21 Perfect Pumpkin Recipes

It’s Fall y’all!  There’s no shortage of pumpkin recipes, but I’ve got 21 of the best I’ve found around the web to share today!

21 Perfect Pumpkin Recipes

There’s no limit to pumpkin.  It goes in coffee, dessert and dinner too.  Sweet, savory or somewhere in between, it’s a Fall staple and can be an amazing year round addition to your cooking repertoire.  These pumpkin recipes bring out the best in a seasonal favorite and do an amazing job at highlighting the versatility of the pumpkin!

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies White on Rice Couple

Pumpkin Gnocchi Closet Cooking

Salted Caramel Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake Averie Cooks

Skinny Pumpkin Pasta Bake The Kitchen Paper

Baked Pumpkin French Toast A Dash of Sanity

Pumpkin Pancakes with Caramel Pecan Sauce Julia’s Album

Easy Pumpkin Spiced Granola Skinny Taste

Mini Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Two Peas and Their Pod

Pumpkin Magic Bars Crazy for Crust

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins Sally’s Baking Addiction

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Bake A Family Feast

Pumpkin-Monkey-Bread-with-Brown-Sugar-Glaze-PMPumpkin Monkey Bread with Brown Sugar Glaze A Little Claireification

Pumpkin Chicken Enchiladas Cooking Canuck

Pumpkin Pie Protein Truffles Finding Silver Linings

Pumpkin Pie Cream Brulee Doughmesstic

Pumpkin Kale Lasagna Foxes Love Lemons

Pumpkin Naan Pizza with Gruyere and Fresh Herbs Climbing Grier Mountain

Gran’s Pumpkin Fritters Simply Delicious

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Sausage Chili Tater Tots and Jello

Pumpkin Coconut Curry Chicken The Wicked Noodle

Pumpkin Spice Creamer It’s Me Deb CB

pumpkin-creamerDo you have a favorite pumpkin recipe that should be on the list?  I’m always looking for something new to try… especially savory pumpkin dishes!  Do you consider pumpkins a seasonal thing or are you a fan year round?

Posted in Food, Recipes | Leave a comment

Revenge, The Walking Dead and Power Rangers

As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I’ve been provided with complimentary streaming service for a year.  Additional compensation may or may not be received from time to time.

Revenge The Walking Dead Power Rangers MegaForceA vengeful socialite, 5 masked heroes and a world full of zombies.  Seems like a legit combo, right?  In our house, it totally is.

As the kids get older and schedules have become more demanding, I find myself having less and less time to enjoy things that are just “mine”.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and how it’s really not just me giving up my “mine” things, but all of us.  Single parenting means that there is no second person there to buffer for the 5 year old when he’s not in love with the idea of a school dance, but has a 7 year old sister dying to go to her first Monster Mash.  It also means that that I might have to compromise on our dinner choices for a second night because it’s just not worth the fight to avoid “nuggets v 2.0″.  In sharing a bedroom for the first time ever, both kids have given up on their privacy – I gave up on mine a long time ago.

Netflix_Logo_Print_FourColorCMYK (2)Growing up, sharing my space was the norm.  It’s just what we did.  Going from independent spaces to a smaller, shared space is somewhat of a mini-milestone for my kids.  This is a learning experience for them – for all of us – and we’re working our way through it.  One thing that’s been a lifesaver is Netflix.  The things my kids like to watch on TV could not be more different than night and day!  With their screen time being quite limited during the week, the last thing I want to do is force either of hem to watch something they don’t want to watch or have to choose nothing at all.

The same can be said for me.  I have absolutely zero desire to sit and watch Power Rangers, but the 5 year old boy is all about it.  Me?  I’d rather be catching up on Revenge or binge-watching The Walking Dead.  The girl?  She’s all over the place.  Her 30 minutes of screen time might include three 10 minute segments for various shows, or she might watch a solid 30 minute block of a movie.  The awesome thing is: we can all watch what we want and not get in each others way.

10600432_10204457528740419_1138374022139467346_nSharing a room is just one of the first (I’m sure!) of many, many mini-milestones my kids will face together over the next year.  There will be some major milestones too (like sending my last baby off to Kindergarten!)

What milestones, big or little, are your kids celebrating right now?

Oh, and are YOU watching Revenge or The Walking Dead???  I need someone to gab with about the end of last season of Revenge!  (Oh.My.Word.) and I’m only a few episodes away from finishing the last season of The Walking Dead!

Posted in Entertainment | 5 Comments

“That’s Not Fair!” Yes Kids, Welcome To Life.

As an adult, I often wonder if stomping my feet or throwing myself on the floor would help me get my way more often.  My children think it’s the solution to every problem, don’t yours?  We’ve all heard ‘life isn’t fair’, but how do you put that into practice with your children, especially if you have a spouse chanting along with them?

Life is SO UnfairAddison was almost 2-1/2 when Cullen as born, so there were lots of things she got to experience before Cullen was really in the picture, and as anyone with more than one child can tell you, things change a lot when #2 comes along.

First problem, there’s the logistics of everything.  It’s impossible to be in two places or doing two things at once.  I’m only one person.  It’s great when the parents can divide and conquer, but it’s not always an option.  Take for example, our annual trip to Tweetsie Railroad.  In the past, we’ve always made the trip on a Friday.  It cuts down a bit on the crowd. It’s always just been Addison and I (with the exception of 2009 and Cullen was only 3 weeks old and in a wrap the whole time – that barely counts).  I’ve always been able to make the trip about her (for the most part) and be pretty flexible with doing whatever it is she wants to do.  Cullen has never been an issue in the past.  He’s never really liked anything loud or unexpected, and the train would have scared him.  Until now.  Of course, he’s grown up a bit and isn’t quite as terrified of noises as he once was.  A solo trip with two to a theme park… Oy.

Second problem, the cost of everything x 2.  Not only an extra ticket, but allllll of the extras.  The Fresh Beat Band concert we attended was a prime example.  That little shindig was an easy $250 before we even walked through the gates.  Taking only one kid wasn’t an option.  “That’s not fair” was tossed around – not by the children (who have been begging to go every time there is a commercial on for it, but have no idea we actually have tickets) – but by their father.

To add a layer of complication, now there’s also the question of which parent will take the kids to do certain activities.  Separation poses all sorts of quandaries.  Trick or Treating… should that be a group activity?  When do we start to make the divide between “this is when you’re with dad and this is when you’re with mom”?  We can’t keep playing the happy (civil?) family forever, can we?  Does doing things together make all of this harder for the kids to understand?

So, how do you handle the x 2 (or more) issues?  Is it all or nothing?  Do you pick and choose?  How do you explain to the children that fair isn’t always everyone doing the same things?  What the heck do I do about having two of them and only one of me?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you handle the “That’s not fair!” road block, especially if you’re navigating those waters as a single parent.

The original version of this post appeared on MamaMommyMom.com in May of 2012.A lot has changed since then
Posted in Life in General, Parenting | Leave a comment

POPSUGAR Must Have Box {Subscription Boxes To Die For!}

You guys know how I love my subscription boxes!  I’ve reviewed several in the past, but none quite like the POPSUGAR Must Have Box.  POPSUGAR sent me a complementary Must Have Box to check out in October and I am IN LOVE!

PopSugar Must Have BoxThe biggest difference you’ll see about the POPSUGAR Must Have Box – and you’ll see it immediately – is that everything is FULL SIZE.  No samples!  No tiny samples, no big samples – FULL SIZE!  Yes, that also means that the Must Have Box comes with a little higher price tag, but still SO worth it in my opinion.

PopSugar Must Have Box ContentsMy friend, Timara was with me when I unboxed and even she was impressed with my awesome goodies.  My Must Have Box came with 7 fantastic, full size products.  Let’s see what they were, shall we???

PopSugar Must Have Box Happy SocksHappy Socks (Retail $12)  I have this thing about socks… While I would rather be walking around in flip flops, if I’m going to have to wear shoes and socks, the socks better be cute – even if no one ever sees them.  These were super cute, super comfy and are a new favorite.

PopSugar Must Have Box Dean and Deluca Pumpkin Spice MaltballsDean & Deluca Pumpkin Spice Maltballs (Retail $5.50) Timara wanted to take these from me before I could even get them open.  I’ll admit that I’ve never really cared for “malt” anything, but these weren’t bad.  The pumpkin spice flavor was really good without being overwhelming.  If you enjoy all things pumpkin and like malt flavor even a little, these will be right up your alley.

PopSugar Must Have Box Chalkboard Soy CandleMine Design Chalkboard Candle (Retail $24) As far as my favorite part of the October Must Have Box, I’m wavering between this awesome candle and the Happy Socks.  I had SO much fun decorating my candle (over and over and over!)  I’m going to be in trouble once the kids figure out they can draw on it.  Quick!  Hide the chalk!

