Tag Archives: holidays

new experience #33: decorate for christmas before remembrance day!

at no other time during the year am i as anal hyped about maintaining tradition as i am at christmas. when to decorate, when to send out cards, the way we hand out and open presents at family celebration time, the cookies we mom bakes, putting up window art with the girls, going for a festive walk with bff debbie – you get the picture. i’m pretty hardcore about keeping things the same.

this past weekend, when the jail got a clean-out, a brilliant thought struck me for a new experience…i could decorate for christmas before it’s even remembrance day!! yes! i DO agree with you that it is zany and wayyyy early to put up the red and green…but, after all, if starbucks can do it…

i think s'bux decorated the day after hallowe'en!

and write impressions is ready to go…

the tree got its finishing touches last week...

why not join in the festive fun that is already out in full force?

besides, i  ♥ love ♥ my christmas decorations. and it’s truly sad that they can only be on display for such a short period of time each year.

over many years now, my established tradition (you can read about last year’s decorating extravaganza here) has been to deck my halls the last weekend of november. this year, that weekend is going to be a busy one, though, because dad will be celebrating a special birthday number, and we have a couple of family things already on the schedule.

[i had the great idea all planned out to do a before and after sequence of photos, today...then, in linking back to last year's post, i see i kinda did the same idea, then...so either don't read last year's post, or just humour me with my repetitiveness!].

yesterday morning, i fa-la-la’d around the condo casa. as always, puttering around with my decorating was a time of pure happiness – every year, i am filled with the same gleeful feelings as i go about this favourite tradition.

first, i ran around and took my before photos. as you will see in the series below, i like a clean, minimalist look. but at christmas?? i do a complete 180 – there cannot be too much of a good (christmas) thing!

follow along and we’ll do the before and after tour:

BEFORES:

main room windows

ikea couch

dining room table

kitchen (i tidied up a little, haha!)

foyer/front hall

front hall closet

downstairs washroom

stairs going upstairs

that’s the grand tour! i don’t do any xmas decorating upstairs, except for festive towels in the master bath – they’re in last year’s post, if you really want to see ‘em!

and now….AFTERS!

the stained glass angel is very special - it was my grandpa c's. i keep it low because it fell off one year! it cracked but did not break!

ceramic tree ('twas grandma c's!) + manger scene + advent calendar - all long-time favourites

cream couch - perfect backdrop for festive colour! i knit the blanket many, many years ago

only the candle is on the table as that is where christmas cards get displayed!

a cookie cutter copy of last year, i do believe!

grandma c gave me that fold out card of the christmas story in 1973!

please don't actually use the hand towels, ok?!

traditional spot for my braided wreath!

not artistic at all, but the jingle bell MUST hang from that door knob!

et c’est tout!

[sidenote: my christmas décor will never make the pages of a stylish home magazine...but sentimental value and fond memories trump grandiosity, in my book].

condo rules dictate that front door wreaths may only be put up after december 1st. so, this photo is a demonstration only!

it's a homespun look for the front door!

is it too early to break out the holiday music?

my christmas cd's - a mix of everything from traditional choral music to a starbucks holiday collection

mom made these felt wiseman when i was a toddler – i want to put them out, but don’t know how to hang them – help!

mom, you were so crafty!

so, i can check “decorate for christmas” off the seasonal to do list! i hope to do another new experience related to the holidays – if time permits!

~*~*~*~*~

november thankfulness:

(for tuesday november 8): yesterday i was thankful for a flexible work schedule. i started work at 4 pm which left me oodles of time to indulge in putting out my christmas cheer when i was really in the mood to do so.

when do you decorate for the holidays? while i always get everything up by the end of november, i am adamant about putting everything away again on boxing day. i will stick with that tradition this year!

Easter Lists

Happy Easter, friends!

(source)

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Five Favourite Easter Childhood Memories:

(other than decorating Easter eggs and feasting on Paska)

1. Easter Sunday morning, The Brother and I would search for our Easter Bunny treats. The “Easter Bunny” would hide about 5-7 goodies around the living room and dining room areas in our home. I remember for sure receiving tiny chocolate eggs, a regular-sized chocolate bunny, then some non-sugary items like crayons, a dot-to-dot activity book, small Lego kit, etc. While we loved the thrill of the search, neither The Brother nor I were particularly gifted in hunting. More often than not, a game of “warmer/colder” would be needed so that we could locate all our treasures!

