Friday Faves: 3 Pumpkin Treats to Eat & Wear

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Halloween is tomorrow! Break out that pumpkin puree and whip up these treats for your face and belly!

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte Face Hair Mask via @poorandpretty

1. DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte Hair & Face Mask.

homemade pumpkin juice via @poorandpretty

2. Wizarding World Copycat Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice.

Pumpkin-Pie-Cupcake2-Poor-and-Pretty

3. Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes.

I hope you have a fantastic Halloween weekend!

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Poor & Pretty Travels: 12 Things I Loved in New Orleans

12 Things I loved in New Orleans feature via @poorandpretty

12 Things I loved in New Orleans via @poorandpretty

I am on a crazy traveling/networking kick, you guys. I got home from New Orleans on Sunday night and pretty much collapsed into bed. This weekend is Monarch Workshop. And the weekend after that I am staying at home as much as possible, ha! Here are a few things I fell in love with in NOLA:

Sami with Emily and Kathleen - Being Boss NOLA via @poorandpretty

1. Being Boss. I’ve been obsessively listening to the Being Boss podcast since June, and drinking in every bit of advice imparted by hosts Emily Thompson (above left) and Kathleen Shannon (above right). Their mantra “Do the Work; Be Boss” is something I say to myself on an almost-daily basis. I get so caught up in research, self doubt, and trying to feel “ready” with my work that I become paralyzed and afraid to actually do anything. So when Emily and Kathleen decided they were going to New Orleans and inviting 75 bosses along, I didn’t overthink. I bought my ticket, and went, and shared my ideas with other badass creative boss ladies, and totally conquered. I gained so much confidence and self-awareness, and of course amazing connections! When I came home, I got to work finishing my natural beauty eBook and launched it on Tuesday. You can buy it here

Sami and Jem Being Boss NOLA via @poorandpretty

2. My roommate. I was a little nervous about sharing an AirBnB with someone I didn’t know, but when I discovered Jessica (alias Jem) regularly attends Renaissance Faires, I knew we’d get along just fine. And we did! Jem is a super talented comic book artist currently working on a weekly comic called Cap and Sable, a spacey pirate tale. We explored the city together, gave each other confidence, shared book recommendations, and geeked out about Harry Potter a lot. ANd her hair! It makes me want to put pink back in mine…

Chicken and Waffles at Desire Oyster Bar NOLA via @poorandpretty

3. The food. Some of the food highlights from my trip were roasted chicken with jambalaya risotto at Bourbon House, chicken & waffles at Desire, pulled pork Po Boy somewhere on Bourbon Street… NOLA is another city of amazing food, pretty much everywhere you go. I don’t eat seafood, but there were plenty of delicious alternatives for me. I would have loved to do lunch or dinner at Brennan’s, but we didn’t make reservations and you definitely need them there!

4. The beignets. You can’t go to New Orleans without eating beignets! When Suzi and I went to NOLA in 2008, we waited in a pretty long line at Café Beignet for ours (expect to do so if you’re heading there too). Luckily, the genius organizers behind the #BeingBossNOLA trip grabbed a bunch for us one morning so we didn’t have to wait in line! They are amazingly fluffy and doughy and sugary.

Gelato from Sucre NOLA via @poorandpretty

5. The gelato. Walking around the French Quarter trying to decide what to eat, Jem and I stumbled upon Sucré, a sweet boutique on Conti Street. They had 14 different French Macarons, artisan chocolate bars, handmade marshmallows, personal cakes named after musicals, and gelato! Though we were tempted to have gelato for lunch, we hurried out, ate somewhere nearby, and went back for dessert. It made me want to start a bakery so bad!

6. The crêpes. Connected to the apartment building we were staying in was a little coffee shop called Merchant. They had amazing crêpes, which Jem and I ate every morning.

Frenchmen Art Market New Orleans via @poorandpretty

7. The Frenchmen Art Market. If you’re into supporting handmade artisans like I am, you’ll want to check out the art market on Frenchmen Street. It’s bit of a hike, but still totally walkable! Because it only runs in the evenings, there are string lights hovering above the artists’ tents. It felt so magical! The goods ranged from big painted canvas artwork to handmade 80s and 90s memorabilia to jewelry made of fish bones.

Dollz and Dames NOLA dress via @poorandpretty

8. The dresses. While we’re on the subject of shopping, let’s talk about Dollz & Dames! It’s a small boutique on Decatur Street, filled with rockabilly dresses, shoes, skirts, tops, vintage lingerie… I spent a lot of money here, and I’m certain if Suzi were with me again, she would have too. I bought this entire ensemble there!

