Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

A wintery beach weekend and from-scratch pumpkin baking success

It's been so busy at work and at home lately, so really need some time off this past weekend at the coast with friends. We stayed in Rockaway Beach, a very small town with a few vacation houses and not much else. We wanted somewhere cozy without too many amenities, somewhere we could hang out inside and play board games if it was rainy or have the beach to ourselves if it was nice. Win and win!

Seriously, this weather in November was like magic.

I love the Oregon coast so much.

So did our friends' 1-year-old. So cool watching him figure out what sand is.

Even warm enough to get in the water!

Our condo had a grill which we made good use of with salmon our friend caught on a fishing trip a while back. Local food! It was better than any storebought salmon I've had.

We ate very well. My friend and I both brought veggies from our CSA shares and meat from our beef and hog shares. I brought our Vitamix and food processor, plus plenty of spices and good coffee and grassfed butter. Staples! ;)

DIY pumpkin baking!

As I mentioned in this roundup of pumpkin baking recipes I shared last week... pumpkin baking season is on!! My friend brought several pie pumpkins from her CSA, and neither of us had ever successfully turned fresh pie pumpkins into pumpkin puree, but we managed. Turns out it's actually really easy. We baked them with some water on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 30 or 40 minutes, let them cool, and then scraped out the pumpkin and pureed in the food processor.

I wanted to try a new pumpkin recipe from my roundup, but I brought limited baking ingredients with us to the coast and the condo's kitchen had only the most basic equipmen, so I ended up making yet another one I've found recently, Magical Paleo Pumpkin Crumble Bars.

Basically upside-down pumpkin pie! Pumpkin/egg custard stuff on the bottom, nut/date/coconut topping on the top (and I overcooked it a little so it got carmelized-ey). Both the filling and the topping were sweetened only with dates. So tasty, no icky aftertaste like from white sugar.


We also went crabbing. First time ever. The condo had crab cages to rent, and after some misadventures getting bait and finding the dock in the dark... we caught some crabs!

And made a breakfast feast out of them and hog share bacon and local farm eggs. (Baked bacon and scrambled eggs - cooking for a crowd!)

Seriously, breakfast feast!

We got some more beach playing time despite the grey day on Sunday.

Husband is excited it's sweater weather. I'm just happy we got to go to the beach again while it was nice enough to enjoy it inside and out!


  1. the food! looks like you guys ate amazingly. and congrats on the crab!


  2. Looks like you enjoyed quite the feast on the coast! Well done!

  3. It's so strange to me that people have never made pumpkin puree before, but only because I live in Australia and you can't really get it in a can (not easily anyway). Sometimes I wish I could just buy a can. But, my puppy dogs are always happy to have any leftovers that I don't need in my cooking. :)

  4. I've never had crab for breakfast...I feel like I should! :o)


  5. What gorgeous weather. Looks like the perfect weekend!

  6. It looks like you had great weather for your beach trip! We've stopped by Rockaway Beach, but we've never stayed there. We may in the future--like you, I like being able to just hang out!

  7. That's so interesting! I heard recently that many brands of canned pumpkin are "tainted" with squash added, haha. Fresh pumpkin seems better in so many ways if you have time!



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