Potting Shed: Pumpkins, Gourds, and Mums!

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We’ve had a little teaser of fall temperatures, just enough inspiration

to harvest some fall color around my Potting Shed!

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So I’m welcoming fall with open arms,

along with pumpkins, gourds and mums!

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Oak leaves frame a bittersweet wreath and

transferware lid hanging in greeting on the door.

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And my window box is liner-free and home for

 a medley of gourds and pumpkins for the season.

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Watering cans are filled with fall grasses and foliage.

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And I’m weighing in on pumpkin love :)

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I hope you’re enjoying a little fall weather where you are!

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Drink Up Witches Halloween Potion and Winners!

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I have a potion brewing for you for Halloween,

guaranteed to help you Eat, Drink & Be Witchy!

Drink Up Witches DIY Cup

I conjured Drink Up Witches Cups, from Pier 1, into witchy stemmed drinking vessels, (easier for long green, crooked fingers to hold :) with the magic of silicone adhesive and a Dollar Tree glass candleholder.

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Park your broom and join me at my Witches’ Potion Table, here.

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Drink Up Witches’ Potion Ingredients:

~1 1/2 ounces of Authentic Wolfsbane, aka Vodka

 ~ 1 1/2 ounces Poison No. 9, aka Ginger Ale

~ 1 1/2 ounces of Vampire Blood, aka Pomegranate Juice

~ Black Cat Arsenic, aka Black Sugar for Rimming

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Adjust the ratio of your potions if you’d like a more lethal cocktail.

Serve over ice, top off with additional Poison No. 9, aka Ginger Ale.

Garnish with a top quality spider bite. . .if you dare.

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You can mix an alcohol free potion for fledgling witches by skipping the

Authentic Wolfsbane, aka Vodka and just adding ginger ale.

Eat, Drink, and Be Witchy Giveaway

The winners of my Eat, Drink, and Be Witchy Giveaway are:

Pattie Tierney:  A Cauldron, a Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron 5-Quart Dutch Oven

Linda Kemp:  Baking Cups, Halloween Decorating or Potion Sprinkles, Cookie Cutters, Potion Stirring Spatulas, and some Eye of Newt, or Candy Eye Treat Toppers

Lynn @ Happier Than a Pig in Mud: Drink Up Witches Cups, Cocktail Napkins & Picks, Straws, Bar Towel, and Labels for your Bubbling Brew

and

Carolyn P : Some additional baking goodies and Halloween Treats!

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Congratulations to the winning witches,

I’ll contact you by email and get your goodies to you!

Thanks to all who entered!

Drink Up Witches Potion & Halloween Cocktail

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Witches’ Potion Table

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I’m calling all witches, there’s a potion brewing for you,

Bubbling with polka-dotted pumpkins and mercury glass too!

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 A dutch oven in cast iron serves as a cauldron for the table,

While plates are dressed for potion-making, with an ingredient label.

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Add the aging blood of the black cat to your witchy brew,

For best results, stir counter-clockwise, not one time, but two.

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Incredibly potent, very small doses of Cyanide you will need,

Unless it’s toxic witches’ potion you’re blending, don’t exceed.

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Frog Syrup is a swampy addition to your witches’ brew and meal,

Beware of imitation toad syrup, use only genuine frog that’s real!

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Add a dash of Eye of Newt and a pinch of Spider Blend,

Under the light of the full moon, your potion you must tend.

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Target, a favorite haunt, is a short broom ride away,

Where I fell head over heels with witchy legs, flying home to play.

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 A witchy spider web was spun for our potion’s tablecloth,

Spelled at HomeGoods, safe for catching our brew’s bubbly froth.

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Drink up Witches Cups were conjured straight from Pier 1,

Add a candlestick from Dollar Tree to elevate the fun!

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Apply silicone adhesive and allow 24 hours to cure,

Gather ribbon and some straws and thirsty witches they will lure!

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Ravens have flown in, perched by the cauldron at the table,

Conjure raven snacks up here, inspired by a Halloween label!

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It’s not too late to Eat, Drink & Be Witchy this Halloween,

Throw your name into the cauldron, here, where your comment will be seen!

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October 3rd is the date, three winners we will choose,

So enter today, don’t delay, you have nothing to lose.

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Witches’ Potion Table Details:

Tablecloth & Chargers / HomeGoods

Flatware & Straws / World Market

Polka-dotted Pumpkins & Witch Legs / Target

Drink Up Witches Cups & Napkin Rings / Pier 1

Potion Ingredient Labels, Ribbon & Ravens / Michaels

Drink Up Witches DIY Cup

Wishing you a Happy Halloween and a little Scary Fun,

 Happy Haunting to All~

Aren’t you glad my rhyming’s done? :)

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At the Table: Pumpkins, Leaves and Mikasa Autumn Nights

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I’m at the table with pumpkins, leaves and

Autumn Nights by Mikasa Gourmet Basics.

