{Halloween} Candy Apple Phantom Cuties + Tutorial

Instead of the traditional candy apple this year, we decided to make something simple that still had the sweet factor. We had been seeing a new caramel "wrap" everywhere in stores and thought why not try fondant "wraps". It is surprising how yummy marshmallow fondant is wrapped around a Macintosh apple. The bitter mixed with the sweet is quite tasty. Not to mention how cute the apple is costumed as a ghost. :) What I loved  as a Mom...they were simple for the kids to make and no worrying about them getting hurt around hot caramel sauce. Read on for this simple tutorial.

Our cute little apple phantom.



What you will need:
  • Apples (We used macintosh)
  • Marshmallow or rolled fondant - Recipe from Wilton or store bought.
  • Marshmallows (large)
  • Edible Food writer - black (wilton)
  • Branches - cut to desired length 8-10 inch (for Candy sticks)
  • Fondant mat or non-stick sheet
  • Rolling pin
  • Sharp knife or pizza cutter


I like to create a smooth round ball with my fondant before rolling. I also prefer to use a non-stick pizza pie sheet as opposed to those fondant mats when doing small fondant jobs, as it eliminates the need for using sugar or oil so the fondant does not stick. Many people who are new to fondant get frustrated with fondant sticking :) If you prefer the mat go for it. Roll your fondant out into a thin circle shape with your pin.


I decided to use a small salad plate as a guide for the circle. Most times I cut with a pizza cutter, but today I used a sharp knife...both work great.

To make the shape for the ghost head, I placed a large marshmallow on top of the apple.


I then took my fondant circle and evenly draped the apple.


I shaped the fondant around the apple to resemble a ghost costume.


I cut off the excess fondant.


I pushed a branch through the top of the ghost for a handle. I then used a edible food writer to give our friend eyes ( to see who was about to eat him. lol ) :)


We think he looks pretty cute and tasty too! ;)



Ghostly twins. :) Yummy...waiting for their demise..then again they are already ghosts! ;)


{Christmas} The NEW Christmas Wish list- The Pinterest way! + HOT Holiday Toys 2011

Ahhhh... it's that time of year again. The new Christmas wish books have arrived, be it JCPenney or Sears. Your children are probably pouring over the newest hottest toys to add to their wish lists, just like we all did when we were little! Praying that they made it to the Nice list and the big guy himself will grant their hearts desire.

I am a huge fan of pen and paper...and stay true to vintage and days of old. My kids still write a wish list and leave it for Dear Santa to magically puff into thin air. But, it came to me yesterday...I pin everything else...why not my kids Christmas list! What a totally wonderful NEW way of doing Christmas wish lists this year...The PINTEREST way! For those of you who have not heard of Pinterest...it is a fantastic website, where you can create boards and pin your favorite things by category in one handy place. People can follow your ideas and you can share them with anyone. But how about creating a handy board for everything your child wants for Christmas?! YES PLEASE! Not only can you pin your kids favorites by image, but when you use Pinterest's Pin it tool, it also adds a handy link to it's location on the net. The best thing...you can share your lists with all of your loved ones! There will be no questioning what little Johnny wants for Christmas! You can also access this handy list from anywhere! So next time you are in Toys R Us and think...oh darn I wish I took the kids list...well that is a thing of the past! Pull out your trusty iPhone and access your child's list straight from Pinterest! Now that is technology! So get pinning those lists...and checking them twice... so Santa will know who is naughty or nice! LOL! Visit our evolving Christmas Wish list for 2011 here!


Our 2011 Wishlist in it's beginning stages. :) age group 6 1/2-7 1/2 - Boy and Girl. :)


HOT TOYS LIST 2011 from Toys R Us

Click image for larger or visit here!

There are some pretty cool toys on the block for 2011. Voted favorites by my two kiddos, ages 6 1/2 and 7 1/2 from the Toys R Us Hot list and new toys are: Xia Xia - totally cute hermit crabs with interchangeable shells. They move around and are much like zhu zhus...but in Mom's opinion cuter. :). DaGeBar - My son totally wants these, they remind Mom of Bakugans...although these seem to have a point to them...after several years I have to admit I still don't know the "rules" of Bakugan. ;). Barbie is still one of the number ones for my daughter...this year Barbie princess charm school is the doll to have. :). My son as you probably know is a huge Harry Potter fan...so again this year it is all about Lego Harry.

