September 3, 2015

What I'm Hoping to Do This Fall

So I made my summer list ("What I'm Hoping to Do this Summer") and checked it twice ("What I Was Hoping to Do This Summer and How That All Turned Out").

Now, I'm ready to convert our flipflop basket to a mitten receptacle and cozy up to my favorite time of year. Here's what I'm hoping to do during this season I love so much.

1. Use the word "autumnal" as much as possible.

2. Turn on the electric window candles.

3. Sit by the season's first fire in the fireplace.

4. Go to all our high-school home football games. FOR THE BAND HALFTIME SHOW! I do so love my marching clarinetist. And you know what they say: what's the football team doing on the band field? 


5. Make many batches of this Trail Mix Granola Bark for after school/before dance/after dance/before band/after band/midnight snacks.

Trail Mix Granola Bark
(Want to print this? Great! Click here.)

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini M&Ms
3 cups rolled ("old-fashioned") oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 10x15-inch baking sheet with parchment paper so it hangs over the edges. Mix the chocolate chips and M&Ms in a small dish and put them in the freezer. Mix the oats, coconut, almonds, and wheat germ in a large bowl. In a microwave-safe 2-cup measure, mix the salt, syrup, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon water. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds, or until the sugar has dissolved. Don't walk away and get sucked into checking Facebook because sugar syrup boiling over in your microwave is not something you want to see. In another small measuring cup, whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons water, the vanilla, the oil, and the egg white. Drizzle it over the oat mixture and toss to combine. Drizzle the syrup mixture over the oats, et al., and toss to mix well. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle about 2/3 of your frozen chocolate-chip/M&M mixture over the oats and toss gently to distribute. Dump the whole mixture into your pan and spread and press evenly. If one part is a little thicker than another, make sure it's the edges. Sprinkle your remaining chocolate/candy mixture evenly over the surface and press gently. Bake for 30-45 minutes, rotating your pan halfway through. You want your bark to be golden brown in the center or it won't be crunchy. Cool on a wire rack before breaking into irregular pieces and storing airtight. It'll keep about a week. Recipe adapted from Best Lunch Box Ever by Katie Morford.

6. Make applesauce. Thank you, Victorio Strainer. Also (and more so), thank you, Mom and Dad.

7. Make apple pie. My favorite adopted tip is to precook the apples slightly. I also love to use Vietnamese cinnamon, which generally makes all of life better. Looking for a tried and true recipe that tastes "just like Grandma's"? Click here to print one from my friend Karen at Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge. In fact, I suggest you make Karen's apple pie, then savor a slice while you spend some time looking around her sweet and encouraging site.

8. Start my annual sojourn through the Little House on the Prairie series on CD book. I love the Christmas stories every book in the line-up features, but I don't like to hear them right after Christmas or in the spring or summer. If you're a LH fan(atic) as I am, here's a list of the Ma-isms I regularly employ in our medium-sized house in the country.

9. Watch and listen to The Piano Guys' Beethoven's Five Secrets. It's not autumnal, but it is awesome.



10. Make and eat pot roast. My favorite recipe is comfort food in a cast-iron pot.

11. Sleep under heavy quilts.

12. Smell the first woodburner fire of the season.

13. Eat pumpkin everything. I think I'll start with the recipes in this Ultimate Pumpkin Recipe Roundup and go from there.

14. Wear fleece.

15. Notice the changing colors before they're gone. Every year, I think, "We're not at peak yet...I still have time to pay attention." Then I blink, and the trees are bare. Not this year.

16. ________________________ (This is for you to fill in, mama. I'd love to see what you'd add to the list...tack in on in a comment or on Facebook! And be sure to check out what your fellow moms have already added...one of their suggestions might be the thing that MAKES your entire fall season.)

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Add-ons along the way..
"October" by Eric Whitacre. Dear reader, please. Click on this link and let this play in the background. This song IS autumnal and completely gorgeous. You'll be a better person just for having heard it.

And speaking of better people, one of my dear mom friends offered these autumnal addendums: "I plan to enjoy sweatshirts, scarves, tennis shoes, crisp air, cider (preferably warm), caramel dip and Honey Crisp apples, and the awesomely phenomenal autumnal vivid colors!" 

Here are some links from other smart mamas to check out...
Dutch Pea Soup (my husband I had this on our Alaskan cruise, and it was fabulous): http://www.instructables.com/id/Traditional-Dutch-Pea-Soup-aka-Snert/.

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Gladly shared at these blog bashes.

47 comments:

  1. Great post!!!

    16. Cook Pea Soup http://www.instructables.com/id/Traditional-Dutch-Pea-Soup-aka-Snert/
    17. Wear goat wool socks,

    I LOVE fall!

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  2. Thank you so much! Love those additions...going to add the link right now. Thank you for taking time to read and comment!

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  3. That trail mix sounds delicious! A couple of us have an allergy to that variety of nuts, but are okay with peanuts. I'm going to try it with those!
    BTW - I love your bio! It made me smile BIG!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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    1. Thank you, Lori! I am sure the bark would be GREAT with peanuts...it's very flexible. :) And thanks for your kind words about my reworked bio...I'm glad my brutal honesty resonated with someone other than my mom! ;) Blessings back to you!

