Halloween table

Being in a bigger house – three times the size of our house in California – means that we need more stuff to decorate it for the holidays. This year we’re going to focus on expanding our Christmas stash, so for Halloween we’ll decorate smaller areas in our home, such as the sofa table in the living room.

The center lantern is one Steve has had forever, as is the marble chessboard. I found the striped candles at World Market and loved the pattern play, so I added them. Then I thought we needed a little dose of glam.

I saw these adorable mini pumpkins at Target, polka dotted black and white and metallic gold – perfect.

The spooky cloche is from Michaels, and I added some suitably horrifying books from our book collection to complete the scene.


It’s a nice little spot in our living area and makes me feel like I have accomplished my Halloween decorating for the year ūüėÄ I also managed to score those blood-dripping candles from World Market so I might change it up at some point.

We are enjoying the first days of fall here in Wisconsin, some of the trees are already sporting flashes of bright reds and oranges. I can’t wait to experience this season!

Fall wish list

I’m really trying NOT to rush the whole fall thing because two years ago my BFF and I decorated our houses for fall on the first week of August and it was November and we were still sweating in ninety-degree weather. But, I figure I’m not actually buying anything, just, ya know, talking about it, so hopefully I won’t jinx things too much.

The key for me is to know what suits me and what does not, because as much as I love this dress, that salmon color looks like ass with my coloring. And this shirt looks super cute on the model, but I have D-cups, and button downs are the bugbears of my wardrobe.

After all that ado, here are a few pieces in a coveting:

2015 august

Parka Snow BootsBlazer Tee Tote Top Necklace

’tis fall in our living room

And nowhere else, apparently, given the 100-degree weekend we just had. But in the spirit of “if you decorate for it, it will arrive”, I added some fall touches to our living room.

We had everything I used, although some of the garlands have seen better days and didn’t get used. I love groupings of candles at varying heights, and I made the little candle with cinnamon sticks last year:

The brown vase in the back is from IKEA and the green bottle held liquor in its former, non-decorative, life. The two lovely glass pumpkins are very dear to me and I will share why later in this post.

On the TV console, I used a fabric runner my mom made a few years ago and used decorative pumpkins, our LED candles and real candles, a miniature chest a friend gave me long, long ago, and a fall floral spray on top:

The other side continues the theme with more small candles. Even though it was like 90 degrees when I took this picture, I have to admit I love candles. Their glow is just magical.

Overall view:

Now on to the glass pumpkins. These were given to me by my dear friend Kat.

I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since she passed. I miss her every day and although I am super busy, the mornings I used to spend with her still feel empty. Thank you for making me a better person, Kat.

So that’s our living room with some touches of autumn throughout, I am hoping that the matching autumn weather is here SOON!!! I dream of long walks with my sweet Foxy, wrapped in sweaters and scarves — both of us, ha ha – while the wind blows and the leaves turn golden. For now I just have super early walks because anything after 10am is too fricking hot and I am sweating like a pig 30 seconds into the walk.

I have a couple of fall projects I am working on and hope to share with you all soon!

Trip to the “big mall”

My friend J and I hit the big mall yesterday, but instead of a plethora of inspiration what we found was mostly “meh”. Maybe we’ve been on Pinterest too long (not) but there were a few things that caught my eye, and our noses:

This candle is awesome. The smell is so unbelievably yummy, I can’t wait to put these out around our living room once this freaking heat goes away.

Seriously. It’s almost September, people, I should not be sweating at 7 in the morning.

Then we hit Sephora and I found this gorgeous gloss, I think I had looked at it before, but it’s such a pretty and wearable shade, although it’s scary purple in the tube. It wore down to a shimmery raspberry.

I had no lipstick or gloss before so I got a pretty true representation of the color. It’s Givenchy’s Velvet Purple and it’s just gorgeous. Still not paying $29 for a lip gloss, though.

The last item that caught my eye was an orange skirt from LOFT. I have so many neutral clothes that it would go with many of my current tops, and it would be delicious with burgundy. Again, once this freaking heat goes away.

Other than that, and our yummy coffees, there really wasn’t much to capture our imagination. Pottery Barn was a big room full of tan and grey, and I’m sorry, I need some color in my life. We were, however, inspired by the pretty candles the autumnal atmosphere around many stores, so J and I decided to go home and decorate for fall. Sort of an “if you build it, they will come” thought, maybe “if we decorate for it, the weather will cool down” — at least we hope.

Thanks, my dear friend, for an awesome morning and even more awesome chat!!!

Fashion Friday: Fall Cravings

I am loving all the rich colors in stores everywhere – be it home decor or apparel, deep greens, browns, burgundies, and golds are everywhere. Let me share a few pretties that have caught my eye recently:

1. Wool blend coat from Old Navy

2. Cotton peplum shell by LOFT

3. Polka dot top by Merona @ Target

4. Rose bouquet print skirt by LOFT

5. Leopard print cropped pant by Merona @ Target

6. Hooded anorak from Old Navy

7. Celtic riding boot by Etienne Aigner at DSW

8. Wedge pump by Adrienne Vittadini at DSW

9. Stargazer bangles at Nordstrom

10. Lost in Paradise Earrings at Francesca’s Collections

11. Rustic Wear Scarf at Francesca’s Collections

12. Bellini Lip & Eye Palette by Bobbi Brown

What has caught your eye from among the fall season offerings out there?

Insane Asylum sign

This past weekend, my husband made an awesome sign for Halloween.

