Tag Archives: Fall

hello autumn

Happy first weekend of fall! In case you missed it, yesterday we celebrated the autumn solstice with record heat in St. Louis.

Because nothing says autumn like leaves just giving up and falling because they are too dry to hold on any longer.

hello_autumn

But there’s hope for your weekend, still. Here are a few ways to make the most out of the new season even if summer won’t loosen it’s death grip just yet:

Step 1: Crank down your thermostat to 65.

Step 2: Wrap up in your giant blanket scarf and watch College GameDay.

Step 3: Boots still look cute with sleeveless dresses. Just don’t forget deodorant.

Step 4: Be thankful there isn’t a pumpkin shortage because both you and your dog are going through 2+ cans a week.

pumpkin apple muffins, pumpkin, baking, fall recipes, pumpkin muffins, fall, autumn, breakfast, dessert

Pumpkin Apple Muffins with Streusel Topping (Makes 18)

  • 1 C unsweetened canned pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 2 C peeled and chopped apples (Pink Lady or Honeycrisp)
  • 2 1/2 C flour (I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose)
  • 2 C sugar
  • 1 TBL pumpkin pie spice mix (cloves, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Streusel Topping (because streussel makes everything better)

  • 2 TBL flour
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 TBL oats
  • 2 tsp butter

pumpkin_apple_2

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk sugar, flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice mix, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, blend pumpkin, oil and eggs together.

Add dry ingredients into wet and mix until just combined. Add apples.

Scoop into prepared muffin tins and fill about 2/3 of the way.  Top with 1 tsp streusel topping per muffin.

Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

pumpkin apple muffins, recipes, breakfast, brunch, baking, fall, streusel topping, apple, pumpkin

I make these nearly every year on repeat. They are a great excuse for a mini carb-load anytime of day and they freeze well if you’re afraid you might eat them all in the first few days.

Not that Matt and I would know what that’s like or anything.

pumpkin apple muffins, recipes, breakfast, brunch, baking, fall, streusel topping, apple, pumpkin

Happy fall!

greater swiss mountain dog, finn, swissy, gsmd,

All the fall things

I’ve been meaning to write this post for several weeks now but the truth is I’ve been too busy taking 1,000 photos of trees with changing leaves to get around to it.

5 ways to fall in love with fall, fall, midwest, st louis, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, katy trail, st charles, running, pumpkins, halloween recipes, mummy oreos,

That’s what fall will do to you after a few years away.

It’s science.

And judging from the physiological reaction I had the first time I smelled a bonfire this season, consider me well-conditioned.

I realize that not everyone shares my love for crunchy leaves under their feet and nearly every iteration baked goods containing pumpkin you can squeeze into a few short months, so I thought I’d share a few of ways you too can fall in love with fall this season.

1.Check out a local fall festival. We were fortunate to get into town just in time for the 30th annual St. Charles Oktoberfest, complete with commemorative beer steins, traditional dancers and some of the best latkes I’ve ever tasted.

5 ways to fall in love with fall, fall, midwest, st louis, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, katy trail, st charles, running, pumpkins, halloween recipes, mummy oreos,

2. Go for a brisk fall run. Or in my case, train for half of a half marathon while living in Florida, get one magical long run in where it was 60 degrees and then try not to melt on race day when temps reached the mid-80s. (coming soon: a fall running tour of the katy trail)

katy_arch3. Get into the Halloween spirit. (coming soon: oreo mummy recap. Pumpkin muffin recipe can be found here.) oreo_pumpkin

4. Buy a pumpkin. Or two. Or Seven.

5 ways to fall in love with fall, fall, midwest, st louis, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, katy trail, st charles, running, pumpkins, halloween recipes, mummy oreos,

5. Make a big batch of chili. And eat it as you begrudgingly delete all of the leaf and tree photos on your phone. (solid vegetarian chili recipe here.)

5 ways to fall in love with fall, fall, midwest, st louis, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, katy trail, st charles, running, pumpkins, halloween recipes, mummy oreos,

Bonus points if you have a dog that just so happens to perfectly match all things fall and loves the weather so much he happily sits on the front porch to feed your fall habit.

finn_fall

Happy fall y’all!

candy corn sprinkle covered apple cider donuts

Sometimes I feel like that guy you went on a first date with and afterwards he says you should hang out again soon but then you don’t hear from him for two-plus weeks. And you’re probably over there on the other end of your computer or smart phone like what the heck? I thought we hit it off?

