The Pumpkin Extravaganza of 2012

Turns out that Brooke smiles at complete strangers the same way that she smiles at me.  I thought I was special because I am her mom and that she had a special smile for me but noooooooo she just gives that look of ‘let’s be best friends and giggle together everyday’ to everyone she meets.  

Photo 1 copy

When I sent my mother-in-law the below picture she wrote back, “That’s just how I feel when I have to get nakey at the dr.!!!!

Photo 1

Those pictures were pre-shots.  It was not a pretty sight after the shots and so let’s just all forget about the traumatic event that occurred yesterday and move on.  

I have determined that my favorite kind of cooking is just getting a bunch of my favorite foods and throwing them all together.  

DSC 4356

We had shrimp tacos with cabbage, salsa and our absolute favorite guac!  You really can’t go wrong with shrimp tacos.

DSC 4360

We were having friends over for a pumpkin extravaganza because that is just what you are supposed to do in October.   Put this mix and chocolate chips together and you will be happy.

Photo 3

This is a new TJ’s favorite.  It really was so so so so so so so so so so so good.

DSC 4362

And for the main event of the evening (after watching the Giant’s game) we did some pumpkin painting.   Billy and I made an angry candy corn and our friends made one that actually looked cool and it didn’t even look like a 2 year old painted it like ours did.

Thanks Katie for doing all of my dishes.  

Image

Yeah, I don’t know what I am doing either.  

Photo 1 copy

—————————————————————————–

Do you carve or paint pumpkins?  Any fun Halloween traditions?

Because I have turned into one of the ‘obsessed with Trader Joe’s bloggers’ tell me your absolute favorite thing there right now?

How do you feel about needles/shots?  Do they freak you out?

-Yes, if they are going into my child but not if they are my own shots.  

You May Also Like

76 comments

Reply

Those shrimp tacos look sooo good!! Definitely must get them!! I love mostly everything from Trader Joe’s it’s hard to pick just one thing!!

Reply

I can’t believe how much Brooke looks like Curly now that you pointed it out! She always looks so happy!! So cute :) I also love painting pumpkins vs. carving them!

Reply

It’s funny- my sister is TERRIFIED of any kind of injections but I am more than okay about them…one prick and it’s over! Choc chip pumpkin bread looks delicious- nice going :D!

Reply

I’m trained as a lab tech, so I take blood. Going through school, we had to get our blood done 50 times within about 4 months. At the same time, I was getting my bloodwork done for my doctor twice a week. Needles and shots don’t bother me in the least — actually, I kind of enjoy them. (Reading that over, it sounds really creepy … I’m not a vampire, promise!)
We were always a pumpkin carving family. I love the effect of the candle within the Jack-o-lantern. To me, THAT is what Halloween is all about — chilly evening breeze, flickering ghoulish images flashing with the ebb and flow of the wind, hearing the swish of the leaves and the creak of the neighbour’s rusted gate … Love it!!

Reply

Have you seen where people carve a pumpkin by cutting a wide hole in the top and then two leg holes near the bottom so you can sit your baby in the pumpkin and have her legs sticking out the sides when she is sitting? It is so cute and I demand a picture of Brooke in a pumpkin. :). You may need to put something in behind her head to support it, but it would be the cutest thing ever!

Reply

Cute Pumpkins!! I love the pre-cooked chicken at trader joes.. Sometimes when I don’t feel like cooking I buy it and all you have to do is throw it in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds and you have a delish chicken dinner.

Reply

We carve pumpkins! Then you can roast the seeds. Poor Brooke, I hope she feels back to herself today!

Reply

Needles = trauma is definitely right. The last time I had to get my blood taken, I nearly fainted… not because it hurt (I barely even felt it) but because I seriously think I have a legit phobia of them. Not good times, but at least it’s over :) I’ve actually never tried painting pumpkins, but I might give it a shot this year because me and sharp objects has disaster potential written all over it.

Reply

We carve pumpkins. Every year we get the whole family together and have a big dinner with pumpkin carving and sugar cookie decorating. It’s next Wednesday and I can’t wait!!

I really liked their wheat and gluten free bread rolls. I LOVE their hummus though. and prices on raw nuts, nut butter, and my red wine:-)

Reply

I haven’t pumpkin carved in years but I always used to love it growing up. Now I think I would be a little too stressed over the mess. Oh to be young again! :)

Reply

The pumpkin is funky! My husband and I have a competition each year to see who carves the better one (I usually lose in reality, but we pretend it’s a tie.)
I hope Brooke has forgotten all about her shots today. In a twisted any, I like getting needles.

