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My 7 Favorite things about FALL!

Today is November 1st and we are right in the middle of the beautiful fall season.  I love the summer but there is something so special about the crisp and fresh feeling of fall.  It’s such a welcome relief after a long hot summer. The holidays are just around the corner, football is king in our home and the house smells like coffee and pumpkin bread.  All things cozy and warm are on the agenda this time of year from comfy plaid flannel shirts to fuzzy blankets and spicy hot cider.  I decided to put together a list of 7 of my favorite things so far this year that I have in my home or have experienced with my family this fall.  They are in no particular order…

Unknown-1Silk Pumpkin Spice Almond Creamer – I found this creamer at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago and thought I would try it.  I didn’t really have high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised.  It is delicious.  I try to stick to a mostly dairy free diet and struggle to find good dairy alternatives, but this pumpkin spice creamer was a great find! You can find out more about their products at silk.com

Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee – While on the subject of coffee creamer, I love the taste of Starbucks holiday blend especially when paired with the pumpkin spice creamer.  IMG_2986It’s not necessarily a fall product, but it comes out in stores around October.  I start buying it as soon as I see it.  From now until about the beginning of January it will be on your favorite grocery store shelves…so stock up!

 

IMG_2981Apple Fancy Richly Scented Candle – This candle is from a company called Haven Street Candle Co. and it smells fabulous.  There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh apples, it has a clean scent that doesn’t overpower the room.  I’ve been saving it so I could use it during the fall season, but this candle could certainly be used year around.

IMG_2983Fall Accent Pillows – I think I actually have a problem.  I am drawn to accent pillows, I can’t have enough of them.  I have a handful of pillow inserts and I usually try to buy pillow covers on Amazon.com and change them out seasonally, that way it’s much less expensive…BUT I found this cute little “pumpkin spice and everything nice” pillow at Burlington Coat Factory and had to have it!  They had a lot of really nice fall accent pieces in their store that was priced very reasonably.  I’m sure you can find something fun at burlington.com

IMG_2730Lilley Farms Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch – We moved last year to a new home and lucky for me there’s a sweet little pumpkin patch and corn maze just down the street.  We can walk, ride our bikes or drive down and enjoy the farmer’s market.  They have fresh local honey, cider, a vast variety of pumpkins and squash as well as a challenging corn maze and hayride (and much more) to enjoy with the kids.  It’s such a fun place to have right in our little area! If you live in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, make sure to visit.

IMG_2984 Pumpkin Butter – We love visiting Morris Farmer’s Market in N.C. throughout the summer as we head down to the Outer Banks.  One of my favorite finds while shopping there over the years is their pumpkin butter, the apple butter is wonderful too.  It is so yummy on a fresh hot buttery bisquit with a piping cup of hot coffee for breakfast.  I love having this on hand for out of town guests to serve with bagels or your favorite breakfast pastry.  Check their website out at morrisfarmmarket.com.

IMG_2619Pumpkins! I love decorating my house with fresh pumpkins from October through Thanksgiving.  The festive pops of color throughout the house set the mood just right from Halloween through Thanksgiving.  There are so many color and size options, they are inexpensive and easy to decorate with throughout the fall.  They welcome guests on my front porch and I add them to my back deck flower planters as well.   Clean up is a snap… they are perfect for composting.  We used to have chickens and they loved the left over pumpkins after Thanksgiving!

There you have it, my 7 favorite things so far this fall!!! Try some of them out and let me know what you think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“The Pumpkin Patch Parable” Party

IMG_2977For several years I was the Early Childhood Director at our church overseeing infants through 5 year olds.  One of my absolute favorite Sundays of each year was in October for our annual “Pumpkin Patch Parable” party.  It was so much fun!! I designed the event based on the book “The Pumpkin Patch Parable” by Liz Curtis Higgs.

The book is a wonderful way to teach children the message of God’s love and plan of salvation for us through a fun story based on a farmer and his pumpkin patch.  The farmer plants the pumpkin seeds, the seeds then grow into a garden full of different kinds of pumpkins, some tall, some round and some with lumps.

As someone read the book, another person would be cleaning out and carving a IMG_2976pumpkin to mimic what the farmer was doing in the story.  After reading the book, we would have the children create a craft that went along with the storyline.  Some years the kids could decorate their own pumpkin sugar cookies or we would provide a special pumpkin snack.  It was a great opportunity to talk about the life cycle of a pumpkin seed and the harvest, all of which are God’s creation.

The best part of the whole morning would always be letting the kids pick out their very own pumpkin to take home from the special pumpkin patch we would create on the grounds of the church.  I loved seeing their little faces light up as they picked out their very own pumpkin and took it home, feeling so proud of themselves.  We also provided little mini pumpkins for our sweet babies to take home to their moms and dads.   The volunteers did an incredible job and seemed to have just as much fun, we would provide them with coffee, hot cider and fall treats as well.   It was truly a wonderful time, I miss it but I have so many precious memories from the years we had our very own Wee Kids Pumpkin Patch!!!