Fall Forward Into A Fresh New Season

September 01, 2023

Fall Forward Into A Fresh New Season

Did you ever notice how, as summer’s end approaches, everyone starts asking, “Are you ready for fall?” And what this means is different for each of us… Some of us would love to hang onto an endless summer feeling, while others look forward to a refreshing change in seasons. No matter which side of this debate you're on, the rhythm of the seasons—especially into fall—is invigorating as we welcome a first breath of brisk air.  This summer has been super hot in many areas of the world, so cooler temperatures are not only a relief, but bring with them an opportunity for renewal and an abundance of excitement as autumn approaches. The start of leaf-peeping season is something we can all agree on—those breathtaking, vivid colors are on their way to spice up our plans and brighten our autumn weekends. 


Whether you’re “ready” or not, fall is almost upon us and we’d like to invite you to look at September as a new beginning, a fresh start—a time to recenter, reorganize, set goals, and restyle living spaces with a crisp, fresh perspective. Let’s embrace that fall feeling and share the joy of all our seasonal favorites with the special people in our lives.



Back to Routine


Although it can be hard to say goodbye to the spontaneity of summer, getting back into a routine is often comforting. Being productive and having a rhythm to our day and goals we’d like to accomplish is rewarding on many levels. If you have school-age children, the start of the school year is an important transition for everyone, whether they are starting preschool or off to college. There’s a lot we can do to make this moment go smoothly. 


Structure a supportive home environment — A clear school-week routine is an essential part of family life and provides children with structured time and guidelines to know when to focus on homework. Balance comes when children—and parents—participate in activities they enjoy. Quality over quantity is the secret sauce. Making sure students are getting plenty of rest is also essential. Setting up guidelines to limit screen time can help. Teaching children how to manage their time is a valuable lesson that will follow them throughout their school career and beyond. 


Find calm in the chaos — Recognizing when we need a break and some self-care is vital to each of us. We lead busy lives, and although at plj we like to focus on finding joy every day, let’s face it—some days can be really hectic! We’ve found that when we emphasize being present, enjoy moments of downtime, and practice some basic strategies for relaxation and stress management, we can find some calm amidst even the most chaotic day. Our favorite stress-busting strategies include outdoor activities, playtime, meditation, journaling, breathing exercises, and yoga. These practices and activities are all incredibly beneficial for the whole family.


Prioritize time for family meals — This can be challenging, with so many schedules to plan around, but sharing time at the table for meaningful conversation helps everyone feel connected and supported. Even a nutritious breakfast smoothie, together on the go, starts the morning with a sense of positivity and shared purpose. A good start will make everyone’s day go better. Take a look at the simple and nutritious weekday breakfast and snack ideas in our epicure.


Plan weeknight meals ahead — To be sure everyone in the family is eating healthy foods, keep wholesome snacks ready afterschool or practice (think crudités, cheese, cut or grab-and-go fruit, dried fruits and nuts, and home-baked treats). Get your children involved in simple theme nights for dinner: Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesday, or Make Your Own Pizza Friday. You can also let each child pick a favorite for a Chef's Choice theme—all are wonderful ways to get everyone together in the kitchen for a little quality family time. For inspiration, take a look at the back-to-basics menu options in our epicure.


If your child is away at boarding school or college, that doesn’t mean you can’t create a supportive environment and share in their joys (and struggles) from afar. Sending creative, love-filled care packages featuring their favorite healthy snacks lets them know you’re thinking of them. Encourage your student to tell you about their day, via texting or regular calls, and plan to visit as often as you can, especially to attend sporting and arts events that are important to them. Suggest that your child invite a group of friends out for lunch or dinner when you visit. Students love the opportunity to get off campus for a while, and getting to know their friends is a great way to reinforce your family’s connection.

September Happenings


One Last Summer Weekend — We all know Labor Day unofficially marks the end of the season, so why not organize a cook out that showcases your summer favorites? Warm, sunny days are on the agenda and summer produce is still plentiful. Gather your tribe and plan one last carefree get-together! 


Plan a Fall Outing — Don’t put your picnic basket away just yet… apple season is here! Visit a local orchard and take advantage of a refreshing autumn day to enjoy a lovely picnic and some apple-themed fun with the family. Here’s our list of picnic basket essentials, always handy no matter the season! 

  • Hand wipes
  • Beverage glasses
  • Plates
  • Cutlery
  • Napkins
  • Picnic blanket
  • Small garbage bag
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Bottle/wine opener
  • Serving utensils, depending on menu

Set the Harvest Mood — A candlelit dinner under a breathtaking starlit sky is a cozy way to welcome the fall season! Simple string lights, a printed cotton tablecloth, and a fresh bouquet of whatever flowers or herbs are growing in your garden is all you need to set the stage for sharing an enchanted al fresco evening with loved ones. And don’t forget about the Harvest Moon… scheduled to appear on September 28th after sunset. Visit our epicure for a list of delicious seasonal sips, and bites to make the most of a perfect fall evening.


Oktoberfest — Did you know Oktoberfest is actually in September? It’s traditionally scheduled to end on the first Sunday in October—and we love to enjoy this one! Not going to Munich? Well, let us inspire you to create your own Bavarian festivities and host a gathering at home. An ideal festive spread to go with the fun: potato pancakes, soft pretzels, and grilled bratwurst with a spicy mustard and paired with a tasting flight of specialty beers served in mini glass mugs arranged on an olive wood serving board. We’ve highlighted our menu with a simple crisp endive salad, and warm German apple cake to finish.


Planning an autumn get together at home? Schedule an Inspiration Workshop so we can help you personalize a gathering that suits your space, your style, and the spirit of the season!



