Pumpkin Possibilities!

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Light it up! The first thing to do once you have completed the labor of love of carving your pumpkin into the perfect jack-o-lantern, is to set a light inside of it to share your spooky creation with the world! Find a spot in your entryway or on your front doorstep to set your work of art! I recommend placing a small battery operated candle on a saucer in the bottom of your pumpkin. Light up the night!

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Smash it! It’s pretty important to get rid of your pumpkin before it starts to rot! Let me know if you want to hear the story of the amazingly exploding jack-o-lantern and the mess he left behind! The traditional smashing of the pumpkins can be a great way to welcome November and to remind your household of the importance of composting! Fruit and vegetables break down much faster in your compost if you cut them up into smaller pieces before throwing them in! If you don’t have a compost, you should look into getting one and helping your household to cut back on food waste that heads straight to the local landfill! Instead, your food scraps (and pumpkins!) can find new life as healthy and life-giving soil in your vegetable garden!

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Pumpkin casserole! When you are scraping the inside of your pumpkin out before you carve the jack-o-lantern, be sure to keep the pumpkin that you scoop out, freezing it if you aren’t going to use it immediately.

What you need to do:

Use a food processor to puree about 2 cups of your pumpkin.

Mix the pumpkin with the following ingredients in a large bowl:

-¼ cup of brown sugar

-1 cup of evaporated milk

-2 eggs

-½ cup of self-rising flour

¼ cup of butter

¼ cup of applesauce

1 teaspoon of vanilla

A few pinches of cinnamon

 

Pour this into a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour! Enjoy as a sweet side dish! Mmmmm.

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Pumpkin Mask! Nope, this is not a Halloween costume! This is a super easy soothing mask you can put together in a few minutes for a healthier and brighter complexion!

Mix about ½ cup of pumpkin puree that you scraped out of your pumpkin to make your jack-o-lantern with the following ingredients:

-1 egg (yep!)

-2 teaspoons of honey

-2 teaspoons of apple cider

 

Then apply this to your clean, dry face. Rest and read your favorite Lux blog for about 15-20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and feel your smooth and soft face! 🙂 Happy Halloween!

 

(Thanks to PopSugar.com for the inspiration!)

Spooky Spirits! Halloween Cocktails!

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Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore! Everyone gets to let their hair down and rekindle the childhood joy of costumes and tricks and treats! Try your hand at these three spooky and delicious cocktails to add some spirit to your Halloween party!

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The Dragon’s Breath!

This powerful drink is not for the faint of heart! To make this drink the central cocktail of your event, it would be amazing if your designated bartenders could be dressed as knights or dragons or princesses (or Hobbits! Or Daenerys!)

 

What you’ll need:

Dragonberry bacardi (Alternative: any golden rum and a red-fruit grenadine)

Champagne (Alternative: sparkling white wine)

Red wine (Alternative: ‘No sugar added’ red grape juice. This drink has plenty of booze in it so you won’t miss the red wine if you don’t have any!)

Brandy

Ice (extra points if you can get your hands on some dry ice to create the smokey dragon’s breath coming out of the drink! Just remind your guests not to eat it!)

Club Soda

 

Mix to taste! I recommend making a few practice cocktails to ensure the proportions are to your liking!
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Blood Orange Margaritas!

 

These crimson cocktails are just like margaritas, except bloodier! This drink will work especially well if you have a vampire or zombie theme to your party! You can require that anyone who opts for this beverage must wear vampire fangs or accompany the drink with bright red tequila jello shots!

 

What you’ll need:

Cocktail shaker

crushed ice

Gold (joven) tequila

Blood orange juice fresh squeezed

Salt for the rim

Triple sec

 

For all Margaritas, you should remember the 3-2-1 rule! 3 parts Tequila. 2 parts Triple Sec and 1 part citrus juice. Add your 3-2-1 mixture to your cocktail shaker along with your crushed ice. Mix and Shake! Dip your chilled glasses in salt to coat the rim and then pour your margarita! If the blood oranges don’t give your drink a deep enough color, you can add a small drop of red food coloring to make your margaritas appear even bloodier!