Should I shoot over a random text that says I’m interested without saying I’m interested. You know something like, “hey.” A simple reminder that you’re waiting for an update, but not desperately waiting, just you know, waiting.

Meanwhile that guy you’re dating (me in this case) actually really wants to hang out with you again but keeps getting sidetracked by work, work events and events for work and hasn’t gotten around to making the necessary efforts to plan your next date.

OR, this is just my really roundabout way of telling you that I’m sorry I keep going AWOL from the blog. I miss you and I’ll try to be better. And better I’ll be because today marks the start of the best season ever created once a year every year from now until eternity.

source

I’ll try not to repeat my annual reminder post about how obsessed every girl everywhere is with the fall season as I’m sure the amount of blanket scarves, over the knee boots and PSL snaps and instagrams you’ve seen today are reminder enough.

Instead, I’d like to use this time to revisit my baking of the inaugural batch of pumpkin apple muffins, a task just a wee bit more challenging to get motivated for when it’s still 90 degrees outside and you’ve already showered but can’t stop sweating from your run.

So without further ado. Give me all the pumpkin!

IMG_5449

Pumpkin Apple Muffins with Streusel Topping (makes 18-24)

  • 1 C unsweetened canned pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 2 C peeled and chopped apples (I used honeycrisp)
  • 2 1/2 C flour (I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose)
  • 2 C sugar
  • 1 TBL pumpkin pie spice mix (cloves, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Streusel Topping (Because, well, Streusel)

  • 2 TBL flour
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 TBL oats
  • 2 tsp butter

 

pumpkin apple muffins, pumpkin recipes, fall, autumn, muffins, breakfast, brunch, baking, recipes, pumpkin apple muffins, pumpkin recipes, fall, autumn, muffins, breakfast, brunch, baking, recipes,

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk sugar, flour, baking soda, spice mix, soda and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, blend pumpkin, oil and eggs together.

Add dry ingredients into wet and mix until just combined. Add apples.

Scoop into prepared muffin tins and fill about 2/3 of the way.  Top with 1 tsp streusel topping per muffin.

Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

pumpkin apple muffins, pumpkin recipes, fall, autumn, muffins, breakfast, brunch, baking, recipes,

Serve warm with butter. pumpkin apple muffins, pumpkin recipes, fall, autumn, muffins, breakfast, brunch, baking, recipes, pumpkin apple muffins, pumpkin recipes, fall, autumn, muffins, breakfast, brunch, baking, recipes,

If you need me, I’ll be out shopping for plastic pumpkins and gourds that won’t melt on my front porch this year.

Happy Fall, Ya’ll!

A Perfect Fall Day

Today was just about as close as you can get to a perfect fall day. And believe me I’m just as surprised as you that it happened this early in October and this close to the Gulf of Mexico. But it did. And I’m perfectly OK with that.

Normally on a day like today, I would head out to a pumpkin patch with the sole purpose of stocking up on gourds, drinking cider and eating donuts until my glucose tolerance increased enough for the upcoming holiday. But since I’ve been warned that any pumpkins I purchase will likely melt before Halloween, Finn and I settled for a trip to the dog beach instead. Because nothing says fall like sun, sand and saltwater.

If you’re already sick of PSLs, puffer vests and pumpkin pics, let me take you on a day-trip with us to the dog beach. You can go ahead and stop reading now if you are over my alliteration or averse to a million dog photos.

Cat people beware.

I had planned on taking Finn to the dog beach this week as a reward for adjusting fairly well to me going back to work, but when we woke up to temps in the low 60s this morning, I wasn’t sure anyone else would be at the beach for him to play with. I tried to come up with something else to wear him out but neither he nor his cow were having any of it.

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog,

 

So off we went but not before Finn showed off how much control he has when he realizes he is in fact going for a ride in the car.

It’s not a very long ride to the dog beach but all that excitement about riding in the car usually wears Finn out for the actual riding part. After all, you never know what you’re in for once you get to your final destination so you might as well arrive rested.

