2016 Favorites

I know we’re already 11 days into the year, so it might be a little late to still be talking about 2016, but I’ve kind of been getting a slow start to this year. In fact, I really haven’t given much thought to my goals for the year yet…this blog is called Grace to Grow, right? So I’m giving myself to grow into 2017 slowly. There’s nothing magical about January 1st! So in the meantime, I thought I would share some of my favorite things from last year.

TV Shows: When Calls the Heart, Designated Survivor, and Fixer Upper // Last winter I started watching When Calls the Heart, and I loved it! Something about the sweet community and the simpler times made it the perfect show to watch while working on an embroidery project. This fall, we also started watching Designated Survivor, and it’s been really good! It’s a really intriguing concept, and fascinating to think about how a situation like that might really play out. It’s a good inside look into life as the President, too. And then, of course, everyone’s favorite: Fixer Upper! It’s been popular for a while, but I didn’t start watching it until the newest season started in November. My sister and I watched quite a few episodes while she was home for Christmas break, and now we’re hooked 😉

New (to me) Authors: Sibella Giorello and Sarah Sundin  // I couldn’t pick just one favorite author I found last year! They have really different writing styles and they write in really different genres, but I really love their books 🙂 Sibella Giorello writes the Raleigh Harmon mystery series about a really smart, capable, FBI agent who works on some really tough cases. Sarah Sundin writes WWII romance, and her most recent series has a little bit of mystery too! I’ve either read or ordered every book by both of these authors, and I can’t wait for their next books!

Kindle Unlimited Author: Jenn Faulk // I read a few of Jenn Faulk’s books during my free trial of Kindle Unlimited, and I was really excited when my parents gave me a year’s subscription for Christmas! I’ve already read 15 of her books since Christmas 🙂

New Series: Montana Rescue by Susan May Warren // My favorite new series that started in 2016 is definitely the Montana Rescue series by Susan May Warren, including the Montana Fire prequel series that came out in the summer. I can’t wait for the next three books in the series to come out this year, starting with a new one at the end of this month!

New Book: The Magnolia Story // I read so much last year, I’m really having to stretch to come up with different categories for all my favorite books 🙂 So my favorite new stand-alone book from 2016 is The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines! I read it right after I started watching their show, Fixer Upper, and I loved getting to hear about how they met, how they got their business going, and how they’ve overcome the challenges they’ve faced. Now when I watch the show I feel like I know them a little bit better!

Podcast: The Boundless Show // I never really listened to podcasts before 2016, but now I have several that I really like! My favorite, though, would have to be the Boundless Show by Focus on the Family. It’s geared toward single adults, especially young adults, and I love the variety of topics they cover.

Blog: Phylicia Delta // Phylicia’s blog is one of my all-time favorites, and I always read every one of her posts. I especially enjoyed her productivity series in December, and I love that she does live videos on Facebook to go along with a lot of her posts!

Blog Post: I haven’t written a whole lot of blog posts, since I just started blogging in September, but I think this post was one of my favorites to write. I love reliving the vacation my family took to Alaska! That was the best vacation we’ve been on, and we all have so many fun memories.

Instagram Photo: I love this photo I posted last April! It really shows how crazy our weather can be in the spring 😉 Plus, it turns out that this is one of the most recent pictures we have of our dog, who had to be put down in October.

Well, now that I’ve relived some favorite moments from 2016, it’s time to get started on planning for 2017!

What were some of your 2016 favorites?

2016: Year in Review

We’re in the final days of 2016, and honestly, I’m glad it’s almost over. This has not been one of my favorite years, mostly because of my job situation and struggling with finding a purpose and some semblance of a career. That struggle is definitely not over, but I’m hoping it gets better in 2017! It’s been kind of a rough year for our country too, with terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and of course our recent contentious election. But there have been some really good things about this year too, and that’s what I want to focus on today! So here’s what went down in 2016.

January: I don’t remember too much about January, honestly! But I do remember one fun day I had with my grandmother, when we went to New Hampshire to see Ted Cruz speak. We left early in the morning, stopped for coffee on the way, and got to go out to lunch after. It turned out to be a really fun day!

