Thursday, September 28, 2023

Monthly Musings: Fall/Hallowe'en Fun

As always, since it's the last Thursday of the month, I'm linking up with Holly at Pink Lady and Patty at Good, Better, Best for one of my favourite posts of the month, Monthly Musings. This month we're talking Fall and Hallowe'en fun.

1) Favourite fall traditions
Some of our favourite fall traditions are the LUMEN festival (which we attended this past weekend), doing an art walk in our neighbourhood (which is happening this weekend), and attending a Blue Jays game. And of course, I love the weekend I buy my fall mums!

2) How do you celebrate Hallowe'en?
We are in that stage where our Hallowe'en traditions are changing as our kids get older. Last year Rachel went trick or treating on her own (with Dave and I as company) and Sam ran a haunted house with his friends. I'm not sure yet what this year will look like but I'm sure Rachel will want to trick or treat. One thing that won't change is Dave and I will still enjoy our "candy tax." This is when we force the kids to give us some of our favourite candy from their stash!!!
3) Favourite fall recipes -- please share links.
I think some of my favourite fall things to make are homemade applesauce (if I have access to local apples) and steamed pumpkin to freeze. I just made almost three litres of applesauce last night which I'm really excited about. And we have a really good pumpkin pasta recipe with sage leaves. You can find a similar recipe here but the recipe we have uses pumpkin instead of squash.

4) Favourite fall fashion pieces
I've really been enjoying my cardigans this fall. I like the fact that I can layer them with t-shirts and take them off when it gets warmer in the afternoons. I don't have a recent picture of me wearing my cardigans but I really love this soft green one right now.
5) How do you decorate for fall?
With chrysanthemums. I don't do any decorating in the house, although I do get a bouquet of sunflowers once in awhile. I haven't done that this year yet.
These are my mums from last year but they look pretty much the same this year!
I have a lovely mum/hot pepper planter on our outdoor table and then a bigger planter by our back door. And we've switched to our fall back door mat! 

6) Pumpkin spice? Oh yes or over it?
I don't know if I can even say I'm "over it" because I never was on the pumpkin spice bandwagon. I really don't get the pumpkin spice thing.

This meme made me laugh. A lot!!!

7) Thoughts on candy corn?
Meh. Give me all the chocolate and leave all the other stuff.

8) Favourite fall/Hallowe'en movie?
Any fall movie on Hallmark. We've become big fans of fall Hallmark movies these past few years.

9) Apple pie, pumpkin pie, or cider donut?
I really like apple pie. It might be my second or third favourite pie after Saskatoon berry and cherry. Yum!!!

10) Bonfire, hayride, or haunted house?
I think I'd go for a bonfire. I definitely don't love haunted houses (I don't enjoy being scared) and hayrides are usually just itchy. Hahaha!

It's the time of year where I try to decide if Fall or Spring is my favourite season, and honestly, I'm so happy right now that fall just might have a slight edge. I just love this time of year!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

What's Up Wednesday: September 2023

Is it just me or did September fly by? Just to warn you, this is a *very* baseball (Blue Jays!) focused post! I love baseball all year round, but never more than in April and in September!

As always on the last Wednesday of the month, I'm linking up with Shay at Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer at Sheaffer Told Me Too for their What's Up Wednesday post.

image from here
What we're eating this week... We've been eating a lot of muffins this month. I make a batch of muffin on the weekend and they're gone in a few days. It's Tuesday night as I'm writing this and the muffins I made on Sunday are already gone. I may have to bake another batch tonight to get us through to the weekend. I eat them for breakfasts and the kids take them for lunches or eat them as after school snacks.

What I'm reminiscing about... Well, with all the baseball going on, I'm reminiscing about other years of September baseball.
This is from September 2016, the first year our family was really into baseball, and when the Jays had just clinched first in the AL East.
This is from September 2021, our first in person baseball game post-Covid. We were so excited to see baseball live again.
Okay, this isn't September, but this is from the playoff game we went to last year in October, before the Jays lost the game in a spectacular fashion.
I just love September baseball!!!

What I'm loving... I am loving both our weather (not too hot, not too cool) and the fact that my work has been fairly calm this month. Last September was one of the most stressful working months of my entire life and I'm so glad this September has been so much smoother. I am also loving that our second secretary got a few more hours this school year and so has been covering my lunch breaks, which means I get to leave the office. Having a half hour break improves my mood so much!

What we've been up to... September was NUTS, in a good way. Our rabbi is leaving the synagogue and our lead pastor is leaving our church so that's added some extra events to our lives. Additionally, the kids seem to actually have homework this year so they've been doing that.


I got to garden at work, which made my week!!!

This past weekend was LUMEN, one of our favourite nights of the year in our uptown. Friday night there were a few pre-LUMEN events like a drone show, so we checked out that out, as well as some interesting lights at the park. 

The next night we checked out the official LUMEN festival, which was one of the best ones ever.


