Week In Review | September 21 – September 27, 2015

Happy Fall, friends!  I am so enjoying being back home and settling into my daily routines with the change of the seasons.  I’d like to share some tidbits from my life last week as well as an accompanying photo recap with selections from my Instagram and Snapchat (@prettyneatlivng) feeds with you.

week in review fall 09-29-2015

It’s so nice to be home just in time for my personal favorite weather transitions in the Chicagoland area.  Whenever someone asks me when the best time to visit Chicago is, I always tell them late September/early October, because it’s when we tend to get the most gorgeous sunny days that are warm, breezy, and beautiful.  It’s still very green outside, but the leaves on the trees are just starting to turn and folks in our neighborhood trade their fading summer annuals for gorgeous mums and ornamental lettuces.  The summer humidity is replaced by a refreshing breeze with a hint of fall crispness in the air.  I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed my twice daily walks with my pup, Winnie, over the past week as I notice these changes.  I’ve even started bringing touches of fall inside our home, too, with seasonal flowers.  I plan to decorate a bit for fall next week.

week in review pregnancy 09-29-2015

The fall season marks a new chapter in my pregnancy, as well, as I plan to tackle the bulk of nursery and baby gear planning in the next couple of months.  I knew I had to get into gear with the nursery furniture since it can take three months or even longer sometimes to get pieces in, and I’m only a couple weeks away from entering the third trimester.  After much research, we finally narrowed down our top choices, saw the pieces in person, and ordered them.  I shared more yesterday about the furniture we picked out for Baby Girl’s room, which you can read about here if you’re interested.  It feels so good to cross that one off my list!

Fall also means some of my favorite flavors make a comeback, including hearty soups and stews, hot chocolate and cider, and apple and pumpkin baked goods.  I saw a link to a recipe for 3 Ingredient Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins during a random scroll on Instagram one day and knew I had to have them immediately.  Not only are they super easy to make, but they’re scrumptious!  Confession: I’ve had one (or two 😉 ) every day this week!  I can’t wait to enjoy more of my favorite fall treats.

week in review edwards orchard 09-29-2015

On Friday, me, my MIL, Suzanne, my aunts (her sisters) and my cousin all headed out for our annual Melissa Oktoberfest Day of fall fun together.  For whatever reason, the women in our family call each other Melissa as a nickname.  It’s always so much fun when the Melissa’s get together!  This year, we headed out to Edwards Orchard for the first half of our annual fall celebration.  What a lovely place!  We so enjoyed everything from the immaculate grounds and fruitful farm to the horse-drawn wagon ride and darling country store.  Beautiful fall bounty was everywhere to be seen!

week in review melissa oktoberfest 09-29-2015

Please excuse me while I reminisce about the amazing smells and tastes Edwards Orchard had to offer.  My super sensitive sniffer picked up the sweet smell of apples the moment we stepped out of the car.  The trees were chockablock full of them!  They were harvesting Honey Crisp (one of my favorites) and Jonathan apples that day.  In addition to offering fresh apples for sale or for picking, the talented folks at Edwards Orchard churn out a delectable array of apple treats, including their amazing apple cider donuts.  I picked up a couple dozen to bring home and freeze for me and Don to enjoy over the remainder of the season.  We decided to pick berries instead of apples this year and had great luck in the raspberry and blackberry fields.  What a gorgeous day to spend outside with some of my favorite people!

After thoroughly enjoying the orchard, we headed to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for our annual fall pilgrimage to Popeye’s.  Don’t confuse this restaurant with the fried chicken chain.  This Popeye’s makes the most juicy and delectable rotisserie chicken ever!  After supper, we walked around the quaint town of Lake Geneva before heading home.  It was the perfect end to a memorable day spent together.

I vlogged during our Melissa Oktoberfest Day if you’re interested in seeing more:

I spent my weekend catching up with my work and picking up around the house as well as seeing family.  While going on vacation is awesome, there’s nothing quite like being home.  I’d love to hear some of the highlights from your week if you care to share.
Happy Fall!


* This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *


14 thoughts on “Week In Review | September 21 – September 27, 2015”

  1. I love reading your blogs and watching your vlogs in particular. My husband, Daughter and I watch them together and we’ve always wondered why you call your MIL ‘Melissa’ so thanks for clarifying! Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

    1. I believe I got that from Target a year or two ago…I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful! It’s called Happiness. It’s a soy based candle.

  2. Looks like you had an fabulous fall day. We plan on going to the pumpkin patch this weekend for some fall fun, but it has been so rainy in VA (I mean we are at flood stage) that it may make it difficult. We may have to plan for another weekend. I have enjoyed watching you for years and am excited following your growing family. Love to all of you.

  3. Years ago, when I lived in Ks. City, Mo, we visited the Louisburg Cider Mill in Louisburg, KS. I loved it! The donuts were awesome! Food memories are the best! 😉

  4. Part of my fall tradition is baking apple cobbler and loving the pumpkin spice muffins at Tim Horton s! Best wishes from Canada!

  5. Loved all the love of fall! My favorite season as well. Here in Somerset, Pennsylvania, the heart of the Laurel Highlands, fall comes with such beauty!! I’m enjoying all of the colors and walks outdoors! By the way, I love those muffins and since they’re so easy and yummy, I plan on making them in my preschool class with my kiddos! 🙂

  6. Hi there Jen! First of all, I wanted to thank you for the advice that you gave me earlier this week, I really appreciate it! Second of all, over the past two weeks, I’ve been working tirelessly on my first-ever blog interview that I did of two of my BFFs that went on a trekking adventure throughout Europe. I’m really proud of how it turned out, and I really want to share it with you… I hope that you enjoy reading it, and please send me a comment on my blog, to let me know your feedback and advice. Hope that you have a great week
    Take care, <3 🙂
    P.S.:Here's the link: http://klsmgypsytraveller.blogspot.ca/2015/09/my-nomadic-turtle-life-eight-month.html

  7. I wish we could enjoy something like this in Miami. Unfortunately we don’t really get Fall or Winter weather so thank you for uploading your experiences so that I may live vicariously through you lol

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