My children love to collect vintage and retro toys like their Mom...so they will likely be requesting those types of toys again this year. I love retro and vintage...plus it makes for an earth friendly gift and one to hand down over time as a collectible. Their favorites are original smurfs, charmkins - remember those?!!, cabbage patch figurines, old board games, books, retro polly pocket and anything from the 80's!

Follow our wish list for lots of ideas on Hot toys and gift ideas....I am sure there will be lots of pinning action in the next couple months!

{Recipes} Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Candy Corn & Buttercream Icing + Recipes

Pumpkin is definately not just for pies. Why not serve up some yummy pumpkin cupcakes. They make a yummy addition to your Fall, Thanksgiving or Halloween treat table. This is a super easy recipe and the best part...the cupcakes are not super sweet. If you love sweet, top them with your favorite icing. We topped ours with a classic buttercream icing, but these taste yummy with cream cheese frosting or maple buttercream frosting as well. The recipe makes a standard size cupcake but we chose to make ours in mini and for the kiddie factor finished them with some sweet candy corn sugar gummies. They did NOT last long at our house. :)


Pumpkin Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour - (I like to use cake & pastry flour, it makes for much nicer cupcakes)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), melt and cool
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 15 ounces of pumpkin puree or 1 can pumpkin puree


DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use paper liners to line cupcake pan. For mini cupcakes Preheat oven to 325 degrees; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.In a large bowl, combine, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add all previously combined dry ingredients, and whisk together until smooth. Add pumpkin puree and whisk together until smooth.
  2. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and when touched tops spring back, 20 to 25 minutes in a normal conventional oven, rotating pans once if needed. If using a convection oven cupcakes will take less than 20-25 mins, but ovens vary. Mini cupcakes in a convection oven will take 8-10 mins. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
  3. Top with your favorite frosting, we used classic buttercream, but creamcheese frosting works great as well. Maple buttercream frosting tastes delish also. For garnish, top with a dusting of light brown sugar and cinnamon(combined). if desired

Classic Buttercream Frosting
Makes: 4 cups

INGREDIENTS

6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup liquid corn syrup
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
vanilla or other flavoring (maple etc)

 
Have ready a greased 1-cup heatproof glass measure near the Stove.

In a medium bowl, beat the yolks with an electric mixer until light in color. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan (preferably with a nonstick lining) and heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a rolling boil. (The entire surface will be covered with large bubbles.) immediately transfer to the greased glass measure to stop the cooking.


If using an electric hand-held mixer, beat the syrup into the yolks in a steady stream. Pour a small amount of the syrup over the eggs in the mixer, and beat until incorporated. Continue until all the syrup is used up, and the mixture is pale and sticky, like liquid taffy. Continue beating until the mixture is completely cool.

 
Gradually beat in the butter and, if desired, any optional flavoring.. The buttercream will not thicken until almost all of the he butter has been added. Place in an airtight bowl. Bring to room tempeature before using. Rebeat to restore texture but not until it has reached room temperature to avoid curdling.

 

Tips and tricks
Don't allow the syrup to fall directly onto the beaters as it will spin the syrup around the sides of the bowl. The syrup must come to a rolling boil or the buttercream will be too thin. The egg/syrup mixture must be completely cool before adding the butter. Using a hand-held beater makes this easier.

icing adapted from the cake bible

{Halloween} Using Silhouettes in your Halloween Decor + Tutorials

Silhouettes have been used throughout history in art, decor and jewelry. Fading in and out over time. They remind me of times of old when ladies wore cameos and beautiful tailor made gowns. Silhouettes have been gaining alot of popularity recently. We are seeing them pop up in parties and Home decor everywhere these days. We love Silhouettes....and there is something quite eerie about them when used for Halloween decor. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate them into your own Halloween decorating. We especially love the use of Silhouettes with a black and white color scheme. They are gorgeous in black and painted on white pumpkins!

This is one of our favorites! For the tutorial go here!

The classic silhouette staircase - via Martha Stewart here! 

Gorgeous Pumpkins - via pinterest



Silhouette Plates - For instructions and to get the Silhouettes go here!

Another Favorite - Get the birdcage pattern and learn about this project here!



Fun Silhouette lanterns from mason jars - Get the DIY tutorial here!

Pretty Silhouette + unique fall wreath visit Creative Southern home for tutorial here! 


Fantastic Witch Window Silhouette - Download Pattern here!


Love this Primitive Witch Silhouette from RedHeadPrims etsy shop here!


Loving this Burlap Raven Silhouette Pillow - Find it at the nest UK etsy shop here!


