This past weekend was a full ride. I could try to explain but it probably wouldn’t make a lot of sense. Basically I wanted to throw a pumpkin painting party. The reasons are numerous and convoluted…but the end result is the same…caramel apples and chili and cornbread out the wazoo.
So a couple months ago I told all the ladies in my church group that we would be hosting a pumpkin party and that I would send out an invite later. I whipped up a super simple email and sent out the homemade ‘evite’ a couple weeks prior to the event.
Then came time to get ready. I intended to make the menu REALLY simple…chili, cornbread, goodies. That’s it. But in the end, it never works out that way. I always go overboard. Thankfully…when you start small, going overboard means getting to a normalish spot. All of the food I started the night before.
This was my first adventure in caramel apple making. It had a few hiccups…but in the end, I think they turned out looking almost as delicious as they tasted.
The food was placed on a folding table that I had draped with a drop cloth and a wipeable Halloween tablecloth. The jack-o-lantern and cat garland I got for a couple dollars at TJMaxx during an after-Halloween-sale a couple years ago.
Folks kept adding food dishes and by the time we were done, the 6 foot table was busting at the seams. I think I might need to get another one just for events like these. I mean…nobody wants to serve the potato salad off the floor, right?
The big table that we built for the patio was decorated with a long burlap runner and little pumpkins. It was really fast and easy.
We had a ton of drinks in a cooler but our glass bottled beverages we put in our patio side tables. Jeremy built these tables (I have still yet to post the plans) and we discovered that if we didn’t attach the top pieces, that we could pop them out and put in a small pan to hold ice. People still put their drinks on the edge but this is a nice feature for parties because I don’t like putting glass bottles in the cooler with the kids drinks and the soda cans.
Plus, it is just darn cute to see harvest pumpkin ale out during a pumpkin party 🙂
Both boys (and myself) have been under the weather so it was a good distraction but I’m hating that both boys didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped.
Weston just wanted to be constantly held. He usually isn’t like that. Also, I feel bad because normally I could comfort him with nursing but this past week he has decided to stop breastfeeding completely. I tried everything I could think of and every thing I could find online. But he just up and decided that he was done. It is an end to a season and I have to remember that it’s ok.
Jeremy borrowed our neighbors trailer and we loaded it up with hay bales and the kids all went for hayrides through the property. I wish I would have gone because they all loved it.
As for the pumpkin painting part, we set up two folding tables and bales of hay for seats.
I got some washable paint and foam brushes and put everything out on drop cloths. It was the easiest setup and clean up.
When we finally announced it was time to paint pumpkins, the kids squeeled and ran over. Even the big kids. It was one of those moments that I wish I had a video of…it was that cute.
The parents were all around being super helpful….so I managed to see more and do less.
Will was only interested in painting things blue. Halfway through he told me that he was done and that he wanted me to finish it. I just left it as is and now it is sitting on my kitchen table. The little thing makes me unbelievably happy 🙂 This whole thing was basically for him anyway…so to see the little orange and blue creation is just a reminder that all that work is worth it…every.single.time.
More action shots of pumpkin painting…
I should probably mention that during most of the party the husbands were all playing basketball. I think they were pretending that they were 17 again. Afterward Jeremy told me that he wanted to convert the tennis court into a more all-sports court. I get it…but that just sounds like a lot of work. I guess we will have to wait and see if that ever happens.
We did manage to get a couple family photos. This was the best one…no kids were crying or eating (oh wait, that’s M&M’s in Will’s hand…maybe he was eating). Overall, it was a really fun time…and the ladies were huge helps to me getting ready (thanks y’all!) so from a party-throwing end, it was our most successful shindig to date.
And honestly the best part was that we actually got the back cleaned up for the party (did you see the border and mulch?! more on that later!)…so it was nice to have the patio ready for fall. C’mon autumn! I’m ready for cooler weather! Who’s with me?!
Rachel @ A Mother Far from Home says
With a 6 month old I got pregnant again and tried to force him to keep feeding. By 9 months old he flat out would not do it. Nearly broke my heart! Burns lots of calories too and no one wants to lose that either. Similar timeline to youI tthink. They say it is the consistency or taste that comes with the hormone changes of pregnancy. Hope you are keeping well.
