Thursday, August 28, 2008

Getting Ready for Fall

Here in Florida, we really don't have a noticeable change in the seasons. Trees and plants all still maintain their lush colors throughout the fall and winter. The only real difference we feel is the drop in humidity, the cooler evening temperatures and watching the storefronts change their displays to oranges and golds.

With September quickly approaching, here's a short list of things you can do to get ready so that you can spend less time stressing more time actually enjoying the season.

1) I'm not much of a cook, but I LOVE to bake. And Fall is my favorite season for donning an apron and oven mitt and pretending to be Betty Crocker. While it's not as fun as baking, now is a good time to clean out and organize your cupboards and inventory baking tools. Do you need anything new? Now's a good time to make that list and go shopping for it.

2) Stock your pantry. There are many common dry good that are sometimes hard to come by during the season, such as brown sugar, cinnamon, canned pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, etc. Start stocking up on these items as you do your regular grocery shopping. That way you'll be relaxed and prepared to have a fun day in the kitchen without having to run out to get something you forgot, or traveling from store to store unable to find it.

3) This may seem like a better suggestion for Summer or Spring, but here in Florida, Fall and Winter are the better outdoor seasons. I know it's a chore, but clean your grill and lawn furniture so that it's ready when you want to have a spontaneous backyard party. Get an extra pat on the back for going "green" and check out my eco-friendly cleaner recipe that's great for outdoor furniture and grills.

4) Get ready for the fresh cooler air ... have your windows cleaned! I know, I know, another boring chore. But you'll be thankful during our first spell of cool weather when you can pop open hour home's windows and not get your fingers blackened with screen dust and dirt. If it is something that you're not up to doing yourself, then hire a professional window cleaner. We did and it was surprisingly affordable! If you must do it yourself, one piece of advise they gave me was to use a q-tip to get into the corners of the window track.

5) Okay, on to something more fun. Shopping! It's never too early to start for the holidays. Create a 'gift trunk' and start collecting things now to make your holiday season a little less stressful without having to search for that perfect gift. With the economy feeling a little tighter this year, it will seem less overwhelming both in time and money spent to start now. It is 16 weeks until Christmas. If you bought one gift a week from now until then, you could use that extra time having fun and drinking wine at holiday parties rather than late-night-last-minute gift shopping. Check out the Craft Fair in Mount Dora coming up in October for some unique gift items and a fun festival to boot!

What is something you enjoy doing to get ready for the season? Let us know and comment below!

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