Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall Wish List

Today is the first official day of fall. In the DC area, we have been experiencing chilly mornings, pleasant afternoons and even have some trees kissed with just a few red and orange leaves. But now, it's official - the days are getting shorter and cooler and bitter cold winter days are inevitable - but, through God's goodness, we get to enjoy 2 lovely months of sweater weather, cool breezes and sunshine and tons of fall yumminess, beauty and decor before settling in for colder months.

And, almost on cue, summer knew it's days were soon ending and blessed us with a warm front this weekend before cooler temps returned today. I was able to enjoy windows open, sunshine, shorts and t shirts - to properly say goodbye to sweet summertime. All enjoyed, of course with a glass of wine and my current favorite warm weather drink, a Mississippi Mule. (If I could sum up summer 2014 with one drink, it would indeed be the mule. But time to pick a fall beverage of choice!)

D and I have been talking about fall - and enjoying DC and the surrounding area. We both love being outdoors and experiencing the area-- and we both know these pleasant days are limited.**   We came up with a few fall "to do" goals (Let's be honest, we discussed it, and only I was nerdy and am making a list.


1. Lots of football watching

2. 1-2 "fall" activities - pumpkin patch, corn maze, apple picking

3. Fall winery visit

4. Dress up for Halloween! 

5. Driving around NOVA to see fall foliage

6. 1-2 fall day trips -- while the weather and scenery is gorgeous, we thought we might explore some nearby towns. We plan on going to Harper's Ferry and hopefully one other town!

7. Eat lots of chili - already started!

8. Thanksgiving/Macys parade in NYC

9. Take time to do/see a couple things we have yet to do in DC since moving here (particularly outdoor activities) - wonder through the art garden, go to the botanical garden, etc.

10. Do a haunted ghost tour, etc. (There is one in Alexandria we are eye-ing)

11. Go to the Falls Church farmer's market.

12. Fall Premiers (Judge away, I love having a few weekly shows to keep up with!)

Our First Official Chili

BONUS TO DO: Explore our new 'hood. While not as cool as the last neighborhood (but 250 extra square feet is cool, I tell myself), there are fun restaurants and shops nearby. We want to explore this area. Obviously this is not a FALL GOAL as it has little to do with the autumn months, but nonetheless, this goal will be tackled this fall.

A few personal Fall goals:

2. Add a few small fall touches to our house. (I have tons of Christmas decor, but not many fall decorations) If I start buying a couple decorations a year - then by the time we have young kids, it will feel warm and "fall-y" for them.

3. Cook a few NEW fall recipes -- pumpkin, soups, grilled cheeses, different chilis as mentioned above!

4. Sweatshirts and wine and good talks with D (or friends) on the porch. (it's really a patio, but being the southerner that I am, I often refer to it as a porch.

5. Finish getting our new place decorated enough to have friends over for football or cooking out at least once this fall, hopefully more!

6. Buy a new pair of boots or booties -- many of my boots need to be replaced, so time to start watching for deals!

7. Read more books...on the porch when its good weather, curled up on the couch as it gets cooler.

8. Buy a grill.

9. Decorate a pumpkin - carve it, paint it, do something!

10. Buy sunflowers for our apartment!

Of course, I will gladly add some other traditional activities in to the mix like cider drinking, smores making, wearing crazy amounts of scarves...but these things will happen so naturally that there is no reason to add them to my personal list.

It's going to be a good fall-- one of the best things about living in this area of the country is having 4 full seasons. I feel blessed to witness beauty in every stage of the year.

**I know, I know, I whine about winter a lot...and I am not a fan of frigid temps and lack of sunshine, but even I enjoy having a couple months after the busy and fall/holiday season to stay in, invite friends over, cook warm soups, cuddle, binge watch tv shows on netflix, drink cocoa and go to the movies. Alas, even winter has its own blessings - but I am glad I get Fall first!!)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fall Love and September Goals

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??? September has officially arrived. While we were packing, moving and vacationing, the summer season came to an end -- I know, I know, it doesn't technically end until 3rd week of September, but it's essentially over.  Kids are back in school (I say this as if I have kids.....), lovely fall mums have appeared at grocery stores and farmer's markets, college football has returned (PTL) and Starbucks is already selling their pumpkin spice lattes.

