Celebrating 4 years

As of today, Luke and I have been married for four years!

IMG_1472

The past four years have been a great learning experience. Being completely on our own on the east coast we have learned to how to give each other space and still enjoy large amounts of time together.

IMG_1633

Most of the time we have lived here we have been each other’s only family and at times only friend. This has drawn us very close together. During this time we bought our first home, learned how to train a puppy, and bought a car. We have learned what our roles looked like as husband and wife, and how to balance our responsibilities since both of us work.

We are now ready and looking forward to learning what it is like to live as a couple near friends and family as well as to start a new life for ourselves, with new friends.

img_6854img_6853

This year’s anniversary celebrations are a little different. This past weekend we went to the Cohocton Fall Foliage Festival and picked up our annual apples, cider, and cider doughnuts.

img_6848img_6849

It was great that this year there was no cold rain to dampen the fun, but the air was definitely chilly.

unknown

We plan tonight on going to Ember, our new favorite restaurant in the area to celebrate after I get off work.

Normally I make an elaborate apple dessert in memory of  our wedding in apple country in SoCal. But this year we do not have time for anything fancy. So I will probably make some fried apples to go with any leftover apple cider doughnuts.

img_6861img_6858

The reason for our subdued and hurried celebration is that tomorrow afternoon we leave for Washington state for almost a week trip to try to find a place to live. We are looking forward  to exploring the area we will be living in and re-connecting with people we know in the area.

Glimpses of Fall

Fall (or Autumn) is my favorite season for so many reasons. The season makes me feel welcomed and comfortable. The cooler air, the wind, the beautiful colors of the trees, the opportunity to wear scarfs, flannel, boots, and of course more excuses to cook and bake. And the smells are warm and inviting (who doesn’t like cinnamon and cloves?).

Unknown-2

This is our first time experiencing fall here in New York and I more than a little excited, mainly because upstate New York, especially the region we live in, is know for a beautiful fall foliage. The trees are starting to slowly turn, I will see glimpses of yellow or orange here or there. I can’t wait to go on some beautiful drives and hikes in the colorful trees.

Unknown-1

Other hints towards fall are less inviting, because of the cooling weather we have an increase in spiders. 😦 After a few bites we discovered it is typical for East Coasters to spray their houses down when fall hits. So we bought some Ortho home defense and coated the outside of our house before the problem got any worse. Since then we have been bug free (let’s hope it stays that way).

Unknown

our future bite preventer

I am looking forward to corn mazes, pumpkin patches and carving, and autumn flavors. (I have already looked up the closest pumpkin patches and corn maizes in the area). Speaking of flavors I have also jumped started the season with some pumpkin spice coffee mix and granola. (Hopefully this will keep me from ordering sugary drinks out).

IMG_1476

Labor day weekend I made an orange spice cake that fit perfectly into the transition of seasons. This week I also tried out a new recipe for cinnamon oat apple muffins.

IMG_1347

IMG_1474

Then finally this past weekend when I went to the store I found my favorite hard cider: Woodchuck’s limited release Fall. It taste just like an apple pie! It also brings back memories of our honeymoon last October eating Gluten-Free pizza and drinking hard cider while enjoying our rainy beach-front view.

IMG_1468

In addition to this,  I bought a wreath for the front door on sale (before all the season’s crafts were turned over to Christmas!). It started off a little bare but with a few extra wire wrapped leaves and berries I was able to make it a full autumn bouqet. Using orange and gold wire wrapped ribbon, I tied the broadest ends of the twine leaf shape together and tied off a bow. I’m waiting to see other autumn wreaths on my neighbor’s doors before hanging mine.

IMG_1485IMG_1490

This past weekend we took a rare trip to the mall and I bought a pumpkin candle I plan to use every fall. It’s labeled pumpkin cupcake but to me it smells like something is pumpkin flavored is baking in the house a very similar to when I make my family’s pumpkin bread.

IMG_1478

This is also the time of year that people begin to persevere summer produce. Jars of jam and pickled foods are popping up everywhere. Someone at Luke’s work found out he is a big fan of pickles. Next thing I know he came home with a cardboard box filled with mason jars of pickles seasoned and prepared in a large variety of ways. Alongside the preserved pickles came a small jar of grape jelly (one of Luke’s favorite fruit flavors).

IMG_1464

Only a small portion of the goods Luke brought home (the rest are in the fridge)

We also have begun preserving produce. This past week we finally started using the dehydrator bought for our us from our wedding registry to make fruit leathers/roll ups. We even picked up and an apple corer-peeler and a few extra trays for the dehydrator so now we are ready to make apple chips, pie, or roll-ups/ fall fruit leathers.

IMG_1471

IMG_1467

IMG_1459

Our new kitchen gadget means less of this

Of course also with the change of the season I changed out my holiday tree. (Don’t know what I’m talking about then see Holidays grow on Trees) I filled the small mason jars with a dark roast coffee beans then placed votive pumpkin candles in the centers. The base of the tree is filled with small pinecones and pumpkin shapes. I also picked up a plastic pumpkin to stick in the pine cone base. Then I tied it all off with a beautiful wire rapped ribbon in orange and gold. The extra base filling I added into the vase where I’ve been displaying/storing our wine corks.

IMG_1484IMG_1479IMG_1482IMG_1462

What are your favorite fall activities? Flavors/Foods?