Friday Favorites & Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 31, 2014
Happy Halloween!! I might not be a kid on this super festive and creepy day, but nonetheless I'm excited for it and can't wait to get all dressed up, eat some amazing food, turn up the spooktacular jams, and hangout with friends tonight! And husband and my costume for our annual Halloween fest tonight will be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!! I'll be sharing pictures next week!!

In the meantime, I'm linking up with Momfessionals and a bunch of other great gals to share my favorites from the week! Do you have any favorites?? Share them with me!!

[one] On Monday we had friends over for some pre-Halloween festivities. We ate pizza bigger than our heads. Really, see for yourself. And we drank Halloween-colored Fantas because that's what you do.

[two] I walked into Starbucks this week to find a teasing package! And we all know what this package means!! Hello red cup!!! I can't wait for holiday drinks!!!

[three] I revisited my past Halloween and all the glorious costumes this week! My Grandmom is a sewing wizard! You should see all of the amazing costumes she put together for my sister and I year after year!

[four] Ya'll one of my recipes from my food blog was featured on a local noon-time television show yesterday and I'm over the moon! You can watch the clip if you feel so inclined!

[five] Last Friday, I got a little spa-pampering with some girlfriends as part of a prize my cousin (front and on the right) won at a bridal show. She gets married next Fall! Don't you just love an Autumn wedding?! (p.s. I never thought I'd post a no-make-up photo of myself anywhere, but here you have it!)

[six] Saturday we went to the tree farm for a little Christmas tree tagging! We found a beaut and I can't wait to head back, to saw it down, then get it home to decorate!!

[seven] We spent the rest of Saturday at my parents' and loved having the time outdoors, just relaxing. Doesn't it feel nice to have no agenda?!

[eight] On Sundays we wear flannel and vests. This past Sunday, our House Group all wore flannel too just because we could. 

[nine] My kitchen has been a machine this week as I roll out Halloween recipes and prep for our annual Halloween fest! I don't mind a bit, in fact I love it!

[ten] I loved making these apple dipped treats! I think my favorite part was the color combo. And they tasted super delicious too! 

[eleven] We carved pumpkins with my sister on Tuesday night! I have loved little Halloween festivities all week! It really makes the holiday season so much fun!

[twelve] And here are our jack 'o lanterns!! Don't they look like the perfect pair?!

Happy Halloween and I hope you have so much fun tonight, whatever it is you will be doing!! To see more of my Friday Favorites, jump over HERE.

The Diary of a Real Housewife

Throwback Thursday Halloween Style

Thursday, October 30, 2014
In honor of it being Thursday and just a day away from Halloween, I'm throwing it back to some Halloweens of the past! And I'm reminiscing on my pretty stellar homemade costumes of the 90's! 

Growing up, my Grandmom made all of my little sister's and my Halloween costumes. I can remember heading to Joann's Fabrics during September to pick out our costumes and the coordinating fabrics. Being little there were times I really despised sitting in the fabric store for what felt like hours as Grandmom and mom worked together on the pattern. But, our costumes were always original and always what we wanted. All of the childhood costumes below are her masterpieces. And I hope by the time I have a little trick-or-treater Grandmom can whip up one of her fabulous creations.

This was me (second from the right) during the Halloween of my sophomore year at Virginia Tech, along with my sister (at right) and all of my suitemates. We had bed, bath, and beyond as a costume trio (alien not pictured), a flapper, a cowboy, and an Indian. The sewing genius from Grandmom slightly rubbed off on me and I made the Indian dress that year.

Last year, husband and I went as Rosie the Riveter and Uncle Sam. This was just a couple of weeks after getting home from our honeymoon and settling into our new home. These costumes were whipped up at the last minute! And this was also the first time I had ever done a couple's costume, which I LOVED!

I'm super excited for our couple's costume we have put together for tomorrow for the annual Hill Halloween Fest! And I can't wait to share it with you next week! Or, follow me on Instagram to see our costumes sooner!!

And tell me what some of your best costumes have been! I'm always looking for new ideas!

Pumpkin Painting, Carving, & Drilling

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
I LOVE the holidays! And I believe in making them super special all month long. With Halloween just days away, we have spent the last several weeks watching Halloween movies with friends, decorating, pumpkin patching, planning our annual party, DIYing, putting homemade costumes together, and pumpkin crafting. It's been so much fun to use our free time and downtime to work on Halloween-inspired activities. It really makes the anticipation of the holiday build up!

