Of all of the five seasons – Winter, Spring, Summer, My Birthday (it’s a thing), Fall – my most favorite has to be Fall. Crisp air. Changing colors. Men in tights (read: football). Pumpkin overdose. Halloween. Cider. Boots. Plaid. Walking more than 2 feet without sweating. I mean…it makes my midwestern-turned-southern heart swoon. If you live in the south, it takes a little bit for the weather to catch up with the calendar, but when those temps start dropping and your take your breath full of near perfect air…bliss. There is so much to do and eat during the fall and if you blink, you’ll miss it. I’ve put together a list of my top Fall 10 must-do’s so you can get in as much pumpkin spiced fun as you can stand this year.
1. Get Outside
These are the days! I can get lost for hours outdoors in the Fall, just taking in the beauty of nature and feeling the breeze on my face. Go for a walk on a trail or in a forest or in your neighborhood to see the changing leaves and toss a few up in the air for good measure. Go for a scenic drive in a tree-lined area and count how many different colors you see. Enjoy a bonfire in the evening with friends. Toast marshmallows or make smores at sunset. (HACK: make your own personal firepit. Grab terra cotta pots and fill with large rocks. Shimmy a Sterno can (marked “ethanol” on the canister) in the center leaving the wick displayed. Light in a ventilated area and voila – you have your very own firepit, perfect for roasting marshmallows. When you’re finished, be sure to put the fire out.)
2. Dine (and Drink) Al Fresco
Summer seems to have cornered the market on rooftop and patio fun, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: drinking and dining outdoors in the fall is where it’s at! It’s a no-sweat zone where you can welcome back red wines and bourbons solo, with your girl gang, or with your boo. Rooftop or ground level, eating outside in the fall is so amazing. No pesky bugs, cool breezes, savory dishes and if you’re lucky, maybe even a nice fire. Head to a great patio or set up an autumn-inspired tablescape on your own deck/patio. In the glow of the daylight or under the stars, get your outdoor dining on.
3. Align Your Spirit
Autumn is all about letting go of what doesn’t serve us to make space for bright new beginnings. What…you’ve never heard this? True story. Trees allow their beautiful leaves to turn colors and fall away, knowing that by summer they will have a completely new set of lush greenery to show off. Even the Day of the Dead, which celebrates loved ones who have passed on, occurs during Fall. During this season, we have the opportunity to see the beauty of life’s circle. Open those windows to release stale air and replace it with freshness. Sage your home to remove stagnant or negative energy. Pick up a journal and scribe your heart out – your dreams, your gratitude, your lessons. Pick up a few crystals to help fuel your energy and manifest your desires. Embrace this season of harvest by sowing deeper into your health and abundance.
4. Visit a Farm
My inner country girl comes out full force in the fall. I want to wear cowboy hats and cowboy boots, be around hay, take my horse to the old town road and ride til I can’t no more. This usually manifests as a visit to a few local farms. One that my family loves is in the Georgia mountains and has apple picking, delicious apple hand pies, apple cider donuts, ice cold apple cider, pig races, zip lining, apple cannons and more! Another offers a pumpkin festivus with corn mazes, potato sack slides, and hayrides. Check out farm happenings near you.
5. All Pumpkin Everything
It’s wonderful. It’s marvelous. It’s a little sweet. It’s savory. It’s yummy. It’s pumpkin. It’s in everything! If you don’t like pumpkin, sorry boo…you’re going to have a difficult time between now and Thanksgiving. When I see that first Starbucks ad for Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I get all giddy. And you know what – I don’t even get PSLs. But this to me is the get-ready sign, because once that PSL hits, it’s on and popping! Pumpkin ravioli with sage butter. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin butter body. Pumpkin soup. Candy corn…ok it’s not pumpkin but still. There’s even pumpkin spice SPAM. My main bae for all pumpkin everything is Trader Joes. (I’ll do a full TJ haul in another post so I can steer you in the right direction.)
6. Embrace One Pot Wonders
Quick, easy and satisfying meals are my jam, and it doesn’t get much better than foods that can be cooked in one pot. Chili. Beef stew. Spaghetti. Those cream-of-something casseroles. Pot roast. Chicken noodle soup. You get the picture. Fewer dishes, hearty meals that everyone in the house usually enjoys, and great leftovers. This is where some of those passed down family recipes are clutch.
7. Update Your Makeup
To know me is to know that I rarely have a full face of makeup. What I do wear pretty consistently is bronzer, mascara and lip gloss/lipstick. This combo allows me to feel fresh faced (my fave) but also looked pulled together. Just because you waved goodbye to summer doesn’t mean you have to wave goodbye to sun-kissed skin thanks to bronzers. When thinking about a bronzer for the cooler temps, go for rich golden tones to add subtle radiance, using it to contour and define your features. For blushes, go for deeper pinks and coppery, orangey hues. (HACK: Sometimes my bronzer subs for my blush.) And take a chance on richer, darker hues for lip color. I mean, you’re gorgeous already but bumping up the wow factor never hurt anyone. Visit your favorite department store or cosmetics store to try before you buy.
8. Invest in Fall Wardrobe Staples
My fall wardrobe staples are pretty simple: leggings, tunic, boots. Thank you. Goodnight. Seriously, this is one of the reasons Fall is so great! It’s about being cute and comfy, with an emphasis on comfy. Short booties are perfect from transitioning from summer and can be worn with skirts or pants. Once we commit to the cooler weather, I pull out the taller boots to wear over jeans. Then everything else is just being extra, which is one of my favorite states of being. Wear cowboy boots to fall festivals and farms, because why not. Rock over-the-knee boots to be a little more grown up. Boots instantly add a more polished finish. And leggings are life. Whether you go with the Spanx or Costco version, just do it. I have at least 8 pair because again…life. I usually don a tunic or longer shirt over those leggings because my dreams of having a Serena-like posterior have not yet come to fruition.
I hope that all your hot girl summer fantasies came true this year. I hope you drank lots, dropped it low, attended music festivals, sang Lizzo loudly, had lots of great (safe) sex. (I also hope you invested in your career, and financial and emotional wellness, cuz that is hot girl shit, too.) Embrace the memories, do some stretches and get ready because cuffing season is among us (now thru Valentine’s Day’ish). Dust off those dating app profiles and start swiping. Get out and make eye contact with some eligibles. Build a team of options so when it gets a little chilly, you’ll be ready to stay inside with your footie socks and bae in front of the fireplace. You may like your cuff so much that you decide to stay that way into Spring and beyond. It could happen. If you’re already in a relationship, get cozy with the one you’re with.
Men in tights. Thrilling sports action. Men in tights. Tailgating. Men in tights. Snacks. Men in tights. Watch parties. Men in tights. Guaranteed fun every weekend. Men in…ok, you get the picture. Football is a great way to have a fun time every weekend. (It probably helps if you’re not tied into any one team winning.) Whether it’s the NFL, college or high school, the game of pigskin is an easy way to connect with old pals or make some new ones. Grab tickets to a game, tailgate nearby, venture out to a sports bar/restaurant, or attend a friend’s gameday party. HINT: if you don’t know the sport, just cheer when everyone else does and you’re good to go!