Showing posts with label pumpkin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pumpkin. Show all posts

10 Fun Facts About Jack-O'-Lanterns

Have you checked out our first Fun Facts post yet? There will be a total of three fun facts related to Halloween and then I will do more for Thanksgiving. I hope you will check them all out. I know I am having fun doing them and learning about so many different things. Today we are talking about jack-o'-lanterns. Have you carved yours yet?

Christian products

Disclosure: I was sent these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Wow, I cannot believe it is already Thursday!! This week is flying by. We have spent it getting ready for school and having Hazel's first (and now second) day of school. Guess what? She LOVES her new school!! I am so relieved and happy for her. All week I have been thinking about writing this post but my attention has been drawn in too many directions to write these great products the proper review, so I am going to do it now. I will start with these great Halloween Tract from Let the Children Come

Autumn Pumpkin Crafts & More -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: Oriental Trading sent me these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Can you believe August is almost over and schools are starting up? Where did the summer go? To kick into the fall season, we are sharing some pumpkin themed crafts and products. And just in case you want to really skip ahead be sure to check out our Christmas card post yesterday! I know crafters will understand the need to start those crafts early!! We decided to focus our posts around pumpkins since they work for fall as well as Halloween and Thanksgiving. We have had a lot of fun with pumpkin crafts and with pumpkins. Last year I shared a tutorial to make a fabric pumpkin. I used this pumpkin in several of my pictures. We will start with our DIY Door Pumpkin

Pumpkins and Potters Wheel -- Crafty Weekends Crafts & Link Party

This has been a bit of a crazy week and weekend. Last weekend we met my sister at Old Sturbridge Village and discovered our admission fee got us a second trip within ten days, so we went back today. Hazel was very excited when we discovered that one of the hands-on crafts that you could pay to do was making a bowl on a potters wheel. She always wanted to use a potters wheel, so we splurged and let her make a bowl today. I had wanted to have her use a potters wheel back when we looked at Juan Quezada, but didn't find a good option. You can see some of the photos above of her dish and her making it.

Fabric Pumpkin Tutorial -- Crafty Weekends Tutorial & Link Party

Hazel and I have been enjoying a long weekend at my parents' house on Cape Cod. Steve joined us for a night as well, but has already returned home. After a very busy week it was good to get away and be able to relax and visit with my parents. We have some stores that we always visit when we are here. (Hazel considers my parents' house her second home.) I noticed some beautiful but expensive velveteen orange pumpkins at one of the stores. I looked at it with Hazel and thought that would be easy to make. When we woke up this morning the rain was falling. The remains of Hurricane Matthew hit Massachusetts today. It has been raining all day, so my mother, Hazel and I decided to spend the rainy day sewing. I thought it would be a great time to try to make the fabric pumpkins. We headed off to Joann Fabrics to discover they did not have orange velveteen or orange velvet. Instead I bought some orange fleece which is on sale for the holiday weekend for $2.99 a yard. My pumpkins won't be as fancy as the velveteen ones, but they are cute or at least will be once I finish all of them. My mother does not have the stuffing to stuff them completely.

Non-Scary Halloween Part 2 -- Non-Scary Costumes

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

Yesterday I shared some great products from Oriental Trading for a Peanuts themed Halloween party, non-food treats and a few dress-up accessories. Today I get to share Hazel's costume and some other great costume ideas and fun. Now Hazel spent quite a bit of time going through the available costumes at Oriental Trading. Being the sensitive child she is she does not want anything remotely scary. She got it down between two options the Mystical Genie Girls Halloween Costume and the Southern Belle Girls Halloween Costume. She finally decided on the Mystical Genie Costume. We had just seen Aladdin live at the theatre and the version had a female genie who was dressed pretty similarly. (She did ask for the Southern Belle Costume for Christmas from my mother-in-law and I ordered it for her.)

Sharing Saturday 15-44

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! It was another great week of sharing!  Remember the features are just a sampling of the things shared so if you did not get a chance to check them all out, go back and be inspired! This week's features' themes are Pumpkins, Thanksgiving & Diwali, and Educational & Fun. Also a side note  I host another link party on Saturday night for crafts for any age person called Crafty Weekends. If you are sharing a craft (especially a non-child craft) this is the best place to do it with some fun features from the previous week!! Our third party will be tomorrow night. Stop by to share your crafts, patterns, reviews of craft books, etc.

