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Emily Watts

November 02, 2011
I love fall—the starting of school, the return to some semblance of the routines that deteriorated into near-insanity in those last few weeks of summer. But it doesn’t take long for routines to become ruts, and as the days grow shorter, I find myself longing for some variety. Fall is the time for a little extra spice—not just cinnamon and cloves, which seem to go with the season, but a dash of something different in the everyday happenings. It can’t cost much. Christmas is just around the corner, and we’re still recovering from vacation nonbudgets—but there must be something we can do to spice it up! Here are some of my favorites; maybe they’ll get your creativity flowing:

1. Try a new recipe. Heck, try a whole week’s worth of new recipes. If you’re like me, fall is when you feel like cooking again. Pull out those cookbooks and do some cruising—or, if there’s a dish you’ve always thought about trying, look online for a recipe.

2. Love going to the library? One thing I like to do is try out a new branch. The books just seem fresher and newer somehow when they’re in a different configuration. And while you’re there (or even before you go), look through recommendation lists to see if you can find a new author who appeals to you. I love discovering someone whose books I haven’t met yet!
3. In a similar vein, if you’ve got a little extra time, go to a different grocery store than your usual destination. Different stores seem to specialize in different things: maybe you’ll find a great in-store bakery or deli or a particularly nice produce section.

4. How long has it been since you’ve received an actual letter in the mailbox, with a stamp on it and handwriting on the front? Wouldn’t it be a fun novelty to provide that surprise for someone? It doesn’t take long, but imagine how it might perk a person up to get a letter “just because.” If you have little children at your house, or in your neighborhood or extended family, they’re a great target for this, too—kids almost never get mail addressed to them, and they just love it.

5. Organize a drawer, or a closet, or a whole room if you’re up to that. See how much stuff you can unload before the holidays. Deseret Industries and Goodwill and similar organizations could use the extra boost for their Christmas season, and you might be the answer to some shopper’s prayer.

6. Take a quiet moment to identify the thing you’re struggling with the most right now. Then thumb through the Topical Guide in the back of your scriptures and find a heading that seems to relate to that struggle. (Pray about this if you need help identifying one.) Look up all the scriptures under that heading. Watch for patterns. What does the Lord say about it?

Whatever appeals to you, try spicing it up this month, and see what happens!