Something Whimsical: Pumpkins and my favorite Pumpkin Products

The Best Pumpkin Products
Here is my list of my favorite pumpkin products available.

One of my favorite things about fall is the pumpkins. There is just something so whimsical about them. The bright orange color and their different shapes and sizes are just fun and make me smile.  I love going to the pumpkin patch to pick them out, carving them, roasting their seeds and enjoying all kinds of pumpkin foods during fall. Thank goodness you can get canned pumpkin year-round, sometimes in the heat of summer, I just need some pumpkin muffins!!!  I really love all things pumpkin! Here is a list of my favorite pumpkin products.

 

No affiliate links in this post, just what I think are some of the best pumpkin products, in my opinion.

I will start my list with another favorite ingredient of mine chocolate. My love for chocolate is more than my love for pumpkin, see my post on my favorite way to eat chocolate, but this first item on my pumpkin list combines my love for chocolate and pumpkin, so it is a win-win.

My Favorite Pumpkin Products
My list of my favorite pumpkin products.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Hands down this is my favorite pumpkin recipe and of course, it is by Martha Stewart. This recipe is moist, full of pumpkin flavor and has the perfect amount of chocolate chips. I have been making it for years. It is easy to make and I dare you not to like it.

Pumpkin Snacks/Food

If you are looking for a place where you can get a bunch of pumpkin flavored food all in one place, then Trader Joe’s is your go to pumpkin place. Trader Joe’s really knows how to do pumpkin food.  I really love their Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps.  They taste delicious plain, but I think they pair really well with goat cheese and honey. Their Pumpkin Waffles are also a favorite in our house. Trader Joe’s seems to have pumpkin everything, but it’s the pumpkin bread that we really love.

Favorite Pumpkin Bread

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread. You can’t beat the price, $2.99 a box.  It is easy to whip up and we love the spicy taste. I like to make it in a bunt pan, just to mix things up a bit. I have made pumpkin bread from scratch and really enjoy doing so, but the box is just so darn easy. This pumpkin bread has been a favorite for several years, but this year we found something that is a new favorite.

NEW Favorite

Pumpkin Spice Cheerios

Pumpkin Spice Cheerios: I saw these in Target and thought why not? Not everything that is pumpkin spice is a hit, for example, I was not a fan of Pumpkin Spice M&Ms. I only bought one box of the Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, just in case we did not like them. We tried them and they are so good. They are so good and we enjoyed them so much, I went back to Target the next day and bought 3 more boxes. I thought they really tasted like pumpkin spice. The clove spice in them gives the Cheerios a warming slightly spicy taste. Yum! I know there is a lot of food on this list, but I also have a pumpkin thing and a pumpkin place that I hope you will enjoy as much as we do.

Pumpkin Decorations

There is just something so adorable about them, I collect all kinds of pumpkin decorations for fall. I have found cute pumpkins covered with sweater like fabric from Target. I found some painted plaster ones at the Dollar Store, but my most treasured pumpkins are my glass pumpkins that I selected at a Glass Pumpkin Patch. The Tacoma Glass Blowing Studio takes their beautiful glass blown pumpkins to different locations and they set up a “pumpkin patch” of their beautiful glass pumpkins. They have so many colors and sizes. There are still be a few more glass pumpkin patches from the Tacoma Glass Blowing Studio, check out the schedule here. 

Glass Pumpkin Decorations
High/Low decorations: Glass pumpkins from the Tacoma Glass Blowing Studio sweater pumpkins Target and painted pumpkins from Dollar Store.

Our Favorite Pumpkin Place

I almost don’t want to share this pumpkin place since it is already very popular, but I will because it is so much fun and you should check it out. We have started going each year to Bob’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Farm. Bob’s is a huge farm in Snohomish county. There several huge fields where you can find great pumpkins. There are hay rides,  play areas for the kids, an apple cannon, country market, corn maze, and our favorite mini fresh made apple and pumpkin doughnuts, yes I said fresh mini PUMPKIN doughnuts. It can get pretty muddy so bring rain boots and a change of clothes for your littles. We have gone the last few years and I am looking forward to going this year.

Picking pumpkins at Bob’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Farm

So that is my list of my favorite pumpkin things. I hope you check some of them out if you are fall and pumpkin crazy like me. Don’t forget to  sign up for your Free tags in the sidebar!

Cheers, Amy

 

 

 

P.S.

