Fall is in the Air

Have you been enjoying your fall as much as I have?

pumpkin spice latte fall favorites white girl in yoga pants
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Um, yeah, that would be me, haha.

I went a little pumpkin-crazy at Trader Joe’s recently:

Trader Joe's pumpkin goodies

As much as I love everything pumpkin, I wasn’t totally sure I wanted to smell like one too with that body butter, but I figured it couldn’t hurt. I do love having a 3-year-old that smells like pumpkin pie, though. 🙂

It took about ten years of living in Northern California before it actually started to feel like fall to me this time of year. It still can’t compete with upstate New York, but since I haven’t been there in the fall in 13 years, I probably have just forgotten how glorious it is there right now. Still, there are many things to love about NorCal this time of year and we do have a seasonal shift even if it’s not quite as noticeable as NY.

The mornings are when you really notice it–foggy and chilly turning to crisp and sunny by noon. It warms up by the afternoon and we’re back in t-shirts, but layering is essential this time of year. I used to just send Reece out to play with his trucks in his jammies, but now I have to make sure he has a jacket and shoes on first, so he doesn’t get too cold on the concrete patio.

Trees do change color around here, although I hardly noticed it my first years living here. Many of the trees just turn brown and then drop their leaves, but there are some that do turn glorious colors that rival NY. They just aren’t as abundant here and the hills aren’t covered in them.

Northern California fall colors

The beach can actually be quite nice this time of year. Not in a laying out and tanning sort of way, but the skies can be clear and blue and it’s warm enough to play on the beach in clothes, enjoying the cooler air and warmth of the sun.

beach baby October in Northern California fall beach day

Something that Doug once told me triggers feelings of fall is when the air is cool outside and then you get in your car and it’s all warm from the sun. I used to not understand that because it didn’t signify fall at all to me, with my mind full of thoughts of leaves and apple cider, but now I feel the same way.

Speaking of apple cider, that’s something CA is lacking in.  Most everything that’s labeled apple cider just tastes like apple juice. I have only found true apple cider here near Pismo Beach. I actually did get lucky recently when the bottle I bought at Target of all places (yes, I still buy a bottle of it every year because I can’t help myself, even though I’m always disappointed) actually tasted like cider. Reece didn’t care what it tasted like, he was just happy to have any sort of juice in our house!

We’ve had a lot of fun enjoying traditional fall activities this year. We haven’t done as much Halloween stuff as we’ve done other years with Reece, but we still went all out with everything fall. I was so excited when Reece was a baby and I discovered that there is apple picking in California–something I had missed a lot from NY. There are a few apple picking places in Watsonville and I was even more excited when I discovered Clearview Orchards, which has organic apples for picking (apples top the EWG Dirty Dozen and they have a handy app for your phone so you can reference the list easily when shopping). This year we went apple picking with a friend.

Northern California apple picking fall fun

The boys were more interested in sliding down a dirt hill, eating apples and applesicles (a new word for you!) than picking, but it was fun. I love seeing them play outside and get all dirty like that, so it was a good time for all.

Northern California apple picking fall fun
Last year I took this picture with Reece and my big huge belly

We also did a pumpkin patch trip with friends. Reece has been friends with Trevor and Ella since birth and we usually do holiday activities together throughout the year. This was our first year going to Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Patch in Morgan together and the kids had fun on the hayride, train, carousel and corn maze. I let Reece pick whichever pumpkin he wanted and he even picked a cute one for Emme.

Uesugi Pumpkin Patch Northern California fall fun pumpkin picking

Uesugi Pumpkin Patch Northern California fall fun

We haven’t gotten around to carving the kids’ pumpkins yet, but Doug and I carved ours at an adults-only pumpkin carving party last night with the new neighbors.

Power drill pumpkin carving

I tried the power drill technique that’s been going around the internet (I just winged it–didn’t plan or tape it out or anything). It definitely made it easier, but it was messy with curly bits of pumpkin flying everywhere. I think it came out pretty and I’ll put a couple more candles in it on Halloween for a brighter glow.

On Friday we also went to Happy Hollow for a fun family day. This is such a great little amusement park for younger kids with rides, a little zoo and a petting zoo. We have a season pass and make good use of it. This time of year they have some fall fun activities like face painting, crafts and jump houses. They have rides that even Emme can go on and it was so fun seeing her ride her first one like a big girl. Reece enjoyed having her along too, I think.

Fall fun at Happy Hollow Northern California fall fun

Reece is also now tall enough to enjoy the roller coaster ride, which he definitely loved. Funny how he started out not liking rides too much when he was just over a year and now he can’t get enough.

Fall fun at Happy Hollow Northern California Fall fun
Watching brother ride the roller coaster

Next up to enjoy is pumpkin carving with the kids and Halloween itself (stay tuned for super adorable pictures of my little Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Tinkerbell). Fall really hits hard in November, so that’s when we’ll get into the leaf raking and jumping in the piles. I’m definitely glad that our neighbors have a nice big tree to dump lots of leaves on our lawn, even though Doug (who’s responsible for all the yard work) might not feel the same way! 🙂 Also coming up one month from today is baby girl’s birthday (can you believe it?!) and Thanksgiving of course.

How have you been enjoying fall lately?

*****

My workouts this week have been somewhat back to normal, with some more Pilates in the mix (yay!). This past week my workouts looked like this:

Sunday – Pilates and 30 min stairmaster intervals

Monday – Pilates

Tuesday – Off

Wednesday – Treadmill HIIT and steady, abs

Thursday – Total body circuit, stationary bike HIIT

Friday – Outdoor running intervals (about 30 min)

Saturday – Off

This week I know I’ll take Tuesday off for story time at the library and I know I’ll have at least one Pilates workout (maybe two), one cardio only day and hopefully one strength and cardio day.

Anything special planned for your workouts this week?

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