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SUGAR | Halloween Lollipops

Wednesday, October 31

It's Halloween!!
I figured I'd TRiCK you today...
by TREATiNG you with a double blog post.

I shared our Phantom Pumpkin treats  with you earlier today...
which included these...

Homemade Lollipops

Although the "bewitching hour" is close at hand...
and the idea that some of you would even attempt these with festivities just hours away is far-fetched...
I'm sharing these lollipops because they are actually quite versatile.
Change out the colors and the edible images...
and you're all set no matter what holiday/event you've got coming up.

You may remember the original lollipop tutorial I shared with you...
from the Lemonade & Sunshine party I styled for my daughters.

I've revised some of my techniques a bit...
and we will be incorporating edible images for these boo-liscious treats.

SUPPLiES NEEDED (adapt to your specific likes/preferences)
• Edible Images - I designed my own and had a sheet printed by my local grocery store bakery. 
                               You can also find them pre-printed online or in craft stores
• 1" Round Craft Punch (make sure your punch results will fit in the cavities of the lollipop mold you are using).
• Lollipop Mold
• 4" Lollipop Sticks 
• Cookie sheet - for placing the lollipop mold on when baking
• Hard candy - I used LifeSavers
• Ziploc bags - if your hard candy isn't individually packaged
• Kitchen Mallet or rolling pin - for crushing candy
• Packaging supplies - small cellophane bags, ribbon or fabric


I took the image I designed and printed onto cardstock to my local grocery store bakery.
They basically "photocopied" it to create an edible image. 
- notice the difference in the ink color between the cardstock and edible sheet?



Avoid a sticky mess by leaving the candy in their individual packaging while crushing... 
this makes it easy to fill the lollipop mold too.

I used two lifesavers per cavity

Bake at 275º 5-8 minutes until completely melted
Caution: Higher heat will melt the candy faster but it will also cause the candy to brown in some cases

Working quickly, add lollipop sticks.
I find pressing the sticks down into the candy and twirling them 
allows the melted candy to grab hold of the sticks - making them more secure.
Be Careful - the mold and baking sheet are hot!

After cooling, turn the lollipop mold upside down and gently press on the middle of each cavity to remove lollipops.
Tip: Hold the inverted mold close to the countertop so that when the candy pops out, it won't break on impact.

Use small cellophane bags (or mini ziploc bags with the "zip" cut off) and a ribbon to finish it off.
Give them away individually or add them to a mix of treats.

I hope you'll try this candy making technique out.
You can personalize them for favors to use at any celebration...
and you can even create a bouquet of lollipops for a sweet gift.

• Lollipop Sticks - TomKat Studio
• Lollipop Mold - Bake It Pretty
• Hard Candy - LifeSavers individually packaged

It was through trial and error that I finally perfected the edible image lollipops.
Things I learned:
• The image doesn't show up very well if you try to embed it in the middle of the lollipop.
• Embedding the edible image not only takes more time but the results aren't favorable anyway. *wink*
• Keeping it simple is ALWAYS the better choice. 
• Be patient. Melting the candy faster on a higher temperature causes the candy to brown in areas. 
• Don't forget to peel the backing off of the edible images prior to using
• Although it's safe to put the lollipop sticks in the oven when melting the candy...
   adding them afterwards prevents burning your fingers when pushing and twisting the sticks mentioned in STEP SIX.
• Make sure the edible image is positioned in the lollipop cavity the way you want it seen while it's being held...
   meaning, make sure the image isn't upside down when you are actually holding the finished lollipop.

FAMiLY | Phantom Pumpkin 2012

Happy Halloween everyone!!
My family should've done this a couple of weeks ago...
However, despite some complicated scheduling conflicts...
we were all finally able to be home together Monday night...
to carry out our annual tradition...

I wanted to share with you the cute treats we gave out this year...

Candy Filled Cups

Homemade Lollipops

Chocolate Covered Oreos® and Nutter Butter Cookies

I created decorative "cookie trays" by covering scraps of cardboard with cute scrapbooking paper.
I placed a couple of cookies on each tray, slid them into a cellophane bag and tied them with ribbon.

There was some trial and error creating the homemade lollipops.
Things started off great...

Then things quickly digressed...

 I persevered and ironed out the kinks...

And finally achieved success!!

Orange Cups - $1 Section at Target
Lollipop Mold - Bake It Pretty 
Oreo Cookie Molds - Spinning Leaf 
Edible Sheets - Publix Bakery
Royal Icing Eyeballs - D&G Occasions (1/4" and 1/2" sizes)

With Ema on crutches this year...
she was an absolute grouch wasn't too happy about not being able to participate in her usual capacity.
I played Halloween Music on our drive...
hoping to create the perfect Phantom Pumpkin setting.
(it was quickly boycotted). *frown*
Regardless, it was a fun night...
and most importantly...
we were together...
creating memories as a family...
my favorite past time. *wink*

FEATURE | Trunk or Treat

Monday, October 29

Over the last week or two...
I've received several fun emails from readers.
The photos have been of the Halloween decor they've created...
using the Apothecary Jar Labels I designed and shared a few weeks back.

