“Spooky” Halloween Punch Recipes

Everyone enjoys a good party with family and friends when there is tasty food involved as well as some delectable drinks to be had. Halloween is a time a year when people can let loose by dressing up in a silly outfit or a frightening one, so why not let them get in the mood with some of these Halloween-inspired beverages.

Italian Fruit Punch

For those of your friends who like to drink, a great choice is the Italian Fruit Punch, which is a fast and easy drink to prepare for awaiting guests. The combination of Limoncello, Maraschino liqueur, orange juice, sparkling water, and ice will have your guests living it up in no time.


* 2 cups orange juice
* 2 cups sparkling water
* ½ cup of Maraschino liqueur
* ½ cup Limoncello
* Ice
* Black licorice sticks for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher with ice and stir. Place in a martini glass and garnish with a black licorice for a vibrant and festive Halloween drink.


How to Throw a Halloween Party for Adults

Everyone enjoys a good Halloween party but when it comes down to it bad food, drinks, or a lame theme can be a deal breaker. So in order to get your guests excited about your next Halloween party, be sure to impress them with these few simple tricks that will have them coming back year after year.

When people arrive at a party they generally are looking to eat, drink, and be merry, so make it a point to have good food at your party. Themed food ideas will have your guests in shock and awe when they arrive. Imagine the squealing of disgust and intrigue when your guests discover a bowl of worms on the table ready for eating. With a little gelatin, food coloring and flexible straws, you can make these worms yourself.


Using Fall Photos for Scrapbooking

Many Scrapbookers use the changing seasons as ways to find ideas for their albums. The shapes and colors of the falling leaves, harvest crops and blooming flowers provide lots of great ideas that you can incorporate into your scrapbooks.

Here are a few of the ways you can work the season into the various elements of your page.


Orange is a color that's certainly not hard to find during the fall season. You can fin it on pumpkins, falling leaves, and many fall flowers. It's symbolic of Halloween, and is also used in many Thanksgiving decorations.

Yellow can also be found in lots of fall items. These two colors can be used as backgrounds in some layouts, but in most cases they're best used for embellishments and borders unless they are muted.

Brown is another favorite fall color. It is associated with Thanksgiving turkey, pinecones, and more. Brown makes a good background color, because it will not draw attention away from the photos.


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The True Meaning of Memorial Day


Mother's Day Craft Ideas

When Mother's Day rolls around, kids want to show their moms just how special they are. Store-bought gifts and cards are nice, but they lack that personal touch. Something made just for Mom has much more sentimental value, and kids don't have to spend much money (if any) on it.

Even toddlers can make Mother's Day crafts with a little help. Here's a sampling of things kids can make for Mom.

Framed Photos

Every mother loves to look at pictures of her kids. So why not pick out a favorite picture or yourself with Mom and create a beautiful frame for it? There are many ways you can go about making photo frames.


Gifts from the Heart – How to Make Inexpensive but Memorable Mother’s Day Presents

Are you trying to think of unique ways for you and your children to say “I love you!” to the women in their lives? Concentrate on gifts from the heart. Then learn how to make inexpensive but memorable Mother’s Day presents any mother will love.

When you’re trying to be frugal during any holiday, home-made gifts can’t be beat. They are the perfect gift because you know Mom will love them simply because her child made them. And most home-made gifts are inexpensive to make. They’re sure to be special to the moms in your life.

Gifts that are like a frozen moment in time are surely to be memorable. Create any number of gifts using the handprint or footprint of the children. Mom will be delighted with these gifts.


Anna Jarvis – the “Creator” of Mother’s Day

Moms in the United States have been honored on Mother’s Day for over 100 years thanks to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, considered to be the “creator” of Mother’s Day. However, the holiday in the United States isn’t actually the invention of Anna Jarvis. Julia Ward Howe first established Mother’s Day in 1870 but it didn’t really catch on. Enter Anna Jarvis and her attempt to honor her mother, and all mothers, beginning in 1908.

