Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spa-Rific Bath Mixes to Give

Fragrant Bath Salts Mix 
(Wonderful as a foot soak!)
1 c. borax
1/2 c. sea salt or Epsom salts
1/2 c. baking soda
1/2 t. lavender soap fragrance
1/4 t. orange soap fragrance
1/4 t. sandalwood soap fragrance
Combine borax, sea salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl and mix well.  Stir in fragrances.  Pour into decorative 1-pint container with tight-fitting lid.  Attach gift tag with raffia or ribbon.  Yield: 2 cups.
Fragrant Bath Salts Directions:  Pour 1/2 c. Fragrant Bath Salts Mix into tub of running warm water and swish to dissolve.

Victorian Milk Bath Mix
(Use up powdered milk that's a little too old to drink!)
2 c. powdered milk
1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. dried lavender flowers
1/2 to 1 t. plumeria or other floral soap fragrance
Process powdered milk and oats in blender or food processor until fine; transfer to medium bowl.  Stir in lavender flowers and fragrance.  Pour into decorative 1-pint bottle or jar with tight-fitting lid.  Attach gift tag with raffia or ribbon.  Yield:  3 cups.
Victorian Milk Bath Mix Directions:  Pour 1 cup Victorian Milk Bath Mix into knee-high stocking, knot and toss into tub while filling with warm water.  Squeeze stocking a few times to release all the oats' skin-soothing features.

Oatmeal Facial Scrub
(For amazingly softer skin!)
1-1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. cornmeal
1/2 t. jasmine soap fragrance
Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor until oats are very finely ground.  Pour into a decorative 1-pint container with a tight-fitting lid, or into cellophane bags.  Attach gift tag with raffia or ribbon.  Tip:  If your gift recipient has especially sensitive skin, you can make an even gentler scrub by substituting baking soda for the cornmeal.  Buy soap fragrances at arts and crafts stores.
Oatmeal Facial Scrub Directions:  Pour 1 teaspoon Oatmeal Facial Scrub Mix into palm of hand.  Moisten with a little water and gently massage into skin with fingertips in a circular motion.  Rinse off immediately with plain water.

See Also:  Aromatherapy Bath Potpourri Bags

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Trick or Treat Family Night Idea

Blast from the Past:  Maybe everyone knows about Tootsie Roll Ghosts, but in case you don't, they're a cute addition to Halloween goody plates.  In the 1970's my elementary school teacher showed us how to make these.  I was so excited cause, "Hello!" it's a Tootsie Roll Pop!  Delicious :O)  Take a couple of tissues and wrap around the Tootsie Roll Pop and tie off with string to make the head.  (I use candle-wicking or crochet cotton found in the crochet isle).  Then with a permanent marker make two eyes and a mouth.  Voila!

Georgie is a favorite "Ghost" book of mine!
Below are two versions of cute poems to leave treats anonymously and help others catch the spirit of "treating."  (Leave poem with a ghost door hanger and your gift of treats)  You've Been Boo'ed PDF
source unknown
The air is cool the season fall Soon Halloween will come to all 
The spooks are after things to do In fact, a spook brought this to you 
"Boo" is a shield from witching hour Just hang it up and watch its power
On your front door is where it works It wards off spooks and scary jerks 
The treats that came with crypted note Are yours to keep, enjoy them both 
The power comes when friends like you Will copy this and make it TWO
Then others here among our friends Will give warm fuzzies that do not end 
We'll all have smiles upon our faces No one will know who "BOO"ed whose places 
Just one short day to work your spell Or a big ZAP will strike your tail
And don't forget a nifty treat, Like something cute or something sweet 
Please join fun, let's really hear it And spread some"Boo"s and Halloween spirit.

