Cooking Is Caring: Halloween Recipe and Kitchen Decor

Are you ready for Halloween?   I bought bags of candy for the kids and put out a few outdoor Halloween decorations.   In the kitchen,  I finished a few simple and delicious recipes for our Halloween dinner. Since I spend so much time in the kitchen,  I decorated the open shelves above the kitchen desk with spiders and black crows all in Halloween fun.


Halloween kitchen decor

Here are a few creepy decorations ideas for Halloween kitchen decor.


The recipes for our Halloween dinner are simple. Stonewall Kitchen’s spiced rum butterscotch sauce was generously poured on the store bought apple cider cake mix.  (Tip: cut candy butter scotch into small pieces to garnish the top of the cupcake.)  This sauce is delicious!

Spiced Rum Butterscotch Sauce

apple cider cupcakes with spiced rum butter scotch sauseapple cider cupcake with spiced rum butterscotch sauce

Cooking from scratch is great, but when you have a helping hand with good and flavorful ingredients why not save time and money.  Stonewall Kitchen’s New England Corn Chowder mix cooks in one hour 30 minutes start to finish.   Follow the instructions on the back of the package. Just add potatoes, chicken broth and heavy cream.

New England Corn Chowder

corn chowder

Garnish with bacon and oyster crackers.

corn chowder

Black and White Bow Tie Pasta With Spinach and Shrimp

black and white bow tie pasta with spinach and shrimp

Black and white bow tie pasta cooks in 7 minutes.  Pasta: Follow package instructions. Tip:  Drain bow tie pasta, carefully place on a large platter. It helps keep pasta from breaking when serving.   Thinly slice three cloves of garlic, rinse two cups of baby spinach.  Warm a separate frying pan, drizzle olive oil (about two table spoons).  Place garlic in warm pan and cook until translucent but not burned.  Quickly mix spinach and toss.  Remove garlic and spinach and pour over pasta.  With the same pan toss in peeled, washed shrimp (about 12 pieces) drizzle 1 table spoon of olive oil and cook until tender. Add two to three table spoons of chicken stock, if needed (left over from chowder recipe).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Quickly, transfer shrimp and juices onto the platter.  Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese as desired.  Optional: drizzle with truffle oil.

black and white bow tie pasta with spinach and shrimp

Thanks for stopping by.  Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Halloween.

Ivy de Leon

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Pumpkin Chic: DIY Faux Pineapple Finials

Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality.  I often see carved-wood finials of pineapples on fence posts throughout New England.  They are so charming.   We live in a Cape-Cod style house so I wanted to duplicate a similar look for the autumn season.  What better way to welcome guest with faux pineapple finials using pumpkins.  Don’t have a gate; put them in urns by the front door. Faux pineapple finials look great indoors, as well, on the kitchen table or fireplace mantel.

DIY Pumpkin pineapple finials



This D-I-Y project is easy and inexpensive.  Materials:  2 oval-shaped pumpkins/boxwood branches/twine or floral wire/2 battery tea lights/pencil

  1.  Cut a small hole in the bottom of the pumpkin.
  2. Scoop out the seeds and the pulp.
  3. Mark a diamond design on the front and sides of each pumpkin.
  4. Cut pattern into the flesh of the pumpkin, but not all the way through.
  5. In the middle of each diamond, carve a small downward pointing triangle. Cut deep, but not all the way through.
  6. Gather boxwood clippings and tie together with twine or floral wire. Cut a hole on the top of each pumpkin to hold the boxwood bundles.
  7. Put the battery operated tea light into each pumpkin.
  8. Place the gathered boxwood bundles on the top of the pumpkin through the hole. Scrape more flesh, if  needed, to allow the light to show through the pumpkin.

Pumpkin pineapple faux finials

PS: Pardon the gate paint.  I am looking forward to lighting up my D-I-Y faux pineapple finials tonight.   Thanks for stopping by.

Adopted from Country Living Pumpkin Chic.

