Our Autumn Bucket List

Each season, we make a list of everything we'd like to do and try to get it on our calendar so it actually happens!  This summer flew by so quickly and there were a few things we missed out on, so we're trying to make sure that doesn't happen this fall!  

We sat down with a couple iced chai tea lattes to get ourselves thinking of fall, even though the weather was so warm, and made a list of everything we'd like to do this season!

Decorate our home. With each season, the first thing we like to do is switch up our home and porch decor.  This really sets the tone for the season and helps me get excited for fall!  I really love fall, but I love summer more and it's just SO hard to see it come to an end!  Matt could live in a place where the only seasons they have are fall and winter.  Done with this as well!  I found a few more throw pillows that were hiding too!  You can see more of our fall prep here.

Give porch a fall update.  Pot some pretty fall flowers (thinking mums in a couple colors), pumpkins, and a wreath to decorate the front porch.  Did this already, but still need pumpkins!

Pick up some fall flowers.  I always love picking up enough flowers to fill a vase or two.  I try to only bring in flowers I know are pet (cat) friendly, as my kitties LOVE flowers, and I only keep them in places they can't get to,  Right now, I picked up some beautiful sunflowers, sedum, and hydrangeas.

Add fall scents to our home to make it extra cozy.  Purchase natural candles and fall essential oil scents to diffuse.  

Go to a pumpkin patch and carve/paint pumpkins.  Place them on the porch and get them ready for trick-or-treaters!  Last year we kept putting it off and never got around to carving or painting our pumpkins!

Go to an apple orchard.  Pick some apples, pet some farm animals, drink hot cider and eat mini donuts or another yummy treat!

Plan a day date for a walk in a new park while the leaves are changing.  Grab some hot cinnamon lattes and bring Sully for a walk in a new park together and out to dinner on a dog friendly patio while the weather is still nice!

Scary movie night.  Pick some movies to watch by the fire.  Grab blankets, popcorn, and make some mulled wine or mulled cider.

Pet costume photo shoot.  Dress the pets up in their halloween costumes and take photos - because it's always pretty hilarious!

Find new chili and soup recipes.  Find a couple new recipes to try this fall - and actually make them!  I've been wanting to make a roasted butternut squash + pumpkin soup and a cauliflower leek soup for a while!  Chili is always so good too.  And so is stew!  Yum!

Have a bonfire with s'mores!  Plan this for a crisp, clear fall night to see the stars.

Start a fall capsule wardrobe.  I've been wanting to plan a capsule wardrobe for a while and I think now is the perfect time.

Preparing for Fall

It's officially fall!  Who would have known?  Here in Minnesota. our first fall day was 94° and very sunny, which I was totally okay with!  It gave us a couple extra days in Matt's parents pool before they closed it up for the year!  Now that it actually feels like fall outside and is likely here to stay, I'm trying to embrace this season and prepare for fall!

With each season, the first thing I do is light a few candles, turn on the fireplace, open the windows, and switch up the decor in my home!  In the spring and summer my decor is bright, airy, and has a bit of a tropical vibe - perfect for the warm weather coming our way!  In the fall and winter months I switch to anything that makes it feel cozy, comfortable, and inviting, since we'll be spending so much more time indoors. 

Fall - Sabrina Reis Photography - Minneapolis-52.jpg

I used to decorate more for each holiday and felt like I was always having to put things up and take them down, sometimes keeping things up far longer than they should be and never really enjoying the process.  It also always felt like there were too many knick-knacks around which isn't really my thing and certain holidays didn't match my home's style so they didn't blend with the other decor (lookin' at you 4th of July and Halloween). 

With the simple seasonal changes I'm able to switch everything out in a short amount of time, keep everything really organized and take up minimal storage space, and keep everything up for months at a time, while being seasonally appropriate!!  I'll list a few resources of some of my favorite shops at the bottom!  Here are the items I switch out each season: 

  • Prints: We switch out most of the photos/prints in our frames to fit the season.  They may be family photos, photos we've taken while traveling, hand lettered wording, or other art prints.  I keep a small box with all of our seasonable prints or previous photos we've used, then each season I go through them to see what I want to use!  It's my favorite decor change and I think it's a great way to rotate your artwork so you don't get sick of it!  It's also a great way to rotate your family photos so you get to see a lot of them on a regular basis!
  • Throw Pillows: Our fall pillows are a mix of plaid patterns and white cozy textures.  
  • Throw Blankets: A couple plaid blankets and a couple light grey and white knitted throws.  We keep the ones we like to use regularly on the couch and keep others in a basket by the fireplace which adds to the coziness.
  • Fabric Napkins: These are excellent for adding in a pop of pattern anywhere around the house and definitely help make it feel cozy!  We use them in the center of the table and put a candle and mini pumpkins on top, under items on the mantle, on an end table under a tray, etc.  I buy all the same so there aren't too many different patterns around.  They're so easy to switch out, store, or change if you get tired of a certain pattern/color.
  • Fall Scents: I love getting new candles with cozy scents and using fall-like scents in our diffuser!  I'm not one for overly heavy or typical fall scents (though I did find a pumpkin + nutmeg candle I love), but I usually lean towards more earthy, woodsy scents for fall such as: Bergamot, Amber, Fig, and Tobacco & Bay Leaf.  Aside from making the house smelling amazing, I also love the ambiance candles create, especially when it gets dark so early!
  • Fresh Flowers: I also love getting some fresh fall flowers or cutting some from my hydrangeas, sunflowers, or sedum outside!  
  • Turn on the fireplace: Turn on that fireplace and open some windows!  During the day while it's cool, but not cold is a great time to get the fireplace running and burn off that weird smell after it's been sitting unused for months!  And who doesn't love a burning fireplace.  My FAVORITE part of fall and winter, and all my pets agree as well.  The second it turns on, the cats suddenly like the dog and camp in front of the fireplace all day long!

What do you do to get ready for the changing seasons?  

I'd love to hear in the comments!

Get ready for our autumn bucket list blog post coming later this week!!

 Photo by Kristen Dyer.

Photo by Kristen Dyer.

Some of my favorite sources for home decor: 

Candles (most are all natural + non-toxic): Detroit Rose, Foundry Home Goods, Rume Candle Co., Waiting on Martha, and Anthropologie

Art Prints: Lindsay Letters, Rifle Paper Co., SS Print Shop

Home Decor (pillows, throws, etc): Caitlin Wilson, Lulu & GeorgiaWest Elm, Target

Tropical Inspired Baby Shower | Event

A few weeks back I co-hosted a baby shower for a sweet friend/co-worker!  What is more perfect than a tropical inspired baby shower in the middle of our Minnesota summer?  

Tropical Baby Shower-5.jpg

I love hosting parties.  Planning the decor, drinks, food, games - I just love it!  Especially when it means friends coming together to have fun and celebrate, because that's the reason for all of this anyways!  Once I got the idea of a tropical inspired shower, thanks to Pinterest and all the amazing tropical decor out there right now (I want it all), I immediately started planning!

One of my favorite parts of a baby shower is the gift!!  Who doesn't LOVE shopping for baby gifts!  When I give gifts, I always try to personalize it the best I can and in the case of baby gifts, try to think about both what mama and baby would love!  Claire loves horses, so when I found this adorable watercolor pony print, I purchased immediately!  Isn't it just so cute!  When I give a print as a gift, I also try to find a frame that fits it well.  I also like to get these newborn journals for mom to write down baby's schedule and I love that they are personalized.  In the bottom of the box is the softest muslin swaddle blanket in the sweetest floral pattern, and on top of that is a black and white striped nursing cover (that has a bunch of different uses)!  Links are at the bottom for all these fun gifts!

I found the sweetest invitations by Kirra Reyna Designs on Etsy to set the mood for the party!  It was so hard to choose which one, so I narrowed it down and left the decision to my co-hosts.  I think they chose the perfect one!

Deciding on the decor was so much fun, but there is so much out there!  Narrowing it down to keep things looking simple and polished was important to me.  I love hosting parties that are a little fancy, it makes the celebration seem a bit more special!  I also didn't want to get too carried away with the tropical vibe - no tiki bar or jungle theme for this soirée!  Although, I did think about purchasing these adorable Tiki cups, but decided against them.

