12 Ways to Celebrate La Rentrée

9.1.14a

“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 entrée” 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.

So today, much like I did two years ago, I’ve made a list of 12 ways we can all welcome the beginning of fall (or spring for my southern hemisphere readers!) with optimism, hope and the best possible path to0 live a more balanced and enjoyable everyday life.

1. 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.

2. Revamp your schedule

Reflect on the past year. What worked? What caused extensive stress? What left you filling fulfilled? What left you drained and in a bad mood? Now be honest with yourself, how you can you better navigate or let go of responsibilities, activities that caused strain on your schedule? Are they priorities or are you picking battles that aren’t worth your time?

3. Purchase at least 1-2 new items for your fall wardrobe

Even if you aren’t someone who eagerly waits for the September issues to arrive, investigate how to add a bit of polish to your fall capsule wardrobe. Shop this season’s TSLL Fall Shopping Guide for ideas, peruse the updated TSLL Shop, look through your closet and check the quality of your favorite items – do you need to update or should you purchase a similar item? Shopping isn’t fun when it is a have-to or drains the budget, but there is just something about finding that perfect item and putting it on for the first time knowing it looks smashing on your physique. Bring this energy into the fall season to brighten your morning in more ways than you might expect.

4. Create a food shopping plan

Everyone’s approach to shopping for the food you will need to eat each week will be different, but being proactive will help you eat better, avoid grabbing something you shouldn’t when you’re starving after a late-night or long day and increase the quality of your overall health and mood. Here’s an idea – find a day during the week in which your schedule is rather free (for me that would be Sunday), carve out 1-2 hours to sit down with your cookbooks and favorite recipes and make a menu. Then determine what you can pick up at the market that day, as well as which items need to be purchased later in the week (for freshness). Place the menu on a cork board or activity board in your house (or in your planner) to remind you what you will be making for dinner and which night will be left-overs. Doing this, at least for me, creates a bit of excitement as I look forward to certain meals throughout the week, and I find great relaxation when I can get into the kitchen knowing I have the ingredients and feeling confident that the food will be delicious.

5. Pick up a journal

As I mentioned in #1, at 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.

6. Peruse the new releases

Fall is the peak season for arts & culture to premiere the most anticipated books, plays, shows and movies. Check the The New York Review of Books and September magazines (all genres) for new releases. Simply by having something to look forward to on your calendar either arriving in your local bookstore or an event you will attend increases the level of excitement and anticipation.

7. Visit your local nursery

Fall plants will begin appearing at nurseries to finish the blooming season – check out mums, daisies and sunflowers. Add a few to your porch or vases throughout the house.

8. Buy a new planner (or inserts)

As I mentioned last Friday, I ordered this blank monthly planner, and I can’t wait to start fresh. There is something about looking at a clean, blank page that is exhilarating and auspicious.

9. Stock on on your favorites tea & coffee

As our schedules get busier, make sure your daily ritual go-tos are stocked and ready to be enjoyed. At the beginning of a brand new day, a respite in the middle or after a busy day, there is something comforting about sipping a hot cup of your favorite drink. Have the best quality on hand that you can afford, along with a favorite cup of choice. Something so simple can make a big difference.

10. 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. Chapstick, 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.

11. Add a few new tunes

However you listen to your music (cds, vinyl, MP3), add a few new tunes that either calm you down or put an extra hop in your step – whatever you are seeking. I recently just added a few nostalgic favorites as I saw a profile on Christopher Cross yesterday. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to download these popular titles “Sailing“, “Arthur’s Theme ” & “Ride Like The Wind“. Oh, and this French accordion album – Les Invités  -
I love beginning my day with the sounds of Paris.

12. Set your intention

As I began taking yoga classes at a new study recently, one of the reminders at the beginning of our session was to set our intention – what did we wish to receive or achieve by attending class – did we want to push ourselves further, did we simply just want to make it through class, did we want to be more aware of staying focused and letting go of outside thoughts – whatever our intention was, it was 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.

Any new season brings with it wonderful opportunities, but yes, indeed, there does seem to be something special about the fall season – specifically the beginning of September. By mindfully being aware of our preparedness, our attitude and where we wish to go, we have that much greater chance of it materializing before our very eyes.

May La Entrée treat you well.

~SIMILAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:

~10 Things I Love About Fall

~30 Ways to Find Tranquility in Your Day

~Why Not . . . Indulge in Simple Luxuries?

Image: (1)

This & That: No. 122

122

Tools for stylish organization, a cozy mystery series set in France (yes, another one!), a documentary full of art, France and food and so much more . . . ~Article ~Searching for Anne of Green Gables on Prince Edward Island As a young girl, I grew up with Anne Shirley as my mom had read each of the novels by Lucy Maud Montgomery, and introduced … [Continue reading...]

Style Inspiration: Simply Chic

8.27.14a

To dress in a manner that is chic begins with understanding your comfort level with fashion paired with an understanding of style basics. After all, you can only look effortlessly chic if you're comfortable with what you are wearing. What you will notice in each of these images is that very few pieces complete the look - a skirt, a blouse, heels … [Continue reading...]

Why Not . . . Enjoy a Farm-to-Table Evening?

farmtotable

Just imagine yourself in the scene above - a calm late summer evening, low to mid-seventy temperatures (Fahrenheit) without a cloud or breeze present, wine that is seemingly infinite in its pours, yet isn't in excess, and food that is harvested just feet away from the table, and with the talents of a local chef, masterfully turned into a four … [Continue reading...]

Super Savings – Matches 72 Hour Sale

matches

Matches Fashions is a wonderful online resource for designer items (brick and mortar shops are in London), similar to Net-a-Porter; however, sometimes the prices are more than a bit out of reach . . . until now. For 72 hours (through Friday August 29th), all of the "Style Steals" (items already reduced up to 70%) are reduced 20% further with promo … [Continue reading...]

Decor Inspiration: A Contemporary Cabin

8.25.14a

If you've ever wondered if remodeling is worth it, even if it is a slow process, look to Sarah Sherman Samuel's blog Smitten Studio as your motivation as she takes readers on the journey of renovating a cabin on the west shores of Lake Michigan room by room, detail by detail. With DIY tips and advice, readers can see for themselves how taking an … [Continue reading...]

Remember to Embrace Your Unique Journey

8.25.14a

"And though we would both agree it is a wonderful and precious thing to find true love - and a rare one - there are a number of excellent ways for a person to make her way through the world. 'You must hold out for the right one. And make sure that the life you're living in the meantime is a full one.'" - Joyce Maynard Often it is advised to … [Continue reading...]

This & That: No. 121

121

~Blog Mon Petit Four For a food blog that is as utterly scintillating as it is simple and inviting in its lay-out, Mon Petit Four (which translates to "my little oven"), is a foodie's delight. Beeta Hashempour, a professed Francophile, originally ran her own all-natural baked goods business in Laguna Beach, California, and now offers her talents … [Continue reading...]

Style Inspiration: Blue, White & Flats

8.21.14a

With yesterday's Why Not . . . ? focused on the universal flattering choice of flats, I couldn't help but include a few more images as inspiration, and as summer is winding down, I wanted to make sure to share as many of my favorite summer looks before fall arrives. Enjoy perusing! White eyelet anything is quite fun to wear in the … [Continue reading...]

Why Not . . . Wear Flats?

whynotflats

From Ines de la Fressange, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Coppola and Olivia Palermo, these stylish women's footwear are reminders that comfort and style can exist in tandem. Oddly enough, it took me until my twenties to discover ballet flats as for some reason I only thought heels were a feminine choice. Perhaps that was because I lived on a small … [Continue reading...]