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    Pumpkin picking at Alright Pumpkin, Co. Meath!

    I really love Halloween time. Everything is orange and black, there are silly decorations everywhere, and of course, it’s the time of year when you get to buy a pumpkin, rip out its insides, make a face and stick a candle in it.

    Pumpkin carving is something I only really started doing a few years ago when I was in Montréal, and I’ve done it every year since then. Usually, I buy whatever pumpkin is left in the shop close to Halloween, but this year I learned about a pumpkin patch in Co. Meath where you can pick your own. I had no idea there was a pumpkin patch in Ireland, so once I knew it was out there, I had to go and see it. Read more

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    blog, Reflections, gender, occasions

    Getting ready for International Women’s Day 2017

    Every year when International Women’s Day rolls around, I always say I want to write something to mark it, and I never do. Sometimes I just don’t make the time in the days coming up to it, other times I hit a creative block, and others I don’t even realise the day was happening until it’s already arrived. This year, I’m a lot more organised, a lot more energised, and I’m excited to get myself involved in any way I can! Read more

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    event, occasions

    Planning for Halloweek

    Planning for Halloweek Byrnewithme

    Halloween is one of my favourite times of year, not because of the dressing up or the horror films or any of the most common reasons people love halloween, but just because I like all the imagery (ghosts and pumpkins) and colours (I guess, orange) associated with Halloween. I suppose it goes in hand with Autumn being my favourite time of year and basically, in my head, everything looks like Stars Hollow.

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    I know probably nowhere actually looks like Stars Hollow, because it’s not a real place, but if you find somewhere like it, let me know so I can move there.

    Last year I didn’t have the best of Halloweens, because I had no plans and was up to my eyeballs in final year stress and all the usual joys of my favourite day were taken away from me. So, this year, I want to make up for it by planning out a whole week of Halloween related things.

    I have also been looking for a way to jump back into posting on my blog, especially after just moving from Blogger to WordPress, so I figured working out some Halloweek plans might be a good way to do that! It also might give other people some ideas for things to do this Halloween.

    Irish Halloween Festivals

    Spirits of Meath

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    Image: spiritsofmeath.com

    The Spirits of Meath Halloween festival celebrates Samhain, “the ancient Celtic Festival that we now call Halloween”. According to the website, Meath is the birthplace of Halloween, and there’s so many events planned in the run up to and on the day of Halloween. Things I would be most interested in are A Samhain Meditation at Hill of Tara Open Studio where you get some Halloween history and a meditation rolled into one, and the Samhain Festival of Fire on the evening of Halloween which looks like a great experience.

    Bram Stoker Festival

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    The Bram Stoker Festival celebrates the life & work of Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker, the author of Dracula, who was born in Dublin. There will be both day and night events all across Dublin from the 28th-31st October. The events I think I’ll be most interested in going to as part of this festival are Monsters! Season at Light House Cinema where there will be day and night screenings and Nightmare Plants at the Botanical Gardens.

    Getting in the spirit at home

    There’s also a lot of (possibly obvious) things to do at home but since the whole purpose of this post is to throw these out there for me (and possibly you) to choose from I may as well list them!

    Baking

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    I want to try these but they might end up being some very sorry looking spider cupcakes. Image: BakingMad.com

    I recently discovered the website BakingMad.com and having searched around on the website for a bit I discovered a whole bunch of Halloween themed recipes simply by searching the word ‘Halloween’. While I can’t guarantee any of my bakes will come out looking like theirs, it at least gives me some ideas of things to play around with! I would also love to play around with making a gingerbread house but that has the potential to be a major disaster so I might need to put that idea to one side for now..

    Thanks to the Spirit of Meath festival website, I’ve discovered a whole load of pinterest boards including this Halloween Food board!

    Pumpkins!

    pumpkin

    A picture of me with my 2015 pumpkin, attempting to morph into my true form.

    Ah, possibly the most obvious at-home Halloween activity, but I actually only first carved a pumpkin two years ago when I was in Canada. For some reason, it was never something we did in my house but I plan on making up for it every Halloween to come.

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    My first pumpkin in 2014, made with friends in Canada. View on my instagram

    Decorations

    It could also be fun just to spend some time decorating my room to get into the Halloween feel. There’s a lot of decorations in basically every euro shop in Ireland, but there’s also so many things I could make myself so I’ll probably look up ideas on pinterest (again, thank you to the Spirits of Meath website where I found that pinterest board) and play around with some crafts.

    lights

    My skeleton (from Penenys, bought last year) and pumpkin (from Dunnes, bought this year) lights, that I put up in mid-September, which my mam thought was a bit “previous” but I don’t care.

    Watching Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown

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    This section could possibly be renamed “Watch Halloween movies” but if we’re being real, there’s only two movies I’m interested in. There are plenty of other classic scary films that would make for perfect Halloween viewing that I might give a go this year, but my Halloween will not be complete without making sure I also get Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown in (no, they’re not for kids. shut up.)

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    What are your plans for Halloween? Anything going on that I missed? Let me know!

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