October’s Monthly Reminders

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You were right.  As much as I miss summer, once I get over the mourning period of September I totally get into the spirit of fall.  In fact, I’m super happy and full of snuggly cheer until about January 2nd.  Until then, I’m loving hot cider, sweaters, and chilling out in front of the fireplace.

In this busy time of year, it helps to have a list of reminders which frees up time for the fun stuff.  I thought I’d let you in on my monthly reminders, and if it’s something you enjoy I’ll keep it up each month.  If not, no worries– it’ll stay hidden in my to-do notebook and won’t bother you again.

With only one free weekend this month, you’d better believe I’ve already started checking things off this list.  Especially the last one.  {wink.}

  • Whirl the last of summer’s basil into a yummy pesto.  Freeze it, then you’ll have some on hand when you need a bit of summer in the middle of winter.  This recipe from the Food Network is especially delicious and has directions for freezing.  If you have a recipe that uses pesto, could you comment with a link?  That’s the missing key to this equation!
  • Time to put the garden to bed.  For me, that means scrubbing out flower pots and planters with a bleach solution, cleaning and organizing garden tools, and mulching leaves to put over perennials.  In my dreams, I get that done in one day.  In reality?  I’ll be finishing up in December, or maybe April.  Just keeping it real.
  • Since we like to use our deck through the fall, we’ll wait until next month to wash and store the furniture.  Right now, we’re trying to keep the deck free of leaves, pack up the kid’s water table, empty the planters, and bring in most of summer’s accessories.  Now if would just stop raining we could actually get out there!
  • Halloween will be here before you know it.  Try to get costumes ready well in advance to avoid running out to the party store to pick over empty aisles.  Both Noodle and Bee have free costumes this year due to a giveaway I won two years ago and an amazing hand-me-down handmade witch costume.  Planning ahead can help you get Halloween costumes for next to nothing! 
Bee’s quadruple handed-down sweet pea costume from last year which he loves.  Obviously. 😉
  • Be on the lookout for great deals on Halloween candy.  If you play your cards right, you can score some on sale stacked with double coupons at your grocery store, or use rewards from pharmacy chains like CVS to get it for FREE!  This is a double-edged sword here in Casa Lemonade.  If there’s candy in the house, I’ll eat it.  But sales are hard to pass up.  The solution might seriously mean giving it to my mother-in-law to store at her home until Halloween.  You think I’m kidding. 
  • Time to give the grill a good cleaning.  We’ll use ours throughout the winter as long as it’s not freezing, so by cleaning it now we can ensure it’s ready without having to stand outside in the chilly weather getting it ready.
  • On the not-fun-but-important-to-do list is scheduling a heating system tune-up before the first cold snap hits.  That’s when it’s hard to get an appointment, and if there’s an issue with your heat then it’s best to know now and not when you need it!  Also on our list is filling our fireplace’s propane tanks.  Mundane, but if the propane runs out on a night we want a fire we’ll be sad.  Plus I probably didn’t take my own advice in the first part of this reminder and our heat isn’t working so we’ll need the fireplace for warmth.  Keeping.  It.  Real.
  • Before the house becomes closed up for winter and the garden hose stored away, I like to take some time to rinse out and disinfect indoor trash cans, diaper pails, litter boxes, etc.  Because once winter hits you will not find me outside with freezing cold water giving them the cleaning they need to stay “fresh.”  And winter in these parts is a loooooooooong season. 
  • If you plan on taking family photos for holiday cards, I’d schedule them NOW.  I booked a photographer the first week in September and we’ve had to reschedule four times due to weather.  Moments like that make me thankful she also has 2 young kids and isn’t forcing us to take outdoor shots in a muddy field!  And after last year’s Mommy Misadventures at the Mall Photo Store and my own attempts to take their photos, we’re skipping the hassle and going straight to a pro who can chase after Noodle and Bee to get the right shots.
 Can you find Noodle in this photo from last year’s mall photo shoot?
  • There are wine snobs, and there are beer snobs.  {and then there are neither-snobs, and those people are awesome!}  My husband and I fall into the “beer snob” category with a love of craft beers and microbrews.  It’s a great time to taste seasonal brews including pumpkin ales.  Our favorites are Southern Tier Pumking, Dogfish Head Punkin, and Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale.  That’s what we’ll be sipping in front of the fireplace this month.  If you like wine, chime in with your favorites– I’m not opposed to trying new things.
What’s missing from the list, any October must-dos I forgot?  Yay or Nay on the Monthly Reminder thing?  And your homework for tonight: 
I need ideas for recipes using pesto, wine or beer recommendations, and while you’re at it– chime in with what’s hot in your house for Halloween costumes this year!
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