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Warning: Strong Home Ec Vibe to this post <3


Happy Friday!

This is one of those posts that I love to read on other people’s sites, but am never sure if you all will enjoy.

So if you aren’t into the mundane joys of the little things, move along friends. But if you like reading to get ideas or spark your own dreams, welcome to today’s Fall Bucket List recap.

So as you can see the Fall Bucket List is pretty fancy. 

Actually I read about it in Melissa Michael’s “A Lovely Life” that was a birthday gift this year from a good friend. In the book she has four sections, one for each season and shares thoughts and ideas about home, hearth, decorating, cooking and just enjoying friends and family and life. 

At the start of the section for Autumn, she talked about making a list of twenty things to look forward to. When I read this, summer was still very much around us and I was enjoying the last bits of time with longer daylight hours, grilling and eating on the patio in the evening and enjoying all the blooms around the yard. 

She says to settle in for a moment of quiet and reflect on things you enjoy about the new season that is approaching and then make a list of twenty little things you would like to do. The final step is to schedule them so they happen. 

So I took a note pad and pen out to the patio and I thought about things I enjoy about Fall and I started making a list. 

Here it is:

  1. Rader Farms (a local pumpkin patch with all kinds of fun activities for the kiddos)
  2. Make chili
  3. Wiener roast with our grands, their parents and a family who feel like family to us
  4. Decorate the house for the season
  5. Make Pumpkin Bread
  6. Use the pumpkin picks I bought last year to decorate cupcakes that I never used
  7. Send Thanksgiving cards
  8. Bike ride with Sarah and Jack
  9. Attend Forsyth Farmer’s Market
  10. Have people over for a fire and nice dessert
  11. Purge office
  12. Make lasagna soup
  13. Put pumpkins out in yard
  14. Paint a fake pumpkin
  15. Make Creamy Mushroom Sausage Pasta
  16. Make Tomato Pesto Tortellini soup
  17. Go for a hike
  18. Bike a trail
  19. Apple Orchard
  20. Read Fall books to the grands

Well, as you can see, a lot of these were about food – new recipes I wanted to try or old favorites. I found a great new healthier pumpkin bread we all liked and two keepers and one I pitched. 

We made it to the apple orchard and the pumpkin patch, had the wiener roast and bike ride. Our house is festively adorned with orange and red and brown and makes me happy. 

The farmer’s market was fun and I made a trip to our local library and got a collection of books about fall – twice – to take up and read to our little guys. And they loved the cupcakes with little paper pumpkins sticking out of the frosting. 

Purging the office was attempted and I made more progress than if I hadn’t planned anything at all. And Russ ended up making a visit to a new friend who had quite the crop of pumpkins. He brought home some dandies while I was working one day and they have set off our mums beautifully. 

So what’s left?

Still hoping for a hike through the woods, a bike trail before the weather gets too cold, and painting that pumpkin the way I have enjoyed seeing them done on Instagram. I hope to find a quiet afternoon to fashion some Thanksgiving cards in the next couple of weeks, but I can always buy a package of ready made ones too. 

Still need to whip up a dessert some Sunday afternoon and invite some people over for sweets around the fire pit and yes…yes…I will keep plugging away on the office. 

As I look at all the lines drawn through those little ideas I jotted down as summer waned, I am thankful for the memories each one brings. 

Melissa was right. If you don’t plan it and make room for it, it probably won’t happen. 

I have to say this exercise has made the months of September and October more meaningful to me. 

While not all the recipes were a hit, the lasagna soup was five star and super easy, so I will share it with you to end this little saga.

30 minute Lasagna Soup (mailer from Kroger grocery store)

1 TBSP olive oil

1 LB ground beef

1 tsp salt (I use less)

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1 24 oz jar marinara sauce

4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

6 sheets dry lasagna (regular, not the no boil kind) noodles, broken into bite size pieces

Shredded mozzarella

Grated parmesan (I use the bag kind found in grated cheese section)

Roughly capped parsley (didn’t have and we survived)

Brown beef with seasoning in a stock pot, crumbling it as you go. (You can make this ahead and have in a freezer bag to really speed things along)

Remove beef with a slotted spoon, set aside. Drain pan and wipe out with paper towel.

Combine marinara sauce and broth in pot, bring just to boiling over high heat (watch closely). Add pasta and reduce heat to medium. Cook about 10 minutes. 

Add beef back to pot, add broth if you want it thinner (we didn’t)

Warm through. (I made this while waiting for Russ to get home from a meeting and it cooked a bit longer, but was delicious.

Serve in bowls (of course…) and garnish with cheeses and parsley. 

This was so good warmed up later, too. 

We loved it. 

It was like the flavor of lasagna but not as heavy. 

Gosh, I hope you had some fun and got some ideas to add to your plans as we roll towards Thanksgiving. Let me know if this was something you like, and I will share what I come up with for the Holidays <3

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