Now is the time of year when everything turns to pumpkin spice and apple fritter! The time of year when I think about going for hayrides and picking apples. And the time of year when we are bombarded by those very long fall checklists of things we should be doing. Things like rinsing the patio furniture, but let’s be honest, a good rainstorm can take care that for you! But I do think there are a few things we can address, ready? #1 Change the furnace filter – then write down or email yourself or take a photo of the model number of the filter so next year you’ll know what to buy. Additionally, if your have a fireplace, today might be a good day to make a chimney sweep appointment. And if you need to order firewood – well today is the day for that as well. #2 Bring out SOME décor. This is not an all or nothing situation. You do not have to drape foliage garlands over everything that stands still long enough or wrap everything in golden lights. Sure you may have 27 tubs of fall décor stored in your garage – which by the way, may be a contributing factor as to why your car will not fit – but you are not obligated to drag out all 27 bins. Just display a few of your favorites. Bring some out. It will make you happy! #3 Check the coat and glove and boot situation. Depending on where you live you may need to bundle up during the next few months. Now is a great time to check out your cold weather gear. Did the zipper break on your go-to winter coat? Let’s get that fixed, ideally before the first snow. Did you misplace the right hand gloves for all four of your favorite pairs? Now could be a good time to pick up a new pair of gloves so you have both a right and a left hand – just an idea. Take a look at what you need to fix, clean, replace, or purchase. Then, and this is the most important part, actually do it! And a bonus idea – ready? Remember that apple picking and hayride I mentioned. Turns out these are both things I always think I should do. These are outings I put on my to-do list but never follow through with actually doing them. I think I romanticize the trips. They sure sound like fun until you are ankle deep in mud after an bouncy ride on itchy bails of hay. My pumpkin spice latte spills all over my jeans and I get the luxury of paying double the price for apples I pick myself – when – get this – the grocery store has gorgeous displays of apples I can grab whenever I want! So the new rule is this: add trips and outings to your calendar now. But only pencil in the ones that you if you don’t do them you’ll regret it at the end of the season. Apple picking – no thanks. Hay ride – not so much. Haunted house – I’ll never sleep again or walk down a dark hallway ever – so no. A scenic road trip in my car where I can sit in a non-itchy car seat while my sipping my pumpkin spice latte – sign me up! Pick and choose the activities that mean the most, the ones you want to try once, the ones that will make lasting memories and the ones that come winter you will have wished you did, then do them! Do them now. The leaves change quickly and you don’t want to miss it!