Friday, August 29, 2008

Keeping Occupied

It's raining again today (Yesssss). I almost called-in to take the day off. I'm sitting here at my desk eating oatmeal (cinnamon roll) for lunch, putting together my plans for the Autumn breakfast I'll be hosting. I've set the date for October 12th. There will be about 15 people attending. I'm trying to keep it small but I know it will be more than that. I'll be ready for any extra guests (LOL)

Here's my menu:

Eggs (any style)
Bacon (Turkey/Regular)
Sausage (Turkey/Regular)
French Toast
Grits/Oatmeal (Instant packages)
Cream of wheat
Fried Potatoes
Apple Butter
Fresh Fruits
Bakes apples slices
Orange juice
Hot chocolate
Munchkin Donuts
Milk & Cereal for the kids (if they prefer)

It's nothing special. Just things we regularly eat (not all at once). I've written my grocery list and scheduled dates to go shopping for supplies and food.

Now I'm stuck. I would like to make some take-home favors for my guests. I've been searching the internet for ideas. Haven't found anything yet. Last year I made crackers and masks using silk fall leaves. I will continue looking.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Well we finally got some rain. I for one am glad but unfortunately I'm stuck at work and am bored to death. On a day like today if I wasn't lying around watching movies I would be working on some crafts. I met my stepdad for lunch today (he and my mom live minutes away from my job). While we were eating I started thinking of what I could do to keep myself occupied once I got back to the office. Surprisingly it's a slow, quite day. That's probably because there are only a few courtrooms open today. Anyway once I got back to my desk, I started writing out some things.

This year I am having a few family members over for an Autumn breakfast. I've planned my menu and set the date. These are the invitations I will make for the occasion. It's pretty simple and I already have the supplies I will need to make them. Also this centerpiece will look lovely on the dining table. I plan to visit Michael's this weekend to get the supplies.

I recently went to the dollar store and picked up some clear plastic serving trays and bowls. They look like that heavy cut-glass you see in department stores. I also picked up a couple packages of clear plastic serving utensils (6 in a pack). I bought them specifically for Christmas but will also use them for the breakfast gathering. Well that's it for now. Time to write my guest list and shopping lists.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Wonderful Surprise!

Today when I arrived to work a co-worker surprised me with a wonderful gift. It was the "Harvest" sign that I had seen in Walmart but the colors are darker than the ones I saw. The ones I saw were lighter which I didn't like. I was soooo happy. She said she immediately thought of me when she saw it and picked it up for me. She was telling her husband that she knew that I would be soon getting ready to decorate for fall. I told her she was right.

I spent half of Sunday doing inventory of my fall decorations and making plans to start cleaning. Isn't it cute. It's going to go on one of my floating shelves with some fall garland and pumpkins. I'm very happy (doing the happy dance). Now I need to find another sign for the other shelf or maybe I'll display something different. Yea. I think I will display something different.

With the HGP countdown starting August 31st, I've decided to work on my fall craft projects this week. The HGP will have me busy and I know I won't have time to work on them. Besides I need them ready when I start to decorate. I would have started this past weekend but I found myself down in Ocean City, Maryland again with friends. Anyway the crafts I hope to get done:
  1. A fall broom swag (Dollar Tree had instruction sheets on how to make one).
  2. 4 small fall grapevine wreaths for the bedroom windows.
  3. A large fall grapevine wreath for the office.
  4. Fall acrylic post-it note holder (Will make one for Halloween while I'm at it to give to my BFF).
  5. Twig and grass arrangement.
All the supplies needed for these projects I picked up at the dollar store. Talk about savings.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ventures at Dollar Tree

I am a big, Big, BIG Dollar Tree shopper. I'm there several times a week and every Saturday and Sunday.

I found a new Dollar Tree yesterday and in it were some stuff that the other one's don't have. I bought a few black crows to give to my BFF. She and her husband go all out for Halloween and I put together a nice Halloween notebook which I gave to her as a Christmas gift last year. Anyway, a member over at MHH showed us a neat idea using twigs from outside, ribbon, black spray paint, moss, an inexpensive flower pot and crows. I've added this project and other great stuff in her notebook. At another Dollar Tree I found an orange clear plastic trick-or-treat bag that she can keep her notebook in.

Outside my front door my plans are to sit a small red wagon filled with fall leaves, pumpkins and a scarecrow. Well I found three free-standing scarecrows that will look great in the wagon. First I went to Walmart and they had a nice one for about $7 but I thought it would look awkward inside the wagon because it was about 3ft tall. Then I saw another one, great size and fit but was $20. Sunday I will go to Home Depot and get a small, thick piece of board to glue them to that way they'll stand in the wagon more sturdy. Oooh I'm getting excited thinking of how it will look.

I went to two other Dollar Trees before going home yesterday. I bought more fall garland, more fall scented candles, ribbon, clear plastic serving trays and bowls, and these cute little pumpkin baskets.

Now I'm thinking about going back to the newly found dollar tree to get more scarecrows for the office. My plans for the office is to cover the main door with fall color wrapping paper and hang a grapevine wreath. The scarecrows can sit on top of the file cabinet. I may get a few of those black crows too and some fake pumpkins. That $Tree also has the faux Indian corn. I can add those to my front door display as well. I have a huge board behind my desk that use to display an organizational chart. I will cover that with fall paper too and tape silk leaves all over with a large sign in the center that says "Fall Festival", and drape fall garland around the entire board. I may add orange lights - not sure yet. I also have this pumpkin floral arrangement which will sit on my desk.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Room Decorating Ideas

Well here are the plans for the balcony, livingroom and diningroom.

Balcony. If you look at the photo at the top of my blog, you see a glimpse of what it will look like. What you don't see are a set of candle chandeliers which hang from the roof line. (You can see them here) Also this year I plan to purchase or make chair cushions for the chairs and add a new fall welcome mat. During the fall I love to sit out on my balcony and watch the colors of the leaves, drinking hot chocolate.

  • On the tv armoire will hang a grapevine fall wreath I made last year. On top of the armoire will be a fall floral basket of leaves and grapes.
  • On the coffee table will be an iron pumpkin shape candle holder with a fall candle ring. Next to that will be a basket of pine cones I got from the pine trees behind my apartment building.
  • I made another fall wreath last year which will sit around the table lamp on the book case
  • Change the candles in the wall sconces with fall tones.
  • I was going to add fall foliage to the pictures on my floating wall shelves like last year, but if I can find some of those wooden words (Harvest, Fall, etc.) at a reasonable price I will remove the photos and just have those on the shelf along with the foliage.
  • I want to replace the curtains at the patio door/windows. I've shopped around and the curtains I want are very expensive. My patio door/windows measure 14 ft wide by 9 ft tall. Then a few days ago it hit me, Buy two window scarves. They measure 216ft in length. I can cut them in half and sew up the end, giving me four panels and hang them from the rods. (The same thing I did with the ones hanging up now - duh!) Target has some pretty faux silk ones I like for about $35-$40. I really need five panels but what I can do is put a couple of coordinating sheer panels in the center. Problem solved.
  • Dress up toss pillows with new fabric.
  • Pull out heavy throws.
  • Add scented candles and a few fall arrangements everywhere.
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and we were discussing all the family photos we have everywhere in our homes. I decided that I am going to buy several of those digital photo frames and add all my family photos to them - to get rid of some of the picture frames I've got displayed on nearly every surface a picture can be placed (LOL).


My diningroom will probably be dressed the same way it was last year. Here are a few pics from 2007.

Fun Activities

Last week I visited a few websites of places in my area to see what kind of activities they have planned for the fall season. One place I love to go - Webber's Farm - has things going on from September through November. I don't have kids so I love to spend time with my nieces and nephews. We'll go pick apples, take them home to make candied apples and baked sliced apples. I may even try to bake an apple pie (LOL). They have a maze made out of hay that the kids will love to run through along with wall climbing, a huge hill slide, wagon rides and lots more fun stuff. Maybe too, we will make a scarecrow.

Another favorite place I like to visit is Valley View Farms. In September they will feature a Dept. 56 Halloween event and in October it's painting pumpkins and decorating fun.

I know AC Moore and Michael's craft stores will have fun activities for myself as well as for the kids. I remember one year my cousin and I went to AC Moore to pick up ornaments to make a wreath for her front door. So happens they were teaching a bow making class. It was so fun. I learned how to use the "Bowdabbra" and purchased one for half price with the coupon they gave out after you took the class. Now I make all my bows.

The kids and I will visit the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore City where they will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary ZooBooo Halloween Fest.

These are just a few outdoor things I hope to do this season. I also have a few indoor activities planned too, for rainy days and such. We'll have movie nights and work on some crafts together.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Room by Room Decorating Ideas

As I stated in my first post, I've started planning to get my place in shape for fall. I have two areas already mapped out as to how they will be decorated.

Front Door Area: I just bought a red metal wagon from Michael's on sale for $15 but when the cashier rang it up, it was marked down again to $12. I'm going to cover my door with orange wrapping paper. I hope to find metallic orange or bronze paper (any suggestions?). Hang my two-in-one wreath I made last year on the door. Drape fall garland around door frame with orange lights. Next to the door will be my new wagon with fall fabric that will hang over wagon onto the floor. I'm going to add faux pumpkins, gourds, fall leaves inside and around the wagon. I saw a large carved pumpkin that says "Welcome Friends" at Walmart for $9 that I will pick up today to sit next to wagon. Inside the wagon amongst the smaller pumpkins and gourds will be a friendly scarecrow. Finally put out my fall welcome mat.

Foyer: I will have a pumpkin floral arrangement I made last year will sit on the small pedestal. I also have a console table which displays a few family photos. I plan to drape some fall garland among the photos and place two small hurricane candle holders at either end. Also on the table will sit a brass vase filled with dried wheat. I need to replace the area rug. It has seen better days.

HGP Countdown

Over at Organized Christmas, the Holiday Grand Plan will start in a few weeks (August 31st) and I really need to give my apartment a thorough cleaning. The summer months have keep me outdoors thus leaving my poor apartment neglected.

Here's my plans for the countdown:

Week of August 31st - Front Porch Week (I live in an apartment so I will work on the balcony this week)

Week of Sept 7th - Living Room Week

Week of Sept 14th - Entry/Foyer Week (Fall Decorations start going up)

Week of Sept 21st - Master Bedroom Week

Week of Sept 28th - Master Bathroom Week (One and only bathroom)

Week of Oct 5th - Kids Room Week (No kids - Will use this week to shampoo carpets)

Week of Oct 12th - Spare Room Week

Week of Oct 19th - Kitchen Week

Week of Oct 26th - Kitchen/Pantry Week (This is a free week for me. Not sure what to do.)

Week of Nov 2nd - Family Room Week (Another free week. Will put up Thanksgiving decorations)

Week of Nov 9th - Garage/Storage Week (Free Week)

Week of Nov 16th - Attic Week (Free week.)

Week of Nov 23rd - Dining Room Week (I start putting up my Christmas decorations Friday after Turkey Day and throughout the weekend.)

Week of Nov 30th - Holiday Decor Week (Decorations will be done. Just need to set all the lights on timers.)

Week of Dec 7th - Finish Up Week (Will put up decorations in the office.)

Week of Dec 14th - Maintenance Week (Free week)


Hi everyone. This blog will feature everything I do to celebrate the Fall Season. Next to Christmas, Fall is my favorite time of year. The smell of wood burning in the fireplace, soft glowing candles, warm foods, cool sunny days and crisp nights. Oh yeah! Before you know it, Fall will be here.

I've been doing a little pre-planning. I created a list.
  1. Inventory fall decorations
  2. Deep clean my house
  3. Plan weekly meals (well Sunday meals)
  4. Put together grocery list
  5. Decorate for Fall
  6. Plan some fun family outdoor/indoor activities.
  7. Plan for harvest dinner party or family breakfast.
  8. Go through fall/winter wardrobe.
It's not much now but I'm sure it will grow as the season draws closer.