Autumn has arrived! There is (finally) a chill in the air, the leaves are turning golden, and everything is pumpkin flavoured!!! Don’t you just LOVE fall… To jump right into the topic at hand, this post will get you all geared up for the celebrating this season to the fullest. Preparations, traditions, classic movies and yummy heart warming foods, and of course, a seasonal bucket list! (And also a free printout for you to start your own list of must-do’s!)
The point here that you may or may not have realized yet (depends on how long you have been married or living on your own as an adult) is that the seasons are beautiful, but they are sort of like an apple on a tree. Yes, they will show up and be pretty without you doing anything or putting forth any effort, and you can stare at that gorgeous ripe apple and have a great time doing so! But, that little apple is full of potential, and it is up to you to pick it, and then decide if you should eat it, dip it in caramel, bake it into a pie, or squeeze it into cider. You have to grab fall by the branches and shake out all the leaves of fun it has to offer! This really applies to any season and holiday, because the adults in our lives went to efforts to make these times special for us as kids. Now, YOU are the adult in your life, and it’s your turn! Even if you don’t have kids! Haha! So get out there and make this season special, and help out everyone else who may be feeling that little tinge of melancholy that comes with growing one autumn older.
And what a great season to start with! I am so excited people! Woot woot!
Preparing for the Season
This first section is to help you kickstart the season, as well as take advantage of the last little bits of warmth to ready your home for the upcoming cold! It’s all about making your house cozy and comfy and safe and warm.
- SCENTS! Get some candles out, buy some refills for your wax melter, or slice up an orange, put it in a pan of water, add in some cinnamon sticks and cloves and let it simmer for a few hours! Your house will smell DIVINE!
- Decorations! Probably the easiest thing to do is put up a wreath! You can buy one for like $10 at Wal-mart, hit a sale at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, or my favourite, make one! You just buy a wreath frame at Walmart, and wrap it with burlap. Then add some flowers, bows, leaves, whatever you’d like. Super easy.
- Coat rack/closet – Make sure your jackets, hats, scarves, mittens, are all in one easy to reach spot. This is a great time to reorganize your coat closet or maybe set up a coat hanging area in your house! A coat rack by the door, some hooks on the wall, or maybe even design/put up a home command center where you could hang coats, put mail and bills that need to go out, deposit your keys at the end of the day, etc.
- Wash all your throw blankets! Make them nice and fresh and maybe treat yourself to a new one!
- Consider changing to your “warm weather” bedding. Now, as a young married person, you may only have one or two pairs of sheets, probably the universal cotton type, but it may be worth picking up a new set of flannels or maybe microfiber ones. We have a couple blankets or comforters that we use in the winter, and a heavy down comforter that is great for winter, but has to be put up in the spring because it’s too warm! This is the time to make sure they are clean and be ready for the chill to switch them onto your bed (if your climate has changed, which ours finally has, just this week. LOL.
- Rotate your wardrobe. Take an afternoon and make sure your winter clothes are at the front of your closet and maybe assign an easier to access drawer in your dresser to thermals and fuzzy socks! Mmm…. I LOVE fall!
- Make sure your heating systems are ready for the weather change. Things to consider are a furnace inspection, lighting the pilot or turning the gas on if you use gas to heat, gathering/buying/chopping firewood, making sure chimneys are cleaned, clear, and ready to go, and testing out electrical heaters, as well as seeing if any bulb-driven heaters need any bulbs replaced.
- Weather-proof your house. Check your window seals, door jams and edges, and make sure that everything seals the way it should. If you notice a gap under doors, consider getting one of those giant bean bag tubes (or making one!) that sit at the base of the door to keep the cold out. I know it’s a little redneck, but in a pinch, a couple layers of duct tape can save you a lot of heat!
- Make sure your car is ready. I know it’s not winter yet, but that’s all the more reason to prepare and make sure your fluids are all good (especially antifreeze), and your tires are ready for the season!
- If you have a yard, make sure you have a rake! Haha, it’s kind of weird to buy your first yard tools…
Perhaps you already have a couple years under your belt, or maybe this is the year that you make last year’s fun idea into an actual repeated tradition! Or it’s your very first fall together! (How exciting!!!) The weird part about getting married and being on your own is how you kind of have to make the holidays happen and the festive times feel, well, festive! It’s an actual thing you have to do. And it’s super weird when you realize that, haha. (As I said in our intro. =P) But, it’s also super fun, because you get to take the best things about the season, each of your family traditions growing up, and your own tastes, and bundle them into your own fun traditions!
When you are deciding what traditions to have, think about these things:
- Family traditions that you each had individually before marriage.
- Fun dates you may have taken in the fall that lend themselves to tradition (maybe a trip to the pumpkin patch, or a picnic in an apple orchard).
- Things that maybe you want to do with your kids one day and be able to explain to them why it’s your tradition.
- Things that can incorporate your friends and family. Not only is this important because, duh, they are your friends and family, but also because sometimes you may fall into that awkward period where your family consists of mostly grown-ups now… and you realize that most of your previous traditions centered on activities for the kids… that are now you. All grown up. So now what? You need some adult, family/friend traditions. Themed parties are great for this.
- Things you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t!
- Reason-for-the-season traditions. You know, the ones that help you remember what each holiday is actually about.
Any of the things in the bucket list are also great to make into traditions. Here are some of ours:
- Pumpkin Hunting at a local pumpkin patch. Sooo much more fun to drive to a little country farm and pick out locally grown pumpkins! They usually have a ton of options and the whole atmosphere is so much fun!
