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Welcome to Teahouse MB's October Newsletter!
We have lots in store for this month, so make sure to check out the newsletter below to get caught up on everything happening! We've even added a new section, Featured Threads, to keep you up-to-date on exciting new conversation topics. Join us for a great October here on Teahouse!

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September Member of the Month

The September Member of the Month was Kit! Thanks to all who participated, nominated, and special thanks to our host Melissa!

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September Pixel Contest
The theme for this month's pixel contest was "back to school" and the winning entry was done by Kate!

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Congratulations, and thanks to Juliet for hosting!

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September Photography Contest
The theme for this month's photography contest was "campus life" and there were some great entries! First place went to Juliet for this great photo!

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Awesome job! Thank you Kate for hosting!

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This year, our lovely administrator Lisa took on the task of hosting the Teahouse Awards! Here is the list of this year's winners! Winners will be awarded with a badge to wear with pride in their profile! Thank you to all who nominated, voted, and supported our nominees and winners. Special thanks to Lisa for taking on such a huge task!

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Most Helpful :: princessfifi

Best Advice :: Emilie

Friendliest :: princessfifi

Best Graphic Artist :: abblecrumble

Best Photographer :: Vanillapatch

Most Active :: Izi!

Most Artistic :: Vanillapatch

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Most Helpful :: Lisa

Best Advice :: LuanaTF

Friendliest :: Kate

Best Graphic Artist :: Kit

Best Photographer :: Kate

Most Active :: Lisa

Most Artistic :: Kit

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Best Personal Site :: Melissa.

Teahouse Comedian :: Melissa.

Most Conversational :: witchbaby

Best Writer :: LuanaTF

Most Creative :: Juliet

Best Storyteller :: LuanaTF

Best Pixel Artist :: Kitty o^_^o

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Let\'s get competitive! Compete for great prizes like tealeaves and custom graphics in this month\'s contests! Here are the details...

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October Pixel Contest
The talented Juliet is hosting this month\'s contest with the theme \"happy halloween\"! Head over and submit your best pixel to win!

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October Photography Contest
Get your camera ready for this month\'s Halloween theme! Hosted by Kate!

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October Member of the Month
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Know someone who\'s been an MVP on Teahouse? Head over and nominate them for October\'s Member of the Month Award! Hosted by the fantastic Melissa

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Keep an eye out for other October events and contests on Teahouse!

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The Haunted Village
Want to participate in a little bit of October fun? Visit the Haunted Village! Details are posted here!

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Halloween Memories & Traditions
Have a memory, tradition, or halloween story to tell? Head over to share your memories with us!

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Do you agree with Trick or Treating
Have an opinion on this tradition? Come over and let us know what you think!

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Are you dressing up for Halloween this year?
Got a costume idea, DIY outfit, or clever idea to share? We want to know all about what you\'re wearing for the one day a year you get to be anything!

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What do you think of Halloween Weddings?
Weddings are always a hot topic, but what about a spooky one? Would you have an October Halloween wedding?

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What your best memory from this past summer?
Ah, summer. Another season has flown by - what was your fondest memory of the summer?

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Pumpkin Spice Lattes and foods of Autumn
Let's talk pumpkin! Love it or hate it? Head over if you can\'t get enough (or can\'t stand!) those pumpkin spice lattes and other pumpkin flavored madness!

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Autumn Writing - 4 Ideas For Your Creative Bucket
Submitted by Luana

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Autumn is a wonderful season to spice up your writing activities -- or to get started with writing, if you're not used to do it often.

It's a beautiful, ancient form of creative expression and we all learned basic writing skills in school, so all it takes now is a bit of creativity and good ideas.

Sky is the limit here, so I grouped 4 types of writing inspiration below. Happy reading!

Writing ideas for the season

Grab your ideas notebook (or a virtual tool like Evernote, if you wish) and scribble down ideas as soon as they hit your brain.

You can use them to write blog posts, short stories, novels, poems. Imagination is your limit.

Read blogs, articles, books, PDF booklets, anything that can spark ideas for your writing.

