I guess I'm in a "seasonal" mood this week, with my posts on winter, autumn reads, and now, my favorite fall things. So here are a few things that are brightening up my days, even as early evenings and grey skies are moving in...
1. I am obsessed with the Inkwell Press Planner.
As an organizational freak/planner, I love that time of year when planners start launching and I can pick out a new one to launch me into a successful new year! (At least that's how I see it...) I recently stumbled across Inkwell Press and immediately fell in love with their products. Muted contemporary colors combined with lots extras like monthly goal planning and lists = a beautiful, well-designed planner.
I went with the A5 inserts because I decided using a binder system would be a lot more flexible (and cheaper in the long run) than a bound planner - even though their cover designs made me swoon. But after I ordered the inserts, I discovered how expensive and nearly impossible it is to find an A5 binder stateside. Oh the [planner] drama!
So I ordered an A5 binder from a shop in the UK (check it out here) and am breathlessly awaiting the arrival of my international package, thus taking my organizational obsession to a whole new level when I have to order supplies from another continent to satisfy my exact desires...
(Use this link to get $10 off a $50+ purchase at Inkwell Press!)
2. Elizabeth Gilbert is firing me up.
You might recognize her name from her blockbuster book Eat Pray Love (which, incidentally, I have never read). I just finished her most recent book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, all about her creative process and the importance of living the life you were created to pursue, regardless of success or outcome. Although a lot of the content is a bit too mystical and New Age-y for me, I gleaned a lot of inspiration and encouragement from her.
One big takeaway was that we should pursue our curiosity, not just our passion. Our passions can lead us to a lot of wrong, dark places, or we may not have any specific passions at all. But curiosity and intellectual thirst are human characteristics that will always lead to more knowledge, deeper experiences, and perhaps passion that grows out of your pursuits. And even if curiosity doesn't result in a huge, successful project, you haven't wasted your time in learning more about the world.
For a little mini-crash-course, you can also listen to a recent interview with Gilbert on The Lively Show. Check it out here.
3. Affordable Christmas is coming.
Every year, our church holds an event called Affordable Christmas which empowers families to purchase for their children and teenagers Christmas presents they wouldn't be able to afford otherwise.
New toys, clothes, and other items are purchased by church and community members and donated. Then during an all-day event, the items are sold at a tenth of the original selling price to families who are part of local program partners.
It's an empowering and original way to help families celebrate Christmas with dignity, not just hand-outs. This will be our first year back in the country with the time and money to help out, and we are excited about being involved. If you're interested in learning more about Affordable Christmas, check out their website here.
4. The Great British Baking Show is making me hungry.
I am a complete Anglophile (despite never actually visiting England), and anything with a British accent will have me hooked (or cooked in this particular instance?). I stumbled upon The Great British Baking Show, a British (obvs) reality show in which home cooks compete for the weekly award of Star Baker. One of the judges is named Mary Berry - does it get any better than that?
One reason it's so fascinating to me is the difference in American and English baking. Biscuits (which actually means "cookies" in Brit-speak), Victoria sponge cakes, self-saucing pudding (which isn't a pudding at all, but a sort of saucy cake), pasties...it's like learning a new food language, and I love it.
This article also talks about why the Great British Baking Show breaks all the rules of reality television in very good ways. It's a complete turnaround from cutthroat cooking shows and almost feels like you are watching a group of friends do something they love that they're also very good at. We need more entertainment like that, I think.
I'd love to hear what your current fall favorites are. Leave a comment below!
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