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog,

Turns out everyone else was taking advantage of the great weather and the beach was actually busier than usual. Never very cognizant of his own size, Finn managed to find the only dogs on the beach bigger than him. Cocoa the Saint Bernard and Willow the soon-to-be 200 pound mastiff seemed like as good a pack as any to join.

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog, saint bernard, mastiff, brohard dog beach, venice, beach,

 

There was a lot of gossiping going on.

And quite a few selfies.

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog, brohard dog beach, paw park, florida, gulf coast, dog beach

get one with my ears blowing in the wind mom.

When we got tired of running around, we took a few more selfies.

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog, brohard dog peach, paw park, florida, gulf coast, dog beach

And how can we forget that moment when Finn thought he was posing for a picture and it was really a video. Awkward!

I still have to figure out another way to spike my glucose over the next few weeks but I’m glad that we can keep trips to the beach in rotation well into the fall.

Have a great week and please keep the pumpkin patch pictures coming!

 

 

 

Long time no talk

Hey there! Where have you been? Feels like we haven’t had a one-sided conversation in forever.

My bad. Truth is I’ve actually been busy. Really, truly, contributing to society again busy.

That’s right the sabbatical has ended. The summer of Sarah has come to a close. But what a summer it was! Beach time, dog walks, mid-day recipe posts, more dog walks, mid-day workouts, another dog walk. But it wasn’t all sunshine and summertime. The frustration, boredom and self-doubt that comes with re-starting your career in a place you know nearly no one can really wear on you.

sunset, florida, sky, palm trees

Nonetheless, I’m very excited to get back to seeing if the parts of my brain that have been resting all summer still work. So far so good. Brain cells seem to be multiplying and I feel like I need a nap by 3:00 everyday.

I ask that you bear with me as I remember how to live the 8-5 life again and somehow fit in workouts and meals along the way. And dog walks. Poor Finn might be the only one not thrilled with the new adventure.

So I’ll leave you with a photo dump from the past few weeks, including a visit from two of my best friends and a bunch of pictures of Finn looking guilty.

beachhouse restaurant, anna marie island, girls weekend, beach, sunset, sky, dinner

sunset, florida, sky, palm trees

 

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog,

Oh and just for good measure, here are a few fun fall recipes from last year to tide you over until I actually make something worth sharing again.

pumpkin bread streusel topping

Pumpkin Bread

spooky pumpkin toffee chocolate chip cookies simply social blog

Pumpkin Toffee Cookies

Have a great week!

 

 

 

It’s coming up pumpkins

I ponder life’s questions frequently throughout my day. At the gym. Walking the dog. In the shower. But there are some questions that no matter how much I think about, I just can’t seem to figure them out. I talked about some of them last week but here are just a few more:

Why is it that?

I can hold my breath for nearly the entire length of a swimming pool but as soon as I put my face under the shower head to rinse it off I feel like I’m drowning? 

That although I’ve been in this body for 30 years now, I still have a difficult time judging the distance it needs to clear door frames, kitchen islands and coffee tables. 

Every girl I know is utterly and completely obsessed with everything fall. Pumpkin, pumpkins, pumpkin spiced lattes, selfies on hayrack rides going to pick out pumpkins. You get the drift. But don’t fret ladies, I’m right there with ya. 

And to show my support of the female obsession that is pumpkin, I made a batch of my mom’s pumpkin apple muffins this weekend.

pumpkin apple muffins, recipes, breakfast, brunch, baking, fall, streusel topping, apple, pumpkin

I made them a day after I attempted a healthier pumpkin muffin recipe and threw the entire batch in the trash.

When it comes to baking, always trust the recipes your mom gives you. End of story.

pumpkin apple muffins, recipes, breakfast, brunch, baking, fall, streusel topping, apple, pumpkin

Pumpkin Apple Muffins with Streusel Topping (makes 18 muffins)

  • 1 C unsweetened canned pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil (I used melted coconut oil but add a little extra if you are swapping)
  • 2 C peeled and chopped apples
  • 2 1/2 C flour (I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose)
  • 2 C sugar
  • 1 TBL pumpkin pie spice mix (cloves, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

pumpkin apple muffins, recipes, breakfast, brunch, baking, fall, streusel topping, apple, pumpkin

Streusel Topping

  • 2 TBL flour
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 TBL oats
  • 2 tsp butter

pumpkin apple muffins, recipes, breakfast, brunch, baking, fall, streusel topping, apple, pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk sugar, flour, baking soda, spice mix, soda and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, blend pumpkin, oil and eggs together.

