Fall 2017 Favorites

With most of the leaves off the trees, and sunset now before 5pm, we’re well into fall. Every season brings its own positives and negatives, as well as products, activities, and experiences worth celebrating. Here are some of my current fall favorites:

Smartwool Socks

I’m ALWAYS cold – regardless of the season – but it’s definitely worse now that temperatures are mainly in the 40s. Starting in mid-Ocotober, I wear my Smartwool socks nearly every day. I obviously love them for their warmth, but I also love them for the many different colors and styles they come in. These, these, and these are my (current) favorites.

I’m completely obsessed with this scent!

Salted Caramel Apricot Lotion

I recently shared this new obsession this on Facebook and Instagram. For no good reason, I stopped buying Bath & Body works products several years ago. I recently returned to check out their fall scents, and I absolutely adore the salted caramel apricot . I’ve been wearing it as body and hand lotion, and last week two people at work asked me what smelled so good after I’d put it on. I wish I had snatched up more when I had the chance, since I can’t find it on their website anymore…

The Day Designer planners have beautiful cover designs.

My Day Designer Planner

I’m a paper planner and to-do list kind of gal. I remember things better when I write them down by hand. Similarly, I don’t get nearly the same satisfaction from electronically checking something off my to-do list, as I do from crossing it off by hand. I’ve been using planners from Day Designer for a couple of years, and they meet my needs quite well.  I love the month-at-a-glance pages for planning ahead, and the daily pages include both an hourly schedule and a to-do list. They’re sturdy, have plenty of space, and come with beautiful cover designs. My only complaint is that they’re rather large, so they don’t fit comfortably in smaller purses and bags. Having a planner I like is especially important now that I’m working at two different colleges, often on different days of the week, while still juggling my daughter’s school and extra-curricular activities.

I love having an hourly schedule on the same page as a daily to-do list!

YouTube

I’m often a late-adopter of all kinds of things, especially technology and social media. (I still don’t get Twitter!!) I had been on YouTube plenty of times, but I only used it as a place to watch shows I’d missed, or wanted to see again. However, a couple of months ago, I somehow discovered a whole host of videos and YouTubers I like watching and have learned from. My favorites include Crystal Tara, Classic Ashley, Chelsea Reviews, Veri Keri, and Be My Guest With Denise, and most nights you’ll find me sipping tea and watching some of their videos before bed.

Candles

When I was in my twenties, I loved candles and often had them buring in my apartment. But after I adopted two cats – and later had a baby – I stopped burning (and buying) them, for safety reasons. Now that my daughter is eight and can be trusted not to touch flames – and my geriatric cat does little more than lay in her bed in front of a heat vent all day – it’s safe to burn them again in our home. I love the scents and the quality of the light they make – especially since it’s cold and dark so early these days! I’ve mainly been buring Bath & Body Works candles these days, which do a lovely job of scenting one or more rooms while they’re buring.

What are some of your favorites this fall??

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My Goals for 2017: Check-In #10

Some people are motivated by rewards. Some people are motivated by fear. Others are internally motivated. Me? I’m motivated by public shame. I do not want to be embarrassed, and that’s what typically gives me the push I need complete things. (I’m what the author Gretchen Rubin would call “an obliger”, based on her personality framework.)

It helped keep me focused when I trained for two marathons in my younger years. I joined Team in Training, which, in exchange for participants raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, provides coaching, support, and organized, group training runs. Those group runs were critical for me – in particular the weekly “long runs.” Knowing that I would be running 16 miles with a group on Saturday, helped keep me motivated to train on my own throughout the week. I knew I’d never be the first, but I really did not want to be the last person to finish the long runs.

What does this have to do with my 2017 goals? I’m using this motivation to help keep me on track with my goals. I’m sharing monthly check-ins on my progress to keep me focused, and as a form of accountability.

2017 Goals Check-In #10

(You can read more detailed descriptions of each of my goals here.)

I’m not going to lie: October was a pretty terrible month for my goals. I started working my second, part-time job, which made our family’s life a lot crazier than it typically is. More chores and errands got pushed to the evenings and weekends, and there was less time to focus on other things. Also, we were away one weekend, hosted a birthday sleepover for our daughter another weekend, and celebrated Halloween, all in October, too.

Our pumpkin patch haul

Goal #1: Read at least 24 books that I truly want to read.

I barely cracked a book in October. The reading that I did do was all magazines and the Sunday New York Times – which take me a full week to get through, anyway. Technically, I’m still reading, What Happened, since it’s still sitting on my nightstand with a bookmark in it. I do want to finish it, but it may be a little while longer… You can see all of my 2017 reads – current, past, and future, plus those that I couldn’t get through – here.

Goal #2: Try at least three new (to me) activities, preferably active ones.

I definitely didn’t try any new activities in October, but I did start a new job. I’m working part-time at a local, liberal arts college, filling in for someone who’s going out on maternity leave. I’ve been working at a different, liberal arts college for more than seven years now, and while the work is the same, I had some anxiety about new coworkers, new systems, and getting up-to-speed quickly. Fortunately, it’s been a great experience, so far, and I’m feeling somewhat settled-in there, already.

Happy 8th birthday to my girl!

Goal #3: Run at least three 5K races. Get 150 minutes of activity every week.

(I changed this goal a couple of months ago, and you can read my explanation for it here.)

Thanks to my FitBit, I’m able to track my minutes of daily activity and exercise. I did okay with this goal in October. My work days are difficult, since my job is 100% sedentary. (I sit in a chair and provide career counseling to students all day.) However, now that I’m trying to maintain my recent weight loss, I’m putting extra effort toward cramming more steps into every day. (You can read a recap of my Weight Watchers experience here.)

A perfect fall day

Goal #4: Find a way to dread meal planning/cooking less.

Now that I’m working more, meal planning and cooking have definitely slipped. (Regular readers may have noticed that I’ve been slacking on weekly meal plan posts, lately.) I tend to have a basic framework in mind – what’s in the freezer and the pantry, mostly – and make simple meals from there.

How are you doing with your 2017 goals or resolutions?

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