* Launder down comforter, autumn duvet and shams. Pulled out the fall/winter bedding for the master bedroom last month and got the bed made up. There is something nice about changing it up every six months or so.
* Buy new flannel sheets/Christmas sheets for the kids beds. Last year it never really got cold due to our lack of having a real winter and so I never got new flannel sheets for our bed. On the flip side last year we did buy AG some Grinch flannel sheets for his twin bed and he LOVED them. Well, this summer when we flipped the kids rooms and moved AKs to the twin bed AG had a major meltdown because his sister had now inherited his twin Grinch sheets. (He's now in a queen!) So we promised him that we would get him another set when Pottery Barn Kids started carrying them again...well they should be here sometime this week. Hallelujah! I had to do some work to be able to track them down but both kids will be nice and warm this winter in their favorite sheets.
* Review housekeeping routines; adjust as necessary. I'm in the process of reviewing all of this...what worked last year is not working this year. Granted things have changed and life looks different with a husband who is working from home 95% of the time.
* Check on snow gear: boots, jackets, pants, hats, gloves, etc. If anybody needs new things, purchase or order them now. (Not a huge priority but it doesn’t hurt to have stuff on hand in case we get snow.)
* Same goes for winter pajamas and slippers. The kids start wearing footed fleece pjs late in October till at least March. Due to the fact that they wear footed pjs I haven't worried so much yet about them having slippers. Part of the reason we keep them in footed pjs is because our house is old and is mainly wood/tile floors. (Both of the kids bedrooms have hardwoods.) Anyways, I purchase fleece pjs a season ahead when they are clearanced out so I pay a fraction of the cost. AG's retail for around $35 a pair and I pay around $10 while Avi-Kate's retail around $22 and I pay around $6 a pair. The other perk to this is I have them on hand whenever we need them. These have been washed and are ready to go in the drawers. It's suppose to get to the low 40s later this week and we will for sure be putting the kids in them then.
* Tweak the menu plan to reflect the season - heartier meals, fall fruits and veggies. While painting yesterday Andy and I made a list of meals we need to make that we haven't had in a long time/fit the season.
* Schedule a work-in-the-yard Saturday to rake, clean up garden debris, store outdoor furniture, etc. The leaves and acorns haven't begun falling yet around us so this will be come a priority in the coming weeks.
* Plant spring bulbs (snowdrops, crocus, daffodils, tulips) before the ground freezes. I need to pick some up at the store when I pick up mums/pansies for the pots.
* Plan a fall foliage jaunt for one Sunday afternoon to Berry.
* Prepare homemade cocoa mix, mulling spice bundles and replenish tea drawer as necessary.
* Visit the farmers market for autumn keepers: apples, onions, potatoes, squash.
* Plan Fall Break Trip. Not this year...due to life and the chaos over the last few months we are having a stay-cation. Hence the reason why I'm blogging mid-day in my pjs and the kids are snuggled on the couch watching a movie. We are doing some work projects around the house and doing some fall-ish activities with the kids...it's been a nice long weekend so far.
* Schedule cars for regular maintenance. Acadia is due for a tune-up...
* Plan out football game weekend plans for UGA homegames. Ha. This hasn't gone the way I thought it would this year BUT that's okay. It's been a learning curve and very insightful. As our kids age it gives us lots to figure out/process as far as what we want to do with our tickets.
* Plan a night to visit the county fair. Coosa Valley Fair was last week and we opted not to go on purpose because of Avi-Kate. She wants to ride EVERYTHING these days but she'd be limited due to her height. And she doesn't really understand why she can't do stuff. (Plus AG tends to be more reserved/cautious while AKs is more the daredevil...so she'd want to ride things that AG wouldn't!) Hopefully next year we can try this with the kids.
* Stop by Starbucks for a fall treat. :) Done. The day after the LSU game I had no voice from screaming so on the way to church I had to get a hot apple cider. It was perfect.
* Head to Starbucks the week before Thanksgiving to buy 2013 Holiday ornaments.
* Put away summer outside activities. (Pool, water table, etc. Winterize sandbox)
* Inventory craft supplies and note what needs replenishing. (Keep in mind holiday projects with the kids and long dark winter days ahead.)
* Stock up on cold and flu season necessaries: vitamins/supplements, herbal teas, honey drops, medicines.
* Make birdfeeders with the kids to hang in the tree out back so they can watch the birds from the big window in the den. Last year I collected a whole bag of pinecones from the farm to do this project and we never got to it. Hopefully we can do this once the leaves fall off the cherry tree in the back. (It's right outside the picture window in the den and will provide a nice spot for them to 'bird watch'.
* Arrange fall mums, asters and pumpkins around front steps. Needs to be done ASAP. Should have been done before Mtn. Day...hoping to do this with AG today or tomorrow while he's on fall break.
* Begin a holiday planner - assemble Thanksgiving and Christmas lists, etc. Excited about making this year's planner(s) now that I have a Silhouette machine to do all the cutting. More on this later when I get it finished.
* Fall family picture session. I need to get this on the books with Carrie Jo. Thankfully, we see a LOT more of her these days now that Andy is working with her Dad.
* Fresh pinestraw for the outside beds.
* Launder cozy throw blankets; store in large basket handy to gathering areas. A few weeks back I found a large canvas bin with handles that is perfect for all our fleece blankets. It is now tucked behind the chair in the den and easily accessible.
* Set out fall book basket. Done. I've already started thinking about what I need to add to it for November.
* Set out autumn decor including table linens, candles, garlands and candles with seasonal filler. Started working on this a few weeks ago but it's kind of at a standstill since we are in the middle of painting several rooms at the moment...pictures to come.
* Decide on Halloween costumes early, allow for any orders/delivery time. AG has requested to be a Braves baseball player and Avi-Kate changes her mind every. single. day. I wish this was already done but I need to finalize stuff this week. In years past I've been more on top of this.
* Set up a gratitude tree ahead of Thanksgiving. Been mulling how I want to do it this year...still thinking this one out but I have several possibilities. PLUS this year I can use my Silhouette to help me it. I'm thinking I'll work on this while I'm doing holiday notebook stuff this week.
* Make and freeze pie crusts and sugar cookie dough for the holidays.
* Buy Christmas stamps at the end of October.
* Fall toys rotated out of the attic. We are due for a rotation in the next few weeks before Thanksgiving. Now that we don't keep any toys in the den (minus the current seasonal Little People playset that stays on the bookshelf) I don't feel like I'm going crazy/over run with toys in the living spaces.
* Find a skinny, pre-lit alpine tree for our Jesse Tree ornaments. Last year I used a small tree and placed it on our kitchen table...worked great for last year. However, this year we downsized the kitchen table to a cafe table and the old table is in the attic. Which means I've got some reorganizing to do when it comes to where we put stuff. I may hold off another year on the alpine tree and just use the tree we had last year but put it somewhere else since it can't sit on the kitchen table. In addition, now that we don't have all the kids toys in the den I've been talking to Andy about us getting a small, skinny pre-lit tree to put in the den for the kids to decorate. (Our live tree that we cut down goes in the front of the house in the dining room so that people can see it from the street.) AG likes this idea and has talked about setting up his monorail around the tree in the den. :) We'll see what I come up with.
* Start decorating for Christmas before we head out for Thanksgiving since we will be gone to Disney on vacation following Thanksgiving Day. Growing up this would have bothered me greatly but the older I get the more I enjoy pulling all this stuff out and getting in the spirit early. (I may or may not on occasion already be listening to some Christmas music on my Pandora Station while cooking dinner.) It won't be all done but there is a huge chunk that I can start on before we leave. That way when we return we can get our live tree and do the outside that first weekend back.
* Visit Bath and Body Works to get hand soaps for all the sinks and a fall candle. Hand soaps purchased already and put out. Candles...I purchased three late this summer and got a ridiculous deal. I got three candles for $22 between sales + coupons + store credit. I was quite pleased. I need to go purchase my winter/Christmas soap that I love so much. A coupon arrived the other day and I need to make a trip to the mall to go pick up what I want before the run out. For the fall I love to use Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin and for the holidays I love to use Winter Cranberry.
* Inventory food and organize the freezer. Need to reorganize and I need to replenish my stock of foods on hand in the freezer. I have plans this week to make soup bases and freeze them. And our new Publix opens Wednesday and I'm beyond excited about being able to shop at Publix frequently now. (Especially with the holiday season upon us!)
* Map out fall semester Family Dinners with the college family. Done and I've already got tentative dates for a few of them.
* Prepare for Mtn. Day Weekend (Berry’s Homecoming of sorts.) Mtn. Day was great and we enjoyed having friends and family over all weekend.
* Make pumpkin seeds after carving pumpkins in late October.