Gabriel’s 15th Birthday & Halloween Celebrations

Uhhh hello, November! I probably sound like a broken record, but what the heck. November?! Wild.

This was such a sweet month with so much to celebrate! October is always one of my favorite months in the States, and although I definitely missed weekends upstate and my beloved cider donuts, I was still able to incorporate a bunch of my fav. fall things to make it feel festive.

Here’s a little bit of what went down.

Soaking up allllll the sunshine over here! Been loving mornings at the lake with some school work, a massive coffee, and some sort of sweet treat.

It fully feels like summer here now, so we’re spending every moment we can outside! We love grabbing a takeaway (usually a Harry’s Schnitzel Wrap or Kebabs) and eating it up the top of Dixon Park at sunset! It’s so beautiful!

The sweetest. I love him so much 😭

Gabriel’s birthday lunch 🙌🏼

We were so thankful his birthday fell on a Saturday this year! He had been up crazy late the night before for school, so we had a slow morning at home before heading to The Beaches Hotel for lunch. It was so good! The Beaches has always been one of my favs in Newcastle because of the view–you just can’t beat it! But obviously, the food is incred, too.

Catch us trailing behind the group at all times 👍🏼

We had the rest of the fam over for dinner that night to celebrate! It was such a funny night. It started with Kenzie and Cohen pranking Gabriel by making him think his birthday present was a jar of green olives (which he hates) and it ended with me trying to play Roblox with the kids. I was so bad (which Cohen found enormously amusing).

Sidenote- Gabriel’s birthday cake makes me laugh. His absolute favorite cake is cheesecake, but we have been completely spoiled in NYC, so Newcastle’s options feel like a bit of a sad comparison (except for Goldberg’s–they’re cheesecake is the real deal but they couldn’t sell us a full cake on such short notice). The next best thing–in our humble opinion–is a good ol’ classic Peter’s Ice Cream Cake doused with Maltesers. Not the cutest but so freaking delish.

Because we’re big believers in the “birthday week” over here in the Chadban household, the festivities carried on with absolutely zero hesitation! The next day, we went up to the Bay for breakfast at what is probably our most favorite café in Australia (big call but I’m serious). It’s nothing crazy, but the food is good and we always spend hours around the table chatting. Some of our deepest and most-defining conversations as a family have happened in this place, so it holds a very special place in all of our hearts!

Obviously had to go for a beach walk after breakfast (ok let’s be real–it was brunch). We sat down for a little about half-way along the beach to just chill and chat. Gabriel and I played “I Spy” (yaknow, as most 15 and 19 year-olds do) which soon turned into a full fam game. I know it sounds lame but it was genuinely a good time. I’m the reigning champ so if you ever want to challenge me to a game, tell me a time and place and I’m there. Anyway, we were sitting on the towel, all our phones and wallets, and whatnot in the middle of us, when this massive wave came for us out of nowhere. Things went from 0 to 100 TOO quick. It was chaos. We all screamed, scrambling to secure the phones, and poor Gabriel somehow got pushed down in the process (prob my fault tbh). Honestly, I can’t even imagine how it must’ve looked! We walked back to the car in fits of laughter over how quickly that escalated.

The Hunter is soooooooo gorgeous. We were driving through the vineyards with the last part of Pluto Projector by Rex Orange County playing (you know, that cinematic instrumental ending that makes you feel like you need to move to Paris or go dance in a field or something?) and it was just so peaceful and beautiful. Beyond thankful for this season here.

As for why we went up to the Hunter… We had another birthday celebration for Gabriel! This time it was a beautiful family dinner–just the four of us. Very special!

My cute parents! Thankful they’re mine ❤️

Made Raspberry and Oat Crumble Bars! So yum and so easy! Will share the recipe soon.

Went for dinner at the beach one night and this rainbow was insane! So pretty!

Technically, it’s spring here, but you already know I’m still eating all the Fall treats and watching all my fav festive movies. Life’s too short not to, ok!

Speaking of Fall… we still went all out for Halloween! Halloween really isn’t a big thing here in AUS, but when we realized it fell on a Saturday, we knew we had to do something! Kenzie and Co came over and we had a full Halloween fun-day! We dressed up, carved pumpkins, went searching for bats in the front yard (found plenty, too), watched Halloweentown, and of course, ate bucket loads of candy.

It was such a sweet day. 10/10 would recommend (even when the world isn’t shut down thanks to COVID).

Guess I didn’t get the scary costume memo 🤷🏻‍♀️

You know how, in the Northern Hemisphere, people decorate for Halloween with cobwebs, fake spiders, and bat cut-outs? Well, it was the running joke that we don’t need those things here because we have the real deal. While carving pumpkins, I had the biggest spider crawl up me (a huntsman too 🤮), and at night, we always get bats in our trees.

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