How to Actually Be Excited About the Start of Fall

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Summer is officially reaching an end, and for many, that means school has begun, the weather is cooling off and all the things we love about warm weather — barbecues, beach days and plentiful fruits — will become memories. If the turn of the season has you feeling a little down, don't worry! There are so many reasons to not only look forward to the start of fall, but to embrace it wholeheartedly. You might not be a pumpkin spice aficionado or a leaf-peeping enthusiast, but the cinnamon aromas, warm fall colors and rustic feel of these autumn projects may convince you that there really is no greater season after all.

(Image: eHow)

Get Cozy With a Gratitude Pillow

As you start transitioning into fall, add some plushness to your living room with this gratitude lumbar pillow. A seasonal pillow doesn't have to be pumpkin shaped to convey an autumn spirit! All you need is some fabric, paint and very basic sewing skills to create the optimal cushion for that easy chair by the fire.

(Image: Shades of Blue Interiors)

Host a Heavenly Harvest Brunch With an Edible Wreath

Nothing beats a lazy Saturday morning, except maybe a lazy Saturday morning that includes brunch with your family and friends. Take a traditional breakfast to the next level by baking this show-stopping cinnamon roll wreath that brings the flavors of fall to the table. Buttery, sweet cinnamon rolls come together (only to be pulled apart) in a fantastic table centerpiece that's perfect for a blustery morning.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Decorate Your Yard With a Scarecrow

There's no place like home this harvest season, and this homemade scarecrow is the perfect addition to any porch or patio. With a pair of old overalls, a flannel shirt, burlap and twine, you can have a not-so-scary scarecrow hanging out by your gate or garden in no time flat.

(Image: Matthew Ashman)

Bake Mouthwatering Cranberry Meatballs

While these savory cranberry meatballs would be the perfect appetizer for any gathering, they are so good that you could just make them all for yourself. Sure, you can take them to that upcoming potluck or serve them as a colorful starter for your own dinner party guests. But why not simply pair them with some potatoes and make them for a personal dinner?

(Image: Ashley Manila)

Fall in Love With Falling Leaves

Raking leaves may not be the most glamorous activity, but everyone knows that the moment those leaves start turning, fall has arrived. Capture the quintessential colors and textures of the season with these gorgeous falling leaf garlands. Simple to make, this vibrant decoration is perfect to hang over your dining room table or in the windows.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Cook a Comforting Chicken Soup

Dynamic flavors meld together to make this hearty chicken and rice soup the ideal comfort food for chilly autumn nights. The best part: you can throw all of the ingredients into a slow cooker before you leave for work and return to a home-cooked dinner ready to eat. Each spoonful will fill you with a satisfying sense of well-being, and all it took was about 15 minutes of prep time.

(Image: Julia Mueller)

Adorn Your Mantles With Apple Candles

Creating ambiance and light with these apple candles will set the mood this fall. All you need are some bright and beautiful fresh apples, a few taper or tea candles, a melon-baller and a pencil, and you will have a unique decoration that will brighten up any table or mantelpiece.

(Image: Shades of Blue Interiors)

Paint Pine Cones for Rustic Embellishments

Pine trees connote the coziness of this time of year, and instead of simply letting those pine cones pile up, gather them to make lovely ornaments for your coffee table or buffet. Paint them for fall with reds and oranges, add a dusting of gold glitter to give 'em sparkle and place them in a white bowl to let the colors pop.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Savor a Sweet Treat That Tastes as Good as It Looks

Grab a bunch of apples and get to removing the cores, because everyone you know is going to want to indulge in these pecan-stuffed apples. Not only are they dazzling to look at, they really have everything your palate can possibly want. Sweet apples, melted butter, crunchy pecans and a whole lot of brown sugar and cinnamon come together in a snap to make a warm and wonderful dessert you won't want to miss.

(Image: Jennifer Farley - SavorySimple.net)

Gather 'Round the Fire this Fall

There is nothing like a fireplace to warm your toes when the winds change and the weather cools. Whether you rent or own, this renter-friendly fireplace is the DIY solution your hearth needs to become your living room's focal point. With a tile facade, a lovely wooden mantle and an electric stove, you can enjoy that book or entertain company next to the flickering flames.

(Image: Kayla Snell)

Capture the Flavor of Contentment With Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Warm bread pudding may be an uncomplicated dessert, but sometimes a simple comfort is exactly what you need to end the night. This cinnamon bread pudding brings the decadence with a buttery brioche base, dark chocolate chunks and a swirl of cinnamon that adds a little spice. Eat it at the end of your meal to round off a wonderful night — but be prepared to sneak a spoonful as a midnight snack. It is that good.

(Image: Thalia Ho)
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