Fall in New York: Apples, Pumpkins & Fun Colors

The beginning of Fall always brings a sad feeling to me. The long sunny days are gone, sooner than later it gets cold and then the sweater, the jacket and all of that paraphernalia on my shoulders... Just "not" a happy thing!!
However, I have to admit, this Fall has been one of the prettiest ever... The colors around are breathtaking. Yellow, orange, red and brown have taken over the Hudson Valley and I cannot get enough of so much beauty...
Last weekend, the temperature was still comfortable enough to venture out and go apple picking... Camera in one hand and my two girls on the other, we took a trip to Lawrence Farms Orchards in Newburgh. Just an hour away from New York City, this place is awesome, so much fun for kids and grown-ups too. It feels like the biggest celebration of Fall is going on there.
From the moment you get out of the car, that repressed country ego inside, seems to possess you and you just want to get muddy, dirty, "hands-on" and pick some apples, pumpkins or whatever vegetable your mind can think of.Armed with a wooden wagon, the little ones loved the ride along rows of apple trees and pumpkin patches, as they stuffed themselves with a zillion grapes of all kind and colors. Once the "farming fever" wore off, my girls discovered Lawrence Farms Little Village, a super cute little town, reminiscent of an old-fashioned New England Farm Town. A fantastic playground, perfect for children to let their imagination fly. Nothing is misssing there, the church, the firehouse, the post office, the jail... So much pretend play around, you could make a movie right there!!
A horse-drawn carriage ride and a visit to the farm's Country Store made a good ending to this adventure. I definitely, had fun picking fruits and vegetables, but "no way" I will get into making jellies and preserves. No worries though, that store is packed with all kind of homemade "yummy" goodies, cooking books and crafts.
Lawrence Farms Orchards is having apple picking until November 8th. Later on, they switch to their Christmas schedule, which sounds fun too... Really, when your nerves are fed up with the city and your whole self is about to explode, take a ride North... It's amazing how the world changes, only 50 miles away.


Quick and Easy!! A Halloween Treat for Little Pumpkins

A few days ago, I had to come up with some treat for my daughter's birthday party at school. Something easy to carry, not messy and as she requested "something different, not a typical goody bag".
The "party" stores were out of the scope then, so I decided to land at Michael's, where I usually get so inspired, I could buy the whole store. As usual, my imagination flew away and before I reached the register, everything went back to the shelves. In reality, the projects that my mind creates are totally different from the ones my hands can make... Let's make it clear... I'm not that crafty, I'm not an artist and I don't have time to try.
So, once more Michael's made my imagination work. This time on something that I was able to put together and finish.... Yaaay!! M&M's tin boxes filled with colorful crinkle paper, a wind up Halloween monster, a mini chocolate bar and of course, lots of M&M's.
Kids were overjoyed with their treat and even the teachers complimented my colorful idea. In a minute, I set up a table with twenty of these tin boxes and added cupcakes topped with frosting in M&M's colors. Instead of the big "m", my cupcakes had a big "n" as for Naomi, my daughter's name... The table looked "great".
With Halloween around the corner and so many activities to prepare, I just thought this idea could be a good one to share, especially for the littlest ones. It is easier and safer to hand them a tin with everything inside, rather than having them pick from a bowl. And... you know what was great also? The price, each tin box was a dollar, each toy was a dollar too. Add a bag of mini chocolate bars, a bag of M&M's and "listo"... Ready to have fun!!