Decorating for Fall From the Dollar Tree in Five Easy Steps

  1. Go to the Dollar Tree. This is very necessary, for obvious reasons.
  2. Buy some of the less plastic looking bunches of leaves, leaf garlands, and some spicy candles for good measure.
  3. Go home and paw through the stuff you already own. Pull out things like old books, those wooden candle holders you know you have stashed somewhere, and other things that look somewhat autumnish. Maybe collect a few sticks or berries outside as well, if you live in the country. IMG_9178
  4. Throw the leafy things and candles you just bought, your old books and candle holders, and the sticks around the room, aiming for the emptier spots on your shelves. However they land is great, since we all know asymmetry is very necessary for pleasing visuals. Smile and tell yourself what a great job you’ve done. Consider starting a home decor blog.
  5. You know those friends you have whose homes always look like Pottery Barn and Pintrest and IKEA catalogues? Don’t invite any of them over for the remainder of the autumn season. Note: This step is very important for peace of mind. Also, for maintaining your opinion of your awesome decorating skills, don’t visit your classy friends at their homes either.IMG_9175
  6. Bonus step (Not pictured): Dimming the lights does wonders for making all those plastic things look less fake. This is where those candles you bought come in handy. Now grab one of your books, sit on your blue couch with a fluffy blanket and a cuppa tea, and enjoy the view.

Confession: Some of the things purchased may have been bought at more expensive places than the Dollar Tree, such as (gasp) thrift stores or yard sales.


Five Links I Loved


  1. White Winter Hymnal by Pentatonix is such fun to jam out to in the car. Does anyone want to learn that clapping with me? That certainly takes childhood clapping games to a whole new level.
  2. Spicy pork cooked in Dr. Pepper. I know it sounds weird, but it’s seriously good. Once the pork is finished, use the broth to cook rice, and try not to die of happiness while you eat it.
  3. I’ve been doing this quiz on repeat for the last couple months or so. Try it and let me know how you do. I still can’t ever quite get all the countries, but I’m getting better than my first miserable attempt.
  4. Aww Yeah! My new favorite response to public displays of affection.
  5. This home tour is just swoon-worthy, most especially the kitchen. Seriously, those rows of jars are enough to make any organizer heart-happy.

Five Things About Summer

Five Things About Summer

I love winter. There, I said it. I know it isn’t a popular opinion here in the south, but I love the boots and scarves and cold gray days and the few flakes of snow we get and especially not melting into a puddle every time I get into my car. On the other hand, summer is really not my favorite. In fact, it veers widely in the opposite direction. It can be hard to stay positive when the heat looms like an oppressive cloud, the AC can hardly keep up, and trying to take a gentle walk results in becoming a sweaty mess.

However, I am also a firm believer (most of the time) that it’s just dumb to complain about the weather. I don’t always manage not to, but it is my aspiration to keep my comments cheerful when the temperature is not to my liking. So with that said, here are five things I’ve enjoyed, or am looking forward to, this summer. After all, gratitude turns even summer into something to be enjoyed instead of merely a season to be gotten through.

1. There’s hardly a better way to spend a summer day than by paddling one’s feet in a mountain creek. And taking a group of five wee ones to the creek (as I did yesterday) and watching them just thrill in the experience is such fun.


2. Frosties! Ok, I know you might think this is an odd obsession to have. But here’s the thing. When we lived way back in Erandique, Honduras, the closest familiar American fast food chain was a Wendy’s, about four hours away. Occasionally we would stop in there on our way past, order fries and frosties, and sit for a while in the air conditioned room as we dug our toes into the luxurious (and probably disgusting) carpet there. We may or may not even have driven 40 minutes or more out of our way once, just for the ice cream. Suffice it to say, while good ice cream is less of a luxury now than it was then, frosties are still just as good. And having them delivered to me at work on a hot day? Well, I don’t complain about that.

3. I love people watching, and summer evenings are the perfect time to sit on the bench outside my apartment and watch the world go by. Also, watching thunderstorms roll in over the old brick buildings and staying outside till the last minute possible before getting soaked is pretty fun.

4. In a couple weeks I get to go to a summery outdoor concert at…wait for iiiiit…The Biltmore! I won two tickets, which is awesome both because I rarely win things like that, and also because I get to see this amazing place again. Not only that, but the concert is just a few days before my birthday, so it’s like my own private celebration, which, let’s admit it, is pretty cool.

5. Across the street from my house is a little ice cream shop that has a wide selection of marvelous flavors for really good prices. Sitting on the sidewalk there with friends that came from Ohio to surprise you is a pretty excellent way to enjoy warmer weather.

And there you have it- five reasons why I’m enjoying this summer. What about you, do you enjoy this sweltering season, or are you eagerly looking for the first signs of fall?