Autumn Bucket List - Update #2

Welcome to Update #2 of how I'm doing on my 10 Things Autumn Bucket List!

As we head into the busy (frantic?!?) holiday season, I'm again relieved that I kept this season's bucket list just a tad smaller than my Summer and Spring bucket lists. With family coming in to spend a week with us beginning tomorrow, and a slew of holiday events kicking off immediately after, it's going to be a wonderful but crazy finish to Autumn!

And just like the last time, I'm linking up with a group of other terrific bloggers to share Autumn Bucket List updates from those of us in the northern hemisphere, plus Spring Bucket Lists from the gals Down Under, so be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see who else is participating, and to visit their blogs for additional change-of-season inspiration.

Progress Report #1 for 10 Things On My Autumn Bucket List
  1. Celebrate my granddaughter's 3rd birthday! Yes! Completed previously here.

  2. Roast marshmallows with granddaughter. Yes! Completed previously here.

  3. Attend a Halloween event. Yes! Completed previously here.

  4. Attend an Oktoberfest event. Yes! A bit unorthodox, in that we were out of town when the big Oktoberfest festival near us occurred, so we instead bought tickets to attend an Oktoberfest-themed food pairing at our Lifelong Learning program featuring German bratwurst along with a variety of German wines. It was extremely interesting in that we enjoyed the wines on their own first, then again with a bite of bratwurst in order to compare the overall effect. We did a final comparison after adding mustard to the bratwurst, and were amazed at how the wines really rose to the challenge. Our last pairing, the dessert round, was a lightly sweet semillon, along with an amazing-on-it's-own apple struddle. So, so good!

  5. Make three new soups. In Process. I made this soup previously, which turned out to be a tad light in calories. This time around, I looked for a more substantial soup and landed on this FABULOUS 7-Ingredient Zuppa Toscana Soup. I first tasted this soup at my younger daughter's, who followed the recipe faithfully, and it was just delicious. However, in true fashion, when I decided to make it, I made a few changes. Firstly, I added an additional 3 cups of broth, because in my experience there is rarely enough for my preference. Secondly, I roasted a whole red pepper rather than buying jarred, because it's so easy to do so (just clean out the seeds and stem, then pop under a broiler and turn every couple of minutes until nicely soft and charred), and because it results in your roasted veggie having so much more flavor. And finally, I substituted cubed sweet potato for the gnocchi, because, well, I just really don't care for gnocchi - what I more commonly think of as soggy flour balls! And with this soup being so chock full of vegetables, I simply served it along with corn bread and called it a day. Hubby loved it, as did I, though I'm thinking the next time I make it I'll try making it whole milk instead of heavy cream, in order to cut down on the calories a bit.

  6. Cook or bake something with pumpkin in it. Yes! I made this incredible Pumpkin & Bacon Lasagna for a recent dinner party. So, so good, and even better, can be prepped a day in advance, leaving only the baking to be done prior to serving.

    Lasagna fixings, as I assembled it a day ahead of my dinner party.

    I also have the fixings for homemade pumpkin pie bought and ready to go, plus in the interest of making something the granddaughters can help me with (my little one, plus her older half-sister will both be with us for the holidays, yeah!), I picked up a package of pumpkin bread after sampling it at Trader Joe's recently, plus a bag of chocolate chips to add in to the mix. I know the girls will have fun making and spooning the batter into muffin cups, not to mention eating the finished product!

  7. Finish reading Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton. Yes! Finished it on Saturday, and you know what? I really, really enjoyed it! Although I followed a reading schedule to make sure I finished it in time, there were many days I read ahead simply because I was in the middle of a particularly compelling section. Ron Chernow, the author, did an excellent job of making me feel like I really knew and understood not just Alexander Hamilton, but many other historical figures written about in the biography. 

