Welcoming Fall

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Of course I love every season for its own reason, but fall is my favorite. Having just spent three months living in the bliss of summer, there is something about the return of a schedule, that chill in the air, the turn of the leaves, that makes me crave everything cozy. Also, it’s my birthday, so of course for me fall takes the… er… pumpkin pie.

Here, the trees won’t turn until mid-October, so we’re in a lovely little space of time that feels more like late summer. This beginning of fall is when we start preparing for winter: canning, freezing, and drying all that wonderful fresh produce, swapping out our light clothes for our warmer ones, and replacing summer bedding with heavier comforters. It’s not quite time for pumpkins, but you can feel the changes starting to happen.

This space between summer and fall is hard to grasp, because this season is all about change; the changes of the leaves, the changes in the air, and the changes within us. We need to be living with our eyes open to experience the wonder of it to the fullest. So I thought I’d share five things to do this month to be present and make the most out of this time of year.

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Time to channel all the hygge and bring out the warmest throws to grace your sofa or pile into a woven basket. Sustainably sourced furs (or faux furs) placed on dining chairs or on the bed make your home feel extra cozy. Think all the Scandinavian inspo you’ve seen on Pinterest. For a way to take your home into autumn quickly, heavy textiles will make the biggest impact.

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We’re right in the middle of apple season. Apple picking is a lovely way to get out and enjoy the sweater weather, and it’s a great photo opp. There’s nothing quite like fruit right off the tree. It’s also a good way to learn about where your food comes from and be sure your apples are wax-coating- and preservative-free. Local farms will usually have more than just apples; you might find mini festivals and country markets with homemade jams, jellies, and preserves. And is there anything better than an apple-cinnamon-citrus potpourri (here’s a good homemade one) or fresh apple cider?

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I’ve started to miss opening a jar of home-canned peaches, pears, or apple crisp and smelling that fruity goodness. Call it living seasonally or call it a return to my roots, but lately I feel a pull to giving traditional preserving a try. Last week, I was determined to preserve some of those Carolina peaches before they’re gone. I don’t have a canner yet, so it took the form of peach melba freezer jam, which is equally delicious spread on toast, topping vanilla ice cream, or smothering a stack of pancakes. Freezer jams are very accessible to any skill level (recipe here).

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Most of my decor is year-round, so candles really help change things up during the darker nights of fall and winter. Whether they’re used for late outdoor dinners or those cozy nights in, candles set the mood for slow evenings. And you can support your local beekeepers by choosing local beeswax candles.

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Although spring is technically the season of beginnings, fall feels like a new beginning to me because it’s a time of redefining our routines, starting a new school year, and coming down off the summer high. It gives us space to make changes in a way that is different than any other season. It is a good time to set intentions for ourselves. This year, I’m trying to adjust our shopping routine to buying in bulk more. Use this month to introduce a change you’ve been wanting to make in your life.

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What are your favorite things to do in early fall?