Homemade Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Welcome back friends! 

Who wants some fresh, oven baked pumpkin bread to enjoy on one (or more) of these beautiful autumn mornings? Maybe at a table with some coffee or tea and a good book? 

I know I do, so let’s bake some!

PUMPKIN BREAD
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3⁄4 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 large of eggs
  • 1 15-oz can of pumpkin puree
  • Powdered sugar (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Set an oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat it to 325F. 
  2. Grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans with butter, then dust with flour.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Whisk until well combined, then set aside. 
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and continue to beat until very light and fluffy, then incorporate the pumpkin.
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix on a low speed until well combined. 
  6. Divide the batter evenly into the two prepared pans, and bake for 65 – 75 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  7. Let the loaves cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  8. Place powdered sugar into a sifter and lightly dust the top of each loaf.
  9. Enjoy!

Homemade Halloween Cookies with Reese’s Pieces

Welcome back friends 

I have some chocolatey, peanut buttery halloween cookies for you!

You may have heard that you can make cookies with boxed cake mix and this recipe does just that, but with a boost of unsweetened cocoa powder and Reeses Pieces! They are delicious; rich and not too sweet. If you’re looking for something tasty to bake for yourself or someone(s) you love, please try these and enjoy!

HALLOWEEN COOKIES
  • 1 box of devil’s food chocolate cake mix
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup of butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of Reeses Pieces candy
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Open the cake mix and pour it into a large mixing bowl.
  • Measure 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa into the dry cake mix and stir gently to incorporate.
  • Add the softened butter and eggs into the dry ingredients and mix until a thick dough forms.
  • Divide the Reeses Pieces: stir one cup into the cookie dough and place the other cup into a separate small bowl.
  • Roll the dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls, then dip the top of each dough ball into the small bowl of Reeses Pieces. Lightly press the Reeses Pieces on top a little more firmly into the dough if needed but don’t squash the dough ball and place it onto the baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes depending on the power of your oven.
  • Bring the cookies out of the oven and allow them to cool on a rack for about 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

DIY – Bat Silhouette Pom Pom Painting

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational crafts for her that are made with love and will be loved! This week we’ll be creating pom pom paintings of bat silhouettes for halloween! 

I remember when I was a kid we made halloween crafts at school and my mom would bring them out every year as part of our halloween decor. It made me feel super happy and proud that she would take the time to save and display my art every year and that is the feeling I want to inspire in my own daughter.

Let’s get painting!

SUPPLIES
  • Bat silhouette pattern (see above)
  • Printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Black cardstock paper (8.5 x 11”)
  • Clothespin(s)
  • Pom poms
  • Sunset colored paints (I used red, orange, purple and yellow)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print this bat pattern I’ve created and cut the bats out.
  2. Break off several small pieces of tape, roll them into cylinders, and use them to attach the bats where you want them on the black cardstock paper.
  3. Pour non-toxic sunset colored acrylic paints into a pie plate (or something similar) and set out a pom pom for each color.
  4. Use a clothespin to grab one pom pom at a time, or one clothespin per color.
  5. Allow your little one to dab the paint around and over the bats to their heart’s content.
  6. Allow the paint to dry and then gently peel off the bats to reveal their silhouettes!
  7. Hang it up and enjoy! 

Homemade Ghostly Brownie Recipe

Welcome back friends!

Who wants some fresh from scratch, oven baked ghostly brownies to enjoy on one (or more) of these beautiful autumn evenings? Maybe at a movie night, or a game night?

I know I do, so let’s bake some!

GHOSTLY BROWNIES
  • 1/2 cup of butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/3 cups of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F and coat a baking pan with cooking spray (I used a 13×9 pan).
  2. Combine the melted butter, oil, sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla and salt.
  4. Slowly stir in the flour a little at a time until a thick batter forms, then fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spread the batter into a prepared pan and bake for 21 to 25 minutes or until they become glossy around the edges and a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Place a little powdered sugar into a sifter and lightly sift the tops of the brownies until white.
  7. Using a ghost shape cookie cutter, cut ghost shapes into the brownies (leave them where they are) and add 3 chocolate chips for the eyes and the mouth of each ghost.
  8. Allow the brownies to completely cool and solidify, then carefully remove the ghosts from the pan. I peeled away the edges and extra spaces first, then used a flat metal spatula to lift the ghosts out.
  9. Enjoy!

DIY – Paper Bat Halloween Decorations

I am so bad at decorating my house for the holidays! I want to be better about it, but I’d like to create and/or collect decorations that are my vibe and that I’m proud of!

One of the looks I’ve always loved are colonies of bats flying across doorways and walls of a home. I’ve created my own bat pattern, so let’s create!

SUPPLIES
  • Bat pattern (see above)
  • 8.5 x 11 black cardstock paper
  • Scotch tape (or similar)
  • Scissors
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print and cut out these bat patterns I’ve created, then cut each bat shape in half!
  2. Fold each piece of cardstock paper in half horizontally and lightly tape the body of the bat patterns to the fold of the cardstock paper.
  3. Cut out as many bat shapes as you like and attach them to the wall or walls around your home. **For added texture you can fold some or all of the wings up so they aren’t flat against the wall!
  4. Enjoy!

DIY – Ghost Pom Pom Painting

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational crafts for her that are made with love and will be loved! This week we’ll be creating pom pom paintings of a ghost for halloween! 

