October 20, 2016

Thanksgiving Sign (and Free Printables)

The white beadboard frame in my guest bathroom gets changed for every season and holiday.  I usually just whip up a quick chalkboard print from PicMonkey like this one from a few years ago...

Bathroom Vignette with Thanksgiving art

And last year, I went with a burlap look...

Thankful sign in beadboard frame

Besides the typical fall decor, I don't have many 'Thanksgiving specific' type of decorations around the house.  This little addition to the bathroom is a fun way to honor the holiday...and to remind us all to be thankful!

Here is a close up of the print I made on PicMonkey...

Thankful Printable on "Burlap"

Then after I hung mine, I played around with the wording a bit and came up with this one...(which I think I actually like better)....

Always Thankful Printable on Burlap

The background is a slightly more detailed and the wording is a little different.  I might end up using one of the burlap ones again this year unless I come up with something else...

Here is a close up of the previous year's chalkboard look...

Thankful Chalkboard Printable

Anyway, feel free to save and print them if you like.  I apologize if I don't have a special "download here" or other fancy way of copying them.  I spent way too much time yesterday trying to learn how to save them as pdf files so they could be used as printables.

Just try doing a "save as" and see if that works.  Yeah, I am such a professional with this stuff!  

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it!

October 18, 2016

How I Do Fall

Each year, I start decorating for fall in early September.

Most of the decor stays out through Thanksgiving but I make a few little tweaks for Halloween along the way...

Mostly with the addition of a few Jack-O-Lanterns and decorations for the front porch...nothing major.

And as Thanksgiving approaches, I take away the little bits of Halloween and add a few accessories.

I don't do the full overhaul of removing fall...adding Halloween...removing Halloween... and adding Thanksgiving.  It just seems like too much work over a season.  Basically, I keep a fall look with a few minor changes along the way.

We host Thanksgiving so I don't start pulling out the Christmas decor until the day after.

No Black Friday shopping for me!  That Friday - and most of that weekend is spent packing away the fall decor and decorating for Christmas!

Then my Christmas decor stays up until New Year's Day.

How do you do fall in your home?
Do you go all out for Halloween or do you just squeeze it in with the rest of the fall decor?

Linking to:
Adventures of Mel - Inspire Me Wednesday
A Savory Feast - The Wednesday Showcase
Poofing the Pillows - Thoughts of Home Thursday
Domestic Charm - The Creative Circle Party
Rattlebridge Farm - Foodie Friday and Everything Else
Easy Peasy Pleasy - Funtastic Friday
Pieced Pastimes - Saturday Sparks
Sweet Pea - Best of the Weekend

October 16, 2016

Our Weekend in Vermont - Family Time

Two weeks ago, we headed north for a long weekend in the beautiful state of Vermont.  The kids had a day off that Monday, so we figured it was the perfect time to catch some glimpses of the fall foliage.  According to a few websites, the foliage was "nearing peak".

I contacted a photographer a week or two before our trip thinking that with the leaves changing, it would be a nice idea to have some family photos done in Vermont.  Too bad as the weekend grew closer, the weather forecast wasn't looking very promising, but a plan is a plan so we just hoped for the best!

Before heading to Vermont we knew that the "Brewfest" was scheduled for that Saturday...but that isn't why I am posing in front of the sign above.  Do you see where it also says, "Up & Down Roll Sunday, Oct 2"?  Well, when my husband saw that, he thought the "Up and Down Roll" was an event where the drunk people from the Brewfest would physically "roll" down the mountain after a day of drinking!  Always coming up with something silly, that guy!  I must admit, I would have paid to see that event!  But no, the "Up and Down Roll" ended up being a mountain bike race!

We actually didn't plan on attending either of those events.  Instead, my husband and 12 year old, spent a chilly Saturday afternoon on the golf course...

As you can see, the leaves were changing but not exactly what I would call "nearing peak"!  I guess it didn't help that the skies were gray and we had on and off drizzling.

But the weather didn't stop them.  They enjoyed some great father-son bonding time while I indulged in a little bit of bonding time with my 10 year old son...

First, we stopped by Kent Pond where we spotted a couple playing with two black labs.  As soon as we walked up, they warned us that the one dog might get excited and run over to us.  I assured them we were fine with big dogs since we have our own golden retriever.  They let my son throw some of the objects in the pond for the dogs to retrieve.  

