My Autumn Essentials.

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So far, at the beginning of every season this year, I’ve compiled a small list of some of the things I adore that get me through the cold (or hot,) temperatures and changing scenery. Autumn is no exception. I’ve already gushed, at length, about my love for all things Fall, but here’s a few specific odds and ends that make it even better.

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1. Starbucks’ Salted Caramel Mocha Lattes: The baristas at my local Starbucks are wonderful- not only because they know my name and my order without even having to ask anymore, but because they also knew that the Tuesday morning after Labor Day, I was coming in to dive headfirst into their Fall menu, and they were prepared for it. Screw pumpkin spice (which makes me gag.) I’m all about the salted caramel mocha lattes- hot, of course- 100%. Rich chocolate, creamy caramel, and a pinch (not an overwhelming amount) of salt, with a shot of espresso to get me going in the morning- or to give me a pick-me-up in the afternoon- or whenever I crave it, really. I’m so addicted to this drink that I’ve all but practically injected it directly into my bloodstream. It’s my absolute favorite until they break out the red holiday cups and the peppermint mocha & gingerbread lattes.

It tastes even better with one of Starbucks’ pumpkin & cream cheese muffins- another limited edition menu item I wish I could hoard in bulk amounts and enjoy all year long, and if you’re not into caffeine (or if you like me and should probably cut back on it-) Starbucks offers salted caramel hot chocolate, too- which is just as delicious and won’t give you the jitters.

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2. A Warm, Rich, Scented Candle: I usually have candles burning around my place year-round. In the Spring, I stick to light florals and “clean” fragrances, and in the Summer, I like to light citrus-y, tropical candles (think strawberry daiquiri  or coconut,) but I reserve my heavier, more musky and spicier scented candles for the Fall. I’ve been enjoying the above-pictured “vanilla chai” one from Yankee Candle (I’m from New England. Of course it would be a Yankee Candle) for the past couple of weeks. It fills my bedroom and adjacent hallway and rooms with this incredibly delicious, comforting vanilla and cinnamon fragrance.

Next on my list of candles to burn is “salted caramel” (surprise, surprise) and “cozy sweater.”

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3. Bold Boots: I’m practically inseparable from my black Vera Wang knee-high boots. I wear them almost constantly (even when it’s not seasonally appropriate,) because they’re effortlessly chic and oh-so-comfy. I recently saw these colorful cowboy boots at the French Twist Boutique in Natick, and it was love at first sight. Not only are they comfortable, but the colors go with so many pieces from my fall wardrobe. It’s already started to get chillier outside, so I’ve been pairing these with tights, leggings, and, as pictured, skinny jeans. They’re just phenomenal.

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4. Darker Palettes: In the Summer, my makeup consists of mostly neutrals and bronze tones with the occasional pop of bright lip gloss or neon nail polish. In Autumn, I like to add darker, richer colors to my eyes, lips, and fingertips: deep violet, dark brown, charcoal grey, merlot, and, like my manicure pictured above, hunter green. I try not to wear too much of the palette all at once, since the “vampy” look never worked well for me- but minimal makeup with a vibrant purple smoky eye, or a wine-colored matte lipstick, as the focal point of the face? It looks stunning this time of year.

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5. The Dependable Hoodie/Sweatshirt: Sometimes, just sometimes, when I’m running errands on colder days, or lounging with friends on a patio at night, or going for a walk to look at the leaves changing colors- fashion takes a backseat to comfort and I reach for the good ol’ hoodie/sweatshirt. It’s a staple in New England, and Fall hasn’t truly arrived until everyone breaks theirs out of their closets. My go-to is my Dropkick Murphys zip-up hooded sweatshirt. It’s about 2-3 sizes too big, but it’s beyond comfortable and keeps me warm in the early mornings and evenings.

“Autumn Essentials” not pictured: All the scarves ever in a wide variety of patterns and colors, oversized cozy sweaters and jumpers, flannel-lined leggings, a heated blanket with a good book to curl up and read under it, a beanie to keep your head warm and your hair dry, an umbrella for those especially rainy and dreary days, an entire day to go for the longest of long drives to look at the Fall foliage, pumpkin ale and hard apple cider, a stack of horror movies for a marathon with your friends as Halloween approaches, a good facial spray for on-the-go relief in chillier temperatures, a sturdy tote bag to bring for apple picking, and the will to carry on when Winter arrives again.

What are some of your “Autumn Essentials?”

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