Sharing Saturday 15-42

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! Once again I was blown away by the great ideas shared!!  Remember the features are just a sampling of the things shared so if you did not get a chance to check them all out, go back and be inspired! This week's features' themes are Pumpkins, Day of the Dead and Costumes and Scavenger Hunts and Fairy Races. Also a side note that last week I started another link party on Saturday night for crafts for any age person called Crafty Weekends. Our second party will be tomorrow night. Stop by to share your crafts, patterns, reviews of craft books, etc. And don't forget to share all things pumpkins (crafts, recipes, lessons, etc.) at my Pumpkin Link Party!

Sharing Saturday 15-40

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! The ideas shared last week were amazing!! I had trouble limiting the number of features.  Remember the features are just a sampling of the things shared so if you did not get a chance to check them all out, go back and be inspired! This week's features are Glowing Features, Pumpkins & Hispanic Heritage, Fall, and a few of my favorites.

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere -- Book Review & Link Party

Disclosure: Parragon Books sent me a copy of this book free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

We get to share with you Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere by Smiriti Prasadam-Halls and illustrated by Lorena Alvarez. This is a simple book with fun and non-scary pictures about kids going to a pumpkin parade in their costumes. Hazel LOVES this book. I think she is a bit old for it, but she really loves it. The words are simple and she can read it to herself easily. The pictures are fun and colorful and friendly.

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Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week and to everyone who shared the love by visiting posts that others shared. As a result we have a most clicked! From In the Playroom, Sensory Play with Chocolate Cloud Dough.

Last week we had many Halloween themed posts (I will be featuring some skeleton posts on Sunday). There were also Frozen themed posts, spiders, math and lessons and so much more. If you have not had the chance to check them all out, you should! Today I am featuring some pumpkin themed posts and a few favorites of mine.

Friday Fruit Explorations: Pumpkins

Today we are sharing our pumpkin exploration! Now Hazel loves pumpkins. She loves pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, and so much more! She insisted on growing pumpkins in our garden. We planted sugar pumpkins only this year. Last year the white pumpkins took over the garden and since we had used seeds from a white pumpkin the previous year they were orange on our vines. (Many of the new fruits and vegetables only grow that way for the first year.) We picked our first pumpkin and wanted to make pumpkin bread with it.

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Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week and a special thank you to everyone who took the time to visit what others shared! We did not have a most clicked, so I picked three categories of features. With schools starting up across the country, Back to School seemed appropriate (though I'm still in denial and can stay this way for another week and a half even if her new school uniforms arrived today), Lessons, and finally Pumpkin Bread (I guess fall is really coming soon with several pumpkin bread recipes shared).

Back to School

1) From Juggling Act Mama: Back To School Teacher Gift

2) From Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes: Back To School Book and Poem

3) From Krafts and Kiddos: First Day of School Printables

4) From There's Just One Mommy: Back To School "I Spy" Craft

5) From Stella123: Kid Activity: DIY Back To School Pencil Sharpeners

6) From Sunshine and Hurricanes: Why I'm Not Excited School Is Starting


1) From Munchkin and Bean: Colonial Small World {Safari Ltd. Review}

2) From Wugs and Dooey: Exploring Patterns, Colour and Symmetry with Tiles

3) From Five Painted Lane: Make a Treasure Map

4) From My Catch A Star Classroom: Introducing Children to Herbs

Pumpkin Breads

1) From Yesterfood: Pumpkin Bread (with nuts)

2) From Life with Garnish: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 


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From Your Hostess:
This week I am sharing our posts for the week as well as three pictures from our week that I will not be posting about. Those pictures were seeing Rapunzel and Olaf at our local McDonald's and seeing a life size model of a humpback whale which we even got to go inside! For posts we shared making doll panties from newborn onesies (this goes with a post from last week about using the onesies for t-shirts for the dolls), the start of our exploration of Japan with some beautiful books from Tuttle Publishing, a review of Hello, Bali a great kids yoga book, our change from shed to clubhouse with some old party decorations and a few other things and DIY canopy for a bed to make a princess bed.

Now for This Week's Party 

A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the Sharing Saturday button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.

4) I would love it if you would follow me on FacebookGoogle+, and Pinterest 

5) If you do not have a blog, but want to share an idea you can leave it in the comments or e-mail it to me with a picture (if possible).

 Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest.

Pumpkin Time! Decorated Pumpkins, Pumpkin Books, & More

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

With Halloween only 15 days away, I thought I would share some of the ways we have been decorating pumpkins and more!! I guess I better get serious about sewing Hazel's costume. This year we planted some pumpkins in our garden. We saved seeds from last year's pumpkins and bought a pumpkin plant. We saved seeds from white pumpkins and sugar pumpkins. Apparently white pumpkins take over and don't grow white the next year. We ended up with two (and there is one more small one out there) skinny and kind of tall orange pumpkins. These took over the pumpkin area and also hindered the zucchini (we got our first zucchini of the year last week now that the pumpkin vine is dying off). 

