Easy Jack-O-Lantern Craft

The boys have been asking to do a Halloween craft. My oldest had plenty of ideas, but the craft supply list he gave seemed like a disaster waiting to happen. Instead, I came up with an easy craft that didn't require pulling everything out of the craft supply cabinets.

Supplies Needed: Black tissue paper, print out of jack-o-lantern, crayons, and Elmer's glue.

The boys colored the jack-o-lantern first.

Then they tore the black tissue paper into small pieces (about the size of their hand). After wadding up the tissue paper, they would use a dot of Elmer's glue to glue the tissue paper to the black eyes, nose, and mouth. They held the tissue paper on the glue for a count of ten. It was a great counting exercise.

The craft was extremely easy, and the boys loved tearing and gluing the tissue paper. 

Pierce was proud of his jack-o-lantern.

What crafts do you make for Halloween? 


12 Alternatives to Halloween Candy

As a kid, it was disappointing to see anything but chocolate in my trick-or-treat basket. Now, as an adult I don't mind seeing little toys and goodies along with the candy in my kids' pumpkin pale. If you are a health conscience parent or neighbor, try a few of these alternatives to Halloween candy.

*Bouncy Balls
*Tiny bottles of bubbles
*Noise Makers
*Coupons for free ice cream. (Ask your local Chick-Fil-A for a stack of free ice cream cards. The kids will love it)
*Crazy Straws
*Silly Putty
*Little Hand Soaps (Preferably in the shape of pumpkins)
*Beaded Necklaces

Party supply stores and the dollar store are great places to look for candy alternatives. The party favor section has a variety of cheap toys. Check out Etsy for handmade goods like soaps, stickers, and small party favors.

With so many children allergic to different foods, it's a good idea to offer a candy bowl and an alternative bowl of toys.  What do you plan on passing out this Halloween?

Have a safe Halloween,


Interview with Branding Expert Caroline Rogers

When you click on a page and there is a tab for "Start Here", you know it's going to be a great experience. Cali offers expert branding advice, design, an e-course, and a place for creatives to gather. I haven't even mentioned the rest of her website!

Needless to say, I'm excited about the interview with a female focused branding guru. She is also offering a discount to my readers. Thanks for stopping by, Cali!

Tell us a little about you and your small business.

Hello! I'm Caroline also known as Cali. I am an avid coffee drinker, book worm, NY Giants fan and the beach is my happy place! I am a true New York girl and find inspiration in the little things. I am a brand stylist and strategist for female entrepreneurs looking to build the business of their dreams. I help them accomplish this through branding, marketing, and design. I am all about empowering and inspiring my fellow female to pursue her passion, reach for the stars, and live the life she has always dreamed of. 

Why did you decide to start a business?

I decided to start my business for multiple reasons. I have always been an entrepreneur at heart and have always believed in following my dreams. Taking Photoshop & Illustrator classes in college really propelled me into the design aspect. I was the student in class that all the other students came to when they needed help with their designs. 

My friends were constantly telling me how talented and good I was at designing. Between this and helping my blogging friends with tips and blog design, I decided I had myself a nice little niche! On November 1st 2014 I bought my domain and ever since have been building my business! This has become my passion. I wanted to have my own business to not only love what I do but have the freedom to create my dream lifestyle!

What is the best and worst thing about owning a business?

The best aspect of owning a business is the freedom that comes with it. I can work wherever and whenever I want. Which means I can go on vacation with my family and still keep up with projects. I can travel anywhere in the world and still be able to work. It is truly amazing. Working with like minded creatives is also one of my favorite things about owning my business. I connect with so many amazing people everyday and they truly inspire me! 

The worst part would probably be not having a consistent income. Even though I wouldn't change it for the world, it is sometimes a struggle not having that consistent safety net. It is all about working hard and building up your business to create that consistency for yourself.

Branding experts seem to be popping up everywhere. What sets you apart?

Even though the branding field is quite populated, I feel as though there is room for all of us. It is all about being unique and letting your voice and style shine through. What sets me apart is my passion and desire to help others bring their visions to life. I always put my clients first and really cater to their desires and needs. I focus on beautiful feminine design to truly make my clients feel powerful and beautiful. 

As a small business owner, what is one thing you cannot live without?

As a small business owner, the one thing I can't live without would be my computer as that is how I run my business. Between designing, putting together strategies, being active on social media, and emailing back and forth, I couldn't be an entrepreneur without my Macbook Pro. 

Any advice for someone wanting build a personal brand?

My advice for someone wanting to build a personal brand would be to go for it and just start! It is a learning process and you just have to start somewhere. Connect with people in your field and ask advice, interview them, and really learn about who you want to cater to. 

When you aren't working what do you do for fun?

