25 Ways to Celebrate Fall!

Celebrate Fall!

25 ways to celebrate fall

Today is the first day of fall! How will you celebrate the changing of the seasons? Here is a list of our top 25 ways to celebrate fall. Hope you find some inspiration to make the most of this beautiful season!

  1. Collect and press some colorful fall leavescelebrate fall with a visit to a pumpkin patch
  2. Visit a pumpkin patch
  3. Plant some bulbs in the garden
  4. Drink some apple cider
  5. Watch a football game
  6. Make a pinecone bird feeder
  7. Decorate your home for fall
  8. Collect outgrown coats and sweaters and donate them to a local shelter
  9. Go on a hay ride
  10. Have some s’mores and hot cocoacelebrate fall with a marshmallow roast
  11. Take a drive to check out the fall foliage
  12. Bob for apples
  13. Go on a nature walk and take lots of pictures
  14. Go apple picking
  15. Bake a pie
  16. Visit a farmers’ market
  17. Plant some mums
  18. Have an Oktoberfest party
  19. Carve pumpkins
  20. Visit a corn maze
  21. Try a new soup recipe using fall foods such as pumpkin, parsnip, or butternut squash
  22. Enjoy the new TV premieres
  23. Make applesauce
  24. Invite over some friends for a wine tasting party
  25. Rake a big pile of leaves and then jump in!

It’s Oktoberfest Time!

Beer, Brats, and Ooompah Bands…It must be Oktoberfest!

oktoberfest celebration

It’s that glorious time of year again; the days are crisp, the colors are bright, and it’s time to enjoy some great food and fun music at Oktoberfest.  Munich’s Oktoberfest takes place between September 16th and October 3rd, so that makes it the perfect time to start thinking of how you might have your own Oktoberfest celebration! Last year our family joined some friends out in Mt. Angel for their annual city-wide Oktoberfest and we can’t wait for the festivities to come again! If youOktoberfest decorations have never celebrated Oktoberfest, you can expect lots of traditional German foods and drinks (brats and beer being the most time-honored traditions). You will also be treated to bands playing polkas and the good old chicken dance, weiner dog races, and lots of folks dressed up in their finest lederhosen. It is a super treat that we look forward to every year.

Last year we branched out a little when choosing our dinner.  At the recommendation of our friends, we tried the pelmeni. Wow! These were amazing. Although technically they are a Russian food, they are a tradition at Mt. Angel Oktoberfest. What are pelmeni? They are a type of meat ravioli that are cooked in butter and served with sour cream and vinegar. Although they sound a little different, trust me, they were great, especially when accompanied by some Oktoberfest beers.  If you are curious, and would like to try making these at home, here is a recipe we found at cookeatshare.com.

Pelmeni Recipe:

1 1/2 cups flourRussian pelmeni
2 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
garlic to taste


  1. To make the dough, combine the flour, eggs, water and 1/2 tsp. salt. Knead mixture. Let rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix the ground beef, ground pork, onions, 1 tsp. salt, pepper and garlic together.
  3. Cut the dough into three equally sized pieces and roll each one into a cylinder the diameter of a finger. Cut each cylinder into pieces the size of a walnut, then roll each piece into a very thin flat cake with a diameter of about 2 inches.
  4. Put some of the ground meat mixture in the center of each flat cake (quite a lot, but not so much that you can’t then seal up the dough). Then fold the dough in half and join up the edges to seal them. Pinch the corners together: you should now have a ravioli-shaped “flying saucer.”
  5. Boil the pelmeni in salted water for seven minutes, or until they float to the surface.
  6. Serve in soup bowls. I like to offer three dipping sauces: sour cream, creamy horseradish, and white wine vinegar. YUMMMMM!

oktoberfest partyThere are bound to be lots of Oktoberfest celebrations going on, but if you can’t find something nearby you can always host your own party! Take a look at our complete Oktoberfest Party Ideas page for lots of suggestions for food, drinks, decorations, and activities.  Have fun!

Make a Back to School Time Capsule Keepsake

How to make a back to school time capsule keepsake

Do you ever wish that you could capture a moment in time as your kiddos start each new school year? One fun way to do this is by creating a time capsule keepsake containing items and information that reflect the special memories important to your family each year. A time capsule is a fun and easy project to do with your children every year as they get older. You can include photos, mementos, and important milestones and memories and tuck them away to open in the future! 

Here is a free back to school time capsule keepsake printable that you can download and use in your project!

printable time capsule fact sheet

Add to your time capsule any keepsakes or mementos from the year such as photos, ticket stubs, or small items that will bring back favorite memories.

You can make your time capsule look really great in a variety of ways. One of our favorites is to put things into a glass jar and write the date you want to open things up on the lid using a permanent marker.

Another is to print the information page on colorful scrapbook paper and to roll it into a  paper towel tube. Cover the tube with crepe paper and tie the ends with ribbon (so the time capsule looks like a piece of candy.) Save the time capsules to open next year!

Great Books to Ease Back to School Jitters

It’s back to school time! Is anyone in your home experiencing the dreaded back to school jitters? Reading a story about heading off to school is a great way to ease your child’s fears (Mom’s too)! 🙂  Being both moms and teachers, we know about the nerves and worries of heading back to school. Here are some great choices for stories that can help you open a discussion about the start of the school year.


 Here are some more of our favorite back to school stories

(Click on any of the links to go straight to Amazon and find them)

First Day Jitters

The Kissing Hand

The Night Before First Grade

Franklin Goes to School

I Love You All Day Long

A Smart Girl’s Guide to
Starting Middle School

back to school party ideasWe love using books to help start discussions with kids. Of course, since we are also party moms, we definitely are also in favor of hosting a back to school party for classmates new and old as a great ice breaker event. (For ideas about that, take a look at our back to school party page.)

Here are some websites where you can find even more ideas for easing back to school jitters:

Here’s wishing everyone a smooth and wonderful transition back to the new school year!