Of course we all know that fall begins on September 23rd this year (yes…I had to look that up) but there is also an unofficial start to the fall season in my book, September 1st. In Texas this is a really hard band wagon to hop on since we are still in the high 90’s through most of September but for me September always meant the turning of leaves, picking out cold weather back to school clothing and the kick off to cooler weather and the holidays (calm down, I know Christmas is still far off.) On the first day of September I dig out my fall decorations and get my house ready for the season. I turn the AC on a little lower so I can slip into my fuzzy slippers and throw on my favorite sweatshirt (american eagle circa 2001.) Pure bliss.
There are a few things that I cannot live without each fall and as September draws near my excitement about these things explodes. Obviously I love fall colored bags, bringing out my scarves and pulling on a pair of fashionable boots but the following five things are what make a perfect fall season in my book.
To me, there is nothing more like fall than sipping a nice hot cup of coffee. Many people obsess about Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte this time of year (myself included because it’s damn delicious) but there are a few other notable mentions in the world of fall coffee. Over the years I have tasted and tested my fair share of local coffee shop version of pumpkin coffee but since 2004 there is one clear winner. Brewed Awakening is a coffee shop located in Wakefield, Rhode Island (there are now several but to me, this is the original). If you ever have the pleasure of heading to this area you need to put this place on your itinerary. Their pumpkin coffee is top notch and cannot be out done. Unfortunately, if Rhode Island is not in driving distance and you do not see yourself visiting our country’s smallest state, then sadly you are out of luck. Despite several emails and phone calls over the years, this small company will not ship their coffee. Completely understandable for small businesses but for a pumpkin coffee deprived Texan, this is sad news. If you cannot make it to RI and the #PSL just doesn’t do it for you, do not fret. Dunkin Donuts has a delightful Pumpkin coffee blend that can at least match your crazy craving for a fall cup of Jo.
Candles can really define a season for me. When I was younger my dad said that Christmas trees made him sneeze, so he purchased a fake tree and put a Christmas Wreath scent Yanke Candle behind the tree, so to me, that smell is the smell of Christmas. For the fall I have tried several different candle scents over the years and I can tell you right now that I am not a big fan of flavored scents. You know which ones I’m referring to, the pumpkins, the apple pies and other food related scents. They can literally turn my stomach and an unset stomach is not something I’d like to associate with fall. Here are a few of my all time favorite scents:
- Autumn Leaves by Yankee Candle,
- Leaves by Bath & Body Works (sensing a trend?)
- My new fall favorite Cashmere Woods. Cashmere Woods is a new Glade scent as of 2014. This candle is significantly lower priced than Yankee Candle or Bath & Body works but they do burn more quickly. This candle is a simple fall solution for me since it can be found in your local grocery store!
- Breads/Cakes Muffins! We love it all
Once the weather turns slightly cool my Kitchen Aid it put to work. A beautiful pumpkin crumble muffin, a slice of banana bread or a piece of my grandmother’s apple cake all seem to bring that feeling of fall. I am currently working on compiling these recipes to share on the blog later this month, so stay tuned!
- Crock Pot Recipes!
There is nothing like coming home from a day out in the cold and knowing that a warm meal is waiting for you. Beef stew, chicken tortilla soup and jambalaya are some of our cold weather favorites. Throw any of those in a large bowl, forgo sitting at the table and just curl up on the couch with a favorite TV show and my cold weather evening has been made.
- Fall Festivities
The love of fall festivals for me dates back to my childhood in New York. If you lived anywhere in the Hudson Valley, the Warwick Apple Fest may sound familiar to you. This, along with apple picking, was one of my favorite northern living fall pastimes. Now that we are New Yorkers stuck in Texas, finding things like this are a little harder. Apple picking unfortunately is not a thing down here but you can pick your own pumpkins. One of the events we fell in love with last year is the Dallas Arboretum’s Pumpkin Village. Little J had only just started walking and was very unstable on his feet, but this year my little runner will enjoy racing through the pumpkin patch and playing in the pumpkin houses.
So tell me, did one of your favorite items make the list? Are you a fall fan or do you cringe every time you hear someone order a pumpkin something or other?
This year is a pretty big September for us, my husband and I will celebrate 5 years of marriage on the same day that I celebrate 30 years of life! ❤
Happy September and Happy unofficial start to fall!