painted pumpculents4

I have an awesome announcement you won’t want to miss at the end of this post, but first, I wanted to show you something.

If you recall, about a month ago, I got to have a fun birthday lunch with some girlfriends, and this was the only picture I actually took.


It seems like an odd choice, I realize, considering that we spent about 2 seconds admiring those adorable pumpculents (yes, that is my made-up word, and no, my spell check does not like it) and the rest of the time eating and swapping baby-brain stories (the winner? my friend who managed to drive off with an iPhone on the roof of her car, not once, but twice in less than a month!). But I didn’t want to forget them because I fully intended to completely rip them off pay homage to them with a twist of my own.

Here’s what I did and what you’ll need to do too if you want to make some painted pumpculents of your own:


1. Gather your supplies: mini-pumpkins, spray paint (I used Krylon Dover White and Rustoleum Gold), craft paint (gold again), cheap paintbrushes, a sharp knife, and small succulents

2. Cut around the edge of the pumpkin and remove the top/stem

3. Scoop out the guts

4. Spray paint the pumpkins (I did some white and some gold)

5. Paint your designs (I chose stripes and polka dots)

6. Sprinkle a little dirt inside your hollowed-out pumpkin to prepare for the succulent transplanting.

I was too focused on the trial-and-error process of stuffing my succulents inside the pumpkins to remember to take a picture of that step, but I’m pretty sure y’all are smart enough to figure out how to put a plant into a hole. If, however, you find yourself stumped, feel free to leave me a comment!


Confession: I kill plants like it’s my job or something. I’m usually all: “Hmm…I should probably water that plant. It’s been a while. In fact {pause} I can’t remember ever watering him. Huh. Yeah, he doesn’t look so good. {pokes finger in chalk-dry dirt} Oops.”


I have, however, managed to keep these particular succulents alive for at least 3 months each, so I’m feeling optimistic.


Of course, for 30 minutes of time and hardly any money (the pumpkins were $2.50, and the paint I already had), I’m willing to risk killing yet another plant (or 2).

The best part about this craft is how kid-friendly it is! I had grandiose plans of having each kid paint his/her own pumpkin. But, alas, their daddy decided to do things outside with sticks and fire. And there’s no way a little pumpkin painting can compete with that. (Especially once I informed the boys that they would not be wielding the knife).

In fact, Della was the only one I could tempt over for even a few minutes.


And even she was less than enthused.

Ah well. Mama’s happy with the results, and honestly, I have zero complaints about solitary crafting. How could I when it happens so rarely?

pumpculents11  I absolutely love the interplay of the gold, green, and white (especially against the backdrop of that dreamy Volary fabric). And I absolutely love how easy and cheap they were. Basically, I’m in love.

Do you agree?


In other news…although M is for Mama has existed for over a month now (under that name), I haven’t done anything yet to celebrate my blog relaunch. So I decided it was high time to remedy that!

So I did with a….


That’s right! 5 straight days of chances to win fabulous things from AMAZING shops that I love!

We’re kicking everything off with:


Lisa is such a joy. She’s an inspirational mama, a super creative soul who makes beautiful things at Lisa Leonard Designs, and is absolutely lovely and kind in real life as well. Her Instagram Feed is one of my favorites, and her blog is a daily source of encouragement and awesome style ideas.

And today, you’ll have the chance to win $75 to buy anything your heart desires from her shop just by completing the following two steps (three, if you want extra entries!)

step 1


Enter your email address:

I pinky promise not to spam you! By subscribing, you are agreeing to receive updates about this giveaway and other blog updates (like my daily post straight to your inbox). I will never share or sell your information. I am, however, requiring this as a giveaway entry, even if you already receive my updates elsewhere.

**Be sure to confirm your subscription when you see the welcome message in your inbox (or your entry won’t count) and then come back to complete STEP 2.

