Tag: autumn

Plan A Day To Shop Local Fairs, Shops And Stands 

Autumn is tailor-made for getting out of the house to enjoy the great outdoors. With crisp temperatures perfect for strolls or sightseeing and breathtaking scenery awash in bright autumnal hues, autumn landscapes make for the ideal backdrop for weekend plans, including shopping excursions. Fall is a great season to enjoy festivals, farmer’s markets and craft fairs, as merchants look to liquidate inventory before they prepare for the rush of the upcoming holiday season. Cities, towns, hamlets, and everything in between will host their share of open markets and more with great deals to be had, and fall is an ideal time to visit local shops and stands.

Fall Farm Produce

Fresh produce Farms big and small are bursting with produce come the fall. You can find the last vestiges of summer crops mingling with the first fruits of autumn. Grab the last of tomatoes and start thinking ahead to apples, squashes, lettuces, and grapes. You can even get an early start on pumpkin season — both for cooking and carving.

Seasonal Foods

Stock the car with reusable tote bags and scour the farmer’s markets for seasonal finds. Chances are you also might pick up some extra treats, such as fresh honey or canned jams. Food finds As plants are harvested, many items are turned into delicious treats. No autumn shopping excursion is complete until you smell a fresh-baked apple pie or some apple cider doughnuts. Corn breads and fritters, cranberry snacks and wines from nearby wineries also are easy to find in autumn. These items make welcome additions to your own pantry, or bring a freshly made treat to a friend or family member’s home when paying a visit. Also, don’t miss the food-related festivals that pop up on community calendars in the fall.

Fall Goods

From garlic to potatoes to pumpkins to cheeses, many seasonal items are on display. You also can sample these foods in interesting applications and make a day of gathering recipes and supplies to enjoy later. Crafts, jewelry and décor Include a trip to a craft fair, where local vendors come together to display and sell their wares, on your weekend schedule.

Autumn Crafts

Handcrafted items make thoughtful and unique gifts, which can be tucked away for giving later in the year. Booths at these types of events tend to be diverse. Spend the day strolling town squares or closed-off city centers, and you may find some hand-fashioned jewelry or home-crafted artisanal soaps. Those eager to enhance their homes’ décor may find unique items like painted signs, knit afghans and much more.

Shopping local shops, farms and fairs is a great way to enjoy the fresh autumn air while supporting local businesses.

Home Improvement Projects for Your Fall To-Do List

Homeowners know that maintaining a home can be a year-round job. No home is immune to wear and tear, and homeowners who want to protect their real estate investments should try to stay two steps ahead to ensure their homes do not succumb to the elements or become outdated and unappealing to prospective buyers.

Fall has become a season that’s synonymous with home improvement, but homeowners need not wait until the leaves begin changing colors to start planning their next projects. The following are a few items homeowners can add to their fall home improvement to-do lists.

Roof inspection

Less precipitation tends to fall during the warmer months than during the late fall and winter. As a result, homeowners may not be aware of leaky roofs until autumn has come and gone. But waiting until winter to inspect the roof can prove disastrous, as weather conditions will not be conducive to inspection and increased precipitation may result in potentially costly damage. Leaky roofs can be easily identified by looking for water stains on interior ceilings. Once you see a stain, you can climb onto the roof to identify the location of the leak and fix it before winter rains and snowfall turn the problem into something much larger. Inspect your ceilings for signs of leaking after a strong rainfall, and then address any leaks immediately.

Gutter cleaning

While some homeowners prefer to delay their gutter cleaning projects until late fall, those whose homes are surrounded by trees may need to schedule two such projects. Gutters clogged with leaves and other debris can cause serious roof damage, and that damage can extend all the way inside a home. In addition, clogged gutters make great nesting areas for insects or critters. Always stand on a ladder when cleaning gutters, wearing gloves to remove items by hand and dropping leaves and debris into a trash can below. Standing on the roof and leaning over gutters greatly increases your risk of injury. If the gutters are clear when you first examine them in early fall, you can wait until later in the season to give them a complete and thorough cleaning. Once you have finished clearing the gutters, you can use a hose to run water through them and the downspouts to confirm everything is functioning properly.

