Trick-Or-Treating Old School

Posted on November 1st, 2013 by Jean

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Last night we took the girls Trick-Or-Treating, door to door, old-school style like in our youth. This was the first time for our daughters who have in the past collected candy along the Laughlin Casinos’ River Walk. To say they were nervous is an understatement. We had to encourage them to ring that first doorbell. They got such a warm greeting, that it made subsequent bell ringing a breeze! Most thanked the girls for visiting, and some took photos of them. A few doors had a bowl of candy or colorfully bagged treats placed on the stoop.

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We dubbed Pearl, “Aunt Sam” after one resident asked if she was Uncle Sam. Natalie stood wobbly on one leg in her flamingo pose after being mistaken too many times for a showgirl.

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Tom met a pooch dressed like him.

Tom and I got a little misty-eyed watching our daughters enjoy Halloween the way we did when we were young. Although I must say, we never approached doors as exquisite as these! We really marveled at the beautiful homes in this private, gated community of Majestic Crest. We have clients here who allowed us access. One hour on one street and the girls’ bags were filled as were their hearts.

How was your holiday?

Pre Halloween 2013

Posted on October 27th, 2013 by Jean

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We finished a long week of work, and promptly got into Halloween mode. First stop was Target for pumpkin carving kits and a lovely lemon meringue scented candle. Then we stopped at Smith’s for pumpkins.

Tom cut openings in the tops of the pumpkins with a knife and a power tool. It was a little loud for the kids. When the smoke cleared, the girls dug in to remove the seeds. Pearl found three seeds that had sprouted, and we planted them outside. I rinsed the remaining seeds, then boiled them briefly in salted water prior to baking. They turned out great!

We fed the pumpkin pulp to one of our desert tortoises. He seemed to like it. I love the pic of him, and uploaded it to CNN iReport Weekend Express. We’ll see if it airs.

This is the first year that the girls didn’t require or ask for any help carving their pumpkins! Big achievement; I’m marking my calendar. Their pumpkins turned out darling, if I do say so myself.

We just found out that the casinos are NOT hosting the Trick-or-Treat event this year. Big bummer. Tom has a plan to drive the kids to a nice area of town and ::: gulp! ::: let them go door to door! We were just talking about this over at Ron’s blog (visit him, he’s great).

 photo 9d87fad1-1ad5-43e2-9742-37630b17b4b3_zps7168046f.jpgOn another light note, a Fall Festival was held at the kids’ school Saturday night. I was working, but Tom brought the girls. Not only did they have a fantastic time, but Pearl won first place for Most Creative Costume!

• What are your Halloween traditions?

• Did you go to or host any costume parties over the weekend?

Fake Cake is a Pin Win!

Posted on January 27th, 2013 by Jean

Last weekend, the kids and I chose a craft from our “To Try” Pinterest board, and tackled it. We bought the supplies from our local hardware store; sponges, spray paint, caulking, and glue. The Project – these darling Fake Cakes which can actually be mailed with 3 postage stamps.
Hubby sliced the sponges in half with a long, serrated knife, and also cut the groove in the center of the cake slices. I spray painted them chocolate brown, and waited for them to dry. The sponges took 3 coats of paint to cover any hint of the original sponge color.
Once they had dried, I traced the cakes on pink construction paper, cut out the shapes, and glued them to the cake. More drying time was involved, and FINALLY it was time to get the kids involved.
Frosting the cakes – Hubby showed me how to use a caulking gun, and I squeezed the caulk onto the cake; first in the groove, then on top and along the edge. The girls swirled the caulking with toothpicks.

The hardest part of this craft was fighting the urge to eat these fake cakes!
The original post recommends caulk drying time to 3 to 5 days. We had a long weekend (Martin Luther King Day was Monday), and by Tuesday the cakes were dry.
The girls decorated the cakes with stickers and markers. Instead of mailing them, we are hand-delivering them or packaging them to mail. I’m afraid the construction paper will fall off during transit if we did try to mail them. Our hardware store helpers suggested we use Elmer’s glue since it would not melt the sponge. If I had it to do over again, I’d use the 3M glue that the original pin listed. The Elmer’s also discolored the paper.

All in all, I think this was a pin win! If YOU have a pin win or a Pinstrosity, enter Pinstrosity’s 1st Blogiversary here.