Ides of October: Fifteen Fresh Finds!

Every 15th of the month, find a quirky list of fifteen sites, items, and blog posts from all over the web. Have fun exploring!

In the spirit of this October 15th, I gathered quite a few fall-themed sites. With the beautiful sunshine, the spotty rain days, crunching leaves beneath my feet during noontime walks, autumn was definitely on the brain!

1. Ooh! Can I please have a fall party? Check out this DIY caramel apple kit I found on the Oh Happy Day! blog.

2. Magazines are shiny and fun! But in an effort to be more earth-friendly, I’ve tried finding electronic versions wherever possible. Issuu is a fantastic site for this purpose exactly. Gatherings is one of the magazines, with pretty pictures and great home decorating ideas for the season.

3. I found this quirky, 1970’s-inspired blog, Thompson Family-Life that almost had me wishing shag rugs were back in. Crazy thoughts aside, there was this super-awesome gift idea for personalized correspondence notecard sets for kids (or for playful grown-ups!). So colorful! I might have written my thank-you’s sooner if I had had a set like this when I was wee.

4. As noted above, mail is cool! And while postcards from Vegas and thank you notes are important, sometimes letters just allow us to let off some steam. Enter Dear blank, please blank. Entries are witty and to the point, such as “Dear Peanut Butter, Together we’re unstoppable. Sincerely, Jelly” or “Dear Noah, We could have sworn you said the ark wasn’t leaving till 5. Sincerely, Unicorns.” Easy fun.

If the above site is just a little hipster, continue to feel the counter-culture love with the following two sites.

5. Hipster Ipsum is a single-purpose site that supplies filler text for websites and blogs à la hipster. I wish I needed filler text for something…

6. I thought I was alone in thinking how ridiculous the items and prices were in trendy, alternative catalogues. Apparently not. ANTHROPARODIE successfully turns my sighs and the shaking of my head into hilarious subtitles for all to enjoy. Bucolic Spider Crusher, anyone?

7. Also trying to do some good while procrastinating online, I realized I had no idea what the whole (RED) campaign was about. After some clicking, I found a great way to fight AIDS in Africa and spruce up my new white sneaks through Nike.

8. So shopping can do some good, right? Besides being a form of therapy (hey, it’s healthier than a pint of Ben&Jerry’s), shopping can fill needs and wants for multiple people. For instance, I recently found these striking up-cycled toiletry bags and clutches from Elvis and Kresse while perusing my ecofabulous newsletter. Besides the gorgeous orange color of these bags, take pleasure in the fact that the bags are made from recycled fire hoses AND 50 percent of the profits go to charity.

9. Another way to do some good via shopping is to buy items that will help you not hit other people with your car. Seems logical. Mostly, I’m just talking about using my new iPhone 4S (I’m so excited!!) as a navigation tool hands-free. The Barnacle is perfect. Not only does it hold the phone in otherwise awkward positions in the car, it can just hold my phone off the bathroom sink when I’m using it for shower-time tunes.

10. And even though the camera on the iPhone 4S is a major upgrade from the 3GS, this panoramic ball camera would be much more fun to use on fall hikes and apple picking. Don’t you think?

Okay, so now it’s time to show some autumn recipe love. October is all about harvesting, and these recipes are all about apples and pumpkins. Can you blame me?

11. As you can tell from my somewhat incomplete blogroll, smitten kitchen is one of my favorite sites for finding great, different recipes for common food. If I cannot find a recipe I’m looking for on allrecipes.com, I immediately head on over to smitten kitchen to search the collection. These apple pie cookies look simple and delicious. If I hadn’t already made berry and banana ice cream, these would be dessert tonight.

12. I’ve been searching high and low for an irresistible apple recipe…something with caramel and a crunchy topping. While I did not find the right recipe, I did find the inspiration for making my own. These Caramel Apple Cupcakes look pretty darn cute. What if they were mini and had cheesecake on the bottom?! I must find out.

13. I always thought I needed a special doughnut pan for baking doughnuts (because I refuse to deep fry my own). So I’ve been doughnut-less. This recipe for Pumpkin Doughnuts from the food + words blog (found through foodgawker) gives me hope though. Complex flavors! Rich + baked + sweet. Perfect combo for a chilly Sunday morning? I think yes.

14. Summer = s’mores. Simple. So this recipe for Fall S’mores from the Oh Joy! blog defies all sense. I’m so glad.

15. Get a little squirrelly because these acorns are so cute! They would be perfect for that imaginary fall party I’m having! I found them on Pinterest. Go there. But don’t blame me if you don’t get any other work done on the computer.

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