creepy Halloween cocktails

Halloween is the best time of year to pull out your shaker and get creative with your cocktails. Every year we like to pick a spooky cocktail to celebrate Halloween, and this year we are into smokey, dark drinks. Dry ice is the secret ingredient used to give off that signature trail of smoke, and we can’t wait to get our hands on some to make our own crypt worth Halloween cocktails! To get us all in the mood, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite creepy cocktails this Halloween:

Smoking Blackberry Sage Margarita


Wicked Spatula

The Poisoned Apple


Cool Mom Picks

The Red Queen


Supergolden Bakes

Black Widow Venom


The Shabby Creek Cottage

The Grave Digger


The Boulder Locaovore




Hallman + Ashley

diy embroidered denim


One trend we have been loving this fall is embroidered denim. We’re seeing it everywhere, whether it’s an ornate floral design or a simple monogram. Embroidering denim is a simple and colorful way to update an old pair of jeans, a denim shirt or even a favorite jacket! Using a simple chain stitch you can easily personalize a basic wardrobe staple with a few strands of embroidery floss and a needle. Because we love a good monogram, we decided to personalize our own favorite jeans with a set of bright red initials. The best part is, when you’re tired of the stitching you can simply take it out!




Using the fabric marking pencil, start by writing your initials on the denim of your choice. If you’re monogramming a pair of jeans, the upper corner on a back pocket or just above a front pocket are great places. If you’re embroidering a jacket or shirt, placing a monogram just above the front pocket or on the cuff look great as well. Thread the embroidery needle with the embroidery floss and tie a knot at the end of the floss.


Making a chain stitch looks a lot more complicated than it really is. Run the needle through the fabric, from back to front, at the bottom of the first letter. Make your first stitch by placing the needle back down into the denim along the line of the letter. Start making your next stitch by bringing the needle back up through the denim from front to back, just a little bit above the first stitch, making sure that you are following the lines of the letter.


To make the first chain stitch, run the needle through the first stitch from right to left. Then place the needle back down the hole through which you just drew the thread through. Now you’ve made your first chain stitch!


Continue making chain stitches, following the lines of the letters you’ve made with the pencil.


When you finish the first letter, make a knot in the thread at the back of the denim and cut the thread. Then begin again on the next letter.


Our DIY monograms were really simple and took only about 20 minutes to make, but a few major retailers like Madewell and J.Crew offer customized denim monogramming and embroidery services as well. If you’re looking for more embroidery inspiration, we’ve put together a few of our favorites:


Jean Stories




Honestly WTF

EXCLUSIVE: Olivia Palermo in all denim with monogram shirt walking her dog in Brooklyn, NYC.



A Pair and a Spare

Happy making!


Ashley + Hallman

sweet halloween treats

We are always looking for fun Halloween snacks for our kids. Last year we did a lot of spider-themed snacks for Halloween, and this year we wanted to focus on snacks that were easy to bring to school and parties. Kids love any snack that is on stick, and our marshmallow pops have been so popular with our kids that we wanted to make a few more snacks on sticks. It’s the simple things!

Mummy Cookie Pops


Mummy cookie pops are a really fun snack to make and they are pretty delicious too! We started with Oreos, but any Oreo-style cookie will work. We used white chocolate melts, heating them either in a double boiler or the microwave until they had just melted, not too chunky and not to runny. Open the Oreo cookie, place the lollipop stick on the frosting, put a drop of melted chocolate on top of the stick, and then place the two cookies together again. The melted chocolate ensures the cookie will stick together with the stick inside.


Next, dip the cookie in the melted white chocolate and place them on a piece of parchment paper to cool. Add candy google eyes or upside down chocolate chips for eyes while the chocolate is still wet. Roll out a piece of white fondant until it is flat and thin. Once the fondant is rolled out, cut narrow rectangular strips for the bandages. Lay the fondant bandages on top of the cookies in a haphazard way, layering some on top of another. If your chocolate hardens, you may need to add a touch of melted chocolate to help the bandages stick. If you don’t want to mess with fondant you can pipe strips of melted white chocolate onto the cookies to look like bandages.

Chocolate and Caramel Dipped Apple Slices

Our kids love caramel apples, but a whole caramel apple is not only difficult to eat, it’s also quite a large sugary treat for one kid. Which is why these caramel and chocolate dipped apple slices are perfect. They were also a cinch to make!


With the stem facing up, we cut green apples into 1/2 inch wide slices. Then, using a sharp knife we cut a slit into the bottom of each slice and inserted a popsicle stick into each slit. We dipped the apple slices in melted chocolate or caramel and set them on a parchment lined baking sheet to cool. Our kids loved helping make them festive by drizzling melted white chocolate and adding a dash of sprinkles on top.

For some more Halloween snack inspiration check out our spider cupcakes, monster cupcakes, rice crispie treats, or any of these new delicious looking treats we’ve found:




Just a Taste


One Little Project


Betty Crocker

Happy Making!


Hallman + Ashley

halloween doors galore!


Each year we go all out, decorating our doors, mantels and tables for Halloween. Our first year we went crazy with pumpkins and bats, and last year we went with a creepy crawly spider theme. This year our heads were swimming with festive ideas and we couldn’t land on just one, so we decided to put our energy into executing all our ideas with a focus on our front doors.


We found two wooden skulls at Michael’s that were just screaming for a make-over so we decided to dress them both of them up a bit to decorate our front doors! We started by painting a plain wooden Day of the Dead skull with white spray paint. Then we used a small paint brush to decorate the details with various colors of craft paint. We finished off the skull by hot gluing a faux peony and ranunculus from Ikea to the top of the skull.


Our pirate skull was the easiest door decoration we’ve ever made. Starting with the black wooden skull we found at Michael’s, we wrapped a piece of black and white ribbon around the top of the head. Then we cut an eye patch out of red card stock and attached it to the ribbon with glue dots. Voila, a pirate skull!



After reading a Magic Tree House book about the Raven King, Charlie requested that we do a raven themed door…and who are we to turn down our kids’ requests. We loved his idea and decided to run with it! We especially liked the idea because our kids are ready for slightly spookier decorations, but not ready for the all out Halloween “gore fest,” so decorating with ravens is the perfect mix of slightly spooky but not too scary. To make our first wreath we wrapped black and white striped ribbon around a styrofoam wreath and secured the ribbon with hot glue. Then we hot glued two black crows that we found at Michael’s to the bottom of the wreath.


The pumpkins could not have been easier! We attached black crows in various sizes and poses to each pumpkin with hot glue and called it a day!


Because we couldn’t help ourselves, we decided to come up with another raven themed wreath that was also just as easy to make as the first. We started with our grapevine wreath that gets recycled each fall, and spray painted it black. Then we hot glued a few pieces of grey moss to the bottom, attached the crow using floral wire and topped it off with a black and white striped bow.


Happy decorating!


Ashley + Hallman

 no carve diy pumpkins

We started searching for no carve pumpkin decorating ideas when our kids were very young, but even now that they are older they love finding fun new ways to decorate pumpkins. Anything colorful or silly is sure to be a hit with your kids!  While all of these ideas work on real pumpkins, sometimes we like to use craft pumpkins so our creations will last a little longer. There are so many creative ways to DIY your pumpkins that you can do weekly pumpkin crafts with your kids until Halloween! The most important thing is to have fun!


Emoji Pumpkins

Our kids have a slight obsession with emoji’s right now so it was only fitting that we created emoji pumpkins. First paint your pumpkins yellow with craft paint or spray paint in stages, letting it dry before you to turn them over. Cover the stem with painter’s tape if you do not not want it to to be yellow. While the pumpkins dry, cut out your emoji faces out of construction paper and attach the pieces with glue dots. We made most of our faces with circle punches and heart punches. There are so many possibilities with emoji pumpkins and they are sure to make you smile!


Splatter Paint Pumpkins

We love splatter paint! Splatter painting pumpkins is super easy and really fun for kids. Splatter paint shows up best on white pumpkins, but use any color of pumpkins and paints that you like. Use a medium size, fluffy paint brush and cover it heavily in paint. Next hit the paint brush over your pointer finger and let the paint splatter all over the pumpkins without touching the brush to the pumpkin. With a clean brush, switch colors and repeat the process. Once you have made it through all the colors, let the paint dry. Once the paint is dry, flip the pumpkins over and splatter paint on the other side.



Decoupage Pumpkins

We love decoupaging pumpkins because it is so simple and the possibilities for color and design are endless! It also lasts a very long time…in fact we have decoupage pumpkins from last year that we’ve brought out again. Start with a faux pumpkin, some Mod Podge and a brush. Have your kids cut out fun shapes from colored paper using scissors or hole punches, hold the shapes on the pumpkin and paint a thick layer of Mod Podge over the paper and pumpkin. Once the pumpkin is dry, paint a second coat on the pumpkin, let it dry again and you’re finished.


Pumpkin Decorating Kits

There are so many cute pumpkin decorating kits out there that make the whole process so much easier. We made the Flamingo Pumpkin, a Pineapple Pumpkin, and the Spikey Pumpkins from Target. We also loved the Dinosaur, the BB8 Pumpkin and the Darth Vader Pumpkin. Most of these kits come with paint, but we found it easier to spray paint the pumpkin before we decorated it.



Happy Crafting!


Hallman + Ashley

diy halloween costumes


Each year it seems our kids get more and more excited for Halloween and begin plotting their costumes months in advance. This year was no exception and our kids couldn’t wait for us to get started on their Superman, Pippi Longstocking and Flash costumes! Since neither one of us has a sewing machine or the know-how to sew a costume from scratch, we love to create “no-sew” costumes for our kids. Last year we found a brand of kids clothing called Primary, which allowed us to easily make colorful no-sew costumes for our kids. Primary has now become our go-to brand for kids’ costumes not only because they are comfortable, but they have a large assortment of styles in an endless array of colors. The fact that nothing is over $25 also sweetens the deal quite a bit!



For Henry’s Superman costume we started with the long sleeve pj top and the pj pant in Cobalt. For the Superman logos, we used red and yellow felt squares, and for his cape we used a 1 yard piece of red felt. We wanted to make our lives simple, so we used superhero stencils that we found on Max California. To use the stencils, we printed the artwork out on card stock at 71%, and then cut each template out with an X-Acto knife.


To make Superman’s red S, we placed the S template upside down on the red fed and traced around it with a Sharpie. Then we traced the diamond template on the yellow felt. After we cut out the red S and yellow diamond, we glued them both together using felt glue. To finish off Henry’s shirt, we glued the Superman logo onto the front of the blue pajama top.


To create our Superman belt, we drew a diamond shape for the front of the belt and then long narrow sides. We cut out the belt and glued it to the front of the pajama pants using felt glue. Then we cut a thin red strip of felt, the same width as the front belt, and glued it to the waist band on the back of the pajamas. We wanted to make sure we made the belt out of two pieces of felt fabric, that did not connect at the sides so that there was still some give in the waist band.


No Superman would be complete without his cape! To make Henry’s Superman cape, we cut a long 2.5 foot trapezoid out of a 1 yard piece of red felt. We cut a half moon shape about 6 inches long, out of the top of the trapezoid so that the top of the cape would fit right along the neckline of the back of the pajama top. The logo on Henry’s cape is larger than the logo on his shirt, so we printed the Superman template onto white card stock at 100%. Then we traced the S template onto a yellow piece of felt, cut it out and glued it to the red cape with felt glue. We didn’t want to attach the cape permanently to the pajama top just in case Henry wanted to wear the costume without the cape later on, so we attached the cape using fashion tape.

Pippi Longstocking


Mia’s Pippi Longstocking costume could not have been easier! We started with the Primary short sleeve dress in Cobalt and the sleeveless dress in Grass. Then we cut the hem from the bottom of the blue and green dresses in a haphazard way so that the hems looked more ragged. It’s important to cut the green dress shorter so that you can see the blue dress underneath. To make sure the sleeves of the blue dress matched the rest of the costume, we cut the hem off the short sleeves as well.


To create the patches of Pippi’s dress, we cut several squares out of colorful bandanas that we found at Michaels. Then we glued them to the front and back of the green dress using felt glue.


We wanted to make the patches on her dress look more authentic so we sewed large stitches around each patch using black embroidery floss. This step is by no means necessary so feel free to skip it.


We wanted to give Mia braids that stuck out just like the real Pippi Longstocking, but we also wanted her to be comfortable for a full night of trick or treating. This meant we had to come up with a way to make her braids stick straight out that was more comfortable than using the traditional coat hanger trick. We started with an inexpensive plastic headband and hot glued four red pipe cleaners to the bottom 2 inches of the headband, on the outside of each end of the head band. Then we wrapped a red pipe cleaner around the four pipe cleaners on each side, hot gluing as we wrapped it around the base of each side of the headband.


Once Mia was dressed in her costume, we placed the headband on her head and braided her hair around each end of the pipe cleaners. We secured the ends of her hair with rubber bands and then trimmed the ends of the pipe cleaners. Voila…stiff Pippi braids that she can wear all night long!


Most pictures we found of Pippi Longstocking had her wearing mis-matched tights or socks. To create this look we bought a pair of red tights and a pair of red and white striped tights on Amazon. In order to make it look like Mia was wearing one red stocking and one striped stocking, we cut one leg off of the striped pair of tights and had her wear them over the red tights.