Anna Jarvis was born in West Virginia in 1864 to Ann Marie and Granville Jarvis. She was one of eleven children. The Jarvis family moved from Webster to Grafton when Anna was an infant. She grew up and attended Augusta Female Academy where she earned her teaching credentials.

As a child, Anna often heard her mother pray that God would lead someone to found a memorial mother’s day to commemorate a mother’s “matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life.” It seems the words twelve-year-old Anna heard struck a chord within her and at her mother’s graveside in 1905, Anna Jarvis promised to work toward achieving that prayer.

Happy Earth Day!


What’s In Your Easter Basket?

10 All Time Favorite Candies!

Every candy lover has a favorite. It could be a yummy chocolate anything or maybe even a fruit flavored something but one thing is for sure: If you are giving an Easter basket this year then you probably have an idea of what favorite candies you will be searching for up and down the aisles at your local store.

However, if you haven’t yet thought about what to put in your Easter baskets (and even if you have) then we’ve compiled a list of 10 all time favorites for your consideration.


St Patrick's Day "Green Clover" Pie Recipe

Top this pie with some whipped topping and crushed green peppermint candies for a perfect ending to your St. Patrick's Day meal.


1 qt. vanilla ice cream, softened
1 (12 oz.) can frozen limeade, thawed
2 drops green food coloring
1 (6 oz.) graham cracker pie crust

How to Make a St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun

Faith and begorra! St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. To liven up your home, teach the children how to make a St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun. Not only will it brighten your home, it will also give the wee ones a chance to enjoy hands-on crafts.

Many people associate the leprechaun with Ireland, but don’t realize there are crafts which allow children to make them. In fact, with items found around the home, your child can make more than one leprechaun. And who knows, if you find leprechauns you may also find a pot of gold!

You may be able to find many of these things around your home. For those you can’t find, they’re relatively inexpensive or you can find and print some things off of the internet.

Here’s what your child will need:

St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Cookies and Icing Recipe

Shamrock Cookies

Ice with green icing and serve at your St Patrick’s Day Party.


½ cup shortening
½ cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
½ tsp salt
5 cups flour
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla


Party Ideas for St. Patrick’s Day

Come March 17, you can expect to see nearly everyone wearing the color green. Why, you may ask. It’s St. Patrick’s Day, of course! To help you celebrate the day, here are some St. Patrick’s Day party ideas you may want to use.

Obviously, you’ll want to set aside St. Patrick’s Day for your party, if possible. If March 17 is on a weekday, you may want to have your party either the Saturday before or after so as many people as possible can attend. If you make the party during the evening, you may want to celebrate on the exact day.


Leprechaun Cheese and Onion Dip Recipe

Serve this dip with pretzels, cubes of bread or rye rounds and watch it disappear quickly.

1 (15 oz.) jar Cheese Whiz
1/3 C beer * see note below
1/2 C onion, finely chopped


Melt the Cheese Whiz in the microwave as directed on the jar label.
Place the melted cheese in a serving bowl.
Stir in the beer until well combined.
Fold the chopped onions into the cheese mixture.
Serve at room temperature or on a warming plate.

Serves: 16

Note:  Use non-acoholic beer if serving to children


Valentine’s Day Breakfast Ideas for Your Loved Ones

Valentine's Day is a special day. It goes without saying that we show our love to those in our lives throughout the year but on that day we like to do something extra special. Start off the morning with a breakfast that screams, “I love you.”
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It provides us with the nutrition we need to make it until lunch time without passing out. There are plenty of suggestions for Valentine’s Day breakfast meals that kids can make for parents or one spouse can make for the other (women do make breakfast for their husbands, too).

Let’s start with casseroles. These are man-friendly breakfast dishes that don’t require too many steps. Most casseroles can be put together ahead of time and baked on demand in the morning.

