Sunday, September 4, 2016

Five Fun Traditions to Kick Off Fall

If you are like me, then you know exactly how many days until fall is officially here. And if you're really like me, then you don't care that the official date is still a few weeks away - because the fall decorations are already up, apple cider is in the fridge and your fall wreath is on the front door. Because people like you and me - we are ready for fall. Maybe it's because I'm a teacher and thus operate my life on a school calendar, not a real one.  For me, fall actually starts the first day of school.  It stinks that the first day of school is usually 90 degrees, because I would much rather show up to the first day in cozy boots and a jean jacket.

So now that Labor Day is upon us, football season has started, and the weather is dipping into the 50's at night... well in my house, that means fall is officially here...unofficially.

I have spent the past week cleaning the house, cleaning up the yard, cleaning out the garden beds, and storing garden vegetables away in the freezer. Basically putting summer to bed. Closure. And now... I am ready for fall.

I wanted to share some ways that I like to make the "changing of the season guard" somewhat ceremonious.

1.) Pumpkins
Photo Credit

Here's how to get in the fall spirit right off the bat. Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins. Eat them in desserts, drink them in your coffee, decorate with them in your yard and in your house. And in another month, carve them up and stick a candle it them. Nothing makes it feel like fall like pumpkins.

Here's a couple of links if you need some help getting started.

Pumpkin Food Inspiration

2.) Refrigerator and Pantry Makeover

Out with the strawberries, and in with the apples. Out with the basil and in with the rosemary (don't actually get rid of your basil - but maybe move it to the back. Rosemary is so much more fall). Scour your Pinterest boards, cookbooks, and recipe collections for your favorite fall meals - then go shopping to make sure you're all stocked up for your favorite meals. And while you're at it, make sure you have everything you need that first chilly night when you're dying for a pot of chili but don't want to get out of the house.

Here is my personal favorite recipe for chili - It's white chicken chili and probably the best chili I have ever had.

3.)  Fall Scents
Photo Credit

I picked out my fall home scent a few weeks back (Leaves by Bath and Body Works).but I didn't light it. Lighting it before its time would be sacrilege. You think I'm weird, don't you? Here's everything that had to be done before I could light it. Burn out my summer scents. Check. Clean house. Check. Cool day. Check. Open windows with attic fan on pulling a perfect fresh air breeze through the house. Check. Fall decorations in place setting the cozy mood. Check. And now my house is clean, cozy, and smells like fall leaves. 

4.) Fall Jackets and Jeans

Try fall jackets and jeans on your kids (unless your kids are older - then you can skip this one). 
You don't want to wake up to a cold morning one day and realize that the sleeves on their jackets come up to their elbows, and their jeans are now man capris. 
Having this part of their wardrobe planned ahead will give you so much more time to just sit on the front steps a few minutes longer on that first cool morning rather than turning your coat closet upside down looking for something that fits. 

5.) Synchronize Sports Calendars

Fall is just as much about sports as it is about pumpkins. Friday night games at the high school, Saturday college games, and NFL Sundays... Part of our fall traditions include getting calendars out and checking out our favorite teams. Some suggestions: Put the big rivalry games on your calendar so you can plan amazing football food days when those games are on. Find out when the first game is and see if it will be televised or if there is a venue near you that will be showing it. Check your sports team apparel to see if anything needs updated.

For us, fall sports include a lot of football, both college and NFL. But ALSO, soccer - as in both boys are playing on different teams in different cities at the same time each week. So we are synchronizing calendars like we never have before. Who is going to which game, making sure chairs are already in the vehicles, a section in the van designated to sports equipment. When that first game arrives, we want to be able to roll out with our thermoses filled with coffee rather than stressing about who is supposed to be where.

On the off chance that your favorite fall teams are actually the same as my favorite fall teams, well then here are your team schedules. You can get your own at

And that's how I'm rolling out fall in our house. What are your fall rituals? How do you know when it's fall? 

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