Spooky Raven Silhouette decor - Get the DIY instructions from My Sparkle here!


Don't forget to pick up your free raven silhouette labels from Serendipity Soiree here, and to see them in action and some black and white inspiration visit our post here!


And don't forget to pick up your free Witch Silhouette Vintage invites here! Matching Party circles and labels also included. :) 


{As Seen On} Our Eloise party is September's Party of the Month @ The Children's Party Network!

We were very excited to hear from Natalie of the Knock Knock Factory (Founder of CPN)...that our Little Eloise Party had won Party of the Month @ The Children's Party Network! There were so many great parties by Grey Grey Designs, Birds party, The Party Muse, Dreamin n Details and so many others. Totally honored to be there. Thank you to the CPN team and everyone who voted for our party. :) For pictures of our Eloise party click here or visit Amy Atlas Events for our guest dessert feature here!



{Cake Love} Rainbow Masterpiece!

I have 3 words! Taste the Rainbow! WOW....this is the most amazing cake...I am in LOVE. This masterpiece is by Rise and Shine Bakery via Flickr. Now who is brave enough to replicate this 7 layer giant?! Piece of cake right? LOL. For those of you who are...what an amazing centerpiece for a Rainbow inspired party! For lots of rainbow party inspiration...check out our gallery on Pinterest here!

{Practice Serendipity} Enjoy the little things....


I love living my life by Serendipity. I keep a list of my favorite quotations and sayings about life and try my best to live by my favorite quotations that are near and dear to my heart. I find the list inspiring and a great way to stay in check with what is important in life.  I have decided to share with you some of my favorites in a regular series I like to call "Practice Serendipity". Perhaps it will inspire some of you to do the same. :)

{Practice Serendipity} "Enjoy the little things"

Some of the "Little things" That are the "biggest things" for me

My little family...my universe.

Saying "I love you" today and not waiting till tomorrow...

Living each day to the fullest

Making memories: Baking with my children, playing barbies and dinkies, campouts in the living room & letting the kids stay up late, total random silliness, playing hookie with me kids for the day, letting each of them have a day of their choosing all to themselves, Cloud watching, random pretend adventures...the imagination is limitless bar stools as rockets to outer space, beds become pirate ships escaping captain hook...anything could be happening at our house....;)

Watching my children sleep - there is nothing more peaceful and beautiful to me.

Family travels - quality time spent exploring the world with the ones I love the most. :)

Capturing life behind a lens....

Doing what I love everyday....Imagination, creating, camera, paper, pencil, paint, digital.

Pajama days....

Random acts of kindness to total strangers.

Listening to old tunes...music is at the heart of memories.

Smiling at someone who looks unhappy....I have learned that can make someones day.

Watching favorite classic movies.

Appreciating everything about my past, sacrifices made for me, loss, pain, hurt, mistakes...for without all of these things I would never learn.

Sharing my childhood memories with my children and teaching them about their ancestors. :)

Truly thanking someone for a job well done...people appreciate that.

Looking through old family photos

Time spent with our parents, sisters and their families..cherish those times..they are rare...as they live far away.

Fresh baked apple pie, Cupcakes, the smell of fresh cut grass, the sound of falling rain, watching baby birds at play...sand between my toes, sun on my face, so much beauty all around if we stop and take the time to notice. :)

Being a Hero to my children...no better feeling in the world.

Finding something lost

Loving that I am an 80's child - adoring nostalgia

Hunting for vintage and old treasures.

Waking up in the morning and realizing that today is a new day, anything is possible.

Believing in miracles...they really do exist. ;)

My followers taking the time to contact me....I love reading your emails and notes. :)

Sharing ideas with all of you. :)

"all of these things are gifts that money can't buy"

--if you are looking for the little sign and saying above...it is by: Primitives by Kathy Phillips...I purchased it and others at a local country store, but they are available online here!




{Halloween} Get the Look - Fabulous Kid size Halloween Costumes!

Oh my word! Talk about Fabulous Costumes! You too can DIY these adorable kid size looks! Read on for the deets on how to re-create these darling Halloween get-ups with sources and diy tips or get budget friendly ready-made versions!


Superhero Girl

 
To re-create: Superhero costume (dress, cape, armbands, and socks) (customizable, starting at $160); fairytalejubilee.etsy.com), go-go boots ($28; chasing-fireflies.com)

To get the look on a budget:  Wonder Woman costume ($25; partycity.com)

Bank Robber

To re-create: Sweater ($38) and jumper pants ($30; americanapparel.com), Vans slip-ons($30; shoes.com), wool beret ($10; villagehatshop.com), money bag ($22; halloweenexpress.com), fingerless gloves ($12; americanapparel.com)

To get the look on a budget: Wear dark clothing and a mask ($7; powercapes.com). Draw a dollar sign on a pillowcase and use it as your trick-or-treat bag.

