Fall Decorating Challenge

I’ve said it before, and here I go again, Summer is my favorite season. (Read why here)

BUT, there is something so refreshing, exciting and beautiful about a new season. I think the opportunity to “start fresh” always appeals to me. Even Mondays have that fresh, hopeful feeling: A new week! Let’s do this!

Also, beyond the excitment of the changing seasons, fall is my second favorite season (Winter, you’re dead last. Don’t even ask.) There’s football, and pumpkins and Thanksgiving. It’s a good one. We have everything prepped for our fall garden and this one’s going to be good. I hope, I mean, it is. it will be…..My confidence about gardening is something I’m working on. As well as remembering to water the garden. (I’ll share more about the garden in another post.)

Something I’ve always loved doing is changing up my decor. I’ve been doing it since I got my own room in 5th grade. It’s just that refreshing feeling of change, I guess.

The challenge I gave myself this season was to use only what I already had to decorate for fall. Last year, we were living at the ranch house and all my fall decor was stored.

I should use only what I have, and make it work if it’s not what I want it to be. This challenge was so rewarding! It was exciting to open that box since it had been two years since I’de seen it, but also, I think opening it with the expectation that it was what I had to work with-nothing new-I had the right mindset from the start.

As far as mantel decorating goes, I’m sure there’s lots of good blog posts out there about that. But, for me, I just try to find a balance of tall things and shorter things, creating symmetry without it being too matchy matchy. I arrange, step back, adjust, step back….until I feel like it “looks right”.

I wanted to use greens (the mirror, rope around my books, and green book), and the traditional oranges of fall. With all the neutrals, I can use colors that don’t match exactly since they are displayed here and there, and appear to complement each other.

The large chalkboard was hanging in Carolynn’s office (read about that here). I borrowed it from her, painted the trim white and drew that stack of pumpkins. I created that mantel centerpiece/”art” (using that term very loosely here) for free!

To achieve height on the left side, mirroring the height on the right, I used a cake plate (SO many ways to use those!). I wrapped those three books in paper, since they didn’t “go” with the color scheme I wanted. I used that green jute to add another touch of green.

To get those stems in my white pitcher to stand straight up, I used a can inside.

 

For my table, I don’t like to do too much. We actually eat there at least once a day,
I worked with my wood and copper pieces in the kitchen and dining. Confession: I actually did buy those 3 little pumpkins under the cloche this year. $3 spent…I’m only human.
In our entry area, I switched out a summery, yellow wreath, for this one.

I changed up my sofa table tool box, by adding some fall knick knacks.

On my sofa (my NEW sofa!!), I covered my floral pillow, and two others, with more fall complementary covers. That pillow cover is very inexpensive, and I you can still find it on Amazon here.

There you go! The weather has even actually been cooler, so it’s feeling like fall in and out of this yellow house. Hope y’all enjoyed the tour and as always, thanks for stopping by!!

XO, Steph

How-To Make a Quick, Easy, Springy Lemon Tree!

Happy Monday! It is gloomy, wet and dreary here at our sweet, yellow house this morning.
But no worries, because I’m cleaning, crock pot cooking, laundering, and blogging. So it’s shaping up to be a productive day, filled with the oh-so-gratifying to-do list checking.
I did an easy and super fun project Friday while the kids were at school and I have been looking forward to sharing it! It cost me less than $10 and took me about 15 minutes. Like, maybe 15 minutes. That only adds to my love for it, because it’s just so pretty, and springy…and yellow. I give you….the Lemon Tree-piary.

I’m calling it a Tree-piary because it’s really a hybrid between a topiary tree, and a tree tree. I also just think it’s fun to smoosh words together. I do this often in my “speaking life” and continue to be amused by it. I can laugh at my own jokes, I have no problem with that. 😂

Here’s my inspiration, from Instagram:
If you’re on Instagram, Erin shares lots of beautiful photos of her amazing home and her amazing style. She also has a blog: http://www.cottonstem.com/blog/
Also, Alicia, @vintageporch. She also shares lots of inspirational photos of all her vintage treasures, and has impeccable taste.
She also has a blog: http://www.myvintageporch.com/
Blog goals, people. I dream big.
Also, this:
In my mind, that awesome lemon tree, and the topiary tree had a beautiful baby, and here is her “birth” story:
That pot was on promotion for 60% off at Michael’s. Total: $2.39. I used coupons for the lemon stem, and the bag of small lemons. They are regularly priced at $7. I actually didn’t end up using those mini lemons for this gig, but bought them just in case I needed some filler. Nothing worse than being mid-inspirational project and not having something you need.

