Waxing Poetic Wednesday: Leaves

Every Wednesday, I indulge my English Lit minor by sharing an inspirational poem. Share your favorite poem, it could end up on a future Waxing Poetic Wednesday!


By Elise N. Brady

“How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun. At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.” 

5 Ways to Add Nature to Your Fall Decor

Bonfires, fragrant pine forests, and leaves crackling underfoot all come to mind this time of year. Why not bring the outdoors inside through your fall decor? Here’s five ways to add cozy cabin-in-the-woods touches to your decor.

1. Branch Out

These tree branch coat hooks, shelves, and closet bars are great for all year!

Make these coat hooks yourself, or buy some similar ones on Etsy. 

I tried this with some tree branches I found, but unfortunately my branch wasn’t a good shape and I couldn’t get it to stay on the wall. I recommend picking your branches carefully, and either glue them to the wall or use some sort of brackets.

For a more elegant take on the branch, paint it white!

2. Leaf it Be

Wrap a leaf, either real or fabric, around a candle and tie with raffia, yarn, twine, or attach with dots of glue.

Make a leafy wreath by attaching leaves to a wood or cardboard letter and hanging with ribbon.

Or, thread leaves together for a leafy garland.

If you’re worried about children or pets pulling off the leaves and possibly eating them, you might like a scrapbook paper or felt leaf garland better.

For easy art, display single pressed leaves behind glass.

Source: bhg.com via Emily on Pinterest

3. Pine Away

Incorporate pinecones for a woodsy element. Cinnamon scented cones are widely available, I’ve seen them at grocery stores, Home Depot, and craft stores this year.

Use them for place cards for Thanksgiving dinner.

Jazz them up with spray paint for a colorful display.

Source: squidoo.com via Emily on Pinterest
Combined with branches and a tall hurricane glass, pinecones make excellent filler. 

4. Logger Style

If you have a large blank wall, or you’re just craving a log cabin escape, this is just what you need: 
Try making one yourself to fit your space, or buy this one on Etsy for $175. 
These would be great for short stools, foot rests, or end tables. 
I really like this one from Joss and Main: 

5. Go Green

Touches of greenery bring freshness and life to your space. Here’s a great DIY for displaying plants in limited space. 
Plumed Nest recently did a tutorial for this living greenery wreath. 
This week, I’ll show you how I’ve incorporated these tips in my own decor. 

What do you think of adding natural touches to your fall decor? Add your woodsy decor ideas in the comments, I’d love to hear them!

Waxing Poetic Wednesday: Theme in Yellow

Theme in Yellow


I SPOT the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o’-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.

Every Wednesday, I indulge my English Lit minor by sharing an inspirational poem. Share your favorite poem, it could end up on a future Waxing Poetic Wednesday!

Waxing Poetic Wednesday: Ode to the West Wind

Ode to the West Wind, V

by Percy Bysshe Shelly

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:

What if my leaves are falling like its own!

The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,

Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,

My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe

Like wither’d leaves to quicken a new birth!

And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguish’d hearth

Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!

Be through my lips to unawaken’d earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Source: pinterest.com via Emily on Pinterest

Waxing Poetic Wednesday: The Road Not Taken

A quintessential fall poem, one of my favorites, that I’m sure you’ll recognize. What path are you taking?

The Road Not Taken


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Every Wednesday, I indulge my English Lit minor by sharing an inspirational poem. Share your favorite poem, it could end up on a future Waxing Poetic Wednesday!

Waxing Poetic Wednesday: To Autumn

To Autumn

by John Keats
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
      For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
   Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
   Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
   Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
      Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
   Steady thy laden head across a brook;
   Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
      Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
   Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
   And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
   Among the river sallows, borne aloft
      Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
   Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
   The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
      And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
Source: tumblr.com via Wendy on Pinterest

Every Wednesday, I indulge my English Lit minor by sharing an inspirational poem. Share your favorite poem, it could end up on a future Waxing Poetic Wednesday!

In other news, I’ve been reading voraciously and learning a ton, so much in fact that it’s hard to know where to start when sharing it with you. Hence, I’ve been a little absent on the blog lately. That will soon change, I promise, and it will be well worth it when you see what I’ve been cooking up! 

Redecorating and Decluttering the Living Room, Office, and Dining Room: Days 2 and 3

Day One of the Organized Simplicity ten day program was a sweep of the whole house, collecting items that were obviously trash, needed to be put away, or donated. I didn’t take pictures of that, so we’ll pick up at Day 2 and 3, The Living Room. For me, that included the office, the dining room, and the actual living room. 
Way Before
It’s really shaky, and the camera makes my voice sound weird, but here’s the house part 1, video taken right before we moved in, so it’s all nice and clean and uncluttered.