Reply

We carve and paint, but I like painting them. I need to go get one soon!

Reply

We do both. My 11 year old loves to carve them, but my 5 year old likes to paint. This year, we are painting hers silver, cutting out a window and putting a picture of cinderella inside….she’s into Cinderella this month. :) Our traditions are a lot :) We live in Woodstock Ga, but our families are in Ellijay and Blue Ridge, Apple capital of the south. So, there are apple festivals and the orchards have “pick your own apples” So, we always take a weekend, get a cabin, go to the festivals, pick apples and then a hay ride at mom and dads where the kids go to the pumpkin patch to pick out their own pumpkins. Hot dogs over a fire pit and marshmallows. I always take the apples we pick and make my own version of apple syrup that we “can” Apples, brown sugar, butter, pumpkin pie spice and a little maple syrup. Cook it in a big pot and then I can them up..we use it for pancakes, ice cream, pie filling, you name it.

Yogurt and lunch meat at Trader Joe’s.

If its a needle for a shot, like a vaccine, for the flu, or something like that, I’m fine…but if its anything that has to go into a vein, like drawing blood or an IV…I literally hyperventilate, its like nails on a chalk board for me to even think about it.

Reply

Love the pumpkins! :)

Reply

My favorite thing at Trader Joe’s right now is the Rosemary Raisin Crisps with their goat cheese. I have also been making a habit of adding their light sour cream with Sriracha to almost everything I eat….the light Sour Cream is from TJ’s and I’ve gone through more than I would like to admit.

Reply

i can’t get enough of Brooke! that hair!

Reply

I’ve never painted a pumpkin only carved them. We actually didn’t carve any this year but my husband won a painted pumpkin for coming in 2nd overall at a race…I guess that counts for this year.

I loathe getting shots. I still might have to try really really hard not to cry when I get them or get blood work done.

Reply

There was a time when I used to question pumpkin & chocolate together, but I now see the error in my ways. :) Yum!

And yes… shots freak me out.

Reply

I’ll have to try that pumpkin bread! I always hate it when the kids have to get their shots! :( the little tears that well up in their eyes hurts me more than it hurts them.

Brooke really is a pretty baby!!! can’t wait to meet her!

the pumpkins came out really cute!! :) xo

Reply

Brooke is seriously the cutest!!! Seeing them get shots is terrible but it’s actually worse when they are old enough to know they are coming! I absolutely hate shots and needles for myself, I totally tense up but the anticipation is always worse than the real thing….

Last night I had Trader Joe’s pumpkin soup – yum!!!! But I also recently tried their sesame honey almonds and those are my new addiction.

Reply

Love that argyle pumpkin! That definitely took some serious skills!

Reply

I get all my produce at TJs because it’s so much less expensive. I also just bought their all-purpose cleaner and I really like it! No chemicals and it smells good! I also used to love their turkey and beef jerkey but I can’t have soy anymore (it has soy sauce on it) but I still recommend it!

Reply

We used to get pizza on Halloween and sit in the driveway with the pizza, beer and candy so the doorbell didn’t drive the dogs crazy. Now Ijust want to turn off the lights and ignore it.
TJ’s: Orange Chicken and the veggie fried rice.
Not afraid of needles. Especially after almost seven years of getting three allergy shots twice a week.

The Kidless Kronicles

Reply

Note to self: make shrimp tacos soon! I’m making a really good shrimp stir fry tonight though that has soy sauce and maple syrup in the rice mixture. It sounds weird but it’s oh so good!

Reply

I’ve only been to TJ’s once because it involves a cross-border trip. I found it very overwhelming to see all the options. I definitely spent at least 15 min admiring the cheap selection of tasty goat cheeses that were a quarter of the price of the Canadian equivalent!

I definitely carve pumpkins. I usually do an awesome one every year. I haven’t yet chosen this year’s theme but last year’s was a 3-sided scene from the animated short of “The Three Brothers” in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Reply

Damn those shrimp tacos look gooooood!!!

We love Halloween in this household. We usually carve 2 pumpkins but we’ve never painted them…maybe we’ll do a combo this year. Looking forward to dressing up and paintin’ my face though:)

I’m fine with shots, i even watched the doctor remove a mole from my hand but it will be a different story when it comes to my child. Any pointers?

Reply

Carve! But they only last for five minutes in the south before they start molding. So you have to carve them ten seconds before Halloween night. It’s super ridiculous, so it would be smarter to paint them. I’m gonna have to try and smuggle some of that pumpkin bread into my state.

Reply

I love your pumpkin night!! I might go out at lunch and pick up that mix! It looks too good not to!!
I’m not a fan of shots… Not at all!

Reply

#1- Why have I not come across your blog before?! Love it…so much in common…will be returning. Especially to go back to your pregnancy reads!!!

#2- I want my future baby to have your baby’s hair!!! Amazing!

Reply

Your eats look so good! Is it just the picture, or is Brooke really tall (or I guess you say long for babies??)? I think you may have a little runner on your hands!

Reply

Yup, we carve pumpkins every year, still have to do them this year!
I used to hate needles, it would take a couple nurses and my Mom to hold me down, but now they do not bother me.

Reply

My daughter Brooklyn got her shots yesterday too…worst screams ever from a baby….horrible. I hate getting blood drawn but shots are not the worst thing.

Reply

I like both. But painting is more fun for the kids because they can actually do it. What? ! I don’t let my kids have knives yet? I know. I am such a mean parent ;) but they still like to design the pumpkins that we carve for them AND then I get to roast all the pumpkin seeds=yum!

Hopefully Brooke (and you) are recovering from the shots. I don’t mind needles/shots, but it hasn’t gotten any easier watching my kids get poked :(

Have you had TJ carrot cake cookies before? Mmmm. Delicious! I am going to AZ in a couple of weeks and already started a list of all things TJ that I must get. Anything I must put on there to try?

Reply

Great idea….I’m going to make me some shrimp tacos. My family has always carved our pumpkins, but I’m thinking this year it may be fun to change it up and get the paint brushes out. If you haven’t tried the chili lime turkey burgers at Trader Joe’s you’re missing out!!!….and the green salsa, and the roasted red peppers with garlic…..and the list goes on……;)

Reply

I’m terrified of needles. Like beyond scared. It’s actually embarrassing, so I don’t blame you for being nervous about the shots going into Brooke :)
Trader Joe’s is literally the best thing ever invented… it’s CHEAPER than regular grocery stores! I’m obsessed with everything there- especially the premade marinated grilled chicken in the purple package (rosemary and balsamic i think?) and the SESAME STICKS which I eat like it’s my job!
I love how social you and Billy are! It looks like you guys always have so much fun!

Reply

is it weird that im terrified of carving pumpkins? I hate using a knife to carve, i’m a weirdo. painting sounds fun though, that might need to be a weekend activity for us!

I just got some TJ chocolate covered PB pretzels, they changed my life. I dont have one super close to me so its hard to get over there especially because Kevin is freaked out by TJ. He thinks the vibe he gets from the people there are weird. Funny he says that knowing how weird we are anyways :)

not a huge fan of needles..i dont mind shots but getting blood drawn for blood testing freaks me out a little because then the needle stays inside you for more then .2 seconds :(

Reply

i have NEVER been to a TJs!!
obviously in alaska we did not have one and when i moved here to NC the nearest one was a few hours away BUT…… one is about to open near me and i cant wait to finally go check it out!!

Reply

HRG babyyy updatee!! She is a cutie.

Reply

We carve pumpkins, but I really love your angry candy corn!! Maybe we’ll paint some this year too. I haven’t lived near a TJs in years :( but my favorite thing there was always tzatziki. I don’t really mind shots for myself. They aren’t fun but whatever. However, I have been avoiding taking my son to get his 4 year old shots for a good 2 months now……poor guy.

Reply

The shrimp tacos look delightful!!!!

I carve pumpkins but prefer to paint pumpkins. However I carve pumpkins so that I can get the seeds out and roast the seeds.

I wish I lived near a trader joe’s. My closest one is about 3.5 hours away, so when we head to the big city I like to stop by there but we don’t go there often.

Reply

My husband just made pumpkin muffins and I make pumpkin chocolate chips cookies A LOT during this time of year, haha. We don’t buy pumpkins to carve/paint anymore…down the road when we have children we will again. :)

Reply

I really need a TJ’s in my life. Overcome with jealousy!

Reply

I’ve never painted a pumpkin (always carved) but will be painting this year. It is still so hot here that if I carve a pumpkin it will rot in 4 minutes. We’ve been huge fans if throwing random things together for dinner lately too. It usually works out deliciously!

