Here’s some soulful shopping recommendations for a happier, simpler holiday.

The Christmas Tree Stand That Will Save Your Marriage

My Jewish husband always enjoys having a Christmas tree but he used to hate getting the darn thing into its stand. With this amazing Christmas Tree Stand from Krinner, we bicker no more about standing up the tree. I swear this tree stand will make your holiday jollier, starting the day you decorate for the holidays. Click on the image to learn more.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap

Shop fall lineup

I have the best luck with the seasonal scents at Target. But you usually need to buy early because the seasonal products clear out quickly. Here’s the link to the hand soap Amazon page and the Mrs. Meyer’s website. I love the Orange Clove, Peppermint and Iowa Pine scents for the holidays. Other favorite scents include Rhubarb, Basil, Apple, Radish, Parsley, Lilac, Apple Cider and Pumpkin. Here are all of the holiday scents!

Trader Joe’s Holiday Groceries

Because we have a small family, Trader Joe’s is the perfect place to shop for groceries. I find the everyday prices are cheaper on most things than my local grocery store, I trust the quality, and Trader Joe’s donates food to families in need. Products I love this time of year include the Racine Danish Kringle Almond Kringle, which they sell for $7.99 (compare the Almond Kringle to the usual price online of $20.95!). TJ’s Sipping Chocolate makes a great teacher or hostess gift. And we usually purchase our Gingerbread House at Trader Joe’s each year. Year-round favorites of mine include the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, heck, anything on the shelves that is covered in dark chocolate works for me! We make good use of their frozen fruit year round for a nice variety of smoothies. I also love their cracker selection, Nacho Tortilla Chips, and selection of nuts, dried fruits, and granola bars. Find the Trader Joe’s nearest you by visiting their website. Be sure to check out the prices on their spices and pet food, which can save you tons of money. I love you Trader Joe’s, but please bring back the blue cheese pecan dip!

World Market Rocks!

Like Trader Joe’s, another place I love to shop that has a global flavor is World Market. If you are looking for fun stocking stuffers, you can’t go wrong at this store. They always send me a birthday coupon, which makes me like them even more. Sign up for their rewards program, so you can benefit from discounts and coupons.

Take Excellent Care Of Your Pets

Go ahead and get that puppy or kitten for a holiday gift, I say. Better yet, get pets in twos. This is especially helpful if you are away from home much of the day, so they can keep each other company. I have six pets (two dogs and four cats), who give my family lots of love all year-long, and I want to take excellent care of them without spending a fortune. A lot of times we talk about toys and treats for pets, but I find that keeping these things to a minimum extends the life of my pets. What I focus on instead is the highest quality food we can afford and whatever supplements they need to stay healthy at their age. I take quality supplements to stay healthy, so it’s no surprise that they help my pets, too. When our cat Maggie recently came down with urinary tract issues at the ripe old age of three, we eventually switched her food to Uretic from Wysong. I combine this food, with wet food with extra water and with two other products — Tinkle Tonic and Natura Petz Organics Break It Up Meal Topper (follow instructions for all) and the healing has been dramatic. Improvement didn’t happen overnight for Maggie, but it has happened slowly and steadily over time. If you have a cat with urinary tract challenges and no other serious health issues, I suggest trying this routine for a couple of months. We feed our pets without health issues Canidae foods and have been using them for many years. Choose the variety that best suits each pet’s age and needs. Our dogs love Nupro Joint Support. We mix this powder with water and their dry food and they love the flavor. They are noticeably more spry while taking this supplement, so I highly recommend it. Nupro comes in a variety of sizes, please follow instructions for best results. We usually purchase wet food and treats at Trader Joe’s because I trust them and they save money.

Supplements For A Healthy New Year

HealthForce SuperFoods Products

I have written fairly extensively about my choice of supplements over the past few years. If you are looking for general good or improved health, I recommend Healthforce supplements. If you are dealing with issues related to being female, I recommend Vitanica (see the post I wrote for further information and recommendations).

Purchase Magazine Subscriptions In November

For me, sitting at the kitchen table reading a magazine with a cup of tea or coffee is the ultimate self-indulgence. This is the second year I have gotten a year’s worth of magazines at a ridiculously low price. I shop Discount Mags between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The first year I did Cyber Monday and got 10 magazine subscriptions for $30, and this year I hand-picked discounted titles and got exactly what I wanted for the year at a good price. Highly recommend this way of purchasing magazines. It has saved me hundreds of dollars and provided tons of good collage journal fodder.

Audible Is My Gift To Myself This Year

People can be snobby about reading, but guess what? It does not matter how you do it. So do it your way, if you prefer listening while you drive, garden or do chores. I am not a sedentary person. So when I am not writing at the computer, I prefer to be in motion. And I am certainly not going to apologize for that! Audible is my gift to myself this year. And you know what? I deserve it. Join me and either get a month free or take advantage of holiday discount offers! The first book I am going to read is Michelle Obama’s Becoming. Becoming is the perfect word to describe the last few years for me. I love the person I am becoming and I can’t wait to hear what Michelle Obama has to say on the topic.

Life Is Too Short To Eat Bad Bagels

bagels

Here’s my final shopping tip. If you love bagels as much as my family does, take advantage of Monday Half-price bagels at Einstein’s Bros. Bagels. I am about to scoot up there right now to get our weekly bagel order. They will slice them for you and give you freezer bags to store them. They taste just as fresh as the day they were made when you toast them. I purchase smoked salmon from Costco (they carry a variety) and Cream Cheese from Trader Joe’s to go with them. Because life is too short to eat even one bad bagel. That’s my shopping motto. What’s yours?

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. I am always adding new items to my Etsy shop. I hope you will swing by, take a look and favorite my shop!

Edie M. is the winner of the Halloween Garland from my Etsy Shop! Congrats, Edie!
I just got two things for free in a row today and they both made me so happy!

So now I am inspired to give away something from my Etsy shop for free.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

I will ship one of my Orange Halloween Chinese Lantern Garlands to one lucky winner.

All you have to do to enter is email me about why you love to use natural decor in your home. Comments to this post will be closed. Instead, email me at least three full sentences on this topic, and you will be entered to win the random number drawing on Monday.

Here’s the nitty-gritty:

New customers to my Etsy shop are welcome to play. All I ask is that you pop over to my shop and check out the orange garland I am giving away before you enter.

Returning customers to my Etsy shop are also welcome to play. I also ask you to check out the orange garland I am giving away before you enter.

You have until Monday, October 22, 2018 at noon to play along. On Monday at noon PST, I will use a random number generator to select a winner and ship the garland to them free of charge!

I will only ship to the contiguous US. But if you live elsewhere, you are welcome to play along and ship the garland to a friend who resides in the US as a gift.

We cool? Sound fun? I am psyched. Paying it forward always feels good.

Let’s do this! Can’t wait to hear from you.

Remember, don’t comment, don’t message me on social media — it has to be an email with three whole sentences about why you love to use natural decor in your home.

And if you don’t love to use natural decor, feel free to share this post with a friend who does.

Thanks in advance for your support and happy weekend!

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. I am always adding new items to my Etsy shop. I hope you will swing by, take a look and favorite my shop!

Chinese Lanterns Physalis Alkekengi

Hello beautiful, creative people!

I want to tell you about some experience I have been having selling Chinese Lantern decor in my Etsy shop.

Chinese Lanterns Physalis AlkekengiThis was the effort that inspired me to start using the phrase “passion project.”

A passion project is something I do because I love it rather than for some intellectual reason.

I guess you could say that passion projects come from the heart, not the head.

Over the summer, I had this crazy Idea to sell Chinese Lantern decor after I spontaneously started making garlands out of last year’s dried Chinese Lanterns.

The process of making the garlands was not earth-shattering. It just felt like a fun and relaxing way to invest my time while doing something creative with a whole bunch of Chinese Lanterns I’d collected the year before.

Chinese Lanterns Physalis AlkekengiWhen my new harvest of Chinese Lanterns came in this year, I thought I’d see what else I could do to sell them in my Etsy shop. In the end I had several products: Chinese Lantern Garlands, Chinese Lantern Stems (medium and long), Chinese Lantern Mantel Spray, and Chinese Lantern pods.

