How to Delight a Friend's Senses this Fall
Last week, I listened to a wonderful podcast where the guest challenged listeners to create the feeling of the seasons in their homes. She suggested that instead of running to the store or attic to add only visual reminders of the season, consider all five of your senses. What smells remind you of autumn? What are your favorite fall foods? Do you remember how a pumpkin feels on the inside?
My takeaway from the podcast was that not only are there simple ways to create autumn warmth in my own home, I could also do this for a friend who might be going through a particularly difficult time. When you are grieving or caring for a baby, maintaining your surroundings can become a low priority. Even though we can't change our friend's situation, we can do things to encourage her heart as she moves about her home during a particular season.
Here are some ideas for how you can bring fall alive in the home of a dear friend (or your own home):
Have you ever encountered a smell that immediately invoked a memory? With the right scents all of the sudden it's autumn in our homes. Make a batch of our popular crockpot applesauce recipe to share with your friend. The smell of cinnamon and apples cooking will fill your own rooms too. Give her a caramel scented candle or a gallon of freshly made apple cider to warm on her stove.
One year, a friend brought me a fall stove top potpourri similar to this one. It's still one of my favorite things to do. Add sliced lemon, oranges, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to a pot full of water. Simmer the water on low and the scent spreads through the house. If taking this to a friend, put the items in a bag making sure not to pre-slice the fruit. Add some simple instructions and her house will smell like autumn in no time.
Music is one way we can create the feel of a season in our home. Make a playlist for your friend. The podcast mentioned above shares two full autumn playlists in the show notes. Maybe for you or your friend it's a compilation of hymns like For the Beauty of the Earth or Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss performing Simple Gifts. Many classical pieces also have an autumn feel. Best of all, sharing music with your friend is free and only involves your time as you select pieces she might enjoy.
If you've ever carved out a pumpkin for pie or your porch, you know that stringy, slimy feeling of the inside pulp. One fun project you could make for your friend (or take her the supplies to make for herself) would be a simple pumpkin centerpiece like this one where you carve out the inside of the pumpkin and fill it with mums.
You could also make up a DIY kit for these adorable birdseed ornaments. My sister made these for my family to hang in memory of my dad. You use your hands to press the seed into the cookie cutter that forms the shape. Be sure to use the straw method in the instructions for making the hole (for hanging) and don't put the hole too close to the ornament's edge. The finished ornaments have a grainy texture that will delight the birds as autumn's crisp days begin.
There are so many yummy treats to take to your friend this time of the year. Our favorite fall dish from our recipe section is this butternut squash soup. We also love these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. You can substitute applesauce for the oil if you prefer, and they work great with gluten free flour blends. This is the recipe I turn to most often when taking something to families this time of year.
The sights of autumn are distinct, but you don't have to go overboard to provide your friend with little reminders of fall for her home. Include a mini pumpkin with your meal or a small mason jar filled with candy corn. Put some outdoor branches in a vase for a more natural look or collect a bag of colorful leaves she can scatter on her table.
I hope this post inspires you to think of simple ways to care for your friend and all of her five senses. I'm looking forward to making the stove top potpourri for my own home and to send along when I take a meal.
Read other recent blog posts:
- 15 Fall Inspired Meals
- Delight a Friend with Queen Elizabeth's Favorite Tea Treat
- Celiac Disease Awareness Day - Bringing a Gluten-Free Meal
- How Our New Site Will Help You this Fall!
- On-the-Go Meal Ideas Plus Meal Storage Options
- Small Thoughtful Gifts for a Friend
- 5 Favorite Cookbooks to Try This Fall
- Complete Weekly Meal Plan Using Our Recipe Section
- The Seasoned Mom is Our Celebrity Meal Provider for August
- Using Social Media to Help a Friend