Window and doorway inspection

Before temperatures start dropping once again, homeowners will want to inspect their windows and doorways for leaks. Over time, cracks can develop around windows and doorways, and while such cracks are rarely noticeable when the weather outside is warm, they can be quite obvious and very costly if they remain unsealed come the start of winter. Cold air can enter a home through cracks around windows and doorways, and many homeowners who don’t suspect leaks may respond by turning up the thermostats in their homes. That can prove quite expensive over a full winter. Choose a windy autumn day to place a hand by windows and external doorways in your home to see if you can feel drafts. If you can, seal these cracks as soon as possible.

Patio cleanup

Patios are popular hangouts during spring and summer, and that can result in a lot of wear and tear. Once you store patio furniture for the winter, inspect your entire patio to determine if it needs any refurbishing. While certain patio projects may be best left for spring, you can still clean any stained areas around the grill and look for cracks in the sidewalk that need to be addressed.

Preparing for fall home improvement projects ahead of time can help homeowners complete projects in a timely manner and ensures they won’t be forced to brave the winter elements when refurbishing their homes.


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Help Kids Get Ready for Fall Sports Season

Summer is a season of relaxation, especially for school-aged children who are not yet old enough to work. Such youngsters no doubt enjoy the chance to spend summer days lounging poolside or at the beach, all without a care in the world or any homework to complete.

Though summer is synonymous with R&R, parents of young athletes who hope to compete in scholastic athletics when the school year begins in autumn may need to take steps to ensure their kids aren’t at risk of injury once the curtain comes up on fall sports season.

· Examine and replace equipment if necessary. The right equipment can protect kids from injury and help them realize their full athletic potential. But damaged or outdated equipment can increase kids’ risk of injury. Examine kids’ equipment long before fall sports season begins so you have time to bargain hunt should anything need to be replaced.

· Schedule a physical for your child. Many school districts mandate that athletes receive and pass physicals before they can compete. Speak with the athletic director at your child’s school to learn the guidelines that govern athletic physicals. The physical will need to be conducted by a predetermined date, but you may also need the physical to be conducted after a certain date for it to be considered valid. Speak with your child’s physician if any problems are found during the physical.

· Let kids heal. Kids’ schedules are busier than ever before, and many youngsters play several sports during the school year. Summer vacation may be the only extended period all year that youngsters’ bodies get to heal. While it’s important that kids stay physically active throughout the summer, make sure they don’t overdo it, as you should emphasize the importance of rest.

· Gradually get back in the swing of things. While rest gives kids’ bodies a chance to heal and develop, it’s important that young athletes stay in shape over the summer. As the fall sports season draws near, help kids gradually get back in the swing of things. Tryouts tend to be physically demanding, so kids who have not lifted a finger all summer may be at risk of injury or missing the cut. Let kids ease back into regular exercise to make sure they are not starting from scratch come their first tryout.

· Speak with coaches. Coaches can be great assets to parents who want to make sure their youngsters enjoy the summer without sacrificing their chances of making the team in the fall. Speak with kids’ coaches to determine if there is any area your son or daughter can work on over the summer to improve his or her chances of making the team. Make sure kids are the ones leading the charge to improve their games; otherwise, they may feel pressured into doing so and that can take away the fun of playing sports.

Scholastic athletes should take advantage of the opportunity to relax and recover that summer presents. But athletes who hope to compete in the fall can still work with their parents to ensure they’re ready once the school year and sports season begins.


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Fall Entertaining – Autumn Harvest Sangria

Today features a top pick for fun and fresh Fall entertaining – Autumn Sangria! While there are many variations available, Sangria requires minimal assembly and only a few basic ingredients.

