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Not to be dramatic, but I’ve only been waiting for this magical time of year since last autumn — so let me, a fall fanatic, walk you through the ways I set the seasonal mood with an introduction to some of my favorite products!

The time has finally come to ditch uncomfortable shorts and sandals and grab your comfiest blankets instead. The fall season, otherwise known as sweater weather, is definitely the best time of year to treat yourself with self–care routines and festive home decor. Nothing brings me more joy than wholeheartedly embracing the autumn spirit through a comfortable wardrobe, luxurious products, and wholesome activities. 

Festive decor

First and foremost, it’s nearly impossible to get into the spirit without adding some festive decor to your home — and that includes college dorm rooms. My first suggestion is to purchase a few gourds or decorative pumpkins to place around your kitchen counter, desk, or nightstand. Adding a few of these pieces around your home will elevate the space and add a fun personal flair to an otherwise ordinary room. 

These items are also cheap and easy to find at your local grocery store. If there are small farmers’ markets near you, buying pumpkins is a great excuse to get out of the house and do some inexpensive shopping with friends. I’ve also always been one for DIY projects, so check out some great ideas on Pinterest to paint, hang, carve, or find any other ideas for your gourds. 

Also, nothing screams fall quite like beautifully colored leaves, so collect some foliage from your neighborhood and spruce it up by placing it in a vase or bowl. If you’re ever in need of a fun downtime activity, check out some of these fun crafts, all of which cost little to no money.

Another fun and easy way to add some spice to your kitchen is to purchase a few large jars to fill with festive snacks and treats. Fill them up with Halloween candy or small baked goods for guests to pick at when they come over. I love the spooky season and candy is always a nice touch! 

Self–Care Products

Let me first preface this one by saying that you’ll be thanking me for this advice later. I’m pleased to introduce you to the Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager. Since fall unfortunately includes midterm season for many of us, this product is a great purchase both for when you’re studying at your desk and when you’re laying in bed attempting to relax. 

While it’s a little pricey, I can safely say that I’ve tried everything else out there, from non–electronic tools and basic foam rollers to an expensive massage gun — and this is simply my favorite product. It can strap on to your desk chair or car seat, and it really relieves tension in your body. Turn on a comforting autumn movie, drink a cup of tea, and lay back on this amazing heated massage pad — it’ll change the game for you.

Candles are also a simple way to get into the fall spirit; I recommend purchasing anything pumpkin–scented and lighting it up around your home. Bath & Body Works has the most delicious–smelling fall–themed candles to spice up your space. They also serve as great gifts for friends and family!

Fashion

Fall fashion, a.k.a. sweater weather, is quite possibly the best wardrobe all year. What could be better than chunky sweaters, light jackets, and fun boots? This fall, I’m really leaning into matching lounge sets and funky prints. I got a lot of inspiration from this series of tips from Vogue’s executive fashion director about her fall wardrobe. 

I also highly recommend investing in a durable pair of combat boots you can wear for all occasions, and different sweaters to casually toss on over a simple pair of jeans. After a year of COVID–19, I’m definitely sick of constantly wearing hoodies and sweatpants at home, but also not quite ready to dress up all the time, so matching sets and a basic pair of pants have been great essentials. 

Also, if you’re just looking for comfort over style, I’d definitely go for an over-sized wearable blanket. I mean, hey, it’s definitely a statement outfit!

Cooking 

Anything related to pumpkins makes for the perfect fall recipe. It’s not quite chilly enough for warm, thick soups yet, but it’s a great time to bake delicious treats like pies or cookies. I also highly recommend Trader Joe's pumpkin spice coffee to start your day off right.

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, I’ve been regularly making pumpkin–flavored overnight oats for a quick breakfast before class. Our campus coffee shop, Saxby’s, has pumpkin & spice overnight oats that inspired me. You can easily make overnight oats with oat milk by adding some granola, chia seeds, pumpkin, cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin spice to a cup. Voila, you now have some extra spice to start your day! 

These are just a few simple ways I get into the fall spirit and make my school apartment feel more like a warm, cozy home. I hope these products and tips help you embrace the season too!

Carly is a senior in the College majoring in PPE and minoring in Consumer Psychology. When she's not cackling at old Vines, she is probably binge watching YouTube videos and treating herself to a relaxing self-care routine. She is an astrology and Sudoku enthusiast and loves reading in her spare time...if that's what her horoscope is telling her to do.
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