{Already a subscriber? Skip to Step 2}

step 2

Leave me a blog comment letting me know you have subscribed and completing the following sentence: “I’m a green {or} black thumb because…”

step 3

Fine print: Open to residents of U.S. and Canada only. Must be 13 or older to enter. a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I am subscribed already :). I am probably a gray-ish thumb. Like you, I forget to water my plants a lot. But I do have a lot of plants that thrive despite my neglect.

  2. In my mind – I’m a green thumb. But I’m really somewhere in the middle. Some things I keep alive really well, others, not so much!

  3. I’m a green thumb when it comes to children, I raise them we’ll. I’m a black thumb when it come to flowers because they don’t grow in my home!

  4. and yeap. still following on IG. LOL

    and LOVE the term pumculets. tho I actually managed to kill a strawberry pot worth of those, too…. *sigh*

  5. ugh. total black thumb. I didn’t used to be. but dangit. I just pure FORGET…. the pretty flowers i fill the pots on my porch with… *sigh* the only plant I’ve managed NOT to kill in the last 5 years is the peony that my husband nurtures along that was my mother’s day gift one year. he planted it my the garage, waters it, trims it down each fall, puts the tomato cage over it each early spring as it pushes it way skyward (probably to run away on the advice of the dahlias….)

    but the only plant I’m allowed to be responsible for is the $1 bamboo from Ikea that technically is my kidlet’s….


  6. I’m already subscribed. 🙂
    I’m a black thumb because it’s hard enough to keep my kids alive some days, so I don’t bother with plants!

  7. I have a gangrenous thumb. Starts out green but ends in black, falling off, lifelessness… I do really well for the first month or so, but then I get lax on watering, or fertilizing and it just goes downhill from there

  8. I’ve subscribed, at least I think I did it right!

    I’m a black thumb because I’ve even managed to kill a cactus.

  9. I’m a black thumb because…child protective services doesn’t come after you if you don’t feed plants, they do if you don’t feed children and it’s hard enough to remember to feed my kids

  10. I’m already subscribed, and I’m a green thumb outside, and a black thumb inside. I’m not sure why I forget about plants when I have them inside.

  11. I have several plants in my home, but they only survive because they are resistant to negligent humans. I remember to water when the plants are very droopy.

  12. I have subscribed!
    Oh I’m definitely a black thumb:( I so wish I was green! It’s not for lack of trying though. However, I have managed to keep my aloe plant alive! Maybe there’s hope for me yet 😉

  13. I can get flowers to grow because I can forget about them. Veggies are a different thumb. More black. I forget to water them.
    Found you from biblical homemaking! So glad. Can’t wait to catch up on some posts!

  14. I AM a subscriber!! YAY! I would like to be a green thumb because I LOVE greenery and plants, but I’m a black thumb because I always forget to water them. Poor things.

  15. I’m generally a black thumb but I am slowly becoming more of a green thumb. Usually, when I bring a plant home, my husband says, “What did that poor thing ever do to you?”

  16. I have subscribed!!! I am becoming green thumb!! Grew my first sunflower garden and they came in beautifully!! Looking forward to starting my first veggie garden in spring!!!

  17. “I’m a green {or} black thumb because…” Because I decided to plant a garden this year for the first time and the only thing that survived was a 2″ carrot and a few mini sweet potatoes. Everything else died! Better luck next year I guess. Thanks for the chance to enter this awesome giveaway!

  18. I subscribed and look forward to getting your blog. I am a green thumb, I love to grow flowers from cuttings. I do forget to water sometimes, but usually they are just in the droopy stage and still saveable.

  19. I am an in between thumb. I tend to forget to water indoor plants…. or, in the sad case of my shamrocks, they become a yummy snack for the cat (who knew cats like shamrocks? Must be an irish kitty.) My outdoor gardens have had a pretty good survival rate, though I mostly attribute that to picking things that are hard to kill… like mint. Plant a little and next thing you know it’s everywhere!

