Family P: Halloween Happenings

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I guess, I get that from my Dad. He always made sure that Halloween was extra special for us growing up. We ALWAYS carved pumpkins together as a family in the garage, usually with Jimmy Buffet or George Straight tunes playing in the background. When our carved masterpieces were complete, we’d line up our pumpkins, have a grand lighting ceremony then admire our work from the street. Even through college, my siblings and I all continued to participate in this tradition – sometimes with friends or love interests in tow. When we were little(er), on Halloween night, my Dad would set up “Jack,” the giant (actually larger than life) stuffed gorilla, in the study window and playa creepy tunes through the intercom system to spook the trick-or-treaters. My family has definitely always been big on traditions so Dan and I are having a blast creating some new ones with Olivia’s firsts.

Needless to say… October is definitely my favorite month of the year. Maybe it’s the predictably beautiful weather (both here in Dallas and in SoCal)… or Pumpkin Spice Lattes, boots + sweaters… carving pumpkins, the texas state fair… Dan’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, halloween… it’s always a pretty eventful month in our house.

This year we celebrated our 2nd Anniversary (10/10/10) with a celebratory dinner at Sissy’s Southern Kitchen – followed by a night at the Texas State Fair. Even got to see Big Tex before tragedy struck. We’ve made several trips to the arboretum, a trip to the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch, and enjoyed the gorgeous October weather – granted it’s been ALL over the place this year… 80s one day, 50s the next.

This past weekend, we had a bunch of friends over (for a VERY last-minute-non-party) to carve a few pumpkins, enjoy some festive food and watch a scary movie. I don’t know how it happens, but it seems that WAY too much time goes between getting our big(ger) group of friends together. (Thank You Brian Kress for pointing that out!) It got me thinking, I always blame our anti-social tendencies on the baby &/or tight budget – but in reality it’s just plain difficult to get everyone’s schedules and availability aligned. Dan and I debated for weeks on wether or not to throw a Halloween “party.” Then, just a few days prior – feeling slightly bummed that I STILL hadn’t organized anything… We decided, What the Heck! – NOBODY CARES if our yard is a mess, or our house isn’t totally spotless clean… What really matters is just getting together with good people… catching up, sharing a meal… and having a little fun!


Unfortunately, Daniel had to travel for work again this week and he won’t be home in time for trick-or-treating. Liv and I may make a spin around the block (Swiss Ave. is a pretty happenin’ place on Halloween) or we may call it an early night… just thankful that Halloween becomes a 2 week ordeal when you have kiddos… and we’ve already celebrated in lots of festive ways!

Ten MORE Things I love about October (And Fall in general)

1. Finally feeling legitimate about wearing sweaters + boots

2. Pumpkin Spiced Lattes + Pumpkin Bread

3. Wearing Daniel’s Flannels

4. Carving Pumpkins

5. Using the seat warmer in my car

6. Slippers, Sweatpants + Hoodies

7. Soup + Cornbread

8. Enjoying the crisp cool air outside.

9. Reminiscing while looking through our wedding “album”

10. Darker, earlier evenings… makes me feel like I’m staying up REALLY late.




In The Kitchen: Fall Favorites

Lisa’s Pumpkin Bread

3 C. Suger

3 1/2 C. Flour

1 29 oz. Can Pumpkin Puree

1 C. Vegetable Oil

2/3 C. Water

4 Eggs

3 t. Baking soda

2 T. Cinnamon

1 t. Nutmeg

1 1/2 t. salt

Mix dry ingredients in bowl. In a separate bowl, Combine pumpkin, oil, eggs and water. Slowly add dry mix until combined. Pour into desired baking dishes, coated with nonstick cooking spray or lined muffin tin.

This recipe makes 4 loaves (Bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes), 6 mini loaves (Bake at 325 degrees for 75 minutes), or 24 muffins (Bake at 325 for 60 minutes. Your house will smell so heavenly that you’ll probably eat a few several and be glad you made such a large batch.

I borrowed this recipe from the Kilpatrick Family while I was nannying in college. Lisa is a total whiz at getting her kiddos to eat veggies – I distinctly remember feeling guilty that her zucchini muffins had easily 4x the amount of zucchini as mine did. Admittedly THIS is not the healthiest pumpkin recipe out there… but it is delicious. And Lisa’s kids love it as much as I do. Sure you could substitute applesauce for the oil or double up on the pumpkin. I also cut down the sugar a tad. But it’s 100% yummy just the way it is. This is also a rather large batch – but as with most muffins… they freeze/reheat well.

Hot Spiced Tea

1 1/2 C Tang

1 1/2 C. Country Time Powdered Lemonade

1/2 C. Sugar

1 1/2 C. Instant Unsweetened Lipton Tea (Optional: Decaf)

2 T. Cinnamon

1 t. Ground Cloves

Pinch Nutmeg (to taste)

Pinch Allspice (to taste)

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to air-tight container.

When ready to drink – Stir 3-4 T with hot water, stir, and Enjoy!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve thrown the measurements out on more than one occasion. As long as you use equal parts lemonade, tang, and tea, you’ll be good. Sometimes I even skip the suger…. Sometimes. I’ve had a hard time finding the tang at regular grocery stores – but Target usually has it, and WalMart is an even safer bet. This mix makes a great homemade hostess gift or just a nice alternative to apple cider.


