Painted Pumpkins


Here in Arizona we are still HOT! I mean, close to 100 degrees, heading out of the house in the evening when it finally cools off to 90 degrees, hot and dreaming of the days to come when we can join the rest of the country in the cool temps.  Stacey and I both love fall and even if we can’t experience it outside, we will do all we can to experience it inside!

Painted pumpkins are all over Pintrest right now, along with chevrons.  I love both of these and wanted to incorporate them into my decor this year.  I also love REAL pumpkins. I love how imperfect they are and the crazy shapes that they come in, like this flat white pumpkin above.  I finally convinced my husband that it was acceptable to decorate for Halloween before October so I have all my stuff up. :) YAY!!!  My little guys are 7 and almost 4 so my decorations are fun for kids.  Don’t get me wrong, it is very cute, let’s call it kid chic.

Chevron Painted Pumpkin

The chevron is pretty simple, tape off the area that you want painted and paint with acrylic paint and a sponge brush.  Don’t forget that your pumpkin isn’t perfect and so neither will your paint job.  When I removed my tape it had bled through A LOT.  No big deal if this happens to you, just go back with the tip of your sponge brush and fill in the edge.

Family Thumbprint Pumpkin

My next pumpkin painting project started out being more finished and design-y.  I was going to layer different color and size polka dots on my small pumpkins.  I was looking for something to be my circle sponge but then lightning struck, why don’t I use the thumbs of my family!!!  I loved it.  Each family member was a different color and size!  They are far from perfect just like my family and I love them! It was a fun and easy craft to do that we can enjoy all season long.  These little guys had fun too, except for a brief period when Vaughn was very unhappy to have a dirty thumb.  This kid is sooo funny.


Try these out or think of something else that works for your family and let us know what you do!  How will you be decorating pumpkins this year?

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup is a favorite soup of mine!  It is really easy to make, smells amazing while it cooks, and has a lot of flavor!  It is a nice time of year to use the crock pot and have it do the work for you!  Heck, I guess any time of the year is great for the crock pot to cook for you.  Fall seems rather appropriate for some warm soup, even though Arizona is still having really warm weather and we have to pretend it is 60 degrees outside.  It is still in the 90s and low 100s here, but sometimes soup is a perfect and simple meal.  My husband thinks it is funny when I want to make soup for dinner. He thinks it should be an appetizer or a side, but does not think of it as a full meal. Well, he thought differently of my chicken tortilla soup.  It is very filling and so good!  We had some leftovers and it was just as yummy the next day!  My parents were here to eat it then and we finished every last bite!  They loved it too!  Top it off with monterey jack cheese and cut up avocado for the perfect combination of flavors!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Chicken Tortilla Soup
This delicious chicken tortilla soup, topped with cheese and avocado, is a flavorful meal, perfect for fall!
Recipe type: entree
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped mild green chilies, drained
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes, with green chilies ,including juice
  • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes, with garlic and olive oil, including juice
  • ½ – 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 corn tortillas, sliced into ¼ inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 avocado diced and tossed with lime juice to prevent browning
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Place chicken in a crock-pot
  2. In a separate bowl, combine chilies, garlic, onion, tomatoes, ½ c chicken broth and cumin
  3. Blend and pour over chicken
  4. Cook on high for 3 hours
  5. When chicken is tender, use 2 forks to shred
  6. Add additional ½ cup of chicken broth
  7. Just before serving, add tortillas and cilantro to crock-pot
  8. Stir
  9. Serve in soup bowls, topping each with shredded cheese, diced avocado and a squeeze of lime.

Recipe inspired by: Disney Family 


Deconstructed Apple Pie a la Mode

I love a nice hot piece of apple pie with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.  The ice cream melting and mixing with the pie crust is amazing and the warmth of the apple pie against the cold of the ice cream, I LOVE IT!!!  I only have apple pie three times a year and it is best when my mom makes it.  Recently I made a recipe going around Pintrest for crock pot apple sauce.  It was fantastic with our pork loin but I kept thinking how much it tasted like apple pie and I wanted some ice cream.  So……I decided to make a super simple “tastes like apple pie” dessert.  I took the pieces of apple pie and put them in a bowl and enjoyed.  It is fun to have this dessert and much easier.  Give it a shot, you’ll love it!