Looks like a great party! You guys have a tennis court?……I’m so jealous!
Your caramel apples look amazing too!
Sometimes when you’re pregnant, the taste of the milk changes, so that could be why he’s resisting. But ugh, if eel ya, that’s a hard transition no matter when it happens!!
Perfection! I’m planning a costume party for my 2-year old and if it turns out half as cute as this, I’ll be ecstatic. Also, on the breastfeeding front, I’m not sure how old Weston is but my little one seemingly quit nursing at 9 months. Turns out this is pretty common and hers coincided with a bout of roseola which really threw me for a loop. After a couple days, she just decided to start nursing again and here we are at 26 months, still going strong. So hang in there; maybe he’ll come back around. And if not, then enjoy a little freedom for those ta-ta’s before the next one comes along! 🙂
Jenn B. says
Don’t worry about the breast feeding, KB, that happens a lot when women are pregnant. Your hormones are changing the way your milk tastes and a lot of kids will self wean when that happens.
AHH! I NEED the plans for those end tables! Those are fantastic!
Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says
Looks like it was a successful party. Love all the pumpkin details!
Wow, what a super party! You put all that food together the night before? AND you did those cute decorations and fixed up the yard and patio? Go girl. On those days when you feel overwhelmed and like you’ll never have it all together (thanks for blogging about those by the way), just look back on this post. Great reminder that at our best, we are awesome, even if every day isn’t our best. 😉
Rene @thedomesticlady says
After all the parties I have hosted and showers I have planed, I have never thought to use drop cloths as casual tablecloths. Genius!
This is adorable. I’m stealing all of your ideas. I want hay bale seats and burlap table runners for Fall! And now I’m going to paint a pumpkin. Probably just all gold. I’m like Will, I like to stick to one color. 😉 so cute.
Love it! How fun!
Very cute! And I do the same thing with going overboard.
And FYI, Weston probably stopped nursing because when you’re pregnant it changes the flavor of your milk. Babies don’t like it very much and it’s very common for them to go on a nursing strike or stop all together.
Looks like a blast for the kids! I love all your ideas for this party, especially that you used drop cloths for the table. How genius! We are going to the pumpkin patch this weekend and it’s all I can do to contain myself.
Whitney Dupuis says
This is awesome! What a good idea to paint pumpkins and everything looks so cute! Once again, you rule KB!
This is such a great idea!
Any chance you have recipes for any of the treats you made?? And a good cornbread recipe?!?!
Katie- You are the best at parties and shindigs. You go all out and think of everything. The food you prepared looks yummy. You could definitely be an event planner/stager because you have the eye and ability. Maybe when the kids are older!! I enjoyed this happy, fun-loving post.
What a fun party, complete with rides…wow! Love all of your ideas, especially using drop cloths & the hay bales for seating!! Your family photo is adorable too. 😉
Lauren @ The Highlands Life says
Looks like such a fun idea! We are taking our one year old to pick out a pumpkin on Sunday and I can’t wait!
This looks so fun!! By the way …is there such thing as no-shedding burlap?? I love the idea of this runner…but will it shed bits of burlap all over the place?? Hoping you all get well soon. My two girls and I were sick for about a week and I totally feel for you, especially since you are pregnant. Take care!
Michelle @ Ten June says
a) How adorable is that party? I want to do one of those! Looks like a ball… or a pumpkin… and b) How adorable is your family? I can’t wait to find out if the third addition is a girl or a boy!
Would love the recipes for your popcorn mix and the caramel apples! What a fun looking party!
What a cute idea with the cooler sidetables! So many of these beers have such pretty labels, why wouldn’t I want to show a little! 🙂
And for the record, I’m pretty sure a middle-aged woman would count as a big kid and I would definitely squeal at the opportunity to paint a pumpkin!
What an amazingly cute party!! I need to go buy some paint now so my little girl can paint our pumpkins 🙂 What a cute family photo, too! When I got pregnant with my 2nd, my milk dried up and my first soon quit breastfeeding after that. Now at 13 months old my 2nd is still loving him some boobs so we’ll see how long it lasts this time!
