Fall Wishlist

The leaves are changing, temperature's dropping and everything is pumpkin spice flavored...fall is here! What is on your wishlist to do this autumn? Check out some of these ideas to have a fancy redneck fall!

(flickr)

ACTIVITIES:

  • Pumpkin picking
  • Pumpkin carving
  • Rake leaves (subsequently jump in leaves, repeat)
  • Clean out your closet
  • Thrift store shopping
  • Buy new boots
  • Fall cleaning (tidy up home, transition from warm to cool, get ready for holiday decorating, etc.)
  • Apple picking
  • Get cozy (go candle shopping, purchase or make new scarves or socks, etc.)
  • Watch scary movies leading up to Halloween
  • Hayride
  • Corn maze
  • Early holiday shopping
  • Explore a park or forest
  • Create your own fall DIY decorations
  • Bon fire
  • Take lots of photos
  • Pick a challenge
  • Build a blanket fort and tell ghost stories
  • Write something
  • Have a "sweater weather" picnic
  • Horseback riding
  • Redecorate
  • Tailgate
  • Watch football

DESTINATIONS:

  • Brewery tour
  • Zoo
  • Pumpkin patch
  • Local orchard
  • Local fall festivals
  • "First Friday" events
  • Flea market
  • Haunted House
  • Corn Maze

GOALS:

  • Read a new book
  • Start a new TV show
  • Start considering New Years Resolutions
  • Create a holiday budget
  • Try 10 new things
  • Complete 2 seasonal challenges

FOODS TO EAT, DRINKS TO SIP:

  • Pumpkin spice latte
  • Pumpkin bread/pie/cookies
  • Apple pie
  • Apple cider
  • Hot chocolate
  • Mulled cider
  • Pumpkin beer
  • Squash
  • Turkey
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Candy
  • Red wine

PARTIES TO THROW: 

  • Halloween or Costume party!
  • Game Day party
  • Pumpkin Party (pumpkin flavored everything, pumpkin carving, etc.)
  • Pie Party (get a gaggle of pals together to make a bunch of different fall pies)
  • Bonfire Bash (gather around a bonfire for s'mores, ghost stories, and warmth)
  • Mull It Over (make a variety of fall mulled ciders next to a s'mores bar for a night of sweet--and possibly boozy--fun)
  • Swap, Sell, Share (you and a group of friends clear out your closets and swap, sell and share items with each other--don't charge for items over $5)
  • Parties People Should Totally Be Throwing
  • Party

Check out here, here, here, and here for more fun fall ideas!

A Season of Challenges

Summer is coming to a close. It's pretty much over. Pack up your beach towels, sunscreen and bikinis; and trade them in for cardigans, pumpkin spice practically everything, and feeling the pressure of the holidays. 

However, now that this new season is upon us, there is time for change and improvement! Here is a list of challenges to try this fall to better yourself, health, wardrobe, relationships, budget, etc.

Prepared Meals For A Month

Okay, so I know I'm not alone in this, but I find myself on campus getting a Diet Dr. Pepper and a bag of Cheddar Chex Mix nearly every day. Now, in Philly, that costs $6.00. $6.00 a day x 5 days = $42 that a broke college student like myself can't actually afford to spend. Plus, let's be honest, a diet consisting solely of 30th Street Station snacks is not exactly good one. 
Goal: Create healthier eating habits, budget money
Rules: For the entire month, all meals and snacks will be prepped at home, no food will be purchased outside of the two designated shopping days in the month. The two shopping trips will not exceed $100 each--creating a $200 food budget. These prepared meals can be anything from frozen prepped meals, to salads, to simple snacks. Here's a Pinterest board I created: Prepped Food Challenge with recipes, prep tips, and more.

The Get and Give

You probably have a lot of clothes that you don't wear, like, or still have the tags on but lost the receipt for. That's fine, but there are clothes that you will want to buy this fall, and you'll definitely get more around the holidays. So here's a solution to do some good with those old clothes, while rewarding yourself with something more than just good will.
Goal: Clear out and organize clothes, give back to the community 
Rules: Go to your closet, the stack of boxes in the basement full of clothes you haven't seen since the eighth grade, the garage, wherever you have clothes and go through it. For every ten articles of clothing you can donate, equals one article of clothing you can purchase on a shopping spree. You can donate clothes to clothing drives, Goodwill, Salvation Army, consignment shops, yard sale, and even shop your clothes to your friends and family members.

