Thursday, October 6, 2011

10 Ways to Get in the Autumn Spirit

     Yes, folks, it's that wonderful time of year again! Time for fuzzy sweaters, knit hats, yummy pies, and pumpkin patches! It's officially Autumn. This is my favorite season, and I'd like to share my passion for it with all of you. Here are some ways to take advantage of this lovely season and all the fun, delicious things it has to offer! 

     1. Make a yummy, hot drink. There's nothing better than a hot cup of spiced apple cider to warm up a dreary Autumn day. If you're a chocolate lover, try whipping up some Mexican hot chocolate or maybe even a pumpkin pie milkshake! If you're pressed for time, most coffee shops are bringing out their Fall specialties. Salted caramel mochas from most places are lovely. But which ever delicious drink you decide on, heed my warnings and stay the hell away from Starbuck's "Pumpkin Spice Latte." That drink is an abomination of stale pumpkin and an overload of cream & sugar. Mine was so bad we threw it off the second story balcony into the alley! Sorry, Starbucks. You didn't do it for me this time.

     2. Try a simple DIY project. If you've got half an hour to kill, why not make something creative and cute with your own hands? There's plenty of ideas on the internet, so search around to find the perfect project. You could try making your own Autumn wreath, a gorgeous flower headband, or a cute little birdie bag. (Can you tell I'm a fan of that website?) Get your hands dirty and make something adorable!

     3. Break out the nail polish. Put your Summer hues back in the cabinet and bring out the Fall colors! It's time for rich reds, mauves, nudes, greys, and beiges. The colors sound gross, but they look amazing! I'm absolutely in love with Essie's Fall nail polish collection, pictured below. Their bottles are a little pricey... Okay, a lot pricey. I may or may not have painted my nails inside Rite Aid and then rushed out the door once or twice. But trust me, it's worth the steep price. The polish comes in hundreds of beautiful colors I've never seen before, and it glides on smooth and perfect each time. I have "Carry On," the dark dark purple-ish color. It's gorgeous! 

     4. Get cheesy. Try a super cliche, K-Mart catalogue worthy activity. Instead of picking up your annual pumpkin at the grocery store, try visiting a real pumpkin patch instead. Go on a hay ride. Get lost in a corn maze. Bake an apple pie and serve it on a picnic table amongst the orange and red painted trees. Dive headfirst into Autumn and enjoy all the wonderful things it has to offer! Take a bunch of photos along the way, they'll make for some great cheesy Christmas cards later on.

     5. Decorate. A few pumpkins here, a few candles there... Turn your home into an Autumn wonderland! Try replacing your ordinary bathroom towels with seasonal ones, or picking up some cute throw pillows with Fall designs on them for your couch. Buy a bag of 99 cent store candles & some funky candleholders to add a warm atmosphere to your home. Drop some orange & red flowers into a vase for a simple transformation of your coffee table. The DIY projects mentioned earlier in this article make for great decorations as well. Oh, and don't forget the pumpkin on the porch, which will become a Jack-o-Lantern in a few weeks. The possibilities are endless!

     6. Go on a bike ride. Just because the weather has dropped a few degrees doesn't mean you can't have fun in the great outdoors! Get out your bike, throw on a comfy sweater & scarf, and you're on your way. Take a ride around your neighborhood and absorb everything around you. No need to speed around town, just take your time and enjoy the ride. Take in the smells and the sights and the sounds of Autumn! While you're out, you might want to stop into a local coffee shop or bakery. That seems pretty Fall-ish, doesn't it? 

     7. Change your look. Pull your old sweaters and boots out from hibernation and bring them back to life. There's no need to buy a whole new wardrobe for Fall, just work with what you already have. Add some Fall accessories & accents to give your old clothes a new look. Try wearing colored tights with an old dress, or a new skinny belt around an old top. The small accents are what make the outfit work. You can also change things up by experimenting with hair and makeup. Be bold! Try an Autumn-inspired eyeshadow look or a red-orange lip gloss. Sweep on some peachy blush or espresso colored eyeshadow. For the truly daring ladies out there, change your hair color! Bleach blonde and highlighted locks are for Summer, the colder months demand something darker and richer. I'd dye my hair a reddish, chestnut brown if I had the balls... but I don't. My inner brunette will show itself one day, though. It's coming. I can feel it!

     8. Try out a new Fall recipe. Pies, breads, cookies, cakes, casseroles, pastas, and pastries! The possibilities are pretty much endless. Try whipping something up that you've never had before like baked apples or mini peach pies. It might become your new Fall favorite! You can go the sweet treats route, or the hot food route. Either way, it's going to be delicious! Here's an idea: Grab a friend and have a Fall baking day. Whip up some goodies, and have a great time while you do it! Play some music. Lick the bowl. Have fun. Set the table fancy-shmancy for added effect, and enjoy your hard work together! Package up the leftovers & tie them up with cute ribbons for your friends and family when you're all finished. Double whammy.

     9. Plan your Halloween costume. October is here, which means Halloween is now on the radar again. Start brainstorming ideas now. Give yourself lots of time to prepare! That way, you won't have to cut out a makeshift "ghost outfit" from a bed sheet the day before Halloween, like so many have done before. Halloween is a dying holiday, at least in Long Beach, and it needs to be brought back to life. We can't let this amazing celebration slip through our fingers. Get involved, get creative and get ready for the spookiest night of the year!

     10. Jump in a pile of crispy autumn leaves! You only get the chance to jump into a pile of leaves without looking like a crazy person once a year, so take advantage of it! Just make sure there isn't concrete beneath it. Learn from my mistakes. Ouch.

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