While browsing cute boutiques in Seattle with my mom I came across these zombie finger puppets, (which I also found online here) and bought them, not knowing exactly what I was going to do with them. While thinking about what holiday treats I wanted to make this year, I realized how cute, and creepy, these guys would be as toppers for a zombie themed Halloween cake. I invited my friend Rae over to help me assemble the cake, which came together quickly and easily. I cut corners on this one by using boxed yellow cake mix and store bought chocolate icing. Everything else I used to decorate the cake I had on hand at home. I made a two layered round cake so I was able to added a little more pizzaz by spreading raspberry jam and Nutella between the layers…yum! Coconut dyed with green food coloring was a simple solution for our grass. I hadn’t thought about making mounds of “dirt” for the zombies to be emerging from, but when Rae mentioned it I loved the idea. We had cut off the top of the the bottom layer in order to make a flat surface for joining the two layers. From the extra, slightly rounded and thin top layer, we cut the raised grave mounds. Our tombstones were made from black card stock and a white colored pencil, they took us less than 5 minutes to finish. Each grave got a zombie, which I propped up by first inserting a toothpick into the the cake, then placing the zombie over the toothpick. As a finishing touch we added finely crumbled oreos, minus cream, to give the graves a more textured earth feel. Bill gets credit for this idea, I didn’t even know we had oreos on hand. The final result was so much better than I had anticipated. These will definitely make a return next year, maybe as cupcakes? I would just need more zombies! Happy Halloween Everyone! Hope you have a spooky and safe holiday.
I love getting our place fall ready. Halloween decorations are some of my favorite, and this year I got started on October 1st so we’d have as much time as possible to enjoy them, because often I feel they come down too quickly after going up. With our limited space (it gets really cozy in here) I like to focus on smaller decorative details, so I display quirky collections, like my Edward Gorey books/illustrations, and lots of pumpkins, I’m a sucker for them. While October has again gone by quickly, we have already been able to fill our fall with wonderful seasonal activities and foods. Last night was spent making a home cooked meal, rich with autumn flavors, and finishing one last Halloween treat I’ve had on my Must Make list (Can’t wait to share tomorrow!) This time of year never goes unappreciated. Hope everyone has their costumes already for tomorrow’s Trick or Treating!
Rocky & I went for a nice morning walk yesterday as Fort Collins was getting dusted with its first snow of the year. Our fall was really beautiful this year, and the bright colored leaves have stuck around longer than in previous, windier, Octobers. Snow always brings a blanket of quiet and stillness in the mornings, a time I love sharing with Rocky. The trees seemed to burn ever brighter against the white, and reminded me of a quote that made me happy when I read it a few days ago.
“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.” -William Cullen Bryant
Today there is even more snow on the ground, and most of the trees will be bare come tomorrow. Rocky and I are off to take advantage of the snow again, because by Halloween we will be in 70’s again. Happy Friday!
I do too much online window shopping sometimes, and these are a few things I haven’t been able to get off my mind. I think there is something perfect in the simplicity of the galaxy needle point. And isn’t that Pendelton blanket ideal for fall picnicking. The giant ball of yarn is really an ottoman that I recently got and love! Also today a pair of snow boots (yes it snowed today!) I love split at the heel seem, so maybe it’s a sign I need a new pair, and it should be these boots.
Ever since I can remember I have been inspired by the way my mom decorated and designed interior spaces. Every house we lived in (and there were quite a few as a military family), quickly became a home because of her natural abilty to transform space. Her homes are always cozy and uniquely decorated with items collected from our family’s travels. When I go visit my parents, no matter where they have moved to, their house feel like home to me, even though I haven’t actually lived in any of their homes for the past ten years. Their current home is perhaps my favorite so far, with huge windows that face a unobstructed view of The Sound, and light yellow vintage kitchen appliances. I love taking in all the details, and there are so many that I never get tired of taking it all in. I find myself constantly snapping pictures of all the little things she has set up around the house, appreciating it all separately, and as a whole. She has such a good eye for quirky folk art and funky vintage pieces, and it all finds its way to mesh together effortlessly and welcomingly. She’s passed me her eye and appreciation for all things well loved and one of a kind. I would be honored if someone compared my home to my mom’s, and I like to think my home does reflect the same warmth, coziness, and personality as hers.