Reply

Oh, poor sweet Brooke! I’m sorry the shots were hard on her. It always breaks my heart too when my babies cry during the shots. :( You may have already heard of this but you can tell your pediatrican you’d like to nurse her while she’s getting the vaccines. My pediatrician has no problem with that and it can help comfort them with the pain, lessening the amount they cry. This last appt, my baby girl didn’t cry at all during the shot bc the boob distracted her. That’s not always the case but if definitely lessens the tears. Just be sure to latch her on before they give the shot. Also, my sister tried this with her pediatrican and asked if she could do this and the doctor said no. Something silly about liability issues. But if you TELL them you’re going to do it rather than ASK, it makes the issue not up for debate. I just say nicely, with a smile on my face, “I’d like to nurse my baby during the vaccines since it comforts her.”

Reply

Aww I hope Brooke is feeling all better today. I remember when my daughter went in for her 12 months shots. She was not having it. I had to sit her in my lap and hold her legs inbetween mine and her wrap my arms around her arms so that she would move, I cried so hard. It took two nurses, a doctor, and me to hold her down. I felt horrible. As she got older it became easier. Her doctor makes the visit exciting and keeps a conversation with her during the shot which has helped a lot.

Reply

I’d like to say the shots thing gets better but at 2 and 4 they are still hard, kind of worse because they know now what’s up but FAR better than the diseases they’d get without them so thank you for vaccinating. It’s a short amount of sad for a lifetime of health is how I look at it.

We paint and carve.

TJs has great gingerbread at Christmas too. I also like their pumpkin pancakes.

Reply

I carved my first pumpkin last week with a friend, for the first time in probably 10 years! I’ve never been a fan of Halloween, but I like baking the pumpkin instead.

And TJ’s products? I’ve only been there once since I got home from Peru and it was quick, though I did enjoy that pumpkin mix for my muffins I made!

Reply

I’m not decorating for Halloween this year, but I am for Christmas!

Reply

Creamy Cilantro Dressing! and the frozen mango. I eat those every freaking day.

Reply

you come up with some incredible ideas, and I want more friends like yours. I should work on that

Reply

I’ve never heard of pumpkin painting before… it looks fun! And a lot less messy, that’s for sure.

Reply

LOVE TJ’s….faves right now include…spinach, kale artichoke dip, green salsa, cookie butter (so bad, but yummy), pizza dough, mango greek yogurt…many more!!

Reply

Oh sad about the shots!! :( SO sad to see them cry.

I think we’re going to have to paint ours this year….I hate the mess. Hah!

Reply

I’ve never heard of anyone painting a pumpkin instead of carving, but I love that idea!! I’m always down with NOT having to scoop the goop! hehe

I wish we had a TJ’s here.. That bread looks so yummy!

Reply

Ouch! It’s horrible watching them get their shots and the whole “who just hurt me?” face.

You should come run the Grape Stomp in Livermore – it’s only 40 minutes from Santa Clara…. and not to be a creeper, but I’m sure you are in the same apartment complex we lived in a few years ago after moving from Portland, OR. Except we had 3 kids in sleeping bags on the living room floor until we found a house. It was fun, but cramped for 5!

Reply

The maple leaf cookies are CRACK. I may or may not have eaten a whole box in one day.

Reply

We usually carve, but this seriously I’m seriously contemplating painting it! Seems easier and less messy. Trader Joes has good everything! Can’t go wrong.

Reply

Brooke’s hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want it on my own head, I love it so much!

I don’t really mind shots, but watching my baby boy get his was the worst thing ever. Luckily, his second round of shots a couple months later was a lot easier for him.

We carve pumpkins just because I like playing with the insides and roasting the seeds. But, I love your painted pumpkins!

Reply

Trader Joe’s -broccoli slaw and their refrigerated pizza dough is AMAZING!!! Oh and…… the dark chocolate covered pretzel thins. Dangerous. :)

Reply

Oooh…so many things. But in particular right now – the Chipotle Pepper Hummus, Powerberries (in a purple bag, it’s chocolate covered berries) and I’m dying to try all of the pumpkin desserts in the ice cream section!

