5 Fun Ways to Embrace for Fall (or totally fail at it)

Anyone else feel like fall came out of nowhere? Labor Day has come and gone, marking the unofficial end to yet another summer and making my heart leap with joy at the thought of boots, jackets, pumpkins, and Hocus Pocus on repeat. Even if it is still in the 80s in Tennessee, I’m busy attempting to wear chunky sweaters and trading boots for sandals. I might be sweating but I look so fresh for fall it doesn’t matter!

If you’re like me and you’re in the spirit of willing fall to arrive despite it dragging it’s feet, why not embrace some fun (basic) fall activities while we wait? I know what you’re thinking, while everyone on Instagram and Pinterest makes their version of fall look perfect, you’re over here just overdosing on pumpkin spice lattes and calling it a day. Even if you tend to fantastically fail at your fall efforts it doesn’t hurt to try, does it? Before you know it, it’ll be Christmas and we’ll wonder where fall went, so start planning now – this is the year you’ll do fall right! Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself….

  • Picking and Patching: Find your local pumpkin patch or apple orchard to select fresh seasonal food for your pies, pastries, carving contests, or other more ambitious fall food-related activities. You know you’re pinteresting recipes and researching your best Instagram pose already. Or you could be like me and forget to take a picture, and buy it all, fully intending on taking action, but instead eat the apples whole and draw a permanent marker face on your pumpkin the night before Halloween.
  • Shop for fresh seasonal attire: Plaid shirts, cozy boots, fluffy sweaters, overpriced distressed jeans – all of the things! Somehow since last fall all of your seasonal clothes have disappeared (to the back of your closet) or just aren’t cutting it anymore, so it’s the perfect time to shop at your favorite boutique and spend a little too much money so that your layering is on point at the next football game, bonfire, date night…. every night. Hey, even your fall lounge clothes are important, gotta stay looking fresh into winter, it’s cuffing season.
    • Nearly Native’s Shop like a Native in Nashville is HERE
  • Root for your favorite team: It’s finally prime time for football here in the mid-south and you better believe we love to cheer for, talk about, and sport attire for our favorite teams. You know it’s officially fall when you spend every Saturday and Sunday at a tailgate, in a sports bar, or watching the big game from the comforts of your own home. There’s really no way to fail at this activity, unless your team just ain’t cutting it and you’re embarrassed to rep their colors – don’t be a fair-weather fan! Also, avoid those Fireball shots during the afternoon game, you’ll end up hungover and redrunk by the time your head hits the pillow that night and that’s not a good look.
    • Nearly Native’s Guide to Sports Bars in Nashville is HERE
  • Get active: Before you give in to your hibernation instincts for the impending cold months of winter, get outside and enjoy the beautiful foliage and milder temperature that we welcome with open arms when fall arrives. Usually short but so so sweet, our beloved fall seems like it only lasts a few short weeks before we’re bundled in our down jackets counting down the days until spring. Don’t let these precious weeks pass you by! Try that hike you’ve had on your list forever, sit out by a lake or river, take in the sunshine on a patio, play hookie on that day when the weather is a perfect 65 degrees and go to that pumpkin or apple orchard. This is one that I always prioritize when I know that winter is coming because when it’s here, I’ll regret that gorgeous fall day I spent inside Netflixing.
    • 10 Places to Embrace Patio Season in Nashville is HERE
  • Plan a Bonfire: You’ve got to know someone who knows someone with a backyard, even if you live in the city, find a friend that can have a bonfire. Roasting s’mores, playing your favorite tunes, and spiked apple cider around a crackling open fire is hard to beat. As far as fall evening activities go, this has to be one of my favorites – even the smell of firewood in my hair makes me remember fond fall memories. If you fail at this it’s because you didn’t put the fire out when you decided to turn in for the night – Smokey the Bear says only you can prevent forest fires!


Nearly Native Eats: Chivo Taqueria

Have you ever had a shot of tequila? You can feel the cold (or warm… ew) burn of the blue agave as it hits the back of your throat and you’re quickly on cloud nine. For some, tequila may be the liquor you love, while others avoid it like the plague remembering “that one time” things didn’t quite go as planned (you got super angry when someone looked at you the wrong way, broke something, and then yelled something incoherent at the bouncer as you were carried out of the bar). Love it or hate it, tequila is a part of the way we party and it usually comes as a packaged deal at your local taqueria.

Located amongst the bustling shops on Knoxville’s Gay Street, Chivo Taqueria is just the trendy taco joint to find the perfect tequila to fuel your good time. Not only does Chivo have a massive selection of the Mexican liquor (and others too), it also sources it’s ingredients locally, paying special attention to everything from the farmers they work with to the flour they create for their taco shells. Meaning that, while you sip on your tequila and enjoy their menu, you can feel satisfied with their support of the community. Plus, it’s convenient location let’s you quickly saunter over to Market Square or head down to the Old City for post-dinner drinks!

So you’re sold on the tequila and sustainable practices, but you’re not a taco fan? Don’t worry, they’ve got chicken wings, quesadillas, burritos, and salads. Not a fan of meat? They’ve got options for you too! Their blend of Mexican and American flavors gives them license to serve delicious tacos plus chicken and waffles in the same meal. Plus, they’ve got giant roasted brussels sprouts that are not to be missed! Whether the thought of tequila turns your stomach or it brings back memories of amazing nights, Chivo Taqueria is worth a visit to share carefully crafted tacos and tasty drinks with friends.

Check out their website on the Eat Like a Native page!

Nearly Native Eats: Caviar & Bananas

I’m not much of a lunch person. While others use their lunch hour to escape from their offices, their shops, or just the general daily grind, I usually recover my predictably prepped meal from the murky office refrigerator and retreat back to my desk. You know what I’m talking about – while everyone takes care of their own household, they can’t seem to clean their junk out of the communal office fridge, resulting in piles of unknown smells and abandoned Tupperware. Regardless, I rarely indulge in lunch excursions, but some destinations I’ll make an exception for. When it comes to finding the perfect anti-afternoon food coma fuel, I look to Caviar & Bananas to help me escape the perils of the office fridge.

Located in the ground floor of the massive Aerston conglomerate in the Midtown neighborhood of Nashville, Caviar & Bananas has traveled from Charleston, NC to give us the benefits of a sit-down cafe and a convenience-oriented market in one. While it might be littered with students at all times of the day, when lunchtime hits their backpacks blend with briefcases of local professionals who have a hankering for a fresh salad, deli sandwich, or baked good. We’re not talking some wilted, pre-packaged iceberg lettuce-based salad either – build your own or select a C&B recommendation and you’ll get fresh spinach and kale, fruits and vegetables, ciabatta and multigrain bread. Even if you’re just stopping in for a quick breakfast, their full-service coffee bar has everything you need to get your day going (even for those of us who love almond and coconut milk).

So Caviar and Bananas has you covered when it comes to the first half of your day (including weekend brunch!), but they certainly don’t forget about evening activities. Their wine bar opens for business every afternoon with a wide variety of shared small plates, and cheese and prosciutto boards (plus frose!). This cafe and market is not kidding around when it comes to all-day service. Whether you’re escaping the daily grind for just a few moments to grab a quick snack or you arrive in the morning for coffee and remain until it’s time for wine, Caviar and Bananas has something for every diet restriction or random craving.

Sometimes you just need a break – even if you’re not much of a lunch person like me, Caviar and Bananas is worth taking a timeout away from the office fridge.

Check out their website on the Eat Like a Native page!