Category Archives: pumpkin

Halloween in Bath England, 2013

It is the day after Halloween which means we can now start getting excited about the upcoming holidays.  For us in England that begins with fireworks this month and ends with fireworks in the new year.  Before I start making my blog about how much I love this time of the year, let us recap over what it is like to celebrate Halloween as an expat in Bath, England.  
For a few months we had been talking about costumes with the idea that our whole family would go as one thing together.  In the end it turned out that my husband would not be home in time from work to participate and I did not have much in the way to pull off what I wanted to do either.  For our first Halloween here in 2011 my boys had costumes mailed over from the US, last year they celebrated Halloween in the US, and this year it took us all of five minutes per kid to get ready to Trick or Treat.  My eldest went as a mummy in a judo uniform and strips of muslin and my youngest as a Frankenstein monster with green face paint and some make up from my kit.  It was the quickest we have ever prepared for Halloween. But to to be real it is not really that big of a thing here in England.  Only a few shops in town will have a few select halloween items.   Most of the kids costumes I have seen in England have always been in the genre of: witch, mummy, werwolf, vampire, etc.  The more common themes of Halloween.
We almost did not get to carve pumpkins this year, but managed to find three large ones left the day before while we were in town.  On Halloween my boys and I had fun carving our pumpkins.  I decided to try an owl and I kinda like the way he turned out this year.  You should see the pumpkins we painted and carved last year while stuck in the US.
I had not bought any candy in town because I saw how expensive a tiny bag with maybe 12 packs in it would be and it did not seem worth it.  Especially when I did the comparison of candy buying in the US.  So we ended up making cookies on Halloween with homemade sugar icing and handing those out to the kids who knocked on our door. 
For trick or treating we knocked on a couple of doors where we lived and then walked the forty five minutes to where one of my boys goes to school and trick or treated on maybe twenty different doors. This was way more active area then where we lived before.  I believe in 2012 we only found two doors to knock on and a pub that was giving out candy to the kids.  My husband some how found us in the darkness and was able to join in on the Halloween fun.  
To be fair Halloween is not one of my favourite holidays.  Some how even with that fact mentioned I got a little bit of ‘culture shock mixed in with homesickness’ creep up on me while we were out.   It was really strange to me when it happened because I do not really have a home to miss.  As an expat it can be very unsettling when this happens and you never know when it can strike. Luckily as soon as my husband met up with us he was able to help me feel much better and it soon but all dissipated. Which I have to say if you ever feel that way while living abroad…let your family love on you.  It can make all the difference in the world.

* Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All rights reserved |

Birthday Cake

Birthdays are always a great celebration and last week we got to celebrate one here at the house.  The boys’ grandfather had his 60 something birthday.  The boys love to be in the kitchen so we talked about making something special.  So on the big day the boys and I spent our science period making a very chocolate cake with coconut oil.  It was very yummy and super rich.  But a nice special treat for someone celebrating a big birthday.  The boys were excited to pick out cards and get balloons and presents.  It was a fun evening. 
The chocolate cake.
Ronan signing the card he picked out. 
Watching the cake come out with candles on it. 
The boys decorated pumpkins for a grocery store competition.  They made 3D affects for spookiness!
Ronan was all smiles in home education this week. 
Instagram: thebonnierose

Decorating Pumpkins and the Pork & Apple Festival

Can you believe it is now October and Halloween is just weeks away?  I know we cannot, even though we have been getting our decorating groove on.  I have included first pictures from the decorating process of our pumpkins and squash, an update from last week’s blog post of the Pumpkin patch.  We also spent the weekend in Clinton, IL for a Pork & Apple festival.  It was a beautiful sunny day out for the festival and we had a lot of fun eating pork, ham, and apples!  We also enjoyed a live rockabilly band, the Swamp Tigers, which I highly recommend.  We made rope, saw vintage farm equipment, and watched how different crafts are made.  All in all it has been a great week and perfect start to Fall! Enjoy the photos.

