We’re reaching mid-October which is the beginning of the party season for me. It’s time to start planning and decorating the home front for the season! We’ve gathered a few of our favorite tips from our A Circle in a Square podcast episode with Jack Carlisle and from our latest Pinterest board.
1. Painting Pumpkins
This craft is open to all skill levels! This is a great activity for a party! You can group your guests into teams to create their new masterpiece! We snagged this mini pumpkin for only $1.60 from The Potting Shed which is a total steal!
2. Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
This drink recipe is perfect for holiday parties! While it brews, the warm spicy scents will fill the room. Pull out your crockpot (6 quarts or larger) and ladle, and become one of the most festive hosts of the season.
- 24 oz milk chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- dash of cloves
- 1 gallon whole milk
Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, then stir. There’s no particular order when throwing all your ingredients into the pot!
Cover and cook on HIGH for 2.5 hours. Stir occasionally to make sure the spices and chocolate chips mix properly.
Serve topped with whipped cream or marshmallows. A dash of cinnamon on top of your whipped cream or marshmallows is also a delish finishing touch!
Original Recipe by The Magical Slow Cooker
3. Caramel Apple Nacho Bar
This snack idea is SO easy, and your guests will love the freedom to get creative! You’ll need a cupcake pan, apples, and a few toppings!
We included nuts, sprinkles, crushed pretzels, chocolate chips, marshmallows, almond butter, chocolate sauce, and caramel sauce.
- Put all of your dry ingredients into a cupcake pan
Cut your apples into slices right before you serve
- Let your guests go wild and put either almond butter, chocolate sauce, or caramel all over the apple slices. Then top your coated apples with any combo of dry ingredients.
1. Buy Your Pumpkins ASAP
Jack gave us a lot of info on all things pumpkin! Stores like The Potting Shed, usually sell out of carving pumpkins by October 15 (his are almost gone, I grabbed a bunch when I visited last week!). And once they’re gone, they’re gone for the season! Sure you can still pick up a pumpkin at grocery stores like Trader Joe’s, but why not get all your fall decor shopping done at once when you visit The Potting Shed?
If you’re wondering how a pumpkin can last from mid-October until Halloween, we’ve got you covered. If you treat your pumpkin right, it will stay fresh until January. Make sure to keep your pumpkin away from jagged or sharp areas, the last thing you want is a punctured pumpkin. If your pumpkin gets cut, it’ll start getting mushy and begin to rot. Another common source of pumpkin spoilage is bugs! To prevent bugs from eating away at your pumpkins, spread some Diatomaceous Earth around your pumpkin. This stuff is an amazing way to get rid of bugs year-round. Finally, keep your pumpkin dry. If your pumpkin gets wet, just wipe it down or keep it away from water.
2. Pumpkin Succulents
Our friends at The Potting Shed, The Dizzy Daisy, and The Dragonfly Shops and Gardens sell pumpkin succulents. The Dizzy Daisy and The Dragonfly both offer workshops to create your own. This is not only a fun fall activity, but the finished product combines both rustic fall colors with gorgeous earthy tones. It’s the perfect centerpiece for your table or a charming item to add to your fire mantel or entryway. If you want to create your own pumpkin succulent at The Dragonfly you can stop by at any time during their normal hours, just ask! For more info about succulent workshops at The Dizzy Daisy click here.
3. Best Dressed Table
Another tip from Jack Carlisle from The Potting Shed is to check out table decor from Hester and Cook. Their fall table runners, placemats, and other table decorations will transform your dining table and leave your guests in awe! The picture above technically isn’t a fall-inspired set, but we could not get over their orange blossom table design. But this table does feature some rich greens which are a trending color this fall. A few fall colors you can incorporate in your home are burgundy and other earthy colors. If the colors look too rich for you, soften them up with plant materials like silver dollar eucalyptus.
4. Fall Flowers
Flowers aren’t just for spring and summer. Fall bouquets are a definite must-have in my home! The Dizzy Daisy has a few fall-inspired designs. The one pictured above is our fave because the pumpkin pot is SO CUTE! But there are so many bouquets that will transform your home from summer to fall!