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Maniacal Martinis!

This reliable standard will serve quite well for any Halloween party! The idea is to add a bit of color to your traditional martini by add a tablespoon of raspberry or strawberry liqueur to the vodka. Then, you just need to drop a spooky gummy to the bottom of the glass! I recommend gummy teeth or gummy eyeballs for maximum creep-effect!  

5 DIY Halloween Centerpieces

Whether you are hosting the ultimate Halloween rager or having a few friends over for a scary movie night or simply sitting down with loved ones for a spooky dinner on All Hallow’s Eve, it can be a lot of fun to put together something extra special to decorate your dining table and really set the mood! I have picked out 5 easy DIY Halloween dining table decorations to share with you that are simple to create! Happy crafting and happy Halloween!

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Black Crepe-Paper Flowers. Pick up a few rolls of black crepe-paper at your local Dollar Store or craft store. Keeping one side pinched, rolled the paper into a flower shape. Each flower should take about 1 foot of crepe-paper. Then staple the pinched base and gently separate the open end “the petals” and arrange your somber flower collection in a glass or crystal bowl in the center of your dining room table!

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Mummy Mason Jars. Grab 5 to 6 mason jars of various sizes and arrange them on your dining room table. Using white medical tape to secure the first piece and the last end, carefully wrap white medical gauze around each jar to create a mummified jar! Then gently glue a pair of googly eyes to each mummy jar. Place one flickering battery operated candle in each jar to create a lighthearted and sweetly spooky centerpiece!

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Paper Pumpkin Place Settings! Cut orange tissue paper into circles and write the name of each of your dinner guest on each piece of tissue paper. Place a few pieces of candy or Hershey’s kisses in the center of each tissue circle (with the names of guests facing down). Then gather up the sides and use green duct tape or green ribbon to tie up the top of your tiny candy pumpkin! Place one pumpkin at each place setting so your guests know where their spot is!

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Golden Pumpkins! Give new life to those plastic pumpkin baskets that are everywhere around this time of year! Pick up a few or dig them out of your attic/basement/holiday box so that you can create an original and gorgeous centerpiece for your Halloween party this year! Take your pumpkin baskets outside and place them on a sheet of newspaper. Use a can of gold spray paint to paint your pumpkins! Let them dry and then fill them with plants or flowers. Arrange your newly decked out pumpkins on your dining room table for a shimmering and sweet Halloween centerpiece!
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Blood-drenched Candles. This centerpiece is quite fun and pretty easy to put together. You’ll need 3 or 4 chunky white candles. 4 or 5 bright red taper candles.a lighter. Place your white candles on cardboard or newspaper (you don’t want to drip red wax all over your dining room table!). Use your lighter to heat the wax in the red taper candles as you hold them over the white candles and let their red wax drip and run down the side of the chunky white candles. Let the wax dry and then carefully place your creepy candles on chargers or decorative trays in the center of your table! Happy Halloween!

Choosing the Right Bedroom Colors!

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Warm & Bold. As the heat of summer begins to cool, it can be a great time to pour a little bit of warmth into your color choices for your bedroom. Fall is a perfect opportunity to spice up your bedroom decor with a little bit of orange or red. These traditionally autumnal colors remind us of positive change in our lives and the world around us, but they also help subconsciously lift our mood when we retreat to our bedrooms to rest, infusing those precious moments before sleep with warmth.

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Cool & Classy. If you have filled your summer with bright colors and splashed of pink, orange or green, fall can serve as a time to tone it down a it. Let yourself observe your summer decor and fashion choices without judgement and then settle on a contrasting choice as you move into fall! The vibrancy of hot pink and mango orange from the hot summer months can be balanced by gentle pastels on the cooler spectrum of color. Light periwinkle or soothing lavender might be good options for your transition to autumn!

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Black and White. If you are exhausted from figuring out your bedroom color palette with every changing season, it might be time for you to take the plunge into the exciting world of black and white and grey! By choosing a grey-scale aesthetic for your bedroom, you can enjoy the comforting limits to color but also take advantage of the occasional pop of color in one single accent pillow or one lone vase. This is truly the best of both worlds, allowing you to experiment with the wide variety of black and white patterns in your bedding, your rugs and your drapery while keeping the door slightly open to the powerful world of color.

