Sunday, September 03, 2017

Hello, Fall!

As much as I love summer, my favourite season is fall, by far.

I love the weather, the colourful leaves falling to the ground, the holidays, the pumpkin spice everything, and being able to wear sweaters and other cute clothes. And, I love that most of the things I'm allergic to go away. On top of that all, I am also a huge nerd and I am super excited to get back into the swing of things with school.

Starting this week, I will be attending Brock University to study Psychology and Child and Youth Studies. The combined Bachelor of Arts degree will help me get closer to my goal of being an Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist or Speech-Language Pathologist. In just two days, I have my orientation! It's weird to think that I'm going to be a freshman for the third year in a row, but at least this year will be more productive in the grand scheme of things.

On a similar note, my job at Walmart is going well. We're down one of my coworkers in the Dairy department because he's gone for co-op for his school program, which means that there have been lots of hours for those of us who are left. I've been working 30+ hours every single week! It's been good for my bank account, though Matt and I have managed to spend a lot of it. I will continue to work through this school year, with somewhere around 20 to 25 hours a week. I'm hoping it won't be too much for me with school going on too.

Obviously this is not for the date of our concert because it's in Ottawa, but this gives the general idea.

One of those things that we spent all our money on, and another thing I'm looking forward to this fall, is another concert! Matt and I are going with his younger step-brother Hunter to see Dallas Smith perform in St. Catharines in October. We saw Dallas Smith in July at Trackside and it was so good that we decided we needed to see a show where he was the headliner. The opening acts are Lauren Alaina and the Cadillac Three, both of which we are looking forward to as well. Hunter has never been to a concert before, so that's exciting too! I think it's going to be a goal of mine now that I take each of Matt's siblings to their first concerts. We've already got Tyler's done, and now Hunter's is coming up in less than two months.

Besides all that though, I've been ready to celebrate fall for a long time.

In fact, I've been ready to celebrate fall to the point where I already had a fall-themed mini baking spree!

This evening, in preparation for the upcoming first week of school, Matt and I made rice crispy squares, and I made pumpkin spice muffins and pumpkin bread! Tomorrow or Tuesday I will be making biscuits for use as the bread for this week's sandwiches. Everything looks so good already!

Matt was very proud of his rice crispy squares. However, he forgot to add the vanilla to them, but oh well, I'm sure they're still going to be delicious!

Similarly, I was very proud of my pumpkin spice muffins. Just yesterday, I bought this fancy new pan! It makes 24 muffins at once instead of just 12. It's the ideal sized muffin pan for this family, and it's Wilton brand. It seems to work just fine for me, and it fits perfectly in the oven.

I also have very nice fancy muffin wrappers right now, and they too are Wilton brand. I love the variety of colours, and it's hard to go wrong with 300 for $8! We'll see how long it takes to go through them all.

The pumpkin bread that I made is actually egg-free. I needed a recipe to use up the rest of the can of pumpkin so that I wouldn't put it in the fridge and forget about it. I hate wasting food! But, I also used the last of the eggs while making the pumpkin muffins, and I didn't know what I could do with it! A quick Google search found me some recipes, and I combined and altered them to make what I thought would be the ideal recipe for it. It looks beautiful so far!

I'll let you know once we've tried it as to how it turned out. It may take another try to get it perfect!

I've also taken some time to work on living the Pinterest dream. Everyone knows what I mean when I say that. We see all sorts of crazily perfect things on Pinterest, and we're left feeling inadequate or dissatisfied with our own organizational skills, home baking, or whatever else. Well, this time I think I nailed it!

I bought some drawers and bins at Walmart, and labelled them. They may not be perfectly Pinterest pretty, but they are just as functional and it's brilliant. I've got a tower of drawers that contain different types of lunch snacks, two bins that contain other portioned snacks, and a smaller tower that containers plastic utensils for use for the lunches. The labels make it fool-proof! I hope.

Unfortunately, it's not the most environmentally conscious set up, but with five boys between the ages of sixteen and twenty, we're still not quite getting a hang of bringing all of our reusable dishes home, and glass is still definitely out of the question. Someday, when Matt and I have our own house and family, we will try to be better about that. It's all a work in progress after all, and for now we're just working on making sure everyone is eating a lunch at school so they can best function!

Some of the boys are taking university preparation courses for the first time this year, so we definitely want to see them functioning at their best. Their parents work extremely hard to keep them in this home and doing their best, so it's the least I can do to help get them eating some lunches to be healthier, happier and smarter.

I'm a little nervous for my own schooling this year, but I'm going to do my best. Thankfully, I have writing here to keep up some social activity and keep myself doing something I love. I know I went on a hiatus for a while, but I think it's bringing me back better than ever now! I wouldn't have been able to write like this during the past few months, just some horrible writers block and being so busy, but now I'm ready to go.

School work will come first, but when I get bored or stuck, I'll turn to writing here! I might get a little bit more personal this year, and take some different angles, but it'll still be the same old me. And, for the first time, I'll be sharing fall with you and I can't wait for that!

What are you up to this fall? Leave me a comment below to let me know!

-Erika Elise