Fall · Lifestyle

A Big Sweaty Good-bye Kiss to Summer…and Hello Fall!

I love fall!

For many many years, summer was hands down my favorite. But just recently I realized that as a kid, teenager, and even a young and vibrant college girl, summer meant no school, hours of laying out by the pool with an iced anything, my birthday! Free time to relax and recharge. The list could go on for days, but overall, summer= fun, relaxing, and beautifying. As an actual grown up with an active toddler, summer= hot, sweaty, and tired. Ok, and yes it’s still fun! But let me just be honest. I haaaate being hot! I’ve come to learn that I actually sweat more than the average person (lovely, I know).

When It’s summer time, I have to have a timed out, mapped out, checklist plan for getting ready to go somewhere, if I actually want to show up still looking decent. The air has to be right and adjusted for specific rooms, also accommodating hair appliances. The car has to be started early to cool off. Before I even begin to get ready, all child items have to be packed and ready to go in order to cut out the “down to the wire” stress sweat. And if husband decides to take a steamy, sauna temp shower 10 minutes before I’m finished getting ready in the same bathroom…Lord have mercy on us both. Insert “I literally just can’t” here.

10 times out of 10, I leave the house sweating and use my first few car minutes to crank the air up, and do some deep breathing exercises. It has never helped that I am not naturally skinny. My legs stick together every day of the year. And since having a baby, my midsection takes some finagling to get everything up, over, and in just right, while also doing quality control to make sure my outfit of choice doesn’t cling or accentuate in any of the wrong places. I’m sure nobody understands…And let’s not even mention swimsuits. Not going to be completely dramatic by saying that laying out by the pool is a thing of the past, but it has been significantly reduced to an occasional hour during toddler nap time on a weekend afternoon while husband is home. Which definitely happened only 1 single time this summer. Let’s not confuse laying out with family pool time. The two are very much different in this stage of life. Pool time with a 2 yr old is a commitment of energy, effort, patience, and at least a couple of sore muscles the next day. But I usually don’t regret it once we’re there. #momlife

Up until 5 years ago, I lived my whole life in Texas. In Texas it is basically hot year round. I never got used to it. And I never got over it. I just know that I was always so very thankful when the fall like weather moved in and actually stayed for a minute. Like in November. Yes. For all you non-Texas residents, I did say November. It is simply not a guarantee that you will have the crisp happy fall weather of your dreams until November. And you can pretty much guarantee at least a random day or weekend to be in the “unseasonably” 80s anytime between November and January, because well, Texas does what it wants. By the time the trees in East Texas are in their full fall color glory, it is time for Christmas and it’s just all awkward. And still probably hot.

I used to love summer. Now I do not. Now I love fall. I now live in the upstate of South Carolina where it is September first and the tree in my front yard is already starting to turn red. I have always liked fall. But now I absolutely truly, madly, deeply love it. I have always been a tree lover, but I have never been so enamored with the true full out beauty of fall until I lived here the first time a few years ago. The trees and the apple orchards are my favorite. The warm rich flavors of fall cooking, and the naturally more uplifted mood of my husband because of football season is also my favorite. Fall is the beginning of the season that leads up to our most beloved holiday of Christmas. From here until the end of the year, this is our happy time.

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer. Despite my deep disdain of the heat, this has also been a busy, and exhausting summer for us with a big move across half the country and getting settled in our new home, my husband’s new job, and our new-again town. We had a wedding trip back to Texas, a beach vacation, and 5 birthdays in between. I am thankful for these blessings, but I am sending summer off with a big fat hot and sweaty kiss!

Time for the pumpkin spice lattes, fall decorations, football, warmer colors, leaves, campfires, new candles and soaps, and time to get back in the kitchen for my favorite cooking season! I’ll hold off on the boots and sweaters for now until the weather catches up. Because you know…Sweat.

So long summer! Hello Fall!



Fall · Home Decor

When You Want Everything FALL…Like Right Now!