  20. I’m a green thumb in the way that grass keeps growing in my front landscape no matter what I do to prevent such things. I’m a black thumb because I try to get plants in my landscape that can basically take care of themselves with enough sunlight and rain – any other TLC and they would go to plant heaven.

  21. I’m a black thumb…….I soooo wanna be a green thumb and buy plants every now & then and they die……you would think I would learn 🙂

  22. I’m new! Love your blog so far and these giveaways are super awesome. 🙂

    I am a BLACK thumb…can’t grow anything and can’t keep anything (except my kids!) alive. 🙂

  23. Just found you via Biblical Homemaking! I’m sort of brown… not black, because most survive… but not green because some haven’t made it….

  24. I subscribed. I am going to say I have a purple thumb. Not exactly black —- but not green as I often forget to water things and thus they die……on second thought, maybe it is black. =/

  25. I’m a green thumb for the most part with house plants and plants outside. I do tend to be a black thumb with my hanging plants outside. I forget about them for some reason.

  26. I’m a total black thumb – can’t even keep succulents alive. Thankfully I’m married to a green thumb so we get to enjoy fresh veggies from our garden every summer.

  27. I subscribe via email already. BLACK thumb. NO plants in the house and the garden is all my hubby. I turn on sprinklers and cut the grass….he keeps things alive:)

  28. I am totally a member of the “black thumb club”! I spend quite a bit of time replacing the flowers and plants I buy, plant, then KILL. So sad. I even killed my succulent but I refuse to have fake plants~ although I am considering fake hanging ferns for my front porch this winter since it looks friendly to have them but not so pretty with the brown dead leaves…

  29. I subscribed to your blog.
    I’m a black thumb and was so shocked that my tomato plant and huckleberry bush lived all summer. It certainly wasn’t by my help–I think my husband had pity on them when I wasn’t looking.

  30. Regretfully I have a black thumb…so black in fact, that my roommate hired someone specifically to water her plants…dare I mention her cactus I previously killed by over-watering…who knew you could kill those things !!! Joyfully following you as much as I can 🙂

  31. I have subscribed through feedburner. And I am a black thumb because I have managed to kill things that require VERY LITTLE to keep alive…like ferns and ivy. Yes, I have killed ivy. 🙂

  32. I subscribed and I would say I have a green thumb, there’s nothing better in the spring than getting my hands in the dirt!

  33. I follow by email.

    Also, Hi, my name is Heather, and I have a black thumb. I once killed a cactus by giving it too much water. But…I think my biggest accomplishment is… killing a fake plant. Yes, yes, I did this. I SWEAR IT WAS REAL!!!!! I watered it every day and everything. Eventually the “faux” soil rotted, molded and the fake plant fell over. So there you have it, ladies. I have killed a fake plant.

  34. Oh, girl, I am so a black thumb. I have killed an air plant! Did you know you still have to water those things like twice a week? I thought that the name implied that it would be safe from me, but I guess I just like a challenge!

  35. I’ve a black thumb because who can remember to water indoor plants… I can barely remember to drink water myself! 😉

  36. Green thumb on my outdoor plants but black thumb on indoor plants. Who knows why! I have been able to keep an ivy alive indoors!

  37. i try to be a green thumb but i think i am a black thumb because i haven’t had much opportunity to take care of plants and they all seem to die whenever i do!

  38. I’ve been a subscriber for almost a year. I found your blog when Erin Albright shared your post, following Jason’s accident. We miss him so very much. (My husband worked at Rockin’ C Ranch with Jason.) I am a black thumb because I tend to OVER water…ultimately drowning them. sad. sad. However, I do have some “lovely” plastic/fabric leaves for fall décor.

  39. I subscribed! I’ve always considered myself a black thumb, but I’ve done better lately. I think you just have to find the right plants. I’ve done well this year with geraniums and aloe vera.