Our pumpkins and Squash for Halloween (L to R: Mummy/Vampire, Jack, Ooogie Boogie, and Boo)
The boys and I started by choosing our first ‘victim’ and taking their ‘Before’ shot.
My son, Maddox, made a Mummy Vampire with felt facial pieces and white crepe streamers for the bandages. 
My son, Ronan, loves Nintendo and wanted to make Boo. More importantly King Boo. Not pictured is his crown, which he is now wearing.  We started by priming him in white and then painting over with a pearly white paint so that his white teeth would stand out in the main white.  Of course Boo is sporting his tongue hanging out of his mouth.
We love Tim Burton at my house so it was only natural we do Ooogie Boogie with this great big Squash from the pumpkin patch. I started first by painting him in two coats of green.  I used various shades of green to outline in his limbs and for contouring after using black for his facial features.  I also gave him his seams, with one gapping seam that has bugs oozing out of him. The final touches were two dice, one in each hand. Now he really is a gambling man—er squash!
Last year we didn’t do pumpkins because we live in England and Halloween is not as big of a holiday as it is in the USA.  But the year before I made a Jack Pumpkin with a white pumpkin. He was great bug since we carved him, he did not last very long.  This year I got an off white pumpkin and added white paint first, then painted on his face with a quote from The Nightmare Before Christmas on the back. 
This is my Jack, from 2010, that I carved out of a white pumpkin for Halloween. 
Here is a final look at our main pumpkins and squash for this year. Looking good!
We have some smaller pumpkins and squashes left and here is one that I am working on now.  I took a few pages of my September Vogue magazine and used it to collage over it using Hodge Podge.  I do not feel it is finished yet, so I may update you with a final piece in an upcoming blog post for October. 
For our really small pumpkins and squashes I used this chrome spray paint to coat them.  I really liked the final look.  However I have also taken a few and used orange glitter to give them some varying accents.  I used an ‘A’ on one of them for a monogram of our surname. 
We went to Clinton, IL for the 44th annual Pork & Apple Festival for food, fun, and music. Maddox is pictured here making his own rope. 
Close up of the tools and simple machine needed to make a rope. 
Ronan and Maddox showing off their ropes at the Pork & Apple Festival in Clinton, IL
The Swamp Tigers
The Swamp Tigers
Vintage farm equipment and apples for sale. Of course we had to buy some to eat too. 
Showing how the corn is processed and vintage license plates on display inside the barn. 
How glass beads are made and a vintage washing machine.
Watching different tradesman in how they make their crafts of both wood and metal. 
Last but not least the boys have some fun before bedtime with their ‘parachuting man’.  See you next week!
Instagram: thebonnierose

Fall has Begun

Fall is finally here and we are already enjoying the changing colours of the leaves.  So much so we went out and picked a bunch of our favourite leaves from the ground and took them home.  I had seen on Pinterest how you can fold the leaves to make roses and got busy constructing my own.  Since Rose is my middle name (literally), I took photos to show you the Fall coloured roses.  You can see them displayed above and I have included a photo at the end of this blog post. 
My boys at the farmer’s market at the pumpkin patch. 
To celebrate the season we went to a farmer’s market and a Pumpkin patch.   My boys were so excited pick out their own pumpkins and gourds.  It will be fun to decorate this week for the Fall holidays.  With our wagons full, we left and headed over to Arthur, an Amish community.  We picked up a bag full of apples from the orchards and spices to make our own apple pies.  I have never made a pie before so it was a pretty big deal for me to try it this year.  Thanks to one of my friends for a yummy crust recipe, I got busy with slicing apples.  For those of you big on using coconut oil, I will let you in on a little baking secret.  Instead of using crisco in the crust, I substituted with coconut oil.  You just need to make sure it is in its liquid state, and not solid when you mix it with your ingredients.  Otherwise your dough will end up lumpy. Though my pies do not look as beautiful as professional pies, they were the best tasting ones I have ever had.  Proof that homemade is definitely more fun and more tasty! Hope you guys have fun trying your hands out at baking this Fall like we did.

My homemade Apple Pie, the first time making one.
With our left over apples we sliced them thinly and put them on a baking sheet.  After sprinkling them with a little splenda and apple pie spice, we put them into the oven to bake for an hour on each side. The result: Yummy home made apple crisps! Yummy! My son, Ronan, really enjoyed making these and my other son Maddox really loves eating them for a snack. 
My boys trying honey sticks at the Farmer’s market in Champaign, IL.

Ronan in his wagon at the Pumpkin Patch.
My sons had fun checking out all the interesting pumpkins and gourds at the Pumpkin Patch.  
Maddox at the Pumpkin Patch. 
Running through the maze at the pumpkin patch. 
This is one of my favourite photos that I took in Arthur, the Amish community. The breeze was making the laundry on the line dance and the sun was shining through the trees.  Just a very beautiful scene.
Passing a horse and buggy on the road in Arthur.
Fall Roses made from leaves that I constructed from the leaves my sons picked out.