My oldest turned five years old two weeks ago. Boy, time flies! Due to my crazy work schedule, we waited to celebrate with a big party last weekend. His birthday is exactly one week apart from Halloween, so every year, his birthday theme has, for the most part, gone along with whatever he chose to be for that day.

Well, the timing could not be more perfect and we partnered with some fabulous new friends over at Chasing Fireflies – their decor and products made my 5-year-old’s dream come true!

A little bit about what’s behind CF – they were created to celebrate childhood but also to celebrate parenthood. Do you remember the first time you ever rode a bike? Swam across the pool? Chased fireflies? It’s even more special the second time around when you share your child’s firsts.

Nothing could be more true and you can tell that their team takes great care in selecting quality children’s products that certainly charmed, surprised and delighted my little guy.

Since the end of September, C has been talking non-stop about Spider-Man, so I knew that had to be the theme for his big celebration this year. After working with Chasing Fireflies, I searched through their birthday themes and found a perfect match!

To my pleasant surprise, their Spiderman products were spot on and their variety allowed me to customize exactly the look I was going for. I took a little inspiration from the CF products and Pinterest and added in a few touches of my own including DIY cupcake toppers and some vintage Spidey posters.

And here’s how all the fun unfolded!

_DSC0083

The hubby got involved too and discovered how to make perfect spider webs from black trash bags – this one was on the front door greeting guests.

_DSC0066

A few quick drink wraps and some blue and red straws along with cups from CF and we had a Spider-worthy drink station.

_DSC0064

This had to be one of my favorite pieces – the Brooklyn Bridge – the perfect place for cupcakes to hang out.

_DSC0054

The city of New York came to life on the kitchen table where we served snacks and set up containers of “spider webs” that the kids had a blast with.

_DSC0058

_DSC0107

The birthday boy, patiently waiting for us to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him.

_DSC0127

Diving in – blue frosting had been personally requested. How could you say no?

_DSC0079

Blue puffs made for excellent ‘explosives’ and carried the comic book theme through to the dining area.

_DSC0071

The kiddos each took home their own Spider tin with lots of goodies inside, including a vintage Spider-Man Pez!

_DSC0143

C had such a good time helping me set it all up and he even stocked all the tins for each of his friends. This party is all he talks about – “Mom, I just loved all the Spiderman decorations and the really cool Spiderman stuff. It was awesome!” That certainly made my day pretty amazing!

If you want to learn more about Chasing Fireflies and their incredible line of party products, along with all the other fun things for kids – check them out on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Courtesy Note: Chasing Fireflies is a brand that we believe in and love, and R&R was gifted the items featured in this post. All opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting R&R and the brands that support our blog.

ruthie signature1

Thanksgiving is less than a week away (!!!) and obviously I am dreaming of the Turkey Day dinner… and dessert. While I love the warmth of pumpkin, pecan and cranberry, there’s another holiday flavor that tends to get overlooked — apple. Deliciously sweet and incredibly versatile, I love the addition of warm applesauce on the Thanksgiving table.

This year, we’re spending the holiday with my in-laws and one thing that I always look forward to at their Thanksgiving is homemade potato pancakes. They may not be a typical Thanksgiving side but they are the warmest, yummiest and crunchiest addition that almost calls for cinnamon applesauce on top. We have those who prefer chunky and those who like smooth so this year, I tried my hand at a homemade version that falls right in between.

applesauce

* Note: This recipe yields approximately 2-3 cups of applesauce.

Ingredients:
– 5 medium-sized Gala apples
– 1 large lemon
– 1 cup of water
– 1 cup of brown sugar
– 2 cinnamon sticks
– 1-2 tsp of ground cinnamon

Directions:
Many applesauce recipes tell you to peel the apples before cooking… and I have the exact opposite opinion. I love seeing bits of peel in the applesauce. It provides a rustic appearance and texture, which I love. So, after rinsing your apples, cut them into slices. You can use a corer or knife (whatever your little heart desires). Toss your slices into a pot over medium heat. I often opt for my Le Creuset round french oven for sauces like this but really any pot will work just fine.

Add in the remaining ingredients: the juice of 1 large lemon, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon (approx. 1-2 tsp). Increase to medium-to-high heat, slightly covered (leave it open a bit so steam can escape the pot) and let the mixture hang out and bubble for 25 minutes.

A lot of applesauce recipes include butter and my advice: NO BUTTER! Don’t get me wrong, I love butter (who doesn’t) but there’s really no reason to add it to your applesauce mixture. Sugar, cinnamon, sweet apples… you’re already covered.

Once your apples are ready, remove the cinnamon sticks and pour the mixture into your Cuisinart, pulsing slightly until you get the perfect combo of chunky and smooth. I like it somewhere in between because it really shows off the apple without tasting like super soft baby food. If you like to serve it warm, simply place into a serving dish. But it’s also really good chilled — so feel free to pop it into the fridge for a bit before serving too, if that is your preference. Either way, I promise this cinnamon applesauce recipe will be a yummy side dish on your Thanksgiving table.

Let me know how you like it! TGIF and happy cooking!

rosesignature1

I spent over an hour last night reorganizing my closet for winter from top to bottom — not an easy feat! But now I’m feeling ready for the season with all of my favorite layers, sweaters and scarves at the forefront of my closet. And by the way… I’m a sucker for scarves. If you know me, then you are aware of this slight obsession. When scarf season hits, there’s rarely a day when I’m not wearing one. In fact, I have a bucket in my closet that is filled to the brim with pashminas and scarves alike — many of which I scooped up at a little kiosk in Las Vegas ($10 each!!) but that can be our little secret. ;)

This year though, I’ve been less inclined to wear my pashminas and excited to add some infinity scarves to my collection. They take the hassle out of tying the scarf and wrapping it just right. Instead, you loop once or twice and bam, done. That’s exactly the kind of simple style I live for.

I recently perused the scarf section of my beloved Target and found a TON of chunky, warm knit infinity scarves that are super soft, comfy additions to my wardrobe this winter. So today I’m sharing eight of my top Target picks, all $20 or less — I love me a good deal!

infinity_scarves

top row l-r: faux fur | solid knit | loose knit | TOMS for Target
bottom row l-r: floral print | infinity loop | chevron | knit infinity

The weekend is just around the corner… stay warm out there, friends!

rosesignature1