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Avery at the Apple Orchard | @girlversusdough

Our annual trip to the apple orchard is officially in the books for 2016! Our fridge is now half full with apples that I have big plans for (if Avery and I don’t snack on all of them first because you guys, straight-from-the-orchard apples are TOO GOOD) — apple pie, apple crisp, apple pancakes, apple oatmeal, baked apples, apples with pork chops, the list goes on. Forget pumpkin — I’m all about the apple right now.

We spent a sunny Saturday here in Minnesota picking Haralsons and Honeycrisps from the trees at Afton Apple Orchard and I snapped a few pics, if you’d like to see.

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Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana | @girlversusdough

I really wish I could talk about something else besides the weather because it’s usually a lazy go-to topic, but you guyssss! It’s fall! It’s finally fall. I’m too excited not to talk about it.

The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, we have plans to go apple picking this weekend and all I want to do right now is cozy up in a sweater and a scarf and enjoy a warm bowlful of this slow cooker zuppa toscana. YES x 1000. This is my spirit season.

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Pumpkin Spice Puff Cereal | @girlversusdough

After waking up yesterday morning and putting on a sweater in hopes of cool-weather cozies (I think grown ups call that “hygge” or something?) only to melt like the Wicked Witch of the West in the sun and heat by the afternoon, I think it’s safe to say that I’m ready for fall.

Other signs that I’m ready? I’ve pulled my leather boots out of storage. I smile like a doofus at the changing leaves on trees. And I’m going to town on this Pumpkin Spice Puff Cereal on the daily.

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Thank You Day with Merci | @girlversusdough

Gratitude is something we often have for others, but is not something we often express. I know in our own little family we do our best to say “thank you” as often as we can — it’s important to us to know that we are grateful for each other and thankful for what we do for each other, no matter how simple the act.

But nobody’s perfect. And in the hustle and bustle of life, we often forget to say those two words to those we care about, even if we feel thankful in our hearts. This season of life for us is especially busy — we are building a house, we are working, we are traveling, we are heading from errands to meetings to play dates and back again. I know you probably feel the same way, too. But maybe it’s time to take a moment, just one moment, to show someone in your life that you care about them — with chocolate.

And what better day to do it than today, on National Thank You Day?

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Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars | @girlversusdough

I am sitting on the floor of our apartment writing to you to let you know two things: 1) We are alive! (despite the fact that I’m waist-deep in moving boxes) and 2) These Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars? They’re INCREDIBLE. And they’re gluten free, too!

So maybe that’s more than two things, but the point is this: When you decide to move your entire house into a two-bedroom apartment for a short time, or you need an easy and simple and delicious dessert to feed everyone who is helping you move (MANY BLESSINGS TO YOU, Mom and Dad), or you just have an insane hankering for chocolate chip cookies with a little extra something, these bars are for you.

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Breakfast Egg and Cheese Muffins | @girlversusdough

Hello! I am writing to you from the depths of moving boxes upon moving boxes. Actually, that is a lie — we are far from being fully packed here, and we move out in less than a week. (!) NOT PANICKING. Just gonna sit here and eat another breakfast egg and cheese muffin to prepare myself for all the packing and not panicking.

It’s hard to be motivated to pack when we are relocating ourselves to an apartment for a few months while the new house is still being built, but such is life. The apartment is actually pretty great, and it might even be fun to feel like we’re “camping out” for a while. But I know that, come December, I will be itching like no other to move into our new home. Counting down the days.

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