10 ways to make October Outstanding

Something about October makes me very, very happy. It has a lot to do with the fact that I’m one of those pumpkin fiends who goes crazy at the first sight of a can at Target, and even more to do with the fact that I LOVE Halloween- it’s always been one of my favorite holidays. In my 27 years of life, I haven’t gotten too crazy creative with Halloween costumes -I bow my head at the greatness that is Heidi Klum- but I am so excited for Liv’s first Halloween, and our first as a family since the Pilot is usually deployed at this time.


Here are some of the other things I love about October:

-Football games 


-Fall produce

-Pumpkin picking, carving, eating

-The Pilot’s birthday

-The treat-sized candies that seem to show up everywhere (mini Reese’s? Yes, please), candy apples, popcorn balls, rice crispy treats

-Crispy jeans (and actually getting to wear them)

-Nightmare Before Christmas

Nightmare before christmasSource

-The chill in the air that finally appears around Halloween – it will be a welcomed change after the 96* day we had yesterday!


And here are some ways to make October even more awesome than it already is:

1) Host a creepy movie night (and if you’re like me and hate scary movies, you can watch Nightmare Before Christmas or totally skip out for The Holiday instead.. Jude Law… mmm hmmm…) and serve appetizers and cocktails. Some of my favorites: pumpkin soup (even more amazing in pumpkin bowls, but slightly more labor intensive), fall salad, apple pear ginger saketinis, apples with caramel dip, etc. 

2) Pick out your hoodie/jacket/coat love for the next few months. Every year, I have the warm weather staple that I enjoy all season. I already picked up a zip-up that I love.. it’s yellow, and there will probably be 1400 pictures of me on here wearing it from now on 😉

Room 3

3) Lend a hand to a family member, friend or organization you support. When Liv was first born, it was harder for me to dedicate time to organizations I believe in. Now that we’ve found our groove (I found my groove, rather), it’s a lot more feasible for me to do extra things when I can. The point is to remember that even if it’s something small, every little bit adds up. You never know when a small action will make a huge impact for someone else.

4) Choose a goal that SCARES you. It can be personal, health-related, career-related, whatever- something that makes you shake in your boots when you think about it. Write down an action plan of how you’re going to accomplish the goal and another thing: don’t tell anyone about it. I just found out about this, but apparently when you tell others about a huge goal, you’re less likely to take the actions to achieve it. By talking about it, you somehow get a small amount of satisfaction and trick your body into thinking you’ve already accomplished it. So, write it down, keep it in your mind, and go after it.

5) Drink more water! As the weather cools down, it’s more challenging for me to remember to drink enough water. One of my favorite tips: put 8-10 little berries, chocolate chips, almonds, whatever you like, in a small dish, and every time you have a glass of water, eat one. It’s a great way to remind yourself to drink sufficient H2O.

6) Carve pumpkins and eat the seeds. I’ll never forget the “pumpkin party” we threw last year- we carved our pumpkins while listening to Halloween music and had a random food assortment (apple pie, pumpkin seeds, cider, corn off the grill) and it was fantastic. I can’t wait to do it again this year.


7) Make a trip to go pick fresh produce. Check out local farms in your area to see if you’re able to pick your own produce. We had the opportunity to go to Roberts Farm in Valdosta fairly often, and I loved being able to feed the chickens (and say thank you for the beautiful eggs), and get a huge basket of produce. We’re looking to make a trip to a local farm in the next couple of weeks.

8) Make clementines even more exciting. 


9) Rock something orange! It’s one of the colors I tend to stay away from, until I was feeling brave and got neon orange sneaks. Tend to go with the conservative side? Try orange nails.


10) Do something for you. Be lazy one afternoon and read a book, even when your to-do list is screaming at you, book a massage or spa treatment, enjoy a new fitness class, call up a friend for a friend date, see a movie- just do something that you’ve been putting off because you “need” to be doing other things instead.

So how are you going to make it an amazing month? What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?? Feel free to link away 🙂
I’ll see ya later with the October workout- it’s a sweaty one! Don’t forget to check out the October workout calendar, too.




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  1. Julia on October 1, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Great list!
    Will definitely tackle #4. I finally booked my flight to Australia for a year of work and travel. Until my flight takes off (January), I will do everything it takes to save some more money. Might come in handy when I’m down under and have enough cash to climb the Harbour Bridge…:-)

  2. Cher @ Weddicted on October 1, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Loving the tip for #5, drink more water. That is such a great idea! It’s easy to forget how much water you have had throughout the day. I used to go buy bottles (if I had 4-5 then I knew I drank my 8-10 cups). Obviously now I don’t do that because it is such a waste! Thanks!