2nd Example
The Phantom has been here with a treat just for you,
He crept to your door in a fog misty blue.
This isn't a trick, this treat isn't for free,
Now it's your turn and the Phantom you'll be!
The Phantom loves treats and also loves rhymes.
Take you this paper and copy TWO times.
So he won't strike again, hang this on your window or door.
Take this and a treat and deliver TWO more
To a neighbor or friend in the black of the night.  
Pound on their door, and give 'em a fright.
Then by Halloween night, there surely should be
Phantoms on all the doors that we see.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October Traditions: Fun with Cookies!

These are my absolute favorite cookies!  I made some today and realized when it was time to add the flour that I only had a little all-purpose flour left.  So I used half wheat and half all-purpose.  They turned out sooo good!  In fact everyone said they liked them better.  I think they taste better a little thicker, so I only make a dozen/recipe.  Spook someone with this Trick or Treat Family Home Evening idea!

Autumn Owl Cookies
1 c. packed brown sugar
1-1/2 sticks butter, no substitutes
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1-oz square unsweetened chocolate
1/4 tsp baking soda
Reece's Pieces
whole cashews
In a mixing bowl, cream brown sugar and softened butter. Add egg and vanilla; mix well.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture.  Remove two-thirds of the dough; roll into an 8-inch square on waxed paper and set aside.  Combine chocolate and baking soda until thoroughly blended; beat into remaining dough.  Shape into an 8-inch-long roll; place on edge of white dough.  Wrap white dough around roll and pinch seam together.  Wrap in waxed paper; chill for at least 2 hours.  

Cut into 1/4-inch slices.  To form owl's face, place two slices side-by-side on a lightly greased baking sheet (I like parchment paper on my baking sheet instead of greased).  

Pinch dough at the top of the circles to form ears.  Place Reece's Pieces in the center of each circle for eyes.  Place a cashew in the center of the face for the beak.  Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack.  Yield:  about 1-1/2 dozen.  (From Taste of Home's Halloween Food and Fun)

October through December, we enjoy Baking Days which includes these chocolaty cookies my son loves and which we like to mail to missionary friends:

Kitty Cookies
1 c. butter (no substitutes), softened
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 t. vanilla extract
3 c. self-rising flour
1 c. baking cocoa
candy corn and red-hots

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Combine self-rising flour and cocoa in a separate bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture.  Roll dough into 1-1/2-in. balls.  Place 3 in. apart on lightly greased baking sheets.  Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar.  Pinch top of cookie to form ears.  

For whiskers, press a fork twice into each cookie.  Bake 350 degrees F. for 10-15 min. or until cookies are set.  Remove from oven and immediately press on candy corn for eyes and red-hots for noses.  Remove to wire racks to cool.  Yield: 2 dozen (From Taste of Home's Halloween Food and Fun, p. 14).

Here are some tips I found in the magazine, Quick Cooking, on packaging cookies: 
~When choosing recipes, look for bars, drop cookies, slice-an-bake cookies and sandwich cookies, which are fairly sturdy and less likely to break when shipped.
~Avoid delicate cutout and shaped cookies, which may break; chocolate, since it will melt easily; and items with perishable frostings or fillings.
~When packaging the goodies, wrap bars individually in plastic wrap.  Drop cookies can be bundled back-to-back in packages of two.  Slice-and-bake and sandwich cookies can be wrapped in plastic wrap in bundles of two or three.
~Pack soft cookies in containers or tins separate from crisp cookies.  If packed together, the moisture from the soft cookies will make the crisp cookies lose their crunch. 
~To help retain the best flavor, don't pack strong-flavored cookies like gingersnaps in the same container with mild-flavored ones like sugar cookies. 
~Line the containers with crumpled waxed paper to help cushion the cookies.  Snugly pack the cookies to within 1 in. of the top.  Use crumpled waxed paper or bubble wrap to fill any gaps between the cookies.  Add more waxed paper or bubble wrap over the last layer to cushion the cookies and prevent shifting during shipping. OR
Place pieces of wax paper between cookie layers and add mini marshmallows to make sure cookies don't move around.  Tuck in a couple packages of cocoa for a great gift! (from Gooseberry Patches' Country Quick and Easy Cookbook).
~Place a layer of crumpled paper, bubble wrap or foam shipping peanuts in the bottom of a sturdy corrgated box that is slightly larger than your cookie container.  Set the container on top; then add more paper, bubble wrap or shipping peanuts.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October Traditions: Chick Lit, Songs, Activities