Clark Kent

To re-create: Mod suit ($132; appaman.com), French Toast oxford shirt ($15; jcp.com), superhero pajama shirt (part of set, $36; hannaandersson.com), Jefferson shoes ($46; striderite.com)

Get the look on a budget: Child Clark Kent costume ($20; spookshop.com), Clark Kent glasses ($5; partycity.com)





FAIRY TALE - Swan lake

To re-create: Swan Princess costume (customizable, starting at $160) and headpiece ($50; fairytalejubilee.etsy.com), wings ($20; fashionwings.com), Jefferies tights ($10; kidssocks.com), Me Too shoes ($16; 6pm.com)

DIY: Hot-glue white feathers onto a white tutu and mix it with a white leotard with ballerina slippers. Cut wings out of a poster board or foam board and glue on white feathers. Place the wings to child. Where the shoulders are, punch two holes about 6” apart from each other vertically. String elastic through for the arms to go through. Securely knot the elastic in the back of the board.

To get the look on a budget: Swan Lake Princess costume ($28; amazon.com)




FAIRY TALE - Little Red Riding Hood

To re-create: Hat ($22; thecheshireshat.etsy.com), Mini Boden tank ($13; nordstrom.com), Sofie skirt ($45; petitcouture.com), Gingham skirt ($26; americanapparel.com), Jefferies socks ($5; kidssocks.com), Stella shoes ($50; pediped.com)

DIY: Match a white shirt with a checkered skirt, red argyle socks and a red scarf.
Get this look ready made: Red Riding Hood costume ($18; halloweencostumes4u.com)

Big Bad Wolf

To re-create: Wolf coat ($165; littlegoodall.etsy.com), Harem pants ($82; babyladyinc.com), boots ($40; Marshalls stores)

DIY: Cut out eyes, nose, and ears out of felt and hot-glue to the hood of a gray jacket. For added decoration, hot-glue a button on top of the felt for the eyes. Hot-glue 3 claws cut out of felt and hot glue onto the jacket’s cuffs. For the tail, hot-glue or sew a 1’ brown boa onto the bottom back of the jacket. Add pants, shirt and shoes from your closet.

To get the look on a budget: Wolf costume ($59; potterybarnkids.com)

Frog Prince

To re-create: Mini-crown ($20; ftogfr.etsy.com), frog costume ($30; buycostumes.com)
To get this look on a budget: Wear green pajamas and Party King crown ($10; partycity.com)



CIRCUS - Tight-rope Walker

To re-create: Circus dress (customizable, starting at $160) and top hat ($45; fairytalejubilee.etsy.com), tights ($8; welovecolors.com), Tara shoes ($52; pediped.com)

To get the look on a budget:  Leo's satin leotard ($15) and Natalie rainbow tutu ($11; discountdance.com), Colorful Fun mini-top hat ($15; mmiller55.etsy.com)

DIY: Pair a stripe tank with two bold-colored layered tutus over bright tights. For an extra touch, hot-glue feathers onto a cloth headband.


CIRCUS - Lion Tamer

To re-create: La Miniatura jacket ($150; ronrobinson.com), swimsuit ($30; petit-bateau.us), hat ($34; uniquevintage.com), Sofie tutu ($45; petitcouture.com), Jefferies tights ($10; kidssocks.com), Tonya boots ($69; pediped.com)

Get the look on a budget: Pumpkin Patch jacket ($37; nordstrom.com), Ballet dress ($20; oldnavy.com), top hat ($6; amazon.com)

DIY: Borrow a suit jacket from brother or find one at a thrift store and coordinate it with a skirt and boots. Wrap a hoola hoop with ribbon and secure every 5” with hot glue. Add Grandpa’s top hat for the finishing touch.

Lion

To re-create: Lion hat ($65; sweetpeatoad.bigcartel.com), unitard ($50; welovecolors.com), slippers ($10; fivesisterz.etsy.com)

Get the look on a budget: Lil' Lion Elite Collection ($36; amazon.com)

DIY: Draw claws with a sharpie on mittens that coordinate with a solid colored pajama set. For the mane, cut ribbon in 4” strips and hot glue ends (to make loops) to a brown beanie. Cover the beanie completely with ribbon loops.

