My top moments of May 2020

Hello my beautiful darlings!

It is officially a new month! Can’t even believe it is already June! This year seems to be going by fast, despite all of the craziness that is going on. When you live with mental and chronic illness, it’s sometimes hard to focus on and realize all the good things that you have in your life. Often, your illnesses and the problems they cause can mask the happy moments, but it’s very important to remember that even though there is so much dark within our lives, there is also so much light. So today I want to try to start a series on this blog where at the end of the month/beginning of the next month, I share with you some of my happiest memories from that month because those are the memories that even on my worst days, I can focus on and smile. 🙂

Moment #1: Mothers Day

Mothers day this year was a day I was actually dreading. The week leading up to Mothers day, I was very stressed out and emotional. This was due to multiple reasons. The biggest one being, I always thought by this point in my life I would either have a child, be pregnant, or at least be in the planning stages. I never thought I would be sitting here realizing there is a high chance that I may never be able to biologically have kids. Realizing the state of my health and knowing I am nowhere near what I imagined I would be at 24, was really hard and weighed heavily on my heart that week. I was also feeling depressed over the fact that due to certain situations, our oldest dog Willie can no longer live with us at this time. It hurt knowing that I wouldn’t be able to be with all 4 of my fur children at one time but at least I would be able to see them all throughout the day. When Mothers day arrived, I still felt stressed but tried to just focus on making muffins for my mother in law. Before we headed over, my wonderful husband gave me a card that warmed my heart and really made me realize how blessed I am. He had made me a card on photoshop from all my pups with tons of pictures of them. He also wrote a poem from each one to me. I couldn’t help but cry. Mother’s day is my number one memory of the month because that was the day that I realized that even though my life isn’t where I thought it would be, one thing is true, I am still a mommy, my kids just have paws ❤

Moment #2: Getting my new desk

I know many of you probably don’t understand why this moment would be so important to me but it was more than just getting a desk. For many years now, I have had no space to call my own. If I wanted to do my makeup, I had to stand in front of my dresser which only caused my body pain. If I wanted to type, I would just transfer my surface to any available table or even my lap. Recording videos was always a headache because I would have to figure out a place to set up my chair. It was exhausting and not having your own space can really take a toll on you. When my husband set up my new desk in the corner of our bedroom, I almost started to cry. Finally, I had a space all to my own where I could create whatever I wanted to create. It was an amazing feeling and honestly has done wonders for my mental health.

Moment #3: Rescueing a baby Raccoon

Being a total animal lover, of course this had to make the list. I had gotten up to take Blue out like I do every morning when my grandma stopped me in the kitchen and let me know that she found a baby raccoon this morning in our yard. Besides for his one eye looking injured and not being able to open, he looked perfectly healthy and was very vocal. My grandma had him in a box with a towel on our back porch. I called my mom, since she has experience with rehabilitating animals, and she began to call other people she knew. She soon came down to give the baby some pedialyte and make sure he was warm. The little raccoon was so adorable and I even nicknamed him Rocket after Guardians of the Galaxy. We only had him for a few hours before my mom finally got in touch with a rehabilitator up near the Catskills who could take care of him. Turns out, he was really young and his eye was indeed infected but he is doing very well in the care of this guy. It felt good to be able to rescue this tiny helpless creature and get him to someone who was able to give him the care that he needed.

Moment #4: Taking Blue on his first real PA & socialization trip

One of the most crucial things that must be done when you have a puppy training for service work is socialization. Unfortunately, socializing during a pandemic is very difficult so we haven’t really been able to do so. However, this month I was finally able to take Blue out and do some real world socialization with him. My mom’s friend unfortunately, due to covid-19, had to close down her store. She was getting rid of and selling a lot so she invited us to come down to pick up anything we wanted. Since the shop was closed, the only people allowed to come were people she directly invited so everything was done in a very safe way. She told me I could bring Blue since the shop is right in town so I could sit outside with him and get him used to the sounds of traffic. Blue wound up doing an amazing job! Not only was he not scared of anything, not even the giant trucks that went by, but he consistently listened to me and his commands. Of course, he was excited meeting someone new but he quickly settled down and focused on me. I was even able to put a treat on his paw and have him leave it, something I didn’t think he would do in a new environment with distractions. Before this outing, I was getting pretty frustrated with him. As my trainer says, it’s completely normal at this age for them to test you. It’s like you take 500 steps forward and 5000 steps back. This can be mentally and physically exhausting though and at times, it’s very easy to start to doubt your ability to train and even your puppies ability to become a service dog. This trip though was exactly what I needed to be reminded that Blue and I are doing a great job and even though we still have a long road ahead of us, in my heart I feel like we are going to make it and he will become my service dog!