PopSugar Must Have Box Butter LondonButter London Wink Eye Pencil (Retail $18) SO smooth!  I love how this glides on and has a little shimmer to it.  I can’t wait to wear it out!

PopSugar Must Have Box Isaac Jacobs Photo FrameIsaac Jacobs Acrylic Magnetic Frame (Retail – Special for POPSUGAR!) I love this little frame!  I’m trying to find the perfect picture to put in it and I plan to sit it on my nightstand.  I love that it’s clear, but substantial.

PopSugar Must Have Box Nailed KitNailed Kit (Retail $8)  These are super cute and I can’t wait to try them over the weekend!  I love that they are Halloween themed.  They are basically like temporary tattoos for your nails.  Super fun!  I’m sure I’ll share pictures on Instagram.

PopSugar Must Have Box Shore Line SoapK Hall Shoreline Shea Butter Bar Soap (Retail $10) This soap smells divine!  There is something about a good bar soap that just makes a bath feel luxurious, and I definitely need that every once in a while!  It’s supposed to be long lasting and have a relaxing effect.  Here’s hoping!

The total retail value of the October POPSUGAR Must Have Box is right at $100 – Which, in my opinion, is a killer deal!  The malt balls were my only “take it or leave it” from the box, and they were a low value item.  I am genuinely pleased with the box and can’t wait to see what the next box brings!

If you want to check out the POPSUGAR Must Have Box, I have a coupon code good for $10 off a 3 month subscription, but hurry… the offer is only good until 11/2/14!


What do you think of the goodies in this subscription box?  Which boxes are you subscribed to and what do you like about them?

Posted in Beauty & Fashion, Reviews | 6 Comments

Break For Nature

On the way home yesterday, at the start of the evening rush, the kids and I decided we needed to pause and just enjoy a little of what was around us.  I ditched the highway home in favor of the back roads to grandma’s, apartment life for a pond and some foul, and the normal running around for a few minutes outside in the cool, crisp Fall air.  There was nothing remarkable about our afternoon, just the fact that nature is remarkable itself and sometimes you need to make yourself slow down and enjoy it.

Addison at Pond Barn Yard Kids Cannonball Chickens Ducks Kids at Pond Paddle Boat Pond 2 Pond

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Attention Charlotte Area Families… FREE Halloween Portraits from Portrait Innovations!

This post is sponsored by Portrait innovations.  Compensation was received in exchange for sharing this promo and giveaway.

Charlotte area families!  If you’re looking for some Halloween fun this Friday, check out what’s going on at Promenade on Providence and get FREE Halloween Portraits from Portrait Innovations!  We’ve got a giveaway from Portrait Innovations for you too!  Keep reading…

Rear view of some children dressed in Halloween costumes holding candy bucketsHalloween can be (ok… totally is!) a frantic experience.  You have just a few hours to get the kids home from school then turn-around to head out the door, with perfect costumes and full bellies.  The last thing your kids want to do is indulge us (moms) as we try and capture their cuteness on camera.  They. Want. Candy. Now.  (And in mass quantities!)

Inevitably, that means I *might* get 1 semi-decent photo before we dash off to fill up our candy bags.

Listen up Charlotte folks, YOU can get your photos in advance and for FREE!!!!

Here are the deets:
Portrait Innovations is offering parents with children dressed in costume FREE portraits during the Trick ‘r Treat event taking place at the Promenade on Providence Shopping Center on Friday, October 24th.  Photo opportunities will be from 4 – 6pm, and parents will receive three free high-resolution portraits on a CD of each child.

owl smThe portraits will be offered during the Trick ‘r Treat Event at Promenade on Providence.  Kids can collect candy from shopping center merchants between 4 & 7 pm.  After collecting their treats, families are invited to enjoy their candy under the stars while watching Monsters University on the green.  The movie will start at 7pm.

The Portrait Innovations store, located at Providence Road and I-485, is newly renovated.  What does this mean for your freebie Halloween Portraits? You’re gonna get those Pinterest-inspired, drool-worthy photos of your kids this year!

pirate smWith new camera rooms equipped with lighting and background textures including brick, plank and slate and photographers trained in the newest posing and shooting techniques, those free photos are gonna look awesome.

Join the fun at the Promenade on Providence Shopping Center on Friday, October 24th. The rain date for the event is Sunday, October 26th.

Connect and share with Portrait Innovations at www.portraitinnovations.com,  on Facebook and Twitter.

Want another opportunity for FREE portraits with Portrait Innovations? Enter our exclusive giveaway for a session valued at $100 in the app below!

Now tell me, what are your crazy kids (or even you!) dressing up as for Halloween???

Posted in Current Giveaways, Giveaways, Life in General | Leave a comment

A Little Carolina Charm (And A Story About PR Done Right!)

Whether you’re a blogger or not, most people know what PR means… Public Relations.  Most companies either have a PR Department or work with a PR firm.  I get tons of emails, both from firms and directly from brands, pitching me products, asking me to tell you about their products or telling me why I should write about their product.  They often want me to do this for them, product unseen, and it’s not out of the ordinary that they expect me to do it for free.  I like to call those #BloggerProblems

A few weeks ago, I get this email from a local PR rep… I happen to know this particular PR rep through a mom’s group we’re both a part of.  Despite our paths crossing in a few ways, we’ve never worked together.  Anyway, it’s a “Hey, hope you’re doing well… I have a little something to drop off for you from Carolina Charm.  Is this address still correct…?” So I respond with the blah, blah doing good, yes, that’s my address, blah, blah.  Typical email fodder.

I was expecting some little piece of promo material, maybe a coffee mug,  but I come home to find this…

Carolina Charm 5A hand written note, awesome (seriously sturdy and seriously large) crate full of locally produced products and “free” coupons for more of those products, some local magazines, and a nicely done, professionally printed press release.

The best part?  They weren’t expecting something in return.  If I wanted to write about the products or the promotion, great.  If I didn’t, that was ok too.  They weren’t automatically expecting anything from me in return. If I do, (which clearly I am) great. If I don’t, that’s great too. It’s part of a media outreach for a promotion a local grocery chain (Harris Teeter) is doing to promote brands made in NC.

There are a lot of PR companies that could use this as a lesson. Reaching out without the expectation of something in return is exactly what will get you something in return.

I would love for you guys to check out these brands that were included in the basket from Carolina Charm, as many which are staples in my kitchen:


Duke’s Mayonaise

Lance Crackers

Front Porch Ice Cream

Texas Pete

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

I made a shrimp and grits dinner with the House-Autry Dinner Grits (super easy and quite delicious) last week, I had the Lance Cracker as a snack and the glass from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery has quickly become my favorite drinking vessel.

If any of you work in PR, *this* is PR done right.  If you need a PR rep, let me know – I have a great one I can share with you.  If you work with PR reps on a regular basis, what do you think about the approach of this campaign?

Posted in Blogging How To | 5 Comments

The Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project Needs You!

Three years ago, something amazing happened.  There were families that couldn’t afford to have a Thanksgiving dinner.  What?!  How is that something amazing?  Well, read on to find out…

2014-THANKS.gifI’ve been blogging for 5 years (holy wow!) and I was reading blogs for years before.  One of the first blogs I really latched on to was Jill Smokler’s blog, Scary Mommy.  So, three years ago, a handful of mothers who confessed not being able to afford Thanksgiving dinners and a handful of Scary Mommy readers  volunteered to help them. Nobody was trying to save the world; they just wanted to be able to make a difference in one family’s life.

Then more families who couldn’t afford dinner came forward, and again, more readers stepped up.  At the end of the day (er…holiday), 400 families had a Thanksgiving dinner they otherwise wouldn’t have.

A project was born, a charity formed and to date, more than 4,500 families have benefited from the Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project.  $50 provides a full meal for a family… but what if you can’t donate $50?  THAT’S OK!  Donate $1 or $2 or help by spreading the word!  The more people that know about the project, the more people who share the project, the more good The Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project can do!  Click the image below to head over to Scary Mommy and do your part, no matter how small.

2014THANKSGIVINGSometimes we look around at all of the sadness and terrible things in the world and think “I can’t fix this!”  You’re right… you can’t.  Not alone.  Together though, together we can do amazing things.  Three people stepping up has turned into thousands of families being fed on Thanksgiving.  Join The Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project for 2014 and do some good.

Do you have a special charity or project you work on through out the year or during the holidays?  Tell us about it in the comments.  Leave us a link to the organization’s website and we’ll share them on Facebook!

Posted in Food, Life in General, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

21 Delicious Slow Cooker Recipes

After professing my love for cooker recipes and since we’re giving away a slow cooker from Hamilton Beach, today seemed like a good day for sharing some of the delicious slow cooker recipes I’ve found around the web.

21 Delicious Slow Cooker RecipesYou can really make just about anything in your slow cooker, you just might need to make a few modifications to your recipes.  Not everything that comes out of a slow cooker is a soup, stew or otherwise swimming in liquid either.  There are even instructions out there for tons of CRAFTS that use your slow cooker!

From breakfast to dessert, you can save yourself a lot of time and net some delicious results with recipes like these…

Easy Slow Cooker Pork Chops from Amber Nicole

Pulled Pork Chili from Simply Darrling

BBQ Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches from This Girl’s Life

Honey Bourbon Chicken from Olive & Ivy

Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers from Sincerely Mindy

Slow Cooker Herb Crusted Prime Rib from Penney Lane Kitchen

Slow Cooker Honey Balsamic Pork Roast from Six Sisters Stuff

Slow Cooker Creamy Macaroni and Cheese from Six Sisters Stuff

Slow Cooker General Tsos Chicken from Le Creme De La Crumb

Making Bread in the Slow Cooker from In The Kitchin

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip from Damn Delicious

Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Soup from Le Creme De La Crumb

Balsamic Roast Beef from Add A Pinch

Slow Cooker Meatloaf from Cincy Shopper

Honey Garlic Slow Cooker Meatballs from Family Fresh Meals

Creamy Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili from Lovely Little Kitchen

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cobbler from The Gunny Sack

Slow Cooker Coca Cola Beef Stew from MamaMommyMom (that’s me!)

Cheesy Slow Cooker Cowboy Casserole from Family Fresh Meals

Slow Cooker Parsley Potatoes from Recipes That Crock

Slow Cooker Tex Mex Quinoa Casserole from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Do you have a favorite slow cooker recipe?  Share it with us and we might feature it in our next recipe round up!

Posted in Food, Recipes | 1 Comment

Creamy Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup {And A Slow Cooker Giveaway!}

A HUGE thank you to Hamilton Beach for sending me a new Set ‘n Forget 6 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker AND providing me with one to giveaway to a lucky reader!  No other compensation was received for this post and all thoughts and opinions are mine alone.  Read on for a great baked potato soup recipe and a slow cooker giveaway! #SlowCookerMeals

Creamy Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup - Hamilton Beach - Sponsored - GiveawayAs Fall begins to set in, the days are getting shorter but all the things we need to pack into those days remain the same.  Work, school, after school activities, homework… dinner.  Fitting it all in can be hard.  My slow cooker and I have quite the cozy relationship.  She works for me all day, provides me with a quick, hearty dinner and I get to rest easy knowing that I fed my kids something that didn’t come out of a box or can (though, those things have their place and time – just not every night) and saved myself some time and a whole lot of headache.

Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker - Creamy Loaded Baked Potato SoupI was certainly no stranger to the 6 Qt Set ‘n Forget Slow Cooker.  My sister actually had and loved this same slow cooker (until my brother-in-law dropped and cracked the insert.)  I had used her slow cooker many times to make my famous Thanksgiving Drunk Turkey Breast.  There’s turkey, there’s wine.  It’s all kinds of amazing.  Slow Cookers aren’t just for holidays or parties, they are every day awesomeness!  I feel in love with slow cookers after I found Stephanie O’Dea online a few years ago.  She was an amazing inspiration and has had me hooked since!

HB_OCT_33967_slowcooker_blogger_7 (2)One of my favorite meals ever is Loaded Baked Potato Soup.  If I eat out and my meal has an option to add a baked potato soup, you know I’m ordering at least a cup.  It’s creamy, filling and full of flavor.  Making it at home isn’t hard and it certainly doesn’t have to be time consuming.  A few minutes of prep in the morning and you can have dinner ready in about 10 minutes that evening.

Creamy Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup

4.9 from 12 reviews
Creamy Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup {And A Slow Cooker Giveaway!}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 8-10 servings
  • 3 lbs White Potatoes
  • 6 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Green Onions
  • ¼ Pound Bacon, Cooked and Diced
  • ¼ Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  1. Wash and peel your potatoes.
  2. Add them to your slow cooker.
  3. Add chicken broth.
  4. Cook on Low setting for 6 hours.
  5. Drain about half the liquid off the potatoes, add the remaining ingredients and blend with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add additional toppings as desired.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Current Giveaways, Giveaways, Recipes, Reviews | 49 Comments