Fall is my very favourite time of year. I love cool clear sunny days, where it’s almost warm out but there’s a wonderfully cold breeze. I love wearing sweaters, but never needing a coat. This is the one time of year when I absolutely love to be outdoors. The kids and I go on long walks and collect pinecones, nuts and colourful leaves. The first frost has come and went, which means my allergies are finally settling down, and the trees are just starting to lose their leaves. When a stiff breeze comes along you can watch them rain down onto the street in little darts of colour, glowing in the sunshine. Everything is cool and crisp and beautiful. I love it.
October is the crown jewel of Fall; the best and most perfect month of the year, which hosts my two favourite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Halloween has always been my favourite holiday, as a child I loved it just as much, if not more, than Christmas. And over the years my love for it has only grown. The candy doesn’t excite me much, but I love the costumes, both for myself and for the little ones. I love helping my own kids get dressed up, and I love taking them out trick or treating. And as much as I love an excuse to go Trick or Treating, I also I love handing out treats to the excited children who show up at our door. (Hubby and I take turns, this year I ‘ll be giving out candy while he shepherds the girls around the neighbourhood.)
I haven’t always loved Thanksgiving. It’s sort of grown on me over the years. When I was younger, big family get togethers were something to be tolerated at best; long, awkward and ever so boring. I find as I get older these excuses to get together with family feel much more like a blessing. Even the echoes of past holiday meals have bounced around inside of me and softened over the years, so that all those Thanksgiving dinners spent bored out of my mind at my grandparents house now feel like shiny treasured memories that I wish I could step back into.
I want to make memories and traditions with my girls. Our plans for Thanksgiving are simple this year. My mom and sister are out of town, visiting relatives in the States. We talked about having a Thanksgiving meal here, and ended up making reservations at a local restaurant instead. They do a whole turkey and fixings served “family style” thing; we did this a few years back and it was yummy. So tomorrow we’ll be picking up the inlaws and driving over to this restaurant for our Thanksgiving Dinner, and then heading back here to our house to spend some time together. But I also wanted to do something special, just for us, so I decided we could start a new tradition this year and have a Big Fancy Thanksgiving Breakfast (well brunch, I have no plans to make lunch, this is definitely going to be an only two meals type of day).
So the Friday before Thanksgiving we headed off to Target to look for a few special things to brighten up our special day. A couple of months back we got a new stove, and one of the features it has is this “burner bridge”. The one half of the stove top has two burner, plus a bridge area between the two that you can also turn on and heat up. For a few months now I’ve been meaning to get a “double burner griddle” to make use of that nifty burner bridge feature. Planning our Super Family Thanksgiving Breakfast was just the excuse I needed to actually get out and pick one up. I thought it might be a bit of a specialty pan, something that would be hard to find, but Target had three or four different types to choose from. I ended up picking up this Nordic Ware beauty, which I am very much looking forward to trying out tomorrow.
As we were browsing through the Kitchenwares section, my daughter pointed out these adorable Circo brand acrylic glasses and when I saw they were on sale for 53 cents I had to grab them. I also picked out a new spatula, and the girls got two new plastic plates (dishware safe for the win!). Hubby found this cool wooden bowl, which was marked down to $14, and it didn’t take much to convince me we should add it to the cart. Then we stopped in the snackfood aisle to pick up our favourite Target exclusive, Archer Farms Monster Mix, but were disappointed to find they were currently sold out.
While at Target we of course had to visit the Halloween section. From the first moment we walked into the store, as soon as they saw the big friendly colourful Halloween decorations hanging from the ceiling, my girls were begging to visit the seasonal area. Hey this is a marked improvement from a few weeks ago, when the sight of even the most friendly Halloween decor would send my seven year old into a tizz. I was thankful to discover that Target didn’t stock any of the over the top gross out Halloween decor items that we has seen in some other stores recently. Which means we were able to browse through the Halloween area happily, with no kiddo freak outs. We even had a bit of fun checking out the Chris March’s Big Fun costume pieces. Then Hubby spotted this “Poison” soft soap decanter and we agreed it was definitely a must have for the guest bathroom in our gaming basement dungeon (Yes, we intend to put it out for year round. Yes, we’re a bit odd).
And well, no visit to Target would be complete with out a trip through the Toy Department. The girls are pretty good little window shoppers, we walked up and down the aisles checking out the cool toys while hubby and I made mental Christmas shopping lists. With calls of “Mom, look!” and “Wow!” the girls let us know what they thought of pretty much every item in the store. These Target Exclusive Lil Woodzeez sets topped my seven year old’s wishlist. They are SO adorable. I will definitely be going back without the the kids to pick these up to put under the tree.
All told we headed home with a shiny new griddle, four very cute kids drinking cups, two “looks like china but really it’s plastic” plates, a lovely wooden snack bowl, and a Halloween themed soap decanter. They had an incredible deal on old Skylanders starter sets, 50% off, which was seriously tempting. Hubby put in a pretty solid argument in favour of picking one up, but I held out. Though, to be honest, we may end up going back and getting it later this week. Hubby’s been wanting this one for a while now, and $20.99 for a set that is regularly $60-something is just too darn good to pass up.
I am looking forward to our special big breakfast tomorrow. My big kid is looking forward to helping me make pancakes on our new griddle. We’ve been chatting on and off all day, listing things we’re thankful for. The first thing my seven year old listed was, of all things, air. When my husband looked at her and asked “Why air?”, she replied, in the most indignant voice, “We need it to breathe!” and I giggled so hard.
Me? I am thankful for Fall, for perfect days spent with my daughters, walking up an down our neighbourhood sidewalks in search of perfect leaves. I am thankful for the love that I have for and receive from my family, and for quiet lazy Sunday mornings spent having breakfast together, just us. I am thankful for this long holiday weekend, for the special dinner we will share tomorrow with my in-laws, but even more so for the time we’ll spend hanging out together once dinner’s done. And lastly, I am thankful for the anticipation of Halloween; for time spent with my daughters planning and creating their costumes, and plotting out the optimal trick or treating route. It’s wonderful to have something fun to look forward to, don’t you think?
What are you #ThankFall for this season?
Disclosure: I am part of the Target #ThankFALL influencer program run by The Influential Network. I have been compensated for this post, but as always my words and opinions are my own.