More ways to celebrate fall…

Tonight or tomorrow or the next day, I plan to do a kid update.  The little ones been busy making us laugh and ticking milestones off their lists.  I’ve even got some videos.  For now, I wanted to add to my list of autumnal affairs.  I have been so into fall this time around, and I thought I would share all the big and little ways we’ve been making the most of the season.

1.  Two ingredient pumpkin cake.  Cake mix and pumpkin.  That’s it.  It was so good that Riley wants to make some for her teachers.

2.  Pumpkin dump cake.  I found this recipe on Pinterest (from Cookies and Cups) , and I decided we had to try it.  My mom ended up making it to for her and Alli and CE.  Rave reviews across the board – except from Riley and Adrian.  The pumpkin part was too pumpkiny for their tastes.  But that worked out for the best.  More for Shawn and me.

3.  Pumpkin swirl coffee from Dunkin Donuts.  Yes, I know I mentioned this last time but it needs to be brought up again.

3.  Sweet potato pie from McDonald’s.

(Image from

4.  Crockpot corn chowder.  I consulted my mom for a recipe she had used recently, but then I ended up just going with what we had on hand.  Two cans of corn, lots of potato chunks, two yellow squash cut into chunks and slices, milk, water, one packet of onion soup mix, some flour, salt, and pepper.  In the crockpot all day.  The note was just right for fall.

5.  S’mores campfire nights in the backyard.  I am so, so glad I splurged on our fire pit back in August.  We have spent the past two Saturday nights on the back porch with our new fire pit.  This past Saturday, Adrian and Sidney played in the pack and play (well, Adrian dove in, threw all the toys out, threw the toys back in, then dove in again, then repeat) while Riley chilled in a lounge chair, Shawn started up the fire, and I prepared s’more stuff.  And because we were thinking about camp, I asked everyone to share something they were thankful for.  Shawn was thankful his long week of conferences was over.  Riley and I were really thankful, for everything from golden brown marshmallows to Adrian not breaking his neck to winning a poster at book fair night.  I love that we get to have nights like these, the five of us, singing the bear song and licking sticky marshmallow gobs off our fingers.

6.  Acorn sweeping afternoons.  Shawn has swept our driveway completely clean every weekend.  By the next weekend, the acorn field is continuous, devastating.  He sweeps again.  Adrian, with a mini push-broom, helps.

7.  Scarves.

8.  Slippers and hooded sweatshirts at home.  

9.  Fleece sleepers for the baby.

10.  Glitter top pumpkins.  Riley has been obsessed with glitter, so using some Pinspiration, we set out a tarp and glittered the pumpkins the kids got with grandpa and grandma.  They look amazing.  And the project was so much easier than carving.

(Idea and image from

11.  Cookie butter from Trader Joe’s.

This is why I love fall…

1.  Pumpkin swirl coffee from Dunkin Donuts.  If I could, this is how I would start every day from around September 15 until Thanksgiving (after that, bring on the peppermint mochas!).

2.  Butternut squash lasagna.  Recipe from Women’s Day.  I made this over the weekend, and it has lasted for three dinners and three single serve lunches.  And wow, is it good.  It might be one of the best dinners I have ever made.  I cannot wait for my children to appreciate more complex yellow food.  And sage and nutmeg.  One day. 3.  Corn maze.  We headed over to the Athens Corn Maze on Saturday.  Had a ball.  Definitely did not find all six checkpoints in the maze, and we would probably still be in there if we didn’t have a map.  The best thing about the corn maze was the corn box.  Really, just a box full of corn kernels for the kids to play in.  They loved it.  Riley especially. Adrian took a little break to go visit with the animals.  He said hi to every bunny, duck, pig, and horse.  So cute. 4.  Fantasy football.  Sure, my bench team usually beats the team I put in, but I am on a two-game winning streak!  I like that this is something Shawn and I do together.  It keeps us in touch with some of our distance friends, and adds a little fun to our Sunday afternoons.

5.  Halloween cakes.  Last night, the kids helped me make and decorate a confetti cake.  They decked the thing out with all sorts of sprinkles and candy corn.  I told them this was our warm-up Halloween cake, seeing as how it is still only September.

6.  Candy corn.  The kids convinced me to get our first bag of candy corn at the store on Sunday.  But really.  I have a big Halloween bowl I just set out in the dining room, and what is a big Halloween bowl without candy corn?   (Adrian wanted some last night, and to reach the bowl, he pushed over our play table from Ikea and climbed right on up.  Such a resourceful candy-holic!  Boy after my own heart.)

7.  Fall projects.  My parents brought the kids Halloween crafts and an activity book. We’ve been stringing together spider webs and coloring monsters like mad around here.  This weekend, I may have the kids help me make twig candle-holders.

8.  Next week, the weather might be cool enough to break out our new fire-pit!  I’ve already bought chocolate for our first round of s’mores.

Did I mention this is my favorite time of the year?