10 Ways to Make October Outstanding

Good morning! Hope you had a wonderful weekend and that your Monday is off to a great start <3

So, we made August awesome,

September was stellar,

and now we’re onto October.


I LOVE October.

It’s when the weather finds the perfect balance between smoldering hot and freezing cold, jeans and hot cocoa reappear after a long hiatus, and there are quite a few fun Tucson events [Dia de los Muertos parade? Yes please].


Here are some ways to make October even more amazing:

1) Support a cause with a 5k or any race of your choice. I feel like we should raise awareness for causes that we believe in all year, but October is a great reminder for me to get out there and run [well, walk/jog for now] for an excellent cause. We have a Race for the Cure in Phoenix next weekend, so I’m going to see if we can make a little road trip. 🙂


Many brands are supporting breast cancer awareness by donating a percentage of their proceeds from specific items this month. Here are a few that I love:

image Ralph Lauren image Essie

image Sephora 

2) Host a pumpkin carving party!


I’m excited for this one. Inviting everyone over to bring to BYOP [bring your own pumpkin] and we’ll have a little carving party. We’ll toast the seeds and drink apple cider- it should be lovely.

3) Master a NEW yoga pose.


You know, the one in class that makes you doubt yourself, or one you’ve never seen before. Check out YogaJournal.com for how-to posts on every pose under the sun.

4) Try a new updo.

My friend Katy has been posting a TON of amazing hairstyles, so I’m excited to try a new one out. It’s so easy to get stuck in a hairstyle rut and fall is the perfect time to switch it up a little.

Not about to do anything crazy or different with your hair? Try a sparkly headband or messy side braid.


5) Focus on one workout change this month. This could be adding in Tabata intervals, practicing yoga more often, trying out the Schweaty October Workout (will be posted with a playlist this week), or training for a new event. I’m finally being forced to practice more yoga this month and next, since I have a Groupon that expires in early December. That may be the extra push I needed to get my modified “Om” on.

6) Eat some candy corn. Don’t question what’s in it 😉

7) Create a spooky Halloween recipe.

For this one, I’m thinking of a version or brown rice crispy treats….

8) Pick up your denim soul mate and donate/consign the ones that look a little rough from last year. Every fall and winter, I have 3-4 pairs of jeans that I wear the heck out of. The next year, they usually need to be replaced- the bottoms are frayed, they’re faded, and had a nice long life. It’s about that time, but I think I’ll be investing in one designer maternity pair and hit up the super sale racks for the rest. Tip: you can often find designer denim at stores like Ross, Marshalls and TJ Maxx. My favorite place to shop for jeans is Off 5th 🙂

me and meg

[Such a random pic, but one of the only ones I could find where I was actually wearing jeans]

9) Download podcasts or books on iTunes or CD to get you through your long drives and morning commutes.

I get so sick of listening to the radio while I drive, so podcasts and books on CD have been major sanity savers. Some of my fave podcasts: Stuff You Should Know, The Daily Boost, Jillian Michaels (not the biggest Jillian fan but really enjoy her podcast), and Pregtastic. For books on CD, I’ll usually listen to something motivation (anything Brian Tracy is guaranteed to be amazing) or something girly and fluffy.

10) Plan a picnic.


The Pilot and I haven’t gone on a picnic for over two years, and last time we did, it was the best thing ever. We just had the dogs, a basket with different cheeses, some crackers, grapes and wine, and just sat and talked, relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. I’m hoping to make it up to Mt. Lemmon this month and take Bell with us for a little picnic.

How are you going to make October Outstanding?

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  1. Jennie (in Wonderland) on October 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Very interesting article I read yesterday about Breast Cancer ‘products’… and how much of the profits actually goes to helping breast cancer sufferers, survivors and research. Worth a look!

  2. Athena @ fitnessandfeta on October 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    1. Host a fall themed party for some friends
    2. Enjoy some ME time after a busy busy September
    3. A Columbus Day Weekend getaway to Cape Cod
    4. Pumpkin carving
    5. Baking with apples!

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      LOVE baking with apples!

