Tag Archives: fall

Small Travels: The Mountains of North Carolina

Linville Falls, NC Life’s been crazy lately. I’ve had too much work to do and not enough time to do it all. That’s why a couple of weeks ago, we took a much needed break to celebrate the birthday of a good friend. We traveled up to the mountains of my home state, stayed in a hundred-year-old cabin and took in all the colors of fall. Continue reading

The Airstream Diaries: Basking in Fall

Airstream front in the fall Fall is my favorite season. To me, nothing is better than frolicking through a field of pumpkins, drinking PSLs to my heart’s content and wrapping up in a cozy sweater. But after my beloved fall is my dreaded winter. Winter in the Airstream isn’t very fun. Winter in the Airstream means cold feet, staying next to the space heater at all times and freezing pipes.

airstream in the fall airstream in the fall light Before dreaded winter is upon us, I’m trying to soak up as much fall as I can get. I’ve been happy to brush the pine needles off my steps, crank up the Crockpot and on warm fall days, open up the windows. In the next few weeks we’ll need to winterize our home and pull out the heaters.

Airstream and leaves Until then, I’m raising my PSL to you, fall. I love ya.

– melanie

Frugal Friday: 101 Free or Cheap Things to Do This Fall

rp_101-free-or-cheap-things-to-do-this-fall-1024x679.jpg So you guys, this is a total cop-out. I totally jumped the gun on the fall thing and published this post way too early, but you know what? I’m posting it again because this week homegirl is tired. And now it really feels like fall. Here we go again, ya’ll.

This post was originally published in July of 2014.

“You guys. Fall is almost here. Target has put out their insanely large, insanely cute display of Back to School supplies. I’m trying desperately to stay away from it. I’m also preparing to teach a course this fall. So crazy. Feel free to refer to me as “professor.”

I’m also still on this saving money kick, but it hasn’t been much fun. I’m the kind of person who needs something to look forward to– like a trip! Since a trip is out of my budgetary reach and the summer is almost over (boo!), I created a list of free or cheap things to do this fall. I hope it will keep my spirits up, give me me something to look forward to and maybe even get you inspired and excited for fall?!

