Five things (and a winner!)

Raise your hand if you’re all ready for Halloween. I see a lotta hands out there! Usually we’re scrambling around at the last minute, but this year we’re nearly set. The decorations are up, the costumes are made, the treats are bought (and sampled) and we even have our pumpkins, ‘tho we won’t carve them ’til tomorrow afternoon. Here’s a peek at some of our prep, plus a few other pics from the past week. Oh! And I’ll announce the winner of my Fall faves contest. (Hugs if you read the post before scrolling down to see who won.)

Halloween monster decoration

If you trick-or-treat at our house you’ll see Frank, the monster hubby made out of cardboard and tissue paper a few years ago. We put him in the front window every year. Scary stuff!

clip 8

I’m not dressing up this year (the kids are a vampire and a robot), but I did make these festive pumpkin hair clips to wear. The easy how-to is up on So Fawned, along with my tips for a safe and happy Halloween.

tub time

We even have a little Halloween decor in the bathroom! My guy took a bath after school one day this week with this adorable rubber duckie from Loblaws.

sugar cookies

Okay, these are autumnal rather than Halloween, but they’re in our pumpkin-shaped cookie jar on the kitchen island.

urban barn books final absolutely

And last week I submitted another entry for Urban Barn’s dining hack contest, this time suggesting books as pedestals to elevate serving trays and create visual interest to your table. The grand prize winner will be drawn next Wednesday. Cross your fingers for me, everybody!

And speaking of winners, a huge thanks to all of you who entered my Fall faves contest. I loved reading about your Fall faves and seeing all of your retweets (some of them daily!). I’ll pop the prize in the mail to the winner next week. Was it you? Click here to find out.

Happy Halloween, everybody. Wishing you more treats than tricks and a safe, fun night.

Five things

American Girl

Last week was exciting, mes amis! Starting with the grand opening of Ottawa’s first American Girl boutique in one of our favourite stores, Chapters! The Rideau Street location is one of just four specialty boutiques across Canada.

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My daughter’s pored over the dolls and their accessories in the American Girl catalogues countless times, so she was enchanted to see and touch them in person. And bonus, a goodie bag for every visitor on opening day! Lily has been playing with her doll dining kit all week. (It was in the bag, along with a doll-sized t-shirt Lily put on another doll as soon as we got home.)

bowling 9 all knocked down

We completed another DIY for So Fawned, this DIY pumpkin bowling using toilet paper for pins and mini pumpkins and gourds for the bowling balls. Check out the easy how-to!

Steves birthday cake

Somebody couldn’t keep her fingers out of her dad’s birthday cake. Those are Malteasers around the outside (aka Whoppers in the US).

you wonderful thing you for blog

Sunday the kids were at a playdate for most of the day, so I took some time to write some snail mail. Isn’t it so nice to get a letter in the mail?

gourd table setting

And remember my gourd tea light holders? Last week they were featured on Urban Barn’s blog! I know, what? Hop on over and take a look! (Love Urban Barn!)

Hope you have a great week ahead, everybody.

(Mine aren’t normally this exciting but you know, we try to make our own fun.)

Five things

How were your first few days of Fall, everybody? Do you welcome the season in your decor? I spend most of my time in the kitchen, so I love to pile a bunch of gourds on a cake plate and admire them throughout the day.

gourds square

Aren’t they gourd-geous? If you hop on over to So Fawned, you’ll see what I did with these babies.

gourd soup

Here’s a little peek. (I couldn’t resist!)

you are nice dad

You know I love a good kitchen gadget. This week we made some special personalized cookies using these cool cookie cutters. (On clearance at Winners for $5! Woot!)

cactus at market

Cactus at the farmer’s market yesterday morning. Maybe my favourite thing all season!

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Do you crush on pretty stationary too? I am loving my Kate Spade planner and notecards from Chapters. Almost too pretty to use!

And only three more days ’til Blissdom! Woot! What are you up to this week?

Fall is for…

I love Fall. I’ve mentioned this, yes? I love the cooler days, the cozy layers, the crisp crunch of a new apple and a cute pair of ankle boots. It’s my favourite season, and (for me) the one that seems to fly by too fast.  I want more Sunday mornings at the farmers’ market, more walks in the leaves and more time to curl up with a blanket and a book. Here’s how I want to make the most of Fall.

Happy Handmade Home

Eating / Apples, squash and pumpkin everything.

Drinking / Tea and hot chocolate.

Practicing / How to write without over-thinking too much.

Mastering / Hmmm…. nothing really, but I would like to train myself to stop snacking after dinner (but Twitter parties make me so hungry!).

Learning / More about SEO (I really have to get on it!).

Trying / To get the the gym every other day.

Playing / With my kiddos after school (now that they’re no longer at daycare, I’ve got them from 3:30 on).

Finishing / My Christmas shopping (yeah I’m one of those).

Reading / A Beautiful Mess Happy Homemade Home and a couple of books I didn’t get to over the summer.

Remembering / To be easier on myself.

Wearing / Cozy layers.

Cooking / Applesauce, soups and stews in the slow cooker.

Working / On more DIYs for So Fawned (including some fun Halloween themed ones!) and my blog’s Crafts and Style & Decor sections.

Traveling / To Blissdom ’14 (I hear Mississauga is beautiful this time of year) and maybe to Montreal to visit an old friend.

Wanting / To meet some of my favourite bloggers at Blissdom and be inspired!

Happy Handmade Home 2

I’m terrible for setting my expectations way too high, so I’m trying to be a little more reasonable for Fall. Here’s how I did with my Summer list:

Eating / Strawberries we picked ourselves. Check.

Drinking / More of these strawberry watermelon daiquiris. Ditto.

Practicing / How to write without over-thinking too much. Still working on it.

Mastering / Video Games on the ukulele. I didn’t pick up the ukelele. Not even once.

Learning / How to improve SEO. Zero progress here either.

Trying / To make jam. Tried and succeeded!

Playing / With my camera. Yep.

Finishing / A bunch of projects around the house. Starting them too. Didn’t finish (or start!) any of the projects I’ve been meaning to get to, ‘tho I did do six DIYs for So Fawned: puzzle piece drawer pulls, personalized pillows, wooden spoon dolls, a ring toss game, a back-to-school chalkboard sign, and puzzle piece hooks.

Reading / Picture Perfect Social Media and A Beautiful Mess Happy Homemade HomeHappy Handmade Home just came in the mail, so I’m just starting it now.

Remembering / Naps are good. Oh yes they are.

Wearing / The heck out of this Joe Fresh skirt. And my gold flip flops. Yep.

Cooking / More recipes from How to Feed a Family. No, but I am planning to make the authors’ squash soup.

Working / On being less hard on myself. Still working on it.

Traveling / Nowhere especially. But the kids would love to go back to Mont Tremblant. No Tremblant trip (the kids would still love to go!); stayed close to home.

Wanting / To make lots of happy memories with my kiddos. And this Kate Spade planner from Chapters. I die! Yes, we had lots of fun times. And my mom bought me the planner!

How will you make the most of Fall?