Most breakfast casseroles contain eggs. They hold the entire meal together. If your sweetie doesn’t like them or doesn’t eat them, you can choose something else to make. Some popular add-ins for casseroles include: sausage, bacon, hashbrowns, chopped peppers, chopped onions, ham, and cheese. Yum!

How about breakfast in bed? We’ve all heard about it and probably thought it was some type of urban legend, but it does happen and Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion. Keep it simple so there’s room on the tray for a rose or a beautiful card.

The centerpiece of that breakfast place can be pancakes or French toast. Metal cookie cutters are placed in the pan and batter poured in to make heart-shaped pancakes. For French toast, it’s easier to cook the toast and then use the heart-shaped cutter to create your loving masterpiece.

Some people don’t like to eat too much in the morning. For them, try a simple breakfast of fruit and toast. Cube their favorite fruit and top with yogurt. Some toast and jam adds substance to the meal. This is a Valentine’s breakfast that would satisfy that vegetarian in your life.

The season is still winter when Valentine’s Day rolls around. If it happens to be a particularly cold morning where you are, try a bit of hot cereal like oatmeal or cream of wheat for that special day. Use honey or syrup to drizzle a sweet “I love you” on the top.

Valentine’s Day is that time when we show the folks we love an extra special good time. This year, start with an invigorating meal that comes from the heart to show them how we feel.


Groundhog Day Fun Facts

Punxsutawney, PennsylvaniaImage via Wikipedia
It’s doubtful whether anyone would have thought, during the first official Groundhog Day in 1886, that over 100 years later people would still be focusing their attention on a little critter on February 2 each year. It is on that date that Punxsutawney Phil tells the nation if there will be six more weeks of winter or not.

Many people don’t realize Groundhog Day has its origin in Germany. Tradition there claims that a badger or hedgehog would predict the coming of spring. If the animal saw its shadow on Candlemas, winter weather would continue. German settlers moved to the United States and continued the tradition. However, since there weren’t hedgehogs or badgers where they lived, they chose the groundhog as the weather prognosticator.

* Phil, the groundhog everyone looks to, has a long name: "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary." This name was given to a groundhog in 1887 by the "Punxsutawney Groundhog Club."

* Phil lives in the Punxsutawney Library for the remainder of the year, but each year as Groundhog Day nears, he’s taken from his home at Gobbler’s Knob.  He is then placed in a heated burrow until he makes his appearance at 7:25 a.m. on Groundhog day each year.

* In 1993 the movie “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray, was released. The movie, filmed in Woodstock, Illinois because Punxsutawney is in a rural area which made it difficult to use for filming.

* For those unable to make the annual trek to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, each year’s ceremony is broadcast on major television stations. It can also be seen on the big screen at Times Square, New York City.

* Groundhogs hibernate each year and generally come out of hibernation between the first and second weeks of February. Experts say the animal comes out of hibernation due to the increased number of daylight hours.

* In the wild, groundhogs live about six to eight years. Phil, however, is said to be given a magical drink every year which enables him to live seven more years. Having said that, members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club claim Punxsutawney Phil is over 120 years old.

* Although Punxsutawney Phil is said to be the official Groundhog Day weather predictor, other groundhogs are found around the world. These include General Beauregard Lee, Peewee the Woodchuck, Wiarton Willie, Shubenacadie Sam, Stanten Island Chuck, and Dunkirk Dave.

* Each year tens of thousands of people make their way to Punxsutawney to learn first-hand whether winter will continue for six more weeks.

* In over 100 years of predicting the coming of spring, Phil has seen his shadow 96 times, seen no shadow 14 times, with 9 years where there was no record.

Is Punxsutawney Phil, or any of the other groundhogs around the world, accurate in predicting the arrival of spring? That’s up for debate. One thing is for sure, however, when it comes to Groundhog Day, these fun facts can make the day more enjoyable for all who celebrate.
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