it’s friday, gang! summer is over, and fall is here. out with the old and in with the new. as an (adopted) southern woman, that means a mandatory refresh of my porches: front and back. i love the gold undertones of fall leaves that give the oranges, the reds, and the yellows their subtle but unmistakable shimmer. out go any remaining semblances of lazy summer days, and in come any and all combinations of this color palette: whether it be the fall harvest—pumpkins and cornucopias—or spooky, but always fun, Halloween skeletons.
my long time followers know that i love to decorate. i openly admit it. and i got that love from my mother. growing up, our basement was filled to the brim with decorations for every holiday and season: spring, summer, fall, and winter. and as a child, i would await the changing of the seasons in anticipation of my mother to out boxes full of decorations i hadn’t seen in a year.
now, i don’t want to scare anyone. the holidays aren’t upon us. yet. but there’s nothing wrong with getting a little jump start in preparation for the craziness that will surely ensue. so today, instead of giving you a new recipe to try, i’m going to show you my fall porch refresh. i hope it will inspire you to pull out your box of decorations and create some memories with your (grand)kiddos.
starting with the front porch refresh, i’ve scattered a variety of mums in my planter boxes. the subtle reds and yellows provide a nice backdrop for my Pièce de résistance: a bouquet of skeletons. isn’t it fun (and a bit spooky)?
although i’ve streamlined things a bit this year, and taken a more minimalist approach, you can imagine going full-blown. for a color pop, head to your local nursery and grab some celosia or goldenrod. scatter them amongst a healthy dose of pumpkins, squash, and other harvest favorites and you’ll be feeling fall in no time. and of course, i haven’t even touched on the endless possibilities Halloween decorating affords us…
and if it’s still 91 degrees where you are, keep it breezy with this sleeveless collared top (old, similar here) and comfy joggers from Ann Taylor Loft (old, similar here and here). as for footwear, i elevated the casual look of the joggers with snake print cap toe slingbacks (old, similar here and here).
i’ve streamlined the back porch refresh this year as well: i rotated my decorative pillows, pulled out a beautiful wool blanket, and a surprisingly simple, yet elegant centerpiece for the dining table.
as soon as temperatures start to drop, the back porch will become my most trafficked room, especially now that most of my kiddos are in town.
in preparation for the many dinners and late night conversations we’ll all enjoy, i’m sitting down to try a new cocktail: a fall-inspired apple cider mojito. the crisp, minty flavor takes the edge off the sweetness of the cider—a true juxtaposition of tastes.
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 c. gold rum
- apple cider
- Mint, for garnish
- Apple slices, for garnish
- Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
- Fill 2 glasses with ice.
- Add the juice of half a lemon to each glass.
- Divide the rum between the two glasses, then fill 3/4 of the way full with apple cider.
- Top each with a splash of seltzer and stir to combine.
- Garnish with mint and apple slices.
and although i don’t have a recipe for you this week, i’d thought i’d try something new. i’m giving you my top 4 kitchen accessories i currently can’t live without. let me know what you think in the comments below.
silicone splatter screens are great because they stay cool to the touch. this one is nice because it folds for easy use and storage.
i get a lot of use out of a fine mesh skimmer, because it serves multiple purposes. it’s perfect for skimming fine particles out of soups and sauces, and it also works great to scoop small pastas like tortellini or ravioli out of boiling water.
silicone spatulas have replaced virtually all of the wooden spoons in my kitchen. they are great because they don’t conduct heat and won’t scuff up my nonstick pans. they are also the perfect tool for getting every last drop of batter or sauce out of a pan or bowl.
peeling garlic is even more annoying than chopping garlic. but this super simple gadget makes quick work of getting your cloves peeled and ready to go.
all right gang, another week in the books. but before you go and enjoy that apple cider mojito, let me know some of your fall memories in the comment section below. did you unpack Halloween decorations with your mother or grandmother? what sites and smells do you have floating around your kitchen this time of year?