I picked up this adorable vintage cream and sugar set at Goodwill this summer. I love the pumpkin spice color! I waited until the weather started to cool off to use them. It just felt like they should be used in the fall.

Pumpkin Spice Cream and Sugar

I didn’t just put plain old cream and sugar in these beauties-oh, no! Well, the cream is plain old whipping cream.

I made Pumpkin Spiced Sugar!

Why I have never thought of this before is beyond me!

All I did was put some sugar in the sugar bowl and mix in some Pumpkin Pie Spice until I liked the look of it.

How easy is that?!

Pumpkin Spiced Coffee

I don’t particularly like the stuff floating on the top. If you think it is too ugly, cover it with whipped cream! That’s what they do at the coffee houses.

Since my Pumpkin Spice Sugar was so yummy and such a brilliant, original, ground-breaking idea (ha!),  I decided to take it a step further.

I had some Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough in the fridge.  I rolled the dough in the Pumpkin Spice Sugar. Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies  were sooooo yummy! Now, yummy I love! Yummy and easy makes me think I have died and gone to heaven! I HIGHLY  recommend making these!

Pumpkin Spiced Cookies

I doubt you’ll be able to find the exact adorable vintage cream & sugar I found. You can at least make yummy, easy Pumpkin Spice Sugar!

vintage cream and sugar


I’ve been feeling a little under the weather the past couple of days. Wouldn’t you know it, sore throat and sinus pressure always strike when I have a week of singing. Monday, I had the privilege of singing in a double quartet on a local morning tv show to help promote the event at which my chorus will sing on Friday–regular chorus rehearsal on Tuesday–quartet performance on Wednesday–Thursday, rehearsal with a different quartet–performance Friday.

Ahhh, the life of a Sweet Adeline! I love it! Click here to read about my chorus.

So, in order to survive this week, I have pulled out my trusty recipe for Singer’s Tea. This recipe comes from Darlene Rogers. Darlene is one of the brilliant women who often coaches our chorus. She knows a thing or two about what is good for singers.

Singer’s Tea (Serve warm. Sipping is recommended.)

1 fresh ginger root

1 can apple juice concentrate (6 oz.)

1 fresh lemon

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/3 cup honey

Chop ginger root into 1/4 inch slice rounds (about 8-10 inches of the root) and boil (simmer) for 45 minutes. Add cayenne, honey, lemon and apple juice concentrate to taste.

This tea warms and soothes the throat, cuts mucous and stimulates circulation.

This time I boiled my ginger root in apple cider rather than water or apple juice. I drink tea without any sweetener. Using the apple cider rather than the concentrate cut some of the sweetness. You will have to adjust all of the ingredients to your taste. The ginger and cayenne really give this tea a kick! The longer it sits, the stronger it gets! (thus the suggestion for sipping)

This tea doesn’t have magical healing powers. It sure does feel good going down though!

Thanks, Darlene, for sharing this!

Well, here it is. The long-awaited “Pirates of the Secret Island 4: Mutiny on the Secret Island”.

The Premier was quite an affair. I begged, borrowed, and stole from various sources for weeks! We pulled off the party–swag bag, food, decorations, the works–for less than $50!

I think that was a pretty good accomplishment. Parties are fun. Paying for parties? Not so much!

The dress for the evening was “fancy”. We pulled out an old dress my sister had in college for Megan. Katie wore one of Megan’s hand-me-downs. One of the benefits of being a Sweet Adeline is having fancy clothes and jewelry. So, I wore something from my stash. Chip was on his own as far as his fancy clothes went.

The family had all worked tirelessly to prepare for the party. Food. Decor. Yard. Clothes.

I knew I had not timed things perfectly when it got to be 5:30 and I had not even gotten in the shower! There was still food and hair to fix before the guests arrived at 6:30!

Fortunately, Mom and Dad came early to help. Thank goodness! I would have never made it.

Next to arrive was the Dowlearn family.

Charley had to set up the special Hollywood style spotlights he made for the occasion.

Maybe he will leave a comment telling how he made them. Here is a hint.

More admiring fans, groupies, “agents”, and actors showed up on the scene.

My folks really got into their roles. Mom interviewed everyone as they arrived. The kids didn’t really know what to think about that. (Somehow, one interview didn’t get photographed. Sorry, Mac.)

The “Paw-Pawrazzi” was played by my dad. Be sure to click his picture and check out his credentials.

Megan thought it was great fun to “avoid” the paparazzi every chance she got.

