23 September 2017

25 things you can do this autumn


Hello!

I'm going to be honest with you, I'm pretty bloody excited right now. Why? Because it's officially autumn!

I've been waiting patiently for that familiar chill in the air, for the leaves to start turning beautiful colours, and for the darker evenings to start creeping in.

I know there are a few of you who are with me on this, and a few of you will be mourning the loss of summer. Whatever side you're on, here are 25 ways to make the most of autumn:

1. Go stationery shopping

To quote Tom Hanks in You've Got Mail: 'Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address'. I love this so much it's almost sickening. And he had a brilliant point: New York or not, there's something rather delicious about treating yourself to a nice, new notebook in September, right? And who knows, it might be the notebook that captures a life-changing idea.

2. Listen to an autumn playlist

For the last three years, I've been curating this autumn playlist on Spotify. It's honestly one of my most treasured possessions, and I really only let myself listen to it from 22 September-1 December so I'll never get bored of it. There are enough songs for several indie movie soundtracks here:

 

My compilation of plinky piano and acoustic guitar might not be your thing, so why not make your own?

3. Make a change

There's something about autumn that feels like a chance for a fresh start. Try a new hobby, learn something new, or switch up your routine. Right now, I'm taking a couple of online FutureLearn courses (one in fiction writing and one in scriptwriting) and I'm waking up earlier to do some pre-breakfast pilates. I shall thank myself when I'm a super lean, award-winning writer. 

4. Buy a candle

Preferably in some delicious autumn fragrance, like apple pie or blackcurrant or cedar and pine. A Yankee candle store just opened in my local high street, which I'll pillage every lunchtime. I've also been eyeing up these organic Cosy Glow candles, which come in loads of different scents. Mmm, fresh linen.

5. Go pumpkin picking

I had such a fun time pumpkin picking with Jasmin last October. I am absolutely going again this year! 


6. Carve a pumpkin

I suppose you could go full-blown Pinterest and paint your pumpkin white and gold, and turn it into a beautiful decoration. But there's something oddly satisfying about crafting a slightly shit scary face for Halloween. Last year's effort was Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas.


7. Go to a fancy dress party for Halloween

This year, commit to Halloween. Dress up, eat too many spooky-themed sweets and have a lot of fun!

8. Plan some autumn dinners

Autumn/winter food is just the best. Roast dinners, casseroles, stews, soups, mac and cheese. Everything with sweet potato and butternut squash. Gravy. It's comfort food that warms your belly and soul. 


9. Get yourself an indulgent hot chocolate

Because why the hell not?


10. Make an autumn film list and watch every last one

My list includes: You've Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, Practical Magic, Dead Poet's Society, Hocus Pocus, The Craft, Little Women, Corpse Bride, Halloween Town, and Nightmare Before Christmas. 

They're mostly old favourites that feature Meg Ryan and 'fall in New York', Halloween films, or witchy films (which, in my book, is not the same thing as a Halloween film). 


11. Go on a long walk

I hope there are crunchy leaves everywhere, I hope there's a crisp chill in the air, and I hope you're wearing a fun pair of welly boots. 


12. Read a book

You get bonus points if you're reading: a) in a den you've concocted with blankets, or b) by a fireplace, or c) in a cosy armchair.



13. Get some new pyjamas

I searched the internet for the best jammies, here they are: 

14. Hunt out some autumnal bedding

Two words, babes: brushed cotton. If you can find that, you're in for the softest, cosiest dreams. Even Primark sells it. Grab something nice in burgundy, navy or dark orange. Possibly with some sort of woodland creature motif.


15. Decorate with twinkle lights

To me, nothing says autumn like a string of fairy lights. It makes everything seem much more cosy and magical. I blame Gilmore Girls for this obsession, they do it oh-so-well.

16. Make a note of all the great TV heading your way

Whether you're all about Strictly Come Dancing and Great British Bake Off or you're counting down the days until the latest seasons of Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Riverdale or Stranger Things, there's something to get excited about. Oh, and let's not forget Philip K Dick's Electric Dreams, Gunpowder, and Britannia.


Or, y'know, stick on a Sabrina the Teenage Witch boxset. No? Just me?

17. Put on your cosiest socks

You know the ones I mean. They're super warm, thick and probably fluffy. If you don't have them, get some. 

18. Bake yourself a treat

Autumn: the season of salted caramel, of gingerbread, of cinnamon! I saw a recipe for chocolate orange brownies that made me say: 'oh my!'. 


For a super easy bake, try my recipe for classic choc chip cookies (they've been getting rave reviews).

19. Play with sparklers on Bonfire Night

In fact, this November, watch a fireworks display, eat a toffee apple. Go nuts!

20. Update your autumn wardrobe

Any excuse for shopping, right? This autumn I'm looking for cosy knits, stylish ankle boots, berry-hued pleated midi skirts, pinafores, and big scarves. Take a scroll through below:


(TOP TIP: just buy new tights. Forget about the bobbly, laddered ones lurking in your drawers)

21. Go to the theatre 

The theatre is good at any time of year, of course, but something about sitting in those red velvet seats while it's chilly and dark outside is extra exciting. I don't know why, it just is.

22. Set yourself a goal 

What can you achieve by the end of the year? Or, if it's a long term goal, by next summer. I have a few things on the go, from creative projects to my plan to get fit (I'm currently writing this in gym clothes, so I'm officially Taking It Seriously).

23. Bust out your big, cosy jumper

Whether it's a cream cable knit or a colourful fuzzy creation with a cat on the front, grab it. Treasure it.


24. Try a new make up look

That plum/berry colour you haven't been able to wear for months? It's time. Wear it, and wear it with confidence! Team with a golden smokey eye for 10/10 autumn goddess vibes.

25. Craft something

More evenings in? More time for crafts! Cross-stitching is my craft of choice and it's basically therapy. You can't worry or overthink while you stitch, you're totally at peace for an hour or so. And you get a nice little gift at the end.


So, that's my rather exhaustive list! What are you looking forward to this autumn?
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