Turn of the Season: Goodbye, Summer! Hello, Autumn! – Fall bucket list

Turn of the Season is a week long blogging event being hosted by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and I.  Alexa is a sweet Summer child and I’m an Autumn fox baby so we wanted to put together an event celebrating the end of Alexa’s season and the beginning of mine.  Throughout the week we’ll be highlighting some of our summer favorites as well as our autumn anticipations!

Fall Bucket List

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Kristin

25+ Pumpkin Recipes Perfect For Thanksgiving

It’s no secret that I’m a pumpkin spice addict who loves baking.  I’m always looking up new recipes to try (even though I haven’t has as much time as I would like to actually bake them recently) but nonetheless I haven’t stopped looking!  Thanksgiving is getting nearer and since I will definitely be baking for that, I decided to round up over 25 pumpkin spice recipes that I’m considering trying out this year.  Do you have a particular food that you traditionally make or do you like to try out new recipes too?

5 Fandom Friday: Things I Love About Halloween

The last two weeks have been crazy busy for me so I almost felt too tired to prepare my 5 Fandom Friday post for this week… until I remembered that it involved Halloween.  Since I don’t really have any specific traditions I figured I would shake up the topic and talk about the 5 things I love most about the holiday.  What are you most looking forward to this year? Any costume ideas yet? Once Andrew and I have our own place I am committing to a yearly over the top Halloween BASH.

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1) CANDY! – This is clearly the best part of Halloween, no contest! Last year, we did a 5 Fandom Friday post about our favorite Halloween candy and my previous ranking still stands.  I hope my day is full of Take5’s, Reese’s Pumpkins and Cadbury Screme Eggs.

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2) SCARY MOVIES! – All of the Halloween plans Andrew and I were invited to this year ended up being in other states and since we’re saving for a wedding / commuting 5 days a week, the idea of traveling just wasn’t appealing to us so we’re going to spend the day relaxing together and marathoning Halloween movies and eating candy.  I’m also planning on baking a pie.

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3) COSTUMES! – I love seeing what people come up with for Halloween costumes.  There are always some really creative ideas circulating the internet and I love perusing through photos when I have the time.  I also love seeing what kids are dressed up as when they come around the neighborhood trick-or-treating.  Last year, we had a TON of Elsa’s so I’m curious what “the” costume is this year. Kids dressed as comic book characters get extra candy.

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4) PUMPKINS! – In addition to pumpkin flavored treats, I also love seeing everyone’s homes adorned with my favorite seasonal food.  We went pumpkin picking and painted our own pumpkins last weekend (mine is Harry Potter and Andrew’s brother Joe painted a flawless Bob from Bob’s Burgers) and Andrew even carved a classic Jack-o-Lantern for the porch.  

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5) IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS! – As much as I love Halloween, which holds second place for best holiday of every year, the day has nothing on Christmas!  Once November hits, even the grumpiest people seem more open to putting up with my overly enthusiastic Christmas cheer so I look forward to that every year.

October 6 on 6: Orange

This is the first month I’m taking part in 6 on 6 which was created by Scruffy Little Nerf Herder.  Basically, you’re encouraged to take 6 geek themed photos and post them on the 6th of each month.  Each month is assigned a different color and fittingly enough, October is orange.  I’m kind of shocked to see just how little I own that’s actually orange but I’m really pleased with what I came up with!

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  1. Smaug + Fantasy – I love my Smaug Funko! He’s taller than a giant stack of thick fantasy books which is pretty cool IMO.  This photo shows some of my fantasy favorites and one (well, three because it’s a bind up) that I’m really hoping to get to soon, The Sword of Shannara series by Terry Brooks.  The MTV show looks incredible and I really want to read it before it premieres early next year!
  2. Currently Reading – I’m currently reading the 4th and final volume of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye which I was so sad to see come to an end.  I really love Jeff Lemire but I haven’t picked up his reboot just yet.  I’m also really addicted to Ranma 1 / 2 lately! I love that they’re reprinting the original in such a pretty new collection.  The 3rd volume is pictured and I’m pretty in love with the cover.
  3. Pumpkins! – These are from a recent trip to Trader Joe’s to stock up on all of the pumpkiny goodness I could find but I’m going pumpkin and apple picking this coming weekend so looking that them is getting me even more into the spirit of Fall!
  4. Halloween Mickey Jewelry – When I saw this beautiful set from FemmeDeBloom on Etsy, I knew I had to have it.  Disney and Halloween are two of the best things so combined, it makes me so happy.  Plus, it’s really reasonably priced for a set that includes a necklace and earrings.
  5. Compilation of Orange Things – As I mentioned,  I seem to be lacking things in the orange department so I started by grabbing some ginger Funko’s as a starting point, added my PSL #OrangeSleeveSociety cozy that Megan tweeted to me, a pair of pumpkin earrings I got on Etsy some time two years ago and my favorite pumpkin tea plus a pumpkin pie candle from Bath and Body Works.
  6. BB-8 – I preordered my Sphero BB-8 from ThinkGeek on Force Friday but I am still awaiting his arrival to my home so I visited one in the Disney Store in the meantime.  He wasn’t for sale, otherwise I would’ve cancelled my preorder and picked him up on the spot!

