7 things I LOVE about Fall!

Fall is definitely in the air! I really love this time of the year! I can’t say that it is my favorite time of the year, as I love and appreciate everything that each season brings, but I would like to highlight a few things in which I LOVE about fall!

1. Snuggle Time– Here at my place, we are all big snugglers; even our dog. Fall is such a lovely time to light candles and read, watch a show together, or even to just hang out and talk about nothing. Fall is a great season for family bonding.
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2. Cooler Morning Runs/Walks– The crisp cooler temperature feels very lovely at 6am, but even on the weekends, should I decide to do other things first prior to walking my dog, it still feels lovely around 10am as well.

3. Back to School-Fall screams end of summer and back to school for my daughter. It also allows me to settle back into a routine, which I’m ok with because the lack of routine is what I love about summer. By the time that fall rolls around, I’m ready to be back “ON IT.”

4. Fall Candles– I am a huge lover of candles. Bath and Body Works is where I purchase the bulk of my candles and their fall scents are so lovely to me. This year, my favorites have been: “Caramel Pumpkin Swirl,” “Pumpkin Pecan Waffles,” “Pumpkin Caramel Latte.” I’ve also been burning the “Summer Boardwalk,” which was a summer special, but it literally smells like a carnival, so it still suits me perfectly during this season.
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5. Time Change-If I were ranking theses in order of importance, this would probably be #1. I am such a morning person. My eyes pop open M-F at 4am and 5am on the weekends with or without my alarm clock and I am constantly waiting for daylight to peek its way through. I am so productive at the top of my day and the “earlier mornings,” allow me to get out earlier for morning cardio, and the “earlier nights,” assist me in winding the house down at a decent hour.

6. Pumpkin Everything: from teas, to coffee (although, I must admit, that this is the first year that I have not enjoyed the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks-it has been replaced by my taste buds with the Teavana Chai Tea), candles, hand sanitizers, pumpkin patches, and even to the rare desserts. There is nothing about pumpkin in moderation for me during this time of the year.

7. Thanksgiving and Fall Décor: My family is huge and the holidays always allow us an opportunity to gather and love all over each other. Also, the décor in my home screams “Harvest Time,” and “Give Thanks.” Not that I need the constant reminders, but it does feel good to look around my home and be reminded as to how blessed I am in so many areas of my life. fall1

I would love to hear some of the things that you enjoy about Fall (Autumn) in the comments section! What about Halloween? Do you enjoy dressing up or dressing your kids up? Do you attend fall carnivals? Please share and I will be mailing out candles to the first two people that leave comments, as well as to my friend and graphic designer Kristy Harris, for sharing the following fall photos with me via Facebook:
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In the meantime, I have also have tickets to giveaway for an upcoming local event. The Masquerade Ball will take place on October 31st, 2014 from 6pm-1am. This event will take place at the Chateau Elan Hotel and Conference Center in Sebring, FL. I will be giving away 2 sets of 2 tickets! Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog!

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My INNER ArTiST…

If I were to pop the question, “What is an artist?” I’m sure that I would receive many rather difficult, opaque definitions. I would probably even receive a few names of many well known artists to support those rather chunky definitions, like Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso…. just to name a few.

Well, guess who else is an artist? Me. Yep, and so are YOU! My definition would be someone that creates art? Well, what is art? For me, it’s anything that allows me to creatively express my imagination and often times, also my feelings. Personally, my favorite forms of art are writing (duh), dancing, various forms of music, (including the lyrics that I randomly create in the shower and belch out in my fake Beyoncé voice), and scrapbooking/documenting life.

Painting? Not so much. I would say that that is more of my daughter’s thing. I just don’t have the patience for it. I’m horrible at it and quite truthfully, I just don’t understand it. Well, those were my feelings before last night. Last night I went to an “Art Uncorked Class,” at the Visual Arts Center. I would love to say that this was my first time taking one of these classes, but it was my second. Looking back at the first, I was not able to “get into it,” at all. Earlier that day, I had had a run in with the IRS and well…need I say more.

Last night was different. I was meeting one of my best friends (yes, I’m the person with lots of best friends) there. I had also had short/long week of work, and I was really just ready to unwind. The painting of choice looked like something that I would be capable of and even if I screwed it up, it was still one of my favorite scriptures (Philippians 4:13), and I knew that I would hang it somewhere regardless.

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Wow! What an experience. I allowed myself to let my hair down (literally, as I always wear it back or up). I laughed at my mistakes, shared silly comments with other women in the room, and snacked away on some yummy snacks (no calorie counting). There was also wine available, but I was having such a great time without it that I didn’t bother. In the end, I had a very joyful time. I’m certain that everyone did and I can rest assure you that NONE of us would have made your top ten list of artists. I’m very proud of the piece that I created. Yes, we were “guided,” but for the most part, those are MY strokes, MY brush angles, MY contrasts and color options, and also MY feelings/emotions plastered on a canvas.

I challenge you to give ART a try. Here in highlands County, you may start by visiting the Highlands Art League’s website and I also included a few pictures of upcoming paintings with dates in case you are interested. So, from one artist to another, ENJOY!

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Laughter is OH, Sooo Good for the Soul!

Life has a way of knocking us all on our butts from time to time. Sometimes it may be something that seems so small and meniscal such as the sky opening and a huge downpour of rain occurs as you’re leaving the salon, to things that are much more massive like losing your job or a experiencing a death in the family. Regardless of the situation, it is important to remember that although we cannot control many of the things that happen around us, we CAN control the way in which we respond or react to them.
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As for me, I’ve realized that retreating to the beach and/or a good laugh often aids in resetting my “happy.” So, that’s what I spent the weekend doing and boy am I so “happy,” that I did. Not only did I visually take in lots of beautiful sites, but also, I laughed so HARD, and in such abundance. You know, that type of laughter that is so deep that it hurts, and trying to stop laughing only makes you laugh harder? Yasssssss! That’s it.

(please note, these pics are not from this weekend, but are a collection of happy moments with friends)
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I’m telling you, laughter with your family/friends and sometimes even alone at yourself has many amazing health/psychological benefits. Here are a few:

1. It decreases stress.
2. It aids in coping skills.
3. It boosts your immune system.
4. Talk about a workout, laughter burns calories and releases endorphins as well.
5. It impacts blood sugar.
6. Laughter also impacts your blood sugar.
7. It manages pain.
8. It’s universal, and aids in boosting your social skills.

So in celebration of healthy laughs everywhere, I would like to giveaway 2 tickets for an upcoming Comedy Show that will be held on Wednesday, September 17th, 6pm, at the Chateau Élan-Hotel and Conference Center in Sebring, FL. This show will feature the following Comedians: Bob Lauver & Grandma Lee (as seen on America’s Got Talent). One lucky winner will win both tickets, because, let’s face it; we LOVE having someone to laugh with, right? I would love to hear from you in the comments section! Do you love a good laugh? Has laughter helped you through a difficult time? Are you capable of laughing at yourself? Speak your mind…
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