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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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

IMG_8404

 

feet from shore

 

LINCOLN PARK ZOO

 

IMGLincoln Park Zoo Chicago_8169

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

A TRAVEL TO CHILDHOOD

Disneyland California

Friday, yes! Today I’m going back a few months ago to remember one of my last weekends in Los Angeles. A good friend of mine had free tickets to go to the park, so on a sunny Saturday we packed a few snacks and a few bottles of water and we were ready to go! This wasn’t my first time at Disneyland though; I already went to the one in Paris ten years ago with my high school friends and I remember it as a really cool experience. So this time I was very excited to relive the adventure with a different group of people in a different corner of the world, ready to hop on a time machine that took me back to my childhood in a place where all my favorite characters were reunited.

Even though the rides were not as crazy and exciting as the ones at Six Flags for example, seeing the decoration and meticulous detail that goes into the design of the buildings, attractions, restaurants and so on was definitely worth the trip. I absolutely loved the magical atmosphere that surrounded the park, where in a minute I was in a boat in the middle of the jungle and the next one I was in a space ship ready to travel through the universe. Disneyland is definitely a place where you can sense the happiness in the air; and my favorite part, if you ask me, was to see the sparkles in every kid’s eyes every time they saw a Disney mascot waving and smiling at them. Sometimes I miss being that innocent, although I think I do a pretty good job letting myself be a kid every once in a while. Remember there was a time when getting a cookie from the cookie jar made you the happiest person in the world? Well, I still feel the same way every time I steal one ;).

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland Los Angeles

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

Disneyland California

 

Happy weekend friends!!

 

feet from shore

HAT SPECTACLE

Yael Serena

This was probably the funniest part of going to the horse races last Saturday – to try on some crazy and fancy hats! I still don’t understand how the people in charge of the store didn’t kick us out; we literally spent more than 20 minutes grabbing the hats, playing with them and laughing out loud. The store wasn’t too big, so I’m sure everybody was looking at us in a veeery awkward way. But hey, when you’re being a kid and having fun, who cares what people think? 😉

 Hats

Yael Serena

Hat

Hats

Yael Serena

Sorry for this goofy and nonsense post, I promise next one will be better! Which hat is your favorite, btw? 🙂

Have a nice day!

 

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

HEY LOOK, I GOT A FISH!

Fishing in Chicago

The weather was wonderful in Chicago this past weekend – it was actually nice to be outside! We were debating whether to go to the zoo or fishing with my in-laws, and since they preferred the latter, we went for it. I’d never been fishing before, so I thought it would be cool to try something new and see if I liked it. And I certainly did!

We started the day off by going to get our licenses and some bait. It is crazy how many things you have to take into account when you are going fishing – choose the right hook, the right bait, the right bobber, etc. Thank God Michelle knew what she was doing and decided for us.
Our initial plan was to go to Lake Michigan, but one of the salesmen recommended we go to Busse Lake in Elk Grove and we followed his advice. The area was very nice, even though it was a little bit crowded when we got there.

Dan and I were terrible with the fishing pole; so we had to spend most of our time untangling the fishing line instead of catching bluegills. It was the perfect excuse to make fun of each other though. Alex and Michelle were awesome, and they caught a fish every 2 minutes at least!

Overall, it was such a fun experience and I can’t wait to learn more about it!

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

IMG_5116

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

And you guys, have you tried to do something out of the ordinary this past weekend? Have you ever gone fishing? If so, did you like it?

I hope you are having a great start of the week!

feet from shore