- Pumpkin Carving Party – Early to mid October is a great time to make some apple cider, have everyone over, and carve a ton of pumpkins. You can buy a bunch of those $1 carving kits and set up some tables on your porch or lawn (or inside, but outside is less mess). Don’t forget a bunch of little candles, and a bowl (for seeds) and bucket (for pumpkin guts). It’s even more fun if you make it a little competition with a small prize! BYOP (Bring your own pumpkin!)
- Halloween Party – Dress up and eat a ton of candy with your friends! You might be too old to trick-or-treat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have awesome costumes! Consider playing some cool game, like Clue, or our favourite, Murder in the Dark… You could also watch a Halloween movie. Don’t forget your spooky music playlist (Monster Mash of course!) So much fun!
- Thankful Pumpkin – Leave one of your pumpkins uncut (it will last a pretty long time) and write things you are thankful for on it with a sharpie. You can take turns writing one thing a day, and also have anyone who comes over write something on your pumpkin. When me and Zach worked opposite shifts, this was a fun way for us to check in. We loved coming home to read what the other had written on the pumpkin while we were gone!
- Thankful Turkey – This is similar to the thankful pumpkin, and you could pick one or do both! We invented this one by making a turkey from construction paper and such. I cut a bowling pin shape from a paper bag, a couple legs and beak from yellow paper, some eyes from white, and a… *googling word* … a SNOOD from red paper. (That’s the little thing that hangs over their beak.) Then we taped it to the wall and traced our hands on paper to make the turkey’s tail, and wrote five things we were thankful for, one for each finger. Then anyone who came to our house up until Thanksgiving added on their own traced hand and thankful fingers! (It’s fun to give everyone a different color hand if you can!)
Even if you’re not much of a cook, there are just some things you HAVE to make, right? Or at least make sure you eat, haha! Make a list! Here’s what’s on mine:
- Pumpkin. Seeds, lattes, pies, cheesecake, bread, rolls, everything.
- Apple stuff. Cider, pie, butter – you know the drill.
- Hot cocoa! – this is seriously the best recipe ever!!!
- Yams with butter and sugar
- My mom’s Carmel Corn!
- Also Kettle Corn…
- And regular corn.
- Candy Corn?
- Butternut squash casserole
- Chili (a Wendy’s copycat recipe is my go-to)
- So much coffee, tea, chai lattes!!!
Oh my gosh guys I love fall. My brain is on some sort of Autumn flavored steroids…
Some of these movies scream Fall, and others just seem like the cozy kind of movie you would watch in this season. Let’s make with the list, shall we?
- Hotel Transylvania 1 & 2
- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (edited version recommended, lol)
- Anne of Green Gables (Yeah, the whole thing.)
- Little Women
- Sleepless in Seattle & You’ve Got Mail
- Most chickflicks…
- It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!
- The Lake House
- Friends – A great time to start Netflixing this. Regardless of what episode you’re on the whole 90s in New York vibe just screams fall to me. And that coffee shop with it’s big cozy chairs and sofas? Nuf said.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Pocahontas – You have to admit, this is the season for the colors of the wind…
- The Wizard of Oz
- Any epic trilogy seems appropriate… Narnia, Lord of the Rings…etc.
- Home for the Holidays – Haven’t seen this one yet, but heard it’s well recommended. Robert Downey Jr. before he was Ironman.
- Signs – An edge of your seat sci-fi movie with Mel Gibson. Makes a great alternative for horror movies when you want to be a little scared, but only until the credits roll.
- Sleepy Hollow/Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – A DISNEY cartoon… not the super creepy Tim Burton one guys, the old Disney classic short.
Fall Bucket List
And last but not least, the Bucket List!!!
- Go to a farmer’s market
- Go to a fall festival (we have one locally called “Heritage Days”)
- Carve pumpkins! (It’s so much fun to host a carving party!)
- Roast pumpkin seeds
- Pick apples at an orchard
- Go to a corn maze (Level 1 – normal corn maze, Level 2 – Corn maze at night, Level 3 – Haunted corn maze at night)
- Have a bonfire
- Go for a walk somewhere with lots of trees in the crisp fall air
- Do some fall crafts!
- Rake leaves into piles or around the bases of your trees
- Get some pumpkin spice lattes and then go on a drive searching for the best fall leaf show
- Cozy up with a good book
- Buy some new fuzzy socks or blankets
- Go to a concert, opera, or play
- Go to a local football game
- Design fun couples costume and help out at a local trunk-or-treat
- Visit your local tourist town, or the downtown part of your city and look in all the little shops and cafes (they’re great at getting the whole seasonal vibe going!)
- If you’re daring… haunted house?
- Or maybe haunt your own house and put up some cobwebs, haha!
- Host a costume party on Halloween!
- Make apple butter
- Learn how to cook a turkey (or maybe just a chicken)
Oh! One more thing before you go! I have created a little print-out for you guys so you can write down your own Fall Bucket List, put in on your fridge or tape it to the wall, and check it off as the season progresses! There are categories for Traditions, Activities, Movies, and Food. I hope you have enjoyed this article as much as I have enjoyed creating it. If you have any other tips you’d like see added here please suggest them in the comments. =D Whether you are excited to be celebrating the season with your hubby again, or maybe for the first time as a wedded couple, I hope that this list inspires you to really get into the season and not let it pass by unnoticed!
Now grab fall by the branches and SHAKE! ;D