  40. Ahh, you are a child after mine own heart. I am a black thumb and there is no need to explain, you did it so well. ‘Confession: I kill plants like it’s my job or something. I’m usually all: “Hmm…I should probably water that plant. It’s been a while. In fact {pause} I can’t remember ever watering him. Huh. Yeah, he doesn’t look so good. {pokes finger in chalk-dry dirt} Oops.” ‘

  41. Already a subscriber and I am a green thumb because I love puttering in the dirt and I love being able to have fresh flowers in my house that I didn’t need to buy at the store!

  42. My thumb is kinda all over the place. This year my roses thrived, my lavender bloomed beautifully and then died a painful death, my jalapenos did amazing, but my tomatoes didn’t make it. I keep trying though!

  43. I am not a green thumb…mostly because I don’t have the patience to deal with trying to be a green thumb…friends even hesitate to ask me to “babysit” their plants 🙂

  44. I have subscribed…twice now, I think! Oops! I didn’t see to skip to step 2 if already subscribed. I have a black thumb…or as my military husband says…I am a trained killer…of all plants and flowers.

  45. My thumb is striped green and black. Some I kill, others survive me for years. What I really hate is the ones that look feeble and sickly but hang on and on, loading me with a burden of guilt. Just die, plants! : )

  46. I subscribed, and this is the first year that I actually categorized myself as a green thumb! When we bought our house 6 years ago I knew nothing about gardening and our house came with established gardens. I have slowly learned to care for them over time. This year my annuals did so well that letting them die to frost last week actually made me cry a little…………..

  47. Black thumb 🙁 I kill every plant I have ever owned. It has gotten so bad that I’m not “allowed” to water or not water our plants! My husband takes care of it! 🙂

  48. I think I must be a black thumb because I once made a terrarium using succulents (pretty much the hardest plant to kill), and it didn’t do so well 🙁 My husband is quite the green thumb though, so I still get to enjoy pretty growing things! I subscribed via email 🙂

  49. My black thumb has a green sprout. I normally kill every plant I own but I’ve kept a rosemary alive for a year now and 2 succulents for several years.

  50. I’m a black thumb too – I can’t even keep succulents alive. These look really nice and I think I’m going to try do something like this for Christmas. We don’t get mini-pumpkins here but I’ll think of something else to use

    Question about the competition: is it open to international readers too? I never know with these things.

  51. I used to have a green thumb, then I had kids and that pretty plant I bought from Costco 6 months ago is still sitting in it’s original plastic tub yet to be planted in the ground. Whatever plant I keep alive either the kids wreck or the cat eats. I do best with plants that require no care at all! 🙂

  52. Sadly, I’m a black thumb. I’d love to have more alive things in my house and classroom but I simply cannot keep plants healthy and thriving.

  53. Can I be maybe a brown thumb? I feel that my plants are like my kids- nobody is really alive on anything more than baking cookies and a lot of prayer, but hey… Nobody is dead either!

  54. Definitely a black thumb… and not because I DON’T water, but because I end up overcompensating and watering TOO MUCH! Ugh. I’ve never seen leaves turn brown from too much water.

  55. I guess I’m a black thumb … but did go to purchase succulents at a beautiful nursery last week only to find they had moved them out to make room for holiday sellers 🙁

  56. Um, I am undoubtedly a black thumb. I’ve left many a plant carcass in my wake:( I too forget to water and scorch it in direct sunlight. Hoping that eventually thru experience I will transform into a green thumb:)

  57. I’m totally a black thumb…our only luck is with tomato plants that we completely ignore, but somehow still get very tiny, but very yummy fruit from.

  58. Digging the new blog format.
    I do well with outside flowers & plants but indoor ones better watch out. I am improving but oh the cute plants I have lost.

  59. I am a green thumb when it comes to the plants in our landscaping…. I love to spend time outside so I think about those things more… as for house plants, black thumb! For some reason I just look right past them until the are a dried up shriveled mess.

  60. I have been meaning to subscribe for a while (and kept forgetting) because checking your blog in the morning is a great coffee companion! I have a black thumb because I have thought the same exact thing about watering plants. What – you have to do that?

