Life

What's So Special About a Trip to the Pumpkin Patch?

What's So Special About a Trip to the Pumpkin Patch? | Writing Between Pauses

Every October, we do a traditional visit to the pumpkin patch with Danny’s parents. They only visit about twice a year, so this is a big occasion for us. Last year, Forrest could have easily spent about 2 or 3 hours in the pumpkin patch. This year, he wasn’t quite as obsessed with pumpkins, but he still had a lot of fun.

We went to Lone Pine Farms in Eugene, which is where we go every year. I suspect they did not have a great pumpkin harvest this year; a lot of the pumpkins were rotten, damaged, or just starting to turn already… and the patch has only been open 2 weeks! We still found quite a few great pumpkins, though, so we can’t complain.

Pumpkin Patch Visit
Say Pumpkins!
Batman and Pumpkins
Lone Pine Farms

It was one of those perfect Fall days that feels absolutely perfect. It wasn’t too hot (mid-60s, a little windy), but it was sunny. The patch was crowded, but not like last year, so crowded that it felt claustrophobic. There was room to take all the photos I wanted of Forrest. It was just a day that felt really perfect and special.

Some of my friends often ask why our trip to the pumpkin patch is such a big deal. Well, first of all, pumpkin patches are really only open for one month a year. October. That’s it! That’s all the pumpkin patch you get! As well, the farm stands attached to pumpkin patches really depend on the business, as they often close for the season on November 1, or shortly after. Visiting local farms during the summer to buy produce, and then buying pumpkins from them instead of from a grocery store, helps me to support a local business.

Second of all, pumpkin patches are fun. There is always a lot to do. Lone Pine even has a whole playground set up so kids can play for a little while as their parents pay or browse the farm stand. There are games. There are hayrides. A cow train. Horses and goats to pet and feed.

It’s a special trip we take every year and one we all look forward to. If you don’t regularly visit a local pumpkin patch, you’re really, really missing out on an opportunity to not just have fun, but support a local business.

Family Photo at Pumpkin Patch

What’s your October tradition?

Inspiration Sunday: October 14

Inspiration Sunday: October 14 | Writing Between Pauses

Welcome to Inspiration Sunday! I used to this posts year-round on my blog, almost 6 years ago, but gradually stopped when I started making my blog less of a diary and more of a, well, blog. However, I like to do them throughout Blogtober because they are a nice break from having to write content that requires a little more thought and research.

You can read all my Inspiration Sunday posts from last Blogtober here. Without further ado, let’s hope right back into Inspiration Sunday!

1. Making Fall Memories

One of my best Fall memories is attending a birthday party for one of my best friend’s at a local pumpkin patch. I remember it being dark when my mom came to get me and I got a goodie bag that was in one of those shiny, mylar bags that was shaped like a witch’s head. The whole ride home I babbled on and on and on to my mom about the pumpkin patch, the games we played. I don’t remember any of it, but I do remember how excited I was (and realistically, as a parent now, how overtired I was).

I think about that every time I take Forrest somewhere to do something new. At 3, he’s starting to form more solid, long-lasting memories. He remembers when he hurt his arm in April, for example. And he remembers our trip to Idaho in July. But he doesn’t remember Christmas last year. It’s funny to think he’s building his lifelong memories of Fall right now and, honestly, as someone who loves Fall… I hope I’m building good ones for him.

2. Really, Really Good Tea

One of my first Blogtober posts was about tea and I actually found two teas I mentioned at the grocery store last week. For the past 3 years, I’ve been on, essentially, a coffee bender. I’m 100% about coffee 100% of the time when I used to be exclusively a tea drinker. However, in the past few weeks, I’ve been drinking more and more and more tea—and turning to it over coffee in the afternoon. Sometimes, you just need to be inspired and honestly, Salted Caramel Chai is a great way to be inspired.

3. Comfort

There is something about Fall that makes me just want to… be comfortable. To wear big sweaters. To wear my favorite wool socks. To drink a lot of warm beverages while watching my favorite, familiar movies. I don’t want to wear high heels or tight clothes. But I’ve realized lately that sometimes I behave in ways that avoid making me uncomfortable. I don’t stretch myself in my writing, because I’m comfortable where I am and I’m “good enough”—to try more makes me uncomfortable. But sometimes, being uncomfortable can be the best thing for us. Fall is a great season, because it reminds us that things change; we can’t live in Summer forever, the leaves have to turn so that we can have Summer again. So as much as Fall makes me want to be comfortable, I’ve been trying to find ways to actively move out of my comfort zone.

