September 3, 2014

Betty Turbo's Awesome Autumn Guide for Grown-Ass Grownups

Dylan McDermott has been quoted as saying "Never wear plaid," but we all know that's shit, because he wore the hell out of some plaid in this movie. It's FALL! It is totally time to wear plaid, AND totally a reasonable time to start watching Home For The Holidays every day until Thanksgiving or so. No, Holly Hunter, you crazy! Let him in your bedroom!

September has rolled in!  We suddenly rejoice, "FALL IS HERE!" as if we can instantly unpack all our sweaters and eat spiced things where yesterday we couldn't.  Nostalgic back-to-school feelings descend upon us even if it has been years and years since we were going back to school of any kind.  I drink coffee on my porch and watch little kids walking to the bus stop and college students stumbling down the road to campus, and feel a little pissed that all I get are anxiety dreams about still being in high school.  If you want to get on board with that excitement which arbitrarily rushes in on Labor Day, let's make a plan for how to tap into it even when we're old and bitter!

Such scholar. Very graduated.

Step One: Fuck Your Pumpkin Spice Latte!
 My utter disdain for this unreasonably lauded seasonal beverage is borne of the fact that I've never actually had one, because I'm allergic to cinnamon and therefore most pre-made "spice" concoctions are off limits to me.  But seriously, y'all?  That stuff is nasty!  It's a super-processed, unhealthy swirl of garbage, preying on your sugar and caffeine addictions, compelling you to BUY BUY BUY!  Save yourself some money and add a few years to your life by mastering your home spiced coffee skills!  Did you know you can mix some spices in with the ground beans in your coffee-brewing apparatus of choice and then your whole kitchen will smell lovely too?  If you're really down with the pumpkin part, you can cook a little pumpkin puree on the stove with your milk product & spices and get frothy!  No squished bug coloring or freaky artificial sweeteners required!

I know you want that spice melange.

While we're talking about spices, now would be a great time to get rolling on some spicy baked goods.  I'm a strong advocate for participating in physical rituals to help tap into the magic of the past, so why don't you summon all the bakers of autumns past by making some delicious pies and cakes?  Hey, it's less than three months till Thanksgiving, have you planned your menu yet?  Warm yourself a nice cup of cider on the stove and bust out some molasses cookies!  Have a chilly fall picnic in your sweaters and scarves and nibble some black pepper spice cakes and drink cocoa out of a thermos!  

From my Kitchen Calaveras series

Step Two: Setting the scene.  Now that we've got the important snacks squared away, let's reach out to Younger You and cultivate some of those back-to-school sensations with some environmental suggestions.  What music did you listen to in high school or college when you felt awesome?  Crank that shit up!  What are your favorite TV shows set in school?  I always feel a fall hankering to rewatch my favorite Buffy episodes, which strike a special chord since I was the same age as the Scoobies when that show aired.  Plus it's chock full of cheesy ghoulish things for the upcoming Halloween season!  My So-Called Life, Veronica Mars, and Felicity also bring back the FEELINGS in their own way for me.

Straight chillin with my friend Spike...

Step Three: Supplies!  If you are an art or stationery nerd like me (chances are pretty good, I think, since you're reading my blog), then you know the joy of a fresh box of pencils or a deliciously crisp new notebook.  Here's my pal Taco Tornado after collecting his first box of school supplies a few years ago. 

Want to get that feeling back but feel a little beyond animal print scissors and fuzzy koala pens?  I have great news: Rad and Hungry is a company that is a cross between cool, lo-fi supplies shopping, and awesome mail from your coolest, most well-traveled international penpal.  You can sign up for a subscription and have a new kit of stationery items and writing implements from a different country each month!  This is not paid advertisement, I just think they're REALLY AWESOME!  Check out this beautiful score from the France kit

With your kits you also get stories of their journeys to sources these items in each country, and they are always beautifully wrapped brown paper packages tied up with strings, which are a joy to open and unbox!

Step Four: Fall Fashions.  You don't need to get spiffed up for the first day of school anymore, but what will you do to reinvigorate your wardrobe?  Why not pull out your current stash and use your Responsible Grown Up skills to mend, improve, applique, and upcycle things you already have?  Get your friends together and have a Pocket Party where you add pockets to every dress that came without them, and then write some formal angry letters to your favorite dressmakers telling them what idiots they are for ever making a dress without pockets in the first place!  Need some snugglier styles for the chilly weather?  Perhaps it's time to acquire a unique handknit accessory from a crafty artisan like the amazing Yokoo!  Here's a chain scarf I picked up a couple years ago that makes me feel like a total boss.

Step Five: For Future You.  Growing up is weird, dudes.  Time just goes by so fast!  How did we become these different creatures?  Do Future You a solid and take time, even if it's only minutes a day, to record pieces of your life in some way.  You don't have a school picture each year to chronicle your growth, but what if you took a daily/weekly/monthly self-portrait?  Perhaps you could draw yourself on the first day of every month!  Keep a journal but don't bore yourself by feeling obligated to make it into some thrilling memoir - just choose small, manageable tasks.  How did you feel today in five words or less?  Or choose one theme word to sum up every day!  Would you like to chronicle what you wear?  What you eat each day?  You'll be amazed how just by choosing some specific parameters and making a mark each day, what a wonderful collection it turns into after weeks or months.  Create new traditions for yourself that you can return to every year at this time!  

Wheeee, fall!!  See, it's going to be great. And let's not forget the best thing about fall: WINTER IS COMING.  Do you have favorite fall rituals?  Anyone want to race to see who can get their Thanksgiving menu planned first?  What shows and movies put you in a bodacious fall mood?  Pour yourself some cider, put on some plaid, and tell me all about it.  


Natalie said...

You are the best. That is all.

shimmerfairy said...

Allergic to cinnamon? I am sad for you. But I enjoyed the post so thank you...and happy Fall!