So, it has been a rainy, and uncharacteristically cool(er) mid-August, the past few days here in good ol’ Oklahoma. I am also feeling a simmering amount of extra joy as I am doing light housekeeping instead of running around like a (sad) mad woman trying to get my classroom, papers, meetings, and phone calls to parents in order, while, oh yeah, still taking care of my household.


(Confessions of a former teacher/teacher’s kid, where LITERALLY my whole life has operated on school schedule: (1.) This is the first time in my whole entire life that I am not gearing up for back to school. (2.) I LOVE FALL–but am usually trying to squeeze out every ounce of summer. (3.) I loved being a teacher, but from the very beginning of my career I always felt overwhelmed, yet at the same time underwhelmed in the sense of life purpose. A.K.A. I felt gifted in working with and loving on kids, but was not 100% convinced that teaching was my major overall calling in life.)

But not this year! I am loving my new life as a stay-at-home-mom, wife, and homemaker.

So today on this drizzly, below average temperature, mid-August day, while running normal errands with my girl, I saw it! Sitting so wonderfully in the Starbucks pastry case. I’ve seen it before, hundreds of times. But today I saw it and it spoke to me, and I answered.

“I’ll also have a piece of the pumpkin loaf.” 🙂

And that was it! In one decadent bite I was now officially in FULL FALL mode. Our errands resumed with an added stop to Hobby Lobby to peruse the aisles that I had been previously avoiding while still in summer mode. (I’m still turning my head when I pass the Christmas aisles. I just can’t with those yet.) When I got home and put little lovey down for a nap, ignored my planned household chores, and plopped on the couch with my laptop, ready to dig into the best of everything in Fall on the great wide world of Pinterest.

Where to start? Food-Home-Food-Home-Food-Home….

Home is where I landed.

So, I’m very much into transitioning my home throughout the year by the seasons.  If you’re anything like me, you’re ready for fall, like now! But it is still uhm…August. So here are a few tricks I’ve used to make it easy, affordable, and gradual–Atleast until mid-September when everyone else has jumped on the ‘Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice’ hay ride.

1. Throw Pillows & Blankets

Keep some good neutral throw pillows for year round, then bring in those more seasonal ones. I have a good bit of white and flax color pillows that I keep out, then just a couple with some deep yellows, and oranges in the pattern that I bring out for fall. I like to have variety by having a mix of patterns, solids, and textures. Same thought with the blankets. If you love cozying up with blankets like I do, keep neutral colors year round, then maybe have one toasty fall color with a good texture to toss across a sitting chair or decoratively into a basket.


2. Candles

Candle holders are a popular decor item these days, and also one of the easiest, inexpensive items to change seasonally. Not the candle holder, but the candle! When you are buying candle holders, choose a neutral color that goes with your style. Then as the seasons change, choose pillar candles in colors that will go with the rest of your seasonal decor. Easy peasy! I think this year I am especially loving the oranges & golds.




3.  Stems

As we’ve all seen in our favorite HGTV show (eh-huhm, Fixer Upper. amiright?), beautifully styled rooms all have some foliage added to them. Now, I haven’t quite yet mastered keeping house plants alive, but that’s why there are some awesome, seasonally appropriate, faux stems available. For people like me :). The important thing is to keep your stems true to the season. I’m guilty of having spring blossoms out with my fall decor and I have now learned. So, don’t do that. Do some browsing first to really decide what your true style is,  and make sure your stems are ones that would actually be growing in the fall. The stores usually have helpful labels too 😉




Bonus Idea: Printables

There are so many cute printables online that you can click, order, download, and print! Add them to a frame (that you most likely already have), stick them on an entry table or mantle, and wah-la! You now have a cute, personal touch of fall for about $5.

These are all little things you can do in a day by just grabbing some goodies from your favorite stores. If you are on a budget, you can do ALL of these beautifully and keep it between $50-$100! As fall approaches more, decide if there’s something else that you’re really wanting to add, maybe next month, and here is a grand idea—save your money for it! I’ve learned I’d rather have one or 2 items that I REALLY like, instead of a bunch of knick-knack things that I just kinda wanted.

Have fun making your homes beautiful!