Thursday, September 29, 2022

Monthly Musings: Fall And Halloween

Today I'm linking up with Holly at Pink Lady and Patty at Good, Better, Best for their Monthly Musings. Today we're talking about fall and Hallowe'en. I will start off by saying that Hallowe'en isn't necessarily my favourite holiday, especially as the kids get older. However, this year, we've gone with super easy for costumes -- each kid has acquired a onesie which will work well for a Hallowe'en costume too. Yay! Okay, on with the link up...

1) How do you decorate for fall/Halloween?

I don't do a lot of fall decorating and I don't do any decorating at all for Halloween. I definitely buy chrysanthemums for outside and, the past couple of years, I've bought a slightly bigger fall planter. And I hang our fall wreath, which I only did last night. I'm a little behind this year :)

2) Do you decorate inside? Outside? Both?

I really don't decorate inside at all. Sometimes I'll buy sunflowers in the fall for indoor flowers but I haven't even done that this year. I should get some this weekend. I like putting them in my orange fish vase for a really fall look.

Rachel added some pine cones to this bouquet from a few years ago.

3) When do you do your fall decorating?

Usually I wait until Labour Day weekend but, because we did a random, last minute road trip this year on Labour Day weekend, I didn't get my fall mums until the following weekend.

This picture is a little dark because I took it too late last night, 
but these are my fall mums this year.

4) How do you pumpkin -- decorate with pumpkins?

We used to carve a pumpkin with the kids but we haven't done that the past few years. Mostly, I chop up any pumpkins we get, steam them, mash them up, and freeze them to make pumpkin muffins and pumpkin penne.

5) Do you add lights to your decorating? Share photos!

Do my solar lights count?!?!? I do enjoy that they've been turning on earlier as it gets dark so much earlier. Other than that, I don't use lights in fall decorating.

Again, I took this photo as it was getting dark last night, 

but I'm loving the mums on the table.

6) Do you do anything special for Halloween dinner?

We used to get McDonald's and I would carve orange pepper jack-o-lanterns for everybody. The past few years we've had an orange meal of grilled cheese (or Kraft Dinner) and Cheetos and orange juice.

Lots of orange for Hallowe'en dinners!

7) Favourite Halloween candy?

Coffee Crisp (a truly Canadian chocolate bar) and KitKats.

The kids sorting their Halloween candy.

8) Full size or fun size candy bar?

Fun size candy bars please. That way I can eat a couple at once!

9) Best fall decor tip?

Decorate with flowers! That's clearly what I do! Additionally, decorate with things in nature -- colourful leaves, pine cones, etc. 

I love that we get such vibrantly coloured leaves.

10) Pumpkin spice -- yes or no?

NNNNNNOOOOOOO. I don't understand the obsession with pumpkin spice AT ALL.

So that's how I fall. I LOVE fall, and Halloween is just kind of a part of it. I'm hoping to read all of the posts in the link up in the next few days and see how you all celebrate this time of year!

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

What's Up Wednesday: September 2022

It's time for What's Up Wednesday and I kind of can't believe how quickly September has gone. What happened to it?!?!?!? Read on to find out what's been happening with us this past month.

As always with What's Up Wednesday, I'm linking up with Shay at Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer at Sheaffer Told Me To.

image from here

What we're eating this week... Sunday night was the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. So we ate round challah (all the rest of the year it's a straight loaf) and we ate apples and honey (for a sweet New Year). And we had supper with Dave's parents on Sunday night and his mom made matzoh ball soup. So we've been eating all the holiday foods!

What I'm reminiscing about... Our across the street neighbour has a two year old, and a couple of nights ago we caught up with good friends who have a sixteen month old, so I've been reminiscing about when Sam and Rachel were that age. It feels like so long ago and also like just last year. Time is weird.
Sam at 2 1/2, October 2011 * Rachel at sixteen months, October 2012

What I'm loving... I'm loving the little glimpses of fall we've been getting. The trees are starting to change colours and, by next month, we'll be enjoying all the fall colours!!!

