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Pumpkin Carvings & Creations

What do you look forward to during the Halloween season?  Is it dressing up in costume? Is it the treats and candy?  Is it the spooky tales and haunted houses, or is it just another excuse to plan a party?  Well for me, it’s the pumpkin carvings and creations!  I love seeing the random carved pumpkins and pumpkin creations around the city, the rows of pumpkins lining the city squares, and checking out the glowing jack-o-lantern trails in the area.

This is the time of year when the parties and gatherings begin!  One of my favorite themed parties I’ve hosted is a pumpkin carving contest.  It’s fun for kids and adults, and most people are buying and carving pumpkins, so why not make it a party!  Check off one of your to-do’s while drinking, eating and laughing with friends.  And no need for a babysitter, invite the kids too.  It’s a simple party to get ready for.  Everyone brings their own pumpkin (BYOP), while you supply the stencils (free online) and individual pumpkin carving kits (they’re inexpensive) and a plastic trash bag for each person to carve their pumpkin on.  It’s fun watching each other create pumpkin designs and great for conversation.  I’ve planned one in the past and everyone had a blast!

Whatever your plans might be this year, either needing inspiration to design your own jack-o-lantern or ideas to help you win your pumpkin design contest, then check out below my favorite pumpkin ideas to get you in the spirit

So many ways to have fun with pumpkins!  There’s a lot more cool ideas out there, but these are my favorite pics!

Click here for free pumpkin carving stencils.

Click here to see the largest carved pumpkin.

Do you plan to carve or create something fun with your pumpkins this year?  Please share!  I would love to see and hear your ideas.

Oyster Fest

Who’s in for oyster shucking?!  Well you won’t catch me doing that, but last weekend we headed to Oyster Bay, Long Island for the largest waterfront festival on the East Coast.  There was much to see and much to do, especially with oysters, from shucking contests, to oyster eating contests, to a few oyster crafts, and to anyway your palate will take them, raw, fried, sautéed, mixed, over-easy and I’m sure, if you looked hard enough, on the rocks!  There were several large boats in the bay to tour, the USCG Cutter Chinook, the Barquentine Peacemaker, and the 130-foot 1931 John J Harvey fireboat.  And lets not forget the craft tents and artwork.  We came home with a few holiday finds for ourself and the relatives, all while listening to the bands play throughout the day in the background.  There were pirate reenactments, rides for children, and those with stomachs of iron participated in the eating contests, however we chose the leisurely stroll and tasting along the waste widening food court.  Anything unhealthy was at your finger tips!  And we couldn’t pass up a walk along the gorgeous waterfront.  Oyster Bay is not only known for its Oyster Festival, but also for its charm, beauty, stunning bay and harbor, and of course, the summer home of Theodore Roosevelt on Sagamore Hill.  Anytime of year is a great time to visit Oyster Bay.

Here are just a couple photos we took while enjoying our day in, oyster filled, Oyster Bay…

Oysters and crowds galore!  Get there early ;)

Admiring the large boats and fireboat display…

Looking for seafood comfort food?  The food courts had it all!

Couldn’t get enough of the stunning bay and harbor and views of Centre Island…

Maybe next time we won’t be watching our shoe float down the bay and be able to stay a little bit longer.

A fun family day and festival.  We could have spent the whole day there if Maddie hadn’t kicked her shoe off over the railing and into the bay.  When you have a toddler who stroller planks (for those non-parents, when a child refuses to bend and sit) there’s only one thing to do, emergency shoe shop!

Do you have a Fall festival you enjoy going to each year?  I would love to hear about it.

Getting Fall Inspired

 

Welcome Fall!  The weather has shifted here in NY.  The air is becoming more brisk and the leaves upstate are starting to change.  Scarves are starting to come out and the flip flops have been put away.  With the feeling of Fall setting in, I’m starting to feel our apartment needs a little shift as well.  This weekend we are braving our storage unit, and the dig and hunt for the box of Autumn décor beings.  Every year I forget what we have or maybe I use selective memory to justify my purchases to relieve any guilt for buying the new autumn decorations staring me down in every window display in the city.  New York City is a shopper’s danger zone, with so many beautiful designs everywhere you turn.  It’s hard not to want everything you see!

As we get ready to decorate for the season, I thought I would browse on of my favorite websites, Pinterest, to get some new ideas.  Here’s a few favorites I found…

There’s three things I live by when decorating anything…classic, natural, simple decorations.  Why? Classic never goes out of style and always looks nice, natural decor (ex: real leaves rather then artificial) because it always looks homey, and simple because I have a toddler and decorating needs to get done in a snap.  I love this mantel display with the pumpkin and leaves against the colorful wall.  Someday when I have a mantel this is what I would love to do!

Love the simple yet meaningful setting.  A personal touch and will last for years to come.

This table display is beautiful and has sentiment, which is perfect for the season, but also looks like a fire hazard!?

I really enjoy picking out the different gourds, pumpkins and squash for decorations around the apartment.  Every year it makes for a new arrangement, since they all come in different shapes, colors and sizes.  An inexpensive and fun way to decorate.

The more berries the better!  They can last from now through the Christmas season and can be added to anything already in the house to transform an old display to new.

What a great idea to use a chalkboard to write a seasonal saying on it!  I could use this for any holiday and what a perfect holiday teaching tool for Maddie.

There are always the fun seasonal gatherings.  Love this Fall place setting.  Will never go out of style.

Love how they’ve used real food and the color of the beans and corn kernels as a candle base - so fall!  And the yarn can be used for wrapping gifts as well.  Even better, multipurpose decorations.

So many beautiful ideas on Pinterest!  Can’t wait to decorate next week!

What are some Autumn decorating ideas you enjoy using?  Would love to hear about them.

Fun Fourth Favorites

Happy 4th of July everyone!  What a fun time to plan family and friend gatherings, hitting the nearest fireworks show, or heading out of town.  We all get busy; therefore, I love to keep things simple – quick and easy!  One of my favorite magazines is Real Simple.  They always have lots of easy, fun, creative ideas that anyone can do.  It’s my go-to stress free guide!!!  This year we’re going to Mystic, Connecticut for some family fun, but if we were celebrating at home these would be my simple favorite picks for the 4th of July!  (Click on the pictures for more info from Real Simple)

1. Red, White and Blue Cocktails for the adults!  What’s a 4th without drinks!!!

Cocktails

2. A fun drink for the kids and everyone else.  Mix different types of fruit with anything – even water!

Drinks for everyone

3. Don’t forget the snacks!  A simple and festive idea.

Snacks

4. There’s always something delicious on the grill.  Kabobs are easy and fun!  Love this honey glazed chicken idea with grilled corn.  Cook them both at the same time.  Yummy, easy, and quick!

Honey chicken skewers

5. Everyone will be waiting for a light refreshing dessert!

Dessert

6. Dessert or Snack!  Everyone loved these berry marshmallow kabobs when I made them for Maddie’s party!  With the colors, they look very 4th of July.   My shot doesn’t compare to the pictures above but you can get the idea.

7. Lets keep the kids happy, having fun and busy!  Making pom-poms is easy to do, only a few supplies are needed, and they can use them all day.

Kid's project

 

Do you have some fun creative ideas for the 4th of July?  I could always use more great ideas!  Enjoy your 4th everyone!!!

Until next ride,

Amy

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