For some reason, I always find fall really inspiring. Maybe it's the beauty of the changing trees, maybe it's because there are always new people moving into town around this time of year, or maybe it's because the summer humidity is no longer stifling my brain. In any case fall is definitely my favorite season. While I enjoy leaf-peeping as much as the next person, I have a few slightly more personal habits and not-entirely-traditional traditions I carry out every year... are they strange? I'll share them and you tell me! ;) I'll also be giving a little prize away at the end of this post so a lucky reader can share in one of them with me.
#1: START A NEW DIARY
A lot of folks start new journals and planners around the beginning of the calendar year, but for whatever reason I prefer to crack open a new notebook in September or October. I assume this is a leftover habit from being a student for a million years... but in any case, if you're not using a planner with pre-printed calendar dates, there's no reason you can't start a new one any time you like.
|I choose you, little one.|
#2: COUPLES SWEATPANTS (SORT OF)
That's right, you're reading this correctly—Stan and I have matching sweatpants. There is this brief window of time in between summer and late fall (when the landlords turn the boiling hot radiators in the building on) where it's actually chilly enough to wear sweats, so a couple of years I go I picked up two pairs of navy sweatpants for Stan... and ended up keeping one of them for myself. The donning of the matching sweatpants is truly a sight to behold—keep in mind that I originally got both pairs for him, and he's about 9" taller than me and outweighs me by at least 40 pounds... so perhaps they're a bit large on me. Perhaps even comically large. And we always have a good laugh when we put them on at the same time. They're still cozy though!
#3: ANNUAL CANDLE PURGE
I have a real love for burning scented candles and tart warmers in the fall and winter—the scents are nice, but there's also just something really cozy about the visual warmth that the flicker of a flame puts out. In the spring and summer I only burn them occasionally, so by the end of the season I always have a bunch of random half-burned warm weather scents lying around. Solution? BURN THEM ALL UNTIL THEY'RE GONE! And once the smell of the world's most floral ocean is gone, I can make room for autumnal apples and spice. Speaking of which....
#4: APPLE SPICE MANIA
A lot of people go nuts for pumpkin spice everything around this time of year, but it just isn't my thing. What is my thing is spiced APPLES! I'm talking apple cider, apple cakes, apple anything. Last year I even shared a recipe for DIY apple pie spice flavored coffee on this blog... the obsession is real. So far this season I've only baked three apple spice coffee cakes... yeah, only three, I know. Gotta pick up the pace a bit. By the way, I blame my mom for getting me hooked on all things apple—when I was a kid she would take me to this apple orchard every year and let me eat fresh cider and donuts from the shop until I burst. Thanks ma?
#5: INTRODUCE SOMEONE TO A CREEPY FILM THEY HAVEN'T SEEN BEFORE
I'm the sort of person who always watches scary movies marathon-style around this time of year. Of course there are some people who haven't watched pretty much every horror film that came out in the 80s and 90s, so I feel like it's my responsibility to share some of the more interesting selections with those who are willing to watch. This has become especially easy since I moved in with my boyfriend Stan, who is definitely a movie buff (but doesn't really watch much horror). Last year I got him to watch Ginger Snaps, which he described as "weird as hell but kind of great." This year I think I'm going to see how he reacts to Hellraiser. Watch along with us if you haven't seen it before!
|Veggie "bolognese" with Ragu Chunky sauce, TVP, spinach and olives.|
#6: PASTA NIGHT
Did you know that October is National Pasta Month? Whether or not you care about preordained eating celebrations, fall is a really good time to eat pasta. In the summer I often feel so wiped out by the eat that I can barely muster up enough enthusiasm to make salad, so once the cool weather rolls around, I get super-excited about making spaghetti dinners and lasagnas. I love pasta night so much that I even made up a song about it (which I will spare you from, because it basically just consists of the words "pasta night whoaaaaaaa" over and over again).
Ragu is a staple ingredient in our pasta nights because it's delicious and super-affordable, and frankly, I don't want to make pasta sauce from scratch all the time. I enjoy cooking from scratch a lot of the time, but there are some things that are just better to take a little shortcut on—do I really need to spend hours simmering my tomato sauce to perfection when someone else has already done the work for me? NO! Ragu also costs less than $2 per jar at my local supermarket, so it's kind of a no-brainer. One other cool thing about Ragu is that the brand has real history behind it—Ragu originally started with a lady named Assunta Cantisano packing and selling her homemade tomato sauce out of her house all the way back in the 1930s, which was so successful that she and her husband eventually moved into a full-fledged factory, and the rest is history (as they say). You can learn more about the history of Ragu and their traditions on their website.
Now that I've told you about some of my silly fall traditions, I want to share one of them with you—I'm giving $10 away to one lucky reader so they can grab a jar of Ragu and fixings to have their own pasta night! I recommend not doubling up pasta night with horror movie night if you plan on serving red sauce though. Just saying.
RULES AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION
- To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below. Each entry method may be done once per person, except for tweets, which may be done once per person per day.
- The prize is $10 USD delivered via Paypal or Amazon (US) gift code, winner's choice. There will be one winner selected at random. You must have a valid Paypal or Amazon (US) account to claim the prize, I can not issue a check or bank transfer to the winner.
- The giveaway is open to worldwide except where prohibited by law, and the full Terms & Conditions can be found in the Rafflecopter widget.
- The giveaway period closes at 11:59PM EST on October 31st, 2015.
- The winner will be contacted via e-mail and will have 7 days to respond in order to claim their prize, so make sure you log into the Rafflecopter widget with a valid e-mail address that you check frequently.
Thanks for reading and good luck! :) Let me know what your fall traditions are in the comments.