February: In February, I got to spend a few days house- and dog-sitting for my grandparents while they were traveling. It was fun to get a little taste of living on my own! Then, my parents and I were able to spend a weekend visiting my sister at college.

March: March was a busy month! We had our presidential caucus, which I volunteered at, right at the beginning of my sister’s spring break. Then I had my wisdom teeth out a few days later. That wasn’t exactly fun, but I’m glad my sister was home! I’m pretty sure March was also the month I bought my blog domain and hosting, but I didn’t start writing for a while.

April: A lot of fun things happened in April! Near the beginning of the month, I made my first solo road trip down to visit my sister for her birthday (and a Newsboys concert!). Then at the end of the month, I was elected to be a delegate to the Republican National Convention in July.

May: In May, I started my job as part-time secretary at the Christian school I graduated from. My sister came home from college for the summer, and a week or so later, we had family come in from all over the country for my grandfather’s 80th birthday party.

June: Nothing really big or exciting happened in June; it was more of fun memories of spending time with my sister. We went to the beach, went to Panera a few times for lattes and scones, went to Bible study, went shopping, did errands…plus, school got out, so I was able to switch to working half days!

July: This was the month when I did the biggest, craziest thing I’ve probably ever done! My mom, sister, and I drove to Cleveland with one of my mom’s friend for the RNC. I was a delegate, my mom and her friend were alternates, and my sister was along for the ride ? It was quite an experience, and definitely an honor to represent my state. I’m so glad we could go, and even though my dad had to stay home and work, it was a fun family road trip with the added bonus of our friend! Another fun event was the wedding I got to take pictures of with my sister. That was my first time as her second shooter!

August: The Rio Olympics were this month! It’s always fun to watch our athletes (and see the USA blow every other country out of the water!), and I especially loved watching the women’s gymnastics. I wish I could be friends with those girls! We also spent this month trying to do fun things before my sister had to go back to college, like getting up super early to drive to the beach and see the sunrise. Then my mom and I drove my sister back to school and got her settled in at the end of the month.

September: I tried my hand selling something at our small town fair! We’ve talked about it for years, and this year we finally decided to sell iced coffee. My family helped a lot; we just wished my sister could have been there! She did come home a couple of weeks later for my birthday, and we had a great weekend going to a for KING & COUNTRY concert and going to a high school football game for the first time! This was also the month I really started blogging, at least semi-regularly ?

October: In October, I got to drive down and visit my sister for her fall break! It was just a 3-day weekend, but we got to do a lot of fun things because she didn’t have classes, work, or much homework. Plus, almost everyone had gone home for the break, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves!

November: The first fun thing about November was that a Chick-fil-A finally opened in my home state! It’s an hour and a half away, but we did get to make the trip the first weekend it was open, and it seemed like everyone in the state had the same idea. I also started my second job as a grocery store cashier, to add to my school secretary income. Then, of course, we celebrated Thanksgiving and started getting ready for Christmas.

December: December was a busy but fun month, getting ready for Christmas! At the beginning of the month, my mom and I spent a couple of weekends helping with the Christmas Spectacular at our church. My sister came home around the middle of the month, and I had a couple of weeks off from my job at the school. We had a great Christmas, going to church on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, then celebrating with my dad’s family that afternoon.

And now here we are! It’s been a year of highs and lows for sure. I love taking this time between Christmas and New Year’s to reflect on the good memories, try to learn from my mistakes, and figure out where I want to be this time next year and how I can get there. I’m excited for 2017 and my dreams and goals for this blog, and I would be honored if you want to follow along!

How was your 2016?

The Light Has Come

Today is the day we’ve been waiting for. Our Messiah is finally here!

