Tag Archives: family

Fall bucket list ideas

Wondering what to do this fall? I can help you with that! Fall makes me happy – I love the way the leaves change colors, the air gets sharper, and the excitement of the upcoming holidays grows. Here are several fall activity ideas to make the most out of the season.

pumpkin patch - Photo Credit: liz west via Flickr, used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license

Photo Credit: liz west via Flickr, used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license

Pumpkin patch – It’s remarkable how something as simple as picking your own pumpkin can be so fun. I remember going to pumpkin patches when I was a kid and getting to choose my own pumpkin to take home, and it’s hard to outgrow it – it was just as fun when I went a two years ago.

Corn maze – I’m super directionally challenged, but I still like corn mazes (and they usually have maps just in case you want to keep it in your back pocket to peek at when you start feeling lost).

My Totoro pumpkin carving from Halloween 2014 modified from a free template from Fantasy Pumpkins (http://fantasypumpkins.com/free-patterns.htm)

My Totoro pumpkin carving from Halloween 2014 modified from a free template from Fantasy Pumpkins

Carve a jack-o-lantern – In the past, I’ve gone the classic route and carved a face, but last year I got more creative and did a cartoon character (Totoro) modified from a template I found online. Some of my friends made a full Halloween scene complete with cat, hanging stars, and trees. Tip: If you’re going to do more than simple faces, it might be worth it to get a pumpkin carving kit (I get commissions for purchases made through that link*) – I used one last year and it was easier than using knives, especially for the smaller details on my Totoro pumpkin. I also really like saving the seeds for toasting and eating!

Go to a costume party – There’s something so fun about dressing up in costume. Maybe it’s because it’s one of the few times people think it’s acceptable to pretend we’re someone else the way we used to when we were kids. Whatever it is, wearing a costume for Halloween is one of my favorite parts of the season. If I don’t go anywhere, then I try to at least dress up to hand out candy for the trick-or-treaters.

Go stargazing – This activity doesn’t have to be limited to summer. It gets dark early in the fall, so if you’re a morning person like me, you don’t have to stay up as late to see the constellations, but it is much colder, so be sure to bundle up!

Public Domain photo via Pixabay.com

Public Domain photo via Pixabay

Take a walk and crunch in the leaves – One of my favorite fall activities is to go on “Crunchy Leaf Walks” where I step on as many dry leaves as I can, just for the satisfyingly crispy sound. I usually also pick up a few of the more vibrantly colored leaves to dry and put around the house as decoration.

Pop popcorn and enjoy some family time – Some of my favorite family memories are the simple ones where we’re eating popcorn and watching a movie, seeing the fire dance in the fireplace, or playing Pictionary.

Write a big list of reasons you’re thankful – I do this every year around Thanksgiving, and it always amazes me how much it changes my attitude and reminds me of what’s important.

What’s missing from this list? What are your favorite things to do in the fall?

*Affiliate link = Amazon pays me a small portion of the sale price, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend things that I think are worth buying.

Everyone Has a Story: Pete Bludworth

Today’s mini-interview is with Pete Bludworth, a former member of the US Marines and currently an Assistant Warden in Louisiana. On his LinkedIn profile, Pete describes himself as having “keen insight of how the lessons of the past affect today and how today prepares us for tomorrow.” Below, he shares a few thoughts in this brief post.

(If you’re interested in being interviewed for this blog or have someone in mind for me to ask, please let me know or leave a note in the comments section.)

Read the interview to learn Pete’s baseball-themed advice
Photo Credit: Matt McGee on Flickr, used unmodified under CC BY-ND 2.0 license

What is one of your dreams for your life?
To see my two sons enjoying a vacation with their families together, seeing them being Dads!!

What is something on your bucket list?
To see my wife be a GrandMa!

What is the best advice you ever received?
“Yesterday’s home run doesn’t count in today’s ballgame.”

Thanks for sharing your time and dreams with us, Pete!

Readers: Do you want to be interviewed, or do you know someone I should ask for an interview? Let me know.

