Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ideas for Fall Activities: Pumpkinville

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Have you ever wondered what to do with your kids during fall? I have to say after Summer time fall just seems to be a gloomy time here in New York. The leaves are falling and we are boarding up for 10 months of winter (so it seems). Take your child to a fall festival or pumpkin patch. Many farms have them and they are GREAT! We took Mac to Pumpkin Ville (Ellington, NY) a few weeks ago because the weather hit in the 70s.  I used the new camera :O).
Some of the best things about fall festivals are the great photos you can take.
I use these photos at the end of the year to make the grandparents calendars.
So these will be great for the month of October. 
He saw this YELLOW pumpkin and just laid on it. The littlest things make a trip like this so special.
Fields of pumpkins and so many choices. How can you choose? Where would you start? 
All Fall fests have some kid activities or things young children can do.
This one in particular has cut-out photos. At first Mac used to be scared of these now when he sees them it's a HUGE thing and we race to them.
Take a photo, take a photo!   
We did purchase a small pumpkin for .50 cents. I usually don't buy any here because they tend to be pricey and I like to purchase locally. They had yellow pumpkins how could we say no?
YELLOW pumpkins!! I know this is a activity that you bring your kids to and let them enjoy. I know the last thing you want to do is give a Sunday up. Be surrounded by children, other parents and can overall be a stressful time. I agree! These times are so precious!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
What you need:
canned of pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil ( which seems like a lot but it works)
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Mix together the pumpkin, egg, cinnamon, sugar, vegetable oil, baking powder, baking soda, salt, milk, walnuts and chocolate chips. Then start adding the flour. The original recipe called for 2 cups but I got to 1 1/2 and decided that was plenty! Mix until your cookie dough is about the consistency shown above.
Spoon out your dough onto nonstick pans.
 I also spread my cookie sheet pan for extra reassurance because the dough was a little sticky.
Bake around 360 for 20-30 minutes.
The bottoms should be golden brown and the middles should not be gooey. 
Let cool, serve and Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

8th Annual Pumpkin Party

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Ever wanted to throw a Pumpkin Party? It is SUPER easy and so rewarding. Check out what you will need to throw a party here. "I first started this when I purchased my home (8 years ago). I didn't have children and was single at the time ( with boat loads of extra time on my hands). I saw a need for kids to participate in good wholesome crafty fun and decided to create "holiday" parties. Not to celebrate Halloween but to celebrate a family tradition with my friends and their families. Back then (and still today) parents couldn't afford extras like pumpkins and parties. Since I didn't have kids, I felt it was my gift to them to set up, host and throw a fun kid party each year. Thus a tradition of pumpkin parties began. This year was no different.  
My first hint, tip, suggestion is to lay newspaper down on two separate stations. Why you ask? Because you want kids to be kids! Plus, from an adult perspective it decorates and helps with easy cleanup! Then place plastic plates down with a small pumpkin onto. This allows a child to paint their own pumpkin within their personal space without hassle or little to no mess.
Although I always have baby wipes on hand just in case! Station one: Painting!
Nothing beats a little kiddo coming up to you and saying "thank you". I tell ya it happens every year. children come to my parties and they have a ball! Some may come grumpy but something about a pumpkin sitting in front of you just makes you happy.  
Station two, is usually on the floor (covered in newspaper), and is pumpkin carving. I have both stations going at the same time to help with the mood. This helps kids interact and not become bored because they always have something to do. This also helps us adults stagger and help one another out without any verbal cues. Trust me even if you come to a party thinking you won't participate something just sparks and everyone ends up painting and curving pumpkins!
We even broke out stencils.
Some of the older kids and adults aced these designs! 
I have to say thanks to all who came and participated at our party this year. It really has been a rough one and I thought for sure I was maybe losing my touch. But turns out I was wrong.
This one happened to be the best yet! 
As tradition would have it everyone had a "goodbye" photo with their creations and then they ventured home. One by one hugging and thanking us for such a fun afternoon. Some even expressed gratitude that I hosted this party but really it wasn't hard, it was FUN! Clean was easy too. I simply roll the newspaper up and toss in the trash. No mess, no hassle just a house smelling of pumpkins.
Here's to another year, may the next party be just as fun! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Peaches & Pork Chop Recipe

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Ever wanted to "sweeten" your Pork chops up form the same old routine recipe?
These Peach Pork chops are just the thing!
What you will need:
Pork chops
Can of peaches
2-3tbsp of Honey
Cinnamon 
First I open the peaches and pour the juice they came in to a frying pan. Then I place the peaches in a smaller pan and shake some cinnamon on them. Drizzle me honey an let them sit on medium to low heat so they caramelize. 
I cook the pork chops into the peach juice.
I also sprinkle a little cinnamon and honey on to give a sweet flavoring to them. 
This dish is a great mouth watering alternative to regular pork chops.
I love taking everyday items n my kitchen and spicing them up for my family.
Plus, it's quick easy and tastes so good!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