2. Mom reminded me that she used to make hot-cross buns, in addition to Paska. I definitely preferred Paska; the only *good* part of the buns was the icing cross on the top! (Never been a fan of raisins, currants, dried fruit).

(source)

3. In the olden-days, many women welcomed Easter with the purchase of an Easter bonnet.

(source)

In a 1970’s version of this tradition, Mom and I always had a new dress to wear to church on Easter Sunday.

me, spring 1973 (3 years old)

4. I’ve always loved the traditional Easter hymns (may I dare say I love them more than Christmas Carols?!) we sang in church on Easter Sunday morning. My fondest memory is of my Grandpa C confidently and triumphantly booming out the refrain “Up from the grave he arose!” in his deep bass voice when we sang my absolute favourite Easter hymn, “Lo, In the Grave He Lay.” Hearing that song still brings a lump to my throat, it’s so powerful an anthem.

5. Many people welcome Easter Sunday with a sunrise church service. That’s never been a tradition in either our family or in our church. And I’m not disappointed to have missed this Christian tradition in my lifetime – rare is the Easter Sunday in Southern Ontario where you would want to be outdoors at dawn!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Five Cute Easter Desserts, Found Online:

1. Monica’s Easter Bunny Cake:

Easter Bunny Cake

2. Angela’s Spring Chick Cupcakes:

IMG_4488

3. Martha Stewart’s Easter Egg Puzzle Cookies (because what is a themed-holiday without Martha’s influence?!):

4. Jenna’s Hot Cross Cookies:

5. Gina’s Paska and Paska Cheese Spread

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Five Feel-Good Easter(ish) Stories:

1. The Resurrection of Jesus (the traditional Bible story)

(source)

2. Bella and the Bunny

Bella and the Bunny

3. Guess How Much I Love You

Guess How Much I Love You: Little Library

4. The Runaway Bunny

Runaway Bunny

5. Where Are Baby’s Easter Eggs?

Where Are Baby's Easter Eggs?

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Two Random Unrelated-to-Easter Facts:

~ This post is #300 for the blog! I will host a giveaway when we get to #500! :)

~ Eight months today is Christmas Eve! I have purchased and stashed away ONE gift, and have started to mentally compose my Christmas List. :)

New Experience #14: Decorate a Dozen Easter Eggs Myself!

Searching for Easter Bunny treats was my favourite part of Easter when I was little. (Yes, I was raised in a Christian home, but when you’re eight years old, the joy of Jesus’ resurrection does not compete with the excitment of going on a hunt for mini chocolate eggs and pink hair accessories – just being honest with you).

My SECOND favourite part of Easter was our family tradition of dying Easter eggs. This process would take place annually on Good Friday. (Then Saturday was always Paska baking day – more on that tomorrow).

For dying our Easter eggs, Dad, Mom, The Brother and I would each get 3, 4 or 6 eggs to creatively colour.

Sometimes during the hard-boiling, an egg would crack. If that was the case, Mom got stuck with having the defective egg as part of her collection. That’s just the way it was.

I always crackled with anticipation over how to decorate my eggs: no plain, one-colour jobs, for me! (That was Mom’s way of doing eggs – she said she had to balance out our craziness brightness with solids).

My area of specialty was using Rubber Cement glue. I’d dye my egg, drizzle the glue around it, plop it back in another colour and let it soak. When you took out the egg, and rubbed off the glue, you’d be left with a two-toned psychedelic masterpiece!

The Brother’s gift was drawing on the eggs. His best invention, to this day, is the year he crafted the Van Halen symbol onto the egg’s surface.

(source)

Unmatchable. We still laugh to this day over that one.

This year, I have misplaced my Easter decorations, which is very unlike me. 

I have no clue where my little eggie tree, fake nest and multitude of cute bunnies have disappeared to. So, to brighten and spring-ify the still winterlike Condo Casa, I decided to resurrect the Egg Dying Tradition of Yore. In order to make this a New Experience, I settled upon dying an even dozen eggs. Never have I had so many all to myself!