So there you have it, 4 of my top moments of the month. Of course, there were many other smaller moments that made up my month that bring a smile to my face. I encourage everyone out there who may be struggling with their health to try to keep track somehow of your highlights each month. There are different ways to do this, for me I keep track of them in my digital bullet journal. The important thing to remember is no memory or moment is too small. Anything that makes you smile should be documented because it’s those moments that you can look back on during a flare up or bad mental health day and be able to smile. It’s those moments that shed a glimmer of light into an otherwise dark world. And it is those moments that provide you the hope you need to keep going.

I challenge you to find something good in everyday. The more you do this, I promise, the more you will realize how much good is in your life. Also tell me down below in the comments about one of your highlights this month, I would love to hear them! As always, hold onto hope and remember that life, though difficult, can still be beautiful! ❤

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

My 2019 Fall Bucket List (Part 1)

Autumn is officially in the air! The temperature is dropping, the leaves are slowly falling and almost every store you walk into you’re met with Fall & Halloween decor. Fall has always been my favorite season. I think one of the biggest reasons why is because Fall is the kickstart to the best time of the year! Once it’s Fall, I know that soon it’ll be Halloween, Thanksgiving and then finally, Christmas!! Fall is also my favorite because there is always so many fun activities to do during this season. If you’re someone who suffers from chronic and/or mental illness though, sometimes it’s hard to truly enjoy all Fall has to offer. I know for myself, if it’s not because my body is in so much pain that it’s hard for me to really move, my anxiety takes hold of me a lot and causes me to be too scared to even want to leave my house. This often ends with me missing out on making so many memories. With how my health has declined this year, the fear of missing out on all my favorite season has to offer is strong. But I refuse to let my illnesses ruin my Fall. So I decided to write down everything that I wanted to do this Fall that I believe my body will be able to actually do. I then broke up that list into three different sections based on the energy level I feel is required to complete that activity. I think one of the most important aspects when it comes to doing activities with chronic and mental illness is thinking of ways that will help you to be able to truly enjoy those moments without pushing yourself too far. By dividing my list, not only does it help me to prepare for certain activities but it helps me to better plan out my Fall so i’m not doing two high energy activities too close to each other. This will hopefully prevent me from burning out my body and help me to actually enjoy this beautiful season. Below, you will find my entire list but the focus of today’s blog post will be on the first part of that list, Fall activities to do that require low energy. In the upcoming days, I will do the same thing but with the next two sections so stay tuned for that!

My 2019 Fall Bucket List

Low energy 

  • Have a Halloween Movie Night
  • Have a Scary Movie Night
  • Bake Halloween Pillsbury cookies
  • Read 2 scary and/or Halloween themed novels
  • Dress up in a cute but comfortable Halloween Costume
  • Listen to Halloween themed music
  • Create a Gratitude Jar

Medium energy

  • Carve Pumpkins
  • Decorate for Fall/Halloween
  • Bake a Pumpkin Pie
  • Go for a Fall foliage drive

High energy

  • Go Pumpkin Picking
  • Go to Fright Fest at Six Flags
  • Host Friendsgiving
  • Go to the Great Pumpkin Blaze
  • Have a Fall-themed photoshoot

As I stated above, today’s focus is on the first section of my bucket list, low energy Fall activities. I wrote low energy instead of no energy because, let’s face it, when you live with chronic and mental illness, even just breathing requires energy. For me, a low energy activity is an activity that is done within your home that does not require a lot of movement. So with that being said, let’s jump into each activity in more detail, as well as provide all of you reading with some tips to make these activities even more enjoyable!

  1. Have a Halloween Movie Night

One of my favorite things about Halloween time is watching Halloween movies! I absolutely love watching all the different spooky movies throughout October but this year, I want to take one day/night and gather all of my absolute favorite Halloween movies and watch them in one sitting. These movies include Hocus Pocus, Nightmare before Christmas, Beetlejuice and The Haunted Mansion. Some tips to make your spooky movie night even more perfect include:

  • Wearing comfy clothing or Pajamas (Even better if they are Halloween themed)
  • Cuddling up in a big comfy blanket
  • Drinking Hot Coco (or whatever your favorite hot beverage is)
  • Eating your favorite sweet or salty snack
  • Watching the movies with a friend or significant other (everything’s better with a buddy!)

