A Few Of My Favorite Things- the Fall Edition

What are your favorite things about fall? Sweater weather, bonfires, hayrides, pumpkins eating outdoors? Here is a list of 12 of the best and most favorite things about fall.

Can I say this again without you rolling your eyes? Fall is my favorite time of the year! I feel like I should be able to write an ode to fall or at least a rhyme extolling all its amazing and glorious virtues! Fall and I were made for each other.  So, instead of a poem, I’m musing and rambling and sharing some of my favorite fall things.

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It’s almost September, and for me, September is the unofficial beginning of the fall season! Here are a few of my favorite things…


My fall favorite things list must start with PUMPKINS!!! Lancaster Country is dotted with field after field of pumpkins! So I decorate with them and cook with them and absolutely love them!

There are two things I take very personally in Lancaster County: corn and pumpkins. They are the stuff of our landscape. This time of year, the corn has tasseled, and the fields are full of pumpkins in all shapes, colors, and sizes!

The local farmstands, farmer’s markets, and Amish nurseries are starting to stock local pumpkins. And as fall progresses, more and more pumpkins will be ripe for the picking.

You might like the ideas in 10 Best Fall Pumpkin Ideas. And for 100 more pumpkin ideas, check out 100 Ideas To Decorate With Pumpkins, Part 1 and Part 2.

Do you know what Kentucky Spinners are? They are the little green gourds in the image above. In the last couple of years, they have shown up here in Lancaster! These pretty little gourds can spin like a top. My grandchildren love them.

Fall Recipes

Oh, Yum! I don’t know what I love more, the taste of fall recipes or the way they make our home smell! Cinnamon, cloves, apples, pumpkin, ginger and more! I think this is how heaven will smell!

I passed our local Starbucks, and the line was huge! They just started selling Pumpkin Spice Lattes for fall. It’s all about the delicious tastes and aromas of fall.

The first thing I make to celebrate fall is The Best Raw Apple Cake. I first tasted this amazing cake in my first year of teaching. I don’t know the occasion, but I’ll never forget the taste! And I have been making it ever since. I still have the original recipe I wrote down on a torn-out piece of notebook paper. The other amazing thing about this recipe is it is super easy to make. I don’t even peel the apples! You don’t have to worry about writing out the recipe, I have a printer-friendly version on the post.

Hearty Fall Soup

Soup is on the menu here at our Tanglewood home, all except for the hottest months of summer, so when fall rolls around, it’s soup time! I come from a long line of soup makers as I come from humble roots. My ancestors made soup out of the leftovers from slaughtered animals and their gardens. My Nani (grandmother) was the best soup maker! Unlike the women before me, I have the convenience of so many more food items that were not available to a sustainable home cook.

One of my favorite soups that my Nani taught me how to make ways Cabbage Soup. I renamed it Pork And Cabbage Soup, so you know there is meat in it. The cabbages at one of Lancaster County’s best farmstands, The Corn Wagon, are bigger than my head right now! And they are perfect to make a big stockpot full of this hearty soup.

The soups I make are more like a meal. Full of ingredients and big flavors. And I always make enough for lunches or to freeze. When I make soup, I feel like I am doing something good for my family!


Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers. They bloom around our home from mid-June until late August. And from last August until the end of September, something magical happened! As they dry, they take on the most beautiful colors. My big limelight, just outside our front door, is starting to turn shades of green and pink. The big flowerheads get tinged with the loveliest colors.

That’s why I use them so much in the home tours I feature.

When I cut them just a bit earlier, they were a beautiful green. It’s really easy to dry them, preserving the flower and their beautiful colors. If you have hydrangeas growing around your home, make sure you see How To Dry Hydrangeas The Easy Way!

Football And Tailgating

We are huge football fans! We cheer for our local football team and our favorite college team, Penn State, and of course, the Philadelphia Eagles.

We also love tailgating and making lots of “football food” to eat on the weekends! My go-to hearty recipe is my Game Day Worthy Chili.

My daughter was a Penn State cheerleader, and there is nothing like Beaver Stadium tailgating! Now she and her husband have three little boys (6, 5, and 20 months), and these little guys are big Penn State and Eagles fans. Our son and his wife have three children also, two girls (6 and 3) and one boy (3). They are also big fans. I like to tell my children they are bringing their children up right! Every weekend our grandchildren don their Penn State and Eagle uniforms and cheerleading outfits and join in the fun! They even like to wear their uniform to church.

We love family traditions, and this is one fall tradition that makes the season so special!


I think mums are a much-underrated bloom. They are showy and big and long, long lasting. They can be upscaled to become a really beautiful addition to our fall home decor. 

We don’t have any growing outside. Hmm, maybe a great idea for next year.

Most mums come in some kind of plastic nursery container, and they are U-G-L-Y! Here’s how I like to give them an upscale look when I decorate with them inside.  I keep mums in their original container but make sure to slip that container into something pretty, fun, or classic! This is the first and most important step in styling a mum! It’s all about the container you put them in.

If you can replant them in a pot or urn, even better, but now always necessary!

Mums make pretty bouquets too. I like to buy a mum plant with lots of flowers and some buds on it. When I get the plant home, I snip off their stems and mix the mums with the remains of the flowers or herbs in my garden planters. Another economical way to create a pretty fall bouquet to add to a vase.


Did you know that bittersweet is a nuisance plant? And many states are trying to eradicate it. But around here, it is abundant in fields and hedgerows! And even though it does not play nicely with other plants, I think it has a brambly beauty! And it is one of my favorite fall things!

I can usually find it at a local orchard store.

I like to style it in one large shallow bowl so it spills over the bowl’s sides. However, we have a new cat named Teddy, and unlike all of our other cats, he bites my real pumpkins and bats around brambly things. I am afraid he might eat the berries, so we are no longer able to have real bittersweet in the house.