Absolute Favorite Halloween/Fall Book List
It's Fall!, Linda Glaser 0761313427
Ox-Cart Man, Donald Hall 0590422421
The Teeny Tiny Woman, retold by Jane O'Conner 0394883209
Big Pumpkin, Erica Silverman 0590477609
The Headless Horseman, adapted by Natalie Standiford 0679812415
Picking Apples and Pumpkins, Amy and Richard Hutchings 0590484567
Piggie Pie!, Margie Palatini 0395866189
Georgie, Robert Bright 0590421263
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Charles M. Schulz 068984607X
The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat, Stan and Jan Berenstain 679804625
The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin 0679808477
The Berenstain Bears Go to School 679815295
Squirrels, Brian Wildsmith 0590204408
When Autumn Comes, Robert Maass 0590968254  So many wonderful memories reading this to my three children every autumn!

I've never met a kid (big or little), who didn't love these carols and chants!
Halloween Carols

Great Pumpkin is Coming to Town
(be sure to sing in a shriek, grown, howl, and moan as you sing those words!)

Oh, you better not shriek
You better not groan
You better not howl
You better not moan
Great Pumpkin is coming to town.

He's gonna find out
From folks that he meets
Who deserves tricks
And who deserves treats
Great Pumpkin is coming to town

He'll search in every pumpkin patch
Haunted houses far and near
To see if you've been spreading gloom
Or bringing lots of cheer

Oh, you better not shriek
You better not groan
You better not howl
You better not moan
Great Pumpkin is coming to town.

Deck the Patch
Deck the patch with orange and black
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Take along your goody sack
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Don we now our gay apparel
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Troll the ancient pumpkin carol
Fa la la la la, la la la la

See the Great One rise before us
Fa la la la la, la la la la
As we sing the pumpkin chorus
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Follow him as he ascends
Fa la la la la , la la la la
Join with true Great Pumpkin friends
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

~Finger Plays or Chants~

Five Little Goblins On a Halloween Night 
Five little goblins on a Halloween night
Made a very, very spooky site
The first one danced on his tippy-tip-toes
The next one tumbled and bumped his nose
Then the next one jumped high up in the air 
The next one sang a Halloween song
Five goblins played the whole night long.

Five Little Pumpkins
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate
(hold up fingers for pumpkins)
The first one said, "Oh my!  It's getting late." 
 The second one said, "There are witches in the air."  
The third one said, "But we don't care."  
The fourth one said, "It's Halloween fun."  
The fifth one said, "Let's run, and run, and run!"  
Then ooooooh went the wind
And out went the lights (clap hands to the word "out")
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight! (roll arms)

On a Dark, Dark Night 
(Get quieter and quieter, then shout "GHOST!")
On a dark, dark, night
In a dark, dark wood
In a dark, dark house
In a dark, dark room
In a dark, dark cupboard
On a dark, dark shelf
In a dark, dark box
There was a 

Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Pumpkin, pumpkin
Sitting on a wall (have children sit down)
Pumpkin, pumpkin
Tip and fall (have children tip over)
Pumpkin, pumpkin 
Rolling down the street (child rolls on floor)
Pumpkin, pumpkin
Trick or Treat!!!

Three Little Witches 
(sung to "Ten Little Indians," use fingers for numbers)
One little, Two little, Three little witches,
Fly over haystacks, fly over ditches,
Sliding down moonbeams without any hitches,
Hay Ho Halloween's here.

