September 18, 2020
Okay, confession time. I hate Winter. There, I said it. Despite this admission, I am a very proud Canadian. I love this imperfect country, flaws included, for so many reasons. I know how blessed I am to have been born in a country that embraces multiple cultures, values individuality and encourages diversity of thought.
This country also embraces multiple seasons, and that brings me back to Winter. I hate it.
Not the early December “intricate patterns of ice falling softly from the pure white sky, flakes swirling and dancing toward the blanketed earth below”- type Winter. The Winter that is fully in charge and dominating by January, the one that you start to tell yourself may give up its relentless fight by March 21 because the calendar says “Spring”. The Winter that lingers, driving you almost mad as you will the tree branches to squeeze out those buds that represent so much promise. And all through that long hard Winter and into Spring, I dream of Summer. I’m a sun-hog and I am obsessed with thoughts of basking in the warm, penetrating sun during the day and enjoying leisurely, lazy light filled evenings.
Here’s the thing though, by the end of the Summer I start to get antsy for the Fall. In fact, the Fall may even be my favourite season! (Yes, I said that too!). When I start to feel the first cool breezes of September, I get excited for this glorious time of year. It’s refreshing to experience autumn in Canada – with her spectacular bouquet of fiery oranges, warm reds and fresh yellows, and there’s nothing like breaking out those cozy sweaters and scarves that have been hidden in the back of the closet.
Enjoying Fall is all about getting outdoors, breathing the fresh air and making the most of the season. Here are a few tips to help you fall in love with your own outdoor spaces this autumn:
Light Up Your Nights
This time of year, the sun is setting around 7:30 pm – and that’s way too early to shut down Saturday night fun with your bubble. There are so many more choices these days to “keep her lit” beyond the standard white string lights – especially when it comes to environmentally friendly options. For example, LED lights are energy efficient as well as long-lasting (they can last for up to 100,000 hours). Or perhaps more cost-effective solar lights are right for you – the design choices are growing and you can feel great knowing that they use renewable energy.
Keep Your Seat Warm
Much like when adjusting your indoor décor to suit the seasons, your outdoors are ready to reflect the changing times. Adding simple accessories such as throw pillows and blankets make curling up irresistible. And while you’re celebrating the Fall with a festive outdoor dinner, consider covering your dining chairs with slipcovers for an instant welcoming and cozy atmosphere.
Keep Your Spirit Warm
I couldn’t provide you with tips for loving your outdoors this Fall without adding in a few recommendations to warm your heart. Shari Mogk-Edwards has some amazing wine recommendations for making the most of the change in seasons. For those of us who have been caught chanting “rose all day”, it’s time for one last battle cry. Shari recommends a VQA rose wine from the Niagara Penninsula – Redstone Rose 2019, only $17.95 at Vintages. It’s a delicious and versatile wine that partners well with appetizers and casual foods. For more recommendations and amazing entertaining ideas, sign up for Shari’s blog at www.sharispx.com.
Fire It Up
Everyone loves to gather around a fire – somehow it speaks to our primal instincts. I’ve found myself daydreaming into the flames for literally hours at a time. Whether you have a huge, spacious backyard or a small deck, there are fire options for every outdoor space.
For larger spaces, a chic and eclectic alternative to the usual fire pit can be found in fire bowls. There’s a huge selection available, with materials ranging from concrete to steel and fueled by everything from propane to eco-friendly ethanol. One truly unique option to consider is the Kadai Firebowl, (kadai.co.uk) who’s designs are based on metal cooking bowls used in India. They’re very popular in the UK and are starting to make their way to North America.
Bake In Some Comfort
Even though I fully admit to embracing the COVID diet of comfort food pretty much since the crisis started, when the air cools down i find myself craving home baked goodies. At this time of year, my Irish heritage calls and I am drawn to good old fashioned Irish Soda bread. Now, if you know me, you know I’m not a baker so I was thrilled when a good friend introduced me to Odlums. Imported from the Emerald Isle, this easy bread mix will fill your home with glorious aromas and your tummy with homemade goodness.
For my fellow sun-lovers who find themselves lamenting the shift in seasons, don’t despair. It’s so easy to Fall in love with Canada’s most stunning time of year. Get out and enjoy the many blessings that come with life in our beautiful country.