Goals for October

Ugh! Where did the month go? I feel like I blinked and October happened. So before I start on what my goals are for October, let’s recap what happened (or in most cases, didn’t happen)with my September goals.

September Goals

1. Pass the IRB Committee Review

Yes, it was down to the wire, but I was officially approved on Sept 27th to begin my doctoral study. My survey went out to my participants on Oct 1st. So this goal can be checked off as done!

2. Contact all the doctors

This one was a no go. We did have an appointment with my husband’s primary doctor and she agreed that he needs to get up to Johns Hopkins where the specialists will actually talk to each other. But the only movement I have made on this goal is that I have the forms to fill out to release his records.

3. Post at least one blog post a week

I have had some of the best traffic on posts in September and I did post multiple times in a week, but I did not keep the pace of posting each week. I think I hit more like 3 out of the 4 weeks, so it wasn’t too bad. We could count this as a half met goal.

4. Upload a short story to Kindle Direct Publishing

HA HA HA! What was I thinking that I could meet this one? Sadly, nothing happened with this goal. My work in progress is still sitting there waiting for edits.

So what do I hope to accomplish for October? Well, October is one of my favorite months because I consider it the start of the holiday season. Yes, I count Halloween as part of the holidays because it is a fun and exciting event. You have food (candy), events (trick-or-treating), and decorations. My porch is already decorated. I miss the Halloweens from my childhood. As an adult, I don’t see as many trick-or-treaters as we had growing up. But I digress…Here are my goals for October:

1. Contact all the doctors

Yes, this one is back on there. It is an important one, so I have to make some headway on it.

2. Find a pumpkin before the end of the month

Sounds easy, right? There are pumpkins everywhere, but it is also a little too warm out yet to put a real pumpkin on the porch. However, my husband and I have learned that if we wait too long, there will be none to be found anywhere. Two years ago, about three days before Halloween, we went on the lookout, but could not find one. It was sad.

3. Do something self-care related

So stressed right now. Part of the reason my September goals didn’t quite happen is that I had a lot of migraines last month. So I spent a lot of time trying to sleep them off. A lot of stuff fell through the cracks adding to the fact that just feeling overwhelmed right now. Therefore, a goal for this month is to do something for me. Maybe give myself a pedicure, maybe read a book on the deck now that the weather is cooler (and hopefully no mosquitoes!). My lovely teenager made me chocolate chip cookies after school yesterday (pre-made dough, but still). So maybe I will find a recipe and make something with him.

I am going to leave the list at three items. We will see what happened this month. Though I am excited to say that I have reached some of my financial goals. I have a $1000 emergency fund in the savings account finally. So now to work on paying off those credit cards. Baby steps, right?


I Tried Acorn Squash in the Instant Pot…Yum!

Since purchasing my Instant Pot, I have tried cooking a lot of new foods I was hesitant to try before. Different varieties of squash probably being the biggest. I have learned that I don’t like Spaghetti Squash no matter how it is prepared, but love Butternut Squash (check out my soup recipe here!). Aldi has Acorn Squash on sale this week, so I thought, why not? I purchased two (for less than $1.50!), but could only fit one in the Instant Pot once I cut it in half. I was worried it would not be enough for my family of three. But it turned out that one was enough of a side for us and both my husband and son enjoyed it. So win-win!

Here is what I did:


  • Instant Pot Trivet
  • Spoon
  • Tongs
  • Measuring Cup
  • Knife
  • Cutting board


  • Acorn Squash
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbs butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Wash Acorn Squash and remove any labels.
  2. Cut Acorn Squash in half and, using a spoon, scoop out any seeds.
  3. Place water and trivet in inner pot of IP.
  4. Place Acorn Squash side by side, cut side up on trivet.
  5. Place 1tbs butter in each half, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Close lid and seal vent. Set at Manual on High pressure for 5 minutes. NPR for 15 min.
  7. When done, careful remove from pot using tongs or a large spoon.
  8. Enjoy!

A Back to School Must List

Our district goes back to school next week which means time to change our summer routine. While the school may have their official supply list with the notebooks, pencils, hand sanitzer, and the hundreds of dollars worth of other necessesties (seriously, our list ran us about $150…middle school), there are still some other items that can help the mornings run a little smoother.

1. Amazon Echo

This is my go to device for helping me stay on track. We use it for a timer, alarm clock, to check the weather, reminders of things to grab before walking out the door. Alexa helps to keep us organized and running on time.

2. Bento Boxes

My son actually picked this out for his lunch box. The one he has features flexible dividers to separate food like a traditional bento box. It also includes ice packs to keep food fresh. The best part is that it is dishwasher safe!

3. Academic Planners

I bought one of these for my son for school and liked the layout so much that i bought one for myself. This planner comes in two sizes making it perfect for a backpack or purse. It is an academic planner so it runs from July to June. There is plenty of room on the Monthly grid or the Week at a glance pages to keep all of your tasks, appointments, and lists well organized.

3. Bins & Totes

Grab a couple of these totes and some snack size or sandwhich bags. Fill them with things like bulk pretzels, popcorn, raisins, etc. Refresh your bins every week and you will have snacks ready to go to throw into a bag on the way to the bus stop or to grab as an afterschool snack. By buying snacks in bulk (or even making your own) and divying it up, you can save some change to help defer the costs of all those gluesticks.

4. Reusable K-Cup Pods

If you send a kid to school before the sun is up, chances are you are going to need some coffee. And if you are the only one in the house who drinks coffee, chances are you are going have a Keurig in the house. And if you are worried around all those plastic pods filling landfills, well, then these pods are for you. I buy my coffee by the canister, but use the reusable pods instead of the pricy k-cups.

5. Sharpies!!

Your child’s school list might already have Sharpies on the list, but these are for you. There will be gym uniforms, brown bag lunches, and so many other things that are going to need a name written in them…don’t find yourself lost without a permanent marker on hand. Stock up at the beginning of the year and if you are lucky, you will still have some by the end of June.

What other items would you add to this list? Leave us a comment through the link at the top of this post.