Thursday, October 10, 2013

Countdown to Halloween - 31 Days of Fall Fun Recap #2

Hi guys! Welcome to the second Countdown to Halloween link up. Every Thursday in October you can link up here and share all the fall fun you've been up to. The link ups will be open 3 days so feel free to add your recap whenever works best. Check out this post for more details or click here to see Recap #1. Grab a button, add your post below, and have fun!

Sweet Turtle Soup
So, let's dive in. Here is how we spent the last seven days.

Day 3:
For breakfast, we feasted on bat shaped banana pancakes and leaf shaped watermelon chunks. I know, you probably had to do a double take at the bats that look more like trapezoids.
Aria got to wear her 'my first Halloween' outfit again, because laundry is a never ending thing.
Not pictured, but I managed to corral her for one "Angry Ogre" poem. And, more decorations were worked on.

For dinner I made a favourite hearty, perfect for crisp weather (I mean, we didn't 't have any or anything but it is the thought that counts, right?) cottage pie. So easy, so yummy. I use this recipe, but I add peas and carrots during the gravy step along with cheese on top, because 'merica.
Day 4:
For breakfast, we had pear slices, leaf shaped watermelon and pumpkin shaped banana pancakes. Basically leftovers in fun festive fall shapes!
I worked on decorations, including our cloud of bats.
In the afternoon, Aria and I made pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies using this recipe. They turned out phenomenal. I highly recommend putting these in your oven followed by your tummy, especially if you like soft cookies.
The Halloween Candy cauldron made an appearance. Aria helped me mix up all the candy - she is very grabby this one.
We finished reading "Angry Ogre" and then read "The Little Yellow Leaf" by Carin Berger, "Corduroy's Best Halloween Ever" by Don Freeman, and "Hurry, Hurry, Mary Dear" by N. M. Bodecker. I'll break it down for you: "The Little Yellow Leaf" is awesome, "Hurry, Hurry, Mary Dear" is awesome, "Angry Ogre" is good, and "Corduroy" is boring. If you are searching for a new fall book I give Yellow Leaf and Mary two thumbs up. I've read both of those over and over this week. And, Aria had at least 10 minutes of fun pushing Yellow Leaf around on the floor.

Day 5:
For breakfast, we had ghost shaped banana pancakes and pear slices.
And, I attempted to decorate the top of the entertainment center.
There were some little mama indulgences - Philosophy's pumpkin pie body wash and Essie's After School Boy Blazer mani. I've been using the body wash for a few weeks now but I got it with this month in mind. And, it took me two days to finish painting my nails - finding the time to let the coats dry is always the challenge.
I baked bread (Pioneer Woman dinner rolls) and made a pork roast, because weekends were made for roasting. I think it is becoming clear that food making is a big part of fall in my opinion.
Not pictured, but I read "Nightsong" by Ari Berk to Aria. Another awesome book, I loved the illustrations. I also ate too many pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies - it may have been my dinner.

Day 6:
Sadly not picture, but dada read Aria a few books sprawled out on the nursery floor. One of them was "The Nightmare Before Christmas" by Tim Burton, a classic.

I love taking a few family pictures during the holiday months. Usually this included the dogs, but I'm not that ambitious now that Aria is part of the mix. Maybe for Christmas...maybe.
Not only do I feel that baking and roasting and souping and cooking is an essential part of fall fun, but sharing is too! Because, if I didn't get those cookies out of the house I would have eaten all of them. And, the PW rolls recipe says it makes 24 and I ended up with 48. Yeah, I definitely can't eat 48 dinner rolls. So, we packed up goodies and Aria and visited her Godfather for a little pool time, which is a Florida specific fall activity.

Day 7:
I attempted to make candy corn waffles for breakfast. I used our favourite waffle recipe, but the batter is rather thin so pouring each colour was a challenge. Still festive, just a messy festive! Tasted good all the same.
Aria sent out her spider hand print Halloween cards.
I saw little Halloween bubble bottles at Target while we were running errands, so they made their way into the cart. Aria was much more interested in the cars driving past, but she kept leaning over with her mouth open thinking the bubble wand was a tasty snack. It was as cute as it sounds. Mama was running on low this day, so it was nice to have some easy fun.