Just ignore the 92 degree weather today.... :)

But seriously, after a vacation in Canada where I had to wear pants and long sleeves a couple afternoons, I feel I have had a lovely brief taste of what's to come -- crisp mornings, pumpkin patches, fleece jackets, chilly runs and leisurely evenings spent in sweatpants on the balcony, drinking wine or cocoa. However, a return to HOT DC left me grateful for a few more warm days ahead.  We had a brutal winter last year and word on the street is that we are in for a similar winter this year.  Fall is my favorite season, but winter certainly is NOT, so I don't want to usher in the colder weather just yet.

I know FALL won't completely arrive for another 6 weeks or so. Until then, we will do that awkward yet wonderful dance between chilly and hot, never quite sure if you should put on a sweater or tank top. And as frustrating as this gets -- constantly checking your phone's weather app to make sure you dress appropriately and wondering if you should be eating watermelon or pumpkin muffins, I love that for about 6 weeks each fall and spring, we get to say hello to one season without quite saying goodbye to the old season yet. Until late October, I can enjoy sunshine AND chilly winds, boots AND short sleeves, chili AND snow cones (who am I kidding? There are hardly any snow cones in DC which is ridiculous! add that to the short list of things I don't like about this area)

I have a ton to do this month, so I am glad we still have warmer weather and longer days! I thought I would join in blogger land fun and make a few September Goals!


  • Finish unpacking and organizing after our move!
  • Give away/throw away some clothing as we unpack. 
  • Complete 3-5 apartment projects on my own. I have a ton of furniture I want to paint, a table I want to stain, artwork to frame, a baby door hanger to make (for my nephew arriving SOON!), etc
  • Complete 3-5 apartment projects with my mom.  My mom is stopping by to visit me/help with projects for a few days later this month on her way to meet my nephew, so I hope we can tackle a few decorating projects when she comes!
  • Pray for others! I used to be faithful about praying  and used my time on the metro to pray for others, but life got hectic and I fell out of routine.  I want to make a prayer list and start praying for friends and family during my commute a few days a week!
  • Read 1-2 books off my list. My goal for my summer reading list was to finish 10/16 books. Instead I finished 7 of the books-- but I have a decent excuse: my kindle died halfway through summer and all these books I had purchased or borrowed from my parents were irretrievable. Although I had the kindle app on my computer, I was not going to drag my computer to work every day, so my reading time was limited. However, I have now downloaded kindle on my phone and hope to tackle the rest of these books this fall!
  • Cook 2 "Bread and Wine" recipes. 
  • Start buying our Christmas gifts for others and Dave's birthday gifts (so they don't hit all at once!) 
  • Work out 3 times a week. Wow, I can't believe that I have to make this a goal -- I used to LOVE working out and would even do it a couple times a day sometimes. But, commuting and working and moving has changed my habits the past few months and I make it to the gym 1-2 times a week-- so it's time to get back in a routine. Starting small with a goal of 3 times a week this month.
  • Eat in most nights.  We usually cook in most nights, BUT the past couple weeks, we have packed, moved, unpacked and traveled- so almost all of our meals were at restaurants or take out. That really dents the budget and hurts the waistline, plus I miss cooking. 
  • Buy a mum!
  • Decorate our guest room.  We have 4-6 sets of visitors this fall (yay!) and we are so excited to finally have a guest bedroom for them to stay when they come (instead of on our couch)  So, my first goal is getting the guest room in order so that it's comfy for guests! I'm using an old bedding set of my mom's, painting some furniture, buying a headboard and hanging art, so this should be an achievable goal!
  • Save a little each week for an IKEA/Home Goods/Target shopping trip with mom when she comes.  I have a bistro set picked out for our balcony, plus some picture frames, cushions and a lamp I am eyeing. Time to pocket a little spending money each week!
  • Put a little money into our "One Day Europe" jar each week. (yes we have a jar, like a grown up piggy bank)
  • Enjoy our balcony as much as possible! I had patio envy all last year, so it's time to enjoy my own balcony!
I am hoping to report back that I accomplished two thirds of these goals!! What about you, what are your September goals? Anything Exciting???