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  4. Fall is also my favourite season. I love the cooler weather and the cozy sweaters, I'm glad to hear you completed your summer list - we came close. We say the same things every year, and we did do more this year, but there are always things left behind. Oh well, the girls are young and we have many summers yet! Watch my blog at http://2-talented-daughters.blogspot.ca to follow along the fun (and frivolous!) things we get up to this fall. Thanks for stopping by my Modern Mom blog too!

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  5. Thanks for stopping by, Jessica! Oh, yes...cozy sweaters!!! Blessings to you this fall with your talented daughters!

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  6. That song by The Piano Guys is awesome! They played How Great Thou Art at the concert we went to a couple of weeks ago, you were right, it is absolutely amazing and I loved it!
    On my to-do list for this fall, have a baby, cuddle said baby and figure out life with 3 boys. ;)

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    1. How fabulous, Rebekah! What a great summer 2015 memory. And that is QUITE a fall to-do list! You win the prize, my friend. :)

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  7. You're going to make me cry. I love Falll, just like you, but right now am living in a coastal area which does not really like changing leaves and so I must suffer. I'll enjoy the Fall through your posts then. (steals apple pie ;) )

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    1. Oh, Mary...I don't want to make anyone cry! ;) No doubt your coastal home is lovely and has many delights to make up for the lack of changing leaves. And apple pie no knows geographic boundaries! Thank you for taking time to stop by...fall blessings to you!

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  8. I love your list! There are things in it that I didn't even think of that I love about fall. I would have to add in enjoy a nice bonfire with friends on a crisp autumn evening.

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    1. Thank you, Amanda! Also, yes to the bonfire idea...a must-have on any fall list, right? Good thing you added it! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  9. What a great list you have here! I wish we had a fire place in our home... we are thinking about getting an outside fire pit so we can cook smores! I have been wanting to make an apple pie lately, too!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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    1. Thanks, Carrie...so glad to "meet" you at the blog hop today! I think you SHOULD get that outdoor fire pit...it will be a place to make s'mores--and many happy family memories! :) Thanks so much for taking time to read my little list!

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  10. I love fall time as well. You have a great list here with some great ideas. Thanks for sharing your link at Welcome Home Wednesday link party.

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    1. Charlene, it's lovely to meet another fall-lover! :) Thank you for your kind comments, and I'm so glad to have found Welcome Home Wednesdays!

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  11. Your Autumnal list was a breath of fresh air to read! ;-)

    What a great idea to listen through Little House on the Prairie beginning in the Fall. I LOVE those books. They invoke such cozy feelings and what better time to read them but the fall and winter!

    Just yesterday I said to my daughter that I am looking forward to making the homier dishes like pot roast and my awesome apple pie that the Fall allows for.

    It was a pleasure to visit here today. :-)

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    1. Well, Karen, if you aren't just one of my new favorite people! :) 1) You used "autumnal"! 2)You are a fellow "Little House" fan! (I just started "Big Woods" this very night.); 3)You are a mom of a daughter who likes cozy things and apple pie and pot roast. It seems we have much in common! Thank you so much for your sweet words, and may all the joys of fall be yours and your family's!

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  12. Autumnal colors are gorgeous! I am still going barefoot. Who needs even flip flops?? LOl
    Here from Waiting Wednesday.

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    1. Woo hoo for autumnal...colors and all, Melinda! Thanks for stopping by...have a blessed fall season. :)

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  13. I love Fall too Elizabeth! This recipe is a keeper! pinned.

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    1. Thank you, Kathi! I hope you enjoy the granola bark...around here, we HAVE found it to be rather addictive. :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  14. I am in complete agreement with you about this autumnal season! Ha, there, I used it! :)

    I too am looking forward to the apples, leaves, and pumpkins, and also SCARVES! I love wearing scarves. Thanks for sharing you list, I may have to grab Little House on audiobook next, what a great idea!

    Also, I love that you're a fan of The Piano Guys and Eric Whitacre-we must be music kindred spirits! :)

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    1. Woo hoo! Bonus points for you, Hannah! You might appreciate this: another favorite word is "penultimate." My dad knows I love both these words, so the past two years, he has called me on the second-to-last day of fall and wished me a "happy penultimate autumnal day"! Anyway, scarves are a GREAT addition to the list. Thanks so much for stopping by...I do think we may indeed be kindred spirits: I just saw your post about The Piano Guys on your Pinterest page! How do you feel about Sean O'Loughlin? ;)

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    2. Ha, great word! Hmm, I haven't listened to Sean O'Loughlin, I have to go check him out. Thanks for the recommendation, keep up the good work!

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  15. Thanks for posting in Intentional at Home Thursday so I could find this terrific reminder!! I usually dread this time of year because I live in Canada where it gets really cold. Snow is in the forecast for next week and gardening season is over... BUT, you have some lovely ideas here that I will try to implement into my days. Thanks for the ideas!