Charlie decided to be Flash months ago because he loved his lightening bolts and super sonic speed! We started with Primary’s long sleeve pj top and pj pant in Cherry. We printed the flash logo templates we found on Max California onto card stock and traced the templates onto white and yellow felt. In order to get the logos just the right size, we printed the templates at 71%.


Using the felt glue, we glued the smaller white circle on top of the larger yellow circle, and then glued the yellow lightning bolt on top of the white circle. Once all the pieces were in place we glued the logo to the front of Charlie’s shirt.


To create the lighting bolts on Charlie’s arms and waist, we folded a piece of yellow felt in half and drew 2 long, narrow lightning bolt shapes on the yellow felt. Then we cut along the lines and unfolded the felt. Using felt glue, we glued one of the long narrow bolts to the front of Charlie’s shirt at the waist, and glued the second narrow lightning bolt to the back of Charlie’s shirt at the waist. It is important to make sure that the lightning bolts line up on the sides, but that they are not glued together so that the shirt can still stretch. For the sleeves, we folded another piece of yellow felt in half, drew 2 shorter lightning bolts and cut them out along the lines. We cut those lightning bolts in half to give us 4 bolts. Then we glued each lightning bolt to the front and back of Charlie’s sleeve, making sure that the ends of the bolts lined up on either side.


Charlie’s Flash mask was a fun puzzle to solve! We hadn’t made a mask from scratch before, but with a little ingenuity we figured out an easy way to construct one.


Starting with the lighting bolts on the side of the mask, we drew a lighting bolt template onto a piece of card stock and cut it out. Then we traced it onto the yellow felt to create four lightning bolts and cut each one out. We glued two lightning bolts together, making sure not to glue the last 1/2 inch together so that we could eventually open the ends and glue them to the mask.


To create the mask shape, we traced a sleeping mask onto a piece of red felt. Then we drew a 2 inch wide and 3 inch long band at either side of the mask. Flash’s mask has points at the bottom, so we added points to the bottom of ours. Once our drawing was complete, we cut out the mask. We had Charlie place the mask over his eyes, then we gently drew ovals on the felt where his eyes were. We had him remove the mask and then we cut out the ovals to create holes for his eyes. Once the glue was dry on the lightning bolts we opened the un-glued ends and glued them to each side of the mask using the felt glue. To make sure the lighting bolts stayed in place while the glue dried, we placed a heavy book on top of the mask. Once the glue was dry we sewed elastic to the sides of the mask.


The beauty of Primary’s clothing is that we were able to create Halloween costumes that will last far longer than any store bought ensemble, which means our kids can wear their costumes morning, noon and night…and anywhere in between! Knowing our kids that could mean they’ll be wearing these costumes until next Halloween!


Ashley + Hallman

lunchbox inspiration


Packing school lunches can be a challenge and we all need a little inspiration every now and then. A packed lunch can get boring very quickly, especially when you are busy and tired…as all parents are! Here a few of our favorite ways to bring a little variety to your lunchbox.

Pack Frozen Smoothies

Our kids love smoothies and it is a great way to sneak in extra fruits and vegetables! These colorful popsicle molds make it easy to  include them in a lunchbox. Modern Parents Messy Kids has some great tips and recipes for lunchbox smoothies and you can find more recipes here and here.


Modern Parents Messy Kids

Pasta Make Everything Better

If your kids love pasta as much as our kids love pasta, then it can be a great base to add protein and vegetables for your kids’ lunchbox.


Martha Stewart

Make Food Fun

There is nothing that will make your kids smile more than something silly or different in their lunchbox. Cookie cutters, candy google eyes and fun toothpicks are sure to be a hit with your kids. We also love to include these Lunchtime LOL notes each day to make our kids giggle. Here is a great source for lunchbox supplies to keep things fun.


Land O’ Moms

Go Beyond Peanut Butter & Jelly

Kids can easily get bored with sandwiches. Mix it up with different fillings, different bread or even no-bread sandwiches. Our kids love when we include a bagel sandwich, a wrap or sandwich pinwheels.  These Apple Cheese Wraps from Weelicious are a great example of no-bread sandwiches. There are tons of creative ways to make a sandwich, these 10 sandwich recipes are a great place to start.



Make Kabobs

Kids love kebobs! You can make kabobs with fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese and even mini sandwiches bites. Anything with a toothpick is fun for kids to eat.


Following My Shoes, Make Ahead Lunchbox Ideas

Here’s a few more lunchbox tips  and our favorite printable lunchbox notes.

Happy Packing!


Hallman + Ashley