We’ve just started to turn the corner here in Arizona and it’s finally starting to feel a bit like fall – my favorite season of the year. The scents, the food, the holidays, and there’s nothing better than stepping outside into that first crisp fall morning of the season. NOTHING.
I also love preparing for a new season. I actually like preparing for everything, right?! Packing for a trip, prepping food, getting ready for the week ahead and just getting in the mood … it’s just something that makes me happy.
So combine the two and here we have my guide for welcoming the fall season. Quick fall recipe ideas, home updates, cleaning ideas, style finds, and ways to make this cozy season more inviting, beautiful, and fun for you and your family.
S O F T H O M E A C C E N T S
I don’t think there is a hard rule that you have to use red, oranges, yellows and browns for fall decorating. I actually don’t like warm colors in general and prefer neutrals like white, black, and cream and my favorite colors blue and green. So you won’t find me replacing my throw pillows or changing bedding with fall colors and prints. Instead, I like to create the FEELING of fall by using textures, scents, and small hints here and there. Just like dressing for fall, it’s adding soft and warm layers to your home by making sure throws are easily draped on chairs and couches in each room, and putting clusters of small white pumpkins, tall branches in a vase, and votives on shelves around the house. If there is any color I will use as a fall accent, it’s touches of gold (I use frosty silver for Christmas.) I did buy three orange mini pumpkins for the girls but that’s where it stopped – even our outdoor pumpkins are all white and black.
S W E A T E R C A R E
For an Arizona girl, it’s pretty surprising how many sweaters I have. I just love the feel and look of sweaters. My favorite kinds have a good drape, are soft, wear well, and are made in solid colors and easy cuts. I love wearing them with jeans, leggings, and a fall date-night look I often put on is black or white jeans with a sweater and great heels. It’s a very effortless look. To keep sweaters looking newer longer, this year I’m using a sweater comb to de-fuzz a few that has some pilling from lots of wear last year. And any that have had an accidental spin in the dryer and shrunk or gotten a little crumpled with storage, a steamer works miracles. I don’t think I could live without this steamer.
S T A S H S U M M E R I T E M S
One thing I did this year was stow away items from our summer Disney trip as a kit (autograph books, pens, bubble machines, character PJs and clothing, hats, and collector pins.) That way the next time we go to Disneyland, whether it be in the winter or summer, it’s all there for the girls’ suitcase as a set and I’m not rounding them all up again from areas of the home AND I don’t have to re-buy anything at Disney that I don’t need to (right??) I took the opportunity of the end of a season to be better prepared for the next time it rolls around. You can do this with pool toys, beach gear, outdoor gear, summer camp items, etc. Just clean them and then store away for next year. I used my favorite zip pouches (similar ones on amazon here which I also have) and labeled them with a label maker, but you could also use a lidded bin.
T U R N T O W A R M E R H E R B S A N D S P I C E S
It’s easy to bring fall into the kitchen with simple herbs and spices. I replace the essential summer flavors like lemon, cilantro, mint, basil and parsley with warming and comforting cumin, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin spice, rosemary, thyme, and sage. With these swaps, you can make any simple everyday items more “fall” by adding a dash of the above to your usual cookie recipe, pancakes, veggies, pasta, meats, etc. Like, literally – all you have to do is sprinkle it on and ta-da : FALL. Small touches like fried sage in your pasta, cumin or nutmeg added to roasted veggies, cinnamon to ice cream sundaes or pumpkin spice added to your usual coffee all go to add that scent and feeling of fall to you and your family’s plate or cup.
S W I T C H U P S I D E D I S H E S
Speaking of food, I love the seasonal veggies of fall and bringing in new side dishes for a meal. It’s an easy way to keep serving your go-to, favorite main dishes but add a little fall flavor by pairing them up with roasted delicata squash, creamy polenta, crisp sauteéd brussels sprouts with bacon and onion (one of my favorites) and kale salad topped with cranberries, apples, and pumpkin seeds.
C O Z I E R H O M E S C E N T S
One major “layer” I use in the home for fall are scents. I go totally #basic when it comes to fall and scented candles. I put them everywhere. I want my home, previously chilled with AC with notes of fresh lemon and green, to suddenly feel like the middle of an inviting bakery or cozy cafe with all those comforting scents. While I love a good pumpkin scent, I prefer apple; I think it reminds me more of the true fall scent out in nature. My favorites are Cider Lane (which always sells out fast) and Pumpkin Apple from Bath and Body Works (they just know how to do seasonal scents.) However, I have been trying to get into more natural candles and home scents and have been peeking at this list of a little more lusher scents that I might give a try this year.
S K I N P R E P
My favorite face mask happens to be perfect for fall : Emme Diane’s Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. It does everything you would want a mask to do, and while the scent is amazing year-round, it just couldn’t be more fitting for fall. I love giving this as a gift, too, because it really works for any skin type and is cruelty free, non-acne triggering, and anti-aging. Use code MIKA10 for 10% off your purchase! My lips always end to be on the dry side so I love to use a lip scrub especially in the drier months and as the seasons change. I put on about once a week or as needed between washing my face and getting ready. Currently using this one from Tarte.
U P D A T E F A L L B A S I C S
It’s always nice to refresh your basics every season. These are the base of your fall looks, and this year I’ve added a few new looks. I’ve discovered a great long-sleeve tee, and am picking up a few new darker washes of my favorite denim. I live in these budget-friendly soft sweats (hoodie and joggers) on the weekends. I also love Ugg boots and I don’t care what anyone says about them. They are like sweaters for your feet. I bought these Ugg slippers last year and you bet I’ve already pulled them out. They sold out – but I just found them restocked in all the colors here!!! You will love these.
F A L L C L E A N I N G
I don’t believe deep cleaning your home should be limited to once a year just in spring – I like to add a “fall clean!” Think of all the things you like to do for spring cleaning in your home – and do it in the fall. It really helps to have less to do in the spring AND makes your home sparkle a bit more for the holiday season before you entertain or have guests. This includes carpet, wood, tile, and upholstery cleaning; spot-cleaning rugs; cleaning light fixtures; wiping out drawers and cabinets; and seeing if any linens needed to be replaced. I use professional cleaning for flooring and upholstery but we also have this spot cleaning machine that really works (it’s meant for the carpet but I’ve used it on upholstery too!) I also jot down any items that need to be fixed and hand them to Russ or pass it along to our handyman. Of course I wouldn’t forget organizing : this is also a great time to organize your closet in preparation for cool weather. I go through everything and especially for the kids that grow out of things each year, I make room for sweaters and jeans by taking out the tanks and sundresses. I store anything I keep but store away in these weather-tight bins.
If you have any fall recommendations, let me know by commenting or sending me a DM on Instagram @mikaperry. Especially if you have any favorite fall baking recipes (Tip : I made Simple Mills Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins with added cinnamon above – it’s so simple, like it’s name implies, and really good. Paige-approved. But up next I will be trying this paleo apple muffin recipe from Weeknight Bite.)
Happy fall everyone,
S H O P T H E P O S T