Popcorn!

October is National Popcorn month.  In celebration I’ve gathered a bunch of history, resources and some delicious recipes!

History of popcorn:

Fans have been eating popcorn for over 5000 years scientists believe.  People popped the ears of corn by throwing it on sizzling hot stones near a campfire.  It was then a game and challenge to catch the pieces of popcorn that flew off the cob before they landed in the fire.  Popcorn was even present at the 1st Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the USA.  Popcorn carts were popular in the late 1800’s and popcorn is found in supermarkets, on street corners and in some restaurants today.  (Check out Popcorn History and What’s Cooking America for more info!)

Popcorn recipes:

An Allrecipes recipe for caramel popcorn

3 great recipes (rocky road, cheese, sweet & sour) from Food Network

Halloween popcorn from About.com

A variety of Popcorn recipes

Fun with Popcorn!

Popcorn Books

Fun arts, crafts and other projects for Popcorn

Don’t forget to make a popcorn garland too!  Whether you decorate your house for Halloween, your table for Thanksgiving or your tree for Christmas, it’s fun for all ages!

Of course you could pop some popcorn and eat it while watching you’re favorite movie!

Popcorn resources:

Popcorn.org not only does it have food ideas, it has all things popcorn.

Orville Redenbacher’s website has great recipes and more fun info

~Share your fun memories of popcorn below!

Halloween Party!

Halloween is just a few days away!  Hopefully you’re ready with costume, party fun and candy, but if not, here are some great suggestions for your Halloween fun!

Costumes:

Costume Idea Zone has lots of boxy, fun, creative, ideas for kids, adults and couples

Homemade costumes, including those for the injured, and homemade makeup

Halloween Costume Ideas features an incredible selection of ideas as well as costumes you can purchase

Family Fun Magazine is always a great resource, and features a great selection of DIY, easy and traditional costume ideas

Decorations:

Halloween Web shares some great tips and ideas for decorating, or concealing existing areas of your house

Martha Stewart’s collection of 69 crafts, decorations and other spooky things

Better Homes and Gardens decoration ideas

Decoration ideas for inside and out

Party fun:

Celebrations has a great selection of fun party games, including doing a Murder Mystery

Amazing Moms has a great selection of kid related activities and games

Party Game Ideas has some interesting games

Party food:

Some interesting Halloween edibles and drinks from Britta

An interesting collection from the creative minds at About.com

Halloween party drinks

Halloween cupcakes, snacks, and kid-friendly drinks from Family Fun

Halloween Desserts from Food Network

Creative treats for Halloween:

Martha Stewart’s Halloween treats and bags

Use Oriental Trading toys and fun items for both your trick-or-treating and your party favors

~~Share your ideas and suggestions below!

Creating with Apples

Apples are a delicious food, great craft tool and inspirational item.  Today’s post is all about apples in our daily lives, on any day!

Cooking with apples:

Baked apples, roasted apples, apple sauce, apple pie, apple cake, apple fritters, apple (crumble), use in a salad, eat ’em just as they are, apple muesli, caramel/candy apples, use in stuffing, apple muffins, apple bread, eat with peanut butter or honey…The list goes on and on!  Don’t forget to share your favorite apple recipes below 🙂

Crafting with apples:

Family Fun Magazine shares 3 fun things to do with apples (shrunken heads, baking, stationary)

Chicago Parent shares how to make nutty apples for decoration!

Use dried apples in your decorating, flower arranging or ornament making

Add something special with apple stamps!

Inspiration from apples:

Juggling!  Who didn’t try to juggle apples and other great fruits?!  Try teaching your kids, students, friends or yourself with apples!

Readers Digest shares 5 interesting, possibly strange, but useful ideas for apples

Use apples in your centerpieces!

Here is a great blog post with apple and apple tree themed decorations!

Share your love for apples below!

Chasing the Chill with Quilts

It’s a blustery fall day here in the Northeast USA and a perfect day to talk about staying warm with quilts!

Quilts are a great way to be expressive both of your personal style, as well as memories.  Many people make memory quilts with pieces of old garments that have special memories attached to them but can’t be worn any longer.   They’re wonderful to wrap yourself in while you’re reading a good book, pouring over business work, snuggling with a special someone or relaxing and watching TV.

There are tons of resources online as well as tutorials and websites to order fabrics.  So, I thought I would highlight some Twitter friends’ quilting abilities today.

Ann Brauer, Cara Wilson, Jen Schoenberger.  These women all sell quilts on their websites or Etsy (visit Etsy for other great quilters!).

Another friend has a quilting resources website.

Linda sells super creative quilted postcards!

Share your favorite quilt resources, stores and memories below!

Play Ball!

It’s almost here!  The World Series of Baseball!  Today’s event post is all about celebrating the big day!

Food: Aside from the typical party food (ribs, pizza, nachos, chips etc), there are some great ideas for baseball themed food.

  • peanuts, popcorn, cracker jacks (there are lots of recipes online, try making your own!)
  • meatballs, sausage, peppers
  • hot dogs, burgers
  • decorate your cupcakes to look like baseballs or decorate a large round cake like a baseball

Activities: Beside watching the game, you could play a game of baseball!

Decorations: decorate with appropriate colors for your favorite team.  Also use bats, balls and bases, maybe even a scoreboard!

Everyone should bring their hats, team jerseys and other baseball related items (big thumb or other fun stadium items)

Share your ideas and favorite baseball recipes below!

Think Pink

October is Breast Cancer awareness month.  Thousands of companies, from Dannon, Yoplait, the NFL and others have joined together to help fund a cause.  The statistics are staggering: every 69 seconds a woman dies from breast cancer.  Until researchers discover a cure, and people come to understand breast cancer better, what can those who have cancer do?

Walk: Join breast cancer walks around the globe.  If you can’t walk, ask a friend to walk for you.  Financially support those who do walk. It’s not how cancer will be cured, but it is a way to increase visibility and spread the word that you care about finding a cure.

Groups: Join a support group.  One of the best things you, or anyone you know, can do is to join a support group.  Breast cancer, just like any other life challenge, is better handled with support.   Some statistics show that those who have joined a support group live longer and healthier than those who try to handle cancer on their own.

Talk: Even if you don’t want a big deal made out of the fact that you have breast cancer, tell your friends and family.  One of the biggest blessings we humans have is that we get to support those in need.  Don’t try to do it all, let those in your life support you.  You’ll be able to focus on getting well, doing what you love and eating well if you’ve got help with cooking, cleaning, child care, work, finances and other needs you may have.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Share one way you will encourage someone with breast cancer or will support finding a cause this month below.

31 days of Halloween

Halloween provides lots of great opportunities for being creative and crafty!  Today I’m sharing 31 different ways to be creative!

1-stained glass: 6 spooky decorations or ideas

2-collage: use items that have the colors purpose, orange and black in them to create your scary or fun collage.

3-dance: whether you’re scaring someone or dancing, having core strength and being able to move smoothly and with stealth are important.

4-coloring:  use oranges, reds, purples and yellows, and highlight with silver and black

5-sewing: October is the perfect opportunity to display your sewing skills in a Halloween costume.

6-flower arranging: several great seasonal ideas to add something special to your flower arrangements

7-painting: paint a scary scene on your pumpkin!

8-writing: use your creativity and fears to write a scary story!

9-drawing: sit outside and sketch the scary scene of decorated houses and trick-or-treaters!

10-needlepoint/embroidery: a great selection of needlepoint ideas for Halloween!

11-scrapbooking: use real fall leaves to add interest and variety to your scrapbook.

12-cooking: Spooky Punch

13-card making: very creative Halloween card idea

14-decorating: A Halloween decorating idea with pumpkins!

15-soap: Candy Corn soap!

16-acting: act out scary movie characters for some fun and acting practice!

17-quilting: Trick-or-treat candy bag idea

18-papier-mache: make a papier-mache ghost!

19-sculptures: create a pumpkin out of clay, fabric, wire or wood!

20-jewelry: try using spider webs in your creations.

21-video/movies: A tip for shooting movies at night

22-collecting: collect apples, witches hats or broomsticks!

23-clothes design: a Halloween costume, what else!

24-crafts: A spooky and realistic ghost!

25-crafts: Halloween masks, coloring pictures and more for the kids!

26-web design: share trick-or-treat safety tips (or a link to some) on your homepage

27-photography: don’t miss your kids because it’s too dark out!  One idea to get great pictures here.

28-wood working: build some old fence panels to scare off visitors!

29-knitting: cute knitted Halloween ghosts!

30-music: make your own spooky music for Halloween!

31-sand: scare visitors with a haunted pirate island display!

Share your favorite creative Halloween activity below!