223: 23 Ways to Have a Great Start This Fall
Sunday August 19, 2018

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“The French have a special word for it, La Rentrée; in English it is simply referred to as ‘Back to school’. However we choose to call the September post-vacation return, and no matter how far our schooldays are behind us, few would deny that this really is the moment in the year that shouts ‘new beginnings’, ushering in a renewed sense of resolve and purpose that has far more potency than any January resolution. As grown-ups, the brand new pencil case and shiny new pair of school shoes that signal a fresh start are replaced by the new-season updates that we hope will deliver so much more than just the latest look: the confidence-boosting coat, that uplifting new shade of lipstick . . . But it really is the change of attitude that matters most, the yearning to be smarter, more balanced – in short, the eternal quest to finally get life ‘right’.” – Lucy Yeomans, editor-in-chief Porter magazine

The attitude we approach anything with undeniably plays a role in how successful the endeavor we are embarking on will play out, and while here in the states businesses don’t shut down entirely for the month of August or July as well sometimes as they do in France, when Labor Day travel winds down, there is a shift in everyday routines, expectations at work and at school, and a mental shift is expected to occur.

The French expression “À la rentrée” is loosely translated to “See you in the fall!” (literally translated to “at the return”), but it is understood September is the date at which all will return – from their extended vacations, from their respite from school, from everyday expectations and regular activity that occurs the other 10 or 11 months out of the year. 

Studies have shown, repeatedly that taking the time to literally get away from work, putting down the technology and truly being on vacation can have highly beneficial effects on the brain. When we allow our brains to rest and think freely – problems magically seem to have solutions, creative ideas spring up like daffodils in early spring and we are renewed and reenergized.

So no wonder the French celebrate the return from their vacations. September and thereafter offers an opportunity to put our best self forward, to, as the quote above states, ‘finally get it right’. And while nothing will ever be perfect, improving and fine-tuning will always continue to bring different results than if we did the same thing over and over again.

Over the past handful of years, I have written posts to help ensure a strong fall. With one short list here, and another short list there, some of them shared a few similarities, while also offering new ideas. However, none of them have been a podcast episode, and now I have a few more items I would like to add. So today, I’ve made a list of 23 ways we can all welcome the beginning of fall (or spring for my southern hemisphere readers!) with optimism, hope and the best possible path too living a more balanced and enjoyable everyday life. This is the actual list I look at each year (and as I mentioned, it is tweaked and improved each year as my life evolves), and I have organized into arenas of our lives: health, wardrobe, beauty, organization, sanctuary, and regular balance/tranquility. In some arenas, things may be moving along quite well, but perhaps in others we know we could improve. Home in on where areas you want to improve, and take a day, or a few hours in a quiet, relaxing setting to curate a life that excites you to wake up to each day. 

Overall Health (physical & mental – peace of mind included)

1. Ask yourself this question, “What has made my life more enjoyable these past 2-3 months?” or “What routines/habits have made my life easier, healthier and brought more contentment these past 2-3 months?”

Often when our schedule changes with the summer months, we unconsciously change our ways of living, ways that we love (or not so much as it will depend upon the individual). However, I have a feeling, you have a few habits that you will miss when the fall season begins. Ask yourself, and be honest, is there any way you can bring them into your year-round routine? Can or should you shift your priorities if it indeed is bringing so much joy and satisfaction into your life?  Remember, simply because we used to do something one way or do something at all, doesn’t mean we cannot stop and incorporate something more fulfilling. In fact, we should.

2. Create a default capsule weekly menu & establish a food shopping plan.

~Check out TSLL’s Capsule Menus, how to create one, and my sample and seasonal menus as well. 

3. Stock your Épicerie

As I was taking my lunch break today, I was reminded that I needed to restock my favorite balsamic vinegar which reminded me that having our épicerie stocked and ready for whatever meal we’d prefer to cook is a simple thing to do now to enhance the seamless flow of a day that has little time to wiggle. Here is a post to remind you of the necessities to have on hand. (And that includes tea for me! Here a list – go to the bottom of the post – of my favorite teas.)

