I Love You Fall!

I’m glad summer is over. 00b41e4efd6fb742f647b26aa76be188There are only so many bad hair days one girl can handle. Plus, I’m beyond excited to cover up my arms.

This Armageddon thing is new for me. Before last week I had really never thought about my arms, but there I was in Nordstroms “helping” my daughter shop for a homecoming dress (ie keeping my opinion to myself and trying to stop from rolling my eyes while she proclaimed every dress “grandma.”

I wanted to say, “and by grandma do you mean an article of clothing that allows you to exhale without a body part trying to escape?) when I caught the quickest of glimpses of my arms in a three-way mirror.

Good Lord, what hell hath time wrought? The back of my arms looked like Pillsbury braided breadsticks with extra “popping fresh” action. And there was this roll of dough doing a whole swing low sweet chariot thing and swaying.

It was a little hypnotic. I couldn’t stop myself from lifting my arms and just staring at the to and fro action. In the cup half full department I think I could take my arms to Vegas and do some sort of hypnotism act on the strip.

I can see it now. I’m standing on stage in a sleeveless dress and ever so slowly I raise my arms and chant, “You are getting very sleepy.” The next thing you know I and my let’s call them gifted, upper appendages have managed to hypnotize a crowd of gamblers into giving me their $5.99 all you can buffet coupons.

But enough about my Armageddon. Let’s move on with my love affair with fall that trumps summer in almost every way. The biggest win for fall is no more time spent at the pool. It’ not that don’t like water. I love swimming. I think in a former life I was porpoise.

I was about to say dolphin but then I remember a porpoise is basically a dolphin’s portly doppelgänger. So porpoise it is. (I don’t know much about the porpoises fins, but I’m sure they’ve got a little more meat on them. Hmm, maybe I should add a porpoise to my hypnotist act if I ever do the Vegas thing. Just a thought people don’t get overly excited.)

Sadly being at the pool isn’t all about getting wet. You’ve got the hot mom squad to navigate (or splash). These are the women that go to the pool in bikinis, high heels (note a 4 inch wedge flip-flop qualifies as a heel) and makeup. Then they spend their time not in the water (you know because that would make sense) but strolling the pool area like it’s Fashion Week in New York. Ugh.

Here’s fun fact for you. Any mom who gets all gussied or tarted up (I’m channeling my Grandma Stella there) to take her kids to the pool is not to be trusted. Think about, now think about it some more. Uh huh, I’m right. You’re welcome.

To make matters even sadder some of these moms, who do look amazing I’m not going to take that away from them, have on smaller patches of lycra than their teenage daughters. The only bit of gratitude I received from my daughter this summer was a “I’m so grateful you’ll never look better in a swimsuit than I do.”  For sure she’s got nothing to worry about on that front.

One of the reasons I may not be a swimsuit model can be blamed directly on fall. It’s a delicious season that celebrates stuffing yourself. How great is that? From Halloween candy to the Thanksgiving chow down it’s one big yum.

Summer is not so yummy. It’s all about watermelon and cucumber fasts. In the fall you get to reap the mighty health benefits of a pumpkin cleanse. (In the did you know department pumpkin is one of nature’s richest sources of alpha-carotene. Take that kale detox smoothie .)

My typical cleanse features pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cheesecake and a pumpkin cinnamon roll which may be as close to heaven as I’ll ever get.

Who cares if all that alpha-carotene leads to a muffin top? It’s the fall just throw on a hoodie and stuff that extra pumpkin roll into your jeans.

You know your special “fall size” jeans. The ones that are stretched to capacity and ready for all the autumnal bounty you have to offer. Then tell yourself you’re going to burn off all those calories raking leaves. You know just as soon as there’s no more football to watch.

Alpha-Carotene Nutritional Squares (aka Pumpkin Bars that will make you go weak in the knees) I first tried these bars at Williams Sonoma a couple of years ago and I kept going back for samples until I was aggressively scolded by one of the sales associates. Was I embarrassed? Hell no. A girl’s got a right to get her pumpkin on. 

-1 package of yellow cake mix; set aside 1 cup

-1/2 cup butter, melted

-3 large eggs

One jar of pumpkin butter (I get mine at Trader Joe’s)

-1/8 cup milk

-1 T. flour

-1/4 cup sugar

-1/4 cup butter, softened

-1 t. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350. Divide yellow cake mix, placing all but one cup in a mixing bowl. Stir the melted butter and one egg into the cake mix. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Mix the jar of Pecan Pumpkin Butter with two eggs and milk. Pour this result over the cake mix. Stir the reserved cup of cake mix with the flour, sugar, softened butter, and cinnamon. Mix together until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of the pumpkin layer. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into 2″ squares. (Or 4 inch or maybe throw caution and your daily calorie intake to the wind and just eat half the pan.)