Make: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I wanted to try my hand at roasting pumpkin seeds, since we took the time to save them from the pumpkin Ellis carved.

I searched the Internet for recipes, but nothing really stood out to me, so I asked for recommended recipes on my insta-stories.  I love doing this because I know "real" people will give me "real" recipes, and it won't be a #PinterestFail.

I had a handful of people message me with some yummy sounding recipes -- all different from one another.   But of course, I didn't have all the ingredients on hand for any one of the recipes.

And to be honest, I was sick of the seeds sitting out on my counter, so I just made up my own recipe, using what I had on hand.

The result?  AMAZING.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds | My Darling Days

I don't know why I've never done this before, but you can bet your bottom dollar I will be doing it every year from here on out.

Prior to roasting them, I washed them really well and laid them out to dry for a few days.

I ended up tossing the seeds with Avocado Oil, then sprinkled with Lawry's Seasoned Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, and a drizzle of Worcestershire Sauce.  After they were mixed well, I spread them out in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  I roasted at 300° for 30 minutes total, periodically flipping them so they roasted evenly on both sides.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds | My Darling Days

They were savory, salty, and very addicting.  I bet they'd be good in a trail mix too.

Maybe next year I'll try a sweet version -- butter, sugar, cinnamon... I mean you can't go wrong with those three ingredients, right?

Do you have a tried & true pumpkin seeds recipe?  Share with us in the comments below!

Halloween 2018

One of the things that I looked forward to before becoming a mom was making Halloween costumes for my kids.  Growing up, almost all of the costumes I had were homemade.  We were creative, shopped our house for supplies, and sometimes enlisted Grandma for her sewing abilities, but ultimately my mom always came through with a great costume for us.

My sister & I have at least 10 years worth of pictures, always standing in front of our fire place, showcasing our homemade costumes... And now we live in a world where you can pay $25 for a puppy costume on Amazon & have it shipped to your house in 2 days.

I still love the idea of making my kid's Halloween costumes, but real life is: ain't nobody got time for that.  And, usually the costume is worn for like half a second before they want out of it.   However, I am both amazed & jealous of the photos that I see sprinkled on social media of all the moms (and dads!) that "went all out" on their kids costumes.  Virtual high fives for you!

My ultimate Halloween dream: a homemade FAMILY costume... one where we ALL dress up. Themed, of course... and the dog included.

But until then, this equally cute / awfully gaudy puppy costume is still making me smile.

Halloween 2018, puppy | My Darling Days

Halloween 2018, puppy | My Darling Days

Halloween 2018, puppy | My Darling Days

Halloween 2018, puppy | My Darling Days
   
Halloween 2018, puppy | My Darling Days


A few days prior to Halloween, we helped Ellis carve his first pumpkin.  At first he was a little hesitant to dig in, but once we got him started, he didn't want it to end. 

He had pumpkin guts and seeds stuck to him everywhere.  It was so adorable!

Halloween 2018, pumpkin carving | My Darling Days

Halloween 2018, pumpkin carving | My Darling Days


Halloween 2018, pumpkin carving | My Darling Days

Halloween 2018, pumpkin carving | My Darling Days

Halloween 2018, pumpkin carving | My Darling Days



We hope you all had a wonderfully spooky Halloween!!


A Top Notch Tuesday Night.

The day started out like a typical Tuesday... (it was last week, 10/16/18).

My alarm went off at 5:30 am, but I was awake well before that.  Groggy & tired, with stellar bed head (you oughta see these curls when I wake up in the morning... woof!)

Ellis was yelling "DADDDDY," from his crib.

So the day begins!

Shower, get myself half ready, breakfast is done... fried egg on a toast, always (thanks  Zac!)
Ellis poops - diaper change. Then fight to brush his teeth, finish getting myself ready, pour coffee, and out the door 10 minutes later than I wanted.

Get stuck behind a bus, daycare drop off, auto-pilot drive to work.  Work on the cube farm for 9 hours, auto-pilot drive back to daycare, home.  Throw supper together, spend way too much time trying to get Ellis to eat it, clean up kitchen, play with Ellis for about 45 minutes, bath, books, bed.

This is what most workdays during the week look like for us.
Except last Tuesday, was an exception.

It was a typical day, though work was a real pain in the you-know-what that day. A day where you can't stop to eat lunch & realize you're still drinking (cold) coffee at 2:00 pm.  Just really busy, you know?

