Tag Archives: pumpkins

Camping and Crafts and Fall


I put Fall in the title but truth is that “Fall” hasn’t actually started yet.  I know it’s coming though, so I’ll be patient.  I was watching the weather the other day (I can be a complete weather nerd sometimes – I have a weather app FOLDER on my phone that I keep all my weather apps in..cause you can’t have too many, right?) and turns out we are actually predicted to have a WARMER than average winter… boo.  We were originally thinking colder than average with maybe lots of snow.  The top third of the nation is supposed to have a colder than average winter, the middle third a “wetter” than average winter, and the lower third a warmer one.  Oh well.  We still might get snow, it will probably just be in March.

A couple of weeks ago we went camping.  We had a great time.  Gage and LaLa drove up and Cady invited her boyfriend “Little Matt” to go as well.  We rented a cabin and also brought a big tent.  Milo has been wanting to camp in a tent and even though this girl DOES NOT tent camp, I did it for one night.

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It was actually kinda fun…temporarily.  The next night I was in the cabin on my queen sized blow-up mattress with my fluffy pillow and soft blankets.  That’s how I camp…

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The weather was perfect.  Warm afternoons and cold nights that were good for burrowing into sleeping bags and sitting around the fire.


Milo in our tent with his toy camping equipment – pretend fire, lantern and smores.  

The next day we drove into the small town located about 20 minutes away to visit Efurd Orchard.  They have all sorts of homemade ice cream (made from their produce).  I think we had sweet potato ice cream, apple ice cream, pumpkin ice cream, blackberry ice cream  – we tried a ton of flavors.  We also found some fun gourds and jelly.


biggest pickle ever? ha!

They make all of their own jams and jellies and dips and condiments.  We bought one called “Traffic Jam” and it is divine.  Just had some last night.

Gage and Alyssa had to leave a day early to get back for work and school but the rest of us stayed and hiked and fished and roasted marshmallows.  Fun fact – Cady is actually the ONLY person in our family that eats smores.  I will eat all the components separately, but I don’t like burnt marshmallows.  Anyway, she ate them for breakfast lunch and dinner.


After coming home from a long weekend camping I was happy to have the day off.  Milo and I took advantage of it by spending the day together and painting and decorating our pumpkins.


I entered them in my office pumpkin decorating contest and won second place.  So double WIN – hello amazon gift card.  I’m telling you, my company is the best.

We are coming up on Halloween quick and I *think* we are ready.  Milo has decided on his costume and we’ve got a few festivals/events lined up to attend.  That’s about it though.  I’m mostly looking forward to getting the presidential election over so I can REALLY look forward to the holidays and everything on social media will stop being so hateful!  Know what I mean?  Gage and Alyssa won’t be here for Thanksgiving this year so I made the executive decision to make reservations at a nice restaurant nearby.  I’m so thrilled about it!  I always spend way too much time and money on a meal that sometimes turns out to not be that great.  lol  We’ll still bake some fun desserts for snacking but I’m glad to have a plan in place for a RELAXING nice meal cooked and cleaned up by someone else!  That evening we’ll watch movies and then that weekend we have our first Christmas Play downtown.  Also… the Netflix Gilmore Girls premiers Thanksgiving weekend so I’m WAY looking forward to it!

Until next time, thanks for keeping up with us crazies!



Pumpkin Carving… (Me and Martha Series)

To see all of my Me and Martha posts, click here.

pg. 137 of Martha Stewart's Special Ocassions

pg. 137 of Martha Stewart’s Special Occasions

This year we decided to carve our pumpkins instead of painting them.  We’ve painted them for the last several years but I thought some old school scooping and chiseling would be fun.  Gage is still out of town so it was just Matt, Cady, Milo and me. Martha gives some great carving tips on page 136 of her entertaining book Special Occasions.  click to enlarge.


We used one of those cheap carving kits from Walmart (about $3) that comes with a book of ideas/templates.  We had to break out a big knife for the tops, but those little tools were pretty easy to use.  And that book?


Milo studied every single page of that book for a week.  He finally decided on a ghost design.  We set up outside for the messy part.


Cady was undecided on what she wanted to do (as you can see above), but in the end she decided to print a template off the internet (Baylor Bear!). I cut the tops and then the kids (and Matt) scooped out the guts.


Neither of them actually liked that part…


Especially Milo.  He actually got really grossed out by it and refused to do anymore after about 2 handfuls.


We moved inside and I started with the ghost template.  It didn’t work well taping it on so I ended up free handing the design on the pumpkin and going from there.  I also put an M on the back of Milo’s so he could have an area to cut and poke – that way he would feel like he was carving too and the ghost design on the front wouldn’t get messed up.


Cady’s was way more complicated and took more time.

Milo was dancing in the background...in his underwear...lol

Milo was dancing in the background…in his underwear…lol

They both turned out super cute!



Milo’s (team effort):


I will say this though…I think next year we will go back to painting!  Yuck.  And also, the pumpkins are already starting to get mushy.  And we have followed the tips online about using Vaseline and spray with a little bleach.  If you want to carve pumpkins, I guess the best tip is to wait until the day before Halloween.  And just because I think some of these are super cute… Here is a pic of the painted pumpkins featured in Martha Stewart’s Halloween edition of her magazine this month.  I think some of them are great!


And a pic of our painted ones from last year.

Final products!

Yes… we are definitely going back to painted next year.  These are so cute!

Carving or painting, either way, I love Halloween pumpkins!