Tag Archives: fall

halloween-costume

Halloween Costumes: 15 Ideas You can DIY This Year

Fall is here, which means that it’s time to start thinking about Halloween! One of the best parts about Halloween is coming up with the perfect costume, but sometimes actually shopping for costumes can be exhausting and frustrating.

To make your costume hunting easier, we’ve rounded up an awesome selection of easy Halloween costumes that you can DIY (some in minutes!).  Whether you’re going as an individual, one half of a couples’ costume, or as the member of a group, you can find the perfect costume for your Halloween celebrations! Continue reading

Six Fabulous Fall Party Ideas

Six Fabulous Fall Party Ideas

Six Fabulous Fall Party IdeasYou don’t want to dance to “Monster Mash” or bob for apples, but you can plan a fun (and classy) fall party for your friends with these six suggestions.

It’s easy to throw a fall party for kids–think up some games and make sure there’s candy involved–but how do you entertain adult guests during the autumn months? Here are six suggestions that will help you host a party your friends won’t want to miss.

1. Select Good Candles – I can’t think of a better time than fall to invest in really great-smelling candles. Choose scents with hints of vanilla, spice, pumpkin or cider, and you’ll set the tone for your gathering with just the flick of a match.

2. Mind the Music – When you’re hosting a party, it’s important to think about how you want the event to feel and then select music that will play into that ambiance. Instrumental or folk music is a great complement to a fall party, and with your candles burning in the background, you’ll have people relaxed the moment they walk in the door.

3. Indulge the Appetite - Fall is a nostalgic time for most people. The change in season brings thoughts of caramel apples, spiced apple cider, pies and pumpkin desserts of all kind. Plan your menu around the season and include foods like squash, apples and pumpkin.

4. Bring on the Beverages - Put away the ice bucket and bring out the tea kettle. Warm up your gathering by offering up an assortment of seasonal teas (pumpkin spice, apple cinnamon, etc.) as well as hot fresh cider or hot chocolate. Something about enjoying a warm drink together makes a party feel extra cozy and relaxing.

5. Venture Outside - If the weather’s nice, take the opportunity to host a part of your event outside, where people can enjoy the natural sights and smells of autumn. String up some white lights or place candles in assorted lanterns and add to the beauty.

6. Sport something Seasonal - If you’re hosting a fall party, dress for the occasion in a warm knit or a pair of leather boots. If you look the part of fall, it will add to the overall theme and feel of your gathering, letting people enjoy the season and all its charms.

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How to Make Whole Living Pumpkin Muffins

DIY For the Average Jane: Whole Living Pumpkin Muffins

Whole Living Pumpkin MuffinOh the many wondrous things you can do with a little pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin spice. This week, we take on pumpkin muffins from Whole Living magazine.

I seem to have pumpkin on the brain right now, as this is my second tutorial of late that has in some way or another involved the giant orange squash. First it was the pumpkin spice latte and this week I’m taking on Whole Living magazine’s pumpkin muffins.

When I saw the photo for these delectable little fall treats I knew I had to make them. A perfect snack or breakfast, these surprisingly light muffins get their richness from plain yogurt and pumpkin puree instead of cream or butter. In fact, there’s not a bit of butter or salt in these little guys, but they’re absolutely delicious! Here’s how you can make them at home:

Whole Living Pumpkin Muffin Tutorial

 Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 c. plain low-fat yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c. turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

Steps (Correlating with Photos):

Photo 1: Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin tins with oil. (The recipe calls for jumbo pans, but I just used two regular-sized pans for 24 muffins). Set aside.

Photos 2-4: Whisk together flours, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda. Set aside.

Photos 5-7 In another bowl, whisk oil, pumpkin puree, yogurt, eggs and 1 c. sugar together. Add walnuts.

Photo 8: Add all dry ingredients and mix until moist but not overmixed.

Photo 9-10: Fill muffin tins with batter and sprinkle tops with remaining walnuts and sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean (about 30 minutes).

Photos 11-12: Let muffins cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Fall

5 Ways to Fall for Autumn

FallHappy first day of fall! To celebrate, we give you five fabulous ways to welcome the crisp new season.

Spring may have its flowers and winter its holidays, and of course summer has its swimming and vacations, but is there any equal to that feeling you get when you know fall is lingering around the seasonal corner? In my opinion, the answer is a resounding no: No other season holds the power of pumpkin spice, comfy sweaters and cinnamon tea, and thus fall is crowned queen of them all.

I’m not alone in this feeling, right? At least I have Meg Ryan’s character in the romcom “You’ve Got Mail,” who with wide-eyed eagerness waxes poetic, “Don’t you just love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” I agree, Meg. I really do.

If the first day of fall has you bolting for a No.2 pencil or even sipping cider before it’s quite cold enough to require a hot beverage, here are five great ways to welcome the long-awaited season:

1. Pull Out Some Poetry. Some of my all-time favorite poems revolve around the turning of the season from summer to fall. While numerous poets write on this subject, the most nostalgic poems from my childhood are the works of James Whitcomb Riley, an Indiana poet whose poems like “A Dream of Autumn” and “When the Frost is on the Punkin” paint beautiful landscapes of the Midwest as it gives way to fall.

2. Get Outside. Even if you live in an area where the season’s don’t change drastically, fall is a great time to get out and enjoy the outdoors. If you live somewhere that showcases the change with colorful leaves and brisk breezes, it’s a great time to hike, camp or just sit on a porch with a warm cup of tea.

3. Splurge on a Seasonal Latte. Speaking of hot drinks, one way to welcome fall is to taste the spices that are so unique to the season. Even though seasonal drinks like pumpkin lattes tend to be more expensive, splurging on one is a fun and tasty way to say hello to fall.

4. Spice up Your Home. Getting into seasonal decorations doesn’t mean you have to sprinkle fake leaves across your mantel or prop a scarecrow in your front yard. Add simple touches of the season to your home with autumn candles, mums or even a simple bowl of nuts or acorns as a reminder of the season.

5. Learn Something New. You may not be subject to a school schedule any longer, but there’s something invigorating about fall that still makes many people want to learn something new. Sign up for a class at your local college or listen in on free classes from schools like Stanford online.

Fall Leaves

6 Books That Have Us Thinking About Fall

We’re already thinking about the football, scarves and comforting soups that are coming with fall. You can get in an autumn state of mind, too, with these six books.

According to the calendar, it’s still summer, but the air has that ever so slightly cooler edge that hints fall is coming.

Though the changing of the seasons is still officially several weeks away, we’re already getting into an autumn state of mind.

Fall means soups, scarves and football—not to mention the lower temperatures that make it possible to enjoy the outdoors without breaking a sweat (or at least much of one). If you want to join us in turning your thoughts toward cooler weather, add these books (or titles like them) to your reading list.

1. The Blind Side: Nothing is more synonymous with the season than college football, and this inspiring true story follows how the sport—and one compassionate family—changed one player’s life forever.

2. The 150 Healthiest Comfort Food Recipes on Earth: Fill up on the great tastes of fall without all the calories, fat and sugar. This cookbook transforms comfort food classics into healthy, nutrient-packed options.

3. Container Gardening for All Seasons: The leaves may change and fall, but those with green thumbs (and those who aspire to having them) can enjoy blooming color year-round in their homes or on their patios with 101 designs and diagrams found here.

4. Socks to Knit for Those You Love: If you love to curl up with a knitting needle and a skein of yarn, add this book to the mix and prepare to bundle up with these 18 sock designs with everyone in the family in mind.

5. Crafts for Every Season: Don’t consider yourself much of a crafter? No problem, not with these more than 75 projects—including oven mitts for fall and a patchwork scarf for winter—are ideal for even beginners.

6. The Geek Dad’s Guide to Weekend Fun: Get your mental exercise in with the kids indoors or outdoors with these DIY science projects in the bestselling spin-off of Wired magazine’s popular GeekDad blog.