BACKYARD PUMPKIN CARVING DATE

halloween 2014

There are just a few days in the calendar where the day dictates the activity, and the Saturday before Halloween is one of these for me. It is pumpkin carving day!  There’s nothing I love more than waking up to a beautiful fall day and planning something fun to do outside. Sadly, the majority of our trees have already lost their leaves, but that day the color scheme of the backyard was absolutely gorgeous.

This is the third year since Dan and I started the tradition of carving pumpkins for Halloween, and I love the fact that we’ve got to do that in 3 different cities (the first year we were living in Atlanta, the second in Los Angeles, and now we are in Chicago!). We also decided we were going to take the same goofy photo every time, so this way we could see how much we have changed over the years. I just compared the pictures and realized that Dan’s facial expression when trying to kill the little pumpkin gets more and more threatening each year haha. Take a look here!

We spent a couple of hours working in our designs, taking a million pictures for the blog (of course!), and playing around in the backyard with our pumpkins. It was such a fun date, I’d do it all over again. Fall has been so good to us here in the midwest. Lots of fun, friends and festivities!

 

Halloween 2014, fall, chicago, pumpkin

Halloween 2014, fall, chicago, pumpkin

pumpkins

Halloween 2014, fall, chicago, pumpkin

Halloween 2014, fall, chicago, pumpkin

Halloween 2014, fall, chicago, pumpkin

Halloween 2014, fall, chicago, pumpkin

The guts are our favorite part… Just gotta dig your hands right in there!

 

Halloween 2014, fall, chicago, pumpkin

Halloween 2014, fall, chicago, pumpkin

Halloween 2014, fall, chicago, pumpkin

Halloween 2014, fall, chicago, pumpkin

Yael Serena

halloween pumpkin

halloween pumpkin

Halloween 2014, fall, chicago, pumpkin

Yael Serena

halloween 2014

Have you noticed the bandage on my finger? Pumpkin carving is not a real thing until you don’t cut yourself 😉

Halloween 2014, fall, chicago, pumpkin

halloween pumpkin

Halloween 2014, fall, chicago, pumpkin

halloween pumpkin

What activities did you do for Halloween this year? Did you post a picture of your pumpkin design? If so, let me know in the comments – I’d love to see it!! 🙂

feet from shore

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OCTOBER, I’M BACK!

Apple picking, fall

Hello guys!

After being absent for quite a while, I’m so happy to say that I’m back for fall! A new season is a promise of so many possibilities and new adventures, and you know what really puts me in a fall mood? Apple picking!

Last weekend I got my plaid shirt out of the closet and visited an apple orchard for the very first time. Now I totally understand why so many people are obsessed with it – it’s the perfect way to kick off fall! My family and I headed out to a lovely farm located in a little town in Wisconsin, and we had an incredible day. The sun was out and the air was crisp but yet warm since it rained the day before. It was amazing to be able to savor the scenery, to step on crunchy and colorful leaves, and to capture the moment with pictures. However, my favorite part was when I jumped up on Dan’s shoulders and risk my life to pick up the best ripe apples (okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic here, but I was seriously convinced I would have an epic fall when I was up there). I’m actually not a big fan of apples – or any typical fall recipe that contains the word “pie” or “cinnamon” in its title really -, so I’m still trying to figure out what to do with so many of them (any suggestions?).

After the adventure in the orchard, we went to check out the farm’s market where we picked up some fresh vegetables and Dan and my in-laws enjoyed a fresh cup of cider and homemade apple cider donuts. It was such a wonderful time. Now I can’t wait to go to a pumpkin patch!

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Yael Serena

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

Apple picking, fall

pumpkins, fall, halloween

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Happy fall everyone! 🙂

 

feet from shore

FRIDAY – is that you?

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Here it comes the second part of our adventure at the zoo, so be ready to see lots of animal pictures again!  It looks like this upcoming weekend the weather is going to be as nice as it was the weekend we visited Lincoln Park, so I plan to stay in Chicago and spend some time in downtown discovering a new part of this beautiful city. I’m camera-free this weekend though; the LCD viewer screen got some dust in it and now Best Buy is taking care of it (Geez I feel like somebody cut off one of my arms!).  I also got myself an awesome vegetarian recipe book this morning and I plan to spend some time in the kitchen trying out some exotic, delicious and healthy recipes! If I come up with something that’s worth trying I promise I’ll share the secret with you ;).

I hope you guys have plenty of fun plans this weekend, enjoy!

 

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Yael Serena

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

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feet from shore

 

LINCOLN PARK ZOO

 

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Remember that in my last post I showed you the amazing views you can get from the entrance of the Lincoln Park Zoo? Well, now it’s time to show you what is inside. The zoo is not only in the middle of the city, beautifully laid out, with a lot of vegetation, exhibits and animals to see; but the admission is totally free. Yeah, you read it right, FREE! It certainly doesn’t get any better than that, does it? I wish I lived a little bit closer to head down to the lake every once in a while and jog through the zoo to see some animals. That would definitely make my workouts easier.

