Mr. Reliable

 (photo via 'fall' on tumblr)

It happens every year.  The mornings get crisper and the nights grow a little shorter.  And just when we thought the mid-July heat wave would last forever, Mr. Reliable sweeps in on his golden, leaf-colored horse to usher in the singsong season of fall.  With its scents, its stillness, and its savory soups, Fall graces us with its comforting presence and before we know it, Summertime is just a memory.

As soon as Labor Day weekend is visible on my calendar, fall finds its way into my home.  It's a season that just looks good, in about every way you look at it.

It looks good served on my table --- in a bowl of steamy soup, in a mug of spiced cider with a cinnamon stick stirrer, and in a pan of pumpkin bars with gooey cream cheese frosting.

It looks good in my closet, with scarves, leggings, and over-sized sweaters in shades of browns, grays, and mustard.

It looks good outside, by campfires with s'mores, on trails dusted with leaves that crunch as you walk, and trees stuffed with my favorite fruit of the season --- honeycrisp apples.

And finally, it looks good in my cozy house, with football on TV and cheese dip, with movie nights and popcorn, and slow cookers filled with creamy soups on Sunday afternoons.     

1. Bake chocolate chip cookies 
2. Spend a day scoping out the fall colors in Northeast Iowa 
3. Bake a hot apple pie 
4. Go to an apple orchard 
5. Make a coffee cake and spend a morning antiquing 
6. Take a nature walk at Hartman Reserve (preferably with scarves and sweatshirts 
7. After our nature walk, make these festive wreaths with some of our loot 
8. Photo shoot in a great big leaf pile 
9. Have a camping night – set the tent up, roast s’mores, and have a campfire 
10. Go on a cozy, comfy date with Beau 
11. Make fall cut-out cookies 
12. Make apple dip 
13. Have a movie night with lots of fun munchies like these
14. Decorate for Fall – fill the house with yummy fall scents in pumpkin and cider 
15. Make munchies for the first Bears game – jalapeno poppers and nacho dip 
16. Go to an Iowa game 
17. Take Cruz to a UNI game 
18. Do apple art with Cruz 
19. Make butternut squash soup 
20. Make a new fall centerpiece 
21. Make cinnamon applesauce in the crockpot 
22. Make gratitude rocks 
23. Take Cruz to a pumpkin patch – preferably one with a hayride 
24. Buy a few new fall books 
25. Begin crocheting again 
26. Take Cruz to a matinee in the theater 
27. Make a Halloween inspired muffin tin Monday! 
28. Sit on the deck on a Saturday morning with a mug of something warm and crispy newspaper 
29. Game night! Potluck style! 
30. Wear my cowboy boots, with chambray - like this