How to throw a Pumpkin Party

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Yesterday, concluded the 8th annual Pumpkin party in my home. I have to say this year was the BEST turn out to date. I first started this when I purchased my home. I didn't have children and was single at the time ( with boat loads of extra time on my hands). I saw a need for kids to participate in good wholesome crafty fun and decided to create "holiday" parties. Not to celebrate Halloween but to celebrate a family tradition with my friends and their families. Because let's face it over the years your friends become your family. The children/parents would not have had the means to have a pumpkin. Back then (and still today) parents couldn't afford extras like pumpkins and supplies. Since I didn't have kids, I felt it was my gift to them to set up, host and throw a fun kid party each year. Thus a tradition of these such parties have happened each year! I have to say each year it's a hit but this year pretty much tops it! So I though I would share in our fun this week But first I have to explain the setting up because that's half the fun of throwing such a bash!! 
What you will need:
Newspaper or magazines (free!)
paint brushes
curving knives
trash bins
Snacks ( we had UNREAL Candy - Peanut Butter Cups, a HIT!)
The last thing you need for a pumpkin Party is pretty obvious, Pumpkins! And I know you can go and purchase them from a local chain store BUT where is the fun in that? (ok so it's convenient but I like some adventure). I also believe in purchasing from a local farmer to help them and our community. So, we set out to purchase from our "farm" and wouldn't ya know, no pumpkins for sale, Boo! Around we drove to different farm land areas looking for someone who was selling pumpkins and we came across this stand in Panama. Pictured above.
I got out with my camera (which I just love) and looked around a bit. Sure enough I knew this was the one! BUT you can't always throw all your eggs in one basket, I mean you can't just have pumpkins you have to have PUMPKINS! Kids like big, small and most of all unique pumpkins. Plus we needed more then they had out ready available which meant I had to ask if they had more. 
What krazy blogger asks for more pumpkins? All while taking photos of you, this Girl, ha! She luckily was a good sport and let us parade around tossing pumpkins into our car truck all while taking photos. If you want to host an effective party you will need small pumpkins for painting and big ones for curving. I set up these stations to help everyone have something to do by staying busy having fun. Plus, it helps with clean up!
They even took us back to their barn and let us pick form their secret stash of pumpkins. I think this was because we bought all of the pumpkins out front in their stand but maybe she just liked us. We picked some extra unique ones. They loaded them in their "tractor" and hauled them out front.
You just can't beat the homestead touch of a road side stand!
Mac found his pumpkin! We all smiled and laughed!
They even let us meet their cows. Just a few words of happiness gets you that personal touch in my opinion. She probably wasn't expecting this adventure but that's what we all got. We got to talking about the chickens and my garden. I have to say I should have photographed her garden because it was AWESOME! We thanked her and she in return.
She thanked us for taking pumpkins off her hands!! Win, Win!
Yes, if you are going to throw a party I suggest going out and buying pumpkins! Planning a party is fun if you make it fun! See how our Pumpkin party turned out, I will be posting pictures all week long. Have a great Pumpkin Day!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to Create a Solar System

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I picked up this kit at our local Humane Society store for .69 cents!!
You can pick up these balls at any store for pretty cheap, if you want to do this.
What you will need:
10 balls for the planets
Paints
brushes
Newspaper
plates for the planets 
 Each planet is different shapes, size and color. So we tried to make this fun and educational.
So we started at the smallest planet Pluto and worked our way to Saturn.
Pluto was pink
Mercury light orange
Mars red
Venus green
Earth navy blue
Neptune dark blue
Sun Yellow
Jupiter orange
Uranus light blue
Saturn yellow, orange ring, black bottom ring 
Try to keep them interested by asking the names of the planets.
Painting is fun but it is hard to paint little tiny balls without some mess.
Then allow to dry. Now this kit came with dollies to create the Solar System.
I think we might actually hang the planets from Mclachlan's bedroom ceiling.
I will keep you posted! Hope you enjoyed our Solar System making craft!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dawn's Meatloaf Recipe

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Dawn's Meatloaf Recipe
What you need:
Hamburger or sausage
1 tbs. Honey BBG
1 tbs.  A1 sauce
2 eggs
2 slices of cubed bread slices
Shredded cheese
2 cloves of fresh garlic
1tsp. mustard 
Mix your Hamburger, cheese, sauces and eggs into a bowl.
Then cut and cube your bread slices.
You can also use bread crumbs but we didn't have any on hand. 
After adding the bread crumbs it will start to take the "loaf" shape. Spray an oven pan and place your loaf into it. Bake in the oven at 390-400 for about an hour. Cook until it is brown and not pink in the middle.
This is a savory, sweet and truly delicious.
We ate the entire loaf the first time every making this!! YUM.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Around town, Western NY

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This weeks travels in "around my town" we went off the beaten path to some local artesian galleries. I know when one thinks of a gallery it is usually indoors. Although the local Library does in fact host these too. I thought I would share some of the outside ones since they represent a great conversational piece that has in many ways reshaped the old buildings within the City limits.
Each building in and of itself houses a story from Jamestown N.Y. history.
These are an amazing back drop for some amazing art. I have always been drawn to the local industrial buildings. Many look at them with no appreciation and want them to be demolished. I look at them as a photograph just waiting to be taken.
So whoever came up with the idea to "brighten up" the buildings by having them show off art is pure brilliance. Now people can stop looking at character flaws (old buildings) and appreciate artwork. Plus, it's FREE!
Do you have any similar "art galleries" in your area?
How would you like your artwork displayed outside?
Do you think it adds character to these buildings?? 
Did I mention Jamestown N.Y. is mentioned numerous times by a famous actress who grew up near here? Lucille Désirée Ball?? Yes, I have kind of left this out because I wanted to dedicate some posts in her honor as I brought you all "around my town". Anyone else watch  I Love Lucy: The Complete First Season?? Anyone know who she is??