Last night was Preparation Time:

I bought a dozen of the cheapest eggs I could find, since these are going to sit out for a week as decoration, and will not be consumed. A $2 investment for this year’s Easter decor? Fine by me!

Boil, boil, toil and trouble! Luckily, zero eggs cracked!

Same brand of dye we used in the ’70s…but now you get added extras!…

This morning, I mixed up my dyes:

Despite the passage of time, I still remembered some of my favourite tricks!

For my 12th egg, I created the Swamp Water Mix – you just dump all the dyes together, and douse the egg! (Another tradition The Brother and I revelled in!).

To finish, I rubbed the eggs with oil. This was always a Dad task. It just shines up the eggs to make them Display Worthy:

Care to see the finished products?

Four plain eggs (in honour of Mom) to act as balancing agents:

Oops! One casualty…we’ll just hide that side…

Four pastel-hued eggs, each of which received turnings and dunkings, by hand:

Three stickered eggs. I love stickers. Usually I use Little E and Baby C as my excuses to play with stickers. I justify my sticker-usage today by saying that the stickers were included with the dyes, so it’s only proper that I use them!

One with a strip of Easter eggs, one with flowers ‘n’ butterflies…

And just for The Brother, a Funny/Sporty Egg (why basketballs, firetrucks and shooting rockets for Easter?!):

Here’s the Swamp Water Egg!

My favourite today? This one (the white stripe down the middle happened accidentally – love it!):

And the final collection:

Now my dining room table looks Easter-y!

Happy Earth Day, by the way!

Are you dying Easter eggs this year?

Are you celebrating Earth Day today?

Tomorrow we talk Easter Bread!

41 Hearts

Happy ♥ Valentine’s ♥ Day!

In honour of this happy ♥ heart ♥ day – and in recognition of the 1970KikiProject – here are 41 things I love. [This may be the one and only time I wish I was 84 years old - that's about how many fun and lovely items popped to my mind as I compiled my list!].

We’ll use alphabetical order. Because I ♥ alphabetical order. Here goes:

♥ 1. apple squares at Tango Palace

♥ 2. being Aunti

 
 

christmas card photo, 2010

 

♥ 3. Barack Obama’s voice

(source)

♥ 4. black nail polish

♥ 5. being Canadian

6. cardinals

(source)

♥ 7. coupons

♥ 8. dance music

♥ 9. downward dog yoga pose

♥ 10. dr phil

♥ 11. ernie & bert segments on Sesame Street

♥ 12. fall fairs

♥ 13. grocery shopping

♥ 14. hello kitty

hello kitty at michaels!

♥ 15. hot showers

♥ 16. humidity

♥ 17. ikea

♥ 18. jeanne beker

(source)

♥ 19. koigu yarn

♥ 20. line dancing

♥ 21. mini skirts

♥ 22. musicals

♥ 23. natural sunlight

♥ 24. NYT wedding announcements

♥ 25. orange

♥ 26. pauly from Jersey Shore

(source)

♥ 27. peach berserk designs

♥ 28. pine needle forest trails

♥ 29. playing bingo

♥ 30. punctuality

♥ 31. saying “jambalaya” out loud

♥ 32. silver hoop earrings

♥ 33. story of jezebel

♥ 34. sudden death overtime

♥ 35. sugoi running tights

♥ 36. the price is right (with Bob Barker)

♥ 37. to do lists

♥ 38. trebuchet ms font

♥ 39. tshirts that make me laugh

(source)

♥ 40. wrapping presents

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

… ♥ 41. ♥ …

being 41!!! ♥

and coffee!! newest luv = coffee!!

Agree?! Disagree?

What do you ♥ ?!

Eleven for ’11!

We’ll get to the Resolutions/Goals/Plan/Hopes portion of this post in a moment.

But first, this has to be one of the mildest New Year’s Days on record: it was already eight degrees at wake-up this morning. Unfortunately, it’s rained non-stop all day, but the on the flipside, almost all of the snow is washed away:

bet there's been colder easter days!

Now, let’s take a peek at how we’ve spent 2011 so far! (Good thing we’re only a few hours in, haha!)

New things for the new year!…

new tea towels from my christmas stocking and a dishcloth from the new "bon mot" store!

and a new floor mat i picked up in toronto this week!

Over the holidays, my feet got used to being cosy when I was standing at my computer/kitchen sink area because of my festive Christmas floor mat. I’ve been on the lookout for a woven “rag” type mat for a while; my Grandma C had this style when I was little, and it brings memories of happy times with my grandparents.

New Year’s Day brings a few annual traditions: first, the condo casa gets a thorough cleaning. Blech task, but I like the fresh feeling of a grime-and-dust-free home to welcome the new year.

Then, it’s over to mom and dad’s to watch the Rose Bowl Parade with Dad! We’ve enjoyed this tradition for years. Good thing we have each other because no other family members find watching this parade even the least bit enjoyable! But we love the colourful floats and marvel to each other about the artistry and detail of the flower placement.

bring on the floats and the marching bands!

impressive!

our christmas present to mom: jeggings and a tunic sweater i knit - happily, it fits perfectly!

I came home to make Recipe #39 of the Kiki Project – rank this one a success!

I often want to go sit in a coffee shop and blog…but I rarely make that happen. This afternoon was different! B and I packed up our laptops and headed over to Coffee Culture:

note the new umbrella! luv!

We scored my favourite spot, too! Right by the windows –  natural light spurs creativity!

what more could you ask for? husband+laptop+booth seat!

I love making resolutions. While today is the traditional date of setting new goals, I firmly believe that any day is a good day to change your ways if you’re feeling the vibe. The first of the month, a Monday, another holiday…I’ve used them all as fresh starting points. But since all resolution-setters are gung-ho today, I will share eleven goals for 2011. I love the concept of having 365 days ahead of us in this year! The endless possibilities of what to do with each day excite me!

So, without further ado, and in no particular order…

1. Blog every day. My blog-baby will be a year old next weekend, and this was the best new hobby discovered in 2010. I intend to wrap up the current 1970 Kiki Project this week, and unveil the 2011 version Sunday, January 9th. In 2011, I plan to work on my photography skills, and investigate using Windows Live Writer. A post per day is ambitious!

2. Travel: I am booked for an Aruba vacation for a week in March! Just like my Florida trip, this will be a solo venture, as B cannot get away from work, unfortunately. We have not been to our timeshare since 2008, and I am excited to see the developments on the island. This is the only trip I have planned thus far, but I’d love to do at least another get-away at some point this year. I have no plans for a major get-away like last summer.

3. Knit a blanket for the MCC Relief Sale…for May, 2012. I’ve contributed two blankets over the years, and would like to do another. These take a while to knit! I have a few projects in the queue right now, so realistically, by the time I finish them up, I can aim for 2012. So, the knitting will start in 2011, likely in the fall.

4. Build a set of eclectic dishes. We’ll be married 16 years in July! And we’ve used the same set of speckled grey stoneware dishes for our entire married life (most pieces we received as wedding presents). I’m just ready for a change. And I’d love to make a collection of unique plates, bowls, glassware etc for our daily use. The Meg plate and two pieces of pottery are the first items in our cupboard! In order to make a purchase, I must feel the vibe and be in love with the item. I hope to find pieces from a variety of locations, like Ikea, Pier 1, vintage shops, art sales…I’ll be on the lookout during the year!

5. Keep getting up at 5 a.m. Yup, this schedule is still clicking with me. I began getting up at this hour when the clocks went back an hour in November…except, my internal clock remained unchanged! I love the peacefulness of the early morning, and find I accomplish a lot before the day gets too old. By early eve, I’m ready for bed pretty mellow, but an early-to-bed schedule is not a problem with our lifestyle. We’ll see what happens when the clocks jump ahead again in the spring!…

6. Run a half marathon in 1:44:00 or faster. Place this resolution in the “dream big” category. Once I get my ducks in a row, I would love to run a 13.1 mile race in November. If I go under the time specified, above, I would qualify for the New York City Marathon. Go big or go home, baby!

