#Blogtober18: Quick hide the wrapper #chocolateweek
Today’s #Blogtober18 prompt is in honour of Chocolate Week (October 15th-21st). Chocolate is definitely one of my favourite things in life and, as “the UK’s biggest chocolate celebration” is held in October, it seems perfect to pair it with another of my favourite things – Halloween.
And I’m not the only one who thinks that they go well together as several of my fellow bloggers have already posted helpful recipes with seasonally sweet suggestions.
I have to admit that I didn’t know that Halloween bark was a thing but seeing as both Sophie of Soph-obsessed (Super Easy Loaded Halloween Bark Recipe) and Jenny of The Gingerbread House (Easy Halloween Bark Recipe) immediately suggested their bark recipes it obviously is. My emerging culinary skills very much liked that the word “easy” is included in both their titles, my sprinkle-obsessed three year old would have great enthusiasm for the decoration involved and it would be lovely to bag pieces up as something a little bit different to shop bought sweets for trick or treaters.
Not fully satisfied the urge to sprinkle or eat eyes yet? Then The Gingerbread House’s Jenny has also included instructions to make these Halloween Monster Bagels on her website.
All good things come in threes though don’t they? We have chocolate and Halloween, why not throw some wine in the mix too? Amanda of The Ana Mum Diary designed these Easy But Very Spooky Halloween Drinks one of which is alcoholic and one which uses a sparkling pear drink to ensure mini monsters have something to wash the chocolate down with too.
#Blogtober18: Perfect Recipes For You #nationalbakingweek
I got just a little excited at my first visit to a pumpkin patch last year (and the kids enjoyed it a lot too) and, even if supermarket bought, carving pumpkins has long been part of our Halloween celebrations.
Sadly though, we have often contributed to the annual more than 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin flesh waste so this year I’ve turned to my fellow bloggers for inspiration to make sure we don’t even lose one gram this time.
Pumpkin soup is my first recourse to dealing with the flesh of the orange fruit and invites special memories of our wedding reception where it was served as the starter – if we eat it this year at least I won’t have the worry of not spilling it all over a white dress. Deborah’s recipe over on her blog Country Heart and Home is not only titled “quick & easy” but also suggests “a glass of wine to wash it all down” so I’m sure I’d welcome this for a warming dinner – Quick & Easy Pumpkin Soup! Kerry at Blissful Domestication adds a bit of heat to the mix for her Spicy Pumpkin Soup and also explains how to save the seeds in order to create your own pumpkin patch ready for next year’s harvest.
And, before adding sugar to your scales, why not try Wendy’s Pumpkin Pasta as she describes on Daisies & Pie.
Just the words pumpkin pie are so evocative of all things Fall (American autumn) to me so I’m sure the taste would be positively transportative. Country Heart and Home’s Deborah has a recipe and step by step for Pumpkin Pie on her blog and anything that says “Serve with clotted cream, ice cream, whipped or pouring cream” gets my vote. Jane from Hodge Podge Days tried out a “really simple” Honey Spiced Pumpkin Pie and if you need a gluten free recipe then check out Jules’s Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe on her blog Pondering Parenthood.
Whilst Hodge Podge Days’s Jane’s boys loved her pumpkin pie, Jane herself thought her Halloween Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Frosting was “delicious”. Using “the flesh, the firm pale bit, not the slimy gloopy bit”, the amount of cake batter created made not only “one decent sized cake” but also “12 yummy cupcakes”.
The words “surprisingly easy to make” reeled me into taking further notice of Emma’s Savvy Savings’s Bake Pumpkin Spice Muffins post that describes trying out Aldi’s recipe along with her daughter as a great opportunity to introduce new vegetables such as pumpkin and squash to children.
That’s pie, cake and muffins covered but if it’s brownies or cookies you’d like to whip up then take a look at Claire’s suggestions on She Eats and Corina from Searching for Spice adds a spooky twist to her autumnal offering by including chocolate spiders on her Spiced Pumpkin Cookies for Halloween.