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Kristin

5FF: Favorite Pumpkin Items This Season (So Far)

You can bet that I was already out hunting for pumpkin flavored goodies at the end of August so there’s not much left that I’m still looking to buy with the exception of the Pumpkin Spice Jif peanut butter because that sounds GREAT.  I also haven’t spotted Pumpkin Spice Oreo’s yet and I LOVED them last season so if I come across those I’ll be stocking up for sure.  I had pre-written this post before yesterday when Barb of You Fancy Me Mad posted hers and now I’ll also be searching for pumpkin spice English muffins!  Instead of telling you what I’m looking forward to buy, I’m going to tell you the best pumpkin things I’ve tried so far this season.  Although, I may have to make a Pumpkin-to-buy-list after seeing everyone else’s posts!

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1) Pumpkin Spice Mini Wheats – YAS. I adore these. I only like the tiniest bit of milk in my cereal and it was the perfect combo with this delicious breakfast / all the time food.  Pumpkin spice really *worked* on classic mini wheats and I’ll probably be getting another box before the season ends because mine is just about empty ^.^

2) Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s – I really enjoyed these! They differ a lot from the Pumpkin Spice Oreo’s but it’s not a bad thing.  The cookie part is pumpkin flavored and thicker than your typical Oreo.  The cream is where the spice comes in but my one complaint is that there’s too much of it.  I actually took the cream out and ate only the cookie portion on a few of them.

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3) Keebler Fudge Stripe Pumpkin Spice Cookies – These are incredibly satisfying.  It’s like putting everything you love about Fall in your mouth.  They’re definitely on the spicier side (think essence of Chai tea) and the white chocolate fudge stripe adds a sweetness that compliments the spice perfectly.  I’ve been managing to eat only 3-4 of these at a time because I really want to savor this treat.

4) Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M’s – While I do miss the traditional Pumpkin Spice M&M’s, the latte ones are pretty good too! They’re not overly pumpkin spicey and they’re really more Latte M&M’s in my opinion.  Plus the M&M on the packaging looks super stylish in her scarf.

5) Tazo Chai Pumpkin Spice Tea – This is such a staple in my household during the fall.  It’s a much healthier and cheaper alternative to the PSL and I savor every cup I make.

Don’t forget that next week starts our 5 Fandom Friday Photo a Day Challenge on Instagram!

5FF October Photo A Day Challenge

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5 Fandom Friday: Favorite Things About Autumn + October Topics + A SURPRISE!

I will preface this weeks 5 Fandom Friday by saying I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT AUTUMN.  I love the cooler weather.  I love wearing sweaters and scarves and sipping hot drinks and walking through colored leaves and getting into the Halloween spirit.  But above all, I love the feeling that comes along with Autumn.  It’s when school is starting back up and people seem more motivated and less aggravated by the unbearable heat and it’s just a generally great time of the year.  A few weeks ago I posted my Autumn activities list and I’m already scheduling the time to dedicate to the things I want to do to completely enjoy and appreciate the season (plus, I’m so close to beating Luigi’s Mansion which is one of my goals so HOORAY!).