  3. RachelG on October 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I was in my best friends wedding this weekend and let’s just say that “indulgence” was the name of the game (if only the Cupid Shuffle dance burned more calories!). After having this past weekend and being sort of stuck in a weight loss plateau (those evil last 10 lbs), I decided that writing down weekly workout plans, meals, and shopping lists will help me get motivated, think about what I’m putting in my mouth, and, even more difficult for me, stick to the plan! Now I’m also thinking that a pumpkin carving party needs to be in order. lol.

    October is my favorite month so it’s the perfect time to make things happen! 🙂

  4. Allison @ Food For Healing on October 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    i love October too! i want to get married in Sept or Oct because i LOOOVE Fall.
    September we did a 5K race for the childrens hospital, i dont think there are any this month at all though.
    But I do plan on making October outstanding, pumpkin carving, pumpkin treats, new workouts and a slow start to training for next years big races, losing some weight (a small little journey i am taking to lose weight before Feb 2012 Mexio trip)

  5. Natasha on October 3, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I love candy corn in October. As far as what is in it…I dont want to know…except I know it has corn syrup….which is what you would expect in candy corn I guess 🙂 BTW what kind of desert is that first picture…pie or cheese cake…or neither…it looks soooo good!

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 12:27 pm

      it’s a marbled pumpkin cheesecake- SO good

      • Natasha on October 3, 2011 at 7:29 pm

        oooo cheesecake……mmmmmm that is my Kryptonite!

  6. Desi on October 3, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    1) Massive Camping Trip with all of our neighbors, 5 families in all, to Zion national Park.
    2) Family Pictures
    3) Pull out the shirts with sleeves (come on temps under 100*, soon…. please)
    4) Start homeschooling my youngest.
    5) Break out the Crock-pot.
    6) Start running again.

  7. Brianne on October 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    While I understand most people “run for the cure” with good intentions… I defiantly think you should look into that a bit more.. in fact anything to do with “cancer research” is very questionable.

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      i just think that anything you can do to encourage support for something is a good thing

  8. Camille on October 3, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    GINA! I LOVE your blog and was so excited to see the Zeta Tau Alpha shirt on your post. I love our philanthropy and it is nice to see other people get excited about Breast Cancer Awareness month =D
    Thanks for all of your posts. Ever since I have started reading your blog you have changed the way I look at eating.

  9. Brianne on October 3, 2011 at 12:23 pm


    An interesting blog post on the subject of supporting cancer research

    • Katie on October 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      I just read this link and I would have to disagree. I will, however, agree that we need to work on preventing cancer, but life happens and all of the prevention in the world isn’t cancer-proof. My dad was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and he is one of the healthiest, most active people I know. It’s life. But if you were to tell my dad all of the things he should have been doing to prevent prostate cancer as oppossed to what he needs to do now to get better, would be pretty insensitive. We need to make people aware that cancer is still occurring and these walks are a great way to do it. Another great aspect of the walks is that if someone is a cancer survivor, they can walk to not only support the cause, but to show people that it is possible to survive from this disease.

      I didn’t want to respond to this post and cause an uproar, but cancer is something that is a sensitive topic for me at the moment and these walks also serve as a support to those who are dealing with a family member who has it.

      • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm

        i totally agree, katie. we can’t control everything in our environment and sometimes cancer doesn’t care who you are. my aunt, who teaches fitness and eats a fantastic diet, has had cancer twice. i think her lifestyle is what helped her keep a positive attitude and kick its booty. sending lots of love and healing vibes to your dad <3

        • Katie on October 3, 2011 at 4:45 pm

          I absolutely agree that a healthy lifestyle can help you stay positive when dealing with a tough situation. Thank you, Gina… and I’ll be keeping your aunt in my thoughts and prayers. 🙂

  10. chelsea on October 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    My family has a pumpkin carving party every year 🙂 It’s so much fun! We also have a chili cook off and vote who made the best chili haha! That one is super fun as well.

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm

      oooh i love that idea!

  11. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun on October 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I may or may not have already tackled #6. 😉

  12. char @ char on a mission on October 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I LOVE Brian Tracy. Everything he says makes sense. I have a ton of stuff from him on my iPod so yesterday (on the lousy commute) when I was shuffling songs, one audio clip from him came on, and it was exactly what I needed while in that music slump and really spoke to me – it was about communication. And I totally think it’s something the hubby and I need to work on lately. I wanna check out some other podcasts now too, that’s a great idea!

