Autumn is Finally Here & Why I Love It

things I love about fall

via Instagram

Yes, autumn is officially here.  Oh happy season!  The season of bountiful opportunities, immense beauty & romance.  The arrival of fall to me is like coming back to home sweet home from a long work trip that has dragged on for months – aka. summer.  One word… ahhhhhhhh!!

  • Cooler Weather

This is one of the main reasons why I’m so excited to finally welcome fall. Honestly summer heat is draining for me.  There is a constant fluctuation between hot & cold, going from freezing indoors to the sweltering outdoors.  A light jacket or cardigan is a must just to stay warm inside (with the exception of my own home where we control the thermostat).  I find the artificial chill unpleasant and unhealthy to put it mildly.

Autumn’s comfortable 50s ~ 70s temperatures are heaven-sent.  The end to air conditioning by this point.  I get to open up all my windows to let the fresh air in. It’s one of the first things I do in the morning to circulate through the entire house. Our cats also seem to enjoy the crisp smell & the cool feeling of the cooler air. Then, off we go into the backyard for even more goodness.

I’m in need of a new throw for our living room.  You know, that homy feeling of being curled up under a cozy blanket with hot tea (or cider) in your hands on chilly nights.  Yeah, I’m really looking forward to that small luxury of mine.  I’m eying this throw in paprika.  If you want to add warm ambiance to your fall home decor, then you should check out… these.

  • Nature’s Splendor

My body and mind are fully at ease when I’m surrounded by nature.  I’m grateful to be living in a state where I can experience the cycle of nature throughout the year.  Autumn in NC brings forth plenty of natural beauty making it almost impossible to not want to be outdoors.

blue ridge parkway fall scenery

via Instagram

My husband and I travel to Northwestern North Carolina regularly in October/November to witness the breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  There is nothing quite as exhilarating and therapeutic as spending time in the midst of lush, colorful forests.  This year we are planning a short trip to Asheville where we would like to eventually move & retire.

I just can’t get enough of the outdoors.  It’s not as easy to connect with nature in summer as it is in fall due to the heat.  Now I can start walking the neighborhood, visit the local parks, and play tennis.  I can hardly wait to witness the magnificent colors all over the city here soon.  I also have been spending more time on my porch and deck of late.  These short breaks in between work is a daily requirement of mine not only to stay motivated but also to stop and enjoy living in the moment.

  • No More Pesky Bugs

What can I say.  Mosquitos love me.  I’m a mosquito magnet.  I’m that one person who gets bit the most out of the group.  My husband never has to be bothered by mosquitos as long as I’m nearby.  I always have to put on a long sleeve top, long pants, and socks – completely covered up (while sweating in summer months) just to spend a few minutes outside.  But they still get me even through my clothes.

I tried a couple of drugstore sprays but they are not particularly effective on me and smell rather unpleasant.  Next summer, I’m going to give this natural spray a shot.  I wholeheartedly welcome the steady drop in temperatures to see less and less of these annoying insects including gnats and flies.

  • Fashion

To me, I have much more fun with fall fashion ~ one of the many things about fall I’m head over heels for.  Fall clothing gets me into the seasonal mood even more.  Bring on the knit sweaters, cashmere, buttery scarves, hoodies, stylish jackets & of course boots.  Are you excited to layer this season, in style?

  • Festivities, Holidays & Foods

‘Tis the season to indulge!  Everything seems to taste better in autumn.  Even the coffee taste richer.  Nothing like amazing homemade meals right out of the oven served warm on cold days.  And, of course the aromatic seasonal spices & herbs to savor the flavor of fall.

Entertaining is a breeze in such enchanting weather.  I look forward to relaxing yet fun gatherings with friends and family during this time of the year.  I think it’s the best time for socialization in so many ways.  Don’t you think?  There are just endless options for outdoor activities in autumn along with comforting, delicious foods to match.

How do you feel about autumn?  Are you planning a special getaway?

Beauty and Butts and Soft Soft Skin – Jergens

leslie mann jergens

photo via Jergens

Healthy, moisturized skin is one of the biggest parts of being beautiful.  You don’t see many people who strike you as very beautiful, but with terrible skin.  Nope. Even for those of us who haven’t won the genetic lottery, lovely skin can take us to a perfectly respectable level of beauty, perhaps more than any other factor.

But it’s not all about the face, as spokesperson Leslie Mann irreverently reminds us.  Using her trademark wit and timing, Leslie talks about the beautiful region so important to so many of us – the butt.  Everyone’s got a butt, and most of us have our butt’s best interest in mind. But how many of us pamper, nay, nourish our butts?

The butt is wonderful. It’s soft and nice, and we all want the skin of our butts to be the same.  While your typical lotion advertisement keeps the mind trained specifically on the face, Leslie graciously turns our mind’s eye to the butt, and keeps it there as long as it serves her comedic purposes.  From there, it’s a quick tour to some of the body’s other locations which tend to suffer from dryness of skin. Next stop?  The heel.

Have you ever had heels so dry that they act like velcro to dust balls as you walk across the carpet?  Apparently, Leslie has.  The cure?  Jergens.  Have you ever had legs so dry that they resembled nothing so much as the crackly crunchy texture of the common amusement park churro?

Apparently, Leslie has.  The cure?  Jergens.  Let’s not pretend that we all haven’t suffered dryness of skin to some degree, though perhaps we wouldn’t be able to turn it into comedy as well as Leslie.  But we can cure it the same way, with Jergens lotion and products, for the butt, for the skin, for beauty.

This post is brought to you by Jergens.

Berry Chocolaty Breakfast Smoothie

chocolate milk smoothie recipe
via Instagram

Fresh morning air and a hearty smoothie equals a great way to start the day. I always enjoy being outside feeling the crisp breeze with a cold, fruity smoothie in my hand.

Here is the smoothie recipe I made for me & my hubby earlier today.  It’s quite tasty like chocolate-milkshake-tasty, yet nutritious and perfect for the morning before heading into work.  Put all the ingredients below in a powerful blender and give it a good whirl.  Enjoy!

For 2 people:

1.5 cup of frozen cherries

1/2 cup of frozen wild blueberries (or regular blueberries)

1 frozen sliced banana

2 tsp chia seeds (antioxidants!)

2 scoop of vegan protein powder (one of my healthy protein choices ~ I strongly recommend it!)

1 tbsp of cacao nibs (this is a must for any chocolate lover)

2 cups of dark chocolate almond milk

Handful of walnuts