Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice: 11 Fun Indoor Fall Activities

Fall is in full swing and there are all the Pumpkin Spice Lattes, carved pumpkins and freshly-picked apples to show for it. But while these fall festivities are all sorts of fun, they’re also outdoors, which generally means it’s freezing (and sometimes rainy and windy and miserable). If you’re not a huge fan of the cold, here are eleven perfect fall activities you can do without leaving your home.

  1. Bake apple everything

Apple pies aren’t the only fun apple snack you can make – from apple chips to baked apples to applesauce, the options are limitless. So choose your favorite, turn on the oven, and get going. Not only will you make your house warm and toasty, it’ll smell amazing from the baking apples and cinnamon you’re bound to use.

  1. Make these pumpkin spice delicacies

Pumpkin flavored foods are all the rage, so instead of breaking the bank buying all your favorite pumpkin goodies, make your own! Try out these delicious pumpkin cheesecake bites!

  1. Go online shopping for sweaters

Sweaters are arguably the best part of fall – they’re warm and fuzzy and comfortable, and if you find the right one, you can wear it to work and in bed.

  1. Dye your hair a warm fall color

While pastels and neons are all the rage for summer, muted tones and warm colors are perfect for fall. If you’ve been wanting to try out that chestnut brown, or auburn, or dusty blond, now is the time. Grab your BFF and your new hair color, and get your dye on.

  1. Make crafts out of fallen leaves

Fallen colored leaves can’t just make childish wreaths, you can also make beautiful mason jars, pretty rocks, and candle holders.

  1. Put together a fall playlist

Look through your iTunes library and start making your “Fall 2015” playlist. Choose your favorite fall songs and listen on repeat.

  1. Practice your nail art

Nail art is beautiful, and fall is the best time to try out your new favorite colors and styles.

  1. Watch your favorite fall TV episodes

All the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends, anyone?

  1. Make cinnamon-scented candles

Candles are actually really simple to make – all you need is wax, some cinnamon, and cute jars, and you’ve got yourself an adorable candle.

  1. Drink your favorite coffees and teas while reading a great book

Have a favorite book? Wrap yourself in blankets, make some tea, and reread your all-time fave book.

  1. Host your own paint and sip night

Gather your favorite ladies, buy some wine, and stop by the craft store to get some canvasses and paint, and make your own apartment decorations!

Do you love fall but love it even more from the comforts of your couch? Then hopefully these eleven activities will have you and your friends set all fall long.

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Huffington Post: Anxiety

Three years ago this week, I cried over the prospect of eating a grilled cheese sandwich. I couldn’t do it. I was constantly exhausted, I fell asleep in class, and the list of things I felt like I “couldn’t” do was endless. My anxiety was the most severe it has ever been in my life. This is also when I started writing. I typed notes and stories into a Word document – by the end of the year it was 40 pages long. When I was feeling brave, I read some of the stories to my roommates. A year later, I started Sometimes I Wear Tiaras. It’s easy to remember all the things my anxiety took from me, but it also gave me my voice. In my three years living with diagnosed Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I’ve found my voice. I’m so proud that my second piece for Huffington Post is about my experience with anxiety. And for everyone out there living with diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health disorders: “You made it through yesterday, you made it through today, and you can make it through tomorrow. Be brave. I believe in you.”

How Living With My Boyfriend Changed Me, But Not In The Way I Expected

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It seems counterintuitive that living with my boyfriend would make me a more independent person, but that’s exactly what it has done. Last year, when I was considering what it would be like to live together, I assumed that cohabitation would make my boyfriend and I codependent. And honestly, I’m so thankful that it hasn’t.

I moved in with my boyfriend immediately after I graduated from Skidmore College. We had three weeks to turn his parents’ basement apartment in Brooklyn into our new home before I left to spend six weeks studying publishing at Columbia University. We packed all my belongings into an excessively large U-Haul and trekked the four hours to NYC. Our first stop? IKEA.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Breathe In, Breathe Out: What It’s Like To Live Life With An Anxiety Disorder

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(This was originally a post on here, but I’ve republished it with Unwritten, so I’m sharing it again.)

For an hour and a half, I stared at the floor. My knee bounced up and down. When my eyes weren’t fixed on the carpet in front of me, they darted back and forth to the door, measuring my distance from it. My notebook was open in front of me, scribbled notes covering the page and intricately drawn lines in the border. “You’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay,” coursed through my head. I was sweaty and clammy, my blood rushing to my extremities. It took all my power to not run from that room. I flipped absently through the pages we were discussing, feigning like I was paying attention. I wasn’t very convincing though, as my professor looked at me across the room, subtly asking if I needed to leave. I shook my head. I knew if I left the room, I wouldn’t come back. My hands shook and I felt like I was going to throw up. This was the first time I had a full-blown panic attack in college .

