It’s the time of year where we say goodbye to bikinis and watermelon.. and hello to sweaters and hot tea. The time for snuggling up with your favorite person, wrapped in a blanket, binge watching Harry Potter on a rainy day.
It’s the end of Chainsmokers blaring through your car stereo and the beginning of the slow enticing music of Bon Iver, emanating from the speakers on a slow yet perfect day. The end of flip flops slapping wet concrete to tugging boots over thick woven socks to stomp around a pumpkin patch hand-in-hand with the love of your life.
For some, the end of Summer means the beginning to a dreary school year in the rain, but for others (aka me) it’s the beginning of apple orchards, flannels, candles and the best weather Chicago has all year. So, in celebration of my beloved Autumn, here are five sweet things you can do to fall in love with fall.
Thrift and then thrift some more. During fall, anything over-sized, baggy and beat up is humbly accepted. Spend time roaming through the nearest thrift store; forget about what you want and accept what you find. Never forget to dig through the men’s section. One vintage brown leather jacket later and you’re ready to hit the leaf-covered streets as a new person. Keep an eye out for flannels, Levis and wool socks, expensive fall essentials found for a grand total of $6.42 on the rack so full that you thought it might explode. Look where you wouldn’t and smile while the cashier is bagging your perfectly imperfect fall staple.
Get inspired. Take photo after photo of your new favorite pumpkin matcha drink, the cute boy or girl slouching in the cafe seat across from you, or the brick wall you always thought was oddly intriguing. Keep the pictures to yourself or paint the walls of social media with them. Fall is the season shaped by creators and deep thinkers. Be one of them. Read. Write. Photograph. Paint chunky streaks of orange and red. Just create! Be inspired by the atmosphere around you, and in turn, let the atmosphere be inspired by you.
Roam. Adorable coffee shop catching your eye? Go in, order a new and random drink and just enjoy. Look in every little nook and cranny of your town (or the next town over) for hidden gems you may not have ever been to. Take a road trip with your best friends. All you need is a delicious drink (matcha, coffee, apple cider), the perfect fall playlist and a couple of your closest friends. Discover a little apple farm hidden in the rural part of your city and stomp around til’ your hearts content. Pull overgrown pumpkins in a creaky Red Flyer through a muddy hay maze. Life is out there in your town; in the next town over. Maybe two hours away. Fall excitement is everywhere. All you have to do is roam!
Shop and savor. Fall food awaits. Lets just get this clear, I am not going to recommend the PSL to you. I love you all too much for that. But honestly, fall holds some of the most delicious beverages and food you will ever eat. Apple cider is a given: it comes hot, cold, slushed, and unbelievably perfect every time. On chilly, sweater and scarves type of days, go with something like pumpkin hot chocolate, or a steaming mug of apple cinnamon tea (extra honey, extra sugar). On dresses and blue jean jacket type of days, go with the apple cider slushy or the aforementioned, and my new favorite drink, iced green tea matcha and pumpkin. If fall came in a cup, that would be it. Anything pumpkin goes for a delicious fall snack, cinnamon pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin chocolate coated candy apples. If bears can get chubby in the fall why can’t we!?
And finally, just be in the moment.
Unfortunately for those living in Illinois, fall only graces us with its presence for three months, so every moment has to count. Whether you’re hanging upside down on a roller coaster at Fright Fest, or reaching up to pick a perfectly plump apple, breathe and enjoy. Enjoy the crisp air, the friendships and all the good times summer granted us to get us here. Savor your pumpkin pancakes and embrace every September storm. Slip on your beat up Converse and take a walk through rainy sidewalks. Appreciate that you’re here for yet another fall, that life has brought us to this very moment to enjoy and live and breathe. Explore. Savor. Inspire. Be. It’s that easy!
Written by Jasmine Woodward
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