Kenny and Dolly- Together Again

Monday, September 30, 2013

This country music duo needs no introduction.  Well, partially because they aren't really a duo, but they have certainly collaborated on a number of chart toppers over the years.  Yes, I'm talking about Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, as a quietly hum Islands in the Stream to myself...  



But thankfully, their list of hitmakers doesn't end there.  It would seem that Kenny Rogers is scheduled to release a new album, and included on it is a new track recorded with none other than Dolly herself.  The song?  It's called You Can't Make Old Friends.  And who better to address that kind of subject matter than these two longtime buddies.  

Here's the video, and it chock full of images of the two of them performing together over the years, including a little commentary from the two before and after the video itself.  

Enjoy!


Back to MAC

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I know many of you will already be familiar with MAC Cosmetic's Back to MAC Program, but for those who are not...

MAC accepts returns of its primary packaging (eyeshadow containers, lipstick tubes, and more) through the Back to MAC Program.  By returning six of their primary packaging containers to a MAC counter or MAC Cosmetics online, you will receive a free MAC lipstick of your choice.   AWESOME!!  I wish all cosmetics companies did this!



I was reminded of this nifty program the other day when I was about to toss out an empty eyeshadow container.  And then I thought to myself- better hang on to that just a little longer.  I will add it to my other empty MAC containers and then trot myself down to the MAC counter for a free lipstick later this year.  I'd say that's definitely worth the wait!  

For more information on the Back to MAC program, visit their website

Memories of Halloween Past: Raisin Creme Pies and Other Such Halloween Non-Treats

Friday, September 27, 2013

It seems like just yesterday- the anticipation of waiting for Halloween night to roll around, coming home quickly to change into my carefully planned costume, eating a quick dinner, and then hitting the streets of our small town to scavenge for candy and other Halloween treats, with my sisters by my side.  Oh, those were the days.  We grew up loving Halloween.  It was a magical night of sugar overload, and back before parents worried quite so much about cavities.  

But inevitably, there were always a few "non-treats" that made their way into my bag, as I recall. Surely, I'm not alone.  Don't you remember the disappointment over, let's say, a box of raisins?  I mean WHO GIVES OUT RAISINS for Halloween?!?!?  I mean just look at these kids.  I'm sure they were paid handsomely - IN CHOCOLATE- to even be associated with this ad.  At least two of the three kids are masked to protect their identities.  But, I'm sure that little witch never lived down her role in this unforgivable Halloween endorsement for raisins. 


In fact, any derivative of raisins should be strictly outlawed- for Halloween, that is.  Raisinets really don't count as a "treat".  Yes, they are technically covered in chocolate, but no amount of chocolate can really make up for what lurks inside.  

But there was nothing as frightening on Halloween night as opening your treat bag to discover a Little Debbie Raisin Creme Pie.  It happened every year when I was growing up.  I'm sure these non-treats must have been coming from the same house each year, though I don't know that we ever quite figured out which one, or else we would have undoubtedly stopped hitting that house.  

I was actually relaying this story to my husband this past weekend, and he admitted that he had never even heard of a Raisin Creme Pie. What???  How can this be?  I thought everyone had to contend with the likes of this raisin cake each year.  So I tried to describe it for him.  It was a soft plain "cake", filled with white cream, and then topped with raisins.  Ick.  

Just as we finished talking about it, we ran into a store to pick up a couple of things, and I happened to see them out of the corner of my eye.  I was floored.  I haven't seen those things in YEARS, and I certainly didn't think they even still made Raisin Creme Pies!   Oh, Little Debbie, how could you? Shame on you. For the love of all that is good and decent, those things should have been retired many moons ago.  Did I buy a box for old time's sake?  Heck no!  I know those things haven't improved over the years.  But we did get a picture to commemorate this trip down memory lane.  


As for other Halloween "non-treats", this little list rounds out my list of "don'ts" for Halloween night. 
  • Apples- I'm not talking candy caramel apples- just plain ones from the produce section of the grocery store.  That, or any other piece of fruit, really. 
  • Mary Janes
  • Bit O' Honey
  • Those awful orange and black wrapped hard as a rock chewy candies.  What were those things anyway?
  • Butterscotch candies
  • Peppermint candies
  • Tootsie rolls
Let's face it.  Halloween only comes once a year.  Do your neighborhood kids a favor, and either pass out chocolate bars, or leave the lights out and let them skip on to someone who will.  This concludes this Halloween public service announcement.  Carry on. 