For a week all I ate was rice, saltines, and dry Life cereal. I lost 7 pounds. My phobia of throwing up was worse than it had ever been, and sitting down to meals in the dining hall was harder than every test I’ve ever taken. I spent hours lying in bed, trying not to panic. By ten o’clock every night I was exhausted.

I went to a counselor once a week, if not more. I made emergency appointments. I called my parents four or five times a day and I texted them nonstop. They dropped everything anytime I called – sometimes for 5 minutes, sometimes for an hour. I cried a lot. I depended on my friends more than ever before and I couldn’t give them anything in return.

For over a month, my heartbeat was faster than normal. My thoughts raced uncontrollably. I woke up in a panic every morning, unable to function properly. I went on a lot of walks around campus. I couldn’t be alone. I considered taking a leave of absence from school, but I knew if I left, I’d never come back. Sometime during that month I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Dear Eugene: An Open Letter To My Hometown

Eugene Cityscape at Dusk by Jeff Green

Dear Eugene, Oregon,

I always knew that growing up meant leaving home, but I didn’t know it would be like this.

Ten years ago, I sat in the back seat of a rental car as my family drove slowly away from my best friend’s house. I looked out the window and felt like I should probably feel sad, but I didn’t. I was excited. Moving was an adventure. Everyone thought I’d be a dramatic preteen and freak out about moving – get rebellious and distant, argue with my family – but that’s not how I reacted. Looking back, that’s probably how I should have felt, though. I knew basically nothing about the place I would be calling home for the next ten years. All the information I had about “Ore-eh-gone” was contained in a few photos of my “cow house” with the huge stone fireplace and shag carpet, my Roosevelt Middle School schedule (I was just glad I wasn’t going to “Spencer’s Butt”), and some pictures of my mom standing around pretty flowers at the new university she was going to be working at. Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Looking back at the past ten years of my life, I couldn’t have been luckier to end up in Eugene, Oregon. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t always loved you – you’re a weird, slow, outdoorsy, hippie place – I’m much more of a city girl. I don’t really fit in with the type of people who choose to live in you; I like the fast-paced atmosphere of city life, I hate nature, I like when there are actually four seasons (not just “rain” and “construction”), and I never once wore Birkenstocks with socks (I swore when I moved there that I would never do it and I stayed true to that commitment). And yet, despite all that, now that I’m gone and my family is leaving, I find myself feeling kind of home-less.

Because here’s the thing, Eugene: without you, I would be an entirely different person.

Eugene, you taught me how to be a person and how to take on the world with optimism.

You taught me to be more accepting of people who are “different.”

I learned what it meant to appreciate nature, even if I never fully appreciated it myself.

You taught me that rain will come whether you’re prepared for it or not and that sunlight will always burn the fog away.

I learned to love college sports in a way I never thought I could – I learned to find a sense of community with strangers.

You gave me friends who deserved my friendship and friends who didn’t; I learned to be forgiving and to stand up for myself.

Even when I was desperate to get as far from you as I could to go to college, you still welcomed me home with open arms every winter and summer.

You taught me that being nice can get you farther than being smart or ambitious or “perfect.”

You gave me gymnastics and every bruise, tear, trophy, and friendship that came with it.

You introduced me to the most influential, important summers of my life – summers that taught me to accept myself, that taught me how to love, that there truly are people out there who will love me for exactly who I am.

I learned to get in touch with Judaism and gave me a beautiful community of friends.

You taught me how to mourn for people who are taken from the world too early.

You brought in the crowds for the latke party every year, the tradition I will have the hardest time saying goodbye to.

You gave me the most incredible high school experience with classmates who will take the world by storm.

You bonded me with my family. You showed me that family is the most important thing, no matter how far apart you are.

You showed me the most incredible farmer’s and craft markets.

You gave me a friendship that pushed me to grow every day, a friendship that has sustained four years of separation, countless arguments, late-night emergencies, and too many “I told you so”s to count.

You taught me to love writing.

I don’t think I can ever thank you enough for everything you’ve taught me. I haven’t seen you in almost a year, and next June, when my brother graduates from high school, may be our final goodbye. But you’ll always be part of me and I will always feel at home in my memories of you. So, my dearest Eugene, thank you. I love you, 541.

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