Suddenly the "one dog" came charging out of the water heading straight for me.  Within seconds his pond-soaked body was jumping all over me to the point where I almost fell over.  The owners quickly pulled him away apologizing like crazy, but all I could do was laugh.  I did not expect the dog to come at me with such force.  Then after he did the same thing to my son just minutes later, we decided it was time to drag our drenched bodies back to the car before one of us ended up hurt.

Afterwards, we browsed in some ski clothing shops and then headed over to the mountain so my son could see what it looked like without snow.

As I mentioned, the Brewfest was going on so the lodge area was packed.

This photo shows the overflow of people on the outside but the inside was another story.  I think the whole state of Vermont was inside partying it up!  The only reason we even went inside was to use the rest room.  We accidentally entered through a no-access back door and there my 10 year old and I stood in the middle of a lodge full of rowdy adults drinking beer.  He obviously was the only kid in the place.

Needless to say, I quickly ushered him downstairs and out of the drunkfest so he could use the restroom.  He was quite fascinated by the loud music and all the commotion inside the lodge but quickly forgot about it when I mentioned we could ride the "Beast Coaster".

I had hoped my husband would be the one to take him on that thing when the time came around.  I am a bit of a baby when it comes to rides but I felt a little calmer knowing I could control the speed on the coaster.  It ended up being pretty scary but I made it...although I was shaking a bit when we were done.  My son loved it but wished I didn't slow it down so much!

Afterwards, we walked around outside and did silly things like take pictures with the promotional signs...

And then headed back to pick up the guys at golf.

The next morning we met with the photographer and had our family pictures taken with the "nearing peak" fall foliage as our backdrop.  The boys had a blast posing for photos on the ski lifts while I enjoyed our silly family moments.  So what if it drizzled and my hair probably could have looked better!  Ugh...

That afternoon while my husband plopped himself in front of the TV to watch golf (because family photos are so exhausting), the boys and I headed back to the mountain to ride the Beast Coaster again.  Silly me, I thought one ride for the two of them would have been enough so I bought one ticket for each of them.  

Well...those boys of mine could not get enough of that thing especially after my younger son realized how fast he could go without Mommy controlling it!  We ended up purchasing the full day adventure pass which included all kinds of climbing mazes and trampolines in addition to the Beast Coaster.  I guess since the weather was chilly and drizzly, not many people were around (and most were probably hung over from the Brewfest), so the boys didn't have to wait in any line for the Beast Coaster.  I actually lost track of how many times they rode that thing!  They also tried out some of the other attractions...

They ended up having the best day and are still talking about how many times they rode on that coaster!

So, the weather was not ideal and the foliage wasn't exactly "nearing peak" but we still enjoyed a fun-filled family weekend that we will remember.  That's all that really matters, isn't it?

Here are a few more Vermont-in-the-fall posts from previous years:

Where have you traveled to see the fall foliage?

Linking to:

October 13, 2016

Autumn Table and White Pumpkin Vignettes

As soon as the leaves start to change and the temperatures cool off, I remember how much I love fall!  Lately, I've been so motivated to decorate around the house.  This week, I worked on the kitchen...

Autumn Table Setting with Green and Tan NapkinsBasically, I just used items I had around the house.  I pulled out my fall Pottery Barn napkins and decided to design the table around them.

Fall Table Setting using neutrals and textures
I also used my Pottery Barn runner which is always great this time of year.  As you can see, I only had four of the green printed napkins so I used white ones on the end.  As I recall, I bought the green printed ones on clearance a few years ago and was only able to find four.

Autumn Table with textures and neutral colors
I kind of like the way they look with both sets of napkins.  I have had the chargers forever and the plates are Mikasa Italian Countryside.  I use them all the time and because they are white, they are so versatile.

Simple Fall Place Setting with White Napkins and Rattan Chargers
I am always drawn to a simple look.

Napkin Close Up - Autumn Table Setting
I've had the napkin rings forever, as well.  We purchased the new flatware last year from Crate and Barrel and it's called Caesna.

