We do paper chain countdowns for everything in our house. After making a Mickey Paper Chain to countdown to our Disney Cruise I started thinking about how I could do one to count down to our upcoming Halloween Disney Cruise. I must admit that gluing on the ears and attempting to cut out little ovals was slightly time consuming (not really, but you know, as a mom, any corner cutting is gladly welcomed) so I decided to make this one a printable. Not only does this save a bunch of time, but it makes my wannabe perfectionist heart so happy.
This paper chain could be used for a countdown to a Disney Trip at Halloween, Mickey’s Halloween Party, a Halloween Disney Cruise, or if you are big Disney fans, but don’t have any trips to count down to, you could use it to count down to Halloween or as a decoration. I hope you have fun with it. Happy Halloween.
To download the printables, click on the following links:
Mickey Paper Chain Printable
Minnie Paper Chain Printable
Countdown to Disneyland Sign
Countdown to Walt Disney World Sign
Countdown to Disney Cruise Sign
Countdown to Halloween Sign
Then just print them out on cardstock, cut everything out and glue or staple the links together.
*These free printables from thecreativecopycat.com are for personal use only, you may not sell, share or link directly to these files.
My oldest son is currently in Pre-K and I am still learning all the ins and outs of “school-dom” For example, I did not realize people give teachers gifts for Halloween. I already dropped the ball last Valentine’s Day and had to rush out to buy some cake pops and cookies from a local bakery so I should have been a bit more prepared…but yet here we are. I saw a few friends posting about teacher gifts just days before Halloween so I didn’t have much time. I came up with a nice simple idea, bought bath bombs from Lush, made cute labels (I know the saying is trick or treat yo’ self, but I couldn’t bring myself to write that on a gift going to a teacher ;)) and packaged everything up. Then I had a million things to bring to school, the kids were acting crazy because they were excited for Halloween and I forgot the gifts at home. Oops. Hopefully the teachers will still be happy when they get them late because they really are awesome and they deserve a little relaxing treat. From now on, I am just going to assume that any time I bring classroom treats for the kids, I should bring teacher gifts as well.
To download the free gift labels click here.
Yay for my first scrapbooking post!
I’m not sure why, but scrapbooking is probably the crafting area I am least confident in, which is sort of weird because I have been doing it the longest. I think part of it is because I want to save products for the perfect page or I’m nervous about making a mistake with my only sheet of a certain paper or maybe my brain is just fried from the other thousands of thoughts I have going on at any given moment by the time I get to scrapbooking (usually late at night after everyone is in bed). Whatever the reason, this is the area where I am the biggest copycat. Thankfully, the scrapbooking world seems to encourage “scraplifting” 😉
I’ve posted a little bit about scrapbooking on my instagram account and have already been getting questions. 🙂 I have a few tips and ideas I’d like to share with you in the coming weeks and months, and I will do my best to answer any questions, but for today, I’m just sharing this fun October layout I created for Hudson’s preschool album with one fun, but hopefully very helpful idea.
I don’t know about your kids, but Hudson brought home hundreds of crafts last year. By the last day of school, I had a drawer overflowing and piles of crafts throughout my house. I am a hoarder at heart and was struggling with tossing them out, so I decided to photograph them. I photographed everything, then picked out my favorites (which was still way too many) and tossed the rest.
*One tip I learned the hard way, is to leave space around the art when you take the photos. This will give you more freedom later when creating collages and/or re-sizing photos for your layout.*
I then created a scrapbook page for each month using photos the preschool gave us at the end of the year and the pictures I took of Hudson’s artwork. I used one of my favorite Laura Vegas layouts as inspiration and a variety of Bella Blvd papers and washi tapes. This page is actually quite simple, but I really love how it turned out. I love looking at Hudson’s art on the scrapbook page and it has helped me tremendously in being able to let go of the overwhelming stack of physical artwork I had taking over my house. I took my few favorite physical pieces of art and slipped them in 12×12 page protectors and included them in the photo album. It makes me happy to know that Hudson’s artwork is actually being admired instead of sitting in a box in my garage.
One of the things that I have found to be very rewarding and a big help in keeping me sane, was joining my local Mom’s Club. We have park play dates, Mom’s night out events, kid’s crafts, holiday get together’s and tons of other fun activities. We recently added a Mom’s Craft Night to the calendar, which I host every other month. For October, I picked a really fun decor craft using wood slices from A Night Owl. She had a tutorial on using the wood slices to make pumpkins and one to make apples. On Pinterest I also saw a few people had just painted them black with chalkboard paint so I decided to get supplies for all three crafts and let the moms choose.
I provided the following supplies:
- Orange Acrylic Paint
- Brown Acrylic Paint (I used Americana Multi Surface Satin in Coffee bean)
- Red Chalkboard Paint (I used Martha Stewart Chalkboard paint in Habanero)
- Black Chalkboard Paint
- Coiled floral wire
- Jumbo square craft sticks
- One round stick sawed into smaller pieces
- Green felt
- Foam paint brushes
- Glue gun
- Wire cutters
- Drill – only needed for the apple
I asked the mom’s to bring the wooden slices with them.
We all ended up making the pumpkin and then a few of us made the other two as well. They all turned out really cute and it was a fun and easy project.
The best part was that we had to keep waiting for the paint to dry, which meant lots of down time to eat delicious treats, drink and chat. I made Monster Saltine Cracker Toffee, Candy Corn Cracker Toffee, spooky rice crispy treats and straw-berry ghouladas to drink. We also took a few pictures in my DIY photobooth. The photobooth is something I get asked about all the time, so I am working on a post with all the details and will hopefully have that up for you soon.
If you are interested in making any of these fall themed crafts please click on the below links for complete instructions.
Painted Wood Slice Pumpkin
DIY Apple Chalkboard
For the chalkboard one, we just painted the wood slice with 2-3 coats of chalkboard paint allowing it to dry for about an hour in between each coat. Wait another 24 hours before you season the chalkboard and begin to decorate.
As you can see, it only takes a few supplies and fun treats to have a really great night with friends.
Saltine Cracker Toffee, aka “Christmas Crack” (I have never been a fan of that name) is one of my favorite things to make. I was only introduced to it by a friend last Christmas and I have been making it ever since. It is so easy to make and involves very few ingredients so it is a great dessert to whip up for last-minute situations. I just change my toppings to fit each holiday.This time, I used green candy melts and fun toppings to make a spooky version for Halloween.
Monster Saltine Cracker Toffee
A Halloween twist on this classic dessert. Add edible eyes, gummy worms, mini Oreos, m&ms and sprinkles for a fun and easy dessert
Credit: adapted from theidearoom.net
- 30-40 saltine crackers
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 cups green candy melts
- mini M&M’s, mini oreos to make bats, candy eyes, gummy worms and sprinkles to decorate
- Pre-heat oven to 350F
- Line a large jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and then line the pan with saltine crackers.
- Place the butter and sugar in a medium-sized pot over medium-low heat. Stir until butter has melted. Once butter has melted, bring to a boil. Stir constantly. Turn down the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes until thickened.
- Once it’s nice and bubbly, remove pan from heat.
- Pour evenly over saltine crackers and spread mixture with a knife. Try to move fast during this part so the toffee doesn’t harden.
- Place pan in the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes.
- While pan is in the oven, place bowl of candy melts in microwave and melt following packaging instructions. *They don’t need to be completely melted as the heat from the toffee will finish melting them*
- Remove pan from oven and then pour candy melts on top and spread all over the toffee with a spatula.
- Sprinkle toppings on then place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Once chocolate has hardened break pieces off the foil and store in an air-tight container.
*Another fun little tip is to make this in two smaller pans so you can use different toppings. I made one pan of the Monster Saltine Cracker Toffee and one pan of Candy Corn Saltine Cracker Toffee. For the candy corn toffee use orange, yellow and white candy melts, orange and yellow m&m’s, sprinkles and candy corn (if you don’t eat it all while baking….oops) 😉
I know it is supposed to be fall and everyone is probably enjoying their cold weather drinks right now, but here in Cali it is still hot! I decided it was the perfect excuse to transform my favorite fruity concoction, a Lava Flow, into a festive Halloween drink. This is so easy I am not even sure if it qualifies as a recipe, but here ya go.
Transform the tropical and fruity lava flow into a fun and easy Halloween drink
Credit: I’m taking credit for this one although I obviously didn’t invent the Lava Flow 😉
For the Simple Strawberry Syrup
- 1 10 ounce bag of frozen strawberries
- 4 tablespoons boiling water
- 6 tablespoons sugar (if your strawberries are really sweet or you aren’t addicted to sugar like me you could easily cut the boiling water and sugar amounts in half)
For the Pina Coladas
- Pina Colada Mix
For the Simple Strawberry Syrup
- Combine boiling water and sugar to make a syrup
- Add syrup to frozen strawberries and blend until smooth
- Suck strawberry syrup into syringes – filling to the 1 ounce mark
- Store in refrigerator until ready to serve
For the Pina Coladas
- Blend pina coloda mix, rum and ice in blender following measurements on the mix.
- Pour into cup and serve with “bloody” syringe.
