My favourite time of year

Fall is my favourite season. I love September, when fall is just begining. There’s a little chill in the air and back to school excitment. October is the star of the season, with it’s bright colours, sunshine and falling leaves. November might be my favourite. I was born in November, so I’m a fall baby. I love rain and windy days. I like to have an excuse to curl up with a book and a cup of tea. If only I had a fireplace…

When I started posting monthly updates about the wonderful things in my life, I thought it would be hard to keep up. I surprised myself by not missing a month. Until now. The fall has been a busy, full, and happy time. I haven’t been posting much, so I’ve decided to do a what-made-me-happy-in-September-and-October post.

Treats from my patio garden.

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A new tin for my tea. I actually think I bought this in August, but it still makes me happy! 008

My friend Ichih’s very photogenic cat.

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Going to House of Paint.

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Apple picking!

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Babies and pumpkins.

Too big!

Baking apple everything!

Apple muffins.

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Apple maple scones.

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Apple and orange cookies.

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I am a messy cook.

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Going to the National Art Gallery with my students. I don’t particularly like this piece, but the kids were impressed.

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Reading Gone Girl. Messed up. Fantastic. Read it now!

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Early morning fall light.

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Picking pumpkins.

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Apple pie day! One of the best days of the year.

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I tried to do the photo a day challenge for October. I did four days, then my camera got weird and wouldn’t work. I figured it out after a couple of days, but by then I had lost interest! Here’s what I got.

Day 1: Something colourful

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Day 2: Light

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Day 3: Me today

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Day 4: In motion

bunny teapot

And that’s that for October photo a day!

Thanksgiving with my family in the woods.

Me and my momma. Everyday, I am more and more like her, for which I am thankful.

Finding treasures. What a great day this was!

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New (to me) teacups.

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Roasting pumpkins.

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Halloween!

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What made you happy this fall?

Apple pie day

Every year, my mom, my sisters and I get together to make massive amounts of apple pie. Apple pie is fall’s most amazing food. I know everyone goes crazy for all the pumpkin flavored goodies out there (including myself), but let’s face it, there’s no better food than apple pie. This year, we made 22 pies. We froze most of them, to be eaten later, but to be honest, they’ll all be gone by Christmas. That’s how amazing they are.

First, you have to buy or pick many, many apples. These are lobo apples. Some apples are too soft, and then you get mushy pie.

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Then, you have to put on a cute apron.

That's my little sister and I. My apron says "Will cook for shoes".

That’s my little sister and I. My apron says “Will cook for shoes”.

You need to peel the many, many apples and make several batches of pie crust.

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Those are my mom's hands. she's the pie crust expert.

Those are my mom’s hands. she’s the pie crust expert.

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After that, you start assembling pies and you don’t stop until you have 22 (or 3 or 14 or 7, whatever your goal is. We don’t usually have a goal, we just keep going until we run out of ingredients.)

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After a while, it’s totally acceptable to stop for wine. We really had to work for it.

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But it was worth it.

This is my sister. She loves wine. So do I. Wine is delicious. Apple pie is also delicious. Good thing I don't have to chose only one.

This is my sister. She loves wine. So do I. Wine is delicious. Apple pie is also delicious. Good thing I don’t have to chose only one.

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Drinking wine really makes for better pies. Just don’t spill any in the pies, that’s wasteful.

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I don’t have a recipe to share because we don’t use one. It’s apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour, then repeat, add butter and that’s it. We don’t measure anything. I’m sure of you google “apple pie recipes” you’ll find some, but whatever you do, please, please, don’t use white sugar in an apple pie. That’s just wrong.

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It was such a great day, and now we have pie! Everyone should celebrate apple pie day.

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My dad is usually there to help. He peels the apples, but he was away this weekend. It’s ok Pop, you can still have pie. We’ll share because we’re nice like that.

Tea and scones

When I went to Ireland and Scotland a few years ago, one of the things I loved, loved, loved was how there were tea and scones to be had everywhere, all the time! I’m not a coffee drinker, and I love tea. Plus, who doesn’t love scones? Since it rained all the time, it was nice to cozy up with a cup of tea and a plate of scones.

This weekend was a very tea and scones weekend for me. I made them gluten free, which made them turn out a little less fluffy than regular scones, but they were still buttery and delicious!

I’m not a fan of jam, so I made a perfect substitute. Think apple pie filling. Amazing.

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I used this recipe for the scones. It was very easy and quick. The apple pie filling was even simpler to make.

Apple pie filling

1-2 apples, peeled and cut

1-2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix ingredients together. Microwave for two minutes. Stir. If too liquid, add half a teaspoon of flour. Mix and microwave for one minute. Stir and serve.

All I want is a cookie!

I’ve been eating sugar-free for a couple of weeks. It’s not as hard as I thought and also way more difficult than I imagined.

Let me explain.

When I’m at work, I bring a lunch and snacks, so I just eat what I have with me. When I pack my lunch, I’m super motivated, so it makes for a well balanced, no sugar-added day. Until the school day is done. Then, it’s a little harder. If I run errands, I have to use all my willpower not to buy a chocolate bar. If I go to the health food store to get some gluten free flour, I have to avoid the aisle with the power bars. Then there’s the kid who made me chocolates for Easter and the kid who brought cupcakes for his birthday. (So even at school, I’m not safe.) So much sugar, everywhere!

I’ve been craving something sweet this week. I knew I had to do something about it, or risk inhaling a kit kat bar. I looked up recipes for sugar free cookies, but most used artificial sweeteners. Then I found one for raw cookies and raw brownies using dates. I don’t like dates, but I figured I would give it a try.

I adapted to recipes because I didn’t have all of the ingredients.

First, get all your healthy sugar free ingredients together.

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Dates are not pretty.

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The brownies were pretty simple. Dates, cocoa powder, vanilla, ground almonds.

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The cookies, which I have named “raw apple pie” have a few more ingredients. One of them was raisins. I don’t like raisins, so I decided to use dried apples instead (I know I don’t like dates either, but they’re my cookies, and I can do whatever I want to.)

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Turns out, these cookies are amazing! And not just as a healthy, sugar free option. No, they’re good. I promise.

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I adapted this recipe. They’re vegan, gluten free and sugar free. Also delicious. They’re raw, meaning they’re not cooked, but I’m not sure if they would be raw-diet approved.

Enjoy!

Raw Brownies

1 1/2 cups ground almonds

3/4 cup dates

1/3 cup cocoa

1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend in food processor. Add a a teaspoon or two of water so the mixture sticks together. Roll into balls. Eat.

Raw apple pie

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup dates

1/2 cup dried apples

2 tbs cashew butter

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

Blend oats in food processor until finely ground. Add the rest and blend. Add a teaspoon or two of water. Roll into balls. Try not to eat all at once.

I am thankful

Today is Thanksgiving. It’s a day for gratitude and thanks. I have so much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for beautiful fall days and walks in the woods.

I am thankful for my family.

I am thankful that my sister is my friend.

I am thankful for this dog, even if he did eat my contact lenses.

I am thankful for the ability to practice yoga.

I am thankful for babies in downward dog.

I am thankful for my parents.

I am thankful for my friends.

I am thankful for turkey and mashed potatoes, stuffing and pie. (I don’t like stuffing, but it makes a lot of people pretty happy.)

I am thankful that I have a job I love.

I am thankful for days spent making apple pie with my mom and my sister.

I am thankful to be living my life.

What are you thankful for?

So lovely!

Lovely is a great word. I’ve sung the praises of fabulous before, but lovely is right up there with the best words ever. I mean, it’s got love in it! Lovely is buttery lemon scones and hats with feathers. It’s lace and lilacs and twirly skirts. And, according to two lovely ladies, this blog is also lovely! Miss Four Eyes and Live Passionately Tonight  have both nominated me for the One Lovely Blog award. Thanks girls!

I’m now meant to share 7 things about myself. Lovely, since I do like talking about myself!

1. I wish the crimped hair look would come back. Maybe I’ll bring it back myself. Who’s with me?

2. I danced in a flashmob last year for Canada day. I almost melted, it was so hot, and you can’t see me in the video, but it was awesome! That’s me with the red ribbon around my ponytail.

3. I make a mean apple pie. Every year, my mom, my sisters, my grandmother and I make a whole bunch. Last year we made 22 in one day.

4. I like to decorate cakes.

5. I have a dress addiction. I thought about getting help, but I don’t want too.

6. My sister and I ran all over Ireland trying to pet a sheep. We finally did, but in Scotland. Then, when we came back to Canada, we were asked if we had touched any livestock….

7. I don’t consider myself to be very athletic, but I did a triathlon last June. I was pretty proud of myself! I still am, actually. I also think everyone should wear a wetsuit at least once in their lives to appreciate how good they look without it.

And now, to nominate 7 great bloggers for the One Lovely Blog award:

Queen Gen

Erin has thoughts

Running and Cupcakes

I sweat pretty

My cup of tea

Heavy Metta

30 days of yoga … 1 day at a time

Have fun checking out these lovely blogs!