Ivy de Leon

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Create an Elegant Halloween Dinner Table On a Budget

Ever walk into a shop and forget what you walked in to buy? That happened to me when I saw a punch of white peonies at the florist.   Peonies in October are hard to find.  I bought a bunch.  I had a big smile and rushed home to put them in water.  I immediately wanted to set the table when I came home.  Halloween is just around the corner.  Excited to celebrate our first Halloween at the house, I thought, why not surprise the family and set a pretty and elegant Halloween dinner table.


Creepy and bloody is not my style, but elegant and a little scary is.





What do you think about my elegant Halloween dinner table on a budget?  I’ve listed my sources below.  Really, I think the most expensive thing are the peonies, but they are well worth it to me.  Thanks for stopping by.

Ivy de Leon

Sources:  Dishes, chargers, candle sticks, mask, napkins: HomeGoods  / Napkin rings: Nate Berkus for Target / Glasses: Hayneedle / Spiders: Dollar Store
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Happiness Is Homemade

fall outdoors apple cider

Happy Weekend!   Hot apple cider and fresh warm cider donuts are a weekend favorite around our house.  It is our first fall season in the  house so I’m trying to bring some homemade happiness into our home.  See more here.   We are also getting in the Halloween spirit with this cute festive garland.

Halloween 2016

Coming up this week I’ll be sharing my Halloween tabletop ideas and a homemade recipe for a spook-tacular Halloween dinner.   Today, we are busy at home selecting paint colors for the dining and gathering ideas for Christmas mantel decor.  Hope you are having a great weekend!

Ivy de Leon



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Why Disconnecting From Your Blog Could Be More Productive

Disconnecting from the blog could be productive, at least in my case.  I didn’t leave all my social media channels.  I cut back and used Instagram to stay connected with you.  I love blogging and staying in touch with brands and readers.  Writing my blog has introduced me to a world of design and fabulous friends and I feel blessed.

Why did I do it?  You know how at the beginning of the New Year you set goals?  I found myself  in the third quarter and not checking any of my goals on the list.

  •  Design a table for non-profit
  •  Have a pop-up shop
  •  Develop a product line
  •  Write a book
  • Travel

vintage finds

Of course, I wanted to sit on my computer and blog about what was on my mind, events, etc.  I was sad for a few days, but I stayed focused on other parts of my life, including my family.  As I did a  little less blogging, opportunities started opening. This weekend I had my first vintage market pop-up shop.

My blog was nominated for Best USA Interiors Blog.



Come December, I will be designing a tabletop for the Hope Lodge Bash to benefit the Cancer Society.  (more to come).

Holiday Bash for Hope Lodge NYC Ivy de Leon Hope Lodge Bash NYC

So you see, disconnecting from the blog could be productive.  The best part,  I get to share my journey with you.   Let’s stay connected.  Follow me on Instagram,  Twitter, and FaceBook @idhomedecor.  You could always catch up with me there, when I’m not here.   Check my monthly post on the HomeGoods Blog. We have great decorating and holiday ideas to share with you.

As always, thank you for stopping by.

Ivy de Leon

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Welcome Fall In The Hudson Valley

Happy Fall!   Today is the first day of fall!    Fall is a beautiful season.  Are you excited?   Over the weekend we warmed up the front porch for early fall.  I shared our porch updates on the HomeGoods Blog . welcome fall

You know I love a great table setting .  L.V. Harkness & Co  has the a beautiful selection of dinnerware and accessories, if you are looking for fall tabletop inspiration.

The apple orchards are open here in the Hudson Valley .  If you are in the area come visit and  enjoy apple picking, cider donuts and  wine.


Off the beaten path, we like the apple orchard close to home on Distillery Street, Warwick, NY.  Come early to enjoy a full day in the country.


Hope you are enjoying  this beautiful fall day!  Thanks for stopping by.


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Power Monday: Keep Your Focus on Your Goals

ivy de deleon inspirational quotes

what to wear



Happy Power Monday!   September has been a busy month thus far.  Trying to stay focus and motivated this week.  Sharing a few blog posts on business, an article on fashion, and healthy recipes.   Keep your focus on your goals. Wishing you all a successful week!