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1) Pumpkin Everything! – I’ve already gone one several sprees to pick up any and all Pumpkin flavored foods at my local Target.  I have yet to haul pumpkin goods from my annual Fall Trader Joe’s trip but I’m planning on going there in the coming weeks once everything is in stock.  Last year I did a comprehensive end of season review of almost everything I tried and I feel good about knowing which things I can skip this year.  I’ve been having my lunch on pumpkin spice bread every day for the past two weeks and it’s been the best thing in the world.22) Pumpkin & Apple Picking  – Last year I went to this amazing gem of a place for pumpkin and apple picking with my now fiancee Andrew and my BFF Melissa. We’re planning on heading back again this year with Andrew’s many siblings (he’s one of five!) and I cannot wait because they’re all so great<3  There’s a giant corn maze with a mystery you have to solve, homemade Apple Cider donuts that you can watch being made while you wait on the line and of course, pumpkins and apples for picking!
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3) Fall Wardrobe – I adore wearing sweaters, scarves and boots and the crisp Autumn air always demands it<3  I can’t wait to break out my sweaters again and accessorize for the cooler air.  Plus, leather jackets! And I just recently reintroduced jeans into my wardrobe so I’m already foreseeing some adorable ensembles.
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4) Fall Landscapes – I always feel so lucky to live close enough to Central Park that I can pop over once the leaves start changing and spend a few hours strolling around and admiring the view.  Fall is so colorful which is exactly what I crave and I love stepping through leaves on the ground in knee high boots.  This is one of my favorite photos I took of the Bow Bridge last Fall (you may recognize it from Amy & Rory’s final episode of Doctor Who!) and you can see the rest of my photos here.   I can’t wait to spend some time there with Andrew this year!5

5) PIE – This goes along with my first fall fave because Pumpkin Pie is everything! But I am not discriminatory and I love all pie in general I thought it made sense to include it on my list as it’s own category.  Autumn pies are so delicious and I cannot wait to put more Pecan Pie in my mouth.

5 Fandom Friday

And now, Megan and I are ahead of the game for October topics for a very special reason.  You may have noticed that I have a new 5 Fandom Friday graphic as my featured image and that is because my fiancee Andrew has been patiently teaching me Photoshop (despite how frustrated this n00b would get when trying to create / color all the fandom icons).  I knew the first thing I wanted to create would be fandom related and I figured, what better way to experiment than to create something new for 5 Fandom Friday?!  So in addition to the October topics which will be listed below, we’re also going to debut a 5 Fandom Friday Instagram Photo A Day Challenge for the month of October!  I wanted to post it early so that everyone would have time to take their photos and we really hope you’ll enjoy playing along this month! If everyone likes it, it may be something we continue with!  You can follow along on mine and Megan’s instagrams (we’ll be posting the graphic there too later in the week) and we’re both anxious for October 1st so we can start perusing the hashtag and see all the geeky goodness in our feeds!

5FF October Photo A Day Challenge

October Topics

October 2 – People You Want on Your Side During an Apocalypse (Kendall Ashley)

October 9 – Favorite Fictional Teachers (Heather Q – Beyond the Aisle)

October 16 – Top 5 Halloween Traditions (Sylvanfire)

October 23 – Characters I Want to Dress Up as for Halloween

October 30 – Favorite Halloween Episodes of TV Shows

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Kristin

End of Season Pumpkin Spice Product Reviews

My pumpkin spice addiction was in full force this season and as a result I ended up sampling some really tasty treats as well as some that were kind of meh.  I decided to round them up in one giant end of season review instead of harassing the non-pumpkin lover by posting one review per week.  I found most of my pumpkin snacks at either Trader Joe’s or Stop and Shop and I also included a photo of a sparkly pumpkin I found at Michael’s just because.

