25 Ways to Make the Most of Autumn

Autumn in Central Park

Isn't the word "autumn" so romantic? I admit, I tend to use "fall" more often in everyday speech, but oh dear autumn, you weave stories and emotions and imagination in your singular word.

Now that summer has gone, a new season begins with new hopes, feelings, and expectations. This season, let's set intentions for a meaningful time. Here is a list to get you started, but I'd love to hear what you have on your list for this fall...er, autumn. 

via Cooking Classy

via Cooking Classy

Things to Eat

1. If you love s'mores: then have you ever thought about eating them between two warm chocolate chip cookies?

2. If you love pumpkins: then you need these paleo pumpkin waffles NOW.

3. If you love soup: then stay tuned, because I have something up my sleeve. It is my magnum opus. 

4. If you love apples: then please, for the love, make the Hasselback Apples. Like hasselback sweet potatoes, only with apples. AKA, fast and easy apple crisp.

5. If you love chai: then you will straight up devour these Chai Spiced (grain, gluten, and dairy-free) Cookies. One of my go-to's! (And like most of my go-to's, your crowd will never know these are on the healthy side.)

Places to Go

6. Take a hike. Even if the leaves don't change where you are (we get about a 5 day window in Austin), the cooler air just begs for an outdoor adventure. 

7. Gather around a fire. This would be the perfect time to make some cookie s'mores (GET BEHIND ME, SATAN I can't stop thinking of those.)

8. Get lost in a corn maze. I had a lot of fun trying to explain this one to my Aussie husband and my sister's Kenyan counterpart. Suffice to say, we will be breaking their corn maze virginity this year.

9. Re-live high school football. In real life, or in Friday Night Lights on Netflix life. I think they both count.

10. Home. Pull out the old photo albums, re-read a favorite novel, pull out the knitting needles that have been gathering dust in the warmer months - whatever it is to you, find the things that make you feel like home, and go there.

Movies to See

11. The Martian. Watch the trailer.
Matty and I saw it this week and I read somewhere that this is a movie you'll want to tell all your friends about the next day. I can attest - see it!

12. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. Watch the trailer.
THE FINAL CHAPTER. Good, clean fun. Actually, no. That is the worst way to describe that series...

13. Steve Jobs. Watch the trailer.
Michael Fassbender said he studied Ashton Kutcher to prepare for this role. That made me laugh.

14. Goosebumps. Watch the trailer.
This one is pure nostalgia for me. I grew up watching the show on Nickelodeon and reading the books, and I feel like R.L. Stine's masterpiece is in no greater hands than that of Jack Black. 

15. Brooklyn. Watch the trailer.
From the writer of About a Boy, a young woman comes to New York from Ireland. Falls in love with an Italian. Wears amazing 1950's fashion.  Is torn between another man back home. New York, 1950's, love triangle movies are my jam.

10 Things I Love Right Now

Ways to Express Gratitude

16. Make a list. My favorite way to check in is to make a list of 10 Things I Love Right Now

17. Call your mom. Or your sister. Or your dad. Or your grandparents. Pick up the phone (and I don't mean text).

18. Send a handwritten letter. You know I'm a fan, and the card I'm giving away this week would be the perfect piece of happiness to receive :)

19. Yoga. Something about practicing yoga (when I do) makes me feel thankful - and I'm not alone. Try these five yoga poses for gratitude to focus in on what you're thankful for.

20. Give. All it takes to feel thankful is to put some perspective around things. It could be donating your old clothes, helping out the guy on the corner, or donating your time to someone who needs your help.

Autumn in Central Park

And let's not forget...

21. Go discount shopping. Black Friday looms. Even if you don't shop that day, stores are switching over inventory, so sales abound!

22. Get ready for the holidays. It's not too early to begin your holiday shopping (is what I keep telling myself). Try purchasing one gift a week beginning now to help lighten the load later on.

23. Bring the outside inside. My sister, Lauren, told me that one of her favorite things about fall is how easy it is to decorate. Go outside, grab some branches and gourds - you're good. But she made a great point! Fall is about nature and the earth. Make a few small changes in your home to feel its warmth.

24. Set a fitness goal. Personally, running is my jam in the fall (as evidenced by my annoying Nike check-ins on Twitter). I love working out and not really sweating because showers and getting ready are so overrated. Now is a good time to set intentions for the cooler months and prepare for the busy, sugar-filled days. Decide now how you'll conquer them and keep motivated.

25. Document it. Write, photograph, draw, or paint. Find a way to keep this sweet season of your life so that next time you go back to number 10, you have something to remember.