The weather seemed particularly unpredictable this year, and September went out with a bang in New Jersey with temperatures reaching 90 degrees. I was not complaining, especially since my wardrobe has consisted of sundresses and leggings since March. October, which pulled in on Friday, has been its typical, brisk self so far. I have not woken up a morning since without debating whether it’s worth while to leave the comfort of my blankets, bribing myself with piping hot tea or coffee to unfreeze my limbs. This time of year, when I need to bundle myself up just to run from my house to the car and back again, it’s easy to slip into depression, mourning the heat of summer.
That being said, there are plenty of things to love about October. Sometimes, I need to remind myself that it’s one of my favourite months of the year, despite the progressively chilling weather. For this reason, I’ve compiled a list of exactly why October is such a wonderful month:
Fall Produce – Being a vegetarian, a lot of my diet is dependent on whatever produce is available at the time. In New Jersey, I get my pick of locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Everywhere you look, there are bags of fresh apples, pumpkins, butternut and acorn squashes. Dark leafy greens abound for flavorful salads and sides, which is great not only for me and my iron levels, but also for my iguana, Bob. There’s nothing more festive on an autumn Sunday afternoon than to go hunting for the perfect pumpkin for seeding and carving, or the best apples right off the trees. Then, of course, there are the amazing products made with all this fresh produce, like–
Butternut Squash Soup – Everyone makes it differently, but my favourite butternut squash soup is usually fairly thick, with strong spices. I love cinnamon, cardamom, and I swear I’ve tasted turmeric in some of them! When it comes to food, I’m a textural person, and I love to feel the squash’s velvety texture present in the soup itself. Normally, I hate carrots, but I really feel like they add just the perfect touch of sweetness to a good butternut soup!
Autumn Seasonal Lattes – On any given day, I like my coffee /espresso beverages straight up: coffee/ espresso, skim milk, no sugar. Occasionally at home, I’ll use a hazelnut-flavoured roast, but I’m not a fan of syrups or fancy add-ins. EXCEPT, that is, in the fall when coffee shops put out their new brews. I used to die for pumpkin spice lattes, which really are everywhere from Starbucks to Dunkin’ Donuts, but lately I’m a sucker for Starbucks’ toffee mocha. It’s more nutty than a caramel mocha, and has just enough of a chocolate edge to round it all off. LOVE in a cup, I swear!
Bold Make-Up – In the fall/winter season, the cosmetics industry starts to stray from the light and breezy natural looks of spring and summer, and begins to push out a variety of dramatic looks. Smokey eyes in every colour, dark, strong lips in red, burgundy, plum, and black–I’ve been dying to find a reason to splurge on the Chanel Soho Story line, with its frosty chocolate-and-pink eyes, shimmering lips, and dark nails. I’ve been working with shimmering pinks and hazy violets so far, but I’ve been eying each new release I’ve seen this season!
Tights – I’m a leggings girl, I’ll admit. When I wear a dress with a hemline above my knees, I feel like I’ve forgotten to put on pants. Smaller girls can get away with the bare-legged thing, I think, but I’m something like a baby giraffe and it just doesn’t work for me. I live in a rotating wardrobe of leggings–solid black, shades of grey, lace-trimmed, knee-length, extra-long for ankle-scrunching action. But come the chilly weather, I can swap out my legging collection for tights. I feel like there’s nothing more flattering for legs than a pair of opaque black tights. Wearing gauzy, flowing dresses over a sleek pair of tights, topped off with a platform pump or ankle boot is my favourite look for fall/winter.
Spooky Television Programming – It may sound silly, but October is hands-down my favourite month to watch television. Every channel runs their repertoire of “scary” programming, showing horror movies, paranormal investigations, bios of old Universal actors, or travel shows featuring haunted locations. As we speak, I’m watching a marathon of “Most Terrifying Places in America” on the Travel Channel, mentally making notes of all the places I need to visit and grinning to myself when they mention places I’ve been or live near. Each year on Halloween, TCM shows a Vincent Price movie marathon: sad as it probably sounds, I have often opted out of Halloween parties and events to sit on my sofa and watch Diary of a Madman and House on Haunted Hill.
But let’s face it: everyone’s favourite part of October is Halloween! Whether you’re in it for the costumes, the parties, or the candy, Halloween a good time to be had by all. I say this, but for the better part of my young-adult life, I’ve spent the day before Halloween and a good bit of moping about how I had nothing to do, or nothing to wear that I hadn’t all ready. For the last two years, I remedied this by going to Chiller Theater the weekend of Halloween. It’s a great event for anyone in the area who loves horror movies, comics, or television, though admittedly a little sparse for those more into horror novels. Last year, Patrick Stewart and Elvira were there, as well as a slew of other celebrities who have made a name for themselves in the genre–but my favourite guest is always the NJ Batman. His team of conservationists set up some of their amazing African Straw-Coloured Bats in a hotel suite to educate con-goers on the problems facing bats in the wild, and how they can help. One of the issues they help raise awareness for is White Nose Syndrome, or WNS, a fungus that kills hundreds of bats every winter. They take donations and sell items to benefit the conversation efforts of the NJ Batman as well as the WNS Rapid Response Fund.
There’s plenty to love about October, and the autumn season in general. These are just on the top of my list. Why do you love October, Interwebs? Do you go crazy for falling leaves? Or does the chilly weather drive you up a wall? Maybe you think it’s a nice reprieve from the summer heat? Discuss!
Love you to the Moon and Back,