Mission #fallbucketlist complete

If fall isn’t your favorite season…you’re basically wrong. The weather is great, the clothes are great, the food is warm and comforting, and then there’s Halloween and Thanksgiving. My friend Riju loves Halloween and in an effort to keep me very busy during the month of October, she sent me the “31 Days of Halloween to do list” to do. This blog will be my recap…with one caveat: some of the items were modified but totally still count!

Screen shot 2015-11-14 at 11.15.17 AMNo. 1 – Bake Halloween cookies. Krista, Nicole and the cookie-decorating master Avery helped out with this one.

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The master at work

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Our cookie-decorating work zone

The best of the best

The best of the best

No. 2 – Drink cider

I chose the adult version...

I chose the adult version…

No. 3 – Watch a classic monster movie. This one was completed…just not documented. I watched some freaky movie about Halloween.

No. 4 – Make pumpkin bread with fresh pumpkin. This one was also completed with help from Krista.

Krista doing some baking things

Krista doing some baking things

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Pumpkin bread pre-bake

Pumpkin bread

Pumpkin bread

No. 5 – Collect different color fall leaves. I didn’t know what I would do with a handful of leaves, so I just took pictures during a hike.

Blue Mounds State Park

Blue Mounds State Park

Blue Mounds State Park

Blue Mounds State Park

Blue Mounds State Park

Blue Mounds State Park

No. 6 – Eat a caramel apple. I got this one at Treinen Farm in Lodi.

Caramel apple

Caramel apple

I didn't want to lose a tooth, so I cut it.

I didn’t want to lose a tooth, so I cut it.

No. 7 – Build a fire. This one was very unconventional…but fire is fire right?

Watching the Packers game and I "lit a fire."

Watching the Packers game and I “built a fire.”

No. 8 – Go on a hay ride. The hay ride at Treinen Farm was pretty interesting. It was one of the only cold and rainy days in October, but Nicole, miss Avery and I made the best of it!

Cute boots for hayride in the rain!

Cute boots for hayride in the rain!

No. 9 – Eat a Halloween Oreo. They don’t taste different, but I feel like they should!

Halloween oreos

Halloween oreos

Orange oreo

Orange oreo

Orange you glad I didn't make a joke!?

Orange you glad I didn’t make a joke!?

No. 10 – Wear orange. I don’t own anything orange, so this scarf will have to do.

This picture also qualifies as No. 21, which is eat a caramel apple Milky way…but they don’t make those anymore, so I had a caramel apple pop instead!

Orange scarf while eating a caramel apple pop!

Orange scarf while eating a caramel apple pop!

No. 11 – Watch Hocus Pocus. Thanks to Mary and Kevin Arbuckle for the movie access and the prop!

Hocus Pocus at the Arbuckle's.

Hocus Pocus at the Arbuckle’s.

No. 12 – Drink a pumpkin spice latte.

Strayed from my "regular" to get this.

Strayed from my “regular” to get this.

But coffee is coffee!

But coffee is coffee!

No. 13 – Eat candy corn. This nasty Halloween treat goes pretty well with coffee!

Candy corn

Candy corn

Candy corn in a candy corn!

Candy corn in a candy corn!

No. 14 – Play in the leaves…see No. 5.

No. 15 – Drink spicy tea. The Trader Joe’s version I got was not good.

Spicy tea

Spicy tea

Pumpkin spice rooibos tea from Trader Joe's.

Pumpkin spice rooibos tea from Trader Joe’s.

No. 16 – Bake an apple pie. I thought this was going to be one of the hardest ones on the list…but Krista and I made a pretty great pie!

Pie part 1

Pie part 1

Pie part 2

Pie part 2

Pie part 3

Pie part 3

PIE!!!

PIE!!!

No. 17 – Carve a pumpkin. Steph and I carved Frank the Pumpkin…harvested at Treinen Farms for No. 23.

Soon-to-be Frank

Soon-to-be Frank

Frank in progress

Frank in progress

Frank's insides are gone

Frank’s insides are gone

Frank is emerged!

Frank has emerged!

Frank is officially a jack-o-lantern!

Frank is officially a jack-o-lantern!

Love me some Frank!

Love me some Frank!

Hannah, Frank, Steph and Dunkin!

Hannah, Frank, Steph and Duncan!

No. 18 – Host a spooky movie night. I’d say mine was technically a movie afternoon…but it totally counts.

No. 19 – Eat Frankenberry, BooBerry or Count Chocula. I chose BooBerry…

BooBerry cereal

BooBerry cereal

Sugar and purple dye...ick.

Sugar and purple dye…ick.

No. 20 – Drink pumpkin ale or beer. Thanks Marissa for sharing your pumpkin beer!

