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Culture Staff Recommends: Stay cozy this fall

October 10, 2022

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Alicia Wolfram Have a dinner party

There is nothing better than ending a stressful week with a home-cooked meal and a bottle of wine at your best friend’s house.  

My Saturday nights are strictly reserved for “Weekly Dinner” with my best friend. We put on a good album and fill each other in on the hot gossip of the week, and before long the whole house smells like my mom’s homemade cooking. 

This past weekend, we did a simple but delicious baked salmon with roasted potatoes and vegetables. Last weekend, we had chickpea curry.  

We alternate houses and try a different recipe each week, but the company and the laughs never change. By the end of the night we are sprawled out on the couch, bellies and hearts full—and by then, one of us is also usually fast asleep.

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Brooke Burns Put on some cowboy boots

This fall, swap your Blundstones out for a pair of cowboy boots to achieve a quirky, stylish take on autumn fashion. 

Whether it be with jeans and a sweater or more dressed up with a skirt and tights, cowboy boots add some personal flair to every outfit. Many thrift stores have multiple pairs every season, but if you’re going to splurge, I recommend the brand Frye. 

To make them last for many years of wear, go for a darker leather in order to avoid salt stains when it starts to snow. I wore my cowboy boots throughout last fall and winter and was able to squeeze on multiple pairs of socks for sub-zero days. 

If you’re sick of the limited footwear options for autumn and winter, take some inspiration from the West and try cowboy boots.

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Ashna Hille Drink some hot chocolate

Okay, so there’s a hot chocolate machine on campus somewhere, and it will be your best friend as the weather gets colder—if you can find it. 

I don’t want to disclose the location because I want to make sure I can still get my less-than-$2, deliciously warm and chocolaty beverage without too much competition—but regardless, keep your eyes peeled for this magical machine. If you need a caffeine boost, it conveniently has a cappuccino button, too.

If you’re a master of the machine like I am, you’ll find a perfect mix that will satisfy both your chocolate and caffeine needs without getting too much of a buzz. I’m not sure how friendly this one is for the lactose-intolerant baddies out there, but personally, I just sip it and pray. 

It’s best enjoyed when the bluegrass band is jamming and there’s an open armchair nearby. If you catch me between classes sipping and swaying, stop by and leave your review. 

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Maggie Swanborn Watch the perfect fall TV show: “Derry Girls”

“Derry Girls” is a clever and heartwarming coming-of-age sitcom that is perfect for the fall season. 

The show follows 16-year-old Erin Quinn and her friend group as they navigate high school and growing up during the Northern Ireland conflict, an era known as “the Troubles,” which lasted from about 1968 to 1998, according to Britannica.

Written by screenwriter Lisa McGee, the story brings us one-of-a-kind characters and hilarious storylines. The Irish backdrop and plaid skirt uniforms give the show an autumnal ambiance. 

To top it all off, the show’s soundtrack doubles as the perfect fall playlist, complete with artists such as The Cranberries and The Corrs. Season 3 of Derry Girls just dropped on Netflix Oct. 7, so grab a blanket and get cozy as you tune into the girls’ newest adventures.

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Keely Ehnstrom – Escape into reading

“Cozy” means nestled in fuzzy blankets on a brisk autumn night while your mind explores extraordinary universes hidden within a book’s pages. 

The stress of school and everyday life fades to white noise as I sink into my mattress and flip open to the page my spotted bookmark guards so that I can revisit the characters I left in plot purgatory. 

The words shelter me from the harshness of reality while still exposing me to the endless possibilities life has to offer. I can travel the world while still saving money for college by just staying in bed and reading about other places.  

As I turn off the light and rest my head, the protective forcefield of fantasy diminishes and I am brought back to real life with the knowledge that I will be cozy again tomorrow, tucked away in a different world. 

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Maya Surrenti Roomie movie night

My roommate and I have dedicated ourselves—after we actually do our homework—to having movie nights to honor fall-themed cinema. 

I recommend hanging your hammocks on your beds and setting up your TV—or computer—in between. A spread of food is essential. I like a mix of ramen, hot apple cider, chocolate, popcorn, chips and guacamole. Make sure the food is within arm’s reach to minimize movie disruption. 

After the ambiance is set, argue over which movie to watch with your roommate and land on “Twilight.” There’s nothing like a really hot, glittering vampire to make you feel warm and cozy. 

Finally, grab a soft blanket, snuggle up in your hammock with a pillow and let fall’s coziness seep into your bones. 

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Grace Wang Grab tea bags from a dining hall and make chai concentrate

A chai latte is the quintessential marker of the perfect fall day. However, $5 a day on tea is not a healthy marker for anyone’s bank account. 

After my cravings for the warm spicy hug of cinnamon clove goodness persisted for a few weeks, I realized that a relatively inexpensive option was right in front of me. Walking through the Grundle, I noticed the plethora of chai tea bags and formulated a plan.

Put seven tea bags in 16 ounces of boiling water, steep the tea bags for about 30 minutes in an insulated mug, and then save the concentration in the fridge to indulge in whenever you want. 

I enjoy coming back from a long day of classes, opening the window to the crisp breath of fall air and the sound of rustling leaves, and pouring my chai, with a touch of brown sugar creamer, into a mug. 

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Will Hamilton Listen to Vince Gauraldi’s “The Great Pumpkin Waltz”

Released in 1966 as part of the soundtrack for “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown,” Vince Gauraldi’s “The Great Pumpkin Waltz” is a short and breezy jazz song perfect for autumn. 

While an entire viewing of the film is always recommended, “The Great Pumpkin Waltz” encapsulates the carefree wonder of Charlie Brown in a bite-sized form. Paired with a blanket and hot tea, it’s nearly guaranteed to result in coziness. 

While I know nothing about jazz and can’t speak for the song’s artistry, I can confidently recommend it as a great accompaniment to the changing leaves and crisp weather. 

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London Sinclair Light a candle

My family’s kitchen table contains memories embalmed with the wax from candle drippings, serving as the host of our annual coloring contest and the starting place for every brilliant idea. 

On slow days, we fold laundry and play Scrabble on it, and on busy days we host 50 people, although the description in the catalog said the table comfortably sat eight.

This table in my childhood home has lived a thousand lives. Even on evenings when there are no guests, we still set the table, light the candles and listen to Billie Holiday. 

As a first-year in college currently experiencing a case of homesickness, the deliciously-scented candle my mother sent in a care package is curing all ailments and beautifully marking the latest season. 

I find solace in this aroma that envelopes the apartment, bringing me back to childhood memories of hearth and home. After all, what’s cozier than nostalgia?

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