Tarot Card Reader Jackson Square NOLA via @poorandpretty

9. The Tarot Reading. One of my missions this visit was to seek out the tarot card reader Kathleen spoke about during an episode of Being Boss. We knew she had blue dreadlocks, a hat, and was in Jackson Square (as are most of the readers). We found her on Saturday, and she was wonderful. I’m keeping the reading to myself, but I will say it was powerful and I am very glad I found her!

Lord Chaz Ghost Tour NOLA via @poorandpretty

10. The Ghost Tour. I was really excited about doing a ghost tour with my fellow bosses because that’s one thing Suzi and I didn’t get a chance to do on our first visit to NOLA. The tour was booked through Lord Chaz Ghost Tours, who were incredible. We were split into three smaller groups, so we didn’t have Lord Chaz himself, but the guy we had (I forgot his name!) was fantastic. We learned all about the voodoo, vampire, and ghost legends that haunt the city. That big shadow behind our tour guide? We dubbed him Spooky Jesus. 

Halloween in NOLA via @poorandpretty

11. Halloween. NOLA lives for well, pretty much every holiday (and some they even make up), but this is doubly true for Halloween. Houses, shops, and restaurants in the French Quarter were covered in creepy clowns, skeletons, animatronic witches and vampires. We walked past the above clown-filled porch on our way to Frenchmen Market Friday night. I would have hated living next to those folks!

Gemini Bermuda Triangle with Fearless Fresh Stephanie Stiavetti and Erica Midkiff NOLA via @poorandpretty

12. The Gemini Bermuda Triangle. While at a the Being Boss Bourbon House dinner Friday night, I wound up sitting across from and next to two fellow Geminis. Now, I don’t let astrological signs and horoscopes run my life by any means, but I totally buy into the fact that people of the same sun sign have similar personality traits. Turns out Fearless Fresh chef Stephanie Stiavetti (above left) and content coach Erica Midkiff (above right — I was so excited to meet her!) are also Geminis, and also can’t drink coffee because it makes them insanely jittery, and can’t help speaking loudly and excitedly, and always have a million different entrepreneurial ideas and creative paths they want to follow. So we called ourselves the Gemini Bermuda Triangle because non-Geminis could get totally swallowed up in the middle of our energetic, creative madness.

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Happy Halloween!

Renaissance Elf_feature

Happy Halloween, ghouls and boils! What are you dressing up as this year? I had most of my Halloween excitement last weekend when I dressed up for the Renaissance Faire as an elf:

Renaissance Elf

Though I’d love to wear this outfit again to work today, the corset is a bit… well, binding. So I’m just wearing the elf ears with a normal outfit. Think anyone will notice?

elf ears

(Oh! And check out my newly henna’d hair! More on that later.)

Tonight, Stan and I are going to stay in and watch some classic Halloween movies or catch up on The Walking Dead and hand out candy. Which reminds me: I have to pick up some candy! Tomorrow night, my friend Jessica and I are seeing The Rocky Horror Show at Trinity-on-Main in New Britain, and I’ll be dressed up for that, too.

Whatever your plans for tonight and this weekend: Stay safe and have fun! And if you need any last-minute costume ideas, treats, or Halloween decor, check out my Halloween DIY Roundup.

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31 Last-Minute Halloween DIYs: Costumes, Treats, & Decor

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One of my favorite Poor & Pretty traditions (dating back to 2011!) is putting together a Halloween DIY roundup post every year. This is the biggest one yet, with 31 last-minute easy handmade costumes, cocktails, cookies, and more!

Costumes: Most of these will be so easy to pull off with things you already have in your closet, or a quick trip to your favorite thrift shop.

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1. Rosie the Riveter via What I Wore.

marla-singer-and-tyler-durden-costumes

2. Marla Singer and Tyler Durden (from Fight Club) via Uproxx.

wednesday addams costume

3. Wednesday Addams (The Addams Family) via designlovefest. (She also has a Twiggy costume DIY!)

jesse and walt costume

4. Walt & Jesse (Breaking Bad) via Reddit. Kudos to these guys for doing season one Walt and Jesse. You don’t see them very often! But please don’t dress your children as Walt & Jesse. That is all kinds of messed up. “Coolest parents ever”? Ah, no.

