A Pumpkin Treat Packed With Veggies

By PBK Editors

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‘Tis the season for comforting baked goods and lots and lots of decadent pumpkin treats. To satisfy that fall sweet tooth, we love this Healthy Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread from Ambitious Kitchen — it has the perfect combination of chocolate chips and pumpkin spice, but packs in a good dose of veggies and whole grains for your little ones!

Ready to start baking? See our other great recipe ideas for fall on Design Studio.

A Dream Nursery Giveaway

By PBK Editors

Welcoming a new addition to the family is always a special milestone and for LaurenConrad.com editor Ilana, our Design Service Specialists were determined to make her dream nursery come to life. Take a look at the behind-the-scenes planning of Ilana’s nursery plus the big reveal on LaurenConrad.com!

We were so inspired by her gorgeous new space that we’ve decided to spread the love to our Building Blocks readers! Enter below for your chance to win a $1,000 Pottery Barn Kids gift card to start designing a dream room in your home! Plus, see some of our favorite photos from baby Eden’s nursery below.

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Tips for Creating Walls That Wow!

By PBK Editors

With just a brush, paint and some creative inspiration, you can completely transform your child’s room into a space packed with style. Add extra dimension to their space with these three tips that are ready to wow.

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1. Transform your walls into a canvas. With the help of some chalkboard paint or hanging rolls of craft paper, your walls can become a mini gallery for your little ones. One of our favorite tricks is to draw unique frames around their artwork to give each piece character.

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2. Use painted effects. Use painters’ tape to create unique designs on the walls. Whether you’re painting a zig-zag pattern or tonal stripes, these painted effects help give depth and whimsy to the space.

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3. Play with prints. We love using a soft decal to make a little one’s space come to life — plus, they peel off just as easily as they went on!

For more great ideas on decorating your home, read our decorating articles in Design Studio.

A Happy Halloween in Black and White

By PBK Editors

For something stark, simple and a little bit spooky this Halloween, try a fun craft in black and white. Whether you’re decorating your front porch or building your own haunted dollhouse, here are three crafts that are made creepier without color.

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From spiderwebs to friendly ghosts, a dollhouse filled with frights is a fun way to celebrate this spooky season. We love this DIY Haunted Dollhouse from Mr Printables as a new environment for existing toys.

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Welcome guests with a skeleton friend like this DIY Trick-or-Treater Greeter from Handmade Charlotte. For a hilarious treat, strike your skeleton greeter in a funny pose like a disco dance move!

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Ditch the cotton ball and pipe cleaner mess with an elevated take on your classic haunted decor. This Spiderweb Wreath uses striped straws in a sunburst pattern for a black and white touch that is beautiful and fun.

For more great Halloween crafting ideas, visit our Design Studio or browse other DIYs on the blog.

Spotted! A Picture Perfect Costume Party With 100 Layer Cakelet

By PBK Editors

What makes a fun Halloween craft party even more memorable? Costumes, of course! Little ones love an excuse to dress up and you can definitely tell from the Halloween Craft Party on 100 Layer Cakelet. Hosted by Beijos Events and shot by Lovechild Photo, we love how these moments of fun and celebration were captured. Here’s a peek at some of our favorite looks that were spotted at this spooktacular celebration:

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Love one of the costumes you see above? Check out our entire Halloween costume collection at potterybarnkids.com.

A Spooky and Sweet Treat

By Megan Bailey

Written by Megan Bailey of Sweet Little Peanut for Building Blocks.

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With fall comes pie baking and with Halloween comes jack-o-lanterns, so it’s only natural that we would want to combine the two! These fun hand pies are perfect for tiny hands and also a great fall baking activity you can do with your little peanuts. They’re almost too cute to eat plus they’re simple to put together– we call that an instant Halloween hit!

We set up a fun Halloween table for entertaining kids using our favorite Halloween tabletop items including spooky (and cute!) character plates with spiderweb placemats.

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To make our little party guests feel extra special, we created these simple personalized pumpkins at each place setting using a bit of black and white paint. With these freshly baked jack-o-lantern pies, we were all set for one spooktacular celebration!

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Jack-O-Lantern Hand Pies

  • Ingredients
  • 2 package pie dough for a double crust
  • 1 1/3 cups roasted or canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup regular cream cheese, softened and slightly warm
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs {1 beaten together for egg wash}
  • Raw sugar for sprinkling

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix together the granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, salt, cream cheese, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, and vanilla extract until smooth. Scrap down the sides as needed. Set aside.

