Not so tricky treats from

My little goblins gobbled up Halloween treats from so fast it was spooky! Little helping hands in the kitchen make the meal taste that much better...especially when the Halloween menu consists of ghostinis, hot dog mummies and vampire blood tomato soup.   

At our house, we try to celebrate Halloween the whole month of October. The best parts are when the kids can participate and love what they're making. You can't go wrong with tomato soup, but when it becomes vampire tomato soup, it just has more of a bite!
These ghostinis couldn't have been easier for my daughter to make. Plus, cookie cutters make everything taste better.

My little boy loved this spooky version of one of his favorite snacks, pigs in a blanket. When I told him he was making hot dog mummies he was ready to wrap up the dogs and couldn't wait to eat them.
The spirit of Halloween can be felt in our tummies. These recipes for kids helped to set the mood and brought many smiles with each bite.  

 The Halloween season is alive with color and some not so tricky treats to be enjoyed by the whole family. 

Wishing you a very happy Halloween full of good things to eat. Find more ideas from in their Halloween Section.   

Food Network posts you may have missed:

Spooktacular Food Network Halloween Recipes

Trick or Treat! Give me something good to eat! It's that time of year when we scare up delicious Halloween treats for ghouls and boys. Whether you're hosting a Halloween party or just baking with your children, you'll find the most spooktacular recipe to make at Food Network. The Spooky Halloween Recipes for Kids will give you and your children creative ideas.  

My little ghoul enjoyed making these Ghastly Meringues

Wishing you much enjoyment making spooktacular Halloween recipes. Find more ideas from Food Network in their Halloween Section.   

More Food Network posts you may have missed:

Le Ballet de Dracula

‘Tis the season for a scary ballet. Le Ballet de Dracula is everything the wholesome Nutcracker isn’t...scary, bloody and spooky. LakeCities Ballet Theatre’s artistic director, Kelly Lannin prepared the audience on Friday night not to get too comfortable because it was about to get scary…it was the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit.

My daughter and I started the weekend off right with some ballet bonding time. We sat in the audience anticipating to be transported back in time to 1897 Transylvania. When the curtain opened…stage magic did the trick and we were in Romania.

The Weolas (scary bat-like animals) opened up the show crawling out with cat-like confidence using their contorted arms and legs. We are introduced to Dracula’s minion, Ratcliff (Asia Waters) who scares the Weolas away by showing a golden cross.

The ballet takes a romantic turn when daytime arrives and the town celebrates the engagement of Aurelia (Amanda Evans) and Marius (Steven Loch). This first act is happy and light. The folk dancing was delightful…especially the Maypole dance with the gypsies, Romanian dancers and villagers all weaving in and out together all in the name of love. 

When Dracula arrives with his pumpkin stealer minion, the scene turns creepy. In order to claim his new bride, Dracula hypnotizes Aurelia with a mysterious pas de deux.

My daughter kept asking, “When is it going to get scary again?” The answer came when act two began with more stage magic…fog, fangs, and hissing from Dracula’s scary brides that reminded me of the Wilis in my favorite ballet, Giselle (but much more frightening).   

The brides hissed as they were awakened from their sleep in Dracula’s castle. They executed haunting jetés and bourrées with one hand gracefully over their neck. Their movement had a dark and eerie feel.

Dracula rose from his coffin with a dramatic red cloak ready to bite his new bride. Just when you think she’s a goner, Marius arrives to save Aurelia and with the help of Radcliff, he stakes Dracula. With each hit of the stake, Dracula’s brides collapse and finally so does Dracula. The ending makes you wonder…are they really safe from Dracula, is he truly dead?

Thanks LakeCities Ballet! We are now in a Halloween kind of mood!

Need Halloween costume inspiration? This was one of my favorite costumes…a Dracula bride. My beautiful former student wears it well.

Happy Halloween!!

Posts you may have missed:
Five Fun Fab Ways to Free Yourself for Fall 
Halloween Superstitions, MacBeth and Merde

Happy Birthday to my Little Brother!!

 Happy Birthday Sean!!
Funny Uncle, hostess with the mostess, dog lover and family man!

We called my brother Sean the morning of his birthday to send him good wishes on the way to school. My children talked non-stop (sometimes at the same time) and he was so patient. I think he would have let them keep talking all day if I let them.

Sean is the middle child which means he's empathetic and independent. He's also a really good negotiator...even with children.

I was looking up my brother's birthday personality on a site called The Secret Language (it's so fun, you have to check out). Sean's birthday report read, "Can be found with a hint of a smile on their lips and a twinkle in their eye. They like nothing more than entertaining or being entertained. This couldn't be more spot on for my brother. My children love their Uncle Sean for this reason...he's a thoughtful entertainer and also appreciates being entertained by children. 

This is a picture of me and my brother at the kid table. It reminds me so much of my son and daughter having their own "coffee talk!" 
My brother was a great playmate. There's a three year age difference between us. We always had fun playing wheels, Barbies, Atari, or Pac Man. I loved being his big sister...and still do.
Here we are the day of my wedding. I could not look at my brother because I knew I would cry. 

Sean and my beautiful sister-in-law Jeyhan. They were high school sweethearts, a gorgeous couple and now a sweet little family.

My sister Paige and brother Sean at our cousin's wedding in San Miguel de Allende. This was one of the most fun family trips of all time. 
Here we are as teenagers. We've had a lot of fun together Sean. Here's to our children having the same kind of fun growing up together. 

Many happy returns Sean!

I love you!

xx, Ashley

Happy Fall! Links to make you smile!!

Cozy weekend mornings in the fall are the best! It's nice to open up the windows and let in the fresh cool air. My children love to listen to the birds sing, and watch the many bunnies in our yard hop around while I make breakfast. The smell of bacon and pumpkin muffins perfume our back patio. We stay in our pajamas as long as we can.

Don't we all live for the weekends? I never want them to end. Early fall mornings are a treat for the senses.

I've made a wish list of things I want to do this fall. It's pretty simple and I'm sure it will be easy to accomplish. Cheers to autumn and may your weekends go by as slow as molasses.

1. Laugh. If we're living for the weekends, there needs to be more laughter during the work week. My fellow teacher friends shared two clips with me that gave me such a good belly laugh. Laughing is the best!

2. Watch old movies. My children are at ages now when they will watch them with me. Roman Holiday is ready for us this weekend.

3. Buy a cozy blanket. Remember building forts when you were a kid? Well, most of our blankets are used just for that. I need a movie-watching blanket for my fort on the sofa. I like this one.

4. Bake. Perfect my pumpkin muffins and make apple cider donuts.

5. Go to the State Fair of Texas. Eat fried foods (specifically the Awesome Deep Fried Nutella), check out the haunted houses and ride the farris wheel.

6. Make soup. My children like to sing Maurice Sendak's words with Carol King, "Sipping once, sipping twice, sipping chicken soup with rice."  There's nothing more cozy that coming home from the cold soccer field and warming up our two little soccer players' tummies with soup.

7. Drink more chocolate chai tea. Enough said.

8. Wear navy. It compliments fall's brilliant blue sky so well. I'm loving this color for my nails.

Life's too short to be busy enjoy your fall!

Links you may have missed:
I'm Eloise, I'm Six 
Five Fun Ways to Free Yourself this Fall 
A Sick Day a Snow Day a Just Say No Day 
Soups On