Try this simple and delicious Baked Pumpkin Donut recipe! Perfect to make with your family on the weekends!Read More
As you all know, this is my most favorite time of year! I think every season holds magic within but Autumn really gets me. I live in Los Angeles so I can’t really grasp the whole weather change, but even if it is still 80 degrees outside Fall is in the air. I love everything pumpkin and dressing up in costumes. This time of year marks the start of holiday baking which is my absolute favorite thing to do. It also is the time where sweet treats and candy begin to pile up. Which again, I’m all about!
Our family creates a lot of mini traditions through out the year. For example, during the Spring we visit the Flower Fields in Carlsbad. Summer time is filled with long beach days and sleep overs at the family beach house. We do pizza and a movie every Friday night. We love to celebrate every little thing and doing small traditions helps us create memories centered around just about anything. I started this caramel apple tradition when my son Ryan was just a baby. In our small apartment I dipped caramel apples and while Ryan was just barely two months old, Dan and I ate them together. Since then we’ve made them every year and as Ryan grew older he began to help decorate them.
For these I just use store bought caramel candies and melt them down smooth. I use lollipop sticks from the craft store and stick them into each apple. This year we decided to use fang gummy candies and sprinkles that look like eyeballs to decorate our apples. I put all the decorations into small bowls so we can all choose whatever we wanted. Be sure to lay out parchment paper for the apples once they are dipped in caramel and decorate them while the caramel is still soft. Be really careful as the caramel can be hot.
Once the apples hardened (and after we ate dinner) I cut one to share while we watched Nightmare Before Christmas.
We have some big time traditions this month like dressing up in different costumes and visiting a pumpkin patch. I also host an annual pumpkin carving party at my house. Though making caramel apples is important too and usually helps us kick off the Autumn season!
What kinds of Fall family traditions do you do?
Photos by Lily Ro Photography
Family Pajamas by Hanna Andersson
It is no surprise that we as a family are head over heels for Disney’s Mickey Mouse. Pretty much anything Disney related gets us excited. I frequented Disneyland Resort as a little girl and knew once I became a mom myself that we’d adventure through Disneyland together. It all started with Mickey Mouse, literally everything and we’re so happy to have partnered with Hanna Andersson to celebrate his 90th Anniversary!
My son and I used to go to Disneyland Resort once a week. Most days we’d drive over in the afternoon, ride our favorites, snack on a churro and head home. There were a few days during the month that we’d stay till the evening to watch the nighttime parade. Romping around the Disneyland theme parks soon became our thing. I knew Disneyland through out even before my son was born. BUT getting the chance to take him and re-see the parks through his eyes, was magical. There really is nothing more incredible than watching your children experience things, happy and exciting things. You know when their face lights up and they let our a deep giggle. Or when they stop in their tracks in complete aw. I also loved the feeling of his little hands wrapped around my leg when waiting in line for our favorite rides. Disneyland was our place.
My son, his name was Ryan, on his last day here on Earth we went to Disneyland. We woke up early and entered Disney California Adventure park being the first to enter that day! We ran straight for his favorite ride in Cars Land and rode it with giant smiles on our faces. You know, I had no idea I’d be forced to say to good bye to my Ryan that night. Though I have to believe that us being able to enjoy Disneyland together just one more time was meant to be. If you are familiar with our story then you know, that night we lost Ryan quick and out of the blue. It tore my inside out and our whole world crashed down. I share it all on my blog, but I’ll be the first one to tell you that how we lost him doesn’t matter. What matters is that we continue to live in his honor. What matters is that we still do the things Ryan loved to do. What matters is that we share how we kept living despite the hurt and pain thrown our way.
My first time back to Disneyland after my son passed was something I was dreading. I felt scared because I didn’t want a place that was so grand to suddenly became a dark place for me. I knew I had to go to just see, to just experience it now with Ryan up in Heaven. I had to go for him. So I went. That day was immensely sad with hints of happiness around every corner. Visiting Disneyland that day was when I really began to understand that I could feel sad and happy at the same time. Come to find out, I feel happy and sad nearly everyday now that is OK. It is OK to feel two feelings at the same time. I realized that Disneyland was still our place. It still held our memories and laughs. I decided to keep going just as we did before and even today it feels like Ryan meets us there.
My daughter Mila was born after we lost our son Ryan. In our family we speak of him daily and remember him out loud. Mila knows who her big brother is and she tells me that he lives in the sky. There sibling bond is like no other and I am so honored to call Ryan and Mila my children. Soon after Mila came into our lives we took her Disneyland. Mila now is two and adores anything Disney just like her mom and big brother. We frequent Disneyland Resort once a week and work in a few nights a month where we stay late for the nighttime parade. Mila enjoys different things within the park than her brother did, which I love to see. I love to see how they differ. What I find the most magical is that I can now walk around a place with both my kids at the same time, and that really doesn’t happen for me anywhere else. Disneyland is still our place.
You know, this motherhood of mine isn’t pretty and tied up with a bow. What happened to me is every parents nightmare. Though it happened to me and I am proud to think that God thought me strong enough to endure it. I believe in so many things but one thought I live by is, life isn’t about what happens to you, it is about how you react to what happens to you. Today my family of four visit Disneyland Resort any chance we get. For us it means we can all be together. When you see us together you will only see three, but our son beams from our smiles and the fun we have together as a family.
Disney’s Mickey Mouse will forever mean the most to us. We are so grateful for what Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Disneyland in general. When Hanna Andersson asked us to share why Disney’s Mickey Mouse was important to us, I couldn’t pass. I know he means different things to different families across the world. I’m just honored I could share about ours. We love the new Disney’s Mickey Mouse pajamas in celebration of his 90th Anniversary! I love that they are red, which was Ryan’s favorite color. The gold shines bright along all the memories our family has within Disneyland.
We’ve begun teaching Mila Spanish words in hopes of helping her become bilingual. My whole family speaks Spanish. With the help of my family and Canticos on the Nick Jr. app we’ve already given Mila a great start! Read about it here.Read More
Our time at Mickey’s Halloween Party and how we put together our Sleeping Beauty costumes! If you have any questions about Mickey’s Halloween Party, leave them in the comment section of this post and I’ll answer them!Read More
Recently we visited Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort and opened up my social media for any questions you had. I received over 80 questions about visiting Disneyland during Halloween Time as well as visiting the parks in general. I’ve answered the your frequently asked questions here! Plus, I’m sharing my favorite moments from our visit!Read More