Saturday, October 22, 2016

How to Carve a Pumpkin and Roast Pumpkin Seeds

*This post contain affiliate links. 

When I was a child each fall I would help my grandfather carve a pumpkin and help my grandmother roast the seeds. The ritual was one of my favorite October activities. I haven't carved a pumpkin or roasted seeds since I left home for college many years ago. I decided this year was the year to pick the tradition back up in my own home. 

How to Carve a Pumpkin

Wipe down your pumpkin with a damp cloth to get rid of all the dust and dirt. 

Grab a pumpkin carving kit. There are plenty of different options available on Amazon HERE

Using the largest cutting tool cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin big enough for you to put your arm through. Lift your newly created pumpkin lid. If it doesn't lift easily use a spatula for leverage to loosen the pumpkin membrane holding onto the lid. Clean up the underside of your lid so that it is smooth and rid of the stringy pumpkin pieces. 

Scoop out all the pumpkin insides with the spoon like tool but save the seeds! Recipe for those below. I like to have two bowls while I'm cleaning out the pumpkin, one for the seeds and one for the rest of the pumpkin insides.  

To create your design you can either use a stencil or draw freehand. Although my pumpkin carving kit came with a number of stencils I did a freehand of a classic jack-o-lantern with a snaggletooth. 

Using the smaller cutting tool cut out your design. Place your pumpkin lid and your carved pumpkin is complete!

For lighting opt for an LED light to avoid a fire hazard. 

Now that the pumpkin is carved lets go back to those seeds!

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. 

Rinse the pumpkin off your seeds. Do this by filling your bowl with water and swishing the seeds around for a few seconds. The seeds float to the top and the pumpkin membrane falls to the bottom so you can scoop the seeds off the surface of the water. Pat seeds dry. 

Toss seeds in 1 1/2 tablespoons of melted butter and a few sprinkles of salt. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. I like to use coconut oil spray. 

Bake for 33 minutes or until golden brown. Stir the seeds every 10 minutes or so.

What fall tradition or recipe do you look forward to each year?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Vlog: A Perfect Fall Weekend

This weekend was a great one. The weather was awesome and we were able to take a family trip to Linvilla Orchards, then had a date night at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, and attend the Philly Baby & Family Expo.  Check out the weekend's vlog below.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Philadelphia Baby & Family Expo + Giveaway

On October 16th Philly will have it's first Baby &  Family Expo! It's taking place right in Center City at the Marriott Downtown at 12th and Market.

What happens at the Philadelphia Baby & Family Expo?

There will be a number of seminars ranging from Positive Parenting, to nutrition for babies, to transferring from a nursery to a toddler room. View the full seminar schedule HERE. There will also be Stroller Demos with Bugaboo, Baby Gear Advice from BabiesRUs and Book Signings with Paige Wolf, author of Spit That Out!, and April Reigart, author of Dinner Rush.

There will be raffles, swag bags and plenty of product sampling. Who doesn't love free stuff?!

Local baby-wearing expert, Kelly Lunkwitz, founder and owner of Carrying Our Future, will be on hand all day long to provide expert assistance with wraps, slings and carriers.

If you're in the same boat as me and are entrenched in the pre-school search many local pre-schools will have booths where you can learn about their schools, their educational philosophy, and more

There will be fun for the kiddos too. Primp & Play and Music Monkey Jungle are running the kid-friendly Playroom. Your little rock star can drum, dance and play with the Music Monkey Jungle team and create some musical make and take crafts. Do you have a kid who likes a little pampering? Primp & Play has you covered with mini manis and a lip gloss making station (1 for $6; 2 for $10) as well as the chance to make their own bubble baths and bath bombs ($10/each). There will be something for everyone in the Expo Playroom.

And if you need a moment to chill you can visit the Mother’s Lounge for a quiet place to feed and change your baby and get new mama support from experts at Confident Parenting, BabySenseRN and Fulheart Family Support throughout the day. 

The expo runs Sunday, October 16th from 11am - 3:30pm at the Downtown Marriott (12th and Market). BabyCakes and I will be there and we hope to see you too! You can use the code ACG10 to get 10% off tickets AND I'm giving away a Family Pass! Enter to win in the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway closes October 13th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Vlog:Sunday Funday

We celebrated the first weekend of Fall 2016 with a family trip to Franklin Square. We had a nice time. Check out the vlog below. It consists of a lot of BabyCakes running, some real moments with a not-so-happy toddler, and some good times. 


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Snack Time Winning with Gerber Lil' Beanies

Raising a toddler keeps you on your toes! BabyCakes is often running around the house at full speed and finding her way into every nook and cranny that she isn't supposed to be in. I love it though. She is so FUN right now. She loves to play and laugh. Seeing her happy makes me happy. That doesn't mean that toddler-hood isn't still exhausting at times. Next to nap time, the calmest time of day is snack time. Snack time keeps her still and I can relax a bit. Unlike meal time when dishes can be hit or miss, for snack time I always choose things I know she loves, like Gerber Lil' Beanies.

"Look Mom! No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives!"

Gerber Lil' Beanies is a win-win for me and BabyCakes. She loves them, and I get to take a break while she eats them! They're a great option for parents looking for a nutritious snack with no genetically modified ingredients.

This little baked snack is made with the goodness of navy beans and is one of her favorites. If they make her happy they make me happy! 

You can find the Gerber Lil' Beanies at Walmart in the baby aisle. They have a great Ibotta offer available right now. Grab the offer now. It's only available while supplies last. >>>> OFFER <<<< 


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Event Recap: Classy Mommy Social

*This post contains affiliate links. 

This weekend I had the privilege of attending Classy Mommy #ClassyMommySocial. It was held at The Franklin Institute which was really cool. I'll definitely be coming back with the family to check out their exhibits.

The room was FILLED with toys. It was a child's dream. I made some notes on Christmas gifts I'll be looking out for for BabyCakes - anything Moana and the Hello Kitty Pretend Grill, just to name a few. 


Friday, September 16, 2016

Pinterest Recipes I've Actually Tried and How They Turned Out

You can scroll Pinterest for hours, pinning crafts you hope to complete one day, DIYs you want to try, recipes you want to make, make-up tutorials you'd like to master... the list goes on. I'd like to share some recipes I've actually made from Pinterest and how they went for me! All photos link to their pins if you'd like to try them yourself!

Baked Avocado Fries

These were SO good. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside like regular fries, but much better for you. Prior to this most of my experience with avocado was guacamole. It's nice to have another way to get them into my diet.

Orange Mango Ribs


Hubs was very happy with this recipe. The marinade gave the meat a really great flavor, and the sauce recipe  is awesome too. You could use it to make a sauce to dip pretty much anything in and it would taste great. 

Crockpot Honey Bourbon Chicken


I love a good crock-pot recipe, and this one did not disappoint at all. Goes great with rice. If you have a craving for Chinese food, make this instead of getting take out!

Quinoa Burgers


These came out SO GOOD. I didn't put them on bread like burgers I just ate them plain with a little ketchup. The recipe makes a whole lot of burgers, so you may want to halve it, or be prepared to freeze some for later. 

For more recipes follow me on Pinterest! 

Have you tried any good Pinterest recipes lately?
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