I had such an amazing time taking pictures of all the animals around the park, especially the ones with gorgeous skin patterns like zebras, leopards and tigers – I’m obsessed with them! In fact, I have so many photos that I’ll most likely have to split them up in two different posts. It was very hot the day we went to visit the zoo, so most of the animals were sleeping or hiding in the shade; although I managed to capture them on camera pretty well with my long-distance lens. I’ve read that the zoo hosts different events throughout the year, and that it looks absolutely stunning during the Christmas season. I’ll definitely make sure I visit it again next winter; it will be so unique and special to see everything covered in white.

 

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Yael Serena

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago

Yael Serena

When was the last time you visited a zoo? Do you have a favorite zoo animal?

I hope the day is going well!

feet from shore

THE SECRET BRIDGE

 

Yael Serena

Good morning folks! I hope you all have had a wonderful spring weekend. If you follow me on instagram you probably already know that I’ve spent mine exploring a new city, Milwakuee. It is such a lovely place with a lot of beautiful outdoor space and a great community of people, not to mention the amazing cheeses you get to try if you go there. I’m dying to post some of the pictures I took this past weekend, you’re going to love them! But today, I’m sharing the breathtaking views you can get from the bridge over the Lincoln Park Zoo’s South Pond in Chicago. Even though I’d been in the city plenty of times before moving here, this little gem was totally unknown to me; and after the visit I’ve declared it my favorite spot in downtown.

I’m seriously not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the most stunning locations in all the city, unfortunately the pictures don’t serve it justice. The bridge is inside a wonderful park, where you can take a seat or bring a picnic lunch and simply enjoy the distinctive contrast of the skyscrapers rising above the natural beauty of Lincoln Park. The atmosphere is so peaceful and relaxing since you can barely hear all the craziness that is always going on in the city.  There are also a couple restaurants right at the entrance of the zoo with gorgeous terraces where you can order a drink and take in the beauty of the surrounding area. This place is a must go if you ever visit Chicago, you’ll fall in love with the city – 100% guaranteed.

Chicago, Lincoln Park

Chicago, Lincoln Park

Chicago, Lincoln Park

Chicago, Lincoln Park

Chicago, Lincoln Park

Chicago, Lincoln Park

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Chicago, Lincoln Park

Chicago, Lincoln Park

Chicago, Lincoln Park

Chicago, Lincoln Park

Chicago, Lincoln Park

feet from shore

MEMORIAL DAY PARADE

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Last Monday was the first time I had the chance to be in the US for Memorial Day. I still remember the times when Dan talked about how cool the parades were in Chicago, and that one day he would take me to one. Well, that day finally arrived, and it didn’t disappoint. I really loved to see everybody out in the streets cheering for the veterans who protected the freedom of the country and the way kids looked at them with pure admiration.

It was very special to be in front of people who have fought in world wars defending their values and ways of life, who have seen friends dying in the field and somehow they came back home and continued with their lives. I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been on them and their families; not to mention those who have actually lost their loved ones.  I didn’t need to be American to appreciate what that day was all about, and I’m so glad that you guys have a day to gather all together and remember that freedom is not free.

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Memorial Day, Park Ridge, Chicago

Wishing you a wonderful Monday!

feet from shore

 

AND THE WINNER IS…

Horse racing, Chicago

I can finally say that I’ve experienced the thrill of horse racing! I don’t know why, but it really makes me happy to cross that out of my bucket list. It’s one of those American things that I’ve always seen in movies and wondered what it would be like to actually be there. It’s so cool to think that hundreds of years ago, before lotteries and casinos existed, this was the only legal form of gambling. I’m so glad Americans kept this tradition, it was a lot of fun! It was also the perfect excuse to wear a nice dress and be glamourous for a day – too bad I didn’t have one of those huge and fancy hats to complete the look though.

We went to the Arlington Park Racecourse, and I only needed one second to fall in love with it. The whole area was surrounded by beautiful trees, green grass and the facility was very well taken care of. Apparently you can book the whole area for a wedding; I can’t imagine how nice that must be!

I’m usually not into gambling/betting, but I couldn’t leave without testing my luck in a few races. Surprisingly, Dan and I did very well! We won money in 3 of the 4 races we bet on; two of them by picking the two horses that would win in 1st and 2nd place (it’s called an “exacta”). You wanna know our trick? We just picked the horses with the weirdest and most outrageous names (i.e. “Who’s Mary’s Daddy”, “Bubba’s Big Show”, “Laythatpistoldown”, “Causemommasaidso”) – those were by far the best! 😉

Once the races were over, we went to check out the merchandise store and we had a lot of fun trying on the fanciest and most ridiculous pamela hats I’ve ever seen. I’ll post some of the pictures tomorrow!

 

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Horse racing, Chicago

Have a great day!

 

feet from shore