October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

We don’t usually get many costumed kids knocking on doors in my condo complex on Halloween, so I plan to take to the streets tonight to enjoy the spooky decorations on some of the old Victorian homes around the block. As you can see, I’ve already taken steps to ensure that my evening will be filled with delicious and festive treats, not tricks.

October 29, 2013

Girls Take Wisconsin

No, we were not dressed up for Halloween as private investigators or American Girl dolls

The girls’ family weekend was exactly what I hoped it would be. Not only did we enjoy the autumn-esque traditions hinted at in my last post, we also held “Christmas in October” since we won’t be making the usual visit to Cincinnati to celebrate the holidays this year. With side trips to Madison for one of their last outdoor Farmers’ Markets of the season, to Delafield for some cheese curds, Spotted Cow and shopping, to downtown Oconomowoc for their Halloween parade, and to the couch for a late night viewing of World War Z, it’s hard to believe that we fit so much in to so few days away.

These seemed to be incorporated into every bouquet at the Farmers' Market
Vintage stamps turned eye-catching jewelry 
Blue skies for the win during a walk down State Street
Bear: the world's smallest horse, and the highlight of the Halloween parade. Note the knees behind for scale.
My favorite Friday night tradition: bloody marys with beer chasers at Burke's Lakeside

October 25, 2013

Children of the Corn

Aeppletreow Winery, under slightly more sepia-toned skies than when we visited last weekend

Is this image sufficiently scary? I’m hoping that it will set the tone for this weekend’s trip to the middle of (kinda) nowhere, when we have plans to drive through cornfields, sleep in a renovated barn, watch scary movies and eat caramel popcorn. You never know though, a side trip for some shopping in Madison might be made. A girl can’t live on fear alone.

Hope you have an equally creepy weekend!

October 24, 2013

Spiders & Skulls

My wax-bottomed Maker's Mark glasses and skull cocktail picks are perfect to showcase on the bar this time of year

I don’t really hold back when it comes to the holidays. By this point in the month, my packages of sparkly spiders, flock of crows, bags of cobwebs and arsenal of skulls and pumpkins is out in full force.  Unfortunately, I haven’t really mastered the art of interior lighting for my photography and I still hate the yellow walls that we inherited, so I’ll spare you most shots of my decked out bookcases.

That said, I couldn’t resist an opportunity to show you a few of the creatures that are currently haunting our place. You’ll have to forgive me for leaving out the picture of our apothecary jar of grotesque gummy worms—we either have really hungry ghosts, or my boyfriend’s been over-serving himself.  

The "Webster's Visual Dictionary of Curiosities" always gets a prominent place on my desk in October
Look closely at the hallway mirror and you may find that a spider nest has claimed it
My inner mad scientist can't resist displaying specimens under glass
There's now an infestation on our condiment tray
Thinking about leaving this one up year-round. Bonus: it glows in the dark!

October 22, 2013

Peace in the Suburbs

The last one, but maybe my favorite because you can't beat this tranquil view right behind the Northwestern arch

We were taking a walk along the Lake a few weeks ago when a partially hidden white sculpture caught my eye. We immediately changed our route to investigate, and soon found ourselves toe to face with a very large Buddha head that seemed to be emerging from the ground.

I soon learned that this was one of seven scattered throughout Evanston as part of the Ten Thousand Ripples Project—a beautiful effort to remind each us of the importance of peace. We soon made a scavenger hunt of it, grabbing coffee each morning and making a pilgrimage to a different location until we had scouted them all. The time spent together finding each of them was not only serene, it was a lot of fun too, because it encouraged us to get out and see parts of our community that we otherwise rarely visit. There are other locations for the Project in and around Chicago, and if you’re able to get out and find a few, I can promise that you'll be at peace too.

The head that started it all: on the banks of the Dawes Park Lagoon, one of our frequent hang-out spots in town
Arguably the most visible, and the trickiest one to visit: at the intersection of Green Bay Rd. & McCormick Blvd.
Don't know how I missed this one so many times: at the southern entrance into downtown Evanston
In my old stomping grounds: off of Main St. on Ridge Rd.
In an unexpected (and hard to reach on one-way streets) spot among the roses: right on Howard St.
The one that took us to a place we had never been: at the base of the hill in James Park