Goodbye Spooky Szn

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve stared at the letters “szn” and tried to figure out what it meant. Even after knowing what it is, it still catches me mid-sentence and I’m like, “What?” I’ve googled it several times.

Anyway, I thought I’d do a tag post part one (today) and part two (Thursday), just for fun.

In honor of a gorgeous fall and the end of Halloween, please enjoy this video of animals nomming on pumpkins:

1 | Where would you go on a road trip? Yellowstone or Glacier National Park.
2 | What is your biggest weakness? Anxiety, which manifests into anger when not controlled.
3 | What’s your biggest strength? Remaining extremely calm in chaotic situations.
4 | What’s the biggest learning experience you’ve had? Traveling to India & having a baby.
5 | What’s your idea of a perfect date? Sitting on a patio with a view on a fall afternoon, sipping on sweet wine, and chatting.
6 | Favorite movie? Honestly, Talladega Nights. Lol
7 | What is a cause that is important to you? Animal welfare and female equality.
8 | What’s the best compliment you have ever received? When someone compliments my writing or K tells me I’m funny.
9 | When are you most inspired? When I’m in awe of natural beauty- trees, mountains, etc. Or in a very historic place.
10 | Sweet or savory? It depends on my taste buds. Usually something more refreshing.
11 | What is your biggest fear in life? Feeling out of control. Which is fun, because we’re never really in control.
12 | What makes you smile the most? Moo. She is hilarious.
13 | Heels, flats, or sneakers? Sneakers. My Birks when I’m not at work.
14 | What are three things you can’t live without? Something to read, animals, alone time.
15 | Window or aisle seat? Window.
16 | What’s one thing you had to learn the hard way? The people I love the most will not always agree with me.
17 | Leather or lace? Leather.
18 | What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life? Traveling to India & having a baby. LOL
19 | How would you define yourself in three words? Observant. Headstrong. Empathetic.
20 | What’s your current favorite piece of clothing you own? I have an old college hoodie that I think belonged to my dad… My brother ended up with it, then I swiped it from him. It’s so cozy. That and my Birks.
21 | What’s a must-have clothing item that everyone should own? Something you feel GREAT in.
22 | What’s inspiring you in life right now? The drive to be a better person- for M & K. And to pour into the parts of my life that have been lacking and would bring me peace (i.e. spiritual life).
23 | What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? A lot of parenting advice… And the fact that nothing good happens when we react out of anger and frustration.
24 | What’s your pet peeve? Having to repeat myself because someone blatently wasn’t listening. And being ignored.
25 | Diamond or pearls?Diamonds.
26 | Winter or Summer? WINTER.
27 | Most recent dream you can remember? I honesty can’t remember any right now.
28 | What’s heavily played on your playlist right now? Lots of instrumental music based on mood- reading instrumental, rainy day instrument, Harry Potter instrumental.
29 | What’s your favorite board game? Ticket to Ride.
30 | Stairs or elevator? Elevator. Unless it’s only one or two floors.
31 | What book did you most recently finish? The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling. Finished it last night.
32 | What are you currently reading? Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans by Michaeleen Doucleff.
33 | How do you start your day? It’s chaos. I need it to be better. I roll out of bed, throw something together, get M up and dressed, and rush off to childcare and work. I need to work on this.
34 | What’s your favorite holiday? Christmas Eve, closely followed by Halloween.
35 | If you could raid one woman’s closet whose would it be? I’m not sure. I think Jennifer Aniston has a very laid back style. Hilary Duff and Hailey Bieber do, too.

Part II on Thursday!

-Aud

The Year Without A Halloween Party

If you’re new around here, you might not know that Halloween is kind of a big deal. It is my favorite non-religious holiday (although if we get down to the nitty-gritty, paganism is a religion and Samhain is a festival to celebrate the harvest…. AND Halloween is All Saints’ Eve which falls on the day before the Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day… so can we really call it non-religious? I digress).

Anyway… we typically celebrate big around Halloween. For example:
2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | (I didn’t post the 2013 party)

Since we said “I do”, we’ve been hosting Halloween parties. It’s expected. People start asking me in August what the theme is going to be. And while I absolutely love that and look forward to the party every year, this year it felt forced and exhausting.

So I decided to cancel it. (I’d even made the FB event already.)

As soon as I did I had a few friends reach out to make sure I was ok. I had a few people tell me they were glad I took the year off. Some people were sad to not be getting together.

I felt very blah about it. Which kind of let me know it was the right decision. If you’re not excited about a voluntary just-for-fun party, why are you throwing it?

I love having people over and planning parties and celebrating Halloween with costumes and food and games, but… none of it sounded fun to me this year. I’m worried about COVID. I’m tired from chasing a toddler. I’m swamped at work, buried in home projects, and deadass tired by 7pm.

There is a small part of me that’s sad I cancelled. It doesn’t really feel like Halloween this year. Maybe that will change when we dress Maddie up on Saturday to trick-or-treat, but I didn’t make a puking pumpkin or carve a jack-o-lantern or buy costumes for the dogs. It’s a weird year.

And also, after last year’s party, I came down with COVID. (I don’t know that it was the party- we were outside the whole time, food was individually packaged, and I was the only one of all the guests to get it.) It made me very hesitate about getting people together. And I still feel that way.

It’s difficult to make a decision that might let others down (or feels like it might). Maybe past guests are thrilled to not have to come to another Halloween party at our house. Maybe it won’t be missed. I don’t know. But it did feel a little selfish to cancel.

