Pumpkin Painting 101

Pumpkin Painting 101

10 different ways to 'pumpkin' spice up your fall decorations.
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It's finally October which means that it's time for Fall, including pumpkins, changing leaves, apple picking, pumpkin spice flavored everything and so much more.

A yearly fall tradition that we have in my family is painting pumpkins. The whole family gets together with their carefully selected pumpkins to create some of the most creative Halloween decorations ever.

Since it is just the beginning of fall, I thought that I would share with you a few different ways that we came up with this year that you can use to pumpkin spice up your decorations.

1. Go ghostly

Nothing screams Halloween more than a ghost. Not only are they cute, but they are also perfect for the person that may not be as confident in their artistic talents. That being said, they can be as simple as a white pumpkin with two black eyes, or, for those that are up for a challenge, a detailed ghost that could be straight out of a horror movie!

2. Do the 'Monster Mash'

Everyone can appreciate a scary monster, especially around Halloween. Monster painted pumpkins are a perfect scary addition to your fall decorations. To add an extra scare factor, use glow in the dark paint to make your monsters jump out and give your trick-or-treaters a good, old fashioned Halloween scare!

3. Make a statement

Sometimes a perfectly painted pumpkin is the perfect centerpiece for the table or the mantle above the fireplace. Some pumpkins are made to become monsters or to be decorated with crazy faces ... and some are made to become show-stopping DIY decorations! One or two coats of a pop of color can make a simple pumpkin become the star of your Halloween party or Thanksgiving meal.

4. Stick to Classic Halloween

When I think of Halloween and Halloween decorations, I think of big spider webs in the bushes or hanging from the front porch. I also think of skeletons, monsters and vampires hiding in dark corners, ready to scare at any moment, and bats swooping around at dusk. So, what better way to decorate your pumpkins than to use classic Halloween as your inspiration?

5. Go wild

If you're stuck with ideas or just want to go for something totally different, I suggesting going for the paint splatter method. If you're decorating for Halloween and are in a classic mood, then orange and black is the way to go. However, if you want to mix it up, add a little bright green and purple. If you're decorating for fall or Thanksgiving, add some browns, reds, oranges and yellows to give your pumpkins a funky fall makeover.

6. Show school spirit

What better way to show off your school spirit than to decorate your house with it? If you're like me, though, and in a dorm with limited space, a tiny decorated pumpkin for your desk or in front of the door is the perfect decoration.

7. FACE your fears

A big part of Halloween are the masks that are used in costumes. So why not decorate your pumpkins in their own mask? To give your decor a little extra spook factor for Halloween, throw on some glow in the dark paint and give your pumpkins a makeover. If you're in a scary mood, give your pumpkin a scary mask. If you're not aiming for scary, though, a simple smile will do.

8. Favorite candy

Why not decorate your pumpkins based on the type of candy that you hope to get the most of in your trick-or-treat bag? If chocolate is your favorite, then paint them like M&Ms or a Hershey's bar. If you're more of a sugar hard candy person, then paint the pumpkins rainbow like Skittles or Smarties!

9. Spirit animal

Halloween is a great time to become your inner spirit animal. Why not use your pumpkin decorations to show it? Whether it be a mysterious cat or a sly snake, your animal is sure to make the perfect pumpkin decoration.

10. Travel

Perhaps you love to travel or wish that you could, but you are going to be stuck handing out Halloween candy. Use the pumpkins decorating your house to make yourself feel like you're on the road going places that you've thought about for a long time. Beep, beep!

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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3 Tips For Saying Goodbye For The Summer

When a few months feels like forever...

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Summertime is wonderful! You get time out of school, you can do all these fun things you've been wanting to do, and you get to spend time with your friends. Sometimes, however, your friends have to go off for the summer. Whether they're visiting family, going on vacation for a while, or even just working all the time and not able to see you, it can be hard knowing that your friend isn't gonna be around during what's supposed to be the best time of the year. You know it's temporary, but it still stinks!

Well, I've had to do this a couple of times, so I know a thing or two about dealing with your friend being gone for the summer. I hope that these tips will help your friend feel a little bit closer and the wait seem a little bit shorter:

1. Set up a scheduled system of communication.

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Call, text, email, snail mail, etc. You guys chose the easiest method of communication, and you stick to it. Knowing exactly when to expect a phone call means a lot when you miss someone. It may be difficult finding time that works for both people, but even a scheduled call one time a week is better than not even knowing when you're gonna hear from someone. You can even have a unique way to communicate. Do you like games? You can do multiplayer games online and spend time together that way. Are you old fashioned and like writing letter? Send them a letter to let them know how you are. We live in a world with so many methods of communication, so find which one helps you stay in touch.

2. Stay busy.

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I have spent my fair share mopeing around, waiting for someone to call and hoping that they'd be back soon. That is the worst way to spend your time! Instead of wasting you summer waiting by the phone, go out and do something. Spend time with other friends, go to the beach, do anything you want! Don't waste your summer trying to make time go faster; it doesn't work. Do things that'll help get your mind off of your friend being gone. It'll get easier as time goes along, so make use of the time you have.

3. Don't hold it in.

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Having your friend go off can be tough, especially if it's a person you're very close with. It's okay! You aren't being silly if you feel sad. Some people may even feel hurt, like they're being left behind. That's okay too! What isn't okay is bottling it up and not talking to someone about it. What isn't okay is taking that fear and frustration out on other people, especially the friend that's gone. Talk to someone about it. Write some journal entries about how you're feeling. Don't sit around feeling sad and lonely and left behind. Get out of your own head and realize that everything will be okay. They didn't leave you behind, you're not gonna be sad forever, and everything will be okay.

Well, I hope you have a good summer! Yeah, that person has left, but they'll be back soon. Just live your summer day by day, and they'll be back before you know it!

Good luck!

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