I have also come to realize how much I like taking photos of plants, and my mom has a lot of those, especially now that they live where it is so wet! I really fell in love with all the little succulents she had arranged on her front porch table.
“The autumn leaves blew over the moonlit pavement in such a way as to make the girl who was moving there seem fixed to a sliding walk, letting the motion of the wind and the leaves carry her forward. […] The trees overhead made a great sound of letting down their dry rain.”
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
My visit with my parents was, as it always is, exactly what I needed. There is always so much to explore and see while visiting, however this trip was focused mostly on spending quality time together. Great food, reading, relaxing, shopping, and talking took up most of our week. We didn’t have any big adventures on our agenda, which was perfectly alright by me. We ate out at many fantastic restaurants, and had some even more amazing home cooked meals, courtesy of my mom and my cousin. The beautiful weather turned rainy at the end of my visit which meant more time to read (I never find enough time at home and I started my first Steven King book which I can’t put down). Sometimes the best vacations are the ones filled with the simple pleasure of being around those you love. This one was memorable and very special to me. It’s not often I get both my parents all to myself for a full week (thank you Bill for staying at home with the pets xo). It’s funny how a trip like this can feel so long, yet simultaneously way too brief when it comes time to say goodbye.
I spent this past week in Washington visiting my parents. As always it was wonderful and went by way to quick. Colorado has beautiful falls, but there is something amazing about being able to go visit the Pacific Northwest during this time of transitioning seasons. The smells of salt water and wet earth stir my imagination and senses, differently than the dry and crisp air at home do. Of course the absolute beauty of the Sound and the Olympic Mountains, even when shrouded in grey haze, is inspiring, and for me calming. The weather was mostly nice for my visit, with a few days of rain, but I liked that since it never seems to rain in Colorado anymore. One day, just as the afternoon rain clouds started to move in my mom and I took a stroll around a neighborhood orchard just down the street from their house. The trees in the orchard are adopted by families who take care of them throughout the year. Many families had already picked their apples, but there were also a fair amount of trees waiting to be harvested. If Fort Collins offered neighborhood apple tree adoption I would be first in line to adopt one! While we didn’t get to take any apples with us we did snap a few photos. I had just found this yellow jacket the day before in one of my favorite Seattle shops, Horseshoe Boutique , in Ballard, and it felt perfect for fall layering. Really I would like to have everything from the store in my closet (especially everything Pendleton!) for the fall. Check out their blog too, I love it! Dangerously cute things, so perhaps it’s good I only get to visit a few times a year.
I have never had a green thumb. In fact, my past record may suggest I’m a plant killer. I love to visit greenhouses and gardens, and I love having living green in my house, but my ability to keep plants healthy and thriving felt hopeless. That is until this summer. Part of my plant problem comes from living in an apartment without much natural light. Even our (very small) patio gets very little sun. So instead of grabbing the plants I loved the most at the nursery, this year we took a little more time to pick out plants that only need partial light. It seemed to make a big difference. That and I was much more diligent about watering the plants when temperatures hit the triple digits. Those suckers get thirsty when its hot out! I found it peaceful and meditative to spend time on the patio watering, clipping, photographing, and just enjoying our mini garden. And to watch them not only grow but thrive, gave me a new sense of accomplishment, and hope. Hope that not all is lost in this girls dream to one day have a fully functioning vegetable garden. Baby steps.
Two nights ago however, our first really chilly cold front moved in on the front range, bring with it our first frost and a windy night. Usually here in Fort Collins you can see the cold front sitting in foothills before it is pushed towards us, a wall of grey clouds and gusty wind announcing the coming cold. So we were warned and got home in time to bring our plants inside. A few will never make it, they are not built for indoor winter living (goodbye my very lush and very vibrant sweet potato vines). Some will do very well, given we take extra care of them, giving them some extra sunshine on those gloriously warmer bluebird Colorado winter days. Others I guess we will have to see. Fresh soil and bigger pots will also ( I hope) assist in keeping the plants healthy as they transition from outside to inside. I’m taking this all as a learning process.
Here’s to my first successful summer season of growing, with lots of help form Bill. And too the harsher months ahead, may our plant survival rate remain high!