It's that time of year again when I become the most basic of all bitches. I'm sorry (not sorry) but I absolutely love autumn. And Luke can certainly attest to the fact that I've been itching for cooler temperatures, greyer skies, and cosier evenings for months. Basically all summer.
This summer in England has been hot AF. I remember a heatwave when I first moved in June 2017, but the heatwave was never-ending this summer. It was nice for a while, but I didn't appreciate the lack of green--including in our garden--and the unbearably warm nights with nothing but a desk fan, an open window, and the thinnest bedding in the house.
I've always subscribed to the idea that autumn starts in September (and lasts through November, of course), but in Colorado, the weather never wanted to cooperate. Colorado seems to understand that technically, summer ends towards the end of September, so it would usually stay 90°F (like 32°C) for weeks into September. It's the WORST! England, however, gets it. It starts cooling down toward the end of August, hovering around 65°F (or 18°C). It gets rainier and greyer and you can tell autumn was coming in the air, even though there were no signs in the shops. (I kid you not, there was no tinned pumpkin at our grocery store until probably December/January when they added it to the "American" section and it was fully stocked until about two weeks ago.)
People just don't go crazy for autumn over here like they do in the States. But we also don't have Target here, so you tell me what this is all really about...
Still, I love the season and last year has a special place in my heart. I think mentally I separate my three months of summer unemployment from my three months of autumn unemployment. Maybe I was a bit more settled and definitely I was a bit more stir-crazy, but I look back on those days and feel happy. My friend Taylor and I would go work out in the park on those cool, crisp mornings. Luke and I would cosy up at home and light the candles in our fireplace, sip on homemade apple cider, and watch Dexter. What more could you ask for?
So naturally, as I fully embrace the #fallbasicbitch persona, I've once again created a little autumn bucket list.
VISIT AN APPLE ORCHARD
Last year I wasn't able to find an orchard to visit, but I'm determined this year. The best time to visit an orchard, especially for picking, is in September, so I've already been doing some research to find one that's reasonably close to where we live. Hopefully I'm on the right track!
ENJOY SPICED APPLE CIDER
I was shocked to discover that "cider" here only means the alcohol kind. They don't even know what they're missing if you ask me! Regardless, Luke and I made homemade apple cider multiple times and got quite good at it. On Halloween, I made up a delicious cocktail recipe that you can bet your bottom dollar we'll be enjoying again this fall. If you want the recipe we used (for the cider and/or the cocktail), make sure you're signed up to my newsletter before Saturday!
SPEND A WEEKEND IN THE MOUNTAINS
There's nothing like aspen-covered mountains in the autumn. The colours are absolutely out of this world! You don't see that exactly here, but last year we went to Wales in mid-September for a mini honeymoon and I got a little taste. It still had that fresh mountain air and cool mornings. Even though we're going to Italy this month, where it's sure to be a lot warmer and sunnier than here, I'd love to escape for the mountains for a quick weekend away. (Or at least a day, *cough* Luke are you reading? *cough*.)
SEE THE FOLIAGE
Gone are the days of hopping in the car for a day trip up to the mountains for a beautiful drive. One year my friend Stephy and I drove the Peak-to-Peak Highway outside of Estes Park, CO and I'll never forget that day. I've also driven the Million Dollar Highway outside of Telluride, CO and nearly died getting there, but it was worth it. I'm not sure how to make it happen here, but I imagine it would be tacked on to a weekend away if it does happen. (Luke, are you taking notes?!)
BUY A COSY NEW JUMPER
Last year I bought a couple that became autumn (and winter) staples for me. I feel like I'm really rounding out my jumper collection, but I'm missing a few colours. I'd really like to eventually add navy, burnt orange, olive, and black (probably in that order), so that's what I'm on the hunt for this year, knowing full well I probably won't end up getting all four. I've stopped stocking up on the same jumper in multiple colours since there are so many beautiful knits out there, but one thing I know for sure is I want a cable knit sweater in navy.
SHARE MY FALL BAKING WITH NEIGHBOURS AND LOVED ONES
I made pumpkin bread for the neighbours last year (and later Christmas cookies) and I loved doing it. The recipe I use always makes two loaves so if anything, it's nice to get one out of the house because they're too easy for Luke and I to devour. My other favourite autumn recipe is pumpkin oatmeal cookies, but there are so many tasty treats to make in the fall! I believe I took some down to Canvas, the campus ministry where many of our friends work, and I would love to do it again this year.
We got pumpkins last year from the grocery store (which made me miss Trader Joe's for more than just the Pumpkin O's), but we never ended up carving them. I predicted that it would either end up being a competition or Luke would end up being a total pro and carving both. I think last year's prediction still stands. And if the former does happen, you'll be sure to see it on my InstaStories with a poll so you can choose the winner.
HAVE A HALLOWEEN MOVIE MARATHON
Last year, Luke and I spent Halloween locked in the house avoiding trick-or-treaters watching movies and eating chilli. Luke even tried a Reese's peanut butter cup for the first time! It was seriously the best Halloween I've ever had. But when I say "Halloween" movies, I mean movies like Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, Ghostbusters, or Bewitched. Neither of us like scary movies.
BAKE A PIE
My longest standing autumn tradition. Every year, the night before Thanksgiving (or sometimes the morning of) I watch Elf in my Elf shirt while drinking a warm beverage from my elf mug, making pie for the festivities. I've made pumpkin, pecan, and apple, but I'm not the biggest fan of pie myself, so I'm never really bothered about what kind to make. Still, it kind of functions as my introduction to the Christmas season and the beginning of the end of autumn.
HOST THANKSGIVING AND TRY ONE NEW RECIPE
Last year we hosted six of our friends for our first ever Thanksgiving feast. (Does that make it Friendsgiving?) We had it the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but spent the evening of Thanksgiving itself at Canvas's big feast. We definitely want to host dinner again and I've already had some ideas of new recipes to try. I've got to perfect my Thanksgiving spread because it's unlikely we'll ever go back to the States for the holiday. (Though never say never.)
What's on your list for this autumn?
P.S. I've tried hard to embrace much of the English language (British English, that is), including spelling and words. There are still a few words or spelling I have a hard time using and one of them is "cosy". It just doesn't look right without the z. (And yes, I said "zed" in my head instead of "zee".)
This year, I decided to have a little fun with Instagram as well and I created a #BasicBitch Fall Bingo card that I fully intend to use to laugh at myself. I mean, if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? (Well, probably some other basic bitches on Instagram too, let's be honest.)
You can play along too and use your own posts, your friends' posts, influencers posts, and definitely my posts to try to black out your card.
Or save the Instagram Stories friendly version: