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Fall is My Favorite Time of the Year!

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

I live in the PNW – in central Washington state, a mid-sized city called Yakima. We grow apples here, and are right next to Wenatchee, which is considered the apple capital of the world. 77% of the hops grown in the United States come from the Yakima Valley. And we’re fast becoming a major wine tourism destination. We’re the 11th biggest city in Washington, but still a MAJOR agricultural area too. We get four distinct seasons here, and fall is my favorite – the colors of the trees, the harvest of all that fall produce, the U-Pick farms that turn into corn mazes and haunted tours and pumpkin patches. Fall always feels like new beginnings, fresh starts, an embrace of changes – and the start to some of my favorite things like hoodies and boots, holidays and entertaining, football and fun!

Fall favorites quote

Since the fall weather here is so beautiful, this is the time of year that Abby and I like to get our family photos together. Last year we used a local photographer for a s’mores themed photo shoot, outside of town at a big ranch with horses and open fields and beautiful views. My favorite was one that was kind of out-take… Abby thought it would be funny to eat a s’mores like Lady and the Tramp ate their spaghetti. The photographer caught us in the middle of that, and it’s so funny. ;)

fall smores photo shoot

I love to entertain. And being just a few hours away from Seattle, the Seahawks are our JAM here, man. So we throw a lot of game-day parties here. And if you love football parties too – you have got to check out my Snackadium tutorial! These pics are from a few years ago – I’ve made bigger and more elaborate versions the past two years, but never took time to post them. This year tho, I promise! This original post though – it is honestly NOT hard to create, it’s pretty cheap too – you can get all of the supplies you need at your local Walmart super cheap {pro tip: order it all online, do ship to store, and then just pop in and pick it up, easy peasy!} – it just takes a little bit of time. Totally worth it though, it’s a pretty rad way to serve your snacks during football season!

football party food snackadium tutorial

Another thing I absolutely heckin’ LOVE about fall is …. HALLOWEEN! Abby {she’s NINE now, can you guys believe it?} and I into witchy stuff, we love dress up, a black cat lives with us…. lol. It’s totally one of our favorite holidays. A few years ago I got a black pre-lit tree from Treetopia, that I put up in late September, to decorate for Halloween. Our last theme was a DIY Nightmare Before Christmas tree – lots of Dollar Tree decor, Sharpie markers to draw Jack and Sally on the big shiny ball ornaments, and some extra lights for pizzazz. After Halloween, I take the themed ornaments off, and stuff some fall flowers and leaf garlands on it for Thanksgiving. Then we decorate it up for Christmas too. It’s a tree for the whole holiday season. We are festive as all heck over here. 

diy nightmare before christmas black tree

What are YOU guys excited about when it comes to fall? I love to hear from ya. Leave me some comments below – or chat with me on Twitter at @sunandsipcups, or on Facebook at Sunshine and Sippy Cups!


DIY Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Tree

This DIY Nightmare Before Christmas tree post is a partnership with Treetopia – get your own pre-lit black Christmas tree, or any other color you can imagine! – and start creating awesome new holiday memories today!

Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Tree #witchesandwonders

“This is Halloween, this is Halloween, Halloween, Halloween….” Man, I so love this movie. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing your a fan of Halloween. And if you like Halloween, I’m willing to bet you also like the Tim Burton movie, “Nightmare Before Christmas.” Abby fell in love with the movie Coraline years ago, so I knew she’d love this movie too. Both have that quirky, slightly creepy vibe to them, but have a good message and good heart. So, when I found out that I would be partnering with Treetopia to decorate a black Christmas-style tree in a Halloween theme, I knew immediately that this would be the inspiration for it. I mean – it’s the perfect match: A Christmas tree + Halloween decor = Nightmare Before Christmas, for sure.

In my house, we are crazy holiday fanatics. We go a bit overboard when decorating and celebrating festive occasions. The Christmas tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving, sometimes even sooner. And it stays up through New Years. We’ve decorated an Easter tree every year since I was a little girl – some cool branches, painted white, in a pretty metal bucket, with beautiful spring-colored ornaments hung from each branch. But I’ve never had a Halloween tree! Why? NO IDEA! Because it’s pretty much the coolest thing ever. [Read more…]


Halloween Pudding Cups with PEEPS Tombstones

{I received some complimentary product from PEEPS & COMPANY to create some fun treats to share with you guys. I hope you enjoy these Tombstone pudding cups – and stay tuned for more creative ideas coming soon!}

I love Halloween. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved dressing up. But I’m more of a “cute and fun” kind of Halloween person – not the gore and horror stuff. I get scared even in the little kid haunted houses and corn mazes. Truth. I usually go all out for every holiday – Halloween is definitely one of my more over-the-top ones. But this year, I didn’t get to do my normal decoration and month of treats for the kids. Last month I was in the hospital for a week, and then this month I had an accident and broke my nose, split my lip in 3 places, and got a pretty good concussion. {I definitely looked ready for Halloween after that happened, lol.} And all of that is why I haven’t been posting much lately. Don’t worry – I’m fine. And I’ll have a post up this weekend to let you all know exactly what’s been going on. But – I’m feeling much better, back at work, and excited to at least do a few fun projects before Halloween! I’m sharing one here that’s so easy to put together, but the kids will totally love. And it features one of everyone’s favorite candy – PEEPS! Yep, PEEPS aren’t just for Easter, they have tons of really fun products all year.

How to make Peeps Halloween Tombstone pudding cups 2 [Read more…]


New Halloween Costumes For 2015

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links – thanks supporting this site!

Halloween will be here before you know it – and that means parties and trick or treating! If you’re still looking for that perfect costume, BuyCostumes has you covered with all new costumes for 2015, featuring all of the hottest characters. These costumes were recently released and are for all ages, whether you’re shopping for the kids, or are just a kid at heart :) Plus, BuyCostumes is offering 15% off sitewide! Check out a few of my personal favorite costumes below and don’t forget to use coupon code AFCBC15 at checkout to save on your whole purchase!

New Halloween Costumes For 2015

Disney’s Descendants: Deluxe Maleficent Costume For Women

Star Wars: Episode VII – Boys Stormtrooper Deluxe Costume

Browse the full selection of all of the hottest costumes for the entire family at!

Let’s chat: Leave me a comment – do you dress up for Halloween? Any plans on what you’ll dress up as this year? And what was your all-time favorite Halloween costume? I’d love to hear from you guys!


White Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice Brownie Bites

This fall treat post is sponsored by Global Influence with super yummy fall candy provided by Hershey’s.

I’m lucky to live in a place where we have four very distinct seasons – Yakima, Washington. And while it’s very hard to choose a favorite, I do think fall is it. I live in a really agricultural area, filled with farms and orchards and vineyards, so not only is it beautiful here this time of year as the leaves change colors – it’s a delicious time of year too. There are so many local produce and farm stands to choose from, and there are tons of fun pick-your-own pumpkin patches. And speaking of pumpkin…. Here in Washington, we’re also the home of Starbucks, and the un-official drink of fall, the Pumpkin Spice Latte! And since I’m a big fan of all things pumpkiny, I created a sweet treat inspired by my favorite flavors of fall – White Chocolate & Pumpkin Spice Brownie Bites. Yum-mazing.

White Chocolate & Pumpkin Spice Brownie Bites Recipe [Read more…]


Powdered Sugar Mummy Donuts

This is a super fun Halloween treat for kids – and you can make these Powdered Sugar Mummy Donuts in just a few minutes. They’d be a fun treat any time of the year too – not just at Halloween. Kids love fun foods and silly faces. {I know that sometimes the only way I can get Abby to finish her meals is to make them into creative themes or shapes!} I wanted a last minute surprise treat for the boys yesterday when they got home from school, so I whipped these up with what I had on hand – it takes less than 5 minutes to make a dozen mummy donuts. They’re fun as a gift, and would be great for a party too.

Mummy Donuts [Read more…]


Halloween Costume Idea for Kids – Little Red Riding Hood

I love the holidays. All of them. Seriously – we even decorate for things like Columbus day. And, I love costumes and dressing up. And I love sweets and candy. So… I bet you’ve guessed it – I love, love, LOVE me some Halloween. I’ve shared some of our build-up to Halloween excitement…. I told you about how Grandma helped us decorate for Halloween, about our “pretty-scary” #HalloweenHangout event, and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen some fun photos of Abby’s Halloween costume from Costume Express. She’s a pretty adorable Little Red Riding Hood, if I do say so myself. {Because my kid is the cutest kid who ever lived in the whole wide world. And so is yours. That’s how motherhood works…}

Kid’s Little Red Riding Hood Halloween Costume

Pretty cute, right? I absolutely adore this costume…. The fabric is good quality, and I love all of those pretty ribbon details. And, I definitely appreciated that it had a really “true” fit, since it can be tricky sometimes ordering things online. And costume sizing is tricky anywhere – a lot of them run super small, or just have odd proportions. But when you order on, they have really great charts to help you figure it all out, and Abby’s costume fit perfect. Seriously perfect.

Kid’s Halloween Costumes for Parties

We had four different Halloween parties to do to this year, over two different weekends – PLUS, you know, the actual Halloween coming up in a few days. So, I knew we’d need a couple of costumes. I did buy her a Merida costume for her earlier events – it was adorable, and will go into our princess dress-up closet for future play. But after getting this pretty Little Red Riding Hood costume, I’m so glad I bought it, because the photos are just priceless. And she had SO much fun in it – twirling in the full skirt, and hiding under her hood. We went shopping with grandma right after this party, and didn’t have time to get her changed. When customers would comment on it, she’d say she was keeping grandma safe from the big bad wolf :)

Halloween costume idea - Little Red Riding Hood

Do you have a kid who loves to dress up?

We have a big collection of dress-up gear – wigs, accessories, hats, outfits – and today Abby dressed up and told me she was a rock star. She cracks me up. She has so much fun putting on costumes that I’m always watching for fun new props and pieces to add to our collection. Well, Halloween 2013 brings more costume options and accessories than ever before – It’s no secret that some kids might want to be a superhero at breakfast, a pirate at lunch, and a cowboy by dinner – and it’s hard to please a child that changes their mind so often. {And this is not just on Halloween, but everyday, if you have a kiddo like mine….} So, while is a great place to find cool costumes, it also offers peace of mind. Costume is allowing parents to make as many free exchanges as they need to with its “I Want to Be Guarantee.” Learn more about how it works by seeing other real moms share info using the #IWannaBe tag on social media.

What are your kids going to be this Halloween? Share some fun ideas here, visit my Trick or Treat board on Pinterest for fun Halloween ideas, or – and this is my fave! – come by my Facebook wall and post your favorite Halloween ideas! From blog posts, recipes, costumes, and more – I wanna see ’em all :) Post links or photos… And if you have pets in costumes, oh man. Please share. Those are the best, lol.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.