Pumpkin beer at Chicks with Picks!

Pumpkin beer at Chicks with Picks!

No. 21 – Eat a caramel apple Milky Way. See No. 10.

Caramel apple pops...because Milky Ways don't come in caramel apple flavor anymore.

Caramel apple pops…because Milky Ways don’t come in caramel apple flavor anymore.

No. 22 – Roast pumpkin seeds. Steph and I roasted the shit out of Frank’s seeds!

Cleaning the seeds

Cleaning the seeds

Seeds...

Seeds…

Seeds!!!!

Seeds!!!!

Seeds pre roasting

Seeds pre roasting

Oven time.

Oven time.

Roasted to perfection!

Roasted to perfection!

Yum!

Yum!

No. 23 – Visit a pumpkin patch. Nicole, miss Avery and I braved the rain and cold to find Frank the Pumpkin at Treinen Farm.

Pumpkin patch

Pumpkin patch

I have found Frank!

I have found Frank!

No. 24 – Dance to Thriller. Mary Arbuckle and I got our groove on. A short, yet extremely entertaining video, is available on Facebook.

Thriller!

Thriller!

No. 25 – Visit an OctoberFest…was replaced with “drink an OctoberFest beer.” Thanks Kevin Arbuckle for the beer!

OctoberFest beer...this is my "I don't love beer" face!

OctoberFest beer…this is my “I don’t love beer” face!

No. 26 – Collect cool pumpkins. Thanks for the pumpkins dad!

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Pumpkins from dad!

No. 27 – Sit on the porch and smell the rain…this one seemed odd, but here’s a rainy picture from my balcony.

Cold and rainy October day.

Cold and rainy October day.

No. 28 – Visit a haunted house. I hate haunted houses, but Mary Arbuckle found one for little kids…so I consented. Favorite quote of the night: “Hannah…stop screaming, you’re scaring the giraffe (who was probably about 2 and being carried by her dad).”

Haunted house selfie!

Haunted house selfie!

No. 29 – Make a Halloween playlist.

These are the only two songs you'll ever need!

These are the only two songs you’ll ever need!

No. 30 – Decorate the house – inside and out. Thanks to the instigator of all of this, Riju, for the new Halloween owl!

Pumpkin inside

Pumpkin inside

Decorations inside

Decorations inside

More indoor decorations

More indoor decorations

'Outdoor' decorations

‘Outdoor’ decorations

No. 31 – Go trick or treating. I gave away candy at Kevin and Mary’s…I also got trick-or-treat candy at the haunted house…all of this counts…none of it is documented.

SUCCESS! #Fallbucketlist complete!

Big portions, big history housed in tiny Wonder Bar

Wonder Bar

Wonder Bar

There are a lot of options for steak in Madison and the surrounding area, but I’m pretty sure there isn’t a place that has as much history as Wonder Bar. I’m not going to get into too much detail, but if you like gangster history and don’t mind eating on the other side of a dead body (what? yeah…that’s what their website says), then Wonder Bar is a great place to check out.

Wander Bar BBQ bacon wrapped shrimp

Wander Bar BBQ bacon wrapped shrimp

My mom and I went on a Friday night and got seated upstairs. There’s nothing super impressive about the decor or the dining areas, but if you read up on the history of the place, it is pretty cool. We decided to start with the BBQ bacon wrapped shrimp. The BBQ was tangy and had a little spice, the bacon was thick and the shrimp were huge. Combine all those ingredients and we had a great appetizer.

Wonder Bar wedge salad

Wonder Bar wedge salad

Steaks come with a salad, and of course both of us got steak. Even though our waiter warned me the wedge salad could probably be a meal on its own…I decided to go with that. And boy was he right. It was legitimately 1/4 of a head of iceberg lettuce, an entire tomato (cut in half), probably a full cup of blue cheese and a ton of dressing. I don’t usually love blue cheese, but I usually like it on a wedge salad…this time it was good, but I didn’t eat even half the blue cheese that was on the plate.

Wonder Bar filet and hash browns

Wonder Bar filet and hash browns

My mom and I both got the house filet with hash browns…because what else do you get when you go to a steak house?! Both filets were perfectly cooked and had a great flavor. They were also super tender and had that great grill char. The hash browns were crispy and had onions mixed in…winning!

Needless to say…we skipped dessert and took home doggy bags.

FOOD NOTES: If you’re looking for a place to get a stiff drink and some classic steakhouse food…Wonder Bar is definitely your place. My mom and I had a great meal…but keep in mind that classic steakhouse food usually comes with a higher price tag. Another thing to note…if you’re trying to find Wonder Bar…it’s the super tiny brick building right behind the Coliseum Bar. If you’re not looking closely…you might drive right by.