Reply

I haven’t done a lot of carving in the past but that is about the change! i’m planning on hosting a pumpkin carving dinner party this year for a bunch of close friends–possible carving competition, we’ll see :)
We don’t have a trader Joe’s but one thing I always bring home with me when i’m able to visit the store is the almond flax butter, amazing soaps, jared bruschetta mix and trail mixes.
I’m not too bad with needles however my twin sister is terrified and often passes out, because of this I am often asked to lay down when getting shots incase its a commonality-super annoying!

Reply

Your kinda meals are also my fave kinda meals- a little of everything I’m craving and I’m completely satisfied :) P.S. Trader Joe’s has an awesome new guac, you gotta try it!!!

P.S. I *hate* needles. The weird thing is that I can look at them, talk about them, hold them, but as soon as it gets inserted into my arm I FRE-AAA-K!

Reply

I love the pumpkins! And the pumpkin stuff at TJ’s is awesome – have you tried the pumpkin macarons or Greek yogurt? Both are delicious!

Reply

Shots totally make me really nervous before they happen, but of course afterwards, I always wonder WHY I felt so scared!! Poor Brooke! I can’t even imagine :( Your pumpkin is so awesome! YAYYY Giants won, woo hoooo!! Get the Trader Joes’ kettle corn, it is the best thing on this planet, and I am obsessed. Like, I cannot NOT have it in the house at all times, or else I break into hives.

Reply

I have made these cookies a bunch of times and they usually only last around my house for 2 days (just me and my girlfriend live there), they will definetly top the TJ’s mix you used and they are super easy to make. And the best part is that the frosting recipe makes twice as much as reguired so lots to lick out of the bowl.

http://sloblogs.thetribunenews.com/andallthetrimmings/easy-pumpkin-spice-cookies-with-cinnamon-frosting/

Reply

I always carved my pumpkins but I really want to paint them as I was really not a good carver – always braking of wings, noses, teeth… . Haha ;)
I know that feeling of Brooke at the doctor`s too.

Reply

cute pump(kins)s! i’m not a fan of shots but can tolerate them. i imagine if i had a baby i would freak out. i bet brooke was a champ though! :)

Reply

I thought of you yesterday when I was subbing–the teacher had a container of candy corn in the corner and about 3 handfuls in I realized it was starting to look emptier and I didnt want her to know that i had been devouring her candy stash…I had to hide it from myself lol!

Reply

Awe poor Spikey. She’ll bounce back just like her ma & pa tho.
I’m obsessed with TJ’s too. My current favorites are their cilantro & jalapeno hummus. It’s seriously the best ever! Also their pre cooked teriyaki chicken. I make a cold Asian pasta salad with it & also put it on top of green salads.

Reply

Ah, Brooke! Pictures of her silly faces always make me laugh. She is so stinkin’ cute.

Nice argyle pumpkin! Who made that one? I love pumpkin season!! but it’s so hot down here in San Diego, I want some fall weather! How is it up there?

Reply

My favorite TJ’s item is the peach salsa. It is phenomenal!

Shots are never fun. Luckily the pain is usually over quickly.

Reply

I love painting pumpkins! My mom always paints a bunch and mails me one, even though doing so is expensive. This year I painted four…I saw an idea for a Harry Potter pumpkin and tried to copy it, but mine definitely wasn’t as good as the original! Love your angry candy corn– might try that, as well!

Reply

From TJ’s??? Oh, man. Too many to name. Some things that I get for sure are tart cherry juice (it supposedly helps bring down inflammation and can help with recovery post workout), Greek yogurt, and chocolate-covered espresso beans.

Reply

I was just as TJ’s today and picked up the pumpkin bread mix. Its currently in the oven baking, what a fabulous smell!! Their Edamame Hummus is amazing.

Reply

I love that last shot of you… you look so happy lost in your own little world :) I remember when I took my niece to get her shots & it nearly broke my heart. She was so giggly… obviously having no idea what’s to come… then the nurse jams the needle into her precious leg… & I think she was in shock for a few seconds unsure of what just happened… followed by 30 minutes of intense shrills & screams. I started to cry… apologizing for being such a bad auntie. It was all very dramatic & I needed a glass of wine after that.

Reply

Shots don’t bother me at all. If I have to get a shot (like a flu shot), I try to get it right before I teach a fitness class so I work out any of the soreness ahead of time. :)

I was just at TJ’s in Nashville this past weekend! W stocked UP on some pumpkin stuff! Right now my favorite is pumpkin cream cheese and also the Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Tea. Delicious!

Leave a Reply to Tabatha Rhodes Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *