Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

The below pumpkins were carved by grandsons John Scott, Will, Preston and Lawson.

by Debbie
It's time for Halloween,
A day for trick or treat,
When the kids dress up in costumes,
And walk proudly down the street.
They ring a lot of door bells,
And collect a lot of candy too,
And if they happen to see a ghost,
They will be greeted with a boo.
Pumpkins light up the windows,
And decorations adorn the front yard,
So be careful when you come in,
Because the skeleton will be on guard.
So go have a lot of fun,
And don't have any fear,
Because it will soon be over,
And you'll have to wait till next year.

(I found this cute little poem on the internet) 

I hope you have a fun time with all the little ghosts and goblins who will be stopping by this evening. 

 Have a great time!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Popcorn-Balls Recipe

Halloween is always such a special and fun-filled part of the Fall season.  Parents, children,  grandparents, and friends all experience the fun.   And, of course part of the fun is all the good food provided for Halloween parties, and for Trick-or-Treaters.

My mother always cooked Popcorn-Balls for all of us every Halloween, and also a lot of other times during the year.  So, of course, I made them for my children, and now for the grandchildren.  In fact, my grandson Dillon requested Popcorn-Balls for the first thing he wanted to eat when his braces were removed.
Popcorn-Balls Recipe 

3 bags microwave popcorn 
2 cups sugar                                 2/3 cup water
2/3   cup light Corn Syrup           1 - 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter                               2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Microwave 3 bags of popcorn and place into large container.
  • Place all of the above ingredients (except popcorn) in another large cooking pot, stir and begin cooking.  (The ingredients boil up high.) 
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally,  until a medium-hard ball forms in cold water. 
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add vanilla and stir real well.
  • Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring the popcorn to mix well.
  • If desired, for a Halloween treat,  add Candy-Corn and mix well.
  • Cool enough to handle.
  • Shape with buttered hands into balls.
  • Store in sealed zip-lock bags.
  • Or, serve in decorative Halloween bags.

My very health-conscious daughter Debi recommended this particular kind of microwave popcorn.

As in the below photo,  use a larger pot for cooking the ingredients.  It would be better to use a pot with a long handle in order to make pouring easier.  I found that out when I used the pot below.

 Have popcorn popped and ready.

 After cooked ingredients have reached the medium-hard stage, slowly pour over popcorn and stir quickly coating all of the cooked popcorn.  Add the Candy Corn if you wish.

Hobby Lobby had these Halloween treat bags which were just the right size to make individual treats.

 Popcorn-Balls make a nice treat for the Trick-or-Treaters on Halloween.

Don't you just love the whimsical fun of Halloween?

Well! I hope where ever you are that you have a fun Halloween,  and that you will come back for a visit to Sweet Southern Days real soon.   Wishing  you blessed days.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fall and Christmas Tablecloths and More

During our annual October trip to the mountain cabin in North Carolina to enjoy leaf looking,  we try to include a drive over to the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee areas.  The drive over from the cabin on Highway 441 takes us through the very popular tourist town of Cherokee, North Carolina and then on through the stunningly beautiful Great Smokey Mountain National Park.  If you have not been there you must put it on your list.

More than 10 million visitors come to this area each year to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Great Smokey Mountains.  I could go on and on about all there is to do in this area.  There are family entertainment theaters, including comedy shows, musical entertainment, and magic shows.  There is the Dollywood theme park, shopping outlets, antique stores,  and good ole Southern cooking in local mom and pop restaurants,  as well as fine dining for special events.  There are also fun dinner theatres for all age groups to enjoy and a whole lot more.

Good ole Mr. Google of course has a lot more information.  If you want to know more about this area,  just ask him.

Didn't the folks in Gatlinburg do a beautiful job decorating their sign at the entrance to town?

During our recent visit to the Gatlinburg area, I especially wanted to visit the very interesting looking Mr. Tablecloth and More store down in the heart of town.  If you look in the below photo, behind the store,  you can see the mountains in the background with all the Fall color.  

Mr. Tablecloth and More
205 Historic Nature Trail
Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738
Telephone:  865-430-3081
Toll Free 1-800-626-7542

The above link takes you to the Mr. Tablecloth and More website, which I have enjoyed visiting.  They have the most beautiful items on the website, including tablecloths in all sizes, and including Battenurg Lace, Tatting, Crochet Lace, Embroidery, Applique, and Cutwork.  There are many more choices than what I have shown in the below photos.  The best part of all is, you can place an order from this website if you see something you can't live without. 

So come join me and let's go inside and see lots and lots of pretty things!

All of us "girls" like pretty things for our homes, so I thought it might be nice to share all this information with you.  Therefore, I asked the owners of Mr. Tablecloth and More, George and Ellice, if I could take some pictures to share with you.  They were so gracious and sweet, and as you can see they did not mind at all.

Isn't this Fall tablecloth so pretty!

They have placemats in the same design as the tablecloth.  I thought this looked so pretty with the pumpkin colored quilted placemat for additional Fall color.

In the below photo is another Fall tablecloth. 

A little Halloween table topper and hand towel.
I love all the fun at Halloween!!

Another pretty Fall tablecloth in the below photo. 

My favorite Fall tablecloth is the one they have online at:

Just go to the site - click on Table Linens, then Easy Care Embroidered, then Autumn Leaves.  I just love that one, and may have to order that one for our Thanksgiving table.

Cute Fall placemats and napkins.

Oh! my goodness!!  They had such beautiful Christmas tablecloths also

Adorable Christmas placemats in the below photo.

They had lots and lots of white and cream color cutwork tablecloths in many different patterns.

It is fun to have pretty little hand towels in the kitchen and bathrooms during the holidays, and here they had a lot to choose from.

How about this beautiful table topper and tablecloth!

There were many other tablecloths on display.  Just scroll down below to view a few of them.

In the below photo do you notice that pretty little creature sleeping on the lace table topper?  Isn't he so adorable!  Well, take a closer look,  no, he is not real!  You could also take him home with you, and not even have to feed him!  How cute!

Lots and lots of pretty bedspreads and quilts.
You can really see them better on the website.  My photos do not do them justice.

Oh! my gosh!  I really loved these handkerchiefs in the below photo!  How pretty!  I can just see one of these little hankies folded nicely and included in a "thinking of you" card.

Then last, but not least, is their pretty Vera Bradley section.  They even had little Vera Bradley readers, (eye glasses) in different strengths.....I loved them!  But, of all things, I forgot to take a picture of them.  Too bad, because I know you would have loved to see them.

How about this beautiful Vera Bradley luggage! Isn't that so pretty!

Someone told me once, the secret to happiness is:  Someone to love, something to do, and something to wish for.  Well! I know for sure it is really fun wishing.....sometimes, I think more fun than getting!

How about all those beautiful things!  It was very nice of Mr. George and Miss Ellice  to let me take photos to share with you, and I thank them very much.

My husband was very sweet and patient while I was taking photos.    He and Mr. George spent time visiting and seemed to have a lot to talk about.

What a fun time of year when everyone gets in the Fall spirit and decorates everything so pretty, as in the below photos....what fun!!   Whoever would have thought of a watering can for a head and nose on these scarecrows....what an imagination!

Yes, this pumpkin was almost as big as a house.

Well! it was great fun traveling along with my camera trying to capture some of the spirit and beauty of this wonderful time of year.  I loved having you come along and do hope you come back soon.  

Happy Fall!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Quick and Easy Fall Wreath

It is time to get a new Fall wreath to take up to our mountain cabin in North Carolina. 

We have recently gotten a Hobby Lobby here in Tallahassee.   While I was there, a large Fall decorated grapevine wreath caught my eye.  I looked at the price tag and decided no, it was way too much!  My practical side would not let me pay $149.00 even with the advertized 40% off.  But I kept thinking about it anyway........And wishing!

As I strolled through the Fall/Halloween isles, the light-bulb went off!  I spotted a group of long rope-like fall flowers with beautiful pine cones and berries that were prettier than the Fall wreath I had been wishing for.  That was it....I would make one instead!  I was fairly certain they would have plain grapevine wreaths.....  Sure enough, there was a grouping of grapevine wreaths on the far left side wall and they had just the right size.

Grapevine Wreath
23 inches from side to side

I collected the needed items to make the wreath.  The wreath, bow, brown pipe-cleaners, rope-like fall flowers, berries and pinecones.

I popped into our local Tallahassee Nurseries Gift Shop to have a bow made for the wreath.  In two minutes they can make the most beautiful bows.  They have all the supplies right there with lots and lots of different colored ribbons to choose from.

 Bow - 9 inches wide

In the below photo is the long rope-like fall decoration that looked just the right length to go all around the wreath.

In the below photo you really have to look closely to see the brown pipe-cleaner being pulled across the flowers and into the wreath.

From the underside you can see how the pipe-cleaner works nicely for tying the flowers to the wreath. 

About every 5-6 inches the flower rope is attached with a pipe-cleaner.

Trying to get a good picture of the finished wreath in the below photo.

The finished wreath.

The wreath shows up better when it is propped up against the dining room hutch.

After all the supplies were collected this wreath went together in about 15 minutes.  The best part is I ended up getting a larger wreath than the one originally spotted in Hobby Lobby.  Plus, the savings from making one was approximately 60% of the total cost.

It was fun working on something pretty for the Fall season, and most especially of all, saving a little in the process.

We will be leaving to head up to our cabin in North Carolina and do a little leaf watching.  We will see you back here sometime before Halloween.  We will miss you and look forward to seeing you again in a couple of weeks.

Wishing you a happy Fall and sweet and peaceful days.