Fitness · Fun

FALLin’ in love with Autumn

Call me basic, but I love Autumn.

For one thing, I don’t begin sweating the second I walk outside. That alone makes Autumn the best season ever.

But it gets so much better than lack of sweat! Lets not forget about the PUMPKINS! No, I’m not talking about PSLs (Pumpkin Spice Lattes, you alien!), or pies, or pudding. I LOVE pumpkins in their whole and wonderful form. I always look forward to heading out to the patch, searching around for the “perfect one” (I use perfect loosely…I’m always partial picking out the “weird” ones), figuring out what I want to carve, slicing it up and the BEST part…lighting it!

Pumpkin patches always takes us out west where the air is a little crisper and you can actually see trees! Steven is from New England which means he thinks our Autumn is pretty pathetic…for some reason, our lackluster yellows and browns just don’t do it for him:) This year, we ventured out to Hollins Farm which I believe is a pretty popular pumpkin destination. My sister, mother and I had stumbled upon this gem in 2010. It had everything we wanted: pumpkins, a corn maze, pick your own veggies/apples and a great view. Here is my dear mother and bean 5 years ago!

Hollins Farm 2010

So cute!

5 Years later and it is still a gem! I loved that Hollins farm is dog friendly because there are SO many cuties running around. Here are two of the cutest cuties…

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Hehe…cuties!

Before we snagged our pumpkins, we gleaned some veggies. This year the farm was offering lettuce, kale, bok choy, peanuts, potatoes and a few other goodies. My mother opted for some lettuce while Steven and I ventured after some peanuts. Up until this day, I had no idea where peanuts came from. Oops!

A lot of the plants when we entered the dry peanut field were already uprooted and a little sparse. So, I figured a farmer came through in the beginning of the season, uprooted all of the peanuts for pathetic city humans, such as myself, and that they simply had already been picked through. I walked up next to a girl who was surrounded by a TON of uprooted plans that had SO many peanuts so I began picking them until i heard… “I just dug all of those up…could you not take them?”  To which I replied “what? these weren’t already like this when you got here?”

Needless to say they were not. I began actually digging and…

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Amazing! Peanuts! We are going to roast them and gobble them all up in whole form or as in peanut butter.

Finally we got our pumpkins and headed home. Steven and I gutted ours and kept the seeds to roast and munch on later (a simple rinse, dry, sprinkle of olive oil/salt and a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes will do it!). Carving wise, I wanted to try to make something a little different than what I had done before…I opted to go the spooky tree. Here is was the design I drew out and the final product!

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I love it and light it up every night.

The other new love I have in Autumn is Autumn running! The weather is amazing, the colors that surround me as I move are fabulous and actually the time constraint of daylight savings forces me to get out there quickly after work, RUN quickly and just get it done. A few months ago when I was training for my triathlon, I ran into my friend Gus, who is training for the Marine Corp Marathon, while I was struggling up a large hill on the Custis Trail. As I unplugged my blaring earbud to attempt to say “hi,” I noticed how stoked Gus looked to be running up the same hill I was. I noticed he didn’t have his phone strapped to his arm or ear buds collapsing his drums. I told him that I had to plug in because hearing myself huffing and puffing made me exhausted. He responded by saying “really? I love hearing how hard my body is working.”

So a week ago…I couldn’t find my running iPhone arm band and almost decided not to run…until I remembered my friend Gus’ words! “I love hearing how hard my body is working.” So i tried it. I immediately felt exhausted when I set out, but as I found my stride (usually half a mile for me) I heard my body working. It wasn’t struggling, it was like a machine. I heard each foot hit the pavement moving me forward and knew that I was really moving. I’ve since run 3 times without headphones, each time going a bit further. Not to mention, as it does get darker, it feels safer to hear what is going on around me. So THANK YOU Gus for your wise wise words and GOOD LUCK this weekend! If you want to donate to Gus’ fundraising page, you can right here!

This week, I also finished my Advocare 24 day challenge! I dedicated my last blog post to how awesome the journey had been for me so I won’t get into it too much…but here are the FINAL final results!IMG_3503

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Left was day 1, middle was day 10 and the right was day 22 (I have 1 more day, but I just couldn’t wait!)

I have lost 10 lbs and 12.5 inches. It has been amazing. ONWARD AND UPWARD!!

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