Although, considering how crazy we tend to get around the holidays, I might be keeping that sign up for a while ūüėÄ

The backing is an old puzzle tray we had, pieces had gone missing long ago but the tray itself was perfect for this project. Steve added plain thumbtacks, then cut out the letters from foam – yes, by hand, I keep entering those Silhouette giveaways but haven’t won one yet – and then glued them to the frame. The first coat of spray was a metallic copper, then he did a wash with black paint so the pigment would settle into the crevices, and finally he added some greenish paint for a rusted, patina look.

I think he did such a great job!!! He has a lot more planned for our front yard but we wanted to share this bit for now.

So creepy!!!

\

shabby creek cottage

Fall accent craft


Recently I decided to make a little something something for the bathroom — I was walking around Daiso and saw plain wood boxes, so I grabbed one and decided to fall-ify it a bit.


Two coats of dark brown paint later — this was the bit that took the longest, waiting for the paint to dry — I added a lovely dark orange bit of ribbon I have had for a while. I used yellow ribbon to make a little flower accent and added the year in a cardstock circle.


I had leftover brown cardstock so I made a little tag and added glittery chipboard letters to spell out “autumn”. The filler apples, scented cinnamon sticks and candle were also in part of our fall decor bin, so this was a super cheap craft, I paid less than $2 for the little box and everything else I already had.

So there you have it, a little piece of fall for not much money — hope you have a wonderful week!

Birthday weekend, part 4

After lunch and a nap, we got ready for dinner at Allegria.

Last year, our friends C&D had come to Napa with us and they’d gifted me a bottle of Caymus zinfandel. ¬†I decided to bring the Caymus to my birthday dinner at Allegria and share it with my hubby and our friends J&M.

The wine went perfectly with our entrees and it was a delightful dinner.

Little did I know that our friends C&D would gift me another bottle of Caymus for this birthday – score! ¬†Now I have wine for next year’s birthday dinner ;D

On Sunday, we had breakfast at the hotel and then headed home because we had invited people to celebrate with me Рthe party started at noon and we got home about 90 minutes before that.  My mother-in-law had watched the boys for us, my father-in-law got the house ready for guests, and both of them along with my husband did all the food.  I am so grateful to them!

I saw something this board on Pinterest and decided to make my own:

The afternoon was wonderful, it was so nice to see so many people from so many facets of my life. ¬†When thinking about what to say if people asked what I wanted for my birthday, I took my inspiration from the book that started my veggie garden adventure – Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver. ¬†For her 50th birthday, Barbara asks everyone to bring her a plant. ¬†I couldn’t do the same since her birthday was in May, perfect for planting, but mine is in November, and I was guessing many plants would not survive the winter. ¬†So instead, to those who asked, I simply asked for seeds. ¬†Any type of veggie or flower would do. ¬†And oh my goodness, I now have a serious stack of seeds for my 2012 garden! ¬†Plus other, very generous gifts that will all come in handy.

I didn’t want to blow out FORTY candles so my husband, helpfully, decided to get four “decade” candles.

My boys had tons of fun as well since they had lots of friends to play with.

It was such a wonderful end to my birthday weekend, so many wonderful friends and relatives. ¬†Despite all the whining and moaning I’ve done about turning forty, I know am a very lucky girl.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Birthday weekend, part 2

My husband had planned a surprise for Saturday morning, my actual birthday. ¬†He and our¬†friends¬†convinced me to get up early and “beat the rush” — I am a morning person and I thought, hey, if you want to get up at 6am too, whatever. ¬†Well, the three of them were in on the secret, which was a balloon ride!

Unfortunately, Calistoga was very foggy that morning so it was canceled. ¬†Boo. ¬†Hiss. ¬†At which point my husband told me of the plans and I was disappointed but not as much as the three of them, who were so excited over the balloon ride. ¬†Oh well. ¬†It was a super sweet plan and someday we’ll go up and see the sights from way up high.

Instead, we ended up going to a winery I’d been wanting to visit for a while. ¬†If you ever get a chance, you should visit Castello di Amorosa.

image above from destination 360.com

Dario Sattui, owner of V. Sattui, built this castle in the style of a medieval Italian castle, and only produces Italian style wines.  You can read the story here.  It is quite historically accurate Рfollowing modern codes and regulations, of course Рand it was nice to see details like the one my husband pointed out; a warming fire used to heat the rocks that made up the walls and then that heat would radiate into the rooms, making them cozier.

This place is breathtaking, and to someone who a) likes wine, and b) is a history addict, visiting Castello de Amorosa was a great experience.

My husband at the entrance of the castle.

The banquet room

My husband chose to have the wine & chocolate tasting.  Honestly, this day just kept getting better and better!  Our guide, Alene, was awesome, full of information, engaging, etc.  After the tasting, we headed over to Joseph Phelps because our friends C&D had set up a tasting for us there.

I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow ūüėÄ

Thursday Favorite ThingsWeekend Bloggy Reading

Thanksgiving Mantel

As you might have seen in my silly turkey garland post, our mantel has been de-Halloween-ed and is now ready for Thanksgiving. But last Thursday the boys and I made a little something to add up there.

I got the inspiration for this from pinterest, of course, but I decided to make this craft with stuff I had on hand.

I have been saving glass jars for the past few months, I’m trying to replace plastic food storage as much as I can, and I had a few pasta sauce jars that weren’t all the same size but they worked in a group.

Then I added a band made of scrapbook paper, created the letters and border on Photoshop, and added some curling ribbon. The contents of the jars are dried out corn husks and stems from my backyard.

I think it looks nice atop my dark mantel:

As you can tell, my boys have started to pick off some of the poor turkeys’ eyes and even one of the faces (look to the right end of the garland). As long as they don’t eat them, I’m fine with it ūüėÄ The dried sunflowers on the right are also from my backyard, we got tons of seeds, so yummy!

Hope you have a great Monday!

Tip Junkie handmade projects