Bucket List Tradition Update

Our little family has really been enjoying our Fall Bucket List Tradition. Big and Little have so much fun pulling cards out of our bucket and my husband enjoys watching me figure out how I am going to cram more activities in to the week. The month of September we pulled so many apple cards; we love apples so it wasn’t too bad. One activity I was looking forward to pulling most  was the Apple Picking card. We picked apples, yeah ,but it was not in Washington. We picked apples when we visited my sister in Montana. I am still on a mission to pick apples in Washington. I am not giving up just yet, we will pick apples in Washington this season! While September was filled with apple activities, I hope the month of October will be full of pumpkin cards.

 

 


Cheers,

Amy

Fantastic Fall Round Up

Fun Fall Round Up
Lots lots of fun ideas and activities for fall.

I am part of a wonderful group on Facebook, the Mom Bloggers Tribe.  A few us in the group are obsessed with fall so we thought we would share some of our favorite fall posts.  All of the posts featured in this Fall Round Up are from the bloggers in the Mom Bloggers Tribe. Each of our blogs are very different, but we support each other, hope for each other to succeed and all love fall. In the spirit of community over competition, here is a round-up of the Mom Bloggers Tribe’s favorite fall posts.

In this post, you will find cute crafts, fun bucket lists over flowing with  ideas for all ages, ideas for Halloween and delicious recipes to help you have a wonderful fall season.

Pin  this, so  you have this list of posts at your finger tips.

Fall Round Up
Round up featuring blog posts from the Mom Bloggers Tribe

Fall Lists to keep you entertained all season long

If you are sad to see summer go, here is a great post about why fall is wonderful.   Here is a post to make you feel alive with fall energy!

Want more ideas for fall activities,  I have a list featuring 30 activities to try over the next 3 months. Looking for activities that won’t break the bank, check out this post on Frugal Fall ideas. Here is one more fall list, with a printable too! While this post features fall activities to do on Long Island, it is a great list of things to look for in your own area.

Fall Ideas for Toddlers

I have a toddler and a preschooler so here are some great ideas just for your tiny fall lovers. Here some great printables to create a fun fall schedule for you and your littles. I love this fall tree activity,  it looks easy and fun to make.  Complete this fun fall checklist just for your littles  for a memorable fall. We adore reading at our house and really enjoy themed book lists. This list has 22 fall themed books to check out.

If you want to make any of these lists into an interactive bucket list, you can get my free printable cards and use one of the list above to add a bunch of fun things to do this fall.  Pull an activity card every few days and enjoy the whole season.

Are you looking for some new fall recipes; look no further.

I can’t wait to try these yummy, fall apple dumplings.

I love anything pumpkin, so I am really excited to try this delicious looking  pumpkin dip.

Thanksgiving turkey is delicious, but waiting for it to cook all day is a bummer, check out how to make turkey breast in a slow cooker.

Need an update for your apple pie recipe, check this recipe out.

I love a  cookie for breakfast, this oatmeal carrot cake cookie sounds delicious, add a pumpkin spice latte or chai and what a way to enjoy a fall morning.

Check out these Apple Cinnamon Protein Pancakes!!

Halloween

Halloween will be here before we know it . Here is a great list of adorable costumes for infants and toddlers. Do you like to have costumes that coordinate with the whole family, check out this post. If you are planning to DIY your costumes, then this post has you covered with some great DIY ideas.

Safety is always important for our kids, this post serves as a good reminder for safety when it comes to trick-or-treating.

I love these next Halloween posts. Make your own awesome spiderweb wreath! Have a Halloween Scavenger Hunt with printable, watch fun and not too scary Halloween shows and ideas for Halloween with a healthy side.

I hope this post has given you lots ideas to make the most of this fall. Maybe some of these ideas will even become a part of your family traditions.

Happy Fall !!!!

Cheers,

Amy

30 Fun Activities To Try This Fall

30 Activities to Enjoy this Fall
Need ideas for your Fall Bucket List, here are 30

This year fall begins on September 22nd , but I prefer to start my fall celebrating on Sept. 1st. If you read my last post, you know now that fall is by far is my favorite season and I am starting a new family tradition this year. Yes, it’s still August, but I am so excited to have a fun filled fall with Big and Little.  Keeping reading for my list of fall themed fun activities!

I have seen Fall Bucket Lists online boasting  50 to 100 activities, which is great, but that stresses me out a little bit.  So I am going to stick to 30 activities. There are 91 days between September 1st and December 1st (the day I get my Christmas decorations out), I think 30 activities seem reasonable and achievable for us.

Some of my activities will be better suited for a specific month, so I will break the list down that way, but you can do them in any order you like. You could also create an interactive bucket list. Get my Fall Family Fun cards and the list of 30 fall activities, write the activities on the cards and place in your bucket to pull out when you need a fun fall activity, voilà, interactive bucket list.

Fall Family Fun Bucket List
Write your activities on your cards, put in your container and get ready for fun starting on 9.1.17

For those us who need some accountability to actually do the items on the list ( I include myself in this group),  I thought it would be fun for us to do it together.

Here is how you take part in my Fall Family Fun Bucket List:

Follow me on my Facebook page or on Instagram,

I will draw a few cards each week on Sunday and post them to IG and Facebook. If it is a recipe or craft, I will share the wonderful links . Post your pictures or share your progress in the comment section of my Facebook page or Instagram.

30 Fall Activities
30 Fun Activities to try this fall

There are so many things that make me smile when I think of fall… crunching leaves as we walk, the smell of baked goods and pumpkins.  I adore baking apple and pumpkin breads, muffins, cakes and cookies. I love watching the leaves change from green to red, orange and gold hues. My favorite fall day is when the sun is shining, but it is cool and crisp; perfect for doing a fun fall activity. Here are the activities we will be completing this coming fall.

30 Ideas for the Fall Family Fun Bucket List

September Fun Activities

  • Go apple picking; I have never done this and living in the beautiful state of Washington, it seems a little sacrilegious.
  • Create a new fall decoration
  • Take a nature walk to collect leaves
  • Try a fall kids’ craft featuring leaves
  • Make a new dessert featuring apples
  • Try a savory recipe featuring apples
  • Make homemade applesauce
  • Drink apple cider
  • Make caramel apples
  • Make an apple pie
  • Paint kindness rocks and leave them around

October Fun Activities

  • Make a new Halloween or Harvest decoration
  • Make Halloween or Harvest cards to mail to friends and family
  • Make pumpkin bread
  • Visit a pumpkin patch and take pictures
  • Try a new dessert featuring pumpkin
  • Make Halloween treat bags for the neighbor kids
  • Make popcorn balls
  • Do a kids’ craft with pumpkins
  • Watch a favorite Halloween movie I love watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown with my kids. Ghostbusters and Hocus Pocus are my personal favorites.
  • Read Halloween themed books
  • Make chocolate chip pumpkin bars, this is one of my favorite desserts. Thank you, Martha!!!
  • Make roasted pumpkin seeds

November Fun Activities

  • Create a Gratitude Jar
  • Make a new Thanksgiving decoration
  • Try a new dessert recipe with cranberries
  • Have a family movie night
  • Have a pajama day
  • Test a new Thanksgiving side recipe
  • Try a savory recipe featuring pumpkin
30 Fall Bucket List Ideas
30 Fall Bucket List Ideas

Need more ideas check out my Fall Board

I think this is going to be really fun and I hope you join me!

Click here if you still need to get my Fall Family Fun cards and list of 30 activities. Check your promotions section of your e-mail, if this is your first e-mail from me.

If you liked the Fall Family Fun posts, sign up , so you don’t miss my Winter activities and bucket list cards!!!!


Cheers, Amy

Our New Fall Tradition: Fall Family Fun Bucket List

Make your own Fall Family Fun Bucket List
New Tradition: Fall Family Fun Bucket List: Make your own!

Creating traditions and making memories is one of the things I looked forward to most when I dreamed about becoming a parent. I had such fond memories of my childhood of the fun things we did every year. When thinking about traditions, I decided I would let my favorite season guide my new tradition. Fall, hands down, is my favorite season!!! (check out my fall themed mugs in my shop 😊)  I have tried to think of ways to share my love of fall with my boys, Big and Little. They are 3.5 and 18.5 months. I went to my go-to inspiration spot on the web, Pinterest. Scrolling through the fall themed pins, one pin jumped out at me and inspired me make my Fall Bucket List.

Fall Family Fun Bucket List

The Fall Bucket List on Pinterest that I found was literally a little bucket filled with different color Popsicle sticks. Each stick had a different activity written on it. I love this idea. It could make an amazing gift for a teacher or friend. It is so cute and looks like fun to make. I just have one problem, ok two, but they are so sweet and I love them to bits.

Since my kids are of the toddler and preschool age, doing this project is not in the cards for me at this moment. I have tried to do painting crafts and get Big involved, but it spirals into a mess and he is only interested in it for maybe 15 minutes and then would rather go outside. So I pinned the literal bucket list to my Fall Activities, Crafts and Recipes board on Pinterest, to save for a later day when the boys are a bit older.

Follow me on Pinterest to keep up with all the fun fall ideas I will be pinning and trying.

Looking at this bucket list and others I have seen on Pinterest, got my creative juices flowing, I could make my own “Bucket List”.  Writing down my favorite fall activities and having the boys select one is a fun way to share all the things I love about fall with Big and Little. I am really looking forward to starting my Fall Family Fun Bucket List tradition. I wanted to make my bucket list easy to create; hopefully most people already have these items at home or at work.

Fall Family Fun Bucket List
Use any container you have on hand and print my cute cards to make your own fall family fun bucket list.

Here is what you will need to make my Fall Family Fun Bucket List

Computer and printer with color ink
Printer paper and/or card stock
My cute Fall Family Fun PDF (sign up here to get your FREE printable) *If you already subscribe to my blog, your PDF is in your e-mail now! * There are 8 cards to a sheet, so print as many as you think you would like. I want 30 tags, so I printed 4 sheets.
-Scissors
-Glue and Tape: only needed if you are gluing printer paper to card stock and decorating your container
-Pen
-Some kind of container (I am using an empty Costco nut jar), but a cup, basket or bowl would work well too. If you want to decorate your container, using washi tape or scrapbook paper could also be cute, but if you don’t have time for that this season, use a cup or bowl or basket.

Fall Family Fun Bucket List Supplies
You probably already have many of the supplies needed to make my Fall Family Fun Bucket List.

How I made my Fall Family Fun cards and “bucket”

1. Sign-up to get my Fall Family Fun cards,  print and cut them out.  I glued mine to some shiny copper brown card stock to give the printer paper more stability.  Then I cut them out with a thin border. Cards are done, easy right? Now, if you print onto white card stock, you could skip the gluing step. Print and cut, you are done with your cards.
2. If you are using a container you want to decorate, then decorate however you please, or select your cup, bowl, or basket that you will be using to hold your cards.
3. Write one fun fall activity you would like to do on each of your cards and then add to your container. If you need activity ideas, stay tuned, that is my next blog post and I will share 30 fun fall ideas with you!!!!

Fall Family Fun Bucket List
Write your activities on your cards, put in your container and get ready for fun starting on September 1st

Now you are ready to start celebrating all the fun things fall has to offer. Starting September 1st, Big and Little each pull out a card and we will then complete the activities sometime that week. I will post the crafts and recipes we plan to make to my Facebook page and post our progress to my Instagram.

If you do not have time to make the cards this season, you can follow along and take part in my Fall Family Fun Bucket list activities.

Participate with me in my Fall Family Fun Bucket List activities

Follow me on my Facebook page  or on Instagram
Post your pictures and share your progress in the comment section of my Facebook page or share on Instagram using #discoveringwhimsyfallfun

Hope you join me in this new fall tradition!!!

Fall Interactive Bucket List
Choose your own fall adventure; make your own interactive bucket list

Cheers,
Amy

7 Ways to Save on Birthday gifts

Too many Kid Parties, Ways to Save
7 ways I am saving money during Birthday Party Season.

Kids’ birthday parties are so fun… who doesn’t love cake, party decorations, and having fun with friends? Since Big has been attending preschool a few times a week, we have been invited to more birthday parties, which Big loves! But going to all these parties is really starting to add up.

Since June, we have been invited to at least 5 parties for friends we have met within the last few years, we also have family and family friend parties coming up too. I know this doesn’t seem like a lot, but I have seen the future of birthday parties to come. One of my best friends, Lisa, has two boys a few years older than Big and a tween daughter, I remember her telling me all about  the kid’s parties she has been attending almost every weekend, since the kids started school.

The biggest thing is to set a budget whatever you are comfortable with. I decided to set a limit of $20.00 all in, for the present, card, and gift wrap (sales tax included in my limit). So with 5 parties coming up that is already $100.00. How do you attend all of these parties, still give nice gifts, and not go broke? Here are some things I am trying to keep birthday gift spending in check.

*This post has affiliate links for products or services that I use and love. That means if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may or will earn a commission.  For more information, please see my policies *

7 Ways to Save on Kids’ Birthday Gifts

7 Ways to Save Money on Kids’ Birthday Gifts

No Gift: Easiest way to save money is not to bring a gift. If someone lists “No Gifts Please” on their invitation, listen and do not bring a gift. We will still make a card at home. Big has fun decorating cards for his friends. I am a rule follower at heart, so if you say no gift, no gift it is.  I do not feel bad about not bringing one, if that is what is listed on the invite and neither should you. Or if it is not in your budget to get a gift and that is fine too, make a card and invite your friend for a later play-date.

Reuse and Recycle

I know I am not the only one that saves gift bags, tissue paper and sometimes even wrapping paper. As long as the bag or wrapping paper are in good condition after the first opening, we keep it.  This can be a difficult task with a preschooler and toddler. I don’t stop them from ripping packages open with glee, but sometimes they surprise me and are gentle and I can still use the tissue and wrapping paper. I like reusing, it keeps these items out of the landfill for a little longer and saves me some money. So it is a win-win. I still have gift bags from my baby shower for Big, he is now 3.5 years old.

DIY Gift Wrap

Decorate your own gift bag
Big and Little had fun sticking the different colored dots on to the bag.

If you are like me you have a ton of scrapbook paper, stamps, punches, and other embellishments laying around. I don’t have a lot of time to scrapbook now-a-days, but the paper and stamps have come in handy to decorate bags I found at the dollar store. Lately, the dollar store in my area has two bags for a $1.00 so that is a pretty good deal. Or you can check out this great deal on plain gift bags. I have also made some gift tags that I will be using on all kid presents from now on.

Gift Tag Freebie
Free Gift Tags!
Sign-up today and I will send you these fun gift tags!

Sign Up if you would like a FREE download of my Happy Birthday Gift tags.

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Stock up on Add-Ons

Target Dollar Spot
Fun and Educational Gift Add-Ons

Stock up on fun little things that can be great gift add-ons. Target’s Dollar Spot is my favorite place to look for these items. You can get a lot of bang for your buck. I also think these items have a good cost to quality.  I also love that lately these items are education or art related.  These items can be used on trips and in restaurants to keep the kiddos busy too.

Sales

If you know you have birthdays coming up and you find some great items on sale, it’s a good idea to stock up, if you can. Since Big has a December birthday and Little’s birthday is in January, I find that it is easier for me to shop for some of their birthday presents during the summer and early fall.  I can usually find some great deals. I have a box in our guest room that I save items for my boys and others we can give throughout the year to friends. If you have favorite stores to buy kid gifts, sign up for their e-mail lists so you can get extra coupons. I need to have my friend Lisa, write a guest post for me on how she finds deals, she is my go-to-gal when I have a question about coupons and deals.

Break Up Multiple Items

3 workbooks and 3 sets of crayons total $18.69/3= $6.23 per gift. I still have $13.77 to spend on another part of the gift and wrapping. I would probably see if I could find a Star Wars Shirt or socks and use a bag I decorated or one I already had.

Buying items that can be split up is one of my favorite ways to save some money. I have found some awesome book sets that was able to turn into 3 different gifts.  For example, I bought a box of 6 books, I think I paid $24.99+ tax for the box set at Costco.  Let’s say I paid $28.00 total split 3 ways that is $9.33 per gift, so I would still have some room in the budget to add something else. Recently, Big went to a party for twins, so the budget for this party was $40.00. I bought a pack of two water blasters for $9.99, two super hero big coloring books for $4.99 each, and I needed gift wrap $3.99, normally I would not buy gift wrap, but I was crunched for time. My total came to $26.35 (tax included) for gifts for two friends; I was under budget by $13.65, not too bad.

Re-gift

This one is kind of a dirty little secret. I think more people do it and do not admit it. So here I am laying it out there, judge if you want, you know you will probably do it someday too.  If we receive a duplicate gift, sometimes I will give it as a new gift. Many might think of this as a faux pas, but I figure if the item is still in the new packaging, the boys haven’t dented it and I make sure I am not giving it back to the person who gave it to us; I think it is ok.  Sometimes, I will return the duplicate gift and get a gift card to use for a later gift purchases.

Maybe you will try one of these tips or you might try them all,  hopefully they will help you save some money during the birthday party seasons.

Free Birthday Gift Tags
Sign-up and I will send you a PDF of Happy Birthday Gift Tags

Don’t forget to sign up here to get my FREE Happy Birthday Tags that you can print at home to save some money!!!!

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Cheers,

Amy