Day 8:
I made pumpkin pie oatmeal again, but this time with less pumpkin and it was much better. I even liked it myself.
Applesauce was also made in preparation for making apple spice pancakes and apple pie during recap week #3. It is hard to beat the smell of cooking apples and cinnamon.
One of my Countdown to Halloween goals is to make a new soup each week. This week's soup was Cheddar Cauliflower and Squash, which was a home run. It sounded like it would be pretty hit or miss to me, but it turned out deliciously. It is my favourite thing I've made so far this October, okay minus the pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies. Second favourite. Aria helped me prep the squash, probably why it tasted so good. And, just in case you have no idea what to do with butternut squash (like me) here is a how to. I also roasted the seeds to sprinkle on top, money.
Not pictured, but we read "Six Crows" by Leo Lionni and "The Little Scarecrow Boy" by Margaret Wise Brown. Both were awful, especially Six Crows - what the heck ending, you are stupid go home.

Day 9:
I'd only planned on the one craft when I was prepping ideas for this Countdown to Halloween, but the spiders were so cute I couldn't resist doing the feet. Aria was so awesome getting her feet painted and letting me press them to the canvas too. They've been since turned into ghosts and pictured below a bit is the final product. Oy, love it.
For lunch we had leftover soup, and ghost egg salad sammies!
And for dinner we had worm hot dogs. This is my favourite festive-izing I've done to a food so far. I saw it over at Dixie Delights, and all you do is cut a hot dog into four pieces, boil according to the packaging, and toss them in ketchup. Aria had a bite or two, but preferred her bread and the rest of her meal. Mom, however, got a kick out of them and I bet an older child would too.
I've also been decorating a little every day. I think I am finally done with the inside now, so I took a few pictures to show you the results.
The dining room chandelier with spider web and Aria's favourite ghost bells.
The burlap wreaths on the back door. I used the insulation tube trick I saw on pinterest, and it sucks. I've gone back to Home Depot three times for more tubes to troubleshoot the issues, but it is all fail. This one is okay right now, but it is slowly losing its shape. The other wreath next to it is a long sad oval and sadness. Sigh.
I made a countdown on my chalkboard. Unfortunately it committed suicide off the wall yesterday and shattered. Needless to say the photo hanging strips we picked up did not work.
I've got my cloud of bats on the living room wall, which I love (black card stock and a half bat template). And, a quick pumpkin banner (foam pumpkin cut outs from Jo Ann's stapled to a ribbon) on the mirror with my DIY ribbon wreath in the center.
 The entertainment center with a trick or treat banner, and my attempt at making the top fun and festive. The top is my least favourite thing to decorate - I can never envision anything particularly exciting.
I added one more thing to the top of the entertainment center just last night, Aria's ghost feet art project. Now if only my handwriting wasn't so lame.

I think we got in a ton of Fall fun the past week, and all of it was pretty simple. Lots of Halloween outfit wearing, decorating, and yummy fall foods. Make sure to come back on the 17th for Recap #3!

Now, it is your turn to link up your Countdown to Halloween fun! I'd love to see what you've been up to this past week.


  1. You are one seriously crafty woman! So many cute activities and food! I really really love the bats on the wall and the ghost feet! Don't be surprised if you see ghost feet next week :) BTW did you use any special paint for that?

    1. The ghost feet make me happy every time I see them. They turned out better than expected! I used washable crayola kids' paint, and for the spiders I used tempera paint - both non-toxic.
      I am a big DIY fan. But, some of the time my execution doesn't match my creative vision. Oh well, at least it is fun!

    2. Courtney-
      Jenny stole the words from my mouth...AMAZING craftiness and cooking skills. Your creativity is phenomenal...and inspiring! I can relate to the vision vs. reality...but it's so fun trying! You must have been a kindergarten teacher in another life (maybe this one, I'm not sure? ;)). Regardless...awesome job, momma!

    3. Aw shucks guys! Thank you. Nope not a kindergarten teacher. I'd actually never been around too many kids or babies until I had Aria. But, I do have a degree in time wasting on pinterest! Thank heavens for pinterest.

  2. You guys are the CUTEST! And the most festive!! Seriously- you inspire me to do way way more fun holiday fun!

    1. Well, that makes my day! Always nice to inspire. And, the festiveness is easier than it seems! I hope you enjoy some holiday fun with Lex!

  3. Oh my word that Halloween footprint art is just adorable! I need to step up my decorating a BIG notch after looking at this! :)

    1. I'm still working on decorating. I've got the inside pretty much done-zo, but harder to find the time to do the front porch. I'll get it up just in time to take it down again. And, isn't the footprint cute? She was so good when I held her foot. I love it more every time I see it!

  4. Love the ghost feet! And definitely going to try out that soup (once the temps dip below the 100s...)


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