Six Fun ways to enjoy Fall

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Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the cool, foggy mornings and those crisp, cloudless days where the sky is that intense shade of blue you only see this time of year. I love the feeling of wearing sweatshirts again after the hot days of summer. Each year as summer fades, I anticipate the leaves changing color, which always seems to happen too fast.

My husband and I just returned from a weekend in the Adirondack mountains. It was a first time for both of us visiting the Adirondacks, and there is so much to see and do, we promised ourselves we would go again. The mountain views and fall foliage were breathtaking and our trip got me thinking about all the things I love to do this time of year.

Here are a few cheap and fun ways to enjoy the fall:

  1. Take a walk or a bike ride through the fall foliage
    Take in the sights and smells of autumn with a walk or a bike ride. This is a great way to unwind and let your mind wander while also getting in a little exercise. Make a day of it and pack a lunch and pick a nice spot to have a picnic. Be sure to bring along the camera to snap some shots of the scenery!
  2. Visit a pumpkin patch
    Pumpkin patches are great because they offer so many fun activities. You can go on a hayride or get lost in a corn maze. Pick out your pumpkins, then take them home to paint or carve.
  3. Go to an apple farm
    I love to visit the apple farm – my favorite part is walking in a smelling all the delicious baked goods. Pick your own apples and get some fresh cider! Be sure to get enough apples to bake your own apple treat at home!
  4. Go on a coffee date
    Grab a friend or your beau and head to a local coffee shop offering delicious autumn-inspired lattes. Make an evening of it and pick a time when there will be a poetry reading or open mic night.
  5. Make your own spiced cider
    If coffee shops aren’t your thing, stay in and make your own spiced cider! There’s nothing better than sipping on a warm mug of hot apple cider in the Fall. Pick up mulling spices at the store or the apple farm, or find a recipe to mull your own. Don’t forget, you can always spike your cider!
  6. Go to the beach
    Most people don’t think of the beach as a Fall activity, and I didn’t either I recently read this article by fellow blogger Jamie Lee Wallace. Grab a blanket and a good book and enjoy the sun and sand without the hustle of summer beach-goers.

What are your favorite fall activities?

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Eight Things I’ve Learned in my First Year of Marriage

My husband and I have been together for nine years and we’ve lived together for nearly seven. Now we’ve been married for one.

For a year and a half we planned our wedding. Everything came together (with a lot of hard work!) flawlessly, and we were fortunate to have a beautiful celebration with our family and friends and the most amazing start to our marriage that we could have asked for.

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After the chaos and excitement of our wedding and honeymoon, after the flurry of thank you notes, and reliving the day through photographs, it’s just the two of us.

It’s not often I stray from my usual topics of reading and writing on this blog, but as my one-year wedding anniversary approaches, I thought I’d share a little bit about what I’ve discovered in this first year together.

Here are a few things I’ve discovered along the way:

1.  Go at your own pace
In all likelihood, suddenly everyone you know is either getting engaged, getting married, buying a house, or having a baby. With so many life changes, it can feel like the pressure is on to keep up. First comes love, then comes marriage… If you’re like me and every other newlywed I know, you will be asked The Baby Question almost from the moment you say “I do.” Once you’re married, your family and coworkers all want to know when you will be moving on to the next step. Every relationship and every circumstance is different. You can only do what’s right for you.

2.  It’s okay to do things apart
Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you aren’t an individual anymore. I don’t mind getting lost in a good book while my husband blows off steam playing a video game. He goes to Guys Night on Wednesdays, and I spend that time either with girlfriends or watching a guilty pleasure chick flick. While we have plenty of mutual friends and activities that we share, we also have our own hobbies that we enjoy on our own. There’s nothing wrong with doing your own thing at least some of the time. It’s important to have your own space.

3.  Make decisions together
I always appreciate when my husband asks me my opinion, even when the decision is about something small. Individual personalities aside, you’re a team now. Decisions should be made together.

4.  Never stop dating each other
Just because we’re married doesn’t mean we need to stop dating – each other, that is. Instead of going to the same restaurants again and again, we go to new places and try new things. Instead of ordering the same old thing, we each order a dish we haven’t tried and share. We still flirt with each other. Make time for each other no matter how busy your lives get. Even running errands together can be quality time. Compliment each other. Say “I love you” and say it often. Be silly together. Make each other laugh.

5.  It doesn’t always take a grand gesture to show your spouse how much you appreciate them
When I vacuum and clean the house, my husband tells me he appreciates it. When my husband cooks dinner, I thank him, because I’m grateful for a delicious meal that I didn’t have to prepare. It may seem obvious but, Please and thank you go a long way. When my husband goes to the store, he almost always asks, “Do you need anything?” It doesn’t take much to be considerate and these little gestures add up.

6.  Be your partner’s biggest cheerleader
You’re in it together. Let your spouse know you support him or her no matter what the outcome. Celebrate your successes, big and small. Don’t call each other names or put each other down, build each other up.

7.  Sometimes the best reason to celebrate is no reason at all
It’s great to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and big holidays, but remember to celebrate the small stuff. Don’t wait around for Valentine’s day to show your husband how much you love him. Again, it doesn’t take a grand gesture. Those little everyday moments matter most. But seriously, don’t forget her birthday.

8.  Tell him why you’re mad. No, seriously.
I have been guilty – many times – of being mad at my husband while he has no clue. I’ve learned that I can either silently brood, be upset, and feel resentful over something he did (or didn’t) do, or I can just tell him what’s bothering me and almost instantly feel better. There’s no room for the silent treatment! Don’t pick fights, but tell him when you’re upset.  Above all, communication is key.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and I don’t want to. It won’t always be easy. But we have a whole lifetime to figure it out.

It looks like it’s time for me to officially retire my “newlywed” status.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go put on my sweatpants.