Crockpot Baked Apples

Thursday, September 26, 2013

In honor of Johnny Appleseed's birthday today and the recent changing of the seasons, I thought I'd share with you this simple recipe that screams Fall.

Crockpot Baked Apples Recipe

Crockpot Baked Apple Slices
5 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp butter, cubed

  1. Peel, core, and slice the apples.
  2. Add apples, sugars, apple juice, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla to crockpot, stirring to incorporate.
  3. Place butter on top of apples
  4. Cook on high for 1 1/2 hours or on low for 4-5 hours. Stir mixture halfway through cooking.
Notes:
I used Fuji apples, but choose your favorite. (Ooh, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la - this family is down with the Fuji-la.)

Water can be substituted for apple juice.

These apples are delicious as a side dish (on their own), but you can also try them mixed into oatmeal, over pancakes or waffles, to make Glazed Apple Coffee Cake or Apple Pie French Toast Casserole, or served over vanilla ice cream as dessert. The possibilities are endless!

If you're in the mood for other Fall Favorite Recipe, give these other Harris Sisters tried and true recipes a try:

Witch's Brew: Crockpot Potpourri

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

This simple recipe is sure to cast a delicious smell over your whole house.  Best enjoyed throughout the fall season, or even better- on a dark and stormy night. 


Witches Brew

1 apple
1 orange
1 lemon
2 T whole allspice
2 T whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks

Slice fruit into rings. Don't worry about peels, seed, cores, etc. Place all ingredients into a crockpot. Fill with water. Simmer on low. Refill with water as needed, being careful to not let the water get too low. This potpourri recipe could also be done on the stovetop, if you don't have a crockpot handy.  But again make sure to keep the heat on low, and keep a check on your water levels. 

Enjoy!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Thursday, September 19, 2013

WHATEV-ARRR you do - don't forget to talk like a pirate today because September 19 has been deemed "Talk Like a Pirate Day" since way back in the days of yore (1995).

Now, my family has been known to appreciate a pirate in our day. That was actually our first choice of family Halloween costume after Jaxon was born. (He's the wee two month old who doesn't look too happy to be dressed as a pirate for those of you keeping track.)



And, just this year, we checked an item off our 100 Things to Do This Summer list and built a tree house . . . which we then promptly decorated with a Jolly Roger:


Now, if you want to be invested in the Pirate Lifestyle on Talk Like a Pirate Day, I suggest the following:

  • Generate your Pirate Name
  • Translate whatever you have to say into Pirate speak
  • Want to learn how to Draw a Pirate in 12 Easy Steps? Follow the link to find out how.
  • If you want to write like a Pirate, use one of these keyboards (suitable for use with hooks or by particularly skilled parrots):


Butterball's Turkey Helpline Seeks a Few Good Men

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

For the first time in the history of Butterball's Turkey Helpline, the company is seeking to hire men to help staff the line and offer turkey tips to their customers.  


The Butterball Turkey line is open from the beginning of November each year through Christmas Eve, and until now, it has been staffed completely by women.  They are available to assist with anything from common to complex questions regarding turkey preparation.  

In fact, our family used the Butterball Helpline just last year around Thanksgiving.  My husband decided he wanted to talk turkey with the experts, and they were there to help.  He shucked and jived, and carried on with that poor woman until I felt sorry for her. But the fact is that is one of the reasons they are looking to hire a few good men.  It appears that more and more, it is men who are dialing into their phone line looking for some help. 

But there is a rigorous application process.  Applicants must write three different essays and supply a video of themselves talking turkey with the best of them.  All I can say is good luck to all you applicants out there.  Apparently talking turkey is much harder than I could have ever imagined.   

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Monday, September 16, 2013

This weekend was THE weekend.  It was once again time to decorate for Halloween.  Truth be told, I'm a little behind my usual schedule this year.  Normally, I assign this task to the long Labor Day weekend, but we were out of town, and then the following weekend was completely taken with birthday activities for my husband.  So, yes, I'm a little behind, but I'm proud to say it is now done, done, done.  



Last year, we were lucky enough to find a local farmer selling pumpkins from the back of a huge truck and trailer- every kind under the sun, and for awesome prices.  However, we haven't seen him so far this year, and the area he was in last year is under major road construction now, so I'm sure he has moved on. 

