Tag Archives: Halloween

One Dog’s Life; Milk Bone Treats For Everyone! #Walmart #CBias #ILoveMyk9


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about….more celebrations! Because more of everything is always better, we love a good party. This week, Amanda turned sweet 16. We were all up and out the door for a family outing to the Department of Motor Vehicles; everyone but Wrigley. While Chuck, Nick and I sat, awaiting Amanda’s return from the behind the wheel driving test, Nick asked, “Will all four of us come with Wrigley when he gets his license?” Ha! This guy is already on a pretty long leash.

This week, our Wrigley is turning 9 years old; that’s 63 in dog years, which makes him considerably older than his parents. Wrigley symbolizes the best parts of our family. He is fun loving, determined, a total gamer, supportive, loving and fiercely loyal. Wrigley is love. In fact, we frequently ask, “Where is Love? What is Love doing? Does Love want to go for a run?”

When Wrigley is feeling deprived, he tends to counter surf. Just before Halloween I ran out, leaving Wrigley behind. I returned to find four packages of taffy apples on the floor. One he opened like a book, eating just about everything but the sticks. Out of another, he slit a half-round hole in the plastic and extricated just one taffy apple with the precision of a surgeon. There were nuts, sprinkles and sticky stuff smeared all over the floor. I texted Nick at school telling him what Wrigley had done, and he asked if I punished Wrigley. To which I replied, “No. I took a picture.” There’s no sense in teaching an old dog new tricks.

It’s tough having a birthday right after Christmas (just ask Amanda), so I decided that I should do something a little special for Wrigley’s birthday this week. But what do you get for the pup that has everything? I headed over to Walmart to check out their Pet Care Department. We run through a lot of treats in our household (since we tend to reward bad behavior), so I like to keep a nice variety on hand. However, there were so many good choices, it was hard to decide.

My first selection was easy; Milk Bone® Beef and Filet Bites because there was a Chocolate Labrador, just like Wrigley, on the package. After much deliberation, I grabbed a bag of Pup-Peroni® Combo Bites.  When I spotted Milo’s Kitchen® Meatballs, I had to snag them. They’re one of Wrigley’s all-time favorites! After scouring the puppy toy department I made a few selections. I think Wrigley’s going to have a fantastic birthday!

More family celebrations, more dog treats, more visits to Walmart, more puppy love……

To schedule an Interior Design appointment or a Life Style consultation, please email moreismoremom@aol.com

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insight study for Collective Bias #CBias  http://collectivebias.com

All ideas and experiences shared here are my own.

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Halloween for Teens!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……new Halloween traditions! Forever and ever we’ve hosted a Halloween celebration for Nick, Amanda and their friends. In the early years, we invited families over for cocktails, appetizers and trick-or-treating. The dads would traipse our ghouls and goblins all over creation while the moms held down the fort and manned the door (and the bar). Of course, as the kids got older, hanging out with their parents wasn’t cool enough. The party eventually evolved into a gaggle of kids for dinner, costumes, trick-or-treating and candy swapping.

 

This year was a total game changer. With Nick away at College Town USA and Amanda beyond any interest in trick-or-treating, it was time for a new plan.

 

What is a teenager to do? There are only so many times a girl can visit the mall, head to the Cineplex, cheer for her favorite team and hang out at Starbuck’s. Where teenagers are concerned, we have long felt; if you invite them, they will come. They are always up for doing something fun!

 

One of the nice things about high school is forging new friendships and making new traditions. This past Saturday night, Amanda invited a gaggle of girls over for dinner, a bonfire, fun and games.

 

They started, lounging in the basement, with a few of Amanda’s favorite appetizers;

  • Homemade salsa with chips
  • Fresh veggie platter
  • Chips and French onion dip, everyone’s fav

 

Man, woman, child or teen, guests always love our nearly bite size sliders! They are practically a tradition.  I served them with baked steak fries and a homemade Caesar salad that was absolutely to die for. It was fun to hear the giggles and laughter coming from our dining room as they ate their dinner. And, Wrigley only stole one hamburger (which, to paraphrase Whimpy, he will gladly pay for on Tuesday).

 

Chuck is an unbelievably good sport. While I cleaned up the dinner mess, he built a great big giant bonfire for the girls to enjoy; complete with hot chocolate and s’mores.

 

Because more of everything is always better, the marathon of fun continued back in the basement with music, games and girl talk until it was time for the girls to turn into pumpkins and head home.

 

If their fun was measured in dishes, I would say they had a splendid time!

 

More Halloween tradition, more fun and games, more nibbling and noshing, more making more memories……

 

To schedule an Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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Winner, Winner, Friends and Turkey Dinner….


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about….more gratitude! Sandwiched in between the frightful fantasy of Halloween, and the wonderment of the Christmas season, is the beauty and simplicity of Thanksgiving. You know that my mantra is more of everything is always better, especially reflecting on our many blessings……

 

In keeping with the spirit of the season, my dear friend Linda hosted an absolutely beautiful ladies luncheon on Friday. The theme was a celebration of friendship. How fantastic is that; setting aside time to celebrate each other?

 

There is nothing better than the thrill of walking down to your mail box (that’s how we do it out here in the sticks), sliding the rubber band over your bundle of bills, correspondence, magazines and advertisements, to find, to your surprise, a hand addressed envelope made out to you. The stamp is pretty, not your standard issue American Flag (which has a beauty all its own, but it’s just not party special), the writing is careful and measured; the ink isn’t boring, practical ball point pen blue. No. Perhaps it’s a colorful felt tip to coordinate with the shades of the season. What could it be? Who could it be from? What is it for? Of course you open the envelope immediately to find a lovely invitation from a generous friend. Well, okay, I did already know about the party    through the magic of text messaging and planning ahead, but I was still excited to receive a formal invitation.

The party started at 12:00 sharp. There were ladies enjoying cocktails and waiters serving gorgeous appetizers. What a treat! The daily life of the suburban homemaker isn’t usually so glamorous unless you consider nibbling on potato chips and M n M’s while you sort laundry and strip the bed linens high style. It was so nice to catch up with the girls under such civilized (and tasty) circumstances.  

 I totally appreciate the time and effort involved in planning a thoughtful and beautiful party experience. Linda completely out did herself. The table was lovely, adorned with a cornucopia of the season’s bounty. Each place setting held a place card and a party favor (swag is always appreciated and an elegant touch). What I love about a seating arrangement is that it gives the host the opportunity to spark conversation amongst her guests and ensure that everyone has a great time. 

Under each plate was a poem or sentiment relating to friendship and giving thanks. We went around the table, reading the passage that was hand selected for us. Some were tender, some were funny and all were meaningful to the relationship that the guest shares with Linda. Mine was long (I assume because I am long winded. Wink, wink.) and funny. I loved it! What a gift to have such supportive, encouraging, fun loving and amazing women in your life.

 

The company was a pleasure, lunch was decadent and dessert was to die for, but there was more. A raffle! We each tossed our place cards into a turkey bowl and Linda drew the winning ticket for the grand prize; a frozen Butterball turkey, and I WON! But I was already a winner, because I am lucky to have such wonderful friends.

More women, more support, more life long friendships……

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If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time….


As the More is More Mom®, I am all about…..more time! Sunday was my favorite day of the entire year. It wasn’t my birthday or wedding anniversary. It wasn’t Nicholas, Amanda or Wrigley’s birthday. Clearly, Halloween has passed, and it wasn’t Christmas. It was…..Daylight Savings Time!!

 

I love Daylight Savings Time because it is a day full of possibility; what do you do with found time? It’s kind of like finding money in the pocket of a jacket you haven’t worn since last season. Not a lot of money, maybe $20. What do you do with it? Do you simply put it in your wallet or do you treat yourself to something a little bit special? If I found $20, I might stop at Starbucks and treat my family to coffee, hot chocolate and pastries. I might go to Einstein Bagels and buy a dozen bagels with all sorts of tasty toppings. Maybe I would pop into the wine department and buy a bottle of Santa Margherita Pino Grigio. Not that I wouldn’t do those things on any other day, it would just feel like a splurge with found money.

Time is the greatest luxury of all! There is nothing better than resting your head on your pillow Saturday night, to find that when you open your eyes Sunday morning, you are well rested and have an entire extra hour to your day. There are so many ways to spend that hour. The question is what to do?

Most mornings, I spring out of bed at the sound of my alarm. Lounging around, reading a book or flipping channels would be a welcome treat. Glancing at the Sunday newspaper before its time to put out the recycling would be a novelty, too (even if I only check out the promotional inserts, Parade, the Home & Garden section, the sports page during baseball season and Arts & Entertainment).

Chuck and I could bundle up and go on a long bike ride. Wrigley and I could run an extra lap around the park. Instead of hopping in and out of the shower, I could luxuriate in a hot bubble bath and start my book club book, The Art of Racing in the Rain (girls, I  promise I am going to finish the book this month!).