4. Gently roll out the pie dough just until smooth between two pieces of wax paper. Using a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter (we used this pumpkin cookie cutter from Williams-Sonoma), go around the pie dough in a circle and cut out pumpkin shapes. Using the tip of a sharp knife gently cut out triangle eyes and mouth. Feel free to have fun making different jack-o-lantern faces.

5. Place the pumpkins without faces on the cookie sheet. Brush the edges lightly with egg wash. Take 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of filling and spread it around the pumpkin leaving the edges clear. Too much filling will ooze out so be careful here.

6. Press the faces gently on top of the puree and seal the edges with a fork. Brush lightly with egg wash and sprinkle the top with a little raw sugar.

7. Bake for 12-15 minutes on the middle rack. Serve warm or cold.

Makes about 12 hand pies.

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Behind the Scenes: Creating a Dream Nursery

By Ilana Saul

Written by Ilana Saul, editor at LaurenConrad.com, for Building Blocks.  

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While I haven’t experienced any crazy pickles-and-ice-cream-type cravings this pregnancy, I can say without a doubt that nesting is a real thing! As soon as I found out I was expecting, my mind went straight to the nursery. (I went a little Pinterest crazy too, searching for all kinds of inspiration.)

The rest of our home is full of color—which I love—but I wanted to go a different route for the nursery. My vision was to have a serene, modern-looking space filled with mostly neutral hues, making it a peaceful place for the baby (and mommy and daddy!). We also know that we’ll likely have another baby someday, so keeping things neutral will make the nursery easy to reuse whether our second is a boy or girl.

Since we know we’re having a girl this time around, I couldn’t resist a sweet pop of pink here and there! I also had an animal/safari theme in mind, which would add a fun and playful touch to the white walls.

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1. Wingback Glider | 2. Rissa Crystal Beaded Chandelier | 3. Harper Crib | 4. Cameron 3-Shelf Bookcase | 5. Dahlia Quilt | 6. Hadley Nursery Dresser & Topper | 7. Sophie The Giraffe

I’ve always loved decor and design—I blog about it often for LaurenConrad.com—but decorating a nursery was something I didn’t have any experience with. So when it came time to pick out a crib, changing table, rocker and all the other nursery accouterments, I knew I’d need a little help from an experienced pro.

I loved pretty much everything at Pottery Barn Kids, so it was a no-brainer to start there! I began by making an in-store appointment with Neko, a Pottery Barn Kids Design Studio Specialist. She was amazing! After listening to what I had in mind, she showed me all around the store and pointed out items that fit my vision.

I immediately fell in love with the Harper CribWingback Glider and so many other items. What really tied it all together for me, though, was the beautiful Rissa Crystal Beaded Chandelier.

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As we wrapped up in the store, I made an in-home appointment with Neko so she could help with the floor plan. She arrived armed with her measuring tape and a bunch of cute bedding and accessories so we could see how they’d work in the space.

There sure is a lot for a new mama to consider! Is the crib set away from windows, direct sunlight and heavy objects? Is it visible from the doorway so you can easily check on the sleeping baby? Can the rocker be set in a corner to avoid wasting valuable play space? Neko really knew how to design everything in a way that was both beautiful and functional.

But the very best part was that none of the Design Studio services cost a dime. Working with an interior designer can be pretty pricey, so it was amazing that PBK offered this as a complimentary service to customers.

Right now, we’re just putting the finishing touches on everything. I’m so excited to share the final nursery reveal on LaurenConrad.com in just a few days! Stay tuned…

 

Photos: Stephanie Todaro Photography

Moving Forward and Looking Back: Vintage-Inspired Decor

By PBK Editors

Revamping the space where your little one plays, dreams and grows doesn’t have to center on the latest design trends. One of our favorite ways to update for the season is with a nod to the timelessness of vintage-inspired decor. From traditional elements to whimsical metallics, here are a few of our best picks:

 

For more great ideas on updating your space, visit Design Studio.

3 Funny Jack-O-Lanterns

By PBK Editors

Who says Halloween front-porch decor is limited to the traditional jack-o-lantern? Here are three fresh twists that are anything but ordinary.

PineappleJack

Trick or treat in island-style with a fun Pineapple Jack-O-Lantern from A Subtle Revelry. This unexpected friend even comes with its own statement-making hairdo!

CarJackOLantern

Beep beep! Get that fright night moving with these whimsical Car and Camper Pumpkins from Better Homes & Gardens.

JackwNose

For a festive version that takes little time, try this silly Carrot Nose Jack-o-Lantern from Martha Stewart. Even though it’s quick and easy, it brings dramatic impact and playful style to your doorstep.

Looking for more great Halloween ideas? Visit Design Studio and check out our Halloween Party.