Fall Bucket List #2: Go to the Pumpkin Patch!


During the same trip that we made to Mchenry that included our beautiful nature walk, we were also able to squeeze in a visit to the Pumpkin Patch! Every year since Olivia has been born, we’ve taken her to Stade’s Farm in Mchenry, IL. It’s so cute, so fun, and very reasonably priced!

This year was our best year yet because Olivia was able to get involved more. I have a feeling I’ll probably say that every year but I’m okay with that! She was seriously SO fun! The first thing she wanted to do was go on the ponies which really shocked us but we didn’t give her a chance to change her mind, I literally ran to get a ticket for her. My Aunt walked with her so I could take a few pictures and I love how happy and interested Olivia looks in each shot. Her pony’s name was Sapphire and Olivia still talks about her!

As soon as the pony ride was over, we headed straight for the petting zoo. Olivia was so excited to play with and feed the animals. She was so cute with them and so gentle! She even held a rabbit! I love that she is getting past the fear stage and heading straight to the “I want to do that!” stage!

We stayed at the petting zoo entirely too long, but we just couldn’t pull her away from all of the baby animals. Once we finally did though, we took her on all sorts of rides. The train, the slides, the bouncy house. The Pumpkin Patch was her oyster and she had a blast.

After we she was wiped out from all of the running around, everyone stopped for lunch (we’re still going strong on the whole 30 so Dominic and I missed all of the pumpkin patch treats!) and then we went on a hayride to pick pumpkins. This was our first year taking the hayride to get them (I honestly don’t think we ever knew about it the two years before), and the patch was huge! There were so many different kinds of pumpkins. I was on the hunt for a white one, Olivia was on the hunt for “baby ones” and Dominic followed us around so that he could carry all of our pumpkins back to the tractor ;)

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Olivia the Photographer.


Olivia has really started getting into taking pictures, and it makes me insanely happy. It makes me so happy that I almost forget about all the unflattering photos she takes of me….almost ;)

About two months ago, Dominic came up to me and said “Hey, did you take sleeping selfies of yourself on my phone?”


After he showed me the pictures, we began to notice a pattern….after all of these weird sets of photos in our camera rolls, we’d see a very familiar little face, with a very satisfied-with-herself look. It was so funny and now we pretty much look forward to finding little surprises in our phones.

Here is the first set of photos, Instagram video style:

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Yesterday afternoon, I received a bouquet of flowers in the mail from Bouqs. When they contacted me to work with them, I was super excited because Bouqs is a great company and their bouquets are seriously so beautiful.

If you’ve never heard of Bouqs, allow me to tell you a little bit about them. Bouqs is pretty much putting all of their competitors to shame. They grow and pick their flowers from one of two places: an active volcano (so cool!) in South America or from the sunny surf of California. They get to work on picking your flowers the minute you place your order and have them delivered within a week.

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I love Bouqs for a few reasons. One, they’re affordable. There are no hidden fees, which is my favorite. It’s 40/50/70 dollars flat, depending on the size! Two, they’re eco-friendly! They only pick what they sell, instead of over-picking and wasting beautiful flowers. Three, it is so easy to order from them. Seriously, three steps and you’re done. And four, they seem like a really awesome company to work for. Bouqs provides living wages, childcare, health care and adult education to their workers– how great is that?

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The bouquet that I picked is called Peace and it was even more beautiful in person. They came in a heavy duty box and wrapped really good so that nothing happened to them before they got to me. I really loved that Bouqs were separated into two bouquets. I kept one for myself and I put the other one on Olivia’s easel and she loves it!

I already can’t wait to order from them again. Actually, I’ve already seen Dominic eyeing the website ;)



The Bouqs - Premium Farm Direct Flowers

Fall Bucket List #1: Go On A Nature Walk!


This past weekend we made our (what seems like) bi-monthly trip to Mchenry. We haven’t seen them since the beginning of August and we were missing them, as much as they were missing us.

When I was making plans with my Aunt, she suggested that we go for a nice long walk in the early afternoon, not only was it free but she said it was beautiful and I trust her judgement one hundred percent!

I really love it there for the same reasons I really love going to Galena with my in-laws: the whole small, quaint town, with lots and lots of green is really my jam. Whenever Dominic and I look at houses on Zillow (seriously one of my favorite things to do), we always check for two things: One, can I make it look like my House board on Pinterest?  And two, are there enough trees? Does it look like a forest in the backyard?  Since we always manage to look outside of Illinois when we’re dream-home searching, Portland has pretty much stolen our hearts. Kind of has everything we want! But, that’s another story for another day. Anyway, Mchenry has a lot of green. The state park that my aunt suggested we go on our nature walk definitely had a lot of green. The minute we pulled in, I was already in heaven.

Since getting my iPhone, I haven’t taken my big girl camera out much. It makes me so sad but with a sweet little tornado toddler, an iPhone is just a lot more convenient. I’ve been trying to make it a point to get it out a little more, so this nature walk was the perfect excuse to do so.

We walked a total of three miles, to and from the car. I could’ve gone a lot longer had I remembered to bring snacks, but I didn’t, and we were all pretty much starving. We brought our stroller with so that Olivia could rest in it when she wanted but our girl was a trooper. She walked the whole way, up and down huge hills and just kept going. I love how interested and excited she was to go on this walk, and I love how eager she was to look for special treasures to but inside her little nature bag, to bring home with her.

Dominic and I really enjoy showing Olivia how important it is to spend time outside, enjoying nature. My Aunt also gets that so every time we go up there she always finds us something fun to do, that doesn’t involve electronics. I hope Olivia always remembers that spending time in front of the TV/iPad (or whatever electronic devices they have in 10 years), is nowhere near as important as spending time with good old mother nature ;)

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“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Olivia: This weekend we took you on a nature walk and you loved every second of it. Outdoors is your favorite place to be and I hope that never changes.

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