DIY Halloween Mantle

Large 31

It’s been a little over a year since we’ve been in our home and I feel like we are finally feeling settling and moving past the “needs” where we can now choose the “wants”.  This is my first year decorating for Halloween; I decided to start with my mantle.  I bought wooden numbers from Hobby Lobby. I sanded them down and spray painted them black. I next used Modge Podge to attach the chevron scrapbook paper to the “3” and sparkle black glitter to the “1”.  I love how they turned out. So simple to make!

I bought some old books from a thrift store, and stacked them up and placed a skull on top that I purchased at Big Lots last year around Halloween.

31 frame

Next, I took another piece of scrapbook paper I found at Hobby Lobby and cut out the “31st”.  I place it in a frame I already owned and used an easel display it.

Trick or Treat Pillows

These two teal chairs sit in front of my fireplace and  desperately needed some Halloween inspired pillows. I went back to Hobby Lobby and picked up some burlap pillow covers.  I was going to paint “trick” and “treat” directly on the pillows, but then had an idea to get chevron burlap ribbon and paint the words “trick” and “treat” on the ribbon.  That way I could use the same pillows when I decorate for Christmas.  Using stencils, I painted the words onto burlap ribbon (that I found at Walmart) with acrylic paint and attached Velcro to the backs to hold the ribbon in place.

Back of Trick Pillow


The “BOO” blocks started up on the mantle and made their way to in front of the fireplace after I ran out of room for my Halloween craft projects. You can find the BOO block instructions here.

Get Your Tickets Now for the Halloween Hoot


On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, October 24, 25 and 26, Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve in Rochester, will present its ever-popular Halloween Hoot.

Tickets are $7.00/person, and must be purchased in advance.

This event usually sells out, so buy your tickets early! Admission fee includes cider & donut, guided walk with skits, and campfire with entertainment. You may purchase tickets in person at Dinosaur Hill, or through the mail. For instructions on how to order tickets through the mail, or other information, call Dinosaur Hill at (248) 656-0999, or e-mail at

For the 33nd luminaries and populated with many familiar (and some not-so-familiar) characters from favorite children’s stories, films, TV shows, and fairytales. Groups of 25 people will enter the woods every 10 minutes, for a 45 minute guided walk through the nature preserve, stopping along the way to view a series of short skits. This program is designed to be a fun, humorous, very slightly haunting approach to nature that is perfect for families with young children, scout groups, October birthday parties, etc.

 Young attendees should wear their costumes and bring a small trick or treat bag and expect a few little surprises!” You never know who you’ll meet on the trail during the Hoot; this year find out what happens to our ever-popular Paint Creek Pirates. Kids should also keep their eyes peeled for three witches, when they try to turn a cap purple with a visit from Robin and Elsa in Halloween Town III. The Ugly Pumpkin, Santa Clause, and other zany characters could make an appearance, along with entertainment by musicians from year, families will enjoy a crisp fall evening walking through a forest lit with Thumbs Up!

All this and more awaits ticket holders along Dinosaur Hill’s Halloween Hoot trail!

Halloween Wars Returns to Food Network

Halloween Wars Logo

Halloween Wars returns to Food Network for its fourth season, premiering Sunday, October 5th at 9pm ET/PT.


Witness five teams, consisting of a pumpkin carving expert, a cake decorator, and sugar artist, as they battle it out over four episodes to create heart-stopping Halloween-themed displays, guaranteed to scare the daylights out of viewers.


Hosted by Justin Willman (Cupcake Wars), each week the teams go head-to-head to create different themed pumpkin displays. One team is eliminated each episode by the judging panel, made up of renowned cake decorator Shinmin Li and Emmy®-nominated make-up artist Brian Kinney, and a rotating panel of celebrity guest judges, including Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story: Asylum), Francia Raisa (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Adi Shankar (film producer of The Grey and Dredd), and Lew Temple (The Walking Dead and The Devil’s Rejects).The last team standing wins the title of Halloween Wars champion and a $50,000 grand prize.

10 Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips

Ahhh.Halloween, that time of year we all look forward to. Parents run around spending hundreds of dollars for a few good Facebook pics and a couple of hours of fun filled trick-or-treating. Costumes, glow-in-the-dark candy bags, make-up, pumpkin flashlights, blinking necklaces, Pinterest crafts/recipes and endless bags of candy to hand out at the door. Don’t forget the umbrella, hats and coats in case it rains or snows. Hey, you never know!

What ever happened to homemade costumes and plastic masks, pillow cases for collecting treats and leaving a bowl of smarties on the porch for the neighbor kids? I remember running into Kmart the day before Halloween only to find a couple of the famous plastic costumes left. Of course, my sister got Cinderella and I was forced to be Bullwinkle. Have you ever trick-or-treated with a sweaty Bullwinkle mask on all night? Not the best childhood memory but definitely a memory.

