to dangle a little carrot for all of you, right? Well to celebrate this special occassion, I am giving away a $20 Starbucks gift certificate so that you two can enjoy my favorite drink of the season, a Pumpkin Spice Latte of course. $20 bucks? That's enough for 4-5 lattes depending on the size you prefer. So you probably have seen all of the blogs with the giveaways and all you need to do to enter is leave a comment. Interested in getting your name into the contest twice? Then read on.

Followers - I love all of my 20 followers dearly but I'd love to grow that # even more so if you aren't a follower yet, what are you waiting for? Click on the "follow" button on the right hand sidebar and follow the instructions and you are officially a follower of this fabulous blog. Also this is really helpful if you have a bunch of blogs that you read because you can then go to google reader to see all of your blogs that you read all in one place. Cool huh?

So I hope I have you convinced to at the very least to leave a comment on this blog post so that you can enter the contest to win a $20 Starbucks gift certificate and if you feel so inclined, I'd love for you to become a follower too.

Winners will be drawn on Saturday, October 17th at 12:00 CST and you can only enter once per email address. I will ship the gift certificate to the Continental US only. Good luck everyone, I can't wait to hear from all of you!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Front Porches Fall Decor

Fall is my favorite time of year and I just love decorating my house to commerate the beautiful colors of the season. I'm a bit behind schedule this year but I plan on completing my fall decorating this weekend after a trip to the pumpkin patch of course. The good thing is that most of the decorations can stay through Thanksgiving so I still don't think it's too late to complete the fall look for my home. I've done some things here and there inside our house but I can't wait to add my touches to the front porch where we will greet trick-or-treater's on Halloween.

While reading about this front porch contest on Centsational Girl's blog today, I came across a new website called Front Porch Ideas and More and I knew I found a new site I would visit often. I absolutely love porches and dream of having a wrap around porch in the front of my house just like they have in the south. A girl can dream right? While I love how you can make visitors feel very welcome depending on your porch, we certainly don't have the ideal porch so it's a bit of a challenge to create that welcome feel. The thing I don't like is that from the street you don't have a straight view of the door because of the way the steps are. I would love to tear out the porch, cement steps and all, and start over but I don't think that it's in our budget.

While I continue to dream about the perfect front porch for our home, I thought I would share a few ideas for your front porches with you.

This weekend at the pumpkin patch I plan on getting lots of pumpkins, mums, indian corn, corn stalks, and a hale bale for the porch. I'm really hoping that I can get pumpkins in a variety of colors including white and green if they have them. Do you use anything else to add a touch of fall to your front porch? Do share and don't forget to enter the fall front porch contest for your chance to win a $50 Plow & Hearth gift certificate.

Monday, October 5, 2009

7 years of Wedded Bliss

Today David and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. In many ways it feels like only yesterday but then I see us growing older together and realize that it really was 7 years ago when we were in our 20's. We were planning on watching our wedding video but realized we don't have a VCR to watch it - I think we need to get that converted to DVD so we don't lose those precious memories. While we can't watch the video, we can still look through our photo album and wedding scrapbook. Doing so brings me right back to the day that we said, "I do".

This got me thinking, what has changed in our lives over the last 7 years?
  • Bought a home together
  • Sold a condo
  • Got our dog, Tanner (love of our lives)
  • Two precious nieces brought into the world
  • Lost 2 precious grandmothers
  • I changed jobs 1 time, David changed jobs 3 times
  • I bought 1 car, David bought 2 cars
  • We've traveled to Punta Cana, Cabo, Jamaica, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Colorado, Texas, Florida, ,Las Vegas and Door County together.
  • Attended 8 Nascar races together (stop laughing)
  • We've witnessed many world events unfold together
  • Hubby lost his hair and I've colored my hair a few times
  • We've gained a lot of new friends in our life
But the one thing that hasn't changed is the love that I have for David. I love him more every single day and I thank God that he was brought into my life. I love you babe!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Congrats Rio 2016

While I am still in shock that Chicago lost the Olympic bid in the first round today, I also realize that the 2016 Olympics will be in a place it's never been before, which I think is a good thing. If it can't be Chicago, I'm glad it's in Rio de Janiero. It was quite a disappointment because it's a dream of mine to go to at least one Olympics in my life, while I can still do that, I realize it will likely mean travel and spending a bit more money than I would like. Traveling is a good thing right?

Congrats Rio 2016!

Chicago 2016?

Today is the big day, will the 2016 Olympics be in Chicago? I sure hope so because I love the Olympics and the city of Chicago and it would be a dream to have them come together. I don't know about you but when the Olympics are on tv, it's hard to get me away from the tv to do anything else. I just love the excitement that fills the air when the crowd cheers and then we hold our breath until they cross the finish line. So many extraordinary stories come out of the Olympics and it brings the world together as one. I will be holding my breath today as the votes are recorded one by one, in hopes that Chicago will be named the host city for 2016. Oh the excitement!