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?

Pumpkin patch

A few weeks ago, before we made a bunch of apple pies, my mom and I went out to the garden to pick some pumpkins. I always bring some to school so my students can carve them for Halloween. I also leave the dirt on them, so that when I explain that pumpkins grow in the garden and not the grocery store, it makes sense! They always tell me I’m lucky that I get to pick pumpkins. They’re right!

My parents’ house is right by the river. Morning light, along with fall colours made it a picture-taker’s paradise!

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I love the way the pumpkin patch looks after the leaves have frozen. You can see all the pumpkins. Also, it would be easier to spot a snake, if there was one. I’ve never actually seen a snake in the pumpkin patch, but i’m sure it happens. I don’t have a snake phobia, but really, who wants to reach down to pick a pumpkin and come up with a snake? Yeah, no one.

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I’m looking for a good pumpkin. Also, I’m checking to make sure there are no slimy bugs underneath.

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Found one! A pumpkin, not a bug.

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I’m checking the ingredients: 100% pumpkin. Ok, I’ll take it!

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I need more pumpkins. Lots more.

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Pumpkins and apples in my kitchen! When this photo was taken, there were six more pumpkins in my car waiting to be taken to school to be carved by my students. Sadly, one of those pumpkins did not make it to Halloween. I believe it suffered a deer bite and started to go bad as soon as it was taken indoors. It’s suffering came to an end in a collegue’s kitchen.

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My pumpkins before they were roasted into deliciousness! Here, too, one did not survive. It got all soft and icky so I put it outside. A squirrel chewed all the way around it and took off with the top. A few days later, I saw the top of a pumpkin in the street. Crazy squirrel.

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Roasting a pumpkin is pretty easy. Cut in half, scoop out gunk, roast, puree, eat!

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I ended up with about 12 cups of puree. Not bad for two small pumpkins. I wanted to can it, but I read all kinds of scary things online about the dangers of canning pumpkin puree, so I decided to freeze it instead.

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I’ve been baking pumpkin-everything for a few weeks now.

Gluten-free pumpkin muffins.

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Roasted pumpkin seeds.

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Pumpkin and carrot mac and cheese. I have to hide vegetables from myself so that I’ll eat them. Also, macaroni and cheese is not photogenic.

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I also made something called a pumpkin dream cake and it was very dreamy and orange and delicious!

Yesterday, for Halloween, the kids got to work cleaning out the pumpkins and decorating them. They were very original in their design ideas.

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I thought the hedgehog was angry, but apparently, he’s scary. Because, you know, it’s Halloween.

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I think that’s it for my pumpkin adventures this year. Well, except for the 8 cups of pumpkin still left in my freezer! November is the month for tea, books and hot yoga! (Every month is hot yoga month actually.)

Thankfulness

Today is Thanksgivings. I have so much to be thankful for.

On Friday, I went to Montreal for a work conference. It was so-so, not worth getting up at 5 am. However, afterwards, six of us went shopping. We had a blast trying on clothes, finding things for each other, driving two hours there and back. We sang, laughed and acted like a bunch of little girls. I love days like this, be it with my work friends, my yoga friends, my forever friends or my new friends. I am thankful for my friends.

On Saturday, I went to a yoga class that was much too difficult for me, because of my ever-present glute injury and very low energy level. However, just before class started, the teacher asked us to think of three things that we were thankful for. The first thing that came to mind, no doubt because I was on my mat, was my ability to practice yoga. I may be temporarily injured, but I am still strong, healthy and free to practice whenever I want to. I am thankful for yoga.

In my family, we celebrate Thanksgivings on Sunday instead of Monday. It’s all about being together, enjoying each other’s company. In the middle of nowhere. That’s right. We celebrate Thanksgivings in a cabin in the woods with no electricty or running water. About 60 of us cram ourselves inside the small cabin, spilling out onto the porch and under a tent, to be thankful we are a family. This is not some weird Canadian thing. I don’t know any other family that does this. This is just us. I am thankful for my family.

This is the middle of nowhere.

This is the middle of nowhere.

