• autumn,  Halloween,  holidays,  life

    Hello October, my favorite month

    Hello October, my favorite month

    Hello October, my favorite month. Time for boot socks and scarves and cozy blankets, for piping hot mugs of cider and tea, for stacks of books and fireplaces to read them by.

    This is a month of chilly nights and foggy mornings that wrap the world in mystery, but also of sunny afternoons for exploring apple orchards and window shopping with best friends while sipping pumpkin coffee. This is the month between the hot, busy days of summer and the cold, dark days of winter, when the world slows down for a little while and everything seems perfect for a few short weeks.

    I’m so excited for the start of October. I know some people see spring as the season of rebirth and autumn as one of death, but I’ve always though October offered rebirth in its own way. It’s a time in-between the rushed seasons of summer events and winter holidays. There’s a chance to slow down, take a deep breath, and reset your focus. The air changes, the light changes, everything feels and smells different. It’s always felt very much to me like a season of renewal of a different sort, a season to let go of things, to change.

    I’m excited to go hiking, to explore a corn maze and carve a pumpkin, and to warm up the kitchen with fall baking. I have a lovely TBR pile waiting for me and some cuddly cats to share it with! I have Halloween decorations to put up and a stack of horror movies to watch. I hope you’ll follow along here on the blog and on Instagram, and share your autumn adventures with me as well! I have some photo challenges and giveaways to share as well, and I’m sure you don’t want to miss any of that!

    Hello October, I’m so glad you’ve arrived once again!

    (Photo credit: Autumn Mott via Unsplash)

  • autumn,  holidays,  life

    On my mind: November 2015

    Join me this November for the #gratefullifeNOV challenge on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook! (Original photo by Dayne Topkin via Unsplash)

    Happy November everyone! It seems like October really flew by, and now it’s already time to start planning for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    This time of the year, everyone is talking about “the holiday spirit” and tossing around words like “thankfulness” and “joy”—but how much are we really focusing on those attitudes on a daily basis? And why is it so hard for us to focus on gratitude and maintaining a positive attitude once Thanksgiving is past? I know I personally have a tendency to zero in on tiny little things that irritate or upset me and then stew over them endlessly. And yet, when you focus on the positive, you’re bound to be happier (it’s science, people!). People who are more grateful also tend to feel better physically and have better relationships with those around them. Who doesn’t want that?

    It also seems like this time of year highlights a sharp contrast between the “haves” and “have-nots”, and I don’t just mean the people who are well-to-do financially and those who are poorer or even homeless. A lot of people spend the holidays without the love of friends and family, or face a long gloomy winter that highlights mental or physical health problems. I know I have a TON to be grateful for in my everyday life—a warm home, a loving family, shelves full of books to read—and even though I see almost daily reminders of people who are hungry, hurting, or friendless, it’s so easy to start taking all of those blessings for granted.

    So this month, I’m kicking off a gratitude challenge on Instagram. Each day I’ll post something I’m grateful for that day with the hashtag #gratefullifeNov. I’d love it if any of you want to follow along! If you don’t have Insta, you could do this on Twitter or Facebook, too. There is no daily prompt, just snap a pic of something you’re thankful for and share the story behind it. (Maybe it’s a mug of hot tea on a rainy day or a surprise card in the mail—it could be anything!) And be sure to tag me so I can see all your posts!

    I think taking note of all the little things I have to be grateful for will make me happier overall, and if you join in I hope it will help you have a happier November as well. <3

  • autumn,  food

    Restaurant-worthy meals at home: how to dress up canned soup and a basic sandwich

    Like many people these days, and especially with the husband going back to school, we’re trying to stretch our budget a little further each month. One of the areas we’ve really cut back is eating out/delivery–takeaway Thai, pizzas, lunch out while running errands. Not necessarily the most fun or easy, but I’m learning that there are lots of little ways to recreate our favorite restaurant items at home, or dress up simple meals so they feel a little more “luxe” on the weekend.

    One lunch meal that’s easy to recreate is a soup and sandwich combo. Condensed canned soup isn’t exactly the most appealing thing, but I’ve found you can easily dress up a basic tin instead of spending a lot of money on a fancy packaged soup. The same goes for your sandwich–a few mix-ins make all the difference between a basic lunch and one that feels like a takeaway from your favorite cafe.

    Fancy up canned tomato soup with spices and almond milk, and add some unexpected fillings to your grilled cheese for a restaurant-worthy combo.

  • autumn,  life

    Random Thursdays: Things I Love About Fall

    It’s Thursday, which means it must be time for…

    This week’s topic:

     

    Well, I actually just wrote a post about my favorite fall things yesterday! But I certainly don’t mind revisiting the subject of autumn and favorite things. I have so many.

    I love the food: pies, hearty soups, hot chocolate, fresh cookies.

    I love the clothes: boots, corduroy jeans, cozy sweaters, cute hats, comfy jackets, scarves galore.

    I love the sights and smells; the way the leaves change color, the way the wind smells different. I love the way leaves crunch underfoot.

    I love that it’s not too hot and not too cold.

    I love that the weather is the perfect excuse I need to spend my free time snuggling under a fluffy blanket with a cup of tea and a good book.

    I love apple everything: pie, cider, donuts, applesauce, or just fresh orchard apples.

    What do you love about fall?