7. Keep a Gratitude Journal. In 2009, I kept an Excel spreadsheet that I updated daily with either nice things that happened to me that day, pleasantries I was able to do for others, or happenstances where you say, “coincidence? i think not!” This past year, I tracked a daily “A-Ha” moment: a thought, story, quote etc that struck me that day. I’ll go back to the Gratitude log for this year – I like to make a point of noting a feel-good moment about every day.

8. Fulfill my Coupon of the Month Xmas Gift: For Christmas, I bestowed upon Mom, Dad, and The Brother/SIL Ana a “monthly outing” certificate. For each month of 2011, I will arrange a shopping trip with mom, a breakfast/coffee break/lunch outing with Dad, and a babysitting day/evening so that the young parents can go be social without Little E or Baby C. I’ve actually already started! On Thursday, B and I spent several absolutely delightful daytime hours with the girls while The Brother and SIL Ana made use of their “January coupon,” going out for lunch and to the museum. I’ll highlight future “coupon outings” as they occur!

9. Try running in Vibrams. I now have two pairs of this minimalist style of footwear. I can walk comfortably for over an hour in them, so come warmer weather, we’ll initiate some running! Can’t say that this resolution will be completed in conjunction with Resolution #6, though!

10. Reach 100 friends on Facebook. I hesitantly joined Facebook in September (my post-Labour Day goal) and have no regrets. I actually really like this new-fangled social medium a lot. It’s not the life-and-time sucking force I feared it would be, and love how easy it is to stay connected with people. As of today, I have 71 “friends.” Without too much of an effort, I can likely make 29 more in twelve months. Mind you, I am both impressed and shocked by people who amass hundreds (literally) of contacts. One hundred would be just fine with me.

11. Cook more. After receiving both a food processor and “The Joy of Cooking” book for Christmas, I genuinely want to create some meals this year. It’s no secret that I do not really enjoy being in the kitchen. The “40 Recipes” aspect of the Kiki Project helped me expand my culinary skills somewhat; I hope to branch out from baked goods to main meals. We’ll see how this goes…just being honest with y’all!

We’re off to a movie tonight…we’ll take advantage of the mild evening to go over to The Princess! Happy New Year’s Day Night!

Musings on New Year’s Eve

Happy New Year!!

(source)

I can’t believe that about NINE HOURS ONLY remain in 2010…Wow!

So what are your plans for this evening? B and I are staying in. We are not big party people at any time of the year, and tonight is no different! In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw midnight for New Year’s…instead, we plan to celebrate our way by enjoying a few episodes of Rescue Me, and a quiet night in.  Plus, as I mentioned here, I prefer to consider Labour Day as the true start to a new year.

That being said, there is something rather exciting about tonight and tomorrow. I love the concept of fresh starts, pursuing goals, looking forward. It’s like a clean slate awaits!

If I had to pick a descriptive for 2010, I would sum up the year by saying it was solidly satisfying. My number one highlight was starting this blog, and working on my 1970 Kiki Project. Honestly, blogging has proven to be more fun (and more addicting) than I ever anticipated, back in January, 2010. Today’s post is #173 on the year! I will address blogging again tomorrow when I discuss my 2011 Goals; I am so glad I discovered this hobby, and took the plunge into creative writing via my very own blog.

And a quick Kiki Project update!…I have TWO MOVIES left to watch and TWO RECIPES left to make. This weekend will see me knock off one of each. Then I will have seven more days in which to complete the project. Wheeeee!!

Wishing you a safe and happy New Year’s Eve, and all the best in 2011!

(source)

~

In Honour of American Thanksgiving

Happy American Thanksgiving!

OK, it’s not a national day of feasting and celebrating for us, exactly, but I’m in the mood to celebrate giving thanks! And in the mood for a little lighthearted fun!

