Halloween 2016!

Since Halloween is on a Monday this year, I hope you’re having a weekend full of fun so you can enjoy the mystery and magic of the holiday.

Here’s what we’ll be up to in the Andersen house…


My girls and their friends will be decked out like emojis. They saw this idea pic on Pinterest, so we made our own.

We took a plain yellow tee from Hobby Lobby and used fabric glue to add the details of the emoji face. We used felt, since it was easy to cut and glue.

Tip: Use a piece of chalk to draw the details of your face on the felt before cutting. It’s easier (and less permanent) than pencil or pen!

This was our Pinspiration. We plan to add black leggings and tutus. We’ll also add big yellow bows to their hair. Cute and super easy!!

I don’t usually get super dressed up, unless we’re going to a themed party. But I do like to wear a little something festive when we take the kids out to trick-or-treat. So I found a cool spider at Walmart, and I plan to turn it into a headband with some hot glue and a bow made out of black tulle. Here’s some inspiration I found online.


I’ll pair this with a poncho, which is another easy DIY project. I found a black poncho at Walmart. (They have tons of them in stock right now!) And I’ll add strips of glittery tape to make “webs.” My goals is to have it look similar to one I saw on Grandin Road. Wish me luck!

Playful food

We plan to head over to a friend’s house for dinner tomorrow, and I’m bringing my favorite pumpkin-shaped cheese ball served with purple tortilla chips.

I’m also going to whip up some cinnamon bats (which take less than 15 min…promise they’re that easy) and I’ll serve it with this fruit salsa.


{Cinnamon bat recipe} > PS. I’ve also made these bats brushed with olive oil and sea salt (instead of the cinnamon sugar). Then I served it with something more savory – like hummus or salsa.

Check the list

Y’all know how much I love lists. Well, I made a Halloween checklist a year or so ago – and I still like to glance at it to make sure I have everything covered. Feel free to check it out.

I also have an easy Halloween menu if you’re having company over or want to serve a fun meal for the fam.

No matter what, I hope you have a goulishly good time, my friends.




Friday Wrap: Busy Like A Bee

Yay! It’s another happy Friday! Although, most Fridays are. This one kind of snuck up on me, though. The week was so jam packed, that it flew right by.

I was a busy bee trying to make things happen at work, around the house, for the family, and even for myself. Somehow I managed to squeeze in some time to shop for a few necessities. It didn’t all go as planned, but the things that needed to happen got done – for the most part.


PS. Isn’t this a darling design? It was created by my talented friend, Stacie. She has an Etsy store where you can buy this (and many others) as a download to print and frame.

Now that I’ve scurried through the week, I plan to take the advice of this piece of art. I’m gonna rest my weary wings and just be! First, let’s have a mini sharing sesh.

Here are a few {of the more exciting} things that happened:

{ONE} Ordered My 2017 Day Designer


Check out all of the pretty 2017 Day Designers here! {affiliate}

Talk about time flying…can you believe we’re already thinking about 2017 day planners?! The new Day Designers by Whitney English went on sale this week, so I went ahead and ordered one while they were still available. Those suckers sell so fast!

This is the pattern I ordered this year – from the Flagship Collection. I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can start plugging in some goals and dates for the coming year.

{TWO} Corsages by Kate: Part Two



So…Evan was invited to the Sadie Hawkins dance at his school, which was super cute. When we were talking about what he was going to wear and how formal it was, he said that no matter what, he wanted me to make corsages for his date – and his best friend’s date. I guess he liked the ones I made for him last year?

Melt my heart.

It’s not every day your 13-year-old son asks for something sweet like this – and that requires flowers, beads and ribbons. {Pretty much my dream team of all craft supplies.} Of course I said, “Heck, yeah!” And I quickly got to work on these creations. P.S. Floral glue is my new BFF.

{THREE} Created Monster Cupcakes



I can’t take credit for this adorable project. These monster cupcakes were the creation of my twin girls – and our rock star sitter. I decided to spend some time with friends, and I came home to these sweet treats looking right at me from the kitchen counter.

They made multi-colored frosting, which was store-bought vanilla divided into several bowls – then they added gel food coloring to make a variety of colors. The candy eyes were from Walmart. So simple, but so fun. I’ll take two, please. 😉

{FOUR} Made Home-cooked Happy Meals 

One of my readers mentioned she wanted more recipes, so I thought I’d share this delicious number from Pioneer Woman. It’s called Sour Cream Noodle Bake.


Get the full recipe and instructions here.

As you probably know by now, I’m a fan of simplicity. So any recipe that involves fixing and forgetting it, or making ahead and freezing, are high on my happy list. And when it tastes so good you could eat leftovers for a week and still not get tired of it, that’s just plain magical.

This is one of those recipes, which I whipped up this week. Mmmm…

Note: I like to double the recipe and freeze half of it for a rainy day. It’s also a great dish to take to someone’s house who needs a little home-cooked-pick-me-up.

{FIVE} Purchased Travel Essentials

Travel?! Yes, Brandon and I are headed to Laguna Beach this weekend!! B earned the trip through work, so we’re staying in a fancy hotel. I’m super excited – even if I don’t know what “resort wear” means and I still haven’t packed. At least I’ve shopped for my beauty essentials >>


These masks are ah-mazing. My face tends to get greasy, so I like the Green Tea Mattifying* mask. You wear it for 15 min before bed. Once you take it off, you don’t rinse. Just head to bed and wake up with super soft, dreamy skin. I think this will feel good after a long day of flying.

*According to Sephora, the Rose mask is the best selling of them all. Since I’m a sucker for marketing, of course I had to buy one of those, too. I’ll let you know my thoughts once I try it.


Any time I travel, I feel like my hair gets limp and greasy. Not pretty. So Living Proof Dry Shampoo to the rescue!! I love this brand, which was created by Jennifer Aniston. It doesn’t leave a weird white residue in your hair and it smells awesome. If you’re looking for a really good dry shampoo, I’d recommend this one any day.


This product was something I read about in an issue of Real Simple magazine. It was “road tested” as one of the better facial “mists” that mattifies and refreshes. It’s called Grease Relief Facial Water.

By now you can probably see a theme with my products. I’m super oily 🙁 This product works best sprayed onto a cotton pad and then dabbed on your trouble spots. I like to use it after a workout or even in the afternoon when my skin needs a pick-me-up. Ahh.

Okay, friends…that’s pretty much a wrap! Thanks for visiting today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be sure to share a few pics on Facebook or Insta as we travel into the Pacific Time Zone.

In the meantime, bless you and your sweet home!




Thankful Thursday: Special Recipes

As I dream about and prepare for turkey day, I’m feeling thankful for all of the recipes shared among my family and friends.

I keep these treasures tucked in a little recipe box in my kitchen, but it’s more like a memory box. I’m amazed at how food can conjure up such strong memories.

rifle recipe box

The smell and taste of a certain dish – or even an ingredient, like cinnamon or chives – can instantly take you back to an event or special place in your life.

Cheese pizza on Christmas Eve, hand-spun Ovaltine milk shakes, shoestring potato snacks, and Jell-o cheesecake all bring me back to my Gramma Lettye’s apartment, where we spent countless evenings camped out in front of her TV watching episodes of Dallas, Fantasy Island and Love Boat together.

I will seriously high five anyone who can name all of these characters.

{via} I will seriously high five anyone who can name all of these characters without Googling.

When it comes to special recipes, I think about the time my friend Katie brought over this amazing poppy seed chicken right after Evan was born. I was an exhausted and nervous first-time mom, and the comfort of this warm, home-baked meal made me feel grounded again – even if it was just for a few bites. It was a welcomed treat, and I still think about that moment every time I make it for the family.

Of course my sweet mom, Mimi, has many recipes that make me feel “home.”

Growing up, her savory hot Virginia dip was one she made for holidays or when company was coming over. I knew it was time to dress up when the smell of buttery roasted pecans filled the house.

Any time you’re feeling chilly or under the weather, Mimi’s chicken noodle soup is more soothing than anything you can buy from the drugstore. That, and her ice chips…

ice chips

When we were little, she’d hit a piece of ice with the back of a spoon to make crushed ice. We didn’t have fancy dispensers back then. Whenever you heard that cracking sound coming from the kitchen, you knew someone wasn’t feeling well.

Mimi also makes this amazing banana bread that cannot be recreated. Both of my sisters (and I believe my SILs) have tried our hand at whipping up some of this special bread using the same recipe. It simply doesn’t taste the same, unless my mom delivers it to your door. We think something magical happens in the car on the way. By the time it arrives, it’s perfectly delicious.

banana bread

{via} I don’t have an actual picture of Mimi’s bread, because I’m usually too busy stuffing my face. This picture reminded me of her version, though – even with the little cutting board and all!

There are so many more fond memories I have around food, family and friends. I know you have some, too. So as you’re gathering together and giving thanks this coming week, think about this prompt.

What dish reminds you of “home?”

Join the conversation with a comment below or share on your social channels using #ThankfulThursday.

In the meantime, here’s my mom’s hot Virginia dip recipe. Enjoy, and go have yourself a party!!

Mimi’s Hot Virginia Dip

1 cup pecans, chopped
2 tsp butter
16 oz cream cheese, softened
4 T milk
5 oz dried beef, minced
1 tsp garlic salt
1 cup sour cream
4 tsp onion, minced

Sauté pecans in butter. Reserve. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Place in a 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Top with pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve hot with crackers.

-Kate {hugs}


A Natural Spray to Keep the Mosquitoes Away

Remember the family reunion I recently told you about?

family tee

This is a picture of the cute t-shirts we received. #familyiseverything

The event gave me a chance to catch up with crazy-fun relatives AND walk away with the most amazing mosquito repellant. Kind of random, I know. But the location of our family gathering was in Minnesota where they say the state bird is the mosquito. Others call it Minneskeeta. It’s all fairly accurate.

State Bird

My cousins whipped up batches of homemade (and all-natural) mosquito repellant for the entire family.

Now that I’m back in Arkansas, where it has been raining since I returned, the mosquitoes are breeding faster than the rabbits. I’ve been using my spray almost daily and thought it was worth a share. (I’ll be making a fresh batch this week. See how low my supply is getting?!)

organic mosquito repellant

You can get these little spray bottles from Walmart near the travel-size essentials.

Below is the full recipe that’s also featured on our online family recipe book, which is tabbed neatly on our family website. (See where I get my Type-A tendencies?!)

mosquito repellent recipeIngredients

  • 15 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup witch hazel
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • Spray bottle


  • Combine first four ingredients in a 16 oz measuring cup.
  • Fill to the 16 oz mark with the distilled water (about 1 cup).
  • Stir and transfer to spray bottle.

I hope this is helpful. (It also smells really nice.) You’ll have to let me know how it works or if you have other recipes and tips for keeping those darn bugs away!