We kicked off our pumpkin fun last Thursday with some hollow pumpkins from Michael's. Psst, they were 70% off last time I checked, so go grab some! It's seriously a steal! We opted to drill these pumpkins since they will be hanging around for more Halloweens to come.  Then last night we carved the real pumpkins while watching Halloween shows. And here's what it all looked like...

You want to cut the bottom of these pumpkins out instead of the top. And use a battery operated candle instead of the real thing. 

And my sister opted to paint her pumpkin. This is a fun way to preserve your pumpkins through all of the holidays. If you paint something generic for your Halloween pumpkins , then you can keep it around for Thanksgiving (like a leaf). 

And come Christmas you can take your leftover pumpkins and paint over them, turning them into a snowman, like I did one year! With paint, the possibilities are endless!

And then the carving of pumpkins began last night with husband, and my sister.  Husband insisted we save all of the seeds, so we did, and we probably have over 300 hundred seeds waiting to be baked. No big deal...

And I can't leave out our gianormous pizza we gobbled up with friends on Monday. We even had Benny's make a pumpkin face our of pepperoni (it's a little hard to see)!

These orange and grape Fanta sodas were perfect for our little hangout! The colors are spot on for Halloween!

^^ Can you see the pumpkin face?? ^^

If you follow me on Instgram, then you probably saw this photo of all of us with our pizza slices. Seriously, they are larger than our heads!

What are some of the Halloween activities you do to make the season festive?? And make sure to head to Flour Darling for some Halloween recipes this week!!

Christmas Tree Tagging, A Family Tradition

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Last Friday, I mentioned I would be tagging a Christmas tree with my family over the weekend. And if you follow me on Instagram, then you caught some of those adventures as they were happening. 

Now I'm here to share our annual Christmas tree tagging tradition. And no, we aren't running through fields of pines, tagging them, and yelling "you're it". But kind of close. 

I have to rewind a bit, and explain that this tradition has been going on as long as I can remember. Every end of October/beginning of November, my parents, sister and I would head to the Huffman's Christmas tree farm to find the perfect Fraser Fur. It involved walking through rows of pines to find the one most perfectly shaped and standing at the right height. Then, with special Christmas tree tagging ribbon, we would TAG our tree as taken, tying the ribbon to the branches of the tree. At the very beginning of December we would head back to the Huffmans' farm, saw our tagged tree down, and take it home. 

When Mr. Huffman retired, we made Joe's Trees our Christmas Tree farm, and now pumpkin patch. It is where I have most of my Christmas tree tagging memories, and where I am making new married memories with husband. It's been so much fun to make this a tradition in our home, making tweaks here and there (like cutting our tree down in November so we can admire it longer).

My favorite part about tagging a tree is being able to come back for it later and cut it down yourself. There's something magical about wearing layers, drinking hot chocolate, packing into the car, and playing Christmas music loud while driving to fetch your Christmas tree.  It's even better if it's snowing!

Isn't this just gorgeous? The views here are so phenomenal and really makes the tree-tagging and cutting down so much more festive!

Here is that special tree-tagging ribbon I mentioned earlier. Now that I'm married, I leave the ribbon-being-tied-to-the-tree to husband. He starts at the top this makes a canopy of ribbons around our tree. 

Coffee or hot chocolate is alway needed for this experience. You should never tag a tree without it!

I think there is nothing better than walking through a field with your family, searching for your Christmas tree. You always have the moments of, "We found it!" only to circle the tree and find a bald spot, taking off again and rounding more trees. Now that husband and I are looking for our own tree while my parents and sister search for one, it's become an unsaid competition of who will find their tree first! 

I love that variety of trees: short and fat, tall and skinny, Charlie Brown like. It makes me imagine having a house big enough for a whole handful of different trees!

The K1 lot is where we found our tree this year, and she's a beaut! I can't wait to decorate this tree with lights, garland, and ornaments! I'm way too giddy just thinking about it! And Halloween hasn't even happened yet. It's okay, because husband has been shouting from the rooftops how excited he is for Christmas this year :) Every now and then I will catch him humming a Christmas tune. 

I can't imagine buying a tree at the grocery store because I'd miss this experience SO much. I'm glad this tradition has stayed around for so long, one that brought me through my childhood Christmases and is now being passed down to husband and I. I'm really looking forward to sharing this tradition with our littles one day.

I'm thankful to live in place that offers the tree-tagging experience and just happens to be in the most beautiful location. If you're local, you should definitely visit Joe's Trees to snatch up the best Christmas tree for you home!