Happy Halloween!

It's here, it's here!  Halloween day is here and I hope you're all able to share some frights, sprites and delights with your favorites ghouls and goblins.  I'll see you all on the other side of this dark and stormy night!
Enjoy the opening sequence from one of my favorite films: Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas

Entertaining Nostalgia: Luminary Treat Bags

Recently, I've been feeling nostalgic and I decided to spend time reading through my old blog.  Finding my voice as a maker and my place in the handmade community continues to be difficult.  I wasted a lot of time making choices for myself based on an identity I thought I was 'supposed' to emulate.  I'm so happy I traded the suffocation of expectation for the freedom of authenticity. 
That said, this is one of my favorite tutorials in all it's unpolished, imperfect sincerity.  I thought it might be nice to share with you...

One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season (or, let's face it, ANY season) is entertain.  I love filling my house with the best people I know.  Halloween allows me to go bananas...and trust me.  I do.  So, for those of you with your own spooky plans, I thought I'd share one of my favorite festive ideas. Again, please excuse the photos (house is a lighting nightmare).

You'll need:
paper treat bags
pencil
assorted tissue or construction paper
x-acto knife
double sided tape
cardboard (for cutting)

1.  Lay out treat bag. The bottom of the bag should be facing down.  With your pencil, plot out your design. If you need some help, the internet is full of amazing templates.

2.  Slide a piece of cardboard inside the bag.  This will protect the rest of the bag from being cut.  Trace the pencil outline with the x-acto knife and remove the cuttings.

3.  Cut your tissue paper to size and apply adhesive.  Slip the paper into the bag and position it over the cutout and use your cardboard to help stick it in place. Make sure the tissue paper is anchored securely before filling the bag.

4.  Enjoy!

Pro tip: Try slipping a flameless candle into your bags for a little extra light during those dark and stormy evenings.  The warm glow may even keep the ghouls away.

Parties in a Pinch: Chocolate Peanut Butterball

Okay.  So, I'd been trying to think of a quick and festive little dessert for an event I'm hosting this week and I got it into my head to apply the cheeseball mentality to peanut better and chocolate.  For a few days, I reveled in the idea that I'd invented a new snack...as it turns out, I probably just saw a similar recipe turn up on my newsfeed and I subconsciously decided I'd invented it.  A similar thing happened to me in college when a memory of mine turned out to be a scene from Clueless.  So, here's the thing I thought I invented...

You'll need:

Cream cheese (room temperature)
Peanut butter
Mini peanut butter cups
Reese's Pieces (or similar, non trademarked item)
Mixer
Cling wrap
platter
cutting board

1. Mix cream cheese and peanut butter until blended. Similar recipes call for equal parts, but I like a nuttier ratio, so I pumped up the peanut butter.  You do you.  

2. Once mixed, add mini cups to taste...

3. Blend until chunky-ish.  Turn out of mixing bowl onto a sheet of cling wrap.

4.  Pat into ball and transfer to plate.  Cover and chill for one hour.

5. Press your candy coated peanut butter pieces into butterball. I went with a chaos theme, because I wasn't there for straight lines. Serve chilled with graham crackers.

It's cute, cheap, and so easy it should be illegal. Enjoy.