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It feels silly writing about Fall when it’s been a 100ish degrees outside every day for the memorable past. But it’s officially autumn, and I’ve always been one to plan ahead anyways. So here’s to anticipating cooler weather and crunchy leaves.
Today I wanted to share something a little different in hopes of incorporating some of these things into my own life, and hopefully, encourage others to do the same. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on how to live more seasonally…intentionally planning meals using fresh, seasonal produce, decorating my home in simple, fresh ways, and just generally enjoying each season as it comes. In doing so, I hope to avoid living in a rut of never-ending routine.
Over the Summer, I enjoyed very little structure. Just simple days at home with my sweet new baby. Getting to know her, establishing our routines, and figuring out how to do my regular life with a baby in tow. It’s been fun, and precious. But I know Fall will bring a new season with a tiny bit more structure & activity, a little more travel, and an older, more interactive baby.
So without further ado, here are some ideas to get your (and my) wheels turning on what it may look like to live seasonally.
To be honest, I don’t always think about the season when I’m planning my meals, then I get to the grocery store and see so many good things I hadn’t thought of to eat! So I’m trying to plan out my week a bit better where I can check out the local grocery specials, maybe visit the farmers market for a few fresh items, and then plan my meals around that. That’s the goal at least – how much I’ll actually do that is another thing. But a little effort is worthwhile and would save me money and help me to enjoy each season to the fullest. Because what’s more enjoyable than good, fresh food?
Another way to incorporate seasonal eating is to have a stock-up day where you buy some of the essentials for a certain season of cooking. Do you make a lot of soup in the winter? Stock up on broth (or make your own!) Have a lot of pumpkin spice recipes you’ve been eager to try? Stock up on canned pumpkin so you’re ready when then mood strikes! You can find lots of lists of seasonal produce and recipes on Pinterest to inspire you.
Another seasonal thing to get from your farmers market – fresh flowers! But you don’t have to always buy flowers – I’m sure you can find a few to clip from your yard. Or maybe even go hunting for some wildflowers as a fun outing! Decorating with fresh flowers or greenery can breathe new life into your living space. Even if they only last a week, a freshened up home can act to refresh your soul.
You can also make lovely wreaths or centerpieces with things found in your yard – pine cones, leaves, acorns, branches, etc…get creative based on what free things you can find. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what I can find when I keep my eyes open!
I recently read the book The Lifegiving Home by Sally Clarkson, and loved some of her ideas for special ways to celebrate different seasons of life at home.
I could list a gazillion seasonal activities to do. But the important thing is actually doing them! Pick a few activities you want to do each season, and invite a friend to join. Whether it’s something as simple as a picnic and play date at the park with another mom friend, backyard s’mores making, or just going on a hike. There are tons of ways to incorporate inexpensive (or free!) seasonal activities into your life.
If you’re from the south, then you know that watching football is the seasonal activity of choice in the Fall. And even if you’re not into football, who can resist the food? I may be ostracized for saying so, but football games can really be a good excuse to get together with friends, even if you care nothing about actually watching the game.
If you’re a crafty person, different seasons can be a good time to try new things – Fall is a good time to get started on any handmade Christmas gifts. Plus routine evenings at home can easily turn into times to unwind by getting creative…some hobbies are more relaxing than others, so pick one that works for you!
I recently discovered monthly journaling prompts. These are a great way to reflect on the season at hand. They could be something like “write about a favorite summer camp memory” or “what’s a Christmas tradition you’d like to start with your children?” There are lots of good lists online to get your wheels turning.
Reading is also a big thing. I’m trying to read more in general, but I’ve enjoyed reflecting on what types of books I want to read when. For example, Little Women has such cozy vibes, I know I would enjoy rereading it over the winter. More suspenseful novels would be great to read around Halloween. Light romance novels may be more enjoyable by the pool. There are no hard and fast rules…just think about what mood you’re in and what mood you’re going for.
The same thing goes for movies. It’s not uncommon to have movies you watch year after year at Christmastime. But this can be applied to other seasons as well. Watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Halloween specials have always been something fun for me to look forward to in the Fall.
In the end, the purpose of living seasonally is to change things up – whether your menu, your morning routine, or your “just for fun” time. So choose some new hobbies to take up, some new recipes to try, and some new family activities….they may not all end up as winners, but you just might come up with some fun new traditions and habits.