4. Plan a regular fitness routine that works with your daily work/school demands. Be honest with yourself about what you can achieve. You don’t want to burn out and quit altogether. Remember it is consistency that will make the difference. So choose activities that blend enjoyment with challenge.

5. Balance your budget and know where you stand financially. Due to your schedule potentially changing, financial expectations may change as well, so know exactly where you are and how much you can spend.

Optimal Organization

7. Clean your home/office/bedroom/car thoroughly. It will simply make you feel better when you enter each and every time.

8. Purchase any necessary supplies for your office, desk and planner

~You can shop my new Traveler’s leather Notebook and all of the TSLL planning pages (3 different sizes) with exclusive Inslee illustrations here

9. Spruce up and stock up your handbag

Whether you have found your favorite go-to day handbag, take a few minutes, to clean out, and then restock for the new season. Lip balm, Tide-to-Go, hand lotion, breath mints, a favorite pen, anything to get you through your day – stock it up, and then toss the rest so that it is neat and tidy.


10. Assess your wardrobe

On Saturday September 1st TSLL Fall Seasonal Shopping Guide will be posted here on the blog (no longer do you need to subscribe to receive it!). Full of splurge and save items when it comes to the new trends as well as many items I have hand-picked for your fall capsule wardrobe, knowing exactly what you need makes the shopping easier and brings fewer regrets. (Have a look at the 2018 Spring Shopping Guide here.)

~Shop TSLL Capsule Wardrobe Boutique here to view the essentials for each season.

11. Take anything to the dry-cleaners that you’ll be wearing for fall (coats, tops, dresses, skirts, sweaters, etc)


12. Stock up make-up supplies that are running low. Visit your make-up counter for make-up to try out the new fall products.

~The Beauty & Make-up Products I Use and Love

13. Confirm and/or schedule your regular hair appointment

14. Plan/Schedule Beauty Routines and/or appointments. From the beauty routines you can do at home – pedicures and manicures, to the seasonal facials at your local spa to not only give yourself a luxurious hour or so to relax, but also help your skin, tend to these appointments is a way to feel and look your best, but also find a balance in your everyday routine.

Creating Regular Balance & Tranquility

15. Stock up or put together a home pampering kit (bubble bath, truffles, wine, candles, music, etc). There will be days when your heels are ready to be taken off, your mind is a jumble and emotional stamina has been exhausted. Be prepared in advance and have what you need to relax stocked and ready to go.

16. Do you have a travel coffee mug or water bottle that works? For only $15 make sure you have a reliable mug that you can take with you to meetings, lectures, on the commute to help you get your day started off right.

17. Create a morning routine to look forward to and set the right tone for the entire day.

18. Create a bedtime ritual

The amount of sleep we receive each night is a strong determiner in the day we will have, so be cognizant to the small details that you have control over. You might be surprised of the significant benefits you will reap each evening when you turn in. A few things to try: remove the television and all technology (especially your phone), light a soothing scented candle (lavender, chamomile, bergamot, jasmine, or sandalwood) – this is my favorite as it has a fantastic scent and lasts for 60 hours, write in a gratitude journal to end your day on a positive note, meditate (find out how & why here), or read a book.

19. Order or Check-Out/Put on Hold Reading Material to Enjoy

I can’t wait for the time to snuggle in when it’s raining out or I’ve wrapped up my to-do list, and dive in. A true simple luxury. And since now I have the time to peruse and put them on my wish list, I can rest-assured I will always have reading material to enjoy.

~Currently I am reading and enjoying Agatha Christie’s autobiography

~Stop by each Friday for TSLL’s This & That when new books, plays, films and exhibits are shared for you to enjoy and look forward to. 

~Preorder TSLL’s second book Living The Simply Luxurious Life: Making Your Everydays Extraordinary and Discovering Your Best Self (release date: November 13, 2018)

20. Pick up a journal

As I mentioned above, the daily ritual of writing in a gratitude journal is a simple idea to end the day on a positive note. And even if you’ve had one of those days, there really are things to be grateful for – check this list if you find yourself at a loss for what to write down. Simply taking note of positive events (or non-events – the car didn’t break down!), can be a wonderful reminder that things are going better than we might have first thought.

Create a welcoming sanctuary

21. Visit your local nursery

22. Look closely at your home’s decor

Putting It All Together

23. Set your intention

Often when a yoga class begins, one of the reminders at the beginning of our session is to set our intention – what do we wish to receive or achieve by attending class – do we want to push ourselves further, do we simply just want to make it through class, do we want to be more aware of staying focused and letting go of outside thoughts – whatever our intention is, it is ours. So what will your intention be for the fall season and beyond?

Choose one, write it down and reflect upon it from time to time. Create daily rituals and habits that help this intention become your reality. I think you will be surprised that what you focus on, you are more likely to create – much like the attitude we bring to any new venture or beginning. If we’re excited, that excitement spreads and invigorates, but if we’re leery or cynical, moments of wonder are less likely to be enjoyed and discovered.

Wishing you a lovely start to a beautiful new season, and thank you for stopping by.

~PODCAST NEWS: Season 5 will begin on Monday September 3rd, and the new schedule for Season 5 will be shared right here on the blog on Monday August 27th in lieu of a podcast episode. Don’t worry, there will always be a motivating post to kick off your work week – right here on TSLL blog. I will explain the entire schedule (there will be 30 new episodes in the coming 12 months) and share specific dates when episodes will air. Looking forward to another season and so tickled we have had such an amazing four years!


~11 Ways to Start Your Day “Smart”

~Why Not . . . Gradually Prep for La Rentrée?

~11 Steps to a Fresh Start

Petit Plaisir:

Mini Portable Chargers

~The Simple Sophisticate, episode #223
~Subscribe to The Simple SophisticateiTunes | Stitcher | iHeartRadio | YouTube | Spotify

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Download the Episode

Thesimplyluxuriouslife.com | The Simply Luxurious Life

9 thoughts on “223: 23 Ways to Have a Great Start This Fall

  1. Great suggestions !
    Loved reading the post, and I’m looking forward to listening to the podcast over a leisurely cup of coffee later today.
    Thanks for the inspiration , and for all the lovely links to previous posts.
    Have a great week ?

  2. Great list of reminders. We are so lucky to be able to enjoy the different seasons.New delights to look forrward to.Just finished clearing out my handbag yesterday! Box ticked. Thank you for all the links will be checking them out later
    Bonne journee?

    1. Yes, having four distinct seasons is certainly something to celebrate. I too am gradually ticking off each of these boxes, and doing so makes me feel more excited for the new season as I know I will be able to enjoy it more fully. 🙂

  3. Good morning! Listened to this on my way in to work this morning – thank you! This felt so timely to me and my feelings as I woke up and moved through my morning today, and I cannot wait to create my own list (using your list as inspiration, of course!) of how to have a wonderful start to my fall. Congratulations on four seasons of the podcast! I look forward to all that you share with us in season five.

    1. Jessica, Have a great week and upcoming fall season! Thank you for tuning in, and it is a great idea to tailor this list to your life. Each of us has details that when tended to, polished and prepped will ensure a great new season. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  4. So excited to be a part of closing out the 4th season and ringing in the 5th! Keep up the awesome work!

    1. Thank you for stopping by Jennifer! I still cannot believe we’ve had the podcast up and going for four years. In many ways, it has flown by. 🙂 Excited for the new season as well. Thanks again. xoxo

  5. Shannon, I love this episode!! It leads the individual in a thoughtful reflection of how the year unfolded and then what tweaks need to be done to our routines to finish out the year and savor the beauty that is the fall transition. I have been talking bout and sharing this episode with many people. I am also re reading your first book to complete the deep dive into a well lived life.

    1. Thank you for your comment Kathy. 🙂 And thank you sharing it with others. I do love this time of year as the opportunity to do it better, no matter how well it was done in the past, is invigorating. 🙂

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