Having a Halloween movie night is one activity on this list that I am particularly excited about because it allows me to have a nice cozy night at home with my husband while also celebrating everything that makes Halloween the amazing holiday it is!

  1. Have a Scary movie Night

Going along with the whole movie night theme, another fun idea for some is to watch scary movies during the Halloween season. Now I’m not a huge scary movie girl. I honestly usually hate scary movies and tend to avoid them at all costs. With that being said, this year I really did want to push myself out of my comfort zone and since my husband has been wanting to watch scary movies with me since we began dating, I decided that maybe now was the time. So to add a small twist to this, especially if you aren’t a fan of scary movies, you could have your significant other or a friend pick out 1 to 2 scary movies of their choice for you guys to watch. The catch is, you can’t say no. Tips to make this experience a little bit more enjoyable (and tolerable) include:

  • Wearing comfy clothes or Pajamas (Again, Halloween themed are the best)
  • Setting ground rules for what movie(s) can be chosen (For me this is no horror movies based on real life events)
  • Eating your favorite snack (Helps distract you from the terror on the screen)
  • Cuddling up with a big blanket (To hide under during the super scary scenes)
  • Watching with a buddy or significant other (Never watch a scary movie alone, plus you probably wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for them)

I won’t lie, this is one activity on my list that I am scared about but it’s also something I know my husband is excited for and therefore, makes it a little less terrifying…I think..

  1. Bake Pillsbury Halloween cookies

I don’t think I am alone in saying Pillsbury cookies are some of the best cookies out there! Not only are they delicious, but the fun designs really help you to celebrate the season. Now I will admit, they can be a tad pricey but I think it’s worth the price at certain times during the year, Halloween being one of those times. This year, I plan to pick up both a package of the pumpkin ones and the ghosts ones and take one night, probably the Halloween movie night, where my husband and I make and eat them. Even though you have to bake them, I consider this to be a low energy activity because all you have to do is take them out of the package and put them on a cookie sheet. This is just another reason I love them because since they are pre-cut, it is a lot easier to bake than other cookies. I really don’t have any tips for this one because it’s already pretty simple and easy but like before, baking these with a buddy will definitely add a little extra fun to the whole thing and wearing comfy clothes is a must. 

  1. Read 2 scary and/or Halloween themed novels

I have always loved reading. For me, reading allows me to escape my reality for a little while and when your reality is filled with being stuck in bed due to pain, sometimes being able to bury myself in a book is exactly what I need to keep my spirits high. Since it is spooky season, I decided I really want to read 2 scary and/or Halloween novels before Thanksgiving. Normally, I would say before Halloween but lately, my brain fog has made reading for long periods of time more difficult so I have given myself a more realistic time frame. Again, it’s all about adapting to make things easier for you. Some tips to make this one more enjoyable include:

  • Wearing comfy clothing or Pajamas (Especially fuzzy socks!)
  • Choosing a book you’ve never read before (Though re-reading books is always enjoyable, picking something new will provide you with a whole new experience)
  • Choosing an author you’ve never read before (Again, reading work from someone new provides you with reading a whole new style of writing which could be fun)
  • Read somewhere where you can be alone and not interrupted (Few things are worse than being interrupted when you’re in the middle of a good book)

I might not be a fan of scary movies but I do enjoy a good scary novel so this is something I’m excited about. Who knows, I may even discover a new favorite book or author along the way. 

  1. Dress up in a cute but comfy Halloween costume

One of the best things about Halloween is being able to dress up in costume. For one night (or multiple nights of the season), you can dress up as someone completely different than yourself and no one is going to judge you for it. Dressing up in costumes is definitely one of the main reasons why I love Halloween so much. But often in the past, the costumes I would choose wouldn’t be that comfortable or warm. Living in New York, wearing a tight, short dress with no sleeves isn’t exactly the warmest option I could have worn. I already knew that getting a typical costume this year wasn’t really an option due to both money and also just the way my health has been. But this in no way is going to stop me from dressing up. So what are my tips for choosing a cute but comfy costume? Well: 

