Spend A Cozy Sunday With Me: Forest Bathing, Fall Reading and Some Serious Comfort Food


“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.” 

A giant Maple Leaf on my forest walk

Sunday’s are a time to give myself a good pamper session and recharge body and soul before starting the week. Monday mornings are much easier after a good R&R session. A walk in nature, a comforting meal, a warm soak in pumpkin scented bubbles, indulging in a spooky story and a good night sleep. This is how I spent my Sunday.

A Walk in The Woods

I woke up and pulled on a warm tracksuit and headed out for what I call “a stroll” ; no checking emails or social media, out of bed and out the door. With no intended direction or destination, I walked at a slow pace stopping by a stone maze along the seawall. While I walked the maze I went over things I’m grateful for and practiced deep breathing. As I exited the maze I was filled with the warmth of all the blessings in my life. I continued along the oceanside then through the woods; I stopped to take in the subtle changes as Fall creeps into the trees, turning leaves yellow, orange and reds.

A Cup Of Autumn

I stopped at Starbucks and got a decaf Pumpkin Spiced Latte. I indulge only a couple of times a year for the Holiday drinks – At Christmas I love the Peppermint Mocha it gets me in the spirit of the season. Sipping a cup full of Autumn I headed to the Voxel Bridge. Created by a Colombian artist based in Brooklyn. The Cambie Bridge here in Vancouver has been transformed into an art installation that comes to life by downloading the Vancouver Biennale app. and pointing your phone at the colourful art.

A tall Pupmkin Spiced Latte – Decaf and no whip for me

I sat in the afternoon sun and cleared the garden of leaves and debris and planned which herbs or plants may need to come indoors as the weather cools. I’m thinking of turning the library into a small greenhouse. With windows facing northwest and a spacious window ledge, the plants will get plenty of light all afternoon until sunset.

A Comfort Food Fest

What’s a cozy day without cozy food? This soup is like a warm rich tomato-y hug and yet it’s technically Vegetarian. It’s a quick recipe, about 30 -40 minutes from start to finish, perfect for a day like today when I want a yummy meal without spending too much time in the kitchen.

Ground Round Macaroni Tomato Cheese Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of St Yves vegan ground round
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 4 cups Vegetable stock
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce ( I used Classico 4 cheese sauce)
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 a cup of cream cheese 
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil roughly chopped, divided (leave a little to garnish when you serve
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni or regular elbow macaroni
  • Shredded TexMex cheese (optional) to garnish

Instructions

  • In a pot over medium heat, add oil and the onion and cook until it’s almost transparent then add in the garlic and cook for a minute more.
  • Add the Vegan Ground Round and break up with a wooden spoon
  • Add salt, pepper and oregano to the ground round and stir to combine.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes and stir for 1 minute
  • Add the Vegetable stock and Spaghetti sauce and bring a simmer at medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Whisk in the cream cheese until it is completely mixed in then add 1/2 of the fresh basil.
  • Raise the heat to medium/high and pour in the pasta, stir and cover with the lid. Let the pasta cook covered for 10 -12 minutes, or until pasta is al dente.
  • Spoon into bowls and garnish with the leftover basil and shredded cheese.

An Autumn Movie

The after dinner coma and time to lounge on the couch snuggled under a blanket, lights dimmed and a pumpkin candle flickering on the coffee table. We watched You’ve Got Mail which has all the Autumn vibes; Falling leaves, A Harvest Fair, chunky cable knit sweaters and New York City as the backdrop. This is a list of my favourite Autumn inspired films if you’d like to take a look.

And of course, what Autumn movie night would be complete without a hot chocolate. I make mine with Almond milk, real shaved chocolate and marshmallows of course. Check out my killer Nutella Hot Chocolate with Bailey’s.

A Candlelit Bubble Bath

Running a bath before bed is my secret to a good nights sleep. The warmth of the water raises your temperature releasing muscle tension and creating feel-good endorphins. I sat back with the Pumpkin Enzyme Face Mask by Peter Thomas Roth on my face surrounded by pumpkin vanilla scented suds from The Body Shop’s Autumn product line.

Out of the bath and into my warmest flannel P.J’s, I rolled out my yoga mat in our bedroom and did my favourite slow stretch Yin Yoga routine. This is a great one for beginners. I like to do this routine to wind down and do Vinyasa when I want an actual workout.

A Snuggle With The Cats

After Yoga I was ready to climb under the feather duvet and have a snuggle with my kitties. They love bed time as much as I do and always come to bed to roll in the soft flannel sheets and get belly rubs. Did you know that a cats purr has healing and relaxing benefits? I read it can lower blood pressure and boost the immune response.

A Good Book In Bed

I’m reading Ray Bradbury’s book Something Wicked This Way Comes. This is the perfect book to read in October. I love having something spooky to read during this month and this story is it: When a Carnival arrives a week before Halloween to a small town in Illinois, strange things start to happen and bizarre characters come to life.

Do you make it a point to have an extra relaxing Sunday? I’d love to hear what you do.

I so appreciate you joining me today. If you feel so inclined to buy me a hot chocolate so that I can continue to create content like this, you can do so here.




Wishing you a relaxing Sunday.

Love,

Jennifer

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