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    1. Aw, thanks, Rene! Would you believe I am SO jealous of your cold and snow in Canada?! I actually LOVE winter, but here in SW Michigan, it often disappoints and is just rainy. Fall never lets me down (hot = "Indian summer" or cold = "brisk"), but I'd move winter to my top spot if I could depend on snow. :) I know...I am "unique." Thanks so much for stopping by...autumnal blessings to you, my neighbor to the north!

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  16. ooooooh, I love the Little House books! I never thought of listening to them. I just listened to my first audio book. I never liked it before because I tend to tune it out when I start thinking, but I am really enjoying knocking some extra books off my list-and the series I'm listening to right now is very funny when spoken. Fleece-yes! Pumpkin everything-yes! Why don't we want pumpkin stuff in the spring or summer? Idk. I LOVE the SAG and MOM--I got a chuckle out of your bio. Stop by Counting My Blessings again on Fridays and link up with Deb. I enjoyed meeting you there!

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    1. Hello, Mary..lovely to meet you! You absolutely should give the LH books a try on CD b/c the narrator is FABULOUS. Spot-on and pitch-perfect is how I think I've heard her described. And as you're a big fan of the books, I'll self-promote--for the greater good, of course--and mention again a post I wrote about Ma's wisdom that I hand out to my daughters today. You can find it here: http://www.mommytries.com/guest-post-mama-always-said/. I, also, do not know why pumpkin seems only autumnal! Glad my confessions of SAG-ing and being a MOM brought a smile...brutal honesty and all that. :) I'm looking forward to Counting My Blessings already...thanks so much for stopping by and for your lovely comments!

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  17. LOVE your list. In fact, you made me anxious for Fall. Not an easy accomplishment. I'm going to try Vietnamese cinnamon and The Piano Guys are my favorite. I have a Pandora channel dedicated to them!

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    1. Thank you so much, Deb...glad I could up your autumnal anticipation a little! :) I love to just smell my Vietnamese cinnamon...the scent is so rich and wonderful. Thank you for stopping by; autumn blessings to you!

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  18. Wonderful list! I am posting my fall to do list next week, I can't wait to get started! It is nice to meet another fall lover like me! :) Have an awesome day! And thanks for stopping by my blog :)

    Alexis @ www.chemistrycachet.com

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    1. Thanks, Alexis! Now that I'm following you on Facebook, I'll look forward to seeing your fall post! :)

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  19. This looks fantastic, we will love it! Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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    1. Thank you as always, Miz Helen! Bring on full-force fall! And I absolutely look forward to returning to Full Plate Thursday! :)

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    1. Woo hoo for fall, Victoria! :) Hope this one is lovely for you!

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  21. Fall is my favorite, the way the light hits the leaves and makes them shine like gold!

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    1. Yes, Mary! I'm on the lookout for the first signs of color change here in Michigan. I'm determined to NOTICE this year--and savor! Thank you for taking time to drop by today!

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  22. This is an awesome list. And I absolutely love #4!!! That's the main reason to go to a football game. I think I'd add taking the kids to the pumpkin patch and buying too many pumpkins.

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    1. Thanks, Jamie...you're such an encourager to me! And I will be sure to tell my daughter what you said about #4...it will make her day! :) Blessings to you this fall...have a great time at the pumpkin patch with your sweet ones, getting "too many pumpkins"! (Is there such a thing?) ;)

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  23. Yay! I'm so glad you linked this up - now my readers can come read all of your genius-ness, too! I had to sigh at #4 - I just know you can't help but do some extra soaking-in of them, this year! I made a batch of delicious soup that #13 tells me you are going to LOVE (keep an eye open for the post) and now I'm off to make a batch of applesauce...after I finish that cheese...to get me in an autumnal frame of mind! ;)

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    1. Aw, sweet Lisa, thank you for your hospitality at 5 After 5...even for more than 5! And thank you SO much for your sigh on my behalf: you are 100% right that I am drinking in every note and drill pattern. Now I am waiting with great anticipation for that soup post of yours!!!! Thanks so much for letting me sneak in with my recycled "More Than 5 After 5" guest at your party. More Syncopated Mama makes any day better. :)

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    2. I just wish we could share a cup of that soup together - maybe some day! :) #5After5

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    3. Me, too! Followed by a big ol' slice of that Baklava Cheesecake. Someday, indeed...

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  24. Ok, so I feel much better knowing someone else went to the football games just to see the half time band shows. When I was in high school, I watched my friends play more than I watched the actual game sometimes...lol. Also: Eric Whitacre = genius. I've loved playing/singing his pieces since I was in HS, and you're absolutely right: October is autumn in musical form :) Thanks for sharing all these goodies with us on #shinebloghop this week!

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    1. Maria! Don't EVEN tell me we are also musical soulmates? Are you a choir geek, too? This is so exciting, to "talk" to someone who already loves Whitacre! Wish you could be in the stands here tomorrow when my daughter plays her "Fiddler on the Roof" halftime show solo! ;) Thanks for taking time to stop by and leave another piece in our "twins-separated-at-birth" puzzle! ;)

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!