Autumn Harvest Sangria

1 bottle red wine (or white!)
1 bottle sparkling apple cider
1 orange, peeled & sliced
1/4 c. molasses
1 c. dried apricots
2 apples, peeled, bite-size pieces
1/4 c. pomegranate seeds (garnish on top before serving)

Mix all ingredients together in a large punchbowl with ice, top with pomegranate seed garnish. Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite holiday punch recipe? Share in our Comment section below! 🙂

Stress Free Thanksgiving Tips

Less stress means more time for what matters – spending time with family and friends and reflecting on what we’re thankful for! Follow our top tips for making your holiday season less stressful!

*Plan a potluck – If you’re cooking the turkey, ask guests to bring a side or dessert. When everyone contributes it can lead to a more meaningful meal and a fun way to share favorite family recipes.

*Choose make-ahead recipes to save time & stress the day of! If you’re hosting, you can even set the table the day ahead to help save time.

*Switch up the traditional menu – try brunch! You can still have turkey too – turkey bacon, turkey sausage or how about a nice turkey tenderloin alongside quiche!

*Opt. for eating out – Skip the mess and cleanup all together by dining out this Thanksgiving!

*Donate your time to charity – Celebrate the holidays by giving back. Consider donating your time or goods to local charities in need.

Pumpkin DIY, Recipes & Health Benefits

With Fall in full swing, pumpkins are popping up everywhere from Autumn décor to the dinner table! There are many ways to utilize this fresh fall produce with both DIY home decorations and delicious recipe ideas.

  • DIY pumpkin decorations:
    • Spray paint – Go for the gold! Spray pumpkins in a gold shimmer for instant upscale Fall décor
    • Lace – Slip a black lace stocking over a pumpkin for an unusual gothic Halloween look
    • Ombre – Choose naturally colored pumpkins but display either stacked or lined up in order from light to dark – ombre effects are on trend for this Fall
  • Health benefits of pumpkin:
    • Low calorie
    • High in anti-oxidants – vitamins A, C, & E
    • Natural source of copper, calcium & potassium

Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe? Share in the Comments!

Fall Canning – Farm Fresh Flavor

If you’re planning on preserving your produce this fall harvest, it’s important to plan ahead and have all of the tools you’ll need. Being prepared can help save time, ease stress and make clean up a breeze! Preserving local fruits and veggies is a fun way to support your local community and savor the farm-fresh flavors all year long.

Must-haves for fall canning:
• Large soup pot or pressure canner
• Tongs
• Jars and lids
• Funnel, for easy fill-up of jars (mess-free!)

-> Visit a local store like Mountain View Farm & Garden to get your fall canning supplies!

Don’t forget, you’ll also need:
• Sugar
• Pectin
• Lemon Juice
• Butter (Add 1 TB and melt before canning jam or jelly to reduce foam!)

-> Stock up on apples & fall produce at Shatzer’s Fruit Market!

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Recipe Ideas for Fall Canning

Plan ahead to stock your shelves or whip up some tasty holiday treats!

• Apple Butter
• Peach Pie Filling
• Sliced Pears
• Classic Tomato Marinara Sauce
• Garden Salsa

What’s your favorite thing to can? Leave your recipe idea in the Comments!

Apple Butter: Fall Recipe Favorite

Fall apples are a fresh, Pennsylvania favorite! Autumn offers the pick of the litter when it comes to this locally produced fruit. Perfect for mid-day snacking, baked in a pie, or start canning now to have holiday presents for friends and family!

One classic way to preserve is by making apple butter. Apple butter has a long history in the Pennsylvania & Ohio areas – like tapping trees for maple syrup, it was often a big celebration, with families and friends all gathering to pitch in for this yearly tradition.
Apples are are peeled, corred and boiled to create this sweet and creamy fruit butter. Copper kettles were a mainstay of this tradition, kept with a fire underneath for an entire day to make a batch of apple butter. Now, apple butter can be made worry-free at home in a crock-pot or with some watch, on the stove.
To make your own apple butter at home, follow one of these recommended recipes:

Crock Pot Apple Butter

Classic All Day Apple Butter

Applesauce Apple Butter

What’s your favorite way to enjoy Fall apples? Fresh from the tree? Pie? Crisp? Carmel dipped? Share your Favorite in our Comments!