October at a glance - what are we up to this month?
Well, here we are again. Another month has passed and we are now into October.
October is the start of my favourite months.
October is the month that Craig and I finally got together and it will be 16 years this year. Although I think this year we will just be celebrating with a nice meal. I just want to make it through this year and hope next year will be amazing with no pandemics!
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As I have said a few times we all love Autumn and we can now get fully involved in lots of lovely Autumnal goodness. There are quite a few crafts you can do this month especially with leaves. We love to go out and collect leaves in lots of lovely colours and make crowns, hedgehogs and leaf rubbings. Conkers are a great one to look out for this time of the year and, if you can collect quite a few, you can have a go at making your own detergent (we plan on doing this) You can get a hold of some resin on amazon and create the most beautiful keepsakes which we love doing, even things like an acorn paperweight.
So what's new?
More restrictions have been put in place, which in all honesty make no sense but we have to just get on with it, so yet again we still can not go and visit Nana. It has now been a long 7 month since we last had a cup of tea with Nana in her garden, which is really sad, but if there is a virus, it is to protect her as she is high risk. Nothing else really applies to us if I am honest as we don't drink so we don't go to pubs. (I think the last time I was in a pub was 8 years ago!) It is just crazy to me that you can go to the pub or a restaurant, where lots of other people are, but you can't go and sit in your Auntie's garden for a cup of tea. We can not celebrate birthdays with family, and it is looking likely that we won't be able to celebrate Christmas with them either. However I am looking on the bright side of life, We are well, alive, we have food, water and we have each other.
We had a clear out at the start of September and I was really surprised that Elliot let us donate some of his teddy bears as he is attached to every single one. We donated some books too and old clothing. October is Harvest month and we like to donate to the local food banks and help out when we can.
Summer managed to go in the car for over 30 minutes without being sick, which is actually amazing for her. As some of you know, she is a 7 year old Romanian rescue, who makes herself sick when travelling. We have had to deal with this for 7 years now and only recently she has decided to let us regularly take her to the beach in the car. (This is huge for her) I am hoping one day we can take her to the forest or something, like we do with Iris, but it is one step at a time. We have tried various treatments for her and nothing works except sedation, which she had when we moved because it was such a long journey.
We cancelled our National Trust membership, I know this seems strange for us, as we are massive supporters and they are a charity, but it is a lot of money to be paying when they are not opening most of the places we visit. We probably will reinstate it once things are back to normal but for now those extra pennies will go into our Christmas treats box. We have really thought about this one and decided to let NT go because we have visited the least out of all of the other places we are members of.
We are going to get the Halloween decorations out the first weekend in October, I think we all need a little escape from the last few months. We won't be putting decorations outside this year or even in the window, as I don't want to encourage anyone to knock on the door. I feel a little bad putting a sign in the window saying no Trick or Treaters, but this may have to be the case as two of us are high risk.
Not much has changed with his arm since last month if I'm 100% honest. It has been a slow recovery and he has been getting annoyed with himself because of it. He really wanted to be back on his bike but his physio firmly put a stop to that because he still has not gained the strength back in his arm just yet. He has been exercising it with different weights and been on the cross trainer a few times and he has even been back on the piano and he can now straighten his arm, so that's a start. Sadly I think he is going to have to wait until the new year before he can get back on his bike in 100% health. ( I am not keen on him getting back on it right now anyway)
So, Adam has been at college since the start start of September, and honestly he has adapted really well. Adam is the child that has been home educated the longest out of the three, so a secondary school setting is just strange to him. He is currently doing a home ed GCSE course one day a week and does Maths, English & Science. We have heard they may be adding more courses to the Home Ed section so we have our fingers crossed, even if it means another day a week at college (he is secretly hoping they add Geography as he has his heart set on an agriculture career) Toby and Elliot have been getting into a routine, when Adam is at college we do quite a bit of Maths, English and Science with them throughout the day and the rest of the week we do learning together. Our Topic at the moment is The Romans, so we have been visiting sites of interest and have so far been back to Chesters Roman Fort, Arbeia & Corbridge Roman Town we have more in the diary for October. We have so far enjoyed making Roman biscuits, posters, stop motion videos, our very own tabulas and lots more Roman based stuff. We incorporate nature into our learning quite a lot, so we are going to be looking at hibernation & migration for October. We are also keen on exploring mushrooms in more detail too.
