October Recap

This month I made a big effort to get outside to enjoy the fall weather, fresh air and checked off my fall bucket list.
Haunted Forest
I went to a haunted forest which was a pretty cool concept! I’ve gone to haunted houses in previous years but they always have a cheesy factor to it with the decorations and all. But an outdoors haunted experience was a really unique experience. You walk through a dark trail in the woods and there are numerous "jump scenes" along the way with frightening zombies and other ghosts, ghouls and goblins popping out. I was so scared I kept my eyes closed for it and held on to my friend's arm the whole time. I couldn’t even tell you what the clown faces looked like because after they jumped out on us, they would continue to walk steps behind us. I was screaming out to my friends "he's still with us" and my friends told me they were going to have nightmares with me saying that. lol At the very end we walked through a house in a pitch black hallway with narrowing walls. Then 3 guys came at us with chainsaws and we screamed our heads off. If we ran right to one room to avoid one another one would meet us in that direction. I have to say nothing compares in terms of the scary factor as a haunted forest!

Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch
I did a corn maze a few years ago at night and dark, rainy and cold. We got lost and I hated the whole experience. This time I went during the day and studied the maze map during orientation as the paper maps they gave us were useless. I ended up being the leader of my team and got us out of there in 20 min! So this time the maze was fun! Afterwards we did a pumpkin sling with miniature pumpkins to see how far we could swing them. This place has the best decorative pumpkins for sale, every variety. I’ve been eating a lot of baked pumpkin oatmeal, so delicious! After that we went to a winery and sat outside with a bonfire.

Here’s my carved pumpkin.

White House Garden Tour
I haven’t been to the White House in years and even though the tour didn’t actually enter the White House, it was cool to walk around the grounds. Every President planted a tree in the garden and they show a picture of the planting next to the tall tree. I saw Michelle’s vegetable garden which had quite a few greens growing. The Obama’s also planted a playground for their girls when they first moved in. I posted the pics in this post.

The arboretum is a beautiful hidden oasis in the city that I  absolutely love!  In the fall all the trees are beautiful rainbow colors and you feel transported miles away in this peaceful, tranquil, calm place. You can go hiking within the city on paved paths! They have a Bonsai Tree collection which were also changing into fall colors, so they didn’t look real but were so beautiful. Here are my pics from my visit last year.

Wine Stomp
During the beginning of harvest season a local winery hosted a grape stomping contest where guests compete to stomp out as much juice as possible with your feet. Remember that episode of I Love Lucy where the ladies did this? I’ve always wanted to try it since seeing that episode.
Escape Room
Have you been watching the TV show Quantico on ABC this fall? I’m really enjoying the mystery series and on the show the FBI recruits in training enter a room and train to deciphering the clues to figure out what happened, which is similar to the Escape Room. I got a group of friends together and it was our first time doing something like this. The premise is that you are an agent who has to find the identity of a traitor and also find the codes to deactivate the security system that locked you in the room before the police arrive. It was a fun concept and yes we had to ask for hints to help us along the way. The 45 minutes seemed to fly by and no, we didn't make it out. We almost did though. Even though it was really hard we definitely want to do it again. It really challenges you to think outside the box, put together a really big puzzle and work as a team. It was  like nothing I have ever done and such a great time!

I did a review of the cult following spin studio last year, but this month I’ve really stepped up my game going one a week burning 400 calories during each 45min class.

I'm busy planning a weekend trip to San Francisco next month! It's been a couple years since I've been to the golden state so I'm excited to go back!

The Book of Life movie

It's  time for Halloween themed movies which usually mean horror. To my surprise I loved this fantastic animated movie with voices from  Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Christina Applegate and Ice Cube.  It recreates the Romeo-and-Juliet story against the backdrop of the Mexican customs surrounding the Day of the Dead. I worried maybe the "skeleton" painted Day of the Dead characters may be creepy but they weren't at all. The Book of life has one of the most colorful and unique set designs I have every seen in an animated movie! The Land of the Remembered was especially visually stunning.  It was nominated for best animated film at the Golden Globes last year. It's out on dvd now so check it out.