Wendy @ New Moms Talk says
I’ll gladly share our cooler weather with you. Just let me bottle that up and the ocean-scented air and you can tell me to where you’d like it sent.
Perhaps I’ll add in a string of edible fall garland that I made this morning. Well, I still have to finish it and take a few photos, but overall… it turned out pretty well. It’s something that I’d use for a future fall party, especially when Susanna is older.
I’m having a pumpkin painting party with some girlfriends next week….we are in ours 20s 🙂 Also, have you ever mentioned having a tennis court before? I love tennis. It’s such a great sport that you can play your entire life!
Kelly K says
YES, I’m ready for cooler weather! I’ve just about totally outgrown all of my regular clothes, and all of my maternity clothes are for fall and winter, so it better get cooler…or else!
Did you guys watch the game on Saturday?!
Karen J says
What a cute and fun party! I hope you post your recipes later; it all looks yummy. Any chance we could get a download of the invite? I know it seems simple to you, but I’d never be able to make that. One good thing about the “getting the house/yard/pool” ready for parties is you can enjoy it all afterwards. I always try to remember to run around and take pics of everything looking good. We also try to “stack” parties or events because it’s a lot of work getting everything “perfect”!
[email protected] says
Aaah it looks like everyone had a great time! Your table looks great – it’s amazing how sometimes the simplest decorations are the most effective! Could you post about your caramel apples? Bet they were delicious! xox
How fun! I love the end tables… purty kewel. And those apples look so good. 🙂
Valerie Broaddus says
This looks like SO much fun! 🙂
I do believe I need those plans for the outdoor end tables that happen to double as a drink holder!
Was your Norn, Boots, Cole, & Clay there? I also believe we need an update on the baby!
Your family is adorable. You somehow seem to do it all Katie Bower. Wonder Woman doens’t have anything on you. 😉
Lacy D says
Looks like a fun party!! I love Fall! What was in your popcorn snack mix? Popcorn, pretzels and M&M’s? Anything else?
So cute! Love these ideas- especially using a drop cloth as a tablecloth and those amazing end tables Jeremy made. Can’t wait to see those plans! I’m sorry Will and Weston felt a little icky- hope they (and you!) are feeling better!
What an awesome party! I love all of the Fall decor and how easy everything looked. It also appears that everyone had so much fun!
As for Weston nursing, it’s true that pregnancy hormones change the taste so he could be reacting to that. More than likely, it’s just a nursing strike which is very common. Continue to offer and he will probably take it whenever he decides he’s done striking 🙂
Shelley @ Green Eggs and Hamlet says
What a fun, festive party idea, love it!
Also, please, please do post on how you all made those side tables (the ones holding the pumpkin ale) – what an awesome DIY! I’d love to recreate them.
Looks like such a fun party!! Well done Bower family!
Such a cute party…love it! This may be a stupid question, but where did you get your hay bales? We are hosting a s’more roasting party in a few weeks, and I wanted bales for people to sit around the fire. Everywhere I look (local farms, craft stores, etc), though, they seem to be at least $8/bale. Considering I need about 15-20 and will probably have no use for them afterwards, that seems a bit steep!
Merri Jo says
What fun ideas, darling decor and adorable pics! Your boys are just precious.
My one-year old quit breastfeeding cold-turkey a few days after his birthday. Just refused it, no matter what. It just about broke my heart, because our breastfeeding journey was SO HARD in the beginning.
And now all of the above posts about hormones and milk tasting different have me wondering if I’m pregnant. OH. SHIT.
Very nice! Some recipes or links will be great for those mini pies..
Hi Katie, I remember your post from last week saying you were super frustrated and down — do not underestimate the power of your hormones bottoming out when you’re baby is gradually weaning and then you stop breastfeeding altogether. One of the worst feelings I have ever had and didn’t realize it until later. I even went into the Dr for a mono test I felt so yucky. It’s terrible! Hope you are all better now. Your blog makes me smile. 😉
Such a cute party – everything came together! My son was 12 months old and started breaking out in hives after I nursed him. That was one of my first clues that I was expecting again. Was sad to stop a little sooner than planning but doctor recommended it so that the new little growing baby could get all the nourishment she needed:)
caroline [the diy nurse] says
A chili bar. Brilliant.
