September 01, 2021
We like to look at September as a new beginning, a fresh start akin to New Year’s—but quieter and more relaxed, without the fireworks and champagne! The air becomes crisp and refreshing. Summer vacation winds down (see last month’s blog on bringing the best of that summer calm and tranquility with you) kids go back to school, our responsibilities change, and we move forward, transitioning into a new season and revamping our daily routines.
Back to School
If you have children, the start of the school year is an important transition for everyone—whether they are starting preschool or off to college—so let’s do our best to make it a smooth one.
Start with maintaining a comforting, supportive environment at home. A solid school-week routine is an essential part of family life and provides your child with structured time and guidelines to know when to focus on homework. This, in turn, allows for more flexible, unstructured fun, and less decision-making on the fly lends itself to more meaningful family time. Clear bedtimes and wakeup routines help children to be well-rested, and teaching your children from a young age how to manage their time is a valuable lesson that will follow them throughout their school career and beyond.
In addition, pay attention to signs of stress in your children, especially in light of the constraints and unusual conditions many students will experience this year as they live with the ongoing pandemic. Help them learn how to recognize when they need a break and some self-care. Emphasize the importance of being present and enjoying downtime, educating them on strategies for relaxation and stress management. Outdoor activities, playtime, meditation, journaling, breathing exercises, and yoga are incredibly beneficial for children as well as their parents!
Back-to-school life hacks: keep hand wipes, disinfectant spray, kleenex, and clean masks in a kit in your car. Have a small garbage bag, snack sack, extra charger, additional school supplies and reading material handy for that inevitable down time that comes with being a parent/chauffeur service :)
Prioritize time for family meals — This can be challenging, with so many busy schedules to plan around, but sharing time at the table for meaningful conversation helps everyone feel connected and supported. If you and your children have time for breakfast together, starting the morning with a sense of positivity and shared purpose will make everyone’s day go better. Take a look at our simple nutritious back-to-school breakfast ideas highlighted in our epicure.
Plan weeknight meals ahead — To be sure everyone in the family is eating healthy foods, keep wholesome snacks ready for hungry scholars and athletes when they get home or take a study break (think crudités, cheese, cut or grab-and-go fruit, and home-baked sweet treats). Get your children involved in a simple theme night for dinner: Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesday, or Make Your Own Pizza Friday—with a family movie to wind down together at the week’s end.
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. Create love-filled care packages to make sure they’ve got healthy snacks on hand and to let them know you’re thinking of them. Encourage them 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. If you can, take your student and a group of friends out for lunch or dinner when you visit—kids love the opportunity to get off campus for a while and it’s a wonderful opportunity for parents to get to know their childs' friends.
Time to Reset
The transition into a new season is the perfect time to recenter, reset, and start something new—especially after the joyful excesses of late summer. Create a new routine (or revive an old one!) of healthy eating, exercise, and a good night's rest. As the days get cooler and shorter, take time to reflect and journal. Take stock of where you are and harvest summer’s exuberant energy to set some personal goals for the months to come. Embrace your favorite outdoor activities as temperatures relax and the scenery transforms itself—this is one of nature's truly spectacular gifts, so make the most of it!
Sept 6 – Labor Day — We all know this long weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, so make it extra special by planning one last barbecue. Nobody’s ready to say goodbye to the ease of summer gatherings, so go all out and make this cook-out the season’s best!
Sept 18 – Oktoberfest — Yes, Oktoberfest is actually in September! It’s traditionally scheduled to end on the first Sunday in October. Since official festivities are cancelled in Munich, why not host a beer-themed outdoor gathering of your own at home? Go all out with a hearty German menu of potato pancakes, soft pretzels, grilled bratwurst, endive salad and German apple cake. Needless to say, make the centerpiece of the evening a selection of German beers.
We like to do a tasting with a selection of beers served in mini glass mugs and paired with small bites like grilled brats and spicy mustard and our soft pretzels arranged on a long wood board as a festive starter. If you're planning a small gathering, you can also turn this celebration into a German cooking class (in keeping with our theme this month of learning something new) and let your friends participate in the festivities.
Plan a fall picnic — Don’t put your picnic basket away just yet… It's apple season! Find a pick-ur-own orchard near you and take advantage of a sunny autumn day to plan a family outing. In addition to whatever you improvise for a picnic, be sure to slice up some of those fresh-picked apples to pair with sharp cheddar and/or caramel sauce for dipping. Enjoy the fall foliage while you’re at it, if the trees are starting to turn where you live.
This is the moment when summer produce overlaps with the harvest cornucopia of colors and flavors: corn, squash, tomatoes, broccoli, radishes, collard greens, kohlrabi, brussel sprouts, apples, and pears... Stretch your end-of-season tomatoes out to create our easy fresh tomato sauce or make our farmer’s market pasta for a simple meatless weeknight supper. Serve our shaved brussel sprout and apple salad as a crunchy and satisfying side or add grilled chicken to make it the centerpiece of a weeknight supper or a fabulous luncheon with friends.
If this season has a star, it’s the apple, playing the healthy snack-bowl staple as well as leading roles and cameos in many dishes and desserts. The possibilities are endless, but one of our favorite ways to showcase this bright, crisp fruit is with our simple and delicious homemade applesauce! Simmer up some spiced cider for sipping or pair your favorite full-bodied wine with a cheese and charcuterie board garnished with grapes and grape leaves and slices of apple and pear. Throw together an easy-as-pie apple crisp for a delicious ending.
Apple Banana Smoothies
Morning Glory Muffins
Farmer’s Market Pasta
No-Cook Fresh Tomato Sauce
Breakfast Oat Cookies
Shaved Brussel Sprout and Apple Salad
German Apple Cake
Autumn Design Notes
Change of season is the ideal time to freshen both indoor and outdoor spaces. With daylight and open windows still on your side, now is the moment to tackle that home project you’ve been thinking about—spruce up the paint in a room, clear away clutter, update or rearrange your furniture design, refresh bed linens, and add cozy soft throws throughout your home.
With that fall feel in the air, take time to refresh your style and browse through our new autumn finds—perfect for you or as thoughtful gifts for upcoming celebrations of joy. We’re excited to bring you carefully selected leather bags, fall jackets, cozy throw blankets, jewelry, reusable market totes, crisp linens, olivewood serving ware and many autumn-inspired scented candles and wellness essentials. Shop now
Make your Arrangements Feel like Fall
Add autumnal accents to your outdoor planters with chrysanthemums, sedum, asters, cabbage, Russian sage, and ornamental grasses. Add an extra layer of warmth and freshness to your indoor (and outdoor) living spaces with our soft throws and fall-inspired candles. Planning an autumn gathering 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!
Set an Autumn Table
We love to layer our neutrals and textures here while incorporating 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.
Seasonal transitions are a time for taking stock, setting goals, and, especially in keeping with harvest season, expressing gratitude for where we’ve been and what we have.
Plan gatherings that focus on appreciating nature’s bounty and beauty. Take time to slow down, reflect, journal, and face forward into new challenges, new routines, new comforts and new joys. Find inspiration in the structure of daily life and in the cozy, grounding traditions that bring the people you love together.
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