Sunday afternoon my Nicky had a hockey game in the city at Johnny’s Ice House (they won). So, instead of lounging around all morning, I spent that extra hour getting myself organized for the week. That way, while we were in the city, Nick and I were able to enjoy a guilt free dinner with my mom and my cousins, Terri and David, at the Palace Grill after Nicky’s game. Delightful and delicious!

More hours in the day, more possibilities, more time spent together…..

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Halloween Vignettes


As the More is More Mom®, I am all about….more Halloween vignettes! Nothing screams, “Warm and Happy Home” more than having attended to all of the little decorating details. Halloween is the official kick off to the Holiday Season and why not celebrate in style? As an Interior Designer, I can tell you that the best thing about decorating your home is that it doesn’t have to be so serious, it’s meant to be fun and make you feel good (and, by the way, I feel great!).

 

I like to set the tone by adding the flavor of the season to the front of our home. I’m not talking full blown Haunted House, I’m merely suggesting a few artfully arranged items to let the little ones know they can expect more treats than tricks. To start, I hang fall foliage to frame my front door; leaf garland, pumpkins on the vine and my skulls strung on a line of twine, that spells out “SPOOKY”. To the left of my front door, I have a brown iron and metal cone shaped container where I display seasonal arrangements. This is so simple! Hobby Lobby has a beautiful silk floral department and if you watch for the weekly flyer in your Sunday newspaper, you’ll know when they are marked 50% off; making seasonal decorating more affordable. Gather greenery, stems of berries, and great big statement flowers in autumnal colors to make a quick and lovely bouquet. Don’t forget a few pheasant feathers for elegant whimsy. It’s a small detail that adds interest, color and dimension.

The addition of a few pots of mums (I’m a fan of the purple mums. I tend to be drawn to summer flowers in shades of pink, so the purple mums are a gentle compliment to any flowers that are hanging on until the first frost) and wonderful warty pumpkins help to frame the front door. While it might not be pretty, I love to hang a long skeleton from the rafters, left swaying in the breeze….

We have a bench and side table on our front stoop. I like to swap out the cushions with the change of season. For the fall, I have a light brown bench cushion with a creamy lattice design and striped pillows in tones of greens, golds and reds. On the side table I display a collection of lanterns that shed just the right amount of spooky, flickering illumination.

 

Your foyer is a fantastic place to great your guests with your playful side. I drape an orange tasseled scarf on top of my hall chest, and always display the ceramic pumpkin with our last name carved into the Jack-O-Lantern’s smile, atop a pedestal, right in the middle! I place a few beloved decorative figurines; a witch, a scarecrow and a skeleton. What makes them work is that they are three different sizes and I stagger their placement for a pleasing arrangement. This year, I’ve decided to live on the edge and take my chances by displaying a pair of witches legs tucked inside the drawers. They stick out like the Wicked Witches legs when Dorothy’s house landed on her in Munchkinland in the Wizard of Oz. You may ask why this simple, small detail might be risky. Well, we happen to live with the world’s oldest toddler and Wrigley tends to get into everything, though, so far, so good.

 

A few other details complete the look. I wrap two large snakes around my banister, like sinister Christmas garland. I place a mummy statue, next to my hall bench, which is draped in orange and black marabou feathers. On top of the bench, I added a needlepoint pumpkin pillow and a reversible pillow that says “Good Witch” on one side and “Bad Witch” on the other. Naturally, it’s so much more fun to be the “Bad Witch”!

Throughout the rest of our home I place lively and unexpected decorations to capture the spirit of Halloween.

 

In our powder room, I carved out space for my miniature apothecary jars filled with skulls and spiders. Arrangements are always more appealing when displayed in odd numbers. To balance the two glass jars, I showcased a small, black picture frame with spiders and the spooky sentiment….Scream. I always place something decorative and silly at the porthole sized window. This year I have three trick-or-treat figurines on display. They are really caricatures of Frankenstein, a witch and Dracula.

 

Think about all of your nooks and crannies as opportunities to create warm memories. On the shelf over my cook top in my kitchen, I swapped out a rooster for a smartly dressed Halloween Kitty Cat and added a giant hairy spider and a mouse running across the ledge. Eek!

 

This time of year my domed cake plate can always be found with colorful and tasty confections. Next to it, in the corner, I always showcase Amanda’s pumpkin. While Nick’s pumpkin rests atop a plant stand to add Halloween style next to our kitchen table.

 

Wrigley, however, he is the crown prince. His pumpkin has a special place of honor on the hearth in our Family Room. That way, on the rarest of opportunities when we relax and catch up on the TV programs that we’ve DVR’d, we can enjoy looking at it like we enjoy our Christmas tree.

More beloved decorations, more attending to the little details, more feeling good and more happy memories…..

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