What a fun party! 🙂 I love your boots! Where did you get them?
Target! I was on the fence when I picked them up but they have slouched down perfectly 🙂
xo – kb
We found ours at Lowe’s for $4 a piece and knew a friend that bought them off us and used them afterward.
xo – kb
It was kettle corn, pretzels, M&M’s and Reese’s Pieces 🙂
xo – kb
No they couldn’t make it because of a soccer game (Cole plays, Boots coaches and Norn is the team mom!)
xo – kb
They were super easy. I used those caramel apple kits…the ones with sheets of caramel but instead of doing it like they said, I melted all the sheets in the microwave with some milk and then dipped them. Then I took candy coating in chocolate flavor and drizzled it over them and added toffee morsels on top 🙂
xo – kb
I didn’t save the file with ‘parts’ but feel free to grab the photo of it off the site and change it in paint or photoshop!
xo – kb
Jeremy was screaming at the phone in the backyard. He was watching it streaming to his phone while we mulched 🙂
xo – kb
It’s not regulation…and I mentioned it here and here.
xo – kb
You had me at “bottle that up and the ocean-scented air”.
I wish that could happen.
xo – kb
Hmm…this burlap was a roll from the gardening section at Lowe’s…and I’ve used it before for a runner and never really have a shedding problem.
xo – kb
Not really any recipes. I do make cornbread like the package directions on Jiffy but add a can of creamed corn (1 can to every 2 packages of corn mix) and it is AMAZING.
xo – kb
The mix is just kettle corn, pretzels, M&M’s and Reese’s Pieces. And the caramel apples are covered in melted caramel (melted in the microwave with milk) and drizzled with candy coating in chocolate and toffee bits.
xo – kb
OH man, I might have to convince my boyfriend to help me whip up some of those beer tables!!! I love that people can still set things around the edge. GENIUS!!!
I love all your fall snacks. Looks like fun!!
Okay…will check there… Thanks!!
Wendy @ New Moms Talk says
Just say the word. Bottling up ocean air is a simple process, you know. You add a bit of sand, too and it’s all the more magical. Perhaps a photo or three, and wow!
(I’ll stop by and box it up for you today if you like.. it’s under a mile from our home.)
Adorable family photo! Will looks just like you and Weston is a mini Jeremy!
i am not normally a beer drinker but that blue moon pumpkin ale is quite delicious.
Kayla aka Kilo Bravo says
I love everything about this party! Totally stealing this idea for my future kiddos! And I can’t wait to see the plans for those end tables…and I can’t believe how old and handsome Will looks all of a sudden?!?! That picture of him concentrating on painting…makes me really, really, really want kids 🙂 Even with all the frustrations and emotional roller coasters that come with it. 🙂
Hey Katie! Where did you get that mustard on the table? hehehe, just throwing a little humor at ya! Love this post!
Glad someone asked about your sister and family…I’ve been thinking about them and their new baby too!
Looks like such a fun time! I can’t believe how grown up Will is looking these days! Both your boys are adorable!
WHOA. Will and I would love that. Seriously.
xo – kb
Awesome! We did a party like this a few years ago. So fun! I did a double take at one of the pictures of Will. He is getting so big. Where does the time go?
[email protected] says
aw. i bet the kids had a blast!
So sorry to miss it! Looks like a ton of fun. Always amazed by your creativity and your ability to use it create space for community!
Amy @ Paint Wine Repeat says
Gorgeous family. Really pinterest-worthy party!
Emily @ Life on Food says
How fun is this idea?!?! Love it and the food looks amazing.
Please..please do a post on the DIY end tables…they look great.
I am dying for those table plans! how fun!
I am trying to figure out how to work Google sketchup…it’s harder than it looks. When I get it, I plan on posting the plans.
xo – kb
I love love love those end tables!!! Were you able to post the plans?! I NEED them!!!