in a world with octobers + isaiah

How could I possibly not create a dedication post to my favorite season this year. I will probably do this every year until the day I stop blogging. Don’t want to ramble too much. Grab your favorite autumnal drink & treat, cozy up with a blanket and spiral down a fall hole with me. Enjoy!

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I baked from scratch last year & wanted to check baking a yummy autumn treat off of my to-do list for this year as well. I am not the best cook/baker but I didn’t let that cloud my ambition. Weird fact: I love pumpkin spice lattes. {One of the best I ever had is from CeCe Ferns which happens to be one of my favorite coffee shops in Chicago.} However, I can’t eat anything pumpkin, so I chose apple cider donuts this year and I found a really simple recipe online. They were so friggin good! I am still amazed at how perfect they turned out.

To preserve them, keep them closed tight for about 2 to 3 days or refrigerated for 5 days. Another tip: after they’re baked brush the top with a little butter so the sugary topping will stick. I noticed that more sugar stuck to the bottom where I had coated the pan. Another prep tip is to simmer the apple cider for about 20 minutes on low heat until it thickens a bit. This REALLY brings out that apple cider flavor!


I started baking so late in the evening, but I didn’t want to keep putting it off. I really enjoyed making them so below is the REAL messy process in bad lighting.

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Reduce the apple cider:Stirring occasionally, simmer the apple cider in a small saucepan over low heat until you’re left with about 1/2 cup. Start checking at 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, etc until you have 1/2 cup (120ml). Mine takes about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

  2. Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

  3. Whisk the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together. Pour into the dry ingredients, add the reduced apple cider, and whisk everything together until smooth and combined. Batter will be slightly thick.

  4. Spoon the batter into the donut cavities—for ease, I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling about halfway.

  5. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of the donut. If the donut bounces back, they’re done. Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.

  6. Coat the donuts: Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together in a medium bowl. Once cool enough to handle, dunk both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the apple spice topping.

  7. Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

You can make tweaks and substitutions where you see fit. This is by far the easiest recipe I found from Sally’s Baking Addiction.


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The one thing I did not get to check off my autumn to-do list last year to was go apple picking. Even as a kid I did not go for whatever reason so this was my first time ever. The clouds looked like marble in the sky. The sun was shining and the air was crispy. We went to Royal Oak Farm Orchard. The land was so beautiful and vast with the smell of apples and sweets wafting in the wind. It was nothing less than a peaceful day!

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And the views made it all the more relaxing. For some reason in the midst of the orchard, I thought about how much hurt I carry inside of me sometimes; so sensitive to the world, but everyday I am so thankful for Jesus. I used to think my sensitivity was a curse, but now realize that it is a blessing because instilled in me is the desire to to know that others have needs & to serve as called, to be more like Him. I never sought HIS wisdom on things so I was left heartbroken and used serving the wrong people. I now ask Him in prayer where does He need me & who will He lead me too. This moment didn’t take anything away from this day, but only enriched it. As I had a fleeting moment of heaviness, I looked up and focused on the nature around me and reminded myself that the masterful creator of all of this is the the very one I can hand these burdens too. I glorify Him by knowing He is sovereign and greater than anything I feel.


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Here’s some other little things from the apple orchard. Lots of autumnal decor, goodies like homemade preserves jams, honey, pumpkin tea & caramel goodness. I also fed the most adorable goat ever whom I named Jamal.


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We got a two for one!! We did not have to travel to two separate farms because there was a pumpkin patch there too. I did not bring home any pumpkins this go round, but how could I not pop over and take in the beauty. I mean I am making this a yearly tradition. I was CRAVING apple cider donuts while we were there and what a blessing we got them for free. insert twerk We sort of did a maze where we had to find clues and figure out the word to get free apple cider donuts. This was no kiddie maze, my friends. It was a full on MASSIVE maze and would take HOURS from entrance to exit so we got about half way BUT we figured it out and got the donuts FRESH out of the oven!


A few polaroids I never posted from autumn of last year & 2017.

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I am so overjoyed that God is a masterful artist. When I look at the changing hues of the leaves, I forget that I am witnessing death; a decay of things in nature in order to prepare for a new season. Beauty for ashes.

