17 August 2012

Autumn 2012 Bucket List

Fall is in the air!

So you know how bucket lists are all the rage nowadays? Well, I'm caving and starting some of my own.

After doing some thinking, there really are things that I want to do, but somehow most of these ideas get lost to the wayside among the busy school, work, life-in-general schedules that take over my life during the school year. I'm constantly thinking about the things I need to do next, that I sometimes forget to take some time away from the hecticness of it all and focus on my well being, to do things I really want to do.

Beautiful! (Found via Pinterest. Source)
Autumn is by far my favorite season. I love the clean, fresh crispness of the air, and the fact that there are both warm and cool days. I love the feeling of the holidays coming up, and the preparation for holiday baking with my mom and family. (Can you say Christmas cookies!???) I love that when I'm raking leaves, Charlie has to come and trample through my piles, prolonging the process. I love being able to shut off the AC or Heater and open the windows and doors.

Found via Pinterest (Source)
I love the feeling of family, and the scurrying of shoppers as most of them finish begin their Christmas shopping. I love the way all the malls and the zoo put up their Christmas lights in late November and the feeling I get walking through them in the evenings. I love wearing decorative scarves (the ones that can keep you warm but aren't thick and winter-like yet) I love the beauty of nature as the leaves change color. Long story short, I love everything about Fall. 

(Except maybe slightly the going back to school part.) 

This Fall, I'm making a bucket list, with things that I'm determined to do by Winter. That gives me, what, three and a half months?

Autumn 2012 Bucket List

1. Carve a pumpkin (or two). My sisters and I used to do this every Halloween together, but we haven't done it in YEARS! We used to have so much fun doing it. Scooping out handfuls of slimy pumpkin seeds and saying "Eww" and "Gross" during the whole process (documented on a home video for posterity) only made it that much more exciting for us. 

I feel like it's something I should do every year, and by not doing it, I've been depriving myself of an important autumn family tradition. I've been cheating myself out of fun! :) Plus, having a carved pumpkin on the front porch helps set the mood for the season. (And eating roasted pumpkin seeds is a bonus, too.)

For your enjoyment, here are some pumpkins that made me laugh:

Pumpkin Pigs (Source)
Via Google: Source
Via Google: Source
It just looks so friendly, don't you think? (Source)
Via Google: Source
Via Google: Source
2. Have an Autumn photo shoot, preferably with a pile of leaves. We've all seen the movies and television shows with people playing in leaves and throwing them up in the air, or the cute pictures of families taking a walk down a colorful road in the middle of Fall. It has occurred to me that I don't really have many pictures of me and my family in the Fall. I'm going to change that.

Now this is some serious leaf pile jumping (Source)
3. Eat a slice of homemade pumpkin pie. Yes, I know. But I've never been a big pumpkin pie eater. I love it, but somehow at family gatherings I always skip over it for a different dessert, thinking that there'll be more somewhere else on a different day, because pumpkin pie is always abundant in the Fall...

Hah! Little do I know okay I know, that consistently, when I don't eat the pumpkin pie at, say, Thanksgiving, I rarely have the opportunity to eat homemade pumpkin pie until the next year. I know I could go to the store, but there's something about homemade that makes it so much better! So note to self: Don't skip over the pumpkin pie this year.

4. Dress up Charlie in a Halloween costume and document with pictures. Admit it. If you're a pet owner or have ever had a pet, you most likely have done this in some form for some holiday, whether it be Halloween, Christmas, or even St. Patty's Day, even if it was just something as simple as a santa hat. 

Columbus, the cat we had while I was growing up. Doesn't he sport those sunglasses well? 
Now I don't want to torture my dog, and it won't be anything extravagant, but I feel like a cute holiday picture with your dog is always good to have to look back on and laugh, especially if you're having a not-so-great day. Pets really do fill your heart and become part of the family! If this makes me crazy, then so be it. :)
5. Make pumpkin ice cream or frozen yogurt. There's a frozen yogurt place near my house that makes really good pumpkin fro yo. Why not make it when canned pumpkin is at its cheapest price or when fresh pumpkin is available? (And maybe make a little bit of a healthier version.) I've never used fresh pumpkin before for anything. Have any of you, and how did it turn out? 
Yum! (Found via Google: Source)
6. Look at old Autumn family photos and reminisce about the days of trick-or-treating. This one is just for a mood-lifter. I sometimes have trouble getting back into the school mindset in the Fall and get a little depressed during the first few days of classes. It goes away quickly (It's Fall, my favorite season! I guess it just needs time to kick in), but it's nice to laugh at yourself in old, funny costumes, and wish for a moment that for just a few days, you could go back to being a kid when you didn't have to worry about anything.

