Well, here we are . . . Labor Day weekend is upon us.
Like it or not we are sliding headfirst into September.
And with September comes the unofficial start of fall. Not that it’s going to feel much like fall any time soon – I just caught next week’s forecast and it looks like the temperatures will be hovering around 90 for most of the week. Ugh! That is really hot!
Too hot for September. As much as I hate to say goodbye to the long, lovely, carefree days of summer, we did that two weeks ago when the kids went back to school. Now I am ready for a break in the weather.
During my long run on Friday I noticed a bunch of leaves littering the path. At first I was surprised because it definitely doesn’t feel like fall weather yet. And then I was a little bit sad, because once the leaves start falling we will be back in the bleak, gray, dark days of winter before we know it.
But in an effort not to get ahead of myself I decided to focus on the positive. There is actually a lot about fall that I love. Not least of which is the clothes – I am definitely a sweater and jeans kind of girl. I look forward to breaking out my boots and jackets and cozy scarves each season.
And if you have been reading this blog for any period of time you know that I also love all things pumpkin. Except pumpkin spice lattes – those are definitely notmy thing.
So, I thought that in honor of Labor Day Weekend I would share some of the things I am looking forward to this autumn.
Pumpkin Picking – I love our annual trip to Gibson’s Pumpkin Patch. As soon as we get there I have an overwhelming desire to buy all the pumpkins. And I also love having some cuddle time with the barn kittens they always have mewing around (maybe even more than I love the pumpkins).
Maple Spice Lattes – While my dislike for PSL’s has been well-documented, I do enjoy fall flavored coffees as a treat from time to time. Salted caramel is usually my go-to fall flavor. But my all time favorite fall coffee is this homemade Maple Spice Latte.
Firepit Parties – We have not had any usable outdoor space all summer. We ripped off our mold-infested deck in May in anticipation of a new patio. Unfortunately, since it’s apparently impossible to find a reliable contractor where we live, that project just started two weeks ago. And while they are making progress we’ve still got a long way to. Nonetheless I am going to remain optimistic that we will get in at least one Firepit Party on our new patio this fall. Fires are even better on cool fall nights.
South Carolina Football – Growing up in New Jersey we did not have a college football allegiance. Neither of my parents had an alma mater for us to root for and our state university was Rutgers. I am definitely not dissing Rutgers as an educational institution, but a football school they are not. I guess they had a football team when I was growing up, but they did not play in a competitive conference. Today Rutgers does play with the big boys, (although not well), and I still don’t feel any allegiance to my home state. When it comes to football, my heart is in South Carolina. My brother started at the University of South Carolina almost 20 years ago (which is nearly impossible to believe) and suddenly we had a big-time school to root for. Although definitely not a football powerhouse like many other SEC schools, I love to cheer on the Gamecocks and I’ve got my fingers crossed that we will see a bowl appearance this year.
Visiting the Corn Maze – This is a tradition that I never participated in until I had kids of my own. But now we have been going to corn mazes for about ten years. We are lucky to have two giant corn mazes within 20 minutes of our house (I guess that’s one of the perks of living in the middle of nowhere) and we alternate from year to year. Perhaps now that the kids are getting bigger we will attempt to navigate our way through the maze at night, via flashlight in the dark. Or perhaps not . . . I feel my anxiety climbing just writing that sentence.
White Chicken Chili – There may be nothing about fall that I look forward to more than breaking out the crock pot and preparing my favorites soups, stews and chilis again. I love the ease of crock pot cooking. Not to mention the enticing aroma that permeates the house all day and the delicious, healthy meals with lots of leftovers that we get to enjoy. If I had to pick one favorite recipe it would be my White Chicken Chili.
Decorating my House for Fall – Fall is hands down my favorite season décor wise too. In part this is because it is not nearly as daunting as decorating for Christmas. Last year I took a good look at my fall decorations, which up to that point were mostly tacky Halloween decorations, and decided that orange and black didn’t really go with my color scheme. I also realized that with Christmas following so closely on the heels of Halloween I didn’t really want to go all out for Halloween anymore. I decided to focus instead on fall décor that can go up in September and last all season. I went through all my stuff, donated or trashed a lot of the old, kitschy items and now I am down to three bins for the fall holidays, and only one of them is Halloween. It’s so easy to bring in a seasonal vibe simply by adding little touches to my mantle and bookshelves, (okay, so maybe this pumpkin collection isn’t exactly “little” – but it was simple to do and is comprised largely of pumpkins I already owned which were updated with some spray paint), incorporating natural elements like pinecones, sticks and ears of corn and switching out my throw pillows and blankets for some cozier fabrics. All I have to do is some light some glowing candles and the house feels so warm and welcoming. (Please forgive the poor quality of this picture – I snapped it with my phone this morning and the light was all wrong. Plus, while I am becoming somewhat competent about shooting food and people, I am lost when it comes to decor).
Thanksgiving in Florida – Last year we started a new tradition of going to Florida for Thanksgiving. I was dreading the first Thanksgiving without my Mom and wanted to dramatically change the feel of the holiday. And everybody loved it. So much so that we decided to make it an annual tradition. For my immediate family it’s nice to have a break from the business of back to school and just spent time together as a family. I actually get to enjoy my kiddos rather than run myself ragged running the household for a holiday and we get to hang out with my dad, brother and nephew in a WARM environment. (Because as much as I am ready for a break from 90 degrees today, by late November I will be craving warmer weather).
What’s your favorite thing about fall?