When we were at Hazel's best friend's house for a playdate a few weeks ago, they had already decorated and had some great pumpkin ideas, so we borrowed a few of theirs with a few changes. They had found a kit to make two black lace pumpkins at Target. It came with pom pom spiders. We did not find the kit at our small Target, but found some black lace tights and stretchy spiders.
We used our homegrown pumpkins since they were so skinny. Total cost was $6. 
They also had a pumpkin they painted with blackboard paint and then her friend wanted to spray it with gold spray paint. The result was beautiful. We used gourds for the rest of our decorations since I have been told to watch my spending. Since we did not have blackboard paint, we used Hazel's black tempura paint. I had some gold glitter paint and did another coat with it. The one problem with the tempura was the other paint made it watery again, so there are some orange spots showing. We also did one black and then Hazel used her glitter nail polishes to decorate it. She used blue, pink, gold, silver and multicolored glitter nail polish on it.
I had painted two gourds with the gold glitter paint--an orange gourd and a white gourd. Then Hazel added some of her glitter nail polish to the top of the orange one.

Hazel was having so much fun painting with her nail polish that I bought her another white gourd to paint. (She also painted some acorns with it.) I thought she would use the glitter ones, but she decided to use the solid colors first.
Finally when I was at Target again, I saw a kit using a fake gourd and making it a spider. I knew we had some fake gourds that we used for turkeys last Thanksgiving and we painted one of those black. Then we used pipe cleaners to give it legs and glued on eyes. 

We also made some pumpkin bread last week. We first cut open two sugar pumpkins and enjoyed cleaning them out. Hazel had the best time playing with the goo and seeds. I believe she said, "Sometimes it is fun to get messy."
Then she liked the feel of the seeds and trying to get them offer her fingers.
After they were clean we baked them in the oven for an hour and a half at 350. Then I pureed the insides and put it in the refrigerator. We made pumpkin bread later in the week. We used the recipe here, but changed it to be gluten free. One loaf we ate and the other we brought to her school for Grandparents' Day.

Finally some of the pumpkin books we have been enjoying lately. Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman is among one of Hazel's all time favorites! Three of them go into how pumpkins grow. We also shared the Pumpkin Fairy story a few years ago. Are you getting ready for Halloween?

Morning of Baking and Snacking

Wednesdays are our day of rest and play. It is the day this year between her two school days, so I try not to plan too much. This week, we finally baked the pumpkin apple cranberry bread recipe we wanted to try. We used this recipe from Joy the Baker. Since it makes two loaves, we brought one to school. Since there is a no nut rule, we did not add the pecans to one of the loaves, but besides that pretty much followed the recipe. Oh, and I was told that I was the assistant that day and she was the chef. We change roles often.
My chef measuring brown sugar.
Then we baked it and waited. Hazel did not like the waiting because I promised her we could have some hot chocolate with the rest of the homemade whip cream with a slice for a snack.  She did however enjoy the snack.

Then to share one more surprise, I made Hazel another new pair of pants. She has been asking for a new ducky outfit since she has outgrown the one I made her. I had bought this flannel when I bought the other ducky fabric, but Hazel has been playing with it. I used it finally to make her pants and want to make a matching top. I took the pattern I used the other day and changed the pockets to ones for a jacket on a pattern I had. I also added some elastics in the ankles to help keep her legs warmer.

Dressed for School


Well as my readers know by now, Hazel is going through the princess stage. She loves the princesses and has loved them even before she knew the stories about them. Although we try to not expose her to media, when she has been sick this past few months we have caved and let her watch Cinderella and Pocahontas (on video--yes we still own a VCR which is good since I inherited a dear friend's Disney video collection).

Well I got to thinking that I would like Hazel to know the real story of Pocahontas rather than Disney's version. Plus it gave me something to research. Have I told you how much I love Native American stories and culture. (I took enough courses on them in college to minor in it.) I have always been fascinated by their cultures and harmony with their environments.

The first thing I discovered was that the facts are a bit unclear about Pocahontas. I find different versions of the story almost every place I read it. Apparently are stories mostly come from what the English settlers recorded and not from Native Americans, so you also have to take that into consideration as you read the stories. My goal however was to get some more truth and background for Hazel about one of her princesses (and yes she has named a baby doll Pocahontas, so she likes her).

