Happy first Friday of fall! Hope you have something fun planned for this weekend. 🙂
We kicked off our itinerary of official fall family activities last week with a trip to the apple orchard! I don’t know. I have no real explanation for it, but I just love it. I love the actual apples that we always pick way too many of, the cider, the caramel apples that the kids always get and eat in the car on the ride home, and all the cliche fall-themed activities they have at the orchard we go to. It makes me feel like I’m in a Hallmark movie, and I just love that I get to build these traditions into our family’s identity and my kids’ childhood memories. Jack has been begging to do the “Haunted Barn” for the last few years, but I was pretty sure it was a bit too scary for him then. I finally let him do it this year and it was such a thrill for him. I actually loved it too and couldn’t stop laughing the whole time. It really was pretty creepy, but we just couldn’t stop giggling at what a great job they did on it. This definitely opens up new Halloween activities for us as a family now that we’re moving more firmly into the “big kid” years. And now I have to figure out what to do with the approximately 100 apples still sitting in bowls on my kitchen counter. 🙂
Chris booked a campsite for a few nights in October for himself and I think I might actually go with him. Usually, I’d prefer to stay in a yurt at that time of year, but Chris wanted to try a tent and see how it would go. He was originally going to just go by himself, but when he suggested I could maybe go along too, I was surprised to find that it sounded like fun! The kids will be in school because it’s during the week, so it would just be the two of us. After our B.C. trip I’m definitely feeling like “Well, that was fun, what else can we do now?” I normally love getting back home and into routines after a trip, but ever since the lockdowns, I find myself feeling like I just want to get out and do things. I spend a lot of time planning mini vacations that never happen, because real life, but this fall camping thing might actually come to be and I think it could be really beautiful.
Have you decorated for fall yet? Do you decorate at all for this season? I used to go all-out, but truthfully it would get to feel like a little much after awhile, especially after a few weeks. The kids absolutely love it though and I still do find it so fun to make the house feel all festive and seasonal… it just can’t last very long and then I need a little break. 🙂 I think my strategy this year is going to be be to decorate for “fall” with leaves and pumpkins and all that about a week before our Canadian Thanksgiving which is the second weekend in October. And then we’ll do Halloween with black cats and crows about week before Halloween. That way hopefully it will feel exciting and celebratory and fun, and not just plain messy. I do have a few subtly fall-ish branches already, but I think that will be it for our house for a couple of weeks still. I pulled out all my Thanksgiving stuff a few days ago just to see what I have and get it all organized, but it’s still a bit early and it’s definitely still been very summer-like here the last couple of days.
I’ve come to the realization that I’ll never be able to impulse-shop. It seems to me that usually people have the opposite problem and find themselves unable to stop impulse-buying things they see and love, but I honestly wish I had a little bit of that live-in-the-moment-ness. It’s really a big problem when I get in a situation where I’m in a store on a one-time-only basis, like when I’m shopping on vacation, or if I’m in an antique store. I just have to know ahead of time that I intend to buy something and have it all planned out, if I see something that I like that I wasn’t expecting to see, I can’t just go for it. I’ve lost out on so many great finds and I’ve gotten home and realized the next day that what I found would actually have been perfect. It’s not so much the cost of an item that’s the problem, it’s that I need the time to think about whether I have room for it, where I’ll keep it, and how it will fit into my life. And I just don’t have time to do that in a split second in most cases. We have a HomeSense that opened up close to our house and I can’t even handle that properly. I’ll go in, see something I love, but then I have to take a picture and re-consider it later that night, then I’ll go back the next day if I decide I want it. It’s absolutely crazy, I know, but I just hate clutter and the guilt that comes with it. Does anyone else do this?
I planted tulips! This is not such exciting news on its own because, of course, if you’re going to plant tulips, this is the time of year to do it. The reason why I’m so excited about this in particular is that I’ve forgotten/neglected to do it for the last couple of fall seasons. I have all white tulips planted in our front gardens and it’s just really lovely in the spring when they’re all blooming, but I lose a few every year, so I need to replenish every fall. This year I’m pretty sure I only had about four left that actually came up. It’s hard to remember in the fall when everything else is fully grown in the garden, so a couple of years ago I had the brilliant idea to put little plastic markers in the garden in the spring where the empty spots were at that time of year so I would know exactly where to plant. I finally got some bulbs into the ground in those spots this year and I know I’ll be so glad I did when next spring rolls around. After going to the garden centre and buying the bulbs, I think the actual planting part took me maybe 20 minutes for a dozen bulbs? Aren’t most tasks that we put off like that? I got some allium bulbs too for a different area of the property and those are going to be absolutely delightful next spring as well.
NEWS AND FINDS
-Pumpkin spice season has definitely arrived now that it’s officially fall! Here are a few reader favorite pumpkin recipes from my archives if you need a little inspiration:
-Have you seen the Pottery Barn x Peanuts Halloween line?! We’re the biggest fans of aaall the different Peanuts holiday movies and there’s big part of me that’s tempted to get some of the plates and mugs just specifically for our annual viewing of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I did clear out some space in our Halloween bin last year, so I do have some room for a few more fun Halloween things that we’ll only use for about a week a year. Is it really clutter if it’s that delightful? Can you tell I’m negotiating with myself? 🙂
–This was my vacation/plane read for our trip to BC, but I ended up finishing it after I got home. Really enjoyed it though! One of the reviews said it was “like Bridgerton, but without the spice.” and I thought that was a very accurate description. It’s a new book, but it put me in the mood to re-read some Jane Austen. 🙂
-I’ve been using Emile Henry bakeware for most of my baking for the past couple of years now and I have to say that it’s absolutely worth that investment. I got the ruffle loaf baker this spring and it has just been the best thing. My loaves always pop out seamlessly and bake up beautifully, and the dish comes out perfectly clean with no effort at all, no matter how baked-on the mess is. I’ve been getting lots of use out of it lately and I’m just delighted at how well it perform every time. Just had to remind you about it since we’re heading into a serious baking season now!
-Ruggable is now making these faux cowhide rugs (washable, of course) and I actually kind of love them, especially this cream/beige one. Do real cows even exist in that color combination? I’m not sure, but I’m not normally a cowhide rug kind of person, but there’s just something a little classier-looking about this one.
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.