Our favorite month happily lived up to its expectations!!
Our kid-free weekend was incredible! I one-hundred-percent love my children and I also totally believe the theory behind putting your marriage first, but I find that extremely difficult when you are raising two little ones who need your help in order to get through the day. If I don’t feed Chad breakfast, he will feed himself. I can’t say the same for Conroy. Our anniversary weekend was much needed. We celebrated 5 years married, but this was the first time in 3.5 years that we were alone in our apartment. We went out to a couple fancy dinners in the city, saw a movie, took naps, and did some home organizational projects. We had time to talk and reminisce. A lot of our talks were about the kids and it was so wonderful to hug and be hugged by those little arms on Monday – but having a little over 48 hours of couple time was just what we needed. I highly recommend it.
As with pretty much everything that we actually get accomplished in life, our October Crafts started with a list. We squeezed in each project between school, art class, and weekend visits. Here’s what we did…
Decorated our door. I googled Halloween Door decorations, clicked on images, and let Georgia choose. Surprisingly, she chose a spooky face. We used construction paper and tape to replicate the internet image in real life. We also added created googly eyes to make it a little less scary.
Carmel Apple Lollipops! I read about this on one of my favorite blogs – Love Taza. She paired up with Rachael Ray’s friend Kelsey Nixon and demonstrated several fall-themed treats. Our favorite – Carmel Apple Lollipops! We thought this was genius! We made them twice, the first time with one of Georgia’s besties Hazel. The girls loved unwrapping the caramel and sticking the lollipop sticks into the apples but, truth be told, their attention quickly drifted towards playing Legos so the adults finished them. I didn’t have a melonballer so the first attempt was a little more abstract – in the shape of square chunks.
Our second attempt was a little more successful. We borrowed a melonballer from our awesome foodie friends and the end product was adorable. Once again the adults loved them, but the kids were a little confused by the caramel – which was very sticky, as caramel is, so they wound up eating plain apples on lollipop sticks! Win for us since that just made the snack healthier.
Halloween Eggs We needed egg cartons in the art class we teach so one week I ended up buying three-dozen eggs. Because I knew we wouldn’t use them all as regular eggs we decided to hard-boil a dozen. We used the Rachael Ray method and they came out perfectly! In need of an afternoon craft project, we decided last minute to dye them orange and draw silly faces on them. We used the directions on the back of the food coloring, filling one big tupperwear container – since we wanted them all to be orange (unlike on Easter when you generally want different colors). Georgia and I had a blast thinking of different faces to draw and using markers – all while Conroy napped! He’s a pro at taking the cap off a marker and tasting it so the timing worked out perfectly.
Pumpkin Flavored Everything Growing up I wasn’t really a fan of pumpkin pie. However, now as an adult I seem to be addicted to anything pumpkin. I must not be the only one because Trader Joe’s offers so many pumpkin flavored foods this time of year – it’s a little overwhelming. The first time I entered the store and was greeted by end-cap after end-cap of pumpkin goodness, I couldn’t help myself. I bought Pumpkin Pancake Mix, Pumpkin Ravioli, Pumpkin Rolls, and Pumpkin Muffin Mix! I’m surprised our family didn’t turn orange! Our favorite was by far the Pumpkin Muffins that we made and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles - which I think technically transformed them into cupcakes. We had so many that we packed up half and gave them to our friends and the security guards in our building as a little fun surprise.
Ghost & Mummy Water bottles & Jack-o-lantern Mandarin Orange Cups This year we helped throw a Halloween party for the building we lived in. A couple of the moms got together for some wine and cheese and decorated water bottles and mandarin orange cups!
With Georgia’s school we all went on a field trip to Brooklyn Plantology. I hadn’t heard of this place before and was pleasantly surprised when our big yellow bus pulled up. The staff led a wonderful lesson where the kids got to color, touch different pumpkins, and plant pumpkin seeds. They also went on a tour of the plants, fed the two goats, and played in the hay bales. If you have a group of kids, we highly recommend a visit there.
Exercise My Money’s Worth
I completed my Exercise My Money’s Worth challenge. The moral of the story is that if you want to do something you need to find the right motivation. Right or wrong, for me it wasn’t to look better…it wasn’t to lose weight…it was merely so that I didn’t pay money for three months of a gym membership only to use it once! Money was my motivator and it did the trick. I put it out there and, with the help of my Instagram and Facebook friends, I squeezed in thirty-minute sessions whenever I could: evenings when my babysitter was there to help with the bedtime routine, mornings before my husband left for work, or late night once the kids were asleep and he was home! Having this goal – made me do the work. I had thought I didn’t have the time (as still really don’t) but, because I put my mind to it, I made it happen. Did I enjoy i?…o.k. a little. Am I going to do it again?…no thanks! My next challenge – most likely after the holidays -- will be to do an exercise that I truly enjoy like hip hop dance or a Zumba class. Stay tuned.
September Project Life
We did it! Our Project Life September Spread is complete. Blogging about it has definitely helped make it happen. So, thank you for that – and you can read about it here.
This year for my birthday Chad had asked if we could stay in Brooklyn. I said sure. Then, a couple weeks before my birthday, we went to a super fun party where we had to write down a secret – in which he wrote down an actual secret. The woman who picked his secret hilariously panicked a little and swore to keep it a secret because it was “actually a secret.” I instinctually knew she might have had what Chad wrote because that’s totally something he would do.
With both of these clues, I kinda thought he had something planned for my birthday. I mean that is his M.O. He’s good at birthdays. Then Friday came. He baked some cupcakes with Georgia before work, but after work we didn’t do much. At one point the doorbell rang and I thought, “oh I knew it…who could it be!” It was the UPS man delivering diapers I had ordered. Wah Wah. I went to bed a little sad. The next morning he packed the kids into the double stroller and said he was going out to pick me up something. I said fine and enjoyed my time alone making Halloween costumes, still a little sad. About an hour later Georgia came into the art room whispering “Surprise.” I figured Conroy was sleeping and they had bought me a gift. Then around the corner jumped my best friend Katie who lives in San Francisco!! I literally started crying. We had the best weekend – catching up, seeing friends, having brunch with more friends, and doing some Halloween things in the West Village. Katie even chose to fly back on Monday morning and go straight to work, so that we would have all of Sunday together. Seriously – this girl is one of the best!! And Chad truly knocked this birthday out of the park!
Halloween continues to be one of our favorite Holidays!! This year was no exception…actually we can confidently say this year was THE BEST YET!! Check out our two sets of costumes – The Berenstain Bears & The Mother Goose Club.
Thanks for reading! November has begun and we are happily busy making more crafts and creating memories!! We look forward to sharing them with you.