  1.  Need a little help with Instagram images? The Smell Of Roses
  2. How to Get Started Design Sponge
  3.  Building Your Brand Voice – Tory Burch Foundation
  4. Fuel Your Body – Bee Fit With Tracy
  5.  From City Glam to Country Chic  – Daily Mail 





Image: Hello Big Idea /
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5 Laundry Room Ideas To Stay Clean And Organized

Now that fall is in the air, I’m hoping to start a fall project. Laundry is a chore I do not enjoy. Perhaps a more functional space would help me enjoy washing laundry.  The small room that is off the kitchen has several functions.  The space integrates a laundry room, mudroom, informal entry, backstairs and garage entry.  As you could imagine, the space is high traffic. There a few things I want to incorporate to update the laundry room area. For example, installing built-ins above the washer and dryer for cleaning necessities.  We also need a new washer and dryer.  The washer and dryer is original to the house. The washer sounds like a freight train during the spin cycle.   I’m looking to give the laundry room the attention it deserves so I could wash laundry with a smile.

Simple and clean, with a little sparkle.  I’m hoping to install doors to close off the laundry area.

Living Spaces

 A bar for hanging clothes and counter top for folding clean laundry.

Courtsfield Ave.

 A large, deep farmhouse sink.

Garden Hills Residence

An ironing station would be helpful.

NKBA Award-Winning Laundry Room

Wookie and Campbell would be pampered and feel happy too with their very own designated feeding area.  The hideaway food dish holders would keep the laundry room area clean and organized.

Hideaway Pet Dish Holder

These are my top five laundry room ideas to improve the space.  Have any ideas you would like to share?  Please leave a comment.

Thanks for stopping by.

Ivy de Leon

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Time for Power Monday Women In Business

Happy Monday!  Starting each day with a positive image or quote helps me get through the week.  I really enjoy the Power Monday post for women in business.  Tory Burch has been an inspiration for me.  I saw here speak at my son’s college graduation at Babson College. Tory has been helping women in business with the Tory Burch Foundation and educational program in partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,0000 small business and Babson College.

time inspirational quote

If you are a women in business or stay-at-home mom, time can get away from us.  Someone will fill up your time if you don’t make yourself a priority.  This is a message my mother routinely shared with me.    The message hit home again more recently when First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey sat down  at The United State of Women Summit, co-sponsored by the Tory Burch Foundation.   They sat down and shared their insight on careers, motherhood, gender equity and how we can advance a better future for women everywhere.

Here is what they had to say…

Thanks for stopping by!

Ivy de Leon

via: Fit Possible/ Tory Burch 


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Drummonds Bathrooms To Inspire Weekend Relaxation

Drummonds recently opened a flagship showroom in New York City called Drummonds at Lapicida which resides within the Lapicida showroom in the D&D building on 3rd Avenue and 59th Street. The showroom has fully designed vignettes of almost all of Drummonds product offerings.  Drummonds offers classic bathroom products.  Drummonds’ baths are made from solid cast iron using the time-honored sandcasting technique first used by the finest Victorian foundries.   Quality bathroom details bring luxury spa feel at home.

bathroom luxe

Two Humber baths and freestanding towel rails

I’m crushing on the Humber bath and free standing towel rail.  A  country estate are what dreams are made of.    What do you think of this country bathroom?  Paneling on the walls, instead of marble tiles, and wallpaper with a country scene bring the outside in.

european retreat

A personal space to relax and enjoy.  Just as beautiful is the Usk roll top bath, the centerpiece to this elegant bathroom. The cast iron of the bath has been polished to give it an eye-catching shine that reflects the light and elegantly pairs with the nickel Skye taps, Double Lowther basin stand, rectangular tilt mirrors and floor-to-wall heated towel rail.

Drummonds makes it possible to bring luxury details into your home. Which of these luxury bathroom detail would you include for a weekend relaxation retreat at home?

Ivy de Leon

Description and images via  Drummonds


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