Spring Health Goals

All of us think about bathing suit weather and our excess weight as spring approaches. We start new diet regiments, eat better and get back outdoors for more fitness fun.

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If you’re looking to set some health goals for the spring, here are a few ideas:

  1. Get moving: With warmer weather and longer days, spring is the perfect time to get outside and be more active. Set a goal to go for a walk, jog or bike ride for at least 30 minutes every day.
  2. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables: Spring is the season for fresh produce, so take advantage of it by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Aim to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  3. Drink more water: As the weather heats up, it’s important to stay hydrated. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water each day, and consider carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go.
  4. Practice mindfulness: Spring is a time of renewal and growth, and practicing mindfulness can help you feel more grounded and centered. Try incorporating daily meditation or yoga practice into your routine.
  5. Prioritize sleep: Getting enough rest is essential for overall health and wellbeing. Set a goal to get at least seven hours of sleep each night and establish a consistent bedtime routine to help you wind down at night.

Remember, the most important thing is to set realistic goals that work for you and your lifestyle. Start small and gradually increase your goals as you build momentum and confidence. Good luck!

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A Day in the Life

One of my resolutions this year was self-care with slowing down. This is my second year of retirement, yet sometimes I don’t feel retired at all. I realize that I am a schedule oriented person and that if I don’t have a plan, I often crumble and don’t feel productive. Must have been all those years of planning as a teacher. But it is never too late to reset priorities and I have.

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Here are some of the things that I have committed to this year:

  1. Go back to the gym with a commitment: I was going less and less every week and always making excuses. But my excuses only made me suffer and I can feel the difference in myself after not being diligent for over a month. Eating over the holidays did not help. So in January, gym or a quick workout in my basement is a daily on the schedule. And I want to stick to it!!
  2. Get back to healthy eating: We all fall culprit to holiday eating but then your body gets so used to it that you continue. I know that I am not successful when I am on a strict diet so I give myself the opportunity to “cheat” just a bit when we go out for dinner. Then, I don’t mind really watching what we are eating when we eat at home.
  3. Reading more: Last year I did well in this area and read 33 books. My goal is to read more this year. My goal is to also spend less money on books, use my Libby app and maybe even go to the library. I have joined book clubs on Facebook and enjoy talking to others about books we are reading. And I still belong to the book club at my former school.
  4. Having fun: This is a priority that all of us should have. Take time to relax, listen to some music, look outside at a calm view, and just relish being alive. We often keep running all day long that we never remember to enjoy the simple things. Music is one of my favorites and why I do Zumba at least three times a week. Having fun also means spending time with people you care about and learning to say no to obligations that are played out and not necessary. Yes, we can make choices and we should spend time with those we want to spend time with and who want to spend time with us.
  5. Enjoy memories: I just finished (a goal for a few years now) putting together all my VHS tapes of my children and sending them out to be digitized. I feel so accomplished and like a huge weight is being lifted from me and now I can enjoy these memories and leave them to my children and grandchildren.
  6. Continue decluttering: Yes, I am going to sell all those things I have been talking about or donating them to others who could use them. Why do things sit in our closets for years and years? Why are we afraid to get rid of them? If there was a fire in your house and you had an hour, what would you grab? These are the things we keep. Not boxes full of things that we have accumulated either thinking they would be worth something or just because. For example, I have a bin of collectors plates of Honeymooners, I Love Lucy and others. I have held on to these for years and they are worthless. So I am adding to my list of either selling or donating. I love decluttering?
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What plans/goals have you made to made your life better?

New Year…. New Goals

Every New Year people make resolutions. These are usually forgotten by about January 10. Instead I am making a “vision” for myself of what I want to accomplish this year.

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First of all, I want to continue to grow my teaching resources online business. I sell my teacher resources on various websites including TeachersPayTeachers, AmpedUpLearning, MadebyTeachers and Classful. Most of my resources are on all these sites. I also have uploaded some FREE resources to Teacher Sherpa which is a website that teachers, as members, download as many free resources as they want. Authors receive a per-click-commission. It’s not a lot of money but it’s a good way to get your name out there and for teachers to visit and purchase your other resources.

In addition to continuing this online resource business, I am going to continue freelance writing. I have many articles posted on Vocal Media. Please check some of them out at Https://vocal.media/authors/elaine-gallagher.

I have also written for EscapeWriters.com, BrightHubEducation.com and most recently for Bridge Education. My latest article is about ELL Listening Activities.

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This is my third year of retirement from teaching but I often feel as if it is my first because of the pandemic. I finished my teaching career online and sometimes I do feel a bit gipped. So many days I think about what I miss most about teaching. Mostly, I miss the kids which is why I decided to do some tutoring…. to keep myself active in education and to keep connected with the kids, the reason I went into education to begin with.

In addition to work goals for this year, I decided that 2023 will be a year of self-care for me. I am the person who puts everyone ahead of me and I have decided to devote more time to myself… to make sure I am eating right, working out and having social time with those I love. Life is too precious to spend running and running and never stopping to really see what is in front of you. Through this self-care I plan to do more reflection, more writing and take smaller steps when I start a project. I have just started to realize that I am retired and that I have time but I have been rushing anyway. So now, I stop myself, take a step back and slow down. Enjoy the moments not the completion of things is my new year goal.

I hope that all of you find some time this year to reflect on what you want , what you need and how to make yourself happier in simple ways. Sometimes just taking some time to listen to music (and maybe even dance a little) can add to your day. Or taking a few extra moments to savor that cup of coffee and the view in front of you. The world is a beautiful place and we often don’t see it because we run by it.

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Happy New Year to all. Please share some of your goals and dreams with all of us.

What Does Christmas Mean to You?

When you hear a Christmas song on the radio, what comes to your mind first? I think of all the wonderful Christmas celebrations I have had with my family and friends over the year. I remember the look in my daughters’ eyes when they came down to see all the presents left for them under the tree. Their delight and happiness made it all worthwhile.

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Sometimes Christmas can make you remember sadness. It’s the time of year when I miss my parents so very much. They loved the holidays and always did everything to make them even more special. I feel like something is missing every single Christmas. Most Christmases I miss my daughter (and now my beautiful grandson) because they live far away and we don’t see each other at Christmas. I count the days til we might be together to celebrate our family.

Christmas is about family that is real family, and family that is friends that are like family. I am very fortunate to have a large extended family and friends who are a big part of my life. We celebrate many milestones together and that’s what is most important.

Make yourself a cup of hot cocoa and watch a Christmas movie that takes place in one of those “Christmas villages” that make you wish you could visit. Enjoy those moments and try to feel the magic of Christmas.

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As we go through a tough year of high prices, struggling to make ends meet, we should think about the real meaning of Christmas. It celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ in our hearts, and it celebrates the beautiful lives we have been given.

Christmas gives us the opportunity to show appreciation for others, show our love and enjoy the beauty of the holiday season. This time of year is an important time for giving. Give to those who may not have as much as you do. Let them show you how small blessings can go a long way. Growing up my dad used to get upset with all the hype about Christmas presents and people making themselves broke to buy the best gifts. He always said that the true meaning of Christmas is in your heart and how you feel about the people you share life’s precious moments with. I still remember last Christmas when my grandson saw Santa and the look in his eye – somewhat frightened, somewhat mesmerized, and very confused. Each year will get better as he gets older and looks forward to asking Santa for what he wants. Santa can be a bit scary for a little boy of only two. I hope Santa fills his heart with Christmas joy as he opens all his gifts this year.

Take a little extra time to call someone you haven’t spoken to, write a Christmas card to someone who lives far away, and bake some cookies for your neighbors…. these are small ways we can spread the joys of Christmas.

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May you feel the joy of this holiday and the love that is so special in your life!

Black Friday Is Here

So let’s think of all the things we want for Christmas or to get for our families this year. I usually shop the Black Friday sales for things I need to replace or want while the deals are around. As we know, Black Friday is not just one day anymore. No more standing in line. Check out some Amazon deals for this Black Friday. There is something here for everyone. Click on links of products you want to grab before they are gone.


Get ready for all your winter binging plans with this new Firestick 50% off and only $24.99. Fire TV Stick 4K is compatible with HD TVs and 4K UHD TVs. 4K streaming requires 4K UHD TV and available 4K content. Dolby Atmos is available on select Prime Video and Disney+ titles when connected to compatible equipment. Subscription fees may apply for certain apps and services. To purchase this firestick, follow this Amazon link: https://a.co/d/ibjS99o


Oh and we are always need a new TV for someone’s room. This is a perfect choice at 50% off ($209). Brilliant 4K entertainment – Bring movies and shows to life with support for vivid 4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, HLG, and Dolby Digital Plus. Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote – Press and ask to find favorite apps, movies, and shows, plus check the weather, sports scores, and more. All your entertainment in one place – Watch live and free TV, play video games, and stream music. To purchase this, follow Amazon link: https://a.co/d/gMKpgzc


Amazon Brand – Denali by SKIL 20V Drill Driver Kit with 36-Piece Bit Set, Includes 2.0Ah Lithium Battery, 1A Compact Charger, and Carry Bag. Every man has on their wish list so grab it now on sale for Black Friday for only $51.97. Follow Amazon link:https://a.co/d/84LgLeK

Here are some other great Black Friday deals. Click on links for more info and to purchase.

$66.40 https://a.co/d/e6OZmJc

Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine by De’Longhi with Milk Frother, Grey $153 https://a.co/d/0U3eCP2

Agvana Fine Jewelry Birthstone Necklace Christmas Gifts for Women Sterling Silver Genuine or Created Gemstone Rose Flower Heart Pendant Necklace Anniversary Birthday Gifts for Women Girls Mom Lady Her $48.99 https://a.co/d/7X3cw6g

Bearway Supper Console X2 Retro Game Console pre-Install 100,000+ Games, Android 9.0/EmuELEC 4.5 in 1 Video Game Console for 4K Output, 2 Gamepad , Compatible with 70+ Emulators.X2-256GB $129.99 https://a.co/d/6iMIeXC

Don’t miss out on all these great Black Friday deals on Amazon. All purchases are returnable. Enjoy Black Friday shopping… I know I will!!

Hot Toys this Christmas

Well, it’s that time of year again. The kids are writing their lists and parents, grandparents and friends are figuring out what to buy them for this holiday season. Many parents make Amazon wish lists which are very helpful and you can avoid double toys that you have to ship back to Amazon. Here are some fun toys to look at this year with their Amazon link. I only picked a few today. Will add more in my blog as we get closer. Don’t forget to follow Amazon link after each toy.

Kid Trax Toddler Disney Princess Electric Quad Ride On Toy, Kids 1.5-3 Years Old, 6 Volt Battery and Charger Included, Max Weight 45 lbs, Princess Pink

Follow this Amazon link: https://a.co/d/5r7Y1yW

Ride in style with this unique Disney Princess-themed hot rod-styled 6V Battery-Powered Ride-On Toy from Kid Trax. Capable of a forward speed of 1.5 MPH, this ride-on toy quad has easy push-button acceleration that’s perfect for little hands. Features such as Kid Trax Power Trax rubber traction strip tires for all-terrain performance make this toy adventurous, yet safe. A 6V rechargeable battery with Kid Trax direct connect one-step charging system guarantees that fun is never more than an outlet away. This Ride-On Toy ships ready to be assembled, has a 45-pound maximum weight capacity, is recommended for ages 18 to 30 months, and has a 1 year limited warranty, with a 6 month limited warranty on the battery.

Klutz Lego Race Cars STEM Activity Kit

Follow this Amazon link: https://a.co/d/0t5kjJZ

This includes a 64-page book of step-by-step instructions for building 10 LEGO race cars and a custom track to race two cars at the same time. Also it Includes all 124 bricks you need to build 10 different race cars, with variations in different colors and opportunity to mix-and-match pieces. It offers the unique combination of STEM learning and playful creativity in line with Klutz’s bestselling LEGO Chain Reactions, LEGO Gadgets, and LEGO Gear Bots.

Peppa Pig Wooden Deluxe Playhouse, 8 Rooms, Includes 2 Fun Figures and 29 Accessories, Made of Responsibly Sourced Wood, for Ages 3 and Up (Amazon Exclusive)

Follow this Amazon link: https://a.co/d/fVzKTiC

WITH 3 LEVELS AND 8 ROOMS TO DISCOVER, the Peppa Pig Wooden Deluxe Playhouse gives preschoolers and Peppa fans ages 3 and up lots of room to explore and play. It comes packed with 29 accessories, too. It FEATURE ACCESSORIES INCLUDE OPENING REFRIGERATOR, oven, and wardrobe, and a piano whose lid opens and closes. There’s also bunkbeds, a tub, toilet, couch, table, TV, easel, and even more! INCLUDES PEPPA AND GEORGE FIGURES, and little ones will have a marvelous time dreaming up adventures for them in this accessory-filled playhouse. What are George and Peppa doing today.

CoComelon Boo Boo JJ Deluxe Feature Plush – Includes Doctor Checkup Bag, Bandages, and Accessories to Care for JJ – 8 Total Accessories – Amazon Exclusive

Follow this Amazon link: https://a.co/d/dZVWFye

BOO BOO BYE BYE: Teach your little ones how to say bye bye to boo boos with CoComelon’s Deluxe Boo Boo JJ! LIGHT & SOUNDS: JJ’s head, elbow, knee or foot light up when hurt, and JJ will let you know! BANDAGE CASE: JJ comes with a Bandage Case with 3 fun bandages! Simply place them over the boo boo! SING ALONG: Press his tummy and JJ will sing a clip of “The Boo Boo Song”!

This is just a small selection of what’s new this year. Wait for next week when we add some more to our list of suggestions for holiday fun gifts for the kids!!

Setting Some Beautiful Tables

Now as we are approaching the holiday season, we often think about how to make our celebrations even more special. We look at sales, suggestions in House and Garden magazines, and catalogs that have begun to pour in. After taking a look at what Amazon has to offer to help make decorating your holiday table more fun, here are some that I came up with:

Thanksgiving Table Runner with Autumn Leaf for Kitchen Dining Pumpkin Sunflower Fall Harvest Dresser Scarves for Fall Decor Black White Check Table Setting Decor for Thanksgiving Party – 13 x 120in

–Thankful Autumn decor dresser scarves are 13 x 120 inches (33 x 304 cm), with rectangle hem, fits square, round, rectangular tables. Before purchasing, get the right size of width and length of your table or furniture on the cover or protector needs.

  • Made of high-quality 30% polyester and 70% cotton Linen material, with exquisite sewing, making the Thanksgiving table runner very easy to keep fresh-looking.
  • PERFECT for THANKSGIVING & FALL USE  Check it out with this Amazon link:

–36 Thanksgiving Placemats Dinner Dining Table Décor Large 13 X 17 -Maple Leaf Shaped Paper Place mats Fall Autumn Harvest Maple Leaves Tablecloth Home Decorations. Check out with this Amazon link.

  • SIZE: 13 Inches Wide X 17 Inches Length
  • PERFECT to use it under your trays, plates, bowls, and all Thanksgiving Dinnerware
  • ENHANCE your thanksgiving table decor with the looks of this beautiful maple leaf
  • Matches and Blends With All Turkey, Maple leaves, Autumn, Fall and Harvest Decorations. Cups, Banners, Tablecloths, Hanging Streamers and Banner

–Jofefe 12Pcs Premium Wood Place Card Holders and 24Pcs Kraft Table Place Cards, Rustic Table Number Holders Stands, Table Sign Stand, Name Card Photo Picture Holders for Wedding, Party, Birthday. Click here for Amazon link.

  • √ Best Style-Matching Sets–12Pcs wood place card holders and 24Pcs kraft place cards, The place card holders match the kraft cards perfectly, so you can get them together and saving time to search for cards.
  • √ Natural Wooden Style –This rustic number holders are made from real wood with bark, bring you rustic atmosphere and make you get compliments from your guests.
  • √ Mini Cute Size But Study Support — Mini size with rustic style makes it cute and useful, While Smooth surface enables it to support card or picture study.
  • √ Perfect for —Displaying table numbers, place cards, pictures, photos, table signs, small menus, food labels, price tags, party or wedding table markers and so on.
  • √ Great for writing down unexpected office tasks;Perfect for wedding favors,engagement,anniversaries party,birthday party as well as baby shower.

–Laura Stein Designer Dinnerware Set | 32 Disposable Plastic Party Plates | White Wedding Plate with Burgundy Rim & Gold Accents | Includes 16 x 10.75” Dinner Plates + 16 x 7.5” Salad Plates | Vintage. Click here for Amazon link.

  • HIGH-END DESIGNER TABLEWARE WITH AUTHENTIC DESIGN – Inspired by the artisanal nature of fine genuine china, our disposable tableware set was carefully created by designers and crafters who take artisan-level pride in each line, design and product that rolls off our factory line.
  • PREMIUM HEAVY DUTY PLASTIC PLATES – These sophisticated party supplies are made from the highest-quality, extra heavy-duty, recyclable plastic and painstakingly hand inspected for integrity of style, strength and finish. Our disposable plastic plates will reliably hold a full plate of hot or cold food without breaking, chipping or flaking and are reusable.

–Ornativity Maple Leaves Candle Holder – Thanksgiving Fall Harvest Themed Candleholder Centerpiece Decorations with Pinecones and Acorns. Click here for Amazon link.

  • The holder is 5″ x 5″ x 20″, can hold 3 candles (size up to 2.4″ that are not included – The candles used in the Images are 2.2 Inches in Diameter), and works for a coffee table.
  • Fits right in with a farmhouse theme home dinner and can be set on a long kitchen table center.
  • This wrought iron sleigh with pinecone decor looks pretty when placed with live floral arrangements.
  • Ornativity manufacturers their items with care and quality to enhance your Christmas Experience.

–OGORI 40-Piece Gold Silverware Set for 8, Superior Stainless Steel Flatware Set Cutlery Set with Gift Box, Mirror Finish. Click here for Amazon link.

  • 40-PIECE GOLD SILVERWARE SET FOR 8】: This silverware set comes with 8 Dinner Forks, 8 Salad Forks, 8 Dinner Knives, 8 Dinner Spoons and 8 Tea Spoons, ideal for home, kitchen or restaurant use.
  • 【FOOD-GRADE 18/8 STAINLESS STEEL】: The flatware set is made of 18/8 stainless steel, which is durable and corrosion-resistant, rust-proof, non-toxic, BPA-free, healthy for your daily use. At the same time, good sturdiness ensures that it will not bend easily and always maintain a beautiful appearance.
  • 【GORGEOUS AND BEAUTIFUL APPEARANCE】: The high-grade mirror polishing process makes the surface of the knife and fork soft and smooth. This gold silverware set has good reflective properties, will shine with a golden glow to add brilliance to your dining table.

These are only a few suggestions. Most important is the company we have, the holiday we celebrate, and the gratefulness we feel. It is so important to take time out from our busy lives to really understand the true meaning of why we work so hard and why family and friends make it all worthwhile.

Happy Thanksgiving! Remember all the reasons you are thankful……

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Halloween Fun

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Between the fall decorations and colors and the fun Halloween items available to put in your home and on your lawns, I have almost as many bins of stuff for Halloween as I do for Christmas.

Over the past two years with Covid I didn’t decorate or partake in that many Halloween activities. Now I am ready to enjoy the holiday head on. Let’s take a break from the every day hassles and enjoy the simplicity and childlike fun of Halloween.

Here are some new decorating items I purchased:

. Spider Web Door or Lawn Decorations. Your visitors will be intrigued by this especially on Halloween night when trick or treating.

Check it out with this Amazon link.

. Flickering purple lights for your walkway will add that Halloween glow to your front yard. People will stop and take note and it will welcome those fun trick-or-treaters.

Check it out with this Amazon link

. Halloween yard decorations 3 set ghost group with stakes can decorate your front yard or near a tree with spider webs for extra creepy feel. Or a very large lit up jack-o-lantern.

Check it out with this Amazon link.
Check out with this Amazon link.