I remember when I was a kid we made halloween crafts at school and my mom would bring them out every year as part of our halloween decor. It made me feel super happy and proud that she would take the time to save and display my art every year and that is the feeling I want to inspire in my own daughter.

Let’s get painting!

SUPPLIES
  • Ghost pattern (see above)
  • Printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Black cardstock paper (8.5 x 11”)
  • Clothespin
  • Pom pom
  • White paint
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print this ghost pattern I’ve created and cut it out of it’s frame, then set the frame aside.
  2. Cut the eyes and mouth out of the ghost shape.
  3. Break off three small pieces of tape, roll them into cylinders, and use them to attach the eyes and mouth where you want them on the black cardstock paper.
  4. Pour non-toxic white acrylic paint into a pie plate (or something similar) and use a clothespin to grab ahold of a pom pom.
  5. Place the ghost pattern’s frame around the edges of your cardstock page and dab the pom pom in the white paint, then dab it around in the edges of the ghost’s shape to create a dotted pattern for your little one.
  6. Remove the frame and allow your little one to dab the paint away to their heart’s content.
  7. Allow the paint to dry and then gently peel off the eyes and mouth to reveal!
  8. Hang it up and enjoy!

Our New Halloween Family Tradition

Halloween Tradition

Have you ever intentionally created a family tradition? I haven’t, until now!

My family and I grew up watching the Charlie Brown/Peanuts holiday specials around this time every year with our parents; they all have a special place in my heart, but none more than It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas!

Continuing on with these good feelings and memories, embellishing it to make it our own, here is our new Halloween tradition:

The night before Halloween (or a few nights before), we will carve our pumpkins and light them for the first time. After, we’ll sip on cold or warm apple cider (depending on the weather) and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!

It’s simple, yet fun and heartfelt like any family tradition should be! Create happy feelings and the happy memories will follow! Feel free to use this idea for your own family tradition, or take it and change it to make it your own!

Family Friendly Halloween Movies – PG Rated

Family Friendly Halloween PG Rated

Welcome to the spooky month of October my friends!

My family and I have created a list of family friendly Halloween movies and specials for you and yours! Halloween may be celebrated a little differently this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t kindle a little Halloween spirit!

This year we’ve decided to focus on movies and specials that are rated PG for parental guidance suggested; some material may not be suitable for children. If you are looking for movies and specials that are rated G for general audience and good for all ages, please visit last year’s list – Family Friendly Halloween Movies and Specials Rated G.

Please let us know if we missed or left out any of your family friendly (PG-rated) halloween favorites you feel should be included! We’d love to hear from you!

Organized alphabetically by title:

Family Friendly Halloween Children’s Books – Ages 5 and Under

Family Friendly Halloween Books

Welcome to the boo-tiful month of October my friends!

To inspire you and your little ones into the Halloween mood, I’ve curated a list of Halloween-themed books for ages five and under! These selections are festive, without frights or scares that could upset a younger audience.

There are a handful of books on this list with a reading age that start under the age of five and peak at the age of 7 or 8.

If you have a favorite Halloween book for children ages 5 and under that you do not see here, please let me know! I would love to add it to this list!

Family Friendly Halloween Playlist 2020

Family Friendly Halloween Playlist 2020Welcome to the spooky month of October my friends!

My family and I have created a playlist of family friendly Halloween music for you and yours! Halloween may be celebrated a little differently this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t kindle a little Halloween spirit!

This year we’ve decided to focus more on jazzy halloween inspired music with a few other songs sprinkled in that fit the mood. The Disney and Danny Elfman presence in this list is strong and I found myself wishing I could find more jazz covers of the Disney Villains songs.

Please let us know if we missed or left out any of your family friendly halloween favorites you feel should be included! We’d love to hear from you!

Family Friendly Halloween Playlist 2020

  •  Linus and Lucy | Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Monsters, Inc. | Randy Newman
  • Charlie Brown Theme | Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • The Scare Floor | Randy Newman
  • Great Pumpkin Waltz | Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • The Piano Duet (The Corpse Bride) | Danny Elfman
  • Overture (The Nightmare Before Christmas) | Danny Elfman
  • This is Halloween | The Citizens of Halloweentown
  • Grim, Grinning Ghosts | The Haunted Mansion Happy Haunts
  • Sally’s Song | Catherine O’hara
  • Jack and Sally Montage | Danny Elfman
  • Jack’s Lament | Danny Elfman
  • Ball & Socket Lounge Music #1 | Danny Elfman
  • Remains of the Day | Danny Elfman
  • They Don’t Scare Me | Mickey Mouse
  • Monster Mash | Bobby “Boris” Pickett
  • The Munsters | Jack Marshall
  • Trust in Me | Scarlett Johansson
  • Snuff Out the Light | Eartha Kitt
  • Witchy Woman | The Eagles
  • I Put a Spell On You | Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
  • Friends on the Other Side | Keith David
  • Man with the Hex | The Atomic Fireballs
  • The Headless Horseman | Thurl Ravenscroft
  • Superstition | Stevie Wonder
  • Remains of the Day (Combo Lounge Version) | Danny Elfman
  • Cruella De Vil | Dr. John
  • Ball & Socket Lounge Music #2 | Danny Elfman
  • Little Birdie (Instrumental) | Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Thanksgiving Theme | Vince Guaraldi Trio

Family Friendly Halloween Playlist on Spotify