Monday, September 23, 2013


I just had a fabulous fall weekend. On Saturday I made some homemade apple sauce in the crockpot that turned out amazing. I don't have any pictures or even a recipe, but basically you just peel, core, and chop about 10-12 apples, put them in the crockpot, and sprinkle about 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon over the top. Of course you can adjust the measurements depending on how sweet you want the applesauce to be and how strong you want the cinnamon flavor to be. Then just cook everything on high for 4 hours. If you like your applesauce smooth with no lumps, you may want to put it in the blender for a minute, but I like chunks of apple so I just stirred mine. Delicious!

Sunday afternoon I went for a drive not knowing exactly where I would end up. I just knew I wanted to see the changing leaves. On my way...

Getting closer to where I finally stopped...this picture doesn't show the fiery oranges and reds I was looking for, but I love all the different shades of green along the road.
I ended up at a park with a mountainside walking/bike trail near my house, and my walk started on a bridge over this little stream.

Starting out on the trail. All I could hear was nature sounds, and occasionally another person. So calming.

 Every once in awhile there would be a break in the trees and I would get a nice view of the beautiful houses across the canyon.

The leaves were just starting to change and I think in a couple more weeks there will be a lot more color, but I loved seeing hints of the bright colors that are coming.

It was the perfect day to be out enjoying fall before the long, cold winter hits. I love how bright blue the sky is in this shot behind the gorgeous yellow, orange, and red of the leaves.


These next two are a little creepy if you're a spider hater like me. There was a group of 3 trees that were completely covered in thick spider webs. I'm just glad I couldn't see the spiders, because the webs alone gave me chills. 

Back to pretty...

I love that one tree that just couldn't wait to turn fiery red



 How would that be? A castle with the mountainside in the backyard and sweeping views of the valley in the front. Not bad.
Back at the stream at the bottom

I would have gone farther and faster if it hadn't been for this...
but really it was just nice to relax and breath in the mountain air. No rush to get to the top, no worries about getting home at any specific time.

Along the way I picked up some of branches and brought them home to display in my house. This one I stuck in a vase with some pine cones. 

And this one I just laid across the table next to my couch. 

I love the touch of nature in the house, and the reminder of my little hike (can you call it a hike if you're wearing flip flops?) that took me away from the world for an hour and helped me clear my head a little bit. I can't wait to go back in a couple of weeks (in better shoes!) and see how the canyon has transformed as the leaves continue to change colors. Fall is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

fall mantel

I put out some fall stuff a few weeks ago and I'm finally getting around to posting some pictures. I love this time of year, and after the brutal summer we had this fall is especially welcome. I love adding orange to my living room and kitchen. Opening my box of fall decorations is always so fun, and when you add in pumpkin, cinnamon, and a Leaves candle from Bath & Body Works...I'm in heaven.

For the last 2 years, my fall mantel has looked like this

I loved it and wanted to keep some of it the same, but I did want to change it up a little bit so this year I made a couple of small changes. Nothing is new, just moved around which is always fun. I'm very traditional when it comes to holiday decorating, and for me part of that is using the same stuff from year to year. I love to add in a few new things each year or use the old stuff in a different way, but for the most part I like to find things I love and stick with them. There's something so comforting and familiar about pulling them out of the box and surrounding myself with things I love.
My leaf wreath, fall letters, and leaf garland all made it back this year, and I still love them all.

Instead of the candles on the left, I filled a lantern with some little pumpkins and gourds

And on the right I used this ceramic pumpkin instead of the "give thanks" sign.

I love how festive it is!

Besides my mantel, I put out a few other fall things around the living room and kitchen, including my fall yarn wreath

This is on a table next to the couch. That platter will come down when I have some fall treats to put on it, but for now I'm loving it here.

Some cute pumpkin towels in the kitchen

And one of my favorite fall things are these leaf goblets. I bought 6 of them at the dollar store a couple of years ago and I love them. I was so excited to take them out of the cupboard where I keep my holiday dishes. They're just more fun to drink from than a regular glass.


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