I’ve collected really nice faux bittersweet for years and now have a large stash.

This is a little off-topic, but it is so important to cull your fall decor every year and add to your stash as well. You will eventually have lots of beautiful and useful fall options when you decorate. I’ve done this for decades, and as a result, I have lots of beautiful fall decor to choose from.

One of my favorite fall wreaths was so easy to make with faux bittersweet. You might like the Fall Bittersweet Wreath.

Fall Leaves

Fall leaves are another favorite fall thing! In our area, they are both saturated with color and also muted. One of my favorite things is to go on a walk when the leaves are falling, It can be magical. Just like I cannot walk on a beach without collecting sea shells and glass, every fall walk yields beautiful leaves.

The leaves are still green right now, but as soon as they turn, I will share an easy way to keep them colorful and soft to use for decorating.

If you read decorating blogs or enjoy Pinterest, I’m sure you have seen branches with pretty colorful fall leaves in a big glass urn. This is such a stunning look. But just a head’s up, the leaves don’t stay nice but a day or two at the most. So if you like this look, enjoy it while it lasts.

Here is a 10-minute fall DIY, an Easy Leaf Candleholder. I used faux leaves for the one in the image below, but have made other leaf candleholders using real leaves. So pretty and festive!

Chilly Weather

One of my favorite days of the entire year is when I feel just a hint of coolness in the air. It feels so fresh to me. It ranks right up there with the first snow of winter or the first crocus of spring. When I feel that whisper of coolness in the air, I know chilly weather is close behind.

I love sweater weather! Because cool weather means all my favorite fall things! My favorite time of year to go camping is in the fall. When we have a campfire going from morning till night!

When I feel that first chill, I change out my bedding and add another layer to all of our beds and velvet comforters.

We pick the last of the tomatoes and bring in any herbs I want to pot and put in the kitchen when the evenings start to get chilly. As the evenings get shorter, I use more candles in our home and make lots of soups, stews, and other warming dishes. I wrap myself in a cashmere pashmina to get the mail or dash to the car. I love listening to the dry cornstalks in the fields moving in the wind because I think it sounds like the rustling of a taffeta ball gown. I like how the fog rolls over the cut fields in the morning and how to sun puts on a spectacular show setting in the evening.

I am a fall girl through and through!

Flannel And Tartan Blankets

I have one quintessential fall tartan blanket pattern. It is a Buchanan Antique Tartan. Buchanan is one of our Scottish ancestral names, and when we found this tartan, we fell in love with it. We have collected four of them over the years. They are perfect for sitting around a fire pit or for covering our legs when we sit on the patio. And they are great blankets to put down on the ground for a picnic.

These tartan blankets are really called car rugs. When I was a young girl living in Scotland, my parents took me and my siblings on lots of rides in the countryside. About 3-4:00 in the afternoon, cars would pull over to the side of the road and pull out small portable tables and chairs from the trunks of their cars along with their car rugs and have tea. I fell in love with this practice! Tea and sandwiches and biscuits. What a charming idea! I think of this whenever I pull my tartan blankets out of the closet for the fall season.

Now It’s Your Turn

What are your favorite things about fall? Tell us in the comments. We would love to hear!

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  1. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    Please do a post.on ribbon.
    Different widths, fabric, care, where to buy, how much to buy
    for projects. etc. What ever I have on hand won’t work for the current project!
    You show lovely ribbon. It is difficult to find ribbon to buy.
    Help us out with the decision to buy and use.
    Thank you.

  2. Ginny Ricci says:

    hi Yvonne,
    LOVE all of the same…minus the sports thing…we’ve never really been into that….but my favorite of all is that that’s when my best friend, Carol, and her husband Mike….AND, my two brothers from NJ come to visit with their wives. LOVE them being here with us. Happy Fall!! ? ? Ginny

  3. CarolBinTX says:

    We don’t really get Fall in TX until Thanksgiving. It’s an inferno until about mid to late October! But this allows me to swim laps in the outdoor pool, way longer than my Northern friends! I am from the Midwest though and both my grown children live in Chicago, so I can experience what I love occasionally. One thing Texans do right are Fall Football and Band competitions! Even though my children are well past high school, I still look out for the finals and try to go to the last one, when there’s a chill in the air and the scores come out over the loud speakers.

    I love it when it’s cold enough to make chili (with beans). I have a soup of some sort simmering all winter long!

    I love hydrangeas too, but it’s way to hot in TX for them. I’ve been enjoying them all summer long in Chicago. I must have hundreds of pictures of them!

  4. I love Fall also and I loved reading this and all of your favorite memories! Here in Texas we are still hot but I have decorated for Fall and I am ready for that first chill in the air. Love your blog! Happy Fall!?

  5. Hi Yvonne, Love your fall attitude!! I also love fall and I live in Iowa so I hope we have fall soon, I can’t wait to make soup and see all the fall colored leaves. We also have two fireplaces and can’t wait to sit by the fire and make s’mores. Pumpkins and mum’s are a huge favorite as well. Happy Fall!

  6. Teri Pickens says:

    It has been a very long time since I have been able to enjoy fall due to working. This year I can slow down and enjoy the season. Number one on my list is cooler weather. Early morning porch sitting with coffee in hand and the love of my life in the rocking chair next to me. Decorating, Making soups, chili and gumbo. Football . Let’s make sure we don’t forget cooler weather! As always, I enjoyed your article this week. Thanks,

    1. Hi Teri, I’m so glad you can slow down and look forward to enjoying Fall.

  7. jane h mckinney says:

    Where are links for pumpkin printables love one I have