Don't forget to re-watch Ghostbusters as well!

On the topic of Halloween, if your office is allowing you to dress up on Friday, here are some work appropriate halloween costume ideas.

Autumn Inspiration

When you have reasons to be excited for Fall, you'll embrace fall fashion trends. For me that's layering with sweaters, wearing plaid, infinity scarves, riding boots, puffer vests, corduroys, military jackets, and leggings. I bought my first plaid shirt last year in a pretty purple. So this year I got my first gingham shirt in a cozy flannel fabric. I think both plaid and gingham are borrowed from mens fashion but with a feminine touch. They are definite staples for your fall wardrobe.


Fall Funday

It's officially fall as the temperatures are dipping into the 50s and the leaves on the trees are starting to turn beautiful colors. I'm checking things off my Fall Bucket List with the many fun fall activities around. Saturday I took a sunset ride on the Capital Wheel.

Sunday I went on the White House Garden tour, something I've wanted to do for awhile! It's free and open to the public. You just have to stand in line for tickets. Every President has planted a tree on the grounds and they have a picture of the planting next to the tree so it was neat to see how big the trees had grown. There was also a playground for the Obama girls built when they first moved in.

An Organized Entry

I have a fun project to share! My entryway is small and has always been my struggle area to keep clutter at bay. And it was also the last thing I ever thought to style and organize in my home. It ended up being a dumping ground for shoes, purses, magazines and mail. Not exactly what I wanted to be greeted with when I walked in the door. I desperately needed to organize this entry to help my mess disappear. Here's the before picture.

When I built my shoe closet I took out that shoe shelf and re-purposed it to be for entry storage. I threw my purses on top and threw other random stuff in the tiny cubby holes. My DIY magazine basket was spray painted black and I had fabric sewn into it. But it was always full of junk mail and reusable shopping bags and was awful and had zero function. It took me eight years of living here before I finally did something with the space.

I needed a routine to get everything back in place. I followed the Kondo method which says that everything needs a place. The main function of my entryway is to hold incoming mail. I needed one super organized space instead of allowing the kitchen island to become the dumping ground. So I picked up this cute wall organizer when I was in Thailand last year. Now the first thing I do when I get home is open all the mail, trash what I don’t need and the rest goes into the wall organizer. I also got a sunglasses basket so they are all in one place that I keep in my coat closet.

I replaced the shoe shelf with the Kallax shelving unit from Ikea. In fact if you google Kallax hacks you'll find a lot of ideas for using it. I’ve been loving it every since it was built as it's fantastic and keeps my entry way tidy and organized. I finally have a place to display all my travel guidebooks from the trips I've taken. I haven't taken a vacation this year but I do have a business trip to San Francisco next month.
Let me show you a close up of the cute gold bulldog tape dispenser I picked up at Target. I love all the gold desk accessories and the glass jar filled with roses. I feel it looks bright and organized.  The picture is from my strawberry picking adventure this summer.

On the bottom shelf I got a large storage bin also from Ikea for $5. I had wanted a metallic one but the ones at Pottery Barn were $29 so I thought it would be cheaper to DIY by just putting some gold stickers on it. It’s a great place for my reusable shopping bags, coupons and receipts.  Also in the past couple years I’ve been signing up for $2 per year magazine subscriptions. I get Oprah, Dr Phil, Allure, Women’s Running, and Real Simple, yet I barely have time to read them. lol I got a pack of cheap magazine holders from Ikea that I DIY with stylish wrapping paper. With a designated spot for magazines and papers, it really clears the clutter from the entryway area and the magazine station is hidden away.

Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

I've gone to a pumpkin craving contest for the past few years, but this year I decided to do some no-carve decorating ideas. First I spray painted a pumpkin black and stuck on some sequins for a sugar scull. Then I glued gold glitter on the white pumpkin. The sugar pumpkin I'm baking instead of buying canned pumpkin. And with the Kabocha squash I'm going to make a Thai pumpkin curry. Here are some other no carve decorating ideas I found online that you might want to try.