Ahhh, Fall. Or Autumn, for us more traditional folk. The leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping...the incessant lawn mowers and leaf blowers are making noise all day...
I'll be honest: I have a headache. And not just from the landscaping going on around me. My forehead vein is protruding more than usual because I don't even have a solid Thanksgiving meal plan yet, let alone a proper list for holiday gift shopping.
Because really, Fall just leads into the holidays, right? We spend this naturally beautiful, tranquil, and aesthetically pleasing time of year panicking about what's next instead of just appreciating all the leaves and overabundance of apple cider!
So, here's what we'll do instead: I'm going to initiate a mutual deep breath...
Good...now hold it a little longer...
Great. Now here's my list of Fall favorites - stuff I like to do, things I like to wear, books I like to read, and other random Fall fun to inspire some mindfulness and hopefully lessen the feeling of impending holiday insanity:
- Baked pumpkin seeds. I carve at least one pumpkin, religiously, every Fall. Most people overlook all the good stuff on the inside, but I like to scoop out the guts into a separate bowl and sort the seed from the mush. Pumpkin seeds are a crunchy, salty, satisfyingly-Fall snack to keep around on the kitchen counter. Speaking of the kitchen, how about some handmade Town Cutler chef knives to spruce up your space?
- Merino wool throws. The temperature drops pretty noticeably up here in the Northeast by about the third week of October (give or take). When those low 40's and 50's start hitting at night, I know it's time to take out The Winter Box. And you know what I mean. Box, storage bin, bottom drawer in your dresser...whatever you call it, I'm talking about when you inevitably drag yourself over to that vessel that's synonymous with cold and snow to procure your favorite throws and blankets. I like to be seasonal with my home decor, so I suppose this is a practical and fashionable choice. This is my all-time favorite throw!
- Eucalyptus essential oil. I'm an aromatherapy fanatic. My favorite Fall scent is eucalyptus; it's clarifying, relaxing, and grounding; perfect for when you're feeling emotionally drained.
- Robert Frost. Call me predictable, but there's something about reading "After Apple-Picking" when it was (in my opinion) meant to be read - during the Fall - that really puts things into perspective for me.
- Jean jackets. I'm a denim kind of gal...the kind who's been known to (don't judge!) wear double denim, or denim-on-denim, as some call it. The 80's were amazing, okay?! Fall is my favorite occasion for a jean jacket, and I like to accessorize with this Susanne Siegel necklace.
- Planting Fall flowers. I like to have flowers year-round. They instantly boost my mood and make my yard prettier. Who says Spring and Summer get to have all the fun? If you've never tried it, planting some Fall perennials this year is a great way to ensure happiness in every season. My favorite Fall flowers are garden mums and New England aster.
- Butternut squash soup. I feel for my friend the butternut squash. They're the veggie underdog, often overlooked and somewhat misunderstood. But Fall is the best time to give a squash some love! I like to top a bowl of this soup with fresh sage leaves from my garden, sautéed to crispy perfection in brown butter. Your stomach will feel loved, too.
- Splitting firewood. This one might be hard for city-dwellers, but I have to include it. I must say, this a workout like no other; and trust me, I would know, because I ran track in high school and run 5Ks all the time. I love getting outside, breathing in the wonderful Fall air, working up a good sweat, and knowing that I'm accomplishing more than just burning calories!
- S'mores on the fire. If you're lucky enough to have a firepit or a fireplace, this is a must-do to beat those chilly Fall nights. We all associate s'mores with kids at summer camp, but I like to sit outside by the fire during Fall because it keeps me from staying indoors all day AND I still feel warm and cozy! If you're like me, then you also like to pick your s'mores roasting stick from Nature herself, and carefully shape the end to ensure a good grip on your marshmallow(s). I use my William Henry pocket knife to get the sharpest point. Besides, who doesn't love an excuse to eat chocolate?
- Vanilla chai lattes. This drink reminds me of studying at college for midterms. My friends and I would take a break to grab one of these and then get back to work. Thankfully, that kind of stress is ages gone...but to combat stress from the incoming holidays, I like to make my own at home using oat milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and honey.
I hope your blood pressure is much lower than it was when you first started reading this and that you try something new from my list!
What are some of your Fall favorites? Any Autumn traditions? Comment below - I'd love to hear from you!
P.S. - This photo is of a beautiful Japanese maple tree right in my backyard!