This is a picture I took of the room that was the dining room when we first moved in. We switched the office, consisting of a large bookshelf and a desk, with the dining room so that the dining room was closer to the kitchen. 
Here’s that same wall, now with the bookshelf and desk. When we first moved in, I unpacked the books and arranged them by topic on the shelves. Until Brian could get used to it, I marked the topics so Brian could find them with sticky notes, as you can see in the picture below. 
I liked being able to find the books on a similar topic all together, but I didn’t like how cluttered and random it looked. I considered organizing them by color or size, like these pictures from pintrest. 

When working on each room, the book says to take EVERYTHING and put it in one central location out of the way. By everything, that means…everything. 

“Remove everything but furniture, rugs, and curtains, and put it all in one central, roomy location.” -Tsh Oxenreider, Organized Simplicity pg. 131

I cheated, because there was no way I was taking down ALL of those books on the big book shelf. But I did take down most of the non-book items, and I dusted around the books. 

It was much faster and easier to clean with all the stuff out of the way! After moving everything, I started at the top with the ceiling fan and dusted down, then washed the windows and blinds, and finished by cleaning the floors. I listened to TED videos while I worked, and it made the time pass quickly.

Here’s the bookshelf in progress: 

I decided to keep the books arranged by topic, but within each topical section wherever possible, I arranged them by color. It’s subtle, but it looks put together. 
I slowly re-introduced decor items to the shelf. I didn’t want to put back anything I didn’t absolutely love and want.
I added some leaves and fall sprigs:

That isn’t the only book shelf in the office. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a before picture of this one. Those letters were in a pile on the top shelf, the marble bust wasn’t there, some large candles were. The bottom shelf was just magazines, and there wasn’t really anything else on it except the black box containing stationary. 
The marble bust fit better in this room, in my opinion, because it’s a little more formal. Ideally, I’d put the LOVE letters on the wall, but I didn’t have time to mess with that this time. I moved my school notebooks from a cardboard box to the shelf, and my filing system, which was hidden under my desk before. 
Final touches: leaves and candles. The leaves are from the dollar store. They came in a big bouquet for only a buck, and I snipped them apart so I could spread them out. 
Remember seeing this in the video? This had two shelves then, and it drove me crazy because I couldn’t figure out a nice arrangement. Finally, I took out the shelf and just made one big open area. It took me all week to arrive at this arrangement, but at last, I’m really happy with it! 
This used to be in the living room area, but we moved it to the wall where the bookshelf used to be. It’s perfect for storing board games and fancy dishes, right next to the dining room table, where we use them!
Here’s the dining room table after being decorated for fall:
And here’s my favorite thing about this house: 
The beautiful floor! 
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that picture most of the time. I have to sweep every day because of this guy: 

But he’s cute enough, it’s worth it. 
Here’s the sell and give piles after days 1-3: 
It was slow work, but finishing those rooms was very motivating. I couldn’t wait to tackle the kitchen next! 
Linking up with Works for Me Wednesday!
Day 6: Decluttering and Organizing the Bathrooms
Days 7 and 8: Redecorating and Organizing the Bedrooms
Day 9: Redecorating and Organizing the Master Bedroom
Day 10: Organizing the Linen Closet and Entry Way

Affordable Fall Style and Trends

Where I live, the weather finally started cooling off last week. Walmart is full of fall decor, and Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice latte is calling my name. It’s a little too warm to wear long sleeves and scarves here in the valley, but I went up to the mountains for a ladies’ retreat a couple weeks ago, so I got to dig out my warm weather clothes. I decided it was a good time to do my seasonal inventory, complete with pictures. 
I wrote about this closet inventory technique as part of the Fashion 101 series, basically, I’m shopping my closet, thinking outside the box and putting together some new combinations with what I already have. 
Since it’s been a while since I’ve written about what to wear, I thought I’d share some tips for dressing for fall. 
1. Camel is in. 
It used to be called khaki, tan, or light brown, but now it’s definitely called “camel.” And Loft says it’s the IN color this season. 

Well, I happened to find a pair of Khakis in the bottom of my drawer that I hadn’t worn for over a year, probably. Amazingly, they still fit. Now they’re at the height of fashion, so dig out yours too, along with your tan blazers, and keep those nude shoes.