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Interview with Lara Krupicka, family bucket list expert

Photo provided by Lara Krupicka (larakrupicka.com) - Used with permission

Photo provided by Lara Krupicka – Used with permission

Lara Krupicka is a bucket list blogger specializing in family bucket lists. She is also an author and speaker who enjoys helping people “create lives full of meaningful family adventures.”

Her latest book, Bucket List Living for Moms: Become a More Adventurous Parent, “guides moms through the process of designing, implementing, and celebrating a list of how they want to spend their lives” and “offers reassurance and help as moms face the challenge of redefining themselves as people and mothers” (quotes taken from her website). Below, she shares interesting stories, her inspiration, and the best advice she’s ever received.

Name and blog:
Lara Krupicka at larakrupicka.com – living the bucket list life

Fun fact about you:
I’m addicted to strategy games. A good weekend for me is when I can get my whole family to sit down for a game of Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride.

Funner fact:
I managed to get a back stage tour of the Lyric Opera in Chicago by striking up a conversation on a commuter train with the guy who ran the subtitles. It’s a pretty amazing place.

Funnest fact:
I once had a Russian friend take me through parts of Moscow where Americans aren’t welcome, with the warning that if I was asked, I was to say I was Estonian (I think because my command of the language wasn’t terrific).

What do you think has been essential to your success as a bucket list blogger?
Keeping it real. I’m just a suburban mom of three kids. No corporate sponsors. No special status to give me a leg up on bucket list living. And I try to convey that on my blog. When you’re a parent juggling all the responsibilities of that role, bucket list goals can seem illusive. But I’ve found that moms appreciate hearing about our adventures as an ordinary family, with the thought that maybe they can make their bucket lists happen too. [Editor note: To prevent the Typo Hunters from overrunning the comments: “illusive” is a real word, and is different from “elusive”]

What was something that surprised you about blogging?
I’ve been surprised at how much readers relate to the tough parts of life. It taught me that we all long to know we’re not alone in the challenges we face and the mistakes we make. So I have learned to share about both the good and the bad (although I try not to throw my family under the bus, which makes for a good editorial filter).

If you had to describe your blog in 6 words or less, what would you say?
Regular mom, bucket list life

Who or what inspires you?
People who have found a simple focus for their lives (that benefits others), and who don’t let themselves be taken off course from that focus. Author and speaker Bob Goff comes to mind. He’s so driven by one cause: love in action. And he brings himself fully to it, without apology or conceit. I want to be like that and I want to help others be that way too.

What is your all-time favorite bucket list item (of yours or someone else’s)?
My husband’s bucket list experience playing in the U.S. Disc Golf Championship (the equivalent of playing in the U.S. Open in golf). I loved the week I got to spend with him at the tournament. He’s an avid disc golfer, so it was over-the-top excitement: watching the top players in the world up close and behind the scenes, receiving the five-star treatment afforded to competitors, and watching my husband play in the tournament. Just knowing that this was a dream he had never imagined possible, now come true, made it an unforgettable experience.

If you weren’t doing anything related to your bucket list, what would you be doing in your free time?
I’m a crafter at heart, so I like to spend time in my craft space creating vinyl wall sayings for my kids’ rooms, making cards, and scrapbooking. I also like to read a lot.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Don’t borrow trouble from tomorrow.”

I tend to project into the future and try to plan for every possibility – which is really a form of worrying and trying to control things. But I’m learning (still) that I am much happier when I let go of that control and just focus on what’s in front of me. That doesn’t mean I don’t dream for the future, I just trust that God will work things out according to His plan.

Thanks, Lara, for sharing your time and thoughts with us!

Want to keep reading? You can read more about Lara, her lists, bucket list experiences, and her books on her website. On the site, she also offers links to her profiles on all the usual social media sites, book excerpts, and free resources and worksheets to help you live your bucket list life.

Who else do you want to see interviewed? If you have an inspiring person in mind, please let me know using the contact form or comments below.

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