  61. I subscribed!
    I’m mostly a black thumb. The only thing I’ve been able to keep alive lately is a Peace Lily. I even killed a cactus. I thought they were practically indestructible??
    Thank you for writing such a great blog!

  62. I am already a subscriber. I have a mostly green thumb. I had enough herbs this summer to make meals for an army.

  63. My black thumb turned green, when I finally clued into the fact that my plants needed to be fertilized! Cannot believe my mother never taught me that (perhaps I wasn’t paying attention…)! The interior of her house is like a jungle, and she has always had enormous vegetable and flower gardens.

  64. My mom gave me an ivy plant and said nobody can kill it. Guess what… there is at least one person that CAN kill Ivy. 🙂 Always love your blog and love giveaways too.

  65. Hi Abby! I used to be a green thumb before I had little ones and a job that takes me from home a lot. If I had all the time in the world I’d have a huge garden most of the year. But alas! I don’t. For now I have a little house plant that has made it with not too much tlc for 2 years!

  66. I’m a green thumb outside , I guess because they can fend for themselves if necessary 🙂 Inside plants die a horrible over watered death :/

  67. I’m following! And I’m a black thumb because the only plants I’ve managed to keep alive are the ones you leave completely alone (a cactus and an air plant).

  68. Killing plants very slowly and painfully is what I do! I have some bamboo that keep resurrecting because I only remember to water them when they are on the brink of death…black thumb. Excited about your week of giveaways!

  69. With indoor plants I’m a green thumb in the winter, but a black thumb in the summer when I’m outside taking care of the yard and garden!

  70. I am both, it seems odd but when I really pay attention to a flower I am wanting to live, grow, etc., it just dies. But when I don’t seem to pay attention to my flowers, they continue to grow, kinda like my geraniums that are still in bloom on my front porch!

  71. I’m following. 🙂 I guess I would say I’m a green thumb, as I have numerous house plants, a large garden, and even larger flower beds. That being said, I’m not always the best at watering either.

  72. I’m fairly certain I’m a black thumb kinda gal, mostly because I can’t seem to figure out why my office plant seems to wilt in real sun and perk right up as soon as I put it under the florescent lights that glow over my desk. I’m sure green thumb people could tell me why that is, but for someone who has basic plants-need-sunlight-to-survive knowledge, I’m stumped. 🙂

    Thank you so much for a whole week of fun giveaways! I can’t wait to see what the surprise is at the end of the week!

  73. I’m following you. 🙂
    I’m not really a green or black thumb. I just don’t have plants!
    I did have some bamboo for a while, but I ended up giving it to my mom.

    Also wanted to let you know that all the Rafflecopter links seem to be linking to 5days5ways pages and I kept getting errors, but I’m following all of the MisforMama pages.

  74. I’m a black thumb because I (like you) forget the whole watering thing until it’s too late.
    Love the idea though!

  75. I am following by email. I’m a black thumb because I never remember to take care of my plants. My mom is the same way.

  76. I’m a black thumb because my Mom stole all the Green for the whole family. Seriously, her gardens are amazing. I gave up and put rubbery plastic succulents in a giant glass bowl and I love it. And ironically I water it because I think the dirt looks prettier wet. Weird?

  77. I loved this……so helpful for those who think they are not able to do much with plants, pumpkins, whatever….and…….as an aside, your comments just make me smile and remind me of young women with families, smiling and tearing their hair out (yours I mean). Was a long time ago I walked in your shoes, but you are surely adding fans each day. My best to you and yours. B Indiana grandmother

  78. Been following for a while now, but now am subscribed. I’m kind of both. Some plants I do well with, and others not so much. Although, I do LOVE any kind of flowers or plants! Especially wild flowers! Love your blog and check in every day! Thanks for this opportunity!

  79. I’m neither really. I have a few house plants that I want to survive and somehow they do, even when I neglect them. Much easier to maintain outdoor plants–they’re less fickle!

    Follow by email now.

I love hearing from you guys!