Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

September 30, 2016

Pumpkin Spice S'mores + A Night Around the Campfire

The DIY welded fire pit Hubby and I made earlier this year might be my favorite project to date because it made our summer way more fun!  We definitely used our fire pit so much more this year than previous summers because it's infinitely more inviting now.  Sometimes I'm kind of jealous of the insanely expensive, elaborate and gorgeous landscaping and decks other bloggers have - I feel like a real country bumpkin with my janky dock, janky gasoline shed and leaning flag pole.  But the green eyed monster never stays long - I'm just so grateful for our hilarious little gravel pit because I'm no longer sitting with the grass tickling my ankles (ticks!).  Really, it's the little things.

DIY Fire Pit
Lake Sunset with Sailboat

If you've been reading the blog or following me on Instagram for awhile, you might have gleaned that I feel a bit lukewarm about fall.  Sure, the changing leaves are beautiful, but fall signals the end of summer (my favorite season) and the dreaded arrival of winter (my least favorite season).  Until the snow flies, I'm still hanging on to summer as best I can!  Hubby and I are still sailing until the club forces us to haul out and we're enjoying as many lake sunsets as we can before they disappear.  Luckily our new fire pit is huge, so I can build a real rager to keep warm on chilly fall nights.

Modern Metal Fire Pit DIY
Roasting S'Mores
Campfire with S'mores

When Wayfair invited me to share my ideal evening by the campfire, I jumped at the chance to make some s'mores and hang out by the lake - taking you with me as best I can!  You have only seen the fire pit in its pristine, just-made state so I thought it would be fun to show you how we really use the fire pit and how it's weathered the summer - plus share some take home tips and products (including some for my apartment dwelling or fire pit-less friends).

Fireside Fun

You probably spotted that the Eames chairs I had in front of the fire pit moved to the guesthouse after I painted the trim turquoise.  They looked so good lakeside but I quickly realized two problems: they filled with water when it rained and when we had friends and family over, we had to add some mismatched chairs and we were tired of lugging chairs back and forth.  Instead, we moved the Eames chairs to the sheltered guesthouse deck, where they are perfect for overnight guests to chill with a coffee alone (or handy extra seating by the lake if we need it).  For the fire pit, we lugged down our patio chairs, which were languishing in the garage because we only use two on the deck (we positioned the patio table so people can sit on the built-in deck benches on one side).  I'd love a set of turquoise Adirondack chairs, but I'm worried we won't be able to see the fire pit once we're sitting lower - something folks with similar, walled fire pits have complained to me about.  We can see every last ember perfectly, so for right now we're making do with the chairs we have because they're so comfy (and we already owned them, so the price was right).

Lakeside Fire Pit Lake Life
Roasting S'Mores

When we use the fire pit, it's too often a full spread!  We create a makeshift table, bring out a pot of tea with ceramic mugs, but then panic and use melamine plates for snacks.  S'more ingredients and pre-cooked sausages are stored in covered containers so we can feast, but the flies can't.  We camp out (pardon the pun) all night, often eating dinner beside the fire pit too - like the day we snapped these photos.  Hubby doesn't love marshmallows like I do, so he'll often heat up some pre-cooked sausages as a snack, which is something my diabetic Dad appreciates too.

Now that we've really used our fire pit area, I have a list of things I want for next year, including a couple of garden stools to use as side tables beside the chairs, real s'mores roasting sticks (Szuka chews the ones Hubby lovingly whittles for us), a nicer container for carrying/storing firewood (we leave our janky wheelbarrow parked nearby), some pretty outdoor lanterns for when we're out way past sunset, and campfire tongs (we both reach in like idiots).  And maybe those Adirondack chairs after all!

Lake Fire Pit

One of the best parts about hanging out by the fire pit is the s'mores.  Did I mention s'mores yet?  I really have no idea what is wrong with Hubby and his marshmallow loathing.

Would you pick a sausage over a roasted marshmallow??? 


In the last year or so I've been trying to really reduce my sugar intake and I've experimented a lot with low sugar and sugar-free baking, but I just love s'mores so much.  They are my weakness, my downfall.  I used to make them inside in the winter, in front of our wood burning fireplace, which cracks Hubby up.  I recently decided to try making them in the oven - which turned out to be SO easy (oh dear).

Because they're so easy to whip up, I've been experimenting with new flavor combinations.

Peanut Butter S'Mores

Among my favorites: peanut butter cookies or ginger spice cookies in lieu of graham crackers (to the latter, I add a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice too).

Ginger Spice Cookie S'mores

In case you ever looked at a s'more and thought, "that's not enough sugar!" caramilk bar squares instead of plain chocolate make a ridiculously delicious treat - just be careful because the caramilk can get scathingly hot in the oven s'more variety, but they're just right fireside.

Caramilk Bar S'mores
Caramilk bar s'more

My current favorite is a pumpkin pie s'mores.  I'm not even a PSL fan, but I bought some canned pumpkin for smoothies because I'm trying really hard to embrace fall this year and do all of the things fall-loving folks love: wearing boots too early (I wear sandals till it snows usually), eating copious amounts of pumpkin, and decorating in an autumnal fashion.

I tried a dollop of canned pumpkin in an oven s'more with a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice (probably a little too fussy to assemble fireside).  SO delicious!  Starting to get what the fuss with fall is all about...

Oven S'mores

I just pop two graham crackers in the oven at 350 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes (or until the marshmallow swells a bit and starts to look toasty).  Then I sprinkle on the spice, add a teaspoon of pumpkin puree and close the s'more quickly to let the pumpkin warm up.  It's super addictive, so I really don't recommend trying this at home...

