September 04, 2022
When September rolls around it always feels like the start of a second new year! Whether or not your life is organized around the school calendar, we’d like to invite you to look at September as a new beginning, a fresh start, an opportunity to recenter, reorganize, set goals, restyle living spaces with a crisp, fresh perspective—and of course, plan to share the joy of this season with family and friends.
A Breath of Fall is Coming
We’re often sorry to see summer’s high-spirited spontaneity come to an end as vacations wind down and kids go back to school. But the changing of the seasons—especially into fall—can put a new snap in our step as we enjoy a breath of fresh, brisk air. Cooler temperatures can feel like renewal, bringing with it an abundance of joy as autumn approaches. Beautiful sunny days lend themselves to the start of leaf-peeping season. Those breathtaking, vivid colors are on their way to spice up our plans and brighten our autumn weekends.
Back to School
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.
Routine can be restful — Start with maintaining a comforting, supportive environment at home. A solid 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. This also allows for more flexible, unstructured fun! 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 young children how to manage their time is a valuable lesson that will follow them throughout their school career and beyond.
Pay attention to signs of stress in every member of your family. Helping children learn how to recognize when they need a break and some self-care can be vital. 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—not to mention their parents!
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. If you and your children have time for breakfast together—even if it’s a nutritious smoothie on the go—starting the morning with a sense of positivity and shared purpose will make everyone’s day go better. Take a look at the simple nutritious weekday 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 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. Send creative, 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. Students love the opportunity to get off campus for a while, and getting to know your child’s friends is a great way to reinforce your connection with them.
Sept 6 – Labor Day — We all know this long weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, and most of us are not ready to say goodbye to the ease of summer gatherings, so go all out and make this cook-out the season’s best! You’ll find plenty of seasonal menu ideas in our Epicure section.
Sept 17 – Oktoberfest — Did you know Oktoberfest is actually in September? It’s traditionally scheduled to end on the first Sunday in October. Why not create your own festivities and host outdoor gatherings at home? Go all out with a hearty German menu of potato pancakes, soft pretzels, grilled bratwurst, endive salad, and German apple cake. Make the main attraction a tasting of German beers served in mini glass mugs and paired with small bites like grilled brats and spicy mustard and our soft pretzels arranged on an olive wood serving board as a festive starter.
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 or plan an outdoor candlelit fall dinner with friends. Enjoy the outdoors with these perfect fall temperatures! Nothing is more spectacular than enjoying the cooler days along with the beautiful foliage, delicious seasonal sips, and bites shared with loved ones. So go ahead, make the most of this season!
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... Drowning in tomatoes? Enjoy them in our easy fresh tomato sauce, or roast or can them for later. Make our farmer’s market pasta for a simple meatless weeknight supper. If stone-fruit is still available where you live, make late-season peach jam or flash-freeze peeled and cut peaches or nectarines for muffins, smoothies, or a surprise crisp later in the month. 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 or our couscous 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, a true perennial favorite! Simmer 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 easier-than-pie apple crisp for a delicious finale.
Apple Banana Smoothies
Morning Glory Muffins
Breakfast Oat Cookies
Farmer’s Market Pasta
No-Cook Fresh Tomato Sauce
Roasted Corn Soup
Shaved Brussel Sprout and Apple Salad
Quinoa Power Bowl
German Apple Cake
With that fall feel in the air, take time to refresh your style and browse through our new autumn finds—perfect for you and your home or as thoughtful gifts for upcoming celebrations of joy. We’re excited about cozy throw blankets (so soft you’ll want to live in them!) loungewear, reusable market totes, linens, olivewood and woven home accessories and our earthy-scented candles and many wellness essentials.
Re-style for Fall
Think about bringing the outdoors in to add texture and warmth to your living spaces. Look at what’s growing in your garden and on the trees around you for seasonal inspiration. We love this season in particular to refresh with paint, changing up our 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: fall is the perfect time to have your home windows cleaned. Joy comes in both small and large ways, and clear, clean 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 transforming a formal traditional dining area that only gets used a few times a year to a light and airy indoor gathering area, a space for sharing everyday joys. Be sure to follow us on IG to see the transformation!
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 and mix 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. Add texture with thicker cottons.
A Season to Strengthen our Connections
Remember what we learned about longevity and wellness in our “Blue Zones” research last month? Those principles go a long way in guiding us in taking good care of ourselves and those around us. A quote heard in a yoga class this summer has really resonated with us: “We can only be good humans together.” Meaningful connection with others is one of the commonalities that people enjoying longevity in Blue Zones share, and this comes as no surprise to us at partager la joie, where living in a more connected way is at the root of our mission statement.
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 our connection to nature’s bounty and beauty—and to each other.
And as you practice mindfulness, patience and compassion with others, make sure you do the same for yourself. Remember that no one is perfect. Although we strive to be unique, let’s take comfort and joy in knowing we all may experience similar difficulties and setbacks as we navigate our ways! 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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