Happy Monday. I hope you had a great weekend. It has been getting so beautiful here in Chicago. This past Saturday we had one of our last long group runs along Chicago’s Lakefront Path and the weather was just spectacular. It is slowly starting to cool off but the air has an autumn crispness to it and the path was scattered with various colored leaves. It was a pleasant change from some of our more humid and oppressive long runs and a great reminder that the marathon is quickly approaching.
It has been fun to look forward to and enjoy fall this year. For many years, ever since I was in middle school I suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder in the fall months. Something about the days getting shorter, the weather getting colder and the sky getting darker used to really get to me. I would have an overwhelming feeling of melancholy. Living in the city certainly helps, but finding reasons to embrace the change in seasons seems to really keep those feelings away.
I may have also gone a little crazy with some fall decorating. Our apartment is filled with autumn colors, as well as a few cauldrons full of candy (which I can’t keep my paws off of), and some fun Halloween decorations. I have also added some pumpkin spice scents which is my absolute favorite. Since those Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes are such a killer to the waistline I prefer to just enjoy the scent around home.
I realize that I am no home decorating expert and should probably stick to my running advice but I had to share with you a fun new way that I have been getting into the autumn excitement. I have been doing some stove top scents to make the whole house have an air of the season. Don’t you love walking into Williams Sonoma and breathing in their festive aromas in the winter? Our olfactory receptors are pretty powerful little things and they are directly connected to the limbic system which affects your mood. So adding some nice aromas really is a great way to feel good.
I was on a mission to try and recreate these scents which I have a feeling many people who know me might appreciate. I have to admit that I recently had to leave right from a group run for a business trip. I called up an Uber car after the run and as the guy was taking me to my destination I noticed that he rolled his window down. After awhile he asked me if I was sure I didn’t want to roll my window down. I thanked him and said no. Later it dawned on me, that I had actually smelled bad enough that the cab driver was bothered by it. That had to be a first!
So getting into the festive fall feeling, and keeping things nice and refreshed at home I created this stovetop aroma:
1 cup apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
A pinch of whole cloves
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
Simmer on low and add water as needed.
Once you try this out, it is easy to make your own creations. The first time I did this I found packaged apple cider mix (which was perfect because it tasted gross so I was happy to use it with this). Fill a pot with water and add in your favorite ingredients. Some that I found online are: vanilla, cinnamon, lavender, orange rind, cranberries, apples, canned pumpkin, and nutmeg.
Do you have any scents you like to create at home? Any other good festive ideas besides eating pumpkin everything?