When I am not working (I am guilty of being a workaholic), I like to travel with my family and friends, get out and enjoy nature and relax by reading, or taking time to pamper myself! Taking time for yourself is so important to not only take care of yourself but stay sane as a creative entrepreneur! 

Thank you for sharing your insight into branding and running a small business. I love that you have found a niche while helping other ladies. 

Because Cali is so amazing, she is offering my readers $147 off ANY branding package. Ladies, Cali specializes in making your business a success. Chat with her today. 


Etsy: Pumpkin Love

It's officially fall when the pumpkin flavor everything begins. Who cares what the calendar says? In honor of the falling leaves and the crisp air, we are celebrating with pumpkin love. If you can't get enough pumpkin, check out these great finds from Etsy.

Macarons are delicious and pumpkin is delicious. Why not put them together and try a box from Bisou Bisou Macarons?

Throwing a pumpkin carving party is the perfect excuse to pull out the pumpkin decor. Send out an invitation from Nine Eighteen, and your friends will be knocking down the door.

Keleas makes a pumpkin door hanger worthy of the pumpkin season. I love the burlap, too!

If you don't finish off the macarons at the carving party, then send some home in this cute bag from Graceful Greeting Co.

Pumpkin pie flavored rimming sugar from Dell Cove Spices would be an unexpected touch at your pumpkin themed party. It sounds like a perfect addition to my hot chocolate, as well. 

This towel from Sew Adorably Charming may be too cute to actually use. However, it will look fabulous in your kitchen.

Are you a crazed pumpkin lover? My husband's homemade pumpkin bread is a seasonal must at our abode. I'll have to share the recipe soon.

Happy Fall Y'all!


Interview With Designer Katie Gariepy

Following your passion is a life long goal for many. Katie Gariepy is a designer, and she is living that dream. However, there is one problem with Katie's shop. I kept clicking through all the pages to look at her cute accessories and adding things to my Christmas wish list.

Katie takes us through the ups and downs of owning a creative business, and how she found her passion. 

Tell us a little about you and your small business. 

Hi! I'm Katie I reside in the city of Buffalo, New York, with my black cat Luna. I have a degree in fashion design. I'm happily using it in my business where I create cute fashion accessories and clothing by hand and sell them online. I grew up in a family of artists; creativity is in my blood. I am always thinking about things I want to make next.

Why did you decide to start a business?

I started my business when I was 16, I was taking my old clothes and making them into new things. Then I was taking all my mother's fabric and making purses and selling them to the girls at school! Everyone was asking for them, and I had a good, little thing going. Plus it was so much fun to create and then see girls at school using the bags I made. I knew from that point that I wanted to go to school for fashion design. I went to Buffalo State College and got an awesome education with some of the most fantastic professors. I have been running my business for almost 10 years now, and I love every moment of it.

What is the best and worst thing about owning a business?

The best thing is freedom. I can do whatever I like whenever I like with my business. I work from early till late because I am so motivated for my business to succeed. Yet I am happy doing so and working these long hours because it is my passion. 

The worst thing is accountability. No one else is going to hold you accountable but yourself. Honestly that isn't a really terrible thing if you're able to crack down on yourself. It is hard though when you're missing out on things because you have to be an adult. However, I can quickly get over the fear of missing out when I am seeing success in my business.

What is your favorite item in your shop?

My favorite item right now is the recycled leather bucket bag. It's a one of a kind, and made of beautiful soft recycled leather that would probably be in a landfill right now. It makes me happy and is on point trend-wise. I've been seeing a lot of this style bag around but none quite like mine with the cute bow! It makes me happy in it's easy to wear style.

As a small business owner, what is one thing you cannot live without?

My phone! I am so addicted to this darn iPhone! It's something I'm getting better at keeping in my purse when I'm out with friends. I'm constantly checking on my business or updating my social media in downtime throughout my day. It is nice when I go up to Canada (we're only 30 min away!) and I have no service, you feel a little free!

Any advice for someone wanting start a creative business?

Be true to yourself. This is my advice always, because sometimes we just want to be something we're not. You are you and everyone will see right through this "I want to be like___". This is hard for people to find who they are, it comes with time. I tried to stray away from "cute" which is just what I enjoy making. It didn't work. It just wasn't authentic and it totally felt wrong! Being you and showing the world who you are is what will bring people to you.

When you aren't working on your fabulous products, what do you do for fun?

I'm a fun seeker, I love to go to shows/concerts, travel, practice hot yoga, eat food and drink cocktails. Also, I snuggle up in bed at night with a book or a video game with my cat on my lap. It's winter 9 months out of the year here so we have to keep active and have fun!

Thank you, Katie for sharing your passion and cute shop! Since I'm a Texas gal, I'll wait to visit Buffalo until summer. 

Check out all of Katie's cute accessories and clothing! This is my favorite item



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