Fall Table with Candle and Hazelnuts for decor
I filled this hurricane, (also from Crate and Barrel many many, years ago), with hazelnuts which help highlight the browns from the napkins.

Autumn Table with White Pumpkins
And of course, my only recent purchase for this table - white pumpkins!  As usual, I have been buying these babies like crazy.  I can never get enough!

Kitchen Table Set for Fall using textures and neutrals
I used some of these pieces in a fall table setting a few years ago.  If you would like to see that table setting, which was done in the dining room, click here - Country Thanksgiving for Four

Fall Table Setting with White Kitchen view
I actually prefer doing table settings in the kitchen though.  We spend most of our time in here and it's always light and bright due to the southern exposure.

White Kitchen Decorated for Fall

Now I will take you around the kitchen to look at some of the white pumpkin/fall vignettes...

White Kitchen with Cherry Island and Rush Seat Stools

This is the view when you walk in from the main entrance.  As you can see, I finally bought counter stools.  It only took me a year!  You can read all about them here - New Counter Stools and Why I Chose Them.  Because of the rush seats on the counter stools, I decided to add the wheat bundle to the stove mantel and then continued with natural textures from there...

White Stove Mantel Decorated for Fall with White Pumpkins, topiaries and wheat
Some preserved boxwoods to add a splash of green and of course some white pumpkins to finish the simple mantel display!

Stove and Stove Hood - Decorated for Fall

White Stove Mantel

But like I said, I can never get enough white pumpkins.  I continued to add them around the kitchen...

Wrought Iron Tiered Plate Stand with White Pumpkins and Pine Cones
A few pine cones helped add some contrast and texture to the pumpkins in my tiered plate stand.

White Pumpkin and Pine Cone on windowsill
I placed one on the windowsill along with a few more pine cones.

White Pumpkin and Wheat Stalk Vignette
A few more white pumpkins and more wheat bundles to add to the natural textures in the room.

Pumpkin Pear Vignette - fall decor in the kitchen
In this corner, we have a vignette with a ceramic pumpkin and one white pumpkin elevated in a small cloche.  I actually planned to add more pears to the mix but we kept eating them all.  Only this green one survived...because it's a candle!

White Pumpkin and Candle Vignette
And lastly, another small pumpkin mixed with a candle and pine cones.

White Kitchen Decorated for Fall using White Pumpkins
And that wraps up the kitchen tour!  Just in case, you didn't get your white pumpkin fix, I also decorated my family room mantel with them as well! -  Fall Mantel with Apples and Pumpkins.

Thanks for stopping by my autumn kitchen!  
Are you decorating with white pumpkins this year?

Have a great day!

Linking to:
French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday
Craftberry Bush - Inspiration Gallery
Rattlebridge Farm - Foodie Friday and Everything Else
Two Chicks and a Mom - Funtastic Friday
Seeking Lavender Lane - Creative Circle Party
Pieced Pastimes - Saturday Sparks
Sweet Pea - Best of the Weekend
Tatertots and Jello - Link Party Palooza
The Everyday Home - Share it One More Time
DIY Showoff - That DIY Party
Dwellings - Amaze Me Monday
Life and Linda - Dishing it and Digging It
Inspiration for Moms - Inspiration Monday
Marilyn's Treats - Over the Moon
My Pinterventures - Merry Monday
Creatively Living - Monday Funday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Inspire Me Monday
Cedar Hill Farmhouse - The Scoop
A Stroll Thru Life - Inspire Me Tuesday
Homestories A to Z - Tutorials and Tips Party
Coastal Charm - Show and Share
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
My Life Abundant - Wonderful Wednesday
A Savory Feast - The Wednesday Showcase
The Essence of Home - Share Your Style
Poofing the Pillows - Thoughts of Home Thursday
Between Naps on the Porch - Tablescape Thursday
Remodelaholics Anonymous Link Party

October 11, 2016

New Counter Stools and Why I Chose Them

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you might remember my endless search for counter stools.

Please note, this post contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking my links.

My kitchen renovation was completed over a year ago and until recently, I didn't have any counter stools!  Sad, but true...
Counter Stool decision (and a cute golden!)
Rosie still looks sad about it!

