Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Recipe

If you are like us, everywhere we turn, we see something to do with pumpkins: pumpkin decorations, pumpkin pies, pumpkin cupcakes, and pumpkin lattes. The color orange is the perfect fall color since orange is a happy color, and it is that highlighter color that grabs your attention! With the smell of pumpkin spice permeating the air, what better way to celebrate fall than by making a healthy and tasty pumpkin smoothie!

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Prep time – 5 Minutes | Cook/Chill Time – 3 hours | Total Time – 3 hours 5 minutes

Serving Size – One Serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 Pitted Dates or 1 to 1 ½ Tbsp of Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats (Gluten-Free if Preferred)
  • ¼ to ½ tsp Instant Coffee Granules (If you are unsure about adding coffee, start with ¼ tsp and increase to ½ tsp according to personal preference)
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ½ Tbsp Almond Butter
  • ¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg

Directions:

  1. The night before, add all ingredients to your blender and make sure you stir them well (you are not blending yet). Cover and place in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours. You can eliminate this step, but soaking the oats overnight- it will make the smoothie creamier.  
  2. When ready to make, blend on high until the oats and dates are fully broken down. Blend until you have a smooth and creamy consistency. If the smoothie is too thick, just add a little almond milk. 
  3. You can enjoy the smoothie cold or warm. To drink warm, add the mixture to a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. If the smoothie becomes too thick when cooking, simply add a splash of almond milk.  

We hope this recipe helps you to kick off the fall season. Happy October!

Getting Ready for Halloween – Crafts

21467637_SPumpkin carving provides great Halloween memories for children and parents alike. Today’s pumpkin carving tools – available in most grocery and dollar stores – make the process even easier and more fun.

Here are a few pumpkin-carving tips when working with children.

Stay age-appropriate. For very little ones, have them draw the face on the pumpkin for an adult to carve. Or you may not even carve the pumpkin at all – instead use a set of colored sharpies to let children draw jack-o-lantern faces. This is particularly fun for them with the little desk-sized pumpkins.

Share the fun. If possible, let every child have his or her own pumpkin. If that gets too expensive, have one child decide on the eyes, another the nose or mouth, etc. so that everyone has a part in the final product.

Stay safe. Keep sharp knives away from children. Instead of lighting a candle for inside the pumpkin, pick up an LED votive candle for flameless light.

10996366_SThe photo on the right shows another fun craft for Halloween. Cut heavy paper into strips – with decorative scissors if you have them although plain strips will also work. Create a pumpkin shape and staple or glue in place. Top with green paper leaves and some curly ribbon.

Black construction paper can be cut into bat and cat shapes for walls and windows. Bend the bats so they look like they might fly away before tacking to a wall or door.

16209145_SOne other simple craft approach – using leaves – is easy to create but can provide intriguing and dramatic results as you can see in the photo to the left. Cut out scary faces with scissors when leaves are fresh and then let dry in a book to keep them flat. You can tape the final results to your windows to make your home look extra spooky and interesting this Halloween.

Halloween is a great time to get the family together to make decorations for your home during the season. Explore Pinterest and the Internet for other fun ideas for crafts that will help you make Halloween extra special.

Decorate your Entryway for Fall

19586378_SDo you find that less is more when decorating your front entryway for the fall holidays? If you’re satisfied with one pumpkin – uncarved –sitting on your front stoop then this blog is not for you.

If, on the other hand, you enjoy making the most of the autumn season both inside and outside your home, consider some of these fun options.

Wreaths: Start with a grapevine frame and weave in some silk leaf sprays from a hobby store. Or you could make life easy and grab a fall-leaf garland and wrap it around your grapevine. Voila, you have a gorgeous wreath, generally for less than$20. If you want, pick up a few yards of wide fall ribbon and add a bow. The wreath in the photo has the added fun of a few pumpkins and a pinecone or two.

5823969_SPumpkins: Yes of course you want one on your porch. You might as well go home if you don’t have at least one. But how about going for broke? The photo below shows three jack-o-lanterns hogging the stairway daring you to ignore their grinning faces.  A couple of gourds add an additional spark of fall gaudiness.

3750054_SMums: Your local warehouse store has huge mum plants ready to pop into bloom in every fall color. Notice how nice the orange and white mums look at this entrance. They send a message that the adults in this home like autumn too.

Finally, you can go all out and display all of these at the same time. Consider adding a scarecrow such as the one in this final photo, or find the autumn figure of your choice. Maybe you’d rather have a few bats or an owl or two. Florists, discount stores and hobby stores have a rich selection of choices to appeal to any taste.

Let your visitors know you’re up for autumn before they even walk in the door. Make your opinions of the joys of fall loud and clear for the neighbors to hear!

Warm Up your Dining Table

With autumn bringing family holidays, adding some special touches to your dining table or buffet can turn a simple dinner into something special. A fall-themed centerpiece or other elements also provide additional warmth to your home. Here are a few ideas.

Table runners: Catalogs, home shops and even discount stores all can be great resources for lovely table runners. Place a runner on your table and add a couple of candlesticks and brighten up your dining room very simply. Add placemats and dinner is ready. Table runners also work well to embellish simple tablecloths. Switching a runner is one of the fastest ways to change a room’s mood.

Flowers: Chrysanthemums – either in a pot or a vase – say fall easily and inexpensively. Place a few pots on either side of your buffet or one large vase in the center of your dining table. For a simpler and easy look, cut flowers shorter and put in a series of juice glasses. Use rubber bands to hold the stems together – making the small flower arrangements appealing and organized.

Centerpieces: Don’t limit your ideas to flowers and candles. Gourds, a bowl of mixed nuts, fall leaves – real or silk – and some apples or pears can be combined with baskets or pottery bowls and platters to create a tablescape that catches the eye. Just add place settings and you’re ready for a party or family gathering.

Candles: Whether you choose tall tapers or small votives, candlelight adds warmth and charm to any room. if you are concerned about fire and small children, look for battery-powered LED lights that mimic flames.

With just a few minutes and a little thought, you can turn your dining room from a place to eat to an inviting and appealing space. Take the time to make your dining table special and your family and friends will appreciate the result.