Thursday, September 13, 2018

2018 Fall Bucket List

Seasonal bucket lists are some of my favorite posts to write, and I meant to write this earlier this month, but the last few weeks have totally gotten away from me.

Nothing gets me amped up for a season like creating a bucket list! I wrote up our bucket list and put it on our fridge so Sammy and I could both add to it if we wanted. Here's what we have so far...

1. Decorate the house for Fall

Decorating is literally the reason why I wanted to buy a house. Not a joke. I'm SO stoked to decorate for the upcoming holidays, I can't even put it into words. And as icing on the cake, Sammy has recently discovered the magic that is HomeGoods and the home section at TJ Maxx and has brought up going there to buy some decor several times which couldn't make me happier.

I've put a few things around the house, mostly neutral pumpkins and such, but I definitely want to amp it up. Trying to keep it neutral in September, go hardcore in October for Halloween, and transition over to the "harvest" look in November for Thanksgiving. And then come November 23rd, all bets are off for Christmas decorating. But that's for another bucket list ;)

2. Go apple picking 

I love apple picking and look forward to going every year, which is why I super excited to think we might be able to take Henry with us this year. I have researched every orchard in IL, as well as WI and MI, and can't find one dog-friendly one. And I understand why that might be, but I thought I would be able to find at least one. Especially since it seems like other states have several! So we may have to leave Henry at home for an hour or so to go to the nearby orchard, which will probably be easier in the long run, but I'm still a little bummed.

3. Make an apple pie

I've already accomplished this one actually! I made a pie last Sunday when our family came over for dinner. I used my grandma's crust recipe and filling recipe came from the NYT. I'm going to be making at least one more before the season is over and am hoping to make a few slight adjustments to the filling recipe and practice my lattice work.

4. Try three new chili recipes

Sammy and I are very excited for many hearty meals this season re: soups, casseroles, but most of all, chili. I'm chili obsessed, so I'd love to try three chili recipes this season and declare a favorite which I'll make again next year and compare to two new recipes. Kind of like a chili bracket so we carry the best one from year to year. Sammy didn't really get this one since he thinks chili can only be made one way (wasn't a huge fan of pumpkin chili last year *eye roll*), but I'm excited to find the best recipe out there. I really want to make this white chicken chili and may have to this weekend.

5. Pick out Henry's Halloween costume

This has been a feat. And if you know me, it should come as no surprise that I've been brainstorming his costume since before we even picked him out. I'm leaning toward a DIY dinosaur costume I can make myself because it'll be cheaper (most likely) and it isn't some extravagant, humiliating costume he has to wear.

6. Take Henry to at least one Halloween/Fall event in town

CL has the cutest events around the holidays and I'm excited to finally be living so close to the downtown where a lot of them take place. In addition to CL, the entire county does awesome events this time of year, so I'm looking forward to taking advantage again. At the end of September, CL puts on a Johnny Appleseed festival and Sammy is off that Saturday, so we plan on going with Henry! I'd love to go to a Halloween event, but I also don't need to be that creepy woman with her dog at a children's event. If I can swing the Autumn Drive event (meaning if I can convince someone to come with me), we may have to do that again too.

7. Have trick-o-treaters for the first time!

This isn't really a good bucket list item because it requires little to no effort since it'll happen on it's own (hopefully!), but I still wanted to mark it down! In addition to decorating, having trick-o-treaters is something I've been super excited about. It's half the reason we have an entryway table: a place for the candy bowl ;) and I'm even more excited now that we have Henry (reason for him to wear his costume and for the kids to gush over him). Our neighborhood is entirely townhouses and kind of set off from other single-family home neighborhoods, so I'm not sure how many kids we'll actually get, but I'm hoping for at least a few door bell rings!

8. Carve pumpkins

Sammy and I have done this every year for probably as long as we've done our gingerbread house at Christmastime. I've done a castle for the last few years, but I have a feeling I'm going to be criticized if I choose it again this year ;) I can't wait to display them on our porch.

9. Have our annual Halloween date night

One year I decided to really let my crazy fly and I set up this entire Halloween-themed date night for Sammy and I complete with themed foods, drinks, and movies. We've even worn costume onesies (for comfort while still being festive). This is one of the times I realize just how much Sammy puts up with my increasing enthusiasm for the holidays haha. And even though I toned it wayyy down last year, I look forward to spending the time together in a festive way.

Sammy is off on Monday the week of Halloween (Halloween is Wednesday), so we'll do our date night then. I can't wait, and I can't wait to figure out how to incorporate some festive treats for Henry!

10. Go to the Drive-In

There is a drive-in a few towns over from us (sooo happy we're so close now!) and they do a "fall throwback series" from the very end of August through September. We went two summers ago and I loved it. It's dog-friendly (!), so I'm hoping we can make it this season.

11. Try a new recipe for Thanksgiving dinner

I always make the same thing for Friendsgiving because my girlfriends love it, but I like to try a new recipe to bring by either my family or Sammy's. Would love to make this Cranberry Curd Tart or the Jalapeño Spoonbread I said I was going to make last year and never did...

13. Volunteer 

Now that we live in the town where Sammy's serves, I really want to get more involved with the community. I think a great way to do this is through volunteering. I'm hoping to get involved in the food bank this year which seems to be at its busiest around the holidays. Would love to be able to do this as a family but will definitely do it on my own as well.

So that's it for the 2018 Fall bucket list! I can't wait to make all kinds of memories this year. xo

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