That being said, here’s your complete list of materials:

  • pot of your choice
  • lemon stem, I got mine from Michael’s
  • moss
  • jute
  • floral foam, or styrofoam
  • sturdy paper strips, or bendable cardboard
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
I already had roll of  jute, and some floral foam but if you don’t have these things,  they can be found at most craft stores and  on Amazon. They aren’t very expensive, and can be used in other projects. (Let me give a little PSA about the floral foam: it’s obnoxious. It leaves little foamy pieces everywhere that are difficult to wipe up.  And somehow, as an extra irritating charascteristic, it feels simultaneously gritty and slimy. Touching it gives me the willies. blech. 😝)I cut the foam to fit into my pot. I centered the stem into the foam, and then very tightly wrapped the jute around the stem.

I used some recycled newspaper ads to make a prop inside my pot. This way, I use less of my moss to fill in the top.

I filled in the pot with the moss. A little bit goes a long way. The moss was also something I already had, from previous projects. It can also be found at a craft store. They usually sell it in bags.

Next, I used my hot glue gun to secure the lemons to each other, and ensure that topiary look.

I just love how it turned out and wish I had made two! I tried it out all over the house: my sofa table, my mantel, next to my sink:
I had fun moving it around, and loved the way it looked everywhere I put it. But, since my mantel is where I mostly struggle to “get settled”, that’s where it ended up.
What do y’all think? I would love to know what y’all think! Let me know if you make your own Lemon Tree-piary, and send me a picture! Get it ready this week, in time for your Easter tablescape!
This Easter tablescape created by Carolynn. Didn’t she do a good job?! She also had an idea for the mini lemons, and begged me not to return them. More on that another day.
Thank you so much for reading! I love your comments, questions and shares, so bring ’em on. Have a great week!
XO, Steph
(Originally Published April 10, 2017)

Smith Adventure LIFE

Hi friends! I know I’ve really dropped the ball on the blogging thing. I was practically begging people to read the blog, but once i moved in…..radio.silence. Y’all. I’m sorry. I haven’t sat down in weeks. I’ve been unpacking, organizing, re-organizing. Last week I cooked all our meals again and went back to the gym. Life is returning to “normal”, although by normal, I mean our new normal. Life in the yellow house normal.
In our first few days in the house, Brian and I were sitting in the living room, and I asked, “how can we be so comfortable here? Already?” His response, “because we can walk around with our shoes off?” He cracks me up! Seriously though, we had taken the big steps before we got here: move to Driftwood, live on the property… I just feel so blessed and so happy to get to come home to this place, this land, but also be comfortable. In MY home. Really. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude.

Anyway, our weeks have been filled with indoor projects, and the weekends with outdoor projects. We have a lifetime of work ahead, but we have accomplished a lot already. Here’s some pictures!

      The mantel is a work in progress. I’ve already changed it since I took this picture.

 

  Master bathroom. Choosing those mirrors was tricky business, and I wished at one (or  more) point(s) that I had just had them install the regular, builder grade mirrors.

But, I think these were a good choice and I love the way they look.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                             Guest bedroom

 

                                                                   Guest bath

 

   Front walkway. Still a work in progress, planning to chip a bunch of trees we just                                     pulled up, and put the mulch down on our new path.

 

Planting our seedlings, to go in the greenhouse. We planted, okra, spinach, lettuce,                                            jalapenos, kale, cucumbers and cilantro.

  The compost! Brian saved these pallets from the build, and really planned this out   himself. I am so impressed! We used the builder’s trash, including all their screws,                                                      which were all discarded in the yard.

 

 

Yesterday we (as in, mostly Brian, and his awesome parents) pulled up little cedar trees from around all our big, beautiful Oaks. The difference is incredible. It makes the yard look so much cleaner. Our trees will thrive now that they can have all the nutrients and water all to themselves.  Today, we will be using these piles of gravel to smooth out our road, and possibly create a parking pad next to the house.
We also may try to tackle the garden beds, which Brian started yesterday.

 

We are working on something all the time, so they’ll be more to share soon! Thanks for reading!! XO

(Originally Published February 12, 2017)