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Inspired by the deepest shade of night, Mikasa Autumn Nights

offers a modern interpretation for fall dining.

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Bold patterned leaves drift across square plates

in a contrasting palette of autumnal colors.

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Lanterns are filled with a seasonal display of

small pumpkins and gourds as a centerpiece.

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And square shape bowls are a

convenient size for serving up soup, cereal

or Jack Be Little pumpkins :)

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Woven chargers add a rustic texture and contrast

with the smooth satin finish of the flatware

and glossy glaze of the stoneware.

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A twig candleholder with glass leaf accents by Mikasa provides

a little glow for the table from the crackle glass candleholders.

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Autumn Nights Table Details:

*Dinnerware / Gourmet Basics by Mikasa Autumn Nights

*Flatware / Mikasa Satin Loft

*Candle holder / Mikasa Glass Leaf 3 Pillar Linear

Chargers / World Market, several years ago

Lanterns / Pottery Barn, several years ago

Leaf Napkin Rings / Bed, Bath & Beyond, several years ago

Tablecloth & Napkins / Kohl’s, several years ago

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Enjoy 20% off one Autumn Nights item through October 6th with the link below:

http://www.mikasa.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGMKAN201

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*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

Pumpkins, Leaves and Mikasa Autumn Nights

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Top 10 Things Chloe & Gracie Love About Fall

Top 10 things Chloe & Gracie love about fall. . .

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1. Sweater Weather!

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2. The Smells

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Fresh Mulled Cider

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Make Your Own Mulling Spice

Make Your Own Mulling Spice

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The aroma of fall baking. . .

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Mini Pumpkin Pies

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Cranberry-Apple-Pumpkin Bundt Cake

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3. Halloween Treats!

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Howl-O-Ween Tricking Treats,

from Three Dog Bakery Cookbook

Made with canned pumpkin, vanilla, water, egg, whole-wheat flour,

chopped pecans, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg & oats

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4. Pumpkins

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5. Chair Sitting

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6. Fall Color

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7.  Leaf Peeping by Boat

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8. Fall Sunsets

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9. Picnics

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Fall Picnic with Pumpkins

10. And an excuse to curl up with a blanket :)

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Chloe & Grace want to know,

What are your favorite things about fall? :)

Chloe & Gracie Fall Favorites

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Fall Sipping: Apple Cider Sangria

Apple Cider Sangria

 Apple Cider Sangria is a refreshing sangria for fall!

An easy seasonal cocktail for a crowd, taking advantage of just picked apples,

 fresh apple cider, and ideal to mix up for tailgating

 or just because it’s fall!

Carrigan Farms Apple Picking

This sangria is infused with perfect combination of apple and ginger flavors and is refreshing without being overly sweet!

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I used a Pinot Grigio for the wine as the base of the sangria, apple cider for the juice,

ginger ale as the mixer, and added apple vodka instead of the typical brandy or rum.

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I stumbled on Absolut Orient Apple Vodka that has a hint of ginger, with plans for mixing applicious cocktails this fall.

It only takes five minutes to assemble this sangria in a large pitcher or beverage dispenser. You can mix it and serve it right away since the apple flavor is already in the apple vodka and the cider, or mix it several hours in advance if you prefer to infuse the sangria with more apple flavor, or the apples with more sangria :)

anatomy-of-sangria-recipe

I followed this handy Anatomy of Sangria chart, courtesy of Wine Enthusiast Magazine for a quick reference for easy mixing, that I used to mix our Red, White & Blue Sangria for the 4th of July.

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The sangria combinations are endless with this chart as a guideline. Pick and choose your mixers, fruit, juice, wine & liquor, adjusting the flavors and quantities to your taste.

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Apple Cider Sangria

Ingredients

3 – 4 apples, diced

1 bottle Pinot Grigio, or white wine of choice

1/2 cup Apple Cider

1/2 cup Absolut Orient Apple Vodka

1 can Ginger Ale (I used diet)

Dice apples and add to a large pitcher. Add wine, cider and vodka. Refrigerate until serving, 1 – 2 hours or up to 24.

Just before serving add chilled ginger ale to pitcher and mix well. Fill glasses half full with ice, add sangria and apples.

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 I didn’t add any additional sweetener to this sangria with the sugar in the apple cider and used diet ginger ale instead of regular ginger ale. It was refreshing and plenty sweet for us but adjust to your taste and crowd, adding additional sweetener or simple syrup if desired.

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You can find a printable recipe, here.

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Make sure you eat the apple after you’re done sipping,

An apple a day keeps the doctor away! :)

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Serving Up Flowers In A Pumpkin Tureen

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Are you ready for fall and pumpkins?