Thus, here are FIVE THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR in FIVE DIVERSE CATEGORIES:

CATEGORY: NATURE

1. rainbows

2. sunsets

3. clear blue skies

4. clean, white, newly-fallen snow

5. a forest of brightly-hued leaves in autumn

CATEGORY: SWEET TREATS

1. apple crisp

2. butter cream frosting

3. Starbucks Pumpkin Scones

4. chocolate chip ice cream

5. bread pudding

CATEGORY: HOBBIES

1. knitting

2. blogging

3. giant jigsaw puzzles

4. easy crossword puzzles

5. Woody Allen movie watching

CATEGORY: SPORTS IN WHICH I CAN VICARIOUSLY PARTICATE, THANKS TO TV

1. Hawaii Ironman Triathlon

2. The Olympics (Summer and Winter)

3. Hockey

4. Figure Skating

5. Football

CATEGORY: INVENTIONS IN THE RUNNING WORLD

1. chip timing devices at races

2. Walkman cassette players –> handheld CD players –>iPod Shuffle

3. vaseline (for face protection on a cold day)

4. shoe brands galore!

5. a solo sport (every runner for him/herself) that you can make social

Take a moment today and give thanks for the big and/or little things in life that you appreciate!

Oh – and we’re one day closer to Christmas now – haha! :)

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We watched Movie #33 last eve – see here for the review. It was really a close call as to whether to award 2.5 or 3 stars…

Comments have been posted here on Recipe #35 (Childhood Bran Muffins). We have a differing of opinion concerning one ingredient, in particular!…

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tomorrow is a special day for a special person….we’ll pay tribute to a certain someone’s birthday!…plus, I hope to check a Christmas To Do off my list (I don’t mean to make this sound like a chore…I do enjoy this part of Christmas prep!).

The Tradition Lives On!

Ever since we were teenagers, The Brother and I have thoroughly enjoyed our annual outing of Christmas shopping. To this day, we still pool our financial resources for gift purchases for our extended family (since our family is small, everyone buys for everyone; we don’t exchange names).

Today was SHOPPING DAY!!! Each year, we spend one afternoon together and power-shop. For the past several years, we have headed into downtown Toronto, something we did again today. I got another streetcar ride! Let’s backtrack a bit first…

B and I left this morning for our drive down to Toronto. B drove and I knit. Actually I ripped out knitting. Word to the wise: knitting lace in a moving car is not necessarily a good idea. I realized a mistake, and had to start working backwards…I still have two L-O-N-G rows to get rid of, too. *sigh.* At least the drive went super fast!

These two little sweeties welcomed us warmly!

we arrived in the middle of a mega arts n crafts time!

bracelets! leg extensions! oh, we're pleased with ourselves!

The Brother and I left soon after, hopped the streetcar and headed downtown.

First stop: Nike store. One present for me, zero for Christmas. Can you guess?!

LOOK AT THE SELECTION OF NIKE FREES!!!!

Do you HONESTLY believe that I could pass up ONE pair, considering they have FIVE colour combinations on offer that I don’t have?! Guess which one I absolutely could not resist…if you guessed the ORANGE pair, front and centre, you are RIGHT! And yes, the collection of Nike Frees now numbers FOUR. I would gladly accept another colour combo, though. Shoes make a great gift idea, hint hint!

Happily, this was the only personal purchase of the afternoon.

Now, I can’t get too specific on stores visited or purchases made, but here’s the highlight reel of our fabulous afternoon (but my absolute favourite part is just spending the time together. Thanks, Bro!)

lunch stop!

This was my first visit ever to Fresh. It was fabulous! We enjoyed…

scrambled tofu wrap for her, veggie burger and fries for him! major yums!

Finally we got the seasonal shopping started!

Everything went tickety-boo; we had a plan of shops to hit and we found exactly what we were looking for at each stop. Love it when a plan comes together!

A mid-afternoon zing!

conveniently located just when needed!

the one store we visited that i can show!

[I'm just reviewing my photos and realize I really can't post any more pictures of stores visited for fear that *certain readers* will see too much!]

As the afternoon progressed, the weather improved:

betting our good shopping luck influenced the skies!

...and here's to continuing one of my favourite christmas traditions next year! thanks, bro!

While we were shopping, SIL Ana, B, Little E and Baby C ventured over to the ROM. They, too, enjoyed a fun afternoon!

We all met back up for pizza supper. A day doesn’t get much better than this!

the happy gang!

My goal is to have my Christmas shopping completed by the end of November – preferably, by the end of this week! If so, that will be a new early-date record for Christmas shopping completion. I’ll be all the more ready for fun times with Christmas cards, baking, wrapping, decorating…yee haw!

Hope you had a great weekend! Any Christmas prep started??!

Boo To You!!!

Happy Hallowe’en Night!

We are just in from a walk around the ‘hood to check out Hallowe’en decs and see hyped up on sugar cute costumed kids screaming around the sidewalks. This Hallowe’en eve walk has been our tradition since we moved to the condo casa. I sorely miss giving out candy. If anyone with a house wants to adopt me next year, I’ll gladly give out candy for you…and I’ll even BMOC! (bring my own candy). So, being sans maison,  the next best thing is checking out the action at street level.

The thing is, it’s about zero (celsuis) degrees out there tonight! Brrrr! We are evidently not acclimatized as of yet: we’ve both been FREEZING all day! So we bundled up for tonight’s outing:

that'd be two layers of pants and my winter coat. and a hat. and double mitts.

Lest you think I’m a winter wuss (well, I am, kinda), here’s B:

that's some puffy coat action going on!

I always feel bad for the little trick-or-treaters when it’s so hideously cold on Hallowe’en. I remember how disappointing it was to have to either cover your costume with a winter coat or wear bulky and uncomfortable layers underneath. This type of weather calls for a GHOST costume or maybe a BOX costume – you’d never see layers under those get-ups! (But they’re not really great substitutes if you have your heart set on being SPIDERMAN or a PRINCESS!

I think I drove B a little nuts because I kept stopping to snap photos. It was worth it, though! Saw some houses that definitely were in the Hallowe’en spirit! Here’s the best of the best:

Best Twinkle Light Award:

lighted walkway leading to the doorway!

Best Window Covering:

meow!

Best Pumpkins-on-the-Front-Porch Display:

fall-ish + Hallowe'en-ish!

Best Cobweb Distribution:

perfect amount! not too much, not too little!

Best Use of a Tree for Ghoul-ish Purposes:

ooooooo!!!

Best Giant Spider:

cute in a spooky kind of way!

Best Cute-Not-Scary Award:

quite welcoming!

Best Front Door Decorating Award:

nice banner!

And lastly, the Best Costume Award for Hallowe’en 2010:

rock it, elvis!

This is my friend, Steve, from the store. He’s running the Las Vegas Marathon as Elvis, in this costume (it’s super cool: made of technical material, it’s designed for runners!). All he needs is blue suede shoes instead of those Nike’s and he’ll be 100% set!

wonder if he'll run and sing?!!

Well, that’s a wrap for our Hallowe’en. I’m off for a shower to thaw out, then we’ll conclude the eve with a PVR’d viewing of Gleethis week’s episode is a take-off on Rocky Horror Picture Show – great way to end the 31st of October, if you ask me!

Just One Thing

We’ve lived in the condo casa for just over six years now. Really, I don’t miss anything from our days of owning a house. Our current lifestyle suits us perfectly. And there are minimal inconveniences living in a multi-unit building as opposed to a house. I used to say I missed just hauling the groceries into the hallway from the garage; but since I’ve transitioned to doing a little grocery shopping every day at Valumart across the street, that’s really no longer an issue.

No, the only thing I would have to say that I miss about a house is…decorating for holidays!! And would you believe, I prefer Hallowe’en decorating to Christmas.

Baby C and I enjoyed our decoration sightseeing-by-stroller tours this week. Baby C has caught on well to aunti’s enthusiastic commentary, and becomes very animated when I point out “pumpkin!” “ghostie!” or “spider webs!” And, of course, with her keen eye for household pets, she spies the neighbourhood kittie-cats before I do!

Just a few shots of the best of the ‘hood:

the AC/EC pumpkin family!

now THAT'S a pumpkin!!!

how did they train their cat to stay on the porch like that?! (that is a real cat amongst the decorations!)...

...cuz there's another one!!!

winner of the "best cobwebs" award

...and the runner up!

best spider-web award...

award for most splatted witches in a front yard...

...and the happiest happy hallowe'en signage award...

...plus a runner-up!

And last but not least…

the Hallowe'en Spirit Award, Toddler Category! (note the spidey-bracelet as well as the seasonal onesie!)

…although I could be judged for being biased on that one!

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Your daily smile:

smart thinking, or what!

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