The mornings are cooling down, and it’s a total delight. I’m always excited to jump into autumn feet-first. There is so much to do and see! I also believe that autumn is a preparatory season, and that the happiness of your winter will depend on what you get done beforehand. For example, you won’t want to lug suitcases and sell clothes when there’s snow on the ground, and don’t buy new bedding at the last moment (when there’s nothing good left!). Give yourself something wonderful to look forward to!
All that being said, here are my suggestions to keep you occupied this fall.
Take photos of the fall foliage
The very edges of the leaves are just beginning to turn yellow in New York City, a beautiful visual reminder that the seasons are changing. Go for a walk around your neighbourhood, appreciate the splendor, and take pictures.
Go for a long drive
Sometimes, what you really need is a change of scenery. Leaving your familiar surroundings can completely change your perspective on life, love, and your place within the world. Autumn is a gorgeous time to do it, and who couldn’t use a change in perspective?
Have a sleepover with your best friend
There’s nothing better than lying in bed beside your favourite person and cackling all night. Go and get some adorable pyjamas, stock up on sweet snacks, watch silly movies, and have a singalong.
Bust out your leather pants
How can you feel like anything but a badass when you wear leather pants? It’s impossible. In New York, at least, there are only a few months when the temperature is conducive to wearing leather pants, so get your wear while you can. And there are plenty of cute vegan options, too!
Wear psychedelic dresses
I love to scour Etsy for psychedelic maxi-dresses. With technicolour leaves all around you, they feel like the perfect thing to wear. My latest find has a quilted skirt which feels like you’re wearing a wonderful blanket. Sublime.
Find a new favourite tea
Spend some time in the tea aisle of a hippie-friendly supermarket, and you’ll be amazed by what’s available. A couple of weeks ago, I snagged a tin of Peppermint Chocolate Tea, which I’ve been making with coconut almond milk. There are no words!
Update your fragrance for the season
Light, tropical, or citrussy fragrances just don’t work when the temperature takes a nosedive. Have a browse of the fragrance department, and try something new! P.S. If you’re not ready (or don’t have the funds) to commit to a full-sized bottle, The Perfumed Court sells samples of basically every perfume ever made. Such a gem!
Plan your Halloween outfit
Start thinking about what you’re going to wear for Halloween. Even if you’re not going to go the full-on costume route, you can always wear something a little spooky, like this amazing Where My Witches At tank that everyone kiiiiiind of needs to own.
Go to a haunted house
Get into the spine-tingling spirit, and embrace the weird and wonderful tradition of visiting a haunted house. (My suggestion? Go with someone whose hand you wouldn’t mind holding!)
Buy cozy new bedding
Brand new bedding is one of life’s true pleasures, and especially when it starts to get cooler at night. Pile your bed up with thick duvets, soft blankets, and soft sheets. I adore flannel sheets for the ultimate in comfort, but beware: you may never get out of bed!
Update your living space
Let’s be frank: you’re going to be spending a lot of time inside from now on, so make sure your home reflects you! Could you paint a wall (or just the insides of your bookcase), buy a fantastic new lamp, or stock up on rainbow sequin pillows to make you smile? My husband just spent a day covering our kitchen wall in 2″ black polka dots, and it makes me happier than I can possibly express!
Re-do — or create! — your altar
Charge up your favourite crystals, and add candles, statues, or any objects that have meaning to you. This is a great place to put your vision board, images of your guru (if you have one), photos of people who have passed, or anything that helps you to keep focussed and inspired. Make time to meditate and pray here every day!
Stop stockpiling all that fun, beautiful stationery and start using it! Write letters to your distant family members, BFFs living on the other side of the world, teachers who inspired you… This is a wonderful time to get back in touch with people.
Buy a top-notch pair of slippers
Cold feet in the morning is such a bummer, so get yourself some adorable slippers to make waking up way more joyful. I always wanted bunny slippers like Pee-Wee Herman, and now I can have them!
Plan your goals for the rest of the year
It might be October, but there are still three months left in the year, and there is plenty you can achieve in that time! It’s never too late to get started with a big project.
Make a fall mixtape
Put together some of your favourite songs for listening to while crunching leaves underfoot, sipping hot chocolate, and snuggling into a big cardigan. I love 8tracks and Spotify for this purpose!
Start saving for a holiday next year
I don’t know about you, but the cold weather always inspires me to start fantasising about warm places I could go! Do a little research, and then start to squirrel your money away…
Find the perfect day-planner
I’m a sucker for a Filofax, but Australian brand Typo also has some great planners (glitter!). Bando’s planner is amazing but almost always out of stock, but Kate Spade’s planner is covered in gold polka-dots and would make life very happy indeed.
Dress up for dates
Put on your cutest ensemble and go to the museum with your beloved. Take a walk together. Walk around with hot cups of coffee or tea, and duck in and out of bookstores. Go out for burgers and make goo-goo eyes at one another. Ain’t love grand?! (Stumped for date ideas? Have a look at Very Definitely Not Dinner And A Movie: 50 Alternative First Date Ideas.)
Let’s just be real here: in a month’s time, it’s gonna be way too cold for casual frolicking outdoors, so make the most of the sunshine while we still have it! Bundle up, hire bikes with a friend, and get your nature on!
Create a ritual
Something about being stuck indoors makes me want to get in touch with nature way more. If you’re not sure how to create or perform a ritual, have a look at Magic And Mischief: Create Your Own Full Moon Ritual for more information!
Buy a record player
Urban Outfitters sells little portable record players in great colours like turquoise and pink! Start with Lana, Amy, Kendrick, Stevie, Bey, Elliott, Lorde, Al, Andre and Antwan, and Robert. They’ll keep you busy.
Invest in cashmere
I’m a Buffalo Exchange maniac, and one of the best things I ever snagged there was a grey cashmere hoodie. In fact, I am wearing it as I write this. It’s so comfortable, so soft, so cozy… Exactly what you need in your autumn arsenal!
Update your lipsticks
Switch out your summer shades for something a little more intense. Fall is the time for a bold lip! Go deep raspberry, bright orange, sexy plum. Try something different!
Buy a fantastic hat
…Because you always look better in a hat. Need suggestions? A flat-top boater is a classic that will pretty much go with everything. I love this leopard hat with ears too, but then, I would, wouldn’t I?!
Watch American Horror Story
Really, it’s the perfect show to watch when it’s cold outside. Snuggle up with someone you like, make a bowl of popcorn, and scare the hell out of yourselves! All three seasons are great, and season four is just about to start! HOORAY!
Embrace a new look
It may be tempting to hunker down in your daggiest duds when the weather cools down, but that’s not fun at all. Do something different! Take a page out of Kat’s book and dye your hair blue, get a new tattoo, or start incorporating bright colour into your style!
Get your boots resoled
If you’re anything like me, you wear your boots to death, and until they are at the stage of almost being unwearable. Take your two favourite pairs to a cobbler and have them put new soles on. You’ll feel so much better without ground-down soles!
Sell or donate what you no longer need
We all have more than we need: this is the time to sell or donate the things that are just taking up space in your life and closet. As it starts to get cold outside, giving away the coats and jackets that you don’t wear is a truly kind gesture. Plus, once you get rid of the things you don’t love, you’ll have more space (both physically and emotionally). Give your wardrobe a serious clean-out, and winter will be so much more pleasant!
Start keeping a video diary
What else are you going to do when it gets truly cold outside?! Slap your camera on an elevated surface, turn it to face you, and start filming! Imagine looking back on your video diary in ten years time — it will be amazing!
Top image by Lydia Hudgens. Stationery photo by Ishtar Olivera. Record player photo from Urban Outfitters.