Add dry ingredients into wet and mix until just combined. Add apples.

Scoop into prepared muffin tins and fill about 2/3 of the way.  Top with 1 tsp streusel topping per muffin.

Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

pumpkin apple muffins, recipes, breakfast, brunch, baking, fall, streusel topping, apple, pumpkin

 

 

 

A weekend under the Arch

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a weekend recap on the blog. Please accept my apologies. It’s not that I don’t love sharing my every free moment with thousands of my closest friends and the occasional Internet troll, but rather that our weekends haven’t been filled with much more than trips to Lowe’s and the occasional beach visit. Not that there’s anything wrong with Lowe’s. Except for the fact that it’s not Target.

It’s probably no surprise to you that we are big Eric Church fans. So when we had the opportunity back in April to get pre-sale tickets to his first big headlining tour, we decided St. Louis would be a good spot to catch a show. Even better when as the date approached, we found out one of my best friends and her husband were planning a babymoon/anniversary trip the same weekend. Bonus!

st. louis cardinals, st. louis, baseball game, travel, broadway oyster bar, yadier molina

We caught a Cardinals game and got to put all of those fall clothes we had packed away to good use under a very brisk November-like September sky.

rooster, pi pizza, st. louis, st. louis arch, travel, weekend, breakfast, lunch,

On Saturday, we had breakfast at a cute farm-to-table spot downtown, immediately followed by lunch with some of my favorite guys…and my sister, too.

eric church, st. louis, concerts, country, tour, music

Saturday night was everything I expected it to be, minus the hour-long-line to get in and the fact they ran out of beer by 9:30. Perhaps the latter explains the reason I am just now feeling like a normal human again.

Until next time Midwest. Back to the 90’s.

 

 

 

Photographic ramblings

Today, instead of my normal ramblings, I’m going to pretend to be a photographer and share with you a “client post.” You know, kind of like this one. Just kidding. Can you tell I spent incessant amounts of time swooning over her yummy light skillz? Can you believe a daughter of writers would allow skillz to be written in her blog? Yeah me neither.

I’m no photographer. I have a camera with a decent lens that I use for pretty much everything (i.e. cookies and pumpkin muffins). I’ve taken a few photography classes so I am at least confident enough to have avoided my auto setting for a few years now, but I still have a long way to go. All those things considered, my sister still asks me to get a few shots of my nephews each year for her Christmas cards.

Let me tell you how it goes down.

Can you bring your camera home this weekend?

Sure. What for?

I need a picture of the boys. 

A picture. Just one. No pressure right? Wrong.

Nearly every year we get stuck with crappy weather. Combine that with my amateur photog status and some very impatient boys and you’re in for a real treat. Photographers don’t get paid enough. Come to think of it neither do I. They may make those shots look easy but chances are they had to reference farts, poop and butts at least 50 times in order to get a good smile.

simply social blog, photography, nephews

I wonder what kind of faces you would get if you used this tactic on girls? 

The moral of the story is that even though we had less than ideal settings last year, my favorite images were the ones where I could see the boys’ personalities come out. And that’s something that I think shines through even without yummy light.

simply social blog, photography, nephews

So this year I was excited to wake up to warm sunshine on Sunday morning. I immediately text my sister and said that we were coming over before church to take advantage of the good light and the not-yet-sleepy-or-hungry-or-cranky boys.

Wouldn’t you know just as we pull into the driveway the rain starts. You can read more about the storm we had this weekend here.

Believe it or not in just about 10 minutes, I managed to get the boys to agree to 4 locations, all of which were surrounding my sister’s house. Here’s a tip for parents who want a good shot of your kids. Don’t make it too difficult. Take pictures of them where they live, where they play. They will be more likely to agree with you if they don’t have to work as hard. If that doesn’t work, bribe them with candy.

