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  • Writer's pictureMary

The October List

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

October is here! I'm elbow deep in yarn for my baby hat knitting project, but I wanted to take a quick break to welcome this month. We went to Trader Joe's this morning and I loved seeing all of the pumpkin spice products they had on their shelves. #sorrynotsorry. I brought home my own canister of pumpkin spice coffee and a box of harvest tea with apples, cinnamon, and ginger flavors to bring to work. 

Daylight Savings ends after this month and for many in the northeast it can be a depressing time. In fact, for most of my life I found myself longing for summer as soon as the trees grew bare. I hated the cold, the early arrival of night, and how the world seemed to looked as gray and barren as it felt. This feeling grew tremendously during my time upstate for college, and I stepped into the working world thinking I would always be someone who hated winter.

Some years ago, I started to come around. I don't know what started this transformation but it's one that I'm so grateful for. A few things helped me complete this about-face. First, we moved into our apartment and got cozy with winter routines of hot tea, space heaters for the cold bathroom tiles in the morning, throw blankets, and warm lighting. Second, we went to Prague two years ago, in fall. It changed something in me to walk its beautiful streets under a gray sky and feel a light drizzle in the air and to be so happy and full of energy at the same time. It prepared my heart for that kind of weather at home. Third, we went on a multi-city trip last fall, to Budapest, Vienna, Dubrovnik, and Rome. We left in the middle of September, when New York still felt summery. Our travel took us from sun, heat, and al fresco dining in Croatia to chilly evenings and warm stews in Austria, and by the time we were back, I was so ready to be home and to embrace the season here. 

Maybe a transitional vacation is the key. This year, I'm ready to welcome the change in seasons without having to leave the country ;)

Pumpkin squad

In October, let's:

Give back

I'll be going through my cold weather clothing this month to pull out pieces that I'm ready to part with. Cold weather can move in quickly, and clothing donations, especially coats, can help people in need get through the winter. 

My husband and I have also recently been approved to become dog foster parents. We've discussed fostering in addition to our two dogs extensively this year. We've learned more about animal shelters and just how strained their capacity is. Having a network of fosters allows them to take in and help more animals. We're looking forward to being placed with our first foster. We also think this will be great socialization for our two dogs, allowing them to have more interactions with different dog personalities. 

Farmhouse fireplace

Get moody 

Dark colors, low lighting. Go with the flow when the sun sets earlier and change up some little things for a moodier feel. For me, that includes a deep navy duvet and plenty of candles throughout the house. Or baking more so the oven heats the home and there's always bread around. It also means blanket scarves to bring cozy with me on the go and spending time selecting richer fall makeup products/colors from my collection. 

Cider Week cider fest, 2016 on the Lower East Side

Eat apples

At Bouley in Tribeca there were floor to ceiling open shelves filled with apples in the foyer. The first time I entered the restaurant I was entranced by the smell. I couldn't believe how fragrant and wonderful it was. 

At Jack's Stir Brew at the South Street Seaport, they serve a drink called Apple Jack, which is black tea steeped in hot apple cider. I used to go on my breaks from my sales job at J.Crew and sit for a moment in the wood-filled shop, relaxing after hours on my feet. 

I love recreating those memories of wonder and quiet with apple everything in late fall. Scented candles, apple cider and cider donuts, even apple shampoo. 

And of course, there's hard cider! If you're in NYC, perhaps check out the annual Cider Week festivities starting October 20th. We went to the cider open tasting last year and had a fun, boozy time talking to cider makers from around the state and trying sips of lots of varieties. 

The entrance to Excuse My French

Make plans with friends

It's easy to give into the instinct to hibernate in hygge during this time of year, but perhaps we could try treating it like the summer months. Pack your weekends with fun things to do. Make plans to try new restaurants, see new museum exhibits, or just hang at someone's place for a home cooked meal or takeout and wine. 

Hudson Valley gold

Get outside

The leaves are changing now, and especially in New York some of the most brilliant colors are on display this month. Get out there and see some nature. 

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