Embracing Autumn

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

I've been trying to live more seasonally. Eating the season's produce, experiencing the weather changes, even switching up our indoor decor. It doesn't come as easily to me in the warm months but now that we're heading into fall, and inching closer to my favorite time of year (winter), I feel much more at home with embracing these subtle changes. I think it helps me live a slower pace of life, when I stop and not only take notice of these seasonal shifts, but celebrate them. I know September 1 isn't the start of the fall season just yet, but we're getting closer and I've experienced some of the changes already.

The colors changing on the tree leaves, from green to shades of red, orange, and brown.

Dusk coming earlier and earlier, and the way the sun seems to be a different color as it sets now then it was in June.

The way the smell of cinnamon is starting to creep into candles and cooking. And the smell of apple pie in the oven.

Being able to hide under a blanket when the night gets a little chilly.

Finally putting the tabletop fire pit to use and actually enjoying the slight warmth from the flames.

The countdown to Halloween - because we all know I started putting Halloween decor out around the house a month ago.

Looking for ways to embrace autumn yourself?

Enjoy the Outdoors. I think fall is a top time for people enjoying the outdoors. The weather is ideal, cooling off enough to make walks through the falling leaves more enjoyable. There are a lot of other ways to spend time outside - pick apples, walk through a pumpkin patch or take a hay ride through one, sit around a bonfire. How can you appreciate all the changing colors if you're not out there to see them?

Host a Seasonal Party. Restrictions vary of course, but hosting a small, seasonal gathering can be a nice way to celebrate. We (obviously) choose Halloween, and many people choose Thanksgiving, but it's very easy to have something even as simple as a backyard bonfire with s'mores. The fact that those things are really only appropriate at one time of year makes them so much more special.

Eat Seasonal Foods. Eating seasonally is one of my favorite ways to acknowledge the change. Not only is it nice to vary up our diet a little, but it ends up saving us money because it's cheaper to eat what's in season in the area in which you live. September brings apples here in the midwest, of course, but also pears, potatoes, squash, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, and fresh garlic and onions. All easy things to incorporate into our recipes, but I like trying out new things with them too.

Try Seasonal Desserts. Apple pie. Is there anything more fall? Pie in generally feels very fall - pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie, it's all very Thanksgiving. There are a lot of traditions surrounding food, and desserts in particular. S'mores, hot chocolate, and caramel apples just aren't the same in spring time. Do you have a favorite dessert you really only have in the autumn months?

Enjoy Seasonal Activities. Life looks different this year (looking at you, sports), but there are still a lot of ways to enjoy the usual seasonal activities. Anything outdoors is still an option, like picking your own apples and pumpkins. And there are great things to try at home, like pumpkin carving. I happen to suck at that but I'm awesome at roasting pumpkin seeds and making cider at home to enjoy while the more talented members of my family carve the actual designs. I have one design. Cannibal pumpkin. Carve a face, stick a baby pumpkin in the mouth. It's the only thing I can manage!

Update Your Capsule Wardrobe. I believe in keeping a very small wardrobe, and I keep all of my clothes in rotation all year long. The weather here can be kind of unpredictable. But the start of each season is always a great time to take stock of what you have and consider if there are a couple of investment pieces that would help complete your outfits. Maybe some new ankle boots or a vest? Now's the time to look for deals on these items.

Decorate with Seasonal Decor. I assume it's no surprise to you that seasonal fall decor is my favorite kind. Because I skip straight to Halloween decor, which I begin putting up on August 1. But it's not necessary to pick a specific holiday and deck your place out from top to bottom. You could just as easily swap your summery flowers for apples and gourds, switch out your light colored kitchen linens with something in the red, orange, golden, or brown family. Start burning candles again while you add soft blankets to the couch with festive throw pillows. Such an easy way to enjoy.

What's your favorite season? How do plan to enjoy this fall?