After an agonizingly HOT summer, there is nothing better than celebrating the fact that FALL IS HERE! It might not feel like it yet here in Chattanooga, but soon enough the mountains will be covered in orange, red, and yellow, fall events will be popping up all over town, and the weather will finally be cool enough to enjoy leaving the windows open all day. Ahh, I can’t wait!
There are a few things that we can do to celebrate and get more into the fall mood!
- Make your house smell like fall! Bring on the candles, essential oil blends for the diffuser, fall foods baking in the oven, and the stove-top simmer pots. My favorite simmer pot recipe consists of 1/2 an apple, 1/2 an orange, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and nutmeg. I keep it on low, covered in water all day long! It makes the house smell glorious, and guests will think you’re making something delicious in the oven.
- Eat all the pumpkin things! You can make most of them at home on your own. Or when you’re really in need of something pumpkin asap, there is always the Pumpkin Spice Latte (or PSL, as the addicts refer to it) from Starbuck’s. Check out your local coffee shops as well! Most are doing their own versions of the PSL, which may even have better ingredients. In addition, pumpkin muffins, cookies, pie, soup, milkshakes, bread, smoothies, doughnuts, and pumpkin cake will definitely hit the pumpkin-craving spot! Nothing is off limits to a pumpkin-chasing fiend.
- Get outside! Taking a trip to the farmers’ market to scout out mums and the perfect pumpkin is my favorite way to get outside and enjoy the crisp fall air. Taking a walk in the park, going for a hike through the mountains, having a bonfire with s’mores, planting a fall garden, going apple/pumpkin picking, and visiting all the amazing, local outdoor fall events are also sure to get you in the fall mood.
- Decorate for fall. It is so much fun to make the front of the house look festive with hay, pumpkins, and mums! Hitting up the Target dollar spot is a must as well. They have the cutest fall décor for cheap this year! Pull out those fall wreaths, spooky spiders, and glass pumpkins, and just go crazy! Is it really ever too early to decorate for fall? I think not.
- Dress the part. If fall weather refuses to show up on time, there’s nothing that says you can’t shake the dust off those adorable fall sweaters, scarves, and boots now! Get your wardrobe fall-ready by pulling out all the luscious autumn colors: burnt orange, mustard yellow, deep purple, and apple red. Fall can make for some of the cutest outfits!
- Get the kids in on the fun! There are so many fun, fall activities to do with kids! Visiting a pumpkin patch to pick out your own pumpkins, going on a hayride, and getting lost in a corn maze are always fun. Then, of course decorating or carving the pumpkins comes next! Stocking them up on stickers, coloring books, and fall books are other ideas. Going to pick out Halloween costumes is an exciting activity to ring in the season. If you’re feeling crafty, Pinterest has an infinite amount of fall projects to make with the kids, and you can also find easy-to-make crafts at most chain craft stores and Target. This year we did something different, and went to a local pottery painting place to let the kids paint ceramic pumpkins. Now we get to enjoy them up on the mantle, and the kids feel so proud of them! Oh, and possibly the best idea for getting into the fall mood is to set a giant bowl of candy corn out “for the kids.”
- Make comfort foods. Soups! Pies! Cider! Caramel apples! Fall desserts! The smell of chili and cornbread filling the house on a cool day is sure to put anyone in a good mood. Some other delicious and comforting fall foods are chicken pot pie, butternut squash soup, roasted autumn veggies, potato soup, apple pie, beef stew, pecan pie, and broccoli cheese soup. Soups really do take the cake in fall. Nothing is better than a hot bowl of soup in a bread bowl on a chili day!