Category Archives: 31 Days of Embracing The Fall Season

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal: Another Fall Food Review

How about a piping hot bowl of pumpkin spice oatmeal for breakfast? pumpkin spice oatmeal Oatmeal is another one of my “it has to be cold” before I want to eat it foods.  I tend to like the Quaker instant oatmeal packets.

Since I do enjoy the pumpkin spice flavor (just not in August!), I decided to try a few of the pumpkin flavored foods gracing the store shelves this season.  So, when I saw the Quaker Pumpkin Spice Instant Oatmeal, I decided to give it a try.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal! pumpkin spice oatmeal

The Quaker Instant Oatmeal usually comes in variety packs but this one is all pumpkin spice.  I do kind of wish they’d simply included it in a different variety pack but of course, that wouldn’t have been as much fun.

Eight packages are going to be a whole lot of pumpkin spice oatmeal.  November and December may see some mornings of this oatmeal flavor as I’ll need to space this flavor out a bit. pumpkin spice oatmeal One nice thing about these packages of oatmeal is the design that saves on dishes a bit: pumpkin spice oatmeal Do you add milk or water to your oatmeal?  For me, it’s milk or I’m having something else for breakfast.  With these packages, once you tear them and add the oatmeal to your bowl, you can use them as a measuring cup for your liquid of choice.

What you really want to know though is about the taste, right?  It is certainly not going to replace any of my favorite flavors (apples and spice, banana bread) any time soon.

This oatmeal ranks as just okay with me.  It definitely needs a side of sausage for it to be considered a complete breakfast!  pumpkin spice oatmeal

While I didn’t want in my face pumpkin flavor, it was a bit too subtle for me.  And weirdly strong in scent.  It smelled really good but in more of a perfume way rather than I want to eat this scent.

It’s not so awful I can’t finish the package during the course of the fall and winter but I won’t be buying any more of this particular flavor.

What’s your favorite flavor of oatmeal? Or are you like certain members of this house who don’t like oatmeal at all?

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Fall Fashion: A New Purse For A New Season

I decided to get a new purse for a new season.  My summer one was falling apart and it’s hard to embrace the fall season while carrying a light, summer purse.

My summer purse served me well.  new purse Unfortunately, I’m hard on purses.

new purse

The cell phone pocket stitching was coming undone.

My original plan was simply to return to my very similar black purse.   new purse

However, the black part peeling off the bottom bugged me.  I debated fixing it with a Sharpie marker but decided to embrace the season (and reward myself for a rather long-term stretch of full-time work days) by buying a new purse.

Here is my new purse with the other two purses for comparison: new purse

I went a bit of a different direction with my new fall purse in both color and style.  Brown seemed like a good fall color to me especially with the black trim. new purse One fun thing about this purse is it has two “cell phone” pockets.  It’s one of those weird must-have things in purses for me.  An outside pocket so I can quickly and easily access my cell phone.

When I first bought it, I thought I’d use the front pocket for the cell phone purpose.  And yes, I did test it in the store to make sure my phone would fit.  new purse new purse However, this purse in addition to the cool side pockets (I’m stashing tissues, pens, gum, and lip gloss in those), also has a designated cell phone pocket in the back! new purse I wasn’t sure I’d use this as it doesn’t securely close but I’ve found it incredibly convenient! My phone actually slides down far enough into this pocket that I don’t think it will fall out.

My new fall purse is already serving me well.  It’s nice to be able to quickly access my cell phone. It’s also a bit refreshing to be able to retrieve a pen without diving into the deep unknowns of the bottom of my purse. I like having my gum and lip gloss handy as well.

Do you switch purses seasonally?

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State Bird of Missouri

When I went on my second fall hike with the intent to focus on bird watching, I heard birds. Did I see them? No.

This woodpecker stopped by just to chatter at me that the “paparazzi” was not welcome today.

state bird

Not the Missouri State Bird

In the distance, I saw a small bird light on a branch.  It was really too bright to tell what bird I had captured with my camera’s zoom lens so I simply continued on my walk.  Later, I saw it had been this little bluebird landing on the tree in the distance.

state bird

It was a bluebird!

The Missouri State Bird is the Bluebird.  I often see (and hear!) Blue-jays around our house but I’ve never seen a Bluebird in our backyard.We live in a bit more of a wooded area than they prefer I think.

They’re often described as a flash of blue.  After snapping the above photo, I didn’t expect to see so many flashes of blue as I continued on my walk.

Walking on the path by a small water puddle, I noticed a few birds and glanced to the wooded area to my left.  I saw many “flashes of blue!”  Too fast and far away for decent photos, I stopped to enjoy the moment.  Then, this kind bluebird decided to cooperate a bit.

