Can you believe we are on the edge of fall already? I thought I was sitting on my deck watching fireworks and making s'mores just yesterday.
In truth, I love fall. I think it's my absolute favorite season. I love the colors, I love the return of comfort foods like soups and casseroles, the smells are heavenly, and the fashion? Give me all the tall boots and sweaters please!
There are a few things that make my "must do" list every fall and now I've expanded it to include a few other "musts" in eats, reads, wears, as well as activities. I'm super excited to share them with you! And if you don't see your "must" items in this list? Shout them out in the comments!
Fall 2018 Essentials
Apple Crisp - I feel like my fall is not complete without a bowl of still warm apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream. You can find my recipe for the best apple crisp recipe right here on the blog!
Cheesy Enchilada Soup - Just about any soup is great for fall in my book but this is one of the first we add to the menu as soon as the weather turns even the slightest bit chilly. I highly recommend adding in some grilled corn, black beans, or a dollop of salsa into the soup to take it to the next level. Get creative and play to your tastes!
Homemade Apple Cider - Can I be honest? I've never used a recipe for our homemade cider. I seriously quarter a bunch of apples, as in as many as I can fit in my 6qt slow cooker, add in a few cinnamon sticks, about a cup of brown sugar, and add in enough water to fill the pot then cook on low all day. Once everything has cooked down I use a fine mesh strainer to remove everything (no one wants to drink seeds) and serve. Delicious!
Apple picking - I'm not sure any activity screams fall to me more than apple picking. We've tried to make it every year but occasionally I've been way to pregnant or the orchard has already been picked over by the time we make it. This year we visited a friend with a tree in her back yard so it's already checked off the list! We might try to make it out to the actual orchard once as well.
Pumpkin carving - We aren't pumpkin eaters but pumpkin carving is still way up there on my fall to-do list. Because three of our kids have October birthdays we do a big family birthday party with both sides over fall break and usually incorporate pumpkin carving into our plans. It's super helpful to have extra adults helping and it makes it go more smoothly. Did you know you can find free pumpkin carving patterns if you do a Google or Pinterest search? Lots of bloggers and other websites offer great design ideas.
Jumping in leaf piles - This is the ultimate free fall activity. Unfortunately, we don't have any trees! A few of our neighbors have some trees but not enough leaves come to our yard so this fun activity waits until we visit the grandparents where there are countless trees dropping leaves for us. When I was a kid, my sister and I would create whole mazes using leaves as the walls. Who needs tv?
Fall fashion is my absolute favorite because my go to outfit is jeans+tee+cardigan. I'm going to work on expanding my outfit combinations this year by including these pieces that fit easily into the capsule wardrobe I've been working on building. I'm using the Big Book of Outfit Formulas from Alison at Get Your Pretty On to help me streamline my closet with a capsule wardrobe + season specific items.
Tall boots - I own tall boots in both brown and black but I probably go for the brown more in the fall. I've got these super cute boot cuffs on my "to make" list so I can change up the look whenever I want.
Plaid Scarves - Plaid screams fall and scarves are the perfect accessory for changing up the look of an outfit. I highly recommend going with the blanket scarf option because you can also use it as a shawl or wrap for an additional outfit variation. Regular scarves and infinity scarves are great choices as well, though!
Chambray/Denim Dress - This might be the item I'm most excited about. I found my dress on clearance at Target and immediately searched on Pinterest for a few outfit combos. I love the idea of pairing the dress with tall boots and a scarf or with a cardigan and booties. Both looks are so cute!
Loving My Actual Christmas - What? A Christmas book? Hear me out. Fall is just starting, but when you get through all the football games, Halloween parties, and fall carnivals, it's time to set up the tree and ring in the new year. As moms we tend to have great expectations about how Christmas is going to happen but without coming up with a plan ahead of time, we will end up wrapping presents at midnight on Christmas Eve and grumpy that another holiday season has come and gone and we didn't do x, y, and z. Do yourself a favor and read this book and get everyone on the same page ahead of time. You can read more about this book here.
Just Open the Door - Did you get a chance to read this book yet? It came out in the spring but again, with the holidays around the corner now is a great time to get our hearts prepared for hospitality.
The Brave Art of Motherhood - This book doesn't release until October 9th but trust me, you are going to want to pre-order it, request your library to purchase it, or put it on your wish list NOW. Your story is important, who you are for real is important, and you can live a life full of happiness and joy - no matter your struggles. I have been so encouraged by this book from Rachel Martin of Finding Joy and I really think you will be too.
It was a bit of a challenge to narrow these down to three in each category but I'm pretty confident that these are my musts this year for fall. Now I'm off to put on my tall boots, grab a tall cup of apple cider, and go admire the changing leaves!