  13. Cindy on October 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Just had to give you props for this awesome post. So many good ideas!

  14. Courtney @ The Petite AthlEAT on October 3, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Um, my dear – what is the gorgeous looking pie thing at the beginning of this post and whose kitchen do I have to terrorize to get some?!

  15. Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) on October 3, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Love this post! I’m planning on taking care of some major blog changes (like finally signing up with Foodbuzz), practicing yoga 3-4 times a week, and hopefully cooking a ton more. I recently posted my fall goals on my own blog. 🙂

  16. Amanda on October 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I just want to say- I’m apart of Zeta Tau Alpha (Like the tshirt you have) and we fully support breast cancer fund. I think it’s great you are promoting the cure!!! AWESOME!

    • Corie on October 3, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      I was like “ooooh another Zeta!!!” until I realized I know you in real life and you’re my GL ; )

  17. kathleen @ the daily crumb on October 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    i love, love, love october. the perfect blend of summer and winter. i am going to make october outstanding by committing to my yoga practice and reconnecting with friends who relationships i have neglected for far too long. thanks for the great list, gina 🙂

  18. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on October 3, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    A picnic sounds like so much fun, but sadly, it’s getting way too chilly way too fast here! Maybe we’ll get lucky with some nice weekends and I’ll manage to squeeze one in. I love the pumpkin carving party idea and have been planning one with my roommate. I haven’t carved pumpkins in years so I can’t wait! Apple picking is another one on my list. 🙂

  19. Alyssa @ Life of bLyss on October 3, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    gaaah, I’ve been trying so hard to do the messy side braid.. I just have too many layers. 🙁

  20. ecoprincess on October 3, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    October is hopefully going to be pretty awesome because I’m planning my wedding! Hoping to get almost everything done, I want to DIY a lot of stuff (we’re getting married on the 27th December). Also looking forward to Halloween, trying pumpkin for the first time and being able to wear thick black tights, and getting my Uggs out of their summer hibernation! I love October 😀

  21. Katie on October 3, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I like how different organizations are raising awareness for cancer. We do a Crawl for Cancer every May (this year was the first where the topic of cancer actually hit home) and it feels so good to know that so many people are behind cancer research, cures, and preventions.

    I plan on making October fantastic by spending even more time with my family, boyfriend, and friends. 🙂 With the holidays coming up, this is the perfect time to be with loved ones.

  22. Katie @ Plates and Paste on October 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Already have #1 checked off the list! St. Pete had their Race for the Cure this past Saturday. It was an awesome event…SO many people. I walked the 5K, but regret not going for it and running it 🙁

    A pumpkin carving party sounds fantastic!

    Can’t wait for the October Sweaty workout 🙂

  23. Liz @ Southern Charm on October 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    This month, I will try to be outside as much as possible. Maybe taking the pup (or myself) for two walks instead of one? I love October … the weather, the colors of the leaves, just the feeling. I think being outside is the best way to celebrate.

    Love the picnic idea! Will have to try that one 🙂

  24. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen on October 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Well I’m doing the race thing in November but I definitely plan to have a pumpkin carving party! Love that 🙂

  25. Julie (A Case of the Runs) on October 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    One way or another, I must make October better than these previous months…! For one thing, I’m growing out my hair for Halloween, so there must be different things I can do with it for now…

  26. chely on October 3, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I definitely want to focus on ADHD awareness, adding yoga back into my routine, and completing a half marathon at the end of the month. Fall is my second fave time of year 🙂

  27. Rhiannon on October 3, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    This is just what I needed today! My employer offers a wellness program with blood draws twice a year. You receive incentives (ca$h money incentives!) for meeting your goals and my appointment is at the end of the month. Here’s to being Outstanding in October 🙂 And sneaking in some candy corn after the appointment!

  28. Mellissa on October 3, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    October is all about slowing down for me. I am traveling a ton this fall for work and I need to make sure I am taking care of myself. I spent yesterday afternoon grocery shopping, clothes shopping and cooking. It was wonderful!

