Hello everyone! I hope you guys are having as much fun on these Fall days as I am. Work, school, dance, and coach life is crazy right now, but that’s okay because it’s Fall! Leaves changing, the smell of apple cider, and pumpkin EVERYTHING somehow give me this sense of calm and peace; everything will be okay because I have a PSL in one hand and a doughnut in the other (healthy doughnut of course). So how can you make these last few weeks of Fall as FABULOUS as they could possibly be?! Well I have 10 different ways that you can really put yourself in that Fall groove and really enjoy this beautiful season. There’s something for everyone! The foodie, the health nut, the adventurer, the dancer….whatever category you fall into. HEHE (FALL, get it)? 🙂
1. DoughBar Doughnuts– I had been watching this company on Instagram for a long time, taunting me with their healthy protein doughnuts, and my amazing boyfriend finally ordered us some! I don’t know about you but doughnuts are one of my downfalls. Nothing smells better than a Krispy Kreme Doughnut…but these babies are pretty darn close. DoughBar Donuts are baked, not fried in gross oils, and use local, healthy ingredients. They also add extra protein as a real treat, so you can feel extra good about snacking on one of these DELISH doughnuts. Of course Luke knew that I wanted the Pumpkin Pie Doughnut. It came in this adorable little pink box with all the toppings neatly packaged separately so that all you had to do was heat up your doughnut, add the toppings, and voila! And that’s not even the best part, you get the doughnut hole as well! How amazing is that? I think we are ordering the Apple Pie flavor next. I seriously cannot WAIT.
2. Apple Picking Photoshoot- This may sound super basic buuutt…..guys it’s blast! Seriously. There is something about taking your cute little basket through rows and rows of trees, looking for the prettiest, reddest apple. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt. There is a limitless amount of recipes that you can make around the Fall with apples, so it’s beneficial to have them handy. Find a local apple orchard near you! A ton of results came up when I typed that into Google for Asheville, NC. I just looked at the different reviews and ended up choosing Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard in Hendersonville. This place was awesome. I had to demonstrate some extreme will-power against the apple cider doughnuts and slusies…they smelled amazing. But I knew my DoughBar doughnut was waiting at home, so I just kept walking (okay maybe I stopped and thought about it for a few, but chose the healthy path eventually lol)! Take your bestie and have a little photoshoot, that’s what me and my girl Angela did. It was so much fun.
3. Get Cozy!: Journaling+Hot Tea- I absolutely love cozying up on a Fall day with some hot tea and a journal. (I’m seriously drinking two cups of tea a day right now). It’s nice to just relax, take a break, and get some of your thoughts out on paper. I’ve been keeping a journal for my boyfriend ever since I left for school in Utah which was about two years ago. I love writing about our experiences and the feelings that I am having, or things that have been taking place with our relationship. It will be something nice to look back on one day for both of us. I haven’t been able to write as much lately as I would like to, but hopefully I can make more time for it. I have bought two journals from Barnes and Noble and I love them! They have so many different options. Mine has this nice leather binding and beautiful design, and wasn’t very pricey. If you like my journal, you can find it here! As far as hot tea goes, I have several favorites (one of which I will get to in a few minutes). Twinings, Yogi, and Celestial Seasonings are a few of my faves. I had almost 6 boxes total and I’m already out! It’s a problem. So go grab some fuzzy socks, your journal, a cuppa, and get cozy!
4. Trader Joe’s Plethora of Pumpkin– I hope you guys love Trader Joe’s as much as I do. It’s seriously the funnest place to shop, and every Fall they get more and more pumpkin specialty items in! But want to know my favorite part about why I love Trader Joe’s?? Not only are they inexpensive compared to other healthy grocery lines, but all of their Trader Joe’s brands are non-GMO, have no artificial ingredients, no MSG, and no added Trans-Fats. These are only a few of the benefits to their brand. I will be writing blog post in the upcoming weeks that goes more into depth on this subject, but the bottom line is that they are the best products you can get for the price! And they are DELICOUS! Why? Because real food just tastes better, that’s why. So anything pumpkin you could possibly want, they have. Bagels, pop-tarts, hummus, pressed-juice, biscotti, cereal bars…these are just a few of the things that I have tried and loved. My family is so addicted to the biscotti right now. Eat it solo or dip it in your morning latte; either way is fabulous!
5. Pumpkin Patch- My pumpkin obsession doesn’t just revolve around food, I love pumpkins in general. They just represent the essence of Fall, and are great for decorating your house, adding to a food spread, or just carving for Halloween. So everyone must have a few good pumpkins, so what better way to pick them out that at a pumpkin patch? There happened to be a pumpkin patch at the apple orchard that Angela and I went to, so we kind of knocked two things out in one day. Of course, we had a mini photoshoot with the pumpkins as well. I’m loving all these pastel pumpkins this year! There were pumpkins of all sizes and shapes; I picked out some really big ones to carve for Halloween which I was super excited about. Did you know that there is a type of pumpkin called a “Cinderella Pumpkin!?” They really look like the pumpkin that the Fairy God Mother used as Cinderella’s coach. I wonder if Harry Potter has a spell that could do that for me?
6. Fall-Themed Breakfast– You can theme any meal of the day for Fall, but breakfast is my fave. It just has this warm and cozy vibe, from the latte to the sweet maple syrup. This is a super thoughtful/romantic idea to use for your significant other, or even to have a girls brunch day. This spread was wayyy inexpensive, but turned out beautiful! I used some of my Mom’s white china; it really accented the other Fall colors. I made Snickerdoodle Waffles with a side of turkey bacon, and lattes of course. (I will be posting the Snickerdoodle Waffle recipe in a few days). I bought a few candles (5$ a piece) from Target, all pumpkin themed, a mixed bag of glittery plastic candles/pine-cones/gourds from Roses ($1) and colored leaf piece for a flower arrangement from Roses as well ($1). Very simple, cheap, and looks amazing! Just check out local craft stores or thrift stores for pieces to add to your spread! Meals with apples, pumpkin, cinnamon, or maple are the best for a Fall themed breakfast!
7. Inspirational Reads- Everyone should invest some time into personal development and reading things that will inspire you to become better. I will go into more detail about this in future posts, but you would be surprised how much it will change the way that you think and go about your daily routine. You will be more positive, have a better attitude, and be excited about working hard to achieve your goals. Just take 10 minutes a day (I like doing it with my morning latte or evening cuppa) and read something inspirational. I’m currently reading the book The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, and it’s literally changing my life. I have a completely different outlook on my future, goal setting, and making my life the best that it can be. I also like reading things that pertain to dance and give me inspiration int that area of my life, so my dance instructor gave me a copy DanceBeat that he gets in the mail every month. Looking at the current world champions and seeing what others have accomplished really pushes me to work hard for my dreams and never give up.
8.Play in the Leaves– Who didn’t love jumping in a big pile of leaves when you were a kid? The smell, the feeling, the excitement…it was a wonderful tradition. Wanna have your own mini photo-shoot? Set up your phone on a tripod and have a blast! My best results came from when I used the back camera of my phone and set the timer to 10 seconds. Take as many as you want and no one will complain! I love my Acuvar iPhone tripod, but unfortunately I broke it the day I took these fun pictures lol. Make sure you don’t twist the part that holds the phone too much or it WILL snap off.
I hope you guys now have a ton of ideas for what your next Fall day will consist of! Feed your mind, body, and spirit with healthy foods, fresh air, and good times with the people you love. If you try any of these ideas, please let me know on social media or in the comments! If you have any great Fall ideas of you own, please let me know! I would love to hear from you guys.
Dance among the leaves,
Ashlyn Tori <3