It's that time of year again when I become the most basic of all bitches. I'm sorry (not sorry) but I absolutely love autumn. I’m so glad the weather is participating in my long-held belief that autumn starts in September (and goes through November) because, even though it was quite warm at the end of August, the temperatures dropped right down and it’s been quite cool. I’m so looking forward to greyer skies and cozy evenings at home watching movies and eating soup!
So naturally, as I fully embrace my most basic persona, I've once again created a little autumn bucket list.
VISIT AN APPLE ORCHARD + BREW APPLE CIDER
We were able to find one relatively close to visit last year to pick apples, so we’ll probably just head back to the same one. Apple picking is definitely a September activity, so hopefully we’ll be heading there in the next couple of weeks. The orchard that we found last year also has a number of other fruits ripe for the picking, so maybe we’ll expand our fruit picking talents this year.
I was shocked to discover two years ago that "cider" here only means the alcohol kind. They don't even know what they're missing if you ask me! I guess the closest thing they have is “cloudy apple juice”, but it’s still not spiced with all the cinnamon-clove goodness! Over the last two years, Luke and I have perfected our homemade apple cider skills using this recipe and even turned it into a deliciously festive cocktail. We make it throughout the whole season so we always have some ready to go!
SEE THE FOLIAGE
Gone are the days of hopping in the car for a day trip up to the Rocky Mountains for a beautiful drive. Peak-to-Peak Highway and the Million Dollar Highway are some of the most gorgeous drives I’ve ever taken, even though I nearly died trying to get to the latter. Even though we’ll be in Colorado this autumn, we’ll likely miss the foliage, so we’ll have to find some around England or Wales.
GO TO OKTOBERFEST
I wasn’t much looking forward to going to Oktoberfest, but as our trip to Germany grows closer, I’m getting slightly more excited. A few months ago, my sister started trying to convince us to go to Germany with her for Oktoberfest and Luke was definitely more on board than I was. Regardless of how I feel about drunk people and crowds—and crowds of drunk people—I’m excited to go back to Germany because I spent most of our trip there in 2017 bed ridden with a terrible stomach bug. Hopefully it’ll go a bit better this time.
HOST A CHILI PARTY OF SORTS
Don’t you love how eloquent and succinct that is? I’ve been kicking around the idea of having some sort of chili gathering for months. Whether that’s a full on chili cook off or just an autumnal party with a fully loaded chili bar remains to be seen.
BUY A COSY NEW ETHICAL JUMPER
When I Marie Kondo’d my life earlier this year, I got rid of my cream cable knit jumper because it was stained and ratty. Thank you for your service, jumper, but it was time to say goodbye. I’ve been looking for an ethical version to take its place in my wardrobe ever since, but it was at the tail end of the fall/winter season anyway. Now that the seasons are turning over again in stores, I’m back on the lookout at some of my favourite ethical and sustainable retailers.
BAKE SEASONAL TREATS FOR OUR NEW NEIGHBOURS
I love baking and I love sharing our baking with other people, partly because it doesn’t mean I feel obligated to eat it all. Since we have new neighbours this year, I want to make a good impression by taking over some pumpkin bread (perfect since my recipe makes two loaves) or apple cider doughnuts made from our homemade cider. I love all the autumnal spices, so I bake with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger as much as I can.
VISIT THE PUMPKIN PATCH + CARVE PUMPKINS
Last year we visited a nearby pumpkin patch to pick out some bigger pumpkins for our front porch and two to carve. We decided on a Harry Potter theme, Luke carving a dementor and me carving Hogwarts, and took to Instagram to let my followers vote on the winner. I’m pretty sure Luke won in a landslide, which is fair. I voted for him too.
HAVE A HALLOWEEN MOVIE MARATHON + WATCH ALL OF HALLMARK’S FALL HARVEST MOVIES
I’ve never really cared much for Halloween until I started spending it with Luke. Our tradition has been to hide from trick-or-treaters (turning off the lights in the front of the house and hiding our pumpkins) and watch non-scary Halloween/autumnal movies, which always includes Practical Magic. We make chili and have some Halloween candy for dessert. I love it.
I’m completely obsessed with Hallmark’s Fall Harvest movies (and Countdown to Christmas, later) and love putting one on while I’m baking or before Luke gets home from work. One of my dream jobs would be to do set design for those movies—either fall or Christmastime. I’d make it my #1 goal to make it look more like fall instead of obviously summer with a few fake orange and yellow leaves. Since they put out fewer films for Fall Harvest than for Countdown to Christmas, it’ll be easy to watch them all.
HOST THANKSGIVING + TRY ONE NEW RECIPE
We’re already planning for our third annual Thanksgiving feast, which will be early this year. Last year I said it was unlikely we’d ever go back to the States for Thanksgiving and we’ll actually be there this year thanks to a friend’s wedding and the late holiday. I’m excited to be back home for such an American holiday, but I promised my sister who will not be home for Thanksgiving that we would host our third annual gathering before we leave. Last year I expanded our menu a bit. While I’m not sure I want to make more again this year, I definitely want to try something new.
GO TO A FOOTBALL GAME
While I love England in the autumn, one thing I really miss about being back in Colorado is the football. My dad has had season tickets to CU football games for as long as I can remember and I love going to the games. Since we’re back this year, we’ve got a chance to at least see one American football game in person. (It might be a bit trickier though since CU is playing away the weekend we’re back…)
What's on your list for this autumn?
Last year, I included a little game of bingo to play on Instagram Stories throughout the season, but this year I’m simplifying a bit with an autumn checklist with all the most basic things. Save the image below and play along over the new three months, checking off everything you do!