Spooky Cookies & Hopes for Halloween

I decided that Halloween had come early today, even if the rest of community hasn’t been quite caught up with us yet 🙂 The kids finished school for a couple of weeks and I made them a bag of half-term goodies. They were all from the pound shop and Home Bargains and weren’t more than ten pounds in total.

I wanted the break to be restful so I decided to get some retro games and easy crafts to do. I was surprised by how interested the girls were in playing Jacks. But now I think of it, they always enjoy the traditional games in Castle Ward. The simplicity of it seemed to really quieten them more anything modern does. I also got a chairs balancing game that is challenging even for me 🙂 It got us to sit together with some semblance of peace 🙂 The game morphed into my daughter arranging the chairs into little rows to make a “bus” and going in search of toys to put on the seats 🙂 I like seeing them coming up with their own ideas though, especially if it wasn’t the intended aim of the game 🙂

I made some really easy shortbread today. It was an experiment with a new recipe and was crumblier than expected, so I had to abandon the cookie cutters and just shape them with my hands. They definitely look homemade, especially after I let the girls loose with the icing and sprinkles 🙂 I had found some Halloween sprinkles for 50p and they had little skulls in them which the girls thought were cute 🙂 When they decorate cookies, they always eat ten sprinkles for every one that goes on a biscuit 🙂 They were trying to drink the icing out of the bowl today and I had to intervene.

I’ve tried to make the most of the free time I’ve had to write and get some headspace. I went to Botanic Avenue to write and have a pumpkin spiced latte in the sun 🙂 It looked warmer than it was. I sat outside and it was bitter but refreshing. I love looking at Botanic Avenue in the autumn though. I think it suits the season better than anywhere else I can think of. I read some of the Poisonwood Bible which I’ve slowly been working my way through and did some unintentional people watching since there was so much crazy activity there!

A sunflower I planted from seed that I’d almost given up on decided to flower in October 🙂 I’m proud of it and it’s choice to break with conventionality 🙂 My friend also gave me some lovely plants that had been flown over in a suitcase all the way from the Philippines 🙂

I’ve been addicted to this fudgy brownie recipe https://www.inspiredtaste.net/24412/cocoa-brownies-recipe/ recently. I have another brownie recipe I love but this one is low effort and yields great results considering you don’t have to add chocolate chunks to it 🙂 I’m thinking of attempting a chilli chocolate version using some cacao with chilli powder that I have in the cupboard. I love chilli hot chocolate so I imagine it will turn out even better and no one else will want them, so that means more for me 🙂

Last night, we had a candlelit board game night with hot chocolate. There’s something about reading or playing a game by candlelight that centres you and enables you to be in the moment. The girls liked the novelty of it too and the surprise hot chocolate before bed 🙂

They were telling me they enjoyed our drives to see the Christmas lights last year with gingerbread and milk, so we decided to do a Halloween version. It was a little early for it and we only spotted a few displays but the girls loved having milk and shortbread in the car and chatting 🙂 I find going for aimless drives at night calming and even if there isn’t anything out of the ordinary, it’s still nice to see your area with all the lights on and night closing in. There was a Halloween storybook sky tonight. It looked like the backdrop on covers of ghost stories 🙂 It was a faded blue with midnight blue clouds and ripples of orange peeping through. Even if we were overly optimistic about the Halloween decorations we hoped to spot, the drive was worth it just for that 🙂 I just wish I could have got a photo of it, but I was driving and cameras rarely seem to do justice to sunsets anyway 🙂

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