And speaking of old Autumn family photos: 

That's me on the right.
We were a cute family of pumpkins, if I do say so myself.
Yup, I was the baby pumpkin. 
Being too old for trick-or-treating, I can live vicariously through old photos and kids who come to my door in princess and power rangers costumes as I pass out candy.

7. Go apple picking. This has definitely become a tradition. We can't not go apple picking, even if it's just a speed-run to stock up on Fuji apples (my FAVORITE). There's nothing like biting into a crisp, freshly-picked apple (while you fill your bag with more) or playing monkey in the middle with your younger cousins (using an apple, of course). See below:

8. While we're on the subject, try my hand at making a delicious apple pie. I've never made an apple pie before. I think I'll change that.

9. Make smores in the backyard. We have a fire pit that we bought several years ago, but to my knowledge, we have never used it. I don't know why, because we've certainly talked about it. This year, I'm going to break it out.

10. Take a nature walk (and bring the camera). I love soaking up nature in Autumn. It can clear my mind for a while.

11. Make caramel apples. Yep, I've never made caramel apples before either.

Are those Reese's Pieces covering that apple? Um, yum! Thanks Emily (Cupcakes and Cashmere) for the idea (and delicious-looking photo!)
12. Have a picnic. I can think of a couple great places!

13. Make eat my mom's homemade pizza on a college football game day. I've made my mom's pizza before, but it only turns out the way she makes it about half of the time. I don't know what I'm doing wrong! 

I'm not generally a fan of football, but there's something about the combination of my mom's pizza with family and friends while watching the game that makes it enjoyable.
14. Drink fancy coffee drinks, hot chocolate, and spiced cider. During the Fall and Winter, I just want to curl up with a book and one of these drinks.

15. Make the house smell like Autumn. I love doing this at every season. I break out the scented candles. In the Fall, it's pumpkin or vanilla scent. Winter: Cinnamon. Spring: Something flowery. Summer: Coconut or vanilla.

16. Make garlic baked brie. This just looked really good I wanted to try it.

Thanks for the photo! (Found via Life as Mom: Source)
17. Start a memory jar. Thanks Jessica at Life as Mom for bringing to my attention this super cute idea! As pictures capture the images of memories, why not capture the memories themselves, in more detail so you can remember what actually happened and how you felt forever? Cheesy? Maybe, but I love it!
Found via Inchmark: Source
18. Take more pictures! See #17. There are so many things that happen in life, I want to capture them all. I feel like if I ever have kids, I'm going to be one of those parents who "fights" for a good spot to take a picture during a school play, or uses the video camera nonstop. I apologize in advance to any future person I might accidentally knock out of the way in this process.

19. Give people more compliments, and try to be a more positive person. Now this is not to say that I am a negative person. :) I like to think of myself as a positive and optimistic person, but I admit that I have had my days when everything I think just turns to the dark side, or the ever cliché "glass half empty" mindset. 

But don't you somehow just feel better when someone gives you a compliment? Even if it's a total stranger, and someone says, "Hey, I like your dress" or "You look pretty today," don't your spirits lift at least a little? A friendly person can make all the difference in my day.

And don't you feel better when you are positive to others as well? Why bog yourself down with negative, pessimistic thoughts? I personally feel good when I think that I've helped someone feel better. It's definitely hard sometimes to let certain things go, but I know that whenever I do, I always feel a little bit happier. 
Question of the Day: Do you have any family Autumn traditions you do/used to do every year?

**The pictures in this post that are not mine have been cited/credited to the original owners.


  1. Great list Anna!!! Having grown up in NY/CT I have many wonderful autumn memories!!! Laying on a pile of leaves on a clear, sunny fall day watching some clouds float by is very close to heaven!!!! Even having to pick leaves out of your clothes for hours is worth it!!!!

    Take lemon and orange peel, cut it up and dry it. Mix with cloves and broken cinnamon sticks in a jar. Then boil some water and put a tablespoon in and let it simmer!! AWESOME!

    Get as much of your list done as you can Anna!!! They are priceless and help when you are in a place of perpetual summer!!! God bless you. JoAnn

    1. Thank you!! That does sound like heaven! And that mixture sounds like it would smell WONDERFUL! I'm definitely going to try it!