If you've been reading the blog or following me on Instagram for awhile, you might have gleaned that I feel a bit lukewarm about fall. Sure, the changing leaves are beautiful, but fall signals the end of summer (my favorite season) and the dreaded arrival of winter (my least favorite season). Until the snow flies, I'm still hanging on to summer as best I can! Hubby and I are still sailing until the club forces us to haul out and we're enjoying as many lake sunsets as we can before they disappear. Luckily our new fire pit is huge, so I can build a real rager to keep warm on chilly fall nights.
When Wayfair invited me to share my ideal evening by the campfire, I jumped at the chance to make some s'mores and hang out by the lake - taking you with me as best I can! You have only seen the fire pit in its pristine, just-made state so I thought it would be fun to show you how we really use the fire pit and how it's weathered the summer - plus share some take home tips and products (including some for my apartment dwelling or fire pit-less friends).
You probably spotted that the Eames chairs I had in front of the fire pit moved to the guesthouse after I painted the trim turquoise. They looked so good lakeside but I quickly realized two problems: they filled with water when it rained and when we had friends and family over, we had to add some mismatched chairs and we were tired of lugging chairs back and forth. Instead, we moved the Eames chairs to the sheltered guesthouse deck, where they are perfect for overnight guests to chill with a coffee alone (or handy extra seating by the lake if we need it). For the fire pit, we lugged down our patio chairs, which were languishing in the garage because we only use two on the deck (we positioned the patio table so people can sit on the built-in deck benches on one side). I'd love a set of turquoise Adirondack chairs, but I'm worried we won't be able to see the fire pit once we're sitting lower - something folks with similar, walled fire pits have complained to me about. We can see every last ember perfectly, so for right now we're making do with the chairs we have because they're so comfy (and we already owned them, so the price was right).
Now that we've really used our fire pit area, I have a list of things I want for next year, including a couple of garden stools to use as side tables beside the chairs, real s'mores roasting sticks (Szuka chews the ones Hubby lovingly whittles for us), a nicer container for carrying/storing firewood (we leave our janky wheelbarrow parked nearby), some pretty outdoor lanterns for when we're out way past sunset, and campfire tongs (we both reach in like idiots). And maybe those Adirondack chairs after all!
One of the best parts about hanging out by the fire pit is the s'mores. Did I mention s'mores yet? I really have no idea what is wrong with Hubby and his marshmallow loathing.
Would you pick a sausage over a roasted marshmallow???
In the last year or so I've been trying to really reduce my sugar intake and I've experimented a lot with low sugar and sugar-free baking, but I just love s'mores so much. They are my weakness, my downfall. I used to make them inside in the winter, in front of our wood burning fireplace, which cracks Hubby up. I recently decided to try making them in the oven - which turned out to be SO easy (oh dear).
Because they're so easy to whip up, I've been experimenting with new flavor combinations.
In case you ever looked at a s'more and thought, "that's not enough sugar!" caramilk bar squares instead of plain chocolate make a ridiculously delicious treat - just be careful because the caramilk can get scathingly hot in the oven s'more variety, but they're just right fireside.
My current favorite is a pumpkin pie s'mores. I'm not even a PSL fan, but I bought some canned pumpkin for smoothies because I'm trying really hard to embrace fall this year and do all of the things fall-loving folks love: wearing boots too early (I wear sandals till it snows usually), eating copious amounts of pumpkin, and decorating in an autumnal fashion.
I tried a dollop of canned pumpkin in an oven s'more with a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice (probably a little too fussy to assemble fireside). SO delicious! Starting to get what the fuss with fall is all about...
I just pop two graham crackers in the oven at 350 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes (or until the marshmallow swells a bit and starts to look toasty). Then I sprinkle on the spice, add a teaspoon of pumpkin puree and close the s'more quickly to let the pumpkin warm up. It's super addictive, so I really don't recommend trying this at home...
I wanted to share this tip because I know so many of you are apartment dwellers or can't have a fire pit (or frankly, don't want one because it takes days to wash the smoke smell out of hair - I totally get it). If you're skipping the fall campfires but crave that cozy ambiance, I recommend lighting a campfire scented candle, and bundling up with a blanket, mug of tea and an oven s'more!
Really, any excuse for a s'more.
This post was sponsored by Wayfair, but all thoughts, opinions, product selections, and s'mores tangents are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make blogging possible for me - I can't tell you how much I appreciate you as readers!