Halloween Memories

I know some people are not fond of Halloween, but I have such great childhood memories going trick or treating with my siblings in our small Connecticut town.  There was a cemetery across the street from our Dutch Colonial house. We would run by it really fast imagining all sorts of ghoulish things, squealing the whole way clutching our pillow cases full of candy.

Mom would paint faces on pumpkins and adorn them with straw hats.  There was always a cornstalk wrapped around the lantern post.  She would make our costumes and I am sure many of them would be considered politically incorrect today~~like me as a hobo and my sister as Aunt Jemima!

My parents made all holidays extra special~~even with very little, Mom managed to make each one magical.

Naturally, I wanted to do the same for my children.  Each year, we bring out the black crows, owls, skulls and chemistry bottles and decorate the dining room mantle.

In the living room, the deep mantle serves as the perfect place to put our family-made ceramic pumpkins.

The battery operated frosted glass witches are tucked into the centerpiece on the table.

The kitchen pastry rack is filled with holiday candy and pumpkins.

Several years ago, I purchased these fabric pumpkins at a charity event.

Halloween would not be complete with Mr. Bones.

Or the mummies…..

The same holiday pillows come out every year.

The querky pumpkin ladies are scattered throughout the house.

A Halloween ribboned wreath completes the front door.

Do you have a favorite memory or costume?

Wishing you a safe and Happy Halloween and a boo-tiful day!!


It’s Been A Year!

A year ago today, I sent my first blog post of Life at Bella Terra.  It was an intimidating moment, because I thought “who would ever want to read this?”  I don’t consider myself a very good writer and I’m really trying to improve upon that.  But your words of encouragement have brought me back to the computer to post again and again.  If it wasn’t for your kindness and support, it would have been easy to just quit.  Thank you for your loyalty and feedback and comments. Truly. From the bottom of my heart.

Each time I send out an email letting you know I’ve created a new post, I am praying you find it interesting, enlightening or even motivating.  I try to share a small piece of loveliness in hopes that I can brighten your day. As I look out into the world, I believe we each need to find sources of joy and create our own beauty.  Whether it be feeling the warmth from a freshly picked tomato, or the scent of a homegrown flower, these moments of perfection can only help feed the soul.

Blogging for me, is a chance to stop and capture a sliver of time, an exquisite photo or a recipe that bursts with flavor. Plus it is forcing me to attack those cluttered corners of the house or undone projects while showing you my progress. But I can honestly say, I am still a long way from feeling confident about creatively illustrating that to you. But I will keep trying.

So here is a look back at the year and some of my favorite photos and posts.

My very first blog post was about the New York Times Bestselling author, Rhys Bowen and the fundraising English tea we had here at Bella Terra.

And other events we happily hosted here…..

Recipes shared…..

My Renovations and Restorations….

Travel and leisure…..

Decorating and Design…

The holidays….

Cleaning, Organizing, and Updating…

Sharing our home and yard….

My attempt at art….

Flower arranging..

Our pets…

And a few DIYs….

My online store….

There is still so much to learn, especially better photography, writing and getting my watermarks the same size on every photo.  So thank you again for following me and sharing my blog with others.

PLEASE send in your comments~~What area of interest would you like for me to expand? What are your favorite topics? How often should I post (trying to do a maximum of twice per week)? What can I do to be better for you?  My goals for the next year are to do a contest or giveaway and conduct a real survey into your likes and interests.

Here’s to one year and onto the next!! I couldn’t have done it without you.














Do you decorate for Halloween?

I have such fond memories of Halloween as a child in Connecticut.  Halloween night was always chilly with the leaves floating off the trees. We would make our own costumes and go Trick-or-Treating in the neighborhood.  The scariest part was running by the dark graveyard that was across the street. I can remember “surviving” the harrowing experience. 

Mom always painted faces on pumpkins and would outfit them with hats.  The exterior of the house was decorated with cornstalks and pumpkins. I can still smell fall in my memories and going through the pillowcase of candy at the end of the night. So when Halloween comes around, I sense the little girl in me getting excited over this holiday. So, do you decorate for Halloween?

Mr. Bones

In the past, when the children lived here at home, we would always celebrate this spooky holiday. As a result, we have our own Halloween traditions.  Meet Mr. Bones and the two mummies that still startle me when I walk into the front hall.  And of course, the gravestones, dead rats and a motion-activated creepy butler happily comes out of the garage every October.


The messages on the faux headstones, still make me laugh as it reminds me of waiting in line at the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.


With multiple fireplaces and deep mantels at Bella Terra- decorating for the holidays is such fun! 


Using a spider web black throw and orange lights as a base, the dining room mantel becomes a mad scientist’s laboratory. It is such fun to fill them with skulls, potion bottles, black birds and skeletons.


Thank you for letting me share this post with you again. I just love the autumn and all the fun it brings. Not sure if we will be going all out for Halloween this year. Do you think I should decorate with ghouls and goblins?