Fall Photo Challenge

Photos are fun and creative. Taking photos can be fun and creative as well. Doing creative projects is actually helpful in continuing to be productive. Some of the worst procrastination you can find yourself doing is unproductive, but if you procrastinate something important, with something productive, you are more likely to continue being productive and get things done.
Goal: be creative, share photos and ideas with people
Rules: Find a photo challenge list, write a photo challenge list, etc. Start as soon as you can. Take photos on your phone, with your camera, even draw if you want to. Share the photo that day, and pass the challenge onto someone else. At the end of the designated time (Depending on personal preference or challenge selected) you will have a whole bunch of amazing photos and experiences.

31 Days of Halloween

This is another fun creative idea. This challenge allows you to get your spook on as well as help someone else spread his or her creative wings. 
Goal: Complete 31 writing pieces, get someone else to complete 31 writing pieces, improve as a storyteller/writer
Rules: From October 1st and ending on November 1st, you and a partner will write scary stories based off of prompts you give one another. You will give the prompt on one day, both you and your partner will write that prompt. Then the next day, your partner will come up with the prompt. After the day is over, you swap the stories that night and give each other feedback. You set up parameters, word/page counts, story mediums, etc. 

Days of DIY

Do you have things in your house or apartment that could use some fixing up, sprucing up or simply you just want something new in your place? Probably. Well, Pinterest projects are really pretty and everyone wants to be as great as those projects, but sometimes they are more expensive than just buying the thing you want to DIY, and they can end up a disaster. Attack projects you need to do and know that you can do, as well as give yourself a challenge!
Goal: complete at least 10 DIY projects, stay under budget, try something new
Rules: This is a weekly challenge. Find at least 10 DIY projects that you can do--either online or basic projects around your house you know you need done. Create a budget for your projects--try not to go over $100 for your 10 week budget. Don't forget to ask for help! Keep a calendar so you know when you need to get stuff done by.

Rainy Day Fund

Have a major issue saving money? Same. This challenge is super simple and a challenge that you can do for however long you want. You can even set a goal in mind, or an end date. You can create a fund for something specific as well.
Goal: save money, raise money, budget money
Rules: At the beginning of the month, write down how much money you have in your account. Budget the money for the month (groceries, bills, gas, fun). Then take is a step further and budget that money for daily use. Use cash. Any change you get from these interactions (coins), put away in a rainy day fund.

Try Something New

Goal: trying new things
Rules: Try something new every day. It can be something small or big, but try something new. If you think the new thing was positive, write down it was positive. If it wasn't all that and a bag of chips, mark it with an X. At the end of the month, look at your calendar and see if trying new things was a positive experience for you.

Fall Fit Fun

Exercising is hard and it's not fun for a lot of people. The biggest challenge for people when it comes to exercising is keeping at it. So, here's a challenge that makes it simple and you'll hopefully feel like you're accomplishing a goal.
Goals: feel healthier, exercise, find a routine
Rules: Get a calendar for the month you want to do the challenge. Label every day with an exercise. Do that exercise. Mark off the days as you go along. See if you can challenge yourself further as the month goes on, but as long as you complete your daily goal, you have accomplished something. Now, here's where the "for everyone and anyone" part comes into play. These fitness goals can be in tandem with exercises. For example, take the stairs everywhere. Exercises can be crunches, push ups, running up and down the stairs, walking around with bags of flour on your shoulders, etc. Get fit when you can, however you can.

Replace and Refresh

New is never a good thing for me unless it's a new episode of Elementary on CBS. However, I have found copycat recipes, and even replacements for some of my favorite foods and activities have helped me be healthier and more productive.
Goal: create healthier habits, find alternatives for habits.
Rules: Make a list of 50-100 things that you eat all of the time, or habits that you do a lot that you can cut down on by sharing that with something else. For example, instead of rice and pasta, try quinoa and cauliflower. Or instead of writing on the computer, write in a notebook. Instead of watching TV, spend an hour reading or walking. Wheat bread for your grilled cheese instead of wheat bread. Sleep with just a sheet instead of blasting the AC. Work at the kitchen table instead of in bed.

SMILE

Your dentist will lose it after this month's challenge. This challenge is for dental health. Now, this might sound odd to some people--but not everyone flosses. This is a fact. This will help improve your smile.
Goal: improve dental health, boost confidence when smiling
Rules: Brush your teeth twice a day. Floss twice a day. Whiten your teeth using an at home kit. Take a photo every day of your smile and see if these habits improve your smile at the end of the 30 days.

