Today is my birthday! And in honor of the big day, there’s only one thing I can possibly gush about to the world – fall. This is undoubtedly the best time of year, surrounded by the crunches of leaves, the smell of bonfires, and a hint of crispness in the air. At least, coming from Minnesota, these were the definitions of the most wonderful time of the year.
Since moving to California, I’ve discovered that much of the magic of fall is absent here. No longer am I surrounded by the brisk excitement of chilly weather and flame-colored leaves. Instead, everything is green or a dusty brown and temperatures dare to venture into the 90’s.To make matters worse, I moved far from home where my mom always ensured the house was adorned in autumn decorations to boost fall spirits. This year, I decided enough was enough. It was time to celebrate autumn full force, and I knew I was going to have to roll up my sleeves and make fall happen all by myself. Here are the ways that I chose to make autumn come to life in Southern California.
1. Decorate Early
Fall can’t come soon enough. By the last weeks of August, I’m always itching for the season to change. So, you know that wonderful gift of a day off called Labor Day? It gives you just enough extra time to go autumn crazy! I suggest dedicating a little time over the extended weekend to pull out the Halloween decorations or sprinkle fall leaves through your home. To the naysayers who think the beginning of September is too early, shame on you! Sometimes the smallest autumnal additions can make the biggest impact.
I’ve only just begun gathering my own collection of fall decorations, but some of my favorites include:
- Autumn Leaf Garlands – These are almost always on sale at Joann Fabrics or Michael’s (plus you can usually find great coupons online)
- Warm Tone Fairy Lights – These are great to wrap in the garlands (there is one pesky wire shown sticking out of my garland below!)
- Decorative Vegetables – Whether they’re glittery pumpkins, realistic gourds, or anything inbetween, they are always guaranteed to bring on hints of the autumn season
2. Find Your Festivals
A simple Google search can quickly do the trick to discover endless amounts of fun at seasonal festivals. In Minnesota, my go-to was apple orchards and corn mazes, but those are a little harder to find around Los Angeles. Instead, towns hold celebrations like the Calabasas Pumpkin Festival where a few days are blocked off for every fall festivity you can imagine. Otherwise, seek out the small pumpkin patches open to the public throughout the month of October. These are usually set up in vacant fields, but the piles of pumpkins and festival lights are guaranteed to catch your attention if you’re passing one. A favorite of mine is Johnson Brothers Pumpkin Patch in Irvine. When you’re really in the mood for fall, make the trip to one of these spots. You’ll be feeling the pumpkin spice swimming through your veins in no time!
3. Relax With Crafts
Autumn is always the season where I get the most crafty. There’s a serious hocus pocus that makes my creative mind come to life. When I’m in the mood to put my creative spirit to work, there’s a cornucopia of options I like to choose from. I suggest finding some fall-themed crafts that will do the trick when you’re itching for a fall fix. Two of my favorites are:
- Chalk Board Art – I recently purchased a rather large chalk board, but I’ve been having a great time doodling on it every chance I get. Drawing pictures of carved pumpkins, creepy trees, haunted houses, and practicing fancy lettering help me celebrate my love of fall.
- Carving Pumpkins – This is a fairly obvious one, but why not start early? You can always begin carving pumpkins and keep them out all October long. It doesn’t need to be Halloween night to let the gourds glow! And if they should get old or moldy, that’s just a chance to buy a new pumpkin and give it another shot!
And then there are the fall crafts I’m still dying to try.
5. Taste The Season
This goes beyond the typical Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, my friends. I’m talking about baked treats, homemade spiced coffee, chai coffees, cinnamon squash, and more that all remind me of the autumn season. As soon as you’re feeling the inkling for fall, pull out some of these recipes and get to work. Just a little taste of autumn will get you in fall spirits instantly and make fall happen wherever you are.
- Chai Spiced Coffee
- Pumpkin Sheet Pan Pie
- Healthy Pumpkin Pankcakes
- Spiced Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Healthy 3-Ingredient Flourless Pumpkin Brownies
4. Build The Fire
Bonfires always remind me of the countless fall nights I spent in my back yard in Minnesota. While fires in the summer can be great, they actually provide the needed heat in the cool fall air, making them even more enticing. Although, the heat usually isn’t needed just yet in California. But I still find cozying up next to a crackling fire does the trick to remind me of a crisp autumn. This year, in my attempt to make fall happen, I’ve opted for the propane-fueled fire pits that come with a bunch of perks. With propane, there isn’t any need to collect fire wood or dispose of burnt logs and ashes. Plus, putting the fire out is as easy as turning a knob! Now grab a glass of wine, put your feet up, and enjoy the autumn blaze.
6. Create A Warm Glow
Finally, I believe a large part of autumn’s charm is the atmosphere. I love how the sun casts a bright warm glow through all the orange and red leaves, coloring the entire world around me. This is the biggest aspect of fall I miss when I’m in Los Angeles. Sure, there are some trees whose leaves turn red, but they are few and far between. The trees that actually lose their leaves seem to just wither, turn brown, and fall to the ground in an incredibly depressing fashion. So this year, I kick-started my season by creating my own warm glow.
Petite lights can be found on my shelves, atop my dressers, and hanging from my doorways. These wonderful accents illuminate my room every night, starting at 5pm just as the sun begins to dim in the sky. Mixing them with the aforementioned fall foliage decorations comes pretty close to mimicking that autumn glow. Hues of red and orange splash throughout my room, making it feel like fall has come to life. Below are a few of my favorite light accents that help me create the glow:
There you have it. My list of ways to make fall happen to you, no matter where you are! If you have any suggestions for ways to kick fall up a notch, let me know in the comments below! ↡