FALL is in the air (not really)...
There’s something completely relaxing about hearing the wind blow. My husband might see it different, but I love seeing leaves on the driveway and in the yard. Here in Alabama that TECHNICALLY just means that it’s hot and dry outside and all the leaves are dying of thirst, but to me - it means FALL is in the air! It’s still 100° here during the day, but I’m really trying to get into the spirit of the upcoming season (IF it ever gets here). Last weekend I went up to the attic and got down the bag of natural pumpkins that I use every year, but I also went “shopping” around the house for other things I could use… brass, candles, chickens (more on that later)... All of the decor I normally use in the fall is orange, but I wanted to add some white and turquoise and maybe some black.
I was wasting time the other day dreaming of fall (Steve, if you read this - I NEVER waste time) and I ran across these fun tutorials. This one takes Dollar Store foam pumpkins and turns them into really cute distressed (read: expensive looking) decorations. SO, I thought I’d give it a try!
LOOK how cute they turned out! You can totally tell there is styrofoam under my 57 (not really) layers of paint, but I LOVE how they look. AND the best part - they were $1 each! I used paint I already had and sticks from our yard. DONE and DONE!
I also LOVE how ADORABLE these sweater pumpkins look! I’ve seen these in stores for bookoos of money, so when I found out how easy they were to make - SIGN ME UP! I haven’t made them yet, but I can’t WAIT to see what sweaters and socks I can dig out of Steve’s dresser… I mean “donate to the cause”...
I also decided to create a banner for my mantle out of an old craft book I had lying around. I cut out the banner-flags then distressed them with paint and water. I used some fun fall stamps I had lying around and then painted the letters on them. I love how cute this turned out and I might be already planning on doing this again for other seasons!
My mom was such a fun lady and she was a super-collector. She loved pieces of lace that she displayed on the backs of ALL.THE.CHAIRS in the house (totally not kidding), angels, Catherine Cookson books, silk pajamas… but her largest collection was chickens - specifically chicken cookie jars. She had an eagle-eye for finding them and I think at one point, she must’ve had like 30 of them. After she passed away, I distributed some among family and friends, donated a few, and kept the rest. There are a few that I use in my kitchen decor, but I still had 6 or 7 of them in my laundry room gathering dust. Well, the other day I decided to spray paint 2 of my least favorites with an ivory enamel paint and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out! I can’t believe I didn’t do this YEARS AGO! Now they will go with ALL.THE.SEASONS!
But the fall season doesn’t just begin and end with decorating the house - I try to incorporate fall into my cooking as well. I just LOVE being able to add more soups and cinnamon and warm drinks into our diets…
Here are a few of my favorites and a few that I’m DYING to try this season.
I’m obsessed with golden milk right now and this recipe is one of the best I’ve tried. It feels so good to end my day with a steaming mug of this anti-inflammatory drink. I use 100% maple syrup in mine instead of the honey - I think it gives it a richer fall flavor. After everything is heated up it gets blended in my ninja blender cup... but if you’re going to do that - make sure you don’t fill the cup all the way to the top. When you blend hot liquid, it can explode on you when you try to remove the top (speaking from experience here).
And who doesn’t love a good pumpkin spice latte? The ones you get from your local coffee shop are good, but they’re loaded with sugar and they don’t even have any real pumpkin in them. Why not try making your own… with actual pumpkin in it? I mean, it DOES have the word “pumpkin” in the name, right? I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but it’s got all my favorite things in it - pumpkin, coffee, pumpkin… Did I mention “pumpkin”?
In both of the above recipes, I would use unsweetened plain almond milk. I’ve been forced to give up dairy in the past year and almond milk is the answer to that problem. The kids still use cow milk in their cereal, but I bake and cook with almond milk. You could totally make both of those with cow milk or cashew milk though - whatever you prefer!
Soups are also a really hearty and comforting way to ring in the cooler weather (I know, I know… it’s still 100° here). Potato Sausage Kale Soup (AKA: knock-off Zuppa Toscana soup from Olive Garden) is probably one of my favorite fall soups. Make a big pot of this and serve it with some crusty bread and a good salad (if you feel like you need something other than just soup for dinner) and you’re all set! This recipe calls for heavy cream to be added at the end, but I don’t substitute it out for almond milk. The cream adds a richness to the soup and 1/4c in the entire pot isn’t enough to hurt me.
This Spicy Curry Soup is another of my absolute favorite flavors… like, IN THE WORLD! I love Indian and Vietnamese and Thai… all things “curry take out”. This soup is a great way to have those same flavors from your own kitchen. The SMELLS in your house when making this soup - my mouth is seriously watering right now just thinking about it. My husband isn’t a huge coconut fan and I’ve made this recipe with and without the coconut milk. If I’m not using it, I sub it out with almond milk. In my opinion, it's not as good... but it’s still fantastic! You can put some simple shredded chicken in it if you want, but you totally don’t need it. I like to serve this with lots of yummie veggies - shredded carrots, cucumber matchsticks, chopped green onions, cilantro, Thai basil, etc.
My sister-in-law is always sending me recipes from this website: Sally’s Baking Addiction. They all look great, but take a look at this beautiful cake! We LOVE cinnamon rolls at our house and this Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake looks AH-MAZING! This would be the PERFECT dessert after a bowl of the sausage kale soup from earlier (it would actually be the perfect dessert on ANY night - who am I kidding?). I can’t wait to try this cake and post some pictures to let y’all know how it goes.
Well, I think that’s going to wrap it up for my fall extravaganza post. I’m really LONGING for cooler weather... and sweaters and blankets and falling leaves. Good thing my husband is a good sport and lets me keep the AC cranked way down, because... BLANKETS!!!
I’ve just got to remember to turn the fireplace off before he gets home.
Totally kidding about the fireplace… almost.
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