Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fall Decorating

My morning started with a drive up to Thousand Oaks to watch a Halloween decorating demonstration with Heidi and Katie. Katie suggested it a few weeks ago, and I thought I could learn a thing or two about decorating. I'm not especially excited about Halloween in particular, but I was curious about how to make display tables or mantles look good.

The class instructors told us that for a smaller holiday like Halloween, you should just choose one or two areas of your house to decorate (as opposed to a holiday like Christmas where most people decorate whole rooms). They kept a black-and-white theme for all three displays they made, and Katie, Heidi, and I really liked the idea of a neutral palate like that. They also explained that we should choose a large-ish piece for the center/backdrop, like a large bunch of branches in a vase. They suggested framing Halloween-themed images and hanging them crookedly on the wall, inserting various metal owls or bats into the scene, and using a large lantern to add an eerie effect.

Hi Katie!

The ladies created three scenes: two tablescapes and a bar setup. We all oohed and aahed over the items but laughed when we saw the prices. We just couldn't do it.

Here are some Pottery Barn theme party decor ideas:

We loved the items at Pottery Barn, but we knew we could find similar decor at Home Goods for much less money, so the three of us journeyed to the local store for a treasure hunt. Success!

My new fall scene

The best part? Katie upgrading from a basket to a cart halfway through our adventure. She turned down an aisle and we laughed as she guiltily admitted that she found bigger items than a basket could hold. I certainly bought more than I should have and came home with two vases, two pumpkins, a candle, and some vase filler. It was a mighty fun shopping trip, though! I look forward to having more than two rooms to decorate...someday... Meanwhile, Pinterest keeps me inspired and excited!

This afternoon, I busted out half of a strength training workout (had to cut it short) and a 25-minute HIIT workout (90 seconds intense, 30 seconds recover). Then I got to visit with Jenn and Justin for about an hour, which was wonderful. I hadn't seen Jenn in about a month! WAY too long. We've both been crazy busy, so I hope we can find a way to see each other more often.

Terry is now back home after a weekend of diving, and I'm glad to have him around again. It's just not home if that dude isn't next to me. On the other hand, I noticed this weekend how far I've come. I used to dread being home alone, especially overnight. But then Terry started traveling for work, and I had to just suck it up. I still get a little nervous--I double check that all the doors are locked more than I would if he was home--but I'm not terrified anymore. I've spent up to three weeks entirely alone! Well, except for my ferocious guardian.

Or not.

I think the key was finding a super safe apartment. I once left my keys in the door overnight while I was home alone (so much for checking the locks), and I guess I figure that was a good enough test for me.

And finally, I just thought I should mention that Best Body Boot Camp Round 2 is officially over! It was another fantastic eight weeks of challenging, motivating, well-rounded workouts. Tina has already posted registration for Round 3 (starting 9/17), and you should most certainly check it out. If you need a reason (or a bunch), check out my post: Why You Should Boot Camp Your Booty. It really is a great community, a great experience, and a great way to get in shape, stay in shape, or challenge yourself in a new way! 

If you sign up, let me know so we'll be in it together!


  1. i want to sign up for boot camp so badly! i'm thinking i'm going to bite the bullet and do it since it will have been about two weeks since my marathon and i'm looking for something to kickstart me back into working out after what i plan on being a solid few days of rest. i love the fall decorating tips! home goods is the BEST!

  2. I also live in Southern Cali and if you wouldn't mind sharing the name of where you went in Thousand Oaks for the decorating class. Fall is getting closer and thought I might take a look.