There were 400 years between the Old and New Testaments. 400 years of silence from God, 400 years of waiting, wondering, the memory fading…no prophets to speak on His behalf, to remind them of His promise to send a Messiah who would finally fulfill the Law. 400 years of wondering if it was real, if He had really talked to them, if He was really coming to save them like He promised…and then He came. Quietly, humbly, without fanfare, born in a stable to a poor teenage girl and her fiance. Under the radar of everyone except the shepherds, told by the angels, and the wise men, led by the star. The silence was broken, but almost no one knew. God was with us, one of us, part of the world He created, in a way no one expected or anticipated. But that’s the way He works, because if we could understand Him, we wouldn’t need Him. Christmas shows us that we need Him, more than we could ever know. But He knows, and He came for us because He loves us.

This part of Friday’s reading in the She Reads Truth Advent reading plan was something my soul needed, and maybe yours does too: “This is God’s pattern. He always shows up. He always saves. He is always coming back, and that is never not true, no matter how thick the silence…the silence will end, the darkness will abate, and Christ is coming back.” This Christmas, there is a lot of darkness in the world. It may seem like God is silent, in your life and in the world. But Christmas is His promise that He is coming back for us, to set the world right again.

I hope that this Christmas brings you time to celebrate and reconnect with your family and friends, and experience the joy of the season. I hope you also have some time to reflect on and truly appreciate the great gift God gave us when He broke His silence some 2,000 years ago. Merry Christmas!

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned…For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:2, 6-7

The Meaning of Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you are able to have a day of rest and celebration with your friends and family. We are spending today with my mom’s family and tomorrow with my dad’s family (although I have to work until 3pm tomorrow 🙁 ) But today is a day for rest and reflection, and thanking God for all the ways he has blessed us this year.

This morning, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I saw that someone had posted part of Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation from 1863, when Thanksgiving was first established as the last Thursday in November. I looked it up and read the whole thing, and I was struck by the fact that he wrote it during the Civil War. If there was ever a time when it would be hard to be thankful, that would be the time. But still, even during the darkest period in our country’s history, we were blessed with a President who pointed us back to God and reminded us why it’s so important to be thankful.

He listed the blessings from the growth of freedom we had experienced since the beginning of our nation, and then reminded the people that “…No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.”

We may not be in the middle of a civil war today, but there is plenty of strife and struggle and suffering in the world, in our country, and maybe even in your own life. Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation reminds us that there is more to Thanksgiving than eating turkey, watching football, and spending time with our family. Those are all good things, and we should enjoy them when we can. But Thanksgiving is also a day to thank God for His blessings, ask for His forgiveness, and ask for His help when life gets hard. It’s an opportunity to humble ourselves, ask Him to heal us, ask Him to bring us closer to Him, and to thank Him for fulfilling His purposes for us, even when we can’t see the purpose yet. I don’t know about you, but that’s a reminder I needed today.

What are you doing to celebrate Thanksgiving?

Election Day Thoughts

Election Day Thoughts || Grace to Grow Blog

I don’t know about you, but I am so glad this day is finally here. This campaign season is finally over, and not a moment too soon.

This has been kind of a tough election season for me. I worked really hard for one candidate in the primary, but he didn’t make it. But really, this has been a tough election season for all of us, hasn’t it? We are faced with two of the most disliked and untrustworthy candidates in our history. It’s a difficult choice for anyone, but especially for Christians. No one can dispute the fact that neither major party candidate is a good role model for our children, or that neither of them have the characteristics that make a moral and respectable leader. We have reached a new low, and I find myself in the position of not being able to vote for either one of them.

So where does that leave me, and the millions or at least thousands of other people who have serious problems with the candidates? Some people may decide that they have to vote for one candidate because they dislike the other one so much. Some people may decide not to vote at all, or to vote on every race except for president. Then some, like me, may decide to write in the name of a candidate they truly believe in (or vote third party if that’s an option in their state). What I have come to realize is that it’s a personal decision for each of us, between us and God, and it isn’t something we should allow to anger us or divide us. Whatever happens today, we will wake up tomorrow with our lives basically unchanged, at least for now. After the debates, the commercials, and the arguing are over, we will have to come together as a nation, with love and respect for our fellow believers and citizens, no matter who we voted for.