My “camel” pants

2. Flares are in, but so are Skinnies. 
I don’t know about jeggings, but keep your skinny jeans, they haven’t been replaced by flares totally yet. Speaking of flares, 70’s inspired bells are popular, but I recommend going for something a little more conservative and classic, like a bootcut jean. Dark rinses tend to make you look slimmer, and are more versatile.

My go-to bottoms: Khakis, skinnies, and bootcut jeans

3. Go from Summer to Fall with Accessories
I love wearing this thin cotton plaid tunic in the summer, but the color is great for fall, so now I can wear it with skinny jeans and a scarf to keep warm.

Here’s another outfit I put together: a long sleeve purple tee, a gold lace cardigan, and my bootcut jeans. It’s a nice outfit as is, but add a scarf….

…And it takes it to a new level.

This scarf has a paisley pattern on the ends, fringe, and several gorgeous fall colors in it, including the same purple as the long sleeve tee. I can’t tell you where you can get this scarf, because my dad bought it for me in Afghanistan when he was stationed there. 
This teal scarf dresses up and warms up this casual grey tee and jeans. And this scarf I got at Walmart for $5. 

Besides scarves, jewelry adds a lot to an outfit. These earrings from Francesca’s Collections add a touch of whimsy to an ordinary cardigan and khakis.

Here’s a versatile necklace with lovely fall colors. I’ve been seeing a lot of chunky chain necklaces around, and also chain belts and bracelets.

Besides scarves and jewelry, accessorize with a hat, a cute purse, or a unique belt. 
4. Stock up on basics. 

I realized as I sorted through my clothes that I have a tanks and tops in the same shades of purple, teal, and cream. Stock up on basics, like tanks and long sleeve tees, in colors that flatter your skin tone and fit you well. Then, you can mix and match, and go from casual to dressy with a few accessories.

5. Go Monotone and neutral.
Pick pieces in the same hue, or similar hues, with a solid neutral base. If camel isn’t flattering on you, try

This picture again, from Loft. 
Here’s my take on the mono-color look, with my “camel” pants, a cream tank, gold sweater and white scarf. 

And here with a little more color, adding the olive green tank.

Also from Loft. 

And here’s my take on the second picture, with a light pink sweater and camel pants.
Sweater: Old Navy, $15
Khakis, Aeropastale

 6. Go bold or classic with red. 

Second to camel, red is also the “in” color this fall and winter. This is a picture of the Real Simple November magazine and the October Better Homes and Gardens. BHG had an entire article about the color red.

I bought this read sweater dress last year, and I’m excited for cooler weather so I can wear it again.

In my opinion, red nail polish is classic. This is color a little more trendy take on red nails. Coral was popular last spring and summer, and this polish makes a great transition from coral to red.  It’s called Fire Coral, and depending on what you wear with it, it can look more red or more coral. Plus, it only costs $2. 

I bought the nail polish at the same time I bought the lip gloss, and didn’t even realize how well they matched until later.

If you’re worried about red being too bright on you, experiment with different shades. There are so, so many shades of red available, I’m sure there’s one to flatter your skin tone. 
If Fire Coral is too bright or orangey for you, try this set of three polishes. If you buy, all three, you actually save 50%.
If you prefer lipstick to gloss, e.l.f. Mineral Mineral Lipstick is 100% mineral based with no parabens, no preservatives and no chemical dyes. And, it’s only $5 a tube. 
Cheerful Cherry $5

7. Make a list. 
When you take inventory, make a list of what you don’t have, but would like to get. Keep this list in your purse, so when you’re out on Black Friday, you’ll be better prepared to resist those deals on things you don’t need.

On my list, a mustard colored top. I’m in love with this color, and I don’t have any of it in my closet.

Study Break from Shabby Apple

I’m also saving up for some boots, like these from Old Navy.

What trends do you plan to partake in this fall? What are your favorite fall colors to wear?

Have you ever shopped your closet? If not, check out this post and read the “Homework” section for instructions. 

BTW: If you too are looking for a new dress, enjoy a Special Treat for the Month of October from Shabby Apple. Save $10 Off all Black and Orange Dresses

I’m in the Mood for Fall

Fall style….
Fall crafts and decor…
Fall parties…
and fall food…
This one sums it up: 
All of these images are from my pin boards on pintrest, a fabulous inspiration and creativity tool! Leave a link in the comments if you’re on it, and I’ll follow you! I’d love to see what you’re pinning. 
What are you most looking forward to about fall? Click on “links to this post” or the post title to leave a comment. 

Linking up with Pin It Tuesdays today.