Happy Fall, ya'll! As you might know, I'm kind of a summer girl (I am from the South, after all), and I have a hard time letting go of all that lovely warmth and sunshine. Lucky for me, September is basically an extension of summer here in Boise. But now that it's October--the weather's cooling down, the leaves are changing, and our garden's wrapping up--I'm feeling that cozy feeling that only fall brings, and I want to enjoy it fully. So to compliment our summer bucket list, here are 10 things on our list this fall to make the most of the season, while still keeping it simple:
10 Simple Ways We Like to Welcome Fall
1. Light a fall candle. There's no better way to make my home instantly cozy. Lately, I've been loving Yankee Candles--like this Apple Pumpkin one I'm burning right now (ahh!)--because one small lighted candle can fill my entire home, but *hint* I always find them for the half the price or less at Marshall's and HomeGoods.
2. Have a backyard fire. Smore's. Sweaters. Wood smoke. Does it get any more autumny? Before we had a backyard (for 6 years in apartments), we went to local parks or campgrounds that had fire pits and invited friends to come along.
3. Gather fall leaves. My kids and I collect leaves pretty much every day on our walks and they never get tired of it, even if most of them end up in the trash. We've also used some of our leaves to do leave rubbings and this simple wreath craft.
4. Have a family day at the pumpkin patch. It seems everybody's doing it, but really, it's always so much fun. Mini donuts and hot apple cider are also a must for us every year.
5. Put out some cozy throws. Over the couch, the ottoman, the office chair...I just can't have too many blankets around this time of year!
6. Bring in fall branches for the table and mantle. Or make them yourself. This is my favorite way to decorate for fall--so simple, beautiful and inexpensive.
7. Do some decluttering. Getting rid of extra stuff (i.e. donating or selling) is such a refreshing way for us to start the season, especially with everything new that seems to pour in from October to February. I shared a few thoughts on simplifying here.
8. Decorate pumpkins. I've had my eye on these with pressed leaves and decoupage (I'm pressing some of our leaves from our collection right now). And it just wouldn't be fall if we didn't carve a jack o'lantern and scoop out a few nice, gooey handfuls of pumpkin guts. We like to roast the seeds, too.
9. Put some mums and a fall wreath out front. When I finally switch out my geraniums and ferns for mums, that's when I know I'm ready for fall. But I wasn't ready when it was 80+ degrees last week, and now Lowe's is sold out. I'm a little late to the party on this one, I guess. Costco?
10. Take family photos. Fall colors make such a beautiful backdrop for family photos, and the weather is so pleasant. We always try to take a few photos, even if it means setting up our tripod and taking them ourselves. This year one of the youth I work with at our church is taking our photos, so I'm excited to see how they turn out. Bonus for taking photos now: they're ready to go for our holiday greeting.
Photo Credit: "Maple Leaves" by David Jenkins, award-winning Georgia photographer (who also happens to be my grandpa...you can check out his beautiful book "Georgia: A Backroads Portrait" here.)