Things I Love: October 13

Things I Love: October 13 | Writing Between Pauses

You know what I love most about these posts? Being able to look back and see what was going on in my life this time last year. (You can read all my past Things I Love posts here.) It’s funny to imagine a year from now remembering this week through this very post.

It’s been a big week here! Danny’s parents are visiting, Forrest has had a third cold, and Danny had a day off yesterday. I’ve been working nonstop it feels like, plus I’ve been deep cleaning just about everything in my house. (Is this, perhaps, the Mrs. Hinch effect?) I have a lot of things on my list this week, but as usual, I’ve narrowed my TiLT to just three.

1. Fall Leaves

TiLT 1
TiLT 2

It’s so funny that some trees are already completely gone over to yellow, orange, or red; some trees are still half-and-half; and some trees, like the gigantic cedar just outside Danny & I’s house, are still completely green! I’m so thankful this year that the changing leaves is less all-at-once and more one-at-a-time. It gives me a little bit more time to enjoy those leaves (and take photos like these ones).

2. Spooky Season Is Here

Danny and I have a rule that we don’t watch certain movies outside of October. They are specifically for the run up to Halloween. This includes the Saw series, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Coraline, and a few more. Every night for the past week, we’ve been picking one of our scary movies from our collection and watching it. I don’t mention this much, but Danny is a movie collector, so we have a ton of movies—and I’m really grateful for it this time of year! I love finishing my workout, then going home to cross stitch and watch a classic scary movie!

3. Early Birthday Treats

Birthday Gift to Myself
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Loose Powder

My birthday is the 20th and I may or may not be turning 30 years old. I’m trying not to actively freak out about it because 30 feels very big. I don’t remember being freaked out by turning 20, but I do sometimes wish I’d been a more teenager-y teenager instead of the anxiety monster I was! Anyway, it’s a big birthday, obviously, and I’m easing myself into it by getting myself a few treats.

And surprise, Danny gave me some early birthday presents this week too. He got me a new deck of Tarot cards, as well as a book on witchcraft that I’ve been wanting. I treated myself to the Too Faced Dew You foundation, as well as a new pot of It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores, my favorite setting powder of all time. I’ll have a full review of the foundation next month, but gosh, I love it already; it smells like watermelon!

Well, that’s it for this week. What have you been loving?

Monthly Wrap Up & Empties: September 2018

Monthly Wrap Up & Empties: September 2018 | Writing Between Pauses

Originally, I planned to do an Inspiration Sunday post for Blogtober today. But then I realized I had September empties to discuss and it felt more important to do this post. Well, maybe important isn’t the right word… rather, it just seemed to fit better!

September was a big month for us: we were super busy with back to school, Forrest’s birthday, and lots of stuff. And that trend isn’t letting up in October. I have Blogtober, of course, and my birthday on the 20th. Forrest and I are on a mommy-son trip this weekend (I’m writing this in advance, don’t worry!). Next weekend, we have Danny’s parents visiting. Then the last weekend of October will be our Halloween weekend. Then suddenly it will be November. Whew!

I have a lot to talk about for this wrap up, so let’s get started!

Empties: Everything I Used Up

Empties 1

1. OGX Coconut Miracle Oil Shampoo: I reviewed this shampoo here. I love this shampoo and it’s my current favorite. Of all the shampoos I’ve used, it’s the only one that really soothes my scalp and leaves my hair feeling nice. At this point, that’s all I ask!

2. Love Beauty & Planet Murumuru Butter & Rose Magic Masque: I used this mask to help repair my hair after a disastrous PR shampoo I received. (I’m not even reviewing it, it’s that bad!) But I loved this mask! It smells lightly of roses and was so thick and lovely. It immediately helped my damaged, dry hair. You can buy it here.

3. Bliss Drench & Quench Moisturizer: I reviewed this moisturizer here. It’s not my favorite moisturizer ever, but it wasn’t awful. It was mostly just very expensive! This little tub lasted about 6 weeks and cost $20. It’s not a repurchase, that’s for sure.

4. Rosehips Oil: I recently added rosehips oil to my routine to help my dehydrated skin. As you probably know, I sing the praises of jojoba oil for removing makeup and helping improve my skin. However, jojoba as a moisturizer can give me a lot of texture. So I added rosehips oil as a sealant after my moisturizer to help my skin absorb a bit more. It has helped a lot, but I don’t love this one; I suspect the orange oil it’s mixed with hasn’t been helping my skin much!