  • Wear a onesie (This is the option I am 95% sure I will be choosing this year. Not only are onesies extremely comfortable and warm, nowadays you can find onesies for every character or theme you can think of! Plus, when Halloween is over, you can still wear your onesie at home which makes it a more practical option and cost effective option) 
  • Don’t wear anything too tight (If your costume is too tight, you will not be comfortable and therefore, you will more than likely not be able to enjoy your Halloween night as much as you should)
  • Choose a costume that is weather appropriate (Again being too cold or too hot can cause you to be uncomfortable which will affect your night. Often with chronic illness, extreme temperature can also cause pain or flare-ups and that’s definitely no fun)
  • Choose a costume you feel comfortable in for long periods of time (Not comfortable=not a fun night)

I have known since Endgame came out that I wanted to be spiderman this year. I haven’t fully decided yet whether I will chose the spiderman onesie as my costume or purchase an actual spiderman bodysuit but either way, I know my whole body will be covered and both options will be much more comfortable than costumes I would have chosen in the past. Dressing up is something I am super excited about this year and can not wait to show you all how my costume comes out!

  1. Listen to Halloween music

Music truly is the best medicine. I would be so lost in this world if I didn’t have music in my life. One of my favorite things to do each holiday season is create a themed music playlist on Spotify to listen to throughout that season. So of course, making a spooky playlist is a must do on my list. Instead of tips for this section, here are just some songs I’ve included on mine to give you an idea. They include:

  • Anything Rocky horror
  • Anything Nightmare before Christmas
  • Thriller
  • Classic Halloween songs (Monster Mash, Spooky Scary Skeletons, I put a spell on you, etc)

Music is a way to express oneself and what better way to express your love for this season than with some spooky music. My go to places to listen to my Halloween playlist is at home when I’m cleaning and any time we are in the car. If you would like me to do a whole post about every song I’ve included on my playlist this year, let me know in the comments below.

  1. Create a gratitude jar

This activity is actually one that I won’t begin until the first of November. I had seen something similar on Pinterest and thought, with everything that has happened this year, creating a gratitude journal is exactly what I could use right about now. So basically, every day leading up to Thanksgiving after November 1st, I will write down one thing that I am thankful for. Than, on Thanksgiving night, I will open up my jar and read all the things I wrote. It’s very easy when you live with chronic and/or mental illness to lose sight of all the good things in your life. But even on our worst days, there are always things to be thankful for. Some tips I have for this include:

  • Decorating your jar (You can choose to decorate it for Fall or any other way you would like)
  • Choose bright colored paper (Bright colors just ignite more joy than plain white)
  • Really think about what your thankful for (Nothing is too little)

By creating this gratitude jar, I will be reminded of how lucky I am during a season where nature even shows us how beautiful it is to be alive.

So there you have it, the first 7 things on my Fall 2019 bucket list that require low energy. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you did, please hit that like button! If you want to see more, especially the next 2 parts of this series, please give me a follow that way you know when my posts go up. 

Alright, until next time my darlings,

Kaylee D’Ascanio ❤

2018, The year of Change

2018, The year of Change

 

I can’t even wrap my head over the fact that today is the last day of 2018. This year has been one of the most difficult but also most joyish years of my life. The memories I have made throughout this year are some of the most important memories I know I will ever have and I feel beyond blessed this year to have experienced all that I got to experience. Because of this, I thought it would be fun to write an overview of my year type blog post, highlighting the top moments, good and bad, that have shaped my 2018. Before I begin though, I am aware that it has been a long time since I last posted a blog post and I am so sad that that is the case. My life has been pretty crazy since the wedding but my goal in the next few weeks is to post many different blog posts catching you all up on my beautiful wedding, amazing mini moon/honeymoon, and just life in general. But for today, if you would like to read more about the best year of my life, just keep on reading. 🙂

 

January

The first month of the year I started off by saying that this was going to be my “perfect” year. Sitting here today, I have learned that there is no such thing as “Perfect”. One of the biggest lessons 2018 has taught me is nothing is ever going to go as “perfect” as you think, but that’s for another blog post. Though this is true, I really did find the perfect for me wedding gown and in the beginning of January, my grandmother bought it for me and we picked out the bridesmaid dresses from David’s Bridal. Finding such a picture perfect princess gown was something I had dreamed of since I was a little girl and I remember when I turned and faced the mirror for the first time, I couldn’t help but smile. In that moment, it became real to me that in 9 months, I was going to be walking down the aisle to my best friend in this dress. No words can truly express how I felt in that moment and I am so happy that I had one of my bridesmaids record that moment for me.