Don’t forget the inside of your house. Be creative as you go from fall decorations to Halloween decorations. The living room and dining areas can be transformed into Halloween villages…..

. Halloween Willow tree decoration is my latest addition to my Halloween indoor village.

This is a must have for your next Halloween gathering. Check it out with this Amazon link.

Don’t forget all the Halloween treats too…

I love to make Witches Hats with Fudge Stripe cookies, chocolate kisses and orange icing. I usually use orange icing but you can alternate with different colors. A fun treat for a party or to send to school with your children to share.


Or a new variation to the Rice Krispie Treats with Frankenstein Rice Krispie treats. Just add food coloring and some googly eyes and the children will be so excited to try these.

Be creative

So this is the year to start enjoying Halloween again. Enjoy the decorations everywhere, have fun with friends and enjoy watching the kids celebrate again. Keep practicing safe Halloween trick-or-treating and let the holiday that everyone loves become your favorite again.

Please share some of your Halloween favorites.

Never Enough Teacher Resources

As many of us know, you can never have enough in your classroom for students to do. Whether it is part of your regular curriculum or work you need to have on standby for a substitute in case you are sick or called into a meeting, resources are a commodity that teachers cannot live without. It is important to keep your resources organized by subject, month, or substitute to be able to access them whenever you need something.

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When developing products for my TeachersPayTeachers store, I always include free resources for teachers to pick up when they need something quickly or as an extra worksheet/activity for students to use when they are finished. Check out some of my free resources:

. Summarizing Using Beginning, Middle and End

. Book Review Template

. Reading Response Reflection Template

. Favorite Character Reading Response

. Character Double Bubble Map

These are only a free of the resources you can find on my TeachersPayTeachers store, Elly Elementary.

I have over 150 products available on my store. Most of my resources are Literacy and Writing, with some Social Studies, Science and Math. I have products ranging from Grades K-6. Take a look and let me know if you have any questions or even if there is something you are looking for. I am still in the process of uploading many more resources.

How do you organize your resources in your classroom? I would love to hear your suggestions.

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As the Weather Changes

The summer always passes quickly and by the end we are usually ready for changes in the air. This summer on the East Coast was especially hot and dry, and our grass looks worn out and brown. Every time it was supposed to rain, mother nature had a different agenda. Starting in September, you can feel air getting a little crisper as the children get ready to go back to school, teachers go back to work, and everyone gets somewhat back to reality. It’s always fun to think of what lies ahead to make fall spectacular every year.

Leaves Falling

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When the trees change color and the leaves fall, we sometimes feel despair that winter is coming. We should, however, just enjoy the beauty of the fall season. You can take long walks without getting winded while enjoying the subtle changes around us. Animals seem to have a new life, we are enjoying simple pleasures like pumpkin spice coffee and we are thinking about Halloween costumes and fall decorating.


Don’t you love putting fall decorations everywhere?! I do. I love the pumpkins, the fall colors, changing pillows and just adding some warmth to the dining room with a fall centerpiece. It makes you feel reborn and you know the holidays will be right around the corner after the beauty of September and October fades.

CHeck out via Amazon link https://a.co/d/hWBoDG9


I love going through the store aisles and playing with all the new Halloween decorations. Pressing buttons and hearing sounds adds to the excitement of this fun holiday. At some point I think I have almost as many Halloween decorations as Christmas. Witches, ghosts and graveyards accompany pumpkins and fall leaves inside and outside my home. And I get to keep most of it up (not the scary stuff) through Thanksgiving.

check out via Amazon link https://a.co/d/25RRzK9

Fall Eating

Another thing I love about fall is that you can start to make homemade soups and chilis and indulge in all the pumpkin specialties, like pumpkin latte and even a beautifully scented candle to add to your enjoyment of fall eating. Darker colors come around with different fruits and veggies to explore new menus with. It is always important to make changes more fun each year. Look for some new recipes on Pinterest, host a fall get together and share your new fall favorites.

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We are always sad to see summer go, especially thinking about winter, but let’s look for the brightness in every season. Fall is the new beginning for school, new goals and rejuvenation. Share some of your fall plans with us…..