Deconstructed Apple Pie a la Mode
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Apple pie taken apart and put back together for a new twist on an old classic.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4
Apple Topping!
  • 3 lbs. apples peeled, cored and chopped
  • Juice of a lemon
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  • cinnamon stick
Pie Crust!
  • unbaked rolled pie crust
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1½ t. cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T water
Ice Cream!
  • Your favorite vanilla ice cream
Apple Topping!
  1. Place apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon stick in the crock pot
  2. cook on high for 8 hours
  3. mash with a fork or whisk to make a thick chuncky sauce
Pie Crust!
  1. unroll your pie crust on a slightly floured surface
  2. with a cookie cutter cut out pieces of pie crust
  3. place on a greased baking sheet
  4. mix egg and water to make an egg wash
  5. brush pie crust with egg wash
  6. mix sugar and cinnamon
  7. sprinkle cinnamon sugar on pie crust
  8. place in oven and cook according to package instructions
Deconstructed Apple Pie a la Mode!
  1. Scoop ice cream into bowl spoon apple topping on top of ice cream and add a piece of pie crust

Apple Sauce inspired by:

Mommy Makes It Better

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Desserts

Two ingredient pumpkin cake and two ingredient pumpkin brownies are both ridiculously easy to make and insanely delicious!  Oh my goodness, can you believe that each dessert only uses two ingredients (and a few more for the glaze and frosting). These could not be any simpler to make.  I kid you not, the pumpkin cake was gone in a matter of one day, yep, one day, six hours to be exact!  I am not completely shocked that four people ate an entire cake in hours, but it is also something that I am not completely proud of.  The brownies survived more than one day, but not by much.  I am surprised that these two recipes are so easy to make, yet they taste so amazing!  The apple cider glaze and frosting are also very easy to make, and each only use a few ingredients.  These are perfect fall desserts and I am pretty sure you will make them more than once this season!  Enjoy!

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze
These delicious fall desserts are easy to make and only use five ingredients each, including those used for the glaze and frosting!
Recipe type: dessert
Pumpkin Cake
  • One box yellow cake mix
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
Apple Cider Glaze
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider
  • ¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin Brownies
  • 1 “Family Size” box (19.5 oz) brownie mix
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Put the boxed yellow cake mix and pumpkin puree into a large bowl
  3. Use a hand-mixer or stand mixer and mix well (see notes)
  4. Pour batter into a greased 8×8 pan
  5. Bake for 24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (see notes)
  6. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan and flip onto a platter
  7. Make the glaze while you’re waiting:
  8. Combine powdered sugar, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice
  9. Pour over the cake while still warm
  10. Keep some to pour over each slice when served
  11. Serve warm or room temperature
Pumpkin Brownies with Frosting:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line a 9×13 pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray
  3. Combine brownie mix and pumpkin in a mixing bowl, and mix until smooth
  4. Spread batter into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set (see notes)
  5. Let cool completely and frost
  1. Cream butter and pumpkin pie spice until smooth
  2. Mix on low and add in powdered sugar
  3. Mix on medium, until fluffy
  4. Spread on brownies
  5. ENJOY!
The pumpkin cake batter will be very thick, but it bakes together perfectly. The pumpkin cake recipe that I used said to bake the cake for 28 minutes, but I found that 24 was perfect. You do not want to over bake the cake. Start checking around 22-23 minutes and continue testing with a toothpick. The pumpkin brownie recipe I used said to bake for 25-30 minutes, but 23 minutes worked for me. Start checking your brownies with a toothpick at 20 minutes and continue checking until the toothpick comes out clean.

Recipes from: Noble Pig and Cookies and Cups



Halloween Printables & Mod Podge


***Click on the image to see it larger.

Do you want a super cute way to document all of your children’s Halloween costumes on one banner?  I was really excited to find these free printables and photo kit so I could make a banner for each child!  My kids and I love looking back at each year’s pictures to see how incredibly cute and sweet they looked in their different costumes, as well as see how much they have grown and changed each year! As the years go on, you can easily add more ribbon and pictures to your banners. Go to How Does She, follow them by entering your email address, and you will have access to free downloads!  Enjoy!

Are you ready for another free printable?  I love subway art, as they make a fun, easy, and inexpensive decoration.  Head on over to 24/7 Moms and print your Halloween art! You can see another seasonal subway art I used in our Fall Decorations post!

Mod Podge is becoming very popular around here and I use it in a lot of my crafts. I have a long list of ideas that I will be making soon, using the amazing glue and sealer!  To make the “31″, all you need is wooden numbers, scrapbook paper, mod podge, an x-acto knife, and a cutting mat.  Lay the scrapbook paper image down, apply a layer of mod podge to the front of a number, lay it on the back of the scrapbook paper, hold it in place, turn the number over to smooth out any bumps, and let it dry for a few minutes.  Place the number on a cutting mat and use the x-acto knife to cut around the number.  Apply a layer of mod podge to the front of the number, and let it dry completely before applying a second coat.  Do the same for the other number!  This is another simple and quick way to make a decoration.