  8. Listen to Hamilton soundtrack. Yes! I've read every single one of the lyrics, plus listened to it in it's entirety, so I think I'm as prepared as I can be. In my final Bucket List report, I'll give feedback on how I think reading the biography and familiarizing myself with the music impacted my overall experience when I see the play in person, in just three more days!

  9. Run the Dana Point Turkey Trot. In Process. My older daughter, her significant other, hubby, and I are all registered, but my younger daughter is out because she recently broke her foot, and my son-in-law is out because he's taking my older step-granddaughter to Knott's Berry Farm for a half day. Hoping since my younger daughter will be staying back with our little granddaugher she'll be our drop off and pick up driver . . . over 16,000 expected to run this event so traffic will be a bear!

  10. Take a family photo on Thanksgiving Day.  Pending.

My count indicates that so far I have seven of my 10 items completed, two more in process, and just one still pending. Pretty sure I got this one nailed, but be sure to check back anyway on December 21 for my final Autumn Bucket List Update!

Did you create an Autumn Bucket List? How are you doing with it if so???


  1. Sounds live a lovely 'Fall' season for you so far. Aren't grandchildren wonderful? I know I have so much fun with my 3 year old grandson. The Bratwurst sausage and Oktoberfest event sounds like fun and your soups look delicious. Happy Thanksgiving to you from Australia!
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    1. Thank you Sue! We are having absolutely gorgeous weather at the moment, with temps projected to be positively perfect for pool and beach time while the grands are here, yeah!

      Enjoy your beautiful springtime Down Under!

  2. Your cooking, baking and preparing for the Hamilton play are impressive! Happy Thanksgiving to you from Canada (ours was in October), and enjoy your run. Go Tamara go :)

    1. Prior to taking a cruise through the Panama Canal I read a book about it's building, and it made a massive difference I'm sure in how much I got out of the whole experience. I'm confident that my prep work for Hamilton will yield same - for the price of our tickets I'm determined to eek every bit of heightened enjoyment from the whole experience!

  3. I'm loving the food items on your list--they all sound delicious. I would never have thought of pumpkin lasagna. I also read Alexander Hamilton and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to hearing how the turkey trot goes. Good luck! Have fun!

    1. The lasagna is absolutely delicious, and it freezes beautifully as well, which is what I do with the leftovers. So nice to take out a couple of servings at a time for a few weeks afterward, without all the work!

      We are expecting gorgeous Thanksgiving weather, so I am definitely looking forward to the Turkey Trot!

  4. Ooh! I want to get a family photo on Thanksgiving Day! Excellent idea!

    1. Right? How often can you get everybody together under one roof?

      Enjoy your turkey day too Jamie!

  5. Pinned the pumpkin lasagna recipe. And your recipe for the new soup. Had lunch at Olive Garden today with my daughter and granddaughter...this recipe sounds like one of their soups. Mmmm. Always good.

    Yay YOU!! Way to go reading Hamilton. I have been cheering you on from here. Glad it was an enjoyable read. Have to admit, one of the factors that goes into my reading selections is length! I am such a s l o w reader that anything beyond 400 pages seems intimidating. Of course, most of the books in my world have illustrations and 32 pages!

    Enjoy the turkey trot, time with family making memories and make sure that family photo happens.

    1. Family visit is off to a lovely start! We spent the morning at the beach, and after well deserved naps, are off to the pool. Mama and Papa are enjoying a bit if a break while Nana and Baba entertain the little ones. (Mama is veeery tired these days, any guesses why? ;-)

      The happiest of Thanksgiving to you and your family too, Leslie!

  6. I was glad to hear your review of the Chernow book - I have postponed reading it because I want to take it along on next year's trip. Same for his new book on Ulysses S. Grant.

    So jealous that you are seeing Hamilton - can't wait to hear all about it!

    1. The book was excellent. Interestingly, Ron Chernow is clearly so not a fan of Jefferson, I've put a biography of his life up next on my reading list.
      So excited to see the play this coming Friday, and will definitely put up a post regarding the whole experience.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Laura!


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