Crisp air, apple pie, snuggles with your honey; football games and sweater weather; is it any wonder the autumn season has captured your heart? Autumn has its fans here at GenTwenty, too. While the greatest love comes from the heart, every romance needs a little nudge now and then. Here are some tips for reigniting your love affair with this amazing season.
Spring for Fall Cleaning
Spring cleaning is awesome but fall cleaning is underrated. This is the time to look at what’s working and what’s not in your home before the frost strikes (if you live in one of those lucky areas that actually gets snow – feel free to substitute “cold” for frost!). Here’s a few things to shake the dust loose:
Rather than stuffing your summer goods in a bucket, ready for next year, be honest: did you really use those flippers? How many years in a row are you going to wear that high school swimsuit? Look at what’s broken, neglected or just not you anymore, and find a good home for it; if it’s irreparable, toss it. Start a list of anything you need to replace. Come next spring, you’ll be ready for the early sales.
Speaking of shopping, is there anything you need to get before Jack Frost knocks at your door? Did you forget to replace those boots that got you from home to work to canning parties? (More on that later!) It’s not too late to bolster your winter wardrobe with whatever you need to keep you cozy and warm.
When it comes to staying snug as the temperature drops, home becomes more and more enticing, so make sure you’re prepared: make up your bed with fleece sheets and restock that candle stash.
It’s tempting to spend every moment indoors when you don’t need to be somewhere. That wind is nippy! We understand the urge to curl up with a book and a sweet drink with extra whipped cream, but there are so many ways to make the most of fall, you won’t want to miss out. Why not give one of these a try:
Farmers markets are still peddling amazing wares, but how about picking some of your own produce? You can usually pick apples and pumpkins through to Halloween. Just do a Google search for “pick your own” in your area and see what comes up. It’s a great group activity, or you can go totally zen and make it a solo venture.
Speaking of pumpkins, when was the last time you carved a pumpkin? Why not get a bunch of friends together and have a pumpkin-themed party? Get in touch with your inner child and put on It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown while drinking Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup from a festive mug, then see who can carve the most creative design in their pumpkin. Make sure to use some of those candles you got earlier to light up your new creations when it gets dark.
Ever wanted to take up knitting, baking or photography? Autumn is a great time to do it. The warmth from the oven and a fresh scone takes the chill out of those bleak days, and an ever-growing scarf piling up on your lap never fails to keep you warm. The lack of sunshine can be a downer, but it makes for better photos: you’re not dealing with glare and crazy shadows. Here’s a few tips for getting some good shots.
Fall for Your Kitchen
There’s no better time of year to indulge your inner chef than autumn. Did you get a cookbook last Christmas you’ve been dying to break in? Dust it off and pick a recipe. Got apples that are getting just a little bit too soft to eat? Transform them into applesauce, or find out how to make Granny’s famous apple pie. Make sure you have an appetite or friends to help you: my great-granddad always said pie was only good for an hour after it came out of the oven, so eat up!
Want a few more ideas? We’ve got ‘em:
Squashes: they’re everywhere this time of year, and there are so many varieties to choose from. If you’re hosting a dinner party, pick up a few of varying shapes and sizes and turn them into a centerpiece. You can still make them into something delicious tomorrow. Make sure you don’t throw away the seeds when you cut them up: if you take the time to clean, season and roast the seeds, you’ll have a nutritious snack you won’t be able to stop nibbling on.
Survey your kitchen. Are your spice racks dwindling? Are there things you haven’t used in – okay, maybe too long to mention. Toss what’s unsafe to eat and make a plan to use up the stuff you have left. If your herbs and spices don’t pack a punch anymore, buy fresh: these are the months where you really need that flavour fiesta to zest up a grey day, and stale seasonings will hurt your cause.
Host a canning party. Invite your friends and family over, and ask them to bring their garden orphans, anything that hasn’t been eaten and can still be saved. With a bit of hard work, summer can last all winter long.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. We’re not the only ones who love fall: people have gone so far as to make a fall bucket list (check this one out!), and it’s really a cool idea. Top of my list this year? Taking a walk on a forest path with camera in-hand. How about you? How will you make the most of fall?