I am all sold out of stems and mantel spray for this year but I do still have more beautiful garlands and pods that you can use in displays or as vase filler, in case anyone wants to bring some natural zing into your autumn home decor. And I can’t wait to do this all over again next year.

This was a big leap of faith, since I’d never sold physical products in my Etsy shop before. I was initially concerned about setting up and managing the shipping, but I gotta tell you, Etsy makes it all so easy.

I cannot possibly say enough good things about Etsy right now. I am a very happy vendor.

Chinese Lanterns Physalis AlkekengiI have changed a lot over the past couple of years and I am looking forward to sharing some of this journey with you. If you had told me a year ago that I would be on Etsy selling something I grew in my garden, I would not have believed you.

But here’s the thing: I love nature and I love home decor. Decorating is always such a relaxing and creative outlet for me, and if my products bring another person a fraction of the joy I experience, then I feel great.

And I guess they do because I’ve gotten positive reviews. Here’s a few so far:

What beautiful lanterns! All arrived intact and seller was very attentive.

Well shipped and look like they were just snipped from the garden.

Chinese lanterns were in perfect condition when they arrived and looked just the picture. Beautiful!

Adding a few of these lanterns to a grapevine wreath, and others perhaps to the dining room table or a jar. Vibrant and beautiful for fall!

The whole project has been a fun and engaging process. I guess at this point, I am feeling ready to wrap up the rest of the orders so I can move on to the next passion project. You will never guess what it is. Stay tuned!

Chinese Lanterns Physalis AlkekengiAnd while I am busy doing that: what’s your next passion project? Do you know? Do you have something you have never dared to do before that is calling you? Since I stepped outside my comfort zone, I want to encourage you to do the same.

Please stay tuned for my next passion project. I am a little nervous to share it. But I’m going to follow through, one project at a time. Thanks for being here!

Please share this post with anyone you know who loves fall decor. I hope you are enjoying all of the passions of this lovely season.

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. I am always adding new items to my Etsy shop. I hope you will swing by, take a look and favorite my shop!

Excited For Fall? Chinese Lantern Decor Is New In My Etsy Shop!

September 8, 2018

If you follow me on social media, you know I love seasonal decor. I LOVE vintage decor, flowers, colors, art, and home organization. I feel like it’s time to make these things a bigger part of my life. For years, I have kept this pastime a hobby, but this year, it is blossoming into a […]

Read the full article →

Super Cool For Back To School: Online Inspiration

August 22, 2018

A Big Enough Backpack I am hunting for a larger backpack for my daughter to use for school. When it’s too small, she just crams everything in until the zippers break. So, here’s what I found: the JanSport Big Student Backpack. LINK Perfect, if your child is in high school or middle school. I don’t […]

Read the full article →

To Your Health: Green Juice Every Day For The Win!

August 20, 2018

I had some health challenges again recently and they reminded me that I am not the healthiest eater in the world. As I get older, I sometimes think I should radically change my eating habits, and yet that never really works out. Perhaps you can relate? Instead of changing everything I eat, I have learned […]

Read the full article →

Flower Power: How Their Natural Beauty Is Revolutionizing The World

May 31, 2018

Turn on the news and you will notice that the world is presented as a fairly ugly place. The bottom line is: words often fail us. They are…limited. People get upset and use words as weapons. Next thing you know, we have divided humanity rather than uniting us. I am not crazy about the headlines […]

Read the full article →

Ode To Comfortable Shoes: What To Wear When Your Feet Hurt

May 7, 2018

A while back, I took a poll on Facebook asking what kind of shoes people find comfortable because my feet were killing me. When I was pregnant with Samantha, many moons ago, I gained a bunch of weight and my arches collapsed. Yes, it was as painful as it sounds. Fast forward sixteen years later […]

Read the full article →

For The Love Of Lilacs! Read This Post If You Cannot Get Enough Of Them

May 2, 2018

Every once in a while I need to write about timely things I love. One thing I love right now are lilacs. My lilac bushes are in bloom and our home is filled with vases of lilacs large and small. Why do I love lilacs so much? They were not part of my childhood. You […]

Read the full article →