- Watch as the blood fills your drink – stir – enjoy.
I made this quick and easy pumpkin whipped cream for our Halloween playdate and it exceeded all my expectations. The DIY Foodie said it would change my life, and honestly it did. It is so easy, yet it takes my morning coffee to a whole new level. I stored the leftovers in a tupperware in the fridge so I could enjoy “pumpkin spice lattes” at home all week. By pumpkin spice lattes, I mean, coffee, with french vanilla coffee mate and a splash of pumpkin spice coffee mate added, then topped with this heavenly whipped cream. You could also put this on scones, pumpkin pie, cookies, anything really to add a little fall magic.
Pumpkin Whipped Cream
Quick and easy pumpkin whipped cream that will surely get you in the fall spirit.
Credit: slightly modified recipe from The DIY Foodie
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 3 tablespoons Libby’s pumpkin puree
- Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl or stand mixer. *make sure ingredients are cold
- Whip for 2-4 minutes until it reaches desired consistency
I was walking through Target by myself the other day, sounds heavenly right?, when I spotted vampire fang whistles. For Hudson’s preschool Halloween party, we are asked to bring a non-food treat for each kid and I thought these would be a lot of fun. You can’t really go wrong with something that transforms your child into a vampire and makes noise, right? Plus, while Halloween is centered strongly around candy and sweets, it is becoming more common in schools to require non-food treats as allergies become more and more common. As a mama of an allergic child, I certainly appreciate that and put a lot of effort into making sure that no sweets doesn’t mean no fun.
As soon as I got home, I searched the internet for a printable and couldn’t find anything so I made one myself. These are really easy to put together and Hudson loved them. I can’t wait for him to share them with his friends at school. I hope you enjoy making these as well.
To download the free printable click here.
These pumpkin scones are perfect for fall. They are quick, easy and only have a few ingredients. Enjoy!
Quick and easy scones that are perfect for fall.
Credit: Scone Recipe adapted from www.taste.com.au
- 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup Libby’s pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/2 cup sprite
- 1 tablespoons milk
For the Glaze (Optional)
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
For the Spiced Glaze (Optional)
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl
- Whisk the pumpkin and cream in a separate bowl until smooth and add to flour
- Add sprite and mix with a knife until sticky dough forms
- Place onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly *over kneading will cause scones to be tough
- Press dough out with hands until approximately 1 inch thick
- Use round 2 3/4″ biscuit cutter dipped in flour to cut rounds from dough
- Gently knead the leftovers and cut more rounds
- Place the scones, side by side and just touching, on a parchment lined tray.
- Lightly brush with milk
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.
- To make the glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar and milk. Whisk until smooth.
- To make the spiced glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and milk. Whisk until smooth.
- Once scones have completely cooled, spoon the glaze on each scone.
- Place spiced glaze in ziploc bag. Cut tip off and drizzle glaze over scones.
- Allow glazes to set before serving.
I hosted a playdate today for my Mom’s Club group and did a few little things to make it extra fun for everyone. Most of these were really simple, but made a big impact. First of all, I added vampire teeth and candy eyes to our glazed donuts. I’m sure you have seen this all over pinterest and I am here to tell you it is as easy as it seems and the kids loved it. If you are having trouble with the eyes just put a little corn syrup on the backs so they stick without having to shove them in.
I also set out a few coffee mate creamers including pumpkin spice to add to our coffee along with a bowl of homemade pumpkin whipped cream.
I mostly followed the recipe from DIY Foodie and it was so delicious and super easy. It made the coffee drinks seem so decadent, which is so needed when a bunch of little kids are running around, scattering rice from the Halloween sensory bin, I set up for them, all over your yard.
I also made some pumpkin scones for the moms to enjoy. I found a starbucks copycat recipe, but it seemed a bit labor intensive for a playdate snack so I scoured the internet for another option. I have an awesome scone recipe myself, but am not super comfortable with creating my own recipes, especially when it comes to things like scones. After scouring the internet, I found one that sounded really similar to my plain scone recipe on taste.com.au – thank you Australia! I tweaked the recipe a little and came up with a Pumpkin Scone Recipe that is really simple and delicious. Then just for fun, I decided to make the two glazes in the starbucks copy-cat recipe (of course I simplified it because again-the less ingredients I have to buy the better in my book). If you don’t want to trouble with the glaze (I’ll admit, my glaze presentation could use some work) you could always serve them with jam and the delicious pumpkin whipped cream.
I also grabbed these fun water bottles from Target. Cute, right?
It was a very fun morning for us adults and the kids and even though everything was fairly simple my mom friends were impressed.