In the past, whenever I’ve heard someone say, “God’s in control,” or “Just trust God no matter what the outcome is,” I’ve agreed outwardly, but I’ve always inwardly thought those ideas were a cop-out. Honestly, I still do think some people use them as excuses not to get involved, but I’ve come to realize the truth in these statements even more this year. Yes, it’s important to be involved in the political process, to be informed and to vote for candidates who share our Biblical values, but God can work through anyone. That’s especially important to remember this year, when neither of the candidates are great options.

Something else I’ve wrestled with is that America’s happiness is not God’s priority. I do believe that our nation was founded on His principles and that He has blessed us greatly, but we can sometimes forget that His goal for us is sanctification as a church body and as individuals, not necessarily a return to our Constitutional principles or “making America great again.” God can use even a “bad” president to accomplish His purposes, for the nation or the church, to show us mercy or judgement, or to grow the church in the face of persecution. So while we have a responsibility to vote for the candidate we believe would make the best president, we don’t need to worry if they don’t win. After all, God is the one who raises up and brings down rulers and who gives them authority. We can trust that He knows what He’s doing.

So today, please go vote. Vote for a presidential candidate who shares your values, whether they are part of a major party, a third party, or even if you have to write them in. Remember what John Quincy Adams said: “Duty is ours; results are God’s.” Do your duty and vote, then leave the results in God’s hands, and trust that He will accomplish His purpose in us, through us, and for us. Then, no matter who wins, our duty is to pray for our new leaders, and for our country. That is the most important thing we can do.

November Goals

I can’t believe it’s November already! A lot more leaves have fallen off the trees, and it’s starting to feel more like winter is coming. It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is this month, and Christmas is next month. I feel like I have a lot to do to get ready for the holidays, and the fact that it’s November makes me feel like I don’t have much time! So this is a perfect time to check in on my goals for last month and the upcoming month.

November Goals || Grace to Grow Blog

Here are the goals I set for October:

  1. Write at least two blog posts per week. Out of four weeks in October, there were two weeks when I posted once and two weeks when I posted twice, so I almost accomplished this goal.
  2. Read five books (two non-fiction). I ended up reading 10 books, but none of them non-fiction. Oh well 🙂
  3. Set up a budget. I haven’t done this yet because I may be getting a second job, so that would change my numbers.
  4. Work on a machine embroidery project. Technically I did work on a project, but I didn’t finish it. I’ve been working on designs, so at least that’s a step in the right direction!
  5. Plan a trip to see my sister. I drove down to visit her last weekend for her fall break, and it was so much fun! I’m really glad I had the chance to go. I also bought a plane ticket that I got a really good deal on so I can fly down and drive back home with her before Thanksgiving break. I’m really excited for that trip!

Well, I only ended up fully accomplishing one goal…so I guess that means there’s room for improvement in November 😉

  1. Write at least two blog posts per week. I’m going to try this one again and work on doing better than I did last month!
  2. Read 8 books. I have a lot of new books that I got for my birthday, so I’m going to forget about the non-fiction books this month and just read for fun 🙂
  3. Set up a budget. I’m going to decide on a budget this month, no matter what happens with my job search. I’m going to need it with Christmas shopping coming up!
  4. Finish my machine embroidery project. This has been on my to-do list for a while, and I do enjoy working on it, so I need to make it a priority!
  5. Get a good start on buying/making Christmas presents. I know this isn’t an incredibly specific goal, but my general idea is that I want to at least figure out what I’m going to give to people, and then start shopping or making things. It’s so much more fun when it’s not last minute!

So there are my goals for November. Let’s hope I do a better job with these than I did with October’s!

What are your goals for November? Have you started Christmas shopping yet? 🙂

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!! It’s a rainy day here, but I love rainy fall days. Even though it’s dark and cloudy outside, there are still bright spots in life. Here are five things I’m excited about today!

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  1. We had some beautiful weather last week! It was sunny and warm, with the colors of autumn everywhere. I have dozens of pictures of the fall foliage on my phone; I want to bottle it up and enjoy the beautiful colors all year!
  2. Last week, I got new books in the mail from two of my favorite authors: Wild Montana Skies, the first book in a new series by Susan May Warren, and A Royal Christmas Wedding, the fourth book in the Royal Wedding series by Rachel Hauck. I’ve already finished Wild Montana Skies and loved it, and I’m excited to jump into A Royal Christmas Wedding!
  3. Speaking of Christmas…it’s now less than two months away! Sure, maybe that’s a little early to be celebrating, but that means Thanksgiving is less than a month away, and I just love the whole season. I love buying and making presents, the music, the Christmas program at our church, and just the atmosphere in general. It’s never too early to start celebrating the real meaning of Christmas, anyway 😉
  4. This weekend is my sister’s fall break from college, and I get to drive down and visit her! I’m excited to go on a little road trip and get to spend a few days with her.
  5. There is a Chick-fil-A opening next week only an hour and a half away from where I live! It’s the first one in my state and my family is so excited 😉 We love going to CFA when we’re on vacation “down south,” so it’s going to be nice to have one so much closer to home! There was also a story in the news last week about plans for a second one about an hour in the other direction from our house, so hopefully there will be one even closer someday 😉

What do you have to celebrate on this fine Friday? 🙂

DIY Pumpkin Spice Candles

DIY Pumpkin Spice Candles || Grace to Grow Blog

I absolutely love candles; there’s just something so peaceful and homey about having a candle burning. I love to browse the different scents and styles when I’m shopping somewhere like Hobby Lobby, T.J. Maxx, or Christmas Tree Shop, and I’m always drawn to the ones in mason jar-like containers. The problem is that they can be expensive! So I decided to try to make some of my own.

I already had some 4-ounce jelly jars that I thought would be a cute size for candles, and I also picked up a couple of 8-ounce jars. The candle wax was on sale at Hobby Lobby last week, so I got a 2-lb. bag of soy wax flakes, along with a spiced pumpkin fragrance oil and some red and yellow dye, to make orange candles.

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The first step is to melt the wax. I started with one pound of wax flakes, because I read online to use half an ounce of fragrance oil per pound of wax. I wasn’t sure how many candles that would make, but I thought that was a good place to start.

DIY Pumpkin Spice Candles || Grace to Grow Blog

Next, melt the wax in a double boiler. I wanted to have a way to pour the wax, so I made my own “double boiler” by putting this old glass measuring cup in a pot of water on the stove. Heat the wax to 180*F, and make sure to stir it occasionally. A candy thermometer is a great way to keep an eye on the temperature!

DIY Pumpkin Spice Candles || Grace to Grow Blog

Once the wax reaches 180*F, remove it from the heat and add the dye. I was hoping for a medium orange, but I didn’t know how the ratio of red to yellow would end up looking, so I ended up using too much red. Luckily the candles still looked orange when they cooled, but a very reddish orange! Then, once the wax has cooled to 175*F, add the fragrance oil. I used about half an ounce in this batch.

DIY Pumpkin Spice Candles || Grace to Grow Blog
It looks pretty red, but the color will change as it cools.

Now, let the wax cool to 120*F before pouring it into the jars. While you’re waiting, get the wicks and jars ready. Other tutorials online said to wrap the wick around a pencil or toothpick to help keep it in place, but my wicks were pre-cut and not long enough to wrap around anything. So I just set them in the bottom of the jars, and held them with one hand while I poured the wax with the other. Then I could still move them around before the wax hardened.

DIY Pumpkin Spice Candles || Grace to Grow Blog
Sorry about the mess 🙂

Save a little wax and leave a little space in your jars for later. Let the candles cool for 30 minutes or so, and when they start to harden, they may start to sink a little in the middle. Use a toothpick to poke a few holes near the wick to let the air bubbles escape, then reheat the remaining wax to 175*F. Then top off your candles and let them set! I let mine set overnight before trimming the wicks and putting the covers on. One pound of wax ended up making one 8-ounce candle and three 4-ounce candles.

This was a really fun project, and homemade candles would make great Christmas gifts! I can’t wait to make some more candles and try some holiday scents 🙂

DIY Pumpkin Spice Candles || Grace to Grow Blog

Let the Dead Things Go

Let the Dead Things Go || Grace to Grow Blog

I saw this quote on Pinterest the other day, and it really made me think. When fall rolls around, everyone celebrates the return of cooler weather and the leaves changing color. But really, the leaves only turn beautiful colors because they’re dying, and the cooler weather is a sign of the cold, dark winter to come.

