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!

Cozy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! I woke up this morning a little tired and sore, but overall I felt motivated to start a new week.

The mornings have been a lot cooler recently with temperatures hanging around in the mid 60s. I can definitely feel that Autumn isn’t far off when I walk out on the deck in the mornings now.

Brendan was off work for Labor Day toady and Ellis and I were happy to have him around for what felt like another Saturday. Around Breakfast time Brendan went out to do some birthday shopping for me and while he was out I had breakfast and got to hang out with Ellis.

Ellis turned 2 years-old on Thursday and I’m still trying to process how my baby is such a big boy now. Everyone always uses the term “Terrible Twos”, which I absolutely hate. I say “Terrific Twos” instead because I refuse to speak negatively over my child.

That being said, we’ve definitely had some trying moments over the past few days. It’s as if somebody flipped a switch the day after Ellis’ birthday and as a result he’s been quite emotional. Poor buddy has been having meltdowns regularly several times a day and he’s been acting very independent and gets extremely frustrated when he doesn’t get exactly what he wants. The past few days haven’t been easy, but I’m hoping that he’s just going through a wonder week.

Anyway…

Today was one of those days where I felt quite productive around the house and I felt happy and motivated to do chores. I had several baskets of laundry that needed to be folded and put away and I hoped to get some tidying up done around the house during the morning. My intention was to pull out all of our fall/halloween decor and start decorating, but we didn’t quite get that far. That may be on the agenda for tomorrow though.

By the time Brendan got back home around noon Ellis was asking to go out on a ride and get out of the house. So Brendan decided to take Ellis out for a bit while I got some more chores done around the house.

I put some Jazz music on and got busy in the kitchen! Does anyone else love Jazz music? It puts me in the coziest fall mood and lifts my spirits if I’m feeling down.

First off I decided to make some juices. I’ve been trying to have us eat all of the leftover fruits and veggies from Ellis’ party last week, but we still had a decent amount that really needed to go. So, I grabbed carrots, celery, and cucumbers that have been chilling in the fridge for a week and paired them with some ginger, lemon, and grapefruit. A very tasty juice if I do say so myself!

Next up I made my go-to ginger shots. I’ve been making these regularly since Brendan and I got married and I try to fix them for us once a week during cold and flu season. To make them simply juice 2 lemons, 1 green apple, a 1-inch piece of ginger, and then mix in some turmeric powder and a bit of black pepper.

I was feeling quite domesticated and resourceful today, so I took the citrus rinds that were leftover from juicing and decided to place them in a mason jar and cover them with some white vinegar. Hopefully within a couple of weeks I’ll have some nice all-purpose cleaner to use. This was my first time making a citrus vinegar cleaner so I’ll have to let you guys know how it turns out.

Once the boys got home I fixed Ellis some leftovers for lunch and finally took myself upstairs to shower and get dressed. By the time I was done with that I knew that Ellis was tired and ready to go down for his nap. So while Brendan went to go mow the yard I nursed Ellis and got him to fall asleep.

I spent the rest of the afternoon taking it easy doing a little bit of reading and writing. One of the books I’m currently reading is Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth. I actually watched the tv series on Netflix a couple of years ago before I realized it was a book. But my mom found this copy at Goodwill and let me borrow it to read. I’m not quite halfway through it yet, but I’m really enjoying it so far.

For dinner this evening I wanted to fix a warm filling meal that would leave us with some leftovers for lunches tomorrow, so I decided to make some spinach lasagna rolls. I’ve been eating fully plant-based on and off again this year (I can talk more about that in another post sometime), and I can definitely say that when I eat dairy like I did tonight, my body really doesn’t feel well afterwards. I’ve had this lasagna recipe since Brendan and I first started dating, but I don’t make it very often.

After dinner I tidied up the kitchen and Brendan’s office and then spent some time reading to Ellis before we finally got him to go to bed. Now I’m going to work on some more blog content while watching “Sister Sister” on Netflix.

I hope you guys had a wonderful Labor Day!

House Tour

It’s been a little over a week now since we moved into our cozy new house. It’s hard for me to put into words how happy my heart is, even with all of the chaos and uncertainty going on in the world right now. This house has been everything I dreamed it would be and more. 

I know that there are a lot of mixed emotions swirling around due to the pandemic that the world is experiencing and it can feel strange to see content online that is meant to be light hearted and happy. I thought about waiting to share a look at our house for a later time when things aren’t so hectic. But then I thought that maybe somebody out there might care and would like a little piece of normalcy to cling to. Also, who doesn’t like looking at pretty old houses? 

I want to write an entire post on our house hunting journey and how we came across this house. But until then, I’ll just say that this house came to us at the exact moment we needed it. God answered my prayers and gave us our dream house, and I am feeling so blessed that I get to live here and make this house a home with my boys. 

Okay, so here’s a room-by-room look at our 1930s house. Most of these photos were taken before we closed and got the keys, so not much has been cleaned and all of the rooms are empty.

Front door

Front/side porch

Front door leading into entryway/mudroom

Mudroom

Mudroom

Staircase leading to second floor

In the living room looking towards the entryway

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Living room

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Living room looking into dining room

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Dining room

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Dining room. This china cabinet was already here when we bought the house. I don’t like it, so if anyone is interested in it let me know!

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Dining room.

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Sunroom looking into the dining room

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Sunroom. This room was not originally part of the house. The brick was the exterior of the house and I love that it was preserved like this.

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Sunroom

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Sunroom

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Kitchen

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Kitchen.

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Door to first floor half bath and pantry cabinets

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First floor half bath. This room needs a lot of help.

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Office room off of the kitchen

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Beautiful built-in shelves in the office room

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Second floor main bathroom

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Second floor main bathroom

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Second floor main bathroom

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Second floor main bathroom

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hall area looking into two of the upstairs bedrooms

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Ellis’ bedroom

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Brendan and my bedroom. I somehow didn’t get any photos of our bedroom when it was empty, so this is a little sneak peak of what the house looks like now.

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Brendan and my bedroom. I somehow didn’t get any photos of our bedroom when it was empty, so this is a little sneak peak of what the house looks like now.

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A smaller spare bedroom on the second floor, that I also failed to get pictures of when it was empty

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A smaller spare bedroom on the second floor, that I also failed to get pictures of when it was empty

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A smaller spare bedroom on the second floor, that I also failed to get pictures of when it was empty

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Stairs in the spare bedroom leading cup to the bonus room in the attic

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Beautiful bonus room in the attic 

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Bonus room stairs leading down to the bedroom

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Jumping back downstairs now. These are the stairs leading to the basement. Cheetah actually loves the basement and hangs out down there all the time

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Basement (aka the man cave) 

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Basement. The door leads to the garage

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The laundry room

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Full basement bathroom 

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Basement bedroom

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Storage room that leads outside into the back yard

Home sweet home

So there you have it! I love that this house is full of character and has so many fun details. It definitely seemed big at first compared to the apartments we have lived in, but I love knowing that we have plenty of space to grow our family here.

Once we get things in place and set up like we want I might do a more in-depth look into each room. More to come on that later this spring! Let me know what you think.

 

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?