I think about Isaiah 61:3 King James Version (KJV) - the year of the Lord’s favor.

It reminds me of the beauty that is in death to self; in surrendering the flesh so that He May be glorified. I am giving up my fleshly desires; swapping my wretched ashes for Him. Easy? No, but because I desire Him so much I’d rather choose Him over me. I’d rather suffer in joy {Jesus}.

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The Autumn People.....

 
photo cred: cici ford

photo cred: cici ford

 
 
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Last autumn I had every intention of doing a blog post expressing my love for the fall season, but I didn’t get content quickly enough and when I looked up it was winter. This time I will not miss the chance to share with you all the things I love about autumn. There is something about the color of the leaves, the rainy & gloomy days and the thought of pumpkin spice and crispy apples that makes me feel warm, cozy and full of joy.

 
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When I was a little girl my mom and I walked about six blocks every morning, hand in hand, to the bus stop. One autumn morning she told me to look up at God’s presence. On the corner, one block, before we reached the bus stop there was a HUGE tree and on this day I looked up and every single leaf was the brightest orange. We even stopped walking just to look up at it and in all of my childhood innocence and wonder, I fell in love with autumn. What this season holds for me is the memory of my mother and I and that’s why I love it so much.


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I asked my bookstagram friends to ask me some questions about the season but also to share their own thoughts. Here are a few of them.

Q: “Do you have any dishes you love making in autumn?” @falling4romance

A: This was my first year actually baking something successfully LOL. I am not much of a baker or really domesticated for that matter, but some of my favorites are vegetable stew, pumpkin and banana bread, cinnamon rolls, apple pancakes and butternut squash soup.

Q: “I tend to change my reads choices according to the season currently I am at do you season!?” @whatibook

A: I am typically a mood reader, but autumn is definitely a great time to think about certain stories to get cozy with. I’m intending to reread The Night Circus and The Secret History every autumn as a tradition.

Q: “What inspires you most during autumn?” @bookspectacle

A: Omg there are so many things, but the changing & falling of the leaves, the rainy days with a touch of gloom. I find I am my most creative in autumn.

Q: “[What is your] favorite kind of coffee/tea to drink in autumn?” @spunkyreads

A: I love pumpkin spice and charcoal lattes, chai and tumeric tea, hot chocolate, caramel coffee and cinnamon apple cider.

Thoughts:

“Sweaters. pretty leaves, and all the hot drinks.” @_wolfandmoon

“Hi, I’m from Indonesia. We don’t have autumn, but I always love to see autumn in other countries through social media.” @alvinaeunice


 
Photo cred: cici ford

Photo cred: cici ford

 

I have been so inspired by everyone baking yummy autumn treats. TRUTH: I have just never been very good at baking even if I followed the directions down to the last teaspoon and maybe I psyched myself out because ladies and gentlemen we finally have success. I baked these muffins from scratch and they tasted amazing. I just played around with this recipe and added pumpkin butter on my own. I also swapped out the dairy ingredients for vegan, but I am so proud at how they turned out!!

 
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Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease six muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

  1. Stir together 1 1/2 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, baking powder and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix in oil, egg and milk. Fold in apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling to the top of the cup.

  2. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix together with fork and sprinkle over unbaked muffins.

  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

 
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There were two things I got to check off my autumnal bucket list this year. I got to see The 25 year anniversary of The Nightmare before Christmas with a live orchestra. It was beyond magical and I finally went to a pumpkin patch with my family. We ate apple cider donuts, had hot chocolate, got on a big slide which was a lot scarier than I thought LOL and of course snagged a few pumpkins. The air was cool and there was an apple pie and cinnamon scent everywhere we turned. It was honestly one of the best days!


 
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There is nothing better on an autumn day {especially if it’s raining} than curling up with a good book and something warm to drink or listening to music.

Here are a few of my favorite chill autumn tunes for you to download to your spotify & reads for you to add to your tbr for the season.


I hope this post made you feel super cozy and happy. I’m going to be doing a mini autumn look-book in the next post - just some of my favorite pieces so stay tuned. I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite autumn quotes & thank you so much for reading this and for taking a few minutes out of your day to spend time on my blog. Sending you all the love and happy autumn vibes!!