The Clog’s guide to (pumpkin) spice up your autumn

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With the first official day of fall just passing, I’m ready for all the autumn season has to offer. But if you’re living in Berkeley, you may have noticed that it still feels like summer most of the time. I know, I know — I’m feeling just as antsy as you are for a new season. Even if it doesn’t feel like autumn yet, there are a lot of great ways to transition into a new season, including decorating your home, embracing pumpkins and changing your mindset.

Candles

Nothing feels more like fall than getting cozy with some delicious-smelling candles! Of course, you can go for the classic pumpkin spice scent, but there are other fall scents to consider, such as cinnamon, apple cider, cloves, autumn leaves and caramel. Instead of turning on your lights, start your day with a few lit candles and the morning sun to really get into that cozy fall vibe. Candles are also a great way to cover the smell from your roommates’ aggressive-smelling dinner or that moldy part of your carpet. You can also buy cinnamon sticks to make your house smell like cinnamon.

Decorations

Don’t just buy the candles — put them up everywhere! Now is the time to display your lovely mug collection or buy a couple of decorative gourds to place on your dining room table. If you feel like getting crafty, collect some leaves and dry them onto papers. You can also create some nice fall-themed doodles. If you’re not so crafty, check out the dollar section of your favorite stores for some cheap decorations and banners. There are also plenty of DIYs online that you can make with everyday household items.

Pumpkin spice everything!

If you’re really trying to immerse yourself in autumn vibes, pumpkin spice is the way to go. Think lattes, cookies and cakes. Buy all the classic fall spices and practically dump them over your food and drinks. You could also think of other ways to branch out your flavors for fall. Maybe use more cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg in your cooking. Try it with a basic rice or vegetable dish and see how it goes.

For those of you who don’t like pumpkin spice

Pumpkin spice lattes are not your only option here. There are so many pumpkin recipes and treats out there that are just begging you to purchase them. Think pumpkin crackers, cookies, bread, muffins or even gnocchi. Though pumpkin spice is often associated with sweet things such as pie, you can also use pumpkin in savory dishes. Try buying a pumpkin and cooking it in the oven with some spices. You could roast the pumpkin seeds at the same time. And don’t limit yourself to just pumpkin — try out other squashes, gourds and even fruits such as pomegranate and apples. 

Return of soup and other warm foods

Now that it is starting to get slightly colder, you can drink all your favorite hot liquids again. Now is the time to be making tea, coffee and cider every morning, afternoon and night. As an avid soup lover, I can’t deny that I am pumped to make soup again and not sweat while eating it. When it’s not too hot to turn on the oven, you can make fresh bread in the morning to eat with your soup. What a beautiful world we live in.

Sweaters

Although it’s almost objectively not yet cold enough to wear a sweater, now is a great time to force yourself to. Obviously don’t do anything physically uncomfortable for you, but flipping over your closet to start wearing (or at least being inspired by) your fall wardrobe again is always fun. Even if you can’t stomach wearing long sleeves, you could still switch your colors around by wearing more burgundy, purple and brown — just go a little less bright than what you’d wear during the summer.

Congratulations! You’ve actually willed it to become fall, and the weather is sure to be reflecting that soon. Don’t get too excited — you wouldn’t want to burn yourself on that piping hot apple cider, would you? We at the Clog hope you have fun getting yourself into the autumn spirit and that all your new pumpkin adventures will be fun!

Contact Elysa Dombro at [email protected].