5. Coty Flawless Complexion Tinted SPF Moisturizer: I discussed this SPF moisturizer in my Ipsy bag review here. I love this SPF, which sucks because it was such a teeny tiny tube! But it is absolutely lovely, hasn’t made me break out, and wears great under make up.

What I’ve Been Up To

Remus 1

Yes, that is the very rarely featured Remus. If you didn’t know (and most probably don’t), I have a beloved chocolate lab named Remus (as in Remus Lupin, the greatest werewolf). Despite playing second fiddle to Forrest, Remus remains my biggest baby. I don’t have any reason for this photo other than I took it while I was doing product photos for my Ipsy bag in September, Remus looked cute, and I can’t resist his big, golden eyes.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few things I enjoyed from September here for your enjoyment!

1. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger: I impulsively borrowed this book from the library because the jacket contained the words “Highgate Cemetery” and “Victorian.” For whatever reason, when I started it, I thought it would be set in Victorian times. It is absolutely not; it’s set in the early 2000s, which leads to some truly hilarious ensembles worn by the main characters (remember white denim skirts!?). That being said, I still really enjoyed it. Highly recommend! How’s that for a tiny review?

2. Dr. Death: I started listening to this podcast after it was recommended on My Favorite Murder. This was a tough podcast for me to get into, because as I’ve written before, my grandfather was paralyzed by a neck surgery. The center of this podcast is a neurosurgeon who performs bad, irresponsible, and devastating neck and spinal surgeries; he paralyzes multiple people and kills a few. That being said, I really enjoyed it.

3. Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams: I have been waiting for this book on digital hold from the library for weeks and finally, I got it! I was so excited to read it. It’s set on a fictional island off the coast of New York where wealthy families summer for years on end. It was so good and kept me captivated the entire time.

4. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson: Another book I had waited for weeks on hold! I keep doing this thing where I put holds on books, they take ages, and by the time I get them, I’m not “in the mood” to read them. I had to force myself to read Truly Devious about 4 days before it was due and I am SO glad I did! It was excellent and I found myself so disappointed that the sequel isn’t out yet. If you like mysteries and murder podcasts (which play a surprisingly pivotal role!), you’ll love this book.


Oh yes, Fall is finally here! Gosh, it feels like time goes by so fast! I hope you’re having a great October and you’ve been loving all the cozy Blogtober content around lately.

Things I Love: October 6

Things I Love: October 6 | Writing Between Pauses

Welcome back to another edition of Things I Love (or TiLT)! If you’d like to read past TiLTs, click here.

How is your October going so far? If you’re doing Blogtober, are you drowning yet? I swear, the past week has been the fastest of my life. I really thought I’d have more time with Forrest in preschool, but I feel like I somehow have even less time.

Thankfully, it’s the best time of the year! I love, love, love October. Danny and I are on a little vacation this weekend (oh la la) so he can attend a teacher’s union event; Forrest and I are therefore having a little mommy-son bonding time. You can follow me on Instagram for photos from our little trip. MAKE SURE TO LINK.

Without further ado, here’s everything I’ve loved from the first week of October.

1. Happy Birthday, Forrest

Sunday was Forrest’s birthday. It’s hard to believe that I’m the parent of a 3-year-old and not a baby anymore. And each day, I am consistently impressed with the wonderful, kind, caring, gentle boy he is. He loves nothing more than reading books, coloring, and playing with blocks. He loves school in the way that I loved school (which makes me so so proud). There are a million and one perfect, wonderful things I could write about Forrest, but I’ll keep this short: celebrating my boy is always going to be one of the best parts of my week.

2. Apple Picking & Assorted Apple Desserts

Technically, I went apple picking last week. However, I’ve been making apple everything because I have about 10 pounds of apples in my house right now! I’ve made apple strudel, apple pie, apple hand pies, applesauce, and, of course, caramel apples. It’s a nonstop apple party at our house and it’s so, so worth it. (And if you don’t go apple picking, I highly recommend it! Support your local orchards!)

3. October Traditions

Do you have a very specific October tradition? Mine is these cookies. In the first week of October, I have to buy and bake a box. It’s just the way I start the month! I got these ones mid-September to bake with Forrest before his birthday, but during the week, I definitely picked up a new box to make! They’re the perfect little cookie. Yes, I know they are processed as hell. Yes, I know they aren’t really that good as far as cookies go. But I love them. They are nostalgia in a box!

Here Are 5 Great Spooky Podcasts!

Here Are 5 Great Spooky Podcasts | Writing Between Pauses

If you’ve read my blog for a while, it should come as no surprise that I listen to hundreds of podcasts a week. Yes, hundreds. I always have a podcast going while I’m cooking, cleaning, working, writing, or just sitting around. I always am listening to something because I get easily bored.

I’ve written two posts about my favorite podcasts which you can read here and here.

For this blogtober, I wanted to share 5 of the spookiest, scariest podcasts I listen to. Some of these are historical, some of them are designed to be spooky, and some are just haunting.

1. Lore

I’ve written about Lore before, but it goes without saying: Lore is super popular because it is so good. It’s one of those podcasts that is short enough for those who like short podcasts and good enough for those who don’t care. Each episode is meticulously researched and performed; you’ll learn something and be delightfully creeped out.

2. The No Sleep Podcast

No Sleep is an anthology-style podcast that sources it’s material from the subreddit, NoSleep. Basically: creepy stories written by random people around the internet, trying to write the most convincingly “real” scary story. NoSleep is one of my favorite subreddits to read and the No Sleep Podcast somehow makes them scarier. Definitely don’t listen to these right before bed.

3. Stranglers

Stranglers isn’t a scary podcast. But it’s a scary podcast. In the early 1960s, the Boston Strangler terrorized women and communities. But worse than that: the wrong person might have been arrested. This podcast does a deep dive into the lives of the victims, the women who survived, the women who were afraid, and the culture that allowed the Boston Strangler to thrive.

4. Unexplained

Unexplained is a podcast that does exactly what it says: details unexplained events. The first episodes I listened to were the season 2 episodes about the Dyatlov party deaths in the Ural Mountains. There was so much information I had never read previously. Meticulous research and spooky circumstances make this the perfect podcast to enjoy alongside a cup of coffee and all the lights on.

5. Haunted Places

Haunted Places is a podcast that visits, you guessed it, haunted places and details the histories behind them. I love podcasts that include the real history as well as the legends and this podcast combines both excellently. I also am fascinated by everything haunted (shout out to 12-year-old Michelle watched “Most Haunted” specials on the Travel Channel) and this feeds that love excellently.

Monthly Wrap Up & Empties: August 2018

Monthly Wrap Up & Empties: August 2018

After lots of hemming and hawing, yes, I'm combining my monthly wrap ups and my monthly empties posts! I feel like it just makes sense, as often I end up talking about very similar things.

August felt like an absolute blur. We've been busy the entire summer (with way more social obligations and other things than usual), but August felt like a lot. A good a lot. Usually by the time September arrives and Danny goes back to work, I'm excited for him to get back into a routine so that I can get back into a routine. But for the first time ever, I got very sad about him going back to work. Because, at the same time, Forrest will be starting preschool 2 days a week and honestly, I just can't handle it! What am I going to do with all my time? 

Probably stuff it full of more hobbies and obligations, let's be real. 

August 1
August 2
August 3

3 Good Things from August:

1. I finally got my hair cut. I try to keep this quiet, but I didn't get my hair cut for nearly 3 years. Forrest had just been born and my mom took me to get my pixie cut trimmed. And that was it, the last hair cut I got was December 2015. 2015! 3 years! My ends were wrecked, at least to me, but my hairstylist was extremely proud to see they were not bad at all. In fact, she said I could have gone another 3 years and not lost much more length. Don't tempt me. 

2. The leaves started to change. Fall seems to start a little earlier every single year. I started noticing some yellow-tinged leaves around the end of the month. The tree outside my house is maybe 10% yellow today. I get so excited for the beautiful Fall colors... I have to remind myself to be patient! We'll be raking leaves soon enough. 

3. I started collecting Fall candles. Uh, sorry to rush the end of summer (except I am not sorry!!), but in August, I started nabbing up cheap Fall candles wherever I could. My local Wal-mart had one of my favorite Yankee Candle scents, Sage & Citrus, on clearance, which of course meant I bought 3 of them! My local TJ Maxx has also had some amazing Yankee Candles and off brands with amazing scents. I need my house to smell like cinnamon and caramel for about 4 months straight, so I'm happy. 

Empties 2
Empties 1

My Empties

1. Everyday Aromatherapy Calming, Lavender Chamomile: I got this body wash/bubble bath at TJ Maxx for around $6. It's one of my favorites; I really love the smell of lavender, I know it's "old lady-ish" or can be, but gosh, it's relaxing! Danny and I finally used this one up so we could start a eucalyptus and mint scented one we got at the same time. 

2. Bath & Body Works Fresh Sea Salt Mango Body Spray: I rarely ever use up body sprays, because I tend to accrue them faster than I can ever use them. However, I've made it my mission to start using up the things I have lying around. This was the first to go and I wanted it done by the end of summer. I am starting on last year's winter scents now, so wish me luck! 

