paper box with 25 small drawers, covered in Halloween paper

Halloween Advent { Countdown Calendar }

In our house, advent calendars apply all year round. In other words, we count down to everything! I started doing it when my oldest was 4, just to give him some reading practice. Every holiday has a completely different style of countdown calendar; so no two look alike.  Typically I put in a joke or factoid for each day, plus a small treat or fun activity. Sometimes I use puzzle pieces, or scavenger hunt clues, tiny toys, etc (the drawers are 1 1/2″ square).

For Halloween, we use this 25-drawer box; therefore we have to start the countdown on day 7. (Unfortunately it stays hot here until long after October 1st, so I usually don’t think to unpack the Fall stuff until the second week of October anyway).


paper box with 25 small drawers, covered in Halloween paper

And here is my 6 year old, reading his joke. I put in one joke per kid in each drawer, and one treat per person (in this drawer it was a single candy corn).

The added benefit is that it is helping him understand humor, puns, plays on words, etc. He re-tells the jokes to his dad, his friends, the neighbors, and strangers in the supermarket.

A young boy reading a piece of paper with a Halloween joke on it

And this last one I call, “Because he’s six. And a goofball…!!”

Child using candy corn as vampire fangs

I have also been thinking of using one of these (with generic decorations) as a chore rewarder. Finish your chores (or pick up an extra one) and you get to pick a drawer. Turn the drawers around once they’re empty, until you refill them.

The drawers are called a ‘3-D Countdown Calendar’, and you can find out where to buy them locally (for $16-20) here (click on ‘Store Locator’ in the upper right corner).  If you can’t find them in local stores, you can buy them from Amazon for $22. They are white, and you then cover them with appropriate scrapbook paper (if you have a 1/2″ circle punch, it will be your BFF on this project).

By the way, because there are 25 drawers, these work great for actual Christmas Advent calendars! I use a Christmas advent that my mother sewed when I was little, so I didn’t need one for that holiday.  But there are examples all over of how to decorate it for Christmas, for instance, here, and here.

Hotdog wrapped in biscuit dough like a mummy

Fun Fall Foods

We have been finding some great Fall ideas on Pinterest, so I decided to share a few!

Mummy Dogs (recipe via Family Fun)

Hotdog wrapped in biscuit dough like a mummy


Jack-o-Lantern Quesadillas (idea came from here)


and… (wait for it…)


Mine was nowhere near as cute as the original from Munchkin Munchies, but I let the kids design it, and they thought it tasted great.

Pizza that looks like a monster

And we went the super lazy route and just cut a Boboli premade crust into a rectangle. Quick and yummy!

I’m not sure why my older son feels the need to make a ‘dinosaur face’ in every photo, but it’s a lot less scary since he lost all four front teeth! LOL!

Feel free to share your Halloween fun!


{FREEBIE} Boo’d Signs!

Well everyone loves being Boo’d, but no one loves having to make a color copy, so here is one you can print in black and white!  PLUS, the Boo’d sign and the instructions are all on one page, so you only need to make one copy per recipient.

Download the “We’ve Been Boo’d” sign here
or the Office version here
And spread some Halloween cheer!

Look for a post in the next few days, detailing what I included in my Boo Bags!

In the meantime, check out the plethora of Halloween craft, costume and food ideas on my Halloween Pinterest board.



{Real Party} Sunflowers & Burlap

This Sunflower collection was inspired by my amazing mother, because she grew up in Kansas and has an August birthday, so whenever I see sunflowers, I think of her.

We held this party in the Fall, which was perfect timing because sunflowers were everywhere in the stores. But you could also stock up on end of season clearance items and hold the party whenever you’re in a floral mood.  🙂  I had been planning on using burlap for a while, because the natural feel of it just seemed suited for a party evoking nature themes.

This collection can be used for bridal showers, baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries or weddings.   In this case, it was used for my assistant’s sweet daughter Gianna, who was celebrating her 7th birthday.

I used one of the 4″ medallions from my Sunflower collection on the wreath that we hung on the front door.

wreath with sunflowers and HAPPY BIRTHDAY medallion

Several of the Sunflower items in action:

– Party Circles used as cupcake toppers,
– Drink Labels on the water bottles
– 4″ Medallion on the drink dispenser
– Food Labels on the apothecary jars and in front of the cupcakes
– 8×10″ Frameable in the picture frame, with a photo of the birthday girl added

Sunflower printables on cupcakes, water bottles and framed prints

We embellished the banner with some sunflower stickers from Martha Stewart. They matched perfectly!

Sunflower banner on a burlap tablecloth on party table

This is another 4″ Medallion, attached to the silverware dispenser.

4 inch sunflower printable on a silverware dispenser

These Sunflower brownie pops were so fun!

close-up of brownie pop fashioned to look like a sunflower


This Caramel Apple Dessert Dip was amazing! And so easy to make!


apples and dip in the shape of a sunflower with a food label
This fun cheese and grape plate continued the sunflower theme:
Sunflower cheese and grape plate

A few other fun table shots:
4 inch medallion on a drink dispenser

sunflower Bottle wraps on water bottles

Food labels on apothecary jars


The favors were sunflower seeds (some to eat and some to plant) and a sunflower chocolate lollipop.
Martha Stewart sunflower seed packet in tulle


I used the cupcake toppers as a favor tag (attached to the tulle) and favor embellishment (stuck to the sunflower chocolate lollipop). They are so versatile!

Doesn’t the birthday girl look adorable? Her mom and I laughed about the fact that we met at Gianna’s 6th birthday party at Peter Piper Pizza last year. Who knew back then that she’d be having her next birthday at my house?!

girl wearing applique sunflower shirt and sunflower tutu

I think the birthday girl was happy with the party, and so was I!

See more Sunflower party ideas on my Pinterest board!


Handmade cake plates from Bee In Our Bonnet
Sunflower tutu by Tutu Girlz
Sunflower applique shirt by Three Lindys
Burlap wreath by Ginger Bloom Gifts
Sunflower wreath from Today’s Patio (AZ only) but similar items are available on Etsy
Sunflower plate by Sur le Table
Caramel Apple Dip recipe from Fake It Frugal
Sunflower Brownie Pops recipe from Munchkin Munchies
Sunflower chocolate lollipop from Safeway, but are much more affordable here
Sunflower garden seeds by Martha Stewart
Photography by Amanda Saccuci at Rule of Faith Photography
Sunflower party printables by Renees Soirees


This party has been featured on:

Tip Junkie

DIY Party Ideas

Hostess With The Mostess


 Catch My Party
Catch My Party

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