  3. Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite on October 1, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Great list! I love #1- scary movies will definitely get us in the mood for the halloween season! haha.

  4. Simone on October 1, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Love the pumpkin party! I am definitely going to host one of those this year, thanks!
    I would like to get outside more and enjoy the changing of the leaves, normally the cooler weather keeps me indoors but I just need to suck it up and bundle up!
    my favourite pumpkin recipe right now is the pumpkin loaf I made a few weeks ago (http://wp.me/p2Hi8G-3z) , I have since turned it into mini muffins for a nice portion controlled treat 🙂

  5. Brittany on October 1, 2012 at 11:32 am

    My October is already outstanding. I just found out that I got a job. I start work as a nursing assistant tomorrow. This is already outstanding for me!

    • Fitnessista on October 1, 2012 at 11:45 am

      wahooo!! congratulations!

      • Brittany on October 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm

        Thank you! It’s my first real job (I’m only 17) so it’s really exciting! Can’t wait to actually start making my own money. Good way to start off the month.

  6. Paige @ Your Trainer Paige on October 1, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I love those clementines! haha, what a great idea – definitely doing that this year.

  7. Laura on October 1, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I think it is so great that you & the Pilot are getting to do all these “normal” things together that make life so special! Love the orange nail polish idea, by the way!

  8. Kim @ Real Life New Wife on October 1, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Love, love, love this list! I have a sudden NEED to paint my nails orange now! 🙂 There’s something thrilling about October for me, too – so happy it’s here!

  9. Liz @ Southern Charm on October 1, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Such great ideas!! Like the pumpkin carving party one, especially.

    I love October <3

  10. Kayla P on October 1, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Love these! I’m going to try making a savory butternut squash soup for the very first time.. EEK!! I’ve never had butternut squash before, so it’ll definitely be a culinary adventure 🙂

  11. Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian on October 1, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I love Halloween now too, though interestingly I hated it when I was a kid. In some ways, fall is kind of depressing because I know I’m in for a long LONG winter, but there is something comforting about the changing of the seasons.

    • Jen in MN on October 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      I have to agree…I live in Minnesota and our winters can be extremely rough. They are typically pretty long, snowy/icy, and super cold. So while I love Fall, I don’t much love what comes after )-: Besides Christmas, that is!

  12. Angie on October 1, 2012 at 11:57 am

    So much to do for the month of October, time is just flying by! I love pumpkin pie, definitely hoping to make one from scratch this year.

  13. Steph @ Upbeat Eats on October 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Oh I am a pumpkin maniac!! My favorites are breakfast related – pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin oats… pumpkin butter mixed in makes my morning. I love your October ideas!

  14. Marli on October 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Great post, Gina! I love October and you reminded me why. I must know the name of that Essie nail polish. Do tell! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 1:05 am

      essie fear or desire… very 50 shades-esque haha

  15. Laura @ She Eats Well on October 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I love these monthly lists! Also…love the Clementine faces – slightly creepy but also very cute ha ha.

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 1:05 am

      i can’t wait to make them!

  16. natalie @ will jog for food on October 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    My favorite part about October is that it’s my wedding anniversary, the day before Halloween. Not sure what I’m gonna dress up for for Halloween yet… I’ll have a little baby bump by then so it might be tricky! hehe

  17. Lauren @ The Homeostatic Mindset on October 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    AWESOME list!!! I LOVE fall more than words can explain…It’s a bit of a problem…Actually, who am I kidding?! It’s FANTASTIC! It makes me SO happy!!! 😀

  18. Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries on October 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I love October too – it’s probably my favorite month. It’s our anniversary, the weather is perfect, and I love all of the fall foods. Love your ideas to make October a fun one!

  19. Averie @ Averie Cooks on October 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    My fave pumpkin recipe is probably the one I just posted. A pumpkin bundt cake that I am in love with.

    Those little clementines are adorable 🙂 And I agree about water drinking when it’s cooler – doesn’t come quite as intuitively.

  20. Ali @ Peaches and Football on October 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    It’s true – I tend to taper with the water when it’s not as hot and I’m no longer sweating bullets all day. Of course, it’s no anywhere near 96 where I am – I think it was in the 50s when I woke up this morning and I left the porch door cracked. Brrr!

  21. Melissa on October 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Great list! I just made my first pumpkin recipe of the season, pumpkin brownies. They are not ‘healthy’ but everyone gobbled them up at our family dinner.

    Link to recipe: http://www.annies-eats.com/2009/09/08/pumpkin-blondies/

  22. Lynne on October 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I always love these lists… so fun 🙂

  23. Abby on October 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Fall is my absolute favorite season! Unfortunately its usually snowing by Halloween so its a very short lived season. Even more reason to completely embrace it right?
    I just made pumpkin spice brownies last week and they were so tasty! Just mix a smaller can of pumpkin with your favorite dry brownie mix, sprinkle in some cinnamon, nutmeg, and bake according to the mix directions! Couldn’t be easier and everyone loved them!

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 1:05 am

      that sounds incredible!

  24. Life's a Bowl on October 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    That’s an awesome list of happenings! I’m really looking forward to going apple picking for the first time ever [this weekend], eating anything and everything containing pumpkin, anddd enjoying the crisp fall weather 🙂

  25. Kellyim on October 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    October has always been my favorite month because I was born on 10/10! Growing up in Tucson, it was the best because, like you mentioned, it finally cools down. Now that I live in New England, it’s the best because it’s when the Autumn colors go crazy. Love it! We’ve already gone apple picking, and we’re hosting a pumpkin carving party on the 29th.

    Here’s my favorite pumpkin recipe, my great-grandma’s pumpkin bread: http://beeskneesrecipes.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/tennessee-pumpkin-bread/
    NOT healthy, but yummy!

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 1:04 am


  26. Janice on October 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Gina your whole list is outstanding, thanks for the suggestions. I’m definitely on board with rocking an orange sweater, drinking more water, booking a massage, and setting a goal for the month. Here’s to a fabulous fall!

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 1:04 am


  27. Suzanne on October 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    What a great post! I’m a new reader, and I love your blog! This is a great post…I woke up this morning contemplating some new health goals I want to start, and today is the perfect day, being the first day of the month–as well as the beginning of a potentially scary (health wise) holiday season! Your post is a great read for me, who loves fall and everything that comes along with it–and as someone who is ready to re-commit (again!?) to eating better and being more fit. Thank you!

  28. Jeni on October 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    4) I just entered an obsticle race 10K! I hope I’m not insane….. I can’t decide if I’m super excited or completely terrified.

  29. kim@hungryhealthygirl on October 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Love this post! Hoodies are a favorite Fall must-have for me too. Your clementines are so cute.My new favorite pumpkin recipe right now is for paleo pumpkin pie power balls. They are a great grab-and-go snack and very yummy too. You can check the recipe out here http://www.hungryhealthygirl.com/2012/10/01/mimm-foodie-penpal-plantpower/
    Have a great week!

  30. Julie on October 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I loooove October!! I feel like its the most Fall-feeling month!! I love pumpkins, carving pumpkins, halloween, trees changing colors!! It’s definitely one of my favorites!! I am definitely getting some orange nail polish!!!!

    I’m going to make this month amazing by putting more focus on eating healthy- prepping meals in advance, and cooking more, spending less on eating out!

  31. Kimberly on October 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Sorta off topic, but I made your sweet potato and black bean chili yesterday and had it for dinner/lunch today….sooo good, especially as leftovers today! I will definitely be making that more often….a Fall meal staple for sure!

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 1:04 am

      so happy you liked it!! it’s especially great as leftovers (or freeze and reheat)

  32. Lisa on October 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I adore this list. Halloween is also my FAVE! Even though I don’t get too creative with costumes, I just love it. I think its because Fall is the best time. Halloween, Thanksgiving, my birthday, pumpkins, squash, leaves. Everything about it makes me happy.

  33. joelle @ on a pink typewriter on October 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I love this, and those little cuties decorated like pumpkin are adorable! I’m all for hoodies and leaves and boots and scarves and pumpkin/squash anything.. Now if it could just STAY fall and skip winter. 😉

  34. Emily on October 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    A goal that scares me is running more than 5 miles! I’m not a distance/endurance girl at all but I am going to train for a 10k this month (not necessarily run it until November though)! I’m comfortable with running 3 miles and I can do 4, but 5, 6 and 7 all sound like miles I should be going in a car haha

    Oh and I love the orange nails but I painted mine pink last night in honor of breast cancer awareness month 🙂

  35. krista on October 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I’ve followed your blog for quite some time and love it. It’s been the inspiration to start one of my own. I’ve attached a 2nd hand clothing store to it as well so my shopping addiction can become environmentally friendly. Saving the world one outfit at a time! haha. Just wanted to send out a thank you and keep up the great work.

  36. Eva @ Committed2Nutrition on October 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Great list!! love it all – especially the “choose a goal that scares you” – hard to do. and especially hard not to tell others about it. I love your pumpkin halloween party, too – grilled corn? YUM! I LOVE pumpkin over night oats – my fav thing to eat regarding pumpkin… tastes just ilke pumpkin pie (in my opinion). I am trying my hardest to make this month amazing, but I am already exhausted – wedding, brial shower, engagement party, baby shower, and still teaching too many zumba classes on top of my FULL TIME job..im just spent.. one day at a time, right?

  37. Kristen on October 1, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Oh October… I love it so much!!
    -It’s my bday month (woohoo!)
    -little candy corn pumkins
    -the leaves start turning
    -the weather is cooler (72* tomorrow’s high) which means jeans, cute top and blazer, and flats or boots!
    -great hiking and running weather
    -we’re taking our first little vacay with our 7 month old in a couple of weeks
    -crock pot chili
    -honey crisp apples!!!!!!
    -Alabama football
    -gold and deep red or burgandy nail polishes

    Really, I could go on and on.
    I’ll just end it with it’s going to be a great month. I can feel it 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 1:03 am

      roll tide!

  38. Kerry @ Totes My Oats on October 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Wow, I love this post! Those clementines are too cute 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 1:03 am


  39. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles on October 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I love the Nightmare Before Christmas! It’s been one of my favourite movies for years. Halloween is definitely a great excuse to watch it! (plus, it’s my birthday one week before Halloween. Even better).

  40. Ali @ WHOLEistically Fit on October 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    What’s even better than Nightmare Before Christmas? Nightmare Before Christmas haunted house at Disneyland!!! I love going there in the fall :). Love the list!

  41. Amy Ramos on October 1, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I am doing something that scares me: running a 5 mile race this Sunday! I have not run in over a month!

    I plan on making my famous pumpkin cheesecake recipe once the weather cools down and I can turn on an oven.

  42. Jackie on October 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    October is hands down my favorite month for so many reasons. First, my birthday is October 2nd, so as always, my birth month usually takes top spot. BUT besides that obvious bias, I think October is fabulous for other reasons. The weather here in New England is top notch. Crisp fall weather is the best. I love the leaves changing, the apple picking, apple cider, all things pumpkin, and duh, FOOTBALL 🙂

    My one thing that scares me is the fact that I decided to walk away from a good paying, steady job, to find out what I love and find a job that I am passionate about. I am tired of going through the motions!

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 1:02 am

      keeping my fingers crossed for you! it will happen.

  43. meghan on October 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I’m running a marathon!! It isn’t until January, but obviously the training is happening now and all the getting ready and prepping and training is fall time! I am so scared but so so so excited!

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 1:02 am

      that is incredible! best of luck to you with training

  44. Amanda @ .running with spoons. on October 1, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Love these ideas to make this month even more exciting! I love October because of that unexplainable feeling in the air… it’s almost like a calmness that means things are slowing down after summer and it’s time to cozy up at home and relax. Not to mention the abundance of Halloween candy and the comfort that comes from being in a warm kitchen when it’s cold outside. I have to admit that I’ve never been too crazy about cooking with pumpkin, but I baked up a chocolate chip pumpkin bread the other week that won me over… I’m blaming the chocolate for that one 😉 Here’s the link! http://www.runningwithspoons.com/for-spoons/chocolate-chip-pumpkin-bread/

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 1:00 am

      i just made a chocolate chip pumpkin bread- it was calling to me 🙂

  45. Cheryl on October 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Hi Gina,
    Which orange nail color is the one that you show?

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 1:00 am

      essie fear or desire

  46. Stacy on October 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I made Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili this weekend with Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake (your recipe you put up at some point). My whole family loved it all. Sadly, I do not like pumpkin so I gave my cheesecake to my hubby. He was soooo disappointed! lol I will be making it again for him though!

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 1:00 am

      i’m so happy to hear everyone liked it!

  47. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on October 1, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    What are crispy jeans?! Or is that a typo? 😉

    I love all these ideas for October! I’m looking forward to baking lots of pumpkin things and running in a Halloween race this month!

    • Fitnessista on October 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      crispy jeans are brand new jeans- you know how they have that crispy, fresh feeling?

  48. Sarabell on October 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Great list! We’re expecting a baby in May, so I made a little Fall “To Do List” for our last autumn as husband and wife! Quite a few of these were on my list! =]

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 12:59 am


  49. Gretchen on October 1, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I love those clementines! I can’t wait to do that with my son. He is going to love taking those to school. He already forced me to buy a pumpkin 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2012 at 12:57 am

      hahah i love it!

  50. Shari on October 2, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I love everything about this list!

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