February

My happy moment though, did not last long because that following month, I became very sick. The first couple weeks of february were straight hell. In and out of urgent care, the emergency room, not being able to eat solid food,dehydrated constantly, being told I was fine when I felt like I was dying and finally going through an endoscopy to learn that I had gastritis and an hiatal hernia. Throughout all of that, I also started to suffer heavily with depersonalization and dissociation symptoms. Now I had experienced these before but never this strong and unfortunately, these would continue to affect me for most of 2018. Though the beginning part of february was probably the hardest weeks physically and mentally of my life, the month ended with me finally getting the stomach medication I needed, celebrating valentines day for the first time as an engaged couple, registering at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and finally, Tom leasing a 2018 honda civic hatchback.

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March

March brought another first for Tom and I, our first overnight trip away together just the two of us. March 21st marked 5 years since Tom and I became an official couple and even though every year we tried to go away for our anniversary, something always happened that made our plans fall through. This year was different though. This year, we finally went away and even if it was just one night near Mohegan Sun, it was such a fun and special trip for the two of us. Not only did I get to taste my first warm Krispy Kreme doughnut, I also got to gamble for the first time and spend quality time with my husband to be.

April

To help booked couples see how their wedding reception will go, Fox Hill Inn has a mini reception/tasting each year specifically for booked couples. April was the month Tom and I finally got to experience a taste of what our wedding night would be. We got to taste a bunch of different delicious food, dance some, and even get a special deal on different wedding day stations for our guests. This fox hill mini reception was definitely the highlight of April for me because it really got me excited for my wedding and also relaxed me on some of the details for that day.

May

May, however, was another month where there were good moments, but also defining tough ones. For the good, May was the month we selected our wedding menu, I decided to get my hair dyed blonde ombre, Megan had her Bridal shower and probably the most important moment of all, I finally graduated DCC after 4 years with an associates in general studies. May though was also the month I had my last therapy session with a therapist I really loved and trusted. When Lori informed me she would be leaving, I felt my entire world turn upside down. Lori made me feel less crazy, she believed in me and she respected my medication fear. Losing her was beyond hard but the things she had taught me in the months prior were things I was able to carry with me and though I know I will eventually have to find a new therapist, Lori showed me i’m not as broken or messed up as I once believed.

June

June was a happy month. Adrian, my best friend’s son, turned one and we had a wonderful birthday party for him. It was so unreal to me that he was already 1 when it seemed like just yesterday he was this infant lexi placed in my arms. Watching him grow was definitely one of my favorite parts of this past year. My cousin Michael and his fiance Megan got married which caused Tom to finally get to go to a wedding. That day was just filled with love and once again, really made me excited for my upcoming nuptials in 4 months. I also got a job as a temporary program assistant in my office which brought much more responsibility to my life and though at times this job would make me want to scream, I am so happy I was able to have had that experience. Lastly, June was the month where me and my girls finally did a pre-wedding activity and went to the Bronx zoo together. We even made minnie mouse hats to wear so everyone knew this was a pre-bachelorette outing!

July

July was also a fun month. Tom turned 23 and we went on our annual Ocean City NJ vacation trip with my family from Pennsylvania. Like always, that trip was nothing but fun but this year it was so sentimental thinking back to last July when Tom popped the question at the top of the wonder wheel. July was also the month that Tom and I got pre-approved for a mortgage. At the time, I cried with happiness but my little naive self was not prepared for all that was soon going to hit me because of it.

August

August began with a camping trip to Gilberts Lake with Tom, my soon to be brother and sister in laws and Victoria’s fiance. What started off as a trip I was dreading, became a highlight of my entire year and one of the most fun trips I had been on in a long time. The following weekend, I walked into my surprise Bridal shower which was also so much fun and Tom and I wound up getting so many amazing gifts. We sent out our wedding invitations to our guests and than got hit with the first of a few house disappointments. When a house we had fallen in love with accepted an offer that wasn’t ours, I was heartbroken. It was like I saw my future in front of me and with a phone call it had all broken away. Slowly though, with Toms help, I got over losing that “perfect” home and we continued our house hunting.

