Updated: Jan 13, 2021
In the summer, the kids are out of school and off routine, enjoying fun times in the sun. It's the time of year when I don't need to worry about school lunches nor am I fumbling around looking for lost hats and mittens that are absolutely needed during the fall and winter seasons of the school year. Ontario is notorious for extreme weather changes especially in autumn. Parents here are always kept on their toes during the school year because our weather forecast can drastically change from day to day: freezing cold in the morning, then warm by afternoon. Or hot one day, followed by frost the next morning. We're even on standby for the slight chance of snow falling in between warm and sunny days - we wouldn't be too surprised if this happens. Most of us though are ready for whatever weather Mother Nature decides to pick out from her hat, but it can sure prompt a headache when it comes to preparing for back-to-school. This means checking to see if the old sweaters, jackets or shoes from last year still fit and if not, you have to go through all the hand-me-downs or go out into mall madness to find them, along with every other parent in the city doing the same. I've even bribed my kids to try on their old sweaters, jackets and old snow pants in hot, swim suit weather, just to see if they will do for the upcoming year, or if I need to find the next size up. It's not fun but so necessary, just so you can be two steps ahead of the weather forecast in the fall.
In the midst of getting ready for a new school year, however, the headache of relocating those old hoodies that were thrown aside somewhere many months ago, is so easily cured when you start to see new Halloween decorations and home accents slowly creep into stores by the end of August. Suddenly, in the middle of a hot summer's day, looking for sweaters and hoodies becomes a real joy as I long for much cooler weather. Extreme weather changes - who cares. Those beautiful Halloween decorations making their way onto store shelves have a bewitching effect on my brain, making me excited to embrace those autumn vibes even when it's so hot outside and causes me to start looking out for Pumpkin Spice anything on the menus of our neighbourhood coffee spots. I now want summer to end fast and I begin to take out my numerous bins of Halloween goodies from the basement so that the decorations are ready to display outside as soon as September 1st comes along.
In August, we picked up a few gorgeous little home decorations from different stores in the city and added them to the Halloween decorations we already have to surround my daughter's study desk with some spooky fun. This really kicked off the haunting season and made the back-to-school spirit quite uplifting. I'll start with our first trip to our neighbourhood Michaels. Visiting Michaels near the end of summer is a fun tradition we have. These guys are always on the ball when it comes to having all of their new Halloween decorations ready for the picking. We visited this store near the end of August of this year, and we were thrilled to already see a refreshing display of new Halloween goodies for 2020.
The first collection of shelves that greeted us as soon as we entered the store, were adorned with bright oranges, whites and blacks. An adorable Halloween cat bookend that was too cute to leave behind, was the first thing to catch my eye. We already have some spooky decorative book accents, so this new Halloween cat bookend settled itself quite perfectly into our home decor mix. Finding new Halloween stuff to kick off the season is super fun and I get very excited to see the store aisles suddenly transform into the vivid colors and themes of a fresh new autumn season.
As we turned around the corner from the aisle of bright oranges and bold blacks, we were welcomed by a softer display of mystical greys and beiges. We spent almost an hour admiring all
of the beautiful little spooky tabletop accents from charming potion bottles to treat bowls. One little find that captured my attention was a handsome 11 inch R.I.P. wooden coffin box by Ashland. I love boxes and containers and I can already see this charming box becoming quite useful for holding small important things or knick knacks that don't have a home. It's back-to-school season so we are using this charming box to hold all of our little essentials: erasers, pencil sharpeners, hair bands, rubber bands, paper clips and staples. My daughter would prefer to keep her Hatchimals in there, so sure, why not. I think I may have to pick up another one which means ANOTHER trip to Michaels this week - ha ha!
The start of the Halloween season is certainly a fun one, but it also means that I have to control myself since I'm the type who can easily fall under the trap of the Halloween retail spell. The start of a super fun Halloween shopping experience, can easily end up with a little heart burn after the last item is scanned at the checkout counter, revealing a very scary dollar amount. These are super fun times, but also very dangerous! So during the start of the retail haunting season, when you're on the lookout for new decorative ghouls to join your crypt, try also to be on the lookout for sales, promotions and coupons because they can help to make your receipt look a little less spooky!