Savor the moment when summer produce overlaps with the colors and flavors of the harvest cornucopia! Corn, squash, broccoli, collard greens, kohlrabi, brussel sprouts, the last of the plums and the earliest apples and pears... And if you’re like us, you can’t get enough of those end-of-season tomatoes. Enjoy them in our easy tomato sauce, or roast and freeze them for later. Make our farmer’s market pasta for a simple, meatless weeknight supper. We’ve added a new taco bowl salad—a great possibility for a Tuesday theme night. If stone fruit is still available where you live, make late-season peach jam or flash-freeze peeled and cut peaches or nectarines to use later. In the same spirit, make batches of garden herbs and freeze them for your winter soups! Our roasted corn soup and our shaved brussel sprout and apple salad are just the touch of fall we’re ready to embrace as the season changes. Keep meals light and seasonal but add a bit of warmth to your cooking. Add grains to your salad, or make our quinoa power bowl for wholesome energy to last through the day.


Did we mention those bright, crisp apples? The possibilities are endless, from snacking and salads to desserts, but one of the best ways to use them is our simple and delicious homemade applesauce, our true perennial favorite! Pair your favorite full-bodied wine with a cheese and charcuterie board garnished with slices of apple and pear. By the end of this month, it's time to get cozy and make that first apple pie, crisp, or cobbler we’ve been looking forward to...


Apple Banana Smoothies

Peach Jam

Morning Glory Muffins

Homemade Applesauce

Breakfast Oat Cookies

Garden Herb Pasta

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Roasted Corn Soup

Taco Salad Bowls

Shaved Brussel Sprout and Apple Salad

Endive Salad

Quinoa Power Bowl

Apple Cider Tea

Soft Pretzels

Potato Pancakes

German Apple Cake

Apple Pie

Pie Dough

Travel Spotlight


This summer we spent some family time on the Amalfi coast in Italy and we’re excited to share a few of the things we loved. If you’re planning a visit to this picturesque region, here’s our list of what not to miss!


This region is nestled among the Lattari Mountains along the coast of the Mediterranean. If your happy place involves beautiful beaches, stunning flowers, and quaint villages, look no further! With abundantly fertile soil, Amalfi produce can’t be beat—luscious lemons, tomatoes, figs, olive oil, cheeses, and wine. This journey took us to Positano and Ravello—both areas we highly recommend. 


Positano is a bustling coastal town with beautiful views and adorable streets lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. A welcome reprieve from the crowds is to see the coast by boat—many resorts offer a complimentary tour so be sure to take advantage of this perk. A day-trip to Capri is also a great idea! Our base for exploring Positano was the exquisite Il San Pietro, where we felt at home right from the welcome peach bellini in the private lemon orchard. We loved its breathtaking, floral-draped grounds and excellent dining. 


On to Ravello, a beautiful historic resort town known for its terraced gardens and rich musical culture. We were fortunate to attend an outdoor concert as part of the Ravello summertime festival—definitely a treat. We chose our accommodations after a visit to the area many years ago and I’m happy to report our memory served us well! The splendid Hotel Caruso was simply enchanting. This secluded 11th-century palace is known as the crown jewel of Ravello, and we couldn’t agree more. Surrounded by the finest gifts of nature, we thoroughly appreciated every attention to detail and the opportunity it gave us to immerse ourselves in this magical area.  

Design Notes


With that fall feel in the air, take time to refresh your style and browse through our autumn finds—perfect for you and your home or as thoughtful gifts for upcoming celebrations of joy. Leather circle bags, cozy throw blankets, and soft and comfy loungewear are the name of our fall game—as well as linens, woven baskets and totes, and olivewood accessories. Stock up on our earthy-scented candles and the many wellness essentials we’ve curated for the change of seasons. 


Make your Arrangements Feel Fall-ish

Incorporate some autumnal accents to your outdoor planters with chrysanthemums, sedum, asters, cabbage, Russian sage, and ornamental grasses. Indoor greenery of any variety brings in the beauty of nature. Throughout your living spaces, add an extra layer of warmth and freshness with our soft throws and fall-inspired candles, string lights on your patio, and plenty of textured elements. 


Set an Autumn Table 

We love to layer and mix our neutrals with flashes of fall color while layering textural elements of nature to add warmth—a beautiful bowl with freshly picked apples, seasonal flowers, woven and olivewood servingware, and plenty of votives and candles give us that cozy vibe we’re after.


Re-style for Fall — Think about bringing the outdoors in to add texture and warmth to your living spaces. Add greenery with faux trees in woven planters or drop some favorite branches or seasonal florals into glass vases or containers throughout your home. Think about refreshing with a new paint color, changing up your artwork, or adding a new area rug. Taking time to think about how you intend to use a particular room this season will help you when re-defining your space. 

Pro tip: autumn is the perfect time to clean your home windows. Joy comes in both small and large ways, and clear windows—especially with cooler temperatures and more indoor time—is a great way to bring your fall smile on!

At partager la joie, we are working on an exciting new project this season! Be sure to follow us on IG to see how we style a light and airy seaside retreat just in time for winter…

A Season to Strengthen our Connections  


At partager la joie, we’ve focused a lot on longevity—remember our many recent discussions about Blue Zones? Meaningful connection with others is one of the longevity principles that hits closest to our mission at plj. The science is solid: sharing joy helps you live better and longer! 


So as you turn over a new fall leaf for this seasonal transition, think about renewing your connections. Focus on appreciating the beauty in the people around you along with the beauty you love in nature. And as you practice mindfulness, patience and compassion with others, make sure you do the same for yourself. Find time to slow down, reflect, journal, and face forward into new challenges, new routines, new comforts and new joys. There is inspiration in the structure of daily life, routine and in the cozy, grounding traditions that bring the people you love together.


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