The red carpet was great! I really struggled with this aspect of the decorations. I really wanted a RED CARPET. You know, Hollywood style. I thought about getting a remnant and spray painting it. That was just going to be too expensive, and it just wouldn’t look right. I looked all over town. I was really working on a shoestring budget. I was determined, or as Moe, at Carpet Mills in North Little Rock, said–persistent! A big thanks goes out to Moe for donating several carpet samples. I knew I needed more though! Mom found a red carpet runner at Party City. Yes, I realize it was only $6.99, but remember, SHOESTRING budget! I refused to give up! After hitting at least 3 more carpet stores, someone suggested Classic Carpets in North Little Rock. Tracy had a red carpet! He typically rents it out for $50. He let me borrow it for FREE! Thank you, Tracy! The long roll of red carpet was exactly what I wanted! The carpet samples extended the red carpet on down the sidewalk perfectly. Thanks a million guys!

Adoring fans brought roses for the actresses and Sonic gift cards for the actors. How sweet!

The director, naturally, was behind the camera, again.

“The Faceless Bartender” showed up for the gala, I think.

We really did some rearranging inside. As the actors and actresses entered the front hall, there was a curtain hanging in the hallway. This curtain usually hangs in my parents bedroom in the fall and winter. For the party, it hung on a shower rod. I’m pretty sure Mom and Dad use a regular curtain rod when they hang it. We used our white Christmas lights to light the entrance and the “theater”.

I moved the couch from it’s regular position, so we could fit the dining room chairs in the den in rows. This also required that two chairs, two tables,  a secretary, and a rug find a new home. (It didn’t all get put back after the party. I decided I liked some of the things in their new homes.) I used our TV trays between chairs. I thought folks might need a place to set their plates and cups. I borrowed some extras from Mom and Dad and the Dowlearns.

First, let me tell you about the table decorations and serving pieces. Then, I’ll fill you in on the food. Click the picture above for the details.

The gold table cloth is one that my Mother-in-Law bought at an after Christmas sale a couple of years ago. This was my first time to use it. It was perfect!

The gold chargers were an anniversary present one year. You can’t serve food off of them though, so I used clear glass plates that I think I got as a wedding gift almost 20 years ago.

The tower that the cupcakes are on is from my days as a Pampered Chef lady. It is from their Simple Additions collection. It’s been a while, so some of the pieces have changed. I sure have enjoyed my set though.

The punch bowl came from a garage sale about 10 years ago. I opted to use plastic cups rather than washing punch cups. The gold and silver paper plates were some Mom had leftover from some shindig. She couldn’t remember where she got them.

The adorable little spoons were borrowed from Chip’s Aunt Mary. Are they not the cutest?! The plate they are sitting on was a hand-me-down from either Chip’s mom or grandmother.

Red tray with popcorn bags was borrowed from Mom. Parmesan Stars were in a silver basket, another wedding gift. ( You can’t see the basket, but it’s there.)

Gold place mats were a wedding gift, too.

In addition to punch we had water with and without cucumber slices. It had to be on a separate table-actually an organ bench.

Please notice the film reels in this next picture. They were inspired by these. The price was a little different, however. Ours were made from cardboard I stole out of the neighbor’s trash. It was clean! Chip cut them out and spray painted them with paint that either Mom or I had. You might also notice the drape over the TV cabinet. My sister had a burgundy swag in the bathroom when she lived in this house. I didn’t want to use it, but I couldn’t part with all that taffeta. Glad I didn’t! The gold tassels came from an el cheep-o sale. The center of the drape is held up with a chip clip!

This is the PRESTIGIOUS Dowlearn Award that was given for the first 3 films! Don’t you love it under glass?

Once again, Chip is not in the group photo. Sad.

This is the “swag bag” the kids went home with. I’m really sad we didn’t get a picture of the treasure chest that held them. My friend, Cyndi, had a treasure box from work that came with Post-It Notes in it! I sprayed it gold and put the bags inside. Thanks, Cyndi.

The red velvet bags with gold tassels came from a close out sale a couple of years ago. I think I paid 5¢ each for them. Each kiddo got a copy of the movie. Actually, it had all 4 movies on the disc. Thanks to Ryan Kravitz for designing the label. They also got a CD with the still photos that were shot the day of filming. A $1 picture frame with the group photo, a star ornament/bookmark (that came from the same sale as the bags), and some hard candy rounded out the goodie bag.

I do hope they all had the time of their lives. It was all great fun!


I feel I should mention that one of our guests has severe food allergies. I had to be very careful that none of the indigents were even from a factory that uses nuts. Harder than you might think. I have a new appreciation for people with nut allergies.

