Pumpkins, the Film Festival & Rocky Horror, Oh My!

Well first off, I’ve done a terrible job saving this past month. You’ll wince along with me when I do the Month Two results…

Damn you, October! Why does Fall have to be so fun!?

It all started with the bacon and beer tastings earlier this month. I said “Yes” to some fun activities…and I couldn’t stop!

It all started with the Chicago International Film Festival

1031 film festival

JD stroked the chords of my film-geek heart and took me to the Film Festival. We saw Banklady, a German film about the true story of Gisela Werler, Germany’s first female bank robber. I. Was. In. Love! It was just like Bonnie and Clyde–I highly recommend seeing it if you’re given the chance.

Then it went downhill, I bought us tickets to go another night to see the Chinese documentary, Mothers, which depicts China’s one-child policy. And, well, the Film Festival’s website explains it best…

In rural China, the job of enforcing the Communist Party’s one-child policy falls on government bureaucrats tasked with imposing fines, birth control, and forced sterilizations. Xu Huijing documents this process in his native village of Ma, following the tenacious efforts of the local birth control chief during an increased sterilization quota period, revealing the absurd and tragic local consequences of high-level government policy.

If given the choice again, I would still spend that extra $30 at the Film Festival; between both films it was educational, entertaining, and emotional at times. But then I saw tickets for another type of movie…a shin dig that’s been on my bucket list ever since my Aunt Amy told me about the squirt guns and newspaper ‘umbrellas’ audiences experienced at such a thing called the midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Therefore, I checked it off the bucket list, and bought us tickets. With a little help from ‘Glee’ to help prepare JD for the debauchery that is Rocky Horror (he thought it was a horror film based around the Rocky movies…oh was he in for a treat!). So we were off into the night as a flamingo and the Brawny man to join the other cult classic’s followers in Chicago for the live performance. We popped balloons, threw confetti and toilet paper, and yes, we Time Warped! I loved every minute of it…it’ll take some extra convincing to get JD to go again next year.

There's a Light...

There’s a Light…

Annnd then I was back to being poor. So, the remainder of October I baked and the other night we carved pumpkins. I printed off my pumpkin design from a website I found off Google to save on that end. Look how cutesy we are!



So…after going over on all of my expenditures and throwing more money into my Halloween costume than I wished to (JD did great, though… $2 for paper towel and BOOM! He was the Brawny man!), I’ll leave you with some fabulous pumpkin recipes that uses most of the same ingredients to keep the spending low. Both recipes come from a Dutch cookbook my mother and I both swear by. It never ceases to fail 🙂

everyone will be your friend if you make these

everyone will be your friend if you make these

Pumpkin Spice Cookies 

(NOTE: These are not good for the waistline, just good for the soul…and tastebuds)


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup nuts. chopped–I used walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional; I think raisins are pretty disgusting so they were omitted in my cookies)
  • 1 can of cream cheese frosting



Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream shortening, sugar, and eggs. Add pumpkin and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon; add to creamy mixture. Stir in nuts (and raisins if you’re into that sort of thing). Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. When cool, frost.

Pumpkin Bread


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil unsweetened apple sauce (leaves the bread a bit more moist and reduces calories by oh around 1,000 per loaf. You’re welcome 😉 )
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cups raisins (again, I omitted them)
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (ah haa see! use walnuts for both recipes 🙂 )
  • rind of 1 lemon, grated



Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9x5x3″ loaf pans. In a large bowl mix sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin. Beat well. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients alternately with water to pumpkin mixture. Fold in raisins, nuts, and lemon rind. Pour into pans. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes, or until done.


Welp, that’s it for tonight my little ghouls. I need to finish watching Hocus Pocus before October is gone for another year.


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