Fall ... a Favorite Time of Year

Fall! It's officially here, with drifting leaves and renegade snowflakes announcing the beginning of the cozying-in season.

I hope it's a favorite of yours, too. While most of us enjoy lots of outdoor time and trips away over the summer, it seems everyone turns their thoughts toward home a bit more come fall. Here are a few ideas to help you add some fall flavor to your home.

Sally's Secret Cinnamon Cider

  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1 cup-1 bag of red hot candies (choose your flavor level, wink!*)

Stir together on the stove over medium heat until hot. That's it! So much easier than bundles of spices, yummy, and makes your house smell amazing. I make the cider the real way, too, but when I have my Bible study crowds, I use the Apple cider and red hots as it is fast and goes a long way! (My mom used to do this!) Now, I have found mulling bags at Whole Foods and I place one bag in a cup of organic apple juice for my sweet ones and sit by the fire and soak in being with them.

Caramel Apples

These may seem tricky, and they're very expensive at the fairs and candy shops, but you can make your own quite easily! Only three ingredients:

  • 6 firm apples (green Granny Smiths are great, as their tart taste balances the caramel's sweetness)
  • 1 pkg individually wrapped caramels
  • 2 Tbs. water

aaaannnnddd ... that's it! Of course, you also need wooden craft sticks of some sort (sometimes they come in the bag, or check the craft store!)

Prepare first a cookie sheet or tray by covering it with tin foil which you then spray or butter. This will give you a place to put the dipped apples and an easy way to get them into the fridge for "setting time." Insert wooden sticks about 3/4 into the stem end of apples. Unwrap caramels and place into saucepan; add the 2 Tbs. water and melt over medium heat, stirring smooth. Holding apples by wooden sticks, dip into caramel, turning to coat evenly and scraping off excess on side of pan if necessary. Place apples on greased foil, then refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

If you do want to get fancy, a shake of chopped nuts or candy leaf sprinkles while the caramel is still soft, or even a drizzle of melted chocolate after it sets can take them up a notch!

My mama also did this every year and I thought she was a gourmet cook! :)


To make things pretty, you might consider creating a fall tablecloth you bring out only during this season! There are many lovely prints available in hues of brown, gold, crimson and purple. If you want lots of choices for little money, consider buying a few yards of a fall-y print from the craft store; no sewing necessary--just cut the edges with pinking sheers (I still have one I created many years ago this way! I got 3 yards and spread it out on our very long table and had 18 sit at our fall table for cupcakes and cider.)

Did you know you can turn a plain pumpkin into something special with just some glue and a bit of glitter? The kids like to get in on this one. Pour a bit of glue onto a paper plate and add water to make it "paintable." Then use a small foam brush to brush the glue onto your pumpkins. A few shakes of gold, clear or orange glitter and you've got a pumpkin all ready to grace the table with no messy cutting necessary!

I hope you're looking forward to the snuggly season as much as I am!

 Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a mentoring session--we will be announcing the winners at our Facebook party for the launch of MomHeart Online/TheBetterMom's next Book Club selection, Dancing With My Father! Join us on the MomHeart Facebook page Thursday, October 11th at 9pm EST for all the fun!