Well it’s that time of year again, my favorite time of year, Fall! Sure signs of Fall are the changing leaves and the changing cocktail menus. Goodbye Frosé, Hello Cider! In Chicago we celebrate Autumn by getting the last of our patio sits in, enjoying time outdoors, and preparing our snow day parking spot savers. But there are more ways to celebrate and embrace the season.
I have always been a lover of this time of year. October brings my birthday and my favorite of all the holidays, Halloween. Dreaded by most couples with children, and usually LOVED by those with none. Mr. Tipsy and I have come to enjoy celebrating the season like the DINK’s we are! This year I tasked myself with finding out other childless ways grown ups are embracing the season. I asked five of my friends what they have planned and found some fun new ways to get my “Fall” on. Here they are!
Alex is a jack of all trades, Yelp Chicago Manager, Blogger and Instagram Guru Alex, along with his Lovely Wife, The Birtish Girl In Chicago , discovered an orchard called All Seasons Orchard, in Woodstock, Illinois, about a 45 minute drive from Chicago. Fun for families for sure, but also fun for grown ups! The Orchard not only offers Apple Picking, but they have a luxe gourmet market, a barnyard, corn maze, pumpkins and more! Alex and his wife shared their day on Instagram and it was obvious you don’t need kids to enjoy All Seasons Orchard! Check them out for yourself!
For more things Alex Shebarific, you can follow Alex at:
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Most of the parents I know, dread the Halloween costume preparations. When you’re a grown up celebrating Halloween you can really have some fun! Check out one of my good friends, favorite Instagrammers, and Girl About Town, Alex of @sassyconfetti fame! Alex is a Halloween Costume Guru! I asked her to share her Grown Up & Affordable Halloween Costume making fun, here is what she had to say:
When you’re a single lady in the city, Halloween can be a super stressful time. Why? Because of all the parties! I know, woe is me, I have to attend so many parties! However will I survive! The stressful part though isn’t the parties themselves, but the costumes.Over the course of my early 20s, I found myself buying cheap costumes that still somehow cost an arm and leg and only wore them once. And if you have multiple Halloween events, you have to buy multiple costumes. Because you can’t wear the same thing twice, right? Right. All of this was starting to become an expensive habit.So in my late 20s, I decided to give myself a budget and mostly wear clothes from my own closet or make the costumes myself. Now, let’s be real. I can’t sew and I don’t really have the time to learn anyway, so I had to be creative. Here are two of my favorite recent Halloween costumes and how easy they were to partially buy/partially make:
Remember back in like 2012 when Candy Crush was all the rage? Well, I found a way to dress up as the game. I went in my closet and found all the pink and red clothes I could find. I put them ALL on as you can see from the photo and then bought a hanging jewelry case and put it on as a dress and filled all the little clear plastic pouches with different colored candies. People at the bar LOVED this one because I was basically a walking candy dish. Which, you can totally re-purpose this costume as since Candy Crush isn’t as a big of a deal nowadays. Total outfit cost me around $25. And I think I even returned the jewelry case to Target. Don’t judge. I was poor.
Obviously I’ve gotten less creative as the years have gone on, but last year I went to my friend’s Halloween party as Wonder Woman. Instead of buying the whole outfit at Party City, I decided to buy the tank from Etsy for about $15 and then made my own skirt from a tutu I got on Amazon for about $5 and went and bought stars and stick-on glue at Michael’s. The accessories I did have to buy and I did get from Party City. This outfit was probably my most expensive at around $40. Still not too shabby considering some of these Wonder Woman outfits go for $50+ and you never know if they will fit!
I’ve won a lot of costume parties with these get-ups and hopefully these help get your creative juices flowing for your own Halloween gatherings coming up!
My friend and employer Christine O’Malley is a Mom of three, but you wont find her taping cardboard cut outs of Cartoon Characters in her home. Instead she found affordable and chic Fall decor to get her home in the Fall spirit. Her decor comes mostly from Home Goods and the Dollar bins at Target! She put together this cute table scape that definitely gets you in the holiday spirit for about $20! I can picture myself sitting here and enjoying a glass of wine and a nice Fall meal. Holiday spirit without the childish decor, is right up my alley!
Christine is a dear friend of mine, wife and new Mom! You can follow her adventures on Instagram at @thechicagogoodlife or on her blog at The Chicago Good Life. She embraced her inner Fall Basic Bitch by making her own version of a PSL. Here is a link to her quick and easy recipe that beats Starbucks by a mile! The Chicago Good Life PSL. I am sure she enjoys quite a few of these while her sweet baby boy Noah naps!
What’s Fall without some sweet treats? Alexa Hara of AlexaHaraEats, makes a mean batch of Caramel Corn. I asked her to share the recipe after seeing her posts on Instagram, she also shared an interesting story how she came about being a popcorn making genius. Here is what she had to say!
A few years ago I heard about this thing called Baconfest. I really wanted to go but the tickets were completely sold out. I saw they had an amateur cooking contest so I figured why not enter, I had nothing to lose and I would get some free tickets. I have made caramel corn for years but since the contest called for a bacon inspired dish I decided to substitute some of the butter for bacon fat and then add bacon during the baking process to caramelize and add an extra salty crunch component. Turns out people really liked the popcorn. Something I thought was easy and fun to make turned into something that people were begging me to make for private parties, gifts, and just for people to snack on. I actually ended up winning the contest and the Golden Rasher Pig Trophy that year because of my Bacon Caramel Corn.
Alexa’s Caramel Corn Recipe
6 cups popped popcorn(store bought salted)
1 cup dark or light brown sugar
1/4cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons of butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Baking soda
Pre-heat oven 225F
In a 3 qt saucepan add butter, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and let boil for 3-5 mins. More time if you use light brown sugar, less time if you use dark.
After it boils for specified time turn off the burner and add baking soda, and vanilla and stir.
In a large mixing bowl add caramel and popcorn and mix until coated.
Place on either a baking sheet or in a baking pan and place it in the pre-heated oven.
Every 15 mins take caramel corn out and fold so the popcorn gets moved around. Repeat 3 times for a total of 45 mins in the oven.
When done in the oven take out and lay out on parchment paper and pull apart quickly or use a spatula if its too hot. Let cool once pieces or chunks are to your liking and enjoy the crunchy caramel corn!
With a total prep to cook time of about an hour it makes for a really quick and easy snack, dessert, party favor.
Thank you to everyone who shared their stories and pictures! Fall is the best time of the year and these are just a few of the ways you can get into the spirit. Tipsy plans on coming up with some fun Fall cocktails and of course recipes to share with you, so stay tuned!