We still have plenty of summer-like temperatures and warm weather ahead of

 us here in the South, but I began the count down to fall a month ago!

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Pumpkins are just starting to arrive at the garden centers and

 nurseries and I’m ready for a Happy Harvest and all things pumpkin!

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One of my favorite uses for a pumpkin is as a vase for a centerpiece

or seasonal display for the table, buffet, or kitchen island

with flowers, fruit, leaves, and berries. . .

{Harvest, Reaping, and Sowing}

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{Thanksgiving With a Touch of Blue}

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It makes a beautiful last hurrah for your pumpkin for the season and

for Thanksgiving, assembled with some produce and flowers

from the grocery store or garden.

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{Thanksgiving Lakeside}

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You can even use tiger striped or small pumpkins as mini bouquets

and as take-home favors for your guests at each place setting!

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 I’m kicking off the fall season with a flower-filled pumpkin tureen!

Instead of soup, my tureen is serving up sunflowers, along with mums, Alstroemeria, artichokes, apples and some foliage from shrubs and trees for a blooming and seasonal centerpiece.

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I’m not a floral designer so what I’ve learned is by trial and error, but here’s how I build a pumpkin vase centerpiece:

Start by soaking wet floral foam bricks (like Oasis®, around $2 a brick) until they are saturated and heavy with water. You can find wet floral foam at craft stores or Walmart in the floral department. You can find some helpful tips on using wet floral foam from the American Rose Society, here.

Note: If using a real pumpkin, you would cut and prepare your pumpkin as you would a jack-o’-lantern, removing the insides and seeds.

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Place your wet foam in a plastic container or bowl inside your pumpkin, or line the inside of the pumpkin with a plastic bag to keep any water from the floral foam away from the bottom of the pumpkin, keeping it as dry as possible to help it last longer.

Floral foam is easy to trim with a kitchen knife to fit your container or pumpkin. You can piece your bricks together, wedging them in your container or pumpkin for a tight fit. Floral adhesive waterproof tape will prevent the foam and/or flowers in your container from shifting once your arrangement is complete. My foam was wedged in tightly, so I skipped the tape.

Pumpkin Tureen Vase Centerpiece DIY

I start with leaves I cut to give the centerpiece some structure and height as a guideline.

Next I added sunflowers as my focal flowers. I use an odd number of sunflowers, or 5 for this arrangement, and because they came in a convenient bunch of 5 for $6 at the grocery store :) You can find a great selection of affordable flowers at Trader Joes for $3.99.

I like to add some produce, apples, artichokes, lemons, etc. with flowers in an arrangement. They add texture, color and interest and you need fewer flowers in your arrangement.

Pumpkin Tureen Vase DIY

Except for the focal flowers, I group my like elements together. Cluster the apples, artichokes and mums and daisies together for pockets of color and texture in your arrangement and to make a bigger impact and statement.

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 I use floral picks (available at the craft store) to anchor the fruit and artichokes to the foam. If I need more height I use a sturdy stick rather than a pick.

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After the larger elements are in, I add the filler flowers. I cut some goldenrod, free for the picking, leaves, and some long-lasting Alstroemeria, $4, from the grocery store.

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You can find some helpful tips for conditioning your foliage and cut flowers to make them last longer here.

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You can use individual leaves or button mums to fill in any gaps or holes between the fruit and flowers. Remove and replace any foliage or leaves as they wilt to enjoy your arrangement longer.

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Dogwoods are starting to show the first bit of fall color so I cut some leaves for their spotted foliage and red berries.

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Your arrangement will last a week or longer depending on the condition of your pumpkin! Keep your arrangement out of direct sunlight and mist the flowers with water occasionally.

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I had a reader share that her the pumpkin rotted, ruining the finish of her dining room table so it’s always a good idea to place your pumpkin on a platter or tray, as a precaution, rather than directly on your table.

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Pumpkin Tureen, Pier 1 Imports

Pumpkin Patch Crewel Embroidered Pillow Cover, Pottery Barn, last year, still available this year

Plaid Throw, Target, several years ago

Pumpkin Tureen Vase

Are you ready for fall and pumpkin season?

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Pick Your Own Apples

Carrigan Farms Apple Picking

I went apple picking at Carrigan Farms, a local

pick-your-own farm in Mooresville, NC.

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You can take the kids for an apple hayride. . .

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Or they can walk the orchard and drag

 their bag of apples behind them. . .

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{insert *wince* and *grin* here}

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The orchard is open daily in September

to pick Golden and Red Delicious Apples.

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Peeking through the cornstalks is encouraged too :)

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Barn, silo and beautiful homestead love. . .*sigh*

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And tractor love too . . .

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In October, Pumpkin Patch Tours and hayrides begin. . .

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And on select nights in October Carrigan Farms

turns into. . . Scarrigan Farms. . .