So, we got a little crafty this year, and decided to take a drive through the county to see if we could get lucky.  And that's just what happened!  We saw a sign up for pumpkins and followed it to the Holy Grail of pumpkin farms.  Though we had never been there before, apparently this farm has been producing pumpkin crops for almost 20 years and has a loyal following around these parts.  The farmer had to have been in his 80's, but he was scooting all over showing off the different varieties they had, telling stories and dishing on pumpkin recipes, not to mention taking me for a ride on a golf cart directly through the pumpkin fields that had yet to be harvested.  


So, we chose ourselves a great big cart and set out to all of the barns to hunt down just the right pumpkins for our annual front porch pumpkin display.  We got one of every shape, size, and color they had. 


I was especially pleased with the stalk on this one.  We spent quite some time scoping out the ones with beautiful stems.  And thankfully, my husband knows to pick them up from the bottom.  Protect that stem at all costs!!


See those giant white pumpkins in the background of this photo?  John swears they weighed 100 pounds each.  Of course, he had to have one.  So he picked the biggest, heaviest one he could find, and he looked just like Linus trying to roll his pumpkin home from the pumpkin patch. 


And this was our haul that we loaded up and took back home.  Not pictured were also hay bales and corn stalks.  Now that we have our display almost finished, I have to say I think we need more pumpkins.  I mentioned that to John just yesterday, and he just shook his head.  Thank goodness he's a good sport.  :)

What a fun afternoon we had!  And now that the weather is starting to cool, I'm really getting in the mood for Fall and Halloween.  More pictures of our Halloween displays will be coming as we get a little closer to October.  Until then, please tell me I'm not the only one decorating for Fall already, ok?

Baked Ziti

Sunday, September 15, 2013

This is one of my go-to recipes. It is quick, easy, and delicious and makes enough to feed a crowd. And, it's another great way to sneak veggies into your family's diet. Do YOU see any veggies in this dish (besides the tomato sauce)? I didn't think so . . . 


Baked Ziti
16 oz. ziti pasta
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 small zucchini, minced
8 oz. mushrooms, minced
6.5 cups of marinara sauce ( if using jarred sauce, this is 2, 26 oz. jars)
6 oz. sliced provolone cheese
1.5 cups sour cream
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, drain.
  2. While pasta is cooking, saute onion, garlic, zucchini, and mushrooms in olive oil over medium high heat for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add marinara sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large, deep cooking dish with cooking spray. 
  4. Layer ingredients as follows: sauce mixture, 1/2 of ziti, provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese, and remaining sauce mixture.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.
Note: This dish needs a VERY large and deep baking dish to accommodate all of the ingredients. I use a Corningware 2.8 Liter casserole dish, which is the equivalent to 2 1/2 quarts, and I usually have sauce left over. If you have a 3 quart baking dish, that would be the best size to use.

Also, you want to make sure that all of the noodles are covered with sauce on the final layer so that they don't dry out when baking. 

Hocus Pocus: 20 Year Anniversary

Friday, September 13, 2013

That's right, I said TWENTY years. I'll let that sink in whilst you console yourself - I recommend some "spirits" to take the edge off of that little bit o' information.

While Hocus Pocus was released July 16, 1993, it didn't seem fitting to bring up its anniversary way back in July. In mid-July, we Harris Sisters were bringing you fantastic posts such as Charlie Brown Birthday PartyTrader Joe's Beauty Product Reviews, and Southwest Pasta Salad Recipe. So, I figured it might be fitting to feature this post on Friday the 13th! Super spooky-scary, right?


And it seems like Disney hasn't forgotten this little gem of a movie. They're holding a special 20th anniversary screening of the movie in California in October. Fancy pants!

So for those of you who can't hoof it to California to celebrate, here some factoids about the movie that has achieved cult status as far as Halloween movies go.