I found some books at the library--well through the library network on Pocahontas that were age appropriate for Hazel. Hazel has been enjoying the stories though she often is asking me who people are in the pictures.

The first is Pocahontas: Powhatan Princess by Diane Shaughnessy. This is an easy read book that gives the details about where Pocahontas lived and the brief details of her life.

The second is Pocahontas by Nancy Polette. This is another easy reader with illustrations and large print. It reads more of a story than just facts. It gives the basics of her famous life.

The third is Pocahontas by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire.This is the longest (and definitely oldest of the ones I took out). It goes into many details the others do not. It has illustrations throughout it and goes through in much detail her life.

The fourth is Pocahontas by Jan Gleiter and Kathleen Thompson. This book starts with Lady Rebecca Rolfe (Pocahontas) remembering her life in Virginia with her father and tribe. It goes through her life  basically from meeting John Smith onward. It is more of a book for older readers or to be read by an adult. 

Things I learned are that Pocahontas was not her birth name, but a nickname given to her because of her personality--it means playful one. Even with all the help Pocahontas gave the English settlers they still kidnapped her to try to ransom her for things with her father, but their plan backfired when Powhatan (another interesting thing--the chief takes the name of the tribe when he becomes chief) refused to give them everything they wanted in trade. Instead one of the settlers, John Rolfe fell in love with Pocahontas and married her. 

We have not done any Native American crafts as of yet, however Daria has some great music crafts over on her Monthly Song. Oh, and she has some great giveaways there as well!!

We did however make a Native American stew last week. We got the recipe from a book I picked up at Foxwoods Casino last summer, More Than Moccasins by Laurie Carlson. When we had the second storm and Steve had to work through dinner we decided to try a recipe for Corn and Pumpkin Stew. This stew was eaten by the Havasupai people who lived at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The recipe is very easy: a small pumpkin, 3 ears of corn or 2 cans of whole kernel corn drained, 2 cups water and a teaspoon salt. We however added some more spice and more water. We decided to add some nutmeg and cinnamon (of course since Hazel thinks we add cinnamon to everything). It was all right, however not something I would want all the time or as a complete meal. Hazel got very into stirring the stew and loved cooking it.

Today I thank God for all of all veterans and service men and women and their families who sacrifice so much for our protection and freedom!

Thanksgiving Books & More Turkeys

Today I thank God for my creativity!

I am also looking for help in selecting the winner of the Best Halloween Costume Contest. Just visit and click like on your favorites!

Well this year for Halloween we gave away lollipops. Usually we go through 8-10 bags of candy, so I decided to go the inexpensive route this year. And of course we got about a quarter of the number we usually do, so we have lots of lollipops leftover. Luckily they are one of Hazel's favorite candies, however we are talking three large bags. So expect many lollipop crafts in the next few months. And today I will share our first one.
I bought these foam gourds at the Dollar Tree awhile ago for some craft I saw. Well, we made one up today. We stuck the lollipops in them for the turkey tails (and some in the back to get them to stay up) and then I hot glued the other shapes on and gave them eyes, beak, etc. Very easy.

We also have been enjoying some Thanksgiving books. So far we have read the following this year.
Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation by Diane Stanley is I think one of my favorites ever. The story is told by two children going to visit their grandmother. Their grandmother has a special hat that allows them to travel through time. This trip the girl picked going to visit an ancestor who was a pilgrim. They got to see what life was like in Plymouth Plantation and how the first Thanksgiving went. I loved this book because it gave information I did not know. For example, Squanto is not his real name, but the name the English called him. It is a great book to give a child the real view of life in colonial times.

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey is an adorable story about eight children who go on a field trip to a turkey farm the day before Thanksgiving. They get to play with eight turkeys and all is well until someone asks the farmer about the ax they found. He tells them how he is going to kill the turkeys so they can be roasted for Thanksgiving dinner. The children become upset that their friends are going to be eaten and they sneak them away. That year the eight families have a turkey as a guest and have vegetarian Thanksgiving dinners.

Squanto and the First Thanksgiving by Joyce K. Kessel and Lisa Donze is a great story to learn more about Squanto. I always want to give the multicultural view to Hazel and being so close to Plymouth where their are demonstrations by Native Americans every Thanksgiving, I feel it is important for her to see both sides. To me the most amazing thing is that Squanto was willing to help the English after being enslaved by them twice, but he was. 

We have some more Thanksgiving stories to read and will share as we do. Enjoy!!