I know it was not. I know our friends will celebrate the holiday in their own way this weekend, and we will take Maddie around the neighborhood, and next year we can chose to have a party or not. But it’s odd to break an 8 year tradition. And there’s my explanation for why there will be no Halloween post.

And now let’s switch topics. Tell me something fun you’re doing or did for Halloween!

-Aud

Spooky Reads for Spooky Season

I’m not a book aficionado or a full-time reader, but I’ve read a handle of stories that go great with a fresh PSL, cozy blanket, and fall-themed candle.

I love a good spooky story. This is not a comprehensive list, but these are good ones to get you started. Some are for kids, some are classics, and some are YA or adult reads. I’ll note what they are & how many pages. That helps me when deciding what I have time for during a book break!

The Witches by Roald Dahl
Childrens / 208 pgs / Goodreads
Surprising creepy for a kids book, but that’s how Dahl is.

The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Middle Grade / 465 pgs / Goodreads
This is such a fun read! (And a series!)

Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson
Middle Grade / 186 pgs / Goodreads
One of my favorite books as a kid!

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
Young Adult / 7 books / Goodreads
This series is good for any time of year, but especially cozy season.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Young Adult / 162 pgs / Goodreads

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Young Adult / 182 pgs / Goodreads

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by
Classic / 139 pgs / Goodreads

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Classic / 464 pgs / Goodreads
I did not enjoy this story, but the setting is spooky enough to be included.

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Young Adult / 145 pgs / Goodreads
I didn’t love this one, but it is a Halloween story.

The Whisper Man by Alex North
Thriller / 355 pgs / Goodreads
A very eerie and dark thriller.

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox
Paranormal Fantasy / 364 pgs / Goodreads
A slow but spooky historical fiction.

The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen
Gothic Mystery / 368 pgs / Goodreads
Another haunting (and relatively slow) mystery.

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova
Magical Realism / 336 pgs / Goodreads
Not spooky, but hauntingly beautiful.

Next up for me is The Ex Hex. What do you like to read in the fall?

-Aud

Hello You Snuggly, Cozy, Warm, Spooky Season!

Fall always makes me want to write, even when I’m technically on a hiatus 🍁

This is Moo’s first fall! And I turn 30 next month! Despite 2020’s best efforts, we’re going to enjoy these last three months. (I’m ignoring the fact that the election is happening during this time- not neglecting to vote, though!) (Also ignoring the fact that my wallet was stolen from my car yesterday. Grrrrr.)

I dyed my hair purple for the spooky season. It took a few attempts but I’ve got it where I want it and our shower is 100% purple now. (From washing- I had it professionally done.) It is what it is.

We’re still having our annual Halloween party!! I’m excited. We’ve revamped it for COVID, of course. It will be outside in the backyard, lots of social distancing, masks and hand sanitizer available. Instead of an evening party we’re doing a kid-friendly afternoon bon fire. I’m pretty snobby about COVID protocol so you can rest assured that it’s going to either be safe or cancelled. Ha.

Speaking of Halloween, I have a pretty good idea of what our first family-of-5 costume will be… We’re not going to take M trick-or-treating (because safety and because she has no clue), but if our town decides to still have trick or treating I saw this cool idea in Parents magazine (I’m a real mom if I reference Parents magazine, right?) where you decorate the front door and post treat bags there. I’d still sit on the other side of the porch to ensure greedy little fingers only take one 😉

My bday is mid-October and we haven’t made any real plans yet… What I want to do and what we’re able to do/comfortably doing doesn’t really line up so we haven’t decided on anything. Hopefully we figure it out soon…


I’ll be around a little more in the next few weeks. (Fall gives me that creative spark ✨) Next Monday I’m remembering Lylee a year after her death, on Thursday I’m recapping my 3Q goals & sharing my new ones, & then the following week is SUYB day!

So I guess I’ll see you around 🧡

Happy Halloween Party Recap 🎃

Happy Halloween, ghouls & goblins!! 
(Can we pause & freak out about the fact that it’s the END of October?)

In celebration of Halloween I’m sharing details from our annual party! It was pretty low key. We had about 25 guests and some yummy snack foods and drinks.

Our party didn’t have a theme this year so we saw lots of fun costumes!

The Bandit & Frog

The littlest SCUBA diver, her momma jellyfish, & daddy shark

HONDA employee (my dad impersonating my brother) & Ratatouille chef

My devilish sister-in-law and Stewart from Letterkenny

A whole bunch of characters

K and I decided we were going to be G.D. Americans- a spoof on the aggressive, harsh, unrelenting “American.” Truth be told… I didn’t have to buy a single part of my outfit. Mainly because I DO wear these clothes to concerts and stuff. LOL

Any time someone tried to talk politics or tell me something America-related I got in their face and asked if they thought they were a better American than me. Honestly, we probably could’ve topped it off with a certain red hat and confederate flag bandanas, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to spend money on that stuff.

I tried to determine if this costume was offensive before we chose it. We didn’t target a demographic & we are Americans poking fun at the extreme “Americans.” So we went with it. And if we’d have offended any right-wingers I was fully prepared to call them a snowflake 😏

On to the food…

Our last few guests trickled out (or went up to bed) around 1:30am, then K and I c.r.a.s.h.e.d. (And then Bristol had a lovely spell of diarrhea in our room around 4:45am SIGH.)

I say it every year, but the day after our Halloween party is one of my favorite days of the year. We lay around and don’t leave the house and watch NASCAR and relax. At times I wonder if I put myself through the party just to earn the day after.

We had trick-or-treaters Tuesday night & we’ve got another party on Saturday, then our Spooky Season is officially over. What fun things did you do this year?