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!

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

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.

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.

More 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.


Gratitude and List Making

If you've read my posts on gratitude, you know I like to take the time to keep a gratitude journal (Graditude365 app) to celebrate the positive things in my life. I also like to do lists, goal lists, and cleaning list (Tody app). Now I'm working on Moorea Seal's 52 lists in 52 weeks project. But first let me show you this awesome to do list pad on the right.  It's a 6x9 tear off pad that you can list your daily to dos on it, plus keep track of important times, meal planning, and track water consumption.
The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration is based on the blog series by Moorea Seal. For those of us that are not interested in daily journaling but love lists, this book helps to prompt self-expression by giving you topics to think and write about on a weekly basis. It's broken down by season so I started with Fall and each week I'm assigned a new challenge and I have to say sometimes it's not easy to wait for the next week to start on a new list! Below is my entry for "List all of your favorite things about fall." I blurred out my halloween costume ideas, I once had a friend steal my idea. Other lists include "List your top twenty mood-boosting songs", "List the things that make you feel peaceful", "List the words that warm your spirit", "List your greatest comforts," "List your goals and dreams for this year", "List your favorite quotes".

No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline

I loved Brian Tracy's book Eat That Frog so  I had to read another book of his. He says that all you do need to succeed in any of your life goals is self-discipline. The book shows you how you can achieve success in all three major areas of your life:  
1. Your personal goals.
2. Your business and money goals.
3. Your overall happiness.

Each chapter in this book shows you how to be more disciplined in one aspect of your life. With these guidelines, you can learn how to be more successful in everything you do because a little self-discipline goes a long way. Here are my favorite quotes from the book.

"It's quite common for many people, when they are unhappy or frustrated for any reason, to go shopping. They unconsciously associate buying something with being happy. They buy lots of things they don't particularly need because they unconsciously associate spending with happiness."

"Associate happiness with saving. when you begin saving in this way, something miraculous happens within you. You start to feel happy about the idea of having money in the bank. This action gives you a feeling of greater self-control and personal power. You feel happier about yourself. The very act of disciplining yourself to save money makes you feel stronger and more in control of your destiny."

"The Payoff is tremendous. The reward for saving and investing is substantial. Every time you save a dollar or pay off a dollar of indebtedness, you feel happy inside. You feel more positive and in control of your life. Your brain releases endorphins, which in turn give you a feeling of calmness and well-being."

"Fully 85 percent of your happiness will come from happy relationships with other people."

"Listening to a person while he talks on any subject in a way that is focused is perceived as charming behavior."

"Never criticize, condemn, or complain about anything. Never say anything about a person that you would not say to his face. Whenever you refer to someone you should always mention that she is a "nice person."

"People enjoy seeing nice people. When asked what they mean by the word "nice" people say that she is "cheerful." The more positive you are, the more cheerful you are likely to be. The more cheerful you are, the nicer personality you will have."

"Get over it and get on with it. Truly healthy people have downward sloping forgiveness curves. They have disciplined themselves by resolving to forgive and forget quickly so they can get on with their lives. They simply let their problems go and turn their attention to the things that make them happy."