Pumpkin Spice S'mores
Pumpkin Spice S'more
Pumpkin Spice S'mores

I wanted to share this tip because I know so many of you are apartment dwellers or can't have a fire pit (or frankly, don't want one because it takes days to wash the smoke smell out of hair - I totally get it).  If you're skipping the fall campfires but crave that cozy ambiance, I recommend lighting a campfire scented candle, and bundling up with a blanket, mug of tea and an oven s'more! 

Turquoise Mug

Really, any excuse for a s'more.

This post was sponsored by Wayfair, but all thoughts, opinions, product selections, and s'mores tangents are my own.  Thanks for supporting the brands that make blogging possible for me - I can't tell you how much I appreciate you as readers!


  1. I feel the same way about fall. I love summer and hate winter, so while fall is pretty, I'm not ready to embrace it yet.
    Your firepit is far from being a country bumpkin firepit! We have one in the woods where we burn stuff. It's just a pile of ashes and old burnt furniture and demo parts. I think we have you beat. ;)
    I've never thought of adding pumpkin to our s'mores. We are really fond of adding berries. Cherries are really good during the summer, especially if you can find key lime marshmallows. I want to make triple chocolate s'mores with chocolate graham crackers, dark chocolate and chocolate marshmallows (which I can't seem to find so I might need to make.)

    1. Haha, your burnt furniture pit might beat my fire pit, but you haven't seen my gasoline shack, lol.

      Ooooo, I've never thought of adding cherries but that sounds amazing! I love those chocolate encased cherry sweets - can't remember what they're called. I've never seen chocolate marshmallows around here, but I don't think they're difficult to make. I've been tempted to make some too and have a bunch of recipes pinned. Let me know if you try it out!

  2. I really like your fire pit and understand sitting around it in the fall. I understand wanting to hang onto summer as long as you can, you live WAY up north. I live in the south and can't wait for Fall. It's September 30 and it will be 87º here today, I need Fall. Don't really like s'mores, too sweet, but I could eat my weight in roasted marshmallows.

    1. I can totally understand needing a break from the heat living in a hotter place, although I have to admit I'm a bit jealous of your temperatures. But I can imagine it gets old fast. Friends on Instagram who live in hotter states were wanting cool temperatures to arrive to have a reprieve from all of the sweating. Hopefully things cool off for you soon - feel free to send that heat my way :)

  3. You look fantastic!!!! And I'm so glad that so many big companies are working with you. Congratulations are certainly in order. You've turned your blog into a huge success. I agree with you about fall. We needed the relief from our summer heat (which I'm sure you remember from your visit here), but I really hate giving up my daily water aerobics in the pool. I'm still getting in every morning, but the water is soooo cold already!!!

    1. Awww, thanks so much Dana :)
      I hear other bloggers making ridiculous 6-figure incomes and I'm astounded. I'm just happy to have been able to carve out a little income for myself alongside some freelance work. Finding a job when we moved here proved pretty much impossible so I'm grateful - but I wish I had treated blogging like a job and not a hobby in those first years. Everything behind the scenes is a mess and I waste a lot of time trying to keep it all running.

      Yes, I DO remember the heat - and it wasn't even the middle of summer, was it? I can understand wanting a break from that. But then, I'd be like you and not wanting to give up a daily dip in the pool. I immediately thought: water heater and a wet suit! Not sure if that's helpful. Enjoy those last swims!!

  4. The fall themed posts are helping me adjust to the end of summer. I'd love fall for everything it offers if it weren't for the end of the growing season (my garden is just getting into full swing) and swimming. Every year as sept nears I feel like we didn't take advantage, that we didn't get enough swimming in. But in truth, with the drought and high temps in southern Ontario, we got in lots of swimming- my son and I even went swimming, twice, the first week of sept. (Homeschoolers get the beach to themselves when everyone else is back to school) but then it got too cool and that was it. We've had several lovely days since but no swimming.
    I really dislike the heat, thus the swimming- I can't work outside when it's too hot, so fall brings humane temperature, apples, pumpkins and pumpkin spice, colourful leaves, tall boots and long pants, and fires In the woodstove- I really do love fall.
    I've had a fire in our pit for the last three nights- it serves as our BBQ, so I cooked on it wed night and tonight... Thurs just because I wanted to sit outside while I still could.
    Love s'mores, too. Will definitely try the PS smores.
    Btw- I love the log basket and Italian plaid throw- beautiful. And the fire tongs are a brilliant idea for the campfire. Maybe I need to outfit out fire pit for fall.
    Beautiful photos of you- you look quite happy around your campfire.

    1. I'm going to miss swimming so much too! We had a pretty hot summer too so it's the most I have ever swam in Lake Superior, which was actually quite nice all year.

      I forgot that fall must be a real bummer for folks who really enjoy gardening because it means that pretty soon there won't be pretty blooms and yummy vegetables. Pumpkins and apples are a good trade off, though :) I can't remember what all you grow, of if we've chatted about it before...

      I can understand wanting those cooler temps - I spent my summers growing up in Toronto and sometimes those Southern Ontario summers were just too much! The heat! The humidity! So nice you could enjoy some last swims in September when the beach was all yours - that's sounds like a lot of fun.

      I love that you cook on your fire pit! I'm eyeing up some kinds of grills so we can do that next year too.

  5. You got me starving over there. I just love s'mores so much. Who doesn't? It's a bit calorific but who cares. They are my sweetest downfall.

    1. Sorry, Alberta :) I know it's so tempting to see these pictures, I'm drooling too. Happy to hear from someone else who is as addicted as me!

  6. Your fire pit looks great! I agree any excuse for smores!!

    1. Thanks! It's really weathered the summer well and that copper just glows when it's lit - I'm happy I chose that over a basic matte black.


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