Friday, October 17, 2014

Halloween-y ideas

Good Friday to you all.  Today (at least right now) it's a grey, gloomy, blustery day.  The leaves are mid-way through the colour change- some are on the ground.  It's very fall-like today, so I thought I'd share a few Halloween things with you today.

I love Halloween.  I hate being scared, so I don't do the super scary movies, the blood and gore, I like the cute, goofy, fun side of Halloween.  (That kind of sums me up right there, doesn't it?)  In the picture above- the sign is one I made (I have a little side sign business- please feel free to check it out).  I really like the bold graphic stripes paired with the fancier frame- it's fun but not too goofy. The pumpkin is one I picked up at Michael's a couple of years ago and I vinyl cut a W and applied it. Took about 5 minutes.


I've told you before about my love for Pinterest.  I saw this craft idea on there a few years ago and decided to try it out.  I love it too.  The kids were much smaller, obviously- their feet would never fit on there now!  I just grabbed a small canvas at the dollar store, painted it black and did their foot prints.  You can't see it, but I also covered the sides of the canvas with a black and white damask ribbon, just to finish the sides off.


I made these cookies for Elise's class treat last year.  I made my favourite gingerbread recipe (I'll share it below) into boys, and then used some chocolate to jazz these guys up.  Super easy.


This guy was Halloween breakfast last year.  I bit the bullet last year and bought myself a donut pan- it is one of the best purchases I've made.  The kids love them.  They are donut-aholics- and these are cheaper and healthier (?) than heading over to Timmie's.  These ones were orange, I believe.  You can use any muffin recipe you have and put it in the pan and voila, you've got donuts!  I can't just leave it at that you know, I added 2 smarties and some vampire teeth- they LOVED it.  Win.

This year we had a time deciding on Halloween costumes.  Elise went back and forth about a hundred times.  Girl is indecisive!  Max though, he knew right away.  "I want to be Two Face, mommy."

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Forehead slap.  For reals child?  I wasn't sure where I was going to get a purple and orange suit- since it HAD to be purple and orange.  So, I just kind of put it at the back of my mind, until I realized a couple weeks ago that I HAD to have both kids' costumes ready for October 11- there is an awesome Halloween in the park at a provincial park near us, it's fantastic.  So I went to the thrift store and found and old boy's suit, perfect size, but it was BLACK.  Now there is another version of Two-Face...



He agreed to be the black and white, so long as I didn't do it too "old school".  His exact words.  Um, excuse me, aren't you 6?  Anyways, we had the suit and I came up with the idea to spray paint it.  Let me just say- EPIC FAIL.  Looked like crap and add to it Tim's fear of Max wearing a chemical suit and blowing up into flames beside a camp fire.  So back I went to the OTHER thrift store, and I had to piece it together, a black suit jacket, black fleece pants and a black tie.  We bought some fabric paint and Tim painted half of the "suit".  And here's how it turned out....


And a couple more, cause they are so cute.





Elise ended up a witch (I coerced her with the tutu, girl can't turn down a tutu), and I think they look fantastic.

I still have to figure out what treats they are going to take for school this year, I have a bunch pinned but haven't decided on anything yet.  If you follow me on Instagram, you'll probably see it first.
Have a great weekend!

Almost forgot!  

Big Batch Gingerbread Dough

6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground ginger
1  teaspoon ground cloves
1  teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1  cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups molasses

In a large bowl stir together first 6 ingredients- set aside.  In another large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, and butter until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in the molasses and 2 1/2 Tablespoons water until well blended.  Beat in half of the flour mixture until evenly incorporated.  Stir in remaining flour mixture until well blended.  Working in the bowl, knead the dough until very well blended and smooth and shiny.  If the dough is too stiff add up to 3 more tablespoons of water- if too soft, add more flour until firmer and more manageable.

Divide dough into thirds and place portions in airtight plastic bags (or wrap in plastic wrap, which is what I do).  Chill in fridge for at least 4 hours- let warm up slightly before using.  (You can refrigerate the dough for up to 4 days, warm it for 15 minutes before using.)

Working with one portion at a time, knead the dough until softened just slightly.  Roll out on floured surface 1/4 inch thick (I've been known to make mine a little thicker and the cookie is softer, which I like)  Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 to speed up the chilling.  (The cold dough will hold the cutout shapes much better when cutting out and when baking won't spread as much)

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Cut out shapes, reroll scraps.  If the dough gets too soft, put it back in the fridge to chill again.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in the middle of the oven for 6 - 12 minutes.  Centre should be barely firm- for softer cookies underbake (my preference) for crispier, overback slightly.  Transfer to the sheet to a cooling rack and set the cookies stand and firm up about 3 minutes, then, using a spatula, transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

*you can freeze these as cutouts and bake them fresh when you need them, or freeze them, undecorated, after you bake them*

adapted from The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Bagget 
(I LOVE this book, be sure to check it out) 

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