  1. Set some fun fall goals
  2. Donate school supplies to a child in need
  3. Volunteer
  4. Donate your gently-used winter coats to someone in need
  5. Enroll in a class at your local community college
  6. Take a hike
  7. Admire the foliage
  8. Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice in your morning coffee
  9. Get up early to admire the sunrise
  10. Learn to knit!
  11. Get an early start on making Holiday gifts
  12. Host a pot-luck Friendsgiving (a Thanksgiving with friends)
  13. Put pumpkin in everything!
  14. Visit a pumpkin patch (or do what my mom did and tell us we are visiting a pumpkin patch, but really just go to the grocery store and play on the pumpkin display)
  15. Go on a hay ride
  16. Visit a corn maze
  17. Carve pumpkins
  18. Don’t forget to roast the seeds!
  19. Rake the leaves
  20. Jump in the leaves!
  21. Winterize your home (or your Airstream!)
  22. Visit the library and check out Autumn-themed books
  23. Bake a pumpkin pie
  24. Share the pie with your neighbor
  25. Camp in your own backyard
  26. Chop wood
  27. Find the perfect walking stick
  28. Build a fire pit
  29. Make hobo packets
  30. Roast marshmallows
  31. Tell ghost stories
  32. Enjoy a pumpkin beer
  33. Go on a bike ride
  34. Go on a fall-themed picnic
  35. Learn to can vegetables
  36. Plant winter veggies
  37. Or plant bulbs for next spring
  38. Do lots of autumn-themed crafts
  39. Donate or sell the summer clothing that you didn’t wear
  40. Pear down your winter wardrobe
  41. Host a clothing swap
  42. Or swap online on Swapdom
  43. Sell your wares at a flea market
  44. Go apple picking
  45. Bob for apples
  46. Make candy apples
  47. Learn to make apple cider or jam
  48. Pop popcorn and drizzle it in caramel
  49. Drink hot apple cider
  50. Drink hot chocolate
  51. Break out your crock-pot
  52. Make pumpkin chili!
  53. Don’t forget the cornbread!
  54. Eat your weight in fall veggies– squash and Brussels sprouts and cabbage, oh my!
  55. Get excited for fall fashion
  56. Break out the flannel
  57. Pull on those wool socks
  58. Don’t worry about bad hair days, just put on a beanie!
  59. If you are a lady, pull on those thick tights (and don’t worry about shaving your legs!)
  60. If you are a dude, grow a beard!
  61. Cuddle up in your oldest sweatshirt
  62. Wrap up in warm blankets
  63. Watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  64. And A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
  65. Go to bed earlier
  66. Visit the fair or a fall festival (save money with these tips)
  67. Host a Halloween party
  68. Make your own Halloween costume and challenge yourself to use only stuff you can find around the house
  69. Dress up your pet!
  70. Craft creepy snacks like this Slimer Smoothie
  71. DIY candy
  72. Watch your favorite scary movie with a friend
  73. Read scary stories under the cover with a flashlight
  74. Listen to the Halloween station on Pandora
  75. Make spiced nuts
  76. Slurp on some soup and grill up an old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich
  77. Make beeswax candles
  78. Discover your local farmer’s market
  79. Slowly sip a cup of hot tea
  80. Pretend that you like candy corn
  81. Discover the real meaning of Thanksgiving
  82. Be more grateful by creating a gratitude journal
  83. Make turkey hands! They’re still fun, even when you’re almost 30!
  84. Simply sit outside and enjoy the cool weather
  85. Join a local foraging group and forage for wild edibles
  86. Make acorn soup
  87. Or mushroom soup from the forage
  88. Make real cranberry sauce and put it on french toast!
  89. Pour maple syrup on everything!
  90. Enjoy the Harvest Moon on September 8th
  91. Invite your friends over and create fall-themed cocktails
  92. Make a pine cone bird feeder and keep those birds fed all winter
  93. Paint your nails an autumn-colored hue
  94. Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos and honor your deceased loved ones
  95. Break out the board games and your favorite jammies
  96. Give your mum some mums!
  97. Attend a high school football game
  98. Join a sports program for adults
  99. Participate in a zombie crawl
  100. Or a Turkey Trot for charity
  101. Take lots of pictures to document your memories!

Are you ready for fall? I’m feeling a little more ready and hopeful after this list.

What are your favorite fall-themed free activities? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

101 Free Or Cheap Things To Do This Fall

101 free or cheap things to do this fall You guys. Fall is almost here. Target has put out their insanely large, insanely cute display of Back to School supplies. I’m trying desperately to stay away from it. I’m also preparing to teach a course this fall. So crazy. Feel free to refer to me as “professor.”

I’m also still on this saving money kick, but it hasn’t been much fun. I’m the kind of person who needs something to look forward to– like a trip! Since a trip is out of my budgetary reach and the summer is almost over (boo!), I created a list of free or cheap things to do this fall. I hope it will keep my spirits up, give me me something to look forward to and maybe even get you inspired and excited for fall?!