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Sparkly Pumpkin ^.^Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetPumpkin Spice M&M’s – It’s been a full year since I first tasted and wrote this love letter to Pumpkin Spice M&M’s, and I’m very happy to report that they hold up.  I think pumpkin spice is one of the best flavors to be mixed with the classic M&M (right after peanut butter of course).  Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses – I am a HUGE fan of these.  They’re not what you would expect at all from a Hershey Kiss and it totally works!  When you unwrap your kiss, your met with a bright orange chocolate and once you take a bite, you’ll see the white cream filling in the center.  The kiss is VERY pumpkin spice and does not really taste like chocolate at all.  I think these can be very hit or miss depending on your tastes, but I really love them.  They’re more sweet than spicy and I’ve been savoring this bag ever since I purchased it.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Pumpkin Spice Toll House Chips – Similar to the Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses, Nestle’s Toll House chips are also a bright orange color.  I’m sorry to say that I had the busiest October ever with NYCC and all, and I still haven’t been able to bake any Pumpkin Spice cookies with these just yet, so I cannot yet comment on their taste. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies – These pumpkin cheesecake cookies did not make of my list of things I would buy again.  They were okay tasting, but they  were neither spicy nor sweet enough so it felt like the cookie was lacking overall.  Perhaps they would best appeal to someone who has a casual love for pumpkin?  Either way, they did not do much for me.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Tazo Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea – OMG this tea is the best tea.  Chai tea is already spicy by itself so adding pumpkin spice to it was an ingenious idea.  I’m still enjoying cups of this as I type.  Next year, I’m definitely planning on stocking up on this tea so that I can enjoy it year round.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread – This bread was absolutely delicious, especially when consumed with Trader Joes’ Cookie Butter.  The bread has orange bits of pumpkin in it, as well as a cinnamon-like spicy swirl and when topped with cookie butter, it tastes much more like dessert than breakfast.  I would definitely buy this again next year.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Croissants – I am a huge fan of croissants as it is, so adding pumpkin to them is a breakfast dream come true.  These croissants are topped with pumpkin seeds and the inside has a delicious pumpkin filling, which after baking in the oven, is so incredibly warm and satisfying.  These are not spicy at all but they still manage to pack enough flavor to secure their status as a fall favorite.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Kellog’s Eggo Pumpkin Spice Waffles – These waffles are another masterful combination of pumpkin spice and breakfast food.  They have a combination spicy and sweet taste that I would compare to eating something cinnamon and then pouring sugary maple syrup in all of the squares.  Good job Eggo, Leslie Knoppe would be proud.

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Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bagels – These bagels are another pumpkin infused food that were just okay.  Maybe I’m spoiled with New York Bagels, but these were nothing to write home about in so many ways.  Since I prefer bagels when they’re just out of the oven, I tried toasting one to see if it would change my opinion, but alas, it did not.  The bagels were not doughy enough and the pumpkin flavor felt very bland.

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Trader Joe’s Mini Ginger Pumpkin Ice Cream Mouthfuls – The name alone is a mouthful!  These mini ice cream sandwiches were exploding with flavor, thanks in huge part to the ginger cookies that the pumpkin ice cream was sandwiched between.  They were tasty and they did have an effective spicy to sweet ratio, but these were also not my favorite.  There were bites where the ginger flavor was too overpowering to enjoy the pumpkin.

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Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Macarons – These were so delicious! I mean, they’re macarons so they’re kind of a challenge to mess up taste-wise (baking-wise is a whole other story).  The cookie is light and delicious and the pumpkin filling was sweet enough that each time I finished a cookie, I felt compelled to reach for more.

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Nabisco Pumpkin Spice Oreo’s – Oreo is constantly coming out with innovative flavors, some which work extremely well and other (like Caramel Apple, yuck), that completely miss the mark.  I am so pleased to report that Pumpkin Spice Oreo’s are perfection (despite smelling like a candle when you open the package).  The cookie part tasted akin to a graham cracker and the filling was a darker orange than you’d expect an artificially flavored food to be.  They boast a fantastic spicy to sweet ratio and I will definitely be hunting for these again next year.

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Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cereal Bars – I think part of the reason that I wasn’t super into these is because I’m not a big cereal bar person overall.  I thought they did a good job of emulating the taste of a cereal bar, so if those are your thing, you will probably enjoy these.  They didn’t have enough taste to keep me interested in even finishing one entire bar.  Next year, I’ll pass.

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Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cheesecake – This was definitely worth the low price tag of $6.99 for an entire cheesecake.  The crust was a delicious graham cracker and the pumpkin cheesecake was very sweet.  I couldn’t eat too much in one sitting because of how rich it is, but the taste definitely kept me coming back for more.

Not pictured is also the Trader Joe’s Salted Pumpkin Caramels which were an interesting creation.  They were VERY pumpkiny and also very salty.  I could only eat one at a time and after consuming almost the entire box, I still can’t decide whether I really liked them or really didn’t like them.  I think I kept eating them out of the hope that I would draw a conclusion but it has yet to happen. Maybe next year!  What were your favorite Pumpkin flavored treats from this season?

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