Check out these other challenges for more inspirations and ideas!
52 Fun Things: Try a New One Each Week of the Year
100 30 Day Challenges Ideas
30 Day Challenge Ideas to Turn Your Life Around
30 Challenges for 30 Days

 

DIY: Candy Corn Wine Bottles

(ashbeedesigns)

These fun candy corn bottles are beautiful and easy to make! Check out ashbeedesign's tutorial to create these awesome centerpieces! 

Snack Like a Southerner: Hot Spiced Cider

(myrecipes)

Ingredients:

quarts apple cider 
1/2 cup molasses 
lemon slices, cut in half 
12 whole cloves 
(2-inch) cinnamon sticks 
1/4 cup lemon juice 
Garnishes: cinnamon sticks,lemon wedges, whole cloves
"Bring cider and next 4 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves with a slotted spoon; stir in lemon juice. Garnish, if desired."

DIY: Tin Can Lanterns

(jollymom)

Check out this fun tutorial from JollyMom to create these fun crafts for the spooky holiday!

Snack Like a Southerner: Pumpkin Cheese Display

(myrecipes)

Ingredients:

(10-oz.) blocks extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded
8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened 
(4-oz.) goat cheese logs, softened 
1/2 teaspoon pepper 
Braided pretzel, muscadine vine and leaf 
Crackers and assorted vegetables
"1. Stir together first 4 ingredients. Shape mixture into a ball to resemble a pumpkin. Smooth pumpkin's entire surface with metal spatula or table knife. Make vertical grooves in ball, if desired, using fingertips. Press pretzel into top of cheese ball to resemble a pumpkin stem; place muscadine vine and leaf beside pretzel. Serve with crackers and assorted vegetables.

*Extra-sharp Cheddar cheese may be substituted.

Note: We tested with Cracker Barrel Extra-Sharp Cheddar Cheese. To make ahead, wrap cheese ball in plastic wrap, without stem, vine, or leaf, and store in refrigerator up to two days. Attach stem, vine, and leaf before serving."

Snack Like a Southerner: Trash Mix

(myrecipes)

Ingredients:

(16-ounce) package candy corn 
(15-ounce) package pretzel nibblers 
(12-ounce) package caramel popcorn and peanuts 
(15-ounce) package banana chips 
(15-ounce) package candy-coated chocolate pieces 
(15-ounce) package dried mango 
(15-ounce) package dried pineapple 
(10-ounce) package toffee pretzels 
(6-ounce) package sweetened dried cranberries 
(6-ounce) package worm-shaped chewy candy
"Stir together all ingredients. Store in an airtight container.

NOTE: For testing purposes only, we used pretzel Nuggets, Crunch 'n Munch, M&M's, and Craisins."

Snack Like a Southerner: Brew Ha-Ha Punch

(myrecipes)

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar 
quarts water $
(13-ounce) envelopes lime drink mix 
(46-ounce) can pineapple juice 
quart ginger ale
"Stir together sugar and 2 quarts water until sugar is dissolved. Stir in remaining ingredients. Chill.

Note: For a scary presentation, place punch bowl into a larger bowl, and add dry ice to larger bowl."

Fall Fresh Food Guide

Fall is the harvest season and let's keep it fresh! Check out these helpful tips, tricks and recipes to keep your fall food fresh.

What's In Season?

Fall Vegetables to Grow Now 
Produce Yum Guide

(thetastefulgarden)

Turnips

Garlic

Kale

Spinach

Asparagus

Brussel Sprouts

Collards

Green Beans

Sugar Snap Peas

Squash

Radishes

Peas

Tomatoes

Raspberries

Apples

Blueberries

Rhubarb

Pumpkins

Gardening

Keep an eye out at your local grocery store, produce hut or flea market for these fresh finds. Fresh food is good for you and your body and tastes pretty great too! Luckily, these fruits and veggies aren't only sweet for your body and budget, but are super easy to grow right in the comfort of your own backyard or in your kitchen!

Check out these fun guides for tips and tricks as to how to grow your own delights:

Step By Step Kitchen Garden 
(mothereathnews)

Top Ten Rules For Growing In Your Garden 
(hgtvgardens)

Fall Vegetable Gardening Guide 
(tastefulgarden)

Fall Container Gardening 
(wtip)

Fun Fresh Recipes

107 Apple Recipes
50 Dishes You Can Make With Apples 
Apple Salads
(foodnetwork)

Southern Living's Best Pumpkin Recipes 
Best Pumpkin Recipes 
All Recipes' Pumpkin Recipes 
Irresistible Pumpkin Recipes 
(eatwell101)

40 Garden Fresh Vegetable Recipes 

Fall Vegetable Recipes 

Fall Seasonal Cooking 

Enjoy!