An Ode to Fall

Happy fall everyone! Sure I’m late according to the calendar but it seems like once October hits, fall-related stuff goes into overdrive. I’ve seen numerous subway art signs or scrapbook layout pages listing things to enjoy during fall, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites!

  • Sweaters: I will openly admit I am obsessed with sweaters/hoodies. My collection is larger than it should be (I still buy them, though since y’know you need different weights for different temperatures). In fact, I’m sure my close friends and family would call me a sweater/hoodie hoarder in a heartbeat. I always have a sweater/hoodie with me no matter what the season or temperature outside (air conditioning can be chilly!!), but my collection gets heavily used starting now. There’s something soothing about wearing one; it’s like a cuddly hug.
  • Mittens, scarves and hats: This is kind of a catch-22 because hauling the small tote of winter weather accessories from the closet means eventually we’ll have…s-n-o-w (I dare not say it aloud, especially since parts of Minnesota already got a good three inches), but I have a fun, colorful collection, and hey, if I’ve gotta stay warm, I might as well do it in a fun way, right? It’s also kind of a good excuse to not spend nearly as much  time on my hair (I’m sure I’m not the only gal who has thought this and done the same) which can mean extra time in my warm bed. Having experienced some reeeeeally cold temperatures, I will take warmth over styled hair any day.
  • Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin!: I know many people know it’s fall when Starbucks rolls out the pumpkin-flavored drinks, but I don’t like coffee (and if I can pick my coffee place, I’m going Caribou all the way!) so for me it’s other pumpkin treats that get me excited. My all-time favorite would have to be pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. I don’t know why I don’t think to make them any other time of year, it’s not like they’re hard to do and they’re super easy, but when I see a tray of them, I will most likely eat my weight in them. I’m hoping to try out Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins this year, too.
  • Hot beverages: It’s finally time to move some of our mugs from waaaaay at the top of the cabinets to a more accessible area, as well as pull the Tassimo out of storage. Since neither Mike or I drink coffee, we prefer teas, cider or cocoa with gobs of whipped cream. My favorite chilly weather drink is one I discovered during college thanks to the local coffee place, Coffee Bene: chaider, a spicy, sweet mix of chai tea concentrate and apple cider. I don’t even want to think about how many I drank while at St. Thomas (especially when they added a mini version of Bene in the library, which I passed all the time).
  • Baking!: Most of the summer I’ve either been too busy to bake, or it’s been way too hot to want to turn on the oven, but nothing is more satisfying than having the house smell like freshly baked bread or various sweets. Maybe I kick baking into high gear because my mind knows Christmas is approaching and my baking skills need to be refreshed. I am very excited to put my Breville mini pie makerto good use, as well. I’m hoping I can make a few batches and freeze them so I’ll have some on hand to have with meals or to give as gifts. 
  • Leaves: Despite my allergies being seriously out of control, I do enjoy seeing the leaves change colors, and it makes walking in the neighborhood seem new and different. It’s been extra fun because Nova just discovered the joys of trying to catch falling leaves and the fun sounds of running through a pile of leaves (she’s also tried to eat a few….). When I see some really pretty leaves on the ground I remember a craft I did very early on in my elementary days where we ironed them between waxed paper and hung them up like a collage to form a large tree. 
  • TV is back: To me, this is the easiest way to tell what season we’re in. There are sooooo many programs I’ve been dying to see, some since late spring. I am a little bummed everything I watch seemed to shift days and times and many are now airing at the same time, though. This is really less of a problem since we don’t actually have cable, but I won’t lie, for certain programs/episodes like season premieres or finales, it is KILLER to wait for them to be available. My list of cherished programs is much too long to get into, but based on what I’ve seen so far, a few of my favorites include: Sons of Anarchy; The Good Wife; Downton Abbey and Law & Order: SVU. Very excited for Merlin, Misfits, Burn Notice and Top Chef to reappear soon, too! 
  • Watching The Nightmare Before Christmas: Some people like horror movies this time of year. I do not. Instead, I confess I will watch this repeatedly from now until January. And I don’t mean like, two or three times. We’re talking at least five. It’s seriously like my fall version of Elf or other holiday movies we’ve all seen a million times: it’s tradition. I have no problems bursting out into song along with the movie, or wherever it seems fitting. When I lived at home with my mom and aunt, they’d always shake their heads when they saw me watching it yet again, but even my mom has to admit seeing it once and a great while is pretty fun. 
  • Apples: While I haven’t been to an orchard to pick my own apples for a few years, I love going to the grocery store and seeing what they have. The selection here in Nebraska is quite a bit different than Minnesota’s, too, but not in a bad way. I’ve gotten to sample a lot of kinds over the years, and I swear I’ll remember which ones I really liked and how to use them and I never do. One of my favorite apple varieties is the McIntosh. I love the soft texture and when it’s made into applesauce it kind of has a faint pink hue to it. They are small enough that I feel they’re the perfect sized apple to slice and dip into caramel (although I can never get the apple to caramel needed for dipping ratio right).

What do you guys look forward to when it’s fall? Have any fun traditions or recipes you have to make before winter hits?

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