Being Belle

For Halloween this year, I wanted to be a Disney princess, because that’s the kind of girl I am. Why go creepy and scary when, for once, it’s perfectly acceptable to be a princess in public?

I originaly wanted to be Snow White, but the only cosutme I could find online that wasn’t short and sexy (really, why?) was over a hundred dollars. No thanks. Then, by chance, I found a much cheaper dress. Different princess, but I’m not picky. Belle it was!

I really did not love the way this dress was cut. I mean, Belle wears a ballgown, where was the fluff? Since I have a crinoline I never get to wear, I decided to make this dress into the shiny yellow perfection I knew it could be.

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I pinned the two pieces of fabric together at the seams, then sewed a line on either sides of the pins. Then I cut between the two new lines I’d sewn and inserted a triangular piece of yellow satin. I did this for each side and in the back.

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This is where I stopped taking pictures, because really, who takes that many pictures when they sew? The top part of the dress was too big, and it had a pink rose in the middle. This had to go, because Belle does not have any pink on her dress. I took in the necline/sleeve type thing, then covered it with more yellow satin.

I cut the sad excuse for a petticoat that was inside the dress, added my fluffy crinoline, and voilà! Perfection.

I attemped a Belle hairdo using the seemingly easy sock bun technique. I’m not sure I do it right, because it’s never easy. But hey, it looked ok.

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I truly enjoy being a princess, and look forward to wearing this dress again. Having a party? I’ll come dressed as Belle.

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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

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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?

How to be a friendly witch

I love to dress up for Halloween. I used to make my costumes, but it feels like as time goes on, I have less time for things like that. I’m trying to figure out a way to make all of my time work for me, doing things I love. However, I don’t mind buying a Halloween costume instead of making it. There are some great costumes out there!

The only issue I have with women’s Halloween costumes is that they’re all sexy and short! Seriously! Some of us work with children and would like a decent costume. Even the princess and nun costumes had tiny skirts! I decided to go with a cute witch costume, to wich I added a skirt, so I wouldn’t show off my rear end to people.

Since I was going to be a friendly witch, I decided I needed pink hair. I bought a wig and thought it would work. I wasn’t expecting it to be fabulous, because cheap Halloween wigs rarely are, but it was awful! I couldn’t wear it, it looked really, really bad!

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I still wanted pink hair, so I googled “How to make hair extensions out of a wig”. Turns out, it’s not that hard.

You need hair clips (the tutorial actually suggested wig clips, but I didn’t have any, it was raining so I didn’t want to go out, and the party was in a few hours.) These worked just fine.

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You just need to cut off a strip of the wig, then cut it into the size you want. Then you sew it onto a clip. Voilà! Hair extensions.

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Make a few more.

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Also, make a huge mess.

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The extensions were longer than my hair, but I kind of liked to have long hair again!

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I went to my friend Ichih’s house where a bunch of us were meeting up to go to a party. I had to add my witchy accessories.

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The party was a lot of fun and everyone’s costumes were great!

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For work on Thursday, when it was actually Halloween, I wore a t-shirt under my dress and didn’t bother with the pink hair.

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My collegues were also witches, but I don’t think they were the friendly kind!

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I love Halloween!

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.)

Trick or treat!

Happy Halloween! One of the things I love about working with children is getting to dress up for Halloween! This year, I was a bee and I’m a little sad that the day is over, because I would have loved to wear my costume for a lot longer! I go costume shopping with a friend every year, but it’s getting more and more difficult to find a costume that’s acceptable to wear around children. Who decided Halloween was about being as sexy as possible? What about scary or funny? I have to admit, I don’t do “ugly” for Halloween. I would rather be pretty. But come on, sexy everything?

Halloween’s also about candy! No matter how hard I try, I can’t not eat candy. I’ve been trying to be good lately, eating more vegetables and less junk food. It’s funny, because I do yoga, some people assume I’m a health nut. I’m not one of those people who’s all “carrot sticks are nature’s candy.” Candy is candy. However, I do admit it does terrible things to your insides and I’m going to try really hard to eat less sugar.

How was your Halloween?

What does one wear to a Time Warp?

Don’t dream it, be it.

That’s the tag line for The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I heard about this movie when I was in college, and I was fascinated with the idea of audience participation during a movie. I heard people dressed up and threw things at the screen. Definitely two things I wanted to do!

Well, 12 years later, I made it! Last night, I became an official Rocky Horror participant! Because it’s almost Halloween, the Mayfair theatre, which shows old and off-beat movies, is having a Rocky Horror event. They have it every year, and it’s apparently the third most popular in North America and the highest grossing in Canada.

I had never seen the whole movie, but I knew some of the songs and who the characters were. I wasn’t sure if people were going to dress up, so I googled “what to wear to the Rocky Horror Picture Show”. I found this site and they suggested dressing up as one of the characters. I was a little hesitant, as was my friend Suzanne (who, by the way, googled the same thing I did). I went with kind-of-big hair (like Magenta, but not, because my hair was straight) and lots of eye liner. Suzanne went with sparkles (Columbia) and pearls (Frank-n-Furter).

This is us waiting in line outside the theatre like groupies at a concert.

The Mayfair theatre is really beautiful and old. It’s a one-room theatre and it has so much more character than the newer movie complexes. There was also a stage in front of the screen.

There were actors playing the parts of the main characters. I wasn’t sure what to expect. When the first song came on, with only the mouth singing on screen, a girl, dressed as Magenta, came on stage and started lipsynching. The she started to strip. She stripped all the way down to practically nothing. I knew some of the costumes were racy, but I wasn’t expecting this!

After that, I was ready for anything. We weren’t allowed to throw rice or confetti during the wedding scene, but people were shouting out one-liners and comments and it was pretty funny. I didn’t know any of the lines, but it was my first time, after all.

When Janet and Brad got out of the car during the storm, I was ready with my newspaper. Everyone covered their head when Janet did and people were spraying water and waving flashlights around when they got to the mansion. It was so much fun!

My favourite part was the Time Warp. I loved getting up, dancing and singing. I don’t think I did all the moves right, but no one was looking, everyone was having a great time.

I also really liked throwing toast during the dinner scene! I felt a little strange before the show, making toast with the sole purpose of throwing it at a movie screen, but it was worth it! Actually, to be fair, I ate the first toast I made, so then I had to make more.

The movie itself is pretty cheesy, but that’s what makes it so good. Having the people on stage act out the scenes at the same time as the movie was great. It added to the story, especially when the actors made up their own lines. Sometimes, people were yelling so many things that you couldn’t hear what was going on in the movie. I’m pretty sure that’s the point.

Plus, going to this event was number 59 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. It was also on Suzanne’s list, so we wanted to do it together!

Next time, because there will definitely be a next time, I’m going full-out Magenta, big hair, apron and all!

Remember, Don’t dream it, be it!

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.