stress free project / 009

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With fall now in full swing here are the little bits that keep me going as the cold Michigan weather creeps up around me. These items may seem obvious but they sure do help me to appreciate the season. I hope all of you can find things that make the season extra special!

1. Comforting scent candles and air fresheners.
There really is nothing like coming home to a nice smelling space. To get the instant smell that I like, I use a Wallflowers from Bath and Body Works. This season I chose the pumpkin pie spice scent. I usually don’t like scents that smell like food, because it just makes me hungry. With the pumpkin-y scent, to me, it smells like my favorites from my spice rack, so it just makes me happy! When I feel like we need an extra burst I just bust out a big old candle.

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2. Good quality hand lotion.
A couple of times during the day, especially before I go to bed, I apply some lotion to keep my skin and hands happy. During this time of year it is even more important to keep this habit up. Everyone’s preference to lotion is very different, so this is just my favorite right now. I got it at World Market and the formula goes on very smooth, not greasy or too watery. The scent is very unique with a hint of spice. I’m glad to be stocked up for a while now!

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3. Chap Stick.
Yes. The ‘Classic’ scent is a MUST for me. I rely heavily on this little tube all year, but again, like the lotion, this time of year I about double my usage. I keep this little baby on my nightstand, another one in my purse, another next to where I sit on the couch, one in my car and another one at my desk at work. To get serious about helping my lips out, it’s all about the Classic Chap Stick. I love the formula almost as much as I LOVE the scent. Some love Carmex others, like me prefer Chap Stick.

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4. Socks
Not wearing socks is becoming less of an option now and having a few good pairs is quite important. I rely on Smartwool socks to get me through. Yes, the are more expensive, but they are very durable, they keep my feet warm in the chilly months and cool when I need to wear socks during the warmer months of the year. Whenever I find some on sale, I snag up a few pairs.

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5. A warm cup of something
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cider, etc. There is something just so perfect about grabbing a warm drink at the beginning and the end of chilly days. It makes the transition from day to night and night to day a little easier. My favorite loose leaf tea right now (Mango Blossom) was given to my by my mom who recently went on a trip to southern Indiana. She got it at one of the hotels she stayed at. I can’t get enough of it.

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6. A great coat
Got to stay warm outside too, right? Just pick a coat that you can easily layer with and that makes you feel like a million bucks. One of my big criteria is having nice large pockets for gloves, my phone and keys.

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7. Chili and soup
Grab your spoon and large bowls! I love soups that are substantial and spicy in the fall and winter. The crock pot chili that my mom makes is my favorite and it just makes me feel so taken care of when I get to eat this comfort food again. Another soup that I have made twice already has been Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup. Originally my pal, Caitlin, directed me to this recipe and it is my new favorite. I have made a few small adjustments to this recipe so here’s the recipe in case you’re interested!

you will need:

  • 8 unpeeled carrots, washed and sliced
  • 2 lbs peeled and chopped butternut squash
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 to 6 cups of stock (as long as it covers all of the veggies, you should be fine)
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tps cumin
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 a cup of heavy cream
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a soup pot on the stove.
Add the garlic, stirring occasionally until golden and aromatic.
Add carrots, squash, stock and spices.
Bring to a boil and then to a simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.
Add heavy cream and let simmer for another 15 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree. salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot with wheat bread.
Lick the bowl!

Hope you all found ways to enjoy this time of year too. Happy fall!



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