September

In September, my girls and I went on another pre-bachelorette outing and went to Six Flags for the day. I got my hair dyed back to my natural brunette color and my baby girl Luna turned 2 years old. This month I also hit 50 followers on this blog and though it doesn’t seem like a lot, it meant the world to me. Which is partly why, sitting here now, I feel so sad because I hate not posting here for all of you but life and mental illness have just gotten in the way so much and have prevented me from having any motivation to write lately. I can only hope that 2019 will be the year where I really do keep up with my blog and also, finally, start a youtube channel.

October

October. Oh October. This was the month that highlighted my entire year. I had an amazing bachelorette weekend at Mohegan Sun with my girls, a fun-filled rehearsal dinner and after party at Olive Garden and Round one, a relaxing salon day the day before the wedding with my girls and of course, the most important event of all of 2018, my wedding day. October 28th 2018 was the day I finally married my best friend, my soul mate, and the love of my life. Our Disney themed wedding was a day straight out of a story book and better than anything I could have ever dreamed of. After our wedding, we also got to have a wonderful mini-moon at Cove Haven which was the perfect way to end such a fairytale month. It’s crazy to think I started October 2018 as Kaylee DeMarco but ended it as Kaylee D’Ascanio.

November

Our actual honeymoon started in November. But November was also the month that my position at DCC ended which also ended my 4 year long job in the student financial services office. Having to leave a job I love and more importantly, coworkers who had became family was one of the hardest things I had to do and something I’m still struggling with. But when I think of November, I think of our magical honeymoon. Leaving the day after thanksgiving, we began our honeymoon in North Carolina where I finally got to meet Tom’s family down there. After 4 days there, we headed to Florida where I finally got to experience all the Magic of Disney World. I won’t lie, I cried when I saw the castle for the first time. Ending November in the happiest place on earth, well, I couldn’t ask for anything better.

December

The start of December, Tom and I boarded our 8 day Eastern Caribbean Carnival cruise, our last part to our magical honeymoon. We got to visit Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Grand Turk, and St. Kitts. When we returned, it was back to the real world but my annual cousin shopping trip with grandma for christmas, my 23rd birthday, and Christmas itself all helped to make the adjustment from paradise to back home a little less stressful.

And that brings us to today, December 31st 2018. The last day of such an incredible year. As you can see, this year brought many ups, as well as some downs. I started off this year as a fiance and am ending it as a wife. I hope you enjoyed reading this post about my 2018 but now I want to hear from you. Tell me in the comments below what was one defining moment for you in 2018. If you enjoyed this post, especially the pieces about our wedding, mini moon, and honeymoon, than please keep your eye out because my plan is to post a lot about these three things in this upcoming month! Until than, Happy new years everyone! I hope 2018 was a great year for you and I hope that 2019 will be even better! 🙂 

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

15 Things to do this Fall

What’s up everyone! It’s officially the first day of Fall! Fall is by far my favorite season of the year, so of course the only way to kick of this beautiful season on this blog would be with a post about my favorite things to do in the Fall. So if you want to know about some super fun things to do yourself this Autumn season, just keep on reading! 🙂

  1. Go Apple Picking

This is one I haven’t gotten to do in a few years but last weekend I was finally able to go Apple picking with my best friend, her son, her boyfriend and Tom at our local Apple Orchard. It was so much fun and reminded me of how much I love going Apple Picking. The only thing I would change for next year is when we go. I rather wait until the last weekend in September or first weekend in October (when it is officially fall in other words) because Apple picking isn’t as fun when it’s super hot out.

     2. Have a Harry Potter Marathon

It’s no surprise that I am a total Potter fanatic! I’m down to watching the Harry Potter movies at any point during the year but it’s extra fun to have a total Potter marathon during the fall season. I just love popping up some popcorn and getting into my Harry Potter PJ’s and Hogwarts robe before cuddling with my boo under an over sized blanket to watch the genius of J.K. Rowling’s world come to life on my TV screen. Something about all of those movies just put me in that Fall and Halloween spirit. 

   3. Have Halloween Movie Friday nights!!

Speaking of movies, it isn’t really Autumn until you watch some classic Halloween-themed movies! Tom and I have decided that this year, every Friday leading up to Halloween (minus the one on my bachelorette weekend and the one on our wedding weekend), we will watch either a Halloween movie or a scary movie. Some of my all time favorites include The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, and Beetlejuice!!

   4. Go pumpkin picking

Not a single year has gone by where I didn’t go to the pumpkin patch and pick pumpkins. It’s one of my favorite Fall activities to do and what makes it even better is being able to bring our pups along with us! Not only is it adorable watching them in the pumpkin patch but it makes for some really amazing photos too!

    5. Carve (or paint) pumpkins

Speaking of pumpkins, no one likes a plain, boring pumpkin sitting in front of their house. Another tradition that I have never missed is carving pumpkins. I just love to come up with a new and creative design to carve my pumpkin into. This year to make things interesting, Tom and I have decided when the time comes, we will make our carving night into a competition. The winner will get to choose which movie we watch that night. You can guarantee if Tom wins, I will have to watch a scary movie so this will be interesting. If carving isn’t your thing, you can also choose to paint your pumpkins. This is definitely a much cleaner option and can result in some really awesome looking pumpkin creations. 

   6. Drink white hot chocolate

Most girls would probably have written down drink pumpkin spice lattes, but I’m not a fan of coffee. In fact, I don’t like coffee at all. Instead, my hot beverage of choice for these chilly months is hot chocolate, specifically white hot chocolate. As soon as the weather starts to have that brisk chill in the air, you can guarantee I’ll be at Starbucks getting some white hot chocolate! Unfortunately, very few places sell white hot chocolate and it’s even harder to find in the store. Luckily though, Starbucks has it and it’s beyond delicious!

   7. Make a pumpkin pie

Speaking of sweet treats, my favorite Fall dessert is definitely pumpkin pie! Usually I’m fine with just enjoying pumpkin pie either from the store or my grandma’s kitchen but this year I really want to make my own from scratch!

   8. Go to Fright Fest at Six Flags

I’ve been going to Fright Fest at Six Flags since I was a pre-teen! Even though I’m not a huge fan of scary things, especially clowns and chainsaw dudes, going to Fright Fest is a tradition and one I look forward to every year! I love how the entire theme park gets transformed for Halloween. Not only is the entire theme park decorated with Halloween-themed decorations, once it turns dark, the park fills up with all sorts of characters straight out of a horror movie! You can’t turn a corner without coming in view of a monster or zombie. If you want an extra scary experience, Six Flags also offers multiple extra haunted attractions, such as haunted houses and haunted mazes, to really make you scream in terror. Tom wants to go through one of these attractions this year but we will have to see about that.

   9.Take trips to the Halloween store

It’s not surprising for me to make 5 to 6 trips to Spirit Halloween because I just love going into Halloween stores! It’s something about all the cool costumes and decorations that make me smile every time I get to go. This year especially I’m excited because now that I’ve decided I want to get into cosplay, I’m certain I’ll be buying a few costume pieces and props when they are on sale once Halloween is over! 😉

   10. Go through a corn maze

This is an activity we also tend to do every year because it’s usually in the same place as where we are going pumpkin and/or apple picking. I love going through the corn maze, even if we always seem to get lost. Usually we have our pups with us and let them try to find the exit which is always an interesting endeavor!

   11. Go on a Fall nature hike

One of my favorite parts of Fall is watching the leaves change from green to beautiful red, orange and yellow! The best way to experience these Fall colors, especially in New York is to go on a nature walk. Autumn is the perfect time of year to go on a hike, usually not too warm but not too cold either. I also love taking photography in the Fall so a color hike is the perfect place for me to do just that!

   12. Have a Fall-themed photo shoot

This is a new tradition I want to start doing. As some of you know, I really want to get into cosplay as well as modeling so I would love to do a Fall-themed photo shoot this year. I feel like the best place to do a photo shoot like this would be at either the pumpkin or apple patch, but anywhere with trees would work. Another great thing about starting something like this is I can watch as myself, along as Tom evolve each year and grow as a family.

   13. Wear boots, scarves, beanies and other Fall themed attire

Like I said earlier, I love how Fall’s weather usually is! Fall is also my favorite season when it comes to fashion. I just love wearing boots, beanies, and scarves. I feel they add a special touch to any outfit! 

  1. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade while eating cinnamon buns

I have never missed watching the parade on Thanksgiving morning. It’s something I look forward to every year and make sure that I’m up early to not miss any part of it. About 4 years ago, my mom and I added eating cinnamon buns during the parade and now that has become a tradition every Thanksgiving morning.

