My other favorite holiday

I know Halloween was over a month ago and all, but I would feel remiss if I didn’t share our decorations with you. After all, we had less than ten trick-or-treaters; somebody needs to see them!

Our basement came equipped with a ton of old canning jars. They were all covered in a thick film of dust and looked pretty spooky on their own. So I popped a tea candle into fifty of them and made a pathway of luminaries. (This was especially useful since our house doesn’t have a sidewalk or anything leading up to the front door.)

On the porch I draped some spiderwebs across the ceiling and over the inside of the door. Since I haven’t gotten around to covering that window yet I didn’t want trick-or-treaters popping their heads up to see us eating frozen pizza while watching Corpse Bride. Oh, and down there on the left is the pumpkin that we had for dinner on Saturday night.
And here’s my Martha Stewart inspired jack-o-lantern. It looks complicated, but it was really pretty easy. I just made myself a stencil out of some cardboard for the four-leaved design and used an icepick to punch the holes above. One of those little pumpkin carving tools was a lifesaver for a project like this. In the jars on the porch I put chunks of dry ice for a nice foggy effect.


My friendly white owl, evil candy owl, and Halloween raven got to perch in the windowsill.

Also, I had decided months ago to make caramel apples for the trick-or-treaters. (What? I think about Halloween for a long time!) It being my first attempt at caramel apples, I would say they turned out pretty well.

The apple gets a close up, because it just looks that delicious.

I didn’t think to take a picture of all of them before Halloween, but these are the leftover ones that Matt took to his department’s party. Don’t mind the fact that the caramel has started to melt off of them…

And to leave you in a Christmasy mood, here’s what our porch looks like now. If you look closely you can see Story on the couch inside.

Oh, looks like one of the command hooks on the right must have fallen off! Well, you get the idea anyway. I’ve got the lights on a solar timer like the one for the lights that live on the back porch year round. The timer sort of ended up causing a hassle when I went to buy an extension cord since it’s not grounded and apparently all outdoor extension cords are. I figured an indoor extension cord would be ok since it will be covered by the porch anyway. But when I was looking at the label to try and figure out whether it would burn the house down if it got wet, I found that it was much more insistent on warning me that it contained lead and other stuff known to the state of California to be carcinogens and that I had better wash my hands after touching it or else risk reproductive damage. Yikes.

Happy holiday decorating, and watch out for those cancer-causing extension cords!

The most wonderful time of the year

One of the first things I thought about when we moved to our new house was where to put the Christmas tree. That being said, it should come as a surprise to no one that I like to put my decorations up as soon after Thanksgiving as possible. So today I cranked up the Mannheim Steamroller and got to decorating!

Here’s our Christmas tree (in its long awaited spot). We hardly ever use the front door except to check the mail, in case you’re wondering.


And here is the mantle, now complete with our new gel fuel fireplace thanks to my mom and grandparents.


I’m particularly excited about the stockings you can see hanging there. After searching every store I could think of and the *entire* internet, I finally came across Anne Schneider’s Etsy shop, Good Wishes Quilts. She made the stockings for me the very next day, and there they were in my mailbox by the time we got back from Thanksgiving break.