Pumpkin Spice Cake 

1 box Spice Cake Mix

1 can pumpkin (not pie filling, just pumpkin)

2 cup Cinnamon Chips

Mix pumpkin and cake mix on low speed with hand mixer, or mash with a fork until combined. Fold in cinnamon chips. Do not over mix.

Bake at 350 for 18-20 min.

Serve warm, a la mode.

OR if you’re like me… make a batch on Sunday night – enjoy as dessert… then as breakfast for the rest of the week 🙂 This recipe, and similar are all over Pinterest, but it came to me by way of my mom’s Texas Treasure, Mrs. Mindy Campbell.


Momma Meg Loves: TARGET

Lately Target is a very dangerous place for me. I’m not sure what’s changed in the last 10 years… but I like it. Just wanted to share a few of my most recent budget-friendly target finds…

Mossimo Calidora Leopard Flat  $16.99

I’ve had my eye on these Steve Madden flats since mid summer… but just couldn’t justify spending $90. Although these Mossimo flats definitely teeter on the edge of slipper + shoe, I have a feeling that they are just the thing to satisfy my craving. Plus, the comfort factor will guarantee that they get lots of wear this season. And obviously, you can’t beat the price.

Mossimo Wool Atlas Clutch $16.99

Like an idiot, I recently purchased this American Apparel Carry-All leather pouch for $46.00. I wanted something simple that I could toss inside the diaper bag when I was toting it around – but still cute enough to carry as a clutch/purse. At a fraction of the price, and pretty darn cute, I wish I’d skipped the over-priced hipster variety in favor of this Mossimo wool one.

Mossimo Corduroy Skinnies in Mustard – $22.99

I’m pretty sure by the end of the season I will own these in EVERY color! I’m a sucker for JCrew’s Vintage Matchstick cords, but at $89.95 a pop… I could have 4 different colors of these Mossimo Skinnies!

Disney Artist Collection Minnie Mouse Set $22.00

Definitely had to scoop up with little set for Liv – I’m finding for the first time that we actually NEED to buy her some clothes – I thought the day would NEVER come… that maybe she would stay in 0-3mo… then surely 3-6mo but then I blinked and she was busting out of her 6 month onesies… and now we’re on the verge of outgrowing even some of our 9 month stuff… with no back stock! EEP! We’re overdue for a trip to Just Between Friends to score some preowned goodies!

Contemplating this little lamb costume for Liv for Halloween…

Infant Lamb Costume $38.99

…wondering if I could sew a couple of cheap bath mats together instead? Add a bow?

Featured Image Here

Momma Meg Loves: Pinterest

For my mom… who doesn’t “DO” Pinterest

I mean… who isn’t having a LOVE affair with Pinterest?  Only mildly distracting, my pinning obsession has actually made life a little bit easier. Pinterest is the only place I turn for new recipes – if I’m stuck on what to cook for dinner – I just refer to the many things I pinned at 11pm the night before… “That looks tasty”… What to wear? No problem – just ask Pinterest. The sole source of Olivia’s nursery inspiration… Pinterest. You get the idea…

5 recent pins…

Pinned Here

Coconut + Ginger Chicken with Jasmine Rice – I made this for dinner a few nights ago and would consider it a huge success. Kind of a nod to Thai Curry Chicken… but without the curry. The recipe is a stove-top/slow-cooker hybrid… but because I was determined to make it as EASY as possible – I slightly altered my method and went crock-pot all the way. Also – I added potatoes to beef it up just a bit. Although Dan was not as enthusiastic; “it was too exotic for him” – I thought it was deliciously out of the ordinary. Most ingredients were already stocked in my pantry… definitely give it a whirl, or repin for a night that you’re feeling uninspired.

Pinned Here

Vegass Leopard Print Flats by Steve Madden  – Pinned these Steve Madden Leopard VEGASS flats onto my Fall Wishlist. I just know I would get TONS of wear out of them. I’m always a sucker for leopard… and flats and tennies pretty much rule my footwear selection in this current phase of life. The price tag isn’t that bad – maybe I’ll wait until they’re slightly discounted. Kind of loving the pointed.. but slightly rounded point… toe. Nice alternative to these Sam Edleman Leopard Smoking Slippers I’ve also been eyeing. RWAR.

Pinned Here

Chambray Inspiration – And there it was… hiding on Pinterest. The PERFECT chambray shirt. I searched and searched earlier in the season and settled on this popover variety from Anthropologie… but I’m finding myself wanting a slightly heavier… more industrial? version. TinEye couldn’t find the origin of this beauty… so I’ll hold out for yet another substitute. Loving it layered with a chunky sweater and leggings.#READYFORFALL

Pinned Here

Photo Wall – I love this DIY photo wall – would definitely be super cute with Polaroid pictures – but because I’m not about to run out and spend $$$ on film for our camera – maybe ordering Instagram pics would work? I mean – Instagram is the new Polaroid, right? Would be fun in an entry, office or “mud room” – maybe even floor-to-ceiling bulletin board behind to make swapping for fresh photos a snap.

Pinned Here

DIY Cloth Diaper Detergent – Just in case you missed it… We are officially a cloth-diapering family. It might make us a little bit more earthy-crunchy… but hey, we’re comfortable with that. I did initially buy the Rockin’ Green Cloth Diaper detergent – a little pricey, but worth it to start. When we run out, I think i’ll give this DIY concoction a go.

Do you Pinterest? Folow Me Here

Are you P(interested)?