My 2019 Fall Bucket List (Part 1)

Autumn is officially in the air! The temperature is dropping, the leaves are slowly falling and almost every store you walk into you’re met with Fall & Halloween decor. Fall has always been my favorite season. I think one of the biggest reasons why is because Fall is the kickstart to the best time of the year! Once it’s Fall, I know that soon it’ll be Halloween, Thanksgiving and then finally, Christmas!! Fall is also my favorite because there is always so many fun activities to do during this season. If you’re someone who suffers from chronic and/or mental illness though, sometimes it’s hard to truly enjoy all Fall has to offer. I know for myself, if it’s not because my body is in so much pain that it’s hard for me to really move, my anxiety takes hold of me a lot and causes me to be too scared to even want to leave my house. This often ends with me missing out on making so many memories. With how my health has declined this year, the fear of missing out on all my favorite season has to offer is strong. But I refuse to let my illnesses ruin my Fall. So I decided to write down everything that I wanted to do this Fall that I believe my body will be able to actually do. I then broke up that list into three different sections based on the energy level I feel is required to complete that activity. I think one of the most important aspects when it comes to doing activities with chronic and mental illness is thinking of ways that will help you to be able to truly enjoy those moments without pushing yourself too far. By dividing my list, not only does it help me to prepare for certain activities but it helps me to better plan out my Fall so i’m not doing two high energy activities too close to each other. This will hopefully prevent me from burning out my body and help me to actually enjoy this beautiful season. Below, you will find my entire list but the focus of today’s blog post will be on the first part of that list, Fall activities to do that require low energy. In the upcoming days, I will do the same thing but with the next two sections so stay tuned for that!

My 2019 Fall Bucket List

Low energy 

  • Have a Halloween Movie Night
  • Have a Scary Movie Night
  • Bake Halloween Pillsbury cookies
  • Read 2 scary and/or Halloween themed novels
  • Dress up in a cute but comfortable Halloween Costume
  • Listen to Halloween themed music
  • Create a Gratitude Jar

Medium energy

  • Carve Pumpkins
  • Decorate for Fall/Halloween
  • Bake a Pumpkin Pie
  • Go for a Fall foliage drive

High energy

  • Go Pumpkin Picking
  • Go to Fright Fest at Six Flags
  • Host Friendsgiving
  • Go to the Great Pumpkin Blaze
  • Have a Fall-themed photoshoot

As I stated above, today’s focus is on the first section of my bucket list, low energy Fall activities. I wrote low energy instead of no energy because, let’s face it, when you live with chronic and mental illness, even just breathing requires energy. For me, a low energy activity is an activity that is done within your home that does not require a lot of movement. So with that being said, let’s jump into each activity in more detail, as well as provide all of you reading with some tips to make these activities even more enjoyable!

  1. Have a Halloween Movie Night

One of my favorite things about Halloween time is watching Halloween movies! I absolutely love watching all the different spooky movies throughout October but this year, I want to take one day/night and gather all of my absolute favorite Halloween movies and watch them in one sitting. These movies include Hocus Pocus, Nightmare before Christmas, Beetlejuice and The Haunted Mansion. Some tips to make your spooky movie night even more perfect include:

  • Wearing comfy clothing or Pajamas (Even better if they are Halloween themed)
  • Cuddling up in a big comfy blanket
  • Drinking Hot Coco (or whatever your favorite hot beverage is)
  • Eating your favorite sweet or salty snack
  • Watching the movies with a friend or significant other (everything’s better with a buddy!)

Having a Halloween movie night is one activity on this list that I am particularly excited about because it allows me to have a nice cozy night at home with my husband while also celebrating everything that makes Halloween the amazing holiday it is!

  1. Have a Scary movie Night

Going along with the whole movie night theme, another fun idea for some is to watch scary movies during the Halloween season. Now I’m not a huge scary movie girl. I honestly usually hate scary movies and tend to avoid them at all costs. With that being said, this year I really did want to push myself out of my comfort zone and since my husband has been wanting to watch scary movies with me since we began dating, I decided that maybe now was the time. So to add a small twist to this, especially if you aren’t a fan of scary movies, you could have your significant other or a friend pick out 1 to 2 scary movies of their choice for you guys to watch. The catch is, you can’t say no. Tips to make this experience a little bit more enjoyable (and tolerable) include:

  • Wearing comfy clothes or Pajamas (Again, Halloween themed are the best)
  • Setting ground rules for what movie(s) can be chosen (For me this is no horror movies based on real life events)
  • Eating your favorite snack (Helps distract you from the terror on the screen)
  • Cuddling up with a big blanket (To hide under during the super scary scenes)
  • Watching with a buddy or significant other (Never watch a scary movie alone, plus you probably wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for them)

I won’t lie, this is one activity on my list that I am scared about but it’s also something I know my husband is excited for and therefore, makes it a little less terrifying…I think..

  1. Bake Pillsbury Halloween cookies

I don’t think I am alone in saying Pillsbury cookies are some of the best cookies out there! Not only are they delicious, but the fun designs really help you to celebrate the season. Now I will admit, they can be a tad pricey but I think it’s worth the price at certain times during the year, Halloween being one of those times. This year, I plan to pick up both a package of the pumpkin ones and the ghosts ones and take one night, probably the Halloween movie night, where my husband and I make and eat them. Even though you have to bake them, I consider this to be a low energy activity because all you have to do is take them out of the package and put them on a cookie sheet. This is just another reason I love them because since they are pre-cut, it is a lot easier to bake than other cookies. I really don’t have any tips for this one because it’s already pretty simple and easy but like before, baking these with a buddy will definitely add a little extra fun to the whole thing and wearing comfy clothes is a must. 

  1. Read 2 scary and/or Halloween themed novels

I have always loved reading. For me, reading allows me to escape my reality for a little while and when your reality is filled with being stuck in bed due to pain, sometimes being able to bury myself in a book is exactly what I need to keep my spirits high. Since it is spooky season, I decided I really want to read 2 scary and/or Halloween novels before Thanksgiving. Normally, I would say before Halloween but lately, my brain fog has made reading for long periods of time more difficult so I have given myself a more realistic time frame. Again, it’s all about adapting to make things easier for you. Some tips to make this one more enjoyable include:

  • Wearing comfy clothing or Pajamas (Especially fuzzy socks!)
  • Choosing a book you’ve never read before (Though re-reading books is always enjoyable, picking something new will provide you with a whole new experience)
  • Choosing an author you’ve never read before (Again, reading work from someone new provides you with reading a whole new style of writing which could be fun)
  • Read somewhere where you can be alone and not interrupted (Few things are worse than being interrupted when you’re in the middle of a good book)

I might not be a fan of scary movies but I do enjoy a good scary novel so this is something I’m excited about. Who knows, I may even discover a new favorite book or author along the way. 

  1. Dress up in a cute but comfy Halloween costume

One of the best things about Halloween is being able to dress up in costume. For one night (or multiple nights of the season), you can dress up as someone completely different than yourself and no one is going to judge you for it. Dressing up in costumes is definitely one of the main reasons why I love Halloween so much. But often in the past, the costumes I would choose wouldn’t be that comfortable or warm. Living in New York, wearing a tight, short dress with no sleeves isn’t exactly the warmest option I could have worn. I already knew that getting a typical costume this year wasn’t really an option due to both money and also just the way my health has been. But this in no way is going to stop me from dressing up. So what are my tips for choosing a cute but comfy costume? Well: 

  • Wear a onesie (This is the option I am 95% sure I will be choosing this year. Not only are onesies extremely comfortable and warm, nowadays you can find onesies for every character or theme you can think of! Plus, when Halloween is over, you can still wear your onesie at home which makes it a more practical option and cost effective option) 
  • Don’t wear anything too tight (If your costume is too tight, you will not be comfortable and therefore, you will more than likely not be able to enjoy your Halloween night as much as you should)
  • Choose a costume that is weather appropriate (Again being too cold or too hot can cause you to be uncomfortable which will affect your night. Often with chronic illness, extreme temperature can also cause pain or flare-ups and that’s definitely no fun)
  • Choose a costume you feel comfortable in for long periods of time (Not comfortable=not a fun night)

I have known since Endgame came out that I wanted to be spiderman this year. I haven’t fully decided yet whether I will chose the spiderman onesie as my costume or purchase an actual spiderman bodysuit but either way, I know my whole body will be covered and both options will be much more comfortable than costumes I would have chosen in the past. Dressing up is something I am super excited about this year and can not wait to show you all how my costume comes out!

  1. Listen to Halloween music

Music truly is the best medicine. I would be so lost in this world if I didn’t have music in my life. One of my favorite things to do each holiday season is create a themed music playlist on Spotify to listen to throughout that season. So of course, making a spooky playlist is a must do on my list. Instead of tips for this section, here are just some songs I’ve included on mine to give you an idea. They include:

  • Anything Rocky horror
  • Anything Nightmare before Christmas
  • Thriller
  • Classic Halloween songs (Monster Mash, Spooky Scary Skeletons, I put a spell on you, etc)

Music is a way to express oneself and what better way to express your love for this season than with some spooky music. My go to places to listen to my Halloween playlist is at home when I’m cleaning and any time we are in the car. If you would like me to do a whole post about every song I’ve included on my playlist this year, let me know in the comments below.

  1. Create a gratitude jar

This activity is actually one that I won’t begin until the first of November. I had seen something similar on Pinterest and thought, with everything that has happened this year, creating a gratitude journal is exactly what I could use right about now. So basically, every day leading up to Thanksgiving after November 1st, I will write down one thing that I am thankful for. Than, on Thanksgiving night, I will open up my jar and read all the things I wrote. It’s very easy when you live with chronic and/or mental illness to lose sight of all the good things in your life. But even on our worst days, there are always things to be thankful for. Some tips I have for this include:

  • Decorating your jar (You can choose to decorate it for Fall or any other way you would like)
  • Choose bright colored paper (Bright colors just ignite more joy than plain white)
  • Really think about what your thankful for (Nothing is too little)

By creating this gratitude jar, I will be reminded of how lucky I am during a season where nature even shows us how beautiful it is to be alive.

So there you have it, the first 7 things on my Fall 2019 bucket list that require low energy. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you did, please hit that like button! If you want to see more, especially the next 2 parts of this series, please give me a follow that way you know when my posts go up. 

Alright, until next time my darlings,

Kaylee D’Ascanio ❤

15 Things to do this Fall

What’s up everyone! It’s officially the first day of Fall! Fall is by far my favorite season of the year, so of course the only way to kick of this beautiful season on this blog would be with a post about my favorite things to do in the Fall. So if you want to know about some super fun things to do yourself this Autumn season, just keep on reading! 🙂

  1. Go Apple Picking

This is one I haven’t gotten to do in a few years but last weekend I was finally able to go Apple picking with my best friend, her son, her boyfriend and Tom at our local Apple Orchard. It was so much fun and reminded me of how much I love going Apple Picking. The only thing I would change for next year is when we go. I rather wait until the last weekend in September or first weekend in October (when it is officially fall in other words) because Apple picking isn’t as fun when it’s super hot out.

     2. Have a Harry Potter Marathon

It’s no surprise that I am a total Potter fanatic! I’m down to watching the Harry Potter movies at any point during the year but it’s extra fun to have a total Potter marathon during the fall season. I just love popping up some popcorn and getting into my Harry Potter PJ’s and Hogwarts robe before cuddling with my boo under an over sized blanket to watch the genius of J.K. Rowling’s world come to life on my TV screen. Something about all of those movies just put me in that Fall and Halloween spirit. 

   3. Have Halloween Movie Friday nights!!

Speaking of movies, it isn’t really Autumn until you watch some classic Halloween-themed movies! Tom and I have decided that this year, every Friday leading up to Halloween (minus the one on my bachelorette weekend and the one on our wedding weekend), we will watch either a Halloween movie or a scary movie. Some of my all time favorites include The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, and Beetlejuice!!

   4. Go pumpkin picking

Not a single year has gone by where I didn’t go to the pumpkin patch and pick pumpkins. It’s one of my favorite Fall activities to do and what makes it even better is being able to bring our pups along with us! Not only is it adorable watching them in the pumpkin patch but it makes for some really amazing photos too!

    5. Carve (or paint) pumpkins

Speaking of pumpkins, no one likes a plain, boring pumpkin sitting in front of their house. Another tradition that I have never missed is carving pumpkins. I just love to come up with a new and creative design to carve my pumpkin into. This year to make things interesting, Tom and I have decided when the time comes, we will make our carving night into a competition. The winner will get to choose which movie we watch that night. You can guarantee if Tom wins, I will have to watch a scary movie so this will be interesting. If carving isn’t your thing, you can also choose to paint your pumpkins. This is definitely a much cleaner option and can result in some really awesome looking pumpkin creations. 

   6. Drink white hot chocolate

Most girls would probably have written down drink pumpkin spice lattes, but I’m not a fan of coffee. In fact, I don’t like coffee at all. Instead, my hot beverage of choice for these chilly months is hot chocolate, specifically white hot chocolate. As soon as the weather starts to have that brisk chill in the air, you can guarantee I’ll be at Starbucks getting some white hot chocolate! Unfortunately, very few places sell white hot chocolate and it’s even harder to find in the store. Luckily though, Starbucks has it and it’s beyond delicious!

   7. Make a pumpkin pie

Speaking of sweet treats, my favorite Fall dessert is definitely pumpkin pie! Usually I’m fine with just enjoying pumpkin pie either from the store or my grandma’s kitchen but this year I really want to make my own from scratch!

   8. Go to Fright Fest at Six Flags

I’ve been going to Fright Fest at Six Flags since I was a pre-teen! Even though I’m not a huge fan of scary things, especially clowns and chainsaw dudes, going to Fright Fest is a tradition and one I look forward to every year! I love how the entire theme park gets transformed for Halloween. Not only is the entire theme park decorated with Halloween-themed decorations, once it turns dark, the park fills up with all sorts of characters straight out of a horror movie! You can’t turn a corner without coming in view of a monster or zombie. If you want an extra scary experience, Six Flags also offers multiple extra haunted attractions, such as haunted houses and haunted mazes, to really make you scream in terror. Tom wants to go through one of these attractions this year but we will have to see about that.

   9.Take trips to the Halloween store

It’s not surprising for me to make 5 to 6 trips to Spirit Halloween because I just love going into Halloween stores! It’s something about all the cool costumes and decorations that make me smile every time I get to go. This year especially I’m excited because now that I’ve decided I want to get into cosplay, I’m certain I’ll be buying a few costume pieces and props when they are on sale once Halloween is over! 😉

   10. Go through a corn maze

This is an activity we also tend to do every year because it’s usually in the same place as where we are going pumpkin and/or apple picking. I love going through the corn maze, even if we always seem to get lost. Usually we have our pups with us and let them try to find the exit which is always an interesting endeavor!

   11. Go on a Fall nature hike

One of my favorite parts of Fall is watching the leaves change from green to beautiful red, orange and yellow! The best way to experience these Fall colors, especially in New York is to go on a nature walk. Autumn is the perfect time of year to go on a hike, usually not too warm but not too cold either. I also love taking photography in the Fall so a color hike is the perfect place for me to do just that!

   12. Have a Fall-themed photo shoot

This is a new tradition I want to start doing. As some of you know, I really want to get into cosplay as well as modeling so I would love to do a Fall-themed photo shoot this year. I feel like the best place to do a photo shoot like this would be at either the pumpkin or apple patch, but anywhere with trees would work. Another great thing about starting something like this is I can watch as myself, along as Tom evolve each year and grow as a family.

   13. Wear boots, scarves, beanies and other Fall themed attire

Like I said earlier, I love how Fall’s weather usually is! Fall is also my favorite season when it comes to fashion. I just love wearing boots, beanies, and scarves. I feel they add a special touch to any outfit! 

  1. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade while eating cinnamon buns

I have never missed watching the parade on Thanksgiving morning. It’s something I look forward to every year and make sure that I’m up early to not miss any part of it. About 4 years ago, my mom and I added eating cinnamon buns during the parade and now that has become a tradition every Thanksgiving morning.

  1. Have a Thanksgiving dinner

After Christmas, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Not only is the day filled with delicious food, but my favorite part about Thanksgiving is being able to come together as a family and enjoy the day. This Thanksgiving will be the first Thanksgiving where I am officially a D’Ascanio and though I hoped we would be in a house by than to host, I’m still so thankful and excited to spend this Thanksgiving with my combined family, wherever we may be.

             And there you have it, my top 15 Fall activities! I hope you all enjoyed this post and maybe even saw an activity on this list that you hadn’t thought of doing before but now want to! I really enjoyed creating this blog post for all of you but now I want to hear from you; What is your favorite thing to do during the Fall?

Drop a comment down below and as always, if you enjoyed reading this, hit that like button! One last quick thing, my hope is to have my YouTube channel up within the next coming weeks. I wanted to wait until we had our own place but we have hit a few roadblocks recently that is delaying that from happening and I really don’t want to wait too much longer. If I can get my channel up, you can be sure I will be vlogging some of the above activities, plus, all the wedding activities coming up, since it is officially one month until my wedding!! So if you’re interested in getting to see my life through a whole other platform, just keep your eye out for that announcement! 😀

Until next time my darlings,

-Kaylee D. ❤