Fall into Autumn, Where Change is Beautiful

 

Fall into Autumn, Where Change is Beautiful

The sweltering heat of summer is finally giving way to the crispness of fall. 

The days become short as the darkness grows long, and the energy shift will bring a welcome change.  As fall sets in, yard work becomes less, the growth of the landscape begins to slow.  The garden greens wither as the last goods collected are preserved for winter. 

However, I find it strange that some ends bring new beginnings, and now I am ready to fall into autumn, as beauty comes through change, and change is everywhere we look.

Arts, Crafts, and October

Create masterpieces from nature’s gifts.  Pinecone birdfeeders, leaf rubbings, and pressed flowers are not only timeless but easy to do—search media platforms such as Pinterest for more seasonal activities for the whole family. 

October means pumpkins!  Bring the family together for a pumpkin carving contest. Share pictures with family and friends to find out whose pumpkin is the fan-favorite.  Now while you wait, head to the kitchen, preheat the oven and roast those pumpkin seeds.

Fall into Autumn, Where Change is BeautifulRoast Pumpkin Seeds

Gather seeds from the discarded pumpkin.  Wash dry and lay seeds out on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with [olive] oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper or try something new.  Place in the oven at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. 

Family Meals

Summer brings us outdoors with BBQs, chilled salads, and garden-fresh vegetables, but now, cool weather brings us back home.  On hand items, such as tomatoes, beans, rice, pasta, bullion base or broth, and various cheeses are the beginning of almost any family meal; add the ingredients to your favorite cooking pot (crockpot, instant pot, stovetop).  Remember, when you cook with the heart, you feed the soul.

  • Soups
    • Potato, Vegetable, Bean and Ham, Cheese, Chicken Noodle
  • Chilis
    • White Chicken, Beef, Chili Mac and Cheese
  • Pasta
    • Golaush, Alfredo with Chicken, Stuffed Manicotti
  • Rice
    • Cabbage Rolls (can also be a soup), Chicken with Rice, Broccoli, and Cheese
  •  Stuffed loaves of bread, toasted to perfection on a grill or in an oven.
    • Butter, Garlic, and your choice of melty cheeses.
    • Shredded Beef, browned hamburger or sausage, topped with sauteed peppers, mushrooms, and onions as well as your favorite cheeses, serve with Aus Jus.

The best-kept secret of all: life is also good with ole fashioned tomato soup and a loaded grilled cheese sandwich.

Date Night

School is back in session. Middle and high schools have opportunities to see hard work and talent on display throughout the year. Football, volleyball, and competitive marching band are currently on the calendar.  Plan a night out before the weather gets brisk.  Let it be a date night or treat the whole family.  Cheer the night away, supporting friends and neighbors.

Time to part with unwanted, unneeded, and space hoarding items

  • Recycle, upcycle, and donate to local charities, youth shelters, foster care organizations, and churches. Clothing items for all age groups can be donated year-round, but there is also a need for bedding such as comforters, blankets, and sheets this time of year.
  • If you have gently used items, such as children’s furniture, toys, books, games, and clothes, check out options that pay cash or sell on consignment.
    • Stuff Ect
    • Once Upon a Child
    • Polka Dots and Denim
    • Puddle Jumpers
    • Weetail has a seasonal sale twice a year in Cedar Rapids.  Find this local mom’s story, details, guidelines, and volunteer information at WWW.WEETAILCONSIGNMENTSALE.com/ or on Facebook at WEETAIL SEASONAL CHILDREN’s SALE. 
  • Yard sales and social media sites such as Marketplace are also good resale options.  You can check pricing guidelines for your area to help you get started.

Self-Love and Care

Even when life is busiest, investing in yourself and those you love is essential for needed growth and keeping relationships healthy, all while making the biggest impacts, from head to toe.

Lips

Chapped lips happen, so use a lip moisturizer such as Chapstick with SPF to help keep away the burn.

Skin 

As the largest organ, damaged skin can be irritating and painful, not to mention severe areas can also become at risk for infection.  

Our hands take on life daily. Almost everything we do has a counter.  Sanitizers have become a valuable cosmetic.  Meanwhile, hand washing has transitioned from preventative to excessive.  Ordinary cleaning supplies, including dish soap, and lotions that contain alcohol can all expedite damage such as dryness and cracked skin.  Use an overnight treatment of cotton gloves with products such as Aquaphor to help relieve endured stress.

Abuse of sandals and bare feet need a little TLC; however, pedicures are not for everyone. At home, use a rich foot cream that contains healing and restoring properties. Once a month, slip into a pair of exfoliating booties and maintain with aloe-infused socks between treatments.

Hair

It is time to repair your summer hair, twisted and toiled.  Freshen up your locks at a local salon and maintain with the use of strength-building products that also hydrate, soften and shine.

Just Breath … Zen 

As the time comes to pass and the warm tones settle in, consider your fall as a season of renewal, permit yourself to change what no longer works.  Reconnect with your family by a fire, add hot cocoa and smores.  Plan a lunch date with someone you adore.  Splurge on the pumpkin spice latte, maybe two, and don’t forget to set aside some time just for you.


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Amanda is a lifelong Cedar Rapidian along with her husband Chad and their seven daughters. She has been blessed by her littles at the ages of 21, 24, 32, 34 and again at 42. Her oldest two girls are now young adults and living their own lives, her middle girls are in their tweens and teens, and to round it all out, identical twin toddlers, four dogs and a house that is never empty.

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