If you can't come up with anything good, try word associations with the help of a dictionary: pick 3 random words and build a story around them!

Story and Diary prompts

Why not write about Autumn itself? What can you associate with the season in your heart, memories and beliefs?

Creativity-Portal.com and TheHolidayZone.com list many Fall writing prompts you can use to inspire your creative and personal writing.

Getting ready for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is only ONE month away!

Why not start to develop a nice plot and characters while you wait for the event to start?

The contest requires that you write a draft from scratch, but nobody said you can't start working on the plot before November 1st!

Here's a short list of things to do:

  • Write a general plot for your new story
  • Create and develop your characters
  • Create a background for your protagonist(s), antagonist(s) and general events
  • Give names to places, characters and ideas

Don't forget to enjoy the process!

Books to read for inspiration

Goodreads.com has a pretty nice list of 333 best books to read in Autumn -- quite a lot to choose from!

I was glad to see Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte featured in it, because the novel has a rhythm to the plot that reminds of leaves falling in Autumn. It's a good choice for the season and I personally recommend it.

Other books from my shelf that I suggest you read between October and November are 3 novels by Kate Morton:

  • The Forgotten Garden
  • The Distant Hours
  • The House at Riverton

Why don\'t you reply to this newsletter and let us know what choice of books and writing prompts did you pick? :) We want to hear from you!

Photo Credit: mondopiccolo (cc)

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How to Love Winter this Fall.

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How can you enjoy fall when each falling leaf is a reminder that winter will soon be upon us? Winter ~ the long months of scraping windows, icy roads, and dull weather. How can we make this winter a warmer, better one? A simple open mind, a positive attitude, and a warm blanket in your lap is a great start!

These colder months are marked by the early darkness falling. So Let's make things a little lighter in the evening and night.

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. ~ Dumbledore (Harry Potter)

- Light one special candle every evening to celebrate, as if every night in winter was a holiday! Light candles around a room and imagine you are in a different time and place, and there's no electric. Collect a few different scented candles and use a different scent every day. Light a candle also if you have to get up before daylight! Write in your journal at night and write in your dream diary each morning by candle light. A fireplace is also a great way to make your heart and home warmer.

- A twinkle light display in the window is a great way to brighten up the night, or use one wall to create a twinkle light display along the ceiling. Turn them on while watching TV or studying to brighten the atmosphere and give a holiday feel. If you just use white twinkle lights you can leave them up all year, add some garland to them according to the holiday if you wish. Like autumn garland for fall-thanksgiving, holly garlands for Christmas, and hearts & roses for Valentine's Day.

- A Designated Reading area with a tall lamp can be a perfect retreat. A comfortable chair, a lamp that provides plenty of light for reading, and a fluffy throw is all that is needed. But there are even more creative ways to dress up your "nook". A colorful pillow. A faux fur blanket. A plush ottoman. Some jewels hanging from your lamp shade. Be creative and make it cheerful, and above all yours.

- Get some sunlight time if you possibly can. Get outside if you possibly can and go for a walk to get as much natural light as you can in winter months. It's amazing what a little exercise and some natural light can do for you. All you have to do is dress for the weather. Wear layers, warm gloves, a hat and insulated shoes or boots. If you have to you can double up your socks and gloves to keep your feet and hands extra warm.

Cold weather can make a draft, and your fingers and feet get cold. Now\'s the time (fall) to get your gear ready!

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- Get out your Fuzzy socks! I don't know anyone who doesn't like colorful fluffy socks on a cold afternoon. Mix em and match em. Wear your pink with your purple one. Wear your toe socks. Wear your fuzzy ones. Wear your neon, leopard print ones. It doesn't matter, because keeping your feet warm is an important part of feeling warm all over. A pair of fluffy slippers paired with socks can keep your toes snug as 10 bugs in a rug.

- Wash up your hats and gloves and scarves. Dig up last years knitted winter accessories and wash them in some lovely scented fabric softener. They'll be fresh and dust free for that first freezing wind! Get them organized by the door so you won't forget them, or keep them tucked in your coat sleeves. Wear your hat and scarf with pride, don't shed them simply because your friend makes fun of your ear flaps. You feeling warm, cozy, and happy is what\'s important.

