Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Coffee Chats: Fall Fun

Coffee Chats

Holly: Ok, let’s get the important stuff out of the way: what is your legal addictive stimulant of choice this week?

Nicole: Seatles Best Hazlenut (sensing a pattern? Seatles Best was on sale)

Holly: Gotta love sales!

Nicole: Yeah, it was BOGO and I had $1/1 coupons, so thats technically $2 off one, plus one free...can't go wrong.

Holly : Ha, that's the reason my computer is running crazy slow right now...I’m trying to print coupons for milk and cream cheese. {, if you all are interested}

Nicole: Smart lady

Holly: And I’m thoroughly enjoying Folgers Vanilla Biscotti.

Ok, so: fall. Does it feel like fall in Florida right now?

Nicole: Absolutely not! We are still feeling the summer vibe down here - 80+ degrees most days. Right now it is 83, and it has been overcast all day. What about in North Carolina?

Holly: We're getting there. Slowly. The weekend we moved was really cold, wearing sweatshirts cold, but it got back up to the 80's recently. I just heard today that we may hit as low as the 30's by the end of this week though. Here's hoping!

Nicole: Brr! As much as I like the heat, hearing everyone else talk about the fall weather almost makes me miss fall in Maine, where I grew up. Almost.

Holly: You like the warmer weather better now?

Nicole: I really, really don't like to be cold. Heat all the time is fine with me, but at the same time, the thought of getting out a sweatshirt or fleece jacket is slightly enticing.

Holly : Yeah, I'm itching to pull out my sweaters. I have quite the collection since I grew up in Ohio. It's pathetic really. The weeks from September to the end of December are my absolute favorite, so I am so excited that it's that time of year again!

Nicole: I used to have a huge collection of sweaters and such, but then I didn't need as many when I lived in NC. So when I moved to Nova Scotia in September of last year, I had to re-stock, and here I am not needing them again. Le Sigh.

Holly: So, of all the places you've lived, which do you think has the prettiest fall colors and such?

Nicole: MAINE!!!!!!

Uh, {cough} Maine.

I only saw one fall season in Nova Scotia, and it isn't too much different there, but Maine has so many more trees that it looks even more brilliant.

Holly: I'm sure it's beautiful

Nicole: Does Ohio get pretty leaves?

Holly: Autumn is Ohio's season to completely show off. Between the beautiful trees and the acres of picturesque cornfields, I think it's the most beautiful state in the country this time of year.

I may be slightly biased, however.

Nicole: Possibly :)

Maine has a lot of cornfields, too, unlike North Carolina's dead pathetic looking stalks.

Holly: Ha! That about describes it. One thing I love about NC in the fall is all the apple orchards. I love, love, love apples, especially this time of year!

Nicole: Apple pie, apple cider, apple crisp...yup, I officially miss fall weather now. And pumpkins!

Holly: Yes! Pumpkin bars, pies, cookies, everything!

Nicole: Did you know that Dunkin Donuts has pumpkin coffee this time of year? I have yet to try it, but just thought I'd throw that out there.

{Can anyone out there give a thumbs up/down for Dunkin Donuts’ pumpkin coffee??}

A pumpkin latte sounds divine!

Holly: Yes it does! I've already had an apple cider latte, and let me tell you, those are to die for!

Nicole: Ok, jealousy alert. That sounds good too. What were those apple cider somethings we used to get in the coffee shop at Ambassador?

Holly: Oh, I can't remember, but they were yummy!

Nicole: Hot apple cider with caramel, I think. To.die.for.

Holly: And, we can't forget the food highlight of fall: Thanksgiving!

Nicole: Of course! Actually, it looks like I might miss Thanksgiving altogether this year.

Holly: Oh no! Tragedy! Why?

Nicole: Canada's Thanksgiving is in October, and I will still be in the States. The USA celebrates Thanksgiving at the end of November, and I will be back in Canada! Go figure, right?

Holly: Wow, that stinks.

Nicole: But since we are Americans, perhaps I can convince my mom to cook a Thanksgiving dinner on American Thanksgiving. Just for my sake. I can't miss Thanksgiving, that’s the only day I express thanks all year long. {Just kidding!}

Holly: I'm sure she would, complete with ham and strawberry sauce!

Nicole: Ah yes, you've spent Thanksgiving with us before, apparently.

Holly: Four years in a row! And boy, did I miss you all last year.

Nicole: It is a Risinger tradition to make a Turkey and a Ham...and no ham is complete without homemade strawberry sauce.

Holly: Amen.

Nicole: Do you have a Thanksgiving tradition? Besides the four spent at my house?

Holly: Oddly enough, not really. Some years we were at my Grandparents' house, others we stayed home. They always included turkey of course, and all the trimmings. Funny story about turkey: One year we were at our house for Thanksgiving and had just looked up from asking the blessing when two turkeys ran past our window. It was the most ironic thing in the world.

Nicole: Yes! One year when I lived in Maine we had a whole flock of them in our backyard on Thanksgiving morning! Of course, it wasn't turkey "season" so no one could shoot the things. I think the turkeys were rubbing it in.

Holly: That's what I think too.

Nicole: Do you remember the year my mom left the stuffing in the oven?

Holly: Yes! I'm sure your family ate dressing for a long time after that day!

{Note to our readers: do you call it stuffing or dressing?}

Nicole: {Please say stuffing}

Holly: Stuffing goes in the bird!

Nicole: Ahem.

Here’s the story for you readers: My mom left the stuffing in the oven to keep it warm until we were ready to eat. You know the rest...she never took it out. We did eat stuffing in every way imaginable for weeks. There is a lot you can do with it!

So, did you decorate your house for fall?

Holly: Well, this year is a little different since we just moved and I'm still figuring out where to put regular decorating stuff, let alone seasonal stuff. But I have my leaf garland thing on our piano again this year, and a sweet friend gave me a cute little ceramic pumpkin as a house-warming gift, so I have that out as well. And this is the time of year I put candles absolutely everywhere since they just make a room so cozy. What about you?

Nicole: I've been completely uninspired for two reasons:

1) I am not living in my own house so I don't have any of my fall decor with me and

2) It doesn't feel like fall here.

My extent of fall-ness was picking up fall colored and scented candles for the votive holders on my counter. They smell sooooo good!

Holly: What scents?

Nicole: Hot cider, bamboo, and cranberry zest.

Holly: I have some hazelnut ones that Andrew got me. They make me want coffee every time I light them!

Nicole: Mmm, yummy! There is so much you can do to decorate for fall. So many good ideas out there! {Don't let my lack of decorative-ness deter you!}

{At the end of this post, we're going to have a list of some great ideas for all you lovely readers.}

Growing up, my mom always decorated with a lot of pumpkins, gourds, and cornstalks. Easy, cheap decorating, since we grew all three ourselves!

Holly: I love the new white pumpkins people are using everywhere these days too.

Nicole: My Nana always had Indian corn. Always.

Holly: So does my Granny, what a coincidence!

Nicole: Do you like candy corn?

Holly: I could eat a whole bag. In one sitting. It's my absolute favorite, hand's down.

{Tip for everyone: buy it on November 1. It's crazy-cheap then.}

Nicole: I don't care as much for the pumpkin-shaped ones...too much of a good thing, in my opinion.

Holly: I don't like the chocolate candy corn, personally. Have you seen those?

Nicole: Yeah, not my favorite either. I like the "normal" kind the best.

Holly: Ok, and I already mentioned one of the best parts about fall: Christmas is right around the corner! We'll definitely have a Christmas Coffee Chat in a couple months right?

Nicole: I think we'll have to have more than one. There is so much about Christmas to talk about!!!

Holly: Absolutely.

Nicole: That is one nice thing about Thanksgiving being early in get to decorate for Christmas that much earlier!

Holly: Great point.

Nicole: Do you have any fall traditions? Any particular activities you like to do in the fall?

Holly: In Ohio I loved corn mazes, but NC's cornfields are, shall we say, a little too sparse for that. Bonfires are another favorite activity.

Nicole: You know I went through my very first corn maze last year? Pathetic, aren't I.

Holly: Did you like it?

Nicole: Yes, it was drizzling, but still fun.

Holly: I get hopelessly lost, but that's the best part!

Nicole: My home church always had their church picnic in September. It was always an all-day event with lots of food, pie and cookie contests, bobbing for apples, etc. The day ended with a bonfire and s'mores by a river. It was a highlight of the year.

Holly: Now that's what I call a real fall celebration! I never really liked bobbing for apples. It's a little gross if you think about it!

Nicole: Yeah, I don't think I could do it anymore, either. {I'm gagging just thinking about it.} But as a kid I didn't think of that. Hay rides kind of go with the territory, too, don't you think?

Holly: Yes! Those are all kinds of fun no matter what your age is! And s'mores over a fire just make fall, well, fall!

Nicole: Yes, that is for sure.

Holly: I don’t know about y’all, but this chat is making me want to go on a hayride to a bonfire right now!

We’ve included a few fun decor links at the bottom of this post in case anyone is in need of some great fall inspiration. And we want to hear from y’all: What is your favorite part about fall? Any great decor tips to share? Do you prefer your marshmallows toasted or burnt? And help us settle the great debate: stuffing or dressing?

Here is a whole list of pumpkin recipes!

Tips on how to transition your wardrobe from summer wear to fall styles

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese muffins

Ca-ute Fall wreath

Holly's Autumn Pinterest Board

Emily's coffee filter wreath tutorial

Candy Corn: it's not just for eating

Nicole's Fall Pinterest Board

It's Fall, Y'all link party: fall mantels

Fall recipes

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