Saturday, September 22, 2012

First Day of Autumn 2012

Autumn mum baskets greet visitors at my front porch

Happy Autumn Equinox!

With our still-warm weather here in Seattle, I'm struggling with what to wear every day. Mornings and evenings are chilly, so I want long sleeves, but our afternoons are very warm or even hot. It's not yet time for a coat, and a sweater is even a bit much after 10am. It's time to get out lightweight sweaters and cute wraps to layer with.


The mail table at the entrance to my home - uncluttered and tidy, with just a candle, flowers, cell phone, and our change bowl

  • Put on some music that makes you think of fall. To me this means Loreena McKennitt, Mediaeval Baebes, Miranda Sex Garden, Throwing Muses, or Stevie Nicks to me.

  • Get some exercise. Take a long walk, run briskly in the mall from sale to sale, put on some music and dance, mow your lawn, or go for a bike ride. Exercise staves off depression and gloom as we move into the darker, rainier part of the year.

  • Tidy the entrance to your home. Put away shoes, mail, magazines, clutter, drinking glasses, unnecessary items.

  • Catch up on emails tonight. I use three different email addresses and in each, I keep too many now-unimportant messages. I should reply, archive or delete them.

  • Need to wash your car today? This might be my last non-rainy chance to get my car looking decent. It takes me less than ten minutes to thoroughly wash and dry the car.

  • If you celebrate autumn equinox, have a special family dinner tonight using harvest-themed foods. Have a bonfire, donate to a food bank, express gratitude and thankfulness for all you have.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Family Dinner

Pale pink dahlias I picked up to adorn my upstairs living room. Guests sit in here nibbling appetizers before we go into the dining room for dinner.

Tonight I'm cooking a family dinner not just for my household but also for some cousins who live across town. That means much of my afternoon will be taken up with grocery shopping and cooking. Because I keep my house in ready-to-go condition, I don't have to do any cleaning before they arrive. I will just set the table beautifully and hopefully have hot dishes ready to serve at 6pm sharp.

When's the last time you hosted a weekend or weeknight meal for guests outside your immediate family? Even if it involves grabbing takeout instead of cooking, I recommend the experience. It helps you stay connected with family, and it's great for kids to see their cousins or your friends' kids.


Warm up your guests with Republic of Tea's pumpkin spice tea for 2012. (They come out with a slightly different version every fall). This one is a black tea (so it has caffeine) and features cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.

Pumpkin Spice Tea, at Republic of Tea

LOVELY BLOGS: The Glamorous Housewife

Bethany's blog on fashion, cooking, entertaining, domestic design, crafting, and beauty. Recent posts include a Vegetarian Rosh Hashana Dinner (check out the gorgeous table settings); Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies; How to Have a Good Marriage, Part 4; and a really great link roundup with lots of vintage and retro related links. There's really great positive energy here and lots of things to read.

LOVELY COSMETICS: Chantecaille's New Elephant Palette

I was really hoping these colors would suit me, but I'm afraid I would never use the green (not my favorite color, and not flattering on me) and the browns are just a bit too rich/dark for my Seattle-pale skin. Five percent of proceeds from this item are donated to an elephant preservation trust in Kenya. I just love the way the compact looks!

Chantecaille Elephant Palette, at


Diana Vreeland Fashion Documentary: The Eye Has to Travel (Slate)

Filigree Cookies (The baking Sheet)

A Good and Versatile Autumn Cabbage Casserole (Estelle's)

Macadamia Coconut Cookie Brittle (Baking Bites)

Saffron-Vanilla Snickerdoodles (101 Cookbooks)

What Is It Like to Date or Marry a Fashion Model? (Slate)


Lori said...

I am jealous that it only takes you 10 minutes to wash your car! I have a one ton pickup and it takes me an hour. Of course my husband and I have a construction company, so it's frequently very dirty. I'm intrigued by those pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies, I will definitely be giving those a try!

Carrie said...

Oh wow that sounds like a big vehicle to wash! I just have a little Subaru (though now that I have four kids I wish it were a bigger car!)