Happy first week of October!! It’s finally starting to feel like fall and I love it! The cool crisp air, cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice everything, scary movies (Halloween month), and of course, all of your favorite fall activities! Who doesn’t love to visit a pumpkin patch or an apple orchard around this time of year?!
Last weekend we went up to Jonamac Orchard with our good friends as we’ve been doing the past couple of years for a fun-filled day of apple picking, food trucks, baby goats and apple donuts. If you’ve never tried a freshly baked warm apple donut sprinkled with sugar before, you don’t know what you’re missing! Seriously. I bought a dozen. 🙂 If you do enjoy apple picking and if the orchard grows them, I would suggest trying Pazazz apples; they’re so crisp and juicy and my all-time favorite. If you’re looking for an apple orchard to visit this season, you can read all about Jonamac Orchard from a previous post, here.
Hey guys! So today officially marks 13 years since John and I met. In honor of our 13 years together as a couple, I’m sharing 13 fun facts about us as a couple and as individuals.
1. John and I met at Enclave nightclub in Chicago at a mutual friend’s birthday party on Sept. 25, 2005.
2. Our said friend and recent newlywed officially met his wife and asked her out on a date at my birthday party. (Returning the favor.)3. I noticed John and pointed him out to a friend at a club because I thought he was “really hot,” 6 months before we officially met at our friend’s birthday, although we technically briefly met a month before at the Chicago Scene Boat Party.
4. Although we have been together for the past 13 years, we’ve only been married 4. We got engaged on our 6th dating anniversary and had a 2 year long engagement.5. We technically have two wedding anniversaries. May 1 (our legal ceremony in Chicago) and May 10 (our symbolic ceremony and wedding in Cancun). We can never decide on which date to celebrate our anniversary so we technically celebrate both (or whichever day is more convenient that year).6. I was born in Belgrade, Serbia and came here just before my 5th birthday making me first-generation immigrant. I’ve only been back to the motherland twice since moving here and only recently in 2009 and 2016.
7. I speak Serbian fluently.
8. John is half Italian on his father’s side and their family is from Naples. John nor his dad ever learned to speak Italian and on our first trip to Italy earlier this year, we did not visit his family’s motherland.9. I have a strawberry birthmark on my right arm that I swear has gotten bigger over the years and I always get horrified looks followed by, “what happened?!”
10. John has a scar just below his right hip from hip surgery when he was little.
11. I was named after my aunt who passed away almost 2 years ago. My younger brother was named after our uncle that we never had the chance to meet.12. I danced Serbian Folklore for a decade of my life and begged my dad to let me quit before my junior year in high school so I can join the poms squad.
13. John is a scratch golfer and has played golf since he was 6 years old. He was MVP all throughout HS and the only freshman on varsity for golf.
A couple of weekends ago, I joined close family friends of ours and their three boys for a fun-filled day of apple picking, hard cider and wine tasting, freshly baked apple donuts and kids’ activities at Jonamac Orchard in Malta, IL, a new fall tradition in the making.
Jonamac Orchard is 90 minutes west of Chicago and fairly easy to get to. The orchard has been in business for 32 years with over 105 acres of land and over 10,000 apple trees consisting of more than two dozen varieties to choose from. There are a variety of kids’ activities including the Barn Yard Play Area with a jumping pillow, petting zoo and an Apple Train, as well as a corn maze, campfire and a 12 acre pumpkin patch. If walking through a 12 acre pumpkin patch doesn’t entice you, the Pumpkin Corrall by the Kettle Corn Building near the play area already has hand-picked pumpkins ready for purchase to take home. While my friend Dave and the boys spent some time in the play area, my girlfriend Gwen and I decided to partake in the $5 a person tasting of different blends of apple wine in the Cider House, giving us a head start over Dave until he was able to join us. Our samples of choice included the Orchard Blend (the bottle Dave and Gwen purchased to take home), Orchard Reserve, Autumn Harvest (served warm), Pomme Nouveau and Pumpkin flavored (our least favorite).We then headed over to Jonamac’s 20 acre apple orchard where we were able to hand-pick our own apples for $13 a bag, filling each of our bags with a variety of Fuji and large, bright red, tasty Pazzaz apples, a first year harvest at the Orchard. This was our first time trying Pazzaz apples and they were absolutely delicious, a crispy and juicy alternative to Honeycrisp.
We concluded our day in the kids’ play area where the boys ran around in the haystack, bounced on the jumping pillow, petted goats and slid down the slide, which of course, this big kid right here had to partake in as well. On our way out, Dave and I stopped in the bakery to purchase a homemade apple pie and some fudge, barely making our way through the long line of people waiting to get their hands on those warm, freshly baked, cinnamon coated apple donuts that we got our fix of when we first arrived, a definite must when visiting Jonamac Orchard. Until next year…Shop my look: