Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Handmade Halloween

Ariel's food sensitivities mean she can't eat store bought candy.

So what to do when Halloween rolls around? Obviously, there's no point Trick Or Treating. But Halloween is her favourite holiday. She loves the spooky, dress up season even more than (gasp) Christmas. Could I allow her fun to be diminished just because she can't participate in the big candy gobble? 

No way.

Halloween's not about candy anyway. Okay, well, maybe it is mostly about candy. But leave out the bother of tromping around the neighbourhood lugging heavy bags full of belly-ache inducing sweets, and suddenly the whole evening opens up, full of possibilities for Halloween fun we normally don't have time for. 

So instead of Trick Or Treating this year, we're staying home to party. The kids and I are more excited about Halloween than ever before. We won't have to rush through dinner, we won't have to drag Graham's tired little legs through the dark, cold night, and we won't have to miss out on greeting all the kids that come to our door. Instead, we'll crank our spooky tunes, turn on the orange and purple lights, don our costumes, and just enjoy the magic of the night.

Will there be candy? Of course. Thanks mainly to recipes printed in the October/November issue of MaryJanes Farm Magazine, we made candy corns, coconut-almond chocolates, caramel toffee, and black cherry gum drops.

And, of course, pumpkin pie. 

I made everything myself, so I know every ingredient. We'll feast on them all evening knowing that, as candies go, they're not so bad for us. And making them together created lasting memories, too. 

If there's time, I may even make another cake like this seasonal one that I made for my sister's fall birthday:

What about the kids who come to our door? Well, no, they won't get candy. The days of being able to hand out homemade treats disappeared during my childhood. Instead, we've got a big bowl full of handmade hair barrettes, ties, wrist cuffs and brooch pins:

Plus a selection of fun goodies that should appeal to kids of all ages, boys or girls: 

So tell me: 

Who's coming to Trick Or Treat at my house? 

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Trip I Missed...

...blogging about. We actually took this trip in mid-August, but things were so busy right after that I didn't blog about this particular trip.

So here are the details!

Where: Gordon's Bay Campground, Cowichan Lake, BC

With: Two very special families. Between us, there were six adults, six kids (a boy and girl per couple), and one pooch (ours).

Special Mention: "Sparky," a brand new electric car driven by our friends Derek and Sarah, who recently launched a new family adventure based on making saving the environment fun! Read Sarah's inspiring blog here:

First, we had to put Bing on the ferry (she attracted lots of admirers!):

Then we had to find our perfect spot in the woods and set up camp. 

Pssst! I see an adorable camper playing hide and seek with the tents!

After that, we headed to the lake for a quick play before dinner.

Time for some chillaxin'!!

The sun came out again on Day Two and gloried up our swimming spot.

Beautiful British Columbia!

What could be a better end to a tri-family camping trip, than lunch at a 1950s diner? At the fabulous J&V's Burgers and Pizza, the milkshakes are as good as they come and the music rocks back to the good 'ole days. The only thing I forgot to pack was my poodle skirt!!

My pals.

Milkshakes taste so much better when shared with my special guy.

Next summer, we'll do it all again. Right gang?