Shiny Things

October 2015 — Adele, Sedona, TEDx, and Passion Planners

The Hogwarts Express at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, 2015

As a child (and adolescent … and still to this day) catching a glimpse of something shiny out of the corner of my eye would grab my attention. Much to my parents’ dismay, I was incessantly picking up rocks, feathers, coins, gum wrappers, and found objects of all shapes and sizes. My affinity for shiny things hasn’t waned, but with access to the Internet and a network of intelligent, curious friends, my attention is now drawn toward articles, audio, books, and websites. These are the things that pique my interest, tickle my fancy, and change my world.

Here are your October Shiny Things!

Love and more love and all of the love,


Hello by Adele

It’s the first thing we’ve heard from Adele in nearly 5 years. The mere mention of new music from Adele brought me to tears. Her previous albums, 19 and 21, were replayed and overplayed in my home. I expect 25 to be no different. Link to the music video for her new single, Hello, below.

And a little BuzzFeed humor about what happens when Adele releases a new song.

Sedona, AZ

The entire city of Sedona is its own shiny thing. My roommate and I spent 3 full days hiking through the red rocks, visiting crystal shops, and completely unwinding from the routine of daily life. There were so many moments of complete peace and overwhelming mystery during my time in Sedona. Driving in to the city after sunset was something uncommonly beautiful: Sedona is a dark sky town, meaning that there are no street lights or up lighting anywhere in the city. You can see the stars everywhere you go. Words cannot do it any justice. If you are ever able to visit this magical place, don’t think twice — just go.


Is it a cop out to continue saying that words simply cannot capture the things I want to share about this experience? For the record, I’m planning to write a blog post about one particular moment of this year’s event so I will actually be challenging myself to put it all into words. TEDxNaperville is where I spent most of my time and creative energy from April til November. The organizing committee is a family, fraught with drama and joy and glued together by neuroticism and love for each other and a common goal: to blow our attendees’ minds on conference day. This year’s event was an unimaginable success. Videos of all of the talks will be available in the next couple of months.

Passion Planner

Yes, I did talk about this last month but I am talking about it again because I just pre-ordered my 2016 Passion Planner. This was one of my favorite purchases of 2015 and I am so excited to use it again this year. I loved getting back to a paper planner (though I still keep appointments in my iCal to be sure I’m on time to everything). This planner doesn’t just help organize your schedule, there’s built in space on every page to keep you on track toward bigger goals and passions. My favorite is the side bar that reads “Good Things That Happened”, which reminds me to keep track of all the things I’m grateful for. Looking back through the past year there are so many wonderful little moments that I captured in this space that would have been forgotten otherwise.

If you’re skeptical about using a paper planner, you can download it for free and try it for yourself. ps. if you decide to order a planner based on my glowing recommendation, feel free to add my email address to the referral line — brightsheshines(at)gmail

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