We are going to be doing some natural dye experiments with natural ingredients (Plants) and will see what the outcome of that is.
Let's face it, it is not going to be like it usually is. We won't be going to Beamish Halloween evenings, we won't be going trick or treating and we won't be going to any parties this year. However we will be doing lots of other fun Halloween based things to make it special for the boys, as they love Halloween more than me ( I love it a lot!) We will be watching family friendly movies (see my list here), making toffee apples (see my recipe here), we are going to make lots of yummy biscuits and cupcakes and I am going to make up a lovely little Halloween hamper for the three of them to enjoy, as they cant go trick or treating. I don't even think we will even bother with costumes this year if I'm honest, or we could maybe dress up whilst watching something spooky on Halloween itself.
I am so happy that my following is growing, I don't buy followers like some other bloggers do, (not all do) as I feel that's cheating, plus you can spot them from a mile away when one day they had 10k followers and the next they have 20k its just so obvious! I prefer real readers who want to read my content. I am happy with the rate it is growing at. I have had a blog for a few years now and previously had a different name for the blog as we didn't live in the North East. So technically it has been going less than a year under the current name and is doing fantastic. Strangely, Facebook is doing pretty well and my engagement is through the roof. You can't complain at that.
I did have quite a lot planned for September, but didn't get round to some of those posts, due to being busy with other things, however I do have a better schedule for October so I am really excited to be sharing some of my old favourite Halloween/October based posts and some new ones too. I have been making sure to take time for myself and my family as I have obsessed in the past with getting 'blog stuff' done, which ended up taking over my full day so I have been setting some rules for myself.
Adventures throughout October
This month we have a diary full of adventures and we are really excited that Autumn is in full swing now, so we can really take advantage of exploring the outdoors and finding some gorgeous leaves to do some crafts with. We plan to visit.... (I won't list everything otherwise this section will just go on and on)
Beamish museum (Yes again) why not when you have an annual pass
Preston park (we are wanting to explore more of the grounds) we also plan to visit Butterfly World.
We are hoping to visit Wynyard gardens this month and try out their brand new Superworm trail. (Elliot is Julia Donaldson mad)
Lots of nature reserves including my favourite Low Barns
We are going fossil hunting in Yorkshire
Belsay for Halloween
We are hoping to get a few Halloween events booked for this month.
Yes I am mentioning Christmas in my October post.
I have already made a list of gift ideas and hope to start shopping this month to get it out of the way. I also want to get our Christmas treats like chocolates and goodies bought and put away, just in case that is the next thing to get stockpiled! I try to buy from shops because i'm not a fan of online shopping but I think we will have to get some things online this year.
Not to miss this month
The Secret Garden premieres this month. This was one of my favourite books growing up and I loved the original movie. We saw a preview of the new one a while ago and we think it looks fantastic so we will be watching that. We will make it a proper movie night as we have not been to the cinema in over 8 months (we used to go a few times a month) so I think we will set up a pic n mix station and popcorn station, maybe do some hotdogs and nachos too.
The Neighbourhood pumpkin trail
A lot of my friends in the states are doing this and it seems to have caught on here too. Set up some pumpkins and go and drive around your neighbourhood looking at them. I suppose you could set up something outside so kids could maybe take some treats but if i'm honest, someone would probably take the lot if we did that here. We will be heading to our favourite spot in Pickering for our pumpkins and will be carving them together at home for the trail. We like to pop a few outside and then a few inside too.
Local Halloween events
Look out for some Halloween events near you, we haven't found anything we really fancy going to this year, but there are still quite a few events on in the North East (Click Here)
The shops will start to sell the reduced Halloween sweeties 1st November, so look out for those for making some cookies, cakes and even some stained glass cookies! (I love a bargain)
Seriously it is everywhere, coffee shops, supermarkets, candles, you can't get away from it and luckily I love it but not everyone does.
This is the time to get out and look up, make sure you keep an eye on the clouds and when you get a clear night head outside. You can still see quite a bit even in the city but we love to head up to Kielder or even just in the middle of nowhere in Durham.
That is pretty much us for October, do you have anything planned?
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Check out these posts
Things to do at home and outdoors over October half term
Traditional Halloween Games you can play with your family.
How to have a Fang~tastic Halloween on a budget.
How to make a Halloween graveyard cake.