On my drive home though, I noticed how nice it was outside.  And we needed to get outside.  We needed to break the cycle of the mundane week day.  But if you're from Wisconsin reading this, you will know our October thus far has been rain or wind... not the kind of weather that makes you want to lollygag outside.

So I'm home from work and throw together a venison stir-fry. The "dump all" kind where you just toss in whatever you have left in your fridge that you need to use up because tomorrow is grocery day and you're working with wilted peas & questionable minced garlic from the jar.

By good graces of God, Ellis LOVED the stir-fry.  Had two helpings, actually.  And from turning on the stove-top burner to loading the dish washer, we were all fed & the kitchen was clean in 28 minutes flat.  This meant we had 1.5 hours to play outside in the glorious weather (well, low 50's isn't that glorious, but I'll take it).  It was a Tuesday Miracle!

We hopped in the car and headed to Bay Shore Park, our resident standby place for nature walks & exploring.


Zac says, "let's jog tonight"... and I about had a heart attach, but jog we did.  And it felt GOOD!  Except for the 10 minute period that Zac momentarily lost his phone.  It apparently jogged right outta his vest, but we ended up finding it on the path after back-tracking our steps, so all was well.


Ellis was laughing and waving and holding all the leaves he could grab... being a real dreamboat of a baby... and on the cusp of turning two, "dreamboat baby" behavior doesn't happen that often these days.


Although nothing was really that spectacular about the night, it just felt like a really good evening.  One that fills up your empty cup, and makes you double count your blessings because they are so abundant.  And so, I knew I need to document it, to remind myself (and you) that sometimes you just need to switch it up.

Get outside. Spend time with the ones that you love on a random Tuesday night.  Stay up past normal bed-time.  And eat s'mores with a side a milk before brushing your teeth & calling it a night.


It'll be worth it, I promise.


Apple Picking | 2018

This year we didn't have to go too far to pick apples... because our backyard trees were flourishing!

True be told, we should have picked them about 2 weeks earlier as some of them were already kinda rotten, but we still got our fair share & Ellis was happy as a clam, so really -- that's all that matters.

Oh, Grace was happy to participate this year as well...

Apple picking | My Darling Days

Apple picking | My Darling Days

Apple picking | My Darling Days

Ellis "taste-tested" just about every single apple.

Apple picking | My Darling Days





Apple picking | My Darling Days

Apple picking | My Darling Days

Apple picking | My Darling Days

^ must of been a sour bite!


Apple picking | My Darling Days

Apple picking | My Darling Days


Apple picking | My Darling Days

Apple picking | My Darling Days

Now the question is... what do we do with all these apples?!


To see previous posts of our apple picking adventures, click the links below:
Apple picking 2017
Apple picking 2016

The Pumpkin Patch | 2018

Happy October!

You know what October means... cooler temps, changing leaves, cozy sweaters, and all things apple & pumpkin.

We'll do our best to make sure Ellis gets to experience all of Fall's goodness, so first up: The Pumpkin Patch.

Ellis took his 'punkin' patching responsibilities very seriously this year.
He had a bit of trouble navigating through the patch because he kept getting tripped up in the vines, but that didn't stop him from finding the perfect pumpkin.  

Pumpkin Patch, Fall | My Darling Days

After meticulous consideration, he found: THE ONE.

Pumpkin Patch, Fall | My Darling Days

Who knew a simple pumpkin could bring a child so much joy?  It truly is the little things. <3


Pumpkin Patch, Fall | My Darling Days

Pumpkin Patch, Fall | My Darling Days

Pumpkin Patch, Fall | My Darling Days

Pumpkin Patch, Fall | My Darling Days


Pumpkin Patch, Fall | My Darling Days

Pumpkin Patch, Fall | My Darling Days


Pumpkin Patch, Fall | My Darling Days

Pumpkin Patch, Fall | My Darling Days
Had to carry two pumpkins, just like dad...

Pumpkin Patch, Fall | My Darling Days
but couldn't quite get all the way to the truck with both of them.

Pumpkin Patch, Fall | My Darling Days
Though he sure is proud of the one he could carry.

Pumpkin Patch, Fall | My Darling Days


We're so grateful for Great Grandpa Lloyd & Great Grandma Patsy's hard work to maintain this patch...  Look at the memories they help us create each year.

Pumpkin Patch Memories, Fall | My Darling Days


Happy Fall, y'all!  Go on & celebrate it!

Pumpkin Patch Memories, Fall | My Darling Days


P.S. If you need to see a baby in pumpkin patch, click here to view our photos from last year.


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