20 Facts for the 20th Anniversary of Hocus Pocus


  1. The film was intended to be a Disney Channel Original Movie, but when higher-ups saw the script, they felt it was strong enough for a theatrical release with well-known actors.
  2. The film initially grossed $39,514,713, although it became more popular over the years. Not only is it a cult favorite, but it also can be viewed regularly on television during the month of October. Since the 2000s, it has been a fixture on ABC Family's 13 Nights of Halloween.
  3. Upon its US release, Hocus Pocus received rather mixed to negative reviews from film critics. For example, Ty Burr of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a C-, calling it "acceptable scary-silly kid fodder that adults will find only mildly insulting. Unless they're Bette Midler fans. In which case it's depressing as hell."
  4. The movie was directed by Kenny Ortega, who also directed Newsies, the High School Musical movies, and Michael Jackson's This Is It concert film. He is slated to direct the remake of Dirty Dancing, having choreographed the original Dirty Dancing as well as Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. (If you recall, Ferris Bueller's Day Off starred Matthew Broderick, who later married Sarah Jessica Parker - talk about your Six Degrees of Separation!)
  5. Omri Katz was not well at the time of his first audition and was initially rejected for the role of Max Dennison. The role was originally offered to Leonardo DiCaprio, but was given to Omri Katz when DiCaprio turned it down to appear in What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Rosi O'Donnell was originally offered the role of Mary Sanderson, but it was given to Kathy Najimy. O'Donnell claims on her blog that she turned down the offer to work on the movie because she didn't want to be a "scary witch."
  6. The movie takes place on Halloween 1993. The first part of the movie shows Max at school, yet Halloween 1993 was on a Sunday.
  7. When Bette Midler's character Winifred Sanderson takes the stage at the town Halloween Party, she says, "Hello Salem, my name is Winifred. What's yours?" This is a take-off of the famous line, "Hello world, my name is Rose. What's yours?" that is spoken by Mama Rose in the musical Gypsy. Bette Midler played Mama Rose in the television version of Gypsy the same year that Hocus Pocus was released.
  8. Charles Rocket acquired a certain notoriety for swearing on live television during the final moments of the February 21, 1981 episode of Saturday Night Live. There's an in-joke in connection to this where he says to Max, "Watch your language!"
  9. Sarah seemed to be a harmless, ditzy witch throughout most of the movie. Then, she started singing sweetly, luring children out, and confirming her deadly power. Sarah Jessica Parker provided the vocals for "Sarah's Theme/Come Little Children" in the movie.
  10. Despite the common Internet myth that the song Sarah Sanderson sings is a shortened version of an Edgar Allan Poe poem, no references to such a poem exist in any of his works. It does not carry the style or any of the known meters that he would have used. It was written specifically for the film - lyrics by Brock Walsh and music by James Horner (according to the Disney Song Encyclopedia).
  11. After having locked the Sanderson Sisters in the school kiln, the three kids celebrate as they walk to the park. The house shown directly behind Max and Thackery while they talk is the residential edifice Thora Birch would use as her "home" in 1999's American Beauty.
  12. During the final fight in the cemetery, the background music imitates Miss Gulch's (the Wicked Witch's) theme from The Wizard of Oz.
  13. In Hocus Pocus, Sarah Jessica Parker plays a witch who was executed during the Salem Witch Trials in the late 1600s. While researching her family history for the show Who Do You Think You Are?, Parker was shocked to discover that her 10th great grandmother Esther Elwell was arrested in Salem in the late 1600s for committing "sundry acts of witchcraft" and choking a neighbor to death. Esther's case never went to court and she escaped with her life. Parker said, "It has changed everything about who I thought I was."
  14. The real Salem Witch Trials began during the first few months of 1692 and were finished by October of that same year, though the movie states that the Sanderson Sisters were hanged on October 31, 1693.
  15. Before they go trick or treating, Dani tells Max that there is a full moon out. The movie is set in 1993, but the last time there was a full moon on Halloween was in 1974. The next full moon on Halloween will be in 2020.
  16. Surprising for Disney, this movie specifically links witches to Satan. A museum sign claims he gave Winifred her spell book. And although he never appears in the movie in person, when the Sanderson Sisters happen upon someone dressed in a Devil costume (Gary Marshall), they call him their "master."
  17. In the 1964 Looney Tunes short Bewitched Bunny, Hansel and Gretel turn to Witch Hazel and say, "Ack, your mother rides a vacuum cleaner" before fleeing. Seems like Mary Sanderson was paying attention, as she also rode a vacuum cleaner in Hocus Pocus (although this is a widely noted error in judgement on the writers' part - since vacuum cleaners weren't invented until 100+ years after the Sanderson Sisters were hanged.)
  18. Mary Sanderson may have just been WAY ahead of her time - she also talks about margarine. Her character, having lived 300 years ago, shouldn't have known about margarine, which was invented in 1869.
  19. There were seven statues made of Bette Midler for the final scenes of the movie. One of the statues, along with Winnie's spellbook, is housed at the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Orlando, Florida. 
  20. The three little girls who steal the witches' brooms from in front of "Satan's" house are dressed as the sisters themselves: Winifred with red hair and green cape, Mary with black hair and red cape, and Sarah with blond hair and purple cape.
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Halloween Time Is PEZ Time

