Blogtober Day 9 & 10: Halloween and blogging thoughts

Another 2-in-1 Blogtober post, how lucky are you?

Day 9 prompt: Best or worst Halloween memory #tbt

I’ve gotta say, halloween definitely isn’t my favorite holiday. I enjoyed it a lot as a kid, but as I got into middle school, I had a harder time finding costumes I liked, and my friends and I stopped trick or treating. I’m not one of those people who particularly likes dressing up or wearing costumes. So I’m having a hard time thinking of my best or worst Halloween memory, since most of them are from my childhood and they all kinda blend together!

My favorite memory of Halloween isn’t just from one year, I think. I have lots of happy memories of going trick or treating all over my old neighborhood with my best friend, Marissa. Our parents usually “chaperoned” us even though we were in a safe neighborhood, but we went up to the houses by ourselves. I remember it was so exciting to pick your candy or see what they different houses are offering, what costumes the adults were in, and looking through our bounty at the end of the night. Organizing the candy, trading it around with the other neighborhood kids, and attempting to ration it out over the next month (probably less) was always awesome!

At our elementary school, we also always had a Halloween parade during school and parties in our classrooms. It was overwhelmingly exciting to see all of your friends in their costumes, and the teachers too. We paraded through the neighborhood streets around the school, grade by grade, led by the high school marching band and color guard, all in costume. Parents and younger siblings lined the streets, and the feeling of community made it one of my favorite Halloween traditions from year to year.

(I’m the pumpkin in this photo)

Day 10 prompt: I never thought blogging would…

I never thought blogging would be something I would be something that I would do. I’ve never really thought of myself as a writer, or as someone who would share their personal life online. Granted, most of the people who read my blog are people that I know in real life, but I’ve definitely shared things here that I didn’t think I would share with anyone other than my really close family and friends. It’s given me an outlet to be vocal about things that are important to me, to improve my writing, and to share my travel adventures with my family and friends. It’s pushed me to be more creative, to think more about myself, and to not be afraid to share those thoughts!

Helene in Between
Thanks for reading! Margaret

A letter to my future self – Blogtober Day 8

Today’s prompt: A letter to yourself in 10 years

Dear future self,

You’re 31. I’ve always thought of that age as a time when people automatically have all of their shit together – how’s that going for you? I’m so curious to see what career path you end up in. Did you decide to really become a teacher? Are you working in a non-profit? A bookstore? Are you a stay-at-home mom? Whatever you ended up doing, I hope you’re enjoying it.

How’s married life? As I’m writing this, I’m engaged to Ben, and we’ve been dating for a little over 3 and a half years. Give future Ben a kiss for me! I have no doubts in my mind that ten years from now, you’ll be happily married to him, and you’ll probably have kids. I know you’ve dreamed about that for a while, so I hope it’s everything you wished for, and more.

Of course, nothing ever goes perfectly to plan, and there are always going to be ups and downs along the way. I’m hoping that you didn’t get stuck in any of the pits for too long. I know that’s something I’ve struggled with in college, and I’m hoping that being away from the stress of school will have helped with that. I hope you’re smiling and enjoying all of the beautiful things in life, like your family, the nature around you, an interesting book, and good coffee.

I don’t really know what to say in a letter to my future self, other than to ask questions. I’m so curious to see what my life will hold for me, and am so excited to embrace every joy and challenge out there that may come my way. Keep me updated.

Age 21, sitting in my dorm room (Emerson 206!) post FAW meeting. I hope future Margaret is a kick ass feminist.

PS – How’s the blog going?

Helene in Between

Thanks for reading! Margaret

Blogtober Day 7: Vacation Memories

I feel like I should have a more clever way to start these blog posts for Blogtober. Just starting it with the prompt is boring but I also feel like I’m trying too hard to come up with an intro…

Today’s prompt: Best/worst vacation!

I don’t think I can definitively say that I have a best or worst vacation, but one vacation that sticks out in my mind as being particularly great is the trip to London and Paris that I took with my parents and sister in the summer of 2009. It was just one week, with about 4 days in London and 3 in Paris, but it was my (and my dad’s and my sister’s) first time to travel overseas!

We flew straight to London from DC, and the flight was pretty miserable – it was an overnight flight, and I just cannot sleep on planes. Once we got to London, the excitement took over and I (sort of) forgot how jet lagged I was. I completely fell in love with London on that trip, and have so many great memories of exploring the city and taking in all of the sights. We went to a lot of art museums, too – that’s something my family does everywhere we go.

One of my favorite memories from the London trip was actually the day trip we took out to Windsor Castle, via train. The train ride was so beautiful, and so was the castle, but what I loved the most was walking through the small town (Eton, I think) surrounding the castle. It was an absolutely enchanting little English town (or at least is was in my memory!) and I remember feeling like I was just in the right place there. I felt the same way on my family’s week-long trip to Ireland in 2012 and during my time in Ireland this summer. I would love to live in a place that gives me that same feeling someday!

Our trip to Paris was short, but so exciting. I took French for a few years in high school, but was never great at speaking it, so being in Paris was definitely a challenge! Prior to the trip, I tried to teach my family a little French to get by, and they supplemented that with audio tapes in the car. I was nervous about the language, but we got through the trip just fine, and were able to speak in French when we needed to. I remember the food in Paris being amazing (hello, crêpes!) and enjoying every bit of tourism that we did. We went (part of the way) up the Eiffel Tower, climbed up a seemingly never-ending staircase to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, visited a lot of museums, and most importantly, spent time eating fresh almond croissants on the balcony of our hotel, overlooking the streets filled with gorgeous Parisian buildings.

