Well, well, well…look who has shown up, made itself comfortable and decided to stay for a while. Good ol’ Autumn. Seattle has been overtaken by the falling leaves, the cool, crisp air, and pumpkin EVERYTHING. Every neighborhood home has a pumpkin on the front stoop, grocery stores are saturated with Halloween goodies, and Seattlites all over the city are grabbing that extra layer of clothing before rushing out the door. Fall is definitely here.
I, of course, feel pure elation over this. Nothing makes me happier than trading out my thin white summer quilt on my bed to my plush plaid comforter that is so delightful to snuggle up in while the night air flushes through my bedroom. I love having my home reflect whatever is going on outside. And this, my friends, is what is going on outside…
Isn’t that just beautiful!?! It looks so cozy, right!? Like I just want to run inside, throw on my fuzzy socks, make a fire, and watch football snuggled up in some flannel pajamas. However, it is a Wednesday night at 7:30, and there is no fireplace in my house OR a football game on. So what’s the next best thing? I have my mom’s recipe for homemade chili bubbling away on the stove, some hot tea next to me, all of my pumpkin scented candles burning, and one cat and one dog snoozing next to me. Not a bad runner up, huh?
My most favorite thing to do is make my home feel cozy cozy cozy. For whom? Me, of course! And when I have guests over, I always want them to feel cozy and right at home as well. Fall is the most wonderful time to do this because it the transition time between summer and the approaching winter months, where, at least in Seattle, people tend to stray from being out too often when it’s cold and rainy, and instead, hibernate in their cushy and intimate abodes. So, it’s important to ‘set the stage’ for yourselves. It only takes a short while and a little bit of creativity, but it is sooo worth having a comfy cozy home to come back to after a long day’s work, especially when its so crisp and chilly outside. Trust me, you will thank yourself.
The things that I keep in mind when getting my home into ‘seasonal mode’ are my senses. How do I want my home to look, feel, smell, taste and sound? Ask yourself this question whenever you are decorating a space. The answers are different for everyone, which is the great part! Make is personal and have fun doing it. For me, I want my place to feel WARM for this season, and I keep that in mind while I’m putting things in place. Soooo, what are we waiting for!? Let’s get cookin’. First things first, put on some great mood music. Pick for today’s festivities? Ray Charles sounds about right. Pandora? On.
My favorite way to warm things up is by using twinkle lights all over. On shelves, around the perimeter of the room, tangled in flowers, everywhere.
Just run on down to your local drugstore or Target and grab some fake Autumn leaves and wrap some twinkle lights right into them. I used orange ones this year, which you can always find online if you can’t find them elsewhere!
Next, I bring out all of the candles I can roundup in my place, (which are ALOT) and tuck them into any area I can. Shelves, windowsills, side tables, anywhere that I see a spot. Also important to bring out of hiding are all my plaids! If you know me at all, you know how much I LOVE plaids, of any kind. They are just so damn cozy, I tell you! I set a soft plaid blanket on the couch, and re-clothe my throw pillows in their seasonal ‘outfits’, and voila, an instant transformation from summer to fall, just like that.
Clearly, Finley is ecstatic about this transition. He is exhausted by following me all around the house, moving this, rearranging that, re-rearranging that…but in the end, it all comes together like this….
A supremely cozy little nook just for me and the ones I love.
So now that I have transitioned my home, lets go over the checklist. Sight? I like what I see. Sound? Ray Charles is still rockin’ in the background. Feel? That couch and those fuzzy blankets are looking extremely snuggly. Touch? Hmmm, where is that cat…he’s pretty soft and ‘fall-like’… Now, what am I forgetting. Oh, yes… Smell! Those scented candles are working pretty hard at smelling amazing, but sometimes you MUST have the real deal. Time to get in the kitchen and make some homemade pumpkin bread just to complete the ‘Fall Home’ transition. Come onnnn, your kitchen wants in on the fun too! And trust me, the aroma coming from the oven makes it ALLLLL worth it. Plus, this recipe is SUPER easy, so grab your apron and let’s start bakin’.
First, grab all your ingredients to make things easier on yourself. You will need:
2 loaf pans…
2 c. sugar
1 c. canola oil
16 oz. canned pumpkin
3/4 cup water
3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. table salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
Preheat oven to 350* and spray your pans. Next, mix together your sugar and oil.
Next, mix in eggs one at a time, followed by pumpkin puree and water. Mix until blended.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt and all spices.
You can use a sifter which get things well incorporated and makes the flour ‘fluffy’, but it is absolutely not necessary! I mostly do it because I love using my antique sifter, not because I notice a difference! How’s that for a ‘real baker’? 😉 Also, I like to over-spice when it comes to pumpkin desserts, something I learned from my mom. The given measurements are just fine, but I like to add about that much plus another 1/2, just to give it that extra oomph of spice.
Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients and divide evenly into loaf pans.
Chocolate chips are completely optional, but since this recipe yields 2 separate loafs, I like to make one with some decadence, and one without. Pop those bad boys in the oven for about 45 minutes, and get ready for your house to smell like absolute heaven.
Once done, allow to cool and then leave some on your neighbors doorstep to come home to after a long day at work. Spread the Fall love! Okay, enough of the corniness. But seriously, this recipe is so easy and so yummy and will help you shift into Fall mode.
Now, I have a grey little kitty who is needing some attention right now, and I MUST go and snuggle with him.
See? Who could resist that face. I hope you feel inspired to bring some ‘cozy’ into your home, and get into full fall mode. I would LOVE to hear any feedback from you and see what kind of warmth you bring into your homes. May this season bring you inspiration, happiness and a comfy home to love. Happy Fall, ya’ll!