November 2, 2012

A Few of My Favorite (Fall) Things

Fall has FINALLY arrived in Jacksonville, FL!  

This week has been the first week where temperatures dropped down into the 50's and 60's; and even though this weekend's temperatures are going back up into the low 80's, I'm still thankful that the truly warm and hot weather is officially behind us.  It's a good thing too, because I was beginning to think that fall/winter had forgotten about us down here in Jacksonville.  I mean, let's be honest, after almost two years of ceaselessly warm temperatures, wearing the same four pairs of shorts, and the same 4-5 skirts and dresses, gets old.  My winter clothes were beginning to grow mold from having not been worn in so long, but today I am in a long-sleeved shirt and jeans.  Yes, fall is FINALLY here!

With that said, I figured that today would be a perfect day for a "favorite things" post.  As you might recall, I did a couple of these types of posts back in the summer.

What am I waiting for?!  
Let's get started!

1.  Cooler weather and (COLOR)!

OK, so I sort of already alluded to this in the introduction, but warm/hot weather and I just don't mix.  When it's 85+ degrees outside, I'm a little (OK, maybe a lot) miserable.  My face is constantly red like a cherry.  I sweat incessantly.  My make-up melts.  My hair gets frizzy and wavy (but not in a good in a "I stuck my finger in a socket" sort of way!).  And I'm generally irritable (What, couldn't you already tell from my list of woes?!).  Don't get me wrong, I can stay inside an air-conditioned house all day long, just don't ask me to spend any significant amount of time outdoors.  It's not pretty.


So, when the weather starts to cool down into the 70's, and then into the 60's and 50's, I immediately become a happier girl.  My face is no longer flushed.  My clothes don't have sweat stains.  My make-up stays put.  My hair stays flat-iron and in place.  And I am gloriously happy.  Again, I'm not sure that I want to just stand outside in 55 degree weather for hours on end, but I am more than happy to go on a walk, head outdoors to a farmer's market, accompany the hubby and Lola on a hike, etc.  Fall is my season.

Oh, and let's not forget fall colors.
Simply gorgeous.


2.  It's a season of ch-ch-ch-changes!

Connected to my #1 favorite thing is the fact that fall is all about changes.  The leaves shed and then change colors.  The temperatures drop a little, and then a lot.  We prepare to close out one year, and welcome another.  This fall, in particular, Bo and I have a LOT of changes heading our way.

Just to name a few, we're:
  • finishing up our last few weeks here in Jacksonville, FL;
  • getting ready to move to Whidbey Island, WA; and
  • about to celebrate our first holiday season as puppy parents.

Change can be difficult, but it can also be exciting.  This time around, no matter what, Bo and I have decided to embrace the "excitement" and let go of the "difficulty."  After all, it's all about attitude.

3.  It's the holiday season!

As I was typing out that phrase, a song by Andy Williams popped into my head.  I know, I know, I'm like 80 years old at heart.  I doubt that any other 20-something-year-old would know this song, but oh well.  I am who I am.  In case you aren't familiar with the Williams' brother's song, it goes like this:

Now, I know that November 2nd doesn't exactly mean it's the Christmas season just yet, but I'm not just talking about Christmas here.  For me, at least, once Halloween comes and goes, the holiday season has officially arrived, meaning that Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Ramadan, New Year's, etc. are all just around the corner.  It's the most exciting time of year for me.  It represents spending time with family cooking, eating, laughing, singing, watching movies, and so. much. more.  For me, there just aren't the words to capture what the holiday season means to me.

It's precious.

4.  Squash, and apples, and stuffing, OH MY!

I know that I said that summer produce was my favorite, but that was before fresh pumpkin, and squash, apples, and cranberries landed in our grocery store.

Now I'm not so sure.  

These days I can't seem to get enough of fall's very best foods.  I'm stirring pumpkin into everything from oatmeal to yogurt to chocolate pudding.  I'm roasting squash and carrots and onions almost every night.  I'm eating apples raw, and baked into pies, and filled with caramelized stuffing.  I'm creating homemade cranberry sauce, and cranberry crumbles, and cranberry muffins.  Now that it's fall, I'm in love with a whole different family of produce, and I just can't seem to get enough!

5.  Longer nights.

I know that some people hate that the sun goes down earlier in the fall and winter (Bo, for instance, is one of those people); but I, for one, love it!  Something about longer night's make me want to snuggle up on the couch with a good book or a movie, a mug of homemade hot chocolate or hot tea, and just relax.

While summer nights are for playing outside, heading to the beach, and attending cook-outs, fall nights are for snuggling inside, lounging in cozy restaurants and pubs, and spending time with friends and family around a warm fire.


For me, it just doesn't get better than that.

Question of the Day:

What are some of YOUR favorite things about fall?!

Ally and Bo

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