Ok, so some of the snacks didn’t really have a recipe per se.

1. Cheese and crackers–I admit, I took the easy way out. I bought the pre-cubed cheese. I already had a variety of crackers. This was an easy appetizer.

2. Popcorn–Again, not rocket science. Place package in microwave for 3 minutes. Listen for popping to stop.I just had to have popcorn with the movie.

3. Veggies and dip–Just carrots and celery arranged on a plate with ranch dressing in a bowl.

4. Pigs in a blanket–Pretty easy. Roll lil’ smokies up in crescent rolls. Cook until done.  Barbecue sauce and mustard were available condiments.

5. Stuffed Mushrooms–These were really easy because someone else brought them! Whitney said she used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe but tweaked it a little. Whitney, please leave a comment and tell about your tweak.

6. Strawberry Tarts–I didn’t make these either. Whitney said all she did was let the berries sit in sugar for a while. The crust was made in a mini muffin pan. Put a scoop of the berries in a cooked and cooled pastry cup. Top with whipped cream.

7. Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and gold sprinkles–Megan made the cupcakes. I decorated them. We used a boxed cake mix and ready to spread frosting. The gold cupcake liners really added a lot. I found them at Hobby Lobby.

8. Parmesan Stars–These were really easy. Thaw frozen puff pastry. I used a tiny star cookie cutter to cut out stars. The girls helped me by smearing olive oil on the stars as I put them on the pan. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese and black pepper. Bake according to package directions.

9. Bacon Wrapped Chicken–These turned out to be trickier than I thought they should have been. Mainly they were tricky because I was pressed for time. Cut chicken breasts into small pieces. Cut bacon strips into thirds. Wrap bacon around the chicken; secure with a toothpick. I melted some apple jelly and mixed it with a little soy sauce. I would have used orange, but  I didn’t have any. Brush on meat. Bake at 425* for about 10 minutes, turn and cook for another 10ish minutes. We had to cook them just a little longer.

10. “Fancy  Grapes”–Megan and Katie made these. Wash grapes and DRY COMPLETELY. While you are waiting for the grapes to dry, melt some vanilla almond bark. Poke a toothpick into the dry grapes then dip the melted chocolate. Immediately dip into graham cracker crumbs. The original recipe said to use peanuts. I had to improvise. Stand coated grapes on your serving plate while the chocolate is still warm. If you wait, they won’t stand up straight. These went like hot cakes! I think next time I will just use purple grapes.

11. Twice Baked New Potatoes–I was very excited to find the potatoes on sale. Buy one bag get one bag free! Boil the potatoes until fork tender, maybe just a little longer. I pulled them out of the pot a little too soon. Cut each potato in half. Slice a small piece off the bottom of each half of the potato so it will stand upright. Scoop out the potato flesh. Be careful to leave enough of a “wall” so your potato will keep its shape. Combine potato innards with a little sour cream and crumbled bacon. Spoon the potato mixture back into the potato shell.

12. Brownie Batter Dip–Aunt Mary sent me this recipe via Pinterest.  She served it at a shower at her house and said it was a hit! The same can be said of it being served at the Premier as well! Katie mixed this up for me. Mix an 8 ounce package of cream cheese with 1/2 cup of butter. Both should be softened. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, a cup at a time, and 1 tablespoon of milk. Add 5 Tbsp flour, 5 Tbsp cocoa powder, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1 Tbsp milk. Whisk together. You can add more milk if you need to. We added mini chocolate chips at the end too! Put a scoop on a cute little fancy spoon and top with a mini Nilla Wafer. We had a bowl with extra dip and a dish of extra cookies as well.

13. Punch–There are a thousand different punch recipes out there. This one came from my friend Kathy Zimmerman. Make a simple sugar by combining 3 cups of sugar with 3 cups of water. Boil for 3 minutes, until clear. Mix together one 12 oz. can of frozen lemonade and one 12 oz. can of frozen pineapple juice-mix both according to package directions. Add on 12 oz. can of frozen limeade-DO NOT DILUTE. Add to simple sugar. Put mixture in the freezer. When it starts to solidify, give it a stir every now and then so it gets slushy. When ready to serve, put it in your punch bowl and add a 2 liter bottle of ginger ale. Sooo yummy!

Well, that was our little party. It was a great time. I realize this was a really long post. Thanks for stayin’ with me. I guess I could have had about 15 different posts out of this one party. Oh, well. I wanted it to all be together. Plus, we were so crazy before the party started that no one got “blog quality” photos of the food.