- Wear an appropriate coat! And a t-shirt under your sweater is a great way to get a little extra warmth. Layers are definately the way to go if you have to be outside in colder weather, then you can shed layers as the day warms up.

„Invest in a an electric blanket. There's nothing more luxurious in the the colder months than to get into a warm bed. Some other ideas: is a warm water bottle at the foot of your bed, layer up your socks to warm your feet up in a hurry, or having a canopy of sorts over your bed; the material will help trap your body heat to keep you warm at night.

The right food will warm up your body, and feed your soul!

„Do some baking on a cold day. It will warm up the house, and everyone will be cheered up by the goodies. Refrigerator cookie dough will do the trick, if you don't feel like making things from scratch. Frozen pizza, or a box cake, are other quick and easy ideas.

„Make a cup of tea or a mug of hot chocolate. Drinking tea could even be a daily ritual, since it doesn't have any calories. You could make it a designated time of the day between getting home from work and supper. Or it's a great way to start your morning.

- Stir up some soup. A quick can of soup and a grilled cheese is probably one of the best comfort foods around. But there's lot's of lower fat ways to make soup. Use lean chicken, and lot's of veggies and be sure to skip the pasta when making soup if you want to cut some of the calories. A little spice in your soup like chilli or tortilla soup can heat you up even more. and baking some corn bread to go with it or some frozen bread dough will warm your whole house up not to mention how great it tastes!

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Take this time indoors to relax and rest.

„ Now\'s your chance to catch up on those book purchases you've had sitting on your shelf. Take this time to watch all the TV shows you like, or re watch all the ones you already love. A movie night with popcorn is a great idea.

- How about a nice nap? or just sitting around staring out the window with a cup of coffee, and have yourself a little day dream. There's plenty of time to just "veg" in winter when your snowed in!

- How about some creative writing and correspondence. Now's the time to keep up with all your pen pals, and write a poem or two.

- What's more relaxing then a hot bath or shower? Now's the time to really soak in a hot bath with soothing bubbles. Or really take the time to enjoy you scented body wash and shampoo in the shower.

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More indoor activities to keep you from getting bored!

„ Crafting, drawing, coloring, painting, sewing, etc. How about taking up knitting? Here's your chance to hone those skills you've been wishing you had; when you see all the great stuff people make on Etsy all the time.

„ A daily exercise routine is a great way to help keep you a little fitter, and keep your mood elevated. You can try an exercise video, or just do sit-ups, and push ups. Or if you really want to have some fun, how about wii sports?

- Another great way to have a lot of fun in winter is game night. Get out your deck of cards, board games, Pictionary, etc. and don't forget about Charades!

I hope you find this list useful, and will help you look forward to winter this year! I didn't even mention all the great holidays coming up! I figured those ones were pretty obvious! Here's to a happy season, every season!

Written by Lisa

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Corny Autumn Jokes by Lisa

An Autumn Joke:
How do you fix a broken pumpkin?
With a pumpkin patch.

A Halloween Joke:
What do ghosts serve for desert?
Ice Scream.

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Here are October birthdays of our active members, make sure to wish them a special day!

alec [8]
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Danni [9]
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annaxbby [16]
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kittie [18]
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abblecrumble (Abigail) [19]
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Melissa [21]
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pixie18pie [27]
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Sofia [31]
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Animated pixels (pumpkin cat, pumpkins, candies) obtained from tumblr user unseelieangel, original source unknown

Animated pixels (ducks) obtained from tumblr user pixel-soup, original source ilovepixels

Leaves Divider obtained from tumblr user pixelsgalore

Animated cake pixel obtained from tumblr user pixelshiba

Extra special thanks to Lisa and Luana for their newsletter submissions!

Thank you to all staff who are hosting events for us this month!

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Graphics, unless otherwise mentioned, made by Kit for use on Teahouse MB