Fall Foliage Garland

DIY Clay Leaf Plates

 

Take Fantastic Fall Photos

It’s obvious why fall is one of the best seasons for photography—it’s one of the times of year that nature is at its most colorful, and you (typically) don’t have to worry about combating scorching heat or freezing temperatures.

But in order to make the most of your autumn photography session, you’ll need to keep these few tips in mind.

  • Leaves are gone almost as quickly as they change, so try to find and scout your location the day of, or, no more than one day in advance.
  • Unless you’re really into the classic feet in the leaves picture, try to mix it up your session with a few landscape shots, or consider capturing aspects of the season that people often forget, like contrasting blue sky or wildlife.
  • Use the sun to your advantage. Fall is a great time for back-lit shots, as the sun will be peeking through the breaks in the trees. Also keep in mind what time the sun is setting, since it will be earlier than it was during summer.
  • Instead of focusing just on the leaves, seek out other tiny details, like a bird nesting or a squirrel gathering nuts—this will keep your photos from looking too similar.
  • Shooting with a cell phone? Don’t worry if the colors aren’t popping as much as they do in-person. You can always fix coloring on your phone or computer afterward.

Fun Fall Ideas (That Aren’t Already on Your Bucket List)

Apple picking. Pumpkin picking. Leaf peeping. You’ve heard it all before. Fall is full of amazing sights, smells, and sounds, but very rarely do you come across an activity that you haven’t already checked off your must-do list five years in a row.

Well, here’s a list of things you’ve probably (hopefully) never thought of to make the most of fall. And, if you have, congratulations on being original!

Play pick-up football.

What’s the only thing better than packing the car and spending a couple hours at a crowded football game? Inviting the neighborhood over for a pick-up game of two-hand touch. This is a great way to get out some energy and socialize on a nice fall afternoon, and you can encourage families to come in a team color, and award prizes for the best teams.

Head south.

When we think of fall foliage, most people think of New England—Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire. But other parts of the US experience fall’s change of colors, too, and just as vibrantly (though a little later than the North). Instead of road tripping the Northeast, try driving through the Smokies, if you’re in the East, in late-October to early-November. If you’re out West, try a hike through the Sunset Trail in Mount Laguna, California, in mid-to-late-October. Mid-westerners can experience incredible fall colors throughout the Ozarks in early-to-late-November.

Host a pot-luck.

Amidst the tailgates, and later, more formal holiday dinners, there’s not much time for a casual potluck. But really, fall is one of the best times of year for these get-togethers because there are so many yummy foods coming into season!

Step aside, apples.

Speaking of yummy fall foods, we all could use a break from pumpkins and apples, can’t we? Not to knock these staples, but there are so many other amazing fruits and veggies hitting their peak in autumn. Eggplant, fennel, pears, persimmons, and spinach are all at or near their harvest through the fall months in most parts of the US. (Want some recipe inspiration for these foods, and more? Visit our Bites page!)

Make a haunted house… out of candy!

When Halloween is over, how much candy do you typically have left? If the answer is none, no shame. If the answer is a ton, have some fun and try making your own version of a gingerbread house, minus the holidays. Take some graham crackers and melted chocolate or marshmallow to make the house frame, and get creative decorating your haunted house in whatever candy pieces you can find.

Throw a scary scarecrow contest.

This idea could be done one of two ways: you can gather a group of friends to make your own scarecrows out of hay, sticks, and scrap craft materials. Or, arrange yourselves in teams and select a person to become a scarecrow, with the team working together to transform their teammate via makeup and clothes. The winning team is whoever can create the best scarecrow (either human or fake)!

A Subtle Way to Decorate for Fall

Not all fall decor has to entail a full red, orange, and yellow interior makeover. You can achieve the autumn look in your home in more understated ways, too.

subtle-fall-decor-jar-of-acorns

Glass half full

Glass canisters can be filled with a number of fall decor pieces—painted acorns, pinecones, leaves, branches, tiny pumpkins—and will make your dining room or kitchen table instantly look classier, the fall way!

subtle-fall-decor-blanket-ladder

Blankets and books

Nothing says beckoning in the season of fall like cozying up on the couch with a large blanket and a page-turning read. Stacking books can make for a great centerpiece for coffee tables, and draping blankets over the couch makes anyone feel instantly at home.

Rustic white

White adds a cozy, rustic aspect to the home that, when combined with other fall colors, can make for a magical interior space. If bright white isn’t for you, focus on off-white, gray tones, or soft yellows, which can accomplish the same feel.

subtle-fall-decor-birch-wood

Nature-inspired

Bringing the outdoors inside is key to finding that perfect medium when adding fall touches to your space. This could include woodsy elements: birch log bundles around the fireplace, pinecone and acorn centerpieces, or DIY moss terrariums.

The Facts about Fall Home Buying

People love autumn for many reasons. For buying homes? Not so much. But this doesn’t mean autumn doesn’t have its own distinct benefits if you’re in the market for a new home.

fall leaves

Crunch time has arrived.

For homeowners whose property is still on the market after summer, nervousness is likely settling in—their house still hasn’t sold, and the holidays are approaching—so they might be motivated to negotiate, sell, and settle before the holidays hit.

Less competition.

Looking for a home in peak buying seasons can be a war of attrition. Warm-weather home buyers are like shoppers who fight crowds to pay full price for the holiday’s must-have gift. By home shopping in autumn, you’ll be like the shopper who gets the same gift—without the competitive stress.

Better values abound.

A RealtyTrac study found that October is the best month of the year to find home-buying bargains, with a 2.6 percent discount on market value. And a recent Trulia study determined that fall is even more advantageous for first-time home buyers because of the availability of starter homes peak in autumn.

empty road

More personalized attention.

Your real estate agent likely has much more client activity during the spring and summer, so come fall, he or she will have more time to focus more on you and your home-buying needs.

Don’t Fall into Fall

Vacation season is coming to an end and it’s time for one of the busiest times of year—fall. With holidays around the corner and back to school for kids, budgeting your time accordingly is key in having a successful season.

Sleep schedule

With more on your plate than usual, you may have to give yourself enough time in the morning and at night. If that means  waking up a half an hour earlier or later each day, be sure to adjust your sleep schedule accordingly. If you have kids, you may need that extra time in the morning to pack lunches for them and maybe yourself! These are things you should start planning out as summer begins to come to an end.

Have a planner

Whether it’s a calendar on your phone, an app, or a written planner, make sure to have some visual form of your day-to-day  schedule. Do not rely solely on memory—you are bound to forget something, so why leave room for error when you don’t have to.

Plan in advance

Don’t wing it, stay ahead of the game by starting to plan out fall before the summer ends. Don’t put off thanksgiving plans until the week before, or realize you need a babysitter the day school begins. You can easily stay on top of everything that will be coming your way by writing things down and planning things out a month in advance, if possible, so there are no surprises and mishaps. And, if you do need to adjust your schedule, you have enough time to do so.

Back to school

If you have kids heading back to school, you are now working around your schedule and theirs. There is bound to be overlap, which is why it’s so important to plan in advance, maybe get to sleep earlier, or have an earlier start.

Wellness

Fall season also means flu season, and with a busy schedule, it’s easy to forget the little things that keep you healthy. Make sure you are drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and leaving enough time for a self-care. Stick to your fitness routine, even if you must make adjustments to fit your new schedule, make sure a good sweat session is still a part of it!

As the seasons change, we often change with them. Make this fall, and every fall, an easy adjustment by planning out a schedule to prep for the fast-paced season ahead.

Cleaning Up the Leaves

A stroll through leaves can be the best of times, but cleaning them up can be the worst of times—unless you know how to do it efficiently and effectively.

Tips for leaf removal

  • Check with your township first to see what’s allowed and what leaf-removal services it offers.
  • Use a lawnmower or a leaf blower to mulch leaves, and spread the mulch around your yard for better grass.
  • If you have a compost pile, add your unmulched leaves to it.
  • Add leaves to your garden to create soil-enriching garden mulch (also known as leaf mold).
  • Choose your favorites, dry them, and incorporate them into seasonal home decor or crafts.

Tips for leaf raking

  • Bend at your knees, and stand straight instead of hunching over.
  • Be patient: wait until all or most leaves have fallen to avoid repeat work.
  • Let leaves dry before raking; wet leaves are heavier and difficult to move.
  • Mind the wind, which can make a mess of your leaf piles.
  • Rake your leaves into manageable piles on a large tarp for easier disposal.

Autumn’s Best Buys

Fall begins the start of a busy shopping season, and though it’s still a few months off, many start collecting ideas for holiday gifts during autumn—and it’s not a bad idea. There are plenty of great deals this season that you might want to take advantage of!

Vacation packages
Now that summer is over and it’s not quite yet chilly enough for the droves of vacationers to head south for the winter, many airlines offer huge discounts to customers in September and October—that means discounts on hotel packages too.

Grills and Outdoor Furniture 
The end of summer also means an end to cooking and lounging outdoors. As sad as that fact may be, this is good news for those looking to purchase a new grill or patio set, which will be on sale during fall and winter.

Denim
When back to school time rolls around, most stores put items like jeans and outerwear on sale. Luckily, these sales come just in time to break last years’ denim back out and evaluate what you’ll need to stock up on.

Cookware
As the holidays are approaching, many of us will ramp up our time spent in the kitchen, as well. Stores bank on this uptick in culinary interest with big deals on items like pots and pans, cutlery, and even appliances.

Bicycles and Toys
More time indoors means less time enjoying warm-weather activities, like bike riding, which puts most models (new and old) on sale during the fall. Retailers also like to kick-off the holiday season early by offering discounted toys and games as early as September.

Decorate with These Fall Color Schemes

Want to switch up your interior space for the fall? Consider adding a touch of color with these autumnal schemes.

Earth-toned living

Varying shades of earth-toned pieces can elevate your interior without requiring you to make drastic changes. An easy way to do this is by incorporating outdoor elements like decorative leaves and branches.

Cobalt blue and red

Red may seem like an obvious fall color choice, so try pairing it with cobalt blue for an extra pop of bright color. Think patterned throw pillows and artsy centerpieces for incorporating this scheme into your home.

Orange and white

If you want to give the rooms in your home an understated touch of fall, try an orange and white color scheme. A patterned area rug, accessories for the fireplace mantel, and brightly colored vases will do wonders for your autumnal interior space.