Preserve Your Pumpkin (Video)


Issues last year with moldy pumpkins?
Yeah-me too.

Check out these ways to preserve yours this time around-


Wanna see what happens over time?
Want to teach kids more about the process-check out this fun pictorial for kids.
Want a fun book to help teach kids at home or in the classroom? Check this out!

Fun Friday: Halloween Recipes That Will Gross You Out!!


Big Sisters Who Think They’re Scary – and Little Sisters Who Think They Aren’t…

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. I like it because it’s all about fun! And we can dress up! And the colors are divine!

The food however, is not my favorite part, but it might be yours!

Since I’m always looking for more recipes to try, and Halloween is just around the corner, I thought I would share this list of GROSS RECIPES (shown as a google search so that you can pick your poison when it comes to where you get your recipe from:) –

KITTY LITTER CAKE (you have to at least look at it)

DIRT CAKE (popular,yummy)
I made mine with just this stuff: Chocolate Pudding, Crushed Oreos, Worms and Chocolate Cake….and minus all the other complicated ingredients! dirt cake ingredients Cream cheese? REALLY? Nope…dirt cake completeDidn’t use it.

SEVERED FINGERS IN A BUN (yep, they look real and grossed each of my kids out- and that’s sometimes hard to do)


My personal easy favorite? It’s nice and easy: Smiley Fries with Ketchup on their head (looks like blood- and yes I corrupted my children by telling them this). I googled to see if there was a photo of this anywhere and there IS! Here’s one courtesy of a blog called On the Road Photography!

Okay, so truth be told, I might have grown up watching horror flicks however, I don’t promote any mean, harmful things on others…I just have a sense of humor and “It’s Halloween Mom!”. Believe it or not, I’m still that parent who won’t allow my kids to play with play guns, swords or knives.

Go figure.

Check out Pinterest for more disgusting recipes! (Some great adult ones too! I like the cut out stomach of the baby doll for green dip!)

Fun Friday: Star Wars Inspired Me Last Night


 I’m not much of a Star Wars fan, actually.Yeah, sure… I know about it, a little. I watched an episode when I was a kid, and of course my three kids love the series, but I’ve never really followed it myself.

But, last night, it seemed I was receiving messages from Star Wars.


Well, my son was Darth Vader for Halloween and later when I sat down to relax after Trick-or-Treating I opened up the Puzzle of the Day, and low and behold, this is what I found!

Click to Mix and Solve
-It was a sign-  –  –  –  –  ‘may the force be with you’ –  –  –  –  –  –

For all the moms out there who aren’t into Star Wars either, but love getting kids to hand over some of their Halloween candy in turn for trucking their costume-clad-bottoms around the neighborhood, this next thing is for you- they know it’s coming-so get your share while you can:


Do You Dress Up for Halloween with the Kids?

Do You Dress Up With the Kids for Halloween?


Are you able to get into the Halloween spirit?

I’ve done it a few times as a parent.
I was a witch once,
 a cowgirl,
I can’t seem to locate my photos, but when I do, I will post them…

Until then, I have a some friends who are brave enough not only to dress up in costume with their kids but to allow me to post their picture on my blog.


You only live once (don’t take yourself too seriously).


Pumpkin Carving 101

My childhood was far from conventional.

I went trick -or- treating with my uncle every year because my dad worked nights,
I was a blue Care Bear two years in a row (not by choice)
and I had never carved a pumpkin
Enter motherhood.
Yeah, I know…
if you’re a parent and want to know how to carve a pumpkin,
or have experience, but wonder if someone has tricks and tips to share, look no more.
Here is :
Family Matters with Amber
Pumpkin Carving 101
  1. Do buy a large enough pumpkin which you can stick your hand into (because trust me, my kids weren’t super eager to get their hands in there)
  2. Don’t get your pumpkins too early (just like a Christmas Tree, pumpkins deteriorate -2 wks prior to Halloween is usually a good time frame)
  3. Have markers, pens, paints ready (not all children get the whole Jack O’ Lantern thing; mine have tried everything on their pumpkins
  4. Buy a kit (like the one pictured) with cutters and a stencil book- they are cheap and fun- but…
  5. Keep a good steak knife handy, tablespoons, and buy a sturdy permanent cutter from someplace like Pampered Chef (because you’ll probably end up tossing the kit-cutters out afterwards because they bend and break
  6. Do cut your pumpkin top off on an angle. My first time I cut around the top and stuck the cutter in straight up and down (not cool- because then the top slips into the pumpkin when you put it on!)
  7.  Don’t let your kids pick too intricate of a design (remember #1)~ if you’re like me with multiple kids, this could take a while
  8. Do get a recipe for cooking pumpkin seeds (just to say you’re family has tried them)
  9. Use a string of clear holiday lights or battery powered candles to light them up if you’re not crazy about flame candles (for more ideas on how to light up your Jack O’ Lanterns click here)
  10. Clear the kitchen floor or front porch, spread out lots of newspaper, dress in old clothes and have a ball!
Pretty simple, I know, but I had no idea about any of this when I started out.

What pumpkin carving advice do you have?


Do You Have A Pumpkin Picking Rule?

I have this thing with my kids….

Every year we go pumpkin picking and when it’s time to choose,
 I only have one rule – 
You have to be able to carry your pumpkin out of the place….
I think he’s learned his lesson over the years…
Yes, she has always been borderline with hers.
(This year I ended up carrying it across the parking lot to the car for her-
After she carved it she picked it up and said, “Wow! It’s a lot lighter now!”)
Where is your favorite place to pick pumpkins?


What to do with All of that Horrifying Halloween Candy!?

Now that trick-or-treating is here, your little one’s will be carrying buckets, bags and pillowcases to your neighbor’s houses so they can show off their cool costumes and get loads of candy!

They will be ecstatic!!!
And you will be in a panic.
So, now what to do with all of that Halloween candy….?

Well if you’re a kid, it’s easy…EAT IT!… DUH!??

If you’re a parent, and you’re like me, you’ll cringe every time you hear another wrapper uncrinkle…

If you do, you may want to read this.

I ration candy.

That’s right, I limit their intake of amazingly delicious, cavity causing treats.

Of course I don’t ration it the first night.
We dabble in the treat bags the whole night, after it’s checked of course, and when the next day comes, they get one or two pieces per day.

Yes, I did just say, ‘one or two pieces a day‘. Obviously if the kids are extra good and had a fair share of good stuff to eat that day, than they can have three pieces, but honestly, I think that an entire bucket of candy is too many cavities for one kid so I don’t let them have it all at once.

At once piece a day they tend to forget about it after a week, and they don’t load up on sugar highs and end up sick from it.

You may think I’m a meany.
You might assume my kids don’t enjoy trick-or-treating because they know they can’t have it all in one shot or can’t eat it whenever they want to…but I’ve not heard, or seen, even one of my kiddo’s complain about this deal.

I think what is awful is watching my child have to keep going back to the dentist to get fillings because her mouth is full of cavities…and having all that yucky work done in his/her mouth at such a young age…
THAT makes my heart hurt.

A little candy rationing is nothin’ 😉

Happy Trick-or-Treating! (And maybe happy rationing;)