woman holding pumpkin

Friday Favorites: Pumpkins and Pictures

Hooray for Friday Favorites! I now have to save face because last week I shared all about how excited I was over my newsletter and the freebie I’m offering with it, but the forms didn’t work! Thankfully, another blogger pointed this out to me. It was one of those “your fly is down” moments that I keep having in life.

Anyway, if you tried to fill out that form and it didn’t work, give me another chance! I’d love to see you in your inbox, and I promise to share valuable things with you. Like freebies, links to my blog posts, and more embarrassing stories. So please fill out that form you see above this post.

Moving right along, here are my favorite things of the week!



Family Portraits

Who doesn’t love having those beautiful family pictures on hand? We took ours this past weekend, and not one, but TWO of them were acceptable! It’s a Fall Miracle!

We didn’t use a professional photographer because it wasn’t in the budget, but I’m super happy with them. Ladies, if you’re watching your spending this fall and are worried about nixing professional pictures, I’m here to tell you it’s possible to get some decent shots. Here are my tips for taking family portraits on your own:

  • Look for a nice outdoor location.
  • Search Pinterest for posing ideas or tips that are specifically for a family that’s your size. (for example, “family of four portrait poses”)
  • Plan at least a week ahead to have a family member or friend take the pictures.
  • Arrange for the picture to be taken in the morning so everyone is at their most fresh, in appearance and attitude. 🙂
  • Coordinate outfits a little bit. We went for casual, with black and gray. It’s not super coordinated but it’s not mismatched either.
  • Try to get your heads positioned close together. It makes SUCH a big difference! If you have little ones like we do, you’ll need to sit together, with kids on laps, or lift them up like we did here.
  • Have your friend take a LOT of pictures. Snapping away really helps your odds!
  • Move around to more than one spot.
  • Give the kids a few breaks to run around.
  • Get out of any direct sunlight to avoid harsh shadows.

I’m sharing the blog-approved photo here, and saving our absolute favorite for Christmas cards. Do you guys do that too? It’s hard not to share one right away.

Note all the FALL-ness happening here. If you’ve been following my Instagram, you know the obsession is starting to get out of hand.



My Husband’s Pumpkin Carving Skills

This is our first year creating jack-o-lanterns for the kids, and I know it’ll be our Halloween tradition from now on.

First, for a more hands-on activity, I had the kids paint a little pumpkin. They shared the same one and not a single painting fight broke out!

Then we had the kids scoop out the pumpkin innards and Ry worked on the design they each picked out. Kai chose a spider and Sylvie’s is a ghost. My husband has some mad skills!



General Awesome Family Life

I wasn’t really sure what to call this one (can you tell?) but we’ve just been having such a nice season. Kai has been a huge fan of playing in the leaves and using the leaf-blower with a grown up, we’ve been having some cozy times together, I’ve found moments to have some coffee and tea, I’m reading a great book, Ry is leading a men’s group at church and loving that, we’ve had plenty of tickle monsters and cookie monsters, and we’re all learning and growing and praying and laughing.

How’s that for a run-on sentence? Things are still far from perfect, of course, and we have our difficult moments every day, but I’m just so thankful for the wonderful times we’ve been having as a family this fall.



Fall Food

It’s true, I’m not in love with cooking. My one saving grace in this area is that I plan my meals and am willing to try new things. This week I made a maple-cinnamon sweet potato and sausage skillet meal and it was a big hit! Hooray!


We also had some delicious cheesy broccoli and sausage soup. Did I take pictures? No. Of course not. But I did make it in the best soup pot ever. Here’s a word of warning: don’t just buy a cooking pot from any old place. *Sometimes* the labels can be impossible to remove, and THEN the lid can also be suctioned to the pot so tightly YOU CAN’T EVEN GET IT OFF (despite your best efforts which involved freezing it, running water over it, and beating it up, which resulted in more injury to yourself than the indestructible pot of DEATH) and you have to return the thing.

But this pot from Amazon? Perfection.

I also roasted pumpkin seeds, using a bit of coconut oil and a sugar/cinnamon combo both before and after baking. They were tasty too!



What I’m Pinning: My Favorite Pin of the Week

Does this not look adorable, fun, EASY, and even tasty too? This cute Fall Ice Cream Cone Teepees craft led me to Ashley’s awesome blog Frugal Coupon Living. I just love the idea of creating a cute little craft/dessert that reminds me of the gingerbread house tradition, but this one is perfect for Thanksgiving. Go check it out!

click and then pin!

I’m on Pinterest here, if you want to see what else I’m pinning lately. I’d love to see what you’re pinning too!

Tell me what you’re loving this week. And have a happy Friday!

Linking up with:

Friday Favorites with AndreaNarci, and Erika
High Five for Friday with  Cup of TeaBright on a BudgetbyBMG, and Della Devoted
Five on Friday with Carolina CharmHello! Happiness, and Smidge of This

8 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Pumpkins and Pictures”

  1. Family photos are my fave! We only do them professionally every other year so this year I’ve got to try and figure out a plan to round my crew up and take a picture myself. Pumpkin carving is one of my fave things to do and you guys did such a fun job! Loving all the fall color….we still don’t have any here.

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