It was an exciting, eye-opening, and fun trip for my family to take together. Although we have our moments of arguments and clashed opinions, I think we travel pretty well together. I feel so lucky to have the privilege to travel the world with my family, and will hopefully never take that for granted. There are definitely some memories I have from that trip that I still laugh and smile about, and I won’t forget it for a long, long time!

Helene in Between

Thanks for reading! Margaret

Blogtober Day 5/6: I love lists!

Yesterday got the best of me, and I missed out on posting my Blogtober Day 5 post! So, to keep things simple, I’ll do both Day 5 and Day 6 in one snazzy new post full of lists.

Day 5 – Your Fall Bucket List

I absolutely love fall. Stereotypical white girl, amirite? I’m not a fan of Pumpkin Spice Lattes though, don’t peg me in just yet!

I do love the change in the weather, the colors of the leaves, the layers and layers of clothes I get to wear, and the different “activities” that go along with the change in seasons. This might be my last fall season in New England for a while, depending on when Ben gets his orders to move next year, so we’re trying to make the most of it! With a little bit of his help, here’s my bucket list for things that I want to do this fall:

  • Go to Martha’s Vineyard
  • Drive around Massachusetts just to look at the changing fall leaves and beautiful houses: I know, I know, the leaves change color everywhere where there are trees. There’s just something about the colors of the leaves combined with old New England houses and little small towns that is so wonderful and romantic and feels exactly like fall to me.
  • Drink lots of chai lattes in cozy cafes: chai is my favorite warm drink (sometimes tied with hot apple cider) and is best enjoyed in a cozy local cafe
  • Rake leaves (you’re welcome in advance, Mom!)
  • Roast pumpkin seeds: I’m not one for carving pumpkins, as my artistic abilities can be hard to find, but I love roasting the seeds from freshly cut pumpkins with a little salt and pepper (and maybe some garlic powder, too)
  • Go on lots of long walks all bundled up, before it starts to get too cold and snow
  • Make pumpkin bread: I always forget how easy it is to make breads like pumpkin bread, or my favorite banana bread (see below) but this year, I want to master the art of making pumpkin bread! One year, I made a really awesome and delicious vegan pumpkin bread that I couldn’t get enough of, but then I lost the link to the recipe, sad face. I’m not vegan, but I found a recipe for vegan pumpkin bread over on Averie Cooks that sounds amazing that I can’t wait to try!

Continue reading “Blogtober Day 5/6: I love lists!”

Let me insta that

Blogtober Day 4! Woohoo!

Today’s prompt: favorite photo you posted on Instagram

Now this is a great prompt.

I like Instagram a lot, even though I’m not an amazing iPhone photographer and I don’t post a ton of pictures. I like the filters and being able to share it on Instagram and across other social media platforms, especially Facebook! I think started Instagramming around April 2012. I used to be reluctant to post pictures because I wasn’t sure how they’d be received – again with my worry of how people perceive me based on my social media and internet writing! I used Instagram a lot this summer when I was in Ireland, as a way to share some of my favorite phone photos with people back home when I didn’t feel like posting hundreds of them to Facebook.

On that note, I think my favorite photo that I’ve posted on Instagram was from the day after Ben and I got engaged. We were feeling goofy and happy and silly at one of the castles we visited, and were taking selfies. We thought it would be funny to take some like I was “punching” him with the ring in full view. And this is what came out of it:


Continue reading “Let me insta that”

What can’t I live without?

Blogtober Day 3, here we come!

(Also, my phone autocorrects blogtober to vlogtober – I think I watch too much YouTube!!!)

Today’s prompt: one thing you can’t live without.

To me, this feels like one of those prompts that makes you want to show people what a good person you really are. “Oh, my family! Clean water! A good book! Not something vain like the internet or Netflix. Duh.”

So I don’t totally know where to go with this. I don’t want my answer to seem contrived or sound like I’m trying to hard. (I do think that worrying about things like that is something I should do less of, though.)

Aside from the basics like food, water, and shelter, I’d say the one thing that I truly can’t live without is some sort of challenge. Something that makes me think. It would be so easy to slip into the habits of watching mind-numbing tv all the time and to avoid stimulating conversations. But I’d find a life like that to be incredibly unfulfilling! I need to be challenged (nicely) and to have something to work towards. Don’t get me wrong, everyone can benefit from a little break to do something that doesn’t require much thought or effort, and I’ll admit that I love watching terrible shows like Pretty Little Liars, but I find that at the end of the day, I feel best about myself and about what I have accomplished when I spent a good portion of the day thinking.

I like watching documentaries that challenge my preconceived notions about something or some group of people. I like learning about current events and slowly formulating my thoughts on them. I like reading books about peoples lives and seeing what I can learn from their lived experiences. And I (most of the time) like conversations with people about potentially uncomfortable topics.

Having the chance to be challenged and to think and learn on a deeper level than I thought possible is probably what I value most from my time spent in college, and I know I’ll miss it when I graduate. I know that I will always aim to surround myself with people who want to think and discuss and learn, because those conversations can help build bonds and community. I hope that I can find a job that allows me to do all of this, too!

Helene in Between
Thanks for reading! Margaret

A meteorologist, a teacher, and a mother walk into a bar…

Did that get your attention?

As a way to challenge myself to write more (and to have topics to actually write about!) I have decided to participate in #Blogtober14, which is a challenge to write a blog post every day in October, complete with prompts!

I’ve never done anything like this before, and have never participated in any of those “link up” blog challenges that are apparently a thing people do. The challenge is hosted by two blogs that are more “lifestyle” than anything I’ve attempted before, and there are a bunch of beauty/fashion/etc prompts – again, that’s an area I’ve never wandered into on this blog before, so I’m a little nervous!

blogtober14 prompts

I’m a day behind, since it’s October 2nd, but technically I blogged yesterday – just without the prompt!


Today’s prompt is… Dream job when you were little/ what is it now?

But wait, there’s more!