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Just looky what I've found - another vintage PEZ ad and this one features a witch PEZ dispenser for Halloween:



Now, I don't know about you, but I don't know anything scarier than a giant, talking PEZ dispenser . . . except one that's dressed as a witch.

Just look at that cat's reaction - she has scared the beejeebus out of him!

The 2013 Halloween dispensers that PEZ has released aren't quite so scary. The ghost is being released internationally and the vampire is a US release only. (Rest assured that the Walkush boys' goodie bags are all "set" for Halloween night.)

One Man's Trash - Dazey Churn

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Before we begin, does anyone actually know what a Dazey Churn is?   If you do, then you are already one step ahead of the game.  If not, no worries.  I myself had no idea what this was until my husband saw it on a shelf in an antique store and just had to have it.  So he started up a LONGGGG conversation with the shop owner about this item before I really even knew what the heck they were talking about.


This is a good old fashioned butter churn.  You use it to make butter from milk and/or cream.  John has often talked about how he and his brother took turns churning butter by hand each year at Thanksgiving.  Apparently, this was a task delegated to the kids- probably because they were the only ones brave enough to take it on.  

When he saw this one, his eyes lit up and I knew it was coming home with us.  And yes, we will be using it at Thanksgiving this year.  Hopefully, we can resurrect his childhood tradition and keep it going now that we are the proud owners of this beauty.  

Sadly, he has some sort of misguided notion that I will be the one churning the butter all by myself. While I will be happy to give it a go for my share of the turns, I assured him that we will all be pitching in on this little chore.  Wouldn't want to save all the fun for myself.  Anyway, this was his childhood memory, so I figure he needs to be sure to take part.  If I were to relive my own childhood Thanksgiving memories, it might involve a few smoke detectors going off.  ;-)  Just sayin'...

Top 10 Wardrobe Basics for the Fall

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I started a Pinterest board last year to gather ideas on Fall Fashion, and I have slowly been adding to it.  If you are interested in checking it out, click here for the direct link to my board.  As I have mentioned before, I tend to dress for the calendar more so than the actual weather, within reason, of course.  But my calendar now proudly boasts the first of the "ber" months so I am starting to prepare for the transition to fall weather and therefore, fall fashion. 

So what are my must-haves for this fall?  I'm so glad you asked. Here are my top 10 wardrobe basics for the fall. 

1.  Chambray Shirts:   This is a classic wardrobe staple.  Chambrays are PERFECT for layering, under cardigans or sweaters, or over t-shirts or tanks.  They look great with colored denim, as well as with dark denim, or even long flowy skirts.  If I could only add one item to my fall shopping list, it would be this. 



2.  Animal Print Scarves:  Animal prints are making a big comeback this year.  I prefer leopard print to other animal prints, mostly because of the way the coloring looks on me, but you really can't go wrong regardless which print you choose.  I like scarves like this one- flowy and long.   That way you can tie it in multiple ways.  In this case, I think the leopard print looks great when paired with red or even over the chambray shirt above.  




3.  Tall Riding Boots:  I am in love with riding boots.  They are so comfortable to wear, and let's face it, they are also just plain stylish.  I have several pairs that I've had for several seasons.  The trick to their longevity is to buy quality items up front, and then make sure you take good care of them along the way.  Leather needs cleaning, polishing, and protecting (depending on the kind of material), so take good care of them, and they will last for seasons to come. 



4.  Skinny Jeans:  Let's be clear, the "skinny" part of these jeans refers to the shape of the jeans themselves, not the shape of the wearer.  No matter your shape, you can likely pull off this look.  I tend to wear tall boots with my skinny jeans, just to help balance the look.  But lots of people also wear these with ballet flats.  I'm thinking my first four items on this list are shaping up to make a pretty cute basic fall outfit so far.  



5.  Colored Tights: Colored tights can liven up a basic outfit in no time flat by adding a pop of color to otherwise neutral outfits.  But remember if you are choosing a colored tight, you want to add it to a neutral outfit.  Otherwise, you might come off looking like Rainbow Brite.  And if you are a little scared of color, you could start with a colored tight in a less bold color, such as brown.  For me, I like to pair colored tights with tall boots, so just a little color peeks out between the hem of my dress and the top of my boots. 



6.  Drapey Ponchos: I love ponchos and capes for the fall.  They are cozy and stylish without being too bulky.  This one also features a cowl neckline, another favorite of mine.  I would wear this over a long sleeved tshirt, and pop it on or off as the weather changes through the day. 



7.  Chunky Sweaters: Similar to the poncho, but the chunky sweater is intended to be worn on it's own rather than as outerwear.  I love chunky knits, and this one just fits the bill.  It just looks cozy and warm.  Yet, it's super stylish.  I would pair this with my skinny jeans and animal print scarf, and just like that, you've got your outfit.  



8.  Knit Socks:  I am a big fan of knit socks.  Check out how these are styled- over a warm pair of tights and under tall boots.  The layering is what makes this look work, and this look also provides the added bonus of extra warmth for your legs and feet on cool fall days. 



9.  Anything in Mustard Yellow:   This is a hot color for the Fall.  As you switch out your closet, it's time to put away the bright sunshine yellows that we tend to wear in the Spring and Summer, and instead pull out your warm mustard toned yellows to transition to Fall.  Of course, I love this sweater.  A scarf in this color would also be fantastic if you just want a pop of color. 



10.  Camel Colored Handbags: And finally, I always finish off my fall fashion choices with a camel-colored handbag.  This color just screams warm and rich.  In fact, I just switched to my trusty autumn bag today, and it already has me dreaming of cooler days ahead. 



So, there's my list of must haves for the fall.  What are your fashion go-to's for the cooler months?

Spooks!

Monday, September 2, 2013

As many people enjoy their day off today for Labor Day, we Harris Sisters have another occasion to celebrate - today marks the one year anniversary of our blog. So, for those of you who have been following us - we thank you.

AND as a sneak peek of things to come (because we all know what THIS GAL is planning already), I thought I would share this poem that is so fitting for our family. I'm sure that having grown up in the Walkush family, it aptly describes how the boys start to feel this time of year.

Spooks by Sandra Liatsos:


100 Things to Do This Fall

Sunday, September 1, 2013

While Fall doesn't officially start until September 22 (and technically runs through December 20 for those of you keeping track), in our house we like to get a jump on things. If your family is still squeezing the last drops of fun out of summer, consider popping over to our 100 Things to Do This Summer List (or Pin it for next summer). And don't forget we also have a 100 Things to Do This Winter List and 100 Things to Do This Spring List (so make sure to pin those for later).

Anyhoot, to our family Labor Day weekend seems like the unofficial start to Fall. And with that in mind, I thought I'd post a list of 100 fun things you might want to consider doing with your family during the fall season. Some are activities the kids can do alone, some are activities they will need your help with, and some are all for you (holiday prep and all that jazz).

And to show how these are activities that we Harris Sisters endorse, I have included links and photos of our own experiences with many of these suggestions. And I've also included a few really awesome things that our family intends to try this year. Enjoy!



1. Go to a Local Festival
2. Make Salsa from the Last of the Garden Vegetables
3. Banned Books Week Is Typically the Last Week in September, and Some Great Books Are on That List: Choose a Book (That Your Parents Approve of) and Read It
4. OR Pick a Book from The Harris Sisters Recommended Book List and Read It Outside Before the Weather Gets Too Cool




5. Plant Mums
6. Go on a Nature Walk
7. Plan Your Spirit Week Outfits (Try to Top Last Year)
8. Gaze at the Harvest Moon (Note: The Harvest Moon may not coincide exactly with the beginning of Fall – sometimes it’s a few days in advance – but you shouldn’t miss it!)



9. Make a Dream Catcher (to catch any bad dreams you might have about spooky things)
10. Make Monster Spray to Rid Your Room of Monsters
11. Pick Apples and Make Old-Fashioned CobblerBaked Apples, or Apple Butter
12. Rake Leaves into a Pile & Jump in It




13. Go Camping in Your Own Backyard or If the Weather Is Too Cool, in Your Basement
14. Have a Day Where the Kids Decide What You’ll Eat for All Three Meals - I don’t THINK anyone will die from this! :-)
15. Make Favors for a Halloween Party
16. Build a Bonfire Then Roast Hot Dogs or Make S’mores




17. Participate in the Worldwide Day of Play (The annual event that encourages kids and their parents to play OUTSIDE rather than watching TV is usually held on or around the beginning of fall each year.)
18. Plant Spring Bulbs
19. Make Pumpkin Bread
20. Take a Slimy Bath with Soap Slime


21. Go to the Fair
23. Mix Candy Corn and Dry Roasted Peanuts Together for a Delicious Snack
24. Visit a Pumpkin Patch




25. Go for a Hayride
26. Paint Pumpkins with Glow in the Dark Paints
27. Take a Ghost Tour
28. Eat Monster Cereal While It’s Available



29. Make Popcorn Balls
30. “Boo” Your Neighbors
31. Set Your DVRs for ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween!
32. Make Skeleton T-Shirts 




33. Make Caramel Apples
34. Plan Your Halloween Costume
35. Visit a Haunted House or Haunted Trail




37. Learn the Entire Thriller Dance
38. Watch the Clouds and Name the Shapes You See
39. Take a Tour of Local Halloween Decorations
40. Eat Pumpkin Doughnuts While They’re Available




41. Brew Apple Cider
42. Download Halloween Music for Your Halloween Party or Halloween Night
43. Make Brownies




45. Bob for Apples
46. Go to a Carnival
47. Make a Bleach Bat, Witch, or Pumpkin T-Shirt
48. Cut a Pumpkin in Half, Scoop Out the Seeds, and Fill with Bird Seed for Your Feathered Friends 



49. Roast Pumpkin Seeds
50. Make Pumpkin Fudge
52. Take a Family Photo in Your Halloween Costumes




53. Make Slime or Gak
54. Go to a Trunk or Treat
55. Go Trick or Treating
56. Decorate Gingerbread Cookies to Look Like Skeletons to Make “Gingerdead Men” (Special cookie cutters are available on Amazon or use the ones you use at Christmas.)



57. Climb a Tree
58. Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride
59. Visit a Maize Maze
60. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade




61. Make a Homemade Pie
62. Go to a Football Game
63. Donate to a Local Food Drive
64. Watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”  (Is anyone else bothered by Woodstock eating turkey? No? Maybe it’s just me then . . . .)




66. Go Horseback Riding
67. Watch Classic Movies by the Fire
68. Go Gem Mining




69. Make Homemade Chili
70. Make Homemade Cornbread
71. Have a Silly String Fight
72. Help Collect Firewood & Build a Fire




73. Make Hot Chocolate
74. Make Leaf Rubbings
75. Plan a Weekend Trip to the Mountains to Enjoy the Fall Foliage
76. Snuggle Under Your Favorite Blanket


77. Make Your Favorite Macaroni & Cheese to Eat on a Cool Day
78. Help Plan the Thanksgiving Menu
79. List the Things You Are Thankful For
80. While the Whole Family Is Together at Thanksgiving, Take a Family Photos (Include All Generations)




81. Make Place Cards for Thanksgiving Dinner
82. Draw Names for Christmas Gifts
83. Start Christmas Shopping – Online or In Stores
84. Collect Pine Cones and Make Them into a Wreath (My Mother-In-Law made this wreath for me from pine cones the boys found.)




85. Visit a Local Holiday Market or Craft Show
86. Make Friendship Bracelets
87. Go to a Local Production of The Nutcracker
88. Visit a Parade of Lights




89. Start Putting Up Christmas Decorations!
90. Think Up Your Most Creative Christmas Card Photo Idea and Take It
91. Start Your Advent Calendar
92. Have a Pajama Day




93. Go to a Local Production of A Christmas Carol
94. Make Your Favorite Soup
95. Have a Sleepover
96. Make Handmade Christmas Ornaments for Your Family & Friends




98. Participate in the Salvation Army Stuff a Stocking Campaign (go online to research whether there is an event local to you)
99. Donate to Toys for Tots
100. Schedule Your Visit with Santa



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