Archive | Fall

Crowd Pleasing Savory Pumpkin Cheese Ball Recipe

Welcome back from the weekend!  Did you do any fun fall stuff this weekend?  We went to a pumpkin patch and made this fun pumpkin themed cheese ball.

We had beautiful weather this weekend so it was nice to get out and enjoy it a little bit.  It’s so fun watching my almost 15 month old experience things like hay and corn bins for the first time.

He had an interesting time trying to walk on hay covered ground around the pumpkins.  He started sort of scooting his feet, I think because he wasn’t sure about crunching down on the hay when he stepped.

I was also super proud of our daughter for trying the mini zip line at the pumpkin patch.  It wasn’t more than about 10 feet off the ground, but there weren’t any harnesses, just a platform to sit on.  Kind of like on a rope swing.  So she had to hold on tight as she zipped down.

Thankfully, Daddy ran along next to her just in case.  She’s become much more adventurous in the past few months.  That’s exciting to watch!

Seasoned Moms: I need your advice!

Our weekend was also filled with kids’ birthday parties.  I thought a few times this weekend, “is this what our life is going to become?”  Constantly attending kids’ birthday parties?

Don’t get me wrong, I like to celebrate, but I have a feeling our social calendar is going to fill up with 3, 4, and 5 year old birthday parties.

Can any of you seasoned moms tell me how you navigate this?  Do you attend all of them?  Get a gift even if you can’t go?  Limit how many you attend?

It feels like there has to be a cutoff somewhere.  Where is that cutoff?

Either way, one of the birthday’s this weekend was Halloween themed and the birthday girl wanted to dress up as a ghost princess and she was adorable!

Because of the Halloween theme, I couldn’t think of a better appetizer to bring than this pumpkin shaped cheese ball.  Nope, it doesn’t have pumpkin in it, it’s just shaped that way.

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It’s full of savory goodness that’s spreadable on a cracker or easily dipped into with a chip.  It’s a crowd pleaser.  I highly recommend taking it to any of the upcoming Halloween parties you may be attending.

Pumpkin Shaped Cheese Ball Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons salsa
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 top of a green pepper
  • 1 cup crushed nacho cheese chips

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Here’s what to do.  If you can mix a spoon you can do this.  It’s super easy!

Directions:

  1. Put first 5 ingredients in a bowl and mix together until blended.
  2. Form into a ball on a piece of plastic wrap
  3. Wrap plastic wrap around cheese ball and form into a ball, place in the refrigerator
  4. Once chilled, unwrap plastic wrap and sprinkle crushed nacho cheese chips all over cheese ball until covered and ball is orange like a pumpkin.
  5. Push top of green pepper into the top of the cheese ball to make the pumpkin stem.

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The finished product is so yummy and a perfect make ahead appetizer for any Halloween or fall themed party.

This is such a great time saver too.  Make this a day or two before the party so you can use those crucial last minutes leading up to the party to focus on things other than food.

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Add black corn tortilla chips for an even more on theme party dish!

Get ready for more Halloween inspired posts this week!

I’ll have all of you Halloween procrastinators covered with a big Amazon Halloween haul and last minute costume ideas.  With Prime you’ll be ready for Halloween even if you wait until the last minute.

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Fall Front Porch Tour 2018

I’m back spreading more fall cheer today!  I think since I started this blog, I’ve always shared my fall front porch, so I couldn’t let this year go by without doing it again.  So let’s take a quick tour today!

You can see past fall front porch tours here and  here.

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Even though I went more neutral and black and white in my house for fall this year, I couldn’t help but add some fall colors to the front porch.

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It’s funny looking back on the last two years’ front porches and seeing how things are similar, but colors have changed a bit.  I always seem to incorporate these lanterns into the fall front porch decor.

I love how neutral they are.  They add that rustic, brown element during the fall.  But they also work great in the summer time as a light addition to summer hues too.  I got them at Crate & Barrel years ago and can’t seem to find anything similar to link to for you.  I’ll keep checking though.

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Mums are always a must for my fall front porch.  In years past they’ve been orange and purple, but we went with yellow and that burnt orange color this year.  Thankfully, I had a couple metal pails to use as pots to hide the plastic container the mums come in.

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I also changed out the flowers in the railing pots.  Everything I planted there this summer basically died instantly.  So I’m hoping these orange marigolds last a little longer.

Side note, I would love to be an accomplished gardener when I get a little older (read more time when my kids aren’t tiny).  I’m talking I want to be on the same level as Joanna Gaines and her garden house.  I want garden beds, potting tables, sinks, all the gardening tools, a chicken coop, flowers, flowering trellis’. I want it all.

But, I have a long way to go before achieving that considering I kill succulents (very hard to kill plants) like it’s my job.  Maybe after doing some research, getting a gardening education, and some trial and error I’ll be able to do it?  Do you have any gardening book suggestions?

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This fall wreath always makes an appearance on my fall front porch too.  I like that it has a lot of different fall colors in it so it can go any direction I decide to lean each fall.

And let’s just talk about those corn stalks.  I’ve been wanting to incorporate corn stalks on my porch for years.  But every time I go to the store they are sold out.  Last year, I went to three different stores to try and find them.  So when I saw them this year I snapped them up! Well, my husband did.  I didn’t want to try and fit them in my car, but he was able to.

I also used some straw, but don’t even want to tell my husband how much that little bale cost.  See, he comes from farming country where you can literally just go out to the field or barn and get a straw bale three times the size for free.  But living here in the suburbs, you have to pay for these things.

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I’m so proud of my little pumpkin topiary!  All real pumpkins, and I used power tools to put them together!  I’m going to show you how on my Instagram stories.  So go there later today to check it out.  It turned out so cute!

My daughter also insisted that she get a pumpkin to paint when we were buying everything else for the front porch.  I think she did a great job mixing the colors.

Having kids has really taught me that it’s ok not to have a perfect looking house, porch, car, etc.  And it’s ok to incorporate their (usually primary colored things) into our decor.  It’s great for them to see that we care and appreciate the things they make enough to display them.  Do you display your kids’ creations or hide them away because they don’t go with your decor?

That wraps up our front porch tour.  What was your favorite part?  Mine is the topiary!

I’ll add a few spookier things right before Halloween to scare the trick or treaters!

 

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Tablescape Tuesday: 3 Fall Coffee Table Ideas

It’s Tablescape Tuesday!  One of my very favorite series around here.  It’s a chance to show party centerpieces, dessert tables, styled coffee tables or gift tables.  Today I’m giving you three different fall coffee table ideas.  They range from simple to elaborate, and I hope you can get some inspiration from at least one of them.

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Simple Fall Coffee Table Ideas

I don’t think you can get more basic and simple than by putting a few pumpkins on your coffee table.  I used these black and white buffalo check pumpkins in a group of three.  Simple, but their bold pattern makes a big statement.  I also think putting them in an odd numbered group like three or five makes a bigger impact.

 

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Easy Fall Coffee Table Idea

Next up is a coffee table tablescape that’s a little more involved.  It uses things you probably already have on your coffee table though, so that’s easy.

Just mix your typical books and coasters in with some more natural fall elements like pine cones.

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I used a black and white Ugandan made basket to tie into my fall color pallet of black and white.  I also removed the covers of the books to keep them more in line with my color scheme.

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Another way to use natural elements is to collect twigs, branches, or even weeds to put into a vase on your coffee table.  It will bring the outside in and bonus points if they are fall colors!

Advanced Fall Coffee Table Idea

This last fall coffee table look is more advanced and involves using several different accessories.  Plus, it’s a mix and match of the previous two looks.

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I took the same book stack with a pumpkin from the second look and added in some greenery.  With everything corralled on a whicker tray this fall coffee table look is all contained in one area.

I love the texture that the whicker tray provides and the life that the greenery gives. I do plan on switching out the greenery for some eucalyptus leaves a little further into the season.

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Which is your favorite look?  Do you think any of them are too difficult for you to replicate?  Did you gain any inspiration from them?

It feels like because we have little kids people are always surprised we have a coffee table, let alone stuff on it.  But I think because I’ve never changed my decorating style since having kids, they are just used to it.  Neither of them bothers the things I have out.

That is until I change things up.  When I switch stuff out for the season the first couple days they tend to explore things a little more.  But then, like usual, they get used to it and lose interest.

What’s typically on your coffee table?

 

 

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Thoughts on Fall Mantle Decorating

Well hello again old friend!  It’s been awhile (read like three weeks) since I’ve posted, yikes!  I’ve been traveling practically every weekend this month and it’s just so hard to get back into the swing of things when you’re constantly packing, unpacking, and doing laundry.   I’ve wanted to post about our fall mantle for awhile since the first day of fall is this Saturday.  Although from the temperatures outside lately you wouldn’t know it.

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tvI think another reason I’ve been so delayed in writing and posting anything is a lack of creativity.  Or motivation.  Or both.  It’s hard to see all of the over the top fall posts on Instagram and Pinterest and not go into comparison mode.  I also prefer using what I have and not buying a bunch of extra stuff to decorate with.

I knew I needed to start getting things ready for fall around here so I could photograph them and post about it.  But I didn’t have much motivation.  It’s funny how just one thing can really change your mindset about finding the motivation to start though.

The Story of What Sparked Me to Start My Fall Mantle

So a couple of weeks ago I was at Wal-Mart getting a couple of random things. It’s actually pretty rare for me to be in the store.  Praise Jesus for grocery pick-up when you have two little kids, right?!

So there I am wondering around the aisles from one side of the store to the other because of course I needed cheese and a hand held mirror.  Totally random and of course on the opposite sides of the store.  As I was walking towards the inevitably under-manned check out lanes I’m looking around trying to think if we need anything else and I spot them.

I see the exact thing I need to jump start my fall decorating.

It’s noticeable contrast caught my eye.

So I quickly diverted my cart to get closer and check it out.

As I got up to them they were exactly what I thought I saw from the distance, but better.

Black and white buffalo check pumpkins with a natural stem and a raffia bow.

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Similar pumpkins here

Who knew I needed them in my life?  I sure didn’t but they instantly got me excited and motivated for fall decorating.  To be honest, the entire fall section did.  There was so much black and white with pops of deep orange and cranberry colors.  I hadn’t really ever tried decorating for fall with black and white.

So I bought those little black and white buffalo check pumpkins and decided this is what I’m going to center my fall decorating around this year.  And you know what happened?

I brought those pumpkins home, and they sat.  For another solid week.

Isn’t it funny how in the moment you can be so excited but once you’re back to everyday routine the excitement wears off?

One Small Step Forward Is all The Motivation You Need

So finally, this week I had a couple minutes to start putting those little pumpkins to use.  I started by adding them to my fall mantle.  Just that one small step launched me into action.  It was like a waterfall of activity, motivation, and creativity.  So much that I was almost late to an appointment because I was in the grove decorating everything, snapping photos, moving stuff around, and taking more pictures.

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tvThankfully that small step got my mantle decorated for fall, the entire living room decorated, and work towards updating the front porch for fall too.  All of those things will be on the blog soon too.

The funny thing is that the black and white of those little pumpkins opened my eyes to be on the lookout for other things around my house and at stores to use to decorate with.

I found perfectly matching paper placemats that I used to make the black and white banner on my mantle.  They also serve as intended on my dining room table.  Black and white bowls from around the house because a focal point for my decorating too.

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Mixing in white photo frames, with natural, neutral tones and a couple pops of typical fall colors really brought my fall mantle together.

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fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tv

Reimagining this color scheme allowed me to reimagine what I already had.  I turned this white with navy blue vase around so all you see is the white side.  Now it fits perfectly with my fall mantle color scheme.

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tv I’d love to get some live eucalyptus leaves to put in this vase.  To me they are the perfect fall greenery.  I will probably wait a bit so I can enjoy them a little longer though.  Plus, you can never have too many reminders to be thankful!  I’m certainly thankful for taking a small step of action to be ready for the season.

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What small step can you take today towards that thing that you’ve been putting off?  Just like my little pumpkins, there is something that will give you the motivation for productivity.

 

 

 

 

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Halloween Boo Basket Ideas and a FREE Printable

Welcome back for the weekend.  I know it’s already Tuesday, but I worked this past weekend, so Monday was definitely a day for me to catch up. Hopefully you had a fall-filled, fun weekend.

I feel like I just keep gushing over how fun our neighborhood is, but it’s the best.  We have great neighbors and do fun things all year long.  One thing we experienced for the first time last year was the idea of a “Boo Basket.”  I had vaguely heard about them previously, but was so excited to actually get one last year.

Do you know what a Boo Basket is?  Does your neighborhood do them? It’s such a great way to celebrate Halloween in your neighborhood!

The basic idea is to spread some ghostly cheer around Halloween.  The rules are pretty simple, put together two Boo Baskets filled with candy, Halloween themed items and treats.  Then place it by your neighbor’s front door and sneak off without them knowing.

Once you get “boo’ed” it’s your turn to “boo” someone else in your neighborhood.  It’s so fun to walk through your neighborhood and see how one little act can spread throughout the whole neighborhood!

You’re in luck today.  If you want to start this fun tradition in your neighborhood, I’ve included everything you need, just add treats!  Click on the printables below to download and print off all of your Boo Basket information.

Halloween Boo Basket Ideas, How to Make a Boo Basket, Boo Basket Printables

Halloween Boo Basket Ideas, How to Make a Boo Basket, Boo Basket Printables

 

Boo Basket Ideas

I used a variety of Halloween treats in my boo baskets.  I basically just went to Target and raided the Dollar Spot.

Halloween Boo Basket Ideas, How to Make a Boo Basket, Boo Basket PrintablesHere’s a list of a bunch of great things you could include in your own Boo Basket:

  • Candy
  • Glow sticks
  • Halloween decor
  • Halloween napkins
  • Fake spiderwebs
  • Orange and black straws
  • Mini Pumpkins
  • Pumpkin carving set
  • Googly eyes (they literally work for everything!)

Feel free to use the ideas above to inspire your own Boo Baskets. Put everything in a basket, include the printables above and add some “You’ve Been Boo’ed” tags then sneak them onto your neighbors front porch or by their front door.

Halloween Boo Basket Ideas, How to Make a Boo Basket, Boo Basket Printables

Happy Boo-ing!  I hope you get just as excited as me when you start seeing the “We’ve Been Boo’ed” signs popping up all over your neighborhood.  Boo Baskets are such a fun way to spread some Halloween cheer throughout your neighborhood!

 

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Celebrating everyday!