Those were the good ‘ol days. The days of waiting in line at the local police station while they X-Rayed your candy. Yep, people actually put razor blades, poison and needles in the candy and apples back then. Kinda scary, huh? But, we all lived to tell about it.

We went trick-or-treating alone while mom and dad relaxed at home. Sometimes Grandma was nice enough to drive next to us while we ran up and down neighborhood porches. Going to someone else’s neighborhood was even more fun that begging for candy in your own.

There was never a more fun Halloween than when I was twelve, 5’8″ and old people refused to give me candy because I was “too big”; another awesome childhood Halloween memory. All joking aside, things have changed, some for the worse and some for the better.

Be safe. Razor blades and needles are not the norm these days but crazy drivers and child molesters are. Share these important Halloween safety tips to keep your children safe during the fun:

1. No masks! Masks deter vision causing your child to trip and fall or walk in front of traffic.

2. Wear bright colors and/or carry a flashlight.

3. Never allow your child to trick-or-treat alone.

4. Instruct your child to never enter a home while trick-or-treating.

5. Do not allow your child to run ahead of you. It is dark and very easy to get caught up in the crowd.

6. Instruct kids to never eat the candy before adults have a chance to check it out.

7. In case of allergies, keep a separate bag handy for things they won’t be eating.

8. Dress kids in costumes that are flame retardant.

9. Do not buy costumes that may drag the ground causing children to fall and get hurt.

10. Last but not least……… crossing the street unless a responsible friend or family member is there to help.

Common sense goes a long way. Take the time to be safe and enjoy the night.

Halloween preparation = hundreds of $$$ dollars. Halloween fun = Priceless.

From our friends at Regal Pediatrics

Tel: 248-852-5177

2502 S. Rochester Rd. Rochester Hills, MI 48307

It’s Ladies Night in Milford!

V140923 Ladies Night Out - Clothing Cove

Ladies Night Out welcomes shoppers, diners on Oct.2

Downtown Milford’s Ladies Night Out returns this fall for an evening of shopping and dining in the Village, from 5-9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2. Gather up your gal pals and enjoy giveaways, discounts, storewide sales, freebies, complimentary snacks and beverages at some of your favorite downtown stores and eateries. Plus, get a first look at Milford’s newest addition, Green Envy, an all-natural skincare boutique and spa located at 345 North Main Street.


While exploring downtown Milford, ladies can collect stamps for the official Ladies Night Out postcard at any of the participating businesses. Attendees who collect 10 stamps may enter to win one of 40 gift certificates, worth at least $20 each, by dropping the completed booklet off at any participating location.


This year ladies are invited to bring new women’s hygiene and beauty products for donation to Community Sharing. Designated donation boxes will be located along Main Street in downtown Milford.


Ladies Night Out is sponsored by the Milford Business Association.


Elf on the Shelf Reading and Book Signing


WHAT:                          There’s good news for Detroit-area  children who cannot wait for The Elf on The Shelf to return. Carol V. Aebersold, co-author of the bestselling holiday tradition The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition, will be in Detroit as a part of her School Book Tour to share her newest story, The Elf on the Shelf®: A Birthday Tradition. Carol will be reading at local elementary Morgan Elementary school on Wed., Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and a book signing at the Barnes & Noble on South Rochester Road on Tues., Oct. 7 at 7 pm.


While introducing Detroit to The Elf On The Shelf: A Birthday Tradition, Carol will also be promoting exciting opportunities for area teachers to receive free lesson plans and classroom resources throughout the holiday season, including holiday-themed activity sheets and special emails from Santa.


Former teachers, Carol and co-author Chanda Bell are strong advocates of public education. This month, The Elf on the Shelf team is completing its third Teacher Giveaway Program, providing 10,000 teachers with resources, as well as copies of The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition and The Elf on the Shelf®: A Birthday Tradition


WHEN              Morgan Elementary School (reading), Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

& WHERE:        53800 Mound Road

                        Shelby Township, MI 48307


                        Barnes & Noble 2627, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.

                        2800 S. Rochester Road

                        Rochester Hills, MI 48307

2014 Candy Buy Back Program

candy program

Goblins, ghosts, and candy, oh my! The most ghoulish day of year, Halloween, is about to arrive. Why not save your children’s teeth and help a good cause? As a parent, teaching a child to give back is essential, and this Halloween will be a perfect opportunity to do so!

