Welcome to my annual October Tricks and Treats series, a countdown-to-Halloween blog event!
At my house, every day of October is marked with a festive treat or meal or activity--either something autumnal or Halloweeny (though not technically a word, it should be!) In years past, I've blogged them all. This year, as my girls are growing up, October finds us in the throes of new activities and busier schedules. Therefore, while we'll still have at least a little something going on here each day, there might be some days when I don't post what we've done. For instance, on some of the days the girls have soccer practice, I've scheduled quick and easy craft kits I picked up for a dollar from AC Moore. Those type things, I may not post this year. Or, if we're repeating a craft or activity from a previous year (those gruesome green toes are a perennial favorite & one I'm not allowed to skip), I may just point that out and refer you back to the earlier post.
Otherwise, I plan to keep things similar to years past. I still find a lot of my ideas on Pinterest (which, in most cases, means other people's blogs) or in magazines, so I'll always link back to source material and/or credit my original source. When possible, I'll give you my own rundown of recipes I used and tips/tricks/troubleshooting things I did along the way, but sometimes I might just share my own story and photos and send you to the source for the recipe.
No matter what, my hope is that you'll be inspired to try some of the things you see on here and enjoy the fall festivities as we spend the month together. Happy October!
* * *
The fall equinox was September 22nd this year but the weather has remained sort of unseasonably warm such that it hasn't felt much like there was a change in season. (For real! We only just closed our pool this week!)
Thankfully, the weather finally turned (though word on the street is that temps are going back up this week--ugh!) right in time for the kickoff to October and gifted us a couple days to dive into a bunch of the best autumn has to offer.
My family and I took full advantage of the brisk temperatures and breezy afternoon yesterday and made our annual pilgrimage to a local farm for some pumpkin and apple picking. And, as Skye Masterson says (around the 26 second mark), the pickings have been lush! We selected two 30-pound monster pumpkins and two 15-pounders, as well as a half peck of apples--and I'd point out here that it required incredible self control to stop at the half peck. Because, let's face it, I love apples a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck. A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap. A barrel and a heap and I'm talking in my sleep about APPPLLLEESSS. (That's from Guys and Dolls, too. You know, give or take a word.) After that, since I couldn't pick any more actual apples, I devoured a warm apple cider donut instead. Then we piled back into our car and headed to a different local farm for some funnel cake and corn maze fun. (For the record, I only had two small bites of funnel cake. A donut AND funnel cake is overkill, after all.)
|Here's a teeny tiny pumpkin bud, the antithesis of the ones we chose|
When we returned home in the late afternoon, I got a pot of chili simmering on the stove while my husband assembled our animatronic witch and put up the rest of the decorations. It looks pretty festive here in my house, I'm not gonna lie.
|Our new decoration - Mr. Deadly Roots|
|Hecate, our Macbeth-speaking veteran decor item, with Poe on her shoulder; Graymalkin the cat stands at her feet, not pictured|
Today, though it was still beautiful outdoors, I spent the afternoon in my kitchen preparing a delicious dinner of espresso-balsamic glazed chicken and vegetables (which I plan to share on here in the coming days), simmering up some homemade marinara sauce from the pile of our garden tomatoes that were sitting on my counter (omg! yum!), and baking autumn spice oatmeal cookies for dessert (I'll share those with you, too!) All the while, the neighborhood kids kept coming in to press those animatronic decorations a hundred times. It sounded like Spirit Halloween up in here.
Now the dinner dishes have been put away, the girls have gone to bed, and I'm beat. So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sign off and maybe go watch Guys and Dolls (suddenly so in the mood to watch that!) whilst sampling one of those autumn cookies I was telling you about.
But I hope to see you tomorrow for Day 2 of our countdown!