Favorite Fall Things (2012)

1. Sweets. Add a can of pumpkin puree to any powdered cake/muffin mix, and voila, you have a sweet pastry of some sort. I’ve been making muffins, and my favorite mix to add the puree to is Trader Joe’s pumpkin muffin mix. It is only available during this season and is delicious. (Thanks to Pinterest for the initial idea to add pumpkin puree to cake mix.) I add a little bit of almond milk to the mixture and keep it vegan.

Fall and winter are also the time of smores, which we loooove in our house. Try some variations like adding peanut butter on the graham cracker or melting an Andes mint chocolate. They are a lot of fun to do with the nieces and nephews, too. We toast them in the oven when we aren’t up for being outside.

2. Scented candles. I really recommend buying a scented candle from a local shop. We have an amazing soap and candle shop in downtown Varina (we have two downtowns), and I can smell the difference. I just bought a Brown Sugar Fig candle from them. It doesn’t emit any nasty chemicals into the air, and it smells REAL and wonderful. I love to light a bunch of fall-scented candles in the evening to help with relaxation. A simple candle can really change the mood of a room.

3. Gnarly Pumpkins: When I go to pick out my pumpkin, I always feel conflicted about what type to pick. The chubby guys? The skinny ones? The worty one? The white one (which is a minority in pumpkin world)? I say, be brave! Push against society’s norms! Pick the wortiest, “ugliest” pumpkin you can find. Then put it on your porch with a skinny scarecrow.

4. I always, always read my favorite fall essay from McSweeney’s. It makes me laugh out loud and contains my favorite cuss word. This essay is rated R since PG-13 movies only get one F-bomb.

Have fun out there this fall. Bake an apple pie. Take pictures of the foliage. Bake a pumpkin pie. Enjoy the crunch of leaves under your feet.

Don’t get too carried away, though…

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