The annual Halloween Candy Buy Back program is back to shine for another year. In 2005, the organization was founded as a way to get kids’ excess Halloween candy “off the streets.” The program has since teamed up with Spry and Operation Gratitude; together they will partner with dentist offices nationwide to collect children’s Halloween candy to send to the troops overseas along with toothbrushes and necessary oral care items. This simple act of kindness not only gives soldiers a “Halloween away from home,” but it enables children to exchange their Halloween candy and receive a token in return, whether it be a new toothbrush, a dollar per pound of candy exchanged, or other small prizes provided by participating dental practices.

For the first time this year, the Halloween Candy Buy Back program will be sponsored by Spry Dental Defense System. Spry products, which include gums, mints and other oral care products, utilize the ingredient xylitol, which is a naturally-occurring sugar alternative that has amazing dental health benefits. This year, Spry will be teaming up with participating dental practices to offer their healthy Halloween treats and other oral care products to give children as an incentive in exchange for their extra Halloween candy.

To find a participating dentist near you:


Win a Family Pack of Tickets to Yo Gabba Gabba!


Yo Gabba Gabba

Yo Gabba Gabba!  is back in Detroit with their 5th Anniversary live tour on October 22,2014! 

The new live stage show marks the 5th anniversary of the live tour; featuring DJ Lance Rock, (Lance Robertson, St. Louis native and founding member of psychedelic electronic pop band The Ray Makers), the colorful cast of Yo Gabba Gabba! characters, fan favorite Leslie Hall and beat boxing legend Biz Markie.

Yo Gabba Gabba! is an award-winning, live-action television series and live stage show that revolves around the adventures of DJ Lance Rock and five colorful characters who come to life when they hear the magic words, “Yo Gabba Gabba!” The series launched in 2007 and its unconventional formula has since created a quadruple-stacked fan base, making it a popular entertainment property among preschoolers, their parents, indie-music lovers and celebrities alike.

Check out this promo video:


Buy tickets to the show on October, 22 at the Fox Theater (here).

 Win a family 4 pack of tickets to attend the live show!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cool New Product Alert: NoPeek

Waterproof Eye Cover

Marco Polo has always been a popular game for kids and as history tells it, the story about how the game got its name goes something like this… In 1312, Marco Polo had his eyes cut out by Chinese pirate traders after he insulted a ship’s captain. (Some reports claim that the insult was only Marco Polo is trying to bargain a better deal.) Upon returning to Venice he was mocked by local children who stole his walking stick constantly and made him chase them around.

My daughters love playing Marco Polo when they are playing around in the pool.  When they play on our enclosed trampoline, there is another game they like to play called “Dead Man”.  It’s a game where one player closes their eyes and lays in the middle of the trampoline. The other 3-6 players chant, ” Dead man, dead man come alive 1,2,3,4,5 dead man come alive.”  Then the players run around the player in the center while he/she “blindly” tries to touch one of the players who then becomes the dead man in the middle.

Two children came up with a product that would help kids play these “no peak” games.  It’s a waterproof blindfold called NoPeek.  SMART kids!  Find more info and purchase (here).  They are $15 + shipping.


DIY “Boo” Blocks

DIY Boo Blocks


I’m excited to report that I have already started to decorate for fall because I can’t wait for it to arrive already!  I can’t wait for the pretty fall leaves, boots, sweaters, crisp evening chill and soup to warm the bones.

I’ve had this “thing” for letters lately and will have a few more DIY posts coming soon that go further into my letter obsession. To  kick things off I started with these “BOO” blocks.  I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out!



DIY "BOO" Blocks
Yields 3
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  1. Wood Blocks (2x6x6)
  2. Scrapbook Paper
  3. Black Stamp Ink
  4. Medium Grade Sandpaper
  5. Mod Podge
  6. Foam Spouncer
  7. Stencil
  8. Black Flat Spray Paint
  9. White Acrylic Paint
  1. Take your 2x6x6 wood blocks outside (because this can get messy) and sand all their rough edges.
  2. Once you are done sanding make sure all of the dust is removed and then spray paint the blocks black.
  3. Make sure to let the blocks dry between coats and that all of the wood is evenly covered.
  4. Once the black paint dries, spread a thin coat of Mod Podge on each piece of wood and attach the scrapbook paper.
  5. Let that dry for a few hours.
  6. Next, take the black ink and use the foam spouncer to rub the ink around the edges of the scrapbook paper.
  7. Let the ink dry overnight.
  8. Time to paint on the letters!
  9. Position the stencil in the center of the scrapbook paper and, using the foam spouncer, apply the white paint. Let the paint dry 1-2 hours.
  10. Finally, apply another thin coat of Mod Podge over the top of the painted scrapbook paper to give it a final seal.
  1. Great tip: I used fairly thin scrapbook paper and when I applied the Mod Podge it bubbled, but then the bubbles went away when it dried. To avoid bubbles altogether, use thicker scrapbook paper or fabric.
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