The Virginian fall continues to surprise and delight -- it's probably warmer this year that one could probably consider "autumn" weather, but I will certainly not complain. There's still the brisk mornings and crunching leaves on the ground that ignite a glow in your heart.
To celebrate the season with all the best sites, smells, and tastes, I've gathered a few of my favorites, tested and true, that have filled this photographer/20-something's home with happy senses.
Favorite Fall Dinners:
1. Chicken Tortilla Soup: (via: Lemon Tree Dwelling )
A crock-pot meal that will leave your house smelling ridiculously yummy. Sometimes I even just put the chicken in there frozen (the extra lazy version) and cook all day. IT's super customizable, adjustable, and best of all, there's leftovers for lunch!
2. Honey Mustard Chicken: (via Foodie Crush )
I pretty much love anything with Honey Mustard so this one was a given. It's easy to make, requires limited ingredients, and is healthy to boot. Serve with roasted potatoes and some fresh asparagus... mmmm, mouth watering.
Favorite Fall Breakfasts:
1. Applesauce Pumpkin Bread: (via Fat Girl Wearing Thin)
This bread is a perfect, healthy version for a morning pumpkin fix. Literally, like 100-ish calories per slice. Made with no oil, little sugar, egg whites, applesauce, and lots of yummy spices. I actually even subbed some of the sugar for honey and used whole wheat flour, which worked like a charm and cut the calories down even more. I would, however, recommend to keep a close eye on it when baking. The time suggested could probably be cut by 15 minutes or so... mine came out a little crisper that my liking and we all know pumpkin bread is best when soft and fluffy. Obviously.
2. Healthy Pumpkin Muffins: (via Kitchen Stewardship)
One bowl, basic recipe for a perfect morning muffin with the goodness of fall (aka pumpkin) baked in. Bonus: Gluten-free!
Favorite fall snacks/indulgences:
1. Popcorn snack mix: (via: Babble
I made an on-the-fly version based on these more detailed suggestions for game night with a few neighborhood friends and it was inhaled. My recipe is more of a generic guideline involving eye-balled measurements of the following ingredients: smart-pop popcorn, pretzels, mini-marshmallows, cinnamon Chex cereal, & melted Recee's chocolate chips. Honestly, how could you go wrong with this combination of foods?! My favorite kind of recipe is obviously the no-fail kind.
2. Skinny Pumpkin Dip: (via SkinnyTaste)
Because you can indulge and still make (relatively) healthy choices, this is a go-to appetizer for get-togethers with friends or family over the holidays. It's also a welcome departure from the typical gazillion calorie cheesy chip dip. Though it does have a decent amount of sugar, it's a small sacrifice comparatively. Delicious with apple slices or graham crackers!
Favorite fall wardrobe:
This is basically my everyday uniform in the fall: crew neck, long sleeve sweater + skinny jeans + tall boots + warm scarf, pretty stud earrings. Casual, practical, warm, stylish: a all over success for 80% of my days.
( top:Old Navy, jeans: Gap, boots:* Target, **scarf: Modcloth, earrings: Stella & Dot)
Favorite Halloween Costumes:
Even though I don't have kids yet, I can't help but giggle at some of the adorable DIY Halloween costumes I've discovered. Parents are so creative!
Just promise you won't do this to your child (there are scars from my childhood of this costume, trust me, it's a bad idea).
For soaking up the autumn outdoors in Charlottesville, the ambiance is at its peak over at Keswick Vineyards A few friends and I visited there on Sunday with our pups for their last "yappy hour" of the season. Aside from the fact that my little tornado was not ready to handle such an exciting excursion ... the view was stunning and the Chardonnay was just as brag-worthy. Again, it was probably even more delicious because of it's necessity after restraining my adorable monster as he attempted to swipe cookies from innocent picnics and sniff every blade of grass on the property. The only "pairing" I got to experience was that of rope burns from leash death grip + a heavy dose of anxiety. (But I can't honestly stay mad at this face for too long, right?!)
I hope these little tid-bits give you the warm-and-fuzzies for fall and add some inspiration to the remainder of your autumn days.
It's also the last week of this holiday special for Firefly so if you're looking to capture some family moments in the most beautiful season of Virginia, now is the time! Contact me to book before the week is out to take advantage of the special collection!