Morton Salt Girl costume

5. Morton Salt girl via Keiko Lynn.

bonnie and clyde costume

6. Bonnie & Clyde (a classic!) via Hellcat Vintage.

fox-makeup

7. Fox via The Wonder Forest. What does the fox say? You’ll have to tell us!

Drinks & Cocktails:

candy corn jello shots

8. Candy Corn Jell-O Shots via A Beautiful Mess.

homemade pumpkin juice via @poorandpretty

9. Pumpkin Juice via Poor & Pretty. {Add rum for an adult cocktail!}

bloody candy apple milkshake

10. Bloody Candy Apple Milkshake via Kailley’s Kitchen.

blackberry margarita

11. Blackberry Margarita via A Fabulous Fete.

pumpkin pie margarita

12. Pumpkin Pie Margarita via Red UK.

mrs bates cocktail

13. Mrs. Bates cocktail via designlovefest.

Tricks & Treats and Tricky Treats!

monster-drink-stirrers

14. Monster Cocktail Stirrers via A Beautiful Mess. Stick these in all those devilish drinks you’ll be mixing up!

vampire red velvet cake

15. Vampire Attack Red Velvet Cake via Butter Hearts Sugar. This is possibly the coolest cake I have ever seen. If you leave out the “bite marks,” this could also be a Dexter cake!

monster eye cake

16. Monster Eye Cake via The Cake Blog.

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17. Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes via Poor & Pretty.

ghost meringues

18. Meringue Ghosts via Butter Flour Eggs.

chocolate monster bowls

19. Chocolate Monster Bowls via A Beautiful Mess.

surprise Halloween cookies

20. Trick-Or-Treat Cookies via Not Martha.

jack-o-lantern-cookies

21. Jack-O-Lantern Cookies via Say Yes.

Dusty Bones Sugar Cookies

22. Dusty Bones Sugar Cookies via Sprinkle Bakes.

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23. Sneaky Ghost Cookies via Make Me Cake.

ghost lollipops

24. Ghost Lollipop Bouquet via A Beautiful Mess.

caramel corn

25. Sweet & Salty Caramel Corn via Handmade Charlotte.

Decor:

pineapple-jack-o-lantern

26. Pineapple Jack-O-Lantern via A Subtle Revelry. Pumpkins are so 2013, guys.

horror movie quote tray

27. Horror Flick Quote Trays via designlovefest.

halloween-skull-bookends

28. Dollar Store Skull Bookends via Curbly.

head vase

29. Head Vase via A Fabulous Fete.

squash-letters

30. Butternut Squash Name Cards via Oh Happy Day!

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31. DIY Halloween Backdrop via Free People.

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Recipe: Copycat Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice

homemade pumpkin juice via @poorandpretty 550

homemade pumpkin juice via @poorandpretty

This time last year, Stan and I were gearing up for our five-year-anniversary trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Since they’ve opened up the second part, I’m so wishing we could go back this year, but I’ll settle for making copycat drinks instead. (It’s much less expensive!) I made pumpkin juice for the first time a few weeks ago when Stan and I visited our friends Dave, Jessica, and their kiddies to watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. You know me — I love themed parties! I read a lot of recipes, and finally settled on an adaptation of this one from Bryton Taylor. It tastes pretty darn close to what they’re serving up in the Wizarding World. Even though it sounds like it would be gross, it’s actually really, really good. I was surprised how much I liked it. It would be a perfect kid-safe drink to serve at Halloween parties! Or spike it with a little bit of rum for adults. ;)

Pumpkin Juice, adapted from Bryton Taylor. Serves 8-10 people.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 29 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 6 cups apple juice
  • 1 9.6 oz can pear nectar (about 1 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup sugar

pumpkin puree via @poorandpretty

1. In a blender, blend water with canned pumpkin for a minute or so.

straining pumpkin via @poorandpretty

2. Sift this mixture through a fine mesh strainer, then pour the resulting liquid into a large saucepan or pot. Set the pumpkin puree aside.

pumpkin juice simmering via @poorandpretty

3. Add apple juice, pear nectar, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and sugar to the pot and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

4. Optional: Add 1/3 cup of the strained pumpkin puree and let simmer another 10 minutes or so. I like adding the extra pumpkin puree back in because it gives the juice a little more of a gritty, cider texture, but you should do what tastes best to you!

pumpkin juice via @poorandpretty

That’s really it! You can serve it hot or iced. (I prefer it hot.)

P.S. Can anyone guess whose wand that is? I’ll give you a hint: it belongs to my favorite Harry Potter character.

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