3. Pores Be Pure Mud Mask: This is one of my favorite masks, but by the end of the tube, I was tired of it. I used it exclusively the last two weeks. Can you tell I'm clearing out clutter!? This mask smells amazing though--like strawberries--and really does give a good pore cleaning. Highly recommend.

4. Hey Honey Copper Peel Off Mask: The next 3 bits are from my August Ipsy bag. I managed 3 uses out of this little tube, which is perfectly acceptable. I just didn't feel like this mask did anything. It is very pretty though! 

5. VenEffect Pore Minimizing Face Wash: My bonus item from my Ipsy bag, I got maybe 6 face washes out of this tube. I liked the smell of it, but didn't notice it doing much as I didn't receive a large enough amount to really get to use it much. 

6. Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence: Listen, here's the thing: I talked some shit on this essence in my Ipsy bag review and I take it back. I only got maybe 4 uses out of this little tube, but 4 uses was enough to know that this improved my skin texture and redness by leaps and bounds. Leaps! And! Bounds! I hate that it's $80 for a full ounce.  

7. Wet'n'Wild Cushion Foundation: My favorite foundation of all time and I've used my 3rd compact of it. Sorry, not sorry. It's so good! 

August 4
August 5
August 6

3 Things I Read, Watched, or Listened To:

1. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater: I read this book a while ago, but I've been catching Danny up on the Raven Cycle via audiobooks. So this is something I listened to this month. I forgot how lovely this book is (and yet, how annoying I find all the car stuff) and I'm glad Danny is finally experiencing it!

2. Overdue Podcast: Overdue is a book podcast that I started listening to. I listened to one episode about a book I like, then started listening to all of them. I've been bouncing between episodes; I listened to the Twilight episode, then all their 50 Shades episodes, now I'm only some more serious ones. If you like listening to podcasts about books, this is a good one. 

3. Enchanted Falls Trilogy: One of my favorite authors (Emma Prince) who writes exclusively Scottish romances released the first in a trilogy at the end of July; then 2 other authors released the 2nd and 3rd books through August. The 3rd book is written by my least favorite author ever (I won't go into it, but trust me: it's bad). However, the first 2 in this series were amazing. I'm still working on the 3rd because it's a slog. 

I hope you all had a lovely August. What were your 3 favorite things about the month?

July 2018 Wrap Up: Road Trips & Reading

July 2018 Wrap Up | Writing Between Pauses

Wasn't I just writing a month wrap up? I swear, it was just yesterday. It's that time of year where time seems to start moving a lot faster than in moved in, say, January or February. I was just on the phone with a preschool about getting Forrest registered; pretty soon, it will be his birthday, then mine, then Thanksgiving. I'm excited for the Fall and Winter, but time seems to move so fast... then slams to a halt in January. Just me? 

July was a very busy month for us, and yet, I find myself not really knowing what to write for this wrap up post! 

1. Road trips

Pool photo

We made our annual pilgrimage to Idaho at the beginning of July. And thankfully, we got to spend one day in the pool (courtesy of my brother-in-law's wife's family, so my in-laws-in-law?). Forrest spent nearly 3 hours swimming until I had to forcibly remove him; he was so tired, but loved the pool so much! It's so funny that I hate swimming and I have a pretty severe fear of the water, and yet, Forrest has been a water baby from the moment he was born. He loves baths and swimming and pools. He's also extremely extroverted and, uh, I'm not. 

But we had a lot of fun in Idaho, even though it was hot, hot, hot the entire time! 

2. Making Time

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Flamingos

In previous summers, I've always had these grandiose plans of things we would do... and we ended up not doing any of them because either I was working too much, trying not to spend money, or a combination of both. This summer, I decided to say: honestly, screw it! Let's just go! Yes, Wildlife Safari is expensive. Yes, gas is expensive. Yes, eating dinner out is expensive. But life is short. We only get one go around with Forrest as a toddler. We've made it to the coast so far this summer, and now Wildlife Safari, and the Boise Zoo. We have a few more things on our list, but I feel really good about making time as a family to do fun things together, make memories, and get out of the house!

3. Joining the library club

Everyone knows I'm a voracious reader. I subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, but I may be canceling that soon now that I've got a library card! I've put it off for ages because, living outside city limits, our library card costs money. However, when you divide it out, it's only $4.50 a month! I've already read 10+ books, via the library app and borrowing from the library. Totally worth it. It's made July even better1 

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I hope you had as good of a July as we did! What was your favorite highlight?