  1. Set some fun fall goals
  2. Donate school supplies to a child in need
  3. Volunteer
  4. Donate your gently-used winter coats to someone in need
  5. Enroll in a class at your local community college
  6. Take a hike
  7. Admire the foliage
  8. Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice in your morning coffee
  9. Get up early to admire the sunrise
  10. Learn to knit!
  11. Get an early start on making Holiday gifts
  12. Host a pot-luck Friendsgiving (a Thanksgiving with friends)
  13. Put pumpkin in everything!
  14. Visit a pumpkin patch (or do what my mom did and tell us we are visiting a pumpkin patch, but really just go to the grocery store and play on the pumpkin display)
  15. Go on a hay ride
  16. Visit a corn maze
  17. Carve pumpkins
  18. Don’t forget to roast the seeds!
  19. Rake the leaves
  20. Jump in the leaves!
  21. Winterize your home (or your Airstream!)
  22. Visit the library and check out Autumn-themed books
  23. Bake a pumpkin pie
  24. Share the pie with your neighbor
  25. Camp in your own backyard
  26. Chop wood
  27. Find the perfect walking stick
  28. Build a fire pit
  29. Make hobo packets
  30. Roast marshmallows
  31. Tell ghost stories
  32. Enjoy a pumpkin beer
  33. Go on a bike ride
  34. Go on a fall-themed picnic
  35. Learn to can vegetables
  36. Plant winter veggies
  37. Or plant bulbs for next spring
  38. Do lots of autumn-themed crafts
  39. Donate or sell the summer clothing that you didn’t wear
  40. Pear down your winter wardrobe
  41. Host a clothing swap
  42. Or swap online on Swapdom
  43. Sell your wares at a flea market
  44. Go apple picking
  45. Bob for apples
  46. Make candy apples
  47. Learn to make apple cider or jam
  48. Pop popcorn and drizzle it in caramel
  49. Drink hot apple cider
  50. Drink hot chocolate
  51. Break out your crock-pot
  52. Make pumpkin chili!
  53. Don’t forget the cornbread!
  54. Eat your weight in fall veggies– squash and Brussels sprouts and cabbage, oh my!
  55. Get excited for fall fashion
  56. Break out the flannel
  57. Pull on those wool socks
  58. Don’t worry about bad hair days, just put on a beanie!
  59. If you are a lady, pull on those thick tights (and don’t worry about shaving your legs!)
  60. If you are a dude, grow a beard!
  61. Cuddle up in your oldest sweatshirt
  62. Wrap up in warm blankets
  63. Watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  64. And A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
  65. Go to bed earlier
  66. Visit the fair or a fall festival (save money with these tips)
  67. Host a Halloween party
  68. Make your own Halloween costume and challenge yourself to use only stuff you can find around the house
  69. Dress up your pet!
  70. Craft creepy snacks like this Slimer Smoothie
  71. DIY candy
  72. Watch your favorite scary movie with a friend
  73. Read scary stories under the cover with a flashlight
  74. Listen to the Halloween station on Pandora
  75. Make spiced nuts
  76. Slurp on some soup and grill up an old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich
  77. Make beeswax candles
  78. Discover your local farmer’s market
  79. Slowly sip a cup of hot tea
  80. Pretend that you like candy corn
  81. Discover the real meaning of Thanksgiving
  82. Be more grateful by creating a gratitude journal
  83. Make turkey hands! They’re still fun, even when you’re almost 30!
  84. Simply sit outside and enjoy the cool weather
  85. Join a local foraging group and forage for wild edibles
  86. Make acorn soup
  87. Or mushroom soup from the forage
  88. Make real cranberry sauce and put it on french toast!
  89. Pour maple syrup on everything!
  90. Enjoy the Harvest Moon on September 8th
  91. Invite your friends over and create fall-themed cocktails
  92. Make a pine cone bird feeder and keep those birds fed all winter
  93. Paint your nails an autumn-colored hue
  94. Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos and honor your deceased loved ones
  95. Break out the board games and your favorite jammies
  96. Give your mum some mums!
  97. Attend a high school football game
  98. Join a sports program for adults
  99. Participate in a zombie crawl
  100. Or a Turkey Trot for charity
  101. Take lots of pictures to document your memories!

Are you ready for fall? I’m feeling a little more ready and hopeful after this list.

What are your favorite fall-themed free activities? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

10, 10-Minute Harvest Crafts

Leaf Garland

I haven’t been my usual play-in-the-leaves-I’m-so-happy-it’s-fall-crafty-self this season. My allergies have been out of control this year. I’ve felt as if I’ve had a cold for weeks. I’m loaded up on (prescription) drugs and all I’ve wanted to do is hide out under the covers and binge-watch Downton Abbey. Sorry to be so boring and whiney, but I never thought I’d be so happy for my least favorite season, WINTER.

But it’s against my personal rules to decorate for Christmahanakwanzika before Thanksgiving. Although this year Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving! I still can’t bring myself to decorate with menorahs or boughs of holly just yet. (If you’re wondering my family traditionally celebrates Christmas, but I like to celebrate all the holidays.)

To try to excite myself for the nearest holiday, Thanksgiving or Harvest day (whatever you celebrate) I mustered up enough energy to make a small fall garland. I also spent hours browsing Pinterest for the best, easy harvest crafts. Because sometimes you’ve only got enough energy for a 10 minute craft and some Pinterest browsing. Am I right?

10. Leaf Garland Fall Garland

My attempt to make the trailer a little more festive. Probably not the brightest idea, since I’m probably allergic to leaf mold, but what can ya do. Anyway to create this easy-peasy craft, I sprayed leaves with clear spray paint, let them dry, then tied them to some twine.

