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Ottawa: The Savvy Guide to October

SavvyMom November 10, 2016
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I know we’re not supposed to play favourites, but October is the best! After a sweaty September, we should finally get crisp fall weather perfect for pumpkin pie (and pumpkin spiced lattes, who are we kidding.) It’s a month of living life to the fullest by gathering with family and friends to celebrate the bounty of the season. From Thanksgiving through to Halloween and beyond (oh, we see you, winter holidays), we’ve got the right things to spice up your month.

DO
Get a jump on your holiday shopping
Why? There’s always that one person bragging about starting their holiday shopping in October. We all roll our eyes because aren’t we still shaking the sand out of beach towels? But then December is upon us with seventy kajillion tasks to do…and you suddenly wish that you had been that person. Here’s your chance! Hudson’s Bay is launching a brand new dedicated toy shop in 60 stores across the country and online. They will feature a selection of the best toys for children from preschool to age 12, perfect for picking up holiday gifts for all the kids on your list (and fall birthday prezzies, too.)

GO
To the 2nd Annual Lansdowne Park Pumpkin Derby, on Saturday, October 29 at 1 pm at the Aberdeen Pavilion
Why? Pumpkins aren’t exactly aerodynamic, are they? This race promises to be a funny one. You can design and race a pumpkin car, or just come out and watch the fun. The kids can take part—there’s an under 14 division—and prizes are also awarded based on creativity and originality.

GET
Something pretty for your table
Why? If you are planning to clean all week and cook all day in order to celebrate Thanksgiving with your loved ones, you absolutely deserve to indulge in something new to display. In the mood to splurge on some bone china? The Hibiscus Collection by Wedgewood is a stunning archival pattern in blue and white with gold embellishments. Check out these leaves from Crate and Barrel for a rustic vibe. Or who could resist these sweet pumpkin-embroidered napkins from Pottery Barn?

PLAY
Coin match
Why? It’s wonderful to be able to pull a game out of your sleeve (or change purse) when you need to entertain a kid in a pinch. It works while at the doctor’s office, at a restaurant, or when visiting Great Aunt Betty. Here’s what you do: line up between three and 10 coins in a random order of heads or tails. Let your kid look at them for a few seconds and then take them away. Then see if they can recreate the pattern. (For kids old enough not to put the coins in their mouth.)

READ
Best of Bridge: The Family Slow Cooker
Why? The Best of Bridge cookbook line is a Canadian classic. Started in 1975 by a group of friends who realized that the food was really the highlight of their regular bridge games, the cookbook brand has continued to live on in the kitchens and memories of Canadians. Now a new trio of Canadian culinary pros have taken up the torch to bring us an updated take on slow cooker classics. (Think more international-inspired recipes and less canned soup.) It’s out this month with 225 recipes to take you from breakfast to dessert.

APP
Sago Mini Robot Party
Why? Because who doesn’t love robots? Here’s an app that lets kids build their own robots by swapping in different heads, arms, and legs and dressing them up in all kinds of clothes and costumes. Then the robot comes to life and kids can make music and decorate cupcakes at their very own robot party. $3.50, available on iOS and Android.

GREEN IT
Recycle rescue for your homework station
Why? All your best-laid plans for keeping homework organized should be starting to come unravelled by now. The good news is that it’s not too late to tweak your system. Look at your children’s desks or wherever they are set up to do homework. Is it always a scramble to find a pencil or a sharpener? Are papers scattered all over the place. Chances are you can find just the right sized container for storing pencil crayons or holding paperwork in your own recycling pile (think small boxes, cans with the edges taped or used juice containers). Get your kids to decorate the container with pretty paper, stickers, marker, or even glitter glue. Check out this Pinterest page for inspiration.

MAKE
Halloween costumes
Why? Hear us out: there’s nothing wrong with going the store-bought route—it can even be the best way if you have a little one insisting on Spiderman or Elsa. But making your own is the way to go if you have a kid who likes to think outside the box and wants to go as a lesser known character or a random piece of food. (Really, a slice of pizza?) We have loads of ideas for DIY costumes here for both moms and kids, and they don’t have to involve a ton of work.  Shop your own closet first and then hit up thrift and dollar stores to fill in the gaps. Just remember to make sure the costume is comfortable, durable, visible in low light, and not overly hot if your kiddo will be wearing it to school.

HELP
Raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research and treatment by supporting a participant in the 2016 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, or by taking part in a virtual balloon race, or supporting one of many local events.
Why? Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and breast cancer will affect 1 in 9 Canadian women during their lifetime.

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