Yesterday was a very rainy day in Central Virginia - a perfect day for making Black Bean Stuffed Peppers. That, and my husband raved about them to friends over the weekend, so I thought I'd treat him. (And yea... of my 30 new dinners to try for my day zero project, I still have 29 to go. If you have any suggestions please email them to email@example.com.)
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J is for Jazzy Jack-O-Lanterns
The pumpkin. For a couple months each year the pumpkin comes out in all its glory to exclaim that fall is here. Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. Photo props. Pumpkin picking. In my Fall 2008 wedding I even used fresh pumpkins as my centerpieces. They were used as carved out vases.
Maybe my neighborhood aws the most uncreative place on planet earth, but it seems like that when I was a kid there was only one thing to do with pumpkins. Carve them with triangle eyes, a crooked toothy smile, and put a tealight inside.
These days there are so many cool things to do with pumpkins! Tomorrow my family is headed to the pumpkin patch. What jazzy things will you do with your jack-o-lantern this year?
This pumpkin bird feeder from Squidoo is adorable, and I have the perfect little tree in the front yard to accomodate such a treat.
Holly at Nap Time Tip: Anytime you cut a pumpkin for a decoration like a jack-o-lantern, use a thin layer of petroleum jelly to rub on the cut edges to make it last longer! (You can also use a preservative spray, found at most craft stores.)
Eat Your Pumpkin Seeds!
Carving a pumpkin is not only fun, but can be educational as well. The best part is, it's one of those activities in which your kids will be learning, but they'll be having so much fun that they won't know it. Have your child count out the pumpkin seeds in their jack-o-lantern. If you're carving a family of pumpkins, do a fun comparing game! How many seeds to you think the biggest pumpkin will have? The smallest?
Don't throw your seeds away! Did you know that pumpkin seeds are a delicious, healthy treat? Check out this article from Self Magazine about 5 things to do with your pumpkin seeds.
Use Pumpkin "Push-Ins"
For the preschool or toddler in your house, pumpkin push-ins are the way to go! No knives to worry about, less messy than paint, and the parts last year after year! This Mr. Potato Head Pirate themed push-in set runs for $11.69 on Amazon.
Pumpkins that Tell a Story
Your trick-or-treaters will all have a giggle when they see a story being played out on your porch with pumpkins. Check out the full list of ideas at Disney's Family Fun.
Shave off the Layers
Paint a Pumpkin!
There are really so many creative ways to paint a pumpkin. I love this Shrek one that I found on Tag Yerit.
Please share your pumpkin ideas with us, and send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fall Family Challenge by Holly at Nap Time is designed to encourage families to do activities together and learn at the same time. There are no rules, no wrongs, no rights - just family fun!