We started on the porch swing but I wasn’t loving the shadows and I didn’t have much time to manipulate my camera for fear I would lose them forever.

photography, children, nephews, springfield illinois, simply social blog

So we quickly moved over to the side of the house to get a few shots along the brick wall. My sister had originally wanted to go downtown to get a similar shot, but I was hoping we could capture the same effect just a few steps away.

photography, children, nephews, springfield illinois, simply social blog

The little one is best when you catch him off-guard…and before he runs away. Don’t ask him to smile. Just patiently wait for him to let his guard down and he’ll give you the sweetest look ever.

photography, children, nephews, springfield illinois, simply social blog
There were a lot of what I like to call “the lookaway” photos in the bunch. But here’s a tip. If you snap fast enough, the lookaway can lead to a lookrightatcha.

photography, children, nephews, springfield illinois, simply social blog

So now we are on the side of the house walking to the backyard. Knowing how much the older one likes to pose with his hands in his pockets I decided to have them stand against the fence.

photography, children, nephews, springfield illinois, simply social blog

This is how it started.

photography, children, nephews, springfield illinois, simply social blog

Serious pose. #nailedit. I’m nearly 30 and I still just look constipated whenever I try it. I’d love to show you the next in the series but I don’t want to ruin the surprise for those of you getting this year’s Christmas card. Hint-they both smile and look at the camera. I love surprises. Sue me.

We’ll end with my favorite photo of the bunch. If I could go back I would have taken the 10 seconds I needed to adjust my focus so Owen isn’t blurry. But had I done that I might have missed out on my favorite Jake face.

photography, children, nephews, springfield illinois, simply social blog

So there you have it. 4 locations in one. 10 minutes. HOHOHO Merry Christmas.

photography, children, nephews, springfield illinois, simply social blog

Hope you are having a great week. Be sure to hug your photographer the next time you have a session.

Let there be light…in the morning at least

Happy end of Daylight Savings Time, y’all! I hope technological advancements (aka your iPhone) made this time change a little easier on you than in years past. And congratulations to those of you whose car clock is finally accurate again after 6 months of ‘just looking at the minutes.’ Tricky little things, aren’t they?

Ok. So raise your hand if you’re more excited for the early morning daylight that comes when Daylight Savings Time ends than the extra hour of partying.

fall colors, springfield illinois, simply social blog

photo credit Mike Murphy

(Slowly raises hand)

Guilty.

You’re not too old yet points for those of you who still remember which college bar stayed open an extra hour for you back when you were more excited about the extra hour of party time.

Station 211. Excellent. (p.s. for all you U of I alums out there, Station is now the Red Lion)

Don’t get me wrong I still cry every day a little from November until April when it’s pitch black by the time I leave work. As a person who does a lot of activities in the evening, I often find myself thinking:

WTF, DST?

I’ve got a dog to walk, errands to run and a workout to get in before dinner. Why are you making it feel like midnight all the time?

But the older I get the more I realize how much I’m turning into my mom. Most days actually, but especially this time of year.

sarah and mom, simply social blog

You see, my mom is an early riser. Always has been. At least for my lifespan. Come to think of it, her early rising likely started because of my sister and I but that’s beside the point. On the average morning, you can bet you can scare find her in the kitchen, coffee brewing and usually paging through a cookbook deciding what to bake. If you by chance beat her downstairs, she’ll assume 1) you just got home, 2) something is incredibly wrong or 3) something is incredibly wrong.

The truth is, the older I get, the earlier I seem to rise as well. If I had to break it down I think it’s about 70% adulthood, 20% puppy-caused and 10% exercise-driven.

greater swiss mountain dog, puppy, swissy, gsmd

Speaking of puppy-caused, Finn got a little bored with the extra hour Sunday and decided to take up woodworking. He beavered the other side of this leg a few months ago. Guess he wants to keep things even. Can you tell how accustomed he’s become to the dog-shaming photos I make him sit for?

Anywho, whenever I’m home for a visit, I like to scare my mom and wake up early right along with her. I’m sure I’ll be the same way when I have kids. Constantly questioning why they aren’t still in bed and offering them an assortment of juice and milk before they finally convince me that their near-30 year-old self would actually like to drink the cup of coffee he or she just poured.

So in keeping with the early-rising/baking/mom theme, the end of Daylight Savings Time seemed like the perfect time to make a batch of my mom’s pumpkin apple muffins. That and I was up super early, drinking a cup of coffee and paging through cookbooks.

pumpkin apple muffins with streusel topping, simply social blog

Pumpkin Apple Muffins with Streusel Topping

  • 2 1/2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBL pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg)
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C pumpkin
  • 1/2 C oil
  • 2 C peeled and chopped apples (I used honeycrisp)
  • 1/2 C golden raisins
  • Streusel topping (1 TBL flour, 1 TBL sugar, 3 TBL butter, cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda and spices together.

