Creepy Halloween Cocktails (Part One): The Black Heart

storybook menu styled for halloween cocktailsHands down, Halloween is my favorite holiday. And there’s no better way to celebrate than toasting the season with some spooky concoctions. I’ve created three potent potions that I’ll be serving up to my guests this Halloween—each recipe is super simple, has plenty of creep factor, and is made using basic ingredients you may already have in your bar or fridge. I’ll be sharing the three Halloween cocktails in the next few weeks—first up, let me introduce you to the “Black Heart.”

Setting the scene is key for any Halloween soirée, and spooky details are my favorite place to start. Serving cocktails on their own is perfectly fine, but I always rely on a menu design to help tell a story and set the mood. I love how Jody Worthington’s Storybook menu looks like a page that’s been pulled from a book of spells—it’s the perfect piece to conjure up some cocktail magic.

Black vodka and fig cocktail by kelli hallWith Black Vodka, Fig Vodka, and Creme de Cassis

Keep reading for the cocktail recipe…


DIY: Easy No-Sew Strawberry Halloween Costume

baby halloween costume

Self-proclaimed non-crafters: Don’t dismay, you can make your kid’s Halloween costume! If you know how to use a pair of scissors and a hot glue gun, you can make this sweet strawberry costume in 15 minutes, flat. Put on that DVR-ed episode of Scandal and before you know it, you’ll have whipped up an entire fruit bowl’s worth of berries. 


How To: Get Great Family Photos (For Your Holiday Cards!)

Minted’s newest collection of holiday cards is now available (you can also see all of the winning holiday photo-card designs right here!), which means it’s time to start thinking about which card you’ll be mailing out this holiday season. If you decide to go the photo-card route, we know it can be a daunting task deciding on a single photo that perfectly captures your family. To help, I interviewed San Francisco-based kids photographer Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids Co.—she photographs our founder and CEO Mariam Naficy’s holiday-card photo every year!—for her best tips on getting beautiful family pictures you’ll treasure for years to come.

1. Find the right photographer.
Make sure your photographer enjoys shooting kids. If you still have last year’s batch of holiday cards, go through the stack and pull a couple of favorites, then ask your friends who their photographer was. “Word of mouth is really the best recommendation,” says Sarah.

See Sarah’s seven other genius tips after the jump…


DIY: Witch’s Hat Halloween Party Favor

Written by Melissa Fenlon & Sara Albers

By Melissa & Sara of  Alice & Lois

Sure, it’s still September, but we’re starting to get in the Halloween spirit! Our kids are obsessed with Halloween (how could they not be, right?)—candy, costumes, more candy, and spooky decorations. We host a pumpkin-carving party each October with family friends and this year, our kids will be making these super-simple witch’s hat party favors (that are filled with treats!). Keep reading for the DIY instructions…


DIY: Make a Monster Candy Box!

Our Julep contributor Merrilee Liddiard creates the most whimsical and clever kids DIYs (just like the one right here!), and she just came out with a new craft book! Congratulations, Merrilee!

This Halloween, recycle a simple sandwich-bag carton into a silly, spooky monster! But watch out—he might just eat up all your candy!

To make this monster candy box you’ll need:


Halloween Puppy Chow Recipe

By Ashley of  Sugar & Cloth

Oh yes, the beloved puppy-chow snack we all know and love gets a ghoulish twist in my monster-themed version! The kids will flip for this stuff, especially since this spooky version has Jack-o-Lantern and bone sprinkles mixed right in…

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Fourth of July Paper Bag Printables

By Melanie of  You Are My Fave
4th of July party favors

4th of July printables
Are you ready for a weekend of flag flying, fireworks, BBQs, and singing “I’m Proud to be an American” at the top of your lungs? Here’s a quick project to make things even more festive: printable paper bags. They’re perfect for storing loot from the parade, picnic lunches, or goody/distraction bags for the kids. Get the free download below.


Homemade Salsa Recipe and a Father’s Day Printable

By Melissa of Alice & Lois
We love to create something homemade for the dads in our lives for Father’s Day and what dad doesn’t love salsa? You can’t go wrong with this fresh tomato salsa recipe. It takes 15 minutes to make this homemade gift for dad’s special day. The kids will love helping out with this simple recipe. All you have to do to make it extra special is print out this label, cut it out and adhere it to the jar. All the papas
out there will love this “Salsa de Papa!”

Keep reading to get the printable and recipe!


Mother’s Day Breakfast Printables

By Yao Cheng, Photography/Styling by Olivia Kanaley

This Mother’s Day, personalize your mom’s special breakfast with this printable kit! Every year, I try to make something for my mom that is unique and from the heart. In creating these downloadable designs, I was inspired by how lovely and fresh spring flowers always make me feel. I wanted to capture their beauty and softness in this kit by using watercolor and broad strokes of color. The end result is a variety of simple and happy pieces that will make mom’s day a truly special one! Go ahead, download the designs here, print on a thick letter-sized sheet of paper and assemble according to the instructions below.