Happy Halloween! I hope you have a fun filled day! I am just hoping it doesn’t rain for trick or treating. Today, I am linking up with Shay, Sheaffer, and Mel for What’s Up Wednesday. It’s nice to look back on the month and review some of the highlights! This month went by so quickly but it was a lot of fun. Anyway, today I will share my October Favorites and what we have been up to lately. This is a huge post so grab a cup of coffee:)
What we are eating…
If you follow me on Instagram, you heard that I bought an Instant Pot on clearance last week. I was debating on whether to purchase one but so many you said you LOVE your Instant Pot, so I took the plunge.
One week in and I am loving it! I purchased this 9-in-1 Instant Pot (on major clearance at Marshalls) and I love all of the different settings including rice cooker, slow cooker, saute and steam. The main benefit of the Instant Pot is that it cooks things so quickly!! I made salmon in under 10 minutes!
So far I have kept things pretty basic because I will admit that it takes a bit of time to understand all of functionality. It’s not an appliance you can just plug in and run. But, the Instant Pot is not as complicated as it seems and I am starting to get the hang of things.
I love how quickly you can get dinner on the table and it cooks things to perfection!
I’ve made hard boiled eggs, steamed sweet potatoes, salmon and taco meat. I’m hoping to make some actual one pot dishes in the coming weeks.
There are so many recipes on Pinterest for the Instant Pot and I’ve created a new board for all of them!
As far as this week’s menu plan goes, we are keeping things pretty simple and healthy (to balance out all of that candy!).
Tonight, I am making these adorable Halloween meatballs that Andrea shared this week. Too cute!!
What I’m dreading…
I LOVE this fall weather but I am dreading the Daylight savings “fall back” that happens this Sunday! It will basically be dark outside by the time the kids are home from school. Ugh!
What I’m looking forward to…
When the clock strikes midnight tonight, the holiday season has begun! I am so excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tomorrow, we will start our November gratitude activity!
This year, I am thinking about decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving. We have only done this one other time before, but there are no rules on when you can start decorating for Christmas. I am always in a rush to get the entire house decorated the days after Thanksgiving that I can get myself feeling a little crazy. So I’m going to see if decorating earlier will be less stressful. I will also be a part of a blogger home tour (details soon!), so I want to get ahead start on things. You can see my Christmas house tour from last year HERE.
What I am working on….
The last few week’s I’ve started some Christmas shopping. I mentioned this Christmas gift app last year and it is too good not to bring up again. Santa’s Bag helps you keep track of all of the gifts on your Christmas list. You can set up a password to access the app, so no one can peak. It seriously keeps me so much more organized!
I’ve been snagging some good toy deals on Amazon. If you aren’t part of Amanda’s Inspired Chick’s Daily Deals Facebook, I highly recommend joining as she posts so many good finds!
She recommend this fun looking, energy burning game! It is over 50% off on Amazon (thanks for the suggestion Amanda!)
Speaking of fun toys, I wanted to share a play set that we gave my youngest on his birthday. I was contacted by Field Toys to review one of their products and we received this adorable and realistic looking field set! It is a beautiful, sturdy play set that I can tell will truly hold up well over time. It is one of those toys that will turn out to be a classic and that can be passed down the family. I was really impressed that this toy is so sturdy and well made.
My little guy has a huge imagination and loves creative play, so this toy really is a fit for him.
I will admit that this farm set has become a field for figures (like legos!) besides the animals that were included. But that is what creative play is all about–the opportunity for the imagination to run wild!
This is a beautiful set to consider for little ones who love animals and imaginative play!
The field set comes with a tractor, farm animals and a white picket fence.
This Toy Field from Ireland Inspires Real World, Interactive Play and With No Batteries Required!
Thank you to Field Toy for providing us with this toy in exchange for our review.
What I am reminiscing about…
It was a fun month…October always is a good one!
Our fun included a road trip to Niagara Falls…
My mom and I had some girl time on our annual Mother Daughter Shopping trip…
We celebrated this guy’s SIXTH birthday!
Which included a special trip to Build-a-Bear!
Finally, we enjoyed a festive family Halloween celebration with our Kids Night in Box! ** Head to this Instagram post for a chance to win your own Kids Night in Box!!
I’m grateful for a fun and memorable October!
What I am watching…
Last month, I mentioned a new favorite show called Seven Seconds. We finished up this series last week and unfortunately there will not be another season. So my husband and I are on the lookout for a new show to watch together. We have started watching the second season of Making a Murderer and I’m not sure that it will be very captivating. Has anyone else watched the second season?
I know I’m late to this party, but this month I have discovered a love of PODCASTS! I love being able to listen to a show while doing things around the house or driving in the car! In a matter of a few days, I listened to the entire Season 1 of Serial. This is another crime documentary (I’ve mentioned I like this genre!). So good!
I would love any Podcast suggestions as I am just breaking the surface of all of the programs that are available!
What I am reading…
I just finished When Life Gives you Lululemons. It is a perfect, light read with some relatable (albeit over the top) jokes about suburban mom life! I definitely laughed out loud while reading this book.
Earlier in the month I read Soldier Girls which is a documentary about women in the military. It was very eye opening and I gained a new perspective and appreciation for women (and men) in the military.
Because I liked Soldier Girls so much, I found another book written by the same author, Helen Thorpe. I also read her book, The Newcomers. Another non-fiction book, this story follows twenty-two teenage refugees as they navigate through their first year in the U.S. I also gained a new appreciation for refugees! The book itself was a little hard to follow because there were so many people involved. But overall, this was another great book!
I don’t know the last time I read three books! I’m hoping to keep up this trend.
It was a great month and as sad as I am to see another October go, I am looking forward to November. What are you some of your October favorites?