A Pinch of Fall

I can’t believe we’re already through the first week of September and that summer is technically over! I’ve been back at home organizing all of my things and getting ready for my next big move before I’m back out in the real world. Home for me is in Southwest Florida, so it definitely still feels like summer down here!

To help ease my mind into the transition of fall (which is probably my favorite season), I’ve been collecting some fall recipes I want to try my hand at in the weeks to come. Starbucks has already begun selling their famous Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, so it’s only a matter of time before we all embrace the fall flavors, weather, and changing scenery.

Below are the top 5 recipes I want to make ASAP – let me know some of your personal favorite fall treats and maybe I can incorporate something into the blog! Also, be sure to follow my Pinterest board, A Pinch of Fall, for even more of my favorite fall recipes.

Pumpkin Pie - Williams-Sonoma

Always a classic – Traditional Pumpkin Pie recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma – I’ll save this one for Thanksgiving!

Apple-Pie Spiced Cider

For those colder nights, I’ll have to try Martha Stewart’s Apple-Pie Spiced Cider.

Whoopie Pies

No dessert is complete without some chocolate! These Pumpkin-Chocolate Whoopie Pies courtesy of Lauren Conrad look divine!

Apple Cider Punch

Camille Styles made a list on her blog of the best Fall Cocktail recipes – I’ll have to give them all a try!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

Of course I had to include a hearty fall breakfast dish in this list! Definitely trying these Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes on a lazy Sunday.

Brownie Points

The other day I had quite the sweet tooth coming on, but nothing to satisfy it. So I decided I just HAD to bake something to alleviate it! I stumbled across this recipe for Old School Fudge Brownies with Walnuts, courtesy of Joy the Baker’s blog. Luckily, I had all the ingredients listed right at my fingertips and I set out on my mission.

Not only were these the best brownies I’ve made to date, but they made my apartment smell divine! Who needs candles when you have the scent of fresh baked brownies wafting through your home? I topped my brownie with a scoop of Batch’s vanilla ice cream and a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s milk & cookies flavored ice cream – go BIG or go home, am I right?

IMG_3065You have no idea how hard it is to resist brownie batter…

IMG_3072The leaning tower of brownies!

IMG_3073This hit the spot!

What’s your go-to brownie recipe?

Face the Fear and Do It Anyway.

Growing up, I was always pretty shy and quiet around other kids my age (around the house I was as loud as can be – two older brothers taught me I had to have a strong voice early on). Of course, around my closest friends I was my outgoing, goofy self, but around teachers, classmates, and people who I had just met you would think I was the shyest girl in the grade. It wasn’t until about senior year of high school that I started to fully come out of my shell and just well, be me.

I also learned early on from my Dad that one of the most important, yet challenging things in life is to take risks. Never settle. Keep striving for what you want and if you try hard enough, you just might get it. Coincidentally, my first “big risk” was applying to college – would I stay in-state so I could be close to home, or would I go out of state where the only easy way home was a long flight and I knew absolutely no one?

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Next up came studying abroad – should I live across the world for three months meaning it would be my first Thanksgiving spent away from home (eating a kebab at midnight in Prague, nonetheless)?

After a lot of uncertainty and challenging times, I realized choosing the easy way out is never the option. Through all of these experiences where I put myself outside of my comfort zone, I grew.

And of course the inevitable graduation day – what would come after May 10, 2014? Was I supposed to know before I made it across that stage what I’m meant to do for the rest of my life? The answer is no, I wasn’t. That’s what so great about life – being able to take risks, change your life, and figure it all out along the way.

On a lighter note, here are some of my favorite links of the week, share yours below in the comment section!

1.) I have got to make this ASAP – queso dip from the Homesick Texan cookbook.

2.) I recently bought this maxi dress in coral and it is so comfortable and light – perfect for hot summer days.

3.) I’ve always wanted to make homemade ice cream and I think this may be the perfect flavor.

4.) Four Layer Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie – a must!

5.) A good article on why we should standup for women’s magazines.

6.) Comparison is the thief of joy – this blog post says it like it is.

Oceanside

I’ve been away from home a little under 2 months now and I’m already missing the salt water sea breeze on a summer afternoon.

Growing up in Naples, FL summer days were spent camped out on the beach until the afternoon thunderstorms rolled in, forcing you to finally seek refuge inside. I miss those careless days spent splashing around in the ocean with friends or just indulging in a good book for endless hours oceanside. While surfing through Pinterest and seeing all the new swimsuit styles I became nostalgic, lusting for my past summers spent with my toes in the sand.

I’ve got my fingers crossed to make it down to the Cape eventually this summer to finally satisfy my beach craving. Until then, I’ll have to make a list of all the fashionable beach finds I want to test out this summer and let that suffice!

beach hatsLove these DIY beach hats from Stephanie Sterjovski’s blog!

*EXCLUSIVE* **NO WEB** Lupita Nyong'o shows off her Bikini Body in Hawaii  **USA ONLY** *MUST CALL FOR PRICING*

Scalloped bathing suits are in this summer, love this look on Lupita!

mara

Mara Hoffman‘s bathing suits always have the most unique/colorful prints for some fun in the sun.

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Olivia Palermo rocking a chic cover-up.

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I’m a huge fan of this new bathing suit style – I just don’t know if I have the guts to try it!

What are some of your favorite beachside fashion staples?