1. Free shipping in September at Sally Jean! Yay! Celebrate September by treating yourself to a pretty little trinket...and pay no shipping! That's a few extra dollars for gas (boo) or ice cream (yay)!!
2. Go back-to-school shopping at Goodwill. You will find some great name-brands in hardly-worn clothes for your kids. This may only work until they are 12 (8 for a girl)...but the savings is great (they're going to grow out of them momentarily anyway).
3. Photograph September. Are the leaves falling? The school buses passing by? The house semi-empty? Take pictures to remember it by.
4. Wear a scarf on your head. Yes...this is best done in a convertible with a vintage scarf! But it is still fun at the grocery store (sans curlers). Tie it under your neck for a Perry Mason flashback...or by the back of your neck for an eastern European look.
5. Become a recycling fiend. Organize the cans, plastic bottles, magazines. Be sure that new purchases are "green". Visit your neighbor and organize their recycling, too!
6. Instead of an art car...have an "Art Bicycle"! Find a vintage bike and paint it your favorite color(s). Glue 3-dimensional treasures on the fenders. Hang hand-made streamers from the handle-bars. Add a huge basket on the front...maybe a pair of side baskets on the back. Don't forget the ringy-bell! Ride it proudly.
7. Concoct your own concoction (aka: create your own drink). Try different mixers (choose by color). Use your favorite liquor. Make sure to add a sugared rim (and a stick filled with fruit). Make enough for two and share it with your best friend. Giggle.
8. Make a mini-quilt for your cat...why shouldn't he have a pretty place to lay? Besides...it's a much more manageable undertaking than a bed-sized quilt!
9. Read a children's book to yourself. You can do this at home, curled up in your jammies on the sofa. Or visit your local library where the books are plentiful. You never know...you may end up reading to an audience of 4-year-olds who are too young to go to school.
10. Use Mason Jars as your drinking glasses at home. Donate your old glasses to Goodwill. DO NOT GO BUY THEM BACK!
11. Watch a movie you haven't seen in forever. Blue Lagoon. Jaws. 9-1/2 Weeks. Star Wars (NOT!).
12. Take your children to the park after school. Swing on the swings with them. Slide down the slide (don't get stuck). Weren't slides more slippery when we were younger?
13. Indulge in a new cell phone ring tone. Have a different ring tone for each of your favorite callers. We were able to choose all U2 songs which match the personalities of our children (even Enzo - age 5 - but it is for his baby sitter's phone).
14. Get a new apron. Anthropologie always has a wonderful selection - irresistible! DON'T save it for a special occasion. Wear it. Make a mess in it. Wipe paint or cherry pie filling on it. Wash it and wear it again!
15. Document your neighborhood. Re-purpose an old game-board by painting it and drawing your neighborhood street plan. Take photos of everyones house and collage them onto the game board. Make sure to add landmarks such as swimming pools, overgrown hedges which desperately need trimming, the house you wish you had. Frame it. Or make a game out of it and invite the neighbors over to play!
16. Get yourself an over-the-top pair of fancy reading glasses. Go for color. Rhinestones. Funky shapes! Wear them at the local coffee shop when you read the newspaper. Wink at those who look!
17. Put single flowers in old bottles. Grab a few stems at your grocery store or local flower shop to help you ease the transition between summer and fall.
18. Go out with your girlfriend for a wine-tasting night! Often, local restaurants or gourmet stores offer wine-tasting. Make a night of it. Come home with a bottle of your favorite.
19. It's time to blog. Visit www.typepad.com and sign up. Make-up a fun name! Load up the graphics. And write about your life and what you love. Don't forget the photos!
20. Take your fall clothes to the dry cleaner and freshen them up. They even do laundry by the pound and it will come back already folded! Think of the time you'll save.
21. Buy a book on Amazon">Amazon. "Browse" the selections. Take a chance on a new release. And when it arrives at your door it is like a little gift to yourself!
22. Host an Indian Summer BBQ and invite the whole neighborhood. Pretend it is July and include hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, potato salad! But then it's September...so squash and pumpkin pie! Be sure to have a little fire-pit or everyone will crowd around the grill to stay warm.
23. See a matinee. Go by yourself (the kids are back in school...aren't they?). Be sure to get popcorn and soda. Raisinettes to off-set the butter/salt. Cry all you want if it's a tear jerker (or if it's not). Review it online.
24. Pretend you are a restaurant. Cover the dining room table with butcher paper and have little cups of crayons. Call the family to the table early to draw before dinner. You can even write the menu for them to review (or draw pictures of chicken marsala!).
25. Visit an elderly friend. Bring a bag of groceries as a surprise. Don't forget a little something for the dog or cat. Stay a while and chat. Promise to come back soon...and do.
26. Treat yourself to a shampoo. Yes...that's all. Go to the hairdresser and just get your hair washed (sometimes they give a little scalp massage). Have them blow it out. No cut. No color. Doesn't just the shampoo feel good?
27. Build a model. It might seem like a guy-thing...but after the thousand pieces are all glued together you can paint it any color you like...and collage it, too!
28. Make yourself some earrings. Get a little bit of sterling silver wire...some earring hooks...some beads or other found object. Wire it all together in an artful (or not so artful) way and wear them out on the town!
29. Paint a room. Start fall off on the right track by changing the color of one of your rooms. Maybe it's a little one like the laundry room. Or a big one like your living room. Or just one wall! The fresh new color will inspire you to rearrange your furniture (which you like to do!) and will brighten up the shorter days (even if you painted gray).
30. Try out a new recipe that falls in the Fancy French Cooking category. It MUST have an ingredient you have never used (and quite possibly never heard of). The rule: everyone must eat it! Enjoy!