How to Make Your Home More Festive This Fall
Photo's and Article by Rain San Martin
Set the Tone for the Holiday Season by Getting Into the Spirit of Fall
Baking Autumn treats, simmering warm soups and stews, personalizing your home with seasonal scarecrows, "It's Autumn" signs, and golden leaves, attending meaningful fall events, and preparing for the holiday season are often a part of the American family tradition.
Keep Things Simple
The most important way to ensure you and your family will anticipate the holidays each year is to keep things simple. Only do a few activities that you value. Flylady has a Cruising through the Holidays plan that will prepare you for Thanksgiving and Christmas so you can enjoy October, November, and December stress free. Homemaking work will add a comfy atmosphere for you and your family.
Cooking Fall Meals and Tasty Treats
Once the fall kicks in, it's the perfect time to swap the smoothie blender for the crock pot. When the crisp fall air descends, you may start to crave a comforting bowl of black bean beef chili with cheddar. In early October you may notice your grocer or food club just begin to set out cans of pumpkin. Quickly grab a few as there are many savory and sweet dishes you can prepare with the vitamin packed pumpkin puree. Kick start the season with pumpkin cheesecake bars. It's also time to set out that slow cooker for making roasts and stews. Your crock pot (slow cooker) will come in handy when your relatives come by for the holidays. They are great for keeping meals warm when you have many other dishes to prepare, just switch the setting on low and you have a little helper on standby.
You don't always need recipes to put meals together. Once you have cooked for awhile, you can begin to mix and match recipes and "eyeball" portions just as Rachael Ray does. Yet if you want to follow steps, especially when it comes to baking, Pinterest is your one shop destination for recipe ideas.
Fall Recipe Ideas
Perfect Savory Fall Dishes Include:
- Harvest Stews: made with potatoes, carrots, onions, stewing beef, and spices.
- Chili's: made with beans, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, garlic, chili powder and beef. These combined ingredients create a nutrient dense meal, and the beef keeps the red blood cells healthy with vitamin B12.
- Pumpkin soup: Use a hand blender to puree pumpkin, chicken broth, cooked onions, roasted garlic, baked potatoes, heavy whipping cream, and salt.
Sweet fall treats and breakfasts include:
- Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal: made with pumpkin, oats, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Pumpkin smoothies! Actually you can keep your blender for this recipe: Have you ever had the Pumpkin Patch Smoothie at Jamba Juice? You can make a similar copycat recipe by combining pumpkin, chopped frozen bananas, cinnamon, nutmeg, a little brown sugar, and milk. Simply the most heavenly and vitamin packed drink ever!
Baked Fall Treats:
A recipe is recommended when preparing baked fall treats, crack open a cookbook, visit Pinterest, or search the internet for ideas.
- Pumpkin cheesecake
- Pumpkin fudge
- Caramel apples
- Apple Crisp
DIY-Fall Halloween Centerpiece-Video by Rain San Martin
I keep a subscription of Martha Stewart Living for seasonal inspiration!
Ways to add fall enchantment to your home:
- Display leaves on the mantel, you can buy them at Michaels Crafts. Just walking into Michaels may get you excited about Autumn. Though the selection may be overwhelming, you should not feel pressured to buy many decorations. Just a few seasonal visual touches will add a festive ambiance.
- Bake a pumpkin pie and the spiced scents of cinnamon and nutmeg will warm your home. For a glutten free version make it without the crust.
- Occasionally open up the windows to let in crisp fall air, as it will freshen your home. Sometimes in the winter and fall our instinct is to close the windows and turn on the heaters to warm up, while this is may be necessary, overtime the air may get stale. Outdoor air will re-energize you and help to ward off seasonal fatigue.
- Buy a few baby squash each time you make a trip to the grocery store, place them on the steps of your front porch.
- If you have a fireplace burn logs.
- Set out pumpkin mugs, if you bought a set from Starbucks in the mid 2000s consider yourself lucky (there now worth up to $75 each).
- Hang a wreath with fall leaves and brown twigs.
- Use leaf shaped place mats, often found at Target.
- Put on romantic classical music bought from iTunes, or play movie soundtracks on Pandora or Spotify. Fall can be romantic and enchanting.
DIY Vintage Fall, Thanksgiving or Halloween Banner-Video by Rain San Martin
Sample routine of a perfect day off - in the Autumn:
Have absolutely nothing planned. To completely unwind on your day off, keeping the day unscheduled is key. Recharge, renew and dream.
AM: Prepare yourself a pumpkin spiced coffee. By brewing Seattle's Best (level 4) coffee in the French press. Sweeten with a warmed mixture of brown sugar, pumpkin, milk, and cinnamon.
Go on a morning power walk in the crisp fall air. Viewing pumpkins grouped together on porches with happy scarecrows.
Breakfast and relaxing reading: Have an egg, cheese and turkey bacon sandwich. Read a fun magazine like Martha Stewart Living, Victoria, Good Housekeeping or Family Circle filled with homey inspiration.
View photo's of family online at Facebook
Afternoon: Watch "It's the Great Pumpkin" Charlie Brown. Snack on homemade caramel popcorn.
Lunch: Turkey sandwich with mozzarella, and cranberry mayo sauce.
Make hot caramel drinks by preparing a buttery caramel sauce and mixing it with steamed whole milk. Top with homemade whipped cream.
Soak in a hot bath with Epsom salts and lavender essential oils. Light a candle.
Now visualize your perfect day, weave your reality and live it.
What do you love the most about the fall?
Make Your Own Fall Memories
Come up with ideas that work for you and your family. There are no obligations, only possibilities. Weave magic into your world.
Have your holiday family picture taken at the pumpkin patch: Bring your highest quality camera and ask someone to take at least two photo's with a sea of autumn squash in the horizon. You could also bring a tripod, set the timer and take as many photo's as you need. You'll have your Christmas holiday picture ready for cards and checked off your list.
Oktoberfest or other fall festival: Try out the sausages and check out fall deco creations from a local vendor. Check your local area for unique fall festivals. Fort Wayne, Indiana kicks off the fall season with the Johnny Appleseed Festival.
Buy Applebutter from the farm: Some farms have fresh apple butter available. Lookout for hayrides and corn mazes to solve.
Go site seeing in your neighborhood: Go out for a morning powerwalk or jog, look around at your neighbors porches for inspiration. Appreciate how the leaves change color from green to yellows, oranges and reds.
Trick or treating on Halloween: Prepare your costumes or purchase them in advance. Here's a tip: Buy one high quality clothing piece as a gift for your children or ask for one as a gift request for yourself each year. Gradually build a costume collection that you can mix and match. A nice vest can be used for a pioneer, cowboy, or Steampunk costume.This is much more economical than buying a new Halloween costume each year, which is often worn once then discarded. Also the quality will be higher.
Picking apples: Some farms allow you to go and pick your own wild apples fresh off the tree for a fee. Bring them home, make a batch of hot carmel sauce, chop up some roasted peanuts, then slice up your apples into wedges.
Jump in a pile of leaves: Tell your kids, grand-kids, or little nieces and nephews that if they rake the leaves, they can jump in the pile. Make sure they rake up the mess!
© 2013 Rain San Martin