  29. katie on October 3, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I’ll start this off with a disclaimer: I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 23, so this is a highly personal subject for me. That said, I’d really encourage you and your readers to do a bit more investigation into “awareness raising” and “products for the cure” before supporting them. For instance, most nail polishes are packed with carcinogens that are known to contribute to cancer growth. Same goes for many beauty products. Second, in most cases, these companies do not state what percentage of their profits are being donated, nor do they state to whom. In reality, it’s usually pennies. And very little of it goes towards research — you know, the thing that actually helps women. I think, as consumers, we can demand more accountability from companies that are basically profiting off the backs of women like myself.

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      i agree with you and am thankful that so many of you have opened my eyes to this. i’ll definitely be reading the fine print from now on.
      that being say, way to kick cancer’s booty <3
      i also think that races and events are a great way to support those who have fought the disease and anything is better than nothing as far as awareness and proceeds go. it could definitely be better, as you pointed out

      • katie on October 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm

        thanks, Gina :] hope I didn’t come off too strong — October is just not a super fun month for BC ladies such as myself.

        • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm

          not at all! i can’t imagine. sending love and prayers that you continue to rock it out and stay healthy <3

    • Christena on October 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      Katie, as just another reader, I want to thank you for chiming in here. Very interesting. I read an article of this nature last year and it was really eye-opening.

      • katie on October 3, 2011 at 9:07 pm

        Thanks, Christena :] I try to pick my battles wisely, but the whole ‘pink’ culture surrounding breast cancer really eats at me during October. However, it’s only my second post-cancer October, so hopefully they get easier! The organization Breast Cancer Action has really good information on pink-washing, if you (or anyone else) is interested.

  30. Rachael on October 3, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    TJ Maxx is my favorite – I live in a small town and it’s the BEST place to find great clothes!

    My goal this month is to make a plan to beat the post-holiday winter blues (tips would be great! I always get so depressed/run down in the cold, grey weather), and plan a trip to Europe next spring… 🙂

    Thanks for the ideas!

  31. Natasha Brown on October 3, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Gina- Hope your day is going great! You are the poster Mommy for Pregnancy – you amaze me!
    I must agree with Jennie at the top of the comments here, and others…there is Soooooooooooo much money raised for Cancer – where does it really go? There is no decline in the incidence of Cancer – there is an increase. I am one who can speak to this first hand.
    We’re talking in the Billions of dollars, and we are no further along. I am an advocate of prevention, and empowering individuals to take control of their health, as opposed to raising money for research etc..
    Regardless of any of this – you represent to me what we should all be looking to do – and that is lead a healthy fulfilling life.

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      thank you, natasha 🙂

  32. Angela @ MyPinkyToes on October 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Finding some new jeans should definitely be on my October to-do list! I can really wear the heck out of a pair, and it’s about time to get some news ones! Jeans shopping can be oh-so tricky though!

  33. kim on October 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    yup, that first pic is a good looking dessert!
    gina – i remember a while back you blogged about making black beans – it seemed like an easy recipe – just boil & add some veggies –
    but i don’t see it under your food section (probably b/c you think it’s so easy it doesn’t really need a recipe!) –
    would you mind putting up a link to it? i haven’t done black beans & i remember they looked so YUM!!

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm
      • kim on October 4, 2011 at 1:53 am

        thanks gina! you should put up a link to it under food!
        making beans isn’t so obvious to everyone!
        XO, y

        • Fitnessista on October 4, 2011 at 10:59 am

          k that’s a great idea 🙂 hope you like them!

  34. Corie on October 3, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Were you a Zeta?? I was (graduated college in ’08 at a state school in PA). So exciting to see other Zeta’s : ) (if you are one and didn’t just run the 5K – still exciting even if you just support the cause!)

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      nope, i just ran the race 🙂

  35. KatieG. @ Just Roll With It on October 3, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I will be out of town a lot in October (doing fun fall things)- Going to NYC to Wicked with my Mom/weekend in NYC, doing a century bike ride with my bf on his 30th bday, celebrating his 3-0 at the beach, going to Deep Creek lake/the mountains with friends, enjoying fall beers, lots of campfires (already had one this weekend!), and anything pumpkin! I love October!

  36. Jacqueline on October 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I think my goal for October is to master the home made pumpkin spice latte…I’ve been too scared to make it! Also, your photos from the previous post are crazyyy you need to share the french toast recipe!

  37. Molly@thislifeissparkling.com on October 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I ran an 8k this past weekend for Sheltering Wings which was for the prevention of domestic violence. It was a great little race and really opened my eyes as to how many women and children are affected by this daily. I definitely agree with you on eating candy corn;)

  38. mary on October 3, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I’m not a Jillian fan either but a few people have recommended her podcast so I listened today. Funny that I was just scolding you for tossing yolks and she was pushing whole eggs! I have to say the way she pronounces fructose makes me wonder if she’s ever had a nutrition class. And that whole herd/gaggle convo made them both sound pretty moronic. Funny that they followed it with the song Mr. Know it All for the cutaway.

    I don’t know if you download podcasts but if so check out mobile phone app Stitcher, which lets you listen to them on your phone, streaming (no synching required).

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      oooh good tip- i’ll download that today!

  39. Molly on October 3, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    i love your plan to participate in events that give back!

    I took a communication class last semester where we analyzed many of the Pink campaign participants (that put the pink ribbon on their product leading you to believe they are donating a portion of their proceeds) I was shocked to learn that many of the brands endorsing breast cancer awareness weren’t donating any of their earnings!! The ones that did actually donate had it in the fine print about what percentage they are donating or not. Since taking that class I always make sure and read the fine print to make sure the company isn’t purely profiting off my purchase.

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      thanks for the reminder- i’ll definitely be reading the fine print from now on, too, to see how the funds are being allocated

  40. Nicole Rodriguez (@Nicole2112) on October 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Fabulous goals for the month! What a great idea. 🙂

  41. Michelle on October 3, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    OOO Have I been hiding under a rock? I just found your blog and I have to admit I am a certified stalker now catching up on everything. You are simply fabulous and I am so looking forward to following more!

    Have a great rest of your day!

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      thank you, michelle! nice to meet you 🙂

  42. Cait @ Cait hates Cake on October 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I’d love to make an apple pie from scratch. I’ve never made one before, but I think I’m up to the challenge!

  43. Sonia (the Mexigarian) on October 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Going to try and make it to an apple orchard to get fresh apples for homemade apple sauce, but farmers market may have to do since I am crazy busy with painting for Dias de los Muertos festivities. So much to do, so little time! But I will make time to run and focus on doing crow pose. I need to balance working out and painting.

  44. elle @ nutritionella on October 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I decided after this morning’s workout that I need more weights & toning action in my life. I’m excited to try some of your total body workouts this month!

  45. Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries on October 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I’m definitely going to take your advice on eating candy corn and not questioning what’s in it. 😉 Love that one. I also like the idea of hosting a pumpkin carving party. I’ve already been considering having some sort of Halloween party, so this is the perfect idea!

  46. Brooke @ Tales of A Bride-To-Be on October 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    By getting married in 5 days! Then hitting a mile-stone, turning 23 and being closer to 25 than 20!

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      so exciting!!! congrats! remember to savor every moment of the wedding- it goes by so quickly <3

  47. Anna @ On Anna's Plate on October 3, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I have SO much love for October…it just might be my favorite month 🙂 I think this one is going to be great!

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      i agree! october is a great month 🙂

  48. Meg on October 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    I love picnics 🙂 I sure hope you get to do that! I love your kick start to the month posts 🙂 They truly are motivating for me <3

    I am going to send more of my fam and friends letters back home 😀 I did a lot last year and everyone enjoyed them

    I also want to make a perfect pumpkin soup 🙂

  49. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on October 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I love your goals!

    Mine are:

    1. Carve pumpkins
    2. Create an awesome Halloween costume for the Halloween party I’m going to
    3. Go to a corn maze and on a haunted hayride
    4. Eat as much pumpkin as possible
    5. Curl up on the couch with hot apple cider and my nook and read

  50. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on October 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    What a fun post…I posted the other day my Oct Goals. I NEVER post goals on my blog like that but thought, what the heck, so for the first time ever, posted some. Everything from get more sleep to save more money to blog-related and blogosphere-related goals, I mentioned what my intentions are.

    Have a fabulous Oct!

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