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

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

I am thankful for a family full of kids.

I am thankful for a family full of kids.

I love fall.

I love fall.

Tree pose. In the forest. Get it?!

Tree pose. In the forest. Get it?!

Yoga with Elizabteh, one of my most favourite people ever.

Yoga with Elizabeth, one of my most favourite people ever.

The frog is like this.

The frog is like this.

Thnaskgiving dinner is about to happen.

Thnaskgiving dinner is about to happen.

So much to be thankful for. I am one very blessed girl. What are you thankful for?

This fall

this fall I will be…

Making : The most of every moment

Cooking :
 Soup

Drinking: Tea, lots of tea

Reading:
 As much as possible

Wanting:
 New boots

Looking: 
At my vision board

Playing:
 In the leaves

Wasting:
 Sunday mornings watching Pioneer Woman

Sewing:
 A baby quilt

Wishing:
 On every star I see

Enjoying:
 Halloween

Waiting: 
For my birthday

Enjoying: My little home yoga studio

Wondering:
 When my pulled muscle will be better

Loving: My life

Hoping: That fall lasts longer

Marvelling: At the fall colours

Writing: Stories for my kid’s yoga class

Baking : Pumpkin scones

Needing:
 To run

Smelling:
 The crisp fall air

Wearing:
 Dresses and boots

Following:
 My dreams

Noticing: 
The little things

Knowing:
 I am enough

Thinking: About my birthday!

Feeling:
 Grateful

Bookmaring: Pinterest style inspirations

Decorating: A pumpkin

Opening: Lots and lots of books

Remembering: How to knit

Giggling:
 With my students

Practicing: yoga

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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.

Apple picking

On Sunday, I went apple picking! I love fall, and I’m one of those people who has a list of awesome fall activities that I just have to do so my season feels complete. Apple picking is definitely at the top of the list.I’m a picky eater and I don’t like a lot of fruit. I eat a lot, but of the same kind. It’s usually more about texture than taste. I do love apples and eat them all the time. If I don’t have any, I feel an urge to run to the store. These sudden I-need-an-apple attacks can happen at any moment. Luckily, I now have a million apples, so I’m good for a couple of weeks. Maybe.

I went to an apple orchard that was about an hour and a half away with some friends. I was wondering why we were going so far, when there are orchards much closer to home, but when we got there, I figured it out. It was beautiful. I think it’s probably hard to find an ugly apple orchard, but still, it was lovely.

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This baby is trying to steal my apples!

This baby is trying to steal my apples!

I tried to take a nice picture with my friend Adèle, but it took a while.

Something was really funny. I can't remember what it was. But it was funny, I promise.

Something was really funny. I can’t remember what it was. But it was funny, I promise.

It's still funny.

It’s still funny.

It's really hard to take a bad picture when you're surrounded by apples.

It’s really hard to take a bad picture when you’re surrounded by apples.

Me being me, I decided what this apple picking expedition need was some yoga poses.

We're apple trees. Get it?!

We’re apple trees. Get it?!

This is half-moon pose, which I have re-named apple pie pose for the occasion.

This is half-moon pose, which I have re-named apple pie pose for the occasion.

Note: This is not the half-moon pose that injured my butt. This is it’s much gentler, nicer, no butt-muscle pulling twin.

After the apples, we decided we hadn’t had enough of fall (is that even possible?) so we headed out to pick some pumpkins and squash.

These are called ghost pumkins or ghost greys or something spooky like that.

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The baby's not afraid of them, I guess they're ok.

The baby’s not afraid of them, I guess they’re ok.

Running off to find the perfect pumpkin!

Running off to find the perfect pumpkin!

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere.

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere.

Too big!

Too big!

Too small!

Too small!

Just right!

Just right!

Here is a picture of lots of different kinds of squash I don't like. I don't like squashes. These are not mine. I just took the picture.

Here is a picture of lots of different kinds of squash I don’t like. I don’t like squashes. These are not mine. I just took the picture.

Pretty sunflowers.

Pretty sunflowers.

They're even prettier when you add in a beautiful little girl!

They’re even prettier when you add in a beautiful little girl!

After all the squash fun, we went to an Abbey where I bought honey, caramel and chocolate. Not a bad day for sweet things.

I now have many, many apples that I have slowly started to turn into delicious apple amazingness. There is more to come, including apple pie, apple sauce, apple juice, apple crisp, apple muffins, apple cookies, apple cake, apple bread, apple butter and apple turnovers. Did I forget anything?

Summer days, drifting away

It’s starting to feel like fall. I love fall. I love sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes. I love wearing skirts and boots with no thights. I love the colours of the leaves. I love the way the air smells and how it’s cool but not cold.

However, I also love summer and I wasn’t quite ready to let go! September is usually a slow transition from one to the other, but it feels like fall is here all of a sudden. I’m not quite ready to give up my sandals and summer dresses.

August was a great month for me. After my yoga-bubble month of July, it was nice to have some time to just hang out. I had no plans, I just kind of floated around from beach to cottage, from yoga class to drinks on a patio.

Doing yoga on a boat. Then falling out of fallen angel pose on a boat!

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Yay, I did it!

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More yoga poses!

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And finally just hanging out on the boat!

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Taking pictures by the lake. (This photo shoot did result in a pulled muscle that’s not completely healed, but the pictures are nice!)

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Yoga on Parliament hill.

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Going out for dinner one last time with my friend Julie before she went back to Abu Dhabi. (Also, I cut my hair!)

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More happy moments at the cottage.

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Enjoying the last little bit of summer on the very last day of August.

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Getting some treasures from my mom’s garden.

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I’ve already made potato-leek soup, apple crisp and apple sauce, a yellow bean casserole that was the most amazing bean dish I’ve ever eaten (not that hard since I didn’t think I liked beans until this summer), not to mention salads and juices!

I’ve had a great summer, so I guess I am ready for fall, hot chocolate, crunchy leaves and pumpkins!

The great pumpkin adventure

I don’t like pumpkin pie. There. I said it. I know it makes people think I’m weird, but I think pumpkin pie is weird. I don’t like the texture. Also, it’s a vegetable. In a dessert. Because I don’t like pumpkin pie, I’ve always thought I don’t like pumpkin anything. However, last weekend, I picked some very beautiful, very orange pumpkins in the garden.

I washed the dirt off, then cut one in half. I scooped out it’s insides. (I was planning on roasting the seeds, but I forgot about them and they kind of all stuck together. It was a little icky looking, so I threw them out.) Then, I placed each half in a baking dish and poured about an inch of water around them.

They went into the oven for about an hour at 350 0C, then I scooped out the edible part. Voilà, roasted pumpkin. That’s it. Nothing else to do.

I did this yesterday, then put the pumpkin in the fridge. Today, I pureed it and froze some of it in half-cup measures to use in the future.

Then came the fun part. Pumpkin scones. I figured if I wanted to check to see if I liked pumpkin flavoured anything, it was best to test it out in one of my favourite things ever. Scones.

I used this recipe and they came out tasting marvelous! They taste like fall, spices and Halloween. Ok, maybe not Halloween, but they’re really good! I made mine bite-sized, so I baked them for 8-9 minutes.

I brought some in to the yoga studio tonight and left with an empty plate!

Baking these put me in a good mood. I wasn’t in a bad mood, but I had kind of a grumpy day. I’ve been feeling a cold coming on all week and today it made sure I knew it was here to stay for a few days. It was one of those days where everything and everyone annoyed me. Being annoyed all day, while sniffling, is exhausting.

The scones made me feel better, and then yoga was perfect. It was yin and it was heaven. At the end of class, we chilled out in pentacle pose. I’ve only done this pose a few times, but I love it. You lay out in one big X with a block under your sacrum. I felt very relaxed and just let go. Then, I got a rare blissful moment where I let go even more when I thought I wasn’t holding anything. It was amazing and I think I gave a little sigh of happiness.

When I came home, my kitchen had that sweet, happy, baking scent. Bliss.