Big-Time Scary Activity!
Because I love her art and especially because autumn is so dear to my heart, one of my all-time favorite books is Susan Branches' Autumn from the Heart of the Home. Here is a hilarious excerpt from this book (that everyone should own!): favorite fright night took place at a Girl Scout Halloween party when I was about 11.  We were seated in a half-circle out in the garage with a leader at each end & the storyteller facing us in the middle.  There were towels placed in our laps & all the lights were turned off.  Mrs. Johnson (obviously a sick person, just like my dad) began to tell us about a dark and stormy night when a man named John Brown, who lived just up the street, was murdered by an escaped convict.  She did this in a slow, low voice.  "They never found Mr. Brown's body" (she told us in that pitch-dark garage), "only pieces of it buried all over town.  We're going to identify the body tonight and bring it back together so the ghost of Mr. Brown can stop wandering the neighborhood late at night knocking on doors."  (Right then she KNOCK-KNOCKED on a piece of wood!)  "Brrrr," she said, and then she told us, "Here are the remains of John Brown" and began passing his body parts down the line.  "First they found one of his ears" (and in the dark we felt a dried apricot); "And then, his nose" (a cold raw chicken wing); "now here are his brains" (a bowl with wet squishy tomatoes). "They found both eyeballs" (two large, cold peeled grapes) ~THIS IS THE ONE THAT ALMOST DID ME IN, BUT IT GOT WORSE WHEN SHE SAID, "And here's his liver," which was a hunk of raw liver (no bowl) passed down the line.  ...  "They found his hair too" (a piece of wet fur) and "here's his hand" (a latex glove filled w/ice-cold mud) and last but not least, "here are the worms that ate the rest of him" (a bowl of overcooked spaghetti, cut up and dressed with a little veg. oil).  Then she said, "That's all we, repeat after me:  On Halloween night-  the banshee howls-now poor John Brown- is wrapped in towels-  GOODNIGHT, JOHN!"  We jumped out of our socks when they suddenly struck matches to relight he pumpkins, but soon were laughing again and off we went to bob for apples, throats parched from all the SCREAMING!

As October ends, most of the branches are bare.  We see more sky.  ~Gladys Taber

Can You Tell October is My Favorite Month of The Year?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Little Boys Like to Dress Up Too!

Yes they do!  But in the interest of his psyche, I tried to keep it gender-appropriate (despite the effort of my son's two older sisters!).  Included is my absolute favorite costume pattern for boys because it was easy enough for me and made several different costumes!  

Camouflage Day - 2012

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Traditions: Autumn Days

"Pumpkins are fun to decorate, fun to cook, and fun to eat--and even vegetable-snubbing children agree.  Even adults who eat plenty of vegetables should consider eating more pumpkin, for it couldn't be more nutritious, and might even help curb your appetite."

Here is an excellent recipe for Relief Society Visiting Teaching this fall:
Really Good Pumpkin Bread (Gift-giving)
3 c. sugar
1 c. oil
4 eggs
1 (16-oz.) can pumpkin
1 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
2/3 c. water
3-1/2 c. flour
2 t. salt
1 t. cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
1/2 c. chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts)
Cream together sugar and oil.  Add eggs and pumpkin.  Mix well.  Add dry ingredients along with water.  Pour into well-greased and floured loaf pans (or 4-5 mini loaf pans).  Sprinkle nuts along center top of batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.  Let stand 10 min.  remove from pans and cool.  Yield:  4 mini loaves.

Tip for a craft that most people enjoy in October--CARVING PUMPKINS!  Rub a little petroleum jelly on the cuts to keep the carved pumpkin better preserved.

Advice from A Tree:
Stand tall.
Act naturally.
Enjoy the view.
Settle down.
Make your self useful.
Change your look for the season.  
Smell good.
Sink deep roots.
You never look stupid by staying quiet.
Learn to bend.
Take what comes and make the best of it.  
Drink plenty of water.
Be yourself.
Take the winter off.

Wind Gives Speech To Trees.  ~Helen Aoki Kaneko

Pillowcase face, 
Old straw hat
Worn-out jeans, 
Imagine that...
Flannel shirt, 
Stuffed with hay
Make a scarecrow, 
On an autumn day.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...