It sounds a little depressing to think about it that way, but I think there’s an important lesson to learn from the autumn season. Yes, things are changing, but that’s part of life. How we respond is up to us. The trees respond by turning brilliant, beautiful colors and bringing us joy. They have to let go of their leaves and die a little during the winter so they can rest, regroup, and grow again in the spring.

The same is true for us. There are things in our lives that have died through no fault of our own, or things that we need to consciously choose to release. It could be the loss of a job, the ending of a friendship, the death of a long-held dream or the expectations we had for our lives, or any change that makes us uncomfortable. Maybe there are things we need to choose to let go of: bad habits, pride, anger, bitterness. Whatever it may be, these things can weigh us down physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Paul talked about this in Hebrews 12:1-2:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Change is hard, whether it’s thrust upon us or something that we recognize we need to let go so we can run our race better. Whenever you find yourself in a fall season of your life, remember the beauty of the changing leaves. If we face those changes with grace and trust in God, a fall season can be a catalyst for rest in the winter and new growth in the spring. Don’t be afraid to let go of the dead things in your life; let God’s glory and beauty shine through you, just like He shows His glory in the beauty of the autumn leaves.

Blog-tember Day 22 // Falling for Fall

It seems like just about everyone loves fall. Starting around September 1st, all everyone can talk about is sweaters and boots and cooler weather, Pinterest is filled with pumpkin recipes, and TVs everywhere are tuned to football games. It may be a little cliche, but I’d have to say that fall is my favorite season…because really, what’s not to love? So today I’m linking up with Blog-tember to share my fall favorites with you!

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Fall would not be fall without…

  • Plaid shirts and cozy sweaters. Of course, you can wear plaid shirts any time of year, but I always start pulling mine out when the weather starts getting cooler. It’s always nice to start wearing sweaters again too!
  • Fall decor. Something I love, probably more than I should, is browsing the fall decorations at Hobby Lobby or the Christmas Tree Shop. It’s so much fun to decorate for the season!

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  • Football. I never really cared too much about football until last year, when Dunkin’ Donuts started offering free coffee the day after the Patriots win. So of course, I had to start watching the games to see if I could get a free coffee! 😉 As I’ve been watching, I’ve been starting to understand more of what’s going on. I’m not an expert by any means, but it’s fun to watch the game on Sunday afternoon!
  • Reading. In the summer, I always feel like I should be outside doing something, but in the fall, I can let myself relax with a good book, either inside if it’s chilly or outside if the weather’s nice!
  • Pumpkin coffee. As popular as it is, I’m not really a big fan of Starbucks’ PSL. Dunkin’ Donuts pumpkin iced coffee or iced lattes are a different story, though! Pumpkin coffee, muffins, and donuts mean fall is officially here.

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  • Colorful leaves. Here in New England, we have some beautiful colors on the trees! You know fall is coming when the trees start turning all shades of red, yellow, and orange. And the leaves are still pretty even when they start falling and decorating the lawn or the roads!
  • Cooler weather. After a hot summer, it’s so nice to start waking up to cooler mornings and going to sleep with the windows open. I would definitely pick cold weather over hot, so I’m always glad when fall starts to bring the cooler temperatures and brisk breezes back around.
  • Snow. In northern New England, it’s not uncommon to get a little dusting of snow around the end of October or beginning of November. A few years ago, we even had a foot of snow that fell the day before Thanksgiving! Usually, that first snow melts within a day or two, but it’s magical while it lasts. Once it’s gone, we can go back to enjoying the pretty leaves and savoring the last few weeks before we’re buried in snow.
  • Thanksgiving. One of the best parts of fall is the beginning of the holiday season. We get to enjoy Thanksgiving and look forward to Christmas (and winter!). Not to mention, the Christmas coffees usually come back to Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts in the beginning of November 😉

What are your favorite things about fall?