Pumpkin Spice Everything

If you’re one of those negative nelly’s trying to talk about how pumkin spice is “basic” and “not even that good”, this post is NOT for you. I’m here to talk about a source of constant joy that life brings me each year, and no it’s not my children (though they are quite cute), it’s the glorious season of pumpkin spice everything.  Ladies, right now my house smells like Pumpkin Waffles, my hand soap is Pumpkin Apple, I got like 4 metallic pumpkins adorning my bar (along with a dish of those delicious mallocreme pumpkins), and if you think I skipped out on this Target special tank top that truly expresses what lies deep within my soul you are sadly mistaken. (Get this shirt for less than $15 here)

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If you’re also in the pumpkin spice everything mood, I’ve put together a round-up of some of the BEST pumpkin recipes of the season, and created a pumpkin spice semi-homemade recipe you can simply put together (minus the whole pinterest fail risk) on your own!

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Ingredients

Cake

1 box spice cake mix

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

1 cup almond milk (sub this when the recipe calls for water)

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Icing

1 can cream cheese icing

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

  1. Prepare the spice cake mix according to the box, substituting almond milk (or regular milk) where the cake mix calls for water- this makes the cake much more moist and fluffy.
  2. Add in pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin, and cinnamon.
  3. Bake Cakes according to box, this made me two 9 inch rounds. I only wanted the cake to be one layer, so I used a pumpkin cookie cutter to cut out a pumpkin for the top, then crumbled the rest to add to the sides of the iced cake.
  4. Mix frosting with vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt. This helps cut down on the overly sweetness that store-bought frostings tend to have.
  5. Let cake completely cool for about 20 minutes then ice cake. After a base layer of frosting, freeze the cake for 20 minutes to make the icing hard. You’ll then pick up the frozen cake and roll it in the cake crumbles. I then used a plastic bag and disposable frosting tip to add some decoration dollops of frosting to finish off the cake!

(For step by step pics of rolling the cake, reference this link)

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Here are some other super awesome Pumpkin Spice recipes I’ve rounded up from some of my favorite bloggers.

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Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Cups from Food, Pleasure & Health.

For those with Gluten intolerances and plant based lifestyles these amazing Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes by the healthyhelperblog are the perfect way to indulge this season.

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Did someone say Pumpkin Spice cookies with cream cheese frosting?! Count me in for these incredible Pumpkin Spice Whoppie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling from Umami Girl.

I’ll definitely be trying out this delicious looking No- Bake Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake from Jane’s Patisserie on my next cheat day (which may be sooner rather than later if ya know what I mean)

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If you’ve ever wished your PSL had a little more kick to it, these Pumpkin Russians will be a favorite drink for you this fall. This recipe from Lively Table may or may not be replacing coffee on my weekends.

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Pumpkin & Chocolate = yes please. Making this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Chocolate-Chip cookies from Chelsea’s Messy Apron like as soon as I can.

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Wrapping up the recipes, these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing from Like Mother Like Daughter, are a must in my fall baking. I’m planning on making these on special occasions only because I’m pretty sure I’ll eat an entire pan on my own. These will be awesome on Halloween & Thanksgiving morning though!

Last but not least (and this isn’t a pumpkin recipe. My friend and fellow Tampa Blogger Sarah from So Sarah Hunt had the greatest ideas for putting together a fall bucket list. She’s linked a ton of great activities for the fall in here and while I won’t do it all, I love the idea of having our own fall family bucket list, so I’ll definitely be doing one soon!

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Image from Sarah Tucker

Tell me what your favorite pumpkin thing is below in the comments!

Out and About with EveryDAY MOMS {The Big Red Barn}

Let’s face it, we are all looking for things to do with our kids. Places to go that our kids can act like kids and we can act like adults. As a homeschool mom of two littles, I am always on the search for things to do. Cheap, free, easy, fun things. This place fits all of those requirements.

Exploring the Tampa Bay area as a real life photographer

The Big Red Barn is hands down just an awesome place. It’s a place I can turn my kids loose in a play area while I get a little shopping done. A place that has fun things like story time, bounce houses and a petting zoo on different occasions, PLUS some of the best produce around. A place for a perfect cup of coffee and ice cream for the kids.

If you are looking for a place with a sense of community, here it is. They really try to bring in lots of local flavor, local businesses, and local shops. I love to see small businesses helping each other with a community over competition feeling. They want thier store to be more than just a place to pick up some potatoes, but a perfect place to stop on your way from work to grab some dinner or an outing with the kids that won’t be painful!

