Autumn Traditions

“Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul.” – Anonymous

Long before I became a mother, I dreamed of what it would be like to have a house full of children to care for and raise. I’d imagine how fun it would be to build blanket forts on rainy days, make special homemade meals on the weekends, and make holidays special with arts and crafts and decorations.

I must admit that after becoming a mother its sometimes hard for me to hold onto those dreamy ideals. Maybe it’s just the age he’s at, but Ellis doesn’t seem to want to focus on one thing long enough to try and make a blanket fort or even entertain the idea of doing some fun afternoon craft project. However, he loved decorating for his birthday party and still talks about it and I know that what really matters is spending time with him and making memories together.

I’m starting a new tradition with Ellis where we pull out all of our fall and Halloween decor on September 10th. This gives us time to get past birthday celebrations because both Ellis and my birthday are in September. I also like the idea of having something fun to look forward to after the birthday excitement has worn off.

I love the changing seasons and autumn has always been a special time of year for me. I love the magic and coziness that autumn brings and the symbolism of slowing down and turning inward. In years past I have waited until the first day of fall to dust off the felt pumpkins and decorate our home, but I want a little more time to enjoy the warmth and cheer this year.

On Thursday Ellis and I enjoyed going through my big black box of halloween and fall decor. Unlike last year, Ellis was very excited to pull out all of the pumpkins and see what kind of goodies were in the box. We put on some jazz music while we decorated and then later in the day I made some Autumn Squash soup to have for dinner that night.

I want to know, does your family have any special autumn traditions? Do you decorate for fall or Halloween? I’ll have to give you guys a look at all of our decor once we get things in place!

Autumn in New York City — The Upper West Side

This past Monday Brendan and I took the train from Wilmington, Delaware into New York City for a day trip. We try to visit NYC every year and we usually end up going in May to celebrate our anniversary. I was excited that we got to visit my favorite city in October this year. It’s always been a dream of mine to visit the city in Autumn and I was not disappointed by the golden foliage and festive decorations we found.

I have so many photos from our trip that I want to share. But for this post I want to focus on the photos I took on the Upper West Side. We wanted to visit different locations this trip and I had read that the Upper West Side knows how to do Halloween. So we wandered the streets and admired the creepy crawly festive houses all decked out for All Hallows’ Eve.

What’s your favorite time of year to visit NYC?

My Cozy Autumn Home

October is undoubtedly one of my very favorite months of the year. It’s when autumn really nestles in and the wind begins to whisper that it’s time to slow down and turn inward.

Something I love to do when autumn arrives is decorate my home to reflect the changing season. This year, I started to unpack my autumn and Halloween decorations at the start of September. I felt like the season passed me by last year, so I wanted to take the time to savor it this year.

Nothing warms my heart quite like plugging in my cozy lights in the evening, lighting a couple of candles, seeing velvet pumpkins lying around, as I curl up on the couch with a good book.

So here’s a look at some of the festive decor I’ve gathered over the years. I adore my little home and my family that I share it with.

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Living room — Fabric pumpkin, ceramic pumpkin, Edgar Allan Poe painting, Wuthering Heights painting, “Never More” tomb stone, and cozy orange lights on top of my bookshelf.

Living room — My bookshelf.

Living Room — Glass pumpkin candy jar I thrifted in Charleston, SC 2 years ago w/ cozy lights inside.

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Entryway — Vintage jack-o-lantern my dad bought for me at an auction.

Entryway — Vintage ghost my dad got for me at an auction.

Living Room — Happy Halloween banner that I bought at Target for $0.10 a few years ago.

Living Room — Wooden “Happy Halloween” tomb stone, ceramic light up jack-o-lantern, and crow all from Target

Living room — This little shelf hangs above my yellow reading chair in the living room. The little planter pot is from Anthropologie and has dried magnolia leaves in it, the ceramic witch boots and pumpkins are from Target. And the letter board was a Christmas gift.

Living room — This adorable witch used to have lotion inside, I believe it’s from Avon. My Maw got it for me when I was little and I’ve had it ever since. It’s currently sitting on my bookshelf. Ellis loves to play with it. 

Living Room — Velvet pumpkins as a center piece on the coffee table.

Living room — I always have some sort of Cavallini poster in this frame on top of the entertainment set. I switched it from Dandelions to these mushrooms to go along with my autumn theme.

Living room — A beautiful Halloween card I received from a friend last year, ghost tea light holder from Walmart, and my thrifted pumpkin jar again on top of the entertainment set. 

Living room — My very favorite yellow velvet reading chair I thrifted in Charleston, SC for $12! This chair is here year-round, but I made it more festive by adding the orange velvet pillow from World Market and the pumpkin blanket I got from Target the other week.

Living Room — This is Ichabod! He’s one of the few Halloween items I bought last year.

Dining area — These signs hang above my coffee cart. I swapped one of my normal signs for the witch one which was gifted to me.

Dining area — I wanted to make my coffee cart more festive, so I found this little organizer in the dollar spot at Target. In it I have a Black Cat brew sign, a ceramic pumpkin, a couple of pumpkin candles, my coffee mugs for guests, and a cute jack-o-lantern figurine from Michale’s.

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Dining area — I have a few autumn mugs hanging on this wooden mug tree. I bought this adorable vintage inspired Halloween mug at World Market back on my birthday.

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Dining area — Vintage inspired trick-or-treating black cat figurine from Michale’s.

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Dining area — Pumpkin drinking glass and witch’s broom stir sticks that I keep on my coffee cart. Both are from Target.

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Dining area — Vintage trick-or-treaters candy jar that my parents bought at an auction and gave to me for my birthday last year. I plan to fill it up all the way with acorns that I gather on walks outside.

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Kitchen — Some of my cute Halloween plates, bowls, and mason jars.

Kitchen — Just a couple of the Halloween dish towels I own.

Kitchen — My mom cross-stitched this adorable little Halloween hanging for my dorm room back in 2012.

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Kitchen — This agent hangs on my fridge. My mom and I have matching ones haha.

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Kitchen — Center piece for the island. Ceramic pumpkins and lantern from Target.

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Kitchen — My mom crocheted this adorable little hanging for me a few years ago. I have it hanging on my fridge right now.

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Guest Bathroom — Had to add a little touch of autumn magic in each room.

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Ellis’ Bedroom — I bought this little ceramic jack-o-lantern for Ellis to keep in his room.

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Sunroom — Boo garland hanging in the sunroom. I’m pretty sure my mom got this for me to put in my dorm room years ago. I used to go all out and decorate my dorm room too!

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Sunroom — Cute little owl my mom gave me for my birthday.

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Sunroom — My dad got me a bunch of random Halloween knick-knacks a couple years ago from an auction. I have them placed here and there on my book shelves and I like the little touch of spook it gives.

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Sunroom — I also have a a few velvet pumpkins placed here and there on my bookshelf.

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Sunroom — Another random knick-knack on my book shelf.

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Sunroom — And of course, more ceramic pumpkins from Target. I buy some every year and can never seem to have enough. I have a problem.

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Sunroom — Vintage Halloween toy my dad bought at an auction. This lives in the sunroom for the most part, but Ellis like to play with it and move it around.

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Sunroom — Crow Halloween pillow my brother gave to me for my birthday a few years ago. My birthday is in September, and as you can tell my family likes to get me Halloween things as gifts. I love it!

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Sunroom — Another random knick-knack that sits on the window ledge in the sunroom.

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Entryway — I haven’t really finished this little space in the entryway, but for now I have the ghost and jack-o-lantern, a little wooden crow, and these vintage inspired wall hangings my dad bought for me last year.

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Bedroom — A have a couple of these velvet pumpkins in our bedroom. I put the darker ones with the glittery stems in the bedroom because they compliment the jewel tones in our room.

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Bedroom — Adorable handmade “Boo” garland that my mom made for my dorm room years ago. I have this hanging on my bookshelf in our bedroom.

I have some other random decorations here and there that I either didn’t post photos of or I haven’t put up yet. As you can tell, I love getting decorations as birthday gifts and displaying them all throughout our apartment. I like a mix of cozy autumn decor that is warm and rich in color, and spooky vintage Halloween this and that’s.

What’s your style of decorating for this season? Do you stick to the more traditional fall decor of pumpkins and candles? Do you like to go all out with scary ghosts and witches? Or a combination of the two?

Autumnal Beauty

Today was the first day of the season that truly felt like autumn. The sky was gray and overcast and there was a damp feeling in the air. One of the first things I do in the mornings is take Ellis to open up the sunroom. We say good morning to the plants that live in there and give our kitty Cheetah some pets. With the temperatures in the low 60s today, we decided to open up all of the windows to start the day with some fresh energy. I love to open the windows to let the stale air out, it always puts me in great spirits and gives me motivation for my day.

I hav been ready for autumn for quite a while now. I felt the shift in seasons tugging at me back at the end of August. Instead of fighting the change and holding onto summer like I have done in the past, I gladly surrendered and welcomed autumn.

This time of year has always been one of my very favorites. It’s a time for us to slow down and ready ourselves for the cold months ahead, to savor the rich colors of nature, and enjoy the bright sunny days and the crisp evenings. I feel elated at the thought of the cozy holiday season ahead and doing some real soul searching and thinking about how I want to spend my time during the last three months of 2019.

Last year I felt such a disconnect from myself, nature, and the seasons changing. Since I gave birth to Ellis at the beginning of September in 2018, summer seemed to come to a screeching halt. I felt that time was standing still within the four walls of my apartment. I nearly spent the first two weeks postpartum huddled up inside getting to know my little Sunshine Babe. And then by the time I stepped back out into the world, fully expecting to pick right back up where I left off, fall kind of slapped me in the face and left me feeling stunned and confused.

It’s hard to describe last autumn. I still have many fond memories from the last three months of 2018, but it was probably the hardest months of my life. Raising a newborn, feeling like a completely different person than the one I was before giving birth, and dealing with a lot of heavy emotional trauma just had me beaten down and feeling like I was gasping for air.

I was a little anxious about the emotions that might be stirred up during this time of year, but I think I am in a much better place now. Instead of the hurt and confusion I thought would resurface, I’ve felt immense healing, peace, and clarity.

How does the shift in seasons make you feel? Do you feel excited and hopeful for what’s to come? Or do you dread the colder, darker days of the autumn months?

One of my intentions for the last three months of 2019 is to be more involved and invested in writing in this little space of mine. I’ve missed blogging and sharing little bits and pieces of my thoughts and feelings, and I really want to ease back into it.