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I am having a big case of Fall FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) this year. As a girl born and raised in Wisconsin, being in Florida during the fall is just awful. I want the brisk days, leggings and sweaters, and the changing of the leaves. This is our second fall in Florida, and I don’t remember my longing for all things autumn being this bad last year. That could definitely be because I was mega pregnant and then had a newborn mid October, though. This year, I am feeling it full force, so I am figuring out how to embrace fall when it still feels like summer.
I don’t know what it is about seasons that people just really flock to. I think as humans, we like the chance to shake things up, to reorganize our lives, to start things over, and fall provides just that. It has really been getting a cult following lately- maybe it was this way before too, but as I’ve become an adult it seems like people don’t just love fall- they LOVE it. They like the leggings and scarves, the pumpkin spice everything, all of the fall activities, and, of course, the plethora of Instagram picture opportunities. I also think part of the reason people love fall is that it satisfies all of our senses- there are so many things to see, touch, taste, smell, and hear.
Plus, it’s the beginning of the holiday season and so many different family traditions. I’m starting to realize I’m a tad nostalgic and love tradition. I want to get our pumpkins, put up our decorations, and bake all of the things just like I did as a child. And I’m excited to do these things with my children. Luckily, even amidst these 80 degree days, I’m able to embrace the fall when it still feels like summer. It just takes being a little more intentional than walking outside our front door. Here are some of the ideas and activities we’re looking forward to this year!
Decorating for Fall When It Feels like Summer
I’ve been slacking hardcore on decorations this year. I think I just skipped the month of September between our hurricane scare and then a stomach bug hitting our children. We have very minimal fall decorations up (and I just put them up this past Friday!). Part of that is probably because we don’t have many fall decorations stocked up to begin with. We’re trying to be intentional about the pieces we bring into our home and not just putting up junk. Plus, we need to have decorations that we’re either okay with the kids destroying or that they can’t destroy. Between these two qualifications, we have very little in way of fall decorations (or really decorations at all #toddlerlife).
Being in Florida, where the leaves outside are still as green as the summer, we need to put up something as a visible reminder that the time of year is changing. I love these window clings as they make me feel like maybe the leaves outside are different colors- it’s all about self deception 😉 . We also have a couple of little fall signs hanging around the house, and we’ll get some pumpkins/gourds later this month to use as decorations. Whatever we can do to bring a little fall spirit to our household helps!
Fall Crafts & Activities for the Kids
I’m not usually a crafty mom, but there is something about this fall that is getting me inspired. My toddler, Nora, is just getting to the age where we can do some more crafty things. The other day, we went on a “scavenger hunt” around our apartment complex. While we don’t have leaves of many different colors, there were some dead leaves on the ground that I could pretend were fall leaves. We also picked up some flowers, sticks, rocks, and grasses on our adventure. The next day, Nora and I made a little collage with all of our findings. It actually turned out pretty cool- and then after keeping it around for a couple days, we returned the items back to the outdoors (the best kind of project!).
We also tried doing some pumpkin paper plate crafts the other day. It was pretty simple- just some paper plates and some paint and I left her to it. We had a pretty pink and blue “pumpkin” at the end- I’m all about that toddler creativity haha! We’ll probably do a couple more as I get ambitious throughout the next couple weeks 😉 . The nice thing about these kind of crafts is that they can double for decorations- and it’s okay if they get destroyed!
Eat All of the Fall Foods
Fall has sooooo many good foods and flavors associated with it! Between pumpkins, apples, squash, zucchinis, and sweet potatoes, I don’t know where you can go wrong. My husband is a fuddy dud and doesn’t like pumpkin (who doesn’t like pumpkin!?), so I’m having to make pumpkin sweets just for myself and the kids. I guess I shouldn’t complain, though, more for me! I asked my friend for her pumpkin cookie recipe she made all the time in college and they hit the spot. Plus, pumpkin is technically healthy, right?
We’ve also been eating our fair share of apples since they’ve come into season. I’m hoping to find some good zucchinis and other fall squashes to make some good ole fall recipes in the next months. There really is something special about making foods to fit the seasons. I tend to feel with my stomach and love others by baking and cooking- especially sweets- so this time of year just calls to me. Send me your favorite fall recipes- sweets or meals. I’m just starting to figure out what my go-to’s are going to be as my kiddos grow. What we’ve made so far has definitely helped bring the fall into our household.
Seek Out Fall Events- Even when it still feels like summer!
I Googled where to get pumpkins the other day, and I was astounded by all of the options that we have- places I didn’t even know existed! A lot of the churches down here will have a hosted “pumpkin patch” and there are a couple different farmers markets we might look into to hit up for our fall harvest foods. We’re not lacking for children’s fall activities either. Especially as Halloween approaches, there are an abundance of children’s fall festivals and trick or treat opportunities throughout the city.
If you’re looking for fall activities in your area, do a quick Google search of your area. I’ve actually had even better luck looking through Facebook- searching for fall activities in your area could present multiple different options for your family to enjoy! One we’re looking forward to trying out in our area is actually right down the street from us- a place that has a little petting farm, pumpkin patch, and other activities for kiddos. There are so many fun things to get out and do in our communities during this time of year- even if we’re still wearing our shorts and sandals!
Bring on the Fall Smells
I am not a fragrance person usually- my husband is the candle lover in our family. But man, I have been loving our apple candle the last few days! It’s been creating a cozy atmosphere in our house. I’m thinking we might need to stock up on some fall smelling candles this year (and then maybe some winter ones- I’ll keep you posted!). I know there are some people who will make something called stovetop potpourri where they have a boiling pot with different fall smelling foods like apples and spices or whatnot- what a fun idea! (Though maybe that’d heat up our house more than we want?)
Whether it’s a candle, stovetop potpourri, essential oils, or just a fall air freshener, adding a little bit of fall fragrance to the air helps create a new atmosphere. I think there truly is something about fall appealing to all of our senses, especially smell. There’s a distinct smell to fall up north that can’t quite be captured in a candle. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to add a little something into the air to remind us of the fall season even when it still feels like summer.
Get that Fall Reading On
If you’re a follower of the blog, you know we love our books around here. When I was looking for our long lost fall decorations earlier this week, I found our stash of fall children’s books too! I had forgotten we had so many- I had found a smaller stash a month or so ago and thought that’s all we had. I don’t know who was more excited- Nora or me! It’s been fun reading these books that have been put away for awhile, and Charlie is getting into them too. A few of our favorites from our stack are shown below- My one year old is a BIG fan of the Don’t Push the Button books, and my toddler is all about the Where’s Boo series of board books (there’s Christmas and Valentine’s Day too!)
This year has forced us to embrace the fall when it still feels like summer. And I’m kind of glad it has. We’re learning which traditions are important to us and which activities we want to be a part of our family culture. We’ve had to be intentional about bringing the fall spirit into our home. And there have been benefits to it still being warm- we don’t have to bundle up the kids on our way out of the house to our different activities for one! While we look forward to spending next fall actually experiencing fall (we hope!), this year has showed us how to embrace the fall when it still feels like summer.
What fall activities do you enjoy doing with your family? Whether you’re actually experiencing the fall season change or simply embracing the fall when it still feels like summer like us, I’d love to hear what’s on your fall bucket list this year! Let me know by commenting below or chatting with us on Facebook or Instagram. I’m looking forward to hearing what your family loves 🙂