As I was checking my (slightly out of focus…need more practice) photo at home, I was delighted to see I captured both a female and a male bird on camera!

Can you spot the male bird peeking out on the left part of the stump?  state bird

These little blue birds did indeed bring me much happiness. I’m calling my first official birding attempt a success thanks to those flashes of blue!

Also spotted at this park but not willing to cooperate for me: a Mockingbird, wrens, and a few turkey vultures soaring in the sky.

state bird

One of the uncooperative turkey vultures

At my “regular” hang-outs, I spotted Robins, Blue-jays, Cardinals, and a pair of Titmouse birds. What birds did you spot this week?

Joining in the weekly link up over at I’d Rather B Birdin’.

Also, this is post #14 in my 31 Days of Embracing The Fall Season Series.





Five Things I Like About Fall

I shared my struggles with the fall season last week so I thought I should spend this Friday sharing five things I do like about fall.

Hopefully, I can find five things!  If this were a summer list, it would be an easy task.  However, finding five things I like about this season may be a bit more of a challenge. Good thing I love a challenge!

Five Things I Like About Fall:

    1. The Food:

      Certain foods just require cooler weather.  Please, do not serve me chili on a one-hundred degree day.  However, a cold and rainy damp fall day.  Yes, please!


      With a side of cornbread, of course.

    2. The Trees

      Most trees around here are just starting to change colors.  I know they will only become more vibrant and beautiful as the season continues. A few trees though have already lost most their leaves thanks to those windy days that fall brings (I happen to also enjoy the windy days. It doesn’t really get old saying, “It looks like a rather blustery day!” five

    3. The Time Change Back To The RIGHT Time

      I like my sleep.  It annoys me when Daylight Saving Time takes away an hour of it every spring. “The days get naturally longer and shorter!” and “Let’s move to a state that doesn’t participate in this nonsense!” might be heard coming from my mouth on more than one day. At least, fall gives me back my hour.  Give me my light in the mornings where it belongs! five

    4. My TV Shows Return For Their Season Premiere

      Summer television shows are a bit lacking.  There are a few I don’t mind watching but I will fully admit to not really making an effort to watch American Ninja Warrior every week.  Once October arrives, so do the television season premieres of all my favorite shows.  Also, Netflix usually finally gets around to adding in the new (to me) seasons of a few more shows.

    5. I Like Candy

This might be a repeat of number one but I think candy does deserve its own category.  This is the time of year when it seems to be most abundant.  Candy corn, Almond Joys, Mounds, Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers bars, Milky Ways (frozen!), Caramel Apple Suckers, Tootsie Pops, Gummy Worms,Bottle Caps, starburst,…What’s your favorite candy?

So, there are the five things I like about fall.  Linking up with The F.A.S.T. blog for Five on Friday.  Also, including this post in my series 31 Days of Embracing The Fall Season.

Creepy Crawlies, Stay Away!

Since it’s Thursday again, I’m simply going to share some quick tips to help the creepy crawlies stay away.

Bugs don’t bother me very much.  They make for interesting photographs and I enjoy seeing a new bug as long as it is in its home outside.

That person who relocates the spiders (with a few exceptions) outside would be me. However, I would much prefer they along with their other bug friends simply stay there to start.

What I don’t enjoy is when the creepy crawlies start to enter my home. Or when annually, the spiders decide inside our mailbox would make a great home. NO, spiders, not an ideal home.  The mailman does not approve.  Neither do I.

Here are my strategies for keeping the creepy crawlies out of our home and mailbox:

  • Especially in the fall, hedge apples.
    creepy crawlies

    Hedge apple

    While there are mixed results on the official research on these working, I’ve had good luck with them.  They do seem to solve our spiders in the mailbox problem.

    creepy crawlies

    For some reason, spiders like to crawl in here and hide with our mail.

    Adding a hedge apple inside our mailbox seems to help. creepy crawlies I just put the hedge apple in their whole on top of our weather monitor thing.   I usually also add a few hedge apples by the basement door and windows.

  • Wipe the baseboard down with essential oils known repel insects (cinnamon, peppermint, lavender, and/or tea tree oils).  I’ll also add a few drops of one or two of these to my steam mop.  As our house is in a state of refinishing flux, we have some gaps between our baseboard and the floor so I’ve started adding drops to cotton balls and sticking those in the gaps.
  • Conventional methods: my husband keeps glue traps down in our basement.  And he does spray for ants around the outside of the house although they’re usually more of a summer nuisance for us.

Do spiders and insects try to find cozy spot in your home at this time of year? What are your strategies for letting them no there is no vacancy in your home?

fall season



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