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Carrigan Farms, Apple Orchard and Corn

If you’re not tired of picnicking :) you can enjoy an Apple Picnic. . .

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with Apple Walnut Salad, Redd’s Apple Ale and

Sweet & Savory Apple Gorgonzola & Thyme Pies.

Apple Gorgonzola & Thyme Pies

Are you Apple Picking this Fall?

Carrigan Farms

Thank you for your visit!

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Eat, Drink, and Be Witchy Giveaway!

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With Halloween on the horizon, are you feeling Witchy?

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Are you dusting off your broom? . . .

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Brushing up on your spells. . .

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Preparing to shake up a sinister Skeletini Cocktail. . .

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Or custom blending your potion stirring spoons?

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Ready to fuel up with some sweet treats for a long midnight ride. . .

Halloween Oreos

Maybe some Halloween Oreo Brownies. . .

Halloween Dipped & Sprinkled Apples

Or Halloween Dipped and Sprinkled Apples. . .

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Or Witch Hat Cupcakes

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Ravenous Witches may need to pack some Finger Sand-Witches. . .

Witches' Brew Stew and Finger Sand-Witches

Along with a cauldron of Witches’ Brew Stew. . .

 Hearty, satisfying, and tasty after a long flight!

Bread Dough Witch Fingers

Or Conjure Witch Fingers from Bread Dough

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In Celebration of Halloween,

I visited some of my favorite haunts to scare up some witchy treats!

Eat, Drink, and Be Witchy Giveaway

To help you Eat, Drink & Be Witchy this Halloween. . .

 One witch will receive a Cauldron,

a Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron 5-Quart Dutch Oven.

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A second witch will receive Drink Up Witches Cups, Cocktail Napkins & Picks, Straws, Bar Towel, and Labels for your Bubbling Brew.

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And a third witch will receive Baking Cups, Halloween Decorating or Potion Sprinkles, Cookie Cutters, Potion Stirring Spatulas, and some Eye of Newt, or Candy Eye Treat Toppers.

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To enter this giveaway and throw your name into the cauldron,

leave a comment telling me your favorite halloween candy or treat!

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Subscribers/followers automatically get a second entry.

Subscribe by email or follow on Facebook

and let me know by comment.

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For a third entry, share this giveaway on Facebook

and leave an additional comment telling me so.

Brains of Cawing Ravens

Giveaway is open to those witches :) living in the continental US only. 

 The winners will be chosen October 3rd,

in time for you to Eat, Drink and Be Witchy!

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winners.

Eat, Drink and Be Witchy Tricks & Treats!

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From Summer to Fall: Pfaltzgraff Rooster Meadow

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I’m transitioning from summer to fall, at the table

with Pfaltzgraff Rooster Meadow Dinnerware.

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  Sunflowers, poppies and black-eyed Susans, along with

a strutting rooster and chick, border the plates in a cheery

pattern and vivid palette of russet, gold, and greens!

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While a vibrant foundation of blooming flowers and

leaves in bright fall colors, trail along the tablecloth.

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Goldenrod is blooming free for the picking, joining

 sunflowers and mums for a blooming centerpiece for the table.

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 Mason jar drinking glasses with handles are embellished with roosters

and flowers, ready to be filled with your favorite beverage.

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 And sculpted rooster accents in a cookie jar and

 salt and pepper set are decorative as well as functional.

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Plates are embossed with sunflowers for a blooming option for appetizers. . .

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Or serve as a flowering coaster under a mug.

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Mugs and soup/cereal bowls have a baby chick and flower detail inside. . .

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 A 12-1/2 inch sculpted sunflower platter also functions

as a decorative charger for 10-1/2 inch dinner plates.

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I filled some mugs for a blooming vase at each place setting. . .

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And filled a Mason Jar Beverage Dispenser with fruit-infused water. . .

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A decorative and functional way to serve lemonade, tea,

punch, or your favorite party beverage for a crowd.

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Rooster topped canisters provide functional storage for baking staples, treats or

as decorative storage, filled with dried pasta for your kitchen counter top.

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Rooster Meadow Table Details:

*Dinnerware, Rooster Cookie Jar & Canisters / Rooster Meadow by Pfaltzgraff

*Rooster Mason Jars & Beverage Dispenser / Pfaltzgraff

*Sculpted Sunflower Appetizer Plates/ Pfaltzgraff

*Flatware / Pfaltzgraff Linden

Chargers / World Market, several years ago

Wire Cake Pedestal / World Market, last year

Rooster Napkin Rings / Dutchman’s, last year

Tablecloth & Napkins / Food Network™ Winding Marigold, Kohl’s

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You can find all the Rooster Meadow Dinnerware with the link below:

http://www.pfaltzgraff.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGPFRM201

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*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

Pfaltzgraff Rooster Meadow Dinnerware

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