  1. Have a Thanksgiving dinner

After Christmas, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Not only is the day filled with delicious food, but my favorite part about Thanksgiving is being able to come together as a family and enjoy the day. This Thanksgiving will be the first Thanksgiving where I am officially a D’Ascanio and though I hoped we would be in a house by than to host, I’m still so thankful and excited to spend this Thanksgiving with my combined family, wherever we may be.

             And there you have it, my top 15 Fall activities! I hope you all enjoyed this post and maybe even saw an activity on this list that you hadn’t thought of doing before but now want to! I really enjoyed creating this blog post for all of you but now I want to hear from you; What is your favorite thing to do during the Fall?

Drop a comment down below and as always, if you enjoyed reading this, hit that like button! One last quick thing, my hope is to have my YouTube channel up within the next coming weeks. I wanted to wait until we had our own place but we have hit a few roadblocks recently that is delaying that from happening and I really don’t want to wait too much longer. If I can get my channel up, you can be sure I will be vlogging some of the above activities, plus, all the wedding activities coming up, since it is officially one month until my wedding!! So if you’re interested in getting to see my life through a whole other platform, just keep your eye out for that announcement! 😀

Until next time my darlings,

-Kaylee D. ❤

Simple date night dinner recipe idea

Hello my darlings! I hope you all had a wonderful week! Since my grandma works on Friday nights, that is usually Tom and my at home date nights since we have the whole house to ourselves for a few hours. Normally, Tom and I will cook dinner together but tonight I decided I wanted to make dinner for him all on my own. Now let me just inform you guys that I have never made dinner completely by myself before so to say I was nervous about it is an understatement. Still, 6 months from tomorrow I will officially be a wife so cooking dinner on my own for my family is something I need to be able to do so why not start now! Well, I am happy to report not only was dinner completely edible, it was actually delicious and I didn’t burn the house down! Tom even said that the baked potatoes I made were the best he has ever eaten! So for tonight’s blog post, I thought I would inform you all of the dinner I made and how I made it so maybe you can recreate it for your own family one day! 🙂

So to start off, I decided yesterday I wanted to make honey BBQ marinated thin pork chops with baked potatoes and vegetables. I knew we had potatoes and vegetables at my grandmas so I just picked up some pork chops from the store on my way home last night. Now I don’t like the really thick pork chops. Instead, I prefer the thin ones so I picked up just two thin pork chops from my local Tops.

To begin the actual cooking process, I started with the potatoes.

  1. I preheated the oven to 300 degrees F before washing the potatoes. After rinsing them off, I placed them on a baking sheet that I already covered with tinfoil. Once on the sheet, I took my fork and I poked each of my potatoes (four in total) with my fork 5 times. Next, I smothered them with olive oil and salt before placing them in the oven and setting a timer for 30 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes began to bake, I took my pork chops and placed them into a cooking dish. Next, I covered each pork chop with olive oil, salt, and finally the honey BBQ sauce on each side.
  3. After the 30 minutes were up, I placed the pork chops into the oven next to the potatoes. I raised the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and set the kitchen timer for another 30 minutes.
  4. While that cooked, I put the frozen mixed vegetables in a pan and set it near the stove. Once about 20 minutes went by, I put the pan on one of the burners and set it to 6.
  5. Once the timer went off, I took the potatoes out of the oven and slit each one of them open. I then stuffed each potato with butter and shredded cheddar cheese before placing them back into the oven.
  6. Once another 10 minutes went by, I took both the potatoes and the pork out of the oven. I also drained the vegetables before placing each food item on both Tom and my plate. Once I was done, it looked like this! 31404136_1886130448064058_5094390301833822208_o

And that’s it! Quick, easy and delicious dinner that took about an hour and 15 minutes in total to make. Obviously, you may want to add more BBQ sauce or even use different spices because not everyone has the same taste buds but for me, it was the perfect amount. I know some of you are probably wondering why I feel so accomplished at making such a simple dinner but it’s more the concept that I was able to do it all on my own. For some one with anxiety, being able to cook a full dinner without any help, is a huge accomplishment and one that I really am proud of! I hope you all enjoyed this post and if you do decide to recreate it, let me know how it turns out! I already know this is going to be one of my favorite date night dinners to make but I want to ask all of you, what is your favorite date night dinner? 🙂

Until next time my darlings,

Kaylee D. ❤