What I'm dreading... I'm not dreading much but one evening in the next few weeks, Rachel has to take public transit on her own to dance and I'm nervous about it. We practiced her route this past weekend and I'm sure she's going to do great but it's still nerve wracking for me.
What I'm working on... Thanks to summer, and especially our bout of Covid, I got very behind on my current virtual walk. At the beginning of September I was over 70 kilometres behind. I'm happy that, although I haven't caught up, I've definitely made up a bunch of kilometres. I'm always so much happier when I walk a lot and September has been a good month for that!
And laundry. I'm always working on laundry, and it feels like even more so this month. This was four loads of laundry needing to be folded, on our bed on Sunday afternoon, and another two loads were drying on the line. Why does my family go through so much clothing in a week?!?!?!?
What I'm excited about... Remember back in July when I wrote that I was excited about getting lilies from my parents? (You can read this post here if you want to refresh your memory.) Well, my parents shipped me the bulbs this past week and I'm super excited to plant them, and even more so, to see them bloom next summer.
What I'm watching/reading... Well, as to what I'm watching, it's all about baseball around here. Since the Jays are fighting for a playoff spot, when the Jays aren't playing, I'm watching baseball commentary or games which are relevant to the Jays' playoff hopes.
As for what I'm reading, well, at work on my lunch breaks I'm reading Saga Boy, at dance while waiting for Rachel I'm reading Scarborough (a gift from Sarah who blogs at Toronto SAM -- find her here), and the rest of the time, I've been reading medical non-fiction on my Kobo.
The Nurses by Alexandra Robbins Opening My Heart by Tilda Shalof
What I'm listening to... A lot of construction. sigh. You may recall that our neighbours' house had a major fire in early June. The property was sold and the people who bought it have been working on clearing away the garbage. I feel like I'm just surrounded by construction noise all the time. I miss our silent street.
What I'm wearing... Well, this is not a lovely picture of my toes but I'm wearing what I call my "Blue Jays Pedicure." I painted my toenails red and then added a blue/silver/gold sparkle. I'm hoping this pedicure will bring the Jays luck this week and help them make the playoffs! Hahaha!
What I'm doing this weekend... The annual art walk in our neighbourhood is happening this weekend and I'm hoping we can visit a few of the artists. We love getting some holiday shopping done during this walk. We have a farewell for our pastor on Saturday night and, as almost every weekend does lately, there will be some baseball! And some laundry.
What I'm looking forward to next month... October is going to be so fun! We're having some special visitors coming mid-month, we have a fun dance weekend at the end of the month, and it's Thanksgiving weekend in a few weeks. I'm pretty excited about October!!!

What I bought on Amazon... Nothing. I wanted some seasonal fall spatulas but, not only have both my local stores failed me, but Amazon did too. So I didn't buy anything on Amazon this month.

So that's a taste of my baseball focused September. If you're not as excited about baseball as I am, come back in October because I will be shocked (but extremely joyful!) if the Jays make it to the World Series so it should be much less baseball focused :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

10 On The 10th: September 2023

Welcome to "10 On The 10th" for September. This was a very full, heading into fall, Sunday.

On the previous day I bought my fall chrysanthemums and moved all my summer pots. I also put out our fall welcome mat. Yes, we have seasonal mats for the back door. Don't talk to Dave about that! Hahaha!!! It was still a nice enough day that I could hang out a load of laundry and enjoy my coffee-hot chocolate outside.
I'm not normally a breakfast person but I've been enjoying English muffins with marmalade on the weekends.
Our bulletin cover at church for our fall series is interesting!
Our church recognizes kids transitioning into Grade 1 by putting a new book in the church library in their name. This day we honoured the Grade 1 kids and Sam wanted to find his Grade 1 book. And then he read it.
Our fall schedule means that we may have to do some extra cooking on the weekends. Sam and Rachel helped me make soup for later in the week while Dave was grilling our supper for this night.
We had a delicious supper of salads, grilled veggies, and grilled sausage. YUM!!!
New schools, and new grades, means homework. Sam and Rachel were both working on math homework.
While they did homework, and Dave cleaned up after supper, I folded all the laundry I had washed over the weekend and listened to a podcast.
We ended the evening with a family croissant date walk. Remember how we did a bunch of these back in April?!?!? It was a fun way to end the weekend.

So with September, we're definitely back into the swing of things and trying to figure out our new routines. Hopefully by October, we'll be more used to them!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

I Spy 2023: Week 35

It's time for another week of "I Spy." I don't know what to say about the photos this week. Hahaha!

Let's Play iSpy 2022


Between his shirt and his bucket hat, Sam is ready to show a lot of school "spirit." He's been loving high school thus far!
window view – quarterly

While the leaves on the ivy are holding on, clearly other leaves are starting to fall. Pretty soon, Sam will have a clear view out his window again!


One "change" which has happened in the past few months, is that Rachel is starting to take over as the chief cookie baker. She loves whipping up a batch of chocolate chip cookies and we all love eating them so it works out well! Hahaha!


We went to a potluck on the weekend and some of my food was "speckled." The salmon was speckled with mustard seeds and the vegetable bake was speckled with herbs. The vegetable bake reminded me of the delicious gemusestruedel (vegetable pastry) Dave and I ate in Austria about 13 years ago! You can see all our delicious Austrian food here.  

your choice

I got to garden at work last week and gardening is always "my choice!" Especially when I get paid to do it!!! 

*week 88 of Lysha's challenge prompts. See her post here.