In another bowl (or stand mixer) combine eggs, pumpkin, oil and sugar.

Add dry ingredients into wet until just combined. Avoid over-mixing. Add apples and raisins to batter.

Prepare muffin tins with non-stick spray or liners. Fill each 3/4 full. Top each with 1 tsp streusel.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack.

pumpkin apple muffins with streusel topping, simply social blog

These make a great breakfast or dessert. The apples melt into the muffin and the streusel topping adds a nice crunch. This batch makes 22-24 muffins but they are hearty enough to freeze for later.

I’m happy with the outcome but as most things, nothing tastes as good as when your mom makes it. And I know it’s just me because my mom is too nice to conveniently leave out recipe ingredients like I’ve heard some do.

If I’m out-of-pocket this week it’s because I’m traveling to San Francisco. I hope to catch up next week and share some photos of the city by the Bay.

Have a great week!

50 Years of Roasted Wieners

This weekend marked the 50th Anniversary of the Bosch family wiener roast. For 50 (or 51 if you ask my Grandpa) years, members of my mom’s side of the family have gathered together to roast wieners, complain about the Cubs and Illinois football and eat cow tongue. Don’t worry, I’ll explain the cow tongue later.

50th anniversary bosch family wiener roast simply social blog

For 29 of those 50 years, I thought the wiener roast was just an excuse to get an incredibly large family together for a big outdoor potluck. My earliest memories filled with woolly worms and football games at my great-grandma Bosch’s farm, followed by poker tournaments and can-crushing at my great-uncle Denny’s farm and more recently, the annual unveiling of babies at our newest location near Pesotum, Illinois. I seriously think we set a new record for babies yesterday. It wasn’t until my 29th year that I learned a return home for a great-uncle who was in the service 50 years ago was the spark that started the annual Bosch bonfire. (correct me if I’m wrong in the comments, Bosch clan)

50th anniversary bosch family wiener roast

Photo credit- Lindsey Nickel

Whatever the origin or wherever the location, you can be sure that on the Sunday before Halloween, one hundredish Bosch family members will be seated on hay bails around a fire discussing why the Cubs aren’t in the World Series, who should replace [insert Illini football coach name here] and which newbie hasn’t tried cow tongue yet. As a self-proclaimed full-blood I have somehow avoided the pickled cow tongue delicacy that this family treasures and I’m completely OK with that.

50th anniversary bosch family wiener roast simply social blog

I think I’ve mentioned before that my mom’s side is rather large (in number). She is the oldest of 8. My grandfather is one of 8 as well. There’s no shortage of attendance at any family event. For this year’s pilgrimage, we were fortunate to have beautiful fall weather and a great turnout. And since it was the 50th, even commemorative coozies for attendees.

50th anniversary bosch family wiener roast simply social blog

Speaking of pilgrimages, my former college and Chicago roommate and I made a trip back to Champaign this weekend for Homecoming. It was nice to be back on a campus where we spent so much of our irresponsible years and for the football team to be so kind as to play just about as badly as they did throughout our tenure. But hey, at least we got to see the Chief again. 

Illinois football game, champaign illinois, illini, simply social blog

Illinois football game, champaign illinois, illini, simply social blog

On Sunday morning, we walked around campus to see what had changed (Urban Outfitters on Green street) and what had stayed the same (KAMS). We reminisced and were reminded just how prevalent sweatpants are in a college town. I’m fortunate to have family in and around Champaign so I get to visit often, but it was really nice to get a chance to walk around our old stomping grounds rather than running past them during a half marathon. note for family: Price increases November 1. Sign up now.

University of Illinois homecoming, quad, campus, Altgeld Hall, simply social blog

Looking back on the weekend, I’m fairly certain I spent exponentially more time outside than in, spent more time with family and friends than alone and ate enough to last me until Thanksgiving when we can do it all over again.

I hope your weekend was fulfilling enough to get you through a workweek. Here’s to a wonderful week ahead. I can’t wait to go home and pull my Illini sweatpants out of storage.