October 2013–Halloween Fun

Fall is my favorite time of year and I like to take every opportunity I have to do things to celebrate the different holidays. This month, I participated in quite a few Halloween-esque activities. First, a few weeks ago, I was able to go to some haunted houses with a few old friends, Justin and Jim, that I used to work with in high school. It was great to see them! They’re as awful as ever ;). The first haunted house we went to was Dungeon of Doom in Zion, IL. It was actually pretty cool. I, of course, freaked myself out before going in, but I got used to the people jumping out at me pretty quickly. It was a 45 minute haunted house and did not disappoint, although we were squirted with water too often for my liking…

The second haunted house was Asylum Xperiment, in Villa Park, IL. While the scenery in this was spooooky and scary, the house was a disappointment overall. The traffic flow was horrible and we found ourselves waiting between almost every room. We got there at about 9:30pm, about 2 hours after opening, and the actors seemed exhausted/not putting in a ton of effort to scare people. It happens, but I would definitely rather have gone to this haunted house earlier in the season or earlier in the night.

The next fun Halloween thing I did was go to a little get together with my “church” group. We made spoooooky food, carved pumpkins, and watched The Strangers. I think I like that movie because it could feasibly happen, unlike some of the more monster genre scary movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love those too, but there is just something creepy about this movie that makes it unique.

I made mummy hotdogs and Emily made graveyard cupcakes!

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Here is my pumpkin:

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Here is a picture of Matt and I with our pumpkins:

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And here is our group of pumpkins (Andy, Matt, Alec/Emily, Me, Alex):

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Super spooky, right? Our pumpkins were adorbz and we had a good time. The next Halloween festivity I attended was a shindig at my pal, Brynn’s, new apartment in Lincoln Park. A ton of our old friends came and it was a blast! Sara and Rob came over and got ready and the four of us headed over to Paige’s in Lakeview. Her place is totally gorgeous and she made some awesome spiked cider before heading to Brynn’s for the rest of the night. It was great to see the people I was able to and spend time with friends. Here was my costume with Matt. I was a zombie and he was a lumberjack that I bit while he was chopping wood…in the forest?:

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Here is a picture that Paige’s boyfriend, Jeff, took with his Polaroid camera:

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Today is actually Halloween and I am using it as a much needed self-care day. I was able to take the day off because I worked last weekend. I have spent the day doing a few things I love the most: cooking, wine, scary movies, yoga, and doing it all with my Matt. Happy Halloween, everyone! Be safe.

~Amanda

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September and Fall Fun!

If any of you know me, you know that I absolutely love fall. It means beautiful colors, perfect temperatures (I like needing a sweater and/or a scarf), great food, good company, and the holidays. I’ve heard from quite a few people that they hate fall because it means winter is coming (not in the GoT way), but I actually don’t mind winter either. Anyways, the cooler weather means I have been in a pretty darn good mood lately. This past month I did not do too many things–I worked 28 days in a row. Some days were me being on call, but it is still not time off. Matt and I had a few dates exploring our new neighborhood that included stopping at Hamburger Mary’s and splitting a milkshake. Adorable ;). I am honestly not sure how he let this picture happen:

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However, as of October 1, I will no longer be working with the human trafficking program. I will be working three days a week with the seniors program and two days a week with a really great program that connects vulnerable seniors in the community to different community organizations and churches. It is great and I was able to experience one of their service days last weekend. It was humbling to see how much people were willing to volunteer their time to those who needed it. Needless to say, I have a very good feeling about being involved in some of the grass root efforts of this program!

Of course, I did do some things. I was able to visit my family for a day and see my baby cousin all dressed up for her first high school homecoming dance. She looked absolutely gorgeous and so grown up!

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While it was nice to see my family, it was also great to spend last weekend with friends! On Saturday night, Matt and I were able to see my best friend Sara, Rob, Sabrina, Mike, Heidi, Meg, Howard, Tony, and Paige all in one night! It was great. Here is a picture of Sara and I at Dark Horse:

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The next day, Matt and I went with our other group of friends to go Apple picking at County Line Orchard in Hobart, IN. It’s only about an hour from Chicago, but it is far enough away to feel like a totally different world. We went with Andy, Alex, Alec, and Emily and had a really nice time! Although six people should never be forced to squeeze into my car, we made it work, as you can see:

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Here are a few more pictures of the group from the day. PS If you ever go here, BUY THE APPLE CIDER DOUGHNUTS AS WELL AS THE PUMPKIN DOUGHNUTS. You will not be disappointed, but your waist line might be:

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We all came back to our apartment, made spiked apple cider, and watched the spooky fish episode of South Park. It kicked off the Halloween season for sure. This next month will be full of haunted houses, scary movies (bad and good), and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! I also plan on attempting to deepen my yoga practice through additional practice and literature. I hope you all enjoy the season as much as I plan to.

Until next time,

Amanda