With so many of you who participate in annual Trunk or Treat festivities...
I thought for sure you'd LOVE to see photos of this "tricked out" trunk...
Be sure to pin/bookmark the photos as inspiration for your next Trunk or Treat!

Party Host:  Mariah of Giggles Galore
Celebration Type: Halloween Trunk or Treat
Party Theme: Double Double Toil and Trouble
Inspiration: Shakespeare's MacBeth
Color Palette: Brown, Black, White and Ivory
Party Style: Vintage

Double Double, Toil and Trouble Trunk or Treat

Mariah did a brilliant job of incorporating the Apothecary Jar Labels into her styling.
Everything turned out darling!
Those Trick or Treaters are absolutely adorable too, aren't they!!

• The adorable mummy heads displayed in an apothecary jar
• Banner created using pages of a book.
• White branches flanking sides of display
• Cauldron bubbling with homemade Root Beer

Thank you so very much for sharing your creativity with us Mariah!!

Nothing makes me happier...
or inspires me to continue to share fun, creative things with you...
than when you all take time to share things with me.
Whether it's photos of the things you've created using the FREE printables I share here...
or comments you leave to let me know you've been inspired...
They mean the world to me. THANK YOU!!

SHARE | Phantom Pumpkin & Flashback Photos

Friday, October 26

If you haven't done the annual "Operation Phantom Pumpkin" yet this year...
You've still got this weekend...

I've updated the FREE printables from last year...
with an orange, black & white color scheme...
just for you...
and my family too, of course.

Phantom Pumpkin 2012

After over 15 years of participating in this fun tradition with my own family...
I've streamlined the printing so you get everything on one 8.5x11 sheet.


And now...
Just for some fun...
Here are some of my favorite Halloween Costumes from over the years:

Ella Scarlet 2011

Good Witch & Mummy
Clara & Emalyn 2005

I LOVE looking back...
I can't believe the photos of Clara & Ema are from SEVEN Halloweens ago!! *sigh*

Have fun using the Phantom Pumpkin printables to TRICK your family/neighbors/friends with TREATS!

I still can't believe Ema wanted to be a mummy for Halloween that year...
she totally cracks me up.
She looks pretty miserable - doesn't she?
She was.
She couldn't WAiT to get her costume off.
And guess what?
Lucky for me she didn't have to use the bathroom the entire evening...
We would've had to unravel her entire costume since the thought of her needing a bathroom break NEVER entered my mind as I was wrapping every inch of her up in gauze. *gasp*

We still haven't gotten Ella her costume.
She originally wanted to be Doc McStuffins...
Now she wants to be a fairy.
Wish us luck...
she's being pretty particular in her request for a PURPLE costume!  *wink*

CRAFT | Scotch® Duct Tape Decor

Wednesday, October 24

The good folks at Scotch® sent me some of their fabulous NEW Duct Tape Designs...
and I'm here to share with you some fun, simple ways to incorporate it...
into your home decor,  entertaining and party decor.

Although these ideas are geared towards the upcoming Halloween festivities...
simply change up the fabulous color combinations and designer patterns and you
can adapt these easy diys for any holiday or celebration.

Shown here: "Plaid to Meet You", Green Apple, Tangerine Orange and Black

Double-sided decor is a cinch. 
Great for creating mini banners (see below), food picks and cupcake toppers

Mini Banners
Great for outdoor displays too since the Scotch® Duct Tape is weather-resistant

Tissue Tassles
Wrap a small piece of Scotch® Duct tape to add a splash of color and secure your homemade tassles

Decorative Water Bottle Wraps
Shown here: "Lace Vegas"

Tissue Roll Party Favors
Add some pizzazz by simply wrapping some Scotch® Duct Tape to the center of favors 
 Secure ends with an additional smaller strip of Scotch® Duct Tape

Wacky & Whimsical Gum Ball Party Favors
Secure a cupcake liner to the top of a gumball tube with a small strip of Scotch® Colored Duct Tape
Use scissors for fringing the cupcake liner.

I hope you're inspired to get creative with the many patterns and vibrant, colorful duct tapes available from Scotch®.
If you try them your results to: pnpflowers AT live DOT com

And if you've already created some fun things of your own - I'd love to see them.
Include a link in the comments section and I'll go check them out.

My week so far?
My 13 year old is on crutches for the next 3 weeks (result of her spraining her ankle skateboarding)
My 3 year old woke up this morning with an icky tummy.
With that said...
Scotch® Duct Tape is so FUN to use...
even my "hop-along" 13 year old daughter contributed something creative...
with her ankle elevated, of course.

Scotch® Color & Pattern Duct Tape Witch Hat
Shown here: "Plaid to Meet You" + Black

She's finishing up a wallet she started too! *wink*
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