Strongman

To re-create: Brute singlet ($34; amazon.com), tights ($9; welovecolors.com), Bogs shoes ($45; zappos.com), 4-inch belt ($17; bodybuilding.com), fingerless gloves ($12; americanapparel.com), mustache (12-pack, $4; amazon.com), Barbell made with 12-inch balls ($21 each; innovation.com)

Get the look on a budget: Strongman costume ($30; buycostumes.com), barbell ($8; halloweenexpress.com)

DIY: Borrow a dance unitard or find one at a thrift store. Pair it with striped tights. Draw on a mustache with eyeliner. Wrap dad’s black belt around the waist. Buy an inexpensive black pair of black gloves at Target or Walmart and cut off the fingers.
Barbell:
  1. Use acrylic paint to draw a red star on two 12-inch Styrofoam balls ($21 each; shapeinnovation.com). Paint the rest of the balls silver and let dry. With finger, smear glue over the star and generously sprinkle red glitter on it. Once dry, shake the excess glitter off.
  2. Wrap a 30 inch long and 1 inch in diameter pvc pipe (from hardware store) with black ribbon. Hot glue ribbon to pipe every 2 inches.
  3. Stick one end of the pipe into each of the balls and generously hot glue the pipe in place.
Clown

To re-create: Clown top (customizable, starting at $65; fairytalejubilee.etsy.com), Glitter pants ($59; babyladyinc.com), wig ($30; halloweenexpress.com), shoes ($17; partycity.com)

Get the look on a budget: Polka-dot skirt (as shirt) ($5; kvwilson1029.etsy.com), two-color tights ($11; americanapparel.com), clown shoes ($13; costumecraze.com)

DIY: Place a tutu around the neck so it hangs over the shoulders. Pair it with leggings and clown wig, red nose and funky shoes.

~ adapted from parenting

{Dessert Table} Vintage Halloween Inspiration + Black and White

Black,White and vintage are very popular this Halloween, as are classic Witches and Ravens. Today on the blog we have a wee bit of Black, White and Vintage, inspired by some pretty vintage cardstock and our Free "Witches Brew" Collection (here). The cardstock made the perfect simple backdrop along with Halloween meshing and cobwebs. Ravens topped old books and a vintage birdcage. A gorgeous black feathered wreath was the perfect addition to the table. Our mini dessert table included a pretty petite rosette cake topped with our Claw of Raven label, Candy apple phantoms (tutorial coming), Cupcakes with fondant bats/cats and toppers from our collection. No pumpkins graced our table, as we are saving them for our outdoor vintage party. ;)

"Click image for larger"

"click image for larger"

"click image for larger"

"click image for larger"

"click image for larger"

"click image for larger"

"click image for larger"

"click image for larger"


"click image for larger"



Sources:
Sweets and styling: Serendipity Soiree
Photos: Ohhellojoy studios
Party circles/cake sign - Serendipity Soiree's Free "Witches Brew" Collection. Available "here". 
Feather wreath, ravens - Michael's
Printed cardstock - Michael's - used for backdrop, party circles and cupcake wrappers (Recollections Elegance)
Birdcage - Homsense/Homegoods
Glass cake stands - Homesense/Homegoods

{Freebie} You are cordially invited to download our "Vintage Witches brew" Collection!

Double Double toil and trouble! Alot has been brewing here at Serendipity Soiree this past month. One of "witch" We are finally debuting! You are cordially invited to download our "Vintage Witches Brew" Collection  for your vintage inspired Halloween Soiree! The best part is... it's free! The Collection includes a vintage inspired Bewitching Invitation, Matching Party Circles/Cupcake Toppers and Bottle Labels. The Bottle Labels fit perfectly on soda bottles such as Jone's and Stewarts etc and they can also be used on jars for a candy buffet, wine bottles, bag tags, stickers...options are endless for labels and party circles! Just scroll to the bottom of this post for each high resolution pdf. download link. Simply wicked!







"You are cordially invited to a Bewitching Soiree - Invitation"
- click image for larger view -

"witches brew bottle labels"
- click image for larger view -

"Claw of Raven bottle labels"
- click image for larger view -

"Party Circles/Cupcake toppers"
- click image for larger view -

1. Vintage "Witches Brew" Invitation - Click to download .pdf
2. Vintage "Witches Brew" Labels (Witches Brew) - Click to download .pdf
3. Vintage "Witches Bew" Labels (Raven Claw) - Click download .pdf