Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Costume Party

It is time to dance! It is time to party! It is time to show off the Halloween costumes! Which if you ask me is the best part of the whole month. Aria has been having such a great time trick or treating - 'treat!'. And, she picked out her own costume this year. I'd asked her different options and pointed to things at various times leading up to this month, but she never showed any interest. Then we went to Target and she saw this dino rider costume. She got so excited. I pulled it off the shelf so she could check it out, and she would not let it go. Dino it is!

Halloween Costume Party
Halloween Costume Party
Halloween Costume Party
Halloween Costume Party
 Boo at the Zoo!
Halloween Costume Party
Halloween Costume Party
 Downtown Trick or Treating!
Halloween Costume Party
Halloween Costume Party
Halloween Costume Party
 Trunk or Treating!

Halloween Costume Party
Halloween Costume Party
Halloween Costume Party
 And, last year's dragon costume! Poor thing was melting in her head to toe costume. So, I'm glad the dino rider this year was much breezier.

Halloween Costume Party
 Happy Halloween from the dino rider, peacock, and mounted moose!

Linking up with:


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Secret Santa: Mommy & Me Book Exchange Announcement

It just wouldn't be the holidays if I didn't have 37 plans in the works. And, one of those plans is a fun gift exchange. A book exchange to be precise, and not just for the littles but for mom too. One of Aria's favourite pastimes is reading every single book in the house. Twice. We are always adding to her library, and it still never seems like enough. And, it isn't just her either. I love a good book too, especially when it gets cooler outside. Like mother, like daughter.

So, I am excited to introduce a Mommy & Me Book Exchange that I am co-hosting with Elizabeth at Chasin' Mason and Jenny at The Chronicles of We.

A Secret Santa where both mom and little gets a gift!

Sounds fun, right?! If you're interested, please "RSVP" (so to speak) to the Secret Santa email listed :

secretsanta.mommyandme@gmail.com 

Please note : participation in the book exchange is only guaranteed if you email the specific email. Please feel free to comment below if you are interested (and to share your excitement about the exchange!) but please please please also make sure that you email in. The latest date to RSVP is next Wednesday, November 5th. When you email, please make sure to RSVP and say you would like to participate as well as include your full name, mailing address, blog URL, and a wish list of 10+ books for both you and your child (so two lists).

If you need some book inspiration, please feel free to check out my goodreads account for tons of rated books. Or, this post for some of my favourite books and series. I also have a few of Aria's favourite books sprinkled throughout her 'monthly faves' posts - but in general she loves the babylit books, anything by Nancy Tillman, and Clifford books. We'd love for you to include both older and newer titles on your lists so that there is a wide range of prices, there isn't a max with this exchange since books can vary so much. And, your book wish lists do not have to be holiday related.

Partners will be chosen around November 7th and emailed out to the proper people, along with all the information you'll need.

November 21st would be the last day to mail the books to your Secret Santa.  There will also be a link up with us on December 9th to share the new books that you received.

We know the holidays get crazy after Halloween so we wanted to give you all as much time to shop and ship before the post office and/or UPS and FedEx get crazy.

We hope you will participate with us and join in on the Secret Santa fun! And, if you have any questions or concerns don't hesitate to ask.
Sweet Turtle Soup

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4

Hey, Halloween is in approximately 6ish seconds. I don't think a month has ever flown by so quickly before. We are having far too much fun. Today is the fourth link up for our Countdown to Halloween party, just one more to go. Not sure what it is all about? Go check out this here post for all the details. New to this year's link up are the fabulous co-hosts - Amanda from Tickled Pink, Jamie from Cocktails & Carseats, and Jenny from The Chronicles of We!

I've loved each and every post so far, so keep up the good work. This is the final stretch!

If you didn't get a chance to hop around to all the posts last week, here are five of my favourites...

I'd love for you to link up again with us today. So, grab a button, add your post at the bottom, and have fun!
Sweet Turtle Soup

Here is what we have been up to, and I'm sorry but it is even more picture heavy than usual...we've been up to so much!

Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
We made some apple pie pancakes that were delicious.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Then for dinner, I pulled out all the stops with Halloween shaped mac and cheese! I saw it at the store, thought it was fun. Aria liked her vegetables better. My kid, she doesn't like pasta. Mom had some though, no shame.


Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
We whipped up some pumpkin cupcakes for a certain special godfather of Aria's.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
I made Aria some pumpkin play dough, which she couldn't stop sampling. After every bite she made a disgusted face, you'd think she would have learned to not put it in her mouth. She did, however, love mushing and using the mini cookie cutters with it.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Since she needed a thorough de-pumpkin-ing, she put on something a bit more festive.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
For dinner I made ham chowder, which is now my favourite soup recipe I've made this month. I used a combo of these two recipes - one and two. I basically followed the first link, but added in the carrots and cheese from the second link. It was delicious.

Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Since we were sending in these cupcakes to work for Godfather Kiel's birthday, we waited until the morning to make the frosting. I saved a few for us though, just to try them.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
We broke out the play dough again for more messy fun.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
And, then busted out the paints to make a few fall foliage finger paint trees! If you can't find them outside, you have to make them yourself.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Aria had to wait until after her nap to try a cupcake. They did not disappoint. They might be my favourite cupcake I've ever made. Such a great flavor combo, not to mention really easy.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Chris picked this out for me when he was filling up the build your own 6 packs for our Canadian Thanksgiving party the other week. I finally got around to trying it. Ick. Tasted like apple-y fruit punch. No thanks. I'll just stick with my regular woodchuck.

Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Since I knew we were going to hit up Boo at the Zoo toward the evening, I started a pot of chili early and let it simmer around all day. That way we could have an early dinner ready to go. This is our fave chili, I double the beans because that is Aria's favourite part. Yum!

Are you ready for Aria's 2013 Halloween costume?!

I'm so excited...

Here it is!
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
All ready for Boo Zoo!

I'm going to let the pictures do the talking, and no I couldn't narrow them down any further. We watched lights, and pet lizards/snakes, we went fishing at the cutest fishing station ever, met a little boy in the same dino outfit, rode the choo choo, did a great job trick or treating, and had a blast.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
It was so different from our Boo Zoo experience last year! For one Aria was walking this year, but last year she was pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. This year she loved it. She would say 'treat!' if I prompted her to say trick or treat, and she would sign thank you. She picked out her own treats, and put them in her bag, which she refused to let anybody else carry. She gave her opinion on where she wanted to go, she walked almost the entire time herself, and it was awesome.

This is from last year's Boo at the Zoo...we didn't realize it was a dress up in costume thing, but Aria was at least festive.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4

Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
I let her dump out her treats from Boo Zoo and pick something to eat. She picked the tootsie pop, which left her a sticky mess but man did she love that thing.

Today we had trick or treating at our Downtown area. Aria was super excited she got to do more treats again.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
It was a bit past lunch time and coming up on nap time, so we called it quits after about half a loop. Then who do we run into, but Aria's Godmother Silvana and her bestie Rory! It was the perfect day for trick or treating too with a heaven sent cool breeze. Glorious.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Attempt #17 at a family costume photo.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Nailed it!

And, a throwback from last year's Downtown trick or treating.

Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Just look at these coats. We went out for our morning on the porch with the pups, and I ran back in for something a bit warmer. A full on winter coat really wasn't needed, but it was the easiest to grab. Plus it is my favourite, and I never have the chance to wear it.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Dumping out her treats from Downtown trick or treating! She picked a tiny snickers this time.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
While I was making lunch Chris taught Aria how to play Mario. She was a big fan of the button pushing.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
It was tortellini and sausage in a cheese-y tomato sauce today! Aria ate all of her sausage pieces and about a third of one tortellini. Chris doesn't like pasta either, so it is rare that I make a pasta dish since I'm the only one that will eat it. Sad.

Today we had more trick or treating, this time trunk or treating at Grandma's church. Along with the entire city. So many people. I couldn't get Aria to say more than one 'treat!' this time. Definitely over whelming, but at the end she kept asking to do more so I guess she had a good time.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Aria's dino rider costume was a huge hit each and every time. We got so many 'awws' and 'that is the cutest evers'. Chris' mounted moose head was also a big hit. Many many hunter jokes were heard this weekend.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Aria got to ride on another choo choo too. Her most favourite thing ever.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Guys, I need a break.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
I was very impressed with the roller skates. How she didn't just fall on her face I do not know.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
I'm a very serious person.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Nailed it again!

And, last year's Trunk or Treat.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
She scored the biggest haul from this trick or treating, and picked a box of grape nerds as her pre-dinner snack. I found a ton of nerd bits in her diaper at the end, I preferred the sticky sucker.

Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
Another chilly morning called for socks!
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
I have been excited about this baked pumpkin cream cheese french toast all month. It lived up to the excitement. And, since there is still plenty leftover I know what I'll be having for breakfast.
Countdown to Halloween - Recap #4
I went to get the mail while Aria was napping and I found three letters for her. I got nothing, and Chris got a dental reminder. We all see who is the favourite around here. Thank you Jenny, Beth, and Granny! I rearranged the refrigerator so I could display Aria's new art gifts, which I should have taken a picture of. But, since that didn't happen perhaps I'll put it on IG - don't forget you can join in on the fun with #cdtohalloween14 on instagram!

So, now it is your turn. I'd love to hear about how you've been spending your October days. All festive and fun fall things big and small welcome, link up below!