Along with reminiscing about when Sam and Rachel were younger, I'm also simultaneously loving this stage they're in now. Earlier this month we had a potluck at church and the kids made our potluck contributions. It was pretty awesome! Additionally, both kids are now in the Jr Youth group at church which means that when they have Jr Youth, Dave and I get date time. YAY!!!

What we've been up to... It's been a full month. The kids started school, which has been going pretty well thus far...
... Rachel started dance and has been dancing between five and seven hours per week, which she has been loving...
... and we attended the LUMEN festival of light and technology in our uptown this past weekend. It was so fun!!!
What I'm dreading... After a quiet summer of our neighbours not doing anything in their backyard (Dave and I actually wondered if they were still living there a few times as we only saw them about twice), they have now removed the shed (which provided some privacy between our yards) and put out some string boundaries. So we think they are about to start working on the backyard and I am dreading how long it might take... I'm still not over their big renovation from last summer.

What I'm working on... We're working on organizing in our basement. It's very exciting. Actually, I really will be very excited when it's all done!
before we organized the shelves (left) * after we'd gotten rid of some things (right)
As always, I'm also continuously working on folding laundry. It's a never ending task these days.  

What I'm excited about... The Toronto Blue Jays!!! The Blue Jays are almost certainly going to the playoffs this year and I'm SO EXCITED!!! Now if they can just make it past the Wild Card...
I'm also excited because Sam is becoming Bar Mitzvah in October and so many people are coming to celebrate with us. We're getting ready for a huge family party and I can't wait to see everyone again!
What I'm watching/reading... I'm basically watching Toronto Blue Jays baseball games and reading articles on the MLB app. I check the MLB app first thing every morning and read every single article I can find about the Blue Jays. I'm actually watching the Blue Jays game as I write this post, and when I'm done writing this post, I'll fold some of that laundry pictured above.

What I'm listening to... Blue Jays games! Hahaha! Also, as I was starting to write this post, I was listening to Sam and Rachel playing a game in the playroom. They rarely play together these days so this was a special moment.

What I'm wearing... Well, this is what I wore to work yesterday (Tuesday). We went from hot and humid (t-shirts and skirts) to cold and rainy (sweaters and pants) in about two days. I asked Dave the other day, "What happened to our t-shirts and jeans weather?" but it looks like we'll get that this weekend. What is more noticeable is what I'm still NOT wearing, which is socks. I won't wear those for a few weeks yet!

What I'm doing this weekend... Rachel has two dance rehearsals for her December shows, I'm going to a friend's birthday party, and we're all looking forward to our neighbourhood art walk. It was cancelled for a few years so we're really excited it's back!

What I'm looking forward to next month... Sam's Bar Mitzvah is the biggest thing happening in October, so I'm looking forward to all the celebrations and family time surrounding that! But I'm also looking forward to Thanksgiving, seeing my parents, and the return of a few other events which were cancelled by Covid restrictions the past two years. There's a lot going on for us this October!

What else is new... I think I've covered everything.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog today. I'm off to watch the rest of the Blue Jays game and get started on folding that laundry.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

How Far We'll Go For Baseball And Target

As you may recall, the first few weeks of this school year were some of the most stressful I've ever experienced at work. Thankfully, last week, things seemed to be evening out a little bit more and I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

However, on the Saturday morning of Labour Day weekend I was stressed out. So I tossed a load of laundry in the wash and Dave and I were drinking our morning coffee-hot chocolate outside. As is common, I had checked baseball scores already and had seen that the Jays had beat Pittsburgh the night before, in Pittsburgh, and the Jays' Instagram feed commented that "There were so many Jays fans, it felt like a home game."

Dave and I were talking about weekend plans (we didn't have many) and how I wanted new, thick, colourful whiteboard markers. I commented, "I think I bought the last set at Target." and Dave commented, "Well, we could always go to Buffalo and go to Target." I commented back, "If we're going to the US to go to Target, let's at least go to Pittsburgh so we can watch the Jays game."


"Why not?" one of us ventured. "WHY NOT?!?!?!" the other one replied, so after some Googling (to find out how far away Pittsburgh was (a five hour drive), if we'd make it in time for the game (we would), what the weather looked like (we didn't want to go all the way to Pittsburgh and have a rained out game), etc), we randomly decided to drive to Pittsburgh on about an hour's notice.

We woke Sam up, "Hey, do you want to go to Pittsburgh in an hour?!?!?!" He was on board, and Rachel was packed for the night before we'd even decided for sure we were going. And that's how we found ourselves at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on a Saturday night.

I loved being at PNC Park. I loved watching the baseball game and seeing the Pittsburgh skyline in the background.

There were so many Blue Jays fans, it almost felt like a home game. I really couldn't believe how many Jays fans there were.

See all the blue?!?!? (Pittsburgh's colours are black and white.)

Because it was a game celebrating the newly opened Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame, many baseball legends from the Pirates were represented -- either in person or by their descendants -- in a pregame ceremony. After the game, there was a special drone show. The four rows of lights in the middle of the picture were the drones getting ready for the show.

It was soooo cool to see this show!
And can I give a shout out to the Pirates fans who warmly welcomed us to their ballpark and were some of the kindest people I've ever met. The Jays' fans basically took over their ball park (the cheers were louder for the Jays than they were for the Pirates), we won the game, and Pittsburgh baseball fans welcomed us with smiles, wishes for a safe journey (as we were leaving), complimented us on our devotion to the Jays, and were so nice.
We stayed overnight at a hotel and hit a Target on the way home. Rachel and I were sooooo excited!!! And yes, I bought whiteboard markers, and because it was Target, we ended up with about $150 worth of other stuff -- books, pajamas for Sam, boots for Rachel, a wifi extender, a mirror for Rachel, and I don't know all what. That's how it goes at Target, right?!?!? :)
We drove home and still had a day to recuperate before heading into the first week of school.

We've never done a random, weekend road trip before but it was so much fun, we're already talking about where we might be able to head to watch the Jays play next summer! We might even plan the next one for more an hour before we leave on it :)

Monday, September 19, 2022

10 On The 10th: September 2022

While we've had some very exciting "10 on the 10th" posts lately, this one documented a more regular day. But honestly, given how many Covid restrictions we lived under for over two years, I still really treasure even the "normal" days.

Weekdays where Dave and I get to enjoy coffee outside are a thing of the past, but we still sit out on weekends. "Coffee-hot chocolate outside with Dave while laundry hangs on the line" equals one of my favourite things right now.

Rachel spent some time sewing in the play room. She was making clothes for Funny Bunny! 

Rachel had her first dance of the season. She's already preparing for December shows. She's moved up to the last official colour in dance (burgundy). She'll wear a burgundy bodysuit for two years and then she can wear whatever colours she wants. 
Rachel and her friend drew a seasonal message on our sidewalk. I especially love the fall leaves. 

I walked through the cemetery on my way to buy chrysanthemums at our local greenhouse. This is one of my favourite times of year to walk through the cemetery because the trees are just glorious. 
I always love railway tracks. I just want to follow them...

I got a trunk full of mums!!!
Rachel baked a cake for us to take to the church potluck the next day and Sam wanted to contribute too. So he made chocolate chip cookies. It was amazing that Dave and I didn't have to do anything for this potluck! I love this stage of life!!!
I spent the evening as a youth sponsor at a Sr Youth event at church. It was lovely to sit around the fire and hear about how the youth spent their summers.
Dance, Sr youth, buying fall mums, and making food for potlucks -- this day was made up of all those things which were limited (or cancelled) by Covid and which I'm so happy to have back!!!