LIFE

I Embraced My Most Basic Self And Completed A Fall Bucket List

by Angela Andaloro

I am partial to the summertime. The long, hazy days and the clear, beautiful nights call out to me. I love the feeling of sunshine on my skin.

I’m also a New Yorker, so fall is kind of like this weeklong myth, and you’re never really sure if it has arrived or departed. All of this is to say that autumn isn’t a season I have strong feelings about, one way or the other.

Everyone else seems obsessed. Everywhere you go, everything is pumpkin-spiced, or orange-colored, or skeleton-printed. It starts in late August and lasts until the premature Christmas push just before Thanksgiving. There’s something about fall that feels like you’re taking a minute for yourself and the things you enjoy before you launch into a season that’s about everyone else, and while I can appreciate the sentiment, I’m not so great with it in practice.

So this year, I’ve set out to change that. I want to give fall the chance it deserves. I don’t want to roll my eyes at every person who joyfully and completely sincerely posts a picture with a pumpkin-spiced latte. With that in mind, I gathered ideas. One quick search for a fall bucket list will bring you everything you could possibly want to do all season long. Some lists were kind of intimidating for a first-time fall appreciator like me. Others seemed to lack the essence of the season. So I cobbled together some feasible ideas from a few different lists and created my own fall bucket list. I wrote each idea on a different colorful craft stick, threw them in a jar, and got ready to let the fates decide what my fall would look like.

The Jar

The Jar
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My jar was inspired by a much more aesthetically pleasing rendition by Craftaholics Anonymous. The idea is to pick a fall activity at random each day.

Here we go.

1. Fall Cookies

1. Fall Cookies
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I love baking, so this was a fun way to kick off my bucket list experiment. I searched online and found Celebrating Sweets‘ Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies recipe, which I thought hit a good balance of healthy and seasonally appropriate.

Courtesy of Author for LittleThings

Here are the carrot cake cookies in the oven, making my house smell like autumnal heaven.

Courtesy of Author for LittleThings

The finished product was delicious. The icing was a little sweet for my taste, but the friends I invited over to sample them had no such complaints.

2. Seasonal Candle

2. Seasonal Candle
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I got this lovely candle free with purchase during a Michaels run for crafting supplies. I’m a little hesitant when it comes to scented candles, because the overwhelming fragrances tend to trigger headaches for me, but this pumpkin spice chai candle wasn’t overpowering. It smelled more like the lingering aroma of actual baked goods than a candle, and it didn’t give me a headache at all. Plus, there’s something warm and cozy about sitting in a room by lit by soft candlelight that brings a smile to my face. People might be onto something with this fall candle craze.

3. Go to a Fair

3. Go to a Fair
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Confession: I didn’t even know my county had a fair. I know of ones in upstate New York that take place during the summer, so I was delighted to find out there happened to be a county fair in town the weekend I pulled this craft stick. Also, I’m obsessed with pigs, and I arrived right during the pig races, so that immediately made my day.

Courtesy of Author for LittleThings

The fair took place at the Queens County Farm Museum, which is the largest patch of undisturbed farmland in New York City. I know of it because I used to work at the school next door as a summer camp counselor, but I’d never actually explored the grounds. I was surprised to see how much land the farm took up, and that the staff was already working on winter’s crops.

4. Go on a Hayride

4. Go on a Hayride
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I didn’t know that there would be hayrides at the fair, but since “hayride” was printed on one of the craft sticks that had yet to be picked, I went for it. It served as a cute tour of the farm, including a maize maze that I sadly couldn’t get to before it began to rain.

5. Make a Fire

5. Make a Fire
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I was stoked to pull this craft stick on the first night when there was a real chill in the air. Since I currently live in a tiny NYC apartment, and I haven’t achieved house with a fireplace #realestategoals quite yet, a backyard fire pit had to suffice.

6. Make S'mores

6. Make S'mores
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And once there’s a fire, s’mores are the next logical step. I don’t like sweets, but s’mores are just plain fun to make.

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The best part is the squish! I accidentally got enormous marshmallows, but their size just made the final squish all the more satisfying.

7. Watch Football

7. Watch Football
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I’m a New York Jets fan, so football season can be a bittersweet experience. Luckily for me, fantasy football is there to distract from the heartache that is so often associated with New York football teams. I knew this would be an easy tick off the list since I try to watch as much football as I can all season long.

8. Make Pumpkin Pie

8. Make Pumpkin Pie
Courtesy of Author for LittleThings

It has been forever since I made a pumpkin pie, so I was excited to take on this challenge. It’s such a classic dessert and can be made so many different ways. I used the Perfect Pumpkin Pie recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.

Courtesy of Author for LittleThings

It came out almost perfect, minus where I dropped my fork on the pie. It was quick and easy, taking just about an hour from prep to finish. There was just one more thing I needed to do to complete my fall bucket list.

9. Make Hot Cocoa

9. Make Hot Cocoa
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Hot cocoa is one of my few sweet guilty pleasures. It was the perfect end to my week of jumping into fall like a kid leaping into a big, crunchy pile of leaves.

I definitely have a newfound appreciation for fall after taking on this bucket list. I’ll always be a summer girl at heart, but I’m excited to have a few solid fall activities I know I enjoy. Now if you need me, I’ll be in the corner cowering at the thought of winter.