9. Glitter, falling leaves

boxwood-clippings_diy-falling-leaves-garland_2-e1379949094746 This 10-minute craft from 6th Street Design School is so elegant and easy. She was a smarty and used fake leaves to create her garland!

8. Pinecone birds

pinecone birds How cute are these pinecone birds from World Market? Technically, there’s no DIY instructions for these, but they look super easy to make. Sprinkle a pinecone and a foam ball in glitter. Attach them together, add eyes, a beak and feet. And voila! You’ve got perfect placeholders for Thanksgiving dinner.

7.  Little Mouse

Fall-crafts-how-to-create-pictured-with-leaves-Little-mouse I cannot get over how cute this little mouse is from Kiddie Foodies. I’m dying to make this with my niece.

6. Leaf Paintings

Leaves painting_thumb[1] Another easy one to do with kids. This time found via the blog, Au Pair Link Taranaki. I had painted with potatoes and fish (?!) as a kid, but never with leaves. The results are super pretty and dare I say, frameable?!

5. Fall Leaf Centerpiece

fall centerpiece

This fall leaf centerpiece from HGTV is whimsical and elegant. And again, they don’t use real leaves, do’h!

4. Twig Flower Pots

twig flower pots

Twig flower pots! Why didn’t I think of that? Nini Makes has a great tutorial on how to make them on her blog. I think they’d also be cute on a smaller scale as votive holders.

3. Pinecone Door Hanger

pinecone door hanger

How clever is this pinecone door hanger? Easy and cheap is just my style. You could even change out the colors for different holidays. Click the link above to see the how to on The New Witty’s.

2. Acorn Vase

Acorn-Vase II love how pretty and FREE this crafts is. Eclectically vintage has it going on.

1. Painted Acorns painted acorns And last, but certainly not least are these glamorous acorns from Decor to Adore. We’ve got these giant acorns at my work with prickly tops. I’m dying to get out there with the squirrels and do this craft.

What crafts have you been craftin’ lately? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

 

 

 

 

Love Weekends: Portland!

Portland Sign Life is insane. Off-the-wall, don’t stop ’til ya get enough, crazy-wild. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busy trap and leave no time for ourselves. After the death and illness of several loved ones this year, I can’t help but think about the bazillion things I want to do and places I want to go before I… well… kick the bucket. I’m not trying to get all morbid and weird on ya’ll. It’s just a constant reminder to not be so busy that I stop going places and learning about myself and the world around me.

Portland Skyline This weekend I crossed one of the places off my travel bucket list… Portland!

Portland was beautiful this time of year. The trees had just turned and the air was crisp.

Portland Skyline at Night

There was good food to be eaten and new places to be explored.

Old Town Portland Skyline We met up with some new and old friends. We relaxed. It was just what I needed to get me through to the holiday season.

Fall Portland Skyline I can’t wait until our next adventure.

What did you do this past weekend? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

 

Crockpot Pumpkin Chili

pumpkin chili I told ya’ll I was pumpkining all the things. I should just start driving a pumpkin to work, Cinderella style. My rotund orange friend has conveniently snuck in to all sweet and savory dishes that have come out of the Airstream kitchen lately. I’m sorry, husband. He’s such a good sport about it. I think he deserves a pumpkin cupcake.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. Oh no. Today we’re here to talk about creamy, savory, EASY, pumpkin crockpot chili. It’s chilly and it calls for chili.

pumpkin chili This pumpkin chili doesn’t taste like a pumpkin pie or anything creepy, like that. The pumpkin just makes the chili thicker and adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to the taste.

Pumpkin Crockpot Chili
Ingredients

  • 1 1b ground beef
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin (not the pie filling kind!)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with chilies (don’t drain!)
  • 2 diced green peppers
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder (or a small, real onion, if you have it)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (or more depending on your spiciness!)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Black pepper to taste

Throw everything in the crock pot. Meat and green peppers on bottom. Stir occasionally. Let it do it’s magic for 6 hours on low. Voila! You’ve got pumpkin crock pot chili. Top with your favorite things: cheese, sour cream and avocado, recommended.

What are your favorite fall recipes? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie