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Grandma’s Homemade Caramel Corn

Do you pronounce it like “care-a-mel” or do you say “car-mel”?

I’m typically in the “car-mel” crowd, because I usually don’t have time for that extra syllable when I’m trying to shovel this sweet goodness into my face.

When we were kids my parents did this thing called “bedtime snack.”  We’d eat our dinner together as a family (around 5pm) and then we’d all enjoy a snack before bedtime (around 7pm).  Popcorn was a popular choice for us (and still my favorite snack to this day) but every once in a while my mom treated us to something extra special:

Homemade caramel corn.

My mom has a glorious collection of recipes passed down to her by my Grandma and Great-Grandma, which she has since passed down to me and my sisters.  This homemade caramel corn recipe is one of my favorites from the hundreds I fondly flip through.  It reminds me of crisp cool nights, smooth warm sugar, and bedtimes delayed as we slowly chewed this precious treat.

Grandma's Homemade Caramel Corn | www.allthingsgd.com

Ingredients
1/2 cup popcorn kernels (unpopped)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions
Air pop 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels.  I swear by my Whirley-Pop stovetop popcorn popper. It makes the lightest, crispiest and most delicious popcorn I’ve even tasted.  Just drizzle a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of the Whirley-Pop, add 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels, eat on the stovetop, and stir with the hand until the popcorn has finished popping.  It’s the best!

Once your popcorn is popped, pour it into a large bowl.

Next, melt the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan until boiling.  Continue stirring as you heat so it does not burn.

Once the mixture is boiling, whisk in baking soda until combined.

Grandma's Homemade Caramel Corn | www.allthingsgd.com

Pour mixture over popcorn…

Grandma's Homemade Caramel Corn | www.allthingsgd.com

Give it a quick stir, and then put in the microwave for 30-60 seconds:

Grandma's Homemade Caramel Corn | www.allthingsgd.com

Remove from microwave and stir thoroughly to mix and coat popcorn with caramel. Spread out on a cookie sheet to cool (approximately 5-10 minutes)…

Grandma's Homemade Caramel Corn | www.allthingsgd.com

And enjoy!

Grandma's Homemade Caramel Corn | www.allthingsgd.com

I’m pretty sure this is how fall would taste on its best day.

Grandma's Homemade Caramel Corn | www.allthingsgd.com

Homemade Caramel Corn Recipe

Like this recipe? See more at the All Things G&D Food Gallery!

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Halloween Tablescape

You know how sometimes you find that perfect pair of shoes and you absolutely, unequivocally must plan an outfit around them?

That’s how I felt about the DIY spiderweb halloween table runner I made recently.

It was simply way too cute and fun to sit in a closet all by itself waiting for an invitation, so I decided to find it some friends and dress it up to make a festive little Halloween tablescape.

Halloween Tablescape from All Things G&D

Halloween Tablescape from All Things G&D

Halloween Tablescape

I found these little milk jars at the dollar spot in Target, and the straws and glitter spiders from Michael’s. Putting those spiders on the milk jars was the hardest part of the entire project for this arachnophobe.

Halloween Tablescape from All Things G&D

You don’t need Halloween-themed dishes to make a Halloween tablescape! Work with what you already have in whites (or whites and blacks) and add a colorful touch with an inexpensive spool of Halloween ribbon tied around a napkin.

Halloween Tablescape from All Things G&D

Candy corn ribbon from Michaels.

I love this cute little “Trick or Treat” sign Kate and I found at Target’s dollar spot. It goes great with the no-carve eyeball pumpkin we made!

Halloween Tablescape from All Things G&D

Halloween Tablescape from All Things G&D

Ribbon-wrapped Halloween pumpkin.

I made this table runner with just a kitchen towel and a Sharpie marker! It makes the perfect anchor for a Halloween tablescape.

Halloween Tablescape from All Things G&D

DIY Spiderweb Halloween Table Runner

Like this project? See more in the All Things G&D Entertaining Gallery!

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No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas

Kate and I had so much fun getting our Halloween crafting on recently with these super simple, kid-friendly, no-carve pumpkin ideas!

Kid-Friendly no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas from All Things G&D for Homes.com.

Since Kate has decided she’s a blogger, she’s been taking our DIY craft projects Very Seriously. So when it came time to decorate some pumpkins for Homes.com, we scoured the craft store like two girls on a mission.

A kid-friendly pumpkin mission.

Kate – being the kid expert of our little duo – called all the shots and decided on some very fun accessories for us to play around with!

Kid-Friendly no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas from All Things G&D for Homes.com.

Kid-Friendly no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas from All Things G&D for Homes.com.

Check out our pretty little pumpkins and how to copy these looks in my latest article for Homes.com: Kid-Friendly No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas.

Have you been doing any kid-friendly pumpkin decorating this Halloween season?  Tell us about it!

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Kate: 3 Years, 9 Months

I’m still piecing together notes from Kate’s final months as a 3 year old and am so happy I found this one:

Tonight I read It’s Time to Sleep, My Love to Kate and started the book by telling her that she’s my love.

After story time I turned out the light and climbed back into her bed for our nightly snuggle.  I wrapped my arm around her, cuddled up close and she said, “You’re my love.”

“Awww!” I replied. “You’re MY love, too.”

“And Daddy is BOTH our loves,” Kate added.

Love, love, love this girl.

Kate's monthly posts - a monthly look at our little girl growing up. | www.allthingsgd.com

Kate (3 years, 9 months) and Mommy

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Kates-Monthly-Posts

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DIY Spiderweb Halloween Table Runner

I don’t know who decided spiders should be a decorative part of Halloween, but I’d like to have a word with them.

I have a horrible, crippling, terrifying fear of spiders.  So far in life I’ve ran my car off the road, held up traffic at a busy intersection, and persuaded a delivery man to come inside and kill a spider when I was home alone.  These are just a few of many moments that I’ve gone from a strong, independent, DIY kind of woman to a freaked out horror show - all because of those 8-legged torture devices.

Embarrassingly enough, even the fake ones scare me.

The good news is, fake spiderwebs do not.  So when I got this idea to make a DIY Spiderweb Halloween Table Runner I was calm, cool, and collected.

And when it came time to add the fake glittery spiders onto it for pictures I used tongs.

DIY Spiderweb Halloween Table Runner made with just a kitchen towel and Sharpie marker! | www.allthingsgd.com

To make, I used the same flour sack kitchen towels that I used to make my DIY Mummy Pumpkin, and a black Sharpie marker – that’s it!

DIY Spiderweb Halloween Table Runner made with just a kitchen towel and Sharpie marker! | www.allthingsgd.com

Supplies
Flour Sack Kitchen Towel
Black Sharpie Marker

Directions

  1. Fold flour sack towel in half and make a small cut with scissors at one end of the halfway fold.  Rip the towel in half the rest of the way to get a raw-edged look.  Clip other edge of the towel and rip for a raw-edge on the other side of your table runner.
  2. Lightly iron towel to get out the fold lines.  I liked the subtle crinkling throughout the towel for my table runner, so I purposely did not iron it completely smooth.
  3. Using a black Sharpie marker (and a mat underneath so the marker doesn’t bleed through onto your table), draw straight lines coming out from a center point at seen in the photo above.
  4. Connect your lines with inverted arches as seen in the photo above.
  5. Continue repeating, playing around with line and arch sizes and spacing until your runner is completely covered in spiderwebs.

The tutorial photo above shows a fine point Sharpie marker, but I actually found a medium point Sharpie works best (and is what I used for the photos of the finished product).

DIY Spiderweb Halloween Table Runner made with just a kitchen towel and Sharpie marker! | www.allthingsgd.com

DIY Spiderweb Halloween Table Runner

If killing spiders were as easy as making this table runner I’d never need a delivery man again.

Like this project? Check out my DIY Gallery for even more!

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Unpacking Your Home: Part 1

Oh, unpacking.

Wouldn’t it be great if moving required nothing more than the clothes on your back and a toothbrush?

Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve been there before – I believe it’s called college.

When I was 17 years old I moved out of my mom’s house and into my new life in a college dorm 3 hours away, with only as much as I could fit into my tiny 3 cylinder hatchback Geo Metro.

It was cherry red.

(In case you were wondering.)

Five years later, G and I bought our first house and packed up everything we owned and loaded it into my mom’s horse trailer.

(That’s how us former farm girls do it.)

Unpacking your first home is so much fun! Especially if you came from a small apartment. You have exactly one set of dish (unmatched, of course) and all those empty cupboards to put them in! Suddenly you have TWO bathrooms instead of one and you realize you need to start buying toilet paper in quantities larger than a 4 roll pack because now you actually have a place to store them. You have closets! And a garage!! You think to yourself – in between kisses and box cutters – that there’s no way the two of you will ever fill up all this space.

And then you’re in your thirties.

Your family has grown, your postpartum closet spans sizes 4-10, two entire rooms in your house are dedicated to toy trains, cars, dollhouses and princesses, and your husband has taken up bobblehead collecting.

The horse trailer is no longer going to cut it.

This is the state of my household at this point, and while G and I are actually embracing packing up and moving when the time comes (hello, new house!), I’m feeling slightly a lot less enthusiastic about unpacking.

So I did my research on how to best go about this business of unpacking (you’re welcome) and I’m bringing it to you in a series of posts starting with:  Unpacking Your New Home: Part 1.

Tips to make unpacking both productive and efficient. | www.allthingsgd.com

Got any other unpacking tips to share?  I’d love to hear them!

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Repurposed Sweater Wreath {Fall Wreath}

We had a garage sale this past summer, and at the time it felt SO GOOD getting rid of so many things we no longer needed.

Now I’m kicking myself.

Usually I’m the opposite of a pack rat (“let’s get rid of everything!”), but then I wanted to make a pattern to recover our ottoman and I’m all, “Wait a second…did we donate all of our old sheets??”  What, in May, looked like old sheets to mattress sizes we no longer have, now look like money I could have saved on not needing to buy muslin.  All that fabric!

Luckily, what doesn’t sell well in 80 degree weather are cable knit sweaters.  There were quite a few I was willing part with which nobody took.  I was ready to donate what didn’t sell to Goodwill but G said, “You already went through all the trouble of pricing them, let’s just hold onto them for now and try selling them again at the garage sale we’ll have before we move.”  He packed them up and put them in the attic above our garage, and I didn’t give them a second thought…until recently.  He needed something up in the attic, pulled a bunch of bins down, and the first thing I spotted through that clear plastic where those sweaters.

Chunky cable knit + fall?

Jackpot!

I rescued them from the garage sale bin, and – instead of not wearing them – turned one into a sweater wreath, perfect for fall!

Save your old, ripped or stained cable knit sweaters from the trash or donate pile and turn them into a fall sweater wreath! | www.allthingsgd.com

Here’s how you can give your own old cable knits a wreath makeover:

Save your old, ripped or stained cable knit sweaters from the trash or donate pile and turn them into a fall sweater wreath! | www.allthingsgd.com

  1. Lay wreath form over sweater and cut around leaving plenty of room to wrap sweater around to the back side of the wreath.  Cut an “X” in the center of the sweater to wrap from the middle.
  2. Pull ends of the sweater together in the back and stitch them together with a needle and thread.  Be sure to cut off any excess sweater material so the back of your wreath doesn’t get bulky.
  3. Repeat this all the way around your wreath, turn it back over, and enjoy!

Lastly, I added some fall garland for a festive touch.

Save your old, ripped or stained cable knit sweaters from the trash or donate pile and turn them into a fall sweater wreath! | www.allthingsgd.com

I didn’t want the fall flourishes to be permanent so I secured them by tying them with yarn.  When I’m ready to turn this into a winter wreath I can just clip the yarn ties and get back to my plain sweater wreath.

Save your old, ripped or stained cable knit sweaters from the trash or donate pile and turn them into a fall sweater wreath! | www.allthingsgd.com

Save your old, ripped or stained cable knit sweaters from the trash or donate pile and turn them into a fall sweater wreath! | www.allthingsgd.com

Love this chunky cable knit!

Who’s ready to race to their garage sale bins and dig out old cable knit sweaters?

Save your old, ripped or stained cable knit sweaters from the trash or donate pile and turn them into a fall sweater wreath! | www.allthingsgd.com

Looking for a fun way to repurpose the sleeves of your sweater? Check out my DIY Sweater Boot Socks tutorial!

Got an old cable knit sweater you know longer wear?  Cut the sleeves off and turn them into boot socks! | www.allthingsgd.com

 

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