At almost one year in our house, it seems like we have been there forever. We have settled in well and our day-to-day is second nature now. But there was still one more first for us to experience, the one we have been waiting almost an entire year for…Our first Halloween in our new home! So, let’s talk about Halloween. We started decorating at the end of September and spent the entire month of October amassing more and more decorations.

Au pif - A french saying that translated directly means “by the nose” and relates to things that you do by feel. I came across this phrase while looking for a recipe for an apple tart. Luckily I found the recipe I was looking for on the very same blog - Once Upon a Chef And now I feel like I need both of these things in my life more frequently.

Coleslaw. Of course! What can be said about coleslaw, really? It’s a good side dish, except sometimes it isn’t. I liked it a lot as a kid, but for a while I didn’t. Looking for recipes comparable to the one that I use just made my face scrunch up. None of them sounded good at all. There seem to be only two options with no middle ground: bland and boring, or overly complicated and off-putting.

In the middle of the St. Lawrence river sits an island known as Heart Island. Located atop this island is a castle which houses a tragic love story that pulls at my heartstrings even having heard it 100 times over the past 30 years. George Boldt, hotelier millionaire, started construction of this castle for the love of his life, Louise. When she died suddenly he halted construction and never stepped foot on the island again.

I love cast iron! Really if you buy only one pan, make it a cast iron. I have both stainless steel and nonstick pans in my arsenal, but the ones I simply cannot do without are my tried and true cast iron…or as Paddy calls them Cat-stiron. In our collection, we have a Dutch Oven which is the perfect pot for stews, soups, and roasts. Unfortunately for this guy, we hadn’t used him in a couple years, which meant his seasoning left a little something to be desired.

My darling Husband loves to grill! Over the years, we have been in some places where he was able to do so, but more where he was not. So after buying our house, he was itching to get something permanent set up for all of his grilling and smoking needs. What he ended up with was a great big charcoal smoker. He quickly and lovingly set some paving stone into the ground for his new prized possession to rest upon.

When looking for our house, the yard played a significant, although non-deciding, factor. We looked at houses on several acres, and some with barely any yard at all. The house we chose has a modest third of an acre. While on the smallish side, the yard is arranged well enough that very few of our windows look into any of our neighbors’ windows. And that was a pretty big selling point.

I am a mom. I am not just a mom, but I am a mom. And that means that I am ultimately (by the laws of nature and New York State) responsible for the two precious humans I have created. This is somewhat hard to explain… so, I’m hoping it doesn’t need much explanation for those in the parenthood boat. Even when I know the kids are safe and happy with their Dad or at their Grandma’s, there is a part of me that worries, that knows if anything were to happen I would be the one to shoulder that responsibility.

Who is this boy looking back at me? When did my chubby cheeked cherub turn into a skinny kid? I know it has been happening for nearly four years now, but looking at this picture nearly broke my heart. The little boy looking back at me is just that a boy! Not a baby, not a toddler…just a boy. Even his face has changed. It’s different now. All of a sudden, I have been thrown into a world I am not ready for.

I usually start blog posts with a topic in mind and then find or take some pictures to fit. Yesterday, though, we just played outside in the sun and I took some pictures. So, my post today is simply because my kids are adorable and the sun was out long enough for me to get some good pictures of them… You’re welcome.