Happy Fall, y’all from the 3 Paul’s in a pod! Even though the temperatures in South Mississippi don’t reflect it, Autumn season is in full swing. In the South, we love our football like we love our sweet tea, so let’s finish this fourth quarter with a touchdown! *Cues Kiki challenge dance moves for TD celebration.* Join me in saying “sayonara” to summer with a fun and functional Fall bucket list of autumnal inspired activities, ideas, and goals to close out the fourth quarter of 2018!

1) Are You Ready For Some Football!?

In the south, we like our tea sweet and our football games “pre-gamed!” Attend a college or professional football tailgate this season. Pack a rolling cooler, bring a dish, get your logo gear together and head to the nearest “yard” (college campus or neighbor’s backyard.) I mean, you get the booze, the camaraderie, and you may even stay to actually watch the game! SCORE!

2) Fall Camp-Out (or In)

Ahem, did I mention camping out? Or, if you are anything like me, glamping (glam camping) out?

The temps are cooler and it’s the perfect time to spend an evening outdoors enjoying nature! I’m not talking about RV’ing to the local campsite, (unless that’s your jam, of course). I’m talking popping a tent in the back yard, sleeping bags, s’mores, flashlights and ghost stories. And if mosquitoes aren’t your thing, do it in the living room! The kids will be happy just as long as you “go all out.” (Read: Pillow forts with a fan blowing a sheet held together by a stack of hardback books can be very convincing to 4 year olds.) Go theme crazy or just wing it. Just make it intentional and thoughtful and the family will love it!

3) Pumpkin Purge!

I know, I know, it feels like we JUST “spring cleaned…” But… Think about it. Christmas is coming! And though it may seem like it’s as far away as the unbearable wait for the final season of GOTs, we’ll be seeing Santa long before we can feast our eyes on Jon Snow. So with that means more stuff in the house. It’s a pretty good plan to begin clearing away and making room for new (plastic junk with a 1,000% markup) TOYS! And also, take some time to go through your kids clothes and purge what summer items will no longer fit next year, and if you’re thrifty like me, strategically pass down gently-worn items to the next child in line.

4) Pumpkin Patch Play Date

Take your kids to the pumpkin patch. DUH! But here’s the twist. Make it a family play date for all of the cousins/aunts/uncles/grandparents to join you. Each year, my cousins and I plan a huge family hoopla around going to the pumpkin patch with all the kids. (If you don’t have relatives nearby, invite close friends/co-workers with similar aged kids.) It’s always much more fun for children to have their cousins around and to have those opportunities to make memories that they will cherish with their family.

I’m speaking from experience, as I grew up with a large extended-family in my same community. My cousins and I were more like siblings as we did EVERYTHING together from swimming lessons, to camp outs, to basketball and cheer. As 30something adults, we dearly cherish our times together and always go out of our way for our kids to have opportunities to bond as we did, even with us living 2-6 hours away from each other. Family is everything!

10 month old Jules and I at his very first pumpkin patch

5) Style Update

While you’re browsing Pinterest and sipping on that pumpkin spice latte, make a note of the latest trends in fashion. Go ahead and treat yourself and update your wardrobe with a few of fall’s key pieces. Keep it broad, yet intentional for the biggest bang for your buck. Think animal print, bold, menswear-inspired black leather, red, and anything 90ms inspired! Cooler weather calls for layering, so cop a couple accessories to add to your existing wardrobe, and you’re haute, girl!

6) Schedule “Kerrapy” Sessions

“Self Care” may seem like the mommy buzz-word trend of the moment, but it’s a real thing y’all! We mom’s NEED time to ourselves to reflect on our needs so that we can be refreshed, awakened, and better providers/lovers for our husbands and kids. And it’s all fine and dandy to say you’re going to make time for yourself, but we rarely actually accomplish these wistful wants unless we make them a priority. So sit down and determine a couple of things that you would like to do for yourself to recharge, and schedule these moments on the calendar. And then stick to them.

Great self care examples include, but are not limited to:

  • reading a book
  • bullet journaling
  • getting your hair/nails/facial (any other beauty procedure) done
  • wandering around aimlessly in Target or Dirt Cheap (kidless!)
  • planning and embarking upon a weekend girls trip with your college besties
  • gardening and/or pot a house plant in a cool vessel and integrate it into your space
  • trying out that new recipe you found online
  • treating yourself to that $40 bottle of wine (or Barefoot will do just fine)
  • Netflix and chill (by your lonesome)
  • meditate and manifest good things in your life (and joy them down)

7) Friendsgiving

I’ve done this a couple of times before with my friends, and each time we have absolutely loved it. Plan a night with your gang to have supper together either at someone’s house or a restaurant. Decorate with fall items or create a cool theme based on the group’s inside jokes or shared interests. Plan games and/or “happies” depending on the budget and theme. Humans love to eat and who doesn’t appreciate walking away with a thoughtful token.

My friends and I at our Friendsgiving dinner

8) Finish Strong

Remember that New Years resolution you came up with, which seems like eons ago? Let’s revisit that! So what if you had a great start in January and crashed and burned by Mardi Gras. Maybe you had a resolve to lose 20 lbs this year and you yo-yo’d back and forth between 10 and 15. No biggie! Which one of us is perfect?

The key to crushing a goal is being realistic in your approach. With that being said, make an effort to recall the resolution for 2018, give yourself a break on whatever way in which you faltered with it, and make a plan (with action steps and measurables) to finish strong from falling leaves (October) to falling snow (December)!

If you’re a busy mom like me or even if you’re a fancy free and footloose millennial, take out a little time to dream up a plan for fun and constructive tasks and challenges you’d like to accomplish between now and the end of the year.

Add them to your Fall bucket list and get moving.  I can guarantee you that when you reflect back on the year, you’ll be happy you made the commitment for fun and function and it will definitely help you to
“Finish Strong!”