Have you been keeping an eye on all the additions to my Haunted halls, pumpkin patches and terrifying trains family-friendly Lincolnshire Halloween event list? If so, then you’ll have seen that I can now add horrifying hill to that headline as Visit Lincoln explains…
It’s not a trick, it’s a real family treat – so make sure you take part in Lincoln’s newest trail and track down some fantastic Autumn prizes!
We want everyone to take a leaflet and rise to the challenge of the fantastic free Uphill Lincoln Pumpkin Trail, which is bursting with half-term and Halloween fun.
This Trail has been devised by a partnership of the Bailgate Guild, Visit Lincoln and Lincoln BIG and uses the artistic talents of staff at The Little Pottery Studio at The Lawn.
It also follows in the footsteps of Lincoln’s traditional colourful family trails, which have won the city a worldwide following!
Visit Lincoln has drawn-up a brilliant Pumpkin Trail leaflet, which challenges families to find 44 pottery pumpkins and solve some fiendish clues. The pumpkins are going on display in the windows of shops and other businesses in the area which stretches from The Strait to Newport Arch.
Every pumpkin has been individually painted, including 20 decorated by Lincoln Minster School pupils, adding extra fun to this experience and the Halloween vibe is being heightened with the hanging of spooky black and orange bunting, as well as Lincoln Loves Kids bunting!
The Uphill Pumpkin Trail will run from Saturday, October 20th, to Sunday, November 4th. It’s so easy to take part. All families need to do is pick-up a trail leaflet from the city’s Visitor Information Centre in Castle Hill or participating shops and businesses – or simply download from the Visit Lincoln website at: www.visitlincoln.com/pumpkintrail then go exploring.
Bailgate Guild Chair Nicola Lockwood said: “This follows July’s Enjoy Uphill Lincoln campaign, which highlighted the unique offer and high level of customer service given by independent businesses in uphill Lincoln.
“It’s great that this trail is something that every family member can have fun doing. It’s a real bonus that it is free and there’s a massive list of fabulous prizes waiting to be won.
“Thanks to the generosity of businesses in this area, they include gift vouchers for everything from pottery classes to antiques and collectables, books and artwork through to delicious lunches, afternoon teas to flowers, entertainment and sparkling drinks,” added Nicola.
Visit Lincoln Chief Executive Lydia Rusling said: “This fun seasonal trail is a natural follow-on from the success of the Enjoy Uphill Lincoln campaign, which encouraged businesses to work together to bring more people to shop in the Uphill area and discover Lincoln’s world-famous tourist attractions.
“This pumpkin trail ties in perfectly with our Lincoln Loves Kids project, which aims to get more families involved in a wide variety of local activities. It is really like a mini Lincoln Knights’ Trail for the Uphill part of the city, and we’re sure it’s going to be a real winner for Lincoln.”
I’ve gone off topic for today’s #Blogtober18 post but if you want to check out what movies other bloggers have watched a thousand times then just click on the #Blogtober18 image below – maybe there’ll be a few horror films lurking in the links!
When I was getting upset at seeing all the back to school shop displays at the end of August I turned the corner of an aisle and came face to face with several shelves full of grimacing pumpkins and the thought of Halloween also looming on the calendar left me with a big grin on my face too.
Last year’s Halloween was definitely a cause for celebration in the Malpi household as Faith returned home from hospital following her heart operation just in time to join in the festivities but we’re definitely hoping this year’s run up to trick or treat time will be slightly less stressful.
If you’re looking for activities that are more fun than fearful, there are plenty on offer in Lincolnshire and just across the county border to keep your mini monsters amused.
As always – some events need advance booking, there are only so many pumpkins in a pumpkin patch and, of course, all live (and undead) events are subject to change so be sure to click on the links to check the details and phone/book before travelling.
Do you know of an event we’ve missed? Tell us about it in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to keep checking back in case we’ve found more.
We were expecting Faith’s AVSD (hole in her heart) operation to be in January. In early to mid October this was brought forward to November and within a few days we were then being called in to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester for the procedure to take place before the end of the month. One postponement later and the operation went ahead as planned the second time.
There are no words strong enough to express how incredibly thankful we are to the team at Glenfield Hospital – the outpatients department, everyone working in Ward 30, surgeons, PICU and everybody who supports them – for taking great care of Faith and fixing the hole in her heart and in the process shoring up her parents’ and siblings’ hearts too.
The second half of this year’s October may have gone in a slightly surreal blur but, thanks to the angels watching over Faith, both here and above, they gave her the strength to recover much quicker than expected and she was even home in time for Halloween and to see her brother, sister and daddy dress up for trick or treating.
Daddy was a zombie again, Luke quickly donned his choice of spider top on returning from school and Willow chose to accessorise her vampiric dress, ghost torch and claw treat bag with a fire fighter’s helmet, knight’s shield and explorer’s binoculars. Obviously.
Here’s hoping your mini monsters are happy and healthy enough to be behaving like little terrors this Halloween.
October 2017 is a very significant month which has lots of claims to fame.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Stoptober and Black History Month, it contains The Big Draw, World Space Week, Wool Week, National Knitting Week, British Egg Week, National Curry Week, Chocolate Week, Baby Loss Awareness Week, International Day of the Girl Child and International Babywearing Week, Apple Day, International Sloth Day and Halloween, to name but a few.
And not forgetting, most importantly, Daddy and Mummy Malpi’s birthdays and anniversary.
But, notwithstanding the significant number associated with my impending age celebration date, October 2017 is also important to us as it is Down Syndrome Awareness Month in the US.
In the UK Down’s Syndrome Awareness Week is held in March, encompassing the date of the 21st of the 3rd month as people with Down’s Syndrome (or Trisomy 21) have three copies of chromosome 21 but why wouldn’t we want to join in with our international community and dedicate a whole month to raising awareness, to “celebrate people with Down syndrome and make people aware of their abilities and accomplishments”?
Faith may have only been born just under nine months ago but she’s already achieved so much. She’s been able to breastfeed which we were told was unlikely, she has the most adorable chuckle, she attracts compliments wherever we go and has been signed up by specialist talent agency Zebedee Management, gives great cuddles, blows a fabulous raspberry, has lovely babble-y chats and she’s getting more and more mobile as she’s so determined to start exploring the world just like her big brother and sister.
And she’s certainly won the hearts of mummy, daddy, big brother and big sister.
I don’t want to consider what a world without my Faith would be like and I give thanks that, for the most part, we live in a country where people are kind and think that helping others should be the willing default option. When you give love you receive it in return and, if our as yet short introduction to the Down’s Syndrome community is representative, there’s a lot of love to go round.
October has always been my favourite month with birthdays, Halloween and an anniversary to celebrate and now it has a special relevance for my miniest mini too.
I might not be appreciating the start of the autumn season as much as I normally do due to the start of school but it does signify that Halloween is just around the corner and that still remains my favourite time of year.
In 2016 we marked the occasion with a themed family photoshoot with A. Rowan Photography which was great fun but, seeing as she’s taken her talent back to America, we’re going to have to keep an eyeball out for something else to do this year.
Fortunately there’s lots to choose from in and around Lincolnshire – you can take a walk around around a pumpkin patch or some haunted city streets or, if your toes tremble too much at the thought, then take the ghost train or bus. Whatever your deadly destination be sure to dress up to join in the frightening fun!
Some events need advance booking, there are only so many pumpkins in a pumpkin patch and, of course, all live (and undead) events are subject to change so be sure to click on the links to check the details and phone before travelling. And don’t forget to keep checking back in case we’ve added some more eerie entertainment to the list!