On our first adventure to The Big Red Barn, we explored their Wednesday Weekly Pickin on the Porch Vendor Event. The kids had a blast sampling all the yummy goodies like beef jerky, homemade jams and jellies, and looking at lots of really cute clothes. Thier vendor list changes on a regular basis making you want to go every week and check out who is there. (also a great place for you mommas with businesses to show off your wares!)

Then we headed inside to peruse the fabulous produce goodies. Apples, bananas, peaches galore. Potatoes, onions, and peppers as far as the eye can see (well not really, but you get the point). My carrying basket quickly over flowed with such tasty goodies that I had to switch to a push cart. We looked through the local honey, specialty cookies and to go full dinner items from To The Table Catering. They also offer Foundation Coffee on the weekends and Revolution Ice Cream (The best ice cream ever!). Often there is a multitude of food trucks hanging out in the parking lot and local donuts to boot. I really think I could move in there and live forever…

Exploring Tampa Bay as a real life family photographer

On our second trip, we checked out the kids club and story time.  The kids club is super easy to sign up for and gets the kids a free apple or banana while you are shopping. They have the cutest little picket fence corner that keeps the kids locked in, I mean contained, while you search for the fresh items needed on your grocery list. The kids can play grocery store with their own stuffed fruits, veggies and shopping cart. Story Time is perfect for kids of any age and happens every Tuesday morning at 10:00a. Books, songs, fun, and apples! Plus there is a back porch and grass area behind to let them burn off any steam before heading back home. Just beware there is a scrumptious table of cake pops and other goodies that become the pleading whine of want from any kid old enough to see over the table. I might or might not have given in…

 

 

I love the community feeling of being at the barn, talking with the Sharon and Danny that run the place, and seeing the kids run around having fun. It’s not just a place to grab some bananas, but a place you can come and hang out at for a little while, drink some coffee while your kids play without you. They are continuously running awesome events that are centered around the kids and in the fall have plans for a pumpkin patch. I also love using it as teaching moments for my homeschool clan. We talk about money, our budget and what we need to make certain dishes. We also scan the exotic fruits and veggies lined up to then research about where they are from when we get back home.  It keeps our shopping experience on track, fun and tasty.

Want to see more from our out and about adventure? Check out this short family film!

 

Momma Got Soul Photos & FilmsI am a wife. I am a mother. I stay up late, try to sleep late, and drink lots of coffee and beer (usually in that order, but not always). I grew up in sunny (which means really hot) central Florida, never go to the beach or Disney, but try to hike in the woods as much as I can. I remember a time when I said I would never photograph people, now that’s all I do. I think it started with wanting to explore the world and capture that to share with people. Now I want to capture people to share with the world.     -Kelly

The Bittersweet Goodbye of Preschool

My daughter just started kindergarten. Her father and I walked her to her door, met with her teachers, and said a quick goodbye. I was already emotional over the whole thing- the beginning of a new chapter, a longer school day, the realization that I didn’t have her at home till later in the day. We walked out of the room with tears in our eyes, trying not to do the ugly cry.

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I loved preschool. We all loved preschool. It was a small, cozy place with a class size of less than fifteen students. There were two teachers in the room, plenty of toys and lots of space to move around. It was the perfect place for creativity and imaginative play. Kindergarten used to be that way and might still be in many places, but as the years go by, I continue to hear more and more how kindergarten is the new first grade. There are less toys, more of a focus on academics, and not much time for free play. It was a hard realization for me to come too. I worried, and still do worry, if she will have the same opportunities she did in preschool to be a kid.

Fast forward to three weeks later and my daughter can recognize sight words, has learned several new songs and routines. She loves to run around and play outside and socialize with her classmates in the cafeteria. One day she came home and told me all about a science experiment that involved a balance scale and a variety of objects. The class had to guess which item was the heaviest. As she rattled off the details I was amazed by how focused she must have been during the lesson. She remembered every detail. She’s learning, she’s engaged. I can see her wheels turning. And that is a wonderful feeling.

I’ll miss her messy preschool crafts. I’ll miss the laid back schedule we had (where tardiness and attendance was a little more lenient). The fact is, as we adjust to our new way of life, I can see that she is ready. I may not have been at first, as it’s hard to say goodbye to any stage in parenting, but now I am. I’m ready to help her grow and thrive and become the best little kindergartner she can be.