Interior Decorator Bedroom Hacks!

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Low ceiling? Low furniture and one or two powerful vertical pieces can help create the illusion of higher ceilings in your bedroom! Avoid a headboard that is too large, instead opt for a bed frame that is sleek and low to the ground, adding a tall floor lamp or a statement mirror leaning against a wall to create height!

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Boring bedding? If you are bored with your bedding, you don’t necessarily have to replace it all! Stay in the same color palette just add diversity in your pattern and texture. Find accent pillows or a throw in the same color as your comforter but with more variety in fabric pattern.

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Cheap curtains? If you are not in the mood to spring for luxury drapery for your bedroom windows, never fear! You can always pick up discount curtains at Ross or Marshall’s, just be sure to grab them in a length longer than you require! This way, you can easily hem them to the length you want and still achieve the proper length of curtain! You always want your window treatment to (at least!) touch the floor, ideally it will create a small pouf of fabric as it lands.

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Tempted to go bold? Go even bolder! A dark accent wall can look strange if it contrasts with the molding and the trim on that wall! So go ahead and paint the whole wall for a hyper-modern powerful choice!

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Mirror Mirror on the Wall! Be mindful of where you hang your mirror! You want great light for putting on makeup and checking out your outfit but you also want to make sure that when someone enters your room they see something beautiful reflected in your mirror: artwork, your ceiling pendant, the window on the opposite wall!

How Many Pillows on a Bed?

The general rule of thumb to follow when arranging the pillows on your bed is “invitingly cozy, not intimidatingly crowded”. To this end, you want to make sure that the majority of the pillows on your bed are functional and useful. You are allowed to have one or two pillows that are entirely decorative and serve no purpose other than to create a beautiful effect! The rest of the pillows should be comfortable to rest your head on for sleep or to lean against while you read a great book in bed!

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Here are three simple and easy options for your bed…

 

Sleek. 4 standard pillows. Two stacks of two. Laid flat. No fuss.

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Fancy. 4 standard pillows and 2 euro pillows (square pillows, about 24 x 24 inches) leaning against the stacked standard pillows. The euro pillows can have a gentle pattern or a contrasting color that harmonizes with your standard pillow shams.

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Luxe. 4 standard pillows and 2 Euro pillows in the Fancy setup. Then, 1 decorative pillow in the center with a contrasting pattern or tassel. This decorative pillow and its pattern should really bring together the whole room, This pillow is your chance to add some glamour to your bedroom while linking together all of the colors in your decor. Sweet Dreams!

Perfect Beer and Pizza Pairings!

It’s been said many times that pizza is to beer what cheese is to wine. If you are ready to become a connoisseur of beer and pizza without having to do any studying or research, here is introductory guide to pairing these two delicious and intoxicating treats!

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A classic Margarita pizza (just cheese, plain Jane!) pairs quite simply with the most easy-going of all beer types: the Pale Ale. No need to overdo the flavor when you are eating such a comfortingly unadorned pizza. My personal suggestion: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

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On the opposite end of the spectrum, we find the super-loaded meat-lovers pizza! If you are chowing down on a pizza topped with sausage, pepperoni, ground beef, bacon and ham, then you need to have a strong and powerful beverage in your hand! A smooth and chocolaty stout should do the trick! Why not go with a classic: gotta get a Guinness!

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Hawaiian Pizza brings a lovely mix of meat and fruit to you palate, so your beer should provide the same tangy variety! I recommend a golden ale, and I highly encourage you to try the Kona Brewery Big Wave Golden Ale. This (conveniently Hawaiian!) beer has fruity undertones and slight hoppy bite to it. Mahalo!

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If you’ve decided to go for the classic Pepperoni for your pizza night, look no further than a potent IPA beer! The bitterness will bring out the flavor of your pepperoni and the very subtle fruit flavor will cut the spice of your meat! Enjoy!