The color scheme I decided on was white, green, gold, and pink - you have to have some pink for a baby girl shower, right?!  I have potted palm bushes on my patio, so I thought they'd be great for the entrance to the shower.  I also found a fun pineapple garland that was much longer and brighter than I originally thought, so it was great to put at the front door as well!  

The fresh pineapples and DIY palm leaf balloons are my favorite!  They took a little bit of time, but they were really easy and SO cute!!  Balloons were big on my list for this party.  I also found a huge pineapple balloon, pink flamingo balloons, and the cute gold letter balloons!  I've been wanting to use those letter balloons forever!  Funny story about those balloons...it was supposed to say "YAY," however we accidentally over-inflated and popped the second "Y!"  Oops!!  I also accidentally ordered two "A" balloons, so we just turned it into "YAA!"  Quick problem solving, right?

I added in some pink striped & banana leaf paper plates, wine glasses (for a touch of fancy), and printables for the tables.  I also added a cute striped cloth napkin for the centerpiece under the cake and flamingo wrapping paper as the base for the other table!  

One of the important parts of planning a shower, particularly a baby shower, is to make sure everyone has fun - including the games!  Most of the people at this shower weren't big game players, at least the typical baby shower games.  I found an idea that put a spin on the typical "paint a onesie" game.  So that other table with all the pineapples and balloons?  That table is for the DIY onesie station - no paint, only iron-ons!  

I love the idea because it was so simple and easy to clean up!  I also found a blog where someone painted/designed these adorable pineapple, flamingo, and popsicle watercolor printables made specifically to iron onto onesies!  Jackpot!  

We had so much fun creating these onesies!!  I printed the majority of the iron-ons prior to the party and had them all set up - be prepared to need a lot of scissors!  I used clear iron-on transfer paper and printed from my home printer.  I used the watercolor images as I mentioned, as well as a couple printables I previously downloaded or purchased.  I made a couple instruction printables to put on the table as well, so everyone knew the steps!  We set up an iron in the corner, and each onesie only took about a minute to iron and then you can hang them to cool.  Everyone was able to mix and match to create their own design!  Such a fun creative project and lots of onesies for mama-to-be!  Take a peek at our designs (love the decals on the butt)!

Patio Update | Personal

My husband and I love spending time outdoors.  One of our favorite outdoor activities (if you can call it that) is hosting our friends for dinner.  We moved in almost 5 years ago and have slowly been installing a new patio and updating furniture.  Until now, we haven't had an outdoor space that seated more than my husband and I - a small bistro table.  It's been great for breakfast or coffee together, but trying to serve dinner for just my husband and I was a struggle.  We'd often grill our meal, bring everything inside, and bring our prepared plates back outside to enjoy dinner.  

Recently I visited my friend's patio, who is also a neighbor and has a similar sized, odd shaped area.  She found the most perfect table!  Her patio is much more open than ours, so I had to make sure the table fit.  We may have to do some rearranging if we want to seat more than 4 people, however this table is just so perfect!  It really makes our little patio so much more functional!  Who wants to be the first to join us for dinner outside? 

Below is a before and after shot (sorry about the horrible cell phone photo quality), the photo actually just popped up in my Timehop today (4 years ago!)!  Great timing!  We installed the patio 3 years ago.  Chopping up that concrete is a huge job (huge props to my hubby...although I did enough to require stitches in my toe - oops!), and also huge props to my dad for basically installing the majority of the new pavers!  We love the added space it gives us!  Also, I think it's time to prune some plants!

Here is our cute little bistro set.  We are planning on hosting a few small events in August, so until then we're keeping everything on our patio to allow for extra seating.  Then we'll move our bistro set to our upper porch off our master bedroom where there is currently a huge lack of seating options!

White patio table is from Ikea.  The two panels on the side open up for extra seating, so it can seat 8.

Grey and white chairs are fro CB2 and are very comfortable and stackable.

The bistro set and pillows are from Target (similar), purchased a few years ago.

If you can't tell, I love plants!  I have to keep all my plants outside due to my cats wanting to eat them all, so I definitely make up for it on my patio!  I get a lot of my plants from Spruce, as well as many of the containers.  Some of the plants are also gifted from friends or I've picked up at different shops.  Another favorite location for plants is Tangletown Gardens, they have so many different types of plants that I've never seen before, as well as koi fish!