But as you can see, I finally made a decision and actually committed!
White kitchen with cherry island and matching counter stools
After much consideration and way too many hours spent obsessing, these counter stools were the winners!  Not only do they work well in the space but I am almost embarrassed at how ridiculously inexpensive they were!  I have seen similar looking ones at Pottery Barn and Grandin Road that are nowhere near this price!

New Counter Stools - the decision has been made!
Not only was the price amazing but they also came assembled!  I didn't know what to expect before they arrived because some of the reviews stated they were easy to assemble and some reviews mentioned how they came assembled.  Luckily, mine arrived assembled.  All I had to do was open the box and place them in the kitchen!

Rush seat counter stools at island
I was also pleasantly surprised at how well the wood matched my island.  So many of the counter stools I auditioned for the space were more of a reddish brown.  These are a more brownish brown.  

Rush Seat Counter Stools at cherry island
They are slightly darker than the island but I am not going to be that picky!  I actually like the little bit of contrast.

Counter Stool Decision - The reasons I chose these.
For the longest time, I wasn't sure if I wanted counter stools with backs or backless.  It took a lot of 'family observing time' to decide what was right for us.  

These were the temporary stools we used until we decided...
Oak counter stools
I liked the way we were able to tuck the old stools under the counter easily.  I also realized that my boys are the ones who used them the most.  They like to just grab them and hop on.  I am sure they wouldn't use them as readily if they had to carefully pull them out.  The new stools aren't heavy so they are very easy to move around.

Rush seat Counter stools - the reason I chose these
Plus, when I mention boys, I have to mention messes!  Many of the stools I loved were upholstered and that is just asking for trouble!  I could just imagine the first time something got spilled on them.  Not a happy thought!

Now I don't have to worry about destroying fabrics and with the way the new stools tuck neatly under the counter, it is less likely something will be spilled on them anyway.  Plus, if it happens, who cares?  I can wipe them easily or replace them if needed.  No headaches there.  

Ironically, I was the one who spilled something yesterday morning when I grabbed a gallon of milk out of the fridge.  The container slipped out of my hands, bounced on the floor, split down the side and splattered milk in every direction possible.  I now have milk spots on my ceiling!  Milk actually hit the glass sliding doors and even the coffee table in the family room!  I kid you not!  Only a few drops splashed onto the side of the stools.  But needless to say, I spent most of yesterday scrubbing every inch of my kitchen.  Did I mention, I was on Day 3 of a migraine headache?...yeah good times...

Kitchen view with new counter stools
So yeah, these semi-disposable stools are the way to go for our family!  Actually, the only thing semi-disposable about them is the price.  They really do look and feel more expensive than they really are!

Counter stools on end of island
Another consideration when buying stools focused around this end of the island.  Most stools I looked at were much larger but these are only 13.5 x 13.5 wide.  And why was a smaller stool important?  Well....I kinda made a mistake when we set up the kitchen by not making the overhang large enough on this end.  My kitchen designer planned it correctly with a few extra inches but at the last minute I panicked and wanted more space at the other end by the stove.  I had my contractor move the island down a few inches but we didn't want the island to extend past the end of the perimeter cabinets.  We had to sacrifice a few inches on this end and I have regretted it ever since.  Moral of the story, listen to the professionals.  Anyway, I haven't decided if we will actually keep a stool here or if we will just move it there as needed.

Cherry island with counter stools on side and end
Here is how the stools look with one on the end.

Cherry Island with rush seat wood counter stools
And here again is how they look with all of them neatly tucked under the long side.  I think this is the way we will store them and then move it to the end as needed.  It would be a bit crowded if four people sat next to each other on that side.  

I am so happy with the new stools!  In case you got lost in all my long-winded explanations above, these are the reasons I chose them:
  • Great price!  Once again, you can find them HERE.
  • Color matches the island and goes with my kitchen style.
  • Size is perfect. (and they are pretty comfortable too!)
  • Easy to move around.
  • Easy to clean.
  • And I didn't even mention that I now feel the counter stools give my kitchen a similar look to these favorites of mine -  this kitchenthis kitchen and especially this kitchen!  
If you really want to see how obsessed I was about buying stools, you can check out my Counter Stools Pinterest Board or even my Kitchen Pinterest Board!

So yes, finally I have my stools!
Have you ever taken a year to decide on furniture?

Linking to: